Tag Archives: NKU School of the Arts

Disney’s FREAKY FRIDAY Quick Review

Disney’s FREAKY FRIDAY presented by Northern Kentucky University School of the Arts  through Nov. 24. I attended the opening Saturday performance. 

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Blair Lamb as Ellie and Company. Photo by Jesse Byerly.

This was my first opportunity to see a production of Disney’s FREAKY FRIDAY and I have a sneaking suspicion that it won’t be my last. The stage adaption tells its own story about a magical mother/daughter body swap with a solid book and enjoyable musical numbers.

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Jake Hunter as Adam & Charlie Lindeman as Fletcher Blake.

Director Jamey Strawn does a great job of emphasizing the emotional beats of the show and keeping the characters as well as their relationships grounded and believable. Tracy Bonner’s choreography was enjoyable to watch and really showcased the abilities of the ensemble. The orchestra, under the direction of Damon Stevens, had a great sound, and the balance between the vocals and the orchestra was spot on.

Anna C. Catton’s set design, comprised mostly trucks and flies smartly set the various locations while allowing the show to maintain its strong pacing. The look of the characters (costumes designed by Ronnie Chamberlain; hair/makeup by Halee Paige Hood) worked well across the cast.

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Sarah Hack as Katherine & Blair Lamb as Ellie. Photo by Jesse Byerly.

Speaking of the cast, the ensemble as a whole did excellent work. Everyone on stage, at any given moment, was completely engaged from start to finish. The two leads (Sarah Hack as mother Katherine and Blair Lamb as daughter Ellie) convincingly portrayed the body swap in the performances and impressed vocally, especially with their second act solo numbers. Jake Hunter’s characterization of Adam (or should I say, ADAM!!) shows his good heart despite his social media-obsessed exterior.

Congratulations on a wonderful production.

My rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Click here for more information on the production.


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NKU To Premiere Disney’s FREAKY FRIDAY Musical

NKU_Freaky Friday promo2HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY – Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts continues its 2019-2020 Theatre + Dance Season with a regional premiere of a new musical – Disney’s FREAKY FRIDAY. The production runs Nov. 15-24 at NKU’s Corbett Theatre. For more information and tickets, visit nku.edu/freakyfriday.

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again. By spending a day in each other’s shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another’s struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the immeasurable love and mutual respect that bond a mother and daughter. FREAKY FRIDAY, a new musical based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, is a heartfelt, comedic, and unexpectedly emotional update on an American classic.

The concept of walking in someone else’s shoes is an age-old concept. In a world filled with division and polarizing personalities, it seems particularly fitting to present a work that delivers a message of compassion and empathy. Freaky Friday does just that. Several characters in the musical are so fully immersed in their own goals and agenda that they have no room for alternate points of view. For Katherine and Ellie Blake, the opportunity to live each other’s life for a day yields frustration, confusion, and ultimately, respect and understanding. The central metaphor of Freaky Friday resounds in all of us in our daily lives.

The NKU cast features Blair Lamb (Ellie Blake), Sarah Hack (Katherine Blake), Charlie Lindeman (Fletcher Blake), Jackson Hurt (Mike), Danielle Ullman (Gretchen), Andie Angel (Hannah), Jake Hunter (Adam), Ellie O’Hara (Savannah), Cian Steele (Parker), Mattison Sullivan (Wells/Fish Vendor), Arianna Catalano (Laurel/Minion), Thomas Smith (Florist/Marquis), Victoria Avery (Torrey/Adam’s Mom), Logan Anthony (Louis/Wells’ Dad), Alex Slade (Grandpa Gordon/Mr. Blumen/Senor O Brien/Parker’s Dad/Gym Asst), Megan Carlson (Grandma Helene/Mrs. Luckenbill/Mrs. Time/Gretchen’s Mom), Kali Marsh (Danielle/Ms. Meyers/Officer Sitz/Savannah’s Mom), JeShaun Jackson (Dr. Ehrin/P. Bruno/Officer Kowalski/Security Guard/Gym Asst.). The Ensemble is comprised of Ethan Brooks Baker, Chloe Hedrick, Kanai Nakata, and Grace Vetter. The show is directed by Jamey Strawn. Other creative team members include Damon Stevens (Musical Director), Tracey Bonner (Choreographer), Anna Catton (Scenic Designer), Isabel Sleczkowski (Props Design/Master), Ronnie Chamberlain (Costume Designer), Mark Brackman (Lighting Designer), Zach Collins (Sound Designer), and Halee Hood (Hair/Makeup Designer). The Stage Manager is Emily Vicars, and Assistant Stage Managers are Jensyn Bowman and Holden Casada.

