Good weather and plenty of Mustang spirit came together on Tuesday, May 22 as the SMU staff – and President R. Gerald Turner – gathered on the Clements Hall South Lawn. The 2018 President’s Picnic featured cookout food and lighter fare, plus fresh popcorn and cookies for snacking. Lawn games, Flat Peruna adventures, tabling, a pop-up library, and even some salsa dancing completed the recipe for fun. The annual event is organized by the SMU Staff Association.
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.
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.
Three contemporary works, including newly created pieces by Complexions Ballet co-founders Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson and by Associate Professor Christopher Dolder, are highlights of the Meadows School of the Arts’ Fall Dance Concert. The show runs Nov. 8-12, 2017 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
The program will open with Dolder’s new version of Bolero, set to a London Symphony recording of Ravel’s famous work. An interactive set featuring a circular stage space, curving ramps and central spire provide the physical backdrop for dancers representing an array of societal archetypes perennially caught in the cycles of life and culture. Dolder, a former soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company, has previously expressed a fascination for architectural design in productions of His Handle (2014), Metropolis (2015) and a collaboration with Canadian wood sculptor Erik More in The Orca Project (2016).
Ascension is a new piece created by Visiting Artists-in-Residence Richardson and Rhoden, featuring a blend of ballet and contemporary dance expressed in sculptural choreography. Complexions Ballet has received numerous honors, including The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award, and has performed at Lincoln Center and The Joyce Theater in New York, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, and most recently at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of “Ballet Across America.” Celebrated for his choreography and wide-ranging collaborations with well-known dance artists, Rhoden has created over 80 ballets for Complexions and for numerous other major companies. Richardson is a Tony-nominated actor and the first black American principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre.
Concluding the program is Moncell Durden’s Drop Me Off in Harlem, a tribute to the music and dance of the 1930s. Premiered earlier this year, it uses vernacular jazz movement to recount the adventures of three ladies from Pennsylvania who travel to New York City to dance at the famous Savoy Ballroom and watch the battle of the bands between Benny Goodman and Chick Webb. The audience follows Norma, Mabel and Dawn as they navigate the spirited streets, subways and ballrooms of New York and Harlem nightlife. Durden is a choreographer, historian, dance educator and current faculty member at the University of Southern California, where he teaches jazz, hip-hop and improvisation.
Fall Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Meadows website or call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).
— Written by Victoria Winkelman
The festivities included a Faculty Salute during the annual President’s Briefing, a showcase of faculty expertise as part of Inside SMU Powered by TEDxSMU, and a Centennial Faculty Photograph in Moody Coliseum.
Relive the event in photos and video courtesy of the Founders’ Day Weekend page at SMU News.
The SMU community celebrated the graduation of more than 700 students at the 2012 December Graduation in Moody Coliseum. Civic and philanthropic leader Caren Prothro, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees, delivered the address.
Prothro has served as chair of the SMU Board of Trustees since 2010 and was re-elected to another term as chair in July. She has emphasized the importance of reaching the University’s stated goal of having 100 endowed faculty positions and attracting nationally recognized experts to enhance SMU’s reputation as a center for research and scholarship.
Click the YouTube screen to watch Prothro’s address, or click here to see Caren Prothro’s December Graduation address in a new window.
SMU’S 2012 Homecoming celebration provided several days of excitement, from reunions to Pigskin Revue to the parade (led by alumnus and TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie) to the Distinguished Alumni Awards. And to top it all off, the Mustangs delivered a 44-13 victory over the Memphis Tigers in Ford Stadium.
Mustang Heroes, an SMU organization dedicated to creating sustainable and engaging volunteer opportunities for students, recently hosted “Sleep in a Box” – an event to raise awareness of homelessness in the Dallas community.
The Sept. 22, 2012 event raised approximately $2,000 through donations from students who paid to participate in the event. The funds were donated to Vogel Alcove, a childcare center for the homeless.
Students painted their own boxes for a decorating competition and watched a screening of “The Pursuit of Happyness,” a biographical drama of American businessman Chris Gardner’s struggle with homelessness.
Daniel Poku, co-founder of Mustang Heroes, was the featured speaker and discussed viewing the homeless in a personal way. Participating SMU organizations included New Century Scholars, Alternative Breaks and Tri Delta.
Mustang Heroes president and co-founder Carissa Grisham said that she hopes the event “broke some stereotypes and underlined the importance of volunteerism, activism and philanthropy to my peers.”
“The event was a fun and interactive way for SMU students to broaden their horizons and become more aware about the issues affecting Dallas, especially the issue of homelessness,” said Kim Janice, a Mustang Heroes member and event participant.
A new exhibit in SMU’s DeGolyer Library offers samples of Texas fiction spanning 175 years, since before the state became a republic.
“From Live Boys to Lonesome Dove: A Panoramic View of Texas Fiction, 1836- 2011″ begins with a few works that predate Texas Independence, such as L’Heroine du Texas; ou, Voyage de Madame *** aux Etats-Unis et au Mexique. From this fictional account of the French utopian colony at Champ d’Asile, the exhibit proceeds through the antebellum period, the age of the dime novel, local color, romanticism, realism, “westerns,” and the contemporary scene.
DeGolyer promises numerous surprises, such as the first novel printed in Fort Worth, Jo: A Telegraphic Tale (1885), and Mamie Winn’s A Love Story of Mineral Wells, the first (and possibly the last) novel printed in Mineral Wells, 1915.
With more than 200 books on display, from high-brow to low-brow, the exhibition also offers visitors the opportunity to place the work of writers with some measure of literary acclaim (for example, Katherine Anne Porter, William Humphrey, William Goyen, Larry McMurtry, and many others) in historical context.
The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, continues through Dec. 15, 2011. DeGolyer is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, except holidays.
Rain couldn’t dampen the spirit on May 20 as the SMU staff gathered in Umphrey Lee Center for the University’s 2010 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic.
Hundreds of community members flocked to RFoC @ Lee to socialize, eat barbecue and veggie burgers, and watch the competition for the Mummy Wrap championship.
SMU celebrates Black History Month 2010 with “A Celebration of Soul” and events ranging from a read-in to a film screening to a community dinner. Next up: a game of Black History Jeopardy at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons, cosponsored by Black Men Emerging, Omega Psi Phi & Phi Beta Sigma.