DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE AND FILM NEWSLETTER
2019-2020 | Vol. 4 | Spring/Summer 2020
Greetings from the Chair
There is no doubt we are living in historic times. Change seems to be one of the many themes of this academic school year. I am proud to say that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni have taken each change in stride and have supported each other along the way.
In fact, in many ways our 2019-2020 Mainstage season of theatre supported a theme of change, especially change for which we might not be ready. From Adam Bock’s The Drunken City, to Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, to Jennifer Silverman’s Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties, to what would have been our spring musical Pippin – change is encountered and acclimated to in each. Whether this be a change in romantic relationships, in familiar perspectives, or even to our environment and living circumstances, change persists and offers growth.
Our Elsewhere season of student directed shows not only continued to highlight our student talent but took the Elsewhere name to heart with one of the shows being staged on the Wolfe Center patio instead of a “traditional” theatre space.
Our “Tuesdays at the BGSU Film Theatre” series brought an eclectic mix of old and new, popular and independent films that provided the campus and community the opportunity to see noteworthy cinema that they might have otherwise missed. Student filmmakers applied their skills and artistry to a variety of genres and formats while working on their independent studies, their films for the 48-hour Film Festivals, and the Studio Experience film Silentium. The students and faculty involved with Silentium, also demonstrated their commitment to working within change. When filming was shut down due to concerns of Covid-19 and Silentium was ultimately unable to be finished, the class pivoted, releasing special behind the scenes footage, memories, and completed clips of their project. You can find these clips through our social media. Finally, with the dance minor migrating to the Department of Theatre and Film, we were happy to present the Winter Dance Concert at the start of our spring semester.
In this year-in-review newsletter, you will read about our faculty, staff, and graduate student accomplishments over the past year, as well as a number of events and guest artists arranged and hosted both by our department and our student organizations.
Be sure to check out our 2020-2021 Mainstage season and mark your calendars for the year of theatre that lies ahead.
Even in the face of our campus moving remotely amidst the social distancing protocols to contain COVID-19, our students continue to engage their creativity and develop their artistic points of view. Whether through video conference calls for play readings or sight singing, social media interactions urging creative challenges, or writing new works based on their circumstances, our students continue to grow and create content. In light of these historic circumstances and considering the boundless creative potential of our students, I urge you to consider a donation to the “Friends of Theatre and Film” foundation account. Those funds go directly to supporting our students, and making sure they have an environment in which to flourish and generate art. As we look to the future, the opportunities for creativity and the need for theatre, film, and dance is stronger than ever.
Dr. Lesa Lockford,
Chair Department of Theatre and Film
NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE: To view previous newsletters, visit the Theatre and Film Newsletter Archive.
Sept. 29, 2019 - Annual Kick-Off Party & Lawn Screening
The Department of Theatre and Film proudly welcomed a promising group of talented new undergraduate and graduate students to the Wolfe Center for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Student organizations Alpha Psi Omega, BGReel/UFO and MuTS teamed up with the Department of Theatre and Film and Campus Activities to present a screening of Beetlejuice on the lawn of the Wolfe Center for the Arts, complete with Zagnut bars.
Sept. 30 2019 - White Rabbit, Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour
Alpha Psi Omega and Broken Spectacle Productions brought Nassim Soleimanpour’s White Rabbit, Red Rabbit to the Eva Marie Saint Theatre for a single night, performed by Dr. Quincy Thomas. The play is an absurdist piece that sits on the boundaries of comedy and drama, inviting the audience to think and interact with the subject matter. White Rabbit, Red Rabbit requires no previous rehearsal, but instead requires faith in a previously unseen script on behalf of the actor.
Oct. 30, 2019 and Feb. 26, 2020 - 48-Hour Film Festivals
48-hour Film Festivals film students gathered this academic year for two 48-hour film festivals. At each festival, students worked in groups to create films—from initial writing to final cut—in just 48 hours. The finished films screened on October 30 and February 26, respectively.
