Department of Theatre

  • Employees recognized at 2021 UAB Service Awards

    Twenty-seven College of Arts and Sciences employees who have worked at UAB for 20 years or more were recognized at the UAB Service Awards reception on April 11, 2022.

    Dean Kecia M. Thomas with Kim Hazelwood at the UAB Service Awards reception.Twenty-seven College of Arts and Sciences employees who have worked at UAB for 20 years or more were recognized at the UAB Service Awards reception on April 11, 2022. These dedicated colleagues were honored for their number of years of employment at UAB as of December 31, 2021.

     

    The UAB Service Awards are given to active employees beginning at five years of employment and at each five-year milestone. Employees who reach 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service are invited to a reception on behalf of UAB President Ray L. Watts and presented with a service award pin, certificate, and a gift of gratitude.

     

    This year, Dr. Vithal K. Ghanta, professor in the Department of Biology and co-director of the Undergraduate Immunology Program, was honored for 50 years of service to UAB. Dr. Gregory Pence, professor in the Department of Philosophy and director of the Early Medical School Acceptance Program, was honored for 45 years of service. Congratulations to all our colleagues for their dedication and commitment to the University’s mission and vision.

    50-Year Recipient: Dr. Vithal K. Ghanta, professor in the Department of Biology

    20-Year Recipients

    • Kimberly H. Hazelwood, College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office
    • Erin Wright, Art and Art History
    • Tanja Matthews, Chemistry
    • Dr. Jacqueline Nikles, Chemistry
    • Daniel L. Butcher, English
    • Dr. Gale M. Temple, English
    • Dr. Lourdes M. Sanchez-Lopez, Foreign Languages and Literatures
    • Dr. Stephen J. Miller, History
    • Dr. John Heith Copes, Criminal Justice
    • Dr. Reinhard E. Fambrough, Music
    • Dr. Gitendra Uswatte, Psychology
    45-Year Recipient: Dr. Gregory E. Pence, professor in the Department of Philosophy

    25-Year Recipients

    • James R. Grimes, Advising
    • Margaret Amsler, Biology
    • Leslie C. Hendon, Biology
    • Adriana S. Addison, Psychology
    • Dr. Karlene K. Ball, Psychology
    • Wanda R. Fisher, Psychology
    • Pamela Y. Robinson, Psychology

    30-Year Recipients

    • Dr. Tracy P. Hamilton, Chemistry
    • Dr. Kathryn D. Morgan, Criminal Justice and African American Studies
    • Kimberly A. Schnormeier, Theatre

    35-Year Recipients

    • Dr. Edwin W. Cook III, Psychology
    • Dr. Edward Taub, Psychology

    40-Year Recipients

    • Dr. Howard L. Irving, Music
    • Dr. Franklin R. Amthor, Psychology

    45-Year Recipient

    • Dr. Gregory E. Pence, Philosophy

    50-Year Recipient

    • Dr. Vithal K. Ghanta, Biology

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  • Graduating students make a splash while creating “The SpongeBob Musical”

    Lighting designer Bailey Dumlao and co-director Devin Ty Franklin are two of the artists behind the scenes of Theatre UAB’s “The SpongeBob Musical.”

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  • See “The SpongeBob Musical” by Theatre UAB from April 13-17

    When the Mount Humungous volcano threatens to annihilate the town, the citizens of Bikini Bottom must come together in this zany musical, which makes use of recycled and repurposed props, scenery and costumes.

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  • Celebrate student creativity and fine arts April 11-20 with Arts Week 2022

    The College of Arts and Sciences will elevate a series of student performances, exhibitions and events for the new Arts Week celebration in April.

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  • Theatre UAB grad is co-producer of “The Gilded Age,” HBO drama set in booming 1882

    The American period piece is entertainment “on a grand scale.” Alumnus Luke Harlan helped to shape the sumptuous new series and he credits the UAB Department of Theatre, where he learned many of his skills.

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  • Theatre UAB presents original alumni play, “Echo(es)” from March 7-11

    Inspired by the myth of Echo and Narcissus, the new work was created by alumna Rebecca Jones and shaped through a residency on her family’s farm, a 2021 UAB Department of Theatre staged reading, and collaboration with faculty, students and alumni.

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  • Theatre UAB presents comedy “Noises Off” from Feb. 23-27

    “The funniest farce ever written” follows the misadventures of actors rehearsing a show set to open the next day and delights in physical comedy, witty dialogue and improvisation.

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  • The Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation provides scholarships to music and theatre students

    The foundation aims to advance the field of medicine and broaden the arts by providing scholarships to qualifying juniors and seniors at universities in the South.

    In March 2021, the Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation provided a generous donation to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Both the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Nursing received a portion of the gift to provide scholarships to juniors and seniors.

    The Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation is located in Orange Beach, Alabama. The foundation aims to advance the field of medicine and broaden the arts by providing scholarships to qualifying juniors and seniors at universities in the South.

    In the College of Arts and Sciences, both the departments of Theatre and Music awarded scholarships to a total of nine students for academic year 2021-2022. Five students in the Department of Music received scholarships, and four students in the Department of Theatre received scholarships.

    Rachel Thomas, a music education major and scholarship recipient, aspires to become an elementary music teacher after graduation. “This would not be possible without the funding of the Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Scholarship,” said Thomas. “This scholarship has helped me continue my learning experience and will be a great help in achieving my goal of becoming a teacher.”

    Nina Ballon, a senior majoring in musical theatre and scholarship recipient, will graduate in Spring 2022. During her tenure at UAB, she has focused on developing her talent as a performer—at the same time, she has developed technical theatre skills too. “It’s good to know or be familiar with all of the other aspects of the theatre world and not limit myself to just performing on stage,” said Ballon. “This scholarship helps me not only achieve my goals but also have the freedom to create goals that I probably wouldn’t have even thought about if I were anywhere else.”

