Blog Archive - All Posts

Taylor Jones as Prior Walter and Brandon Pascal as The Angel in Angels in America Part II: Perestroika / Photo by Kyler Martin

Our Meet an MFA series continues today with recently graduated PATP actor Taylor Jones!

Taylor Jones / Photo by Danielle BarnumWhat do you know now that you didn’t know when you started this program?
I feel like I really know what it takes. It takes the blood, it takes the sweat and the tears and several metric tons of hope and desire and need, and enjoyment of the craft, but what it really takes is persistence. It takes just going out over and over and over, and being okay with failure and being okay with letting yourself out there as much as you possibly can. I think that I knew that a little bit, but I didn’t understand the breadth of what that really meant. Persistence. Staying after it. Staying...

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Sunam Ellis at 2019 School of Drama Graduation Ceremony / Photo by Logan Guerrero

Below is the full text of UW Drama PATP alum Sunam Ellis' (MFA '15) keynote speech at the UW Drama 2019 Graduation Ceremony. We feel sure you will find it as funny, wise, and inspirational as our graduates did. Happy graduation! 


Thank you faculty, guests, families, friends, and graduating class of 2019 for having me here today. I am truly humbled.

When I was asked to consider being a speaker for today, I wanted to make a list. I love making lists. Go on vacation? Make a list. Plan out the summer? Make a list. Clean the house? Make a list. You get the idea. I love lists.

So I made a list for today. A really great list. A list of all the wonderful things I’ve learned about this business. Those tidbits shared with me that helped me be successful along the way. How to schmooze. How to own your own voice. How to work in the room. When to say no to a project. And don’t get me wrong. Those things are really important.

But at the core, what has really...

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2019 - 2020 Season

We are thrilled to share our 2019 - 2020 season with you!

“We think of our stages as laboratories where students practice what they are learning in our classrooms. It is essential for their artistic growth to have a nurturing environment where they can experiment, risk, explore, and test themselves and their impact on audiences. We are fortunate to have audiences that wonderfully support our students in this endeavor. We aim to have a diverse range of styles, time periods, theatrical genres, and characters in our season because it gives our students a vast breadth of experiences while they are here.

But also, our season must be relevant, both to our audiences and to our students. If it’s not relevant, we are failing to teach our most important lesson, which is that theatre can and should be in conversation with the world around it—that theatre can change the world.” - Geoff Korf, Associate Director, UW School of Drama

ON SALE...

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Director Jane Nichols with the cast of The Learned Ladies

Director Jane Nichols' director's note for The Learned Ladies illuminates this production while also serving as a beautiful treatise on the rigors of comedic performance and why we need it, maybe more than even, right now. Please enjoy.

"Director's Note

The Learned Ladies is a scathing indictment of people Molière knew personally, as well as a comic satire on academic pretension, and repressive, narrow-minded views toward women’s intelligence and education. To boot, this is a rollicking family drama: sister versus sister, wife versus husband, brother versus brother, aunt versus herself, suitor versus parent, household help versus woman of the house. And then there are the two pedants at war as much with the English language as with each other.

No one escapes the bite of Molière's wit or rancor here, except perhaps Martine, the servant whose straightforward candor cuts through the pretensions and shabby excesses of self-regarding entitlement and with...

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Phillip Ray Guevara as Peter Rhys-Davies in By the Way, Meet Vera Stark / Photo by Isabel Le

From now until the end of the school year, we will be introducing and celebrating our graduating students, looking back on the work they've done during their time here, and sharing their reflections and wisdom as they head off into the professional world. Today our series continues with graduating MFA actor Phillip Ray Guevara.

Phillip Ray Guevara / Photo by Adam FontanaWhat do you know now that you didn’t know when you started this program?
I think I have a better understanding of how to connect the person I am with the person I want to be. This program has helped me develop a genuine sense of self worth and this whole "acting" thing seems a lot less daunting now. There's always this...

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AJ Friday in Rutherford and Son / Photo by Kyler Martin

From now until the end of the school year, we will be introducing and celebrating our graduating students, looking back on the work they've done during their time here, and sharing their reflections and wisdom as they head off into the professional world. Today our series continues with graduating MFA actor AJ Friday.

AJ FridayWhat do you know now that you didn’t know when you started this program?
Just remember, you literally asked for this…Life is a process. Physics drives Biology causing Chemistry which reveals more Physics. I take that idea into every character—as a given circumstance of their existence. So, there’s a perfectly rational reason for why they believe they MUST do what they’re written to do. In short, serve the work and...

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Leah Adcock-Starr at Off Road Shakespeare

Leah Adcock-Starr has been actively working in the Seattle theatre scene since she graduated with her MFA in Directing in 2015. One of Leah's biggest undertakings was forming the Off Road Shakespeare Company, a company dedicated to creating  "brave and beautiful theatre productions for non-traditional spaces and artistically underserved communities." This year Leah is directing Tweflth Night and Macbeth with the company, and we sat down to talk to her about community engagement, the challenges and joys of outdoor performances, and the importance of storytelling. 

Can you tell us a little bit about Off Road Shakespeare Company?

LAS: You better believe I can. I mean - I’d rather tell you a lot about Off Road because it’s one of my favorite adventures to talk about...but we’ll start with a little and then maybe we can go grab a coffee or a cider or something and keep the conversation going.

...

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Tricia Castañeda-Gonzales in BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK / Photo by Isabel Le


Tricia Castañeda-Gonzales / Photo by Danielle BarnumFrom now until the end of the school year, we will be introducing and celebrating our graduating students, looking back on the work they've done during their time here, and sharing their reflections and wisdom as they head off into the professional world. Today our series continues with graduating MFA actor Tricia Castañeda-Gonzales.

What do you know now that you didn't know when you started this program? That I’m capable. That I possess similar qualities to the people that I have been learning from. There are so many fabulous artists who I admire for so many different reasons: their strength and their...

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Cody Holliday Haefner gives notes to the company of Rutherford and Son, 2019

From now until the end of the school year, we will be introducing and celebrating our graduating students, looking back on the work they've done during their time here, and sharing their reflections and wisdom as they head off into the professional world. Today our series continues with graduating MFA director Cody Holliday Haefner. Scroll through the slideshow to see some examples of Cody's work during his time here at UW! 

What do you know now that you didn't know when you started this program? I think I’ve learned to put myself in a constant state of learning, which was a skill I developed that involved some cracking open of myself, I think. But it’s really important, as a person in the world but also as a director, to be constantly curious, to be constantly experimenting, to be constantly open to new ideas. And then, also, I’ve worked to be bolstering my own leadership skills, so that I can be in that constant state of learning, and then...

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Angels in America Part II: Perestroika / Set Design by Shin-yi Lin

Shin-yi Lin / Portrait by Kyler MartinFrom now until the end of the school year, we will be introducing and celebrating our graduating students, looking back on the work they've done during their time here, and sharing their reflections and wisdom as they head off into the professional world. Today we are delighted to introduce graduating MFA scenic designer Shin-yi Lin. Scroll through the slideshow to see some examples of Shin-yi's work during her time here at UW! 

What do you know now that you didn't know when you started this program?
I decided to study abroad, and it’s a really big challenge for me. I was also majoring in scenic design and theatre in my undergrad program, so I thought I was...

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