Theatre Newsletter 2013–14

From the Chair

As some of you know, I had the opportunity—rather overdue—to take a semester's sabbatical during the Spring 2014 term. While many of us are able to pursue independent scholarly research and artistic work during the course of an academic semester, sabbatical provides the essential time for long-form studying, thinking, and writing without the constant pressure of reading and preparing for class, teaching, grading, and committee meetings. Sabbatical is also one of the places where the mission of the university is fulfilled: the generation of new insights, and new knowledge, the kind of work that takes reflective time to create. I spent most of mine in an office (ok, the office was in Berlin), in front of the computer, reading, taking notes, drafting and redrafting, often despairing and occasionally celebrating something that seemed, for the moment at least, to come out right. I'm thankful to the College for the opportunity, and especially to my friend and colleague, Professor Helene Foley, for agreeing to step in and serve as Interim Chair of the Department this spring: she's done a terrific job and deserves all our thanks, and mine most of all. My thanks, too, to Professor Arnold Aronson, who stepped into the breach when Julie Peters and I, co-directors of the Ph.D. in Theatre program, were concurrently on sabbatical. And, finally, my sincere thanks to Dr. Jessica Brater (BC '00), not only for her work this semester, but for her distinguished service as the Department's Theatre Administrator. (There's more good news about Jessica, see below!)
 
Chaucer noted the interplay between the delights of discovery and those of teaching when describing the Oxford clerk in The Canterbury Tales—"And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche"—and the dialogue between research and teaching brilliantly illuminates many classrooms from one end of Morningside Heights to the other. Nonetheless, the mirage of an essential conflict between the pursuit of learning and a commitment to teaching often afflicts Theatre departments in American universities, embodied as an illusory dichotomy between "theory and practice," as though scholarly research and writing were airy "theory" and artistic theatre work were the real thing, "practice," "training." I don't much care for this phrasing, because it does a disservice to the interactive logic of both kinds of creative endeavor. Research in the humanities has visible practices that make it legible as "knowledge representation," performative means inseparable from its public character as knowledge. Making theatre involves practices, too, which articulate similarly contingent means of legitimating questions and results, signaled perhaps less by the eureka-moment of scholarship—"I found it!"—than by the director's familiar phrase: "that works!" Instead of a "theoretical" sphere nonetheless materializing the instruments of our thinking—the ideas we think with—and a "practical" sphere repressing the theoretical conditions that define its operations and outcomes, this relationship might better be modeled as the entanglement of two kinds of creative activity: one principally rhetorical, concerned with producing and fashioning evidence into arguments, and one principally durational, concerned with fashioning bodies, space, and material into an event. The fact that stage performance is always rhetorical, suasive, and that scholarly writing creates spatially disseminated, consequentially embodied intellectual events, is, perhaps, suggestive of the inseparable engagement of these two forms of inquiry. 
 
One of the things we have been working on in the Department of Theatre is developing more opportunities for exchange between these spheres of practice, as a way of making all our instructional work—for majors and nonmajors alike—more integrated, more coherent, and more transformative. Redesigning some of the "survey" courses to speak more directly to one another is one measure of this effort, as is our desire to offer advanced seminars in the department more frequently, alongside the advanced courses we offer in acting and directing; so is the more rigorous dramaturgy concentration. Another is designing a more substantial written component of the senior theses in performance, as well as a more committed inquiry into performance in the senior theses in dramaturgy and research. The Stages of Inquiry lecture series, the Vernacular Traditions: Popular Performance in Contemporary India conference this spring, New Plays at Barnard, the New Plays Now panel, talks by visiting artists, the lecture demonstration by three kathakali artists and the stunning visit of Maya Rao in the fall, and the many post-show talkbacks and pre-show panels are all part of this effort: to dramatize the entanglement of performance and critique. 
 
