Alumni Spotlight

“The high quality of the professional work of the school’s graduates is a continuing tribute to the success of the [Villanova M.A. in Theatre] program.” – Main Line Ticket

Calling all alumni! Stay current with the Villanova Theatre Department by signing up for our bi-weekly newsletter here. We would also be happy to publicize your recent projects and accomplishments. Send news items to


When you enroll in the M.A. in Theatre program at Villanova, you not only become a part of our academic program, but you become a part of our creative community, which extends far beyond Villanova's campus.

Villanova Theatre alumni continue to work together long after they graduate. Your colleagues from graduate school often become your directors, producers, actors, teachers, writers and collaborators in the "real world." The connections you make in the classroom and on the stage will stay with you throughout your career.

Villanova Theatre Alumni, making us proud every day

We have so many alumni success stories, it can be hard to keep up! This list is still *IN PROCESS* so please bear with us.  If you have any information to add to this list, please email us!

jim james j. christy director

JAMES J. CHRISTY ('65) served as a professor and director with Villanova Theatre for 36 years, acting as chairperson of the department for 13 years. He has received two Barrymore Awards and seven nominations for Best Director and earned the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2005 Barrymore Awards ceremony.

david rabe playwright

DAVID RABE ('68) American playwright and screenwriter. He won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1972 (Sticks and Bones) and also received Tony award nominations for Best Play in 1974 (In the boom boom room), 1977 (Streamers) and 1985 (Hurlyburly).

leslie lee playwright

LESLIE LEE ('70) American playwright, Executive Director of the Negro Ensemble Company, and a founding artist of La MaMa ETC. His plays have been produced both on and off Broadway, and he has also written for film and television. Plays: Black Eagles, The First Breeze of Summer (Obie, Outer Critics Circle Award, Tony nomination), Elegy to a Down Queen, Colored People's Time, The War Party, Between Now and Then. Screenplays: The First Breeze of Summer, Almos' a Man, Go Tell It on the Mountain (American Playhouse), Summer Father. Awards: NEA grant in playwriting, Rockefeller Foundation Playwriting Grant, Shubert Foundation Playwriting Grant, New York State Council on the Arts grant for playwriting, and playwriting fellow at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference.

frank bud martin producer director broadway west end

FRANK "BUD" MARTIN ('74) Executive Director, Delaware Theatre Company. Broadway/West End Producer: La Bête, Time Stands Still, Legally Blonde, Burn the Floor.  Formerly Producing Artistic Director of Act II Playhouse, where he directed Married Alive, Magnetic North, On Golden Pond, Respect: A Musical Journey of Women, The Story of My Life (Barrymore Award), Art (Barrymore nomination), the recent co-production with DTC, Time Stands Still, and My Fair Lady. He also directed the national tour of Respect as well as Bruce Graham's Any Given Monday Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters.

carla belver actress philadelphia
With David Whalen in The Morini Strand

CARLA BELVER ('76) critically-acclaimed actress recently seen as Violet Weston in August: Osage County at The Arden Theatre Company and Dividing the Estate at People's Light and Theatre Company, with whom she has shared a long association. Last Fall she was in Pittsburgh at City Theatre featured as Erica Morini in The Morini Strad. Favorite roles include Linda in Death of A Salesman, and Kate in All My Sons, for which she was nominated for a Barrymore,The Faith Healer, Mornings at Seven, and The Heiress.


DANIEL BAKER ('77) former managing director of the Missouri Repertory Theater in Kansas City, named the representative of the National Endowment for the Arts for the Plains states and Texas region.

janus stefanowicz costume designer
Intimate Apparel at Philadelphia Theatre Co.

JANUS STEFANOWICZ ('81) Villanova Theatre's resident costume designer and costume shop manager. She has designed costumes for the Arden Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Company, people's Light & Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Wilma Theater, and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.  Janus has received sixteen Barrymore Award nominations for Outstanding Costume Design for Villanova Theatre's The Tempest, Parade, Chicago, Children of Eden, Into the Woods, Candide, and Evita; Philadelphia Theatre Company's Intimate Apparel (2006 Barrymore Award winner); and The Wilma Theater's Arcadia, On The Razzle (1998 Barrymore Award winner), The invention of Love, Magic Fire, Big Love (2003 Barrymore Award winner), Galileo and Age of Arousal.


