Conservatory News and Events | Webster University

Conservatory News and Events

Rhyme CornellThe Conservatory Welcomes Rayme Cornell to the Faculty

Rayme Cornell is the new acting faculty member. She joins the Conservatory this fall. Rayme has been a Professional Actor for over 22 years and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors Equity Association. Rayme is honored to be joining the stellar faculty at Webster. Rayme has been a Professional Actor for over 22 years. Rayme is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors Equity Association. Rayme began her teaching career as an Assistant Professor in the Stage & Screen Acting program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she taught Acting, Shakespeare, Modern Styles, Audition Techniques, and Voice-Overs, in the MFA and Undergraduate Acting program. Click here to read more about Rayme. 

Showcase 20182018 New York and LA Showcases

The Conservatory of Theatre Arts Senior Performance Showcase is Monday March 12, 2018 at New World Stages at 5:30 and 7:30pm. The Senior Portfolio Open House is Monday March 12 at New World Stages from 3-6:30. Alumni reception at 8:30.

alums with LaraAlums Drop By and Help Out 

From Lara Teeter: Building the Gorlok Nation in New York City - Talking up the Senior Showcase week when we’ll do this again and really plugging the 50th Celebration.This was followed by a great weekend of auditions in which many Alums dropped by and sat in the room with me and Bruce.They all appreciated reconnecting and feeling a real sense of community.

Photo of As You Like It set build
As You Like It in the Scene Shop

The second show of the fall semester is William Shakespeare's As You Like It. The design/tech students and their crews are busy preparing for next weekend's technical rehearsals. Pictured here is Edward Tessera photographing his work on a welded tree.

Photo of Hunter Bell receptionHunter Bell Returns to Webster for [title of show]

Alum and author of [title of show], Hunter Bell, returned to campus to join in celebrating the Conservatory's 50th Anniversary. Hunter met with students in the afternoon, saw the show that evening, conducted a Q&A afterwards, and was feted at a reception in the Fine Arts recital room. 

Photo of Ghana theatre group performanceNational Drama Company of Ghana at Webster St. Louis

Photo of Ghana Theatre troupeMembers of the National Drama Company of Ghana presented a workshop for Junior and Senior performance majors, directors, and dramaturgs. The company performed 10 Blocks on The Camino Real by Tennessee William earlier in the day on campus and came to the Conservatory to lead movement and story telling exercises, demonstrate their creation process, and answer student question about how they work at home in Ghana and in international settings.



Photo of Wait for MeEnvisage Theatre Company Presents New Works

Students from the Conservatory and English Department have created an opportunity for new works to receive a staged reading for an audience. In its second year, Envisage presented five new works over two nights. The project gives playwrights, actors, directors, dramaturgs, and designers an opportunity to work on new plays. Pictured above are Andrew Oppmann (l.) and Mitchell Holsclaw in Trace Turner's Waiting for Me.

Photo of Richard III Throws a big partyConservatory Students Present for Shakes38

Senior Directing major Melaina Ricks worked with her classmates to create and present as part of the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis' annual Shakes38 event. Their project was entitled Richard III Throws A Big Party. Shakes38 presents the full Shakespeare canon in various incarnations all over town. 

Photo of Senior Performance ClassSeniors Prepare For New York and Los Angeles Showcases

Every year the entire senior class from the Conservatory head East for the New York Showcase. This year it's at The New World Stage, 340 W. 50th St. The acting performances will be March 14 at 5:30 and 7:30pm. Design/Tech/Stage Management/Directing Portfolios will be on display at 4:30pm. For more information click here.

Photo of Art Museum field tripSt. Louis Art Museum Field Trip

Costume Field trip to the St. Louis Art Museum to see DEGAS, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade Art Exhibit. The St. Louis Art Museum is an easy drive from the Webster Groves campus. It has a wonderful collection of world class artists.

Photo of Phantom of the OperaVisiting Professor and Alum, Sam Fleming, in Playbill

Spring semester guest costume designer and conservatory alum Sam Fleming is quoted in a Playbill article about keeping Phantom of the Opera fresh after 20 years. Sam serves as the shows Associate Costume Designer. In the article, Sam starts off by stating, “The thing about Phantom [is] if you want the costumes to last a long time, you’ve got to use the right fabric.” We are very excited to have Sam with us this semester.

