Pointless Theatre Company was originally founded in the summer of 2009 by the Co-Artistic Directors Patti Kalil (BA Theatre 2010) and Matt Reckeweg (UM Theatre) - as a group dedicated to performing innovative and exuberant puppet theatre. They smash traditional boundaries between puppetry, theatre, dance, music and visual arts, creating a passion for the adventurous. Company members include many UMD Alumni and Students: David Lloyd Olson (BA Theatre 2011), Mel Bieler (BA Theatre 2008), Frank Cervarich (BA Theatre 2009), Aaron Bliden (BA Theatre 2010), Alex Leidy (BA Theatre, 2013), Sarah E. Wilby (UM Theatre), Lex Davis(BA Theatre 2009), Scot Whalen (BA Theatre 2010), Devin Mahoney (UM Theatre), Lee Gerstenhaber (UM Theatre), Rachel Parks (BA Theatre 2011), Stacy Musselman (BA Theatre 2009), Michael Saltzman (BA Theatre 2010), Ruth Ann Watkins (BA Theatre, 2013).
For more about Pointless, click here.
Tiziano D'Affuso (BA Theatre, 2015) has been working professionally in the DC area since graduating, participating in productions
at Signature Theatre, Imagination Stage, The Keegan Theatre, and Constellation Theatre Company. His work in American Idiot with Keegan Theatre recently received a Helen Hayes Nomination for Outsanding Ensemble in a Musical-HELEN. Tiziano will be performing in Rep Stage's upcoming new musical Dorian's Closet.
Tendo Nsubuga (BA Theatre, 2015) is playing the lead role in “Br'er Cotton,” a thesis play at Catholic University. The play will run February 13-20, 2016.
Jenay McNeil (BA Theater, 2014) and TDPS Terps Vaughn Midder and Cindy King are going on tour with Adventure Theatre MTC's “Three Little Birds.” The first stop on their tour will be at Olney Theatre January 9-10, 2016, in Olney, Maryland. “Three Little Birds” is based on a story by Cedella Marley, with music and lyrics by Bob Marley.
Graham Brown (MFA Dance, 2013) accepted a tenure-track position at Brigham Young University starting Fall 2013.
Sarah Tundermann (MFA Lighting Design, 2013) I spent my first summer as an MFA graduate at the Chautauqua Theatre Co in Chautauqua, NY as a Lighting Design Fellow. Over my 3 months there I assisted four mainstage productions, and designed two new play workshop productions, one live radio play, and one cabaret performance. I have since moved to NYC and have been working as a lighting designer both in NYC and in the DC area. After moving to NY, I also officially launched my portrait and wedding photography business – Blue Photography: http://blueshootsyou.com - and I have found it to be a perfect compliment to lighting design as it requires similar skills such as in capturing and developing storytelling, mood, and composition.
Ruth Anne Watkins (BA Theatre, 2013)
Since graduating, I've been working steadily as a freelance stage manager. I've worked thus far at Olney Theatre, Studio Theatre, the Kennedy Center, the Anacostia Playhouse (with Pinky Swear Productions) and at Theater J. I will be back onstage in Pointless Theatre's remount of our original production "Sleeping Beauty: A Puppet Ballet" in April 2014.
Elizabeth Forte Alman (Ph.D. Theatre and Performance Studies 2012) served as the Voice, Text and Dialect Coach for Studio Theatre's production of Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9 directed by Michael Kahn. Perofrmances run through October 16, 2016. For the production, Dr. Alman designed 1878 and 1978 Received Pronunciation, 1978 Estuary and Cockney, and Ghanaian dialects. Nelson Presseley of the Washington Post calls the production, "brainy, precise and delightfully showy." (Washington Post, 9/12/16) Dr. Alman, who currently teaches Acting and Voice and Speech at George Mason University and is a Master Teaching Artist at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, maintains a private practice of performance consulting and coaching. Her clients include actors, voice professionals, interpreters and members of multi-national organizations and corporations. Dr. Alman is also an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework and holds an MFA in Theatre from the Universit of Alabama/Alabama Shakespeare Festival Professional Actor Training Program. She may be reached through her website at elizabethalman.com.
Valerie Dunham (MFA Dance, 2012) I've launched the Isadora Duncan School for Creative Movement & Dance, featuring classes in ImagineDance (creative movement for children based on perceptual motor development and Duncan principles), FreeFlow Dance (creative movement for adults based on Bartenieff Fundamentals, Essentrics, improvisation and Duncan principles) and my own progressive curriculum in the Duncan Technique. I have developed each of these curricula and am having good success so far. The classes are building more and more. I will be adding a performance component -- professional company, recreational company and children's pre-professional company over the next few years, as well as additional classes in SlowFlow Dance (for older or less mobile dancers), Movement & Musicality (based on Dalcroze) and Community Dance (based on folk and group dance forms).www.duncanschool.com
I will be traveling on a research trip to Paris this March to visit with European-based Duncan Dancers (Barbara Kane, Francoise Rageau, Amy Swanson and others), and to visit important Duncan sites: her grave, the Akademie (Raymond Duncan's dance center), the site of the Bellevue school, the Champs d'Elysees Theater, the Bourdelle and Rodin Museums which houses much artwork based on Isadora's dance, and many other sites. I've spearheaded the effort to form the Isadora Duncan International Symposium and am a founding member of the IDIS Organizing Committee. This organization serves the international community of practitioners of the philosophy, technique, choreography and legacy of Isadora Duncan. IDIS provides opportunities in which Duncan practitioners can share work, learn best practices, and develop new colleagues, thus strengthening and enlarging the existing world-wide Duncan community in order to expand the reach and impact of Isadora’s revolutionary ideas. The inaugural symposium will be held June 16-18, 2013 at The George Washington University, and is bringing together practitioners from all over the world. I will be moderating a panel about Duncan dance pedagogy, as well as a presenting information on my thesis In|And|Of|Through at the symposium. www.duncansymposium.com
Megan Meinero (BA Theater, 2012) I interned for a year with the off-Broadway theatre company Pan Asian Rep as a social media intern. Currently, I am working towards my MFA in Writing for the Stage & Screen at Northwestern University.
Emily Oleson (MFA Dance, 2012) has been invited to start a Dance Major at a small liberal arts college in West Virginia and is an Assistant Professor of Dance.
Erin Steele (MA Theatre, 2008 and PhD Theatre and Performance Studies, 2012) I teach Acting I and Introduction to Theatre at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV as an Adjunct Professor. At Silver Spring Stage, I've directed one-act festival and full-length plays and also serve on the SSStage Education Committee. I'm a company member of Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, most recently assistant director on *Antony and Cleopatra* directed by Ralph Alan Cohen from the American Shakespeare Center and *The Merry Wives of Windsor* with CSC artistic director Ian Gallanar. Over the summer I stepped down as the Interim Managing Director for Pallas Theatre Collective. I've presented academic papers at the Southeastern Theatre Conference Symposium and the Mid-America Theatre Conference where I will be presenting a paper on historiography in March, as well as chairing a panel session.
Kiara Tinch (BA Theatre, 2012) Development Assistant at Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.
Hectorlyne Wuor (BA Theatre, 2012) now lives in Los Angeles where she is an Associate Producer on the upcoming “Hot Guys With Guns,” a film directed by veteran producer Doug Spearman. It's a Neo-Noir in which a wanna-be actor and his ex get literally sucked into a crime spree decimating Hollywood's Velvet Mafia. This is the first gay action-thriller ever! Filming starts in November, 2012.
