Callboard Fall 2019

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Songwriting for the Musical Theatre \ Directing Comedy and Diversity \ THE DIGITAL ACTOR \ Introduction to Screen Acting \ Audition Technique for Film, Television and New Media \ Latinx Theatre \ Playwriting I & II \ Improvisation and Theatre Games \ Contemporary Theatre in a Changing World \ Introduction to Theatrical Production \ Character Acting \ Art of Theatrical Design \ Advanced Theatrical Production \ Voice I & II \ THEATRE ON FILM \ Introduction to Scene Study \ Movement for Actors \ Stage Lighting \ Intermediate Acting I \ Stage Make-up Theatre Across History and Cultures \ Communicating Theatrical Design Concepts Movement II \ Stage Lighting \ CAMERA AND IMPROVISATION \ Senior Showcase \ Shakespeare in His World \ Methods and Materials \ THEATRE IN LOS ANGELES \ Advanced Topics in Modern Drama \ Physical Theatre I \ Advanced Movement for Actors \ Improv 2: Advanced Improv \ Introduction to Sound Design \ Physical Theatre II \ Acting for Sitcoms \ Theatre Practicum \ THE PERFORMING ARTS \ THEATRE CLOWN \ Improv 3 : Long Form Improvisation \ AFRICAN AMERICAN THEATRE, DANCE, AND PERFORMANCE \ Drawing and Rendering for the Theater Physical Theatre II \ Lighting Design I \ Dialects \ Theatre on the Edge \ Intermediate Acting II \ ACTING SHAKESPEARE \ Stage Combat \ Scene Painting \ Alexander Technique for Performers INTERMEDIATE VOICE \ Seminar in Theatre Design \ Advanced Theatrical Drafting \ Stage Management II \ Costume Design II \ TECHNICAL THEATRE \ Public Speaking as Performance: A Course for NonActors \ Being on Screen: A Class for Presenters, Hosts, and Others \ Drama as Human Relations \ Developing Your Speaking Voice \ Introduction to Medical Clowning \ The Business of Acting \ Taking it on the Road and Beyond: Sketch Comedy in Performance \ Advanced Movement \ VOICE OVER ACTING \ Performance for Camera \ Solo Performance \ Periods and Styles \ Asian and Asian American Theatre: Identity and Aesthetics \ Advanced Theatre Practicum \ Acting on Camera: The Collaborative Process \ Characters of Comedy \ Stand Up 2: Honing Reimagining Arts Commercials \ MUSICAL THEATRE AUDITION \ Your Act \ ActingDramatic in Television Training for the 21st Century Directed Research \ Theatre in the Community \ Textual Studies for Performance \ PRODUCING THEATRE \ Self-Taping \ Dramaturgical Perspectives and Approaches \ An Actor’s Reel \ Poetry and Prose into Drama \ Dramatic Writing Studio

Dramatically Different

MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN USC Callboard magazine is an annual publication of the USC School of Dramatic Arts for its alumni, parents, students and friends. dean David Bridel associate dean of communications Delphine Vasko editor Stacey Wang Rizzo graphic design Christopher Komuro contributing writers Allison Engel, Tim Greiving, Lynne Heffley, Diane Krieger, Stacey Wang Rizzo photography Alex J. Berliner; Reza Allah-Bakhshi, Ana Garcia, Ryan Miller and Michael Rueter of Capture Imaging; Rich Polk; Gus Ruelas; Joshua Shelton; Chris Shinn; Chris Whitaker

I’m excited to welcome you to our latest edition of Callboard. In this issue, take a look behind the scenes at the School of Dramatic Arts to discover more about what makes our School so unique. From new approaches to the training of the dramatic artist, to ground-breaking collaborations with partners across campus, to the extraordinary work being done by some of our alumnae … There is so much to celebrate. And so much to look forward to, as we welcome our inaugural class for the new BFA in Musical Theatre degree. We also look back, in memoriam, to the remarkable legacy of Bob Scales, who laid the foundations for the great work being done at SDA today and tomorrow. We are privileged to continue the journey with you! David Bridel

Dean Braverman Family Dean’s Chair

© 2019 USC School of Dramatic Arts We’d like to hear from you, keep you informed and/or share your news in an upcoming issue of USC Callboard. Please send correspondences to the SDA Communications Office at or mail to:


USC School of Dramatic Arts Attn: Communications Office 1029 Childs Way Los Angeles, CA 90089

Cover photo by Reza Allah-Bakhshi/ Capture Imaging.


Settlement Notice for patients of former USC gynecologist George Tyndall Women who were patients treated by former USC gynecologist George Tyndall from August 14, 1989 to June 21, 2016 may be affected by a class action settlement. Visit for further information from the Settlement Administrator, or call (1-888-663-1718) or email



In 1957, the USC School of Dramatic Arts produced its first mainstage musical: The Boy Friend by Sandy Wilson, which was directed by John Blankenchip and performed at Bovard Auditorium for six days in the fall. The following year, the School produced a mainstage production of Damn Yankees (pictured) by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, also directed by Blankenchip in the same timeslot at Bovard, which signaled a long-standing tradition of musical theatre at USC. Since then, musical theatre has become an integral part of the School’s identity — from classes to annual productions to a new interdisciplinary BFA degree in collaboration between the School of Dramatic Arts, Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and Thornton School of Music. This year, we welcome our first class of students studying in our BFA in Musical Theatre program (see page 15).

Photo by Chris Shinn.

Over the years, SDA has prepared students for beyond the stage, such as a course on non-theatrical collaborations in entertainment for stage managers. Read Reimagining the Dramatic Arts on page 4 for more about the School’s efforts to think differently.



Reimagining Dramatic Arts

The School of Dramatic Arts connects foundational training with the future of the field. Plus, a by-the-numbers review of the Career Center’s first year.


ACT Together in Healthcare

A new residency through the Institute for Theatre & Social Change takes an artistic approach to providing patient care.


Extraordinary Alumnae

Four leading ladies in their respective industries showcase how their dramatic arts degrees have brought them success.


Introducing the Class

A photo introduction of the first class of SDA’s new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre.


Remembering Robert R. Scales

Dean Emeritus, who served from 1993-2003, is remembered for paving the way for students, faculty and the School.


Year in Review


Board of Councilors

A visual reflection of the 2018-19 academic year. Five industry leaders named to the board.

Alumni Marquee 26 Supporters of Dramatic Arts 22







A great artist needs to travel back in time before they can forge forward. That’s what Mary Joan Negro believes, anyway. “There is no art form that doesn’t look to the past and to the future,” says Negro, head of undergraduate acting at the School of Dramatic Arts. “I think that is part of our mission — that you must look to the past in order to know, or at least be inspired, how to create your present. And therefore your future.” In every room at the School, professors are steeping their students in a rigorous, traditional approach to their art form — whether it’s acting, design, technical direction or musical theatre — while fixing an eye on the latest innovations and newest career paths in each field. “This evolution in our field requires a tremendous mental elasticity in order to allow for change to take place,” says SDA Dean David Bridel, who holds the Braverman Family Dean’s Chair. “The skill set that we’re trying to develop is the ability to jump from one platform to the other. But once you’ve landed on whatever platform you’re seeking, then the roots of your training remain the same.” Tradition and Change For actors, training informed by Shakespeare, ancient Greece and modern America is the key to learning their instrument: themselves.

Photo by Reza Allah-Bakhshi/Capture Imaging.

“It’s like a pianist,” Negro says. “You still have to learn how to play. You have to learn the notes, you have to learn the fingering, you have to learn the sharps and flats, you have to learn the tempo.”


But with that training, today’s actors aren’t bound to the stage, or even to film and television. They’re equipped — through new courses and partnerships, both within the university and out in the industry — to enter the wild frontiers of internet video, motion-capture performance, voice acting and virtual reality. The School has added courses, such as “Creating the Hit Podcast,” “The Digital Actor” and “Going Viral,” to expand students’ horizons to become creators rather than just interpreters. It has partnered with motion-capture and digital content studios, and holds summits with industry pioneers in all forms of new media. [ C ONTINUE D ]



Photo by Reza Allah-Bakhshi/Capture Imaging.

Redesigning the Process For SDA’s design students, “the path of being a designer evolves,” says Sibyl Wickersheimer, head of the design program, which is something she learned even in traditional theatre — bouncing from huge regional companies to experimental ones, from comedy to musicals to drama. “Because of all of those facets, I think you end up changing your scope and your style quite easily as a designer, to adapt the projects you’re working on. So it’s a continual education, and that’s something that we’ve really been trying to embrace in how we teach the students.”

The program has added projection design to its core strands of lighting, costume and set design. It’s also added digital drafting, 3D modeling and laser-cutting instruction, and VR equipment to the design lab. A newer course, “Seminar in Theatre Design,” takes students into the field, where they visit VR studios, film and television studios, and costume and scenic construction companies working at the highest level of fabrication and technical engineering — designing everything from walkaround characters at theme parks to escape rooms.

“There are so many more ways to use our degree today than there were 10 years ago,” she says. “It’s amazing.”

“It’s not just a field trip,” Wickersheimer says. “They’re really getting to know the people at those companies. They’re making personal connections along the way.”

Wickersheimer has had a long, thriving career in scenic design for live theatre, but she and her colleagues have been branching out into commercial DID YOU KNOW? entertainment, Along with teaching foundational installation events, classes, the School has offered many conferences and non-traditional courses for USC and theme park design. dramatic arts students, such as: Training today’s student, the • Being on Screen: A Class for Presenters, Hosts and Announcers associate professor says, means • Audio Drama opening their eyes • Acting for Video Games to an unheard-of • Creating the Hit Podcast abundance of • Taking it on the Road and Beyond opportunities. • Creative Production Projects • Going Viral: Performance for New Media



But before they travel to the cutting edge, Wickersheimer’s students spend a full year drawing by hand before they ever pick up a digital stylus. They learn age-old model-building techniques and handcrafted costume design. “In the art world today, there is a very strong interest in the actual craft of making, and the beauty of craft that’s well done,” she says. “So it’s not just all about concept — there is a real interest in the actual construction. It’s really useful for designers to have a love for craft and for understanding how to make something, and how to create the details that they want to see in their work.”