    Clearly, The Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation is fulfilling its mission by investing in students who will further broaden and advocate for the arts in Alabama and beyod.

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  • Theatre UAB presents “Much Ado About Nothing,” from Nov. 10-13, 17-20

    After a year of streamed performances due to the pandemic, the Department of Theatre is celebrating its return to live theater with comedy and laughs from one of Shakespeare’s most delightful comedies.

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  • A performance to honor people impacted by cancer, “Raising Our Voices” Oct. 29-30 at UAB

    UAB Institute for Arts in Medicine and Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater will present this original work created with Birmingham community members affected by cancer.

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  • Theatre UAB presents “Godspell,” 2012 version, Oct. 13-17

    Celebrate community and inclusion in this masterful retelling of the original sensation, injected with contemporary references and dazzling new arrangements.

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  • UAB’s Lightner honored by Alabama Conference of Theatre

    Roy Lightner, MFA, an assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre, has received the Dorothy Schwartz Outstanding Educator Award.

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  • Theatre UAB celebrates 50 years, announces new performance season

    “Godspell,” Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Noises Off,” an original play by a Theatre UAB alumna, and “The SpongeBob Musical” are set for the 2021-22 season.

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  • National honors awarded to Theatre UAB’s original production “Disconnect” by KCACTF

    The KCACTF awarded “Disconnect” with Special Achievement honors in directing, production design, ensemble collaboration and company-generated work, as well as a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Award.

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  • UAB student-researcher awarded full scholarship for Cornell University Ph.D. communications program

    Alivia Moore, who studied deception in the UAB Department of Communication Studies and graduates May 1, urges incoming students to take every opportunity seriously and plan their long-term goals.

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  • Musical Theatre grads look to the future

    This academic year has been unlike any other. Students and faculty have navigated unprecedented complexity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, over the course of the past 14 months, they have exemplified resiliency and creativity.

    Justine Grace Nelson, Laurel Floen, and Diego Villanueva

    This academic year has been unlike any other. Students and faculty have navigated unprecedented complexity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, over the course of the past 14 months, they have exemplified resiliency and creativity.

    In the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre, three graduating seniors are preparing for their next steps, while taking some time to reflect on their experiences over the past year.

    "Obviously, this was not the senior year any of us had planned,” said Justine Grace Nelson, a senior who will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre this spring. “We have taken advantage of technology and created professional online presences showcasing our work and learned so much about the business side of the industry this year.”

    By leveraging technology and an adaptable spirit, the faculty in the Department of Theatre have ensured students still receive a world-class educational experience even when they are remote and/or wearing masks and socially distanced.

    “I have been so inspired by these strong and resilient students and artists,” said Valerie Accetta, Head of Musical Theatre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “This is not at all the senior year they envisioned when they started at UAB, but even in the midst of a global pandemic, they have continued to do committed work and claim their unique artistic voices.”

    One of Accetta’s inspiring students is Laurel Floen. As she approaches graduation, Floen recently reflected on her experience in the musical theatre program and uncovered an eye-opening discovery. “When we turn the spotlight off ourselves and use it to shine light outwards through our work, that’s when we hit gold,” said Floen.

    Floen also feels a deep and unwavering bond with her fellow musical theatre seniors, including Nelson and Diego Villanueva.

    For Villanueva, the pandemic did not stop him from envisioning a future that is dynamic and bright. “Once I graduate, I will be headed to Rehoboth, Delaware joining Clear Space Theatre in their summer season,” said Villanueva. Afterwards, he will participate in a year-long apprenticeship with the Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers, Florida, then he will be off to New York City.

    Nelson is also pursuing her dreams in the Sunshine State. “I am currently in Florida already working on my first professional post-grad production as Peppermint Patty in ThinkTank’s production of Snoopy," said Nelson.

    In August, Floen plans to move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to start an internship with Good to Go Theater. Philadelphia also presents Floen with an added benefit – proximity to New York City. “I might even take the two-hour train ride to New York City to visit friends and audition more once everything opens again,” said Floen.

    All three students note their appreciation for the faculty in the Department of Theatre for providing immense support and mentorship during this unpredictable year. For Accetta, creating such a nurturing environment was a pleasure. “Laurel, Justine, and Diego are simply beautiful humans, and I feel so lucky to have shared in their journey,” Accetta said.

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  • Celebrate 23 books authored by CAS faculty in 2020

    Writing a book isn’t easy, but faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences produced nearly two-dozen — for the second year in a row. Twenty faculty from 13 departments wrote books on police violence, John Milton, democracy in Bangladesh, addiction, postcommunist theatre and more.

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  • UAB Department of Theatre graduate is making “big dream” come true

    David H. Parker will walk in UAB’s commencement, then head west to the University of California, Los Angeles, where they will pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Directing, with a full scholarship.

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  • Theatre UAB presents student-led production “The Way You Made Me,” April 10-11

    “The Way You Made Me” is a story of the connections between our family, our lovers and ourselves. Student Bailey Dumlao directs the play, which will be available for viewing on Vimeo.

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  • Film by UAB alumna on Birmingham’s Greek-owned restaurants gets Southern Foodways Alliance premiere

    The documentary “Philoxenia,” by Birmingham-based filmmaker Jessica Chriesman, features local favorites Ted’s Restaurant, Demetri’s BBQ, Johnny’s Restaurant, The Bright Star, The Fish Market and Gus’s Hot Dogs.

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