Gabriella Yacyk (BA Theatre, 2012) After graduating from TDPS in 2012, Gabriella went on to receive her MFA in Television Writing and Production from Long Island University Brooklyn's TV Writers Studio. While in graduate school, she interned at Comedy Central, MTV, The Colbert Report and Late Night with Seth Meyers. She currently works for Comedy Central in the Talent and Development department, scouting new comedy talent and working on stand-up shows and specials. Gabriella lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Theresa Buechler (BA Theatre, 2011) I moved to New York and worked on two shows by a young playwright, Lavinia Roberts. I am currently touring with National Players from Olney Theatre Center.
Michelle Heller (BA Theatre, 2011) Michelle has been extremely fortunate since graduating last winter. Currently, she is the Assistant Stage Manager on Broadway's Breakfast at Tiffany'sand could not be more happy and grateful for this opportunity. Recently, she was the ASM onMisery at Buck's County Playhouse, a production assistant on Annie and The Book of Mormon (First National Tour). The University of Maryland truly prepared Michelle for moving to NYC and pursuing her goals. Without the supportive faculty and staff her dream would not be coming true. A special thanks to mentor, advisor, and friend - Cary Gillett.
Kathryn Lerner (BA Dance, 2011) has been teaching dance at various studios, currently choreographing Oklahoma! at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Arts Education Program, and Shrek the Musical for Hampton Bays High School Acting with a small professional theatre company called The Naked Stage/HITFest (Hamptons Independent Theatre Festival)--- including an outdoor performance of Midsummer Night's Dream, assistant directing Sarah Ruhl's "In the Next Room or the vibrator play," and Terrance McNally's "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune" and currently working on (performing and writing) our 4th broadcast of "The Water's Edge Radio Hour"... original sketch comedy and radio theatre. Podcasts at http://peconicpublicbroadcasting.org/post/waters-edge
Jordan Levine (BA Theatre, 2011) is an aspiring Broadway producer seeking out opportunities to learn first-hand about the business of theatre. Throughout my education and career I have been encouraged to understand every perspective and be a jack-of-all-trades.Since graduating in spring 2011, I've been very fortunate to have opportunities to work on the business side of theatre in New York. I'm now working full-time with Daryl Roth Theatrical Licensing, a full-time portfolio management company promoting the works that the producer Daryl Roth has previously championed, including titles like Love, Loss, & What I Wore, The Normal Heart, and the collective works of Charles Busch! At the same time, I'm going to be a producer on the upcoming Broadway production of John Grisham's A Time to Kill! I'm having some great adventures in New York and I owe a lot of my preparation to UMD!
David Lloyd Olson (BA Theatre, 2011) is a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at Valmieras Pārgaujas ģimnāzija.
Baakari Wilder (BA Theatre, 2011) is internationally known for starring in the Broadway musical Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk. He received a Bessie Award for his performance, and later assumed the lead role for a year. Baakari's dancing has delighted audiences around the world in places such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, France, Africa, Brazil, Germany, and Japan. He has appeared as a guest performer on So You Think You Can Dance and an episode of the Discovery Channel's Time Warp. He also appeared as a tap dancer in Spike Lee's Bamboozled. Baakari has had over 15 years experience in teaching his knowledge of tap dance to people of all ages.
Josepf Mensah (BA Theatre, 2010) will graduate with a Juris Doctor from Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law in May 2013 with plans to practice entertainment law. Josef and his teammate recently won the Judge Paul Joseph Kelly Jr. Invitational Trial Competition at Fordham University on Oct. 28, 2012. The competition featured two preliminary rounds in which teams of two lawyers try a case on each side. Josef received the honor of Best Advocate out of all 32 participants.
John Barkmeyer (BA Theatre, 2009) is an Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates.
Frank Cervarich (BA Theatre, 2009) is an arts administrator with experience in development, communications and office management, as well as an actor, puppeteer, improviser, playwright and teacher. He is the Deputy Director of Young Playwrights' Theater (YPT), the only theater in Washington, DC dedicated entirely to arts education. From 2011 to 2012, he served in a kindergarten classroom at Malcolm X Elementary School in Southeast DC through City Year, an AmeriCorps program, providing mentorship and tutoring to his students. After completing City Year, he served as a Research/Program Associate at the Migrant Legal Action Program. He is a founding member of Pointless Theatre, and currently serves as Pointless’ Co-Director of Communications. He has written two plays ("The Solar System Show" and "Imagination Meltdown Adventure") that have been produced, and has toured DC with "The Solar System Show." "Imagination Meltdown Adventure" won the Director’s Pick of the Fringe Award in 2012. He has performed at the National Theater, Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, the Mansion at Strathmore, The Puppet Co., the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, The Writer’s Center, GALA Hispanic Theatre and in the Capital Fringe Festival. He is a 2009 graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park with a BA in English and Theater.
Thembi Duncan (BA Theatre, 2009) is a teaching artist, arts administrator, actor, and playwright in the Washington DC metro area.
Mark Halpern (BA Theatre, 2009) In addition to digital marketing, I am a freelance actor/writer/musician working in the DC area. I have been in productions across the city at regional theatres including Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Forum Theatre, Constellation Theatre, and Source Theatre. In the past year I have appeared in two films which will be released in 2013; "Killing Lincoln" produced by Tony and Ridley Scott where I played George Atzerodt, and "1000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story" starring David Henry and Beau Bridges where I played Jeremy Weissman alongside David Henry. My written work has been produced in the Capital Fringe Festival in two festivals and been workshopped at the University of North Carolina's School of the Arts in association with No Rules Theatre Company and The Kennedy Center.
Judith Ingber (BA Theatre, 2009) After graduating Ingber performed with the Capital Fringe Festival, Solas Nua, Olney Theatre, and Dizzie Miss Lizzie's Roadside Revue. After moving to New York City she took class with renowned actor/director Austin Pendleton. Most recently she performed Nina as an understudy in Chekov's "The Seagull", with New York Classical Theatre, Off Broadway. She is about to leave for her first time abroad to Israel, Paris, Amsterdam, London, and Beijing.
Tzveta Kassabova (MFA Dance, 2009) has been selected among “the top 25 to watch” by Dance Magazine . It’s been a banner year for Tzveta, as she also won four Metro DC Dance Awards. “Tzveta Kassabova’s movement quality is surreal, as if Salvador Dali himself painted her into existence. The Bulgarian-born gymnast-turned-meteorologist-turned dancer/choreographer/designer is a prolific maker and mover." - Emily Macel Theys
Carmen Samuel (BA Theatre, 2009) interned with the Shakespeare and African Continuum Theatre Companies in Washington, D.C. before joining CCTA as a summer intern in 2008. Carmen is responsible for coordinating our instructional programming, staff and Outreach Programs. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Arts Management at George Mason University.
Mel Bieler (BA Theatre, 2008) Assistant Production Manager of Adventure Theatre MTC (Musical Theatre Center) The next Pointless Theatre show is previewing as part of Fringe this summer and then extending a run in late August/ early September at The Writer's Center in Bethesda. We also just got news that we've been accepted back to the Meade Theatre Lab at Flashpoint for next season, so we'll be back with a reworking of our first production, Sleeping Beauty: A Puppet Ballet. We're also remounting Minnie the Moocher (our biggest hit yet!) next winter.
