Thursday, March 29, 2018

UIS Theatre to produce Luigi Pirandello’s play “Six Characters in Search of an Author”

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois Springfield will present Robert Brustein’s adaptation of the Luigi Pirandello play “Six Characters in Search of an Author” opening Friday, April 13.

Six performances will be presented in the Studio Theatre, on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 13, 14, 15 and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, April 19, 20, 21. All shows will begin at 7:30 p.m., except the Sunday performance (April 15), which will begin at 2 p.m.

Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson, UIS associate professor and director of theatre, will direct the production. Dathan Powell, UIS assistant professor of theatre, will be the scenic designer and technical director.

Originally written in 1921, “Six Characters in Search of an Author” is an absurdist metatheatrical play. UIS Theatre will produce the 1998 Robert Brustein adaptation, which has been described by publisher Samuel French as a “highly acclaimed adaption of Pirandello’s masterpiece, a study in illusion and reality which follows a group of characters who try to fashion their life stories into acceptable drama.”

During the play, a group of theatre artists rehearse a known play and get interrupted by six characters from another play, which was never finished by its author. These six characters find themselves in a purgatory of sorts, trying to find a “home” for their stories to live in. Pirandello’s play reminds us that all great art takes on a life of its own, after being created, and we are challenged to find meaningful difference between a work-in-progress and its eventual effects on audience members.

The cast includes UIS students Katie Brethorst, Kat Pruitt, Kov Magana, Mohan Gutta, Chris Vemagiri Marbaniang, Sherri Mitchell and Katie Simpson, along with UIS alumni Blake Detherage, Tom Hutchison and Dwight Langford and community members Sean McCord, Grace Klenke, Avery Biggs and Melissa Betty.

Ticket prices are $14 for adults; $12 for senior citizens (65 or older with a picture I.D.); $10 for UIS Faculty/Staff; $8 for UIS students (and all other college-level students) with a valid, current i-card or college I.D. card; and $6 for 17 and under. Please note that service charges are not included in the prices above.

The new UIS Theatre Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Visual and Performing Arts Building (VPA 127). Patrons may call the UIS Theatre Box Office at 217/206-PLAY (7529) or visit to purchase tickets online or learn more information.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

UIS Music Program presents Spring Showcase Concert on April 6

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Music Program presents its Spring Showcase concert featuring performances by the UIS Orchestra, UIS Chorus and UIS Band. The performance is free and open to the public.

WHEN: Friday, April 6, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Sangamon Auditorium, located in the Public Affairs Center

DETAILS: The event will feature a wide array of music including the first movement of Beethoven’s famous Symphony No. 5, a collaboration between the UIS Orchestra and Chorus by George Gershwin and a set of American-themed pieces for band. This concert will also feature UIS Music Soloist Competition winners Natalie Kerr and Samantha Hwang, performing their violins with orchestra, and Kimberly Nu-tall, singing with the chorus.

The UIS Orchestra, under the direction of Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Yona Stamatis, will lead the program with music from J.S. Bach, Leroy Anderson and Ludwig van Beethoven. The orchestra line-up is a preview for the highly anticipated “Music and Comedy” concert that the group will present on April 29 at 3 p.m. in Sangamon Auditorium.

Directed by Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology Sharon Graf, the UIS Chorus will combine with the Lincoln Land Community College Choir under the direction of See Tsai Chan. They will perform a set of pop and folk song selections including Ryan Tedder’s “Counting Stars” and Redding and Cropper’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”.

The UIS Band will end the program with an American theme under the direction of Applied Music Specialist Abigail Walsh. The program will begin with David Holsinger’s “American Faces” and includes excerpts from Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring”, “Downton Abbey - The Suite” by John Lunn and John Philip Sousa’s famous march “Stars and Stripes Forever”.

Donations are welcome and will be used to benefit the UIS Music Student Merit Award. The UIS Music program began in 2001 and is comprised of students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as Springfield community members, all with a variety of skill levels.

