ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre selected for new national consortium initiative headed by The Acting Company

October 20, 2014

The Arizona State University School of Film, Dance and Theatre, in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, is one of four institutions that have been selected to join The Acting Company’s new national consortium-based performance and education initiative. The initiative is a three-year long partnership that will focus on offering professional development opportunities for playwrights, actors, designers, directors and educators.

“This new initiative continues The Acting Company’s 42-year history as America’s leading national-touring repertory theater while adding new emphasis on developing concentrated and sustained relationships with schools and communities,” said The Acting Company’s board chairman, Earl D. Weiner. The Acting Company Photo by Brigitte Lacombe Download Full Image

The Acting Company was founded by John Houseman and Margot Harley in 1972 with members of the first graduating class of Juilliard’s Drama Division and has featured performers such as Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Hamish Linklater, and Rainn Wilson.

“This partnership is part of our continuing commitment to engage with professional companies and artists in ways that create exciting and valuable opportunities for our students,” said Lance Gharavi, assistant director of the School of Film, Dance and Theatre. “We’ve started a series of initiatives designed to make the School of Film, Dance and Theatre a kind of oasis for established artists and companies, a refuge where they can develop new work in partnership with our faculty, staff, and students. Our students benefit, the company benefits and the field moves forward.”

The consortium model will allow for a variety of outreach activities, while furthering the ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre’s mission to establish itself as a center for research and development of new theatrical works.

The initial three-year cycle of this partnership will culminate in the global premiere of “Malcolm X,” a new work by Marcus Gardley, in the spring of 2017 at ASU. Gardley is an award-winning playwright, whose work was commissioned by The Acting Company specifically for the launch of this partnership.

“Ian Belknap, our artistic director, chose this repertory to encourage faculty to examine the causes and repercussions of assassination from historical, political and philosophical perspectives,” said The Acting Company co-founder Margot Harley.

"This project represents an entire series of ideals for us: a partnership with one of the most important and respected touring theatre companies in the world, coupled with the world premiere of a culturally important work, mixed with this chance to prototype a new model for the relationship between professional theatre companies and research universities," said Jake Pinholster, Director of the School of Film, Dance and Theatre.

The initiative is formally launching this month with the first year’s design and development phase.

Media Contact:
Katrina Montgomery

ASU community to attempt to break world record for hunger relief

October 20, 2014

Arizona State University and Valley of the Sun United Way will kick off a year of philanthropy, Oct. 25, when ASU students and community members attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records’ Most Hunger Relief Kits Assembled record at the Band Practice Fields on the Tempe campus.

At the World Record to End Hunger event, Sun Devils Unite volunteers will enjoy student-planned activities, games, a performance by the a cappella group Priority Male, and an opportunity to learn about future service events. The attempt to break the record is expected to provide more than 14,000 meals to children in the local communities by simultaneously assembling 2,000 "weekend hunger backpack" kits in just three minutes. World Record to End Hunger event graphic Download Full Image

This is the second year ASU and Valley of the Sun United Way have partnered for Sun Devils Unite, a collaborative movement led by multiple ASU student organizations.

In spring 2014, Sun Devils Unite hosted a weeklong series of philanthropic events attended by thousands of ASU students to help end hunger and homelessness, and to assist children and families in the Valley. More than $60,000 was raised that week for the Valley of the Sun United Way.

This fall, students have chosen to expand the weeklong series of philanthropic events to an entire year – beginning with the Oct. 25 World Record to End Hunger event – with a goal to raise $83,500 through additional events planned throughout the 2014-2015 academic year.

Additional events include:

Devil-X Homecoming kick off and social jam
4-6:30 p.m., Oct. 24
Sun Devil Fitness Complex pool deck, Tempe campus
Learn about Devil-X Fitness while enjoying delicious, healthy beverages, and sweat it out with a grind and zumba workout. Raffle tickets will be sold for $1 with a grand prize of a free semester group fitness pass. This event is free and open to all students.

Make a Difference Day – World Record to End Hunger
noon-3 p.m., Oct. 25
Band Practice Fields, Rural Road and 6th Street, Tempe campus
Volunteers will fill at least 1,400 hunger relief kits with food in three minutes. Valley of the Sun United Way will distribute the kits to children in need through the Weekend Hunger Backpack Program. Register at

Homecoming Block Party
Silent auction and Make Hunger Disappear at Homecoming
Nov. 1
University Drive and Palm Walk, Tempe campus
Guests can bid on a variety of auction items. In addition, Student United Way challenges our community to Make Hunger Disappear. A 30-foot-long structure spells out "hunger” in plates, and for every donation, volunteers will remove a portion of the structure until the word literally disappears. All proceeds benefit Valley of the Sun United Way.

Dancing with the Devils, sponsored by Student United Way and Devil DanceSport
6-10 p.m., Nov. 15
Paragon Dance Center, 931 E. Elliot Rd., Suite 101, Tempe, 85284
A charity ball including a dance lesson and open dancing. Tickets are $10 for students with student ID, and $15 for all others. Learn popular dances like the fox trot, Rumba and the waltz. Proceeds benefit Valley of the Sun United Way.

Literacy Awareness Event
February-March 2015
(location TBD)
ASU will partner with Valley of the Sun United Way to host a literacy event at a nearby at-risk elementary school.

Devils In Disguise
March 28, 2015
Don't miss ASU’s largest community service event, which raises awareness of the needs of the community in the Valley.

April 4, 2015
Rio Salado Parkway and Rural Road, Tempe
Students, staff and community members will have a chance to participate in the annual Oozeball Tournament, which is in its 30th year. Oozeball combines the great game of volleyball with a giant mud pit for two teams to battle it out to the end.

Greek Sing
April 12, 2015
Gammage Auditorium, Tempe campus
Greek Sing will be the fraternity and sorority communities’ largest philanthropic event. Chapters will team up to create, choreograph, direct and perform musicals to raise money for the Valley of the Sun United Way. Awards will be given to the best shows, with the ultimate prize going to the chapters that raise the most money for the Valley of the Sun United Way.

For more information about upcoming events and activities, visit