Division of Theatre

Meadows Theatre presents Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead through March 4, 2018

Rehearsal photo, 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead' Meadows Theatre, SMU

Meadows Theatre has set the stage for Tom Stoppard’s award-winning play inspired by the final scene of Hamlet – and told from the point of view of the two luckless characters who meet their fates offstage.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Kara-Lynn Vaeni, runs Wednesday-Sunday, Feb. 28-March 4, 2018 in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $8 each for SMU students, faculty and staff.

> Buy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead tickets online at Vendini

Described by The Guardian’s Michael Billington as “an astonishing balance between cross-talk comedy and poignant awareness of mortality,” Stoppard’s work focuses on Hamlet from the perspective of the title character’s childhood friends, who have been charged with spying on the prince by his uncle, King Claudius. Hamlet, Ophelia and other Shakespearean characters swirl in and out of the action as the increasingly bewildered courtiers proceed inexorably toward their doom.

First staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1966, Stoppard’s absurdist tragicomedy won four 1968 Tony Awards, including Best Play. It received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best play in 1968 and was named Outstanding Production by the Outer Critics’ Circle in 1969. Stoppard himself adapted and directed a film version in 1990, starring Gary Oldman and Tim Roth.

The show has a two-hour running time, with a 10-minute intermission at the end of Act I. Please remember that photography and recording of any kind are expressly forbidden at all Meadows School of the Arts performances.

> Visit the Meadows Division of Theatre online

Enjoy this gallery of photos by Kim Leeson from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead rehearsal. camera, slide show icon

Meadows Theatre presents New Visions, New Voices festival of student playwriting March 29-April 2, 2017

New Visions, New Voices 2017 table read

SMU theatre students in rehearsal for New Visions, New Voices 2017. The festival of student playwriting features full-length works by graduating seniors in Meadows School of the Arts.

SMU theatre students put their best work forward during the Meadows School of the Arts’ 23rd annual New Visions, New Voices playwriting festival. Performances will take place March 29-April 2, 2017 in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Produced by Associate Professor and Head of Theatre Studies Gretchen Smith, the festival features graduating theatre students each presenting a staged reading of one of their full-length plays .

Featured works and their showtimes include:

  • Black and White by Reece Graham, Wednesday, March 29, 8 p.m.
  • Nihilistsmas by Alec Petsche, Thursday, March 30, 8 p.m.
  • Bodies by Joanna Coogan, Friday, March 31, 8 p.m.
  • Bathtub Love by Marcus Pinon, Saturday, April 1, 2 p.m.
  • Casserole by Hunter McConnell, Saturday, April 1, 8 p.m.
  • Perambulatory: Preambleastory by Haley Nelson, Sunday, April 2, 2 p.m.

All performances are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Meadows Box Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

> Follow the action on social media with the #NVNV2017 hashtag

Theatre Artist-in-Residence Will Power receives 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award

Will PowerWill Power, Artist-in-Residence in Theatre, SMU, theatre artist-in-residence in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, is one of 21 national performing artists announced as recipients of the fifth annual Doris Duke Artist Awards, presented by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF).

Appointed in recognition of their creative vitality and ongoing contributions to the fields of dance, jazz and theater, awardees will each receive $275,000 in flexible, multi-year funding as well as financial and legal counseling, professional development activities and peer-to-peer learning opportunities provided by Creative Capital, DDCF’s primary partner in the awards.

Other recipients include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, choreographer and MacArthur Fellowship awardee Mark Morris and Pulitzer Prize-winning musician Henry Threadgill.

Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, said, “The foundation is pleased to support this new class of Doris Duke Artists. The composers, musicians, theater artists, choreographers and playwrights who comprise this cohort are visionaries who have already made important contributions to their respective fields. We hope these awards enhance their capacities for exploration and experimentation, in keeping with Doris Duke’s adventurous spirit. DDCF looks forward to their continued creativity, as their work is not only important to the creative sector, but vital to the vibrancy of our society, as well.”

Power is an award-winning playwright and performer who combines classic folklore with modern elements. His recent musical Stagger Lee (2015) spanned the 20th century, tracing mythical characters in their quest to achieve the American Dream. Its deep-seated themes of racism and power were translated through Joplin-inspired tunes, R&B and hip-hop.

His other plays include Fetch Clay, Make Man, which enjoyed a successful run Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop; Steel Hammer with SITI Company (Humana Festival); The Seven (winner of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, New York Theatre Workshop, La Jolla Playhouse); Five Fingers of Funk! (Children’s Theatre Company); Honey Bo and The Goldmine (La Jolla Playhouse); and two acclaimed solo shows, The Gathering and Flow, which toured over 70 cities in the U.S., Europe and Australia.

Power’s other awards include a United States Artist Prudential Fellowship, the TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival and the Trailblazer Award from The National Black Theater Network.