A Fresh Look at a Long-Lived Art For acting students, the School’s new efforts give today’s performer a leg up on the exploding future of performance, but with the invaluable foundation of timetested craft and a vibrant literacy in classical repertoire. Negro has observed a decline in familiarity with that repertoire... which means she gets to blow young minds every year. When she introduces her students to Shakespeare, “their eyes pop, and they are agog with excitement,” the associate professor of theatre practice says. But she doesn’t pander by trying to update the Bard. “It can’t just be a taste of it, apologizing for it. You know, ‘We’re going to do Hamlet, but he’s going to have purple ears and no legs.’ He’s got enough problems!” You don’t have to manipulate the classics to be relevant, she says. “If they’re great plays, they are relevant.”

Bridel tends to look at the School’s blend of classical and forward-thinking training as it relates to story. “The value of story, the need for story and the kind of connection to story that we have. Which isn’t going away, and never will, because we’re hardwired to respond to story,” he says. Echoing Bridel’s philosophy, Wickersheimer says that although some of her graduates are going on to work in arenas like videogame design and selfie-driven art installations, it’s all anchored in the same, age-old thing: designing for story. “And I think it makes them a really flexible person, it makes them a designer that can adapt to whichever project comes their way.”  Tim Greiving is an arts journalist in Los Angeles, specializing in film music. He produces radio features for NPR, Classical KUSC, and Southern California Public Radio, and writes for the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

CA R E E R CE NT E R The USC School of Dramatic Arts launched its innovative new Career Center in spring 2018 to offer management-style services for graduating actors, and enhanced opportunities and resources for the School’s graduating playwrights, designers, technical directors and stage managers. “One of our core responsibilities is to train our students in preparation for productive, fulfilling lives beyond the university,” explains a statement from the USC Office of the Provost.* “SDA’s initiative will help our actors, writers, and designers start out quickly on promising careers in fields that can sometimes be unstable. We owe our students as much support as possible and we are committed to seeing them through graduation and into their chosen fields.”

The Career Center’s programming integrates and enriches the already strong professional development opportunities the School provides to help students establish and sustain successful careers as creators, performers and cultural innovators. Continuing services include career counseling, workshops, visiting artists, information sessions, the School’s robust Career Series offerings and its thriving internship program. Services new to the center include job postings and referrals, submissions and follow up on appropriate projects for actors that do not have other representation, mentorship opportunities, coaching services for auditions and production of self-tapes, consultation on demo reels and websites, guidance and support in choosing headshot photographers and resume advice.

CAREER CENTER: YEAR ONE, BY THE NUMBERS Students Registered 152 Student Meetings/Counseling Appointments 300 Submissions 4,000 Auditions/Callbacks 316 Students Securing Agents/Meetings/Signings 7 Students Booking Jobs 12 Workshops/Discussions/Panels with Industry Professionals 65 *The Career Center at the USC School of Dramatic Arts was made possible thanks to seed funding from the Office of the Provost.




ACT Together residency uses theatre to empower clinics to provide better patient care.

Art in Health Care By ALLISON EN GEL

Astrid Heger, a professor at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, was looking for a way to teach empathy, kindness and caring that did not involve panels of talking heads or dreary online assignments. She was fed up with those. The answer, she discovered, was theatre.

work with some of the nation’s most vulnerable patients, and often suffer from caretaker fatigue. The clinics see patients whose physical illnesses frequently coexist with mental illnesses and addictions, and poverty often complicates their ability to follow medical recommendations.

“When people get up out of their chairs and are acting together, nobody in the audience is on their phones,” says Heger, a professor of clinical pediatrics, and the founder and executive director of the Violence Intervention Program at LAC+USC Medical Center. “They can see themselves in the situations being portrayed and you can have real learning. This way of learning should be driving us as a university.”

Josh Banerjee, who was then the medical director for the clinics, had a fellowship from the California Health Care Foundation that came with a charge to develop an innovative solution to a health care problem. Banerjee knew the problem he wanted to tackle: medical providers at the clinics feeling powerless, voiceless and burned out.

Four years ago, Heger had a dinner with Brent Blair, who directs the School’s Institute for Theatre & Social Change, that planted the seeds of a residency called ACT Together that debuted at two adult primary care clinics at LAC+USC in 2017. The staff of those clinics



Blair, a professor of theatre practice, has spent his professional life using theatre to help marginal and oppressed communities find solutions to difficult problems. Heger introduced Banerjee to Blair, and then provided funding for the project.

Blair hired actors — some from marginalized communities — to play the roles of patients. Doctors, nurses, medical technicians and hospital social workers were recruited to work with the actors to develop six scenes that illustrated some of the tough situations the clinicians frequently face. “We showed an ‘anti’ model of how things should not be done,” says Blair. “All the scenes were carefully designed and scripted for failure.” One scene had a doctor recoiling in horror at the sight and smell of a patient’s badly infected leg wound. Another involved a woman who had suffered physical abuse being unable to show her scars to medical staffers because her abuser remained in the examining room. Another detailed how financial paperwork runarounds caused a patient to miss his appointment. The scenes were presented differently by which the audience members, the clinic employees, were asked to step in and replace the actors and medical personnel originally doing the scenes. They were told to use their experience and wisdom to bring about better outcomes. The original actors and medical personnel performed the same scene repeatedly, giving the opportunity for several audience members to try different solutions. “When doctors, nurses and medical staff get up and act instead of talk, they have body memory that lasts into their practice,” says Blair. The result, he says, is that employees feel seen and heard. “They feel better when they are on the medical floor the next day.” Four times a year, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) — which operates the clinics — measures employee engagement with surveys and Banerjee knew the clinics’ midrange scores could and should be better. They had tried retreats, team building exercises and public recognition for staff members, all without much success. The average for positive employee engagement for all DHS units was 3.69 out of a perfect score of 5. The score for the clinics Banerjee oversaw was 3.64. It’s difficult to raise scores by even one-tenth of a point, and Banerjee had an ambitious goal to raise the number to 3.75 during the six months the ACT Together program ran.

Impressively, the clinics’ score went up to 3.81 during that time. Survey questions specifically about ACT Together revealed approval ratings of 95 percent. Banerjee gives credit to Heger’s support, and to Blair’s skill as a director. “Brent always says that at its heart, theatre arts is play. You can’t force people to play, but you can invite them to play, and that’s what Brent does,” observes Banerjee. “His years of experience of speaking to people who are voiceless really shows in how he facilitates the sessions. He explains what everyone is doing, and he asks, not commands. Sometimes, he’ll narrate the scene as it’s going on, like a voice-over, and say something like ‘Poor Toni is struggling up here. Who can help?’ And then people step up.” Blair says that even when there is no intervention that neatly solves the problem in a scene, the audience has changed from being passive to feeling active, useful and engaged. The residencies were done six times in 2017 and 2018, and begin this fall. Blair and Banerjee have done presentations on the project for the California Health Care Foundation and LAC+USC, and are planning to co-author a medical journal article about it. “ACT Together is important because people find purpose in their work when they feel they are making an impact,” says Banerjee. He is now the associate medical director for transitions of care at LAC+USC, and he and Blair are in discussions about expanding the program across the DHS. “This program can work for anyone, anywhere,” he says. “It’s the single most joyful project I’ve been involved with in my career as it gives front line staff voices and power. It’s democratizing health care, which is super unusual. “Using theatre proved to be far more effective than traditional seated lectures or conferences.”  Allison Engel is an author and produced playwright who has been an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor at national magazines. She has covered USC’s six arts schools and Classical KUSC and KDFC radio stations.



Inda CraigGalvรกn Who Tracy Runs Tutor the Chloe World? Ji Yoon Sabina From costume design to real estate, these four alumnae are thriving in their industries.




The Many, Many Hats of

Inda Craig-Galván IN HER SECOND YEAR at USC in the School of Dramatic Arts’ Dramatic Writing program, Inda Craig-Galván MFA ’17 began writing the play that she refers to as a reflection of her voice as a playwright and her “calling card play”: Black Super Hero Magic Mama, the response of a grieving mother to the loss of her young son in a police shooting. The play received a reading at the Pasadena Playhouse as Craig-Galván’s third-year thesis; that same year, it was further developed at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and staged as a workshop production at South Carolina’s Trustus Theatre.

Earlier this year, Black Super Hero Magic Mama had its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. “Going from the reading at the Pasadena Playhouse to the O’Neill, digging in with professional actors, director, dramaturg and designers, [I explored] just how big the play could be,” Craig-Galván says. “And the opportunity to have the world premiere at the Geffen was incredible.” Another Craig-Galván play, I Go Somewhere Else, premiered at Playwrights’ Arena in 2018. Her works have been developed or produced at The Old Globe in San Diego, Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab, Playwrights’ Arena, Skylight Theatre, Chalk Repertory Theatre, and other venues; among the honors she has received in recognition of her work are the Kilroys’ List and the Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award.

of artistic fulfillment, that feeling that I’m contributing something to the world. That was what drew me to the MFA in Dramatic Writing — to expand on what I was doing in my sketch comedy, improv and acting.” “There was never a mandate to write this sort of thing or that sort of thing” at USC, she says. “It was always, ‘we’re going to give you the tools and the dramaturgical feedback, but we want you to find your writing style.’ My first year,” she says, laughing, “my plays were very serious and dramatic and they weren’t very good. I was trying to write what I thought theatre was supposed to be. Once I expressed ‘here’s how I want to tell this story,’ the professors would keep me on track and make sure I was feeling the vision that I talked to them about — giving me resources, other plays to look at as examples, and opening my mind up to other styles of playwriting that I hadn’t necessarily known about before the program.” Her professors were also “incredibly supportive of the fact that I was the mother of two almost adult children, going back to school, and pretty much starting over,” Craig-Galván says. “They encouraged me to look at my life experience and my newness to playwriting as a plus rather than, ‘oh, I’m so old.’ ” “And we had so many projects, that by the time I graduated, I was ready to hit the ground running.” 

A Chicago transplant, Craig-Galván performed improv and sketch comedy at The Second City and The Groundlings; as a stage actor in Chicago and Los Angeles, she was recognized with a Black Theater Alliance Award and a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination. She was a staff writer for the ABC series, The Rookie in 2018; this season, she is a story editor for ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder. “It was embracing the things from the different hats I wear that gave my playwriting the voice it has,” Craig-Galván says. As a writer and performer, “I was doing social and political satire, the kind of work that felt important to me. I was getting to say something about what was happening in my community and society.” When she decided to pursue a career “for the latter half of my life,” Craig-Galván says, “I wanted to continue to have that sort

Black Super Hero Magic Mama. Photo by Chris Whitaker.

