Without stages or studios, students and professors grapple to adjust

Katie Cantrell and Meg Edwards
Transcript correspondents

Remote teaching may work well for some disciplines at Ohio Wesleyan, but some of its limitations and the complete closing of campus has thrown some programs into turmoil.

Much of the academic logistics in programs like fine arts, music and theater have been flipped upside down. Furthermore, students participating in travel learning courses, theory-to-practice grant projects and small grant projects were told to pack up and leave their programs early.

Meanwhile, faculty and staff have been helping students rescheduled projects planned for May and June, which were canceled.

“Luckily, we have been able to get full refunds, no-fee cancellations or no-cost transfers on bookings,” said Darrel Albon, OWU’s director of international and off-campus programs.

“Our New York Arts Program had students not only from OWU, but also from other colleges and universities … returned home and (we) have made arrangements with their internship sponsors and NYAP faculty to complete their seminar and research assignments and complete work on their internships.”

OWU’s fine arts programs and its students are also struggling to fashion a pathway on the road to remote teaching when these disciplines normally require hands-on projects and in-person showcases.

The senior art show, which exhibits work from all Ohio Wesleyan fine arts seniors, is one of many on-campus events and activities being reconfigured in the wake of the COVID-19 campus closures.

The museum staff and the members of the fine arts department have been collaborating to try and figure out a solution that will allow seniors within the major to have their year-end required exhibit, said Erin Fletcher, the director of the Ross Museum, who is working with Jim Krehbiel, a professor of fine arts.

“Jim and I have been in close contact since returning from break,” she said. “I liaise with the museum staff and Jim liaises with the fine arts faculty,” she said. “We have all been working diligently to find a way to represent senior work.”

Faculty and staff have proposed multiple solutions, such as rescheduling or other more creative options, but they’re still figuring out how this exhibit will be done this year. Seniors will be the first to know once they have everything figured out, Fletcher said.

One problem is deciding how to showcase student’s artwork without an audience because people can’t go to the museum when the show is typically held.

The museum currently has a virtual 3-D tour of the faculty exhibit because it was set up before the facility was closed to the public and the staff was required to leave campus, Fletcher said.

“We do these 3-D tours from time to time for special exhibits. We have not done them for all exhibits in the past due to the expense,” Fletcher said.

Meanwhile, student artists struggle with completing their work in familiar, but not academic, surroundings.

Senior Rory Gleeson was planning to take a gap year to continue building her painting and drawing portfolio for graduate school applications when she learned OWU was closing. She since has moved back to her parents’ home, in New Plymouth, Ohio and spent days clearing out an old computer room to serve as a make-shift studio.

“The space is small, cold and has terrible lighting and I don’t have easels at my house to hold large work, so mostly I’ve just had to sit uncomfortably on the floor in order to work,” she said in a phone interview.

Gleeson said she hopes students are refunded for their studio fees, because “my home setup just really does not compare.”

Gleeson said the process of framing pieces and preparing them for display in Edgar Hall would take multiple days. She is worried she will not be able to travel to Delaware and stay in a hotel for the show if it is rescheduled.

“I feel like that, combined with the ongoing pandemic, is going to delay just generally getting on with my life after graduation,” she said.

Professors are feeling their students’ pain.

Kristina Bogdanov, an associate professor of fine arts, said she is leaning toward a flexible schedule online to better accommodate the needs of all students and is extending office hours so all students, especially those struggling with remote learning, can easily ask for help.

Bogdanov teaches three levels of drawing courses and three levels of ceramics, but remote teaching will be especially hard with ceramics. It is a three dimensional art requiring clay, a place to work with the clay and a place to dry and fire the clay.

For seniors, it’s rough because they were supposed to start working on finishing their work for the required-for-graduation senior showcase.

“It’s sad for the seniors, not having time to have that moment of their actual senior exhibition,” Bogdanov said. “It will happen, but that definitely can never be replaced online as reality is with the museum and reception and so forth.”

Another casualty to the pandemic – the March upper-level class trip for a national conference for ceramics art and education in Richmond, Virginia.

