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Homecoming 2023

The Theatre and Dance 2023 Homecoming Open House took place in the newly renovated Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall on Saturday, Oct. 21st. We were joined by many wonderful alumni, and welcomed alumna Glenn Close to dedicate the new Glenn Close Mainstage Theatre in Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall.

Below, you can find featured alumni journeys after graduation and how W&M Theatre and Dance has impacted them in their lives and careers.

Alumni Journeys Since Graduation


Sarah Williams Dixon ‘75, Theatre Major 

"I continued theatre work as a public-school Drama teacher where I helped design the Middle School Drama curriculum for Newport News schools.  I was active in the Williamsburg Players as both an actor and director for a decade before the arrival of my two daughters.  In 1990 I returned to WMTheatre as an adjunct, teaching various levels of Acting classes. I returned to public school for several years, teaching at the York County School of the Arts before returning to W&M through 2020. While teaching at W&M, I directed two Mainstage shows at PBK (Stop Kiss and Picasso at the Lapin Agile).  I still work with theatre teachers and help to make new theatre artists more aware of the real Stanislavsky and his valuable rehearsal technique of Active Analysis."


Maggie Kneip ‘77, Theatre Minor 

A few years after graduating from W&M, (where I was Orchesis President, Class of '77), I earned an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College, where I also studied acting, after which I worked in musical theatre in summer stock and dinner theatre...About 10 years into [a PR and marketing] career I was solicited by W&M fundraisers to raise money for what became the "Roby- Sherman Dance Scholarship." At that time I also participated in launching an alumni summer dance program at W&M...Fast forward, about 15 years ago I began dancing again, taking local ballet classes when I could sneak away from work. I'm now retired and delighting in taking modern and contemporary dance classes (and NOT sneaking away from work to do it) at The Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Hana Sellers


Hana Sellers ‘82, Theatre Major 

"I worked as a theatre designer and technical director until 2008, spending a majority of my time at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC.  While there I was involved in the design and construction of their current space in Penn Quarter.  After theatre, I moved into event production, producing international events, presidential inaugurals and summits for the US State Department."


Elizabeth Clancy ‘86, Theatre Major 

"I have had a fulfilling career as a professional costume designer, working on Broadway, in regional and international venues, as well as designing for opera and dance."


Matthew DeLuca '87,  Theatre Major

"I have just begun my 28th year as an elementary school teacher in Mineola, NY. I also serve as the director of our district’s middle school musical, high school fall play, and the high school musical. Last year I directed my 50th show."


Anne Toewe ‘87, Affiliate 

MFA in Costume Design, Tulane University (New Orleans). Parsons-Meares, Ltd NYC, project manager. Miami, FL, freelance costume designer for stage, television, and music videos. Adjunct professor at New World School of the Arts. Head of Design and Technology, Associate School Director, and then School Director at University of Northern Colorado. PhD. in Theatre Literature and Criticism, University of Colorado, Boulder. Freelance costume designer stage and film in Colorado.


Laura Carson ‘88, Theatre Major 

"After graduating in 1988, I was chosen as an Acting Apprentice at Actors Theatre of Louisville in the 88-89 cohort. From there I moved to NYC for 8 years where I performed in several plays, had two short plays I wrote produced and completed the Gately/Poole 2 year Meisner Program.  I then moved to LA to focus on a film and TV career acting in several shows (Grey’s Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, LA to Vegas to name a few).  I worked for three years at the Groundlings Theatre School as the School Coordinator. I performed with my award-winning theatre company Son of Semele and taught children’s theatre and filmmaking at Idyllwild Arts for several years.  In 2015 I performed my original solo show at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. 

