News & Updates

Allegheny’s Marisol Santa Cruz Wins Gilman Award to Study in India

Allegheny College junior Marisol Santa Cruz has been awarded a $4,000 Gilman International Scholarship in order to help defray the costs of her participation in an Experiential Learning Seminar trip to India in May 2019.

“After conducting extensive archival research in the summer of 2018 under the supervision of Professor Ishita Sinha Roy, I was on a mission to complete my goal of being able to study abroad,” says Santa Cruz, who is from Santa Ana, California.

Junior Marisol Santa Cruz has received a scholarship to study in India in 2019.

Santa Cruz will be accompanying a group of students and faculty members to India from May 13 to June 3 to study India’s experiments with globalization across its 5,000-year history. As the group treks across the Indian subcontinent, the coursework will investigate how historical sites and narratives provide the “theatrical” backdrop to contemporary media events. They also will study and explore how heritage arts and crafts are being revived by global markets, while tribal villages are organizing their own forms of cultural survival. The course is titled “India: Restaging History as a Media Event.”

“As a Gilman scholar, I will conduct a follow-up service project that will help other students apply for study away programs and help them acquire the funding to participate in these opportunities,” says Santa Cruz, a communication arts major and computer science minor.

“My vision in life is to see more Mexican women, like myself, studying internationally as they take the initiative to open up opportunities for others,” Santa Cruz says. “Through the Experiential Learning Seminar experience, I’ll be transmitting my experiences back to the community through a research paper, presentation, a virtual journal and videos.”

Santa Cruz will bring diverse and fresh perspectives to the India learning experience, says Patrick Jackson, director of fellowship advising.

“Marisol’s application was really interesting because of all the diverse perspectives she’s trying to understand and incorporate with one another. She’s a Mexican-American woman thinking about India through the lens of the work she did last summer on historical women here in Meadville through the Crawford County Historical Society,” Jackson says. “I think with this kind of background, Marisol is liable to come home with all kinds of interesting things to say and with a lot of creative ideas that she might put into action in any number of ways. Her application was classic liberal arts: open-minded and ready to connect things that don’t immediately seem like they go together. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say when she comes back.”

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness. The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical need languages (those deemed important to national security).

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Meadiaville Listening Project to Debut Its Third Season

Allegheny’s Communication Arts and Theatre Department students will release the third season of the Meadiaville Listening Project, called “North Main Narratives,” an oral-history podcast that features the college’s recently retired staff and professors, with a listening party planned for Monday, Dec. 10, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Meadville Public Library, 848 N. Main St. The event is free and open to the public.

Community members also can tune in to WARC 90.3-FM for a preview of the podcasts on December 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Meadiaville Listening Project is a podcast series that illuminates everyday life in Meadville, focusing on how media thread through daily experience here. Season Three explores the lives of Allegheny’s educators on campus and throughout the Meadville community. “North Main Narratives” traces the changing contours of a liberal arts education, featuring the voices of recently retired professors and staff. In a series of four podcasts, the season explores structural changes in higher education, employees’ personal experiences as educators, and the many interactions between the college and Meadville.

Accompanying the podcasts is a website about Allegheny life, including explorations of its history and culture. An interview with President James H. Mullen, Jr., who is set to retire in June 2019, will be added to the site by mid-December.

The Meadiaville Listening Project is produced in its entirety by students in an ethnographic methods course in Allegheny’s Communication Arts and Theatre Department. Designed to teach students ethnographic and oral history methodologies, the course ultimately moves students to engage in deep conversations with community members and to spend time learning about the Meadville community. Through this experience, students not only explore their lives at Allegheny College and changes on campus, but also their lives in Meadville and before making the community their home.

“Ethnography and oral history encourage students to listen deeply and carefully,” said Emily Yochim, associate professor of Communication Arts. “So many folks retired after Allegheny’s retirement incentive last year, and so this year I wanted to give students the opportunity to learn from those retirees, to capture their voices, and to explore with them the unique lives on a liberal arts campus in a small town.”

Students have spent the semester researching the changing shape of higher education, and their interviews with professors and staff have shown them how those changes have impacted the Allegheny community.

“Working on this project has been an amazing opportunity to work with and get to know more about these retired professors and faculty members, as well as what they do in and for the Meadville Community,” said Emily Brady, a sophomore. “I was surprised to learn that even though many of the people we interviewed have retired many of them are still teaching classes and doing work for the school. Overall, this project has opened my eyes to the connections Allegheny has with the Meadville community, and vice versa.”