This rapidly changing situation has also affected the Department of Theatre and Dance, which has lost all audiences for the near future. The spring musical was to be “The Secret Garden” by Marsha Norman, based on the 1911 novel by Frances Hogsdon Burnett. It has been canceled.

Glen Vanderbilt, a professor in the department and director of the musical, said he polled students about performing at the start of fall semester, doing what they had already worked on. Many expressed interest, but Vanderbilt said the actors in several feature roles would need to be recast, which proved “too big of a mountain to climb over.”

“I know the students were very low when the closure ramped up to full time,” he said in an email.

Theater classes are using “Meet,” online meeting software offered by Google Hangouts. Vanderbilt said one big problem is students failing to respond to email, making it difficult to evaluate work.

Theatre majors, like seniors Sarah Gielink and Monty Almoro, are experiencing some of the same headaches as their fine arts peers.

Both planned to present their senior project this spring, a requirement for all graduating theater majors.

Gielink and Almoro had written their own adaptation in Spanish of the 17th century Spanish comedy “Life is a Dream,” which was the culmination of years of work by ten students and faculty.  They had a theory-to-practice grant and had begun rehearsals, but will finish the year by writing a reflection on their experiences.

“The first announcement alone hit hard, when events were canceled through March 29,” Gielink said. “Then the next day came the cancelations through April 5, which meant we lost Terpsicorps too, and then the day after that the whole semester. I just remember feeling like nothing was left.” Terpsicorps is a student led dance performance with various styles and themes

Gielink said now that she has had time to process, the loss of the productions has become another part of “the new normal.”

“I know we’re both proud of the work we’ve done and our whole team has had our backs the entire time,” she said.“Looking back, I’m so glad that we got to work together and come this far.”

The pandemic and all it has created impacted students both on campus and those in off-campus learning environments.

Albon, director of those programs, said everyone in his department has been working diligently.

The department has been helping students, scattered around the globe, to return home while ensuring their immigration records and visas are in order.  All the students that had been approved for roughly a dozen different off-campus credit programs have now returned home and are participating in remote learning like the rest of the OWU student body.

Albon’s office has also been planning and preparing for fall 2020 programs.

“We have not heard a word from any of our international or domestic partner institutions and programs about fall program changes or cancellations, but this situation is still developing,” he said. “Our partners are communicating with us regularly and we are communicating with them too, (which includes) our OWU folks in New York city at the NYAP likewise.”

Ross Art Museum parades faculty talent

Katie Cantrell

Transcript correspondent


Ohio Wesleyan fine arts faculty showed off their talents outside of the classroom last week, displaying their forte in the form of 3-D designs, jewelry, sculptures, oil paintings and digital prints.

The Ross Art Museum opened a new exhibit Wednesday, featuring the works of many of the fine arts faculty members. About 75 people, including OWU President Rock Jones, attended the free public reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., which included the musical stylings of the jazz group The Starliners, along with complimentary food and drinks.

The artists on display included:

  • Associate professor Kristina Bogdanov -sculptures and photo-lithography
  • Professor Cynthia Cetlin-jewelry
  • Associate professor Frank Hobbs -oil paintings
  • Professor Jim Krehbiel – digital prints
  • Professor Jeff Nilan -photographs
  • Part-time professor Jonathan Quick – sculptures and 3-D designs

Every artist works their medium differently, so the works within the exhibit took various levels of time to complete. Hobbs said his favorite piece in the exhibit, an oil painting of a bridge construction site, took only two to three sessions, totaling about six or seven hours.

Meanwhile, Krehbiels’ favorite piece, a digital print of a cold sunrise over a mesa as seen from a Pueblo shrine, took 2 ½ years.

Artists face different kinds of challenges, depending on the piece they create. Nilan’s was personal for his favorite piece in the exhibit.

“It was challenging to look back in time and trying to avoid nostalgia and to just try and see what was there,” Nilansaid about his accordion-shaped photobook, with still images from home videos featuring his two sons.

Hobbs’ challenges were more technical for his bridge construction painting.

“Any time you have a painting with this many dark colors and shadows it can be very difficult to work with,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said he had plenty of motivation to complete the piece, however he was not trying to impart a specific message to his audience.

