This Weekend: SMU Meadows of Arts Presents Yerma

April 28, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Nick Cains

The SMU Meadows School of the Arts presents the 1934 dramatical Spanish play Yerma on Saturday, April 30th at 2 p.m. at the Owens Arts Center. The play focuses on a woman desperate to bear children and finds her moral values after learning that her husband may be the reason why she has been unable to conceive. This drama based on the tale by Federico Garcia Lorca.


VIDEO: Nick Cains Debuts Original Play, ‘How to be Black’

March 12, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Jefferson Johnson

“How to be Black” from on Vimeo.

Do you know how to be black? SMU senior Nick Cains answered that question with his debut play, “How to be Black” at the Margo Jones Theatre Friday night.

Cains, who wrote the play, said the question is open-ended and explores modern racism.

“It was kinda autobiographical; in a weird way it became my exploration into a question,” said Cains. “The question was when someone tells you ‘you’re not Black enough.”

Check out the video above to find out more about the play and how the audience reacted to controversial scenes.

Brown Bag Dance Series Is Back This Week

February 28, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Christine Jonas

Meadows’ Dancers Perform at Brown Bag Dance Series from on Vimeo.

The spring Brown Bag Dance Series will kick off today, February 28 at noon in the Lobby of the Bob Hope Theatre in the Owen Arts Center.

The Brown Bag Dance Series is a student run dance performance held each semester, where the students choreograph, plan and set up each dance. There is one faculty advisor that oversees everything, but really leaves it up to the students.

“I am beyond impressed with them. It is a great opportunity for them to figure out how to audition, select dancers, schedule rehearsals and create new and exciting work,” says Professor Danny Buraczeski, the faculty advisor for the upcoming series.

The series runs daily for a week with lunchtime shows at noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Admission is free.

There are typically 10-15 performances in each show, featuring all kinds of dance like ballet, modern and jazz.

“This time there are 10 performances and this series is really diverse. We are doing a hip-hop dance, a musical theater dance, two pointe ballet pieces and a contemporary piece,” says Brianna O’Connor, a sophomore SMU dance student who will be in the upcoming Brown Bag.

With different students choreographing new pieces every semester, this series never gets old—keeping the audience intrigued every time.

“It is really great going each semester, I never know what to expect and it really impresses me that they come up with such diversity in every Brown Bag,” says Myles Luttman, a senior SMU student. “It is fun to watch because I have friends in the show, but it is also great to see an art form that most people aren’t familiar with.”

Even the faculty is impressed when the series comes around each semester.

“Every Brown Bag is unique and different. Every one is better than another one in some way. It’s always, always dynamic and exciting. It is fantastic preparation if a student wants to have their own dance company once they graduate,” says Buraczeski.

The preparation with Brown Bag starts off with student Choreographers creating different dances. They teach the dance students a small portion of their routines and perform it in front of faculty adjudicators—which is typically made up of SMU dance professors. From there, the adjudicators help narrow down the performances that will make up the show. Then the choreographers sit down to barter and trade the dancers they want for their performance.

“We have two weeks to learn it, then it gets adjudicated, then another two weeks to rehearse before we perform, “says O’Connor.

O’Connor also pointed out how great the opportunity is for dance students, because it is a relaxed environment where they can dance barefoot or in their socks, unlike their more serious performances like the Hope Show coming later in the semester. It is also a chance for the students to take the process into their own hands.

“It is really about the choreographers, because it’s their chance to get their choreography out and test it. It’s a chance to see if they have the skills to do this. The whole process is about them,” says O’Connor. “I haven’t done it yet, but I want to—maybe next year.”

This is an opportunity for SMU students to go see something new and experience a new for of art and expression.

“Don’t be afraid or intimidated by dance. It is a non-verbal art form to be enjoyed without preconceptions,” says Buraczeski. “Every viewer will have a different experience and that’s what it’s all about. It’s a celebration.”

Video by Sydney Giesey and Fernando Valdez
Editing by Sydney Giesey

Seniors, Are You Ready For Graduation?

