The West Chester University Department of Theatre and Dance and University Dance Company present
A Site-Specific Outdoor Concert
Friday, APRIL 23 at 4pm
Saturday, APRIL 24 AT 12:00PM and 4:00PM
Rain date: APRIL 30 at 4pm, Saturday MAY 1 AT 12:00PM and 4:00PM
WCU department of Theatre and Dance is excited to present Adaptation, a unique site-specific outdoor dance event. Individual dances will be performed at several sites on the WCU campus, each site is located within a short walking loop. The dances will repeat in place while the audience, socially distanced into several small groups, travels to each of the performance sites. Adaptation consists of innovative live dance pieces interspersed with a few unique screen dance presentations created and performed by West Chester University students.
Faculty Director: Gretchen Studlien-Webb
FACULTY director and choreographer
Gretchen Studlien-Webb, faculty director and choreographer, is the dance minor coordinator and associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at West Chester University. She holds dance degrees from Temple University (MFA) and from The Ohio State University (BFA). Studlien-Webb’s scholarly research for the past several years focuses on environmental sustainability. This scholarship translates into her choreographic compositions; E.A.R.T.H. (Evolution Arises Revealing True Humanity) (2007), Shared Ignorance (2011), Re[F]use (2013), Continuous Cycle (2015), and Environmental Intervention (2016). Her newest project, Carnival of Ruin, is a multi-disciplinary, collaborative, full-length installation dance theater performance with set and costumes created entirely out of post-consumer waste. It was presented at WCU in the John Baker Gallery, March 2021. The full-length production premieres at East Goshen Township Park on May 29th. For tickets and more information go to carnivalofruin.com.
Claudia Adams, historian/social media chair, student choreographer, is a senior early grades and special education dual major with a minor in dance. She has been a part of UDC for the past four years and has performed in 8 shows. Claudia is a member of the executive board for both UDC and the WCU Dance Team. Claudia thanks Gretchen, Maria, and Liz for all they have done to support her throughout her time at WCU as well as well as her TDA teachers for shaping her into the dancer she is today. She congratulates the cast on an amazing show. Claudia cannot wait to graduate next fall and pursue her dream of becoming a teacher and opening her own dance studio.
Genevieve Jacoby, secretary, student choreographer, is a junior at West Chester University majoring in political science with a minor in law, politics, and society, and dance. She currently serves as the Secretary for the West Chester University Dance Company, where she has had many opportunities to choreograph and perform for the company. Along, with being a part of University Dance Company, she also is currently working with Gretchen Studlien- Webb, Maria Urrutia, and Constance Case on their production entitled Carnival of Ruin. She also teaches at Macrina Academy of Dance, where she gained her training under the owner Annemarie Macrina. Gen is so excited to be performing with UDC again this semester.
Kelsey Kushnir, social/ service chair, is a junior year psychology major with a minor in dance. This is Kelsey's third year performing with UDC and she has loved every second of it. Before coming to West Chester, she has trained under many amazing teachers throughout the Philadelphia area. In the past, she has had the opportunity to perform with the Moscow Ballet, in many theatrical productions, and with professional company owners. Kelsey thanks all UDC for making this year happen in the craziest of times! Break a leg everyone!
Christina McLaughlin, treasurer, is a junior nutrition and dietetics major with a minor in dance performance. She has been dancing for 18 years and has been a member of UDC for five semesters. Previously, Christina trained and competed with ProDance Academy in Northfield, NJ. During her time in UDC, Christina had the opportunity to perform at the American College Dance Associate alongside other UDC dancers. She is currently a part of the production Carnival of Ruin and teaches advanced tap at Creative Vibe Studio in Downingtown, PA. Christina has thoroughly enjoyed every moment in this company as well as serving on the executive board this year. She thanks her friends, family, and the dance faculty for the ongoing support.
Rachael Murphy, president, is a senior communication studies major and Honors College student who has been dancing with UDC since her very first semester at WCU. She has been a member of executive boards for both UDC and the WCU Dance Team since her sophomore year, but says the honor of serving as UDC president was unlike any other. Rachael thanks each company member for the fond memories, and for making the most of this unconventional year. Rachael also thanks Gretchen, Maria, and Liz for pushing her to grow as a dancer, and as a person. She thanks her family and friends for their ongoing support throughout her college career, and is forever grateful for the people UDC has brought into her life!
Elizabeth Powell, vice president, student choreographer, is very excited to be performing and choreographing for the University Dance Company’s Spring 2021 concert, Adaptation. Her recent performing highlights include Shrek the Musical (Fiona), Footloose (Rusty), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Columbia), The Visit (Gymnast), and Carnival of Ruin (Emory Spritz). Elizabeth is currently studying Music Theatre as well as Business Management at West Chester University. She can also be found choreographing for WCU’s annual BC/EFA AIDS benefit. She thanks her family, friends, and professors for their endless support and love in her theatre career. Break a leg to the talented cast of Adaptation!
