Admissions Staffer also a Creative Renaissance Man
By Mary Ann Cozza
This university is filled with interesting and inspiring students, faculty and staff who dedicate portions of their busy lives to their respective passions. And Neil Orts can be counted among them.
Orts, a transfer articulation counselor in the Office of Admissions, is a freelance writer and performer with diverse interests in the arts, religion, dance and LGBT issues. He recently formed a performance company, Breath & Bone/Orts Performance, that will debut a performance installation called Shadowplace in March.
In Shadowplace, participating artists will carry lights and interact with large moving screens of fabric, made by local fiber artist Sari Frey. The play of light and shadow will provide a quiet hour of meditation and beauty for attendees.
According to Orts, the idea for Shadowplace was several years in the making and came to him while attending church. "The church to which I belonged at the time had a worship space with movable seating, something that I wanted to play with. I pictured these screens with people holding candles in the darkened nave, their shadows thrown on fabric that was translucent enough for the shadow to be seen on the other side. Two people would walk around the screens, catching glimpses of the other shadows, but not seeing face to face."
Although the idea and location adapted over the years, the themes of light, shadow, waiting, hope and keeping vigil remained.