Graduate Student’s Work Is Showcased at International Film Festival

susieA new film featuring the behind-the-camera talents of a student in the MFA program in screenwriting and film studies at Hollins will have its world premiere this month at the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Susie’s Hope, co-written and produced by Dan A.R. Kelly, will be screened on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. at the UNCSA Main Theater and on Tuesday, April 16 at 3 p.m. at the Hanesbrands Theater.

The film follows the true story of Donna and Susie Lawrence, the inspiration behind the passage of Susie’s Law, which stiffened the penalties for animal abuse in North Carolina. After surviving a pit bull attack, Donna adopts an abandoned pit bull mix, Susie, who suffered severe abuse at the hands of her former owner. Donna sees many parallels between the two as their wounds heal. With Susie by her side, Donna starts a grassroots campaign to change penalties for animal abusers in North Carolina. Susie’s Law was passed in 2010 by Governor Bev Purdue, who insisted Susie sign it with her paw print.

“When I first got in touch with Donna, I knew I had to help her tell her story,” said Kelly, who is creative director for Walk in the Park Pictures, a North Carolina-based production company. “Besides being very dramatic, the story hits close to home. Literally and figuratively – I remember when Susie’s Law passed and how our state pulled together over the issue. In fact, 23 of the 26 actors and 85 percent of our crew are North Carolina natives.”

Susie’s Hope stars Emmanuelle Vaugier, who has appeared in such television series as Lost Girl, The Mentalist, CSI:NY, and the Hallmark Channel movie, It’s Christmas, Carol! The film was shot during May 2012 in Winston-Salem and surrounding areas.

Kelly earned his BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for Film Directing in 2001. He has won awards and recognition from the Cannes International Film Festival, the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and others. His career as an actor has included lead roles in many films, television programs, and commercials. He has also worked in film and television as an assistant director, casting associate, script supervisor, and editor.

 


Hollins M.F.A. in Dance to Partner with The Forsythe Company, Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts

mfadanceBeginning in the summer of 2014, Hollins University’s master of fine arts (M.F.A.) program in dance will collaborate with one of the world’s leading dance companies and an internationally acclaimed German university of performing arts.

The M.F.A. program is partnering with renowned choreographer William Forsythe’s The Forsythe Company and the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, both located in Frankfurt, Germany, to expand its students’ ability to engage with an international community.

“This new collaboration continues our history of innovative programming in research, education, and professional influence,” said Jeffery Bullock, program director. “We are committed to integrating our program with professional dance centers and metropolitan locations around the world.”

Hollins’ graduate program in dance offers a Year Residency Track, which is intended for recent graduates with an eye on the professional world of dance; a Low Residency – Two Summer Track, designed for mid-career artists, teachers, and dance professionals who must study in a limited time frame that accommodates their employment/performance schedule; and a Low Residency – Three Summer Track that serves emerging artists, teachers, and dance professionals. Previously, a course of European study was available only to students in the Year Residency Track, and the new alliances will enable Hollins to expand this experience to all students: They will spend five weeks on the Hollins campus and three weeks in Frankfurt.

Christopher Roman, former principal dancer with The Forsythe Company, will serve as the European study coordinator and will curate the three-week dance study and experience. He is a winner of the Faust Theatre Prize, Germany’s highest theatre honor, and has been a soloist and principal with ballet companies in Seattle, Miami, Montreal, and Philadelphia.

Ingo Diehl, professor and director of the contemporary dance program at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, will also work closely with the M.F.A. program.

“Using the resources of multiple institutions, our students and faculty are able to establish a unique community of committed artists and scholars who range in ages and experiences and are working to sustain their careers and deepen their relationship to dance,” Bullock said. “We are providing students with a wide range of opportunities and mentorships as well as exposure to other practitioners in the international dance field.”


Hollins, Mill Mountain Theatre Host American College Theater Festival

PrintHollins University and Roanoke’s Mill Mountain Theatre will host 900 students and faculty from colleges and universities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and southwest Virginia at the Region Four festival of the 46th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), February 4 – 8.

Individual participants and full-scale productions are eligible for awards in a number of disciplines recognizing excellence in the art and craft of theater. Individual awardees and representatives from selected productions will be brought to Washington, D.C., for an expense-paid trip to the national festival, April 14 – 19, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Productions invited to be showcased at the Region Four festival are presented by Appalachian State University, Asbury University, Auburn University – Montgomery, Clayton State University, Georgia Southwestern State University, Hollins, Morehead State University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Mississippi, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Troy University. Ten invited productions were selected from 42 eligible productions from the region. Two additional productions earned slots after receiving recognition during the Short Play Awards at last year’s Region Four festival, including Hollins Theatre’s production of Decision Height by Meredith Dayna Levy ’12, M.F.A. ’15. The drama is the story of six women whose lives are changed when they become Women Air Force Service Pilots during World War II.

