English Department Speaker Series: Will Do Magic for Small Change with Andrea Hairston and Pan Morigan

Andrea Hairston and Pan Morigan at St. John's

D’angelo Center room 307
St. John’s University, Queens Campus
Jamaica, Queens

Andrea Hairston and Pan Morigan at St. John's
Master theatre artist and Smith College Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Africana Studies, Andrea Hairston, will read sections from her new novel, Will Do Magic For Small Change (Aqueduct Press, 2016), and musical dynamo, Pan Morigan, will sing songs she has written based on lyrics from the book. The melodies are influenced by Morigan’s research into the banjo and blues, Irish music, and something indefinable—wild, syncretic. Professor Hairston has won awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Fund, the Ford Foundation, and the Shubert Fellowship for Playwriting, and the Distinguished Scholarship Award from the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts. In addition to being a professor, playwright, novelist, and scholar, Professor Hairston also is the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theater in Massachusetts.

Pan Morigan is a vocalist, instrumentalist, songwriter, poet, and the music director for Chrysalis Theater. Her musical adventures have included touring with Bobby McFerrin and his all-improvisational vocal group Voicestra, producing several albums, Castles of Gold and Wild Blue and creating, recording, and performing songs for Andrea Hairston’s novels, Redwood and Wildfire and Will Do Magic For Small Change. Her forthcoming album is Storm Hands. Morigan is a past winner of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Music Composition.



Cinnamon Jones dreams of stepping on stage and acting her heart out like her famous grandparents, Redwood and Wildfire. But at 5’10’’ and 180 pounds, she’s theatrically challenged. Her family life is a tangle of mystery and deadly secrets, and nobody is telling Cinnamon the whole truth. Before her older brother died, he gave Cinnamon The Chronicles of the Great Wanderer, a tale of a Dahomean warrior woman and an alien from another dimension who perform in Paris and at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The Chronicles may be magic or alien science, but the story is definitely connected to Cinnamon’s family secrets. When an act of violence wounds her family, Cinnamon and her theatre squad determine to solve the mysteries and bring her worlds together.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Shanté Paradigm Smalls at smallss@stjohns.edu

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