Our theatre season is, of course, central to these efforts, using the stage to explore what we can say, and want to say now through the medium of performance. Much as our theatre and performance studies classes work to understand the intellectual, critical, historical, even ethical responsibilities inherent in the kinds of questions we ask of, say, Kalidasa or Chekhov, Suzan-Lori Parks or Ong Keng Sen, so too our stages are not merely venues for reproducing the "state of the art." Our stage season is where actors, dramaturgs and directors, playwrights, and designers collaborate in challenging not only what we know but also what we know how to say and do, making an event that exceeds the "meanings" or "intentions" of any of its agents, and is richly woven into the social architecture and semiotic geography of the theatre, the activity of the spectator, and the perceived uses of dramatic performance. A production engages all of us involved, audiences as well as performers, in thinking through the affective process of this performance, its distinctive visual, kinetic, sonic, embodied, and verbal ways of taking place, here and now, with and among us. But as anyone who has worked to make something new—an article, a play, a design, a translation, a performance—knows, sometimes something doesn't quite click. Any critical work, artistic or scholarly, requires the opportunity to get something wrong, requires, as Samuel Beckett put it, the necessity of failure: "Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Performance as inquiry: it's the reason for doing theatre in the liberal-arts major, and in the research university. 
 
We will be addressing some of these issues as part of the two-year curriculum review underway at Barnard. But it's important not to lose sight of the larger goals, which have to do not with certifying "training," but with providing the opportunity for our students to educate themselves, working with energetic scholars and artists, whose approach to the discipline of their own work provides the instrument for that ongoing colloquy.  I'm looking forward to rejoining these questions and others with our faculty when I return from sabbatical in the fall; now, back to writing! And many congratulations to the class of 2014!
 
 
— W. B. Worthen, Alice Brady Pels Professor in the Arts
 
 
Photo credits for the production images in the Newsletter: Stephen Yang

 
Department of Theatre Stage Season, 2013-14

Our 2013-14 season opened with Mikhael Tara Garver's production of Caryl Churchill's feminist classic, Top Girls, on family weekend. Top Girls sets the ambitions of a driving Thatcheresque businesswoman amid the social politics of the 1980s, and against a brilliant background of women's history. This production featured a scenic design by senior thesis student Elsa GibsonBraden (BC '14), and senior thesis in acting performances by Katrina Eroen (BC '14) and Danielle Carlacci (GS '14). Our second fall show, directed by Gisela Cardenas, explored the "fascistoid" behavior of post-war Germany's younger generation, in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's riveting short play Katzelmacher; the excellent ensemble also included senior thesis in acting performances by Alex Katz (CC '14) and Olivia Levine (BC '14). In the spring, Alice Reagan directed a new play, co-commissioned by Barnard and the New Georges, Dipika Guha's Blown Youth; the role of Celia was played in a senior thesis performance by India Choquette (BC '14), and the production was stage managed by senior thesis student Amelia Lembeck (BC '14).
 
 
The season concluded with our two-week Senior Thesis Festival, beginning with four senior thesis projects in directing--Naomi Boyce's (BC '14) direction and Jessica Castro's (BC '14) dramaturgy of Heiner Müller's Hamletmachine; Alejandra Duque's (GS '14) direction and Rebecca Miller's (BC '14) dramaturgy of Bertolt Brecht's Fear and Misery in the Third Reich; Lila Goettler's (BC '14) production of Caryl Churchill's Far Away; and Alexis Wilcock's (BC '14) production of Federico García Lorca's The Love of Don Perlimplín and Belisa in the Garden. The second weekend of the thesis festival debuted four senior theses in solo performance: Fiona Brunner (BC '14), Ava; Juliana Fox (BC '14), Big Leg Emma; Jess Malcolm (BC '14), Performance Machine; and Krista White (CC '14), We Wear the Mask. It also showcased staged readings of senior thesis plays by Cassandra Hartnett (BC '14), Red Ribbon and Emily Sorenson (CC '14), Blackout.
 
 
Although not formally part of our performance season, the senior thesis in research is an important dimension of theatre and performance studies in the major, and once again seniors undertook original and impressive research in performance studies: Gabrielle Beans (CC '14), "Moving Without Moving: Suzuki Actor Training from a Neuroscience Perspective"; Emily Feinstein (BC '14), "There's a College on Broadway: An Examination of The Varsity Show as Political Theatre on Columbia's Campus"; Alessandra Kortenhorst (BC '14), "The Art of Transferring Meaning: Unpacking the International Transfer Process and Resulting Artistic Implications in Musical Theatre through a Case Study of New Productions' Soldaat van Oranje"; Alexandra Strycula (BC '14), "Glorifying the Jewish-American Girl: Fanny Brice, Funny Girl, and 'The Streisand Phenomenon'"; and Kayla Van de Bundt (CC '14), "The Author, His Text, and Performance."
 
