Burgess Byrd (Shylock), Bella Medina (Portia) and Adam L. Sussman (Director) sit down with Texas Theatre and Dance Marketing and Events Assistant Ryan Prendergast to discuss the challenges and rewards of one of Shakespeare’s most controversial and misunderstood plays. Part scathing social satire, part romantic comedy, part revenge thriller, The Merchant of Venice defies expectations and asks us to examine what hatred we hold in our hearts.
The works of Dance Repertory Theatre’s Fall For Dance explore embodiment, community, diversity and introductions. Dorothy O’Shea Overbey’s new work, Invention in Three Parts, features the work of faculty and students from the Department of Theatre and Dance and Radio-Television-Film in a collaborative performance blending virtual reality, motion capture technology and contemporary ballet.
Associate Professor Charles O. Anderson has been awarded a 2018-2019 Research & Creative Grant from the Office of the Vice President for Research for his project (Re)current Unrest. The evening-length piece is an immersive performance installation ‘ritual’ investigating legacy, authorship and the history of black art and protest through the lens of the erasure of the Africanist presence inside of Steve Reich’s compositions.
Assistant Professor Quetta Carpenter has been announced as the director the Illinois Shakespeare Festival's 2019 production of Julius Caesar. Her adaptation will offer a media-saturated, modern take on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, set on the battlefields of social media and the 24-hour news cycle.
Associate Professor Kirk Lynn, one of the five artistic directors of the Rude Mechs theatre collective, will perform in his own one-man show The Cold Record as part of the Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival in January 2019.
Professor Susan Mickey recently received the Jeff Award in Costume Design for her work on The Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (2017). The Jeff Awards honor outstanding theatre artists in the Chicago area and celebrate excellence through its recommendations, awards and honors.
Matawan Dramaturg Kristin Perkins outlines the history and truth behind the 1916 shark attacks in Matawan, New Jersey and details the state of a nation gripped by fear of disease and war.
Alumnus J. Quinton Johnson (Hamilton) has joined the cast of Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy in the role of "Bobby Marrow," set to premiere on Broadway in January 2019. This music-filled play debuted in 2013 and details the hopes of a group of young singers at the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys.
Meet the cast of Matawan, a new play by Dan Caffrey that tells the story of the summer of 1916 when a series of fatal shark attacks terrorized the New Jersey Shore. Featuring an all-star cast of Texas Theatre and Dance students under the direction of Alice Stanley, Matawan takes the stage October 2018.
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.