Lauren Ciandella (BA Theatre, 2008) is a Senior Associate at Miller Klein Group, LLC.
Genna Davidson (BA Theatre, 2008) For the past 5 years, I've been making my way as an actress, puppeteer and violinist in the Washington, DC area. I've performed with many small companies including dog & pony dc and The Hub Theatre. I am a founding member of Wit's End Puppets who has two exciting upcoming collaborations. We are building puppets, props and sets for GALA Theatre's production of "Fabulas Mayas" and building a show for Arts on the Horizon called "Under the Canopy". I have also been performing works by Magus Magnus and recently performed in two Capital Fringe Festival shows: The Federal Theatre Project's "Someone to Watch Over Me" and Michael Sazonov's "My Civil War".
Jeremy W. Foil (MFA Theatre Design, 2008) is a scenic designer based in New York City and Las Vegas who has worked on- and off-Broadway as an Associate and Assistant Designer, as well as National tours, regional theatre and TV. Upcoming projects include Associate designer for The Mystery of Edwin Drood at Studio 54 and First You Dream at The Kennedy Center, and Honey Moon In Vegas the Musical to premiere in Toronto.
Kristina Friedgen (BA Theatre, 2008) is a dance and theatre instructor at Our Lad of Good Counsel High School.
Maya Jackson (BA Theatre, 2008) Is attending graduate school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
Farah Lawal (BA Theatre, 2008) will be performing in this summer's Capital Fringe Festival with my theatre company, Wild Women Theatre which explores multiple dimensions of black womanhood through storytelling, poetry, movement, and song.
Ryan Moody (MFA Dance, 2008) is the Managing Director and Faculty of Seven Hills Dance, Adjunct Faculty in Dance at Lynchburg College, Board of Directors of Artzone, Inc.
Walt Destler (BA Theatre, 2007) is an independent game/entertainment programmer and designer. Click here to learn more about Walt.
Tiffany Vega (BA Theatre, 2007) Tiffany Vega joined the staff of Hi-ARTS/Hip-Hop Theater Festival in 2010 and currently serves as its General Manager. Through this position, she in responsible for all financial management, general administration and operations, and human resources for the organization. She is a graduate of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Leadership and Advocacy Leadership Institutes, is on the Steering Committee for the Latina/o Theatre Commons, is currently serving as a Facilitator for the New York City Council's Participatory Budget Process for District 8/East Harlem, is on the Artistic Selection Committee for the Harlem Arts Festival and was on the Artist Selection Committee for El Barrio's Artspace PS109. She is a member of Women of Color in the Arts and was a Hispanic Foundation for the Arts Scholarship Recipient. She is also the President & Founder of La Vega Management, a company that focuses on theatrical general management and producing. Tiffany received a MFA from Columbia University in Theatre Management and Producing and a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland-College Park.
Mike Grew (BA Theatre, 2006) Following graduation, Michael moved into Washington, D.C., where he quickly had the fortune of working at some of the area's top Equity houses, including the Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre, and Signature Theatre, as well as working with such directors as Joe Calarco and Eric Schaeffer. He is now a proud member of the Actor's Equity Association and has moved to New York City to begin the next step in his career.
Joanna Howard (BA Theatre, 2006) Currently performing on Broadway.http://peterandthestarcatcher.com/cast/joanna-howard/.
John LaBombard (BA Theatre, 2006) is a press staffer at the US Senate.
Katerina Paramana (BA in Dance and Theatre, 2006) is a Performance artist & choreographer, visiting lecturer, University of Roehampton, PhD Candidate University of Roehampton. A London-based performance artist and choreographer from Athens, Greece. Her work takes the form of conventional theatre format or durational performance, as well as installation. It has been presented at various platforms in the U.K., U.S., Sweden and Greece. Katerina has performed for various companies and artists in the U.K. and the U.S. at venues including Barbican Theatre, National Theatre Studio, Tate Modern, Departure Gallery, Southbank Centre, Laban, Lincoln Centre (NYC) and Kennedy Centre (D.C.). Katerina is currently also pursuing her creative concerns in the form of a practice-based PhD at University of Roehampton, London (Drama, Theatre & Performance and Dance Departments). Through both theory and practice, she examines the construction, circulation and reproduction of ideas and values in postmodern performance and choreographic practices through the making and circulation of – material and immaterial – objects of performance. Her research has been presented in conferences and symposia in the U.K. and Greece. Her PhD studies, supervised by Professor Joe Kelleher and Dr Anna Pakes, are funded by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. She holds an MA in Choreography from Laban (Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, 2009), a BA in Dance and a BA in Theatre (University of Maryland, College Park, U.S., 2006). She is an Editorial Committee Member of activate e-journal and an Associate Researcher with Performance Matters, a three-year AHRC funded creative research project (and collaboration between University of Roehampton, London, Goldsmiths, University of London and the Live Art Development Agency) investigating the cultural value of performance. She has taught modules, seminars, workshops and lectures on dance, theatre and performance in graduate and undergraduate programmes in the U.K. and U.S. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer at University of Roehampton, London (Department of Drama, Theatre & Performance).
Ashley Denise Robinson (BA Theatre, 2006) is featured in the award-winning short film "Docket 32357" directed by Emmy-award winner Randy Wilkins. "Docket 32357" is currently being developed as a web series. Ashley is also featured in two other web series, "Anthology" by Ashley Miles, and "Hard Times" created and directed by Sundance alum, Tahir Jetter.
Christian Sullivan (BA Theatre, 2006) is wrapping up acting in the Fringe show "The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Super Spy" with fellow alum Lex Davis. Is currently in rehearsals for "Neverwhere" at Rorschach Theatre, and is about to being rehearsals for "The Iceman Cometh" and Quotidian Theatre. Also, this fall I'll be doing fight choreography for "Lord Of The Flies" at WWHS.
Ben Fisler (PhD Theatre and Performance Studies, 2005) Associate Professor at Harford Community College since 2006. Advisor and producer of academic productions at HCC. Professional work with HBO Films, Sirens Media, The History Channel, various commercials and independent films, Chesapeake Shakespeare Festival, Capital Fringe Festival. Core member of Whodunnit For Hire (whodunnitforhire.com).
Ruben Graciani (MFA Dance, 2005) Tenure-track position at Ohio University (2005-2008) Company member of the Joe Goode performance Group (2005-2007) Company member/Rehearsal Director of Company Stefanie Batten Bland (2008-2011) Tenured, Associate Professor at Skidmore College (2008-present). Work on Dance Films profiled in Dance Magazine November 2012 Artistic Director - RG Dance Projects RG Dance Projects was loosely formed in 2009, and was formalized with debut performances in the DanceNow Raw Materials festival in April of 2012. The company performed at the International Woodwind Festival in July of 2012 with Luke Frazier, pianist and Cynthia Doggett, clarinetist – cementing our commitment to collaborating with other artists on performance projects. The company performed in the DanceNow Joe’s Pub Festival in September of 2012, winning the Audience Favorite Award for our evening. In February 2013, the company debuted at the CoolNY Festival, and in March, the Current Sessions Festival gave a New York City premiere to a dance film project. The company had a residency at DanceNow SILO in Pennsylvania as a result of our Joe’s Pub performance. RG Dance Projects is ecstatic to have been able to begin work on the spring season with such a prestigious award. RG Dance Projects performed its inaugural New York City season in May of 2013 at the historic Martha Graham Contemporary Dance Theater at Westbeth. RG Dance Projects also performed their season at Saratoga ArtsFest in June of 2013.
