STAGE School of Theatre and Dance
Tom Arthur … a life in the theatre
The early years
DATELINE: Saturday, Sept. 15, 1973 — Daily News-Record staff writer David Stuart Hudson reports that 36-
year-old Illinois native, Dr. Thomas Arthur, is unconcerned that his job at Madison College’s speech and drama
department is titled “director of academic theater.” Wait a minute! That’s not right.
Fast forward 34 years and Tom Arthur, professor of theatre at James Madison University, is looking back
across the years. He’s taking stock of his life at JMU — a life devoted to teaching theatre — and he is discover-
ing that with time comes many changes.
When Arthur arrived at JMU, it was known as Madison College and, as Arthur puts it, “I started out here
taking on what was really an extracurricular activity.
“There were four faculty members including myself, just a few classes and about 12 majors,” says Arthur.
Contents Arthur was the director of the theatre department for some 17 years and saw it morph from Communication Arts
4 Performing Arts Center to Theatre to the Center of Theatre and Dance to its current form as the School of Theatre and Dance. The
School of Theatre and Dance now has approximately 190 total majors.
5 Fall 2006 productions
6 Spring 2007 productions and
“To see what the school has become after all these years, led as it has been by Bill Buck, someone whose basic
JMU's Children's Playshop humanistic values I share, well … it’s a real joy to see … back then I believed that Madison had the potential
7 Earlynn Miller of doing beautiful, professional plays. I wanted to experiment with touring children’s theatre in the Valley, and
8 Theatre and dance
I had hopes of branching out into more exploratory, experimental channels,” muses Arthur.
10 Faculty highlights Arthur’s hopes have been realized. JMU is the home of beautiful professional plays, musical theatre produc-
tions, dance concerts, the famous Experimental Theatre, the beloved Children’s Playshop, and, for a while
Continued on Page 2
thusias s when
is as en today a ll
Department of Communication Arts 1975 faculty and staff, including (left to right) Tom King (back Tom aching d is sti
left), Allen Lyndrup (front right of King), Pam Johnson (beside Lyndrup), Tom Arthur (laughing next
a bout te ago an
to Johnson) and Roger Hall (in front).
excited 0 years d
early 3 ever ha
I me t h im n I have
Tom Arthur … a life in the theatre the bes
t go any
ith. I’d 3
continued from Page 1
or w Tom,
A look back at a “few” it was even the home of the JMU As Arthur remembers the people where they would be allowed to fail if and do e arly ev
Tom Arthur productions Dinner Theatre, an event originally he’s worked with over the years — they did not own that responsibility,
hi n k n
The Sweetest Swing in Baseball created for parents attending Orien- people with names like Horace Burr, but where, if they succeeded, the suc- and I t that.
Oedipus Rex tation, which became quite popular. Chester Jordan, Allen Lyndrup, and cess would be theirs, not the faculty’s.
Our Town The Festival of The Arts, which Tom King, all of whom are familiar I think this approach has produced
Hamlet Variations began in 1977, was another JMU in JMU’s theatre-producing history some students who have learned how — An
The Glass Menagerie program over which Arthur had great — he smiles thinking about the to go out and make something hap-
The English Teachers impact. He began heading it in 1978, genesis of a special program, much pen rather than wait for opportu-
The Twin Menæchmi and every spring, for an entire week, cherished by JMU students, known nities to come looking for them.
A Moon for the Misbegotten the Festival took over what was going as the Experimental Theatre. Arthur’s insistence that JMU have an
Shawdowlands on at the university by attracting “It was the product of a very Experimental Theatre as a condition
Carriage attention to the arts in general. long, ‘into the wee hours of the of his coming to JMU made that pos-
Filumena To make the Festival a success, night’ conversation between myself sible,” King concludes.
King Lear Arthur would travel around the and Tom King,” explains Arthur. When remembering the most grat-
Talley’s Folly country, recruiting everyone under “We had both been discour- ifying moments that stand out in his
Tom Arthur coaches Kristen Long (’06) and
Eleemosynary the sun, appealing to their generos- aged by our experience with other career, Arthur recalls three things. Megan Tusing (’06) at the dress rehearsal of
Working ity, and he always came up with student theatre spaces,” says Tom “One was being honored with Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, a spring semester
2006 main stage production.
Another Antigone the goods. Festival appearances King, “feeling that they were exces- the Carl Harter 2001-2002 JMU
The Road to Mecca included the head of MGM’s small sively supervised, which prevented College of Arts and Letters Distin-
On the Verge films unit, Hollywood producer students from discovering their guished Teacher Award, made per- In getting to know his audience, As he sat amongst his audience, seeing production after production, center of theatre here at JMU.”
Betrayal and writer Dore Shary; staff writer own ways of working. sonally significant because it was he’d ask the students “Who here trying to explain why learning wherever and whenever he could. She has been the school’s admin-
A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the New Yorker, Emily Hahn; “Tom Arthur and I both thought a designation that came from my speaks another language?” only to about a play penned hundreds of Then there are those classes and istrative specialist for 17 years.
Rabbits Bob Benedetti, director of the Uni- it was important that we have a stu- colleagues and because Harter and discover that more often than not, years earlier was relevant to them, the workshops around the world “You learn from others,” says
The Shadow Box versity of Chicago’s Court The- dent space at Madison, and Arthur I had been friends. Another was the majority spoke several languages. he was astonished when informed and working with many famous Arthur. “It’s like Anna’s line in Rodg-
The Three Penny Opera atre; The Lion in Winter playwright found what was then called the getting to teach abroad,” he adds. Arthur only spoke weak French. that the students thought highly of people, but the most important ers and Hammerstein’s musical, The
The Pendragon Institute James Goldman; George Schae- Wampler Building, now known as In 1989, Arthur made his first Nonetheless, he dove into his task, him and called him “the professor.” moment of his career are the memo- King and I. ‘If you become a teacher,
A Man for All Seasons fer, director of the Hallmark Hall Theatre II. I believe the building of three teaching trips to South and encouraged his students to “do “Why?” asked Arthur. “These ries he’s stored up of the people he’s by your pupils you’ll be taught.’’”
