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Jonathan's varied career includes a 22-year career in the military (LtCol, USMCR, Ret.). While stationed in Okinawa, Jon felt fortunate to guide author and Wesleyan Historian in Residence William Manchester - a fellow Marine - around the island. They remained friends until Bill's death. Jon worked as the assistant to Bob Ludlum '52 at The North Jersey Playhouse during its run and for more than 10 years, Jon was a member of the Alexandria Harmonizers, a 120-man championship barbershop chorus that won four gold medals in international competitions. He is currently doing a fair amount of background acting and industrial and training films and has done extensive role playing for the DC Capitol Police and the US Secret Service, the FBI and the US Army Medical Simulation Center at Walter Reed.
Alice Ahn '04
Alice's interests have shifted away from theatre to early childhood development (focusing on gross motor skills). She is working with Jonah's Treehouse, an enrichment center for children up to four years old, in Washington DC. You can read about her experiences in the unofficial Jonah's Treehouse blog.
Merry (Alderman) Ritsch '01
Merry is currently in her third season as the local Casting Director for The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. She is also an Associate Producer for The Source Festival, a three-week new play festival in the summer, and has been directing some small projects in DC as well. Previously, she was a casting associate for Francine Maisler Casting at Sony Pictures in Los Angeles.
Arwen Anderson '96
Last fall, Arwen worked with Bill Pullman on a great show called Expedition 6 at the Magic Theatre (as did John Behlmann, who also went to Wes). Bill Pullman wrote and directed the piece, which centered on three astronauts who were stuck in the International Space Station during the time of the Columbia disaster. Arwen was in the San Francisco company of the off-broadway, award-winning, forever-running I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. She also played the lead role in the feature film Hog Island, which shot all around the Bay Area. It got massive festival exposure and got picked up for distribution, and it is now on Netflix. She was in the world premiere of the late John Belluso's Rules of Charity at the Magic Theatre and is therefore listed in the published script. Some of her other favorite experiences have been playing Dawn in Lobby Hero by Kenneth Lonergan at the Aurora Theatre Company (Bay Area Critics Circle Nomination) and playing Jenny in The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute, also at the Aurora. She has also started training in aerial circus at the San Francisco Circus Center, and she now performs professionally on trapeze and aerial silk. She recently started teaching both at the school. Arwen is about to go into Tech as the lead in Melissa James Gibson's west coast premiere of Current Nobody (Wes grad Molly Aaronson-Gelb is producing), and in a few weeks, she starts rehearsals for the World Premiere of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's T.I.C. Once that opens, she'll start working on Steve Yockey's West Coast Premiere of Skin. All three of these playwrights are amazing young talents who are about to break out (or already have) on the national scene.
Cameron Anderson '98
Cameron is a scenic designer for theater and opera in NYC and around the country. Visit www.cameronanderson.net for her full portfolio.
Recent credits include - Theatre: A Feminine Ending (Playwrights Horizons), The Language of Trees (The Roundabout Underground), Fault Lines directed by David Schwimmer for Naked Angels, Massacre (The LAByrinth Theater Co., Public Theatre), Underground (David Dorfman Dance at BAM), Heddatron (Les Freres Corbusier), Dixie's Tupperware Party (Ars Nova), Elvis People (New World Stages), Dead City, Anna Bella Eema and Belly (New Georges), Measure for Measure (Garson Theatre Company), and Much Ado About Nothing and Martha Mitchell Speaks (Shakespeare and Company). Opera: The Barber of Seville (The Opera Theatre of St. Louis), West Side Story (Central City Opera), Maria Padilla (The Minnesota Opera), Don Giovanni (Wolf Trap Opera), Cosi Fan Tutte (Seattle Opera), The Village Singer and Lord Byron's Love Letter (The Manhattan School of Music), The Consul (Opera Boston), La Boheme (The San Francisco Opera Center), and Susannah and Romeo et Juliette (Festival Opera). Upcoming projects include Cenerentola (Glimmerglass Opera), Emile (South Coast Rep), and Don Pasquale (Pittsburgh Opera).
Suzanne Appel '02
Suzanne is pursuing her MFA/MBA in Theater Management at the Yale School of Drama/School of Management and is currently spending a semester on fellowship at Berkeley Repertory Theatre working with Managing Director Susie Medak. Previously, Suzanne worked at Dance Theater Workshop with fellow Wesleyan alumna Chloe Brown.
After graduating from Wesleyan, David moved to New York to study theater for two years at Circle in the Square Theater School. He pursued an acting career for a number of years in New York, but he discovered that he was more interested in writing than acting, so he began to write plays. He was lucky to have most of his plays produced at various venues across the country, and eventually, one of his plays came to the attention of an executive with Touchstone Television. After selling Touchstone a pilot far a half-hour TV show, he moved to Los Angeles. There, he embarked on a full-time career in TV writing and producing, working primarily on sitcoms, but gradually sliding over to one-hour shows. Some of the sitcoms he wrote and produced were Suddenly Susan, Dharma & Greg, and Hope and Faith. When he converted to one-hour shows, it was first on Gilmore Girls. Currently, he is a writer and Co-Executive Producer of a new one-hour series on the CW network called Privileged.
Julia Barclay '86
Julia is living in London where she started a theater company in 2004 called Apocryphal Theatre, an international company, made up of performers, artists, musicians, and dancers with a mission to unearth the reality grid of right now, both public and private. She is a writer as well as director and sometime performer with Apocryphal and in collaboration with other artists. She is also completing a practice-based PhD at University of Northampton titled "Apocryphal Theatre: Practicing Philosophies." Her first play that she wrote, Word to Your Mama, was anthologized in Plays and Playwrights 2001. Julia was awarded an OOBR award for Excellence for a production she directed for FringeNYC in 2000. Julia has taught workshops in techniques discovered in experimental labs in London and New York at many UK and US universities, as well as professional venues such as The Present Company in NYC and Chisenhale Dance Space and Arcola Theatre in London. From 1994-2003, Julia lived in New York City where she had a company (Monkey Wrench Theatre), worked in labs and had work produced.
Aaron Barr '93
Aaron has lived in Seattle since graduating and is a professional jeweler. He makes custom jewelry -- mostly wedding rings in gold and platinum -- and has his own line of exotic hardwood based jewelry (www.aaronbarr.com). In 2007, he was published for the first time, having written a chapter for The Art of Jewelry: Wood for Lark Books. His most exciting news is that he was married this past August.
Rick Barr '78
Rick was a professor of theater and literature for ten years at Rutgers, during which time he wrote his "almost universally unread (!) book:" Rooms with a View: the Stages of Community in the Modern Theater. He has turned toward applying theater techniques to scientific challenges in the pharmaceutical world and remains active, writing and directing for community theater. "I still vividly remember some of Bill Francisco's masterworks at Wes, which were instrumental in luring me away from mathematics (the seemingly more practical choice) toward theater (the ultimately more rewarding choice in figurative and literal senses!)."
Nick Benacerraf '08
"These last few months have been action-packed and exciting for me." Upon graduating, Nick immediately joined the Core Company at the Orchard Project in upstate NY, where he met, worked with, and learned from some of the country's best ensemble theater companies. He has been lucky to continue some of this work, most notably with Pig Iron Theater Company in Philadelphia. He stage managed Sweet By-and-By, their production at the Philadelphia LiveArts Festival, and ASMed their much-lauded production, Chekhov Lizardbrain. Nick is also involved with a Wesleyan-based theater company that is preparing their newest play, Clementine and the Cyber Ducks, which will premier next summer.
David Bickford '75
David currently lives in Los Angeles, working as an actor. He has had a long association with Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood, appearing in over 25 shows and producing ten, including probably the last world premiere of a Bertolt Brecht script, an adaptation (with W.H. Auden) of The Duchess of Malfi. He has also mounted west coast premieres of works by Sheila Callahan, Murray Mednick, Leon Martel and others. He is proudest of his work with playwright Erik Patterson, who he first produced in 2001 shortly after Erik graduated from Occidental College. The most recent Patterson scripts he's worked on, Red Light, Green Light and He Asked For It, we both co-produced with Lisa Kenner '86. All of his productions of Patterson's plays have received Ovation Award Nominations -- L.A.'s biggest theatre award -- as well as numerous other awards and nominations. David also writes music for shows, and has received an L.A. Weekly Theatre Award nomination for composition.
Grace Cary Bickley '82
Cary is a screenwriter with credits that include: The Gun In Betty Lou's Handbag, High Crimes, and Spinning Boris. She is currently teamed with her husband, Yuri Zeltser, and they are writing movies for National Geographic and John Woo and were nominated for WGA awards for Spinning Boris. Cary periodically publishes articles in magazines, including Wondertime and Family, and has appeared as an actress in a short (by Wes alum Janet Grillo, starring Wes alum Dana Delany) and appeared briefly in a movie called The Circle, directed by her husband. Cary is a mother of three and co-chairs the theatre guild of Mirman Middle School; in addition, she is the Theatre Publicity liaison for the publicity committee at Brentwood High School.
