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Backstage: "The College Audition: Part I"

10/10/2017

The College Audition: Part I (Backstage)

If you’re a high school junior, senior, or the parent of either, it’s officially the time of year to begin the task of researching, applying to, and preparing for the college audition process. It can sometimes (most times) feel like a daunting task. You have so many questions. There is so much pressure. There are so many schools. There are very few slots.

Our first question is: Are you (as either young artist or parent of one) ready to make the commitment to pursuing a life in the creative arts? Are you prepared to study for a field in which there is no guarantee of financial success or stability? Ever? Scary, huh?

If you’re serious about this, there are five steps to take when starting the process.

FIRST: Make a list of questions.

  1. What do I want out of an arts training program?
  2. Do I want an urban or suburban campus?
  3. Do I want conservatory or liberal arts training? What’s the difference between the two?
  4. What are the top schools in my field? (i.e. acting, musical theater, playwriting, etc.)
  5. How many students does the program admit?
  6. Who’s teaching within the program?
  7. What industry connections do they have?
  8. Is there a New York showcase? A Los Angeles showcase?
  9. Am I guaranteed a place in the showcase or is it by admission?
  10. Does the program support internships, independent studies, etc.?
  11. Are there performance opportunities?
  12. When am I allowed to audition?
  13. Does the program have a “must-cast” policy or could I go through four years not guaranteed an opportunity?
  14. What theaters are around the school? Do I have the ability to see other shows while there?
  15. And any other question you may have.

You don’t have to provide definitive answers to the more subjective questions but these are things you really should consider.

SECOND: Visit the website for each school. 
Narrow down your choices. Do you like the vibe? Do the production photos excite you? Is the philosophy of the school one you can adhere to for four years?

Not every school is right for every student, especially when you’re studying something as vulnerable as creative arts.

READ: 25 Amazing Acting Colleges You Should Know

THIRD: Visit the school.
It’s very easy to imagine yourself getting into a top program, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll feel connected to the faculty, other students, and location. Every school has a cultural identity that attracts students who feel inspired by the environment, so it’s important that you see yourself at assimilating and thriving within the culture.

All schools offer tours. Some will allow you to observe classes or, at a minimum, talk with other students and faculty. Take advantage of those opportunities.

Additionally, do you respond positively to the environment around the campus?

FOURTH: Create a folder and master Excel document.
Start with a timeline of deadlines and audition dates. Each program will have its own audition requirements and you want to make certain you’re preparing the correct material for each school. Some will want two contemporary monologues; or a contemporary and a classical; or two contrasting songs and a contemporary monologue. See: confusing. Write it all down.

If there’s content on a website that confuses you, make a list of questions and follow up with a call if necessary. While you might have friends who have gone through this process, avoid hearsay and get the information directly from the school. Being armed with research can make a huge difference not only for your own anxiety but also in the overall quality of your audition.

Example: At Pace Performing Arts, we specifically ask for one contemporary monologue for the acting program. The musical theater program requires one monologue, contemporary or classical, and two contrasting songs.

FIFTH: Consider summer programs.
Many of these departments run summer programs. Find out if that’s the case for schools you’re interested in and whether they’re taught by the actual faculty. If so, apply and audition!This will give you a glimpse as to what your life would be like on campus.

This process will at times be daunting but take charge of what you can control and it’ll lead to much less anxiety. It might even become enjoyable or fun!

Grant Kretchik is the associate director of Pace University’s School of Performing Arts, the head of its BFA acting program, and a Backstage Expert. For more information, check out Kretchik’s full bio

JV Mercanti is the head of acting for the musical theater program at Pace University’s School of the Arts, author of the monologue book series, “In Performance,” and a Backstage Expert. For more information, check out Mercanti’s full bio!

Read the article.

 

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Huffington Post: "Puerto Rico After Maria: When Resiliencia Humana Is The Only Resilience That Remains"

10/10/2017

Puerto Rico After Maria: When Resiliencia Humana Is The Only Resilience That Remains (Huffington Post)

In the days leading up to and after Hurricane Maria, Sarah Gabriella Pereira lived by her cell phone. She had learned the hard way that a even a moment’s hesitation might disconnect her from home, thanks to Puerto Rico’s now frail cellular system. She abruptly left her Pace University classes without warning to talk to her mother. “Sometimes, I’d see I had a missed call, and I would start crying. On my birthday, the day before Maria landed, I received none of my usual family calls.” They were anxiety-filled days.