Our congratulations to all graduating seniors for their superb work during their careers in the Department, and especially on their fine work on the senior thesis. Congratulations, and thanks, too, to their supervisors, for working so closely and effectively on each of these projects: Adjunct Lecturer Annie Baker (playwriting); Adjunct Lecturer Linda Bartholomai (dramaturgy); Adjunct Lecturer Kyle deCamp (solo performance); Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Sandra Goldmark (design/management); Adjunct Lecturer Charise Greene (acting); Assistant Professor Shayoni Mitra (research); Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Alice Reagan (directing); Professor W. B. Worthen (research).
 
 

 
Coming Next: Stage Season, 2013-14

Barnard College's 125th anniversary will be celebrated in the Department of Theatre with three astonishing works for the stage. The season opens on Family Weekend with an adaptation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part II. Written over a nearly fifty-year period, Goethe's two-part drama experimentally challenges the intellectual and theatrical imagination. Faust II places Faust at the center of a brilliant inquiry into the philosophical, social, and political questions of Goethe's era, questions that are evocatively very much with us today. Faust II, directed by Adjunct Lecturer Sharon Fogarty and dramaturged by Assistant Professor Hana Worthen, will be staged in a co-production with the enduring experimental theatre company Mabou Mines.
 


Sharon Fogarty (director), Hana Worthen (dramaturg), and Jim Clayburgh (scenic and lighting designer) meeting in Berlin in September 2013 to discuss their plans for Faust II.


The season will then turn to Adjunct Lecturer Pirronne Yousefzadeh's production of a modern classic, Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, with scenic design by Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Sandra Goldmark. Famous as the inaugurating success of Constantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, The Seagull undertakes a pinpoint anatomy of the brutality of artistic ambition, and a remarkably sensitive and self-reflexive examination of the "realistic" milieu of which Chekhov was an acknowledged master. In the spring, Adjunct Lecturer Kyle deCamp will undertake an ensemble-theatre exploration of the definitive ironic portrait of the French bourgeoisie, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary. Rather than merely adapting the novel into dramatic narrative, deCamp's production will undertake a performative reconsideration of Bovary's central themes and preoccupations, as well as the gesture it extends to the banalities of contemporary life. The season will conclude with our two-week Senior Thesis Festival: productions directed in partial fulfillment of the senior thesis in directing, followed by solo performances and staged readings of new plays in partial fulfillment of the senior thesis in those fields. Barnard's 125th anniversary will be celebrated by a season of plays directed by accomplished and inventive professional directors, all women, using a series of fictive women—Goethe's Helen of Troy to Chekhov's Nina to Madame Bovary—to explore the purposes and potentialities of theatre today.

 

 
Stages of Inquiry

The Department's Stages of Inquiry series, curated by Assistant Professor Hana Worthen, will feature two very special events this coming fall.
 
Jim Clayburgh, Falling down a Funnel
Monday, October 13, 2014, 6-8pm 
Location to be Announced
 
In conjunction with the Theatre Department's production of Goethe's Faust II, Obie award-winning scenographer and founding member of The Wooster Group Jim Clayburgh will give a talk about his work in design.
 
Clayburgh began designing during the period of happenings and environmental theatre, and his interest in the history of spaces grew out of this experience. His work typically undertakes a searching consideration of the memories that objects conceal within themselves, looking for portals into other histories, for triggers within spaces that awaken emotions. Clayburgh’s work often asks how best to situate a public in relation to its many selves, and so vis-à-vis a performance/ing space—and what the nature of this relation is or might be. The answers have, of course, changed over time, location and social reality. "Scenery" has become a place where people live, a house whose inside, outside, even its underside need to be taken into account—design reconsidered architectonically—so that one does not automatically exclude the possibilities (memories?) of the back of something seen only by performers. Drawing on a series of case studies from 40 years of his designs, Clayburgh will talk about how he frequently recycles a "plan," allowing the layout of the ceiling here to become the floor plan there, reversing the positive and negative spaces, and superimposing and layering scenic ideas.
 
