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NOTABLE ALUMNI

Graduates from the UMBC theatre department win awards for film performances, work with Cirque du Soleil, become program directors for satellite radio, serve as wardrobe assistant for a reality television show, run their own theatre companies, become award winning high school teachers. Their careers reflect the wide range of skills that one learns as a theatre student. We've featured just some of them below.

If you are a UMBC theatre alumnus and would like to send us an update, please use our Alumni Update form.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Alan Aymie, 1993

His play, RAP, will be coming to NYC for a staged reading on April 4th, 2011 before going down to DC for the DC Black Theater Festival in June.

Originally seen in LA, (The Zephyr, The Comedy Central Performance Space, etc.), LA WEEKLY recommended the play calling it, "Boldly refreshing & audacious."

He's working towards a New York production after it returns from DC. The NY cast is amazing! It features James Brown Orleans (Broadway's The Lion King) and a whole group of tremendous actors.

He is currently residing in Beverly Hills and focused on writing for performance. Writing credits include: SONGS MY FATHER TAUGHT ME (Ensemble Theater Company - NY), CHILD'S PLAY (HBO Comedy Arts Festival), RAP (Zephyr Theater), RATS (Zephyr Theater), PREPARE FOR TAKE-OFF (Univ. of IOWA short play competition), OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN (LA Playwrights Festival) and the short film, PASSION OF THE COUCH (Portland Film Festival). Film and TV acting credits can be seen on IMDB.COM

 

Chas Argent, 1988
Technical Director at Center Stage. Formerly, Technical Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Kristen J. Bishel, 2003
is an AEA stage manager and has been the Resident SM for Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD, a leading professional theatre focusing on shows for children/families, since 2008. She also teaches stage management workshops at Spotlighters Theatre in Baltimore.

Natalie Blank, 2008
Is currently teaching dance at Quince Orchard High School. In fall of 2008 she interned at Rep Stage for the production Intelligence and performed in The Butterfingers Angel.

James Brown-Orleans, 2005
Professional actor currently in the touring production of The Lion King.

Vanessa Buono, 2001
received an MFA in Acting at Purdue University. She moved to Los Angeles where she was a member of the Berubians--a successful improv troupe--and played roles on ER, American Dreams, and All of Us. Currently, she is the School Programs Manager at The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.

Jillian Byrnes, 2005
Currently working as an early childhood educator for Frederick County Even Start as well as co-worship arts leader for FaithPoint United Methodist Church.

Donnie Canetti, 2003
Drama/theatre arts teacher of Pre-K through 6th grade at Montebello Jr. Academy in Baltimore City.

Erick Chavarria, 2005
graduated from UMBC in 2005 with a BFA in acting, and currently lives in LA. TV credits include: ER, Jimmy Kimmel Live, a guest star on the Spanish language series Detective Privado, and six episodes on the daytime drama General Hospital. He has worked on commercials for AM/PM and Cricket Wireless. He is currently appearing on a promo with Jay Leno for The Jay Leno Show, and on a promo for the 2009 football season with Tony Gonzalez, Machete Star and Danny Trejo. Erick is very proud to be a UMBC Theatre graduate.

Gedalya Chinn , 2006
Was recently granted admission by Northwestern University into the MFA in Writing for the Stage and Screen program, which he will begin in fall 2009. Has devoted himself primarily to playwriting, first in Baltimore, and then in Chicago since his move there. Has a number of originial pieces circulating at festivals in Chicago and New York, and is currently being considered for a spot in this year's Sundance Theatre Lab in Utah.

Gary Corbin, 1982
AFter graduation, I was able to tour the country performing theater designed to educate people on the plight of persons with disabilities and special needs. I also became the first Director of Performing Arts Programs at The Maryland State Arts Council. I formed my own production company in New York called The Arts Den New York. As a result, I wrote, starred in and produced my one-man play, FOUR ONE-LEGGED MEN. FOUR ONE-LEGGED MEN received The Gregory Millard Fellowship from The New York Foundation For The Arts, a Theater Commission from The New York State Council on the Arts, and Individual Artist Award in Playwriting from both the Maryland and New York State Council's on the Arts, The Performance Art Fund from The Franklin Furnace Foundation administered by Jerome Foundation, two Community Arts Grants from The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and was recently nominated for the prestigious Lambent Fellowship administered by the Tides Foundation.