“Resiliencia” is hand-engraved into the silver ring that every day adorns the left hand of the international management major at the university’s Lubin School of Business. She was unfamiliar with the word when she found the ring a year and a half ago in a display of homemade jewelry back home in the city of Caguas. “It captured my attention,” she said. “When I learned what it meant, I understood. I identify with it.”

Caguas, in the central eastern part of Puerto Rico, endured more than three feet of rain during the historic storm that began hammering the island on Sept. 20 with 155-mph wind gusts. Shortages and ruined services made living conditions dire. Power outages are the norm. Like the rest of the island, the local supply chain was crippled by fuel shortages, damaged highways and logistical confusion.

Keeping up with the purchase of everyday necessities is a challenge. In the aftermath, Sarah’s mother, named Sarah as well, could only withdraw $100 at a time from the local bank teller or the ATM, if it were operational. Bank lines were long and she had to make money last. Food is still dear and neighbors take turns preparing meals for each other. “It is economical. They never know when the money is going to run out. My mom said she has been eating cereal. They can’t even eat ham and cheese sandwiches because there is no place to store ham or cheese ― ice is necessary. They have to stand in line for ice.

Sarah says resiliencia is integral to Puerto Rican culture and her upbringing, the reason the island and its people will survive and thrive. “We are literally a hopeful and happy people. Obviously, many back home are desperate now and they have reason to be. But we will do the impossible and have a Puerto Rico that is even better.”

Resilience is also a favored word among climate and security experts, but cold and technical in its application. It is discussed at a distance from disasters ― in conferences, meeting rooms, and agency strategy sessions. Resilience is about models that theoretically assure systems are securely in place, responders are prepared to mobilize, and resources are at the ready. That is, until a weather bomb like Hurricane Maria explodes in people’s lives, leaving only human resilience to stand and fight.

The Department of Homeland Security says resilience requires “the shared responsibility of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens.” But what happens when government and the private and nonprofit sectors fail in their shared responsibility, are rendered as helpless as the family short on food because it hasn’t access to its own money?

“No matter how much we plan, without human resilience we don’t survive,” said Professor Joseph Ryan, chair of Pace University’s masters program in Management for Public Safety and Homeland Security Professionals. “When Tom Ridge [Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush] spoke at Pace University’s first resiliency conference about the 2010 National Security Strategy, he said we will achieve resilience through public private partnerships. The private sector has 90% of the resources and no authority. Government has few resources and all the authority. They have no idea what a public private partnership is. And if we are really going to achieve resilience, we need to work together.”

Read the full article.

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The Ledger: "Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center policy keeps relatives in dark about Polk County Jail inmates’ condition"

10/09/2017

Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center policy keeps relatives in dark about Polk County Jail inmates’ condition (The Ledger)

Inmates are actually the only population group in the United States with a constitutional right to health care, said Kimberly Collica-Cox , an associate professor of criminal justice and security at Pace University in New York. That right was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1976 case Estelle v. Gamble.

Courts have defined a prisoner’s “serious medical need” as one that is “so obvious that even a lay person would easily recognize the necessity of a doctor’s attention,” said Dr. Isaac Alexis, who was worked as a physician in prisons in Michigan and West Virginia.

“The states try to interpret what that adequacy entails, resulting in tens of thousands of lawsuits annually in this country,” Alexis said.

Collica-Cox said guidelines on how to provide medical care vary by state and even within states can vary by facility.

“Jails do monitor the health needs of inmates, and some do so better than others,” Collica-Cox said. “It is very similar to seeing a physician on the outside, where sometimes you receive quality medical care and other times, not so much.”

Jails and prisons can be held liable for medical neglect through the “medical indifference standard,” Collica-Cox said, meaning officials knew an inmate required medical attention but opted to ignore it. Deliberately disregarding signs of substantial risk to an ailing inmate would be a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which forbids the “unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.”

Prisons generally provide a higher standard of medical care for inmates than jails do, said Bruce W. Cameron, a counselor in Texas and a retired federal prison official.

