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Theatre Students Nominated for Scholarship Competition

Please join the University of Dayton Theatre Program as we congratulate our latest nominees for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship:


Alex Chilton (left, with Philip Titlebaum), “Jerry” in Zoo Story by Edward Albee (Directed by Tony Dallas)


Jenna Gomes, “Grandma” in The American Dream by Edward Albee (Directed by Tony Dallas)

These two actors have been selected to represent the University of Dayton Theatre Program in the prestigious Kennedy Center Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition at the KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival) Regional Conference next January. Way to go!

Representatives from the University of Dayton Theatre Program attended the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival XLV- Region III Festival 2013 on January 8-12, hosted by Saginaw Valley State University. Students attending were Kyle Himsworth, Jessica Urban, Christina Pierce, Mary Mykytka, Alex Chilton, Ellie Hurney, Michael Moran, Michael Bodde, James Fagan, Pat Larkin. Faculty attending were Matthew Evans (Technical Director)  and Donna Beran (Costumer).

Alex Chilton was nominated to compete in the Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions for outstanding student performers, as a result of his performance as Leontes in UD Theatre’s fall mainstage production of The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare. He and his acting partner, Mary Mykytka, performed a scene from Hamlet for the audition. (UD student Beverly Dines was also nominated for her role as Paulina in The Winter’s Tale but was unable to attend the festival auditions.) While at the festival, Alex Chilton auditioned and was cast in the One-Act Play Festival Reading of Umbrella Story by Conor McShane. This event was part of Region III’s National Playwrighting Program which sends  playwrights and plays to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for the KCACTF National Festival.  While at the festival, Mary Mykytka also auditioned for the Open Jar Institute, an Actor Training Institute in New York City.

Kyle Himsworth entered his sound design from The Winter’s Tale in the festival’s Design, Technology & Management Regional Design Projects- Design Expo. While at festival he also competed in Design Storm. Design Storm is a timed collaborative event that teams a director with a dramaturg, and designers (lighting, sound, costume, scenery,  and make-up) from different schools to create an approach to a classic or contemporary text that is unlike all previous productions.  Kyle’s team was awarded 1st Place in Design Storm for their design of Spring Awakening, a musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater. Kyle was the sound designer for his team.

Jessica Urban, who was Stage Manager for UD’s The Winter’s Tale, entered her stage management notebook in the festival’s Design, Technology & Management Regional Design Projects- Design Expo.

UD Theatre Student Technical Assistants Pat Larkin, James Durbin, Michael Moran, Michael Bodde, James Fagan, and Christina Pierce also competed in Tech Olympics, a timed event for teams of two people who compete in lights, sound, knots, wardrobe, scenery/carpentry events (). They received 12th Place overall. These students also attended a Flying Effects workshop given by Hall Associates Flying Effects, the internationally known flying effects company for the entertainment industry.

Matt Evans and Donna Beran attended training workshops to qualify as play respondents and have been assigned by Region III to respond to an upcoming production of Abundance by Beth Henley at Bowling Green State University later this month. 

In addition to attending various workshops, the group attended the premiere of 3 new plays at the festival, Ghost Bike by Laura Jacqmin, In the Soundless Awe by Jayme McGhan and Andy Pederson, and Three Generations of Imbeciles by William Baer. Learn more about KCACTF »

UD Theatre Program Receives 12 Daytony Awards

Congratulations to the University of Dayton Theatre Program which was awarded 12 DayTony Awards for the 2011-2012 academic year.  The DayTony Awards are presented by the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame to recognize outstanding performance, whether on stage or behind the scenes at Dayton area theatres, according to the DayTony Awards website, 

One of the nine University of Dayton award recipients for the 2011-2012 year, Darrell Anderson, secured two awards for his work on the performance Eleemosynary which was performed this past February.  Anderson had this to say about the DayTony Awards: “Oh! I’m always thrilled when we get them, especially when students get them, it’s great.  Being noted for something, it’s really nice.” 

As an associate professor and director of the theater program at UD, Anderson has seen the theater program at UD receive several DayTony Awards in the past.  Although UD has won DayTonys in previous years, “this may be the most we’ve gotten in one year,” said Anderson.  In fact, since the DayTony awards were created for the 2003-2004 year, the only other time UD has received more than ten awards was for the 2007-2008 year, when the theatre program at UD received eleven awards.

