Alumni Notes

Our alumni have gone on to prestigious graduate programs as well as successful careers as actors, dancers, scholars, journalists, directors, producers, playwrights, designers, and more.

Read recent alumni updates below, or share your own update here.

Alumni Notes: Summer 2023

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Phili Abrams '83

Phil Abrams ('83)

With 160+ television/film appearances, Phil continues to happily pound the pavement in LA. Most recently he’s appeared in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Goldbergs, How I Met Your Father, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dave (a favorite!), and The Conners. He also had the pleasure of working with his wife, Michelle Bitting (class of ’86), in a Chase Bank commercial! Michelle is currently a senior lecturer at Loyola Marymount University and a highly-regarded published poet. Phil also lends his talents to the acting community as an audition coach (The Audition Physician). Phil is incredibly grateful for the continued close friendships of many of his peers from Cal.

Patrick Anderson, Ph.D. 2005

Patrick Anderson (Ph.D. '05)

Patrick was named a 2023 Fellow by the Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He will use the Guggenheim Fellowship to complete a book that uses analytical tools from performance studies and film studies to understand police violence. This work is based on his four years serving on the San Diego Commission on Police Practices, a community-based oversight body empowered to investigate the San Diego Police Department. Patrick is a professor in the departments of Communication and Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego.

Miyuki Baker, Ph.D. 2022 (Photo by Kristen Murakoshi)

Miyuki Baker (Ph.D. '22)

Miyuki launched a consulting practice earlier this year to support scholars to visually translate their theoretical offerings into what they call “Visual Theory Maps,” so that the liberatory ideas can reach a wider audience. During their Ph.D. Miyuki developed Visual Theory Maps and other “Beautiful Scholarship” methods, which led them to publishing The Black feminist Theory Atlas with Malika Imhotep, co-curating the OMCA Hella Feminist show, and leading a study session for the museum. Miyuki is excited to be leading their first in-person workshop on Visual Theory Mapping for a retreat hosted by the Lawrence Hall of Science next month.

Judith Brooks ('76)

Judith is now a retired high school teacher as of August 2022. She is presently the Retired Members Chair for CAHPERD (California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance). She is also actively involved with the UC Berkeley Black Alumni Association where she volunteers to help with special projects and activities. Judith is a member of the Sacred Dance Guild and participates in dance workshops and activities. She still has her love for dance and the arts.

Jessica Charles, Class of 2010

Jessica Charles ('10)

Jessica is a Black, queer, woman-identifying playwright whose work holds and uplifts historically underrepresented voices. Her play Antiquated F*ckery makes its Off-Broadway debut in October 2023 at 59E59 Theatre! Antiquated F*ckery explores the creative struggle of two Black, queer artists trying to make it in an industry that considers them at once too Black and not Black enough.

Gregory Scott Cummins (Class of 1983)

Gregory Scott Cummins ('83)

Greg has been making a living professionally for 38 years (since 1985) in film, TV, and theater. He can currently be seen as Crate (Detective Moore) on Bosch and Bosch: Legacy, as well as Luther (Mac's dad) in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Greg received his M.F.A. in Acting from UCLA in 1985. He was the starting punter on Cal's football team in '74 and '75 before punting in his last two years for the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.

TDPS alum Roxann Dawson has directed shows including "Foundation" and "Star Trek: Voyager"

Roxann Dawson

Since graduating from Berkeley, Roxann has been blessed with several careers in the business. She started with A Chorus Line on Broadway as Diana Morales, then seven years as B’Elanna Torres on Star Trek: Voyager, where she began directing. She has been directing film and television for over 20 years now. The Horror of Dolores Roach drops on Amazon July 7, and season two of Apple TV's Foundation drops July 14. Roxann serves as director and executive producer on both. She thanks Berkeley for her roots.

David Ginsberg, Class of 1974

David Ginsberg ('74)

Formerly David Ginnes

After undergraduate, David went to law school, then worked in CGI and VFX production for 20 years. He then spent the next 20 years as General Counsel of a software company. David retired in September 2022, and he's now happily playing bagpipes with the Pasadena Scottish Pipes and Drums.

Michael Habicht ('96)

Michael is still involved in drama through the real-life struggles of the Emergency Department where he is a physician in Lake Tahoe. He hasn't worked in theater professionally for over 20 years, but now that his kids are in high school he has been up in the rafters again helping design The Sound of Music and Servant of Two Masters with his younger son.

