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February 11, 2002

Performing Arts Studio home to 'Kitchen Chaos'

By Sally Corbett


Percussionist Peggy Benkeser will present “Kitchen Chaos: One Woman’s Evolution from Pots and Pans to Percussion,” a new, musical theater performance featuring five world-premiere musical compositions, Feb. 16 at 8:15 p.m. in the Performing Arts Studio.

Benkeser, an Emory music lecturer, performs the program of stories and music inspired by her life in and out of the kitchen. In “Kitchen Chaos,” the kitchen is symbolic of the intersection of common female roles in contemporary life. The autobiographical work reveals the connection between Benkeser’s artistic process and her everyday roles as a mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, teacher, drummer and artist.

Benkeser involved a network of national and local artists to develop the multimedia work. The compositions being premiered were written for her by leading American composers, including Steven Mackey, Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Singleton, Janice Giteck, Steve Everett and Frank Hannaway. The program will tour Princeton University, Wheaton Conservatory of Music in Illinois and Cornish School for the Arts in Seattle.

A DeKalb County resident and mother of three, Benkeser is co-founder and artistic co-director of Thamyris, a new music group that has commissioned and premiered more than 80 compositions for mixed chamber ensemble since 1987. Thamyris has performed throughout the United States and Germany, been broadcast on National Public Radio and German Pubic Radio, and has recorded with ACA Digital Recordings.

Benkeser also conducts residencies, workshops and master classes in schools and universities nationwide. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for Emory students. To order tickets or for information, call 404-727-5050 or send e-mail to