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Deepti Gupta (MFA 2004) stars in Record/Play, a short film that was an official selection in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Joan Tompkins Hallmark (BFA 1955) is the author of Sound Bites, a book sharing stories from her forty-plus years in television. An Emmy Award winning journalist, Hallmark has interviewed presidents, film stars and war heroes from World War II to the present engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Allison Wardwell (BFA 2010) is pursuing a Master of Dance Education with a focus in Ballet Pedagogy at NYU.  She holds an AFAA Group Fitness Certification and teaches at the Body & Pole in New York.

Jacqueline E. Lawton's (MFA 2003) play, The Hampton Years, will receive a world premiere production at Theater J May 29 - June 30, 2013. This play was commissioned as part of Theater J’s Locally Grown Festival.


Lawton is a 2012 TCG Young Leaders of Color award recipient. She is a member of Arena Stage’s Playwright’s Arena and the Dramatist Guild of America. And, she is a National New Play Network (NNPN) Playwright Alum and has been nominated for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize and a PONY Fellowship from the Lark New Play Development Center. Since 2010, Lawton has served on Round House Theatre’s Artists’ Roundtable and was named one of 30 of the nation’s leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute.

Photo: Jason Hornick

2013 is off to a fabulous start for actor Yesenia Garcia (MFA 2007)! You can catch her in role of “Ms. Hernandez” in Abel’s Field and as “Hilda” in Pit Stop, recently screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Alumnus David Baker (BFA 1986) has carved out a successful career as a professional actor based in New York City.


Fans of some of television’s top hits will recognize him from his work in FOX’s The Following (starring Kevin Bacon), Boardwalk Empire, The Big C, Deception, Made in Jersey and Orange is the New Black. Last fall, he shot an independent film titled Blood and Circumstance. Check out highlights on his career!

Since graduating in 2012, Wilberth Gonzalez has costume designed for the theatre, a children’s television pilot for PBS, and a feature film. He is currently working for the La Joya School District as the costume designer for the district’s children’s theatre. He also designed for McAllen Ballet’s production of Alice in Wonderland.

YaliniDream (formerly Yalini Thambynayagam) (BA 2000) is a 2013 artist in residence at University of Michigan’s Center for World Performance Studies. One of the South Asian diaspora’s most prominent performance poets, she has toured nationally at hundreds of venues throughout the U.S. as well as Europe and South Asia. Her work has been performed at theater venues such as NYC’s Lincoln Center and New York Live Arts (formerly Dance Theater Workshop), Manchester’s Contact Theater, Houston’s Diverse Works, Chicago’s Vittum Theater; poetry venues such as NYC’s Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Minneapolis’s The Loft, London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern, and universities such as Yale (USA), University of Manchester (UK), Loyola College (India), and University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka).

YaliniDream was a 2006 Mid-Atlantic Artists in Community Fellow at the Asian Arts Initiative, a panelist for the Leeway Foundation’s 2007 Transformation Awards, a 2008 Urban Arts Initiative Fellow and a 2010 recipient of the Jerome Foundation’s Travel and Study Award in Literature.

She has facilitated workshops for war-affected communities in Sri Lankan refugee camps in Tamil Nadu, India as well as war-affected communities in Mannar, Vavuniya and Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. In addition, she has worked with survivors of violence from multiple communities including Cambodian-American and communities of African descent in the United States.

Alumna Allison Ebling is making her mark at ZACH Theatre. She is the audio board operator for many of the Austin-based theatre’s productions and most recently was associate designer for Ragtime and White Christmas at ZACH. Learn more about her accomplishments since graduating from UT.

And now an e-postcard from some of our talented UT students teaching and studying in Taiwan!

Theatre and Dance Professor Jim Glavan and UT students Kristen Weller,
Nellie Kurz, Sweta Vakani, and Emily Robertson study and teach in Taiwan at Taipei National University of the Arts. They are in residence for the entire spring semester, arriving just before Chinese New Year and staying until the steamy days of July.

They are teaching historical western draping techniques and western millinery practices. There are fifteen TNUA students in the classes with them.

The TNUA campus where Jim and the students live during their study abroad experience is perched on a mountain in a treasured park on the outskirts of Taipei. TNUA is a university that teaches contemporary fine art and performance as well as traditional Chinese Art.

This intensive immersion experience will see the chance of a lifetime for these students and their mentor.

Photos courtesy of Jim Glavan.