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Expression Spring 2004


The Bread Dread Emerson health communicators weigh the high impact of low-carb diets

Writers who ‘Play’ Well with Others How playwrights take the page to the stage

Frame by Frame

Behind the scenes on a student film set

Expression Spring 2004






Memory Lane

Remembering ‘Beanie Day’ rituals


Campus Digest

Groundbreaking for new residence hall/campus center, Commencement 2004, prominent visitors and more


Frame by Frame

Go behind the scenes on a student film set


Writers who ‘Play’ Well with Others

Playwriting and the collaborative process that takes the page to the stage


The Bread Dread

Emerson health communicators weigh the high impact of the wildly popular low-carb weight-loss regimens


Notable Expressions

A compendium of accomplishments in various fields


Alumni Digest

Littlefield honored, seminar on DVD technology held in NYC, student film and video festival in L.A. and more


Class Notes

Read the news about your classmates!



Attorney Andrew Kline ’87 tries high-profile crimes for the U.S. Department of Justice


My Turn

Student Katy George spreads the word on the value of arts education

The 23rd Annual EVVY Awards The EVVYs are Emerson’s version of the Emmys and is the nation’s largest student-run televised production, say organizers. Held in May, the show lit up the Cutler Majestic Theatre


with a bevy of local luminaries presenting awards to Emerson students for everything from best film to best poetry to best press kit. The presenters list included children’s TV legend and Emerson instructor Rex Trailer; Ted Cutler ’51, chair of the Board of Trustees; comedian and alumnus Bill Dana ’50 (a.k.a José Jiménez), and TV anchors David Wade ’95 (Fox 25) and Ed Harding ’75 (WCVB).

Expression Executive Editor David Rosen Editor Rhea Becker Writer Christopher Hennessy

This year’s show, the 23rd annual, involved nearly 200 students.

Design Consultant Charles Dunham Editorial Assistant Catherine Sheffield

Expression is published three times a year (fall, winter and spring) for alumni and friends of Emerson College by the Office of Public Affairs (David Rosen, associate Vice President) in conjunction with the Department of Institutional Advancement and the Office of Alumni Relations (Barbara Rutberg ’68, director).

Office Of Public Affairs (617) 824-8540 fax (617) 824-8916 Office Of Alumni Relations (800) 255-4259 (617) 824-8535 fax (617) 824-7807

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Memory Lane

Campus Digest

In This Issue

Henry and Lois ’49 Foster establish chair in contemporary art at College

Youthful Reverie

Student writers have long had an outlet on campus for the fruits of their creativ-

ity. The Scribe, for instance, was a student literary journal which was launched in 1953 and continued to publish twice annually until 1970, when it was renamed the Emerson Review. The Review is still being published today. What follows is a sampling of some student writing from The Scribe’s heyday.

View from Dartmouth Street

Love Poem

by Anne Ritchey

by Joe Newman

Shadow Flowers Fade between Spires of twilight, And do not bloom Except the rich growth Of brick and rubble Cleaves to the Alleys; And Sky And summer, In plastic petals Of light laughter And the hop-scotch Of a child petrified In a make-believe forest Stone trunks deny. These are the bones of the evening Dull as the morning twilight. This is a faceless window Breaking laughter. This is where the sun fled Hop-scotch, Among the numbered Soft-blue mornings Layering into rubble Without a cry.

Rain dripping from tangled hair as she fumbled for change. “Two peppermint sticks.” “Red or green,” the storekeeper managed. Leaving a puddle of rain, she started for the street sucking the sweetness from stale candy.

Have you, like thousands of other Americans, logged on to the website of a 2004 presidential candidate lately? If so, you are participating in a revolutionary new movement as the Internet alters the landscape of what we know about American politics. A look at this cultural shift is just one part of our cover story, “A World without Wires,” which examines innovations in the wireless world that affect all of our lives, from mobile marketing to communication for the deaf and hard of hearing. Students at Emerson have for many years learned the craft of stage makeup under the gentle tutelage of Mary Ellen Adams. Take a look at our vibrant story and photo essay on this fascinating world of greasepaint, spirit gum and the other accoutrements of theatrical makeup. A group of young writers who met at the College while studying as graduate students in the M.F.A. program in creative writing have tailored a unique way to conduct writing workshops long distance. Read their story and learn how five alums have kept the bonds of their friendship and professional lives alive well beyond their college days. We hope you enjoy this issue. -Rhea Becker, editor

Expression welcomes short letters to the editor on topics covered in the magazine. The editor will select a representative sample of letters to publish and reserves the right to edit copy for style and length. Send letters to: Editor, Expression, Office of Public Affairs, Emerson College, 120 Boylston St., Boston MA 02116-4624;

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Henry and Lois Foster of Boston and Palm Beach have established an endowed professorship in contemporary art practice and theory at Emerson College through a gift of $1.5 million. It is the first endowed chair in the history of the College. “This magnificent gift represents a milestone in the history of our College,” said President Jacqueline Liebergott. “It will enable us to enrich our curriculum and to add a first-rate contemporary visual artist to our faculty. We are enormously grateful to the Fosters, and we look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.” Liebergott noted that Lois Foster, an Emerson alumna (1949) and honorary degree recipient (2003), is considered an authority on contemporary art and is one of New England’s foremost art collectors and patrons. “Lois has directed her boundless energy and talent to supporting artists and art institutions and in so doing has improved the quality of life for generations of Greater Bostonians and visitors to our region,” Liebergott said. “I am delighted that she has now chosen to work with our students and faculty here at Emerson.” The Henry and Lois Foster Professorship of Contemporary Art Practice and Theory resides in the Department of Visual and Media Arts within Emerson’s School of the Arts. Grafton Nunes, dean of the

school, said that in filling the chair the College will seek “a prominent individual who is a current practitioner, deeply engaged in the issues of contemporary art, with a deep appreciation of and substantial background in contemporary art theory, history, criticism and methodology.” Nunes said the new professor will teach courses

in art making and aesthetics on the undergraduate and graduate levels. The goal, he added, “is to expose our students to the highest and most progressive levels of practice and to demonstrate how a grounding in the theory and history of art can liberate and educate the artistic endeavor. The chair will enable us to move the study of contemporary visual arts

at Emerson to a new level of sophistication.” Mrs. Foster hopes that the establishment of the new chair will “stimulate a serious interest in the visual arts among some Emerson students, even as it enriches the quality of life for all. Not everyone can perform on a stage, but everyone can enjoy the visual arts.”

Henry and Lois Foster have long history of giving Henry and Lois Foster have provided leadership and financial support to a number of leading educational, cultural and medical institutions in the Boston area, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (MFA), the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA), Brandeis University and its Rose Art Museum, the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Emerson College. Mrs. Foster has focused much of her interest and energy on contemporary art, and was instrumental in the creation of the Henry and Lois Foster Gallery for Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has taken a special interest in the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis, which

houses New England’s largest collection of modern and contemporary works. The 7,800-sq.-ft. Lois Foster Wing, which opened in October 2001, doubled the exhibition space and added an outdoor sculpture court. Mrs. Foster is a Fellow of Brandeis University, a founder of the Friends and Patrons of the Rose Art Museum, a former member and current honorary member of the Board of Trustees of the ICA, and a former overseer and current Visiting Committee member of the MFA. Dr. Foster earned his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the Middlesex Veterinary College in 1946 and is the founder, chairman emeritus and past president of Charles River Laboratories, a major medical and scientific research company. He is a member and former chairman of the Brandeis University Board

Lois and Henry Foster

of Trustees, a trustee of Tufts University and chairman of the Board of Overseers of Tufts Veterinary School. He is past president and diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine; Honorary Life Trustee and past board chair (1991-94), Museum of Fine Arts; and Honorary Trustee, Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Tufte Center dedicated with gala weekend; Cutler Majestic Theatre celebrated Students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, overseers and other friends of Emerson gathered in several venues during the last week of October to celebrate the opening of the new Tufte Performance and Production Center and the Levy Marketing Communication and Journalism Wing as well as the grand reopening of the Cutler Majestic Theatre. On Thursday, Oct. 30, more than 400 people packed the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to pay tribute to Ted

’51 and Joan Cutler, who made a lead gift toward the recently completed restoration of the theater. The guest list – a veritable who’s who of Boston’s business, artistic and philanthropic communities – included Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. After dinner the group joined nearly 800 other people at the theater for a special Majestic centennial performance of Porgy And Bess. The next day Menino returned to campus along with U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Boston) to help dedicate

the Tufte Center. President Liebergott paid tribute to Trustee Marillyn Zacharis, whose family made a lead gift toward construction of the center, which is the first entirely new building in Emerson’s history. On Saturday, the School of Communication dedicated its new Levy Marketing Communication and Journalism Wing in the Walker Building. Participants included Richard ’68 and Sheryl Levy ’68, who funded the facility.

Trustee Marillyn Zacharis discusses the significance of the new Tufte Performance and Production Center at dedication ceremonies in October.

Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel funds theater in Tufte Center

The College recently solicited bids for construction of a 14-story campus center and residence hall on the so-called “Piano Row” site at 144-156 Boylston St. Sealed bids from general contractors were submitted in early January and reviewed by the Office of Administration and Finance.

The 210-seat theater and its adjoining lobby on the third floor of the new Tufte Performance and Production Center has been named the Semel Theater in recognition of a major gift from Terry Semel, chairman and chief executive officer of Yahoo! Inc., and Jane Semel. President Liebergott announced the naming at the Oct. 31 dedication ceremony for the Tufte Center. “Terry Semel is a giant in both the communication and entertainment industries, and we are delighted that he has chosen to support Emerson College,” Liebergott said. “We look forward to working with him as we explore new and innovative ways to enhance our programs in these fields.” Prior to joining Yahoo! in 2001, Semel spent 24 years at Warner Bros., where he was most noted for his role

An architect’s rendering of the new campus center/residence hall. Construction is scheduled to start this year with completion in 2006.

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Mayor Thomas Menino presents Ted ’51 and Joan Cutler with a proclamation designating Oct. 30, 2003, Ted and Joan Cutler and Majestic Theatre Day in Boston.

Trustee Vin Di Bona ’66 in the Vin and Cara Di Bona Control Room of the Di Bona Family Television Studio in the new Tufte Center.

Elma Lewis ’43, pioneering force in Boston’s arts and cultural community, dies

Bids solicited for new campus center, residence hall The 185,000-sq.-ft. facility, designed by Stubbins Associates of Cambridge, will include residential suites, athletic facilities, offices and meeting rooms for student organizations, informal gathering places for off-campus students, rooms that may be used for small-group rehearsals and performances, dining facilities, and offices for the Dean of Students and his staff. Construction is expected to begin this spring and be completed by the fall of 2006, according to Robert Silverman, vice president for administration and finance.

Trustee Sheryl Levy ’68 (center) and Richard Levy ’68 (right) were joined by President Liebergott and Dean Stuart Sigman at a Nov. 1 dedication ceremony for the new Levy Marketing Communication and Journalism Wing in the Walker Building.

as chairman and co-chief executive officer. He and his business partner, Robert Daly, helped build Warner Bros. into one of the world’s largest and most creative media and entertainment enterprises. Prior to Warner Bros., Semel was president of Walt Disney’s Theatrical Distribution division and previously was president of CBS’s Theatrical Distribution division. Semel is the father of Courtney Semel ’03.

