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is the annual newsletter of The Ohio State University Department of Theatre 1089 Drake Center 1849 Cannon Drive Columbus, Ohio 43210-1208 Office: 614-292-5821 Fax: 614-292-3222 Editor-in-Chief & Chair: Dan Gray Editor: Damian Bowerman Contributors: Joe Brandesky, Nena Couch, Joseph Fahey, Elizabeth Harelik, C. Austin Hill, Beth Kattelman, Eric H. Mayer, Emily Mills, Kyler Moor, Mahmoud Osman, Chelsea Phillips, Robin Post, Beth Josephsen Simon, Nakia Smith, Francesca Spedalieri, Mary Tarantino, Dries Vandorpe, Dave Williams, Jarod Wilson Design/Layout: Arts and Sciences Communications Services Written and researched by the Faculty, Staff and Students of the Department of Theatre.

The Camouflage Project, spring 2011

front image: Aida, autumn 2010; Production Photography by Matthew J. Hazard

All Alumni and Friends information is collected from Alumni, Friends, and other readers; gathered and processed at the Department of Theatre; researched, edited, and placed either in our Encore publication or the Alumni page of Encore on our website:


invite theatre artists and scholars to join us in making and thinking about performance. We recognize that the creation of new work is the life blood of the theatre, and we provide opportunities for students to develop and create new performance work while maintaining connections to our history through productions of classic, modern, and contemporary texts.



2010 – 2011 SEASON IN REVIEW







MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR Dear Friends of Ohio State Theatre, I write to you today as the chair of the Department of Theatre. As of July 1, 2011 the word “acting” was removed from my title and I have officially begun my appointment. This does not mean that I will stop acting as chair. In fact, now that I have been cast in this role after a year of invaluable experience and support from the talented students, staff and faculty of our department, I trust my performance as chair will be stronger than ever. I’m happy to report that we had another terrific production season that supported our many artistic, educational and programmatic goals. We started our season with On the Shore of the Wide World in the Roy Bowen Theatre. This was a production that featured a strong ensemble cast of our undergraduate and MFA actors with costumes and scenery designed by undergraduate designers. We then went back downtown to the Southern Theatre to present our highly polished production of Aida in collaboration with CAPA (Columbus Association for the Performing Arts). This showcased students from the department as well as students from the School of Music and the Department of Dance. We were then most fortunate to welcome Guest Director, Alison Bomber, from the Royal Shakespeare Company to direct our lean, powerful, 90 minute production of Othello. This hard to get ticket was the direct outcome of OSU’s partnership with the RSC and we look forward to continuing this relationship for the next three years as RSC’s North American Hub for their educational “Stand Up for Shakespeare” Program. We then filled Thurber stage with a bold and provocative production of Spring Awakening. A distilled version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, presented in the spirit of the RSC’s Young People’s Shakespeare, toured to elementary and middle schools in the greater Columbus area prior to its public performances at the historic Lincoln Theatre where it played to large enthusiastic audiences of Shakespeare aficionados and converts alike. Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice followed in a poetic and otherworldly performance in the Bowen Theatre. The season closed with The Camouflage Project. Our production of The Camouflage Project created such a response from our local audiences and international guests that we have been invited to perform the work in England and in Washington DC. We plan to remount the project in April and perform it in the UK in June 2012. In order to make this possible, we are looking for contributions from our friends and supporters to mount a tour that will provide our students the rare opportunity to present their work


Dan Gray, Department of Theatre Chair & Associate Professor

internationally. The Camouflage Project looks at special agents trained in Britain who went behind enemy lines in France during World War II. Taking it to the UK is bringing the work home. Any help you can give us in this effort would be most appreciated. Donations can be made online at As you will see from the pages that follow, this is just a taste of the many highlights from another full year in the Department of Theatre. Please enjoy this issue of Encore and let us know what you’ve been up to since graduation. You are an important part of the Ohio State theatre family and we want to share your successes in art and life. Look forward to hearing from you!

Dan Gray Chair/Associate Professor

On the Shore of the Wide World, autumn 2010

OHIO STATE THEATRE 2011 – 2012 SEASON Living Out

MFA Acting Outreach Project

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot


Double Bill Matchmaker

The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates

October 27 - November 6 By Lisa Loomer Directed by Maureen Ryan Vern Riffe Studio One Theatre

November 10 - 20 By Stephen Adly Guirgis Directed by Jimmy Bohr Roy Bowen Theatre

February 2 - 11 By Patricia Suarez Translated by Ana Elena Puga Directed by Lesley Ferris Thurber Theatre &

Real Women Have Curves

February 2 - 11 By Josefina Lopez Directed by Francesca Spedalieri Thurber Theatre

February 16 - March 3 By MFA Acting Class of 2012 Directed by Maureen Ryan Roy Bowen Theatre

March 4 By William Shakespeare Directed by Christopher Matsos Lincoln Theatre

of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade

May 3 - 19 By Peter Weiss Directed by Mark Mann Roy Bowen Theatre

MFA Acting Solo Projects

May 17 - 25 By MFA Acting Class of 2012 Coordinating Director Jeanine Thompson Mount Hall Studio Theatre



2010 – 2011 SEASON IN REVIEW On the Shore of the Wide World

By Simon Stephens. Roy Bowen Theatre. Directed by Mandy Fox. Set Design by Eric Barker. Costume Design by Katie Peyton. Lighting Design by Cat Schmeal-Swope. Sound Design by Dan Shifflet. Stage Manager Samantha Sharkey. November 4 - 14, 2010


Music by Elton John. Lyrics by Tim Rice. Book by Linda Woolverton and Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang. Southern Theatre. Directed by Jimmy Bohr. Choreographed by Susan Hadley. Set Design by Brad Steinmetz. Costume Design by Shiree Houf. Lighting Design by Jarod Wilson. Sound Design by Terita Parms. Stage Manager Eric H. Mayer. November 18 - 21, 2010


By William Shakespeare. Roy Bowen Theatre. Directed by Alison Bomber. Set Design by Divya Murthy. Costume Design by Cat Schmeal-Swope. Lighting Design by Brian Elston. Sound Design by Jarod Wilson. Stage Manager Alyssa Ellis. February 10 - 26, 2011

Spring Awakening

By Frank Wedekind. Translated by Jonathan Franzen. Thurber Theatre. Directed Jimmy Bohr. Set Design by Marty Savolskis. Costume Design by Samantha A. Kuhn. Lighting Design by Alex Kyle-Dipietropaolo. Sound Design by Lowri Sion. Stage Manager Margaret Glaser. Special thanks to Associate Professor of Psychology Raymond Montemayor, Senior Lecturer in the School of Educational Policy and Leadership Tracey Stuckey-Mickell, Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures Helen Fehervary, Senior Lecturer in the Germanic Languages and Literature Heide Crawford, Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre Alan Woods, PhD, Theatre student John Boyd, Professor in the Department of Comparative Studies Nina


Berman, Associate Professor in the School of Physical Activity and Educational Services Paul Granello, Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Activity and Educational Services Lisa Hinkelman, Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures Bernd Fischer, and Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures Katra Byram for sharing their knowledge and insights at “AfterWords,” our post-performance discussion for Spring Awakening. February 24 - March 5, 2011

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare. Lincoln Theatre. Directed by Robin Post. Set Design by Chad Mahan. Costume Design by Haley Wilson. Lighting Design by Kurt Heimbrock. Stage Manager Christine Skobrak. March 6, 2011

Eurydice By Sarah Ruhl. Roy Bowen Theatre. Directed by Beth Kattelman. Set Design by Divya Murthy. Costume Design by Lauren Bush. Lighting Design by Matt Hazard. Sound Design by Dan Shifflet. Stage Manager Angela Cutrell. May 5 - 21, 2011 The Camouflage Project

Conceived by Lesley Ferris and Mary Tarantino. On the Thurber Theatre Stage. Directed by Lesley Ferris and Jeanine Thompson. Set Design by Dan Gray. Costume Design by Kristine Kearney. Lighting Design by Mary Tarantino. Sound Design by Lowri Sion. Video Design by Janet Parrott and J.R. Gualtieri. 3D Animation by Vita Berezina-Blackburn. Digital Fabrication by Matthew Lewis. 3D Projection Mapping and Animation Production by Jeremy Baker and Nikki Lemon. 3D Projection Mapping by Benjamin Schroeder. Motion Capture and Animation Production by Thomas Heban. Special Effects by Cheng Zhang. 3D Modeling by Zachary Maynard. Shading by Jane Drozd. Stage Manager Eric H. Mayer. May 20 - 28, 2011

