Tag Archives: theatre

Hannah Green in front of Captain Marvel marquee

Working in the costuming department for blockbusters such as Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and most recently Captain Marvel, Hannah Greene (06C) has played a big role in creating the costumes for some of our favorite superheroes.

The bright lights of Hollywood are a long way from the Berry campus, but the threads of her career tie directly to her work in the costume shop of the Berry College Theatre Company, where she fell in love with that particular aspect of production.

As a student, the visual communication major designed costumes for theatre and dance troupe productions. Upon graduation, her Berry experience helped her gain admission to the University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in costume design. She then used connections made in Los Angeles to begin her career in film, working her way up to Marvel Entertainment.

In her current role, Greene is responsible for sourcing all the fabrics used to create the characters’ costumes and coordinating between the fabric vendors, costume designer and sewers to make sure the final product matches the creative vision. When working on a Marvel movie, she has to create as many as five costumes for each actor and stunt double, depending on the action required and how well fabrics hold up in the elements.

“It’s been a lot of fun working on the superheroes, because you’re figuring out something that doesn’t exist,” Greene said. “You’re trying to create something that’s high tech and no one has ever seen before.”

Greene was deeply influenced by her Berry professors and is grateful for the mentoring provided by Associate Professor of Theatre Alice Bristow.

“Honestly I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without her,” she said. “She is amazing and such a great professor. She was the one who encouraged me to take costuming classes.”

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Group Photo of Forensics Team at Novice Nationals

Goldwater Scholar Sarah Cooper.

Pictured above: Members of the Berry College Forensics Union display their awards after claiming top honors at Novice Nationals.

Junior biochemistry major Sarah Cooper led a parade of high-achieving Berry students this spring as a recipient of the 2018 Goldwater Scholarship. Cooper, pictured at right, is one of only 211 students nationally chosen for the prestigious award, established by Congress in honor of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater to provide support for U.S. college students who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, engineering or mathematics.

Also notable this spring was the performance of first-year speakers who claimed top honors for the Berry College Forensics Union at Novice Nationals. Berry had an unprecedented 27 national finalists in the competition, with freshman Shelby Newland winning individual honors in dramatic interpretation.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Berry student achievement in 2018. Visit the following links for highlights in areas as varied as theatre, filmmaking, creative writing, student media and animal science.

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As a student juggling football practice, theatre rehearsals and work in HackBerry Lab, Alec Leeseberg (17C) appreciated the pick-me-up provided by a good cup of coffee. It should come as no surprise then that one of the budding entrepreneur’s early inventions was HoloBrew, a “smart” appliance meant to provide the perfect cup every time.

Leeseberg discovered his passion for designing new electronics through Berry’s innovative creative technologies major. Working and studying in HackBerry Lab, he gained valuable skills in computer programming and 3-D printing that helped unlock his first invention, HoloView, which projected holograms using a smartphone. That product became the centerpiece of an entrepreneurship project and ultimately the basis for his own company.

Those experiences taught him the basics of managing a business and paved the way for subsequent inventions like HoloBrew. They also helped him catch the eye of GoFire, a Colorado-based startup he now serves as technology project manager, and the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he will pursue a master’s degree in creative technology and design.

Leeseberg hopes his work at GoFire and in Colorado’s BTU lab will offer a jolt to his own career prospects more powerful than any double-shot of caffeine, allowing him to take full advantage of the foundation Berry provided.

“Berry and the creative technologies major prepared me for working in this field more than any other program could,” he praised. “It gave me a set of skills and a unique perspective that I find valuable every day.”

Hear more about Leeseberg’s Berry experience in the accompanying admissions video produced while he was a student.

By student writer Katherine Edmonds

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Bettyann O'NeillA 23-year career highlighted by the two most successful fundraising campaigns in Berry history will come to a close Dec. 31 when Bettyann O’Neill retires from her longtime position as vice president for advancement. O’Neill, who plans to marry and relocate to Florida, has led Berry’s fundraising and alumni engagement efforts since 1999, during which time alumni and friends have committed more than $235 million to advance Martha Berry’s vision and mission, including more than $65 million for student scholarships. Her work has helped lead to such notable campus additions as the McAllister Hall science center, Cage Center, new theatre, Valhalla stadium and Kilpatrick Commons.

“In the days and weeks ahead, we will determine how we will move forward to fill the void her departure will create,” President Steve Briggs said. “Her efforts to support the college’s most critical strategic initiatives have left an indelible mark on Berry’s firsthand educational experiences and have transformed the face of the campus physically.”

