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Department of Theatre

The Department of Theatre is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

Beverly Redman, M.F.A., Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
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Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499

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April 2015

Hundreds Celebrate Their Passion

March saw hundreds of audience members visit Auer Performance Hall in the IPFW Rhinehart Music Center to celebrate their passion for music. Zakir Hussain’s Pulse of the World: Celtic Connections on March 14, 2015, drew nearly 1300 people to the Auer Performance Hall, bringing Indian and Celtic cultures together for a perfect blend of musical magnificence. The College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Shruti Cultural Society of Fort Wayne again will celebrate when they present Ragamala Dance performing Song of the Jasmine on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Auer Performance Hall.

The next weekend heralded the much-anticipated 50-Hands Monster Piano Concert, a featured event for IPFW’s 50th Celebration, on Friday, March 20, in the Auer Performance Hall. The concert, a first for IPFW, Fort Wayne, and the region, drew more than 800 people and featured Chancellor Vicky Carwein in a duet with Hamilton Tescarollo, associate professor and director of keyboard studies. The concert concluded with 24 pianists on eight pianos playing Sabre Dance conducted by Dan Tembras, assistant professor and director of instrumental studies. The amazing concert planned and delivered by Tescarollo showcased the incredible talent of current and former students and current and former faculty. Joining Tescarollo and Carwein were pianists Hope Arthur, Irene Ator, Elena Bardi, Robert Bean, Richard Bicknase, Mario Cervantes, Madison Cole, Laura Dallman, Susan Dorion, Denise Downs, Christine Freeman, Georgia Gladding, Michael Harber, Donna Hartleroad, Evan Keenan, Joshua Mathews, Luke Maxson, Andrew Nesler, Grant Nill, Geoffrey North, Joyanne Outland, Alicia Pyle, Barbara Resch, Masson Robertson, Junko Rutkowski, Deborah Ryan, Kristofer Sanchack, Eddie Tate, and Cameron Kailey Wieringa.

March concluded with more than 140 classical guitarists from 18 different guitar ensembles gathering at IPFW for the 23rd Annual Mid-America Guitar Ensemble Festival, presented by the Department of Music, Chuck and Lisa Surack and Sweetwater. Festival participants had the opportunity to perform from their repertoire, attend workshops and masterclasses at Sweetwater, and participate in the final concert in the Auer Performance Hall. The final concert piece featured 145 guitars on stage playing Patrick Roux’s Thunder and Strums, a piece commissioned by this year’s MAGEF festival director Laura Lydy, continuing lecturer in guitar at IPFW.            

Photographs Shown Internationally

VCD continuing lecturer Jim Gabbard and VCD students Olivia Ulch and Ajna Wagenfeld have been invited to participate in Fort Wayne and Its People, an international exhibition in our Sister City of Plock, Poland. The exhibition will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Plock and Fort Wayne sisterhood and opens on May 9, 2015, at Darmstadt House in Plock, Poland​.

Interior Design Wins at Nationals

A project to design a “patient care + family” space by Brittany Bellam and Phillicia Overmeyer (both interior design seniors) won the Honorable Mention Award (fourth place) in a field of 99 entries as part of the national 2015 Interior Design Educator’s Council (IDEC) student design competition at the organization’s national conference in Fort Worth, Texas, March 11-14. This is the first time that our interior design students participated in the IDEC competition at the national level. The design project’s challenge was to create “unique and creative solutions that promote healing and family interaction with patients.” You can see Brittany and Phillicia’s complete design here. The students’ advisor for the project was Suining Ding, associate professor and program coordinator of interior design.

NYC Takes Notice

Hionas Gallery, located in New York City, is currently presenting a solo exhibition of the paintings of Jason Stopa (’07, B.F.A., painting) entitled Double Trouble, that will run from March 26–April 25, 2015. Comprised of recent abstract paintings from the artist’s “High Fructose” series, this exhibition is Stopa’s fourth solo effort and his first time showing with Hionas.

Stopa’s brand of abstraction is simultaneously a fundamental one and a tongue-in-cheek exercise, allowing gestural brushstrokes, drips, and impasto layering to compose his motifs all while communicating this formal language through the use of contemporary brands, including Kool Aid, Reese’s, and Cherry Coke. This source material is so instantly recognizable that the abstraction itself becomes a representation, if only for a moment. In some instances Stopa’s work reads like action painting, and yet the base elements contained within, from branded framing devices to icons that populate the canvas, lend each composition a cool stillness.

Stopa also participated in a roundtable discussion for the Museum of Modern Art in conjunction with the recent exhibition The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World, which ran from December 14, 2014, to April 5, 2015. Moderator Nora Griffin was joined by Becky Brown, Dennis Kardon, Carrie Moyer, Raphael Rubinstein, and Jason Stopa to discuss MoMA’s first survey of contemporary painting in 30 years.