Kevin Koster ('91)

Kevin continues to work as a 1st Assistant Director in episodic television production, most recently on 9-1-1 in Los Angeles and P-Valley in Covington, GA. Kevin is also active with the Directors Guild of America, where as of July 2023, he is the 1st Vice Chair of the Western AD/UPM Council and an Associate Member of the National Board.

"Nanay" by Molly Olis Krost (Class of 2016)

Molly Olis Krost ('16)

Molly's play NANAY is a finalist for the 46th Bay Area Playwrights Festival. NANAY also received a workshop as part of Town Hall Theater's New Voice Series.

Caleb Luna (Ph.D. '22)

Caleb Luna (Ph.D. '22)

Caleb accepted an Assistant Professor position with their postdoctoral department, Feminist Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. Read a recent article about how Caleb "centers fat experiences in poetry and cultural critique."

Ely Sonny Orquiza, Class of 2017

Ely Sonny Orquiza ('17)

Ely was named a 2023 YBCA 100 Honoree for his work around The Living Document and his contributions to various communities in the Bay Area through educational theatre. He is the Director of Education and Community at Magic Theatre where he has dedicated himself to empowering marginalized voices from longterm survivors of AIDS/HIV to formerly incarcerated people, South East Asian refugee and asylum seekers, and Black and Brown artists in San Francisco. In the fall, he is set to develop and direct a new musical called SHIDAIQU set in Shanghai in the 1930s, which explores the political tension and the captivating music of the era.

Ariel Osterweis (Ph.D. 2011)

Ariel Osterweis' book, Body Impossible: Desmond Richardson and the Politics of Virtuosity, will be published by Oxford University Press on February 2, 2024 as part of the Studies in Dance Theory series.

Bridget Palmer, TDPS/Dramatic Arts alum

Bridget Palmer

Bridget took what she learned about directing and launched a 20+ year career directing and serving as an arts administrator for Santa Rosa Children's Theater, ShowBiz Kidz, and A Theater For Children. She also writes scripts and screenplays and works as a teaching artist for the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts integrating acting, social and emotional learning (SEL), storytelling, dance, and math skills.

Claire Pearson ('19)

After graduating, Claire began an acting career in the Bay Area working with companies like Berkeley Playhouse and Bay Area Musicals. She is now pursuing a dual Masters in Theater Management and Business Administration at Cal State Long Beach. Claire is currently a grant-writer for arts organizations around Southern California.

Swetha Prabakaran ('21)

Swetha is featured in the October 2023 issue of Dance Magazine in an article on Majors and Minors That Enrich a Dance Degree. She is a technical product manager by day, and has continued to dance and choreograph since graduating. Swetha served as an assistant choreographer and camera operator for Berkeley Dance Project 2022, a screendance production that explored the intersections of choreography and technology. 

Iván A. Ramos, Ph.D. 2015 (Photo by Amina Cruz)

Iván A. Ramos (Ph.D. '15)

Iván's first scholarly monograph, Unbelonging: Dissonant Sounds in Mexican and Latinx Aesthetics was published this July by NYU Press. Based on research started during his time in the Ph.D. in Performance Studies at Berkeley, the book examines how Mexican and Latinx contemporary artists used alternative sounds to reject the demands of neoliberal belonging. Iván received a 2023 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award from the Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formerly the Woodrow Wilson Foundation) for his work at Brown University.

Charles Ray ('77)

Charles built scenery for the San Francisco Opera and the A.C.T. Geary Theater. He was also the Assistant Electrician for A.C.T. during the Annette Benning years. He also spent 25 years doing Special Effects and Carpentry for Industrial Light and Magic in San Rafael. Over the course of his career he worked on over 50 films, television shows, and commercials. He is currently retired and living at Ivy Park in Oakland.

Takeo Rivera with his child Hikaru

Takeo Rivera (Ph.D. '17)

Takeo is on the verge of going up for tenure as an assistant professor of English at Boston University. He published his first book, Model Minority Masochism: Performing the Cultural Politics of Asian American Masculinity with Oxford University Press in 2022. With his partner Diana, Takeo is raising an absurdly cute toddler named Hikaru, who has just turned 2 years old.

