Jelisa Jay Robinson (B.A., Theatre and Dance, 2014) recently accepted a position as a Theatre teacher at her alma mater, North Forest High School in Houston, Texas. She enjoys teaching the next generation about the importance of creativity and critical thinking. She co-directed the winter production and it was a success.
Alumni in the News
Jelisa Jay Robinson Accepts High School Theatre Teaching Position
Catherine Ann Jones' (B.F.A., Drama, 1965) musical, "Calamity Jane the Musical" won best production in Orange County, California. An actor, playwright, screenwriter and author, Jones' "The Women of Cedar Creek," a Texas family comedy-drama was awarded the NY Drama League Award and the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Award. It is an upcoming production at the Plaza Theatre, Carpinteria, California (April 2016). "Freud's Oracle," a one-woman show about H. D. & Freud, will be seen at The Ojai Retreat (April 2016), Ojai, California, and also in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the Creativity and Madness Conference (August 2016). Her three books are available online.
New Edition of Scott Shattuck's 'The Director's Vision' Released
The Director's Vision (Second Edition) by Louis E. Catron and Scott Shattuck (M.F.A. Drama, 1988) was published by Waveland Press, Inc. in May 2015. It is one of the most widely-used textbooks in college courses that introduce students to the process of play directing.
Emmy Award-winning Casting Director Holly Powell has written the best selling book, The Audition Bible: Secrets Every Actor Needs To Know. Holly wrote The Audition Bible as a companion piece to compliment her Audition Workshops taught at Holly Powell Studios in Los Angeles. An "audition class in a book", this is a user-friendly guide that demystifies the audition process, bringing it down from the epic to the mundane.
Luke Leonard's (M.F.A. 2010) upcoming directing projects include the Houston premiere of Bum Phillips: All-American Opera Sept. 24, 2015 at The Stafford Centre; the Australian premiere of The Difficulty of Crossing a Field in October 2015 at the Nagambie Lakes Opera Festival; and the world premiere of Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a musical play written and directed by Luke with music by Peter Stopschinski and co-lyrics by Katie Pearl, Oct 7-25, 2015 at 59E59 Theaters in New York.
Jelisa Jay Robinson's (Theatre and Dance 2014) play The Stories of Us premieres May 16 at the fifth annual Austin Latino New Play Festival. The Stories of Us is a collection of stories examining the intercultural conflict between African Americans and Latinos. Visit Teatro Vivo ATX for more information.
Pulitzer Prize-finalist Lisa D'Amour (MA Theatre, 1996) was featured in Vanity Fair for her Broadway debut with Airline Highway, a new play that centers around a community of misfits in D'Amour's hometown of New Orleans. The feature was written and illustrated by D'Amour's former classmate Michael Arthur (PhD Theatre, 1999). Airline Highway premieres at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on April 23.
Lisa D'Amour's (MA Theatre, 1996) play Airline Highway and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's (MA Play Writing, 2009) play The World of Extreme Happiness were finalists for the 2015 Susan Blackburn Prize, an international award for women playwrights given annually to recognize those who have written works of outstanding quality.
Jason Kendall (MA Acting, 1996) joined Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams this past month on the morning TV show "Wake Up With Al" on the Weather Channel. This series served as the only live astronomy program on national television. Check out videos of Kendall chatting about the stars here!
Stephen Blackburn's (M.A. Play Writing,1997) one-man drama "Douglass" comprised the first of three short plays interwoven by director Julianne Just in the Onion Creek Productions presentation Lincoln Adjacent at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood.