Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

March 2023

  • Assistant Professor of Theatre Gabriel Peña presented a workshop at SETC (the Southeastern Theatre Conference) in Lexington, Kentucky, on March 3. His workshop “Sensing Possibilities: Feldenkrais Method and its Potential Applications for Performers” explored how Awareness Through Movement lessons, often utilized as physical therapy, can be resourceful to actors.

Feburary 2023

  • Professor of English Michael Saenger and Associate Professor of Theatre Sergio Costola collaborated on a book titled Shakespeare in Succession: Translation and Time (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2023). The edited collection brings together scholars from eight different countries and five continents.

January 2023

  • Professor of Theatre Desiderio Roybal designed A Christmas Carol for Penfold Theatre, which was presented at Old Settlers Hall in Round Rock, Texas, December 8-23. The classic radio cast production involved the design of a 1930s radio broadcast venue where five female actors represented all characters while also hand-operating Foley sound effects. The production ran at Old Settlers Hall December 8-18 before moving to the Driskill Hotel in Austin for a two-night run December 22 and 23.

October 2022

  • Associate Professor of Theatre and Associate Dean of the Faculty Sergio Costola presented a paper titled “Lucrezia Borgia and Theatrical Practice of Women in Elite Society” at a conference on Memory and Performance. Classical Reception in Early Modern Festivals sponsored by the Archive for Performances of Greek and Roman Drama of the University of Oxford, England (Parma, Italy, October 13-14, 2022).

  • Associate Professor of Theatre and Associate Dean of the Faculty Sergio Costola presented a paper titled “The Battle of Polesella (1509). Diplomatic Relations and the Performing Arts” at the 10th Splendid Encounters Conference, Beyond the Truth. Misinformation and Credibility in Early Modern Diplomacy (Florence, Italy, October 12-14, 2022).

September 2022

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Amy Rebecca King organized a panel titled “Mixed-Asian Casting” for the 2022 Association for Theatre in Higher Education Annual Conference, held July 28–31 in Detroit, Michigan. Even though multicultural people make up the fastest-growing demographic in America, they are underrepresented in the media. This panel explored the issues that multicultural actors, specifically mixed-Asian actors, experience in the casting industry. King, along with her colleagues Reiko Aylesworth (Southern Methodist University) and Robert Torigoe (University of Hawaii), gathered interviews with actor Amy Hill, casting director Victor Vazquez, and editor-in-chief of Mixed Asian Media Alex Chester and explored the experiences of mixed-Asian actors, as well as the difficulties of casting according to race in film/TV, theatre, and media. The session was very well attended, and the first-time panelists have been invited back to present at next year’s conference.

June 2022

  • Associate Professor of Theatre and Department Chair Kerry Bechtel designed the costumes for a production of The Sweet Delilah Swim Clubat Unity Theater in Brenham, Texas. Unity Theater is a professional theater located midway between Austin and Houston that brings together professional actors, directors, and designers from both cities. The production runs from June 2–19. 

May 2022

  • Theatre students Dane Parker ’22, Campbell Duffy ’22, Jaime Hotaling ’23, Harrison Jones ’23, Oskar Brian ’22, Jessica Workman ’22, Ash Zunker ’25, and Lilly Percifield ’22 performed G.H.O.S.T. Unit: The Live Event on February 26 and advanced from the Region 6 Festival (where they received three Meritorious Achievement Awards for Innovative Theatre Practices, Outstanding Ensemble, and Support of New Work) to the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Cast and crew received the Innovative Theatrical Experience Special Achievement Award. G.H.O.S.T. Unit: The Live Eventis part of Associate Professor of Theatre Sergio Costola’s 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 faculty-student projects.

  • Part-time Instructor of Theatre Yesenia Garcia Herrington ’03 was selected to join the second annual tuition-free program “Commercial Theatre Producing 101” sponsored by Theatre Producers of Color, based out of New York City. The competitive 10-week program provides education, training, and mentorship to aspiring BIPOC producers. She also was invited to participate in a “Women in Theatre” panel at Texas State University on April 30.

Feburary 2022

  • Associate Professor of Theatre and Paideia Director Sergio Costola and Jaime Hotaling ’23 presented a paper titled “Theatre Education at the Crossroads: Lessons Learned during the Pandemic” at the 2022 American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment, held February 10–12 in San Diego, California.

December 2021

  • Professor of Theatre Desiderio Roybal designed a 1930s scenic setting of a fictional KPNF radio station for Penfold Theatre in Austin. The audience experiences the arrival of a small company of virtuosic voice actors who perform multiple roles in the radiocast of A Miracle on 34th Streetusing live Foley sound effects. The load-in and installation was assisted by Southwestern student Dusty Cutler ’25. The production runs December 9–19.

  • Associate Professor of Theatre and Paideia Director Sergio Costola collaborated with Olly Crick on a book to be published by Routledge in December 2021. The book, titled The Dramaturgy of Commedia dell’Arte, examines commedia dell’arte as a performative genre and one that should be analyzed through the framework of dramaturgy and dramaturgical practice. 

November 2021

  • Associate Professor of Theatre Kerry Bechtel was invited to review the recently published book Shoe Reels: The History and Philosophy of Footwear in Film for The Journal of Dress History, published by the Association of Dress Historians. The review appeared in the winter 2021 issue.

September 2021

  • Students Dane Parker ’22, Campbell Duffy ’22, Jaime Hotaling ’23, Harrison Jones ’23, Oskar Brian ’22, and Jessica Workman ’22 performed G.H.O.S.T. Unit: The Live Eventon September 29 for the two respondents of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and received three Meritorious Achievements for Innovative Theatre Practices, Outstanding Ensemble, and Support of New Work. Hotaling and Duffy were also nominated for the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Award. G.H.O.S.T. Unit: The Live Eventwas directed by part-time Assistant Professor of Theatre CB Goodman and is part of Associate Professor of Theatre Sergio Costola’s 2022–2023 faculty-student project.