Alumni from the University of Washington School of Drama are advancing the artistic conversation through their innovative and diverse work both regionally and across the globe. Our graduates, many who have gone on to become highly successful, represent the best of what the School of Drama has to offer. Whether they went on to become television stars, acclaimed film producers, exceptional costume designers, artistic directors, or theatrical entrepreneurs, the UW School of Drama was the foundation for their growth as artists.
MFA, PATP, ‘00
Born in Rome, Italy and raised in Seattle, Washington, Joel was a history major at the University of Washington, where he also was a member of their championship football team. In addition, Joel received his Masters of Fine Arts from the Professional Actor Training Program. He is currently starring on NBC's hit comedy series, Community. In addition, he writes, produces and stars in The Soup on E! where he counts down the most absurd, hysterical, wacky and surreal moments in the world of reality TV and celebrity each week.
Kyle MacLachlan is perhaps best known for his performance as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in David Lynch's ground-breaking series, Twin Peaks, for which he received two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award. Kyle has also starred in Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City. Recent appearances include The Captain on How I Met Your Mother, US attorney Josh Perrotti on The Good Wife and an ongoing role as the Mayor of Portland in Portlandia.
MFA, PATP, ‘01
Ron is Founder and President of Simon Says Entertainment and a two-time Tony Award-winning producer and actor. His critically acclaimed films include: Night Catches Us, Gun Hill Road, Blue Caprice and Mother of George (all premiered at Sundance). He produced the award-winning Broadway productions of Porgy & Bess and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Ron is a recipient of the 150 Distinguished Alumni Award from University of Washington, and is an IFP Cannes’ Producer’s Network Fellow and a Sundance Producers’ Summit Fellow.
Pamela has over 60 film and television credits under her belt, including film performances in The Long Riders (1980), The Right Stuff (1983), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Junior (1994), Bean (1997), and Proof of Life (2000). Pamela's television credits include the portrayal of Jack Tanner's (played by Michael Murphy) campaign manager, T.J. Cavanaugh, in Robert Altman's Tanner '88 (1988). Her performance in the series earned her a Cable Ace Award. Most recently, she has appeared as Marlene Knope on Parks and Recreation. Pamela also appeared on stage in 2013 at ACT Theatre in Other Desert Cities.
Richard is most well-known for his role as Al Borland in the 1990s sitcom Home Improvement and his tenure as the host of Family Feud during the 2000s. Richard began his acting career in NYC. He starred in the title role of Larry Shue’s The Foreigner and appeared in numerous other hit plays including Me and My Girl, Losing it, and The Other Shore. Richard landed roles in features Desperately Seeking Susan and House of Games and decided to relocate to LA. He also starred in the Los Angeles premiere of the play Our Father, which was a Critics Choice of the Los Angeles Times.
Jean began her career appearing in regional theater at Seattle Repertory Theater and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. One of her best known roles is Charlene Frazier Stillfield on the CBS sitcom Designing Women. She gained critical acclaim for dramatic work with her portrayal of Martha Logan on 24. Jean recently appeared as Regina Newly on the ABC sitcom Samantha Who?, winning an Emmy Award for her work in 2008. In 2012, Jean was again nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her role on Harry's Law.
John is perhaps best known for playing the former DNC chairman Barry Goodwin on the NBC television series The West Wing and for playing Dr. Donald Anspaugh on the NBC television series ER. He also supplied his voice for Dr. Arne Magnusson in Half-Life 2: Episode Two. John was one of the founders, in 1973, of Seattle's Empty Space Theatre, and he worked regularly as a company member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre for 15 years until he became a television and film actor in the 1990s.
MFA, Design, ‘03
Jennifer has been designing for Seattle area theatres since 2004. She was a founder and co-artistic director (2004-2008) of Washington Ensemble Theatre. Jennifer was the recipient of the 2006 Stranger Genius Award in Theatre, was named “Best Scenic Designer in Seattle” by Seattle Weekly in 2005, and received two 2006 Seattle TimesFootlight Awards. Local directing credits include In Disdress and In Disdress Now: REDUX by Marya Sea Kaminski, 100 Heartbreaks and Here’s What Happened, with “Awesome” the Band and blahblahblahBANG! A Pistol Fit in One Act.
MFA, PATP, ‘83
Timothy is the current Producing Artistic Director at Syracuse Stage and Department of Drama. He has more than 20 years of experience in leading regional theaters throughout the country. Most recently, Timothy served for 11 years as associate artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Prior to that, he spent 13 years with the Seattle Group Theatre, serving as artistic director. Timothy has also directed at such prestigious theaters as The Guthrie, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Cleveland Play House, and Indiana Repertory Theatre.
Marya Sea Kaminski
MFA, PATP, ‘04
Marya Sea’s awards include “Artist of the Year” by Seattle Magazine, “Best Local Stage Actor” and “Best Performing Artist” by the readers of the Seattle Weekly, the 2010 Stranger Genius Award in Theatre, and the 2010 Seattle Gregory Award for Outstanding Actress. A founding member and co-artistic director (2004-2008) of the Washington Ensemble Theatre, Marya Sea directed the Northwest premieres of Adam Rapp’s Finer Noble Gases and Jordan Harrison’s The Museum Play, performed as the First Lady in the national premiere of Jane Martin’s Laura’s Bush and as M in Sarah Kane’s Crave.
MFA, Design, ‘02
Melanie Burgess has designed over 125 productions for theatre and opera locally and nationally, including for Seattle Opera, ACT, Village Theatre, Seattle Rep, Intiman, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Empty Space, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Playhouse, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Hawaii Opera, Idaho Theatre for Youth and Idaho Repertory Theatre. Melanie is the recipient of the 2010 Gregory Award for her designs of 42nd Street, Abe Lincoln In Illinois, Chasing Nicolette and Twelfth Night and has received numerous Seattle Times Footlight awards for her work.
MFA, Directing, ‘09
Desdemona is a freelance stage director, Co-Founder of Azeotrope (Seattle) and Associate Artistic Director of Impact Theatre (Berkeley). Her credits include: Crowded Fire Theatre Company, Azeotrope, Impact Theatre, FringeNYC, Playwrights Foundation, Golden Thread Productions, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Unicycle Collective, SIS Productions, and Cornish College of the Arts. She’s a previous Drama League Directing Fellow, TCG Young Leader of Color, 2012 Gregory Award winner for Outstanding Director, and member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and Directors Lab West.
Mariana is best known for her roles as Lorena Ball on HBO’s True Blood, as the psychopath Abby in the TV horror movie While the Children Sleep, and as movie actress Peri Westmore in Devious Maids. Klaveno was nominated with the cast of True Blood for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" at the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2010. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington in Seattle with a BA in Drama, studying there with Jon Jory.
This is a small sample of our talented alumni. For a more complete list go to Alumni Web Pages