events

SMU Guildhall, eGency Global announce OP Live Dallas, a major esports event scheduled for Sept. 22-23, 2018

ESL Pro League CSGO tournament

Crowds gather for an ESL Pro League tournament. A December 2017 event in Odense, Denmark, drew more than 5,000 in-person attendees and 388,000 concurrent online viewers.

SMU Guildhall, the top ranked graduate school for video game design in the world, has entered a collaboration with an industry leader in esports to launch a major new event. OP Live Dallas will feature high-level professional competition, a 16-team collegiate tournament, a hackathon for high-schoolers, and a showcase for the work of Guildhall master’s degree candidates in interactive technology.

The Guildhall is collaborating with eGency Global, one of North America’s most experienced esports production, marketing and talent management firms, to produce OP Live Dallas.

OP Live Dallas logo“We are excited to be part of this collaborative effort with eGency Global,” said Mark Nausha, deputy director of GameLab at SMU Guildhall. “OP Live will be interactive, immersive, and unique from typical esports events. We look forward to bringing this awesome fan experience to the Dallas area.”

OP Live Dallas will run September 22-23, 2018 on the 50,000-sq.-ft. main floor of the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas.

> Cheryl Hall, The Dallas Morning News: Two companies bridge the esports marketing gap

Through their collaboration, eGency Global and SMU Guildhall will offer esports fans a unique and more robust experience than traditional esports events, the collaborators say. Beyond the interactive and engaging experience, OP Live Dallas will also showcase the multitude of career opportunities available to video game and esports devotees. SMU Guildhall alumni work for the biggest names in the video gaming industry, as well as in gamification sectors in a multitude of other industries like tech, education, business and medical.

“The session for parents will shine a light on career and education opportunities for youth in the video gaming, cybersecurity and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, as well as the many upsides of the gaming community. The community is known for its supportive nature and lasting friendships,” says Chris Stone, CEO of eGency Global.

The two-day OP Live Dallas schedule will include non-stop competition and activities, opportunities to meet popular pro players, cosplayers, and more. Highlights include:

  • Competitions for 16 collegiate teams and 4 pro esports teams, with prizes to be awarded.
  • Showcases featuring never-before-seen games created by SMU students and alumni.
  • Mini TED-like talks with industry experts.
  • Interactive and personalized experiences.
  • Cosplay and game art gallery.
  • High School Hackathon, where students compete to identify, defend and terminate cybersecurity threats in a fictional small business.
  • Fundraising to benefit Children’s Medical Center Dallas through Extra Life, a division of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The entire event was designed with esports and gaming fans in mind. “In the past year, we’ve spoken with dozens of fans who regularly attend esports and gaming events. We wanted to find out what they love most about the events and where improvements could be made. This insight was invaluable when we were planning OP Live Dallas,” said Stephanie Chavez, eGency Global director of marketing.

The collaborators estimate attendance of approximately 7,000 for the two-day event. Numerous sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities are available to organizations looking to reach fans in the burgeoning esports space.

> Visit the OP Live Dallas homepage at oplivedallas.com

SMU Meadows Spring Dance Concert honors Danny Buraczeski through April 8, 2018

In the City by Danny Buraczeski, SMU Meadows Spring Dance Concert 2018

In the City by Danny Buraczeski, part of a seven-work tribute to the retiring SMU professor in the Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert. All photos: Paul Phillips

The SMU Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert honors retiring jazz dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski with a retrospective of seven of his works. The concert will be presented in two alternating programs, April 4-8, 2018, in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Featured will be dances created over the past 30 years for professional companies and for SMU students, ranging from 1989’s Merry Go Round to In the City, which premiered in 2013 at SMU’s “Meadows at the Winspear” concert. Performers will include current students; alumni Albert Drake and Adrián Aguirre; and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis, long-time collaborators of Buraczeski’s who performed his critically acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheel in 2016 in Cuba.

> SMU Forum: Spring Dance Concert to honor retiring SMU dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski

The concert programs include the following works, to be performed on the days listed:

Program A, to be performed April 4, 5 and 7, opens with In the City (2013), based on “Three Dance Episodes” from the popular Leonard Bernstein musical On the Town. Inspired by the urban rhythms and textures of Bernstein’s music, the work features 15 dancers celebrating youth, optimism and the vibrant new energy that the Dallas Arts District has brought to the city.

