For over a century, Department of Theatre Arts alumni have had a major impact on American culture.

Many have had distinguished careers in theatre, film and television. Others have taught at universities, colleges and secondary schools throughout the country and have influenced generations of students. Alumni are also a great resource for our students. They offer advice and help to young artists beginning their careers. 

Always a Hawkeye: Tanna Frederick

Always a Hawkeye: Anton Jones

Portrait of Jen Silverman

Jen Silverman

One of the 20 most produced playwrights in America, Silverman is also a successful TV writer and novelist. Their plays include: Spain; Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties; The Roommate; and Witch. Her new play Highway Patrol premiered at the Goodman Theatre in January 2024.

Headshot of David Adjmi

David Adjmi

Author of the plays The EvildoersStunning, 3C, Elective AffinitiesMarie Antoinette and Stereophonic, which was nominated for 13 Tony Awards in 2024--making it the most nominated play in Tony history.

Brian Quijada smiling headshot

Brian Quijada

An Emmy-nominated playwright, actor, and composer, Quijada's acting work spans from theatre, TV,  and voiceover work, but his passion is in theatrical new work. He recently starred in Hansol Jung's Wolf Play at MCC Theater in NYC.

Portrait of Samuel Hunter

Samuel D. Hunter

Obie Award in playwriting (2011), Drama Desk Award (2013), and Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play (2013). MacArthur Genius Grant (2014). His 2012 play, The Whale, was adapted into an Oscar-winning feature-length film (2022) directed by Darren Aronofsky. Hunter wrote the screenplay for the film, which was nominated for two Academy Awards. His play, A Case for the Existence of God was included in The New York Times list of Best Theatre of 2022. 

Portrait of Zuri Starks

Zuri Starks

Known for This is UsChicago Fire, and Pushing Skills. Starring in a new Easter horror movie titled Easter Bloody Easter, due out Spring 2024.

Aneisa Hicks smiling headshot

Aneisa Hicks

Recent theater credits include the ripple, the wave that carried me home (Goodman Theatre), Hurricane Diane (Theater Wit); The Mountaintop (TheatreSquared) and Pride and Prejudice (Long Wharf Theatre). TV credits include A League of Their Own, Chicago Med, The Chi, and Chicago Justice.

Bo Frazier full body image. They are wearing a tafetta skirt and floral top.

Bo Frazier

Jeff Award-Nominated Director/Producer/Deviser. Previously based in London, NYC and Chicago, Bo is currently working at Baltimore Center Stage. 

Greg Jackson actor headshot

Greg Jackson

Touring with Aaron Sorkin's To Kill A Mockingbird, which was presented by Hancher Auditorium in January 2024. Other Broadway credits: A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder, The Lion King (Nat’l Tour). Off-Broadway: The 39 Steps, Duet!, Go-Go Kitty, GO! 

Molly Brown headshot

Molly Brown

Featured as Young Martha in Senior Year (2022) on Netflix. Recurring role in the TV series Evil (2022) and acted in the feature film The Good House (2021) with Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver.

Tanna Frederick promo image

Tanna Frederick

Award-winning stage and film actor, producer, and environmental activist. She recently starred in South of Hope Street in Switzerland (2020), produced and starred in film Two Ways Home (2019), and helped create Defrost, a live-action virtual reality experience, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and CannesShe is the founder of Project Save Our Surf.

Amy Rodriguez headshot

Amy Rodriguez

Touring with Broadway's Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray, presented by Hancher Auditorium in February 2024.

Helen Madelyn Kim headshot

Helen Madelyn Kim

TV credits include Station 19 (2022), Bosch (2021), American Princess (2019), Modern Family (2019), and Marvel’s Runaways (2018).

Portrait of Hayley Ryan

Hayley Ryan

Assistant Costume Designer for Camelot, Lincoln Center Theatre (2023). Assistant costume designer for The Mental State (2022). Costume Coordinator for The Equalizer (2012-22), starring Queen Latifah.

ethan henry smiling headshot

Ethan Henry

Appeared as Martin Luther King, Jr., in the National Geographic Channel's production of Genius: Aretha (2021) starring Cynthia Erivo and Courtney B. Vance. Ethan won the NAACP theater award for Best Ensemble for his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr., in the Jeff Stetson-written play titled The Meeting (2019). 

Portrait of Emelia P. Asiedu

Emelia P. Asiedu

Starred in TV series ENO (2022), streaming on the African streaming service Showmax, and Errands (2019). Director, Accra Theatre Workshop in Ghana.