For more information, call the NKU School of the Arts Box Office at (859) 572-5464 or visit nku.edu/sotatickets.

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Assistant Professor of Trumpet and Brass Area Coordinator Sought by NKU School of the Arts

NKU_SOTA logoThe School of the Arts at Northern Kentucky University invites applications for a tenure-track position in studio trumpet and high brass area coordinator within the music program, beginning August 2020.

More information about the program can be found in the web page https://www.nku.edu/academics/sota/music.html

Primary Responsibilities
Teach studio trumpet; recruit and maintain a high-quality applied studio through teaching and performance activities, coach collaborative ensemble experiences for brass students; coordinate brass area. Engage in community outreach. Maintain an established performance/research/scholarship/creative activity agenda sufficient for tenure and promotion.

Secondary teaching responsibilities may include music theory, aural skills, brass methods, or other courses as assigned according to areas of interest and expertise. The music program values innovative and versatile skill sets that may benefit our program in unexpected ways.

As a NASM accredited program, teaching responsibilities adhere to loads as prescribed by NASM.


  • A Doctorate in Music is preferred. Candidates with a Master of Music degree and exceptional commensurate experience may be considered.
  • Demonstrated potential for distinction in professional activity and/or research.
  • Successful teaching and recruiting experience at the university level.
  • Significant experience as a solo and ensemble performer.
  • Evidence of or demonstrated potential for successful teaching in a secondary area.

Applicants should submit:

  • statement of interest,
  • curriculum vitae,
  • teaching philosophy,
  • personal philosophy on diversity and inclusion that emphasizes their importance in higher education,
  • the names, email, and phone numbers of three references,
  • link to performance video(s),
  • link to applied teaching video(s),
  • link to classroom teaching video(s)

Questions regarding this position and search should be directed to Dr. Brant Karrick, karrickb@nku.edu, chair of the search committee. Questions regarding the application process should be directed to NKU Human Resources at jobs@nku.edu or call (859) 572-5200.

Application Deadline Dec. 1, 2019.

Any candidate who is offered this position will be required to go through a pre-employment criminal background check as mandated by state law.

Screening of applications will begin Dec. 1.

Minimum Education: Master’s Degree

Preferred Education: Ph.D or D.M.A.

Quick Link: http://jobs.nku.edu/postings/8816

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THREE SISTERS presented Northern Kentucky University SOTA through Oct. 27. I attended the opening Sunday performance. 

Three Sisters220 by Jesse Byerly

Rachel Kazee as Masha, Chelsea Trammell as Olga & Hannah Beaven as Irina. Photo by Jesse Byerly.

Under the direction of Michael King, strong character work highlights this production of Chekov’s THREE SISTERS.

Chelsea Trammell as Olga, Rachel Kazee as Masha, and Hannah Beaven as Irina impress as the titular trio.

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Gabriela Barbosa-Gonzales as Natasha & Joel Parece as Andrei. Photo by Jesse Byerly.

It was great to see character changes across the ensemble as time jumped between the acts. Joel Parece (as brother Andrei) handled the transition from bookish introvert to haunted husband and father very well. Even with the larger cast, the relationships were well-defined and easy to follow over the course of the performance.

The set element at the end of the play area was visually strong and smartly lit. The set pieces and decor were well-chosen and well-placed. I never had a problem with sightlines or felt they hindered the actors’ movement.

Costume and make-up designs for the characters worked well. Maybe some kind of makeup prosthetic could have been used to keep Irina’s “unattractive” reference to Tuzenbach from generating an unintentional laugh from the audience. 😜

Congratulations on an engaging production. 

My rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Click here for more information on the production.

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NKU School of the Arts Seeks Assistant Professor of Music – Strings

NKU_SOTA logoThe School of the Arts at Northern Kentucky University invites applications for a tenure-track position in violin within the music program, beginning fall 2020. Secondary teaching responsibilities include classroom teaching of aural skills, music theory and/or composition. We seek a dynamic teacher with a demonstrated record of excellence in teaching and performance that has tangible experience and commitment cultivating positive, inclusive environments to come alongside a dedicated team of faculty who are committed to student success in an increasingly diverse population.

The School of the Arts at Northern Kentucky University offers a wide array of degree programs in the visual and performing arts. The music program within the School of the Arts offers the B.M.E. in Music Education, the B.M in Performance, Jazz Studies, and Composition, and the B.A. in Music with tracks in audio production and music technology. The music program is a fully accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. See the music web site at http://www.nku.edu/music  for additional information.

Primary Responsibilities             

  • Teach undergraduate applied violin with the possibility of additional students in viola
  • Teach string-related courses such as string methods, string pedagogy, and string chamber music
  • Perform in the faculty string ensemble
  • Teach classroom courses in a secondary area of expertise such as music theory, aural skills, and/or other composition
  • Actively contribute to the growth of the string area, including assistance with the orchestra (sectionals, side-by-side performances)
  • Actively recruit and retain string students, including developing programs, events
  • Develop strong rapport with educators in the region
  • Fulfill faculty responsibilities as stated by institutional and school/program policy and by administration
  • Maintain an established performance/research/scholarship/creative activity agenda sufficient for tenure and promotion
  • Participate in professional music organizations to network and remain current within the music discipline
  • Participate in university/program meetings, hearings, juries, auditions, special events, and recruitment activities
  • Maintain commitment to service activities including faculty committees, mentoring students, and community outreach
  • Maintain commitment to collegiality and building inclusive environments for an increasingly diverse student, faculty, and staff population.


  • A doctorate in music is required (Ph.D or DMA)
  • Successful teaching experience at the university level and demonstrated potential for a successful career in teaching
  • Applied violin teaching experience
  • Classroom teaching experience
  • Record of excellence in performance (solo and chamber) and professional activity
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with students with diverse social identities, backgrounds, and levels
  • Demonstrated success in recruitment and retention
  • Expertise and potential to teach in a secondary area such as music theory, aural skills, and/or composition.
  • Strong organizational, collaborative, and communication skills to support the operation of a growing string area and music program.

Questions regarding the use of this website should be directed to the Human Resources Department at jobs@nku.edu.

Questions regarding the nature of the position should be directed to the search committee chair, Dr. Amy Gillingham at gillinghaa1@nku.edu.

Candidates should submit materials electronically through Northern Kentucky University’s website portal jobs.nku.edu. Required materials include:

  1. Cover letter outlining qualifications, experience, and evidence of teaching effectiveness
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. One-page teaching philosophy
  4. A document with unrestricted links (please use online platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc. and test all links to be sure they are working correctly) to:
  • video recordings of the candidate’s recent performances
  • a video recording of the candidate teaching an applied violin lesson
  • a video recording of the candidate teaching classroom/group
  1. A statement of your personal philosophy on diversity and inclusion and why they are important in higher education. Please include specifics regarding your commitment and/or experience promoting and fostering a learning environment that is supportive of individuals from diverse backgrounds. In line with the University’s Affirmative Action Policy, candidates are not expected to disclose their identity or membership either in the diversity statement or in other application documents submitted to the search committee. Demographic information is solicited through the application process; however, those data are confidential and are not provided to members of the search committee.

Please do not send transcripts or any other additional materials at this time. Further materials may be requested at a later date.

Letters of recommendation from references will be requested of finalists.

In order to ensure full consideration, applications should be received by December 1, 2019. Applications will continue to be reviewed until the position is filled.

Any candidate who is offered this position will be required to go through a pre-employment criminal background check as mandated by state law.

Minimum Education: Terminal Degree appropriate to discipline

Preferred Education: Ph.D or D.M.A

Quick Link: http://jobs.nku.edu/postings/8818

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