School of Theater Class Notes
Several CalArtians were winners at the 44th annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) awards ceremony held in March. Center Theater Group's Waiting for Godot, which featured Hugo Armstrong (Acting BFA 98) as Lucky, won in the category of Ensemble Performance, and also won the McCulloh Award for Revival. Faculty member Ellen McCartney and alumna Leah Piehl (MFA 06) each won an award for costume design. Piehl won the award for her costume design of Intimate Apparel at the Pasadena Playhouse while McCartney-director of Design and Production at CalArts; head of Costume Design; and the Robert Corrigan Chair in Theater-won for Theatre Movement Bazaar's The Treatment.
CalArts School of Theater alumni took home several awards at the 2013 LA Weekly Theater Awards ceremony, held in early April. Nick Benacerraf (Scenic Design MFA 12; Critical Studies MA 10) won in a tie for Set Design for Martin Crimp's The City at Son of Semele Theater, in which the action goes from London to a secret war in Afghanistan. In his LA Weekly review, Steven Leigh Morris wrote, "A particular highlight is Nicolas Benacerraf's design of vertical walls of slatted cloth, so that the slats can be torn away, opening the tiny stage piecemeal to reveal hidden depths. The set, like the play, accrues dimension." In the category of Video/Projection Design, Adam Flemming (Scenic Design MFA 07) and co-designer Dan Lund won in a tie for Patricia Scanlon's Death of a Salesgirl at Bootleg Theatre. And Adam Haas Hunter (Acting BFA 07) won the award for Male Comedy Performance for his role as Khlestakov in Gogol's The Government Inspector at Theatre @ Boston Court.
The sixth season of AMC's Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men debuted on April 7, featuring Alison Brie (Acting BFA 05). Brie plays the role of Trudy Campbell, opposite Vincent Kartheiser as her husband, Pete.
Jim Eigo (Acting BFA 72), whose work as an AIDS activist was profiled in the recent Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague, was a guest on a panel exploring the messages of the film and its impact on April 24, sponsored by the West Hollywood Library Foundation. The event was a benefit for the Foundation, for the National AIDS Monument and for the planned Dr. Michael Gottlieb HIV/AIDS Information Center. A screening of the film preceded the panel discussion.
Playwrights' Arena is presenting the world premiere of Janine Salinas Schoenberg's new play, The Anatomy of Gazellas, with Cristina Frias (Acting MFA 11) and Elizabeth Frances Yoakem (Acting BFA 08), and featuring video by Keith Skretch (Scene Design MFA 12). The play runs from April 27 through May 19 (Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday matinees) at Atwater Village Theater.
Jasmine Hughes (Acting MFA 12) appeared in The Tonganoxie Project, an immersive theatrical experience exploring the city of Tonganoxie, Kansas and the iconic play that it inspired: Bus Stop, by William Inge. Presented by the Middle Voice Theatre Company at New York's Royal Theatre at the Producer's Club, the project was presented from March 27 through March 31.
Lighting designer and theater scholar Duro Oni (Scenic Design MFA 83) has been appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor (Management Services) of the University of Lagos in Nigeria, where he has been professor of arts and dean of the faculty of arts. A symposium was held in his honor last December on the occasion of his 60th birthday. Having taught theater design and technology over the past 35 years, Oni has helped shape generations of artists and designers of the Nigerian stage and motion picture industry, known as Nollywood.
One of the major events of the upcoming theater season will likely be the Broadway staging of Romeo and Juliet featuring Condola Rashad (Acting BFA 08) as Juliet opposite Orlando Bloom’s Romeo, set to begin previews August 24 at the Richard Rodgers Theater. The play is scheduled to open on September 19. In early May, Rashad was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for her portrayal of Young Woman on Bus in the Broadway revival of Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful with Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Vanessa Williams. Rashad was also nominated for a 2013 Drama Desk award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for the role.
