School of Theatre & Dance
Theatre at USF

Theatre Alumni


Grace Gealy starring alongside Terrace Howard in the 2015 TV Series Empire as Anika Calhoun.  Read the Tampa Tribune article.

Matthew Lopez (BA, performance, 2000 )just named the Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage. His play The Whipping Man has been performed at numerous theatres across the country and his new play, Reverberation, premiered at Hartford Stage in 2015.

Kevin Wesson was selected to have his play, Finch & Chips, workshopped at the Horizon Theatre's Young Playwright's Festival in Atlanta, Spring 2015.

Joanna Strange's film (BA, Theatre Arts '00), Blonde, has been nominated for Best Short Film Screenplay at the St Tropez International Film Festival and has been accepted to three more festivals - New York International Short Film Fest, the Female Eye Film Fest and Women's International Film Fest, bringing the total number of film festivals to show Blonde at 8.

Leonardo Cirigliano worked as an assistant director on NYC's Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre's production of Everything You Touch by Sheila Callaghan at The Cherry Lane Theatre in Spring, 2015. 

Dina Perez is the costume designer for The Cradle Will Rock, selected to present at Opera America 2015.

Victoria Rae Sook received an Outstanding Lead Actress in a Full-Length Play award from the 2014 Midtown international Theatre Festival for her performance in I Never Miss a Larry Kramer Musical. 

Check out the 2014 Tampa area accolades for USF Theatre Grads

Lauren Allison opened in Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio at the Chain Theatre in NYC, Sept 2014.

Patrick Pizzolorusso plays the title role of Borivoj Abeles in The Last Cyclist, written in the Terezin Ghetto in 1944.  Performances begin Saturday May 25 at the West End Theatre at Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew. More information at

Former TheatreUSF student Aasif Mandvi earns rave in New York Times for role in Disgraced.

Phil Hall’s musical adaptation of Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi is being presented by the WorkShop Musical Theater Wing in New York City, from September 12-22, 2012.  Click here For more information

Darlene Horne appeared in Normalcy at Theatre East in NYC.

 Erica Jensen (BA, 1994 - Theatre minor) recently co-wrote and co-directed an evening of one-act plays (“Five by Three”) at the Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York City. The plays featured USF Alumnus Michael Caban (BA, Theatre Arts, 1995).

Stephanie Farina (BA, Theatre Arts, 2006) will be interning at the Goodman Theatre in sound design. Established in 1925, Goodman Theatre has been a part of life in Chicago for over 80 years. Every season, the Goodman presents the work of an extraordinary group of local, national and international artists.

Lea Umbererger (B.A., Theatre Design, 1998) recently designed sets for A Line in the Sand, presented at the NYC Midtown Fringe Festival.  This festival (MITF) is the brainchild of John Chatterton, publisher and editor of OOBR ("the off-off-broadway review"). Mr. Chatterton started the MITF as a way to present the finest Off-Off-Broadway talent in convenience, comfort, and safety.

Aasif Mandvi (Aasif Mandviwala), a former USF Theatre student, made his first appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart acontributor on August 9, 2006 and now is a correspondent for the show.Aasif is the recipient of the 1999 OBIE award for his critically-acclaimed one-man show "Sakina's Restaurant,” and has New York stage credits including the 2002 Broadway revival of "OKLAHOMA!," "Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom," "Homebody/Kabul," "Suburbia," "Trudy Blue" and "Speak Truth to Power." Film and television credits include the title role in Merchant/Ivory's "The Mystic Masseur," "Music and Lyrics," "Spider-Man 2," "Freedomland," "The Siege," "Analyze This," "ABCD," "American Chai," "The War Within" "Sorry Haters," "Sex and the City," "Sleeper Cell," "The Sopranos," "The Bedford Diaries," "Oz," "CSI," "Law and Order," "Jericho," "ER," Ed and Tanner on "Tanner" directed by Robert Altman. Upcoming features include "Wedding Town," "The Understudy" and "Eavesdrop."

Adam Belvo ,( BA-TAP, 2004) and his fellow cast members from QED's production of Mad Forest have been nominated for the New York Innovative Theatre Outstanding Ensemble Award

Chris Hansen, (Theatre Design alumni 2004) recently completed his MFA at the University of California – Irvine and has been hired as the Art Department Coordinator on the CBS Show Numb3rs.

P.J. Escobio (B.A.-TAP, 2000) currently serves as the Project Coordinator/Artistic Associate for the WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory which is a collaboration between Clemson University and Generous Company - of which Peter is a founding member. To learn more about WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory or Generous Company visit WoodBRIDGE and Generous Company.