Ameerah LeGrande (BA Theatre, 2005) received an MFA in Acting New School, NYC.
Jeri Marshall (BA Theatre, 2005) will be moving to Chicago fall 2013 to earn her MFA in Acting at DePaul University.
Anastasia Wilson (BA Theatre, 2005) will be moving to Arezzo, Italy fall 2013 to earn her MFA in Physical Theatre at Accademia Dell'Arte.
Nathaniel Claridad (BA Theatre, 2004) received an MFA from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I am currently part of the Public Theatre's hit musical "Here Lies Love", directed by Alex Timbers, with a score by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim (closing July 28). Next up, I will be in PlayMakers Repertory Company's production of "Metamorphoses" in repertory with "The Tempest", co-directed by Artistic Director Joseph Haj & Dominique Serrand. Also this upcoming season, I will be directing several projects: "Triassic Parq: The Musical" for Wagon Wheel Arts in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; "Tender Napalm" for the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and Joe Calarco's adaptation "Shakespeare's R & J" for the Department of Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Gwynn Fulcher (BA Theatre, 2004) has been living in the Chicago area since 2004. As a performer, stage manager, dramaturg and electrician Gwynn spent 6 years working exclusively with Shattered Globe Theatre, retiring from ensemble membership to become an SGT Artistic Associate in 2011. She has since co-written and/or performed in devised works with Walkabout Theatre, Knife & Fork, The Telethon and The Neo-Futurists (she’ll also be in the Neos’ upcoming 2013-2014 season). Gwynn has contributed her singer/songwriter talents to a Neo-Futurists’ side project (as heard on WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio) in relation to their 2012 primetime show 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, and was honored to create and record an original aria for (fellow UMD Thet alum) Eve Rounds’ short film project “22 SHOTS,” as well as direct one of the shorts.
Gwynn has guest lectured on dramaturgy and co-led a workshop on non-fiction storytelling at the University of Arizona (courtesy of mentor and UMDThe alum Dr. Carrie J. Cole); she was also a presenter on storytelling/performance at Girl Movement 2012, (a small, annual Chicago event focused on empowering young girls); Gwynn has been a guest essayist at such Chicago live lit events as Guts & Glory and Collector’s Edition.
Gwynn serves as the accountant for international philanthropic literary organization WRITE CLUB, Inc.: A monthly “literature-as-bloodsport” competition wherein local writer/performers match wits in live essay “bouts,” competing for prize money that will be donated to the charity of the victor’s choice. WRITE CLUB began in Chicago in 2010 and has since spread to Evanston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Athens and Toronto. When she’s not crunching the numbers, Gwynn has entered the WC ring to contend on behalf Barrel of Monkeys and the Pediatric Aids Chicago Prevention Initiative. When in between projects, Gwynn has been writing an intimate show based on the private life of Antoinette Perry, namesake of the Tony Awards—having been granted unprecedented private access to historical documents and anecdotes.
Brette Goldstein (BA Theatre, 2004) Films Brette has cast have gone on to win a multitude of awards and been official selections at Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca, Hamptons, Woodstock, SxSW, LA FF, Woods Hole, Clermont-Ferrand, DC Shorts, NY International, Philadelphia, Boston, Austin, Bahamas International, Great Lakes, Sante Fe and the IFP Film Market to name just a few.
She was the resident casting director at the Folger Elizabethan Theatre for nine seasons. She also handled the casting for Source Theatre Company, Washington Shakespeare Company and Washington Jewish Theatre.
Brette also worked on the casting for several LORT theatres while working at Elissa Myers Casting, Michelle Ortlip Casting and Charles Rosen Casting.
Here are some more recent projects: Off-Off Broadway Play, “The Invested” directed by Ron Canada and produced by Madeline Austin and Sue Wagner Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 2006 & 2007 Marathons, “The Unmentionables”, directed by Pam McKinnon for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, “Serendib” at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, “The Comedy of Errors” for Shakespeare on the Sound, “Vigils” and “She Stoops to Comedy” for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company,“Twelfth Night” and “The Crucible” for Actors Theatre of Louisville, The NYC workshop of “Transatlantic Liaison”, The world premiere of “The Radiant Abyss” at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, “Perfect Crime” (Off-Broadway), “Much Ado About Nothing” for the Colonial Theatre, Several productions for Muhlenberg Summer Theatre, Numerous staged readings in New York City.
Brette has been the on-set coach for three films. She coaches privately and teaches acting and audition technique workshops and classes at studios and universities.
Recent films include: FRANK THE BASTARD (with Chris Sarandon, William Sadler and Rachel Miner), directed by Brad Coley, Casting Director and Associate Producer of the feature film HELLO LONESOME directed by Adam Reid (with Lynn Cohen, Sabrina Lloyd and James Urbaniak), which won major awards at festivals internationally, VIVIENNE AGAIN, directed by Kim Garland, WITH ALL MY MIGHT, directed by Susan Hunt, LAST NIGHT WITH THE BOYS, directed by Robert DiFalco, GOD DON’T MAKE THE LAWS (with Paul Sorvino and Robert Prescott), directed by David Sabbath, QUEEN CITY, directed by Peter McGennis (with Vivica A. Fox and Lyric Bent), “No Job for a Woman: The Women Who Fought to Report WWII”, PBS documentary narrated by Julianna Margulies, HERMAN AND SHELLY, directed by Bridget Stokes, DOGS LIE, directed by Richard Atkinson, the reading of Jonathan Betzler’s screenplay THE LOST PRINCE, starring Dylan Baker, Laila Robins, Betty Gilpin and Fred Weller, Cast the trailer for Seth Grahame-Smith’s (author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) new book.
Gwen Grastorf (BA Theater, 2004) Gwen has been working steadily in the DC metro area for over a decade. She is an ensemble company member with Happenstance Theater and creates devised work with them throughout the year. The 6-member permanent company at Happenstance recently won the 2016 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, Helen Category, for Impossible! A Happenstance Circus. Gwen is also as an Associate Artist with Faction of Fools and Constellation Theatre, and has worked around town with Forum Theater, Taffety Punk, We Happy Few, Rorschach Theatre, and the Source Festival, among others. She also works part time
in the box office at Imagination Stage in Bethesda. www.gwengrastorf.com.
Abigail Hawk Gustafson (BA Theatre, 2004) is a recurring character on CBS’s crime drama “Blue Bloods” with Tom Selleck. She plays Detective Abigail Baker.
Daniel Phoenix Singh (MFA Dance, 2004) is the recipient of the 2013 Pola Nirenska award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance. The link in the following announcement has details about the significance of the Pola Nirenska awards. FYI, If there is any mileage to be gained from it, Larry and I received the 2000-2001 Pola Nirenska Lifetime Achievement Award in Dance and Alvin received the 2011 one.
Evelyn Zilberman (BA Theatre, 2004) Vice President at Columbia Artists Theatricals.