On the Shore of the Wide World

Spring Awakening




The Camouflage Project


OUTREACH & ENGAGEMENT InterACT By Robin Post, Director of InterACT The InterACT program explores social issues specific to campus life and then creates theatre pieces that illuminate and offer up a safe space for discussion. The pieces are created by combining interviews, applicable written documentation, and media resources with the InterACT student’s theatrical responses to the research. Once the piece is created, each actor must know their characters inside and out. The audience is given the opportunity to talk with the actors, in character, after the scripted piece is performed. The actors must hone their improvisational skills for this work and they must come to care about the persons they are representing. This interactive portion of the piece is often where emotions run high or discussion becomes lively; it is absolutely where the important dialogue around the issue takes place. The InterACT theatre program, under the leadership of Robin Post, finished its fifth year of writing and performing real life scenarios that occur on campus and in some cases, beyond. InterACT continues to provide faculty and teaching associates with opportunities to engage with characters. The performances are quarterly workshops held at University Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and they provide an alternative method of disseminating information as well as providing instructors with a safe avenue for exploring teaching strategies. This year’s workshops highlighted the unintentional exclusion of students in the classroom, keys to successful advisor/

advisee relationships in graduate school, suicide prevention, and easing the transition for military students. In addition, InterACT continues to provide policy programming performances during the autumn orientation for incoming teaching associates. InterACT has been successful in creating pieces that are in high demand on campus and beyond. Two of the most sought after pieces are the previously mentioned advisor/ advisee piece, which was most recently performed during the spring quarter at the Ohio Union for the Council of Graduate Students and a piece on prescription drug abuse that was performed for Cardinal Health. InterACT collaborated with the College of Pharmacy to create the piece on prescription drug abuse and it has been performed multiple times at multiple venues. The partnership between the College of Pharmacy and InterACT was also featured on the Big Ten Network. Another successful collaboration occurred between nine students from an urban high school in Columbus and eleven undergraduate InterACT students, during the spring of 2010. This collaboration is featured in the 2011 Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. The demand for InterACT continues to grow as more of the university and college communities recognize the power of interactive theatre, the need for new and innovative methods of instruction and the value of theatrical collaboration.

Taylor Moss, Lesley Fisher, and Zak Houston in a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, winter 2011


Paul Moon as Puck with some eager volunteer fairies from Windsor STEM school during a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Photo by Betty O’Brien), winter 2011

SCHOOL TOUR By C. Austin Hill, PhD Student and Tour Manager Presented as a part of the ongoing relationship between The Ohio State University Department of Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, this year’s school tour was Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Embracing the guiding principles of the RSC’s Stand Up For Shakespeare America project—do it on your feet, see it live, start it earlier—our production visited 11 elementary and middle schools, and played to kids from preschool age to 8th grade. Ours was a shortened version of Shakespeare’s familiar tale, edited by Kate Ramsey and Robin Post. This colorful 60-minute performance, directed by Robin Post, was intended to introduce young audiences to the joys of Shakespeare and his language. With an excellent cast of veteran actors, the world of imagination

opened up, allowing a child’s bedroom to become the forests outside of Athens, and the realm of the fairies. After successfully touring the schools throughout February, we had the amazing opportunity to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the beautiful Lincoln Theatre in downtown Columbus. Once again the experienced cast and crew rose to the occasion, filling the Lincoln’s ornate stage with the effervescent charm of their magical world. Overall, hundreds of children in the Columbus area had the chance to “see it live” and “start it earlier” because of this terrific school tour. Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing Shakespeare, and theatre itself, into these children’s lives!

I really liked your play. Were you hot under all those clothes? –Callie, 3rd Grader



GUEST ARTISTS AND SCHOLARS By Dries Vandorpe (PhD Student) and Damian Bowerman

Autumn 2010 Jan Štêpánek taught a week-long master class in stage design during his residency at the Department of Theatre in the autumn of 2010 that culminated in numerous studentproduced art installations. Jan is a central figure in contemporary Czech stage design. He is currently on the faculty at JAMU (Janecek Academy of Music and Performing Arts) in Brno, Czech Republic. He returned to Czechoslovakia from Germany after the end of Communism, and from 1992-98 studied stage design at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Professor Jan Dušek, a pupil of Frantisek Troster. New York theater company The Builders Association continued its series of creative residencies at the Wexner Center for the Arts and The Ohio State University to develop the multimedia theater work HOUSE / DIVIDED, to have its world premiere in Columbus in October 2011. Exploring the impact of today’s foreclosure crisis, the multimedia piece will juxtapose the Depression-era tale of the Joad family in John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes

The Builders Association HOUSE / DIVIDED Inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath Work-in-progress image / courtesy of the artists


of Wrath with a focus on the current rampant mortgage crisis. The Builders Association conducted in-class sessions with Ohio State students and faculty from departments across campus. Olga Taxidou presented a lecture that explored 20th century adaptations of Euripides’ The Bacchae. Taxidou discussed in particular the process of adaptation as she raised issues such as faithfulness, relevance, context, theatrical form, and reception. A workshop was held the next day, during which the participating students were challenged to re-imagine the play for a contemporary audience and to move beyond the predominantly primitivist aesthetics that dominate the modern reception of the play. Olga Taxidou is Reader in Drama at the University of Edinburgh. A short list of her books includes Modernism and Performance (Palgrave/Macmillan 2007), Tragedy, Modernity and Mourning (Edinburgh University Press and NYU Press 2004), and The Mask (Routledge 1998). Award-winning director, playwright, and innovator James Levin conducted a workshop for students in the Department of Theatre during a residency at The Ohio State University’s Hillel Foundation. He founded the Cleveland Public Theatre, bringing innovative off-off-Broadwaystyle theater to Cleveland. He is currently director for the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Wooster. He has previously been the director of the Gordon Square Cultural Arts District, the Artistic Director of Cleveland’s acclaimed Ingenuity: A Festival of Arts & Culture, and the Executive Producer for Detroit Avenue Arts. Russian-Canadian director and actor Alexandre Marine visited to teach a master class. Marine is a recipient of the Distinguished Artist of Russia award. He is a founding member of the Tabakov Theatre in Moscow and a faculty member at the Institute of Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. He is also founding artistic director of his company, Théâtre Deuxième Réalité.

Jan Štêpánek

Winter 2011 Royal Shakespeare Company Senior Text and Voice Coach Alison Bomber returned to the department to direct Othello after her visit last year during which she conducted a voice workshop. After graduating with a First in English from Cambridge University, and a Distinction from The Acting Company at The Arts Educational Schools — where she trained in Voice with Barbara Houseman and Anne-Marie Speed — Alison spent more than 10 years as an actor and singer, and developed sidelines as a writer and workshop leader. She then completed her MA in Voice Studies at Central School of Speech and Drama and, shortly after that, joined the RSC Voice Department. Her work there over the last six years has included Michael Boyd’s award-winning Histories cycle, as well as devising and directing recitals and events.

Heather Raffo, author and actress, and Amir ElSaffar, jazz trumpeter and santoor player, presented In Concert: The Sounds of Desire in the Thurber Theatre. Raffo and ElSaffar share a bond that extends past their musical collaboration. Both are born of American and Iraqi parents and were Amir ElSaffar raised in the midwest, with extended family in Baghdad. They met in 2003, shortly after the start of the Iraq war. In Concert: The Sounds of Desire featured their vision of translating an Iraqi cultural experience for an American audience. “A spellbinding vision of devilry.” - Boston Globe Columbus’ audiences were “plummeted into a fantastical world of singing serial killers, avenging angels, and lovesick demons,” ( as Abbey Theatre performed it’s breathtaking hit Terminus in the Thurber Theater for one night only. Students were given insight into the creative processes at the post-show talk back with the company members. The inventive use of language by the play’s

author Mark O’Rowe stirred particular interest. Theater Critic and Associate Professor Joy Reilly interviewed Wexner Director of Performing Arts Chuck Helm about this event for WOSU. The audio fragment still is available for listening on the radio station’s website

Spring 2011 Actor, mime, and Professor Yanci Bukovec presented the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute Guest Lecture. He also conducted a master class with students. Yanci is associate professor of Theatre at the University of Florida. He studied with Arthur Lessac and has performed with his one-man shows and company productions in more than 30 countries. He initially came into prominence as the assistant, collaborator, and performing stage partner of the legendary French mime Marcel Marceau. Their collaboration spanned over eight years, appearing together in hundreds of major theatres throughout the world, in more than a 1,500 performances.

