A Letter from Chairperson Stephen DiBenedetto

Dear Department of Theatre Students and Faculty, 

Congratulations on the completion of 2020-2021 academic year!  

What a tremendous year this has been! Despite the daily challenges we have all faced with COVID-19 an extraordinary amount of work has been accomplished. We have moved from last minute pivots to remote learning and cancelled theatre productions and back to in person classes and live rehearsals. 

Even without our traditional performances and live audiences your work has continued to make an impact on our community. Theatre Department supporters have been tuning in to watch the streaming offerings hosted on our site. Transitioning to this format has been a challenge for those of use used to working in person in tiny dark spaces! Not only have these pieces been created in remote circumstance, but also their content has been devised on the spot in tight time constraints. The physical, intellectual, and creative energy to complete these pieces has been exhausting.  

Thank you for your work and commitment to preserving our community and continuing to create theatrical responses to our world. This is the way of the artist.  

Our faculty and students took up a mammoth challenge to create an experimental season driven by a concern for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice. Your season opened with the MEDUSA developmental workshop quickly followed by our look at the Presidential election in the VOTE YOUR VOICE Media Projection and student composed LISTEN. (&VOTE). Our autumn production work continued to roll out in the new year with the DEI Audio Anthology, inspired by poetry, PANDEMIC’D! A Mockumentary Comedy where our Freshman class was followed by a fictitious camera crew as they explore their first year in college, SODA POP SHOP! an interactive musical for families with neuro-diverse children, Transforming MSU, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Vignettes, the DISTANCE SERIES; GRADS IN DRAG with Dinah Plate, UNTOLD STORIES, 2020 The Sh*% Show!, and Julius Caesar.  

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! Other new projects included our student led Second Stage Fall & Spring Playwriting Festivals and our student organizations presented numerous other projects such as dance concerts and workshops. Many of our faculty and students continued to be recognized for their achievements, service, and creative activities here at MSU and Nationally.  

Before we part to celebrate the end of another academic year, let us all shout out and wish our Graduate and Undergraduate Classes of 2021 a fond farewell.  We will miss you. 

Thank you for bringing your passion, commitment, and energy to our department. This is what it is to be a Spartan. 


Dr. Stephen Di Benedetto 
Professor and Chairperson