Maxine Rose Schur, Class of 1973

Maxine Rose Schur ('73)

Maxine aspired to be a professional actress and did—on stage and TV in New Zealand from 1972 to 1975. Returning to California, she became a travel essayist and a children's book author. Her two latest books are the re-publication of her award-winning travel memoir, Places in Time, of which the SF Chronicle wrote, "This is what travel memoirs should be and so seldom are," and her middle grade fantasy novel, The Word Dancer, which Publishers Weekly called, "lyrical and propulsive, brimming with amusing and innovative ideas." Maxine lives in San Rafael.

Stefanie Singer ('91)

Stefanie was recently promoted to the position of Director of Clinical Services at Summit View West School in Culver City, CA.

Charles Slender-White, Class of 2006

Charles Slender-White ('06)

Charles is the Artistic Director of FACT/SF, a San Francisco-based contemporary dance company he founded in 2008. He is also one of 44 Countertechnique teachers worldwide, and teaches workshops throughout North America and Europe, and on faculty at the American Dance Festival. Slender-White’s leadership in the dance field was recently recognized by Rachel Howard in her year-end article for the SF Chronicle and by Rachel Caldwell for Dance Magazine. In 2022, FACT/SF became the first dance company in the US to pay people to apply to its programs, and in 2023, the first to pay dancers to audition.

Marilyn Stanley ('81)

After many years as an arts administrator and theater artist (California Arts Council, Julia Morgan Center for the Arts and the Shotgun Players) Marilyn is happy to be back at Zellerbach Hall working for Cal Performances. She started in the education department, worked several years for summer AileyCamps, and is now in the finance department.

Dorian Traube, Class of 1999

Dorian Traube ('99)

Dorian Traube, a professor of social work at the University of Southern California, has been appointed as the next dean of the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Bryce van der Klomp, Class of 2023

Bryce van der Klomp ('23)

After graduating, Bryce has returned to Los Angeles where he is working on writing (plays and fiction), auditioning, and starting a new photography business. He specializes in actor headshot photography and is currently open for bookings in the LA County area. He is currently offering a discounted rate of $25 for Berkeley alumni/students!

Frieda Zolan Winnick ('70)

Frieda is now working as a colleague in the backstage department at Macy's Northgate in San Rafael. Coincidently, a new brand of clothing in the women's department is called 34th Street, where she performed Off-Broadway in the musical Touch. As an acrylic and collage artist, Frieda enjoys creating seascapes, rural scenes, animals, and portraits. She is blessed with three children and three grandchildren, and she is thankful that the great education at Cal enabled her to act, direct, and dance.

"Attack of the Cameras!" by Robert Zagone

Robert Zagone ('62)

Robert has written a self-published book, ATTACK THE CAMERAS! Musings of an Independent Film and TV Director, an intimate look at his indie directing career. The stories reveal the nature of making films and videos during the turbulent 60s and 70s. Many moments, ambitious endeavors at the time, are now served with absurdity and amusement, but offer valuable lessons for aspiring indie filmmakers. Within the pages you meet influential artists: James Baldwin, Duke Ellington, Maya Angelou, Ralph J. Gleason, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Danny Glover, Karen Black, and others. The book is available on Amazon.

Alumni Notes: Summer 2022

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Hernán Angulo (Class of 2019) co-stars in "Sanctuary City" at Berkeley Rep

Hernán Angulo ('19)

Hernán received his M.F.A. in Acting from American Conservatory Theater in May 2022. He is in the cast of Sanctuary City, a co-production between Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Arena Stage. The production at Berkeley Rep closed August 14, 2022 and will open at Arena Stage on October 25, 2022.

Tiffany Hernandez Alberto (Class of 2022) is the Lighting/Electrics Fellow at Berkeley Repertory Theatre for the 2022/23 Season.

Tiffany Hernandez Alberto ('22)

Tiffany will be the Lighting/Electrics Fellow at Berkeley Repertory Theatre for the 2022/23 Season!

Edoardo Benzoni (Class of 2017)

Edoardo Benzoni ('17)

Edoardo (Eddie) was accepted into the M.F.A. Acting Class at Yale School of Drama (now known as David Geffen School of Drama at Yale) on a full ride scholarship starting in Fall 2022. He will be part of the Class of 2025.

