Another semester has come and gone, and as always, it has gone by quicker that one can blink an eye. After the closing of The Altruists, students took a well-deserved Thanksgiving break, only to find they had a mere three weeks left to the semester. With the mainstage season pretty much under wraps for the fall, attention began to turn to recitals, finals, and rehearsals for the Fredonia Dance Ensemble. Venetian Twins will return on January 17th to begin their rehearsal process, and The Sound of Music will begin to gear up in early February. So we will try to catch you up on some events that have transpired in an attempt to wrap up the semester, take a hiatus during the semester break, and prep you for the Spring 2011 semester of Theatre and Dance right here at SUNY Fredonia.
Over the first weekend of Thanksgiving break, Prof. Tom Loughlin went down to New York City for an informal event called “Tom Loughlin Sits at a Bar.” The event was to try and bring together as many alumni in New York City as possible, say hi, catch up, and get a more cohesive alumni network started. The event was held at the Houndstooth Pub on 38th and 8th Ave. in Manhattan, and was a very good startup to what we hope will become an annual event. Here is a photo gallery of pictures that Tom took on his iTouch. The light was not so good, but some came out well enough for display.
Returning back from Thanksgiving break meant that senior recitals were coming up. This fall’s recitalists presented a wide range of material. Fall recitalists were Rachel Kodweis (Acting), Mike Valvo (Musical Theatre), Kim Abrams and Jen Lefsyk (Musica Theatre), and Lauren Gismondi and Elizabeth Ruff (Musical Theatre). The event is always one which brings families, recent alums, friends, and fellow students out to celebrate the achievement of the seniors. Here is a little video of the reception held in the commons after the recitals were over.
We have been very negligent in announcing that the department has hired a new secretary to replace the retired Vicki Gage. Her name is Lisa Schrantz, and she comes to us by way of the Department of History. Lisa began her new position in late October. We will be doing a full write-up and introduction on her come the spring semester. So far she seems to be enjoying herself and is happy to be in our department. Welcome, Lisa!
The One-Act Festival once again went off this past week, and some fun one-acts were presented. Under the supervision of Dr. Jim Ivey, the One-Act festival is a semi-annual presentation of the Directing I final projects. This year they were quite well-attended; it seemed as if every night there were never enough chairs.
Random Acts, a student improvisation group that had its origins in theatre alumni and other former students from 13 years ago, had its Christmas Show this past Friday Dec. 10, and the show raised over $500 for our continuing project The Altruists Dig A Well. This project was started during the rehearsal of The Altruists and will continue through the spring semester. We are shooting to get the $5000 we need to have a well dug in a third world country and provide fresh drinking water for a community. We have over $1500 now. It’s been slow going, but we hope to make that $5000 by the end of the academic year. You can help us reach that goal by clicking on the link above and donating whatever you can. Need a Christmas gift idea for someone? Give a contribution in their name. It’s a great way to fight Christmas consumerism, help the less fortunate, and feel a true holiday spirit of giving. Do it – you know you want to!
Many other changes and events are in the works as the department strives to keep pace with changes in the university. Most of them are slightly boring, but some changes we have made bear some mention. One is that we are trying to keep better track of our auditionees and how they find out about us. With audition season fast approaching, we want to find out how students who apply to our program find out about us. So far here are the numbers:
- Teacher – 10
- Website – 10
- Word of Mouth – 8
- Alumni – 5
- Other – 2
- Viewbook – 2
So as you can see, we are doing pretty well with teachers out there, and our website is generating some interest. These numbers are only for about one month or so, but they will better allow us to make decisions as to where to advertise, who to talk to, etc. Interested in audition for us as you read this? Then make sure to click on to our How To Apply page to get more information and head to our audition form.
Speaking of audition season, so far here are the numbers for the Jan-Mar Auditions:
- Musical Theatre: 46
- Dance: 13
- Acting: 10
- Production Design: 1
As you can see Musical Theatre remains our most popular program, so if you’re interesting in audition there’s little time to waste!
Finally, we have created a new web site where alums, parents and other people interested in the development of our program can translate their interest into dollars that will help the department become stronger and offer more opportunities for our students. As we are sure many of you know, SUNY is facing hard times in terms of financial resources, and one of the biggest changes we will have to face as a department is finding ways of supporting the financial needs of our program in the future. Things like scholarships, funds for equipment, guest artists all come at a cost, and as a department we cannot count on the state much longer to fund these events. We will be asking for more support in the future from alumni, parents, and other individuals who want to support what we do so as to continue and even expand our program into new realms. If you can, consider supporting our department through a gift via the SUNY Fredonia Foundation. Foundation money can be used for all these items and more. Growing this fund will become more and more important to us in the future. If you can begin to help us out now, we will be most grateful.
Have a joyous holiday season, and best wished from all of us here at TADA!