Elma Lewis, a 1943 graduate of Emerson College and a driving force in the advancement of culture and the arts in Boston’s AfricanAmerican community and beyond for half a century, died Jan. 1 at the age of 82. She had suffered complications from diabetes for many years. Lewis opened the Elma Lewis School for the Performing Arts in the city’s Roxbury section in 1950, six years after earning a master’s degree from Boston University School of Education. In 1968 she “brought Boston’s AfricanAmerican community to international prominence”

by founding the National Center for Afro-American Artists in that same community in 1968, The Boston Globe reported. For many years, Lewis also operated the Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park. She also produced and directed the annual Black Nativity Christmas pageant. In 1981 Lewis received a so- called “genius grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. President Reagan awarded her a special arts medal two years later. “Elma was an artist whose medium was people,” said Emerson President

Jacqueline Liebergott. “She could squeeze insight and creativity from a turnip. She was a monumental influence on arts education not only for the thousands of AfricanAmerican students who came through her programs, but also for the wider arts community in Boston and the nation at large.” Barbara Rutberg, Emerson’s director of alumni relations, noted that Lewis was the recipient of an Emerson Alumni Achievement Award and an honorary lifetime member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. “She cared deeply

about Emerson,” Rutberg added. “When the College was considering moving to the suburbs in the 1980s she spoke out forcefully against this. She believed that Emerson should stay in the city because this gave life to the kind of work our students do. She was confident that suitable facilities could be found, and she was right.”

Actor Glover to kick off diversity effort at College Actor Danny Glover, known for his roles in The Color Purple and the Lethal Weapon series, will come to campus in February as the first Balfour Distinguished Speaker on Diversity in the Communication Industries. The event launches a diversity initiative at the College. Glover has worked exten-

sively in theater as well as in film and television. He is also passionate about community activism and philanthropic efforts. Glover is involved with the Vanguard Public Foundation based in San Francisco, and he was honored in 2003 with the NAACP Chairman’s Award. The College’s diversity effort is supported by a

$500,000 grant from Fleet National Bank, trustee of the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation. The Foundation arose out of the estate of Lloyd G. Balfour, who was the owner of L.G. Balfour Co., the renowned Attleboro, Mass., manufacturer of class rings, membership insignia and other related products. 5 Expression Spring 2004

They’re a familiar sight around the College – undergraduates lugging cameras, tripods and lighting kits all over campus. This unique breed of Emersonian is the Film II student. Expression editor Rhea Becker recently followed a Film II production through its ups and downs, from pre-production through final print. Here is her report:

Behind the scenes on a student film set


arly on a Sunday morning in March, film student Nadia Tabbara patiently waits in her off-campus apartment for her cast and crew to arrive. “I think my director of photography is in Florida, and the other people are stuck in Philadelphia, Rhode Island and Logan Airport,” she says. Other directors of student films might be devastated at this turn of events, but not Tabbara. Part of making a student film, she has discovered, is turning lemons into lemonade – treating every obstacle as a learning opportunity. Lesson #1: Don’t schedule your film shoot on the last day of Spring Break. Today, the undergraduates are scheduled to begin shooting Hyper-Thesis, an 8-minute film that Tabbara has written. She will also produce and direct. The film tells the light-hearted story of a young waitress who runs a science experiment to prove that all men are disloyal and ends up learning a lot about herself. As crew and cast members begin to arrive, Tabbara gently informs them that a glitch has occurred: they will not be shooting as planned. She explains that the film stock they had ordered arrived in time but is now locked inside the College’s Ansin Building – which is closed for Spring Break. Lesson #2: Time your deliveries carefully.

Tabbara glances around the apartment. “Is this everybody?” she asks no one in particular. Then she answers her own question: “No, we’re missing the gaffer. He’s at the airport.” Tabbara turns to assistant director and editor Kevin Bovat and cheers him on: “It’s not too bad; at least it’s not the restaurant shoot.” Instead of filming, an impromptu meeting takes place in which the crew practices using the equipment, the cast checks out wardrobe, and members of the creative team talk over next weekend’s shoot at a local restaurant.

From left: Helal Homaidan marks the slate before a scene is shot. Director of photography Tim Gagliardo reviews photos of the shooting locations with director Nadia Tabbara. Adjusting lights on location at a downtown restaurant. Tabbara ‘slates’ a kitchen scene.

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7 Expression ExpressionSpring Spring2004 2004

Crews are us

Location, location, location

In the Film II course, which is required of all those pursuing a film concentration in the Department of Visual and Media Arts, students learn to shoot 16mm color film with synchronized sound. Each class member must work as either a director, producer, cinematographer or editor. “The goal of the course is for students to learn not only the technical side but also to learn to work in a collaborative crew situation, which is how most films are made,” says Assistant Professor Cristina Kotz Cornejo, who teaches Film II classes. All Film II projects are to be completed by the end of the term, in time to be screened for instructors and classmates.

A week later the cast and crew of HyperThesis arrive for a 10 a.m. ‘call’ at a restaurant in the Fort Point Channel section of Boston. Finding a location was “horrible,” both logistically and legally, recalls Tabbara. She approached six or seven places, even trying kosher restaurants because they might be closed for business on Saturdays and therefore available as a film set. She finally discovered that her father “knew someone who knew someone” who owns the chic Blue Wave restaurant, and she was able to arrange to shoot there over the weekend. “It was excellent experience,” she says. Lesson #3: Everyone knows someone. As the crew sets up, technical talk fills the room. “Twenty-five minutes until shot one.” “That’s the only splitter we have.” “Can you set the lights behind the bar?” A production assistant tapes ‘X’s’

From left: Director Tabbara applies makeup to actors Tynan Craycraft and Janna Brown; assistant director and editor Kevin Bovat discusses the rough cut of the film as it plays on a laptop computer.

8 Expression Spring 2004

onto the floor to mark the spots where the actors will stand during the scenes. Tim Gagliardo, the cinematographer, wrestles the cumbersome 16mm camera onto a tripod. The shoot begins at 11:20 a.m. “Cut,” Tabbara immediately interrupts. The camera is making an annoying ‘clicking’ sound. Gagliardo opens the camera to check the film. It appears to be OK. Then he calls for a sound blanket, which is thrown over the top of the camera to mute the noise. It’s Take 3 now. All day, assistant director Kevin Bovat keeps the schedule moving along swimmingly. Sound technician Pat Bordenave wears headphones and keeps an

A Big Finish:

College establishes Film Finishing Fund for students

Candidates for the B.F.A. in media arts must submit a film to satisfy their thesis requirement. The quality of these films is important because they influence the way that Emerson and its young alumni are perceived by the film and television industries. In many cases, these projects are presented

to industry executives as examples of a prospective employee’s talent, vision and production experience. “A stream of consistently stellar submissions by Emerson graduates enhances the College’s reputation, and makes the faculty and students feel like we’re doing something right,” says Robert Todd, assistant professor of visual and media arts. The Department of Visual and Media Arts in 2001 launched Emerson’s first-ever student film festival. Held in Los Angeles each year, the festival provides an opportunity for a number of student films to be viewed by alumni and industry executives. However, members of the department believe that more can and should be done to support students during the final critical stages of their production work. To that

end, a Film Finishing Fund has been created to allow Emerson alumni, parents and friends a chance to support the work of the B.F.A. students who may not realize the full scope of his or her creative vision due to financial limitations.

upon graduation with a large portion of their work still incomplete. In almost every case these students, who have spent large amounts of money, time and energy shooting and editing their films, must find jobs after graduation in order to raise the funds needed to finish An average of 10 to 15 their projects. Film finishing senior-level film projects are is a specific process that submitted each year as final includes cutting the original B.F.A. projects. The goal of negative, preparing an A&B the Department of Visual and roll for the final printing, Media Arts is to establish transferring the mixed a Film Finishing Fund of soundtrack to a film optical $50,000, which will provide track, and producing a final support for these students. “answer print” and release print from these elements. A Long Road For a typical 20-minute B.F.A. candidates generally advanced student film, this begin serious work on process costs about $2,000, their thesis projects at the or 10 percent of the film’s beginning of their senior year. total budget. They spend two full semesters working with a committee “A Film Finishing Fund is of faculty members and a a great encouragement team of fellow students and to these students,” says then often leave campus Todd. “I think that having

such a fund available makes it easier for students to consider doing high-quality capstone projects. It can be a tremendous boost to students who are already overtaxed through their commitments to classes, often jobs and co-curriculars. “Once they’ve completed their shooting, the postproduction phase of a B.F.A. project is like driving across the country, coast to coast, with no stops, and often the finishing process can seem like they must keep driving through to Nome, Alaska. The finishing fund is the College’s way of saying that we’re behind you 100 percent. Receiving funding at this critical stage will strengthen their commitment to the enormously trying finishing process.”

The finishing process is well understood by Kevin Bright, executive producer of TV’s Friends. Bright, a member of the Class of 1976, has agreed to support the fund as well as volunteer his time for consultation with film students. By providing the lead gift for the Film Finishing Fund, Bright has encouraged others to support the fund as well. John Harrison ’71, director of the Emmy Awardwinning miniseries DUNE, has agreed to support the fund as well as volunteer his time for consultation with film students. The College’s Office of Institutional Advancement is working with alumni and friends of the College to solicit additional support. To learn more about opportunities to support the Film Finishing Fund, please contact Grafton Nunes, Dean of the School of the Arts, (617) 824-8983.

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A bumpy road

eye on the tape deck. “It’s ancient,” but it’s a Nagra brand recorder, he points out, which is still considered the best sound equipment available. The actors sit at tables with plates of food before them and speak their lines. “Hey, I’m a paying customer,” intones actor Tynan Craycraft. Throughout the day, everyone is eventually pressed into service as an extra, even director Tabbara, who grabs a tray of drinks and ambles through a scene as a waitress. Helal Homaidan, assistant cameraman, tracks in a notebook how many feet of film are expended after

each shot. “We’re at 270 feet – that’s good,” says cinematographer Gagliardo. The film reel holds 400 feet. Bovat calls out some good news, “We’re 40 minutes ahead of schedule!” Late in the day, Joan Grossman, this particular crew’s Film II instructor, drops by the set to observe the activity. “I expect mistakes to happen. I want to see how they deal with it,” she says. In class, Grossman has taught the students how to “develop lighting schemes and shot lists ahead of time using standard methods of film production. This paperwork frees them up to be creative and relaxed during the shoot.” Seven hours later, Bovat shouts, “It’s a wrap.” The crew packs up the equipment. It’s Saturday evening, but Tabbara has no plans to go out. Instead, she will carefully review the shot list and contact the cast and crew about the next day’s early call. “We’ve added two hours to the shoot tomorrow.” She smiles confidently. Lesson #4: Keep it fun.

That annoying sound the camera was making? It wasn’t just unwanted noise – it was a serious malfunction. When the footage was developed, it was clear that the entire day’s work was unusable and needed to be reshot. So Tabbara called the restaurant owner, arranged for an extra day of shooting, assembled her crew and soldiered on. Everyone, good-naturedly, arrived at the location and finished the reshoot in about eight hours. After a few days of shooting additional footage in a park and in an apartment, the rest of the film was sent to DuArt Lab in New York for processing. A few weeks later, on a rainy Tuesday afternoon in April, director Tabbara, sound man Bordenave and editor Bovat meet in a film editing room in the College’s Ansin Building. They gather around a laptop as Bovat plays the movie footage he’s fashioned into a rough cut. “We’re three to four days behind,” he explains, because the

The final stretch

film processing was held up at the lab. Someone on the production team had improperly completed the paperwork – understandable, since it was all new to them. When the lab called to clarify things, all the members of the team were in class. Critical time was lost. Lesson #5: Check your paperwork. During the editing meeting, Tabbara comments on the opening scenes as they play across the laptop screen. “Use the pan [shot] the first time we see the couple.” “Do we need sound in the first scene?” “The camera movement is so weird.” “Don’t overlap any of the critical dialogue, only the incidental dialogue.” There are eight days until deadline. Bovat decides to hole up in his offcampus apartment over the weekend with his laptop and his film editing software, Final Cut Pro, to finish the job. “With the time crunch, I have to.”