Here is a list of the 12 awards received by UD:

                  University of Dayton performs Eleemosynary

Award for Guest Performance: Marcia Norwik: Eleemosynary

Award of Merit for Acting In A Lead Role: Becca Hale: Echo in Eleemosynary

Award of Merit: Ensemble Acting: Cast of Eleemosynary

Award of Merit for Set Design: Darrell Anderson: Eleemosynary

Award of Excellence in Lighting Design: Darrell Anderson: Eleemosynary

Award of Excellence in Directing: Tony Dallas: Eleemosynary

Award for Best 2011 – 2012 Overall Production: Eleemosynary

                      University of Dayton performs Urinetown

Award of Merit in Acting: Stephanie Jabre: Hope Cladwell in Urinetown

Award of Merit in Acting: Brennan Paulin: Officer Lockstock in Urinetown

Award of Merit in Acting: Emily Christine Smith: Little Sally in Urinetown

Award of Merit in Acting: Kate Hunt: Ms. Pennywise in Urinetown

Award of Merit for Vocal Direction: Dr. David Sievers in Urinetown

For a full list of this year’s DayTony award recipients, go to:

Eco-Artist Basia Irland Visits UD, Works with Rivers Institute

Eco-artist Basia Irland visited Dayton in mid-August in preparation for her September week-long residency at the University of Dayton. Best known for her “ice books,” Basia offers a creative understanding of water while examining how communities of people, plants and animals rely on this vital element.

We held a demonstration for campus partners who wish to make their own “ice pages” and participate in our “ice book” launch on September 14th at Stewart Street Bridge.

Basia Irland Meets with River Stewards at Taylorsville Dam Metropark

Basia and Brother Don Geiger Discuss Native Seeds for the Ice Books

River Stewards work on Sound Poems guided by Eco-Artist Basia Irland … and then perform for all gathered.

Listen to a recording of the River Stewards’ sound experiment:

River Stewards Gather with Basia Irland at Island Metro Park
(Basia at bottom left, proudly displaying her River Stewards shirt!)

Listen to an excerpt of Susan Byrnes’ interview with Basia:

Examples of Basia’s work are currently on display in ArtStreet Studio D Gallery. Her September residency activities will include class visits, a public reception, lecture and “ice book” launch. Learn more about her September residency »

RESIDENCY PARTNERS: University of Dayton’s ArtStreet, Arts Series, College of Arts and Sciences, Departments of English and Visual Arts, Marianist Environmental Education Center, Rivers Institute, SEE (Sustainability, Energy and Environment) Initiative, and the Women’s Center and Antioch College.

Photos by Dennie Eagleson. 

Pride of Dayton Marching Band Prepares for First Schuster Center Performance

The Pride of Dayton Marching Band, better known as POD, is a student group consisting of over 130 students from not only UD, but also other area colleges such as Wright State, and Sinclair. POD includes a wide variety of instruments, as well as featuring an outstanding color guard, baton twirling line, and the Flyerette dance line. 

As a feature twirler in POD, I have experienced how wonderful this community of students is! POD brings together students who share interests in the performing and musical arts, acting as a creative, physical, and mental outlet, as well as an opportunity to get to know each other while doing what we all love. Students come to POD from a variety of majors, including not only music majors, but also business, education, visual arts, and so much more! POD performs at every home football game, along with one away game, cheering on the football team, and pumping up the crowd with our energy, music, and performances.

One thing that makes the Pride of Dayton such an outstanding experience is the fact that everyone in the band is there to have fun, and to enjoy the activity that we love. This intent for fun, and appreciation for the arts, creates a quirky charm that is unique to POD. Each and every member of the band and auxiliaries works actively, bringing energy and excitement to each rehearsal and performance. The constant outpouring of energy is and inspiration, not only to myself, but also to spectators everywhere we go.

POD serves as an ambassador for the University of Dayton, performing at every home football game, and one away game each season, as well as at several area high schools and band competitions. We are constantly working to represent our university and our activity with passion and pride, and encourage everyone to get involved!

