THE CALLBOARD: FACULTY, STAFF AND ALUMNI NEWS
Faculty & Staff News
Cameron Anderson most recently was the Space Consultant/Prop Designer for the site specific production of Portugal's "The Marriage of Figaro" for On Site Opera in a townhouse in NYC. Next up she's designing the set for the World Premiere of "Happy Birthday Wanda June", a new opera with libretto by Kurt Vonnegut, for Indianapolis Opera, September 16-18. Professor Anderson will then design the set and projections for Puccini's "Turandot" and Mozart's "The Magic Flute", both with Opera Naples. In the spring, she will design the set for "The Bridges of Madison County" at SpeakEasy Stage Company, running May 6 - June 3.
Nancy Armstrong's intricate connections to Boston classical music life are on display in a new CD recording "Portraits & Tributes" of a local composer Scott Wheeler's works for piano. She was offered the opportunity to 'sit for a musical portrait' written by Scott, who entitled the work "Arietta". A full-length video documentary about the behind-the-scenes making of the CD is under preparation, containing interviews with the composer, the pianist, and the various subjects of Scott's musical vision. A short sampling of documentary vignettes is available online and the longer film will be released through iTunes shortly.
Susan Dibble spent the summer teaching a master class at Shakespeare & Co. Summer Training Institute, and choreographed "Two Gentlemen of Verona" at Shakespeare & Co. She also taught movement in the program Speak What you Feel Acting Shakespeare Retreat at Elements Theater Company. Professor Dibble began working on a devised theater project called "I Am Lear" with Bobbie Steinbach, Judy Braha, Marya Lowry and ASP actresses. She will continue working on the piece through the fall and then will present the piece in June 2017.
Arthur Holmberg has been invited by the Norwegian government to go to Oslo during the biennial Ibsen Festival during which the best productions of Ibsen's plays from around the world are performed. He will give a lecture entitled "Body Language in Ibsen" at the National Theater as well as a talk on "David Mamet: Genderlects and Dramatic Action" at the Norsk Dramaturgforum, the professional organization to which Norwegian dramaturgs belong. Professor Holmberg was also invited to attend two years ago when he gave a lecture on Ibsen's Visual Poetry at the International Centre for Ibsen Studies at the University of Oslo. He is currently writing a book on contemporary theater practices.
Adrianne Krstansky next stars in the Brandeis Department of Theater Arts' fall production of "Martyr". She then goes on to play Anne Marie in "A Doll's House" at Huntington Theatre Company, January 6 - February 5, 2017. In the spring, she'll play Lillie Anne in "Barbecue" at The Lyric Stage running April 7 - May 7 and then June 1-25 Professor Krstansky can be seen as Evelyn in "Days of Atonement" at Israeli Stage.
Marya Lowry spent her summer teaching for the One Voice Integrated Studies Institute in NYC and a Roy Hart Voice Workshop in Chicago. Locally, she played Lotte in "Lettice and Lovage" at Gloucester Stage Company, with Costume Design by Miranda Kau Giurleo (MFA '07). This fall, Professor Lowry served as personal Vocal Coach to Anna Deavere Smith for her newest solo show, "Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education" at the American Repertory Theatre. This winter, she will play Prospero(a) in "The Tempest" for Actors’ Shakespeare Project, running December 1 - January 8.
Adam Recht ’16 was the inaugural recipient of the Lois Zetter ’60 Theater Arts Endowed Scholarship. Being a member of the Theater Arts community at Brandeis had a great impact on him. Adam explains, “The Brandeis Theater Department taught me to view things from many perspectives. The curriculum allows students to not only learn about their specific role within theater – whether it be acting, directing, or designing – but to also understand how the entire team fits together. You are challenged to experience theater through a new lens, which in turn adds to your own knowledge and appreciation of performative arts.”
