Faculty & Staff News

School of Theatre and Dance Faculty and Staff bring a wealth of knowledge to Kent State University and are often actively engaged in outside projects and professional improvement when not in the classroom or working on productions at the School. 

Spring 2017

  • On April 8, 2017, assistant professor Gregory King conducted a workshop at Princeton University inspired by his TEDxKentState presentation "Esoteric Dilemmas at the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Sexuality." The workshop, part of the Northeast Queer & Trans People of Color (NEQTPOC) Conference, brings awareness to socio-political issues by asking the viewer to reflect on the how implicit bias and/or social norms impact communal experiences. King will also present the workshop as a performed lecture on April 29, 2017 at the New Direction in Race and Ethnic Studies Conference at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.
  • Assistant professors Amy Fritsche and Gregory King and associate professor William Auld were selected to speak at the inaugural TEDxKentState taking place February 18, 2017. Read more information here.
  • Assistant professor Courtney Brown was designated a Lessac Certified Trainer at the Annual Lessac Conference in January 2017.
  • Associate professor and Interim School of Theatre and Dance Director Eric van Baars was named Director of the School of Theatre and Dance in January 2017.

Fall 2016

  • Assistant professor Gregory King's article "When Dance Voices Protest" was published in the 2016 volume of the Society of Dance History Scholars' journal Conversations Across the Field of Dance.
  • Rosco brand featured recipes for prop food items by assistant professor Tammy Honesty on their Spectrum website this fall. Honesty is currently co-writing a book on the subject. Read the article here.
  • Assistant professor Amy Fritsche, along with College of Nursing faculty members Jeremy Jarzembak and Jennifer Shanholtzer, presented "Bringing the Art of Nursing Simulation" at the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities conference in Denver, Colorado. 
  • Assistant professor Gregory King reviewed Rhizomas: a performance art piece conceived by Butoh practitioner Ryuzo Fukuhara in collaboration with a local Philadelphia improvisational quartet, Wormhole Superette in ThINKingDANCE.
  • Assistant professor Tammy Honesty served as scenic designer for the Florida State University School of Theatre production "Seminar," running October 7-16, 2016. Read the BroadwayWorld.com review here.

Summer 2016

  • Dance Division Coordinator and Associate professor Jeffrey Rockland taught at the Joffrey Ballet, taught and choreographed at Virginia's Highland Ballet, and taught at the Forest Dancing intensive during the Summer of 2016.
  • Assistant professor Nicholas Drashner served as the sound designer for the world premiere of Jeff Augustin's "The Last Tiger in Haiti" at La Jolla Playhouse in July 2016. A review of the production by associate professor Yuko Kurahashi was published by San Diego Free Press and stated that Drashner's sound design "provides a background to the settings with subtle ambiences... [and] creates a connection between the geographically and temporally different worlds of Act I and II."
  • Assistant professor Amy Fritsche and M.F.A. student Jess Tanner traveled to the United Kingdom in August 2016 to present the world premier of Best Intentions, an original work that sends two of William Shakespeare's most underestimated female characters on an exploration of failure and loss. Written by Catie O'Keefe, Best Intentions is directed by assistant professor Courtney Brown directs and stars Fritsche and Tanner. Assistant professor Nicholas Drashner serves as sound designer. It will be performed Aug. 2-6 at The Bread & Roses Theatre in London and Aug. 8-13 at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland. Fritsche also directed the original work "Alice and the Dream Child," co-produced by the School of Theatre and Dance and Transforum Theatre, at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2016. 
  • Assistant professor Jakyung Seo coordinated the second annual Porthouse International Academy which brought 16 South Korean students to Kent State for intensive theatre training in July and August 2016.
  • Assistant professor Jennifer Korecki served as the coordinator of the Porthouse High School Academy and the Porthouse College Academy this summer. The high school academy brought 7 local high school students to Kent State for a two-week comprehensive theatre experience and the college academy was attended by 16 incoming and current Kent State students.
  • Professor Terri Kent directed "Footloose," the closing production of Porthouse Theatre's 2016 season, in July/August 2016. 
  • Assistant professor Amy Fritsche performed in the CATCO/Porthouse Theatre co-production of "Ring of Fire" at Columbus' CATCO in June and at Porthouse Theatre in July 2016.
  • Interim School Director and associate professor Eric van Baars directed "Sister Act," the opening production of Porthouse Theatre's 2016 season, in June 2016. The production featured professor and musical theatre coordinator Terri Kent as Sister Mary Lazarus.
  • Professor and musical theatre program coordinator Terri Kent was awarded a President's Faculty Excellence Award in May 2016 for her outstanding record of achievements. Kent was one of 14 faculty members selected from more than 100 nominations.
  • Assistant professor of theatre Courtney Brown performed in Mamaí Theatre Company's critically acclaimed production of "Top Girls" in June 2016. Associate professor of costume design S.Q. Campbell serves as the production's costume designer. Mamaí Theatre Company is co-artistic directed by School of Theatre and Dance alumna Christine McBurney and co-founded by alumna Wendy Kriss.

