InCite Arts Festival Weaves Together Art, Science, and Politics

Contact: Ellen Carr, 617-353-8783 |
Contact: Jean Connaughton, 617-353-7293 |

(Washington, D.C.) – For the first time, Boston University College of Fine Arts’ InCite Arts Festival will take place in Washington, D.C., October 30 through November 2, under the artistic direction of Olney Theatre Center’s Jim Petosa. A schedule of events and ticketing information is included at the end of this release. For information, visit or call 617.353.3350.

Conceived to share the dynamic artistic strengths and synergy of the College’s schools of Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts, the InCite Arts Festival offers new and interdisciplinary programming that boasts an eclectic and compelling combination of titles and artists. After two successful festivals in New York City, InCite seeks to widen its impact by coming to Washington, D.C., another significant American cultural center. This festival celebrates the ongoing exploration of both the natural and unique relationships that form when arts, science, and politics intersect.

Petosa explains: “The essence of every InCite Arts Festival is to serve audiences and artists by providing opportunities to develop new work, or seldom-seen existing work, through processes that involve students, professional alumni, faculty, and guest artists.

“Although the first two InCite festivals were held in New York, the idea for the festival was originally conceived as a moveable feast,” he continues. “Given our relationship with Olney Theatre Center and the opportunity for our orchestral performance at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, it became clear that a festival that explores the relationship among politics, science and art would be well-suited for Washington.”

The Boston University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Hoose, will perform the world premiere of Nolan Gasser’s Cosmic Reflection: A Narrated Symphony, op. 15 at the Kennedy Center as part of a program that also includes the American Brass Quintet. Cosmic Reflection was commissioned by Pierre Schwob to celebrate the first year in orbit of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The piece features narration by Carey Harrison, son of Rex Harrison, and a video by the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. The performance is part of the first Fermi International Science Symposium. David Hoose is Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities in the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts. The evening is presented by Classical Archives, the largest online music subscription service dedicated to classical music.

Two productions will be presented at Olney Theatre Center: Tom Stoppard and André Previn’s collaboration, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, and the one-act opera, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, composed by Michael Nyman (best known for his film score for The Piano) from the essay by noted neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks. Jim Petosa directs recent alumni of the College of Fine Arts in both productions. Petosa, Artistic Director of Olney Theatre Center, is also the Director of the School of Theatre at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts.

In addition to these performances, InCite Arts Festival will include “Color and Light,” a reception and gallery talk at The Phillips Collection, given by painter Richard Raiselis, Associate Professor of Art at the BU School of Visual Arts. Some of the works to be shown and discussed in the informal talk are by John Walker, renowned painter and Professor and Chair of the Graduate Painting program at the BU School of Visual Arts.

Schedule of Events

Color and Light: Reception and Gallery Talk
Friday, October 30, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The Phillips Collection
Due to limited capacity, reservations are required for this free event. Visit
for details.

Richard Raiselis, painter and BU associate professor, discusses the role of color in painting – how painters quantify color, and how color proportion and choice of medium influence how paintings look. Works by renowned painter and BU professor John Walker will be referenced in the informal talk, as will other select works from The Phillips Collection.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Saturday, October 31 at 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 1 at 5:00 pm
Olney Theatre Center
Tickets: $38; call 301.924.3400 or visit

Discounts available for BU alumni (promo code “BUALUM09”), Olney Theatre Center subscribers, seniors, students, and groups.

Music by Michael Nyman
Libretto in English by Christopher Rawlence and Michael Nyman, assisted by Michael Morris
Adapted from an essay by Oliver Sacks
Jim Petosa, stage director
William Lumpkin, music director

In this one-act opera adapted from a real life case study, a neurologist, a singer, and the singer’s wife are featured in a humorous and thought-provoking tale about the diagnosis of the singer’s rare disorder – the loss of the ability to recognize objects. According to The Observer (UK), “Sacks’s story remains potent. It has music at its heart, making it a natural, if unexpected, choice for operatic treatment.”

Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
Saturday, October 31 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, November 1 at 2:00 pm
Olney Theatre Center
Tickets: $38; call 301.924.3400 or visit
Discounts available for BU alumni (promo code “BUALUM09”), Olney Theatre Center subscribers, seniors, students, and groups.

By Tom Stoppard
Music by André Previn
William Lumpkin, conductor
Jim Petosa, director

Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
is a rarely performed collaborative piece written by the unique artistic team of Tom Stoppard and André Previn. In a Soviet asylum in 1977, two men, both named Alexander Ivanov, share a cell. While “Ivanov” is a genuine mental patient who believes he’s conducting an imaginary orchestra, “Alexander” is a political prisoner who has been institutionalized because of his unacceptable political views and must admit his “mental illness” to regain his freedom.

Cosmic Reflection
Featuring the Boston University Symphony Orchestra

Monday, November 2 at 8:00 pm
The Kennedy Center Concert Hall
Tickets: There are a limited number of tickets available for sale to the general public in the 1st Tier and 2nd Tier at $20 each, available at the Kennedy Center Box Office by phone at 202.467.4600 or visit

A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for BU alumni; visit for details.

David Hoose, conductor
Carey Harrison, narrator

The program features the world premiere of Cosmic Reflection, composed by Nolan Gasser to celebrate the first year in orbit of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. A large-scale orchestral work that illustrates the history of the universe through music, narration, and video, Cosmic Reflection was commissioned by Pierre Schwob, founder of Classical Archives, at the request of his friend Dr. Peter Michelson, principal investigator of Fermi’s main instrument and Professor of Physics at Stanford University. Also appearing on the concert program is the American Brass Quintet.