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Gift from Syracuse University alumna and trustee Arielle Tepper will establish the Tepper Center for Careers in Theatre in SU’s Department of Drama
Gift from Syracuse University alumna and trustee Arielle Tepper will establish the Tepper Center for Careers in Theatre in SU’s Department of DramaMarch 03, 2001Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
A generous gift from producer and director Arielle Tepper ’94, a Syracuse University alumna and member of the University’s Board of Trustees, has established the Tepper Center for Careers in Theatre in the Department of Drama in SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The Tepper Center will provide opportunities for students to develop specific strategies for pursuing their career goals in the entertainment industry. Activities include: ? a three-credit professional practices course, which began in January and brings well-known professionals from New York City and Los Angeles to the classroom to help students develop personal and professional goals; ? a lecture series, which is set to begin in Fall 2001; ? a New York City senior orientation field trip, during which students will spend a week meeting New York City agents, producers and directors during Spring Break (March 12-16); and ? a “New York City Showcase” April 9 at the New Dramatists, 424 W. 44th St. in Manhattan, during which students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their talents for agents, managers, casting directors and others from the entertainment industry. A reception in Tepper’s honor will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. March 13 at the Joseph I. Lubin House, 11 E. 61st St. in Manhattan. A short program will follow the reception. The event is open to the media. “The new center, which may be the first of its kind in an undergraduate professional theatre program, will provide an invaluable resource for students as they prepare for their transition to the professional world,” says James A. Clark, director and chair of the Department of Drama. Tepper is co-producer of “A Class Act,” which enjoyed a sold-out run at the Manhattan Theatre Club and previewed at the Ambassador Theatre on Broadway Feb.14. The show will open March 11. Her production of James Joyce’s Tony Award-winning musical “The Dead” recently completed performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles and Broadway’s Belasco Theatre. The show received five Tony nominations, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Lucille Lortelle Award, four Outer Critics nominations and four Drama Desk Award nominations. She also produced the long-running, off-Broadway show De La Guarda’s “Villa Villa,” which has been presented in London and Las Vegas. Tepper’s other Broadway productions include John Leguizamo’s “Freak” and Sandra Bernhard’s “I’m Still Here … Damn It.” Tepper recently signed a first-look, two-year deal for film and television with USA Films. Her first feature film, “30 Days,” premiered at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival and was released nationally in September 2000. The Tepper Center is under the direction of Lisa Nicholas-Lobo, SU adjunct professor of acting. Nicholas-Lobo, who started teaching at SU in 1998, is a professional actor, director and producer who spent more than 10 years working in New York City. Nicholas-Lobo’s acting credits include originating the title role in Jean Claude Van Ittalies “Master and Margarita.” In addition to her stage credits, she has worked in several feature films and has been seen on prime time and daytime television. In addition to teaching classes in acting and scene study for drama majors and minors, Nicholas-Lobo co-directed and performed in the workshop production of an original adaptation of Anton Checkov’s “The Duel” in the Drama Department’s Black Box Theatre. She also was the assistant director of a Drama Department production of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure.” Nicholas-Lobo is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, the Equity Actors Association and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The Department of Drama is one of four divisions of SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The department has a unique affiliation with Syracuse Stage, one of the outstanding Equity theater companies in the country. Clark is the producing director of the professional company, and Robert Moss is the artistic director. The department offers bachelor of fine arts degrees in musical theatre, design/technical theater and drama (with emphasis in acting, stage management or technical theater), and a bachelor of science in drama. Professional theatrical training at Syracuse University dates back to the arrival of director Sawyer Falk on campus in 1927. Subsequent departmental leaders include Jerry Reidenbaugh ’49 (1961-73), Arthur Storch (1974-92) and Clark. Alumni of the Department of Drama include Sheldon Leonard ’29, Jerry Stiller ’50, Peter Falk G’53, Suzanne Pleshette ’58, Frank Langella ’59, Vanessa Williams ’85, Aaron Sorkin ’83, Heather Paige Kent ’90 and Taye Diggs ’93.