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The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance Newsletter SPRING 2013

IN THIS ISSUE Welcome New Faculty: James Daniels and Sarah Rasmussen Rude Mechs Selected as Resident Theatre Company Standing Ovation Alumni Accolades Coming to the Stage

Kyle Cotton (MFA 2013) and Professor Franchelle Dorn World Premiere of The Edge of Peace by Professor Suzan Zeder, 2013

From all of us in the Winship Building at The University of Texas to alumni, friends, supporters, parents, and future students… Greetings and Warm Wishes!! Here we are once again in our biannual celebration of the great tradition of Dance and Theatre at UT and the wonderful people who have made this program among the very best in the United States. In this issue of ENCORE we celebrate five faculty members who have dedicated their lives and careers to the students of this department, and have chosen to retire from full-time teaching. Coleman A. Jennings is a seminal figure in children’s theatre scholarship and practice; Yacov Sharir has been at the core of the dance program for 36 years and was artistic director of his own extraordinary company; Amarante Lucero is a pioneer in innovative lighting design and technology for the theatre and the entertainment industry; Lee Abraham has guided countless young actors in their career pursuits in his 36 years at UT; and the incomparable Suzan Zeder is an internationally acclaimed playwright for young audiences and the founder of UT’s Cohen New Works Festival. Of course all five of these faculty members are also master teachers as a legion of alumni can attest. We celebrate all five and thank them for all they have done for UT and the Department of Theatre and Dance. For the first time in 15 years, the department is recommitting to our undergraduate acting program. Here you will read about Professor James Daniels who was brought to UT to help our Head of Acting Lucien Douglas construct the finest undergraduate acting training program anywhere. This innovative new program combines solid foundational training with work in devised and solo work, a full year of acting for film and television and the opportunity to spend a final semester at our Los Angeles campus (UTLA). We have just finished our recruiting and we will be bringing in a fabulous “first class” that will start in fall of 2013. We have also joined with the Butler School of Music to design a BA with a music theatre concentration in which students will take classes in theatre, dance, and music, in both programs. Our department and the Butler School will each stage one major musical production every year and so now FINALLY we can say, “YES, WE DO HAVE A MUSIC THEATRE PROGRAM!!” We are also in the process of building programs in media design and technology, gaming (an initiative of Dean Dempster) and a Latinist (Hemispheric) focus in our doctoral program. These are just SOME of the big and exciting changes in Theatre and Dance that we want to share with you. Most importantly however, is YOU. We want you to communicate with us about your life and career. Ask about classmates and former professors and bring us stories of your time at UT. This magazine is for and about our alumni and friends and we urge you to be in contact with us. Big hugs and HOOK EM HORNS!!


Brant Pope Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance

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 Susan Mickey To make a gift to the Department of Theatre and Dance Michele Baylor, Director of Development and Alumni Relations 512.475.6291 To share your alumni news Cassie Gholston, Director of Marketing 512.232.5301 The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance 300 E. 23rd Street D3900 Austin, Texas 78712 Phone: 512.471.5793 The ENCORE logo is the genius of Harvey Schmidt, artist and composer, BFA 1952. Photo: Julie Curry, J Elissa Marshall, Lawrence Peart, Josh Rasmussen, Sandy Carson.

New Faculty Enhance Programs Nationally renowned director Sarah Rasmussen joins The University of Texas at Austin as associate professor and head of the M.F.A. Directing program. In addition to her work at the Department of Theatre and Dance, she has been appointed associate artistic director at Austin’s ZACH Theatre. The 2011 Princess Grace Award recipient, Rasmussen has served for the last three seasons as resident director for Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab. She has directed and/or developed new work at theatres such as New York Theatre Workshop, La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, Hangar Theatre, SoHo Rep Writer/ Director Lab, Culture Project, PlayPenn, Women’s Project, The Lark and The Playwrights’ Center.