February 23, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Aida Ahmed

February is coming to an end and for seniors that means less than three months until graduation.

With midterms right around the corner and the usual chaos of the school year, it is no wonder that many seniors have yet to start planning for graduation ceremonies.

Cate Hamilton, coordinator of administration, said that this year more students than usual have not yet filed to graduate.

“In reviewing credit hours alone, we currently have 2,580 students who may be eligible to participate in May commencement, however 850 of those students have not yet filed their Application for Candidacy to Graduate (ACG) with their school of record,” Hamilton said. “That is a lot compared to the number of students who may be on track to graduate. We find that students are not aware that they need to file an ACG in order to participate in commencement weekend activities.”

Hamilton said if students have not filed their ACG but do intend on participating in commencement weekend, they are missing out on communications from graduation related vendors, as well as from the university.


“Students who have completed their ACG will have a much easier time at the Grad Fair coming up on Feb. 24-25, as we will have their information on file and ready, should they need it to order their announcements, cap and gown,” Hamilton said.

With a significant portion of students yet to file, those who have say that its about all they have done in their preparation for graduation.

Senior religious studies major, Alicia Bos, said she filed for graduation back in January when she realized the deadline was quickly approaching.

“I honestly forgot about it until somebody was like, you have to apply,” Bos said.

Other than filing, Bos says she really hasn’t focused on preparing for the ceremonial part of graduation.

“I’ve notified my family but really I’ve just been spending my time job searching,” Bos said.

She also said she hasn’t received or noticed any e-mails in her inbox with reminders of graduation and the graduation fair.

“I think we might have to meet with our advisor but other than that I don’t know,” said Bos.

Meadows degree counselor, Janet Stephens, said that graduating seniors in the Meadows School of the Arts can technically file up to the week before graduation, but it might mean they won’t be able to graduate.

“We’ll file you at whatever point you come in,” Stephens said. “The negative is that you may discover that you have hours left that you don’t know about. You’ll get to participate in the graduation ceremonies but you won’t actually receive your diploma.”

The actual deadline to file for graduation was January 25, so if students find that they are missing some requirements, they are out of luck.

Students who are only missing six hours or less can participate in the ceremonies, but must complete their remaining hours in the summer term. To do this they must file a “Walk” petition with their school of record.

Stephens advises students who haven’t applied yet to come in as soon as possible.

“Nobody is graduating if they haven’t come to see us, so just come in and let us go through your degree progress report,” Stephens said.

But filing to graduate is just the first step. Hamilton says students should still keep in mind the $45 Apply to Graduate Fee that is due by the time they graduate. If it is not paid, graduates will not receive their diploma during the diploma presentation ceremony.

A good resource seniors can use is the May Graduation Fair that is taking place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday Feb. 24 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday Feb. 25 in the Laura Lee Blanton building in rooms 110 and 112.

At the fair, students will receive ceremony instructions and guest information, as well as order their class ring from Balfour and order regalia, invitations and announcements from Herff Jones. Seniors can also order a yearbook and get professional cap and gown photographs taken.

Students with more questions should refer to the May Commencement section of the registrar’s website or visit their degree counselor.

Handy Contacts:
Cox Undergraduate/BBA Office – 252 Maguire / 214.768.3003
Dedman Undergraduate Records Office – 214 Dallas Hall / 214.768.2298
Lyle Undergraduate Advising & Student Records Office – 400 Caruth Hall / 214.768.1457
Meadows Undergraduate Academic Services – 202 U Lee / 214.768.2754

VIDEO: Meadows Symphony Orchestra Concert Features Concerto Winning Performances

January 31, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Bridget Bennett

VIDEO: Meadows Symphony Orchestra from on Vimeo.

The Meadow’s Symphony Orchestra held 2011’s first performance Friday evening in the Caruth Auditorium. The concert was he was well attended by members of the community, SMU students, and friends and family members of the performers.

Michelle Merrill, a Meadows graduate student, began the concert conducting Beethoven’s First Symphony alongside Dr. Paul Phillips.

