Acclaimed dancer and choreographer Adam Barruch is the Masterworks Guest Choreographer for Dance Now! 2015.


Adam Barruch began his career as a young actor, performing professionally on Broadway and in film and television, working with prominent figures such as Tony Bennett, Jerry Herman and Susan Stroman. He later received dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts. After three years, he graduated early and was accepted into the dance department at The Juilliard School. As a dancer he has performed the works of Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Susan Marshall, Jose Limon, Daniele Dèsnoyers, and is currently a dancer with Sylvain Émard Danse in Montreal. As a choreographer, Adam’s work has been presented at Dance Theater Workshop, City Center, NYU/ Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, The Juilliard School, The Baryshnikov Arts Center, Joe’s Pub, Ailey-Citigroup Theater, Jacob’s Pillow: Inside/Out, The Cedar Lake Theater, The Harris Theater, The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, Bates Dance Festival and Theatre Usine C in Montreal. Adam Barruch was selected as a participant in the 2011 Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation. Adam Barruch’s short-film collaboration with filmmaker Nel Shelby, Folie a Deux, was screened at the Dance On Camera Festival in Lincoln Center. He has also created works for companies such as Ailey II, River North Dance Chicago and BalletX. Adam was the recipient of a 2014 Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences, which recognizes institutions and individuals for distinguished accomplishments and exceptional talent in the arts and sciences.

Masterwork Q&A




1. Can you describe your process? What becomes the initial inspiration for your pieces—music, narrative, etc.?

My process always begins with movement phrases that are generated in my body. I like to teach two or three sequences that ingratiate the dancers into my physical patterning. From there, I use several collaborative prompts which help the dancers transform elements of these initial phrases into new material. It’s very important to me to create a language that is intrinsic to the dancers I am working with. How I move doesn’t interest me so much as what the dancers create through my filter or choreographic lens, so to speak. After generating as much I can, it’s all about contextualizing the material. That is the harder part, although when the puzzle is solved it’s quite thrilling. I often give myself rules in order to limit the possibilities of how movement is organized. Since there were eight dancers I thought about the compass, and the eight directions or meridians of space. This helped to divide the stage and help define pathways for the dancers to follow.

2. How did you become involved with WVU’s Dance program?

I was brought to WVU by Prof. General Hambrick and Prof. Yoav Kaddar. General had worked with a dancer, Ahmad Simmons, who now performs with River North Dance Chicago, and it was he who recommended me to General. I’ve created two works on River North and will be headed back to Chicago to create a third this spring.

3. What qualities were you looking for when casting the piece?

I look for dancers who have a natural sense of the way I move, and an emotional connection to their bodies. They may not immediately grasp the complexities of the coordinations perfectly, but I can usually tell very quickly if someone will be able to grasp it. People who are committed to what they do without imposing anything artificial onto the work also catch my eye. Auditions are very hard for me. I always feel like I miss people. As a dancer, I also know how hard it is to pick up choreography and to do it quickly in these settings.

4. What advice can you give to our Dance students as they are moving toward becoming working professionals?

I think the most important thing is to stay hungry and to always keep learning. I also think finding the balance between wanting to go into wild, uncharted territory and giving oneself over to a technique is extremely valuable. Before you can break the rules, you have to know what you are breaking.

Dance Now! is in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre Feb. 5-7! Call (304) 293-SHOW for tickets or visit the CAC Box Office (M-F, 10am-6pm).

Canady Scholarship Winners 2014

Nineteen students studying in the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts have been awarded scholarships from the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation, one of the most prestigious awards given in the college.

The scholarships are named for Valerie Canady, a Morgantown native and WVU summa cum laude graduate, who was among the 270 people who died in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in Dec. 1988. Canady, who worked for H.J. Heinz Co. in their London office, was an accomplished linguist and artist in different media of expression, especially in piano.

Loulie and William Canady, Valerie’s parents, and long-time residents of the Morgantown community, present the awards annually in December. Loulie Canady is a long-time supporter of the WVU School of Music and Dr. William Canady is professor emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry in the WVU School of Medicine. The Canadys are also the major patrons of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performances at WVU—a series that is named in memory of Valerie.

This year’s Canady scholars include:

Sornsuang Tangsinmonkong, of Thailand, is a doctoral student in piano performance, who won honors in several piano competitions in Bangkok, where she is also a faculty member (currently on leave) at Mahidol University, the largest school of music in Thailand. She has a bachelor’s degree in statistics from Chulalongkorn University, also in Bangkok, and a master’s degree in music performance from Mahidol University. She is fluent in Thai and English and has performed at national and international levels, winning some prestigious honors and awards.

Lucia Zung de Andrade, of Brazil, is an undergraduate student in bassoon performance. She had nearly completed a piano degree in Brazil when an injury to her wrist forced her to switch to the bassoon four years ago. Lucia plays in multiple WVU ensembles, including the WVU Symphony Orchestra and the WVU Wind Symphony. She speaks Portuguese, Spanish and also taught herself English. She previously studied at the Universidade Tecnologica Federal do Parana in Brazil.

