Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Rose is Set to Bloom Again....Kat DeLapp

The rose is set to bloom again . . .

The musical crescendo crashes to an end with a flourish, the curtain comes down on another great show, and the audience erupts into raucous applause and a standing ovation (as modern audiences are prone to do). As the ensemble appears for their curtain call, many actors get bouquets of roses to mark the occasion. Sound familiar?

Many of the candidates here in the Educational Theatre Department have left such a show hopefully moved by what they just saw or have felt the adrenaline pumping, joy and sense of accomplishment as a performer on stage; only left with their photos, memories, a playbill and perhaps a few flowers to remind them of this moment. The rose is a symbol of success and is given to actors because it stands for excellence; the epitome of a beautiful performance. But have you ever thought about the path a rose has to travel to be on that stage that night?

Annually, the rose bush must endure a rebirth. Gardeners prune back their prize rose shrubs to but a few barren shoots. They force this drastic change on the plant’s system with sharp sheers to reenergize it and enable it to grow anew, only bigger and stronger. However, the key to a beautiful rose isn’t so much in the flower or stem, but in the root structure. If the roots have developed over time to be strong and healthy, the next generation of roses blossom more vibrant and resilient than ever. So it is with our collective of artists in the CCNY Graduate Program in Educational Theatre.

The fall semester is indeed back in full swing on the CCNY campus (can you believe we’re already beginning the sixth week of classes?!)  At the end of last semester we were sad to see our graduates depart, our beautiful roses have moved on to spread their joy and love of theatre to young students. They have left their enduring mark on the program and people in our department. But filling their void are our incoming students who breathe new life and vitality into our program with their excitement, ambition, and innovation (the new shoots on our rose bush).

Along with these new bright and shiny buds are other flowers just starting to bloom. We would like to introduce the new officers of the Educational Theatre Club! The torch has been passed on to four second-year leaders who are enthusiastic and determined to make this year fantastic! They are Laurie Berich, Jessica Rosa Espinoza, Rob Dunn, and me - Kat DeLapp. We will also be mentored by the lovely EJ Lewell and Megan Ludlow, the clubs past officers who laid a solid foundation for us to nurture and build upon this year (along with recent graduate - Christine Gonzolas-DeJohn) They’re taking a step back this year to focus on student teaching, thesis writing, and motherhood ― all time consuming and noble pursuits!

The club has already been very busy this year hosting two successful events for the department. On September 30th, we kicked off this semester with the biannual Welcome Back Pizza Party! We were over-the-moon excited over how many people came to show their support for the program. Faculty, veteran students, new students, and non-matriculated students all gathered together for a relaxing evening of chit chat and connections, all surrounded by the glorious smells of pizza.

The second event on our calendar was a workshop facilitated by guest artist Jeremiah Drake. Jeremiah came to us from Riverside Church where he is a 'Joker' or cultural animator bringing the work of Augusto Boal to the community through the active engagement of Theatre of the Oppressed to evoke social and political change.

If you missed these events, you haven’t missed out on everything the Educational Theatre Department has to offer in 2012-13.  There’s plenty more where that came from. The Ed Theatre Department is in full bloom this year with the number of exciting events and opportunities for our candidates. Here is a rundown of what you can look forward to this year from the Ed Theatre Club.

November 17th - Ed Theatre Dept Fundraising Performance
A fantastic opportunity for graduate students to share their artistry, collaborate & perform together to raise funds for the program.

December -          The Holiday Party
Tis’ the season for all of us to gather and celebrate our hard work at the end of another successful semester in the program
January 19-20-    The Ed Theatre Mini Conference
We will host a series of workshops featuring Jonathan Needlands and other practitioners to further our knowledge and promote CCNY’s Graduate Program in Educational Theatre as a budding new voice in the field.

January-               Spring Semester Kick Off Pizza Party
                                What better way to begin another semester than with pizza!?!

February 20-21- Face to Face Breakfast
                                Face to Face in an arts in education conference in NYC. As a club we will get together beforehand and host a breakfast!

April 27-                Family Arts Day
                                A fun-filled day with the community immersed in theatre, music, dance, visual arts and crafts! Open to the public.

We are also thrilled to introduce a new social aspect to the department this year. The four of us have decided that we genuinely enjoy everyone in our department and that it is a shame that we don’t get to spend time together outside of classes. We will be organizing a Monthly Social Gathering for the department as a way to decompress and get to know everyone in a relaxed, informal way. Essentially it is people coming together at a time that just happens to be around Happy Hour... convenient, right!? The locations will bounce around the boroughs to accommodate the varying schedules of our fellow candidates. Look for the emails!! The first Monthly Social Gathering will be held this Friday, September 28th at the Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens.

As always we will keep the department updated on the Clubs events through emails, but we also strongly encourage our candidates to LIKE us on Facebook (The City College of New York Graduate Program in Educational Theatre) and FOLLOW us on Twitter (@CCNYEdTheatre) to get the latest information about the department and all the exciting news we have to share! You can also find information on the club and these events by checking out the programs website:

So here’s to another great year at CCNY where your talent gets to blossom for the whole world to see! To quote Sondheim in Gypsy, let’s hope “everything’s coming up roses for you and for me” in 2012 -13!

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