Emma Billingsley, student choreographer, is a senior graduating Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Dance. She has been dancing for twelve years and this is her third year and fifth concert with the University Dance Company. She thanks her cast for putting her vision on the stage and being patient and understanding with the process. She thanks Gretchen for this amazing opportunity and to all the dance faculty for shaping her into the dancer she is now. She hopes everybody enjoys the show! And to all the cast and crew: Break a leg!
Brianna Breschard, student choreographer, is first year communication science and disorders major with a dance minor. This is her second semester of being a part of the University Dance Company. She has been dancing for 16 years in various styles. Before college, Brianna was a part of Freehold Performing Arts Center magnet program at Howell High School in New Jersey. In the program they learn from many professionals in NYC as well as performing in shows that the choreographers made for the students and a self-choreographed performance. She thanks all the family, friends, and teachers that supported her along the way. She thanks Gretchen and Liz and the entire University Dance Company on the love and support for an unforgettable first year.
Amanda Friemann, student choreographer, is a junior mathematics major - statistics concentration along with double minors in dance and digital marketing. She has been dancing for 17 years, and this is her third year performing with the company. Amanda serves as the treasurer for the WCU Colleges Against Cancer organization, the Marketing Coordinator for the Golden Rams Society, and the secretary for the West Chester University Statistics Club. She is excited to have the opportunity to choreograph for UDC for the first time and is lucky to be doing it with one of her best friends. She thanks her dance teachers and her wonderful family for their constant support and encouragement.
Ashley Hillis, student choreographer, is a senior in professional studies with a minor in dance and nutrition. This is her eighth semester performing with UDC. She has been dancing since she was two years old at The Dance Academy in Holland, PA. She has performed in several shows at The Academy of Music with the Pennsylvania Ballet. Ashley has made many dance appearances in commercials, TV shows, and films. She wishes to pursue dancing and choreographing after college. Ashley wants to thank all of her dance teachers, family, and friends for all of their support for the past 18 years.
Karli Sartor, student choreographer, is a junior with a major in early grades preparation and also has two minors in autism and dance. She has been dancing for 17 years, and this will be her fifth semester dancing with the company. She grew up training at the Dance Depot in Collegeville and was on their competition team for 10 years. When she graduates she aspires to be a 2nd grade teacher and a dance teacher, where she will eventually pursue opening up her own dance studio. She is excited for West Chester to see her choreography and dance with her roommate. She would like to thank all her dance teachers for educating and training her over the years and her family and friends for encouraging her to dance.
Sab Sinsel, Stage Manager, is a graduating senior majoring in Theatre and minoring
in dance. Sab has been dancing her whole life starting at the age of 3. She now has
been stage managing the UDC dance concerts for almost 5 semesters. She would like
to give a big thank you to Martin Dallago for giving her this opportunity and all
the dance professors, Liz, Gretchen and Maria, for showing her more of the world of
dance. She hopes to continue her growth in dance and in theatre for the years to come.
University Dance Company (UDC)
The focus of the UDC is to promote dance as an art form at West Chester University and to provide students with interests in arts administration, choreography, design, performance, and stage management the opportunity to create and shape their voice within this art form. As a member of this organization, students will receive a complete understanding of the workings of a dance company as well as the aspects of being involved in a University organization. UDC has two concerts every season; the fall concert focuses on faculty and guest artist work, while the spring concert mainly presents student choreography and design. Students work with both faculty and guest artists in the creation and management of new choreography and design. Community outreach and service is a component of membership to this organization as it currently is for all professional arts organizations. UDC also offers students the opportunities to attend, present and perform at various conferences annually to add to their dance and movement education.
The University Dance Company is an SSI-sponsored organization.
The WCU Dance program in the Department of Theatre and Dance currently offers three scholarships:
- The Barbara J. Lappano ’67, M’73 Dance Scholarship
- 2020-2021 Recipient: Genevieve Jacoby '22
- The Emerging Dance Minor Scholarship
- 2020-21 Recipients: Holly Mcmenamin '24 and Molly Thorpe '24
- The Lila Berkovich Achuff Memorial Scholarship
- 2020-2021 Recipient: Ellie Dilworth '21
Donations received would increase the amount of funds awarded to students each year. Contact the WCU Foundation at 610-436-2868 for more information or mail a check to:
Dance Program Endowment Fund
P.O. Box 541
West Chester, PA 19381
Please include Dance Program Endowment Fund 2475-852 on the memo line.