Kara Lee Corthron, 1999
received the Vineyard Theatre's 3rd Annual Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. Other honors include: Lincoln Center's Lecomte du Nouy Prize (three-time recipient), an E.S.T./Sloan Commission, the Theodore Ward Prize, the New Professional Theatre Writers Award, residencies at MacDowell, Skriðuklaustur (Iceland), the Millay Colony, and Ledig House and she was twice finalist for New Dramatists membership ('08 and '09). Current commissions: South Coast Rep, InterAct, New Georges, and Naked Angels. Play development: African Continuum (D.C.), ACT Seattle/Hansberry Project, CenterStage (Baltimore), Electric Pear P!roductions, Horizon Theatre (Atlanta), Naked Angels, New Dramatists, among others. TV: staff writer for NBC's KINGS (2008-2009). Kara is a Juilliard alumna, Fulcrum Theater resident playwright, instructor at Primary Stages, and member of the 2010 Play Group at Ars Nova, 'Wright On! Play Group (co-founder), Blue Roses, the Dramatists Guild and is a New Georges Affiliated Artist.

Kenny Curtis (former theatre student)
Program Director of XM Kids, Senior Director of Speciality Programming, XM Satellite Radio. http://www.xmradio.com/programming

Tammy Dygert, 1993
Dramaturg, Hippodrome State Theatre, Gainesville, Florida.

Steven Fleming, 2007
I was just hired as the Theatre Arts teacher for Oakland Mills High School in Howard County. I will be teaching three drama classes and two English classes.

Katie Fraser, 2004
received a Master's degree in Contemporary Approaches to English Studies from Goldsmiths University in London in 2006. She is now a high school English teacher at an all girls' school in Newark, NJ that is dedicated to providing outstanding opportunities to young women from one of New Jersey's most challenged cities. Katie has also revitalized the school's drama department, and has been working to provide new and exciting performance and technical experiences for the students.

Carl Freundel, 1985
Asst. Coordinator Theatre Program, CCBC Catonsville.

Tony Gallahan, 1993
Is on the board of Mobtown Players and was their Artistic Director in 2006. Over the years since graduating, he has worked in Washington DC, Baltimore and New York.

Celeste Gilbert, 2008
Administrative Manager and Theatre Relations Assistant for The Hellen Hayes Awards in Washington DC.

Deborah Green, 2000
Working actress, most recently seen on N.Y. stage in the premiere of Kia Corthron's play, Dual, at Sanctuary Playwrights Theatre. Deborah also performs in film and has had roles in Sex and the City.

Amanda Gunther, 2009
has been writing as a theatre critic with Maryland Theatre Guide ( www.mdtheatreguide.com) since September 2011 and continues to enjoy reviewing theatre, as many as six shows a week at times.

Laurel Haac, 2008
Laurel is a New York based Costume and Production designer working in theatre, dance, opera, and film. She recently graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where she received her MFA in Costume/Production design. Her work can be viewed at www.luxhaac.com.

Marianne Hayden, 2002 and
Jennifer Servary, 2003

While Linehan Artist Scholar Marianne Hayden is completing her graduate studies at California Institute of the Arts, she has had time to win the Best Actress Award at the 2000 Screamfest Horror Film Festival in Los Angeles for her performance in the new film, Ghost Watcher. Two other stars of this film are recent graduates Jennifer Servary and UMBC Linehan Artist Scholar, Jillian Byrnes. GhostWatcher also won the Best Film Award at the 2003 Maryland Fantastique Film Festival. For more information and a short view of the film, go to: http://www.ghostwatchermovie.com/.

Alli Houseworth , 2003
Since graduating in 2003, Alli has worked in the Media Relations Department at CENTERSTAGE, as the Assistant to Artistic Director Roger Rees at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, as the Executive Assistant to the Partners at Broadway's largest press agency, Boneau/Bryan-Brown, for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and as the Special Projects Manager at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Producing and Theatre Management at Columbia University, where she is a Shubert Presidential Scholar. NYC Producing credits include: Blueprint (2007 Summer Play Festival), As You Like It (HEREĖ 2007 NYIT Winner), Ibsen/Fosse: 2006 (59E59). PR: Columbia Stages, Juvenilia (West Coast Premiere), The Spectator(World Premiere), The Possibilities (NYC premiere), As You Like It.

