University News

WIU Theatre & Dance, WIU Dumela Alumni Council Hosts Reunion Weekend

April 1, 2021

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University theatre and dance alumni, as well as current WIU theatre and dance students, are invited to a virtual weekend celebration April 9-10 [note some events are also open to all members of the WIU community].

Events kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, April 9, with a virtual concert featuring Alex Newell from Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. All WIU students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends are welcome to this free concert via YouTube.

On Saturday, April 10, the day begins at 3 p.m. with "Audition Techniques: Do's & Don'ts of Virtual Casting and Self-Tapes Part 1 & 2." All WIU students are welcome to join by registering at

At 6 p.m., the Dumela Alumni Council, which is an organization established to support WIU's Department of Theatre and Dance by serving as advocates for Western's BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) student body, will host "Conversations with Black Artists: An Open Q&A with Industry Professionals," for all BIPOC students at WIU. Founded by 2009 WIU Theatre MFA Alumna Melody Betts, the Dumela Alumni Council "strives to 'Be the Bridge' between the current students, the department and its professional alumni."

According to Betts, Dumela is a Bantu word meaning, "I believe in you, I affirm you and I see the great potential in you."

"This word serves as our beacon of light, guiding our every action, as we work to embody its meaning in all that we do," Betts added. "We believe that the power of representation is pertinent in building a promising future for BIPOC artists of tomorrow."

On Sunday, April 11, the Dumela Alumni Council will hold its annual spring meeting.

For more information about the reunion weekend or the Dumela Alumni Council, email or visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations