THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE AND DANCE NEWSLETTER SPRING 2012
IN THIS ISSUE The Art of Giving A Legacy of Dance: Shirlee Dodge (1916-2008) Faculty Honored as 2011 United States Artists Fellow Remembering Dr. Paul Reinhardt In Memoriam Alumni Accolades Coming to the Stage
finearts.utexas.edu/tad 360 (round dance), 2011
From the Winship Building at The University of Texas, in glorious Austin, to our alumni, friends, and parents - Greetings and big Texas hugs to all of you!! The very best part of our job (other than teaching students) is building relationships with all of you and sharing the stories of our lives and careers. Our mission is to make sure that everyone who cares about UT Theatre and Dance, past and present, receives a copy of ENCORE. Your interest and support is critically important to us and we are so glad that you are reading this. Often people say to me, “so what’s happening in the department these days?” Well, it isn’t difficult to answer that question because “what’s happening” is the most important shift in direction in the Department of Theatre and Dance in a quarter century. Our program is in the process of a passionate recommitment to our undergraduate mission, with the goal of creating the best undergraduate programs in acting, dance, and theatre-dance education in the United States. The source of that optimism is the combination of dynamic faculty, great facilities, and the most talented undergraduate students in the country IN TEXAS!! We have marshaled our resources to do something we have not done in a generation; namely, recruit talented, undergraduate Texans into the Department of Theatre and Dance. No longer are we going to sit around and watch helplessly while every top school in America comes to this state to recruit our talented Texans. With the help of friends, alumni, and members of our Director’s Council, we are building scholarship support dollars to win those recruiting battles and make The University of Texas at Austin the place where talented Texans become actors, dancers, educators, and scholars. The pride we feel in the university is also part of the reason we honor the legacy of the fabulous faculty who have built this department. B. Iden Payne, Loren Winship, Oscar Brockett, Fran Hodge, Ruth Denney, and Paul Reinhardt are just some of our departed friends who will always be remembered and cherished by our program. In this ENCORE we feature the incomparable Shirlee Dodge, without whom there would be no dance program at UT. In future editions we will highlight the lives and careers of those faculty members that have meant so much to so many of you. Together we will help write the history of this amazing Theatre and Dance program. Please continue to stay in touch and send us your updates and news. We look forward to hearing from you. Hook ‘em Horns!
THE ART OF GIVING BACK Tanya Schurr (BA 2008) Dean, College of Fine Arts Douglas Dempster, PhD Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance Brant Pope, PhD Senior Associate Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance Lucien Douglas, PhD To make a gift to the Department of Theatre and Dance Michele Baylor, Director of Development 512.475.6291 firstname.lastname@example.org To share your alumni news Cassie Gholston, Director of Marketing 512.232.5301 email@example.com The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance I University Station D3900 Austin, Texas 78712 Phone: 512.471.5793 finearts.utexas.edu/tad The ENCORE logo is the genius of Harvey Schmidt, artist and composer, BFA 1952.
Brant Pope Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance Z.T. Scott Family Chair in Drama 2
Photo: Mustafah Abdulaziz, Jeff Heimsath, Trent Lesikar, Rino Pizzi.
Tanya Schurr’s job isn’t your typical “9 to 5”. As the production coordinator for Flow Nonfiction, the 2008 bachelor of arts alumna juggles office management, accounting, and produces on and offset film shoots. Every day has a new set of challenges to tackle. And Schurr wouldn’t change a minute of it.
A self-proclaimed “theatre nerd” in her youth, Schurr discovered a love for stage management in high school and elected to pursue her degree at The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance. She explains, “After looking at competitive and high dollar schools like NYU, Carnegie Mellon, and conservatories like Webster, I felt that I might want to take a few non-theatre courses and earn a more well-rounded education. I looked back at my hometown and UT was my answer. I remember meeting with faculty member Denise Martel. I was in awe of the possibilities offered.”
