Theatre & Dance

WVU alumna keeps Shakespeare in Pittsburgh

It was 2005 when Jennifer Tober moved to Pittsburgh and took a yoga class in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood. When she came across the natural amphitheater in Frick Park, Tober knew it would be the perfect place to bring to life the works of William Shakespeare.

Tober has been a Shakespeare aficionado for decades. After graduating from West Virginia University in 1995 with a master’s degree in acting, Tober moved to New York City, where she spent 11 years acting in regional Shakespeare productions including Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and New York Classical Theatre. A versatile performer, Tober also acted in television shows, films and as an extra on many sets.

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School of Theatre & Dance Brings in New York Guest Director for "Twelfth Night"

“We’re having a lot of fun injecting [“Twelfth Night”] with a lot of heart,” Atkins said. “It’s been a great way to leave our own troubles outside the theatre and spend a couple of hours immersed in the fun and fantasy.”

Atkins received his MFA in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Drama League Directing Fellow, a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and was a finalist for SDC’s Mike Ockrent Fellowship with Casey Nicholaw and the Gielgud Fellowship with Michael Greif.

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WVU Presents “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare Nov. 21-22 and Dec. 3-8

“Twelfth Night” is the Shakespearian equivalent to a Rom-Com, and this production by West Virginia University School of Theatre & Dance throws in the big hair and big feelings of the 1980s! Don’t miss this rollercoaster ride of love, mistaken identity and 80’s pop music.

Corey Atkins, a guest director coming to the School of Theatre & Dance right off the heels of working in New York, has added a dash of 1980s musical flair to this production.

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School of Theatre & Dance Presents “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Susan Nanus, based on the novel by Norton Juster Oct. 24-27

Based on one of the top 100 children’s novels of all time, “The Phantom Tollbooth” is wrought with imagination, learning and fun for the whole family. Come join us at the Metropolitan Theatre in downtown Morgantown to see this children’s classic come to life!

Published in 1961, with illustrations by Jules Feiffer (who is also known for illustrating “Clifford”) “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster follows a little boy, Milo, on a quest to save the Kingdom of Wisdom after finding a mysterious package in his room. In our version, we follow Mila, a little girl, on that very same journey. She travels from realm to realm with Tock (a large Watchdog with a pension for not wasting time) and The Humbug (a giant, beetle-like creature who likes to make up fantastical tall-tales) learning about logic, imagination and, most importantly, friendship.

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School of Theatre & Dance welcomes Jeremiah Downes

The West Virginia University School of Theatre & Dance is excited to welcome Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Jeremiah Downes to the faculty. He received a BFA from Univeristy of the Arts in Philidelphia and a Masters of Music from Oklahoma City University. He is also a member of the Actors’ Equity Association. Professor Downes has spent more than 15 years as a professional performer on stages alongside some of Broadway’s finest performers.

“I am thrilled that we were able to land a teacher-performer as versatile and experienced as Jeremiah Downes,” said College of Creative Arts Dean Keith Jackson. “As both a teacher and performer he has engaged in activities in large metropolitan and in rural cultural centers. As our music theatre program continues to develop into one of the leading programs in the region, his diversity of experiences will be a great benefit to our students.”

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School of Theatre & Dance presents 'Mud' by María Irene Fornés Sept. 27 - Oct. 6

Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright, María Irene Fornés describes her play, “Mud”, as “an example of what is possible.” Mirroring the impoverished and lonely conditions in the human mind, the West Virginia University School of Theatre & Dance’s season opening production explores the struggle of climbing out of the situation we are born into. Come witness the telling of this incredible and chillingly close to home story Sept. 27-Oct. 6 at WVU’s Creative Arts Center.

“Mud”, first performed in 1983, tells the story of Mae, an impoverished young woman who is working hard to get out of her situation. She is constantly being brought down by her counterpart, Lloyd, a young man content to stay in his situation. Into their world steps Henry, a man whom Mae looks up to because of his knowledge and experience in the world (albeit only a slightly more learned that she). Henry comes to stay at Mae’s, but suddenly becomes one more tether tying her to her place in the mud.

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