Theater and Dance Department News
THDA Faculty and Alumni on BIPOC Theater Today
In recent weeks, Theater and Dance faculty and alumni have contributed some significant statements and articles:
- The petition “we see you white theater” is signed by alumni James A Williams, Mandi Madsen, and Danai Gurira, and Macalester faculty Harrison David Rivers, among many others.
- The New York Times article “Four Black Artists on How Racism Corrodes the Theater World” has an entire section on/by Sarah Bellamy, Penumbra Theatre’s artistic director and visiting assistant professor in the Theater and Dance Department.
- Sarah Bellamy published in the Paris Review the story “ Performing Whiteness.”
- The American Theater Magazine’s story “Tired But Not Daunted in the Twin Cities” features Sarah Bellamy, and alumni Faye Price and James A Williams.
Professor Mina Kinukawa reflects on her course Set Design.
“When they read the play, I tell them to have a pencil and paper and start doodling. I want to see what you feel and from there you might get inspiration.”
Dance minor Mai Moua Thao ’22 spent her summer interning at St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), assisting filmmakers in creating documentaries focused on a variety of issues affecting the local community.
Dance minor Ekaterina Hofrenning ’21 spent her summer in New York at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre summer program. Training eight hours a day for five weeks, she describes the intensity of esteemed program and how Macalester prepared her.
Chair and professor of Theater and Dance Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento joined artistic director for Penumbra Theatre Company and visiting assistant professor Sarah Bellamy and President Brian Rosenberg in February 2019 to discuss the question: How do we create a stage that helps audiences imagine a world guided by social equity? This event was part of Macalester’s Big Questions series.
President Brian Rosenberg sat down with NTT Instructor of Dance Patricia Brown and Music Professor Michael McGaghie in January 2020 to answer the question: Can embracing the arts reconnect our common humanity? This event was part of Macalester’s Big Questions series.
THDA in the World
- Theater Mu and Jungle Theater’s Cambodian Rock Band runs June 8th through July 31st. Directed by Lily Tung Crystal, Macalester Assistant Professor Mina Kinukawa is the scenic and production designer for this production. Jessica Chen ’25 is the assistant scenic designer for Cambodian Rock Band, and THDA majors Lucas Martin ’24 and Skye Reddy ’22 are interns. The Star Tribune recently covered Cambodian Rock Band, read more about the show here.
Macalester Theater and Dance is having a “night out” at Theater MU’s Today is My Birthday on Thursday, February 11, 7pm. A post-show discussion follows this live, online performance.Directed by Lily Tung Crystal, Macalester Assistant Professor Mina Kinukawa is this production’s set designer. Three THDA majors are interns in Today is My Birthday: Alice Endo ’22, Jessica Yates ’22, and Sandy Zhao ’22.
- Congratulations to Theater Minor Maria Arreola ’21 on her play, Floating Girls, moving forward as a National Semifinalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. The production will be directed by Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento, and feature students Rafael Viana Furer, Nora Montañez Patterson, Gretta Marston-Lari, Roon Mahboub, Kalala Kiwanuka-Woernle, Isabel Conde, and Seth Patterson.
- Gretta Marston-Lari ’21 is a Miranda Fellow. The Miranda Fellowship is a distinct 2 year fellowship from Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Miranda Family for emerging artists of color who have exhibited exceptional passion, drive, and unique points of view in various artistic mediums and are actively working to expand their professional development.
- Miranda Rose Hall is one of 20 recipients of the 2020 Steinberg Playwright Award, given by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust to celebrate and support early-to-mid-career playwrights. Miranda is teaching Playwriting in THDA this module!
- Elliot Wareham ’21 and Gretta Marston-Lari ’21 were accepted to be part of a National Science Fund research project with two visiting professors in the Environmental Studies department at Mac, titled “Power in Puerto Rico: Sociotechnical Imaginaries, Infrastructure Publics, and Electricity.”
- THDA professor Harry Waters Jr. is the co-director of this year’s BareBones Halloween art installation, taking the place of the annual puppet show. This installation holds space for death, loss, grief, ancestors and remembering centered on the current changes on Lake Street.
- Congratulations to THDA Minor Mai Moua Thao ’22 on being accepted to the JGS Imagining America Fellowship! Mai was selected to be one of eight students across the US that will be working to develop each other’s digital-media art within this program.
- Outside Voices, weekly at Powderhorn Park | July 10, 2020 Theater artist and THDA professor Harry Waters Jr. created Outside Voices, a ritual of release during COVID and George Floyd crucibles
- Variety | Danai Gurira Inks Overall Deal with ABC Studios | February 20, 2020 Under the two-year deal, actress and playwright Danai Gurira ’01 will develop, write, and produce for the studio across all platforms
- After the Long Silence: Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento’s new book | February 2020 After the Long Silence: The Theater of Brazil’s Post-Dictatorship Generation is Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento’s new book, published by Routledge for their Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies.
- A Day in the Life of Ruby | October 2019Ruby Rich ’23 takes us through a typical day in her life, including Rocky Horror rehearsal.
- Sarah Bellamy on TPT’s Minnesota Original | July 2019THDA Visiting Assistant Professor and Penumbra Theatre Artistic Director Sarah Bellamy shares her journey into leadership and her hopes that future generations will no longer have to “argue for theaters of color.”
- Danai Gurira on Avengers & Walking Dead Spoilers | Jimmy Kimmel Live | April 10, 2019Macalester alum Danai Gurira ’01 appears on Jimmy Kimmel show to talk about her upcoming cinematic projects, Avengers and Walking Dead.
- Signe Harriday Directs HIDDEN HEROES: The Black Women of NASA | Broadway World | April 8, 2019The World Premiere of HIDDEN HEROES has two Macalester connections. It’s based on the book “Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA,” co-written by American Studies prof. Duchess Harris. The play is written by Shá Cage, who graduated from Macalester in 1995.
- Gay African-American Acting Legend Harry Waters Jr.’s Courageous Staging of MN Jewish Theatre’s “Actually” Exposes Formalized Privacy Intrusion | Lavender Magazine | February 22, 2019 Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company certainly picked the right man to direct with (Theater and Dance Prof.) Harry Waters Jr.
- Macalester’s new theater and dance building completes 3-part arts update | Pioneer Press | February 11, 2019