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Alumni News

Once again, friends and family of the late Molly Glynn (J90) are offering a summer internship grant for a Tufts student to gain valuable experience working in any Chicago theater this summer. The 2016 Molly Glynn Theatre Internship in Chicago is open now for applications for the summer. In 2015, Tufts' student Jake Hoover worked with Northlight, but the companies may vary from year to year, based on students' areas of internship.
Learn more about the grant and application, and view a list of 2015 recipients >
Download 2016 Grant Guidelines and Application Packet >
(Updated: 02/2016)

David Jenkins announced that he will be joining the faculty of the Taipei American School at the end of February as a long-term substitute, to cover for a staff member out on paternity leave. He will be covering five high school theater classes throughout March and April, as well as producing a show of One Acts for the advanced acting and directing students, to be presented at the TAS Fine Arts Festival in April. Congratulations, David! (Updated: 01/2016)

Noam Ash in the news!  In January 2016, Tufts' Drama Alumni, Noam Ash was featured in Vanity Fair in an article about online movie makers for his YouTube sensation My Gay Roommate, which he started as a Tufts student.  Read all about it here >

In November 2015, Noam shot a trailer for Happy Yummy Chicken' a mockumentary about two men who make a musical about one woman who sat in a fried chicken restaurant for two months following a breakup. He had the great privilege of working opposite Taryn Manning, Diane Guerrero and Emma Myles from Netflix's Orange is the New Black in this hysterical film, written by Brandon Monokian and directed by Anna Loyd Bradshaw. View trailer here > (Updated: 01/2016)

Live Design Online calls Drama Alumni and Lighting Designer, Cat Wilson, "2015 Young Designer To Watch". Read about it here > (Updated: 12/2015)

December 2015: The Graduate Student Research Competition Committee approved the research projects of current Drama Graduate students, Amy Meyer and Ali-Reza Mirsajadi.  The funding of $1000 is competitive. (Updated: 12/2015)

Read HowlRound Online's interview with Tufts' Drama Alumni Ken Cerniglia: Dramaturg & Literary Manager, Disney Theatrical Group.  (Updated: 11/2015)

In November 2015, strong>Ben Samuels, was excited to share a part of his creative journey sharing an article that he wrote for Creative Future. Started by the founder of Paramount Classics, Ruth Vitale, Creative Future seeks to empower youth to pursue jobs in the arts, while simultaneously uniting Hollywood under one umbrella to fight intellectual property rights infringement (i.e. privacy).   This personal story publicly voices Sam's true feelings on the value of the arts in our lives. It represents honestly his world views and he hopes that you find something meaningful in it.
Website: http://www.bensamuels.com
IMDB: imdb.me/bensamuels
(Updated: 11/2016)

Congratulations to Dassia Posner, who won the Cambridge University Press Prize for her article Baring the Frame: Meyerhold's Refraction of Gozzi's Love of Three Oranges. (Updated: 10/2015)

Nick Jandl, A07, 2015 was busiest year yet of his acting career. In the fall, he shot a guest-starring role on ABC's 'CASTLE' opposite star Nathan Fillion. Soon after, he booked a heavily recurring role on ABC's 'NASHVILLE' and has since worked on 17 of the last 20 episodes.  Playing a doctor/love interest to Scarlett (played by Clare Bowen), Nick has had the fortune of working opposite Connie Britton, Charles Esten, Lennon and Maisy Stella, and many others. When in between episodes back in Los Angeles, Nick is expanding into screenwriting and producing for television and film (Updated: 10/2015)

Julie "Azalea" Otis, J00, completed an artist residency at the Art Farm in Marquette, Nebraska, and is back home in Somerville. She has been creating performance art and installations for the past couple of years alongside growing her personal coaching business. Highlights include aerial poetry at Oberon in Cambridge, performing at Boston City Hall, creating The Complaint (& Catharsis) Department for the Somerville Pity Party, and a performance art installation of Free Verse comprised of a collection of vintage typewriters where she composed live-time poetry portraiture and invited others to spill their hearts onto the page as well. (Updated: 10/2015)

