Notable Alumni Get an Inside Look

Rene Auberjonois (BFA '62)

Rene Auberjonois  earned a Tony Award for his performance as Sebastian Baye alongside Katharine Hepburn in COCO. Auberjonois also received Tony nominations for his roles in Neil Simon’s THE GOOD DOCTOR (1973, opposite Christopher Plummer); as The Duke in BIG RIVER (1984), winning a Drama Desk Award; and, memorably, as Buddy Fidler/Irwin S. Irving in CITY OF ANGELS (1989).

Steven Bochco (bfa '66)

Steven Bochco is the son of a concert violinist (father) and a painter (mother). He began writing for television after graduating from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), where he studied theatre. He has worked as a scriptwriter, story editor, and producer for Universal Studios (1966–78) and Mary Tyler Moore's MTM Enterprises (1978–85) before forming his own production company in 1987. Bochco co-wrote and produced such successful television dramas as HILL STREET BLUES (1981–86), L.A. LAW (1986–94), and NYPD BLUE (from 1993), winning numerous Emmy Awards for his writing.


Matt Bomer is an American film, stage, and television actor best known as the star of the USA Network television series WHITE COLLAR, which premiered in 2009. He made his television debut with GUIDING LIGHT in 2001, and received notice with his recurring role in the NBC television series CHUCK as Bryce Larkin. He has been featured in supporting roles for FLIGHTPLAN, the 2011 science fiction thriller, IN TIME, and the 2012 comedy-drama MAGIC MIKE. Bomer has starred in the Dustin Lance Black play, 8, on Broadway, and at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre as Jeff Zarillo—a plaintiff in the federal case that overturned California's Proposition 8. 


Christian Borle was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is best known on Broadway, however, for originating Emmett Forrest in LEGALLY BLONDE, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for the Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Borle was a member of the original cast in the Regional and Off-Broadway productions of PETER AND THE STARCATCHER that ran until April 24, 2011. He reprised the role of Black Stache on Broadway in April 2012, where his performance earned him his second Tony Award nomination and first win as Best Featured Actor in a Play.


Eduardo Castro specializes in costume design and his work has been featured in numerous made-for-television movies and television shows. His designs have been on display at several exhibitions, including the Fashion Institute of Design (FIDM) and FIDM Merchandising. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on the "Hat Trick" episode for ONCE UPON A TIME, and received honors from the Costume Designers Guild for career achievement in television. Castro’s television credits include CASTLE, UGLY BETTY, and MIAMI VICE among others. 


James Cromwell made his television debut in an episode of THE ROCKFORD FILES in 1974. A few weeks later, he landed a recurring role as Stretch Cunningham in ALL IN THE FAMILY. Some of his most notable roles were in BABE (1995), earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT (1996), L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997), THE GREEN MILE (1999), THE SUM OF ALL FEARS (2002), and in the television series SIX FEET UNDER (2003–05). Cromwell has been nominated for an Oscar, three Emmy Awards, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards over the course of his career. 


Iris Dart began her entertainment career as an actor before receiving acclaim as a novelist and writer for Broadway productions. She is best known for writing the novel BEACHES, which was made into a major motion picture starring Bette Midler. She wrote sketches for Cher's variety show in the 1970s and recently wrote THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE, a musical, which premiered in 2011 garnering her a Drama Desk nomination. Dart is currently working on a musical adaption of her novel BEACHES.


Ted Danson was cast for his most recognizable role in 1982 as ex-baseball player and bartender Sam Malone on the hit sitcom CHEERS. The show ran from 1982 to 1993, with Danson receiving 11 consecutive Emmy and nine Golden Globe nominations. He ultimately won two Emmys and two Golden Globe Awards. Danson has ¬¬¬been featured in numerous films such as THREE MEN AND A BABY, THE ONION FIELD, CREEPSHOW, BODY HEAT, LITTLE TREASURE, JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS, MADE IN AMERICA, and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Danson is currently starring in CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION and was recently in the comedy series, BORED TO DEATH.


Jamie DeRoy is an actress and producer. She has won eight MAC awards, four Back Stage Bistro awards, ten Telly awards and CaB Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement award for her extensive work on both stage and screen. Her co-production of  A GENTLEMEN'S GUIDE TO MURDER is Tony nominated for Best Play (2014).  Her theatre producing Broadway credits include: VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (Tony, New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Award winner for Best Play), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA, NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, and many more.


