Theatre alums told us how they are staying sane in quarantine.
Stefan Sittig (MFA ‘97)
During quarantine, Stefan is producing and hosting a weekly podcast called American Theatre Artists Online, where he interviews leading contemporary figures in American Theatre.
Past guests include Tony/Golden Globe winner Linda Lavin, Grammy nominee Billy Stritch, Fight Director and UVA Professor of Drama Colleen Kelly, Emmy nominated playwright Jason Odell Williams, and four time Helen Hayes Award winning actor Edward Gero. Visit the podcast site here to subscribe and listen to past episodes!
For more on Stefan’s work, visit his website here.
Dawn Westbrook (BFA ‘85)
As for her sideline career as an American Sign Language interpreter, she says,
“I never stopped working during COVID and am doing medical interpreting…virtually, of course, which has its own set of challenges.”
To see Dawn’s full bio and read more about her work, visit her website here.
Steven Barker (BFA ’01)
As a lecturer of Theatre Design and Technology at McDaniel College, Steven finished the year teaching Puppetry and Stage Electrics online. He also develops and teaches youth courses in Puppetry and Radio Drama for Story Tapestries, a non-profit arts education organization in Maryland.
Check out some inspirational words from Steven on Theatre as the ultimate survivor.
Leslie M. Scott-Jones (BFA ’95)
“I started writing and producing my own series situational podcast about five black professors at a largely white university.“
Justin Scribner (BFA ’02)
Justin has finally edited his poems and short stories into a book and is hoping to have it published by the fall. He’s also working with 25 other passionate theatre makers to devise a site-specific, socially distanced, immersive, drive-in theater piece that will have three performances in Upstate NY.
Read more about Alone / Together on the project’s successful kickstater campaign.
Larry Brown (MFA ’78) & Jennie (Daffron) Brown (MFA ’78)
Jennie and Larry Brown are known for their enormous contributions to the local organization SPARC. Read More here
In quarantine, they told us:
We have been fortunate to have satisfying teaching work — in person, and now, remotely. We both do some work with a local poetry writing group and have just joined a playwright’s initiative. Right now, we’re sharing our stuff through Zoom.
Jerry Williams, (BFA ’71)
Jerry produced a 55-minute episode of Curtain Call (the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle podcast) that looked at the state of Richmond theatre after the shutdown.
The episode featured 20 interviews (including a rep from every professional company) and all of the music was taken from shows that were shut down or preparing to open.
Noreen Wilson Major (BFA ’00)
As the Chief Development Officer at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard, Noreen has been working on “The Roadmap to Recovery and Resilience for Theater“. The purpose is to determine how A.R.T. and other theaters can re-emerge in the wake of the current health crisis—with the goal of uniting the community through great art while keeping audiences, performers, and theater staffers safe.
Jean Desiree (BFA ’85)
Jean’s new career has been planning for and managing disasters. She’s published several articles on pandemic preparedness on LinkedIn, and acted as a guest speaker on two global panels to address pandemic response and recovery for COVID-19.
To maintain sanity, she connected her small apartment community via WHATSAPP…and
we have “socials” distancing by the pool!
Cooper Sved (BFA ’19)
Lucinda McDermott Piro (BFA ’83)
Garner Knutson (BFA ’92)
Has been working on new music during the pandemic. You can find his band The Train Wrecks new EP A Thousand Pieces at TheTrainWrecks.hearnow.com
Garner is a retired sound designer and audio engineer.
Brittany Diliberto (BFA ’07)
Lighting Designer Brittany owns and runs Be Two Sweet Photography with her husband. They has been helping brides and grooms plan their weddings during this lockdown time. If you need them visit BeTwoSweet.com
Stories compiled by Liz Hopper & Jerry Williams for the June 2020 Theatre Alumni newsletter.