Theater Department

Current News

Cheryl Tan '11 stars in Beauty World revival in Singapore

Cheryl Tan

Wesleyan Theater alum Cheryl Tan Barnett '11 has been cast as Ivy Chan in a fresh revival of Dick Lee and Michael Chiang’s iconic musical Beauty World at the Victoria Theatre starting Nov. 13.

Set in 1960s Singapore, Beauty World is the story of Ivy Chan, a girl from Malaysia whose journey to find her long-lost father brings her to a colourful cabaret in Singapore.

More information about the production visit:

Wesleyan Theater Alumni Panel

Michael Rau MJ Kaufman
Roberta Pereira

Five Wesleyan Theater Department alumni talk about their work and careers in theater after Wesleyan in a panel moderated by Associate Professor of Theater Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento.

"While Wesleyan isn’t the most pre-professional school, this panel served as proof that we will graduate with the tools required to make careers out of our respective interests. “We learn how to be self-starters at Wesleyan,” Rau remarked. With the multitude of creative projects constantly being carried out at any given moment on campus, it’s impossible not to hone your skills in the field that interests you, and Thursday’s panelists clearly took full advantage of this quality."

Wesleyan Theater Alumni Impress at Panel by Danielle Cohen, Assistant Arts Editor, The Wesleyan Argus

Lin-Manuel Miranda receives MacArthur 'Genius Grant'

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Wesleyan Theater alum Lin-Manuel Miranda '02 has been named one of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, placing him on a short list of some of the most brilliant minds in the arts, sciences, and humanities. The fellowship is awarded for "exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work" and comes with a stipend of $625,000 paid in installments over the course of five years.

Other 2015 recipients include tap dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance and puppet artist and director Basil Twist.

Ken Barnett '94 cast in new musical at The Public Theater

Ken Barnett

Wesleyan Theater alum Ken Barnett '94 was cast as Abraham Ebdus in the world premiere of a new musical The Fortress of Solitude at The Public Theater. Conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin, the production ran from October 22 to November 16, 2014 after an extension to the original closing date of November 2.

More about the production here: 

Lily Whitsitt '06 receives Princess Grace award

Lily Whitsitt

The Princess Grace Foundation is awards over $1 million to artists every year in theater, dance performance, choreography and film. The 33rd Annual Awards will continue the legacy of Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco, who helped emerging artists pursue their artistic goals during Her lifetime. Lily Whitsitt recieved the Works in Progress Residency with the Princess Grace Foundation.

More info at:

Emma MacLean '14 - Huffington Post features recent grad's thesis

Emma MacLean '14

Focusing on how disability is represented in theater, Emma MacLean's thesis topic has garnered national attention from the widely-read liberal online media site, The Huffington Post. The article was written by MacLean and was posted as part of the HuffPost College Thesis Project, which gives students a chance to share the fruit of their hard academic work with a wide audience.

MacLean's oeuvre, which received High Honors, will be posted to Student Thesis library soon. 

Emma MacLean is a Phi Beta Kappa member, and was awarded the Theater Department's Outreach and Community Service Award.

Kaneza Schaal '06 - Spring 2014 Residency

Kaneza Schaal 2014

Theater artist Kaneza Schaal completed a five week residency program with the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City. As a Princess Grace Foundation-USA Works-in-Progress Resident Artist, Schaal used the Egyptian Book of the Dead as a point of departure to investigate the traditions of burial and grief through an intricate architecture of visual projections, light, and sound. Her residency work included development of her first evening length piece entitled Please, Bury Me, which will be presented at Performance Space 122 ( through the RAMP residency program with support from a 50th Anniversary Grant from the Jerome Foundation.

To read more about her residency click here:

Click here to see a video conversation with the artist: 

For more information/tickets for the upcoming performance at Performance Space 122:  

Roberta Maia Pereira '03 publishes The Untold Stories of Broadway with Dress Circle Publishing

Roberta Pereira '03 with Jennifer Ashley Tepper and Brisa TrincheroLin-Manuel Miranda '02 with Jennifer Ashley Tepper

Released on October 13, 2013, The Untold Stories of Broadway scores a front row seat to hear hundreds of stories about the most important stages in the world, seen through the eyes of the producers, actors, stage hands, writers, musicians, company managers, dressers, designers, directors, ushers, and door men who bring The Great White Way to life each night. This is the first book in a multi-volume series that will tell the stories of all of the Broadway houses. Volume 1 includes the Winter Garden, the Richard Rodgers, the Marriott Marquis, the Al Hirschfeld, the Neil Simon, the August Wilson, the Mark Hellinger, and the Lyceum: eight Broadway theaters that light up New York City. Also featured in the book is fellow alum Lin-Manuel Miranda '02, also pictured with the author of the book, Jennifer Ashley Tepper.

Pereira is Managing Director of the boutique publishing company, Dress Circle Publishing, co-founded with fellow Broadway producer Brisa Trischero in 2011.

Click here for ordering information for The Untold Stoies of Broadway. 

Click here to read a March 2014 interview with Pereira featured in the Wesleyan Alumni Newsletter.

Shaw featured in book release on Black Theater and Dance in Chicago

Black Theater is Black Life

The November 30, 2013 publication of Black Theater Is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater and Dance, 1970-2010 features interviews with prominent producers, directors, choreographers, designers, dancers, and actors. Included among them is Rashida Z. Shaw '99, Assistant Professor of Theater, who shares her observations as a researcher, ethnographer, and audience member who has attended urban theater productions in Chicago.

For more information on the publication, click here.

Oteiza selected to showcase her work during World Stage Design 2013

Richard III

Assistant Professor of Theater, Marcela Oteiza, was slected as one of 100 international designers who will showcare their work during the 10-day celebration of performance design at WSD2013; the event runs from September 5-15 in Cardiff, Wales.

Event Website:



Kordonsky directs Chekhov's The Seagull at the German State Theater, Timisoara

The Seagull

Yuri Kordonsky, Associate Professor of Theater, directed Anton Chekhov's The Seagull at the German State Theater in Timisoara, Romania. The opening took place March 9, 2013.

To visit the production's page with reviews and a photo gallery, click here.

To watch a trailer, click here.

A Threesome by Christopher Correa '10

Rikki Goldenberg

Christopher Correa '10 wrote and directed this short movie starring Rikki Goldenberg '09 and Edward Bauer '08. The director of photography was Gabe Elder '11.

Here is the link to the six minute movie:  A Threesome


Kaneza Schaal Selected Short reading on WSHU

Kaneza Schaal

True Selves/Hidden Selves

"Guest host BD Wong presents tales in which identity is questioned, and true selves are revealed. Karen Russell’s 'Reeling for the Empire,' is an eerie take on the idea of exploited workers. It’s read by Kaneza Schall."



Cheryl Tan '11 performs at Mezze Lounge

Cheryl Tan Read more: Weekend date: Evening of jazz - Showbiz - New Straits Times

Food Play by Tess Jonas '15 Under Consideration for National John Cauble Short Play Award

Tess Jonas

The play is a one-act written in Quiara Alegria Hudes' Advanced Playwriting Workshop last spring.

Food Play was accepted to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and is also under consideration for the National John Cauble Short Play award. It will be cast, rehearsed, and given a concert reading during the KCACTF 2013 Region 1 Festival in Hyannis, MA from January 29-February 2. Two national semi-finalist plays will be announced at the festival.