It never fails – the summer goes by so quickly, and before you know it, you’re looking at two weeks before the students return and a new academic year commences. While the summers around here are generally quiet, they are not without activity. This post will bring you a small sample of some of the things that have been happening over the summer.
- The department has hired Mr. Evan Hill to serve as a one-year Visiting Assistant Professor in Scene Design, replacing Prof. Greg Kaye (who is now at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point). Evan has his MFA in Scene Design from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and we managed to hire him while he was designing three shows in the New England are over this summer. His design work can be seen at his website. Welcome, Evan!
- We have a new logo! Designed by a senior in Graphic Design last spring, the logo is an amalgam of the shape of the RAC, the blue-and white colors of Fredonia, the department name letter in theatrical black, and the department’s slogan (“Real. Live. Performance.”) Here it is – we hope you like it.
- We had an unfortunate situation occur in the costume shop storage area. Construction on the roof of the RAC above the storage area resulted in the fireproofing material located on the ceiling of costume storage coming loose and falling to the floor and all over the costumes and boxes of shoes, hats, etc. The result of this is that all the costumes – close to maybe 2000 articles of clothing – have to be sent out for dry cleaning. We have prioritized the order in which the costumes will be cleaned, and hope to have them all done by the end of the fall semester. Whew!
- We will be welcoming in the fall a freshman class of 55 theatre and dance majors, as well as 10 transfer students. The numbers continue to be strong and indicate good growth and stability.
- We’d like to thank all the alumni who took the time to complete our Alumni Survey over the summer. We got 187 responses, a very good turnout! The data is pretty staggering, as are all the comments, but one thing I think stood out amongst all the replies, and that is that 94% of the alumni who responded said they would recommend our theatre and dance department to anyone interested in studying theatre and dance. That is a walloping good number! We must be doing something right.
- Playground began its fifth year this week, and this is the first time that there will be two weeks of Playground. We have current students and alumni now working hard at keeping those kids entertained and working towards their eventual shows. We’re going to try to sneak in some interviews if we can during the next two weeks and get a closer view of this department-supported community activity.
- There are two self-scheduled alumni events happening in August. One already took place – a gathering of early- to mid-1980s alums at the Playwright’s Tavern in New York City on Aug. 10th. The other reunion of late-1980s-early 1990s alums is coming up on August 20th at the Perfect Pint in NYC on Monday Aug. 20th. I hope to get some pictures and a write-up from both events for the blog. If you’re in the area on the 20th for that reunion, go – even if you just graduated in May! Meet these people!
- As with every summer, there has been a lot of Fredonians out there doing summer theatre and achieving great things. There are so many to report that we may have to have a special post just to list those once the students return.
All in all, a rather mellow summer all around. But exciting things are just around the corner, as the department begins to head into the next era. For the next three years, many new things will be coming up that will have an impact on the department. President Virginia Horvath, whose family sponsors the Mary Louise Schaefer scholarship, begins her first academic year as president. We will be searching for a new Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, to begin operations in the fall of 2013. We will spend this academic year planning to work around all the disruptions that the construction for the new RAC addition will bring in 2013 and lasting until 2015. “Interesting times” are ahead, but by the time the new addition opens (tentatively for the 2015-16 academic year), the department will be poised for a new generation of students to succeed as never before. We hope to bring you all the action!