A Delicate Balance of Fame; actors Richard Crenna, — a hatchery — was originally Africa, having received a United theatre,” only to be confronted by kids speak several languages. They’re worked with and what he’s learned So what’s next for Arthur? Who
Guys and Dolls Eve Arden, Diane Baker, Vincent intended for use by maintenance States Information Agency aca- questions like “Why should we learn much more learned than I!” “It’s about teaching from them. knows? “It’s like the theatre,” says
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Price and Christopher Beeching; and was even scheduled for demoli- demic specialist grant for theatre Romeo and Juliet?”, “What has this because in our society,” came the “I only had two deans my entire Arthur. “You have to wait to see
are Dead Shakespearean scholar and author tion, but that’s what Arthur had in projects. When Arthur arrived in play got to do with us?” and “Don’t reply, “that a father’s head is never time here,” explains Arthur. “Nei- how it all turns out.”
Thurber Carnival Sam Schoenbaum; producer mind because it had a large, open the country, which was still practic- you know that they won’t let us do lower than the child’s, and you’ve ther Don McConkey and his wife Arthur officially retires from
The Fantastiks Charles Marowitz; film producer room, and he managed to persuade ing Apartheid, he was introduced as theatre, that they’ll come stop us?” sat next to them, on equal footing.” Martha Ann, nor Dick Whitman JMU in July. You may contact him
Bell, Book and Candle Walter Coblenz; theatre historian Madison’s officials that we needed a “learned man” to classrooms with Arthur realized that his students, “This woke me up”, explains Arthur, and his wife Denise could have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fallen Angels Dr. Oscar G. Brockett; opera stars an Experimental Theatre as part of as few as 12 high school students living as they were in impoverished who began re-evaluating the mean- been more loyal or supportive.
Summer Jerome Hines and Helen Hillier; any worthwhile theatre program. and as many as 2,500. communities without electricity or ing of the term “educated.” Don and Dick had a true feeling
Curley McDimple flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal; chore- “We both wanted the Experimen- Apolitically, he was supposed water, might be able to regard Over the years, Arthur’s done a for art, and they kept coming up
Deathtrap ographer Annabelle Gamson; and tal Theatre to have minimal faculty to demonstrate drama’s potential learning about Romeo and Juliet in lot. Earning a Ph.D., working in with the money.”
The Boy Friend even JMU’s own, writer Phoef Sut- supervision or interference. It was for changing society, a task made terms of two young kids from war- advertising, acting in film, televi- “The best hire I ever made was
Children of a Lesser God ton (’81) and Broadway agent Flo to be a place where students took even more difficult by assigned ring tribes doing what they had to sion and on stage, directing, teach- Mary K. Molineu,” says Arthur.
Oscar Wilde Fairy Tales Rothacker (’77). responsibility for their own work, “handlers.” do just to get together. ing, creating courses, lecturing and “In so many ways, Mary K.’s the
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Stepping Out We both wanted the Experimental Theatre to have Tom Arthur didn’t invent theatre at JMU. But he laid a foundation for the growth of theatre at JMU, which has
Prelude to a Kiss
Educating Rita minimal faculty supervision or interference. It was allowed his colleagues and students to explore their art and soar to great heights. One of Tom’s many charms is
Taffetas to be a place where students took responsibility for that he always says what he thinks. It’s always an adventure when he walks in my door with his latest observa-
The Drunkard their own work, where they would be allowed to fail tion or discovery. Sometimes his ideas are delightfully celestial, but usually they are firmly grounded and laser
The Rainmaker if they did not own that responsibility, but where, sharp. When he’s thinking, he makes the rest of us think as well. He forces his students, sometimes fighting him
Twain by the Tail if they succeeded, the success would be theirs, all the way, to use their brains to find the right answers and not just the easy ones. I suspect I’ll get more work
Driving Miss Daisy not the faculty’s. — Tom King done when he’s gone. But I will dearly miss his face at my door. Tom Arthur is one of a kind. And he’s really
director of develop-
ment for college
Helping talented students
Center for the Performing Arts Fall 2006 productions 5
accomplish their dreams
THE FOCUS of JMU's School
of Theatre and Dance is to
develop each student’s abilities
The Sweetest Swing in Baseball
JMU’S SCHOOL of Theatre and mately, life as a whole, can pro-
to become successful actors, per-
Dance presented Rebecca Gilman’s duce problems of identity that
formers, dancers, choreographers,
The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, may be even more difficult to
instructors or other professionals
under the direction of Tom Arthur, handle than failure.
in the arts. A strong liberal arts
at Latimer-Shaeffer Theatre in Cast members included Megan
curriculum combined with an
Duke Hall Oct. 3–7. Tusing as Dana Fielding, the toast
intensive study of theatre and
The Sweetest Swing was pro- of the art world; Lauren Meyer
dance with many opportunities
duced with support from the as Erica and Dr. Stanton; Bran-
to perform provides our students
School of Art and Art History don Ferraro as Brian and Michael;
a well-rounded education and
and focused upon the generally Lauren Kidd as Rhonda and Dr.
the technical skills to pursue a
unexamined notion that public Gilbert; and Selçuk Korutürk as
theatre or dance-related career.
success in art, athletics, and, ulti- Roy and Gary.