The Pride of Dayton will be closing the Celebration of the Arts performance at the Schuster Center as part of the University’s annual Stander Symposium. We are so excited to once again represent our University as well as the Department of Music department, at this Tuesday’s performance.

Check out this video for an inside look at POD’s preparation for Celebration of the Arts:

Text by Megan Althaus, a sophomore Visual Communication Design – Graphic Design major, and Marketing minor at the University of Dayton. She is from Sidney, Ohio, and works as an Art Happening Assistant at ArtStreet. She is a baton twirler in the Pride of Dayton Marching Band, and enjoys being involved in the arts around the Dayton area.

Video production by Maria Delgado, a Communications: Electronic Media major from Rockledge, FL. She enjoys writing about films and music, as well as original songs and scripts. She is an employee at ArtStreet as well as the Director of Multimedia for Flyer News.

Did you know… that UD has an art fraternity?

Kappa Pi is the art fraternity at UD.  It is a relatively new organization- the first members were initiated in the fall of 2011.  Though it is new, the group is growing fast and has initiated members each semester following its inception.  In order to be a part of this group, you must have completed 12 credit hours in Visual Arts courses, as well as hold a “B” average in your art classes, and a “C” average overall. If you meet these requirements and would like to join, you go through a portfolio review process.  The portfolio needs to include a minimum of five pieces of work and is reviewed by a committee based on work, content, craftsmanship, and presentation.  Currently, Kappa Pi is in the beginning stages of painting a mural for Stuart’s Landing (Stu’s).  

As a new group on campus, they are working to get more involved with the arts, participate in on and off campus service projects and collaborate on events with other organizations.  There are many opportunities for members to use their “creativity and experience with the visual arts to help promote the arts in Dayton,” according to Lauren Ebbert, VP of the UD chapter.

Allison Gallucci is a Photo major from Columbus, OH. She is a member of the Ebony Heritage Singers, an officer for Life Itself Dance Club, and a student leader of Navigators. Allison enjoys fashion photography and fine arts photography.

Imani Winds Career Conversations

During their visit to UD as part of the Arts Series, students and faculty were treated to an intimate visit from world-renowned wind quintet, Imani Winds.  The event, which took place in Kennedy Union’s Torch Lounge, was part of a series called Career Conversations.  The event was more than your typical Q&A about how the artists chose their instruments or why they wanted to be musicians.  Sure, there was some of that, but the focus of the dialogue reached beyond that.  The members of the quintet themselves were surprised and pleased that a forum had been set up that focused on making a career out of one’s passion. 

Between short excerpts from their repertoire (which were amazing entirely in and of themselves), the members took turns leading and engaging in dialogue with the audience  about what it means to pursue one’s passion with their whole being.  The applicability of the dialogue was by no means bound to musicians or performing artists.  The quintet made a conscious effort to query the audience, which consisted of students and faculty alike, about their past, present and future professional plans allowing the discussion and message to spread across disciplines.  The event culminated in a final piece, arranged by the quintet’s own, Jeff Scott, drawing a sustained ovation from the audience. 

Check out the below interview with members of Imani Winds by Flyer Radio member Caroline Drennen, as they cover everything from the integration of faith in their music to facial expressions while performing! 

Sean Kaschak is a graduate student at the University of Dayton and the graduate assistant at ArtStreet. He graduated from UD in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Teacher Education. Born and raised in extreme northeast New York, Sean is a photographer, graphic designer, outdoor enthusiast and guitarist.

LaFrae, Hammerstep, Step Afrika

Earlier this month, residents of ArtStreet, as well as members from the university and larger Dayton community, had the opportunity to interact with a number of phenomenal visiting artists as part of a collaboration between the University of Dayton and CityFolk.  Drummer LaFrae Sci and Garrett Coleman and Jason Oremus of Hammerstep are partnering with CityFolk as part of the Culture Builds Community program which partners “with community-based agencies and Dayton’s Neighborhood School Centers (NSCs) to bring community residents together by sharing music, food, storytelling and other cultural traditions” (  This particular collaboration is called Soul Rhythms: Traveling Land and Heart through Music and Dance and “will engage…five Neighborhood School Centers (NSC)[,] Fairview, Ruskin, Edison, Cleveland and Kiser”, in collaborations with rhythmic artists culminating in a massive collaborative performance of over 125 students and artists on April 22nd at the Masonic Centre

