Frank Sinatra Artist in Residence Taye Diggs at SCU
(Taye Diggs and Shane W Evans with my English 106 class)
On Friday April 12, I was fortunate to have both Taye Diggs and his collaborator on children's books, visual illustrator Shane W Evans, come to my Rhetoric of Storytelling (English 106) here at SCU. In class, I framed the discussion around the course reading "Ancient Tradition and Contemporary Storytelling" by Gayle Duskin from the collection The Subject Is Story. The class identified contemporary songs that highlighted elements, motifs, and themes raised in the reading. Diggs and Evans were extremely generous in their thoughtful contributions to the discussion, questions for students, and responses to questions from students on topics related to storytelling, telling the stories of others, and the purposes for storytelling. Diggs and Evans offered their perspectives as creators and collaborators in the stories of others.
Children's Book Reading
On Tuesday, April 9 Diggs and Evans performed a reading from their books Chocolate Me! and Mixed Me!. SCU has a video of the entire event that I'm including below, which includes musical moments that are at times collaborative with the audience, demonstrating the performative nature of the text as well as the rhythmic prose of both books.
(Photo of Shane W. Evans with my son Jackson at reading)
Books by Taye Diggs and Shane W Evans:
(Click on Cover for Amazon link)
(Click Cover for Amazon link)
Behind the Curtain: Workshop Performance with Students
On Friday April 13, Diggs performed with SCU students in the choir, jazz band, orchestra, and dancers, taking the audience through some of his experiences as an actor and performer. Together, they performed songs from Rent, Chicago, and others.
Thank you to Taye Diggs, Shane W Evans, and everyone at SCU who helped bring these awesome events together, including but not limited to Marie Brancati, Danielle Morgan, Christina Zanfagna, Tony Hazard, and the whole Culture Power and Difference crew.