Department News (5-16-16)

Six Week Cinema was started in summer 2014 by Matthew Siemers and Nick Ritterin order to provide more film production experience for students. Last summer the initiative was adopted by the Media Arts program and over 130 students participated. Each project is designed to be small scale and must work within certain limitations: a 4 page script, one day of shooting, a limited budget, and 6 weeks to complete the process. The limitations create an environment that allows for the full production experience, focused on the process, without being overwhelming for those that are new to a crew position. Each project is provided with a mentor in order to facilitate the learning process, and students are trained multiple times during their six weeks. Due to the nature and size of the projects, students may enter any crew position without any previous experience. These projects have been a great opportunity for students to gain production experience in areas they are interested in and have also provided a system to further networking between students. After each project is completed a follow up meeting is conducted in order to evaluate the students’ experience and also give feedback on the overall process of Six Week Cinema.To date, Six Week Cinema has created eight short films and three commercials. This summer four more shorts and two commercials will be added to that number. A screening of the projects will be held at the beginning of the fall 2016 semester to celebrate everyone’s hard work and accomplishments this summer. Click to see theFacebook and Youtube pages for Six Week Cinema.
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Week two for the Theatre London Study Abroad program as reported by Katie Jarvis: “This week was FULL of incredible theater! Tuesday we went to Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe theater, we stood in the yard as “groundlings” and it rained during most of the performance! Wednesday we saw The Caretaker at the Old Vic Theater. British actor Timothy Smalls starred in the show, he is most famous for his role as Peter Pettigrew in Harry Potter. Thursday we got an official backstage tour of the National Theater. To see the inner and outer workings of the theater was informative, fun, and generally a dream come true for several people in our group. That night we went to seeMeasure for Measure at The Rose Theater. The interesting thing about the Rose is that it is actually an archeological site… where they have to keep the remnants of the ancient theater underwater in sand so they don’t erode, so the performance was in and around this archeological site. Very different than a traditional theater space, but also very well done. Friday we saw Running Wild at the Regents Open Air Theater. This children’s production used life-size puppets of many animals including an elephant, tiger, crocodile, orangutans, birds and fish. It was full of spectacle and magic, but it was also FREEZING out that night, so it was an adventure. On Saturday some from our group went to the temple, some went to Portobello road and others went to various shows that night. It was an excellent week and we are excited to go on our three day bus trip to Stratford upon Avon starting tomorrow!”

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Tim Threlfall will be directing Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA this summer.  It will star Broadway veterans Jen Cody (wife of Hunter Foster) playing all three female roles and Daniel Pearce (Broadway: Spelling Beeand Marchinal) also known for his Shakespeare roles around the country.  The Cape Playhouse is one of America’s longest running summer theatre company’s referred to inThe New York Times as, “Where Broadway goes for the summer.” Tim is also directing Hunchback of Notre Dame which opens at Tuacahn in August and plays through mid-October.  Tuacahn is one of just three theatre companies around the nation given the rights to present Hunchback this summer along with Sacramento Music Circus and Ongunquit Playhouse in Maine.

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Janell Turley, a design student who graduated in December of 2013, was recently hired by the Tony-award winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival to build wigs for their production of The Wiz. Janell wrote to her former teacher, Janet Swenson and said,  “I’ve been here for almost two weeks already and they’re working me hard and I love it so much.  I’m doing lots of ventilating and setting and styling, and building weird shaped wigs and lots of other stuff.  They even want to keep me on for longer because they’re impressed with my work!  I must have had the best teacher.  …. I miss you lots, and I’m always so grateful for everything you taught me!”

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