One day soon, a new Performing
Arts Center will greatly enhance
our program. With your finan-
Megan Tusing (’06) as artist Dana Fielding
(top) from The Sweetest Swing in Baseball,
Meghan Amoroso (’07) dances in Cafes
Virginia Repertory Dance Company in concert
cial help, our students will enjoy Cantantes 2006 (right) and Karl Holmstrom THE SCHOOL showcased its group of JMU dancers — Meghan New York City, artistic director of
(’07) as Rulon Stacey addressing reporter nationally recognized dance pro- Amoroso, Meghan Ballard, Jillian Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends;
state-of-the-art facilities includ- Karla Sakas (’09) and the national press in
ing a 450-seat proscenium the- A design rendering of the proscenium theatre in the Dorothy Thomasson Estes Center for Theatre NEW PLANS and renderings The Laramie Project (bottom right). gram with the Virginia Repertory Boelte, Jaymie Boudreau, Jess Bur- Keith A. Thompson of Philadelphia;
and Dance (top); Dr. Marilou Johnson, interim dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts,
atre, a dance program suite fitted and School of Theatre and Dance director William Buck review the details involved in the perform- arrive weekly as the design for the Dance Company in concert Dec. gess, Kathleen Ferraro, Sara Hoke, and the late Ed Tyler, formerly of the
with top-of-the-line dance floors ing arts center planning process (below left); ground was broken in May 2006 for the parking deck center continues to evolve in prep- 7–9, in Duke Hall’s Latimer-Shaef- Allie Larson and Dawn Young — Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
and exquisite rehearsal spaces. To
that will be located behind the site of the future performing arts center. The parking deck (below
right) will make arts patronage convenient for the entire region. aration for a groundbreaking later The fer Theatre. Artistic Director Kate to perform choreography of JMU The company performed Gotz-
discuss how your gift can sup-
port the Performing Arts Center,
this year. As pictured, the parking
deck is nearing completion, hav- Laramie Trammell assembled a talented faculty as well as of guest artists,
including Isabel Gotzkowsky of
kowsky’s Zero Grid and Thompson’s
work, Vignettes. An “of the moment”
please contact me by calling ing risen almost overnight on a
large plot of land across from the
Project tribute and affirmation of the impor-
(540) 568–3195 or by e-mail at IN DUKE HALL'S Latimer- tance of art in life was presented
email@example.com. historic JMU Quad. The deck will Shaeffer Theatre Nov. 7–11, with the premiere of Tyler’s work,
soon have a new neighbor: a beau- JMU’s School of Theatre I Am Not My Little Black Dress.
tiful new building to facilitate the and Dance presented Moisés Resident faculty choreographers
work of some of the finest young Kaufman’s and the Members Suzanne Miller-Corso and Trammell
student artists in the state. of Tectonic Theater Project’s presented their new works — Miller-
The Laramie Project, under the Corso’s Cafes Cantantes 2006 and
direction of Roger Hall. Trammell’s mama daddy nurse nurse.
The Laramie Project was
based upon the recollections
of Laramie, Wyo., residents,
who knew about or witnessed
the murder of Matthew Shepard,
a homosexual University of Wyo-
ming student. This sad and ugly
incident became a national sym-
bol of intolerance.
Cast members included
R.J. Haynes as Greg Pierotti,
Karl Holmstrom as Moisés
Kaufman, Shelly Newhouse as
Barbara Pitts, Asher Nichol-
son as Stephen Belber, Lauren
Ramsey as Amanda Gronich,
Karla Sakas as Mercedes Her-
rero, Jackson Thompson as
Andy Paris and Bekah Wachen-
feld as Leigh Fondakowski.
Spring 2007 productions 7
Thoroughly Modern Millie Better Don’t Talk ‘speaks’ to a delighted audience
THE SPRING semester’s musical, The musical styles ran the gamut can women, who were breaking new ON JAN. 17, JMU’s School of The- as the “Wunderkind of the Vilna ing both mother and daughter, and ration of the Liquidation of the
Thoroughly Modern Millie, was pre- from 1920s standards, toe-tapping ground, joining the workforce, bob- atre and Dance presented a one- Ghetto,” Chayela sang a song enti- by using the very art form passed Vilna Ghetto in Vilnius, Lithuania.
sented Feb. 13–18, 2007. A School Broadway dance tunes, bluesy jazz, bing their hair and trying to balance night-only performance of Naava tled Yisrolik, a ballad about a tough, down to her as a tribute to survival. In 2005, Naava was a smash hit at
of Theatre and Dance and School and Gilbert & Sullivan to operetta- traditional values with new-found Piatka’s Better Don’t Talk at Latimer- but sentimental child entrepreneur Better Don’t Talk garnered rave a sold-out performance at London’s
of Music co-production, this play- inspired numbers. freedoms. Shaeffer Theatre, Duke Hall. in the ghetto. In her own life, she reviews and captured the hearts The Arts Depot, returning to Lon-
ful period musical comedy was New musical theatre coordinator Cast members included Kirstin As a teenager, Chayela Rosen- took to heart Yisrolik’s admonition of audiences worldwide from Off- don by popular demand in the fall
set in 1922 New York City to Kate Arecchi directed this produc- Riegler as Millie Dillmount, Jake thal resided in the Vilna ghetto “not to speak of sadness,” and she Broadway to the United Kingdom, for more sold-out performances for
Richard Morris’ original story tion. “This was a great show for our Odmark as Jimmy Smith, Matthew in Poland. She joined the ghetto never spoke to her own children South Africa, Germany, Australia charity organizations.
and screenplay for the Universal students to do because it gave them Duré as Mr. Trevor Graydon, Lind- theater as a Yiddish singer, actress, about her wartime experiences. and Lithuania. The production was JMU stage designer Richard Fin-
Pictures Film. the opportunity to perform many say Russell as Miss Dorothy Brown, and comedienne. Ghetto performers Through the original songs that featured in the United States Holo- kelstein completed the set design
Based on the 1967 Oscar®- different musical and dance styles,” Brynn Dorsey as Mrs. Meers, and Jessi and producers created the theater make up this piece of musical theater, caust Museum’s “Acts of Courage” for Better Don’t Talk last fall when
winning film starring Julie she said. Elgin as Muzzy van Hossmere. Also to entertain and uplift their audi- Chayela’s daughter, Naava Piatka, Performance series. In 2003, Naava it was presented by The New York
Andrews and Mary Tyler A mix of humor, intrigue and featured were Zack Gerg as Ching Ho ence, whom the Nazi authorities discovers unexplored dimensions of performed at London’s New End State Theatre Institute in Troy, N.Y.