Lynne Heffley is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and editor for print and online publications. She is a former general arts reporter for the Los Angeles Times and is a founding member of The Journalism Shop (the online co-op of ex-Los Angeles Times staffers) and the South Pasadena Arts Council.



The Path to Million Dollar Listings

Tracy Tutor WHEN TRACY TU TOR BA ’97 , a top Los Angeles real estate agent, heard from the Bravo television series Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, it wasn’t your typical casting call. Working in the highly competitive high-end Los Angeles market, she knew all the cast members, so it wasn’t a shock to have one of the show’s stars, Josh Altman, call her about a home listing. What was a shock is when he asked her if she could meet at the home, with her client, and go on camera — in three hours.

Two USC professors that particularly inspired her were “the rad and amazing” Lora Zane, formerly an associate professor of theatre practice, and the late Paul Backer, who directed her in “a small, but really, really interesting” production her senior year. Photo by Joshua Shelton.

Tutor gulped, but made it happen. She filmed one scene with Altman. Then a second scene doing negotiations. Then a third scene finalizing the deal.

From a young age, she gravitated toward acting, singing and dancing. “Performing was always in my nature,” she says, and included singing in a girl band called Everything Nice with fellow USC grad and actress Sasha Alexander (Rizzoli & Isles, Shameless).

That was in 2016, during the ninth season of the popular series that details the drama and personalities behind mega-deals and mansions. When the season ended, the producers called, told her she had great chemistry on camera, and would be a good fit for the show. Would she like to become its first female cast member? The answer was “yes.” So Tutor, while continuing to work fulltime managing a five-person sales team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Beverly Hills, starred in seasons 10 and 11, and is currently filming season 12. “It’s funny how things come full circle,” she says, referencing her theatre arts degree. Her acting background at the School of Dramatic Arts made it easier to transition to a screen presence on television, she says, but her theatre training has been helpful during her entire two decades in real estate. “Being a real estate agent or in retail, or in sales, or in so many industries, you need the ability to sell yourself to clients,” she observes. “Having a background in theatre and performance was a huge part of why I am successful in real estate. If you don’t understand what connects to people, you are never going to be successful in sales.”

Tutor appeared in a few films after college, but gravitated toward real estate. After several years working at her father’s firm, Tutor Perini Corporation, one of the nation’s largest general contractors, she started in residential real estate with a boutique firm in West Hollywood. She then worked at two other agencies before moving to Douglas Elliman, where she has expanded her business worldwide, including representing an architecturally-significant residence project in Dubai. Although appearing on a series with a global audience results in an influx of sales leads, it is challenging to juggle a shooting schedule with the demands of business in a very competitive field. As a practical matter, Tutor says, there is no hiatus between seasons. “We film all year long, because some houses take that long to sell.” And when a season airs, she and the other cast members have publicity obligations. One of the things that has surprised her about how she has connected with audiences, she says, is the fascination with her personal style. She has always loved fashion, and her closet in her 10,877-square-foot Brentwood house has one jaw-dropping wall devoted to shoes and another to handbags. “I think I could live in a very small apartment as long as it had a very big closet,” she confides. “A big closet — that’s where I draw the line.”  By ALLISON EN GEL



From Paper Dolls to Big Screen Designs

Chloe Ji Yoon WHEN CHLOE JI YOON MA ’05 was in elementary school in rural South Korea, paper dolls were in fashion. Yoon, in fifth grade, drew 50 different costumes for her paper doll, and sold them to friends — at a price seven times more expensive than store-bought versions. They sold because, even as an elementary student, Yoon had extraordinary skill as a designer and illustrator.

This precocious marketing effort was a hint at Yoon’s determination to do whatever it took to become a costume designer. Her path has taken zigs and zags to fashion design and teaching, but her career of choice got a huge boost when she was an assistant costume designer on Black Panther, working for Ruth Carter. Carter won the 2018 Academy Award for the film’s innovative and scrupulously-researched costumes. Yoon had worked for Carter on several earlier, smaller projects before Yoon married and moved back to Korea in 2014. On the day Carter posted on Facebook that she had gotten the Black Panther job, she messaged Yoon and told her “I need you. I got this huge job.” Yoon was teaching a full load at Sungshin University in Seoul (fashion design, illustration, fabrics, sustainable fashion and fashion history), but she was determined to take the assignment no matter what. “During my winter break, I did all the concept work,” Yoon remembers, conferring with Carter via Skype. A key scene in the film takes place in a Korean casino. “I knew all the authentic styles, and I got good response from the director and producers.” In all, Yoon spent two months working on Black Panther, including filming in Korea for three weeks. Carter spent about seven months, Yoon says, which seems like a fraction of the time that would be required to create more than 700 detailed costumes that drew so heavily on multiple cultural influences. “But that’s costume design,” says Yoon. “It is a lot of work and research.” It was Yoon’s superlative portfolio that caught the attention of the late Ritchie M. Spencer, the USC School of Dramatic Art’s longtime director of production and head of costume design. Yoon had graduated from the private Kookmin University in Seoul with a degree in costume design, had applied at USC for graduate school, but then thought she wanted to be in New York City and spent a year studying at The Fashion Institute of Technology. Realizing the advantage of being in Los Angeles,

the heart of the film industry, and at a university with both a strong costume design program and hundreds of film students, she emailed the School to see if it was still interested in her. Spencer asked to see her portfolio, and the deal was sealed. Yoon especially remembers learning from stage designer Don Llewellyn (now an emeriti faculty member) and Howard Schmitt, who manages the costume shop. She designed costumes for Euripides’ Women of Troy, and built the elaborate costumes for the main characters for Les Liaisons Dangereuses in one month. Her thesis project was the costumes for the Irish play, The Playboy of the Western World. “I love historic costume,” says Yoon. “But I also like fantasy and sci-fi.” Although Yoon hopes to work again in Los Angeles soon, she has been busy in Korea. She produced a nine-week massive open online course on film costume design, has developed a new in-person course for her university in film fashion design, organized a fashion show in Beijing for 40 students and worked as a costume artist on a Korean film set in 1920 that won the film’s costumer the equivalent of a Korean Oscar. She credits USC for providing her industry start. “USC gave a small girl from the East a chance to study something she’s always dreamed about and made her strong enough to fight in the jungle of the film industry,” she observes. “Even if I always wanted to work in film, my theatre training made me a stronger designer. So grateful for that! I’m really hoping I can make the USC name proud someday.” Note to Yoon: That day is already here.  By ALLISON EN GEL DRAMATICARTS.USC.EDU


A Life of Artistry and Creativity

Sabina Zuniga Varela SABINA ZUNIGA VARELA MFA ’11 made her off-Broadway debut in July, reprising her role as Medea in the Public Theater production of Luis Alfaro’s new adaptation of his play, Mojada, inspired by ancient Greek mythology. This version, directed by Chay Yew, is the story of a Mexican immigrant in Queens, New York.

Zuniga Varela’s history with the play began in 2012 with her casting in Alfaro’s first iteration of the work, Bruja, at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. She returned to the role in Alfaro’s 2015 adaptation, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, at the Getty Theatre, a collaboration with the Theatre@Boston Court. She repeated the role in 2017 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. “It’s been quite a journey,” Zuniga Varela says. “It’s an interesting exercise as an artist to have to clean out the ghosts of past scripts and come to this one with new eyes. Luis is such a collaborator and communicator, and he’s constantly shifting his pieces to reflect what’s going on in the community, in the world. It’s a new play every time, and I approach it that way.” Her experience with Alfaro’s Greek-inspired plays also includes Electricidad in 2008, with her former theatre company in New Mexico; and Oedipus el Rey at the Dallas Theater Center in 2014. “And now I [made] my off-Broadway debut in this beautiful piece,” she says. Zuniga Varela came to Los Angeles in 2008 from Albuquerque with an MA in Education, a certification as a special education teacher, and with experience as an actor-director in Latina theatre troupe Las Meganenas and as a founding member of Teatro Nuevo Mexico, a Latino theatre company. “In 2003,” Zuniga Varela says, “I got together with some fellow theatre makers, community organizers and leaders with the mission of reviving what used to be a strong Latino theatre presence in Albuquerque. I realized there wasn’t a lot of material reflecting someone that looked like me, a darker-skinned Latina. And I had a lot of friends around me, Native Americans and

Latinas that just didn’t feel like [we fit].” With Teatro Nuevo Mexico, “we produced all-Latino programming at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and other locations well into 2008. “It’s kind of what pushed me into acting, got me into realizing that part of my artistry.” “So there was a point when I was helping run the two theatre companies, bartending, going to grad school, and teaching middle school,” she says. “I actually did my USC audition pieces for my students and they gave me notes.” Saying goodbye to her students, she adds, “was heartbreaking.” Zuniga Varela’s decision to apply to USC’s MFA in Acting program was sparked by reading the program’s then-director Andy Robinson’s thoughts “about what it means to be an actor, the commitment and responsibility of putting into it your whole self and understanding, your genetic history…this amazing rainbow of possibilities. It felt very holistic and seemed to be the way I approached my work already. It was the only MFA that I auditioned for,” she notes. “I went into it thinking I’d been doing theatre for 10 years, I know what I’m doing, [but the program] “made me understand the depth and strength needed to be alive moment to moment when it comes to theatrical work. And I used everything that I learned in that program in my everyday life. “More than a MFA in acting, I think I got a Masters of Fine Arts in how to live as an artist and be a creative person sustainably, how to take care of myself emotionally, spiritually and physically. It was a phenomenal three years. I almost quit the first year because there was some family stuff going on, but what I realize now is that I was getting to the threshold of who I was as a creator. It nearly broke me and then it built me back up…and all of a sudden I’m seven years into a professional acting career.” An active USC alum, Zuniga Varela is a mentor and consultant for MFA acting graduates “getting ready to leave the nest. I talk to them about everything — taxes, unemployment, insurance, health care — because I really believe in the program.”  By LYNNE HEFFLE Y



MEET THE CL AS S This fall, the USC School of Dramatic Arts welcomed its inaugural cohort for the groundbreaking Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre degree, created in partnership with the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and the USC Thornton School of Music. These 14 students come from throughout the country and we are proud that they are representative of the diverse cultural landscape we see in today’s society. They have a range of experiences, but they share a passion to grow, develop and thrive as artists together and under the talented faculty of the three schools.