It’s followed by Scene Unseen (1998), set to music by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, featuring a duet with alumni Albert Drake, a founding member of Bruce Wood Dance Project, and Adrián Aguirre, a current member of the company.

Song Awakened (2001) follows, a work set to the songs of the late Cesária Évora, a noted singer of Creole-Portuguese soul music. The work, which debuted to critical acclaim at New York’s Joyce Theater, will be performed by eight Zenon Dance Company members.

The next piece, Points on a Curve (1998), is danced to music by Ornette Coleman; The New York Times said the low-key choreography evoked the music “in often witty and thought-provoking ways.”

Program A concludes with Swing Concerto (1994), an athletic and ebullient exploration of the relationship between two musical traditions: European klezmer music and the American swing of Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. The piece synthesizes the grounded qualities of folk dance with the exuberance of swing era movement. The Times wrote, “Swing Concerto is Mr. Buraczeski’s choreography at its most inventive, perceptive best.”

Program B, to be performed April 6 and 8, opens with the aforementioned In the City, followed by Merry Go Round (1989), set to music by Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band and featuring Zenon company dancers Scott Mettille and Sarah Steichen Stiles.

Next is Points on a Curve (noted above).

The final work in Program B will vary. On April 6, it will be Ezekiel’s Wheel (1999), a piece for eight dancers that was inspired by the life and work of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin. The work, exploring the themes of recognition, responsibility and redemption, will be performed by Zenon Dance Company. Commissioned when Buraczeski was artistic director of the acclaimed Minneapolis-based JAZZDANCE, Ezekiel’s Wheel was praised by The Times as “a balm for the soul in troubled times.”

On April 8, the concert program will conclude with the aforementioned Swing Concerto.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff. Buy your tickets online or contact the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Buy Meadows Spring Dance Concert tickets online at Vendini

Enjoy a gallery of can’t-miss photos from Swing Concerto, Points On a Curve and In the City, all by Paul Phillips.

Save the date: Spring Dance Concert to honor retiring SMU dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski April 4-8, 2018

Danny BuraczeskiThe SMU Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert will honor award-winning jazz dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski, who retires in May after 13 years of teaching at SMU, with a retrospective of seven of his works.

Featured will be dances created over the past 30 years for professional companies and for SMU students, ranging from 1989’s Merry Go Round to In the City, which premiered in 2013 at SMU’s “Meadows at the Winspear” concert. Performers will include current students; alumni Albert Drake and Adrián Aguirre; and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis, long-time collaborators of Buraczeski’s who performed his critically acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheel in 2016 in Cuba.

The concert will be presented in two alternating programs, April 4-8, 2018, in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre. On Tuesday, April 3, the Division of Dance also will host a panel discussion about Buraczeski’s choreography from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Hope Theatre. The panel will include dance artists who worked with Buraczeski in his professional companies and participated in creating some of his seminal works.

“Danny Buraczeski has for years been one of the country’s leading jazz dance choreographers,” said Samuel Holland, Algur H. Meadows Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “His artistry, passion and dedication to jazz music and dance have inspired both students and professional dancers for four decades. We will miss him greatly, but our dance department will continue to perform his exciting and inventive works and carry on his legacy for future generations of SMU dancers.”

“Danny is one of the most prolific and significant voices in the world of jazz dance,” said SMU Dance Chair Patty Delaney. “This retrospective allows us to experience his seminal works live and, through discussion with those who worked with him during their creation, we have the opportunity to fully appreciate the artistic contributions Danny has made to the field of dance. The SMU Dance Division is exceptionally fortunate to have had Danny on our faculty for 13 years.”

Buraczeski joined the SMU faculty in 2005 and rose to the rank of full professor. At SMU he taught classic jazz dance technique, composition and choreography and launched a national, biannual Teaching Jazz Dance Symposium, drawing educators, choreographers and dancers from around the country to SMU. He also served as artistic director for the Dance Division’s Brown Bag Concerts.  He was named Dance Educator of the Year by the Dance Council of North Texas in 2010 and Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2017. He retires as Professor Emeritus of Dance.

> Learn more about Danny Buraczeski and the Spring Dance Concert repertoire from SMU News

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.

St Joan 10

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.

