We invite Theater and Dance alums to send news and updates to Suzie Rivers at srivers@amherst.edu.

Alums, follow us on Facebook!

Tierra Allen ’09 is assistant directed WAAFRIKA 123 by Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko at TheatreFIRST in North Berkeley, where she is also the Community Discussions Coordinator. She completed directing projects with Playwrights Foundation and PlayGround. Tierra earned an SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nomination for her role as Napoleon in The Farm at TheatreFIRST. She was one of the 13-member Coalition of Black Women Professional Theatre Makers who organized against Marin Theatre Company’s production of Thomas and Sally. Tierra won an Isadora Duncan "Izzie" Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Company Performance for her role as Babygirl in An OPEN LOVE LETTER to Black Fathers: A Choreopoem. She attended the Urban Bush Women's Summer Leadership Institute tin 2018.

Lisa Biggs '93 joined the faculty at Brown University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre. She offers courses in devising new work and African American theatre and performance studies. 

Yanira Castro '94E is an interdisciplinary artist who has been making work in New York for 20 years. In 2017, she received an honorary degree from Amherst College. Yanira formed a collaborative group in 2009 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 received a Watson fellowship in 2018, which provides financial support to international projects in any field. Sheila used 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. Sheila stated that "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 ‘01 joined the faculty at BC Law School.

Donatella Galella '09 is an Assistant Professor at UC Riverside. She recently wrote a book, America in the Round: Capital, Race, and Nation at Washington DC's Arena Stage. She has also published chapters in The Disney Musical on Stage and ScreenThe Palgrave Handbook to Musical Theatre Producers, and The Sixties, Center Stage. Dontalla was honored as a 2019 Woman of Distinction by Assembly Member Jose Medina for California's 61st assembly district.

Lauren Horn ’18 has spent the last year dancing with various artists and spaces, including: Dante Brown|Warehouse Dance (Triskellion Arts and The 92Y, NYC), Deborah Goffe (Scapegoat Garden, Hampshire College), The Studio of Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCD&T), The Northampton Center for The Arts, the Chop Shop Bodies of Work Dance Festival (Bellview, WA), and the We Create Women in the Arts Festival (Boston, MA). Lauren was also an Artist in Residence at SCD&T, where she created and performed original dance works. She is currently back in Windsor, CT resting and planning her next steps.

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.

Jeff Janisheski’s ‘92E current show, Philip Glass' In the Penal Colony, was featured in the LA Times! The opera piece, which closed May 2019, wove in verbatim text from students on campus that were formerly incarcerated.

Lucille Jun ’08 is back in the happy valley after eight years of living and performing traditional dance in Korea. She is currently working toward her MFA in Performance/Choreography at Smith College.

Jasia Kaulbach ’14 is working in NYC as a film director for documentaries, advertisements and music videos. Her music video for Madison McFerrin's song 'Insane' was featured in the New York Times, Paper Magazine, and Pitchfork:  https://youtu.be/8AwTlsnmpVc. Jasia won a NY Emmy award for a short documentary titled 'Ghost: Bed-Stuy Veterans and the Evolution of Bruk Up', which she produced in 2017. After graduating from Amherst, Jasia went straight into a Masters of Arts program at Met Film School in London, UK. Since the MA program, she has been living in Brooklyn, New York. In 2017, Jasia won a Folio Eddie award for her documentary series for Inc. Magazine titled 'Women Who Lead'. jasiafilm.com.

Jemma Levy ’95 is happily teaching at Washington and Lee University during the school year and directing professionally during the summers. This summer, Jemma will be directing Tartuffe for Prague Shakespeare Company in the Czech Republic, and then returning to the States to direct Miss Holmes for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company before returning to her students in the fall to work on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Jemma is the Founding Producing Artistic Director of Muse of Fire Theatre Company in Evanston, IL, which just had its 10th season. Jemma would love to talk to any interested students about directing, starting a company, or grad school.

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 acted in Celine Song’s ENDLINGS at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge. Her own play PEERLESS will be at Primary Stages in New York next season (May 2020). In May 2019, Jiehae workshopped her own play at A.C.T. as part of their New Strands festival.

Anne Penner ’97 is an Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Denver in Denver, CO.  She teaches various acting and directing classes, and actor movement training. Anne is also a professional actor, director, and producer. In the summer of 2018 she played Queen Margaret in Shakespeare's RICHARD III.

Caroline Prugh '96 is currently working on her play ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART, which will be presented in a Developmental Workshop at San Diego State University.

Katie Rubin '99 went on to create five solo shows, which she continues to tour nationally. Currently, Katie is writing a solo piece about the #MeToo Movement from her home in Piedmont, California, for Capital Stage, an Equity Theater in Sacramento.  She just completed a two-month run of a play called "Transitions" at Theater Rhino, the world's longest running LGBTQ Theater. Additionally, she teaches acting at A.C.T. in the Studio arm, Improv in Stanford University's Continuing Studies Department, and "Tell Your Story" a writing class she developed on her own, which she produces through Capital Stage and PianoFight Theater. "Tell Your Story" classes run year-round and happen both on-line from anywhere in the world, and in person in San Francisco (tellyourstorywithkatie.weebly.com).  For more information, feel free to email Katie at klrubin@gmail.com

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 is currently in London working on a project called "An Occupation of Loss" by Taryn Simon. She managed the US debut of an incredible Australian comedian, Hannah Gadsby. Jenney recently produced a light sculpture as part of the Amsterdam Light Festival with artist Ben Zamora. They have a couple permanent pieces going up around the US over the next couple months. This summer, Jenney will continue her work on a musical called "Born For This," written by and about gospel singer BeBe Winans. The multi-media concert by ETHEL that Jenney produces, commissioned by the Ringling Circus and Brooklyn Academy of Music, opened at the Ringling headquarters in Sarasota this winter, and will have its NY premiered in 2018.

Adam Sloat ’99 is the creative director at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, NY, responsible for all graphic design, copywriting, and video production.

Nat Smith ’11 is currently completing a Playwriting MFA at Ohio University this spring, and will be moving to Boston upon completion.

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. 

Isaiah Tanenbaum '05 has started a new phase of his theatrical career, working as an Education & Engagement Specialist for New York City's Conflicts of Interest Board. The COIB hires theater-experienced teaching artists to train public servants on NYC's ethics law through interactive classes, social media outreach, and humorous videos. Isaiah continues to act and produce with his theater company, Flux Theatre Ensemble; most recently appearing on stage last fall in the world premiere of Kevin R. Free's AM I DEAD?, a dark comedy that explored America's complex and broken relationship with black bodies through a remix of the Isis/Osiris myth and Sartre's No Exit. Flux's next show, The Sea Concerto, by August Schulenburg, will run May 6 - 19 at ART/NY.

last updated 5.30.19