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News from the Dean: January 2016

Happy New Year! As usual, we are already moving full steam ahead in the new semester. Rehearsal rooms, studios, and labs are hopping, with our faculty and students doing what they do best—creating.

One of our local stages was really hopping on January 18, when we welcomed back some of our Musical Theatre alumni for the amazing “We Are … On Broadway” concert at The State Theatre in downtown State College. Alumni Caroline Bowman, Laurie Veldheer, Nathan Lucrezio, and Alan Wiggins, all of whom have several Broadway shows and national tours to their credit, joined with current Musical Theatre students and local middle and high students for a one-night-only performance showcasing both Penn State and local talent. The concert was an initiative of the School of Theatre Alumni Group. Click here for photos.

Also on the performance front, in February the Arts and Design Research Incubator will present three performances of Sandi Carroll’s Mission: Implausible, an interactive comedy in which Carroll’s character of Top Secret Agent Karen tries to save the world—with the help of some “everyday heroes” from the audience. Carroll is a research fellow at ADRI, where her work focuses on the discipline of play and its impact on creative decision making, teaching, and learning. Read more about the performance here.

This issue also features a story on alumna Kimberly Schenck, whose generous gift will fund the fabrication of new tables for our drawing studio, as well as other much-needed improvements. Currently head of paper conservation at the National Gallery of Art, Kim is a strong proponent of drawing for students in all majors, and says she is happy to give toward something she believes in.

Kim is just one example of how alumni like you are making a difference in the lives of students across the College of Arts and Architecture. Students like Maria Wirries, a Musical Theatre sophomore whose goal is to use art to make a difference in her home country of Haiti. You can read more about Maria, who was recently named a finalist in the prestigious YoungArts Foundation competition, here.

Thank you, as always, for your support. Please keep in touch!