Asking the Arts

Asking the Arts is a virtual workshop series by UA Theatre and Dance taught by our internationally-recognized faculty and talented graduate students. Each workshop in the series is inspired by an aspect of the performing arts. Through the series, we hope to answer questions about the different areas of the performing arts.

These workshops would allow participants to interact with the faculty and students at the department and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes or in a classroom! All workshops are free of cost. A list of the workshops and information on each of them can be found below. Each workshop will require registration and registrations will close an hour prior to the session. This page will be updated as new workshops are confirmed. Visit the Events Calendar to register for the workshops.

Missed a session? Let us know

Spring 2021

How do you create your own “Discovery?”
February 3 at 4pm CST – Seth Panitch
A conversation about the different strategies actors can take to create their own career. We will cover company creation as well as the development of multiple avenues of attack.

How do I Increase my Mobility?
February 10 at 4pm CST – Tara Lynn Steele
Wiggle your way to increased mobility! Mobility training conditions our instruments to create an intention to alter it’s shape, derive a plan to execute the intention, then adapt to variables as they come. We will simultaneously discuss syncing with our bodies internal rhythm and how that can in turn increase productivity.

How do I get a Musical on its Feet? 
February 17 at 4pm CST – Stacy Alley and Henry Lewers
Musicals are collaborative creations that must be put together by an extensive creative and technical team. How does a stage musical go from a simple concept to opening night? And who does what to get it there?  Join Director/Choreographer, Stacy Alley, and Music Director, Henry Lewers, to gain insight into this journey, specifically as it pertains to their process.

What is Sound Design?
February 24 at 4pm CST – Matt Reynolds
A comprehensive overview of sound design including functions and properties of sound, gain stages, filetypes, troubleshooting, physics, acoustics, copyright, and resources.

How do I Drape a Costume?
February 27 at 10am CST – Lindsey Jones and Jennifer Raineri
Learn the how-tos of drapery. We will discuss the relationships between a draper and designer, and how they interact when building costumes for a show. From presenting a design the steps of asking a designer questions about a sketch, this workshop will teach individuals how to read a sketch as a draper, use resources for research, and the beginning process of draping a garment on a dress form.

How do I style a Costume Wig?
March 6 at 10am CST- George C. Berry
“How do I style a costume wig?” is a workshop led by George C. Berry, an experienced costume wig stylist. His work has been shipped throughout the world, appearing on shows such as Rupaul’s Drag Race, A.J. and the Queen, Off-Broadway and in University Productions. He will lead an intro demonstrating what it takes to prepare a wig for styling, how to style synthetic wigs. He will answer your questions about how to care for wigs and why synthetic wigs are the primary choice for most non-equity productions. He will lead a Question and Answer portion following the demonstration, and will elaborate on any topic that piques the viewer’s interests. Join him for a fun presentation and a look inside the world of fantastical hair!

What is the Enneagram?
March 20 at 10am CST – Caitlin Hicks
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a major spike in the popularity of the Enneagram. Globally, this personality typing tool has been used to deepen self awareness, strengthen relationships, and develop greater access to empathy. How can it be applied to the arts, though, you may ask? This discussion based workshop will walk you through how the Enneagram can inform both theatre and dance and how you can use it to further connect to your artistry.

How do I use Archetypal Action to Explore Character and Objectives?
March 24 at 4pm CST – Matt Davis
By examining acting methods introduced by Michael Chekhov, discover Archetypal Action as a physical expression to explore the thoughts, feelings and desires of the character. Matt is a Certified Teacher of the Methodology of Michael Chekhov through the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium. Be sure to come to the session ready to work with a memorized monologue.

How Does a New Play/Work Get Developed in Regional Theatre?
March 27 at 10am CST – Kyle van Frank
Have you ever wondered how new theatrical works make it from page to stage? After working with New Play Development at Florida Studio Theatre for two years, UA alumnus Kyle Van Frank shares his experiences as an actor, director, and writer of new works. From writing development to in-process rehearsal workshops to readings and performances with audiences, Kyle will walk through the development process of new plays, musical cabarets, and sketch comedy.

