These talented students made their Broadway debuts in hit productions
Susie Carroll ’19
Head Over Heels,
Christine Shepard ’19
Samantha Williams ’21
Professor Brenda McManus’s children’s book, Drew’s ABCs, doesn’t just teach kids the alphabet. It also taught Pace students the printing and production process of typography work. Awarded Graphic Design of the Year at the International Design Awards, the book was created almost entirely by hand. “We know that learning this process and working in this way is the greatest way to sharpen one’s typography skills,” said McManus.
Actors Studio Drama School alumnus Bradley Cooper stopped by last fall for an informal conversation and Q&A with students. He gave advice on the relationship between their training and their careers, and shared his experience making his Academy Award—nominated film, A Star Is Born.
Celebrating new art spaces on the New York City and Pleasantville campuses, talented students, alumni, faculty, and outside artists displayed their work in exhibitions that expressed their vast creativity and skill.
Pace playwrites are shining bright with impressive and thought-provoking new work. Adjunct Professor of Improvisational Movement and Basic Acting Technique Kate Taney Billingsley ’14, MFA Acting, completed American Rot, a full-length version of her earlier one-act piece, A Man of His Time, which examines the legacy of the US Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857. It’s a fictional look at what happens when Walter Scott, a descendant of Dred Scott, is offered an apology by a descendant of Roger Brooke Taney, the Chief Justice who presided over the abominable decision, which propelled the nation toward Civil War and set the tone for the racism that still exists today. Taney Billingsley herself is a direct descendant of Roger Brooke Taney, and her work has inspired new connections with Scott’s descendants and historic steps toward reconciliation, atonement, and education.
Kate Taney Billingsley ‘14, pictured standing (R) with singer, director, and Academy Award-winning actress Estelle Parsons (L) and the cast from a reading of her one-act play A Man of His Time (seated).
Additionally, Pace School of Performing Arts Assistant Professor Adrienne Kapstein, was commissioned by Lincoln Center Education with Trusty Sidekick Theater Company to create and direct Scurry, a new play for the very young, which premiered in the LC Kids Season on April 6.
Two students also completed unique pieces. Wesley Goodrich ’20, Political Science and Directing, staged a reading of his play, A Good Place to Raise a Boy, as part of the first New Works Festival at Lionheart Theatre in Norcross, Georgia, established by Sam Casey ’19, Directing. The play is a look at the 1955 murder of 14-yearold Emmett Till, which became a seminal event in the Civil Rights movement.
Directing student Jack McManus ’21 wrote the book and lyrics to the musical Sparky, the true-life story of Charles M. Schulz. The 90-minute musical received a developmental reading last November and a fully staged production at the 2019 NY Winterfest.
Several Dyson dance students and alumni joined the line of world-famous Radio City Rockettes in the 2018 Christmas Spectacular production. Pictured (left to right) Back: Maile Maakafi ‘19, Kathleen Laituri ‘18; Front: Elizabeth DuPont ‘18, Kevin Murakami ‘18, Julia Spizzichini ‘19, Brandon Maxwell ‘19, Emily King ‘19.
Next Stop, Hollywood
Fifty short films were presented at the Film and Screen Studies Department’s annual student film screening, held in May at the Schimmel Center, New York City. Students wrote, produced, and directed the films with mentorship from Catherine Zimmer, department chair, and Frank Martinelli, professor.
During the spring semester, students showcased their photographs in Economic Way of Thinking Through Students’ Lens. The exhibit addressed many of the economic concerns that New York City and the United States are currently facing, and images captured issues including inequality, poverty, discrimination, and immigration.
The Confucius Institute at Pace University hosted a performance by the New York Concerti Sinfonietta this spring in the new 41 Park Row art gallery space. The concert included selections from Chinese and Western chamber music.