“I am thrilled and honored to receive a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award,” said Power. “As an artist, the road is often unpredictable and nothing is guaranteed. I have tried to the best of my ability to travel this road and create stories the best I can. When you live life as an artist, you try to sustain your faith in what you’re doing, and you pray that you will also be able to adequately take care of your family. This award allows me to do just that – it is a public acknowledgment of what I am trying to say while giving me some long-term support to provide and care for those I love. I am forever grateful to receive this award from the Doris Duke Foundation.”

Power won the Meadows School of the Arts’ Meadows Prize in 2011, an international arts residency launched in fall 2009. During his residency at SMU, Power worked with Meadows student actors and designers to create a new theatre work, Alice Underground, a modern spin on the tale of Alice in Wonderland. His work in Dallas as winner of the Meadows Prize was a partnership between the Meadows School and the Dallas Theater Center.

Power was subsequently named an artist-in-residence at the Meadows School and is also the Andrew W. Mellon Playwright in Residence with the Dallas Theater Center, a position awarded through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and HowlRound. Stagger Lee, which was produced and premiered by the Dallas Theater Center in 2015, was partially developed in workshops in collaboration with the Meadows School as a part of Powers’ Meadows Prize residency.

He also conceived and directed The Shakespeare Project at SMU in 2013, which fused the rhythms of Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter with the contemporary beats of hip-hop, and used that rhythm to explore key Shakespearean characters. The Shakespeare Project was an extension of a work Power created for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the London Olympics in 2012, a hip-hop version of Caliban’s speech from The Tempest.

His film and television appearances include The Colbert Report (Comedy Central), and Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason (PBS).

Power was a guest of the U.S. State Department on five separate occasions, traveling to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. On these trips and others, he taught community workshops in shantytowns, worked with poets in former regimes of the Soviet Union and lectured at various libraries, grammar schools and colleges.

Currently, he is working on Wade in the Water, which he describes as a “Nuvo-Gospel Musical,” or a work that brings a more contemporary viewpoint to a traditional Biblical or gospel tale. It is being commissioned and developed at Center Theater Group in Los Angeles.

> Read the full story from SMU Meadows News

Meadows Theatre presents Look Homeward, Angel Dec. 3-7, 2014

LHA 9344The Division of Theatre in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts mounts its final production of 2014 with Look Homeward, Angel, running Wednesday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 5, in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Based on the autobiographical novel by Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel is an acclaimed 1957 adaptation by playwright Ketti Frings. Tracing the coming of age of Eugene Gant, the play is set in the small town of Altamont, North Carolina where Gant’s mother runs The Dixieland Boarding House.

The Meadows production is directed by Benard Cummings, professor of theatre in Meadows School of the Arts. Before returning to his alma mater to teach acting, Cummings performed in regional theaters across the country, as well as Off-Broadway and on episodic television. Additionally, Cummings has taught acting at SUNY-Purchase and Stella Adler/NYU, as well as the summer apprentice company at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Tickets for faculty, staff and students are $7 and can be purchased online. For more information, call 214-768-2787. A full cast list can be found below.

Look Homeward, Angel

Dec. 3-5, 2014

Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center, SMU

LHA 9477Crew

  • Director – Benard Cummings
  • Scenic Director – Russell Parkman
  • Costume Designer – Amanda MacArthur (M.F.A. ’16)
  • Lighting Designer – Janet Berka (M.F.A. ’15)
  • Sound Designer – Jason Biggs
  • Vocal Coach – Anne Shilling
  • Movement Coach – Sara Romersberger
  • Music Compositions – Derrick Horne (MFA M.M. Composition, ’16)
  • Music Advisor – Pamela E. Pagels (Music Librarian, SMU Central University Libraries)
  • Stage Manager – Alejandra Flores (B.F.A. ’16)

Cast

  • Eliza Gant – Tiana Johnson (M.F.A. ’16)
  • LHA 9215W.O. Gant – Timothy Paul Brown (M.F.A. ’16)
  • Ben Gant – Kamen Casey (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Eugene Gant – Robert George (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Helen Gant Barton – Caitlin Galloway (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Hugh Barton – Jesse Karmazin (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Luke Grant – Nick Miller (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Laura James – Dagny Sanson (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Will Pentland – George Colligan (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Dr. Maguire – Taylor Harris (M.F.A. ’16)
  • Mrs. Marie Pert – Jenna Richanne (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Jake Clatt – Blake Rhett Murray (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Mrs. Clatt – Kathleen Bennett (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Madam Elizabeth – Andrea Flowers (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Miss Florry Mangle – Katy Tye (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Mrs. Snowden – Madeleine Boudreaux (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Mr. Farrell – Ian Hill (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Miss Brown – Joanna Coogan (B.F.A. ’17)
  • Tarkinton – Matthew Talton (B.F.A. ’16)