I am so excited to have put together this Fall 2016 issue of The Through-Line. I am a new addition to the staff at the School of Drama, but by no means am I new to the community. I graduated from the BA program in 2012 and since that time I have dedicated my time to making and supporting theatre and the arts. I am absolutely thrilled to be returning to the School of Drama, especially in a year where we are continuing to produce bold, engaging, and poignant work.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned as a student at the School of Drama, was the power and the potential that the arts hold in our lives, and the impact a story can make on our society. Theatre artists and arts administrators are constantly plagued with the fear 'is theatre dying?' or the insecurity of 'but what can theatre actually do?' In a time overrun with technological stimulation, divisive political systems, and troubling societal circumstances, what is the role and responsibility of theatre to engage with civics, social justice, and the stories we tell in our community?
This issue of The Through-Line talks to three artists in the School of Drama community who are tackling those questions, and engaging with our current American landscape through their work. Professor L. Zane Jones talks about directing a new opera about a transwoman's journey, alumna Julia Sears (BA '12) writes about devising a play centered around women in the military, and undergrad Anders Peterson explains the power of an improvised presidential debate, and the responsibility that comes with it.
I am so excited to be back in the building that taught me so much about the importance of staying an engaged artist, and I am thrilled to share these stories of passion, drive, and intellectual prowess with our greater community.