TROY selected for dance and theater residency program

Posted: Thursday, 12 February 2015

TROY - A nationally acclaimed performance company will conduct a weeklong residency in Troy University's Department of Theatre and Dance at the end of the month.

Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, based in Minneapolis, Minn., selected the University for its 35th anniversary residency program through a competitive application process and will work with both area schools and University theater and dance students, as well as students in other disciplines, in connection with the University's Big Read project, sponsored by National Endowment for the Arts.

A performance, open and free to the public, is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28 in Claudia Crosby Theater.

SPDT has been a Twin Cities-based performance company for over 10 years. The company's singular and elaborate work has garnered critical acclaim for its ability to situate highly physical, emotional vocabulary within stunning theatrical landscapes. In these imagistic worlds, SPDT creates poetic stories focused on love, loss, and the need for connection.

SPDT's company of performers and collaborating designers continues to realize a signature vision of "theater for the heart and mind."

"Part of what excites us about working with SPDT is not only that they are a successful, critically acclaimed theatre and dance company but that they are founded on the philosophy of giving back to community," said Deborah Hicks, coordinator of dance. "The questions they ask are, 'What can we give?' 'How can we help?' not 'What can we get?'. The Department of Theatre and Dance shares this philosophy and is glad to offer our students a real look at how successful it can be."

The residency is being supported by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Department of Theatre and Dance, the College of Communication and Arts, TROY's Office of Sponsored Programs and the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read initiative.

On Monday, Feb. 23, company members will teach theater and dance master classes in contemporary dance and ballet techniques, playwriting, composition and choreography, and will conduct a workshop on "Making Work, Creating Performance" using the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read initiative book "Fahrenheit 451."

Tuesday, SPDT will take their program to the Pike County Alternative School before returning to the Troy Campus where the company presents a National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read workshop to English and writing students and a rehearsal of "To Kill A Mockingbird."

On Wednesday, Feb. 25, company members and faculty from Theatre and Dance, Art and Design and the John M. Long School of Music will discuss common ground and points of disconnect between arts education and arts practice; and SPDT will have an open rehearsal and talkback with Theatre and Dance students.

On Thursday, the company will provide a program to Charles Henderson High School theatre students before returning to campus to conduct a workshop with psychology graduate students.

Friday will focus on TROY Theatre and Dance students, and rehearsals for the company's Saturday performance.

Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater Company
Professionals in the Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater Company of Minneapolis, Minn., will conduct a weeklong residency program at Troy University Feb. 23-27 that includes outreach to area schools as well. The week is capped with a free public performance on Saturday, Feb. 28. (photo/SPDT)