School of Drama Blog

Drama Ph.D. students laugh during a seminar class

Wondering what it's actually like to earn your Ph.D. at UW Drama? Let some of our fine current Ph.D. students take you through a day in their life.

Nina Williams at the Seattle Rep

Equity. Imagination. Joy.

These were the three values that we as an ensemble would live in. Marya Sea Kaminski, the director of the Seattle Public Works Odyssey, would call upon these values every day and she led by example.

When Marya first brought me into this project, I had no idea what it was, though I had vague recollections of what she had mentioned to me in passing while stage-managing Iphigenia and Other Daughters at the UW. I distinctly remember her saying that it was “a massive project that requires a lot of heart.”

Flash forward to about a year later, I joined the project and I was thrown into the most intense stage-managing experience of my life.

It sounds like an easy out - but I really didn’t have any specific expectations coming into the project. All I knew was that Marya was our captain and that I was going to be interacting with a room full of 125 people who may or may not have acted before, let alone on a professional...

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EDI Luncheon Graphic

"Why Learn About Equity As Students?

Diversity. Equity. Inclusion.

You may hear these words tossed around in theatre conversations regarding community, casting, representation, and even by large corporate organizations such as Microsoft, AT&T, and more. In the wake of today’s political climate and the increase of racially charged violent, more people are starting to realize that they cannot avoid this conversation in their professional life.

Questions that may come up for drama students are: How is this relevant to artists? How can I participate in the discussion as a student? Where can I develop the skills I need to be a meaningful contributor in this as I move into my professional life?

Come as you are for a casual, student-centered discussion around equity. Bring your questions, curiosity, and lunch to hear about some of the experiences that your fellow students bring to the table whether they’re old-timers or...

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I Can See Jersey From My House

After graduating this June, I will be moving to Chicago to start my new life as a comedian, improviser, and writer. I’ve known for a very long time that I’ve wanted to be a comedian, and so when I had to pick my topic for my thesis for Comparative History of Ideas major, the choice was obvious. I wanted to learn the ins and outs of political satire, the ups and downs, how it affected audience members and how has changed throughout time. Then, the ambitious side of me kicked in, and I remembered my other major. Not only did I want to research and write about my findings as a paper, I wanted to write a play in which I could develop my own audience relationship. I wanted to hone all of the skills I acquired and solidified at UW into one massive research project that produced two separate products: a 35 page research paper acting as my CHID thesis and a 40 minute play written, performed, and directed by myself as my Drama Capstone. The project started as me developing my own story as a...

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Editor's Note: The Undergraduate Theatre Society produces a full season of shows in the Cabaret Theatre. This work is curated, produced, directed, designed, and performed exclusively by undergraduates for the entire community. To learn more about UTS, please visit

Recently I have found myself questioning why I pursue theater. Why have I given it so much of my time? What is the point of pursuing this? I think have found the answer throughout the process of directing Wolves.

Beginning this process, I knew I wanted it to be something different. I wanted it to be memorable, worthwhile, and meaningful. In the end, it’s up to the cast and crew to decide if I was successful. Nonetheless, it has been a journey that has at times felt triumphant, and other times quixotic.

The idea behind the process of Wolves is ...

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Shaudi Vahdat (BA '12)

Before graduating with her BA from the School of Drama back in 2012, Shaudi took full advantage of her time at UW. Along with acting in several UTS production, Shaudi was the creator of Feast Your Ears, a curated night of musical performances that benefited Northwest Harvest, and directed Working, The Musical in her senior year. Since graduating she has performed with companies like Washington Ensemble Theatre and Book-It Repertory Theatre among others, and is also a founding member of The Horse in Motion. Through her projects with The Horse in Motion, she has learned the delicate balance between being an actor and a producer at the same time. 

How did you get involved with The Horse in Motion? 

SV: About a year or so after I graduated from UW, one of my former classmates, Mary Hubert, got in touch saying there was a cool script that a...

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2016-2017 UTS Executive Board

Calling all UTS Alumni!

I am so proud to announce that this season is the Undergraduate Theater Society’s 20th Anniversary, and in honor of this momentous year, we will be throwing an Alumni Fundraiser Gala on Saturday May 6th. This evening is to honor the important contributions all of our members, past and present, have made to UTS, dance and revel in the nostalgia of our memories, and announce our 2017-2018 season. We invite all alumni to come celebrate 20 incredible years of UTS history with us!

For me, this night is extremely exciting because our current students, including myself, will get a chance to meet our alumni, the drama geeks who walked the halls before us. UTS is an ever-changing entity comprised of students who did one show or workshop, to those who spent more time in the Cabaret Theater than they did in their college dorm room. Whether you are part of the former or the latter (or somewhere in between) we would love for you to...

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Jessica Martin (BA '08)

In spring of 2008, Jessica Martin was getting ready to graduate with her Bachelor’s Degree from the School of Drama. But before she left the halls of Hutchinson, she wanted to try her hand at one more thing: producing. She spent her last couple of months in undergrad organizing, rehearsing, and performing a one-woman show in collaboration with peers and faculty at the School of Drama. Now, almost ten years later, Jessica is in the processes of writing, directing, producing, and acting in her first feature film. We asked Jessica a couple of questions about her upcoming project, Abby and Tabby: Alone in the Desert, and her journey as an artist and entrepreneur. 

BR: Can you tell us a little bit about the story of Abby and Tabby: Alone in the Desert

JM: At its heart, it is a story about the power of female friendship. It's also a weird little comedy. The film starts with Abby on the road escaping her abusive...

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Monica Cortes Viharo, Ph.D. Student at the School of Drama

Ph.D. student Monica Cortes Viharo was recently awarded a $8,500 Mellon scholarship from the Simpson Center to do a resarch porject that engages the public in the sphere of storytelling and performance. Over the next year she will be collaborating with Sara Freeman, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at University of Puget Sound (UPS) in Tacoma, on a Performance Walk  project. This event will have a self-guided tour that takes participants around Tacoma as they learn more about the Civil Rights Movement in the Pacific Northwest. They will also be presenting their resaerch at the Race and Pedgogy conference at UPS in Fall of 2018. We sat down with Monica to learn a little bit more about the origins of this project. 

BR: Can you tell me a little bit about this project? Where did your inspiration come from?

MCV: The inspiration came from three places,...

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Tim Bond

We are so excited to welcome back Tim Bond who received his MFA in Directing from the School of Drama in 1983. He has now returned to be on the UW School of Drama faculty as a professor of Acting and Directing. We sat down with Tim to learn a little bit about what he has been doing in the meantime, and what's he has observed in his time back here. 

BR: How was your first quarter? How are you settling back into Seattle and back into the School of Drama? 

TB: I love being back in Seattle, but it’s a very different city from when I was here. Both in terms of how the city feels, how people travel through it, and what it looks like. Many of my favorite landmarks are gone. I’ve been back and forth for the last twenty years, and in that time, Seattle has gone through a major shift. The theatre ecology is entirely changed. So I am still getting to know it, and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of getting to know what Seattle theatre...

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