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Alumna Designs Mural for Inner-City Beautification Project

Artist Caroline Jardine, who earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from The University of Toledo in 2017, recently designed and completed a mural project intended to beautify abandoned homes on North Huron Street in the historic Vistula district, the Glass City’s first neighborhood.

The houses have good bones and may yet be rehabilitated. The project is intended to protect the homes from vandalism in hopes that a buyer may one day remodel them.

These photos show the house at 1105 N. Huron St. in Toledo before and after the mural project.

Jardine’s mural consists of panels that cover the windows and doors of the structures. Each panel has a unique design that connects in color scheme and concept to the other panels.

The project was initiated by Reginald Temple, director and vice president of community development for First Federal Bank of the Midwest. Temple, a UToledo College of Arts and Letters alumnus who received a bachelor’s degree in communication in 2003, often partners with the Lucas County Land Bank on various projects.

Jardine

Temple said this mural is similar to other board-up projects the Lucas County Land Bank and the Arts Commission have done, like the one for the former residence of Art Tatum, Toledo’s legendary jazz pianist.

The Huron Street project was organized through the collaborative efforts of First Federal Bank of the Midwest, the Lucas County Land Bank and the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo. First Federal Bank provided volunteers, plus lunches and restrooms for the volunteers. The Lucas County Land Bank provided the properties, and the Arts Commission commissioned an artist and provided the paint and boards.

Ryan Bunch, communications and outreach coordinator for the Arts Commission, asked Jardine to design 16 murals for the North Huron Street properties.

“I designed the panels so that they would function as individual pieces and as a whole,” Jardine said. “Lindsay Akens [creative place-making facilitator with the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo] and Ryan Bunch showed the Vistula community members the designs and received their approval to move forward with the project.”

Volunteers painted the panels for the houses on N. Huron Street.

Jardine added that her design was inspired by her own work and the houses themselves.

“I chose to include abstracted, minimalist figures that look out to the viewer,” she said. “The vacant houses are given character and life through these figures. The house at 1109 N. Huron was partially blue to begin with, so I brought in blue as one of the colors in this mural.”

Temple arranged for nearly 60 volunteers from his company to carry out the painting.

Jardine said she was impressed with the volunteers because they did so much more than paint: “The houses that the murals were installed on needed a lot of work. Volunteers cleared brush, mowed the lawns, picked up trash, pulled weeds, and cleaned the porches.”

Volunteers did some brushwork, too. Some of the large panels were four feet by eight feet.

“Once we finished priming each of the 16 panels, I outlined the designs and color-coded them so that the volunteers could begin painting them,” Jardine said. “We had two to three days of painting, one and a half days of touch-ups and detail work, and one and a half days of installation. Finally, we clear-coated the panels and installed them on the first floors of the houses.”

Three young girls from the neighborhood came by daily and watched as the project unfolded. Lindsay Akens and Liam Johnson of the Arts Commission suggested the scope of the project be increased so the girls could participate.

Jardine designed several additional panels to cover the basement windows for the girls to paint. Temple noted that the girls were thrilled to be included. “The excitement on their faces was phenomenal,” he said.

The houses are adjacent to each other at 1105 N. Huron and 1109 N. Huron St.

UToledo to Present Art Day Camps for Kids Aug. 5-9

The University of Toledo Department of Art will host two weeklong art day camps for kids ages 7 to 11.

There will be a morning camp and an afternoon camp Monday through Friday, Aug. 5 to 9. Children can be registered for one or both sessions.

These children participated in a UToledo art camp in June.

The morning session is called Wizard Camp. Projects will include wand making, dark forest terrariums, flying dragons, dragon eggs and more.

Afternoon campers will explore Art Around the World as they make projects celebrating the artwork of several global regions, including Mexico (Día de Muertos masks/piñatas), Andes Mountains (collage painting), France — Notre Dame (stained-glass window suncatchers), Egypt (painted rocks and scarab paintings) and China (dragon puppets and paper lanterns).

There will be a supervised lunch break between the morning and afternoon sessions. Those staying all day are encouraged to bring a lunch and beverage; lunch is not provided.

