Minnesota Centennial Showboat Scholarships; UMTAD Faculty at Work; Alumni: Onstage & Off
Today the 2014 Minnesota Centennial Showboat Scholarships committee announced a record number of nine students will receive scholarship support in recognition of exceptional contributions to this summer's production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde both on stage and backstage.
Theatre Arts & Dance Department Chair Marcus Dilliard stated, "Each of these recipients has demonstrated professionalism in rehearsal, in performance, backstage, and in the community. Faced with the flooding of the Mississippi and cancellation of 16 performances, they kept the Centennial Showboat before the public -- canvasing streets of St. Paul, creating and posting social media messages including a video, appearing at public events, singing in lobbies and restaurant patios, even a Minnesota Orchestra Hall reception. Clearly, they rose to the occasion demonstrating personal and professional leadership." Showboat scholarships are also awarded at the intersection of artistic merit and financial need, according to Dilliard, who concluded, "I want to extend thanks on behalf of our department to the thousands of generous Showboat audience members who gave contributions this summer. Your gifts directly funded scholarships for these talented young people-- we applaud you."
Actors Christian Boomgaarden, Bear Brummel, Katherine Fried, Kevin Gotch, and Victoria Smith were presented with the C. Lance Brockman Scholarships. Actors Kathleen Kleiger and Daniel Piering were granted the Vern Sutton Scholarships. Stage managers Jane Heer and Audrey Rice were honored with the Jean Montgomery Scholarships
UMTAD Faculty at Work
Michael Sommer, Open Eye Figure Theatre co-founding and co- artistic director, hosts a full spectrum of performances, seminars, and workshops September 25-28, all part of the Handmade Worlds: A Festival of Puppet Theatre. In the Heart of the Beast Mask and Puppet Theatre (HOBT), Open Eye Figure Theatre (OEFT) and the Great Plains Region of The Puppeteers of America (POA) are partnering to offer a dynamic line-up of puppetry from around the country. This three-day festival will present the works of ten companies/artists, bringing over 55 performers to the festival.
HOBT and OEFT, both known for their expertise in puppetry, are partnering with the POA to put Minneapolis' thriving puppetry scene on the national map. The Festival has been scheduled so that Festival Pass Holders are able to see every performance (14) as well as take 2-4 workshops and enjoy all the events of the festival. Performances will happen at three venues - HOBT, OEFT and the Open Eye Studio (for some of the more intimate offerings). In addition to the 12 productions presented, there will be twelve workshops offered, a panel discussion featuring nationally recognized artists, and two puppetry cabarets. The Festival features prominent works by artists such as Julian Crouch and David Commander (New York), Manuel Cinema and Michael Montenegro (Chicago), Masque Theatre (Connecticut), Paul Mesner (Missouri), Toy Box and Cripps Puppets (North Carolina), Monica Leo (Iowa), Tony Fuemmeler (Oregon) as well as several Minneapolis artists. For more information and tickets/ passes visit http://www.openeyetheatre.org/stage/handmade-worlds-a-festival-of-puppet-theatre
Karla Grotting, associate director of the Flying Foot Forum performs in Alice in Wonderland with the Flying Foot Company Sept 25 - Oct 12 in the Lehr Theatre located in Lowry Building, downtown St. Paul. Grotting, a U of M dance alumna, has served as a dance faculty member since 1998.
Alice in Wonderland is a multi-faceted Twin Cities community event that will bring together community members, students, audiences, puppets, and 16 dancers, singers, actors, and musicians in a joyous participatory, promenade style, musical theater trip down the rabbit hole at the Lehr Theater in St Paul. Alice in Wonderland will be a combination dance party, bedtime story, and rock concert all in one fantastical retelling of Lewis Carroll's tale, reminding us all that life can be an adventure worth taking and that sometimes things you don't understand can make life more wondrous and mysterious.
Alice in Wonderland was adapted, composed, choreographed, and directed by Joe Chvala, also cast as the Mad Hatter.Tickets: General Admission Adults $26, Students $20, All Previews $20 Reservations: The Ordway Box Office, 651-224-4222, www.ordway.org
If theatre faculty member Lisa Channer seems a bit hurried these days it's no wonder. She is directing two productions, a celebration of the life of the legendary American folksinger Pete Seeger staged in Oneonta, New York, and co-directing with Sam Johns the department's first mainstage fall production, Working - a Musical. Based on the book by Studs Turkel, adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nin Faso, Working - A Musical with a cast of 24 students, is slated to open October 30.
Dance faculty Linda Talcott Lee is splitting her time with Mankato State University choreographing Beauty and the Beast and Bloomington Civic Theatre choreographing Next to Normal. Next she is looking forward to performing in the Ordway's "A Christmas Story" during November and December.
Alumni News: Onstage and Off
Alumni connections with the Flying Foot Forum's Alice in Wonderland company include: Colleen Bertsch, a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnomusicology, Natalie Nowytski ( '99 BA ) who composed some of the music for the Oil! and The Jungle (2011), and Scott Keever ('09 BA). Billy Mullaney ('11 BA Theatre) most recently appeared in the world premiere of Something About a Bear. Charles Robison, a longtime student in UMTAD dance program, also appears in the production.
The University of Minnesota / Guthrie Theatre B.F.A. program has been singled out as one of Joe Dowling's notable achievements, according to the theatre's Heidi Chronicles program /magazine. The article identifies Heidi Chronicles' cast members Sam Bardwell (BFA '08) and Eleonore Dendy (BFA '13) as graduates of this unique educational partnership. The show plays through October 26, 2014 on the Guthrie's Wurtele Thrust Stage.