approximately 800 auditions, in search for 20 students who will be the first class to begin our new actor training program in the fall of 2013. The volume of talent we have seen is overwhelming, and the positive response from the students about the new curriculum is fantastic. It’s true that Texas is ‘an oil well of talent’ as our chair, Brant Pope, likes to say.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the faculty at the Department of Theatre and Dance,” shares Rasmussen. “The spirit of ‘if you can dream it, you can make it’ is so alive in this department. I’m blown away by the amount of theatre that is happening in and around Winship, and by the innovative ways that artists are collaborating.” “UT’s student artists are not only contributing to the field, they are shaping the future of how art is made. That entrepreneurial energy is at the heart of the directing program, and is a unique strength of the program. I want to build on that strength by training directors to not only be great artists, but also visionary leaders.”

Recent credits include In the Next Room (The Jungle Theater), The Ballad of 223 & 224 and Laura Jacqmin’s Hero Dad (Humana Festival, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville), Basil Kremindahl’s Orange Julius (The O’Neill), Josh Tobiessen’s Crashing the Party (Mixed Blood), and assistant directing In the Next Room (Broadway).

James Daniels

Professor James Daniels comes to The University of Texas at Austin from Western Michigan University, where he served as the director of the university’s prestigious B.F.A. Theatre Performance program. In joining the Department of Theatre and Dance faculty, Daniels is providing leadership for the new cuttingedge undergraduate acting program. “I have had the great pleasure and honor of being invited to contribute to the creation of the curriculum of the new undergraduate actor training program and to attend the various state wide high school auditions,” says Daniels. “Over the past few months we’ve seen

Sarah Rasmussen

“We are proud to say that so far we have managed to get all of our first choices from the recent auditions. We believe these students will have a great impact in the department and you will be as impressed by their potential as we are!” A member of Actors’ Equity Association, Daniels has worked as a professional actor for 40 years. He has performed at theatres across the country, including Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Massachusetts (where he is a designated senior company member), the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Cleveland Play House, Missouri Repertory Theatre, the Houston Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare on the Green/Chicago, Pennsylvania Centre Stage and the Asolo Theatre of Florida.



Rude Mechs Selected as Resident Theatre Company

world’ is the motto of the university, and this partnership is one of the best expressions of that pledge.”

The nationally acclaimed, ensemble-based theatre collective Rude Mechs has been appointed as the resident theatre company of The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance. The three-year residency provides university students an opportunity to work with members of the Rude Mechs, learning their methodology for devising new plays and managing a professional theatre company.

Rude Mechs’ work has been presented in top national venues including The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), The Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH) and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.). Connected to an international community of artists, the group has performed in Austria’s SommerSzene, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (winner of the Total Theatre Award for Best New Play by an Ensemble), and the Under the Radar Festival (New York).

Lee Abraham Coleman A. Jennings Amarante Lucero Yacov Sharir Suzan Zeder

Residency activities include student internship opportunities with the Rude Mechs in the areas of development, marketing, arts education, venue management, and production. The company will also serve as a guest responder on Department of Theatre and Dance productions. As a result, students will receive invaluable insight and feedback on their work from company members.

As a collective, they represent over 165 years of service to the Department of Theatre and Dance. Leaders in their respective fields, they have shaped and carried the department’s programs of study to national prominence. And, they have touched the lives of countless students who have flourished under their mentorship.

Since its inception in 1995, Rude Mechs has earned more than 180 local and national awards and nominations. Its touring and off-Broadway productions include I’ve Never Been So Happy; Get Your War On; How Late it Was, How Late; Cherrywood; Lipstick Traces; and The Method Gun, which was selected for the 34th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. Known for its cutting-edge practice, Rude Mechs’ original works break the traditional structure of theatre, setting performance as a center for collaboration and community. Its explosive energy, innovative storytelling and collective spirit have placed the group at the center of the nation’s leading theatre companies. “The Rude Mechs is one of America’s hottest, most creative and most outlandish theatre companies,” shares Chair Brant Pope. “Celebrated in The New York Times and playing to packed houses across the nation, the Rude Mechs, as UT’s resident theatre company, is now working alongside our students. ‘What starts here changes the 4

Standing Ovation

Now, on the eve of their retirements, the department extends our deepest gratitude to our colleagues, as they begin the next step of their lives and careers.

