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School of Theater Class Notes

Summer 2015

June 16th was the premiere of TBS new sitcom Clipped, starring CalArts alumni Diona Reasonover (Theater MFA 09). 

CalArtian founded Orig-O-naL Theatre Company presents its inaugural production The Blacks: A Clown Show as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The play is directed by Craig Gibson (Theater MFA 14), produced by Donna Simone Johnson (Theater MFA 14) and Arielle Siler (Theater BFA 13), managed by Kaitlyn Cornuelle (Acting BFA 13) and with cinematography by Corey Gates (Film/Video MFA 15). The Blacks stars Jonathan Bangs (Theater BFA 16), Ajala Bandele (Theater BFA 10), A'raelle Flynn-Bolden (Theater 14), Zan Headley (Theater BFA 14), Precious Ra'Akbar (Theater MFA 14), Gyasi Silas (Theater BFA 14) and John C. Sweet (Theater 12). The Blacks: A Clown Show runs weekends June 6 through 20 at The Actors Company in West Hollywood. 

Peter Laughlin (Acting 14) is performing in Fingersmith at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival through July 9th. 

Spring 2015


Gwendolyn Womack's(Theater-Film/Video MFA 98) debut novel, The Memory Painter, published by Macmillan is a thriller and love story that spans six continents and 10,000 years of history. 

Kevin Adams (Scenic Design MFA 86) did the lighting Design for the on-Broadway run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch through October 11 at the Belasco Theater, NYC. This production was winner for Best Musical Revival at the 2014 Tony Awards.

Christine Anthony (Acting MFA 95) directed Off the Rails at the Autry National Center. Elizabeth Frances  (Acting BFA 08) and Brian Joseph (Acting BFA 92) both performed in the piece. Elizabeth Brooks (Costume Design MFA 07) did the costuming, Adam Flemming  (Scenic Design MFA 07) did the projection design and Cricket S. Myers  (Design and Production MFA 03) did sound design.

Brandon Stirling Baker (Lighting Design BFA 10) made his debut with the Miami City Ballet, lighting the world premiere Heatscape, choreographed by Justin Peck. The new ballet features set design by acclaimed street artist Shepard Fairey. Heatscape is Baker's 8th collaboration with Justin Peck and his first collaboration with Shepard Fairey.

Michael Gend (Lighting Design MFA 09) did the lighting for the production Henry IV, Part 1 for the Antaeus Theatre Company.

Andrew Lia (Management MFA 13) did the lighting for the production At Some Point in the Process of the End of the World at Circle X Theater.

Allison Keating (Directing 14) and Eric Carter (Photography & Media MFA 14) launched Conceptual Art Consultants in 2014 and were engaged to work on a collaborative performance called IDEA BAR with some times for the 2015 Lux After Dark Benefit Gala. 

Rebecca Kessin (Sound Design MFA 07) did the sound design for the production Niagara Falls, running February 27- March 28 at Theatre of Note.

Jessica Kubzansky (Directing MFA 94) directed the production Everything You Touch at Cherry Lane Theatre, NYC, January 28-Mach 29.

David Mack (Acting MFA 05) moderated a discussion titled, Minimum Wage for Artists?. The discussion was co-presented by LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley- Thomas’ Empowerment Congress Arts & Culture Committee on May 16th. 

Roberto Martin (Acting BFA 14) and Jacob Gibson (Acting BFA 15) recently formed a music group called GOOD PEOPLEZ and released a promo video.

Joseph Thomas (Acting BFA 13) has a film titled Prognosis: Good screening at Ice Box Project Space in Philadelphia on March 12.

Paul Turbiak (Acting MFA 08) is performing in Pride and Prejudice through March 15 at the Actor's Co-op.

Winter 2015

Internet periodical Stage Raw announced its first Stage Raw Los Angeles Theater Award nominations, and CalArtians were recognized in many categories, including Matt Almos (Directing MFA 93) with Brendan Milburn and Burglars of Hamm for Original Music for Burglars of Hamm's The Behavior of Broadus at Sacred Fools Theater Company; Hugo Armstrong (Acting BFA 98) for Supporting Male Performance for Backyard at Echo Theater Company and for Male Comedy Performance for Burglars of Hamm's The Behavior of Broadus; Adam Flemming (Scenic Design MFA 07) for Video/Projection Design for The Wrong Man at The Skylight Theatre, Jenny Foldenauer (Costume Design MFA 12) for Costume Design for Rattlestick Playwrights Theater's Everything You Touch at The Theatre @ Boston Court; Michael Gend (Costume Design BFA 05, MFA 09) for Lighting Design for Evidence Room's Passion Play at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Jessica Kubzansky (Directing MFA 94) for Directing for Everything You Touch, Cricket S. Myers (Design and Production MFA 03) for Sound Design for I Wanna Hold Your Hand at Theatre of Note, and a Musical of the Year Award nomination to the alums who created The Behavior of Broadus.

Off the Rails, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure directed by Chris Anthony (Acting MFA 95), is being presented as part of Native Voices at the Autry with previews February 25 and 26, and opening on February 27, continuing through March 15. The play, set in Buffalo Bill's Wild West, includes performances and design by several CalArtians. A 50 percent discount on tickets is being offered to CalArtians by entering the code SCOTTJB50 when purchasing tickets here.

Brandon Stirling Baker (Lighting Design 10) has designed his third world premiere for the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. This is Baker's seventh collaboration with NYCB's choreographer, Justin Peck. Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes features a score by Aaron Copland. Performances began on Feb. 4 at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater.

Just as thrilling as the final minutes of the Super Bowl was the lighting for the halftime show, designed by Robert Barnhart (Scenic Design BFA 87). Barnhart has been nominated for 24 Emmy Awards, including numerous nods for his work on Academy Awards telecasts. He has won five awards, most recently for the Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show.

Ashley Cole Bruce (Scenic Design MFA 09) is a Senior Color and Paint specialist at Walt Disney Imagineering. In addition to her WDI position, she's currently faculty at CalArts (teaching a new art direction course). She is also faculty at Columbia College and is an entrepreneur spearheading several event and design companies.

Caitlyn Conlin (Acting MFA 11), Paula Rebelo (Acting BFA 13) and Kalean Ung (Acting MFA 12) are part of the cast of The Temptation of St. Anthony, the latest immersive operatic spectacle from Four Larks, the Melbourne-based theater collective.

John D'Amico (Aesthetics & Politics MA 09, Theater 83) the mayor of West Hollywood, is running for re-election. D'Amico, the principal project manager for the UCLA Orthopedic Replacement Hospital, has been mayor of West Hollywood since March 2011. The city's General Municipal Election will be held on March 3.

Adam Flemming (Scenic Design MFA 07) is currently a style and paint specialist at Walt Disney Imagineering, a theater faculty member at UCLA teaching projection design, and a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829. Flemming won the 2013 L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Video Design for The Normal Heart at the Fountain Theatre and, with Michael Hoy, won the 2014 L.A. Stage Alliance's Ovation Award for Video Design for Skylight Theatre Company's production of The Wrong Man.

Love Has No Labels, a video produced for the Ad Council that recently went viral, features contributions from numerous CalArtians, including faculty Kevin Goold, Rebecca Green (Dance BFA-4), Jake Harkey (Dance BFA-4), Rachel Ho (Experimental Animation BFA 14), Mireya Lucio (Acting MFA 11), Giao-Chau Ly (Scenic Design MFA 11), David Offner (Scenic Design MFA 05), Amanda Smith (Scenic Design MFA 11), Nick Suda (Music Technology MFA 14), and Jeff Teeter (Lighting Design BFA 06). 

Quentin Tarantino's latest film, The Hateful Eight, currently filming in Colorado, features Dana Gourrier (Acting 10) in the role of Minnie. The film takes place in the years following the Civil War. This is Gourrier's second film with Tarantino, having played Cora in Django Unchained.

Adam Haas Hunter (Acting BFA 07) is starring as Caleb in The Whipping Man, running from February 3 through March 1 at The Pasadena Playhouse. The play is about a Confederate captain and his two former slaves, drawn back to the ruins of their once grand estate after the Civil War. CalArts alumni receive a 20% discount on limited tickets by using the code ALUM20 when ordering.

Danielle Korman (Management BFA 12) was the assistant stage manager for Gabriel Kahane: The Ambassador at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA in February. She was also the second assistant director on Joseph Kahn's short film, Power/Rangers, inspired by the children's TV series.

From March 17 through April 12, Jessica Kubzansky (Directing MFA 94) directs Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw at The Pasadena Playhouse. Costumes are by Leah Piehl (Costume Design MFA 06). For more on Kubzansky, see Matt Almos.

The Los Angeles Times recently ran a feature on Los Angeles Big Picture High School, a charter school whose principal is Nicole Nicodemus (Acting BFA 96).

For news about Leah Piehl (Costume Design MFA 06) see Jessica Kubzansky.

Condola Rashad (Acting BFA 08) has been cast opposite actors Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis in Showtime's drama pilot, Billions. Filming is slated to begin in early 2015.

For news about Paula Rebelo (Acting BFA 13), see Caitlyn Conlin (Acting MFA 11).

For news about Kalean Ung (Acting MFA 12), see Caitlyn Conlin (Acting MFA 11).

Lily Whitsitt (Directing 10) is one of eight artists selected by the Drama League in New York to develop new works as part of its 2015 Artist in Residency Program. She will work on Mexico, A Play, a theatrical performance based on Gertrude Stein's rarely performed text.

Laura Youngkin (Management MFA 10) was recently promoted to producer at Walt Disney Imagineering, where she has worked since 2011. She will continue on her current project, an Avatar-inspired land and attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom, until its opening sometime in 2017. Youngkin was also selected to participate in WDI's Leadership Enrichment Program in 2014 and completed a certificate in Virtual Design and Construction from Stanford University.

Fall 2014

Dalila Ali Rajah (Acting MFA 00) is understudying for Vanessa Williams in the role of Jessie Mae Watts in The Trip to Bountiful, now playing in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre through November 2. She is also on stage for each show as a member of the ensemble. The show then travels to Boston from November 18 through December 7. On Dec. 6, Ali Rajah will play the role of Jessie Mae for two performances.

The Behavior of Broadus, a new musical by the writing and performance partnership Burglars of Hamm, about the father of Behaviorism and modern advertising, is playing at Sacred Fools Theater in Hollywood in September and October. It was written, co-directed and co-composed by Matt Almos (MFA Directing 93) and co-written by Carolyn Waddle Almos (MFA Acting 93), Jon Beauregard (BFA Acting 91) and Albert Dayan (BFA Acting 94). Hugo Armstrong (BFA Acting 98) plays the title character and Jon Ballinger (BFA Music 86) serves as musical director.

Ryan Vincent Anderson (Acting MFA 07) is beginning a national tour of In the Heat of the Night with LA Theatre Works, playing the lead role of Virgil Tibbs. The tour starts with five performances at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA from October 16-19, before hitting the road.

Susan Angelo (Acting BFA 80) is playing the role of Alice in A Noise Within's production of The Dance of Death through November 23.

Several CalArtians were winners of 2014 Ovation Awards, recognizing excellence in theatrical performance, production and design in the greater Los Angeles area, announced on November 2 by the LA Stage Alliance. Hugo Armstrong (Acting BFA 98) was recognized as Featured Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Ted in Echo Theater Company's Backyard. Adam Flemming (Scenic Design MFA 07) was honored for his Video Design of Skylight Theatre Company's Wrong Man. And Jenny Foldenauer (Costume Design MFA 13) won the award for Costume Design for her work on Sheila Callaghan's play Everything You Touch at the Theatre @ Boston Court.

Ryan Bona (Lighting Design MFA 12) is working with the Walt Disney Company as an Associate Show Lighting Designer for the Shanghai Disney Resort's new Treasure Cove, a Pirates-themed land set to open at the end of 2015.