Photo of Accurst

Ashurst Wins USITT Prize

The Conservatory of Theatre Arts​ is very proud to announce that Robert Ashurst, Class of 2017, was recently awarded the W. Oren Parker Award from USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology). The annual award recognizes an outstanding undergraduate scene designer. The recipient of the W. Oren Parker Award must demonstrate excellence in areas such as composition skill, graphics ability, working with a director, craft work, computer applications, rendering, effective use of resources, research and personnel management. Most recently, Ashurst designed the set for the Conservatory’s production of Macbeth pictured here.

Picture of portfolio review

End Of Semester Showings And Portfolio Review

At the end of every semester all Conservatory students present their collective work. The actors, directors, and musical theatre majors perform their work as part of what is called "showings". This allows all of their classmates to share in the good work of the semester. The designers, technicians, stage managers, and directors present their work in a "portfolio review". All of the process ends with a celebratory reception in the studio theatre. The portfolio session is pictured above.

Photo of Dean Service Award recipients

Campbell wins Dean's Award for Service

Senior Dramaturgy major Jared Campbel (c.) is honored by receiving the Dean's Award for Service. The award is given to students who demonstrate outstanding service throughout the campus and their academic careers. Congratulations!

Photo of Peter SargentPeter Sargent, dean of Webster University’s Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, will receive the 2017 Thomas DeGaetani Award, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) announced this week. USITT is an association for performing arts and entertainment professionals. 

The national award is named after the first president of USITT. Past honorees include Cleveland’s Playhouse Square and Keven Myhre, the co-executive Producer at the Salt Lake Acting Company. The award annually honors an outstanding lifetime contribution to the performing arts or entertainment industry.

Dean Peter Sargent Honored

Photo of Christmas Carol rehearsalAssisting on the Rep's Christmas Carol

Junior directing major Gio Bakunawa (r.) serves as assistant director on the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of A Christmas Carol. Directing the production is the Rep's artistic director Steve Woolf. Directing alum Michael Fling is back in the rehearsal hall serving as an assistant director working with the children in the show. 

Photo of Macbeth costume shop workThe Costume Shop Prepares for Macbeth

As the students work to prepare for the fall production of Macbeth, the shop is running at full speed to create clothing for the production. Pictured above is a small sample of the mountain of painting/dyeing/distressing needed to create the world of Macbeth. Photographing the heap of clothing is Maddie Weglarz, sophomore Wig and Makeup Design major serving as Crafts Head on the show.

Photo of Stupid F*cking BirdDirecting Seminar Staged Reading

Junior Brooke Viegut tackled Aaron Posner's Stupid F*cking Bird for her fall staged reading. Casting from among her classmates, the project is given a brief, simple staging. The presentation is part of classwork for the directing program, but it also provides actors with a chance to tackle complex and challenging roles.

Photo of After OrlandoWebster Students Present After Orlando at Arcade Building

A mixed group of Webster students presented ten short plays that combine to create a theatrical event called After Orlando. The project honors the memories of the 49 people killed in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando earlier in 2016. Professor Gad Guterman helmed the project in conjunction with Professor Robin Assner-Alvey from the art department. The performance happened in the gallery of Webster's new downtown campus at the Arcade Building.

Photo of voice classSophomores work with Professor Battles in Voice Class

Students in the Acting/MT programs of the Conservatory, study voice and speech on and off throughout their four years of study. Here sophomore Bradley Fertita works with Professor Joanna Battles on alignment and breath.

Photo of BudapestStudy Abroad in Vienna

Directing students Max Friedman and Melaina Ricks sent some photos from their fall studies in Vienna. Max wrote: "By far one of the coolest experiences in Budapest was sitting on the Green Bridge during the sunset with Hungarian locals. The crowd ranged from teens having a drink to full families spanning multiple generations enjoying the night. We saw so many bridal parties and people celebrating life as we picnicked on the bridge and it was absolutely amazing to experience local culture as the sun set on beautiful Budapest."