Wei Chen (Bruce) Lin, originally of Taiwan, who also spent several years teaching in Vancouver, is currently in his third year of doctoral study in piano performance. He also holds degrees in other schools in the United States and in Canada. He is fluent in Chinese, French and English. He is one of WVU’s outstanding piano performers and is sought after as a teacher for individual lessons.

Tse Wei Chai, of Malaysia, is a doctoral student in piano performance. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Malaysia and a Master of Music from WVU. She is fluent in Malay, Chinese and English. She is a very talented pianist and is also sought after as a teacher for individual lessons. She earned her master’s degree at WVU in 2011, after several years of teaching in Singapore.

Juan Carlos Rios Betancur, of Colombia, is a doctoral student in piano performance. He is fluent in Spanish and English. In addition to his piano studies, Juan works as an assistant to WVU Piano Technician Tim Richards. Juan Carlos studied for years with Blanca Uribe, a prizewinner in the Van Cliburn Competition and probably the most famous teacher in Colombia. Prior to attending WVU, he was a faculty member and staff accompanist at a major university in Medellin, Colombia.

Youna Choi, of Korea, is studying for a doctorate in piano performance. She studied for a master’s degree in Minnesota before coming to WVU. She was the unanimous choice to fill the opera-accompanying assistantship that was vacant at the time of her application to WVU, partly because of her superb audition, and partly because then-opera director Robert Thieme regarded her sight reading to be among the very best he had observed in several decades of teaching. She also studies organ with Dr. William Haller and is fluent in Korean and English.

Bao-Vuong Nguyen, a native of Morgantown, West Virginia, is an undergraduate student in violin performance. He is fluent in Vietnamese, which is his native language, in addition to English. His ultimate career goal is medicine, but he is studying music as an undergrad, while filling his schedule with extra science and “pre-med” courses. He performs in the WVU Symphony Orchestra, where he has quickly become one of the strongest players.

Javier Camacho, of Colombia, is a doctoral student in collaborative piano and is the first recipient of a partial graduate assistantship in choral accompanying. He is an exceptionally strong player, both as a soloist and as a chamber music partner. He had extensive performance experience, both in his native Colombia, and also during his work for a master’s degree at Duquesne University, where he studied with artist-in-residence David Wehr. He is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Tak Chiu Wong, of Hong Kong, is a doctoral student in saxophone performance. He entered WVU with a wealth of professional experience as both a saxophonist and as a teacher. He plays a wide range of styles and has performed in a large number of international venues throughout Asia, Europe and North America. He is a graduate assistant assigned to teaching work in the WVU Saxophone Studio, where he teaches applied lessons to some of the undergraduate student and coaches saxophone quartets. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming.

Diego Gabete-Rodriguez, of Spain, is a doctoral student in violin performance and concertmaster of the WVU Symphony Orchestra. He holds degrees from Musikene-Centro Superior de Musica del Pais Vasco, Spain, and from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and Columbus State University in Georgia. He was a winner of the 2014 WVU Young Artists Competition. He competed as a soloist at the national MTNA competition in Chicago in 2014, after being named the winner in the Eastern Division’s “Young Artist Performance” category. He also competed in the competition as a member of the WVU Graduate String Quartet. Last December he performed a recital in Spain for the Argentinian consulate, and he is now working with several music schools in Spain to form a partnership with WVU performing faculty.

Sora Lee, of Korea, received WVU’s first Master of Music degree in collaborative piano in 2011 and is currently studying for a doctorate in collaborative piano, as the first student to enter this exciting new doctoral program. She has eagerly worked with wind, string, voice and other piano students in the School of Music and continues to develop her collaborative playing experiences with the choir and other ensembles. She is fluent in Korean and English and also studies organ with Dr. William Haller.

Kirill Tyulkov, of Russia, is studying for a master’s degree in music education. He is fluent in Russian, English and French. He holds a master’s degree in French and also a law degree from Nizhny Novgorod Linguistics University in Russia and received a degree in music technology from California University in Pennsylvania. He is studying both classical and jazz piano at WVU, with pedagogical work in strings, woodwinds, voice, brass, percussion and conducting, and specialized work in music education in the areas of world music and research. He also teaches in the WVU Community Music Program.

Qian Xu, of Laramie, Wyoming, is a doctoral student in piano performance at WVU. She received a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming and initially applied for a second master’s degree at WVU, but the music faculty encouraged her, on the basis of her lovely audition and her completed master’s degree, to enter the doctoral program instead. She is a graduate student of international standard and chose WVU so that she could study with Dr. Peter Amstutz.

Dipendra Sunam, of Nepal, is a doctoral student in piano, who completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance at Berea College and Northern Arizona University. He has studied with music professionals from around the world, and was keyboardist with a Nepali pop band named Nepathya, which released several professional recordings and toured throughout Nepal. He is fluent in four languages—Nepali, Hindi, Urdu and English.