Sherri Eden Barber (BA Theatre, 2003) is a New York-based theater director. Recent directing credits include: Herman Kline’s Midlife Crisis with Adam Lefevre (The Beckett Theatre, Theatre Row/At Play), Empire of the Trees and Tilly and Bill (Abingdon Theatre/Wizard Oil Productions), Dance Lessons (At Play--winner of the Samuel French Short Play Festival), References To Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (Hangar Theatre-Wedge), Red Light Winter (59E59), Hylan Park with Annabella Sciorri, How To Quit Smoking and Baptism(Atlantic), 365 Days/365 Plays (The Public), Sometimes After Dinner (Youngblood/EST),Where We Are Right Now at the American Airlines Theater on Broadway (The Pink Campaign),BENT (The New School for Drama), Orestes 2.0 (Eden Productions/Site-Specific), and This is Our Youth (Eden Productions/Site-Specific). She has developed new work with The Orchard Project, New York Theatre Workshop, Primary Stages and The Old Vic.
Her assistant directing credits include: Side Effects with David Auburn (MCC) and Close UpSpace with Sheryl Kaller (O’Neill Theatre Center). She has also assistant directed for Christian Parker, Jessica Bauman and Leigh Kilton-Smith (The 24 Hour Play Company/American Airlines Theater) and Moises Kaufman (The 24 Hour Musicals/Joe’s Pub).
Sherri is a Drama League Directing Fellow. She was awarded the SDCF Observership on The New York Idea with Mark Brokaw (Atlantic) and is a member of At Play, the Old Vic/New Voices Network, and was the recipient of the 2009 US/UK Exchange Award for Directing.
Sherri received her M.F.A. in Directing from The New School for Drama and her B.A. in Women, Performance Art & Activism from University of Maryland, College Park.
Dominic D’Andrea (BA Theatre, 2003) is the founder and producing artistic director of the One-Minute Play Festival (#1MPF.) He has led over 30 national festivals in a dozen cities in partnerships with Primary Stages, Victory Gardens Theater, Cornerstone Theatre Company, Playwrights Foundation, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Actor’s Express, HERE Arts Center, INTAR Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Passage Theatre, The Brick, and others. Notable #1MPF contributors have included: Jose Rivera, David Henry Hwang, Neil LaBute, Donald Margulies, Jason Grote, Tina Howe, Phillip Kan Gotanda, Craig Lucas, Kristoffer Diaz, Rajiv Joseph, Migdalia Cruz, Nilaja Sun, Sam Hunter, Lydia Diamond, along with over 500 other famous, emerging, and mid career writers.
In addition, Dominic continues to work as a director of new plays with the Lark Play Development Center (8 seasons), The Brick, Vampire Cowboys, Red Fern, NYU’s Dept of Dramatic Writing, E.S.T, INTAR, Primary Stages, The Kennedy Center, Source Theatre, and more. He was a 2012 NewYorkTheatre.com person of the year, is a faculty member of ESPA at Primary Stages, and recently completed his graduate work at CUNY’s Applied Theatre Program. See his article in TCG http://www.tcgcircle.org/2013/07/agents-of-change/
Karl Kippola (PhD Theatre and Performance Studies, 2003) holds both an MFA in Acting (Wayne State University) and the PhD from the University of Maryland. Has been an Assistnant Professor at American University for 11 years and is author of “Acts of Manhood: The Performance of Masculinity on the Amderican Stage, 1828-1865” published by Palgrave Macmillian in 2012. He directed “Boeing Boeing” at Rep Stage this past Spring. Kippola has been a professional actor and director for over 25 years (for the last dozen or so years in the DC area) in well over 100 productions.
Liz Maestri (BA Theatre, 2003) is a playwright living in Washington, DC. Most recently, she was awarded a 2014 DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship. Liz's work has been commissioned, produced, and developed at The Artists’ Bloc, Capital Fringe Festival,CENTERSTAGE 50Fest, E.M.P. Collective, Field Trip Theatre, Forum Theatre, Glass Mind Theatre Company, Great Plains Theatre Conference, One-Minute Play Festival, The Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival, Source Festival, Taffety Punk Theatre Company, Theater Alliance, and Theater J. Liz was also a founding core member of The Anthropologists, a physical-theater ensemble in NYC, and her extensive production work experience includes projects at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 78th Street Theater Lab, and The Kennedy Center (Sondheim Festival), among others. Liz studied playwriting with the 24 With 5 Collective at New Dramatists, and is a proud member of The Playwrights’ Center and The Dramatists Guild of America. www.lizmaestri.com.
Natasha Rothwell (BA Theatre, 2003) is a comedy performer, writer and director living and working in New York. This sometimes worries her mother. Natasha is a Creative and Performing Arts Scholar and graduate of the University of Maryland theater program and has performed at The Kennedy Center, Studio Theatre, Olney Theatre, and Arena Stage. After moving to New York, she studied at The Peoples Improv Theater where she won the NBC Universal Diversity Scholarship, and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater where she was selected to perform at the Just for Laughs 2012: New Faces Characters Showcase in Montreal. Her parents cried. In addition to the Just for Laughs Festival she has been invited to perform at comedy festivals over the country: DC Comedy Festival, Chicago Improv Festival, Del Close Improv Marathon, Toronto International Improv Festival, Charleston Comedy Festival, Philadelphia Improv Festival, DuoFest, Dirty South Improv Festival, Mid-Atlantic Improv Festival, Baltimore Improv Festival.
Natasha is currently a cast member of the Upright Citizens Brigade Maude team Dinner, and is a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade weekend team The Curfew. Previous teams include: Kinsey (Lloyd Night), Neighbor Boy (Maude Night), and Goodgirl (Harold Night) Natasha also performs in the hilarious award-winning duo Hodapp and Rothwell, and can be seen performing regularly with The Scene, Oh Boy!, and War Bride. She can be heard on the podcast, Naked Radio. She is also a very proud member of The Striking Viking Story Pirates. For more information visit: www.thoreauup.com
Adam Shapiro (BA Theatre, 2002) This summer Adam films Neil LaBute’s Full Circle, Jesse Shapiro’s Nobody Walks in LA, and voices a character in Disney’s upcoming animated musical Frozen. Adam was most recently nominated for an Ovation Award for Best Lead Actor in a Musical for “Hey, Morgan!” a world premiere comedy by Matthew Fogel, Directed by Matt Shakman at the Black Dahlia Theatre. Stage credits include: RENT (Los Angeles), The Accidental Blonde, Bachelorette and Assistance (IAMA Theatre Company), Manuscript (The Elephant). Adam is a co-founder of IAMA Theatre Company in LA. TV credits include: Scandal, 1600 Penn, Mistresses, Grey’s Anatomy. Film credits include I Am Not a Hipster, Now You See Me, The Den, Not Fade Away, The Answer, Tom Ford’s A Single Man, The House Bunny, Café, Disney’s Prep & Landing, Short Term 12.
Paige Hernandez (BA Theatre, 2002) Paige is a multifaceted artist, who is known for her innovative fusion of poetry, hip hop, dance and education. As a master teaching artist, Paige has taught throughout the country, to all ages, in all disciplines. To date, she has reached approx. 10,000 students, from Pre-K through college, in over 100 residencies, workshops and performances. She has been recognized in many organizations including the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts and Arena Stage where she was awarded the Thomas Fichandler award for exceptional promise in theater education. The Huffington Post also named Paige a “classroom hero” because of her outstanding arts integration and work with STEM initiatives.
