News

New School of Communication Faculty

We welcome this academic year a crop of faculty members that are already bolstering our impressive ranks. Among the new faces are theatrical director Shana Cooper, computational journalism expert Nick Diakopoulos, and Jennifer Novak-Leonard, a leading researcher in the arts and creativity and the public’s participation in that realm.

Alumna Louis-Dreyfus’ Big Win

Northwestern School of Communication alumna Julia Louis-Dreyfus logged a legendary win at the 69th Annual Emmy Awards. Not only did she earn her sixth consecutive Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy win, she is now tied with SoC alumna Cloris Leachman for overall wins by a female performer at eight apiece. The other big winner was hilarious host, alumnus Stephen Colbert, and the other talented alumni featured in the telecast. Read on for more details.

AMTP and The Fringe

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The School of Communication’s American Music Theatre Project has joined forces with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to produce two original musicals for the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. Donald G. Robertson Director in Music Theatre David Bell, alongside Northwestern students and alumni, collaborated with the famed European institution on two thematically linked shows about home, identity, ancestry, and war.

69th Annual Emmy Nominations

Northwestern School of Communication alumni are well represented among this year’s crop of nominees: notable among them is record-setter Julia Louis-Dreyfus (C83, H07) and Stephen Colbert (C87, H11), who will be hosting this year’s awards show on September 17.

Renovated Wirtz Center is Dedicated

The Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, the School of Communication’s expansive, state-of-the-art theatrical complex, recently underwent a significant renovation that added two large blackbox spaces, dedicated rehearsal and performance rooms, design studios, and much more. The June dedication of the updated Wirtz Center was attended by benefactors including Rocky Wirtz (C75) and his wife Marilyn.

Nixon's Legacy Continues

In the spring of 1944, Northwestern Theatre senior Agnes Nixon received devastating news, but it was what resulted that launched a legendary career. Last week, a group of students alongside her family traveled back in time to produce the script that changed her life — and celebrate a woman who meant so much to the University.

Speech Team Success

More than 20 years coming, the Northwestern University Speech Team had its best year yet. The team has climbed in rank, hosted a new tournament, boasted a Coach of the Year, and built up a program that is sure to see even more success in 2017-18 — all monumental achievements, especially given its size relative to other competitive universities.

It was an unlikely sell in film development circles — a sweeping original musical in the style of old Hollywood. Yet the dogged persistence of producer and Northwestern alumnus Jordan Horowitz paid off. The film in question, La La Land, was made, hit box office gold, and racked up numerous awards and nominations. Horowitz returned to campus on May 23 to screen his captivating film and participate in a post-show discussion moderated by Stephen Cone.

Late Night Comedy Writers Panel

All due respect to Johnny Carson, but this is the golden age of late-night comedy. Satirists and comedians emerged as the arbiters of truth and reason during a trying political season, and continue to challenge and enlighten viewers — as well as those in power. Four big players in the late-night comedy game came to Evanston to delight a packed house with tales from the inside — and advice for how our students can find their way there.  

Hoffman Visiting Artist

A career in documentary film yields many things: perspective, passport stamps, and footage. Acclaimed filmmaker Kirsten Johnson has much of all three, and given her decades of behind-the-camera-work, a surfeit of the latter — enough to craft an entirely new narrative centered on the beauty, chaos, sadness, and indomitability of the human experience. Johnson, the 2017 Hoffman Professor, screened her film Cameraperson on May 5 at the Block Museum.

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