Dagmara Domincyzk is an film, TV and theatre actress and author of the novel THE LULLABY OF POLISH GIRLS. She has appeared on the television shows SUITS, LAW & ORDER: SVU, "24" and PERSON OF INTEREST and is best known for the films THE CONTE OF MONTE CRISTO, THE IMMIGRANT and RUNNING WITH SCISSORS.

peggy Eisenhauer (BFA '96)

Peggy Eisenhauer is an American lighting designer for both theatre and films. She has designed more than twenty Broadway shows. She has been nominated for eight Tony Awards for Best Lighting Design. She has won three Tony's for ASSASINS (2004), LUCKY GUY (2013), and BRING IN 'DA NOISE, BRING IN 'DA FUNK (1996).

Jules Fisher (BFA '60)

Jules Fisher is an American lighting designer and producer. He is credited with lighting designs for more than 300 productions over the course of his 50-year career in Broadway and off-Broadway shows, as well extensive work in film, ballet, opera, television, and rock and roll concert tours. He has been nominated 20 times for Tony Awards (as a lighting designer) and won nine Tony awards for Lighting Design, more than any other lighting designer.


Sutton Foster is an American actress, singer, and dancer. She is best known for her work on the Broadway stage, for which she has received three Tony Awards for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical; VIOLET (2014), THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (2002), ANYTHING GOES (2011).




Mark Frost is an American novelist, screenwriter, director and film producer, best known as a writer for the television series HILL STREET BLUES and co-created the ABC television series TWIN PEAKS. Frost co-wrote and directed the film STORYVILLE, co-wrote FANTASTIC FOUR, RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER, and wrote THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED, based on his book of the same name.


Josh Gad is a film, television, and stage actor. He played the role of Ryan Church in the television series BACK TO YOU, and has appeared in episodes of ER and NUMB3RS. His film appearances include THE ROCKER, CROSSING OVER, 21, and LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS. He appeared in the role of William Barfeé in THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE on Broadway. Gad played Elder Cunningham in the Broadway musical THE BOOK OF MORMON. The show opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on March 24, 2011. Gad was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical.

Herb Gardner (BFA '56)

Herb Gardner was a writer and producer best known for the 1985 play I’M NOT RAPPAPORT, which ran for two years, won the Tony Award for Best Play and became a 1996 movie. Other Broadway credits include THE GOODBYE PEOPLE (1968), THIEVES (1974), and CONVERSATIONS WITH MY FATHER (1992).


Michael Goldenberg is an American playwright, Hollywood screenwriter, and film director. Goldenberg was the writer and director for BED OF ROSES, co-wrote the film adaptation of CONTACT, and co-adapted the 2003 live-action version of PETER PAN. He is probably best known as the screenwriter for WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, THE GREEN LANTERN, and the fifth installment of the Harry Potter film franchise, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (2007).


Charles Haid is a notable actor, producer, and director, best known for his role as Officer Renko on HILL STREET BLUES. Since graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in directing, he has directed for THIRD WATCH, NYPD BLUE, BOSTON LEGAL, THE CLOSER, DOOGIE HOWSER M.D., L.A. LAW and NIP/TUCK. Haid earned a DGA award for his directing of the ER episode "Into That Good Night" in 1995, and has received three other DGA award nominations. He was the Associate Producer of the original stage production of GODSPELL worldwide and served on the California Arts Council. Haid currently sits on the board of the California State Summer School for the Arts.


Ian Harding is an American actor currently residing in Los Angeles, California. His most notable role to date is that of Ezra Fitz, a fan favorite in the hit ABC Family series PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, which won a People’s Choice Award in 2012 for Favorite Cable TV Drama. He has won two Teen Choice Awards for TV Actor Drama and another as the Choice Summer Television Star. He has held a television role in NCIS: LOS ANGELES. Harding’s film credits include ADVENTURELAND and LOVE & OTHER DRUGS.


Megan Hilty is best known for her role as Ivy Lynn in the hit television show, SMASH, produced by Steven Speilberg. After graduation, she moved to New York City to make her Broadway debut in WICKED as a standby for GLINDA, assuming the lead role in 2005. Hilty has made television guest appearances on THE CLOSER, THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK AND CODY, UGLY BETTY, CSI, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, and SHARK. She can also be heard as the singing voice of Snow White in the animated feature film SHREK THE THIRD. Hilty is a member of the Actors Equity Association, and is a recipient of the National Society of Arts and Letters Award for Excellence in Musical Theater.