Days before the deadline “Kevin is still editing like a madman,” reports Tabbara, “and he has to have separate meetings with me, with Pat and with Tim before we meet together as a group again.” In the meantime, sound man Bordenave has been busy mixing the sound – dialogue, sound effects and ambient sound – onto one track. In film class, all the students watch the rough cuts of each other’s projects and ‘workshop’ them. “We’ve had a meeting with our teacher, where she helped us with the fine cut,” says Tabbara. “I have my own copies of the latest cut and I take down director’s notes and I use them to meet with the sound composer, who, in turn, uses the cuts to further lay down music tracks.”

Bovat has finally ‘locked’ the picture, meaning final edits are done. The last classes of spring semester have been held, and in early May, all Film II and Film III students and their instructors gather in the Bordy Auditorium to show their projects to each other. Each film is introduced and screened to much applause. Tabbara declares at the finish, “We’re all very happy with the film. It’s been hard work, but fun, no doubt.” Lesson #6: Persistence pays off. E

From top left: A meal prepared for the scenes shot in the restaurant; setting up for new shots; sound man Pat Bordenave operates the Nagra recorder.

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11 Expression Spring 2004

W w

‘PlWayw ’O riters

By Christopher Hennessy




t h e r s

12 Expression Spring 2004


take the page to the stage


oets, novelists, essayists – these writers need little beyond a desk and solitary time to turn words into art. But playwrights are a different breed: their words come to life at the hands of actors, directors and designers – a whole community, in fact. For faculty, students and alumni at Emerson who have a passion for drama, creating polished plays means working together.


Student performers rehearse a play written by graduate student Alison Potoma ’04.

“Theater is about collaboration,” says Alison Potoma, a 2004 graduate of the theater education master’s program, whose play Top Hats and Old Standards recently enjoyed a production in Emerson’s annual New Works Festival. For Potoma, “the most amazing thing” is that “this play, which was so important for me to write, was all of a sudden important to someone else, too – the cast, the director and the audience.” “We all need each other in theater,” says actor-director-playwright Robbie McCauley, who teaches courses at Emerson like Theater and Community. An Obie Award winner (for her play Sally’s Rape) and an associate professor, McCauley points out that a playwright needs guidance from her cast and director in the same way actors need a director. “[Writers] have no idea how things will play until the work comes to the stage.”

To study the writing process, students at Emerson can enroll in playwriting courses through the Writing, Literature and Publishing Department or through the Performing Arts Department. In both cases, they study under working playwrights and dramaturges and have an opportunity to come together with other students to critique each other’s scripts in a workshop setting. Potoma praises her instructor, adjunct professor and writer-director Betsy Carpenter, who helped Potoma by assigning the writing of a dream-like monologue, which helped to re-energize Potoma’s play. “That became my stepping stone to get the play off its feet when I was stuck, mired in these reallife scenes,” says Potoma. Much of her play would go on to feature scenes set inside her main character’s mind. A large part of the collaboration theater students and faculty at Emerson talk about goes on when a play

is turned into a staged reading or a full production. That is, when a play becomes public. “Plays need to be heard and not just read,” says Joe Antoun, MA ’91, founder and artistic director of CentaStage, a Boston theater company now in its 13th season, which specializes in bringing new talent to the fore. When actors or readers come into the picture, playwrights “get to see what their characters are like when they’re embodied,” explains Antoun. “The writer has created a skeleton of a character and they have [the actors’] flesh and blood filling them out.” Antoun has directed several of the most recent plays in Emerson’s New Works Festival, including Potoma’s. Having an actor become the voice of a playwright’s character also helps bring movement to the writing, says

McCauley. Seeing how a character moves and gestures can open windows of insight onto a character, for example. “For the writer to be in touch with the body is important,” she says. Actors can help uncover the hidden rhythms of speech for a writer. Sometimes playwrights must parse the smallest of words in order to get it just right. Potoma recalls one rehearsal in which she asked a Latina actress to try three different affirmations – “Yes,” “Si” and simply “Yeah” – in order to find the character’s personality. Hearing the actor say the different words ‘in character’ helped Potoma to pin down the character’s voice. McCauley stresses that the process can teach the writer about the music of language. “The writer’s ear is just as important as the writer’s voice, so to speak,” McCauley says.

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Life’s a


r e h e a r s a l


Jody Houser, an Emerson graduate student in writing, literature and publishing, wrote a play, Goodbye Dolly, which was also produced at this year’s New Works Festival. She reports that her cast was “really wonderful, and it’s been a lot of fun to see the characters grow from beyond the text to living, breathing, walking, talking people.” But once a cast was in place she discovered that she needed to do a lot of rewriting. Knowing actors were at work studying their roles, roles she had created, was especially helpful in her revisions. “To actually have actors who are devoting themselves to learning these characters and asking questions about what they’re thinking and what they want, really makes you think about these things.” When an actor doesn’t understand the motivation behind a scene or line Houser has penned, “then I have to think about what my logic was in writing that. It really makes you think about the characters, [whereas] I usually focus on story.” Potoma also lauds her actors. “They can make the connections in the play that I didn’t even see.” Revision is essential for the playwright who must seek not only to find the right cadences in dialogue but must also shape plot, narratives arcs, dramatic pacing and tension, among a host of craft-related issues. Potoma, too, said she needed to rewrite her play over and over again. “I read it every single day since rehearsals began,” she said as her production neared. “How can I make this crisper? Why doesn’t this scene feel like it belongs?” she asked herself as she sat down to revise. After each rehearsal it was back to her desk, the actors’ voices still in her head. At the next rehearsal she’d be back with fresh new pages in hand for the actors to learn: “My actors wanted to kill me!” she laughs. The rehearsal process truly can be a crucible for playwrights. The intense focus on the work often means the playwright has to put each word, each stage direction and each character and plot

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movement under the same microscope that the cast and crew are using to create the production. “Joe includes me in the process at every step,” says Potoma of working with Antoun. “And he’s so good with the actors that he lets them find a lot of what the play’s about, and what’s supposed to happen in the scene and who the characters are.” As Potoma describes the writer-director-actor collaboration, the play takes on the image of a living thing that grows organically from a meeting of minds. Houser and Potoma had their plays produced as the result of winning the Rod Parker Fellowship, an award given each year enabling Emerson student playwrights to see their work turned into a full production. When Antoun himself was a student at Emerson, he won the first Parker fellowship. The fellowship is named for the noted stage and television writer (Maude, All in the Family and many others) and Emerson College alumnus (Class of ’51) whose endowment supports the competition. Houser found she and her director, Steve Yakutis, who teaches directing and acting at Emerson, were “completely in synch” throughout the production process. “In some ways, I think he understands the play better than I do,” Houser said. “Or at least he’s more objective about it and can articulate a lot of the character motivation and such better than I can.” Having a director grasp the inner works of their characters, map out the story lines and be able to visualize how a play will come into being on the stage – all of these things can mean a director is a trusted guide, say the budding writers. It’s during the rehearsal process, say both writers and directors, that some of the most painful decisions have to be made. “It’s really hard to let go of something that’s so deeply personal to you; however, sometimes you have to sacrifice a part of yourself for the overall health of the play,” argues Antoun. He had to convince Potoma to cut a song

and an accompanying scene from her play in order to keep the play’s pacing moving, for example. Sometimes being a guide means asking the tough questions, Antoun points out. “One of the hardest things for a young playwright to hear is ‘I was confused. I didn’t understand,’ ” he says. Both Antoun and McCauley believe productions can be beneficial to a play, but having a production shouldn’t suggest the end of the writing process for the playwright. “It’s one stop on the road,” says Antoun. “The play doesn’t have to stop changing [after a first production].” In fact, many plays go through extensive revisions as the play goes from page to stage and beyond. In his experience of more than a decade of bringing plays to production, he says scripts go

through what he calls “transformations” all the time. The impulse to say a play is not ready for a reading or a production because it’s not finished, “that’s dead wrong,” he adds. Sometimes a play would benefit from a staged reading but not be polished enough for a full production, says Antoun, and it’s important to let a young playwright know that. McCauley agrees: “Often it’s not time for a production,” she says, “but rather it’s time for playwrights to recognize how big and how small they are, that there’s something before them. [It’s time for them] to engage beyond themselves, to see how they’re connected to what’s socially, politically, culturally and spiritually in themselves.”







That connection to the world – to a greater community outside the classroom, beyond one’s desk – this, too, helps a playwright to create his or her own world, say Emersonians. How important is community for playwright Potoma? “It has become everything,” she says. “And I didn’t know that before [I came to Emerson].” When talking about her writing and the theater milieu of which she’s now a part in Boston and at Emerson, her language is full of words like “bond,” “family,” “ensemble” and “collective.” For Potoma, truly understanding how much theater encompasses is what brought her to Emerson. She recalls living in New York City and acting in a play she calls “the worst thing” in

which she’d ever acted. Then the Sept. 11 tragedy happened, and she realized that she wanted to go to Emerson for theater education – “because theater is bigger than I think it is right now,” she recalls suddenly realizing. When she stepped into Associate Professor Robert Colby’s Drama as Education 1 course, her first at Emerson, she said she felt like she had finally found her home. “There was a room full of people who felt just like I do: that there is a community of people who want to establish solid, nurtured, creative ‘other communities.’ ” Professor McCauley has a story of her own illustrating how she feels about community. Several years ago, McCauley was involved in Joseph Chaikin’s Winter Project, a three-year

venture in which writers, designers, directors and actors all came together in a room for several hours a week “to be very stern and joyful with each other,” explains McCauley. The project’s aim “was to live in the process.” Being part of that community “serves me till today,” she says. “The work that one makes is one’s own, and yet it is connected to others,” she says. “Otherwise it’s not theater.” When it comes to what playwrights need, however, what worries McCauley is that very search for “formula, for the ‘this is what I need.’ ” She says, “I think it’s really important that writers engage themselves with their own questions and with work that they see.” Her final piece of advice is perhaps the simplest. “Trust your possibilities.” E

Clockwise from left: Student actors rehearse for the New Works Festival; student playwright Jody Houser; student playwright Alison Potoma; Potoma with Joe Antoun, who directed her play.

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ore than 50 million Americans have tried it. And it’s spreading like wildfire – changing how we eat and the messages we receive about nutrition and food. The ‘low-carb’ craze (its most powerful advocate the late Dr. Atkins) is the biggest thing since...well, the diet’s now-verboten sliced bread. In fact, an entire industry has risen up to meet the demands of a hungry (but weight-conscious) society, with hundreds of new products created to cater to the diet’s needs. Instead of low-fat products, dieters are buying up low-carbohydrate pizza, ice cream, salad dressing, bread, beer, even Coca-Cola, and selecting options from low-carb menus at chains like TGIFriday’s and Burger King. Sales and marketing of low-carb products (food, books, classes, educational programs) reached an estimated $15 billion last year and analysts predict the trend could result in a $30 billion market by the end of the year, according to trade newsletter LowCarbiz.