“Jail is a place where people come in and out and don’t really serve time,” Cameron said. “Therefore, the health-care system for a jail mirrors that process and is not as intense as it would be in a prison.”

Cameron said jails train their staffs to recognize certain symptoms of medical episodes, such as heart failure and stroke.

Although it might seem logical for jail officials to notify family members when an inmate is hospitalized, Collica-Cox said they face no legal obligation.

“There is no constitutional right to visitation, and even if there were, correctional facilities can restrict an inmate’s rights as long as the restrictions are based on a reasonable penological objective,” Collica-Cox said. “In this case, there could be concern for contraband and that could be enough to justify denial of a hospital visit. But since it is not a constitutional right, no formal justification is really needed.”

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 – HIPAA – is another barrier, unless the inmate has signed a privacy-rule waiver allowing medical authorities to share information.

Read the full article.

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Broadway World: "Lilla Crawford, Sydney Lucas to Headline 'AMERICAN SCOREBOARD' Reading of Betsy DeVos Hearing"

10/09/2017

Lilla Crawford, Sydney Lucas to Headline 'AMERICAN SCOREBOARD' Reading of Betsy DeVos Hearing (Broadway World)

AMERICAN SCOREBOARD: The Trump Administrationwill present the next installment of its series of live dramatic political readings on Monday, October 23rd from 7:00 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. at Pace University's Schimmel Center, 3 Spruce Street in downtown New York City.

This month's reading will feature: Lilla Crawford (Annie) as Senator Patricia Murray, Syndey Lucas (Fun Home) as Senator Elizabeth WarrenSam Poon(The King and I) as Senator Bernie Sanders, Nicholas Barasch (Big River, 2017 Encores!) as Senator Al Frankin, Edward O'Blenis as Senator Lamar Alexander (Law & Order SVU), and Tracy Shayne (Bronx Bombers, Chicago) as Betsy DeVos.

Ripped directly from the U.S. Senate Chamber in Washington DC, AMERICAN SCOREBOARD: The Trump Administration series explores, from an all new perspective, the serious issues facing President Donald Trumpand the America public today. Conceived and produced by Fran Kirmserand Christopher Burney, AMERICAN SCOREBOARD presents one hour verbatim readings of Congressional hearing transcripts in a format that can't be found on C-SPAN or CNN. The readings are FREE and open to public.

Coinciding with the Fall 2017 Semester and in cooperation with Pace University's Office of Government & Community Relations, AMERICAN SCOREBOARD's fourth installment features the confirmation hearing of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. U.S. Senators represented in the hearing will be portrayed by current students and recent graduates including young professionals from Broadway productions, colleges and universities, including Pace University, and the New York City Public School System. All Actors appear courtesy of Actors Equity Association.

AMERICAN SCOREBOARD's first readings were presented at HB Studio Players Theater on January 24, 2017, reaching back into 2016 on the topic of corporate fraud with The Wells Fargo Hearing Panel 1. The second reading, The Tom Price Confirmation Hearing - Panel 1, was presented March 1, 2017, and the third installment on The Investigation of Russian Interference in the 2016 Election with Clint Watts was presented on June 26, 2017.

Read the full article.

 

 

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Annie’s Lilla Crawford Cast as Senator Patricia Murray Joins the American Scoreboard Ensemble Alongside Fun Home’s Sydney Lucas as Senator Elizabeth Warren

10/09/2017

Annie’s Lilla Crawford Cast as Senator Patricia Murray Joins the American Scoreboard Ensemble Alongside Fun Home’s Sydney Lucas as Senator Elizabeth Warren

    

 

 

Annie’s Lilla Crawford Cast as Senator Patricia Murray Joins the American Scoreboard Ensemble Alongside Fun Home’s Sydney Lucas as Senator Elizabeth Warren

NEW YORK, NY – October 9, 2017 – AMERICAN SCOREBOARD: The Trump Administration will present the next installment of its series of live dramatic political readings on Monday, October 23rd from 7:00 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. at Pace University’s Schimmel Center, 3 Spruce Street, downtown New York City featuring; Lilla Crawford (Annie) as Senator Patricia Murray, Syndey Lucas (Fun Home) as Senator Elizabeth Warren, Sam Poon (The King and I) as Senator Bernie Sanders, Nicholas Barasch (Big River, 2017 Encores!) as Senator Al Frankin, Edward O’Blenis as Senator Lamar Alexander (Law & Order SVU), and Tracy Shayne (Bronx Bombers, Chicago) as Betsy DeVos.