Kathleen Reinbold (Producing and Production Management MFA 2012) has been appointed Concept Development Manager at BRC Imagination Arts, founded by Bob Rogers (Film/Video 72). Reinbold will be involved in creative project management, creative leadership, scheduling, budget management, problem solving, and the blending of environmental design with technology and story telling. BRC creates and produces visitor experiences for theme parks, museums, corporate brand experiences and attractions throughout the world. Reinbold has been assigned to BRC's office in Burbank.
Leon Rothenberg (Design and Production MFA 02) has received a Tony nomination for Best Sound Design of a Play for The Nance, by Douglas Carter Beane. The show, at the Lyceum Theatre, also features understudy Matthew Goodrich (Theater MFA 12).
Media theorist and writer Douglas Rushkoff's (Directing MFA 86) new book, Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now, has been reviewed by Janet Maslin in The New York Times and is available in bookstores, on Amazon, and with other online booksellers. Rashkoff says that the book is the most important of his career, and is about life in a temporal landscape defined by always-on digital techologies and "what it means to live in an era when the past and future seem to have collapsed into the present."
Kegels for Hegel, the conceptual art project co-founded by Alexis Salas (Costume Design 03) is currently working on its first album, F*cking with Philosophers, and is looking for collaborators. Kegels for Hegel recently performed at the University Art Gallery at UC San Diego. Its short films and clips of performances can be viewed at its YouTube Channel.
Meredith Lynsey Schade (Theater MFA 06) is an associate producer of Christopher Durang's comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which has received six Tony Award nominations, including one for Best Play. It has also been nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play and was honored as Best Play by The New York Drama Critics' Circle. The lighting designer for the show, which is playing at the Golden Theatre, is Justin Townsend (Theater MFA 03). Townsend has also received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Lighting Design for David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love.
On November 12, 2012, several Calartians were honered at the L.A. Stage Alliance's 2012 Ovation Awards, recognizing the best in Los Angeles' theater community. Winners were selected from nearly 400 productions and included Hugo Armstrong (Acting BFA 98) for Featured Actor for his performance as Lucky the Center Theatre Group's production of Waiting for Godot; Lap Chi Chu (Theater faculty) for Lighting Design of The Convert at Center Theatre Group; and Veronika Vorel (Theater BFA 05) for her Co-sound Design of The Children at The Theatre @ Boston Court.
Melissa Berger (Acting MFA 86) is a talent agent at CESD, a senior agent in the theatrical department and a top agent in VoiceOver for young talent. She is married to William Martin Brennan (Acting BFA 86), an actor working on television and in commercials.
Pamala Buzick (Design and Production BFA 01) has launched Maven Label, "representing advertising's best talent." Clients include Breed, Coy!, Final Cut, Furlined, Hello! and Squeak E Clean.
Cristina Frias (Acting MFA 11) is currently appearing as Victoria in the West Coast premiere of the hit Broadway show, The MotherF**ker with a Hat at the South Coast Repertory Theatre from January 6-27, 2013.
Narendra "Andy" Gala (Acting MFA 11) will star in ABC Family's Christmas movie The Mistle-Tones, with Tori Spelling and Tia Mowry airing Sunday, December 9 at 8pm. Andy was interviewed about his role on Fanpop. He is also scheduled to appear in the upcoming television movie, Carriers.
Dana Gourier (Acting 10) was featured as "Cora" in Academy Award Best Picture nominee Django Unchained.
Jennifer Koblosky (Production and Stage Management MFA 09) has been a production coordinator and assistant project manager at BRC Imagination Arts in Burbank since 2010. BRC, which was founded by Bob Rogers (Film/Video 72), is one of the world's leading entertainment design companies, with projects including the USA Pavilion and the Information & Communications Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Jennifer is currently working on several projects taking her from the Middle East to the Caribbean.
Joel Marshall (Acting MFA 94) has recently released the short film Dark Knight Aurora, addressing the tragedy in Aurora, CO on July 20, 2012.
