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Julia Listengarten is New Artistic Director for Theatre UCF

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Theatre professor Dr. Julia Listengarten has been appointed the Artistic Director for Theatre UCF. The artistic director is typically responsible for conceiving, developing, and implementing the artistic vision of a theatre company.

Listengarten envisions her role as working with the Theatre faculty to re-imagine artistic goals of the department and develop a vision for upcoming seasons. Theatre associate professor Bert Scott, as Director of Production, will facilitate the technical production needs of the season.

"One of the exciting parts of this position for me is the fact that now we're a School of Performing Arts—so there are theatre and music," says Listengarten. While Listengarten's position does not directly impact the music department, she looks forward to bringing the two areas closer together. "I've always tried to collaborate with musicians in the productions that I've directed, and I see artistic collaboration as a very important part of the merger."

Collaboration is important to Listengarten, and she not only hopes to collaborate with her fellow faculty members, but also to guide students in learning how to develop interdisciplinary projects.
"When you put students who are theatre and music majors in the same room, they don't necessarily have a shared vocabulary," says Listengarten. "I'd like to continue to build collaboration between theatre and music, and also involve other disciplines such as visual arts."

A goal of Listengarten is to bridge the gap between innovation and tradition. "I value tradition, and I think traditional theatre is important, but at the same time, innovation is what moves us forward," says Listengarten. "We look at classics in order to learn from them but we also try to bring classical works into our contemporary contexts."

Listengarten says she is inspired by the works of early twentieth century avant-garde artists like Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dali. "We have a social responsibility as artists," says Listengarten. "I hope because of my background and sensibility I can strengthen global awareness and diversity on campus."

Listengarten begins her new role in the Fall semester of 2016, during which she will also be directing Theatre UCF's production of Cloud 9.

The School of Performing Arts at the University of Central Florida comprises the Music and Theatre departments. In addition to year-round performances and teaching on the UCF campus, the School presents performances and outreach in cooperation with our community partners, which include the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orlando Repertory Theatre, and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. For more information about attending performances visit http://performingarts.cah.ucf.edu

America's Partnership University: The University of Central Florida, the nation's second-largest university with nearly 60,000 students, has grown in size, quality, diversity and reputation in its first 50 years. Today, the university offers more than 200 degree programs at its main campus in Orlando and more than a dozen other locations. UCF is an economic engine attracting and supporting industries vital to the region's future while providing students with real-world experiences that help them succeed after graduation.

For more information, visit http://today.ucf.edu.

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