Moore, the Broadway produc- romance, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Jack Vitaliz as Bunn Foo. Patrick had forced into the cramped, dismal her mother’s life. She expresses the Theatre, in the London Jewish Arts in October.
tion of Thoroughly Modern Mil- showcased lively characters coming Walders was music director. conditions of the ghetto. Known essence of their relationship by play- Festival and at the 60th Commemo-
lie won six 2002 Tony® awards of age during a time of prosperity
including Best Musical. and new opportunities for Ameri-
Dr. Earlynn J. Miller — National Dance Association’s 2007 Heritage Honoree
ON MARCH 15, 2007, Dr. Ear- A significant force in dance high achievement both academically musicians and dancers of the Blue
lynn J. Miller, former director of The Heritage Honoree is chosen for a and in dance performance, including Ridge Tradition. Hosted by families
JMU’s Children’s Playshop announces JMU’s Dance Program, was named lifetime dedicated to and exceptional diversity of dance forms, choreogra- from the Danish folkdance groups
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse at Court Square Theatre the National Dance Association’s achievements in dance education. phy and leadership. DGI Svendborg and DGI Ham-
BELOVED CHILDREN’S SHOW, Lilly is a spunky little mouse 2007 Heritage Honoree, a distinc- NDA Heritage Honoree Earlynn From Mexico to Denmark merum, the group shared their heri-
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, will be who loves everything. In the play, tion bestowed upon her by the NDA J. Miller, a graduate of Illinois State While teaching at JMU, Earlynn tage of American music and dance
performed March 29–April 1, 2007, Lilly and her friends Chester and Board of Directors during their 2007 Normal University, was a student of developed a keen interest in interna- and learned Danish folkdances.
at Court Square Theatre. Wilson learn important lessons, National Convention in Baltimore. Miriam Gray, who was a significant tional folk dance. She and German Feeding the soul
Five performances of Lilly’s Purple such as how to show Lilly’s favorite The National Dance Association force in dance education and a tireless dance specialist Karin Gottier, from Earlynn has always been extremely
Plastic Purse will be produced at Court teacher that she is terribly sorry for leads in promoting and supporting worker for NDA. I met Earlynn when Connecticut, traveled to Germany creative feeding her art “soul” with
Square Theatre in Harrisonburg, drawing an ugly picture of him creative, artistic and healthy lifestyles we were enrolled at UNC-G (then the several times to gather authentic silkscreen work (her own designs, of
by JMU’s Children’s Playshop artis- when he made her mad. through quality services and programs Woman’s College of the University of materials, including music, dances course), fiberarts, paintings, etc. She
tic director William J. Buck. The For performance times and ticket in dance and dance education. North Carolina) in the early ’60s. and costumes. Earlynn worked with created countless costumes for her
play, by author and illustrator Kevin information, call the Court Square The following article, by Jody Solid dancing at JMU Shirley Waxman and the Jewish dancers. She was selected as the 1988
Henkes, in a Kevin Kling stage adap- Theatre box office (540) 433-9189 Photo by William Buck Lunt, professor emeritus at Winthrop For 30 years Earlynn held a position Community of greater Washington NDA Scholar/Artist and insisted
tation, features the namesake of the in March. University, and an NDA Board of in dance education at JMU where to learn about Jewish and Israeli cul- that her “speech” be an exhibit of live
Lilly, played by Molly Hood (’03), dances for the mice played by Emily Gipson (’04), Adam Suritz (’03),
popular Lilly books. Andrew White (’03) and Kat Wisener (’04) in this 2003 production of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.
Directors member, appeared in the she helped develop the undergraduate ture and dance. Earlynn also worked dancers that would display those art
winter issue of Spotlight on Dance. and graduate programs. Her pro- with a choreographer from Mexico interests. Earlynn served in several
JMU’s Children’s Playshop unveils summer season — tickets go on sale in May gram was located in the Physical to learn traditional forms of Mexican capacities with NDA. She chaired
and Health Education Department dance. As her interest in folk dance one of the four original sub-groups
JMU’S CHILDREN’S PLAYSHOP tors William J. Buck and Pam John- audience members. Attending JMU’s Pam Johnson will direct New Clothes
where there was a very strong and deepened, Earlynn started a wonder- that were formed as NDA made its
will produce its 14th annual sea- son have maintained a commitment Children’s Playshop productions has for The Emperor by Cynthia Mercati.
well known undergraduate physical ful folk dance company at JMU. We way toward becoming a dance divi-
son with three wonderful produc- to quality. Year after year, audiences become a family tradition for many Buck wraps up the season with his education program that dedicated a had the privilege of having them visit sion and finally an association.
tions, each representing the best in
keep coming back to see magnificent in the Shenandoah Valley. production of Showdown at The Sug- great deal of time to helping soon- Winthrop University on several occa- Earlynn was a mover and shaker
children’s literature. This summer’s
sets, lights and costumes, designed Kicking off the playshop season arcane Saloon with book and lyrics by to-be teachers become comfortable sions, not only to perform but also to of dance for all the years she taught
schedule includes Many Moons, New
with great care and creativity, and to will be Artistic Director William J. Joseph Robinette and music by James teaching all forms of dance. JMU's teach our physical education majors. at JMU. Her dance program was
Clothes for The Emperor and Show-
Earlynn J. Miller Endowed Scholar- They were phenomenal dancers and extraordinarily strong and had an
down at The Sugarcane Saloon. watch the marvelous performances Buck’s production of James Thurber’s R. Shaw. Showdown at The Sugarcane
ship for Dance, established with her teachers, ambassadors of the dance exceptional reputation for pro-
Playshop is an annual project of by theatre and dance students as they Many Moons, adapted by Charlotte Saloon will open in July.
generous gift, provides funds annu- atmosphere at JMU. ducing solid dancers and teachers
JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance, create a safe and magical place for the Chorpenning. Many Moons will open ally to an outstanding undergraduate In the summer of 1998, Earlynn of dance.
and from its inception in 1993, direc- impressionable minds of their young in May. In June, playshop co-founder student scholar who demonstrates traveled to Denmark as one of 29
ALUMNI FROM THE SCHOOL OF THEATRE AND DANCE have carried their talents and education to venues far and To get on the backSTAGE newsletter
wide. They’re working in theatre and dance companies, teaching and pursuing advanced degrees. Others are touring regionally mailing list or receive a copy, e-mail
and nationally with Broadway shows. the editor, Elizabeth Simmons, at sim-
We would like to hear from you to share your news and photos. Please provide your color performance or production pho- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starring roles tos as high resolution (300 dpi+) digital jpeg files or conventional glossy PR photos. Send text and photos to backSTAGE, School
of Theatre and Dance, MSC 5601, JMU, Harrisonburg, VA 22807.