While he is not pursuing a career in theater, Adam has found that the skills he gained in the Department of Theater Arts can be translated into other professions. He shares, “I am interested in the medical field, which is very much a collaborative production just like any play or musical. I currently work in a lab that interacts with many healthcare professionals. What has helped me become a more effective member of the team is to understand the role each person plays and how they view and interact with the medical field. That way, I know what they need from me and how I can best help them.”
Adam had a meaningful experience as the Zetter Scholar, especially through the connection he made with Lois’ surviving family. Adam met her brother, Dr. Bruce Zetter ’68, at the annual Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon this past March. They discussed his goal of becoming a physician, and he suggested to Adam that he look into working at a cardiothoracic lab during his gap year before attending medical school. With Dr. Zetter’s guidance, Adam currently is a research assistant in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Lab at Columbia University Medical Center.
Tony Goldwyn ('82) is starring in the TV series "Scandal" as President Fitzgerald Grant. He received an Obie Award in 1991 for his performance in "The Sum of Us." Goldwyn starred in the movies "The Last Samurai," "The Pelican Brief" and "Ghost." He directed "The Last Kiss" and "Conviction" starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell.
Bonita Hamilton (MFA '04) is starring in Broadway's "The Lion King" as Shenzi.
Laiona Michelle (MFA '00) stars in the new Broadway musical "Amazing Grace", about the creation of the spiritual song of the same title. The show opens July 16 at the Nederlander Theatre with performances beginning June 25.
Kim Wilcox (MFA '93) is a Costume Designer for the TV series "Mr. Robot", a new psychological thriller on USA.
Juan Luis Acevedo ('98) guest starred on "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" - Season 10, Episode 5: Trophy Wine. He is working for Actors Connection as a Program Consultant and Conservatory Director. He starred in Toy Box Theatre Company's "Woyzeck." Other credits include "The Arrogant Spaniard" by Lope de Vega at Teatro Circulo in NYC which won him the ACE Best Actor Award in a Period Play for his performance.
Ramona Lisa Alexander ('08) played Josie Hogan in "A Moon for the Misbegotten" at The Nora Theatre Company, for which she was nominated for a 2011 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress.
Robert Antonelli ('04) has been in numerous productions throughout Boston at Stoneham Theater, New Repertory Theatre and the Lyric Stage Company among others. Currently, he is the Associate Director at Kidstock!, a children's theater education center in Winchester, Mass. He is a member of the band Cahill.
Scott Barrow ('00) was in the ensemble of "33 Variations" on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theater starring Jane Fonda. He played Father Flynn in "Doubt" at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Giles in "The Mousetrap" at the Olney Theatre, and Elyot in "Private Lives" at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
Marianna Bassham ('02) was nominated for a 2011 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress for "The Hotel Nepenthe" (Actors' Shakespeare Project); "In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)" (SpeakEasy Stage Company). She won the 2009 Irne Award for Best Actress in a play in "Reckless" and "Blackbird" (SpeakEasy Stage Company) and "Little Black Dress" (Boston Playwrights' Theatre).
John Benitz ('91) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Chapman University. He has directed theatre in Boston, Off-Broadway and some of L.A.'s premiere theaters. He has performed in numerous theaters across the country including Ubu Repertory Theater, Odyssey Theatre and Fountain Theatre in L.A., the Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago and Shakespeare Orange County. He is a co-founder of Theatre 88.
Christian Brandjes ('98) is a member of AEA. He is currently a Tenured Associate Professor of Theater at Daemen College after being an Assistant Professor of Theater there from 2003-2008.
Jeffrey Bernard Calloway (MFA '00) appeared with "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston in Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Schenkkan’s "All the Way" at the American Repertory Theater. Calloway originated the role of Delray in the Broadway musical "Memphis," winner of the 2010 Tony Award for best musical.
Timothy Carter ('02) played Scar in the national Broadway tour of Disney's "The Lion King." Prior to that, he toured nationally in "The Three Musketeers" and "Macbeth" with the acclaimed classical touring troupe The Acting Company.