Tahrir Plays and Performance Texts: Politics, Aesthetics, Translation
Monday, November 10, 2014, 6:30 pm 
Glicker-Milstein Theatre, Diana Center
 
In November, Scenes of Inquiry will host Tahrir Plays and Performance Texts: Politics, Aesthetics, Translation. Cosponsored by the Department of Theatre and the Barnard Center For Translation Studies, the event will center on a panel discussion, chaired by NYU Professor of Drama Carol Martin—editor of the forthcoming anthology Tahrir Plays and Performance Texts from the Egyptian Revolution—with two of the volume's translators, Professor Mohammed Albakry of Middle Tennessee State University, and Assistant Professor Rebekah Maggor of Rowan University. In addition, there will be a staged reading of They Say Dancing is a Sin, a monodrama celebrating the force of dance and the empowerment of Egyptian women through the performing arts. Conceived in collaboration with Hani Abdel Nasser and written by Mohamed Abdel Mu'iz, it is one of several eye-opening works in the anthology about the important role of women during the Egyptian Revolution. For further information, please contact Casey McNamara, cmcnamara@barnard.edu.
 
 

 
Prizes and Awards

The Kenneth Janes Award for outstanding artistic and intellectual achievement by a Barnard College student majoring in Theatre was awarded to Naomi Boyce (BC '14).
 
The Austin E. Quigley prize is given for outstanding artistic and intellectual achievement by a Columbia College senior majoring in Drama and Theatre Arts. Named in honor of Columbia College's dean from 1995 - 2009, the prize is funded by Nobel Laureate Richard Axel, Columbia College class of '67. The prize for 2013-14 is shared by Columbia College seniors Gabrielle Beans (CC '14) and Emily Sorensen (CC '14).
 
Barnard College's Schwimmer Prize, given "to an outstanding graduating senior in the humanities who exemplifies a scholarly commitment to the humanist tradition," was awarded to Theatre major Jessica Castro (BC '14).
 
The Dasha Amsterdam Epstein Fellowship in Playwriting, which provides a Columbia or Barnard undergraduate a three-week writing residency in playwriting in conjunction with the New York Stage and Film Powerhouse Theater program at Vassar College. The winner of this award for 2014 is Emily Sorensen (CC '14).
 
 
 

 
Postgraduate studies!

Several current or recently-graduated students have been accepted into prestigious postgraduate programs in Theatre and Performance Studies. Kathleen Fitzgerald (BC '10) will be beginning Ph.D. work in Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University, developing research she began at Barnard on Tibetan performance. Fitzgerald joins a sterling group of our graduates in recent years, now pursuing doctoral degrees in Theatre and Performance studies nationally and internationally. Completing her double major in Theatre and in Neuroscience, and a brilliant performing career in departmental productions, Gabrielle Beans (CC '14) was accepted into the MFA program in Acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Among the many nonmajors who worked extensively in the department as undergraduates, Lisa Campbell (BC '13) will be beginning the MFA program in Acting at Brooklyn College this fall, and Madalena Provo (BC '12) has been accepted into the summer acting apprentice program at Actors Theater of Louisville.
 
 

 
Ph.D. in Theatre

We are delighted to announce that three students have defended their dissertations in the Columbia Ph.D. in Theatre program this year. Shilarna Stokes's Playing the Crowd: Mass Pageantry in Europe and the United States (1905-1935) takes up an original reading of a range of mass spectacles—in England, the United States, and the Soviet Union—from the late nineteenth century to the eve of World War II. Dr. Stokes is currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the Ohio State University.  Nathaniel Nesmith's dissertation, Freedom and Equality Now! Contextualizing the Nexus between the Civil Rights Movement and Drama, explores the political work undertaken by the chief playwrights of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S., often documented through original interviews. Dr. Nesmith is assuming a two-year position as a C3 Postdoctoral Fellow at Middlebury College. Annie Holt defended her superb dissertation this spring. Holt's Reading Costume Design: The Rise of the Costume Designer 1850-1920 is an original exploration both of the emergence of costume design as a specific element of modern theatrical production, and the interplay between costume and a changing understanding of the signification of theatrical performance in turn-of-the-century London, Paris, and Moscow. Dr. Holt has taught many of our Barnard and Columbia students, both in LitHum at Columbia, and as a TA in the Department of Theatre. We want to congratulate Shilarna, Nathaniel, and Annie on their superb work, and wish them well on the next steps in their careers. 
 
