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A New Era in the Arts at Emerson • The Paramount Center complex opens to rave reviews • New programming umbrella, ArtsEmerson, will bring world-class performances to Boston and provide learning opportunities for students • Season schedules for ArtsEmerson, Emerson Stage, and the Cutler Majestic Theatre

Commencement 2010 in words and images An alumna writes the book on a difficult-to-diagnose communication disorder When everyday people break news stories


Electrifying EVVYs The 29th annual EVVY Awards was held in May at the Cutler Majestic Theatre. The EVVYs, the largest student-run televised production in the United States, is a live, multiple-camera show modeled after the Oscars and Emmy award ceremonies. Emerson Trustee Doug Holloway ’76 was honored this year with the EVVY Alumni Award of Distinction. Holloway most recently served as president of NBC Network Distribution Partnerships and Affiliate Marketing.




In This Issue Emerson College added a magnificent jewel to its crown with the launch this spring of an ambitious, new arts programming umbrella, ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage, which is slated to bring world-class performances and productions to the newly built performance spaces in the College’s Paramount Center and the existing Cutler Majestic Theatre. At the helm is Rob Orchard, veteran American Repertory Theater managing director who is now Emerson’s first executive director for the arts. Orchard spent months assembling a season of performances and films that will put Emerson arts programming on the map. Theater companies will also engage in multi-year projects with students and faculty, enhancing the already-robust Performing Arts curriculum. Be sure to take a look at our story on the new Paramount Center, which features practice space, performance space, a scene shop, a film screening room, and much, much more. In our Emerson People profile, we introduce you to an alumna who studied Communication Disorders in the 1970s and has made waves in the field with a new book called The Sound of Hope. Read about her work with auditory processing disorder.

The College launches a new website, the CSD Department turns 75, and other news


Campus Digest


Commencement 2010


We the Media

What happens when everyday people start breaking and reporting news?


A New Era in the Arts at Emerson

The College launches its new programming arm, ArtsEmerson, and opens the Paramount Center


Kids Who Can’t Believe Their Own Ears

An alumna writes the book on auditory processing disorder


Notable Expressions

A compendium of alumni accomplishments


Alumni Digest

Alumni happenings from all over the country


Class Notes

Read the news about your classmates

The annual rites, in words and images

Rhea Becker, editor

Expression Expression is published three times a year for alumni and friends of Emerson College by the Office of Communications and Marketing (Andrew Tiedemann, vice president) in conjunction with the Office of Institutional Advancement (Robert Ashton, vice president) and the Office of Alumni Relations (Barbara Rutberg ’68, associate vice president; director).

Executive Editor Andy Tiedemann Editor Rhea Becker Design Director Charles Dunham Copy Editor Nancy Howell Production Coordinator Liliana Ballesteros Editorial Assistant Allison Teixeira

Cover photo of Paramount Theatre by Peter Vanderwarker

Office of Communications and Marketing 617-824-8540 fax 617-824-8916 Office of Alumni Relations 800-255-4259 617-824-8535 fax 617-824-7807

Copyright © 2010 Emerson College 120 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116-4624

Campus Digest Independent panel recommends steps to improve tenure procedures, increase faculty diversity

College debuts robust new website What better way to appreciate the creativity and energy of Emerson College than to engage with its students, faculty, and alumni online? That was the driving concept behind Emerson College’s new web presence, which made its debut in May. “While the most critical function for any college website is to provide information, we also wanted to create ways for our visitors to participate in conversations, hear directly from Emersonians, and as much as possible, experience Emerson live,” said Marta Ruohoniemi, web content developer in the Office of Communications

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and Marketing and the website redesign’s project manager. Virtually every page of Emerson’s new website includes related videos and links to the College’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, and ProArts Connect portals. Visitors can participate in the community within those sections and also by reading and commenting on the numerous blogs throughout the website. A new section called Emerson Live will allow visitors to literally experience Emerson live through real-time webcasts as well as news stories, related videos, slideshows,

and Tweets that relate to, for example, Commencement ceremonies. In between events, Emerson Live will showcase the work of students, faculty, and alumni through video and provide access to archives of past events. Other key new features include a dedicated social media section that offers a directory to all Emersonrelated pages within the major channels; interactive Alumni and Parent sections; a welcoming and engaging experience for prospective students; and a robust news and events section where visitors can quickly find current affairs information. Ultimately, much of the content will be produced by Emerson students and faculty. During the website’s development, much of the video was shot by two current students from the Department of Visual and Media Arts, Matthew Hashiguchi, MFA ’11, and Matthew Figler ’11. “As the only college in America focused exclusively on communication and the arts, our goal was to highlight the community’s creative vision and outgoing personality by showcasing the work of Emerson students, faculty, and alumni,” said Andy

Tiedemann, vice president for Communications and Marketing. True to the Emerson spirit, establishing the new web presence has been a campus-wide collaborative effort. Emerson faculty, students, alumni, and staff were involved in creating the new platform for the College, and their advice and expertise will continue to be tapped as the new online presence develops and matures. Every campus office played a role and will be actively engaged in its future development. Each of the seven academic departments revised its particular sections. Staff from the offices of Admission, Information Technology, Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations, Academic Affairs, and Communications and Marketing worked extensively on developing their own portions of the new website as well as assisting one another. The College’s Social Media Group helped shape the interactive aspects of the website. Chaired by Mike Petroff, MA ’10, web content manager in the Office of Admission, the group

An independent, three-member committee has recommended a series of actions the College should take to improve its tenure-granting procedures and increase the diversity of its faculty. The recommendations were set forth in a 23-page report issued during the spring semester (online at committee_report) and include:

includes representatives from departments across the campus. Vice President for Enrollment MJ Knoll-Finn was extensively involved in the design and execution of the College’s new website. “The college search begins on the web for prospective students and their parents,” she said. “First impressions matter a great deal. The Admission team has really been doing a fantastic job creating social media and web strategies to engage prospective students with the Emerson experience, but this new platform is going to allow us to do so much more.” Several additional features are already in development, such as an interactive events calendar and a powerful new search function. These will be

ready by the start of the fall semester. The Alumni Relations team has devoted significant energy to creating a new experience for alumni online. “We are excited about the new features that will enable our alumni to learn about events such as the Alumni Weekend and its related Scholarship Fund Auction,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations Robert Ashton. “Alumni are extremely interested in staying connected with one another, with the College, and in keeping abreast of what the students and faculty are doing. This new web presence will help them achieve all of those goals,” he said.

• Providing more professional development opportunities and better mentoring for tenuretrack faculty; • Identifying, cultivating, and hiring African American faculty who are tenured at other institutions; • Increasing the multicultural competency of faculty, academic department chairs, and administrators; • Clarifying departmental tenure requirements; • Hiring more full professors and tenure-track faculty; • Providing leadership-development training for department chairs and deans; • Cultivating a more positive sense of community; and • Conducting a comprehensive diversity study similar to the recent MIT report. In its report, titled “The Evolution of Emerson College: Modeling and Shaping the Culture of Culture,” the committee says it was “heartened” to find among many campus members “a determination to diversify Emerson’s faculty, with special attention to those of African American ancestry.” Noting that only four of the College’s 117 tenured and tenure-track faculty members are African Americans, the report says tackling the issue of faculty diversity at Emerson “is long overdue, given that African Americans have been severely underrepresented throughout the College’s history.” President Jacqueline Liebergott and Faculty Assembly Chair Brooke Knight said the report will be widely discussed within the Emerson community, and the Assembly and administration will determine how to implement the recommendations and measure progress over a multiyear period.

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Academy Award-winning director Lee Daniels speaks to students Communication Sciences and Disorders Department turns 75 The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders marked its 75th anniversary this year with a special event held during Alumni Weekend, June 4-6. Department Chair Daniel Kempler says the department’s roots go back even further than 75 years. “Emerson College has addressed communication disorders from the time of its founding in 1880 as the Boston Conservatory

of Elocution, Oratory and Dramatic Art,” he said. “The 1880 catalog listed one ‘course of instruction’ titled Defects of Speech. Those roots blossomed into a fullfledged department 75 years ago—and have remained a central component of the College since. “Remaining a vital and leading department at the College—and in a growing professional field for 75 years—means we’ve covered a lot of ground and changed significantly,” Kempler said. “Despite the fact that our primary goal—to improve

the lives of people with communication disorders— has remained the same throughout the years, the field itself, and therefore our training program, has evolved considerably over 75 years.” Emerson has been a pioneer in the increasingly vital field of speech-language pathology and has earned a reputation for excellence in clinical preparation. Kempler said the department has seen dramatic increases in the range and severity

of disorders treated, the variety of locations where pathologists work, and the sophistication of the technologies used. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders also operates the Robbins Speech, Language and Hearing Center. Since 1953, the Robbins Center has provided evaluation and treatment for children and adults with communication problems, as well as education programs for family members and caregivers.

The College purchased properties at 1-3 Boylston Place for $6.5 million on March 31, having acquired the option to buy the space in 2004. “Having contiguous space, or the option for it, is important to the College’s future,” said Vice President for Administration David Ellis. “Attractive properties adjacent to the existing campus rarely come onto the market, and the Board of Trustees prudently decided to acquire

1-3 Boylston Place for Emerson’s potential future use.” The College has signed two-year leases with the existing tenants—Big Night Entertainment (office space); Sweetness Entertainment (Sweetwater Café); and Boylston Entertainment (The Estate)—and has no immediate plans for the properties. However, the buildings will quite likely factor into the College’s next 10-year strategic

Award-winning film director Lee Daniels (Precious) took time out from his Oscar wins to speak with Emerson student media groups. Daniels’s latest film, Precious:

Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009), won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Mo’Nique) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher).

An early communication disorders observation classroom

Presidential search committee reports its progress

Emerson acquires nearby buildings

President Jacqueline Liebergott will step down as president of the College on June 30, 2011. The Presidential Search Committee is in the process of working through a pool of more than 200 names that have been recommended. The committee is narrowing the field to a group of candidates it is interested in meeting with this summer for preliminary interviews. “We are very pleased with the response to the search, and the caliber of the candidates that we are reviewing,” said Search Committee Chair Peter Meade ’70. “The consultants from Storbeck/ Pimentel and the committee have worked very hard on this process, and we all know we still have a lot more work to do. We are happy with the progress to date, and are confident that we will ultimately get the very best candidate for the position of president of our College. The search will, however, remain open until a final candidate is chosen.”        

plan, which faculty and administrators recently started to draft. Capital projects are carefully planned at Emerson. Funding for the relocation from the Back Bay to the Campus on the Common, in which Emerson has invested $500 million to date, came from a variety of sources, including the sale of Emerson’s Back Bay properties, issuing bonds, and the generosity of donors.

