Oct. 27, 1994
Vol. 14, No. 5

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    Joint appointments announced at Court, University theaters

    In a new cooperative venture between the University's professional and student theater groups, two joint administrative posts have been created at Court Theatre and University Theater.

    Curt Columbus has been appointed Academic Coordinator/Artistic Consultant for University Theater and a member of Court Theatre's Artist Council, and Gavin Witt (A.M.'91) has been appointed University Liaison/Dramaturg.

    "We are excited about this relationship with UT," said Charles Newell, Artistic Director of Court Theatre. "It's a first and a natural, and the benefits promise to enhance programming for everyone."

    "This is a great partnership," said Bill Michel, Director of University Theater. "The overall educational experience of our students will be improved by the association with Court Theatre's professional theater environment."

    Columbus will coordinate the nine studio-theater courses offered at the University, and he will work with Chicago-area theater professionals and the University's faculty to develop the College's drama field in the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities. He also will offer artistic guidance to students who produce shows under the auspices of the student-run University Theater.

    Columbus is also artistic associate at Victory Gardens Theater, an instructor in the Victory Gardens Professional Training Center and a free-lance director. He is perhaps best known for his direction of Earth and Sky and The Death of Zukasky on Victory Gardens' main stage. He translated Dear Yelena Sergeevna into English for Moscow's Spartacus Square Theater's Chicago performances, and most recently he developed and directed Paula Killen's The State I'm In at the Goodman Studio Theater.

    Witt, a Chicago actor and former assistant to Court Theatre's arts-in-education director, will work with Columbus to develop joint projects between the two theaters and identify internship opportunities for University students that will offer experience in a professional theater environment. He will also teach the University's Performance of Shakespeare course. As the first dramaturg in Court's history, Witt will perform literary, historical and cultural background research for Court produtions. He will also work directly with Artistic Director Charles Newell to develop and research new adaptations and translations of classic texts for performance at Court Theatre.

    Witt has performed with a variety of local and regional professional theaters as well as on campus with UT, where he recently appeared as Proteus in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. He is a graduate student in English Language & Literature and is studying sexual violence in the drama and society of Renaissance England.