May 25, 2006

Thank you for attending the reunion

I would like to take this opportunity to offer my deepest thanks to all of you who attended the recent 75:20 celebration sponsored by the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. As former and current members of this department, you know how very important it is for our students to learn about where the department comes from in order to know better where it is going. And that includes learning about the lives and careers of those who stood in their shoes in years past.

Seventy-five years ago, we launched University Theatre’s first season as both a laboratory for our students and a way of thinking critically about the world. Twenty years ago, dance joined theatre to become one department, and ever since, we have investigated the intersections between the two disciplines, which has helped redefine the very meaning of performance. The 75:20 events of April 28-30 showed quite well what it has really taken to achieve these landmarks: an extraordinary faculty, adventuresome students and accomplished alumni.

It was indeed a pleasure watching you reconnect with each other. I was constantly reminded that members of this department have always had the ability to use their imaginations as artists, and at the same time have demonstrated an incredible commitment to make their art, their scholarship and their education matter as both a process of self-discovery and a way of engaging with what is going on in the world outside the theatre.

I listened to Charles Nolte read from his journal one day after seeing an afternoon of original performances by our current students. I overheard all of you sharing memories animatedly at the dinner, followed an hour later by our students’ wonderful performance of Cabaret. All this truly reaffirmed my optimism about the department’s future. With such a rich past and an eventful present, how can we not have a strong future as both an excellent place to create and learn the performing arts, and an intellectual and artistic leader in the Twin Cities arts community?

So, again, from all of our students and faculty, thank you for helping us celebrate our first 75 years. More important, thanks for helping us imagine our next 75.

Sincerely,

Michal Kobialka
Professor and Chair

Posted by utheatre at 2:19 PM | 75:20 Reunion Updates

May 3, 2006

Hello from Dwight Larsen

I'm probably one of the most insignificant but most blessed people to come out of the U of M theatre program.I got my MFA degree in 1972 and have been constantly working in my field. To date, 20 years at the Guthrie Theater and the next 12 years at the Childrens Theatre in Mpls have made my career. I was told by others once that Dr.Josal once said he was sorry he had never been able to place me in an academic situation. Thank you , Sir. Because I never wanted that . The professional theatre has been my life and rightly so. My career has suited me well. And I also give great credit to Wendell and Jean for my original formation. I am who I am from what I learned from you.
thank you

Posted by utheatre at 6:54 AM | Faculty Memories

April 6, 2006

news from Erin Scott ('98)

Greetings from California.

This is Erin Scott (98). I am looking forward to the upcoming gathering. After teaching in Savannah for 2 1/2 years, I am back in Los Angeles playing the adjunct professor game (also known as the freeway fliers for the amount of time spent driving from different colleges!)

I have strayed from theatre and moved to film. I made my first film last year, collaborating with my brother. We won Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee and screened at East Lansing Film Festival, and Black Maria (a traveling festival).

I still think of the alma mater every time I get a paycheck from my contract work at American Public Media (the check says Minnesota Public Radio). I love it! In my wildest dreams working as a sound ta, I would’ve
never thought I’d be working radio, especially NPR!!

Best Wishes!
Erin Scott

Posted by utheatre at 12:50 PM | Alumni News

April 5, 2006

Hello from David-Michael Monasch

Hello all from David-Michael Monasch: graduated 1971, as one of the first two U of M BFA's in Theater - together with Linda Smith (where is she now?)

Most fond memories were evoked by Peter Thoemke's contribution (now to be found under Student Memories) and Patsy Monson's memories of the GREATEST PARTIES ever - - (and I have to agree!). For a long time I pondered whether to attend the reunion or not, since so much of the focus seems to be on the Rarig years, which came after I had already gone to the Guthrie and then dropped-out of the theater altogether for many years. Would I know anyone? Would I feel like an old fossil? But then I decided to go; to see a few folks, (especially former teachers), visit my sister (also a U of M theater department alum), see Barb Berlovitz's Cabaret (we started at the U together), and hope for a surprise meeting or two!

