UToledo School of Visual and Performing Arts

Archive for November, 2012

UT College of Visual and Performing Arts well represented at Digital Media & Arts Conference

When the International Digital Media and Arts Association Conference was held this month in Miami, FL, the University of Toledo College of Visual and Performing Arts was well represented. Not only did Dean Debra Davis and Associate Dean Holly Monsos attend the conference, a project from the Art Department won an award and Film faculty member Holly Hey presented a paper.

Image of digital billboard featuring work of UT student Mark Yappueying


The Stories from Toledo billboard project won the 2012 Achievement in Digital Art & Design Award–the student award for digital art at the conference, http://idmaa.org/showcase-university-of-toledo/ The project, developed by Art faculty member Barry Whittaker for his class Time, Motion, Space, features the work of students in the class as well as the work of the department’s BFA students on electronic billboards, donated by Lamar Outdoor. 17 works are displayed on the boards which are located throughout the Toledo area. For more information on the works and a map to locations, visit the project page.

Holly Hey, Associate Professor of Film, The University of Toledo

A number of special topics presentations were made by academics across the nation on the second day of the conference. The special topic for the first paper session was “21st Century Tools for Teaching.”Lindsay Grace, Miami University, spoke on “Producing Results with a Student Based Creative Design Studio.” Allen Jones, Puget Sound University, talked about “Visualizing Invisible Cities: Using the Cave to Teach Postmodern Literature.” Holly Hey, The University of Toledo, spoke on “The Objective Machine and the Subjective Experience: Meshing Methodology and Ideology in Digital Non-Linear Editing.”

The first night featured the iDEAS Art Opening and the Student Showcase in the New World School of the Arts Gallery. Artists from across the nation exhibited their work, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the IDEAS exhibit. Students from the following schools shared their work with the conference: University of Akron, SUNY Oswego, University of Houston Clear Lake, University of Georgia, University of Florida, University of Detroit Mercy, East Tennessee State University, Utah Valley University, University of Toledo, Columbia College Chicago and New World School of the Arts.

UT production of Mary Zimmerman’s Tony-winning METAMORPHOSES opens November 16

Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman, opens November 16 at the University of Toledo

Based on the Myths of Ovid, written and originally directed by Mary Zimmerman. METAMORPHOSES opens November 16 at the University of Toledo

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film production of Mary Zimmerman’s “Metamorphoses” opens Friday, November 16 in the UT Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre. Written and originally directed by Zimmerman, “Metamorphoses” took Broadway by storm, and in 2002 won a Tony Award for Best Direction and was nominated for Best Play. Two of the University’s faculty members, Daniel Thobias and T.J. Gerckens, have worked with Zimmerman on previous productions of “Metamorphoses.” Gerckens also worked on the Broadway production.

Gerckens, lecturer in lighting design and cinematography, as well as the production manager for the UT performances, has worked extensively with Mary Zimmerman, the writer and original director of this play. In fact he has been working with her on the current revival of the production now playing in Chicago. Assistant professor of theatre and costume design, Thobias, worked as a properties artisan on “Metamorphoses” in the Berkeley Repertoire Theatre production, one of the original stagings of the show.

Thobias is the designer of the set for the UT production and is overseeing the costume design process. Student Halah Mohamed is designing the costumes.

Director of the UT production and a theatre lecturer, Irene Alby, says she is thrilled to be working with gifted faculty who bring such impressive work experiences with them. “To direct this production working with people who worked with Mary Zimmerman is incredible. They have such great insight into the playwright. It has informed my own ideas about the play a great deal.”

Image from rehearsal of University of Toledo production of Metamorphoses

Rehearsal scene from UT production of METAMORPHOSES
(left to right) Davion Brown, Evan Dailey, Tim Fox, Lance Miller

Set around a pool that is both primordial and metaphorical, “Metamorphoses” is a series of Greco-Roman myths of Ovid, collected together expertly and poetically by Zimmerman, and crafted into a visually dynamic play.

“Mary Zimmerman’s beautiful and deeply humane ‘Metamorphoses’…reanimates [Ovid’s myths] with a combination of agile storytelling and enthralling stagecraft. Funny one moment, achingly sorrowful the next, ‘Metamorphoses’ somehow manages both to lift you out of the moment you’re living in and speak to it with piercing directness.” –Wall Street Journal

Alby says her own direction for the play will utilize “the extraordinary process of pregnancy and the womb and birth as a symbolic microcosm of the universe and all within it as it journeys toward wisdom. Each of the myths in the play explores deeply some important aspect of that journey, a journey of love and transcendence that each of us is already walking. I think the play resonates so well with people, and has for many years, because of its ability to profoundly and spiritually transform its audience. When people see it, they never forget the beauty and magic of it, and they’re never quite the same.”