Tiffany Lee Brown (Class of 1991)

Tiffany Lee Brown ('91)

After Cal, Tiffany left traditional theater and worked as a writer and editor. She also created music, ritual, performance art, installation, and social practice pieces, earning an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. The intense creativity of motherhood was a revelation, too. These days she is a small-town journalist in the pines of Central Oregon, where she has a lively Tarot and astrology practice. On her podcast, Burning Tarot, she takes listeners on nature walks and pulls a card to guide folks for the week. Listen at

Richard Capp ('58)

Richard completed his M.F.A. in filmmaking at UCLA in 1976. He is still doing small things, mostly for fun and challenge. He sold a short sequence from his film, Run, Don't Walk, to ESPN, which features a 92-year-old delightfully charming lady who still jogs daily along the Santa Monica Esplanade to stay in shape.

Steve Chivers (Class of 1981)

Steve Chivers ('81)

Steve was a writer on the seven-part true crime podcast Hollywood and Crime: The Execution of Bonny Lee Bakley which chronicles the bizarre true story of the murder of the wife of actor Robert Blake.

G. Chris Griffin ('06)

Chris recently became Director of Production at YBCA in San Francisco, five years after stepping down as Lighting and Production Director at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, a position he held for nine years. He is an active member of IAVM and the PMF, and is thrilled to be remaining in the business. He wants to thank the TDPS community, and Professor Lisa Wymore in particular, for their support following the 2021 passing of his wife Katherine McGinity, Dance and Performance Studies '07.

Matthew Cowell (Class of 2006)

Matthew Cowell ('06)

Matthew is the Technical Director for Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. He is also an adjunct instructor teaching sound reinforcement and recording, digital sound recording, and sound engineering. Working in the Bay Area for over 18 years as a sound designer, recording engineer, and drummer, he has worked with numerous local and national talents, including Grammy and Oscar nominated artists. He is an accomplished fight choreographer and Bay Area actor. Cowell has a bachelor's degree in Theater and Performance Studies from UC Berkeley (2006) and a master's degree in Theology and Film Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary (2010). He lives in Napa with his wife and two daughters.

Marni Davis ('05)

Marni enjoyed teaching drama last year in Healdsburg Unified School District.

Huan Dong (Class of 2008)

Huan Dong ('08)

Huan recently completed his residency training in Pediatric Medicine at UCLA and has been selected to pursue a fellowship to sub-specialize in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UCLA. His research interests include STI/HIV prevention, antibiotic resistance, and leveraging technology to improve education on potentially harmful health seeking behaviors. Throughout his journey in medicine, he is recognized by colleagues as an individual with emotional intelligence and being able to pick up on non-verbalized patient concerns, something he often attributes to his training in stage and theater. He continues to promote wellness to his colleagues and community through dance and creative expression.

Margaret Fisher (Ph.D. '03)

Margaret celebrated the release of the Italian edition of RADIA: A Gloss of the 1933 Futurist Radio Manifesto, co-edited with Laura Fournier-Finocchiaro (Edizioni Pendragon, 2021). The volume includes Pino Masnata's exegesis of the Radio Manifesto in the context of the scientific discoveries of his time as well as radio-related articles, poems, dramas, transcripts of broadcasts, and tables of Futurist broadcasts from 1925 to 1943.

Karen Grassle (Class of 1965)

Karen Grassle ('65)

Karen recently celebrated the release of her memoir, Bright Lights, Prairie Dust: Reflections on Life, Loss, and Love from Little House's Ma (She Writes Press, 2021). Professor Peter Glazer wrote of the book: "By the end, we feel great affection and respect for Karen Grassle, the person—a role she struggled with through much of her life but eventually fulfilled in fine style. She found acting and feminism at Berkeley in the '60s, and they never let her down."

"Surface Relations" by Vivian Huang (Class of 2008)

Vivian Huang ('08)

Vivian is returning to the Bay Area as Assistant Professor of Communication, Performance, and Race at San Francisco State University. Her first book, Surface Relations: Queer Forms of Asian American Inscrutability (Duke University Press) will be published in December 2022.

Annie Kee ('05)

Annie currently lives in Los Angeles where she is the Program Director of the arts organization The Advot Project. The Advot Project serves high school students and incarcerated youth in Los Angeles County, and uses arts-based curricula to teach them communication and healthy relationship skills. She uses her TDPS training every day!