The camps will be held in the Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

The cost of the workshops is $60 for either morning or afternoon camps or $105 for both camps and includes all materials and supplies needed for the projects. Workshop fees are due prior to the first day of the workshops.

To register, go to the UToledo Department of Art website.

UToledo Biodesign Teams Compete at International Biodesign Challenge in New York

Two teams from The University of Toledo Biodesign Challenge competed in June at the international Biodesign Challenge Summit in New York.

“In only our second year of competition, UToledo once again was on the international map and competed brilliantly against strong competition in New York City for the Biodesign Challenge Summit,” said Barbara Miner, chair and professor of art.

Students on the PlastiGrow team are, from left, McKenzie Dunwald, Michael Socha, Colin Chalmers and Ysabelle Yrad.

The UToledo team btilix was one of only nine global finalists for the overall award out of 34 institutions that made it to the international competition, and PlastiGrow was runner-up in the Stella McCartney Prize for Sustainable Fashion. McCartney is the daughter of Paul McCartney and a well-known fashion designer.

According to the Biodesign Challenge website, the McCartney prize is awarded to the Biodesign Challenge team that “explores and/or develops proofs of concept for fashion alternatives that are biological, sustainable, ethical and free of animal products. We ask the teams to explore lifecycles, production processes, disposal and potential for recycling.”

PlastiGrow developed a biodegradable material that can be used for many products in place of conventional plastic; this greatly reduces the cost and energy spent on waste and recycling efforts. Team members are McKenzie Dunwald, art; Michael Socha, bioengineering; Colin Chalmers, art; and Ysabelle Yrad, environmental science.

Btilix team members are, from left, Tyler Saner, Sarah Mattei, Courtney Kinzel, Timothy Wolf and Sherin Aburidi.

The UToledo team btilix developed a disinfectant spray for combating antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The students on the btilix team are Tyler Saner, art; Sarah Mattei, environmental science; Courtney Kinzel, environmental science; Timothy Wolf, bioengineering; and Sherin Aburidi, bioengineering.

“We hit it out of the ballpark through sheer hard-working collaboration on the part of our cross-disciplinary teams of students, as well as the outstanding effort, creative foresight and sheer dedication of Assistant Professors Eric Zeigler and Brian Carpenter,” Miner said. “Their work, advancing the sophisticated presentations, modeling integrative thinking, and employing best pedagogical practices, as well as pulling together faculty members and researchers from many disciplines to help each of the teams, is really meritorious.”

Both teams will showcase their work at the Momentum arts festival Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 19-21, at the Mini Maker Faire in Promenade Park in Toledo.

Sew Cool: Alumna Creates Funky Cats for Art on the Mall

Carrie Hawkins will bring more than 500 fun, fuzzy felines to her booth for Art on the Mall.

Dubbed Ragamuffins, the recycled kitty dolls come in three sizes and sport tags that say “saving ugly sweaters from landfills since 2018.”

Carrie Hawkins showed off a large Ragamuffin she made from a mohair sweater.

“I make all the cats from recycled sweaters. I go to rummage sales and thrift stores, so it’s kind of neat: It helps charity, and then I turn around and make it into something else,” she said. “I use everything — the collars and the cuffs of the sweaters will become the collars of the cats. I use mismatched earrings for charms.

“Any way I can reduce waste — that’s my big thing: I love to recycle.”

She sews the cute creatures in her home studio in Temperance, Mich. Jars of antique buttons line a shelf above bolts of fabrics. Two sewing machines and a box of jewelry and trinkets sit atop a table. Bins of ribbon and fabric scraps are stacked in the corner. And, oh yes, there is a Siamese cat: Ellie is sleeping on a chair.

“Ellie likes to get up on my lap and help me,” Hawkins said and laughed. “Sometimes I sew and she’s hitting the bobbin on the machine constantly like it’s a toy.”

Two other muses roam about the house — Saki, a black cat, and Lilith, a tiger tabby.

The 2001 UToledo alumna found her creative groove by fusing her passion for the past with her fondness for felines.

