Department of Theatre and Dance hopeful for upcoming semester

The Herald Staff

The expanding Department of Theatre and Dance is making changes for the fall semester. Full-time professors Eric Rivera and Lisa Draskovich and part-time professor Angelica Rivera will not be returning to WKU. However, three newcomers, Meghen McKinley, Kylene Stephens and Shauna Deverwill be joining staff this fall.

Louisville junior Heather Moore, a performing arts major with a concentration in musical theatre, is disappointed to see her favorite professors, Eric and Angelica Rivera, leave the Hill.

“They were wonderful! They were two of my favorite teachers in the theatre and dance department,” Moore said.

Moore is also worried that the new professors will have a rough transition into the department and working with current students.

“I know I am personally worried about the new professors not being familiar with our abilities,” Moore said.

Other dance majors, like Kokomo, Indiana, senior Sara Pecina, are excited to start working with the new dance instructors.

“They will be able to offer new, individual perspectives and I am eager to see what their classes will be like,” Pecina said.

Throughout the year the Department of Theatre and Dance puts on a variety of plays, operas and musicals for public viewing.

Bowling Green native Jasmine Murillo, a junior and frequent audience member of WKU productions, is worried that performances this year will be less enjoyable.

“It might be bad because dance and theatre majors, who were so close to the other teachers, may not be as dedicated now,” Murillo said.

Current dance students, like Heather Moore, are hoping that new professors, McKinley, Stephens, and Dever will offer the expertise and individual attention to keep the productions running smoothly.

While there are many changes underway within the Department of Theatre and Dance, Department Head David Young is hopeful for the upcoming semester.

I’m excited by the new ideas and new energy that new faculty always bring,” Young said via email.

Associate Professor Amanda Clark has been a part of the dance program for over 10 years. This summer, Clark and student, Sara Pecina, attended the St. Louis Tap Festival, where Pecina was invited to perform at the festival’s closing gala.

This summer the department was also involved in international performance with Associate Professor Clifton Brown, former dance coordinator, leading students to Italy to perform at the Balletto de Civitavecchia.

This year, according to Young, the fall 2015 enrollment in dance majors is higher than it has ever been, at 52.

“I have great confidence in the dance faculty, both new and old, to continue our tradition of exciting classroom and studio instruction coupled with bold and engaging dance concerts,” Young said via email.

This story has been corrected after several errors were brought to the Herald staff’s attention. The Herald deeply regrets these errors.