Purple Electric Play is appearing at Machine Project's Mystery Theater through December 13, with designs by Nina Caussa (Scene Design MFA 14), Adam Frank (Lighting Design MFA 12), Aubree Lynn (Scene Design BFA 14; MFA-2), faculty Ellen McCartney, and Rose Strasen (Design & Production BFA-2). It features Kalean Ung (Acting MFA 12).

Don Cheadle (Acting BFA 86) was honored with his third consecutive Golden Globe nomination for his lead role on Showtime's House of Lies, for which he won the 2013 award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series--Musical or Comedy.

CalArts Center for New Performance and Duende CalArts are producing Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary as part of Los Angeles Theatre Center's Encuentro 2014, and many CalArtians are involved. Featuring a solo performance by faculty Marissa Chibas, the show is directed by Mira Kingsley (Directing and Dance MFA 07). Daniel Barsky (Sound Design BFA 09) is sound designer, Juli Figueroa (Management MFA 13) is stage/production manager, Adam Flemming (Scenic Design MFA 07) is video designer, Adam Hunter (Acting BFA 07) is lighting consultant, Jocelynn Suarez (Acting BFA 13) is lighting and assistant stage manager, Miranda Wright (Management MFA 09) is the producer and Sal Mannino (Management MFA-1) is the associate producer. The show runs through November.

The October 22 issue of Backstage magazine features Eliza Coupe (Acting BFA 03) on the cover and an in-depth interview and conversation between Coupe and Michaela Watkins, the co-creator of USA Network's sitcom Benched, which stars Coupe.

Faculty Drew Dalzell (P.A.D.T. 96) is the sound designer for A or B?, a romantic comedy running at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank through November 16. He is also the sound designer for A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory Theater through December 26.

Emilio Delgado (Acting 71) will appear in Cast and Loose Live! on October 27 at 9:30 pm at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in New York. The work is based on the Tumblr page created by actress and writer Lynne Marie Rosenberg.

Miss Miao, a short film starring Celeste Den (Acting MFA 04) was screened in September during the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival. Den also appears in The Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival through October 12.

For news about Adam Flemming(Scenic Design MFA 07), see Hugo Armstrong.

For news about Jenny Foldenauer (Costume Design MFA 13), see Hugo Armstrong.

Adam Frank (Lighting Design MFA 12) is the lighting designer for The Importance of Being Earnest, playing at A Noise Within in Pasadena through November 22.

French artist and director Julien Previeux won the prestigious Marcel Duchamp Prize recently with a performance that featured costumes by Kate Fry (Costume Design MFA 13) and featured performance by Kestrel Leah (Acting MFA 13). Previeux created What Shall We Do Next? last summer in Los Angeles with Leah and several other performers and presented the work at the Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain festival in Paris, before the Prix Marcel Duchamp jury.

Writer and filmmaker Athena Gam (Design and Production BFA 01) and producer/filmmaker Eric Lake (Art 01) will be traveling to Peru in December and will be in residence there for up to six months, working on their animated film project, Song of the Amazon. This feature-length animated film shares the stories and cosmology of the Shipibo-Konibo indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon.

Eisa Davis's Pulitzer Prize-nominated play Bulrusher, directed by faculty Nataki Garrett (Directing MFA 02), is playing at the Skylight Theatre in Los Feliz. The coming-of-age story, set during the early civil rights movement, runs through September 28. The Los Angeles Times named it a Critic's Choice.

The Antaeus Company in North Hollywood is presenting Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black & White through December 7, with lighting design by Michael Gend (Lighting Design BFA 05; MFA 09) and dramaturgy by Amandla Jahava (Acting BFA-3). 

Playwright Sigrid Gilmer (Writing for Performance MFA 05) was recently named a USA Ford Fellow by United States Artists. She received an unrestricted $50,000 award.

Faculty Aleshea Harris (Writing for Performance MFA 14) and Rachel Park (Directing MFA-3) recently traveled to France to L'Ecole de la Comedie de Saint-Etienne to work with student actors on Harris's play, Coyote Comes. A staged reading was presented October 16-18 as part of La Fete du Livre, a book fair in Saint-Etienne, a town outside of Lyon. Harris also performed her original spoken word poetry in the theater's cabaret space on October 19. Harris's play, There Be Dragons, received a reading on November 2 as part of Orlando Shakespeare Theater's PlayFest. The play was Harris's thesis project at CalArts.

Donna Hosseinzadeh (BFA-3 Acting) and Amandla Jahava (BFA-3 Acting) recently served as assistant directors on Director Jason Alexander's production of Broadway Bound at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles.

Adam Hunter (Acting BFA 07) is appearing in The Importance of Being Earnest at A Noise Within until November 22. He is playing the role of Algernon Moncrieff.

Holoscenes, conceived and directed by faculty Lars Jan (Directing MFA 08) recently debuted at Toronto's Nuit Blanche Festival. The public performance and series of multi-platform artworks that embody the trauma of flooding, was featured in a cover story in Toronto's NOW Magazine. The project features costumes by Irina Kruzhilina (Theater BFA 04), lighting design by Chris Kuhl (Lighting Design BFA 05), show control by faculty Pablo N. Molina (Sound Design MFA 07), and sound design by Nathan Ruyle (IMU-Integrated Media/Design & Production MFA 08).

Rebecca Kessin (Sound Design MFA 07) is serving as associate sound designer for Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles through December 21.

The New York Dance and Perfomance Awards (The Bessies) recently honored Peter Ksander (Design & Production MFA 01), Chris Kuhl (Lighting Design BFA 05), Keith Skretch (Scenic Design MFA 12) and the rest of the design team of Mallory Catlett's This Was the End with an Outstanding Visual Design award.

Ankit Love (Acting 04) is raising funds for his first feature film for which he wrote the screenplay. It's a version of Romeo and Juliet set in 1913 British India. He's also launching a fashion label as well as recording his second album. For the latest information on his work, visit his website.

Alexis Macnab (Directing MFA 13) will present her work, Exquisite Mistake, at the New Orleans Fringe Festival in November. The immersive multimedia work is an adaptation of Henry James's novel The Portrait of a Lady. It features performances by Fernando Belo (Acting MFA 13), James Cowan (Acting BFA 13), Erica Dawson (Acting BFA 14), Emma Zakes Green (Acting MFA 13) and Paula Rebelo (Acting BFA 13). It will be performed four times at Art Klub between November 19 and 23.

Earlier this summer, faculty Jimmie McDermott was awarded the Del Hughes Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Art of Stage Management by the Stage Managers' Association

Porsche McGovern (Lighting Design MFA 09) has designed the lighting for The Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival through October 12.

Emily Mendelsohn (Directing MFA 09) received a TCG Global Connections grant for the upcoming production of Erik Ehn's Maria Kisito, which she is directing. The grant will fund the travel of three Ugandan actors to New Orleans. The play, at ArtSpot, is about a Rwandan nun who aided in the massacre of 7,000 refugees at her convent in Sovu. It will be live-streamed on HowlRound TV on November 15 at 5 pm PST.

David K. Mickelsen (Costume Design MFA 83) has designed the costumes for Kiss Me, Kate at The Pasadena Playhouse from September 16 through October 12. CalArts alumni can get a 20% discount on tickets using code ALUM20.

Sound designer Dave Mickey (Sound Design MFA 08), scenic designer Justin Townsend (Design & Production MFA 03) and faculty Roger Guenveur Smith were honored at the 24th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards, presented by the NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch's Theatre Viewing Committee. Mickey won Best Sound in an Equity Theater for his work on Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes at the Colony Theatre. Smith was honored with the organization's Trailblazer Award. And Townsend took home the award for Best Set Design in an Equity Theater for One Night with Janis Joplin at the Pasadena Playhouse.

The Los Angeles Times named the play, Equivocation, as a Critics' Pick in September. The lighting was designed by Zach Moore (Lighting Design BFA 12) and the play, which appeared at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon, featured Paul Turbiak (Acting MFA 08). Props were by Ashton Williams (Management MFA-1). Moore has worked for 10 months on Holiday in the Park, the first-ever winter holiday event at Six Flags Magic Mountain, turning the 200+ acre property into a winter wonderland. With four separate areas, a total of over 43,000 programmable lights, more than three hours of unique content and more than 4,000 lighting cues, it's the largest and most complex show the park has ever staged.

Doug Rushkoff (Directing MFA 86) has recently started a new Masters in Media Studies program at CUNY/Queens. Among his many recent speaking engagements was a keynote at Hope College's Critical Issues Symposium, entitled Who is on Team Human? Programming the Future, with People in Mind. Other talks are listed on his website.

On September 9, Katey Sagal (Theater 72) received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. The actress played Peg Bundy on the groundbreaking TV sitcom Married... with Children, and the cast reunited for the celebration in her honor. She continues her role as Gemma in the seventh and final season of Sons of Anarchy, the most popular series in the history of FX. The drama drew a weekly average of more than 10 million viewers last year.

Into the Fog, a theatre piece created by Samantha Shay (BFA Acting 12; Directing 16) and Sam Szabo, won three 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival awards: the community-voted award for Best in Dance & Physical Theatre, the Duende Distinction, and Encore! Producers' sponsored award.

Keith Skretch (Scenic Design MFA 12) has received a Henry Hewes Design Award from the American Theatre Wing for his video design of the New York stage production of This Was The End. He shared the award for Notable Effects with the show's sound designer, G. Lucas Crane. The production also involved Peter Ksander (Design and Production MFA 01) and Christopher Kuhl (Lighting Design BFA 05). The entire visual team was nominated for a Bessie Award as well.

Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong (Acting BFA 06) has been selected as featured entertainer at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, scheduled for April 25. Strong is more than casually familiar with journalists. Her dad, William, was a reporter and editor for the Associated Press for 10 years, including a stint as bureau chief at the Illinois statehouse.

C.O. Thomas (Management MFA 09) is a project manager for 20th Century Fox's Live & Location Based Entertainment department. She is currently managing all of the department's 4D attractions, live touring shows, meet and greets/walk around characters, mall shows and touring exhibitions. All of these projects are international. She also serves as secondary manager on all of the department's theme parks and attractions. Among her most recent projects is a touring educational exhibition about the Ice Age, based on the hit Ice Age movies and set to open late next year. Other projects include Rio 4D, Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs 4D, Ice Age A Mammoth Christmas, 20th Century Fox World--Malaysia and 20th Century Fox World--South Korea, among other projects. Thomas also oversaw the Alien Vs. Predator maze for Universal's Halloween Horror Nights in both Hollywood and Orlando. It was ranked as the top maze by Theme Park Insider.

Justin Townsend (Design and Production MFA 03) has been honored with a 2014 Henry Hewes Award from the American Theatre Wing for Lighting Design for Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, which appeared last year at Playwrights Horizons in New York. For more on Townsend, see Dave Mickey.

Mine is Yours Theatre Company is presenting R&J, a gender-reversed Romeo and Juliet at Theatre of Note in Los Angeles through November 16. It features Paul Turbiak (Acting MFA 08). For more news about Turbiak, see Zach Moore (Lighting Design BFA 12).

Jake Weary (Acting BFA 09) was recently cast as Cyrus Pertillo on ABC's Pretty Little Liars.

Lighting designer Marianne Thallaug Wedset (P.A.D.T. ACT 90) lives in the islands of Lofoten in Norway, working mostly in Norway.

For news about Ashton Williams (Management MFA-1), see Zach Moore (Lighting Design BFA 12).

Summer 2014

On June 8, the 2014 Tony Awards recognized the achievements of theater artists working on Broadway productions, and two CalArtians, Kevin Adams (Scenic Design MFA 86) won the Tony for Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Hedwig and the Angry Inch while Chris Barreca, head of Scene Design in the School of Theater, was honored with his first Tony for Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Rocky. Adams earlier won an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical) for Hedwig while Barreca won the 2014 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design for Rocky as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Set Design for the show.