Camilla Lenoard (Class of 2021)

Camilla Leonard ('21)

Camilla is a second-year M.F.A. candidate at the Old Globe & University of San Diego Theater program. She is currently starring as Hippolyta and Cobweb in the Old Globe's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Julian Damian Marenco (Class of 2017)

Julian Damian Marenco ('17)

Julian decided to change his career path and work in conservation. He joined the California Conservation Corps in 2019, earning a Crew Leader position for their Forestry Crew. He is now an Ecological Restoration Technician with the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District!

Jane McGonigal (Ph.D. 2006)

Jane McGonigal (Ph.D. '06)

Jane published Imaginable: How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything, Even Things That Seem Impossible Today (Spiegel & Grau, 2022), a book about how games can help us anticipate otherwise hard-to-predict futures. Imaginable was featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR, and named a best book of the year so far by Barnes & Noble.

Salwa Meghjee (Class of 2020)

Salwa Meghjee ('20)

Salwa is currently an M.F.A. student in Writing for the Screen and Stage at Northwestern University.

Godfrey Plata (M.A. '10)

Godfrey served as assistant director to Pulitzer Prize-finalist Kristina Wong on her devised play, From Number to Name: Back to Life. The play was live streamed by East West Players in August 2022 with a cast and story from API RISE, a group of formerly-incarcerated or -detained Asian Pacific Islander community members who are attempting to build second chances at life.

Tom Provenzano

Tom is currently a semi-retired theater professor at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). Previously he had been a theater critic for The LA Weekly and writer for Dramalogue. He also built a children's theater that toured across California and Washington state.

Priya Roy (Class of 2021) in "Cinderella" at London's Centre Stage

Priya Roy ('21)

Priya is performing in a London operatic theatre company's production of Cinderella — as Cinderella! As their research focuses on the intersections between Political Economy and Performing Arts — greatly inspired by their time with TDPS at Berkeley — Priya is thrilled to bring a queer, non-binary princess of color to life on stage. Priya is a Master's student at King's College London, and recently presented their work on Lesbian Love in Bollywood at a research conference. In addition, Priya teaches voice, dance, and yoga; hosting regular workshops for trauma survivors and marginalized communities to find healing through arts.

Shauna Satnick ('18)

Shauna has become an AEA actor and signed with a modeling agency. She's performed with Bay Area Musicals, Alma Theatre Company, Eugenie Chan Theatre Projects, East Bay Children's Theatre, Pacifica Spindrift Players, and Town Hall Theatre (to name a few). Most recently, she was a featured actor in A24's upcoming new film. In 2020, Shauna was a Fullbright Scholar nominee with her proposed research focusing on commedia dell'arte in contemporary theater spaces. Aside from acting, Shauna works as a media strategist. She is eternally grateful for the education and connections she made with peers and professors during her time at Cal.

Robert Starr, Class of 1974

Robert Starr ('74)

Robert co-stars on Amazon Prime's new series The Consultant, starring Oscar-winning actor Christoph Waltz. The series will air in 2023. He also co-stars on the ABC TV series The Rookie: Feds.

Mark London Williams ('81)

Mark continues to work as a columnist chronicling showbiz and its discontents in "double columnist" mode, as both an Los Angeles-based correspondent for a British film magazine, and a film biz labor and culture writer for Below the Line. Recent fiction-y things include an optioned zombie tale for young readers, and scripts for the first season of a demon-fused "audio noir" tale, set aboard a train, yet coming to podcast platforms next year. He misses playwriting.

Rodney Witherspoon II, Class of 2015

Rodney Witherspoon II ('15)

Rodney recently graduated from the Brown University/Trinity Rep M.F.A. program. He has performed and directed throughout New England and is currently performing in The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez at Trinity Repertory Company in Fall 2022. When not on stage, he is teaching playwriting and acting at School One in Providence and at various institutions throughout Rhode Island.

Danica Zhou ('18)

Danica has been in China's entertainment industry and worked with Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME), TikTok China (Douyin), and several satellite TV stations for their annual live events. She and her team want to bring avant-garde stage designs into their shows. They are continuously searching for talents who would like to work on the live events in China's industry (remotely).