Hilary Asare appeared as Emilie in Quince Productions' The Submission in April 2015 at Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5 and played Leonato and Dogberry in The Mechanical Theater's production of Much Ado About Nothing in August 2015. (Updated: 10/2015)

Cindy Rosenthal, J76 (Drama/English), Professor in Drama and Dance at Hofstra University. In Fall 2015, she directed Fiddler on the Roof for the department, along with Stas Kmeic (Tufts Drama and Dance, '83) who did the choreography/musical staging.  In 2014, she directed Seamus Heaney's The Burial at Thebes at Hofstra and the world premiere of The March of the Bonus Army by Isaac Rathbone at Cap 21's Black Box in NYC. In the summer of 2015, she returned to Bread Loaf, where she has been part of the resident Equity acting ensemble since 1986. She played Jo Britton in James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie and Miss Maudie in To Kill a Mockingbird, both directed by Brian McEleney. Recent Publications: "And After Love," a memorial to Judith Malina in TDR: The Drama Review 59:3 (T227) Fall 2015. (Updated: 10/2015)

Staś (Stan) Kmieć,  A82, has returned as Artistic Director of Ballet Western Reserve and splits his time between Manhattan and Ohio. He received the "Excellence in Choreography" Award at the New York Musical Theater Festival for his work in the new musical The Mapmaker's Opera.  He created A Youngstown Nutcracker - a unique take on the classic ballet that featured 110 dancers, actors and vocalists and incorporated local historical figures and spoken dialogue. Staś also directed The Elephant Man, directed and choreographed Fiddler on the Roof, and choreographed the opera Don Giovanni in Ohio. A specialist in Jerome Robbins' original 1964 production, he was brought in as a Guest Artist at Hofstra University to musically staged and choreograph another Fiddler, which was directed by Tufts Alumna Cindy Rosenthal. (Updated: 10/2015)

Robi Polgar, A87, wrote, produced and directed his original work about the rainforest, The Tree Play, in August 2015 in Austin, Texas, "an original agitprop folk tale for the theatre, provoked by the deforestation of the Amazon." The production received a excellent reviews in The Austin Chronicle and from the audience, who were led by the company into a rainforest we created inside the performance venue, the Ground Floor Theatre.  (Updated: 10/2015)

Judith Pratt, A67, has been an actor, professor, theatre reviewer, and now a director and playwright. Her full-length play MAIZE, about Nobel-winner Barbara McClintock, was recently read at the Artemisia Theatre in Chicago, and her one-act, STUDYING WAR, by The Road Theatre in Los Angeles. Last spring, CORA'S MOUNTAIN, another one-act, received a wonderful development process at the N'orEastern Playwright's Conference in Rutland, VT.

Allegedly retired, Judith is preparing for a re-play performance of the Ithaca Savoyards' PRINCESS IDA, which she directed in June, while getting ready to teach Theatre History as an adjunct at Wells College in Aurora.  Visit her website for more information. (Updated: 10/2015)

Kevin McDonald is Literary Manager and Resident Dramaturg at Redtwist and does other freelance Dramaturgy and New Play Development work around Chicago.  (Updated: 10/2015)

In September 2014, Kyle Sircus was named Director of Marketing at Playwrights Horizons, the Pulitzer Prize-winning theater company in New York City. After three years at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he is thrilled to be back on the east coast.   (Updated: 10/2015)

Mary Ann (Saloschin) Hubbard, 75, is employed as "the voice" of 90.9 WBUR, Boston's NPR news station.  She edits all Underwriting copy (a.k.a. NPR's "commercials") and is the primary voiceover artist. She also manages a backup voiceover staff of three. She is beginning her 21st season as the pre-concert speaker for Boston Classical Orchestra concerts at Faneuil Hall, where she spoke in September 2015 about Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Symphony #4. 