Stacey Cervellino ('00) teaches at Laguardia High School. She was an International Acting Fellow at the Globe Theatre in London during Summer 2011. She has been seen in plays and musicals in New York, Chicago, Toronto, Washington D.C. and Boston. She is the former Artistic Director of Isadora Productions and her work was featured in American Theater Magazine and New York Magazine.
Matthew Crider ('08) is a professor of acting, movement, and period performance at Murray State University.
Joshua Davis ('08) started a theater company in Chicago called The Ruckus.
Loretta Devine ('76) won an Emmy in 2011 for outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her role as Adele Webber on "Grey's Anatomy." She starred in Tyler Perry's 2010 film adaptation "For Colored Girls" and appears in his movie "Madea's Big Happy Family." She was part of the original Broadway cast of "Dreamgirls," the films "Waiting to Exhale," "Crash," and "Dreamgirls" and the TV series "Grey's Anatomy" and "Boston Public." Loretta finished a Los Angeles run of her one-woman stage show, "Pieces of Me."
McCaela Donovan (MFA '11) was the Assistant Director and Elisabetta Polito (MFA '11) the Costume Designer for SpeakEasy Stage Company's production of "The Color Purple."
Izzy Einsidler ('05) is a Professor of Lighting/Sound Design at Fresno State University where he designs all of their Mainstage shows. His designs include "The Lifeblood" at the Connelly Theatre in NYC and "Urinetown" and "Slaughter of the Innocents in California."
Malik B. El-Amin (’02) is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Griot Theatre in California. Griot Theatre’s mission is to create a forum for professional theatre artists from underrepresented groups to interpret theatre in new ways.
Chris Faith ('00) is a Barrymore Award winning actor and has performed Off-Broadway. He is an adjunct professor at Temple University, teaching Acting and Musical Theater. He and his wife own Dance Art Collaborative, a performance studio for children.
Michael Jarett ('07) currently works as the Lighting Designer/Dance Technical Director for the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Department of Dance and Choreography as well as a freelance lighting designer. He was awarded the prestigious Gilbert Hemsley internship at Lincoln Center, where he assisted with lighting for the New York City Ballet, New York City Opera and the Lincoln Center Festival.
Angie Jepson ('05) was nominated for a 2010 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress for her role as Honey in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" at Publick Theatre Boston. She has been working steadily as an actress, fight choreographer, and teacher in Boston. She has performed at SpeakEasy Stage Company, Shakespeare Now!, The Publick Theatre, Boston Playwrights Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, New Repertory Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, and Wellesley Summer Theatre.
Karla Kash ('99) is the head of Musical Theatre at Drake University where she directed and choreographed "Company" as well as "And the World Goes 'Round." She choreographed "Open Heart" written by and starring Robby Benson at the Stephen Sondheim Center. www.karlakash.com
Chris Kauffman ('95) is an Associate Professor of Acting and Directing at Gettysburg College and is active in creating original clown pieces and devised theatre shows.
Jesse Kellerman ('03) has published five novels: "Potboiler," "The Executor," "The Genius," "Trouble" and "Sunstroke." He has won several awards for his writing, including the 2003 Princess Grace Award, given to America’s most promising young playwright, and the 2010 Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle, for Les Visages (The Genius).
Kevin P. Kern ('90) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Mount Union and the founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare At The Castle in northeast Ohio. This past summer he directed "Twelfth Night" for the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival in southern California.
Abigail Killeen ('05) is a Professor of Acting in the Department of Theater and Dance at Bowdoin College.
Diomedes Koufteros ('05) co-produced and starred in "Evelyn Evelyn," based on the album by Jason Webley and Amanda Palmer (of the Dresden Dolls). He has been nominated for Best Performer-Cabaret in the Cyprus National Theatre Awards.
Jennifer LaFleur ('04) is the Artistic Producer of The Grid Theatre. She had a small role in the Sundance Film Festival breakout film "Baghead" by the Duplass Brothers and went on to film a leading role in their film "Do-Deca Pentathlon." She had a recurring role as Nurse Judy on "Guiding Light" and shot the role of Flora in the pilot episode of the TNT series "Bunker Hill."