How Do I Enhance my Personal Brand?
April 3 at 10am CST – Asterilla Monteiro
Grab a pen and paper and learn the steps to make an impression that lasts. In this workshop, we will explore what a brand is, why it’s important, how to brand yourself effectively in the performing arts, and how to use your brand to your advantage.

Fall 2020 

What is the Technical Side of Costuming?
December 5 at 10am CST – Cami Huebert
An exploration into the technology and production elements that bring costumes to life! From sketch to reality, our very own Costume Technician, Cami Huebert, will give us a behind the scenes perspective.

What is the Technical Perspective of Devised Performance?
November 21 at 10am CST – Matthew Stratton
An exploration on the challenges in technical design through newly devised productions, as well as, pitfalls in the process to hopefully avoid.

What does the Design Process look like for Staging a Ballet?
October 28 at 4pm CST – Tiffany Yeager and Lyndell McDonald
How does the production process of staging a ballet actually work? We will dive into the lighting, sound, props, and all things production with our very own faculty, Lydell McDonald and Tiffany Yeager! Let’s take a look behind the curtain and explore the many production elements of staging a ballet.

How do you Stage a Ballet?
October 24 at 10am CST – Rita Snyder and Lyndell McDonald
Learn about the ins and outs of staging a ballet with Rita Snyder and Lyndell McDonald. From restaging choreography to the costumes, lighting, and everything in between, we will explore what really goes into preparing a ballet.

How Do I Explore Storytelling through Movement?
October 14 at 4pm CST – Kelley Schoger
“Space is a provocation that can propel and shape a piece of theatre.” -Simon McBurney, Complicite

In this workshop we will explore the freeing, creative, and dynamic possibilities of using our body, breath, and space around us to tell a story. Building awareness of our moving selves and how we fill the space around us is a fundamental skill for the actor. Through simple guided exercises and movement improvisations, we will open up space within us and around us in order to discover how movement builds presence, confidence, and storytelling potential. Wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing. No movement or dance experience required! Tuning in from a small space is fine!

What Is Creative Movement?
October 7 at 4pm CST– Dr. Fenella Kennedy
Sometimes when we see dance in a class on stage it can be hard to figure out exactly what’s going on. Why did that movement take your breath away? Why did the piece make you feel the way you feel?
Many professional dancers use a movement analysis toolkit to help them understand movement and talk about their own creative ideas. In this workshop you’ll learn a few of the handiest tools from that kit and use them to create movement of your own. The best part about these tools is that they work for lots of different types of movement and dance, so whatever your background or experience level you’ll’ be able to try making art of your own.
Afterwards Fen will happily take questions about their research, their career, and what it’s like to walk the line between artist and academic.

How Do I Ace a Vocal Audition?
October 3 at 10 am CST – Dr. Luvada Harrison, Dr. William Martin, and Henry Lewers
Participants who plan to sing in the workshop should prepare a song cut they would use in a Musical Theatre Audition. Pre-recorded accompaniment or tracks should be used. Participants will receive feedback on voice, acting, the cut itself, and marking the music.

What Role does Technology play in the Arts?
September 30 at 4pm CST– Randy deCelle
A look at the state of production technologies and the process to create live shows. Examples from theatre, performance art, themed entertainment, and other associated events which are produced live.

Student Organizations – Who, What, How?
September 23 at 4pm CST– The Flourish, Crimson Stage, Alpha Psi Omega
A presentation by the theatre student organizations at UA Theatre and Dance. Learn more about who they are, what they do and how students can get involved!

Student Organizations – Who, What, How? Part II
September 26 at 10am CST– Dance Alabama!
A presentation by the student organization – Dance Alabama!

You will need to register for each workshop and registrations will close an hour prior to the workshop. For more information on the workshops and to register, visit the Events Calendar. Did you miss a session? Let us know and we might be able to send you a recording!

If you have any questions, please reach out to us by email at or by phone at (205)348-7351.