For a talented group of students and young alumni from Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the dream of having their film screened at a Los Angeles film festival was realized this summer. The showcase, hosted by the College of Arts and Letters, was held at the Directors Guild of America Theatre this summer. It featured six student films and a short documentary from the “First Time Fans” series, directed by alumni filmmakers.
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From the first flicker of life in Frankenstein’s monster to the spark of unexpected connection between two high school students, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre’s 2016-17 theatre season features an array of diverse, compelling productions. The department will present two student-written plays, In Paradisum and The Pink Pope, followed by an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Lauren Gunderson’s I and You, and Christ’s Passion: Medieval Mystery Plays.
Two faculty members and former chairs who were instrumental in the development of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are taking their final bows. Mark Pilkinton, who expanded the department in the 1980s and pushed for the building of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, retired this summer. Donald Crafton unified the department during his tenure as chair and expanded it to include film and television studies. He will retire after the fall semester.
In his second term as poet laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera will visit the University of Notre Dame on Oct. 5 and 6 (Wednesday and Thursday). Herrera’s stay on campus includes a poetry reading with opening remarks from University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., as well as a reception and visits and lunch with students.
The University of Notre Dame’s Snite Museum of Art presents Raising Children for Strangers, featuring the latest work of the Brooklyn-based, Taiwanese-American artist Fay Ku. The special exhibition is a collaboration between the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the Liu Institute of Asia and Asian Studies, and the Snite Museum. The seven pieces featured in the exhibit are hybrid works of art that, to use the artist’s own words, “adopt visual tropes from both Western art and found images from social media to create tableaux that are open-ended narratives.”
Singer, songwriter and producer Todd Rundgren will serve as an artist-in-residence for the Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) at the University of Notre Dame from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1. During his residency, Rundgren will teach several classes, work with students and teachers in the South Bend/Mishawaka community, perform with student bands in a concert Oct. 1 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, organize an on-campus collection of used musical instruments for national redistribution to music students in need and, in conjunction with his Spirit of Harmony Foundation, present an award to Notre Dame alumnus Bill Hurd.
Political science major Patrick Vassel '07 didn’t come to Notre Dame dreaming of a career on Broadway. But a path that began with acting and directing in shows on campus has led him to New York's biggest stage. He's now associate director of Hamilton, the blockbuster musical that's won Tony Awards, a Grammy, and the Pulitzer Prize. Vassel has been a key figure in the show's development, working with actors and technicians night in and night out.
This summer the 2016 Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival is continuing its celebration of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death with numerous theatrical events. Shakespearean actors of all ages from throughout the Michiana area will take the Washington Hall stage for performances of “ShakeScenes” July 16 and July 17. From July 17 through August 22, the Festival’s Young Company will perform Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre at outdoor venues throughout Michiana. And 14 performances of Shakespeare’s The Tempest will take place August 16-28 at Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
A major new book of essays on the music of the early 19th-century composer Franz Schubert, Schubert’s Late Music: History, Theory, Style, is dedicated to to Susan Youens, J. W. Van Gorkom Professor of Music at the University of Notre Dame. Published by Cambridge University Press and edited by Lorraine Byrne Bodley and Julian Horton, the anthology features essays from Youens and other top scholars in the field.
For the first time ever, the University of Notre Dame will host the world premiere of an opera—a commissioned production of As You Like It, the classic Shakespearian comedy. The four-show run is a highlight of “Shakespeare: 1616-2016,” a yearlong series of campus events commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Given the location of its premiere, the production features numerous Notre Dame touchstones.
Pierpaolo Polzonetti, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) and Sacred Music at Notre Dame program, has won the H. Colin Slim Award for his essay, “Tartini and the Tongue of Saint Anthony.” The award, presented by the American Musicological Society since 2005, honors a “musicological article of exceptional merit.”
When University of Notre Dame graduate student Chris Dant takes a picture, he expects to come away with more than just a photograph. The third-year MFA student wants you to relate to and learn more about whatever you’re looking at. Be it an old Naval armory, or a group of skateboarders in South Bend. Dant’s ability to find those connections earned him a recent commission from the South Bend Museum of Art to document Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects across the state. His project, titled “WPA in Indiana,” was featured at the museum throughout December and January and commemorates Indiana’s bicentennial in 2016.
As in recent years, audience members are invited to vote for their favorite film via text message. The Audience Choice Award will be presented to the student director(s) of the winning film after the final screening.
Beginning on Jan. 18, the University of Notre Dame will host a weeklong series of events, called Walk the Walk Week, to reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and encourage dialogue about diversity and inclusion.
In January, Shakespeare at Notre Dame will kick off “Shakespeare: 1616-2016,” a yearlong series of performances, conferences, and special events commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and his legacy. “Act One” of the celebration includes events slated during the University of Notre Dame’s spring semester, which runs January through April, and features “First Folio! The Book that Gave us Shakespeare,” a national exhibition and tour curated by the Folger Shakespeare Library.
The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF) has announced the titles and audition dates for its upcoming 2016 summer season. In order to explore and celebrate Shakespeare’s final plays, NDSF has selected two works that embody the playwright’s voice at the close of his career. The 2016 season is named “Shakespeare’s Last Words” and will feature adventure, exhilaration, and redemption.