Brandon Isaac Brown, of Charleston, West Virginia, is an undergraduate studying for a bachelor’s degree in violin. While only a sophomore, he has become an important member of the WVU Symphony Orchestra, due to his talent, hard work and enthusiasm for classical music. He is fluent in German, a language he is continuing to study at WVU. He intends to use the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation Scholarship to study music in Germany.

Christy Oscar, a native of Indonesia, is studying for a master’s degree in cello performance. She is also an excellent pianist and often plays accompaniments for other students. She came to WVU from Universiti Pelitas Haripan, near Jakarta, where one of her teachers included WVU School of Music graduates Dr. Mario Santoso and Dr. Tomislav Dimov. In 2012, she attended the InterHarmony Festival held in Hinterzarten, Scwarzwald, Germany. She is fluent in three languages: Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese and English.

Jocelyn Lee Jia Yin, of Malaysia and Singapore, is an undergraduate with a double major in violin and piano performance at WVU, where she excels on both instruments and is unusually gifted academically as well. She won the 2014 WVU Young Artist Competition on piano, playing the first movement of the Beethoven “Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37.” She is fluent in English and Mandarin, including the Cantonese and Hokkien dialects. She also currently studies German and Japanese.

Mirim Lee, of Korea, is studying for a doctorate in flute performance and is fluent in three languages, English, Korean and Bulgarian. She was a winner of the 2013 Young Artist Concerto Competition at WVU and plays principal flute in both the WVU Symphony Orchestra and the WVU Chamber Winds. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in music at one of the top conservatories in Bulgaria and completed a master’s degree in flute performance at WVU last spring. She placed second at the 2013 Alexander & Buono International Flute Competition in New York, and was a semi-finalist at the Israeli Haifa International Flute Competition in 2014, and also at the 2014 International Intermusica Woodwinds Competition in Austria.

Elizabeth Rose Fitzgerald, of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Art History with a minor in French. Her language skills and her understanding of French History will make her a leader during the School of Art and Design’s spring 2015 study-travel course to France, where she, along with other art students and faculty, will live in Paris for nine days, taking excursions to Chartres, Troyes and Bourges to study Medieval stained glass in cathedrals, museums and studios. Lizzy plans to use the Valerie Canady Scholarship award for study abroad.

Caption: William and Loulie Canady (in front) with the 2014 Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation Scholarship winners, from left: Dipendra Sunam, Juan Carlos Betancur; Christy Oscar; Tak Chiu Wong; Javier Camacho; Qian Xu; Sornsuang Tangsinmonkong; Kirill Tyulkov; Lucia Zung de Andrade; Elizabeth Fitzgerald; Wei Chen (Bruce) Lin; Brandon Brown; Tse Wei Chai; Bao-Vuong Nguyen; Jocelyn Lee Jia Yin; Diego Gabete-Rodriguez; Mirim Lee; Youna Choi; and Sora Lee.

“The course of true love never did run smooth” in Shakespeare’s other-worldly comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, coming to the Gladys G. Davis Theatre Nov. 19 & 21 and December 2-7.


The Rude Mechanicals

It’s hard enough to find the right person to love when you don’t have to deal with alternate dimensions of fairies, love potions, upended natural order? and a bunch of amateur actors! Some people are at home in the woods, and others, well, Shakespeare seems to send the most hopeless lovers straight into a dream – or nightmare – of magic on a night where anything can happen in this most inventive of comedies.

Tech rehearsal

A Midsummer Night’s Dream has a special place in my heart,” says director, Jerry McGonigle. “It is a magical and quite often misunderstood play. There is a deep richness that speaks to us in a very human way about the power of our imagination and dreams. It is light, delicate, heavy, and somber all at the same time. Bottom gets it right when he wakes from his night of wild encounters in the forest and resolves to have his friend Peter Quince write a “ballad” of his dream and decides to call it ‘Bottom’s Dream, because it hath no bottom.’ It is in this realm that the play exists in the bottomless world of our subconscious imagination and dreams.”

Midsummer Bottom

Bottom by Prof. Mary McClung

Scenic design for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is by Master of Fine Arts in Design/Tech student Jake Bigelow, and lighting design is by Master of Fine Arts in Design/Tech student Tim Thistleton. Both students are using their designs for their Master’s theses. Costume design is by Professor Mary McClung and sound design is by Professor Alan McEwen.


Lauren Waldron, Ben Brooks, Mya Brown, Katie Boothby, Rachel Moore, and Jerry McGonigle in rehearsal.

WVU School of Theatre and Dance design professors Alan McEwen and Mary McClung have their designs featured in a national theater design journal, for work they did on two plays presented at the Creative Arts Center.

Their designs were selected from hundreds throughout the country to be included in the 2014 United States Institute for Theater Technology (USITT) Theater and Design Technology Journal.

