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UMass Theater announces spring Fridays at Four events

This spring, the Department of Theater continues its Friday at Four career series with two seminars looking at the college-to-work transition as well as an opportunity to speak with two women theater-makers who are leaders in their field.

Fridays at Four seminars are geared to help students understand and navigate the transition into the professional world of theater, film, and TV, as well as exploring how the skills learned here can pay off in other fields.

The three seminars slated for this spring are as follows, and all are scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Department of Theater Green Room in the Fine Arts Center:

February 27

Alumni Marcy Braidman ’08 and Will Nallett ’12 offer an in-the-trenches view of getting started in non-performance fields as a recent graduate. Nallett is an electrician who recently received his IATSE card and has used his UMass connections to begin to build a career working on national tours and in New York City. Marcy Braidman is finishing her MFA at Emerson College and is the Associate Program Director for Stories without Roofs, which uses theater to tell the stories of homeless men and women.

This talk will be preceded by a 10-minute info session about the British American Drama Academy’s summer acting program. Auditions for this prestigious program are coming up March 11 and alumnus Stephen Driscoll ’73 is offering to cover half the cost of the program plus airfare for a qualified UMass Theater student.

March 6

Beth Whitaker is Associate Artistic Director of Signature Theater, and Michelle Bossy holds the same position at Primary Stages, but they’ve come to these positions from different areas of theater. Bossy is a director and producer of new plays, while Whitaker’s background is in literary management. They’ll discuss the similarities and differences in their career trajectories and offer insights to students thinking about going into these fields.

Michelle Bossy is a New York based director and producer dedicated to bringing new plays to the stage.  She is the Associate Artistic Director of Primary Stages, where she produces new American plays, and where she has also served as Assistant Director, Company Manager, and Artistic Associate. She produced the World Premiere of Dread Awakening and directed and produced the premieres of Un Plugged In (by Brian Pracht); South Beach Rapture(by David Caudle); and Sarajevo’s Child; Cumberland; Low Brow;and Missing Mike Vitelle. Recently, she directed the world premiere ofLittle Monsters by Maria Alexandria Beech at the Brandeis Theater Company, and High School Confidential for Primary Stages.  She directed developmental readings of Eat Your Heart Out by Courtney Baron (Perry Mansfield New Works Festival), Bicycle Girl by Rogelio Martinez (Repertory Theater of St. Louis), Gloria by Maria Alexandria Beech (EST), Mercy by Adam Szymkowicz, and May Day by Molly Smith Metzler, among many others.  Michelle is the Director of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, where she has worked with over twenty emerging writers. Michelle holds the first undergraduate directing degree from Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts. She is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Plum Theatre Company. She teaches acting and playwriting for the Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA) and directing for Syracuse University. Member: Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and the League of Professional Theatre Women.

Beth Whitaker has been with Signature Theatre Company for seven years, first as literary manager, then as artistic associate and now as associate artistic director. Previously, she was literary manager for Tectonic Theater Project, artistic associate for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference from 2000 to 2003, literary manager for the Williamstown Theatre Festival for three seasons, and Literary Associate for the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta for two seasons. She has also worked for the New Harmony Project and has a BFA in theatre from Southern Methodist University and an MFA in dramaturgy from Columbia University.

April 17

Luke Reed ’12 and Greg Boover ’13 have both been working fulltime with Shakespeare & Co since they graduated. They’ll talk about networking — both forged connections to the company while still at UMass. They’ll also speak about combining musical skills with acting skills to make a life and a living in the theater.

Whether you’re an aspiring theater professional or simply curious to learn more about opportunities for students of theater, come out and join us on Fridays at Four. The seminars are open to all and free of charge.

Contact Information

Address: Amherst, MA, USA

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