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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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SMU hires first Artist-in-Residence

Will+Power%2C+above%2C+will+be+the+first+Artist-in-Residence+for+the+Division+of+Theatre+at+SMU+starting+in+the+fall.
KIM RITZENTHALER/SMU
Will Power, above, will be the first Artist-in-Residence for the Division of Theatre at SMU starting in the fall.

Will Power, above, will be the first Artist-in-Residence for the Division of Theatre at SMU starting in the fall. (KIM RITZENTHALER/SMU)

Will Power, a renowned playwright and performer, is returning to SMU in the fall to become the first Artist-in-Residence in the Division of Theatre in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

Power began his relationship with SMU this past fall as the winner of the 2010 Meadows Prize.

As the winner, he spent four weeks working with Meadows students to create an original play.

“Alice Underground,” a modern spin on Lewis Carroll’s classic novel “Alice in Wonderland,” premiered last October in the Margo Jones Theater. “Last semester’s Alice Underground was just a taste of what I believe Meadows and Will Power can create together,” said first year theatre student Alexander Hoskins. “I hope collaboration among Meadows students plays a big role in Will Power’s time here.”

The play embodied the spirit of all Power’s works, which combine the spoken word of hip-hop and traditional theatre.

“During his Meadows Prize residency, [Power] demonstrated that it is possible to work with a community, bring multiple art forms together, experiment and also produce great art. Will helped students [at SMU] understand that they can take risks and speak in their own voice,” said José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School. “We were incredibly impressed with his energy, creativity and his new vision for hip-hop theater.”

“Will brings us national attention – he is a super-star hire, but he is also going to further our mission to educate artists who have awesome talent, but also have the tools to use their talent to change the world and earn a living while doing their art” Bowen said.

In the new position of Artist-in-Residence in the Division of Theatre, Power will teach theatre classes beginning in the fall 2012 semester and continue to work with community groups, like Pinkston High School in West Dallas where he held workshops for students in the fall.

“I’ve had a great experience working with the students in Dallas, and have been really impressed with the city and the opportunities it offers for artists,” Power said. “I’m excited to continue to engage the SMU community and the Dallas theatre community.”

Meadows theater students are equally as excited to work with Power in the coming semesters.

“[Power’s] creative energy really resonates with many Meadows students, particularly theatre majors, and I think we all look forward to having him as a part of the Meadows faculty,” Hoskins said.  

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