Theatre and dance news
UNDER ROGER HALL’S ers and a Heather M. Lundy MEGAN TUSING (’06) is interning November, Foster was cast in Theatre- Jeremy Beck (’98) played Yephik- with the Women’s Theater Company, at publicly through
guidance, 13 plays were featured (’94) solo (collaborated upon with The Splinter Group, a production works USA’s musical Freedom Train, hodov in the Huntington Theater Lake Hiawatha, N.J.’s Parsippany Com- the Los Angeles
and general management theatre com- playing several characters. It opened in Company production of The Cherry munity Center. Writer’s Center in
at Director’s Festival Dec. 6–8, with O’Hara). The showcase
pany in New York City. NYC’s Town Hall on Jan. 16. Freedom Orchard, reviewed in the Jan. 14th In October and November, Jenny November and at
in Theatre II. had more than 70 works adju- Train will travel throughout the North- New York Times. Woolly Mammoth
After moving to New York last fall, Maguire (’94) played Allison in the Off-
A concert by dance alums dicated with only seven dances Rachel Bauder (’05) worked as the pro- east and Southeast. Foster has joined Amy (Eisenhower) Humphrey (’98) is a Broadway world premiere of Live Girls Theatre Com-
was held Jan. 19–20. Courtney selected. duction stage manager for YANK! in the Actor’s Equity Association. performing arts physical therapist work- at Urban Stages, pany in Wash-
Hand Bassett (’01), Keira Hart William Buck and Pam John- Sarah Pantke (’04) is the company pro- ing at a private orthopedic practice out- NYC. Maguire ington, D.C., in
duction assistant of The Arts Center of side Washington, D.C., and an onsite also played the mid-December. In
(’03) and Kelly Bartnik (’01) son attended the Southeastern
Coastal Carolina in Hilton Head Island, physical therapist for the Washington “Scolding Mother” February, Penning played Sarah in Har-
taught classes that were open Theatre Conference held March old Pinter’s The Lover at Rep Stage in
S.C. She was the assistant stage manager Ballet Company. Humphrey also teaches opposite Sigour-
to all theatre and dance majors. 7–11 in Atlanta, Ga. for the company’s production of Irving Keven Quillon (’03) will make his Broad- Pilates® for the Washington Ballet. ney Weaver in the Columbia, Md.
Tara Zaffutto Mullins (’96) The United States Insti- Berlin’s White Christmas. way debut in a new revival of Grease as movie The Girl in Kim Furst (McPherson) (’91) edited
Alice M. (Donohoe) Roberts (’96) is
taught a “Dance in Community” tute for Theatre Technology’s Kat Wisener (’04) appeared as a back- an ensemble member understudying the the Director of Education/Communi- the Park by direc- the documentary feature film, One Side
to dance majors. Choreographers Annual Conference & Stage ground actor in the season premiere roles of Roger and Sonny. The revival cation Programs at The Orpheum The- tor David Auburn Right, The Romance of Flying, screened
included Bartnik, Casey Blake Expo was held March 14–17. of NBC’s Law & Order in September will open in August. He joined the first ater in Memphis, Tenn. (Proof ). In Janu- in high definition in December at the
and the Columbia Pictures feature film national Broadway tour of Sweet Charity ary, Maguire was cast in the Kate Van Nuys Airport Syncro Hanger in
(’02), Beth Bradford (’02), Emily Becher-McKeever, Jen- in October. Quillon was in the ensemble, Shannon Hummel (’96)/Cora Dance Robin play Anon, which opened at The California.
Spiderman 3, which opens May 2007. premiered a work commissioned by The
Hart, Mullins and Kendall Bal- ner Brunk, Richard Finkelstein, the Quartet and understudied the role of Atlantic Theatre Company in February.
Wisener played Gabrielle in the ballet University of Maryland/College Park’s In March, Karin McKie (’86) under-
timore Neeley (’97). Charlie T. Lawlor and six stu- Herman. The tour, which lasts through Maguire is also producing the 35 mm studied the role of Lady Montague in
dance program and performed at Rhode
The Kennedy Center American dents attended. the New York Musical Theatre Festival, May, will play Baltimore in mid April. short film Peach Farm.
Island College’s Sapinsley Hall in the
College Theatre Festival Region II The Bridge Theatre Company’s pro- Quillon is a member of the Actors’ Equity
John Nazarian Center for the Perform- Tracey Lee (’93) appeared in NBC’s
was held in New Paltz, N.Y., Jan. JMU community mourns duction of Making Marilyn, an adapta- Association.
ing Arts on Dec. 1. Cora Dance will Law & Order: Criminal Intent in late
tion of A Comedy of Errors with Stages
15-19. Brandon Ferraro, Dan- loss of former college on the Sound, and both Conference
Sara Blindauer (’02) played Abigail in present Backroads to Brooklyn on March November. In January and February,
two episodes of ABC’s General Hospital Lee appeared in the InterAct The-
iel Crabtree, Lauren Meyer and dean and talented alum Room A and The Blue Martini (New in early December.
24, at La MaMa Theater in The Bowery,
atre Company’s production of A House
BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and the
Kevin Hasser were Irene Ryan Dr. Richard F. Whitman Jr., York Fringe Festival) with Kids with
Carole Denise Jones (’02) was featured 92nd Street Y. With No Walls at Philadelphia’s Adri-
Acting Competition participants dean emeritus of JMU’s Col- Guns, a New York theatre company
in the title role in Elton John’s Aida at enne Theatre.
