UAA theatre alumni: Where are they now?

October 22, 2015

We put out the call for UAA theatre alumni (and theatre production alumni) to tell us where they are. If you see this and want to be included, email Kathleen McCoy at kmccoy5@uaa.alaska.edu and we’ll include you. Thanks to those who sent their materials. You’ve made us proud!

Christina Ashby

Christina Ashby

Christina Ashby

Christina Ashby graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Theater and Dance Department in 2009. While at UAA, Christina was the president of the student theater club, Theatre on the Rocks, for two consecutive years. Through the club, she was able to direct her first show, Fat Pig by Neil LaBute. Christina also had the great opportunity to update The Trojan Women as The Women of… as part of her honors thesis project. After graduation, Christina directed a critically and audience acclaimed production of Bert V. Royal’s Dog Sees God at Out North. Christina also directed for Alaska Theater of Youth and taught improv for TBA Theatre, two youth institutions she grew up attending. In the summer of 2010, along with a group of friends, Christina co-created a live sketch comedy show, The Pogo Stick Gogo Dancer Company, that played to sold out audiences throughout the month of July. In 2011, Christina moved to Chicago where she studied at the acclaimed Act One Studios. There she completed a year long Meisner training program as well as studied on-camera acting, Viewpoints, Williamson movement and comedy improv. In 2012, Christina moved to New York to obtain her master’s in directing from the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. She graduated in May of 2015 and continues to stay very involved in the theater community. She has had the great fortune of working with the Atlantic Theater Company, Boomerang Theater Company, The New York Innovative Theater Foundation and the Midtown International Theater Festival. She is a frequent collaborator with EagerRisk Theatre and For Love and Duty Players. Christina is a company member of The NightShift, a small company started by graduates of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory and UAA. www.christinaashby.net Twitter: @tvschristina

Lainie Dreas

Lanie Dreas

Lanie Dreas

Lainie Dreas, Alaska Junior Theater’s executive director, brings more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, theatre administration, fundraising, and public relations to her job. Before Alaska Junior Theater, she served for eight years as the Anchorage Concert Association’s Education and Event Director, where she was responsible for the development of all education and outreach programs and event management for up to 25 artist residencies per season. For 15 years, she taught theatre classes and directed plays for Alaska Theatre of Youth. Dreas is the acting artistic & managing director of Brown Eyed Girls Theatre Company producing, acting and directing one amateur theater production each year. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and Photojournalism from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and a master’s degree in Communication & Theatre from Wichita State University.

Brent Bateman

Brent Bateman

Brent Bateman

Since earning my M.F.A .in Acting from the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in 2009 I’ve been working as an actor based in New York City. I’ve worked with many regional theatre companies (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Riverside Theatre, Alliance Theatre, North Carolina Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, Triad Stage, Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, etc.). For the last four holiday seasons I’ve performed the role of Santa in the national touring company of The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes. I’ve been featured in numerous national commercials for ESPN and Pepsi. I have a small role in the Oscar winning film Birdman. I’ve been seen in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and CBS’s Blue Bloods. I even play about 10 characters in Grand Theft Auto V by Rockstar Games. My next film Touched With Fire starring Katie Holmes is slated for theatrical release in January 2016. I’m attached to Bull Durham: The Musical which is poised for a 2016 Broadway run.

Schatzie Shaefers in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2006) Cyrano's.

Schatzie Shaefers in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2006) Cyrano’s.

Schatzie Shaeffers

Schatzie Schaefers graduated with a B.A. in Theatre from UAA in 1995. She has stayed actively involved in theatre as an actress, director, producer and playwright, and worked as marketing and development director for Out North from 2007-2010. Her plays have been produced in cities across the U.S. including NYC, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Seattle. Schatzie served on the board of directors for Anchorage Community Theatre from 2011-2014.

 

 

 

Peter Wallack

Peter Wallack

Peter Wallack

After graduating from UAA in 2008 Peter begin working in New York City first as a technical director for New York Fringe and Children’s Aid Society. Peter continued his performance studies at Carnegie Hall with Robert X Modica, and is currently participating in Siti Company’s fall training. You may have seen his work in stunt if you have watched: Blue Bloods, The Following, Jessica Jones, The Black List, Orange is the New Black, The Tonight Show or Sharknado II.

 

 

Ryan Buen as Romeo

Ryan Buen as Romeo

Ryan Buen

Upon graduating from UAA, Ryan went on to earn his master’s degree at the Birmingham School of Acting in Birmingham, England. While in graduate school he had the opportunity to train with the Royal Shakespeare Company. After a stint in California he returned to work for the UAA system as the assistant coordinator for The Last Frontier Theater Conference. He has performed locally in the Alaska Overnighters, The Anchorage Opera, Cyrano’s and TBA Theatre. This summer he became the newest full time member of the staff of the Wendy Williamson Auditorium.

Wayne Mitchell

Wayne and Dana Mitchell

Wayne and Dana Mitchell as Titania and Oberon

Wayne is the founding Artistic Director of Bend Theater For Young People in Bend, Ore. as well as the founding education eirector for TBA Theatre here in Anchorage. After earning his master’s degree from Wichita State University, he served as the Director of Wichita Children’s Theater’s Center Stage program. He is the author of over a dozen plays that are produced nationally and internationally. His collaborative work, Soapy Smith’s Alaskan Extravaganza, first won international acclaim as the American representative to the Olympic Arts Festival at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. In the summer of 2015 the same script was awarded the Slap Stick Award for Physical Comedy at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. He appears frequently in film and television where his credits include Big Miracle, Moose the Movie, Baby Geniuses 3, and appearances on the Discover Channel and Animal Planet. He is currently part of the staff of the Wendy Williamson Auditorium at UAA.

Shane Mitchell

Shane Mitchell as Tevya

Shane Mitchell as Tevya

Shane is the founding artistic Ddector of TBA Theatre. After earning his master’s degree in Theater Communication from Wichita State University, he immediately went to work for Wichita Summer Rep. Since then he has worked for many theater companies. He is the author of over 50 plays that are frequently produced all over the nation. He has had plays commissioned by The Alaska Humanities Forum, The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, The Anchorage Ballet, The Anchorage School District and many other companies. His play The Resurrection Of Humpty Dumpty played off Broadway as part of the Samuel French Short Play Festival and four of his plays have been performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to great acclaim. He has been honored with two Patricia Neil Acting Awards, The Harper Service Award, the UAA Alumnus of Distinction, and was named by the readers of the Anchorage Press as Anchorage’s Best Actor in 2015. Shane currently serves as the manager for the Wendy Williamson Auditorium here at UAA.

Erin Dagon Mitchell

Erin Mitchell as the Witch

Erin Mitchell as the Witch

Erin is a founding member of TBA Theatre and currently serves as its associate artistic director. She is one of Alaska’s most celebrated directors having helmed critically acclaimed productions for nearly every theatre company in town, including Cyrano’s, the Anchorage Concert Chorus, Anchorage Community Theater, UAA, and TBA Theatre. Three times the host of KSKA’s Stage Talk have named her as Anchorage’s Top Director. She earned her master’s degree from Wichita State University where her emphasis was in directing and scenic painting. Currently she is the director of the theater program at South Anchorage High School where she has twice taken productions to the prestigious American High School Theater Festival as part of the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. This past year her production was named the Outstanding Production by the AHSTF.

 

Lamont Alexander Pierce (Alex)

Lamont Alexander Pierce (Alex)

Lamont Alexander Pierce (Alex)

Alex graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Music from UAA, where he was heavily involved in theatre, appearing in the university’s productions of Godspell, Wonder of the World, and Singin’ in the Rain. Since graduating, he has worked in Los Angeles on productions of Les Miserables, The Golden Apple, and Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party, as well as working with several professional singing groups. He currently resides in Japan, where he is working as a main stage performer at Tokyo Disney.