TERRY GUERIN ('81) Director of Drama Program, Friends' Central School. Former President of Pig Iron Theatre Company Board.

jim james schlatter upenn theatre

JAMES SCHLATTER ('81) Professor, Theatre Arts Program at University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD from the City University of New York and has been working at UPenn since 1989, serving as chair from 2004-7. A member of Actors’ Equity Association since 1984, Jim has performed in over sixty stage productions.  He worked for several years with the Villanova University Summer Theatre Festival, performing such roles as Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, Reverend Morrell in George Bernard Shaw’s Candida, and Ben Franklin in 1776.  He performs, occasionally, with local Philadelphia area theatre companies.

amy hodgdon pyp philly young playwrights
Hodgdon with PYP students

AMY HODGDON ('81), Ph.D. has an M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University and a Doctorate in the teaching of writing from the University of Pennsylvania. She served as Director of Education and Programs at Philadelphia Young Playwrights for many years.

dana amendola disney theatrical broadway


DANA AMENDOLA ('84) Vice President of Operations, Disney Theatrical Group.

john doyle randy randall wise iron age theatre


JOHN DOYLE ('87) & RANDALL WISE ('88) Co-founders & Artistic Directors of Iron Age Theatre Company.

bruce graham playwright

BRUCE GRAHAM ('88) Plays include Burkie, Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar & Grille, Minor Demons, Moon Over The Brewery, The Champagne Charlie Stakes, Belmont Avenue Social Club, Desperate Affection, Coyote on a Fence, According to Goldman, Dex and Julie Sittin' In a Tree, Full Fiured, and Loves to Dance, Something Intangible (Best New Play Barrymore, 2009) Any Given Monday (Best New Play Barrymore, 2010), and The Outgoing Tide. Feature film credits include Dunston Checks In, Anastasia, and Steal This Movie.  He is also the author (with co-writer & fellow Villanova alum Michele Volansky) of The Collaborative Playwright, a Practical Guide to Getting Your Play Written, which was recently published by Heinemann. Graham has received grants from the Pew Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and was a recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Statuette Award. He currently teaches playwriting and film courses at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.

michael hollinger playwright faculty

MICHAEL HOLLINGER ('89) Associate professor of Theatre at Villanova University. Award-winning American playwright. Author of Opus, Tooth and Claw, Red Herring, Tiny Island, Incorruptible, An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf, Ghost-Writer (Best New Play Barrymore, 2011).  A past recipient of a Roger L. Stevens Award for New American Plays and an alumnus of New Dramatists, Hollinger's recent translation and adaptation of Cyrano debuted at The Folger and The Arden Theatre. Hollinger has written three short films for PBS and co-authored the feature-length Philadelphia Diary. His awards include the Roger L. Stevens Award from the Fund for New American Plays, a Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play, the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award, a commission from The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project, and fellowships from the Independence Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

liz walsh villanova vp communication


LIZ WALSH ('89) Associate Vice President of Communication at Villanova University. Liz worked in marketing for the following non-profit organizations: Adventure Aquarium, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and The Wilma Theater.

bobbi block comedy sportz

BOBBI BLOCK ('90) Founding member, Philadelphia Comedy Sportz. In addition to her independent consulting work, Bobbi is a Senior Affiliate with The Ariel Group, an award-winning training and development firm that uses theatrical approaches to teach Leadership Presence and authentic connection. Through The Ariel Group, Bobbi delivers intensive seminars to high-level executives from Fortune 500 companies around the globe. In addition, Bobbi is an independent consultant for The Wharton School’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education, and Temple University’s Training and Development Department. She teaches and performs Improvisational Theatre in Philadelphia and is an Adjunct Professor in the Theatre Department at Temple University and Drexel University.

michele volansky washcoll dramaturg critic

MICHELE VOLANSKY ('92)  Associate Professor of Drama at Washington College. In addition to her role as the Conference Dramaturg and Associate Artist for the annual PlayPenn New Play Development Conference, she has worked at the Atlantic Theatre Company, the Arden Theater, Azuka Theatre Collective, 1812 Productions, Theatre Exile/Act 2 Playhouse, Victory Gardens, and Next Theatre. Volansky also served on the artistic staffs at Actors Theatre of Louisville (1992-95), Steppenwolf Theatre Company (1995-2000) and Philadelphia Theatre Company (2000-2004). In her career, she has worked on over 150 new and established plays, including the Broadway productions of Buried Child and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as well as plays that have been produced in theaters across the United States and Europe. She is the 1999 inaugural recipient of the Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy and is a past President of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. Her book on playwriting and collaboration, co-written with Bruce Graham and entitled The Collaborative Playwright, was published by Heinemann Press in March 2007. She holds a BA in English from Washington College, an MA from Villanova and a PhD from the University of Hull; her dissertation explored the politics and advocacy of the critics Kenneth Tynan and Frank Rich.