So, I guess more than anything I'd like to urge old friends from the late Sixties/early Seventies to come to the reunion - - it would be wonderful to see you again. I'm sure we've all changed enormously, challenged by relationships/work/children/LIFE - - and/but perhaps something of those heady and idealistic times still lingers in our souls. Anyone remember the Anti-War rally at the State Capitol with the huge heads we made of Nixon, etc? (I've never forgotten the sight of thousands and thousands of people pouring down the street toward the Capitol, where we were waiting to perform.) How about the police in riot gear in Dinkytown? Spider John Koerner and Leo Kottke at the New Riverside? The Walker Art Center's superb intimate rock concerts at the Guthrie? Wes Balk's Hugo Square Productions? The often brilliant Minneapolis Children's Theater? The first years of the Minnesota Renaissance Faire? Bob Moulton's Stagecoach Theater productions? The thrilling Firehouse Theater? The growth of the co-ops (and the takeover of the People's Warehouse by the 'Trots')? Boogie's at the Odd Fellow's Hall? While these memories aren't directly connected to the Theater Dept. at the U, they are all part of my memories of the rich years I spent in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I'd love to share more with whoever shows up!!! I'd also welcome email from anyone who'd care to write: dmm@movingstories.net

Posted by utheatre at 9:11 AM | University Theatre Memories

March 31, 2006

Another look at who's coming to the reunion

Greetings alumni,

April is upon us and it's time to take another look at who will be attending the 75:20 Reunion, April 28-30. There's still time to register. Just go to www.7520.umn.edu and click on "events" where you can download a registration form.

Michael & Katie Beery
Richard & Judy Borgen
Michael Boyden
Tessie Bundick
Steve Cardamone
Dan Cashman
Jon Cranney
Carolynne Darling
Catherine C. Davis
Ann Del Vecchio-McDonogh
Doug & Donna Eichten
Michael Ellison
Sarah Erickson
David Feldshuh
Donn/Mali Finn
Daniel Fogelberg
Kirsten Frantzich
Debra Gluesing
Peter Michael Goetz
Sheldon Goldstein
Gary Heyer
Lawrence J. Hill
Jann Iaco
Judith Brin Ingber
John & Marliynn Tammi
Wendell & Elizabeth Josal
John Justad
Linda Kelsey
Pamela Kidahl
Katherine Kohl
Edward & Rhonda Krehl
Scott Latendresse
Matt LeFebvre
Rachael Lindhart
Jenna Lordo
Helen Manfull
Joseph Meischer
Pam Mitman
David-Michael Monasch
Jean Montgomery
Maggie Moulton
Michelle Myers Berg
Paul & Patti Newman
Charles Nolte
Darlene Faye Olson
Annie Ozega
Stephen Peabody
Gerald Roe
Robert Scales
Erin Scott
Luverne Seifert
Robert Skloot
Lila Smith
Karen Spahn
Margaret Mohn Spear
Sara Stiles
Carole Peterson Wendt

Posted by utheatre at 12:49 PM | 75:20 Reunion Updates

March 27, 2006

Memories from David Gebel

What I loved most of all during my time at Rarig was the unbelievable amount of rehearsals and work you could be doing simultaneously: scenes for directing students, scenes with fellow actors for your own class, main stage rehearsals, and work outside of the school is you had it. It exposed me to more people, writers, directors than I could have imagined. It allowed me to discover what I did well, and at what stuff I sucked (like blank verse).

The endless scenes available to do let me take risks and chances - not worry about getting fired! I can't even remember the exact scenes I did, but do remember the ephemeral experience of finding some wonderful moment in performance with it with my partner - (Becky Crumb, Megan Grundy, David Gale, Laura Davies) - they were private performance moments appreciated and never to be seen again.

"Rarig High" was quite an experience.

After one performance of "Kiss Me Kate" everyone in the cast was going on about how quiet and unresponsive the audience was, what a "bad crowd' they were. Dr. Moult on (our director) overheard, stepped in and simply stated "Maybe it wasn't the audience..." Hm mm. Lesson learned.

Hope to hear from others of that era.