Holly Hunter is an acclaimed actress and producer. For her role as Ada McGrath in the 1993 movie "The Piano", Holly received several awards, including the Oscar for Best Actress, the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama, and the Cannes Best Actress Award. She has received and/or been nominated for her work many times; she is the only actor from Carnegie Mellon University to win an Academy Award. More recently, Holly was the Executive Producer of Saving Grace, a television series (2007-2010) in which she played the lead character and was nominated for two Emmys, a Golden Globe and three Screen Actors Guild awards. Holly will next be seen in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", slated to be released in 2016; and also in "Manglehorn" opposite Al Pacino, to be released this June. She recently was seen in The New Group's off-Broadway production of David Rabe's "Sticks and Bones".  

peter hylenksi (BFA '97)

Peter Hylenski has been nominated for a Tony Award in Sound Design for AFTER MIDNIGHT (2014). Some select Broadway credits include: MOTOWN, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS, and SHREK.


Cherry Jones is known for her role as President Allison Taylor on the Fox series 24, for which she won an Emmy Award. She starred in the television series AWAKE as Dr. Judith Evans. She has won two Tony Awards for her lead performances in the Lincoln Center's 1995 production of THE HEIRESS and John Patrick Shanley's play DOUBT in 2005 and nominated for THE GLASS MENAGERIE (2014). Her screen credits include CRADLE WILL ROCK, THE PERFECT STORM, SIGNS, OCEANS TWELVE, THE VILLAGE, AMELIA, THE BEAVER, NEW YEAR'S EVE, and THE DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD.

John arthur kennedy (BFA '36)

John Arthur Kennedy was an American stage and film actor known for his versatility in supporting film roles and his ability to create "an exceptional honesty and naturalness on stage", especially in the original casts of Arthur Miller plays on Broadway. He received a Tony Award for the role of Biff Loman in Arthur Miller’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN (1949). Kennedy also inaugurated three other major characters in Miller plays: Chris Keller in ALL MY SONS (1947), John Proctor in THE CRUCIBLE (1953), and Walter Franz in The PRICE (1968).

andrew kober (BFA '06)

Andrew Kober is an actor. Broadway credits include LES MISERABLES and HAIR (Tony Winner Best Revival of a Musical 2009).

David Larsen (bfa '99)

David Larsen is an American stage actor from Portland, Oregon. He joined the company of BILLY ELLIOT as a member of the ensemble while understudying the role of Tony, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical (2009).

Eugene Lee (BFA '62)

Eugene Lee has won Tony Awards for Scenic Design for Bernstein’s CANDIDE (1974), Sondheim’s SWENNEy TODD (1979), and WICKED (2004), as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design. He recently designed the new set for the Jimmy Fallon TONIGHT SHOW and has also been production designer on Saturday Night Live since its inception in 1974 (including designing the signature Grand Central set used for 10 years). Read more about Eugene Lee and his Distinguished Achievement Award he recieved at USITT.


Judith Light made her professional debut in RICHARD III at the California Shakespeare Festival in 1970, before starring on Broadway in A DOLL'S HOUSE in 1975. In 1980, Light won her first Daytime Emmy Award for "Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama Series” for her role as Karen Wolek in ONE LIFE TO LIVE. After this success, she landed the role of assertive advertising executive Angela Bower on the ABC sitcom WHO'S THE BOSS co-starring Tony Danza. She has had reoccurring roles on NBC's LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and UGLY BETTY. Light recently won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway production of OTHER DESERT CITIES by Jon Robin Baitz.


Joe Manganiello moved to Los Angeles after graduation to pursue acting. He made his film debut as Eugene "Flash" Thompson in the 2002 adaptation of the Marvel comic-book series SPIDERMAN. Maganiello had recurring roles on television in ER, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, and ONE TREE HILL, among others. He has received both critical and popular praise for his role as werewolf Alcide Herveaux on the HBO television series TRUE BLOOD. Manganiello starred in the film adaptation of the best selling book WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING and MAGIC MIKE.


Rob Marshall is an award winning theatre director, film director, and choreographer. He debuted in the film industry with the Emmy Award-winning television adaptation of the musical ANNIE by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin. He went on to direct the film adaptation of the Kander and Ebb musical CHICAGO in 2002 for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. He is a six-time Tony Award nominee, Golden Globe nominee, and four-time Emmy award winner. Marshall directed PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, the fourth chapter of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean film series starring Johnny Depp, Ian McShane, Penélope Cruz, and Geoffrey Rush.