michael friel temple theater

MICHAEL FRIEL ('93) Adjunct Professor of Theatre, Temple University.  Michael has won two national playwriting competitions and has had works produced locally and throughout the country. In 1995 he appeared on Broadway in Terrence McNally's "Master Class". He holds an MFA in Playwriting from Temple.

rose malague upenn theatre director

ROSE MALAGUE ('94) Director of Theatre Arts Program, University of Pennsylvania. Rose earned her PhD from City University of New York. A professional actor and member of Actors' Equity Association, she studied at Circle-in-the-Square Theatre School in New York, and received her master's degree from Villanova University. She teaches courses in acting, directing and theatre theory; her research interests include acting theory, actor training and feminist theatre. She frequently supervises senior acting and directing theses, and directs for the Theatre Arts Program.

john w zak actor

JON ZAK ('94) is an actor and voice-over artist currently based in Philadelphia, PA. Recently seen as: Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and as Banquo in "Macbeth" with the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre and at the Walnut Street Theatre in "Red, White & Tuna." Other theatre credits: "The European Lesson" at Jo Stromgren Kompani (for the Philadelphia Live Arts/Norway tour, 2009), "Jihad Jones & the Kalashnikov Babes" at InterAct Theatre, "A Tuna Christmas" at the Walnut Street Theatre, "Galileo, Little Monk" at the Wilma, "Greater Tuna" at the Walnut, and "The Tempest" at Philadelphia Shakespeare, for which he won the Barrymore Award for Best Supporting Actor as Caliban. Over the past 10 years John also has been performing competitive improvisational comedy with Comedy Sportz.

valerie joyce villanova professor

VALERIE JOYCE ('95) became Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University after earning her PhD from the University of Maryland.  Directing credits at Villanova include Carousel, Bat Boy: The Musical, Annie Get Your Gun, Cabaret, and Talley's Folly. Other credits include The Meat Opera and Up Your Ante for the New york and Philadelphia International Fringe Festivals; and Thank you for Sharing with Amaryllis Theatre Company.  Valerie has also worked as a professional costume designer for local and regional productions.

ray saraceni maroons anthracite gridiron play

RAY SARACENI ('96) Barrymore-award nominated playwright for Maroons: The Anthracite Gridiron.  Ray has a Phd in Theatre History from Tufts, has acted on many Philadelphia stages, and taught as an Adjunct Professor of Theatre at Villanova University.

maureen torsney weir actress philadelphia villanova
Sunday in the Park with George

MAUREEN TORSNEY WEIR ('97) critically-acclaimed actress. Recent appearances include Sunday in the Park with George, The History Boys, Caroline or Change, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and The Baker's Wife (Arden Theatre). Most recent role: Lizzie in Cherry Bomb (1812). Played The Lady in Alan Bennett's Lady in the Van at Mum Puppettheare. Other Philly theatres: Walnut Street, InterAct, People's Light, Act II, Theatre Exile. Working in New York for many years noted for Grace in Faith Healer, and Ouisa in Six Degrees of Separation among many others. Film includes featured roles in In Her Shoes directed by Curtis Hanson, and the upcoming Lebanon and Buddy Gilbert. Individual Barrymore winner Best Supporting Actress - Angels in America, and Ensemble - Equus.

jim james cherry wabash college

JAMES CHERRY ('98) Assistant Professor of Theater, Wabash College. Jim’s research focuses on popular forms of 19th and early 20th century American performance like melodrama and vaudeville. Jim has the chance to direct a play every year at Wabash, and his tastes range from the classical (Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Euripides’ The Bacchae) to the contemporary (Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy; David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross). He is an Assistant Professor and currently co-chairs the Freshman Tutorial program at Wabash.

steve smith amaryllis delaware county

STEVE SMITH ('99) Stephen Smith is Assistant Professor of Drama at Delaware County Community College and the only full-time faculty member in the Drama department.  He has an M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University and an M.F.A. in Acting from The University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program.  He teaches all of the courses offered in Drama and directs one main stage production each semester at the College.  He is also a professional actor and director in Philadelphia and has performed in regional theatres throughout the country.  A member of Actors’ Equity, in 2005 he received two Philadelphia Barrymore Awards for Best Ensemble and Best Choreography for his direction of Tuesday at Amaryllis Theatre Company in Philadelphia.

