New Bedford Festival Theatre leaders to be honored at UMass Dartmouth Commencement May 15

Armand Marchand and George Charbonneau to be recognized with Chancellor's Medal for a quarter century of artistic contribution to the region

New Bedford Festival Theatre Executive Producer Armand Marchand and Artistic Director George Charbonneau will be presented with Chancellor's Medals at  UMass Dartmouth's May 15 multi-college Commencement ceremony in recognition of the contributions to the cultural landscape of the region. 

"Since the New Bedford Festival Theatre's founding 25 years ago, Armand and George have built this cultural landmark into a cultural and educational cornerstone of the region," UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman said. "The passion for the arts and education that Armand and George have demonstrated over a quarter century has been remarkable. Their contribution to our quality of life has been exemplary." 

Marchand and Charbonneau, both retired teachers, recognized early on that education in both the performance and technical areas of theatre is a valuable source of inspiration for young people. The Theatre, therefore, early on created internship and apprenticeship programs for young people. 

Since being established in 1990, the New Bedford Festival Theatre has presented more than 20 summers of musical productions that have entertained more than 200,000 theatre-goers. The theatre  has received national recognition for  productions such as La Cage aux Folles, Nunsense, Evita, Maurey Yeston's Phantom, The Pirates of Penzance, Forever Plaid, Crazy for You, Joseph...Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, South Pacific, Annie, Oklahoma!, Chicago, Peter Pan, Smokey Joe's Café, Jekyll & Hyde, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret, Oliver, Cats, 42nd Street, The Producers, Gypsy, Hair, A Chorus Line, Hairspray, Singin' in the Rain, The Sound of Music and the upcoming Mary Poppins. 

The University recently announced that U.S. Senator Edward Markey will receive the Chancellor's Medal and offer the Keynote Address at UMass Dartmouth's May 15 Commencement Exercises for graduates of the College of Engineering, College of Nursing, College of Visual & Performing Arts, and School of Marine Science & Technology. 

National legal analyst and best-selling author Rikki Klieman will address the UMass Law Class of 2015 at the May 18 Commencement. 

Former UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits CEO and UMass Dartmouth Alumna Diane Desmarais Souza '79 will receive an honorary degree and deliver the keynote address at UMass Dartmouth's Charlton College of Business May 15 Commencement ceremony. 

Dr. Carlos Eire, author of the National Book Award-winning Waiting for Snow in Havana, will receive an honorary degree and offer the keynote address to UMass Dartmouth College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2015 at the May 16 Commencement ceremony. 

UMass Dartmouth distinguishes itself as a vibrant, public research university dedicated to engaged learning and innovative research resulting in personal and lifelong student success. The University serves as an intellectual catalyst for economic, social, and cultural transformation on a global, national, and regional scale.


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