REMEMBERING RUSSELL T. HASTINGS May 27, 1929 - October 28, 2010

By Dan Gray, Chair and Associate Professor Russell Hastings was the founding scenic designer for the Master of Fine Arts Program in Design at Ohio State and an active member of both United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA). He began his career at the College of William and Mary and was a faculty member at Ohio State from 1968 to 1995, mentoring hundreds of designers, technicians, and scenic artists who went on to successful careers in both commercial and academic theatre. Grounded in realism, Hastings was an early advocate of a more international approach to design. He was an early devotee of the Prague Quadrennial and brought a European influence back to the classroom from his travels to that event. An outstanding scenic painter and scenic designer, his work opened the Thurber Theatre’s first production in 1972 of the Lawrence and Lee’s adaptation of James Thurber’s Jabberwock and graced many stage productions throughout central Ohio. His design collection was donated to the Theatre Research Institute when he retired in 1995 and continues to be used as a teaching tool for students today. Hastings received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the USITT Ohio Valley Section.

Russell on the set of Ohio State Theatre’s production of Guys and Dolls


Members of the Stand Up for Shakespeare team from Columbus and drama teachers from New York play together during the “Classroom as Rehearsal Room” symposium day at the Park Avenue Armory. (Photo by Kevin J. Fitzsimons)

THE ARTS INITIATIVE AND THE OSU/ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY PARTNERSHIP By Chelsea Phillips, PhD Student The 2010-11 school year marked the second year of Ohio State’s partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which culminated in mid-July with a production of the RSC’s Romeo and Juliet on the Scarlet and Gray Stage in the Park Avenue Armory as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. The July 9 arts page of the New York Times ran its first review of the RSC’s five-play festival season with the following statement: “…Let’s take time to cheer the audacity and ambition of the enterprise, a co-presentation of the Lincoln Center Festival and the Park Avenue Armory in association with The Ohio State


University. (Thanks, Buckeyes!) It’s unquestionably the theatrical event of the New York summer.” July 12 was the Gala event dedicated to this innovative partnership. The Arts Initiative, which oversees the OSU/RSC partnership, moved into the College of Arts and Sciences in January under Divisional Dean Mark Shanda. This organizational move also included a physical move: the Arts Initiative office left its Gateway premises to take up residence in the Drake Performance and Event Center in April. Lesley Ferris, who was

already serving as director of OSU/ RSC programs, was appointed interim executive director and Betty O’Brien continues as director of strategic program development. Chris Matsos (PhD Theatre, 2010) joined as program director and Chelsea Phillips as graduate associate. Other members of the OSU/RSC team include Mo Ryan, Robin Post, David Frantz (English), Brian Edmiston and Pat Encisco (both from the School of Teaching and Learning). This fall, Valarie Williams, associate curricular dean and director of the Urban Arts Space, was named executive director of the Arts Initiative.

welcoming the RSC’s Young People’s production of Hamlet which had six performances (June 25-27) at the Columbus Performing Arts Center in association with CATCO-Phoenix. The following students worked as interns on this project: PhD student Ian Pugh, assistant production manager; BA students Lowri Sion, lighting intern; Sarah Hurwitz, stage management intern; and Stephanie Keller, wardrobe intern. The “Train the Trainers” cohort, joining other Ohio students, took a chartered bus to New York to attend the July 12 Gala. A banner advertising Romeo and Juliet outside New York’s Park Avenue Armory

Local teachers and MFA actors teamed up throughout the year to work in local classrooms with students in grades 1-12 and to take part in professional development workshops as part of the Stand Up for Shakespeare program while the Arts Initiative and Ohio State Theatre stepped up the “See It Live” component of the partnership by offering two productions in winter quarter. RSC Senior Voice and Text Coach Alison Bomber guest directed a 90-minute Othello with the MFA actors. Students from Columbus City Schools and Reynoldsburg attended five special school matinee performances in the Roy Bowen Theatre. Robin Post directed a 60-minute, eight-person undergraduate tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that culminated in two near capacity performances at the Lincoln Theatre. Over 2500 students saw this lively and imaginatively staged production. June 22-29 the Arts Initiative hosted RSC lead practitioner Rachel Gartside, as well as Jonathan Neelands and Paul Prescott from the UK’s University of Warwick, and Rob Elkington from RSC Education, for an intensive workshop with 40 teachers, MFAs, faculty members and graduate students. The “Train the Trainers” session, aimed at creating a team of Columbus-based practitioners who can work in support of current and future Stand Up for Shakespeare participants. This group enjoyed a Meet and Greet event

Classroom as Rehearsal Room,” whose participants included New York teachers as well as the Columbus contingent, featured opening remarks by RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd and Jacqui O’Hanlon, director of education. The day continued with workshops presented by Columbus teams of teachers and actors who shared teaching strategies and the benefits of using Shakespeare with young people. Autumn 2011 launches the Year of Shakespeare, a celebration of the RSC’s first three years in central Ohio which concludes in May with a Young People’s Shakespeare Festival. See artsinitiative. for full details.

On July 13 the third cohort took part in a day-long symposium organized by RSC Education entitled “The

Stand Up for Shakespeare team members create a tableau during a workshop on Henry V. From left to right: Mahmoud Osman, Amy McKibben, Tory Matsos (background), Brian Edmiston, Megan Ballinger (on ground), Moopi Mothibeli, and Robin Post. (Photo by Ian Pugh)



Anthony D. Hill

By Dan Gray, Chair

By Dan Gray, Chair

After 38 years of service to the OSU Department of Theatre, Alan Woods retired at the end of spring quarter 2011. Woods is widely recognized for his work and research in theatre and for his 30-year term as director of the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute. Last winter colleague and friend Joy Reilly had the honor of presenting Alan with The 2011 Central Ohio Theatre Critics Circle’s Roy Bowen Lifetime Achievement Award. In her gracious remarks she shared a story from former student and chief theatre critic for the Chicago Tribune, Chris Jones who wrote. “The theater world is full of people wanting to get their projects, themselves, out there. But critics have to pay attention to the audience. And among Alan’s incredible array of qualities – generosity, smarts, humor, a profound base of knowledge, an embrace of mentorship — that’s what sticks out for me most. He has devoted a lot of his career to making theater accessible for more people — one audio description at a time, one better-trained critic at a time. It has been a formidable contribution. He has worked tirelessly to make the American theater more central in more lives. Alan has always hated bad theater and loved great theater. He has always embraced new work. And he has loved artists who take risks. He taught me what little I know about this art. I’m always incredibly proud to say he once was my advisor.”

After 20 years of service, Associate Professor Anthony D. Hill, writer, director, and historian, has retired from the Department of Theatre. During his career Anthony has concentrated on previously marginalized theatre practices, African American and American theatre history, and performance theory and criticism. His most recent work focuses on the life and works of August Wilson, and African American cinema, and Black masculinity in the works of African American male playwrights. Hill is author with Douglas Q. Barnett of Historical Dictionary of African American Theater. His book Pages from the Harlem Renaissance: A Chronicle of Performance is now in its third reprint. Anthony is featured in Whose Who in Black Columbus and his essays have appeared in such journals as Text and Presentation, Journal of the Comparative Drama Conference; Black Studies: Current Issues, Enduring Questions; and African American Review (formerly Black American Literature Forum). Hill received degrees in theatre at the University of Washington (BA), Queens College (MA), and in performance studies at New York University (PhD). Hill has also taught at Vassar College and University of California at Santa Barbara.

TRI REPORT 2010 – 2011 By Nena Couch, Beth Kattelman, and Mary Tarantino Scholarly Activities in and around the Institute Francesca Spedalieri, the 2010 William Case Kramer Fellowship recipient, spent the summer in Italy doing research and conducting oral histories and interviewing practitioners of contemporary Italian theatre. In spring she successfully defended her thesis, “Innovation and Tradition: Kantor, Grotowski, and the Sicilian School in the Theatre of Emma Dante.” We are delighted that Francesca has decided to continue her PhD studies at Ohio State. Fulbright Fellow Barbora Prihodova spent much of the autumn at the Theatre Research Institute, immersed in the Burian collection as she continued work on her doctoral dissertation, Mirror(ing) in the Work of the Scenographer Josef Svoboda. Barbora gave a lecture to the department, speaking about her research progress and co-screenwriting with Jakub Hejna (Svoboda’s grandson) for the documentary film Theatre Svoboda (released in 2011).


