Alum Call Board: February 2021

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piper blouin

PIPER BLOUIN FOLEY-SCHULTZ  (BFA ’07) is having a zoom production of her new comedy When Your Soul Embarks on Facebook, March 12 & 13. Tune in and see some of your friends in this new comedy produced by Lexington Players.

LEO GARCIA  (BFA ’78)  has received a Creation Fund Grant from the national Performance Network for his work EARTH, an experimental theatrical work that combines magical realism, futurist philosophy and body horror to tell the story of a pregnant landowner Catalina, a descendant of early Hispano Catholic settlers. Read his alumni profile from last September here.

RENEE CHARLOW  (MFA ’02) wrote the afterward for Ntozake Shange’s recently published book Dance We Do:  A Poet Explores Black Dance.  The book, which was released October 2020 (Beacon Press) is the first posthumous work by the legendary poet/playwright. It’s a personal history of Black dance and captures the careers of legendary dancers with whom she was acquainted.  Renee served as personal assistant to Ms. Shange from 2014 until her death in 2018.

JENNIFER HACKNEY (BFA ’07)  the Materials Culture Educator at the Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, VA has written an article for their blog entitled MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ‘ROUND:  Ancient Greek Coin. An exploration into the ancient Greek coins found in the Museum’s collection. Jennifer was amazed to find that the museum has several, including a collection from Commodore John Rogers, one of the earliest members of the United States Navy, serving under six presidents. Jennifer has been just accepted into the PhD program of American Studies at the College of William and Mary.

TONY HOSTETTER  (BFA ‘86) is announcing that his play Six Years Forever Lost:  Manya Frydman Perei’s Shoah Experience will be performed by Darby Pumphrey at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) Conference next November 2021.

JULIA FOLKART (BFA ’18) has been designing and developing a website to help performing artists survive the current pandemic.  The site is called The Avenue and is a live streaming platform with a virtual tip jar.  The Avenue is planning on hosting virtual competitions within the various genres later this year.  The site has been launched and is looking for others to join. 

MARY BEST BOVA  (MFA ’86) performed in late January in a digital version of The Mom Journals by local Richmond playwright Courtney Jett Walker and produced by LiveArt.  The play is interwoven monologues telling the story of five mothers in different stages of motherhood. 

BRIAN RUGGABER  (BFA ‘02) The latest edition of Southern Theatre Magazines’ cover has the University of Memphis’ production of OR with scenic design by Ruggaber.  Note:  the actors are wearing Masks.

MICHELLE N. CARTER  (BFA ’93) has made her Sundance Film Festival debut in the independent movie Mass and had her first Sundance experience.  Congratulations!

HEATHER BAILEY (BFA ’03) On February 4, Host of Sparrows Aerial Dance and Circus Arts, Heather Bailey’s Richmond performance company, hosted an online performance called Choco 2021 as a fundraiser for Family Lifeline. There was an online auction and a ticket/donation box which included a party box of snacks.  Family Lifeline is a non-profit that offers programs in early childhood for families, to older people and to people with disabilities. 

TARYN YOUNG  (BFA) is now a Personal Trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise having passed all her training tests.

BEN HERSEY (BFA ’93)  Congratulations on his new national Tide Commercial!

JENNY MCCONNELL  (BFA ’97)  is reminding everyone in the DC area that Rorschach Theatre’s project DISTANCE FREQUENCIES is still ongoing in the area. Each month participants will receive a box and a map and instructions to travel to a new curated location in the DC area.  From October to April each box reveals a new location and a new chapter in the ongoing story. 

Come on, people! We know there’s stuff going on out there!

An award?
A new job?
A casting?
A new baby?

Share your news with fellow alumni. Email Jerry Williams ( or Liz Hopper (

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