Portrait of Paul Rust

Paul Rust

Stand-up and sketch comedian at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles. Star, writer, and producer of the hit Netflix show Love. Prolific actor and writer also known for Inglourious Basterds (2009), I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009), Arrested Development (2013), and Robots (2023).

John Baker headshot

John Baker

NYC-based dramaturg who has worked Off Broadway, regionally, and with numerous new play development organizations. He is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Sun Valley Playwright’s Residency, a nonprofit artist’s retreat and development lab based in Idaho’s Wood River Valley.

Portrait of Emily Happe

Emily Happe

TV actor with roles including in Lessons in Chemistry (2023), Sydney to the Max (2020), Alexa and Katie (2018), Shameless (2018), and Grey's Anatomy (2013). 

Zach Twardowski headshot

Zach Twardowski

Acted in films Monuments (2020) and Waldgeist (2017), shorts Future Self (2019) and Alexander and Alexandra Kill a Man (2015), and TV series Chicago P.D. (2021) and Errands (2019). First Assistant Director of Tracktown (2016).

headshot of deonna bouye

Deonna Bouye

A faculty member at Fordham University, Deonna has appeared Off-Broadway at The Public Theatre, The Playwrights Realm, and ARS NOVA. She also is a performance collaborator in short films, video game production, commercials, and voice-overs.

Portrait of Chris Witaske

Chris Witaske

Co-creator of the adult animated series Chicago Party Aunt (2021-22), series regular on the Netflix original comedy series Love (2016-18). Other film and television credits include The Bear (2022-23), Curb Your Enthusiasm (2021), The Bubble (2022), Lady Bird (2017), and The Wrong Missy (2020). 

Portrait of Kendall Lloyd

Kendall Lloyd

Credits include stage roles Lopakin in The Cherry Orchard, Lockstock in Urinetown, and The Actor in The Woman in Black; TV roles on Bull (2016), Luke Cage (2016), The Deuce (2017), and Tell Me a Story (2018), and film roles in Rockaway (2017), and Killer Among Us (2021).

Portrait of John Watkins

John William Watkins

John has worked regionally and on Off-Broadway for the last 20 years. He recently understudied both roles in The Gold Room at Here Arts and joined the cast of John Kelly's Underneath the Skin for the 2022 remount at La Mama. TV/film work includes Blacklist (2019), Gotham (2018-19) and various indies.

Portrait of Karen Janes Woditsch

Karen Woditsch

Recently appeared on Broadway as Professor MacGonagall in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In Chicago she has acted in numerous productions at Writers’ Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Court Theatre, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

Portrait of Curt Bouril

Curt Bouril

Understudy for Peck in How I learned to Drive on Broadway (2022). Appeared as Don Kirshner in the Broadway production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (2018).

Portrait of Maggie Jones

Maggie Lynn Jones

Associate Director of Individual Giving for Broadway's Roundabout Theatre Company

Portrait of Kristina Sherwood Dekens

Kristina Sherwood Dekens

Director, Me, Mother: Cirque, Scène et Maternité, for the CIRCa Festival in France

Portrait of Justin Dewey

Justin Dewey

Account Director at SpotCo, an advertising agency developing Broadway’s most iconic brands. Former Brand and Marketing Manager for New York's The Public Theater.

Distinguished alumni

Here are just a few of our Distinguished Theatre Arts Alumni and their accomplishments.

David Adjmi (MFA 2001) is among the 10 recipients of the 2010 Whiting Writers' Award. The $50,000 award was announced in New York City.

Robert Alexander (MFA 1996) and Kim Euell (MFA 2008) are co-editors of a new anthology of plays. Plays from the Boombox Galaxy: Theatre from the Hip-Hop Generation was published in October 2009 by Theatre Communications Group.   

Jennifer Fawcett (MFA 2008) new play, Twenty Moments in the Space Between, won the National Science Playwriting Award, sponsored by the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival. This award, sponsored by Alan Lightman in association with the Kennedy Center, is intended to encourage new, full-length plays involving science and scientists, recognizing that science is a part of culture. Jennifer received the 2015 Smith Prize for Political Theatre.

Rachel Brogan Flannery (BA 2000) is an actress and playwright in the Twin Cities. She has appeared in Tony 'n Tina's WeddingFlannagan's WakeHMS PinaforeRuddigore, and Minnesota It's Not Just for Lutherans Anymore (local/touring cast, original cast recording) along with multiple new works. She received her MFA in Playwriting from UCLA in 2006. Her plays have been produced in Aspen, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York.