“My painting process is more of a soliloquy, so it’s like I’m talking to myself. I’m not interested in using art as propaganda,” Hobbs said.

Like challenges, every artist has different motivation driving their work. Sometimes, there’s an underlying message for an audience.

Krehbiel had a very specific motivation in mind when he created his digital print “Cold Sunrise in an Ancient Place,” which depicted a sunrise he watched one cold morning over a mesa from a Pueblo shrine built in the 1200s.

“It was a memory drawing of that along with some rock art and pictographs added in as well,” he said. “I wanted my audience to see the principles of mirroring and reflection in the piece, much like the sun. Movements of the sun are such as cyclical thing.”

The display of faculty art runs through April 5.

OWU spring theatre production: an ancient myth with a modern twist

Katie Cantrell

Transcript Correspondent


An ancient Greek myth came alive with a modern theme at Ohio Wesleyan this past weekend.

OWU theatre department’s spring production of “Eurydice,” written by Sarah Ruhl, was performed in the Chappelear Drama Center Studio Theatre from Thursday through Sunday. It was the directorial debut for Bradford Sadler (’05), a part time instructor in the theatre & dance department.

Sadler had multiple reasons for choosing Eurydice.

“I think it’s a really beautiful show that deals with issues that I was interested in in terms of love versus loss,” he said. “I thought it provided a challenge for the actors as well as the technicians, but an appropriate level of challenge that we could rise to together.”

The play centers on the ancient Greek tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice. Sadler brought the play into a modern setting.  However, the overall core plot of the myth stayed true to the original tragic love story.

In the play, Eurydice died and went to the underworld where she encountered her father, the three stones and the lord of the underworld. Eurydice’s husband, Orpheus, in his grief writes some of the saddest songs and eventually uses those songs to gain both entrance and passage through the underworld in search of his wife.

While in the underworld, Orpheus makes a deal with the lord of the underworld: his wife can leave with him as long as he does not turn around and look to see if she is following.

The cast of “Eurydice” included: junior Miko Harper as Eurydice, sophomore Adam Lieser as Orpheus, sophomoreAaron Eicher as the father, sophomore, Maxwell Haupt as the nasty, interesting man and lord of the underworld, freshman Alex Dolph as Loud Stone, freshman Camy Dodd as Little Stone, and senior Maggie Welsh as Big Stone. The cast and crew have been preparing for months. Some work was done as far back as December of last year.

 Eurydice is not leading lady Harper’s first time on the mainstage. As a freshman she played Sally Bowles in OWU’s spring production of “Cabaret.”

“I actually understudied for Big Stone in high school, so I was familiar with the show and knew it was hard, but it’s so good and I was really excited to do it,” Harper said.

Every cast member had something they enjoyed about their experiences.

“I think because it is sort of a minimalist type of show in terms of the set and I guess it’s less flashy than a lot of shows, so it kind of forces you to really dig deep and there’s no distractions or cover ups and it’s a little more raw,” Harper said.“That’s been really challenging but it’s been really cool because I haven’t really been able to do that in a long time.”

 Eurydice was Doph’s first mainstage theatrical play at OWU. Prior to this show, she participated in Orchesislast semester.

 “Eurydice” provided junior Jarrod Ward his first opportunity to be a lighting designer for a major production. He had to meet with the director, the technical director and the set designers frequently throughout the production process to work out different lighting for the production.

“Some things were a little bit challenging like trying to work with projections and getting projections set up was a bit challenging. Along with a few tweaks here and there, it hasn’t been too challenging,” Ward said.

Dolph thoroughly enjoyed her experience.

“The people and the relationships we’ve made, I’ve grown closer to so many people and all my cast members. I’ve gotten to know our director pretty well and I’ve made so many friends with people I didn’t even talk to before,” Dolph said.

A classic myth becomes OWU’s spring play

Hailey De La Vara

Arts and Entertainment Editor


With Eurydice’s production, Ohio Wesleyan’s theatre department is bringing a post-modern spin on the classical Orpheus myth.

Eurydice is written by award winning playwright Sarah Ruhl. Ruhl gives the myth a new perspective in this poetic work. Theatre professor and director of the show, Bradford Sadler, will bring a Greek myth to the Chappelear Drama Center in the Studio Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 13. The performances will take place until Feb. 15.

