School of Arts and Sciences

Photo: Peter Hvizdak / Hearst Connecticut Media

Carmen Coury, assistant professor of history, was featured in a February 17, 2019, article in the New Haven Register about her research on the history of coffee, Costa Rican migration, and national identity. She recently published a book on the subject, The Saints of Progress: A History of Coffee, Migration and Costa Rican National Identity.

Read the New Haven Register article.

 

 

Xhenet Aliu

Southern’s English Department and its creative writing program, as well as the university in general, have turned out a number of successful writers over the years. One such Owl alum, whose 2018 debut novel has been enjoying critical acclaim, will bring her talents back to campus to kick off the university’s celebration of the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing Program‘s 10th anniversary.

On March 7 at 7:30 p.m., alumna Xhenet Aliu, ’01, will read from her novel, Brass, followed by a Q & A and refreshments. The reading, which will take place in Engleman A120, is free and open to the public.

Aliu graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and went on to earn an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and an MLIS from The University of Alabama. A native of Waterbury, Conn., she was born to an Albanian father and a Lithuanian American mother. She now lives in Athens, Ga., and works as an academic librarian.

Her debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, and Other Stories, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, and Brass was published by Random House in spring 2018. Her stories and essays have appeared in Glimmer Train, The Barcelona Review, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere.

English Professor and Creative Writing Coordinator Tim Parrish was Aliu’s thesis director. He says, “Xhenet Aliu is a fantastic writer who perfectly exemplifies the exceptional quality of authors coming out of Southern’s undergraduate and Master of Fine Arts’ Creative Writing programs.”

The MFA program is a full-residency, terminal-degree program, preparing students for careers as publishing writers, teachers, editors, and professionals in the publishing world. While the curriculum focuses heavily on the writing workshop and the creative thesis, the MFA also requires students to study literature at the graduate level and provides opportunities for students to train for teaching collegiate-level writing, and in some cases to teach their own courses. The year 2019 marks the program’s 10th anniversary, which will be celebrated over the course of the coming year, culminating in a weekend of special activities in October.

Since its publication in early 2018, Brass has received the following honors, among others:

  • One of Entertainment Weekly‘s “10 Best Debut Novels of 2018”
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Book of 2018
  • Named a “Best Southern Novel of 2018” by Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • One of Bustle‘s “31 Debut Novels from 2018 That You Seriously Shouldn’t Miss”
  • Named a “Best Book of 2018” by Real Simple
  • A Spring 2018 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection
  • Starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal
  • New York Times’ Book Review Calendar of “Must-Know Literary Events in 2018”
  • Elle‘s “21 Best Books of 2018”
  • Southern Living‘s “Books Coming Out This Winter That We Can’t Wait to Read”
  • Huffington Post’s “60 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018”
  • Book Riot‘s “101 Books Coming out in 2018 That You Should Mark Down Now”
  • Elite Daily‘s “2018 Book Releases That’ll Make Reading More Your New Year’s Resolution”
  • Bookish‘s “Must-Read Winter Books 2018”
  • The Millions‘ “Most Anticipated: The Great 2018 Book Preview”
  • Christian Science Monitor‘s “5 New Titles to Check Out in the New Year”
  • Kirkus Review’s “11 Debuts You Should Pay Attention To”

From reviews of Brass, which is set in Waterbury, Conn.:

“Lustrous . . . a tale alive with humor and gumption, of the knotty, needy bond between a mother and daughter . . . [Brass] marks the arrival of a writer whose work will stand the test of time.” — O: The Oprah Magazine

“Aliu is witty and unsparing in her depiction of the town and its inhabitants, illustrating the granular realities of the struggle for class mobility.” — The New Yorker

Brass simmers with anger — the all too real byproduct or working hard for not enough, of being a woman in a place where women have little value, of getting knocked down one too many times. But when the simmer breaks into a boil, Aliu alchemizes that anger into love, and in doing so creates one of the most potent dramatizations of the bond between mother and daughter that I’ve ever read. . . . I left this book with the sure sense that the characters were alive beyond its pages, though I wouldn’t dare try to guess what they are up to — Elsie and Lulu are too real for that.” — The New York Times Book Review