Sam Hunter (MFA 2007) was named a winner of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the “genius grant.” He also won an Obie for best play for A Bright New Boise.

Sean Lewis (MFA 2007) solo piece, Killadelphia, was presented at the Gerald W. Lynch Theatre in 2009. The play was commissioned by the Mural Arts Project of Philadelphia and InterAct Theatre. Using hip hop and documentary theatre techniques, he interweaves the story of murdered teaching fellow Beau Zabel with interviews from inmates at Graterford Prison, who are serving life sentences and are employed to beautify Philadelphia with more than 3,000 murals.

William Nedved (BA 2001) completed an MFA in Film and Television Writing from USC Film School. He worked in the writing department on the ABC show Ugly Betty. He is still very involved with The Gift Theatre of Chicago, which he co-founded with Michael Thornton (BA 1999).

Scott Pardue (MFA 2007) Scott’s play, The American Black Box, received its New York premier and was picked for the American Theatre of Actors and opened at Midtown International Theatre Festival in 2009. The play was originally written in Sydne Mahone's Playwriting class.

Victoria Stewart (MFA 2002) and Jeremy Wilhelm (MFA 2003) 800 Words: The Transmigrations of Philip K. Dick was presented by the Workhaus Collective at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis in Spring 2009. This production was originally presented at Iowa's New Play Festival.

Rick Cleveland (MFA 1995) has been co-producer and writer for the television series West Wing (for which he won an Emmy Award), Six Feet UnderMad Men, Nurse Jackie, and House of Cards. His play Jerry and Tom, first produced at Iowa then made into a feature film, premiered at Sundance and recently appeared on Showtime. He was also a screenwriter for Runaway Jury.

Margaret Eginton (MFA 1997) is Head of Movement and Dance for FSU/Asolo Conservatory, Professor of Theatre, Dance, and Composition at New College of Florida. As a master teacher for NYC Atlantic Theater, she co-teaches acting with ART IATT director Scott Zigler in the Advanced Acting Workshop. She is an active advisory board member of Left Bank Dance (St. Louis), Aquavit Theatre (Chicago), and the International Institute of Perofrming Arts (Paris/Sarasota).

Robert Alexander (MFA 1996) is a professional playwright whose works include I Ain't Yo' Uncle, produced by the San Francisco Mime Troupe, A Preface to the Alien Garden, produced by Trinity Rep in Providence, and The Last Orbit of Billy Mars, produced at Woolly Mammoth in Washington DC.

Nicole Fonarow (BA 1991) is a stage and television actress. Among her many productions is Voices in the Dark, produced on Broadway.

Tanna Frederick (BA 1999) rose to prominence for her title role in Hollywood Dreams, for which she received the Best Actress Award at the 2008 Fargo Film Festival. Tanna received the Maverick Award at the Celebration of Greatness Ceremony, sponsored by the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival in 2009.

Rebecca Gilman (MFA 1992) is a playwright whose works have been performed across the country. She won the American Theater Critics' Association Osborn Award for her play The Glory of Living and she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She won the 2015 Steinberg/ATCA Award for Best New Play outside of NY for her play LUNA GALE. Her plays include Spinning into butter, Boy Meets Girl, and The Sweetest Swing in Baseball.  

Dana Green (BA 1997) is an actor in major American regional theatres. She played leading roles for four seasons at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, and has appeared in major roles at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the Court Theatre, the Yale Repertory Theatre, Meadow Brook Theatre, and Shakespeare Festival in Dallas.  Dana has also appeared in film and on television.

Inger Hatlen (BA 1996) was recently named the Managing Director for New Paradise Laboratories (NPL), a 13-year-old ensemble experimentalist theatre company based in Philadelphia. The Obie-award winning company recently premiered Fatebook: Avoiding Catastrophe One Party at a Time - a play blurring the boundaries of live and internet performance - at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. Fatebook was featured in the USITT USA National Exhibit in the 2011 Prague Quadrennial. The company is currently devising a new work in collaboration with The Riot Group about separatist cults, the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, and the first black president.

W. David Hancock (MFA 1990) is a playwright who has received Obie Awards for his plays The Convention of Cartography and The Race of the Ark Tattoo.