Bauder co-founded. Bauder made her Jim Moye (’96) played Cinderella’s
and Neal Kowalsky participated lege of Arts and Letters, died New York stage debut in Last Day with Prince/Wolf in Into The Woods at Sig- In August 2006, after a national search
in directing activities. Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006, at his InTouch Theatre Productions and was nature Theatre in that spanned over seven months and 140
Naava Piatka gave a lecture Harrisonburg residence. He was a member of the ensemble in Theater Arlington, Va., in candidates, Mill Valley, Ca.’s Marin The-
to Roger Hall’s playwriting class a strong advocate for the arts, for the New City’s production of Rue. film All She Wants To Do, and Chloe in January and Feb- atre Company announced the appoint- Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at Chi-
on Jan. 16 and 18, and con- both at the university and in Most recently, Rachel worked as the the psychological thriller Before I Wake, ruary. Moye is ment of Jasson Minadakis (’92) as its cago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater
production stage manager for MUD/ which aired in a November Fox net- playing the title new Artistic Director. For almost four on Navy Pier. She returned to JMU’s
ducted a master class entitled the larger community. Whit- BONE, a Bronx-based Theatre Com- character in a new years and before coming to the San Fran-
work promo. School of Theatre and Dance in Novem-
Rescripting Your Life on Jan. 15. man retired from JMU in 2005, pany, and their production of Stories/ musical version of cisco Bay area, Minadakis served as artis-
Adam Suritz (’03) is pursuing an ber 2006, when she lectured on theatre,
A 24-Hour Theatre Experience but maintained a close associa- Cuentos. Rachel works for the Round- Frank Capra’s Meet tic director of Atlanta’s Actor’s Express writing and public relations to several
M.F.A. in Acting at Brown University/
in Theatre II, directed by Neal tion with the university through about Theatre Company. John Doe at Ford’s Theater in Washing- Theatre Company, classes during two days. Except for in
Kowalsky and coordinated by his fund-raising efforts for the In November, Meredith Holcomb (’05) ton, D.C. Meet John Doe opened March where he planned 1996, when McKie performed and wrote
played the adult Jane at the Barter 16, and runs through April 29. and managed a six- with Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, Hol-
Lash Dooley, was held Feb. 2-3. future Performing Arts Center. show mainstage
Theatre’s production of Jane Eyre in Janice (Muller) Kildea (’94) played Eliz- land, she’s been a working actor in Chi-
JMU Dance Program’s Senior He will be greatly missed by season, a reading
Abingdon, Va. Richard Finkelstein was the Media Theatre in Media, Pa., in abeth Corban in the Morristown, N.J., cago for the last 13 years. In Chicago,
Concert was held Feb. 9–10 in everyone at the School of The- the lighting designer. Holcomb also Bickford Theatre production of Catch Me series, new play she runs her theatre public relations firm,
October. This was the first Philadelphia
Godwin Hall. atre and Dance. played Millie Sykes in Murderer at Bar- If You Can in November and December. development work- Tree Falls Productions. McKie will play
professional production of this Tony
This year’s Washington, D.C. Julia A. Dean (’73, ’79) ter’s Stage II in October. Holcomb has In December 2006, Kildea played Karen shops, main stage Eunice in A Streetcar Named Desire, at
winning musical. Jones has appeared
accepted an invitation to join the Bar- Smith in the Bloomfield, N.J., Twelve corollary programming, education pro- the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre
Choreographer’s Showcase, held died on May 4, 2006. Julia in Soon of a Mornin’ at the New York grams and intern and school classes.
ter’s resident company next season. Musical Theatre Festival and Festival of Miles West Theatre Company produc- in March and April.
at Maryland’s Clarice Smith taught at Doshisha College and Minadakis assumed the role at Actor’s
After workshopping a new musical the Lion King at Walt Disney World. tion of the radio play The Shop Around the Mary MacDonald Kerr (’77) staged her
Performing Arts Center, selected University, Kyoto, Japan, and Corner. This month, Kildea plays one of Express after an eight-year stint as the
based on Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, first full professional production, Mercy
three works that had roots in Salem State College, Salem, Kathryn Elizabeth Lawson (’02), played founding producing artistic director of
Keith Foster (’04) landed an agent. In Diana’s sisters in My Sister Underground of a Storm, at Milwaukee’s Next Act
the wife of the lead character, Hein- Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival. In May
JMU’s Dance Program, includ- Mass. She was a creative, caring Theatre in November and December.
rich Heine, in Jonathan Leaf’s Off-Off and June, Minadakis will direct Marin’s
ing a performance by three Vir- and inspired teacher and per- Trinity Repertory Company in Prov- Broadway hit, The Germans In Paris, at production of The Subject Tonight is Love.
Kerr’s acting credits include the Milwau-
ginia Repertory Dance Com- former whose professional con- idence, R.I, where this spring he will kee Chamber The-
the Verse Theater in Manhattan. In September, before leaving Atlanta,
appear in Friedrich Durrenmatt’s The atre (Beast on the
pany dancers who performed Ed tributions focused on sharing Minadakis staged The Pillowman.
Visit, and Tony Kushner’s Angels in Moon), Next Act
Tyler’s I am Not My Little Black American language and culture America: Perestroika. Marni Penning (’92) played a social Theatre, Renais-
Dress. Also selected were Shane with international students. Ms. worker on CBS’ Guiding Light in early sance Theater-
Alana O’Brien (’03) appeared as
O’Hara’s quintet, A Day in the Dean drew upon the arts of the- Gamine Cartell in the Cast A Stone epi-
December. Carol’s Christmas, Penning’s works, Milwaukee
Life of My Brain, performed by atre, dance and mime to engage first full-length play, had private read- Shakespeare and
sode of The Cartells at NYC’s Comix in
ings in New York and Pittsburgh in three runs of Shear
University of Maryland danc- and enrich her students. November.
early 2006, and was subsequently read Madness.
Theatre and dance performance photos provided
by Richard Finkelstein (except where noted).
S T D thanks these donors,
JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance
whose gifts during the past year have helped educate our talented students
and mount productions that benefit students and delight the community.
IN DECEMBER, Kate Arecchi held Ballet Competition, Richard Finkel- pany in Concert. Johnson will direct Lee University in March and will Dr. William J. Allen Mr. J. Burns Earle III Ms. Kathryn K. Litten Mrs. Bethany C. Plummer
a “Musical Theatre Revue” of songs stein’s photos were published world- All My Sons April 17-21, leading a stu- perform with Shannon Hummel/ Mrs. Charlene R. Alvey Mr. Charles Edwin Estes Mr. William C. Loomis III Ms. Sonia Purkey
Mrs. Cathy G. Anderson Mrs. Susan E. Estes Dr. Maribeth P. Loynes Ms. Hedy L. Reese
and scenes from A, My Name is Alice. wide in multiple issues of The New dent design team. CORA Dance in New York this
Drs. Kathleen G. and Thomas H. Arthur Ms. Jayne T. Flowers Mrs. Barbara C. Maclam Dr. Phillip M. Renick
Andi Arndt is spending this semester York Times, Dance Magazine and Suzanne Miller-Corso choreo- June. Thompson will also attend the Dr. Christopher A. Ashton Dr. Frank W. Gearing Ms. Hildegarde Marvel Dr. Helen M. Rose
in Belgium with JMU’s Semester in Dance Spirit Magazine. As a designer, graphed a jazz piece for the Vir- national board meeting of the Amer- Ms. Susan K. Bartee Dr. Jason K. Gentry Dr. Henry F. Mason Mrs. Cindy M. Sabato
Antwerp program. he created scenery for a premiere of a ginia Repertory Dance Company in ican College Dance Festival Asso- Dr. Barry M. Berger Mr. Steven Grande Mr. Robert B. Mathews Mr. and Mrs. Stanley K. Schelhorn
new adaptation of Jane Eyre at The Concert and directed the Associate ciation and the International Ballet Dr. Herbert E. Bing Mrs. Lynn S. Hampton Ms. Carol I. Mathews Dr. David F. Scudder
Emily Becher-McKeever designed Mrs. Judith H. Blonski Mrs. Gail Hanger Ms. Lynne O. McClaugherty Dr. W. Craig Sease
Barter Theatre; and in New York, Ensemble, setting a modern piece on Corps conference in Michigan.