Laura Carson

In 2018 I moved to Denver where I joined Working Artist Group and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts as a teaching artist. I’ve worked forseveral years as a headshot photographer for actors. I’ve also used my acting experience to facilitate empathy and communication skills in healthcare professionals. In Denver I also co-founded Firefly Rev Studios with my business/writing partner, Krista Gano. We’ve completed several scripts and produced a Zoom table read during the pandemic of our script, Invisible, starring Will Forte and Jim Rash. We’ve also produced two short films which I acted in and wrote one (Dime Short).  Currently we are in pre-production on a feature film, Comfort Food, which we will co-direct.  In the fall of 2022, I taught a semester at CU Denver (Acting for the Camera). In 2023 I moved to Atlanta to re-focus on my acting career (I’m a member of SAG-AFTRA) and continue my writing."


Nancy Gunn '88, Theatre Major

After graduating, I spent a summer acting at VSF, performed at the Riverside Shakespeare Festival, and played Juliet on two national tours... At Tulane, I earned my M.A. in Directing and Dramaturgy while working as Assistant Editor for Theatre Journal. I moved back to NYC, where I became the first director of the Peabody-award winning nonprofit group The Moth. Later, in L.A., I became a documentary researcher and got my first break as co-producer of a documentary on Harriet Tubman for Lifetime TV. This led to producing a series for The Travel Channel...[which] led to my being tapped for CBS's "The Amazing Race." I produced more conventional documentaries like the award-winning feature Heroes of Iwo Jima (A&E) and directed and produced documentaries on subjects such as postpartum depression (MSNBC) and childhood obesity (CBS). I also produced the competition reality series Hell’s Kitchen (FOX), Big Brother (CBS), The Celebrity Apprentice (NBC), and Spielberg’s On The Lot (FOX). I was honored to win an Emmy Award as Senior Producer of The Amazing Race. W&M President Taylor Reveley invited me to be the Convocation Speaker for the incoming class of 2017, and it was one of the greatest honors of my life. In 2013, Tulane invited me to create and teach an upper level Producing class...that class led to teaching Performing Arts Management, Stage Management, a Theatre History survey, and Plays and Playwrights. [In the pandemic], I decided to become a Tulane graduate student – again – and earned my M.F.A. in Theatre Production and Design. In March 2022 I was hired by the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival, where I now serve as Co-Artistic Director.


Sheri Holman ‘88, Theatre Major 

"Right after graduation, I moved to NYC to be an actress. Even as I went from audition to audition, I found myself writing -- poetry mostly and bad verse plays (it was the 80s!). I switched gears and took a job with a literary agent while I wrote my first novel, A Stolen Tongue... My next novel The Dress Lodger was a bestseller and optioned for film. ThreeSheri Holman more novels, and three children later, I realized I needed to pay for three college tuitions and so I taught myself to write for television! I've now come full circle from Dr. Catron's playwriting class. I'm now a full-time TV writer and Executive Producer. My latest credits are George & Tammy for Showtime starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, and the upcoming Palm Royale for Apple + starring Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern, and Carol Burnett!! Along the way, I helped to found the storytelling organization The Moth, and I'm now adapting founder George Green's latest novel, Kingdoms of Savannah, for TV. Stay tuned!"


Melanie Martin Long ‘89, Theatre Major 

"After leaving William and Mary, I spent 5 years working as an actor, touring the country and being active in Atlanta theatre. Then I completed an MFA in Directing at the U of MN. After directing regionally and off-Broadway for ten years (a favorite credit was getting to return to W&M to direct VSF’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream!), my husband and I started a family, moved from NYC back to Atlanta, and have worked at Kennesaw State University for 18 years now. I also created a course for The Great Courses called “Mastering Stage Presence” and recently became a yoga teacher! My youngest son leaves for college next year and I look forward to my next chapter!"


Curtis Schumaker '89, Theatre Major

Curtis ShumakerWhat a long, strange trip it's been! I did a national tour right after graduation then worked at Regional House in DC. After leaving the profession for 15 years, I moved to NYC and started all over. In the last 15 years after starting over, I have done Broadway, regional theatre, feature film, and television. I still do all that and teach and coach as much as I can. Love passing on what I know to others.