The play is told from the point of view of Orpheus’s wife, Eurydice, played by Miko Harper.

Sadler expressed his excitement for the upcoming play.

“This is an out of the ordinary play, and when you come into the theater it will be different from any other play you’ve seen,” He said.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for senior citizens. Admission is free for OWU students with a valid OWU ID.

Comparative literature launches new era of technology

Meg Edwards

Transcript Correspondent


Balloons, glow bracelets and colorful flashing rings last night brightened Sturges Hall to celebrate the conversion of a former janitors closet into a digital work space for comparative literature students.

About thirty students, faculty and members of the Ohio Wesleyan community came to celebrate the launch of Lit Hatch, a new collaborative space where students can work on digital humanities projects, which the comparative literature department has increasingly been incorporating into its curriculum.

Lit Hatch is furnished with a large computer monitor, two chairs, a small bookshelf and a wall to be used for green screen filming in the small but organized space to the left of the building’s entrance.

“It used to be a janitor’s closet,” said Stephanie Merkel, a comparative literature associate professor who led the effort to create Lit Hatch. “We wanted to dedicate a space in Sturges Hall where our students would feel like it was their space.”

OWU junior Humza Nasir, a comparative literature student board member, said he was glad the department is incorporating more technology into its projects.

“Learning how to use this tech does open a lot of doors,” he said.

Knowing how to use specific technologies, such as the online publishing tool Scalar, “gives me an edge” when applying to graduate schools, Nasir said.

Although Lit Hatch accommodates only a few people at a time, the celebration took place in several rooms on the first floor, with each room exhibiting a different student project. A screening of the 1929 silent film “Woman in the Moon” ran in the snack room.

One project from the English department, a website created by Nancy Comorau, an associate English professor and other students, explored queer literature.

In another room, students could explore the blog created by students in Michal Raizen’s course Graphic and Experimental Novels of the Middle East. Raizen, an assistant professor of comparative literature, said each year her class learned to navigate the platform WordPress more quickly, and that the blog was becoming a large part of her curriculum.

“More than anything we use it collectively,” she said.

Some former students have continued to post and comment on the sites, giving current students a prior body of work to build upon.

Several students congregated in another room to play interactive fiction games designed by students in the CMLT 110 class, Myth, Legend, and Folklore. Designed like an online choose-your-own-adventure using a software called Twine, the games were inspired by common themes in folklore, which were then subverted to create a series of surprising twists for players.

Merkel said that incorporating tools such as Twine and Scalar help comparative literature majors apply their learning to relevant work. Some developers pay experts to evaluate game narratives, she said.

“Frankly, there are cool jobs for comp lit majors in game development,” she said. “You can be a ‘Happiness Engineer.’”

OWU sophomore Sarah Jonassen, an English and psychology major who attended the event, seemed to agree, and cited the folklore game as her favorite part of the event.

“I really like books,” she said. “But I think sometimes the perception of English is that it’s dusty old books … it’s important to cater to different interests, especially since video games are so popular.”

OWU professor’s novel honored again

Alex Emerson

Transcript Correspondent


An award-winning, Civil War era-novel about a boy’s search for his father led by a mysterious black horse and written by an Ohio Wesleyan creative writing professor has once again been honored.

The Ohioana Library Association chose Robert Olmstead’s book “Coal Black Horse” as one of 90 books by Ohio authors to celebrate the organization’s 90th anniversary. The winners are divided by decade on the “90 Years … 90 Books” list going back to the founding of the library association. The books can be found on the organization’s blog.

Olmstead’s book is on the list for 2007, the year it was published.  He said he is in good company.

“I have a good relationship with Ohioana. Looking at the list, it’s surprising to see how many great authors are from Ohio,” said Olmstead, an English professor and OWU’s director of creative writing.

This isn’t the first time “Coal Black Horse” has received critical acclaim. The book received the 2007 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction. In 2008, it earned an Ohioana award for fiction and the American Library Association award as the Best Book for Young Adults.