A view of Boylston Place

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Nunes, dean of School of the Arts, steps down

Grafton Nunes

Grafton Nunes, dean of Emerson’s School of the Arts, has been named president of the Cleveland Institute of Art, effective the end of June. “For the past 12 years, Grafton has led the School of the Arts as its founding dean with great energy, vision, and dedication,” said President Jacqueline Liebergott. “Our students, faculty, and alumni join me in wishing him every success in this next phase of his stellar career.”

In 1998, Nunes became the founding dean of the School of the Arts, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs in performing arts, film, television, creative writing, and publishing. Previous to Emerson, Nunes directed the Columbia University Program in Theatre Management and Producing. He also administered Columbia’s Film Division under Milos Forman and Stefan Sharff and served as associate dean of the School of the Arts.

“The creativity and the willingness to roll up one’s sleeves and dive right into projects are the hallmarks of Emerson’s students, faculty, and alumni,” said Nunes. “I will miss the Emerson culture and my talented colleagues,” he said. “Emerson has given me so much: the challenge and opportunity to build a great school with superb colleagues and an exceptional student body. I will miss the friends I have made among the faculty, staff, and alumni of this college.”

Chvany retires after 20-plus years

First “Communication Week” deemed a success

Pete Chvany, longtime faculty member, soccer coach, and advisor of Emerson Independent Video (EIV) and the EVVY Awards, has retired after more than 20 years at Emerson working in numerous roles, and recruiting and mentoring countless students. A farewell reception was held in May in the Black Box Theatre at Emerson’s Paramount Center. Guests took turns approaching the mic to make speeches and thank Chvany for his contributions to the College.

Each of the four departments in the School of Communication (Communication Sciences and Disorders, Communication Studies, Journalism, and Marketing Communication) presented an array of programs during a special week this past spring semester to showcase what Emersonians in these departments are studying and thinking about. “Communication Week honored the principles of Charles Wesley Emerson [ founder of Emerson College],” said Richard West, chair of the Department of

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Pete Chvany at a retirement reception.

Another reception and soccer game were held for Chvany during Emerson’s Alumni Weekend, June 4–6. In addition, Emerson has established the Pete Chvany Scholarship to ensure that his legacy lives on by providing financial

assistance to students with a commitment to the areas of interest that Chvany championed. To learn more about the Pete Chvany Scholarship, visit: alumni/support_emerson/ PeteChvanyScholarship.cfm.

Doris “Granny D” Haddock dies at age 100

EAGLE office dedicated

Known nationally for her political activism, including a run for U.S. Senate, Doris “Granny D” Haddock embarked on a 3,200-mile walk across the United States at the age of 90 to bring attention to the issue of campaign finance reform. She attended Emerson for three years in the 1920s. She returned to Emerson in 2000 to receive an honorary degree recognizing her political activism. Haddock was recently featured in the Boston Globe and the Nashua Telegraph, where she said: “I have nothing to leave behind for my grandchildren and

The Emerson Alliance for Gays, Lesbians, and Everyone (EAGLE) has dedicated its Piano Row administrative office to the Right Honorable Viscount Robert Sands ’68 in recognition of a gift he made to Emerson College. Sands expressed his appreciation for EAGLE and of how supportive the Emerson community has been of diversity, but encouraged students and staff to remain vigilant, citing recent acts of intolerance in other communities across the nation. Sands founded, the leading LGBT online news site on

Communication Studies. “It honors the student voice, the curiosity of the faculty, the research and civic engagement happening at Emerson, and the studentteacher relationship.” West believes this is the first of many Communication Weeks to come. “The week made the School of Communication more visible not just to the Emerson community, but to the public outside the campus as well. There is such great work being done in the School of Communication and I think many of our students fly under the radar. This is an opportunity to commend

Emerson honorary degree recipient and alumna Doris (“Granny D”) Haddock

great-grandchildren, but I can give them a legacy and a lesson they can carry through their own lives —the power of one.” Haddock died March 9 in her Dublin, New Hampshire, home. She was 100 years old.

them for all they are accomplishing.” Presentation topics ranged from entertainment marketing to science journalism to autism. Guest speakers included Gwen Ifill, managing editor and moderator for Washington Week (PBS) and senior correspondent for The NewsHour (PBS); Heather Webb, biodiversity officer for BedsLife—Bedfordshire & Luton Biodiversity Partnership; Janet Scardino ’81, president of Commercial 19 Entertainment; and former CNBC financial reporter Bill Griffeth.

the Internet. Sands has been a journalist for more than 40 years. In June 2006, Logo, the LGBT television network owned by Viacom’s MTV Networks, purchased from Sands and he remained with the company as a consultant. Previously, he served as news editor for Rogers Broadcasting, Toronto; as news editor/producer for the CTV Network and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; and as a reporter for CHCH-TV, Toronto, and CKWS-TV, Kingston. He also managed real estate holdings for the Sandco Inc. family business.

EAGLE President Adriana Guida ’11 (left), Emerson President Jacqueline Liebergott, Tau Zaman ’12, and Robert Sands ’68

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Commencement Emerson confers degrees, bestows honors By Carrie Sheffield

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pproximately 1,000 degrees were conferred at Emerson’s 130th Commencement exercises held May 17 at the Citi Center/ Wang Theatre in Boston. Acclaimed historical novelist Bernard Cornwell delivered the 2010 Undergraduate Commencement address during the morning ceremony, at which more than 750 bachelor’s degrees were awarded. Cornwell has written 49 books, mostly historical, which have been translated into 27 languages and sold more than 37 million copies worldwide. Television adaptations of his books have been shown on BBC America, the History Channel, and Masterpiece Theatre. During his speech, Cornwell offered two pieces of advice to the graduates: “Never play poker with a man called Doc,” he joked, remarking that 87 percent of alumni don’t remember what their commencement speakers said, and on a more serious note, “Think for yourselves.” “Your job is to challenge everything, to think for yourselves,” he said. “I don’t care what the opinion is, just think it through.” Cornwell, along with Bay State Banner founder, publisher, and editor Melvin B. Miller, received honorary degrees at the ceremony. The Bay State Banner is a weekly newspaper advocating the interests of Greater Boston’s African American community. Miller has also served as Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and Conservator of the Unity Bank and Trust Company, Boston’s first minority bank. In 1980, he became chairman of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission and, in 1981, was a founding partner in the law firm of Fitch, Miller and Tourse. He was also vice president and general counsel of WHDH-TV, Boston’s CBS affiliate, from 1982 until 1993. As valedictorian, Writing, Literature and Publishing graduate Emily McKelvey spoke about the importance of acknowledging the people around you to make the places you live, work, and study more enjoyable.

Emeritus status was conferred upon retiring Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Professor David L. Maxwell at the undergraduate ceremony. Vicki S. Freimuth, director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at the University of Georgia, addressed the 294 master’s degree candidates at the afternoon ceremony. Before joining the faculty at the University of Georgia, Freimuth served as director of communication at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for seven years. Her research has appeared in such journals as Human Communication Research, Journal of Communication, American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, and Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Freimuth is the principal investigator on a CDC-funded Center of Excellence in Health Marketing and Health Communication. She won a Distinguished Career Award from the American Association of Public Health in 2003 and was selected as the first Outstanding Health Communication Scholar by the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association. Addressing the graduate students, Freimuth spoke of the importance of communication. “The universal need to connect with others is essential and will serve you well,” she said.

Freimuth, along with executive producer of American Experience Mark Samels, received an honorary degree at the ceremony. PBS’s flagship history series American Experience is television’s mostwatched and longest-running history series. Since 2003, Samels has overseen the production of more than 50 films for the series, including the first two co-productions between American Experience and PBS’s award-winning public affairs series, Frontline. Under Samels’s leadership, the series has been honored with nearly every industry award, including the Peabody and Primetime Emmy. Brenna Ruiz Gordon, a master’s degree recipient in Communication Management, delivered the graduate student address. Receptions for students, families, and faculty were held on Boston Common after both ceremonies.

Photos by Frank Monkiewicz

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1. Bernard Cornwell, a prolific author of historical novels, was the 2010 Commencement Speaker.

6. Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Professor David L. Maxwell, who received emeritus status

2. Emerson President Jacqueline Liebergott

7. Melvin B. Miller, founder, publisher, and editor of the Bay State Banner, Boston’s weekly African American newspaper, received an honorary degree.

3. Graduates celebrate on Boston Common. 4. Mark Samels (left), executive producer of PBS’s American Experience and recipient of an honorary degree, with Peter Meade, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees 5. Valedictorian Emily McKelvey






8. Graduate student speaker Brenna Ruiz Gordon 9. Graduate Commencement Speaker Vicki S. Freimuth, director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at the University of Georgia, with Timothy Edgar, graduate program director for Health Communication




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W e

t h e

Media Everyday people armed with mobile devices are capturing news, while journalists grapple with media’s changing landscape By Allison Teixeira


anuary 15, 2009: US Airways Flight 1549 takes off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Minutes after takeoff, the plane strikes a flock of geese, disabling both engines and forcing pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to land the plane on the Hudson River. Ferry passenger Janis Krums takes a photo of the passengers evacuating the plane with his iPhone and posts it to the social networking site Twitter. Traditional news outlets from around the world discover the photo and use it in their coverage of what becomes known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.” June 20, 2009: Angry citizens have been filling the streets of Tehran, Iran, for days to protest the disputed results of the recent presidential election in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been re-elected. Iran’s government is censoring media coverage of the protests, blocking

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international media’s entrance into the country, and blocking many websites Iranian citizens visit to get news and information. A young woman named Neda Agha-Soltan is on her way to participate in the protests when she is shot by a government militiaman. A bystander captures the woman’s death on video. The footage is posted to YouTube and shared via other social media. It instantly goes viral. Major traditional news outlets such as CNN, BBC, and the Associated Press cover the story. January 12, 2010: A catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Haiti. The epicenter of the quake is just a few miles from the capital of Port-au-Prince, where the Presidential palace, the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission, and the US Red Cross are among the collapsed structures in the city of 2.5 million. In the aftermath of the quake, with telephone lines down and communication difficult, citizen journalists post pictures and

eyewitness reports to Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, and share information about the disaster with the world before professional journalists can get to the country. Traditional media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times create lists of Twitter users believed to be tweeting from Haiti. “Citizen journalist” is a term that describes someone who has no formal journalism training but is equipped with simple tools such as a cell phone camera or an easy-to-use video camera, and web access, and uses these tools to contribute to, or break, news. “A lot of things have changed in the last five years, but the largest thing is the development of the technology that has allowed people to publish their own [material],” said Jeffrey Seglin, associate professor of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson. “At the same time, for a variety of reasons, traditional journalism is in financial

