Oluwaseun S. Olayiwola (B.F.A. 2018) is currently a Fulbright Scholar pursuing an M.F.A. in Choreography at Trinity Laban in London, England. As an advocate for the arts and a Nigerian-American artist, Oluwaseun hopes to engage residents with dance during his two years in the program and contribute toward the Nigerian diaspora’s representation in the arts landscape.
Alumnus Cosme Flores (B.F.A. 2018) was recently cast as "Ben" in Power Rangers: Beast Morphers, set to air on Nickelodeon in 2019. Featuring an all-new cast of heroes and villains, Beast Morphers will expand the Power Rangers universe with tactical leather suits, 'Beast Bot' sidekicks and elevated battle footage.
Alumna Karen Rodriguez (B.A. 2013) is one of the newest members of the ensemble at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Rodriguez recently performed at Steppenwolf in The Doppelgänger (an international farce) and The Rembrandt.
Kirk Lynn (Playwright) and KJ Sanchez (Director) discuss the life and art of the late Leonard Bernstein as the world celebrates the centenary of his birth. Exploring his spirit through devised theatre techniques, biography, contextual history and music theory, this new work attempts to capture the passion and art of an American musical legend.
Professor Susan Mickey was recently nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award (Equity) in Costume Design for her work in The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). These prestigious awards honor outstanding theatre artists in the Chicago area by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards and honors. The 50th Equity Awards will be presented October 22, 2018 at Drury Lane Theatre (Oakbrook Terrace, IL).
Flordelino Lagundino (M.F.A. 2004) was named the new Artistic Director of Park Square Theatre in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Lagundino is a director, actor and producer whose performance in VIETGONE led to a Best Ensemble Ivey Award. He is the Sir John Gielgud Classical Directing Fellow at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.
As we get closer to the beginning of a new year, we look to members of our Texas Theatre and Dance community who have shared their artistry and research with the larger American theatre community. In the second part of our two-part summer series, we take a closer look at the ways in which our undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and alumni have been involved this summer.
Lina Chambers (M.F.A. in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities candidate) will receive the Don and Elizabeth Doyle Fellowship and Lauren Smith (M.F.A. 2017) will receive the Distinguished Thesis Award at the 2018 American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) conference. These awards celebrate excellent work in theatre for youth and outstanding scholarship. The conference will be held in Minneapolis August 1-5, 2018.
Head of dance, Charles O. Anderson's work (Re)current Unrest was recently awarded a grant from The New England Foundation for the Arts' (NEFA) National Dance Project (NDP) which supports the creation of 20 new dance works that will tour the United States. (Re)current Unrest was staged as part of Fall For Dance (Texas Theatre and Dance) and premiered at Fusebox Festival in Austin, Texas in 2018. Faculty member Rennie Harris was also awarded for his work LAZARUS (Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation).
Rudy Ramirez (M.F.A. 2012) has been recognized as one of "6 Theatre Workers You Should Know" by American Theatre magazine, which recognizes up-and-coming artists and administrators who have made an impact on theatre in the United States.
Incoming dance faculty member, Gesel Mason, brings her experience to Austin, along with an extensive digital dance archive documenting 15 years of performing the choreography of 10 black artists relatively unknown to the general public, entitled No Boundaries: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers.
KJ Sanchez, associate professor and head of the directing area, was recently a recipient of the National Performance Network's (NPN) 2018 Creation and Development Fund, which supports 14 new artistic works across multiple disciplines, geographies and cultures. Her work Matanza (The Killing) was commissioned by Fusebox Festival (Austin, TX) and California Shakespeare Theater (Berkeley, CA).
Alumnus Isaac Gomez (B.A. 2013) has been named the co-recipient of the Lanford Wilson Award along with R. Eric Thomas by the Dramatists Guild of America. This award is presented annually to early career playwrights at the Guild's national conference, which will take place July 28 in New York.
Summer is officially underway and faculty and students of Texas Theatre and Dance have departed Winship to spread their knowledge and creativity far and wide, from Austin to Minnesota; Cincinnati to New York. In this two-part series, we take a look at what everyone is up to this summer.
Robert Schenkkan (B.A. 1975) has been named a recipient of the Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus Awards. A Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winner, Schenkkan is the author of several prominent works including All the Way, Building the Wall and Hacksaw Ridge. The awards ceremony will take place at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center on Friday, November 2.
'A' (What the Black Girl Found While Searching for God) written and performed by Taji Senior, directed by alumnus Matrex Kilgore (B.A. 2015) heads to Ground Floor Theatre this July. Inspired by George Bernard Shaw's The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search For God, 'A' is the story of a person, searching inside and outside of herself to find her place in the world. That search is filtered through a lens of black girlhood. 'A' hopes to ask and answer the question: Who has the right to self-creation?
Away, written by Andrew Hinderaker (M.F.A. 2013), is loosely inspired by Chris Jones' Esquire article of the same name and details an epic love story and a thrilling tale of survival set against humanity’s greatest endeavor – the first human mission to Mars. Netflix premiere date to be announced in 2018.
One of Backstage's "25 Amazing Acting Colleges You Need to Know," UT Austin provides "conservatory-style teaching...woven together with training in fields like voiceover-for-video-games for a unique approach to learning. Students also have the option to participate in an L.A. residency for first-hand experience in the industry. If you’re looking for an intimate learning experience within a larger university located in a funky city, consider UT Austin."
Kathy Dunn Hamrick (B.A. 1981) of Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company was recently added to the ranks of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame along with four other local creatives for their shared commitment to helping the arts thrive in Austin.
Alumnus Abe Koogler (M.F.A. 2014) recently received an Obie Award for playwriting for his work Fulfillment Center, presented at the Manhattan Theatre Club. The Obie Awards recognize the best writers, actors, directors and designers of Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway theatre.