Olmstead’s story takes place during the Civil War in the wake of the battle of Gettysburg after a boy’s mother has a premonition her husband was killed. She sends her 14-year-old son out to search for him astride an unusual black horse, which leads and protects the boy throughout their journey.

Olmstead said he happened upon the idea for the plot while living in Gettysburg.

“I’m more interested in what runs through the history than the history itself. I was living in Gettysburg as a tourist and had no intention of writing a historical novel,” Olmstead said. “But as I explored the town, its history drew me in irrevocably.”

The book was aimed at focusing on the relationship between American people and war.

“More Americans died in the Civil War than in all of America’s following wars combined,” he said. “This legacy of war, this inheritance of violence literally passes down through families. America has been fighting wars as long as my students have been alive.”

“Coal Black Horse” is the first book of a trilogy. The second novel is “Far Bright Star” and the third is “The Coldest Night.”

“Far Bright Star” has also received recognition. Chauncey Mabe, a writer for the Chicago Tribune, said it is “guided by Hemingway,” and that “a writer as skillful and subtle as Olmstead deserves to be judged on his own merits, influences be damned.”

The last two books continue to explore an inheritance of violence. The protagonist in each story is the child of the protagonist from the last book, living through a different war, Olmstead said.

Olmstead plans to publish more books in the future.

(Editor’s Note: after this interview our correspondent enrolled in Olmstead’s fiction writing class)

A Review: Chamber orchestra celebrates

By Alex Riess

Transcript Correspondent

What was originally an hour-long piece written for a ballet in 1910, was transformed into an orchestral symphony at the Gray Chapel.

About 150 people gathered at the chapel on Nov. 12, where The OWU Chamber Orchestra presented “The Lark and the Firebird.” The event celebrated the 100thanniversary of the song, “Firebird Suite.”

The orchestra performed 19th century and early 20th century compositions. “Dawn on the Moscow River” and “Petite suite de concert, Op. 77” were played first, followed by an intermission. The next two pieces are the reasons behind the title of this event.

Antoine T. Clark, the conductor of the orchestra, said, “The suite was my favorite piece of the night.”

The “Firebird Suite” was broken into three separate movements: The Princesses’ Round Dance, Berceuse, and Finale. Each had its unique tone.

The Princesses’ Round Dance sounded very soft and relaxing. With the brass and wind instruments flowing off each other, they created a sense of calmness. The movement sounded like its name.

The Berceuse was played in a lot of minor tones, creating a tense feeling. The strings and brass bounced off each other with a sense of uncertainty.

The piece then led into the Finale. A deep, major tone was created, with all the instruments colliding together. This collision built up and then ended on a drawn-out note, creating a sense of fulfillment.

The OWU Department of Music program stated that the piece was originally created as a 50-minute ballet in 1910 by Igor Stravinsky. Stravinsky later created three shorter suites arranged for concert performance. The student orchestra played the most performed version of the suites.

The “Lark Ascending” was the other piece.

Nancy Gamso, a university professor of music, described as a “most gorgeous, lush piece. And so unusual.”

The music program stated the song was steeped in the English tradition and converted from English folk song into an orchestral piece. The piece premiered in 1921.

Alicia Hui, a violinist for the Columbus Symphony, was featured in the performance.

Hui performed small solos throughout, reflecting on the orchestra’s melodies. Playing extremely high notes in a unique style, the violinist created a sense of tribalism.

Gamso said, “There were trills from the violin, like birds do.”

NY Arts celebrates 50 years of the arts

By Katie Cantrell

Transcript Correspondent

One of Ohio Wesleyan’s signature student opportunities is celebrating its golden anniversary this year. The New York Arts Program will recognize its 50th year with alumni and sponsors in New York City over the weekend of Nov. 16.

The celebration will be held on Saturday, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Children’s Museum of the Arts on Charleston Street. The celebration includes performances by former alumni and staff such a Peter Zummo and Lily Ann McBride.

On Friday, the NYAP will host an art opening at its Loft. Information regarding the celebration can be found on Facebook at NY Arts Program 50th Anniversary.

One of the administrators of the page, and former OWU alumna, Sally Harris, encouraged alumni to post about their time in the program, including what their internship was, where they went to school, and when they participated. The page features stories and pictures.