Barnard and Columbia are perhaps unique in the way the study of theatre and performance is scattered across the landscape of the two campuses: the undergraduate program for Barnard College, Columbia College, and Columbia General Studies students is headquartered at and largely delivered by the Barnard Department of Theatre; the MFA programs are housed in the Theatre Division of the Columbia School of the Arts; and the Ph.D. in Theatre program is shared between the School of the Arts and the Columbia Department of English and Comparative Literature. However, not only are the Ph.D faculty of the Barnard Theatre Department (Shayoni Mitra, Hana Worthen, W. B. Worthen) involved in the Ph.D. program, but we've recently been able to bring some of the Theatre Ph.D. students into our theatre and performance studies classes as assistants. As anyone who has seen Columbia Ph.D. students in the classroom can attest, this is a hugely beneficial relationship for all concerned: the graduate students are privileged to discuss their field with the best minds of the next generation, and undergraduates have the chance to see up close not only a model of intellectual and critical development, but a possible career trajectory as well. We want to thank Amanda Culp and Rosa Schneider—second-year students in the Ph.D. in Theatre Program—for their excellent work in the undergraduate program this year. And we are looking forward to having several engaging Ph.D. students working with us as assistants in the coming year: Warren Kluber, Julia Sirmons, Richard Trist, and Buck Wanner. Finally, we'd like to welcome three new Ph.D. students to campus, Emily Ciavarella (Williams), Danielle Drees (Harvard), and Meadhbh McHugh (Trinity College, Dublin).
 
 

 
Faculty and Staff News

The biggest recent news is the upcoming departure of Dr. Jessica Brater (BC '00), who majored in Theatre as an undergraduate, and served superbly as the Department's Theatre Administrator while pursuing her Ph.D. in Theatre in the CUNY Graduate Center. As Jessica notes, "I have been actively involved in the Barnard College Department of Theatre almost continuously since coming to campus as a First Year student in 1996, so it is with some surprise that I find myself sharing the news that I will not be returning to Barnard in the fall. Instead, I will be joining the University of New Haven faculty as Visiting Assistant Professor and Theater Program Director. While I am unreservedly enthusiastic about this new adventure, I will miss my wonderful colleagues in the Department, our bright and talented students, and the larger Barnard/Columbia Theatre community with whom it has been my pleasure to be in regular contact. It has been an honor to participate in the expansion of the program under Department Chair W. B. Worthen and any worries I have about daily administrative operations in my absence are mitigated by the knowledge that the department I'm leaving is a vibrant, energized, and well-organized one. I hope that many of you will keep in touch with me at UNH and perhaps I will see some of you at Barnard Theatre's 2014-15 exciting season events."  I should say that it has been a privilege both to work with Jessica and to get to know her, and her scholarly work, too, over the last six years; we have all relied on her judgment, her skills and energy as an administrator, and her deft ability to hold the centrifugal activity of our small but complex department together. I'm sure everyone will join me in congratulating Jessica on her new position, and wish her well at the start of what is already a very promising career. --WBW
 
Betsy Adams, Adjunct Lecturer, designed the world premiere of A. R. Gurney's Family Furniture, directed by Thomas Kail, at The Flea in the Fall. She is designing As You Like It and Richard III for The Juilliard School in April.
 
The Department would like to congratulate Adjunct Lecturer Annie Baker, who not only won a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for the coming year, but whose play The Flick won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
 
Sandra Goldmark, MFA, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, recently designed scenery for a world premiere of a new Terrence McNally play, And Away We Go, directed by Jack Cummings III at the Pearl Theatre Company. She continues to work with Transport Group, designing scenery for their well-received January 2014 production of Almost, Maine, and is currently designing a production of Bizet's Carmen, scheduled for this July at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
 
 
In 2013, Goldmark and husband Michael Banta (Production Manger for the Department of Theatre) launched Pop Up Repair, an itinerant repair service for household items of all kinds. Founded and staffed by theatre artists, including Flora Vassar (BC '11) and Lilla Goettler (BC '14), the project has sparked a strong response in the communities it reaches, and in the press (including an April 11 article in the New York Times). Goldmark received Barnard's Presidential Research Award to study the role of repair in our culture.
 
Adjunct lecturer Charise Greene was seen the past academic year playing several roles in downtown theater: as the lead in new play Versailles at Theater for the New City, as a re-conceived Lady Bracknell in new play The Importance of Being Ernest Hemingway at Access Theater, and as Arkadina in the NYC premiere of Tennessee Williams's The Notebook of Trigorin.
 