Bread Emerson health communicators weigh the high impact of low-carb diets 16 Expression Spring 2004

By Christopher Hennessy

‘How bad is white bread? Worse than ice cream. If you’re about to sit down to dinner and need to decide whether to have white bread with it or ice cream after, go for the ice cream – it’s less fattening.’ – from The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss by Arthur Agatston, MD

But what’s behind the craze and how does one sort the nutritional facts from the fiction? Emerson health communication and marketing communication faculty and alumni offer up the skinny on the low-carb craze.

A 2003 Harris survey puts the number of Americans on a low-carb diet at 32 million. Many of these lowcarb dieters boast success stories, but some health communicators and nutrition experts continue to argue against what they see as patently unhealthy eating – consuming lots of meats and dairy products, a diet potentially very high in fat and cholesterol. In addition, low-carb dieters may not be getting enough B vitamins found in enriched grains like bread and pasta; vitamins C, E and beta-carotene which are antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables; and potassium and calcium found in yogurt and milk. An important thing to remember about low-carb diets, says Houchins, is that it is not just about a diet that’s high in fatty meats and dairy and low in fiber, but key vitamins are also missing because whole food groups are left out. “Probably the most insidious part of these diets is that they ignore the need to teach people the distinctions between healthy and unhealthy [foods and eating habits], ignoring the distinction between white flour and whole grain flour, for example,” says Sarah Keller, assistant professor in marketing communication who teaches in Emerson’s graduate program in health communication. (Whole grain breads are widely thought to be a good source of fiber, but many low-carb diets eliminate bread of any kind.) “And [some diets] are not teaching moderation; they’re not even talking about the quantities,” adds Keller. “Basically, I think consumers need to be wary of all low-carb diets. Carbs are the best source of energy and we need carbs to digest proteins.” But low-carb advocates argue that studies show that this approach works. In 2003, five different clinical trials indicated that low-carbohydrate diets were as good as low-fat diets – and in most cases better – for helping very overweight people shed weight quickly, Newsweek reported in a recent cover story. However, the article

Is carb-cutting safe? “The topic of trend diets has been seen time and time again in all media outlets, and we all know at least one person who’s on this diet or that diet,” says Jeannie Houchins, MA ’01, an alumna of Emerson’s Health Communication program who now works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)*. “But I think the important message to remember about any of these diets is that it’s only a short-term solution and not a lifelong lifestyle change for weight loss or better health.” Houchins, a registered dietitian, works in the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Low-carb diets are based on a controversial theory that by cutting all or most carbohydrates from one’s diet, and then slowly re-integrating small amounts of certain kinds of carbs back into meals, the dieter will experience rapid, substantial weight loss. One of the most popular diets, the South Beach, claims it can help dieters shed 8 to 13 pounds in the first two weeks – the regimen’s crucial no-carb period when carb intake must remain at virtually zero. No bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, baked goods, fruit, candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, sugar, beer or alcohol of any kind. What’s on the menu, then? Meat, chicken, turkey, fish, and shellfish, vegetables, eggs, cheese and nuts, for example. In other words, no corn flakes and orange juice, but bacon and eggs are perfectly OK. The current craze’s roots go back to 1972 when Dr. Robert Atkins published Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, an instant best-seller. The diet was dismissed by many at the time as dangerous. A new “revolution” began in 1992 when he published a new book, and by 1998 *The views expressed by Houchins do not neceshis company, Atkins Nutritionals, had sarily reflect those of the CDC. reported revenues of $100 million.

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‘During induction you must not eat any fruit, bread, grains, starchy vegetables or dairy products other than cheese, cream or butter….’ – from Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution by Robert C. Atkins, MD

Healthy Sites

‘When doing Atkins you will control the number of grams of carbohydrates you eat and will focus on certain food groups rather than others.’

Jeannie Houchins, MA ’01, a registered dietitian and a graduate of Emerson’s master of health communication program, offers this list of websites that consumers can use to learn more about nutrition and health. American Dietetic Association (ADA) Website: American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) Website: Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Website: Consumer Corner Website: consumersite/ Federal Consumer Information Center Website:

added, “the broader health effects are still unknown.” In a study published in the May 2004 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, it was found that after a year there was a small difference between the weight loss experienced by those on low-carb and low-fat diets. Detractors say the low-carb diet is bound to increase risks for heart disease, kidney problems and even cancer. When it comes to health and nutrition, Keller argues that the lesson is, if it seems “too good to be true,” then it probably isn’t. “This is why [these diets] can be really dangerous, why it’s important to pay attention to those few health messages that talk about the lack of long-term studies on the diets, for example.” Some experts point to organizations like the American Heart Association (AHA), which recommends a low-fat diet (vegetables, grains, low-fat milk products, skinless poultry and lean meats) for weight control. An AHA report shows that people who limited their fat grams lost as much weight during a 12-week period as those who were on a low-carb plan. Bunless burgers and other wonders Right now, however, the craze seems unstoppable. Consider these recent developments. McDonald’s introduced bunless burgers and chicken meals 18 Expression Spring 2004

nationwide this spring. Food giant Unilever Bestfoods has introduced low-carb versions of some of its major brands, including Ragu, Skippy, Wish-Bone, Lipton and Lawry’s. Fine restaurants from coast to coast are retooling their menus. The Beverly Hills-based Pure Foods Gourmet Emporium, a gourmet low-carb store, opened this spring. Its parent company has also launched vending machines featuring low-carb items. Perhaps one of the last bastions of anything-goes eating – the Major League ballpark – is trying low-carb in some locations. In the last two years, more than 1,500 new low-carb products have been introduced. Even Fido is getting in on the action, with Pedigree dog food hyping a weight-loss kibble that is “low-carb, high protein.” Need help sorting it out? Buy Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies or watch Low-Carb and Lovin’ It on the Food Network. The Atkins and South Beach books are consistently at the top of the best-seller lists, and since the original Atkins diet book was released in 1972, Atkins books have sold more than 15 million copies. In fact, nearly 200 lowcarb books will be on the shelves by the end of the year. Experts in health communication aren’t surprised by the diets’ success in the marketplace. ‘Trend diets’ key

into a part of the human psyche of the American public, they suggest. “We’re extremely vulnerable” to messages about health issues, says Timothy Edgar, director of Emerson’s Graduate Program in Health Communication and associate professor of marketing communication. “We think of maintaining good health as something that’s hard to do. So if you hear about [a plan] that’s not very hard, then that’s very attractive.” “People don’t want to have to make a lot of decisions. They want just one,” says Keller. In the past, that one answer has been “Cut the fat.” Now, says Keller, it is “Cut the carbs.” “We’re all looking for an easy way out, a recipe, a simple plan, the magic bullet,” explains Keller. “People think, ‘This is how we will lose weight, this is how we will look beautiful, this is the secret to youth.’ That’s what Atkins appears to be – the seemingly simple recipe for losing weight.” Keller compares the American view of eating with our take on sex. “We have the two extremes” in how we view both eating and sex, she says. With sex, it’s repression and obsession. With food, “either we’re binging or purging. But we’re never in the middle.” Weight reduction, nutritious eating, exercise – these are complex issues for which science is still trying to get a “complete picture,” says Emerson As-

sistant Professor of Marketing Communication Hyunyi Cho, who also teaches health communication courses. “Somehow the media convey only part of the information [on these issues],” she believes. “Somehow the public gets fascinated by or sometimes misunderstands [the information they receive].” For example, during the low-fat craze, dieters came to believe that low-fat meant low-calorie. But that’s not always the case – a fact that caused many frustrated dieters to gain weight as they deprived themselves of fatty foods. Media reports about trend diets “typically convey only pieces of information and don’t tell the whole story, including potential side effects,” reminds Cho. And most consumers seem too impatient to get the full story. Who wants to sort through all the information of a complicated regimen anyway? Cho would push for “scientific findings and progress to be conveyed in an accurate manner so that people can make informed decisions. I think that’s the key.” “I do think that the general American is unaware of nutrition facts,” adds the CDC’s Houchins. “In addition, people are bogged down with information, and much of it is changing constantly, making it both confusing and frustrat-

ing – making people more apt to turn to popular or trend diets.” And as the nation faces an obesity epidemic, it seems everyone is seeking the swiftest route to slim. “Public health data show obesity is the numberone public health problem,” says Cho, and many people see low-carb diets as the answer to their weight problems. Sixty-four percent of Americans are considered overweight, 30 percent are seen as obese, and 400,000 are dying annually from obesity-related causes, such as heart failure; however, according to a recent Boston Globe article, most overweight Americans are turning not to doctors but rather to controversial diets or untested non-prescription pills. And that’s where the problem lies, say experts. Doctors and health educators aren’t getting their message out. Alarmingly, the CDC recently released a report that reveals that, in 2000, only about 40 percent of doctors advised their obese patients to lose weight. A CDC official said “the amount of education on nutrition that doctors receive is either nonexistent or substandard.”

Food and Nutrition Information Center (Resource List) Website gen/eatsmart.html Food and Nutrition Information Center Website: Go Ask Alice! Fitness and Nutrition section, Columbia University Website: Cat3.html International Food Information Council (IFIC), Educational Booklets & Brochures section Website: index.cfm NHLBI Publications for Patients and Public, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Website: pub_gen.htm USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine Facts and Answers section Website: consumer/archives/factsanswers.html

Know the source Consumers need to be educated about health and nutrition in a more thorough and thoughtful way, say health communication experts. 19 Expression Spring 2004

Keller agues that consumers are going to the wrong sources for information. Beauty magazines, for example, have editorial content “heavily influenced” by advertising. “This is not how you make your decisions about health,” she says, describing the images we see in the media as “psychological harassment.” Even product advertising can influence our health decisions, she says. Some advertising seems “to teach us not to accept ourselves, that we are lacking, that we are in need of something to make us complete,” says Keller. Houchins notes there’s many credible websites consumers can use as research tools. (See list on page 19.) It is, however, always important to pay attention to the website’s source, say health communications experts. Of course, one place consumers can always look to is the food label. But even that option isn’t always as simple as it seems. “When I go grocery shop-

ping, I find it a rarity to see someone actually reading and understanding labels,” says Houchins. She recalls teaching heart bypass patients she was working with, many in their 70s, how to read labels. “It’s just a shame that this education didn’t come sooner. I think that once someone learns to read a label, they’ll be forever changed.” And to complicate matters even more, a ‘low-carb’ designation on a food label is a currently unregulated, leaving companies with the freedom to call something low-carb without any way consumers can be certain of that claim. But there is hope. The Food and Drug Administration is currently trying to determine what constitutes ‘low-carb’ and ‘reduced carb’.

Keller. “It requires a ton of money and sophisticated research to make messages about balanced diet and exercise that are just as savvy and alluring as Atkins’ messages. It’s much easier to sell the South Beach Diet than it is the food pyramid and an exercise regimen.” Health educators can improve consumer understanding through enhancing media literacy and helping to design “more comprehensive motivational advertising campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles,” Keller believes. Just this March, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a new initiative that endeavors to teach consum-

counterintuitive. They certainly do to those who criticize them.’