WHO and WHAT: Ripped directly from the U.S. Senate Chamber in Washington DC, AMERICAN SCOREBOARD: The Trump Administration series explores, from an all new perspective, the serious issues facing President Donald Trump and the American public today. Conceived and produced by Fran Kirmser and Christopher Burney, AMERICAN SCOREBOARD presents one hour verbatim readings of Congressional hearing transcripts in a format that can’t be found on C-SPAN or CNN. The readings are FREE and open to public.

Coinciding with the Fall 2017 Semester and in cooperation with Pace University’s Office of Government & Community Relations, AMERICAN SCOREBOARD’s fourth installment features the confirmation hearing of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. U.S. Senators represented in the hearing will be portrayed by current students and recent graduates including young professionals from Broadway productions, colleges and universities, including Pace University, and the New York City Public School System. All Actors appear courtesy of Actors Equity Association.

AMERICAN SCOREBOARD’s first readings were presented at HB Studio Players Theater on January 24, 2017, reaching back into 2016 on the topic of corporate fraud with The Wells Fargo Hearing Panel 1. The second reading, The Tom Price Confirmation Hearing - Panel 1, was presented March 1, 2017, and the third installment on The Investigation of Russian Interference in the 2016 Election with Clint Watts was presented on June 26, 2017. 

WHEN and WHERE: Thursday, October 23rd, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. at Pace University’s Schimmel Center, 3 Spruce Street, downtown New York City. Pace University is adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge, opposite City Hall. The production runs 80 minutes, with no intermission.

Media RSVP Required: Cara Cea, Office: 914.773.3312/Cell: 914.906.9680, No later than Noon on October 23, 2017. For General Public Reservations Call: 212.554.3431.

Lilla Crawford

Lilla Crawford is a 16 yr-old Brazilian-American actress.  She began acting, singing and dancing at a very young age and made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award-Winning musical Billy Elliot.  She then booked the title role in the Broadway revival of Annie against 5,000 actresses who auditioned in a nationwide search.  Lilla left to make her film debut opposite Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep as Little Red Riding Hood in Disney's "Into the Woods".  She is currently starring in the new Nextflix sketch comedy series, The Who Was Show.  You can hear Lilla's iconic voice as the lead character in Nick Jr.'s animated series Sunny Day.  Lilla also enjoys writing original scripts for TV episodic and musicals, performing for charity benefits, and spending time with her family and friends.  Her sister, Savvy Crawford, is also a Broadway and screen actress.

Sydney Lucas

Tony nominated for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Small Alison in Broadway’s Fun Home. Other theater work includes The Secret Garden at Lincoln Center, Hollywood Arms and Amelie. Film/TV: Dude, Girl Most Likely, Law & Order: SVU, How & Why, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Saturday Night Live.

About AMERICAN SCOREBOARD series producers: Fran Kirmser is a two time Tony Award winning producer. In 2008, off the heels of the financial crisis, Kirmser conceived and produced a sports series for stage to explore leadership and competition beginning first with Lombardi. Christopher Burney is the Artistic Producer of Second Stage Theatre where he has worked since 1996. He teaches at Columbia University in the Graduate School of the Arts. https://www.americanscoreboard.com/

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its College of Health Professions, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Lubin School of Business, School of Education, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.  http://www.pace.edu/

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Peace at Pace: Pace University Students and Professors See Lifelong Dream Realized as the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Wins Nobel Peace Prize

10/06/2017

Pace University Students and Professors See Lifelong Dream Realized as the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Wins Nobel Peace Prize

NEW YORK, NY, October 6 – Pace University students along with their professors Matthew Bolton, PhD, and Emily Welty, PhD, have been working intensely for three years on negotiations of a nuclear weapons ban treaty with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) that today was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017.