McEwen’s lighting designs for the play “Blood Wedding,” by Fedrico Garcia Lorca are featured, along with McClung’s costume designs for “The Visit” by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Both plays were presented at the Creative Arts Center in 2012.

Alan McEwen is clinical assistant professor of lighting and sound design at WVU. His previous work experience includes Whitman College, Idaho Repertory Theatre, Mountain State Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Wyoming Summer Stock Theatre, and The Columbine Players. He has taught in higher education for 20 years, in various duties and capacities, focusing on lighting, sound, stagecraft and contemporary theatre. His lighting and sound credits include musicals, opera, theatre, dance, and performance art in addition to system consulting, design and installation. He received his MFA in lighting from the University of Oregon.

Mary McClung is professor of Costume Design and director of Costuming in the School of Theatre and Dance. She received a BFA in ceramics from Alfred University and an MFA in Costume Design from WVU. McClung has designed costumes, puppets, and sets for theatre, video, and television. She has designed for Disney, Children’s Television Workshop, Universal Studios, Dallas Children’s Theatre, The Idaho Repertory Theatre and The Colorado Shakespeare Festival. She also taught at The University of Dallas in Texas and at Whitman College, in Walla Walla, Washington, where she worked as a guest designer. McClung was awarded The 2002 Dallas Critic’s Award for Costume Design for “The Beggar’s Opera.” Costumes she designed for a WVU dance concert also received a 2010 Design Expo award presented by the USITT.

See Alan and Mary’s designs in the 2014 USITT Journal:

Two women portray young Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, before fame and fortune. One night, the screenplay of Good Will Hunting falls magically from the ceiling. And…go!

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LAB Theatre’s Matt and Ben by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers, directed by Stephanie Freeman, will be in performance in the Vivian Davis Michael Laboratory Theatre Nov. 14 and 15 at 7:30pm and Nov. 16 at 2:00pm. The show is free and open to the public, though seating is limited.

A darling of the 2002 International New York Fringe Festival and subsequent off-Broadway hit, Matt and Ben was written and performed by its two leading ladies, Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers. Offbeat and quirky, the plot revolves around how Matt and Ben (caricaturized as an uptight preppie and a dumb jock, respectively) deal with a heaven-sent script that is sure to make them famous while trying to maintain their friendship.

Mindy Kaling is best known for her role as Kelly Kapoor and her position as a staff writer on the hit NBC television series, The Office, as well as her own FOX network series, The Mindy Project. Brenda Withers has enjoyed success as a character actor and is also a founding member of Lucid Theater and Harbor Stage Company.

Matt and Ben is directed by third-year Master of Fine Arts in Acting student Stephanie Freeman. Freeman’s directing credits include, a staged reading of Kimberly Akimbo for WVU’s LAB Theatre, Tzu’s Palace and Homecoming at Middle Tennessee State University, and The Pillowman and Angel Street (Assistant Director) at The University of Alabama. Past roles at WVU have included Julia in Lend Me a Tenor and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie.

“This show is not only a blast to work on, but it fits my research area—women in contemporary comedy,” says Freeman. “Also, women in drag put into a farcical situation just screamed LAB show to me! It is our hope that audiences will see a different side to theatre—the laid-back, silly side—and will keep coming back to see more LAB Theatre performances.”


Professor Jim Knipple, Resident Artist and Director of the LAB Theatre Program, has brought some fresh ideas to the table about how students can be involved in creating their own theatre, providing even more creative opportunities within the School of Theatre & Dance.

“It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to see two entertainment icons lampooned by actresses in drag,” says Knipple. “This play is a laugh riot, and we’re so excited to present it as part of the 2014-15 LAB season.”

Matt and Ben stars BA Theatre senior Kathleen Cowan, who is using this performance as her Capstone project, and BFA Acting track sophomore, Kristen Aviles. Lighting/Sound design is by BFA Design/Tech student Daniel Del Busto.

The first LAB Theatre show of the 2014-2015 Season, The Typographer’s Dream by Adam Bock, is coming to the Vivian Davis Michael Laboratory Theatre Oct. 31-Nov.1 at 7:30pm and Nov. 2 at 2:00pm!
Free Admission~Limited Seating!

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Set in the style of an informal panel discussion, a stenographer, geographer, and typographer speak to the audience about the importance of their given professions. Soon earnestness for their careers turns to soul-searching questioning and very pointed belittling of their fellow presenters.

Meet The Typographer’s Dream Team!

Susanna Morris, Director


Susanna Morris is currently a BFA Acting track sophomore at WVU and is also pursuing a minor in Vocal Performance. In her hometown of Charleston, West Virginia, she has appeared in shows such as Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Mary: a Rock Opera. This is her first time directing and she couldn’t be happier to have had such a wonderful cast and crew to work with. Hope you enjoy the show!

“I believe that everyone will find something to relate to in this play. We see people like these characters every day walking down the street and don’t even realize it, and I’m sure we’ve all had jobs that might not have worked out the way that we wanted. This play is about everyday people and we can all latch onto something emotionally that these characters say or do.”

