Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Senior theater major recognized with dramaturgy award for ‘A Plague of Angels’
GOSHEN, Ind. – Audiences at the Goshen College mainstage play, “A Plague of Angels,” in the fall of 2004, were engaged by a well-crafted, well-acted performance that focused on the story of “Typhoid Mary” – a turn of the 20th century woman whose struggle with the public health system in New York City became nationally known.
What they also saw were the results of extensive behind-the-scenes research by senior theater major Nicole Miazgowicz (Addison, Mich.) who served as the assistant director for the play and took on the role of dramaturg – a role requiring historical and contextual research to assist a production in authenticity. For this play, that process included investigation about the typhoid illness, locations in New York City in which “Typhoid Mary’s” story took place in and the pronunciation of words, among other questions. Miazgowicz said, “This play and its content called for this level of research. We wanted the actors to understand the issues.”
As a result of her labors, Miazgowicz received one of three certificates of merit in dramaturgy from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), Region III, held in January. This is the first year that KCACTF has held a competition and offered awards in dramaturgy. The regional festival drew 1,646 participants, making it the largest festival ever in the history of ACTF festivals.
The KCACTF award is designed to recognize contributions by student dramaturgs to the conception, development and production of theater within their colleges and universities, or to educational projects in dramaturgy.
To accompany the production, Miazgowicz created displays for the Umble Center lobby that gave audience members more information about “Typhoid Mary” and the disease. Professor of Theater Doug Liechty Caskey said, “I am always interested in making a connection between what we do on stage and our larger educational mission. Nicole’s research and displays provided audiences a context for the play. A lot of people had heard of ‘Typhoid Mary,’ but didn’t have a clue beyond that.” Goshen College’s performance of “A Plague of Angels” marked the second college-level staging of the play nationwide.
Miazgowicz is the daughter of Anthony Miazgowicz of Temperance, Mich., and Ann Miazgowicz of Addison, Mich. She graduated from Camden Frontier High School in 2002 and attends Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
The KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. It has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents. Through state, regional and national festivals, KCACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another’s work and share experiences and insights within the community of theater artists.
Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu/.
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