Meadows Theatre main stage season continues with Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls through Oct. 26, 2014

SMU Meadows Theatre production of Caryl Churchill's 'Top Girls,' October 2014, photo by Kim Leeson

SMU Meadows Theatre presents Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, directed by Professor of Theatre Rhonda Blair, through Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Photo credit: Kim Leeson

Meadows Theatre continues its 2014-15 season with a new production of Caryl Churchill’s 1982 reflection on what it means to be a successful woman, declared by arts writer Mark Ravenhill to be “the best play in 20 years.”

Top Girls, directed by Professor of Theatre Rhonda Blair, will run through Sunday, Oct. 26 in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as there will be no late seating.

> Buy tickets to the Meadows Theatre production of Top Girls online

Set in early-1980s Great Britain (and influenced by Margaret Thatcher’s celebration of individualistic achievement), the story focuses on Marlene, the newly promoted managing director of the Top Girls employment agency. A tough career woman who has buried her own empathy in pursuit of success, Marlene habitually exploits other women to get ahead – including her sister Joyce, who is charged with tending to their family responsibilities alone. Through their opposing points of view, Churchill critically examines a model of women’s achievement built on attributes traditionally regarded as “masculine” and questions whether it is possible for women to enjoy success in both career and family life.

The play features a famous opening sequence in which Marlene meets notable women from history and myth, including Pope Joan, Victorian traveler Isabella Bird, 13th-century Japanese courtesan-turned-Buddhist-nun Lady Nijo, Patient Griselda from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and Dull Gret, the harrower of hell from Flemish folklore. The play also explores the commonalities these historical women have with Marlene and her circle.

> Find behind-the-scenes photos from Top Girls at the SMU Meadows Theatre homepage

Calendar Highlights: Back to school in brief, Aug. 22, 2014

Dallas Hall stepsWelcome to the 2014-15 academic year, SMU community! Here are some Fall 2014 dates to remember:

  • Opening Convocation and Common Reading discussion: Sunday, Aug. 24
  • First day of classes: Monday, Aug. 25
  • General Faculty Meeting: 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27
  • Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 1 (University offices closed)
  • First Faculty Senate Meeting of 2014-15: 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3
  • Fall Break: Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 13-14
  • Family Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Oct. 24-25
  • Homecoming Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 14-15
  • Thanksgiving: Thursday-Friday, Nov. 27-28 (University offices closed)
  • Last day of classes: Monday, Dec. 8
  • Final exams: Thursday-Wednesday, Dec. 11-17 (no exams scheduled for Sunday)
  • December Commencement Convocation: Saturday, Dec. 20 (official close of term and date for conferral of degrees)
  • Christmas/Winter Break: Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014-Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 (University offices closed)

Visit the SMU calendar to keep an eye on upcoming events. Learn how to submit your own events at this link.

Service dogs take on new role as artists’ models in weekend workshop at SMU’s Meadows Museum, Saturday, June 21, 2014

John Bramblitt's painting Little Echo depicts his service dog as a puppy.  Bramblitt, who is blind, will teach his adaptive art techniques in a public workshop at SMU's Meadows Museum Saturday, June 21, 2014.

John Bramblitt’s painting Little Echo depicts his service dog as a puppy. Bramblitt, who is blind, will teach his adaptive art techniques in a public workshop at SMU’s Meadows Museum Saturday, June 21, 2014.

When Denton artist John Bramblitt paints a portrait of his service dog, Echo, he uses red, blue and yellow paint to highlight the image of the black Labrador retriever. To Bramblitt, who is blind, color in his paintings represents emotion, and he is quick to say that Echo is his best friend.

Bramblitt lost his sight as a college student due to complications from epilepsy. Now he is an internationally recognized artist and expert on adaptive art techniques for those with disabilities. He will share his process for painting by touch from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, June 21, 2014, in the galleries and studio of SMU’s Meadows Museum.

Learn more about John Bramblitt and his art

John Bramblitt with son Jack and service dog Echo

John Bramblitt walks home with son Jack and service dog Echo after Jack’s first day of kindergarten. The internationally acclaimed artist and volunteer leader will teach his award-winning adaptive art workshop at SMU.

The $25 workshop fee ($10 for Meadows Museum members) covers all materials. Advance registration is required; all abilities and levels of experience are welcome.

With service dogs from Guide Dogs of Texas as models, and museum paintings as inspiration, participants will paint their own dog art. The workshop is designed to teach adaptive art techniques to those with disabilities and those without.