Francesca Spedalieri does research with Dario Fo matierials at the Lawrence and Lee Institute

Barbora working with the Jarka Burian collection in the special collections library

The TRI annual lecture featured voice, speech, and master of movement Yanci Bukovec, who visited in March. Yanci delighted the department with conversation, philosophy, and memories of mime training and touring with Marcel Marceau. He also taught master classes to voice and movement students, and gave a demonstration / performance in the campus reading room on the 11th floor of Thompson Library. Ohio State alum and former Yanci student Chris Matsos greatly helped to facilitate this engaging visit. The Lawrence and Lee Visiting Research Fellow for 2011-2012 will be Sharon Marcus from Columbia University. Sharon was on campus in December as one of the keynote speakers for the British Women Writers Conference and took advantage of that trip to do research at TRI on Sarah Bernhardt, which will lead to a book on Bernhardt and theatrical celebrity. The TRI scrapbook collection holds materials that she has not seen elsewhere. We are delighted that Sharon will inaugurate this new fellowship program for the TRI. Collections Donor Grayce Burian, who has given extensive materials documenting the work of her husband Jarka, the longtime primary English language scholar on Czech theatre, visited in May and spoke to the Czech Theatre and Culture class. The Burians spent many research leaves in Czechoslovakia, and the collection documents the country over decades, including Prague Spring, the invasion of the Soviet bloc countries, secret meetings with Vaclav Havel and other dissidents,

and on through the Velvet Revolution. The collection also contains recordings of Burian and Czech scenographer Josef Svoboda, used by visiting Fulbright Fellow Barbora Prihodova.

In other collection activity The burlesque holdings continue to grow with additions to his established collection of Exotic Dance to Burlesque and Clubs from Charles H. McCaghy of books, DVDs, photographs, and magazines. Chris Wilbert made substantial additions to the Nancy Walker and David Craig Collection documenting the careers of comedienne Walker and vocal coach Craig.

Lori Robishaw, Anca Galron, Stanford Tharp, Antonia Krueger, Marvin Carlson, Geoffrey Nelson, and the East Lynne Company. Additions to dance and movement arts holdings included gifts to the Dance Notation Bureau collection from Lucy Venable and Sheila Marion, an addition to the Sandra L. Hughes collection, and the newly established Akiva Pour-El collection on Israeli folk dance established by Ina Pour-El. John Giffin donated CDs, tapes, books, music and magazines on Yiddish Vaudeville and historical materials surrounding the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire used in his dance/theatre work, The Fire Still Burns produced by the Department of Theatre. Playwrights who have added to or established collections include Catherine Filloux, Don Nigro, and Linda Evans. Exhibitions

Theatre design and technology remains an important area of collection with significant donations from Joel E. Rubin on theatre lighting and technology, from Paul Stiga with an original costume design by Reuben Ter-Arutunian for The Magic Flute, original costume designs from Czech/ American scenographer Markéta Fantová, a book on Boris Anisfeld and a DVD featuring opera set designs by Jaroslav Malina from Joe Brandesky, and posters and programs from Czech designer Jaroslav Malina. Original scene designs by Malina, including designs for the film Magpie in Hand, were also acquired for his collection.

Students in TH 801: Research Methods, taught by Beth and Nena, curated “Othello on the Oval” in the Thompson Library Special Collections display area. The exhibition brought together holdings on many aspects of Othello from the Research Institute, such as programs, artwork, actors, and interpretations. {continued on the next page}

Robert W. Wagner added, sadly for the last time (see remembering friends) papers, audio tapes, photos, a shadow puppet from Java, other handmade puppets and marionettes and film stills to his extensive collection. Also expanding the puppetry holdings, Frank Banks donated two puppets that are welcome additions to the Columbus Puppetry Guild Collection. Programs, clippings, CDs, and additions to other collections, have come from Ann Livingston Schenk, Carole Koontz,

Poster for Maxine’s Ballyhoo Revue, from the Curtiss Show Print Collection, the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute


TRI Report {continued}

Beth curated an exhibition featuring materials from the Jeff Corey collection for “McCarthyism and the Red Scare: The Blacklisting of Hollywood.” Jeff Corey was an actor who appeared before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities in 1951 and was subsequently blacklisted. In addition to curating the exhibit, Beth co-produced the evening’s events, and facilitated a panel discussion of College of Arts and Sciences faculty, including Theatre Department faculty member and video specialist Janet Parrott.

19th annual British Women Writers Conference, held in spring. Prague Quadrennial Funded by the Department of Theatre, Nena and Mary attended the Prague Quadrennial in June, the major international theatre design exposition, where they and Theatre faculty colleagues Dan Gray and Kristine Kearney met with Czech and British designers and worked on collection development. In particular, we spoke

Beth also curated Touring Catfish Row: The Robert Breen Production of Porgy and Bess with materials from the Robert Breen and the Ella Gerber Kasakoff collections. The exhibit was featured in the lobby of the Schuster Performing Arts Center as part of Dayton Opera’s 50th anniversary and production of the American classic. Chelsea Phillips (TRI GA) and Nena mounted an exhibit for Costume design for The Dragon by Markéta Trösterová-Fantová, from the Czech Theatre Design Collection, the Jerome Lawrence the international conference and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute Chekhov On Stage and Page in December. Highlights included original costume designs by British designer with Simona Rybáková, a prolific Czech Daphne Dare, a 1923 limited costume designer for theatre, dance, edition of lithographs film and television, and visited Extreme documenting the Moscow Art Theatre Costume, a PQ exhibition curated by appearances in New York with Olga Simona. Chekhov and Constantin Stanislavsky, and correspondence to legendary Two important film screenings producer Jed Harris from equally celebrating some of the Czech legendary designer Robert Edmond Republic’s most notable scenographers Jones. The gallery talk given by Nena took place during our visit to Prague. and Chelsea was well attended with The first was Theatre Svoboda, conference goers including keynote introduced by a panel which included speaker Vladimir Kataev. Theatre Research Institute friend and donor Jaroslav Malina, contemporary TRI contributed a display case of Josef Svoboda. The following curated by Nena featuring materials evening we celebrated the life and on Lydia Thompson and her British work of Jaroslav in The Master of Blondes from the Charles H. McCaghy Dramatic Space, by filmmaker Hans Collection of Exotic Dance and van Sventer. The film was introduced British actress Madge Kendal for the


by Theatre faculty member Joe Brandesky, and a lively question and answer session followed the screening. Following the Quadrennial, Nena had an opportunity to go to Düsseldorf to meet with Winrich Meiszies, director of the Theatre museum there and president of SIBMAS, the International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts. Other News Brad Steinmetz’s article, Exploring the Theatre Research Institute was published in USITT’s Theatre Design and Technology in spring. Brad (MFA 2003) is a lecturer and scene designer in the department. TRI’s Director Emeritus Alan Woods announced his retirement from the Department of Theatre at the end of the spring quarter. As director, Alan worked with many donors to establish collections, served on the Margo Jones Award committee representing TRI, organized symposia and workshops, was executive editor of Theatre Studies, and—particularly importantly—worked with both undergraduate and graduate students to explore the exciting riches that TRI collections hold. Remembering Friends The TRI remembers Robert Wagner, Ohio professor emeritus of the College of the Arts. Bob was former Chair of the Department of Photography and Cinema, and a Professor in the Department of Communication and College of Education. In addition to being a noted film scholar, he was also a writer and director on numerous film projects and he served on the board of trustees of the American Film Institute. In 2009 Bob established the Robert W. Wagner Cinema Collection at the TRI.

THE CAMOUFLAGE PROJECT By Elizabeth Harelik, MA Student In conjunction with the May 2011 world premiere of the devised Performance | Exhibition The Camouflage Project, the Department of Theatre and ACCAD hosted a three-day international symposium. Presentations ranged from those discussing the challenges involved in devising The Camouflage Project to papers delving into the complex history of the British Special Operations Executive. Juliette Pattinson, lecturer in Social and Cultural History of twentieth Century Britain and Europe at the University of Strathclyde, delivered the keynote address, titled Passing as a French Native: Camouflaging the British Body in Occupied France. Other speakers included Roy R. Behrens, professor of art and Distinguished University Scholar at the University of Northern Iowa; Rita Kramer, author of Flames in the Field: The Story of Four SOE Agents in Occupied France; Jenny Morgan, documentary filmmaker; Kate Vigurs, a freelance historian and historical interpreter who recently submitted a PhD at the University of Leeds School of History; and members of the creative team of The Camouflage Project.