Michael Innocenti, (2003 B.A. Theatre Arts) recently starred in the east coast premiere of Owen MacCafferty's "Mojo/Mickybo,” where he played nine different characters. The Washington Post called his performance a "tour de force.” Next he will be performing Algernon in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Ernest" with the Keegan Theatre where he is a company member in Washington D.C. The Keegan Theatre, an Irish theatre company, will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary this coming season and Michael will be traveling back to Ireland for a second national tour this time with David Mamet's "Glenn Gerry Glenn Ross.” For more information, please visit

Adam Belvo, (School of Theatre and Dance alumnus, 2004) recently performed in the Hudson Theatre Guild's production of Mad Forest. According to one review, he "showed multiple talents taking on a diversity of roles ranging from a priest, a grandfather, and a vampire to an old aunt, a painter, and a soldier." The production ran from February 17 to March 4, 2007.

Congratulations to Kim Dilts, (School of Theatre and Dance alumna, 2001) on the New York City premiere of War Music, an adaptation of The Iliad that she choreographed with Aurea (an innovative ensemble of musicians and actors) at NYU's First Humanities Festival.

Former TheatreUSF student Iracel Rivero received the Best Actress award in the Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival. Ms. Rivero won for her role in "Coming Clean," performed at The American Theatre of Actors in New York City.

USF Theatre and Dance graduate, Aubry Nivens (BA-TAA, 2006) is the assistant director for Twenty Feet Productions' Moby Dick - Rehearsed, which runs March 7-25, 2007 in New York City.

Lea Umberger, (B.A. Theater Design, 1998) is the costume and set designer for the world premiere Shakespeare Poem adaptation of "Rape of Lucrece" at the Washington Shakespeare Company in Arlington, Virginia. This is part of the Shakespeare in Washington festival and played at the Clark Street Playhouse through March 11th.

Lea Umberger (BA, Design, 1998) designed costumes for the current production of The Dirty Talk at Center Stage in New York City. The play, by Michael Puzzo, set in the mountains of New Jersey, is about two men who find themselves stranded in a hunting cabin during a ferocious storm. We find out these men are not there merely by happenstance but rather by a purposefully misguided Internet chat room connection. During their tumultuous day together the two explore what defines being a man and the value of intimacy. The production runs through February 4th.

Jermaine Terry, (2005 BFA in Performance) has recently accepted a contract to dance with Ailey II. The dance company is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Immediately upon accepting the position, Jermaine began rehearsals to learn the company’s repertory to prepare for the rigorous upcoming touring schedule.

Terry Larson( graduated cum laude in 2000 with a BA in Dance) went on to receive her master’s of Physical Therapy from USF in 2004. She is currently the physical therapist for the touring cast of the Broadway Show "Wicked." Terry is also working on her doctorate in Physical Therapy with graduation expected in 2007.

Jessica Baker, (1996 School of Theatre and Dance alumna) was recently promoted to Facilities Director, a senior management position in the world renowned arts organization Blue Mountain Productions, Inc. in New Your City. In her work, Jessica directs capital planning for new theatres, and provides management advice and services to the Blue Man Group shows both nationally and internationally. Additionally, Ms. Baker is the producer of Synaesthetic Theatre, a not-for-profit multimedia theatre company that creates original off Broadway productions and produces workshops for artists in postmodern performance techniques.

Paul Denayer
(BA-TAD, Fall 2002) has received his MFA in Design from Kent State University and will begin teaching and designing at Morehead State University in the fall of 2006.

Adam Belvo (2004, BA Theatre-Performance) is appearing as Menelaus in the Illyria Theatre production of Andromache at the Tobacco Warehouse in NYC. Later this summer, he will be performing Sebastian in Twelfth Night at Fairfield University in Connecticut as a member of Shakespeare Ventures. As part of Shakespeare Ventures, Adam will be teaching acting to middle and high school students.

Congratulations to Matthew Lopez (BA, performance, 2000). His play, The Whipping Man will have its world premiere April 27-May 21 at Luna Stage in Montclair, NJ , directed by Linnet Taylor.

College of The Arts alumni Greg Pitts,  (1992 Theatre Arts graduate) is in the cast of the new TV sitcom Sons and Daughters. Tune into the premiere this Tuesday night at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Michael Innocenti, (B.A. Theatre Arts 2003) is currently starring in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman for the Keegan Theatre Company, a professional theatre company in Washington D.C. Playing the role of Willy Loman's youngest son, Happy, Michael recently received excellent reviews by various newspaper outlets in the D.C. Metro area. This show will also be taken to Ireland next fall for a three-month long tour. He also appeared in a brand new musical called Lunch! at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where it was web cast live over the internet. Michael continues to be connected with this show as he recorded a demo of two songs from the show for festival submissions and a full length original cast recording on CD. His work on the demo helped put Lunch! through the first round of cuts for the Chicago Festival of New Musicals.

Matthew C Swartz, a USF theatre graduate and resident sound designer at the Denver Center Theatre Company, published "Distinguishing Sounds" in Theatre Design and Technology (Volume 41, Number 3, summer 2005). The article describes his innovative approach in helping a hearing-impaired actor perceive sounds on stage. Matt also reported that he uses the show control software SFX at the Denver Center, the same program recently purchased by the CVPA production area for computer operation of sound cues in Theatre I and Theatre II.

