The School of Communication welcomes this academic year our first-ever cohort of MFA in Acting students, signaling an exciting expansion of graduate curriculum. Eight talented actors from across the country comprise the brand-new class that began coursework on September 24. The actors join graduate artists in a suite of complementary MFA programs, which includes design, directing, writing, and documentary media. These programs will be housed in a forthcoming performing and media arts center in Abbott Hall on Northwestern’s campus in downtown Chicago.
School of Communication faculty and alumni were big winners this year at the American Alliance for Theatre and Education annual conference and awards ceremony in New York City in August. AATE is the premier professional network for theatre educators.
School of Communication’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders launched this summer its first collaboration with the National High School Institute (NHSI), which brought seven Chicago-area high schoolers to campus for a free, weeklong deep dive into Neuroscience and Communication. The program aims to diversify the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology through early exposure and recruitment.
School of Communication alumni once again paint the town purple with a spate of 2019 Emmy Award nominations. Notable among them is Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has the chance to make Emmy history (again) with a win for her role as Selina Meyer in HBO’s Veep, which she also executive produces.
Aymar Jean Christian, associate professor in the Departments of Communication Studies and Radio/Television/Film, was awarded in June a Field Foundation of Illinois grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, honoring him as one of the 14 inaugural Leaders for a New Chicago. Christian is the founder of OTV | Open Television, a Chicago-based distribution platform for web series made by emerging intersectional artists.
During a boisterous, heartfelt, and often funny speech, producer, director, and writer Greg Berlanti (C94) addressed the School of Communication’s 2019 graduates during a historic convocation in the Welsh-Ryan Arena at Northwestern University on June 22. For the first time in recent memory, the Theatre, Radio/Television/Film, Performance Studies, Communication Studies, and Communication Sciences and Disorders students shared a joint convocation rather than being split into two smaller back-to-back ceremonies.
Twenty-eight professionals from businesses and organizations across the Chicago area immersed themselves into navigating negative public relations in the Master of Science in Communication’s (MSC) inaugural Crisis Communication Seminar and Simulation on May 17 in the Frances Searle Building on the Evanston campus. The Crisis Seminar is an executive education hybrid program that culminates with a live-action simulation—a full-day exercise that gives its participants the experience of riding through an organizational crisis that is playing out on multiple public and private platforms.
Art—especially theatrical art—has the unique power to inquire, to challenge, and to help heal long-festering societal wounds. In award-winning playwright and alumna Lydia Diamond’s Voyeurs de Venus, our nation’s ugly racial past and its slow-moving reckoning get a closer examination on a Northwestern stage. Diamond (C91) returned to her alma mater May 26 for a discussion following the final performance of Venus at the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for Performing Arts’ Josephine Louis Theatre. Also joining her was director Tasia Jones and the student cast of the show.
Judy Wajcman, the Anthony Giddens Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, relayed her research into our complicated relationship with time during the 36th Annual Van Zelst Lecture in Communication at Norris University Center on May 22.