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Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama Begins Centennial Celebrations With "The Wild Party"

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama pays tribute to its first 100 years, it looks to the future to celebrate the next century of innovation and talent in arts and entertainment.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20020422/CMULOGO)

"This is a remarkable achievement in American theatrical and cultural history," said Peter Cooke, head of the School of Drama.

On Saturday, Feb. 22, the School of Drama will have a Centennial Dinner in the College of Fine Arts Great Hall followed by a performance of "The Wild Party," directed by Matthew Gardiner (A'06), associate artistic director of Signature Theater in Virginia.

Afterward, the school will celebrate with its own wild party in the lobby of the Purnell Center. It is open to current students, faculty, staff and alumni of the School of Drama, as well as season subscribers and attendees of the Centennial Dinner.

Similar celebrations will take place March 10 at Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City and May 8 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

Funds raised by the celebration will go toward a new opportunity, the Richard E. Rauh Centennial Fellowship Fund, to support graduate students in the School of Drama. Rauh, an actor, is a longtime supporter of the School of Drama and the Pittsburgh arts community. He serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Heinz College, focusing on films of the 20th century. This endowed fellowship program is essential to the success of the school, Cooke said, because the ability to attract and retain graduate students is critical to drama's overall reputation.

"We continue to thrive because of support from our amazing alumni from across the country and around the world," Cooke said.

The oldest degree-granting conservatory training program in the United States, the School of Drama through its centennial celebrations is recognizing contributions alumni, faculty and staff have made to the entertainment industry.

And it's just getting better. For the past two years, the school has ranked fourth in the world by The Hollywood Reporter. In 2013, CMU alumni stole the spotlight at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, winning eight awards across six categories, with several alumni presenting or performing during the event. Two alumni, one honorary degree recipient and faculty member Suttirat Anne Larlarb won 2013 Emmy Awards for their work. Overall, 11 alumni were nominated for Emmys, which recognize excellence in television in the categories of acting, writing, producing, art direction, costumes and lighting.

"To all former staff, faculty and students, the current cohort, our fabulous alumni and clans, and all those coming to study or work on campus in the next 100 years, I salute, thank, welcome and congratulate you," Cooke said. "The level of accomplishment across all disciplines offered by the school in its storied history could not be higher, nor more widely felt and acknowledged across the world arts community, and for that, we in the school thank each and every participant in its 100-year journey."

"The Wild Party" runs through March 1 in CMU's Philip Chosky Theater.

About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 12,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon's main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.

SOURCE Carnegie Mellon University

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