Duro Oni (Scenic Design MFA 83) served as the Director/Chief of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), as director of the University of Lagos' Centre for Cultural Studies, and as Professor and Head of the Department of Creative Arts at the University of Lagos, where was made dean of the Faculty of Arts in 2009. The University will host a special 60th birthday celebration in his honor on December 15, 2012.
Oni has published extensively and has recently released Stage Lighting Design: the Nigerian Perspective, Technical Theatre Practice in Nigeria and Trends in the Theaory and Practice of Theater in Nigeria. He holds a Master's degree in Theater Arts at University of Ibadan, where he also received a Ph.D.
Stephanie Regina (Theater BFA 12) is performing in Oedipus Rex XX/XY, a new take on Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus the King, with the Faux-Real Theater Company at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York from March 7 to March 24.
It Came From the ______! A Choose-Your-Own-Play, written and produced by Kathleen Reinbold (Producing & Production Management MFA 12) opened at Son of Semele Theater in
Los Angeles on March 8. The show, a “choose-your-own-adventure”
1950s-style B-monster-movie send-up that follows a team of scientists and their entourage as they hunt down a monster that’s been attacking small-town America, runs until March 16. Actors include Paul Turbiak (Acting MFA 08), Olivia Sandoval (Acting MFA 12), and Jeremy Kinser (Acting BFA 12). The stage manager is Emily Ruth Carter (Williams) (Stage Management MFA 11), lighting design is by Anna C. Martin (Lighting Design MFA 12), and costume design is by Lynne Marie Martens (Costume Design MFA 12).
Christina "Tina" Tangalakis (P.A.D.T. 00), had a successful career as a wardrobe stylist for film and television when she decided to take part in a volunteer-tourism group traveling to Ghana in 2009. Her experiece with local clothing artists led her to launch Della, a woman-owned and woman-run Los Angeles-based fashion line that works directly with a community in West Africa, providing jobs, education and skills training to employees.
Deadline.com reports that QED International recently acquired Zina Zaflow's (Acting 01) 52 Percent, a new romantic comedy.
Roz Fulton-Dahlie (Lighting Design MFA 08) has been appointed to the Lighting and Lighting Technology faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts' School of Design and Production.
Brandon Baker (Lighting Design '10) is designing the upcoming World Premiere for New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater. His design for Year of the Rabbit is a collaboration between acclaimed singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens and NYCB choreographer Justin Peck. At 24, Brandon is the youngest person to ever design for the company.
Elephant Room produced by Dorit Avganim (BFA Acting '05) and her company Neighborhood Productions is showing at the Kirk Douglas Theater August 22nd through September 16th. Marisa Blankier (BFA Stage Management '12) is the stage manager and Chris Kuhl (BFA Lighting Design '05) is the Lighting Designer. Tickets
Tyrone Davis (MFA Acting '12) is currently serving as artist-in-residence at A.C.T. for six months and teaching acting at continuation high schools in the San Francisco Unified School District.
Narendra Gala (MFA Acting '11) Has been selected to perform in this year's ABC Diversity Showcase.
Laura Youngkin (Management '10) was promoted to Associate Producer/Imagineer at Walt Disney Imagineering. Laura is also the recent winner of the Women in Film/ABC 2012 Shadowing Initiative Program Competition.
Fontella Boone (MFA Theatre/P.A.D.T. '91) is costume designing Transit at the Tom Bradley Terminal in LAX. The event is open to the public and will take place in the TBIT arrivals Lobby underneath the videostrip.
David O (BFA Acting '92) will be Music Director and Composer for the grand opening of Music Center's new park on Grand Ave on July 26th at 10am. He is also composing for the Getty's new show, Helen.
Hisa Takakuwa (MFA Directing '90) has directed Snow Angel which South Coast Repertory's Teen Players will present at the Nicolas Studio at SCR.