Patina miller (bfa '06)

Patina Miller is best known for originating the role of Deloris Van Cartier in the 2009 West End and 2011 Broadway productions of Sister Act. For this role she won a Theatre World Award, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Laurence Olivier Award, and the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance. She has been featured in the daytime soap opera ALL MY CHILDREN appearing in 30 episodes. Miller was featured in the musical ROMANTIC POETRY and performed in the 2008 Central Park production of HAIR.

Roger Morgan (BFA '61)

Roger Morgan is a pioneer in the world of theatre design consulting. Roger is the Tony Award-winning lighting designer of over 200 plays on and off Broadway and in our country's fine resident theatres. He won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his work on CRUCIFER OF BLOOD.


Ming-Na Wen is best known for voicing Fa Mulan in the MULAN films and the KINGDOM HEARTS video game series. She was featured as Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen on the NBC Medical drama series ER. She has served as a regular on other notable television shows like AS THE WORLD TURNS, VANISHED, STARGATE UNIVERSE, and THE BATMAN. Wen was the series lead in her own show, INCONCEIVABLE.


Cote de Pablo is best known for her role as Special Agent Ziva David in the television series NCIS, for which she has won an ALMA Award. She has appeared in THE JURY, THE EDUCATION OF MAX BICKFORD, and THE $TREET. She was also featured in the New York Public Theater production of Shakespeare's MEASURE FOR MEASURE.


Rory O’Malley is a film, television, and stage actor, best known for his Tony Award-nominated performance as Elder McKinley in THE BOOK OF MORMON. He was featured in the Dustin Lance Black play, 8, on Broadway as Ryan Kendall and in the Los Angeles premiere as Dr. Gregory M. Herek. O’Malley made a screen appearance in the 2007 film adaptation of DREAMGIRLS, performing the song “Cadillac Car” on the soundtrack.


John Pasquin began directing Broadway theatre plays in the early 1980s. He later moved on to directing television episodes of the series FAMILY TIES, GROWING PAINS, ALICE, NEWHART, and ROSEANNE. His producing debut came in 1991 with the sitcom HOME IMPROVEMENT starring Tim Allen, also directing a number of episodes of the series. He directed Allen in the films, THE SANTA CLAUSE (1994), JUNGLE 2 JUNGLE (1997) and JOE SOMEBODY (2001). Pasquin directed the sequel to MISS CONGENIALITY in 2005.


Billy Porter is a Broadway performer and pop vocalist best known for his 2013 Tony Award winning role as Lola in the Broadway musical KINKY BOOTS.  His film and television credits include ANOTHER WORLD, LAW & ORDER, THE TONIGHT SHOW, the Sundance Film Festival features THE BROKEN HEARTS CLUB and INTERN and the CBS mini-series SHAKE RATTLE & ROLL.  His off-Broadway credits include ANGELS IN AMERICA at the Signature Theater (with fellow alumni Zachary Quinto [BFA'99] and Christian Borle [BFA'95]). He also played the Teen Angel in the 1994 revival of GREASE. Porter has been featured in productions of MISS SAIGON, GHETTO SUPERSTAR, TOP DOG/ UNDERDOG, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and DREAMGIRLS at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Originally from Pittsburgh, he returned in 2013 for a proclamation of "Billy Porter" day by City Councilman Billy Peduto.

Martin platt (BFA '71)

Martin Platt is a theatre producer. He founded the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF), where he served as Artistic Director for eighteen years. During his tenure at ASF, Mr. Platt directed more than 65 productions, as well as instituting an MFA program in partnership with the University of Alabama, and opening the ASF theatre complex in Montgomery, Alabama in 1985. He is now the Artistic Director of the Olney Theatre Center.


Zachary Quinto first appeared on television in the series THE OTHERS, and as a guest star on CSI, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, CHARMED, SIX FEET UNDER, LIZZIE MCGUIRE, and DRAGNET. He is well known as the young Spock in the J. J. Abrams film franchise STAR TREK. In 2014, he performed on Broadway in THE GLASS MENEGARIE with fellow alumna Cherry Jones (BFA'78). He is also a producer with fellow alumni in the company Before the Door, which produced the academy award nominated film MARGIN CALL and ALL IS LOST.  He also starred in HEROES as Gabriel Gray, or the serial killer SKYLER and was featured on the series "24".

Lester rawlins (BFA '50)

Lester Rawlins was an American stage, screen, and television actor. His Broadway credits included A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS and DA, for which he won the Tony Award for the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (1978).


