Gabrielle Kogut is unbelievably honored to be one of the 2017-2018 McMillian Scholarship Award recipients. She is a senior Theatre Arts and Communication Science & Disorders dual major with a minor in French. She has grown immensely as a theatre artist over the years, thanks to the University Of Pittsburgh Department Of Theatre Arts. Throughout her time at Pitt, Gabrielle performed in two labs, The Bay at Nice and Water Eyes, as well as the mainstage Baltimore. Her final performance at the university will be in the fall semester’s mainstage production of Our Town. Gabrielle has also worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant for Introduction to Dramatic Art, greatly sparking her interest in and passion for theatre education. Outside of the department, Gabrielle has performed with Hambone’s Theater Company and has interned for Cup-A-Jo Productions. This fall, she will begin her new position as City Theatre’s season education intern, working heavily in the Young Playwrights Festival. Gabrielle will graduate in December 2017 in the hopes of furthering her craft as an actor and pursuing a career in drama therapy and/or theatre education. Gabrielle would like to thank the department faculty for their wonderful guidance and endless encouragement, as well as the McMillian family for this incredible honor.
Rachel Lipton is a senior Theatre Arts major and is humbled to be a recipient of the 2017-2018 McMillan Theatre Arts Scholarship. Working primarily in stage management, Rachel has been involved in club, lab, and mainstage productions with Pitt’s Theatre Arts department since her freshman year. After serving as an ASM for the student lab production of Urinetown, Rachel proceeded to ASM the department’s productions of Good Kids (performed at Pitt and SUNY New Paltz) and Rhinoceros. She will also ASM Pitt’s upcoming production of Parade. Last fall, Rachel made her debut as a Stage Manager with The Most Massive Woman Wins, and will be stage managing Marie Antoinette in the spring. She has also contributed to many Musical Theatre Club productions and currently acts as the Vice Chair for the Performance Collaborative. Rachel is very appreciative of the tutelage she has received both in and outside of the classroom, and her experiences with Pitt’s Theatre Arts department have been crucial in shaping her as a developing theatre professional. Rachel has interned at many professional theatre organizations, most notably Theatre Exile in Philadelphia, Quantum Theatre in Pittsburgh, and Laura Stanczyk Casting in New York City. Continuing her work in New York, Rachel spent this past summer as a Company Management intern for the Lincoln Center Festival at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, an invaluable and extraordinary experience. Rachel is also completing a minor in Sociology and a certificate in Nonprofit Management, hoping to pursue a career in arts administration in the realm of nonprofit theatre. Rachel is extremely honored and grateful to the McMillan family and the Theatre Arts department for this recognition and constant support.
Lauryn Morgan Thomas
Lauryn Morgan Thomas is a senior Theatre Arts and Fiction Writing major with a certificate in Children’s Literature. A student from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, Lauryn has been heavily involved with the Theatre Arts Department since her freshman year. Lauryn has performed in one lab and three mainstage productions, one of which provided the opportunity to audition for the off-Broadway production of Avenue Q. She also served as lighting designer for Water by the Spoonful, and focuses heavily on electrics as well as musical theatre performance. She has served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for numerous courses, one of which (Music for Theatre) earned her the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship. She was also awarded the Summer Undergraduate Research Award this past summer in order to pursue research regarding the role of children in the York Mystery Plays in York, England. Lauryn is also dedicated to student organizations, having been a member of the Musical Theatre Club (serving as Historian and Vice President), the Performance Collaborative (serving as Secretary and Vice Chair), United States Institute for Theatre Technology, and Redeye Theatre Project for the past three years. She has attended two Southeastern Theatre Conferences, and represented the Pitt Theatre Arts Department at the Pennsylvania Thespian Conference in York, Pennsylvania. Lauryn will pursue a Bachelor of Philosophy in Theatre starting this fall through the writing and performance of a one-woman show, “Losing My Mind,” and will serve as lighting designer for the mainstage Intimate Apparel and dramaturg for the mainstage Hair. Lauryn will graduate in April 2017 with the intention of performing professionally in musical theatre and working as a teaching artist. Lauryn is very grateful to the McMillan family and Theatre Arts Department for this honor and opportunity.
Louis is sincerely honored to be one of the recipients of the 2016-17 McMillian Theatre Arts Scholarship. The Theatre Arts department has been a home to Louis for his entire Pitt experience, and he wouldn’t have had it any other way. Louis is a rising senior and primarily a stage manager for the department, having served as the SM on Good Kids (which performed both here at Pitt and at SUNY New Paltz) Urinetown, Stop Kiss, and My Doomsday Off. As a production manager, Louis worked with the mathematics department to produce the Mathematics of Being Human. As chair for the Performance Collaborative (PC), Louis started the Playwriting Festival, and helps to create other performance opportunities for students. He is also a board member for USITT and RTP. Louis has sound designed as part of the illustrious team MarkoWest with fellow senior Kristen West; their designs were heard in Thugs, Bay at Nice, and the Drowsy Chaperone. This upcoming year, he is directing a student-written play as a lab, Water Eyes by Leenie Baker of last year’s playwriting festival, co-sound designing with MarkoWest on Baltimore and working as the SM on 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.