Recent News

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

People Sitting in Darkness

Presented in collaboration with Azeotrope.

In this comic adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in the early 20th-century Philippines, a small town prepares to stage a performance for their American occupiers. Their play, based on an American novel about a young boy and an escaped slave rafting down the Mississippi, will either earn the townspeople their freedom—or more trouble from the US military. 

The School of Drama New Play Workshop series is a...

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The Andrew A. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Washington a three-year $750,000 grant to pilot a new Creative Fellowships Initiative that will explore the nature of creative research at a top public research university. The interdisciplinary initiative will advance the field of performing arts by supporting artists in the development of new work and by integrating the performing arts disciplines into the broader curriculum.

"We see these research-directed creative residencies as a way forward, both to serve our fields...

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Allen Miller, Skye Edwards, & Bridget McKevitt in 'The Walk Across America for Mother Earth' (Photo: Mike Hipple)

The Daily of the University of Washington recently profiled The Walk Across America for Mother Earth, our co-production with Washington Ensemble Theatre. The piece specifically highlights our efforts to build bridges to the regional theatre community by partnering with theatre companies that grew out of our program:

After talking with some of the actors, they seemed to be in agreement that this play would not have been possible without the collaboration with WET. The opportunity to work with such innovative industry professionals...

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