Photo by Michael Rueter/Capture Imaging DRAMATICARTS.USC.EDU



leading man: A Tribute to Robert R. Scales

Robert R. Scales was a leading man at USC on two distinctly different stages. For his first starring role, the internationally acclaimed theatre designer and technical director had a 10-year run as dean of the School of Dramatic Arts. Today, the 74-year-old School of Dramatic Arts ranks 10th in the world, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But when Scales was recruited as dean in 1993, the program was in disarray. There were whispers of shutting it down. “Bob laid the foundation for the current scope and success of the School,” says David Bridel, SDA’s current dean and holder of the Braverman Family Dean’s Chair. “And in his warmth, kindness, and unwavering devotion to USC, he modeled qualities of leadership that continue to resonate today.” After two terms, Scales stepped away from his deanship in 2003. A vigorous 68-year-old, he was looking forward to returning to his theatre design consulting practice and living half the year in Connecticut. His wife’s illness upended those plans. Battling both emphysema and early dementia, Suzanne Grossman-Scales felt happier in Los Angeles, so the couple moved into McCullough Townhomes, a USC faculty housing complex at 30th and Hoover streets. And Scales threw himself into his second leading role at USC — reimagining how emeritus faculty and retired staff could more fully participate in Trojan life. As director of the Emeriti College through 2008, and later as the Emeriti Center’s volunteer associate director, Scales seeded a culture of inclusiveness and collaboration not previously seen among USC retirees. “He felt very strongly that many good things could be done after you’re finished working full-time. He talked about it on our panels for people transitioning to retirement,” says Janette Brown, assistant vice provost of the Emeriti Center, which serves as the umbrella organization for both faculty and staff retirees. According to Brown, Scales coined the center’s motto, “colleagues for life” — which captures, she says, “the spirit of collegiality, cooperation, of coming together to do good work for the university and the community that Bob helped create.” A Dramatic Difference Stephanie Shroyer saw first-hand how Scales transformed what was then the USC School of Theatre. Founded in 1945 as a drama department, it had only become an independent USC school in 1991. Recession brought deep budget cuts



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that same year. As dean, Scales established fiscal order while recruiting a cadre of working professionals to join the faculty. They would go on to redefine theatrical standards at USC. “Bob was an avid believer in having the theatrical artistic world of Los Angeles be reflected in what was happening at USC. He saw everything that he could possibly get out to, with an eye toward building up his faculty and staff,” says Shroyer, who is now SDA’s artistic director, associate dean and director of the BFA program. Shroyer and Jon White-Spunner were among his first recruits. At the time, she was artistic director of the Venicebased Pacific Resident Theater (PRT), and he was its managing director. This was shortly after the Rodney King riots, and PRT’s creative duo were eager to start a community-based professional theatre with a strong educational mission in South Central Los Angeles. When Scales heard of their project, he connected them with like-minded theatre professionals Debbie Devine and Jay McAdams. The foursome, with enthusiastic support from Scales, would go on to found 24th STreet Theatre, now an established L.A. arts institution with close ties to USC. Scales also introduced them to real estate investor and USC alumna Anne-Merelie Murrell, owner of the 1928 carriage house that was to become the new playhouse. “It was an empty garage,” says Shroyer. “Bob was there on the ladders. He would come weekends and nights. The theatre was all built on elbow-grease, our little band of merry players getting the permits, finding donations.” It was Scales who acquired the vintage seats, recycled from a lecture hall newly renovated at the School of Dentistry. It was also Scales who screwed down each of the 99 tablet-arm chairs to their platforms. And he secured the USC Visions and Voices grant that helped finance the first season in 1997. In his enthusiasm for 24th STreet Theatre, Scales occasionally broke the rules of the trade, and even bones. One time, Shroyer recalls, he was alone in the theatre working on the light grid atop a 22-foot ladder, “which he shouldn’t have done,” she notes, with amused disapproval. Compounding the danger, he was recklessly “jumping the ladder.” The forbidden maneuver involves straddling the ladder while holding on to the overhead lighting rails and hopping over to the next position. Scales missed, fell and shattered his heel that day. “He was well into his 70s when that happened,” the associate professor of theatre practice says, “but he just kept right on going. Even in his orthopedic boot, he just kept working. If there was a call to help build the set, he was the first one there.”

Acts of Generosity “I will always and forever be grateful to him,” says writer-producer Anthony Sparks, BFA ’94, MA ’09, PhD ’12, of Scales. Sparks is executive producer and showrunner for Ava DuVernay’s acclaimed dramatic series Queen Sugar, now in its fourth season on the Oprah Winfrey Network. He has more than a hundred other TV writing and production credits. Sparks attributes to Scales two separate acts of generosity that had a profound impact on his career. The first came in his senior year, shortly after Scales took the helm as dean. Sparks, who graduated near the top of his BFA class, had landed a summer internship at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival. Having been nominated for an academic prize, he was counting on the small stipend to cover his road trip and living expenses in Massachusetts. When the prize didn’t materialize, Scales got involved. “It was a devastating blow,” Sparks recalls. “I had no money. Bob Scales saw that, and he knew my situation.” The dean — in a time of fiscal belt-tightening, it bears noting — scraped together a special $1,000 prize for two outstanding BFA seniors. Sparks was one of them. “Not a lot of money,” he says, objectively, “but it was a lot of money to me. That gift literally launched my career.” Without it, Sparks says he would have had to decline the Williamstown internship. When the festival ended, he went on to play Cordelia in a gender-reversed production of King Lear at New York’s Public Theater and then a six-year run in a starring role with the Broadway musical STOMP. Ten years later, Scales helped Sparks at another crossroad. By then an established New York stage actor and emerging writer, Sparks was toying with the idea of returning to USC for a doctoral degree in American studies and ethnicity. At the same time, he was pivoting toward a career in television production and writing. And he was newly married. He called the retiring dean for advice. Not only did Scales encourage Sparks to pursue this difficult intellectual-and-artistic balancing act, but he wrote a letter of recommendation and set up meetings for him with key faculty across the university. “Again, this was a transitional moment in my life and career, when Dean Scales stepped in and helped me get to the next rung,” says Sparks. “He was just a wonderful, wonderful man whose humanity shined through.”

The melding of creative and intellectual processes, he says, has greatly benefited him. Today, he straddles the academic and the entertainment industry, just as Scales did. When he isn’t on location in New Orleans with Queen Sugar, he teaches screenwriting and culture studies at Cal State Fullerton, and he is married to Anita Dashiell-Sparks, SDA associate professor of theatre practice and associate dean of equity, diversity and inclusion.

she ran out of money, Scales took it upon himself to arrange for nursing home care. He watched over Holland until her death in 2006, and even paid for her gravestone. He did this as he was also caring for his wife, who passed away in 2010. All the while, Scales was a fixture at theatrical productions on campus and around town, continued his theatre design consulting work, and poured his remaining energy into 24th STreet Theatre and the Emeriti Center. Just Extraordinary “He was a space planner and a techie, Asked to describe Scales in a few so he made sure we had all the equipment words, Shroyer offers these: “Quiet, we needed for giving presentations — infinite strength and belief, and humble, microphones, sound systems, digital tools,” so humble. Just extraordinary.” says Brown, who has headed up the Emeriti Few colleagues realized how important Center since 2005. It was Scales who built Scales really was, though the design and the contact database for retirees. He also technical faculty and staff at SDA revered greatly expanded the center’s academic arm, him. Duncan Mahoney, an associate which grew to more than a hundred lectures professor of theatre practice and head of and short courses for retirees on his watch. technical direction, once described Scales Brown was at his side when Scales passed as the Mick Jagger of the technical theatre away. She, too, lives in the McCullough world. The Odyssey Theatre’s former Townhomes complex, where Scales technical director was another of Scales’ remained after his wife’s death. Last year, seasoned-professional faculty hires. his grandson moved in to help. Together After he stepped down as dean, Scales with several other close friends, they kept stayed involved with the School. daily watch as Scales’ health declined. “He was at everything. Just always there, “The last two years were very a quiet support,” says Shroyer. “He never difficult for him,” Brown says. made a fanfare of coming, but you’d look Between revolving hospital admissions across a sea of faces and there would be and rehab stays, the team would mobilize Bob’s beautiful, shining, white hair.” to help Scales do what he loved most: It makes perfect sense, she adds, that he follow his alumni and students on the stage. got involved in the Emeriti Center after Scales attended performances right up to retiring. the end. Three weeks before his death, he “Bob was all about connections,” Shroyer took in shows at the Kirk Douglas Theatre says. “He never wanted anybody to lose and at his beloved 24th STreet Theatre. contact. Who could he put together? How “We had a strategy,” Brown says. “I could he be a conduit for emeritus faculty would drive way to the very front and get to continue to be an active part of this him out of the car, and somebody would get university?” him into his seat. He had very little energy. These were the questions that occupied He had to rest before going to the theatre, Scales’ retirement years. then come back and go right back to bed.” Few people realized how sick Scales was. Sprinting in Retirement “He was private in that way,” says Shroyer. “Bob was the kind of person who worked “And Bob Scales just seemed invincible. behind the scenes to get things done,” says It was so normal to see Bob at shows.” Brown, who was also a close friend. “He was Brown sums up the man this way: a strong leader. Confident, but soft spoken, “He cared about people. He was just a always respectful. He put together teams.” very generous, non-judgmental person. Brown served on more than one such ... many people loved him dearly.”  team — the last being the caregiving team that looked after Scales during his difficult, four-year battle with multiple myeloma. Diane Krieger is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer She had seen Scales take on the role who was for many years on the staff of USC Trojan of caretaker with playwright Endesha Ida Mae Holland. As dean, he had recruited the Family Magazine and USC Chronicle. Previously, she wrote for publications at Tufts University and Johns Pulitzer-nominated playwright to USC’s Hopkins University. Her byline has appeared in the Los faculty. Holland subsequently became Angeles Times and The Idaho Statesman, where she was gravely ill and took early retirement. When resident philharmonic critic and a freelance theater critic. DRAMATICARTS.USC.EDU



TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW A visual look back at some of the many highlights of our 2018–19 academic year.

Josh Gad

Trojan Tailgate

The stage and screen actor, best known for his roles as Elder Arnold Cunningham in The Book of Mormon and Frozen’s Olaf, kicked off the Spotlight@ SDA series in Fall 2018.

Our 2018 Alumni Week brought SDA Trojans back to campus for a collection of workshops, classes and events, including the first tailgate hosted for the fall alumni party.

