Motifs: November/December 2019

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Kenneth C. Fischer (IAC '55, '57-58, '60-62, Faculty/Staff '66) will be awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the University of Michigan during their Winter Commencement on Dec. 15, 2019.

Roselee Blooston’s (IAC/NMC 69, IAA 69-70) second book and debut novel, “Trial by Family,” was published on Oct. 1, 2019 by Apprentice House Press, Loyola University MD. Her first book, “Dying in Dubai–A memoir of marriage, mourning and the Middle East,” was a 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year. Her play, Rehearsing for Oscar, was produced this year by The Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck, New York.

Rick Robinson (AS 77-78, IAA 78-81) won a grant to compose a collaborative work called Phantom Detroit on gentrification woes with poets of the Urban Requiem Project. The work premiered on Nov. 15 at Historic St. Matthew's and St. Joseph's Episcopal Church in Detroit. CutTime Simfonica served as the rhythm section for this pop-infused work.

Ranardo-Domeico Grays (AS 88, IAC/NMC 89, IAA 89-90), VISIONS Contemporary Ballet's artistic director/choreographer, now a five-year brain cancer survivor, continues to flourish creatively. A recipient of LMCC's 2019 UMEZ and Creative Engagement grants, Grays presented a dance concert, Traces (of what makes us who we are), at The Riverside Theatre in New York City on Nov. 9, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. with the premiere of "Still Healing." Three more inspirational ballets were also performed. “Still Healing” will make its Detroit premiere at the Marlene Boll Theatre on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.

Derek Frank (IAC/NMC 89-90, IAA 90-91) has spent the last year and a half playing bass with Gwen Stefani on her "Just a Girl" Las Vegas Residency. He will continue on Gwen's residency through May 2020, while also playing bass with Shania Twain on her "Let's Go!" Las Vegas residency. Both shows are performed at the Zappos Theatre at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Elizabeth Rudolph’s (IAC/NMC 90-92, IAA 92-94) first opera, Imogen, made its workshop premiere at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church on Nov. 22. The opera was staged by New Moon Opera and is based on Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.

Brody Gusar’s (IAC 02, IAA 02-03, IAC St 03-06) short film "Birth" won the grand prize at the Raindance one-minute horror competition. Brody wrote, directed, produced, and edited the film. He hopes to leverage the momentum of winning into an opportunity to make the short into a feature film.

Laura Wilde (IAC 03) made her Australian debut on Nov. 28 as a soloist in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s concert production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Wilde will perform the role of Gretel under the direction of Sir Andrew Davis.