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“We were able to see something [thanks to a citizen’s video] that normally we wouldn’t have been able to see, because our cameras weren’t there.” TV news anchor Bianca de la Garza ’97

trouble and looking to do more with less. Citizen journalism then becomes a great tool.” Citizen journalists often capture breaking news, but some also write in-depth analyses and investigative pieces, covering all types of news from political to entertainment to business, at the international, national, and local levels. Today, traditional media outlets staffed by professionally trained journalists are coming to recognize—and perhaps rely on—the contributions of citizen journalists. Large mainstream news outlets have even created citizenjournalist components, such as CNN’s user-generated iReport, and the BBC’s recent partnership with blogging network Global Voices. Individual reporters are also incorporating the contributions of citizen journalists into their own stories by finding sources and story ideas on Twitter and on blogs, and featuring photographs and videos shot by witnesses. Expression takes a look at citizen journalism and how it intersects with the world of professional news reporting. A brief history Citizen journalism is not an entirely new phenomenon. Videos of the assassination

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of President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s and of the beating of Rodney King by police in Los Angeles in the 1990s were both captured by citizen witnesses at the scene. In the late ’80s, the arrival of desktop publishing allowed anyone to design and print his or her own publications. But distribution was still extremely limited. In the ’90s, the introduction of the World Wide Web offered a platform that solved the distribution problem. Anyone with Internet access had the ability to share information with the rest of the world. By the early 2000s the first blogs and social-media platforms began to gain popularity. Now, average citizens could easily share information, at little to no cost, and without any filters. Enter: the rise of citizen journalism. Reliable sources? Since citizen journalism began to proliferate on the web in recent years, concerns about its usefulness and accuracy have been raised, particularly by professional journalists. However, many journalists have begun to recognize that the rise of citizen journalism is a positive development for the field: it complements their

work and sometimes even a man suspected of having makes their reporting better. connections to the attempted Reuters, one of the bombing in New York City’s largest news services in Times Square earlier in the the world, recently added month, a neighbor who guidelines to its employee heard commotion outside handbook that address grabbed her Flip camera when and how to make use and taped the man as he of news that comes from was brought from the house citizens. Generally, Reuters in handcuffs. Soon after, encourages its reporters to the local media, including use social media, but with WCBV-TV anchor Bianca caution: de la Garza ’97, learned “Make sure that you about the video, which was are fully aware of the risks— featured on several local especially those that threaten broadcasts that day. our hard-earned reputation De la Garza believes for independence and freedom this incident is an example from bias or our brand….If of how the contributions you wish to use Twitter as part of citizen journalists can of your professional role you be “just another tool and should seek the permission of resource” for reporters. She your line manager. If you are does not hesitate to say that using Twitter professionally she has used that tool in her you should use the word own reporting. Because the ‘Reuters’ in the name of your neighbor was at the scene stream or somewhere else on and had the technology to the page….Micro-blogging and shoot footage herself, “we use of social media tend to were able to see something blur the distinction between that normally we wouldn’t professional and personal have been able to see, lives: when using Twitter or because our cameras weren’t social media in a professional there,” said de la Garza. capacity you should aim to be Broadcast journalist personable but not to include Kurtis Ming ’00, the irrelevant material about your consumer investigative personal life.” reporter for CBS-13 in Citizen journalism Sacramento, California, has opens up many more also incorporated the work sources for professional of citizen journalists in journalists than have ever his reporting. He regularly been available before, said searches blogs tied to Lisa Williams ’92, an consumer news. “There are established Boston-based some sites I find reliable blogger who is CEO and and quote from time to time founder of, in my nightly consumer the largest searchable index segments,” said Ming. of “place” weblogs. “Citizen The popular social journalism is the ultimate media sites Twitter and power tool for traditional Facebook have been journalists,” she said. “invaluable” to Nathan Hurst “Before you were digging ’07, the Washington, D.C., with a hand spade, and now correspondent for The you have a backhoe.” Detroit News, in finding the In one instance, when right sources for stories. the FBI raided a home in Watertown, Massachusetts, in May of this year to arrest

Hurst also believes that citizen journalism holds professional journalists to a new level of accountability that makes journalism better overall. When Hurst covered a recent Senate hearing in which he had misheard several words and reported them as fact, a citizen pointed out the error. “Some might find that annoying,” said Hurst, “but I think it’s a great opportunity to interact with the reader” and to get the story right. What’s more, citizen journalism can help journalists and traditional media outlets to better understand their audiences and the public at large. Whereas reporters once relied on polls that surveyed a small number of people, they can now use social media to get information from a much larger pool and a cross-section of communities. “It has given us a much more accurate thermometer on the nation’s temperature,” said Hurst. The future of journalism Still, many journalists express concerns about accuracy, journalistic ethics, and the future of the profession. Ted Gup, chair of Emerson’s Journalism Department and a former Washington Post reporter, believes it’s the trained journalist’s job to uncover the citizen journalism work that’s accurate and to provide explanation and context. “The world has been deputized to record and chronicle what’s happening, so that’s a terrific development,” he said. “It means that tyrants cannot practice repression

without it becoming known. It means that movements can expand their ranks exponentially. The dangers, of course, are that images and sounds—like words—can be taken out of context, can foment unrest or even chaos and that the consumers of these images and sounds will be unaware of what the surrounding circumstances really were, and that goes to the increased importance of the professional journalist, who can provide both authentication and context.” The absence of an editor concerns Associate Professor Seglin, who writes a column on ethics for the New York Times. “The challenge with [citizen] journalism is that it’s only as good as the citizen doing the journalism. What’s removed is the editor. The challenge is to know what the quality of the journalism is.” Similarly, TV anchor de la Garza said citizen journalism can be a “doubleedged sword. In one way it can be another resource for people to see things that are happening in the world, but obviously it’s content that has no filter, no one editing, and no one giving final approval. There’s a larger possibility that the [content] is unreliable and somewhat inaccurate,” she said. Seglin said journalists must always fact-check citizen journalists’ work just like they would check a traditional source. “The responsibility of the journalist is not to get lazy. Use [citizen journalism] as another lead,” he said. Additionally, Gup also warns that eyewitness accounts—which is often

what citizen journalism boils down to—are always very valuable, but not always accurate. “The eye can deceive. The citizen journalist generally operates with a great deal of immediacy, which is precious in breaking events, but immediacy has its limits and sometimes requires more perspective. Events have history, they have background, they have motives, most of which do not reveal themselves to the eye of the camera or the microphone of the recorder.” Blogging expert Williams defends citizen journalists and maintains that many of them do a good job of accurate, in-depth reporting. “People say, ‘What about accuracy?’ ‘What about editing?’ If that’s your question, then you really haven’t looked. Take a look at local sites that are doing journalism.” Many journalists are also worried about what citizen journalism could do to the profession of journalism, possibly making it unsustainable. Seglin, for example, has concerns about his students—many of whom write their own blogs and contribute to citizen journalist sites—who are not paid for their contributions. “I’m not a big fan of people writing for free and I’m not sure you can make a living being a citizen journalist,” said Seglin. However, many believe that professional and citizen journalists can coexist without threatening jobs. “I don’t see [citizen journalism] taking any jobs, frankly,” said Gup. “I think it augments the role of the professional journalist. Whenever there’s a serious

major event, people still look to the professional journalist. That’s why viewership of websites like the New York Times and the Washington Post soar whenever there’s a major story.” In the end, most journalists agree that citizen journalism, good or bad, is here to stay. That means that journalists and aspiring journalists need to be, above all, adaptable. “[Citizen journalism] means new ideas, and new ideas are never a bad thing,” said newspaper reporter Hurst. “I see it more as growing the opportunities. I think we’ll see more outlets doing more online and more interactive. It doesn’t mean journalism jobs are dead. It’s just going to be a different job title and a different set of expectations.” Journalists now, he said, just need to learn a larger set of skills, including technical skills, in order to keep up. Reporters also agree that the continued popularity of citizen journalism means the public must be diligent in making themselves aware of where the news they are reading or watching is coming from. “The bottom line is it’s here and it’s only going to continue to become a bigger part of people’s lives,” said de la Garza. “I think if people are just aware, and they don’t blur the lines it’s really something that could be advantageous for people in the viewing public.” E

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Emerson to present world-class performances under new artsprogramming umbrella

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erforming artists and companies of the highest caliber will beat a path to Emerson’s door when the College’s newly created producing arm, ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage, debuts its first season in September. The aim of ArtsEmerson? Nothing short of “becoming a cultural treasure for the city of Boston,” said Rob Orchard, a theatricalproducing veteran who took the helm of Emerson’s newly created Office of the Arts late last year after overseeing the famed American Repertory Theater at Harvard for decades.

