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Business, Entrepreneurship and Career Planning

School of Theatre and Dance
Professional Development

2021 - 2022


An example of our continued commitment to the career development of our students takes shape in the form of our annual UF Actor Showcase. Share globally through Breakdown Services, our annual showcase is an opportunity for graduating students from UF performance programs to present their work to representatives of the American entertainment industry community (agents, casting directors, managers and producers) to launch their professional careers. Our graduates work on Broadway, Off-Broadway, as well as in national tours, regional theatres, television and film. Our consistent levels of graduate success have made UF a highly sought after program for advanced actor training. To view the 2022 UF Actor Showcase (including this year’s participants and recent alumni activity), go to




Q&A - Life in the Entertainment Industry.

Stephen Ruffin launched in Atlanta and then moved to LA.  Recent credits include  known for Beast Beast (2020), Snowfall (2017) and Terror Lake Drive (2020), Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project (Synchronicity Theatre), Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Gentlemen of Verona (Atlanta Shakespeare Company), A Christmas Carol, The Tempest (Hippodrome State Theatre), Tell Me My Dream (Alliance Theatre). TV/Film: “Sleepy Hollow,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.” 

Thursday, November 4th - Zoom


Yael Reich is a multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary, multi-creative artist. YaYa is thrilled to be debuting on Broadway in Hadestown. National Tours: Evita (Eva), Rent 20th Anniversary, Mamma Mia! Farewell. NYC: Phish New Year’s Eve 2020 @ MSG.

ARIEL REICH credits.  Currently in the Broadway National Tour of The Band’s Visit. NYC: The American Theatre Wing Centennial Gala Concert (Broadway HD), Best Friends (Lincoln Center Rose Theatre), Bread and Roses (ART NY).  Regional: The Wolves, Hand to God, Marie Antoinette, All Girl Frankenstein, Peter and the Starcatcher, Sweeney Todd, Spring Awakening, King Lear, The House of Atreus, The Comedy of Errors, Hobson’s Choice. TV: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Deuce, Younger. Film: The Reunion, Love Online.  In addition to her acting and directing work, Ariel is an Arts in Medicine researcher and practitioner. She currently serves on the Teaching Artist Faculty at the Mark Morris Dance Group with the Dance for PD® (Parkinson’s Disease) program. 


Career Concerns as an Actor and Creative in Hollywood

Vivian Lamolli is a Latin American actress, singer and producer born and raised in Miami, Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida, Vivian toured the entire west coast of the United States performing in over a dozen musicals; now pursuing film and television in Los Angeles, CA. Her credits include East Los High and Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, currently shooting in Vancouver.  Vivian is also a part of Carabena Creatives, serving as Associate Director of Digital Media & Marketing:

Thursday, November 18th - Zoom


Q&A About Her Life in the Entertainment Industry

ChiChi Anyanwu founded CHI Talent Management after 10 + years working in talent representation in New York, after starting in casting with Laura Stanczyk and Finnegan/Keller. Her clients include those working on Broadway, in national tours, feature films, and television. Additionally, she is a producer for the NOW AFRICA: Playwrights Festival. Past producing projects include workshop productions of the 1st Gen Nigerian

Project at the Bank Street Theatre and the Humanitas Award-winning play, Good Grief, written by Ngozi Anyanwu at INTAR. ChiChi also served as a diversity audience consultant for Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres. She is a 2020 grant recipient of the American Express 100 for 100 program and recently recognized by Diverse Representation on their "The Ten to Watch in 2021" list.

ChiChi is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Communication, Theater Studies minor & Certificate in African Studies.

Tuesday, November 23rd - Zoom
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Filipe Valle Costa starred for two seasons in John Singleton's acclaimed FX drama series Snowfall. Other credits include Chicago Med and Blue Bloods.  Filipe is also founder of Saudade Theatre in New York City, the first and only theatre company in the United States dedicated to producing original and thought-provoking work grounded in the Portuguese-American consciousness.   In addition to "Snowfall" recent credits for Filipe include: "Blue Bloods," "Gotham," and "Unicornland."

Tuesday, November 30th - Zoom


Q & A with Casting Director, CSA

While stage managing many of the mainstage productions at the University of Florida, Kim Wistedt became fascinated with the process of an actor attaining a role. She sat in every audition alongside the director - hearing his thoughts and reactions to the talent at hand.  This was the beginning of her journey into casting!  After her junior year of college, Kimberly spent the summer in New York City interning for the renowned Broadway casting director Tara Rubin.  Post graduation, she moved back to New York City to intern for casting powerhouse, Bernard Telsey of Telsey + Company casting.  Later, as the commercial casting apprentice, she ran sessions for such companies as Apple, Macy's, and Target.  When the city life kept her too far from family and loved ones, Kimberly decided to make the move back to her home town of Atlanta to take part in the television and film industry boom in the Southeast. She's been with Fincannon & Associates since February of 2013, and is thrilled for what's to come in this bustling Atlanta market!

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Thursday, December 2nd - Zoom


 Q & A with Los Angeles Casting Director

Lindsey Weissmueller is a Los Angeles-based casting director who's worked in film and television casting since 2009. 

She's known for her work casting TruTV's Adam Ruins Everything and for award-winning films like Searching starring John Cho, Sleight starring John Latimore, and Plus One starring Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid.

