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Two UF School of Theatre + Dance alumni perform in show traveling to London

Joel Oramas, left, and Thaddeus Walker

By Elizabeth Boone

Burning Coal Theatre Company’s production of The Iron Curtain Trilogy will feature two UF School of Theatre + Dance alumni, Joel Oramas and Thaddeus Walker. Walker will perform at the company’s theater in Raleigh, North Carolina, and then will go on to perform at The Cockpit in London where Oramas will join the production.

Even with only a few rehearsals before the London performance, Oramas said UF has prepared him.

“If there is anything I’ve learned in my training, it is to trust in my preparation and the ‘homework’ I’ve done beforehand,” Oramas said. “Even with so few rehearsals, my preparation will be enough and allow me the confidence to play moment to moment.”

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UF School of Theatre + Dance alumnus George Salazar performing in Off-Broadway musical

Photo by Billy Bustamante

By Elizabeth Boone

UF School of Theatre + Dance alumnus George Salazar is currently performing in the Off-Broadway production of Here Lies Love at the Public Theater. He is currently playing in the ensemble after working with the production last year as a swing.

Here Lies Love is an “immersive show retracing the astonishing journey of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos from her meteoric rise to power to her descent into infamy,” according to the show’s website. After its success in the U.S., the show has plans to transfer to the National Theatre in London, and Salazar said he is thrilled to be a part of it. 

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UF School of Theatre + Dance alumna Katrina Asmar performs in A Chorus Line

By Elizabeth Boone

UF School of Theatre + Dance alumna Katrina Asmar is currently performing the role of Diana Morales in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of A Chorus Line in Seattle, Washington. Asmar graduated in 2011 with a BFA in Musical Theatre.

“I couldn’t be happier to play one of my dream roles in one of my favorite shows of all time,” Asmar said.

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The Hippodrome Cinema hosts film screening and Q&A with School of Theatre + Dance visiting artist Yiftach Klein Sept. 9

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By Elizabeth Boone

An Orthodox Jew, a gay man with a baby on the way and an anti-terrorist squad leader.

Yiftach Klein has played it all.

The 41-year-old actor now takes on a new role as a visiting artist for the fall 2014 semester at the University of Florida School of Theatre + Dance where he is teaching a course in solo performance.

Students and members of the community can catch him in action in “Policeman,” his latest film that has won awards at numerous film festivals, including the Philadelphia Film Festival. The screening will take place at the Hippodrome Cinema in Gainesville, Florida, Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. followed by a Q-and-A session with Klein.

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Assistant Professor Charlie Mitchell publishes textbook

Congratulations to Dr. Charlie Mitchell, assistant professor in the School of Theatre + Dance, on the recent publication of his open source textbook, Theatrical Worlds, published online by University Press of Florida. This is a ground-breaking text for the teaching of introductory theatre courses that has been years in development. Congratulations also to Stacey Galloway, assistant professor, for her chapter on costume design. 

Twentieth Century, a comedic play about fate, fame and love takes the stage in Constans Theatre

Twentieth Century actors Amanda Schlachter, left, as Lily Garland, and Tom Foley, as Oscar Jaffe. 

Twentieth Century, a classic 1930s screwball comedy that explores the theme and effects of stardom during the Golden Age of Hollywood, will be presented by the UF School of Theatre + Dance during a limited one-week engagement July 17-20, 2014. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. July 17-19 and at 2 p.m. July 19 and July 20.

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Tony Mata and Ralf Remshardt hold New York screening of their documentary, Theatre of Rice and Beans

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Back row, left to right: Ralf Remshardt and Tony Mata; front row, the films’ honorees from left to right: Max Ferrá, René Buch and Miriam Colón; all photos by Tucker Hollingsworth

Approximately 100 guests including celebrated figures of the Broadway and Off-Broadway community attended a special film screening of Theatre of Rice and Beans at New York’s Tribeca Cinemas May 12, 2014.The film, directed by School of Theatre + Dance professors Tony Mata and Ralf Remshardt, was first screened at UF in January and is a tribute to the history of Latino theatre and to René Buch, Miriam Colón and Max Ferrá, the founders of New York City’s three most influential Latino playhouses. 

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Behind the Scenes: Q&A with By the Way, Meet Vera Stark Director Tim Altmeyer

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By the Way, Meet Vera Stark actors Emily Lewis, left, as Gloria Mitchell  and Oluchi Nwokocha as Vera Stark.