ICAN has led the way in recent years in campaigning for an international treaty to make nuclear weapons illegal. The Nobel Prize adds momentum to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted at the United Nations by more than 120 countries on July 7 of this year, and should help the process of ratification, with 50 more countries needed. The treaty makes nuclear arms illegal and calls for assistance to victims and remediation of environmental damage.

Welty is the Vice Moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission on International Affairs which is a member of ICAN and Main Representative to the United Nations for the International Peace Research Association. Her focus has been primarily been on mobilizing communities of faith to speak out on nuclear disarmament.

Bolton was part of a specific ICAN team that advocated successfully for the treaty to include victim assistance and environmental remediation provisions, as well as obligations on states to provide international cooperation and assistance to countries affected by nuclear weapons use and testing.

 “ICAN’s Nobel Peace Prize is a vindication of an approach to global peace and security that centers on human rights, humanitarianism and the environment, on the people most affected by violence,” said Bolton. “Nuclear weapons use and testing has had catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences. The horrifying record of accidents and close calls show that there are no safe hands for nuclear weapons. ICAN showed the way that – like other weapons of mass destruction and inhumane weapons – nuclear weapons should be banned. The nuclear weapon prohibition treaty is the most significant shift in nuclear politics since the end of the Cold War and it is wonderful that the Nobel Peace Prize recognized the thousands of people around the world who made it happen.” Bolton participated in a press conference a year ago with the ICAN director at the UN Correspondents’ Association.

Terrie Soule and Sydney Tisch are juniors at Pace University majoring in Peace and Justice Studies, housed in Pace’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, and just two of about 20 students who have been involved in this disarmament work. They are interns at the World Council of Churches, an ICAN partner in nuclear disarmament. The students made advocacy calls to all of the diplomatic missions who had voted in favor of the treaty at the negotiating conference this summer and urged states to sign and ratify the treaty when it opened for signature on September 20.

In speaking about a previous project, Tim Wright, ICAN’s Asia-Pacific director, applauded Pace’s peace studies initiatives. “Pace is one of a small number of academic institutions – anywhere in the world – that takes disarmament education seriously. Indeed, it is a leader in the field, teaching the theory and practice of disarmament in a way that is both meaningful for students and beneficial to society,” said Wright. “More institutions should follow its example.”

Pace is in good company. Other institutions heavily involved in these negotiations include the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic, The Program on Science and Global Security (SGS), based at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and The James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at the Monterey Middlebury Institute of International Studies. The treaty’s preamble recognizes the contribution of academics and the “importance of peace and disarmament education.”

“The Pace University community can be proud of their participation in the advocacy that led to the nuclear weapons ban,” said Bolton. “Students gave many hours to this Campaign as interns, volunteers and in civic engagement assignments. Faculty advised the campaign, engaged in advocacy and offered input based on their research.”

Welty and Bolton are a married couple who teach at Pace and made a conscious decision together to devote their lives to promoting peace and disarmament. Their life’s mission was featured in a video this year when they were nominated for a national Jefferson Award.

Pace University was featured in the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s report on disarmament and non-proliferation education in August, recognizing Pace’s “growing role in disarmament education”, highlighting the Model UN program, the Peace and Justice Studies major, research by Pace faculty, Disarmament Forums hosted at Pace, and a UN-funded project providing training to East African officials on the Arms Trade Treaty.

Pace University student Rachel Salcedo and Welty contributed recently to multilateral disarmament discussions in addresses to the United Nations General Assembly.

“There has never been a more important moment to think about and work for nuclear disarmament and I hope that this award creates new urgency for all nations to sign and ratify the treaty,” said Emily Welty, PhD, assistant professor and director of Peace and Justice Studies at Pace. “The new treaty banning nuclear weapons honors the voices and experiences of the survivors of the horrific suffering wrought by the United States when we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all of the victims of nuclear testing. Being a part of ICAN and working for nuclear disarmament on behalf of faith communities has been one of the most important parts of my activism and putting into practice the theory I teach in the classroom.”

“Nuclear disarmament is an important issue to me because I believe that long-lasting peace cannot be achieved through threats to destroy one another,” said Tisch. However, I believe it can be achieved through meaningful dialogue and cooperation, for which a ban on nuclear weapons sets an amazing precedent.”

