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Cal MacLeanBefore heading to Neyland Stadium for the Vols home opener against Georgia State on Saturday football fans are invited to focus their attention on another entertainment arena—the theater stage.

Cal MacLean, professor and head of the Department of Theatre, will present Supreme Synergy on Stage: Presenting Sweeney Todd in the season’s first Pregame Showcase.

The showcase begins at 2:00 p.m. in the Carolyn P. Brown University Center Ballroom (Room 213).

Free and open to the public, each showcase features a thirty-minute presentation followed by a fifteen-minute question-and-answer session. Presentations begin two hours before kickoff. A brief reception will be held immediately following each program. Door prizes will be awarded.

Sweeney Todd, directed by MacLean, is currently playing at the Clarence Brown Theatre.

“This week’s presentation is about artistic collaboration, the strategies a director employs to encourage it, the pitfalls successful collaborations avoid, and the thrill that comes when the sum of the art is greater than its parts,” MacLean said.

Joining MacLean in the discussion will be Maestro Lucas Richman of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Richman is the musical director for Sweeney Todd.

As artistic director of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, MacLean has directed productions with Chicago’s Famous Door Theatre Company, including Joshua Sobol’s Ghetto, which won six Joseph Jefferson Awards and was revered as one of the best productions in Chicago for 1999. MacLean also has won numerous directing credits at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and was named one of the “ten most promising” theater artists by the Chicago Tribune in 2002.

Here’s the lineup for the rest of the season:

  • September 15—Exploring Asteroids with the Dawn Spacecraft. Hap McSween, Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will explain how NASA’s Dawn spacecraft operates and what it discovered while exploring the large asteroid Vesta for the past year.
  • September 22—The Politics of Income and Inequality in the United States. Nathan Kelly, associate professor of political science, will examine the causes of income inequality and the role political policy decisions have played in it.
  • October 20—The Tales Bones Tell. Dawnie Steadman, anthropology professor and director of the Forensic Anthropology Center, also known as the Body Farm, will discuss how the science helps locate and identify crime victims and missing persons. She also will highlight research taking place at the Forensic Anthropology Center.
  • November 3—The Authority of Citizens: Its Nature and Limits. David Reidy, professor and head of the philosophy department, will talk about the meaning of citizenship in a democracy, maintaining that in a democracy, citizens together have—as free equals—final political authority.
  • November 10—Protecting Our Water Resources: A Microbiologist’s Perspective. Steven Wilhelm, a microbiology professor who has studied large-scale aquatic systems around the world, will talk about how new tools in molecular biology, limnology (the study of inland waters), and oceanography are helping scientists understand how natural water systems work and how we protect our most valuable natural resource: water.
  • November 24—Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse. Jay Rubenstein, history professor, former Rhodes Scholar and 2007 recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, will explain how apocalyptic thought motivated the Crusaders and why this history is relevant to the modern world.

The Pregame Showcase is supported by WUOT 91.9 FM, the Office of Alumni Affairs and UT Athletics. For more information, visit

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (974, 5034 or