WELCOME. Join us pictorially for the wedding of Mitch and Jen Maltenfort in Savannah, Georgia, on Saturday, April 12th, 2014. Officiated by Rev. Steven Schulte and attended by family and friends from all over the US and Canada at the famous Marshall House in the historic district of one of America's most beautiful cities. You might enjoy the captions of these photos. :)
With thanks to the newlyweds and everyone who made this a spectacular, yet relaxed, event—including the amazing photographer, Geoff L Johnson, for the wedding images.
Photo of the Media Theatre Board of Directors onstage at the Media Theatre, 2008
The envelopes please . . .
The OSCAR for the most festive and welcoming place in Delaware County goes to the Media Theatre.
The OSCAR for the best gala planning goes to Dr. Barbara Domingos and the gala committee.
The OSCAR for the most communicative people, welcoming each guest personally, goes to members of the Board of Directors at the Media Theatre.
The OSCAR for the most supportive financial institution goes to the manager and staff of the Fox Chase Bank.
The OSCAR for the most generous gift—$100,000.00—goes to Mr. Walter Strine, Sr., of Media Realty, the beloved and revered benefactor of the Media Theatre.
The OSCAR for the best flower arrangements goes to Monika of Kenny’s Flower Shoppe and Susan Kelly. And
The OSCAR for the most gut-wrenching performance of “God bless America” goes to the “Miracle of State Street Singers” under the baton of Roger Ricker. The great little group with their small American flags, waving them frantically, received the first of many standing ovations that evening.
The Oscar for the best maiden speech goes to Tom Hibberd, new Chairman of the Board of Directors at the
The OSCAR for the most charming speech goes to Kyle Larsen, Board member of the Media Theatre.
The OSCAR for the most heart-warming speech goes to the representatives of the War Veterans of Delaware
The OSCAR for the most eloquent speech by an honoree goes to Mr. Bev Aaron from Primetime Weekend on WPVI, Channel 6, Philadelphia ABC.
The OSCAR for the award that was given as a surprise to the unsuspecting Mayor of Media for his incredible service to the Media Theatre and the cultural life of Media for many years goes to Bob McMahon.
The OSCAR for the most educational and audience-activating speech goes to Chris Larsen.
The OSCAR for the hottest and liveliest crowd for miles goes to the Friends of the Media Theatre.
The OSCAR for the most originally dressed man goes to Colin Pitcairn, the kilted Scotsman from Maryland (a
friend of the Larsens).
The OSCAR for the woman with the most beautiful dress with the longest train that swept the carpeted
staircase when, unlike Cinderella, she slowly walked downstairs from the Crystal Room, accompanied by Prince David of Sachs Goldman, goes to Inge Smith from Germany.
The OSCAR for the happiest couple goes to Mr. Walter Shrine and "my fairy lady."
The OSCAR for the best behaved children goes to David and Inge Smith's two sons: Gregory, aged 9, and
Christopher, aged 7, both of whom have taken classes at the Media Theatre and have appeared in major productions on stage.
The OSCAR for the best program of any gala goes to Jesse Cline, artistic director of the Media Theatre, with
The OSCAR for the most brilliant and entertaining Master of Ceremonies goes to John Haggerty of New York
The OSCAR for the best accompanist on stage goes to Chris Ertelt, musical director at the Media Theatre.
The OSCAR for the most mature performance goes to Ann Crumb, star of Souvenir, the funniest and most
unusual musical ever seen.
The OSCAR for the most wonderful things said by each of the performers about the connection between the
Media Theatre and the Borough of Media goes to the entire cast at the gala.
PARTY AT THE CRYSTAL ROOM
The OSCAR for the best Silent Auctioneer goes to Broadway actress Therese Walden.
The OSCAR for the best wine and champagne bar goes to all bartenders and those who stocked the bar with
the best spirits befitting a gala.
The OSCAR for the best pianist at the Crystal Room goes to Max of “Valentine” fame.
The OSCAR for the most dedicated auction management goes to Christine Petrini, Beth Bannon, and Keith
Bannon (with a special OSCAR to everyone who donated and bought an item).
ONLY IN AMERICA, ONLY AT THE MEDIA THEATRE
The OSCAR for the most original "Catch a Man at the Media Theatre" goes to the lady who said to a
handsome, hunky friend of mine: "Are you up for an auction, too?" He agreed and is going to meet her soon.
The OSCAR for the most liberated "My Fair Lady" goes to the charming, tall woman who literally snatched me
out of a conversation with an old friend and started to waltz with me.
