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Theater Professor Recognized at MOJA Festival

Joy Vandevort-Cobb, associate professor of African American theatre and performance at the College of Charleston, was recognized on Oct. 6, 2018 for her work as a theatrical artist. She was one of 14 people honored at the city sponsored MOJA Arts Festival’s Community Tribute luncheon. Vandevort-Cobb told the College Today, “Being honored by the MOJA Tribute for the Arts is quite humbling.” She finds passion in empowering students through her work in theater and as a professor.

The MOJA Arts Festival where Vandevort-Cobb was honored is a local festival held usually in the last week of September or the first week of October. Sponsored by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, the festival aims to showcase local artists in dance, literature, theater, music and visual art. The festival also recognizes influencers and local art and culture and activists in the community.

Vandevort-Cobb is active in local and regional theater, performing in a variety productions including Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “Hamlet,” as well as many contemporary works including “Vania, Sonya, Sasha and Spike” and “The Vagina Monologues.” Vandevort-Cobb has also worked as stage manager and directed a number of plays in the lowcountry area, and served as a voice actor in the award-winning documentary “Where Do We Go From Here?…the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.” She is also an internationally recognized artist, with her work with Festival Theatre USA reaching Edinburgh, Scotland. Many of her shows have toured the United States and Canada.  

Most recently, she performed in PURE Theater’s production of “Sweat.” The play is about a group of friends who find their lives uprooted when the factory which employs the group lays off workers and hires non-unionized Latino workers. The play touches on immigration, racism, and economic change. The play casted many alumni of the College.  

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Sarah Shtessel is a junior double majoring in Political Science and Economics and works as a staff writer for CisternYard Media. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, she uses her free time to read, spend time with friends, and going to art galleries in Charleston.


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