What our Alumni are saying . . .

I just signed my first “big-girl” contract for the John F Kennedy Center,  where I’m designing projections for Mockingbird at Theatre for Young Audiences!  I’m working with TDPS faculty and alumni Misha Kachman, Andrew Cissna, Tim Jones, Aaron Bliden, and Thony Mena~Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies rocks the DC theatre scene!  We are EVERYWHERE!.

—Lauren Joy, BA Theatre, 2014

The professors, staff, and guest directors at Maryland are easily the best in the area. Studying at UMD didn't just prepare me technically to stage manage in the real world; it left me with the contacts and connections I needed to start working immediately after graduation.

—Bridget Woodbury, BA Theatre, 2010
Stage Manager (AEA, AGMA), Production Manager

Nowhere else would I have experienced such a well-rounded education in Theatre.

—Evelyn Zilberman, BA Theatre, 2004
Vice President of Columbia Artists Theatricals

The training I received was - I am convinced - some of the best in the world, and in shaping my artistry with such precision and with such compassion, these teachers shaped my very presence.”

—Jordan (McCraw) Thorley, BA Theatre & BA English, 2008
English/Theatre teacher

...UMD didn't just teach me how to be a good dancer, more importantly, a thinker and risk taker.

—Ling Tang, BA Dance & Intercultural Performing Arts, 2007; MA Arts Administration, Columbia
NYC teacher and arts manager

I loved the fact that UM Theatre had something to offer every student.  From classes to student groups, UTAS to Fresh Produce, UMD Theatre really nurtures your individuality and independence as an artist.

—Kristina Friedgen, BA Theatre, May 2008
Our Lady of Good Counsel High School; Freelance Actor and Director

“I was given lots of space and time to learn but also challenged and pushed to be a better performer. Nothing was sugarcoated at UMD and I really appreciated that. It prepared me in so many ways for the life of an actor."

—Genna Davidson, BA Theatre & French Minor, 2008
Founder of Wit's End Puppets

The Theatre Department was a vibrant and enriching community and provided a superb education. As a CAPA scholar, I was able be entrenched in wonderful and exciting opportunities, education and experience. The benefits of being at UMD's Theatre Department were great and provided a springboard into my professional career."

—Yuval David, BA in Theatre, 2001
Lead cast member of ABC's What Would You Do

UMD really laid the ground work for my free-lance theatre career. I had the opportunity to play roles that challenged me and helped me to venture out of my comfort zone. I'm so grateful for the many opportunities I had there to explore what makes me unique."

—Chris Wilson, B.A. Theatre, 2007
Freelance actor: Round House Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Folger Theatre, Imagination Stage, Ford’s Theatre

Staff members of the theatre department helped me to find my passion and pursue it, even when that passion lay elsewhere than my degree path.”

—Jennifer Rimmer, BA Theatre, 2004
Production Stage Manager: Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Wolf Trap Opera

The University of Maryland provided the necessary education and resources for navigating the rigor of the academic world, while simultaneously allowing me to explore my passion for creating live performance.  The faculty is exceptional and unbelievably dedicated to the students.”

—Chrystyna Dail, May 2010, PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies
Assistant Professor of Theatre History at Ithaca College

My years at UMD were wonderful thanks to the theatre faculty and the CSPAC staff.  I always felt respected, comfortable, and genuinely cared for during my time as a student."

—Jessica Wallace, BA Theatre, 2008; MFA Theatre Design, Temple University, 2011
Freelance Lighting Designer, Philadelphia

At Maryland I learned to think, see, understand, and translate dance in its myriad forms. My experiences in the Department of Dance and at The Diamondback were foundational to my evolution as an arts journalist.”

—Lisa Traiger, BA Dance ,1985, MFA Dance, 2004
Award-Winning writer for The Washington Post Weekend. Washingtonian, The Forward, Moment, Dance Studio Life, Stagebill, Sondheim Review, Asian Week, New Jersey Jewish News, Atlanta Jewish Times, and Washington Review

I learned to think outside the box and to explore my own ideas instead of looking for the correct answer.”

—T. Michelle Davy, BA Dance, 1997
Chair of Performing Arts Department, The Harbour School, Director and Technical Director for school productions

The two most important things I learned at UMD were -- how to work effectively with other people, and how to get a lot of work done in a short period of time. If you can tackle those two things, while also maintaining your sense of humor, then you will succeed.”

—Jeremy A. Goldman, B.A. in Theatre, 2000: J.D. University of Baltimore School of Law, 2009
Opened JAG Legal Services in 2010

I'm a professional video game programmer, and I mostly credit my Theatre education at UMD to my industry success. While a degree in Computer Science may teach you the nitty-gritty of computer programming, a degree in Theatre will provide invaluable large-team production experience, which is so much more important."

—Walt Destler, BA Theatre & BS Computer Science, 2007; Master of Entertainment Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, May 2011
Co-creator of the award-winning computer game WAY
Learn more - http://www.waltdestler.com/way.html

The flexibility and scope of UMD's theatre program let me dip my toes into many subjects that may not have been my original focus, but led me to experience a deeper appreciation and growth as an artist than I ever expected."

—Michael Grew, Theatre BA, 2006
Actor, Washington DC and NYC: Shakespeare Theatre, Signature Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Folger Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Gotham Radio Theatre, At Hand Theatre Company


The professors helped me shape my career, while giving me freedom to explore, make mistakes, and learn from them. I always felt challenged, supported, and inspired.”

—E.B. Brooks, BA Theatre, 2003; MFA CalArts, 2007
Costume Designer for over 40 plays, 25 films, 15 dance pieces

The life lessons learned could be adapted to any profession. Being a dancer is about striving for perfection, and this translated to a fabulous work ethic and led to a rich and rewarding career.”

—Nadine K. Bernard (Haught), BS Dance Education, 1974
Mortgage Finance, retired

UMD Theatre gave me the time and space to collaborate with others and introduced me to new ways to create personal and meaningful work.”

—Ora Fruchter, BA in Theatre, May 2007
Co-founded the experimental puppet company Doppelskope; founded Yellow Sneakers www.yellowsneakerproductions.com


My degree helped me expand my worldview, while at UMD and afterwards--it encouraged me to follow my intellectual curiosity into every place, no matter how risky, unfamiliar or mundane and celebrate the possibilities within.”

—Deb Sivigny, MFA 2004, Costume Design
Faculty Artist in Residence, Georgetown University; Freelance Designer