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The latest news and updates from our Theatre & Dance alumni
Updates are posted as they are received. Know of some alumni news? Share! Photos are welcome.
- Brandon Girouard '08 recently collaborated with Broadway veteran Shannon Lewis to choreograph and direct the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Special Olympics. Held June 14 in New Jersey, the opening ceremony involved dozens of performers and was viewed by more than 50,000 Special Olympics participants. More information on Girouard's blossoming career.
- Joe Spiotta '13 is in the cast of David Michael Finkelstein's Bar Mitzvah, which just got picked up for an extended run at the Forum Theatre in Metuchen, N.J. www.forumtheatrearts.org
- George Psomas '05 is performing in the premiere of Play It By Heart, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Brian Yorkey. More information.
- Courtney Romano Hanson '06 made her Off-Broadway debut this spring in Philosophy for Gangsters.
- Jenn Haltman '04 directed a production of Theresa Rebeck's The Understudy, produced by The Fishbowl Collective. The production featured fellow alums Craig Hanson '09, Becca Schneider '06, and Brian Byus '07. Production Stage manager was Rael Linder '11.
- Adam Bucci '06 stars in the film The Ten Year Plan, playing film festivals through the summer. www.10yearplanmovie.com
- Casey Gill '11 is currently performing in an Equity production of Pump Boys and Dinettes at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in Hilton Head, S.C. The show runs through July 27. www.artshhi.com and Casey's webite: www.caseyelizabethgill.com
- Amie Lytle '07 is performing in a new adaptation of Uncle Vanya at Harbor Stage Company, Wellfleet, Mass. The show runs through July 12 and then travels to Boston in the fall. www.harborstage.org
- Brian Weiner '02 recently directed Cabaret at Central Bucks High School West, and the production won four Philadelphia Area Cappie Awards, including Best Musical. He continues to teach audition technique, acting, and musical theatre with several Philadelphia-area performing arts schools and as a private performance coach. Coverage of the Cappies nominations.
- Samantha Turret '13 has been cast in the title role in The Diary of Anne Frank, presented by Open Stage of Harrisburg. The show will be performed for the public March 8, and will tour area schools March 4-7. More information.
- Sari Weinerman '13, Kim Dodson '13, and Andrew Clark '12 are all currently appearing in the McCarter Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol. Sari is playing Charlotte Fezziwig, Andrew is a Dance Captain, and Kim is in the Adult Ensemble. Visit the McCarter website for tickets and information.
- Eleanor Katz '99 wrote to tell us that, since receiving my MA in acting at East 15 Acting School in London and moving to Chicago in 2010, she has worked with multiple companies in Chicago. Projects have included Hauptmann with Boho Theatre, Inherit the Wind with Oak Park Festival Theatre, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later with Redtwist Theatre, Romeo and Juliet and The Last Daughter of Oedipus with Babes With Blades, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Raven Theatre. This fall (2013), she performed in The Trip to Bountiful, also at Raven Theatre. Her voice-over work continues to keep her busy as well, including work with Microsoft, Hasbro, MSC Cruises, Graderesults.com and Abbott Labs. Read more on her website.
- Victoria Socci '12 played the role of Tracy Turnblad in the Arizona Broadway Theatre's production of Hairspray this fall. Read the review, or visit Victoria online.
- Noah Herman '06 earned rave reviews for his production of Bunny Bunny, which he directed for 1812 Productions. WDIY-FM reported, "Noah Herman took full charge with this production, and makes an impressive 1812 Productions directing debut." Read the full review, or read about it on the 1812 Productions site.
- Marissa Kelton '07 produced and acted in a 1950s-inspired short film entitled Kissed by Inspiration. The film was selected to premiere at the Big Apple Film Festival in November 2013. Visit Marissa online.
- Jon Reimer '06 is directing an India-inspired production of Sondheim's Into the Woods, set to open next month in Tokyo, Japan. Another Berg alum, Laura (Doto) Moran '07, who recently moved to Tokyo with her husband, is also involved, appearing in the cast as Cinderella's Stepmother. They enthusiastically credit Muhlenberg for preparing them for a world of theatre possibilities. Visit Tokyo International Players' website to read more about the show.