Keith Huff (MFA 1994) is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and the author of numerous plays that have been produced off Broadway, internationally, and nationally. Keith’s play, A Steady Rain, ran on Broadway in 2009 (starring Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman). Huff has been the recipient of a Jeff Award, a Drama-Logue Award, the Cunningham Prize, the John Gassner Award, the Berrilla Kerr Award, and three Illinois Arts Council Playwriting Fellowships. He is also a writer and co-producer for Mad Men and House of Cards

Jennifer Johnson (BA 1993) lives in Los Angeles. Now Jenny Kern, she was a recurring character (Allison Hale) on Fox's Prison Break, and was in The Lake House with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. Recently she co-starred in The Road Theatre's production of fellow University of Iowa alum Keith Huff's play, The Bird and Mr. Bank, which extended for four months.

Megan Gogerty (BA 1997) her play Bad Panda was officially banned in China. Other career highlights include the creation of her new as-yet-untitled solo work, which will debut in a variety of theatres across the country in 2011. Her new album of comic songs, Big Damn Heros, is a tribute album to the defunct TV show Firefly (on iTunes & She continues to teach dramatic literature at the University of Iowa and at Coe College. Her musical Love Jerry, a fact-based drama about the long-term effects of child sexual abuse, continues to be produced around the country despite the odds of a sex abuse musical getting produced anywhere. It was last seen in Philadelphia in June 2010. Her solo show Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant  was listed in the Top Ten Best Shows of 2009 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution along side the likes of Billy Crystal and Twyla Tharp.

Peter Ksander (BA 1998) is a designer, sculptor, and theater artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2005 Peter was a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program, through which he spent two years investigating how experimental theatre ideas are explored at all levels of production in the United States. In 2008, he won an Obie award for the scenic design of Untitled Mars (this title may change), created and directed by Jay Scheib and presented at PS122 and the National Theater of Hungry.  Peter’s design credits include scenic and/or lighting designs at The Public Theater, Intiman Theater, Lincoln Center Theater 3, Intiman Theater, Bang on a Can/Cal Performances, Portland Stage Company, Walker Art Center, Compania di Colombari, (Italy), Under the Radar Festival, MIT,  HERE Art Center (with Lisa D’Amour).

Todd Ristau (MFA 1991) is the Director of the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University, a unique MFA program in playwriting. His work has been performed in theatres across the US and England, including London’s West End.  He founded No Shame Theatre in 1986 and oversaw its evolution into a national network of venues for new works in dozens of cities. He worked with Mill Mountain Theatre as Literary Associate and oversaw its alternative programming and CenterPieces Reading series. Additionally he is the Artistic Director of Studio Roanoke, a storefront theatre space dedicated to new works development. He is an Active Member of the Dramatists Guild, and member of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America.

Linda Roethke (MFA 1995) is a Professor of Theatre at Northwestern University where she teaches costume design, freehand drawing, and fabric modification. She maintains a freelance career as a professional costume designer, member of USAA, and as a studio artist. National credits include costume design for productions at the Cincinnati Playhouse, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Alliance Theatre, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and West Coast Playwrights. Her Chicago credits include Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and The Next Theatre. Professor Roethke has directed national and international workshops in costume design, drawing, and rendering. Gallery exhibits of her studio work include the Louise Grayson Gallery and Curator's Choice: Around the Coyote.

Peter Ullian (MFA 1993) is a playwright whose musical, Elliot Ness in Cleveland, was produced at the Denver Center Theatre Company/Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Naomi Wallace (MFA 1994) is a playwright whose works have been seen in London, New York, Louisville, Chicago, and around the country. Her 1997 play, One Flea Spare, won an Obie Award. She is the recipient of a 1999 "Genius" award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She was awarded the Arts and Letters Awards in Literature, which honors exceptional accomplishment in any genre. Her play No Such Cold Thing has been published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

Amy Wheeler (MFA 1999) is now Executive Director of Hedgebrook, a retreat and residency for women writers. Located on Whidbey Island, 45 minutes north of Seattle, Hedgebrook offers writers like Gloria Steinem and Eve Hensler a place to focus on their work. As Executive Director, Amy also co-produces the Women Playwrights Festival with Seattle Rep. She is still writing plays and had 4 in a row produced in 2004-2005.

Lee Blessing (MA 1979) is a distinguished writer for the theatre, film, and television. His plays have been produced on Broadway and in theatres around the world. His best known works include A Walk in the WoodsEleemosynary, and Fortinbras.

