Theatrical Choreography the Subject of Pregame Showcase

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Casey SamsKNOXVILLE — Singin’ in the RainA Chorus Line…West Side Story. A dance comes to mind with each of these musicals. Theatrical choreography enriches theater and film, filling productions with movement and engaging the audience through dance.

This week’s College of Arts and Sciences Pregame Showcase at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, focuses on the choreography and the role of the choreographer in theater. Led by Casey Sams, associate professor of theater, the showcase will focus on the range of work of a choreographer as she uses examples from her work with the Clarence Brown Theatre.

The showcase will take place Saturday, November 5, before the Vols’ home game against Middle Tennessee State University. The showcase will begin at 5:00 p.m., two hours before the game’s kickoff. Featuring a thirty-minute presentation followed by a fifteen-minute question-and-answer session, each showcase is free and open to the public and held in the Carolyn P. Brown Memorial University Center Room 213. Light refreshments are provided, and guests have a chance to win door prizes. Guests who complete a registration form receive a 10 percent discount coupon for game day purchases from the UT Bookstore.

Sams will choreograph two Clarence Brown Theatre productions this fall: Tartuffe and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

“I’ll talk about the role of the choreographer in general and then use these two very different productions to illustrate the range of challenges a choreographer addresses,” said Sams.

Sams plans to share rehearsal photos of the two productions and share a behind-the-scenes view of the Clarence Brown Theatre with the showcase audience.

Sams has worked as a director, choreographer, and movement coach at numerous theaters across the United States, including the Roundhouse Theatre in Maryland, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Great River Shakespeare Company in Minnesota, the North Carolina Stage Company, the PlayMakers Repertory Theatre in North Carolina, the Virginia Stage Company, the Pennsylvania Musical Theatre, the Vermont Stage Company, and the Knoxville Opera Company.

She has written three plays commissioned by the Virginia Stage Company, the Roundhouse Theatre, the Actors Co-op, and the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia. She has taught more than forty master classes throughout her career and conducted numerous outreach workshops for area middle and high school students. Sams teaches graduate and undergraduate classes at UT in musical theater, movement, acting, and directing and has co-taught contemporary Russian culture.

The final showcase of the season will take place November 19 as Michael Knight, professor of English, presents “The Typist: An Author’s Translation of History Into Fiction,” speaking about his inspiration for and the writing of his novel about an American soldier working as a typist in General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters in post-war Tokyo.

The Pregame Showcase is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences. Sponsorship is also provided by WUOT 91.9 FM, with support from the UT Knoxville Office of Alumni Affairs and UT Athletics. For more information, visit http://pregameshowcase.utk.edu/.

C O N T A C T :

Beth Gladden (865-974-9008, bgladden@utk.edu)

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