Stopa received his B.F.A from IPFW and his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 2010. Recent solo exhibitions include The Brooklyn Zoo at Novella Gallery, New York and Joggie 1983 at Kent Place Gallery, Summit, NJ. Recent group exhibitions include the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, California; Ed Thorp Gallery, New York; Denny Gallery, New York; Angell Gallery, Toronto, Canada; Artbridge Drawing Room, New York, and Brennan and Griffin, New York, among many others. Stopa is a contributing writer for Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, and Whitewall Magazine. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

VPA Artists Featured in 33 Variations

The recent Fort Wayne Civic Theatre production of 33 Variations from March 20 – April 4, featured two actors and a pianist from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Adjunct music faculty member Julie Donnell played the role of Dr. Katherine Brandt, a musicologist who was working to complete a research project on Beethoven’s 33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli. During the play, she was increasing debilitated by ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), which eventually overcame her character at the end. VPA marketing and public relations specialist Susan Domer played the role of Dr. Gertrude Ladenburger, an archivist, whose life’s work was caring for Beethoven’s sketchbooks in Bonn, Germany. Beethoven’s variations, which were an integral part of the play throughout all 33 scenes were performed by two alternating pianists, one of which was music major Hope Arthur.

Crouch’s Photographs at Manchester

Debra Crouch (’09, A.S., interior design; B.F.A., photography) currently has an exhibition entitled A Photographic Journey through a Year in a Small Town on display at Manchester University College of Pharmacy.  Crouch has been a resident of DeKalb country her entire life and this environment served as the subject for her project, which documented a year of various events in Auburn, Ind. The gallery is located off the main lobby in the building  at 10627 Diebold Road off Dupont Road. The work can be viewed until May 29, 2015, Monday - Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information contact the receptionist at 260-470-2700.

Workshop on Art for an Aging Society

Linda Wright-Bower, assistant professor of music therapy, was selected to be one of 27 participants in the 4th annual Creative Center’s Training Institute for Artists and Administrators in Creative Aging. The week-long workshop trained individuals to take the arts to aging people in their respective parts of the world as a part of health and wellness. The workshop provided both a theoretical and didactic approach to implementing and sustaining high-quality arts programming in a variety of settings serving older adults–from senior centers to long-term residential settings for the frail elderly. Wright-Bower was the only professor chosen to participate. Her other colleagues included social workers, visual artists, writers, poets, and musicians. The Creative Center at University Settlement is one of the oldest community art centers in New York City. 

 “There are no creative aging art programs listed in Indiana on the website for the National Center for Creative Aging,” explained Wright-Bower. “What was exciting to learn at the workshop is that the Indiana Arts Commission is interested in funding a creative aging program in the future.”

Presentations, workshops, and site visits, led by national leaders in the field of arts and aging included:

♦ What It Means to Be Old: The Aging Body, Mind, and Soul

♦ A New Perspective on Dementia

♦ Alzheimer’s Poetry Project

♦ Transformation vs. Transposition: The Role of Imagination and the Creative Process for Older Adults

♦ Meet Me at MoMA: The Alzheimer’s Project at the Museum of Modern Art

♦ Older Professional Artists: What We Can Learn and Disseminate

♦ Opening Minds Through Art: An Intergenerational Program

♦ The Unique Culture of Senior Centers

♦ Art in Hospice

♦ Sustaining Arts Programming: from ‘Friendraising’ to ‘Fundraising’

♦ Creative Aging: The Current ‘State’ of the Field

Winners Shine in Piano Competition

Twenty-nine competitors ranging in age from 6 to 18 from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan (all within the 100-mile radius specified by the rules set by Gene Marcus herself) took part in this year’s competition. All competed in the first-round auditions held in early February and 20 advanced to the finals, which were judged by Leon Harshenin of Taylor University, Giuseppe Lupis of Grand Valley State University and Masson Robertson, IPFW emeritus. The level of playing in this year’s competition was the highest ever and the winners recital will air on PBS39 later this year. The competition is directed by Hamilton Tescarollo, associate professor of piano and director of keyboard studies at IPFW, and administered through the IPFW Community Arts Academy (CAA) by Melinda Haines, director of the CAA. More information, including photos and a complete listing of this year’s and previous winners and judges, click here. The 2015 IPFW Gene Marcus Piano Camp will take place June 14-19.

Professor, Writer, Presenter, Expert

Andreas Montenegro, assistant professor of computer animation, has had a busy 2014–15 academic year with a number of successes. His paper, Two Phenomenological Notions Expressed in the Interactive Art Contained within Myron Krueger and Jeffery Shaw’s Immersive Environment, was featured on the Nov. 24, 2014, home page of The Journal of Digital Media Arts and Practice, a publication of the International Digital Media Arts Association (iDMAa).

Montenegro also has been listed in the Animation Experts Directory for the Society of Animation Studies (SAS), an international organization dedicated to the study of animation history and theory, founded by Dr. Harvey Deneroff in 1987. Each year, the SAS holds an annual conference at locations throughout the world, where members present their recent research.

Montenegro also presented to a full crowd in the Science Central Demonstration Theatre as part of their educational program, “Lunch with an IPFW Scientist,” on March 28, 2015. His presentation entitled “Communicating our Perception of the World” explored how we communicate our perception of the world with others. Montenegro used metaphors, images, animation, and interactivity on different media allowing the audience to experience what they could and could not observe.