Albert Frank Bower '76
After graduation, Albert did not pursue theatrical work, choosing instead to be a Mental Health Worker at CVH from 1980 until he retired in 2006 (he is currently working part time in that capacity). He has been writing, mainly fiction, for two and a half years and enjoys taking workshops at the Green Street Arts Center. Thus far, he has three short stories in print and one creative non-fiction piece. The Middletown Commission on the Arts awarded him a grant to work on a novel, Midbury.
Deirdre Boylan '82
Although she was the production manager at The Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. back in the eighties, Deirdre has been a clinical social worker in Central Maine since the nineties. She is pleased to report that her oldest son, Zachary, is appearing in Check Please at Kents Hill School - he was the only 9th grader cast from the auditions.
Ari Brand '06
In the summer of 2007 Ari played Abram and Paris' Page in Romeo and Juliet at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park as part of the NYSF. This past summer he won the award for best actor in a one-act for the role of Ethan in the premiere of Claw of the Schwa as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival in NYC. Ari is currently on the West Coast rehearsing Mary Zimmerman's direction of her own Arabian Nights at the Berkeley Rep where he will be playing many ensemble roles. After they close Berkeley in January, he heads off to the Kansas City Rep in Missouri to perform the play through February. "So much thanks to Wes Theater!"
Chloe Brown '92
In 2005, Chloe received a Bessie award in visual design for her lighting of Amanda Loulaki's La la la la, Resistane (The Island of Breezes) at Dance Theater Workshop, where she has been working as the director of production since 2002. From 1992 - 2002, she toured as a Production Manager and Lighting Director with many dance companies, including: Susan Marshall and Company, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, David Dorfman Dance, Bebe Miller, Dan Froot, Michael Moschen, and Merce Cunningham. Chloe has also been working as a lighting designer, with much of her design work at Dance Theater Workshop, and has had the pleasure of working with such artists as Lisa Race, LAVA, Arthur Aviles, Risa Jaroslow, Julie Atlas Muz, Luciana Achugar, Jeanine Durning, Amanda Loulaki, Juliana May, Brian Rogers, Red Metal Mailbox, Chris Yon and Vicky Shick.
Suzanne (Burdick) Gerrard '94
Zanne has just started her sixth season in the Seattle Symphony Chorale performing frequently in the Symphony's Benaroya Hall. When she is not busy singing, she continues to direct one act plays for a community theatre called Driftwood Players, located north of Seattle in Edmonds. For her most recent project, Zanne directed John Olive's Minnesota Moon, which performed in the Region 9 AACTFest Competition. Minnesota Moon won three awards; Best Actor, 1st Place, and Outstanding Direction for Zanne's work. They will now advance to the National Competition held in Tacoma, WA. Zanne also serves on the alumni board at Alpha Delt as Development Chair. Zanne works in the grants office of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and is married to fellow Wes Alum Ian Gerrard '91.
Daniel is in his third year as Asst. Professor of acting at Northwestern University (after two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wesleyan). He works as an actor and director in Chicago, in New York, and Regionally. His most recent acting credits include work at The Goodman Theater and The Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago and in TV and film in New York, including episodes of Law and Order, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, As the World Turns, and the film House of Satisfaction (produced by Chris Roberts '89 and directed and written by Jesse Hartman '92). He has directed at the National Historic Theater in New York, and he will be directing at Northwestern in the Spring.
Jonathan Cardone '92
Jonathan has worked in the entertainment industry for more than fifteen years. He received his M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama Technical Design and Production Department in 1995. From 1995 to 2006, he was the Director of Design for Show Motion Inc. located in South Norwalk, CT, where he managed 75+ projects in ten years of employment. The projects took him from basic theatrical scenery design into architectural theming, retail environments, and restaurant interiors; to helping create AC2, Show Motion's proprietary automation system; and to installing of mechanical effects and automation systems on a dozen Broadway productions. He was the project manager for Jane Eyre, a groundbreaking Broadway production that suspended a 55,000 lb. steel carousel in the stage house, which rotated and carried another 22 automated axes.
In 2006, Jonathan started his own venture: Spinnaker Production Services, whose main client was Show Canada, a large scale fabrication shop in Montreal, Quebec. Jonathan represented Show Canada as a senior project manager for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar; he led the design, fabrication, and installation of the Cauldron, a 250,000 lb automated gyroscope that housed the Olympic flame.
Jonathan has returned to Show Motion to again head the design department. Current Broadway productions include White Christmas, West Side Story, and Minsky's. He is the project manager for architectual theming elements for the Xanadu project in the Meandowlands, NJ. Clients include David Atkins Enterprises, Walt Disney Theatrical, M.G. McLaren Engineering, Nintendo, the Detroit Tigers, and Busch Gardens. Productions include Disney's Aida, Hairspray, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dance of the Vampires, and Jersey Boys.
William Christopher '54
I'm probably Wesleyan's oldest working Theater major, unless Jon Abel ties me. We were both class of '54 (we were roommates our freshman year in North College) and there weren't many before that. After college I went to New York, worked off-Broadway, then on Broadway, then TV. Of course I'm best remembered for my eleven years on M*A*S*H (as Father Mulcahy), but life goes on and that was a long time ago. That big hit gave me the chance to do a lot of regional theater, however. In Spring 2012 I did "On Golden Pond" for a North Carolina theater and my latest venture is playing Father Tobias on "Days of Our Lives." It's my first time on a soap and quite a change from series television.
I can't help but mention what a debt Wesleyan owes to Ralph Pendleton who got the Theater major started. I think what I learned in those days of '92 glory stayed with me.
Brian Cimmet '95
Since graduating from Wesleyan with a double major in Theater and Music, I have been working primarily as a pianist and conductor for musical theater, covering many bases from Broadway to regional theater to Europe to whatever else I can find.
Over the past year, I worked on two Broadway productions -- The Drowsy Chapersone and Grease. In regional theater, I conducted and played piano for productions of Jesus Christ Superstar (Maine State Music Theatre), A Year with Frog and Toad (Dorset Theatre Festival) and Show Boat (North Shore Music Theatre, for which I also wrote new orchestrations).
I've been fortunate enough from time to time to get work as a composer and arranger. Two musicals I wrote received their premiere productions in 2007 -- Absolutely Anything was produced by November Ten Productions in Illinois and The Spirit of Reindeer bowed at the University of Southern Maine. In 2004, I served as part of the creative team assembled to premiere a lost Frank Loesser musical called Senor Discretion Himself. I wrote all new arrangements for the score, as well as reconstructed some songs Mr. Loesser never completed.
In the world of non-musical writing for the stage, I was a multiple award winner at the One-Page Play Contest, a private competition in New England for short scripts. My plays The Von Trapp Family Reunion and Clams: The Musical (neither was actually a musical, truth be told) were Best Play winners (in 1997 and 2000). In non-theatrical writing, I have also had essays published by two internet magazines (Grumble Magazine and The Subway Chronicles), and I am currently in the final stages of completing my first novel.
Other than all that, I am an active member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop, a group I've been part of for the last decade, and I live in New York City.
Claire Conceison '87
Claire Conceison (BA with honors in Theater and East Asian Studies) is currently Professor of Theater Studies and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University. After Wesleyan and graduate work at Harvard (AM 1992) and Cornell (PhD 2000), she taught at University of Michigan, UC Santa Barbara, and Tufts University before joining the faculty at Duke. She is a scholar of contemporary theater in mainland China, a translator of plays from Chinese and French into English, and a director. She is author of two books, Significant Other: Staging the American in China (2004) and Voices Carry: Behind the Bars and Backstage during China's Revolution and Reform (2009), and a forthcoming anthology of plays of Meng Jinghui, as well as a monograph Ballade Nocturne by Gao Xingjian. While at Wesleyan, she founded the student theater group AACT (Asian/Asian-American Cooperative Theater).
Andrea Corney '83
I've taken a few skips and jumps in my career and although it may not look like it from the outside, what I learned at Wesleyan is still with me. Right out of Wesleyan I worked in theater management both in New York and Vermont. I took a detour to law school, business school and corporate law, before ending up as an organizational behavior consultant and teacher. Today I am a Leadership Coach at Stanford Graduate School of Business. I facilitate interpersonal skills learning groups and coach students on team and leadership skills. In my theater days we often talked about "the use of self as an instrument" and in my current work, that is still the bedrock. Every day I rely on my ability to listen, collaborate, and respond "in the moment." I'm often up in front of a room, projecting my voice and my intentions. In my teaching I am focused on experiential learning and creating a cohesive emotional journey for participants. Kind of like theater! Twenty-five years later I'm still grateful for my Wesleyan education.