March 7-8, 2020
Members of MuTS (Musical Theatre Students) opened their spring cabaret performance series titled “Stage to Screen.” Members and non-members gave two riveting performances celebrating the music and scenes that celebrate creative works that happen at the intersections of film and theatre. Together, the performance and silent auction raised roughly $1,704 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Dr. Brian Herrera: The History of Casting Practices & Responsive Pedagogy
On Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, the Graduate Student Theatre Organization (GuSTO) brought guest speaker Dr. Brian Eugenio Herrera to campus for a dual panel of dialogues focused on the "History of Casting Practices Within the United States and Responsive Pedagogy."
Dr. Herrera is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Princeton University where he is also a core faculty member in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and a faculty affiliate with the Programs in American Studies, Music Theatre, and Latino Studies. He is a writer, teacher, and scholar whose work, both academic and artistic, examines the history of gender, sexuality, and race within and through U.S. popular performance.
His conversation about the history of casting aimed to press the critical, creative and historical understanding of casting beyond familiar zero-sum measures of good/bad, success/failure or right/wrong to cultivate an appreciation of casting as a dynamic repertoire of performance techniques, practices and conventions ripe for experimentation, innovation and revision. This discussion included participants learning the history of the headshot in American casting practices, and addressing the importance of representation on stage and screen.
His presentation surrounding responsive pedagogy explored how established modes, traditions and practices of arts pedagogy in higher education might (or must) change? The conversation also questioned what does truly inclusive pedagogy look like when emerging artists necessarily have their bodies, voices, abilities, visions and talents rigorously and routinely assessed? Dr. Herrera’s lecture-performance ultimately, invited questions to guide a lively and interactive presentation around the constellation of opportunities, obstacles and obligations confronting arts educators working to integrate anti-racist, consent-based principles into their practice and pedagogy.
Sept. 17, 2019 - La Mission (2009) U.S., 117 minutes
Director: Peter Bratt
Introduction by Hannah Mueller, Instructor in the Department of Theatre and Film
A collaboration between actor Benjamin Bratt and his brother Peter, La Mission revolves around a complicated father-son relationship in San Francisco’s Mission District – a traditionally Latinx neighborhood on the verge of gentrification. Che Rivera (Bratt) is a formerly incarcerated recovering alcoholic who has been raising his son alone after the death of his wife. When Che finds out that his son is gay, he struggles to reconcile his worldview with his love for his son.
Skate Kitchen - September 24, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 24 2019 - Skate Kitchen (2018) U.S., 106 minutes
Director: Crystal Moselle
Introduction by Thomas Castillo, Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film
Crystal Moselle, known for her award-winning documentary The Wolfpack (2015), uses trained and first-time actors in Skate Kitchen, which focuses on a young woman looking for meaning and a sense of belonging. Based on a short by Moselle, the feature follows Camille (Colombian-American Rachelle Vinberg), who wants to join an all-girl skateboard crew in New York City. Once accepted by the group, Camille must negotiate the challenges of peer pressure and dynamic teen friendships.
Oct. 1, 2019 - Some Like It Hot (1959) U.S., 121 minutes
Director: Billy Wilder
Introduction by Cortland Rankin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film
After witnessing a mob hit in Prohibition-era Chicago, musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) escape to Florida disguised as members of an all-female jazz band. While Joe uses the masquerade to cozy up to the band’s lead singer (Marilyn Monroe), Jerry embraces his feminine side. Written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond with a star turn from Jack Lemmon, Some Like It Hot rightly ranks among the greatest film comedies of all time.
Oct. 8, 2019 - Gates of Heaven (1978) U.S., 85 minutes
Director: Errol Morris
Introduction by by Stephen Crompton, Instructor in the Department of Theatre and Film
In his documentary feature debut, Gates of Heaven, filmmaker Errol Morris explores the life and death of pet cemeteries. Speaking with the business owners, and those who surround them, including bereaved family members, he unearths a series of rich characters willing to share their thoughts on faith, love, loss, and the pursuit of the American dream. In a 1991 article, Roger Ebert named Gates of Heaven one of the ten greatest films of all time.