Martel quickly became one of Schurr’s mentors. Schurr shares, “Denise’s stage management classes were so much about what to expect as a real world stage manager. We created production binders, shadowed other stage managers, and had a chance to step behind the scenes of many main stage shows at Bass Concert Hall to meet Broadway crews who offered priceless advice and connections to the business. Denise was the one that saw potential in me and gave me the opportunities to stage manage shows from the start.” During her junior year, Schurr volunteered to stage manage Wireless-less, a new play produced in conjunction with the University Co-op Presents the Cohen New Works Festival. The fortuitous meeting of Schurr and Wireless-less playwright David Modigliani (MFA 2007) led to their ongoing collaboration. Schurr went on to serve as assistant producer for Modigliani’s acclaimed documentary Crawford, and then joined Modigliani at Flow Nonfiction, an Austin-based production company that makes documentary content for socially conscious companies.
gave me a sense of hope. It was a truly eye opening experience and has made me a stronger person.” Flow Nonfiction is currently working on a film about meningitis awareness for the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. It has been four years since Schurr’s graduation, and her work and talents are making a national impact. Reflecting on her time at the university, Schurr offers her insight to students. “Take advantage of the incredible opportunities both in and around the Department of Theatre and Dance. Take the Business Foundation courses and you’ll be glad you did no matter where you end up. Join a campus organization, like Rotaract,” she advises. “Most importantly, build strong relationships with people, which as a theatre kid, shouldn’t be too tough! It’s all about enjoying the time you have and appreciating the community that you’re a part of.” Learn more about Flow Nonfiction and their work at flownonfiction.com.
Schurr’s favorite project to date is Flow Nonfiction’s short film Espwa, which means “Hope” in Haitian Creole. Partnering with Procter & Gamble’s Tide Loads of Hope program, Flow Nonfiction filmed the company’s volunteers delivering donated washers and dryers to a local hospital and orphanage in Port Au Prince following the Haiti earthquake. Schurr says, “The post-earthquake conditions were devastating, but the positive Haitians we interviewed and the beautiful, smiling children we spent time with at the orphanage Photography courtesy of Flow Nonfiction ENCORE SPRING 2012
A LEGACY OF DANCE Shirlee Dodge (1916 – 2008) By David Justin Associate Professor, UT Department of Theatre and Dance
Legacy is vital in dance. Passing from one generation of dancer to the next through the sweat and dedication of practice, dance thrives, evolves and sustains in the light of legacy. Shirlee Dodge founded the dance program 4
at The University of Texas at Austin in 1943 and built a legacy formed from two continents, the womb of modern expressionist dance and a lifetime devoted to true creativity.
Dodge was invited by Anna Hiss (Head of The University of Texas at Austin Department for Physical Training for Women) to found a creative dance program for the university in 1943.
From an early age Dodge danced her way through life (tap and acrobatics) with her sister in Vaudevillian acts until she discovered a new way to move and express in the performances of Mary Wigman. An acolyte of Rudolf Laban, Wigman is considered by many to be the founder of modern dance in Europe. At the age of 21, Dodge traveled to Europe with her University of Wisconsin Dance classmates. She convinced her parents that she needed to remain in Europe to study with Wigman in Dresden, Germany. Dodge graduated from the Mary Wigman Central Institute in 1939 with three degrees: Professional Theatre Dancer, Pedagogy for Laymen Dancers, and Pedagogy for Professional Dancers. Later, armed with international experience, an artistic pedigree from the leading edge of modern dance and a professional teaching and performing career spanning parts of Europe, New York and the midwest;
Within two years, Dodge was able to bring the dance program to the College of Fine Arts under Dean E. William Doty. Dodge not only taught dance, but choreographed and performed as well. This began the dance education of university students, as well as the Austin community. In a 1946 program letter, she wrote:
1998) Tune is a hard act to follow, yet theatre and dance alumni continue to impact the field with great success from New York to Los Angeles; from Maine to Mexico; onstage, behind the scenes and in the studio.
Dodge achieved full professorship at the university in 1965. She and her colleagues B. Iden Payne, Loren Winship, E.P. Conkle, Jim Moll and Fran Hodge were forces that shaped the department and the standards of excellence that the faculty and students relentlessly pursue to this day. Taking a snapshot of the dance program today, it is inspiring to see the thread of legacy continue to be spun. The department’s dance faculty share with Dodge the philosophical perspectives
“Creative Dance, like any art, is a matter of personal experience. This experience can be the act of the dancer or the act of the spectator. In a dance concert, a true aesthetic fulfillment is that performance throughout which a free and flowing communication is established between the dancer and his audience.
