Program and Alumni News
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TWU Theatre alumnus Shane Strawbridge (MA '14) has been named one of four national finalists for The Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy Scholarship at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The institute aims to improve and build theater criticism in American media. From the four advocates selected, one writer will go on to work with Chris Jones, theater critic at the Chicago Tribune, at the National Critics Institute in July at the O'Neill Theatre Center during its national playwriting conference.
A recent Denton Record-Chronicle article, "Rape response: Denton police look to improve investigations into city's most notable violent crime", features TWU Theatre Program professor Noah Lelek, Ph.D.
Lelek's troupe acts out a scenario in which a freshman student is sexually assaulted at a party on campus. The character's friends partially blame her for the encounter, and after the performance, audience members ask the actors questions about their characters' decisions. They discuss what could have been done differently to better understand the nuances of sexual assault.
"It's an interesting opportunity for students to develop empathy and to figure out what they'd do in that situation, because it's not really cut and dry. It's sometimes hard for students to think about," he said. Lelek, whose 12-person troupe usually performs for audiences under 100 people, said performances help create an emotional response that allows audience members to better empathize with the issue.
The Texas Woman’s University Theatre Program kicks off its spring semester with The Long Christmas Ride Home, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel and directed by Noah Lelek, Ph.D., assistant professor of theatre at TWU. Set during an emotionally tumultuous journey, this production daringly mixes the Western theatrical tradition with Japanese bunraku-style puppetry. The production runs Feb. 21-25.
Fort Worth's Amphibian Stage Productions has promoted Linsey Retcofsky, who has served as associate producer since 2013, to managing director. She holds a master of arts degree in theatre from Texas Woman’s University.
The Texas Woman’s University Theatre Program continues its 2017-2018 season with Jean-Baptiste Racine’s Phaedra. TWU welcomes guest director Lydia Mackay, an esteemed actor and director who has worked in a number of Dallas-Fort Worth theaters and playhouses, including Dallas Theatre Center, Shakespeare Dallas, Theatre Three and Amphibian Stage Productions. The production runs Nov. 15-19.
The Texas Woman’s University Theatre Program will open its 2017-2018 season with The Wal*Mart-ians, an original play written and directed by Steven Young, associate professor of theatre at TWU. The Wal*Mart-ians was originally produced in Chicago, where it won the 2003 Chicago Arts and Entertainment award for best comedy of the year. The production runs Oct. 11-15, 2017.
The Texas Woman’s University Drama Program and the Department of Music and Drama have received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to change their official titles to the Theatre Program and the Department of Music and Theatre.
This summer, the Texas Woman’s University Theatre Program performed the original play Gun Show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, U.K. “The Fringe” is the largest arts festival in the world, running throughout the month of August and featuring performances from hundreds of theatre companies from around the globe.
TWU alumna Christina Garcia leads students to UIL State Championship
Christina Garcia, graduate of the TWU Theatre M.A. program and director of theatre at Zapata High School, led her students to victory at last week's 4A UIL One-Act State Championship. The play, titled Las Soldadera: The Female Warriors of the Mexican Revolution, also received recognition for its All-Star Cast and Honorable Mention All-Star Cast.
"This continues a tradition of TWU grads excelling in the UIL One-Act competition. Needless to say, we are thrilled with Christina's big success," said Patrick Bynane, Ph.D., Director of the TWU Theatre Program.
Theatre senior Riley Payne, who is a member of the inaugural TWU musical theatre certificate class, performed Saturday, October 8, in a masterclass taught by Lindsay Mendez.
Lindsay Mendez made her Broadway debut playing Jan in Grease. The big-belting singer went on to The Marvelous Wonderettes before landing a role in Sherie Rene Scott’s Everyday Rapture, which she performed both off and on Broadway. After a featured part in the 2011 revival of Godspell, Mendez made her leading lady debut in off-Broadway’s Dogfight. Soon, she will take over the starring role of Elphaba in Broadway's Wicked.
Kelley Poché-Rodriguez, TWU Assistant Visiting Professor of Music, accompanied on piano. The masterclass, was held at Oh Look Performing Arts in Grapevine, TX.
Linsey Retcofsky joined the staff of Amphibian Stage Productions in May 2013 after graduating with her Master of Arts in Theatre from Texas Woman’s University. She was awarded participation in the Kennedy Center’s inaugural Summer Playwriting Intensive and was the stage manager for Erik Ehn’s world premiere production of Diamond Dick: The Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 which began in Dallas and traveled to La Mama ETC in New York City as part of Soulographie, a festival of Ehn’s genocide plays.
While at TWU, she stage managed the world premiere of The Panther’s Scream and other Texas Tales which traveled to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and received rave reviews from The Herald and The Scotsman. In Dallas-Fort Worth, she has worked with WaterTower Theatre, Shakespeare Dallas, Project X, and Jubilee Theatre.
Linsey leads Amphibian’s arts outreach programming at Tarrant County Green Bay Facility in the unit that serves military veterans, serves on the board of The Welman Project, a nonprofit organization that distributes surplus materials from local companies for creative reuse in the classroom at no cost to schools or educators and in Spring 2018 she joins us in the Theatre department to teach Theatre Management. Linsey is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and Christians in Theatre Arts.