Christopher Sadler, associate professor of stage and theatre management, co-edits Off Headset: Essays on Stage Management Life, Work, and Career.
Read the OU Daily article here.
Congratulations to lighting designer and School of Drama alumnus Adam Honoré, who will deliver the Keynote Address for USITT21 Virtually Anywhere on Friday, March 12th!
Honoré's current project, lighting design for simply sondheim, is streaming online from February 2 – March 26, 2021.
Honoré is also the production designer for Little Shop of Horrors with Out of the Box Theatrics (livestream starts March 15th).
Adam was recently featured on a PLSN Podcast - Let’s Create Theater That Matters – with Adam Honoré, where he discusses influential teachers (SoD's Professor Young made the list!), modern lighting portfolios, technology taught in schools, advice for students of 2020, and more!
You can learn more about Honoré by visiting his website: honorelighting.com.
For more information about USITT21 Virtually Anywhere, click here!
Congratulations to Scenic Design Senior Clíona Smith for winning the prestigious Richard Hay Undergraduate Scene Design Award!
The incredible recognition awarded by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology honors a college student who displays a strong sense of design aesthetics, strong execution of artistic and technical abilities, and competency in a wide variety of scenic design-related skills.
For her nomination, Clíona submitted her scenic design portfolio that included OU University Theatre’s productions of "Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley", "Così fan tutte", and "Cabaret", along with model building and artwork.
"It was a happy confirmation that all my work during my years at OU paid off. At the OU School of Drama design production program, we get to design mainstage shows and graduate with a well-stocked portfolio. Our professors provide us ample space to learn, collaborate and grow as young designers. It's absolutely amazing" said Clíona after finding out she was the winner of the award.
For more information on USITT and their awards, please visit usitt.org
To read more about Cliona, check out the OU Daily article here.
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley is a lovely tribute to the works of Jane Austen. It features the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice in a new holiday story.
Continue reading the
Broadway World Review here!
ACTORS: Joseph Hoffman, Emma Woodward, Devin Ricklef, and Levi Hawkins
DESIGNERS - Scenic: Cliona Smith; Costume: Emily Cejka; Lighting: Ian Evans
Photo by Richard Sprecker
NORMAN, OKLA.— Jon Young, professor of scenic design in the Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma, will be one of 10 theatre professionals, artists and educators inducted into membership at the 2020 National Theatre Conference in early December.
Young oversees the design and production area for the School of Drama and University Theatre and has been teaching students at OU for 11 years. As a member of the National Theatre Conference, he is one of the distinguished members of the American theatre community who represent both professional and academic theatre institutions, as well as independent artists. NTC members of artists, producers, scholars and innovators are all leaders in their field and dedicated to supporting the future of American Theatre.
“I first met Professor Young in the professional field,” said Seth Gordon, director of the Helmerich School of Drama. “He designed a variety of sets for productions I directed in the years prior to my becoming director of the Helmerich School of Drama, and now I’ve worked with him as coordinator of the design and production area here at school. Jon is a major artist of the theatre, an insightful and supportive teacher and mentor, and a leader of his peers. It’s an honor to work with him and there is no question that he is richly deserving of this honor.”
Young was recipient of the 2016 Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts from the University of Oklahoma and a 2015 recipient of the Gold Medallion from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
Young has designed professionally for the Houston Shakespeare Festival, Stages Repertory Theatre, Creed Repertory Theatre, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Black Hills Playhouse, Unicorn Theatre Late Night Theatre and Coterie Theatre. He has designed over 30 productions for University Theatre dance, drama, opera and musical theater at OU.
Young’s scenic design work was featured in United States Institute for Theatre Technology’s Theatre Design & Technologypublications for Stupid F##king Bird at Stages Repertory Theatre, summer 2016 issue; and his design for Sunday In The Park With George and The Odyssey, summer 2012 issue.
His scenic design work for After Juliet was invited to be a part of the World Stage Design 2009 Exhibit in Seoul Korea. You can follow Young’s work at www.youngscenicstudio.com and @youngscenicstudio.
NORMAN, OK—Professor Lloyd Cracknell, associate professor of drama, has been named the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts 2020 Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts at the University of Oklahoma.
After a highly successful and lucrative career in the fashion world, Professor Cracknell fell in love with the theatre and teaching. He earned his master of fine arts degree in drama from the University of Oklahoma in 2010 and joined the Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama in an interim position that year.
Each year, professor Cracknell teaches a minimum of 10 classes in the School of Drama and serves as the resident costume designer for OU University Theatre. He designs two to three main stage productions, as well as mentoring student costume designers on five to six college-wide main stage productions and up to four lab productions each season.
Seth Gordon, director, Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama said, “Lloyd is beloved by students, faculty and staff alike. His quiet leadership and mentorship is something I admire. The Rothbaum Award is a fitting tribute to all he has accomplished here, but more so, personally, I’m thrilled to have him as my colleague each day.”