Ryan Anderson (Acting MFA 07) will be playing Virgil Tibbs in L.A. Theatre Works' live radio production of the racially charged crime drama, In the Heat of the Night, October 16-19.  It will then tour 19 states. He is also playing Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night and Vincentio in The Taming of the Shrew with the Independent Shakespeare Company. Several other CalArtians are involved in the Twelfth Night production, held as part of Free Shakespeare in Griffith Park. The cast includes  Nikhil Pai (Acting MFA 12) and Kalean Ung (Acting MFA 12). Production design is by Caitlin Lainoff (Scenic Design MFA 08). Performances run through August 31. Anderson also appears in two episodes of General Hospital, to be aired on September 2 and 3. And his first LA audiobook, A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, will be available at Amazon on October 2.

Several CalArtians are involved in the production of Romeo and Juliet with Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. Christine Anthony (Acting MFA 95) is associate artistic director, Anthony Byrnes (Acting ACT 97) is producer/general manager, Cristina Frias (Acting MFA 11) is playing the Prince and the Apothecary, Brian Joseph (Acting BFA 92) is the composer/music director, faculty James McDermott is the stage manager, Cricket Myers (Design and Production MFA 03) is the sound designer, and Samantha Sanchez, a BFA-3 in management, is the assistant stage manager. Performances began on July 8, with an official opening on July 13 at the Japanese Garden at the Greater Los Angeles VA campus. Performances run until July 26.

Michael Aurelio (Acting BFA 13), Johanna Deeb (Photography BFA 14) and Jason Rodriquez (Film/Video BFA 13), co-founders of the multi-media poetry collective Out of Print, have launched their first video series, A History of Us, which can be viewed on their website. A History of Us is a three-part film series in collaboration with spoken-word poets to adapt their pieces into film narratives.

Brandon Sterling Baker (Lighting Design 10) is the assistant lighting designer and Alice Tavener (Costume Design MFA 11) is the assistant costume designer on the new Broadway show, Holler If Ya Hear Me, a musical based on the music of late rapper Tupac Shakur.

Seagullmachine, developed at CalArts in 2010 by Nick Benacerraf (Critical Studies MA 11; Scene Design MFA 12) will be presented by The Assembly in a workshop at the undergroundzero festival in New York on July 15 and 16 at 7:30 pm at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center. Seagullmachine is described as a "mash-up of Chekhov's groundbreaking tragicomedy The Seagull and Heiner Muller's postmodern classic Hamletmachine." Benacerraf will also join the faculty of Kean University in September as a full-time Lecturer in Sceneography, teaching classes in scenic design, intro to theater and more.

The Antaeus Company in Los Angeles is presenting the world premiere of The Curse of Oedipus by Kenneth Cavander through August 10, with faculty members Fran Bennett and Adam Smith and alumnus Brian Tichnell (Acting MFA 11) in a double-casted rotating schedule.

The West Coast premiere of Muckrakers by Zayd Dohrn features Erica Bitton (Acting BFA 10). It runs through July 2 at Art of Acting.

Daniel Boland (Production and Design Technology BFA 95) and John Bradley (Lighting Design BFA 07) are part of a team nominated for Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Series as part of the 66th Primetime Emmys for their work on NBC's The Voice.

Sam Breen (Acting MFA 11) is appearing in the West Coast premiere of Ether Dome by Elizabeth Egloff at the La Jolla Playhouse through August 10.

Costume designer Deborah A. Brothers (Costume Design MFA 79) has designed the costumes for Shakespeare and Company's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, set in New Orleans in the 1930s. The play runs through August 30 at the theater, based in Lenox, Massachusetts.

CalArtians don't have creative minds for nothing. Colin Burgess (Music BFA 07) recently proposed to Caitlin Lainoff (Scenic Design MFA 08) by spelling out "Marry Me?" using 44 Mazda Miatas arranged appropriately in a parking lot in Elsinore Valley and then flying his drone camera over them to snap a photo.

As part of the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Josh Chambers (Directing MFA 06) is directing The Time of Our Lies, A Play About the Life and Times of Howard Zinn at the Gilded Balloon through August 25. The cast includes Antonio Anagaran (MFA Acting 07) and the show is designed by EB Brooks (Costume Design MFA 07) and Jeanette Yew (Lighting Design MFA 06).

The 2014 Emmy Award nominations were announced in July, and Don Cheadle (Acting BFA 86) received his third consecutive nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role of Marty Kaan in Showtime's House of Lies, his seventh nomination overall.

The Ghost Road Company will be presenting its latest ensemble-devised work, The Bargain and the Butterfly, at South Coast Repertory as the finale of its Studio SCR series from June 12 through June 15. Ghost Road consists of several CalArtians, including Ronnie Clark (Acting MFA 96), Katharine Noon (Acting MFA 90), Brian Weir (Acting MFA 95) and Ronald Wingate (Acting MFA 98). The Bargain and the Butterfly was conceived and directed by Noon and both Weir and Clark (who is also the lighting designer). Cricket Myers (Design and Production MFA 03) served as sound designer.

REDCAT's New Original Works Festival is featuring Object of Her Affection by Marsian De Lellis (Scenic Design MFA 09). Using puppetry and object theater to explore the oversimplification of sexual identity and attraction, the work will be presented July 31, August 1 and August 2 at 8:30 pm. The Automata Artist Residency Program recently hosted showings of this piece as the culmination of De Lellis's three-week residency at Automata, the non-profit organization based in the Chinatown district of Los Angeles. 

Actress Elizabeth Frances (Acting BFA 08) plays Angela in Drunktown's Finest, a drama directed by Sydney Freeland, with Robert Redford serving as executive producer. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and has been acquired by the Sundance Channel.

CalArts Festival Theater, celebrating 11 years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Ian Garrett (Lighting Design MFA 08) serving as consulting producer and faculty Jon Gottlieb overseeing matters as program director, returns to Venue 13 with four shows in August, created by alumni, faculty and students. Things from before, the Los Angeles-based performance collective founded by Alexander Demers (Acting MFA 14) will present The Intruder, an adaptation of Maurice Maeterlinck's 1890 play, opening on August 2. Allison M. Keating (Directing MFA 14) collaborates with British playwright Simon Parker on Yellow Fever, a new multimedia drama with live music, opening on August 3. Peter Handke's play, Kaspar, directed by faculty member Rafael Lopez-Barrantes, opens on August 2. And Megan Lewicki (MFA-2 Acting) and Evangeline Crittenden (MFA-2 Acting) will present Pomegranate Jam: A Shadow Ballet, a re-imagining of the Greek myth of Persephone told through the language of shadows, music, puppetry and dance, opening on August 2.

The Kilroys, a Los Angeles-based advocacy group of female playwrights and producers, released in June The List, the results of the first annual industry survey of excellent new plays by female playwrights nominated by 127 industry representatives, and six CalArtians made the cut. The plays include Harry & the Thief by Sigrid Gilmer (Writing for Performance MFA 05); blu by Virginia Grise (Writing for Performance MFA 09); Road Kill Giant by Aleshea Harris (Writing for Performance MFA 14), Lamentations of the Pelvis by Sibyl O'Malley (Writing for Performance MFA 07); The Glass Man by Amanda Jane Shank (Writing for Performance MFA 13) and Cocks Crow by faculty Alice Tuan. Most were written, developed, workshopped or produced at CalArts.

From July 10 to July 26, Dexter Hamlett (Theater 81) will portray Kerr in the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival production of the magical-realist fable Chesapeake by Lee Blesssing in Washington, D.C.

Acting faculty Lars Jan (Directing MFA 08) has been awarded a 2014 Second Quarter Artists' Resource for Completion (ARC) grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation. ARC grants are designed to enhance the careers of Los Angeles artists by enabling them to take the best advantage of imminent opportunities to present their work. Jan's ABACUS has also been programmed into Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival running September 24-27.

Lincoln Adjacent: Three Plays Not About Abraham Lincoln, with Nils Jansson (Acting BFA 12) as John Wilkes Booth, is part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, with performances through June 29. The play is directed by Julianne Just (Directing MFA 12).

The design team for This Was the End, made up of three CalArtians, was nominated for a 2014 Bessie Award in Outstanding Visual Design. Lighting design by Christopher Kuhl (Lighting Design BFA 05), set design by Peter Ksander (Design & Production MFA 01), and video design by Keith Skretch (Scene Design MFA 12) were part of what Helen Shaw from TimeOut New York called "a work of unparalleled technical integration."

Gloria Lamb (Scenic Design BFA 05) has been nominated for her first Emmy Award for her work as an art director on the 87th Annual Academy Awards show. She's also designing an art installation that will appear at Burning Man later this summer. It's called Inspireality Palace.

Dustin Lancaster (Acting BFA 02) and Tyler Bell, the owners of L&E Oyster Bar in Silver Lake, plus chef Spencer Bezaire, also of L&E, have converted El Conquistador, the 40-year-old Silver Lake eatery, into El Condor. Lancaster also owns Covell in Los Feliz and The Hermosillo in Highland Park. The new restaurant is already getting great reviews.

Andrew Lia (Management MFA 13) is stage manager for Stupid Fucking Bird at the Theatre @ Boston Court through August 10.

Porsche McGovern (Lighting Design MFA 09) is the lighting designer for The Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival through October 12.

Maury McIntyre (Management MFA 94) has been named the new president and chief operating officer of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Cricket Myers (Design and Production MFA 03) is the sound designer for Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton, playing at the Pasadena Playhouse until June 29.

The work of Alex Navarro (Costume Design BFA 13) is on view through July 21 at the Hollywood Museum in Reel to Real: Portrayals and Perceptions of Gays in Hollywood. His work was also just published on the cover of Runway France Magazine. And, he writes, "A film I created some work for won Best Fashion Award at the Mercedes Benz Bokeh South Africa Fashion Film Festival.

A Pee-Wee Herman Art Retrospective, celebrating the work of the icon of popular culture created by Paul Reubens (Theater BFA 73) is on view at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles through July 26.

Douglas Rushkoff (Directing MFA 86) is working on a new book about digital economics, tentatively entitled Distributed. He's also writing a sci-fi/techno/spiritual/fantasy screenplay for a Hollywood studio and preparing for his first courses this fall as a new professor of media studies at CUNY/Queens, the public university of New York City. Besides teaching undergraduates, Rushkoff will help start a new graduate program in media studies, specifically targeted at activists and others who want to create change through media. And Slow Science, an article by Rushkoff, appeared in the June 23 issue of Technologist magazine.

Kari Rae Seekins (Sound Design MFA 08) was recently named one of "the nine who are changing the AV industry" by AVNetwork. An award-winning sound designer and composer, Seekins is area technical director at RIVA Creative U.S.A. in Pasadena, "translating visual metaphors into sonic cues in film, theater, installation, exhibits, and theme parks," according to AVNetwork.

For news on Alice Tavener (Costume Design MFA 11) see Brandon Sterling Baker.

The Mother, a play directed by Max Truax (Directing MFA 03) for his company, Oracle Theatre, won Chicago-area Jeff Awards for Best Production, Ensemble, Actress, New Adaptation, and Original Music in a Play.

Spring 2014

Three-time Tony winner Kevin Adams (Scenic Design MFA 86) has been nominated for a Tony Award for Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The designer's previous wins were for American Idiot, The 39 Steps, and Spring Awakening. In the same category, former heads of lighting design Christopher Akerlind and Donald Holder were nominated for Rocky and The Bridges of Madison County, respectively. In addition, faculty Christopher Barreca, head of the School of Theater's Scene Design Program, was nominated for Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Rocky, a stage version of the rags-to-riches boxing movie. The Tony Awards will be presented on June 8.

A production of Much Ado About Nothing at the African-American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco features Ryan Vincent Anderson (Acting MFA 07) in the role of Benedick. The play runs through May 25.

Michael Aurelio (Acting 14) has booked a three-episode recurring guest spot as Milan Gunn on Murder in the First, a new San Francisco-based hour-long drama on TNT.

Brandon Stirling Baker (Lighting Design 10) has designed the lighting for the New York City Ballet's world premiere ballet Everywhere We Go, choreographed by Justin Peck. It opened May 8 at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater and runs until May 31. This is Baker's second design for the New York City Ballet. At age 26, he is the youngest lighting designer to work with the company.

