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IN THIS ISSUE Reflecting on 75 Years of Theatre and Dance The Next Keith: Acting Student Contemplates His Future Lost and Found: How Dance Became a Student’s True Calling Scholarship Recipients Giving Back Alumni Accolades Coming to the Stage

Dial “M” for Murder, 2013

From the Winship Building at The University of Texas at Austin, to our alumni, friends, and parents – Greetings! We are excited to share our latest news with you in our biannual publication of ENCORE. Your interest and support is key to who we are as a department, and for that we are grateful. This year we are celebrating the Department of Theatre and Dance’s 75th anniversary. It’s only fitting that such exciting developments would happen during this landmark year. The B.F.A. in Acting, dormant for more than fifteen years, was recently approved and classes will begin in fall 2014. A groundbreaking program designed for the 21st century, this B.F.A. degree will bring the most talented Texans to study here at The University of Texas at Austin. I’m continually amazed at the accomplishments of our alumni, some of which you’ll read about in this issue. Of particular note is Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (B.A. 1975), whose play All The Way recently made its Broadway debut at the Neil Simon Theatre. Our thanks to Bryan Cranston (starring as “LBJ” in the hit show) and Robert for their recent visit to the university. Our students were delighted to hear these talented artists’ words of advice as they begin their own careers. I invite you to join us this year as we toast 75 remarkable years. Together we will help write the history of this amazing Theatre and Dance program. As always, please continue to stay in touch and send us your updates and news. We look forward to hearing from of you. Hook ‘em Horns!

Dean, College of Fine Arts Douglas Dempster, Ph.D. Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance Brant Pope, Ph.D. 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

Brant Pope Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance

Phone: 512.471.5793 The ENCORE logo is the genius of Harvey Schmidt, artist and composer, B.F.A. 1952. Photo: Daniel Cavazos, Brenda O’Brien, Lawrence Peart, Mark Rutkowski, Lauren Tarbel

In 1976, the Drama Building was expanded to include new classrooms, dance studios, and the B. Iden Payne Theatre. 1



REFLECTING ON 75 YEARS OF THEATRE AND DANCE In 1908, English Professor Stark Young, who later became a leading drama critic of the New York Times, started the Curtain Club for “some form of dramatic expression at The University of Texas.” The all-university, extra-curricular club grew in popularity and three decades later helped launch the Department of Drama in 1938. The Department of Drama, the first department devoted solely to theatre in any Texas college or university, began with four instructors and nine courses. Today, the department has grown to 50 faculty with a population of 400 undergraduate and 75 graduate students. We welcome your additions to this sketch of the department’s rich history.

The all male cast of The Silent Woman

Curtain Club The original university student organization of dramatics 1909

First Curtain Club production of Ben Johnson’s The Silent Woman


Membership expands to include stage managers and designers.


Hogg Auditorium opens and later houses the first main stage productions for the department.

Left: Dr. Francis R. Hodge; Right: Hamlet, 1955

B. Iden Payne and cast of The Taming of the Shrew, 1959


F. Loren Winship named chair of the department and establishes model teacher training program in drama.


James H. Parke becomes the first departmental chair.


Francis R. Hodge is appointed to oversee departmental directing program.


Dramatist E. P. Conkle establishes playwriting program.


Hamlet marks Department of Drama’s 250th production.


James Moll is appointed to guide the acting program.


Theatre historian Frederick Hunter joins the faculty.


Modern dance specialist Shirlee Dodge adds “dance drama” to departmental curriculum.


John Reese Rothgeb is appointed to expand the design program.


Internationally renowned British Shakespearean director B. Iden Payne joins faculty.


Acclaimed costume designer Lucy Barton begins UT tenure.

After the 1959 fire, the new Drama Building opens on 23rd Street and San Jacinto Boulevard.


Paul Reinhardt appointed to head costume area.

Left: First production, Idiot’s Delight in the department’s inaugural season. Right: Shirlee Dodge

Department of Drama 1938

1947 Curtain Club, 1945 3

Department of Drama is founded.

The Laboratory Theatre is built.

