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Dance scholarship brings legacy full circle

Virginia Chittum taught thousands of children the value of education, discipline and an active lifestyle through her love of dance. One of those children – Debbie West – is now an adult continuing Chittum’s legacy and teachings through a scholarship fund at West Virginia University. 

Chittum was a Preston County native and graduated from Morgantown Business College before receiving professional dance training in New York City. Chittum started the Virginia School of Dance in Morgantown when she returned. 

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WVU theatre students take on Sondheim’s ‘Assassins’

The West Virginia University School of Theatre and Dance opens Stephen Sondheim’s dark, historic, musical satire “Assassins” Oct. 19 – 22.

“Assassins” is a musical theatre piece with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman. The non-linear story tells history through attempted and successful assassinations in United States history. Beginning with John Wilkes Booth and ending with Lee Harvey Oswald, audience members see these crucial characters throughout history interact with each other in limbo as well as exist in their own world and environment.

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Award-winning director leads WVU students for “Topdog/Underdog”

Jade King Carroll is a noted director who has worked in theaters across the country. For the last month, she’s spent her days working with students in the School of Theatre and Dance at West Virginia University. 

A rising voice in the national contemporary theatre scene, Carroll is a Theatre Communications Group New Generations Future Leader Award recipient and was presented the Paul Green Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Professional from the National Theatre Conference and The Estate of August Wilson. 

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Rotating repertory kicks off main stage theatre season

The West Virginia University School of Theatre and Dance kicks off its main stage season with two rotating productions Sept. 21 – Oct. 1.

“The School’s Season Selection Committee chose to start the season with two shows in repertory as an effort to provide complimentary but diverse material to our students and audience,” said Lee Blair, assistant professor and coordinator of the performance program. “’Topdog/Underdog’ and ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’ fulfill our commitment to contemporary works, but with each play being small in cast size, picking just one of those for our season opening would not satisfy student curriculum needs.  We decided to take a big new step and produce a rotating repertory of these two contemporary plays.”

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WVU hosts Men in Dance Symposium

More than 50 people from the United States and the United Kingdom came to West Virginia University June 29 – July 1 for the first national symposium focusing on dance as a lifelong vocation for men and boys.

Men in Dance: Bridging the Gap, hosted by the WVU dance program and the National Dance Educators Association, discussed male presence throughout the history of dance and worked to address how to attract more boys and men to the field.

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A man on a mission

Keith Jackson has been on faculty at West Virginia University for more than 20 years, leading the School of Music as director for the last ten. On July 1, he will assume a new role as interim dean of the College of Creative Arts. 

Jackson will hit the ground running, utilizing the college’s first-class faculty and dedicated alumni and supporters to further substantiate the college as the institution for arts education and cultural influence in the state and region. 

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WVPT productions brings together WVU students, alumni, faculty

When the curtain opens June 21 on West Virginia Public Theatre’s production of Sylvia, it will serve as a reunion and homecoming for an entire cast with roots at West Virginia University. 

The play follows New York empty nesters Greg and Kate. When Greg finds a dog – Sylvia – the couple begins bickering over the dog's effect in their marriage. Written by A.R. Gurney, the comedy playfully discusses love, friendship and man's best friend.

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WVU appoints Paul Kreider as associate provost for undergraduate education

Dr. Paul Kreider, current dean of West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts, has been appointed associate provost for undergraduate education, effective July 1.

In this role, Kreider will provide the leadership and vision to create, implement and manage the strategic direction for Undergraduate Education on all campuses of WVU, including the main campus in Morgantown, WVU Tech in Beckley and Potomac State College in Keyser. He succeeds Dr. Sue Day-Perroots, who is retiring in August after a 34-year career at the university.

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