Sola Bamis (Acting MFA 11) has been cast as Shirley, Peggy Olson's assistant, for the seventh and final season of AMC's Emmy Award-winning series Mad Men. She appeared in two scenes in the premiere episode and will recur in an undisclosed number of future episodes.

Linda Baumgardner (Management MFA 08) is chair of the board of directors of Ragged Wing Ensemble, a nonprofit theater company based in Oakland. Ragged Wing is in the final days of an indiegogo campaign to raise funds for Flight Deck, a shared performance venue and arts space opening later this spring in downtown Oakland. The campaign ends April 13. Baumgardner is also planning courses and curriculum for the new MFA Program in Dance: Design & Production at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, 20 miles east of San Francisco. She is also working as tour manager for Dana Lawton Dances for a trip to France in July.

The Collective, CalArts' multi-disciplinary arts organization, has organized a celebration of the life of faculty Fran Bennett, who has spent 35 years at CalArts as a teacher, mentor, director and administrator. The event will be held on May 13 at 7:30 pm in the Sharon Disney Lund Theater at CalArts.

Alison Brie (Acting BFA 05) is set to join Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart in Get Hard, a Warner Brothers film in which she will play the fiancee of Ferrell's character, a wrongly-convicted investment banker. Brie is also the executive producer of Teachers, set to be a TV Land pilot. She is currently appearing in NBC's fifth season of Community and has a recurring role on Mad Men, set for its seventh and final season premiere on April 13.

Actor Jacob Browne (Acting BFA 00) is appearing this year in the films Jane Got a Gun as Montgomery, Things People Do as Repo Man #2, and Fort Bliss as 1st Sgt. Jeff Killens, and in the TV series The Night Shift.

Martin Casella (Acting BFA 78) is spending a week in Bratislava, Slovakia in May overseeing final rehearsals, doing press interviews and attending the May 16 opening night of his award-winning play, The Irish Curse. The production at the Divadlo Arena Theater will be the first foreign-language version of the play, which opened off-Broadway in 2010. The Irish Curse recently had its Canadian premiere in Ottawa, and several other productions have opened or are scheduled to open in the U.S. in 2014.

Whitney Chapman (Acting MFA 92) will be performing at Don't Tell Mama in New York. She will perform That's Life! on April 25 at 7 pm and on May 3 at 5:30 pm. Says Chapman, That's Life! is "a celebration of those who have made my life so much fun...or at least interesting!"

For Mitch Colley (Acting BFA 11) see David Mack.

For news on Celeste Den (Acting MFA 04), see Kayla Morrisey.

For Jose Estrada, Jr. (Acting BFA 13), see In Memoriam.

Adam Flemming (Scene Design MFA 07) is scenic designer and Michael Gend (Lighting Design MFA 09) is lighting designer for A Steady Rain at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble through April 20. Flemming also created the video projection for Everything You Touch at Theatre @ Boston Court through May 18. For more on Flemming, see Jenny Foldenauer.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle announced the winners and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County theater for 2013 and several faculty and alumni were honored. For Production, the winner was Our Class by Son of Semele Ensemble, featuring design by Jenny Foldenauer (Costume Design MFA 13) Sarah Krainin (Scenic Design MFA 08), Anna Cecelia Martin (Lighting Design MFA 12) and Cricket S. Myers (Design and Production MFA 03). For Direction, the winner was Jessica Kubzansky (Directing MFA 94) for RII at The Theatre @ Boston Court. The winner for Writing (Adaptation) was former faculty Nancy Keystone for Alcestis by Critical Mass Performance Group at The Theatre @ Boston Court. For Video Design, the winner was Adam Flemming (Scenic Design MFA 07) for The Normal Heart at The Fountain Theatre. The Milton Katselas Award for career or special achievement in direction was awarded to former faculty and guest artist Bart DeLorenzo. Foldenauer also designed the costumes for Everything You Touch at Theatre @ Boston Court through May 18 and co-designed the costumes for Lamentations of the Pelvis at Son of Semele through May 19.

Elizabeth Frances (Acting BFA 08) will be performing in There is No "I" in NDN by Jennifer Bobiwash as part of Native Voices at the Autry 16th Festival of New Plays. Described as a humorous and probing one-woman show that explores what it means to be NDN, the show runs on May 28 at 4 pm at the Autry and on May 31 at 2 pm at La Jolla Playhouse.

Michael Gend (Lighting Design MFA 09) is making his Off-Broadway debut with his lighting design for Annapurna, running through June 1 at the Acorn Theatre. The production is directed by former faculty member Bart DeLorenzo. For more on Gend, see Adam Flemming.

Dana Gourrier (Acting 10) played the role of Minnie in Quentin Tarantino's recent staged reading of his new script The Hateful Eight at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Also participating were Bruce Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, and Kurt Russell. Gurrier played Cora in Tarantino's Django Unchained.

Ed Harris (Acting BFA 75) will appear on a panel at the Getty Center in Los Angeles to discuss the film Pollock, which he starred in and directed. The panel discussion will follow a screening of the film at 4 pm on May 3.

Cody Henderson (Acting BFA 96; Directing 98) has written Trail, an original youth theater production presented by the CalArts Community Arts Partnership, Plaza de la Raza and the CalArts School of Theater at Plaza de la Raza from May 1 through 10 and at REDCAT on May 23 and 24. The play is directed by former faculty member BJ Dodge and choreographed by faculty Marvin Tunney.

Maureen Huskey (Directing MFA 09) directed the annual CalArts Actor Showcase at Angels Theater in Manhattan on March 20. The graduating company consisted of 35 BFA and MFA actors.

Cindy Im (Acting MFA 04) is appearing in The Orphan of Zhao, a co-production between American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and La Jolla Playhouse. The show runs from June 4 through June 29 in San Francisco and July 8 through August 3 in La Jolla.

Lars Jan (Directing MFA 08) recently spoke about his large-scale performance installation Holoscenes at the TED2014 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Performance artist Toussaint Jeanlouis (Acting 10) is appearing in Queen of the Night, described by one critic as an adult circus experience, at the Diamond Horseshoe nightclub in Times Square.

Donna Simone Johnson (Acting MFA 14) is serving as assistant director for the production of Much Ado About Nothing by the African-American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco. The play runs through May 25.

For Rebecca Kessin (Sound Design MFA 07), see Sibyl O'Malley.

Alonzo King (Acting 72) and his LINES Ballet will premiere a new work at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco from May 21-25. The Spring Season will also feature sections from his body of work, including The Radius of ConvergenceKlang and Koto.

Danielle Korman (Management BFA 12) was recently associate producer for Concept LA Fashion Week and is currently working as a resident stage manager at Mack Sennett Studios. She is also working on props and management for the Broadway Tour of Rock of Ages for its upcoming L.A. performance.

The Seven Mountains, a new large-scale light installation by Lilienthal/Zamora, opens in September at Suyama Space gallery in Seattle and will be on view for three months. Lilienthal/Zamora is a collaboration between Etta Lilienthal (Production and Design Technology MFA 99) and Ben Zamora.

Several CalArtians are involved in Theatre Movement Bazaar's Big Shot, a work-in-progress presentation of a new dance/theater piece inspired by The Godfather films and co-produced and presented by Bootleg Theater. The director/choreographer is faculty Tina Kronis, the costume designer is faculty Ellen McCartney and the stage manager is Richelle Buchmiller (Management MFA 12). The ensemble includes Caitlyn Conlin (Acting MFA 11) and Paula Rebelo (Acting BFA 13). The show runs from April 24 through May 3.

Jessica Kubzansky (Directing MFA 94) has directed Everything You Touch at Theatre @ Boston Court through May 18. For more on Kubzansky, see Jenny Foldenauer.

For Amanda Lee (Costume Design MFA 12) see Sibyl O'Malley.

The Industry, the experimental opera company based in Los Angeles is presenting an exuberant visualization of Terry Riley's seminal minimalist composition, In C, at the Hammer Museum on April 12 from 1pm-5pm. David Mack (Acting MFA 08), general manager of The Industry, is the producer, Mitch Colley (Acting BFA 11) is marketing and outreach coordinator, and Rita Santos (Management 15) is stage manager.

Aly Mawji (Acting MFA 08) and Brian Tichnell (Acting MFA 11) appeared in guest roles alongside each other in the critically-acclaimed new HBO series, Silicon Valley, created by Mike Judge. They are slated to appear in two more episodes.

Armando McClain (Acting BFA 07) is appearing in The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. It runs through July 3.

Miss Miao, a short film written and directed by Kayla Morrisey (Theater 06) will premiere at the Dances with Films festival at the Chinese Theatres in Hollywood on May 31 at 2:45 pm. The film stars Celeste Den (Acting MFA 04) and is produced by Den, Morrisey, Carla Nassy (Acting MFA 04) and Joe LaRue. Miss Miao is a finalist in competition for one of the three Grand Jury Awards, the winners of which will receive an Oscar-qualifying run from Laemmle Theaters. Morrisey's first screenplay, A Beautiful World, was just selected as a finalist in the screenplay competitions at the Charleston International Film Festival and the Silent River Film Festival in Irvine, California.

Leah Olbrich (Scene Design MFA 13) has created specialty props for White Marriage at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble through June 1.

Lamentations of the Pelvis by Sibyl O'Malley (Writing for Performance MFA 07) is part of a double bill of one-act plays at Son of Semele in Los Angeles through May 19. The play features Briana Venskus (Acting BFA 09), with costumes by Jenny Foldenauer (Costume Design MFA 13) and Amanda Lee (Costume Design MFA 12), sound by Rebecca Kessin (Sound Design MFA 07), and puppets by DanRae Wilson (Scenic Design BFA 08; MFA 10). 

Nikhil Pai (Acting MFA 12) is appearing in the Independent Shakespeare Company's production of Romeo and Juliet through May 3 in Los Angeles.

Numerous members of the CalArts community took home awards in early April for the 2014 L.A. Weekly Theater Awards. The award for Production of the Year went to Matrix Theatre Company's We are Proud to Present..., whose associate producer was Allain Rochel (Acting ACT 01) and whose lighting was designed by Michael Gend (Lighting Design MFA 09). The award for Production Design went to Son of Semele Ensemble's Our Class, with lighting design by Anna Cecelia Martin (Lighting Design MFA 12). And the award for Adaptation went to former faculty member Nancy Keystone for Alcestis at The Theater @ Boston Court. 

Evan Rohde (PADT BFA 97) has been nominated for a 2104 Sports Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Production Design/Art Direction for Sunday Night Football on NBC.

Katey Sagal (Acting 72) will play Hailee Steinfeld's mom in Universal's Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to the popular 2012 film about an all-girls' singing group which challenges male rivals in a campus competition. The film is scheduled for release in May 2015. 

On May 19, Justin Townsend (Design and Production MFA 03) won an Obie Award for Sustained Achievement in Lighting Design. He was also recently presented with a Lucille Lortel Award for his lighting design of Here Lies Love, the immersive David Byrne/Fatboy Slim musical about Imelda Marcos that is currently receiving a second run at the Public Theater in New York.

Paul Turbiak (Acting MFA 08) is performing in The Lion in Winter at the Colony Theatre in Burbank through May 18. Faculty member Drew Dalzell is the sound designer of the production.

For Briana Venskus (Acting BFA 09), see Sibyl O'Malley.

Katie Wertz (Scene Design MFA 12) has been living in Washington, D.C. for the past two years and is now the Scenic Charge for the Smithsonian Institution's FolkLife Festival for 2014.

For DanRae Wilson (Scenic Design BFA 08; MFA 10) see Sibyl O'Malley.

Chase Woolner (Scene Design BFA 12) was an Additional Puppeteer on Disney's Muppets Most Wanted, just released. This is his second film collaboration with The Muppets, having worked as a background puppeteer on The Muppets (2011).

