Recent Alumni News
What are our alumni doing?
Directing a new production of Tick, Tick…Boom! in Chicago
Samuel D. Hunter
The Whale is a hit and his new play made the NYT list for Best Theater of 2022
Emelia P. Asiedu
starring in ENO, streaming on the African streaming service Showmax
is known for This is Us, Chicago Fire, and Pushing Skills
joining the cast in the off-Broadway return of the Soho Rep production of Hansol Jung's “Wolf Play”
Costume Coordinator for Season 2 of The Equalizer starring Queen Latifah
is featured as Young Martha in Senior Year on Netflix
is guest starring on Chicago MED
Helen Madelyn Kim
is starring in a recurring role as Lexi on Lifetime's American Princess
returning to Broadway as Professor MacGonagall in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in October
will be starring in upcoming films Trial of the Chicago 7, Monuments, and Pins
co-founder of Project Save Our Surf and recently starred in film Two Ways Home
is guest starring on Criminal Minds on CBS
Kristina Sherwood Dekens
is directing Me, Mother: Cirque, Scène et Maternité, for the CIRCa Festival in France
will be guest starring on an upcoming episode of Gotham
is a star, writer, and producer of the hit Netflix show Love
appearing as a series regular on Netflix's Love
is the Brand and Marketing Manager for New York's The Public Theater
will be guest starring in the upcoming season of Alexa and Katie on Netflix
see him as Stan in Lynn Nottage's SWEAT at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre
is one of the 20 most produced playwrights in America
Just wrapped shooting on the new TNT series Tell Me a Secret
Maggie Lynn Jones
is the Associate Director of Individual Giving for Broadway's Roundabout Theatre Company
appearing in the cast of New Dramatists’ The Revolving Cycles Truly & Steadily Roll’d
appearing as Don Kirshner in the Broadway production of Beautiful
Alumni are also a great resource for those completing their Iowa degrees. You can also catch up with Iowa Theatre Arts Alumni on Facebook and through the UI Alumni Association. Please keep those of us at the Theatre Building up-to-date: Submit Alumni News!
News from Recent BA Alumni
News from Recent MFA Alumni
Samuel D. Hunter (MFA, 2007) His movie The Whale (adapted from his 2012 play) has generated a ton of buzz in film festivals, reportedly receiving extended standing ovations in both Venice and Toronto! Link to articles from Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival.
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 SVU; Chicago Med; Billions (Showtime), as well as nationwide ads for Verizon and American Express Delta.
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 Amazon.com 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 February 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
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.
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.
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.
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, IL, 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, IL.
Victoria Stewart (MFA) Victoria's plays, Hardball and Rich Girl have been recently published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.
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.
News from Recent BA Alumni
Nicole Astell (BA)
Talent Manager at Prestige Management Group
Kevin Chick (BA, 2006)
National/international touring with the electro-luminescent dance puppetry theatre company Lightwiretheater.com, 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.
News from Recent MFA Alumni
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 NYC 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)'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, MN
Christine Young (MFA, Directing)
Associate Professor at the University of San Francisco