Coleman A. Jennings designs theatre for youth program. David Nancarrow is appointed to teach lighting design.


Legendary ballet star Igor Youskevitch is named to head dance area. His appointment brings national prestige to the department.


Ruth Denney joins the faculty as head of the theatre education area. Drama Building is renovated and expanded. B. Iden Payne Theatre opens.


Renowned theatre historian Oscar G. Brockett arrives at UT Austin.

Top: Dr. Coleman A. Jennings teaching children from visiting school Bottom: Igor Youskevitch ENCORE SPRING 2014



Drama Building is named for F. Loren Winship.


Amarante Lucero joins the faculty and pioneers UT’s program in computerized, intelligent lighting. Sharon Vasquez founds the student dance company Dance Repertory Theatre.


Yacov Sharir establishes UT’s professional modern dance company in residence, Sharir Dance Company.


Top: Hamlet, 1969 Bottom: F. Loren Winship 5

David Mark Cohen, a distinguished dramatist and critic, takes leadership of the playwriting area.

First production of Dance Repertory Theatre, 1981


Suzan Zeder appointed chair in theatre for youth and playwriting, the first such chair in the United States.

The Cohen New Works Festival is created in honor of deceased faculty member David Mark Cohen. The Theatre Room is dedicated as the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre.


Internationally renowned costume technology designer James Glavan arrives at UT Austin.


Nationally acclaimed costume designer Susan Mickey joins the faculty.


Charlotte Canning, author of Feminist Theaters in the USA: Staging Women’s Experience, joins the faculty.


Playwright Steven Dietz, one of today’s most prolific writers, joins the faculty.



Department honors Oscar G. Brockett, hosting symposium “Constructing Theatre/ History” to commemorate the 30th anniversary of History of the Theatre.

The inaugural production of UTNT (UT New Theatre), a showcase of new plays of third-year playwrights of the M.F.A. program, is presented.


The department celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Fantasticks, written by the College of Fine Arts’ alumni Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt.


The Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism is founded to promote excellence in the study of theatre history.

Scenic designer Robert Schmidt joins the faculty. 1989

Department renamed to Department of Theatre and Dance.

Mother Hicks by Suzan Zeder, 1995

Top: Dr. Oscar G. Brockett Bottom: The first festival guide of the Cohen New Works Festival

Holes, 2006

Top: The UTNT production of the now titled Javaaneh (In Bloom) by Gabriel Jason Dean, 2012 Bottom: Alumni gather at The Fantasticks 50th Celebration ENCORE SPRING 2014


THE NEXT KEITH: ACTING STUDENT CONTEMPLATES HIS FUTURE Not every student could say their first exposure to theatre began with their family detained at the Canadian border. But a visa dispute resulted in a young Keith Machekanyanga being torn from his mother, father, and sister at the northern border and placed into foster care. Where a normal family would be devastated, the Machekanyangas knew to always look ahead. “Even in handcuffs, my father was optimistic,” says Machekanyanga. “He knew he would get past it.” In the thickest of all silver linings, this unfortunate moment was the inciting incident for his future love of acting. His temporary foster mother and father were theatre buffs, and provided Machekanyanga with his first stage experience by taking him to Shakespeare in the Park. “It made me forget for a moment the situation I was in and enjoy the here and now.” Emigrating from Zimbabwe when he was five years old, Machekanyanga grew up in Grand Prairie, Texas, a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth. As a high school student, he juggled a number of extracurriculars, often dividing his time between football, wrestling, soccer, and theatre. His first role was as Duane in Hairspray, and eventually his life in theatre bled into other activities, and his coach made him choose between football and theatre. “I didn’t have to think twice about it,” says Machekanyanga. He chose the stage and hasn’t looked back.



Machekanyanga’s introduction to the UT Department of Theatre and Dance came through an ambassador: acting instructor Jim Daniels. Machekanyanga was at an open college audition when he passed by the UT booth. “Jim came up and put his arm around me,” he says. “From that moment, UT was number one on my list. It had a good vibe.”