Symposium participants view a portion of The Camouflage Project exhibit


The Department received additional sponsorship for the symposium from the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Arts Initiative, the Department of History, and the Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women Grant.

Ibsen Santos and Charlesanne Rabensburg in a scene from The Camouflage Project, spring 2011



A scene from The Camouflage Project before and after projection

­–Mary Tarantino


Othello, winter 2011

SPOTLIGHT ON STUDENTS By Damian Bowerman, Eric H. Mayer, and Beth Josephsen Simon

Autumn The following MFA design students received Peggy Ezekiel Awards from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Ohio Valley Section: Cat SchmealSwope for her scenic craft of puppets for The Long Christmas Ride Home and Jarod Wilson for his lighting design for The Three Sisters. Congratulations to MFA acting student Kevin McClatchy on the birth of his son! Kavanagh Brooks McClatchy was born on August 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm at seven pounds eleven ounces and 22 inches long. Melanie House completed her PhD. Her dissertation is entitled Their Place on the South African Stage: The Peninsula Dramatic Society and the Trafalgar Players. Lesley Ferris served as the chair of her dissertation committee, joined by committee members Nena Couch and Alan Woods. PhD Student Paul Lockwood was hired as director of conservatory communication at Oberlin College. Three theatre PhD students published essays in the December 2010 issue of Theatre Journal. In the Performance Review sections Pam Decker published a review on Nature Theatre of Oklahoma’s production of Romeo and Juliet and John Boyd published a review on Gin & “It” both Wexner Center of the Arts productions in last season. In the Book Review section Melissa Lee published a review of Katie Mitchell’s The Director’s Craft: A Handbook for the Theatre.


Winter PhD Student Andrew Blasenak passed his candidacy exam. Committee members were Stratos Constantinidis (advisor), Christopher Highley, Beth Kattelman and Nena Couch. MFA Acting students Kevin McClatchy and Charlesanne Rabensburg won Central Ohio Theatre Roundtable awards for their performances in Men in White (Kevin) and The Three Sisters (Charlesanne). MA Student Elizbeth Harelik was selected as a 2010 Roy A. Koenigsknecht Graduate Alumni Fellow. Sketch By Number, the improv group started by OSU Theatre students and alumni led in the Safe Auto jingle contest; you can see their entry at http://www.safeauto. com/dothejingle/Top20.

Spring BA Student Kevin Rhodus was awarded the annual scholarship from InfoComm-international. InfoComm is the leading professional audiovisual trade association. PhD Student Charmel Joiner satisfactorily completed her candidacy examination. Examination committee members included Anthony Hill, Adeleke Adeeko, Alan Woods and Joy Reilly. MFA design student Cat Schmeal-Swope sucessfully defended her thesis on the costume design for Othello. Cat’s defense team consisted of Kristine Kearney (advisor), and committee members Lesley Ferris and Mary Tarantino.

MFA design student Alex Kyle-Dipietropaolo successfully defended his thesis. Alex designed the lighting for Spring Awakening. His thesis committee was Mary Tarantino (advisor), Jimmy Bohr, and Janet Parrott. MFA Theatre student Eric H. Mayer successfully completed his thesis defense. The title of his thesis is A Wicked Comparison of Commercial, Regional and Academic Stage Management to develop Best Practices and Techniques for the Practical Stage Manager. Mark Shanda served as his thesis advisor with committee members Mary Tarantino and Lesley Ferris. Jennifer Collins successfully defended her MA thesis, Gesticulated Shakespeare: Gesture and Movement in Silent Shakespeare Films. Her committee was Janet Parrott and Alan Woods (advisor). Barbara “Shiree” Houf successfully completed her MFA thesis defense. Shiree designed costumes for Aida. Her defense team consisted of Kristine Kearney (advisor), Jimmy Bohr, and Nena Couch. Elizabeth Wellman successfully defended her master’s thesis entitled, Re-Enter Backwards: form and function in theatre for survivors of sexual violence. Committee members were Beth Kattelman (advisor) and Jennifer Schlueter. Jarod Wilson successfully defended his MFA thesis on his lighting design for Aida. His defense committee consisted of Mary Tarantino (advisor), Jimmy Bohr, and Kristine Kearney. MFA acting student Aaron Zook’s research proposal was selected for funding at $2000.00 through the Graduate School’s Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship (AGGRS) fund.

MFA Design students Brian Elston and Alex KyleDiPietropaolo participate in an exercise in guest artist Jan Štêpánek’s master class.

BA student Emily Mills was music director of Whistling in the Dark’s production of Bat Boy: The Musical. PhD student Jason Bush passed his oral exam in early June and has recently submitted his 400+ page dissertation entitled “Staging lo Andino: the Scissors Dance, Spectacle, and Indigenous Citizenship in the New Peru”. His coadvisors are Lesley Ferris (Theatre) and Katey Borland (Comparative Studies), and Ana Puga (Theatre/Spanish and Portuguese) served as his third committee member. Kathryn Stafford (College of Education and Human Ecology) was the Graduate School representative.

Summer PhD Student Amany Seleem welcomed her newest child Malek into the world. The Central Ohio Theater Critics Circle nominated MFA acting student Kevin McClatchy as Best Actor Finalist (Othello and The Camouflage Project at OSU) and PhD student Christopher M. Roche as Best Actor Finalist (I Am My Own Wife, CATCO-Phoenix). Nominated for Best Actress were BA student Mackenzi Flannery (Eurydice and Spring Awakening, OSU), MFA acting student Charlesanne Rabensburg (Othello, OSU). PhD student John S. Kuhn was a Best New Work Finalist for his adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel and won Best Production for Actors’ Theatre’s Much Ado About Nothing, which he directed. Francesca Spedalieri successfully defended her MA thesis, Innovation and traditon: Kantor, Grotkowski, and the Sicilian School in the theatre of Emma Dante. Her committee was Nena Couch and Lesley Ferris (advisor).

MFA Design students Jarod Wilson, Lauren Bush and Samantha Kuhn working in guest artist Jan Štêpánek’s master class.


ALUMNI AND FRIENDS 1960s Rudolph Pugliese (PhD 1961) died Aug. 9, 2010. He was professor emeritus of the University of Maryland School of Theatre Dance Performance Studies. Rudy served overseas in New Guinea for two years as a 2nd Lieutenant during World War II and held the University of Maryland, College Park, Theatre Department chair for almost 20 years. He initiated and established many programs at the University of Maryland, including the State of Maryland Speech and Drama Association, Experimental Theatre, University of Maryland Summer Theatre, and the graduate program in Theatre. He was director of more than 80 academic and community theatre productions and operas and author of numerous articles and reviews for Educational Theatre Journal, Players Magazine, Social Studies and other publications. He received many honors and awards including the Rudolph E. Pugliese Arts Scholarship (bestowed by the Maryland Drama Association); Ertzman Award for outstanding contribution to Maryland High Schools Drama Program (1980); venue in Tawes Fine Arts Building named Pugliese Theatre (1986-2001); appointed professor emeritus (1986). Reuben Silver (PhD 1961) and his wife Dorothy Silver were presented with a special tribute by Cleveland State University on November 20, 2010, at the Cleveland Playhouse. According to the annnouncement, “For more than 50 years, Reuben and Dorothy Silver have been Northeast Ohio’s reigning theatrical couple, captivating audiences in their roles as performers, directors, administrators, teachers, and mentors. In addition, Reuben helped build Cleveland State University’s theater arts program in 17 years as department head. In appreciation, the university, its College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and its Department of Theatre and Dance established the Reuben and Dorothy Silver Endowed Scholarship at Cleveland State University.”

1970s Toni-Leslie James (BFA 1979)


Compiled, Researched and Edited by Damian Bowerman and PhD Student Dries Vandorpe


transgender actress/singer and a long-time survivor living with AIDS and enjoying a productive, successful and happy life. For more information visit and www.

Chris Baum (BC 1988) is a Chicago opera singer and played Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls in Chicago in fall 2011.

Tracy (Rhoades) Manly (BC 1990) is a lead painter and technician for Cirque du Solei’s O at the Belagio in Las Vegas.

Kevin Connell (BC 1987) directed a revival of Time and the Conways by J.B. Priestly at Marymount Manhattan College where he is associate professor of Theatre Arts, president of the faculty council and coordinator of junior and senior acting.

