Blog Archive - March 2015

Sunam with her kids.

by Sunam Ellis

This is not my first time as a graduate student. Several years ago I was in a Ph.D. Human Development program. I wanted to research marital relationships. But not really. It was my back-up plan. Theatre is, and has always been, my first love. The lure of a full-ride at a prestigious school, though—the promise of becoming Dr. Ellis—it was hard to resist. And I had a fire to succeed. After two semesters and a summer abroad, I had already completed a solid chunk of my master’s thesis. But there was no joy. And I ultimately left the program.

Fast-forward several years…

After many discussions with my husband, we decided to take a chance. I was going to make a serious pursuit of acting, the thing that had always brought me so much joy. I brushed up on the craft by doing some community productions before heading off to auditions for graduate programs. The plan was...

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Magelssen readies a space probe for deploying with his counterpart back at Mission Control.

When we last heard from School of Drama Associate Professor Scott Magelssen he had just returned from Norway’s Kon-Tiki Museum, pursuing his research on performative reconstruction. Scott’s current research is on interactive performance events in which participants are immersed into live, simulated, experiential environments and take on active roles in those environments. In this blog post, Scott’s research takes him all the way to space.

As our crew approached Mars, I worked carefully with my colleague Josh back at Mission control to assemble the space probe. I had the probe laid out in front of me in the airlock, its tangle of wires and components a big jigsaw puzzle, while Josh read me the assembly instructions over my headset. Though neither of us had all the information, and Josh could see me on his monitor but I couldn’...

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Tara Velan Headshot

In this blog post, Tara Velan, a second-year student in the Professional Actor Training Program, reflects on her work developing the character of Miss Gilchrist in Brendan Behan's The Hostage.

Dia dhaoidh!

This winter I have been delighted to be a part of The Hostage creative team. Our work has been a rollercoaster of experimentation as we bring Brendan Behan’s story to life.

Awakening the life of Miss Gilchrist continues to be challenging and rewarding. While exploring this world alongside so many fellow layered characters (our cast is quite large!), I have discovered some valuable tools for my acting practice.

Part of our goal as actors in the Professional Actor Training Program is to identify and develop an individual process of character development, so that the skills we gain from our training aid in the construction of a personal method for creating performed art.

In addition to our...

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