Troy University’s Theatre and Dance Department is getting the opportunity to work with a nationally recognized performance company later this month.
Troy University has been selected to host Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, a performance company based in Minneapolis, for a weeklong residency. This on-campus residency is being held to commemorate SPDT’s 35th anniversary.
The company selected Troy through a competitive application process and will lead Troy theater and dance students in a series of workshops and collaborations through the week.
Debra Hicks, dance coordinator for Troy theater and dance, said she was excited for students to be able to collaborate with professionals in their field.
“We really are excited to offer our students the educational experience that Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater can provide them,” Hicks said. “It’s not often that university students get to spend a week working closely with and learning from a group of professionals of this caliber.”
SPDT has been widely acclaimed both by The Kennedy Center and the National Endowment for the Arts for their work in educational and community theater. The company plans to attend classes for theater and dance students to share their educational skills with the students.
SPDT also intends to extend their teachings to the theater students of local high schools and to aid in Troy’s Big Read project during their residency.
Students said they are enthusiastic about the company’s residency.
“As a theater education major, I’m overjoyed to have the opportunity to work with a company that emphasizes the importance of educational theater,” said Payton Buchin, a sophomore theater education major from Dothan. “They’ve provided so many educational opportunities for so many communities.”
The company is also well known for its diverse topics in performance. It has worked with The National Civil Rights Museum, a multitude of colleges and high schools, and performance spaces in other countries. SPDT has a wide range of opportunities for the artists they employ.
Hicks said she welcomes the diversity. “SPDT will expose our students to more imaginative ways to work and perform in both theater and dance.”
The company will also be working with Michigan State University and James Madison University. The company will begin its residency on Feb. 22, and proceed to lead workshops in acting and dance later in the following week.
To close out its residency, SPDT will perform free for the public in Claudia Crosby Theater on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.