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Department of

Theatre Arts and Performance Studies


The FOURTH Annual "Conversations with Alumni" Lunchbox WILL BE held on THURSday, October 15, 2015 in THE Vassiliadis Family Black Box Theatre (C131). ALL THEATRE ALUMNI ARE WELCOME! PLEASE LET US KNOW YOU ARE COMING BY CONTACTING THEATREARTS@SANDIEGO.EDU.

We remain invested in your ongoing stories as you take a walk down memory lane and look around at the ever changing and growing theatre department.

Alumni Fall 2014


Edred Utomi '13 is currently appearing in "My Mañana Comes" at the San Diego Repertory Theatre. Check it out at

USD TAPS alumni Stacey Hardke ‘09, Soroya Rowley ‘09, Andrew Steele ‘09 and Taylor Wycoff ‘10 worked together on Circle Circle dot dot’s No Place Like Home:

Based on true stories of residents of PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) in San Diego,"No Place Like Home" is a acoustic musical production thattakes audiences into the world of Daisy, a young, disabled woman who unexpectedly finds herself in exactly that hardship, and must do whatever it takes to survive. -

USD TAPS alumni Soroya Rowley ‘09 and Taylor Wycoff ‘10 acted and dramaturged (respectfully) in Circle Circle dot dot’s production of Red Planet Respite, part of the company’s 2014/2015 residency at the La Jolla Playhouse.

Soroya Rowley '09

Soroya Rowley ‘09 appeared in Wrenegades: An Ecological Aventure, Circle Circle dot dot’s final production as the resident theatre company at La Jolla Playhouse for 2014/2015.

Soroya Rowley '09 Soroya Rowley '09

Michael Ahmad '09 released his second album, Dollhouse,  (available on iTunes at and Amazon at For more on his music and performance, see

Michael Ahmad Dollhouse

Stacey Hardke ‘09, now based in LA, appeared in a Buzz Feed video, written and directed by Garrett Werner:

Jennifer Paredes ‘12 appeared as Sofia in a Mission Federal Credit Union commercial:

Leah Wickman ‘11 was recently “lawyered.” She studied Juris Doctor at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 2014.

Leah Wickman '11

Soroya Rowley '09 and Taylor Wycoff '10, company members of Circle Circle dot dot, appeared in The San Diego Magazine, discussing the company’s upcoming work at SDSU’s new Pride Center:

Circle Circle dot dot

Michael Ahmad ‘09 is the CEO and Creative Director of Phaerocreative, a branding firm and modeling/talent agency ( He recently walked the runway for Francis Roces at the Pallet Fest Fashion Show in Sculpture Park, Denver, CO.

Michael Ahmad

Kristie Rose '09 teaches yoga in the LA area at CorePower Yoga, Equinox Encino, ForewardFoldYoga, and Hot 8 Yoga.

Kristie Rose '09

Taylor Wycoff '10 is the Director of Outreach and Education at Cygnet Theatre Company in San Diego.

Michael Ahmad '09 taught an intro to styling and runway to 7-11 year olds as part of Fashion Denver’s Fashion Camp:

Andrew Steele '09 teaches Guitar, Vocal, Bass and Keys at San Diego’s School of Rock:

USD TAPS Alumni Carr Cavender '11, Molly Maslak '12, and Connor Sullivan '14 were all recently cast in a feature film titled Thane of East County- a modern day thriller set behind a low budget San Diego production of Macbeth. The trio is beyond excited to be working together again with filming to begin early August 2014. For more information check out the website at

ALUMNI RED CARPET WELCOME NOVEMBER 15, 2012 Check out the photos on our Facebook page!

Anna Halligan '13 is living in Los Angeles and working as the writers' production assistant on 'Outlander,' a new television series coming soon to Starz. In her spare time, she is studying improv at the UCB Training Center and writing her own scripts, comedy sketches, and blog posts for

Melissa (Murphy) Beamish '05 moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career after graduating Magna Cum Laude. In addition to her theatre experience, her credits include several television shows, web series, independent films, hosting, commercials/industrials and promo modeling. Melissa also indulged her second passion, real estate, by working as a Branch Manager for a commercial real estate firm as well. After 5+ years in LA, she has now returned to San Diego and is loving her new career as an acting teacher. She works at two local charter schools and also does private acting coaching. She is newly wed to the love of her life, Colin, and is enjoying life.