[….] It is impossible to describe dance with words. Dance is a language which must be met in terms of its nature. As sound is to music, as words are to literature…so is movement to dance.” (Shirlee Dodge, Dance Sketches, 1946) Dodge, 1945
of individual creativity, the professional experiences of working internationally, and making the teaching aspect of this art form a central part of the experience. The bachelor of fine arts in dance, started in 1998, focuses on three fundamental elements of study to support students living life on a dancer’s journey: performance, creativity and pedagogy. All of these were fundamental to the creative life of Shirlee Dodge.
There are many ways to measure success. One is to look at the success of the pupils. While an educator cannot take credit for students’ innate talents, mentors like Dodge do play an undeniable role in nurturing talents to realize their fullest potentials. Possibly one of the greatest successes has been that of alumnus Tommy Tune, winner of nine Tony Awards and the National Medal of Arts, to whom Dodge was an important “haven of sanity.” (Tune,
Today’s university dance program is a true partner in the Department of Theatre and Dance, and is considered a model for other programs. The department has evolved greatly since the days of creative dance in P.E. programs. The dance program is developing scholarships, taking students to Europe to perform and study, presenting choreography at the Kennedy Center, and seeking ways to constantly improve the student experience through repertoire, facility improvements, and guest artist interactions. The momentum is compelling. Dance at The University of Texas at Austin stands to continue as a driving force in the department, the college and the nation.
The Shirlee Dodge Theatre and Dance Endowment was recently established by Shirlee’s daughter, Pam McIlhenny and her husband Edmund. This endowment will honor Professor Dodge’s legacy by supporting The University of Texas at Austin dance program and awarding scholarships to the most talented dance students. To be a part of this meaningful tribute to Shirlee Dodge, you may make a gift online at givetotheatreanddance.org or by check made payable to ‘The University of Texas at Austin’, mailed to: Michele Baylor, Director of Development The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance 1 University Station, D3900 Austin, TX 78712 For additional information, please contact Michele Baylor at 512.475.6291.
Historical information drawn from Dodge Days, Pam and Edmund McIlhenny, 2000, ISBN 0-9705731-0-3 Photography courtesy of Pam and Edmund McIlhenny
ENCORE SPRING 2012
FACULTY HONORED AS 2011 UNITED STATES ARTISTS FELLOW
Kirk Lynn (MFA 2004) Earns Prestigious Award
Kirk Lynn, Department of Theatre and Dance lecturer of playwriting and directing, has been honored as one of the 2011 United States Artists Fellows. This prestigious award grants 50 of America’s finest artists with individual fellowships of $50,000. Past winners include Austin-based choreographer Deborah Hay, Anne Bogart (artistic
director, The SITI Company), Ping Chong, Bill Rauch (co-founder, Cornerstone Theater Company), and award-winning actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith.
Rude Mechs has produced 23 original pieces that have been presented nationally and internationally and earned over 180 local and national awards and nominations.
In addition to his work at The University of Texas at Austin, Lynn is the playwright-in-residence and one of six co-producing artistic directors of Rude Mechs. Formed in 1995, Rude Mechs is an ensemble-based company based in Austin, Texas committed to the collaborative creation of new works for the stage. With the Rude Mechs, Lynn has written and adapted more than a dozen plays, including Lipstick Traces, Cherrywood, The Method Gun, and I’ve Never Been So Happy, a Western Operetta. I’ve Never Been So Happy received the NEA New Play Development Award and was recently performed at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. and Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles. Since the company’s inception,
Lynn holds a bachelor of arts and master of fine arts from The University of Texas at Austin. In addition to his teaching, Lynn serves as a co-producer for the Department of Theatre and Dance’s Cohen New Works Festival, presented by the University Co-op. Founded in 2005, United States Artists is a national grant-making and advocacy organization committed to investing in America’s artists and illuminating the value of artists to society. USA Fellows are chosen through a highly competitive nomination and peer-review process. Lynn and the cohort of 2011 USA fellows represent some of the most innovative and diverse creative talents in the country.