Jan P. Hughes, 1981
For years, Jan owned his own production company in Chicago which won over a dozen National and International Awards for Video and Satellite Production on five continents, including an International Television Association Gold Award for Special Effects. He was awarded the "Top 100 Producer of the Year" in 2000 by AV Producer Magazine. He was recently hired by the governor of Illinois as Division Manager of Illinois Information Services and produces the governor's press events, public service announcements, video news releases, web, radio, digital photo and print communications.

Meryl Katz, 2006
Meryl Katz is completing her Juris Doctor degree at Drexel University, Earle Mack School of Law in Philadelphia, PA. She will graduate in May 2009 as a member of Drexel Law's Inaugural Law Review, and with honors for completing over 125 hours of pro bono service. During her time at Drexel, she helped the Director of the Trial Advocacy program develop "Improv for Lawyers" - a class which teaches improvisational skills to law students. Since August 2007, she has worked with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, providing free legal services to people with HIV/AIDS.

Paul Kelm, 2003
Head of Automation, Cirque de Soleil/ Bellagio.

Kay Kostopoulos, 1972
Kay Kostopoulos has a BA from UMBC, and an MFA from A.C.T, San Francisco. She acts and sings professionally, and has been instrumental in the creation of many new theatrical works. Her website is www.blackolivejazz.com. She has performed at Stanford University Summer theatre for four seasons, and at the San Francisco and California Shakespeare Festivals, where she also served as Director of Education. Kay conducts private independent workshops, master classes for theatre educators, and individual coaching sessions for both the professional actor and the public speaker.

Kay directed and taught in ACTís Advanced Training Program for six years, where she also served on the M.F.A. committee. Kay currently directs and teaches undergraduate Acting, Acting Pedagogy for graduate students, and Voice and Speech at Stanford University, where she has taught for 10 years. She participated in an educational alliance between Stanford, Princeton and Yale and was directly involved in the conception, planning, and voice performances featured on their educational web site. She also teaches adult students in Stanfordís Continuing Studies Program.

Kay has also taught at City College of San Francisco, Santa Rosa Jr. College, the American Musical Theatre of San Jose, Dominican University, De Anza College; coached for the National Association of Speakers, and served as language coach for many independent theatre companies.

Nancy Krebs, 1972
Master Teacher in the Lessac Voice & Body Training, professional actor/singer, has just finished working as dialect coach for Misalliance at Olney Theatre Center, and Two by J.M. Barrie at Rep Stage in Columbia, MD. Songs from her newest CD Moved by God, won top nominations for the 2010 Unity Awards.

Sarah Landbeck, 1999
After graduating with her MFA in wigs and makeup from North Carolina School for the Arts she worked two years at Arena Stage. Sara is now living in NY, working a permanent swing position on "Beauty and the Beast" and working weekends on Saturday Night Live.

Keith Levy, 1986
Appeared on Project Runday on the Bravo channel in his persona, Sherry Vine.

Sheila Lopez, 1992
Sheila Lopez graduated from UMBC in 1992 and earned an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 2002. She is the Founder and Executive Director for Antecesores, a New York-based non-profit theatrical organization that offers educational programs and projects to study history, literature and performing arts of América latina; performance programs to reaffirm the Latino culture and people; and theatrical productions to provide a unique exposition of cultural and linguistic experiences in Spanish for everyone.

Antecesores was conceived as a pro-active response to an important challenge faced by the communities in Erie County, New York, where Latino youth lacked resources to ensure the continuation of their ancestral histories and cultural heritage, and where the community at large lacked mediums to learn about the contributions and embrace the richness of the diverse Latino cultures in this area.
http://www.antecesores.org/

Dennis Marsico, 1984
Actor at Walt Disney World at MGM studios in Orlando, Florida.

Jessica Mateluvich, 1996
Jessica is directing the theater program at Reservoir High School in Howard County, MD. She received an award for directing the Outstanding Comedy from the Maryland State High School Theatre Association 2003. Recently(2007) accepted into UMCP's Ph.D. program for speech and theater

Dolores McBride, 1991
Attorney in the office of the Public Defender in Denton, Caroline County, Maryland.

Matt McGloin, 2005
Since graduating, Matt has performed at such theatres as the Olney Theatre, Signature Theatre, Kennedy Center, Ford's Theatre, Folger Theatre, Synetic Theatre, Imagination Stage, Constellation Theatre, Adventure Theatre, and the Virginia Shakespeare Festival. He recently moved to New York, where he is currently the Site Director for an after-school arts education program at an elementary school in Manhattan, and a Patron Services Representative at the TKTS ticket booth in Times Square.

