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Dillard Theatre Continues 80th Season with THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS PDF Print E-mail
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NEW ORLEANS – The Dillard University Theatre Department premieres its fourth stage play of the season, The Gospel at Colonus, at the Samuel Dubois Cook Theatre on the Dillard campus from April 8–April 17, 2016.  The play is an adaptation created by Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson, of the classic Greek tragedy Oedipus at Colunus, written by Sophocles.  The play is directed by Ray Vrazel, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts and resident director for the DU Theatre.

“This production is the culmination of a three-year quest to bring it to the Dillard stage,” said Mr. Vrazel.  “After attending a symposium, I saw an exciting way to make the ancient plays relevant to today’s audience.  I have been obsessed with staging The Gospel at Colonus at Dillard since I was first introduced to it.”

The Gospel at Colonus takes the traditions of Greek theater and reimagines the timeless classic as a gospel musical within the framework of a Pentecostal church service.  In the story, Sophocles’ Oedipus is a king in exile, seeking a place for proper burial.  What made the story so innovative and highly regarded (Obie Award winner, 1984; Pulitzer Prize finalist, 1985; Tony Award nominee, 1988), was the giving of the storytelling duties to a Pentecostal preacher and the choir of his church.  They combine to enact the story of Oedipus’ torment and ultimate redemption as a modern parable.

Other casting innovations in the performance include multiple actors changing and sharing roles, such as when The Messenger is called upon to assume the role of Oedipus in tandem with the singer, the multiplicity of Oedipus's daughters and one son when the children of Oedipus appear collectively (Ismene, Antigone, Eteocles and Polynices), and with different portions of the cast, singly and in groups, assuming the duties of the traditional Greek chorus.

Mr. Vrazel continued, “This play seems like a perfect fit for the Dillard Theatre Program’s 80th season.  It is the ideal play for a college theatre production in that its mythological and literary content combined with its gospel musical form make it irresistible to young and old alike.”


Friday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m.

Friday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m.


Samuel Dubois Cook Theatre, 2601 Gentilly Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70122


Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for Dillard faculty, staff, and senior citizens, and $5 for Dillard students with a valid ID.



About the Dillard University Theatre Department
Founded in 1935, Dillard University Theatre is the oldest historically black university theatre in the country. The Theatre department provides professional training in a liberal arts context for future directors, actors, designers, managers, teachers, scholars and related theatre professionals. The department is committed, through its full time, part time and cooperating faculty, to creating globally aware artists while perpetuating the highest standards possible.

Dillard University Office of Community Relations helps sponsor Central City Community Health Festival PDF Print E-mail
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WHO:             Dillard University Office of Community Relations in partnership with Progressive Baptist Church, New Hope Baptist Church, and Union Bethel A.M.E. Church

WHAT:           Central City Community Health Festival 

WHERE:         Progressive Baptist Church, 1214 S. Robertson Street, New Orleans, La. 70113

WHEN:           Saturday, April 9, 2016, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

For more than a decade, the Dillard University Office of Community Relations (OCR), under the guidance of Nick Harris, has been actively engaged in revitalizing neighborhoods in and around the Gentilly area. 

On Saturday, April 9, Dillard University along with its partners from Progressive Baptist Church, New Hope Baptist Church, and Union Bethel A.M.E. Church, will be hosting a Community Health Festival.  This festival is free and open to the public.

The event will have health forums, diabetes testing, fitness and exercise, health insurance enrollment, and various screenings will be available.  But the focus is not just on physical health; the event will also feature financial planners, cooking demonstrations, vegetable gardening activities, home and renters insurance enrollment, legal services, youth summer academic program information, homebuyers counseling, along with fire safety demonstrations as well as career opportunities.

Plus there will be music, food, and activities for children.

For more information contact Nick Harris at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 504-473-1141.

CityBusiness: Woman of the Year. Where are they now? Dr. Toya Barnes-Teamer PDF Print E-mail
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DSC 1419 4x6

Contributing writer: Kerry Duff | CityBusiness

Dr. Toya Barnes-Teamer, vice president of student success for Dillard University, loves working with college students. She's passionate about helping them reach their higher education goals, graduating from college and having a successful career.  

"I work with students every day and I love it," she said. "They can't withdraw from the university without speaking to me first. We discuss their issues, remove the barriers, and then turn things around so they can complete their education." 

A student recently came to see her after discovering she wasn't eligible for a Pell grant. The student was a senior with a 3.8 grade point average, and losing the grant made her $1,000 short on tuition. 

"She came in and told me she couldn't stay enrolled because she was losing part of her financial package, so I told her we have money available that the president raised through donations that she could use to finish her degree," she said. "The young woman had no idea we had money available. She qualified for the $1,000 and is finishing her degree in May. Other students on campus referred her to me. Word gets around when you help people be successful."

Barnes-Teamer has been at the college for nine years and is responsible for retention and graduation rates. She also handles enrollment management, student support services and student affairs, which includes student leadership development and activities, residential life and campus police. 

