Letter from the Chair

Dear Friends of Ohio State Theatre,

With this 2013-2014 issue of Encore we are scrolling back time to look at an amazing dynamic, fruitful year of productions, partnerships and research as well as promising new initiatives.  This issue is late in coming due to an unexpected change in leadership that returned me to head the department as interim chair. That change, combined with the inevitable financial concerns facing the majority of universities in our nation, set us back in terms of documenting the work we do with our “annual report.” This issue will be the first electronic Encore.  With future issues we plan to continue our e-format combined with print.

This issue is chock full of wonderful work by our students who serve as models of our departmental initiative of supporting and promoting the scholar/artist. This year witnessed three symposia—all linked to theatre productions:

  • Our annual Syndicate Symposium entitled “Position: The Power and Politics of Witnessing,” organized by our graduate students, focused on our production of The House of the Spirits with a keynote by playwright Caridad Svich
  • In April “Making the Invisible Visible: Mime’s Contemporary Legacy” took place in conjunction with our premiere of There Is No Silence, a movement theatre work inspired by the life of Marcel Marceau, who had a long relationship with our department through the efforts of Jeanine Thompson, our movement specialist
  • In May the Department of Theatre and the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute collaborated on the symposium “The First Actresses: 1660-1930s,” which featured two productions for its international cohort of scholars.

Our department is happily part of the Big Ten Theatre Consortium: “New Plays by and about Women” initiative. This involves commissioning a series of plays by prominent American female playwrights. Each play features at least six substantial age-appropriate roles for young women.

Our international programs continue with our London Theatre Program and our continuing partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The summer of 2014 featured a co-production of The Tempest directed and adapted by Kelly Hunter for children and young people on the autism spectrum. The production opened in Stratford-upon-Avon and came to Columbus in July for a week of performances.

What an amazing year!

Warm regards,

Lesley Ferris
Lesley Ferris, Interim Chair

Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of Theatre

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