The more Erica Saucedo lost herself in dance, the more she found it was the right fit. An Austin native, Saucedo was eager to use her college experience to live in a new city. But the allure of UT was too much to overcome. “I realized that the promise of a mental and physical diet of top-tier academics and rigorous dance training was too enticing to ignore,” she says.

Now a first-year student in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program, Machekanyanga hopes to use this opportunity to its full potential. He has spent his spring semester in three shows, but it isn’t just the numerous performance opportunities that keep him here. “I’m really excited about what I will learn,” he says. “People sometimes tell me that I will be the next Denzel or the next Morgan. But I want to be the next Keith.”

“During my freshman year, I was introduced to the notion that my dancer self did not have to be separated from my student self,” she says. “Such thinking enabled me to not only follow my passion, but to cherish each moment of my life in dance.”

Through Theatre and Dance’s Texas Talent sponsors Marc and Carolyn Seriff, Machekanyanga was able to receive scholarship funds to help his student experience. “It definitely eases some of the financial pressures of going to college, helping me with the cost of food, books, and other aspects of life at UT.” Texas Talent allows UT Theatre and Dance to entice high-caliber talent such as Machekanyanga, providing another strong reason to be a Longhorn. Even after his renaissance life so far and dreams for the future, he returns to his foster home experience. Some might be filled with ‘what-ifs’ and regret, but he is contemplative. “As unfortunate the situation was, I was thankful to experience it because it introduced me to theatre.” Machekanyanga says. “Otherwise I might be doing something else.”

Saucedo’s rigorous training exposed her to the renowned work of such nationally recognized choreographers as Ohad Naharin, Paul Taylor, and David Parsons, as well as UT’s talented faculty members David Justin and Charles O. Anderson. During her first concert dance piece, “Rite,” Saucedo had a difficult rehearsal process due to emotional and physical strain. “Charles Anderson, the choreographer, was asking me to strip away any sort of presentational dance movements and expressions,” she told The Daily Texan in the March 5, 2014 issue.” I’d been raised in the competition dance world, where we’re taught to show off all our tricks all at once to impress the audience.” Keith Machekanyanga

It wasn’t until she could strip away these practiced techniques that she could truly lose herself in the movement. She used this knowledge and passion in all of her work in the dance program. Now in her senior year, Saucedo culminates her UT experience with a choreographed piece of her own, “White Noise (RGB),” part of Dance Repertory Theatre’s spring 2014 concert Kinesthetic Imperative. Presented alongside the work of renowned choreographers Merce Cunningham and Millicent Johnnie, “White Noise (RGB)” is a vibrant and colorful piece accompanied by an original electronic score from composer Walter Nichols. “I am tremendously thankful for my research and learning inside the classroom,” Saucedo says, “and I am increasingly humbled by the opportunities The University of Texas at Austin has provided me.” Through generous donor contributions, Saucedo was able to receive three merit-based scholarships to continue her work and education at UT, most recently through the Leon Danielian Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Dance. The Department of Theatre and Dance hopes to support dance even further with the creation of the Dancers’ Circle, a program that allows members to invest in UT’s talented young dancers by directly funding undergraduate scholarships. As Saucedo’s experience at UT has allowed her to find and lose herself in dance, she is eager to pursue a full-time dance career. Armed with an education both academic and visceral, she has the best opportunity to pursue her passion with the skills and knowledge provided to her by UT’s dance program. Erica Saucedo ENCORE SPRING 2014


SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS GIVING BACK Jolynn Hoffman Free (B.F.A. 1973, M.F.A. 1975)

Alumna Jolynn Hoffman Free’s career has led her from the university’s Department of Drama (now Department of Theatre and Dance), to a job as supervisor of cultural arts at the City of Austin, to director of development at Laguna Gloria Art Museum and finally into financial services. She is a registered investment advisor, accredited investment fiduciary, and the senior vice president in the Private Client Group at Stephens Inc. Free serves on numerous boards and foundations including the Department of Theatre and Dance Director’s Council. Free recently made a gift to establish the Jolynn Free Endowed Scholarship in Theatre Studies. She previously shared:

