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Alum Call board: July 2021

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ALUM CALL BOARD – JULY 2021

Lots of entries this month, keep them coming! And make sure to scroll all the way to the end to see alums presenting at ATHE and BTN!

ADANMA ONYEDIKE BARTON (BFA ’03/MFA ‘09) has been installed as the new Vice-President of Equity and Inclusion for SETC.  Adanma will be presenting at ATHE this summer (see the end of call board for details!). Also, this Fall she will take the reins as the new Chair of the Department of Berea College Theatre Laboratory.  So exciting, congrats!


KRIS RAU MCINTYRE (MFA ‘01) has been installed as the new Vice President of States at SETC. Congratulations!


COREY ROBERTS (MFA ’06) is excited to further his education in Native American Education and Linguistics  while pursuing a Doctorate in Linguistics at the University of Arizona, where he is working on revitalizing his ancestral language Tutelo-Saponi.  He is collaborating with communities in Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina to ensure the continuity of this formerly dormant language and the cultural practices associated with it.  While doing his graduate study he is also teaching in the School of Theatre, Film and Television at UA. Corey also has a new endeavor with another alum—see the next entry!


COREY and OMIYEMI ARTISIA GREEN (MFA ’03) have recently accepted the roles of managing editors of the Black Theatre Review, a peer-reviewed scholarly Journal from the Black Theatre Network that will launch summer 2022. Omiyemi is also participating in ATHE and the Black Theatre Network Conference (see end of call board)!


GEORGE BARTLETT (BFA  ‘77) is performing as the Delaware Delegate Caesar Rodney in 1776 at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest in Forest, VA.


THOMAS CUNNINGHAM (BFA ’07/ MFA  ‘11) has been promoted to a Senior Manager in the Narrative Editorial department at Riot Games in Los Angeles. Congratulations!!


RACHEL BLACKBURN (MFA ’13) is part of an ongoing conversation, research project, and upcoming book titled “Burn it Down: Igniting Intersectional Feminist Directing.” ⁠⁠ Rachel and her ‘Burn it Down’ colleagues recently hosted a panel as part of the National Women’s Theatre Festival.


TRINITEE PEARSON (BFA ’20) was in a Virginia Lottery Commercial! Watch the full video here.


BARBARA HAYES (BFA ‘99) is the Production Stage Manager for the production of the Wizard of Oz in Louisville, KY which is directed by alum DREW FRACHER (BFA ’79). Looking forward to a great production and lots of VCU Theatre stories.


DREWE GOLDSTEIN (BFA ’20) continues as the season Directorial and Production Assistant at Montgomery Place with the Fisher Center at Bard this summer. While waiting for the weather to clear before a performance, Drewe had the opportunity to photograph Mx. Justin Vivian Bond! Mx. Bond is a performer who has been heralded as “the greatest cabaret artist of this generation” (New Yorker), and they have been at the forefront of trans visibility and activism since the 1990’s. Beautiful—yay Drewe!


ANGIE ATKINSON (BFA  ‘06) will be a featured entertainer on the Norwegian Encore in August 2021 on the Seattle to Alaska runs and will eventually go to Miami. On shipboard she will be a member of the musical Kinky Boots.


ZACH PAUL BROWN (BFA ’14) turned up on a billboard in Seoul!


CRAIG CONNOLE (BFA ‘99) has been developing a new fashion line for Springtex Int. for Spring 2022 called the Jane Collection.  Spring dresses inspired by Jane Birkin and the romance of that moment in time. Each outfit has a name instead of a number. His new website is craigconnole.com. Craig is also an Adjunct Professor at New York School of Design.


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JORDAN MICHAEL GREEN has released his Season 4 Finale of Best Life on the Theatre VCU 2004-2008 Facebook group. The episode is called I Gotta Go.  It includes a Blooper Reel  – fun for all! Watch here.


BETH HYLTON DELEHANTY (BFA ’92) has begun rehearsals for Steel Magnolias in Maryland for the role of M’Lynn at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore.  The show runs from August 10 to September 6.  As Beth says “Come to Baltimore, there will be big hair and shoulder pads.”


stefan sittig

STEFAN SITTIG (MFA ‘97) will be teaching a Musical Theatre Dance Master Class later in July for the Tony Award winning Signature Theater’s Stage One Summer program AND participating in ATHE (see more below!)