Winter 2013/14

Secrets and Toys, a new short film by Dalila Ali Rajah (Acting MFA 00) is having its world premiere at Outfest FUSION LGBT People of Color Film Festival on March 15. It has been listed as a "must see" by SheWired.com, owned by Advocate Magazine. Ali Rajah was recently listed on Autostraddle.com in a list of 100 LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know.

Ryan Vincent Anderson (Acting MFA 07) will be performing in the Long Beach Opera production of Queenie Pie: a jazz opera by Duke Ellington. Performances at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro are on January 26 at 2 pm, February 1 at 8 pm and February 2 at 7 pm.

Hugo Armstrong (Acting BFA 98) is performing the role of Michael in God of Carnage at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts through February 16.

On February 15, the CalArts group The Collective hosted a night of tributes honoring its late resident director and CalArts visiting artist, James Avery. The event was directed by Jozben Barrett (Acting MFA 12), and included contributions from current students, alumni and faculty from the schools of theater, music and dance.

Brandon Stirling Baker (Lighting Design 10) has created the original lighting design for Justin Peck's Murder Ballades, which premiered at Maison de la Danse in Lyon, France last September and which received its Los Angeles premiere with L.A. Dance Project at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in February. The producer for Ace Performances is David Mack (Acting MFA 08). Baker is also serving as assistant lighting designer for the Broadway musical Rocky.

The new musical, Rocky, based upon the Academy Award-winning film, opens on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on March 13. It features set design by faculty member Chris Barreca and video projection co-designed by former faculty Pablo S. Molina. Associate set design was handled by Mary Hamrick (Scenic Design MFA 11), with model building, drafting, graphics, shopping, and additional support by more than one dozen CalArtians.

Nick Benacerraf (Scenic Design MFA 12; Critical Studies MA 10) is associate scenic designer for Queen of the Night, a dinner, circus, nightclub experience in New York, through March 30. Benacerraf also co-created and handled production design for That Poor Dream, the newest creation from The Assembly, running from March 27-30 in New York. The play, inspired by Dickens's Great Expectations, is produced by Justine De Penning (BFA Acting 10), and designed by Kate Fry (Costume Design MFA 13) and Ray Sun (Scene Design MFA 12).

For news on Erica Bitton (Acting BFA 10), see Dorothy Hoover.

Poor Dog Group, the theater company founded by CalArts alumni, celebrates five years of innovative theater with the premiere of Five Small Fires, opening at Bootleg Theater on March 6 and running through March 29. Conceived and directed by Jesse Bonnell (Acting BFA 07), the show has been created and is performed by Jonathon Ahmanson (Acting 07), Brad Culver (Acting 07), faculty Efren Delgadillo Jr. (Design and Production MFA 03), Andrew Gilbert (Acting BFA 07), Adam Hunter (Acting BFA 07), Catherine Ventura (Acting BFA 08) and Jennie Marytai Liu.

E.B. Brooks (Costume Design MFA 07) is the costume designer for the East West Players world premiere of A Nice Indian Boy, running through March 23 in Los Angeles.

Ronnie Clark (Acting MFA 96) appeared recently on episodes of Southland and The Mindy Project.

Many School of Theater alumni and faculty have been nominated for the LA Weekly's Best of 2013 in Theatre awards. Caitlyn Conlin (Acting MFA 11) was nominated for Female Comedy Performance in Theatre Movement Bazaar's production of Track 3; former faculty member Bart DeLorenzo was nominated for Comedy Direction for Annapurna, produced by Evidence Room and Odyssey Theatre Ensemble; Juli Figueroa (Management MFA 13) was nominated for Revival Production of the Year for Pacific Resident Theatre's A View From the Bridge, which she produced; Adam Flemming (Scenic Design MFA 07) was nominated for Projection Design for Dallas Non-Stop, produced by Playwrights Arena at Atwater Village Theatre; former faculty member Nancy Keystone was nominated for Adaptation for Alcestis, a production of Critical Mass Performance Group and The Theatre @ Boston Court; faculty member Tina Kronis was nominated for Choreography for Theatre Movement Bazaar's Track 3; Jessica Kubzansky (Directing MFA 94) was nominated for Adaptation for The Theatre @ Boston Court's production of R II; Anna Cecelia Martin (Lighting Design MFA 12) was nominated for Lighting Design for Our Class by Son of Semele Ensemble at Atwater Village Theatre; Allain Rochel (Acting ACT 01) was part of the team nominated for Production of the Year for The Matrix Theatre's We are Proud to Present..., for which he served as associate producer; and Dan Weingarten (Lighting Design MFA 04) was nominated for Lighting Design for Heart of Darkness, produced by Actors' Gang at the Ivy Substation. 

USA Network has given a series order to the courtroom comedy pilot, Benched, starring Eliza Coupe (Acting BFA 03).

For news on James Cowan (Acting BFA 13), see Dorothy Hoover.

Adam Flemming (Scenic Design MFA 07) is the scenic designer for A Steady Rain, playing at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble through April 20.

Andy (Narendra) Gala (Acting MFA 11) is appearing in the East West Players world premiere of A Nice Indian Boy, running through March 23. 

Michael Gend (Lighting Design MFA 09) is the lighting designer for Passion Play at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble through March 16. Also at the Odyssey, he is lighting designer for A Steady Rain, running through April 20.

Dana Gourrier (Acting 10) is currently appearing as the character Cathleen in a six-episode arc in the HBO drama True Detective. She is part of two projects that have been nominated for group awards this season. Lee Daniels' The Butler, in which she played Helen Holloway alongside a star-studded cast, was nominated by the Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. And AMC's American Horror Story: Coven was nominated by the Golden Globes for Best TV Movie or Mini-Series. In the third season of the show, Gourrier has had a five-episode arc as Chantal, a hairdresser in voodoo queen Angela Bassett's hair salon, Cornrow City.

For Mary Hamrick (Scenic Design MFA 11) see Chris Barreca.

In January, the CalArts student organization, The Collective, collaborated in San Francisco with American Conservatory Theater and the African American Shakespeare Company on three plays: staged readings of Aleshea Harris's (Writing for Performance 14) plays Road Kill Giant, directed by Marina McClure (Directing MFA 12) and Slow Drift, directed by Tyrone Davis (Acting MFA 12) and The Depth of Black Art by the late visiting artist James Avery and directed by Jozben Barrett (Acting MFA 12). Twentyone CalArtians collaborated on the projects.

Face of Love, a feature film starring Ed Harris (Acting BFA 75) and honorary degree recipient Annette Benning opened in New York and Los Angeles on March 7 with a wider release on March 14. Variety calls it "A compelling psychological love story." On the NPR show All Things Considered on March 8, Harris was featured in the series "My Big Break."

A three-week residency by Dorothy Hoover (Scenic Design MFA 12) at the Highland Park theater known as PAM will culminate in an original performance piece called The Hits Just Keep on Coming on March 14 and 15. The show features performances by Erica Bitton (Acting BFA 10) and James Cowan (Acting BFA 13).

Asta Hostetter (Costume Design MFA 12) designed the costumes for Pinkolandia at Two River Theater in Red Bank, N.J., running through March 23. Jeanette Yew (Lighting Design MFA 06) designed the lighting for the production.

The improv troupe and creative collective Tall Grande Venti, featuring Casey Jackson (Acting MFA 13), Sarah Shoemaker (Acting MFA 14) and Michael Yichao (Acting MFA 13) won the College Improv Tournament national competition in Chicago in early March. TGV came in first out of 136 troupes in the nation that competed. The group has been invited this year to improv festivals in San Francisco, Seattle, and Honolulu.

The Institute of Memory (TIMe), written and directed by faculty Lars Jan (Directing MFA 08) will have a workshop production in Butler Building ll at CalArts on February 14 and 15 at 8 pm. More details can be found here.

Jeremy Kinser (Acting BFA 12) is performing in Drive Theatre Company's production of The Rite of Seymour, produced by Kathleen Reinbold (Producing and Production Management MFA 12), with costumes by Lynne Marie Martens (Costume Design MFA 12), and lighting by Anna C. Martin (Lighting Design MFA 12) at Son of Semele theater from March 15-30. Kristin Showalter (Scenic Design MFA 13) and Caity Schmidt Watson (Scenic Design MFA 13) are scenic artists and Fred Fitzgerald (Management MFA 13) is the stage manager. The show runs from March 15-30. Discount tickets for students and $10 Thursday evening performance tickets are available.

Peter Ksander (Design and Production MFA 01) designed the set for This Was The End at Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City, with performances running through March 8. Christopher Kuhl (Lighting Design BFA 05) designed the lighting and Keith Skretch (Scenic Design MFA 12) created video for the production.

The online journal Eater reports that Dustin Lancaster (Acting BFA 02, who operates several restaurants in Los Angeles, including Bar Covell, is about to take over the now-shuttered El Conquistador, the landmark Mexican restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, with partner Tyler Bell and chef Spencer Bezaire.

Dan Leigh (Scenic Design 73) left his position as production designer on CBS's Person of Interest and will design the feature film Tracers for Temple Hill Entertainment.

For news of David Mack (Acting MFA 08), see Brandon Stirling Baker. 

David Kay Mickelsen (Costume Design MFA 83) is the costume designer for Noel Coward's A Song at Twilight at The Pasadena Playhouse from March 18 through April 13. Use code ALUM20 for a 20% discount on tickets.

Cricket S. Myers (Design and Production MFA 03) is sound designer for Above the Fold at Pasadena Playhouse through February 23.

Juan Parada (Acting MFA 12) is joining the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Education Department as a teaching artist. 

Leah Piehl (Costume Design MFA 06) has created the costumes for The Light in the Piazza at South Coast Repertory through February 23. Faculty Lap Chi Chu has designed the lighting.

Blood on the Cat's Neck by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, with Michael Pignatelli (Acting MFA 12) and Tatiana Williams (Acting BFA 11) will be performed on March 8 at Goethe Institut Los Angeles at 4 pm and 8 pm.

Fox's 13-episode series, Hieroglyph, set in ancient Egypt, has tapped Condola Rashad (Acting BFA 08) to star as Nefertari, the half-sister to the Pharaoh. Rashad recently completed the Broadway run of Romeo & Juliet, which Screenvision and BroadwayHD brought to movie theaters nationwide in mid-February.

Sandy Simona (Acting MFA 13) has curated and performs in Zay Gezunt!, an Eastern European and Jewish visual and performing arts festival at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica on February 21 and 23 at 8:30 pm.

For news of Keith Skretch (Scenic Design MFA 12), see Peter Ksander.

R. Christopher Stokes (Lighting Design 10) is the lighting designer for Cinnamon Girl, produced by Playwrights' Arena in association with Greenway Arts Alliance at the Greenway Court Theater in West Hollywood. The musical, with Anne Yatco (Acting MFA 09), opens on March 15 and runs through April 6. He was also the lighting designer for Nocturne, which recently played at The Other Space @ The Actors Company in West Hollywood. 

Cecily Strong (Acting BFA 06) is interviewed in the February 9 issue of The New York Times Magazine about comedy and her life on Saturday Night Live. The interview includes a reference to her college theater experience. 

Catherine Sullivan (Acting BFA 92) is included in the Whitney Biennial, which opens on March 7 and runs through May 25. The show also includes the performance group My Barbarian, featuring faculty Jade Gordon.

Carolyn Thomas (Management MFA 09) is project manager for 20th Century Fox in Location Based Entertainment. One of its latest projects is a 25-acre Malaysian theme park--the company's first--called Twentieth Century Fox World. It has received wide media coverage. including reports in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and CNN.

Michael Vanderbilt (Management MFA 11) was hired as Gil Netter's assistant at his production company, Gil Netter Productions (Life of Pi, The Blind Side, Water for Elephants).

Ben Womick (Technical Direction MFA 12) is the technical director for The Ugly One at Ensemble Studio Theatre LA through March 24.

Automata is presenting From Photographs, an installation/performance by Peiyi Wong (Scenic Design MFA 13), with direction and performance developed by Miriam Jones (Scenic Design MFA 12), Alexis Macnab (Film/Video MFA 13) and So-Ok Kim. Performances are on March 15 and 16 at 8 pm.

