A degree from Ball State’s Department of Theatre and Dance puts you in the company of an incredible array of artists working at a variety of respected and noteworthy venues across the country.

In the last three years alone, graduates have worked on Broadway in shows like "Natasha Pierre & THE GREAT COMET of 1812," "Motown The Musical," “Aladdin,” “Macbeth,” “Chicago,” “Mary Poppins,” and “Rock of Ages;” national tours include “Wicked,” “Evita,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Mamma Mia;” regional theatre credits such as The Goodman Theatre, Paramount, Drury Lane, Marriott Lincolnshire, Rivendell, and Steppenwolf in Chicago, Walnut Street in Philadelphia, Huntington Theatre in Boston, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, and American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco; and starring roles in television including shows like “The Good Wife,” “Madam Secretary,” “Elementary,” “Chicago Fire,” “Falling Skies,” “Law and Order: SVU,” and “Modern Family.”

Notable Theatre Alumni

Grace Rex (Musical Theatre)

Grace Rex headshot - alumni theatre and dance

Grace currently resides in Brooklyn where she makes her own work and collaborates with others. The musical theatre alumna acts on stage and on screen and is a member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA. Her film credits include “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty;” “Ruth and Alex” (starring Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman), which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival; “Song One” (starring Anne Hathaway), which premiered at Sundance Film Festival; “Women Who Kill;” “5 Flights Up;” “Guilty;” “Contagion;” “The Dilemma;” and “The Comedy.” Her television credits include “E.R.,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Good Wife,” “Blindspot,” “Master of None,” “Elementary,” “Biker Bar,” “State of Romance,” and “Underemployed.” She has also been seen on the stages of The Denver Center, Steppenwolf, and A Red Orchid Theatre, among others. Visit her website.

Pearl Rhein (Acting)

Pearl Rhein headshot - alumni theatre and dance

Pearl is an actor, musician and singer-songwriter based in New York City. After finishing a degree in acting, Pearl received her MFA in Acting from the University of California-San Diego. Her current and recent credits include “Natasha Pierre & THE GREAT COMET of 1812" at A.R.T. and now on Broadway, Shakespeare in the Park's historic first all-female production “The Taming of the Shrew,” directed by Phyllida Lloyd, and “The Road to Where” at The Weston Playhouse in Vermont.

Matt Glasner (Musical Theatre)

Matt Glassner headshot - alumni theatre and dance

Upon graduating from Ball State with a musical theatre degree, Matt moved to Chicago where he was the casting intern at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Upon completing his internship at Steppenwolf he decided to pursue casting full time and moved to NYC and interned with Telsey + Company and then Manhattan Theatre Club (as an Artistic Production Intern). Since completing these internships, he has begun working full time in casting, first for Innovative Artists and now, for Barden/Schnee Casting. 

Jessica Ervin (Acting)

Jessica Ervin headshot - alumni theatre and dance

Upon graduating with her acting degree, Jessica moved to Chicago where she soon landed a role in the Rivendell Theatre’s highly acclaimed production of “Dry Land.” The Chicago Sun-Times stated the following regarding the performances given by Jessica and one of her fellow actors: “… two young actresses, Bryce Gangel and Jessica Ervin, under the unflinching direction of Hallie Gordon, are giving such raw, fearless, excruciatingly soul-bearing performances that you forget they are acting — you can only be shaken and awestruck on every count.”

 

Kevin Depinet (Design and Technology)

Kevin Depinet headshot - alumni theatre and dance

As a design and technology alumnus, Kevin has designed for venues as prominent as Steppenwolf, The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, The National Theatre of Great Britain, and many more. He also designed scenery for Michael Mann’s Film “Public Enemies” (Universal Studios). He was the Associate Designer for the original Tony-award-winning “August: Osage County,” as well as “MF with the Hat,” and “Of Mice and Men" on Broadway. He is also an adjunct professor of design at DePaul University. Graduate work: Yale School of Drama. Visit his website.

Emil Thomas (Directing)

Emil Thomas headshot - alumni theatre and dance

Upon graduation from the directing program, Emil accepted the position of producing artistic director at Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square in Marietta Georgia. With six fellow Ball State alumni, he created the resident company Actors Theatre of Georgia. This new project is currently in its second production season, producing a variety of works including Carmen Rivera’s “La Gringa,” an adaptation of Richard Wright’s “Native Son,” and Tennessee Williams’s “The Glass Menagerie.”

Notable Dance Alumni

Billy Blanken

Billy Blanken headshot - alumni theatre and dance

Billy graduated with honors from Ball State with majors in acting and dance performance. After graduation, he was invited to attend the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City on full scholarship. He started his professional career as a principal with the Amy Marshall Dance Company before he joined Les Ballets Grandiva. Selected credits include: principal guest artist with Brooklyn Ballet, guest artist with CoDa21 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dances Patrelle, Catherine Gallant Dance, Atlantic City Ballet, Mobile Ballet, Flexicurve, Northwest Florida Ballet, Lane & Co Arts, Sun Valley Ballet, the East Village Dance Project, Northeastern Ballet Theatre, Neville Dance Theatre, isadoraNOW, Ballet Mink Colbert, and performing Michael Foley’s work in the Howl on the Road Festival at Lincoln Center.

Jen Donohoo

Jen Donohoo headshot - alumni theatre and dance

Since earning a degree in dance, Jen has appeared in the Jeff Award winning “Follies” (Ghost Showgirl/DC) at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, directed by Gary Griffin and choreographed by Alex Sanchez. She has since worked on “A Chorus Line” directed by Mitzi Hamilton, “Timon of Athens” at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, “Brigadoon,” and “A Christmas Carol.” She has also performed in numerous industrials and commercials around the world as a principal dancer for the Lions Club, CSO’s “Welcome Yule!,” “Dance For Life,” “Duets for My Valentine” and “Chicago Takes Off” among others. She has also served as guest faculty at Joffrey Ballet, Lou Conte Dance Studio and Ruth Page Centre for the Arts. Within the last year, Jen worked on “Deployed” (assistant director) for NYMF and “Soul Doctor” Off-Broadway (assistant choreographer/assistant director) both under the direction of Mindy Cooper. She also assisted Devan and Janki on “Fly Guy and Other Stories” and has since taken over setting this regionally touring show. This past spring, she worked on “Guys and Dolls” at Goodspeed Opera House under the direction of the brilliantly talented Don Stephenson. She is a member of AEA and AGMA.

Cristina Gustaitis

Cristina Gustaitis headshot - alumni theatre and dance

Cristina is a professional dancer in New York City and has performed throughout the US and abroad with companies Treeline Dance Works and MachineHistrionica Dance since she received a degree in dance. In addition to performing, she is a choreographer and dance teacher in her neighborhood of Brooklyn.

 

 

 

Chadaé McAlister

Chadae McAlister headshot - alumni theatre and dance

Dance alumna Chadaé has performed regionally in "Showboat", "Little Shop of Horrors," and many others. She was on the First National Tour of “Motown the Musical.”

 

 

 

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