Category: Alumni


Liberty University’s Scott M. Hayes Talks URTA Training and the Terminal Degree

Scott M. Hayes, an URTA alum of the Asolo Conservatory at Florida State, and current Interim Dean of Liberty University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts, spoke about his graduate theatre training, professional journey, and offers advice for those interested in performing, teaching, and more. You’re a multi-faceted artist–a playwright, director, producer, and actor. What
  • acting, arts administration, Asolo, Asolo Conservatory, graduate school, Liberty University, mfa, Regent University, The URTAs, Theatre, theatre arts, UC Irvine, university theatre, urta
  • Posted by Rachel Friedman  Posted on 18 Apr  0 Comments
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“Come From Away” URTA Alums Jenn Colella and Joel Hatch

Broadway’s Come From Away is a unique new musical that beautifully intertwines the stories of a group of strangers stranded in Gander, Newfoundland where international flights were forced to reroute on September 11, 2001. All actors in the show’s ensemble play multiple characters. The cast features two URTA alumni—Jenn Colella and Joel Hatch—who each play
  • acting, auditions, Broadway, Come From Away, mfa, MFA training, musical theatre, musicals, The URTAs, theater, Theatre, theatre arts, UC Irvine, University of Minnesota
  • Posted by URTA  Posted on 30 Mar  0 Comments
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Interview with “Beautiful” star and URTA Alum, Ben Jacoby

What made you decide to go to graduate school? I felt like I needed more training. I went to a small, liberal arts college where I studied a wide range of subjects. Acting, of course, was one of them, but the liberal arts atmosphere didn’t afford me the in-depth training I felt like I needed
  • Posted by Rachel Friedman  Posted on 17 Jan  0 Comments
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Interview with Lighting and Set Designer Justin Townsend

Justin Townsend is an international lighting and set designer for performance. He has been nominated for the 2016 Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards for Broadway productions “The Humans” and “American Psycho”. He holds a MFA from URTA member university, CalArts. Mr. Townsend is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Brooklyn College. He spoke recently
  • Posted by Rachel Friedman  Posted on 02 Jan  0 Comments
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URTA Alum and Tony Winning Sound Designer, Leon Rothenberg

URTA’s Rachel Friedman recently chatted with California Institute of the Arts alum, Leon Rothenberg about how his training shaped his career, and about his current show “Rancho Viejo”, now playing at Playwrights Horizons. I would love to start with the beginning of your career. You received your Bachelor of Music from Oberlin and then went
  • Posted by Rachel Friedman  Posted on 05 Dec  0 Comments
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Alumni Interview with Colby Lewis

Actor Colby Lewis is a 2014 MFA graduate of URTA member program, University of Connecticut. Since graduating, he’s performed a variety of major roles including, notably, Cassius Clay in the Denver Center Theatre production of One Night in Miami. Currently, he’s the Male Principal Standby in the Chicago company of Hamilton, understudying the roles of
  • Posted by Rachel Friedman  Posted on 16 Nov  0 Comments
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Alumni Highlight: “Vietgone” at Manhattan Theatre Club

Attending a performance of Vietgone at Manhattan Theatre Club I knew very little about the show, other than it centered around a love story starting after the Vietnam War, and that there might be some rap. It turned out to be a beautiful and hilarious piece written by Qui Nguyen and directed by May Adrales,
  • Posted by Rachel Friedman  Posted on 27 Oct  0 Comments
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Alumni Interview with Emily Penick of ACT

What made you want to go to graduate school? I wanted to go to grad school for two specific reasons. The first reason was to improve my craft and set myself up for a professional directing career. The second reason I felt I needed graduate school was because I felt I wasn’t being taken seriously
  • Posted by Rachel Friedman  Posted on 19 Sep  0 Comments
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URTA Alumni Summer Highlights- The Golden Bride

During the late 1800s, and early 1900s, marked a huge increase in Yiddish-American influence in musical theatre. These pieces of theatre were a result of the time, as many Yiddish-speaking immigrants were coming to the United States to try to find a better life. The plots varied, but the intended effect of the device was
  • Posted by Rachel Friedman  Posted on 15 Sep  0 Comments
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  • Eliza Laytner and Cassandra Cushman on closing night.

URTA Alumni Summer Highlight- thisamericanplay

Let’s paint a picture. You enter a space with beautiful raw wood ceilings and white concrete floors and walls. Everything is flooded with natural light through the windows lining two walls of the space. Hanging on the side of the space is a red dress hung in a kinetic position. There are various other props
  • Posted by Rachel Friedman  Posted on 14 Sep  0 Comments
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