20 Expression Spring 2004

‘Many people on the diet take the preemptive measure of telling the waiter to skip the bread basket altogether, which is a great idea as long as your fellow diners don’t mind.’ – from The South Beach Diet

‘Low-Carb’ is a Marketer’s Dream

Not as cool as a soft-drink ad So, with all the conflicting information Buoyed by the immense popularity and hard-to-understand studies out of diets like the Atkins and the South there, what’s a dieter to do? First, Keller Beach, the low-carb food industry proposes, ask: What makes sense? Does is exploding, and marketers are a diet high in potentially fatty meats responding with vigor. and dairy products make sense for your lifestyle? Exercise and a balanced diet As BrandWeek magazine noted, the might sound like a cliché, but experts “Atkins Revolution” is looking “less like tout the age-old recipe as the safest a fad, [and] more of a franchise.” From route to good health. “It’s proven that to Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine frozen meals to be healthy, everyone’s got to exercise,” Michelob beer, companies have been says Keller. “Combined with a healthy busy creating new low-carb versions diet that’s how you reduce cardiovascuof their products. Unilever Bestfoods lar risk and cancer.” predicts that sales of low-carb packaged Nutrition messages also need to foods will double to $700 million this be attractive enough to compete with year. the appeal of trend diets’ simplicity and seeming effectiveness. “Health In creating the low-carb option, “It’s educators really need to get their mesthe same as adding a new attribute sages into the commercial sphere,” says to something,” explains Marye Tharp, chair of Emerson’s Marketing Communication Department. In other words, a company need only promote the addition of a new ingredient in order to market a ‘new and improved’ product. ‘Have you bought into the idea that to lose weight and feel “This can attract new consumers. And good you have to adopt a low-fat diet? If so, the principles and that’s what it’s about: growing the approach I’m about to outline for you might just seem brand,” Tharp adds.

– from Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution

ers about healthy lifestyles. This project includes multimedia public service advertisements and a new interactive website, But, unfortunately, these kinds of campaigns usually don’t carry the same “persuasive impact” as a Pepsi campaign, argues Keller. “In the nutrition world, information is constantly changing and there are plenty of quacks who want to score a buck,” says Houchins. “Sorting out fact from fiction can be a daunting task, but knowing the right information or where to look will benefit the consumer in the end.” E

A lack of regulations on what can be labeled ‘low-carb’ or ‘reduced carb’ has also made it easier for companies to sell their new products. A fact apparently not lost on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has announced it is cracking down,

with plans to set regulations perhaps as soon as this summer. “On one hand, you could say these companies are responding to the true consumer interests,” says Tharp. After all, a dieter is going to be much more likely to pick up a product advertised as “reduced carb” rather than go carb-counting down the aisle. But, perhaps more cynically, Tharp wonders if some companies, without regulations to prevent them, are re-labeling regular products as low-carb. It’s no secret that food makers will lobby the FDA for labeling definitions that will best benefit their products. Marketers have other strategies at their disposal. TGIFriday’s and its chain of 523 restaurants recently announced it will carry certain low-carb dishes (Tuscan spinach dip, buffalo wings, garlic chicken and roasted vegetables) stamped with the Atkins ‘seal of approval.’ The chain reports that they tracked a 10 percent increase in traffic after the new dishes were introduced. The strategy of associating one brand with another brand is very common, explains Tharp, calling it brand “partnership.”

The restaurant chain’s studies show that 40 percent of its “occasional visitors” have been on Atkins in the past six months. That figure echoes numbers in the populace at large. The recently deceased Dr. Robert Atkins, author of the best-selling Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, was the father of a whole line of food products, all stamped with his brand – Atkins Nutritionals. Atkins himself had been seen by many as the driving force behind the diet’s overwhelming popularity. “He was a tremendous PR person,” says Timothy Edgar, director of the Health Communication graduate program at Emerson. Edgar says Atkins came off as “passionate and articulate” and consistently offered studies to back up his claims. “He spoke with absolute conviction and was such a believable figure, it didn’t sound like a gimmick or a fad,” he adds. But with so many low-carb options flooding the marketplace, marketers must seek to distinguish their products. One way some companies might set themselves apart from the pack is by creating terms like ‘carb helper,’ ‘carbuddies,’ and even the phrase ‘lowcarb lifestyle.’ “It’s just another way in which they can distinguish their brand from another brand,” says Tharp. (These new terms are just a few of those found in last year’s trademark filings from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.)

The power of low-carb in the marketplace has even been recognized by the most mainstream of American products, Coca-Cola. In announcing that the soft drink giant will release a new low-carb Coke called Coca-Cola C2, the company’s CEO said, “Consumers are the true architects of this idea,” adding that C2 was created to specifically address their desire for a lower-carb cola. This comes as no surprise to Tharp. “There’s an interplay between pop culture and marketing, and so when something begins to be a trend in culture, like low-carb diets, marketers do explore ways in which they can jump on that bandwagon.” Research can include focus groups, polls, surveys and ethnographic research (“where you ‘audit’ someone’s pantry”), Tharp explains. “Focus groups are great for exploring new product ideas and, in fact, some product ideas come from consumers themselves in focus groups.” But in Tharp’s view, “this is a fad and the next best thing will come along that will help us lose weight and promise to do it easily and we’ll all jump on that.” In other words, “This, too, shall pass,” she says. –C.H.

21 Expression ExpressionSpring Spring2004 2004

Notable Expressions Literature Josh Pahigian, MFA ’01, and Kevin O’Connell, MFA ’00, recently published a book sure to be popular this summer. The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan’s Guide to Major League Stadiums (Lyons Press) is a 531-page paperback described as “part travel manual, part ballpark atlas, part baseball history book, part epic narrative and part restaurant and city guide, all rolled into one handy volume,” according to an Associated Press book review. The guidebook describes the history and features of each ballpark and covers everything from the best seats to local customs and culinary offerings. Joel Beck ’99 was recently recognized for excellence in newspaper reporting at the New England Press Association’s annual awards banquet in Boston. A staff writer and columnist for North Shore Sunday, a subsidiary of the Boston Herald serving 12 cities and towns north of Boston, Beck received an armful of awards, including first place for a feature story on Salem-area Wiccans seeking to gain acceptance as a

22 Expression Spring 2004

religious order. He was also honored with second place awards in the education and environmental categories, and third place awards in feature and spot reporting categories.

Film Dorothy Aufiero ’80, former producer for Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, will be working with fellow producer Jimmy Cummings to make a film about Boston’s Winter Hill Gang boss Howie Winter. Aufiero and Cummings have formed Silent Partner Pictures. They will also film Nightfall, an original thriller from Dennis Lehane (author of Mystic River who attended Emerson for a brief period), in Romania this year and will shoot Mad Cowboys, an action film about Boston police. Renowned acting coach Susan Batson ’64 is taking on the role of co-executive producer for a new film titled The Rivals, which centers on the famous

Dorothy Geotis MacLean ’59, MA ’60 (seated), with Jody Carter in a play called Coming to Life by June August ’58.

heated rivalry between 19th-century stage star Sarah Bernhardt, who dominated theater in the late 1800s, and the Italian-born Eleonora Duse, a younger actress who challenged Bernhardt’s prominence. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Steven Spielberg personally supervised the purchase of the script, written by Robin Swicord. The film will be produced by DreamWorks and the team of Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, the two men behind American Beauty. Batson was the first to imagine the story as a film and took it to producer Carl Rumbaugh, who will co-executive produce.

Aaron Ryder ’94, executive producer of Memento and Donnie Darko, will produce a new film, The Moguls, a comedy about a small town that bands together to make a ‘blue movie.’ Four-time Oscar nominee Jeff Bridges has signed to star in the indie feature. Ryder will produce the film through his company Raygun Productions. Ryder will also produce a film entitled Revolver, about a woman who thinks she has been reincarnated and is being driven by supernatural forces to avenge her own murder. That film will be produced through Rogue Pictures, a new film label announced by Focus Features, Universal’s specialty film production unit.

Brent Popolizio

Theater A new play, Coming to Life, written by Emerson alumna June August ’58 recently premiered at the Fremont Center Theater in Pasadena, Calif. The comedy-drama is about five quirky women who break through their lifelong barriers and inspire a young psychologist to re-examine her own life. The play starred Dorothy Constantine, known as Dorothy Geotis MacLean ’59, MA ’60, in her Emerson days. Alumnus Bill Bordy ’58 backed the production.

An Emersonian-founded improv group called Troop! was one of a handful of comedy groups highlighted in a recent Los Angeles Times article. The members of the L.A.-based Troop! met at Emerson College six years ago. They are Kevin Chesley ’97, Jason Dugre ’96, Britt Erickson ’98, Steve Sabellico ’97, Bryan Shukoff ’97 and Brent Simons ’97 (

Television Karen Marinella ’84, anchor of The Ten O’Clock News on WB 56 in Boston, has launched her own interview show on the channel. One on One With Karen Marinella, a half-hour profile show in which Marinella sits down

for conversations with newsmakers, debuted with an in-depth interview with New England radio personality David Brudnoy. Marinella has earned several Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award while on board at WB 56. Gina Gershon, who attended Emerson, starred in the Independent Film Channel’s unscripted series Rocked with Gina Gershon, a reality show that followed Gershon on her first rock tour. The show will launch “IFC Fridays,” a night of original programming for the cable channel.

Ira Goldstone ’71 was awarded the 2004 Television Engineering Achievement Award by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). The award is given to an industry leader who has made significant contributions to advance broadcast engineering. Goldstone is the technology coordinator for the Tribune Company as well as vice president/chief technology officer for the Tribune Broadcasting Co. The award marks Goldstone as one of the most innovative technology managers in the broadcast industry. He has pioneered implementation of electronic newsroom technology, including digital editing and content storage and retrieval. Goldstone also instituted the early adoption

23 Expression Spring 2004

Alumni Digest of digital electronic newsgathering, which allowed a number of Tribune stations to provide breaking news coverage from locations previously unreachable. Maria Menounos ’00, who has been an on-air correspondent for Entertainment Tonight since 2001, is now breaking into acting. She has a recurring role on the CBS drama Without a Trace.

The Los Angeles-based comedy troupe Troop!

The Nickelodeon Channel has launched its own brand of talk show, and Emerson alum Brent Popolizio ’97 is serving as the show’s cohost. U-Pick Live is geared toward kids in their “tweens,” between the ages of 8 and 14. It combines cartoons with celebrity interviews and comedy sketches performed by Popolizio and his co-host Candace Bailey. Popolizio reports that he’s already met many celebrities working as host, including Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Jack Black and Justin Timberlake. Popolizio landed the gig after six rounds of auditions. Popolizio has previously acted in commercials for Bud Light, the NFL, Mad River Iced Tea and Nabisco.

Kurt Long ’95 is hosting the Game Show Network’s quirky new look at oddball competitions called Games Across America. As host, Long will travel all over North America to cover some of the most bizarre competitions out there. In the first few episodes, Long traveled to Nevada for the World Beard and Mustache Championship; to Maine for the fourth annual North American Wife-Carrying Championship; and to Toronto for a rock, paper, scissors competition. Long got his start in TV as a production assistant for Emerson alum Jay Leno’s (’73) The Tonight Show. He caught Leno’s eye and ended up doing some sketch comedy on the show. Long was also a regular on the UPN sitcom Abby, playing the role of Miles, the director of a sports show.

Symposium examined women in the media industries A panel of communications and marketing professionals convened in the Semel Theater in March for a symposium on “Defining Progress: Where Do Women Really Stand Today?” The event was co-hosted by Emerson College and Arnold Worldwide advertising agency. Discussing the impact women have had in mediarelated industries since the 1980s were (from left): Stuart Sigman, Dean of the School of Communication; Carol Ev-

ans, Working Mother Media; Rebecca Georgenes, Tom Snyder Productions; Barbara Lynch, No. 9 Park restaurant; Donald Lowery, executive director of communications, WBZ-TV, WSBK-TV, WLWC-TV, Viacom; Mary Mazzio, 50 Eggs; Marye Tharp, chair of Emerson’s Department of Marketing Communication; Gloria Larson, Foley Hoag; Pam Cross ’75, news anchor and reporter, WCVB-TV, Channel 5, Boston; and Barbara Reilly, Arnold Worldwide.