Siobhan Carter-David, associate professor of history, and Frank Harris III, professor of journalism

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans’ arrival in the American colonies, and several Southern professors are marking the anniversary with discussion and commentary. In a recent article in the New Haven Register, Journalism Professor Frank Harris III and Associate History Professor Siobhan Carter-David shared their ideas about the beginnings of slavery in America and set the record straight on some commonly-held beliefs about this period in American history. The full article can be found here:

https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/400-years-ago-first-slaves-arrived-in-American-13635406.php?fbclid=IwAR0HyjJ638UfDEJMtK3bJfq6vOW-NUXvvixeGN7EKpzrEp_OcFEJn7EKUEE

On campus, Carter-David, along with Brandon Hutchinson, associate professor of English, has coordinated a lecture series, The 1619 Lecture Series, which features four distinguished SCSU faculty members presenting scholarship related to African American history, culture, and politics. Harris delivered the inaugural lecture in the series in early February; upcoming speakers will be Audrey Kerr, professor of English; Jonathan Wharton, assistant professor of political science, and Marian Evans, assistant professor of public health. Sponsored by the Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee, the lectures are free and open to the public.

 

From award-winning undergraduate to a prestigious fellowship at the National Cancer Institute and a doctorate in microbiology. Meet Norbert K. Tavares, '06.

Norbert Tavares, '06, is one of two Science and Technology Fellows with the National Cancer Institute.

Norbert K. Tavares, ’06, first attended college in Florida where he was discouraged from planning a career as a biologist, despite his passion for the field. “I wasted a lot of time pursuing majors that were hot at the time like computer science and pharmacy, but I didn’t enjoy them,” he says.

A move to Connecticut and subsequent transfer to Southern set Tavares on a better course. Today, he holds a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Georgia and is an American Academy for the Advancement of Science [AAAS] Science and Technology Fellow at the National Cancer Institute — where he helps lead the fight against the deadly group of diseases.

Last fall, he shared thoughts on Southern, finding a mentor, and the importance of diversity in science and other areas. Here are some excerpts.

What inspired your interest in biology?
I remember taking personality and career assessments early on in college that said I would be good at science and engineering, and not being surprised. I was mostly taking math and science courses, and enjoying them.

My specific interest in microbiology stems from reading about bacteria that could eat oil. Digging further, I learned about bacteria that could “breath” metals instead of oxygen, live in hot springs, and do all the other crazy things bacteria can do. I was hooked.

I grew up spending a lot of time outdoors – climbing trees, playing in the dirt and ocean. That coupled with a strong curiosity and wild imagination, there was only one thing I could be, a scientist or a transcendentalist poet, I guess.

Give us five adjectives that describe you.
Curious, contemplative, solution-centric, humanist, inclusive.

It seems that biology was an early calling.
I was wavering on sticking with biology because at the time you really needed a Ph.D. to go anywhere in the field, and I didn’t want to stay in school forever. I was also previously discouraged from pursuing a Ph.D. by a professor in Orlando, [Florida].

Launched by the Biden Cancer Initiative, the #cancerFIERCE campaign “celebrates the FIERCE that we know is in everyone touched by cancer – patients, families, caregivers, healthcare providers, researchers” — including Norbert Tavares, ’06.

What changed?
When I transferred to SCSU I decided I would pursue biology because I enjoyed it. . . . Nicholas Edgington, [associate professor of biology,] was my assigned academic adviser. I told him about my goals, my interest in microbiology, my desire for a Ph.D., and to peruse an academic career. He listened and gave me specific, practical advice. He was the first academic adviser I had at three separate institutions who actually gave me good advice specific to my desires.

I did exactly what he said, starting with applying for and doing a summer research program for undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin. I then applied for and was awarded a Sigma Xi grant-in-aid of research after Dr. Edgington nominated me for membership to this scientific society.

I think he was surprised that I followed through with all of his suggestions. He then took me on as an undergraduate researcher in his lab. Because of the training I gained in his lab and the three other summer research programs, I was more than competitive for graduate school and was accepted into the number three microbiology program in the country at the University of Wisconsin. I owe a great deal to Dr. Edgington. He put me on the academic and professional path that I’m currently on.