To lay the groundwork for ArtsEmerson, Orchard spent the last six months traveling across the country and around the world, meeting theater companies and inviting representatives of these groups to tour Emerson’s new, state-of-the-art performance facilities (see pages 18–21 for details and photos). “I’ve seen an average of three productions a week,” he said. “It’s been busy but exhilarating.” continued on page 23

Farfalle by CompagniaTPO and Teatro Metastasio Stabile della Toscana

By Rhea Becker

From Top: Petrushka by Basil Twist; Aftermath by New York Theatre Workshop; Fräulein Maria by Doug Elkins; Petrushka by Basil Twist

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Photos of the Paramount Center by Peter Vanderwarker

The College’s vision of a grand complex that combines state-of-the-art living, learning, and performing spaces in downtown Boston was realized in March when the Paramount Center opened its doors. (The final piece of the project, its residence hall—accommodating 262 students—will open in September.) Located at 555 Washington Street in Boston’s Downtown Crossing district, the Center is already being hailed by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino as the latest step in the rebirth of the Downtown Crossing area of Boston. Menino is, in fact, so fond of the Paramount Center that he held his fifth-term inaugural party there in January, marking the very first event held in the brand-new facility. Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell enthused in a recent column, “No activity works better than a mass of college students for reviving a decayed urban area….Emerson has performed a great benevolence.” The focal point of the complex is the 34,000-square-foot Paramount Theatre. Built as a 1,500–seat picture palace in 1932, the landmark theater closed in 1976 and fell into disrepair. The College has extensively renovated the theater and adapted it for use as a 590–seat live performance venue. The Paramount Theatre features a stunning Art Deco marquee, illuminated with more than 8,000 bulbs. The interior of the building, which could not be restored due to extensive deterioration, is adorned with replicas of original artwork


146,000 square feet of new construction • 34,000 square feet adaptive reuse of Paramount Theatre • Historical granite façade dates from 1868 • Mix of uses includes residential, educational, business, and assembly • New construction is 109' tall with nine stories • Paramount Theatre has been structurally upgraded to meet current seismic codes • The entire building is wireless •

created from old photographs and drawings and a few surviving objects. The distinctive granite façade of the adjoining building has been restored. Most recently known as the Arcade, the building had housed a number of theaters over the years, including the Bijou (which opened for its first performance on December 11, 1882, Iolanthe, by Gilbert and Sullivan), whose main attraction was the 644 incandescent lamps inside, making the Bijou the first playhouse in America lighted exclusively with electricity. The B.F. Keith Theatre was also situated on the site. Both theaters were demolished in the 1950s. The surviving remnants of the Arcade Building have been taken down and replaced by a 146,000-square-foot performance development center and a residence hall. Artifacts from the old theaters have been preserved and are displayed in the building. Lively wall graphics depicting vaudeville actors and scenes from Boston’s old Theatre District adorn several areas. An innovative LED lighting display has been installed in nine of the building’s windows. The system can be programmed to display vivid large-scale images to viewers outside. Facilities in the performance development center include a flexible “black box” theater, the Bright Family Screening Room, a sound stage, a scene/ prop production shop, 9 rehearsal studi0s, 6 practice rooms, 4 classrooms, 20 faculty offices, and a student gathering area. A commercial restaurant will be located on the street level.

Paramount Center

Paramount Theatre (590-seat capacity: 326 at orchestra level and 264 at balcony level); orchestra pit accommodates 41 musicians • Black Box Theatre (audience capacity of 150) • Bright Family Screening Room (capacity of 170) • Projection booth that accommodates digital, 16mm, and 35mm formats • Full scene/prop production shop • 9 rehearsal studios with mirrors, ballet barres, masking drapes, floating sprung maple floors, and acoustic wall baffles • Small, medium, and large studios with square footage ranging from 1,600 square feet (41' x 38') to 520 square feet (23' x 23') • 6 practice rooms • Soundstage with noise criteria (NC) rating of 15 • 4 classrooms • 20 faculty offices with 2 conference rooms • Student café •

Residence Hall

4 levels of student housing (15,000 square feet per floor/60,000 total square feet) • 262 student beds • 6 ADA rooms on each floor • 1 common room per floor •

continued on page 21

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PARAMOUNT CENTER TIMELINE 1836 Lion Theatre opens on the site of what was recently known as the Adams House Annex


Melodeon Hall succeeds Lion Theatre

continued from page 18 The Paramount Center project represents the latest in a series of town-gown partnerships between Emerson and the city of Boston and marks the completion of the College’s downtown campus. The Paramount Center was designed by Elkus/Manfredi Architects of Boston and built by Bond Brothers. Construction began in the spring of 2007 and was completed in December 2009. In addition, Acentech, a nationally

the site of present Paramount Theatre


Adams House Annex built around Melodeon Hall

Staffer’s personal theater-history collection figures largely in Paramount decor

1846 Adams House Hotel built on 1859 1878 1882

A theater-history buff who has amassed thousands of photos and ephemera related to the history of theater in 19th-century Boston helped inspire several art installations in the new Paramount Center.

Gaiety Theatre opens in the former Melodeon Hall Bijou Theatre opens in the remodeled Gaiety space. First theater in the United States to use electric lighting on its stage

Not only is Hank Zappala an inveterate collector, but he’s also a graduate of Emerson College with two degrees—’79, MA ’80—and a longtime staffer who is now executive director of Emerson’s Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs.

1894 B.F. Keith’s New Theatre opens—the “mother house of vaudeville”—on the site behind the Bijou

1932 1951

recognized acoustics, audiovisual design, and vibration consulting firm, worked on the project. “The Paramount Center will help Emerson College advance its mission to strengthen and expand its unique and highly specialized curricula in communication and the arts,” said President Jacqueline Liebergott.

Paramount Theatre, a 1,500–seat Art Deco movie palace, opens Bijou and B.F. Keith’s are demolished

1976 Paramount Theatre closes 1984 Paramount Theatre is designated a Boston Landmark

2005 Emerson College acquires the Paramount Theatre, Adams House Annex, and the lot behind the Annex

2007 Paramount Center groundbreaking

2010 Paramount Center opens 20 Expression Summer 2010

Top left: Bright Family Screening Room. Above: the Black Box Theatre. Below left: the lobby of the Paramount Theatre.

Three major permanent art installations on the second, third, and fourth floors of the Center feature items and images either drawn from or inspired by Zappala’s collection. Long before New York City was thought of as the center of the theater world, Boston reigned, he explained. Zappala’s hope in offering his collection is that “students will be inspired to study further in this area of theater history.”

One of the most significant figures in 19th-century Boston theater was actor William Warren, said Zappala. Warren, who was known for his comic roles, appeared at the Boston Museum beginning in 1847, where he remained until he retired from his profession. Warren’s best-known roles included Dr. Pangloss in The Heir at Law, Sir Peter Teazle in The School for Scandal, and Dr. Primrose and Touchstone in As You Like It. Iwasaki Library Director Robert Fleming, Emerson Archivist Christina Zamon, and consultant Robert Silverman were instrumental in creating the art installations based on Zappala’s collection. ­—R.B.

As a student himself, Zappala recalled taking classes taught by longtime Emerson faculty member Leo Nickole, who often expounded on Boston theater history. Zappala’s interest was quickly sparked and he began to collect playbills and broadsheets that featured Boston performers and productions. In those preEbay days, Zappala expanded his trove by traveling to antiquarian book fairs and ephemera shows.

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ARTSEMERSON 2010–2011 SEASON Fräulein Maria

Conceived by Doug Elkins and Friends Music by Richard Rogers Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Co-Directed by Barbara Karger and Michael Preston Choreography by Doug Elkins in collaboration with the cast An uppity nunnery is invaded by break-dancing hoodlums who deconstruct The Sound of Music to the original Julie Andrews soundtrack. Both an homage and a wink, celebrating the contemporary classic. September 2010 (Paramount Theatre)

Merchant of Venice by Theatre for a New Audience, Royal Shakespeare Company

The Laramie Project/ Ten Years Later

Produced by Tectonic Theater Project Written by Moises Kaufman Performed in repertory with The Laramie Project ‘s original cast With the help of the Tectonic Theater Project, “The Epilogue” (re)visits how a normal American town has been affected by a brutal murder. Has the town changed due to its infamy? September 2010 (Cutler Majestic Theatre)

The Method Gun

Written by Kirk Lynn Produced by the Rude Mechanicals Directed by Shawn Sides A play about the ecstasy and excesses of performing, the dangers of public intimacy, and the incompatibility of truth on stage, and sanity in real life. October 2010 (Black Box Theatre)

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One Small Step

Oxford Playhouse Written by David Hastings Directed by Toby Hulse The fast-paced family show revolves around the postSecond World War race to put a man on the moon after the launch of Sputnik I in 1957. October 2010 (Black Box Theatre)


New York Theatre Workshop Written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen Directed by Jessica Blank A cross-section of lives interrupted, chronicling first-hand experiences of Iraqi civilians caught in the crossfire of war. Aftermath is a jarring, but illuminating exploration of chaos and violence—survival and humanity. October 2010 (Paramount Theatre)


Conceived and directed by Basil Twist Composed by Igor Stravinsky Designed by Alexandre Benois Choreography by Michel Fokine Produced in association with the Celebrity Series of Boston Set to Stravinsky’s classic score, a tragic love triangle between three magical creatures with nine hidden puppeteers blends Czech and Japanese puppetry traditions. An abstract fantasia of light, sound, and puppetry. November 2010 (Paramount Theatre)

PSY by Les 7 Doigts de la Main


The 7 Fingers (Les 7 Doigts de la Main)

PSY pitches acrobatics against a landscape of distorted visions, fading dreams, and fractured memories. A broad range of characters conquer their neuroses through the liberating power of circus skills—trapeze, juggling, Chinese poles, German wheels, and aerial ropes become metaphors for overcoming psychological restrictions. PSY celebrates the power of the individual to overcome his or her ailments. January 2011 (Cutler Majestic Theatre)

Paris Commune

The Civilians Written by Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman Directed by Steven Cosson Based on the 1871 riots in Paris, this music/theater piece lets the workers of Paris speak for themselves as they face a jarring and passionate future. January 2011 (Paramount Theatre)

The Irish Festival The Cripple of Inishmaan

The Druid Theatre Company Written by Martin McDonagh Directed by Garry Hynes

The Cripple of Inishmaan is a contemporary comedy linking its imaginary story to the real-life filming of the documentary Man of Aran. January 2011 (Paramount Theatre)

The Irish Festival The Color of Rose

World Premiere Written by Kathrine Bates from a concept created by Chuck Fries A joint project of the Office of the Arts and Performing Arts/Emerson College Directed by Melia Bensussen (Emerson College) One hundred and four years from cradle to grave, Rose Kennedy experienced rapturous heights to depths of despair, episodes indelibly branded onto the American psyche. In The Color of Rose, three actresses play Rose at various stages of her life, suggesting the wide-eyed optimism of youth, the harsh and bitter reality of her middle years, and, finally, a coming to terms with all that went on before. January 2011 (Black Box Theatre)

The Irish Festival Terminus

Abbey Theatre World Premiere Written and directed by Mark O’Rowe Demons perceived as angels, industrial cranes masked as stairways to heaven; Terminus is a story of rhyme and rhythm from the soul of three strangers. February 2011 (Paramount Theatre)

continued from page 17 The result of all the work? A new producing arm that will put the College on the live-performance map like never before. The opening season of ArtsEmerson features, for example, the premiere of the first fully staged production of The Laramie Project/Ten Years Later, which will be performed in repertory with the original cast of The Laramie Project; a major Irish festival featuring productions by the esteemed Abbey Theatre (the national theater of Ireland) and the Druid Theatre (of Galway); and actor F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus, Scarface) playing the lead in

