Department of Theatre & Dance - Fall/Winter 2010


News Highlights . . .

“Danceaturgy”: Digging Deeper Into the Creative Soul of Dance

Artists and those who love the arts have tried to gain more meaning and insight by taking a critical look at what they have viewed or heard. In theatre, dramaturgy is a significant component in the construction and deconstruction of dramatic work while taking a critical look at how everything fits together. There has been no formal equivalent in the world of dance, however -- until now. Danceaturgy, a term invented by NEIL BALDWIN, professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance and director of The Creative Research Center, fills this void and gives depth to the creative process -- deconstructing dance works and choreography while looking through the lenses of critical sensibilities and historical perspective. For the full article, click here.

NEW WORKS INITIATIVE - Opportunity for Professional Artists

The New Works Initiative is a special project of the Department of Theatre & Dance at Montclair State University committed to the development and production of new original works in theatre and dance. Modeled after the Sundance Lab in Utah and the O’Neil Theater Center in Connecticut, Montclair State University’s New Works Initiative aims to be a home where the American professional performance community can experiment with and develop exciting new professional work that incorporates Montclair State’s theater and dance students. For the full article, click here.

Theatre and Dance Professor Directs Play in Cuba

For the first time in nearly 50 years, an American director and an American playwright were invited to work with a major Cuban theatre company to premiere a play in Cuba. On July 10, the director, Montclair State University Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance JORGE CACHEIRO, and the playwright, Jorge Cortiñas, working with Cuba's Rita Montaner Theater Company, premiered Cortiñas’s play, Blind Mouth Singing, at the El Sotano Theater in Havana. For the full article, click here.

More People Spotlights . . .


While in Korea, Prof. SUSAN KERNER met Prof. Hyun Ok (Helena) Song of Sejong University in Seoul. Sejong University has a distinguished Department of Film and Theatre, and Prof. Song is one of its best-known faculty members. In addition to being an accomplished theatre critic, director, and playwright, she is the wife of Seoul’s popular Mayor Oh. Prof. Song is the first wife of a Seoul mayor to have her own career, and there is talk that Korea may have in its near future its first First Lady with a career in the arts! Prof. Song visited Montclair State University for the day on February 9 and met with Theatre and Dance Chair ERIC DIAMOND, CART Dean GEOFFREY NEWMAN, Global Education Center Director Marina Cunningham, and ACP producer JILL DOMBROWSKI. Prof. Song was impressed with Montclair State and hopes to spend part of her 2010-'11 sabbatical as a visiting scholar here.

DEBRA OTTE is on the National Executive Committee of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and will serve as one of three members of the Selection Team for the National Festival this spring. Her scholarship is centered on design for the stage with a focus on the support of new/developing scripts. She has recently designed and produced costumes for new works including "Burt Dow Deep Water Man" (Stonington Opera Association), "Rosa Loses Her Face" (Electric Theatre Company), "Against the Rising Sea" (Queen's Theatre in the Park), "The Space Inside" (touring one-woman show), "The Very Nearly Perfect Comedy of Romeo and Juliet" (Electric Theatre Company), and "Men of Mahjong" (Queen's Theatre in the Park). Her costume designs have also been seen in the recent productions of "The Old Settler" (Luna Stage), "Sweeney Todd" (Montclair State University), and "Side Show" (Montclair State University). Print publication includes co-authorship of "Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual" and conference papers centered on visual literacy and education.

JANE PETERSON "Plays in Performance." 30 dramaturgical essays that accompany the publication of the new Norton Anthology of Drama.

ERHARD ROM created scenic design for Virginia Opera, The Daughter of the Regiment; Wolf Trap Opera, Cosi fan Tutte; Virginia Opera, Don Giovanni; Vancouver Opera, Nixon in China (Canadian Premiere); Maryland Opera Studio, Shadowboxer (World Premiere); Cleveland Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor; Manhattan School of Music, The Marriage of Figaro.

DEBBIE SAIVETZ was a guest teacher in Oaxaca, Mexico.

LORI KATTERHENRY is the Artistic Director for all three dance department concerts and initiated dance programmatic activities for academic year 2010.

LINDA ROBERTS chaired the Design, Technology and Management Region II American College Theater Festival.

ERIC DIAMOND attended and served once again as adjudicator for the Bergen County Teen Arts Festival and the Morris County Music and Theatre Teen Arts Festival.


After dancing with Lula Washington’s company in the Kasser Theater as part of the Arts and Cultural Programming Series, TIANA TAYLOR (BFA Dance, 2006) was invited to take a class, rehearse, and intern with the company in Los Angeles this past summer.

LAURA BENEDICT (BFA Production and Design, 2010) won the Barbizon Costume Design Award for 2010. She is one of eight students nationally to be given this honor, competing against both undergraduates and M.F.A. students from some of the best design schools in this country.

Congratulations 2010 Department of Theatre & Dance Graduates and Award Recipients!
Montclair State University’s College of the Arts held its Convocation ceremony on Saturday, May 15, at the University’s Amphitheater. For the full article and list of award recipients, click here.


DONNA SCRO-GENTILE (BFA Dance, 1991), Artistic Director for Freespace Dance, and members of the Freespace Dance Company performed in Scotland at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from Aug. 15-23, 2010.

NICOLE SMITH (BFA Dance, 2007) was chosen to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland this summer. Her choreography continues to be showcased in selective festivals in the tristate area. In addition, she's been commissioned to create work by performing arts high schools, universities, and even fellow choreographers' full-length evening concerts this year. She currently serves as a teaching artist for Montclair State and YANJ, as well as an understudy/apprentice for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. She's danced for Freespace Dance since graduation in 2007, and as a guest artist for other companies such as Pascal Rekoert/Flexicurve and Naganuma Dance.

OMNI KITTS (BFA Dance, 2003), ERIN PRIDE (BFA Dance, 2003) and NICOLE SMITH (BFA Dance, 2007) presented Ingredients, an alumni dance concert at Montclair State on May 14 and 15.

MAUREEN GLENNON (BFA Dance, 1991), founder of her own dance company, MOETION, presented dance concerts to promote breast cancer awareness.