The OSCAR for the finest food goes to the gala caterers, who cooked caringly and displayed the meals
The OSCAR for the good spirits we never saw before or afterwards goes to the cleaning crew, who came
to get the Media Theatre ready for the weekly Sunday morning church service—hours after the last revelers left the gala.
THE DAY AFTER
The OSCAR for best management, diplomacy, and charm goes to the amazing Patrick Ward, the executive
director of the Media Theatre.
The OSCAR for the most encouraging follow-up goes to all the patrons who wrote in, to the Board members,
to the many friends of the Larsen family, all the way to theatre goers and fans from all over the greater Philadelphia area who said that they had never seen a gala as exciting as this year’s event at the Media
And, last, but not least, the SPECIAL OSCAR OF OSCARS goes to the Taits from Wayne, the Lukens, the Rabenas, the Mopperts and all the many wonderful people who wrote in to say that they will make sure that they will not only financially support the theatre’s new sound system, but they would send their children or grandchildren to take classes at the Media Theatre as they all see the value of the work done at one of the main cultural centers in Media.
Congratulations, one and all.
Henrik Eger, Ph.D., February 9, 2008
I have never seen as many directors and budding directors at the Playground, part of Philadelphia's Adrienne Theater, as I did last night for the first salon of a new organization: Directors Gathering. It was well organized by Jill Harrison and a team of fellow theatre people.
What a wonderful coming together of bright and dedicated collaborators. Jill brought out the best in that large crowd of directors and friends. She and her team managed to get half of Philadelphia, plus one director from Baltimore, to pack the Playground. Amazing.
We split up into groups of 5 or 6 participants and discussed a wide range of topics: including, different ways of directing where we compared the frozen-in-time classical Russian ballet to modern American dance which allows significantly more freedom to a choreographer. We also talked about the responsibility that everyone has to contribute to the success of a play--not only the playwright and the artistic director, but all the actors and theatre artists involved in a production.
The evening ended with a preview of the different topics at the upcoming monthly salons at various locations. Group members then shared news with everyone. I greatly enjoyed the evening and the many people who came up to me afterwards and wanted to learn more about the new website, Drama Around The Globe.
Many thanks to Jill and everyone involved in making this event a success, including: Taste the Difference Events for providing platters of delicious food and Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery for a wide range of wines. I am looking forward to many more salons in support of Philadelphia theatre.
Top right-hand side: Henrik Eger with a small group of directors and actors: KC MacMillan and Seth Reichgott;
not pictured: Susanna Berger, Anat Eshel, and Page Ridgeway.
Photos by Hannah Van Sciver
On a strange Russian website where people submit questions in any language of their choice, and where artificial intelligence is used to come up with the best link, someone asked: "Does anyone know of Amsterdam Attic?" [sic]
Of the three responses, one linked to my article, "Hidden Inside The Amsterdam Attic: A Guide to The Secret Diary of Anne Frank"—not exactly the kind of loft someone had in mind to rent, I dare say. Of course, I could be wrong . . .
“Wow, he listens to us!”: Anonymous weekly student feedback and its dramatic impact on teaching and learning
Click the third arrow to the right to begin the PowerPoint presentation.
“He's a great professor, but . . .”: What we think we know about student perceptions but often don't
ABSTRACT of a conference presentation: 21st Teaching Academic Survival Skills (TASS) Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Embassy Suites Hotel, March 21-24, 2010.
Summary: Even some of the most experienced college professors may be surprised by the discrepancy between how they evaluate their own pedagogy and how students perceive and judge the teaching.
Pedagogical Dilemma: In the United States, the assessment movement has grown to such an extent that many colleges and universities only can get grants if they assess student work and can prove that the teaching of faculty members generates verifiable student success.
However, little help seems to be available to over-worked faculty members who often tend to concentrate on student papers as “a product,” rather than taking into consideration those concerns which many students will not share until they either drop out of a course or until they are asked to fill out an end-of-semester questionnaire, often yielding unexpected and not always flattering results.
Solutions: Aware that no one method can serve as a panacea, I’ve found two methods that have dramatically increased both retention rates and official end-of-semester student evaluations: (1) Weekly anonymous student feedback, and (2) regular email interactions with my students. The anonymous weekly feedback fosters confidence and leads to more open email exchanges between students and professor. As a result, instructors can fine-tune their teaching, both at an individual and at a class level, and help to improve the quality of student work.