Camelia Dee Poespowidjojo '05 spent a year working and travelling and realizing that she wanted to continue her career in acting. She attended UC Irvine and graduated with her Masters in '09 and has since lived in Hollywood. Her recent accomplishments include: a role in the latest Hellraiser, completing her first feature as a lead in "The Block," and becoming a producer as well as lead on a web-series pilot "The Industry." Most of all she is proud of her behind the scenes accomplishments such as maintaining meaningful professional relationships, keeping herself well fed, and continuing to search for what her art means to her and how to continue to grow.

Wes Chew '07 is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in lighting at the University of Washington in Seattle. Since graduating from USD he has been the resident lighting designer at Rio Hondo College as well as designing in the greater Los Angeles area. Some recent credits include the world premieres of Earthbound and War Bride as well as Hairspray, Alice in Wonderland, 13 and The Boy Friend.

Taylor M. Wycoff '10 continues to pursue a career in theatre and performance studies throughout San Diego as both a scholar and practitioner. She has participated in numerous New Play Festivals and Productions with San Diego Playwrights Project, Mo`olelo Performing Arts Co, Scripps Ranch Theatre, and San Diego State University. After dramaturging 'YELLOW FACE' for Mo`olelo, she is continuing to build her dramaturgical resume having several projects on the horizon with Mo`olelo, the San Diego REP, and Cygnet Theatre Co. As an ongoing member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, she had the privilege of presenting her research in 2010 at their annual conference. Most recently she has begun working as a Teaching Artist with SD Playwright's Project and will travel to Sacramento with the company to perform scripts developed by foster youth at a conference for the CA Department of Education, and she continues to work closely with fellow alumnus Soroya Rowley at Cygnet Theatre as the Group Sales and Theatre Rentals Representative.

Lauren Maul '07 currently lives in Brooklyn and performs comedy and music around New York City. She also makes puppets and videos. To see where Lauren's performing next, visit

Bryana Pickford ’09 journeyed home to Los Angeles to pursue a career and life in the art world. She had joined the Mosaic Lizard Theater Company in the city of Alhambra in the summer of 2006 and upon her return was asked to sign on as one of its owner/directors. In 2010, with a generous grant (and a brand new building) from the city of Alhambra, Bryana became a lead designer of the theater’s expanded location. Since the Lizard Theater re-opened its doors in early 2011, she has appeared in countless productions- both original and well-known, including Iceberg Ahead!, Bar Talk, Salome, Deathtrap & Death of a Salesman. Bryana has also taught theater and improv with local elementary schools. When not at the theater, Bryana makes a living working for J.P. Morgan Securities.

Carr Cavender '11 moved to Los Angeles after graduation to start navigating Hollywood. Along with attending professional acting classes, he has been cast in several student films and a play entitled Happily Whatever After. He is developing a network for graduates of USD's Theatre Arts and Performance Studies Department called the Performing Artist's Toolkit (PAT). PAT will serve as a networking tool for graduates moving to Los Angeles. Carr is currently developing an actor's reel in hopes of finding work during the next pilot season.

Soroya Rowley '09 is a founding member of San Diego’s first Collaborative Community-based Theatre Company, Circle Circle dot dot. A company devoted interviewing local communities in San Diego and then writing and producing original plays that tell their stories. She has acted in their productions of The Break-Up/Breakdown, Ragnarok and Street Art Prophets. She also designed costumes for Deconstruction Of a Drag Queen which was selected for the 2013 New York Fringe Festival. When she is not working with CCdd or at her full time job as Patron Services Manager for the Cygnet Theatre Company, she performs with her rock band, The Cypress Project, at local venues such as The Ruby Room, Tin Can Ale House, Bar Eleven and many others.

Andrew Marzoni '07 lives in Minneapolis, where he teaches and writes about literature and film. He graduated from New York University with an MA in English and American Literature in 2009, and is now pursuing a PhD in English at the University of Minnesota. His dissertation, tentatively titled "In the American Vein," considers the various roles of sex, drugs, obscenity, psychoanalysis, avant-garde literature, and other unsavory things in the film era.