karen dilossi philadelphia theatre

KAREN DILOSSI ('00) Director, Art in Sacred Places. Karen has worked professionally in theatre since 2000, both onstage and off, serving as actress, stage manager, director, producer, administrator, and manager. Her directing credits include Jump/Cut, Twelfth Night, Tartuffe, and Pounding Nails. She is the co-Artistic Director of Madhouse Theater Company, and serves on the Board of Directors for Flashpoint Theatre Company; she is also a panelist for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. As the Director of Programs & Services for the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia for over eight years, her most prominent responsibility was in producing the Barrymore Awards many times and directing them herself twice. Karen has taught acting at West Chester University and served as a stage management consultant for Villanova Theatre. As the first Director of Arts in Sacred Places, she is creating a clear path for Partners to follow whenever pairing together a congregation with a performing arts institution. She is working towards creating a training model and manual of instruction on long-term leases for arts organizations to thrive within the walls of congregations.

michael rossmy broadway yale

MICHAEL ROSSMY ('00) Lecturer in Acting at Yale School of Drama. Michael Rossmy has acted on Broadway and in regional theatres, having in recent years appeared in the Lincoln Center production of Cymbeline, The Three Musketeers at Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Pirates of Penzance at the Goodspeed Opera House and the Papermill Theatre, in the opera of Cyrano de Bergerac at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and others. In television and film, he has acted in The Guiding Light, Law and Order SVU, and Angels in America. He has served as a fight director beginning with A Tale of Two Cities and he is a lecturer in acting at Yale School of Drama as well as delivering guest lectures at the New School for Drama and the Neighborhood Playhouse.

kathryn kc nocero macmillan lantern theatre

KATHRYN "KC" NOCERO MACMILLAN ('01) Associate Artistic Director, Lantern Theatre Company. 2009 Barrymore award-winner for Best Direction of a Play (The Hothouse). Directing credits for Lantern Theatre Company include: A Skull in Connemara, Uncle Vanya, The Breath of Life, The School for Wives, QED, The Lady from the Sea.

hezekiah lewis villanova communication film media

HEZEKIAH LEWIS ('02) Writer/Director/Producer/Professor. Lewis received a Presidential Fellowship to attend Villanova’s graduate school and completed a Master’s degree in Theatre in 2002.  He played many roles in various theatrical productions including:  Peter in “Passion of the Christ,” Storyteller/Snake in “Children of Eden” and Papa Ge in “Once on This Island, for which he was nominated for the Irene Ryan Award for Best Actor. He then earned an MFA in Directing from UCLA’s prestigious film school. At UCLA, Hezekiah completed various short films and documentaries promoting social change and awareness. He received numerous awards for his outstanding efforts, which commemorate and recognize Hezekiah for his dedication, and passion for filmmaking.

charlotte cloe fox wind costume designer haas

CHARLOTTE CLOE FOX WIND ('02) was honored with the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist in 2009. A two-time Haas finalist, Cloe was also nominated in 2009 for Outstanding Costume Design for Le Dindon (An Absolute Turkey) at Villanova Theatre. Nominated the previous year for Outstanding Costume Design for The Illusion at Villanova Theatre, she was the winner of the 2002 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for Chicago at Villanova Theatre. During the 2008-2009 season, she designed costumes for Disco Descending at the Live Arts Festival, This is the Week That Is: The Election Special and Cherry Bomb, both at 1812 Productions, Iron Kisses at Act II Playhouse, and Metamorphoses at Villanova University. She has also designed costumes for Crime and Punishment at Arden Theatre Company, Art at Delaware Theatre Company and Syncopation at Act II Playhouse.

elizabeth pool dramaturg people's light lmda

ELIZABETH POOL ('06) Resident Dramaturg at People’s Light and Theatre Company since 2006, working on over 20 productions including Stretch (A Fantasia), End Days, Glass Menagerie, Theophilus North, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Splittin’ the Raft, and The Crucible. New play dramaturgy at People’s Light includesKidnapped by Ernie Joselovitz,  Absence by Wendy Hammond, Eggs and Getting Near to Baby by Y York, Something You Did by Willy Holtzman, and four original Pantos by Kathryn Petersen – The Three Musketeers, Snow White, Cinderella, and Treasure Island. She also worked on new plays with Playpenn and 1812 Productions. She is on the Literary Committee for the Philadelphia Young Playwrights, the Steering Committee for the Philadelphia New Play Initiative and has been a reader for both The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and PlayPenn.