Anonymous weekly feedback: Stage 1: Each week, on the last day of each class, during the last ten minutes, I ask my English and Interpersonal Communication students to take out a piece of paper (8½ x 11) and write down their class, section, and the date on the top left-hand corner—but not their name, to keep the feedback anonymous. I then ask my students to answer these four questions which I always present onto a large screen:
Stage 2: At the beginning of the next class with all of us sitting in a circle, I then read out the most relevant student statements and answer any questions. Example: “Can we leave after we have taken our tests?” If a question seems to address a problematic issue, I then ask the class to work in small groups of two or three and spend about a minute or so in discussing the issue, with each team then reporting briefly. This way the subject can get aired without anyone being put on the spot. Example: “I’d like it if the homework was talked about more in class and possibly worked on in class.” I then respond and participate in a class discussion.
Stage 3: At the beginning of the semester, I tend to read every answer and question, an invaluable if time-consuming task. However, after a few weeks, to save time and avoid repetitions, I read only those questions and comments that stand out. Example: “Meet us students halfway.” Here I ask the students to share with me what this request would mean to them and what they would consider a realistic approach to this issue.
Analysis of student feedback: Out of the multitude of feedback that faculty members receive, one could create several categories to develop response patterns which could help in understanding better both the students and oneself. Some of the categories could be:
Positive: “I am really excited about this class. I can’t wait.”
Neutral-positive: “I am unsure [of my progress], but my outlook is positive.”
Neutral: “I learned to avoid emotionally loaded language.”
Negative-positive: “My progress as a writer seems a little hazy right now, but I feel confident that I will move past this plateau.”
Negative-negative: “Very demanding, doesn’t allow the student to learn.”
Advantages of anonymous weekly feedback and follow-up:
CASE STUDY of an angry person who, through anonymous feedback, became a supportive student:
1. Misunderstanding: After the second session, one student wrote anonymously that he was very disappointed that the communications professor did not know or care about who had communicated in class and who had not.
2. Intervention: The following week, I shared with the class how sad I was in having clearly mixed up two students in this new communication class and I apologized. The same student who had written the negative comment then wrote: “The most important thing I have learned today is the professor is a fair person and has no problem with apologizing to his class.”
3. Result: This particular student, who had identified himself in class after my reading the anonymous feedback, was a middle-aged former Philadelphia Police officer, who now works as a State Parole Agent. Had I not used the anonymous feedback, I would not have known about the misunderstanding and could easily have been faced by a permanently angry student who might have felt slighted in many of our weekly three-hour class sessions. Instead, the student who had initially felt disrespected, dramatically changed and became one of the leading lights in the class and had a very positive effect on his classmates. The once angry returning adult student even asked me for a letter of recommendation at the end of the semester and sent me an update of his professional life just a few days ago:
“I just want to let you know that for the past year I have used some of your famous quotes in ALL my groups [of ex-prisoners]: 1. THE CAMERA OF LIFE IS ALWAYS ON. 2. TAKE COPIOUS NOTES. [. . .] Dr. Eger, I have tons of narcotic stories to tell and if you have any questions about the process, law, or impact of drugs on the community fell [sic] free to contact me. I would love to give you the true stories from a first hand experience.”
Recommended readings: A first introduction
Catlin, Anita, Michelle Kalina, and Napa Napa Valley Coll., CA. How To Institute the Cross/Angelo Classroom
Assessment Training Program on a College Campus, or, How To Create a Dynamic Teaching/Learning
Partnership between Teachers and Students. ERIC. EBSCO.
Cross, K. Patricia, Thomas A. Angelo, and Ann Arbor National Center for Research to Improve Postsecondary
Teaching and Learning, MI. Classroom Assessment Techniques. A Handbook for Faculty. ERIC. EBSCO.
[One of the best sources for a wide range of Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs)]
Fabry, Victoria J., et al. "Thank You for Asking: Classroom Assessment Techniques and Students'
Perceptions of Learning." Journal on Excellence in College Teaching 8.1 (01 Jan. 1997): 3-21. ERIC.
The impact of anonymous weekly student feedback: When students and faculty members assess each other — The impact of anonymous weekly student feedback and regular faculty-student interactions
To view the PowerPoint presentation,
use the scroll bar on the top right hand side of the image above.
When Students and Faculty Members Assess Each Other:
The Impact of Anonymous Weekly Student Feedback and Regular Faculty-Student Interactions
Henrik Eger, Ph.D.
Professor of English & Communication, DCCC, Media, PA
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.henrikeger.com
Closing the Loop: 4th Annual Assessment Summit, Eastern PA Regional Two-Year College Assessment Consortium, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schnecksville, PA. Apr. 20, 2012, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Summary: Even some of the most experienced college professors may be surprised by the discrepancy between how they evaluate their own pedagogy and how students perceive and judge the teaching.
