This proposal responds to the U-M Office of Research’s (UMOR) offer to support research, scholarship, and creative activities across multiple fields; specifically, this proposal requests funding to support the creation of a standalone interactive sculptural installation, The Realm of the Dead. This new work is linked thematically to the award-winning community theatrical performance, Marília, a one-person play about the ways in which a child’s sudden death haunts yet also inspires the lives of the family members she leaves behind. The playwright, Dr. Rogério Meireles Pinto, is Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the U-M School of Social Work. He wrote and performed Marília on Theatre Row in New York City (NYC) in 2015 and subsequently in Bloemfontein, Vrystaat, South Africa.
A grant from UMOR will allow Pinto to fully involve his current communities in Michigan by presenting both the new installation and the play together to a diverse audience in the fall of 2020, as part of the U-M School of Social Work’s centennial celebration.
The Realm of the Dead installation will invite visitors to add to its development, and will also form the basis of a new stage set for performances of Marília in Michigan. In order to contextualize The Realm of the Dead, brief descriptions of Marília and of the applicant’s background follow. The art installation shares the same historic, biographical, theoretical, and performance underpinnings as the play.