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Meadows Performances Named Among Region’s Best of 2011 by Dallas Critics

Dance, theatre and music well-represented among the best regional performances of 2011

Meadows School dance, theatre and music performances have been named among the best regional performances of 2011 by critics from Dallas media.

The Meadows Symphony Orchestra’s March 10 concert of Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony and Mozart’s Prague Symphony was #6 on Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell’s list of the top ten classical music performances of 2011. The MSO was the only university music group on the list, which included concerts by the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera, Fort Worth Opera and other major professional ensembles.

TheaterJones dance critic Margaret Putnam named the Meadows Fall Dance Concert, which featured works by eight notable dance alumni, as #5 in her list of the top ten dance performances of 2011, and theater critic Mark Lowry named Meadows’ presentation of The Skriker as Best University Production in Theatre.

Other area professional performances that featured SMU participants were also included on the lists.

Theater critic Liz Johnstone of D Magazine’s Front Row blog named Undermain Theater’s production of The Shipment as the best play of the year, calling it “pitch-perfect”; the play was directed by SMU Chair of Theatre Stan Wojewodski, Jr. and included SMU theatre students Adam Anderson and Beverly Johnson, as well as design work by graduate student Rachel Finn and faculty member Steve Woods and choreography by dance faculty member Millicent Johnnie. Johnstone also named the ensemble collectively as one of the top male performances of the year (while also praising Beverly Johnson’s work as the lone female in the cast).

The Bruce Wood Dance Project concert at Montgomery Arts Theatre, which included SMU dance students Albert Drake and Harry Feril, was #3 on Margaret Putnam’s top ten dance list for TheaterJones.

Dallas Theater Center’s production of Dividing the Estate was named #4 in Mark Lowry’s list of the top ten theatre performances of 2011; SMU Associate Professor and Head of Acting Michael Connolly was part of the cast, along with SMU students Katherine Bourne, Kristin Frantz and Emily Habeck, and costume design was by SMU Associate Professor Claudia Stephens. Lowry also named Undermain Theatre’s production of The Shipment as #5 in the top ten list.

Both Dividing the Estate and The Shipment were also cited separately by TheaterJones as among eight plays with “Great Ensembles.” SMU was additionally recognized as a participant in the Horton Foote Festival, which was named Best Planned Playwright Festival.

TheaterJones music critic Gregory Isaacs also cited Adjunct Assistant Professor and pianist Alessio Bax’s “wonderful performance” of Mendelssohn’s G Minor Piano Concerto with the Dallas Symphony in his discussion of the DSO’s successful concert season.

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