Roe Green Foundation Makes $2.2 Million Gift to Fund Visiting Director Series at Kent State
The affectionately named Fairy Godmother of Kent State University’s School of Theatre and Dance is once again making wishes come true for current and future generations of students.
The Roe Green Foundation has given $2.2 million for support of The Roe Green Visiting Director Series within Kent State’s School of Theatre and Dance. The award includes a $175,000 outright gift and a $2 million bequest to endow The Roe Green Visiting Director Series in perpetuity. Through an initial gift to establish the visiting directorship in 2003, the School of Theatre and Dance invites a guest professional director each year to work in residency with students and direct one of the school’s main stage productions.
“Roe’s generosity is driven by her sincere passion for students,” says Kent State President Beverly J. Warren. “Her support continues to have a profound impact on our students’ lives and futures by creating purposeful opportunities for students to grow their talents under the tutelage of renowned directors. We are all thankful for Roe’s generous and ongoing support to Kent State and our School of Theatre and Dance.”
As one of Kent State’s largest donors, Roe Green’s generosity has enabled the university to provide expanded facilities for the School of Theatre and Dance, as well as for Porthouse Theatre, Kent State’s outdoor, summer theatre located on the grounds of Blossom Music Center. Additionally, Ms. Green has provided immeasurable opportunities for students, as well as connections and impact for faculty. Ms. Green also has provided invaluable volunteer leadership, including a current role on Kent State’s Campaign Executive Committee. Originally from Beachwood, Ohio, Ms. Green now resides in Lyndhurst, Ohio.
“Seeing the wonderful evolution of the visiting director series over the years and its great benefit to the School of Theatre and Dance has been immensely rewarding,” Ms. Green says. “I love to hear the stories of our talented Kent State students who earn themselves roles and positions on the national stage through the connections they make here with the visiting director. The series is intended to raise the profile of our fabulous program and its graduates, and I know that those positive outcomes will only grow from here.”
To date, more than 800 students in the School of Theatre and Dance have worked directly with Roe Green Visiting Directors. Visiting Directors not only engage students but also support professional connections for the faculty, staff and school by maintaining a national profile and recognition. In addition to the positive and professional learning environments each guest director has created in the school, these nationally renowned professionals have made an impact on Kent State students that will last a lifetime.
“The School of Theatre and Dance fosters a student-focused environment of creative excellence, and continued investment in its transformative experiences is crucial to its success,” says John Crawford-Spinelli, dean of the College of the Arts at Kent State. “With the support of the Roe Green Foundation, the university will continue to serve Roe’s vision and honor her legacy with creative excellence.”
The current visiting director, Corey Atkins, is a New York City-based director who has worked at theatres across the U.S., including Lincoln Center Theater, the Acting Company/Guthrie Theater, Cleveland Play House, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Hangar Theatre and Portland Stage Company, among others. From 2011-16, he was a member of the artistic staff of the 2015 Tony-winning Cleveland Play House. His show, Hedda Gabler, was on stage last month at the Wright-Curtis Theatre in the Center for the Performing Arts in Kent.