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Holly Williams Appointed Interim Chair of Department of Theatre and Dance

Williams succeeds Bob Schmidt, Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, who is stepping down after serving as both Interim and Chair of the department since 2006, and Senior Associate Chair from 1996–2006.

Associate Professor and Senior Associate Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, Holly Williams, has been appointed Interim Chair of the department, effective June 1, 2009.

"The college is indebted to Bob Schmidt for more than a decade of steadfast administrative leadership to the Department of Theatre and Dance," said College of Fine Arts Dean Douglas Dempster. "And we're truly fortunate to have an equally capable and determined Interim Chair in Professor Holly Williams."

As a dancer, Williams performed nationally and internationally with the companies of Laura Dean, Jose Limon and with Mark Morris, where she was in residence for three years in Brussels, Belgium. In Morris' company she performed in original casts of such works as The Hard Nut, L'Allegro il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Gloria, Love Song Waltzes, and Going Away Party.

As a choreographer, she created new works for the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, State Street Ballet (Santa Barbara), Ballet Austin Senior Young Artists, Contemporary Ballet Dallas, Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, and numerous university programs as a guest artist. Her recent work, Futari Tomo (Two Together) was selected to perform at the National American College Dance Festival in New York in June 2008. In addition, Williams' work for the Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Austin Lyric Opera and Dallas Theatre Center has won national acclaim.

Williams contributes as a writer and critic to The New York Times, Dallas Morning News and Austin American-Statesman among other publications. She is president elect of the American College Dance Festival Association and the Council of Dance Administrators, and has been on dance panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Dance/USA and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.

"The students of the Department of Theatre and Dance are exceptional young artists and the faculty are truly inspirational," said Williams. "I am honored to serve them all and move forward the goals of our programs."

Williams earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College at Columbia University, and her Master of Fine arts degree from Texas Woman's University, from which she also received the 2001 Distinguished Alumnae Award in dance. In addition to her dance administration duties directing the university's Master of Fine Arts in Dance program, Williams continues to choreograph for dance companies throughout the United States and abroad. In 2008 she was named to the Fulbright Senior Specialist roster in dance. She has been on faculty in the Department of Theatre and Dance since 1995.

Saturday, April 3, 2010