Department of Theatre

Career Preparation/Guest Artists

Career Preparation/Guest Artists

The “business” aspects of pursuing a career in the arts are discussed both in and out of class, and our senior Career Preparation seminar course help students prepare for their initial career move after graduation.  We discuss important topics such as resumes, head-shots, self-taping submissions for auditions, digital portfolios and audition sites, websites, demos, finding an agent, joining the unions, etc.

While the UM faculty encourages your artistic development, we also help define your post-college career goals and plan the start of your career.  Our Full-Time Theatre Faculty members have worked around the country, and often provide career advice to theatre alums long after graduation. Theatre Majors leave UM with a plan and have the necessary training and skills needed to pursue their dreams.

We also bring in several Guest Artists from New York, Los Angeles and regional markets each year to teach workshops with UM theatre students, and also discuss various aspects of pursuing a professional career in theatre, film or TV.

Senior BFA major Nate Blakley works with guest artist Desi Oakley at our fall 2020 Pop/Rock Master Class.


Recent Guest Artist Workshops

Recent workshops have included the following artists and wide variety of topics; our guests at UM Theatre are highly experienced professionals with impressive credits in their respective areas.

Fall 2020:

*Krystina Alabado (“Gretchen Weiners” in MEAN GIRLS on Broadway) and Desi Oakley (“Jenna” in WAITRESS, National Tour and London; “Roxie” in CHICAGO on Broadway) worked with UM BFA Musical Theatre students through a Zoom workshop exploring pop/rock song cuts and techniques for musical theatre auditions.

*Odyssey Works is a bi-coastal immersive experience design cooperative founded by Abraham Burickson and Ayden Roux that creates and performs transformative immersive experiences for an audience of one. Based in empathy for the audience, they create a self-driven “odyssey” of discovery that guides the audience to an important self-discovery or change. To help prepare for the final project in Fundamentals of Design where students are asked to collaborate to create an ideally immersive experience focused on a central theme using visual and sonic elements, Odyssey Works will host a special session of their online performance design workshop where students will interview and design a short “odyssey” for a partner following the empathy-based methodology Odyssey Works uses for their longer form experiences.

*Third Rail Projects, a dance/multimedia collective out of Brooklyn doing work blending modern dance forms and AR/VR technology.

*The PQ Studio Common Design Project kicks off for a second round October 1, and the UM team has been meeting and working to prepare for our virtual seminars and consultant sessions with the PQ Studio artists for a few weeks! Joining schools of design from around the world, a team of students from all areas of Theatre study will develop a theoretical design package for Karel Čapek’s 1936 play, The White Disease. PQ Studio selected this script for the project based on themes of how society handles crisis and the impact a single person can have on the many- for better and for worse!

Before 2020-2021

Master Class workshops in past years have included the following artists and wide variety of topics; our guests at UM Theatre are highly experienced professionals with impressive credits in their respective areas.

*Musical Theatre Auditions/Acting the Song: Angela Birchett (THE COLOR PURPLE—Broadway and National Tour); Anthony Daniel (Associate Director; WILLY AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY tour; former NYC Casting Director); Eden Espinosa (WICKED, BROOKLYN THE MUSICAL, RENT, FALSETTOS NATIONAL TOUR); Tina Marie Libby-Casamento (Casting Associate, Networks Tours; Producer of the new musical CHASING RAINBOWS, Goodspeed Musicals and Paper Mill Playhouse); Lexie Dorsett (BIG FISH and ADDAMS FAMILY national tours).

*Design/Technology: Jerrilyn Lanier Duckworth  (Make-Up Formulation and Technique, Wigmaking and Hair Styling specific to the equitable inclusion of BIPOC performers); Brett Moore (Sound Design and Technology); Andrea Cibelli (THE BRONX TALE;  Stage Management); E.J. Wilson (Cirque du Soleil’s THE BEATLES LOVE SHOW).

*Choreographers/Dance Audition Techniques: Chip Abbott and Parker Esse, NYC; Dominique Johnson (original Broadway cast of BRING IT ON).

*Acting: Greta Lambert, Shakespeare (Associate Artistic Director, AL Shakespeare Festival); Erin Roy, NYC  (Clowning); Melissa Firlit (NYC based freelance director); Paul Hebron (NYC based freelance actor).

*Acting for the Camera:  Michael O’ Neill (“The West Wing, ”Grey’s Anatomy,” “Rectify,” “Council of Dads,” DALLAS BUYERS CLUB  ); Bob Clendenin (Numerous national commercials; recurring TV roles; and series regular on the long running show “Cougartown”); Amelia McCarthy (NYC Associate Casting Director on major films such as TRUE GRIT).

*Fight Choreography/Intimacy Direction (Cliff Williams, Washington D.C based choreographer).