Friday, July 13, 2007
Scholarship enables student to travel to Ukraine
|Costume designer Christa Koerner advanced to the finals in the Barbizon Awards for Theatrical Excellence for her work on "The Cripple of Inishmaan," which was presented at the Varner Studio Theatre last fall. This December, she will travel to the Ukraine to research costume design. Photo by Pavlo Bosyy, assistant professor of theatre|
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
OU student Christa Koerner will be traveling to the Ukraine in December for 10 days along with members of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance faculty and staff to study turn-of-the-century Ukrainian costume, culture and customs. They will then use the information they gather to design costumes for the play “Chekhov in Yalta,” which will run at Oakland University in winter 2008. Koerner’s travel is being subsidized by the Brad M. Glass Endowed Fund, which provides theatre students with support that can be used for tuition and books, as well as for the cost of participation in off-campus programs.
Koerner, a post-bachelor student, has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Michigan Technology University. She plans to earn her Bachelor of Arts in theatre production in May 2008 and will continue on to graduate school to pursue a master’s in theatre production. Eventually, Koerner would like to teach at the college level.
Koerner has had many opportunities to put her classroom work to use as part of OU productions. She worked on costume design for OU’s production of “Cripple of Inishmaan,” in the fall 2006 and the props for “Frog and Toad” in spring 2007. She has also been working as the assistant costume shop director for a year. Koerner will be traveling with Pavlo Bosyy, professor of design; Donna Buckley, costume shop director; Tom Suda, professor of theatre and director of “Chekhov in Yalta.”
“As a costume designer, many hours go into researching costume, customs and culture of the characters portrayed in the play, especially when it is a period piece,” Koerner said. “The goal is to immerse the audience in the shower, so costume accuracy is very important.”
Koerner and the group from OU will study Edwardian costume and Ukraine folkwear, including serious study of the customs and culture of Ukrainian society in 1900. Very little information about the subject is written in English, so the group is traveling to the region to observe it firsthand.
The OU group plans to visit the Anton Chekov Memorial Museum, Lesya Ukrainka Memorial Museum, Tatar Culture Centre, Museum of National Treasure, Kiev Lavra monastery, Kirovohrad Regional Museum, Kropyvnytsky Memorial Museum, Tobilevich Memorial Museum, Nadia Hamlet Memorial Museum, Regional Museum of Fine Arts Kropyvnytski, National Theatre and the Regional Research Library.
While Koerner has traveled with family but this will be the first time she’s traveling for the sole focus of education. Koerner heard about the Brad M. Glass Endowed Fund through her adviser, Kerro Knox III. She also plans to apply for additional scholarships this fall to help cover the expense of the trip.
“This is an enormous educational opportunity,” Koerner said.