The University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), in close collaboration with the Creative Writing Program, will present a conference, “Angels of the Americlypse,” on October 28 and 29, 2015, featuring Latino/a poetry readings, literary translation, and roundtable discussions. The event—held in conjunction with Letras Latinas, the ILS literary initiative—will include readings by acclaimed poets Rosa Alcalá, Carmen Giménez Smith, Roberto Tejada, and Rodrigo Toscano.
A new beginning in Crested Butte, Colorado. A carnivorous plant on Skid Row. A chance meeting in a Moscow cafe. And, a fresh look at Jane Austen’s beloved Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. The 2015-16 theatre season of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre offers four distinctly different productions—Wildflower, Little Shop of Horrors, The Bear and Afterplay, and Pride and Prejudice—which together make this season one not to be missed.
Continuing to strengthen cultural ties with scholars and alumni in Asia, three faculty members from Notre Dame’s Department of Music will depart on Tuesday, October 13, for Seoul, Beijing, and Hong Kong. During the 12-day tour, they will present concerts and lectures at leading universities and cultural institutions, including the Asia Society in Hong Kong. Building on the success of their previous visits, their outreach has expanded from universities to more broadly based cultural institutions as well—such as last year’s recital at the Beijing Capital Library, in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy, and their upcoming appearance at the Asia Society.
Disheartened by anti-Muslim rhetoric that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Anne García-Romero resolved to write a play that explored the intricacies and nuances of interfaith love, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence. After years in the making, that work has become a reality. Paloma—which received its West Coast premiere and ran for a month this summer at the Los Angeles Theatre Center—focuses on a romance between a Muslim man and a Christian woman.
The studio art major prepares students to create and analyze works of art by developing visual literacy, research skills, and technical ability. Students concentrate their studies in ceramics, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, or sculpture. “I knew that I wanted to do art and that I loved it, but at the same time I didn’t want to sacrifice having a really broad and rich education," said Lauren Miller ’15. “So I chose Notre Dame, and it was a really good decision for me.”
In a new course, Special Effects for Studio and Stage, associate professional faculty member Ken Cole taught Department of Film, Television, and Theatre students how to brainstorm and design a wide range of practical illusions for use in creative productions. The group of about 10 students simulated explosions, used makeup to create realistic-looking wounds, built props out of scraps and spare parts, and conjured up a realistic rainstorm.
Eugene Staples has a vision: Entertainment can be more than a distraction—it can be an inspiration. It can teach kids how to be better people. It can make the world a better place. That sense of responsibility—the desire to make things that make an impact—was sparked at Notre Dame, and was recognized this spring by the Television Academy Foundation, which honored him with a Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship.
Furiously strumming his jarana into the early morning hours of a stranger’s backyard birthday party in Austin, Texas, Alex Chavez was having fun with the hired musicians who had brought him along as an impromptu guest. He was also doing fieldwork. Chavez, who joined Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology in 2014 as an assistant professor, studies “the aesthetic dimensions of contemporary lived politics”— sometimes referred to as cultural poetics. He focuses on the unfolding of this expressive grammar among Latino migrant communities in the United States.
Robert Sedlack, associate professor of visual communication design in Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design, has been named the winner of the 2015 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award. The Sheedy award presentation will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, in the McKenna Hall auditorium. It is open to all faculty and students.
Sarah Edmands Martin, a third-year graduate student in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, received the Walter Beardsley Award from the Snite Museum of Art for her thesis installation The Princess & The Beast. Charles Loving, director of the Snite Museum, presented the award during the opening reception for the 2015 Thesis Exhibition on April 10.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this project and to be in Dublin. It’s an amazing opportunity,” said Katie Brennan, a sociology major in the College of Arts and Letters. During the summer of 2014, Brennan and three other University of Notre Dame undergraduates interned on the production of 1916: The Irish Rebellion, a three-part television documentary set to air on PBS, the BBC, and Irish broadcaster RTÉ in 2016.
The University of Notre Dame will play a major role in the international celebration of the centenary of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising, which was announced Tuesday, March 31 in Dublin by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. A documentary television series, 1916: The Irish Rebellion, produced by Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, will be broadcast worldwide during the centenary, which memorializes the events in Dublin on Easter Week a century ago, when an insurrection started a process that culminated in an independent Irish state and accelerated the disintegration of the British Empire.
In fall 2015, the College of Arts and Letters will launch a new Collaborative Innovation program that focuses on the principles of design thinking—a powerful approach for solving real-world problems. “A dynamic, iterative, and deeply human process, design thinking prepares students for the type of collaborative, cross-disciplinary work they will encounter after graduation, no matter what career paths they pursue,” said Richard Gray, chair of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, which will be home to the new program.
Robert Sedlack, associate professor of visual communication design in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, is the recipient of the 2015 Rodney F. Ganey, Ph.D., Faculty Community-Based Research Award, given annually by the Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns. The award honors a Notre Dame faculty member whose research has made a contribution in collaboration with local community organizations.