The Sun Also Rises

By Ernest Hemingway Adapted for the stage by Elevator Repair Service Directed by John Collins Hemingway’s novel is given theatrical dimension by Elevator Repair Service (ERS). March 2011 (Paramount Theatre)

A Celebration of Director Peter Brook Fragments

By Samuel Beckett Directed by Peter Brook Co-Directed by Marie-Hélène Estienne Peter Brook has taken fragments of works by Samuel Beckett and created an evening-length piece highlighting Beckett’s mystery and humor. March 2011 (Paramount Theatre)

A Celebration of Director Peter Brook The Grand Inquisitor

By Fyodor Dostoevsky from The Brothers Karamazov Adapted by Marie-Hélène Estienne Directed by Peter Brook

Merchant of Venice, a production by Theatre for a New Audience in association with the United Kingdom’s Royal Shakespeare Company. ArtsEmerson programming will be presented in four Emerson venues: the new Paramount Theatre (590 seats), the Black Box Theatre (150), the Bright Family Screening Room (170), and the existing Cutler Majestic Theatre (1,178). “We’re going to unite them with an overarching artistic vision,” said Orchard. All of the programming has been selected with three principles in mind: academic benefit to students and faculty; securing Emerson’s reputation as a presenter of world-class works; and an international dimension.

featuring Bruce Myers. March 2011 (Black Box Theatre)

Merchant of Venice

Theatre for a New Audience in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company Directed by Darko Tresnjak A modern-day adaptation of a Shakespeare classic where cell phones and wallets replace messengers and moneybags, Merchant of Venice explores the shadowy recesses of Shylock’s corrupted psyche with F. Murray Abraham in the lead. March/April 2011 (Cutler Majestic Theatre)


CompagniaTPO In coproduction with Teatro Metastasio Stabile della Toscana Digital Design by Elsa Mersi Sound Design by Spartaco Cortesi Multimedia by Rossano Monti, Martin von Gunten

Elaborating on the curricular goals of ArtsEmerson, Orchard explained that students and faculty will work with visiting troupes on various aspects of their productions. “The programming will come from multiyear relationships with artists and institutions that we admire. We will help to develop work, while at the same time present existing pieces. In other words, we’re using rehearsal and shop spaces; we’re using the resident creative talent of the faculty and the students; and the other physical, intellectual, and

a paintbrush were painting on the air. This delightful dance sometimes lasts but a day. It all happens between dawn and sunset. In Butterflies the audience is immersed in many folds of this life, “told” by two dancers moving inside a sensitive environment made of music and digital images. May 2011 (Black Box Theatre)


David Leddy

The Laramie Project by Tectonic Theater Project

A stroll through Boston’s Public Garden while you experience Susurrus on an MP3 player and headphones. A play without actors, without a stage, and only one person in the audience. You. May 2011 Schedule is subject to change. Details at

This show is dedicated to all children, painters, and dancers. Watch a butterfly move. The fluttering of its wings looks as if

Christ returns to the world of man in human form, and the Grand Inquisitor has him imprisoned—from Dostoevsky

23 Expression Summer 2010

artistic resources that the community has. As a college of the arts, it’s an ideal community in which to develop work because we have the facilities and the talent.” Orchard, who also holds the Stephen G. Langley Chair in Theater Management and Production in Emerson’s Department of Performing Arts, has spent time meeting department heads around Emerson to ensure that the Office of the Arts engages and impacts people across campus. “It doesn’t live within any of the existing schools, and it’s also given some sense of the possible to faculty and department heads who’ve been here for years and years. We are dreaming together.” Helping to assure Emerson’s place in the arts-presenting world is the

“incredible gift of these four theaters” Emerson has made to the community, said Orchard. “The work we bring here is largely going to be work that, were it not for the existence of these four theaters, would likely not be seen here.” All of the ArtsEmerson programming will fall into one of three “streams”: The Pioneers, which entails partnering with smaller ensemble companies “that have found their own artistic niche,” said Orchard. “Multimedia is an important ingredient in their work, as is music. Many of

“Major theaters that have iconic status in the world of theater, like the Abbey Theatre of Ireland, the Moscow Art Theatre of Russia, the Druid Theatre from Ireland, Peter Brook’s Theatre in Paris. Don’t head to the airport; we’re bringing them here.” And the third stream is Theater for Young People and Families, “which ties into Emerson’s history in children’s theater” dating back to 1919, when Emerson established the nation’s first collegiate-level program in children’s theater. Although not a live performance space, the Bright Family Screening Room in the new Paramount Center will be programmed with weekend public screenings by ArtsEmerson, while it will be devoted to curricular work (faculty and student screenings, for example) the rest of the week. In keeping with the desire to present

Aftermath by New York Theatre Workshop

these companies are interested in contemporary culture and social issues. If you want to see what the next generation of theater artists is thinking and doing, come see these groups. The students will be a part of their process.” The second stream is The Legends:


Bang On a Can Festival and MIT Theater

EMERSON STAGE 2010–2011 SEASON Light Up the Sky

Bud, Not Buddy

XDance 2011

By Moss Hart Directed by Melia Bensussen October 21–24, 2010 (Paramount Theatre)

Adapted by Reginald André Jackson From the book by Christopher Paul Curtis Directed by Bob Colby November 11–21, 2010 (Semel Theater)

Artistic Director: Marlena Yannetti February 10–13, 2011 (Greene Theater)

The Actor By Horton Foote and

The Actor’s Nightmare By Christopher Durang Directed by Maureen Shea November 4–7, 2010 (Greene Theater)

Nine By Arthur Kopit/Maury Yestin Directed by Bill Fennelly, Guest Director December 9–12, 2010 (Greene Theater)

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NewFest and NewFest Readings Directed by Joe Antoun March 24–27, 2011 (Semel Theater)

The Golden Age

Man of La Mancha

By Louis Nowra Directed by Benny Sato Ambush February 24–27, 2011 (Black Box Theatre)

By Dale Wasserman/J. Darion/M. Leigh Directed by Stephen Terrell Guest Artist: Jeff McCarthy April 14–17, 2011 (Paramount Theatre) Schedule is subject to change.


Details on ArtsEmerson membership, ticket purchases, and other details can be found at

The Laramie Project by Tectonic Theater Project


Paris Commune by The Civilians

works largely unavailable in Boston, Orchard plans to screen films “that enhance the opportunities for filmgoers in the community. We may do classic films, and wonderful independent films that haven’t been able to find distributors. And films that align with the work we do onstage.” The College’s new performance spaces are “magnificent,” declares Orchard, “and the work we bring here will, hopefully, equal the magnificence of the physical environment that we’re working in. I want our work to echo around the city, the country, and the world. There’s no reason why it can’t.” E

Multicultural opera, a tryout before premiering at Brooklyn Academy of Music Opera House. productions/a_house_in_bali October 9–10, 2010

Mark Morris Dance Group operas_1011season.php October 23–26, 2010

Pilobolus Dance Theatre Celebrity Series of Boston performers_2010_2011/ pilobolus.htm December 3–5, 2010


Celebrity Series of Boston

Opera Boston

Includes world premiere commission. performers_2010_2011/ markmorris.htm October 14–17, 2010

Paul Hindemith’s opera features Sanford Sylvan. operas_1011season.php February 25–March 1, 2011


American Repertory Theater In collaboration with Chicago

Opera Boston Features Christine Goerke as Leonora in Beethoven’s beloved opera.

Death and the Powers

Non-Emerson events

Opera Theater; in association with Opera Boston The American premiere of the opera by Tod Machover, and directed by Diane Paulus. events/show/death-andpowers March 18–26, 2011

Complexions Contemporary Ballet Celebrity Series of Boston performers_2010_2011/ complexions.htm May 20–22, 2011

Niobe, Regina di Tebe Boston Early Music Festival

Maria Padilla Opera Boston Donizetti’s opera features Barbara Quintiliani. operas_1011season.php May 6–10, 2011

Farfalle Compagnia TPO Celebrity Series of Boston opera.htm June 11–19, 2011 Also returning are WGBH’s A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan, Teatro Lirico D’Europa, and the New England Conservatory Opera program. Schedule is subject to change. performers_2010_2011/ compagnia.htm May 10–15, 2011

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Emerson People


language therapist

Lois Kam Heymann ’71 writes By Rhea Becker

the book on a little-known auditory disorder

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or years, speech-language therapist Lois Kam Heymann ’71 managed a thriving practice in Nyack, New York, with a specialty in working with deaf or hard of hearing children who use cochlear implants and children with auditory processing disorder. Then one day, she received a phone call from a desperate mom who had been fruitlessly searching for a solution to her son’s serious communication difficulties. The mom was entertainer Rosie O’Donnell, whose bright second-grader, Blake, had a very limited vocabulary and great difficulty finding words to express himself. “We first test to see if the child has normal hearing and any reduced cognitive ability,” said Heymann, who quickly discovered that Blake was an intelligent child who could hear perfectly well, but had trouble distinguishing between the sounds of speech. To him, “dead” and “bed” sounded the same. Heymann soon diagnosed Blake with auditory processing disorder (APD) and worked intensively with him

New York Times/Nicole Bengiveno

Kids Who Can’t Believe Their Own Ears

Lois Kam Heymann ’71 (left) works with entertainer Rosie O’Donnell and her son, Blake, who has auditory processing disorder.