Bob Craft '76
For the past 21 years, Bob has been a location manager in feature films and television. He is currently the location manager on Kath & Kim, which shows Thursday nights on NBC. This past October, he won an award as Location Professional of the Year for being part of the Eagle Eye location department. This award was presented at the 14th annual COLA ceremony (California on Location Awards), sponsored by the California Film Commission. During my time as a location manager, he has worked on Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and Gataca, among many others. He is still involved in theater, and is on the board of directors of the Antaeus Theater Company, a classical theater company in North Hollywood. Bill Francisco was his thesis advisor at Wesleyan, and has been a great, positive influence in his life.
Since graduating with a theatre degree focusing on directing and design, I have been a show business maid-of-all-work with a short attention span.
I have worked in various theatrical production capacities in and out of my native New York and my home of twenty-five years, Washington, DC. I currently serve as a member of the Performing Arts faculty and Director of Production at a high school in Washington, DC, where I am discovering that teaching is harder than doing. My freelance work includes directing, set and lighting design, and stage management.
A member of IATSE since 1979, I am ETCP certified rigger (Theatre) with a special expertise in aerial performer flying, including circus rigging. I do rigging system design and consulting, and teach aerial rigging courses around the country. In addition, I spend part of my time as Executive Vice President of my family’s theatrical transportation business, Clark Transfer.
Other (non-theatre) gigs have included serving with Save the Children (USA) and other international NGOs, as well as directing and producing television and video documentaries on development and conflict resolution in more than twenty countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. I am qualified as an attorney and as a commercial pilot (ASEL, Instrument) who flies volunteer missions for Angel Flight. I have been married since 1981 to Sheryl Sturges (’79), whom I met the first week of freshman year on the grass behind Olin Library. We have two grown children, one of whom is a professional circus aerialist.
Jeremy Dobrish '90
Last Season Jeremy directed Inner Voices: Solo Songs (Zipper), Spain (MCC), Election Day (Second Stage), The Underwear Musical (NYMF) and Beautiful Souls (The Becket) all Off Broadway. Regionally, he has directed at Barrington Stage, Goodspeed, The Hangar, The O'Neill, New York Stage And Film, North Shore Music Theatre, and The Village Theatre. NYC festivals include The Fringe, NYMF, and SPF. For Theatreworks USA, Jeremy directs Curious George (also writer), and Paul Revere. He has recently directed for the commercial producers Jeff Richards (Century), Ben Sprecher (Variety Arts) and Stewart Lane (Promenade) and with the NY non-profits Second Stage, MCC, The York, and Young Playwrights.
Jeremy is an Artistic Associate at Second Stage, a member of the Vineyard Theatre's Community of Artists, and was the Artistic Director of Adobe Theatre Company for 13 years, for which he has written and/or directed over twenty plays. Jeremy's plays include Notions in Motion, The Handless Maiden, Blink of an Eye, Superpowers, Orpheus & Eurydice (all Adobe) and Eight Days (Backwards) (Vineyard). He lives in Maplewood with his wife Beth and daughters Clea and Quinn.
John Doty '90
John is the Director of Black Tornado Theater, a high school theater troupe in Medford, Oregon. Mounting 6 to 7 full-length productions along with at least a half dozen additional events each season, it's one of the most ambitious student companies in the region. The website includes a production history, updates on current events (rehearsals, auditions, etc...), links to social media and fundraising. Wes alum visitors are always welcome!
I live in Oakland, CA, having recently completed a Master in Information at UC Berkeley. I've been studying communities of musicians and their communication practices both on and offline and have produced musical events with a theatrical edge since I left Wesleyan - first with Howard Goldkrand '92 as part of the Soundlab organization in New York, and now as part of a group called Surya Dub here in the Bay Area. I continue to focus on new and radical presentation of electronic music, visual art, video art, and performance, and have traveled the world as a DJ and as a music journalist for XLR8R magazine. I have also done some work with progressive media organizations like Creative Commons and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, focusing on changing Intellectual Property and Policy for the better.
Rachel is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York City where she treats children, adolescents, and adults. She has twenty five years of experience in the field. "It's nice to be reminded of the Wesleyan Theatre Department. I had a fine theatre education at Wesleyan."
Eva Firshein '91
Eva lives in Los Angeles and works as a Set Dressing Buyer on feature films and TV. In early 2008, Eva was in New Orleans for the movie Cirque du Freak, directed by another Wes alum, Paul Weitz, which will be out next year. "Amazing project because it had the most theater-esque sets I've worked on since being out here for the past 11 years."
Melanie Freundlich '79
Melanie moved to Boston shortly after graduation to work as a stage manager and lighting designer with the Boston Ballet and other dance companies. In the mid '80s she designed and project-managed a performing arts space known as the Dinosaur Space in downtown Boston. she began studying architecture part-time at the Boston Architectural Center which led to an interest in combining lighting skills with architectural consulting and resulted in a move to NYC where she worked as a theatre consultant with Artec Consultants. A longing to return to lighting design work brought her to a position as a designer and project manager in a full range of lighting projects with Fisher Marantz Renfro Stone from 1987-1997 consulting on such jobs as The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Chicago Title Building and The Phoenix Art Museum. Concurrently, she enrolled at Parsons School of Design and earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Architectural Lighting Design.
Melanie founded Melanie Freundlich Lighting Design, located in midtown Manhattan, in 1997. The firm designs projects ranging from academic and institutional facilities to galleries, museums and high-end residential spaces. She has received awards on designs including Duane Library Visitor’s Center, Fordham University and La Casa Italian at Columbia University. You can see more of her work at www.mfldesign.com.
Melanie lives in northern NJ with her husband and two daughters.
Molly is living in New York, and has been "hooking up with Wes theater alum by (literally) running into them on the street." She just did a workshop directed by Jess Chayes '07 on a play called Clementine and the Cyberducks and is working with Anna Moench '06 to develop her play Cyberducks. Molly is currently performing in an improv group made up entirely of Wes Alumni: Sascha Stanton-Craven, Jon Golbe, Ben Shestakofsky, Jessalee Lanfired, and Chris Kamerstein. In addition she is working for a non profit theater company called the Women's Expressive Theater.
Frani Geiger '07
Frani Geiger completed her MFA in Lighting and Scenic Design from the University of Oregon in 2012, and currently is an Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA. After graduating from from Wesleyan, Frani took a year to work professionally in Washington DC as Technical Director and Resident Lighting Designer for Ganymede Arts. She also did over-hire electrical work at several area theaters including Signature Theater, and special event lighting companies including John Farr Lighting.
Peter Gelblum '73
Peter worked in the theater and television in New York, San Francisco, Los
Angeles, and Philadelphia, acting and stage managing Off and Off-Off Broadway
(and ushering on Broadway), directing in Philadelphia, playing the killer on a
Kojak episode, and writing a movie script that Bette Davis agreed to do.
Feeling his brain starting to atrophy after four years and having lots of free
time, he went to law school at night for fun, made the mistake of threatening
to leave his agent, and has been a practicing lawyer for 30 years now, with the
Los Angeles firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. There, he has worked
on such fun and interesting cases as the OJ Simpson civil case, the case that
put Napster out of business, and trust litigation involving the families of
Burt Lancaster, Alberto Vargas, and Walt Disney.
In 2008, he and his wife moved to the San Lorenzo Valley north of Santa Cruz, and he now lives and works out of his house in Boulder Creek, traveling to LA when necessary, but handling as many court appearances as possible on the phone. He has had the great good fortune to return to the theater, acting (including Kris Kringle in our own version of "Miracle on 34th Street, the Play"), directing (including "Our Town" and "The Goat or Who Is Sylvia"), and helping to run Mountain Community Theater. He is thrilled to get back in touch with his first love, which was nourished so fully by the faculty and students at Wesleyan.
Gian-Murray Gianino '00
Gian-Murray Gianino is a freelance actor and the newest member of Anne Bogart's world-renowned SITI company. New York credits include work at BAM (bobrauschenbergamerica, Trojan Women), Second Stage (Eurydice), Signature Theater, The Public, Women's Project, SoHo Rep, and HERE Arts. He has performed regionally and internationally including at Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Actors Theater Louisville (Humana Festival), Berkshire Theater Festival, Getty Villa (LA), The Court (Chicago), Krannert, Walker, Wexner, MC93 Bobigny (France), Bon Biennale (Germany), and Dublin Theatre Festival. TV/film credits include White Collar, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, All My Children, Dead Canaries, and Hospitality. B.A. in Theater from Wesleyan University. Acting apprentice, ATL. G.M. is the third generation of a New York theater family.
Cobina Gillitt '87
Cobina has been teaching Theater Studies in the Department of Drama, Undergraduate in the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University since 1997. Her areas of expertise include Asian theater and performance theory; American and European 20th-century avant-garde theater theory, history, and practice; and dramaturgy and translation. Cobina is a freelance dramaturg in New York City and a translator of Indonesian plays into English. She hs been a member of Jakarta-based Teater Mandiri since 1988, performing in Indonesia and internationally.
Mark Ginsberg '79
"I have been practicing Architecture and Urban Design for twenty-five years, which comes out of my interest in set and lighting design at Wesleyan." Mark received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a founding partner of Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP, which was the recipient of the Andrew J. Thomas Pioneer in Housing AIA New York Chapter 2007. The firm is currently working on developments that will comprise well over 2,000 units of housing, the majority of which are affordable and sustainable.