George Romero is a film director, screenwriter, and editor best known for his gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. After graduation, he began his career shooting short films and commercials. He, along with nine friends, formed Image Ten Productions in the late 1960s, and produced NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968). The movie, which he directed and co-wrote, became a cult classic and a defining moment for modern horror cinema. Romero recently directed DIARY OF THE DEAD and SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD.


Ann Roth is a revered costume designer for film and Broadway theatre. She began her career as a scenery painter for the Pittsburgh Opera. She won a Tony award for Best Costume Design of a play THE NANCE (2013). Roth won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design for THE ENGLISH PATIENT and was nominated for PLACES IN THE HEART, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, and THE HOURS. Roth’s more than one hundred screen credits include WORLD OF ORIENT, MIDNIGHT COWBODY, KLUTE, THE DAY OF LOCUST (for which she won the BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design), WORKING GIRL, and THE BIRDCAGE.


Tammy Ryan is a produced and published playwright who won the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize awarded by the American Theater Critics Association for her play LOST BOY FOUND IN WHOLE FOODS which was developed by the New Harmony Project, and received its world premiere in a co-production at Premiere Stages and Playwrights Theater of New Jersey. Her work has been commissioned, produced and developed at The Alliance Theater Company, Dorset Theater Festival, Florida Stage, Marin Theater Company, The REP at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, City Theater, Bricolage, and the Lark Play Development Lab among others, and has been featured at NNPN's National Showcase of New Plays. In addition her plays for young audiences have twice received the National Playwriting for Youth Bonderman Award, including The Music Lesson which also received the American Alliance of Theatre in Education's Distinguished Play Award.


Laura San Giacomo is a notable actor for film, theatre, and television. Upon graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, she quickly landed roles in the television series SPENSER: FOR HIRE, CRIME STORY, THE EQUALIZER and ALL MY CHILDREN. She was featured in the sitcom JUST SHOOT ME and appeared with fellow CMU alum, Holly Hunter, in SAVING GRACE. Giacomo appeared opposite Julia Roberts as Kit De Luca in PRETTY WOMAN, and has appeared in QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER, ONCE AROUND, UNDER SUSPICION, and NINA TAKES A LOVER.

Stephen Schwartz (bfa '68)

Stephen Schwartz has contributed music and/or lyrics to GODSPELL, PIPPIN , THE MAGIC SHOW, THE BAKER’S WIFE, WORKING (which he also adapted and directed), RAGS, CHILDREN OF EDEN, MY FAIRYTALE, and the current Broadway hit, WICKED. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein’s MASS and wrote the title song for the play and movie BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, CAPTAIN LOUIE and MY SON PINOCCHIO. For films, he collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s ENCHANTED as well as the animated features POCAHONTAS and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature THE PRINCE OF EGYPT. He has released two CDs of new songs entitled RELUCTANT PILGRIM and UNCHARTED TERRITORY. His first opera, SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON, premiered with Opera Santa Barbara in the fall of 2009 and was recently produced by New York City Opera. A book about his career, “Defying Gravity,” has recently been released by Applause Books. Under the auspices of the ASCAP Foundation, he runs musical theatre workshops in New York and Los Angeles, and is currently the President of the Dramatists’ Guild. Mr. Schwartz has recently been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Other awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and a tiny handful of tennis trophies.

John Shaffner (BFA'76) and Joe Stewart (Bfa'77) 

John Shaffner and Joe Stewart are one of the most productive and recognized design teams in Hollywood. Their work is comprised of comedy series, award shows, game shows, talk shows, special events, music specials, telethons, and live theatrical productions. They have received four Emmy Awards, 23 Primetime and Daytime Emmy nominations, and the Cable Ace and Art Directors Guild Award nominations. Shaffner and Stewart are recipients of the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Merit Awards. They co-own Production Design by Shaffner/Stewart, and John served as chair and CEO for the Academy of the Television Arts and Sciences, which made him ex-officio trustee of the American Film Institute. They have designed specials for David Copperfield, the American Music Awards, the Jerry Lewis Telethon, Willie Nelson, Michael Jackson, and Perry Como. They have designed the sets for GEORGE LOPEZ, WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU, TWO AND A HALF MEN, FRIENDS, THE DREW CAREY SHOW, DHARMA AND GREG, and VERONICA’S CLOSET. Shaffner and Stewart have also designed theatrical productions, including sets for the New York Shakespeare Festival.

mel shapiro (BFA '61)

Mel Shapiro is an American theatre director and writer, college professor, and author. Shapiro co-wrote the book (with John Guare) and directed the 1971 musical adaptation of TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA (Tony Award winner Best Musical & Best Book 1972) and directed the 1978 revival of STOP THE WORLD-I WANT TO GET OFF with Sammy Davis, Jr. as well as John Guare’s 1979 play BOSOMS AND NEGLECT.