IN MEMORIAM : 2011 Edward L. Cannan III, BFA 1967 Hildegarde T. Erwin, BFA 1954 Mark Hunter, PhD 2005 Louise E. Nixon, BFA 1942 Louise S. Pope, BFA 1951 Paul D. Reinhardt, MFA 1953 William L. Rentfro, BFA 1979 Sandra “Scottie” Wilkison, BFA 1957
Remembering Dr. Paul Reinhardt (1929-2011) Dr. Paul Reinhardt passed away on April 29, 2011, in Silver Spring, Maryland. He served The University of Texas at Austin for twenty-eight years as a professor and student advisor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, during which time he also served as head of the department’s costume design program, supervisor of the costume construction shop and curator of the historical clothing collection.
Dr. Reinhardt received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Tulsa, a master of fine arts degree in theatre history and costume from The University of Texas at Austin, and his doctorate in theatre history from the University of Iowa. He was a student of Lucy Barton and B. Iden Payne, and was a colleague of many theatre luminaries, including Oscar Brockett, Angus Bowmer, Douglas Russell, and Alvina Krause. Dr. Reinhardt was one of the leading authorities on the history of clothing and design, with many published articles and countless public lectures on costume history, costume design, period movement for actors, and the history of “blue jeans” (his specialty) to his credit. In addition to his work at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Reinhardt’s academic credits as professor and designer included Richmond Professional Institute, Northwestern University, the University of Iowa, California State University at Fullerton, the University of Oregon, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, James Madison University, and Western Michigan University. Dr. Reinhardt designed for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Northwestern Repertory Theatre, the
Scott Actor’s Repertory in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California. He also served as principal designer at the Texas Shakespeare Festival for ten years. He consulted for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and was honored with several exhibitions of his work at a variety of venues, including the United States Institute for Theatre Technology in 1998. A man of great presence and charisma, Dr. Reinhardt will be remembered for his great intellect, greater talent, and even greater heart. His design aesthetic can best be defined as elegant; he employed deceptive simplicity and flamboyant restraint to say the most with the least. More than anything, Dr. Reinhardt was a consummate educator and mentor. His former students work all over country in a myriad of venues. Many are educators themselves, and they, and their students, and their students’ students, perpetuate his legacy of thorough scholarship and refined sophistication in the field of costume design. Memorial contributed by Joel Ebarb
Photo : Rino Pizzi 6
ENCORE SPRING 2012
named as one of the 10 most promising theatres in the country. She is married to Lee Soroko (MFA 1992) and has two beautiful children, Zoe (aged 15) and Nikolai (aged 12).
ALUMNI ACCOLADES Please share your story with us! Submit a brief summary of your life and career, related photos and information to share with your former classmates.
Submit updates online at uttadalumniupdates.org or by mail at: The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance ATTN: Alumni News 1 University Station D3900 Austin, Texas 78712
ALINA JUANITA BUSHONG (BA
JENNY CONNELL’S (MFA 2009)
2011) recently served as a costume designer for Twitchy Dolphin Flix’s Goin’ Gorilla and an independent film entitled Patient Zero.
Chrysalis, developed as part of the UT Department of Theatre and Dance’s “Once Upon a Weekend”, was performed along with fellow MFA playwright Andrew Hinderaker’s Dry in The Gift Theatre’s “Take Ten” showcase. Her short piece, Body Language, was performed in February 2011 as part of the Annual Ars Nova Play Group Showcase, The Urban Dictionary Plays. In March, There Be Dragons, with development support from Austin’s ScriptWorks, opens with Shrewd Productions at Austin’s Blue Theater. Fatakra, the short film written by Connell and writer, director and fellow alumnus Soham Mehta (BA 2000) was screened last year at SXSW and continues to screen worldwide.
WALTER “ZANEY” BLANEY (BFA
Fall For Dance, 2011
MARLANE BARNES (MFA 2010) stars
K. APRIL BLACKBURN-SOROKO
in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, due to hit theatres this year.
(BFA 1993) is the assistant professor of scenic design at The University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida as well as the resident scenic designer for the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. She is also a resident designer at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota. Recent works include: Beehive: The 60’s Musical, Race, The Savannah Disputation, The 39 Steps, The Last Romance, Next to Normal and The House of Bernarda Alba.