twice a week for two and a half years. “There is no cure and there is no pill,” she said. Blake’s mom was thrilled with the results: “In less than a year, Lois completely transformed our lives,” said O’Donnell in a recent ABC-TV interview. “She saved his life.” O’Donnell was so enthusiastic that she urged Heymann to write a book about APD. “It’s unfair that more children don’t get Lois’s services,” said O’Donnell. Heymann quickly agreed, and the result is The Sound of Hope: Recognizing, Coping with, and Treating Your Child’s Auditory Processing Disorder (Ballantine)—with a foreword by O’Donnell—which was released in April. The Sound of Hope has already been lauded in the major media (New York Times and ABC’s Good Morning America) as the first practical parenting book on APD. Since the book’s publication, Heymann’s inbox has been overflowing with requests to lecture and conduct evaluations and consultations. She is establishing a center in New York City to train other speech-language professionals to work with auditory processing disorder. The Sound of Hope includes easy-to-identify milestones to help parents pinpoint challenges that may arise during each stage of their child’s development from birth to age 8; tools and checklists to assist parents in

recognizing APD early; specific suggestions on how to improve a child’s listening skills outside the home—at school, during after-school activities, even when at a restaurant; and an analysis of traditional classroom settings and effective ways parents can advocate for better sound quality environments. An elusive diagnosis APD is often characterized by a confusing ability to hear well but not listen well; a limited vocabulary; and frustration in communication, said Heymann. Children with APD find that the auditory messages they receive are distorted or delayed when they travel from the ear to the brain. “That can affect a lot of language learning and speech learning,” said Heymann. This chronically underdiagnosed problem affects an estimated 1.5 million children in the United States. For children with undiagnosed APD, words are jumbled and distorted, they have a hard time following directions, and become frustrated in trying to make themselves understood, which can lead to unruly behavior, poor school performance, social isolation, and low self-esteem, Heymann adds. APD is also sometimes mistaken for attention

deficit disorder or pervasive developmental delay. Heymann recalls her undergraduate days at Emerson College as “a magical experience. It was a defining moment in my life.” She worked closely with Emerson faculty member David Luterman, and, decades later, continues to do so. “He taught me the power of parents. If you work with the parent, and the parent becomes a strong advocate, you don’t have to worry about the child. I put that philosophy into everything I do. I’m so grateful to Emerson.” Heymann is a professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at the State University of New York (SUNY), New Paltz. She supervises a university-based clinic for individuals with listening and hearing challenges and serves as a consultant to hospitals and schools, including the New York Eye and Ear Hospital Children’s Hearing Institute. She holds an advanced degree in speech-language pathology from City College University in New York City. E

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Notable Expressions THEATER Shannon Cameron ’01 is one of two theater students in the nation to be selected as a recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Directing Fellowship. Her

Scenes from Next Fall, a Tony-nominated Broadway show directed by Sheryl Kaller ’82

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current projects include The Nebraska Immigration Theatre Project. Directed, written, and performed by Cameron, the project examines the human aspect of Nebraska’s immigration debate. Her other directing projects include The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. . . An Epilogue, Speech & Debate

by Stephen Karam and Epic Proportions by Larry Coen and David Crane. She also assistant-directed a workshop of the new musical: Bernice Bobs Her Hair as well as directed several short films. Sheryl Kaller ’82 was nominated for a Tony Award in the category of best director for the Broadway production of Next Fall, which was also nominated for best play. Sixteen years ago, Kaller made the choice to leave theater for motherhood. In 2005, she began to work her way back into the Broadway scene. In other Tony news, Betsy Morgan ’03 is a cast member in the Broadway musical A Little Night Music, which was nominated for best musical revival.

Veronica Belmont ’04, tech guru and co-host of Tekzilla Cathy Erway ’04 is the author of a new book which is based on her popular blog, “Not Eating Out in New York”

Miguel Cervantes ’99 is appearing in Tony Award-nominated musical American Idiot on Broadway. The play follows the journey of a generation of young Americans as they struggle to find meaning in a post9/11 world. Set to the music of Green Day, the show features the popular indie rock band’s lyrics. Gail Phaneuf, MA ’06, a Boston-based playwright, director, actor, and composer, recently directed Harold Pinter’s Betrayal for Another Country Productions at the Calderwood Pavilion in Boston. Phaneuf also teaches scriptwriting and produces the New Plays festival at Curry College.

NEW MEDIA Veronica Belmont ’04 has made a name for herself as an Internet talk show sensation and tech guru. She spoke to a Social Media and Marketing class at Emerson via Skype during the spring semester. Belmont co-hosts with Patrick Norton the show Tekzilla on Revision3. She also hosts the monthly PlayStation 3-based ondemand program Qore. Belmont began her career as an intern producing audio content for CNET Networks. After six months, she was hired full-time to produce their First Look from the

Labs series, and later began producing Buzz Out Loud, a daily podcast of tech news. She has also produced and co-hosted two other CNET podcasts, MP3 Insider and CRAVE Gadget Blog, which were both co-hosted by the late James Kim. She went on to host the Mahalo Daily podcast, before moving on to Tekzilla and Qore.

WORDS Cathy Erway ’04, author of the popular blog, “Not Eating Out in New York,” has just published a book, The Art of Eating In: How I Learned To Stop Spending

& Love The Stove (Gotham/ Penguin USA). An avid amateur cook, Erway decided to purge restaurant and take-out food from her diet for two years, and document her experiences on a blog. In a city where dining out is a sport, says her publicist, “Erway rediscovers the economical, gastronomical joy of home cooking. Erway gained a new appreciation for the simple pleasure of sharing a meal with friends at home, the subtleties of home-cooked flavors, and whether her ingredients were ethically grown.”

BUSINESS Trinette Faint ’97, MA ’08, is an author, model, photographer, and entrepreneur who has launched a company where “women of all backgrounds, skin tones, and hair types find the beauty products they are seeking.” In October 2009, Faint won the Harper’s Bazaar/ Estee Lauder competition “Fabulous at every age,” and her company—LoveHue. com—was born. Her career includes working as a personal assistant to Matt Damon and other celebrities, and a stint at Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment.

Trinette Faint ’97, MA ’08, has launched

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Alumni Digest


A letter from the president of the Alumni Association Dear Fellow Emersonians, The Alumni Association Board embarked on a new initiative this past year to engage in a working dialogue with two other volunteer boards on campus that support the ongoing mission of the College—the Board of Overseers and the Parents Leadership Council (PLC). These meetings were extremely effective and

30 Expression Summer 2010

have opened the door for a continued conversation that will no doubt support our shared goals and initiatives going forward. As a key tactic of our Alumni Board strategic plan, these transparent conversations took place over the course of the past year to determine the intersection of ideas, programs, and initiatives in which we could, together, support the mission of the College. What we found in our open dialogue is that we all have much in common. We all care about engaging in a lifelong connection to the College; we all embrace mentorship as a core value of supporting our students’ growth and transition into the work world; and we all engage in supporting scholarship initiatives for students in financial need. These common initiatives have opened the door for further exploration of our work together for the College. During our Board of Overseers joint meeting, the Alumni Board embraced the Emerson Mentor Network, which was established as a way for industry professionals to work with students and connect them to their industries. Students

apply to Career Services for an alumnus to serve as a mentor. Alumni and professional mentors meet regularly with students and formally introduce them to people and organizational resources in their fields of study. The relationship extends throughout the students’ stay at Emerson and, in fact, many times transitions well into their careers after graduation. During our Parents Leadership Council joint meeting, the Alumni Board engaged in a conversation that focused on the effective transition of students to alumni. Ideas included developing an expanded regional PLC network, much like our Alumni regional chapters, to integrate both parents and alumni into regional activities. Another idea was the development of a GOLD (Graduate of the Last Decade) Mentor Network that would support peer-to-peer relationships within the ever-important “first 10 years” after graduation. A third idea was to establish a number of programs on campus that can integrate students with alumni and parents, such as Speed Networking sessions, to get students in the practice of actively preparing for their transition to the workplace.

These were extraordinary conversations. Overall, we felt a renewed sense of excitement from every alumnus, parent, student, and staff member who participated in these discussions. They are the beginning of extended conversations that will result in an enhanced impact on many important student and alumni initiatives that I am sure will have a longlasting, positive impact on the College. I urge each and every alumnus who has an interest in engaging or assisting in any of these efforts to please contact the Alumni Relations office (617-824-8535) or drop me a note so that we can continue to expand our work in the field. As always, your comments and notes are welcome. Check out the new social media directory at social-media-directory on ways to find Emerson all over the web. I look forward to seeing each of you at an upcoming alumni event. With warm regards, Robert Friend ’79 President, Emerson College Alumni Association

Emersonians in front of a mural called “Ways of Performing” at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

Mark Blank P’11 and Frank Ploener ’65  

Southern Florida alumni, parents, and accepted early action students attended brunch earlier in 2010 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida. Attendees heard a presentation on “Creating and Expanding Audiences during Challenging Economic Times” by two alumni who work in the Center’s marketing department: Bill Miller ’74, senior director, and Scott Shiller ’97, executive vice president,

along with Andrew Goldberg, vice president. The group then took a guided tour of the performance center. Jane Guterman ’73 was acknowledged for her many years as president of the Southern Florida chapter and Cindy Lieber ’87 was introduced as the new chapter president. The event was a collaborative effort between Mark Blank P’11, executive member of the Parents Leadership Council, and the Alumni Association.

From left are Bill Miller ’74, Andrew Friedman ’97, and Jane Guterman ’73

Linda Corradina named co-president of NY chapter In the last issue of Expression, an incorrect biography of Linda Corradina ’81 was published. Expression regrets the error. The following is a correct version. Linda Corradina ’81, new co-president of the New York alumni chapter along with Andre Archimbaud ’94, has enjoyed an illustrious career in media production. She was senior vice president/ executive producer for Martha Stewart Living

Omnimedia (MSLO), responsible for supervising all new programming development as well as overseeing the creative content and all production needs of MSLO Television. Before that post, Corradina helped found Oxygen Media, where she was an executive producer responsible for the development and production of nonfiction programming targeting young women and teen girls. She was also senior vice president, programming

and production, for VH1 at Viacom, and senior vice president for MTV News & Specials. Corradina won two Emmys and two Peabody Awards. These days Corradina can be found renovating her loft, raising three daughters, and studying Italian. She wants everyone to know that the New York chapter is open to any and all ideas that will bring area alumni together. So please come out and support the events and share your ideas for future events. 31 Expression Summer 2010

Eric K. Torvi ’98 of Quincy, Massachusetts, died, April 9, 2010, at home. He was 34. At age 21 and as a junior at Emerson, Torvi was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, which he survived for 13 years. A lifelong resident of Quincy, Torvi earned a bachelor of fine arts in Film Production from Emerson in 1998. At Emerson, he produced a film thesis project that was featured in the Boston Film Festival and won an EVVY Award for Best Film Editing. He was married in 2001 to Jana (Roe) Torvi, also Class of 1998, whom he met at Emerson. As a youth, Torvi appeared in many commercials, movies, and stage plays, and performed with Diane Purdy’s (’55) Children’s Theatre Workshop. He was employed for eight years in media production and client service for Video Transfer in Boston.



