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WE INVITE Theater and Dance alums to send news by email to Suzie Rivers at srivers@amherst.edu.

 [more to come!]

Yanira Castro '94E is a 2017 Amherst College honorary degree recipient! Yanira is an interdisciplinary artist who has been making work in New York for 20 years. In 2009, she formed a collaborative group that she subsequently named a canary torsi, an anagram of her name. Castro received a 2009 Bessie award for Dark Horse/Black Forest, presented by Performance Space 122 in the lobby restroom of The Gershwin Hotel.

Sheila Chukwulozie '17E has received a Watson fellowship! Watson awardees come from 40 private liberal arts colleges and universities across the United States. The fellowship provides financial support to international projects in any field, as well as college loan assistance as required.  Sheila plans to use the fellowship to travel to Senegal, Sierra Leone, Trinidad, Ghana and Liberia to apprentice with mask makers and cloth weavers who create costumes for the traditional masquerades, such as the Mmanwu of the Igbo people in her native Nigeria. “At the end of the journey, my desire is to be the first woman from either my mother or my father's village to carve a mask and create a full-bodied masquerade, which would generate new energy within my traditional culture."

Dan Farbman AC ‘01 is beginning a job as a law professor at BC Law School.

Emma Jaster '07 has since traveled the world training in physical theater and performance.  She is currently working as a choreographer for theater, opera, and film. Emma taught a workshop in New York in 2016 with Ethan Heard, a Yale graduate and co-Artistic director of Heartbeat Opera, which was especially geared towards singers looking for ways to diversify their movement skills. Students can learn more about Emma here.

Bryce Monroe '15 performed to a full-house in March 2016 at Central Connecticut State University, launching the first leg of a 'The Lower Frequencies Tour 2016'.  Along with the local chapter of the NAACP as host, Bryce was successfully able to raise significant donations to support their effort to provide fresh water to the residents of Flint, Michigan. 

Jiehae Park '02 just joined the 2024 class of new dramatists!  The premiere of her play Hannah and the Dread Gazebo is currently playing at the Oregon Shakespeare festival through October 2017.

Kerry Schaefer ‘01 has been busy with the non-dance activities of starting a medical practice as a holistic family doctor and raising two amazing children in Portland Oregon.  She has been keeping connected with dance through exploring aerial arts, pole dance and dancing her 11-month old to sleep.   She is excited to be on the board of a local non-profit, Dance Wire.  Their website, www.dancewirepdx.org is the place for dance companies and dancers to connect and helping enrich and support dancers and dancer health in the Portland community.

Jenney Shamash ’11 has been living in NYC and Producing & General/Company Managing for institutional theaters, dance companies, and touring productions.  Her primary current projects include collaborations with Monica Bill Barnes & Company (Happy HourThe Museum Workout), Park Avenue Armory (FLEXN, directed by Peter Sellars and Reggie 'Regg Roc' Gray), The Irish Repertory Theater (The Dead, 1904), and ETHEL (Circus - Wandering City).  She is also producing light sculpture installations by Seattle-based artist Ben Zamora, whose work is displayed throughout the US and Europe.

William Soleau ’77 is a resident choreographer for several ballet companies.  His original full-length theater dance piece “An American Tango” was restaged in Santa Barbara at the Granada Theater after first appearing in Los Angeles at the Broad Theater.  His choreography for the Indy film "Poet Love" was released this past year.  The Richmond Ballet performed his “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” ballet at the Carpenter Center in Richmond VA.  He is re-staging his "Five by Gershwin" ballet on the State Street Ballet Company this coming Spring. He worked with director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill as choreographer on the Ensemble Theatre Company's production of Alan Knee's Broadway play "Syncopation" in California, and choreographed a premiere for State Street Ballet Mozart's "Requiem" with conductor Nir Kabaretti and the Santa Barbara Symphony.