Spring 2016

  • Assistant professor of dance Joan Meggitt and associate professor of dance Barbara Allegra Verlezza presented a paper entitled "Dance and Movement for Nontraditional Populations: Curriculum Design and Best Practices" at the Athens Institute for Education and Research 7th Annual International Conference on Visual and Performing Arts in Athens, Greece in May 2016.
  • Associate professor Fabio Polanco performed in The Musical Theater Project's Behind the Musical: "The Fantasticks" program in April 2016. The multimedia concert was part of TMTP's The Song is You series and featured songs from the musical theatre icon as well as backstage information and anecdotes.
  • Assistant professor Amy Fritsche participated at the 2016 New Ground Theatre Festival at the Cleveland Play House in April 2016. She portrayed Abigail Adams in a reading of Kirsten Greenidge's new work "Little Row Boat, or Conjecture." The Roe Green Award, which brings a playright to Cleveland to develop a new work, is sponsored by School of Theatre and Dance alumna Roe Green. 
  • Assistant professor Amy Fritsche and assistant professor Courtney Brown have collaborated with the Shark Eat Muffin Theatre Company on the production of "Best Intentions," a new work by Catie O'Keefe. The production, directed by Brown, stars Fritsche and School of Theatre and Dance graduate student Jess Tanner. It was performed in April 2016 at the Pittsburgh Fringe and will travel to the United Kingdom in the summer of 2016 for performances at Bread & Roses Theatre in London and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Earlier News Stories

  • Associate professor Fabio Polanco appeared as Thomas Putnam in the Cleveland Play House's production of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" in October and November 2015.
  • Assistant professor of Dance Joan Meggitt continues her work as lead instructor of Yes I Can (!) Dance, a dance program for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, modeled after the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD ® program in New York City. Recently, Meggitt's work with Yes I Can (!) Dance was profiled in a video about InMotion by the Tour de Fox, a program of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Watch the Tour de Fox Segment on Yes I Can (!) Dance

  • Assistant professor of Dance Joan Meggitt has directed the Allegheny College Summer Dance Intensive for the last 16 years. In the summer of 2014, Allegheny College created a video about the Intensive.

Watch the Allegheny College Dance Intensive Segment

  • Assistant professor Courtney Brown recently instructed at The Gaiety School of Acting's Lessac Kinesensics Workshop in Dublin, Ireland. Lessac Kinesensic Training is a holistic, comprehensive and creative approach to all aspects of developing the body and the voice, for speech and singing and as creative instruments of communication, behavior and perception.
  • Associate professor and Dance Division Coordinator Jeffrey Marc Rockland was awarded a College of the Arts Catalyst Grant for a collaboration between Kent State University, Burapha University, and Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. The project resulted in a performing arts conference, East Meets West: Stage Performance in Thailand 2016, which took place in January 2016. Rockland and eight dance students attended and performed at the conference.