Mark was the 2004 President of the AIA New York Chapter. Mark Received the 2002 Matthew W. Del Gaudio Award from AIA NYS in recognition of his outstanding and valuable service to the profession. He was previously the recipient of the Harry B. Ruskin Award for service to the NY Chapter and the profession in 1997. He sits on the Board of Directors of the NY Housing Conferences and Citizen's Housing and Planning council and was an organizer of both the New York Ideas Competition and Legacy Project. Mark was the recipient of the Harry B. Ruskin Award for service to the New York Chapter, and is a recipient of the Sarah Powell Huntington Leadership Award for a deep commitment to public welfare and social justice from the Women's Prison Association and Home Inc.
Claire Gleitman '83
After graduating from Wesleyan, Claire went on to earn her PhD in English (with a focus on modern Irish drama) from NYU. Since 1992 she has taught in the English department at Ithaca College, teaching courses in dramatic literature. She has published work on contemporary Irish drama as well as modern history plays and received an Excellence in Teaching award from Ithaca College in 2007.
Kirsten Greenidge '96
After leaving Wesleyan, Kirsten went on to become a playwright. Shortly after graduation, she studied playwriting at the University of Iowa's Playwrights Workshop. Recently, she was a National Endowment of the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Residency recipient and spent a year working with Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC. She is currently a Huntington Playwriting Fellow at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, MA, as well as a resident playwright at New Dramatists in New York. She is also working on commissions from the White House Historical Society/Kennedy Center and La Jolla Playwrights in La Jolla, California. She spent this past summer at Sundance Theatre Lab in Utah, where she was awarded a Time Warner Grant.
Chuck Gregory '74
I have not worked in theater since my graduation in 1973. A tech guy rather than one who appeared on stage, I still find the skills I learned from theater to be invaluable. Perhaps the most important is something lived rather than taught: the show must go on. Theater taught me the necessity of making something happen when its time has come. You schedule a performance, and no matter what happens, whether or not it's your own fault or choice, you make that performance happen. The experience of theater taught me this very important real-life rule. Today, I am the co-host of The New American Dream Radio Show on BlogTalkRadio, so I'm finally doing a little of the performance myself. I also run our studio, so I'm exercising some of that tech stuff too.
Juliet received her MFA in Design in May 1995 from Carnegie Mellon University. She became a full-time faculty member of West Chester University in West Chester, Pa, in the spring of 1999. She is currently an Associate Professor at West Chester University in Set and Lighting Design, and a Lighting Designer for Philadelphia Vicinity. She is also Regional Chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
Dory Hack '94
Since graduation, Dory has primarily worked in the field of juvenile justice policy and programming. Currently, Dory is Deputy Program Director of Youth Justice Programs at the Center for Court Innovation in NYC. She credits her theater background with her ability to work with strong personalities, to get a lot done with a little money, and to keep a roomful of teenagers (mostly) engaged. Unfortunately her costume and wig-making skills are underutilized in the world of policy work, but she is pleasantly surprised how often she gets to use power tools at home. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Kevin Heckman '92
Kevin is the Center Manager at the Graham Clinical Performance Center at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine, which is a simulation center using standardized patients (actors) to give medical learners direct experience dealing with patients in a variety of situations. Previously, Kevin worked at the Next Theatre Company in Evanston, Illinois. Before that he spent 8 years at Stage Left Theatre, first as a co-artistic director, then managing director, and finally producing artistic director. While he was there, the Stage Left Theatre won several Jeff Awards for their shows, most of which Kevin helped develop as a director. Although he mainly directs now, Kevin won an After Dark Award for light design for Rope in 1996, which went up at Bailiwick Repertory. Kevin is currently pursuing his MBA at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.
Joan received her PhD in Theatre at UCLA, and after 8 years of working in the film industry, she has returned to academia as the Chair of the Department of Theatre at Western Michigan University. She directed a show that was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and recently took a show to the International Conference of Anglican Bishops in Canterbury, England.
Alice started out as an actress but has shifted her career to directing. After working with experienced directors, she was able to learn the ins and outs of directing and was awarded the Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship at The Williamstown Theatre Festival and went on to become the Associate Artistic Director there. For a while, Alice worked for Disney Theatrical Productions, creating and developing new Broadway musicals for them. Although she was encouraged to direct for television, theatre was always her first love. She now directs and produces in New York City.
Devon Jordan '04
Devon graduated this past May from Columbia University's MFA Acting Program. In the past year, she performed in the world premiere of James Baldwin's Another Country directed by Diane Paulus, and she gave a gender-bending and age-defying performance of Gremio in the off-Broadway production of The Taming of the Shrew at Classic Stage Company. She also acted in several short films and appeared on CBS's daytime drama Guiding Light. Next up: the role of Marela in Nilo Cruz's Anna in the Tropics in Albany, NY at the Capital Rep. Theatre.
One of the Theater department's alumni is, in fact, here at Wesleyan working in ITS as a Desktop Support Specialist in the Social Sciences. After Wesleyan Jim got an MFA in Acting at the Theater School at DePaul, did some work in Chicago while he was there, then moved to L.A. after grad school and did theater, TV, and film. Relatively successful, Jim quickly decided that he wasn't interested in the ups and downs of a professional acting career. He then worked in feature film development/production, and co-wrote three published humor books on movies. He still has a passion for theater, but it's been on the back burner for a very long time.
Seth Kaplan '89
Seth is currently the Vice President for Climate Advocacy Conservation Law Foundation. He stresses the importance of using "theater skills in other areas, like jobs that require a fair amount of public speaking, presentation, management of large meetings, etc. One specific is that heavy exposure to the theater of the absurd is good training for doing public presentations and participating in process about energy system, global warming policy and related topics. (Only slightly kidding there...)"
Beth Kaufman '86
Beth got her Masters in Educational Theater after graduating from Wesleyan, and spent a number of years teaching Theater and working in creative education. She founded Smartalk, a turnkey Voiceover Production Company in San Francisco, where she cast, directed, and produced voiceover talent in the interactive market. In 2001 she returned to New York and Educational Theater, assuming the position of Educational Director for an alternative arts-focused Hebrew School program in NYC.
Most recently Beth has taken her performance background back into the music sphere and currently performs as lead vocalist for Alt Americana Roots band Spuyten Duvyil. Beth and her husband Mark Miller '87 returned to Middletown in December 2012 for a New Years Eve performance at First Night Middletown 2013.
Kati Koerner '90
Kati has been the Director of Education at Lincoln Center Theater since 2002, where she designs and administers programs that serve over 3,500 students and teachers in New York City's public middle and high schools each year. At LCT she founded the LEAD (Learning English and Drama) Project -- an extended in-school theater residency for English language learners -- as well as a Songwriting in the Schools Project. She is part of a national working group of education directors that TCG has assembled to work on their theater education assessment models initiative. She served on the writing committee and as a grants panelist for numerous organizations, including the Massachusetts Cultural Council, TCG, and the League of American Theater Producers. She holds an M.F.A. in Drama and Theater for Youth from the University of Texas at Austin.
Sarah Kozinn '01
Sarah is a NYC based actor and teacher. In addition to writing and directing several web series and performing in regional theater, independent films, and TV, she also received her PhD in May 2012 from NYU's Performance Studies department. Sarah is currently on faculty in Tisch's Department of Drama.
Jody Kuh '95
Jody has worked worldwide as a stage manager, production manager and producer, staging dozens of events in venues from Grand Central Station in New York City to a public park in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Following three years as the Executive Producer of the River to River Festival in Lower Manhattan, Jody founded her own live event production company, Q+A Events and Production (www.QAnyc.com). Q+A produced the StreetFest at the inaugural Festival of Ideas for the New City for the New Museum in 2011 and will do the same for the upocoming Ideas City in 2013. Q+A also regularly produces events for the New York Times and Brookfield Properties at the World Financial Center and the Grace Building. Jody's additional experience includes producing the Mark Twain Prize Celebrating Bob Newhart for PBS, multiple productions at the Joseph Papp Public Theater and at the Apollo Theater, the Toyota Comedy Festival and the New Yorker Festival. She has produced shows regularly at Feinstein's at the Regency on Park Avenue and produced a jazz festival at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on the site of the original Woodstock concert.