The next piece featured freshman violinist Abigail Potts performing Maurice Ravel’s “Tzigane.” Potts is Meadow’s Violin Concerto champion, which won her a solo in the weekend’s performances. Potts started playing the violin at age ten; she has already won several competitions and solos, including a solo performance at the Meyerson Symphony Center with The Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008.

Potts passion for her instrument was evident during the performance. In an interview following the concert, Potts said her passion comes from God.

“I like to think that I’m giving back to God what he gave me: a gift,” she said.

Jay Moore, a regular audience member at Meadow’s Orchestra concerts, was particularly impressed with Potts performance.

“She should have a fabulous career if she pursues it; she’s great already,” Moore said.

Following an intermission, Meadow’s graduate student Douglas Stone conducted an opera overture by Giuseppe Verdi. The next Verdi piece featured a solo by senior vocalist Katrina Galka. Galka is Meadow’s Vocalist Concerto champion; she has performed in several Meadows Opera events, all over Dallas, and in Italy.

Galka also performed a work by Andre Previn entitled, “I Want Magic” from “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Her impressive vocals beautifully combined with the orchestra’s instrumentals.

“Les Preludes” by Franz Liszt brought the concert to a close with a booming standing
ovation from the audience.

The Meadow Symphony Orchestra performed this concert again on Sunday afternoon. Their next appearance is in partnership with the Meadow’s Opera Theatre’s performance of “Orpheus” in the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach.

The opera’s opening night is Thursday, Feb. 3 at 8:00 p.m. in the Bob Hope Lobby of the Owen Fine Arts Center.

Dean Bowen Accepts Renewal

January 20, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Dean Jose Bowen has accepted a renewal appointment that will keep him at Meadows for the next five years. (PHOTO COURTESY SMU)

By Mustang Editors

The office of Provost Paul Ludden has announced that Dean José Bowen has agreed to serving as Dean of the Meadows School for a second five-year term.

Bowen arrived at SMU in 2006 from Miami University of Ohio, where he was Dean of Fine Arts. Bowen also is a jazz pianist and performs with a band of fellow SMU faculty members.

“I look forward to working with him and with the members of the Meadows School, as we take SMU and the School forward in our Centennial years,” Provost Ludden wrote in a letter distributed to students and faculty this morning.

Dallas Journalists Come to SMU to Give the Lowdown on What’s Happening to Journalism and The Media

October 26, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Kalyn Harper

Distinguished Dallas journalists discussed the growth of social media and strategies for students to enter into a professional career in journalism at SMU’s Meadows Symposium 2010: The Art of Entrepreneurship Friday.

The panel discussion, “From Citizen Journalist to Professional,” was held by Matthew Haag, writer and blogger for the Dallas Morning News, Linda Leavell, editor for, and Callie Wall, KETK-TV anchor were invited to discuss the growing world of social media.

Linda Leavell is managing editor of The Dallas Morning News website, where she has worked since January 2003. MU graduate Matthew Haag, who interned under Leavell, covers Plano and Plano ISD for The Dallas Morning News. SMU graduate and journalism major Callie Wall was hired by KETK, an NBC affiliate in Tyler, where she co-anchors a 2-hour morning show, KETK Today, and a one-hour midday show, East Texas Live.

Each journalist on the panel were invited to discuss where journalism is going, how it’s changing and what people can expect. Students were encouraged to ask any and all questions about what their careers and perspectives on the future of the media.

The underlying question of the day: What do we, as journalists and future members of the media, need to know to make it?

“Journalism has always been about being first and being the most current,” Wall said.
“This industry is moving so much faster than it ever has and social networking, amongst other things, is repelling it forward.”

The future of journalism is changing because of the incorporation of multimedia, and flexibility is the key to success in the business.

“Flexibility is huge and your willingness to experiment—maybe Skype live to do an interview—you have to be willing to be on the cutting edge to see what works and what doesn’t work to better reach your audience,” Haag, who co-writes a beat blog about Plano on, said.