Anyone who is interested in joining the UIS chorus, band or orchestra may contact Abigail Walsh at 217/206-7549 or

Monday, March 19, 2018

UIS Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium to showcase research, creativity and innovation

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield presents the 7th annual Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium (STARS). The two-day event showcases student research and creative activities during the academic year. All events are free and open to the public.

WHEN: Thursday, April 5 from 4 to 9 p.m.
Friday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

WHERE: UIS campus – with various presentations in the Student Union, Sangamon Auditorium, Public Affairs Center and Brookens Auditorium

DETAILS: UIS undergraduate and graduate students will present their research and creative activities through short talks, poster presentations, art exhibitions and musical performances. All events are free and open to the public. The symposium is also a great opportunity for businesses to explore and network with potential new talent for their organizations.

Thursday, April 5
  • Student oral presentations session & student-directed play readings will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center
  • The Launch of the “Alchemist Review”, a literary journal, takes place in Brookens Auditorium at 6 p.m.
  • Keynote Speaker Chen Chen will speak at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. His A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize-winning book “When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities” is longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award for poetry. He will sign books during a reception that follows his presentation.
  • An open music rehearsal will be held from 8 to 9 p.m. in Sangamon Auditorium 
Friday, April 6
    • Art exhibitions will be on display all day in the UIS Student Union
    • Poster sessions will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Student Union
    • Keynote Speaker Rashawn Ray, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, will speak at 1 p.m. in the Student Union, as part of the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series. Ray is the author of “Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy.” He will speak on the divisiveness plaguing the country and how social media seems to be used as a tool to segregate and isolate rather than unify.
    • An Implicit Bias Workshop led by UIS Assistant Professor Carlee Hawkins, Ph.D. will take place from 2-3 p.m. in the Student Union, followed by a reception for Hawkins and Ray from 3 to 3:30 p.m.
    • Student oral presentation sessions will continue from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Student Union Leadership Center
    • The first annual Illinois Capital Innovation Awards Night will take place from 5:00 to 8 p.m. in the Student Union
    • The UIS Spring Music Showcase concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Sangamon Auditorium
    For the full STARS schedule, visit Questions may be directed to Brian Moore at 217/206-6664 or

    Thursday, March 8, 2018

    UIS Lunch & Learn Series presents “Rochester and The State Capitol”

    WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield’s Office of Advancement, Alumni SAGE Society, Chancellor’s Office and the Illinois State Historical Society presents “Rochester and The State Capitol” as part of the Lunch and Learn Series.

    WHEN: Thursday, March 29, 2018, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    WHERE: UIS Student Union Ballroom, 2251 Richard Wright Drive, Springfield

    DETAILS: Raymond and Pamela Bruzan, teachers, writers, environmentalists and community boosters from Rochester, will present “Cotton, Violins, and Shots in the Night: A Timeline Visit to Rochester, Illinois.” Presenting “How the 6th Illinois Capitol Stayed in Springfield” will be Mark Sorensen, Macon County Historian, former assistant director of the Illinois State Archives and past president of the Illinois State Historical Society.

    The cost for the hot buffet lunch and program is $23/per person. Reservations are requested, as seating is limited. The registration deadline is one week prior to each event.

    The final Lunch & Learn event of the semester will be “From Prairie to Sustainable U” on May 2. These lunch-time programs will stimulate thinking as they build upon the University’s tradition of open and intelligent dialogue.

    Visit to register online. For more information, contact the UIS Office of Advancement at 217/206-6058 or email

    UIS, Innovate Springfield & SIU Medicine to host inaugural Innovation Competition Awards

    The University of Illinois Springfield, Innovate Springfield and the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine will host the first Illinois Capital Innovation Competition Awards. The awards will be presented during a ceremony from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018, at the UIS Student Union.

    The awards aim to identify, celebrate and engage area innovators in the Sangamon County area and bring them together to collaborate with leaders from industry, social impact organizations and government.

    Springfield was recently recognized by TechCrunch as one of the top 15 best cities to start a business in the Midwest. In 2016, SmartAsset identified Springfield at the number one best city in the U.S. to work in tech.

