Theatre Arts and Dance Alumni Garner Roles, Positions, Awards

Graduates of the University of Northern Colorado's School of Theatre Arts and Dance continued to advance their careers in the first few months of 2011.

- Ryan Grassmeyer filmed a television commercial for Sears that will air both nationally and internationally. - Scott Foster filmed a national commercial for Country Buffet.

- Elyse Porterfield has been cast in a Fox Network television pilot called Drama.

- Aaron Young is a member of the cast of the musical Cinderella at Beef & Boards DT in Indianapolis.

- Teya Patt is appearing in the play Heavier Than at the Boston Court Theatre in Los Angeles.

- Eric Sweany is starring as Roxie Hart in a production of Chicago at Flatrock Playhouse in North Carolina.

- Catherine Pilafas will appear in an upcoming episode of the television series In Plain Sight, which airs on the USA Network.

- McKayla Marso has been cast in the next national tour of "Spamalot," which begins in September 2011.

- Andy Kelso has been cast in the Two Rivers Theatre Company production of "Jacque Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris." The show opens May 21 and runs through June 5.

- Kier Kirkegaard and Joey Taylor were in several recent episodes of the ABC hit TV show "Glee."

- Jake Mendes just completed filming on "Basis of Decision," a project for the NYU Senior Film Festival, and is currently rehearsing for The Man In The Iron Mask: The Musical" for the Emerging Artists Theatre Festival (NYC). Once that is completed he will begin rehearsals for a new musical called "Basement View" for the Unkown Artists Theatre Company (NYC).

- Quinn Marcelle Chapman has been hired as the new Props Designer and Resident Scenic Painter at Prince Georges Community College in Maryland.

- Kimberley Kral has been cast in the short film project "Jack and Jill," which will shoot this summer in Las Angeles.

- Denver-based alumni Jace Smykil and Amamnda Earls are currently appearing in the Evolution Theatre Company's production of the rock musical "Breach" at Denver's Avenue Theatre.

- Mick Covert recently appeared in the LaJolla Playhouse production of "Little Mary Sunshine."

- Darin Burnett, who currently works as the stage manager for San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, has also been appointed the assistant stage manager for San Francisco Opera.

- Kelli Marino was given kudos in the April 6 edition of the "Chicago Sun Times" for her dramaturgical work on "The Goat or Who Is Sylvia," now playing at the Remy Bumppo Theatre Company in Chicago.

- Sarah Anne Harkness has decided to attend Emerson College in Boston rather than University of Southern California as previously announced. She was offered a place in the Theatre and Community program there along with a $20,000 fellowship.

- Three current UNC School of Theatre Arts and Dance Musical Theatre majors have been cast in the Arvada Theatre Company's summer production of "Hairspray!" The show is scheduled to performs from June 17 to July 17th at the Arvada Center. This professional production also features STAD alumni Julia Perotta, Amanda Earls, Salli Melfi and Heather Doris in the cast.

- Kaylah Wood has accepted a new position in Taiwan. Kaylah is a contracted teacher for a company called Studio Classroom, a branch of Overseas Radio and Television. http://studioclassroom.com/ Studio Classroom is an English teaching program that produces three monthly magazines, two daily TV programs and one daily radio program. Kaylah is an English teacher on two different daily TV programs, a scriptwriter, touring performer, and TV editor for them. The English learning program airs in Taiwan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Hawaii, LA, New York, Vancouver and San Francisco. Through the company, Kaylah was also contracted for work as a voice over for cartoon characters for the new Asian/ European program "Choobies". Choobies is produced in both Chinese and English and Kaylah is the voice of the main character for the English production.

- Pearl Thomas, who just completed a national tour of "Disney Live - Mickey's Magic Show," appeared recently on an episode of the ABC TV series "What Would You Do?"

- Jesse A, Kahat-Taillon has founded her own internet company, SavyDiva.com. The company is based in Quebec City, Canada.

- Alumnus Andy Kelso appeared in selections from "To Hell and Back," staged March 29 at Ars Nova in New York City. - Alumnus Jason Veasey appeared in the limited run of "Spidermusical," which played at the Mint Theatre in New York City in March.

- Alumna Victoria Matlock has moved up to the leading female role in the Broadway production of "Million Dollar Quartet." Matlock succeeds Elizabeth Stanley in the role of Dyanne

- Alumna Autumn Hurlbert has been cast in a new Off Broadway musical "Tomorrow Morning," Laurence Mark Wythe's musical about "coupling and uncoupling," that originally played in London and Chicago.

- Jodie Grundin was cast in an episode of the TV series "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant."

- Alena Watters has been cast in the Broadway musical "Sister Act." The musical will begin its previews on March 24 at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway). Watters recently concluded a one-year run as an original cast member of the Broadway hit "The Addams Family Musical."

- Lanny Boyer, a Theatre Education/Musical Theatre alumnus, was recently awarded Teacher of the Year Honors as Drama Teacher/Director at Daily Middle School in the Del Valle School District of Austin, Texas, where former Acting emphasis graduate Jade Day is teaching math.

- Derek Hanson has joined the national tour of the Broadway musical "Shrek." Hanson recently completed a two-year national tour of "A Chorus Line."

- Whitney Hayes will appear on "The View" on March 4 as "the face of Avon" in a parody commercial on skin aging.

- Amber Downey was recently hired as a stage carpenter at PCPA Theatre Conservatory in Solvang, Calif.

- Hannah Brooks is now the production manager for the Canyon Concert Ballet Company of Fort Collins, Colo.

- David Byrant Johnson has been hired to play Danny Zuko in Grease" this summer at the Onley Theatre Company in Maryland.

- 2009 alumnus Kevin W. Riggall has been hired as the assistant carpenter for the national tour of the Broadway musical "Avenue Q." The tour plays in Denver March 1-13 at the Ellie Caukins Opera House.

- Victor A . Morris recently completed work on two upcoming feature films -"Restless" and "Wake Before I Die." His other credits include appearances in several films including "Sleepless in Seattle."

- Anthony Reimer has been cast in the upcoming Off-Broadway revival of "Cactus Flower" in New York City. The show opens March 10 at the Westside Theatre Upstairs.

- Elyse Porterfield recently filmed an episode of "CSI" and has been cast in a small role in the upcoming feature film "Water For Elephants."

- Taya Patt just filmed a leading role in the TLC television series "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant." The episode will air in June.

- James May and Scott Kruse were just cast in the premiere of a new musical by Roger Bean called "Summer of Love." The show is being produced by Music Theatre West in Los Angeles and will be performed April 1-17.

- Anna Pfannenstiel will be singing in a January benefit concert in New York City in honor of Patti LaPone.

- Darin Burnett has been named the production stage manager of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.