KEVIN BELTZ (MFA 2010) works for Animal Makers, a company specializing in animated animal replicas used in film.
LIZA BINKLEY (BA 2007) recently played the lead role in Occupied, a psychological thriller set in the redwoods above Silicon Valley. She is co-producer for the film’s postproduction. Occupied premiered at the 2011 Lone Star International Film Festival in Fort Worth, Texas.
April has designed ten productions at Triad Stage in Greensboro, North Carolina, which recently received a National Theatre Company Grant by the American Theatre Wing and was
1951) is recently retired after a 62-year professional career in magic and show business. As an entertainer, Walter appeared on numerous television shows, including Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and the Merv Griffin Show. He was commissioned by six Texas governors as the official Texas Ambassador of Goodwill for the state of Texas.
GEORGE BRANT (MFA 2008) premiered several new plays this season: Grizzly Mama in September 2011 at Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights, Ohio; The Mourners’ Bench in March 2012 at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island; and Salvage in April 2012 at Theatre 4, New Haven, Connecticut.
Howard Casner (BFA 1976)
HOWARD CASNER’S (BFA 1976) screenplays Rough Trade and Welcome to L.A. were recognized by Chicago’s 2011 Great Gay Screenplay Competition. A dark comedy in the vein of Swimming with the Sharks, Casner’s Welcome to L.A., was a top five finalist of the annual competition and received a staged reading last fall.
a sister school to the Stella Adler Studio at New York University. Recently, Anastasia was the movement coach on Sarah Rhuel’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone at USC (directed by Paul Backer) and the mask/commedia dell’arte specialist on Carlo Goldoni’s A Servant to Two Masters at Chapman University (directed by Kappy Kilburn). Anastasia is a member of the GLAAD Media Awards Nominating Jury for Theatre in Los Angeles.
FRANCES YA-CHU COWHIG (MFA 2009) received the 2011 Wasserstein Prize in recognition of her work and her promise, as exemplified in part by her play 72 Transformations.
ANASTASIA COON (MFA 2007) teaches movement for the actor at USC School of Theatre and Voice and movement at Universal Studios’ New York Film Academy. In addition, she is teaching voice and movement as well as mask making and performance at Art of Acting Studio’s Conservatory Program, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (MFA 2009)
ENCORE SPRING 2012
RICHARD CRAIG (BFA 1974) recently starred alongside alumna Yesenia Garcia (MFA 2007) in the Depressionera comedy The Lucky Spot at Austin Community College. The production was directed by fellow Texas Ex Shelby Brammer, Austin Community College Drama Department chair.
JAMES CULLEY (MFA 1984) will retire within the next year after teaching 25 years at San Jose State University in California. He plans to continue teaching half-time and designing for Children’s Musical Theatre San Jose. Latest designs include: Legally Blond, 9 to 5, Emma, and Dead Man’s Cell Phone.
STEPHEN CUMMINS (BFA 1987) is the director of the McAninch Arts Center at College at DuPage. Prior to his arrival at McAninch Arts Center, he spent nine years at Krannert Center at the University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign as a graduate student and then as an assistant director.
LAURA DIELI (BFA 2003) is the assistant production manager at Chicago’s Court Theatre. She is in
her eighth season with the Children’s Theatre of Western Springs, overseeing the high school wing of the extracurricular program. Laura also works as a freelance production manager for Blue Man Productions.
JIM ELLIOTT (MFA 1998) and Gerritt VanderMeer are the co-founders of “The State of Shakespeare”, a virtual master class featuring in-depth interviews with working Shakespearean actors and directors. With a new episode appearing each month, “The State of Shakespeare” podcast offers the latest developments in Shakespeare performance, scholarship and news. Jim currently teaches acting, scene study and film acting at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, speech and presentation at The Cooper Union and film acting at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
SARAH ENLOE (BFA 2001) is the director of education for the American Shakespeare Center in Virginia. The world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s Indoor Theatre,
American Shakespeare Center is an URTA organization that plays in rep 52 weeks a year.