Retired faculty member Littlefield honored A classroom in the Walker Building was dedicated this spring to former faculty member Walt Littlefield. Rob Rudnick ’77 and Mark Stewart ’77, class chairs for the Class of 1977’s 25th reunion and former students of Littlefield’s, attended the dedication along

with 30 other colleagues, family members and friends. Rudnick said of Littlefield, “You cultivated our powers of observation. You taught us how to think, not what to think.”

Kurt Long

Annual Fund director Martha Cassidy (left) with the winner of the Frasier raffle, Colleen Bradley ’01.

Alum wins raffle for ‘Frasier’ tickets Colleen Bradley ’01 won two tickets to attend the final taping of television’s Frasier in March and two nights’ accommodations at Los Angeles’ Sofitel Hotel, thanks to a contest sponsored by the College’s Annual Fund program. Bradley, who graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism, was able to enjoy time on the set with members of the cast: “We sat in Frasier’s chair on the radio station set and went onto Frasier’s balcony. We met David Hyde Pierce and I got to pet Moose (a.k.a

Eddie the dog).” Trustee Steven Goldman and Overseer John Wentworth ’81 helped arrange the contest. More than 700 entries were received from alumni and parents. While donations were not required to enter, many entrants participated in the Annual Fund.

From left: Mark Stewart ’77, Walt Littlefield and Rob Rudnick ’77

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25 Expression Spring 2004

Students and staff from Emerson College’s 2004 New York Connection visited the Crew Cuts postproduction agency in New York City this past spring.

Alums on the Web

Alumni, staff participate in charity walk

Students meet alumni in various fields during networking event

Improvements have been made to the alumni site at alumni. They include the ability to search for fellow alumni by city, state, year and name. To access the site, you must be a registered user, so register now! Remember to visit the new Message Boards and Class Notes sections, too.

Staff from the College’s offices of Alumni Relations and Institutional Advancement joined members of Boston’s young alumni group to participate in Boston’s Walk for Hunger. The 36th annual 20-mile walk took place in May. The 11-member team raised more than $700, which will help bring food to underserved people in Massachusetts.

More than 100 Emersonians traveled to New York City in April as part of a daylong event visiting leading news, public relations, advertising, film post-production, and global publishing companies as well as the headquarters of a national political organization and several top-rated television shows. Sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations, the New York Connection aims to

From left: Emily Goodnough, Annual Fund coordinator; Carolyn Jasinski, Major Gifts coordinator; Kathleen LaRoque, MA ’01, associate director of Alumni Relations; Bethel Nathan ’00 (standing), Alumni Relations coordinator; Laurie McKenna ’00; and Colleen Bradley ’01.


Sandi Goldfarb ’78, president of the College’s Alumni Association, welcomes the audience to the “DVD Revolution” program.

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At the DVD seminar were (from left) John Harrison ’71, writer/director of the miniseries DUNE and Children of DUNE; Grafton Nunes, dean, Emerson College, School of the Arts; Stephen Einhorn (parent ’06), president and chief operating officer, New Line Home Entertainment; Ira Deutchman, president and CEO of Emerging Pictures and associate professor in the Graduate Film Division at Columbia University; Justine Brody, vice president of marketing and promotions, New Line Home Entertainment; and Michael Mulvihill, vice president of content development, New Line Home Entertainment.

DVD discussion held in New York City

Actor, monologuist Spalding Gray ’65 dies

More than 170 students, alumni and industry professionals attended “Here Comes the DVD Revolution,” a presentation and discussion in April about the growing influence of the DVD. The event was a collaborative effort between Emerson College and New Line Home Entertainment and took place in New York City.

Actor Spalding Gray ’65, best known for the 1987 film Swimming to Cambodia, was found dead in the East River off Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on March 7, two months after he walked out of his Manhattan apartment and disappeared. A memorial service was held in April at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater at the Beaumont. Among the notables who participated were Judy Collins, Mark Russell, Francine Prose, Lee Grant, A.M. Homes, Laurie Anderson and Eric Stoltz. Gray was born in 1941 in Barrington, R.I. He first became interested in acting

provide real-world insights, career exploration and networking opportunities for upperclassmen/women, graduate students and recent graduates through exposure to Emerson alumni and industry professionals in New York City. Participation this year reached record levels, and included students from the areas of marketing and political communication, film, television production, new media, broadcast and print journalism, media studies/ management, and theater studies.

According to Associate Director of Alumni Relations Kathleen LaRoque, who coordinated the event, “We’ve received extremely positive feedback and hope to plan additional activities such as the New York Connection that will further strengthen

alumni-student relationships.” Sites visited included BBDO, Ogilvy, the Republican National Convention Headquarters, ABC, CBS, GQ, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, the sets of ABC’s All My Children and The View, and the set of CBS’s Late Night with David Letterman.

Inaugural rites at Emerson College, where he began storytelling in front of small audiences before going on to work in underground theater in New York. In 1979, Gray cofounded Manhattan’s famous Wooster Theatre Group (with actors such as Willem Dafoe), where he wrote an autobiographical trilogy of plays about life in Rhode Island.

He went on to perform more than a dozen monologues, including Gray’s Anatomy and Monster in a Box. Gray broke into film and went on to appear in nearly 40 movies. He had roles in The Killing Fields (1984), Beaches (1988) and Kate and Leopold (2001), among others.

Spalding Gray ’65

Rosalie Sheffield ’81, wearing Emerson College’s traditional purple and gold, represented the College at the inauguration of Larry Edward Penley as incoming president of Colorado State University. Sheffield joined more than 100 representatives from colleges and universities from around the country in a processional welcoming the new president.

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Class Notes

Annual student film/video festival attracts a crowd in Los Angeles

1950 Shirley Williams Homes has just published her first novel, On Dry Land. It is available through, Amazon and Barnes & Noble: “It is gratifying to have done this in my 77th year! Everyone should be prepared for more than one career in what are increasingly long lives. Emerson is a great place to prepare for at least two or three of them.” The College’s fourth annual Festival of Film and Video was held at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles in February. More than 225 alumni, parents, friends and industry professionals attended the screening and reception. The festival was hosted by Pam Abdy ’95, vice president of production for Paramount Studios. At the festival were (from left; seated) Jim Lane, executive director of the Los Angeles Center; President Jacqueline Liebergott; Vice President of Production at Paramount Studios Pam Abdy ’95; (standing) Assistant Professor Rob Todd; filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar ’03; filmmaker Michael S. Reich ’03; filmmaker Ian Goldberg ’04; filmmaker Amanda Johns ’04; filmmaker Mike Gibisser ’03; Dean of the School of the Arts Grafton Nunes; and Acting Chair of the Visual and Media Arts Department Michael Selig.

Amanda Johns ’04, with Grafton Nunes, dean of the School of the Arts, won the first Marcia Robbins-Wilf Women in Film Production Award. The award includes a $5,000 prize given to a female student for outstanding film or video work.

L.A.-area alumni gather at home of Doug ’81 and Noreen Farrell-Herzog ’81

1951 Dorothy Rozzi Belknap’s artist’s book, A Place to Mend, has been added to the permanent library collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla, Calif. Dorothy has retired but continues with her photography and has begun studying the cello. She serves on a volunteer board for the San Diego Young Artists Symphony Orchestra and has designed and produced its website. She and husband Gene have five grandchildren.


A reception for Los Angeles-area alumni was held earlier this year at the home of Doug Herzog ‘81 and Noreen Farrell-Herzog ‘81. Those who attended were members of the President’s Society (contributors of $1,000 or more to the College) trustees, overseers, members of the alumni board and industry leaders.

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ABOVE LEFT: From left, Dawn Steinberg ’83, senior vice president for talent and casting for Sony Pictures Television; Kate Boutilier ’81, screenwriter; and John Ferraro ’80, film and television producer. ABOVE: Noreen Farrell-Herzog ’81 (left) and Leslie Gershman Wandmacher ’84, business development executive at Autonomy, a branding company.

Barbara Rich has four grown children who have given her nine grandchildren, ages 2 to 17. Her life partner, Andrea, is chef/owner of Dinner is Served, a catering service. This summer they will travel together to Ghana to teach English as part of a volunteer program. They live in “a big, old farmhouse” in Groton, Mass., with two dogs and

two cats. Barbara works as a special education advocate in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. She teaches yoga. She would be thrilled to hear from old classmates at

1956 Following her retirement from the Salem, N.H., school district, where she worked as director of the Continuing Education program for 23 years, Nan Whelpley Carney was named executive director of the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce. Nan says she is energized to “reorganize and strengthen” the Chamber. In their spare time, Nan and her husband Michael Carney ’56, a realtor, enjoy traveling with their family (four grown children and nine grandchildren). They send their best to their fellow Emersonians.

1958 June August Zorn has written a new play that recently premiered at the Fremont Center Theater in Pasadena, Calif. Coming to Life starred alumna Dorothy Constantine (Geotis MacLean) ’59, MA ’60. Alumnus Bill Bordy ’58 was backed the production.

1961 Late last year Philip A. Weiner sold WUPE-FM and WUHNAM in Pittsfield, Mass., radio stations he has owned and managed since 1977. While under Philip’s ownership the stations were finalists for the prestigious Crystal

Andrew Guthrie ’59, who, as an NBC radio broadcaster, announced to a stunned Europe the creation of the Berlin Wall, has spent more than 40 years behind the microphone and before the camera. This June, he retires from Voice of America. He first went on the air at Emerson’s WECB, and later on WERS. In his retirement, he is moving from Virginia to Costa Rica. Award that is given annually by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) for service to the community. The stations were also chosen two years in succession as the Massachusetts Stations of the Year by the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association. Friends can get in touch with Philip, who is now retired, at pweiner@weinerbroadcastin

1969 Glenn Alterman was honored by the National Arts Club in New York City for the publication of his book The Perfect Audition Monologue (Smith and Kraus). He also recently published Two Minutes and Under, Volume 2 (Smith and Kraus), which collects original monologues for actors.

Ardene Lyons Chodosh has been living in Sarasota, Fla., for the last five years. She has a grown son living in New Jersey, who is both brain injured and autistic. Ardene gave up her journalism career, and has worked as a certified home health aide for the elderly and disabled for the past 20 years. She would love to hear from fellow Emersonians at

1971 Renee (Houle) Carkin became an ordained (nondenominational) minister in June 2003. She created a wedding ministry, Adobe Ministries of Dona Ana County in New Mexico. By day she works in an administrative capacity in the senior services sector. She is also a grandmother of three boys, all under the age of 5.

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Robert Schelhammer is working as an actor for the Sol Theatre Project in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He played Lucky in its production of Waiting for Godot this past spring. Robert says the last Beckett play he was in was 1970’s Endgame at Emerson, directed by Richard Portner ’69 and co-starring Stephen Rowe ’70.

and Zerka T. Moreno. The Morenos were founders of the therapeutic method called psychodrama. Ed is one of only two practitioners in the United States to be awarded the name “The Moreno Institute.” Ed will open the Moreno Institute East in Northampton, Mass., as a training center.



Beth Harlan moved from Lakeville, Conn., to Sheffield, Mass., two and a half years ago and has been the outreach social worker for the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires for over a year, working mainly with older adults. She can be reached at

Alan Seidman ’74, MSSp ’75, writes: “Since my 30th is upcoming, I figured I would send in an update.” He is married with three children and lives in Cornwall, N.Y. He served 14 years as an Orange County, N.Y., legislator and was just elected to his third term as chairman of the legislature. He also works as regional manager for Clough, Harbour and Associates, an engineering firm.

