Texas Tech’s Marfa Devising Intensive: Collaboration as Practice

Saturday, November 3, 2018, 9:00-10:30am

By exploring the complexity of Texas Tech’s Marfa Intensives, this panel will examine how devising in Marfa, Texas forces students to confront, embrace, and understand how environment creates art, and art affects environment. In this panel, devisers, designers, company managers, artists and producer discuss the intricacies of such a collaboration, and its capacity of turning a hunch into a piece of theatre in only eleven days. The presentation also emphasizes the creative growth acquired through interdisciplinary work of theatre and visual art practitioners collaborating together.


Mark Charney served as Director of Theatre for the Department of Performing Arts at Clemson University for many years before retiring as a Professor Emeritus and accepting the role of Chair of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University. A past Chair for Region IV, a past member of the National Selection Team, and presently National Coordinator of Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy/Dramaturgy for KCACTF, Mark currently serves as Associate Director of the National Critics Institute for the O’Neill Theatre Center and will be working with the Artistic Director there each summer, Chris Jones from The Chicago Tribune. He is also on the National Board of NAST (the National Association of Schools of Theatre) and Focus Group Planner for Playwrights and Creative Teams through ATHE. His play, The Power Behind the Palette, won the David Mark Cohen Award and received a stage reading at ATHE in Los Angeles. His 61-page chapter on “The Entertainment Marketplace from 2000-2014” was published in Screenwriting by Rutgers Press August of 2014. And his most recent chapter on creative assessment will be released in the book, CREATIVITY, this year. Mark was recently an invited guest to the Actors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Los Angeles, where he received an award for his work in criticism and dramaturgy nationwide (and made an honorary inductee), and recently returned from Kuala Lumpur where he is Artistic Director for the International Schools of the Southeastern Asian International Theatre Festival. His Incline/Decline was performed in Austin during the fall of 2014, and was made Playwright-in-Residence at Two Beards Theatre in Austin, Texas soon thereafter.. His SHOOTING BLANKS was recently featured in the Prague International Festival.
Rich Brown landed at Western Washington University in 2006 where he currently teaches psychophysical acting, Suzuki, Viewpoints, commedia, and devising. He has published in Theatre Topics, Theatre Journal, College Teaching, The Western States Theatre Review, and the book Aesthetics & Business Ethics, and presented at numerous ATHE & NET conferences on devising.  He has led Viewpoint & Devising Intensives for Teatrul Fara Frontiere at the National Theatre of Romania in Bucharest and led Devising Intensives for Bucknell University, Seattle University, Rio Hondo College, Lewis & Clark College, Graceland University, Walla Wall University, and serves as the Artistic Director for Texas Tech University’s Marfa Devising Intensives. Rich is an associate artist with professional devising companies hand2mouth (Portland) and Blessed Unrest (NYC). Recently, Rich performed in The Pillowman at the iDiom Theatre, Poison the Well at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Into the Woods and Art at the Mt. Baker Theatre, The American Family at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (which he also co-directed), Circle Mirror Transformation at Idaho Repertory Theatre, Lying and The Snow Queen with Blessed Unrest in NYC. Recent directing credits include the devised works cheat, Us, The American Family, Soapbox, /faust, Commedia in the Parks and the scripted plays Some Girl(s), Corktown (WWU premiere by Jeff Augustine), How I Learned to Drive, HIR, and The Aliens. Rich received a Bellingham Mayor’s Arts award in 2008, WWU’s prestigious Excellence in Teaching award in 2010, the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival’s National Outstanding Lead Deviser/Director of a Devised Work in 2012, the Carnegie Foundation’s Professor of the Year for the state of Washington in 2015, and the Washington State Thespians’ Hall of Fame Award in 2016.Rich Brown teaches physical acting and devising at Western Washington University. Carnegie Foundation’s State of Washington Professor of the Year 2015, KC/ACTF’s National Outstanding Lead Deviser 2012, WWU Excellence in Teaching Award 2010.
Cory Norman is the Director of Marketing and Communication for the School of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University.  He’s been involved with countless productions as a performer, technician, and administrator.  Before returning to Lubbock, his hometown, he spent six years as Managing Director of Theatre Three, a 54 year-old small professional theatre in Dallas, Texas.  There, he was involved in over 75 productions in two performance spaces, including serving as the AEA stage manager for Pygmalion (Norma Young Arena Stage), The LaVidas’ Landlord (Theatre Too), House (Norma Young Arena Stage) and Garden (Theatre Too), Don’t Dress for Dinner (Norma Young Arena Stage), Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (Theatre Too)and The Drowsy Chaperone (Norma Young Arena Stage). In addition to his managerial, marketing, and fundraising duties at Theatre Three, he also served on the North Texas Giving Day nonprofit advisory council; the Foote Festival: Celebrating Horton Foote marketing committee; and was a member of the Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition. He is the Company Manager for The Marfa Intensives and TTU’s annual production in the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. Previously, Cory served as Managing Director of Theatre Three in Dallas, Texas, and served on the nonprofit advisory council for North Texas Giving Day.
Randall Rapstine is an actor, director, playwright and theatre educator who holds an MFA in Performance & Pedagogy from Texas Tech University and a BFA in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Arts with an emphasis in History/Theory /Criticism and Playwriting at Texas Tech, where he has taught Introduction to Acting, Stage Management, Acting for the Camera and Introduction to Cinema. Mr. Rapstine is a proud member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA and has worked extensively in television, film and theatre. He is also a Critic Fellow at The National Critics Institute of The O’Neill Theatre Center. He has directed Off-Broadway and regionally, including the hit show Margaret Cho’s The Sensuous Woman. He is also a playwright whose original comedy Common Knowledge toured the country for many years. His devised adaptation of the Tennessee Williams’ short story Mother Yaws was presented at The Tennessee Williams Institute at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival in 2015.