Feb. 18, 2020 - Us (2019) U.S., 120 minutes
Director: Jordan Peele
Introduction by Cheyanne Jeffries, Graduate Student in American Culture Studies
This film is a powerful follow-up to Jordan Peele’s landmark directorial debut Get Out. Like the 2017 film, Us is revitalizing the horror genre by illustrating its potential to examine social inequalities and the psychological trauma they cause. The film centers on the experiences of Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) and her husband (Winston Duke) and children. The story kicks into high gear when the family’s upscale seaside vacation takes an unexpected turn.
Feb. 25, 2020 - Sorry to Bother You (2018) U.S., 101 minutes
Director: Boots Riley
Introduction by Jolie Sheffer, Associate Professor of English and American Culture Studies
Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You is a scathing satire of late-stage capitalism, class striving, and racial inequality. Set in an alternate version of Oakland, the film follows Cassius Green (LaKeith Stanfield), a lowly telemarketer who discovers he has a remarkable talent that can lead him to unimaginable wealth—but at great cost to his body, mind, soul, and relationships. With remarkable wit and verve, the film depicts the American dream as a Ponzi scheme
If Beale Street Could Talk - March 3, 7:30 p.m.
March 3, 2020 If Beale Street Could Talk - (2018) U.S., 119 minutes
Director: Barry Jenkins
Introduction by Daniel Williams, Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film
Based on the novel by James Baldwin, Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James), a young couple filled with optimism over Tish’s pregnancy, have their lives thrust into chaos when Fonny is arrested for rape. Tish and Fonny’s struggle is further intensified by the discontent amongst the extended family members over Tish’s pregnancy. Only Tish’s mother Sharon (Regina King - Best Supporting Actress), filled with fortitude and perseverance, can shepherd them through the troubling times.
March 10, 2020 - Gas Food Lodging (1992) U.S., 102 minutes
Director: Allison Anders
Introduction by Cynthia Baron, Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film
Rather than follow the adventures of (anti)heroes on road trips, what would you see if you paused to explore the lives of the women at roadside diners who provide temporary comfort and distraction? This question and others animate Allison Anders’s inventive indie film. Highlighting its engaging characters and performances, critics have applauded the film’s ingenious multi-thread narrative and its bold but humorous look at sex, family dynamics, racial prejudice, and the experience of crossing boundaries.
The rest of the season was canceled due to COVID-19.
Oct.. 17, 2019 - The Official Story (1985) Argentina, 112 minutes
Directed by Luis Puenzo
Introduction by Michael Miller, President of the BGSU Film Appreciation Club
Bordering on the line between thriller and tragedy, this film focuses on a high school teacher who tries to find the real mother of her adopted daughter. Taking place in the final months of the Argentinian Military Dictatorship in 1983, the film prompts the serious question of what is best for a little girl. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, The Official Story is a challenging look into a woman’s struggle
Oct. 24, 2019 - The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) Argentina, 126 minutes, Directed by Walter Salles
Introduction by by Michael Miller, President of the BGSU Film Appreciation Club
In 1952, a young Che Guevara (Gael García Bernal) begins to discover who he will become as he goes on a road trip across South America with his friend Alberto (Rodrigo De la Serna). The story illustrates the importance and complexities of friendship and youth. Featuring the beautiful scenery of South America and the interesting strangers they meet along the way; The Motorcycle Diaries shows a young man who slowly comes to understand his destiny.
The Drunken City by Adam Bock
Directed by Dennis Sloan
Oct. 17-26, 2019
Eva Marie Saint Theatre, Wolfe Center
When three friends take to the city to celebrate a bachelorette party, they soon meet three strangers and their worlds begin to unravel. Exploring friendship, marriage, and honesty The Drunken City explores the challenges of facing our true selves.
When She Had Wings by Susan Zeder
Directed by Cynthia Stroud, Ph.D.
