Theatre Arts and Dance Alumni, Students Garner Roles, Positions, Awards

The following graduates of the School of Theatre Arts and Dance advanced their careers by being cast in productions, hired for technical positions or earning awards during the past few months of 2011.

  • Jason Veasey transitioned from recent national tours of The Lion King to the Broadway production of the popular play.
  • James May was cast as Cogsworth in the upcoming national tour of Beauty and the Beast.
  • Rebekah Stevens was cast in a new play titled Ether Dome at the Alley Theatre in Houston.
  • Ryan Grassmeyer was cast in a co-starring role in episode 12 of the new Cinemax series Chemistry and was signed to appear in a new national television commercial for EA Sports.
  • Alena Watters, who is currently appearing on Broadway in The Sister Act, is featured in the new documentary film, The Understudy, was booked on a national television commercial for Old Spice and performed on the 2011 Tony Awards telecast.
  • Josh Buscher also performed on the 2011 Tony Awards telecast.
  • Greyson Lewis was booked for a national television commercial for Old Spice and was in a commercial for Phillips 66 that ran nationally.
  • Nikki Tomlinson was cast in the Los Angeles premiere of a new musical titled Real Love.
  • Catherine Philafas appeared in an episode of the TV series In Plain Sight in August.
  • Elia Brovarone was hired as an acting ensemble member of The Climb Theatre Company of Minneapolis for the fall season.
  • Heidi Cheek has been accepted into the Second City Theatre Conservatory in Chicago.
  • Jake Mendes, who was nominated in July for a New York Innovative Theatre Award for his role in The Drowsy Chaperone, has been cast in another production for The Gallery Players - The Little Dog Laughed.
  • Anna Kraft appeared in a national television infomercial for
  • Stephen Charles Turner has been cast in Troika's fall 2011 national tour of Fiddler on the Roof.
  • Matt Lang and Jodi Lynn Thomas toured Colorado with a production of Hansel and Gretel for Theatre-Hikes Colorado.
  • Beth Malone played the title role of Annie Oakley in the musical Annie Get Your Gun at the California Music Theatre in Sacramento.
  • Matt Braver appeared in a production of The Little Mermaid at the MUNY in St. Louis.
  • Scott Kruse appeared in the new musical South Street at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.
  • Samantha Provenzano was selected for an internship with the Minneapolis Children's Theatre for March 2012. She will serve as the assistant director for Pippi Longstockings and also work in the theater's Neighborhood Bridges project.
  • Ryan Dinning has been cast in the off -Broadway production of Awesome 80s Prom at Webster Hall in New York City.
  • Anthony Reimer has been cast in White Christmas at Papermill Playhouse for November and December.
  • Neil Fennell has written and produced eight episodes of a new online TV series called White Liars.
  • Michael Grebe had four different national TV commercials for KFC running concurrently.