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Artistic Partners

Ivan Fuller                   South Dakota Chorale

Dr. Ivan Fuller serves Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts as professor of theatre, chair of the Theatre & Dance Department and Associate Dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts. Rider is located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He teaches courses in Theatre History, Script Analysis and Dramatic Literature.


Prior to coming to Rider, Dr. Fuller was professor of theatre at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 1989 – 2011, where he served as chair the Performing & Visual Arts Department. He was the founder and artistic director of the Bare Bodkins Theatre Company, which produced summer Shakespeare in Sioux Falls. Since 2003 he has spent time during the summer in Russia, leading students on study abroad trips or simply being inspired for his various writing projects.




Ivan Fuller, poet and playwright

Artistically essential to my work as a composer has been my friend and frequent creative inspiration, Ivan Fuller. He has given freely from his poetic voice, both in existing poems and in those newly-written for my musical projects.


Of special importance has been his play "Awake in Me" and its translated poems of Olga Berggolts, which form my ongoing extended song cycle of the same name.

In addition to his work as a director, actor, theatre educator, and poet, Ivan is a playwright. His play, Eating into the Fabric, was chosen for the Mainstage Reading Series at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in May 2009 where it was awarded a Holland New Voices Award for Outstanding Play. It was also a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwriting Conference. In July 2009 he served as playwright-in-residence for Summer Literary Seminars in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was there that he completed the first draft of Awake in Me. In 2010 he returned to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he began writing the final chapter of his Siege Cycle, In Every Note, which became a semi-finalist for both the Eugene O’Neill National Playwriting Conference and the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship competition.

These three plays constitute The Siege Cycle – all based on stories from the WWII Siege of Leningrad. Eating into the Fabric focuses on the siege’s impact on theatre, Awake in Me tells the true story of poet Olga Berggolts who became the Leningrad Radio voice of hope throughout the siege, and In Every Note is the story of Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich as he struggles to write his Seventh Symphony while trapped in the city.


He also has enjoyed a long and rich collaboration with composer Deanna Wehrspann who has written over a dozen works with his poetry as lyrics.


Dr. Fuller received his undergraduate degree in Theatre from Butler University and his M.A. and Ph. D. from Bowling Green State University.

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My founding membership as a soprano in the professional ensemble South Dakota Chorale has been a sustaining force in my creative life as a musician. In just a few short years of its existence, under the very high musical standards of Artistic Director Brian A. Schmidt, the choir received a coveted invitation to appear at the national conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Salt Lake City in 2015. I also served as duo-pianist under guest conductor Charles Bruffy in 2012, as heard here:










The Dream Keper (Averitt) - SD Chorale/D. Wehrspann/J.Walker, piano
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