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With roles on “The Middle” and “General Hospital,” Jen Ray, ’92, is a star

With roles on “The Middle” and “General Hospital,” Jen Ray, ’92, is a star

What started as a three-line part turned into a nine-year recurring role for NIU School of Theatre and Dance alumna Jen Ray (’92). When Jen was growing up in Darien, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, she would often go with her mother who was helping backstage at local high school theater productions. It was there that she first caught the acting bug, sitting stage right during performances, in the laps of high school performers. Little did she know that, a decade later, she would perform for four years on that high school stage. (more…)

Theatre and Dance professor Gibson Cima on protest theater and his research in South Africa

Theatre and Dance professor Gibson Cima on protest theater and his research in South Africa

Gibson Cima is assistant professor of theater history and head of theatre studies in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance.  For several years he has traveled to South Africa to study and research South African Theatre. Cima is presenting the lecture, Future Nostalgias” focused on South African anti-apartheid protest theatre on the post-apartheid stage, Thursday, October 10 at 5:10 p.m. at the NIU Art Museum in Altgeld Hall room 125.

Cima talked to the NIU Arts Blog about his three-week research trip to South Africa this past summer.

Gibson Cima

Gibson Cima, assistant professor of theater history and head of theater studies

I’ve been studying South African theatre since 2006 when I first went visited the country to research Athol Fugard. Fugard is a white South African playwright who collaborated with black actors John Kani and Winston Ntshona during apartheid under very difficult circumstances when it was illegal for them to be in the same room together. Despite these constraints, they made theatre that traveled all over the world and raised awareness about the terrible situation in South Africa under apartheid, a legally sanctioned system of racial oppression that existed from 1948 to 1994.

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NIU alumni create theater company in Kane County

NIU alumni create theater company in Kane County

If you’re ever wondering what happened to the 2019 MFA Acting class at Northern Illinois University, you can find many of them, and a host of other School of Theatre and Dance alumni in St. Charles, Ill. these days.  A talented group of recent alums have established Kane Repertory Theatre in an effort to produce high quality theater for audiences in Chicago’s western suburbs.

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NIU to present a panel discussion on the impact of stereotypes and caricature in the black community on media and pop culture

NIU to present a panel discussion on the impact of stereotypes and caricature in the black community on media and pop culture

Northern Illinois University presents: “Modern Day Minstel: The History of Stereotype and Caricature in the Black Community and the Effect on Current Media and Pop Culture,” a moderated panel discussion, Wednesday, September 25 from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. in the Stevens Buildings’ Corner Theatre (room 249). (more…)

‘Our Lives in Letters’ brings letters from World War II, and their writers, to life

‘Our Lives in Letters’ brings letters from World War II, and their writers, to life

Northern Illinois University will be the home for a one-night performance of an original work created using actual letters between soldiers and loved ones during World War II.  Our Lives in Letters: A World War II Perspective  will be performed in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium, located in NIU’s Holmes Student Center, Saturday, September 7 at 7 p.m.  There is no charge for admission. (more…)