The Business Side of Theater: Creative Approaches to Diversifying Arts Organizations from the Stage to the Board of Directors

April 30, 2021

Our guest Debbie Chinn will discuss her trajectory from college to high profile positions such as Managing Director of Anna Deavere Smith's Pipeline Project, Girls, Cal Shakes, and CENTERSTAGE; Executive director of Carmel Bach Festival ad Opera Parallèle; membership on Boards of Directors at various institutions. Chinn will share her insights into the business side of the arts and her experiences on the successes and challenges of building diverse and inclusive organizations.

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Putting the Middle East Center Stage

April 23, 2021

Originally from Iran, Torange Yeghiazarian, is the founding Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions, one of the first Middle Eastern-focused theatre companies in the United States.  She will share her journey from her beginnings as the daughter of an Iranian film star and Iranian military officer / night-club owner, to her immigration to the United States following the Iranian revolution, to creating Golden Thread Productions, and bringing theatre about the Middle East and by Middle Eastern and Middle Eastern American artists to stages in the United States. The theatre is celebrating its 25th anniversary. She is also a director and playwright and was also crucial in the founding of Middle East America: A National New Plays Initiative (MEA). She will share the program’s lasting impact and the future of Middle Eastern American theatre.

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On Borders and Hybridity: Contemporary Latinx Theatre

April 16, 2021

Please join the Theater and Dance department as we explore Latinx theatre with four award-winning U.S. playwrights: Luis Alfaro, Migdalia Cruz, Elaine Romero, and Enrique Urueta.  Co-moderators Laura Hope and Enrique Urueta will lead a discussion about the work of our guest artists, and how their plays engage with ideas of immigration, border culture, hybrid identities, family, language, bilingual play texts, and the importance of Latinx voices in crafting American theatre and identity. A question and answer session with the audience will follow the panelists' discussion.

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Patrick Page: Career Trajectory—Whitman to Broadway

April 9, 2021

Patrick Page, star of Broadway musicals such as Spring Awakening and Hadestown, in which he played Hades. Mr. Page is also a Whitman alum and the Wall Street Journal has called him one of the finest Shakespearean actors in America. Mr. Page will discuss his trajectory from being a theatre major at Whitman, to a career in regional theater and on Broadway.  We will ask for his thoughts on why departments such as Theater and Dance, Music, and Classics are crucial and necessary at a Liberal Arts college.

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Grappling with Othello in Contemporary American Theatre

April 2, 2021

Our guests are Eric Ting, Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater & Obie-award-winning director, and Aldo Billingslea, actor, former Artistic Director of Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, & Professor of Theatre at Santa Clara University, where he has also served as Associate Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion.

Cal Shakes’ 2016 version of Othello, was produced in the wake of ongoing high-profile killings of black men in the United States. Mr. Ting and Mr. Billingslea found themselves suddenly more aware of the ways in which the play could recuperate or exploit racist and misogynist images of black men. They wanted to provide an opportunity for audiences to reflect on how art can potentially recuperate racial tensions in our society. As a result, they produced the play with Brechtian “interruptions,” where the actors broke the fourth wall to talk to the audience as themselves in monologues reflecting on the action of the play during key acts of violence in the play that was not staged.  This was also Eric Ting’s first production as the new Artistic Director of Cal Shakes and the first Asian American Artistic Director of the company. Ting also directed the production, and Billingslea starred in the Othello. They will discuss their process and audience reaction.

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A Senior Project world premiere and a Paranormal Zoom Production

Developed by Oriana Golden, Eva Sullivan, Emily Krause, Christopher Petit

Do You Think About Me, Too?

Ana has been missing since this summer, presumed dead. Evelyn has run off to Ecuador to avoid that fact. Local talk radio host Miss Claudia has devoted her life to the paranormal, with diminishing returns. And Margot is becoming something other than herself. In, Do You Think About Me, Too? the lives of four women collide in a tangle of grief, ghosts, and good intentions. They say the people we've lost are never truly gone, but who said that was a good thing?

Performed live on Zoom

Thursday–Saturday, March 4–6 at 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 7, 2 p.m.

Written by: Emily Krause
Directed by: Christopher Petit
Stage Manager: Jaime Fields
Performed by: Oriana Golden and Eva Sullivan
Audio/Video Prod. /Design: Alyx Krugar
Stage/Zoom Artists: Grace Sanwald, Taylor Kolkem

Life After Whitman: Harper Joy -> NYC

by Emily Krause ’15

Friday, March 5 at 4 p.m.

A job lined up. A job interview lined up. An apartment lease. The lay of the land. This is a (partial) list of things I didn't have in hand when I moved across the country to New York City, two weeks after I graduated from Whitman. What I did have, in my opinion, was a liberal arts degree in theatre that had taught me to Say Yes To Doing Things I Don't Know How To Do. Nearly six years later, I'm still doing that. I'll share some brief background on my journey from Walla Walla to New York, including my transition from acting to writing, but then I'll turn it over to you. Come armed with your questions, fears, and excitements about pursuing a creative life after Whitman, and we can have a conversation about what's next. Spoiler alert: that question never goes away.


Emily Krause is a Brooklyn-based playwright, actor, and songwriter originally from Portland, Oregon. Her work has been read or developed with support from the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Exquisite Corpse Company, The Tank, the Playwriting Collective, the Bechdel Group, The Hearth, and TinyRhino. Her work has been produced at the Center for Performance Research, the IRT 3B Developmental Series, and on Governor's Island. She is a playwright-in-residence with Exquisite Corpse Company, where she is currently developing the mobile, outdoor performance piece Zoetrope. BA: Whitman College. Proud alum of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.