When asked about his teaching philosophy, Cracknell stated, “All of my classes support a journey for the student that encourages the development of self-motivation, innovation, responsibility and creative confidence. The process of becoming a designer or technician is intensely personal, and my courses have been structured to allow for fluidity based on who is on the roster, but my belief is that the process must contain the following: learning how to collaborate and contribute to the production design process, how aesthetic choices combined with script analysis and in-depth research form the design, and learning basic and advanced construction techniques that inform the design.”
Read the OU Daily article here.
OU School of Drama to perform 'Stop Kiss' as reading to achieve 'human story' while abiding by COVID-19 rules
Read the OU Daily article here.
NORMAN, OKLA. – A recent gift from Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Oklahoma native Ron Howard will help aspiring actors from rural areas pursue their dream of studying drama and fine arts at the University of Oklahoma.
Howard’s $90,000 gift to the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts at OU establishes a scholarship to support students in the college’s Helmerich School of Drama who hail from rural communities across the United States.
The scholarship is named in memory of Howard’s parents, Rance
and Jean Howard, both of whom were born in Oklahoma and studied drama at OU before enjoying successful acting careers. In addition to their son Ron, their son Clint Howard and their granddaughters Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard have established notable careers in film and television.
“Our mom and dad were from small-town, rural America,” Ron Howard explained. “Their ability to afford to be the first in their families to pursue a career in the arts at OU changed their lives, as well as the course of our family history. They met on campus, made lifelong friends and career connections there, and affirmed the viability of their dreams. Our family wants to help support that dream for students from similar circumstances who make the excellent choice to attend the University of Oklahoma for drama and fine arts.”
Mary Margaret Holt, dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, said, “We are honored that beloved American filmmaker and actor Ron Howard has chosen to memorialize his parents through this generous scholarship fund in support of students in the Helmerich School of Drama. Students come to our school from across the country, from a variety of communities and circumstances, all sharing the dream of a career in acting that Rance and Jean Howard cherished and achieved. The scholarships provided by this fund will support students from rural areas and small communities who might otherwise be unable to pursue a degree in drama. We are deeply grateful to Ron and his family.”
Ron Howard first came to prominence as a child actor, guest-starring in several television series, including an episode of The Twilight Zone. He gained national attention for playing young Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show from 1960 through 1968, along with prominent roles in the films The Music Man and American Graffiti. In 1974, Howard became a household name for playing Richie Cunningham in the sitcom Happy Days, a role he would play for the next six years.
The 1977 comedy Grand Theft Auto marked his directorial debut; and in 1980, he left Happy Days to focus on directing. During the past 43 years, he has directed more than 30 films, including the 1985 science fiction/fantasy Cocoon, the 1995 historical docudrama Apollo 13, the 2006 thriller The Da Vinci Code and the 2018 science fiction/fantasy Solo: A Star Wars Story.
For the 2001 biographical drama A Beautiful Mind, Howard won two Academy Awards – Best Director and Best Picture. In 2003, he received the National Medal of Arts, and in 2013, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. Howard has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the television and motion picture industries.
Seth Gordon, director of the Helmerich School of Drama, expressed his appreciation to the Howard family.
“I am immeasurably grateful to Ron Howard and his family for this generous gift,” Gordon said. “I have been director of the Helmerich School of Drama for one year, and in that short time I have witnessed very quiet and unassuming acts of heroism on the part of so many of our students. They often work multiple jobs to cover their tuition, and they’re at school, working hard, all day and all night.
Gordon continued, “This important gift makes it clear that their determination is seen and heard. The arts are essential to any thriving society and with this gift, Ron Howard makes it possible for the finest theatre artists of tomorrow to make their contribution. The hearts of everyone at the Helmerich School of Drama are full.”
OU amid coronavirus: University Theatre redirects skills to make masks for police, patients
Read the OU Daily article here.
Professor Christopher Sadler, associate professor of drama, has been named the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts 2019 Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts.
Professor Sadler joined the University of Oklahoma in 2005. Since his arrival he has been a tireless educator, revising the stage management curriculum to reflect an ever-changing profession and creating new courses (ranging from music notation to dramatic literature) to enhance students’ education. One former student remarked of Professor Sadler: “His classes are spaces conducive to discussion and debate, especially about challenging ideas, and they remain safe spaces to share and discuss because Chris prioritizes respect, leading by example.”
When asked about his leadership in arts education, Sadler said, “In 2005, I became the first faculty member at OU dedicated to the teaching of stage management. From the beginning, I was determined to make the bachelor of fine arts degree in stage management prominent regionally and nationally."
Seth Gordon, a nationally recognized stage director and producer of new plays, has been named as director of the Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma.
A passionate educator, Gordon has taught stage directing, dramaturgy and audition techniques, and he has been invited to lead master classes in directing and acting at Webster University, Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory, Cleveland Play House, Carnegie Mellon University, Pratt Institute and New York University.
As associate artistic director of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Gordon created and produced Ignite! an annual new play festival; crafted and curated a new play commissioning program; administered creative campaigns and fundraising efforts; assisted with season selection; supervised the casting and literary department; and was a member of the long range strategic planning committee.
