News

Fornés Playwriting Workshop 2017

Author: Anne García-Romero

The University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, in collaboration with the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, is proud to announce the writers who have been selected to participate in a one-week playwriting workshop, in the tradition of playwright Maria Irene Fornés, to be held in downtown Chicago from July 7 to 14, 2017.…

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Notre Dame student documentarians reveal to audiences how others see the world

Author: Tom Lange

A documentary by two Notre Dame student filmmakers has been featured in 12 film festivals across the country and won numerous awards. It's the latest success story for documentarians from Notre Dame, a line that extends from How to Die in Oregon director Peter Richardson to The Great Alone’s Greg Kohs to Wordplay director Patrick Creadon. That tradition of excellence extends to 2015 graduate Dylan Parent, whose short documentary on a Holocaust survivor screened at the St. Louis International Film Festival, and Erin Zacek ’11 and Dan Moore ’11, whose film was chosen for the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival.

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FTT students and alumni connect at Notre Dame film festival in Los Angeles

Author: Carrie Gates

For a talented group of students and young alumni from Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the dream of having their film screened at a Los Angeles film festival was realized this summer. The showcase, hosted by the College of Arts and Letters, was held at the Directors Guild of America Theatre this summer. It featured six student films and a short documentary from the “First Time Fans” series, directed by alumni filmmakers.

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Reflecting on 10 years of the television concentration at Notre Dame

Author: Christine Becker

In 2004, Fox’s American Idol drew 27 million viewers each week, Netflix was solely a DVD-rental service, YouTube didn’t exist, and no one at the University of Notre Dame could major in television. Ten academic years of the television major at Notre Dame later, it is now the department’s highest-enrolled concentration, and graduates can explain why the television industry has changed so much, point to previous eras in TV history that can help us predict what future developments are on the way, discuss the cultural implications of the changing entertainment landscape, and credit a growing slate of internships for allowing them to witness these developments firsthand.

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Two key figures honored for career contributions to Department of Film, Television, and Theatre

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Two faculty members and former chairs who were instrumental in the development of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are taking their final bows. Mark Pilkinton, who expanded the department in the 1980s and pushed for the building of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, retired this summer. Donald Crafton unified the department during his tenure as chair and expanded it to include film and television studies. He will retire after the fall semester.

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2016-17 FTT theatre season features Frankenstein, student-written plays, Christ’s passion, and teen drama

Author: Carrie Gates

From the first flicker of life in Frankenstein’s monster to the spark of unexpected connection between two high school students, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre’s 2016-17 theatre season features an array of diverse, compelling productions. The department will present two student-written plays, In Paradisum and The Pink Pope, followed by an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Lauren Gunderson’s I and You, and Christ’s Passion: Medieval Mystery Plays.

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New FTT assistant professor brings humanistic focus to study of video games

Author: Aaron Smith

Matthew Payne will join Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) as an assistant professor this fall, bringing research and teaching interests that range from the rapidly evolving field of video games and interactive entertainment to convergent media, new media literacy, media representations of war, and ethnographic audience research. His book, Playing War: Military Video Games After 9/11, examines how games like the Call of Duty and Battlefield series “transform international strife into interactive fun."

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Notre Dame hosts major conference on gender and media

Author: Shaun Zinck

An interdisciplinary group of media critics and creators from around the world gathered at Notre Dame this summer to discuss issues related to television, video, audio, new media, and feminism. Console-ing Passions, held on campus from June 16 to 18, began in 1989 as an effort by feminist media scholars and artists to foster new scholarship on television, culture, and identity.

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Rock musician, producer Todd Rundgren to serve as artist-in-residence

Author: Dennis Brown

Singer, songwriter and producer Todd Rundgren will serve as an artist-in-residence for the Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) at the University of Notre Dame from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1. During his residency, Rundgren will teach several classes, work with students and teachers in the South Bend/Mishawaka community, perform with student bands in a concert Oct. 1 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, organize an on-campus collection of used musical instruments for national redistribution to music students in need and, in conjunction with his Spirit of Harmony Foundation, present an award to Notre Dame alumnus Bill Hurd.

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Arts and Letters alumnus Patrick Vassel plays pivotal role in success of Hamilton

Author: Carrie Gates

Political science major Patrick Vassel '07 didn’t come to Notre Dame dreaming of a career on Broadway. But a path that began with acting and directing in shows on campus has led him to New York's biggest stage. He's now associate director of Hamilton, the blockbuster musical that's won Tony Awards, a Grammy, and the Pulitzer Prize. Vassel has been a key figure in the show's development, working with actors and technicians night in and night out.

