College of Visual and Performing Arts

JMU Nationwide Win Brings Dance Workshops and Performance to Community

Stuart Pimsler

Stuart Pimsler Dance & TheaterJames Madison University’s School of Theatre and Dance will host Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater (SPDT) from April 6-11, 2015. To celebrate its 35th anniversary season, SPDT initiated a nationwide application process to award “one incredible community” with a weeklong residency and performance opportunity. JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance applied for and was awarded the grant.

The residency includes a performance at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, April 11 @ 8 pm in the Earlynn J. Miller Dance Theatre. In addition, SPDT will conduct lectures, workshops and classes for students and faculty in JMU’s College of Health and Behavioral Studies (CBHS) and College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). The company will also provide workshops for healthcare professionals and for stroke survivors and their caregivers at Sentara RMH Medical Center. A group of JMU students (both from the CBHS and CVPA) who have an interest in arts and/or healthcare will be on hand for the workshops.

“SPDT has really pioneered the arts in healthcare field,” says Kate Trammell, professor of dance at JMU. “It is valuable to give our students exposure to an emerging field that could be a source of meaningful employment, and it places JMU and Sentara RMH on the cutting-edge in terms of artists and healthcare practitioners working together.”

According to Sharon Lovell, dean of the CBHS, the SPDT residency places “the wellness of the actual caregivers in the spotlight, and that caregiving role is one that so many graduates of CHBS step into for their professional lives.”

SPDT’s community inclusive work has been lauded as a “National Model” by the Kennedy Center, and its arts and healthcare work has been recognized for “Best Practices” by the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Known for capturing with humor and compassion the spectacles of everyday life (Columbus Art),” SPDT performs in cities from its hometown of Minneapolis to Mexico City to Dusseldorf, Germany. Founded by Stuart Pimsler in 1978 and now co-directed with Suzanne Costello, SPDT strives to create “theater for the heart and mind” with its work focused on “love, loss, and the need for connection.” Come experience “choreography with exquisite abandon” as the company reveals “the urgency of expectation and the vulnerability that comes with a bared soul (Minneapolis Star Tribune).”

Tickets for the performance are $10. Limited seating is available. For tickets, visit or call the Forbes Center Box Office at (540) 568-7000. A full list of residency events is below.

SPDT Full List of Residency Events (April 6-11, 2015):

Monday, April 6

10 a.m.-noon - *“Meaning in Movement” free workshop, Sentara RMH Medical Center

1:25-2:55 p.m. - Advanced Modern master class, Forbes Center, JMU – Rm. 1270

Tuesday, April 7

8:30-10:30 a.m. - Dance in Community class (with student/faculty guests from Music and Human Services program), Forbes Center, JMU – Rm. 1298

1-3 p.m. - “Caring for the Caregiver” workshop, Sentara RMH Medical Center

Wednesday, April 8

10 a.m.-noon - *“Meaning in Movement” free workshop, Sentara RMH Medical Center

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. - “Making Work” workshop for advanced dance composition and playwriting students, Forbes Center, JMU – Rm. 1270

5-5:50 p.m. - *Intro to Arts in Healthcare (one-hour free talk) for students in arts and healthcare majors, Anthony-Seeger Auditorium

Thursday, April 9

1-3 p.m. - “Caring for the Caregiver” workshop, Sentara RMH Medical Center

5:15-6:30 p.m. - “Mapping the Patient: An Overview of Arts and Healthcare” CHBS faculty/graduate student workshop, Festival, JMU – Conf. Rm. 8

5-6:30 p.m. - Dance class with men’s golf team, Forbes Center, JMU – Rm. 1299

Friday, April 10

10:10-11:25 a.m. - Friday Free master class, Forbes Center, JMU – Rm. 1270

Saturday, April 11

8 p.m. - *SPDT performance, Forbes Center, JMU – Earlynn J. Miller Dance Theatre

* indicates open to the public. Note: Registration is required for the “Meaning in Movement” workshop. Contact Janet Marshman, Sentara RMH, at or (540) 689-1654 to register or for more information.

In collaboration with JMU College of Visual and Performing Arts, JMU College of Health and Behavioral Studies, JMU Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services, JMU School of Theatre and Dance, Sentara RMH Medical Center, Shenandoah Valley Brain Injury Support Group, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Bridgewater Retirement Center, Sunnyside Retirement Center, Generations Crossing

Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 9, 2017

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