All posts by Mia Landeck

Urinetown Named Among Top 10 Best of Local Productions

Welcome to Urinetown!

Welcome to Urinetown, a town “like any town that you might find in a musical.” It’s a place of song, strife, and – more uniquely – an enforced ban on private toilets. A satire on capitalism, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, politics, greed, and musical theater, Urinetown is the winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Obie Awards, and now, St. Petersburg College’s performance was named one of the top 10 productions in the Tampa Bay area!

Peter Nason, an award-winning playwright, actor, director, teacher and writer at Broadway World, recently honored the SPC Theater Department’s rendition of Urinetown, naming it as one of the Top 10 local theater performances. Additionally, a personal review article of Nason’s highlights it as “a gem of a production.”

Dismantling the ultimate evil – the malevolent ‘Urine Good Company’ – is the end goal, but at what cost?

Urinetown is a place where “private business” is privately owned – where citizens must use public amenities regulated by a company that profits by charging admission. This sordid circumstance is ‘thanks’ to a water shortage. Tired of the oppression, a hero rises against this monopoly, mixing with an eclectic cast of characters. Dismantling the ultimate evil – the malevolent Urine Good Company is the end goal.

Nason describes SPC’s Urinetown as an “incredible SPC production which took a mere five weeks to mount,” “smart,” and “funny.” It is “something that everyone can enjoy.” The article recognizes the set and tech teams while giving a grand highlight to the direction of SPC Theater Faculty Member Scott Cooper.

“And all of it was guided by a truly visionary director, Scott Cooper, who, if I gave anyone a trophy for Director of the Year, it would be his. His work here was so assured and creative that I want to see him helm more shows in the area, especially with professional companies. A talent like this, a director who knows how to stage a show brilliantly and with heart, should not be squandered. We need him.”

Cooper was awarded the Florida Theatre Conference Achievement Award in 2017 honoring his contributions to the arts in the college and university community. He continues to ‘keep busy’ with SPC’s Theater Department and is breaking a long acting hiatus as Creon in their upcoming rendition of Medea.

Photo of the Urinetown Cast
Citizens must use public amenities regulated by a company that profits by charging admission ‘thanks’ to a water shortage.

SPC graduate Chelsea Hooker was also highlighted for her stage and vocal performances as Penelope Pennywise. Penelope is the urinal manager whose loyalty to her employer is the cause of many character’s suffering, once denying a character and condemning him because he was short on his change. Chelsea’s number “I Cherish” is noted in the article alongside Nason’s local actors of the year Ned Averill-Snell and Roxanne Fay.

Chelsea Hooker, 2018 SPC Graduate and Actress in Urinetown
SPC Graduate
Chelsea Hooker

“Incredible,” writes Nason, “the word ‘stunning’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. During her first number, I wrote in my notebook after watching her (this was long before Aretha would pass), ‘Queen Latifah, Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin better take notice.'”

Urinetown was Chelsea’s final performance as an SPC student, having graduated with an Associate in Arts degree in April 2018. She continues to pursue her passion in acting.

Urinetown was performed June 29, 30, and July 1, 2018 at the SPC Arts Auditorium at the Clearwater Campus as a combined effort between SPC students and local high schoolers.

Interested in joining the Theater Department for their next performance in March 2019? Auditions for Medea have passed, but acting classes are still available. The department is also looking for stagecraft and costume design students. Check out SPC’s website and the Theater Department’s Facebook for more information.

Scott Cooper and the cast thank everyone for their continued support!

Keynote’s Advice at SEmmys: Embrace and Grow From Failure

Matt Klowkowski Speaks at 13th Annual SEmmys

The 13th Annual SEmmys took place at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus Digitorium on April 10. Students of the Digital Arts and MIRA programs, as well as high school students in Pinellas County, submitted projects in categories such as photography, digital arts, and videography. More than 100 SPC students and 34 Pinellas County School students and guests attended.

Working Towards Success

Matt Kloskowski, also known as the Photoshop Guy, was the SEmmy’s keynote speaker. His website offers Lightroom, Photoshop, and Photography assets for designers’ use. He specializes as a “coach” in this area. His experience at Kelby Media Groups, where he worked for roughly 10 years as both an educator and a class recruiter, helped refine his skills and inspire his work.

Matt Klowkowski on succeeding through failure at the 13th Annual SEmmy Awards

In opening his presentation athe SEmmys, Kloskowski chose to share one of the most important things he noticed from his years working alongside artists prepping classes.

“I never saw the bad photos while they prepared. If that’s what you’re looking at, and you’re just seeing success all day long, what’s that mean for you? What’s that mean for what you’re doing?” he said.

