Schools in the OU Fine Arts
To our valued patrons of OU Fine Arts
We are taking precautions to protect the health and safety of audience members, musicians, cast, and crew at all times in our theatres and concert halls. For patrons attending a performance, masks are not required, however highly encouraged in all indoor spaces and outside when social distancing is not possible. Seating will be adjusted per University policies. Please be aware that information will be updated as changes occur. For more information, please visit OU TOGETHER.
Five Moons Dance Festival
Women of courage, passion & resilience, the Five Moons have woven their legacies into Oklahoma history and the art of dance itself. Join the OU School of Dance Sept. 9-11, 2022 for the Five Moons Dance Festival as we honor the life and accomplishments of Moscelyne Larkin, Maria Tallchief, Marjorie Tallchief, Rosella Hightower, and Yvonne Chouteau, five American Indian ballerinas from Oklahoma whose perseverance propelled them to perform on the world’s greatest stages and leave a lasting mark on the future of dance. For more event information and tickets visit THEATRE.OU.EDU.
Arts Management and Entrepreneurship Programs
The Arts Management and Entrepreneurship (AME) Programs are meant for students interested in building a career in the arts in an exciting but ever-changing marketplace. The programs are built on a flexible structure of fine arts, arts entrepreneurship, and business courses that develop the skills needed for career success and creative impact.
Welcome to University Theatre
We have more to celebrate than ever in the 2022-2023 season as we welcome you to our performance halls and invite you to discover with us the Stories on our Stage. For more information, please visit THEATRE.OU.EDU.
Dean's Circle Membership
The Dean’s Circle fosters creativity, exploration, challenge, beauty, and humanity through the arts. We invite you to join us in the Dean’s Circle for all it can mean to our students and faculty, and to the future they create in the arts!
Fine Arts Student Emergency Fund
The Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts offers the largest and most comprehensive fine arts program in the state of Oklahoma. We are immensely proud of our students, and ask that you join us in assisting them with a helping hand through the newly established Fine Arts Student Emergency Fund. With your help, we can make a difference!
College of Fine Arts News
The Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts has very talented faculty and successful alumni. Read about their latest achievements.
Christopher Sadler, associate professor in the University of Oklahoma Helmerich School of Drama, is co-editor and contributor to Off Headset: Essays on Stage Management Life, Work, and Career, a book published by Routledge Press with release date set for Jan. 27, 2022.
Co-edited by Sadler and Rafael Jaen, associate professor of theatre and performing arts chair at UMass Boston, Off Headset: Essays on Stage Management Life, Work, and Career collects in three sections essays written by a diverse group of stage management professionals and educators and covers the challenges stage managers face on the job, in their lives and in their careers. The publication weaves practical advice with personal anecdotes and serves as a resource to stage management university students and the industry’s working professionals.
“When I first discussed the idea of this collection with co-editor Rafael Jaen and then later in the proposal to the publisher, I pointed out that just about every book written about stage management was procedural — how to stage manage,” said Sadler. “There wasn't a volume out there that was a collection of stage managers' stories: stories that not only showed us the person, but as a whole revealed our art and craft in a completely new way.”
In addition to co-editing the work, Sadler contributed to Part 3: Career, with an essay titled Maxwell, Brown, and Co: Learning from Corporate Management. The chapter explains the process of finding the ideas that crafted the course Advanced Stage Management, taught by Sadler at OU. “Students have told me it was their most valuable class while at OU, and I wanted to share those ideas to a larger audience — what can stage managers learn from corporate management and leadership concepts and apply them to our work in the performing arts?” explained Sadler. “It's not a stretch, surprisingly.”
“Off Headset is a must read for anyone considering a career in stage management,” stated OU Helmerich School of Drama director Seth Gordon. “Professor Sadler and his colleague have done an excellent job of assembling a first-rate group of experts in the field – practitioners at the top of their profession talking about the work.”
According to the publisher’s website, Off Headset: Essays on Stage Management Life, Work, and Career starts with the intersectional history of stage managers and the actors’ union. In Part 1: Work, the contributors share a wide range of experiences, from regional theatre and Broadway to operas and cruises – even running with the circus. In Part 2: Life, essays explore the relevance of stage managers claiming their identity, their resilience and practicing self-care. Part 3: Career offers aspirational and business advice, exploring such topics as leadership, networking, unemployment, managing demanding calendars and career planning. The book ends with a on a tech note, a direct response to the ongoing pandemic.
“The contributors ARE Off Headset,” stated Sadler, when asked about the process of working with the diverse group of stage management professionals who contributed to the publication. “All their different experiences really emphasize the uniqueness and value of every stage manager. I was and am humbled by their talent, their stories, their hard work and patience with the process [of contributing to the book]”.
Sadler has led the stage management emphasis in the Helmerich School of Drama since his arrival at OU in 2005. He teaches multiple courses in stage and theatre management and dramatic literature and is the adviser for the school’s theatre minor. In 2019, Sadler was named the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts.
Sadler holds a master of fine arts degree in stage management from the University of California San Diego and a bachelor of fine arts degree from Ithaca College. A member of the Actors' Equity Association since 1999, Sadler has a successful freelancing career, having been part of stage management teams for over 100 productions at theatres nationwide.