What was your research focus?
My previous laboratory looked at how bacteria make vitamin B12. Bacteria are the only organisms that make the vitamin, which humans get from our diet via meat. There are no plant sources. The herbivores we eat, like cows, get B12 from the bacteria in their guts. I studied the genes and enzymes that bacteria use to make B12.

Norbert Tavares, ’06, presents at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

What is your current position?
I am an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in D.C. I work in a center that analyzes the cancer research landscape – and builds programs and collaborations to develop technology, standards, and innovative ideas to fill the gaps in cancer research and move the field forward. In my role, I analyze the cancer research field to find these gaps and opportunities — and manage and evaluate the existing programs we have built. In other words, I build and fund grants, infrastructure, and programs to help cancer researchers study, understand, treat, prevent, and eventually eliminate cancers.

Your bio with the National Cancer Institute lists your strong interest in the advancement of women and underrepresented individuals in science and other areas. Can you talk a bit about that commitment?
If you have at least two women in the room — whether that room is a meeting, a board room, or Congress — it changes the conversation in a way that is important. You’ve heard it said, “If there’d been a woman in the room at the time this idea was put forward, it never would have happened. We would not have made this mistake.” I believe that’s true. Whenever I write a policy document, I always make sure to get it in front of the eyes of a number of different women. And the things that have come back – “Hey, maybe you should change this.” – I would never have thought of without their input.

I’ve learned you need to have that diversity, and there’s data to back it up. If you have lots of diversity, you tend to have a slower start. But the group makes much greater progress and they are more creative.

We live in America during sensitive times and race has always been and will continue to be a touchy topic. I am a scientist – and, as I mentioned earlier, there is good data that shows diversity matters. If a girl has had a woman math teacher, she’s much more likely to excel in the subject and choose it as a major. I’m much more likely to pursue the sciences as a career if I’ve had a science teacher who is African American. It makes a difference . . . and I think the influence occurs as early as elementary school.

The truth is this is passive. . . . But I really believe existing in the world as an African American Ph.D. – as a scientist – and trying to do well is important and hopeful. Increasing exposure [to my educational and career path] is part of my obligation. And if I can maybe inspire another African American to study the sciences – or maybe go to Southern or another college – I am happy to do it.

C. Michelle Thompson teaching Vietnamese History class

Vietnam is often viewed by Americans as a country heavily influenced by China, its neighbor to the north. After all, the Vietnam War – etched in the collective memory of the Baby Boom Generation – is remembered as a proxy fight between the United States and China/Soviet Union. And it would be inaccurate to say that Vietnam has been devoid of considerable Chinese influence.

But the relationship between Vietnam and China is quite complex, according to Michele Thompson, professor of history and an expert on Southeast Asia. She explores that relationship through a medical lens in her book, Vietnamese Traditional Medicine: a Social History.

The book, published by the National University of Singapore Press, was so highly regarded by her peers that Thompson was selected as the recipient of the 2018 SCSU Faculty Scholar Award on the basis of the book.

“The (Faculty Scholar Award Committee) was impressed by your use of multilingual source material, the interdisciplinary range of your book, and the fact that it forces scholars to re-examine long-held assumptions about the relationship between Chinese and Vietnamese traditional medicine,” said Rex Gilliland, chairman of the Faculty Scholar Award Committee.

Thompson focuses on the 18th and 19th centuries, and the social and political context of Vietnamese medicine. “While it is very closely connected to Chinese medicine, it is not some carbon copy,” she said.

She points to Vietnam’s acceptance of early Western vaccination techniques as a key example in how it differentiated itself from China in the medical realm.

In the late 1700s, British doctor Ed Jenner discovered that people who had cowpox didn’t seem to get smallpox. The viruses that cause the two diseases are closely related, though cowpox usually has milder symptoms.

Jenner was a pioneer in the effort to begin a form of vaccination, albeit a primitive one. In other areas of the world – those without European cows — doctors began attempts to eradicate smallpox through arm-to-arm, human-to-human vaccination from those who had cowpox.

Vietnamese medicine preferred this Western approach to the Chinese alternative inoculation method. The latter involved taking a small amount of material from smallpox sores and transferring them to others. The Chinese method sought to produce a weakened form of the virus.