Amber Gonzalez as Annalise


Amber Gonzalez is from from Virginia and is a junior in the BFA Studio Acting Program. She has helped backstage for multiple shows here at WVU including Lend Me a Tenor as a costumer and Dance Now! 2013 and 2014 as a stage crew member. Her acting experience outside of WVU includes Romeo & Juliet, Dreamgirls, and The Insanity of Mary Girard. The Typographer’s Dream will be her first play within the School of Theatre & Dance at WVU. Outside of theatre, she is a Resident Assistant at Stalnaker Hall.

Megan Peters as Margaret


Megan Peters is sophomore on the BFA Acting track at West Virginia University. She is very excited to have her first role at WVU! Her past experiences at WVU have included stage managing the LAB show Dutchman. Before college Megan’s theatre experiences included Anna in Spring Awakening, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and Will Scarlett in Robin Hood. Megan would like to thank Amber and Jason for being such generous and wonderful cast mates, and Susanna, Landon and Jack for giving her this opportunity and helping her grow as an artist. Lastly Megan would like to thank her family and friends for always supporting her and believing in her. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Jason Lee as Dave


Jason Lee is a senior Actor/Puppeteer in the BFA Theatre program for Puppetry and Creative Dramatics. He will endlessly talk about his time spent at Busch Gardens Williamsburg performing many Sesame Street characters, most notably Bert, Ernie, Oscar, and Grover, along with puppeteering numerous roles around the park. At WVU he has played a Witch in Macbeth, Desdemona in Othello, Peter in Peter and the Wolf, a puppeteer in The Magic Flute, Assistant Stage Manager for The Liar along with many other backstage roles. His hobbies are knitting oversized scarves, drowning in Doctor Who episodes including the classic series, casual gaming, and reading from the mountain of books piled high on his desk. He hopes to one day work at a Disney or Universal theme park as a creative leader and puppeteer and to have a published novel or play.

Jack Berberette, Stage Manager


Jack is currently a sophomore Puppetry major here in the Theatre program. Previously, he’s gone insane working on many projects, such as designing puppets for The Magic Flute and Peter and the Wolf. Now he is losing his mind being a Stage Manager for the first time in The Typographer’s Dream. He’d also like to give a shout out to his parents, as well as his numerous cats at home for helping him get to where he is today. Also, HE IS THE SM!

Kim Parrish

As part of the College of Creative Arts Alumni-in-Residence Series, West Virginia native and former Miss West Virginia, Kim Parrish will return to the Creative Arts Center on Thursday, Nov. 6, to work with students.

A 1994 graduate of the WVU School of Theatre & Dance with a BFA in Acting, Kim Parrish, has put her degree to the test while working on national TV for more than two decades. Touted as a shopping goddess by the media, Kim is a familiar face to millions who welcomed her into their homes as a popular host on QVC for eight years, where she logged more than 6,000 hours of live TV.

In 2005, Kim launched the Kim Parrish Collection, her signature line of clothing that struck a chord with women who share the universal dilemma of having a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear. Featured on HSN for six years, her line quickly expanded to QVC-UK, ShopNBC and The Shopping Channel in Canada.

Featured in hundreds of articles from the TV Guide to the New York Times, Kim is a branding expert. She has worked and studied with numerous nationally known designers and stylists as well as celebrity guests and fashion trendsetters including Joan Rivers, Victoria Principal, Kathie Lee Gifford, Carol Alt and Cindy Crawford.

As the President of Kim Parrish, Inc., a champion of numerous philanthropic endeavors, she also leads the Miss America’s teen division which has become one of the leading scholarship programs for teens in the nation that now awards $18 million of in-kind and cash scholarships annually.

Kim will talk with students about her life and her career path after leaving WVU. The event will be held at 3 p.m. in the Vivian Davis Michael Theatre. Kim’s talk will be followed by a Q&A session. All events are free and open to the public.

Meet some of the 'Street Scene' Neighbors!

Stephanie | October 18, 2014

‘Street Scene’ produced by the School of Theatre & Dance in conjunction with the School of Music is in tech this weekend! Meet some of the friendly neighbors residing in the Lower East Side apartment building!

The show is in performance Oct. 23-26 in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre!



2013 Ryan Headshot

Guest Artist, Ryan C. Connelly (Sam Kaplan)

Ryan C. Connelly, tenor, is a 2011 graduate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Master’s Program. Since that time he has sung with many companies all over the country and the globe, like Kentucky Opera, where he made his professional debut in 2011 as Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro, as well as Remendado in Carmen and Njegus in The Merry Widow. Ryan debuted internationally in 2012 singing the role of Florville in the Rossini opera Il Signor Bruschino  with the CCM Spoleto Festival in Spoleto, Italy. In that same year, Ryan was able to perform in the inaugural production of the Queen City Chamber Opera , which included lead roles in their double bill of Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne  and Der Schauspieldirektor. Ryan recently sang with Virginia Opera for their entire 2013-14 season in the roles of Dr. Cajus in Falstaff, Monostatos in The Magic Flute, and Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos.