"We are eager to welcome Seth to the University of Oklahoma as he enriches our already strong theatrical offerings in the Helmerich School of Drama and guides our talented faculty, students and staff toward a bright, exciting future," said Mary Margaret Holt, dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts.
NORMAN – The Helmerich School of Drama will present The Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival Tour Friday through Sunday, Feb.2-4, at the University of Oklahoma. The event showcases three works that serve Mosaic Theater Company’s mission of “making transformational, socially relevant art [by] producing plays by authors on the front lines of conflict zones [to build] a fusion community to address some of the most pressing issues of our times.”
Included in the festival are performances of I Shall Not Hate, adapted by Izzeldin Abuelaish and Shay Pitovsky and performed in the Weitzenhoffer Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Wrestling Jerusalem by Aaron Davidman, screening in Meacham Auditorium of Oklahoma Memorial Union at 3 p.m. Sunday; and Via Dolorosa by David Hare, performed in the Weitzenhoffer Theatre at 3 p.m. Sunday. All three plays explore conflict occurring between Israel and Palestine.
Mosaic Theater Company of DC founding artistic director Ari Roth brings with him to the OU performance Palestinian-Israeli actor Gassan Abbas (I Shall Not Hate), actor and playwright Aaron Davidman (Wrestling Jerusalem) and actor David Bryan Jackson (Via Dolorosa), as well as playwright David Hare (Via Dolorosa), technical and design director Max Doolittle, and projections operator and translator Sivan Atzmon.
Tickets are $20 to the public and $10 for OU faculty, staff and students. Faculty, staff and students also have the option of buying a package with tickets to all three shows for $20 until 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 1. Single tickets will go on sale an hour ®before every show. Patrons should expect to pay cash for a single ticket to the screening of Wrestling Jerusalem. Call the OU Fine Arts Box Office at (405) 325-4101 to reserve your tickets. For accommodations, please call (405) 325-4101.
Friday, February 2 @ 8PM | I SHALL NOT HATE | Post Show Discussion
Saturday, February 3 @ 3PM | WRESTLING JERUSALEM | Post Show Discussion
Saturday, February 3 @ 8PM | I SHALL NOT HATE | Peace Café
Sunday, February 4 @ 3PM | VIA DOLOROSA | Post Show Discussion
The Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma is one of the top 10 Bachelor of Fine Arts theatre design and technology programs in the nation, according to OnStage. You can read the article here.
The Third Annual Helmerich Literature Alive production of Charlotte's Web was a smashing success! Over a two week period, students performed for sixteen elementary schools and one senior community.
Directed by Judith Pender
Costumes by Chris Harris
Set by Meghan Buchanan
The Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts and the Helmerich School of Drama would like to congratulate the Class of 2016! We are so excited to see where life takes you!
Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama senior Tayler Daniels recieved the prestigious Letzeiser Gold Medal during the University of Oklahoma Spring Campus Awards Ceremony. The Letzeiser Awards are presented annually in memory of the late Alexander Letzeiser as a stimulus of good citizenship and achievement. Up to thirteen outstanding senior men and thirteen outstanding senior women are generally selected for the Letzeiser Honor List. From the Honor Lists, three medals (bronze, silver, and gold) are presented to three men and three women. Congratulations, Tayler! We are so proud of you!
Students from the Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma won numerous top honors at the recent Region 6 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in San Angelo, Texas.
Read the full story here.
Dr. Kae Koger, Associate Professor of Theatre History and Dramaturgy, has been named the 2015 Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts.
Read the announcement from Dean Mary Margaret Holt here.
Because of her unselfish ways, her appreciation of higher education and her lifelong passion for music, Elsie C. Brackett is a fitting namesake for OU’s performance venue, previously known as the Rupel J. Jones Theatre. Knowing how thrilled Elsie would be to provide an opportunity for young people to develop the craft and skills of the performing arts, her daughter and son-in-law, Susan E. “Betsy” Brackett and Gregg A. Wadley, made a lead gift to renovate the theatre. In recognition of their gift, the theatre will be named to honor Elsie C. Brackett.
Creating a comfortable and positive theatre experience for the thousands of patrons to the OU Fine Arts has always been a top priority. Thanks to the generosity of longtime OU Fine Arts supporters Betsy Brackett and Gregg Wadley, the Elsie C. Brackett Theatre features many front-of-house renovations and enhancements resulting in a theatre experience that is second to none!
Each year, more than 400 students work on various components of theatre–from stage design and technical support to acting and performing–making the Elsie C. Brackett Theatre not only a remarkable venue for live performances, but also a working classroom for students studying the performing arts. The addition of a center-of-the-house sound booth, made possible by a lead grant from the Kirkpatrick Foundation, provides these students with the highest quality educational experience using the most recent technology and sound equipment.
Five University of Oklahoma Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama students were awarded national honors
at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) held in Washington, D.C., April 15-19, 2014. Hundreds of schools and thousands of students from across the country compete at state and regional festivals
for the right to showcase their work at the national KCACTF held every April at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
full story here