Professor and Alumnus Collaborate on Multi-media Show

November 1, 2011

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BUFFALO, NY – Canisius College Associate Professor of Digital Media ArtsJamie O’Neil will premier “Four Mad Humours” at 8:00 p.m. at The Alt Theatre in Buffalo, from November 2-5. O’Neil is co-creator and media designer of the bi-national, interdisciplinary performance series, which links American and Canadian cities and performers. O’Neil collaborated on the project with Gerry Trentham, co-creator and choreographer, and Jesse Deganis-Librera, a media designer and 2011 graduate of Canisius College. View the trailer.

Based on the Elizabethan Humours, “Four Mad Humours” consists of four dance solo performances that examine the nature of madness: Phlegmatic (Shades of Blue), Choleric (In Yellow Scale), Sanguine (Degrees of Red) and Melancholy (Measured in Green). Each solo explores the range of human physicality, sound, speech and disposition through the perspective of Hippocratic thought and the development of the Elizabethan medical system. 

“Four Humours” is particularly unique in that it utilizes modern media technology to bring the four dance solos to four different cities, in simultaneous pairs: Buffalo and Toronto (November 2-5) and Chicago and Montreal (November 10-13). Audience members at The Alt Theatre in Buffalo will watch a live performance alongside a live virtual performance from The Theatre Center in Toronto. While O’Neil runs the show in Buffalo, his former student Deganis-Librera will be on the other end of the line in Canada. O’Neil explains that the project is about more than utilizing new multi-media technology, especially for the next generation of artists.

“We have the opportunity to live in a virtual world, which means all sorts of incredible possibilities for learning and communication,” says O’Neil. “Technology moves us forward and engaging with it artistically is extremely important for students. It will be up to them to breathe new life into the tradition of theater and the humanities.” 

Jamie O’Neil is director of the Digital Media Arts Program at Canisius College and co-director of the college’s Video Institute. He is a video and performance artist, who has presented at numerous juried festivals, conferences and exhibitions internationally, often under his pseudonym Kurt Weibers. A consistent theme in his projects, and the bridge to his collaborations with Gerry Trentham, is the juxtaposition of live and mediated forms of expression. He has designed video scenic effects for performances and installations at O Vertigo, Montreal; Dancemakers, Toronto; and The New Dance Group in New York City. O’Neil’s work has been funded by The New York State Council on the Arts and The Canada Council for the Arts; and he has been granted numerous research fellowships and artistic residencies. 

O’Neil studied theater at Boston University and received his MFA at SUNY Buffalo’s Visual, Media and Emerging Practices Program. 

Jesse Deganis-Librera specializes in video, photography and graphic design. He has collaborated with filmmakers, musicians and artists from Florence (Italy), Toronto and New York City, producing a wide variety of media including documentaries, music videos and short films.

Deganis-Librera received his bachelor of science degree in digital media arts at Canisius College, where he was a member of the All-College Honors Program. He works as a production assistant at WNED-TV Buffalo-Toronto, at The Alt Theatre, and as a freelance videographer and graphic designer.

For tickets to the Buffalo performance of “Four Mad Humours,” contact The Alt Theatre at 716-868-6847 or visit the website

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit, Catholic colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.