In July 2015, she organized a Torn Ticket / Priscilla Beach Theatre reunion at the newly renovated PBT barn in Plymouth. Approximately 35 former actors and techies attended, 40 years after their summer stock days. Tufts Drama and Dance participants included: Stephen Benson, Cindy Rosenthal, Mallory Digges, Doug Munson and many others from the mid-1970s.   (Updated: 10/2015)

Dave Gennert,  A12, graduated from Tufts with a BS in Biology and a minor in Drama (Technical Theater).  He has recently begun graduate study in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University, with the intent of earning a PhD degree in Genetics.  For the previous three years, he worked as a research associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he contributed to multiple biomedical research projects that resulted in a number of publications (three in the past year), including several in Nature and Science.  (Updated: 10/2015)

Andy Cooper-Leary, LA94, won a Sports Emmy award as part of the production team for MLB Network's MLB Tonight for the fourth time in the last 5 years.  Andrew officially serves as the Research Coordinator for Quick Pitch, MLB Network's daily wrap-up highlight show. Additionally, for the second straight year Andrew had one of his short plays presented as a staged reading as part of the "Cherry Picking" festival that took place in late August/Early September. This year's piece is called First Love. Then... . His previous piece, The Curse of Katie Couric was presented in 2014. (Updated: 10/2015)

Isabel Julie has grown her yoga studio in Bokeelia, FL to a larger location and has enjoyed significant success personally, spiritually and professionally in this endeavor.  She has also embarked upon her Master's in Nursing in the specialty of Informatics. (Updated: 10/2015)

Carine Montbertrand, J88, spent her Fall with University of Delaware REP where she performed n ANGELS IN AMERICA and MACBETH, and also taught a Commedia dell'Arte class to undergraduates. Later in the season she performed in PRIVATE LIVES directed by Darko Tresnjak at Hartford Stage, and then the workshop of a new play by Theresa Rebeck at Denver Center's New Play Summit. With a grant from Amherst College, Carine and director Ron Bashford are creating a new "bouffon" solo play based on the life of Jeanne des Anges. They rehearsed this summer in Amherst and presented the show as a work in progress during a performance residency at the Barn Arts Collective in Maine. Carine also narrated four audiobooks for Recorded Book LLC and Penguin Random House Audio. She is based in Manhattan.  (Updated: 10/2015)

This past year, Jennifer Plante's work has revolved solely around writing and producing her first feature film, HAPPY KIDS, directed by award-winning indie director Suzi Yoonessi. HAPPY KIDS is the story of an Ivy-league trained actress who casts her ego aside to work as a Los Angeles children's party entertainer to pay off her student loan debt, only to find herself in even more debt to her unforgiving boss, a jaded professional clown. It is comic look at one woman's struggle with debt and shame.  She is happy to announce that Cold Iron Pictures (Diary of a Teenage Girl, Time Out of Mind) is now attached to the project.  (Updated: 10/2015)

San Diegan Bill Purves, A68, continued in his role as VP at Harris Goldman Productions Inc. producing corporate meetings and events nationally. He shares duties there with colleague and fellow Tufts Alum Linda Cohen Goldman, J75. He enjoys seeing and staying in touch with numerous Drama and Tufts in London alums throughout the year, from Ben Little in Ft. Lauderdale, to Howard Marren and Jon Hadary in New York, to Jon Abarbanel in Chicago,  Jean Abounader in Los Angeles, and Richard Ammon in Laguna Beach, among others.  He reports Tufts graduate Barry Edelstein is doing a great job as Artistic Director at San Diego's nationally respected Old Globe Theatre. (UPDATED: 10/2015)

Judy Bowman has cast 2 features: LOST CAT CORONA starring Ralph Macchio, Gina Gershon, Paul Sorvino, Ajay Naidu and a host of terrific NY actors; and HURRICANE BIANCA, starring Bianca del Rio of RuPaul's Drag Race fame, Rachel Dratch, Alan Cumming, Bianca Leigh, Patrick Joslyn, Willam Belli, & Shangela.

After joining CSA 2 years ago, she was nominated this year for an Artios Award for a webseries, KARL MANHAIR: POSTAL INSPECTOR, the winner of which will be announced in January 2016.  As an Adjunct in the Columbia University MFA film program, she cast 6 thesis films in the Columbia Film Festival this year.  One of them, SUNDAE, received several awards and will be shown at the New York Film Festival.

