A director's note with Joel Grothe

The Lamar University Department of Theatre & Dance presents Bakkhai. By awakening savage frenzy in the women of Thebes, Dionysus - the god of wine, ecstasy and fertility - lays bare the duality of our natures: that each of us, no matter how civilized, has a wild beast within. Originally written by Euripides, we were curious about director Joel Grothe’s adaptation and approach to what is considered a highly collaborative process. Read More

LUTD selects works to represent regionally in 2020

Each year the Department of Theatre & Dance travels to the American College Dance Association Regional Conference held at hosting higher education institutions across the region. The American College Dance Association exists to support and affirm dance in higher education through regional conferences, the adjudication process, and national festivals. The educational mission of the Association is to foster creative potential, to honor multiple approaches to scholarly and creative research and activity, to promote excellence in choreography and/or performance, and to give presence and value to diversity in dance. The Association acts as a national membership service organization to strengthen the educational network for students and faculty within the academic dance community. Read More

A director's note on Permanent Collection

The Lamar University Department of Theatre & Dance is proud to present Thomas Gibbons’ Permanent Collection directed by graduating senior Caitlin Grammer. The second theatre production of the season walks a delicate line, not only in the scripts challenging and controversial subject matter, but the process of a young artist directing one’s peers through such a complex production. With the process in full speed, we are elated to have a moment to speak with the director one-on-one for a peek behind the proverbial curtain. Read More

Review: LU's 'Luna Gale" fills theatre with emotion

A play about a custody battle between a young mother and her own mother, and a social worker’s fight within the system may not seem like a fun way to spend a couple of hours. But Rebecca Gilman’s “Luna Gale,” as presented by Lamar University’s theatre department, is a thoughtful, amusing and inspired piece of art. The show is presented in the Studio Theatre through Oct. 6. READ REVIEW

A director's note on Luna Gale

The Department of Theatre & Dance welcomes Carolyn Johnson, an Equity actress, singer, director, and dialect/voice & acting coach, back to the Studio Theatre to direct our season opener – Luna Gale. Luna Gale is the third production she’s worked on for Lamar University, having previously directed The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time and Mauritius.

Carolyn earned the 2017 Houston Press Best Actress Award for her role as Caroline in Stages Repertory Theatre’s production of Luna Gale. We are honored to be able to speak with her on her process and the scope of this ‘complex’ production. Read More

Small life on big stage: Lamar professor uses microbial diseases in dress and dance

The Port Arthur News - Art is inspired by many things in life, including those too small to see with the naked eye.

Cherie Acosta of Lamar’s Department of Theatre and Dance helped bring the microscopic world of cellular diseases to vivid display through a combination of dress and dance. Read More

Students Dance Their Hearts Out at LU Summer Dance Intensive

The Lamar University Summer Dance Intensive (LUSDI), hosted by the Department of Theatre and Dance, gave area students opportunity to experience the life of a collegiate dancer while studying with well-known names in the professional and collegiate dance industries.

LU Summer Dance Intensive ShowcaseTravis Prokop, director of the two-week intensive said, “It’s important to have opportunities like LUSDI and other programs for dancers in the summer, which is predominately a dancer’s off time, so that they can continue to train and grow as artists. LUSDI is a chance to gain college level training, in a multi- faceted curriculum.” Read More.

LU Dance hosts summer camp

The Department of Theatre and Dance is hosting the Lamar University Summer Dance Intensive (LUSDI) July 10-21, 2017 at the Health and Human Performance Complex.

The Intensive is designed to provide area students with two weeks of elite level training, culminating in a professional dance concert. The camp is broken up into a senior division, 8th grade and above, to include adults, and a junior division for grades 3-7. A one-week option is also available.

“It is very intense,” LUSDI director Travis Prokop said. “More classes have been added from last year, as well as a professionally produced show at the end.”

Among styles taught by LU faculty, all former professional dancers, will be hip-hop, aerial, ballet, and tap. Read more.

LU dance honored at ACDA conference

Dance concert image by Lynn LaneTwo of LU's faculty and students were selected for a highly competitive honor at the American College Dance Association's South-Central regional conference held at Collin College in Plano, March 2-6, 2017. At the conference, dance departments from Texas and New Mexico presented works choreographed by faculty and students, as well as guest artists. Forty works were adjudicated by a panel of judges, and 12 were selected to be performed at the conference's gala concert.

