November 1 - November 3, 2019
22nd Annual Theatre Forum at Round Top
Brad Sayles, James Belcher,
B.J. Dodge, Sayda Trujillo,
Ann Thompson, Felicia Londré,
Sonja Bruzauskas, Tom Foral,
Kate Pogue

2019 Theatre Forum Brochure Cover
     22nd Annual Theatre Forum: Footlights and the Silver Screen

     Friday November 1 - Sunday November 3, 2019

This year's Theatre Forum will explore the connections between Theatre and Film. Both genres have been in a passionate affair for the last century, informing each other, competing with each other and inspiring each other.

What role do Theatre and Film play in this fast living age of social media, rapid changes in technology and the resulting perception of reality?

Our presenters will shine light on subjects such as Shakespeare as screenwriter, the transition from the stage to silent film, screen acting versus stage acting, animated opera and the music of the movies. Special guest artist Sayda Trujillo will examine themes from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure in a gripping performance, produced specifically for this event.

In addition, we are inviting more youth into our midst this year: Barbara June Dodge will conduct a workshop with Theatre students involving selected scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream, cellular phones and a lot of creativity. The workshop will culminate in a presentation on Sunday morning.

See descriptions of Performances and Talks below.

"Don't miss this exciting conference. See old friends, make new ones, get inspired and stimulated, and enjoy Round Top in November. We will see you there!" - Sonja Bruzauskas, Theatre Forum Producer

Presenters joining Sonja Bruzauskas are Brad Sayles, James Belcher, B.J. Dodge, Sayda Trujillo, Ann Thompson, Felicia Hardison Londré, Tom Foral and Kate Pogue. See bios below.

     Click here to view downloadable brochure.
        To request a brochure by mail, email or call 979-249-3129.

Take full advantage of the picturesque Festival Hill Campus. The three-day Theatre Forum also offers a tour of grounds and buildings, morning walks with Ann Thompson, and appetizing meals in the Victorian-style Menke House dining hall, as well as an open-air lunch in the lush Menke gardens on Saturday. Though casual dress is the norm for events, formal dress is encouraged for the Saturday evening reception in the Menke House Parlours followed by a gourmet dinner in the dining hall.

Overnight accommodations are available. Complimentary breakfast is included. Please call the office or email to check availability and make reservations.

Refund/Cancellation Policy: A 20% cancellation fee for registration, meals and lodging applies until October 19. No refunds will be issued after October 19.

Office/Information/Reservations: 979-249-3129

Location Information below.

Performances and Talks

What I Must Unlearn
    This gripping performance, produced specifically for this event, will examine themes from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.
    - Friday at 7:30 p.m., Performance featuring Sayda Trujillo, Edythe Bates Old Chapel

Transferring the Mystique From Stage to Silent Screen
    What do America's sweetheart Mary Pickford, flamboyant Russian-born Alla Nazimova, and the Marx Brothers all have in common? They – like Lillian Gish, Charlie Chaplin, Pola Negri, Mae West, William S. Hart, and Will Rogers – won renown on stage and later went to Hollywood. Images and anecdotes will explore their colorful trajectories.
    - Saturday at 9:30 a.m., Talk by Felicia Londré, Edythe Bates Old Chapel

From Bugs Bunny to Bystroushka, the world of animated opera
    An overview of the various ways in which opera has been featured, referred to, mocked, exalted, shortened, translated, adapted, etc. by means of animation techniques; some grotesque, some exquisite, some clever, all of them intriguing - a novel way to introduce the artform to neophytes or amuse the aficionado.
    - Saturday at 11:00 a.m., Talk by Ann Thompson, Edythe Bates Old Chapel

Shakespeare the Screenwriter
    Too bad he didn't live to get any number of Oscars! Shakespeare would have been a constant nominee as his plays have been responsible for more films than the work of any other writer of screenplays or television programs. Kate's talk will explain the cinematic nature of his dramaturgy and will organize the vast number of film and television adaptations available to the modern viewer.
    - Saturday at 1:30 p.m., Talk by Kate Pogue, Edythe Bates Old Chapel