Ginger is an award-winning playwright whose work has been frequently produced in her native Boston and beyond. Her latest play, The Embryos, is currently being developed and produced by Fresh Ink Theatre Company. Other recent projects include A Blessing and a Curse: A Duet of Plays on Motherhood, an evening of two one-act plays presented by Spiced Wine Productions; and Mary, a short film based on her stage play, which was screened at film festivals in Connecticut and New Hampshire. Her play Matter Familias received a nomination for Best Play of 2004 from the Independent Reviewers of New England; other honors include the 1999 John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award for MOCKBA: A Play About Moscow, and a selection as ten-minute play finalist in the 2002 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for Shooting Sparks. Her plays have been copiously produced in the Boston area and have been featured nationally in Untitled Theater's 24/7 Festival, Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Theater Festival, Pan Theater Ten Minute Play Festival, Women's Theatre Project's Naked Women Fully Clothed, and Last Frontier Theatre Conference Play Lab. Two of her short plays also appeared at the Warehouse Theatre and Canal Café Theatre in London. Ginger holds a master's degree in playwriting from Boston University and teaches at the University of Massachussetts Boston and Emerson College. She is a member of the Dramatist's Guild.
Zoe Levy '03
Zoe has just finished shooting Curve of Earth, an indie feature film directed by Lee Madsen, in which she stars opposite William Forsythe. She has guest-starred on the hit NBC Show Las Vegas, Oxygen's Campus Ladies, and NBC's Medium. She recently completed an eight-month run performing in Los Angeles' 40th anniversary production of Hair, produced by Michael Butler (the show's original Broadway producer), which was LA Weekly's Musical of the Year 2008.
Jon Lipitz '90
Jon has worked for Maryland Institute College of the Art since July, 2004. Prior to joining the MICA staff, Jon was an associate producer for West Egg Entertainment in New York City, where he worked as General Manager on the Off-Broadway production of Chef's Theater and as an associate on the Tony Award Winning Broadway musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. For ten years, Jon was the founder and Managing Director of AXIS Theatre, where he produced over 70 productions in ten years, including Tony Kushner's 6-hour epic Angels in America. The production garnered dozens of awards from local papers, including the Baltimore Sun (Best Play), The Baltimore City Paper (Top Ten Plays of the Year, Best Play, Best Actor), Baltimore Magazine (Best Theater), as well as many awards from The Baltimore Alternative, Baltimore Gay Paper, and the Afro-American. Jon garnered 8 "Top Ten Plays" from the Baltimore City Paper, Best Theater (City Paper, Baltimore Magazine), and numerous awards from many local publications. Jon was also the Assistant Producer on the Tony Award nominated Broadway play Park Your Car in Harvard Yard.
Joe Loewenstein '74
Joe is a professor of Renaissance dramatic and non-dramatic literature at Washington University in St. Louis, from which he has received a number of research grants, the Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Council of Students of Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching. He holds an M.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in English from Yale University, where he received the Graduate School's Tew Prize.
James Lyons '77
Following his Theater/German studies at Wesleyan, the Fulbright scholar James Lyons studied directing at the Folkwangschule in Essen, Germany. As an assistant director at the Duesseldorfer Schauspielhaus for three years, he worked together with several reknowned German theater personalities, including the Brecht-taught Peter Palitzsch and B.K. Tragelehn. Since his own first production (the German Premiere of Sam Shepard's 'True West') he has directed and written over 30 shows, many of them musical portraits (Hildegard Knef, Johnny Cash, Calamity Jane) and satirical cabaret revues ('1000 Years of German Humor', 'Sing, German Maidens!' ). He has recently collaborated with the English composer Paul Graham Brown on two original Musicals: 'The Fight of the Century' - depicting the stories of boxers Max Schmeling and Joe Louis - and 'King Kong' based on the novel by Delos W. Lovelace. www.jameslyons.de
After receiving her MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama, Jessica attended Columbia Law School where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia-VLA Journal of Law and the Arts. She has been practicing law in the New York area ever since, specializing in marketing/advertising law and trademark/copyright law. She is currently Vice President, Law at Cablevision in Bethpage, NY. She lives on Long Island with her husband and three sons. Jessica is a member of the board and former co-president of Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington, a non-profit that operates a community center in a landmarked building and includes the Jeanne Rimsky Theatre, which offers a wide variety of musical, cultural, and community events.
Janet McCracken '80
At 39, Janet went to California School of Culinary Arts to expand her foundations in cooking. Out of school, she learned the art of recipe testing and developing in the test kitchen of The Los Angeles Times, where she wrote many articles and cover stories for their food section. She is now an associate food editor for Bon Appetit magazine where she develops, tests, and edits recipes for the magazine. She loves teaching classes and performing cooking demonstrations for the magazine, from Sur la Table kitchens to The Los Angeles Times Book Festival. She has written articles and developed recipes for numerous web sites, newspapers, and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times, Passionfood.com, and Bon Appetit.
Alison McGuire '81
Alison moved to Madrid, Spain after graduating and worked at the Teatro Nacional in Madrid. After returning to the states, she attended the American Conservatory Theatre Acting Program in San Francisco. She then moved back to New York City, where she studied the Meisner technique with Kathryn Gately, did summer stock in Maine, and acted until she moved to Seattle. There she has been the Booking Rep. for McCaw Hall at Seattle Center for the last nine years, which is the home of the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Jim Melloan '77
Jim is a writer and editor in the New York area. He's been involved for the past 17 years with the Art Star scene in New York, a loose-knit community of comedians, musicians, and other performers and artists. In 1999-2000 he appeared as Ray in House of Trash by Trav S.D at HERE in Soho. In 2011-2012, he appeared in various roles in three productions of 64, a multimedia "vaudeville of the mind" consisting of 64 short plays. These productions were at Bowery Poetry Club in the East Village, OneArmRed in Dumbo, Brooklyn, and HERE.
David Milch '89
David received his MFA in Directing from UCLA in May of 1995, and four years later founded Relatively Theater, a New York-based company dedicated to the creating of multi-disciplinary pieces. Relatively Theater has premiered several new works along with producing the New York premier of Jason Sherman's Reading Hebron. David taught for seven summers at Genesis at Brandeis University, developing and implementing a course for high school students on creating new theatrical work dealing with Jewish themes and identity. He worked as a freelance director and choreographer concurrently (from 1995 to present). Since 2007, he has settled down a bit and has taken a permanent position at Columbia University, where he advises the undergraduate performing arts, publication and media groups. He is excited to be back on a college campus, he says, but "nothing compares to the creative spirit and drive of the Wesleyan community."
Arika Lisanne Mittman '96
Arika moved to Los Angeles right after graduation to become a television writer, her dream since she was a little kid watching Moonlighting on a 13" t.v. in her bedroom. Starting as an assistant, she got her first series gig on Dawson's Creek and learned from the best. Her first job as a staff writer was on South of Nowhere, an edgy teen soap about the coming of age experiences of a lesbian teen. She followed that experience with a stint on ABC Studio's Ledgend of the Seeker, a syndicated fantasy series with a passiionate cult following. When that show ended, she got to work with her childhood idol Glenn Gordon Caron on Medium starring Patricia Arquette. She currently writes for Showtime's serial killer drama, Dexter, where she is now a Producer.
Anna Moench '06
Anna recently joined Youngblood, Ensemble Studio Theatre's resident collective of emerging professional playwrights under 30. She received the Fall '08 FAR Space Grant from The Field, which she used to workshop and develop her new full-length play, The Pillow Book. Her play The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner had its world premiere at the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival and was featured as a Critic's Pick in Time Out NY.
Alice Moore '95
Alice got her MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at Yale School of Drama, and is now pursuing a PhD in American Studies at Yale with an emphasis on performance and visual culture.
Nicholas Moran '95
Nicholas Moran, known as Nicholas Little in his time at Wesleyan, is living in New York City, still pursuing his passion for theater and other live performance. He has had many adventures on many different stages in the almost 13 years since he left Wesleyan, ranging from The Texas Shakespeare Festival to the Tokyo International Motor Show. Presently, he is most active as an ensemble member of the classical verse theater company, The Handcart Ensemble, and he has also recently gotten involved with a new ensemble called the Cockeyed Optimists. Other recent highlights include a film role in the feature The Nanny Diaries, and the starring role in the music video for Panic at the Disco's Build God Then We'll Talk.
After graduation, Anthony moved to Chicago, and is currently in the middle of his first professional show there, Get Right. Time Out Chicago's review of the production stated that "among a generally strong cast, Nikolchev stands out: his volatile, hollow-eyed Brian alternatively repels and attracts." (Time Out Chicago, Sept 25-Oct 1 2008). He is also working as an understudy for the character Dmitri Karamazov in the Lookingglass Theatre's new adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov.
The summer after graduating, Grace ran a small theatre company, OpenEye productions, geared toward using theatre to raise both awareness of and funds for important social issues. With OpenEye, Grace directed and co-produced a dinner-theatre production of Harold Pinter's "Celebration" to benefit the Obama for America campaign, a production of Wendy MacLeod’s “Schoolgirl Figure” to raise funds for the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders, and more. She then moved to Portland, Maine, where she worked as a Directing and Dramaturgy intern at Portland Stage Company, a LORT theatre. In 2009, she moved to Washington, DC for an apprenticeship in Literary and Public Programming at The Studio Theatre. She is now the Director of Marketing and Communication at Theater J in Washington, DC
After spending ten years working in theater and dance, Kim is now pursuing her second career as a Montessori teacher. During those ten years, she toured with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company as Lighting Supervisor from 1995 to 1998, and she taught lighting design at the Orange County High School of the Arts from 2000-2004. Her designs include works for DanceBrazil, Helios Dance Theater, Keith Johnson/Dancers, Oni Dance, Southern California Dance Theater, Winifred Harris/Between Lines, and Theater Education Group. Additionally, she designed Angels in America, The Food Chain, and Inspecting Carol for AXIS Theatre in Baltimore, and Remains, A Piece of my Heart, and Since Africa for Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company. She is now home, living in Waialua, Hawaii, and is getting married in March.
