Department of Drama 2016-17 Season

Rust Echoes

Mar 23 – Apr 06, 2017
Faculty members Zeke Leonard and Katherine McGerr present an installation and performance inspired by the N.Y. Central Railroad.

Zeke Leonard and Katherine McGerr’s “Rust Echoes” is a gallery installation and performance inspired by the sonic landscape of the New York Central Railroad. The installation will be on view March 20-April 6, with an opening reception on Thursday, March 23, from 6-8 p.m. Performances will be held on March 24, 25 and 26 at 7 p.m.

For 100 years, the New York Central Railroad moved goods and people throughout the Northeast and Midwest; its connectivity helped to forge the economic and social framework of Central New York. The installation consists of five interactive sculptures made of the materials and forms that were common to the railroad. Steel and wood are given a voice, and railroad tools and hardware are used as musical instruments.

This installation is part of an ongoing project, “Salt City Found-Object Instrument Works,” an exploration by Leonard into resource usage and community building created through the making, distribution and playing of musical instruments.

The performance, devised by McGerr and featuring five students from SU:VPA’s Department of Drama, presents poems and stories about the railroad in dialogue with the sonic sculptures in the installation.

Leonard is an assistant professor in VPA’s School of Design, a member of the environmental and interior design faculty, and coordinator of the school’s first-year experience. His research involves the role of social responsibility and environmental stewardship in contextually relevant design and fabrication practices. Leonard regularly partners with community groups and organizations to find ways to put local resources to better use. 

McGerr is an assistant professor in VPA’s Department of Drama. For nearly 10 years she has been on the artistic staff of Chautauqua Theater Company, where she currently serves as new play development manager as well as the director of their annual Young Playwrights Festival. She regularly incorporates new plays into her teaching practice. Other research interests include the incorporation of plays by female playwrights into scene study repertoire and Stanislavski's Action Analysis system.

Explore a Career in the Performing Arts with Conductor Malcolm J. Merriweather ’07

Mar 29 – 30, 2017
Merriweather, a Setnor School of Music alumnus, will visit campus for two days of events for students.

Conductor, educator, and performer Malcolm J. Merriweather '07, an alumnus of the Setnor School of Music, will come to campus to share the ins and outs of pursuing a career in the performing arts. Students from all majors and disciplines are welcome to attend the events below. Presented in partnership with Syracuse University Career Services.

Wednesday, March 29

Watch a Rehearsal
2:15-3:45 p.m.
Room 400 Crouse College
See Merriweather in action as he conducts and rehearses University Singers.

Attend a Performance  
8 p.m.
Setnor Auditorium, Crouse College
Merriweather joins the voice faculty of the Setnor School of Music in a featured recital. Meet him in a post-recital reception in 308 Crouse College.

Thursday, March 30

Get One-on-One Advice
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Career Services, 235 Schine Student Center  
Stop by Career Services for special 15-minute drop-ins with Merriweather.

Attend a Career Q&A
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Setnor Auditorium, Crouse College
Merriweather leads this presentation and Q&A on pioneering your own career as a musician by cultivating audiences and connecting with your community.

Observe Auditions
3:45-5:30 p.m.
Room 308 Crouse College
See the audition process first hand and learn tips from Merriweather's expertise in the field.

About Malcolm J. Merriweather

Conductor Malcolm J. Merriweather is music director of New York City’s the Dessoff Choirs, known for their performances of great choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century. He is an assistant professor and director of choirs at Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music of the City University of New York, artist-in-residence at Union Theological Seminary, and the music director of “Voices of Haiti,” a 60-member children’s choir in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, funded by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation.

Merriweather holds a doctor of musical arts degree in conducting from the studio of Kent Tritle at the Manhattan School of Music, where his doctoral dissertation “Now I walk in Beauty, Gregg Smith: A Biography and Complete Works Catalog” constituted the first complete works list for the composer and conductor. He received master of music degrees in choral conducting and in vocal performance from the studio of Rita Shane at the Eastman School of Music, as well as a bachelor of music degree in music education from the Setnor School of Music, summa cum laude.

Merriweather's professional affiliations include membership in Pi Kappa Lambda, the American Choral Directors Association, and Chorus America. Read more about his conducting and performance highlights and engagements at