Thompson said it is an honor to be selected for the Faculty Scholar Award. “I was surprised,” she said. “I remember getting the envelope with the announcement in it, but it came at the end of the fall semester, when everything is pretty hectic. So, I just sort of randomly opened that particular envelope and was surprised to see what it said.

“But I am honored to follow in the footsteps of so many other excellent scholars before me.”

Thompson began teaching at SCSU in the fall 1998. Before coming to Southern, she taught at the University of Washington. She previously taught English as a Second Language in Taiwan.

She grew up in Alabama, and currently resides in New Haven. Her expertise is in Southeast Asia, with a particular focuses on Vietnam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are not familiar with a nanometer, it might be hard to imagine just how small it is (for reference: there are 25,400,000 nanometers in an inch, and a fingernail grows 1 nm per second). It might be harder still to imagine just how important it is. Yet nanoscience — the science of the very small — has grown increasingly crucial, so much so that scientists are finding that as nanotechnology evolves, it impacts all sectors of science, such as medicine, pharmaceuticals, the environment, energy production, agriculture, and more. And the CSCU Center for Nanotechnology (CSCU-CNT) at Southern Connecticut State University is a key player in this evolution.

The CSCU-CNT exists, in part, thanks to a task force put together by former Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell, the State Legislature, and the Connecticut Office for Workforce Competitiveness. Each supported nanotechnology research as a means to keep Connecticut competitive in the nanotechnology revolution. Dr. Christine Broadbridge, director of the CNT and professor of physics, served on the task force; she, alongside fellow industry experts, spent significant time with state representatives discussing how the growth of the technology could be supported statewide.

“The force’s findings were published in 2005 in a report prepared for the state legislature by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice,” Broadbridge said. “Essentially, the findings said a statewide nanotechnology center needed to be created.”

But where? In addition to a physical space, the report noted the need for educational materials and programs, at multiple levels, to train a skilled nanotechnology workforce. There also needed to be collaboration between public and private interests, as well as the capability to perform nano-scale materials research.

Physics faculty at Southern quickly realized that Southern was the ideal location.

“We had the funding, the strength, the passion, and the students,” Broadbridge said.

Southern also had the collaboration. Through Broadbridge’s leadership, Southern’s Physics Department had developed strong ties with Yale, UCONN, the Connecticut Community Colleges, other regional universities, and local industry. Under Broadbridges’ lead the CNT would support, with federal grant funds, the establishment of three CNT regional-hubs at Central, Eastern, and Western Connecticut State Universities. Faculty, dedicated to scientific research and teaching, would help develop new knowledge while disseminating that knowledge to Southern’s diverse student population.

It was a win-win.

Now, 13 years later, the CNT sits as the foundation of Southern’s 103,608-square-foot, four-level academic and laboratory science building. Focused on world-class nanotechnology research and related student opportunities for experiential learning, the CNT helped to motivate the building. The center has stayed true to its mission of collaboration: equipment aligns with local faculty expertise and complements, rather than competes with, facilities available at UCONN and Yale. Regional companies such as Proton Onsite, Nomad Metallurgy and KX Technologies pay membership fees to use CNT research facilities; they also hire students trained in CNT facilities.

“We’re providing cutting edge science and technology to students,” Broadbridge said. “We’re also providing access. Small businesses get access to technology and students get hands-on experience.”

The center also is the primary resource for SCSU’s Werth Industry Academic Fellowship Program, the CSCU Nanotechnology Graduate Certificate, and the Professional Science Master’s in Applied Physics, the only such degree in New England.

But back to the evolution.

“Nanotechnology has changed,” Broadbridge said. “The focus used to be in electronics, but there is new, more advanced instrumentation. Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter at a very fine level, resulting in beneficial technologies. Those new technologies benefit all sectors of science, including, as examples, environmental sustainability, renewable energy, life and health science. The CNT has expanded its focus and resources to support these important areas.”

For example, through the BioScience Academic and Career Pathway Initiative (BioPath), a partnership between the City of New Haven and Southern to support the growing biotechnology sector of the economy, the CNT has placed interns at, among other companies, Arvinas, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutics for cancers and other difficult-to-treat diseases. Via on-going industry-academic partnerships, a growing internship program and faculty/student research the CNT continues to make significant progress in better understanding nano-scale phenomena in materials.