Gilbert Parker '48
Gilbert spent almost fifty years as an agent representing playwrights and directors. He retired in 2000 as Senior Vice President in the Theatre Department of the William Morris Agency. He was also on the Board of Directors of the Dramatists Play Service for thirty-seven years and was its Vice President for twelve years. His clients were the recipients of three Pulitzer Prizes, seven New York Drama Critics Awards, twelve Tony Awards and numerous Obie and Emmy Awards.
Jeremy Paul '05
Jeremy Paul is a director, devisor and the founder/Artistic Director of Theater Ninjas, a a Cleveland-based company focusing on new and original work. Theater Ninjas is in its seventh season, having garnered a reputation for site-specific, visceral experiences that remain accessible to all audience. The company plans to begin touring its original work in the coming year. Find out more at www.theaterninjas.com. Jeremy was recently named one of the Community Partnership for Arts & Culture's 2012 Creative Workforce Fellows, and has post-graduate training with the Pig Iron Theatre Company, New World Performance Lab and the Celebration Barn International School of Performing Arts.
Matthew Penn '80
Since graduating from Wesleyan, Matthew has directed and/or produced over 130 prime-time dramatic television episodes. He has directed such notable and award winning shows as Law and Order, NYPD Blue, The Sopranos, Damages, and this season's finale of The Closer. He was nominated for an Emmy for directing the 20th episode of Law and Order starring Julia Roberts. Matthew was the Executive Producer of Law and Order from 2003 through 2007. In addition to his dramatic work, he has directed nearly 100 national commercials. He has directed multiple spots for major American companies such as Cadillac, Radio Shack, Johnson and Johnson and TD Waterhouse. He currently has two feature films, The Huntsman and The Root in development/pre-production. Matthew started his career as an actor appearing in many NY stage productions and a half dozen films before focusing exclusively on directing. In New York, he has directed over 25 plays both Off-Broadway and regionally. His first TV job was directing a daytime drama for ABC where he shot over 90 episodes. His single camera dramatic work, his multi-camera TV work, his commercial work and his theatrical work puts Penn in a small group of New York directors who have worked successfully in all of those arenas.
Jessica Phillippi '05
Class of '05 alum Jessica Phillippi returned to her hometown of Washington, D.C. where she just completed a run of the show Puerto Rico, Mi Amor with the In Series at the GALA-Tivoli theater. She spent this past summer in actor training intensives at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver. Last year, she studied Lecoq technique at the Scuola Internazionale di Teatro in Rome, Italy.
Daniel Poliner '97
Daniel received his MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and was awarded the department's Graduate Achievement Award. His film, Right Foot, Left Foot, was recently purchased by IFC and airs there regularly. It was awarded Best Short Film at the New Orleans Film Festival, Best Comedy, and an Audience Award at Filmfest New Haven. It screened at the Chicago International, Silver Lake and Sidewalk Moving Picture Film Festivals and many other festivals across the country.
Lisa Anne Porter '86
Lisa is currently acting, teaching and directing in the SF Bay Area. As of Spring 2013, she is the full time Speech/Text teacher in the MFA program at the American Conservatory Theatre as well as the dialect coach for the theater. She just finished understudying the Broadway production of The Normal Heart at ACT and is currently directing It's a Wonderful Life at Town Hall Theatre. She has served on the faculties of UC Davis, Stanford University, ACT, SF State University, Naropa Institute, Berkely Repertory Theatre, the Tepper Center in NYC, the Academy of Art University, and Shakespeare and Company, and spent six years as an associate professor in the BFA program at Syracuse University where she was awarded the Faculty Inspiration award in her first year of teaching. She has performed with American Conservatory Theatre, California Shakespeare Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Shakespeare/Santa Cruz, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare/LA, the Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Center Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Boston Theatreworks, Shakespeare and Company, Interact Theatre Company, and the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company. She has coached over fifty professional productions in voice and dialect including the world premiere of The Kite Runner. She has an MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre and is one of one hundred teachers worldwide that have been certified in voice by Kristin Linklater. She also runs her own private communication coaching business for professionals in various fields.
Michael received his MFA in 2008 in Theater Directing from Columbia University, where he was the Willard Fellow and the two-time recipient of a Schubert Fellowship. He was a 2008 TCG National Conference Grant Awardee, a 2007 New Play Network Directing Fellow, and a 2006 Kennedy Center Directing Fellow. His production of The Ted Haggard Monologues won the Artistic Excellence Award from The Undergroundzero Festival, and was granted a three week run at a theater in Tribeca. He has assisted Les Waters at ART in Boston, Anne Bogard at Glimmerglass Opera, Robert Woodruff at San Francisco Opera, and John Turturro at Classic Stage Company. His own directing work has taken him to Germany, Canada, and Greece. He has directed readings at Primary Stages, New York Theater Workshop, and Lincoln Center. Michael's production of Gertrude Stein's Four Saints in Three Acts was just selected as a "Noteworthy" production in the 2008 Opera America Director/Designer Competition. He is currently an artist in residence at The Tribeca Performing Arts Center and is teaching acting at NYU. He is directing a number of upcoming shows this year, including Righteous Money by Michael Yates Crowley, Buttercream and Scotch by Tatiana Pavela and Paige Collette, The Coffee Cantata by J.S. Bach, Down in the Valley by Kurt Weill and, finally, A Boy's Dream by Thomas Bradshaw, which will be performed in Bielefeld, Germany.
Jacob Robinson '04
After graduating as one of the first five students in NYU's new dual degree MBA/MFA in film producing, Jacob moved out to LA to be the Creative Executive for De Line Pictures, and recently he was promoted to Vice President of Development and is now overseeing development for the company.
Peter is a film producer in New York City. Some of his film credits include Ulee's Gold, Adaptation, The Truth about Charlie, Everything is Illuminated, and Little Miss Sunshine, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. He has also produced several documentaries including Mandela: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation, which was nominated for an Academy Award, and The Agronomist, which won several awards, including the Gotham Award for best documentary.
Ken Schneyer '83
Ken is a writer of science fiction and fantasy whose stories have appeared in Analog, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Abyss & Apex, Ideomancer, GUD, Cosmos Online, Nature Physics, Escape Pod, The Drabblecast, Daily Science Fiction, and the Russian magazine ELSI, among others. He attended the Clarion Writers Workshop in 2009 and joined the Cambridge Science Fiction Workshop in 2010. He is also a professor of Humanities and Legal Studies at Johnson & Wales University; his articles concerning the constitutive rhetoric of legal texts have appeared in The Rutgers Law Review, The University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, The American Business Law Journal, and elsewhere.
Michael Steven Schultz '84
Michael won the 2007 Grand Prize in the International Songwriting Competition under his professional name of "Z. Mulls."
Alison Schwartz '96
Alison P. Schwartz is currently a Producer with Blue Man Productions. She has managed Blue Man Group's theatrical productions in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Orlando, and guided the launch of several of the company's shows. Previously, Schwartz was General Manager for the acclaimed Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. While managing the operational and financial elements of this international touring dance company, she produced the Company's 20th anniversary season, including New York runs at the Kitchen, BAM, and Aaron Davis Hall. Prior to BTJ/AZ, Schwartz was Production Stage Manager for Pilobolus Dance Theatre for four years, touring nationally and internationally.
Alissa Schwartz '91
After graduating from Wesleyan, Alissa stuck around Middletown for an additional year raising enough money from odd jobs (including teaching theater to children with disabilities and men in prison) to travel to Mexico, Central America, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia for a year, while performing street theater with her partner (now husband) Andrew Drury '88.
Resettling in Seattle, she used Augusto Boal's Theater of the Oppressed techniques with homeless and runaway youth and pursued a graduate degree in social work. After getting her MSW from the University of Washington, she moved to New York City, where she focused on advocacy, policy work, and organizational development in the area of homelessness and poverty before going to Columbia University for her doctorate. Her area of interest is in organizational psychology and behavior, notably fostering positive organizational culture and employee well-being. Alissa has taught graduate courses in nonprofit management and program evaluation in several graduate programs. Currently, she is the Director of Evaluation for a large multi-service agency primarily focused on substance abuse treatment and supportive housing. Over the years, Alissa has staged original installation performances in her home. She has two children that keep her on her toes, too! While it may not seem obvious how she has used her theater degree (which focused on directing), Alissa's identity as an artist informs her personal and professional activities, which focus on fostering interpersonal connection, creativity, and engagement.
