The Condition (April 2016)
Dina's first Chicago gig was understudying the role of Ruthie in The Condition written and directed by Joshua Fardon at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar. It ended up being a wonderful experience as she got to watch the actors experiment and grow together while she took notes and followed their process. It was also a new experience to be involved in a premiere play! The play synopsis read:
As Dr. Kick examines her, it becomes apparent that Ruthie can’t remember the purpose of the clinical study she’s undergoing. It doesn’t help that Dr. Kick’s questions grow increasingly invasive and personal, even breaking boundaries of logic and time.
Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (July/August 2015)
Dina spent the summer in South Bend, Indiana with the Notre Dame Shakespeare Company touring Love's Labour's Lost directed by West Hyler and performing The Winter's Tale directed by Drew Fracher at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Notre Dame campus. The Young Company took in-depth classes on approaching Shakespeare's text taught by Notre Dame Shakespeare Artistic Director Grant Mudge as well as morning yoga, acrobatics, breathing, and movement classes taught by Cheryl Turski and Stanton Davis. The Young Company toured Love's Labour's Lost while in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale and were usually exhausted but well-caffeinated. Touring provided us with the challenge of setting up and taking down of our mobile set and gave us the exciting obstacle of performing Shakespeare despite whatever Mother Nature threw at us. One performance, we had the bells of the Basilica on "God Quad" at Notre Dame ring for 15 minutes followed by a tornado warning! Another performance had a special guest star appearance of a duck who wandered onto our playing space. Of course, the duck stole the show and an audience member asked if we had brought her with us. It was truly a summer to remember!
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (May 2015)
Dina was pleased to received her BFA in Acting at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign after an incredible four-year journey.
- Dina was taught in an intimate studio setting by faculty who are still in the business and who challenged her to use adversity as a chance to adapt and grow.
- She worked closely with actors in the MFA program and was able to get a glimpse at the levels of professionalism, preparedness, and creativity that come from experience in the "real world".
- She explored acting techniques such as Meisner and Stanislavski, and spent a great amount of time bringing Shakespeare's Complete Works to life. She also corsetted up for Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House and watched classmates dive into Anton Chekhov's The Seagull.
- She experienced on-camera playbacks for the first time and learned useful techniques for taking notes on your own performance, including Positive Self Assessments and goal setting.
- She worked under the direction of faculty member Robin McFarquhar to become SAFD 2015 Certified in Single Sword and Unarmed in their highly anticipated stage combat class. McFarquhar also introduced to her neutral and character mask work, and the class found how much personality is perceived by body language.
- She is also proficient in IPA through Edith Skinner's methods, and has explored accents such as the Cockney, British RP, and Southern Mississippi dialects.
- Dina fell in love with Alexander Technique, and has made it her mission to embrace this lifestyle wherever she goes. She particularly thinks about alignment while riding the CTA every day.