Visitors to the website can listen to the current season of the project beginning on December 10, but can visit anytime to find Seasons One and Two, which focused on Meadville’s youth media makers and community organizers, respectively. The website can be found at

“My peers and I are certainly excited to have the opportunity to share the stories of those who gave many years to the college and have much to share in regards to their experiences,” said Alex Hasapis, a senior. “I think the community will be able to fully immerse themselves in these podcasts and come out with a rich perception of both Allegheny and Meadville.”

The Dec. 10 kickoff event will offer listening booths featuring all three seasons of the project, children’s activities and light refreshments. Interested attendees will also be invited to participate in mini-interviews in the library’s new mediaLAB, which features a podcasting booth and green screen technologies.

About the Meadiaville Listening Project

The Meadiaville Listening Project is imagined and executed annually by Dr. Emily Yochim and students who enroll in her course Media Consumption. The class began with 18 students in January 2016 and has since expanded to create a new season each year with a new set of students and teaching assistants from seasons previous.

Over the course of 14 weeks, Yochim and her students conduct interviews, create a website, produce podcasts, create marketing materials, and publish ethnographic analyses, all grounded in communication arts theory. The Meadiaville Listening Project is made possible by the Meadville Community, Oral History in the Liberal Arts, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Department of Communication Arts and Theatre, and Allegheny College. More information on this project can be found at

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny Theatre Professor Mark Cosdon Lends Expertise to Australian TV Show

Allegheny theatre professor Mark Cosdon in London with Australian stage and screen performer Noni Hazlehurst

Mark Cosdon, Allegheny College professor of theatre and performance studies, appeared on a recent episode of the Australian television show “Who Do You Think You Are?”.

Cosdon’s segment was recorded in August in London, where he met with Noni Hazlehurst, an immensely popular Australian stage and screen performer who was featured in the episode. “Who Do You Think You Are?” is a documentary genealogy series that profiles celebrities and traces their family trees with affiliates around the globe.

“For over two decades I have been researching the Hanlon Brothers and the history of popular entertainments,” Cosdon said. “This work culminated in my book The Hanlon Brothers: From Daredevil Acrobatics to Spectacle Pantomime, 1833–1931, about a famed family of aerial and slapstick comedy performers. While I regularly field inquiries from other historians whose work intersects with mine or from those conducting research into their family’s roots, being approached by Warner Brothers to participate in ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ was certainly a most unusual and satisfying experience.

“Noni Hazlehurst is a beloved Australian performer. Her great-grandfather Patrick Carmody was employed by the Hanlon Brothers for nearly 10 years. We shot the first segment alongside the Thames and then traveled to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the West End to shoot a second segment.”

The episode is available hereCosdon’s segment begins at 29:20 and continues through approximately 36:20.

Video shared with permission of Warner Brothers, Australia.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Mediaville Listening Project Celebration at Foundry CoWork

This is a free event to celebrate amazing work being done in the community. The Meadiaville Listening Project Team has been making podcasts that present the work our local community members do, and the stories they are telling about Meadville. This celebration at 5 p.m. Monday, April 30, serves to showcase the final product and the community of Meadville. There will be food and drinks available, so come to this event to celebrate the community. The address is 847 N. Main St. Suite 201.

Allegheny’s Playshop Theatre to Present “Detroit”

The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre will present Lisa D’Amour’s “Detroit” from April 12-15 in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts.

Student actors, from left, Simon Brown, Cayla Brandon, Mark Shimkets, and Marina Varvaro.

Show times are Thursday, April 12, through Saturday, April 14, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 15, at 2:30 p.m. Directed by Professor Mark Cosdon, the show will feature five Allegheny students: Mark Shimkets, Marina Varvaro, Simon Brown, Cayla Brandon, and Noah Stape. “Detroit” runs approximately 90 minutes and is performed without an intermission.

“‘Detroit’ is a comically dark play about the suburbs of any midwestern American city, racked by financial hardship, addiction, and the fracturing of the American dream,” Cosdon says. “Suburban neighbors meet for a barbecue and slowly develop a friendship that will be tested while laying bare the American psyche. ‘Detroit’ is an agonizingly funny play with serious ramifications for all of us. Thematically, the Pulitzer-nominated ‘Detroit’ will feel readily accessible and familiar to anyone.”