Bex Schwartz '00
Bex is a Sr. Writer/Producer for VH1 On Air Promos. In 2007, to promote the launch of the videogame Rock Band, she wrote and directed a half-hour mockumentary called "Rock Band Cometh: The Rock Band Band Story" that aired on VH1 and VH1 Classic, and starred Mandy Sayle ('01). This year she created and produced a new reality show called "Rock Band 2 the Stars", featuring Alice Cooper and Sebastian Bach trying to put together their ultimate Rock Band bands. She is also a pop culture commentator for Vh1, MSNBC, and CNN.
Rachel Shapira '00
After working the Chicago theater scene for a number of years, primarily as a stage manager, Rachel decided to pursue an entirely different career. She is currently an ScM student studying genetic counseling at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the National Human Genome Research Institute and will graduate in January 2014. The theater background has served her well through the years, most recently in counseling session role play.
Rashida Z. Shaw '99
In Fall 2010, Rashida returned to Wesleyan and joined the Theater Department faculty as an Instructor. After receiving her Ph.D. in Theater and Drama from Northwestern University in 2011, Rashida became an Assistant Professor in the department where she teaches courses on theater history, performance theory, musical theater, and dramatic literature with a special interest in African Diaspora and African American theater. Prior to coming to Wesleyan, Rashida served as a Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at Grinnell College, with the support of a Dissertation Fellowship awarded by the Consortium for Faculty Diversity in Liberal Arts Colleges, from 2009-10. Her scholarship has been published in such journals and magazines as Theater Survey, Theatre Topics, and Time Out Chicago. Most recently, Rashida’s opinion piece on theater practitioner Tyler Perry was featured on the website “In Media Res: A Media Commons Project.” She is currently working on her book project, tentatively titled, The NewBlack Musical: “Chitlin Circuit” Theatre and Twenty-first Century African American Audiences.
Nina Shengold '77
Nina won the ABC Playwright Award for Homesteaders and the Writers Guild Award for her teleplay Labor of Love, starring Marcia Gay Harden. Other TV scripts include Blind Spot, starring Joanne Woodward and Laura Linney; Unwed Father; and Double Platinum. Her novel Clearcut (Anchor Books, 2005) has been optioned for film by Screen Sirens Pictures. With Eric Lane, Nina has edited a dozen theatre anthologies for Viking Penguin and Vintage Books. She is artistic director of Actors & Writers, a professional readers' theatre in upstate New York, and books editor of Chronogram magazine.
Ross Shenker '11
Ross spent his first post-graduate year working as an assistant at two of the most prominent talent agencies in Los Angeles while simultaneously producing two short films, assistant directing A Bright New Boise at Rogue Machine Theatre, and studying acting with University of Southern California faculty member Doug Tompos. He hopes to amass enough professional experience over the next two years to obtain an MFA in Theatrical Directing.
Tim Sheridan '87
Tim is a creative director with Razorfish, an interactive marketing agency. He has worked in interactive media for 15 years, contributing to the CD-ROM game, "You Don't Know Jack!" and serving as a hand model for the magic tricks on Siegfried and Roy's website. He was also a longtime contributor to numerous magazines and websites, writing about music and film. He wrote jokes and speeches for Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and was awarded a playwriting fellowship at the Juilliard School under the direction of John Guare and Terrence McNally. He is not kidding about any of these things. He now lives in Oak Park, IL with his wife and three kids. He is currently collaborating on a graphic novel based on a screenplay he wrote, as well as a children's book he based on a story he made up at bedtime for his kids.
Jessica Smith '06
After a year assisting a talent agent and another working on Broadway as a Management Associate for the General Manager of Jujamcyn Theaters, Jessica is now a student at Cardozo Law School in New York. She is excited to reinvigorate her passion for theater from her favorite perspective: the audience. In many ways, she has found the study of law to be inherently creative, with an eye towards performance.
Robin (Smith) Luba '89
After graduating from Wesleyan, Robin spent a year working for her mother’s management consulting firm, producing workforce training videos for a Fortune 500 company, doing a lot of local volunteer work, then traveled extensively through Italy and England, and appeared in several cable commercials. She enrolled in the Syracuse University College of Law in the Fall of 1990, to study Intellectual Property (IP) and Entertainment Law. After earning her J.D. in 1993, Robin went to work for the Connecticut firm of Day, Berry & Howard (now Day, Pitney) in their General Commercial Litigation and Technology and IP Law Groups at the Hartford office. While at the firm, she belonged to a local theater group called "Off the Record," made up of all attorneys, which performed shows at the University of Hartford to benefit the Connecticut Legal Aid Society. In 1999, she left the firm to become IP counsel at LEGO Systems, Inc. (the American headquarters for the LEGO Toy Company, which has its international headquarters in Denmark). Two years ago, Robin transitioned from doing IP work to handling general corporate legal affairs, and as of July 1, 2008, she became General Counsel for the Americas division. Robin definitely credits her theater training at Wesleyan for providing her with the presentation skills and the confidence to build her legal career. She now travels extensively around North America, Mexico and Europe for work, and most of her contact with the theater is seeing as many shows as she can locally, and in NYC. She lives in West Hartford with her husband and her son - who just turned ten and is quite the singer and actor. Perhaps another Wesleyan theater major in the making?
Harold Sogard '74
Harold spent the first ten years of his post-Wesleyan life doing theater management in Connecticut, Chicago, and New York, where he served as Company Manager, General Manager, and Managing Director for a mix of non-profit and commercial companies, both off Broadway and on Broadway. He worked on some shows that were big hits, but also on several that opened and closed on the same night.
Ultimately he grew bored with life between shows at "Club 90" (the name given by his fellow theater professionals to the NY State Unemployment Office then located on West 90th Street in Manhattan) and decided it was time to get a "real" job. So in 1984 he became the World's Oldest Assistant Account Executive at the New York office of ad agency Ogilvy & Mather. In 1991 he joined Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, where he now holds the glorified title of Vice Chairman. Over the past several years GS&P has won every top creative award in the world of advertising, and was recently named Agency of the Decade by AdWeek magazine.
The last time Harold directed a play was in 1976 at NYC's La Mama ETC; he harbors pipe dreams of someday picking up where he left off then -- perhaps once he's done paying high school and then college tuition for his daughter. In the meantime, he is very grateful for all he learned from his Wesleyan theater teachers and classmates, and he's proud to be a small part of this distinguished cast list of Wesleyan theater alumni/ae.
Andrew Spear '90
Andrew has spent the bulk of his time juggling theater, writing, and teaching. He moved to the Bay area after graduation and formed a couple of different small theater companies while working with a few others, and he produced/performed/wrote/directed (variously) somewhere in the range of 10 plays. He also took a job at the Head Royce School in Oakland, where he directed theater and taught English and history. In 1997 he moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he was a Regent's Fellow and pursued an MFA in writing. In 2000 he returned to Head Royce as both an English teacher and as an Artist-in-Residence. He has now transitioned back into full-time teaching, and teaches English, drama and journalism, and is currently Chair of the English department. He has received a number of awards and honors for his teaching, and has published a few short stories and articles in literary journals, newspapers, and magazines. He also served for three years on the Board of Directors of the Aurora Theater Company.
Mark Sussman '85
Mark is currently working as Associate Dean, Academic and Student Services in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. He still teaches courses in the theatre department, including Puppetry and Performing Object Workshop, Performance Studies, and Theatre History. He has just started a three-year appointment in the Dean's office, where he runs the office responsible for academic programs and curriculum development, among other things. His office is currently working on the development of an MFA program in Interdisciplinary Theatre--Wesleyan Theater grads take note!
Mark also continues to work with his New York-based company Great Small Works. They recently performed new work in the CFA Theater.
After graduating with a focus in directing, Sarah spent a year teaching and directing high school drama at the Hyde School in Woodstock, CT, a thoroughly dramatic reform school. Despite its beautiful theater, the school culture was not a great fit coming straight out of Wes. She moved to NYC to join the NYC Teaching Fellows program and take improv classes at the UCB Theater. Thoroughly turned off of education (to the point of vowing to "unschool" her own children should she ever have them) she turned to her passion for film and photography and spent the next few years building a body of work and learning Photoshop, Indesign, and Final Cut Pro at Parsons, assisting photographers and making little documentary projects, etc. She now runs a boutique photography studio in NYC (Sarah Tew Photography), shooting mostly weddings, portraits, and documentary projects as well as the occasional band photo shoot. She also shoots headshots and really enjoys helping young theater folk who are just getting their feet wet. Look her up if you're in need of a great headshot!
Jon Turteltaub '85
Jon is currently working on a TV series for CBS called Harper's Island. He is the Executive Producer of the show and directed the first episode. Jon is also prepping a feature for Disney which will start shooting in March 2009.