Shayoni Mitra, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, has had an exciting year presenting her research at many conferences and joining in conversations around the status and work of World Theatre, including at The Mellon School of Performance Research at Harvard University, the BIARI school of Theatre and Society at Brown University, Performance Studies International at Stanford University, and the South Asia conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In addition she has been reflecting increasingly on the pedagogies of the classroom, particularly in relation to how best to teach and enhance theatrical engagement amongst her students. These thoughts were presented at the 2013 Association of American Colleges and Universities annual conference in Providence, and closer to home at the Faculty Reflections on Teaching with Technology meeting at Barnard in April 2014. Professor Mitra continues her engagement with the Barnard Center for Research on Women as their transnational feminisms faculty fellow, participating in the Scholar and Feminist Conference of 2014. She was excited to organize Vernacular Traditions, a day-long conference on popular entertainment in contemporary India.
 
 
The conference brought together scholars, practitioners, faculty and students from across the disciplines of theatre, film, music, dance, anthropology, history, and religion, to reflect on the non-classical historiographies of Indian performance and to celebrate robust traditions of folk and popular genres. Professor Mitra will be on sabbatical for the year 2014-15 and looks forward to completing and publishing her manuscript Contesting Capital: Political Theatre in Postcolonial Delhi during this time.
 
Alice Reagan, MFA, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, directed I Came to Look for You on Tuesday by Chiori Miyagawa at La MaMa in September/October 2013. Reagan's writing about the project appeared on the online blog Culturebot and HowlRound, the online theatre commons based at Emerson College.
 
 
She directed Blown Youth by Dipika Guha as part of round two of New Plays at Barnard in March 2014, the culmination of a year-long collaboration with Guha and Barnard and Columbia student actors. As part of New Plays at Barnard, she led a talkback discussion with Guha and moderated a panel with four downtown playwrights, New Plays Now. This spring, she will direct Nomads, a new play by Obie award-winner Julia Jarcho at Incubator Arts Project. Reagan received grants from Barnard College, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Anna Sosenko Trust for Nomads.
 
Hana Worthen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, published her co-edited critical anthology, Finland's Holocaust: Silences of History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), which has received extensive press reviews in both Sweden and Finland, and is the subject of widespread discussion there. Her co-authored introduction to the collection and her revisionist essay on a leading Finnish cultural figure, "Towards New Europe: Arvi Kivimaa, Kultur, and the Fictions of Humanism," form part of the collection as well.
 
 
Professor Worthen spent the 2013-14 academic year on sabbatical research leave, winning a competitive fellowship in the Interweaving Performance Cultures International Research Center at the Freie Universität, Berlin. At the Center, she has lectured on "Liberal Rationality and Artistic Propriety in the American Theatre," which forms part of her current research for her new book, as well as writing an article redefining the role of the dramaturg in both the American liberal arts college setting and in the professional theatre, forthcoming in a special issue of Theatre Topics devoted to dramaturgy. Her review of the collection Performance, Identity, and the Neo-Political Subject will appear in Contemporary Theatre Review. Professor Worthen has been recently appointed Associate Director of the Barnard Center for Translation Studies.
 
W. B. Worthen, Ph.D., Alice Brady Pels Professor in the Arts, published several articles this year, including "Stanislavsky and Cognitive Theatre Studies," in the Cambridge Companion to Stanislavsky, ed. Andrew White, and "'What light through yonder window speaks?' The Nature Theater of Oklahoma Romeo and Juliet and the Cult(ure) of Shakespeare," in the Palgrave Macmillan collection Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now, ed. Hugh Grady and Cary diPietro. He is immensely grateful to Professor Helene Foley for serving as Interim Chair during his sabbatical research leave this spring, during which he wrote "The Shakespeare Performance Campus," forthcoming from Cambridge University press in Campus Shakespeare, ed. A. J. Hartley, and a short article on editing and "curation" in Contemporary Theatre Review, as well as book reviews and other shorter pieces. Finally, his new book, Shakespeare Performance Studies is to be published by Cambridge University Press this June.
 
 
Since he spent the spring semester in Berlin, he would like to congratulate all graduating Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts majors, and wish them well wherever their interests and talents will take them.
 
 
 
 

 
Current Student and Alumni/Alumnae News

Adrian Alea (CC '15) was accepted to the Powerhouse and the Atlantic Theater's summer acting intensive programs.
 
Gabrielle Beans (CC '14) was accepted to the MFA program for Acting at LADMA.
 
Ross Beschler (CC '98) received a grant from the Wyncote Foundation to travel to Athens's Attis Theatre and train in the methods of artistic director Theodoros Terzopoulos.
 