Among the selected works were Red Velvet is Just Chocolate, choreographed by Assistant Professor Travis Prokop and Picture [not so] Perfect. by dance major Katelyn Kirk.

Rebekah Gonzales displayed her work now Yours on the Grand Informal Concert.

Lamar University has been selected to host the 2018 ACDA South-Central conference in spring of 2018. 

LU students explore Taiwanese culture on study abroad trip

The six students were in Taiwan from March 18 to April 2, to study dance at the Tainan University of Technology.

“We are friends with people at TUT,” Kim Ramsey, Katy junior, said. “We had about 16 students and four faculty come (to Lamar) last year for about two weeks.”

Golden Wright, chair of the department of theatre and dance, said that the idea for hosting the TUT students came from the director of global studies and study abroad. Read more.

Department of Theatre and Dance perform Pinter plays Feb. 9-12

Pinter posterThe Department of Theatre and Dance will perform two one-act plays from different periods of the career of Nobel prize-winning British dramatist Harold Pinter, Feb. 9-12, 2017, in the Studio Theatre. 

In The Dumb Waiter, written in 1957, two hitmen, Gus and Ben, anxiously await their next assignment in a nondescript basement room. "The Dumb Waiter might be considered the best of Harold Pinter's early plays. . . . It combines the classic characteristics of early Pinter - a paucity of information and an atmosphere of menace, working-class small-talk in a claustrophobic setting - with an oblique but palpable political edge and, in so doing, can be seen as containing the germ of Pinter's entire dramatic oeuvre," wrote Harry Derbyshire in Modern Drama

A Kind of Alaska, written in 1982, tells the story of Deborah, who suffered from encephalitis lethargica, or "sleepy sickness," and has been in a comatose state for 30 years. With the mind of 16-year old, she must confront a body that has aged without her consent. The play was inspired by the book Awakenings by Oliver Sacks, which documented the encephalitis epidemic that plagued Europe in the early 20th century before L-DOPA was invented. Read more.

Read the University Press article.

Houston Chronicle names Joel Grothe's "Thomas Cromwell" one of year's best theatrical performances

Joel GrotheJoel Grothe, assistant professor of acting, received rave reviews as Thomas Cromwell in Hilary Mantel’s "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up the Bodies." Both shows ran through Dec. 18 at Houston's Main Street Theater. On December 25, the Houston Chronicle listed the performance as one of the seven best of the year, stating, "It takes an actor of unusual stamina and dedication to star in a six-hour play. Grothe anchored Hilary Mantel's lush drama about royal intrigue with a steady yet kinetic presence."

Grothe brings this dedication to the classroom and hopes that his performance will inspire his students: “I hope they see what I do and realize they can do the same thing,” he said. “Students often want to finish a task as quickly as possible. They think they learn their lines and the character is done. It’s not done. It’s never done. I want them to work harder, be obsessive, be tenacious, and not settle for adequacy by doing the minimum. I hope they learn to be present and have a good attitude — to have values.” Read more.

Dancers in the air at LU fall dance concert

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present its fall dance concert, “Fall and Recovery,” Nov. 18 - 20, 2016, in the University Theatre. The evening of dance works performed by LU students encompasses many genres, including tap, jazz, musical theatre, modern, contemporary, and aerial silks, and is choreographed by dance faculty and select students.

"We are excited to present this show to the public because our students have been working hard to build up a reputable concert that not only they are proud of but that the community of Beaumont and Lamar University can be proud of also,” said Travis Prokop, assistant professor of dance. “The faculty and students continue to push the boundaries of conventional dance theatre by dancing in the air, and the use of unconventional lighting and scenic design.” Read more.

LU presents comedic farce ‘Boeing Boeing’

boeing boeing posterLamar University’s Department of Theatre & Dance will present the Tony Award-winning comedy “Boeing Boeing,” by Marc Camoletti, translated and adapted by Beverly Cross, Nov. 3 to Nov. 6, 2016 in the University Theatre. The 1960s French farce tells the story of Bernard, a self-styled Parisian lothario, who is simultaneously engaged to three different airline hostesses. His master plan backfires when all three wind up at his apartment on the same day.

“We’re excited to produce this play and think the public will really respond to it,” said Brian LeTraunik, assistant professor of theatre and the play’s director. “We’ve never done an out and out farce before. In many ways, comedy is more challenging than drama - more technical and precise. I thought it would be a good challenge for our students and that our audiences would be very entertained.” Read more.

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