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UNCSA Open Dream Ensemble Announces 2013 Cast and Staff

Open Dream Cast to Perform Big Shoes through November 15

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (October 23, 2013) – The Open Dream Ensemble, a professional multi-disciplinary children’s theater group sponsored by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), announces the cast and creative team for the 2013 season.

The Open Dream Ensemble is comprised of professional artists who trained in dance, drama, and music at UNCSA. Using the diverse skills of its cast, Open Dream Ensemble presents original performances to school students throughout the Southeast. Open Dream combines the power of live performances with artist residencies and educational workshops, aligning the content with current school curriculum.

“Open Dream Ensemble shares the transformational power of the arts and creativity reaching more than 190,000 students to date through its state-wide touring and in-school residencies,” said Corey Madden, Executive Director of the Kenan Institute for the Arts.

The Open Dream Ensemble is presenting an original production for the 2013 season called Big Shoes The production features the story of Gordy, a young boy who idolizes his older brother and wants to literally wear his older brother’s shoes. Gordy sets off on a journey and over the course of his travels, realizes that it is okay to be himself and, with that realization, discovers comfort wearing his own shoes.  Big Shoes is geared to kindergarten through fifth grade.

The 2013 Open Dream Ensemble is comprised of the following cast and creative team:

  • Rebecca Nussbaum, General Manager, B.M. from UNCSA School of Music; Master of Music from the University of Maryland (Winston-Salem, NC)
  • Ali Bill, B.F.A. from UNCSA School of Drama, Acting 2010  (Apex, NC)
  • Marissa Byers, high school diploma from UNCSA School of Music, 1996; B.M. from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston; M.A. from Mannes College of Music in New York (Winston-Salem, NC)
  • Wiley Gorn, B.F.A. from UNCSA School of Drama, Directing 2013 (Stone Ridge, NY)
  • Julianne Harper, B.F.A. from UNCSA School of Dance, Contemporary Dance 2005 (Garland, Texas)
  • Cameron MacManus, UNCSA Performing Artist Certificate from School of Music, Trombone 2011; M.M. Jazz Studies and Performance from William Paterson University; B.M. Studio Music and Jazz from University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Pikeville, TN)
  • Chesley Polk, Arts certificate from UNCSA School of Drama, Acting 2012 (Rock Hill, SC)
  • Kristin Schwecke, Fletcher Opera Fellow Professional Artist Certificate from UNCSA School of Music, 2013; M.M University of Wisconsin, Madison; B.A. Carroll University (New Berlin, WI)
  • Haydee Thompson, Arts certificate from UNCSA School of Drama 1994; B.F.A. from School of Drama, Acting 2007 (Mt. Joy, PA and Arlington, VA)
  • Robert Lutfy, Director, high school diploma from UNCSA School of Drama, 2005; Arts certificate from School of Drama, Directing 2010 (Charlotte, NC)
  • Michaela Morton, Playwright, high school diploma from UNCSA School of Drama, 2008; B.A. in French and English Literature from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. (Winston-Salem, NC)
  • Kendra Peine Weeks, graduate student in UNCSA School of Design and Production, Costume Design; B.F.A University of Alabama (Birmingham, AL)
  • Stephen Davis, B.F.A. from UNCSA School of Design and Production, Scenic Design 2013 (New Orleans, LA)
  • Kenneth Florence, Composer, undergraduate student in the UNCSA School of Music, Composition (Raleigh, NC)
  • Kathryn Dunham, Puppet Designer and Builder, graduate student in UNCSA School of Design and Production, Stage Properties; B.F.A. University of South Carolina - Columbia (Greensboro, NC)
  • John Mullican, Graduate student in UNCSA School of Design and Production, Technical Direction; B.A. from Elon University (Boston, MA)
  • Sophie Horsley, undergraduate student in UNCSA School of Design and Production, Scenic Design (Shelby, NC)
  • Bruce Tippette, Composer and Music Director, M.M. from UNCSA School of Music, Composition 2013; B.M. from Appalachian State University, Music Composition/Theory and Music Education, 2007 (Garner, NC)
  • Ted Oliver, Composer, B.M. from UNCSA School of Music, Composition 2012 (Raleigh, NC)

For full biographies for the cast and creative team, please visit www.OpenDreamEnsemble.com.

ABOUT THE THOMAS S. KENAN INSTITUTE FOR THE ARTS

The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts is a creative think-and-do tank affiliated with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts committed to promoting creative leadership and innovation in the arts through partnerships, programs and initiatives. More information on the Open Dream Ensemble is available at www.OpenDreamEnsemble.com or by calling (336) 782-7837.  For more information about the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, visit uncsa.edu/kenan.

ABOUT UNCSA

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit uncsa.edu.

 

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