Our colleague, Professor Lee Abraham, announced his retirement after 36 years as an acting teacher. He has requested there be no article. He simply wants to express his profound gratitude to all the students whose path in life crossed his. They taught him more than they’ll ever know. For Professor Coleman A. Jennings, the art of storytelling has been a lifelong love. As a youth, he spent hours making films for the neighborhood children in his hometown of Taylor, Texas. Play upon play – from the road shows presented along Austin’s Congress Avenue to UT’s touring production of Moor Born presented at his high school – Jennings was captivated by theatre. This passion culminated into a career as a seminal professor in the evolving fields of children’s theatre and theatre for youth and communities. Following his study at Temple Junior College and service in the Army Signal Corps, Jennings first arrived at UT as an undergraduate student in the Department of Drama in 1955. Degree in hand, he worked in the theatre as an off-Broadway stage manager in New York. He returned to UT to pursue a master’s degree in directing, and later completed his doctorate in education at New York University.

Jones, Judy Dearing, Ted Shine and Whitney LeBlanc. And through his leadership, the department established several new student scholarships as well as the Theatre for Youth Chair held by Professor Suzan Zeder. With these funds, the Department of Theatre and Dance was able to attract and retain talented artists and educators.

Coleman A. Jennings

In the fall of 1963, Jennings joined the faculty of UT’s Department of Drama. Fifty years of service later, his imprint on The University of Texas at Austin, its students and patrons cannot be overstated. Jennings helped establish a mandate requiring theatre arts for all Texas elementary school students, ensuring that all children be exposed to the power of the arts. During his tenure as department chair (1980-1992), Jennings aggressively recruited a diverse faculty including Amarante Lucero, Stephen Gerald, Omi

Jennings has received a Texas Educational Theatre Association Founder’s Award, is an inductee into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre of the Kennedy Center, and the College of Fellows of the Southwest Theatre Association, and in 1997 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. In 2011, he was awarded an Orlin Corey Medallion of the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America. This honor recognizes Jennings’ significant achievements in theatre that have contributed to the cultural enrichment of children and youth in the United States and Canada. Nearing his retirement from full-time teaching at UT, Jennings is busy editing a new anthology entitled Steven Dietz – Five Plays for Family Audiences (University of Texas Press, 2014). He will also continue to teach. He shares, “Through my years

in this profession, I have learned that even more satisfying than creating the stories myself, is teaching others to do it.”

Amarante Lucero

If you’ve attended The University of Texas at Austin’s spring commencement in recent years, you’ve witnessed the artistry of Professor Amarante Lucero and his students. From the graduate processional, to bathing the university’s Tower in light, Lucero’s team creates imaginative illumination for this momentous occasion. Light is not merely technology, for Lucero and his students, it is a form of emotional communication. ENCORE SPRING 2013


Lucero stumbled upon his career in theatre by chance. Living on a student’s shoestring budget while pursuing a psychology degree from the University of New Mexico, he took a position as a stage manager for a local concert hall. The part-time job led to an opportunity to work as a lighting technician for Marcel Marceau. Following the famed mime’s performance, Marceau provided Lucero with a generous tip. This encounter, coupled with Lucero’s growing fascination with theatrical lighting catapulted him into his career. Lucero joined the Department of Theatre and Dance faculty in 1981. During his tenure, he has served as a pioneer in lighting design innovation, particularly in the area of automated lighting, cyberspace, and using the digital world in design and production. Through his relationship with High End Systems, Inc., an Austin-based manufacturer of intelligent lighting equipment, coupled with support from former College of Fine Arts Dean Jon Whitmore, Lucero imagined and built an automated lighting program unique to UT. Since its inception in the early 1990s, Lucero has led the program and automated lighting design lab, the only one of its kind in the United States.