“The ban on nuclear weapons is so important because it is a huge step towards a more safe and peaceful world,” said Soule.

Welty's work with the campaign was profiled here. Bolton writes regularly about disarmament and the nuclear weapons ban treaty on his blog. He also wrote a brief guide to the new treaty. They both contributed to a Special Section of the journal Global Policy on the process leading to the ban, telling the ICAN story and the role of faith groups.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences: Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law). The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices.

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, N.Y., enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

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Broadway World: "Pace Performing Arts Students Collaborate with David Marshall Grant for Reimagined SNAKEBIT"

10/04/2017

Pace Performing Arts Students Collaborate with David Marshall Grant for Reimagined SNAKEBIT (Broadway World)

David Marshall Grant's 1998 hit play "Snakebit" has been reimagined thanks to a collaboration with the Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting students at the School of Performing Arts of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace University.

"Snakebit" will be presented beginning this week, October 4-14, 2017 at Pace University, Schaeberle Theater, 41 Park Row, New York, NY, 10th Floor. For show times and tickets visit: http://snakebitpace.brownpapertickets.com.

Grant has spent several months working with Director Christopher J. Hake and the students working on changes. "In revisiting it so many years later, there seemed to be an opportunity to more fully realize the original intent of the piece," says Grant. Hanke and Grant have known each other for some time and Hanke calls the collaboration, "excellent," and adds, "We collaborate so well and it has been wonderful helping him fully realize this revision."

Of the cast and production team of student actors, Hanke admits he has been blown away. "The unexpected joy in this process has been the Pace Performing Arts actors. Of course, they rank among one of the best undergraduate BFA programs in the country, but these actors are the finest young artists I have seen and are truly ready for the professional world, and they haven't even graduated yet. I am very proud to be working with them all."

David Marshall Grant (playwright) Broadway credits include: Bent, staring with Richard Gere, and Joe Pitt in Angels in America, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award. He has appeared in over 25 movies, including "American Flyer," "The Chamber," "Air America," "Stepford Wives," and "The Devil Wears Prada." Television work includes Bobby Kennedy in "Citizen Cohn," "And The Band Played On," "Thirty-Something," and "Party Down." Grant's first play, "Snakebit" was produced off-Broadway and was nominated for a Drama Desk award and an Outer Critics Circle Award.

Christopher Hanke (director) is an American actor, director, and all around theater nerd. He recently starred in the hit one-man comedy, "Buyer & Cellar," and the play, "Perfect Arrangement," at "Primary Stages," both in NYC. Before that was Bud Frump in the Broadway revival of "How to Succeed..."

Read the original article and the press release.

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Express Newsline: "Lankford: DACA Plan Has 'No Special Privileges' for Family Members"

09/28/2017

Express Newsline: "Lankford: DACA Plan Has 'No Special Privileges' for Family Members"

More recently, on September 14, he announced that he was working with Democratic leaders in Congress to pass legislation ensuring protection for Dreamers, or children who entered the country illegally as children but were registered with the DACA program. "The program has served Pace, our community, and our country well. We're providing a means whereby they can get there". During my time at Pace I have already met impressive and highly motivated students, making wonderful contributions to the community, who have benefited from DACA.

"Neighbors Link is not completely surprised by the decision of the Department of Justice at the request of President Trump to cease and desist the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival", said Otero Bracco.

"These are kids that literally do not have a home anywhere", he said.

Eighty percent of DACA recipients are of Mexican Heritage. If these are not the values and activities that we believe in as a country, then what are? "We are also even more determined to support and defend the rights of the nearly 800,000 individuals who proudly call themselves DACAmented Americans".

The Trump administration announced September 5 that it was ending the DACA program in six months, placing the onus on Congress to come up with a plan to address these 700,000 young men and women brought to this country by their parents.

Additionally, Pace University President Krislov issued a statement in support of DACA on behalf of the university.

Read the full article.

