News Archive

2015-2016

Theatre & Dance presents children's musical A Year with Frog and Toad

Frog and ToadLamar University’s Department of Theatre & Dance will perform the enchanting musical “A Year with Frog and Toad,” based on the beloved series of children’s books by Arnold Lobel, Feb. 26 - 28 in the University Theatre. Best friends Frog and Toad hop from the page to the stage in this exuberant story of friendship and adventure directed by faculty members Lou Arrington and Brian LeTraunik.

The play opens as hibernation ends for the lovable character Frog and his grumpy best friend Toad. We follow the characters as they plant a garden, go swimming, rake leaves, go sledding and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Equal parts make believe and vaudeville style theatre are paired with a jazzy score that kids of every age are sure to enjoy. Read more...


Dance students delight at President's Circle reception and dinner

President's Circle danceDance students performed choreography by Golden Wright, interim department chair, at the President's Circle dinner on Oct. 9, in honor of internationally celebrated artist and LU alum John Alexander, special guest at the dinner. The students performed before projections of Alexander's paintings. Cherie Acosta, assistant professor of costume design, created costumes designed to mirror the images in the paintings. 

The Lamar University President’s Circle was established by the university’s 15th president, Dr. Kenneth R. Evans, to honor and recognize individuals who have made a commitment to the success of Lamar students. Donors support the strategic priorities that are most meaningful to them. Individual donors are touching lives every day with gifts that support academics, scholarships, research, internships, and more. 


Comedic thriller The 39 Steps kicks off LU Theatre season

39 StepsLamar University’s Department of Theatre and Dance opens the 2015-16 season with the fast-paced whodunit, “The 39 Steps,” Sept. 24 - 27, in the Studio Theatre. Adapted by Patrick Barlow from Alfred Hitchcock’s film, this Tony-Award winning play mixes Hitchcock's cinematic masterpiece with a juicy spy novel and adds a dash of Monty Python.

“It’s an epic story on a small scale,” said Brian LeTraunik, instructor of theatre and the play’s director. “It’s interactive in a new way that will challenge the audience to use their imagination, but I think they’ll really enjoy it. It has the suspense of Hitchcock and the zaniness of Monty Python, and we’ve not done a show this broadly comedic at LU in years.” Read more...


Master Class with Alissa LaVergne

Alissa LaVergneAlissa LaVergne, Radio City Music Hall Rockette, with teach a Broadway/Precision Technique master class on Friday, Sept. 18, at 3:30 p.m. This class is by invitation only and will be located in the Dance Annex. This class is free to LU theater and dance majors. There will also be a public class on at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 18. The public master class is $10 per dancer. LaVergna holds a BFA in Musical Theatre and Dance from Sam Houston State University, and she performed with the Houston Symphony’s “A Very Merry Pops,”d danced aboard Majesty of the Seas with Royal Caribbean, and performed in “Hello, Dolly!” at Theatre Under the Stars in Houston. In 2009, she was cast as a Radio City Rockette where she has performed in Nashville, Omaha, Houston, and New York City at Radio City Music Hall. She recently finished the performing in the first cast of the New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City. For more information, contact the department at 880-8037.


Theatre major interns at Utah Festival Opera 

Senior theatre major Aaron Michael Chang of Groves, Texas, will be a scenic intern in summer 2015 at the Utah Festival Opera in Logan. 


LeTraunik to be resident fight director at Central City Opera

Theatre instructor Brian LeTraunik will lend his stage fighting expertise to the summer 2015 productions of Colorado's historic Central City Opera as the company's resident fight director and stage combat instructor. Central City Opera is among Colorado’s elite summer music festivals. The second oldest annual professional opera festival in the country (and the fifth-oldest opera company), the company continues to make history with a range of productions each summer including opera favorites, new and rarely performed pieces, and American works. Read more...

2014-2015


Grothe appears in Die Walkure

Joel Grothe, assistant professor of theatre will appear in the Houston Grand Opera production of Die Walkure April 18 - May 3, 2015.


The Last Night of Ballyhoo premieres at LU

The Department of Theatre & Dance presents The Last Night of Ballyhoo, a charming, Tony-Award winning play by the author of Driving Miss Daisy

Directed by Brian LeTraunik, the play takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, in December of 1939. Gone with the Wind is having its world premiere, and Hitler is invading Poland, but Atlanta's elitist German Jews are much more concerned with who is going to Ballyhoo, the social event of the season. Read more...


Department performs American classic, The Glass Menagerie

Lamar University's Department of Theatre & Dance will perform Tennessee Williams' semi-autobiographical masterpiece "The Glass Menagerie," Feb. 26 to March 1, in the Studio Theatre.

In this classic drama of American theatre,Amanda Wingfield, an aging Southern Belle, longs for her youth and dreams of a better life for her children. Her restless son, Tom, a would-be poet and the story’s narrator, gets swept up in his mother’s funny and heartbreaking schemes to find his painfully shy sister, Laura, a husband.

Faculty member Joel Grothe directs the production. Read more...


Fall & Recovery Dance Concert

Dance concert posterLU's Department of Theatre & Dance will present its fall dance concert, Fall & Recovery, Nov. 21-22 in the University Theatre. The program will feature contemporary dance styles with music from Lorde, Lana del Ray, Demi Lovato, Sam Smith, OneRepublic and more. Read more...


Legendary dancer and choreographer Judith Jamison speaks at LU

Judith JamisonLamar University hosted Judith Jamison, artistic director emeritus of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, in a free public lecture in the Lamar University Academic Lecture Series, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre. Jamison also participated in a motivational question and answer session with students from the Department of Theatre & Dance prior to the lecture.

An American dancer and choreographer, Jamison is an icon in the world of the performing arts. In her decades at the helm of one of the most respected dance companies in America, she has taken the company to unprecedented heights and received numerous honors, including an Emmy Award, an American Choreography Award, the Kennedy Center Honor and a National Medal of Arts. She was listed in “TIME 100: The World’s Most Influential People” and honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at the first White House Dance Series event. Read more...


Family dynamics and forgiveness highlight Lee Blessing's Eleemosynary

EleemosynaryThe Department of Theatre & Dance presented Eleemosynary, written by Lee Blessing, and directed by department chair Dr. Deena Conley, Nov. 6-9, 2014. Performances were in the Studio Theatre.

Lee Blessing often focuses on family dynamics in his plays. Eleemosynary, one of his most acclaimed works, is no exception. The play focuses on the lives of three Wesbrook women: Dorothea, Artie and Echo. Dorothea, an admitted New Age eccentric, has complicated the lives of the two other Wesbrook women by imposing her thwarted dreams on them. Blessing presents fragmented vignettes of the lives of the three women as they struggle to define themselves both as individuals and as part of a family unit. In this poignant and mature study of familial relationships, Blessing highlights the human need for connection and forgiveness. Read more...


LU Theatre opens 2014-15 season with madcap comedy Anton in Show Business

Anton in Show BusinessJane Martin’s Anton in Show Business is a fast-paced, satirical look into the world of theatre as three women pursue their dream of performing a play by Anton Chekhov in Texas. Directed by faculty member Brian LeTraunikAnton in Show Business ran Oct. 2-5 in the Studio Theatre.

In the tradition of great backstage comedies, Anton in Show Business conveys the joys, pains and absurdities of putting on a play, in this case, Chekhov’s Three Sisters. The play’s main characters, three actresses who come from diverse backgrounds and varying levels of success, find themselves thrust together in a small regional theatre in San Antonio. The experiences of this fictional trio of women, Holly, Lisabette and Casey, spotlight real issues in the world of American theatre. Read more...