The UF School of Theatre + Dance’s production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, a recent comedy by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage that chronicles seventy years in the life of Vera Stark, a determined African-American maid and would-be Hollywood actress, is on stage in Black Box Theatre located in the Nadine M. McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion July 9-12, 2014. We recently sat down with the play’s director, UF Assistant Professor Tim Altmeyer, for an inside look at the production. Here, Altmeyer talks about what attracted him to direct this play and how Vera Stark is the perfect example of someone in pursuit of the American dream. 

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Swamp Dance Fest 2014 comes to the School of Theatre + Dance July 7-August 3 

Swamp Dance Fest 2014, directed by choreographer/filmmaker Tiffany Rhynard, is a transformative four-week dance intensive taking place July 7-August 3, 2014 at UF’s School of Theatre + Dance in G-6 Studio in the Nadine M. McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion. Intended for pre-professional and professional dancers ages 16 and above, Swamp Dance Fest combines a rigorous schedule of classes, rehearsals, performances, artists’ talks and special projects, composition classes, and dance for camera classes, culminating in a performance of works created during the festival, performed by students and guests.

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Students from SoTD Professor Stan Kaye’s Architectural Lighting Design class recognized

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Professor Stan Kaye, far left, and Director and Associate Professor Martin Gold, far right, with students Diane Ariza, Kyle Sheppard and Jamison Deighan.

Since 2002, School of Theatre + Dance (SoTD) Professor Stan Kaye and School of Architecture Director and Associate Professor Martin Gold have teamed up to teach Architectural Lighting Design. The spring 2014 course included architecture students from the Gainesville and CityLab-Orlando programs as well as students from the SoTD. 

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SoTD alumna Lyndon Smith performs in Death of the Author at Geffen Playhouse

Austin Butler and Lyndon Smith in Death of the Author. Photo by Michael Lamont

SoTD alumna Lyndon Smith has had her share of successful roles as of late. Currently, she is playing the role of Sarah, the ex-girlfriend of student Bradley, played by Austin Butler, in Death of the Authora comedic play about academia on stage at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles through June 29, 2014Death of the Author is written by Steven Drukm, directed by Bart DeLorenzo and also features Orson Bean and David Clayton Rogers.

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SoTD alumnus John Pinckard celebrates another Tony Awards win

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Host Hugh Jackman, center, onstage during the 2014 Tony Awards. Photo credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

John Pinckard, a University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance alumnus, was among those honored with the Best Musical win at the 68th annual Tony Awards Sunday night.

Pinckard, as one of the producers of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, joined the cast on stage at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to celebrate theater’s highest recognition.

The show, which received the most Tony Award nominations this year, won three additional honors for Best Costume Design of a Musical, Best Director of a Musical and Best Book of a Musical.

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SoTD alumnus Hugh Hysell hired by Groupon

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Congratulations to SoTD alumnus Hugh Hysell (MFA Theatre ‘97) who was recently hired by Groupon to lead their National Broadway and Live Arts sector, which offers deals in live entertainment around the country. Hysell has produced Tony Award-winning Broadway and Off-Broadway shows including Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and Peter and the Starcatcher. To read more about Hysell’s new position, click here.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder featuring producer and SoTD alumnus John Pinckard receives 10 Tony nominations

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The best of the best on Broadway will be recognized at the Tony Awards this Sunday, June 8, 2014. Congratulations to SoTD alumnus John Pinckard (Theatre Performance ‘98), who serves as a producer in the musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which received 10 Tony nominations, including in the Best Musical category. 

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By The Way, Meet Vera Stark Looks at African-American Actresses in 1930s Hollywood, On Stage at the University of Florida June 12-15 and July 9-12

By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, a recent comedy by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage, chronicles seventy years in the life of Vera Stark, a determined African-American maid and would-be Hollywood actress. Vera and her friends overcome scarce film opportunities and stereotypically demeaning roles by using clever means to get noticed and earn their break in the movie industry. Beginning with her role in a 1930s Southern epic, Vera Stark’s film portrayals and persona pave the way for future generations of black actresses and leave film critics arguing for decades about her motives and legacy. By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is more than another tale of the rise and fall of a film actress; it is an original account of the civil rights movement as seen through Hollywood’s lens. The comedy is being presented in Gainesville, Florida, at the University of Florida June 12-15 and July 9-12 in the Black Box Theatre of the Nadine M. McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion.

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