Paige is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and has performed on many stages throughout the country including DC: Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, The Kennedy Center , Fulton Theatre (PA), Ohio Theatre (NY), Manship Theatre(LA), Paramount Theatre (TX), Cleveland Playhouse (OH) and many others. She has collaborated with The Lincoln Center (NY) and was commissioned by the National New Play Network in 2012.
As a critically acclaimed dancer, Paige’s choreography has been seen all over the world most notably in Imagination Stage’s Zomo The Rabbit (Helen Hayes Nomination), P.Nokio: A Hip hop Musical, Cinderella the Remix and The Kennedy Center’s American Scrapbook, Knuffle Bunny (premiere, national and international tours) and Jason the Invincible.
As a hip-hop education advocate, Paige has shaped various educational workshops, includingProps for Hip Hop at Arena Stage and Keep it Moving, at Wolf Trap. Both workshops help teachers to understand the fundamentals of hip-hop while incorporating the culture into their curriculum.
With her company B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT, Paige has written and performed several original works including Liner Notes, The Nayika Project, 7th Street Echo and All the Way Live! To date, she tours her children’s show Havana Hop and her solo show, Paige in Full: A B-girl’s Visual Mixtape throughout the country.
Kyle Kweder (BA Theatre, 2002) Director of Production, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
John P. Woodey (BA Theatre, 2001) is the resident lighting designer for the North Carolina Dance Theatre where his recent credits include Rhapsodic Dances, Dangerous Liaisons, Last Lost Chance, L’huere Bleue, Peter Pan and Gateways. John has also designed for theatre companies including the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Olney Theatre Center, Shaker Mountain Opera, Imagination Stage, Gallery Players(Off Off Broadway), Access Theater/Longstocking Productions(Off Off Broadway) and the Hard Bargain Players(WATCH Award Nomination). John also spent time in London designing for the Central St. Martins School of Art where he designed lights for adaptations of “The Birds.” Other lighting credits include assisting James F. Ingalls at Centerstage Baltimore and Michael Lincoln at Indiana Repertory Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Geva Theater and the Alley Theatre. John was theatre faculty at DeSales University, Johnson C. Smith University and Catholic University of America. He completed his graduate work at Ohio University where he designed MacBett, Happyslap, and The Trojan Women, allreceiving the Peggy Ezekiel Award of Outstanding Achievement in Design. John is a member of IATSE 322. www.johnpwoodey.com
Brett Crawford (Ph.D. Theatre and Performance Studies, 2001) I received my Ph.D. in 2001 in Theatre History and Criticism. After 6 great years as Managing Director for Imagination Stage, in 2012 I began teaching in the Master of Arts Management program at Carnegie Mellon University in a joint appointment between the College of Fine Arts and the Heinz College of Public Policy and Management. In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I run the Arts Management and Technology Laboratory (www.amt-lab.org), a research center of Heinz College and freelance as an arts management consultant and writer.
Jeremy Goldman (BA Theatre, 2000) After graduating from UM, Jeremy was cast as "Matt" in the Round House Theater's production of The Fantasticks. Jeremy was then cast as "Alexander" in the Kennedy Center's national touring production of Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. He reprised the role at the Kennedy Center in the musical sequel, Alexander Who Is Not, Not, Not, Not, Not, Not Going to Move! After few other shows in the Washington DC area, Jeremy decided to shock his UM Theatre professors and pursue a law degree at the University of Baltimore School of Law. In 2009, he earned his J.D. with dual concentrations in Intellectual Property and Business Law, and had two legal research paper published in national law journals. Jeremy then opened his own law practice, JAG Legal Services, while also working in Northrop Grumman's Intellectual Property Department. He serves as President of the Board of Directors at Bet Yeladim Preschool in Columbia, MD. Jeremy currently lives in Howard County, Maryland with his wife Allison (UM Class of 1999), and two children, Brandon and Mallory (future Terps).
Jared Paul (BA Theatre, 1999) and his company, Faculty Productions, were featured in a "First Look" spread on billboard.com in May 2015. Faculty Productions produces world-class concerts, festival, and branded entertainment.
Risa Binder (BA Theatre, 1999) is a singer, songwriting and actress in New Your City and is currently finishing her second EP in Nashville. Her goal is to start touring to promote the album and inspire others to take their dreams and passions and turn them into realities. You can check risasmusic.com for upcoming show dates and news.
Karen Bradley Ehler (BA Theatre, 1999) is the Coordinator for Cultural Arts and Adult Programs with Howard County Recreation & Parks.
Katie Corrado (BA Theatre, 1999) is the founder of Introducing Film & Fashion.
Sean Dagony-Clark (BA Theatre, 1999) is currently the Director of Academic Technology at Riverdale Country School in Bronx, NY, where he's worked for the last 9 years. He completed his Master of Arts in Educational Technology and Media at Teachers College, Columbia University, this spring. He's lived in NYC for 10 years with his wife Hilli and, for the last 3 of those, with their ridiculously adorable and increasingly devious daughter Eva.
Kosha Engler (BA Theatre, 1999) I worked as an actress in the DC area for five years, performing at The Folger Theatre, The Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Round House Theatre, The Kennedy Center and Olney Theatre Center. I was also featured in HBO's The Wire, Disney's Tuck Everlasting and the John Waters film A Dirty Shame, as well as radio plays for NPR and LA Theatreworks. I moved to London in 2005 and in 2009 I received a Best Actress nomination for Oleanna by the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards. I played opposite Andrew Lincoln in the Emmy nominated TV movie Moonshot and appeared in Mermaids: A Body Found for the History Channel. I’ve put my American accent to good use, as I am the current voice of all Maybelline UK TV commercials. I have also voiced over a dozen video games including the BAFTA nominated Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Star Wars: The Old Republic, and have done motion capture for principal roles in Crysis 3 and Remember Me. A few years ago I started writing and have performed two of my own short plays in London. I’ve completed several short film scripts and am currently working on two feature length screenplays.
Kosha Engler (BA Theatre, 1999) is an actress, voiceover artist, and writer in London. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland Kosha moved to London in 2005. She works as an actress and voice artist and is about to complete the ProSeries at ScreenwritingU.com, a six-month intensive online screenwriting course. ACTING Kosha is an award-winning actress who began her career in theatre in Washington DC and has since branched out into film, television, radio and video games. She is currently appearing as Claire in Crytek's Crysis 3 (voice, likeness, motion capture) and in the upcoming Charmin Ultra Soft commercial, airing in North America. She was nominated for Best Actress in the 2009 Manchester Evening News Theater Awards for her performance in Oleanna at the Bolton Octagon. Recent TV appearances include the Emmy nominated Moonshot (Dangerous Films) and Mermaids: The Body Found (Darlow Smithson). VOICE WORK Kosha can be heard in the last six Maybelline UK TV commercials including Dream Matte Mousse and The Rocket Mascara. She also voiced the new Quaker Oats ads 'The Lake' and 'The Hill' airing in the USA. She regularly voices characters in video games including BAFTA nominated Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Driver: San Francisco. WRITING In 2012 Kosha's 10 page drama Gelert was shortlisted for the BBC Wales / It's My Shout Script Call, and her two page comedy Something Fishy was longlisted for the London Screenwriters' Festival 50 Kisses competition. She has written and performed two short plays in SHORTS evenings at the Landor Theatre, London. She is currently working on an original feature script. She is a contributor to The American Magazine and has a blog for Americans in London at yankeeinlondon.net.
