News

Remembering Martha Lavey

Martha Lavey, who passed away April 25, was the legendary artistic director of Chicago’s groundbreaking Steppenwolf Theatre Company from 1995 to 2015. She was also a Northwestern alumna several times over and a proud recipient of a doctorate in the School of Communication’s Performance Studies program. Faculty and alumni reflect on her legacy, and how her time at Northwestern influenced her career.

12th Annual Pepper Lecture

It’s a function most people take for granted: the ability to eat, drink and swallow. Yet swallowing disorders (also known as dysphagia) are extraordinarily difficult conditions to live with — and diagnose. Bonnie Martin-Harris, Alice Gabrielle Twight Professor and the School of Communication’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, has spent her career working toward a standardized method of diagnosing and treating dysphagia. She explained her fascinating work at the 2017 Pepper Lecture.

Guggenheim Fellowship

Prolific filmmaker, cultural anthropologist, and School of Communication assistant professor J.P. Sniadecki is part of the class of 2017 Guggenheim fellows, announced April 6. This prestigious honor makes him the sixth such fellowship recipient within the Department of Radio/Television/Film.

A Lesson in Directing

School of Communication alumnus Joe Chappelle, director of such hit shows as The Wire, CSI Miami, and Chicago Fire, returned to campus to deliver a directing primer to eager undergraduate module-takers. Chappelle, who received his MFA from the Department of Radio/Television/Film, emphasized the importance of preparedness, amiability, and time management. Oh, and a grasp of the fundamentals certainly helps.

34th Annual Van Zelst Lecture

Amy Jordan, University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication associate dean for undergraduate studies, is a singularly accomplished expert in the field of childhood obesity, particularly among low-income families. Basing her research in Philadelphia, she has found that the media can both hurt and help children’s and caregivers’ abilities to make healthy choices — but her efforts have measurably helped, as she explained as this year’s Van Zelst lecturer.

Comedy Arts Module

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A new addition to our innovative, immersive modular curriculum is most certainly a laughing matter. Through a focused, in-depth track, our students are harnessing the skills and savvy necessary in securing a career in comedy — and at a time in our post-truth culture when the combination of funny and smart is needed most.

International Dolphin Show

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The undergraduate cast and management of the 75th Annual Dolphin Show will be taking their act on the road — and far. Through an exciting collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northwestern Students this month will be performing Little Shop of Horrors and leading workshops in five cities throughout the European country.

Student Voices are Heard

Northwestern this week hosted the 10-minuted play festival Black Lives, Black Words, a multi-city project that for the first time included a University partner. Students, coached by School of Communication faculty, shared poignant stories to prompt much-needed dialogues about race and young black lives in America. 

Multidisciplinary Artist

School of Communication alumna, actress, singer, and Sesame Street master puppeteer Stephanie D’Abruzzo occupies many artistic worlds. As she demonstrated to undergraduates last month, creative dexterity — with a healthy dose of playfulness — is the means toward a successful and fulfilling end.  

Entertainment Insider

Hollywood agent and School of Communication alumnus Jeff Jacobs returned to campus in February to speak with students about breaking into Hollywood and, more importantly, staying in the ever-changing game. “How do you break through?” he asks. “You have to be great.” Jacobs’ visit was sponsored by EPICS.

Black Arts Initiative

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The interdisciplinary Black Arts Initiative aims to study, disseminate, and honor the contributions of artists on campus and beyond through conferences, showcases, dialogues, and film screenings. E. Patrick Johnson, BAI’s founder, director, and the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies, explains.

Akil’s Storytelling Success

TV producer, showrunner, and alumna Mara Brock Akil returned to Northwestern to speak with students about her lifelong love of writing, the value of the occasional misstep, and her mission to give a voice (and screen time) to underrepresented groups. She was welcomed on campus in February as part of the EPICS Connections Speaker Series.

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