Ross School - Senior Projects 2012


Student: Maximilian Tabet

Mentor: Kenneth Sacks

Domain(s): Performing Arts and Cultural History

Faculty Grader: Therese Lichtenstein




Documentation of Product


Title: Being the Blind Beggar


My Senior Project allowed me to explore and understand religion. I liken myself to the blind beggar at Medina who blasphemed Muhammad until he realized it was Muhammad who had been feeding him. I spent three months reading the Qur’an, Torah and Bible, while observing Islam, Judaism and Christianity for one month each. Some of my practices involved prayer, following ancient dietary and societal laws, celebrating the Sabbath, and attending mass. I also conducted interviews with religious leaders. My final product was a one

man show, in which I recounted my experience, told spiritual stories, and recited performance poetry.



My senior project was a complete lifestyle change. Immersing myself in my subject matter allowed me to have experiential research that I would say is an invaluable way of understanding both the theoretical and practical applications of religion. I became very fond of spoken word poetry in 2011 and decided it was the best medium for expressing what I learned through my research. I combined poems with monologue and a PowerPoint in a format similar to a TED Talk. Priests perform sermons during Church. I use the word “perform” because I find sermons very entertaining. TED Talks in a sense are like sermons for atheists. I utilized this technique to educate entertain and move my audience.


Description: Screen shot 2012-02-08 at 8.23.05 PM.png

 (Wayward Poet, performing on January 10th)





Exhibition & Presentation Summary


My senior project performance was a success. I spoke for approximately one hour

I got a lot of laughs and I think I provided a fresh perspective of religion that was the ultimate goal of my project. The performance can be viewed on Vimeo but there’s nothing quite like a live performance. I was feeding off of the audience in an environment that was both exciting and intimate. I opened myself up to them and I could feel them absorbing it. Seeing a couple of girls cry during a love poem I read was definitely the highlight of the show. My presentation consisted of a PowerPoint but I didn’t utilize any notes. I find that I speak best when I speak from the heart. Not only had I done my project

I had lived project, which meant I knew it inside and out. I was able to answer difficult questions with ease and carry an intellectual conversation with my viewers. I attempted to utilize comedy to entice the audience as well. I think comedy or simply entertainment is the essential weapon of an educator.



Bibliography or Works Consulted



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Brunelle, Dennis C. "Sermon at St. Luke's Episcopal Church." Sunday Mass. St. Luke's Episcopal Church, East Hampton. 4 Dec. 2011. Speech.


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Khalidi, Tarif. The Qurʼan: a New Translation. New York: Viking, 2008. Print.


Mali, Taylor. ""The The Impotence of Proofreading," by TAYLOR MALI - YouTube." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Bowery Poetry Club. Web. Summer 2011. <>.


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Schweitzer, Peter. "Judaism." Personal interview. Aug. 2011.

Totally like Whatever, You Know? - YouTube. By Taylor Mali. Dir. Mos Def. Perf. Taylor Mali. YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. HBO's Def Poetry. Web. Summer 2011. <>.


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