Wednesday, March 30th - Zoom


Social Media Strategies for Artists

An early art-world adapter to social media and the former longtime editor of ARTnews, Robin Cembalest has spent her career helping arts professionals to communicate effectively. Over 16 years at the helm of ARTnews, she shepherded the century-old magazine into the digital era, expanding its content and training generations of interns, writers, and editors. In 2014, she launched her business Robin Cembalest Editorial Strategies, working with clients in the nonprofit and market sectors to implement mission-based content. She teaches webinars in arts communications skills at schools, residencies, and organizations, and independently on Eventbrite. An award-winning investigative journalist who has published widely in the art and mainstream press, Cembalest is best known today as @rcembalest, handle of her popular Instagram and Twitter feeds.

Friday, April 8th - Zoom
Monday, April 11th - Zoom


Grant Writing for the Theatre and Dance Artist

Amanda was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. She received her BA in Theatre from the University of Florida in 2011. Immediately following, she worked in wardrobe for Universal Studios Orlando and Allenberry Playhouse, as well as in company management for Norwegian and Regent Seven Seas cruise lines. She later received her MFA in Theatre Management at Florida State University, working in all areas of arts management with a focus on Community Engagement. In 2019, she worked as Assistant Company Manager for the Utah Festival Opera and Music Theatre and started in Development at the Hippodrome Theatre in 2020, where she has written an NEA Arts Project Grant, a Shubert Organization grant., and won a Florida Humanities grant for the Hipp Six podcast. She is also responsible for all grant reporting and research for the Hippodrome. She currently lives and works in Jacksonville for the Jacksonville Symphony as the Individual Giving Manager, residing with her partner and their two animals, Lucy and Lemon.


Developing Relationships with Theatre Directors and Artistic Directors

Rob Ruggiero’s work has earned him national recognition for both plays and musicals. Broadway: HIGH (starring Kathleen Turner) and LOOPED (starring Valerie Harper in a Tony nominated performance.) Off-Broadway, he conceived and directed the original musical revue, MAKE ME A SONG: THE MUSIC OF WILLIAM FINN (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations.) Mr. Ruggiero conceived and directed the world premiere musical portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, ELLA, seen on over 24 regional theatre stages. His work has garnered him the Kevin Kline, Jefferson, CT Critics Circle and Broadway World Awards. His productions have been seen at major regional theaters around the country, including Goodspeed, Long Wharf, The Muny, Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Arizona Theatre Company, Barrington Stage Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Pittsburgh Public Theater, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and San Jose Repertory Theatre, among others. He is the Producing Artistic Director at Hartford Theaterworks.

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Monday, April 25th - Zoom
Actors Showcase


NOVEMBER 2021 - APRIL 2022

November 4th

Stephen Ruffin - Q&A - Life in the Entertainment Industry

November 16th

Yael Reich & Ariel Reich - Q&A with the Reichstars

November 18th

Vivian Lamolli - Career Concerns as an Actor and Creative In Hollywood

November 23rd

Chichi Anyanwu - Q & A Life in the Entertainment Industry

November 30th

Filipe Valle Costa -Living in New York and LA as an Actor and Creative

December 2nd

Kim Wistedt -Q & A with Casting Director, CSA

March 30th

Lindsey Weissmueller - Q & A with Los Angeles Casting Director

April 8th

Robin Cembalest - Social Media Strategies for Artists

April 11th

Amanda Fraser -Grant Writing for the Theatre and Dance Artist

April 25th

Rob Ruggiero -Developing Relationships with Theatre Directors and Artistic Directors

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Disney Theatrical conceived and presented a master class with creative and production professionals in Orlando as part of the Frozen field trip.
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Theatre Management
Spring 2022-Theatrical Producing: Development and Trends
Theatre Mangement

The SWAMP Dance Fest! is a transformative three-week summer dance intensive to develop professional dancers with a wide range of technical skills and artistic sensibilities, preparing them for the vast range of performance, choreography, and learning opportunities available to them in today’s dance field. In 2022, the School is working with the UF Center for Arts Migration and Entrepreneurship (CAME) and New York Live Arts (NYLA) to host two dance artists rooted in Hip-Hop dance and related styles, d. Sabela grimes and MX Oops.

Guest Artist


MX Oops is a multimedia performance artist focused on the intersection of urban arts and consciousness studies, rapping and dancing within audiovisual installations. A certified yoga instructor (500hr RYT) and practitioner of Thai Yoga Massage, they are also trained in various forms of energy healing. Their work has toured Kenya, China, Russia, the Netherlands, and has been presented in various NYC venues. 


Guest Artist


Sabela Grimes, a 2014 United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow, is a choreographer, writer, composer and educator whose interdisciplinary performance work and pedagogical approach reveal a vested interest in the physical and meta-physical efficacies of Afro-Diasporic cultural practices. Described by the Los Angeles Times as “the Los Angeles dance world’s best-kept secret” and as “one of a mere handful of artists who make up the vanguard of hip-hop fusion,” d. Sabla grimes is considered one of the most imaginative and innovative artists in his field.

Swamp Dance Fest
Pinckard Partnership

John Arthur Pinckard, Tony Award-winning producer (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Clybourne Park, American Idiot) and UF alumnus, is founder of Pinck Productions, committed to the development of legitimate stage content with strong potential to play across other media channels (like streaming series, podcasts, graphic novels, and feature adaptations.) Since 2015, John (along with Tilted Windmills Theatricals) has partnered with UF SoTD in developing several such projects including The Magnificent Revengers, Hills on Fire and PUFFS, which had a record-breaking Off-Broadway run following its UF workshop. This partnership provides opportunities for our students to collaborate and forge career- building, professional relationships with New York- and West Coast-based creatives.

Theatre Management Internships
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