Light Falls

No time for summer lulls

With the numerous projects involving School of Dramatic Arts faculty this summer, one might not have even noticed they were in recess. Here is a recap of some of the many achievements of our faculty:

Assistant Professor Alexandra Billings formed Schmengie, Inc., a producing company with the mission to tell stories of ostracized and other-ized communities through TV, theatre and film. She is co-producing their first project, Anabelle, a female-centric/Queer web series premiering at the end of 2019.

Professor Meiling Cheng wrote a performance review of Irish artist Amanda Coogan’s performance-installation piece, The Ladder Is Always There. Currently, she is adding a Chinese preface to her performance review on the ArTrend International Performance Art Festival in Tainan, Taiwan, which will be published in its Chinese translation. She is also working on an artist interview about Suzanne Lacy’s social practice art.

Scott Faris, assistant professor of theatre practice, directed Apollo 11: The Immersive Live Show, which features an original story based on the people behind the moon landing. The show ran in Pasadena and will open in Houston this December. He also directed the theatrical work tracing Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity called Light Falls, which premiered nationwide on PBS in May.

As part of the Parados Festival in Toronto, Distinguished Professor Velina Hasu Houston was commissioned to write Where Shadow Chases Light. The play received a staged reading at the festival in June. She received a second commission from Bonnie Franklin’s Classic and Contemporary American Plays to write Oh, I Remember The Black Birch.

A Noise Within presented a staged reading of Associate Professor Oliver Mayer’s The Sinner from Toledo, an adaption of the short story by Anton Chekhov, in July as part of their inVision: a Words Within Reading Festival.

Faculty member Judith Shelton was nominated for Best Supporting Performance by the Toronto WebFest for her role as Pam in the web series Comedic Timing. She is also the Story Smash! reigning champion at The Improv in Hollywood.

Faculty member Rodney To had a recurring role on season two of the HBO series Barry.