Lucero works extensively in Central and South America with groups such as Costa Rica’s Centro Costarricense de la Ciencia y la Cultura, Festival Internacional de Teatro por la Paz and Compañia Nacional de Danza in Ecuador. He is the director of the Institute for Digital Performing Arts (IDPA) based in Costa Rica, which he co-founded in 1999 with Texas State University-San Marcos Professor Bill Peeler. With programming open to students and educators across the disciplines, IDPA provides concentrated study in emerging technologies and their role in new works in the performing arts. This year’s Institute also offers professional development training for high school teachers in theatre and visual art. Following his retirement from full-time teaching in August, Lucero plans to continue his research in cutting-edge technology and work side-by-side with students. Reflecting on his time at UT, Lucero shares, “At the end of a performance, I remarked to the audience, ‘The work that you’re seeing here is their product.’ Then I point to the students and say ‘They are my product.’ It’s a very satisfying moment.”

and the Ballet - Théâtre Contemporain in Paris. As a performer, he had the opportunity to work under the direction of many dance legends including Martha Graham, Jerome Robbins and José Limón. While touring with Batsheva Dance Company, he was asked by his peers to teach a class – a first for Sharir. He explains, “I don’t know why they turned to me because there were other company members who had teaching experience. I started teaching that class and have never stopped.”

Yacov Sharir

Professor Yacov Sharir came to Austin in the spring of 1978 to start the American Deaf Dance Company. One day after his arrival he was invited to apply to, and later accepted, a position at UT’s dance for drama program. Thirty-six years later, UT’s dance program (renamed in the 1980s) has evolved into a leading model for other programs across the United States. A dual citizen of Israel and the United States, Sharir spent his early career as a dancer with the Batsheva Dance Company School, the Stuttgart Ballet,

In 1982, Sharir founded the Sharir Dance Company, the resident dance company of the UT Department of Theatre and Dance. The company, and later, Sharir + Bustamante Danceworks, introduced Austin to exemplary national and international artists whose work had previously been exclusive to the larger markets such as New York City. The perception of dance in the community was forever changed. With ingenuity and determination, Sharir secured funding to commission a monumental ten-year project with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. The College of Fine Arts provided vital space for Cunningham’s rehearsals and in exchange the department’s students had unprecedented access to artists of the highest caliber.

Recruited by former Department of Theatre and Dance Chair Coleman A. Jennings, Zeder joined the UT faculty in 1991. “At that time the profession really needed a safe place to develop new work,” explains Zeder. “The concepts of ‘what is a dramaturg’ and ‘what is new play development’ were just dawning on theatre for young audiences. I realized through the resources of my Theatre for Youth Chair that UT could be a home for that developmental work.”

As a choreographer and teacher, Sharir is pioneering the use of new technologies, including virtual reality, intelligent fabrics and interactive systems in performance. His work has earned him prestigious fellowships from the Banff Centre for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For Sharir, retirement does not mean slowing down. Determined to stay at the forefront of new technologies, he will continue his research and choreograph new works that serve as an incubator for discovery. “There is a fortune in being a teacher in terms of what you give and what you get,” Sharir said. “To see the transformation in students’ lives is unbelievable. You’re not only teaching dance. You’re teaching your life experience and you’re sharing with them very precious moments. That’s a treasure.” Following his retirement in August, Sharir will be in the studio, excited to educate the next generation of artists.

Suzan Zeder

As a graduate student at Southern Methodist University, Professor Suzan Zeder was encouraged by Professor Charlie Helfert to write an adaptation of Wiley and the Hairy Man, a Louisiana folk tale. That play, now 40 years old, continues to be Zeder’s most produced play and helped direct the path of her accomplished career. Today, she is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the leading playwrights for young and family audiences in the United States.