Jolynn Hoffman Free 9

What I have always said is that I am deeply grateful for the theatre education I received. I cannot imagine that anything would have prepared me better for a career dealing with families and their resources or institutions and their legacies. Let me say that again. While I have sometimes wished for an M.B.A. in addition to my M.F.A., I have never regretted a moment of my time in the theatre department. Nor have I ever thought that specialized education was wasted on me because I did not ultimately pursue the academic theatre career I had envisioned. Instead, I count my blessings for an education and a career that I value and for the gifts they have both given me, and, I daresay, my clients. I recently had the privilege of hearing an iconic high tech executive speak to an intimate audience. “The future belongs not to the math or engineering geniuses,” he said, “but to those with the unique ability to integrate.” I cannot imagine a better argument for arts education. “The integrators,” I thought, “That’s us.”

Free shared some advice for recent graduates:

Hy Hetherington (B.F.A. 1996)

I was a scholarship student in both undergraduate and graduate school, so I understand the exigencies involved with getting a job soon after graduation. But I think it is also important to recognize that the first steps graduates take after their degrees determine their course, sometimes for the rest of their careers. So operating out of a sense of empowerment and recognizing that you have knowledge and experience that are valuable in a variety of settings is vital. Be proud of yourself and what you have accomplished. You are one of a privileged few!

Hy and Amy Hetherington and family

Alumnus Hy Hetherington was a proud recipient of an endowed presidential scholarship while training in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Recently, Hetherington and his wife Amy made a gift to establish the Hy and Amy Hetherington Endowed Presidential Scholarship. The scholarship will support B.F.A. acting students, forever honoring Hetherington’s own experience in the department. While at The University of Texas at Austin, Hetherington felt blessed to study under Professors Jim Hancock, Charlotte Canning and Lee Abraham, among others. He credits much of his artistic training for his success in business. After college, his professional journey included education, hotel

management and finally in the arena of litigation support and IP finance, advising clients throughout every aspect of the litigation lifecycle. Hetherington is the C.E.O. and managing partner of HLP Integration LLC, which he created in 2007. HLP has offices on three continents and supports clients all over the world. Throughout his career, Hetherington has had the opportunity to work on some of the highest profile and largest legal matters in the United States. In 2012, he established 1624 LLC, an IP finance organization that provides capital to businesses with strong and vetted intellectual property. The capital allows small to mid-size businesses as well as individual inventors to grow and flourish utilizing their creativity and enforcing their legal protections through their patents. Hetherington is passionate about creating opportunities for Theatre and Dance students to learn about entrepreneurship. He firmly believes that the education one gets while pursuing the arts is applicable in many other ways to the world and business. While regurgitation of facts and information in order to keep up with the new global economy has been a strong governmental focus, he believes that creativity and innovation are the backbone of what makes America great and different. The ability to think creatively and independently is the hallmark of this country’s economy and no other person is more equipped than the artist to succeed in this new world. He believes that one key skill an actor learns is the ability to quickly assess and creatively respond to another person and their perspective. This makes for great salespeople, thoughtful leaders, intuitive creators and successful business people.

Hetherington is currently working with Dr. Brant Pope to organize a diverse group of business leaders, including himself, who will teach undergraduate actors essential entrepreneurial skills, thus setting them up for success after graduation. The goal of this two-day workshop will be to provide students the tools to find creative solutions in a business environment and open their minds to how their artistic training may benefit them in any arena. Performing arts students should understand how valuable their training is, embrace it and know that this country needs more creativity to stay on top of the world’s stage. He shared advice for recent graduates, “Intelligence is not just test scores or knowledge of facts and information. Being in the moment in any business transaction, having the intuition to change course midstream in a negotiation, perception to understand why someone is responding or acting the way they are in order to finalize a deal, truly listening to an employee and their feelings, focusing on the objective of the overall task are all skills that makes one successful in business. These are all traits and talents I learned from the arts rather than business.” Hetherington wants every young person in an undergraduate arts program at the university to leave empowered, emboldened and passionate, whether pursuing their life in the arts or any other avenue that life’s journey takes them.