For everyone, failure can be a daunting word. But,  in Kloskowski’s welcome to all SEmmys’ participants, he encouraged attendees to embrace failure as a step towards success. It forces people to be “human, normal, real, humble, understanding, patient, driven,” and ultimately, “to learn,” he said.

He reinforced this by sharing a story where he posted all the bad photos he took on a trip, titled “When a Death Valley Photography Shoot Goes Bad.” It ended up being his most visited blog post that year. He believed it was because people could identify with his experience.

“How can they learn if they don’t see you fail first, to see the process of how you build up to success?” he said.

Embracing the F Word

The idea of sharing your weakest work can be downright horrifying. An obsession with flawless portfolios and impressing potential employers conflicts with accepting failure.

Kloskowski, however, emphasized the necessity of this process, particularly because of how it allows people to relate to one another.

 “They love to know somebody else is having those problems too, because it makes us feel like I’m not alone in this, I’m not weird, I’m not crazy, I have those problems and they have them too. And that’s why sharing stuff like that is so important.

To best communicate his philosophy, Kloskowski outlined five stages titled “Embracing the F Word.”

  • Stage 1: Rejection/Failure. This is the actual process of failure or “the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
  • Stage 2: Mourning and self-loathing – a very necessary step, he said.
  • Stage 3: Survival mode, which “isn’t yet living.”
  • Stage 4: Trying again. Finally, “the living stage,” where “you realize you are not a failure; you may have failed, but there is a big delineation between you failing and being a failure.”
  • Stage 5: You’re guess is as good as mine. “Sometimes,” he says, “it’s a rise and repeat of all these steps.”

Working through these steps isn’t easy, but this process is something everyone has in common with each other, Kloskowski said.  And it can lead to a path for success.

“You’ll start to build confidence, and with that confidence, you’ll come up with more ideas.”

Emily Nunez Accepting her Award from Professor Ragan Brown at the 13th Annual SEmmy Awards

Winners of the 13th Annual SEmmys

  1. College Animation/Motion Graphics, Glass Vs Brick, Zach Vanzile
  2. College Digital Imaging Design, Sea Life Stamps, Dawn Pratt
  3. College Graphic Design, Displaced Movie Poster, Karlie Wagner
  4. College Digital Photography, NYE, Lorna Perez 
  5. College Typography, AIGA Post Cards, Emily Nunez
  6. College Music Composition,  Mother of Dragons, Keturah Allyson Duberstein
  7. College Video Camera, A.M.W.A.M. Concert Promo, Carlton Ballestero
  8. College Video Editing, Insanity, Amanda Brennan
  9. College Video Production, Mexico City Blues 113th, Mona Harding
  10. High School Animation/Motion Graphics, Adrift, Jacob Garcia
  11. High School Digital Imaging Design, Grow, Jacob Garcia
  12. High School Graphic Design, Hakuryo Night Club Advertising, Tobias Coon
  13. High School Digital Photography, Escape, Jordan Craven
  14. High School Music Composition,  Better Friends, Alex Bonyata
  15. High School Video Production, Trever, Trey Martin
  16. High School Game Design, Within the Woods, Matthew Hoobin
  17. Best of Show,  Mexico City Blues 113th, Mona Harding

Winners of the 13th Annual SEmmy Awards

See more photos on the college’s Facebook page. 

Interested in the Digital Arts?

SPC offers multiple A.S. degrees in Digital Arts, such as Graphic Design, Multimedia Presentation, Video Production, and Multimedia Foundations. Request more information!

Photography Exhibition at the Crossroads Gallery

Photography Exhibition

During Spring 2018, St. Petersburg College students were given the opportunity to present their work to area artists Bill and Jenifer Renninger, photographers, and this year’s jurors of the student photography exhibition. The event took place through the college’s photography program at the SPC Clearwater Campus.

Photography exhibition details

The exhibition “Interim Domain” featured digital, analog, and alternative process prints that were infused with technology trends, gender issues, racial commentary, and political implications. Students were allowed the freedom to fully personalize their pieces for this photography exhibition, which ran from Feb. 13 – March 1.

“The title of the exhibition was driven by the current state of the program,” Professor Barton Gilmore explains, “and not necessarily fueled by the work. However, students could create images which evolved out of the title.”

Some students began producing their pieces at the start of the spring term, while a couple were carried over from the fall. However, most of the work took place in January, then was refined and finalized for the February showcase.

Student work, "The Edge" by Thomas for Photography Exhibition
“The Edge,” Inkjet Print by Thomas Iacobucci

Interested in photography?

Learn more about the Photographic Technology A.S. Degree at SPC. A full course list can be found here. The Crossroads Gallery scholarship may be applied for through SPC’s Foundation Scholarships.