V.C. FUQUA (BFA 1962) will play the role of “Antonio” in Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern’s Much Ado About Nothing, opening April 5. Following his studies at UT, V.C. worked as a lighting designer at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts, the Drury Lane Theatre in London and other Broadway, off Broadway and regional theatres. He studied acting with Sandy Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse and has performed on The Walking Dead, Drop Dead Diva and The Three Stooges, the latter to be released this year.
RODNEY GORDON (BFA 1975) began his professional career as a milliner for the Metropolitan Opera, a job he secured through the help of his uncle and fellow alumnus Edward Haynes (BFA 1958, MFA 1961). In 1980 Rodney established his own costume accessory studio where he and his staff create hats, headdresses, masks, jewelry and armor for theatre, film and opera stages worldwide. Among the current Broadway productions which feature his work are: Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Lion King, Mary Poppins, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and The Book of Mormon. Highlights of past Broadway productions and tours are: The Importance of Being Earnest, A Chorus Line, Billy Elliot, Shrek, Grey Gardens, The King and I, Miss Saigon, Will Rogers Follies, Victor/Victoria, Sunset Boulevard, Carousel, The Producers, Titanic and Crazy for You. Rodney’s work has been featured in numerous operatic productions with the following companies: Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas, Miami, Covent Garden, and San Rodney Gordon (BA 1975)
Francisco Opera. He has also had the pleasure of being Ms. Bette Midler’s personal milliner for her annual Hulaween Benefit as well as creating headwear for her last two national tours, and her Las Vegas production of The Showgirl Must Go On. In addition to running Rodney Gordon, Inc., Rodney teaches millinery at NYU and serves on the Theatre Development Fund Irene Sharaff Design Award selection committee. He is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829, as well as a founding member of the Association of Theatrical Craftspersons. Rodney is active in local historic restoration projects in his adopted hometown Brooklyn. These restorations include a four-story brownstone rowhouse built in 1865 where he lives with his life partner of 34 years Richard Malanga, as well as projects in his famous neighborhood Fort Greene Park.
BILL GREEN (BFA 1950) is a member of The Drilling Company, a New Yorkbased equity theatre company. This season, Bill is playing the role of “Sheriff Bart” in The Great Pecan, “The Ghost”
Bill Green (BFA 1950), The Seagull
Thomas “Fred” Jones (BA 2008) performs Shakespeare on the New York City subway with fellow actor Paul Marino.
and “The Player King” in an outdoor production of Hamlet, and “Sorin” in The Seagull. Prior to returning to his first love of acting, Bill wrote and directed thousands of on-air promotions for ABC Television as well as published six novels.
JOHN HARMON (BA 2010)
HOLDEN HANSEN (MFA 1988) won a role in the new movie Arthur Newman: Golf Pro, starring opposite Academy Award winner Colin Firth and Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt. Holden is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
serves as the Monk Parrots, a New York-based theatre company, communications administrator.
JACQUELINE (HEARD) HINTON (BFA 2001) co-starred on NBC Universal’s Free Agents episode Rebranding, playing opposite Hank Azaria. In the fall of 2011, she danced with Clairobscur Dance Company in Uncertain Terrain at the ARC in Pasadena, California. Currently, Jacqueline is a ballerina in National Geographic’s mini-series Party Like...
THOMAS “FRED” JONES’ (BA 2008) performances of Shakespeare in the New York City subway system have been featured in the Wall Street Journal.
HALENA KAYS (MFA 2011) is the new artistic director for The Hypocrites, a Chicago-based theatre company.
JASON KENDALL (MFA 1996) stars in The City Dark, a feature documentary film about a search for a night on a planet that never sleeps.
ENCORE SPRING 2012
JUDI KRANT (BA 1994) won the
TONYA (BORDEAUX) LARSON’S (BA
JOEY LEPAGE (BA 2010) serves as the
2009 SXSW Grand Jury Award for best narrative feature film and the Chicken and Egg Award for Emergent Female Director for her debut film Made in China. After a successful run on the film festival circuit, picking up multiple awards both domestically and abroad, Made in China was sold to IFC for distribution.
1996) new exercise program, Tonya Larson Fitness, is on the NRB Network and can be viewed on DirectTV, Sky Angel, online and is downloadable to iPhone. Tonya recently completed her seventh exercise DVD. Her first DVD, Step Pump, was featured by the Los Angeles Times as one of the “best DVDs fit to get fit to”.