Marisa Tomei

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

The Academy Award-winning actress, known for her roles in My Cousin Vinny, The Wrestler and the Spiderman series, visited in spring for an intimate conversation as part of Spotlight@SDA.

Accomplished theatre artist Santiago-Hudson discussed his career, including his revival of Lackawanna Blues, presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative and as part of Spotlight@SDA.

Sir Ben Kingsley

The multi-award-winning actor, who earned an Academy Award for Best Actor as the titular role in Gandhi, shared advice at a Fall 2018 Spotlight@SDA event.

Photos by Reza Allah-Bakhshi, Ana Garcia and Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging, and Gus Ruelas/USC Photo.



Kristen Bell

The beloved actress — known for her works on Frozen, Veronica Mars and The Good Place — gave the undergraduate address at the 2019 SDA commencement ceremony in May.

Lorrie Bartlett

Longtime ICM partner and talent department co-head Bartlett (left), who is the first African-American partner at a major talent agency, spoke alongside ICM associate Madeline Feder at a Career Series@SDA talk in January.

Nnamdi Asomugha

Acclaimed former NFL player turned actor/producer Asomugha, whose standout works include the film Crown Heights and off-Broadway’s Good Grief, delivered the graduation charge to the MFA Class of 2019.

Alexandra Billings The USC School of Dramatic Arts presented a special performance on May 1 of Alexandra Billings in I’m Still Queer: A TransAmerican Cabaret to support the historic launch of the Alexandra Billings Scholarship. The first of its kind, the scholarship is given to an incoming SDA student who exemplifies a commitment to and identification with the LGBT community. Recipients will be selected on the basis of academic and personal merit, and demonstrated involvement with the LGBT community. To donate to the Alexandra Billings Scholarship, visit



Board of Councilors

LORRIE BARTLETT Lorrie Bartlett is a partner and co-head of the talent department at ICM Partners, a talent and literary agency representing clients in the fields of motion pictures, television, publishing, music, theatre, branded entertainment and digital media. ICM Partners is one of the predominant agencies in the United States and Europe, with its principal offices in Los Angeles and New York. Bartlett’s clients include Academy Award and Emmy Award winner Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk, American Crime), Academy Award nominee Michael Keaton (Birdman, The Founder), Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga (Loving, AMC’s Preacher), two-time Emmy Award winner Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad, Sully), Emmy Award Winner Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire, Brave, No Country for Old Men), Emmy Award nominee Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black), Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Life As We Know It), Lucy Liu (Elementary, Charlie’s Angels), Rodrigo Santoro (Westworld, 300), Laura Harrier (BlacKkKlansman) and Nazanin Boniadi (Ben-Hur, Hotel Mumbai, Homeland). Bartlett graduated from Occidental College with a degree in diplomacy and world affairs. She started her career at The Gersh Agency in July 1991 as Bob Gersh’s assistant and transitioned from agent to partner. Bartlett is the first AfricanAmerican to run a talent department for a major talent and literary agency. She is also the newest member of the ICM Partners Managing Board of Directors. Photo by Alex J. Berliner ©Berliner Studio/BEImages.



The USC School of Dramatic Arts has appointed Lorrie Bartlett, Connie Britton, Megan Colligan, Rik Reppe and Blair Underwood to the Board of Councilors. Groundbreaking leaders and influencers in the entertainment and business world, these new board members will play a crucial role in the continued growth and expansion of the School.

CONNIE BRITTON Four-time Emmy Award-nominated Connie Britton most recently starred in and executive produced the first season of Bravo’s scripted anthology series Dirty John, which earned her a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nomination. She also appeared this fall in the Golden Globe nominated SMILF for Showtime. Britton is best known for her Emmy Award-nominated starring roles on Nashville and Friday Night Lights. Her role on Nashville also earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She received another Emmy Award nomination for her role in the first installment of American Horror Story. Additional television credits include 9-1-1, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, Spin City, 24 and The West Wing. In film, her most recent credits include The Mustang, Beatriz at Dinner, Land of Steady Habits, Me & Earl & the Dying Girl, This Is Where I Leave You, The To-Do List, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, American Ultra and Professor Marston & The Wonder Woman. Britton is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a BA in Asian studies. In April 2014, she was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme. In this role, she raises awareness of UNDP’s work in poverty eradication and women’s empowerment, advocating to the American and global public.

MEGAN COLLIGAN Megan Colligan joined the IMAX Corporation in February 2019 as president, IMAX Entertainment, and executive vice president, IMAX Corporation. Prior to joining the company, Colligan served in executive roles at Paramount Pictures from 2006-2017, most recently as worldwide president of marketing and distribution. She spearheaded the marketing and distribution efforts for many of Paramount’s most successful franchise properties and oversaw Paramount’s Home Entertainment division, a $1 billion dollar annual business for the studio. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Colligan was also the winner of the 2013 Sherry Lansing Award from Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles. She has served on the organization’s board since receiving the honor. She chairs the marketing committee and serves on the executive committee and fund development committee. She graduated from Harvard University with a BA in American history and African American studies. Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMAX.

Board of Councilors Michele Dedeaux Engemann Founding Chair Steve Braverman Chair

RIK REPPE Rik Reppe is an advisory partner and customer experience leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). He has more than 10 years of consulting experience in airlines, retail, utilities, agribusiness, consumer packaged goods, content creation, publishing and entertainment sectors. He has worked with large, global companies on loyalty program strategy, redesign of research and release processes, enterprise mobile strategy, sales force transformation and customer relationship management strategies. Reppe wrote and starred in a one-man show, called Staggering Toward America, in early 2004. Motivated by the 9/11 attack on the U.S., he left his Los Angeles-based consulting business and toured the crash sites in Washington, D.C., New York and Pennsylvania, adapting his experience into a stage play. It won citations from Backstage West for Best Performance and Best Writing. In 2005, he wrote and starred in another oneman show, Glorious Noise. Both shows were hits at the Minneapolis Fringe Festival. He appeared on NPR’s Sound Money in 2003 and 2004. Reppe earned a BA in theatre from the School of Dramatic Arts in 1994 and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Arizona in 1996. He is married to fellow SDA alumna Shauna Steiner Torok BFA ’84 and they spend their time wrangling her kids, Stetson and CC.

BLAIR UNDERWOOD A true multi-hyphenate, Blair Underwood is enjoying success in film, television and theatre, as an actor, director and producer. Underwood recently wrapped roles on Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us and the comedy series Dear White People, and can be seen in Clark Johnson’s Juanita, opposite Alfred Woodard, all on Netflix. He spent two years as a series regular on the ABC drama, Quantico, while recurring on another hit ABC drama, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also had a co-starring role in The After Party, from writer/director Ian Edelman. Past television credits include series regular roles on Dirty Sexy Money, The New Adventures of Old Christine, In Treatment, L.A. Law and The Event. Film credits include Just Cause, Set it Off, Deep Impact, Rules of Engagement, Madea’s Family Reunion and Full Frontal. Underwood co-starred opposite Cicely Tyson in the Lifetime telefilm, A Trip to Bountiful, based on the Tony Award-winning play. In 2012, he made his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of Stanley in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, earning him a 2012 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination. Underwood’s directorial work includes Patch and The Bridge to Nowhere. He is an Emmy Award winner (as producer of the philanthropy-centered NBC Saturday morning series Give), a two-time Golden Globe Award nominee and has been nominated for 17 NAACP Image Awards (seven wins). He won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word as co-narrator of Al Gore’s audiobook, An Inconvenient Truth. A newly minted member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he is also active in several philanthropic endeavors.

Patrick J. Adams Chris Andrews Lisa Denton Barkett Lorrie Bartlett Todd Black David Bridel Connie Britton Michael Chiklis Megan Colligan Michael Felix Brad Fuller Lori Furie Joshua B. Grode Donna Isaacson Gary Lask Stacy Lederer Alex LoCasale Michael Meyers Dr. Steven Nagelberg Byron Pollitt Rik Reppe Linda Bernstein Rubin Rik Toulon Blair Underwood Noelle L. Wolf Warren Zavala Alumni Leadership Council Adam Blumenthal Kate Cannova Mona Chatterjee John Coffey David Fickas Jaclyn Kalkhurst J.P. Karliak Devin M. Kelley, Co-Chair Alex LoCasale Sean Lask Henry Martone Tomm Polos, Co-Chair Michael Schwartz Pranav Shah Adrienne Visnic John Villacorta Parent Ambassadors Suzanne Bruce, MD & Malcolm Waddell Elizabeth & Thomas Dammeyer Scott & Deborah DeVries Kathryn & John Gilbertson Perry & Hilary Hoffmeister Mike & Stacy Lederer Ernest & Raphael Morgan



Alumni Marquee

CL ASS OF 1 9 70S Peter A. Davis MA ’78, PhD ’81 was featured on a panel about the depictions of Frankenstein’s creature over time at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company and Music Box Theatre. CL ASS OF 1 9 80s Dale Bailes MFA ’82 wrote a creative nonfiction piece, which was published in the June issue of Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. Inga Ballard MFA ’83 has a national Trulicity commercial running and recently completed a run in Hairspray at The Argyle Theatre as Motormouth Maybelle. She is also a core member of Quick Silver Theater Company in New York City. Todd Black BFA ’82 is producing Voicemails for Isabelle, starring Hailee Steinfeld. Cynthia DeCure BA ’88 has been appointed assistant professor adjunct of acting at the Yale School of Drama teaching speech and dialects. Her appointment includes coaching at Yale Repertory Theatre. Tate Donovan BFA ’85 plays Doug Weston in Rocketman. Cynthia Guastaferro MFA ’80 played the lead role of Paige in the L.A. premiere of Taylor Mac’s controversial play HIR at the Odyssey Theatre to rave reviews. Ed Haynes BFA ’86 designed the Driver’s Center for Lyft’s IPO Media Event, and also designed a themed pop-up shop at the MGM Grand for Aerosmith/Madeworn Fashion.



Marguerite MacIntyre BFA ’84 wrote a recent episode of the CW TV show Legacies, titled “Spring Break Road Trip.”

Tim Dowling BA ’96 wrote the recently greenlighted Netflix superhero romantic comedy Omega Girl Falls in Love.

Jeff Parker BFA ’89 played Sam in Mamma Mia! at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

Jason Ginsburg BA ’96 released his book, If The Princess Rolls Her Eyes, Your Wish Will Come True, based on his popular Twitter account that satirizes the theme park industry. He co-wrote the fantasy adventure film The Sorcerer Beast, which stars Corey Feldman and Jeffrey Combes, and will release in 2020. He is also the senior digital producer for the Discovery Channel.