“I wanted my art to represent me and what I stand for,” Hawkins said. “So I designed the pattern for the cats and decided to make them as earth-friendly as possible and recycle.

“Creating is just something I have to do,” she added.

That love of art began early. The Toledo native recalled having her own art studio at age 6.

“I took a toy box in the closet and that was my art table. And I made little refrigerator pictures, but I didn’t give them to my mom, I sold them to her,” Hawkins said. “I had a little portfolio, and pictures were a nickel if they were a little more detailed. There were a couple penny ones if she just needed something quick to throw on the fridge.”

Carrie Hawkins sewed eyes on an owl doll.

Since receiving a bachelor of arts degree in graphic design and painting, and taking graduate courses in art education at UToledo, she has been selling her award-winning creations for more than 20 years. Hawkins and her company, Scaredy Cat Primitives, have been featured in Prims and Your Cat magazines.

“Once my family moved to Temperance, my parents and I would go to a lot of antique shows and estate sales, and I was always fascinated with rescuing all the things. You’d go to estate sales and it’d be kind of sad because you’d see photos and letters that got left behind that nobody wanted,” she said.

That desire to save is strong.

“We moved to a rural dead-end street, which was a dumping ground for unwanted cats. I was very well-known for bringing home strays,” Hawkins said. “At one time, I had eight rescues. I learned how very different their personalities were and the little quirks they had that made them different.”

She repurposes found objects, bits and pieces to give her Ragamuffins distinct personalities.

“I love how something can tell a story by its wrinkles, dents, chips and stains. That inspires my art. I love paying tribute to the past by recycling. People give me all kinds of things for my work. I’ll make use of it instead of throwing it away. If I didn’t have an outlet for it, I’d end up being a hoarder,” she joked.

Small Ragamuffins sit in Carrie Hawkins’ studio; the cat dolls will be finished for Art on the Mall.

Some owls will fly in with Hawkins and her cats for Art on the Mall Sunday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University.

“I make owls out of tweed and wool skirts and blazers,” the deconstructionist artist said. “Some I make out of a linen fabric and put a little bit of coffee dye on them. I dye them really lightly, let them dry, and then I do embroidery.”

Coming to Centennial Mall on Main Campus for the juried art show is a highlight of summer.

“This is probably my seventh year at Art on the Mall. I love it,” Hawkins said. “The atmosphere is nice, and it’s a great, laid-back crowd.”

When she’s not in her studio with her cats, Hawkins is a member service associate at the Francis Family YMCA in Temperance, where she also teaches art classes.

“I love creating unique things. I hope people appreciate these are one-of-a-kind pieces of art, something they can’t find at a big-box store,” she said. “Like the tag on the back says, these [cats and owls] are handmade with love.”

See You at Art on the Mall July 28

Art on the Mall will return to The University of Toledo’s Centennial Mall Sunday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This summer marks the free, public event’s 27th year of showcasing a variety of art on Main Campus. Attendees will have the opportunity to view and purchase all kinds of art, including acrylic, glass, pen and ink, oil, mixed media, metals, photography, ceramics, textiles, watercolor, woodwork, jewelry and more.

“This year we have invited more artists to participate in the show than we have in the past,” said Ansley Abrams-Frederick, director of alumni programming in the UToledo Office of Alumni and Annual Engagement.

A total of 115 artists are expected to bring their creations to Art on the Mall.

“People can expect a lovely setting, a very comfortable, walkable show that has amazingly talented artists displaying beautiful works of art,” Abrams-Frederick said.

All pieces of art are for sale. Guests can pay cash or with a credit card at the artist’s booth or in the Thompson Student Union.

During the event, there will be food, music, kids’ activities, free parking and golf cart shuttle service from the lots.

In addition, Art on the Mall offers a young artist area for children to try their hands at creating their own masterpieces, a music tent featuring jazz throughout the day, a beer garden, and a food court.

More than 13,000 people attended last year’s show.

“I think the community really supports this event,” Abrams-Frederick said. “The event attendees know that this is a one-day show, so they buy, knowing that it might not be there after they walk away.”