Monk Parrots, a New York-based theatre company, co-producing artistic director.
KIMBER LEE (MFA 2011) was recently invited to workshop her play Different Words for the Same Thing in the First Light Discovery Program at Theatre of the First Amendment in Washington, D.C. The workshop reading was offered as part of the Dramatists Guild 1st National Playwrights Conference in June 2011. Different Words for the Same Thing was also selected as a semi-finalist for the 2012 O’Neill Playwrights Conference.
“Made in China”, directed by Judi Krant (BA 1994)
Kimber and her plays have been selected for the 2011-2012 Dramatists Guild Playwriting Fellowship and as a semifinalist for the 2012 Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship. Recently, she was named one of four playwrights chosen for the 2012 Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival.
LUKE LEONARD (MFA 2010) will direct Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw at Symphony Space for Opera Moderne in May. His company Monk Parrots has been invited by 59E59 Theaters to present their work, Here I Go, this spring. In addition, the La MaMa Spoleto Open in Spoleto, Italy has invited the company to present Here I Go at the summer festival.
garnered her over a dozen Emmy Awards. In November, Jean rode the parade’s newest float, “Hats Off To Our Heritage”, celebrating the 85th anniversary of the much loved event.
starred in Comedy Central’s web series Never Do This, and has had lead roles in the festival-winning films Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace and Crush.
PETER MCKINNON (MFA 1976)
an assistant professor of communications and theatre arts at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan. He also serves as the university’s theatre director.
the education director at The Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas.
recently edited and published the first of a three volume series of books looking at stage design throughout the world from 1975-2015. Entitled World Scenography, the first volume will be launched at USITT in Long Beach in March 2012, with volume two being launched in Cardiff, Wales at World Stage Design in September 2013 and the last volume at the Prague Quadrennial in June 2015.
JENNIFER MCCAMISH (BFA 1996) is
GILLIAN MCNALLY (MFA 2002) is
the owner of Dancers Shape, a fitness studio in Austin, Texas. Prior to returning to Texas, McCamish performed as a Radio City Rockette in New York City.
the recipient of the Alliance for Colorado Theatre’s 2011 Higher Education Theatre Educator of the Year Award. She serves as assistant professor of theatre education and head of community engagement and programs for youth for the University of Northern Colorado.
JENN HARTMAN LUCK (MFA 2011) is
JEAN MCFADDIN (BFA 1964, MFA 1967) served as the Macy’s East Senior Vice President in charge of Public Relations and Events for twenty-five years. Her successful development of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
DAVID MCTIER (PhD 1995) has been named a 2012 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Kosovo, where he will teach aesthetics
SIMON JON PROVAN (MFA 2007) is
DR. ELIZABETH C. RAMIREZ’S The Transition of Doodle Pequeño, 2011.
and direct at the University of Prishtina this spring. In August, David will return to the U.S. and resume his faculty position at Sam Houston State University. Follow his travels at davidmctierinkosovo.com.
NAT MILLER (MFA 2008) is the education director for ZACH Theatre in Austin, Texas.
LINDSEY MORGAN (BA Attended) recently starred as “Maria” in MTV’s original movie DISconnected, and as “Lauren” on How I Met Your Mother episode Drunk Train. She can be seen in the upcoming SONY film Detention. She
has been cast in the role of “Noemi” in the independent feature film Chastity Bites.
RACHEL MYHILL (BA Attended) appeared in The Lying Game on the ABC Family Channel.
FRED PARKER (BA 2003) is Broadwaybound with a the role in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, starring James Earl Jones, John Larroquette, Candice Bergen, Angela Lansbury and Eric McCormack. Prior to this break Fred had recently booked the role of a pleasant-but-persistent waiter in the Holiday Madness episode of the new 90210 television series. He has guest-
(PhD 1982) La Voz Latina was recently published by the University of Illinois Press. A survey of the Latina theatre movement in the United States since the 1980s, Ramirez’s collection brings together contemporary plays and performance pieces by innovative playwrights including Yareli Arizmendi, Josefina Báez, The Colorado Sisters, Migdalia Cruz, Evelina Fernández, Cherríe Moraga, Carmen Pelaez, Carmen Rivera, Celia H. Rodríguez, Diane Rodriguez, and Milcha Sanchez-Scott.