Forest Whitaker ’82 is collaborating with Netflix on the live action family film Hello, Universe, based on the bestselling novel. Susan McCormick Winslow BA ’85 received tenure as an English professor at Mt. San Jacinto College in Meniffee, Calif. C L A S S OF 1 990s Kris Andersson BFA ’93 starred in the national tour of the off-Broadway comedy Dixie’s Tupperware Party at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. He wrote the play, which premiered in New York in 2007, and has played five countries and more than 1,300 performances. John Burdick BA ’93 is the assistant program director and DJ coordinator at KPCW radio station, the NPR station affiliate in Park City, Utah. He sets up the podcasts of all of their public affairs shows, including the KPCW Sundance Reel. He is also the occasional co-host of this show and KPCW Morning Mix. He also helped to put together the largest fundraiser for The Egyptian Theater in downtown Park City, raising over $60,000 to keep the historic theatre open through a show called The Park City Follies. Michael Dotson BFA ‘91 played Molokov in Chess at the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre. Joe Douglass BA ’97, who has worked in television news since 2003, was nominated for a two-part investigative piece for KATU in Portland, Ore. This is his third nomination.

Edgar Landa BA ’92 was the fight director for Luis Valdez’s Valley of the Heart at the Mark Taper Forum. He is currently the resident fight director and an adjunct lecturer at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Penelope Lowder BA ’99 saw her short plays The Follicle Prison War and 15 Minutes performed at Bryn Mawr. She is also a member of the Skylight Theater Playwrights Lab and her play The Unseen was read at the Leimert Park Vision Theater Summer Reader’s Festival. Brooke Procida BFA ’95 is the owner and creator of Studio Procida Creative International (PCI), a full-service production company in New York City, Los Angeles and London, creating original works and offers networking events and industry representation opportunities for Broadway, TV and film. She is currently working on LymeLight Journey, an eight-part docu-series on healing Lyme disease and chronic illness. Procida has suffered from chronic Lyme disease for over 30 years. J. August Richards BFA ’95 stars in the new NBC series Council of Dads.

Alisha Seaton BA ’98 recently appeared on an episode of Criminal Minds. She was nominated for Best Actress of the Year for the Independent Short Awards and is in development for a horror feature.

Nikki Hyde BA ’07 was the production stage manager for Carmen, Three Decembers and Rigoletto at the San Diego Opera. She was also calling stage manager for La Traviata at the LA Opera, production stage manager for Little Black Shadows at South Coast Repertory and taught a unit on opera stage management at University of California, San Diego, this past spring.

Jennifer Seifert BFA ’97 has produced three CRxEATIVITY festivals, which combine visual art, films and storytelling, and is produced at her art studio/courtyard in Altadena, Calif.

Donald Jolly MFA ’08 saw his play Baby Eyes premiere at Playwrights’ Arena.

Anthony Sparks BFA ’94 was promoted to showrunner, executive producer and head writer of the critically acclaimed drama Queen Sugar. He has also signed a pilot script development deal with Warner Horizon Television Studio. Stephanie Temple BA ’95 directed the New Conservatory Theatre Center’s Family Matinee Series’ production of Snow Queen. CL ASS OF 20 0 0s Megan Densmore BFA ’05 co-stars on an episode of New Amsterdam, which stars Ryan Eggold BFA ’06. She also co-stars in season two of Happy! on SYFY. For the last 10 years, she has been working exclusively in voiceover doing TV and radio commercials including national spots. Danielle Faitelson BA ’07 is the head of a teaching artist program at the Classic Stage Company in New York City. Shiloh Goodin BA ’06 performed Cassie in A Chorus Line at Gallery Players in Brooklyn and in the new musical Paradise Square at Berkeley Rep, directed by Moises Kaufman and choreographed by Bill T. Jones. Briga Heelan BA ’09 stars in the new CBS comedy To Whom It May Concern, premiering this season.

Vivian Kerr BA ’05 wrote, produced and starred in the 20-minute short film SCRAP, opposite Anthony Rapp (Rent, Star Trek: Discovery), which played in festival throughout 2019. Phil Kong BFA ’08 was the associate lighting designer for Cambodian Rock Band at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the light designer for Bonnaroo and Outside Lands festivals. Eric Ladin BA ’01 can be seen in the television series Impulse and Bosch. Elise Lamm BA ’06 is celebrating the 15th anniversary of her nonprofit Yorba Linda Spotlight Theater Company, which she launched her freshman year at USC. The nonprofit has grown from producing one show every summer for youth performers to offering classes, camps and performance opportunities year round. Kelli McNeil BA ’03 teamed up with Meghan Finn BA ’02 to produce a staged reading of McNeil’s acclaimed play Borderline at The Tank Theatre in New York, where Finn is co-artistic director. Joe Sofranko BFA ’09 guest starred in the POP comedy series Swedish Dicks with Keanu Reeves and the CBS drama series Scorpion. Andrea Syglowski BFA ’06 performed as Beth in Theo at the Two River Theater.

Elissa Weinzimmer BA ’07 recently launched the new course “Release Your Voice” for performers or professionals who are suffering from muscle tension and vocal fatigue as a part of her business, Voice Body Connection. Caro Zeller MFA ’09 performed in Mother Road and La Comedia of Errors at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. CL A S S OF 201 0s Claire Adams BA ’15 performed as the titular character in Violet at the Actors Co-op, receiving an Ovation Award nomination for lead actress in a musical. She originated the role of Hannah in Mutt House, a world premiere musical at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. She played Medium Allison in Fun Home at the San Diego Repertory Theatre and finished out the year playing Amalia in She Loves Me at the Actors Co-op. She also wrote and performed her first solo cabaret at Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal and has moved to New York to continue pushing herself in her career. Cesar Azanza BA ’14 produced and performed in the dark comedy Psicomania, which is in its fourth season. He also wrote and developed a sketch comedy channel for YouTube and was awarded the grant for the Muestra Nacional de Teatro (National Theatre Presentation), an annual theatre festival in Mexico where the most acclaimed theatre productions take place. Brandon Baer BA ’14 directed Be a Good Little Widow at the Odyssey Theatre.



McKinley Belcher III MFA ’10 starred in The Light at the Manhattan Class Company. Briana Billups BFA ’18 was hired at EA Maxis as an audio artist, and is a sound designer and voice editor on The Sims 4. Recent titles include The Sims 4: Get Famous, The Sims 4: Strangerville and The Sims 4: Island Living. Ashley Busenlener BA ’19 and Jack McCarthy BA ’19 produced ASCEND: When Myths Fall, Heroes Rise, which performed at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Liviera Lim BA ’18 performed in the show.

Kimberli Flores MFA ’15 played Tania Del Valle in Native Gardens at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. Additionally, she had a recurring guest star role on the third season of Daredevil, along with guest star roles on Chicago PD and Blue Bloods. Greer Grammer ’14 played Helen Shivers in I Know What You Did Last Summer: The Unauthorized Musical at El Cid and the Main Stage Theatre in Hollywood.

Khalia Davis BA ’10 was named an Emerging Leader in TYA Fellow for 2019 through TYA/ USA. She also directed a world premiere musical with Bay Area Children’s theatre called, She Persisted, based on Chelsea Clinton’s famous children’s book of the same name.

Danielle Kisner BFA ’16 was hired as Frost House Technician at Stanford Live.

Dani Haberman BA ’14 and her band, the Crown City Bombers, recently performed at the world’s largest rockabilly festival, Viva Las Vegas. Other notable performances include headlining at the Wiltern Theatre, touring Texas, and their ongoing appearances in Laughlin. She also appears on their newly released album Here Comes the Night. Michele Harrell MFA ’12 played Maudie in the world premiere of Breaking Out of Sunset Place at the Queensbury Theatre in Houston, Texas. Kristina Hanna MFA ’17 was seen in an episode of Modern Family.

Bella Delong BFA ’17 performed in the Grandstreet Theatre Holiday Benefit Concert.

Casey Dolkas BA ’10 played George Michael on an episode of The Price of Fame and starred in the indie thriller feature film 50k. Amin El Gamal MFA ’11 performed as Basil Hallward in A Picture of Dorian Gray at A Noise Within.



Jinwoo Jung MFA ’16 performed as Thuy in the national tour of Miss Saigon and was seen in the 2019 M. Night Shyamalan film Glass.

Michael Khachanov MFA ’18 was seen in Modern Family.

Inda Craig-Galván MFA ’17 is a recipient of this year’s PLAY LA grant from HUMANITAS.

Julia Davis MFA ’10 produced Four Clowns Presents: Shakedown at the Dusty Spur! at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, which starred Turner Frankosky BFA ’16 and Tommy Fleming BA ’13.

David Hernandez BFA ’14 was the lightning designer for the West Coast premiere of Witness Uganda.

Zachary Kaufer BA ’12 joined the Samuel French, Inc., team as a professional licensing representative, handling professional equity licensing in North America for Samuel French’s catalog of plays and musicals.

Reed Michael Campbell BFA ’18 performed in Maud//The Madness, which was directed by Parker Huseby BFA ’18, at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Monisha Dadlani BFA ’16 was recently accepted into Imagine Impact 2, the inventive program where the company empowers outside voices to develop TV series and movies under the watchful eye of a group of established industry writers and showrunners. As part of this program, she’ll be pitching a half-hour TV series based on a short film she directed last year, Condoms & Cherries, which features SDA alums Daniel Rashid BA ’15, Issac Jay BA ’15, Caribay Franke BA ’16, Miya Kodama BA ’17 and Tuesday Grant BA ’17.

Briana Nicole Henry BFA ’14 joined the main cast of General Hospital, playing Jordan Ashford. She previously played Esmeralda in The Young and the Restless.

Kate Harrow BFA ’14 was the technical director with Thinkwell Group for the opening of Warner Bros. World, Abu Dhabi. Christopher Hawthorn MFA ’16 can be seen in the Ava Duvernay series When They See Us.

