February 17, 2018

Housley Hosts Lessac Workshop

Helen Housley, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, hosted the Lessac One-Week Introductory Workshop at UMW, June 19-24, 2016. Under the sponsorship of the Department of Theatre and Dance, Housley has coordinated this workshop since 2007 with the focus on Lessac Kinesensic, a voice and body training program. Participants came from Texas, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. Lessac Master Teacher Barry Kur, Professor Emeritus, Penn State University, conducted the workshop.

Rowley Brings First Dance Performance to HCC Digital Auditorium

Roxann Rowley, adjunct instructor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at UMW, will bring the first full-length dance performance to the Hurley Convergence Center’s Digital Auditorium next month, rounding out the venue’s arts offerings.

The show, en Route!, is a touring dance project that facilitates performances for local artists. Rowley’s company, Next Reflex Dance Collective, collaborates with local theaters and artists to produce a performance that offers accessible work targeting a new-to-dance audience. For this performance, Next Reflex has partnered with Light Switch Dance Theatre, Matrix Dance Company, Semilla Cultural, J.Dance Kollective, and Mary Washington’s own Dance Company.

Rowley will also offer a Modern Dance Technique Workshop at 10am the day of the performance, free to the UMW Community.

This event follows a number of successful arts performances in the Digital Auditorium, including Boil the Frog Slowly and Stigma, both by the Rude Mechanicals Theatre Group, the Mark Snyder Multimedia Show, featuring UMW Music faculty Mark Snyder’s solo compositions, and a student production of The Vagina Monologues last spring.

en Route! a touring dance project

March 12, 7:30 PM – UMW HCC Digital Auditorium

Tickets: $3 UMW Students, $5 Artist/Military/Child, $10 General Admission

For more information about en Route! and other events in the Digital Auditorium, visit http://convergence.umw.edu/events/

LePine’s Newest Play Being Staged at Theatre J in Washington, D.C.

Kristen LePine, adjunct professor in UMW’s Department of Theatre & Dance, will have her newest play Cracked Pots staged at Theatre J in Washington, D.C. on Monday, April 13 at 8 p.m.

Cracked Pots examines mental illness and treatment through three interconnected stories that span over 100 years. In 1887, journalist Nellie Bly fakes insanity to investigate the treatment of women being kept in a lunatic asylum. Sixty years later, her story finds its way into the hands of a twelve year old girl, Kit, whose brother has been abandoned in a mental health institution. In the present, Katherine has to face her fears and prejudice about mental illness in order to help her grandson.

LePine has an MFA in Dramatic Writing and has had her plays presented, developed and commissioned by Active Cultures, the Hub Theatre, Inkwell, Intersections Art Festival, the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, Roundhouse Theatre’s First One-Minute Play Festival, Primary Stages, The Source Theatre Festival, Spooky Action Theatre, Studio Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. She is a company member at the Hub Theatre, and her play Leto Legend will have its premiere production at the Hub in the summer of 2015.

A free event, presented as part of the 2015 Locally Grown: Community Supported Art Festival

Time: 8-10 p.m.
1529 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

Rowley Presents at American College Dance Association’s Conference

UMW’s Theater & Dance Department was represented by faculty member Roxann Rowley and four UMW students at the 2015 American College Dance Association’s Conference, held March 11-14 at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. The festival provides the opportunity for faculty and students to participate in workshops, classes, performances and lectures all geared to compliment dance and arts education.

“The national dance festival provides the venue for students and faculty to engage in three days of performances, workshops, panels, and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and country. The conferences also provide the unique opportunity for students and faculty to have their dance works adjudicated by a panel of nationally recognized dance professionals in an open and constructive forum.”

Rowley taught/presented three dance classes, two modern technique and a contact improvisation class. She also presented artistic work that represented UMW’s ever growing dance culture. Her choreography “Blink,” was adjudicated and received feedback from a panel of prestigious artists. Along with presenting work, she was able to participate in classes and workshops given throughout the conference, as well as meet and connect with other faculty within the field.

The University of Mary Washington has a growing dance culture on campus, with the number of students that participate in the dance clubs and activities on campus growing in attendance each year. By attending The American College Dance Festival, Rowley represented the UMW dance culture and development. Participation in the conference is great exposure for UMW and also helps to enrich the diverse culture surrounding the art form on campus.