For Anne Yatco (Acting MFA 09), see R. Christopher Stokes.

For news of Jeanette Yew (Lighting Design MFA 06), see Asta Hostetter.

Fall 2013

Lianna Arnold (Scenic Design 10) is assistant production designer for A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Julie Taymor for Theatre for a New Audience in its new digs in Brooklyn's BAM cultural district. The show runs from October 19 through January 12. Jake Horowitz (Acting 16) plays Lysander.

Work by three members of the CalArts community appeared on Tlaloc Rivas' list of 101 Plays by The New Americans, or on LatinidadQuality by Elaine Avila (Writing for Performance MFA 04), Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary by faculty Marissa Chibas, and blu by Virginia Grise (Writing for Performance MFA 09).

Brandon Stirling Baker (Lighting Design 10) designed the lighting for the world premiere in September of the ballet Murder Ballads at Maison de la Danse in Lyon, France, followed by a UK premiere October 2-4 at Sadler's Wells Theater in London. The dance was commissioned by Benjamin Millepied for his company, L.A. Dance Project.

On December 9, the Los Angeles theater company The Speakeasy Society will present Ebenezer: An Immersive Christmas Carol, featuring the work of more than 20 School of Theater acting and design alumni. The show, based on the Charles Dickens classic, was adapted by directors Matthew Bamberg-Johnson (Acting MFA 13), Genevieve Gearhart (Acting MFA 13) and Julianne Just (Directing MFA 12). It is produced by John Henningsen (Production 14). The venue is Golden Road Brewing in Atwater Village.

On September 15, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented the Creative Arts Emmys, and Robert Barnhart (Scenic Design BFA 87) won the 2013 Emmy for Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special as part of a team that created the design for the Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show Starring Beyonce (CBS and the NFL Network). The Creative Arts Emmys are largely dedicated to technical disciplines and the behind-the-scenes trades that are essential to television production.

The New York theater company Nicu's Spoon is in its 13th year of award-winning productions, led by Stephanie Barton-Farcas (Acting BFA 84). The company is currently being filmed as part of a documentary produced by the SocDoc (social documentary) program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. For the second consecutive year, the company has been named "Best in Manhattan" in the field of performing arts by the Best in Manhattan nonprofit site.

As part of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Creative Arts Emmys handed out on September 15, Daniel K. Boland (PADT BFA 95) was part of a lighting team for the NBC series The Voice, which won the Emmy for Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Series. Boland served as lighting director.

Elizabeth Brooks (Costume Design MFA 07) recently designed a feature film called Higher Power and has also designed Hospital, a co-production of Los Angeles Poverty Department and Wunderbaum as part of REDCAT's 2013 Radar L.A. festival. She and Kate Fry (Costume Design MFA 13) also designed the costumes for the world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of Wait Until Dark at the Geffen Playhouse. Faculty member Jimmie McDermott is the production stage manager for the show, which runs until November 17. For more on Brooks, see E. Martin Gimenez.

The nominations for the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced on December 11 and Don Cheadle (Acting BFA 86) was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series for the role of Martin "Marty" Kaan in House of Lies. He also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy TV Series for the same role. This marks Cheadle's third Golden Globe nomination and ninth SAG award nomination. He has won two Golden Globes (The Rat Pack, 1998 and House of Lies, 2012) and two SAG Awards (Traffic, 2000 and Crash, 2005).The award winners will be announced on January 18. Cheadle is also making his directing debut with Kill the Trumpet Player, a film that he also co-wrote about the transformative "silent" period in the life of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Cheadle will also play the part of Davis, with production set to begin next June.

The Ghost Road Company recently presented its production of Pantofelnik's Suitcase by Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk at the Korczak Festival in Warssaw, Poland. Ghost Road consists of several CalArtians, including Ronnie Clark (Acting MFA 96), Katharine Noon (Acting MFA 90), Brian Weir (Acting MFA 95) and Ronald Wingate (Acting MFA 98). The stage manager on tour was Andrew M. Lia (Management MFA 13). The company was also invited to present its latest ensemble-devised work, The Bargain and the Butterfly

USA Network has picked up the pilot Benched starring Happy Endings alum Eliza Coupe (Acting BFA 03). The single-camera comedy focuses on Coupe's character, named Nina, a corporate attorney who has a public nervous breakdown after getting passed over for a promotion and then finds herself working as a public defender.

Robert Cucuzza (Directing MFA 11) is directing Pierce College Theatre's production of The Fantasticks, with performances from October 25 through November 3. Scenic design is by Michael Gend (Lighting Design MFA 09) and lighting is by Ellie Rabinowitz (Lighting Design MFA 11).

Michael Cudlitz (Acting BFA 87) has been cast in season 4 of AMC's The Walking Dead in the role of Sgt. Abraham Ford, a pivotal character from the Robert Kirkman comic book series.

Marsian DeLellis (Scenic Design MFA 09) performs with and has created puppets for the production of Homecoming Queen's Got a Musical at The Cavern Club Celebrity Theater from October 25 through November 10.

Several CalArtians are involved in What Kind of God?, running through October 20 at the Lillian Theater in Los Angeles. The cast includes Emily Faris (Acting BFA 13), lighting design is by Michael Gend (Lighting Design MFA 09) and sound design is by Cricket S. Myers (Design and Production MFA 03).

Fred Fitzgerald (Management MFA 13) is production manager for the Department of Theatre and Dance at Pomona College.

Adam Flemming (Scenic Design MFA 07) has designed the video and R. Christopher Stokes (Lighting Design 10) is lighting designer for a production of The Normal Heart at Fountain Theatre through December 15. Flemming has also designed the video for the Playwrights' Arena production of Dallas Non-Stop, from November 16 through December 9. The play features Anne Yatco (Acting MFA 09).

Jenny Foldenauer (Costume Design MFA 12) was costume designer for Amy Tofte's (Writing for Performance MFA 11) FleshEatingTiger at Highways earlier this year and is costume and properties designer for R II, the new production of Shakespeare's Richard II at The Theater @ Boston Court in Pasadena. The production, conceived, adapted, and directed by Jessica Kubzansky (Directing MFA 94), co-artistic director of Boston Court, runs until October 13. 

Cristina Frias (Acting MFA 11) is performing the roles of Guildenstern and Marcellus in the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Co. production of Hamlet at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles, running through October 27.

Roz Fulton-Dahlie (Lighting Design MFA 08) is assistant professor of lighting design and technology at University of North Carolina School of The Arts.

Ian Garrett (Lighting Design MFA 08) is the Sustainability Coordinator for World Stage Design 2013, a celebration of international performance design, running from September 5-15 in Cardiff, Wales. As part of his duties, he curated the People/Planet/Profit program, he is leading the sustainable initiatives in the presentation of the festival for its certifications and impact reports, and he was the head of the selection committee for the Sustainable Theater competitionITV Wales recently ran a report on the sustainable theater constructed for the Cardiff festival. Garrett is Assistant Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University in Toronto and is Co-Director with Miranda Wright (Management MFA 09) of The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts. For more on Miranda Wright, see below.

The groundbreaking production of the experimental opera Invisible Cities, featuring contributions from several CalArtians, was featured in a recent article in The Los Angeles Times. E. Martin Gimenez (Sound Design MFA 09) is the lead sound designer, while Elizabeth Brooks (Costume Design MFA 07) is costume designer of the show, produced by David Mack (Acting MFA 08) with Mitch Colley (Acting BFA 11) serving as marketing and outreach coordinator. Michael Yichao (Acting MFA 13) is associate house manager. The 11-piece orchestra is conducted by music faculty member Marc Lowenstein. The show runs through November 8.

Jon Gottlieb, head of sound design at CalArts, is the sound designer for Twelve Angry Men at The Pasadena Playhouse through December 1. The play features faculty member Adam Smith. Gottlieb was also the sound designer for Smokey Joe's Cafe-The Songs of Leiber and Stoller, which appeared recently at The Pasadena Playhouse. 

Virginia Grise (Writing for Performance MFA 09) was one of 10 writers to receive the 2013 Whiting Writers' Award, receiving her $50,000 prize for playwriting. Previous winners include faculty member Douglas Kearney (Critical Studies MFA Writing Program MFA 04) and former dean of the School of Theater Erik Ehn. Grise is currently a Time Warner Fellow at the Women's Project Lab in New York. For more on Grise, see Elaine Avila.

Cracking Zeus, written and directed by Christopher Hampton (Acting 10) will have a workshop production on December 13 through December 15 at the Attic Theatre in Los Angeles. The play, which uses a backdrop of the mythical Greek gods, revenge and the 1980s crack epidemic, features performances and other contributions from numerous CalArtians. An Indiegogo campaign to support the production is currently underway. The production is part of the Imaginese Arts Festival.

Simon Harding (Scenic Design MFA 12) is the associate set and video designer for Platonov, a production adapted from Chekhov's first full-length play combining film and theater at the Without Walls Festival at the La Jolla Playhouse. Among his many other projects, he's also designing the set and video for Tyson vs. Ali, a touring show that imagines a boxing match between two former champions.

Asta Hostetter (Costume Design MFA 12) is the costume designer for the Flea Theater production of Mary-Kate Olsen is in Love, in New York through December 6.

Cindy Im (Acting MFA 04) is a 2013 Theatre Communications Group (TCG) Fox Acting Fellow with TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, studying Shakespeare, voice and text at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and Le Jeu and Clown at Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris. She will be appearing in San Jose Rep's The Snow Queen in November and December.

Saxon Jones (Acting BFA 12) will appear as a guest star on CBS's Criminal Minds on December 11.

For Michael Jung (Directing MFA 94), see Laura Youngkin.

Becca Kessin (Sound Design MFA 07) is assisting ACME sound for the world premiere of the musical The Black Suits at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City through November 24.

For news on Jessica Kubzansky (Directing MFA 94), see Jenny Foldenauer.

At the 2014 Ovation Awards on November 3, Christopher Kuhl (Lighting Design BFA 05) won Best Lighting Design for a Large Theatre for his work on The Nether at the Kirk Douglas.

Caitlin Lainoff (Scenic Design MFA 08) is designing Sarah Flood in Salem Mass at the Flea Theater in New York. It runs through October 27.

Yanda Li (Management MFA 13) runs TinHouse Productions with offices in Beijing and Shanghai. Among other operations, the company brings international theater, dance and music performances to China and takes Chinese productions on tour around the world.

Ben Lipitz (Acting 84) is continuing his run as Pumbaa in Disney's The Lion King, which will appear at The Pantages Theatre in Hollywood from November 20 through January 12. After the Los Angeles engagement of Julie Taymor's Tony Award-winning musical, Lipitz will return to the Broadway company. Since 2003, he has played in both the North American national tour and the Broadway production in more than 4,000 performances. He has also starred in Mel Brooks' The Producers, and the 2009 Tony Award-winning best play, God of Carnage, both for the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, where he also serves on the Board of Trustees.

Giao-Chau Ly (Scene Design MFA 11) worked as an art department assistant on five episodes of TNT's Mob City, which premiered on December 4.

Honest Ghosts, directed by Alexis Macnab (Directing 13), described as a site-specific Hamlet installation set in a sprawling mansion overlooking the Hollywood Hills, will be presented on October 30 at 7:30 pm at Castle Ivar. It features Christine Harms (Acting MFA 13), Nils Jansson (Acting BFA 12), Gilbert Molina (Acting MFA 12), Jocelynn Suarez (Acting BFA 13), and Paul Turbiak (Acting MFA 08).

Aly Mawji (Acting MFA 08) had a role in a recent episode of Parks and Recreation.

 David Kay Mickelsen (Costume Design MFA 83) was nominated for a 2013 Ovation Award for costume design for Fallen Angels at the Pasadena Playhouse. He has also designed the costumes for Death of a Salesman at the Denver Center Theater Company, and will be designing the costumes for A Song at Twilight at the Pasadena Playhouse and Other Desert Cities at St. Louis Repertory Theater.

