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For Immediate Release:
Office of Public Relations
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
285 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940
New Program and New Director in Theater Arts
New Theater Arts Major at FDU, Spanning Three Campuses and Two Countries, Announces Program Director
(January 30 , 2001) A new theater arts major, spanning three campuses and two countries, has been announced at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The unique program uses the resources of both New Jersey campuses of FDU and the University’s campus in Wroxton, England, located only 17 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon.
Students begin their work on the Florham-Madison Campus with foundation courses that set the stage for the more specific, professional courses to follow. After three-to-four semesters at Florham-Madison, theater arts majors will move to Wroxton College, the British campus of FDU.
Dr. Nicholas Baldwin, director of Wroxton College in England, said, "Wroxton is proud of what it can offer to students interested in Shakespeare and theater generally. Its atmosphere and situation provide ideal conditions for appreciating what is best in our literary heritage and most valuable in contemporary drama."
With its acclaimed faculty and its informal connections to the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Shakespeare Institute and the Shakespeare Centre, the British component of the new program emphasizes both the theory and the practice of theater arts.
The Shakespeare Centre houses the archives of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RSC) and special arrangements are made for Wroxton students to have access. Some of the teaching for Wroxton students takes place in Stratford-upon-Avon. Formal lectures are complemented by discussion sessions with actors, directors and designers from the RSC.
Returning to the United States, students complete their degree on the Teaneck-Hackensack Campus, only five miles from New York City, America’s theater capital. Each student is guaranteed a "shadow position" at American Stage Company, the professional theater company in residence on FDU’s Teaneck-Hackensack Campus. American Stage focuses on American playwrights and is the birthplace of a long list of productions that have transferred successfully to New York City — among them, "Forever Plaid," "Over the River and Through the Woods," and "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change."
The FDU program allows a student to concentrate in one of five tracks — acting, directing, design, playwriting, or theory/literature.
Program Director Named
After an extensive international search, Stephen Hollis has been selected to direct this new program. Hollis, originally trained as an assistant director with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London, worked as a resident director with the Citizens Theatre Company in Glasgow before being appointed Artistic Director of Watford Palace Theatre, a leading repertory theater near London.
His directing credits in London include "Stagestruck" by Simon Gray with Alan Bates; "Mr. Kilt" by Ken Ross with Penelope Keith and "Murder in Mind" by Terence Feely with Joan Collins.
In New York City, his recent production of "Blithe Spirit" received excellent reviews and had the run extended. He has directed at the Manhattan Theater Club, the Roundabout Theater, the Hudson Guild Theater and Manhattan Punch Line.
In American regional theater, his directing assignments include the Long Wharf Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Alliance Theater, Atlanta; Coconut Grove, Miami; Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Texas Shakespeare Festival and the California Shakespeare Festival. He served as artistic director of the New Arts Theater, Dallas, Texas.
Hollis has impressive teaching credentials in theater arts, having been a part of the faculty at The Juilliard School in New York City, Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, SUNY Purchase, and the Stella Adler Studio in Manhattan.