Rich Bynum (BA 1976) is a professional designer and owner of Hawkeye Scenic Studios in Chicago. Among those who have worked with Hawkeye Studios are Oprah and the touring productions of Les Miserables and Showboat.

Darrah Cloud (MFA 1984) is a successful screenwriter and playwright. Her plays include her stage adaptation of O Pioneers (also presented on American Playhouse), The Stick Wife, and Heart Land. Her screenplays include many films for NBC.

Patricia McGourty (BA 1970) has had the good fortune to experience three art and design careers. As a costume designer she worked in stage and film in New York and California for 18 years collaborating with creative teams on productions ranging from Shakespeare Festivals to Broadway musicals, most notably Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Pirates of Penzance (starring Kevin Kline & Linda Ronstadt), Crimes of the Heart, Doonsbury The Musical, and Pump Boys and Dinettes. As a painter and collage artist, Patricia spent 12 years in Saudi Arabia developing her personal artwork, which she sees as a visual dialogue with diverse world cultures and communities. Patricia has also been the artistic director for ArtWorks, an arts and cultural consultancy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. By exploring theatrical design, public art and cross-cultural art forms she has been able to expand her collaborative work into art and design for “The World Stage” of our global community.

Clyde Ruffin (BA 1974, MFA 1976) is the recipient of the Kellogg National Fellowship, a Missouri Creative Artists Grant, and The Kemper Teaching Fellows Award. He has worked for the NEA, the Lily Endowment, the Danforth Foundation, and is a board member of the African-American Cultural Initiative Task Force for the Missouri Arts. He is the principal costume designer for Metro Theatre Company, recipient of The Jenny Heiden Award for Excellence in Children’s Theatre, and the 1994 United States Representative to the Stregagatto Theatre Festival in Rome, Italy. Selected stage roles include Prospero in The Tempest, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, and Kent in King Lear.

Adam LeFevre (MFA 1977) is an actor who was seen on Broadway in Our Country's Good, on television in Law and Order, and in films such as In & Out and Private Parts.

Charles Smith (MFA 1984) is a writer whose plays have been produced off-Broadway and in regional theatres all over the country. He has also won Emmy awards for Fast Break to Glory and Pequito.

Barry Kemp (BA 1971) is one of Hollywood's most successful writer-producers. He wrote for some of television's best loved shows, including Taxi and WKRP in Cincinnati, and created the popular series Newhart and Coach.

Julia Gibson (BA 1984) is an actress whose work includes Angels in America at ACT, All in the Timing at the Long Wharf, and such television shows as Law and Order and Spin City.

John O'Keefe (BA 1965, MFA 1971) is an actor, director, playwright, and screenwriter. His best-known work, the play Shimmer, was also adapted for film and television.

Erik Ulfers (BA 1975) has designed sets, costumes, and lights for theatres throughout Europe. In 1990 he founded Production Design Group Ltd. in New York City, where his work has won three Emmy awards. In 2006, Erik formed Clickspring Design. Their many clients include CNN, MSNBC, and Nintendo. Erik has established the Margaret Hall Travel Scholarship for MFA Design Students at Iowa, to honor his former teacher.

Erin Q. Purcell, Frank Ensenberger (BA 1987) and Gregory Jackson (BA 1990) are founding members of the Adobe Theatre Company in New York. Their most recent production, Duet! A Romantic Fable, was produced at SoHo's Ohio Theater to critical acclaim.

Robert Andrew Bonnard (BA 1959, MA 1960) has worked around the world as an actor, writer and director. His many awards include an Obie for Best Actor for his portrayal of Old Man in Ionesco's The Chairs.

Linda Carlson (BA 1967) is a successful actor in films (Honey, I Blew Up the Kids, The Beverly Hillbillies), television (Twin Peaks, Murder One), and on the Broadway stage (Otto Preminger's Full Circle).

Mary Beth Hurt (BA 1968) is a distinguished actor of film, television, and stage. She was nominated for Tony Awards for her work in Benefactors, Trelawney of the Wells, and Crimes of the Heart, for which she was awarded an Obie. Her films include Interiors, The World According to Garp, The Age of Innocence, and Six Degrees of Separation.

Nicholas Meyer (BA 1968) is a distinguished film writer and director. Among his many films are Star Trek 11, The Wrath of Khan, Time After Time, Star Trek IV, The Undiscovered Country, Volunteers, The Seven Percent Solution, and many others.

Robert Randolph (MFA 1953) designed sets and lights on Broadway for many productions including Bye Bye, Birdie and Sweet Charity. He also designed extensively for theatres throughout the United States and abroad.