Edward Schreiber, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Emerson, will carry on the work of J.L. Moreno



Joyce O. Clarke recently presented a poetic interpretation of the serigraph prints of artist, educator and former Catholic nun Corita Kent at the Corita Art Center in Hollywood, Calif. Joyce is also executive director of A Manna Group Grantwriter, doing grant writing and development for nonprofit organizations and individual artists, along with creative and technical writing for nonprofits and for-profits.

Karen (Carbone) Stockbridge took second place in New England at the New England Press Association Awards for her column in the North Shore Sunday newspaper. She was married last fall to Robert Dow, a retired chief engineer in the Merchant Marines whom she dated during her Emerson years. Upon retirement, the groom built his own 60-foot sailboat, on which the couple now lives in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. “If you’re visiting the Baja, say hello!”

1977 John Hanc is an associate professor of communication arts at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, where he teaches classes in journalism, writing and public relations. John’s fifth book, The FORCE Program: The Proven Way to Fight Cancer Through Physical Activity, co-authored with FORCE program founder Jeff Berman and Fran Fleegler, was published by Ballantine Books in 2001. His other books include Running for Dummies (IDG Books 1999), co-authored by the late Florence Griffith Joyner. John earned his M.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Farmingdale, N.Y., with his wife, Donna, and son, Andrew.

1978 Michael E. Kletter ’66 reports that “a bunch of Emersonians attended our daughter Jennifer’s wedding to Donald Keller on Oct. 25, 2003. “It was like having a mini-reunion!” The Emersonians and others are (from left): Rev. Peter Brenner (officiating), Sue Steinberg ’68, Gina Ricci DiBona ’67, Reba May Bachrach ’66, Margaret Tassinarri McSharry, Judy Kletter ’66, Ed McSharry ’66, Elisa Kletter ’96, Tim Brenner ’01 and Michael Kletter.

30 Expression Spring 2004

Stephen Farrell appeared in the March production of Mame at the Harlingen Performing Arts Theater in Texas. Stephen played the doorman and the bishop.

1980 Rhea Becker has written a screenplay, Drawing the Line, which was named a finalist in the Women in Film and Video/New England Screenwriting Competition. The drama tells the story of a restless young man who battles the All-Mart Corporation, which steamrolls into his dead-end New Jersey town. Old friends and new are welcome to email Carol Eisner is an “incredibly busy” publicist in Los Angeles, where she heads her own company, Eisner Public Relations. She has clients in entertainment, fashion and the nonprofit world. Her husband, Chris Klatman, is a film and television composer who just finished scoring the CBS series JAG. Carol also serves on the National Advocacy Committee for the American Diabetes Association, which takes her to Washington D.C. “I miss the East, and when I go back I remember my days wistfully,” she says. Carol can be reached at

John Imro and wife Jacqueline live in Pittsburgh, where John is a nationally certified fitness instructor and personal trainer specializing in Pilates. He recently appeared in Barrymore, a one-man show with Open Stage Theatre, where he also serves on the board of directors. Chris Ann (Mellie) Sherman wants to assure everyone that she is alive and well and living in New York City with her husband and three boys. She recently moved from Massachusetts, where she was writing a humorous newspaper column for four newspapers. She hopes to continue writing in New York. She often sees David Beris ’80.

1981 Zan Senecal-Nordlund is a professor of English at Johnson & Wales. She recently won the Grand Prize in the Chicken Soup for the Soul 10th Anniversary International Writers Contest. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Time/Life publications, Retrozine and other publications. Her first novel is currently under contract. Pat Simmons wrote the novella “Words of Love,” which appears in the Love is Blind Anthology. The story is about a radio talk show host and a successful pharmaceutical sales manager who fall in love through love letters without ever having met.

1982 Andrew Klein is president of A.C. Klein Appraisal Associates, a full-service residential real estate appraisal company licensed in Massachusetts,

New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Illinois. Andrew lives in Boston with his wife, Dana, and their daughters Talia, Haley and Sophie.

1983 Sandy (Brunke) Libby has been working for Xerox Business Services as an account associate since 1996. She recently joined the American Cancer Society and is on a planning committee (entertainment/ activities) in Braintree, Mass. Sandy would like to connect with other alumni who are involved with the ACS.

Susan Goldberg ’83 met up with six other Emersonians for a San Francisco Leap Year/Dim Sum reunion. From left are Diane Raike ’85, Debbie Rabinowitz Bouk ’85, Karen O’Brien Jacobsen ’84, Teri King Tollenaere ’83, Jessica Cohen Millington ’84, Jonathan Parsons ’80-’82 and Susan Goldberg ’83.

Valerie Suriano gave birth to her second child, Michael William Gravlin, last August. She and husband Ted also have a 2-year-old named Kelly.

1984 David Horgan has directed his first feature film, Collinsville. The thriller/horror film was shot in Springfield, Mass., and Canton, Conn., in the fall of 2002 and features John Fiore from the HBO hit show The Sopranos. Horgan is best known for his producing credits with Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg and LL Cool J.

1985 Barry Scott reports that the Boston Herald has called The Lost 45s with Barry Scott the most successful weekend show in the history of Boston radio. The show airs on Sundays, 7 to 11 p.m., on Oldies 103.3, WODS/Boston.

Jon Boroshok ’84 continues to run his own public relations agency, TechMarcom Inc., and recently expanded to offer Marcom Outsource, which provides project/contract-based public relations and marketing communications services with a nontraditional business model. Jon is also serving in his fifth semester as an adjunct instructor at Emerson, teaching introductory PR courses and graduate-level writing classes. “I feel like a real-life Welcome Back, Kotter,” says Jon. He continues to “moonlight” as a freelance journalist with recent articles in The Christian Science Monitor and TechLiving magazine. Jon says he’d love to hear from old friends at

1986 Ellen Bosch (Dolgins), of Stony Brook, N.Y., is a teacher of the deaf in the Longwood school district. She married Scott Atherton on Feb. 20, 2004, on the beach in St. Lucia. Sammi, age 10, Dylan, 5 (Bosch), and Chase, 4, (Atherton), are happy to be step-siblings.

Charles Stewart is executive producer of special projects at KNBC-TV and recently won a Golden Mic, Best News Broadcast Award for “One Gun” in the category of Best Serious Feature Reporting. His wife, Carla Pennington Stewart, is executive producer of The Dr.

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In Memoriam

1931 1933 1936 1939 1951 1957 1965 1967 1969

Todd Bidwell ’87 was recently named assistant director of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce on Cape Cod. “My focus is to foster economic development by supporting small business, to oversee the development of educational and networkingbased programming for Chamber members and town residents, and to ensure Falmouth remains a popular destination for travel. I share my home on Cape Cod with my life partner, Mark LiCalsi, and two puppies. My e-mail address is: tbidwell@falm for any friends, or friends I haven’t met, who wish to contact me.”

Myrtie B. Flood of Strong, Maine Mazie W. Greenwald of Chevy Chase, Md. Evelyn Ruth (Sisson) Ordman of Rockville, Md. Sylvia Snyder of Providence, R.I. Peggy Ann (Reynolds) Minker of Columbia, Md. James A. Walker Jr. of Delmar, N.Y. Lawrence C. “Bud” Peltier of Dracut, Mass. Sara Kay Steinberg of Allentown, Pa. Ayn Karen Pleasant of Turners Falls, Mass.

Phil Show. They are the proud parents of twins Jackson Tyler Stewart and Elizabeth Margaret Stewart.

1988 Speech and language Ph.D. graduate Shari D. Rosen is living with her family in Shanghai, China. Due to a lack of special educators, SLP’s, OT’s and PT’s in Shanghai, Shari has begun

32 Expression Spring 2004

spending two days a week volunteering in the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. In addition, Shari has managed to build a successful private practice. She also works simultaneously on attaining funding to conduct research and better equip the clinic and running a parent-infant communication group she started. She encourages any interested grad students or new grads to spend

time training with her “for an incredible learning experience.”

Jed Alexander ’98 has been very busy since graduation. He has toured with the national tour of Annie, in which he played Rooster Hannigan. He also performed with Disney Cruise Line. Jed is also a proud member of Actors’ Equity. Currently, he is pursuing his M.F.A. in theater at Roosevelt University in Chicago under the wing of professionals like Joel Fink of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Steve Scott of the Goodman Theatre, and casting director Jane Alderman. He just wrapped up Roosevelt’s Mainstage show, Balm in Gilead, playing Joe under the direction of the American Theater Company’s Artistic Director Damon Kiely.

Buddy Bolton, an ex-This is Pathetic alum, has become a bit of a movie star. In the past year he has been in Mr. Deeds with Adam Sandler, Master of Disguise with Dana Carvey, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, 29 episodes of Oxygen’s Can You Tell? and numerous commercials. He also performs weekly at the top comedy clubs in Manhattan. He considers the creative freedom he received at Emerson to be instrumental in all the successes he has had since graduation.

1989 Jennifer Spangler, MA ’89, has been working at a classic rock station in the Las Vegas, Nev., area. She would love to hear from WERS people at


Laura Cervone-McDowell has given birth to a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, on April 2, 2004. Laura says “hello” to

all her Chi Delta Chi sisters: “Thank you for your friendships throughout the years.” Laura is employed at TJX Co. in Framingham, Mass., as the manager of media relations and spokesperson for T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s stores. Rachel (Crook) Payne has been busy writing and publishing the first of four books in an adventure series she created. The book is called the Summer of Circles and Sapphires and is the debut book in the Iggy Colvin Adventure series. She’s planning a five-city regional book tour for September 2004. She and husband Andrew were married in February 1995 and their daughter Caitlyn is in kindergarten. Andrew is in management for Wal-Mart stores. Rachel loves living in northwest Arkansas, and she would love to hear from classmates at thepaynes2003 After a three-year stint in Massachusetts, Carla Scheri has decided that she’s “just not a Yankee.” You can find her back in the sunny, warm environs of Atlanta, Ga.

1991 Rosie McCobb, a Brooklynbased photographer, had her first solo show, Natural Religion, this past winter at Tillie’s in Brooklyn. Her work has been featured at Remote Gallery’s 2003 International Juried Exhibition at Greeley Square Gallery, Garden Gallery, the Periodic Summer Show and in Emerging Arts’ group exhibitions. Rosie has also had short films screened at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as part of a Boston Film Artists Series, and as part of the Women in Film awards screening ceremony in New York. Her writing has appeared in the Boston Phoenix, Boston Rock, Time Out travel guides and other publications. Kevin A. Mercuri ’91, MA ’93, was recently appointed associate vice president for 5W Public Relations’ technology division. In his post, Kevin has orchestrated an old-fashioned cowboy round-up on horseback in New York’s Financial district, and enlisted the help of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in asking his clients’ competition to stop stealing their trademark. Kevin says both stunts produced excellent news coverage. Kevin often sits at his desk and marvels that people pay him to do what he does. Classmates can reach him at Kathy (Feeley) Schmidt graduated in May 2004 from Georgia State University with a master’s degree in library media technology. She is a media specialist at St. John Neumann Regional Catholic School. She lives outside Atlanta with husband David

’90 and their three children, Ryan, age 8, Hannah, 6, and James, 3. David was recently promoted to senior producer at CNN Newsource. Megan Andrews has been working for the past four years as the program coordinator and lead theater teacher at Ocean County Performing Arts Academy, a performing arts high school in Lakehurst, N.J. It’s the only public high school in the U.S. located on a military base. The school resides in historic Hangar One on Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station, which is the site of the Hindenburg disaster. Megan can be reached at

Hope Arnold ’94 with two children in Patandi Village, Tanzania. Hope recently returned from a volunteer “vacation” with CrossCultural Solutions at the Nkoaranga Orphanage in a small village in Northern Tanzania. She helped care for 25 children and had “the most amazing experience” of her life. Friends can reach her at Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer ’93 celebrated the recent release of her fourth book, The Creative Jewish Wedding Book (Jewish Lights Publishing), which goes beyond the facts, history and explanations of the Jewish wedding ceremony and focuses on using the ritual elements of the wedding to express the unique style and spirituality of the couple. Gabrielle can be reached at

1992 Athena Matsikas is now in New Orleans, fulfilling her dream to become an on-air talk show host. She co-anchors a show called Athena and Jeff on 1053 The Zone, WKZN/ She was married on Nov. 2, 2003, to Frank, a baseball coach, agent and lawyer. Athena would love to say hello to the Emerson friends she has lost touch with: Mark K. McCulloch earned his master of public administration degree from American International College in Springfield, Mass. He is currently editor of the Ware River News, a 118year-old weekly in Central Massachusetts. Mark lives in Belchertown, Mass., with his wife, Molly, and three children, Allyson, 17, Ian, 7, and Maggie, 5.