christin jezak person to person mother teresa

CHRISTIN JEZAK ('07) touring performance artist. Christin performed Person-to-Person: A Mother Teresa Project for the Official Youth Festival of World Youth Day 08 in Sydney, Australia. She holds a M.A. in theatre from Villanova University, where she was seen in such plays as The Tempest, Urinetown, and Our Town.  In 2003, she started a ministry called Immaculate Art Ministries, which toured Massachusetts and beyond. She earned her B.A. in theatre from Bridgewater State College and was seen in such roles as Bella from Big Love and Berta from Pippin. She has also worked as an extra in films such as Men in Black 3, New Year's Eve, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, The Invention of Lying, Knight and Day, and Edge of Darkness.

Chapter with rehearsal collage for PTC's Stars of David

CARRIE CHAPTER ('08) Literary Manager and Dramaturg, Philadelphia Theatre Company. In addition to Philadelphia Theatre Company, her credits include dramaturgical work at the PlayPenn New Play Conference, Inis Nua Theatre Company, Mauckingbird Theatre Company, Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons, and GeVa Theatre Center. As a freelancer, Carrie proudly acted as an Artistic Consultant for Temple University’s que[e]ry project, in which student writers and performers created stories about the experiences of LGBT youth; also, she provided workshop dramaturgy for Broadway’s The Book of Mormon. In the summer months, Carrie leaves Philly for Connecticut, where she acts as a lead dramaturg for the National Music Theater Center at the O’Neill Center.

kimberly reilly villanova director

KIMBERLY REILLY ('09) Director of Marketing & PR, Villanova Theatre. Previous non-profit management, development, and production experience: Act II Playhouse, Theatre Horizon, and The Devon Theater. In 2010, Kimberly was honored alongside Matt Silva ('09) with a nomination for "Best Direction of a Musical" by the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre (for the duo's re-imagined production of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). The production garnered five nominations (Best Ensemble, Best Musical Direction, Best Choreography & Best Lead Actress). Kimberly was also awarded the Engage 2020 Leadership Program scholarship, allowing her to attend the National Arts Marketing Project Conference in San Jose, CA (2010).

jessica bedford actress playwright associate artistic director theatre

JESSICA BEDFORD ('10) Associate Artistic Director, Montgomery Theater. Playwright, actress, solo performance artist. Recently seen as Kaja in The Master Builder and Nurse Flinn in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (People’s Light), Rosalind in As You Like It and Lucienne in Le Dindon (Villanova Theatre), and Germaine in Never the Sinner (Mauckingbird Theatre). Recently produced first full-length play, Blessed Are at Passage Theatre Company.

kimberly s. fairbanks actress voiceover barrymore

KIMBERLY S. FAIRBANKS ('11) Actress, voice-over artist, solo performer. Recent credits include Delaware Theater Company (Wanda/Crowns - Best Supporting Actress Barrymore Nomination), Plays & Players Theater (Claire &Miriam/The Eros Trilogy); Villanova Theatre (Lady Bountiful/The Beaux Stratagem, Bud & Pan/Bat Boy & Medea/Medea); The Mint Theatre-Off Broadway (Hagar/10 Imaginings of Sarah & Hagar); and InterAct Theatre Company (Denise Reeves/The Rant). In addition to her theater credits Kimberly can be seen and heard in numerous commercials, voice-overs, and independent films. Most notable on camera credits include the role of Gail in It’s a Miracle (PAX TV); Dr. Houseman in The Fall Before Paradise (Eden Productions) and the feature film What Happens Next (starring Wendie Malick & John Lindstrom). Kimberly is the 2011 KCACTF Irene Ryan National Finalist and the recipient of the National Partners Theatre Classical Acting Award.



Assistantship & Scholarship Applications
Funding Fact Sheet
Theatre Program Info Sheet
F.A.Q. Sheet
Philly Fact Sheet

Villanova Creative Campus on WHYY
Click on the image above to view WHYY's feature on the Villanova Theatre Department.

Important Dates

Nov. 23, 2014
Theatre Department Open House

Jan. 30, 2014
Theatre Department Scholarship & Assistantship Applications Due

Feb. 20, 2014
Theatre Department Scholarship & Assistantship Interviews