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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 May 25, 2006 2:19 PM | 75:20 Reunion Updates

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