Student Organization of the Week: Thread Collective

Erica Reyes, Staff Writer

Last fall, Thread Collective, a student-run production company, was founded by College juniors David Ohana, Aaron Profumo and Hayden Gilbert. The company works to raise funds and to manage and market student multimedia productions, art exhibitions and galas.

Ohana noted that Thread Collective is now “much more professional”, but that its mission to “raise the standard for productions on campus and maximize the great talent that Oberlin houses” has remained constant. A team of aspiring producers, advertisers, accountants and graphic and set designers work to make sure the odds and ends of student productions are well organized.

“Too often, artists are [so] bogged down by the details of organizing and managing a production that features their work — be it a TIMARA piece or a multimedia extravaganza, or both — that they can’t focus on the crux of the event: their work,” said Ohana in an e-mailed statement.

Thread Collective’s recent projects include the workshop production of Kendall Pinkney’s, OC ’10, Jerusalem of Gold, a semi-autobiographical hip-hop musical. The company began preparing this past fall for the February production, leading promotional and fundraising efforts for the event. Jerusalem of Gold, which has recently been accepted into the New York International Fringe Festival, will be revised and redrafted for a full production in the future, and Pinkney will have the help of professional playwrights and composers with whom Thread Collective put him in touch.

Thread Collective also designed, organized and managed stage production for Dust, the senior TIMARA recital of double-degree fifth-year Meade Bernard.

Thread Collective is currently working on Conservatory senior Alex Overington’s Senior TIMARA recital, “Concert.” The performance — described in the press release as “a plethora of musical interpretations… rewritten into an hour-long live performance” — will feature Teddy Rankin-Parker, OC ’09, Rafiq Bhatia, OC ’10, Conservatory senior Christian Smith, and Faculty-in-Residence of Afrikan Heritage House Ralph Jones. “Concert” will be performed Friday at 6 p.m.

This summer, Thread Collective will be working on what Ohana describes as a “multimedia exhibition that will creatively illuminate paintings and feature 1890 tungsten remake bulb installations, as well as more contemporary installations.” The company hopes to transform spaces that may already feature art through novel designs.