Art on the Mall is supported by community sponsors 13abc, The Blade, Mail It and 101.5 The River.

“The artists love the show because of our supportive and receptive community,” Abrams-Frederick added. “They love our volunteers and know that the people attending the show really appreciate their work. It’s a great show with wonderfully talented artists in a beautiful setting. What more could you ask for?”

For more information, contact Abrams-Fredericks at 419.530.4316 or ansley.abrams@utoledo.edu.

UToledo students’ winning biodesign projects to compete in New York

Two groups of UToledo students will compete against more than 30 teams from around the world Thursday and Friday, June 20 and 21, at the Biodesign Challenge Summit at the Parsons School of Design and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The two teams, PlastiGrow and btilix, won the chance to travel to the Big Apple at the UToledo competition this spring at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion.

Btilix team members are, from left, Tyler Saner, Sarah Mattei, Courtney Kinzel, Timothy Wolf and Sherin Aburidi.

Presented by The University of Toledo, the Biodesign Challenge offers art and design, bioengineering, and environmental sciences students the opportunity to envision future applications of biotechnology and biomaterials that address complex global challenges. Students are connected with community experts to develop innovative solutions through interdisciplinary research and iterative prototyping.

“Normally, our jurors award one team with the honor of competing in New York, but this year we have the opportunity to award not just one team — a team that will compete against all schools — but we are also putting up for consideration another team for a special prize, so we are happy to announce our two winning teams, btilix and PlastiGrow,” Eric Zeigler, assistant professor of art, said.

Students on the PlastiGrow team are, from left, McKenzie Dunwald, Michael Socha, Colin Chalmers and Ysabelle Yrad.

The overall winner of the UToledo competition was btilix. This team developed a disinfectant spray for combating antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The students on the btilix team are Tyler Saner, art; Sarah Mattei, environmental science; Courtney Kinzel, environmental science; Timothy Wolf, bioengineering; and Sherin Aburidi, bioengineering.

The UToledo team, PlastiGrow, is applying to compete in New York for the ORTA Sustainability in Textiles Prize. The team engineered a biodegradable plastic material that can be used in the creation of everyday products to greatly reduce the cost and energy spent on waste and recycling efforts. Team members are McKenzie Dunwald, art; Michael Socha, bioengineering; Colin Chalmers, art; and Ysabelle Yrad, environmental science.

For more information on the competition, visit the Biodesign Challenge website.

Art faculty member awarded Ohio Arts Council grant

Deborah Orloff, professor of photography and associate chair of The University of Toledo Department of Art, has received an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council for her body of work, “Elusive Memory.”

According to the Ohio Arts Council website, the excellence awards “are peer recognition of artists for the exceptional merit of a body of their work that advances or exemplifies the discipline and the larger artistic community. These awards support artists’ growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and beyond.”

Orloff

Orloff said the $5,000 grant will be used to expand her “Elusive Memory” series and to exhibit it nationally.

The work was inspired by an experience she had following the death of her father in 2007 when she was preparing a eulogy for his funeral. While drawing upon specific memories, she realized all of them were directly connected to photographs, causing her to wonder if she remembered the moments, or if the pictures had created false memories.

“I wanted to make work about this phenomenon, but the project didn’t actually take form until many years later,” Orloff said.

“About five years ago, I inherited thousands of neglected prints and slides that had been in my father’s basement, where they were damaged by flooding. I started photographing them in the studio, not knowing what I would do with the images, but hoping to salvage some of the family pictures for posterity,” she said. “It wasn’t until I saw them enlarged on a computer screen that I recognized their poignancy and greater relevance: I saw metaphors for loss and the fragmentary, ephemeral nature of memory.”

“My Favorite Dress” from “Elusive Memory,” color photograph on rag paper, by Deborah Orloff

Her new work utilizes the severely damage photos.

“‘Elusive Memory’ explores the significance of vernacular photographs as aesthetic objects and cultural artifacts. The resulting large-scale photographs make commonplace objects monumental and emphasize their unique details,” Orloff said.

