Schreyer Honors College (SHC)at Penn State

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Mon 30 Jan

2017 Luchinsky Lecture: ABCs of Peace: The Power of "U"

#LuchinskyLecture #LifeAtSchreyer

The 2017 Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture is available both on this site and via C-NET Channel 98. The program will be re-aired on:

  • Wednesday, February 1 at 9:00 AM
  • Thursday, February 2 at 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM
  • Saturday, February 4 at 12:00 AM
  • Sunday, February 5 at 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM

Associate Professor of Theatre and 2014-15 Penn State Laureate Susan Russell presents a conversation entitled "The ABCs of Peace: The Power of 'U'" as part of the Annual Mark Luchinsky Memorial Series in the Schreyer Honors College. This year’s lecture is cosponsored by the Presidential Leadership Academy, Hillel and the Schreyer Honors College Student Council.

Dr. Russell teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in literature/criticism, playwriting, musical theatre history, and women in theatre. A graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina, with a degree in theatre, Russell is also a summa cum laude graduate with a doctorate in theatre studies from Florida State University. Between educational pursuits, she experienced a 25-year career as a professional actor on and off Broadway — including five years in the Broadway production of “Phantom of the Opera” — in regional theatre and at opera companies across the country.

Her plays "Olympia" (1998) and "Present Perfect" (1999) have been produced by Lincoln Center and the Emerging Artist Theatre in New York City. Her play "Severe Clear" was a semifinalist in the 2006 O’Neill Theatre Center Playwriting Competition, and her 2009 play "Écoute: Pieces of Reynaldo Hahn" toured 40 venues in the United States, starring Penn State School of Music faculty member Norman Spivey. Russell initiated a collaboration between the School of Theatre’s bachelor of arts program and Penn State’s Office of Student Affairs to produce student-generated films on drinking and sexual assault.

She uses her skills as an actor, stage director, playwright, author and speaker to advocate for human rights. In 2007, soon after joining the Penn State faculty, she founded Cultural Conversations, a new works festival devoted to issues of local and global diversity, and now serves as artistic director of Cultural Conversations. Devoted to fostering and promoting new dance, visual arts and theatre pieces based on issues of local and global diversity, Cultural Conversations offers a forum for professional, community and student artists where social issues can play out on a stage.

Dr. Russell’s books, "Body Language: Cultural Conversations Reaching Out and Reaching In" and "Body Language: Stop the Violence/Start the Conversation," are texts designed to offer day-by-day templates for school systems on how to use playwriting, media and public performance to explore issues that affect middle and high school students.

In 2012, she won the Penn State Commission for Women’s Achieving Woman Award and in 2013, the Centre County Youth Service Bureau’s Dr. Edward Vogelsong Professional Excellence Award. Also in 2013, she was selected as one of the "Faces of Penn State."

Cosponsored by the Presidential Leadership Academy, the Multicultural Resource Center, Hillel and the Schreyer Honors College Student Council.

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