MTD News July 2017

MTD News July 2017
Students Mark Ujkstivani, Joel Hunter, Lily Talevski, Jordan Taylor, Natalie Manor, Noah Fillion, Alaina Whidby, Erin Wiley at Hydra port in Greece
(l-r) Mark Ujkstivani, Joel Hunter, Lily Talevski, Jordan Taylor, Natalie Manor, Noah Fillion, Alaina Whidby, Erin Wiley at Hydra port. Photo by Karen Sheridan.

Our popular study abroad program, Classical Theatre Study in Greece (THA 482), is in full swing, with eight students spending two and a half weeks on the island of Hydra where they are experiencing Greek life, while at the same time taking classes and rehearsing the play Electra in a new version written by Professor Karen Sheridan, based on works by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides.

They presented the play at the island’s amphitheater, and again on the island of Spetses, before spending their final ten days touring Greece’s ancient sites. Their final destination will be Athens, with time to see the Acropolis, before flying home. There will be performances of Electra in Varner Studio Theatre on September 8, 9, and 10.

Erica Kennedy wearing a dark-colored evening gown on a stage
Erica Kennedy; photo by Joel Bissell

Sophomore BFA musical theatre major Erica Kennedy was recently awarded the Miss Congeniality Scholarship at the Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant. Erica competed as Miss Midland. On the second night of the pageant she performed "Adele's Laughing Song" from Die Fledermaus at the Frauenthal Center in downtown Muskegon, Mich.

Associate Professor of Theatre Anthony Guest is staying busy this summer. He is the fight director for Shakespeare in Detroit’s production of Hamlet, which has performances from July 14-16 in New Center Park on West Grand Boulevard. In June he taught the Interlochen Shakespeare Bootcamp Institute, which is a one-week intensive designed to immerse young actors in the works of Shakespeare. In July Guest will teach Combat, Acting II and Clowning at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Alaska. It’s a great distance to travel, but he isn’t going alone. “My son Lucas will be coming with me to Sitka as a student at the two week camp,” said Guest.

Associate Professor of Theatre Lynnae Lehfeldt is directing The Taming of the Shrew this summer for Shakespeare Royal Oak. Assistant Professor David Gram and alumni Joey Feldmann (BFA ‘17) and David Meese (BFA ‘11) are in the cast, along with theatre major Andrew Barikmo.  Also involved in the production are OU costume shop supervisor Christa Koerner, who is designing costumes, and theatre majors Rebecca Lister, stage manager, and Madison Walby, props designer. The play opens on July 27 in Starr Jaycee Park in Royal Oak.
Mark Stone, (back row, far right) plays with Aretha Franklin's band in an outdoor concert
Mark Stone, (back row, far right) plays with Aretha
Franklin's band.

Associate Professor of Music Mark Stone had the pleasure of joining Aretha Franklin's band for her June 10 concert in downtown Detroit. He was invited to play percussion by OU alumna GayeLynn McKinney who has been playing drum set with Ms. Franklin for the past couple of years. The performance was the final event of the inaugural Detroit Music Weekend Festival. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ms. Franklin hasn’t played a free outdoor concert in Detroit since 2004, and she believes this may be her last. “It was an incredibly joyous concert,” Stone said.

James Lentini, professor of music, and provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, attended the 27th annual Morelia International Guitar Festival in Mexico in June. His composition Concerto for Guitar and Strings was performed during the closing ceremony, as noted on the website Don’t forget to hit the translate button!