Alumni call board: December 2021

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Our December 2021 graduates with Chair Bonnie McCoy, Artistic Director Sharon Ott, and Assistant Professor Kendra Rai

Congrats to our December graduates! Another round of Theatre alums heading out into the world!

Congratulations to Mikayla Bartholomew (BFA ‘17) for her portrayal of Tunde Price, the older sister of Venus and Serena Williams in the new Will Smith movie, King Richard.  Also in the cast is Brad Greenquist (BFA ‘83) as Bud Collins. King Richard is in theatres and streaming on HBO Max.

Tyler Fauntleroy (BFA ’17) is starring in the Off-Broadway world premiere of Tambo and Bones by Dave Harris! In the play, the two title characters (Tyler is Bones) discover they’ve been written into a minstrel show. Their plan: “Get out, get bank, get even.” Tambo & Bones is described as a “rags-to-riches hip-hop odyssey.” Performances January 12th thru February 20th. Congrats Tyler! Read more here.

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is playing at Virginia Rep. It’s the classic story of George Bailey, in the form of a live 1940s radio broadcast. Alvan Bolling II (BA ’21) is the understudy for the four male parts in the show, and is scheduled to perform 12/26 – 1/2! Justin Janke (BFA ’18) is Production Stage Manager, and a couple faculty members are in the mix too – BJ Wilkinson is Lighting Designer and Karen Kopryanski is the Vocal and Dialect Coach. Performances through January 2nd. Tickets here.

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Straight White Men had a great run at The Conciliation Lab at The Basement in Richmond, VA with lots of alums involved! Chris Dunn (BFA ’77) played Ed in the cast, plus Costume Design by Nia Safarr Banks (BFA ’19), Set Construction by Chris Foote (BFA ’15), and Production Stage Management by Crimson Piazza (BFA ’21). Well done all!

William (Bill ) Jenkins (MFA ’92) will be teaching Trauma-Informed Basics as the introductory course to Dominican University’s new Master of Arts in Trauma-Informed Leadership program.  The National Organization of Victim Assistance will be involved as part of the curriculum.  This will be the first program of its kind.   Bill is an expert in this field and has spoken all over the country with his book What to Do When The Police Leave.

Court Watson (BFA ‘03) has been recently in Virginia, designing the scenic drops for the Richmond Ballet, based on his original paintings, and the scenic design for Virginia Opera’s current La Boheme.

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Felia Davenport (BFA ’04) has been awarded a funded Residency Program by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation.  Felia is an Associate Professor of Communication and Media at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and award winning Costume Designer.  She will develop her Torn Mixology multimedia exhibit which explores the tension between her multiracial identity and how society at large attempts to define her.  Hopefully the exhibit will be ready for a show next fall with a showcase exhibit in February 2023 for Black History Month

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Aaron Holland (BFA ’03) has been awarded a 2021 Artist Grant from the Reva and David Logan Foundation.  20 Chicago Artists were chosen from a group of 650 applicants. Aaron has been an active artist in Chicago for 17 years creating performance, visual and auditory experiences from a POC and Gender Queer perspective.

Rick St. Peter (MFA ’98) announced that he had the honor to be chosen among 100 other directors from around the world to participate in the Hektomeron Project with Teatrul National Craiova.   The project was an adaptation of Boccacio’s Decameron.  Each director worked with Romanian actors to adapt the text for the Romanian National Theatre Festival.  The filmed shows were available on youtube.

Jonette Mungo (BFA ’00) was honored for her Excellence in Peer Professional Development from the Virginia Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals 2021.  Congratulations!!

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Susan Marie (BFA ‘98) has been asked by VCU Education Department to create and offer two trainings for the clinical supervisors in the undergraduate and graduate Education Program.  This is specific to their Field Supervison area.

Host of Sparrows Aerial Circus has been honored with a grant from the Metropolitan Business League in Richmond.  Owner Heather Bailey (BFA ’03) says the grant will allow the company to quickly put in a new pulley system for ariel sports in their new space.

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Jessica Smith Hebron (BFA ’06) just announced that the company she works for Arts for Learning Maryland has just been nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Children’s Album titled All One Tribe. Congratulations to all of the Black music artists of the 1TribeCollective. 

Eric Fletcher (BFA ’07) is happy to announce that he has been nominated for two Off-Broadway awards.   Best performance in a play for Murder on the Links and Best performance in a musical for Cinderella. Eric was also interviewed by Business Insider about playing Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at The Players Theatre. Congratulations! Read the article here.

Matt James (BFA ’09) just announced that in one week he will be starting his new role as Guest experience Manager at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, the amazing new immersive experience in NYC.  Even in the ads it looks fun and terrifying.  Anyone stopping by be sure and say Hello to Matt.

Bobby Bognar and Garner Knutson (BFA ’92) played at Cinema Bar in West LA as part of the Down The Hatch Holidaze show last week. They formed their band the Shitkickers back in school and are still going at it! Looks fun!

Leo Garcia (BFA ’78) is proud to announce that he and his Co-Commissioning Partner:  Highways Performance Space  have been awarded a Development Award from the National Performance Network (NPN) to support his Creation Fund project.  Leo’s Project is EARTH: )or the Monster of Tierra Amarilla)

Daina Schoof (BFA ’09) has been accepted into the Louden County Master Gardening program. Well done!

Compiled by Liz Hopper (professor emeritus) and Jerry Williams (BFA ’71) for the December 2021 Theatre Alumni newsletter