Caryn Alexis Crozier (Rose Maurrant)

Caryn Alexis Crozier received both her Bachelor of Music degree and her Master of Music degree from Appalachian State University where she was a Concerto-Aria competition finalist. Since that time she has been seen in such roles as Papagena (Die Zauberflote), Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Die Mutter (Hansel und Gretel), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), and Giannetta (l’Elisir d’Amore). Caryn was involved in an opera outreach program (Quintessential!) that brought opera scenes to local schools, as well as, with an early music ensemble, Collegium Musicum, where she was able to perform as a soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C, Faure’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium, and Handel’s Messiah. She was recently given the opportunity to study Early Anglican Church music at Cambridge University. Caryn is currently pursuing her DMA degree at WVU and is studying with the incredible, Dr. Hope Koehler. Fun fact: She is terrified of clowns and spiders, and once auditioned for a role in O Brother, Where Art Thou.... she had to sing “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” with a Southern accent.

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Faith Snyderman (Anna Maurrant)

Faith Snyderman, a junior Vocal Performance major, Theatre minor from Washington, D.C., is thrilled and honored to be playing the role of Anna Maurrant in her third main stage production here at West Virginia University. Credits also include Gypsy-smuggler in George Bizet’s Carmen and featured female ensemble in Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret. She would like to sincerely thank Bryce Britton and Maestro Cormio for believing in her, pushing her to be the best she can be and for giving her the phenomenal opportunity to play the role of a lifetime in her undergraduate collegiate career. Faith would also like to thank Dr. Hope Koehler, Jackie Merrill, the Artistic Team, the cast, and crew for all of their hard work and encouragement. Lastly, she extends a huge thank you to her friends and family for their unconditional love and support.

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Dallas Wright (Frank Maurrant)

Dallas Wright is a senior bass-baritone studying under Dr. William Koehler. He was last seen as the Speaker in Mozart’s The Magic Flute produced by WVU’s School of Music in the spring of 2014. His opera scene performances include Koko in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado, and Drunken Poet in Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. Dallas’ Clay Theatre performances include Sailor in WVU’s School of Theatre & Dance production of Cabaret, and as a smuggler and chorus member in Bizet’s opera Carmen. This semester marks his seventh with the University Singers, with whom he has been a soloist. Dallas has also appeared as a soloist with the WVU Steel Band singing the “tro-lo-lo” song.


Mallory Robson (Mrs. Jones)

Mallory Robson is a sophomore in the Theatre program at West Virginia University, and is pursuing a minor in Vocal Performance. This is her first main stage production, and she’s very excited to be a part of her first operetta. This is also her first time working with a dog on stage, and she’s thrilled that it got to be Warren. She is a member of University Singers, along with many of the other students in the cast. Mallory would like to thank everyone involved in the production of Street Scene for all being wonderfully supportive and caring throughout the entire process of the show. And of course, she would like to thank her parents for being incredibly supportive and loving as always.


Joe Ryan (Mr. Jones)

Joe Ryan is a sophomore Vocal Performance major at West Virginia University studying with Professor of Voice, Dr. William Koehler. Joe was cast as a freshman in Cabaret, Dance Now!, and The Magic Flute. Joe would like to thank Bryce Britton, Maestro Marcello Cormio, and General Hambrick for making Street Scene possible.


Margaret Dransfield (May Jones)

Margaret Dransfield is a 20-year-old junior in the BFA acting program. She is thrilled to be back on the Clay stage dancing and providing that ever so necessary comedic relief. She was previously seen in DANCE NOW! 2012 and 2013, Carmen as part of the ensemble, and Cabaret as Fraulein Kost. Margaret has been heavily involved in musical theatre since age 10 but has recently found a love for straight theatre. She would like to thank the School of Theatre and Dance for the ability to thrive in her position at school and her family for always loving and caring for her even when it isn’t easy. -Dreams can NEVER be too big- love and peace-


Woody Pond (Vincent Jones)

Woody Pond will be playing the role of Vince Jones in the WVU College of Creative Arts’s production of Street Scene. He is a sophomore in the Theater program and this is his first main stage performance at WVU. He has had a blast working on this show with a very talented cast, crew, and director. He would like to thank his parents, sister, friends, and his acting mentors Bill Cornforth and Tim Thompson for supporting him as an actor and a person.


Warren Koon (Queenie)

Warren Koon is making his stage debut as “Queenie.” He is excited to take on the role of a female dog, and he is not afraid of the challenge it presents. Warren would like thank Mallory for being such a great acting partner and Glen Koon for taking care of him when he’s not on the stage! He hopes you enjoy the show tonight because it’s been a real treat for him to be a part of!