On the theater front, she was a producer on a play about Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler called BILLY & RAY. After a few successful readings in New York and Los Angeles, the play found a home at NYC's Vineyard Theatre, with the hilarious Garry Marshall as director. She was thrilled to realize the dream of producing a show in New York at a commercial theater.

Judy also cast Molnar's FASHIONS FOR MEN at the Mint Theater in NYC, which received Outer Critic's Circle, Drama Desk and Lortel nominations for Best Revival.  It will be seen on PBS in October, presented by Blythe Danner.  She also worked with her fellow Tufts Drama alum Robert O'Hara at the Woolly Mammoth Theater in DC, casting Chad Beckim's LIGHTS RISE ON GRACE.  She also had a great summer of casting at the Dorset Theatre Festival, casting Shanley's OUTSIDE MULLINGAR and Paul Rudnick's I HATE  HAMLET.   She also cast Shanley's old play THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW for the Attic Theater Company in NYC.

Judy also consulted on casting for the Jewish Plays Project, and helped cast several workshop productions directed by Jessi Hill, Marc Bruni (BEAUTIFUL on Bway), Ben Kamine, and David Winitsky.

She also cast a really interesting production of Jean Genet's SPLENDID'S which, directed by French director Arthur Nauzyciel.  It toured several cities in France, and just played in South Korea.  Produced by Center Dramatique National in Orleans, France.  The production is done in English, and will be doing a showcase in New York.

Additionally, Judy is acting president of the board of Your Name Here: A Queer Theater Company, which launched a great workshop of Daniel Talbott's play GRAY.  It was very successful and will have a co-production with a well-known theater TBA shortly.   She also spent some time earlier in the year with an annual teaching commitment at Ohio University, working with the BFA and MFA acting students, as well as the MFA filmmaking students.  (UPDATED: 10/2015)

Noam ShmueliMy Gay Roommate, the web series started with Austin Bening during their senior year at Tufts,  finished its third season online with 4,500,000 views!  They were among the recipients of Tufts' PT Barnum Awards in Los Angeles for their work on the show. Featured in the New York Time, Huffington Post and many more, MGR is one of the most popular and watched web series in the world today.

Noam also had the privilege of shooting his first feature film, Happy Yummy Chicken, an indie comedy, alongside Orange is the New Black stars Taryn Manning, Emma Myles, and Diane Guerrero. He also had the distinct joy of working with one of his idols, Lanie Kazan, on the film Tango Shalom.  (UPDATED: 10/2015)

Laurie Stusser-McNeil, J82, recently became a member of the full time faculty at Highline College as an ESL instructor, teaching refugee and immigrant populations. The college is just south of Seattle in Des Moines, WA. She continues to do right by her Tufts Drama degree by serving as a trustee for Seattle Shakespeare Company.

Michael Horgan, A87.  After briefly considering a career on the stage, Michael went to medical school after a year off after Tufts.  He then went on to do a neurosurgical residency and fellowship and landed at the University of Vermont as Chief of Neurosurgery, where he has been for 15 years.  His first foray onto the stage since Tufts was last year as a party parent in the Nutcracker, where his son was one of the party children.  The feeling of just being on the stage in front of a large crowd (even in a trivial role) was exhilarating; he is now considering pursuing things further on the amateur stage.

Edward Porter.  In the fall of 2014, Edward began a two year stint as a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University. Former Stegner Fellows include Raymond Carver, Ken Kesey, Robert Stone, Larry McMurtry, and Tobias Wolff. Over the last year he also published short stories in the Hudson Review and the Gettysburg Review, and was a Scholar at the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference.