At the Meadows, Bramblitt is a consultant to museum educators, helping them develop programs that make the museum accessible to everyone, no matter what their disability or ability.

The 43-year-old also shares the healing power of art in his workshops, which have received three national President’s Volunteer Service Awards.

Written by Nancy George

> Visit SMU’s Meadows Museum online at smu.edu/meadowsmuseum

Renowned couples therapists to conduct workshop at SMU

Drs. Julie Schwartz Gottman and John Gottman, founders of the Relationship Research InstituteWorld-renowned researchers Drs. John and Julie Gottman will share their expertise on successful couple relationships in “Bridging the Couple Chasm” – a workshop presented by the Department of Dispute Resolution and Counseling in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

The workshop is scheduled for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, April 17 and Wednesday, April 18, 2012 in the Great Room, Building 3, at SMU-in-Plano, 5228 Tennyson Boulevard.

John and Julie Schwartz Gottman are Ph.D. psychologists and founders of The Gottman Relationship Institute in Seattle, Washington. Based on their long-term observation and research into how and why marriages fail, they developed Gottman Method Couples Therapy, which combines therapeutic intervention with scientifically developed exercises. The Gottman Method is designed to help couples bond with each other, develop effective communication skills and create positive and permanent changes in their relationship.

John Gottman is author of The Marriage Clinic: A Scientifically Based Marital Therapy (Norton Professional Books, 1999), and Julie Schwartz Gottman is editor of The Marriage Clinic Casebook (W.W. Norton, 2004). The Gottmans have co-written And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives (Crown Publishing, 2007) and Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage (Three Rivers Press, 2006).

Registration is $450 per attendee. The workshop is open to the public as well as to mental health and human service professionals and students. Licensed professionals are eligible to receive 16 Continuing Education (CE) credits for attending. Box lunches will be provided on both days.

Registration for the Gottmans’ workshop is available online. For more information, contact Lecturer in Counseling Maggie Keeling, 972-473-2458.

Postponed event? Tell us about it

Inclement weather caused the postponement of several University events during the past several days. Let us know if an ice day affected your day.

SMU Forum is collecting information on events that were moved due to the ice days. Please send your rescheduling data – including the event name, new time, date, location and contact information – to Kathleen Tibbetts, 214-768-7672.

The updated event information will appear in a future Forum post.

By | 2011-02-14T11:17:40+00:00 February 14, 2011|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News|Tags: , , |

Meadows Theatre rolls out ‘Three Repertory Plays’ Oct. 19-31

Rehearsal photo from the SMU Meadows Theatre production of 'Melancholy Play' by Sarah RuhlThe 2010-11 Meadows Theatre season continues as the Division of Theatre debuts a trio of plays directed by students and professors. “Three Repertory Shows” runs Oct. 19-31 in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

The first work of rising playwright and 2010 Pulitzer Prize nominee Sarah Ruhl opens at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19. Melancholy Play, directed by senior theatre major Joel Heinrich, tells the story of Tilly – a Felliniesque heroine whose sorrowful demeanor fascinates her more cheerful neighbors and makes strangers fall in love with her. Things get complicated, however, when Tilly inexplicably becomes happy. Additional performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 22 and Oct. 28, as well as performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Oct. 30.

Stephen Adly GuirgisIn Arabia, We’d All Be Kings goes up at 8 p.m. Oct. 20, 23 and 27 and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31. The play follows a group of wayward individuals, their local bar, and the cost of living on the streets in Hell’s Kitchen during the Rudy Giuliani era. Kings is directed by senior theatre student Christopher McCreary.

Associate Professor of Theatre Jim Crawford directs The Secretaries, written by the Five Lesbian Brothers. Weight requirements, Slim-Fast-only diets and occasional murder as therapy are all in a day’s work for the titular cubicle denizens in this dark satire on the idea of women as “man-haters.” Performances begin at 8 p.m. Oct. 21; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24; and 8 p.m. Oct. 26 and 29.

Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

(Interested in an explanation for a handle like the Five Lesbian Brothers? Learn more about Lisa Kron, acclaimed playwright and creator of the FLB.)

Right, sophomore theatre major Janielle Kastner as Tilly and senior theatre major Zach Gamble as Frank in the Meadows Theatre production of Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl, directed by senior theatre major Joel Heinrich. Photo by Linda Blase.

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