Rachel C. Taylor (Mrs. Fiorentino)

Rachel C Taylor is a first-year graduate student at West Virginia University. A native of Miamisburg, Ohio, Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Asbury University, where she was also the Peniston Honor’s winner for Voice. In addition to school performances, Rachel has been involved in community work both chorally as a member of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus and in putting on concerts to benefit charities and senior citizen groups. In 2010, she studied at AIMS in Gratz, Austria. Her most recent opera role at Asbury was YumYum in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado. Rachel is excited to make her WVU debut as Greta Fiorentino in Kurt Weil’s Street Scene.


Robert Rowley (Mr. Fiorentino)

Robert Rowley, Tenor, is a young artist pursuing his B.M. in Vocal Performance at West Virginia University under the instruction of Dr. Hope Koehler. Originally from Sturgis, Kentucky, Robert first became exposed to performing when he had the opportunity to be a chorister in West Virginia University’s production of Carmen in 2012. Since then Robert has appeared most notably as Monostatos in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Robert has also performed scenes as Alfred in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and Dr. Caius in Verdi’s Falstaff with WVU Opera Theatre. Robert is excited to bring to life LippovFiorentino, the feisty Italian husband of Greta Fiorentino whose love for her is only matched by his love for ice cream.


Vincent Pelligrino (Harry Easter/Dick McGann)

Vincent Pelligrino is an actor and musical theatre performer from Detroit, Michigan. This is his third year in the MFA Acting program. Previous shows at WVU include The Cherry Orchard, Cabaret and Henry IV. Professionally he’s worked with The Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre, The National Theatre for Children and Shakespeare in Detroit. He is looking forward to a career as theatre practitioner, teaching and performing.


Madilyn Carothers (Mrs. Hildebrand)

Madilyn Carothers is so excited to be a part of such an exciting production! Madilyn is a sophomore Vocal Performance major with a Theater minor. She has always been heavily involved in music and theater and is definitely not a stranger to the stage. She has participated in multiple musicals including Once on this Island, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and 42nd Street. But this is one of her first main stage productions with West Virginia University, with the exception of last semesters production of The Magic Flute as a chorus member. Madilyn is ecstatic to share with the audience the intense and hectic atmosphere that Street Scene provides. Welcome to the street, you might be able to take my place! Charlie!


Janine Ernsting (Jennie Hildebrand)

Janine Ernsting is a junior Vocal Performance major at West Virginia University. This year, Janine will also be performing the role of Silverpael in an excerpt of Mozart’s The Impressario presented by the WVU Opera Theatre. In previous years, Janine has played the role of a Cigarette Girl in Bizet’s Carmen, Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, and First Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. She is a member of the University Singers and is currently the Secretary of the WVU Student Chapter of American Choral Director’s Association. Janine competed in the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition and won first place two years in a row; she plans on competing again this fall. Finally, Janine would like to thank her parents, colleagues, mentors, and voice teacher, Dr. Hope Koehler, for believing in her and supporting her every step of the way. Janine cannot wait to see what her future has to offer.


Meg Baker (Mrs. Olson)

Meg Baker is excited to play her first operatic role as Olga Olsen in Street Scene. Meg performed in the ensemble as a Cigarette Girl in WVU’s production of Carmen in 2013. She graduated as an Industrial Engineer from WVU last spring, and is returning to complete her second degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. The MDS degree combines three minors, so Meg currently studies Vocal Performance, Theater, and Music Technology minors. As part of her capstone project, she is the acting dramaturge for this production of Street Scene. Meg would like to thank her parents and her friends for letting her follow her crazy dreams, and supporting her even when it doesn’t make any sense.


John T.K. Scherch (Mr. Olson)

John T.K. Scherch, bass, is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in his final year of Vocal Performance studies at WVU. In Street Scene, he will be portraying Swedish neighbor Carl Olsen, his second full role in a WVU opera production. Other roles he has portrayed are Prince Gremin and Zaretsky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Russian Opera Workshop, coached by faculty of Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts, and Sarastro in WVU’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. T.K. has also done scene work in a variety of roles, and can be seen in an upcoming performance as Sparafucile from Verdi’s Rigoletto and Don Alfonso from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. He is also the director of the classical music show on U92-FM, WVU’s college radio station, and regularly features WVU students and faculty on air.


Steven Michael Patrick (Mr. Buchanan)

Steven Michael Patrick – Tenor, is in his fourth year of study at West Virginia University. He currently studies with Dr.Nicholas Perna. He spent last fall in Edinburgh, Scotland where he attended The University of Edinburgh Napier. While there he worked with Taylor Wilson of the Scottish National Opera. He is excited to be performing the role of Daniel Buchanan. His past performances with the WVU Opera Theatre include Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Monostatos) and Bizet’s Carmen.


Alec Tincher (Officer Murphy)

Alec Tincher is a junior Vocal Performance Studies major studying under Dr. William Koehler.
He is currently working on a scene from Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief in opera theatre. This past summer he performed Missa Criolla with the University of Rome and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Rome, Italy. He is the former keyboardist for the group The Corey Brooks Band which won album of the year and vocal group of the year at 2013’s Artist Music Guild Heritage Awards in Charlotte, North Carolina This is his first major production.