Kim Turney (MFA 1992) was interviewed in Intertainme by Annie Lipton. She released a new project on Youtube called FIGHT CLASS: the series. She is a sword master at Academy of Theatrical Combat in Burbank, CA.

designed costumes for the Tony Award nominated production Scottsboro Boys. For more information, visit

Diane Wondisford (MFA 1982) is producing director of Music-Theatre Group in Brooklyn, NY, a company focused on the creation of new musictheatre. This year she produced Saturnalia and Dark Sisters with the group. For more information, visit

1990s Dawn Formey (MFA 1993) is an assistant professor of theatre for Shaw University. She has been selected to help lecture/train (final year) students pre-service completing teachers certification and support in-service teachers abroad as volunteer of International Foundation for Self Help / USAID to Africa. She will also provide in ESL support for administrators. (She received her TESOL World Learning Certification in 2008.) Brad Fryman (MFA 1996) is artistic director of an active off-off Broadway theatre company called Oberon Theatre Ensemble. This year the company presented a world premiere of Order by Christopher Boal, Othello by William Shakespeare, and Starship Astrov by Duncan Pflaster. For more information about the company, visit Mary Beidler Gearen (MA 1990) produced Alexandra Billings in Concert for the Loring Theater in Minneapolis on June 17 and 18, 2011. Alexandra Billings is an award-winning

Spring Awakening, winter 2011

2000s Laura Butler (BA 2003) played a new song at her show at LIC Bar and her music video, “Worth It,” was screened and highly regarded at the First Annual Astoria/LIC International Film Festival. She was featured in an article on She performed in New York Nuts 5, a series of six short plays produced by Aching Dogs Theatre Company in New York. She was also featured in the music video Noize Pollution and played an acoustic show in September 2010 at National Underground in New York. Raymond Caldwell (MFA 2009) was hired as the community engagement

For a complete list of alumni news see ENCORE online at partnership coordinator at Arena Stage. Eric Colleary (BA 2005) completed his MA in theatre arts at the University of Minnesota, and as part of the combined MA/PhD program there, he successfully defended his dissertation in May 2011. Eric had the honor and great fortune of receiving a fellowship to conduct his research at the university’s Institute for Advanced Study for the year. Chris Comeau (BA 2005) is an editor for the Biggest Loser. Anne Damman (MA 2006) was featured in a January 2011 article by The Providence Journal about her work as spokesmodel working at the 2011 Northeast International Auto Show. According to the article, Anne works “for Gail & Rice, a Michiganbased firm that produces marketing events for the auto industry. They attended a one-week training in September to learn about the Chevrolet lineup, including time on the test track.” She also works as an actress in Cincinnati. Anne was a member of the 2010-2011 Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company for the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. According the the theatre website, she “records voice-overs for several major publishers, including Investor’s Business Daily, The New Republic, Project Syndicate and Creators Syndicate, and has appeared in numerous commercials and short films.” Lise “Kat” Evans (MFA Acting 2006) is an actor, playwright, and yoga instructor in Chicago. She did a guest artist in residency in Orange City, IA and taught playwriting workshops at Dordt and Northwestern Colleges. Check out her website at http://

Kathleen Gonzalez (MFA 2002) presented readings from her new play-in-progress From Shaky Ground. Gonzales will share the stories of her friends and family members who witnessed the January 12 earthquake first hand, capturing their experiences of hope, pain, and recovery. Kiana Harris (MFA 2009) and Cole Simon (BA 2007) are engaged to be married in September 2011. Kiana is the marketing director of Glass City Films and general manager of The Actors Gymnasium in Evanston, IL. She directed Ribbon Around a Bomb, a world premiere musical by Jess Eisenberg for the Prologue Theatre Company in April 2011. The production was stage managed by Sarah Gilmore (BA 2006). Kenny Hathaway (BA 2007) moved to Las Vegas where he is working for UFC…Ultimate Fighting Championship.. creating videos. Jason Hedden (MFA 2006) is assistant professor of theatre at Gulf Coast State College. Sarah Helgesen (BA 2008) earned an MFA in stage management from Columbia University. She was the production assistant for a large scale off-Broadway musical called Lucky Guy. Creighton James (BA 2000) A workshop production of Creighton’s newest play, Dirt, was presented at Studio Tisch. NYU Tisch Grad Acting Associate Chair Victor Pappas, directed Creighton and Derek Wilson in this dark comic two-hander. He was cast in the feature film Forgetting the Girl shot in August 2010. www. He guest starred as former marine Greg Tanner in the 20th season premiere episode of Law & Order, which aired in September 2010 on NBC. He played the historical character James Finley in the six-hour documentary series God In America, which aired on PBS, fall 2010. Follow the link for more info. http://www. pbsreligion.html. He played Colm in Episode 5 of the 6th season of Rescue Me which aired on FX in July 2011. Little Accidents (Dir. Sara Colangelo)

starring Creighton and Amanda Phillips premiered at SUNDANCE 2010. For more info visit www.saracolangelo. com. Episode 115 of The Good Wife with Creighton as Tony Gurstelle aired in March 2011 on CBS. He shot the leading role in the dark comic vampire film Vamperifica in July 2011. See more at Davonte Johnson (BA 2009) has been very busy creating video projection designs for theatre in Chicago. He recently got a fantastic review in the Chicago Tribune for an original piece he created for a production working in collaboration with another recent grad, Anne Hu. Mike Karnell (BA 2009) is working as a post-production supervisor on NCIS LA. Brittany Kiefer (BA 2007) ended her three year tour with Walking With Dinosaurs in September 2010 to begin touring with Shakira as a carpenter. Virginia Logan (MFA 2009) was interviewed by CNN for a story about stunt performer safety at Aerial Acrobat Entertainment where she was a student aerialist. Bruno Lovric (MFA Acting 2009) is director assistant of East West Theatre Company in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For more information, visit http:// Matt and Johamy (Morales) McCarren (MFA 2008 and 2009) Johamy accepted a fellowship at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. as the director of outreach programs. Matt taught scenic and lighting design at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, MI in August 2010. Adam Rex (BA 2006) is working as a production assistant on NCIS LA. Angeles Romero (MFA 2003) is working with Talento Bilingüe de Houston with Angel Quesada.

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ALUMNI & FRIENDS {continued}

Cole Simon (BA 2007) won Best Director at the 2011 Trail Dance Film Festival for his work on Separation Anxiety. This is the second Golden Drover win for Glass City Films, which claimed Best Drama for Glass City in 2009. Glass City Films’ second feature, Happily After, screened at the Lake County Film Fest in Grayslake, IL, and at the River Bend Film Festival in South Bend, IN. Nate Sloan (BA 2003) interned at Conan his senior year and dived head first into NYC comedy once he graduated from OSU. For the fourth year in a row, Nate worked as a producer on the ECNY Awards, an awards show highlighting excellence in the comedic performing arts in New York City. He is also a founding editor of The Apiary, a site about NYC comedy news, shows and performers-it’s been featured in The New York Times, The AV Club, Gawker and the Huffington Post among others. Nate is currently helping with the production of SketchFest NYC, the best sketch comedy festival in the country, and he co-hosts a monthly showcase at the Peoples Improv Theater in Manhattan. Jonathan Nawn (BA 2006) is pursuing stand-up comedy and acting in Seattle, WA. He presented his solo performance piece, This Little Piggy, at the contemporary performance center On the Boards for the 12 Minutes Max showcase. This summer, he will tour with Engaged Theatre, performing Shakespeare at correctional facilities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Eleni Papaleonardos (BA 2001) won Best Actress from the Central Ohio Theatre Critics Circle for her performances as Beatrice in the Actors’ Theatre production of Much Ado About Nothing and as herself in Available Light Theatre’s production of her one-woman show Stop Sign (Language). Adam West (MFA 2004) is a member of Motion Picture Costumers Local 705 in California. In the last year he has worked as a costumer for All My Children with ABC Studios,


set costumer for Franklin and Bash with Woodbridge Productions, and costumer for Pair of Kings with It’s A Laugh Productions.