According to Darrell J. Albon, director of the International & Off-Campus Program for NYAP, OWU is not the only university that participates in NYAP. OWU is one of 13 schools from the Great Lakes College Association (GLCA) that participates.

The program occurs during either the spring or fall semesters and lasts for approximately 15 weeks. OWU seniors must spend their last semester on campus, so fall of that year is the latest those students can take advantage of the program. Students live in the Saint George Towers in Brooklyn Heights through the programs’ educational services housing. While in the program, students participate in at least one and usually more internships within the concentration of their program. They also attend regular seminars.

The program itself has a wide range of opportunities for students interested in the arts. There are studies in film, music and sound; theatre and dance; writing and publishing; and visual arts and art history.

Currently, 25 students participate this semester, three of whom are from OWU. Two of the NYAP alumni Harris, who participated in the program in 1975, and Helena Enders, who participated in the program in 2016, were kind enough to talk about their time in the program.

Harris, ’76 and a program participant in her senior year. She said she interned at the American Place Theater, which was off-Broadway. Harris described her time in the program as fun and exhilarating, but hard work nonetheless. She said one of the most memorable experiences occurred “sitting backstage in the Green Room with the actors during a production. They were so nice and friendly to me. I felt like part of the cast – but I was basically a gofer.”

She said her internship changed every few weeks. She worked with casting directors going over resumes and headshots, on stage crews, as a receptionist and helped with costumes. She admitted the latter was a disaster. Harris was also loaned to a television production of Judge Horton and the Scottsboro Boys to help out with rehearsals at a nearby studio. That opportunity convinced her she enjoyed live performances rather than television production.

Helena Enders, College of Wooster class of 2018, participated in the Visual Arts/Arts Administration program during her junior year of college. Originally, Enders planned on interning at a museum in New York, but found she liked the idea of working with a non-profit called the International Studio and Curatorial Program better.

“More than anything,” Enders said, “I loved going to galleries and studio visits with my seminar. It was the first time I felt like I was a part of a creative community, and that was huge for me. Those experiences opened a door to the ‘art world’ that I hadn’t felt a part of until then.”

Ender said her internship was an exciting one.

“I had to package and deliver a lot of artwork,” she said. “I had no clue what I was doing, but I would have to build cardboard boxes from scratch in specific dimensions for specific pieces of art, then pack and deliver them. I definitely felt the weight of what I was doing and took care in every step of the process, but I didn’t know any of the artists whose art I was handling.

“Now, I look back at those experiences and laugh because I really had no clue how cool it was. I was carrying Shepard Fairey and Cary Leibowitz pieces on the subway during rush hour all the way from East Williamsburg to the Upper East Side. I met Vito Acconci and had no clue who he was at the time.”

Coincidentally, Enders and Harris have more in common than being NYAP alumni. Both women moved back to New York City not long after graduating. Harris worked a job as an assistant for a national press representative office for on- and off-Broadway theaters and dance companies.

Enders said, “I had found a place where I could really be myself with limitless space to grow. So I told myself that the second I was done with school, I would go back. That meant working at a doughnut shop for three months until I had enough money to move.”

Enders now works as an admissions coordinator for the program.

“Working for a non-profit arts organization during my time at NYAP and meeting countless artists through my seminar exposed me to the many many ways I could have a profession in a creative environment,” Enders said. “The program is also the reason I consider myself a creative at all; I have no clue what I would be doing right now if it wasn’t for NYAP.”

Both Harris and Enders had similar advice for students interested in the program.

“The performing and fine arts are areas where there is a lot of amazing talent out there,” Harris said, “but success is based on connections and being in the right place at the right time. Being provided with a job, a place to live and constant support in this field, in NYC, is almost too good to pass up. It’s an incredible opportunity to make the connections that will open up doors.”

“My advice for future students,” Enders said, “is to take risks all the time, but specifically while you have the security of your college community. Whether that means taking classes on campus that put you out of your comfort zone or coming to the NY Arts Program and doing an internship in an area you’re interested in but don’t know much about. It’s okay to be inexperienced as long as you are genuine and honest. Everyone is growing and learning no matter their age, so don’t be scared to try something new and take risks.”