- Gabriel Martinez '10 has been working for Carnival Cruise Lines as a production singer for the past year. He has just finished his second contract, during which he was vocal captain for an ensemble of eight singer-dancers in Carnival's newest shows.
- The Fishbowl Collective (the new studio of New York-based Muhlenberg alumni performance artists) announces My Hero, a concert blending Broadway and Rock featuring the music of indie pop-rock band, Almost Six Six. The performance will take place on Sunday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at XL Cabaret. Read more.
- Phil Haas '05 has been working since November as the marketing manager for Primary Stages, New York City. He reports that he has been crossing paths with Colleen Sherry '08, has been working at Primary Stages recently as stage manager of The Call, a co-production of Primary Stages and Playwrights Horizons.
- Amanda Lenti '12 has been hired as the Company Manager at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Read more.
- Michael Hull '10, will spend the summer at The Hippodrome in Gainsville, Florida, playing Princeton and Rod in "Avenue Q," opening May 29. Read more.
- Jessica Warchal-King '05, dance alumna and adjunct faculty member, performs March 22 and 23 at Drexell University with her company, Kun-Yang Lin Dancers. She's featured extensively in this piece. Read more.
- Shannon Lambert-Ryan '03 is co-founder and lead vocalist of the contemporary Celtic ensemble Runa. Last year, she was nominated as Best Female Vocalist by the Irish Music Awards. Read more.
- Zach Mannheimer '99 was featured in the Des Moines Register as one of "13 People to Watch in 2013" for his work in establishing the Des Moines Social Club cultural center. Read more.
- Nate Lombardi '00 (aka NateKid) has been combating bullying in schools with his Groovy Project. Great coverage of his work on ABC News. Says one of the students he worked with: "That man right there inspired me to do good in this school. He inspired all of us kids to do things that we would not normally do."
- Danielle Reidenberg '12 worked over the summer with Enchantment Theatre Company, and interned this fall with Amalgamate Dance Company and Movement Workshop Group. Now, she is off to start rehearsals for her new job, performing for Disney Cruise Line. She will be on the Disney Dream from late January until Sept. 1, sailing from Florida to the Bahamas and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.
- Katie Epstein '11 has been actively building a career in arts development, starting at the Paul Taylor Dance Company, where she participated in the company's first season at Lincoln Center. After spending a summer with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Katie is now the Development Associate at José Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, Mass.
- Rachel Shapiro Alderman '01 received the prestigious Reginald Denham Fellowship from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Foundation. The Fellowship is an annual award given to directors to further develop their directing skills by providing financial support for the director's fee for a particular project. Rachel received the award for her production of Freewheelers, at A Broken Umbrella Theatre in New Haven, Conn.
- Victoria Socci '12 just finished her first professional gig at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, N.H., where she spent the past month playing Wendy Jo in Footloose.
- Tim Popp '09 is directing a touring production titled The Butterfly Project, produced by Wolf Performing Arts Center. The project will feature the play I Never Saw Another Butterfly, which tells the story of the youth of Terezin, a concentration camp of the Holocaust. Four casts of eight child actors and one adult actress will perform at about 40 schools, places of worship, community centers, and senior centers throughout the greater Philadelphia area. The Butterfly Project will culminate in two performances at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theatre during the biennial Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, sponsored by the Kimmel Center. Read more.
- Jed Aicher '94 will play Lennie in Of Mice and Men at The Playhouse on Park, West Hartford, Conn. The production opens in previews Oct. 10, and runs through Oct. 28. Read more in The Hartford Courant or The Playhouse on Park website.
- Jake Nelson '08 received an MFA in lighting design in 2010 from the University of California, Davis, and now serves as the lighting designer for NMR Staging & Events. In that capacity, he has designed for the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA), Sirona Dental, and many other large companies. Prior to his current position, Jake was a design draftsman for iHeartRadio Music Festival, NFL Kickoff Concert, Super Bowl Fan Jam, and other events, and was the lighting technician on board the Neiuw Amsterdam through Holland America cruise ships.
