News

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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New Course Makes Special Effects Real for FTT Students

Author: Tom Lange

FTT special effects course icon

In a new course, Special Effects for Studio and Stage, associate professional faculty member Ken Cole taught Department of Film, Television, and Theatre students how to brainstorm and design a wide range of practical illusions for use in creative productions. The group of about 10 students simulated explosions, used makeup to create realistic-looking wounds, built props out of scraps and spare parts, and conjured up a realistic rainstorm.

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Theatre Alumnus Jack Blakey Appointed to Federal Judgeship

Author: Josh Weinhold

U

When Jack Blakey was studying theatre at Notre Dame in the 1980s, he never dreamed he would one day be hearing legal disputes on the federal bench. But his liberal arts courses were preparing him for it nonetheless. Blakey was formally installed this spring as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, following his nomination by President Barack Obama and confirmation by the U.S. Senate last year.

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FTT Alumnus to Launch Kids Web Series After Winning Mister Rogers Award

Author: Aaron Smith

Eugene Staples

Eugene Staples has a vision: Entertainment can be more than a distraction—it can be an inspiration. It can teach kids how to be better people. It can make the world a better place. That sense of responsibility—the desire to make things that make an impact—was sparked at Notre Dame, and was recognized this spring by the Television Academy Foundation, which honored him with a Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship.

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Video: Krysta Dennis ’07, ’08 MA on Entrepreneurship and the Liberal Arts

Author: Todd Boruff

Krysta Dennis icon

Krysta Dennis majored in French and film, television, and theatre at Notre Dame and also has a master’s in Romance languages from the University. She is now associate lecturer at the University of Kent at Canterbury and is finishing a dual Ph.D. in theater and globalization. She also co-founded Through the Grapevine Performed Wine Tastings, a theatrical production company where each performance is devised based on the wine served during the show.

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"First Time Fans" Film Series to Be Released at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Michael Canzoniero '93, "#AnnaLynneGoesToCollege"

A series of three documentary films, directed by award-winning film directors who are also University of Notre Dame alumni, will be released on the WatchND app and the UND.com website during the last three weeks of this year. The series, “First Time Fans,” presents the excitement and wonder of some very different people as they experience a Notre Dame football game for the first time.

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Nicole Sganga: Going Global in Search of Stories

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Nicole Sganga

Senior Nicole Sganga spent part of summer 2014 traveling in Myanmar and reporting with New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof after winning the “Win a Trip with Nick” contest. While in Myanmar, she wrote and video-d her way through encounters with Rohingya Muslims living under protracted persecution in internment camps. What you might not know is what Sganga learned—and where she hopes her adventures as a global citizen will take her next.

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Film Projects Take Notre Dame Professor Around the World

Author: Mike Danahey

William Donaruma

Rome. Bangladesh. An abandoned island off the Irish coast. These are just a few of the locations where William Donaruma ’89 has traveled as a filmmaker and teaching professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT). “Nothing beats experience and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone,” Donaruma said.

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FTT Students Shine at National Auditions

Author: Carrie Gates

Zuri Eshun '14

“Imagine a kind of live, national GRE exam where students audition in open competition against one another, evaluated by representatives from the best graduate theatre programs,” said Professor Jim Collins, chair of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT). Notre Dame had record success in 2014 at the national auditions organized by the University/Resident Theatre organization (URTA), with six of the seven FTT students who auditioned receiving offers from graduate programs in attendance.

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ND Theatre NOW Features Original Student Plays

Author: Emily McConville

ND Theatre NOW

Two senior film, television, and theatre (FTT) majors in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters will see their original plays come to life October 2–12 in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. ND Theatre NOW is the only entirely student-driven production in this year’s FTT theatre season, with student writers, directors, and performers. It features two one-act plays: Beneath My Skin, by Zachary Wendeln, and Out of Orbit, by Lucas Garcia.

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Students’ Short Documentary Honored at Sunset Film Festival

Author: Mike Danahey

Suicide Disease filmmakers at Sunset Film Festival

A heart-wrenching film from three 2014 University of Notre Dame graduates took top honors in the short documentary category at this year’s Sunset Film Festival in Los Angeles. In The Suicide Disease, Katie Mattie, Vincent Moore, and William Neal tell the story of Frances Shavers, who worked at Notre Dame as chief-of-staff and special assistant to University President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., before she was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia.

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Alumnus Jeff Spoonhower Brings Digital Media Expertise to FTT

Author: Aaron Smith

Jeff Spoonhower ’99

Jeff Spoonhower ’99 has been appointed assistant professor of film and digital media production in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT). A 12-year veteran of the video game and animation industries, Spoonhower shares with students the very same production techniques and tools he uses in his award-winning professional work.

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Video: Mary Celeste Kearney on Filmmaking and Girls' Media Culture

Author: Todd Boruff

Mary Celeste Kearney

“The world of filmmaking and television production is dominated by men’s voices. We are not seeing enough representations that are actually from a girl or a woman’s perspective,” said Mary Celeste Kearney, associate professor of film, television, and theatre and a senior fellow in the gender studies program at the University of Notre Dame.

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Film Professor Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

Author: Aaron Smith

Donald Crafton, who holds Notre Dame’s first endowed chair for film studies — has been awarded a 2014 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. From a group of almost 3,000 applicants, the foundation awarded 177 Fellowships this year to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.” Crafton, the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Film, Television, and Theatre, will use his Guggenheim Fellowship to research and write about a group of Los Angeles artists who influenced the visual style of the Disney animation studio in the 1930s. 

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Notre Dame junior wins New York Times journalism contest

Author: Jane Murphy

Nicole Sganga

University of Notre Dame junior Nicole Sganga will be going on assignment with Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Nick Kristof this summer, The New York Times announced Sunday (March 16).

Sganga is the winner of Kristof’s annual “Win A Trip with Nick” contest. Her prize is traveling with the Times’ columnist to a developing country to raise awareness about global poverty. During the trip, she will report for a blog and videos that will be published on The New York Times website.

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FTT Student Interns at CBS News

Author: Todd Boruff

Notre Dame senior Adam Llorens spent the summer interning for CBS News at the company’s broadcast headquarters in New York City. Thanks to a grant from the Arts and Letters Summer Internship Program, Llorens worked within the investigative unit of CBS News, working closely with producers, pitching stories, doing research, and checking facts. “The thing I like the most…is that every day is different,” says the film, television, and theatre major from Detroit, Mich.

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Department of Film, Television, and Theatre to present 'Cabaret,' its first full-scale musical in 20 years

Author: Carrie Gates

"Cabaret"

Cabaret,” winner of the 1967 Tony Award for best musical, is coming to the University of Notre Dame Wednesday-Sunday (Nov. 13-17).

Known for its outstanding music, edgy themes and underlying social issues, the show will be the first full-scale musical the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) has produced in more than 20 years, said Associate Professor Kevin Dreyer.

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New FTT Hires Bring Gender, Youth, and Media Culture Expertise

Author: Aaron Smith

Mary Celeste Kearney, whose work focuses on gender, youth and media culture, joins Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theater (FTT) this fall as associate professor. Michael Kackman, a cultural historian and media scholar, will also join FTT as special professional faculty. Kackman and Kearney, who often collaborate, previously taught at the University of Texas at Austin.

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