Nov. 7 & 9, 2019
Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre, Wolfe Center
When She Had Wings, is a story about “B”; she believes that before she could walk she had the ability to fly and that she must learn to fly again before she turns the dreaded age of 10. With the help of her dad, her new friend “A,” and her imagination, “B” learns how the things weighing her down can help her soar.
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn
Directed by Jonathan Chambers, Ph.D.
Nov. 15-18, 2019
Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre, Wolfe Center
Mr. Burns explores how the pop culture of one era evolves into the mythology of succeeding generations. This epic play investigates what it means to remember and considers how survivors of traumatic events use cultural memory to hang onto their humanity.
Winter Dance Concert
Directed by Colleen Murphy
Feb. 7-8, 2020
Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre, Wolfe Center
The concert features choreography by Dance Program faculty Colleen Murphy, Tammy Metz Starr and Tracy Wilson, as well as graduate student Adrienne Ansel. The concert highlights versatility in the BGSU Dance Program, with modern, jazz, and tap dance on display.
Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties by by Jen Silverman
Directed by Sara Lipinski Chambers
Feb. 20-29, 2019
Eva Marie Saint Theatre, Wolfe Center
Five different women named Betty collide at the intersection of anger, sex, and the “Thea-Tah.” Through play and theatre, the five Betties come together, and ultimately, examine the masks each wears as part of their everyday life.
How to Be A Good Son by Julia Cho
Directed by Alexis Mullins
Sept. 27-28, 2019
Eva Marie Saint Theatre, Wolfe Center
How To Be A Good Son explores the difficult terrain of familial love and the near impossibility of saying what we feel to the ones we love -- even, or especially, when we know that time is running out.
Dancing on Checkers’ Grave by Eric Lane
Directed by Melissa Snyder
Nov. 1-2, 2019
Eva Marie Saint Theatre, Wolfe Center
Lisa and Dina couldn't be more different, yet they find common ground in vocabulary words, nail polish, and donuts. But when Lisa convinces Dina to join her on an imaginary car ride through town, both girls reveal their fears and emotions in a way they never thought possible.
Public Reading: Evening of Solo Pieces
Directed/Curated by Dennis Sloan and Dan Cullen
Dec. 10, 2019
Heskett Dance Studio, Wolfe Center
An evening of original work written by undergraduate, graduate, and faculty members of the department of Theatre and Film. These originals works explored a variety of topics including identity, greed, loss, and the maddening appeal of Tootsie Pops.
Public Reading: Redefinition by Alli Kulbago
Directed by Libby Zamiska
Feb. 9, 2020
Heskett Dance Studio, Wolfe Center
Redefinition is an exploration of mental health. Using dance, movement, lights, sound, and more, this script promotes conversation about these mental illnesses that are often not discussed.
Letter Purloined by David Isaacson
Directed by Justin Hopper
March 5-6, 2020
Eva Marie Saint Theatre
Pulling from Shakespeare, Poe, Lacan, and more, six morally-depraved characters of a fictional kingdom fight for the most agency. Playing with interpretation and meaning, the audience decides what order the play's twenty-six scenes are performed in, so no performance is ever the same.
Dialogue With CORTLAND RANKIN, Ph.D.
In August of 2018, the department of Theater and Film hired its newest full-time professor in Dr. Cortland Rankin. A native of Dallas, Texas, Dr. Rankin received his Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University in 2016. Since arriving to BGSU last fall, Dr. Rankin has taught Introduction to Film, History of Film, American Film Comedy, and War Film. He is especially interested in New York City and film production.
I’ve also had a longstanding interest in war cinema and media and have recently begun to publish in that field as well. I’m particularly interested in questions of collective memory and memorialization and the cultural work cinema and other media do in memorializing conflict and how they can function as war memorials in themselves. Along those lines, I’m developing projects on online war memorials and the role of film and television in shaping American cultural memories of the Korean War, which is paradoxically remembered, when thought of at all in an American context, as the “Forgotten War.” I want to explore the role film in particular plays in this act of forgetting.