- 'Berg-born theatre company Homunculus Inc. presents Strindberg's Ghost Sonata Sept. 6-16, 2012, at the Philly Fringe festival. The production is directed by Zach Trebino '11, with costume design by Angela Palaggi '11, and featuring Laura Betz '12, Andrew Clark '12, Felix Mayes '12, Patrick McTamany '12, Patrick Scheid '11, and Hugh Trimble '10. Read more.
- Adam Joseph Reich '06 is performing in the ensemble and understudying the title role in the world premiere musical Justin Love at the Celebration Theatre, in Hollywood, Calif., opening Sept. 21, 2012. Read more.
- Several alumni are collaborating with faculty member Francine Roussel on a production of Jean Genet's The Maids, playing at Muhlenberg Aug. 31 - Sept. 2, at Philly Fringe Sept. 6-9, and at Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem, Sept. 14-16. The company includes actors Jim Ludlum '09 and Danny Ryan '09, sound designer and stage manager Jeffrey Brancato '12, and lighting designer Ryan Killeen '12, and current student Lydia Baxter '14 as costume mistress and dramaturg.
- Chris Scheer '07 stars in The Mystery of Irma Vep at Cortland Repertory Theatre, Aug. 29 - Sept. 8, 2012. Read more.
- Amy Bauer '10 has been invited to be the keynote speaker at the annual conference on Samuel Beckett, “Beckett and the State of Ireland,” in Dublin this July. The conference features speakers from all over the world, and she is one of just a few graduate students from the United States invited to present. She will present an article on Beckett's later television plays, titled “Animating a Vision.”
Amy is completing her master's degree in literature at New York University. She is also a full-time teacher of performing arts at Morris Catholic High School, Denville, N.J., where she has tripled the size of the Performing Arts Department in two years.
- Lauren Curnow '96 will appear in Brundibár at the Sovereign Performing Arts Center in downtown Reading. Read more.
- Louisa Balch '09 has been admitted into the M.F.A. in Theatre Administration at Yale University, and will begin there in the fall.
- Christa Wroblewski '09 has been chosen for a year-long paid acting apprenticeship at the Actor's Theatre of Louisville. This is one of the most competitive internship programs in the United States. This year, over 1000 people applied for this opportunity.
- Eric Stephenson, '09 had his first regional gig last year, doing A Christmas Carol at Cohoes Music Hall. Last summer, he did Bitter Sweet at the Bard Summerscape Festival, and as of March, he was performing in Sunset Boulevard at the Fulton Theatre, Lancaster.
- A Streetcar Named Desire, at the Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, Fla, has Muhlenberg Alumni all over it. The Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, Fla. Jed Aicher '94 plays Mitch, The Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, Fla. Ruben Ortiz '99 plays Pablo, The Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, Fla. Nathan Renner-Johnson '10 is the Production Manager, and The Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, Fla. Nelle Ed '10 is the Stage Management Intern.
- Noah Herman '06 directs Noises Off at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, N.J., March 9 - April 1. Read more.
- Jordan Ahnquist '05 played Huck in Harwich Junior Theatre's production of Big River, in February and March. Read more.
- William Clayton Schmidt '08 received his Master of Arts in Teaching degree in secondary education, endorsed in English, special education, and drama from National-Louis University in Chicago
- Mike Bloom '11 has accepted a 12-month contract as an actor/director with the Missoula Children's Theatre. He'll be touring the country from May to next May, bringing theatre to and creating theatre with many different communities.
- Allison Brzezinski '10 has started the dance company ChEckiT!Dance, which is off to a great start. They have held company classes, had their New York City debut of "Out Of..." in Body Blend at Dixon Place, and premiered their piece "Borderline" in the first JT Lotus Choreographer's Showcase at the Ailey Studios. This summer (2011) the company will be starting a new project. See their website for more information.
