Spring Summer 08

The Core


Off to the Races

Practice Makes Perfect

Portraits of the Artists


Editor's Note

Vox Populi

Irrefutable Fun

Broadened Horizons

The Searchers

Fair Trade

Diamond Anniversary

Project Help

From Maroon to Marine

Dinosaur Discoverer

Go Ask Alumni

Portraits of the Artists

For three students in the College - a director, singer, and visual artist - the creative life is a good. By Laura Demanski, AM'94. Photography by Dan Dry.

Augie Praley
Augie Praley might as well live in the Reynolds Club, home of University Theater. The thirdyear theater and performance studies major acts, directs, and writes for UT productions as well as serving on the UT Committee.

On this March evening, Praley is wearing his director hat. His show Is There Life After High School? is in dress rehearsals, the cast energized with opening night approaching. This is the first of two musicals Praley will direct in two quarters (Bat Boy will follow in the spring). At the same time, he’s writing a series of solo performances that he’ll produce for New Work Week, a spring quarter UT ritual showcasing around a dozen student shows.

Praley might not get much sleep for the rest of the school year, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. Everything fell into place when he decided on a theater major, realizing that “the thing I do every night to get away from the messiness of my classes is theater. Why can’t I just make my major the thing I love to do?”

Vicky Liu
“Take your ability to conduct research and your curiosity as a U of C student and use that in your art”: for fourth-year Vicky Liu, art and academics are closely intertwined. A double major in visual arts and economics, Liu makes the most of her uncommon pairing of academic specialties. Here she works on a model of a fountain whose design is based on an Edgeworth Box, a concept from microeconomics.

In recent side projects, Liu playfully critiques mass consumption and consumerism, crafting minutely accurate simulacra of products like bagels and Snickers bars. “I’d like to be able to jar people out of the lull of consumption,” she says.

Looking ahead, Liu plans to continue making art in her free time while putting both of her majors to work in a career as an arts administrator. The double major makes her attractive to graduate programs in arts administration, and the four arts internships she’s held during college don’t hurt either.

Christine Buras
Entering the College, second-year Christine Buras assumed that science would be her main academic subject and music her main extracurricular activity. She was an accomplished soprano who had performed for seven years with the Washington National Cathedral choir and a top science student who had interned at the National Institutes of Health. After her first quarter in the College, though, she began to look at music as a possible academic path.

A music theory class made the difference, giving Buras a new analytical perspective on her art. Her interests in mathematics and music came together, enriching both her studies and her singing.

Outside class, Buras performs with the Motet Choir and Rockefeller Chapel Choir, as well as accompanying at Brent House, the Episcopalian Center on campus. She is also forming new musical passions: “For a long time I listened to and sang exclusively music written before 1750,” she says. “I just loved listening to Thomas Tallis, Tomás Luis de Victoria, and Bach, who’s my favorite composer ever. But now I’m getting a lot more interested in Romantics like Schubert, Schumann, and Richard Strauss. I’m going on a huge Richard Strauss kick right now.”

Praley's active directing style finds him continually on the move between the perimeter and center stage.

At Midway Studios, Vicky Liu sketches, measures, and shapes in the process of creating a scale model of an ingenious public fountain.

Soprano Christine Buras practices, flooding Rockefeller Chapel with a sweet sound.

Delving into music theory, Buras says, has deepened the experience of singing.