Zeder forged UT’s New Play Development Workshop, partnering the university with national theatre companies and professional artists to develop new works. Projects included a two-year collaboration on David Saar’s The Yellow Boat with Metro Theater Company (St. Louis, MO) and Childsplay (Tempe, AZ); and Wesley Middleton’s Tomato Plant Girl, jointly premiered at Metro Theater Company and Idaho Theater for Youth (Boise, ID). With the untimely passing of UT Professor David Mark Cohen in 1997, Zeder became head of the department’s playwriting program. Championing Cohen’s commitment to new work, Zeder shifted resources to support student playwrights, using the same professional standards executed in the New Play Development Workshop.

In 1999, Zeder formed a coalition of students, faculty and local artists to imagine a festival honoring Cohen and supporting new plays. The Cohen New Works Festival was born. The biennial event, now one of the largest of its kind in the country, serves as an incubator and celebration for student-generated works in all mediums. After 22 years at UT, Zeder has placed the Department of Theatre and Dance firmly center on the national stage. As a playwright, she continues to delight audiences of all ages with stories of characters struggling with and conquering real world issues, and she encourages her students to do the same. Professor Steven Dietz, who Zeder recruited to join the faculty in 2006, shares, “Beware the student playwright who says, in passing, ‘I’ve never written a play for young audiences, but I’m toying around with an idea for one.’ I can promise you that this sentence, uttered within 20 feet of Suzan Zeder, will not only result in a play, but with Suzan’s remarkable guidance and encouragement, will likely result in a play that will garner awards and acclaim and change the trajectory of that writer’s career. The answer to hundreds of questions about the success of 20 years of UT writers is this: Suzan Zeder.” ENCORE SPRING 2013


Who supported you? Take a moment and reflect on who encouraged you to pursue your dreams. Who made a difference and supported your artistic training – your family, a teacher or professor, a scholarship donor? As a graduate of this program, you understand the importance of supporting emerging artists and performers, who will, in turn, inspire, entertain and educate future generations of arts patrons and students. By making a gift to the TEXAS TALENT campaign, you will help provide scholarship resources for emerging artists to attend UT Austin.

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.

You can make a difference - every gift, at every level, directly supports a young artist. Donate online at

Support a student by donating just $75/month! As the department plans for our 75th anniversary in 2013-2014, the success of our 75 for 75 Challenge will transform our program by providing new scholarship resources directly to undergraduate students. Pledge your monthly gift online today at, or by calling Director of Development and Alumni Relations Michele Baylor at 512.475.6291.


Submit updates online at or by mail at: The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance ATTN: Alumni News 300 E. 23rd Street STOP D3900 Austin, Texas 78712

KEVIN ALEJANDRO (BA, Attended) stars as “Detective Christian Arroyo” in the CBS series Golden Boy. He is developing The Keepers, a new web series about two special agents who team up with a retired super hero to battle the ever-increasing population of villains. DAVID BAKER (BFA 1986) is a professional actor in New York City. Recent work includes roles on the television series The Following, Boardwalk Empire, Made in Jersey, The Big C, Deception, and Orange is the New Black. Last fall, he was in Richmond, Virginia, shooting an independent film titled Blood and Circumstance.

David Baker (BFA 1986)

MARLANE BARNES (MFA 2010) stars as “Maggie” in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Jaime Castañeda (MFA 2006) returned to Texas last fall to direct Kristoffer Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize-finalist play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at the Dallas Theater Center. Fellow alumnus Corey Jones (MFA 2007) starred as boxer “Chad Deity.” KATIE DEBUYS (MFA 2010) recently starred at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in The Conference of the Birds and Henry V. This spring, she will play the role of “Nina” in Stupid F***ing Bird, Aaron Posner’s world premiere adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Katie DeBuys (MFA 2010)

MICHAEL DRAGOO (BFA 1983) is the owner of Dragaud Custom Sojourns, a travel consultancy that designs exclusive tours for students and private groups for national and international destinations. YALINIDREAM (formerly Yalini Thambynayagam) (BA 2000) is a 2013 artist in residence at University of Michigan’s Center for World Performance Studies. One of the South Asian diaspora’s most prominent performance poets, she has toured nationally at hundreds of venues throughout the U.S. as well as Europe and South Asia. Her work has been performed at theater venues such as NYC’s Lincoln Center and New York Live Arts (formerly Dance Theater Workshop), Manchester’s Contact Theatre, Houston’s Diverse Works, Chicago’s Vittum Theater; poetry venues such as NYC’s Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Minneapolis’s The Loft, London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern, and universities such as Yale (USA), University of Manchester (UK), Loyola College (India), and University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka).