Kyle Rudgers ‘92, Theatre Major

"Thinking I was going to be an actor after graduation, it turned out I had no talent. Wanting to put my theater love to work somehow, I morphed into a stage manager (getting my MFA in stage management from UC-San Diego) and then a production manager. I'm now with the production management team at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA."


Beth Zitzman ‘93, Theatre Major 

"After graduation, I did a 9-month internship as a stage manager at the Juilliard Professional Intern Program.  That was the beginning of 26 years working in the theatre industry as a stage and production in the NYC area--some Broadway, some summer stock and Off-Broadway, but most notably, 20 seasons on the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  In 2019, I left Radio City to become a production manager at Carnegie Hall.  During the COVID shutdown, I made the difficult decision to relocate back to my hometown of Waynesboro, Virginia, and I am now an event planner with the University of Virginia in their Office of Engagement."


Tracey Cesario ‘94, Theatre Major 

Toured for 9 months with Theatre IV out of Richmond, then moved to Chicago for almost 2 years where I worked at The Second City, auditioned and enjoyed life... moved to Springfield, VA in Aug ‘98 where I did several shows with Little Theatre of Alexandria. Moved to Woodbridge in Aug ‘99 and did constant back-to-back shows at Riverside Dinner Theatre for a solid year (3 shows), including 1 show where I made all of my own period costumes (thank you for the education Tric Wesp!). At that point I took a full time job while I tried to start my family...I’m now a mom of 5 and channel my inner dramatic queen by being the engaging Scout leader of a Cub Scout den, 2 Girl Scout troops and an American Heritage Girl unit.


Shannon Fisher ‘94, Theatre Major 

"I moved to Los Angeles right after graduation, but the vibe wasn't right for me, so I moved back East. Got into advertising and PR for a number of years, and both pursuits were fortified by lessons I'd learned at William & Mary Theatre. Ultimately, I ended up gravitating back to performance in some respect: I started hosting a radio show on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network in 2014, where I still have a show today... In addition, I frequently host the podcast for the National Press Club in Washington D.C. I have also been quite active in politics, and politics is mostly Theatre, so having this background is excellent for public speaking and persuasive conversations in activism and advocacy."


Elizabeth (Correia) Borromeo ‘95, Dance Minor 

"Since graduating, I have worked extensively in physical therapy and dance: as a Medical Exercise Specialist in PT and as a dance educator, studio owner, company director and choreographer in dance. 

Elizabeth Correia Borromeo

I’ve worked as a teaching artist and independent contractor bringing dance to public schools in SW Washington (with music and drama departments as well as via arts block activities at elementary schools). I had the honor and pleasure of attending and presenting at the 2011 dance intensive at W&M as well. I am a current member of NDEO (National Dance Education Organization) and my dance company, MOTUS, belongs to daCi (Dance and the Child International). Currently, I reside in NE Tennessee where I am teaching, choreographing and also working with a local residential drug/alcohol rehab program (Creative Dance as part of their rehabilitation program)."


Sara Prince ‘96, Theatre Major 

"After graduation, I worked at a couple of dance studios, then at an ice rink, learned to figure skate, got a job in public radio as host, producer, and reporter. Ended up doing some directing and production at local high schools and universities. Also have done some choreography projects. Learn to dance Argentine tango, continued basket training at MD Youth Ballet and Washington Ballet, went back to school twice for Masters and RN licensure, became a nurse than a clinical researcher, and am now choreographing a musical production of Kinky Boots at Live Arts in Charlottesville."