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Project champion Audrey Morgan received a well-deserved standing ovation during a Feb. 23 “topping-out” celebration marking the halfway point in construction for Berry’s new theatre.

Work on the 9,226 square-foot addition to Blackstone Hall is progressing rapidly, with completion expected as early as May 30. Students, faculty, donors and friends got a glimpse of the developing space during the luncheon, which was held inside the four walls that soon will house a black-box stage with adjustable seating for up to 276, depending on the needs of a particular production. Construction and design partners in attendance praised the cooperation and assistance of Berry’s theatre faculty and facilities staff in helping to bring the project to fruition.

It was Morgan’s $1 million challenge gift that initiated fundraising for the now-completed $6.7 million theatre campaign in fall 2015. A year later, at the project groundbreaking, she announced a second $1 million commitment, this one from the foundation of her late sister, Dr. M. Bobbie Bailey.

Morgan, an honorary alumna and member of the Board of Visitors, spoke fondly of her sister at the topping out and graciously thanked all “who had a part in making this dream a reality.” Later, President Steve Briggs proclaimed to the theatre students in attendance, “This, my friends, is for you.”

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With their traditional home temporarily unavailable due to ongoing construction of Berry’s new theatre and associated work in Blackstone Hall, the Berry College Theatre Company took its show on the road in early December — spreading a little Christmas cheer in the process.

Following up on an impressive outdoor production of Peter and the Starcatcher staged at the BOLD ropes course in early fall, the troupe decked the halls of Krannert Center the first week in December for A Charlie Brown Christmas, doing one matinee for local schoolchildren and four others for the campus community and general audiences.

Student director AnnaBeth Crittenden enjoyed bringing the Charles Schulz classic to Berry, noting, “Even after watching the Christmas special upwards of 100 times, I still get chills. There is so much humanity and light in the show that I’ve loved to bring out onto the stage.”

According to Director of Theatre Dr. Anna Filippo, the students are making the most of their temporary displacement from Blackstone (the new theatre will be completed in time for fall semester). She stated, “While not having a conventional stage has posed several challenges for the students, they have gained experience in mobile set building and outdoor performance.”

The Berry troupe will continue its “road tour” April 4-9, performing Shakespeare’s The Tempest in Kilpatrick Commons.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

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Berry parents Rick and Barbara Gaby have committed $300,000 in matching funds to encourage gifts supporting the renovation of Ford Auditorium into a first-class recital hall. These funds will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for new commitments by others, doubling the impact of such gifts. Similar matching programs have been successful in generating support for Gate of Opportunity Scholarships, Clark Track and, most recently, the new theatre under construction at Blackstone Hall.

The $4.9 million renovation of Ford Auditorium will breathe new life into Berry’s signature venue for music performance. Planned enhancements include an enlarged stage; 366 seats in an arched configuration; a redesigned balcony; high-performance acoustics; digital lighting and sound systems; climate-controlled instrument storage; a renovated foyer and lobby; and restoration of historic architectural elements.

Contact Scott Breithaupt at 706-238-5897 or sbreithaupt@berry.edu for more information on the matching program. Many naming opportunities are available. To make an online gift, click www.berry.edu/gift and select “Ford Auditorium renovation” from the “Campaign Priorities” menu.

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A turn of the shovel signaled a new era for Berry’s fine arts program as ground was broken Sept. 27 for a new campus theatre adjacent to Blackstone Hall. Adding to the excitement was news of a surprise $1 million gift from the foundation of project champion Audrey Morgan’s late sister, Dr. M. Bobbie Bailey.

“Over the years I’ve volunteered and supported a lot of great causes, and standing right by my side and supporting me in all of my endeavors was my sister and business partner, Bobbie Bailey,” said Morgan, an honorary Berry alumna and member of the Board of Visitors. “The Berry project was no different.”

Thanks to the Bailey Foundation gift, fundraising for the new theatre and associated improvements to Blackstone has now exceeded $6 million, leaving the project just $600,000 short of completion. Morgan played a key role in that success with her fall 2015 challenge gift of $1 million, which was contingent on construction beginning in 2016.

“This is not a ‘build it and hope they will come’ project, because they are already here,” Morgan said, praising the quality of the students, faculty and staff in the Berry College Theatre Company. “They deserve a first-class facility.”

Construction of the 250-seat theatre is expected to be completed in time for the 2017-18 academic year. Click here to help complete funding for the project.

