RIT/NTID Performing Arts presents “Agency”

white background with silhouettes of men and women in black with

RIT/NTID Performing Arts presents "Agency" written by Raymond Luczak and directed by Luane Davis-Haggerty, March 1-4 in the Robert F. Panara Theatre, LBJ Hall, RIT campus. 

With his exciting and new original play "Agency," Luczak wonders what sort of things could happen in a Deaf advertising agency. Lots, as it turns out. Jerilee battles to save her Deaf agency against a hearing conglomerate while dealing with sexual harassment. Terence and Ava, two young interns, learn a lot more than they'd anticipated. Rhonda is steaming mad at being passed over again for that long-overdue promotion. And just what the heck is going on with Mary, Jerilee's secretive assistant? "Agency" uses humor to explore many issues that involve diversity, audism, and working together. 

Perforances are 7:30 p.m. March 1-3 and 2 p.m. March 4. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors (60+), $10 faculty, staff and alumni, and $12 general public, and may be purchased here or by calling 585-475-4121. 

Thousands to attend RIT’s Career Fair

Students dressed in professional attire stand in line to meet company recruiters.

More than 230 companies searching for skilled employees are expected at RIT’s 2018 Spring Career Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. There will be representatives from Fortune 500 companies, medium-sized regional companies and small tech firms. Some employers, such as Indeed, General Electric, Toyota, Paychex, Datto, Johnson & Johnson, Wayfair, Harris and the National Security Agency, attend each year, while more than 25 companies, such as T-Mobile and Superior Tires & Rubber Corp., are attending the fair for the first time.

The Career Fair gives students and alumni an opportunity to explore career opportunities for internship, cooperative education, entry- or experienced-level positions.

Maria Richart, interim director of RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, said the turnout is a clear reflection of the continued strong demand for the outstanding student talent RIT produces. More.


New RIT Dubai campus coming to Dubai Silicon Oasis

Aerial view of new RIT Dubai Silicon Oasis campus

RIT Dubai will receive a state-of-the-art new campus in the Dubai Silicon Oasis. The campus, which will feature an innovation and entrepreneurship center and sustainable building processes, will accommodate up to 4,000 students and will be developed in two phases, with the first portion set to open in 2019 and the second to open in 2023. The campus will bring new global education opportunities for students from the Rochester campus through RIT's study abroad program. More.

At RIT/NTID, Memory Lane Will Be Paved with Yellow Bricks

You may have seen the recent announcement that the production to be staged during NTID’s 50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend is “The Wonderful World of Oz.”

“Oz,” which will run April 21-28, and again during the Reunion Weekend June 28-July 1, promises to thrill and entertain during its run. A theatrical adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s story, “Oz” will star a cast of alumni selected from 50 years of theatrical performances and will be supported by a crew with a wide range of experience and skills in production.  

The choice of “Oz” for the Reunion Weekend production was carefully made.

“When thinking of alumni, the ‘no place like home’ theme seemed like a great fit,” says Jim Orr, the production’s director. “I wanted to do a big, spectacular show that would dazzle the senses and promote a sense of pride in NTID.”

Orr adds that, while deciding which play to stage, “The thing that really sealed the deal in my mind was the story’s message of hope for our times.”

Written around the time of World War I and revived as the classic film version around World War II, its association with times of change and upheaval appealed to Orr.

“This story reminded people and taught children that love and kindness overcomes chaos and hate, and the power to change comes not from without, but from within.”

Orr, who entered NTID’s Basic Interpreter Training Program in 1977 and retired from NTID in 2012, is an especially appropriate choice for director. As one of the only people actively involved in NTID’s performing arts program through all five decades of the college’s existence, he has served in one way or another in close to 200 productions.

“I’ve been an actor, director, playwright, designer, teacher, technician, manager and served in other production-related functions such as publicity and community relations.”

NTID’s long theatrical history isn’t only contributing Orr’s expertise to the Reunion Weekend show, however. Alice Pylko, who worked as a costume designer for the performing arts program during the late ‘80s until the mid-‘90s, also is coming back—bearing gifts.

