Texas State theatre major
takes the classroom off-Broadway
By Mary Kincy
Jennifer Foster. Photo courtesy of Kelsey Edwards Photography.
The walls of the classroom have widened for Jennifer Foster, a sophomore majoring in musical theatre at Texas State who is set to star in an off-Broadway musical starting next month.
Foster, 21, won a place in the ensemble cast of “Fat Camp” after a New York City audition she rearranged last semester’s finals to attend. She says the ability to participate in the musical without jeopardizing her academic career is part of what makes the musical theatre program at Texas State special.
“At most universities, they don’t have a head of department who is still a professional, working actress and who has been on Broadway and off-Broadway,” Foster says of Kaitlin Hopkins, assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance. “To have Kaitlin is so rare and so special. She knows what we’re going through because she’s been through it.” Continue reading
Posted in Students, Texas State Faces, Uncategorized
Tagged Broadway, Casey Hushion, Department of Theatre and Dance, Fat Camp, Hairspray, Jennifer Foster, Kaitlin Hopkins, Musical theatre, off-Broadway, Oxygen, Texas State, Texas State University, The Glee Project, Thousand Oaks
Gibney Dance movement
travels to Texas State
By Mary Kincy
The Gibney Dance Company performs "View Partially Obstructed." (Photo by Anja Hitzenberger)
Extraordinary in its singular concern not only for its company, but also for community action, the acclaimed troupe of Gibney Dance will participate in a series of events at Texas State this week.
The mission of Gibney Dance is to create and perform contemporary choreography that expresses the humanity and physicality of women and men, and to enrich and reshape lives through programs that reach communities in need, according to its website. Continue reading
Former Texas State student
Hickey earns Tony Award
John Benjamin Hickey, with his Tony Award, from Broadway.com.
One of the big winners at the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards on Sunday was former Texas State student John Benjamin Hickey.
The native of Plano won in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play category for his performance as Felix Turner in The Normal Heart, a revival described as “outrageous, unflinching, and totally unforgettable look at the sexual politics of New York during the AIDS crisis.” It was his first Tony Award.
“Being a member of the ensemble of The Normal Heart has been the greatest privilege (and) the proudest moment of my career,” Harris said in his acceptance speech, which can be seen online. “We love this play and we loved doing this play.” Continue reading
Texas State students team up
with composer Lippa for benefit
Broadway composer Andrew Lippa, who served as the composer in residence for the musical theatre program, recently teamed up with Texas State students to record his composition, It Gets Better, as part of the national It Gets Better Project.
He finished writing the song while at Texas State, and the video below documents the recording of the song and the live concert of the students performing his work. Proceeds from the video will benefit the It Gets Better Project campaign, a national movement that offers support for teens.
According the It Gets Better Project website, “Itgetsbetter.org is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help.”
Lippa was named the first recipient of the Harrison New Musical Work Commission at Texas State.
The Department of Theatre and Dance produced Lippa’s award-winning play, The Wild Party, this spring, Kaitlin Hopkins directing. Hopkins is the head of Texas State’s musical theatre program.
Texas State artists bag 13
Critics Table Award nominations
All Shook Up premiered at Texas State in 2010.
Texas State faculty members, staff, alumni and students have been nominated for 13 Austin Critics Table Awards, which recognize achievements in dance, classical music, the visual arts and theater.
The awards are presented by arts critics from the Austin American-Statesman and the Austin Chronicle. Winners for the 2010-11 season will be announced at informal ceremonies Monday at the Cap City Comedy Club. Continue reading
Posted in Alumni, Faculty, Spotlight: Excellence at Texas State, Uncategorized
Tagged All Shook Up, Austin Critics Table, Austin Live Theatre, Department of Theatre and Dance, John Boulanger, Kaitlin Hopkins, Texas State, Texas State Alumni, Texas State Musical Theatre Program, Texas State University, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Wild Party, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Texas State graduate Boulanger
directs prize-winning play near home
Texas State graduate John Boulanger was profiled by Michelle Villarreal in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times on Sunday, as his play “House of Several Stories” finished its run:
Ingleside native John Boulanger wrote the play “House of Several Stories” in 2007. Two years later, Boulanger won national playwriting awards for the play, and it was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Not bad for a master’s thesis at Texas State University. His then-three-act comedic script thrived into a full production, which is being performed at Harbor Playhouse.
Theater master’s graduate
broadening her horizons
By David King
The graduate program in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Texas State attracts, as chair John Fleming describes it, a healthy mix of students.
It has some coming straight out of undergraduate work and some 20-year veterans of the theater. Its students have a wide range of interests, from acting to writing, props to directing.
And it also has students like Georgia Young, a native of Massachusetts whose bachelor’s degree was in journalism. She will be awarded her master’s degree Thursday, just days after her 30th birthday and less than a month after earning one of her field’s most-prestigious honors: a scholarship to the O’Neill National Critics Institute.
The institute is an intensive two-week workshop for drama critics at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn. Participants will be turning out work and having it evaluated by their peers as well as established writers in the field. Continue reading
For Texas State class act, Kennedy Center spotlight feels great
By Billi London-Gray
What started with a class assignment quickly became a national stage production for Lupe Flores.
The Texas State University grad student, who is pursuing a master’s in playwriting, recently saw his work performed on stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. His 10-minute play, The Coyote Stratagem, was a finalist in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. Continue reading
University marking the end
of Falls Hall dormitory on Monday
By David King
Texas State will have a ceremony for the decommissioning of Falls Hall on Monday, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Falls Hall, from the University Star.
The ceremony and a reception will take place outside the construction fence on Concho Green, adjacent to Butler Hall.
The program will include a reading of the history of Falls, filling a time capsule and ringing the carillon once for each decade the hall was in service. The time capsule will be kept in the University Archives.
Falls Hall will be razed on March 7. The space will be used for the new performing arts center, which will feature a 400-seat theater and a 300-seat recital hall as well as rehearsal spaces, staging areas, classrooms and a lobby.
The dormitory opened in 1966, at the height of a building boom at the university. It opened at the same time as Buckner Hall, which now is the site of McCoy College. Also under construction during that same period were Sterry Hall, Jackson Hall, an addition to the Jones Dining Hall and what became the J.C. Kellam Administration Building. Continue reading
Get a peek inside acclaimed production
by Texas State musical theatre program
The 2010 production of All Shook Up by the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance was named one of the top 10 theatrical wonders in Central Texas by the Austin Chronicle.
The play, which is based on the music of Elvis Presley, was directed by the head of the musical theatre program, Kaitlin Hopkins. The choreography was by Robin Lewis, head of dance for the musical theatre program.
We can’t embed it here, but you can click on this link for “inside look” video produced by cast member Madelyn Shaffer. The photos are by Chris Schave.