The exhibition is on display at Workspace Gallery in Lincoln, Neb. Upcoming exhibitions include Youngstown State University’s Solomon Gallery, Vincennes University’s Shircliff Gallery in Indiana, and Anna Maria College’s Art Center Gallery in Massachusetts.

In addition, Orloff’s project was featured recently online at “Aint — Bad,” an independent publisher of new photographic art.

Samples of Orloff’s work can be seen on her website at deborahorloff.com.

Creativity blossoms with University’s Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

A small flock of enigmatic birds intently gaze across Centennial Mall. A wayward sea turtle suns itself near the southwest corner of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories. And a wave rolls between UToledo Medical Center and Mulford Library.

“Birdzels” by Mark Chatterley, “Turtle” by Jonathan Bowling and “Blue Wave” by Mike Sohikian are three of the 10 new works installed for The University of Toledo’s 14th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

Mark Chatterley’s “Birdzels” are perched on the west side of Centennial Mall.

“For me, ‘Birdzels’ were meant to be fun. They are a cross between anime, emojis and Angry Birds — with a little Snoop Dog mixed in,” Chatterley said and laughed. “They are made from high-fired clay with a crater glaze on the outside. I feel I am pushing the material to make it unrecognizable as clay.”

Bowling’s recycled reptile features a dredge scoop, railroad spikes, horseshoes and stove grates.

“Being able to make something from nothing is what I like to do,” Bowling said. “It’s economical, too.”

Thanks to the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment, new sculptures sprout up each spring.

“Big Blue X” by Brian Ferriby sits atop the hill west of University Hall, and Glenn Zweygardt’s stainless steel work titled “New Mexico Passage” shines on the west side of the Student Recreation Center.

Bernie Dominique’s geometric work “Four Square” can be found by the northeast side of Wolfe Hall, and Beau Bilenki’s engineering feat “Hole in One” is between Nitschke and Palmer halls.

A 250-pound fish flies near the University Parks Trail and Ottawa House with Michael Angelo Magnotta’s “Above the Waves.”

“My sculptures typically begin with a trip to the metal yard,” Magnotta said. “From the shapes and textures I rescue, a conversation takes place — a visual conversation — that results in my sculptures.”

“Turtle” by Jonathan Bowling sits near the southwest corner of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories.

Gregory Mendez’s forceful “Kometes” is located north of Ritter Planetarium, and Kenneth M. Thompson’s intricate “Laminated Stack, Triangle” sits on the east side of the Health and Human Services Building.

More than 180 artists submitted proposals to the Midwest Sculpture Initiative, and the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment reviewed the entries and selected pieces for this year’s exhibit.

Since the exhibition began, more than 130 sculptures have rotated through the display on UToledo campuses, and several have become part of the University’s collection courtesy of campus benefactors, colleges and departments.

Those wishing to make a gift to support the exhibition are encouraged to contact the UT Foundation at utfoundation@utoledo.edu or 419.530.7730.

UToledo to present summer workshops in the arts

The University of Toledo School of Visual and Performing Arts will host several workshops and camps in the arts this summer.

These are day-camp only, no overnight stays. Parking during these events is free.

Workshops, dates and times are:

Students created masterpieces during Art Camp last summer.

Art Camps — June 3 through 7. There will be two weeklong camps available — a camp for ages 7 to 10 and a camp for ages 11 to 13. Each camp offers a morning workshop (9 a.m. to noon) and an afternoon session (1 to 4 p.m.). There will be a break between the morning and afternoon sessions, with supervision of students who stay for both workshops. Projects for the younger camp center on dinosaurs in the morning and sci-fi adventures in the afternoon. In the morning, the older student camp will present literary journeys in which projects are related to famous youth novels, and in the afternoon cosplay in which students design and sew a costume. Students staying all day are encouraged to bring a lunch and beverage; lunch is not provided. The workshops will be held in the Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus. Cost: $60 for each workshop, $105 for both, and includes all tools, materials and supplies needed. Deadline to register: Friday, May 31.