Lauren Hyland (BA Theatre, 1999) is a producer, director, and writer in the Washington DC metro area.
Cheryl Black (PhD Theatre, 1998) was inducted as a Fellow of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center in April 2016.
Eric Bloom, (BA Theatre, 1998) started performing on stage when he was 5 years old, as the head of the infamous lollipop guild in The Wizard of Oz. Since then, his professional credits include regional roles at the Olney Theater Center (The Miser, Death of a Salesman, and summer tours of Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing), The Shakespeare Theater (Two Gentleman of Verona), The Folger Shakespeare Library (She Stoops to Conquer--Helen Hayes Nomination for Best Play), Round House Theater (Our Town w/Pat Carroll--Helen Hayes award for Best Play), Rorschach Theater (The Hairy Ape), Washington Shakespeare Company (Love’s Labours Lost), and The Center Company (A Rosen by Any Other Name). In Los Angeles, he has performed with The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, Sight Unseen Theater, and at the Egyptian Arena Stage in Hollywood. He’s been involved in staged readings with the Antaeus Academy, Theatricum Botanicum, and the Los Angeles Playwrights Union. He has a leading role in the upcoming independent release Traveling Salesman. Eric is a graduate of the University of Maryland theater department and the co-Founder of SKETCHUP, the campus’ first all-sketch comedy troupe, now celebrating their 15th year anniversary in 2011. As a producer, Eric created the BackYard Stage and produced the BYS 10 Minute play festival with members of the LA Playwrights Union. He has also produced “Tarot Night,” and several Rock Yoga concerts in addition to countless House Salons for singers/songwriters and authors of all stripes and styles. For Santa Monica Rep, he produced the inaugural Reading Series at the Santa Monica Main Library, acting in two of the three productions and directing the third, and co-produced and performed in The Tempest at the Annenberg Beach House. In 2012, he produced Proof at The Church in Ocean Park, and the 2012 Reading Series at the Main Library where he directed readings of Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and Tony Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day, and appeared in Moliere’s The Learned Ladies. In his spare time, he works full time as the Associate Producer at the Broad Stage. Eric is a member of the Santa Monica Performing Arts Committee and Actors Equity.
Demond Fernandez (BA Theatre, 1998) is an award-winning investigative reporter Demond Fernandez joined KTRK in May 2011. Demond comes to Houston from WOAI, the NBC affiliate in San Antonio, where he worked as a reporter and anchor. Prior to working in Texas, he spent time at WEYI, Newscenter 25 in Flint, Michigan, where he was a weekend anchor, crime reporter, and "On Your Side" investigator. As Newscenter 25's "Consumer Watchdog," Demond was instrumental in helping many mid-Michigan residents get positive results when they felt there was no hope, and he found answers for many commonly asked consumer questions. His broadcasting career began at WSYM Fox 47 News in Lansing, Michigan where he worked as a general assignment reporter by day and as a student at Thomas Cooley Law School by night. Demond received a Michigan Association of Broadcaster's Award for investigative reporting by exposing beauty supply shops that were illegally selling cosmetic contact lenses to kids and adults across mid-Michigan. He's also received numerous awards from civic and community groups for his crime coverage and commitment to community service. He is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
Ben Hill (BA Theatre, 1997) Festival Director, Fringe Founder. Ben has over 15 years of experience in the arts. With a crack team of Fringe shipmates he lead the formation of the most fantastic, exciting, adventurous festival on this blue Earth. He is the founding Festival Director of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. With hundreds of shows and over one thousand performances, the Hollywood Fringe is one of the largest open-access arts festivals in the country and a major player in the world Fringe circuit. The Festival featuring hundreds of shows in theatre, comedy, film, cabaret and dance and is now entering its fourth year. Previously, he founded and produced The Hatchery Festival in Washington DC: A showcase of new plays from emerging playwrights; he oversaw the festival’s operations in 2005 and 2006. He sits on the board of directors for the Rorschach Theatre in Washington DC. Ben lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Michael O’Hara (PhD Theatre and Performance Studies, 1997) Since earning both my MA and Ph.D. from UMCP, the latter in 1997, I've been working my way through the ranks at Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. I'm now a full professor, the Sursa Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts, and the Associate Dean for the College of Fine Arts. I'm also currently an Associate Editor at SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies and the current President of the International Shaw Society. While at BSU, I was named "Outstanding Junior Faculty" in 2002, and have won three campus-wide excellence in teaching awards (1999, 2001, and 2005). Since going over to the dark side (administration) in 2008, I was awarded the "Mid-Career Achievement Award- Theatre Division, National Communication Association."
Lily Hung (BA Theatre, 1996) MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University, followed by over a decade working in NYC's commercial and non-profit theatre worlds as a line producer, dramaturg, and literary manager. A few years ago, I decided on a career change - I'm now a career counselor for early-career artists for the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Devron Young (BA Theatre, 1997) is Owner at Devron T Young Entertainment Services, LLC.
Robin Bernstein (MA in History, Theory, and Criticism of Theatre, 1995) I recently received tenure at Harvard University, where I teach in the Department of African and African American Studies and the Program of Studies in Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She just published a book, Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights, which was named winner of the 2012 Outstanding Book Award, given by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Read more here.
Alan Mingo (BA Theatre, 1995) has toured and performed with Shrek the Musical as Donkey, The Little Mermaid Ensemble, The Wiz Ensemble, Hairspray as Seaweek J. Stubbs, The Lion King as Simba, and Rent as Tom Collins.
Eric Stewart (BA Theatre, 1987) I am 26 years into my real estate career and host a weekly radio program on Sundays on 105.9 FM AM630 WMAL. Website is eric stewartgroup.com. Just founded a non profit to help widows and widowers in distress.
Mairi Rothman (BA Dance, 1982 and MA Theatre, 1986) While working on her M.A. at UMCP, I worked as the Company Manager of Improv Unlimited, and continued doing that for a year or so after getting my M.A. Then I worked for about 3 years as the director and sole faculty member of the dance program at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, MD, while choreographing and performing my own modern dance work, as well as choreographing for community theater productions. In the process of becoming a mother during those years, I became fascinated with pregnancy and birth, and after attending my first birth I realized I could choreograph no better dance than that. I went back to school, earning a BSN from Catholic U., a certificate in midwifery from the Frontier School of Midwifery, and an MSN from Case Western, and became a Certified Nurse-Midwife in 1996. Since then I have worked in hospitals, birth centers, and since 2008 in a private home birth practice I own with another midwife, called M.A.M.A.S. Inc., in the Takoma Park area. No theater, but plenty of DRAMA, being a midwife, mother of 4, and being married to David Rothman ('84).
David Rothman (BA Theatre, 1981 and MA Theatre, 1985) After receiving my MA, I worked as an adjunct professor in the speech and drama departments at Montgomery and PG Community Colleges, as well as stints as the Technical Director at the Source Theatre and Glen Echo's Adventure Theater. I directed numerous Winter Festivals a the Washington Ethical Society, where I also designed and hung new lighting and sound systems. Married Mairi Breen Sablosky in 1986 and we had 4 children, the last of which is about to graduate from high school. Over the years I have performed in productions at Theater J, the Source Theater (nominated for best actor in Helen Hayes Awards), the Studio, the Washington Revels and others in the DC area., and have directed plays at the Foundry Theater and others. Currently I'm a full professor at Montgomery College, but my true love is my blues band, Cooking with Gas, in which I sing and play blues harp, appearing in fine restaurants and gritty bars throughout the DC Metro area. To get a listen and find our gigs, visitwww.reverbnation.com/cookingwithgas.