Angela K. Ahlgren, Ph.D.
Conference Presentation: “Eggheads and Chrysanthemums: ‘Oriental’ Costumes as Scriptive Things in Modern Dance Archives,” Theatre History Symposium, Mid-America Theatre Conference, Chicago, IL, March 2020.
Invited Lecture/Workshop: “Drumming Asian America: Taiko Lecture, Brown Bag Lunch, and Workshop,” Converse College, Spartanburg, SC, March 2020.
Stephen Crompton, MFA
Screening: Highway Semiotics, CODEC International Experimental Film and Video Festival, Mexico City, Mexico, November 2019.
Screening:Sweet Love, Melbourne Underground Film Festival, Melbourne, Australia, November 2019.
Screening:Highway Semiotics, Portland Unknown Film Festival, Portland, Oregon, October 2019.
Lesa Lockford, Ph.D.
Book Chapter: Lockford, Lesa and Ronald J. Pelias, “A Collaborative Dialogue on the Dialogic Influence of Art Bochner and Carolyn Ellis,” Symposium on Autoethnography and Narrative Inquiry: Reflecting on the Legacy of Carolyn Ellis and Art Bochner, Foundations and Futures Series, Routledge. Edited by Tony Adams, Robin Boylorn, and Lisa Tillman; forthcoming.
Publication: “Introduction: Evocations, Contestations, and Collisions.” International Review of Qualitative Research, Special Issue: Performing Identity at the Crossroads, Vol 12.2 Summer 2019, 109-112.
Publication: Lockford, Lesa, Ronald J. Pelias, Tami Spry, “A Collaboration: Connected to, Constituted by, and Comfort in the Other,” International Review of Qualitative Research, forthcoming.
Performance: Audiobook Narrator for Down the Broken Road: A Rachel Carver Mystery by J.R. Backlund, Dreamscape Audiobooks, July 2019.
Performance: Audiobook Narrator for Among the Dead: A Rachel Carver Mystery by J.R. Backlund, Dreamscape Audiobooks, June 2019
Service: Guest Editor, Special Issue on Performing Identity at the Crossroads, International Review of Qualitative Research, Vol 12.2 summer 2019.
Hannah Mueller, Ph.D.
Conference Presentation: “Preserving Harmony in All the Fan Field: The Debate over Community in 20th-Century Science-Fiction Fandom,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Denver, CO, April 2020.
Conference Presentation: “Netflix’ Post-Racial Utopias,” Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference, Cincinnati, OH, October 2019.
Publication: “The Funhouse Mirror,” Book review of Empowered by Sarah Banet-Weiser. CBQ 50:3. October 2019.
Interview/Cited: Micha, Robin, “Queerfinanziert,” BLONDE Magazine #47. October 2019, pp. 92-95.
Heidi Nees, Ph.D.
Conference Presentation: “You shall play it in a mask”: Dramaturgically Negotiating Representation in A Midsummer Night's Dream” (co-presentation with Dr. Stephannie Gearhart), Mid-America Theatre Conference, Chicago, IL, March 2020.
Publication: “Parlor Performances: Annie Oakley’s Performance of American Victorianism,” Theatre Annual, Vol 72, Fall 2019.
Geoff Stephenson, Ph.D.
Invited Lecture: “Kiss Me Kate in the Era of #Metoo,” Monthly meeting of the Shakespeare Roundtable, Bowling Green, OH, February 2020.
Conference Presentation: “Singing Your High School Musical,” State Thespian Conference, Columbus, March 2020.
Performance: “Sidney Bruhl,” Deathtrap, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Bemidji, MN, June 2019.
Performance: “Mr. Mushnik,” Little Shop of Horrors, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Bemidji, MN, July 2019.
Service: Street Entertainment Community Organizer, “Firefly Nights,” Bowling Green, OH, October 18, 2019.