Brooke (Hoyt) Byler '07 has been in multiple national commercials, print campaigns, online hosting jobs, and acted in numerous independent films that have gone to various festivals. Her favorite stage production post-college was the world premiere musical of Little Women as Beth at North Coast Repertory Theatre, directed by Kirsten Brandt. Brooke has started her own acting coaching business for kids and teens in San Diego (, and thoroughly enjoys sharing her love of the arts with youngsters. Brooke is represented by Affinity Artists Agency (Los Angeles), friend and fellow alum Emily Henneke with Emily Henneke Management (Los Angeles), Brand (Orange County), and San Diego Model Management (San Diego).

Stacey Hardke '09 has since gone on to pursue a career in theatre on both the East and West coast. San Diego credits include Hairspray (Penny Pingleton) at the San Diego REP, Becky's New Car at the North Coast Rep, and The New Century at the Diversionary theatre. East coast credits include The Legend of Minni Willet at the National Playwrights Conference, and Desdemona in Othello at the Worcester Shakespeare Festival. In 2010 she was the recipient of the San Diego REP’s Carol Corolla Fellowship for Emerging Artists. Stacey currently lives in New York City, and is a proud graduate of the USD Theatre Arts Department and member of the Actors Equity Association.

Emily Henneke '08, President/CEO of Emily Henneke Management, Inc. is a talent manager in Los Angeles. Emily represents many talented actors and has started the careers of several up-and-coming stars. Credits for her clients include roles on Castle, Body of Proof, The Office, Up All Night, and several feature films, including Ben Affleck's upcoming movie: "Argo." Emily credits her work ethic and ability to communicate with actors, agents, casting directors and other industry professionals with her Theatre Arts education at USD. More about Emily & EHM can be found at:

Taylor Wycoff ‘10 performed in the world premier staged reading of SILA directed by Seema Sueko (Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company), served as Dramaturg and Production Manager for YELLOW FACE by David Henry Hwang (Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company), and works as a full-time employee in the Cygnet Theatre Box Office.

Jelisa Roberts '10 is pursuing a Masters of Education in Higher Education at Old Dominion University in Virginia continuing her research on the affects of student retention and graduation through performance (theatrical learning techniques).

Stacey Hardke '09 has been cast in the hit musical comedy HAIRSPRAY directed by Sam Woodhouse with assistance from San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts's Artistic Director Richard Tryjillo at the San Diego Repertory Theatre. Performed in A NEW CENTURY at the Diversionary Theatre.

Soroya Rowley '09 Patron Services Manager at the Cygnet Theatre and performer in the company's staged reading of Tragedy of the Commons by Stephen Metcalfe.

Bryan Bertone ’08 Starred in THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED at the DiversionaryTheatre and HISTORY BOYS at the Cygnet Theatre.

Brooke (Hoyt) Byler ‘07 has been cast in the world premiere musical of LITTLE WOMEN directed by Kristen Brandt at North Coast Repertory Theatre.

Rhiannon (Annie) Toth '07 is a program coordinator for the San Diego campus of the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). Her duties include working with CCL faculty to coordi-nate and deliver leadership training to corporate and nonprofit execu-tives from around the world. Annie is also pursuing a master’s degree in strategic public relations from George Washington University.

Lauren Maul '07 has written and performed her character Miss Cindy Sunday in a Second City production of The Best Church of God.

Nicole Solas '06 is enrolled at Roger Williams Law School in Bristol, R.I. She is scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2013.

Andrew Marzoni '06 MA Graduate '08 Comparative Literature at NYU and is now pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in literature.

Bayardo De Murguia ’06 has performed in Shakespeare Summer Repertory and the hip-hop musical KINGDOM at the Old Globe.

Camelia Dee Poespowidjojo '05 MFA Graduate '09 University of California Irvine.

David McBean ’05 appeared in the independent film 29th and Gay and has starred in Cygnet Theatre's Fully Committed, Diversionary Theatre's Bunbury, and Donald Margulies’ SHIPWRECKED! at North Coast Rep.

Jessica Beck '03, after graduating USD, left for London to attend East 15 Acting School and pursuits of a Ph.D. in Performance Practice at the University of Exeter, focusing on emotional access and integration for actors. Artistic Director of Bad Penny Theatre and Education Director at Theatre503 in London.