UToledo School of Visual and Performing Arts

Archive for April, 2020

UToledo Theatre and Film faculty Matt Foss translates his play to the online world, creating an interactive theatre learning experience

Dr. Matt Foss, and cast members from his play, “Faithful Friends” (left to right) Sarah West as Julia, Erik Pearson as Valentine, Emily Hawkins as Silvia, and Crabbe as Himself

Dr. Matt Foss, an assistant professor of theatre with The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film, wrote and directed a play that was originally intended to be performed live and taken on the road to elementary schools. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down performances, he had to successfully translate the production to the online performance space and lesson plan to help those learners now at home. The play premiered online today.

Foss originally created the play, “Faithful Friends: An Adaptation of the Two Gentlemen of Verona,” in late January and has been working with the company’s staff and leadership to build the interactive modules and workshops that accompany it over the past week. The work was created for PreK-6 grade students and to tour to elementary schools. It was created in partnership with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks (MSIP), a theatre he has worked with in the past, and its Montana Shakes! program, an elementary school outreach tour seeks to make Shakespeare and other classic works accessible to young people.

Scene from the online production of “Faithful Friends” by Dr. Matt Foss, assistant professor of theatre at The University of Toledo

“Working with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks was a foundational experience early in my career. They provide free and public art across the mountain west and their mission relates closely to what I have found and seek to do here in Toledo” says Foss.

Four of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks’ teaching artists, who are safely quarantined together, filmed the play and created lesson plans through the interactive learning platform FlipGrid. To convert the project to online, Foss enlisted the help of UToledo film student, Jarrett Cunningham.

“I’ve been teaching myself to edit as fast as I can the past week, but Jarrett was able to work remotely and close my learning and ability gap to help get the performance out to students and their families as quickly as possible”

The play and lessons will be available on Montana Shakespeare in the Parks’ YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBdb7l5OuPc. Teachers who want to use the Flipgrid materials at https://flipgrid.com/montanashakes will need to have an account on the app. More information can be found on the MSIP website: https://www.shakespeareintheparks.org/

Cast and Production Crew

  • Samual Cheeseman……………Proteus
  • Emily Hawkins……………………..Silvia
  • Erik Pearson………………………..Valentine
  • Sarah West…………………………..Julia
  • Crabbe……………………………….…Himself

Written and Directed By Matt Foss

Special Thanks to: Our Student Volunteers who submitted videos -Paul Heitt-Rennie and Montana PBS -Christus Collegium

PRODUCTION TEAM

  • Claudia Boddy…………….Costume Designer
  • Stacy Hostetter……………Properties Designer
  • Matthew Foss……………..Sound Designer
  • Gordon Carpenter…………Technical Director
  • Anna Neikirk……………….Production Manager
  • Jesse Mooney-Bullock……Puppet Designer
  • Jarrett Cunningham……….Video Editor
  • Katherine Norman…………Education Director
  • Sarah Stanek………………Stage Manager
  • Emily Cowles………………Stitcher

UToledo Art Faculty Work Published in International Research Journal

University of Toledo Art Department faculty Eric Zeigler (assistant professor of art, Art Print Center coordinator) and Brian Carpenter (assistant professor of art, gallery director) received international recognition for a course they designed for the department. Their paper “Engaging Tools” was published this week by the international research organization, Architecture_Media_Politics_Society (AMPS) in its conference publication, “AMPS Proceedings Series 17.1. Education, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World.”

Students working with tools in the Foundations of Art Studio Technologies at UToledo

Students working with tools in the Foundations of Art Studio Technologies at UToledo

Zeigler and Carpenter’s paper covers the development and implementation of a course they designed for The University of Toledo Department of Art – Foundations of Art Studio Technologies (FAST). The purpose of the course is to enhance a student’s understanding of themselves as “tool-users” and to reinforce the importance of agency that is developed through the process of “making.”

Brian Carpenter, Gallery Director and assistant professor of art at the University of Toledo

Brian Carpenter, Gallery Director and Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Toledo

The paper’s introduction states, “The paper examines…our approach for creating an environment where students understand the physical, historical, and philosophical relationships between tools; can operate and discern the components of tools, and begin to create a foundation to become a manually competent knowledge worker.”

Eric Zeigler, UToledo Assistant Professor of Art and Coordinator of the Art Print Center

Eric Zeigler, UToledo Assistant Professor of Art and Coordinator of the Art Print Center

“I would add that the course is a foundational component in a college career where an understanding of the components of the systems we live within needs more scrutiny and analysis than ever before,” Zeigler said.

The FAST course has been offered at UToledo since 2016 and is greatly appreciated by the students who have taken it. One remarked anonymously in a course evaluation, “I love that we are able to learn something conceptually, and then immediately apply it hands-on. This isn’t common in most classes, and I really appreciate this.”

The paper was presented last June at the AMPS conference. A compilation of all the papers presented was published this week and back dated to the date of the conference. https://architecturemps.com/proceedings/

Citation:
Zeigler, Eric; Carpenter, Brian. “Engaging Tools.” In: Ellyn Lester (ed.), AMPS Proceedings Series 17.1. Education, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World. Stevens Institute of Technology, USA. 17 – 19 June (2019). pp. 160-165


UToledo Film/Video Alumnus makes a dream come true as film, “Dream Runner,” streams on Amazon Prime Video

Scene from DREAM RUNNER by James Aponte, featuring Jeffrey Burden, II as “Julian”

The film DREAM RUNNER (2020) by University of Toledo alumnus James Aponte (Film/Video ’16) is now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video. It is included with Prime to its subscribers. The film’s national debut on Amazon is a major step forward in Aponte’s effort to take his film to mainstream audiences.

In announcing the film’s release, Aponte said on Facebook, “It’s been two years of navigating distribution, but I am so happy to say that as of today my feature film ‘Dream Runner’ is now streaming on Amazon Prime!”

UToledo Theatre and Film Department chair, Dr. Edmund Lingan says he is thrilled that Aponte’s film is receiving national play, but not surprised. “As a UToledo student – and later as a professional filmmaker – James always proved to be that rare blend of artist and entrepreneur that leads toward professional success. Our department has been proud and happy to support his work from the beginning, and I am sure this is only the beginning of a series of successes in his career that I will enjoy watching.”

The film’s subject matter leans toward sci-fi, as the film’s opening text makes clear, “Humans no longer dream. Now man made, dreams are sold in supermarkets, drug stores, and fueling stations. Certain dreams are declared illegal by world governments and organizations. Patrons turn to Dream Runners to attain these illicit fantasies.”

Watch the film is available on Amazon Prime Video

Watch a trailer for DREAM RUNNER by James Aponte

A host of UToledo and Theatre and Film Department grads star in and helped create this film:

CAST
“Dana” – Olivia Pierce (Theatre ’16)
“Phil Donahue” – Jamal Knight (actor)
“Drake” – Ian Davis (2014)
“Robbie” – Nolan Thomaswick (Theatre ’16)
“Julian” – Jeffrey Burden II (Theatre ’16)
“Rene” – Christina Pinciotti (Theatre ’17)
“Victoria Kingsley” – Samantha Campbell (Theatre ’17)

PRODUCTION TEAM
Executive Producer/Director – James Aponte (Film/Video ’16)
Producer – Nick Kostelnak (Film/Video ’15)
Producer – John Eidemiller (Communication, faculty)
Music – Stephen Mariasy (Film/Video ’15)
Cinematography – Andre Lewis (Film/Video ’18)
Production Management/Assistant Director – Marcus Jordan (Film/Video ’17)
Guitar – Ryan Dalton (Music, Jazz Performance ’17)


University of Toledo Department of Art student’s work receives local and national recognition and exposure

Summer Daze a color pencil drawing by artist Alaina Coote depicts image of a woman with long hair wearing in a sun hat

“Summer Daze” (color pencil drawing) by Alaina Coote, Art Student at The University of Toledo

Alaina Coote, a sophomore studying graphic and interactive design with The University of Toledo Department of Art, has received some important recognition and exposure for her work locally and nationally. Three of her color pencil drawings were chosen by a local hospital for display, and one, which also appeared locally on digital billboards, has been chosen to be published in a national calendar. Coote’s teacher, Barry Whittaker, associate professor of graphic and interactive design, said, “Alaina is putting her work out there, just as we discussed in class. I’m glad she is getting recognition for all her hard work.”

Coote’s work, “Summer Daze,” appeared in the UToledo Art Department’s annual Toledo area Digital Billboard Exhibition. The exhibition featured 21 pieces that were displayed on area digital billboards in January and February.

In addition, the drawing was chosen to be in the upcoming 2020 CURE® calendar, a national calendar created by CURE magazine, a national cancer information publication serving nearly 1 million readers among cancer patients, cancer centers and advocacy groups. The CURE webpage announcing the calendar winners states that, “Selected by a panel of judges, the artwork of the 12 winners exemplifies the beauty and creativity that can arise from the challenges of the cancer experience. Created using a variety of media, the pieces served as a therapeutic outlet for the artists and will inspire all those who view them.”
“Summer Daze” is from a collection of Coote’s drawings, which all feature women. The collection was inspired by her own personal life, having witnessed the experiences of her mother and grandmother who both battled cancer. “I saw how cancer had the ability to shape and change a women’s self-esteem and femininity. Cancer shaped their ideas about themselves and gave me a mature perspective about the psychological impact of the disease…This work is to serve as an encouragement to the women as they are battling cancer, portraying the power, beauty, femininity and strength that each woman has within themselves.”

“Summer Daze” (color pencil drawing) by Alaina Coote“Summer Daze” is also among three of Coote’s drawings that will soon be hanging in theWomen’s Specialty Center of Wooster Community Hospital in Wooster, Ohio. Michelle Quisenberry, director of marketing and public relations at WCH Health System, said she was impressed with Coote’s work and style. She felt that the pieces fit well with the center’s mission of serving the women of their community. Quisenberry added that the statewide shutdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus has delayed the framing and hanging of the pieces. The hospital will install the artworks when they are returned from the framer.


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