Faculty and 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 2019

  • Professor Kimberly Karpanty has been awarded an internationally competitive Fidelity Scholarship to the Barcelona International Dance Exchange, taking place in April 2019.
  • Professor Kimberly Karpanty participated in a 3-week Depth Movement Workshop with Edivaldo Ernesto.
  • Professor Kimberly Karpanty is collaborating with Argentinian media artist Tristant Perez Martin and Swedish contemporary performance artist Benedikte Esperi on a new solo work, "Monsoon," which will premiere at Cleveland Public Theatre's DanceWorks in June 2019.
  • Professor Kimberly Karpanty participated in the Pyrenees Contemporary Residential Workshop in Toulouse, France in April 2019. During the workshop, she studied with Lewis Wilkins and Rebecca Namgauds.

Fall 2018

Spring 2018

  • Assistant professor Gregory King wrote an article titled "Affirming Black Dance...Unapologetically" for thINKingDANCE. In a new article, King talks with Kevin Iega Jeff, artistic director of Deeply Rooted, about the importance of celebrating and promoting Black Dance. Read the full article here: https://www.thinkingdance.net/articles/2018/04/26/5/Affirming-Black-Dance-Unapologetically-An-Interview-with-Kevin-Iega-Jeff/
  • Faculty member Amy Fritsche received Tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor.
  • Faculty member and Dance Division Coordinator Joan Meggitt received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor.
  • Associate professor of dance Jeffrey Marc Rockland received tenure.
  • Faculty member and Graduate Coordinator Dr. Yuko Kurahashi was promoted to full Professor.

Fall 2017

  • Associate professor Jakyung Seo was awarded the President's Faculty Excellence Award. She was one of thirteen Kent State faculty to receive the award. For more information, visit https://www.kent.edu/president/presidents-faculty-excellence-award/recipients.
  • Associate professor Jakyung Seo serves as a guest artist at Florida State University where she will be the lighting designer for a production of "Guys and Dolls."
  • Assistant professor Tamara L. Honesty serves as the scenic designer for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's November 2017 production An Evening With Groucho.
  • Assistant professor Tamara Honesty is serving as the scenic designer for Florida State University's November 2017 production of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.
  • Assistant professor Courtney Brown is serving as the vocal/dialect coach for the 2017-2018 season at Dobama Theatre.

Summer 2017

  • Associate professor Jakyung Seo coordinated the third annual Porthouse International Academy which brought 12 South Korean students to Kent State for intensive theatre training in July and August 2017.
  • Associate professor Jakyung Seo worked as a programmer at the Busan International Performing Arts Festival in South Korea. She was involved in hosting six international productions from Greece, Japan, and Mexico at the festival.
  • Professor Terri Kent directed productions of "9 to 5" and "Disney's Newsies" at Porthouse Theatre this summer. Kent also serves as Porthouse Theatre's producing artistic director.
  • School of Theatre and Dance director Eric van Baars directed "Ain't Misbehavin'" at Porthouse Theatre in June and July 2017. van Baars also serves as Porthouse Theatre's executive producer.
  • Professors Courtney Brown, Amy Fritsche, and Fabio Polanco appeared in Porthouse Theatre's production of "9 to 5" in June and July 2017.
  • Associate professor Jeffrey Marc Rockland taught workshops for the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive, Forest Dance Summer Workshop, and Mercyhurst University. 
  • Associate professor Jeffrey Marc Rockland coordinated the 2nd annual Kent State/Limón Dance summer intensive which attracted 32 dancers from across the United States as well as Colombia and Singapore.

Spring 2017

  • Associate professor Jakyung Seo served as a guest artist at Whitman College where she was the lighting designer for their production of "You Can't Take It With You."

  • Associate professor Jakyung Seo earned a $5,000 Catalyst Grant from the College of the Arts. She worked with Kent State University's Liquid Crystal Institute in researching whether Liquid Crystal Displays could be controlled by lighting devices.

  • Assistant professor Tamara Honesty served as an advisor for her Design Studio Scenery class throughout the Spring semester as they designed and built the set for the 2017 National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Lower Great Lakes Chapter Regional Emmy Awards ceremony held in June 2017 in Cleveland.

  • An article by assistant professor of dance Gregory King was recently selected to be included in a new resource guide, Art Became the Oxygen: A Guide to Artistic Response, published by the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. Professor King's article, written for ThINKingDANCE as a response to the Dancing for Justice Philadelphia event and later published as "When Dance Voices Protest" in Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies, is featured in the guide's section on crafting artistic response. For more information on and to download Art Became the Oxygen, visit https://usdac.us/artisticresponse

  • Assistant professor Gregory King and adjunct dance faculty member Megan Young have collaborated on a new work entitled "Cloud of Whiteness." The interactive sculpture, environment and performance piece that explores the racism and resistance in our current political climate. It will next be performed for The Current Sessions' Volume VII: On Resistance in New York City in August.

  • Professor Kimberly Karpanty and her dance company Travesty Dance Group and associate professor Joan Meggitt and her dance company Antaeus Dance performed as part of Cleveland Public Theatre's annual Danceworks. The combined concert, entitled "Taking the Fall," was directed and choreographed by Karpanty and Meggitt and included performances by Kent State dance faculty and alumni. Professor Emeritus Chuck Richie also appeared as part of the concert. For more information on "Taking the Fall," click here.
  • Associate professor Fabio Polanco and assistant professor Amy Fritsche appeared in the Cleveland Play House's world premiere production of "These Mortal Hosts" written by Eric Coble and directed by Laley Lippard. The production was part of the Cleveland Play House's 2017 New Ground Theatre Festival.
  • Assistant professor Amy Fritsche served as a guest director at Le Moyne College in New York where she directed a production of "Heathers: The Musical." More information here.
  • Assistant professor Tamara Honesty served as the scenic designer for the world premiere of the play "Family Ties" at The Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, Ohio. The play, a continuation of the famous 1980s television show starring Michael J. Fox, is written by Daniel Goldstein and commissioned by Araca Media & Entertainment. Read more here.
  • 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 and watch their talks here.
  • Assistant professor Courtney Brown was designated a Lessac Certified Trainer at the Annual Lessac Conference in January 2017.
  • Associate professor Jeffrey Marc Rockland coordinated the 2nd annual East Meets West program, taking 10 Kent State students to Thailand for a collaborative performance experience in Bangkok and Hua Hin, Thailand. 
  • 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 playwright 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 Kinesensic 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.