“One of the fun things about the costumes is how many are from past productions,” says Pylko, who currently works as a Montessori teacher in the Rochester area. “Alumni will be able to see many costumes from old shows—some they may have even worn themselves.”

But “Oz” isn’t just about looking back; it’s about looking forward and stretching in new directions. Pylko’s talents will be tested.

“Flying monkeys are a bit out of the ordinary,” she admits.

Joe Hamilton (SVP ’87, ’91), NTID’s stage craft manager and technical director for “Oz,” also is finding that his abilities are being pushed to their limits.

“This is a full-scale production,” he says, with multiple platforms and almost every set rigged to move on lines. The show’s special effects also will include video-projected elements.

Hamilton’s role in the production involves coordinating a cast of characters that never appears on stage.

“I bring designers and experts into each production to team up with costume design, lights, sound, projection, captions and special effects.”

In the end, though, according to Hamilton, “The production is built and made by our RIT/NTID students.”

The production team is visible in the below photo. Hamilton sits at the head of the table in front of an early set design by Ethan Sinnott, while Jim Orr, director, sits to his left, speaking to Matthew Moore, producer, on Hamilton's right. Two outside experts, who will be providing video-projection capabilities, sit along the bottom of the photo. 

Production team meeting for

The nostalgic nature of the story is intentional.

“This production is going to bring up so many great memories,” says Pylko. “It really is a fun way to look back at the great people who have been at NTID and involved with the NTID theater.”

Some of those returning alumni, faculty and staff members include: Ethan Sinnott, who currently is hard at work designing the set; Joe Hamilton as technical director; Patrick Graybill, who will serve as the show’s ASL Master; Bonnie Meath-Lang as dramaturg (researcher and developer of the play’s text); and Matthew Moore's MSM Productions as co-producer, among others.

The impressive lineup will be reflected in the quality of the production, Orr says.

“This show will be a true extravaganza. There are tremendous special effects and incredibly talented performers. I don’t want to give away all the surprises, but suffice it to say that NTID has never done a show like this before.”

Tickets for both the April and June runs are now available for sale at rittickets.com.

RIT/NTID Staff Spotlight: Rick Postl

Light skinned male wearing plaid shirt and tie holding a baseball. behind him is a stuffed toy tiger, Cubs and RIT pennants.

Not many can say that a business trip included dining with soap opera stars from "Days of Our Lives." But Rick Postl can—all in the name of recruiting the best and brightest deaf and hard-of-hearing students for RIT/NTID. 

For 10 years, Postl, senior associate director of NTID admissions, has collected fascinating stories, from the "Days of Our Lives" dinner that introduced the actors’ deaf son to NTID, to biking through the Greek isles in 90-degree heat a day before attending an international conference, to maneuvering through unfamiliar territory late one evening to visit a prospective student. 

“I have visited more than 500 schools so far in my career—both mainstream and schools for the deaf,” he said. 
“I’ve made home visits to mansions 
and mobile homes. I’m a vegetarian, 
but I’ve eaten meat—and just smiled while doing it—so as not to offend a family during a recruitment visit. I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that students learn about the opportunities that RIT/NTID can provide for them.”

Postl, a 1995 alumnus of RIT’s social work program and a father of three, recalls experiences that astound young deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

“Simple things, like biking, crewing 
for a hot-air balloon pilot and traveling, are just part of my regular life. But talking about them can be an eye-opener 
for future students.”

For example, in 1994, he biked across the country for 62 days with three fraternity brothers. Postl still bikes about 2,000 miles each year.

Postl says that during many visits, 
he is the only other deaf person the prospective students have ever encountered. He believes those interactions are crucial moments for him to demonstrate that deaf people can do anything in a world that struggles to appreciate deafness. 

“I’ve been asked what it’s like to work and be a deaf adult,” he said. “Those visits are a chance for me to be a role model, not just ‘sell’ RIT/NTID. I take great pride in explaining that my doctor, dentist and accountant are all deaf. Some of these young students are mindful of their deafness. But when they come to RIT/NTID, they experience a great awakening. They have never imagined a place like this where deaf and hard-of-hearing people are normalized and deafness is accommodated so well.”

Rick Postl

Job title: 
Senior associate director of NTID admissions

Years at RIT: 10

Best thing about working at RIT: Working alongside successful deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals, many of whom are alumni, and making a difference for subsequent generations.