Sean Monahan ‘97, Theatre Major 

Sean MonohanI studied & performed in Chicago at Second City, ImprovOlympic & the Annoyance.  I helped start a touring improv company called Mission IMPROVable and toured for 3 years.  Relocated to LA in 2006 for an MTV pilot which didn’t go, then opened M.i.’s Westside Comedy Theater in 2009 in Santa Monica.  I run the corporate entertainment & training arm, Westside Corporate Creativity and just opened The Inkwell Tavern in Burbank.  I have a 13 year old son who was recurring on The Middle and on General Hospital.  My wife is an HR professional, W&M class of 96.


Jennifer Lent '99, Theatre Major and Dance Minor

"After graduation I moved from my hometown of Williamsburg to Tampa, FL to perform as a dancer for three years. Then attended FSU to receive my MFA in Dance Performance & Choreography. I also attended the Broadway Theater Project under the mentorship of Ann Reinking, Ben Vereen, and Gwen Verdon. I began my journey as a Dance Professor in SC, then moved to NC to be the Director of Dance and professor at Western Carolina University. I taught and choreographed alongside Terrence Mann (who was my director when I was a dancer at The Lost Colony) and Charlotte d’Amboise. Trying to get closer to home, I then accepted my current position at Christopher Newport University.  At CNU I created the university’s first dance concert which is now in its fourteenth year.  I continue to perform locally and professionally as an actress and musical theater performer.  I have choreographed professionally with Virginia Musical Theater, Virginia Stage Company, and West Virginia Public Theater. I am on the Board with the Williamsburg Players and serve as Director of the Summer Broadway Camps at WP with my company, J&M Productions.  I was just featured in an article in The Williamsburg Neighbors Magazine regarding Arts in Education in their August 2023 issue."


Debbi Arseneaux ‘00, Theatre Major 

Debbi Arseneaux

"I moved to DC right after graduation for an internship in arts education administration at The Kennedy Center. I worked for 15 years in the DC area as a stage manager, director, producer, teaching artist, and theatre educator. I moved to Vero Beach, Florida 8 years ago to work as an Arts Integration Specialist and Professional Development Consultant, where I train teachers to support early literacy development through the arts."


Nick Kolin ‘01, Theatre Major 

"I attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts and received my MFA in Design for Stage and Film. I have found particular interest in the dance world, and currently work as lighting designer for the Mark Morris Dance Group, Philadanco!, and The Philadelphia Ballet. I am also an Assistant Professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey where I am the head of the lighting design BFA program."


Morgan Simms (Gelinas) ‘09, Dance Minor 

Morgan Simms '09"I attended graduate school at SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island, studying marine science. I took dance classes on campus and joined a professor's small dance company in NYC. We rehearsed and performed a few pieces before I graduated with my MS in 2011 and moved to Baltimore. I worked as an environmental consultant and trained and performed with a local company, Full Circle Dance Company, from 2012-2018. In 2018 I got married and moved to Cape Cod for a job with a Coastal engineering company. I started teaching modern at Dance Designs in 2019 and am still there, working with wonderful teachers and students."


How has your time with W&M Theatre and Dance impacted your work following graduation?


Sarah Williams Dixon ‘75, Theatre Major 

"The well-rounded training I gained at W&M Theatre & Dance (acting, dance classes, directing, stage management, lighting, tech assistant, makeup, etc.) prepared me for a variety of theatre experiences and 40+ years of theatre teaching. The friends I made at WMTheatre have remained lifelong friends."


Maggie Kneip ‘77, Theatre Minor 

"I learned a lot from Carol Sherman and Shirley Roby about so much: how fun and gratifying it was to dance and create dance, how exciting the world of dance was beyond Williamsburg, VA, as well as about confidence, leadership and self-worth. They were wonderful women and teachers who've impacted me all through life."


Hana Sellers ‘82, Theatre Major 

"The education and support that I received at W&M put me in a great place to start my career. The professors were encouraging and realistic about a career in the arts. It was a tough program, but it set me up to succeed as a theatre professional."


Elizabeth Clancy ‘86, Theatre Major Elizabeth Hope Clancy

"Patricia Wesp and Jerry Bledsoe instilled in me a deep love of research of the culture beyond the clothing. Their inspiration stays with me now as I return to school to study art history of the ancient world."