Three public performances of Decision Height will be staged on Mill Mountain Theatre’s Trinkle Stage: Friday and Saturday, January 24 – 25, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, January 26, at 2 p.m. Admission is $10. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.hollins.edu/theatre or call the Hollins Theatre box office at (540) 362-6313.

Launched in 1969, the KCACTF encourages and recognizes the finest and most diverse theatrical productions from colleges and universities nationwide. Through its regional and national festivals, the KCACTF celebrates the achievements of theater programs, individual students, and faculty of colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Eight regional festivals provide opportunities for colleges and universities to showcase their finest work to diverse audiences of theater students and faculty from their regions.

Since its establishment, KCACTF has reached millions of theatergoers and made important contributions to the professional development of countless college and university theater students nationwide.


Library Hike Seeks to Inspire Creativity

coveWyndham Robertson Library and the Hollins Outdoor Program are inviting the campus community to explore the connections between movement, nature, and literature with a Library Hike, September 12 – 22.

Students, faculty, and staff can stop by the library and check out a “hiking pack,” containing a blanket, sunscreen, and bug spray to help with the hike, and a journal, pens, and disposable camera to use when inspiration strikes. Then, they can head off on the trail from Hollins to Carvins Cove Nature Reserve.

Hikers are encouraged to stop and look at books from the humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural sciences along the trail, and use the journal and camera to document their creativity. They can leave their journal writings to inspire others, or take the pages with them. All cameras will be developed by the library and photographs may be shared in a library display and/or posted to a curated online collection.

The Library Hike is part of Outside the Lines, a national initiative designed to reintroduce libraries to their local communities. This month, organizations from across the U.S. and Canada are hosting either an event or campaign to get people thinking – and talking – about libraries in a whole new way.

For more information, contact Rebecca Seipp, outreach and humanities liaison librarian, at seippr@hollins.edu or 540-362-6328.


Hollins, Roanoke College Announce Perry F. Kendig Award Winners for 2014

kendigLocal artist and Hollins University Professor of Art Emeritus Bill White, Mill Mountain Theatre, Member One Federal Credit Union, and the Roanoke Arts Commission have been honored with this year’s Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards.

The awards were presented during a ceremony at Hollins on September 30.

Co-sponsored by Hollins and Roanoke College, the Kendig Awards recognize distinction in arts and culture in the Roanoke Valley. Awards are presented in each of the following categories: Individual Artist, Individual or Business Supporter, and Arts and Culture Organization.

Also highlighting the ceremony was the presentation of the Harriett Stokes Memorial Award, a special award this year that commemorates the life and work of the Salem artist who was called the “grande dame of art in the valley” by LinDor gallery owner Dorsey Taylor. Stokes, who passed away in May, was one of the originators of Art in the Alley and was an exhibitor at Roanoke’s Annual Sidewalk Art Show for more than 50 years. Last October, she received the Kendig Award in the Individual Artist category.

White, a painter, educator, leader, and facilitator who has contributed to the arts in Roanoke for decades, is this year’s Individual Artist award recipient. He has earned acclaim for his artistic technique, his commitment to teaching, and his organization of exhibits at local museums.

Mill Mountain Theatre, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, was recognized in the Arts and Cultural Organization category. Despite challenges during its half-century of existence, MMT has succeeded through tenacity and perseverance. At the same time, it has given back to the community through education and partnerships with other arts organizations.

The Kendig Award for Individual or Business Supporter was presented to Member One Credit Union. Member One provides financial support for arts and culture in the Roanoke Valley, along with leadership, volunteer initiatives, and business practices.

The Roanoke Arts Commission received the Harriett Stokes Memorial Award. This all-volunteer body has worked to support and lead the development of arts and culture in Roanoke, developing the nationally recognized Park and Arts program and overseeing funding for local arts and cultural organizations.

Named for the late Perry F. Kendig, who served as president of Roanoke College and was an avid supporter and patron of the arts, the Kendig Awards were established in 1985 and presented annually by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge through 2012. Hollins and Roanoke College first partnered last year to bestow the honors, and congratulate the 2014 winners.