    “There’s a significant amount of innovative activity going on in Springfield,” said Bruce Sommer with the UIS Center for Entrepreneurship. “One of the differences between Springfield and other areas is that we lack a coordinated way to channel the impact of innovation through collaboration with researchers and industry.”

    Sommer is working with Innovate Springfield and SIU Medicine to help coordinate efforts, such as the Illinois Capital Innovation Competition Awards, to be a catalyst towards more innovation with greater economic impact for the area.

    “Since opening our doors in 2016, we have seen a significant amount of entrepreneurial activity at Innovate Springfield through our members and in the broader community we engage with,” said Katie Davison, executive director of Innovate Springfield. “Bringing them all under one roof at an event like this really demonstrates the magnitude of diverse innovation occurring in our region.”

    Rob Patino, director of technology transfer with SIU Medicine, points out that there is important cancer, Alzheimer’s and audiology research taking place in Springfield.

    “The SIU School of Medicine is more than an educational institution that treats patients in our community; we also engage in world-renowned research,” he said. “We are very proud of this research and excited about the opportunity to highlight our work throughout the region.”

    Innovative research is also taking place at UIS where faculty are making advances in environmental science, data analytics, digital humanities and public health, according to Keenan Dungey, UIS associate vice chancellor for research and institutional effectiveness.

    “UIS is a comprehensive regional university, where the teacher/scholar model is embodied in our faculty, who often include students as collaborators in their research, and bring their scholarly results into the classroom,” said Dungey. “We also serve the community through policy analyses for government agencies and training the next generation of social workers and teachers.”

    The awards competition is open to researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs, startups, existing businesses, institutions, social entrepreneurs, non-profits and other individuals who currently live in and around Sangamon County, who have lived here at some point in their lives, or are willing to relocate here.

    The deadline to submit an award nomination is March 23, 2018. Visit to learn how to apply for an award, nominate someone or to attend the event.

    Applicants and nominees will be divided in six different award categories—Research, Business Solutions, Healthcare, Agriculture, Community and Government Solutions and Roots (people who no longer live in the area). Nominations of individuals, businesses, or organizations that engage in innovative practice are encouraged as well.

    For more information, contact Bruce Sommer with the UIS Center for Entrepreneurship at 217/206-6712 or

    Wednesday, March 7, 2018

    Four UIS faculty members to present their research during public presentations on campus

    Four faculty members from the University of Illinois Springfield will present their research as part of the Spring Semester 2018 Faculty Scholarship Series. All presentations are free and open to the public.

    Hinda Seif, UIS associate professor of sociology/anthropology and women & gender studies, will present her research on “Paint it Brown: Women Artists, Space, and Self-Expression in Mexican Chicago” on March 29, 2018, from 12 to 1 p.m. in University Hall (UHB), Room 1031.

    Also on March 29, Holly Kent, UIS associate professor of history, will discuss “Writing Freedom: Abolitionist Women Writers Before the U.S. Civil War” from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center, Conference Room F. Following the presentation, she’ll sign copies of her book “Her Voice Will Be On the Side of Right: Gender and Power in Antebellum Antislavery Fiction.”

    On April 18, 2018, Gwen Jordan, UIS associate professor of legal studies, will present "You May Study Law, But You Cannot Practice Here: Transnational Activism of Women Lawyers of Color in the Mid-Twentieth Century" at 12 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center, Third Floor Classroom 3B.

    The final presentation of the semester will be on April 24, 2018, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center, Conference Room F. Rosina Neginsky, UIS associate professor of liberal & integrative studies, will talk about her research on “Mikhail Vrubel and Symbolism in Literary Works,” followed by a book signing of her most recent publications.

    The Faculty Scholarship Series at UIS was launched in Fall Semester 2017 with the goal of sharing the research activities of faculty with the campus and the community. At UIS, faculty often include student researchers in their scholarship, and their results can influence the college curricula. This teacher/scholar model at UIS fulfills our mission to provide “an intellectually rich, collaborative, and intimate learning environment for students, faculty, and staff, while serving local, regional, state, national, and international communities.”

    For more information, contact Keenan Dungey, UIS associate vice chancellor for research and institutional effectiveness, at 217/206-8112 or