CHELSEA ROACH (BA 2010) starred in the acclaimed British play Foreign Lands, which made its off-Broadway debut at the Medicine Show Theatre in November. Fred Parker (BA 2003) Simon Jon Provan (MFA 2007)
ENCORE SPRING 2012
ROZANNE SEELEN (BFA 1956) is the owner of New York City’s The Drama Book Shop, recently honored with the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre. Rozanne shares that “our mission is to provide not only a place to buy books but also a place where people can gather and get the help they need for their careers”. Rozanne and her staff will celebrate The Drama Book Shop’s 100th anniversary in 2017.
FADI SKEIKER’S (PhD 2009) article Robert Schenkkan (BA 1975)
ROBERT SCHENKKAN’S (BA 1975) adaptation of the Newbery Awardwinning novel, A Single Shard, had its world premiere this spring at the Seattle Children’s Theatre. The production’s cast included MFA candidates Geoffrey Barnes, Jason Ko and Alexis Scott. Faculty member Michelle Habeck designed the show’s lighting. Schenkkan is at work on a feature film for Robert Downey, Jr. and Warner Brothers, a mini-series for Harpo/HBO about the American Civil Rights movement, and another feature, The Co, with Academy Award-winning director Aaron Schneider.
“Performing Orphanage Experience: Applied Theatre Practice in a Refugee Camp in Jordan” has been published in Applied Theatre Researcher. He is an assistant professor of theatre arts at The University of Jordan in Amman.
MISSY THIBODEAUX-THOMPSON (BFA 1989) is an assistant professor of theatre at the University of Illinois Springfield. She recently directed Sam Shepard’s True West, and will star in the role of “Truvy” in Steel Magnolias this summer at the McLeod Summer Playhouse in Carbondale, Illinois. Recent works include directing Steve Martin’s
Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Shawnee Summer Theatre, Indiana) and acting in All My Sons and Steel Magnolias. She reports she’s loving life in central Illinois (aside from frigid temperatures in winter!) with husband Eric, and daughter Emma (11).
CHRISTIE SANDERS VETTER
DAVID TOLIN (MFA 2010) serves
JIM WALTERS (MFA 1969) is the set
as the technical director for Westlake High School.
designer for CBS’s NCIS episode, Nature of the Beast.
TOMMY TUNE (BFA 1961) is
JACOB WIEDERANDERS (BA 2007) is
developing a new musical entitled Fifty Four Forever, a reflection on the infamous Studio 54 nightclub.
the operations manager of the Westlake Community Performing Arts Center.
(BFA 1995) is an associate lawyer at Wetherington, Hamilton & Harrison, P.A. in Tampa, Florida. Prior to pursuing a career in law, Christie worked as an actor and stunt double in more than 50 films and television shows.
COMING TO THE STAGE:
All titles, dates, venues and directors subject to change. For more information, visit us online at finearts.utexas.edu/tad
Catalyst Presented by Dance Repertory Theatre Artistic Directors David Justin and Yacov Sharir March 23 – 25, 2012 Be transformed by dance.
Love’s Labour’s Lost By William Shakespeare Directed by John Langs April 13 – 22, 2012
Performed by the acclaimed ensemble Dance Repertory Theatre, Catalyst brings unique and compelling dance works by nationally renowned choreographers to the stage. A highlight of the concert includes Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s (Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company) sharp and humorous Minus 16.
Four men swear off romance and make an oath to scholarship, only to find themselves distracted by their affections for four ladies. Shakespeare’s charming and comedic gem relates the trials and tribulations of young romance and the obstacles encountered on the path to true love.
STAY CONNECTED The Department of Theatre and Dance is on Facebook and Twitter! We want to brag about you to our alumni, students and faculty! Send us your latest news online at uttadalumniupdates.org.
GET INVOLVED Your support of the Department of Theatre and Dance is appreciated! You can make a difference by making a donation to the department’s Texas Talent campaign. To learn more, visit finearts.utexas.edu/tad/get_involved or call Michele Baylor, Director of Development at 512.475.6291.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 2011 14
Fall For Dance, 2011
ENCORE SPRING 2012
The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance Alumni Newsletter