Trevecca Nazarene University

Active summer for Trevecca's Dramatic Arts

NYC Travel Seminar — May 2014

Fourteen Trevecca students and alumni came together in May for the New York City theatre travel seminar offered bi-annually through the TNU Department of Communication Studies. 

Collectively, the group saw a whopping 24 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows in just a week’s time and wrote about their experiences. During the jam-packed week, the group also participated in several events. 

Students met with professional director, actor, and teacher Misti Wills, who just finished a national tour of Karin Coonrod's production of Flannery O'Connor's Everything That Rises Must Converge and the direction of a production of My Fair Lady at the Forestburgh Playhouse. Students also met Nazarene Pastor Bruce Barnard and listened to him share about a new ministry in the City called Mission New York.   

The group also participated in two workshops during the week. The first was a brief applied theatre workshop at the Lincoln Center complex conducted by Erica Itzkowitz of the Big Apple Playback Theatre, along with two of the theatre’s actors, Sipiwe Moyo and Ricardo Perez-Gonzalez. The group's second workshop was hosted by the Puppet Kitchen in Lower Manhattan where students were familiarized with the creative work of professional puppet-makers and, under the leadership and training of Eric Wright and Brendan Tay, tried their hand (literally) practicing skills associated with the distinctive art form of Japanese bunraku puppetry.

A highlight of the travel seminar was the performance of Steinbeck’s OF MICE AND MEN followed by a 30-minute, private talkback between TNU students and starring actors James Franco, the Tony-nominated Chris O'Dowd, and Leighton Meester, as well as most of the rest of the cast.

Applied Theatre Workshop — July 2014

In July, the Department of Communication Studies hosted an interactive workshop on faith and theatre entitled “Applied Theatre, Spiritual Formation, and Christian Worship.”  

The workshop was led by Dr. Dale Savidge, Executive Director of Christians in Theatre Arts and the Applied Theatre Center.  Actors, directors, writers, students, church leaders, and laity from Tennessee, Arkansas, Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida came together on Trevecca’s campus for three days to participate in a meaningful learning process of growing as theatre practitioners and applying therapeutic drama strategies to practical, theological contexts.  

Current Trevecca dramatic arts majors Kelsey Boyd, Brie Danilczyk, Rachel Hampton, and incoming student, Annaleigh Adelgren, were among the many workshop participants, all of whom were invited to look more closely at how applied theatre can creatively meet the needs of both mainstream and marginalized populations in many cultures and communities.

Student Internships at the Oldest Children’s Theatre in the U.S. — Summer 2014

Two students in the TNU Department of Communication Studies completed internships this summer at the Nashville Children’s Theatre, the oldest running children’s theatre in the United States. Kara Dekker worked as teacher/facilitator with younger campers in the summer-long Creative Drama Series. Hilary Frame served as stage manager for the Junior Artist production of Alice and Wonderland (ages 10-12) and the Emerging Artist production of Godspell (ages 13-18).

Spotlight on two local Trevecca dramatic arts alumni — August 2014

In August, local Nashville audiences were treated to the imaginative Sailors & Maidens mixed puppet production of The Morning After and The Circus of Pierrot at the LeQuire Gallery as part of Nashville's Sideshow Fringe Festival. Trevecca theatre alumna Cassie Hamilton, co-founder of the Sailors & Maidens puppet troupe, wrote the first piece and performed both pieces with fellow co-founder Mallory Kimbrell. Cassie’s work helps to illustrate how meaningful it can be for graduates in the performing arts to take the initiative, creating fresh forms through which  audiences might experience and understand the world in new ways. Shannon Spencer, also a dramatic arts alumna from Trevecca, is a company member of the Actors Bridge Sideshow Ensemble that runs the Festival.  

New work by a Trevecca student playwright finds the Nashville stage — September 2014

Rebecca Botter, a dramatic arts major at Trevecca, recently received some good news´╗┐. Her script submission was selected as one of four plays to be produced onstage for the "Pulp Friction" Ten-Minute Play Festival on Saturday, Sept 13, as part of the Proto-Pulp Book Fair. Tennessee professional theatre veteran Tom Angland will direct. Rebecca is also one of several students who had original work presented at Trevecca’s MOSAIC playwriting showcase last spring.