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. You can make a difference - every gift, at every level, directly supports a young artist. Donate online at To learn more, contact Director of Development and Alumni Relations Michele Baylor at 512.475.6291 or

Fall For Dance, 2013 11

DIRECTOR’S COUNCIL The Department of Theatre and Dance Director’s Council is a premier volunteer group designed to foster strong and collaborative connections between The University of Texas at Austin and the local community by supporting initiatives in marketing, public relations, student recruitment and development. As advocates for the department, this group of alumni, parents and fine arts supporters play a key role in continuing to build a professional theatre and dance training program serving thousands of talented Texans for generations.

2013 – 2014 Director’s Council Members: Carol Smith Adams

Pam and Edmund McIlhenny

Francesca Brockett and Jim Pedicano

Annie McKinnon

Barrett Bruce

Miriam Relyea

Jean Cheever

Russ Sartain

Joanne and Jack Crosby

Nancy Scanlan

Dee Dawson

Marc Seriff, President

Gary Farmer

Laura Sheffield

Jolynn Free

Karen Skolnik

Missy Grimes

Leah Stolar Sharon Watkins

The Threepenny Opera, 2011 ENCORE SPRING 2014


P. SETH BAUER’S (M.F.A. 1996) play A Mystery? had its world premiere production at Philadelphia Fringe Arts Festival in September 2013.


KYLE COTTON (M.F.A. 2013) starred this spring in the Lyric Stage’s world premiere of Blue Roses, a musical adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie.

Please share your story with us! Submit a brief summary of your life and career, related photos and information you want share with your former classmates.

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


Eric Lenox Abrams (M.F.A. 2004)

ERIC LENOX ABRAMS (M.F.A. 2004) is currently starring as “Bob Moses” in the Broadway premiere of alumnus Robert Schenkkan’s play All the Way at the Neil Simon Theatre. He also recently performed in August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson as “Avery” at New York’s Signature Theatre Company.

DAVID BARBER (B.F.A. 1990) recently designed scenery for three of the five shows at the Contemporary American Theater Festival, including world premieres by Jane Martin (directed by Jon Jory) and Mark St. Germain. Other current projects include costume and production design for the feature film It’s All Relative; and scenic design for the world premiere of The Most Deserving by Catherine Trieschmann at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He will design The Most Deserving for its offBroadway production this spring.

FRANCES YA-CHU COWHIG’S (M.F.A. 2009) most recent play The World of Extreme Happiness will have its world premiere co-production at The Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club directed by Eric Ting next season.

ISAAC GOMEZ (B.A. 2013) completed his literary management and dramaturgy internship at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in January of this year. He has been appointed as the literary manager of Victory Gardens Theatre, the prestigious Chicago theatre dedicated to the development of new theatre. As literary manager he is responsible for all aspects of new play development and managing Victory Gardens Theatre’s various community engagement and development initiatives.

DIANA GRISANTI’S (M.F.A. 2012) play River City, originally presented at UTNT (UT New Theatre) in 2012, was selected for the 11th Annual National Showcase of New Plays. River City will receive its world premiere production at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte in the fall of 2014. MICHAEL HARTMAN (B.F.A. 1987), founder of the publicity firm The Hartman Group, is returning to Texas this year to become C.E.O. of Austin, Texas-based Amy’s Ice Creams. The Hartman Group represented some of Broadway’s biggest hits, including Wicked, Rock of Ages, Big Fish, and 700 Sundays. RACHEL HULL (B.A. 2002) is the director

ROWAN DOYLE (M.F.A. 2012) was the scenic designer for Indiana Repertory Theatre’s production And Then They Came For Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank. Fellow alumna and Indiana Rep’s associate artistic director COURTNEY SALE (M.F.A. 2012) directed.

of education and community enrichment for the Dallas Theater Center. In November, the Center’s Project Discovery program received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. The award recognizes exemplary after-school and out-of-school time programs from across the country and is the highest national honor awarded to such programs. Project Discovery is one of 12 programs to receive the award this year.

