Stories this week at WFU

By Jacob McConnico
February 8, 2006

HEARTS AND FLOWERS … AND SOCIAL ANXIETY? — As Valentine's Day approaches, many are thinking of ways to make a good impression on someone they want to date. But, some would-be Casanovas become awkward and shy in social situations. Mark Leary, an expert on social anxiety and professor of psychology at Wake Forest, can explain why some people are more likely to experience feelings of shyness or embarrassment when talking to a potential romantic partner. He can also offer some suggestions for how to overcome those feelings. Leary is the author of books on social anxiety, interpersonal rejection and self-presentation.

Contact: Cheryl Walker, or 336-758-5237.

WHY 'BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN' IS PLAYING WELL ACROSS AMERICA — It might come as some surprise that Ang Lee's highly acclaimed film is playing well not only around New York and Los Angeles, but also throughout the United States. Mary Dalton, Wake Forest assistant professor of communication and expert on Hollywood cinema, says the film continues to crowd movie theaters because it is both unconventional and conventional at the same time. "The film takes on this iconic western macho man figure and gives him depth, turning him into a character we have not seen before," Dalton said. "The result is a ripple effect into mainstream culture, including but not limited to parodies such as those on 'The Tonight Show.' This builds more public attention and curiosity and drives more people to go see the film. At the same time, it is a classic love story, which remains a popular genre in film."

Contact: Maggie Barrett, or 336-758-5237.

ARTWORK EXPLORES RESPONSES TO SOCIO-POLITICAL WORLD — The work of artists Edith Isaac-Rose, Elyse Defoor and DUZA (the artist's working name) is as varied as the mediums they employ, but their messages are similar: how do we respond to the socio-political pressures the world imposes on us? The exhibit, which will be featured in Wake Forest's Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery, will run from Feb. 8 to March 19. An opening reception will be held at 5 p.m. Feb. 8. Guest artist discussions will also be held in conjunction with the exhibit. Isaac-Rose and Defoor will discuss their works at 3 p.m. Feb. 8, and DUZA will discuss her work at 3 p.m. Feb. 28. The exhibit, reception and discussions are free and open to the public.

Contact: Pam Barrett, or 336-758-5237.

WFU THEATRE RETELLS IBSEN CLASSIC, APPALACHIAN STYLE — The Wake Forest University Theatre will present Romulus Linney's "Gint," a retelling of Ibsen's classic "Peer Gynt." Performances will be held at the MainStage Theatre in Scales Fine Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10-11 and 15-18 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 19. Unfolding like a strange dream, the play follows the life journey of Pete Gint, a young man living in the Appalachian Mountains in 1917. Tickets are $12, $5 for students, and may be purchased at the Theatre Box Office or by calling (336) 758-5295.

Contact: Pam Barrett, or 336-758-5237.

WFU STUDENTS 'SPEAK OUT' ABOUT RAPE — Wake Forest University students will speak out about rape and sexual assault at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in Wait Chapel. The PREPARE Speakout event, sponsored by the Policy Group on Rape Education, Prevention and Response (PREPARE), features anonymous testimonials of Wake Forest students as well as student and faculty speakers. It is part of the annual "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Week," a week designed to educate the Wake Forest community about issues of rape and sexual assault on campus.

Contact: Pam Barrett, or 336-758-5237.

WFU WOMEN TO RAISE FUNDS FOR BATTERED WOMEN SHELTERS — As part of the V-Day global movement to stop violence against women and girls, the women of Wake Forest and Salem College have partnered to present "The Vagina Monologues." All proceeds from the performances will be donated to local battered women shelters. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20-22 at the Ring Theatre in Scales Fine Arts Center on the campus of Wake Forest and at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27-March 1 in Bryant Hall at Salem College. Tickets are $14; $12 for students. To order tickets, call Nadja Mummery at (336) 917-5110. Sponsorships are also available; contact Kelly Chauvin at (336) 473-1200 or

Contact: Pam Barrett, or 336-758-5237.

STUDENTS REALIZE DREAMS BY COMBINING THEATRE AND MAGIC — Wake Forest senior Ben Whiting became enthralled with magic at age five. Senior Matt Gutschick always wanted to be in theatre. Both had a dream, but it wasn't until Gutschick saw Whiting perform street magic in Europe that the two ever imagined how combining their dreams could blend both their art forms into a new social entrepreneurial theater concept that could make a profound impact on young people. Whiting and Gutschick, the creators of MagicMouth Productions, an educational, non-profit theatre company, will debut "Awakening," the first drama production to ever incorporate magic and illusion, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at Wake Forest University's MainStage Theatre in Scales Fine Arts Center. Performances will also be held at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 26. Suitable for families, the semi-autobiographical show depicts Whiting's life and uses magic tricks and David Copperfield-style grand illusions to convey the message that one should never let go of his dreams. Tickets are $20; $10 for students and children 12 and under and are available at Group discounts are also available. Interviews and morning show segments can be arranged. Television crews can tape the first five minutes of the production.

Contact: Pam Barrett, or 336-758-5237.

WAKE FOREST, OTHER BIG FOUR SCHOOLS WORK TO CAN HUNGER — From Feb. 1 to March 1, Wake Forest will participate with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina State University to collect canned food and money in an effort to eliminate hunger. Money and food collected by Wake Forest will benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. Donations of food or cash will be collected at Wake Forest basketball games on Feb. 8, 11, 19 and 22. In addition, monetary donations can be made online at Each canned item or $1 donated earns the donor 1 point. For every 25 points accumulated, the donor's name will be entered in a drawing for two season tickets to the 2006 Wake Forest Football season. The drawing will take place March 4. Entrants do not need to be present to win. The university with the highest amount of donations will be announced March 4 at the Wake Forest vs. N.C. State and the Carolina vs. Duke men's basketball games. The student organizer for the event at Wake Forest is Richard L. Cox Jr., chief of staff for Wake Forest Student Government and chairman of the Screamin' Demons student fan club. He is available for interviews.

Contact: Jake McConnico, or 336-758-5237.