Jay Lee BA ’15 plays series regular Takumi in the Hulu series Looking for Alaska. He was also added to the cast of Netflix’s American Vandal this past year. Ashley Long BA ’19 was accepted in the 2019 company for the Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Training Program. Aneesha Madhok BA ’18 performed as the lead role in Infidel at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Julia Manis BFA ’13 produced and starred in a short film titled Mel and Ruby, which was featured on Seed&Spark. She also starred in Cowboy Mouth for the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Abe Martell MFA ’16 most recently performed in Katy Cruel with Overtone Industries. He also performed in A Picture of Dorian Gray with A Noise Within and Sam Shepard’s Back Bog Beast Bait at the Yard Theatre with alums James Bane MFA ’13 and Cecilia Fairchild MFA ’14. Shane Paul McGhie BFA ’16 plays series regular Deputy Joseph Blair on the Fox series Deputy and Connor in the Netflix series Unbelievable. On film, his roles include starring in The Last Shift and as Jamal Barry in What Men Want. Dylan McTee BA ’15 stars as Gideon in the film The Wind.

Salome Mergia MFA ’16 performed in School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play at The Jungle Theater in Minneapolis. She also co-wrote and stars in a short film called Vaseline, which was also co-written by alums Charley Stern MFA ’17 (starring) and Courtney Lloyd MFA ’17 (directed), that was selected for the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. Mehrnaz Mohammadi MFA ’17 launched a new podcast called Hard to Say in which she interviews inspiring and creative thinkers about life, death and everything in between. Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx BA ’11 was named the director of cultural programming at A Noise Within. He received an LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and Stage Raw Theatre Award nomination for best direction of a play (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). He also directed the world premiere of How We’re Different from Animals at the Élan Ensemble. Chantal Nchako MFA ’16 starred in Beast, which won the Best Episodic Jury Award at the 2018 South by Southwest Festival. RJ O’Young MFA ’18 will be seen in Disney’s live action film Mulan. Kevin Paley BA ’16 founded The Art Garage, a nonprofit theatre company dedicated to the transgender community and expanding current representation and dialogue surrounding gender in American theatre. He was the assistant director of Transport Group Theatre Company’s and NAATCO’s production of The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (off-Broadway). Recently, he performed in a fiveshow summer stock season at the Post Playhouse and he performed off-Broadway in Lili Marlene at St. Luke’s Theatre. Brian James Polak MFA ’14 will have a world premiere of his play Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire at Pure Theatre in South Carolina and Strawdog Theatre Company in Chicago. Alice Pollitt BFA ’15 will be assistant stage manager on the new Broadway revival of West Side Story, directed by Ivo Van Hove at the Broadway Theatre. Daniel Rashid BA ’15 recently appeared on the radio show Practical Radio Theatre on the Air. He stars as a series regular in the upcoming TV pilot Best Intentions, plays Lewis in the comedy film Being Frank – starring Jim Gaffigan, and appeared in an episode of The Rich & the Ruthless.

Jon Rudnitsky BFA ’12 costars in the series Catch22 as McWatt, which is executive produced by Grant Heslov BFA ’85 and George Clooney. Pia Shah MFA ’13 guest starred on HBO’s Room 104, as well as the series Dirty John on Bravo and Good Trouble on Freeform. She recently workshopped a new play Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekar MFA ’13 for Audible Theatre originals at Minetta Lane Theater in New York City. She also booked a national commercial for Chrysler, starring Kathryn Hahn, as well as a national spot for IBM Watson. Kelsey Siepser MFA ’13 plays Diane and produces the comedy series Guess I’m A Ghost, which premiered in spring. Karan Soni BA ’11 plays Tony in the Netflix film Always Be My Maybe. Madigan Stehly BFA ’10 received an Emmy Award for Best Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special for Grease! Live. Other recent lighting credits include the 61st Grammy Awards and 90th Academy Awards. Dee Dee Stephens MFA ’14 performed a new play, Yes. No. Maybe., for the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Charley Stern MFA ’17 co-starred in an episode of Shameless, as well as performed in Measure for Measure and Sexy Beth’s Giant Dildo Collection at the New American Theatre in Hollywood. Victoria Tam BFA ’13 is the assistant art director for this season of America Ninja Warrior on NBC. She is also the art department coordinator of American Ninja Warrior Junior and The Titan Games. Nick Tagliarini BFA ’11 had his short film, Other Side of the Box, played at the SXSW Film Festival and won the Midnight Shorts category. He also performed in The Graduate at the Laguna Playhouse, starring Melanie Griffith as Mrs. Robinson.

Sedale Threatt Jr. MFA ’15 portrays Levi in Freeform’s Siren and stars in the film It’s Time. Mick Torres BA ’13 starred in the world premiere of Hurray for the USO at the Glendale Centre Theatre. He recently produced and played RP McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at After Hours Theatre Company and The Baker in Into the Woods at Domino One Productions. He also hosted Burroughs on Broadway at John Burroughs High School.

Diana Marie Vaden BA ’12 made her Broadway debut in Tootsie the Musical at the Marriott Marquis Theatre. Deborah Vieyra MA ’13 performed as Hester in the play Hello and Goodbye by Athol Fugard at A Room Somewhere in Vancouver. Adrienne Visnic BFA ’14 performed as the lead in a Bekah Brunstetter (writer/producer of This is Us) play Be A Good Little Widow at the Odyssey Theatre. Colin Woodell BFA ’14 will star in the Disney film Call of the Wild, opposite Harrison Ford and Dan Stevens. He recently starred in the off-Broadway revival of Dying City at the Second Stage Theater. Jennifer Zahlit BA ’13 and Larkin Bell BA ’12 created a podcast, A Female Lens, dedicated to highlighting female excellence in the film industry. They were invited to a special screening of Brie Larson’s Unicorn Store to discuss with Larson how they can lift up women above and below the line in production. Sabina Zuniga Varela MFA ’11 performed as the lead in Mojada at the Public Theater.

ARE YOU AN ALUM OF THE SCHOOL? Tell us what you’ve been up to and we’ll feature it in Callboard ! Email the SDA Communications Office at



Supporters of Dramatic Arts The USC School of Dramatic Arts would like to recognize the generosity of the following individuals and organizations who have supported the School over the past year towards core programs such as production, professional development, scholarship and the Dean’s Strategic Fund. We recognize at the visionary level those donors whose tremendous generosity has reached the cumulative giving level of $1 million+. Their extraordinary commitment has built the foundation for our continued ascent and future achievements. VISIONARY CIRCLE




Anonymous* (2) Dr. & Mrs. Peter Bing and the Anna H. Bing Living Trust Lauren & Mark Booth* Steve Braverman* George N. Burns Trust Roger & Michele Dedeaux Engemann* Katherine B. Loker Martin Massman Trust Robert & Elizabeth Plumleigh —In Memory of Karen Plumleigh Cortney* Alice, Teresa & Byron Pollitt

Anonymous* Joan Beber Grant Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation Christine & Gabriel Dassa* Scott & Deborah DeVries* Kristin & Warren Geller* Perry C. Hoffmeister & Hilary C. Hoffmeister* The Kalkhurst Family* Pamela & Mark Litvack* LoCasale Consulting, Inc.* Michael & Melissa Meyers* Melissa Posen & Lawrence Hirschhorn* Lauren & David Rush*



Chris & Jennifer Andrews Anonymous Randolph & Ellen Beatty Denise Chamian & Richard Horowitz Michael & Michelle Chiklis Erin Deruggiero Mark & Marilou Hamill Donna Isaacson & Lewis Henkind Sarah & Joseph Montes Christine Marie Ofiesh Jill Soloway Rik Toulon Juliana Tyson & John Kissick Richard & Diane Weinberg

The Ahmanson Foundation Rama Backer* George & Dyan Getz* Michael P. Huseby Family* Brian & Dianne Morton* Steve & Jerri Nagelberg*

Anonymous The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation Adam Blumenthal* John D. and Leslie Henner Burns Family Foundation* The California Wellness Foundation Alexander & Megan LoCasale* The Leon Lowenstein Foundation —John Bendheim Regina K. Eremia Trust Rik Reppe & Shauna Torok Reppe Adrienne Visnic*

Anonymous Jonathan & Adrienne Anderle Craig & Sarah Antas —In Honor of Maura L. Antas Theodore V. Arevalo Yvonne Bogdanovich David Bridel Laverne Cox Dr. David Emmes & Ms. Paula Tomei Freddie & Andrea Fenster James P. Gearen Mary Beidler Gearen Kathryn Hahn Jane & Alexander Jackson David & Debra Jensen Devin Kelley Marguerite E. Maclntyre Suzanne Elizabeth Durrell & Ian Scott McIsaac Ernest & Raphael Morgan Dr. Willa Olsen Mary Reveles Pallares Tomm Polos Madeline Puzo —In Honor of Prakash Shirke Rondi Reed Tim & Vicki Rutter Pranav Shah Rick & Jeanne Silverman Abe & Annika Somer Jeff & Cathie Thermond Robert & Jane Toll Ruth Tuomala & Ernest Cravalho Candice & Perrie Weiner Bradley Whitford


Lionel F. Conacher & Joan T. Dea* Michael & Debbie Felix* Peter M. Jarowey II & Constance M. Jarowey* Seth & Vicki Kogan* Edit & Edward Komberg* Joshua & Siobhan Korman Philanthropic Fund* The Lederer Family* Carla & Bill Pelster Linda Bernstein Rubin & Tony Rubin* Erika Helmuth Saunders & Brian Saunders —In Memory of Evan Helmuth James & Leslie Visnic* Albert & Bessie Warner Fund



Patrick Adams & Troian Bellisario Amy & Daniel Eernissee —In Honor of Larson Rainier Eernissee Louise Firestone & Joseph Pizzurro Melvin & Doris Hughes Margaret & Thomas Kittle-Kamp —In Memory of Donald Hagen The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music Cathy Moretti Tracy Sbrocco & Michele Carter —In Honor of Anita Dashiell Sparks PRODUCERS J.W. Woodruff & Anonymous (2) Ethel I. Woodruff Todd S. Black Foundation & Ruth Graham Black Drs. Kellie Yoon & Owsley & Victoire Brown Stephen Treiman Sumner & Angela Erdman Linda Yu Brad & Ally Fuller Lori & Simon Furie Jeff Kribs Gary & Karen Lask Sally & Howard Oxley Robert R. Scales —In Memory of Suzanne Grossmann Scales Noelle Wolf



Scot & Wendy Claus Lillian Collins —In Honor of Alexander Collins Keith & Joyce Imai Mr. & Mrs. Michael A. Kane Carol & Stephen Kann Henry & Lauren Martone Brian & Linnell McRee Joan Jani-Mimms —In Honor of Rik Reppe & Shauna Torok Reppe Tammy & William Orrico David & Pamela Patch —In Honor of Kimberly A. Patch Christopher & Paula Pink Mike & Kristin Poe James & Elizabeth Solomon