- More than 15 Muhlenberg alumni are part of the company of the skin you leave behind, a Punch Theatre production, running April 1-3, 2011, at TBG Theatre, New York City. A collection of five short plays, the skin you leave behind is directed by Vanessa Lancellotti '10 and curated by Brendon Votipka '09, and features eleven Muhlenberg alumni among its performers. More information [pdf] Punch Theatre website
- Dance alumna Erin Cairns '06 has several upcoming performances. On April 18, 2011, she'll be at Judson Memorial Church, performing for Rebecca Davis's latest project. She will perform in "Hatch," under the direction of Tanya Calamoneri, May 7 at the Brooklyn Museum and May 9 at the HERE Arts Center. She'll appear at The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church on Friday, May 13, performing her own work inspired by Chris Martin's poem "The Small Dance." And she'll be performing in Esther Palmer's "only shallow people" on June 11 at Green Space.
- Liz Wasser '08 is writing and performing "Fate, Fury and Musical Theatre: A Kind of Cabaret," presented by the New York Frigid Festival 2011. The piece is directed by Amanda Thompson '07 and features Kennedy Kanagawa '08 and Michael Hull '10. Kristin Sgarro '10 is co-musical directing (along with Kanagawa) and Matt Franzetti '09 is producing. More information.
- Caitlin Meehan '06 performed with Monkeyhouse in the Cool New York Dance Festival, at the White Wave John Ryan Theatre in Brooklyn, Jan. 27-30, 2011. The work was by Nicole Harris, also of Monkeyhouse. This is Caitlin's fourth season with the company, and also the company's tenth anniversary.
- Robert Saenz de Viteri '04 directs the premiere of Michael & Edie, a new play by Rachel Bonds, starring Matthew Micucci '04. The play runs Dec. 3-19, 2010, at Access Theatre, New York City. The play is produced by Viteri and Micucci's company, The Greenpoint Division Read more on the Greenpoint Division website
- Olivia Alvarez '10 had her New York City choreographic debut Dec. 2-5, 2010, as part of the Thang Dao Dance Company's annual Contemporary Dance Festival. She performed her piece "Signal Detected. Connection Error." — which she premiered at Muhlenberg — along with fellow 'Berg alumni Emily Daly '10, Rebecca Haverson '10, Laura Mayerson '10, Dana McGowan '10, Michele Sasso '10.
- Michael Biren '08 is currently the swing and fight captain for the National Tour of Billy Elliot.
- Adam Pinti '06 received the 2010 Grace Le Vine Award, one of the prestigious Princess Grace Awards, which recognize achievement and promise in artists working in the fields of theatre, dance and choreography and film. Read more
- Rachel Leah Cohen '95 appears beginning Nov. 1, 2010, on 90210, on The CW. Rachel's website
- Emily Daly '10 is dancing with Parsons Dance Company in New York City and will begin touring nationally with the company in the spring.
- J. Michael DeAngelis '01 and Pete Barry '97 premiered their new play Signs from God as part of the Philly Fringe Festival, Sept. 16-18. The play is a production of their theatre company The Porch Room, named for the porch of Muhlenberg's gone-but-not-forgotten Bernheim House The Porch Room website
- George Psomas '05 was featured in the Live from Lincoln Center telecast of South Pacific, which premiered Aug. 19. Read more on the Lincoln Center Theater website
- Stephanie Flackman '10 and the RJ Fellows program were awarded a $1,770 grant by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts to support an arts in health care project developed in the senior capstone seminar with Rev. Peter Bredlau. The project is a collaboration with Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and will provide art and arts programming to pediatric patients.
- Lisa Marie Ianuzzi '11 became a Philadelphia Kixx dance team member for the Pro Soccer 2010-2011 season.
- Melissa Buffaloe '08 joined the staff of the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia as assistant production manager in September 2010. The Walnut Street Theatre website
Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance alumni John P. Dowgin '97, J. Michael DeAngelis '01, and Pete Barry '97 have continued to collaborate through their production company The Porch Room. Here they perform their original play "Drop," at the 2009 Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival. Photo by Michael E. Reali.