TAMARA GOLDBOGEN (M.F.A. 2000) has been selected chairwoman of the new Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program at Weber State University. The program trains future educators to incorporate artistic instruction into their content areas as well as provide outreach opportunities to children in northern Utah. Isaac Gomez (B.A. 2013)

KATE LEAHY (M.F.A. 2012) is the lighting designer for Indiana Repertory Theatre’s upcoming production The Mountaintop. The show is directed by alumna COURTNEY SALE (M.F.A. 2012), Indiana Rep’s associate artistic director, with sound design by alumnus TOM HORAN (M.F.A. 2012).

DINK O’NEAL (B.F.A. 1984) can be seen on Hotel Confidential (Travel Channel), Outrageous 911 Calls, Kickin’ It (Disney XD Channel), and a new “reality” show called Treasure King which follows a real life procurer of unusual objects as he works to pair up buyers with film memorabilia. In addition, he’s starred in three online commercials for Intuit, the company that makes Quicken and QuickBooks accounting software programs. Rachel Hull (B.A. 2002) (right)

SMARANDA LUNA (M.F.A. 2010) recently starred in Kmart’s “Sneaky Snowman” commercial. She co-founded the Mixtape Theatre Company with fellow alumni VERITY BRANCO (M.F.A. 2010) and MARK SCHEIBMEIR (M.F.A. 2010). BRIAN MCGREEVY (M.F.A. 2007) and PHILIPP MEYER (M.F.A. 2008) are adapting The Son, Meyer’s widely acclaimed novel about three generations of a family of Texas ranchers, for television. Lee Shipman, a Los Angeles-based author and producer, is the third writer on the project.

KERRY O’QUINN (B.A. Attended) is filming Dragworms this year with Skywalker Sound and Robert Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios in Austin. A zombies-on-Harleys adventure, O’Quinn is the writer and director of the fantasy film. O’Quinn built a publishing and production business in New York, creating the magazines Starlog, Fangoria, Cinemagic, Future Life and Comics Scene. He is the recipient of the Saturn Service Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.

JARED OBERHOLTZER (B.A. 2010) is the assistant stage manager on Suzan-Lori Parks’ new play Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) at the Public Theater. Kerry O’Quinn (B.A. Attended) ENCORE SPRING 2014


Chelsea Pierce (B.F.A. 2012) performing with Diavolo Dance Theater

CHELSEA PIERCE (B.F.A. 2012) performs with Diavolo Dance Theater, a modern acrobatic Los Angeles-based dance company. With the company, directed by Jacques Heim, she has performed in Australia, Korea, the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, and all over the U.S.

ROSANNA PILCHER (B.F.A. 2008) earned a master’s degree in theatre education from the University of Northern Colorado in December. SIMON JON PROVAN (M.F.A. 2007), an assistant professor at Wisconsin Lutheran College, has been named the head of the college’s performance studies area. This spring, Provan will direct the Wisconsin premiere of In Spite of Thunder: The Macbeth Project, written by former UT Professor Jim Hancock and Professor Emeritus Suzan L. Zeder. He recently played the role of “Donald” in Milwaukee’s In Tandem Theatre’s production of Apartment 3. 15

CATHERINE ROGERS (M.F.A. 1993) published her short story “After Three Tangos” in the Gettysburg Review spring 2014 issue. She recently returned to the U.S. from her second Fulbright fellowship in Greece (2009, 2013). At Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and in Athens, Rogers led the workshops “Understanding Illness and Trauma through Narrative” with students, physicians and health care professionals, artists, writers, and fellow Fulbright alumni. She is currently an M.S. candidate in narrative medicine at Columbia University.

COMING TO THE STAGE INTRODUCING THE 2014/2015 SUBSCRIPTION SERIES Esperanza Rising Story by Pam Muñoz Ryan Adaptation by Lynne Alvarez October 3 - 12, 2014 Forced to flee from Mexico to California during the Great Depression, a young girl must overcome adversity and find unexpected inner strength.

GREG ROMERO’S (M.F.A. 2006) latest work Delaware Mudtub and the Mighty Wampum transports audience members to the banks of the Delaware River, introducing them to animals native to the area using puppetry, language and movement. Presented by Plays & Players, the world premiere opened this spring.

