Category "Alumni News"

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

Category "Alumni News"

Category "University Theatre Memories"

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

Category "Alumni News"

January 17, 2006

Update from Dick Cermele, Ph.D '77

I graduated with a Ph.D in 1977, concentrating on directing as well as film studies and criticism. I spent the remaining years teaching, directing, and, on and off, chairing the theatre department at St. Cloud State University.

I retired in 1994, traveled for a while and am currently residing in Edina.

For the past several years I have been writing a filmscript on the life of Giuseppe Verdi, widely accepted as one of the music world's greatest composers of opera. Lesser known is the fact that he was also one of the leading lights in the revolution, unification and independence of Italy in the middle and late l800's. The progress of the filmscript continues to be demanding but delightful.

Posted by utheatre at 10:22 AM | Alumni News

Category "Alumni News"

January 12, 2006

Words from Diane DiVita MFA '77

Hello my name is Diane DiVita and I was a graduate of the 1977 class in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Directing. I went onto become a professional stage manager on Broadway, Off-Broadway and regionally. I had the honor and pleasure of being one of August Wilson's stage managers for three of his wonderful plays; two on Broadway and one regionally. I am currently doing ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE with Alec Baldwin at the Roundabout Theatre in NYC. I am also a teacher at Yale School of Drama for the third year SM students. I had a wonderful time at the U of M with many fond memories.

Posted by utheatre at 8:54 AM | Alumni News

Category "Alumni News"

January 3, 2006

Thoughts from Steve Griffith, MFA '77

I recently received an e-mail from Lance Brockman encouraging U of M alums to participate in the 75:20 events and to share memories. I'm not sure that I will be able to participate in the April events, but I do have many memories of the two years (1975-1977) I spent getting an M.F.A. in design at the University of Minnesota.

When I arrived in the fall of 1975, the move from Scott Hall had been made, and the systems needed to turn the cold, hulking, Rarig Center into Minnesota's largest (in the number of performance spaces) theatre complex, were being developed.

As I recall, we were doing a show in each theatre, each quarter and the production schedule was brutal! The effects of the last-minute budget cuts on the building were encountered at every turn. The shops were too small, backstage space tight or non-existent, and equipment scarce. Production staff was minimal and every grad student wanted to act, direct or design in every theatre, every quarter! Coming from a small, liberal arts college theatre program, I was a little unprepared for the rules, regulations, and forms, that were needed to keep a large university program running. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of tension as the faculty came to grips with the new building, the pending retirement and replacement of several senior faculty, the shape of the program, and know-it-all grad students, like me.

I didn't fully understand the pressures under which Jean and Lance were working until I graduated and began teaching and running a production program at a college, myself. How they could produce so much theatre, with so few resources still amazes me! Over time, adjustments in schedules, budgets, staffing and program directions have been made and the program has found its place and grown stronger.

The 1970s were amazing years in the United States. The ending of the Vietnam War, the energy crisis, Watergate, the explosion of arts including the regional theatre movement, were very real to students and faculty at the time. The distance between faculty and students was much more narrow than it is today and, I think, there was also less separation between personal and professional lives. This made work at the University and at other colleges and universities of the time very much focused on relationships.

Looking back, I especially value the way the faculty in the Theatre Department at the University of Minnesota took me seriously as a theatre artist, and provided both the discipline and encouragement that I needed as I began my own professional career. Special thanks must go to Lance Brockman, Jean Montgomery, and also to the late Wes Balk, for whom I designed the set for Happy End in the Stoll, my first "real" design.

Steve Griffith, M.F.A. '77

Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance
Gustavus Adolphus College

Posted by utheatre at 10:26 AM | Alumni News

Category "Alumni News"

December 27, 2005

Hello from Joseph Rusnock

Happy Holidays to all!

Although it has been a very long time ago that I had one of the very best opportunities of my life to participate in the U of M Theatre Department, The Guthrie Theatre, as well as The Children's Theatre, Theatre in the Round and many others in the Twin Cities; I have never forgotten how much those years have affected my life and my career. The first year of my graduate assistantship put me into a very foreign environment, but I can still remember my first sewing assignment in great detail: a pink tutu for You Can't Take It With You. For a student with a scenery and lighting emphasis, I didn't quite understand; however, the costume skills I learned at U of M were instrumental in landing several of my first design gigs as well as in securing my first two teaching jobs in scenery and lighting, because both included costume design .

I too participated in the move to Rarig Center with Greg Bell and many others and wondered at the time how the building could ever develop into a warm and viable space for performance. It seemed so cold and empty at first; just endless concrete, no master floor plans, no sections, no light boards. Lance Brockman gave so much in the early years and our class did not cut him any slack. I could only appreciate much later what he and the other faculty members were going through at that complex and demanding time.

The connections made at U of M were the major springboard that fueled my career. Working with Lance, Gene Montgomery, Warren Frost, Jack Barkla, Julian Phillips and others, provided an artistically rich and rewarding experience that I have never forgotten. Although I have lost direct contact with all of the faculty and the class of '75 over the years, they have always remained a major part of my artistic and professional foundation.

Joseph S. Rusnock
Associate Chair
Associate Artistic Director
UCF Conservatory Theatre
University of Central Florida
Department of Theatre
P.O. Box 162372
Orlando, Florida 32816-2372
FAX (407)823-6446

Posted by utheatre at 2:02 PM | Alumni News

Category "Alumni News"

December 15, 2005

Alumni News from F. Scott Regan

Dr. F. Scott Regan (Ph.D, 1976) will direct his 100th production this February. He is professor of theatre at Bowling Green State University where he supervises the Treehouse Troupe Theatre for Youth and the Horizon Youth Theatre.

Posted by utheatre at 11:36 AM | Alumni News

Category "Alumni News"

November 29, 2005

alumnus Gregory Hill writes...

Good morning everyone.

I got a call from Dr. Josal a few weeks ago about sending a rendering and a bio to Lance Brockman, but I thought it was just to fill up some empty wall space somewhere. I put the note up on the wall. So of course I just got a reminder email from Lance yesterday. He mentioned the Anniversary, and the blog. So I checked it out as well as the pages of history on the theatre department's website. It really brought back memories. And I promise I'll send something soon to add to the display.

I loved Minneapolis, the University, and the Theatre department. This was just before I did all that running around..from the Armory Annex to Nicholson to Scott Hall to Folwell and God knows where else. I had forgotten so much. But I've always had a really warm spot in my heart for my time there. One big memory was designing THE MADMAN AND THE NUN, directed by this crazy New Yorker (Joe Rassulo?) and featuring another crazy New Yorker, Ron Perlman. Anyone else remember it? Those years were a really good time...concentrated study and creation of theatre.

When I got the call that I had been awarded a Bush Fellowship a door was opening for me that I never expected and didn't fully appreciate. But it changed my life, and led to a career in entertainment that hasn't stopped. It's taken some funny turns...don't get me wrong...but my time there taught me (as much as anything else) that theatre and the performing arts could be a passion and a profession. The hard part would be making it a profession. Well, so far so good.

I'll check in occasionally and keep up with the blog...and hope that I can get away to come to the celebration in the spring.

Gregory Hill

Posted by utheatre at 9:24 AM | Alumni News