Theater and Dance, Fall 2013


Associate Professor Christine McDowell, second from right, teaches a class on costume and scene design. (Photograph by Ryan Donnell)

The year in Theater and Dance begins with our annual Open House in Schaeffer Theatre at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, in Schaeffer Theater.

Come and catch up with old friends, meet first-year students and new faculty, and hear plans for the academic year.


Our annual Parents & Family Weekend Concert features works in a variety of styles by students and by faculty choreographers. This year’s program includes:

  • a first-years’ piece by Rachel Boggia;
  • a piece by Carol Dilley performed by the advanced dancers from DANC 253 Dance Repertory Performance and DANC 270D Studio:Repertory Styles;
  • and a piece by the DANC 270F Studio: Advanced Jazz Repertory class choreographed by Debi Irons.

The program is performed at noon Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29, in Schaeffer.

We will also participate in the Multi-Arts Bates in Action Showcase initiated in 2012 by the Arts Collaborative for the Homecoming Weekend celebrations. Taking place this year in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, the showcase features student performances in theater, dance, readings and music.

Details will follow — but if you’re a performer, you might want to put this date on your calendar now.

Our main event, the Fall Dance Concert, features:

  • senior thesis works by Colleen Fitzgerald and Leroy Barnes;
  • a work by Advanced Jazz Repertory;
  • and four works by professional choreographers for Dance Repertory Performance.

The choreographers for Rep this year are dance program director Carol Dilley, who teaches the course; Meredith Lyons, recently arrived from Philadelphia to join the Bates Dance Festival team; and the renowned Urban Bush Women, known internationally for both their artistic voice and their social mission. Learn more about the Urban Bush Women.

If you’d like to get all of the information on all things dance, please sign up for the Dance Club listserv ( For more information on Dance Rep or any other classes, contact Carol Dilley.


Department-wide auditions for fall theater projects will take place in Schaeffer Theatre on Sept. 4 and 5, with callbacks on Sept. 6 if needed.

The fall mainstage production will be In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Senior Lecturer in Theater Katalin Vecsey. Carol Farrell will design costumes for In the Next Room and Michael Reidy will design the scenery. That production runs Oct. 31–Nov. 4 in Schaeffer.

Juniors Nick Auer and Jonathan Schwolsky and senior Andrew Overbye will direct TH 360 Independent Study projects (titles to be announced) and will participate in the auditions.

We welcome to our department Brooke O’Harra, assistant professor of theater. This highly regarded, Obie Award-winning director and theater artist works at the forefront of contemporary theater. Her company, Theater of a Two-Headed Calf, appears regularly seen at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Soho Rep and other New York City venues. She will be directing in the winter semester, with the production title to be announced.

We are awaiting funding to bring to Bates The Duplicates, an exciting theater company from Austin, Texas, dedicated to creating original work. They will visit campus in early February to finish rehearsing their new project, Expo 2054. During their two weeks here, The Duplicates will hold workshops on devised theater (also known as collaborative creation) and performance.

During Short Term, Gretchen Berg, who has been teaching playwriting for us, will lead students in the creation of a devised theater piece that will go to local elementary schools in our annual DN/ED s29 Tour, Teach, Perform course.

Josh Vink will return to teach DN/TH 270V Movement for Actors.

In the spring, juniors Max Pendergast and Karnes McKarrick will direct THEA 360 independent study projects. And Dana Professor of Theater Martin Andrucki will direct Becky Shaw, a 2008 Pulitzer nominee by Gina Gionfriddo, during Short Term.

Professor Christine McDowell is on leave during the fall. Teaching THEA 130 Introduction to Design is Judy Gailen, bringing her years of design experience to us from Bowdoin College.

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