Logan Sparks —In Honor of Harry Dean Stanton Charles L. Swick & Linda M. Reilly-Swick Beverly Suzuki & Adrian Lopez

Karen Avery & Richard Chapman Crystal Jo Nell Balthrop Robert Bauer Mark Bevan Briana Nicole Billups D. J. Blickenstaff Dr. Julie R. Brannan CHAMPIONS Debbie Brendel & Barron Wall Sasha Anawalt Matthew & Margaret Mary Andres Breslin Anonymous Christina L. Bryan Kimberly Clark-Bailey Joanna & David Callaghan — In Memory of —In Honor of Rik Reppe Paul Backer Jeffrey & Suzanne Buhai & Shauna Torok Reppe Hunter C. Cain Dennis Cornell Michael Canonica Leah Fischer Michael Cantor Sara Fousekis & Els Collins Greg Derelian Debbie Coomer Chris Funk —In Memory of Robert Francais Cheryl Geremia & Robert Scales Barbara Corday Richard Schulsohn Collie & Charles Hutter & Roger Lowenstein Christine Crowley J.P. Karliak Frank & Sonia Cullen Judith Light William & Nancy Mark McNabb Cathleen & Paul Melamed Dannevik Debra De Liso Miguel D. Miguelez —In Honor of Rik Reppe Len Devanna David Dickerson & Shauna Torok Reppe Annalisha Dixon Pamela Monroe Elena Dole Jessica Nobmann Casey Dolkas Amy Ross Rebecca Dugal Sarah Timberman & —In Honor of Rik Reppe Edward Redlich & Shauna Torok Reppe Peter & Nancy Tuz Katherine Dugan Ramon Valdez James J. & Laurie Hom —In Honor of Rik Reppe & Shauna Torok Reppe Wen Douglas S. Dupuy Stephen A. Edlund FRIENDS Larson Rainier Eernissee Peter J. Abrams Megan Elischer John J. Adams Cameron Ernst Stephanie Andrea Barajas Linda Ewing Aguilar Christopher Fager Peter A. Albanese Jr. & Corie Brown & Lillian D. Vogel- Scott Faris Albanese Sherri Felton Helen & Larry Albright Donald B. Fields & Adriana Alcala Myla Lichtman-Fields —In Honor of Rik Reppe —In Honor of & Shauna Torok Reppe Norman Corwin Brandy Alexis Meghan Finn Taylor Allen Samuel N. Fischer Hugo Alvarado Melanie Flanagan Thomas Cunningham Paula Forrest Anawalt Wade Forst Eric Andersen —In Honor of Rik Reppe Mohammed & & Shauna Torok Reppe Elizabeth Anis Franco Family —In Honor of Don D. Frank Serena Ayesha Anis Kristine & David Frank Serena A. Anis Carla Frankenbach Dee Atkinson

Sydney Friedman Lili Fuller & Joe Sofranko Lindsey Garrett Jason Ginsburg Maryellen Gleason Johnny & Marie Gillespie Kathleen & Allen Girnus Catherine Goldinger Marissa Gonzalez Kristine Goode Andrew J. Goodman Kathryn & Christopher Gordon Blake Goza Shelley Grant Jennifer C. Gregg Richard & Susan Gurman Danielle R. Hamrick Catherine & Burnett Hansen Sarah & Mike Harlan Sara M. Hasson —In Honor of Rik Reppe & Shauna Torok Reppe Kyle T. Heffner Alina Vergara-Hegi Briana Henry Charles Hess Madeline Heyman Andrew A. Hirsch Katheryn Hoban

Marlene Hoffman Miriam Hoffman Jesse C. Young Construction Sauda S. Johnson Tina Haatainen Jones Elena Kittle-Kamp Terry & John Kamp Mitchell T. Kaplan Olivia Ann Kaplan Roeban Katz Barnet Kramer Kellman Moira Kelly & Seth Kaplan Dylan C. Kenin Sara King Kendra & Jordan Klein —In Memory of James Greene Stephanie Konat Rabbi Susan E. Laemmle & John Antignas —In Memory of Dean Robert Scales James R. Lane & Jill Reusch Lane Christine E. Laskero Yolanda Laverde & Stephen Fultar Patrick & Elisabeth Ledwell Andrew Lee Jaemyeong Lee Katya & Robbie Lee

Jamie Lew Mary Lewis Mitchell & Karen Light Lincoln Gap Productions Penelope Lowder Stephen M. Lowe Holiday & Charles Maginnis Duncan Mahoney Michael Mantell Nicholas J. Masi, Jr. Katrina & Geoff McBreen John V. McCarthy Maura McGuinness Diane & Anthony Medina Rebecca Mellinger Michael & Antonia Melon Jasmine Marie Mencias Stephen W. Mendillo Tyler Miclean Jennifer & David Mitchell Kenneth Noel Mitchell Orlando C. Montes Kimberly Muhlbach Sean Mulvihill James & Kathleen Muske Professor Carol Anne Muske-Dukes Kathleen Dunn-Muzingo

Susannah Myrvold Elsie & Titus Obiorah Elizabeth O’Connell —In Honor of Rik Reppe & Shauna Torok Reppe Kevin Oeser Natsuko Ohama Alice Ohanesian Colette Olsson Christopher Palmer Jeffrey Parker Jose Verduzco Parra Timothy James Pauer Jason Peck David & Lisa Pederson Dr. Giselle M. Petzinger & Dr. Michael W. Jakowec Donna Phelan —In Honor of Rik Reppe & Shauna Torok Reppe Marjorie Funk-Pihl Sarah Powell Craig Questa Joni Ravenna Lori G. Ray Stephanie & Henry Reed Kenneth Roberts Marilyn Roen —In Honor of Rik Reppe & Shauna Torok Reppe Philip & Christina Ronstadt Mark D. Rossen &

Mary Gwynn Norman Stephens David & Melissa & Tracy Fairhurst Rothblum Lewis Stevenson Torey A. Rubin Margaret and Robert Mark Russell Stratford Nicholas Joseph Jean Stutsman Rutherford —In Memory of Amanda & Daniel Bob Scales Sanderson Joseph M. Sullivan Cynthia L. Santos- Daniel Szatkowski DeCure & Natsuki Takano John DeCure Maria & Thomas Tette Donald Schmidt & Michael Torres William Purves Eleanor E. Vade Bon Callie Skopelitis Coeur Christopher Shaw Kristen Van Fleet Prakash Shirke & Paul Bigbee Patrick Skelton Delphine & Matt Vasko LeAnn Marie Schmidt Daniel Wade & Robert J. Ramsey III Larose Jonese Sarah Scotti Washington & Adam Syed Kyle Matthew Weinreb Harvey Shield Sibyl Wickersheimer Ashley K. Singh Carol & John Wooten Michael J. Skloff Ross M. Wyngaarden Clifford Smith Cindy Young Robert J. Smith Stephen Zuckerman Jeffrey & Catharine Soros IN KIND GIFTS Andre Sowards Kate & Joe Cannova Emmanuel Spero & Hyeon-Sook Spero Elliot Stahler Lisa & Randall Starr *Represents multi-year pledge


For more information about giving to the School of Dramatic Arts, please contact Sara Fousekis at 213 821 4047 or


EVERY DOLLAR MAKES AN IMPACT! S CHOL A RS HIPS You can help talented students realize their dreams of a dramatic arts training! CA RE E R DE VE LOPME NT You can help students gain relevant skills, context and training to meet the ever-changing demands and expectations of the entertainment field. ACA DE MIC S U PPORT You can help us update facilities, enhance academic programs, or make sure our classrooms are filled with the finest faculty members.

For more information on making a charitable gift, please contact 213 740 4634 or visit Or you can simply make your gift by texting the keyword “SDA” to 71777.



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University of Southern California


Los Angeles, CA 90089-0791

2019/20 Season of Plays By Jaclyn Backhaus Directed by Anita Dashiell-Sparks McClintock Theatre | Oct 3–6, 2019


By Tennessee Williams Directed by Edgar Landa McClintock Theatre | Mar 5–8

Fuente Ovejuna: A Disloyal Adaptation

Book by Maxim Gorky Translated by Kitty Hunter Blair, Jeremy Brooks and Michael Weller Directed by Susan Angelo McClintock Theatre | Nov 21-24

The Cider House Rules


Adapted by Peter Parnell From the novel by John Irving Conceived for the Stage by Tom Hulce, Jane Jones and Peter Parnell Directed by Scott Faris Bing Theatre | Oct 31–Nov 10, 2019

Trouble in Mind

By Alice Childress Directed by John DeMita McClintock Theatre | Oct 31–Nov 3

MFA ACTING YEAR 2 REPERTORY at The Los Angeles Theatre Center LATC Theatre 3 | Nov 7-16

The Brothers Size

By Tarell Alvin McCraney Directed by Larry Powell

The Minotaur

Camino Real

By Caryl Churchill Directed by Christopher Shaw Scene Dock Theatre | Nov 14-24


By Maya Arad Yasur Directed by Lilach Dekel-Avneri Scene Dock Theatre | Oct 10–20 PART ONE: Here in St. Cloud’s PART TWO: In Other Parts of the

Mad Forest

By Anna Ziegler Directed by Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx

By Cusi Cram Directed by Rena Heinrich Scene Dock Theatre | Apr 2–5

MFA ACTING YEAR 3 REPERTORY Scene Dock Theatre | Feb 7–Mar 8, 2020

Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) By Suzan-Lori Parks Directed by Gregg T. Daniel

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare Directed by Andrei Belgrader


By Boni B. Alvarez Directed by David Warshofsky


By William Shakespeare Directed by Kate Burton Bing Theatre | Feb 27–Mar 1


The Secret Garden

Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman Music by Lucy Simon Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett Directed by Kelly Ward Bing Theatre | Apr 2–12

Three Sisters

By Anton Chekhov A New Version by Sarah Ruhl Based on a literal translation by Elise Thoron With Natasha Paramonova and Kristin Johnsen-Neshati Directed by Gregg T. Daniel Scene Dock Theatre | Apr 23–26

BFA Sophomore Show

McClintock Theatre | April 23–26

For more information, visit


New Play Readings

Presented in association with Playwrights’ Arena | April


Playwrights Workshop Presented in association with Latino Theater Company Massman Theatre | Apr 11–19



Men on Boats

Play Project

Presented in association with the Pasadena Playhouse May 22 & 23