Save trees and money by making sure we have your current email address so that we can let you know about upcoming events in your area. If you are not receiving emails from us (like our monthly e-newsletter), please send your name, class year, and email Heather Marie Vitale ’08 (left) and Colleen Bradley-MacArthur ’01 at Fire + Ice in Boston during a recent alumni

address to

gathering that was part of the Boston Alumni Chapter’s Second Thursday Series. The Colorado alumni chapter gathered at Lodo’s in downtown Denver to cheer on their two shared

Boston Greater Boston alumni recently enjoyed a tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston as part of the Boston Alumni Chapter’s Second Thursday Series. The one-hour private tour of the brewery included an in-depth presentation on the history of beer and the brewing process, and Boston’s history of microbreweries. The tour ended in the tasting room, where alumni sampled beers.

hometowns on a big-screen TV when the Boston Celtics played the Denver Nuggets.

New York

© 2010 Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved. Photo by: John Barrett

Eric Torvi ’98 Remembered

Help Emerson Go Green!

Boston More than 60 students and Alumni Association board members recently participated in a speeddating-style networking session at Emerson’s new Black Box Theatre at the Paramount Center. The Alumni Board of Directors was in town for their spring meeting.

Emerson television production students met with Will DePippo ’99 (left of Grover) and Marj Kleinman ’92 (right of Elmo) for a site visit to Sesame Workshop as part of the 2010 New York Connection in March. During the visit,

the students had the opportunity to observe a photo shoot with Sesame photographer John Barrett and Associate Design Director of Special Projects Louis Henry Mitchell (top row, center).

Stay connected with over 26,000 alumni. 32 Expression Summer 2010

Film Festival in Los Angeles Nine works by current Emerson students and recent graduates were screened at the Writers Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills in March as part of the College’s tenth annual Film Festival.

Veronica Baker ’10 shares a proud moment with her dad, honoree Rick Baker P’10, the Oscar-winning special makeup effects artist for films such as The Nutty Professor.

Emerson Traveling Film Festival Josh Gershman ’02 hosted San Franciscoarea alumni, parents, and current and recently accepted students in March at the first Emerson Traveling Film Festival at Dolby Laboratories. Guests viewed a showcase of student films.

34 Expression Summer 2010

More than 250 people attended the festival, including Emerson trustees, parents, alumni, early action accepted students, industry guests, and current Emerson students. This year, the event

honored Rick Baker P’10, the Academy Award-winning special makeup effects artist for films such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Nutty Professor. The achievements of four students were also recognized. The Take Action Hollywood! Award, which was co-founded by Access Hollywood and Today Show correspondent Maria Menounos ’00, was presented to Rene Dongo ’11 for his film Mr. President and to Kady Buchanan ’09 and Jason Blanchard ’09 for their film Central Square. The Take Action Hollywood! Award is given to students whose films most powerfully explore a current social issue (cultural, political, or personal) and helps to finance the completion of their projects and/or submission to film festivals. The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf ’71 Women in Film Production Award for Emerson’s 2010 Outstanding

Female Filmmaker was presented to Jenna Lyng ’10 for her films You Are What You Draw and As They Fade. Other films screened at the festival include: Pat by Nathaniel Hansen, MFA ’11, Birthmarks by Phil Hamilton ’11, Why Our Parents Fight and Warren Budd and His Propeller Plane by Jackson Adams ’10, To Camp Like Our Parents by Corbett Jones ’11, and Pockets by Jessica Schoen ’11. Members of the alumni screening committee that chose the final student films were: Holly Bario ’89, co-president of production at DreamWorks; Harlan Gulko ’95, vice president of national publicity at Focus Features; Shane Hurlbut ’86, director of photography at Hurlbut Visuals; and Aaron Ryder ’94, producer and president of production at Filmnation Entertainment.

Mark Stewart ’77, president of the L.A. Alumni Chapter, with his daughter, Colleen Marie Stewart

From left (top row) are: Kady Buchanan ’09; Jim Lane, executive director of the Los Angeles Program; Holly Bario ’89; Rick Baker P’10; Grafton Nunes; Jenna Lyng ’10; Jessica Schoen ’11; (bottom row) Corbett Jones ’11; Jason Blanchard ’09; Rene Dongo ’11; Nathaniel Hansen, MFA ’11; Jackson Adams ’10; and Phil Hamilton ’11.

Skip Daum ’67 chats with Judyann Johnson Elder ’67

Kevin Bright ’76 and President Jacqueline Liebergott at the festival.

Film Festival attendees in Los Angeles. Among them was (middle photo, third from right) Kevin Undergaro, assistant

to TV host Maria Menounos ’00. The Take Action Hollywood! Award was cofounded by Menounos and presented this year to Rene Dongo ’11 for his film

Paul Morra ’95, Barbara Rutberg ’68, Chrystee Pharris ’98, and Jen Troy ’07

From left are Josh Gershman ’02, Dean of the School of the Arts Grafton Nunes, Dan Rosenberg ’10, Caitlin Green ’10, Kristen Murata ’10 (front, second from right), Jacob Barela ’10, and Barbara Rutberg, director of Alumni Relations.

Mr. President and to Kady Buchanan ’09 and Jason Blanchard ’09 for Central Square.

35 Expression Summer 2010

Class Notes 1954 Paul N. Marsteller is a one-time teacher and now retired minister: “I am humbly grateful when told by members of the congregation that they can hear and understand me; much credit goes to the Principles of Oral Expression course at Emerson College, taught by Frances Crowley and June Mitchell. 55th Reunion

1955 1957 Edward S. Blotner has enjoyed a distinguished, awardwinning career in journalism. Co-author of Facing the World Without Love, a book about foster care, he lives with wife Diana in Maryland, where he is a writer and editor at Voice of America.

50th Reunion

1960 1962 James Reid writes, “1963… Worked briefly for Allstate Insurance in sales...then joined an advertising agency in Augusta, Maine. Eventually started my own agency in Portland...divorced and re-married in 1976...3 children...moved to Las Vegas in 1991...worked at Bally’s and downtown at Binion’s in drive-thru wedding chapel and lived in Vegas for 13 years…moved to St. George, Utah, in 2005. Now fully retired.”

1964 Carole (Forstadt) Hagstrom says her granddaughter, Hadley Nelson, has been accepted at Emerson and is a member of the September 2010 class. “I had no idea how much this would thrill me. I can only hope her memories of Emerson and Boston will be as wonderful as mine!” 45th Reunion

1965 40th Reunion Noma Bennett Anderson, MSSp ’73, has been named dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Noma is the first African American to be named as a dean in the 99-year history of the Center. Noma earned a master’s degree in speech pathology from Emerson.

36 Expression Summer 2010

Howard Atlee ’50 (“Skip” Heinlen at Emerson) displays a bronze of a 1960s show dog, dachshund Chi Celloyd Virginia Woolf, which he and his wife, Barbara, have donated to the American Kennel Club’s Museum of The Dog in St. Louis. Howard has been an AKC Dog Show judge for 30 years.

1970 1970 & 1972 Camille Poisson ’70, MA ’72, is a writer/filmmaker celebrating the release of her feature film, The Inner Circle,

1978 Thomas Doran has been living in North Texas for the last 16 years with his wife and two daughters. He is senior project manager for a financial services firm. He has a passion for photography and has posted images at 30th Reunion

1980 1982

a compelling coming-ofage drama set in the 1960s, which is being distributed through Rivercoast. In 2009, the film was accepted in the La Femme Film Festival in Los Angeles and also at the Eugene International Film Festival, where it received the Best Overall Production Excellence award. Partnering with her sister, she wrote and directed the film through their company, Lightwork Films.

1972 Christine Brodien-Jones is celebrating the release of her second book, The Owl Keeper, a children’s fantasy, published by Delacorte Press (Random House). At the heart of the novel is Max Unger, a timid boy living in a postapocalyptic world. Christine is writing a second children’s book for Delacorte, a sciencefiction/fantasy set in the Moroccan desert. She writes: “Now that our two sons are

grown, my husband, Peter, and I divide our time between a small house by the sea in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and an old country house in Deer Isle, Maine.” 35th Reunion

1975 Russ Charpentier has been a sportswriter at the Cape Cod Times in Hyannis for 25 years and has won numerous awards over the years. “My latest was first place in sports feature/enterprise writing, presented by the New England Associated Press News Executive Association. It is the second straight year I have won a first in the contest. Last year was for sports column writing.” Russ lives in Marstons Mills with wife Melanie and two daughters, Emma, a freshman at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and Natalie, a freshman at Sturgis Public Charter High School in Hyannis.

Producer Jonathan Burkhart ’81 (left), director Joe Chapura ’81, and Beehive executive producer Jon Vesey ’82 reunited last winter while working on a large promotional film for Disney Resorts in Orlando. “We produced and edited a 20-minute film that introduces hotel guests to all the Disney attractions and theme parks,” said Jon Vesey. “Daine Pearson ’81 supplied us with a new digital camera. We were all at Emerson in the late seventies and early eighties working at EIV. Thirty years later, they are still my first-call crew.”

Annie (Bartolotti) Accettullo is marketing manager for Central Coating Company in West Boylston, Massachusetts. In addition, Annie is celebrating 16 years of marriage to Paul Accettullo and enjoying her children, Maria Lynch, who is a junior at Curry College, and Paul, who is in middle school at Innovation Academy. Sheryl Kaller directed Next Fall, which opened on Broadway on March 11, 2010. The show has received two Tony Award nominations. 25th Reunion

1985 Camilla (Sharpe) Ross is playing the lead role in an original production called Chestina Vanessa Poulson, the story of a post-Holocaust

family resettling in a remote corner of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland. Andrea Adresakis (appeared in the film and television series) directed the Emerson Theater Collaborative’s production of Chestina at the Latham Chester Store in Noank, Connecticut. She says that Emerson Theater Collaborative would love to have more Emerson alumni on board.

John Hanc ’77 has written The Coolest Race on Earth: Mud, Madmen, Glaciers and Grannies at the Antarctica Marathon, a book that recounts his experience running the 2005 Antarctica Marathon. The book won Honorable Mention in the Memoir/ Autobiography category of the 2010 American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) annual Writing Awards Competition.

