New Directions Spring Arts Festival Trailer.mp4

April 14 and 15, Middlebury College Mahaney Arts Center

An Interdisciplinary Arts Festival created by Michole Biancosino (Theatre),
Laurel Jenkins (Dance), Michelle Leftheris (Studio Art),
and Dr. Matthew Evan Taylor (Music)

This two-day interdisciplinary event will feature the creative work of 4 junior arts faculty members, as they experiment within their field and across disciplines. The festival kicks off Friday, April 14th with a new interdisciplinary work created in collaboration with students across arts departments. Saturday will feature a rolling schedule of events throughout the Center for the Arts. Audiences can see new genre-bending works in Music, Studio Art, Dance, and Theatre all in one day.


Presented by Michole Biancosino (Assistant Professor of Theatre), Laurel Jenkins (Assistant Professor of Dance), Michelle Leftheris (Assistant Professor of Studio Art),
and Dr. Matthew Evan Taylor (Assistant Professor of Music).

The Festival is supported in part by the Middlebury Performing Arts Council, The Bernstein Fund, and the Provosts Fund.


Michole Biancosino

Michole Biancosino is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of Project Y Theatre Company, where she has developed and directed new work in Washington, D.C., New York City and internationally over the past 25 years. With Project Y, she has led various professional productions, as producer, director, creator and writer. Credits included the long-running shows, Trump Lear (co-created and directed) and the award-winning, David Carl’s Celebrity One-Man Hamlet (co-created and directed), both of which toured regionally and performed at Edinburgh Fringe, as co-productions with Richard Jordan Productions (UK), The Pleasance, and Underbelly. She directs solo artist Peter Michael Marino’s long-running solo shows, Show Up! And Show Up Kids! which is now running in Spanish- and Japanese-language versions. Her most recent ventures in digital theatre-making and hybrid theatre can be seen at Other work includes both the digital and on-stage versions of the Infallible Award-winner PLANET OF THE GRAPES LIVE FROM NYC (Zoo Venues, Edinburgh 2021) and the cosmic raga opera, Waves of Gravity with Neel Murgai (LaMama CultureHub). She currently performs Lia Romeo’s Yoga With Jillian and is a producer of Project Y’s yearly Women in Theatre Festival. Michole was featured by Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and The Brooklyn Rail. Recipient: SDC Gielgud Fellowship for classical directing. Her work has been supported by grants from The Puffin Foundation, ART/NY, NY Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), The Dramatists Guild, and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). She holds an MFA in Directing from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College. For more information:

Laurel Jenkins

Laurel Jenkins is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and mother. Her choreography emerges from a desire to reimagine our collective human experience. Jenkins’ work has been presented by Lincoln Center, Disney Hall, REDCAT, Automata, the Getty Center, Show Box LA, Danspace, the Lied Center for Performing Arts, Berlin’s Performing Presence Festival, Tokyo’s Sezane Gallery, and Paris’ Cité Internationale des Arts. She choreographed Bernstein’s MASS with the LA Phil and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. In addition, she has choreographed for LA Contemporary Dance Company, The Wooden Floor, and many universities including UNL. Jenkins was a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company from 2007-2012, and has danced in works by Vicky Shick and Sara Rudner. Jenkins performed in the opera Oedipus Rex/Symphony of Psalms by Peter Sellars and solos by Merce Cunningham in the Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event. Jenkins is the recipient of a Vermont Arts Council Grant, an Asian Cultural Council Grant, a French Institute Fellowship, holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence, and an MFA from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. She is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Matthew Evan Taylor

Composer and improviser Dr. Matthew Evan Taylor (1980) has been hailed as a composer of “insistent and defiant…envelopingly hypnotic” music (Alan Young, Lucid Culture). Dr. Taylor’s work is sparked by his curiosity about the surrounding world and the inherent social bonds built through music. Whether he is addressing issues about the nature of time or the bounds of the human breath on musical performance, Dr. Taylor writes music that is engaging, surprising, and unmistakably human. His aesthetic is typified by vibrant instrumental colors, mercurial juxtapositions, and an affinity for groove.

Innovative projects such as Life Returns, Say Their Names, Postcards to the Met, and The Unheard Mixtapes were created as new templates for composition and performance in the wake of the pandemic. His ongoing series The Living Score aims to decolonize the compositional process by democratizing the most precious Western musical artifact – the musical score.

Dr. Taylor’s music is available through New Amsterdam Records. Dr. Taylor is based in Vermont, where he is Assistant Professor of Music at Middlebury College. He also serves as Artist-Teacher in Composition at The Longy School of Music of Bard College.

Michelle Leftheris

Michelle Leftheris (b. 1978) is a lens-based artist working across multiple disciplines. Her work, generally rooted in photographic practice, often extends beyond traditional methods of production and presentation of the photographic image. She holds a BFA in Photography from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA in Digital Media from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and museums nationally and internationally including The Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, Scotland; Pace Gallery, New York, NY; NurtureArt, Brooklyn, NY; Ortega Y Gasset Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York, NY; Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY; Frances Colburn Gallery, Burlington,VT; The Wassaic Project, Armenia, NY and The Flux Factory, Queens, NY. Publications include Design Within Reach, Steadfast Magazine, L Magazine, and Der Greif.