Meadows Theatre showcases Brecht’s <em>St. Joan of the Stockyards</em> Feb. 24-28, 2016

Blake Hackler

Meadows Theatre showcases Brecht’s St. Joan of the Stockyards Feb. 24-28, 2016

This article was originally published Feb. 17, 2016.

St Joan 6

Photo by Kim Leeson

For its first play of 2016, Meadows Theatre will perform Bertolt Brecht’s St. Joan of the Stockyards. The play will run from Feb. 24-28 in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for SMU staff, faculty and students.

> Buy tickets online for the Meadows Theatre production of St. Joan of the Stockyards

The play features an innocent heroine, Joan Dark, who battles Pierpont Mauler, the owner of a meat-packing plant. This engaging and slightly dark drama is laced with humor as the story grapples with the theme of freedom from material exploitation. Throughout the play, individuals seek justice in a society driven by profits.

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Photo by Kim Leeson

This reworking of the martyrdom of Joan of Arc has been described by The New York Times as “…a good workout for the sense and soul.”

Meadows School of the Arts Assistant Professor Blake Hackler is directing. In Dallas, he is a company member at the Undermain Theatre and has also appeared with the Trinity Shakespeare Festival and Dallas Theatre Center. Currently, he is the acting coach for Lisa Lampanelli, who is working on a one-woman show.

For more information, call 214-768-2787.

February 24, 2016|Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News|

Theatre Professor Blake Hackler receives Fulbright Scholars Grant

Blake Hackler, assistant professor of theatre in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholars Grant to conduct teaching and research in Bulgaria.

Hackler will be in residence at New Bulgarian University in Sofia from January through June 2015, where he will teach and direct theatre, focusing on physical acting techniques. He will also observe and work with the Sfumato Theatre Laboratory, an internationally recognized theatre based in Sofia that produces highly physical interpretations of classic plays.

“My research and performance interests explore the ongoing disembodiment of the ‘actor-in-training’ as a result of deepening reliance on technology,” said Hackler. “Eastern Bloc theatre-makers, both pre- and post-Glasnost, have constantly pushed the boundaries of what the physical body can and should be capable of representing. It will be invaluable to spend time training and observing both the students and actors of Bulgaria and learning from them.”

Hackler joined the Meadows School faculty in fall 2011 and teaches four courses, including acting for both sophomores and first-year graduate students; theatre games and improvisation for graduate students; and “Acting in Song” for students pursuing the new minor in musical theatre. He also holds a teaching appointment at Yale University.

As an actor, Hackler has appeared in productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theatres throughout the country, working with such acclaimed directors as Michael Mayer, Scott Ellis, Alex Timbers and Mike Alfreds. In New York, he worked with theatres including Playwrights Horizons, York Theatre, The Ohio, and Roundabout, as well as creating the role of Moritz Stiefel in the original New York workshop of the Tony-award winning musical Spring Awakening.

In Dallas, he is a company member at the nationally recognized Undermain Theatre, and has also appeared at the Trinity Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Second Thought Theatre and Theatre Three. Currently, he is the acting coach for comedian Lisa Lampanelli as she prepares her one-woman show, Skinny Bitch, for a Broadway run.

Hackler has taught at Roosevelt University, AMDA, the National Theatre Workshop for the Handicapped, and through the Kennedy Center as an Artist-in-Residence.  He also has studied with the SITI Company and its artistic director Anne Bogart and is a member of AEA and AFTRA. He received his M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.

> Read the full story from SMU News

March 24, 2014|For the Record, News, Year of the Faculty|

Ten SMU professors receive 2013-14 Sam Taylor Fellowships

Ten SMU faculty members have received 2013-14 Sam Taylor Fellowships from the Sam Taylor Fellowship Fund of the Division of Higher Education, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The Fellowships, funded by income from a portion of Taylor’s estate, award up to $2,000 for full-time faculty members at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas. Any full-time faculty member is eligible to apply for the Fellowships, which support research “advancing the intellectual, social or religious life of Texas and the nation.”

Applications are evaluated on the significance of the project, clarity of the proposal, professional development of the applicant, value of the project to the community or nation, and the project’s sensitivity to value questions confronting higher education and society.

The winning professors for this academic year, and their projects:

• Tim Cassedy, English, Dedman College, for research at the Library of Congress for his book Language Makes the Difference, a history of ideas about language and identity at the turn of the 19th century.

• Michael Chmielewski, Psychology, Dedman College, to study the appropriateness of commonly used psychological tests and measures for diverse populations.

• Michael Corris, Art, Meadows School of the Arts, for interviews and illustration reproductions for his book The Armchair in the Studio: The Engagement of Art and Philosophy Since the 1960s.

• Benard Cummings, Theatre, Meadows School of the Arts, for a theatre adaptation of Babette’s Feast set during the Civil War.

• Kate Engel, Religious Studies, Dedman College, for archival research in Great Britain and Germany on international Protestantism at the time of the American Revolution.

• Blake Hackler, Theatre, Meadows School of the Arts, to take part in advanced training with the SITI Theatre ensemble and conduct research on embodied actor training methodologies.

• Andrea Meltzer, Psychology, Dedman College,  for a study of newlywed couples and weight-maintenance motivations.

• Lisa Pon, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, to support reproduction of images for her upcoming book on the Madonna of the Fire.

• Candace Walkington, Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, to build a website containing mathematics problems that are personalized to middle and high school students’ interests.

• Eric White, Special Collections, Bridwell Library, to complete the first comprehensive documentary history of every surviving copy of the Gutenberg Bible, encompassing their discovery, changing ownership and rise in cultural significance.

November 7, 2013|For the Record, News, Research|

Meadows Theatre opens season with hymn to This Beautiful City

Meadows School of the Arts opens its 2012-13 theatre season with a play produced from interviews that explore issues leading up to, and after, the 2006 election, with a particular focus on faith and the evangelical movement.

This Beautiful City will run Sept. 26-30 in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Colorado Springs is known as the “unofficial” capital of the evangelical movement. The Civilians, the play’s original writers and performers, spent more than 10 weeks researching and interviewing there before creating their work. It was first performed in spring 2008 and went on to receive Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Drama Guild nominations.

The New York Times describes the play as “an engaging, inquisitive and moving piece of theatre.” The play is unique in that it’s not written in narrative form but instead highlights dozens of thoughts and opinions with a musical twist.

The Meadows troupe will perform the work under the direction of Blake Hackler, an assistant professor in the Division of Theatre.

Students, faculty and staff can purchase event tickets for $7. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Find a full cast below the jump. (Video courtesy of SMU Meadows School of the Arts; photo by Linda Blase.)

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September 26, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|
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