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.”


Cleveland City Schools Announce Activities For The Week Of Aug. 31

Cleveland City Schools Board of Education hosts a New Teacher Reception on Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 5:00 pm at George R. Stuart Elementary School. For more information contact Andrea Byerly, 423-472-9571 , abyerly@clevelandschools.org . Cleveland City Schools Board of Education Meeting will be Tuesday, September 1, 5:30 pm at George R. Stuart ... (click for more)

Central High Class Of 1960 To Have 55th Reunion On Sept. 11

The Chattanooga Central High School Class of 1960 is having its 55th reunion on Friday, Sept. 11, at the Mountain City Club, 721 Chestnut St. Mix & Mingle begins at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7:15 p.m .   Cost is $40 per person.  Checks should be payable to CHS Class of 1960 and mailed to Pam Harless Miller, 254 South Crest Road, Chattanooga, Tn., 37404-5521. ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Seeking Court Approval To Sell Trenton Family Practice For $350,000

Hutcheson Medical Center, continuing to make cost-cutting measures, is seeking court approval to sell the Trenton Family Practice at Trenton, Ga., for $350,000. Ted Rumley, county executive for Dade County, said the medical center is so important for the county that officials have arranged for the Dade County Industrial Development Authority to buy it. He said arrangements ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Says Chattanooga Shooting Was Illustration Of "Islam Terrorism"

"Communism with a god.” That’s how Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond sees Islam.   He also said Muslims are aiming to overtake Tennessee. He said, "They want Tennessee. They are building mosques as fast as they can."   In an address to the Pachyderm Club on Monday, Sheriff Hammond spoke again to the community on the effects of radical Islam and the dangers ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My September Garden

As we begin the annual pilgrimage into fall, I walk through my garden and, in the spirit of Orchids and Onions, I see colorful mums starting to flower at the same time dried-up weeds are begging to be pulled. So as we turn the calendar to September, here are some things that catch my eye: A COLORFUL MUM to Chattanooga State for unveiling the Michael Hennen Hospitality Center in ... (click for more)