An award-winning costume designer, educator and author, Jaen is a United States Institute for Theatre Technology Fellow, the USITT vice president for communications (2019–2022) and a past National Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Design, Technology and Management chair. He is the author of SHOWCASE (2011) and Digital Costume Design and Collaboration (2017) by Focal Press/Routledge, and the series editor for the USITT/Focal Press Backstage series.
Off Headset: Essays on Stage Management Life, Work, and Career is available for sale now at several marketplaces, including the publisher’s website.
Paul Christman, professor of musical theatre, has been named the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts 2021 Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts at the University of Oklahoma.
Christman has been a faculty member in the A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre since 1999. He graduated magna cum laude in 1991 from Arizona State University with a master of music in performance with an emphasis in music theatre direction and was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, international music honor society.
In his career Christman has been a music director, conductor and pianist for countless productions at OU as well as nationally and internationally. He has served as the regional director for the Musical Theatre Educator Alliance. As a recipient of funding for a Presidential Dream Course in 2007, he hosted New York City-based composers, librettists and lyricists. These writers would return for nearly a decade to develop their new musicals with the OU musical theatre students.
Former students of Christman have flourished, with many performing on Broadway, in Europe, London’s West End, and on international tours. One of Christman’s former students wrote, “Professor Christman is not the type of professor whose work stops at end of the class, semester, or even graduation. His world revolves around the endless mentorship he gives to all his current and former students. For the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to call professor Christman my mentor and role model. As a student, I felt inspired by the way professor Christman infused his passion for musical theatre with his talent for teaching. In the studio, his main objective was to create an educational space where my classmates and I could discover our own artistic voice and connect it to any material. He worked hard to identify what teaching strategies were most successful for each individual student, then gave us the space to experiment, to fail and to succeed.”
The Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts award was established in 1995. Christman is the 27th recipient of the honor.
ADAM HONORÉ, a lighting design alumnus of the Helmerich School of Drama, is making his Broadway design debut this fall as the lighting designer for the upcoming comedy production Chicken and Biscuits.
Directed by Zhailon Levingston and featuring Tony Award nominee and Broadway veteran Norm Lewis and Drama Desk winner Michael Urie, Chicken and Biscuits is the new Broadway raucous family comedy by Douglas Lyons, telling the story of a family coming together to celebrate the life of their father. “Expect to see transformation; a story we are all familiar with in a new light,” stated Honoré. With performances beginning Sept. 23 at the Circle in the Square Theatre, more information about the production can be found here.
“It will be a truly exciting and tearful moment to see a Design and Production alumnus on the title page of a Broadway Playbill,” stated Jon Young, Helmerich School of Drama professor of scenic design. “As a 2015 graduate from our BFA program, Adam has had a meteoric rise within our industry over the past six years and he is only just getting started. Look out, world!”
Since earning his bachelor of fine arts degree in drama in 2015, Honoré has rapidly accomplished a successful career as a lighting designer for plays, musicals and live events, nationally and internationally. His résumé includes off-Broadway productions, regional and national tours, and international premieres. Honoré's work has been seen in Austria, Canada and the Philippines, where he designed the international premiere of Fun Home, featuring Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga.
The Harlem-based designer has received several prestigious industry awards, nominations and accolades. Honoré is a Drama Desk, Henry Hewes, and Helen Hayes Award nominee; Audience Development Committee, Inc (AUDELCO) award recipient and listed on Live Design Magazine’s "30 Under 30".
Originally from New Orleans, Honoré is the first OU School of Drama alum to officially head the lighting design of a Broadway production. “This will also be the first live theater production I have designed since the pandemic. Being back at the theater will feel like a wonderful homecoming, an exhilarating and exciting new step in my career,” stated Honoré.
“OU Drama has, over its many years, seen its alumni excel in fields throughout the entertainment industry, but Broadway will always be seen as the standard by which success is measured,” said Seth Gordon, director at the Peggy V. Helmerich School of Drama. “To have Adam Honoré designing one of the first plays to go into production on Broadway coming out of the pandemic is a tremendous affirmation of the level of training we provide here. Adam is going to be an important leader in his field as his career continues to develop, and we’re very proud to be associated with his success.”
Sakthi Vibrations illuminates the Sakthi Folk Cultural Centre, which uses the Tamil folk arts to develop self-esteem and economic skills in young Dalit women.
ZOE SHERINIAN, professor of ethnomusicology and chair of the Division of Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Music in General Studies at the University of Oklahoma School of Music, was named the recipient of the Best Oklahoma Feature Award for the documentary film Sakthi Vibrations at the deadCenter Film Festival award ceremony, held June 13 in Oklahoma City.
The 21st edition of the annual deadCenter Film Festival, Oklahoma’s largest and most celebrated film festival, featured a record-breaking slate of 180 films from around the world. The winners of each of the 16 categories were chosen by an independent jury of film industry professionals, including highly regarded producers, directors, writers and actors.
Sherinian’s award-winning ethnomusicological documentary seeks to reveal and analyze the outstanding model used by the Sakthi Folk Cultural Centre for Dalit (outcastes or untouchables) women’s development that integrates folk art performance with social analysis, micro-economic sustainability, leadership and community development.
MARY MARGARET HOLT, dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, was selected for a lifetime achievement award in honor of her significant contributions to ballet excellence in higher education.
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