Erica Lauren McLaughlin, 2006
Has continued performing throughout New York City, DC, and Baltimore since leaving UMBC. She is the star of the short film, Cold April, (www.coldapril.com) which has received award nominations and appeared in 11 festivals in 2010 across the country, including screenings for officials from the UN and Congressional Black Caucus. Cold April is based on the Strawberry One-Act Festival Winner for Best Play about the Rwandan genocide, for which Erica received a Best Actress nomination, and is now published in the Strawberry Festival anthology. NYC credits also include Balm in Gilead at T. Schreiber Studio, Nocturnes at Piper Theatre (an ensemble piece being re-developed for Edinburgh Fringe 2011), Amerissiah at The Amoralists Theater Company, La Sonnambula at HERE Arts Center, Hydra at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Basura! at NY Fringe, and more. Erica has also served as a leading consultant on business of acting, networking, and social media for the theatre, working with several private clients in New York City and lecturing at Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, and at UMBC. She currently resides in Manhattan and works for Theatre Development Fund as the TKTS Patron Services Coordinator, training and overseeing a team at the TKTS Booth in Times Square. More information is always available at www.ericamclaughlin.com

Renata Melillo, 2009
Was hired at The New Victory Theatre in New York City as assistant house manager. New Vic ushers are high school students, so Renata will combine her loves--mentoring students, working with the public, and management.

Eric Messner, 2001
Is a working actor in the Baltimore Washington area.

Eric Millman , 1994
Graduated with an M.S. in Pastoral Counseling in 2005. Currently works at Jewish Addiction Services in Baltimore, MD.

Adam Mondschein, 2001
Since graduating, he has performed internationally and in Shakespeare companies across the country. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Acting at UCLA (class of 2012).

Brigitte Pribnow Moore, 2005
Is the Development and Production Manager at Young Playwrights' Theater, the only professional theater in Washington, DC, dedicated entirely to arts education. Founded in 1995 by award-winning playwright Karen Zacarias, Young Playwrights' Theater (YPT) teaches students throughout the DC metro area to express themselves clearly and creatively through the art of playwriting. Through interactive in-school and after-school programs, YPT activates student learning and inspires students to understand the power of language in realizing their potential. By publicly presenting and discussing student-written work, YPT promotes community dialogue and respect for young artists. www.yptdc.org

Steve Moore, 1988
Director of Legal Affairs at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Aaron Moss, 2007
received his MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama. He starred in the feature film The Life of the Party featuring Anthony Rapp, and played Lucio in the Elm Shakespeare Company's production of Measure for Measure.

Karen Murphy (Foltz), 2001
Costume Assistant with Baltimore Opera Company.

Matthew Myer, 2004
Is a member of the 2008 cohort of the Baltimore Teaching Residency. He is a first grade teacher at Steuart Hill Academic Academy in southwest Baltimore. He will be graduating from Johns Hopkins University in summer 2009 with an MAT.

Susan Ostrinsky (Aaron), 1989
Has worked at The Source Theatre Co. in DC, The Patuxent Theatre Co. in Columbia, MD, and The National Theatre in Washington, DC. After a 5-year hiatus being a happy stay-at-home mom, she has once again rejoined the theatre community with the role of Sheila in The Boys Next Door, and some extra work in film (along with her son, Ben).

Jennifer Rade, 1990
Costume Designer/Wardrobe Stylist, who has worked with Marilyn Manson, Eminen, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dr. Dre, the Dave Matthews Band, and Will Smith. She's just been nominated for a costume Designer's Guild Award for the Best Comercial Design for the Ipod campaign. And she's hosted 18 episodes of the reality show, "Live Like a Star" for Fox TV.

Deborah Randall, 1994
Founder and executive director of a thriving company, Venus Theatre, Washington, D.C. Her recent production of Ugly Ducklings was nominated for the American Theatre Critics Award. With that show, Deb produced and directed a cast of 13 women, 8 under the age of 18. Recent graduate Paul Kelm designed and built the production, also receiving critical acclaim.

June Reich, 1988
General Managing Editor, Women and Performance, A Journal of Feminist Performance.

Trevor Rick, 2001
Actor in Spiderman II.