lights for the Nutcracker/Sleeping Dr. Michael J. Botticelli Ms. Betty J. Harding Mrs. Sharon S. Mercke Mr. William T. Shuler
he designed a one-woman show by 10 dancers. Miller-Corso also choreo- In February, Kate Trammell adju- Mrs. Joan S. Bradford Ms. Daryl V. Harrison-Carson Dr. Earlynn J. Miller Dr. M. Catherine Slusher
Beauty for Ballet Appalachia, the
South African actress, Naava Piatka. graphed Thoroughly Modern Millie. dicated for the West Virginia Dance Mr. and Mrs. William J. Buck Ms. Shirley Hasdin Mr. Nathan H. Miller Mrs. Caroline B. Smith
10th anniversary retrospective for
The show is being groomed for a pos- Shane O’Hara’s quintet, A Day in Festival in Charleston and will Dr. Leslie S. Burt Dr. and Mrs. Charles H. Henderson III Mr. and Mrs. Bob Milner Dr. Susan B. Smith
Jane Franklin Dance, the re-opening Dr. Dane Byers Mr. T.P. Hern Jr. Ms. Kelly J. Moran Mrs. Steven J. Spart
sible Off-Broadway run. Finkelstein the Life of My Brain, was performed return in April to teach. Also in
of the National Portrait Gallery for Carilion Ms. Theresa H. Hobson Dr. Marcus Morra Mrs. Cynthia R. Thompson
is also working on the world premiere by University of Maryland Dancers the spring, Trammell will do cho-
the Smithsonian, the world premiere Ms. Anne J. Cline Ms. Susan Hopp Ms. Shari Moxley Mr. and Mrs. Tommy W. Thompson
of a new play from the cannon of in early December at The University reographic feedback for the Tril- Mr. and Mrs. David A. Collins Dr. and Mrs. Alden L. Hostetter Dr. and Mrs. Danny Alan Neal Dr. Jon R. Tomei
of Under There for Nashville Under-
Dame Agatha Christie. The produc- of Maryland/College Park. O’Hara lium Performing Arts Collective in Dr. F. Edward Comer Mrs. Peggy Huffman Dr. Louis E. Nelsen III Mr. Matthew K. Tureck
ground Theatre Company, The Sound
tion was commissioned directly from set five choreographic works during Lewisburg, W. Va. In the sum- Mr. Thomas M. Culligan Sr. Ms. Shannon L. Hummel Drs. Zack T. and Judith S. Perdue Dr. Craig A. Westwood
of Music for WVT, and Chausson’s Le Mrs Diana W. Dean Mrs. Dawn F. Kern Dr. and Mrs. Jose R. Perez Mrs. Eliot D. Westwood
the Christie Estate in London. his leave this fall including pieces at mer, she will join the faculty for the
Roi Arthus for Opera Paris Nationale. Dr. Marcia S. DeFreese Mrs. Virginia R. Kisner Dr. Allan L. Pettie Dr. and Mrs. Richard F. Whitman
Roger Hall directed The Laramie the University of Maryland; Univer- White Mountain Summer Dance Dr. John P. Delisio Ms. Margot Haliday Knight Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Mo Philon Dr. and Mrs. C. L. Whitten
In addition to coordinating the Project in November. This spring, he sity of Florida; Florida Community Festival, a three-week intensive in Ms. Sherry L. Driver Mrs. Elizabeth Pranis Kurr Mrs. Alana Mahdali Pilcher
departmental planning for the Cen- will travel for the Kennedy Center College, Jacksonville; Shenandoah Springfield, Mass., teaching anat- Mrs. Doreen M. Dvorscak Mr. and Mrs. Leon J. Leonidoff Mrs. Cephe F. Place
ter for the Performing Arts, William American College Theatre Festival Contemporary Dance Theatre; and omy for the dancer, pre-technique
J. Buck is on the search committee for attending KCACTF regional confer- for Heather M. Lundy (‘94). Perfor- conditioning, and Bartinieff Move- ✁
P support the performing arts at JMU
the new dean for the College of Visual ences in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Ameri- mances for 2007 will include a resi- ment Fundamentals. Trammell
and Performing Arts. Buck is also cus, Ga., and Cedar City, Utah. At dency at Wichita State University and received a JMU summer research
producing and directing Lilly’s Pur-
ple Plastic Purse to be presented by the
two of these conferences, he’ll pres-
ent playwriting workshops. Hall will
a performance at the Centre National
de la Danse in Paris.
grant to study Infant Developmen-
tal Movement Education through
Please by completing this form and mailing your gift or by calling (800) 296–6162 to charge your gift.
JMU Children’s Playshop at Harri- also organize 10-minute and short Cynthia Thompson performed the School for Body Mind Center-
sonburg’s Court Square Theatre from play presentations at the KCACTF with Shannon Hummel (’96)/ ing in Amherst, Mass., and will also Full Name(s): _______________________________________ Please make checks payable to the JMU Foundation (specify
March 30 – April 1.
Dennis Beck’s article “Theatre: The
national festival in Washington,
D.C., in April.
Cora Dance at Rhode Island Col-
lege on Dec. 1, sharing the stage
conduct movement sessions in two
orphanages in China, where she and
area). Gifts to the JMU Foundation are tax deductible.