As part of the College of Creative Arts Alumni-in-Residence Series, noted alumni Sandy Bainum and Mark Phillips will return to the CAC in October to work with students. All of the events are also free and open to the public.

Friday, October 24: Sandy Bainum

Sandy Bainum photo

Actor, singer and dancer Sandy Bainum is the total modern day performer. From standards to contemporary hits to special material, she connects with a wide range of musical generations and genres – a truly eclectic and exciting theater and cabaret artist.

Sandy, who graduated from the WVU School of Music with a bachelor’s degree in 1982, is a classically trained coloratura soprano and dancer. She made the leap from small town Pennsylvania to Broadway when she was hired for the chorus of David Merrick’s legendary production of “42nd Street,” first in the National Tour and then on Broadway, in the plum rule of Annie. Now living in Washington, D.C., Sandy regularly appears in Washington’s top theatrical venues in plays and musicals for which she’s garnered excellent reviews, plus several nominations and awards. Sandy also performs her terrific one-woman cabaret shows in major venues in D.C., New York and Los Angeles. See her website at

Sandy will talk with students and faculty about her career experiences.

Saturday, October 25: Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips is Professor of Composition, Electronic Music and Theory at Ohio University, where he was named a Distinguished Professor in 2007. An internationally known composer, his musical creations have been honored for their high level of craftsmanship, technical mastery and intellectual depth.

Phillips, who grew up in Parkersburg, W.Va., received a bachelor’s degree in composition, electronic music and theory (with a minor in trombone) from WVU in 1974, and master’s and doctoral degrees in music from Indiana University. His many prestigious awards include the Barlow International Prize for Orchestral Music, which led to collaborations with conductor Leonard Slatkin. Following a national competition, Pi Kappa Lambda commissioned him to compose a work for their 2006 national conference in San Antonio. His music has received dozens of orchestra performances by groups such as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, and has been recorded by Richard Stoltzman and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lark Quartet, and several solo artists. See his website at

Mark will present a forum for music students at the Creative Arts Center on Saturday afternoon. That evening, there will be a New Music Concert at 8:15 pm that will feature two of his compositions: “T-Rex” for Trombone and electronic playback, and “Porch Music” for violin, cello, and marimba. The concert will be held in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A).

The College of Creative Arts is pleased to announce its success during the “State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University,” the comprehensive capital campaign conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of WVU. Thanks to the generosity of alumni, faculty, and friends, the College of Creative Arts has exceeded its initial fundraising goal of $13,500,000 by more than $2 million!

“On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Creative Arts, I express thanks and appreciation to donors and friends who continue to invest in the arts and arts education. We will be excellent stewards of your generosity,” said Dean Paul Kreider.

• During 2013-2014, the College of Creative Arts received $1,632,490 in new pledges, new planned gift expectancies, and gifts not fulfilling pledges.
• The College also received $1,479,107 in cash and in-kind gifts.
• Donors contributed $326,261 through the College’s annual fund program, slightly up from the 2012-2013 annual fund total of $323,167. The reason for this increase was enhanced participation by the alumni and friends, with 1,511 donors this year, versus 1,401 last year.
• A total of 2,167 gifts were received from this year’s donors – an increase of 229 gifts from last year’s total of 1,938.
• Donors also made several significant gifts during the past year, including beautiful Steinway pianos that will enrich the experiences of students and faculty.
• A new musical theatre scholarship was endowed, research activities of faculty in the School of Art and Design were supported robustly, and the Mountaineer Marching Band was able to perform in Oklahoma and at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore due to gifts to the Pride Travel Fund.
• Endowed scholarships in music performance and collaborative piano were founded, and a future fund will support art education programs for middle and high school students.
• A fund was established to assist College of Creative Arts students to travel domestically and internationally for study, research, and performance activities, and the Dean’s Honors Scholars Program was initiated.
• An endowment was created to enable the Art Museum of WVU to acquire works by renowned international photographers.
• Last, but not least, many donors have supported the nearly completed Art Museum of WVU, which will greatly expand cultural and educational opportunities for the citizens of the region.

WVU Foundation and University officials have announced that the “State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University” has been so successful that it exceeded its $750 million goal more than a year before the original deadline. The Campaign is now scheduled to continue through 2017, with a new goal of $1 billion.

Because many pressing needs remain to be met in the College of Creative Arts, our faculty and staff will not diminish their efforts to advance the College’s mission during the remainder of the comprehensive campaign.

“Due to the fact that the college has exceeded its campaign goal and that the campaign has been extended for two years, the college will quickly review it fundraising priorities while considering a new goal for the State of Minds Campaign,” state Dean Kreider. “The College is grateful to donors, alumni and friends for their gracious support and for their continuous and future generosity.”