Kyle Riley, 1999
played the role of Doalty in Translations by Brian Friel at The Curve Theatre in Leicester, England as part of The Festival of Friel www.curveonline.co.uk. Toured with Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, National UK Tour playing the role of Norman Petty.

Brian Rudell, 2006
In his second season as the Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audience on Tour's Sound Supervisor and Assistant Technical Director.

Kelly Sinnot, 2006
was a wardrobe intern at Centerstage. She has been the wardrobe coordinator for the Peabody Opera since 2006.

Michael Patrick Flannigan Smith, 1985
After ten years of work, my play Woody Guthrie Dreams has received an official seal of approval from the Woody Guthrie family, Publications and Archives. The show is being produced by Theater for a New City and opens on September 8, 2011 for a four week run at TNC's Johnson Theater.

Carolyn Spedden, 1983
Artistic Director of the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Freelanced at Maryland Public TV as an associate producer and writer. Has written several plays, most notable a multi-media production called QUEST, which premiered in London, UK at Christmas 2004. Currently at work on a new play and writing an actors' handbook. North American agent for the UK band, The Mediaeval Baebes.

Vanessa Strickland, 2006
lives and works in the Washington, DC area. After graduating with a BFA in Acting from UMBC, Vanessa spent a year and a half as a company member of the Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Park. Following her time there, she has worked with several area theatre companies including Synetic Family Theatre, the Baltimore Dance Project, Deviated Theatre, Inkwell Theatre, Young Playwright's Theatre, and Maryland Ensemble Theatre. Vanessa has also performed in several film, industrial, and viral video shoots with local production companies including Running Storm Productions, CAS Video Productions, Digital Bard Video Productions, and Brillhart Media. She has participated in the 2009 and 2010 29 Days Later Film Project and the 2010 48 Hour Film Project for DC and Baltimore. Vanessa is also trained in rod, marionette, and Bunraku puppetry; musical theatre, and Neutral Mask www.vanessastrickland.net.

Stacy Teague, 2002
Head of Wardrobe, touring with Cirque du Soleil's Varekai.

Rob Taylor
Had 2 plays accepted and produced (both of which were written in Dr. Susan McCully's class) at the New American Playwright's Festival in Columbus, OH--Honeymoon and americanroyalty. His play Playthings--which was originally conceived at the UMBC 24 Hour Play Festival--opens the theme night "Children and (Other) Sharp Objects" at the International Cringe Festival in New York this summer (2009), performing at the Producer's Club  and competing for the Golden Pineapple Award. He will also play Snug in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival.

Tanya Turgeon, 2001
For the past three years has appeared on television shows, films, and commercials in New York. Acting includes character improv and circus skills. Currently teaches circus skills to at-risk youth in the Bronx and Harlem for the Big Apple Circus as part of their "Circus After School" program. Entertains at events such as stiltwalking for the Macy's Day Parade and clowning for an International Festival in China. www.tanyaturgeon.com

Les Williams, 1991
After graduating UMBC I continued studies with Sanford Meisner and Martin Barter in Los Angeles. Then I was invited to be a member of the Sanford Meisner Theatre Company. Here I was able to hone my craft and created several roles in original plays. One of the most notable performances was in Lynn Mamet's "The Walking Wounded". I have worked on several television shows and film. The most recent "Play the Game" where I shared the screen with Andy Griffith. I am currently in production with "The Ghastly Love of Johnny X" www.JohnnyXMovie.com. I am also the Executive Producer of "Kiss the Bride", www.KissTheBrideMovie.com. Starring Tori Spelling, JoAnna Cassidy, Robert Foxworth, Tess Harper. Opening in theatres April 18, 2008. In 2007 I created my own production company Silver Lake Pictures. I am currently in pre-production on the film "ReleVance" based on a story I wrote and am the screenplay co-writer.

Peter Wood, 2006
is a full-time professional magician, providing family and corporate audiences with interactive magic shows. Top companies such as Frito-Lay, Toys R Us and USA Today rely on Peter for entertainment, as do government organizations including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Marine Corps. A design/production Theatre graduate from UMBC, Peter began performing professionally at the age of ten, and paid his way through college as a performer. His shows feature custom-built equipment and original routines, often with the look and feel of a turn-of-the-century magic experience. Peter specializes in performances for family audiences, creating shows that adults and children can enjoy together. He also entertains with close-up strolling magic, mingling with guests during a cocktail hour or open house. Further information, including photos, videos and Peter's public show calendar, may be found at http://ShazamMagic.com