David Gebel
(917) 701-9855
davidgebel@yahool.com

Posted by utheatre at 10:53 AM | University Theatre Memories

February 28, 2006

A look at who's coming to the reunion

Hello theatre and dance alumni,

If you're pondering whether or not to attend the big 75:20 Reunion, April 28-30, here's a arm-twisting list of alumni and faculty who have already registered. And there's still time to register. Just visit http://7520.umn.edu/events.html and download your very own registration form.

Michael & Katie Beery
C. Lance Brockman
Tessie Bundick
Steve Cardamone
Carolynne Darling
Ann Del Vecchio-McDonogh
Sarah Erickson
David Feldshuh
Donn/Mali Finn
Peter Michael Goetz
Lawrence J. Hill
Jann Iaco
Wendell & Elizabeth Josal
Michal Kobialka
Katherine Kohl
Rachael Lindhart
Helen Manfull
Joseph Meischer
Jean Montgomery
Maggie Moulton
Michelle Myers Berg
Paul & Patti Newman
Charles Nolte
Darlene Faye Olson
Annie Ozega
Stephen Peabody
Gerald Roe
Robert Scales
Luverne Seifert
Robert Skloot

Continue reading "A look at who's coming to the reunion"

Posted by utheatre at 3:05 PM | 75:20 Reunion Updates

February 27, 2006

Memories from Paul Sannerud, class of '83

Rarig was Dickensian… you know, “best of times.. “ and all that. Great friends with whom much laughter, love and lunacy were shared. We all knew too much and too little all at the same time.

A few Rorschach memories:

2 summers on the showboat – Hazel Kirke and The Belle of New York.

The best: sitting on the taffrail, feet up, silly uniform shirt untucked, after a show with a frosty adult beverage and watching the river in the moonlight.

The worst: Looking up one Sunday afternoon and seeing the whirling clouds of a tornado directly overhead.


Rarig: “The bomb shelter?

The Best: The merry pranksters: John Justad, Janet Ryger, Scott Latandresse, Greg Trochlil, Todd Hensley, Tom Thatcher and all the rest.

The Worst: evening calls in the scene shop….


Cedar Riverside:

The best: Pumperniks Deli, the Triangle, Culla’s

The worst: Parking!


Alumns:

They were all the best! I loved working with Lee Walker ( God rest his good and merry soul), Julia Fischer, Tessie Bundig, and bunches more.


Practical Joke:

The best ( a tie): welding a stolen concrete squirrel into CLB’s locker, and the deflating the dome party.

The worst: I’m not sure the statute of limitations is out on this one yet….


Thesis Show (Billy Budd)

The best: Working with Charles Nolte -- especially during Tech rehearsals.

The worst: Having two weeks of techs!


Saturday morning donuts, getting a microwave for the Boat!, visiting the old boilers from the Showboat at their new home in New Orleans, Riding the buffing machines in the shop to clean the floor every quarter, setting Lance's pants on fire with welding sparks!

I wish all of you the best on your reunion. I hope to make it but it is unlikely as I will be IN technical rehearsals for an opera.

Posted by utheatre at 10:18 AM | Memories of former students

February 22, 2006

Creating TragiFarce

I remember my great horror in watching the farce I produced for directing class. After lengthy negotiations wherein I was required to perform in several other student-directed productions in order to get them to act in my piece, I finally found a full cast. However, since my main criteria in casting was that they would show up on the day of the performance (and, yes, they could even carry the script), the importance of an innate sense of comic timing was not really clear until I watched what had to be the most absurdly dirge-like farce ever produced on the thrust stage. Apparently, a director cannot will comedy into being.

My personal apologies to anyone who ever had to appear in my work.

Peter Largen, Class of '84

Posted by thadblog at 1:28 PM | Memories of former students

January 18, 2006

Memories from Patsy Monson, class of '71

Well, let me be the first one to say it, my best memories are the parties. Being part of the theater department in the late sixties and early seventies was a lot of fun, but I think we had the greatest parties ever. Especially wearing sheets, dancing to" Tommy". Life was sweet on Thornton St. with Cathy and Camille.

Patsy Monson, Class of '71

Posted by justin at 11:44 AM | Alumni News | University Theatre Memories