Beyond Character

UMW Theatre plays best supporting role

Cinderella had just learned life is not a fairy tale. Her happily-ever-after marriage wasn·t. A vengeful giant, still on the loose, had killed the Baker’s wife. And the grief-stricken Baker had entrusted his baby to Cinderella. Much to her relief, the Baker returned. He reached for his child, cradled in the arms of the princess. Suddenly, with a few words from nearby, the scene from Into the Woods stopped. On this October Friday night, the UMW Department of Theatre & Dance production rehearsed in a makeshift space in a storefront in Fredericksburg’s Eagle Village shopping center. Director Gregg Stull ’82, professor and department chair, kept a keen eye on the action. Their Nov. 1 premiere of the popular Sondheim musical was less than a month away. “Wait, wait, wait,” Stull called. He walked into a large rectangle outlined with tape on the floor. It marked the dimensions of the Klein Theatre stage, where Talking With, the first show of the 2012-2013 season, had just … [Read more...]

Home Work

Parenting Inspires Academic Research

Miriam Liss and Holly Schiffrin ’94 already had an interest in child development when they arrived at the UMW Department of Psychology as professors several years ago. Schiffrin had a degree in child development, Liss in clinical child psychology. What cemented their desire to conduct research on how parenting can affect mental health, though, were the births of their own children. They focused on the many ways women walk the tightrope of work and family life, at first managing breast-feeding and diapering and later juggling dance classes, music, and sports. “The interest specifically in parenting has evolved as I’ve become a parent and really struggled personally with the issue of how to juggle work and parenting,” said Schiffrin, mom to two daughters ages 5 and 9. Liss, mother of a 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son, has found herself reading every parenting book she could get her hands on, including critical analyses of mothering. “That kind of kept me sane and … [Read more...]