Brian Klimes and his wife, Christina, had their first son, Benjamin Louis Klimes, on July 2, 2003. Brian is employed by Lincoln General Insurance Co. in York, Pa., as a senior network engineer. Christina works for Robert Half International in Mechanicsburg. Brian sends a “hello” to his fellow Castlemates from fall ’91 semester.

released in hardcover and is available on the Internet. She has had book signings in Springfield, Mass., and Enfield, Conn.

1993 Marisa Abbott and Scott Feldman announce the birth of their first child, Matthew Jacob, born Feb. 17, 2004, in Los Angeles. They are residing in their new home

Cynthia Zeuli has written a vampire novel, Bound By Blood, which was recently

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along with their dog, Whipper. Marisa can be reached at Bill Daly is currently a co-producer of ABC’s 8 Simple Rules. In addition, he has also “coproduced” with his wife, Jane, another daughter Clara, 1, who follows their other “critic’s favorite child,” Isabel, 3.

1994 Ann Moan, MA ’94, is an editor at Rhode Island Monthly magazine. She and Amy Hagan-Corkery co-publish “The Men of the Providence Fire Department Calendar for Charity.” Ann and husband Michael, a chef, have moved into a historic house in Providence. They see Emersonians Jennifer Markham-Wynn and husband Kevin Wynn regularly.


1995-96 Marla Ostrower-Friedman and her husband, Marc, are pleased to announce the birth of their first child, Ethan Abraham Friedman, born in Boca Raton, Fla., on April 11, 2004.

2000 and ’01 Josh Pahigian, MFA ’01, and Kevin O’Connell, MFA ’00, spent the summers of 2002 and 2003 on a road trip to every big league baseball park in the U.S. They ate every ballpark frank they could get their hands on and went to many a bar near the ball fields, and it was all in the name of research. The pair recently released their first book, The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip, which offers a funny, slightly irreverent account of their travels with plenty of pictures and practical information. Josh and Kevin received invaluable support from Emerson faculty member Pam Painter during the early stages of their project.

Claire A. Nach ’00 and Chris Doyle, MA ’99, were engaged on Halloween 2003. Claire works as a make-up artist in television and film, and Chris Doyle works as an editor for a postproduction company.

2001 Liz Alpert is working as a publicist at an L.A.-based firm, Max Media Global Communications. Dan Levy ’03, a fellow Emerson alum, is a client of Liz’s and is set to host a TV pilot picked up by MTV, Your Face or Mine? The half-hour game show challenges contestants to predict how handsome or ugly people think they really are. The show is a U.S. version of the British series of the same name. While studying at Emerson, Levy was named

funniest college comedian by HBO at the 2001 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Scott Gurian is moving from Washington, D.C., and New Jersey, where, for the past few years, he has been doing freelance reporting and producing for Pacifica Radio and NPR. Scott recently accepted the position of news director of KGOU Public Radio in Oklahoma City. He can be reached at

Where Are You And What are You Doing Please use the form below to submit news that you would like to share with your fellow Emersonians. Or, if you prefer, e-mail your news to; 1-800-255-4259; fax: 1-617-824-7807. New job? Recently engaged or married? New baby? Moving? Recently ran into an old classmate? Received an award? Let us know. Visit to submit Class Notes, stay connected to other alums and more.

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Courting Justice Attorney Andrew Kline ’87 prosecutes federal civil rights violators While he’s worked for Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Sen. Joseph Biden, Andrew Kline ’87 isn’t one to rest on his laurels. These days he’s trying to “make a difference” in the judicial system. Kline is a former federal prosecutor with a decade of experience who now serves as an attorney in the Civil Rights Division/Criminal Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. As a federal litigator, Kline, who studied communication, politics and law at Emerson, investigates and prosecutes federal criminal civil rights violations, including human trafficking, abortion clinic violence and hate crimes. “The biggest priority for us right now is human trafficking and slavery cases,” says Kline. “There are about 800,000 individuals – mainly women and children – being trafficked throughout the world and being sold into forced prostitution or forced labor. And about 50,000 of those are in the United States…living in slavery under force or threat of violence.” He also prosecutes “violent crimes [committed] under the ‘color of law’.” The division he works in, for example, prosecuted the Los Angeles police officers involved in the infamous Rodney King case. Kline also is called upon to investigate and prosecute cross burnings and church arsons, among other crimes.

He usually has about 30 cases on his docket. But it’s the “trafficking cases that are the most arduous,” he admits, cases rife with immigration issues and made more complex by the fact that the women and children involved are being forced to commit crimes (e.g., prostitution). “So, it’s often very difficult to get those people to cooperate because they think they’re in trouble,” he adds. “The name of the game is to get to trial, if you’re a litigator,” Kline explains. “But it’s pretty stressful during that period and usually you’re working seven days a week and very long hours. While it’s exhilarating, it’s also exhausting.” Previously, Kline prosecuted violent crimes as assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. In that position he was lead prosecutor for more than 50 trials and handled hundreds of cases, including federal narcotics conspiracies, homicides and public corruption. Prior to his litigation work, Kline worked in the political arena, for politicians like Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.). On Capitol Hill, Kline was Biden’s special counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he managed the Senator’s crime and crime prevention portfolios, drafting legislation, speeches and briefs. Kline calls his first job out of law school (Pepperdine University) – serving as “lead” for the advance team for the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1992 – “probably the most rewarding experience of my life, a pretty exhilarating

time.” For that job, he traveled four days ahead of Clinton and supervised a team who put together events (rallies, press conferences, etc.) wherever the then-candidate Clinton went. Kline later served as a consultant for Clinton’s ‘advance’ team during his presidency in the nineties. Recently, Kline co-founded (with fellow alumnus Peter Loge ’87), NEXT, a national community of emerging leaders and innovators who hope to educate and empower “a new generation to shape our country,” according to its website ( Kline says he’s “never contemplated working for a law firm. I’ve always been committed to working in government. It’s a place where you can really make a difference…. You’re making change from within.” — By Christopher Hennessy

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My Turn

Why Emerson College? Because it Gives Students Two Educations in One

Arts Ambassador Arts education is a passion for student Katy George ’05 After the final note, my conductor brought his baton to his side, and instantly, hundreds of people jumped from their seats and cheered, “Bravo!” I had just finished performing Wagner’s Lohengrin Opera, the most powerful and inspiring piece I had ever played. This was my last performance playing

‘The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the enthusiasm of a participant grow, and hearing about the impact the educational programs have had on their attitude toward the arts.’

That’s how William “Bill” Bernheim ’72 sees it. And that’s why he contributes several thousand dollars a year in appreciated stock to the College’s Annual Fund, making him a member of the

among musicians who had become like family. As a senior in high school, I reflected on all of the wonderful memories and opportunities playing with this ensemble had given me. My emotions ran high, for this was an ending to the most meaningful chapter so far in my life. I had not only gained the

36 Expression Spring 2004

ability to play a beautiful instrument like the oboe and found my love for the performing arts, but I had grown as an individual. Since taking my first piano lessons at the age of 4, I have come to learn that the arts strengthen the lives of everyone they touch. Over the years, I have studied ballet, tap and jazz dance. I have figure skated and been a member of the marching band and color guard. The arts have taught me dedication, self-expression, passion and determination. It’s my goal to share with others these same life lessons that the arts have instilled in me. As a student at Emerson, I have been given many opportunities to work with the arts, and help communicate my goal of the importance of arts education. One of these opportunities includes being the education intern at the Wang Center for the Performing Arts. In this role, I help to organize community workshops, which are free and open to people of all ages and abilities. These workshops are inspired by the shows currently playing at the Wang or Shubert theaters, and teach performing, literary and visual arts. I also help with school programs like Arts Can Teach, which was established to help integrate the arts into public schools. This program allows teachers and artists to work together to develop arts curricula for various age groups. I have also assisted with the ticket outreach program, which provides free tickets to nonprofit

organizations around Boston. At the Wang Center, I help bring people together who would not usually be able to experience the arts in such an innovative and interactive way. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the enthusiasm of a participant grow, and hearing about the impact the educational programs have had on their attitude toward the arts. Parents, teachers and artists write letters like this: “I want to thank The Wang Center for providing such a wonderful learning experience and environment. You are touching the lives of so many, and providing a priceless gift – an opportunity to explore the arts!” Thanks to the many opportunities Emerson has provided me, I have been able to begin working toward my goal of increasing the importance of the arts and arts education. By majoring in public relations, I hope to be able to communicate to others the positive benefits the arts provide. Katy George ’05, a native of San Antonio, Texas, is an honors student studying marketing communication with a focus on public relations. She is the executive board secretary of the Emerson chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and a volunteer with the Admissions Center at Emerson and with the Boston Philharmonic.

President’s Society. (Membership in the Society is open to those who contribute $1,000 or more.) “I got two educations at Emerson – one in the classroom and one outside the classroom,” says Bill, who owns a real estate management company in Hoboken, N.J. “I learned to interact with a diverse group of people, and I learned skills that have helped me in my business. It was a fabulous education. You can’t put a dollar value on it.” Bill, who earned a bachelor of science degree in speech, recalls working the news desk on the Saturday night “We Rockin’ ” oldies show at WERS. “This was during the

William Bernheim ’72

Vietnam War,” he notes. “I got to cover the protests and the sit-ins. It was an experience I will never forget.” Bill says he got the idea to contribute stock

To learn more about the Annual Fund, contact Martha Cassidy, Director, Annual Fund, Office of Institutional Advancement, Emerson College, 120 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02116-4624; (617) 824-8543.

to Emerson from his attorney, who pointed out the income tax advantages of donating property that has appreciated in value. “It’s an easy way to have a significant impact on the Annual Fund, and I’m pleased to be able to do it,” he adds.

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BREAKING NEW GROUND. In March, ground was broken for the College’s new Residence Hall and Campus Center to be built on Boylston Street. From left are: Trustee Chair Ted Cutler ’51, Vice President for Administration and Finance Robert Silverman, President Jacqueline Liebergott, Student Government Association President Andrew Wishnia ’04, Athletics Director Rudy Keeling, Dean of Students Ronald Ludman, and Boston Redevelopment Authority Director Mark Maloney.

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Expression Spring 2004  

The magazine for alumni and friends of Emerson College