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Alum Call Board March 2021

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DREWE GOLDSTEIN (BFA ’20) announces an original audio play created with several former and current students. The Reason You Left Me and The People Who Called While You Were Gone is a modern retelling of the Odyssey from Penelope’s perspective.  Staring Mitchell Ashe (BFA ’21) and Amita Rao (BFA ’20). Created and Directed by Drewe Goldstein.  Audio Design and Editing by Isaac Baron (BFA ’21).  Dramaturgical Research by Olivia Knight (BFA ’21).  


Michael pictured with wife Marie

MICHAEL PERRY (BFA ’82) has been nominated for an Art Director’s Guild Award 2020 in the category of contemporary films for Promising Young Woman —- Congratulations!! Promising Young Woman has also been nominated for four Oscars!


ADANMA ONYEDIKE BARTON (BFA ’03, MFA ’09) is the director of a devised piece at Berea College in Kentucky that streamed last weekend. The piece was created to honor the life of Breonna Taylor and give students an opportunity to express themselves creatively and respectively.


DORIE BARTON (MFA ’20) announced that her film WELCOME TO THE SHOW will premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival taking place through March 30th! Dorie Barton wrote and directed the film which stars up-and-coming actors and VCU theatre alums Richard Follin (BFA ’20), Dillon Douglasson (BFA ’20), Keegan Garant (BFA ’20), and Christopher Martin (BFA ’20).


MARY HODGES (BFA ’94) directed a production of Water by the Spoonful at Fordham University Theatre which streamed this past weekend. Water by the Spoonful tells the story of familial bonds. It is a story rooted in trauma, addiction, love, inner ghosts, personal demons, forgiveness, redemption, identity, and culture. Hudes’ Ortiz family may mirror a family we know: broken, but surviving. Is being Americanized and following society’s rules enough?


JERRY WILLIAMS (BFA ’71) was recently featured by VCUarts news. Love this quote, “Being a student in the theatre department was a formative and impactful part of my life. Those relationships and connections are still going, 50 years later. I’ve seen so much talent come out of VCU. You see these amazing kids expressing themselves, and it’s fun and exciting to stay involved in campus life and see it be such a vital part of the city.”


LAKESHA WALKER  (BFA ’05) announced that she will be a delegate to the Ms. Full Figured D.M.V. Pageant (DC, Maryland, Virginia).  Congrats!


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TONY SANTIAGO (BFA ’08) developed the collaborative Community Mail in Mural with designer Eleanor Kahn. Fifty six artists and young people throughout Chicago sign up to receive their squares in the mail, then color the squares, and return them for assembly.  They have completed Fall and Winter (see above). The project is part of the Seasons in the City youth program, an arts and adventure camp run by Tony. Tony was profiled back in January 2020. Alum JACQUELYN LORD (’04) also works with the program as a camp chef and teaching artist, taking children to farmer’s markets and teaching them to cook with healthy ingredients. Read her profile from last August here.


LUCINDA McDERMOTT PIRO (BFA ’83) is excited to announce that she is now on the directory of Touring and Teaching Artists with the Virginia Commission of the Arts with specialities in acting, playwriting and devised theatre.


BECCA BERNARD (MFA ’09) was on PBS in New York recently as part of a program called “Let’s Learn NYC” an educational program in partnership with #NYCDOE for kids in grades 3K-2, featuring instruction by educators and virtual field trips.   She speaks from a trashcan just like Oscar the Grouch.  Episodes are on Channel 21, Channel 13 NYC and letslearn.org.


ANNE MICHELLE FORBES (BFA ’16) has taken a new position at The Hive Wedding Collective, a full service wedding planner which can help you arrange every aspect of your upcoming wedding.


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The department has THREE shows this Spring, including our first in-person production since February 2020!

THE DENTIST

By Terry Glaser
Directed by Jeff Darland
Love, vengeance……and slapstick!
April 8th – April 16th
Performances outdoors, socially distanced, and masks required. Read More. Reserve **FREE** tickets here.


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I AND YOU

By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Chelsea Burke
An ode to youth, life, love, and the strange beauty of human connectedness.
Streaming April 29th- May 1st. More info soon.


SPRING AWAKENING

Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater, Music by Duncan Sheik
Based on the book by Frank Wedekind
Direction by Kikau Alvaro
Musical Direction by Anthony Smith
Film Direction by Dorie Barton

An angsty rock musical adaptation about the trials and tribulations of teenage life, set in 19th century Germany.
Streaming May 5th – 8th. Ticket info soon!


Keep us posted! Share your news with your fellow alumni!

Life changes.
Awards and recognition.
New casting or job.

Also, feel free to suggest any fellow grads for a profile in upcoming issues!

Email Jerry Williams (jerry@tvjerry.com) or Liz Hopper (elizhopper12@gmail.com).



Compiled by Liz Hopper, professor emeritus, and Jerry Williams (BFA ’71) for the March 2021 Theatre Alumni Newsletter.