Faculty member Anne Militello and the CalArts lighting program were featured in an article on LED lighting in Live Design.

Daphne Mir (Lighting Design 13) is working as a creative consultant for Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment.

Cybele Moon (Costume Design MFA 11) has been appointed assistant professor of costume design in the School of Theatre and Dance at East Carolina University.

Cricket S. Myers (Design and Production MFA 03) is the sound designer for Sebastian Barry's The Steward of Christendom, running from November 26 through January 5 at the Mark Taper Forum. For more on Myers, see Emily Faris.

Costume designer Leah Piehl (Costume Design MFA 06) has been active this fall, desiging the costumes for The Most Deserving at the Denver Center Theater through November 17; The Steward of Christendom with Brian Dennehy at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles from November 26 through January 5, A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City from November 24 through December 30; and The Light in the Piazza at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa from January 24 through February 23.

Condola Rashad (Acting BFA 08) is appearing opposite Orlando Bloom in Romeo & Juliet, running through January 12 at the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York. Rashad was "Person of the Week" on ABC News, and was featured in the September issue of W magazine. Rashad was also recently profiled in the Los Angeles Times, including reflections on her days at CalArts.

Paula Rebelo (Acting BFA 13) has created the props and Jamie Westfall (Costume Design BFA 12) is costume designer for the production of Civilization (All You Can Eat) at Son of Semele theater through November 4.

Gabriella Rhodeen (Acting BFA 12) is appearing in Layla Means Night at ODC Theater in San Francisco from October 30 through November 3.

Watts Village Theater Company has launched an indigogo campaign to support the world premiere production of Riot/Rebellion, written by Robert Jolly and directed by Barbara Roberts (Art 71). The play is about the times and circumstances around the 1965 Watts Riots. If you donate at least $25 to the campaign, you will receive two free tickets to the October 3 performance at the Kirk Douglas Theater of Rodney King, created and performed by Roger Guenveur Smith, plus an invitation to a VIP talkback and reception with Smith.

Faculty member Shannon Scrofano (Scenic Design MFA 06) is the scenic designer for the Cornerstone Theater Company production of Love on San Pedro, appearing at the Los Angeles Mission through November 24.

Deena Selenow (Directing MFA 13) is directing nat & EM at Company of Angels from November 8 through November 24. The play features Melissa Donaher (Acting BFA 12), Emma Zakes Green (Acting 13) and Christopher Hampton (Acting 10). Costume design is by Jackie Gudgel (Costume Design BFA 11).

Keith Skretch (Scenic Design MFA 12) is projections manager and onstage video maestro and Austin Switser (Scenic Design BFA 04) is production and video designer for the Radiolab Live tour.

Brian Stanton (Acting MFA 00) will be performing his award-winning solo play Blank at the Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco on October 27 at 7 pm.

Beginning September 28, there will be a new personality in an important TV news anchor's chair—at least TV comedy news. Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong (Acting BFA 06), who joined the cast last year, will become a new anchor for the show's Weekend Update desk, joining Seth Meyers. And she may eventually become the sole anchor, according to reports.

Catherine Sullivan (Acting BFA 92) has been included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, showing in New York from March 7 to May 25. Also included is faculty member Jade Gordon, part of the My Barbarian performance group. It will be the last Whitney Biennial at the museum's Madison Avenue location.

Chris Tani (Management MFA 13) is a services coordinator in the Technical Services Department for the 2014 Olympics in Russia.

At the 2014 Ovation Awards on November 3, Jeff Teeter (Lighting Design BFA 06) was presented with an Ovation Honor, which recognizes outstanding achievement, not among the standard theater award categories, for his video design for On the Spectrum at the Fountain Theater.

For news on Amy Tofte (Writing for Performance MFA 11), see Jenny Foldenauer.

Justin Townsend (Design and Production MFA 03) is the set and lighting designer for the new Broadway musical, A Night with Janis Joplin. It opens October 10 at the Lyceum Theatre. He is also the lighting designer for Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play at Playwrights Horizons in New York, running through October 20. Writing in The New York Times, Ben Brantley called it "Downright Brilliant."

Paul Turbiak (Acting MFA 08) is appearing in the Actors Co-op production of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde at the David Schall Theatre in Los Angeles from October 11 through November 17. For more on Turbiak, see Alexis Macnab.

Angi Ursetta (Costume Design MFA 13) is the costume designer for Sheet Cake Sliding by Stacia Saint Owens at Theatre of Note in Los Angeles. The play runs through October 19.

Bresha Webb (Acting BFA 07) has the lead role of Imunique Jefferson on Love That Girl, a comedy series on TV One.

Peiyi Wong (Scenic Design MFA 13) is one of nine artists from Los Angeles County to receive a 2013 Fourth Quarter Artists' Resource for Completion grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation. Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle (Art and Writing MFA 12) also received a grant. The ARC program provides rapid, short-term assistance to enahance work for a specific, imminent opportunity that may significantly benefit an artist's career.

For Alex Wright (P.A.D.T. MFA 94)) see Laura Youngkin.

Center Theatre Group has selected Miranda Wright (Management MFA 09) as the winner of its prestigious Richard E. Sherwood Award competition. The award was presented at the Ovation Awards ceremony on November 3. Los Angeles Performance Practice, a producing organization and artists network founded by Wright is producing two projects that are featured in this year's RADAR LA Festival: Manuel Orjuela's You Should Have Stayed Home Morons and Janie Geiser (faculty) & Erik Ehn's Clouded Sulphur (death is a knot undone). And through Live Arts Exchange/LAX, she's producing a full lineup of contemporary performance at the Bootleg Theater. Events take place from September through early October.

For Anne Yatco, see Adam Flemming.

Several CalArtians are involved in creating an Avatar-themed attraction scheduled to open in 2017 in the Animal Kingdom park at Walt Disney World in Florida. Laura Youngkin (Management MFA 10) has been working as a producer on the project, while Michael Jung (Directing MFA 94) and Alex Wright (P.A.D.T. MFA 94) are also working on the expansion of Animal Kingdom.

Yelena Zhelezov (Scene Design 10) is presenting The Bibliography at Automata in the Chinatown District of Los Angeles through November 16. The storefront window installation and series of performances are part of her nomadic exhibition P-E-D-X-I-N-G. The Bibliography includes video, drawings, activated sculptural objects and a collection of books all referencing a path once traveled from the Russian Jewish Autonomous District in a far corner of the former USSR to Los Angeles. 

Cady Zuckerman (Acting MFA 10) is appearing as Lysistrata in The Unknown Artists presentation of Lysistrata: A Re-Imagining through November 9 at Grove Theater Center in Burbank.

Summer 2013

Several School of Theater alumni and current students are part of a team that is developing a web series called Zombie Apocalypse 101, about two college students with a passion for zombies who take a class on zombie fiction, only to come face-to-face with real zombies. The producer is Jozben Barrett (Acting MFA 12), who also acts in the series, and the writer/director is Anthony Castillo (Acting MFA 11) who also acts in the show. Other CalArtians acting in Zombie Apocalypse 101 are Ajala Bandele (Acting 10), Sam Breen (Acting MFA 11), Christian Gibbs (Acting MFA 11), Whitney Rodriguez (Acting BFA 11), Sarah Shoemaker (Acting 14) and Michael Yichao (Theater MFA 13). The series is shooting through July in Orange County, will go into post production in August, and will be presented on YouTube in September. A co-production of 38:17 Productions and Creative Pulse Co., Zombie Apocalypse 101 is in the middle of an indiegogo campaign to raise funds to film four episodes.

Several CalArtians from the School of Theater are involved in the production of That Poor Dream, a play inspired by Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, which opened June 26 at the New Ohio Theatre in New York. The Assembly Theater collective's production is part of the Ice Factory Festival. Marisa Blankier (Theater BFA 12) is the stage manager; Justine de Penning (Acting BFA 10) is the producer; Lizzie Eggert (Technical Direction MFA 12) is the technical director; Shelly Rodriguez (Lighting Design MFA 12) is the lighting designer; and Ray Sun (Scene Design MFA 12) is the video designer. In addition, Nick Benacerraf (Aesthetics and Politics MA 11) is the set designer.

Pamala Buzick (Design and Production BFA 01) of Maven Label in New York recently returned from the Cannes Lions Festival where a project she was involved in won the Titanium Grand Prix, the highest international honor in advertising. Buzick had helped connect the director of the Dove ad to the project, which has received wide praise for its treatment of the subject of beauty.

Nominees for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced in July and among the nominees is Don Cheadle (Acting BFA 86), who received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in Showtime's House of Lies. This is Cheadle's sixth Emmy nomination, and the second for his portrayal of the management consultant Marty Kaan in the show. And two CalArtians received nominations for Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special. Harrison Lippman (Lighting Design BFA 08) has been nominated for his work on CBS's The 55th Annual Grammy Awards and Robert "Bob" Barnhart (Scenic Design BFA 87) has been nominated for two shows: PBS's Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino and ABC's The Oscars.  Emmy winners will be announced live on Sept. 22 at 5 pm on CBS. 

Jennifer Elise Cox (Acting BFA 91) was recently featured in an article on examiner.com discussing her experiences at CalArts. Cox, who appears regularly on the Showtime series Web Therapy, was part of a panel of the talent and production team from the show, appearing at the Paley Center for Media. 

Jeff Gifford (Management MFA 88) has been hired as director of production at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

The experimental L.A. opera company known as The Industry is close to completing its $25,000 Kickstarter campaign to stage Invisible Cities, a collaboration between the company and L.A. Dance Project, which will open on October 19 at Union Station. E. Martin Gimenez (Sound Design MFA 09) is the lead sound designer of this innovative project in which eight singers will be located throughout the historic station while audience members listen to the music on wireless headphones. Based on the novel by Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities' music and libretto are by Christopher Cerrone and the 11-piece orchestra will be conducted by Marc Lowenstein, faculty member in the Herb Alpert School of Music. David Mack (Acting MFA 08) is general manager of The Industry. The Kickstarter campaign ends on July 6.

Dana Gourrier (Acting 10) appears in The Butler, the new film by Lee Daniels that stars Forest Whitaker as a White House butler who witnesses many historical events during his 34-year tenure. Gourrier plays the role of Helen Holloway, the wife of James Holloway, played by Lenny Kravitz.

Alcestis, a play appearing at The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena about a woman who volunteers to die to save her husband's life, features contributions by numerous CalArtians. The cast includes Christopher Hampton (Acting 10), Danielle Jones (Acting BFA 07), and Kalean Ung (Acting MFA 12). Costume design is by Sarah Brown (Design and Production MFA 03), lighting design is by Adam Frank (Lighting Design MFA 12), and Casey McGann (Management 10) is the production stage manager. The play runs through July 28.

Tunisia Hardison (Acting MFA 05) is appearing in the role of Hillary in the West Coast premiere of Women are Crazy Because Men are A**holes. The show opens July 25 at West Hollywood's Macha Theatre and runs through September 25.

As part of the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the CalArts Festival Theater, in its 10th season on the Fringe, is presenting at Venue 13 three shows: Whispering in the Dark, developed and performed by Kaiso Hill (Acting 14), Kat Ortiz (Acting BFA 13), and Caitlin Teeley (Acting BFA 13), Mask by John Michael Johnson (Theater 15), and Goose by Michael Yichao Wang (Acting MFA 13). Many other CalArtians are participating in these productions. For more information, click here.

The Los Angeles-based company Theater Movement Bazaar is presenting Track 3, co-created and choreographed by faculty member Tina Kronis at the Bedlam Theatre in Edinburgh as part of the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The show features Caitlyn Conlin (Acting MFA 11) and costume design by faculty member Ellen McCartney, director of Design and Production, head of Costume Design, and the Robert Corrigan Chair in Theater. Based on Chekhov's Three Sisters, the show runs through August 24 before traveling to London and then appearing as part of Radar L.A. in September.

Brian Maier (Sound Design MFA 09) has been hired as the video supervisor for the Public Theater in New York.