Gene Wilder (BA 1955) is one of America's best leading film actors. Among his best known films are The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Silver Streak, and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He also writes and directs for film.

Tennessee Williams (BA 1938) is recognized as one of the modem world's greatest playwrights. Among his distinguished works are The Glass Menagerie (Pulitzer Prize), A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Pulitzer Prize), Night of the Iguana, Camino Real, and Summer and Smoke.

Macdonald Carey (BA 1936) was for many years one of America's best known actors. He appeared on Broadway and in more than fifty films. In 1974 and 1975 he was awarded the Emmy for Best Daytime Actor for his portrayal of Dr. Horton on Days of our Lives.

Norman Felton (BFA 1940, MA 1941) has had a distinguished career in radio, film, and television. Working for MGM Studios, he produced and wrote for the television series Dr. Kildare and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. In 1953, he received an Emmy Award for Television Direction.

Richard Maibaum (BA 1931, MA 1932) is one of America's most successful screenwriters. He is the author of more than fifty screenplays, including Bigger than Life, The Great Gatsby, and many of the popular James Bond films.

Stewart Stern (BA 1943) is a distinguished Hollywood writer and director. Among his best known films are Rebel Without a Cause and Heart of Darkness. He was nominated for two Academy Awards and in 1979 won The Writers' Guild of America Best Short Form Drama Award for A Christmas to Remember.

Henderson Forsythe (BA 1939, MFA 1940) was a veteran actor of stage, television, and film. On Broadway he performed in the original productions of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe, A Delicate Balance, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He has also appeared regularly on the daytime drama As The World Turns.

Additional alumni news

Molly Brown (BA, 2015) Young Martha in Senior Year (Netflix); Lost Girls w/ Amy Adams; The Good House w/ Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, and Beverly D’Angelo; Conviction (ABC); A Crime to Remember (Discovery); Gone (NBC); High Maintenance (HBO), The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime); Law and Order SVUChicago MedBillions (Showtime), as well as nationwide ads for Verizon and American Express Delta.

Kevin Chick (BA 2006) is touring internationally with America's Got Talent finalist Lightwire Theater as a core member performer of their unique electro-luminescent dance puppetry medium.

Christina (Gulick) Cox (BA 2009) was recently elected as acting Secretary of the Artistic Advisory Committee (AAC) of the International Order of the Sword and Pen (IOSP), having previously been appointed to the IOSP AAC in the area of Modern Martial Arts.  The vision of the IOSP is to celebrate and encourage international exchange of stage combat techniques and processes, as well as martial arts theories and practices, both contemporary and historical.

Taylor Edelle Stuart (BA 2017) is the Projection Designer for Intrusion at St. Luke's Theater in New York City and for Mumburger at Carnegie Stage.

Nicole Astell (BA)
Talent Manager at Prestige Management Group

Kevin Chick (BA, 2006)
National/international touring with the electro-luminescent dance puppetry theatre company, based out of New Orleans. Previously, Puppeteer for Jim Henson Workshop

Nicole Freitag (BA)
Teaching voice lessons at University of Wisconsin–Marinette

Katharine Horowitz (BA)
2017-18 McKnight Theater Artist Fellow at the Playwrights Center. Sound designer for critically-acclaimed and award-winning shows for the Guthrie Theater, Second City Theatricals, Great River Shakespeare Festival, and more.

Sarah Kolman (BA)
Production Assistant; Old Globe and La Jolla Playhouse

Jon Kommes (BA, 2006)
Wrote a TV pilot with fellow Iowa alumni Ken Peterson (MFA, 2006) and Ryan Karloff (BA, 2005): Truck’d Up, a single-camera comedy pilot starring David Arquette and Keith Powell.

Arielle (Roberts) Loy (BA, 2008)
Fine Arts Coordinator at the Building For Kids Children's Museum in Appleton, Wisconsin

Nicholas Mitsis (BA 2006)
Operations Director and Tour Manager for Moscow's The Great Russian Nutcracker

Justine Nakase (BA, 2006)
Irish Research Council-funded PhD student at the National University of Ireland, Galway at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance

Bret Neveu (BA, 1992)
Three new plays have been published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.: the trilogy Harmless, Weapon of Mass Impact, and Old Glory

Soren Olsen (BA, 2011)
Shop TD at North Hennepin Community College. Additionally, he was awarded "Distinguished Lighting Design” by KCACTF for his most recent piece with Metro State University.