He is no longer working the drama field, but feels that his drama education at Tufts underlies any success he's had as a writer. He attended UW Madison for a year on a writing fellowship, then spent five years getting a PhD in creative writing and literature at the University of Houston.  Edward then taught at Millsaps College in Mississippi for a year before starting his fellowship at Stanford University. (UPDATED: 10/2015)

Dottie (Marshall) Englis.  Since 2005, Dottie has been the Chair of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in St. Louis, MO, where she has been a professor at Webster since 1979.  She also actively works as a costume designer.  This year, she has done....Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, ALL THE WAY, directed by Steve Woolf; Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, directed by Mike Donahue; Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, THE WINSLOW BOY, directed by Steve Woolf; Imaginary Theatre Company, THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES, directed by Kat Singleton; Indiana Repertory Theatre, TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, directed by Tim Ocel.  (UPDATED: 10/2015)

Jean Chabot, J67, retired in August after 47 years as a public librarian in New Jersey.

Doug Chitel.  In June 2015, Doug performed 11 performances at the new Sheen Center in Greenwich Village as a principal in the original musical Closer Than You Think - a family drama based on the 1990 movie Across the Tracks, staring Brad Pitt.

Stacy Klein, recipient of Tufts 2014 Graduate Alumni Outstanding Career Achievement Award was recently interviewed by Howl Round for her work with Double Edge Theatre's. Stacy is the Founding Artistic Director of Double Edge Theater, which describes itself as an international center for performance, collaboration, and training. Read her conversation with Jennifer Johnson of the Charlestown Working Theater >

Matthew Gurren (Tufts '12) has co-written a musical called "What do Crtitics Know?", which has been selected as a Next Link Winner for NYMF (The New York Musical Theatre Festival) 2015 and will be having a full production at the festival in July 2015 at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre in New York. Way to go, Matthew! Information about the festival >

Congratulations to Broken Box Mime...they were the recipients of the 2014 New York Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Ensemble and have accepted the 2015 CUNY Dance Initiative Rehearsal Residency at CCNY. Several Tufts alumni are key players in this performance group: Becky Baumwoll ('10), Tasha Milkman ('10), David Jenkins ('07), and Joel Perez ('08). To discover more about Broken Box Mime, check out their website.

Kudos to Joel Perez ('08) for his work in Broadway's "Fun Home", which has received several 2015 Tony nominations. The show has received excellent reviews and is currently playing in NYC's Circle in the Square Theater. Check them out at Fun Home Broadway.

In March 2015, Tufts alumni Lindsay Carpenter, received the Kennedy Center's National Undergraduate Playwriting Award for her play, "Borders", which she wrote during her independent study as a senior at Tufts. As a recipient of the award, Lindsay attended the Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF) National Festival, gained membership to the Dramatists Guild and with the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis, and earned a two-week professional development summer residency. Congratulations, Lindsay!

Tufts Drama alum, Josh Gates, previously the host of the popular Syfy series "Destination Truth" and "Ghost Hunters Live" and author of the best-selling book "Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter", shares his globe-trotting stories in the Improper Bostonian.
Read more >

Tufts graduate, Amy Meyer, performed in imaginary beasts' production of "Kerplop! The Tale of the Frog Prince" from January 15 – February 7, 2015.
Learn more >

Sophomores Imogen Browder and Edward Rosini reimagine Romeo and Juliet as Jules and Monty at Tufts.

Congratulations to the 2014 P.T. Barnum Award Winners for Excellence in Entertainment (which went to two former Drama majors, David Costabile of "Breaking Bad," "Lincoln," "Law & Order," and many other films and series, and Robert O'Hara, award-winning playwright and director, and current playwright-in-residence at Washington DC's Woolly Mammoth Theatre). View the 10th Anniversary video that features past honorees and the history of the awards.

Tufts alum, Ben Samuels (2009), published a play that has been selected to compete in this year's 39th Annual Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival. It was selected from 1,400 submissions and will be staged in New York City at Playwrights Horizons. Entitled "ATTILA", it follows Union General William Tecumseh Sherman as he prepares to address graduating cadets in 1879 and reflects on the eve of his infamous March to the Sea and the Colored Soldier who changed his life.

Jim Nicola, Tufts alum and Artistic Director of the New York Theatre Workshop where "Rent" premiered, gave a talk this spring.
Learn more >

Tufts PhD alum, Amanda J. Nelson, has been appointed to direct the graduate program in arts leadership in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech.
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Tufts alum, Jonathan Abarbanel, has been named the new Chair of the American Theatre Critics Association!
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