Please charge my full gift of $ _________________________
backSTAGE is the official newsletter ❑ Parents ❑ Alumnus/na, Class of ___________________________
Message of the Medium in a Medi- Pam Johnson designed costumes for with Donna Costello (’06) and Kelly Shane O’Hara will visit the Weihei
of the James Madison University School Please charge my gift to my:
atized World” was published in To The Sweetest Swing in Baseball and for Bartnik (’01). Thompson performed branch of the renowned Shandong of Theatre and Dance within the College ❑ Friend ❑ JMU faculty or staff member
Teach / To Study Theatre at University: the Virginia Repertory Dance Com- her solo Bathtub at Washington and University to teach master classes. of Visual and Performing Arts. ❑ American Express ❑ VISA
What For? by Les Presses Collégiales Call (540) 568–7836 to get on the back- ❑ Discover ❑ MasterCard
du Québec. The winter/spring (2007) STAGE mailing list. City: __________________________________________
For James Madison Account number:_________________________________
issue of the newsletter for the Ameri- University’s Centennial Interim Dean: Dr. Marilou Johnson State: ____________________________ZIP: __________
can Society for Theatre Research, for Director: William J. Buck Expiration date: _____________________________________
Celebration, professor Telephone: home (______) _________________________
which he serves as editor, was made Pam Johnson helped Editor: Elizabeth A. Simmons Signature: _____________________________________________
available online at www.astr.org in James Madison University does not dis- Telephone: work (______) __________________________
create an exhibition ❑ My employer has a matching gift program.
February. He has enlarged the publi- criminate on the basis of race, color, E-mail:_________________________________________
of vintage clothing
national origin, religion, gender, age, ❑ I have enclosed the company form.
cation with this issue to include a sec- from 1909 through Use my gift in this area:
veteran status, political affiliation, sexual
tion of reflections and discussion of 1920, the period of the orientation or disability (in compliance Company name: ________________________________________________________
issues raised during the national con- ❑ School of Theatre and Dance (No. 14837)
administration of the with the Americans with Disabilities Act)
_ _ _ _ _ _ ___________________________________________________________________
ference held in November. He con- school’s first president with respect to employment or admis- ❑ Theatre Program (No. 14829)
tinued work on his book, Stages of sions, or in connection with its programs Mail your gift to:
Julius Burruss. The ❑ Dance Program (No. 14327)
or activities. Inquiries or requests for rea- Advancement Gifts and Records
(R)evolution: Czech Alternative The- exhibition on display at sonable accommodation may be directed ❑ JMU’s Children’s Playshop (No. 14304) James Madison University
atre, 1968-1989, and won a College Carrier Library includes to the activity coordinator, the appro- MSC 2603, Harrisonburg, VA 22807
of Visual and Performing Arts sum- School of Theatre and priate university office, or the Office of Giving Levels:
Thank you for thinking of the School of Theatre
mer grant to conduct research in the Dance costumes, JMU Affirmative Action, MSC 5802, JMU, Enclosed is my gift of: ❑ $50 ❑ $100 ❑ $250
Harrisonburg, VA 22807, (540) 568- and Dance. Visit the School of Theatre and
Czech Republic this June and July. Special Collections ❑ $500 ❑ $ other Dance at http://www.jmu.edu/theatre and
6991 or (540) 568-6991 TDD, fax (540)
After working as the official pho- artifacts and Madison 568-7992. JMU 2001 http://www.jmu.edu/dance
tographer for the USA International www.jmu.edu/BeTheChange/ Art Collection pieces.
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
School of Permit No. 4
The atr e a nd Da nce
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Upcoming productions at the School of Theatre and Dance
Main stage productions (Latimer-Shaeffer Theatre in Duke Hall) Experimental Theatre Student dance concert
productions (Theatre II (Godwin Hall dance studio)
DANCE SERIES THEATRE SERIES
Contemporary Dance Ensemble All My Sons by Arthur Miller on S. Main St., beside FedEx/ JMU Dance Program’s spring stu-
March 22–24, 2007; 8 p.m. April 17–21, 2007; 8 p.m. Kinko’s) All productions are dent concert will be held April 12–
A showcase of new work by JMU Written in 1947, and inspired by intended for mature audiences 14, 2007. Tickets are $6 general
dance students and professors along a true story, Arthur Miller’s All The Goat, or Who is Sylvia admission and $3 for JACard hold-
with guest choreographer Donald My Sons received the New York by Edward Albee
ers. Call (540) 568-6511 for infor-
March 13–17, 2007; 8 p.m.
J. Laney, co-artistic director of the Drama Critic’s Circle Award and a March 18, additional matinee; 2 p.m. mation. Visit the School of Theatre
West Virginia Dance Company. Tony Award for Best Play when Elia Tickets go on sale on March 12 and Dance online at http://www.
JMU music professor, resident com- Kazan directed it on Broadway. For jmu.edu/theatre/ or http://www.
poser and music festival co-chair, its direct address of wartime ethics, See What I Wanna See words
and music by John LaChiusa
Dr. John Hilliard, collaborates on American ideals and conscience, it April 3–7, 2007; 8 p.m.
two pieces with dance professors contributed to Miller’s subpoena to April 7, additional matinee; 2 p.m.
Cynthia Thompson and Shane testify before the House Committee Tickets go on sale on April 2
O’Hara. Thompson performs to on Un-American Activities.
Prometheus by Aeschylus
Hilliard’s Mozart Rounded-Off — April 24–28, 2007; 8 p.m.
Tickets for main stage productions
his completion of Mozart's unfin- are $8 for general admission and $6 April 27, additional midnight show
ished composition fragment for for children under 12, senior citi- Tickets go on sale on April 23
cello and piano, commissioned by zens and JACard holders. Call JMU’s
Masterpiece Season box office at Tickets for Experimental Theatre
the 2004 Mozart in Augsburg Festi- (540) 568–7000 or (877) 201–7543 productions are available at Theatre
val, the world’s oldest Mozart music (toll free) for advance tickets and II from 4–7 p.m. on Monday before
festival. O’Hara performs a Mozart ticket information. The box office a production opens and at the door
in Harrison Hall, Room 1107, is two hours before curtain.
inspired composition piece — Mosa- open from noon to 4 p.m., Monday
ics on Mozart. through Friday.