Production: Director, The H.M.S. Pinafore or The Lass Who Loved a Sailor, BGSU College of Musical Arts Opera Theatre, Bowling Green, OH, November 2019.
Cynthia Stroud, Ph.D.
Publication: “Performing the Remembered Present: The Cognition of Memory in Dance, Theatre and Music. Ed. by Pil Hansen and Bettina Bläsing. Performance and Science: Interdisciplinary Dialogues. Bloomsbury, 2017,” Theatre Survey, Volume 61, Issue 1, January 2020. pp. 143-145.
Quincy Thomas, Ph.D.
Publication: “Performing White and Fine: The Ruin of a Racial Identity at Bob Jones University.” International Review of Qualitative Research, Vol 12, No. 2, Summer 2019.
Performance: Irene Ryan Competitor, KCACTF Region 3, City, State, January 2020.
Publication: “Performing (In)visible Bodies in Unpacked: Refugee Baggage,” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, vol. 34 no. 2, Spring 2020.
Award: Selma Jeanne Cohen Conference Presentation Award. “Choreography of Borders: Performing Middle Eastern Racial Mobility in Saba Zavarei’s Looking for Tehran,” American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR). Arlington, VA. November 2019.
Conference Presentation: “Choreography of Borders: Performing Middle Eastern Racial Mobility in Saba Zavarei’s Looking for Tehran,” American Society for Theatre Research, Arlington, VA, November 2019.
Book Review: “Turn That Thing Off! Collaboration and Technology in 21st Century Actor Training by Rose Burnett Bonczek, Roger Manix, and David Storck.” Theatre Topics, Vol. 29, No.2, July 2019.
Conference Presentation: “Queer Commedia: The Cicisbeo in Carlo Giodoni’s Plays & the Mask as Hidden Identity,” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Orlando, FL, August 2019.
Award: Certificate of Merit for Performance of Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
Award: Third Place, Women’s, Gender, And Sexuality Studies Graduate Essay Contest, “Re-claimed and Destabilized: Bryna Turner’s Bull in a China Shop as Queer Hist*.”
Conference Presentation: “Legacies of the Past: Inheriting and Influencing Contemporary Gay Characters,” Mid-America Theatre Conference, Chicago, IL, March 2020.
Conference Presentation: “Out of the Closet, Into and Out of the Grave: The Zombie Queerness of In the Flesh,” Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association, Pittsburg, PA, November 2019.
Production: Director, Carrie the Musical, Popovsky Performing Arts Studio, Lancaster, PA, August 2019.
Production: Director, Staged Reading, Bull in a China Shop, Ephrata Performing Arts Center, Ephrata, PA, June 2019.
Conference Presentation: “The Performance of Women as Aggressors in the Era of the #MeToo Movement,” Mid-America Theatre Conference, Chicago, IL, March 2020.
Conference Presentation: “‘Three Ways a Man Can Go’: Exploring Queer Masculinity in the Christian world of Spring Awakening,” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Music Theatre/Dance Focus Group, Orlando, FL, August 2019.
Service: Panel Moderator, “Graduate Student Research-in-Progress Forum,” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Orlando, FL, August 2019.
Service: Panel Moderator, “Graduate Student Sub-Committee Mental Health Roundtable,” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Orlando, FL, August 2019.
Service: Panel Moderator, “Graduate Student Sub-Committee Business Meeting,” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Orlando, FL, August 2019.
Conference Presentation: “‘A Goal Without Borders:’ The Many Public of San Diego's Teatro Meta, 1980-1992,” American Society for Theatre Research, "Latinx Publics" Working Group, Arlington, VA, November 2019.
Conference Presentation: “Actor Training and Identity in the Chicano Theatre Movement,” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Orlando, FL, August 2019.
Service: Session Coordinator/Moderator, “Latinx Acting Praxis: Transformations in Pedagogy and Performance,” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Orlando, FL, August 2019.
Performance: “Justice Chandlier,” Rock of Ages, 3B Productions, Maumee, OH, March 2020.
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