Actors, Acting, Stage and Screen–A Very Personal Perspective
    Broadway and Hollywood: two words with magic. We will look at some of the differences, some of the presenter's favorites in several catagories, and three words, equally magic, that are never mentioned in schools.
    - Saturday at 3:30 p.m.; Talk by Tom Foral, Edythe Bates Old Chapel

Music: The Invisible Character
    - Saturday at 8:30 p.m., Talk/Music Performance featuring Brad Sayles, Edythe Bates Old Chapel

Theatre Education
    Theatre education is a physical and oral combination. Theatre education is about the ability to inspire focus and help students explore serious live human interaction.
    - Sunday at 10:00 a.m., Talk by James Belcher, Concert Hall Stage

Side by Side
     Shakespeare On Film, and In Person, explores how the bard translates outside and inside, side by side. Youth participants will present scenes filmed from Midsummer Night's Dream with smart phone videos, and then, on stage - in front of your very eyes! We invite a brief discussion - after the presentation - of the similarities and differences in these approaches.
    - Sunday at 10:30 a.m., Performance featuring BJ Dodge and students, Concert Hall Stage

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James Belcher
James Belcher - Belcher is a 37 year member of the Actors Equity Association. For 25 years, James was a member of Alley Theatre Resident Acting Company. He has directed over 25 plays for several companies, worked with HGO, Stages Theatre, Unity Theatre, 7 seasons with Houston Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Squared in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Additionally, James served as Artistic Director for The Strand Street Theatre in Galveston Texas. He has taught at The University of Houston, Houston Community College, Prairie View A&M University, Clear Brook High School and is now teaching at The Awty International School and the JB Acting School, a private school for students who want one on one instruction.

Sonja Bruzauskas
Sonja Bruzauskas - Born and raised in Germany, Sonja Bruzauskas was trained on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Besides her expansive stage career in musical theater, opera and operetta, Sonja is a well-established concert singer and recitalist, focusing on German Art Song and contemporary music. Appearances include the Staatsoperette Dresden, the Santa Fe Opera, Volkstheater Rostock, Nordharzer Staedtebundtheater, Babelsberger Filmorchester, Bochumer Symphoniker, Baton Rouge Symphony , Da Camera, the Bach Society Houston, Mercury, the Greenbriar Consortium, the Houston Chamber Orchestra, the Houston Chamber Choir, ROCO, Round Top Festival Institute and Ars Lyrica. Sonja has sung and lectured at institutions such as CalArts, Vanderbilt, LSU, Rice University, the University of Houston, Philosophical Society of Houston as well as numerous health institutions. Sonja is the founder and director of pARTnerschools, a project that connects students through the Arts to empower diversity and strengthen communities.

BJ Dodge
B.J. Dodge - A teaching artist, Barbara June Dodge retired from California Institute of the Arts after 33 years of service. She worked primarily in association with Plaza de la Raza – a community arts organization in Lincoln Heights- and CalArts' Community Arts Partnership program. She spent 27 years making plays with youth, CalArts students and alumni and, Plaza staff and faculty. She is chair of theater for a summer intensive called California State Summer School for the Arts. For the past 3 years, she has taught part time at Orange County School of the Arts, and CSArts, OC's sister campus. She has been a guest director for projects at CPP over the past 3 years, and will direct Irene Maria Fornes's Mud for CSULB's Cal Rep Week, Fall, 2019.

Tom Foral
Tom Foral - Tom Foral returns from New York and Pennsylvania, for his 21st annual Theatre Forum. Tom's undergraduate degree is from Northwestern and he holds an MFA in Theatre from Penn State. His performing experience includes shows on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, plus film and television. As a painter and designer, Tom specializes in portraiture and figurative work. He has painted, among others, H.S.H. Princess Grace, Bill Blass, Audrey Hepburn, Eudora Welty, Gwen Verdon and Roberto Bolle. He's been showing his work in New York and Bucks County, and was recently shown at the Metropolitan Opera House. To see his work, visit or

Felicia Hardison Londre
Felicia Hardison Londré - Felicia Hardison Londré is recently retired as Curators' Distinguished Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she taught theatre history for 41 years. She earned her B.A. in French at the University of Montana, then, following a Fulbright year at the Université de Caen in Normandy, France, she earned her M.A. in Romance Languages at the University of Washington and her Ph.D. in Speech/Theatre at the University of Wisconsin. She received the ATHE Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education Award in 2001. She is the author of 18 books. Her 12th book, The Enchanted Years of the Stage: Kansas City at the Crossroads of American Theater, 1870-1930, won the prestigious George Freedley Memorial Award for 2008. Felicia was inducted into The College of Fellows of the American Theatre in 1999 and served as Dean of the College 2012-14.

