Students, Faculty, In UTC Theatre Work In Italy

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

When the curtain was raised on three different operas presented in centuries-old theaters around the Italian countryside during the summer, patrons saw the work of three UTC Theatre students and one faculty member.  Stephanie Henderson, costume designer and lecturer at UTC, took two students from UTC to help with costume design, and a third to work on set design.

Ms. Henderson has a little history with La Musica Lirica, an intense, five-week training program based in Novafeltria, a municipality in the Province of Rimini in the region of Emilia-Romagna.

  Beginning in 2011, she spent a few summers as a student intern in costume design for the nonprofit, which selects students and faculty from all over the United States.  In 2013, Henderson became the costume designer and in 2014, she again served in that capacity.

Student performers did not provide their measurements ahead of time, so Ms. Henderson had to improvise for the operas—mindful of different time periods, themes, styles, and a rotating cast. She purchased prom gowns at the end of the season and a lot of muumuus (loose fitting dresses) so they could be reconfigured for use on any body type.  For several weeks, she supervised the construction of costumes and then the operas went on the road, where the responsibilities continued at a feverish pace.

“It was the most intense experience ever,” Ms. Henderson confirmed.  “We usually get a day off to explore a little, but we did not have that opportunity.”

Rebecca Rouse, the UTC set design intern, worked on a variety of pieces, like a piano that was built from scratch, according to Ms. Henderson.  She also did set changes, set up, and helped dismantle the set at different venues.

"The UTC student interns who worked in costume design, Samantha Johnson and Cricket Glenn, were very helpful," Ms. Henderson stated.  "Ms. Glenn’s organizational skills were exceptional and she helped considerably by sewing the many waistbands that needed altering and the many hats that needed designing."

Ms. Johnson, who plans to graduate in spring 2015 and hopes to become a professional costume designer, went to Italy with some valuable experience she had earned at UTC.  She worked as a costumer in the University’s outstanding performance of Sweeney Todd in 2013.  In Italy, Ms. Johnson enjoyed the experience of another culture and type of audience.

“Sometimes as artists that cater to the same type of audiences continuously, we can forget the other worlds that exist in both perspective and concept. It was a bit of a challenge adapting to opera production from theatre production, which doesn’t seem like much of a shift, but it can be rather strange,” Ms. Johnson explained.

It was her first trip abroad, made possible with support from several UTC administrators.  Ms. Johnson was “truly grateful” for the opportunity.

“More than anything, I really enjoyed the experience of it all. I felt utterly in awe of every moment of it. I was able to live and travel in a wonderful place with a teacher that I respect, some great friends from UTC and some of the best friends I could ever hope to make while there, and in the process I was able to discover that there really isn’t much that I cannot find a way to handle. I learned how to be away from the home and the life that I have built for myself, to really be alone and not afraid to be a little stranded,” she shared.

Though the UTC group was challenged to keep the energy level high, Ms. Henderson said in the end it was worth it to see the vision become reality on the stage.

“Theater is not for the faint of heart,” Ms. Henderson said.  “It’s tough.  You can find work, but you’ve got to suck it up and do it.  And when everyone works together, it is amazing to see how it comes together.”


Soddy Daisy's Lucas Rogers Receives Jasper Engines & Transmissions Scholarship

Jasper Engines & Transmissions announced the winners of its annual scholarship program, and Lucas Rogers, a graduate of Soddy Daisy High School was one of them.  Applicants must be dependent children of full-time JASPER Associates.  A rating system of several criteria is used to determine the recipients. Mr. Rogers will attend Middle Tennessee State university ... (click for more)

TWC And Cleveland State To Host Summer STEM Camps

Tennessee Wesleyan College and Cleveland State Community College are pairing up to offer several STEM camps this summer. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and these summer camps will offer students age 8-18 the opportunity to participate in one of several class options. Courses offered include Lego robotics, bio-chemistry, advanced Lego robotics, ... (click for more)

County Jail Employee Charged With Posing As Doctor To Steal Drugs From Local Hospitals

An employee of the Hamilton County Jail has been charged with posing as a doctor so he could steal medicine from local hospitals. Police said Ryan Epperson was wearing hospital scrubs when he was caught in a secure area of Erlanger Hospital on Wednesday by a Walden Security guard. In his pockets were found a crushed bottle of Demerol and a syringe filled with fentanyl. A search ... (click for more)

Tram Up 1st Street That Proved A Dud Also Falters At Auction

Most of the 21st Century Waterfront development was a major success. Except for that non-working tram going up the steep hill at First Street. The city has finally given up on the unusual mode of transit and has placed it up for auction. But there were only four bids submitted and the high was only $92.50. The owners of the firm that built the tram, Outdoor Engineers ... (click for more)

The Truth About The Rising Costs To East Ridge On The Fire Hall Property

Re:East Ridge Has To Pay Unexpected $428,000 On Bass Pro Shop Deal   H ere is the truth about this article.    One section of the article says: " Unknown to anybody on the council today, the agreement limited use of the land to a fire hall."     In a letter dated Dec. 15, 2010, Mayor Lambert asked TDOT officials to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Know About Dowries

There is a lawyer in Kenya who wants to meet President Barack Obama very badly. He knows the President will visit Kenya in July and the noble, young lawyer, Felix Kiprono, is very sincere when he says he wants to marry the oldest of the Obama daughters, 16-year-old Malia. He became interested in Malia in 2008 and can proudly say he has dated no other women since then, it has just ... (click for more)