Nanoscience may be the science of the very small, but the Center for Nanotechnology at Southern is affecting students, faculty, businesses, the economy, and the world’s scientific fields in big ways.

Clara Ogbaa was recently named the university’s new Director of Library Services. Ogbaa has been the Director of Library Services at Gateway Community College since 2008 and the Interim Director of Education Technology at Gateway since 2016. Under her leadership and management, the GCC Library experienced tremendous growth and a complete transformation of library services and resources for students. Ogbaa oversaw the successful consolidation of the GCC Long Wharf and North Haven campus libraries’ services and collections and moved them into the new state of-the-art downtown college facility. The consolidation improved services and facilities, increased students’ information literacy and increased the educational technology skills of students and faculty. As Gateway’s representative on the CSCU Council of Library Directors, she was highly involved in the 2017 implementation of the new system-wide library platform;  Ogbaa will remain on the Council, now as Southern’s representative.

Ogbaa has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on information literacy and emerging technologies. She is a member of the American Library Association, the Association for College and Research Libraries, and the Connecticut Library Association.

Prior to her work at Gateway, Ogbaa was Administrative Librarian at Texas State University (2004-2008), and Coordinator of Library Instruction here at Southern (1998-2004). Ogbaa holds her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from University of Bridgeport, and her master’s in library and information science and bachelor’s in English from University of Texas at Austin.

Ogbaa, speaking about joining the Buley Library team, says that she is delighted to come back to Southern as library director and believes this opportunity at Buley will be an amazing experience. “I am excited about the myriad of opportunities created by extensive study areas, computer stations, makerspace — tools that can help our students think, create, explore, innovate, collaborate, and fulfill their dreams.

“With our beautiful newly renovated library, our library stands as a rich resource for learning, research, and scholarship on campus.  With a team of dedicated, knowledgeable library faculty and staff working well together the library will provide effective services and programs that will positively impact student achievement and success in a welcoming learning and social environment. Some of my goals are to maximize our new space, to effectively collaborate with all the shared resources in the building, and to provide effective access to information sources and services.”

 

Thanks to Rebecca Hedreen, Library Coordinator for Distance Learning, for contributing to this story.

Photo credit: Shirley Anderson

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times #1 best-selling author. She will talk about her newest book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, at the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, November 3, at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets.

Her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, published in September 2018 by Simon & Schuster, is the culmination of Goodwin’s five-decade career of studying the American presidents. The book delivers an illuminating exploration into the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership as exemplified by Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. It provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field and for all of us in our everyday lives.

Goodwin’s career as a presidential historian and author was inspired when as a 24-year-old graduate student at Harvard she was selected to join the White House Fellows, one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. At the White House celebration of the newly chosen Fellows, she found herself sharing the dance floor with President Johnson. He told her he wanted her to be assigned directly to him in the White House. But it was not to be that simple. For like many young people, she had been active in the anti-Vietnam War movement and had co-authored an article that called for the removal of LBJ, published in the New Republic several days after the White House dance. Despite this, LBJ said: “Bring her down here for a year and if I can’t win her over no one can.” Goodwin worked with Johnson in the White House and later assisted him in the writing of his memoirs.

She then wrote Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, which became a national bestseller and achieved critical acclaim. It will be re-released in spring 2019, highlighting LBJ’s accomplishments in domestic affairs that have stood the test of time: The three historic Civil Rights bills that he steered through Congress—ending segregation in the South, providing the precious right to vote to African Americans, and Fair Housing—changed the face of our country, as did the host of bipartisan landmark bills that comprised the Great Society—including Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, PBS, NPR, federal aid to education and immigration reform.

Goodwin followed with No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She also authored a bestselling memoir Wait Till Next Year and The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, which was adapted into an award-winning five-part TV miniseries.

Her last book was the critically acclaimed and The New York Times bestselling The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (November 2013). Winner of the Carnegie Medal, The Bully Pulpit is a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners has acquired the film and television rights to the book.