Leigh Silverman is a director for the stage with Broadway credits that include VIOLET( Tony Award nominee Best Director of a Musical 2014), KUNG FU, CHINGLISH and Lisa Kron's WELL. Silverman’s production of David Henry Hwang’s WIT, featured at the Vaudeville Theatre at the West End in London. She previously directed YELLOW FACE at the Center Theater Group and The Public Theater. Silverman’s New York Off-Broadway credits include GOLDEN CHILD, THE CALL, BLUE DOOR, CLOSE UP SPACE, CORALINE, FROM UP HERE, CREATURE, and HUNTING AND GATHERING at Primary Stages.

SADA thompson (BFA '49)

Sada Thompson was an American stage, film, and television actress. She made her Broadway debut in the 1959 musical JUNO. Her additional New York City stage-credits include THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAY ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS, TARTUFFE, and TWIGS. She was elected to the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2005.

Tamara Tunie (BFA '81)

Tamara Tunie is a notable television and film actress best known for her roles as Jessica Griffin on As the World Turns and Medical Examiner Melinda Warner on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Tunie also has many film credits to her name, including roles in THE DEVILS ADVOCATE (1997) and FLIGHT (2012). Her career also branches out to Broadway, Off Broadway and regional theater credits including starring opposite Denzel Washington in Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR on Broadway and in FENCES in the August Wilson 20th Century Play Cycle at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her work in the theater extended past performing when she became a producer of the Tony Award-winning musical SPRING AWAKENING.


Blair Underwood is a notable television and film actor, and has gained critical acclaim throughout his career. He has received numerous Golden Globe and NAACP Image Award nominations, and a Grammy Award. Underwood starred as attorney Jonathan Rollins in the hit television series LA LAW in the 1980s. He has appeared in films such as JUST CAUSE (1995), SET IT OFF (1996) and DEEP IMPACT (1998). In recent years, he has appeared on DIRTY SEXY MONEY, IN TREATMENT, and was in NBC's THE EVENT. In 1989, Underwood co-founded Artists for a New South Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to democracy and equality in South Africa. In 2012, he made his Broadway debut in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE.


Paula Wagner has worked in the top ranks of the entertainment industry as a film producer, talent agent and studio executive.
She is a co-founder of Cruise/Wagner Productions and produced more than 20 films including Mission: Impossible I, II & III, The Last Samurai, Vanilla Sky, The Others and Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, forwhich she was the executive producer. Wagner’s Broadway producing credits include The Heiress, Grace and Terrence McNally’s TONY-nominated play Mothers & Sons. She was also a prominent agent at Creative Artists Agency, and the CEO of United Artists (2006-2008). Additional producing credits include “Five” (Lifetime) and “The Governors Awards” ceremony for AMPAS, 2013. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her contributions to entertainment. Wagner, who is also an alum, serves as a Life Trustee atCarnegie Mellon University, and as an associate professor in the Heinz College. Currently, Wagner is developing film, television and theatre through her production company, Chestnut Ridge Productions. 

John Wells (bfa '70)

John Wells is one of the most prolific writers, directors, and producers for television, film, and the stage. In 2013, he directed the critically acclaimed film adaptation of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY starring Meryl Streep. Over the past two decades, Wells has been a creative force behind some of primetime's biggest hit television series such as SOUTHLAND, ER, THE WEST WING, THIRD WATCH, CHINA BEACH, and SHAMELESS. The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama’s Directing program has been named after him in honor of his commitment to excellence and the university.


Patrick Wilson is a Tony-nominated veteran of the Broadway stage. Since 1996, Wilson has spent years singing lead roles in major Broadway musicals. In 2003, he appeared in the HBO mini-series ANGELS IN AMERICA. Wilson has appeared in more than 18 feature films such as THE ALAMO, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, WATCHMEN, THE A-TEAM, THE LEDGE, and INSIDIOUS.

Tommar Wilson (BFA '99) 

Tommar Wilson is an actor. Broadway credits include THE BOOK OF MORMON, HAIR (Tony Winner Best Revival of a Musical 2009), LESTAT, HAIRSPRAY, and THE MUSIC MAN.