Following its performances this summer at the New Original Works Festival at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, 4Trains/Signaling Arcana by Christine Marie (Scenic Design MFA 09) will appear at Z Space in San Francisco from September 12-15. Marie and her ensemble of actors and artists create a one-of-a-kind, immersive cinematic shadow theater with stereoscopic 3D effects and an original score. The project explores 19th century American industrialization through the eyes of a young couple. 

Jack Morones (PADT MFA 98) has been hired as production events operations manager at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.

The Getty Villa is getting ready this summer for a new production of the ancient drama Prometheus Bound, presented by CalArts' Center for New Performance (CNP) in conjunction with Trans Arts and the Getty Museum. The director is Travis Preston, dean of the School of Theater and artistic director for CNP. Other CalArtians participating include set designer Efren Delgadillo Jr. (Design and Production MFA 03), who designed a massive wheel on which the actors perform, and School of Music faculty Vinny Golia, who composed music with Ellen Reid (Music MFA 11). Previews for the show, which was recently featured in the Los Angeles Times, begin August 29. 

The world premiere of The Assassination of Leon Trotsky: A Comedy at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles features Christopher Rivas (Acting BFA 11) in the role of Jesus. The show runs through July 28.

Julie Schworm (Costume Design MFA 06) has recently launched a hat company called Savage Millinery. She is currently a featured artist in the summer issue of Belle Armoire magazine, and a selection of her hats are for sale online at Bourbon & Boots.

Ann Simmons (Acting MFA 95) is appearing in The Possethsion, part of The Electric Company Theatre's 10th Anniversary Hurricane Season of new plays. The show runs weekends in North Hollywood through July 21. For more information, check the theater's website.

The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival, founded by David Stears (Acting BFA 89), who is currently the company's Producing Executive Director, is presenting Henry IV, Part 1 as part of Shakespeare in the Park in Santa Clarita's Rivendale/Towsley Canyon Park. Several other CalArtians are involved in the company and the production, including Steven Burkholder (P.A.D.T. BFA 00), Mike Fracassi (P.A.D.T. 98), Mitchell Hampton (Sound Design MFA 13) and Lynn McQuown (P.A.D.T. 92). Current CalArts students involved include Kamran Abbassian (Acting 16), Scott Hamby (Acting 15), Pete Laughlin (Acting 14), Ernie Long (Acting 14) and AJ Schemadovits-Norris (Acting 14). The show opens July 13 at 7 pm. 

Bazarov, a new play based on Fathers and Children by Ivan Turgenev is being produced by The Representatives, a New York-based collaboration of playwright Stan Richardson and actor Matt Steiner (Acting BFA 05). Among the cast are Steiner, Dorit Avganim (Acting BFA 05) and Kat Heverin (Acting 10). Performances run through the end of August.

Spring 2013

Ryan Vincent Anderson (Acting MFA 07) directed Under The 105 as part of Watts Village Theater Company's Meet Me @ Metro IV: Bringing It Home To Watts, a theatrical presentation of original poetry exploring the subjective theme of "Home" with musical accompaniment. Performances took place in May at two Metro Blue Line stations in Watts. The managing director of the Watts Village Theater Company is David Mack (Acting MFA 08). Anderson recently appeared in Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl at A Noise Within in Pasadena, and is appearing in the film, Feeding Mr. Baldwin, a feature comedy written and directed by Will Prescott.

On May 4, Austin Antoine (Acting BFA 13) broke the Guinness World Record for freestyle rapping on the CalArts campus. Just 13 days before graduation, his feat began at 10 am in The Coffeehouse and ended 16 hours and 31 minutes later, shattering the previous record by more than three hours. Fans from around the world watched him on a live video stream and tweeted in suggestions for him to rhyme.

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.

Following a four-year development process in East Africa focusing on sustained international cultural exchange, the play Cooking Oil by Deborah Asiimwe (Writing for Performance MFA 09) was recently performed at the Atwater Crossing Warehouse in Los Angeles. Emily Mendelsohn (Directing MFA 09) directed the play, which featured an international cast from Uganda, Rwanda, and the U.S. Performers included Loren Fenton (Acting MFA 07), Sharon Wang (Acting 10), and Renell White (Acting 15). Other CalArtians involved in the production included Oscar Arevalo (Design Technology BFA 07), Christine Bald (Costume Design 14), Kate Eipl (Management 14), Aubree Lynn (Scenic Design 14), Rachel Park (Directing 14), Shannon Scrofano (Scenic Design MFA 06), Jeffrey Teeter (Lighting Design BFA 06), Quentin Warren (Management MFA 13), and Miranda Wright (Management MFA 09).

Creative Pulse, a production company founded by Jozben Barrett (Acting MFA 12) and Nikhil Pai (Acting MFA 12) recently presented its inaugural production, Shakespeare's Richard II at the Wexler Annex in Burbank. The production was directed by Mary Lou Rosato, co-head of the CalArts BFA Acting Program, with original music composed by Christopher Porter (Music MFA 09). The show featured the participation of more than 20 CalArts School of Theater alumni and current students.

Nicu's Spoon theater in New York, founded by Stephanie Barton-Farcas (Acting BFA 84) is now in its 13th season. Barton-Farcas is a director, actor, accent coach and curriculum advisor and lecturer at the University of Hawaii and The Royal Conservatoire in Scotland. She has directed, coached, and acted in numerous off-Broadway and off-off Broadway productions. Barton-Farcas is featured in the film After Midnight, Before Dawn, now in post production. Having won acting and directing awards in New York, she was chosen one of Reviewfix Backstage's artists to to watch in 2012.

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 Antaeus Company in Los Angeles is presenting Arthur Miller's The Crucible with faculty member Fran Bennett. The production's costume design is by E.B. Brooks (Costume Design MFA 07). Performances run through July 7.

A collection of poetry by Megan Bohigian (Acting BFA 73), titled Sightlines, has been published by Tourane Poetry Press and is available on Amazon. Bohigian—Megan Anderson during her CalArts days—teaches writing at Fresno City College and memoir workshops through the Osher Lifelong Living Institute and other workshops through a grant from Memoir Journal and the Irvine Foundation.

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.

Costume creator and functional artist Laura Brody (Theater MFA 92) is teaching Fashion on the Fly, a staple draping class, for the City of Pasadena this summer. In August, she will be at the Summerset Festival of the Arts in Baraboo, Wisconsin, conducting a staple draping workshop, collaborating on a fashion show, and exhibiting her work. Also in August, she will be staple draping before, during and after the Green Art Parade in San Diego. And in September, Bell Arts Factory in Ventura will exhibit her work on mobility.

South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa presented the world premiere of Eternal Thou by Matthew McCray in June, featuring Vonzell Carter (Acting MFA 09) and Jenny Greer (Acting MFA 11). The production's costumes were designed by Ariel Boroff (Costume Design 10), projection was by Adam Flemming (Scenic Design MFA 07), lighting was by Ian Garrett (Lighting Design MFA 08), and scenic design was by Sarah Krainin (Scenic Design MFA 08).

The off-Broadway, award-winning hit play The Irish Curse, written by Martin Casella (Acting BFA 78), was recently published by Samuel French. The show has been performed across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., including a recent award-winning production at L.A.'s Odyssey Theatre. Casella's 2011 off-Broadway jazz musical Play It Cool had a successful run and received a number of award nominations, including nods from GLAAD and the Outer Critics Circle for Best Off-Broadway Musical. His most recent play, Directions for Restoring the Apparently Dead, was the winner of Pride Films and Plays' Great Gay Play Contest in Chicago this May. It is scheduled for a production there this fall; an off-Broadway production is being negotiated for next spring. Casella is currently writing the book for the Broadway musical Pop Star!, while working as a consultant on a new British animated film. His feature screenplay Tom's Dad is scheduled to shoot next winter, featuring Will Ferrell, with Oscar-nominee Lasse Hallstrom directing. For the past five years, he has worked at the Harvey Milk High School in the East Village of Manhattan, teaching playwriting to LBGTQ teenagers. It's the thing in life he is proud of most. He currently lives in Greenwich Village, but after 20 years there, he will be moving to a brownstone on a quiet, tree-lined street in Jersey City, where he has heard there are no tourists.

Ronnie Clark (Acting MFA 96) has appeared on episodes of the TNT series Southland and the FOX comedy The Mindy Project.

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 presented 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 ran from April 27 through May 19 at Atwater Village Theater.

Asta Hostetter (Costume Design MFA 12) created the costumes for The Hotel Colors at Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn this spring. She also designed the costumes for Pinkolandia, which ran through May 26 at INTAR in New York.

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.

Hot Cat, a new work inspired by Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, was directed and choreographed by School of Theater faculty member Tina Kronis at Theatre of NOTE in Los Angeles. The production this spring featured costumes by Amanda Lee (Costume Design MFA 12).

Dan Leigh (Acting 73) left his position as production designer on CBS's Person of Interest and will design the feature film Tracers for Temple Hill Entertainment.

Jodi Nelson (Acting MFA 03) is completing her PhD in Media/Film at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England, specializing in new/social media in participatory filmmaking. In July, she will be costarring in Cross and Star, a film being shot in Brazil and directed by Tiaraju Aronovich. She will be teaching a master class in actors self-taping auditions at the International Festival/Stanislavski Institute in Sao Paulo, Brazil in August. In September in England, she will be starring in a short film that she wrote titled To Quote. Her documentary feature Single Girl in a Virtual World: What Does a 21st Century Feminist Look Like, is an official entry in the Monaco International Film Fest. Last year, she published her first book, Confessions of a Working Actor, which is available on Lulu.com and Amazon.com. She wrote, directed, and acted in six short films over the past two years. And she starred in Man. Woman. Blackbird (2009), which has been screened at numerous festivals.

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 (who won the Tony for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play), 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) won the 2013 Tony Award 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 won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play and was nominated for five other Tony awards. It won the 2013 Drama Desk award for Outstanding Play and the 2013 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 won the 2013 Drama Desk award for Outstanding Lighting Design for David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love

Run the Tide, written and produced by Rajiv Shah (Acting 02) won the Grand Jury Prize for Project Catalyst at the 2013 L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival in May. The film is about two brothers who flee their desert home after their mother is released from prison.

New York magazine has profiled Cecily Strong (Acting BFA 06), a featured player on Saturday Night Live. The article, 85 Minutes with Cecily Strong, appears in the April 15 issue.

The play FleshEatingTiger by Amy Tofte (Writing for Performance MFA 11), which premiered at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, will appear at Highways in Santa Monica on June 21 and June 22 at 8:30 pm. The cast includes Sam Breen (Acting MFA 11) and Gabriela Trigo (Acting MFA 12), with costumes by Jenny Foldenauer (Costume Design MFA 12), lights by Ryan Bona (Lighting Design MFA 12), and scenic design by Sarah Krainin (Scenic Design MFA 08). The assistant producer is Cady Zuckerman (Acting MFA 10).

Michael Vanderbilt (Management MFA 11) has been hired as Gil Netter's assistant at his production company, Gil Netter Productions (Life of Pi; The Blind Side).

Winter 2012/13

On November 12, 2012, several Calartians were honored 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 GodotLap 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.

ML Gemmill (Acting MFA 90) and Bernie Van De Yacht (Acting MFA 89) have launched ProADR Looping, an LA-based loop group for film, TV, animation and video games.

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.

Fall 2012

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.

Summer 2012

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.

Spring 2012

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

Winter 2011/12

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.

Fall 2011

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

Summer 2011

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

Spring 2011

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.

Selected as the winner of the 2010 Yale Drama competition for blu, Virginia (Vicki) Grise's  (MFA '09 Writing for Performance) Rasgos Asiaticos has been selected for a staged reading at 2011 Asuncion.

 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).

Marco Morante's (BFA Design and Production '02) costume designs for Marco Marco were featured in Forbes'.

Laura Mroczkowski (MFA '02 Lighting Design) has been nominated for a Drama Desk 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.

Last edited by hplotke on Jun 17, 2015
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