Posts Tagged ‘Communication Arts’

Playshop Theatre Presents ‘Baby With the Bathwater’

Allegheny’s Playshop Theatre presents “Baby With the Bathwater,” Tony award-winning author Christopher Durang’s outrageous take on the ultimate in bad parenting, April 20-23 in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts.

In this absurdist satire, Helen and John are completely unprepared for their first child and cannot even decide if it’s a boy or a girl – their doctor tells them they can choose later.  In his review in The New York Times, Frank Rich wrote, “A playwright who shares Swift’s bleak view of humanity, Durang conquers bitterness and finds a way to turn rage into comedy that is redemptive as well as funny. Directed by Dan Crozier.

Performances are at 8 p.m. April 20-22 and at 2 p.m. on April 23. For more information, visit http://sites.allegheny.edu/playshop/87th-season-2016-17/

Allegheny Students Develop Ad Campaign, Film Commercial

Clay Dawson stood under a giant American flag hanging from the plant’s rafters and studied his lines.

A few steps away, Allegheny College senior Shu Yi Tang flipped through sheets of paper that laid out the entire video shoot in detail: what scenes would be filmed and when, where and how they would be shot, and the people involved in each.

Lily Loreno, a senior at Allegheny, framed the opening scene with her hands, her fingers forming a square in front of her face. Sophomore Margaret West wheeled the camera into place.

“Every single second (of the video) has to be exactly perfect,” West, a 20-year-old communication arts major, said later.

The Allegheny trio had an important client to impress: Acutec Precision Aerospace Inc., a Meadville-based company that makes parts of the braking system used on Southwest Airlines jets, among other products, had tapped the group to create a commercial that would re-introduce the company to the community after a rebranding and, ultimately, encourage more prospective employees to walk through Acutec’s doors. Dawson, project manager for new product integration, would be one of the stars.

Acutec President and CEO Elisabeth Smith had worked with Allegheny students before and felt confident West, Loreno and Tang would bring the breadth of a liberal arts education to bear on the project.

“Who we look for (to work with) are people who think,” Smith said. “Allegheny students know how to think.”

The Acutec project is just one part of a larger multidisciplinary effort, still in the pilot stage, to create a student-run media agency at Allegheny that would connect students with local businesses and nonprofit organizations that need media, marketing and advertising services.

Vice President of College Relations Susan Salton proposed the idea of a student-run media agency when she came to Allegheny in 2015. Intrigued, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts/Theatre Julie Wilson started talking about the possibility with other faculty partners in and across departments.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to showcase the creative talents of our students and serve the community in a real, tangible way at the same time,” Salton said. “Our students gain experience working with clients in professional settings, applying what they’ve learned in the classroom to the benefit of our region.”

VIDEO

Allegheny @ Acutec

The Acutec project started as a college-wide competition among groups of students interested in vying for the company’s business. Interdisciplinary groups of three students each pitched a storyboard and tagline. Tang, West and Loreno’s winning tagline? “It all starts here,” a nod to the region’s manufacturing roots and Acutec’s essential role in the supply chain creating individual parts that, pieced together, make the whole.

Once selected, the students were mentored to handle all the pre-planning and contract logistics. They hired a makeup artist and another person to help with some technical aspects of the shoot, scouted the Acutec’s Meadville and Saegertown plants, and shot the video over the course of several days

Tang relished the opportunity to put what she’d learned in her advertising and video production classes into practice.

“You get to have a real-life experience and talk to a client and get to know people. Why not take part?” she said. “It’s a very valuable experience, something I can talk about.”

They all felt pressure to deliver a quality product. The heightened expectations that came with working for a client gave the group “an opportunity to rise to the occasion,” West said.

“When you’re (working for) someone else, when you’re taking their time and their money, you want it to be that much better,” Loreno said of the video.

After a late-night scramble to the finish, the commercial debuted at a companywide breakfast on Feb. 8.

It was a success, Smith said.

“People really enjoyed it,” she said. “In terms of working with students, (the experience) was excellent. They were very professional.”

Associate Professor of Communication Arts/Theatre Ishita Sinha Roy ran the Acutec storyboard competition and worked with the students, along with Assistant Professor of Art Byron Rich.

The Acutec project and the larger media agency effort are “a great way to respond to the critics that say that the liberal arts are impractical,” Rich said. “The ideas and critical thinking skills that we foster here can be put into practice in the business world.”

Working on the commercial “empowered students to bring their ideas to life” and allowed them to take ownership of a project from start to finish, Sinha Roy said. The commercial and other projects that will fall under the media agency umbrella also help foster and strengthen ties between the college and community — and that’s a good thing for all involved, Sinha Roy said.

When students work for and within the community and learn the stories of its people, “suddenly your neighborhood starts to become friendlier and more well-known in your mind,” she said.

The Acutec video is not the only project of the nascent media agency, though it might be the most visible. A group of communication arts students working under the direction of Professor of Communication Arts/Theatre Michael Keeley have also filmed videos for the Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center. And students working with Wilson and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Janyl Jumadinova developed a website and pitched a logo for an online food hub that, when launched, will connect restaurants and food wholesalers with local farmers.

Wilson stressed that the agency is still in very early stages of development. But if it’s successful, she said, it could be a model for business incubation that leverages the resources of the college to help promote economic development.

Wilson said she doesn’t know of many other colleges or universities similar to Allegheny doing that important work.

“If we get this up and running soon, we’ll be pretty cutting edge.”

Playshop Theatre Presents ‘Luna Gale’

The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre will present “Luna Gale” from February 23-26 in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts.