2010s Jessica Biggert (BA 2010) stage managed Bad Evidence by Terry Quinn in July 2011 for the Hive Theatre Company at the Cell in New York. For more information visit www. Liam Cronin (BA 2010) is the associate artistic director of Whistling in the Dark where he played Bat Boy in Bat Boy: The Musical. He also played Freddie Fillmore (Potter, Joseph) in CATCO’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Tyrone Russell (BA 2010) is working for Television New Zealand (TVNZ). Zuri Hall (Theatre Minor 2010) won an Emmy Award for hosting MyINDYTV, a television station in Indianapolis. Dan Wilburn (BA 2010) landed an internship with the award winning comedy video website http://www. Dan will be working with My Damn Channel in New York City while continuing his internet “news” web series, Columbus News InsideHer, premiering a new web show entitled World News New York, and making his way around the NYC stand-up comedy circuit. Friends News Brad Clapper worked in the art department on X-Men: First Class. Martha Farmer, emeritus assistant professor of Theatre at Ohio State Lima, died on Thursday, January 13, 2011. She was a great friend to the program and a great supporter of the arts in Lima. Recently she created an endowed faculty position at Lima that allowed for the hiring of a new acting/ movement person for the program. Zachary Glueck is in Las Vegas working with Shoreline Entertainment an agency for indie films. Anne Hu won on a contest where she was given a 3D camera to shoot a movie, which she completed and it is

now in the running for an award. She recently got a fantastic review in the Chicago Tribune for an original piece she created for a production working in collaboration with another recent grad, Davonte Johnson. Rex Mcgraw (professor emeritus, directing and acting 1987-98 Returned to Athens, OH, where he taught from 1964 to 1975, and where he directed To Kill A Mocking Bird for the Ohio Valley Summer Theatre. He had directed 11 productions for the organization in the past. This one sold out its run and received several standing ovations, including one for the director on closing night. He acknowedged the cast and their excellent ensemble work for the success of the production. Craig Pentack (BA Film Studies, Video Production, 2009) worked in the art department on X-Men: First Class. Annette Reid is a planner for Walt Disney Imagineering in California. She appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Jack Productions in June/ July 2010. Dana P. Rowe and John Dempsey’s musical The Fix played at New York’s Frederick Loewe Theatre in September and October 2010. Esther Beth Sullivan produced Metamorphoses at Alaska Pacific University where she was the prop master, set painter, box office manager, as well as financier—and in general, she did everything that didn’t require getting on a ladder. Molly Yahr is a production assistant on Iron Chef.

ALUMNI & FRIENDS We want to hear from you! Please send updates and photos to: or encore

The Ohio State University Department of Theatre 1089 Drake Performance & Event Center 1849 Cannon Drive Columbus, OH 43210-1208


Kristine Kearney, Nena Couch, Mary Tarantino, Dan Gray, Joe Brandesky (seated) at the restaurant in the Dancing House, Prague

By Jarod Wilson, MFA Lighting Design Student I recently participated in the Prague Theatre Program. Highlights of the trip for me included our side trip to Ceský Krumlov, a charming and beautiful southern Bohemian town. At its castle, it has both a unique, revolving outdoor theatre and a beautifully maintained, fully functional Baroque theatre. On another fun and interesting side trip, we visited the Sedlec Ossuary and St. Barbara’s Church in Kutná Hora. St. Barbara’s is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever visited, and Sedlec is one-of-a-kind, with its human skeletal decoration. The most unexpected and awe-inspiring moment was our trip to visit the archives of the National Museum’s theatre collection in Terezín. In one room we saw rack after rack of preserved costumes from decades and centuries past; in another was a collection of literally hundreds of scenic models from the most prominent figures of Czech theatre design in the 20th Century. Our group also had the opportunity of meeting with Jaroslav Malina, a prominent Czech scenographer, and later seeing a production of Faust and Marketka that he designed for the Studio Ypsilon Theatre. Finally, we got to see two interesting and very different documentaries, one about the life and art of Malina, and the other about rival designer Josef Svoboda.


The Prague Quadrennial (PQ) was quite enjoyable, providing a wide variety of exhibits, performances, lectures/discussions, and film screenings. I felt very inspired by all of the design work on display from various countries around the world, as well as the interesting installations and site-specific work that were going on all over Prague. I look forward to the next time I can visit Prague, and strongly recommend the Ohio State program for anyone who has the opportunity to participate.

Prague study abroad students and faculty in front of Bellarie in Ceský Krumlov by the revolving theatre.


2010 – 2011 END OF YEAR CELEBRATION AWARDS & RECOGNITION PROGRAM 2010-2011 Honorary Dramatic Fraternity Alpha Psi Omega (APO) President Paul Moon led the newly elected 2011-2012 APO officers in the Oath of Office: President Kyler Moor, Vice President Zak Houston, Business Manager Stephanie Ewen. The Scarlet Mask Society inducted their new officers: President Lesley Fisher, Vice President John Houston, Treasurer Mackenzi Flannery.

• • • •

J.R. Gualtieri was recognized for undergraduate student excellence in recognition for distinction work in theatre for his research on Reality Tunnel III: A Study in Perception and Procedural Animation at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum.

Outstanding Contribution to the 2010-2011 Production Season:

• •

• • • • •

Eric Barker in recognition of his scenic design for On the Shore of the Wide World Cassandra Barnhouse in recognition of her leadership and assistance on Spring Awakening Jaclyn Benedict in recognition of her leadership in The Camouflage Project Alex Childs in recognition of his performance in Spring Awakening and in recognition of his exceptional leadership as Production Electrician for Eurydice

• •

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Chair Dan Gray prepares to present certificates to graduates at the convocation


John Connor in recognition of his performance in Spring Awakening Angela Cutrell in recognition of her leadership in Eurydice Alyssa Ellis in recognition of her leadership in Othello Mackenzi Flannery in recognition of her performances in On the Shore of the Wide World, Spring Awakening and Eurydice Margaret Glaser in recognition of her leadership in Spring Awakening J.R. Gualtieri in recognition of his animation design for The Camouflage Project Cornelius Hubbard, Jr. in recognition of his performance in Eurydice Sarah Hurwitz in recognition of her leadership in Aida Emily Mills in recognition of her musical leadership for Aida and The Camouflage Project Paul Moon in recognition of his performance in Eurydice Mahmoud Osman in recognition of his performances in On the Shore of the Wide World, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Camouflage Project Zacharey Owens in recognition of his performances in On the Shore of the Wide World, Spring Awakening and Eurydice Amber Paul in recognition of her leadership and assistance on The Camouflage Project Kevin Rhodus in recognition of his outside the box thinking in creating the audio playback system for The Camouflage Project Audrey Rush in recognition of her leadership as dialect coach for On the Shore of the Wide World Lowri Sion in recognition of her sound design for the production, animations and exhibit of The Camouflage Project Alan Weisenberger in recognition of his exceptional assistance in video documentation of The Camouflage Project Natalie Woods in recognition of her exceptional assistance and understanding of projection playback for The Camouflage Project

The ensemble for A Midsummer Night’s Dream for their hard work and dedication while introducing Shakespeare to young audiences: Kelsey Bates, Lesley Fisher, Zak Houston, Paul Moon, Kyler Moor, Taylor Moss, Mahmoud Osman, Audrey Rush

Ashley Greene and Audrey Rush were honored with Lifetime Achievement in recognition of their performance, dedication, and support of the Department of Theatre directing courses. The Arts Initiative at Ohio State honored Mahmoud Osman with the Inaugural Undergraduate Shakespeare Fellowship. Special Awards and Recognition John Boyd, Pam Decker and Melissa Lee who published review essays in the December 2010 issue of Theatre Journal Andrew Blasenak and Aaron Zook who each received $2,000 in funding from the Graduate School’s Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship Cat Schmeal-Swope for receiving a 2010 Peggy Ezekiel Award of Distinction for her puppet design on The Long Christmas Ride Home Jarod Wilson for receiving a 2010 Peggy Ezekiel Award of Outstanding Achievement and Board’s Choice Award for his lighting design on The Three Sisters Arts & Humanities Undergraduate Research Small Grants Program recipients Cory Donnner and Alan Weisenberger, PSP Video Production students Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients The Gerald R. Black Scholarship Fund for Recognition of Excellence in Theatre was established in 1974


The Ohio State University Department of Theatre Class of 2011

in memory of Gerald R. Black, a 1924 graduate of The Ohio State University. The scholarship is intended for undergraduate students within the Department of Theatre interested in playwrighting. Recipients: Sarah Gehring, Daniel Jeffries, Kyler Moor The Michael Swink Fund for Talent in Theatre Technology was established in 1980 in memory of Michael Swink, BA 1975, and provides funding for undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional talent and ability in theatre in the area of design and technology. Recipients: Dayna Schlefstein, Lowri Sion The Scarlet Mask Award was established in 1973 by members of the Scarlet Mask Society to recognize distinction and outstanding performance. Recipient: Lesley Fisher   The Robert Eugene Johnson Memorial Scholarship was established in 1983 with gifts from the estate of Robert Eugene Johnson, MA 1950, to provide one or more scholarships for junior and/or senior students who are majoring in theatre and are maintaining at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. Recipients: Alex Childs, Lesley Fisher, Sarah Gehring, Margaret Glaser, Jared Riley, Samantha Sharkey The Roy and Addeleen Bowen Fund for Exceptional Talent in Theatre was established in 1978 to honor Roy H. Bowen, professor emeritus of theatre. The scholarship supports undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional talent in theatre.