Sparks Fly During the Iron Pour

By Sarah Bunch

Transcript Correspondent

Sparks flew on Friday as a 400-pound ladle filled with molten iron was poured into the awaiting molds created by 3-D design and sculpture students at Ohio Wesleyan.

OWU art professor John Quick hosts an iron pour in Haycock Hall every semester. All students enrolled in 3-D design and sculpture participated as did a few alumni.

“I begin planning this event over a month in advance,” Quick said, “making my artwork and directing all activities in sculpture prior to the pour. The day of the pour I set up the furnace and all the associated equipment.

“During the pour, I direct all activity at and around the furnace, opening the spout (‘tapping out’) for every ladle-full of iron, and working at the furnace, making sure that it operates correctly.”

Classes went through a slightly different process and created different types of molds for the event based on the course.

“Students in sculpture made ceramic shell molds from wax sculptures and also resin-bonded sand molds,” Quick said. “The 3-D design students make molds by carving negative space in bonded sand blocks. We call these scratch block molds. All of the work was successfully cast.”

Because 3-D design is a prerequisite for sculpture, all the students enrolled in the upper level course have already participated in one iron pour.For most of the students enrolled in 3-D design, it was a new experience.

Sophomore fine arts major and 3-D design student Mukami Mboche said, “I really enjoyed watching the iron get poured. The color of the iron was really cool and vibrant.”

Design students arrived about 1 p.m. to begin setting up materials such as the molds and the charges, which are the buckets of iron being put into the furnace. Students enrolled in sculpture, however, had a much different experience. For Willow Smart, a junior art education major, it was her second time participating in an iron pour at OWU.

“I had to get up at 6 in the morning,” she said. “I was there by 7:30. Me and the rest of the sculpture and 3-D students just helped prepare with John.”

Alumni also helped by “pulling the cupola furnace outside and setting up bots, which are plugs basically for the furnace to stop the iron from coming out when there’s time between the iron pour,” Smart said. Students and alumni broke the iron for melting and got the molds ready.

The pour started at 1 p.m. and was open to the public. All the molds were full and cooling by 3 p.m. Cleanup lasted until 6:30 p.m.

The OWU Iron Pour is the result of John Quick’s independent research on cupola furnaces. Quick described several conferences that eventually led to his fascination with the process and the idea of building his own furnace.

“I have been organizing and leading iron pours at OWU every semester since 1998, that is, for twenty-one years,” Quick said. “Prior to that time, I had been operating a modest bronze foundry at OWU since 1989.”

One Acts! Performed in December

By Elenya Stephani

Transcript Correspondent

Theatre majors will come together on Dec. 6 and 7 to put on a production, with the directing and playwriting courses, of “One Acts!,” a series of short scenes performed by volunteer actors and actresses.

At the end of each fall semester, the Department of Theatre and Dance produces a performance where two upper level classes, the directing and playwriting, put on a student-run play. Open auditions were held Oct. 29 for students wanting to participate. Directing and playwriting classes pick the actors they want to present their scene. Students in the two courses have been preparing for this the entire semester to showcase their talents.

“Directing is a lot of hard work,” said sophomore Jasmine Lew. “You have to accommodate the playwright and the actors’ or actresses’ needs and wants, while still making the scene look good for the audience.” Lew has been active in the department.

“The scene I am directing reflects what I learned in class this semester,” she said. “I hope everyone can come see what I have done. I am really proud of my work.”

The director, playwright and actors of each scene rehearse four hours per week. The actors memorize the script; the playwrights give ideas on what they want their play to look like; and the directors try to replicate that on stage.

Actor and sophomore Max Haupt explained that being an actor for “One Acts!” has helped him greatly improve his acting abilities.

“‘One Acts!’ really helps you learn how to work with everybody involved in the production,” he said. “And [it’s] a great opportunity for new coming actors to try out their skills. It can be a great learning experience.”

Haupt uses a lot of his free time memorizing the script and getting into his character, saying sometimes he spends up to two hours every day preparing for a role.

“I am very proud of how hard the students have worked this semester on the show,” said instructor Bradford Sadler of the theatre department. “I think it will be spectacular.”