Chad Bauman (MFA Theater '04) will be leaving Arena Stage to take a position as the Associate Director/ Director of Marketing & Membership at the Smithsonian Associates
Darrow Carson (MFA Acting '98) wrote a short film, EMPTY that has been accepted into the Dances With Film Festival
Leilani Drakeford (BFA Acting '06) has been cast as Delia in Lorraine Hanesberry Theatre's production of Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleage
Rona Edwards (BFA Acting '77) has recently published her book The Complete Filmmaker's Guide to Film Festivals
Eternal Thou recived a great reviwew on Backstage's website. Alums include actors Vonzell Carter (MFA Acting '09), and Jenny Greer (MFA Acting '11). Also Costume Designer Ariel Boroff (Costume Design '10), Scenic Designer Sarah Krainin (MFA Scenic Design '08) , and Lighting Designer Ian Garrett (MFA Lighting Design '08).
Ayana Hampton (MFA Acting '06) Performed in The Morning After Show at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles April 12th-14th.
Cody Henderson (BFA Acting '96) premiered his play The Bewildered Herd in April 14th at the Greenway Court Theater.
David Mack (MFA Theater '08) is the Managing Director of Riot/Rebellion performance of the Watts Village Theater Company
Marjam Oskoui (MFA Theater '99) is participating in a group show at the Papillion Institute or Art in Los Angeles called the Be Beautiful Project opening on March 17th.
Beata Pilch (MFA Acting '93) artistic director of the Trap Door Theatre in Chicago has most recently been awarded an artist residency at the Cite des Arts Internationale in Paris for the next three months.
Condola Rashad (BFA Acting '08) had been nominated for a Tony for Stick Fly
JP Allen's (Theater '84) film Stephanie's Image was written about by Christine Ziemba. He also has a new feature film Centaur opening theatrically March 23rd in San Fransisco at Landmark's Lumiere Theatre.
Olusola Bamishigbin (MFA Theater '11) appeared on ABC Family's new show Design By Jane in her television debut on February 14th in the episode The Teen Model.
In February, Abica Dubay (BFA Acting '09) will appear in Sarah's War with fellow alumnus Will Green (Acting '09) at Hollywood's Hudson Theater.
Emily Williams Carter (Theater Management '10) reports that she and her husband Vonzell Carter (MFA Acting '09) cofounded a new fight team/production company, Thousand Pounds. Emily is serving as the company's team manager and shares that Thousand Pounds is receiving attention following the release of its short film, Dreamers Fight. The team was recently interviewed by ExtraHype.com.
Vonzell Carter (MFA Acting '09)see Emily Williams Carter.
Will Green - see Abica Dubay.
Jeffrey Hirsch (BFA Theater '74) has been named Frye Art Museum's Deputy Directer, Communications.
John Irving (BFA Acting '02) reports that he and his wife, Nicolle McMillion Irving (Theater '02) have recently launched the Renaissance Center for the Arts in Lancaster, CA. In addition, the two pastor the Holy Renaissance Movement church. The Irvings, who were married in 2002, now have two sons and twin daughters.
Nicolle McMillion Irving (Theater '02) -- See John Irving.
Glen Miller (Scenic Design '79) reports that he will be included in the CFDA book and exhibition, IMPACT - 50 Years of The Council Of Fashion Designers Of America, which will be available on February 1st. The exhibition runs from February 10th - April 17 at the Museum at FIT on Seventh Avenue at 27th St. in New York.
Dalila Ali Rajah (MFA Theater '00) was recently interviewed about life, LGBT, and being gay and black in Hollywood.
Carolyn Almos (MFA 93), Matt Almos (MFA 93), Jon Beauregard (BFA 91) and Albert Dayan (BFA 94) have a writing and performing partnership called Burglars of Hamm. Their latest work, a Center Theatre Group commission, will receive two public readings at the Kirk Douglas Theatre on September 17th at 8 pm and September 18th at 7 pm. The play is called "The Behavior of Broadus" and is loosely based on the life of John Broadus Watson, the father of behaviorism and modern advertising. David O (BFA 91) will be music directing and Michole Briana White (BFA 91) and Hugo Armstrong (BFA 98) are in the cast.
