UMW Theatre students are spending their spring break in New York City focusing on individual research projects exploring the contemporary theatre and theatre practitioners. They are experience professional theatre productions, interviewing industry professionals, and learning about the city and its artistic institutions. Many of the students are connecting with UMW alumni working in an array of careers including costume design, marketing, acting, fight choreography, fundraising, company management, sound engineering, child actor guardianship, and more.
Before heading off to interviews and other research appointments, students joined Gregg Stull, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, for a walking tour of the theatre district and the evolution of theatre in the United State. This rich history, dating back to the 18th Century, is full of fascinating stories of how the Broadway theatres we know today came to be and how the Times Square area has evolved into a world cultural destination.
Lizzy Rader ’20 with Sean Hefferon, Individual Giving and Special Events Associate at Playwrights Horizons, a leading non-profit theatre in New York City. Lizzy’s interviewed Sean to learn more about raising money for the arts the city.
Jake Dodges ’20 with Martha Smith ’98. Martha is a costumer and the Secretary and Treasurer of Local 764 Theatrical Wardrobe Union of IATSE (The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) at a reception for Roundabout Theatre’s Education Program at the American Airlines Theatre. Jake’s focus for his research project is learning about arts in education and learning more from professionals who make it their life’s work.
Grace Weaver ’20 with Devin Day ’10, AEA and Broadway Stage Manager. Grace is researching stage management and its role on Broadway, the regional theatre, special events, and tours.
Diana Bloom ’21 with Meg Weedon ’90, costume designer and draper at John Kristiansen’s Custom Costume Shop in New York. Diana’s is researching costume design, technology, and wardrobe careers in the professional theatre.
Victoria Fortune ’20 with Bob Braswell, Managing Director of the People’s Theatre Project in New York City. Victoria’s is researching general management and executive leadership of commercial and nonprofit theatres.