Journalism students are learning the implications of live blogging—an experience that many older reporters aren’t comfortable with. CoveritLive and other mobile sites are becoming more important because people want to get their news on the go.
Haag uses Twitter and Facebook for reporting, which “adds more social responsibility” to what he does. People expect news from a number of platforms: newspapers, websites, mobiles, iPhone apps, and iPADs.

Now, reporters must know how to distribute news that is valuable in various forms of media because the receipt of information is different. “The immediacy of it all is indicative of how fast things are changing,” Wall said.

After the panel discussion, SMU sophomore and journalism major Erica Penunuri asked Wall, “What makes you happy about choosing this career?”
“Feeling like I’m bringing information to people is a pretty powerful thing, I never go day to day with the same thing going on because news is always changing,” Wall responded.
“It’s not an easy industry to be in, but if you thrive on a changing environment, it’s a fun a one to be in.”

Dancers Kick Off Brown Bag

October 5, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By LaKeisha James

Meadows School of the Arts opened this year’s Brown Bag series, Oct. 4 in the Hope Lobby, celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Students, faculty and families gathered together in the spirit of community support to participate in the presentation.

The showcase selects students in the division of dance to choreograph and run the series. Sets feature lunchtime performances of 10-15 original short ballets, modern and jazz works. The series is primarily student produced with one faculty advisor.

“The show expresses intimacy and is a informal enjoyable experience,” said Jasmine White, a sophomore and one of the dancers from the series.

Eleven groups performed with a one to seven dancers in each group.

SMU dance students Christine Harris, Joshua D. Deininger, Rachel Trippett John Mingle, Jamal Jackson, Allison Leopold and Alex Nowlin, Landes Dixon, Amanda Owen, Tenley Dorrill, Claire Cuny and Ken Bell wore two hats; they choreographed the pieces they performed in as well.

All of the dances embodied unique crafts of dance interpretation. However, one piece choreographed by Jamal Jackson stood out the most, according to the audience’s reactions. “No Contact” showed great execution of body language and using all of the stage.

“No Contact piece had so much strength, I would have rather seen the dancers in red to bring out the dance, but over all I loved it” said Heather Guthrie, a dance coordinator in the Meadows.

Each dance has something different to offer, all expressing artistic and emotional pieces.

Some students, like SMU sophomore Kim Gardner, said they enjoyed the show more than previous years.

“This is my second year attending the Brown Bag series, I enjoyed this year show because I actually had friends in the pieces,” Gardner said.

Brown bag will continue this week on Wednesday and Friday at noon and Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

“Come and support the arts,” White said. “It’s free, fun and a great show.”

Glenn Close Interview: Passion Projects and New Media

September 21, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

By Elizabeth Lowe

From 10 a.m. until late into the afternoon, it was a packed day for Glenn Close on SMU’s campus.

The actress came to speak with theater classes in the Meadows School of the Arts, along with producer and friend Bonnie Curtis.

The Daily Mustang was able to sit down with Close for a brief interview on new media – an art form that seems divergent from her principal discipline of stage acting.

Outside of SMU, Close and Curtis are in Dallas this week collecting the final funds for their latest project: a film adaptation of the play “The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs.”

Close played the role of Albert Nobbs on Broadway back in the early 80s. It’s a role she says she’s passionate about and a film she is excited to co-produce.

Though we chatted with her about the film project, the Daily Mustang also wanted to talk about her “online diet.” What is Glenn Close’s presence online? And where does she see the convergence of film, stage, and new media?

Video: Interview with Glenn Close from on Vimeo.

Video and Editing by Andy Garcia

Actress Glenn Close Visits SMU

September 21, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Actress Glenn Close sat down with the Daily Mustang’s Elizabeth Lowe today after her Q&A with SMU theatre students.
Close spoke with us about her plans to co-produce a new film, “Albert Nobbs.” Here’s the full interview.

Video: Close Call from on Vimeo.

Video: Getting Ready for Glenn Close from on Vimeo.

Next Page »