Recent News

Todd London

Executive Director Todd London delivered the keynote address at the Association of Performing Arts Service Organizations conference, hosted by Theatre Puget Sound in Seattle, April 6, 2016. An edited version of that address was published on

From the address: "What if we in the arts are the people standing between the fall and survival of a civil society? And what if the only way to save that society is to disengage entirely from the economic model that brought us to this brink?"

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Katrina Ernst

Dear Readers,

We launched The Through-Line in January 2014 in an effort to share with you—our students, alumni, prospective students, and colleagues in Seattle and across the country—the excellent work being done by our faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Like all units at the University of Washington—and higher education institutions world-wide—we here at the School of Drama strive for academic excellence. Positioning ourselves as a hub for academic, as well as creative, excellence is the challenge we share with our fellow arts units at a top-tier research university....

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Ki Gottberg, directing her play ‘The Last Salmon’ at The Merc Playhouse. Photo by Claire Waichler.

Ki Gottberg (PATP '83) (pictured) is the artistic director of the The Merc Playhouse in Twisp, WA and recently directed The Last Salmon.

Cathy Madden (principal lecturer)contributed a chapter to Marjorie Barstow—Her Teaching and Training, just published by Moritz.

Andrew Tsao (professor) presented the keynote address for the...

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Simon Tran at the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the Civil Rights Pilgrimage with UW's Dept. of Communication.

What does research in the arts look like? Executive Director Todd London has poised this question to the students and faculty of the School of Drama—and the larger University of Washington community—since stepping into the position in August 2014. In March, the performing arts units at the University announced a three-year $750,000 grant from the Andrew A. Mellon Foundation that will fund a pilot Creative Fellowships Initiative to explore the nature of creative research at a top public research university. While planning for implementing the initiative continues, it is undergraduate...

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After 26 years on the faculty at the UW School of Drama, Judith Shahn, senior lecturer in voice and dialects, is retiring at the end of the academic year. Before she leaves for world adventures, she sat down to reflect on those 26 years.

What were you doing in your career before coming to UW Drama?

I got my BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and from there I went right to New York and started trying to get work as an actor. I got some off-off-Broadway, some extra work in film and television, and some...

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Desdemona Chiang

Desdemona Chiang (MFA Directing 2009) has racked up a serious number of directing credits and awards—most recently the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise—since graduating from the University of Washington School of Drama. She spent the end of March back here directing a new play workshop for Clarence Coo’s People Sitting in Darkness, after which she headed down to Ashland to start directing The Winter’s Tale for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Desdemona took the time to sit with us and talk about her career path, working with playwrights, and the craft of directing.

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Moises Castro (Photo: Joanna DeGeneres)

Moises Castro (Professional Actor Training Program Class of 2016) knows a thing or two about figuring out—and going for—what you want. This spring, he will earn his MFA from UW School of Drama. It’s not his first master’s degree. In addition to a BFA in Acting from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Moises also holds an MA in Educational Theatre in Colleges & Communities from New York University.

After earning his BFA, in addition to auditioning and doing commercials, Moises taught in the drama program at a Los Angeles high school before...

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Bridget Connors

Bridget Connors—noted voice and speech teacher currently serving as Professor and Head of Voice, Speech and Movement in the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University in Pittsburgh—has been hired as a Senior Lecturer in Voice and Speech at the University of Washington School of Drama. Bridget will take over the teaching work of longtime School of Drama faculty member Judith Shahn, who is retiring at the end of this academic year.

“We are doubly fortunate to have Bridget Connors joining our...

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"Brooklyn Bridge" set designed by Matthew Smucker (MFA '02).

Aaron Jackson (MFA '10) is currently the set designer for Rizzoli & Isles (TNT), and Tristan Dalley (MFA '02)is the art director.

Professor Valerie Curtis-Newton (MFA '96) was named one of the 20 most talented people in Seattle by Seattle Magazine.

Brooklyn Bridge, our co-production with Seattle Children's Theatre, has been...

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A costume sketch by Norah Tullman, MFA '01.

A Muse of Fire highlights the amazing work of MFA lighting, costume, and scenic design alumni and students from the School of Drama. A number of the objects and images in the exhibit were crowdsourced from alumni. The exhibit will also include costumes and other items from the School of Drama Costume Shop. Drama librarian Angela Weaver serves as curator of the exhibition.

The exhibit runs April 1 through May 11 at theOdegaard Undergraduate Library