MARK SCHEIBMEIR (M.F.A. 2010) recently starred in a commercial. In addition, he performed at Indiana Repertory Theatre as “Bob Cratchit” in A Christmas Carol. He co-founded the Mixtape Theatre Company with fellow alumni VERITY BRANCO (M.F.A. 2010) and SMARANDA LUNA (M.F.A. 2010).

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

Left to Right: Robert Schennkan (B.A. 1975), Bryan Cranston and Brant Pope

ROBERT SCHENKKAN’S (B.A. 1975) play All The Way made its Broadway debut at the Neil Simon Theatre this spring. A depiction of President Lyndon Johnson’s struggle to get civil rights legislation passed while facing an election campaign, the play received the 2013 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ American Theatre Critics Association Award for Best New Play as well as the first Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. The production stars three-time Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston as “LBJ” and alumnus ERIC LENOX ABRAMS (M.F.A. 2004) as “Bob Moses.”

Schenkkan received the inaugural E. William Doty Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UT College of Fine Arts in January. He is currently working on the sequel to All The Way, The Great Society, scheduled to open in July at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams October 10 - 19, 2014 In the sultry streets of New Orleans, passions flair and cultures collide as Blanche DuBois, a fading relic of the Old South, comes to the end of her line.

Fame Based on the screenplay by Christopher Gore Conceived by David De Silva Adapted by Christopher Sergel November 21 - December 6, 2014 At New York City’s legendary High School for Performing Arts, a group of dedicated students with stars in their eyes pursue their dreams for the stage.

The Blue Angel February 12 - 15, 2015 Set in 1930s Germany, this devised work presents the tragic transformation of a man from a respectable professor to a cabaret clown, and his descent into madness. This new work is created by Dominique Serrand, Steven Epps, Nathan Keepers and Christina Baldwin of The Moving Company, formerly of the Tony Award-winning Theatre de la Jeune Lune.


ERIC VERA (B.F.A. 2008) earned a master’s degree in theatre education from the University of Northern Colorado in December. He is the executive artistic director at the Camille Playhouse in Brownsville, Texas.

A showcase of unique and compelling dance work created by nationally renowned choreographers and performed by the acclaimed student ensemble Dance Repertory Theatre.

Advance Man, Presented by UTNT (UT New Theatre), 2014 ENCORE SPRING 2014



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

The Department of Theatre and Dance is a world-class educational environment that serves as the ultimate creative incubator for the next generation of artists, thinkers and leaders in theatre and performance.

STAY CONNECTED DANCE REPERTORY THEATRE PRESENTS Fall For Dance November 14 - 23, 2014 Dance Repertory Theatre, the award-winning student dance company, presents works by professional and student choreographers in Fall For Dance.

UTNT (UT New Theatre) New plays by 3rd year M.F.A. Playwriting candidates Curated by Steven Dietz December 1 - 6, 2014 UTNT presents newly developed work of emerging playwrights from the Department of Theatre and Dance and Michener Center for Writers. Now in its eighth season, many plays presented at UTNT have since been professionally produced across the country.

Enter a Woman, Pretty Enough March 27 – April 3, 2015 Cora is on a field trip to historic gold rush town Columbia, California. When her best friend she’s expecting to see never appears, Cora finds herself on a new mining expedition: rough, wicked and bizarre.

/uttad Presenting


The Method Gun Created by Rude Mechs


The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance Resident Theatre Company

September 10 – 14, 2014

We want to brag about you to our alumni, students and faculty! Send us your latest news online at

A play about the ecstasy and excesses of performing, the dangers of public intimacy and the incompatibility of truth on stage and sanity in real life.


The Cohen New Works Festival Presented by Broadway Bank April 13 – 17, 2015

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.

Presenting over 30 new works to more than 7,000 attendees in five days. The biennial performance event celebrating original works created by university students and faculty.

Kinesthetic Imperative, 2014 17



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ENCORE Spring 2014  
ENCORE Spring 2014  

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