Theatre and Dance Alumni
Where are they now?
News from our alumni and friends…Please send your updates to the webmaster.
Kathleen Sigelman (’95) received BA in Theatre, Single Subject Credential/CLAD-English, and MA in English from NDNU. While an undergraduate student, Kathi served worked on over 20 shows as a stage manager, light board operator, and production manager. She interned in stage management at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise, working on Romeo and Julietand Richard III. Upon graduating, Kathi worked as an ASM at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco for Richard Seyd’s Pygmalion. She stage managed for Capuchino Community Theatre, Classic Theatre Project, and continued working with NDNU’s theatre department, including stage manager for Godspell, Pirates of Penzance, Rags, and most recently as production stage manager for the world stage premiere of Dead Man Walking. Since 1989, Kathi has worked at the stage manager and production stage manager for The Gift: Scrooge/A Christmas Carol, at NDNU. In 2005, she had the pleasure of working with alums of NDNU and the show, including Carla Dach Lister, who came in for opening weekend from Rhode Island and Erin (Diner) Kayser. She and her crew attempted to recreate the “Blizzard of 89” by Tim Thompson, the performance Tim and Katie (Thieme) Thompson and their 4 boys, and Dyan James and his 3 kids were in the audience, but the snow just wouldn’t dump completely out! She returns this year for her 18th season. After working in non-profit development, Kathi returned to NDNU to earn her teaching credential to teach theatre and English and taught at Carlmont High School, with many of her Christmas Carol kids as her students. For 8 years she ran the theatre program at Notre Dame High School, as well as teaching English. During that time, she earned her MA in English, focusing on Dramatic Literature. When she started at NDHSB, she taught one theatre class and within a few short years, it was a comprehensive four-year program. She proudly boasts that her students have gone on to attend university theatre programs across the country, including UCLA, UC Irvine and College of Santa Fe New Mexico. In 2004, she and her advanced students competed at Ohlone College’s High School Theatre Festival, where they placed first in the “Dramatic One Act or Play” category with a modernized, all female interpretation of Henry V. She describes the piece as “funkified Shakespeare,” with glitter war paint, camo clad, punk warrior women, fighting in the fields of Agincourt to Disturbed‘s “Down with the Sickness.” Mike Elkins’ daughter, Megan, originated the role of Henry in “An Afternoon of Shakespeare” at NDHSB – Kathi’s directorial debut and the only piece her father saw before his death only one month later. In the spring of 2005, Kathi moved home to San Diego after 16 years in the bay area to be closer to her family. She is excited to teach Dramatic Literature and Stage Management at MiraCosta College in Oceanside. She loves the theatre department, which is very much like NDNU – a welcoming and supportive group of faculty and students. She’s proud to have her students lovingly call her “Mama Sigs.” With MCC, she’s served as PSM for Assassins and as Production Manager for Fuente Ovejunawhen the production performed at KC/ACTF 2006 in Cedar City, Utah. While at KC/ACTF 2006, she was the assistant coordinator for the “Evening of Scenes” with Eric Bishop of MCC. It was at this same event in 2005 where Kathi met Eric, when NDNU brought Dead Man Walking to perform while she was the PSM. This is only one of the many wonderful ways her participation with Dead Man Walking continues to affect her life. Throughout the years, most especially in the last few years, Kathi is grateful for, not only the education she received at NDNU, but the guidance, support and friendship she continuously receives from her friends and the community.
Leighanna Edwards (’03) is the front desk Administrative Assistant and acting with the Maui Academy of Performing Arts in Hawaii. Her Maui debut was as Belle in Scrooge.
Karen Byrnes (’90) directs the plays and musicals for Ralston Middle School in Belmont. She has directed over 85 productions in the last 24 years and has taught drama at a variety of schools on the Peninsula. Most recently, she directed Misery for Coastal Repertory Theatre in Half Moon Bay. In 2004, she directed Hillbarn Theatre‘s, The Secret Garden where she was nominated for a Subscriber’s Choice Award. She recently directed the premier of HOFFA! The Musical, written by NDNU Theatre Alum Jon Knott, for NDNU’s 2006 Labor Day Theatre Festival.
Keite Davis has amassed a resume of over 40 stage and commercial credits since her departure from NDNU. She has performed in the Bay Area and in Ashland, Oregon, as well as a number of tours of the Pacific Northwest. She recently co-directed and co-starred in Hedwig and the Angry Inch in Palo Alto, and can often be found performing and touring with the California Theatre Center. She was awarded the 2002 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Principal Performance, and is the proud recipient of several Dean Goodman Choice Awards for Principal Performance. Keite continues to make her living through acting, singing, teaching and doing research from her home office.
