College of Visual and Performing Arts

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
2101 E. Coliseum Boulevard
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499

phone 260-481-6551
fax 260-481-6707

office Williams Theatre
room WT128
hours Mon - Fri 8 am - 5 pm

IPFW Box Office

Fine Arts | Music | Theatre | VCD


Department of Theatre

Jeff Casazza Wins Leepoxy Plastics Teaching Award  Jeff Casazza – Leepoxy Plastics Teaching Award Winner

Jeff Casazza, associate professor of theatre, won the Leepoxy Plastics, Inc. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for his innovative approach to teaching Theatrical Composition. The award was established in 2003 by area businessman Lawrence Lee to recognize and encourage innovative undergraduate teaching that enhances student learning.

The selection committee, comprised of two faculty members, two students and a staff member designated by the vice chancellor of academic affairs, chose Casazza from among five nominees from three colleges. In coming to a consensus on the winner, the insights and perspectives of the student members of the committee were particularly persuasive. Further, Casazza provided ample convincing evidence showing that his innovation enhanced learning outcomes. The chancellor will present Jeff with the award and $1,000 in professional development funds at the annual convocation ceremony in August 2013.


IPFW Department of Theatre and Fort Wayne Youtheatre collaboration on one of the most beloved musicals ever, Oliver!

Theatre Gains National Accreditation

The National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) has granted accreditation and membership to the Department of Theatre at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) and its Bachelor of Arts: Theatre (acting, design/technology, directing). This is the first time the department has received NAST accreditation.

Chair and Professor of Theatre John O’Connell, who also serves as interim dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, is pleased with the accreditation. “Being recognized by the national accrediting agency confirms that the IPFW Department of Theatre maintains a program of the highest quality, producing theatre students ready and equipped to compete with students from any other program in the country,” said O’Connell.

Steven T. Sarratore, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and a professor of theatre, echoed O’Connell’s sentiments. “We are delighted that the Department of Theatre has joined the ranks of our other accredited programs on campus.”

NAST was founded in 1965 and is made up of approximately 178 schools, conservatories, colleges and universities. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials.

To learn more about NAST, go to For more information about IPFW’s Department of Theatre, go to, or contact O’Connell at 260-481-6550 or

New Neighbors

Mikautadze Dance Theatre (MTD) The IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts is pleased to announce that the Mikautadze Dance Theatre (MDT) is the newest company-in-residence on the IPFW campus. MDT strives to bring the art of professional modern and contemporary dance to Fort Wayne and surrounding communities through dance performance and the advancement of creative movement and dance education.

MDT works to create a  unique theatrical experience by producing work that is a synthesis of many art forms. “We strive to reach this goal through collaborative efforts both within the company and with other artists,” said Elizabeth Mikautadze, MTD’s artistic director.

A unique aspect of the group is the husband and wife team who take the lead. David Mikautadze, Elizabeth’s husband, serves as the musical director for MTD and composes much of the music they use in their choreography. “It has been our dream since we met to one day have this company!” explains Elizabeth.

MTD’s spring concert at IPFW is scheduled for May 17 and 18 in Williams Theatre on the IPFW campus. The company of dancers includes Lin Daffron, Emily Keisler, Kater Majorins, Jonathan Meader, Nina Shaw, Tracy Tritz and Cory Waite. For more on times, tickets and information about their company, visit them at

New Huntington Theatre - Business of the Year

New Huntington Theatre Accolades

Associate Faculty of Theatre Joel Froomkin and his partner Rich Najuch, owners of The New Huntington Theatre were honored by Indiana Main Street with the 2012 Business of the Year Award. Indiana Main Street, a program operated by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, presented the award on Oct. 11, 2012 during the statewide Indiana Main Street Conference in Kokomo.

Both owners have been dedicated to the revitalization of the downtown district. Najuch is a founding member of the Main Street Huntington program and has been active in fundraising, advertising and promotion since the beginning.

“Downtown districts are the heart of Hoosier cities and towns, and they are a key component of any community’s economic success,” said Lt. Governor Skillman. “Each of this year’s Indiana Main Street award winners has made a lasting impact by demonstrating their commitment to their local community.”

Originally from New York Froomkin, who teaches performance classes for the IPFW Department of Theatre, and Najuch began to resurrect the once-vacant theatre after they purchased it in 2007.  They then began restoration efforts to transform the entire theatre and bring new life back to the building. While restoring the theatre, they offer professional cabaret-style shows in the lobby area now known as The Huntington Supper Club.

Although their dream of staging live shows in the theater's main stage remains strong, the auditorium actually sat untouched until early this year. "We spend so much time doing other things," Najuch said, not the least of which is writing, casting, rehearsing and staging the supper club shows several times a year.

The target date for opening the auditorium has not been set, however the all-new Holiday Show is scheduled for Nov. 28 – Dec. 22, 2012. A trio of NYC songbirds featuring supper club favorite Elizabeth Urbanczyk will be in town to celebrate the season. To book your seats call 260-454-0603 or visit

Students Create Costumes for The Miser

Students Create Costumes for upcoming production of The Miser

When The Miser opens September 28 in Williams Theatre, the comic farce by Molière will feature four very unique costumes created from start to finish by equally unique and talented students. All four costumes, designed by Craig A. Humphrey, associate professor of costume design, have been assigned to individual students. They will draft original patterns to recreate the costume renderings they have been given.  Known as cutter/drapers in the costume shop for this project, they are also responsible for seeing the costumes through to completion. They include the following:

  • Stevie Lockridge: Halee Bandt’s costume for the role of Marianne
  • Heidi Christensen: Amanda Simpkin’s costume for the role of Frosine
  • Amber Klinker: Carly Thompson’s costume for the role of Mademoiselle Simone
  • Jessica Sokolowski: Kearstyn Keller’s costume for the role of Élise

“It’s so exciting to see each of these students doing graduate level work during their senior year, said Jeanne Pendleton, costume shop supervisor. “It is very rare for our department to have four costume assistants at the same time who are this talented.  We usually only have one student each year in the costume shop rise to this level of accomplishment.”

For more information on seeing these fabulous garments live and in person be sure to attend The Miser.