“Detroit” features the work of two visiting guest artists, Andrea Ball and Chuck Hatcher. Ball’s scenic design captures the look of a first-ring suburb’s neighboring houses. Hatcher, a sound designer long associated with Cornell and the University of Cincinnati, has created a soundscape that conveys the aural realness of the suburbs.

In addition, Allegheny professors Michael Mehler and Miriam Patterson designed “Detroit’s” lights and costumes, the Playshop’s Sandy Everett is the technical director, and senior Amanda Fallon is the stage manager. More than 30 students were involved in the building process for the sets, and will work on its running crew as deckhands, dressers, and board operators.

Tickets are free for current Allegheny students, but they are encouraged to reserve tickets here. All others can purchase tickets by calling the box office: (814) 332-3414. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for non-Allegheny students, Allegheny employees, and senior citizens. Due to strong language and themes some might find unsettling, “Detroit” is recommended for audiences over 14.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny to Host Visiting Scholar Who Will Address Issues of Race in Shakespearean Theater

Ayanna Thompson, a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and one of the world’s foremost authorities on issues of race in Shakespeare and the impact of nontraditional casting on audiences today, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 15, in Ford Chapel at Allegheny College.

A reception will follow in the Ford Chapel Oratory. The free event is open to the public.

Thompson’s talk is titled “Shakespeare, Race, and Performance: What We Still Don’t Know.” She is president-elect of the Shakespeare Association of America and a professor of English at George Washington University, specializing in Renaissance drama and issues of race in/as performance.

She is the author of “Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose: A Student-Centered Approach,” “Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America” and “Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage.” She wrote the new introduction for the revised “Arden 3 Othello,” and is the editor of “Weyward Macbeth: Intersections of Race” and “Performance and Colorblind Shakespeare: New Perspectives on Race and Performance.”

Currently on the editorial boards of the “Shakespeare Quarterly,” “Renaissance Drama” and “Shakespeare Bulletin,” she has served on the board of directors for the Association of Marshall Scholars.

Thompson will be on Allegheny’s campus for a two-day program on February 15–16 that will include classroom discussions, meeting with students, and her public lecture.

Phi Beta Kappa is a national scholastic society which has had a chapter at Allegheny since 1902. It was founded in 1776, has chapters at 286 colleges and universities, and has more than half a million members throughout the country. The Visiting Scholar Program gives undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars. The 15 men and women participating during 2017–2018 will visit 110 colleges and universities with chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, spending two days on each campus.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Playshop Theatre Presents “Love and Information”

Allegheny’s Playshop Theatre will present “Love and Information,” a play by Caryl Churchill, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 22-24, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, February 25, in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts on the Allegheny campus.
In a whirlwind of 57 scenes and 100 characters, playwright Caryl Churchill snapchats a world awash in data, examining the ways that our exponentially growing environment of information impacts our interactions, feelings, and relationships. Screenwriter Tony Kushner calls Churchill “The greatest living English playwright” and this brilliant, funny and poignant play reveals a master work of contemporary theatre.
The cast includes 17 Allegheny students, Professor Daniel Crozier is the director, Associate Professor Michael Mehler is designing set and lights, and Miriam Patterson is designing costumes.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

‘Romeo and Juliet’

The Allegheny Playshop Theatre, now celebrating its 88th season, will stage William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” Nov. 16-19. Performances are at 8 p.m. Nov.16-18 and at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre.

Tickets 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.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Patterson Wins Ezekiel Board’s Choice Award

Costume Shop Supervisor Miriam Patterson was honored with the Ezekiel Board’s Choice Award for the costume design of the Playshop Theatre’s November 2016 production of “A Civil War Christmas.” The designs of the Board’s Choice recipients will be put in an exhibit to tour some of the colleges in the USITT Ohio Valley Section, and they will also be displayed at the national USITT conference in Fort Lauderdale in March.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Hart Presents Research on Women in the Military

Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Alexis Hart presented some of her research on women in the military on the panel “Remembering Differently: Re-Figuring Women’s Rhetorical Work” at the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference held in Dayton, Ohio, on October 4-7.

Hart and Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Director of Speaking Jon Wiebel also presented a roundtable session titled “Collaboratively Fostering Student Voices in Writing and Speaking” at the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts (PCTELA) conference held in Pittsburgh on October 20-21.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research