Debbie Lamedman ('96) had her short play "Mind Control" selected as part of the Samuel French Play Fest taking place in NYC in 2010. She has written and edited multiple acting books including "Laying the Foundation for a Successful Acting Career." debbielamedman.com
Kevin Landis ('05) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Meron Langsner ('04) had his play "Bystander 9/11: A Theatre Piece Concerning the Events of September 11, 2001" included in "The Methuen Drama Anthology of Testimonial Plays" (Bloomsbury 2014). The play itself has been performed at Brandeis three times.
Natalie Rose Liberace ('93) is a proud member of AEA, SAG, and AFTRA. She regularly performs with the Portland Stage Company. She also teaches Public Speaking at SUNY Rockland where she is an adjunct professor.
Kate Myre ('92) has worked as a professional actress in dozens of theaters across the United States. She is an Associate Professor of Voice and Speech at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Wash.
Matthew J. Nichols ('04) and Britney Burgess ('04) are Co-Artistic Directors of Zootopia Theatre Company which produces original works for the stage.
Celli Pitt ('03) sang and did vocal scoring for the HBO award-winning short film "PreMature." She works with Blessed Unrest Theatre Company in NYC.
Sarah Schoch ('14) is an Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.
Jake Suffian (’02) is the Development Director of Griot Theatre in California. Griot Theatre’s mission is to create a forum for professional theatre artists from underrepresented groups to interpret theatre in new ways.
Paul Tavianini ('92) is the Artistic Director of Muncie Civic Theatre as of summer 2015. He will oversee all the shows to ensure the continued high quality of staging and performance.
Agnes Tsangaridou (aka Agnes Scott) ('02) starred in the film "OPA!" opposite Matthew Modine.
Brian Weaver ('08) along with his wife Nikki and brother Michael founded the Portland Playhouse in Portland, Oregon where Brian serves as Artistic Director. Cristi Miles ('05) has joined them as an Actor and Company Member.
Karen White ('92) has been narrating audio books for more than ten years. She's been an "Audie" nominee as well as the recipient of several AudioFile awards. Her books can be found at most public libraries, at Audible.com, and in bookstores. karenwhiteaudiobooks.com
Benjamin Williams ('11) received a 2011 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Design (lighting) by a Midsize/Small/Fringe Theater, "The Aliens" (Company One).
Sheldon Best ('08) starred in Atlantic Theater Company's US Premiere of "The Lonliness of the Long Distance Runner." He received an Audelco nomination for best lead actor in a play for his work in the Off-Broadway show "Freed." He performed in the world premiere of "Soul Samurai" by Qui Nguyen, produced by Ma-Yi Theatre Company and Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company.
Mitchell Bloom ('84) is the Assistant Resident Costume Designer at the Metropolitan Opera. Previously, he was a freelance Assistant Costume Designer working on Broadway ("Grand Hotel," "The Will Rogers Follies" and "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," all Tony-winning designs), films ("Cold Mountain," "The Good Shepherd" and "The Village") and dance (world premiers by Agnes DeMille, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp).
Michael Carnow ('07) has worked with Tympanic Theatre, Profiles Theatre and Chicago Dramatists in Chicago, IL. He currently holds the position of Literary Manager at Profiles Theatre. He has been working with a variety of playwrights to help develop their new work. Prior to moving to Chicago, Michael was an Artistic Partner of Breathe Art Theatre in Detroit and was nominated for a Wilde Award for Best Production of a New Script.
Daniel Servando Chavez ('10) was awarded a Fulbright grant to study architectural lighting design at the Royal Institute of Technology in Haninge, Sweden.