Matthew DeLuca ‘87, Theatre Major 

"Not only did I get great training as a director at W&M, but as a school director I am fortunate to have attended a school which required a broad field of study within my major. W&M gave me a foundational knowledge of set design, costume design, and lighting design. This knowledge serves me well as I must design every aspect of my shows."


Jeff Spoeri '87, Theatre Minor

Jeff Spoeri '87"I initially sought theatre classes, and later a major, because it was something I truly enjoyed. It gave me so many fond memories of being on stage, and I did perform in a couple of community theatre productions in my 30s. However, my career path went a different direction, and my experience from W&M gave me confidence in my public speaking, my persuasive writing, and my ability to engage with donors and prospective donors from all walks of life. Even in my brief law career, I knew I had to be a litigator because of my stage experience. It continues to shape who I am, professionally and personally, even today. (I should add that my stage experience also helped me become a 5-time champion on Jeopardy! in 2006 ... not so much the trivia part, but the confidence and staying focused came directly from my time at PBK!)"


Anne Toewe ‘87, Affiliate 

"It changed my life trajectory. I majored in Biology (pre-med) at William and Mary. Tric Wesp taught me there was more to theatre than just acting, and I became a costume designer and now educator because of the world she introduced to me."


 Laura Carson '88, Theatre Major

"I believe that choosing to earn a BA in Theatre & Speech at William & Mary is probably the best decision I’ve ever madeI made lifelong friends and have a community of fellow artists who still, 35 years later, are working in all areas of the industryThe breadth of my education in the Theatre Department prepared me for so much more than just being a professionalI was expected to understand all the different components of bringing an artistic performance to life and it’s given me a respect for every member of a creative teamIt nurtured my creative curiosity which I’ve carried with me. It prepared me for the rigors expected of pros in the industryI’ve got memories that will last me a lifetime of casts and rehearsals and laughter and tears and competition. It made pursuing my dreams seem realistic and doable and while it’s been a bumpy road, I often feel that gratitude of what this theatre department experience sent me into the world with--hopeful ambition to count myself among the storytellers."


Nancy Gunn '88, Theatre Major

"My time in the Theatre Department taught me skills I have used in all aspects of my lifeI now find myself back in the theatre, both as a professor at Tulane University and as Co-Artistic Director of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival, and obviously I rely on those skills every dayBut my earlier career in documentary and television was strengthened immeasurably by my theatre training.  

Nancy Gunn

Not only did I learn about acting, directing, lighting, costuming, and scenic and sound design, I was encouraged - well, maybe even coerced - to gain a bit of aptitude in all these areasI never would have guessed, finishing a project at 4:00 am for Jerry Bledsoe's (in)famous design class, that the terminology and concepts I was picking up would be of such benefit years down the roadAll that said though, I would count the lifelong friends I made in PBK Hall as the greatest treasures of my time at W&M...They have helped me to win jobs (thank you Sheri Holman - twice!), became godparents to my daughter, and have stood by me through incredible highs and lowsWould I have made such brilliant, talented, and kind friends in another department or in another schoolPerhapsBut I think notTheatre at William and Mary is a very, very special place, and I hope it continues to be so for centuries to come."


Sheri Holman '88, Theatre Major

The theatre education I received at William & Mary set the course of my life.  I came out of school widely read with critical thinking skills (thank you, Jerry Bledsoe!) and my onstage acting experience helped me craft dialogue actors can actually say! All the behind the scenes work we did--writing, directing, lighting, costume design--translates to a film set. Most importantly, the friendships I made in the Theatre program sustained me through all the ups and downs of an artistic career. I've taught at Barnard and NYU and I always tell my students to grow and maintain your college friend group-- they'll become your professional colleagues along the way. And it's essential to have people in your life who knew you as Page #2 in As You Like It!