Those in attendance were treated to demonstrations by each artists followed by a dialogue about the project and a general Q&A.  Local and nationally acclaimed artist Rodney Veal, who is coordinating the Soul Rhythms project, introduced LaFrae Sci, a Dayton native now residing in New York City, who talked about her work as a an accomplished jazz drummer and arranger.  Hammerstep followed with a demo of their Irish step/Hip-hop fusion and actually did an improvisational piece with LaFrae on drums taking turns between the three of them soloing to a constant rhythm.  Rodney Veal interjected afterward to reveal that two members of Washington, D.C. troupe Step Afrika, who are also part of the Soul Rhythms project, were in attendance.  After some pleading from the crowd, the two members demonstrated a short excerpt from one of their unique step routines drawing a raucous applause from the audience.  Opening up the floor to questions, all three groups and artists fielded myriad questions about the project, their work and their influences.  Everyone was genuinely impressed by the candid nature and accessibility of the artists particularly with regards to the Soul Rhythms project.  Visit to learn more about the artists, Culture Builds Community and the Soul Rhythms project.

Sean Kaschak is a graduate student at the University of Dayton and the graduate assistant at ArtStreet. He graduated from UD in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Teacher Education. Born and raised in extreme northeast New York, Sean is a photographer, graphic designer, outdoor enthusiast and guitarist

A Memory Rocket, Christian Schmit

Alone in a world as the last person alive, one man struggles to survive, incessantly striving to preserve his memories.  That is the premise behind Cincinnati-based artist, Christian Schmit’s, exhibit; A Memory Rocket.  Schmit’s second iteration of this exhibit (titled A Memory Rocket: Second Launch) is currently on display in ArtStreet Studio D.  A twisting structure of tunnels and capsules, the exhibit is constructed largely of cardboard and other found materials.  The exhibit is currently being displayed in collaboration with “the Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (SEE) Initiative at the University of Dayton [which] seek[s] to provide interested students with a deep appreciation of the complexity and inherent multidisciplinarity in all discussions of sustainability, energy and the environment”. 

The interesting thing about this exhibit is the degree to which visitors can interact with the work.  Unlike most exhibits, Schmit’s is ever-changing.  Little pieces of furniture, miniature books and myriad other tiny objects work their way into and through the sculpture as the protagonist struggles to preserve his memories.  What’s more is that visitors to the sculpture are invited to fabricate items and leave them on a display of shelves in the gallery called “the staging area.”  Visitors can return to the sculpture on separate days to find their works incorporated and the entire piece different from their last visit.  The vivid artistic narrative combined with the interactive nature of the exhibit is really what makes this work as incredible as it is. 

Recently, the ArtStreet residents got the chance to work with Christian Schmit in a workshop where they discussed the themes of community interaction through art and also had the chance to create their own pieces for the exhibit.  Students’ creativity was flowing as little ladders, clocks, books and even an infinitesimal drafting table were constructed.  This semester, the residents have focused on the theme of community interaction with the artists that have visited and they were really captivated by Schmit’s mission and work.  Treat yourself to a visit to ArtStreet Studio D until March 9th and experience A Memory Rocket: Second Launch.

Sean Kaschak is a graduate student at the University of Dayton and the graduate assistant at ArtStreet. He graduated from UD in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Teacher Education. Born and raised in extreme northeast New York, Sean is a photographer, graphic designer, outdoor enthusiast and guitarist

Improvising Communication: DECA & So Percussion

More fun with the award-winning experimental percussion ensemble, So Percussion! As part of their Arts Series residency, the group presented a Career Conversations program and worked with UD and DECA (Dayton Early College Academy) students. Students from DECA and UD as well as So Percussion’s own Jason Treuting speak about their collaboration at local musician/artist Michael Bashaw’s studio. The students from DECA spent two evenings working with So Percussion at Bashaw’s studio as the first part in a semester long partnership that will culminate with a community event and performance at the Dayton Art Institute. During the sessions, the students and So Percussion explored the themes of improvisation and communication. For more information about So Percussion: For more information about arts programming at the University of Dayton, visit Video produced by Sean Kaschak.

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