Alumni News

Fall 2022

Dr. John R. Cole (MA, 1964) Retired.

Shane Smay (BA, 2019) I’m starting tech next week for The Collaboration at The Samuel J. Friedman theatre on Broadway. I’m working as the COVID Safety Manager for the production, managing COVID Safety for the cast and crew.

Summer / Fall 2021 Alumni News

Ali Zinman (BA 2014) after working for three years at Atlantic Theater Co in NYC, Ali was the assistant company manager on Beetlejuice on Broadway and West Side Story on Broadway. Since the pandemic Ali has been working as a bookkeeper/paraprofessional helping businesses establish procedures. Ali will be taking the two-day oral and written exam to officially join the ATPAM (Association of Theatrical Press Agents & Managers).

Doug Mertz (MFA 2002) was recently hired as a tenure track assistant professor in theatre arts at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. Doug had previously been the Director of Education and Outreach at the Citadel Théâtre for the past 11 years.

Ben Corbett (MFA 1997) has started his third year as an assistant professor of voice and acting at the University of Arkansas. Since graduating from Pitt, he had become a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher and a Certified Colaianni Speech instructor.His professional vocal coaching credits include TheatreSquared, Shakespeare Dallas, City Rep, the William Inge Theatre Festival, the Valdez Theatre Conference, the Hollywood Fringe Festival, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Barter Theatre, Burning Coal Theatre Company, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Ben believes that the voice training he had received at Pitt set him up for a rich, rewarding career.

Maria Enriquez (PhD 2019) directed a production of "Machinal" by Sophie Treadwell at Penn State Harrisburg starting in the fall of 2020. This production ended up winning 7 national awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. The awards included: Innovative Use of Technology, Special Achievement in Overall Production Design, Special Achievement in Ensemble Collaboration - Performance and Production, Special Achievement in Sound Design, Special Achievement in Stage Management, Special Achievement: Overall Production, and Special Achievement in Directing - Maria Enriquez. This virtual production utilized 8 video cameras during the production, which was live-streamed from the Mukund S. Kulkarni Theatre.

Spring 2021 Alumni News

Yvonne Hudson (MA 1989) working as Development Manager for Quantum Theater since June 2020 and continue my solo performance work as Mrs Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. I serve on the board of Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks.

Kevin McConnville (BA 2018) completed COVID Compliance Officer Certification & a COVID Safety Training Course through the Arts & Science organization.

Laura Valenti (BA 2018) was working full time for Emmy-award winning set designer Jason Ardizzone-West in NYC prior to the pandemic and will return when shows pick back up. This spring, she is an adjunct professor at Point Park University teaching stagecraft.

Winter 2021 Alumni News

Joel Ambrose (BA 2008) is proud to be part of the team at City Theatre. Their work led to City Theatre’s selection as a "person of the year" by Pittsburgh City Paper for its Drive-In Arts Festival in Fall 2020.
Ariel (Leber) Baker (BA 2010) became the theatre manager of the Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts at William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia in 2018.
Zoe Benditt (BA 2014) started a new job as grants manager at an organization in Chicago called Housing Opportunities & Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.). Before the pandemic, she worked regularly as a freelance stage manager and dramaturg for new plays. She also is an ensemble member and staff member for The New Colony (renaming to The New Coordinates), a new play development and production company. During the pandemic, she has been able to dig deeper into her role as TNC's Director of Community Engagement and focus on the organization's commitment to antiracism.
Tyler Bensen (BA 2017) is currently touring with Disney on Ice again.
Lynne Conner (PhD 1994) is happy to announce that her play The Mother has been produced as an audio play and they’ve filmed the "Thanatos Diaries" scenes. This is the result of nearly a year’s worth of pivoting after the world premiere of The Mother at Dramatic Repertory Company in Portland, Maine closed after 3 shows due to the pandemic. To hear the audio play and view the video please go to the new website. The website hosts the full audio play, a video of the "Thanatos Diaries" scenes, the latest version of the script, and information about all of the productions associated with The Mother.
Sean Cook (MFA 2020) opened an acting studio.
Bryant Edwards (BA 2014) started a theatre company and a new marketing job recently.
Renana Fox (BA 2010) received an M.A in Educational Theatre from NYU and began teaching drama for DC public schools.
Kellen Hoxworth (MA 2012) published two research articles in 2020: "Football Fantasies: Neoliberal Habitus, Racial Governmentality, and National Spectacle," in American Quarterly, vol. 72, no. 1; and, "The Jim Crow Global South," in Theatre Journal, vol. 72, no. 4.
Jessica Israel (BA 2019) is in her second year of her MFA in TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) at University of Hawaii at Manoa, which has awarded her several scholarships.
Bradley Keller (BA 2018) now has a few IMDB credits and is scheduled to do more film work.
Mike Magliocca (BA 2014) completed his MFA in Acting last spring.
Louis Markowitz (BA 2016) was accepted to the DGA's AD training program in Film/TV and is currently working as a staff PA on a NBC television show.
Melissa Rynn Porterfield (PhD 2013) just wrapped filming the stage production The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at Valdosta State University that will available for streaming in March 2021. She also is presenting at SETC on directing their recent streaming production of She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms.
Kait Samuels (BA 2014) is filming opera staged concerts during the pandemic.
Kara Stenger (BA 2018) became a licensed PA realtor.
Jane Batchelder Strong (BA Speech, 1963) is working part-time for the Anne Arundel Co State's Attorney’s Office in Annapolis, MD.
Lauryn Morgan Thomas (BPhil 2017) began teaching on Outschool, an international online platform for students where she teaches theatre, singing, and movement to kids all over the US in California, Illinois, Florida, and Hawaii, and internationally in the UK, Tokyo, Cambodia, Ireland, Argentina, and Spain.
Diego Villada (PhD 2018) was recently appointed to a two-year term as the first Director of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at New College of Florida.
Krystal Waller (Theatre Arts minor, 2020) recently started a new job.
Zev Woskoff (BA 2019) had several wonderful projects put on hold as a result of the pandemic and is currently doing freelance graphic design and art.