Nat earned his masters in drama therapy through Lesley University and helped start And Still We Rise Productions, which is a theater for ex-prisoners and their loved-ones. He is currently in the process of sailing his boat around the world ("or trying to, anyway!"), an adventure on which he and his family set off on in 2006. He continues to offer theater-based training/coaching for corporate and non-profit leaders around the world, largely under the auspices of the Ariel Group, a community of actors and performers who offer "Presence" training to diverse audiences.
A.J. Weissbard '95
American light designer A.J. Weissbard has worked worldwide designing for theater, video, exhibition, permanent architectural installation and special events. He routinely collaborates with many artists including theater directors Robert Wilson, Peter Stein, Luca Ronconi, Daniele Abbado, Bernard Sobel, Peter Greenaway, visual artists William Kentridge, Fabrizio Plessi and Vadim Fishkin, architects Gae Aulenti, Pierluigi Cerri, Richard Gluckman and Matteo Thun among others.
His work has been seen: for opera, drama and dance in major opera houses, festivals and theaters including Lincoln Center NY, Los Angeles Opera, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Opera Garnier and Theatre du Chatelet Paris, Brussels Opera La Monnaie, Teatro Real Madrid, Piccolo Teatro Milano, the theater of Epidaurous, Schaubuhne Berlin, Esplanade Singapore and Bunka Kaikan Tokyo, Staatsoper Berlin; for multimedia and exhibits in museums including the Guggenheim New York and Bilbao, Royal Academy London, Petit Palais Paris, Vitra Design Museum, Milano Triennale, Kunstindustrimuseum Copenhagen, Shanghai Art Museum; for unique events at venues including Aichi World Expo 2005, Biennale di Venezia, Salone del Mobile Milan, Bienal de Valencia.
Recently he completed "Orfeo" at Teatro alla Scala, the Guggenheim's traveling exhibition "Giorgio Armani Retrospective", "Parsifal" at Los Angeles Opera, "A Speedy Day" for the Venice Biennale, "Lady from the Sea" at Teatr Dramatyczny Warsaw and "Quartett" at Theatre Odeon Paris, "Sebastiano del Piombo" in Palazzo Venezia Rome; "Roma. La Pittura di urn Impero" at Scuderia di Quirinale in Rome; Howard Shore's "The Fly" at Theatre du Chatelet directed by David Cronenberg; "Drifting and Tilting" the Songs of Scott Walker, Barbican Theatre; "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Merchant of Venice" directed by Luca Ronconi, Teatro Strehler, Milan; "il Tempo del Postino" at Theater Basel; and the Hugo Boss Flagship Meatpacking District, NY.; His solo work with "light regards," was presented at Milan Design Week Salone del Mobile 2006.
Upcoming works include Clemenza di Tito at Teatro San Carlo, Naples, 1433 at National Theater, Taipei, Simon Boccanegra at Teatro alla Scala, MIlan.
AJ Weissbard is resident lighting designer for Change Performing Arts in Milan and a faculty instructor at the Watermill Center of New York and guest instructor at the Norwegian Theater Academy and Milan's Nuova Accademia di Belle Arte.
Benjamin White '66
For the last 31 years Benjamin has been Executive Director of Hubbard Hall Projects, Inc. (HHP), the not-for-profit organization that owns and operates an 1878 rural opera house in the tiny Village of Cambridge, NY as a community art center. When it was formed in '78, the Hall had been closed for 50 years. Benjamin identified strongly, he says, with the "he" he found in a quip from a 1920's newspaper that went: "The owner of Hubbard Hall received a telegram from the manager of a traveling theater company that said, 'Company will arrive on Tues. on the 11:45 train. Stop. Have electricians, carpenters, stage manager, stage hands, costume mistress, and house manager ready. Stop.' The owner wired back, 'O.K. Stop. He'll be there. Stop.'" Over the past four years, having come a long way since that time, Hubbard Hall has grown from being one great old opera house to being a campus made up of the Hall and three adjacent freight yard buildings purchased and renovated to add a dance studio, a visual arts classroom, rehearsal spaces, a new black-box theater, office space and more.
Lily Whitsitt '06
Lily is now in her second year of a three-year MFA program in directing at the California Institute of the Arts. This year she is directing Gertrude Stein's Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, and this past summer she worked as film director Dean Parisot's assistant on a pilot in Los Angeles. She has also been assisting French director Robert Cantarella on a project he is creating with CalArts students and alums.
Burke Wilmore '93
Burke is a lighting designer living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He is a member of the United Scenic Artists Local 829 and an honors graduate of Wesleyan. He was the resident designer for Battleworks (2001-2010) and lit Robert Battle's Juba, In/Side, Takademe, and The Hunt for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He designed Stephen Petronio's Tragic Love for Ballet de Lorraine at the Montpelier Festival. Since 2005, he has been the resident designer for Keigwin + Company. His work is in the repertories of Sweden's NorrDans and Holland's Introdans. He has also lit the work of Camille A. Brown (Mr. Tol E. Rance, City of Rain, Good & Grown), and Brian Brooks (Again Again). He frequently collaborates with Broadway star André de Shields, for whom he lit the Louis Armstrong musical Ambassador Satch, and designed scenery and lighting for de Shields' production of Ain't Misbehavin'. Wilmore leads the production team for FocUS Dance and Gotham Dance Festival presentations in venues across New York City.
Andrea (Wilson) McCoy '03
After receiving the Theater Department's first Outreach and Community Service Award for her work at Oddfellows Playhouse as an undergraduate, Andrea remained in Middletown and continued teaching at Oddfellows from 2003-2007. From 2004-2007, Andrea also taught introductory theater and vocal production classes at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Hartford Magnet Middle School in Hartford, CT as well as in various after-school programs in the area. Andrea continued her study of educational theater at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA where she received an M.Ed in 2011. Most recently, Andrea served as the founding theater teacher at UP Academy Chater School of Boston, a turnaround school in South Boston.
Emily Wilson-Tobin '00
Emily is currently the Theatre Director at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She also works with a group called The Lights Up Company, which is a student-led theatre ensemble composed of high school and college students from multiple schools in the area. After she graduated from Wesleyan, she worked for several organizations before she found a more permanent home in the development department at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Her experience with the company inspired her to pursue an MFA in Educational Theatre at Eastern Michigan University, which she completed in 2007.
Andrew Witt '67
In January 2012, Andrew Witt became the first Executive Director of the St. Johns Cultural Council (SJCC) in St. Augustine, Florida. The SJCC is the designated Local Arts Agency for the county. Since April 2004, Andrew had been the Executive Director of the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties -- the Local Arts Agency serving the metropolitan Columbia area. Prior to coming to Columbia, Witt served for 16 years as the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Northwest Florida. He is past President of the Florida Association of Local Arts Agencies, was on the Board of the Florida Cultural Alliance, and a past President of the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club. He served on the Florida Arts Council/Division of Cultural Affairs Strategic Planning Task Force. He has also served as a grant panelist for the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and Division of Historic Resources, the Kentucky Arts Council, and several Local Arts Agencies in Florida. He served as the Executive Director of the Arvada center for the Arts and Humanities in Colorado, Managing Director of the Alliance Theater Company in Atlanta, and as the Managing Director of the Fifth Avenue Theater and A Contemporary Theater in Seattle, and the Tacoma Actors Guild. He was a co-founder of the Washington State Arts Alliance, and the Arts Advocates of Washington State.
Perri has been working consistently in the New York independent theater and film scene since graduating from an inspiring four years at Wesleyan. His solo performance World Infirmia: The Criminal Perpectives Project (his thesis for the Theater Department) was presented by the New York International Fringe Festival in 2005, and the Montreal International Fringe Festival in 2006. He's participated in early projects for Wes-based creators Julius Onah, Jesse Soursourian, and The Assembly, and young theater companies like Bone Orchard (whose Times365:24:7 was presented at The Brick), and Marvell Repertory Theatre (the only theater company in NYC that presents classics in rotating rep). His acting work ranges from new projects with socio-political content to reinterpreted classics. He is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association, and updates can be followed here: www.perribazyaniv.com.
Andrew Yavelow '79
Andrew spent his 30's performing as a modern dancer, and is currently a bodywork therapist. He started performing again as an actor about 3 years ago, doing comedy improv shows and psycho-drama theater for the community where he lives in California, Harbin Hot Springs. Reflecting on his time as a professional actor, he says, has given him a "very much appreciated period of self-reflection and healing" for which he is very grateful.
Since graduation, Lizabeth lived in Los Angeles for some years, where she worked at Creative Artists Agency as an agent's assistant in the Motion Picture Literary Department. She then moved on to work at Madonna's entertainment company and former record label, Maverick Entertainment and Maverick Records.While working there, she got a three-book deal with Viking, an imprint of Penguin, writing young adult novels. Her first book, Girl of the Moment (released April 2007), was optioned by Fox Atomic, a branch of Twentieth Century Fox, to be developed into a feature film produced by Richard Gladstein (Finding Neverland, The Bourne Identity). Her second novel, The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies, was released in May 2008, and she is currently finishing her third book due out Summer 2009. She is a member of The Actor's Studio's playwrights and directors workshop.