RIT men’s lacrosse earns top-five ranking in two NCAA Division III preseason polls

RIT men's lacrosse team in white uniforms celebrate their winning goal..

The RIT men's lacrosse team was picked in the top-five in two preseason polls. The Tigers were selected third in the USILA/Nike Lacrosse Division III Preseason Coaches Poll and fifth in the Nike/U.S. Lacrosse Men's Preseason Poll. The Tigers, who will celebrate their 50th season in 2018, finished with 20 wins in 2017, advancing to the Division III Championship game for the second time in four years. More.

RIT offers new bachelor’s degree in modern language and culture

Three images oncluding a red pagoda, multi-colored textiles and a green dragon.

A new bachelor’s degree in applied modern language and culture will be offered to students at Rochester Institute of Technology this fall that will provide advanced studies of languages and cultures that directly apply to the global workplace and economy.

Students will pick one language track—Chinese, Japanese or Spanish—and immerse themselves in that region’s language and culture. They will also choose a second major or a focus area in a technical or professional discipline, such as computing, information technology, engineering, business, health sciences, the arts or the sciences. More.

Chills, thrills and surprises: ‘The Wonderful World of Oz’ comes to RIT/NTID

yellow background with two sparkly golden slippers with bows on top and aqua blue centers.

The performing arts department at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf presents "The Wonderful World of Oz," April 19–22, with encore performances June 28–July 1 in celebration of NTID’s 50th anniversary reunion. The production will be held in the Robert F. Panara Theatre, Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall, on the RIT/NTID campus.

Adapted and directed by RIT/NTID alumnus and former performing arts faculty member Jim Orr, the production provides a fully accessible American Sign Language/spoken English rendition of L. Frank Baum’s classic tale of adventure and discovery. Set design is by RIT/NTID alumnus Ethan Sinnott.

Several other NTID alumni are participating in the production and the incorporated video segments, and there will be several surprises for the audience.

The production is co-sponsored by MSM Productions, Ltd. Special keepsake playbills will be distributed to attendees at both the April and June performances.

Matthew S. Moore, alumnus and president of MSM Productions, Ltd., and founder and chairperson of the NTID Performing Arts Advisory Committee, is providing sponsorship and in-kind support for the production.

“This is a major milestone for our theater program,” said Moore. “NTID has produced many exciting plays during its first 50 years. In the next 50 years, we will be doing more large-scale productions where students and community members will have an opportunity to participate.”

Show times are 7:30­–9:30 p.m., April 19–21 and April 27-28; and 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 22. Tickets are $12 for general audiences, $10 for alumni, faculty, staff and children age 12 and older, $5 for students, seniors (60+) and children under age 12.

There will be four benefit performances, 2-4 p.m. June 28-July 1; and 7:30-9:30 p.m. June 29-30. Tickets for the benefit performances will be $35 each, with proceeds going to support the renovations of the NTID performing arts department's 1510 Experimental Lab .

Tickets may be purchased through the RIT box office online at https://rittickets.com or by phone at 585-475-4121. Tickets also will be available on performance days two hours prior to curtain.

For more information, contact Joseph Fox, jwfnpa@rit.edu

Join us for Jim DeCaro’s retirement celebration

Jim DeCaro in suit and bow tie with information on his retirement party Feb. 1 2-4 p.m. in Dyer Arts Center.

Join us in the Dyer Arts Center 2-4 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 1, to celebrate RIT/NTID Dean Emeritus Jim DeCaro's retirement after 47 amazing years. Remarks will begin at 3 p.m. Interpreters have been requested.

[Image description: Jim DeCaro wearing glasses and beard, in suit jacket, white shirt and bow tie. His hands are clasped in front of him. Text reads: After 47 AMAZING years here at NTID, Jim DeCaro is headed into a new adventure: RETIREMENT! On Thursday, February 1st, we will be celebrating Jim’s last day at NTID. Please stop by to offer your congratulations and join us in celebrating Jim’s legacy at RIT/NTID. Thursday, February 1, 2018 2-4 p.m. Remarks at 3 p.m. Interpreters requested.]