“Luna Gale,” written by Rebecca Gilman and directed by Mark Cosdon, centers on a social worker who is confronted with an unforgiving dilemma — what to do with a child born to drug-addicted teens. Family secrets, moral ambiguities, faith, biases, and the beleaguered welfare system collide in this contemporary drama.  A play that The New York Times called “smart and absorbing,”  “Luna Gale” is sure to provoke questions of how we care for the most vulnerable and at-risk.

Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-25, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26.

The cast features theatre majors Mary Lyon ’17 as Caroline, the social worker; Ada Zech ’19 as Karlie, the mother, and Simon Brown ’19 as Peter, the father, as well as Alyssa Johnson ’20, Daniel Keitel ’17, Sam Richardson ’20, and Eddie Glass ’18.  The production is stage managed by Johanna Stanley ’18.  Michael Mehler is the scenic designer, Miriam Patterson designed the costumes, and William Kenyon designed the lights.

“Luna Gale” includes strong language and subject matter that some might find upsetting.  The play is recommended for mature audiences only.

Tickets for all productions are $10 for adults and $8 for non-Allegheny students, senior citizens and Allegheny employees. Admission is free for Allegheny students with identification, but they are asked to make reservations.

For more information or to order tickets, contact the Playshop Theatre box office at (814) 332-3414.

Allegheny College’s Playshop Theatre to Present ‘Luna Gale’

The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre will present “Luna Gale” from February 23-26 in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts.

“Luna Gale,” written by Rebecca Gilman and directed by Mark Cosdon, centers on a social worker who is confronted with an unforgiving dilemma — what to do with a child born to drug-addicted teens. Family secrets, moral ambiguities, faith, biases, and the beleaguered welfare system collide in this contemporary drama.  A play that The New York Times called “smart and absorbing,”  “Luna Gale” is sure to provoke questions of how we care for the most vulnerable and at-risk. (more…)

Allegheny Professors Study the Story of Zika, Effects on Behavior

What are people reading and hearing about the Zika virus?

How are their behaviors changing as a result?

Those are the questions three Allegheny College professors are asking as part of an interdisciplinary effort here to better understand the global consequences of Zika, a virus at the center of an international public health emergency.

The answers could have profound social and economic ripple effects and change the way society talks about sexually transmitted infections, including Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that can also be spread through sex.

(more…)

Food Hub, Mobile Market Bring Fresh Food to Community

The burgeoning farm-to-table movement is getting some help from some tech-savvy students at Allegheny College.

Working under the direction of Assistant Professor of Computer Science Janyl Jumadinova, two students — junior Maria Kim and sophomore Jesse Del Greco — are developing an “online food hub,” a website aimed at connecting the community with the region’s farmers. It’s one of the many ways Allegheny faculty and staff are working to educate the public about the availability and benefits of fresh, locally grown food.

Once launched, the still-unnamed site will allow users to search for sellers of specific produce within a selected geographic range. Buyers — limited to restaurants and other bulk purchasers, initially — will be able to place orders online and arrange for pickup or delivery, Jumadinova said. If successful, the hub could expand and offer online buying to the general public.

Every visitor will be able to search for local gardens and pick-your-own farms and learn about events and activities related to local foods and farming.

“The whole goal is to increase access to and availability of fresh, local food,” Jumadinova said. (more…)

Cosdon co-leads graduate sessions

At this summer’s meeting of the American Theatre and Drama Society, Associate Professor of Communication Arts/Theatre Mark Cosdon co-led sessions for graduate students dedicated to teaching in a liberal arts college and the tenure/promotion process. Cosdon serves on the board of the American Theatre and Drama Society. Recently, he joined the advisory board of the Harvard Theatre Collection.

Faculty and Alumnae Present Work at National Science Foundation Meeting

Professor of Environmental Science Richard Bowden and Lauren Deem ’13 presented the poster “Controls on Forest Soil Carbon” at the National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research All-Scientists Meeting in Estes Park, Colorado. The poster described the ability of forest soil to absorb climate change pollution (carbon dioxide) at a suite of forest research sites. Collaborators were from Oregon State, U. Michigan, the College of Nyíregyháza (HU), U. Toronto, U. Copenhagen, and U. Penn. Julia Schock ’15, Professor of Communication Arts Michael Keeley, and Professor Bowden also presented the poster “Hemlock: A Documentary,” which described the cultural and ecological history of the hemlock tree, which is Pennsylvania’s state tree and which is threatened by an invasive, introduced insect. The video produced in the project, which was Julia’s senior thesis, was also shown at the awards banquet of the LTER meeting. Professor Bowden served as co-chair of the triennial conference.

Hart and Wiebel Present Work at International Writing Centers Association Conference

Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Alexis Hart and Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Director of Speaking Jon Wiebel presented a talk on “‘Thinking Communicatively’: Integrating Writing and Speaking in Faculty Development” at the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) conference in Pittsburgh. Professor Hart also presented a paper on tutor-researchers in the writing center and helped to launch the new IWCA journal The Peer Review. Hart serves on the editorial board of The Peer Review and co-authored an article in the journal: “Continuing the Conversation: From Conference Presentation to Publication.”

Allegheny College Student Karina Mena Named to “110 Students to Watch” List

May 6, 2015 – Allegheny College’s Karina Mena, a junior communication arts major with minors in Latin American/Caribbean studies and theater, has made the list of “110 Students to Watch” in Variety magazine.

Mena, from Portland, Ore., was named to the list, which features upcoming movers and shakers in the entertainment industry. She is a lead technician in Allegheny’s Playshop Theatre and will attend the 2015 United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference in Cincinnati, the leading professional conference for theater technology and production.  (more…)