Penn State Laureate professor to address music students

February 06, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Associate Professor of Theatre and 2014-15 Penn State Laureate Susan Russell will present a lecture at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, in Esber Recital Hall on the University Park campus. Titled "A Musician, an Engineer, and a Physicist Walk into a Bar, " the lecture is designed for the School of Music's weekly "Freshmen Experience" series. It is free admission and open to the general public.

Russell's abstract for the lecture reads: "If everything begins with a story, then the story of this moment begins with your decision to 'show up.' Once you decide to show up, anything is possible. Once anything is possible, then everything can change. So...what's your story now?"

The lecture is sponsored by the School of Music Diversity Committee (Vincent Benitez, chair), and the Freshmen Experience series (Christopher Kiver, chair).

Susan Russell graduated summa cum laude with a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies from Florida State University in 2008. In 1979, she received her B.A. in Theatre from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina. Between educational pursuits, she experienced a 25-year career as a professional actor on and off-Broadway, in regional theatre, and at opera companies across the country.

As a professional playwright, her works Olympia (1998) and Present Perfect (1999) have been produced by the Emerging Artist Theatre in New York City and Lincoln Center, her play Severe Clear was a semi-finalist in the 2006 O’Neill Theatre Center Playwriting Competition, and her 2009 play Ecoute: Pieces of Reynaldo Hahn toured 40 venues in the United States starring Penn State School of Music faculty member Norman Spivey.

In 2007, she created CULTURAL CONVERSATIONS, a new visual, theatre, and dance festival devoted to promoting and fostering new works that circle themes of global and local diversity. She is editor of the academic journal Cultural Conversations: Works in Progress/Writers in the Making, and her 2010 book "Body Language: Cultural Conversations Reaching Out and Reaching In" is the first in an ongoing series of 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.

Russell teaches playwriting, History of American Musical Theatre, Women in Theatre, and graduate literature and criticism seminars in ancient theatre.


Last Updated February 06, 2015