Return...

Extending the Stage

On April 25 and 27, 2014, Madison Opera will present Dead Man Walking, a Jake Heggie opera based on the book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean. Heggie and Sister Helen will be in Madison for opening night and will speak at First Congregational Church on April 24.

Because of the social issues raised by the opera, Madison Opera is partnering with a number of Dane County organizations to present an array of educational activities in the months leading up to the performances. Ranging from panels to previews, films to museum tours, and culminating with the discussion between Sister Helen and Jake Heggie, Madison Opera is truly extending the stage into our community for this life-changing opera, and we hope you will join us as often as you can.

This page will be updated throughout the year, as events are added and refined. To receive e-mail updates specifically about Dead Man Walking activities, please sign-up for the Extending the Stage email list.

For more information, please contact us.

Unless otherwise noted, admission to any event is on a first-come, first-served basis. All events subject to change.
 

A Note for Book Clubs: Are you interested in having your book club read Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean? Madison Public Library and the Dane County Libraries will have book club kits available.

Conversations and Panels

Incarceration and Inequality, a panel presented by the Center for the Humanities at the UW Madison
Madison Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin Street, Madison
Monday, March 10, 5:30-7:30pm

Sociologist Pam Oliver, who is investigating the causes and consequences of racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and Rhodessa Jones, Director of the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, speak with Jean Feraca about incarceration and inequality in Wisconsin and across the U.S.
Admission: Free, no reservations required.


Religious Perspectives on Criminal Justice
Madison Opera Center, 335 W. Mifflin Street, Madison
Sunday, March 23, 2:30-4:30pm

A panel and conversation about the serious issues and challenges for our times from a variety of philosophical and religious traditions and perspectives.
Panelists include John Huebscher, Wisconsin Catholic Council; Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, President, Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice; and Dr. Ibrahim Saeed, Islamic Center of Madison. Moderated by Pastor Michael Schuler, First Unitarian Society.
Admission: Free, no reservations required.


Art as Social Comment – A Guided Tour of the Chazen
Chazen Museum of Art, 750 University Ave., Madison
Thursday, April 3 at 6pm
- Sorry, Capacity Reached!
The power of visual art to both reflect and influence society is universal. Artists use their individual talents to pass on and revise history, persuade observers to a point of view, and invent new ways of portraying shared human values. Participants will view examples in paintings, sculpture, and prints from the Chazen collection. Led by Maureen Kind, docent, and Anne Lambert, Curator of Education.
Admission: Free, but space is limited.   RSVP deadline is past, and capacity has been reached.
Note: If you are unable to attend the docent-led tour, the Chazen will also have materials available for a self-guided tour of these works throughout the month of April. Ask for them at the front desk!

Sister Helen Prejean and Jake Heggie in Conversation
First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave., Madison
Thursday, April 24 at 7pm

with the co-sponsorship of The Prison Ministry Project of First Congregational United Church of Christ and Edgewood College
Join composer Jake Heggie and Sister Helen Prejean in conversation about the opera Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen’s work, and their collaboration that has shared her story with opera companies around the world. Renowned mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, who is singing Mrs. DeRocher in Dead Man Walking, will sing Heggie’s song cycle “The Deepest Desire,” set to Sister Helen’s poetry, accompanied by the composer. Sister Helen will sign copies of her books for sale after the event.
Admission: Free, no reservations required.
Parking information here.


Previews and Behind-the-Scenes

Opera Novice: American Opera
Madison Opera Center, 335 W. Mifflin Street, Madison
Friday, March 28, 6-7pm

First-time opera-goer? Passionate about Puccini, but not sure if you would like an American opera? Join General Director Kathryn Smith for a short, fun, and informative evening exploring American opera, from John Philip Sousa to George Gershwin to Jake Heggie. It’s the perfect jump-start for the opera curious.
Admission: Free. Reservations encouraged; reserve online.

Dead Man Walking Previews
Join Madison Opera staff for an entertaining multimedia preview of the opera Dead Man Walking.
• Waunakee Public Library | Wednesday, March 19, 7-8pm
• Madison Central Library | Tuesday, April 8, 7-8pm
• Sun Prairie Public Library | Wednesday, April 9, 6:30-7:30pm
• Capitol Lakes Retirement Community | Thursday, April 10, 2-3pm
Admission: Free, no reservations required.

Opera Up Close: The Dead Man Walking Preview
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State Street, Madison
Sunday, April 13, 1-3pm

Join us for a behind-the-scenes preview of Madison Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking. With multimedia presentations, a roundtable discussion with the stage director and leading singers, and more, there is no better way to get “up close” to this wonderful opera.
Admission: $20. Free for full-season subscribers and full-time students with ID; $10 for two-show subscribers. To purchase tickets in advance, contact Madison Opera at 608.238.8085. Tickets available at the door.


Films

Dead Man Walking, the 1995 Oscar-winning film based on the novel by Sister Helen Prejean, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.
• Sun Prairie Public Library | Thursday, March 6 at 6:30pm
• Madison Central Library | Thursday, March 27 at 6:30pm
• Fitchburg Public Library | Wednesday, April 9 at 6pm
Admission: Free, no reservations required. Film is rated R.

Unlikely Friends, a documentary about victims of brutal crimes who, through forgiveness, unexpectedly become friends with their perpetrators.
• Sun Prairie Public Library | Thursday, March 13 at 6:30pm
   A post-film discussion will be led by Rev. Scott Carlson, Sun Prairie United  
   Methodist Church.
• Madison Central Library | Wednesday, April 2 at 6:30pm 
  A post-film discussion will be led by Rev. Jerry Hancock, The Prison Ministry
  Project.
•  Fitchburg Public Library | Wednesday, April 16 at 6pm
   A post-film discussion will be led by Rev. Phil Haslanger, Memorial United
   Church of Christ.
Admission: Free, no reservations required. Not suitable for children. Learn more at: Unlikely Friends.

Race to Execution, a documentary that follows the stories of two Death Row inmates while exploring the deep and disturbing link between race and the death penalty in America.
• Sun Prairie Public Library | Thursday, March 20 at 6:30pm
  A post-film discussion will be led by Rev. Scott Carlson, Sun Prairie United  
  Methodist Church.
• Madison Central Library | Thursday, April 10 at 6:30pm
   A post-film discussion will be led by Dr. Carolyn Field, Associate Professor of
   Sociology, Edgewood College.
• Fitchburg Public Library | Wednesday, April 23 at 6pm
   A post-film discussion will be led by Rev. Phil Haslanger, Memorial United
   Church of Christ.
Admission: Free, no reservations required. Not suitable for children.
Learn more at: Race to Execution.

Compulsion, the 1959 film starring Orson Welles that is a fictionalized account of the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder trial.
Cinematheque, 4070 Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave., Madison
Saturday, April 19 at 7pm

A post-film discussion will be led by Jim Healy, director of Cinematheque, and Rev. Jerry Hancock, The Prison Ministry Project
Admission: Free, no reservations required. Not suitable for children.


Recommended Readings

 
Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, by Sister Helen Prejean
  The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, by Sister Helen Prejean


Sponsored by

 

The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation

 

Extending the Stage Partners


 

Performances
Sponsors