Shannon Robert received an M.F.A. in scene design from Florida State University. While at FSU, she participated in an international exchange with the Moscow Art Theatre Conservatory. Shannon was director of theatre and head of design at William Carey University, where she taught scene design for 14 years. She served KCACTF as Region IV design chair (3 years – managed the design exposition), regional vice chair (3 years – managed the Irene Ryan acting scholarships), regional chair (1 year) and served on national design committees. Shannon served on the board of directors, executive committee and long-range planning committee of SETC and was the Mississippi state representative to SETC for four years. After working in higher education, she managed the paint/craft departments of The Spoon Group Productions in NJ/NY. While there, she worked on “The Grinch,” “Grease” (and national tour), “Xanadu,” “Legally Blonde,” “Inherit the Wind,” “The Pirate Queen,” “Coram Boy,” “The Color Purple” (and Chicago production), “Jersey Boys” (and national tour and Vegas), “Spamalot” (London and Vegas), “Hairspray” (Vegas) and “Sponge Bob Squarepants” (Asian tour). Shannon has worked internationally in venues in Nairobi, Bratislava, Moscow and Edinburgh and has designed for Aurora Theatre, Actor’s Express, Mill Mountain Theatre, New Stage Theatre, Auburn University Theatre, Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts (MTSU), Southern Arena Theatre, University of Southern Mississippi, University of West Georgia, SC Governor’s School for the Arts, The Fine Arts Center, The Peace Center, and ReelRock Productions. She was a consultant for The Saenger Theatre renovation in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for Albert and Associates Architects. Shannon has worked as an evaluator, respondent and adjudicator for a number of productions/projects and has presented several workshops and served on panels throughout the U.S. She served as the Associate Artistic Director and Scene Designer in Residence for The Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, South Carolina. She is a proud member of USA 829, and serves as a member of the Hollins University M.F.A. Playwriting Faculty. She received Atlanta’s 2014 Suzi Bass Award for best set design for a musical for “Mary Poppins” at Aurora Theatre.


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