YaliniDream was a 2006 Mid-Atlantic Artists in Community Fellow at the Asian Arts Initiative, a panelist for the Leeway Foundation’s 2007 Transformation Awards, a 2008 Urban Arts Initiative Fellow and a 2010 recipient of the Jerome Foundation’s Travel and Study Award in Literature. She has facilitated workshops for waraffected communities in Sri Lankan refugee camps in Tamil Nadu, India as well as war-affected communities in Mannar, Vavuniya and Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. In addition, she has worked with survivors of violence from multiple communities including CambodianAmerican and communities of African descent in the United States.

ALLISON EBLING (BA 2011) is making her mark at ZACH Theatre. She is the audio board operator for many of the Austin-based theatre’s productions and most recently was associate designer for Ragtime and White Christmas at ZACH.

CATE EBY (BA 2012) is an administrative intern at Houston’s Alley Theatre.




SCOTT MARLOWE (BA 2004) stars

in the films Abel’s Field and Pit Stop, the latter of which was screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

as “Frankie” in the new film Test, a poignant story set in the San Francisco modern dance scene of 1985, in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Marlowe is the artistic associate of San Francisco based LEVYdance and has been creating and performing with the company since 2005.

WILBERTH GONZALEZ (BA 2012) has designed costumes for the theatre, a children’s television pilot for PBS, and a feature film. He is currently working for the La Joya School District as the costume designer for the district’s children’s theatre. He also designs for McAllen Ballet’s production of Alice in Wonderland.

DEEPTI GUPTA (MFA 2004) stars in Record/Play, a short film that was an official selection in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

JOAN TOMPKINS HALLMARK (BFA 1955) is the author of Sound Bites, a book sharing stories from her forty-plus years in television. An Emmy Award winning journalist, Hallmark has interviewed presidents, film stars and war heroes from World War II to the present engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.

ALEJANDRO HERRERA (Attended) is a trainee with the Los Angeles Ballet and is performing with the company.


Dream of Perfect Sleep, 2013

Jacqueline E. Lawton (MFA 2003)


Lawton is a 2012 TCG Young Leaders of Color award recipient. She is also a National Play Network (NNPN) Playwright Alum and has been nominated for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize and a PONY Fellowship from the Lark Play Development Center. Since 2010, Lawton has served on Round House Theatre’s Artists’ Roundtable and was named one of 30 of the nation’s leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute.

the costume designer for Indiana Repertory Theatre’s production Jackie & Me, written by UT faculty Steven Dietz and directed by fellow alumna Courtney Sale.

JACQUELINE E. LAWTON (MFA 2003) is a member of Arena Stage’s Playwright’s Arena and the Dramatist Guild of America. Her play, The Hampton Years, will receive a world premiere production at Theater J this spring. This play was commissioned as part of Theater J’s Locally Grown Festival.

ROBIN MCGEE (MFA 1992) is a visiting artist in costume design at The University of Florida at Gainesville. Her vast design experience includes everything from Vegas style showgirls for Comedy Central to singing animals in the opera A Muskrat’s Lullaby to detailed period clothing in The IT Girl and Noel Coward’s Fallen Angels with a couple of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey clowns in between. BRUCE MCGILL (BFA 1973) stars as “Secretary of War Edwin Stanton” in Steven Spielberg’s award winning film Lincoln. KELLY Pechal (BA 2009) is an assistant for the IFA Talent Agency in Los Angeles.