Josh Chambers (MFA Directing 06) is directing “BIG BRO / lil bro”, a world premiere play at Company of Angels Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. The cast includes another CalArts Alum, Vincent Tula (MFA Acting 07). The set and sound were designed by Jeff Teeter (BFA Scenic Design/Video 06) and lights were designed by Brandon Baker (BFA scheduled for 2010).
The Fifty Year Sword a ghost story by Mark Z. Danielewski was performed on Halloween eve with Christine Marie (MFA Theater '09), Rachel Mestrovich (Theater '10), and Paul Turbiak (MFA Theater '08).
Liz English (Theater '10) and her new theater company A Collection of Shiny Objects, is debuting in the ANT Festival at Ars Nova.
Amy Heebner (BFA Theater '75) preparing for public readings of one of her original scripts in NYC."After the Ph.D." is a contemporary love story about academicians set in New York with some scenes in Europe.The readings will take place on Thursday evening, October 6, 2011, and Friday evening, October 7, 2011, at the Dramatists Guild's Loewe Room in New York City. Readings start at 7 o'clock on Thursday and 7:30 on Friday.
Emily Jackson (BFA Theater '09) performed in Waiting for Lefty a dpression era play on the steps of City Hall at Occupy LA early in October.
Toussaint Jeanlouis (BFA Acting '10) was nominated for Best Actor in the New Orleans Horror Film Festival
Lars Jan (MFA Directing '08) has been selected as a TED Fellow
Gabriel Marantz (BFA Theatre '09) and Phil Soltanof will be presenting thier site specific piece SITSTANDWALKLIEDOWN on Friday August 5th at 1:00pm and 4:30pm on Spring Street and the Williamstown Campus in Williamstown, MA as part of the Williamstown Theater Festival.
Tina Tangalakis (BFA Theater '00) is designing for the fabric accessories line Della Los Angeles, known for it's dedication to changing the lives of women and children in Ghana where their line is made
The company of Cooking Oil, a performance and public dialogue initiative written by Deborah Asiimwe (MFA Writing for Persormance '09, has been invited to present at the Centre by Centre Festival in Kigali, Rwanda this summer following successful performances and panel sessions in Kampala, Uganda in October 2010. Asiimwe was the Overall Winner for the 2010 BBC World Service African Performance Playwriting Competition. Cooking Oil involves three other Theater School alumnae, including director Emily Mendelsohn (MFA Directing '09; see Darius Mannino '06), designer Shannon Scrofano (MFA Scenic Design '06) and producer Miranda Wright (MFA Management '09).
Brandon Baker (BFA '10 Lighting Design) will be designing at the Guggenheim Museum Works & Process Celebration of David Del Tredici. This performance features a new ballet by Tony Nominated Choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett. The event takes place March 27th & 28th at the Guggenheim Museum's Peter B. Lewis Theater in New York City.
Vonzell Carter - See Maureen Huskey (MFA '09 Directing).
Check out Leila Ghaznavi's (MFA '10 Acting) mention in Backstage. Her show, Silken Veils,recently toured the Iranian Theatre Festival in New York. She will return to Edinburgh this August to try and repeat her sold out performance this past summer.
Kerry Gibbons (MFA Costume Design ‘10) designed costumes for Red Shark Productions' Macbeth at Wings Theater in NewYork.
E. Martin Gimenez (MFA '09 Sound Design) desgined the sound and projections for The Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe at Pomona College in Claremont.
Dana Gourier (Acting '10) appeared in the second episode of Treme, potraying Det. LeRoy, on HBO. Also, she will sing the National Anthem at the New Orleans Arena for the AFL VooDoo Game on June 3.
Maureen Huskey (MFA '09 Directing) will be directing SHOE STORY at Teatre of NOTE. It previews on Thursday, April 14th and runs through Saturday, May 22. Also involves Sound Design by Brian Maier (MFA '09 Sound Design), costumes by Hunter Wells (MFA '10 Costume Design) and fight choreography by Vonzell Carter (MFA '09 Acting)
Toussaint Jean Louis will appear in Urban Theater Movement's production of Jose Rivera's Massacre (Sing to Your Children) from April 8 to May 15.