Attendance to The American College Dance Association’s conference was largely due to the generous support from University of Mary Washington’s Friends of Dance Alumni Association and The University of Mary Washington Faculty Development Supplemental Grant.

Helen Housley Presents Paper at Conference

Helen Housley, Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance, presented her paper, “Shakespeare’s Buzz: Lessac’s Tonal NRG and the Shakespearean Actor,” at the Annual Conference of the Lessac Training and Research Institute, Jan. 8-10, 2015, at the University of Memphis.

UMW Presents “Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music”

The University of Mary Washington Department of Theatre and Dance will present “Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music,” a special two-show performance, on Saturday, Dec. 6.

Sing a LongPerformances will take place at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium, located in George Washington Hall on the university’s Fredericksburg campus. Tickets are $20 for standard admission and $15 for children and students with a UMW or Germana Community College ID.

“The Sound of Music” will be performed in interactive mode as audience members will have the opportunity to sing-a-long, dress up in costume and join the choruses of “My Favorite Things.” The performance will begin with a vocal warm up to encourage the audience to join in with the musical.

“Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music” first premiered in 2000 at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan. In 2001, the production appeared at the Hollywood Bowl where over 18,000 people attended the performance, including the film’s director and writer. The drama has toured internationally since 2005 in cities such as London, Amsterdam, Dublin, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne, Stockholm and many other major cities.

For further information and to purchase tickets, contact the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit umw.tix.com.

UMW Theatre Continues Season with “Sunday in the Park with George”

The University of Mary Washington Theatre will continue its 2014-15 season beginning Nov. 6 with the Tony Award-winning musical “Sunday in the Park with George,” featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and based on the book by James Lapine. Performances will take place Nov. 6-8, Nov. 13-15, and Nov. 20-22 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 2 p.m. in Klein Theatre, located in duPont Hall on the Fredericksburg campus. Tickets are $24 for standard admission and $20 for students, senior citizens and military. “Sunday in the Park with George”is inspired by the Georges Seurat painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” The first act is set in 1884 and focuses on the artist and the time leading up to the completion of his masterpiece as he struggles with himself and his relationship with his lover, Dot. The second act continues a century later with Seurat’s great-grandson George, who also is an artist. George, seeking new inspirations, returns to the island where the painting was created to discover the deeper meanings behind his and his ancestor’s art. Sunday in the Park with George  Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim  Book by James Lapine “Sunday in the Park with George”originally opened in 1983 at Playwrights Horizons in New York where it ran for 25 performances, with the second act premiering during the last three performances. The following year, the show transferred to the Booth Theatre on Broadway where it ran for 604 performances. Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin starred in both the off-Broadway and Broadway productions, playing Dot and George respectively. The show is one of eight to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and also was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning two for scenic and lighting design. The show also proceeded to win eight Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical. The university’s performance of “Sunday in the Park with George” is directed by Gregg Stull, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance and Department of Music, with musical direction by Christopher Wingert. Scenic design is by associate professor Julie Hodge and costume design is by associate professor Kevin McCluskey. Lighting and projection designs are by guest designers Jason Arnold and Clint Allen, respectively. Sound design is by student designer Reid Moffatt. For further information and to purchase tickets, contact the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit umw.tix.com.

UMW Theatre Opens 2014-15 Season with “Doubt”