DENVER CHARLES CRAWFORD  (BFA ’16) has published his second volume of poetry entitled A Dedication to Incoherence.   You can find it on Amazon.


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EMILY TOWNLEY (BFA ’92) a company member at Woolly Mammoth in DC, is happy to be back at work in their new production of Teenage Dick, a new play by Mike Lew.  This is being produced in Association with Huntington Theatre Company and the Pasadena Playhouse.  Very exciting to have a job set up from August til next March.


ALI LEMUS (BFA ’02) is happy to be getting back on stage as Bella in the Lost in Yonkers cast for Georgetown Palace Theatre in Texas. 


HAROLD SLAZER (BFA ’88) had another zoom play presented by the Middle Players entitled The Conspiracies are Real. There were two showings over Zoom earlier this week.


CARRIE CARPENTER KENNEDY (BFA ’02) is the new manager of Fluevog Portland. Congrats!


IN MEMORIAM: MARSHALL MURDAUGH (BFA ’63)
We are so sad to announce the death of Marshall Murdaugh. You may remember that he was a vital part of the state’s tourism industry. During his time as State Tourism Commissioner, he implemented the “Virginia is for Lovers” theme and turned the slogan into a branding and marketing program that won national award recognition from America’s Travel Industry Association. Read his obituary here.


CONFERENCES!

The 2021 Black Theatre Network Conference is today through Sunday! Visit their website for more info and to sign up!

TODAY Wednesday July 28th @ 2:45pm:
OMIYEMI ARTISIA GREEN (MFA ’03), RENEE CHARLOW (MFA ’02), and REBEKAH PIERCE (MA in English ’02) are presenting together. Renee will be moderating, Omiyemi will present Ògún Yè Mo Yè!” Pathways for institutionalizing Black Theater pedagogy and production at historically white universities, and Rebekah asks Is Black Still a Sacred Space in the 21st Century?


The Association for Theatre in Higher Education 2021 Virtual Conference is coming up August 5-8th! Visit the conference platform for more information and to sign up.

Friday August 6th from 4:30 – 6:00pm:
OMIYEMI ARTISIA GREEN (MFA ’03), ADANMA ONYEDIKE BARTON (BFA ’03/MFA ‘09) and BRITTNEY S. HARRIS are participating in a moderated discussion Personifying Resistance: Devising Theatre for Social Justice. “This moderated discussion intends to inspire others to use their art for activism.  We need an answer to the Dramatic Question: How can we use our art to uplift African American women?”

Thursday August 5th 1:30 – 3:00pm:
JENNA NIELSEN (MFA ’07) and KB SAINE (MFA ’02) will be part of a panel titled COVID as Collaborator: A Roundtable Discussion Reimagining the Challenges and Benefits of In-Person Theatre in Fall 2020. “This panel will be a roundtable discussion with directors/producers of productions that reimagined ways of producing in-person theatrical events at the start of the fall 2020 semester….This reimagining of every aspect of theatre making afforded another opportunity to reimagine and change the imbedded inequitable practices within it.”

BRANDON LAREAU (MFA ’19) is a PhD candidate at University of Georgia and will be presenting two of his papers!
—Thursday August 5th 1:30-3:00pm:
Staging the Racialized Other: Jonson, Mozart, and the Short Distance from Masque to Opera as part of Curtains Up: Conversations Among Emerging Scholars with the American Theatre Drama Society and Black Theatre Association
— Friday August 6th 4:30-6:00pm.
The Gap between Fetishization and Fascination: Ownership of Body and Mind in Mozart’s Vienna and Beyond as part of the The Bruce Kirle Memorial Debut Panel in Music Theatre/Dance

Friday August 6th, 2:30 – 4:00pm:
STEFAN SITTIG (MFA ’97) will be presenting his paper “Teaching Musical Theatre Dance Online: A New Generation of Performers as part of the panel Recentering Dance from the Classroom to Digital Spaces.


Keep us posted! Share your news with your fellow alumni!

Life changes.
Awards and recognition.
New casting or job.

Also, feel free to suggest any fellow grads for a profile in upcoming issues!

Email Jerry Williams (jerry@tvjerry.com) or Liz Hopper (elizhopper12@gmail.com).



Compiled by Liz Hopper, professor emeritus, and Jerry Williams (BFA ’71) for the July 2021 Theatre Alumni Newsletter.