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Conservatory of Performing Arts

COPA News 09-10


April 2010
Academy Award Winner Estelle Parsons Visits Point Park

Estelle Parsons, who is currently touring as the lead role of Violet Weston in August: Osage County, visited with Point Park students on Friday, April 9 at Point Park University's Pittsburgh Playhouse.  More...

March 25, 2010
Pa. named a top market for filmmaking jobs

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently published an article about the ripe opportunities available to filmmakers in the state and region.  Through a study commissioned by The Entertainment Economy Institute of Los Angeles, Pa. ranked sixth in the nation for national movie industry employment.  The study also found that 64 percent of work occurs in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.    Read full Post-Gazette story      Read The Entertainment Economy Institute Study

January 20, 2010
Conservatory of Performing Arts and Point Park University's Pittsburgh Playhouse Receive Numerous Awards

 2009 was another spectacular year for the Conservatory of Performing Arts and Point Park University's Pittsburgh Playhouse. Not only did the companies create great theatre and work with numerous stars of the industry, the productions and performers also received several awards from the Pittsburgh community in recognition of their art.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Honors
-Performer of the Year: Robin Abramson, Point Park University alumna. In winning this illustrious award, she joins numerous other Conservatory family members including: John Shepard, chair, department of theatre (2008); David Whalen, alumnus (2007); Sheila McKenna, assistant professor (2005); Robin Walsh, alumna and head of M.F.A. in acting (1998); Doug Mertz, alumnus (1995-1996); Maria Becoates-Bay, alumna (1994-1995); David Butler (1993-1994).
-Best Plays of 2009: The REP's A Moon to Dance By took first place, with Mojo coming in eighth and Conservatory Theatre Company's Carousel receiving an honorable mention.
-Best Ensemble: The REP's A Moon to Dance By (Alexander, Cuccioli and Saxe). Also mentioned was the cast of Mojo.
-Best Actor: Robert Cuccioli (A Moon to Dance By); Doug Mertz, alumnus; Joel Ripka, alumnus; and John Wascavage, class of 2010 were all mentioned.
-Best Actress: Jane Alexander (A Moon to Dance By); Amy Landis (The Queens); and Daina Michelle Griffith, alumna.
-Supporting Actress: Sheila McKenna, associate professor, and Robyn Parrish, M.F.A. in acting candidate.
-Supporting Actor: Mark Staley, faculty member and Dave Droxler, alumnus.

Washington Observer-Reporter Honors
-Best Stage Productions from 2000-2009: The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (The REP). Also mentioned was Reefer Madness (Conservatory Theatre Company).

September 22, 2009
Point Park Alumnus Wins Emmy

Rob Ashford, a 1983 dance alumnus, won an Emmy Award this past weekend for Outstanding Choreography for the "81st Annual Academy Awards" and his "Musicals Are Back" opener.  Ashford has also been the recipient of a Tony Award for Best Choreography for Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002; he received Tony nominations for his choreography for Cry-Baby, Curtains and the Wedding Singer. Read full story.

Dance Faculty Member Kiesha Lalama-White One of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" and Choreographs for Major Motion Picture

Point Park University alumna and faculty member Kiesha Lalama-White was recently named in Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch," an honor that is bestowed on a select group of the most promising dancers, choreographers and companies in the nation.  Lalama-White was also selected to choreograph a scene in the major motion picture Sorority Row, starring Briana Evigan (Step Up 2), directed by Stewart Handler.  Lalama-White selected six dance majors from Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts to perform as extras.  The movie is scheduled for release on October 2, 2009.  More...

January 5, 2009
Point Park University Theatre Department Chair John Shepard Named
Post-Gazette 'Performer of the Year' Among Many Accolades Given for 2008 Season

John Shepard, chair of Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts theatre department, was recently named Performer of the Year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for his acclaimed role as Willy Loman in The REP's Sept. 2008 production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.  Shepard was among the numerous faculty and alumni recognized for their outstanding work in 2008.  More...

Broadway Legend Elaine Stritch Visits Conservatory Students

Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts welcomed Broadway legend Elaine Stritch to the Pittsburgh Playhouse on Friday, October 17.  Stritch was in town to perform her Tony and Emmy award-winning show At Liberty, presented by Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre in conjunction with Cabaret Pittsburgh.  More...