Patrick Pizzolorusso (BA-Theatre, 2002) currently appears as Tranio in the Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot production of Taming of the Shrew ( The production is described as having "carved an exciting and challenging theatrical niche in NYC,” and is said to have drawn record crowds over last summer. Performances are free and held in a parking lot on the lower east side of NYC. In addition to Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot, Pizzolorusso is in rehearsals for a production later this fall of Tracers, also to be done in NY.

CVPA alumni Robert Eubanks is noted in the spring 2005 issue of PERFORMANCES, a publication of the University of South Carolina’s Department of Theatre and Dance. The publication indicates, “Robert Eubanks will be on a seven-week internship in Amsterdam working with international lighting designer Henk van der Geest. Robert will assist with the design, mounting, and touring of three productions. Henk van der Geest was one of the first freelance lighting designers in the Netherlands and has lit many theatre, opera, and dance productions in his own country and abroad. Van der Geest extended his theatrical background into architectural design. He is a specialist in lighting for art museums and is well-known for dramatic interior and exterior lighting for hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls.”

Michael Innocenti, (2003 Theatre BA graduate) recently finished a nine month national tour of Romeo and Juliet with the National Players, which is America's longest running classical touring company. The tour performed in 28 states and to over 15,000 people, including a recent performance at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. More commonly know at USF as "Bat Boy", he is currently understudying Broadway veteran John Scherer in Lend Me A Tenor and will be playing Peter Quince in A Midsummer Nights Dream for the Olney Theatre Company in Maryland. [ submitted through Tell Us What's New With You! ]

Maria Colaco, (2001 Dance BFA graduate) is choreographing a piece called Eye Candy that will be performed at several festivals this summer. The piece, a collaboration of actors and dancers, will be performed by Theatre USF and Dance USF alums. Since graduation, Maria has started a dance company in New York City, MariaColaco:ingoodcompany, that includes fellow Dance USF grads Carrie Malernee, Amanda Szeglowski and Megan Hillman. In addition, the group is working on a series of short story plays called Florida Stories based on their individual stories from Florida.

Robert Eubanks, USF School of Theatre and Dance graduate, has been selected to be in the young Designers Forum this year at USITT (United States Institute for Theater and Technology, Inc.), and will be published in Theatre and Design & Technology along with the work of our faculty designers, Bill Brewer and David Williams. Robert, who is currently a graduate student at the University of South Carolina, is one of a select few student designers to be honored and published in the summer 2005 edition of TD&T.

Maria Colaco, (2001 CVPA dance graduate) has successfully auditioned for Newsteps, a choreographer showcase series produced by the Mulberry Street Theater in NYC. The series is dedicated to providing support and performance opportunities for experimental, innovative and risk-taking works. Maria was one of only four choreographers selected from a large pool of candidates. Her work will be presented at the Mulberry Theater in April. Included in the cast are three other recent USF dance grads, Carrie Malernee, Megan Hillman and Amanda Swezlowski, all of whom are currently working as freelance dancers in NYC.

After spending the last 12 seasons at Williamstown, School of Theatre & Dance alum Kelley Kirkpatrick has accepted the position as Associate Producer at Center Theater Group in Los Angeles, In addition, Kelley worked on a new play at Manhattan Theater Club last spring. As Production Stage Manager, he spent the summer creatively working on a new production of On Golden Pond with James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams at the Kennedy Center which will be performed on Broadway in March.

CVPA Theatre Design alumna Adriane “Binky” Kerr recently completed an MFA program in Design Technology from the North Carolina School of the Arts. In addition, Adriane has received a faculty appointment with Ithaca College Theatre Program in Stage Properties and Scene Painting.

“American Idol” editor and USF College of The Arts Theatre graduate Patrick Sayers was selected as one of ten finalists in Project Greenlight. This national contest for aspiring filmmakers was created by megastars Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and producer Chris Moore. Sayers, selected out of 1,733 entries, was contacted personally by Ben Affleck with the congratulatory news. The top director in Project Greenlight, to be named July 14, will use their talent and skill to direct the winning script of a similar contest. Bravo Network plans to air a reality series spotlighting the events as they progress, including the filmmaking process.

Philip Heckman, (1993 Theatre Alumni) is working with William Ivey Long as one of the assistant designers on The Boy From Oz starring Hugh Jackman. It is a new musical based on the life of Peter Allen. William Ivey Long is the Tony Award winning designer of many Broadway shows, including (the first) Nine, Guys and Dolls, The Producers, and Hairspray. Philip just celebrated 10 years of living and working in NYC as a costume designer and technician.

Eric Wolfram, (1988 Dance graduate) had an article on "Dance and Technology" in the Dance Magazine College Guide. His professional career has included being a former dancer with San Francisco Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the author of "Your Dance Resume"

USF Theatre graduate Robert Wierzel, '80, internationally recognized lighting designer, was profiled in two articles in the March 2002 Lighting Dimensions magazine: "Robert Wierzel on Dance" and a special on-line feature article "On the Road with Robert Wierzel." You can view these at Lighting Dimensions magazine.
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