GREG ROMERO’S (MFA 2006) play Of Plastic Things and Butterfly Wings has been published by YouthPLAYS, Inc. A plastic water bottle named Sam has lost her parents in The Gyres, a swirling ocean landfill twice the size of Texas. With help from a blue crab with a giant claw, a parrot who thinks she is a seagull, and The Oldest Sea Turtle That Ever Lived, Sam embarks on a family-friendly, music-filled, epic journey to save us all from the lonely, swirling vortex of thrown-away things and lost hope.

Greg Romero (MFA 2006)


TRAVIS TATE (BA 2012) is creating a


directed Jackie & Me, written by UT faculty Steven Dietz, at Indiana Repertory Theatre. She’s recently been named the associate artistic director of Indiana Repertory Theatre.

new web series entitled Black Mountain, a show about the trials and smiles of a group of twenty-somethings as they navigate the rugged terrain of postcollegiate life.

pursuing a Master of Dance Education with a focus in Ballet Pedagogy at NYU. She holds an AFAA Group Fitness Certification and teaches at Body & Pole in New York.

ROBERT SCHENKKAN’S (BA 1975) play All the Way is the inaugural winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. All the Way premiered as part of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2012 season.


Jackie & Me, Indiana Repertory Theatre Directed by Courtney Sale (MFA 2012) Costume Design by Alison Heryer (MFA 2010)

directed Noel Coward’s Private Lives for Acadia Repertory Theatre’s 40th anniversary season. Vafiadis founded Acadia Rep in 1973 and led it for 15 years. As an actor, he has performed on the HBO series The Wire and The Rivalry.

The Edge of Peace, 2013 ENCORE SPRING 2013


Coming to the Stage in 2013-2014

All titles and dates subject to change. For more information, visit us online at

Introducing the Subscription Series Dial M for Murder By Frederick Knott October 4-13, 2013 Set in 1950s London, Tony Wendice concocts a plot to murder his wealthy wife Margot. When the scheme goes awry, he devises a sinister backup plan to get her out of the picture for good.

Our Country’s Good By Timberlake Wertenbaker October 18-27, 2013 Royal Marines and convicts in an 18th century Australian penal colony work together to produce a comedic stage play.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone By Sarah Ruhl

Kinesthetic Imperative Artistic Directors David Justin and Holly Williams March 6-9, 2014 A showcase of unique and compelling dance work created by nationally renowned choreographers, including a leader of American avant-garde dance, Merce Cunningham.

In the Heights Music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes April 9-20, 2014 This four-time Tony Award-winning musical shows life in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York amongst the tight-knit community of Dominican-American residents

February 14-23, 2014 When a woman answers the cell phone of a recently deceased café patron, she holds on to the device to keep the man alive in a strange yet significant way.


The Scarlet Letter, 2012

New Work Takes Stage Fall For Dance Artistic Directors David Justin and Holly Williams November 15-24, 2013 Dance Repertory Theatre, the award-winning student dance company, presents new work by professional and student choreographers in Fall For Dance.

Ears, Eyes + Feet May 2-3, 2014 Collaborative works by student and faculty composers, choreographers and video artists from the Department of Theatre and Dance, the Department of Art and Art History, and the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music.

The Fault By Katie Bender December 3-7, 2013 A small ragged house stands perched on a fault, pressed between the redwoods and Pacific Ocean. The Davies family resides within, holding together and splitting apart.

UTNT (UT New Theatre) New plays by 3rd year MFA Playwriting candidates Curated by Steven Dietz April 17-27, 2014 UTNT presents newly developed work of emerging playwrights from the Department of Theatre and Dance and Michener Center for Writers. Now in its seventh season, many plays presented at UTNT have since been professionally produced across the country.

Intimate Apparel, 2013



Stay connected /uttad @uttad @uttadaustin


Dancers in Anna Hiss Gymnasium

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 or call Michele Baylor, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at 512.475.6291.

Light | Night the bike light dance project, 2012



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ENCORE Spring 2013  

The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance Alumni Newsletter

ENCORE Spring 2013  

The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance Alumni Newsletter