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Education Week Teacher: "Response: 'Courageous Conversations' Are Needed to Discuss Race in Schools"

09/28/2017

Education Week Teacher: "Response: 'Courageous Conversations' Are Needed to Discuss Race in Schools"

Response From Dr. Mara Lee Grayson

Dr. Mara Lee Grayson is a lecturer of English at Pace University whose research focuses on racial literacy in composition studies and memoir writing as self-reflection. Her scholarship and creative work can be found in Teaching English in the Two-Year College, Columbia Journal, and Fiction, among other publications. Her book on racial literacy is forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield:

While people tend to think of themselves as unique, everyone is influenced by the cultural contexts of the larger society and the smaller families and communities of which they are a part. Unpacking these social and cultural influences is integral to understanding race, racism, and implicit bias. In the classroom, teachers can assign an informal, ungraded Racial Autobiography to encourage students to begin to reflect upon their experiences with and understanding of race and identity.

The racial autobiography is built from the model of the broader literacy narrative. Instead of inviting reflection upon early reading and writing experiences, the racial autobiography asks students to recall their early experiences learning about race and racism. The structure for the assignment is flexible and should serve the needs of the class and its students. Teachers may ask for an essay, a list of short answers, or a thematic personal story. Useful questions to get students thinking include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • When did you first learn about race?
  • Was race talked about in your home?
  • What does the word "culture" mean to you?
  • Did you grow up near people who looked like you, spoke your language, or shared similar customs?
  • Have you ever felt out of place because of your race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class (or some part of your "culture," however you define that term)?
  • Have you ever been discriminated against? How so?
  • Have you ever discriminated against someone else? How so? Why?

This assignment is especially useful early in the schoolyear, when students may not yet be fully comfortable sharing their ideas and experiences openly in the classroom, especially where complex, emotionally charged issues like racism and identity are concerned. The racial autobiography invites reflection without the pressure of direct interpersonal interaction. Not only does the practice of reflective writing encourage students to see how they themselves fit into larger questions about race and racism, beginning with what they know from experience eases students into conversations and debates than can otherwise seem abstract and difficult to articulate. Assigning the essay early on also helps the teacher establish a baseline of racial awareness for each student; teachers can then shape the rest of the curriculum to respond to the needs of the students in the classroom.

After students write their autobiographies, they should further reflect (in guided in-class activities, free writing, or class discussion) upon how those experiences might contribute to their understandings of the world. Reflecting upon their own experiences with race, racism, and identity helps students see that what is normative in society may not feel normal or typical for everyone. In classroom interaction, the recognition that all knowledge is situated may help students become more open to listening to their peers' perspectives. Once students have gotten to know one another inside the classroom, instructors can invite students to share their personal narratives in small groups. The embodied learning that occurs when students share with and listen to one another can be transformative in understanding others' experiences and perspectives.

Teachers too can benefit from intensive reflection upon their own experiences with race and racism—and teachers should never assign a personal essay they themselves would not be willing to write. Before bringing this activity into their classrooms, teachers should write their own racial autobiographies and then reflect, through additional writing or in conversation with likeminded colleagues, about the ways in which their own social identities might influence their beliefs about education, pedagogy, and the students they teach.

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Public: "Lowey Announces Nearly $450K To Improve Safety For Sexual Assault Survivors"

09/28/2017

Public: "Lowey Announces Nearly $450K To Improve Safety For Sexual Assault Survivors"

The City of White Plains, in collaboration with Pace University/Women's Justice Center (PWJC), Westchester Independent Living Center, El Centro Hispano, My Sister's Place (MSP), The Loft, and Westchester Jewish Community Services, will use this funding to support activities in its 'TRUST' (Training, Response, Underserved Support Team) project. Specifically, 'TRUST' will:

  • Support overtime costs for two White Plains Department of Public Safety (WPDPS) police officers, who will monitor offenders, conduct follow-up home visits, and make cross-referrals for services for victims;
  • support a bilingual attorney, and a supervising attorney from the PWJC, who will represent victims at protection order;
  • support a domestic violence advocate/counselor from MSP, who will receive calls via their hotline from victims who have met with officers during home visits, and will offer access to services;
  • conduct outreach and multi-disciplinary team meetings with project partners to reduce domestic violence in the disabled, Hispanic, and LGBT communities; and
  • provide training for law enforcement on the trauma-informed response to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, to increase understanding of the impact of trauma, encourage trauma-informed practices and techniques, and provide strategies for developing and implementing trauma-informed policies department-wide.

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