Rob Rotman (BA 1977)
Assists with ADAPT Chicago productions

Michael Turczynski (BA)
Performance Hall Manager at Augustana College

William Warren Vilhauer (MA 1955 and PhD 1965), passed on June 15, 2019.  Known as a wonderful teacher, with the bulk of his work at Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville, many of his students have gone on to successful careers as theater professionals, actors, and academicians. He was a Professor of Theater at SIUE and devoted a number of years to service as Chairperson for the Department of Theater and Dance. These efforts were recognized when he retired in 1987 with the creation of an endowed scholarship in his name, The William Vilhauer Merit Award in Design and Technical Theater.

Lindsey Kuhn (MFA, 2019) passed the USA 829 Design Union Exam. Lindsey assisted Santo Loquasto on The Music Man, and was a Costume Production Assistant Diana the Musical.

Hayley Ryan (MFA, 2018) has been working in New York City. Currently she is the Costume Coordinator for Season 2 of the Equalizer starring Queen Latifah. She has also been a Production Assistant for Dickinson (Season 2 & 3, Apple TV), In The Heights (Movie), and Tootsie (Broadway). Assistant credits include Daniel’s Husband (Off-Broadway play) and The Mental State (Independent film).

Matt Hawkins (MFA) shared his Jesus Christ Superstar that was originally cancelled at the beginning of the pandemic, as a one night only, 60 piece orchestra, 50 member folk choir, and cast, with a grateful audience of masked, socially distanced students in the football stadium at Notre Dame.

Levy Lee Simon's new play, The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel, is now published in collaboration with and The Robey Theatre Company. The premiere production was received with 29 straight sold out performances and rave reviews from the Los Angeles critics.

David Adjmi’s (MFA 2001) debut memoir, entitled LOT SIX, will be published by HarperCollins on June 23, 2020. The book is about how artists make their lives into art, and yes, there’s a chapter about the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. In addition, David’s play Stereophonic (music by Will Butler of the band Arcade Fire) is set to premiere on Broadway in spring 2021.

James Hatch, a Theatre Arts alumnus and great friend to the department, died on Feb. 14, 2020. He and his wife, Camille Billops, established a scholarship to support African American theatre students. Jim also wrote Club Ka: The Blues Legend, a partnership-in-the-arts production in 2003. He and Camille, who died earlier, created a vast collection of materials, how held at Emory University, documenting the history of African American art, activism and culture. We will miss Jim’s kindness, critical intelligence and creativity. The New York Times James Hatch, Archivist of Black Theater, Dies at 91

Brian Quijada is the Artistic Director of the Wild Wind Performance Lab for New Play Development at Texas Tech University. Brian is also starring as Kid Prince in KID PRINCE AND PABLO, a world premiere at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.  

Kevin Dudley (MFA 2016) has been promoted to Associate Professor at Emory & Henry College.

Will Goblirsch (MFA 2018) has been awarded a Post-MFA Teaching Fellowship at Virginia Tech.  He will teach four participatory performance-based courses each semester, a combination of Introduction to Acting and Introduction to Collaborative Techniques, and will pursue creative work and research opportunities at the University.  

Ariel Francoeur (MFA, Directing 2016) directed Tier5's production of Meg Jo Beth Amy & Louisa, presented by The Center at West Park, at the Balcony Theater in April 2019.

Matt Hawkins (MFA 2013) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame. Stupid Humans, a musical written by student Jorge Rivera Herrans, and directed by Hawkins, premiered in the spring of 2019 at the Philbin Studio Theatre.  

Ryan Oliveira (MFA 2015) is a playwright whose play The Soccer Player in the Closet, presented by Nothing Without a Company, is currently showing at Christy Webber Farm & Garden in Chicago, and the world premiere of Ryan's production, Desire in a Tinier House, will show later this year at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago.

Victoria Stewart (MFA) Victoria's plays, Hardball and Rich Girl have been recently published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

Sandra Cavanaugh (MFA 1996)
Creativity specialist and author of the upcoming book Spontaneous Brilliance, Sandra’s screenplay Fault Line won best drama at The Austin Revolution Film festival. A former CEO and founder of SIverdraft LLC, which introduced cutting edge virtual production technology to the entertainment industry, Sandra is currently CEO of Miracle Film Group – which is set to release her feature film AVATARA in the coming year. Sandra served as artistic director of New Heritage Theatre Company for 10 years.