Larry Coen ('81) is Artistic Director of the nationally acclaimed, award-winning City Stage Co. bringing free theatre to 175,000 children annually in libraries, schools, parks and daily at the Boston Children's Museum. He has performed for over 500,000 people on the Boston Common in five Commonwealth Shakespeare Company productions, including their award-winning "All’s Well That Ends Well". Larry recently appeared in the world premiere of “M” at the Huntington Theatre Company and in "Death of a Salesman" at the Lyric Stage of Boston.
Aaron Costa Ganis ('06) starred in "Off the Main Road" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival alongside Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Kyra Sedgwick. He also starred in The Mnemonist of Duchess County Off-Broadway.
Mary Faber ('01) starred on Broadway as Smitty in the 2011 revival "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" alongside Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette. She also appeared on Broadway in "Green Day's American Idiot" and "Avenue Q."
The Crossroad Players was founded by Jessie Field ('13, Artistic Director), Alia Goldfarb ('13, Web Developer), Rachel Huvard ('14, Production Manager), Jamie Perutz ('13, Director of Social Media), and Alisa Roznerita ('13, Business Manager). Their production of “My Romantic History" in spring 2014 starred Yoni Bronstein ('13) as Tom.
Bill Folman ('98) released his first novel "The Scandal Plan." billfolman.com
Debra Messing ('90) starred in the new NBC series "Smash," written by Theresa Rebeck (M.A. '83, M.F.A. '86, PhD '89) and produced by Steven Spielberg.
Ethan Prochnik ('86) received an Emmy in 2011 for his work as a series producer for Discovery's "The Deadliest Catch," which won four Emmys: outstanding reality program, outstanding cinematography for reality programming, outstanding picture editing for reality programming and outstanding sound mixing for nonfiction programming.
Anneke Reich ('13) co-founded Artists' Theater of Boston, a company dedicated to artistic collaboration in the production of low-cost, accessible theater that critically deconstructs and recreates influential work. Their spring 2014 performance of Charles Mee's
"Trojan Women: A Love Story" starred Anneke as Andromache, as well as Ernest Paulin ('10), Greg Storella ('11), Corrie Legge ('14) and Eliza Dumais ('14). The production was directed by Tony Rios ('11).
Rachel Reiner ('97) is co-President of the League of Professional Theatre Women, an international advocacy and networking organization for women in theatre. She is also the Senior Manager of Membership Services and Education Programs at The Broadway League.
Daniel Sack ('02) received his Ph.D. in Drama from Stanford University in 2010 and was a postdoctoral fellow in the English Departments at Amherst College and University of Massachusetts from 2010-2012. He is currently an assistant professor in the School of Theatre at Florida State University, where he writes on contemporary international performance and occasionally directs and performs his own work.
Cassie Seinuk ('09) was selected to participate in the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival. Her Play "The Muse," directed by Kenny Fuentes ('08), was performed at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row in NYC.
Sarah (Rubin) Sokolic ('93) is an actor and educator and serves as the Associate Executive Director of Storahtelling, Inc., a non-profit arts and education organization whose mission is the advancement of Judaic literacy and social consciousness through the retelling of ancient stories.
Gwen Tulin ('06) is the Artistic Director of Brain Surgeon Theater, a Chicago theater company that creates original rock musicals, among other things. She has directed and co-written "CAVES!," "Zombie Project: The Sad World," "Johnny Ten Bones" and "Post-Christmas Spectacular 1976." Gwen also works with the Meisner-based company The Artistic Home.
Miriam Weiner ('93) participated in Soho Repertory Theater's Writer/Director Lab. She worked with Madeleine George on her new play "Precious Little," and directed a reading of Antoinette Nwandu's new play "Breach" at the Public Theatre. She is a Literary Fellow at the Vineyard Theatre and a freelance director in NYC.
Michal Zecher ('06) spent several years at CBS Primetime Casting where she cast some of the most popular Primetime television shows such as "CSI," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Good Wife" and many more. She is now an acting coach to many of NYC's successful working actors.
*To add information to The Callboard please contact Alyssa Avis.*