Melanie Martin Long ‘89, Theatre Major 

Melanie Martin Long '88

"My W&M Theatre major directly informed my 35-year career in theatre as an actor, director, and teacher. My professors at W&M taught me to think creatively, visually, and critically. My talented and compassionate theatre peers remain my lifelong friends. W&M has helped shape who I am."


Curtis Schumaker ‘89, Theatre Major 

"I still remember, use and share the lessons that Howard Scammon, Jerry Bledsoe, Lou Catron and Richard Palmer taught me about acting, directing and collaboration. I remember and use the lessons I learned from Chris Boll, Tricia Wesp and Dave Dudley about how to be a professional in this business and the world."


Kimberly Dezern ‘90, Theatre Major 

I may not still be directly involved in theatre, but I am proudly performing five shows a day five days a week [as a teacher]. I learned all the things from W& Theatre: How important it is to know your workspace and how to maximize its efficiency, how to work with a team and gain the very best performance from everyone, how to enjoy the process even when everything is going to hell in a handbag (very important in education!). But most of all what an impact involved and compassionate mentors can make in your life. That stays with you!


Jeremy Axtell ‘93, Affiliate 

"Unquestionably, my time at WMT&D prepared me for my next step up as an actor. I wouldn't've made it to the final round at the URTA's in New York if a WMT professor (and VSF alum) hadn't coached my Shakespeare monologue! Moreover, when I reached grad school, I felt as though I hit the ground running, having been well prepared for its intellectual and physical demands by the rigors of WMT&D."


Beth Zitzman ‘93, Theatre Major 

Beth Zitzman '93"I had very little theatre experience when I started William & Mary, and a theatre major wasn't even on my radar.  I kind of fell into it during my freshman year and found my purpose and life's path.  W&M allowed me to explore a lot of different options and gave me a solid basis that I could work from to develop my career once I got into the professional world."





Tracey Cesario ‘94, Theatre Major 

"I got paid to act and sing right out of college. What could be better????"


Shannon Fisher ‘94, Theatre Major 

"I've found the vocal training I received as a Theatre major immensely helpful in radio. Varying my cadence, inflection, pitch, and intensity brings life to my broadcasts and enlivens my conversations with guests."


Elizabeth (Correia) Borromeo ‘95, Dance Minor 

Being a part of the dance program at W&M gave me leadership opportunities, helped me to develop my creative “voice” as a dance artist, deepened my appreciation for dance history…being able to devote time to dance along with my other studies at W&M helped me to balance my own varied interests and gave me a clear picture of the path I wanted to follow post-graduation. The experience of being in Orchesis was also instructive; the collaborative nature of the company is something that has influenced my approach to artistic teams and organizations over the years.


Sara Prince ‘96, Theatre Major 

"It directly lead to my career with NPR member stations, and also provided me experience and credibility for my directing, production, writing, and choreography projects."


Jennifer Lent ‘99, Theatre Major and Dance Minor  

Jennifer Lent '99

"The biggest impact W&M Theater & Dance made was shaping me to be a professional choreographer.  As a student I had the unique opportunity to choreograph for faculty-directed Mainstage shows that all started with A Midsummer Night’s Dream which then led to Crazy For You, The Beggar’s Opera, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Much Ado About Nothing.  I would go on to professionally perform, choreograph, and become a professor of Dance."


Debbi Arseneaux ‘00, Theatre Major 

My undergrad experience prepared me not only for a wide range of professional opportunities in theatre. It provided me the foundation to be flexible, adaptable, self-reliant, and to tackle bigger and bigger challenges as my career has evolved. 

Nick Kolin ‘01, Theatre Major 

Getting the chance to collaborate with your unbelievably talented peers to put on a show was absolutely the best way to learn how to be a theater person. I also had excellent opportunities to design for the theater and dance programs during my time there which made me really fall in love with being a designer for live performance