Mike Carney (BA Theatre, 1982)
Worked several years in Washington, DC area dinner theaters. Then, several more years as a video producer/director. Have spent the last 22 years working for Walt Disney World as stage technician and currently as a coordinator for the Disney Performing Arts program.
Elizabeth Naylor (BA Theatre, 1982) I worked as a theatrical electrician locally for a few years after graduation, then became the master electrician for the American Dance Festival at Duke University. That experience led me to work with several dance companies in the US as stage manager/ assistant production. I worked at Wolf Trap as the Production Coordinator for the summer seasons of 1986-1996, and since then have been a Tour Producer for the USO. I have traveled all over the world producing celebrity events for our military families, and for the last 5 years have worked as the Tour Producer in collaboration with USO and Sesame Workshop.
My years at U of Md. gave me insight to a world that until then had been distant and unknown, and I was privileged to study with wonderful teachers who saw potential in me and helped to guide me on to what has been a very successful career.
Jill Kyle-Keith (BA Theatre, 1979) Owner of Beale Street Puppets in Baltimore, MD since 1988. www.bealestreetpuppets.com.
Linda Murray (BA Dance, 1979) After graduating from UM, I began teaching dance/exercise classes at a health spa, taught jazz, ballet, and modern dance to children at a private studio and joined a non-profit performing dance company. I was also on the adjunct faculty at Bloomfield College. I was lucky enough to be a stay at home mom and teach dance part time while they were growing up and continued teaching kids for 32 years. My daughters began their training where I worked and both went on to dance professionally during their college years. These days I enjoy taking pilates, yoga, step, and zumba classes at the gym and although I retired from teaching children, I still teach a Latin/Jazz class to middle aged women like myself!
Lisa Dalton (Bersbach) (BA Theatre, 1975)
I am a 1975 alumna of the UMCP Theatre Department and have enjoyed recently reading more about the activities and successes there. My name at the time was Lisa Bersbach-now professionally Lisa Dalton. My late dad Jim Bersbach was the Docent for CSPAC who gave tours of incoming visitors, etc. for its first 10 years or so and I know some folks came from CSPAC to his service a couple of years ago so we may or may not have met then.
I am currently at the KCACTF Region 8 festival in St. George, UT, judging the Irene Ryan Finals, responding to several plays and offering workshops in my specialty area-Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique. Last week I was in Georgia for Region 4, and week after next will be in my current home state Texas for Region 6. Last year I was the Featured Guest Presenter at the 4000+ South Eastern Theatre Conference (SETC) and will return this March to offer further workshops in Michael Chekhov’s technique. I am President of the National Michael Chekhov Association (NMCA, 1993), the oldest organization continuously offering intensive Chekhov training for actors, directors and teachers and oversight certifications for Teacher/Directors. This year many of my workshop also focus on Michael Chekhov for Design and Directing (which was the prompt for this note).
A brief overview of my 35 years in the industry would be:
1 Year post-grad in the DC area doing area theatre and attending 2 summers of the Wolf Trap Academy at American U with Richard Schechner, Twyla Tharp, Charles Ludlum and other physical theatre artists.
Moved to NY, within 2 weeks became a founding member of the Bond Street Theatre at LaMama ETC. Bond Street continues to this day-working mostly in war/weather ravaged places like Afghanistan, Myanmar, Haiti.
4 years with Bond Street led to a lucrative10 year career as a Stunt Woman and Clown/comedienne that supported my Off and Off-Off Broadway passion, during which I trained intensely in Michael Chekhov’s work.
In 1988, I relocated to LA, opened the Michael Chekhov Studio there and for 18 years was a teaching partner with Mala Powers the Executrix of the Chekhov Estate. From 1992-1998 I travelled to Berlin, London, Paris, Moscow, Brussels, Caribbean and around the US teaching at/organizing festivals. I created the first International Michael Chekhov Workshops in the US at the Eugene O’Neill in 1998 and 1999, after which I turned that program over to Joanna Merlin (known now as MICHA) so I could focus on NMCA. Throughout all of those years, acting remained my primary income.
In 2006, I moved to Fort Worth Texas to devote my time to more fully sharing the Chekhov work through the documentaries, speaking, writing and intensive trainings. The most noted documentary is From Russia To Hollywood. Still actively acting as well, in 2011, I toured my one-woman show A. Chekhov’s The Darling to places like the NY International Fringe Festival, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Connecticut and Texas. I am currently on the DFW SAG-AFTRA Board, and Vice President of the Live Theatre League in Fort Worth-Tarrant County.
Pamela A. Moore (BA Dance, 1975) Is currently the Director of the National Ballet Institute for the Arts. She was a principal dancer with the National Ballet Company for over 30 years and has danced every major role in the repertoire. In addition, she has received a number of grants for choreography from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Prince George’s Arts Council. Ms. Moore received her primary training at the National Ballet under Helen Moore, Gioconda Fillippini and Robert Davis. She received full scholarships to study in England where she coached for the coveted Enrico Cecchetti Diploma under Margaret Marsh and Laura Wilson, pupils of the maestro. Ms. Moore is equally interested in arts education. She holds the Maestro Enrico Cecchetti Diploma from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, (ISTD) Cecchetti Society, London, England. Ms. Moore serves on the CCA’s general board, and is a permanent examiner and Co-Chairwoman of the Board of Examiners. She is also a Fellow member of the Cecchetti USA. Ms. Moore received a BA in dance and music from the University of Maryland and has been on the faculties of the University of Maryland, Bowie State University, and Suitland High School’s magnet school for the arts.
Darlene Casses Stephens (BA Dance, 1975) has owned Music in Motion Dance Academy for 30 years. She has also directed Music in Motion Dance Company for the same amount of years. The studio offers classes in Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop. Specific areas of expertise are Modern and Jazz. She has taught two professional dancers, Elizabeth Koeppen: former dancer and current Associate Director of Parsons Dance and Todd Stone: former dancer with Trisha Brown and Lauren Kelly: former dancer with Philadanco II. Several students have gone on to major in Dance in college and hold jobs teaching in the public schools in NC and VA.
John Ford (BA Theatre, 1964) The knowledge that what I learned outside of the UMD classrooms were the most valuable lessons...working on shows, doing radio broadcasts on WMUC, working part-time at USIA TV twixt classes, joining organizations, and then using all that knowledge to carve out a career in NYC. By the way, I ran into fellow grad, Sandra Sollod (Poster) who had been a WMUC Miss Midnight about 15-20 years after we graduated. We married one another in 1993. She's a full professor at CUNY. I am now a management consultant after 20 or so years with CBS, ABC and HBO where I was VP, Human Resources. I serve on a slew of boards (with delayed thanks to Betty Menser for Group Discussion Practice back in 1963-64) and among those is the Leadership Council for CSPAC. I loved my Maryland years and credit them for most of my career successes, along with lifelong fondness for Ledo's pizza!