1988 Jessica Pallingston recently wrote the book What Would Keith Richards Do: Daily Affirmations from a Rock ‘n’ Roll Survivor (Bloomsbury Press ). Along with 100 pages of daily affirmation quotes, The Tao of Keith is outlined, with lessons on How To Live Life the Keith Richards Way. “It’s the ultimate Keith bible,” writes Jessica. 20th Reunion

1990 Dave Blass recently finished as art director and production designer on the new FX series

Justified, and followed that up by directing a new music video for the heavy metal band Accept with producing talent added by Rho Delta Omega brothers Robert Maffei ’00 and Brian Thompson ’02. Blass also was published in Perspective magazine with a cover he illustrated as well as an article about his previsualization sequence (or storyboarding to visualize a scene) for the final shot of the television series ER.

1991 Tom Misuraca’s vampire parody novel, Lifestyles of the Damned, was recently published by Sense of Wonder Press, an imprint of James A. Rock & Company Publishers.

1992 Meg Bertoni will marry Seth Iniguez in Denver on July 17, 2010. The couple lives in Idaho Springs, Colorado.

37 Expression Summer 2010


In Memoriam Liz Ahl ’92 has a new chapbook, Luck, which has been published by Pecan Grove Press and is available directly from the publisher, she says. Her first book is A Thirst That’s Partly Mine.

1927 Vida Louise Isherwood Shelton 1930 Freyda Pransky Siegel 1931, Hon. ’00 Doris Haddock 1943 Norman W. Davey 1951 Anne Cohen Morse 1951 Jack Weir 1952 Winifred Marston Flanagan 1967 John J. Howe 1967, MS ’70 Bonnie Phillips Miller 1974 Jeffrey Ira Knapp 1998 (MA) Andrea Zolnier Thelen  1998 Eric K. Torvi  2013 Katherine Beaupre

1993 Susan Piazza, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 2’s first female commander, has taken a break from her duties to attend law school. This Vietnam-era Navy veteran writes a monthly column on veterans benefits. In her spare time, she has completed a historical romance and a trivia board game. She looks forward to hearing from Emersonians at Lissa Harnish Poirot has been named editor-in-chief of,

a member of TripAdvisor’s family of websites. In this position, Lissa writes about and edits journalist-reviewed destinations and resorts around the world and serves as a spokesperson for family travel. Prior to this position, Lissa was a freelance writer for magazines and the web, appearing in national magazines such as Florida Travel + Life and Travelgirl, regional magazines such as Cape Cod and Jezebel (Atlanta), and websites such as WebMD. com and Relocating for the position, she resides in Pennsylvania with her two children.

Coli Sylla ’07 is featured on The RoadTrip Nation Experience Curriculum DVD. The program features a video-based in-class program that reaches more than 24,000 high school students across the United States. The DVD is designed to inspire students to define their lives, find their passions, and begin making decisions about their future.

38 Expression Summer 2010

15th Reunion



Caroline Brown has been working with BABES Krishna San Nicolas is a Network-YWCA: Women coordinating producer for Living with HIV in helping Animal Planet. Last year, she them to use theater as a acted as supervising producer medium to share their stories. on the popular series Animal Recently she established Vet Cops Houston with Anglia TV/ Art Seattle, bringing together Granada Media and the highly artists and veterans from rated Maneaters series with Tigress Productions. Currently, recent and previous wars to hold workshops to develop she is supervising producer writing, theater, and visual art on a new pilot for Animal and film projects that focus Planet with Anglia TV. on giving them an expressive means to share their stories. When starting this project, she brought on Sean Ryan Casey B. Davis spent a ’96 and Zoe Fitzgerald ’97 to busy season as production help make the whole project supervisor for America’s Got a reality. Zoe is managing Talent (working with fellow director of Freehold Theater alumni Tiffany Hoss, Zach in Seattle. Jarosz, Elyse Foley, Meg McAlduff, Robert Maffei, Nicole Gauthier, and Sabrina Rufo) and also published Andrea Janakas’s project Faded her first book: The Simplicity Giant with co-writer Justine Connection: Creating a More Cogan was accepted into Organized, Simplified and the Tribeca All Access 2010 Sustainable Life (Trafford program at the Tribeca Film Publishing, 2009). Festival.



Erika Gimenes Remlinger ’99 gave birth to twin boys, Caio and Lucas, on April 15, 2010, in Miami. Erika is also owner and editorin-chief of the rock magazine Rock Euphoria. She lives in both Miami and Los Angeles.

10th Reunion

2000 2001 Christie Leigh Bellany, MSSp, is managing partner of Big Night Promotions, a Bostonbased promotional staffing agency. Since founding the company in 2007, Christie has expanded the business into four states with a staff of 50. In 2009, Christie added marketing and sales manager to her resume as she began to assist her partners in their other ventures. Along with both of these roles, Christie continues to manage her independent booking agency, CNC Music Productions, which she founded in 2004. Christie lives in Boston and has an office in The Alley, adjacent to Emerson College.

2002 Benjamin Consoli has a new short film, New Direction, which won the Runner Up Award in the 2010 Pepsi/ MoFilm International Film Contest. The film was

produced by Ben’s company, BCMedia Productions, in collaboration with writer/ director Maria Della Croce.



Elizabeth Waybright ’03 and Oliver Taylor ’04 were married in an outdoor ceremony in Corrales, New Mexico, on September 26, 2009. Emersonians attending the wedding included

Shane Pliska has been named president of Planterra Corp., a leading provider of live and replica botanical displays for casinos, resorts, and entertainment venues throughout North America.

Johanna Lucas Jurewitz ’02, John Matysiak ’03, Doug Carney ’04, Ken Cevera ’03, Katherine Geer Kane ’03, and Adam Kane ’02. They reside in Los Angeles.

Frances Doring Connelly ’07 and Aaron Christopher White were married last year. In attendance were Hilary Peterson, Kathryn Ward, and Lauren Rosi, all members of the Class of 2007. Frances is a junior account executive for the Hartman Group, where she is a publicist for the Tony Award-winning Billy Elliot and the original musical Memphis. Aaron is a corporate operations real estate financial analyst for the Walt Disney Company. They live in New York City.

Todd Strauss-Schulson has been hired to direct the third installment of the Harold and Kumar franchise.

2004 Sara Phan (formerly Ventre) has married a wonderful man, James Phan, on February 13, 2010, in San Diego. “We had a weeklong honeymoon in Hawai’i! A few Emersonians attended.” 5th Reunion

2005 Linda Potter, MA ’05, is drama director of Acton-Boxborough High School.

Amber Michelle Pelletier ’09 and Craig Pelletier were married in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, in October 2009. Craig is an engineer for ON-1240 Radio and Amber is a freelance reporter for the Mass High Tech newspaper in Boston.

39 Expression Summer 2010



Caroline Azano has been named head of the Education Department of the Trinity Repertory Company (Rhode Island).

Jennifer Boyden ran the 2010 Boston Marathon on behalf of the Esplanade Association.

Andrew Leviton was the apprentice editor on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs at Sony Pictures Animation and is an assistant editor on Hotel Transylvania at Sony Pictures Animation.

Caitlin Brown ’07 has joined Rhode Island’s North Star Marketing, aiding in strategizing and implementing campaigns and tactics for a range of North Star’s B2C and B2B clients, providing marketing, research, and creative support to the company’s account managers.

2008 Stephen S. Ruberto attended the Emerson Los Angeles Program in the spring of 2008 and was hired by the video company Furlined, where he completed his internship.

Becky Eckerman, MA ’05, recently joined Deloitte Services LP as one of their new consulting marketing leaders focusing primarily on Oil & Gas Sector marketing. In this capacity, she is responsible for the development and execution of strategic marketing initiatives for the Deloitte Consulting Oil & Gas practice.

Erica Templeman is a client services associate at New Marketing Labs in Canton, Massachusetts. Erika L. Wise, MA ’08, joined Take Care Private Duty Home Health Care in Sarasota, Florida, as marketing communications manager. Using skills attained and developed in Emerson’s publishing and writing master’s program, she regularly updates the website, engages Take Care’s social media arm, produces copy and design for printed

marketing materials, provides writing and editing support, and engages local and national media to educate the public on the benefits and necessities of private duty home health care and geriatric care management services.

2009 Spencer Kardos, MA ’09, and Kavi Williams ’09 are happy to announce their engagement. The wedding ceremony will take place in summer 2011.

Where Are You And What Are You Doing New job? Received an award? Recently engaged or married? New baby? Moving? Recently ran into a long-lost classmate? Let us know. Use this form to submit your news or send it to; 1-800-255-4259; fax: 1-617-824-7807. You can also submit Class Notes online at To register for the online community, use the ID number located above your name on the mailing label of this magazine. Include all of the zeroes. First Name

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Mail to: Class Notes, Emerson College, Office of Alumni Relations, 120 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116-4624


Class Year

Gifts that Matter George Watsky ’10 Writing and Acting for the Screen and Stage

George Watsky ’10 has already made a name for himself nationwide as an award-winning writer and spokenword artist. Born and raised in San Francisco, George won Emerson College’s Rod Parker (’51) Playwriting Award in his junior year for his play Harold’s Fall or King Will. Each play that wins the Rod Parker award receives a full production during the College’s annual NewFest program, which celebrates student playwriting. As a performer, George was crowned the 2006 Youth Speaks Grand Slam Poetry Champion, 2006 Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Champion, and performed in a record six consecutive Youth Speaks Grand Slam Finals. He has also performed on Season 6 of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO and at the Apollo Theater, the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, and the San Francisco Opera House.

What was it like to win the Rod Parker Award? It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The award includes getting a production of your play. Seeing a whole team of artists come together around your vision— people auditioning for it, a director on board—was the kind of positive reinforcement I needed to realize that this is a viable choice for me. It reaffirmed that I want to do this. Do you see yourself as a writer, or as a performer? I like writing and performing equally. In fact, I switched to an interdisciplinary major: Writing and Acting for the Screen and Stage. There’s a limited audience for spoken word, so I plan to reach mainstream audiences first, and then use this base as a way to do my less traditional work. What is the philosophy behind your work? I’m interested in any subject that inspires emotion in me. I hope the things that make me laugh will make others laugh, and that what scares me will, at the very least, make others think. I’m especially committed to exploring my own, perhaps universal, fears—loneliness, death, environmental degradation, etc.—but doing so in ways that are hopeful, and even funny.

The annual Rod Parker Playwriting Award and NewFest are funded by the generous support of Rod Parker ’51, H ’77, a former television writer, producer, and playwright who was executive producer of the hit TV sitcom Maude.

Photo by David Leifer

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A New Beginning Newly minted graduates celebrate their achievements. See story inside.

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Expression Summer 2010  
Expression Summer 2010  

The magazine for alumni and friends of Emerson College