Greg Machlin (MFA, 2008)
The screenplay adaptation of 7 Days: A Fantasia on the Life of Miles Davis (first developed and workshopped at the University of Iowa in 2008/2009) was a:

  • 2016 Nicholl Fellowship semi-finalist (154 screenplays out of 6,900 submitted)
  • 2016 Austin Film Festival screenplay semi-finalist (91 scripts out of 9,100 submitted)
  • Invited to be submitted to the 2017 Sundance Screenwriters Workshop
    • Applications are by invitation only.

Keith Adkins (MFA, Playwriting)
Founder and director of New Black Fest in New York City; Rita Goldberg Fellow at The Lark.

Stephanie (Braun) Jacobson (MFA, 2003)
Teaching Artist and the Director of Youth Productions at The Rose Theater, including the production of A Child’s Garden of Verses, which was featured in the April 2016 publication of American Theater Magazine. Previously, she lived in NYC where she acted and puppeteered with Taylor Mac and Liz Swados in Swado’s Jabu at The Flea Theater,  Lee Bruer’s The Mabou Mines A Doll’s House (both the National and International Tour), Luces de Bohemia at Repertorio Espanol, Eric Novak’s The Bacon Mingus Triptych at the Voice 4 Vision Puppet Festival, The Puppet Kitchen and The Jim Henson Company, Sesame Street.

Lukas Brasherfons (MFA) is the dramaturg for a production of Fugard's The Blood Knot at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, which was recently featured by American Theatre magazine. The article focused on the question of whether it is still appropriate for the role of a mixed race South African, originally played by Fugard, to be played by a white actor.

Deanna Brookens (MFA)
Theatre Department Instructor and Director of the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival at Slippery Rock University

Brandon Bruce (MFA, Directing)
Artistic Director of the Birmingham Children's Theatre

Michael Vincent Carrera (Michael Grecco) (MFA, 1997)
Roles in the feature films Avenge, Maybe Tomorrow, and Traveling Without Moving (premiering at a White House Event sponsored by The White House Office of Academic Excellence). Served as casting director, acting coach and played a role in the feature film The Stream. Series regular role in PBS' Emmy nominated Moochie KaLaLa Detectives Club.

Madison Colquette (MFA)
Staff Dramaturg at Indiana University

Steven Connor (MFA, Dramatic Art)
Supporting role in ABC Family show Switched at Birth

Emily Dendinger (MFA, 2014)
Hosted by Curious Theatre Company (Denver, CO) during their 2015-16 seasons, with grant support from the National New Play Network.

Estlin Feigley (MFA)
His company "Dreaming Tree Films" produced Stream, starring Rainn Wilson. Developed the children's educational show Moochie Kalala Detectives Club that airs on PBS.

Ariel Francoeur (MFA, Directing 2016) and Bella Poynton (MFA, Playwriting 2014)
Co-founders of The Navigators, a science fiction theater company with a clear feminist perspective. Producing their first full season in New York City in 2017

Peter Gil-Sheradin (MFA)
Play Topsy Turvy Mouse has been produced by Cherry Lane Theatre, Borderlands, and Gustavus Adolphus, developed at Sundance Institute, New York Theatre Workshop and was named the winner of The Smith Prize from NNPN

Mary Hamilton (MFA, 2009)
2015-2017 Jerome New York Fellowship recipient

Rachel Edwards Harvith (MFA, 2007)
Associate Artistic Director of Chicago Dramatists

Sarah Johnson (MFA, 2014)
Visiting Assistant Professor of Dramaturgy at Texas Tech University

Rachael King (MFA, Stage Management)
General Manager at the Blyth Festival Theatre

Basil Kreimendahl (MFA 2013) was featured in a 2018 episode of American Theatre's The Subtext podcast. Playwright Brian James Polak interviews Basil, author of Orange Julius, Sidewinders, and We're Gonna Be Okay.

Tony Meneses (MFA, 2010)
Tony's play Guadalupe in the Guest Room, has been published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Bonnie Metzgar (MFA)
Joined the Goodman Theatre Playwrights Unit, a yearlong residency program as she develops new work

Jenni Page-White (MFA, 2013)
Literary Manager, Actors Theatre of Louisville

Christine Scarfuto (MFA, Dramaturgy)
Literary Manager at Long Wharf Theatre

Jeremy van Meter (MFA, 2000)
Communication Manager, Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro, Minnesota

Christine Young (MFA, Directing)
Associate Professor at the University of San Francisco

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