Board of Visitors

The Board of Visitors for the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies' was created in the academic year 2015-2016. Members of the Board serve as advisors and advocates for our students and the School’s programs, and we are grateful for their energy, excellent advice and feedback, and their time. Our Board members are:

John C. Ford, Chair (BA Speech & Dramatic Arts ‘64) with his wife, Sandra Poster​ (BA Speech & Dramatic Arts '64)


Heidi A. Onkst

Heidi Onkst has more than 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, preceded by more than a decade of management, client focused retail, and event experience in the private sector.  In 2015, she joined The Nature Conservancy’s Maryland/DC chapter as Director of Philanthropy.  Before TNC, she spent 9.5 years in development at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Her UMD tenure included five years with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, followed by 4.5 years in the central office, focusing on scholarships and campus-wide initiatives.  Prior to UMD, Heidi served for 11 years as the Director of Development for the Round House Theatre and oversaw their $21 million capital campaign.  Heidi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from the University of South Florida (Tampa) and is a ’99 graduate and active member of Leadership Montgomery. She lives in Rockville, MD with her husband David, an independent historian, researcher, and writer, and a navigation instructor for the REI Outdoor School.


Abigail N. Bortnick (BA Theatre '03)

Abigail Bortnick Kopstein is an attorney at King & Spalding, where she has practiced white collar criminal defense for almost 10 years.  Her practice focuses on white collar criminal litigation, government investigations, corporate internal investigations, and complex civil litigation.  She has subject matter experience in a number of areas including anti-corruption and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act, e-discovery, banking fraud, drug and medical device regulation, and civil and criminal fraud.  She also actively participates in firm life by recruiting, mentoring junior associates, and completing the prestigious year-long Women’s Leadership Forum.  While at UMD, Abigail earned her B.A. in theatre performance, was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority, was a proud MD Imager (tour guide), and was involved with Legal Aid, Senior Council, and ODK.  She recently completed four years of service on the Alumni Association Board of Governors.  She currently resides in Potomac, MD with her husband Greg, and their two children, Kelyn (3) and Brody (10 months).   


Julio M. Espinoza-Sokal (BA Theatre '05)


Jason M. Aufdem-Brinke (BA Theatre '00)

Jason is a professional lighting designer in the DC area with nearly 20 years of experience. He serves on the board of the Contemporary American Theater Festival, The Nora Roberts Foundation and Shrunken Shakespeare. He is also a member of the We Happy Few "Braintrust" and an Artistic Associate for Brave Spirits Theater.


Adam Shapiro (BA Theatre '02)

Adam is a co-founder of IAMA Theatre Company, and was most recently nominated for Ovation Awards for IAMA’s LA premiere of The Recommendation by Jon Caren (Winner Best Production 2014) and for Best Lead Actor in a Musical for Hey, Morgan! a world premiere comedy by Matthew Fogel and Isaac Laskin, Directed by Matt Shakman at the Black Dahlia Theatre. More stage credits include: Rent, You are Here, The Accidental Blonde, the world premieres of Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette and Assistance (IAMA Theatre Company), and “David” in Paul Grellong’s west coast premiere of Manuscript (The Elephant). Adam is currently filming the upcoming HBO film My Dinner with Hervé and indie comedy Ode To Joy, and recently filmed the lead role in a new TBS half-hour comedy pilot and roles in the upcoming indie films L.A. Times (Sundance 2017), Feed, The Female Brain, and F*cking People.  He’s been seen as Avie Tevanian in Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs, arcs the Netflix series from the Wachowskis: Sense8, ABC’s Cristela, Audience Network’s Kingdom, and the NBC comedy Trial & Error, as well as guest starring roles on Grace & Frankie (Netflix), Snowfall (FX) and The Mindy Project (FOX). Recent television credits include: Bones, CSI: Cyber, The Mysteries of Laura, Betrayal, 1600 Penn, Scandal, Mistresses, and Grey’s Anatomy. More Film Credits: Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant, The Answer, Sister, Nobody Walks in LA, Ctl Alt Delete, I Am Not A Hipster, Short Term 12, Now You See Me, A Single Man, The House Bunny, The Den.


Jennifer A. Katz-Burk (BA Dance '02)


Marchlena Rodgers (MFA Design '16)