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Record Fulbright Award Year Led by 23 Arts and Letters Students

Author: Mike Westrate

Fulbright logo icon

Twenty-two Notre Dame students who study in the College of Arts and Letters have received 2016-17 grants from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering students grants to conduct research, study, and teach abroad. The total number of finalists from Arts and Letters alone surpasses the previous University-wide Fulbright record of 17, set last year. In all, 27 Notre Dame students were named Fulbright finalists for 2016-17.

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Kearney wins essay award for research on ‘sparkle’ in girls’ media

Author: Carrie Gates

Mary Celeste Kearney

About seven years ago, Mary Celeste Kearney began noticing how much “sparkle” had become part of girls’ culture—in makeup and clothing, as well as in girl-oriented media. She began compiling a “taxonomy of sparkle” in contemporary films and TV series to explore its sociocultural significance. The resulting essay, “Sparkle: Luminosity and Post-Girl Power Media,” has been honored with the Katherine Singer Kovács Essay Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

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Anthropologist and Film Professor Launch Innovative Multimedia Book on Irish Islands

Author: Carrie Gates

Ian Kuijt in Ireland

The abandoned island of Inishark off the coast of western Ireland is coming to life again thanks to new technology—a multimedia book project by Notre Dame anthropologist Ian Kuijt and filmmaker William Donaruma ’89. Through an innovative collaboration, they’ve created Island Places, Island Lives, a guidebook detailing the heritage and history of Inishark and its neighboring island, Inishbofin. Along with text and photographs, the book incorporates short videos of the island that appear on a smartphone or tablet when readers, using a free companion app, hold their device over key images in the book.

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Video: Who Hires Liberal Arts Majors?

Author: Todd Boruff

Notre Dame Job Fair

Graduates of the College of Arts and Letters are in demand in the business world. Through a broad liberal arts education, Arts and Letters students develop problem-solving, analysis, and communication skills—attributes that recruiters from major companies are seeking in college graduates. When companies like Vanguard, Epic Systems, Abercrombie & Fitch, and General Mills come to campus looking to recruit new employees, Arts and Letters students find great jobs.

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Alumnus Wins Prize for Documentary on Cancer-Surviving Sled Dog Racer

Author: Tom Lange

Greg Kohs

Greg Kohs ’88 will wait as long as it takes to earn the trust of his film’s subjects. Kohs, who majored in American studies in the College of Arts and Letters, makes his living directing television commercials and independent documentaries. His newest film, The Great Alone, about four-time Iditarod champion and cancer survivor Lance Mackey, won the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival this summer.

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FTT Course on Nonfiction Graphic Novels Inspires Visual Storytelling by Students

Author: Carrie Gates

Olivier Morel in graphic novel form

After adapting his award-winning documentary On the Bridge into a graphic novel that both portrayed stories of veterans and offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Olivier Morel’s emotions and struggles as he interviewed them, the FTT assistant professor was inspired to create an undergraduate course. In Graphic Wounds, Graphic Novels, in-depth readings and discussions with some of the genre’s leading authors revealed how trauma and recovery are depicted in nonfiction graphic novels.

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Alumni Filmmakers Mentor Students During Production of ‘First Time Fans’

Author: Tom Lange

First Time Fans

Justin Mitchell ’95, Greg Kohs ’88, and Mike Canzoniero ’93—three Notre Dame alumni who became professional filmmakers—were invited back to campus last year to create short films about fans’ first time attending games at Notre Dame Stadium. Producing “First Time Fans” with Fighting Irish Digital Media, Ted Mandell of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre wanted to give the alumni full access to a Notre Dame football game. But he also wanted to make existing students part of the project, so they could see what it actually means to be “on set.”

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2015-16 Theatre Season Highlighted by Musical, Student-Directed Play, and ‘Pride and Prejudice’

Author: Carrie Gates

Wildflower, a play by Lila Rose Kaplan

A new beginning in Crested Butte, Colorado. A carnivorous plant on Skid Row. A chance meeting in a Moscow cafe. And, a fresh look at Jane Austen’s beloved Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. The 2015-16 theatre season of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre offers four distinctly different productions—Wildflower, Little Shop of Horrors, The Bear and Afterplay, and Pride and Prejudice—which together make this season one not to be missed.

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Recent Honors for FTT

Author: Stacey Stewart

Faculty Honors


Christine Becker

  • Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2014
  • Award of Distinction in the Society of Cinema and Media Studies Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award competition, for being part of a project management team for the video essay journal [in]Transition

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Theatre Professor’s Play Explores Nuances of Interfaith Love

Author: Aaron Smith

Anne García-Romero

Disheartened by anti-Muslim rhetoric that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Anne García-Romero resolved to write a play that explored the intricacies and nuances of interfaith love, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence. After years in the making, that work has become a reality. Paloma—which received its West Coast premiere and ran for a month this summer at the Los Angeles Theatre Center—focuses on a romance between a Muslim man and a Christian woman.

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