Kate Pogue
Kate Pogue - Founder and producer of 20 previous Round Top Theatre Forums, Kate Pogue is a playwright, librettist and theatre director. She received an undergraduate degree in theatre from Northwestern and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota. For 10 years she was Artistic Director of Opera to Go, now the school outreach program for Houston Grand Opera. A student of Carlisle Floyd and member of the Houston Opera Studio she has written a dozen opera librettos for children and five librettos for adult productions with composers Mary Carol Warwick, Sterling Tinsley, Robert Nelson and Henry Mollicone. During this time she was also artistic director of The Shakespeare by the Book Festival. Her book Shakespeare's Friends was published in January 2006 and a companion volume, Shakespeare's Family, came out in June 2008. Her recent books involve Shakespeare's training and include Shakespeare's Figures of Speech (2010) and Shakespeare's Education (2012). A recent project involved directing Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in the original pronunciation. She is retired from the University of Houston Downtown.

Brad Sayles
Brad Sayles - GRAMMY award-winning and EMMY nominated producer Brad Sayles is a recording engineer, composer and trained musician with degrees in composition as well as telecommunication and media. His work on the independent films Echoes of Innocence and The Bracelet of Bordeaux have brought scores of both haunting beauty and uproarious fun to the movie theater, while his energetic score for the Houston Public Television special Art is All Around Us was nominated in for an Emmy. He is also the two-time recipient of the "Louisa Stude Sarofim Composition Competition" for his chamber suite New England Journey and The Lilly. Other awards include the 2004 & 2011 Telly Awards, 2007 Woldfest Gold Special Jury Award, and the 2018 GRAMMY Award for the Houston Symphony recording of Berg's Wozzeck. Brad is equally at home editing sound for film, prompting two-time Academy Award winning sound editor Allen Robert Murray to hail Brad's expertise as “incredible” for his work on the movie Space Cowboys. Brad is currently the recording engineer for the Houston Symphony where he produces their recordings for both commercial release and broadcast. He received his Masters in Music Composition from the University of Houston studying with Robert Nelson, and his Bachelors of Arts in Telecommunication / Media Arts from Michigan State University.

Ann Thompson
Ann Thompson - Born in Indonesia of Dutch descent, Ann Thompson had lived in many different places in the world before landing in Houston in 1960. Having received the benefits of a classical European education she decided that opera was the perfect subject for deploying the results thereof, advocating, in the process, for the humanities in general and the performing arts in particular. Once she spoke four and a half languages but is now reduced, alas, to two: Dutch and English. Privileged to have experienced a many faceted background during her four score and plus lifetime, and driven by fiercely intellectual curiosity, she delights in finding connections between disparate subjects and elaborating upon them to her many and varied audiences.

Sayda Trujillo
Sayda Trujillo - Ms. Trujillo is a theatre artist specializing in voice and movement, as well as devising physical theatre performances. Identity and storytelling inspire her personal work, as well as collective work with actors and non-actors. Sayda has taught and performed in 32 countries including Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, Singapore, Spain, Germany, Colombia, UK, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine with The Freedom Theatre, and India. Sayda has a BFA from CalArts, a graduate certificate from Dell Arte, and an MA in Voice Studies from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Sayda is full time faculty at the Dell Arte International School of Physical Theatre.

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Location Information

Festival Hill Campus Location (one-half mile north of Round Top on State Highway 237): 248 Jaster Rd, Round Top, TX 78954
     Google Map
Service Building Location: #22 on Campus Map
Edythe Bates Old Chapel Location: #8 on Campus Map
Concert Hall Location: #6 on Campus Map
Menke House Location: 141 Jaster Rd, Round Top, TX 78954 #16 on Campus Map

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