 

Dawson L. Moore

Dawson L. Moore

Dawson L. Moore

Dawson Moore graduated with his B.A. in Theatre and Dance in 1997. After a year spent exploring the film industry in LA (where he worked for Skylark Films as a story analyst), he moved to San Francisco. While there, he worked for Eureka Theatre as their Literary Manager, served on the Board of the Playwrights Center of San Francisco, and helped start two theatre companies, the Unidentified Theatre Company and Three Wise Monkeys. The latter focused on staging new work by Bay Area writers, and created and produced the annual Bay One-Acts Festival, which involved bringing 8-12 companies from the Bay Area together to produce new scripts; the program continued until 2013, producing and publishing over 120 plays. Moore attended the Last Frontier Theatre Conference as a playwright and actor since its third year, 1995, and was brought on board as its Coordinator in 2003. He now lives in Valdez, where he works for Prince William Sound College. Moore began writing plays while at UAA Theatre, and has since had over 100 productions of his work across the country, in addition to international productions in Italy and Namibia. He has won national awards for his short comedies Bile in the Afterlife, In a Red Sea, The Peach, The Bus, Burning, The Fears of Harold Shivvers, and Domestic Companion. Six Dead Bodies Duct-Taped to Merry-Go-Round, co-written with Lindsay Mariana Walker, is published in Applause Books Best American Short Plays 2010-2011, and was turned into a short film by Kevin Bennett, who is currently seeking financing to produce a feature film version; The War of Virginia and Alabama is available from JAC Publications; and he served as the editor for Monologues from The Last Frontier Theatre Conference, which also included his work. His other produced plays include LibidOFF; Happy Loving Couples are a Thing of the Past; Secret Stuffing; Alyson and the Great Bagel Mistake; The Fears of Harold Shivvers; Living with the Savage; Oh, Nancy!Laundry Day; Love’s Lumberings Remembered; Skid Marks; and The Tie.

Harold Phillips

Harold Phillips

Harold Phillips

Harold Phillips began his college career in 1989 at UAA. He continued his studies at Western Washington University and finally received his B.A. in Drama from the University of Portland.  Since college he has lived and worked in Portland, Ore. where he’s performed at a variety of theatres including the Miracle Theatre Co., Northwest Children’s Theatre, Mt. Hood Repertory Theatre Company (where he also served as Operations Director,) Tygre’s Heart Shakespeare Company, Classic Greek Theater of Oregon, and Artists Repertory Theatre.

In the early 2000s Harold shifted his focus to work in front of the camera, appearing in independent films such as Sum of the Parts, Dark Horizon, The Bicyclists, Crackin’ The Code and The Falls series (The Falls and The Falls: Testament of Love.) He also began working in the nascent field of internet video and gained worldwide attention in the interactive movie The Outbreak and pioneering web series such as Lady Wasteland and Animus Cross. Roles in television shows such as TNT’s Leverage and NBC’s Grimm followed soon thereafter.

A firm believer that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” Harold has worked hard over the years to grow and strengthen theatre and media production in the Pacific Northwest. He and his wife Trish Egan have served as co-presidents of the Portland Area Theatre Alliance, and Harold founded and maintains two listservs dedicated to supporting Portland-area theatre – PDXOnstage and PDXBackstage. He is a founding member of the Alliance of Professional Performers – NW, and as a member of the Oregon Media Production Association Harold has worked hard to increase the professionalism of Oregon’s film and TV industry while lobbying the state’s legislature in support of that industry. This work has been recognized multiple times over the years, with awards including the “Unsung Hero” Drammy award in 2009, the OMPA’s “Superfine Actor” award in 2011 and the Oregon Actors Awards “Megann Ratzow Above and Beyond” award in 2014.

Harold continues to live and work in Portland and to promote the strengths of the city’s artistic and media production community.

Erick Hayden

Erick Hayden

Erick Hayden

Erick Hayden graduated with his master’s degree in Acting from Guildford School of Acting in England in September 2012. Since then he has continued his acting career in England. He has been seen in such TV shows as Mr. Selfridge, 24: Live Another Day, 50 Ways to Kill Your Lover & Obsession: Dark Desires. He has also been in numerous films including Spectre, Kill Your Friends, Baby Geniuses 3, M.L.E. & 1603.

 

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