Pedagogical Dilemma: In the US, the assessment movement has provided helpful tools, so much so, that more and more local and state governments provide grants to colleges and universities only if they assess student work and can prove that the teaching of faculty members generates verifiable student success. However, little help seems to be available to over-worked faculty members who may tend to concentrate on projects like student papers, speeches, presentations, case studies, etc.—“the products”—instead of also considering “the process,” that is, looking at those concerns which many students may not share until they either drop out of a course or until they are asked to fill out an end-of-semester questionnaire, often yielding unexpected and not always flattering results.
Solutions: Two methods can contribute to an increase in both retention rates and end-of-semester student evaluations: (1) Weekly anonymous student feedback, provided it gets shared and discussed with the students regularly, and (2) frequent interactions with students, whether via email or talks after class.
Outcome: As a result, instructors can foster confidence and initiate helpful discussions, covering those areas that appeared hazy. Weekly anonymous feedback, as well as regular faculty-student interactions, can help instructors fine-tune their methodology, both at an individual and at a class level. This double-thronged approach can improve the quality of student work and contribute toward a mutual understanding between instructors and students.
Recommended readings: An introduction
Catlin, Anita, Michelle Kalina, and Napa Napa Valley Coll., CA. How To Institute the Cross/Angelo Classroom Assessment Training Program on a College Campus, or, How To Create a Dynamic Teaching/Learning Partnership between Teachers and Students. 1993. ERIC. EBSCO.
Cross, K. Patricia, Thomas A. Angelo, and Ann Arbor National Center for Research to Improve Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, MI. Classroom Assessment Techniques. A Handbook for Faculty. 1993. ERIC.
Eger, Henrik. “’He's a great professor, but . . . ’: What We Think We Know About Student Perceptions But Often Don't.” Teaching Academic Survival Skills (TASS) Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL, March 21-24, 2010.
---. “’Wow, he listens to us!’: Anonymous weekly student feedback and its dramatic impact on teaching and Learning.” Teaching Academic Survival Skills Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL, March 8-11, 2009.
Fabry, Victoria J., et al. "Thank You for Asking: Classroom Assessment Techniques and Students' Perceptions of Learning." Journal on Excellence in College Teaching 8.1 (01 Jan. 1997): 3-21. ERIC. EBSCO.
No dramatist intertwined tragedy and comedy as powerfully as Shakespeare, who knew that “All the world's a stage, /And all the men and women merely players: /They have their exits and their entrances;/And one man in his time plays many parts.” In The Big Voice: God or Merman?—a Musical Comedy in Two Lives—we get the highly entertaining Broadway version of the Bard’s insight applied, namely that the high points of life and the low points, life and death, sit next to each other in the dark, like two people in the same audience.
The autobiographical plot by the multiple award-winning team of composer/lyricist Steve Schalchlin and writer/actor Jim Brochu centers around “Two lost souls who meet, two almost-losers who win” (Variety). Serious, skinny Schalchlin looks like the unlikely Prince Hal to match big Brochu, who looks and acts like a campy Falstaff. Both bring out a humanity in most unexpected ways.
Just as the sixteen-year-old Hal was almost killed by an arrow which became lodged in his face, he survived through the benefit of the best possible care, though his face was permanently marked by deep scars, proof of his valor in battle, so Schalchlin was nurtured back to life from the devastating ravages of AIDS by his life-mate Brochu. Their life, dramatically different as they are—one a young, introverted Baptist from Arkansas versus the overweight, boisterous Brooklyn boy who idolizes Ethel Merman and nurtures a hidden desire to become a priest, if not the Pope—comes together in a production that entertains as the best of Broadway shows but also takes us to the abyss of a Shakespearean tragedy. The audience at the old Plays and Players Theatre both fought tears at times but, even more often, roared with laughter in a musical that Brochu described as a piece where “If your religion is entertainment, this is the show for you.”
Thisunusual, high-energy musical play opened “'Six' in the City,” the sixth annual Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, which runs from June 13 through 28 at multiple venues: The Arden Theatre, Mum Puppettheatre, and Walnut Street Theatre’s Studios 4 & 5. For details or to order tickets, call 215-922-1122, or visit http://pgltf.org/tickets.htm For a larger version of the show's poster, click the image at left.
Originally published, Friday, June 13, 2008
For an entertaining response to my review from"The Big Voice," click here.