Dillard University has 1,200 students. Fifty percent live on campus and the other half are commuters. The vice president knows 80 percent of them, she said, from seeing them at events and around campus. 

Barnes-Teamer is a first generation college student. She earned her undergraduate and master's degrees at Loyola University. Earning those degrees and a Ph.D. while raising three small children is her greatest accomplishment, she said. 

"Finding myself in a vice president's position is also a big triumph," she added. "It wasn't my goal. I just wanted to serve students. Nevertheless, I realized that if I wanted to make a difference for college students, I needed to be at the table and be able to make changes." 

She also has a major influence on the policies and procedures that impact student success at the school.

"It's an empowering feeling that not only am I at the table, but I can justify what I'm recommending. My colleagues support me and I can provide information that will allow us to move things in a direction to enhance student experiences," she said. 

On a personal level, the vice president is proud of being able to balance her work and family life. All three of her children live on campus at different colleges and the first one will graduate in May.

"That says I've done something right," she said with a chuckle. "All my kids are independent thinkers and have their own goals and objectives and that's a great accomplishment, too. I've also kept them grounded spiritually. We all go to church on Sundays, and if I'm out of town I find a place of worship. We keep God at the core of what we do. I laugh about my son, though. He tries to skirt around church, but it's the only way he's going to get a hot breakfast on Sunday before he heads back to school at Tulane." 

Barnes-Teamer was chosen as an honoree for Women of the Year in 2014. She has been reflecting on her contributions to the university and community since then, as well as mentoring young women from Dillard and other institutions across the state. She meets with seven women every other month who are interested in being a vice president, she said. 

"All these women reached out to me because they want to know the path I took to get where I am and any other advice I have to offer," she said. "They all aspire to be at this level and all of this happened after I was part of Women of the Year. It's great a great feeling to be recognized for the impact you have on the community in a chosen area." 

One topic she spends a lot of time on time with these women, she said, is being able to balance a family and successful career. 

"As women, we still have challenges to be successful because we have to balance our careers and family life," she said. "Many women feel it has to be a choice, but you can have both. For me it was about open dialogue and communication with my husband and sharing common goals and objectives. We sat down together and decided what was best for our family. You can't negotiate if you're not communicating." 

She also advises young businesswomen to be true to themselves, focus on what they want in life and not what someone wants for them, be pleased with the person they see in the mirror and not give up on what they value for any job or a partner. 

Dillard University Names Janel Green as Vice President for Business and Finance PDF Print E-mail
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j-greenNEW ORLEANS – Dillard University is pleased to announce the appointment of Janel Marts Green as Vice President for Business and Finance.

Green had been serving in the role on an interim basis since June 1, 2015, and officially assumed the role of Vice President on March 1, 2016.  She has been with the University since 2011, having previously served as Assistant Vice President (AVP) for Business and Finance as well as Budget Director.

“Janel has done an awesome job as our interim CFO,” said Dillard President Walter M. Kimbrough.  “She came in and was an authentic partner with all campus constituencies, rolled up her sleeves and did the work.  Both at the board and cabinet levels, she has received lots of praise for her work.”

She is responsible to the President for overseeing Accounting and Finance, Investments, Budgeting and Forecasting, Student Accounts, Human Resources, Information Technology, Facilities and Risk Management, and Auxiliary Services.

Green graduated from the University of New Orleans where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.  Prior to Dillard, Green served as Finance Manager and AVP at Capital One Bank and Hibernia National Bank.  Before moving into the banking industry, she also worked in the finance offices of United Healthcare and Ochsner Health System.

Green in a native New Orleanian.  She and her husband Robby M. Green Sr. have two children, Robby Jr. and Rashad.

Dillard University Set to Host Women’s Leadership Brunch PDF Print E-mail
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Walkers legacy

WHO:             Walker’s Legacy, an organization dedicated to cultivating and empowering businesswomen of color

WHAT:           Women’s Leadership Brunch

WHERE:         Dillard Student Union Ballroom, 2601 Gentilly Boulevard, New Orleans, La., 70122

WHEN:           March 19, 2016, 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

WHY:             Walker’s Legacy, named for Madame C.J. Walker, America’s first self-made female millionaire, is a professional collective that works to promote the career advancement, skill sets and networks of women in business and women entrepreneurs. This brunch will feature a number of successful speakers as well as a program designed to help women:

  • Understand their professional strengths and weaknesses
  • Learn tips to build the confidence needed to succeed
  • Define their professional and entrepreneurial vision
  • Understand how to inspire others to help them reach their goals

Featured speakers for the event include: Antwan Harris, WWL-TV reporter; Jaquelyn Harris, district manager for ADP; Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes, Dillard University athletic director; Downtown Lesli Brown, on-air personality, Power 102.9 FM; and Ariel M. Wilson, founder of the Orchid Society.

For more information, visit



2601 Gentilly Boulevard   New Orleans, La. 70122  504.283.8822

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Phone: 504.283.8822


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