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UM theatre professor works at New York's Lincoln Center

Vellenga became 'second self' to Tony Award-winning director

By: Camila Martin // Contributing News Writer

Issue date: 7/8/08 Section: News
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The University of Miami's Department of Theatre Arts allows students to gain real-life experience learning and interacting with industry professionals, such as Jennifer Vellenga, an assistant professor in the department.

Last fall, Vellenga worked as the assistant director for Tony Award-winning director Mark Lamos in his production of the Shakespeare play Cymbeline at the Lincoln Center in New York City. She coached actors such as Phylicia Rashad, John Cullum, Martha Plimpton, Michael Cerveris, Jonathan Cake and John Pankow.

"She essentially became my second self as we headed into the technical dress rehearsal process and early previews," Lamos said. "I could trust her implicitly with virtually any task."

According to Vellenga, working with Lamos at Lincoln Center reminded her of what was required of professional actors, which gave her insight about how to more effectively prepare UM students for their future careers.

"It is good to receive so much respect from a director that is so renowned," Vellenga said of Lamos, who considers her "an extraordinarily gifted director."

Next February, Vellenga will be directing You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre at UM.

Lamos will be coming to teach a theatre arts class at UM during the spring semester, Vellenga said.

Camila Martin may be contacted at c.martin@umiami.edu.
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