Disa Ward is a Multiple Subject Clear Credentialed teacher alumnus of NDNU, currently enrolled at San Jose State to receive her Masters in Leadership and Administrative credential. She currently teaches sixth grade in San Jose/Evergreen and is Writer, Director, Musical Director, Producer, and Choreographer of their hour-and-a-half, 50-child, original production each May. A new space is being built to implement the yearly original shows. She has implemented an annual December choral program featuring 5 songs in 2 part harmony with choreography. In May, she received a $5000 technology grant to promote play-writing in her classroom, which they will perform through out the school district. She is currently singing with the San Jose Symphonic Choir which recently sang at San Jose City Hall to promote Music in Youth; Composer Henry Malcone’s world Première of “The Beatitude Mass” at Saint Joseph’s Basilica which was conducted by Leroy Kromm, and sang “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff with the Monterey Symphony conducted by Max Bragado-Darman in both Salinas and Carmel by the Sea.
Alicia St. Louis (’02) has performed in different shows on Long Island including Julius Caesarand Summer and Smoke. She moved to New York City after she was accepted into the Stella Adler Studio Full-time Conservatory Program. She now has minor TV and Film credits (including a very nice close-up of her back in the movie, Door in the Floor!) She is currently starring in the play, Reunion by David Mamet, at the American Theatre of Actors. She writes: “I just got into a new theatre company that’s Equity/Non-Equity…It’s called Samsara Theatre Company and we’re starting from the ground level right now…We’re going to be doing obscure plays/plays that haven’t been done in NYC yet…Our first show will be in the next few months
Katherine Hill – Actor & Post-Graduate Studies at Second City, Los Angeles, and Cal Arts Summer Conservatory with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company .
Luis Nuñez (’03) is in New York, performing with a comedy troupe with material written by Lindsay (Faye) Lehner (’02).
Erin (Diner) Kayser – BA Theatre Art/Social Science, Credentialed teacher of Social Studies and Drama, San Francisco
Tamara Castle (’90): Swashbuckling with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom is all in a day’s work for Tamara. The NDNU alumna, who appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean, is a working Hollywood actress who credits NDNU for helping her break into the “biz.” “Pirates of the Caribbean was an amazing film to work on and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity without the tremendous background I received at NDNU,” said Tamara. Tamara played the barmaid on Tortuga Island, working directly with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom in a speaking role. “A fight breaks out right before my scene with 40 to 50 stunt actors shouting, hitting each other over the head with chairs and tables, clanking mugs together. Live animals were running all about,” said Tamara. “It was pretty chaotic.”
According to Tamara, NDNU gives students learning their craft the individualized attention necessary to succeed as professional performers. She was trained in various dialects while at NDNU and had the opportunity to work on original Broadway sets flown in from New York. While at NDNU, Tamara appeared in Crimes of the Heart, Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Workhouse Ward, and The Dining Room. “The shows at NDNU are tailor-made for students,” she said. “It’s not a large theatre with 10,000 students, so you have the chance to star in a role and experience things that you wouldn’t be able to with 10,000 students competing with one another.”
One of Tamara’s first breaks in Hollywood came when a talent scout for The Tonight Show saw her doing stand-up comedy at the Improv. “I was hired for four Tonight Show episodes working with Jessica Lange, Rod Stewart, Liv Tyler, and Fran Drescher,” she said. Recently, Tamara worked with Steven Spielberg’s assistant director on a film about the legend of Big Foot titled “They Call Him Sasquatch.”
She urges performing arts students to take classes in marketing and business law. “Without the right marketing no one knows who you are,” she said, admitting that she had a slight advantage as her family was in “the biz” and she grew up in the TV/film market. For now, she hopes to expand upon her barmaid character and land a role in Pirates of the Caribbean III. “Hopefully we can make the role into something different. I’d like to work with everyone again.”(from NDNU magazine)
Jennifer Gallagher (’03) is currently a makeup artist in the SF Bay Area, working for San Jose Opera, ACT, AMT-SJ, and also for a TV commercial, and also works as a receptionist for a “California Sports & Family Chiropractic” in San Carlos. She recently designed costumes for an independent film and taught makeup at a Hillbarn youth theatre camp.
Sara McCay – Acting and Dancing in New York City.
Jonathan Knott – Actor, Director, Playwright, credentialed teacher of history and drama.
Jessica Rine is studying Theatre in England.
Rebecca Lueng – Credentialed teacher of English and drama, Mills High School
Matthew Brandon Hutchens – professional musical theatre actor in the Bay Area.
Jessie Tallyen – Actor in Ashland and New York.
Shane Smuin obtained a Graduate Degree from The Actors Studio in New York, before returning to the Bay Area to obtain his teaching credential. He is now the new drama teacher at Aragon High School.
Gina (Merlo) Latimerlo (’98), runs LMS Productions, a theater production company producing original plays and concerts in San Francisco and on the Peninsula, with her husband, Stuart (Latimore) Latimerlo (’95). She recently had a successful run of her original play, The Ever After, which also had guest run at the NDNU 2005 Fall Theatre Festival.
Kristin Burnett – Actor/Dancer, Las Vegas
Ann Lawler – Actor/Post Graduate training, American Conservatory Theatre
Adriana Chavez – Coordinator, SF Shakespeare Summer Camps
Michelle Koski – Costume Designer, Librarian MLIIS (Master of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University)
Lyndsay (Faye) Lehner (’02) – acting and writing in New York.
Harley Tallett – Actor, Drama Teacher for Notre Dame High School, Belmont.