In the Loop
Alumni News : May 29, 2018

9 SOTD alumni share their talents around the world

By Tori Chin (BSPR '21)

UF School of Theatre + Dance (SOTD) alumni are sharing their many talents on a national level. From Arizona to Vero Beach to national television, be on the lookout for these nine former SOTD students and their current projects and productions:

Annelih Hamilton (MFA 13) in The Lamp is the Moon

Hamilton was recently the star of a one-woman show in Seattle, Washington, where she played Shawn, a young  girl who doesn’t need nap time to fill her head with imaginative dreams. The Lamp is the Moon is an interactive experience that follows Shawn’s adventure to the moon with only a lamp and a little help from the audience.

“Shawn’s journey in The Lamp is the Moon drives home an important point, one I’d do well to remember about my own kids: Even when they’re not sleeping, they’re dreaming. And that’s just as it should be,” according to Diana Cherry of ParentMap.

Beth Dover (BA ’99) in 7UP’s television commercial

You can catch Dover—and her many arms—in 7UP’s national television campaign. “Do More With 7UP: Taco Tuesday” features Dover in a comical light as she prepares for Taco Tuesday with assistance from the soda and a couple extra limbs.

You can watch the commercial here.

Michael Ortiz (BFA ’17) in ms. estrada

Ortiz is a member of The Bats, the resident acting company at the Flea Theater in New York City, and recently portrayed Harry Stefani in the The Flea’s production of ms. estrada. The play is a feminist hip-hop take on the classic Greek comedy Lysistrata by Aristophanes.

“The relentless and uncompromising hip-hop text and choreography of ms. estrada will no doubt keep audiences engaged. Certainly, it's a show that should appeal to any open-minded theatergoer,” according to The Flea Theater’s website.

Taylor Rector (BFA ’12) in Mamma Mia!

Rector, who could be previously seen in productions of Carousel, The Little Mermaid and Gypsy, recently made her Riverside Theatre debut in the ensemble of Mamma Mia!. Featuring music from ABBA, the internationally recognized musical follows a young woman who hopes to discover her past and finds love, friendship and happiness in the process.

Riverside Theatre’s production of the show did so well that two shows were added to the musical’s run in Vero Beach, Florida, according to Alice Johnson, for The Newsweekly.

You can check out a clip from the production here.

Megan Wicks (BA ’15) in Jesus Christ Superstar

Wicks was recently casted as Judas in an all-female production of Jesus Christ Superstar by the Ray of Light Theatre in San Francisco, California. With music, lyrics and a book by Tony Award-winners Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, the musical recounts the last week of Jesus’ life through the Gospels’ perspectives.

Wicks has also been in shows like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at B Street Theatre and Othello at Squitieri Studio Theatre.

George Salazar (BFA ’08) in Be More Chill

Starting July 26, Salazar will reprise his role as Michael Mell in the musical Be More Chill at the Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City. The show’s original run in 2015 played in New Jersey at Two River Theater, and although it never its way to New York, Be More Chill garnered an overwhelmingly large online fan base. The musical is based on a novel by Ned Vizzini and follows teen Jeremy Heere as he takes a special pill, hoping it will help him gain popularity and become “more chill.” The production also features Will Roland, who will be leaving his role in the Tony Award- and Grammy Award-winning show Dear Evan Hansen, to take on the role of Jeremy.

Salazar could also be seen in previous Drama Desk Award-nominated shows like The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical and the revival of Tick, Tick...Boom!.

Check out a clip of Salazar recording a song in for Be More Chillhere and read The New York Times’ coverage of the show here.

Kaitlin Lawrence (BFA ’11) in The Bridges of Madison County

Lawrence made her Arizona Broadway Theatre debut as Marian/State Fair Singer in the theatre’s production of The Bridges of Madison County which originally premiered on Broadway in 2014. Lawrence has been in recent national tours including: 42nd Street, California Dreaming and Cirque Dreams Holidaze.

Joe Coffey (MFA ’09) in Dodge’s television commercial

Coffey has recently been seen in a television commercial promoting Dodge vehicles. The SOTD alumnus was originally casted as Horace Dodge in 2014 for a different advertising campaign. In this most recent commercial “Chase a Wolf,” Coffey portrays Horace Dodge again as Horace and his brother are being chased by ATVs in snow-covered mountains.

You can watch the commercial here.

Stefanie Anarumo (BFA ’14) to assistant-direct Annie at the Hollywood Bowl

A Broadway star-studded production of Annie is making its way to the Hollywood Bowl from July 27 - 29 in Los Angeles, California, and Anarumo will be assisting-directing Tony Award-nominated director Michael Arden. Some of the cast includes Ana Gasteyer, Megan Hilty and Lea Salonga.

Anarumo has previously performed in shows like Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway and Public Works’ Twelfth Night at the Delacorte Theater. Anarumo is also a Fulbright scholarship recipient and received a research grant for her creation of a deaf arts program in Rome, Italy.

For more information about the event visit this website: