Student Artistry & Scholarship – Albright College

Student Artistry & Scholarship

At Albright, we consider student research and scholarly exploration to be a vital complement to the theatre curriculum. There’s no better way to see theatre in action than to work on your own creative project. Albright’s theatre faculty have diverse interests and have been active in supporting Honors work and the Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE) projects at the College for over a decade. Department members have been readers on many theses since the inception of the programs. Listed below are examples of the Senior Honors Thesis Projects undertaken by our theatre students in recent years:

  • Megan McGrath (’05) — Performed in Boston Marriage by David Mamet
  • Chris Davis (’05) — Wrote and directed the original play, A Miscarriage of Family
  • Sally Wojcik (’05) — Performed in Steven Berkoff’s The Secret Love Life of Ophelia
  • Ariel Trocino (’08) — Directed a Green and Growing production of Will Eno’s Thom Pain
  • Robin Vacek (’11) — Performing the title role in Paula Vogel’s Desdemona
  • David Yadush (’12) — Co-wrote and directed the original play, Or Something Like That
  • Karina Grossman (’13) — Co-created an evening of Physical Theatre entitled, Body Language
  • Taylor Rae Cole (’13) — Co-created an evening of Physical Theatre entitled, Body Language
  • Sheldon Carpenter (’14) — Directed the Domino Players production of Neil Labute’s The Shape of Things
  • Sarah Crake (’16) — Directed the Domino Players production of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis
  • Connor Feeney (’16) — Directed the Domino Players production of Igor Bauersima’s
  • Emily Carey (’17) — Wrote the original play Figuring It Out
  • Alexis Jenofsky (’17) — Directed the Domino Players production of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt
  • Garrett Solomon (’18) — Wrote & Performed the original play One-Hander

Through the Albright Creative and Research Experience (ACRE) program, students receive stipends and room and board to work jointly with faculty on research projects of their choosing. Projects can be completed either during the summer (ten weeks) or the Interim (three weeks in January) terms. Listed below are some of the ACRE research projects conducted by our theatre students and our theatre faculty in recent years:

  • Tiffany Hernandez (’11) – Women in the Arts: Dramaturgy, Domino Players
  • David Yadush (’11) — Life around Reading: A Live/Video Documentary Play
  • Shannon Rowe (’12) — Life around Reading: A Live/Video Documentary Play
  • Taylor Rae Cole (’13) — The Protégé:  Imagining the Life and Art of Mary Leisz
  • Tyler Ryan (’14) — Writing for Young Audiences
  • Siobhan O’Hara (’14) — The Albright Improv Handbook
  • John Tallarida (’15) — Albright College Children’s Theatre
  • Suzie Benitez (’15) — From Fleece to Yarn: An Exploration of Textile Hand Spinning
  • Sarah Crake (’16) — The Viewpoints Project
  • Ellie Smith (’16) — Performing Identity in Brighton Beach Memoirs
  • Rachel Roseman (’16) — Elements of Absurdist Theatre in Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
  • Madeline Sedler (’16) — Drama Therapy: A Different Way of Theatre
  • Alexis Jenofsky (’17) — Drama Therapy: A Different Way of Theatre
  • Maura Sheehan (’17) — Cover Your Mouth! Using Theatre to Teach Kids Healthy Habits
  • Natalie Torpey (’19) — Charting a New Course in Acting
  • Connor McLaughlin (’19) — Charting a New Course in Acting
  • Lindsey Jones (’19) — Classical Ballet Tutu Design and Construction
  • Joey Love (’20) — The Streets Are Paved in Gold – History & Practice of Satiric News
  • Joey Love (’20) — The History & Practice of Sketch Comedy
  • Alex Hermans (’20) — New Play Development: Scene Changes
  • Autumn Blalock (’20) — Theatre for Change

The faculty members of the Department of Theatre also strongly encourage our students to take advantage of the various literary and pre-professional theatre conferences that welcome submissions of scholarly work. Listed below are some of the papers delivered recently at conferences by our students:

  • Anna’le Hornak (’16) “Gendered Domination and the Struggle for Power in Shakespeare’s Comedies” at the 9th Undergraduate Conference in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Moravian College (2014)
  • Garrett Solomon (’18) “Shakespeare’s World of Ambiguity” at the 9th Undergraduate Conference in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Moravian College (2014)
  • Nathan Rothermel (’18) “Playing Hillary Clinton During the Election: My Life-Changing Journey of Satire, Politics, and Theatre” at the 18th Annual HEBEC Conference at Penn State Berks

Experiential Learning

Theatre is action, the art of doing; and for students in Albright’s theatre department, this potent mantra extends into the summers in between their semesters of intense study and creativity. Beginning in their freshman year, our majors and combined majors are charged with creating a portfolio of professional materials (resume, cover letter, statements of reflection and future goals, evidence of artistic process and scholarly writing) that is annually assessed by the theatre faculty as a whole as a means of helping to prepare our young artists for work in the profession.

