3-25-15 – PRISMCo’s new piece
SMU alumni Jeff Colangelo and Katy Tye and painting the town with their new work (literally)
It is hard to find a production in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that Jeff Colangelo hasn’t worked on.
Fight choreographer, writer, actor, creator and director alike, Colangelo has not stopped working and moving since his graduation from SMU with a B.F.A. in theatre in 2013.
His upcoming production, Prism, will be performed at the Big Green Warehouse at 2919 Bataan Street in Trinity Groves from April 9-26 at 8:00 p.m.
Prism is the namesake show of PrismCo, a theatre company co-founded by Colangelo and current Meadows Theatre student Katy Tye (B.F.A. Theatre ’15). It is a show that first premiered in the Doolin Gallery at SMU in fall 2012.
“We’re really looking forward to doing all the stuff we always wanted to with the first production of Prism but weren’t able to because of budget, experience and the space,” Colangelo said. “With the help and support of SMU Meadows School of the Arts and all the people we hope will preorder tickets on our Indiegogo page, we’re going to be able to dream big with the show that started us all off.”
Directed by Colangelo, the show will be choreographed by Tye and is a collaboration with artists at the Haley Henman Studio in Trinity Groves.
In addition to Colangelo and Tye, the cast includes the following SMU students and recent graduates: Kristen Lee (B.F.A. Theatre ’15), Kaysy Ostrom (B.F.A. Theatre ’15), Claire Carson (B.F.A. Theatre ’14), Hope Endrenyi (B.F.A. Dance ’16), Kamen Casey (B.F.A. Theatre ’16), Mickey Giles (B.F.A. Theatre ’15), Adam Anderson (B.F.A. Theatre ’13), Josh Porter (B.F.A. Theatre ’14), Dean Wray (B.F.A. Theatre ’16) and Seun Soyemi (B.F.A. Theatre ’15). PrismCo veteran and past-performer Fabricio CF will also add some of his own music to the show.
What can folks expect from the production?
“More paint, more people fighting, and a larger scale of paint weaponry from paint spears and knives to paint guns and even grenades,” Colangelo said. “It’s going to be all out pure paint chaos and it’s going be awesome to watch.”
The cast encourages audiences to wear clothes that they do not care about, because paint will be splattered on them.
To donate to the Indiegogo link, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/prismco-s-new-season/x/9688614#pledges
11-10-14: Kelly Zitka Starts a Movement
Student Kelly Zitka brought national All Stars Project talent show to Dallas to help empower kids in South Dallas, Oak Cliff and West Dallas
A year ago, Kelly Zitka (B.F.A. Dance, B.B.A. Business, ’15), was searching for an internship in New York City when she came across the All Stars Project. While the nonprofit organization did not have an internship, Zitka knew that she wanted to learn more about what the program had to offer.
The All Stars Project, which has been running for about 30 years in various cities throughout the United States, provides free, after-school programs for inner-city youth to help them conquer the restraints of poverty and use the power of performance in their daily lives as a personal development opportunity.
“I fell in love with the mission because it was all about using performance to empower individuals to go beyond the labels society might place on them,” Zitka says. “I thought that was so unique and really resonated with me.”
A year later, Zitka is directing the first talent show for the All Stars Project of Dallas, which will be held Nov. 8, 2014 at the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. Zitka, along with several other Meadows students and First Presbyterian Church members, has gotten together with the All Stars kids in the Dallas area a few times to get to know one another and communicate through means of movement, art, music, spoken word and dance.
“This is an outlet of performance that has no boundaries,” Zitka says. “They are taught how to perform not only on the stage through talent shows but also in a business setting. All Stars helps them set up internships and perform as leaders.”
Or: At a recent workshop, students from SMU Meadows, Highland Park High School and Dallas All Stars filled out a survey about what they wanted to see changed in Dallas and where they thought the city is divided.
“One kid in particular rapped something that he wrote himself, and I think that was his first time ever performing it,” Zitka says. “It was a really special and incredibly powerful experience and it made me realize that I take for granted the ability to perform every day.”
Zitka knew that she could use the resources that she had on SMU’s campus through her dual degree to help her use art to bridge the gap between communities. Her project has been made possible by SMU’s Caswell Leadership Fellowship, and Zitka’s idea has been incorporated into Clyde Valentin’s new arts and urbanism initiative at SMU.
“I wanted SMU students to go outside the Highland Park area and work with kids and share the gift of their SMU education,” Zitka says.
SMU students have the opportunity to earn their community engagement experience pillar on the new curriculum in the form of service hours through participation in the All Stars Project.
While Zitka will graduate this spring, it is very important to her that this collaborative initiative continues past her graduation.
“Dallas is in total need of an organization like this,” Zitka says. “Due to the fact that the city is so economically and racially divided and the way that our arts district is totally booming, people are seeing the ways that art can bring people together.”
Don’t miss the All Stars Project of Dallas’ first performance on Nov. 8, 2014!
2/2/14 – Green room upgrade pleases students and faculty alike
By Ally Van Deuren
Meadows performing arts students arrived back to school in August to quite a pleasant surprise very close to home.
“Home” being the Meadows basement, and even more specifically, the “green room,” the very center of community for Meadows performing artists during their four years of training at SMU.
“I think what’s really cool and unique about [a green room] being at an arts school, specifically our arts school and how it is structured, is that it has the opportunity to be the center of community interdisciplinary,” junior theatre major Ryan-Patrick McLaughlin said.
“It’s a place where you can see other artists,” added Emily Bernet, a sophomore dance major.
Director of Meadows Facilities Jay Hengst took the project by storm several years ago when he revamped the first and second floors of the building.
“This time it was just getting so filthy and dirty and we were in the process already of a multiyear project to replace the hallway floors throughout the building,” Hengst said, who went to Dean of Meadows José Bowen with his proposal. “I wanted to rip out the built-ins and completely redesign and rethink that space.”
Hengst, who came to SMU in 1997, said that the green room and its adjacent classroom, B430, had remained the same ever since he started working here. While he had replaced the carpet every few years, he decided that it was time for a full restore.
“It’s a place where prospective students go when they audition and it wasn’t very welcoming,” Hengst said. “It’s an excellent program, so I wanted the facilities to reflect that as well.”
Hengst and his team took out the carpet in the green room and replaced the floors throughout the entire basement. He also decided to replace the carpet in B430 with hardwood floors to keep the room more sanitary.
In addition to the floor changes, there are now brightly-colored couches and tables located in the green room where students can study or grab a bite to eat in between classes.
“It’s good to have a place where everybody can be in the same area and just decompress after class or before you go in,” sophomore dance major Alison Glander said.
Hengst said that depending on the budget, he would eventually like to take out the florescent lights and put in new light fixtures. He has high hopes to refinish the floors in the Kathy Bates Studio as well as another neighboring classroom, B150, both in the basement.
In the meantime, Meadows students are pleased with the basement makeover.
“New furniture seems simple and materialistic, but really I think it can point to being the opportunity for creating better community within the arts school,” McLaughlin said. “It’s exciting to me to see that something as simple as our furniture or our flooring can reflect what our artistry also tries to do.”