In March, Jessica Kubzansky (MFA Directing '94) directed a CalArts co-production of Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real with the Boston Court Theater in Pasadena, where she is Artistic Director.
Carla Linton (MFA '10 Lighting Design) is the designer for "Opal" for the Incubator Arts Project
Brian Maier - See Maureen Huskey (MFA '09 Directing).
Darius Mannino (MFA Acting '06) recently returned from Kigali Rwanda, where he was working on a Theater Communications Group/TCG grant to "enhance ongoing relationships with several Rwandan theater artists through the creation of an original, artist-generated work to be performed in both Rwanda and the U.S." While there, he was able to collaborate on a work with Emily Mendelsohn (MFA Directing '09), who is studying theater on a Fulbright Fellowship.
Sean McGowan (BFA '00 Theater) is starring in Rockstar Entertainment's newest video game L.A. Noire
Emily Mendelson - See Darius Mannino (MFA Acting '06).
Dave Mickey - See James O'Niel (BFA '75 Theater).
Laura Mroczkowski (MFA '02 Lighting Design) has been nominated for a Drama Deak Award for her lighting of SPY GARBO.
Cricket S Myers (MFA '03 Sound Design) received a Tony nomination for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo at the Richard Rogers Theater on Broadway, which opened March 31st.
James O'Neil (BFA '75 Theater) is the writer and director for LONESOME TRAVELER's world premiere at the Rubicon Theatre with Media Design by Dave Mickey (MFA '08 Sound Design).
Kat Ochsner (MFA Acting '04) will appear in Oracle Theater Company's production of Radio Goggles from June 25 - August 6, where she will get to collaborate with fellow Calartian Max Truax (MFA Directing '03), Oracle's Outreach Director.
Darren Olivero - See Roland Rosencranz (BFA '91 PDAT).
Michael Perlmutter’s (BFA Acting ’81) world premier of My Perfect Alibi was held at the Bell Arts Factory in Ventura, CA March 18-27.
Roland Rosencranz (BFA '91 PDAT) has been working as an art director for CSI Miami and Darren Olivero (BFA '09 PDAT) has been a creative consultant.
David Stears (BFA '00 Theater) is directing the New Works Festival at College of the Canyons
R. Christopher Stokes (MFA Lighting Design '10) designed the lighting for award-winning playright Nick Salamone’s The Sonneteer at the Davidson/Valentini Theater in Santa Monica, CA. He also designed The Crucible at Banshee Theater in Burbank, and Tartuffe at the Actor's Gang in Culver City.
Andre Thompson (MFA Acting'10) appeared in The Red Fern Theater's production of Mapplethorpe Doesn't Live Here Anymore.
Rainbow Underhill (Acting '97) will perform in Brody Condon, Line Up (After Trisha) at LACMA on Thursday, April 28.
Ian Verdun (BFA Acting ‘07) stars in and Adam Flemming (MFA 07 Scenic Painting) designed sets for the critically acclaimed play, Daddy, now playing at the Hudson Mainstage in Hollywood through April 10.
Hunter Wells - See Maureen Huskey (MFA '09 Directing).
Filmmakers Sarah Louise Wilson (BFA Acting '01) and Mercedes LeAnza are holding free community screenings of their new film, The Accidental Death of Joey by Sue, on April 2 to benefit Los Angeles' Plaza de la Raza.
Elizabeth Yokem (BFA Acting '08) appeared in Native Voices’ world premier of The Frybread Queen March 12-27 at the Wells Fargo Theater/Autry Center in Los Angeles.
Laura Youngkin (MFA Producing '10) has joined Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, under fellow alumni Michael Jung (MFA Directing '94) and Matt Almos (MFA Directing '93), Laura is focused on the development of Shanghai Disneyland, which will open in 2015.