For more information visit the Experiential Learning and Career Development Career Center page on Albright’s website. Students from the department of theatre have been accepted into coveted apprenticeship and internship programs at institutions including:

  • Actors’ Theatre of Louisville
  • Arden Theatre
  • Arena Stage
  • Ephrata Performing Arts Center
  • Florida Studio Theatre
  • Guthrie Theatre
  • Maryland Shakespeare Festival
  • New Jersey Shakespeare Festival
  • Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
  • Peoples Light and Theatre
  • Roundabout Theatre
  • Sprout Network (NBC)
  • Syracuse Stage
  • Utah Shakespeare Festival
  • Walnut Street Theatre
  • Walt Disney World
  • Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre
  • Williamstown Theater Festival
  • Wilma Theatre

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF)

Albright is proud to be associated with the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) – a national, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of theatre and theatre study in American colleges and universities. Started in 1969, KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions across the country. Albright College is part of the KCACTF’s Region II (Mid-Atlantic). With the support and supervision of the theatre faculty, our students regularly attend and participate in Region II’s annual festival during which time they can: attend numerous workshops and lectures in the craft of the theatre; showcase their own creative and scholarly works; participate in acting, directing, design, playwriting, stage management, dramatic criticism, and dramaturgy competitions; and witness numerous college productions that have been invited from around the region to compete for national recognition. We are proud to say that Albright’s Domino Player’s Company has been invited to bring nine productions to festival since the department began in 2002 — including an invitation to remount our production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot for the Kennedy Center’s National Festival in April of 2007, and our 2015 production of Clyburne Park and 2018 production of A Raisin in the Sun were both named Outstanding Production of a Play by the National Awards Committee – the highest award a production can receive. Below is a list of some of the awards and accolades our students have received at recent KCACTF Region II Festivals.

  • Christopher Dierckson (’07) Regional Finalist — Irene Ryan National Acting Competition, 2007
  • Alec Ferrell (’07) National Finalist — Stage Management for Top Girls, 2007
  • Tiffany Hernandez (’11) National Finalist — Dramaturgy for Eurydice, 2011
  • Karina Grossman (’13) National Finalist — Prop Design for A Streetcar Named Desire, 2013
  • April Jones (’13) National Semi-Finalist — The John Cauble Outstanding Short Play Award for her one-act play My Life as an Oreo, 2013
  • Jared Mason (’13) National Playwriting Program/Director’s Initiative Undergraduate Development Program for his 10-minute play Locked In, 2013.
  • Ellie Smith (’16) National Finalist — Dramaturgy for Vortex, 2014
  • Suzie Benitez (’15) National Finalist — Costume Design for Dancing at Lughnasa, 2015
  • Anna’le Hornak (’16) National Finalist — Dramaturgy for Maelstrom, 2015
  • Nate Rothermel (’18) Regional Semi-Finalist — Irene Ryan National Acting Competition, 2015
  • Kasual Owens Fields (’17) — Stage Directors & Choreographers Society Fellowship
  • Holly Hoover (’17) — League of Resident Theatres (LORT) Arts Management Fellowship

Domino Players Company productions invited to recent the KCACTF Region II Festivals —

  • The Ubu Saga, Part I: Spirale by Jeffrey Lentz and Cocol Bernal, 2004
  • Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, 2007 (Invitation to National Festival at The Kennedy Center)
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost, by William Shakespeare, 2009
  • Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, 2011
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, 2012
  • The Ubu Saga, Part II: Vortex by Jeffrey Lentz and Cocol Bernal, 2014
  • The Ubu Saga, Part III: Maelstrom by Jeffrey Lentz and Cocol Bernal, 2015
  • Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris, 2016 (Winner of National “Outstanding Production of a Play”)
  • Make Democracy Great Again! by Matt Fotis, 2017
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, 2019 (Winner of National “Outstanding Production of a Play”)
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens, 2020

Study Abroad

Students with interests in theatre are encouraged to study and travel in another country or culture for at least a semester. Over the years, our students have attended academic institutions in England, Scotland, France, Italy, Russia, Japan, Guatemala, Mexico, and South Africa.

The National Theatre Institute

Albright College’s Department of Theatre maintains a close working relationship with the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s acclaimed National Theater Institute. For over three decades, numerous Albrightians have been accepted to and thriving in NTI’s semester-long intensive study into the theatre arts. This program, which includes a two-week training excursion to either London or Moscow, aims to help focus and forge the professional paths of young theatre artists from around the country. Notable alumni include: Jennifer Garner, John Krazinski, and Jeremy Piven and our own, Saidah Arrika Ekulona (’92).