Katie Bonnell (CC '16) was accepted to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art's London acting training intensive for the fall, and also to Yale's summer acting intensive.
 
India Choquette (BC '14) returned to Barnard this fall after studying film acting in Prague for her junior year. This spring, she completed her acting thesis as Celia in Blown Youth by Dipika Guha and directed by Alice Reagan for the Theatre Department, under the advisement of Charise Greene. In April, she played the role of Vikram in Charles Mee's play The Four Seasons in an immersive production for the Merchant's Theatre in Manchester, VT directed by Jacob Patorti. Also in April, she presented her Barnard Centennial Scholar's project, a novel in progress entitled Then Nothing, the first-person narrative of a young woman who single-handedly decides to destroy an entire generation of elite white men, one man at a time. After graduation, she plans to remain in New York City and pursue a career as an actor and a writer. indiachoquette.com
 
Miriam Felton-Dansky (BC '02) will begin a tenure-track appointment as Assistant Professor of Theater and Performance at Bard College in July 2014. She is also a regular contributor to the theatre section of the Village Voice.
 
Korinne deCesario (BC '16) has been accepted to the summer training program of the San Francisco Mime Troop.
 
Maria Diez (CC '15) has been accepted to summer training programs at the Atlantic Theater Company, ACT, Commonwealth Shakespeare, Powerhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and the Circle in the Square.
 
Molly Rose Heller (BC/JTS '15) has been accepted to summer acting programs at Powerhouse, the Atlantic Theater Company, and the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center.
 
Yasmeen Jawhar (BC '12) devised and performed in the world premier of The Summoners with Hook & Eye Theater.
 
Zoe Johnson (BC '11) received the Encouragement Award from the MONC–Western Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council.
 
Emilia Lirman (CC '16) was accepted to the Atlantic Theater summer acting intensive program.
 
Stacey Cooper McMath (BC '01, Columbia School of the Arts '04) was recently appointed Director of Programs at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
 
Gilli Messer (BC '10) is living and working as an actress and writer in Los Angeles. Since 2014, Gilli has booked and shot two network national commercials. She has a feature film and short film making the rounds on the festival circuit, and a short film she wrote is currently in the semifinal round of the esteemed BlueCat Screenplay Competition. Gilli is also a featured singer on the forthcoming debut album of singer-songwriter Stephen Rothkopf. Gilli was recently engaged to Justin Joseffy, whom she met while working in summer stock theatre while an undergraduate. Gilli's little sister Romi is a Barnard sophomore! gillimesser.com
 
Nathalie Molina Niño (GS '14) was the 2013 Dasha Epstein Playwriting Fellow at New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theatre and is co-founding Entrepreneurs @ Athena with Barnard's Athena Center, where storytelling is taught as a core skill for success in startups.
 
Aya Ogawa (CC '97) is working on her new play Ludic Proxy, commissioned by The Play Company through her residency with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's WorkSpace Program, and supported by the MAP Fund. It is slated for production in NY in the 2014–15 season. ayaogawa.com
 
Cristina M. Ramos (CC '12) starred in a reading of her original play Real | Crazy, performed original spoken word and danced at Madison Square Garden for Noche Latina with the Knicks, received a recommended pass from the Society of American Fight Directors in unarmed combat, studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute, and performed in various Off-Off-Broadway and educational productions.
 
Keanu Ross-Cabrera (CC '16) was accepted to the British American Drama Academy's acting training intensive for the fall semester.
 
Alexandra Strycula (BC '14) completed a senior research thesis entitled "Glorifying the Jewish-American Girl: Fanny Brice, Funny Girl, and The Streisand Phenomenon," a piece exploring Barbra Streisand's Funny Girl legacy and the challenges posed to contemporary theatremakers attempting to stage a production of Bob Merrill and Jule Styne's 1964 classic. After graduating as a double major in Theatre and in American Studies in May 2014, Alex will pursue a career in arts management in New York City.
 
Alexis Wilcock (BC '14) directed The Love of Don Perlimplín and Belisa in the Garden by Federico García Lorca for her senior thesis.
 
 
 
 

© May 2014
Barnard Department of Theatre
Columbia Major in Drama and Theatre Arts

 

About this newsletter
We send the Theatre Newsletter once a year to current students and alumni. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please send an e-mail to Jessica Brater.