Ion-Cosmin Chivu started at Pace University in 2006 as an Adjunct Professor of Theater. This past fall he joined the full time faculty in the Department of Performing Arts and became the Director of the Dyson College BA Theater Arts/Directing Program on the New York City Campus. He has directed more than 50 professional and university productions in the United States, Austria, England, Germany, Greece, and Romania. This month, he discusses the upcoming Performing Arts Masters Series and his plans for the future of theater at Pace.
You’re relatively new to the University, but you’re coming on board at an exciting time for the Performing Arts program. How has the experience been for you so far?
Rewarding! The University provides me with an extremely stimulating environment and the opportunity to share my passion for teaching theater. As the newest addition to the full-time faculty in the Performing Arts Department I have a personal commitment to create a climate that nurtures and encourages students to realize their full potential. I am surrounded and deeply inspired by the finest and most supportive colleagues; together we work effectively on developing our students’ distinctive voice and perspective, training them to become first-rate performers, directors, and designers. This year is particularly exciting because we are creating four new programs that will come to fruition by the time we will be in our new home, 140 William Street. Students and teachers will benefit from new rehearsal spaces, classrooms, a TV studio, and a 100-seat theater. This is all happening this year and will undoubtedly raise Pace’s Performing Arts profile.
What can you tell us about the first installment of the Performing Arts Masters Series taking place on February 13?
The Masters Series enhances our mission to providing the new generation of students and artists with the opportunity of interacting with well-established, outstanding professionals that have developed new voices and ideas. Our inaugural session will feature three visionaries from some the most influential American theater institutions: Anne Cattaneo of the Lincoln Center Theater, Maria Goyanes of The Public Theater, and Joe Melillo from the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). I will have the privilege to moderate the session and I intend to engage the evening’s guests in discussions that range from the moment that inspired their commitment to working in theater to their most intriguing work, and from the challenges of the artistic process to their unique practices that resulted in highly acclaimed productions. Also there will be a Q&A session with Pace BFA and BA Performing Arts students.
What was the motivation for beginning the series?
Learning—accomplishments become more meaningful when articulated in front of new generations of artists. Students will benefit from being in the same room with powerful artists who have developed strong voices in various modes of theatrical expression. We also need to reinvigorate the theater’s ancient role as a public forum by focusing on the social and cultural context for the works of the American Theater of today and tomorrow.
How do you anticipate the series raising the profile of the program and the University as a whole?
Opportunities! In addition to providing curriculum enrichment by introducing our students to the exceptional work of innovative masters, our goal is to increase the presence of visiting high profile artists. They will have the opportunity to appreciate the quality of our training process and to interact with our student body, a crucial step in creating working relationships that would land jobs, assistantships, and internships. Fulfilling the next phase in our students’ emerging career by learning from the best in the business is key in becoming successful artists. Our students’ accomplishments are greatly influencing our program’s reputation and future.
What else can we expect to see from the Performing Arts program in the future?
More high-profile industry professionals. On March 26 we will have three leading Broadway theater producers. On April 23 we are bringing together several Broadway actors. In the future we also intend to dedicate our sessions to well known composers, playwrights, directors, and designers.
For more information about Ion-Cosmin Chivu and Performing Arts at Pace, please log onto www.pace.edu/performingarts.