Awarded annually in memory of Steven Vrba, assistant professor of theatre, 1982 - January 1984, this cash award is to be given to an upper division theatre major who has demonstrated high academic achievement and outstanding abilities in theatre technology during the year. Recipient: Dayna Schlefstein Graduate Student Excellence Awards Recipients: Andrew Blasenak, Service and Research; Phil Garrett, Service and Creative Activity; Elizabeth Harelik, Research and Creative Activity; Alex Kyle-DiPietropaolo, Teaching and Creative Activity; Tory Matsos, Teaching; Eric H. Mayer, Research and Creative Activity; Kevin McClatchy, Service; Chelsea Phillips, Research and Creative Activity; Christopher Roche, Teaching and Creative Activity; Cat Schmeal-Swope, Teaching and Creative Activity; Amany Seleem, Outstanding Contributions in the area of Video Production; Francesca Spedalieri, Service, Research and Creative Activity; Jarod Wilson, Teaching, Service and Creative Activity; Matthew Yde, Research Chair’s Award for Academic Achievement for Undergraduate Students: Angela Cutrell, Ashton Brammer, David Budde, Alex Childs, Amani Davidson, Lesley Fisher, Mackenzi Flannery, Alyssa Haverfield, Zak Houston, Katie Howard, Corbin Jones, Stephanie Keller, Anna Leeper, Caitlin Leow, Breanna Lewis, Elizabeth Light, Mahmoud Osman, Maggie Roby, Dayna Schlefstein, Lowri Sion, John Sorenson

Recipients: Ashton Brammer, Alex Childs, Margaret Glaser, Katie Howard, Caitlin Leow, Lowri Sion


REGIONAL CAMPUS UPDATE playwright came from New York City to view the preview and the first show, and to speak to the Theatre 100 class. He enjoyed his visit, and the students benefited greatly from his formal and informal observations on theatre.

The Whole Shebang, part of Rich’s Shorts, Ohio State Newark, winter 2010

The season concluded with a showing of Yasmina Reza’s multiple award-winning Art. The set featured three large white flats spelling out ‘A-R-T,’ an aspect that many audience members noticed, but many others perceived only subliminally. Because of the Black Box Theater’s oddly-stepped grid, the normal positions of the audience and the stage were reversed, creating an alienation effect for regular attendees in this venue. The acting ensemble reminded the director of the 60s power-trio Cream, each member of whom expressed the desire to blow the other two off the stage with pure skill. They played off each other with strength and intelligence. Perhaps due to the esoteric nature of the script, attendance was low compared to that at other productions this season. However, those who did attend paid rapt attention to the dramatic moments in the script, and laughed full-heartedly at the comic ones. Artistically, if not commercially, this production capped a strong season in the Black Box Theater.

Ohio State Newark By Dave Williams, Associate Professor The season kicked off with a presentation of David Auburn’s Proof. Veteran Black Box Theater actor David Smith was quite strong in the role of Harold, receiving good support from Dave Williams and newcomers Katie Bryant and Yulya Fonin. The set was a detailed rendition of the back patio of a house in Chicago, complete with lawn chair, picnic table and benches, coiled-up hose, and two wasps’ nests. On either side of this set, two large hyperbolas constructed of black pipe and purple yarn expressed the play’s mathematical background. Attendance was quite good, and the audience’s response to the strong curtain line at the end of the first act (in which Katie reveals that she has not discovered a world-changing mathematical proof, but written it herself) was palpable. By special invitation, the dean-director of the Newark campus, Bill MacDonald attended one show, and he called the production “magical.” All in all, Proof was a strong start to the season. The winter production was a production of six comedies by award-winning playwright Rich Orloff, collectively entitled “Rich’s Shorts.” Each play had a different setting, so the set consisted of three large platforms, each with a wall on one side, arranged in different configurations. The cast included eight students, including two first-timers, who acquitted themselves with distinction. One of the plays entitled Right Sensation was somewhat serious, but the others evoked laughter on many occasions. The highlight in this regard occurred in Off The Map, when a giant penguin appeared and counseled a troubled couple. By invitation, the


Kashtanka, Ohio State Lima, autumn 2010

Ohio State Lima By Joe Brandesky, Professor and Coordinator of Theatre The Lima campus theatre program participated in the 50th anniversary of OSU Lima with three productions in the 2010-11 academic year. Maria Ignatieva directed and wrote Kashtanka (based on the short story by Anton Chekhov) for our Theatre for Young Audiences performances during

autumn 2010. Joe Brandesky directed Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind during winter 2011. Guest Director Brian Keegan helmed the spring 2011 production of I Hate Hamlet, with stage combat coordination by Robert Behrens. Greg Owen designed sets and Loo Brandesky designed costumes for all productions this last year. This autumn, we will welcome our new lecturer in performance, Margaret Anich, an OSU alumna. Doug Raver spent the year keeping us organized and the auditorium schedule legible. Eleven students were awarded Martha Farmer Theatre scholarships during the past academic year. Among those were Eric Holycross, who was also awarded the Theatre Department Award during the 2011 academic awards at OSU-Lima, and Danita Lazenby, who received additional support to travel with the Prague Theatre Study Tour in June 2011. Next year’s season in Lima will include The Twelve Months, a new play for young audiences adapted and directed by Joe Brandesky, (autumn 2011), a production of Stars in the Morning Sky directed by Maria Ignatieva (winter 2012), and the musical Company directed by Margaret Anich with musical direction by our colleague from the Music Department, Beverly Bletstein (spring 2012). All set designs will be by Greg Owen and all costumes provided by Loo Brandesky during the coming year. Finally, this year we bid a sad farewell to our friend and patron, Martha W. Farmer who died in January. Over the years Martha contributed mightily to the continuing development of the theatre program at OSU Lima. She began her career in Lima by spending 15 years developing and running a one-woman program. Once retired, she initially focused on helping students through a scholarship that bears her name. In more recent years she funded the theatre renovation and additions that have made our facility truly functional for theatre students on our campus. Her last and most recent gifts will ensure the existence of an art gallery and new instructor in theatre at OSU Lima. Martha will be remembered for her generosity to all the arts organizations in Lima, but more importantly, her warmth and unflagging friendship will be sorely missed. Ohio State Mansfield By Joseph Fahey, Assistant Professor The 2010-2011 theater season at Ohio State Mansfield was full of thrills for our audiences and exciting accomplishments for our student and community artists. We started the year with our third annual student-led 24-hour play creation festival. Then, in November Yazmina Reza’s Art played to audiences in a downtown art gallery one weekend and in our campus theatre the next. We split our cast and crossed gender lines for several roles, integrated a complex video design into the performances, and challenged our production team with performances in two radically different spaces. Several students were awarded

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Irene Ryan nominations for acting and our design students received certificates of merit in sound design, video design, and scenic design. In January we continued our collaboration with the Mansfield Youth Theatre with a production of The Music Man Jr. and also took our largest group of students yet to the Region II KCACTF festival in Baltimore. Caryl Churchill’s brilliant and cryptic A Number played on the Founders’ stage in February. This was an introduction to our theatre program for our new Dean and Director Steve Gavazzi, who participated along with other faculty in a postshow discussion on opening night. In May we completed our season with a rousing performance of The Twentieth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee under the direction of guest director Renee Statham from One For the Road Players. All told, our season and our new sound system (courtesy of Jim Knapp and his brilliant students) were big hits.

Art, Ohio State Mansfield, autumn 2010

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The Camouflage Project, spring 2011


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Profile for College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State


Autumn 2011 issue of Encore. Alumni magazine of the Department of Theatre at The Ohio State University


Autumn 2011 issue of Encore. Alumni magazine of the Department of Theatre at The Ohio State University