Additional Coverage: Around Berry Photo Gallery, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Audrey Morgan

Audrey Morgan

Todd Brooks

Todd Brooks

The visionary donor who helped spur development of the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program and the administrator who has led Berry’s athletic program during a period of tremendous growth have been granted honorary membership in the Berry Alumni Association. Audrey Morgan and Todd Brooks join an impressive list that includes former college presidents, beloved faculty members and other close Berry friends.

Morgan has committed more than $7.5 million to programs and facilities benefiting Berry students, including $1 million in matching funds to encourage support for a new campus theatre. She is a member of the Board of Visitors and a recipient of Berry’s honorary doctorate.

Brooks, meanwhile, has served two stints as athletic director, helping guide Berry’s transition to NCAA Division III and the Southern Athletic Association and assisting in the planning process for the Cage Center and Valhalla.

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Cabaret Performance ImageMomentum is building for the dramatic arts at Berry, with fundraising surpassing $3 million for new and improved campus theatre facilities and attendance reaching new heights during the Berry College Theatre Company’s February production of Cabaret. More than 70 students worked on stage and off to bring the Tony Award-winning musical to life on the Berry stage, and their efforts did not go unrewarded. Attendance totaled nearly 1,300 for the eight shows (more than 80 percent capacity), breaking the previous record set by Little Shop of Horrors in 2014.

Audrey MorganAmong those who turned out was Audrey Morgan, the Board of Visitors member and recipient of Berry’s honorary doctorate whose $1 million challenge gift has spurred significant additional support for construction of a new theatre and renovation of Blackstone Hall. In recognition of her generosity and leadership, the stage in the new theatre will be named in her honor. If you share Mrs. Morgan’s desire to see construction on a new theatre begin in 2016 and would like to take advantage of the matching funds she has made available, click www.berry.edu/gift or contact Scott Breithaupt (91C, 96G) at sbreithaupt@berry.edu.

All gifts should be designated to “New theatre and Blackstone Hall renovation.”

Around Berry: Cabaret Photo Gallery

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Animal Science Laboratory at Rollins

Architectural rendering of the Animal Science Laboratory at Rollins, slated for construction later this year.

Giving to LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity has now surpassed $91 million! This includes more than $43 million in commitments for Gate of Opportunity and general use scholarships. We are truly grateful to everyone in the Berry community who has supported the campaign to date. A special shout out goes to our alumni, whose gifts account for nearly half the campaign total. Thank you for your support!

Highlights in 2015 included the opening of two major campaign priorities – the new campus Welcome Center and Valhalla stadium for football, lacrosse, and track and field – and Audrey Morgan’s $1 million challenge commitment to fast-track fundraising for the renovation of Blackstone Hall and construction of a new campus theatre. There was also further development of initiatives within Berry’s Integrity in Leadership and Entrepreneurship centers.

Construction of two other campaign-funded projects – the Animal Science Laboratory at Rollins and an event pavilion at Oak Hill – is on tap for 2016. In addition, fundraising is underway for Ford Auditorium’s renovation as a recital hall and construction of an animal science addition for McAllister Hall.

Visit www.berry.edu/lifeready to learn more about the various priorities, and thanks again for helping to make the dream of a “life-ready” education a reality for our students!

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Theatre Rendering: Interior

Architectural rendering of planned Berry theatre.

Plans to build a new theatre on campus have a champion in Berry Board of Visitors member Audrey Morgan. She has made a challenge commitment to match the first $1 million in gifts to the project dollar for dollar – if the $3.3 million needed for the new theatre is raised by June 30. Her goal is to put fundraising on the fast track so that construction can begin next summer.

Audrey Morgan Portrait

Audrey Morgan

“We learn so much about who we are as individuals and as a community through the arts,” Morgan said. “I am honored to help bring facilities to Berry that will give such wonderful, talented students new opportunity to grow artistically and personally. These improvements in support of the arts are important for the students and community at Berry and need to happen soon.”

News of Morgan’s challenge was met with excitement on social media and rousing applause during Mountain Day performances of The Nerd, the first production of Berry’s 2015-16 theatre season.

The planned theatre, an addition to Blackstone Hall, will provide a comfortable setting for an audience of 312. A modified thrust stage will be supported by state-of-the-art lighting, sound and curtain systems. A $1.9 million renovation of the main floor of Blackstone Hall will follow, providing a large acting studio/classroom, updated scene shop with paint booth, costume shop with dye area, dressing areas, meeting space, and offices.

Gifts (which literally will be doubled by the match – up to the first $1 million received) can be made online or by contacting Scott Breithaupt (91C, 96G) at sbreithaupt@berry.edu. Be sure to direct your gift to the theatre/Blackstone Hall project.

Visit the LifeReady website for project details.

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