Spielberg and Goodwin previously worked together on Lincoln, based in part on Goodwin’s award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, an epic work that illuminates Lincoln’s political genius, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president. Team of Rivals was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Prize, the inaugural Book Prize for American History, and Goodwin in 2016 was the first historian to receive the Lincoln Leadership Prize from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

The film Lincoln grossed $275 million at the box office and earned 12 Academy Award® nominations, including an Academy Award for actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln.

Well known for her appearances and commentary on television, Goodwin is seen frequently on all the major television and cable networks and shows including Meet the Press and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Most recently she played herself as a teacher to Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons and a historian on American Horror Story.

Goodwin has served as a consultant and has been interviewed extensively for PBS and HISTORY’s documentaries on Presidents Johnson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, the Kennedy family, and on Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball and The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. She served as a consultant on HBO Films’ All the Way starring Bryan Cranston as President Johnson.

Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Colby College. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in government from Harvard University, where she taught government, including a course on the American Presidency.

Among her many honors and awards, Goodwin was awarded the Charles Frankel Prize, given by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, the New England Book Award, as well as the Carl Sandburg Literary Award.

Goodwin lives in Concord, Massachusetts. She was the first woman to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room, and is a devoted fan of the World Series-winning team.

Purchase Tickets 

Elm Shakespeare Company returns to New Haven’s Edgerton Park this summer with one of the Bard’s less performed plays, Love’s Labour’s Lost. Celebrating its 23rd season, Elm Shakespeare is Southern’s theater company in residence and provides world-class theater, free of charge, to audiences of approximately 30,000 people from throughout greater New Haven and statewide. This year will mark the company directorial debut of Producing Artistic Director Rebecca Goodheart and will also feature the return of Elm Shakespeare Company Founding Artistic Director James Andreassi in the role of Don Armado.

This year’s production will also feature acclaimed professional actors and theater professionals with ties to Southern, including SCSU faculty and sound designer Mike Skinner, Theatre Department Chair Kaia Monroe-Rarick, and lecturer Benjamin Curns. The company also employs a number of current and former Southern students as actors and production staff for the summer, including senior Matt Iannantuoni as company manager and recent graduates Kevin Redline as wardrobe supervisor, Ashley Sweet as second assistant stage manager, and Cailey Harwood Smith as property master. The Love’s Labour’s Lost cast also features several SCSU alumni, including Betzabeth Castro as Katherine (pictured above), Brianna Bauch as Moth, and Gracy Brown as Boyet, as well as senior Sasha Mahmoud as Maria.

The powerful longstanding partnership between Elm Shakespeare and Southern, begun in 1997, became official in 2016 with the signing of an official Memo of Understanding designating Elm Shakespeare as the Theater-in-Residence at Southern. Elm Shakespeare now has offices on campus, offers a variety of its educational programs to youth ages 7-18 at Southern, and is fully integrated into the SCSU Theatre Department activities and facilities.

The 2018 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost is a whimsical jazz-age tale chock full of witty wordplay, music, dance, and riotous mishaps. Love’s Labour’s Lost marks the start of Shakespeare’s most lyrical comedies. With live music before and throughout the performance, Elm’s production promises to be as luscious in language and look as Edgerton Park itself, while posing questions about consent, class, and a woman’s role in the political arena. Love’s Labour’s Lost is a tale of love — for big ideas, for delicious words, and for that special someone. The King of Navarre has sworn to give up the pleasures of the world for serious study and contemplation. But when the Princess of France arrives, exuberant frivolity triumphs over studious drudgery, and the whole town erupts in pursuit of what (and who) they love!

Goodheart says “Love’s Labour’s Lost is indeed a romp and yet it’s also a timely story of what happens when, too enraptured by our own desires, we fail to listen. Love can still win, but there is a price to be paid.”

Summer performances will run Thursday, August 16 through Sunday, September 2, Tuesday-Sunday at 8 p.m. (with live music beginning at 7:30 p.m.) in Edgerton Park in New Haven, located at 75 Cliff Street. The performances will be free to the public with a suggested donation of $20, $10 for students and $5 for children 12 and under. Picnicking prior to the performance is encouraged. Visit the Elm Shakespeare website for more information on cast and production staff bios, play synopsis, directions, news on New Haven food vendors in the park, Tree Talks, and protocol for cancellations due to inclement weather.