Other articles:
Rebirth: New production of Metamorphoses showcases the rise of UT theatre (Toledo City Paper, NOVEMBER-ISSUE-1 2012)

New University of Toledo theatre production features unique stages, costumes and themes (Independent Collegian, November 14, 2012)


Play tickets are $12–General Public, $10–Faculty, Staff, Alumni & Seniors, and $7–Students.


Student members of fraternities or sororities, who wear their letters or show their membership card at the box office, can get a “Go Greek” discount of $2 off their ticket. Offer good only at the Box Office.

A Season Flex Pass provides 4 tickets that can be used in any combination throughout the season, and is 15% off the price of 4 single performance tickets purchased separately. Flex Passes are available all season.

Tickets are available*:
Online: http://www.utoledo.edu/BoxOffice
By Phone: 419.530.2375
At the Center for Performing Arts Box Office:
Towerview W & W Rocket Blvd, UT Main Campus
*All major credit cards are accepted (AMEX, DISC, MC, VISA), UT Rocket Cards are accepted at the CPA Box Office ticket window only.

UT Opera to present Menotti’s “The Medium” Nov. 9 & 10

After nearly 20 years, UT will perform its first full opera—Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Medium”—November 9 and 10 in the UT Center for Performing Arts Studio Theatre. The performance, called “Murder, Mayhem and The Medium,” will open with several macabre opera classics, followed by a brief intermission and then “The Medium” in its entirety. The whole performance will last about 90 minutes.

Assistant professor of voice and director of the UT Opera program, Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini says the production is a collaborative effort between the UT Departments of Music and Theatre & Film. Associate professor of theatre, Cornel Gabara, will direct the performance. Gabara is also directing the Toledo Symphony production of “Soldier’s Tale,” and he also directed the Symphony’s 2011 Carnegie production of “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.”

Dr. Bernardini says she is thrilled that the production is taking place. “In more recent years the UT Opera ensemble has performed only selections from operas. Since we announced that we were doing a full opera, enrollment in UT Opera has tripled.”

She adds that much thought went into the decision to perform “The Medium.” “I wanted something that was very accessible to the audience, something fun that even people who are new to opera would enjoy. And something that would showcase the talents of our graduate students.”

“The Medium” is the story of crafty and often cruel medium who finds herself questioning her line of work when one of séances goes awry and a mysterious experience leads her from suspicion to paranoia and ultimately, to tragedy.

Performances are Friday and Saturday, November 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the UT Center for Performing Arts Studio Theatre. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.

There is no charge for admission to these performances; a $10 donation per ticket is requested but not required. Tickets are available at the door, but since seating is very limited, it is suggested that they be reserved in in advance by calling the UT Department of Music at 419.530.2448.

Save the Date! The UT Opera will present its inaugural Holiday Opera Gala, Sunday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Doermann Theater in University Hall. (main campus)

UT Art student takes award at photo conference

UT art student Jessica Ostrander at 2012 SPE Conference

University of Toledo BFA Art/Film Student, Jessica Ostrander
at 2012 SPE Conference

Several UT art students had portfolio reviews at the Midwest Society for Photographic Education Conference last month. Jessica Ostrander, a BFA student with a concentration in New Media, had two pieces selected for a juried exhibition that was open to undergrads as well as grad students throughout the midwest. Only 10 students were selected and Jessica won second place for her work!

“My first SPE Conference was a whirlwind and exciting experience. There was always something going on, and I was just sorry I didn’t have enough time for everything. But what really made the Conference a memorable one was that my Mom and step-Dad, who currently live in Maryville, Tennessee, were able to come to the reception to see my work. Since she moved out of Ohio, it has been difficult for my Mom to get away to attend my exhibits. So, this was very important for both of us, especially since she took many of the original photographs. The hand in the image is my father’s hand. Family is very important to me.”

Jessica is also pursuing a minor in Film and she  just completed a photo internship at the Toledo Museum of Art where she worked as a staff photographer. “I worked as Visual Resource Collections (VRC) Intern and acting as staff photography was part of my responsibilities there. I learned much about the behind-the-scenes work that goes on and what makes the TMA so extraordinary.”

The conference: Continuum: Photography and Education included artist talks, panels, lectures and workshops. The theme of the conference centered on those “individuals and advancements that have framed how we view, evaluate, and understand images.  To celebrate the 50th year of SPE, we honor the past, present and future of image making.  Whether it is Steichen’s black and white fashion photographs, Andy Warhol’s quick Polaroids, the monumental prints of Doug and Mike Starn, or Laurel Nakadate’s photographic objects, Continuum aims to encompass the many genres and forms of photography.”

photo of UT art students at the SPE Conference

Left to right: Rachelle Raymer-Gilbert (just graduated with BFA in New Media), Brandy Saves (Art major/ New media concentration), Alyssa Brown (BFA New Media), Deborah Orloff (Prof. New Media), Hannah Evans (Art major/ New media concentration), Jessica Ostrander (BFA New Media/ BA Film/Video), Jon Wittes (BFA New Media), Morgan Hayward (BFA New Media)