Theatre Camp — June 3 through July 14. The Department of Theatre and Film will host the Children’s Theatre Workshop of Toledo as it presents a workshop culminating in the performance of the teen musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” The Children’s Theatre Workshop will prep students ages 13-18 to host auditions, cast the show, and rehearse the musical for a weekend of public performances. Rehearsals and performances will take place in the Center for Performing Arts. Cost: $180. Deadline to register: Saturday, June 1.

Flute Camp — June 17 through 21. Toledo Symphony flutists Joel Tse and Amy Heritage will lead classes in all aspects of flute playing and performance. The three tracks available include a morning-only session for first- and second-year beginners, a full-day track for students with at least two years’ experience, and another program for adults. Extras included in the camp fee: guest instructor-led sessions in yoga, drumming, eurhythmics and music theory, plus chamber and solo performance opportunities, a piccolo workshop, flute-care instruction and more. Flute Camp will be held at the Center for Performing Arts. Cost: Track one $150, tracks two and three $300; daily rate $65 for those who cannot attend all days of the workshop. Deadline to register: Monday, June 10.

Students played during last summer’s Jazz Jam Camp.

Jazz Jam Camp — June 23 through 28. The Jazz Jam Camp will be held at the Center for Performing Arts. It offers all levels of jazz instruction by master jazz musicians/educators, as well as performance opportunities and a recording session. The camp is open to all people ages 12 and older. All levels of jazz students can discover and achieve their jazz potential through one of four program tracks: instrumental jazz, vocal jazz, teacher training (continuing education credit available) and jazz appreciation. Cost: $500 ($50 nonrefundable deposit plus $450 camp fee). Daily lunch is included in the fees. Teachers participating in the camp can reduce their own fees by $100 for each student from their school who participates. Deadline to register: Saturday, June 1.

Choral Conducting Workshop – July 23 through 25. This workshop is a comprehensive and immersive choral conducting workshop. It is designed to serve and educate individuals as conductor, teacher, leader, scholar and performer. The workshop will be led by Dr. Brad Pierson, UToledo assistant professor of music and director of choral activities. Conductors will engage in sessions covering a wide variety of topics. Conductors may choose from either a three-day immersion workshop (July 23-25), or a one-day workshop (July 25). Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided in the mornings. The workshop will provide 18 contact hours of professional development for Ohio teachers. Please provide any required paperwork as needed. Cost: $300 for the three-day option; $100 for the one-day option if registered by Monday, July 1. After July 1, fees increase by $25. Fees are due upon registration. This workshop will be held in the Center for Performing Arts. Deadline to register: Saturday, July 20.

For more information and to register, visit the summer workshops’ website, or call the UToledo School of Visual and Performing Arts at 419.530.2452.

Theatre faculty member wins national award at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Dr. Matt Foss, assistant professor in The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film, has won a national playwrighting award. His adaptation of “All Quiet on the Western Front” is the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award.

The play was performed at the University last November.

Foss

The award includes a cash prize, membership in the Dramatists Guild and the Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis, and a professional development residency during summer 2019.

Foss accepted his award last week during the National Festival at the Kennedy Center.

Supported by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the Dramatic Publishing Co., the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award is presented in an effort to promote the writing and production of new plays. Developed by the Playwriting Program of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the National Playwriting Program of Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, the award is intended to provide incentive to college and university theatre production departments to foster the growth and development of playwrights through the public presentations of unpublished full-length plays or a collection of shorter works for the stage that have not received a professional production.

In 2016, Foss’ touring production of “The Glass Menagerie” was performed at Russia’s Moscow Art Theatre. He adapted and directed Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” for Oracle Productions in Chicago in 2014. The production received Chicago Jeff Award nominations for outstanding production, director, ensemble, and won for best new adaptation.

In 2012 his production of “Six Characters” at Iowa State University received the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival’s National Award for Outstanding Production of a Play and Outstanding Director of a Play. He was a recipient of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education/Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival’s Prize for Innovative Teaching in 2013.

Foss received a master of fine arts degree in acting from Chicago’s Roosevelt University and doctorate in theatre studies and directing from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Recent professional credits include Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Oracle Theatre, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, American Blues Theatre, the Jewish Ensemble Theatre and Tipping Point Theatre.