The University of Mary Washington Theatre opened its 2014-15 season with “Doubt,” a Tony Award-winning drama by John Patrick Shanley.   Photo Credit: Geoff Greene, Father Flynn, played by Stephen Nickens ‘15 Sister James, played by Catherine O’Meara ‘17, and Sister Aloysius, played by Catalina Ruiz de Gamboa ‘15 Father Flynn, played by Stephen Nickens ‘15 Sister James, played by Catherine O’Meara ‘17 Sister James, played by Catherine O’Meara ‘17, and Sister Aloysius, played by Catalina Ruiz de Gamboa ‘15 Sister Aloysius, played by Catalina Ruiz de Gamboa ‘15 Performances are taking place Sept. 25-27 and Oct. 2-4 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 28 and Oct. 4-5 at 2 p.m. in Klein Theatre, located in duPont Hall on the university’s Fredericksburg campus. Tickets are $18 for standard admission and $16 for students, senior citizens and military. Set in 1964, “Doubt” is a drama that takes place in a Catholic church and school in Bronx, New York. The play focuses on the confrontations between Sister Aloysius, the rigid school principal and Father Flynn, the charismatic parish priest. Tensions rise as Sister Aloysius becomes increasingly suspicious of Father Flynn’s interest in one of her students, and the seed of doubt is sown when the Father vehemently opposes the allegations. “Doubt” originally opened in 2004 off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club. In 2005, the production transferred to the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway where it ran for 525 performances. In the same year, the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, and the Tony Award for Best Play. The drama toured nationally in 2007 and was subsequently turned into an Academy Award-nominated film that starred Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Father Flynn. The university’s performance of “Doubt” is directed by Helen Housley, associate professor of theatre. Scenic and lighting designs are by visiting assistant professor Niffer Pflager and associate professor Julie Hodge, respectively. Costume design is by associate professor Kevin McCluskey. For further information and to purchase tickets, contact the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit umw.tix.com.

UMW Student Chosen as Shawn Carter Scholar

Ebony Dixon, a University of Mary Washington political science and theater double major, was selected as a Shawn Carter Scholar for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Shawn Carter — better known as rapper Jay-Z — provides yearly grants from $1,500 to $2,500 to help college students pay for tuition and other educational expenses through his foundation.

“This scholarship means the world to me,” said Dixon, who is a senior from Alexandria, Virginia. “I am especially thankful because it was unexpected and I was selected from a competitive pool of applicants.”

According to the Shawn Carter Foundation website, this program was created to give individuals facing socio-economic hardships the opportunity to further their education. Dixon has personally overcome several obstacles while obtaining her degree, including the death of her father.

“I continued to go to school despite my financial and academic struggles,” Dixon said. “The largest tragedy I had to overcome, which I still haven’t fully recovered from, was the death of my father in 2012. Continuing my education showed them that I was very resilient and determined.”

All Shawn Carter Scholars are required to give back by conducting community service and by serving as mentors to younger, aspiring Shawn Carter Scholars.

Dixon plans to join the Peace Corps after graduation and eventually seek her master of fine arts degree. She has aspirations of becoming a playwright.

“Always…Patsy Cline” Returns to Klein Theatre

Two Fredericksburg area students will give encore performances when the University of Mary Washington Department of Theatre & Dance brings back the production of “Always. . . Patsy Cline” beginning Wednesday, July 9 at Klein Theatre. Patsy-Cline-Taryn Snyder “Always…Patsy Cline” is based on the true story of Louise Seger, a fan of Patsy Cline, who gets the chance to meet Cline when she comes to her hometown for a show. Louise and Patsy become fast friends, bonding after the show over the troubles of life. Their friendship grew through a series of letters and phone calls that continued until Cline’s untimely death. The musical features many of Patsy Cline’s hits, including “Crazy,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” and “I Fall to Pieces.” Senior theatre major Taryn Snyder, who grew up in Fredericksburg before moving to Rochester, N.Y., plays the role of Patsy, while the role of Louise Seger is played by fellow senior theatre major Emily Burke, who graduated from James Monroe High School. Performances will be July 9-12, July 16-19, and July 23-26 at 7:30 p.m., and July 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27 at 2 p.m. UMW’s original production ran in Klein Theatre for three sold-out weeks in February. “Never in the history of our program have we experienced such a demand for tickets,” said Director Gregg Stull, chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance and the Department of Music. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this thrilling production to the greater Fredericksburg community this summer.” Virginia Patterson Hensley, known as Patsy Cline, was a country singer from Winchester, Va., who crossed over in the 1960’s from country and western into the pop-music charts. She died at the age of 30 in a plane crash in 1963. Ten years later, Cline became the first female solo artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her plaque in the Hall of Fame reads: “Her heritage of timeless recordings is testimony to her artistic capacity.” Emily Burke plays Louise Seger. “Always…Patsy Cline” is directed by Stull, with musical direction by Christopher Wingert. Scenic design is by associate professor Julie Hodge and costume design is by associate professor Kevin McCluskey. Lighting and sound designs are by guest artists Catherine Girardi and Anthony Angelini. Tickets are $40 for standard admission, $35 for students, senior citizens, UMW alumni, and the military and $25 for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit umw.tix.com.