Alumni In the News

Anteaters in the Arts: Maryjo Lang

MaryJo Lang, B.A. '74

Having admirably contributed to over 300 movie soundscapes, professional Foley mixer and UCI alumna, MaryJo Lang, B.A. Drama, ’74, has amplified the creative landscape of Hollywood sound design for over 25 years. Lang was deemed “a force of nature” in Foley mixing by Cinema Audio Society president Mark Ulano and was awarded the Cinema Audio Society’s President’s Award for her exceptional work in the field. Ulano went further to say that Lang’s “understanding of how to tell stories with sound has made her a filmmaker of iconic stature.” Lang has been acclaimed as the Foley mixer in Hollywood, developing Foley sound effects that helped drive films’ narrative and emotional aspects. She has been instrumental in the development of many Oscar-winning soundscapes, in films such as Braveheart, The Dark Knight, The Matrix, Inception, and The Ghost and the Darkness. Lang has also received three...

Skye Schmidt: Photographer/Dancer

Skye Schmidt: Photographer/Dancer

by Terry Schilling | December 23, 2019 / Irvine Community News & Views

Capturing magical moments in dance takes a professional dancer and a seasoned photographer.  I was lucky enough to meet an artist who is both: Skye Schmidt.

UCI Alum in Bay Area Musicals’ GYPSY

UCI alum Cassie Grilley will play “Agnes” in Bay Area Musicals’ GYPSY production.  A 6-Time Tony Award-winning performance, the musical GYPSY is based on the memoirs of famous striptease artist, Gypsy Rose Lee. The story specifically focuses on Lee’s mother, Rose, who has been deemed “the ultimate show business mother” and follows her attempts to raise two daughters to become performing artists.  The show also captures the difficulties of a life of show business. The performance will run from November 9 - December 8 at the Alcazar Theatre in San Francisco. Congratulations to Cassie on this fine accomplishment!  Tickets range from $50 - $100 and may be purchased online: To save $10 on tickets, 

Use the code: BAM10.  For more information, call 415-340-2207 or email


Anteaters in the Arts: Eliza Rubenstein

On June 17, Eliza Rubenstein (M.F.A. ’97) stepped onto the conductor’s podium at Carnegie Hall — for the second time. In June 2017, Rubenstein conducted the Carnegie Hall premiere of Kirke Mechem’s Songs of the Slave, a powerful reflection on racial justice and hard-won freedoms. While it would be hard to top the “emotional wallop” of that experience, Rubenstein said, “I couldn’t be more excited” about conducting her students, other singers and a professional orchestra in Haydn’s Paukenmesse, or Mass in Time of War. “It’s a work that mines joy from a world of strain and stress, and that’s surely a timely model for all of us.”

Rubenstein is director of choral and vocal activities and music department chair at Orange Coast College, artistic director of the Orange County Women’s Chorus, and artistic director of the Long Beach Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. She discovered her passion for choral conducting during her senior year at...

Anteaters in the Arts: Kelly Perine

“Hard work is the best-kept secret in Hollywood!”

“Hard work is the best-kept secret in Hollywood!” That was the advice Kelly Perine (M.F.A. ’98) gave to a class of 12 graduate students on a recent visit to his alma mater, the Department of Drama. 

Perine is no stranger to hard work. Growing up, his innate ability for acting led him to Lake Forest Academy near Chicago, Illinois, where he studied stage acting. Perine went on to Pomona College in California for his BA in Film Studies and ultimately UCI. Today he is a working television actor, writer, director, producer, and comedian with an extensive list of  professional credits that include everything from sitcoms such as Seinfeld and One on One, dozens of national commercials and films, to his award-winning short Downward Hiro.

Kelly spent the afternoon offering advice to students for a road map to face the harsh...

Art of Social Change

Two more UCI faculty and alumni receive Guggenheim Fellowships

When a shiny sculpture of a rabbit by the most commercially successful living artist sold for a record-breaking $91 million at auction earlier this year, UCI art professor Daniel Joseph Martinez shrugged.

“We don’t remember the people who sold the most,” he says. “We remember the people who changed the trajectory of ideas.”

Two UCI artists were recently honored for doing just that. Martinez, a UCI professor for 29 years, and alumna Hồng-An Trương ’08, were among the 168 artists, writers and scholars selected from 3,000 applicants to receive The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship this year, recognizing both “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”

“To be in the legacy of all of the artists and scholars who have received the Guggenheim over the years, that’s an...

CAM Alum Cyndie Klorer brings her Fourth Wall Entertainment Troupe to the Metropolitan

"San Andreas, CA…Mardi Gras Karaoke Party with Sweet Harmony Entertainment! About the new team at the helm of the historic Metropolitan. In 1994, Cyndie Hoffman (Klorer) was involved in her first theatrical production out of high school at the historic Metropolitan Theater in San Andreas. Once bitten by the theater bug, she was smitten. Not only with the art of theater, but with the beautiful facility at 59 Main Street in San Andreas. For many years to come, Cyndie would dream of running a theater of her own.

In the meantime, Benjamin Klorer, a young man in Germany was running a kiosk, which consisted of a bar, restaurant, mini golf course, small lake, and volley ball court. Who could have ever known that in 2012 the two would meet and start a partnership that would lead to Fourth Wall Entertainment Troupe conducting business at the Metropolitan in San Andreas, California?

Cyndie has over 30 years experience in theater arts and is certified in Arts Management...

From Claire Trevor To Broadway: Justin Keats’ Career After Graduation

By Lauren Knight

A few years after he graduated from UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Justin Keats’ phone rang in an audition waiting room in New York City. Preparing to sing at an audition in four minutes for another Broadway musical, Keats saw his agent’s name on his screen and did not hesitate to answer. In the midst of rehearsing for another project and auditioning for a new Broadway show, Keats found out that he would be making his Broadway debut in Cirque du Soleil’s new Broadway show, “Paramour.” Processing all that he could over the phone as his agent laid down the logistics, he soon realized that his name would be called for the audition any minute, and hurried back into the waiting room. Finishing up his audition and bolting out of the building as soon as possible, Keats quickly grabbed lunch and two hours after the initial call, ran to his first day of rehearsals for “Paramour.”


Kelly Moran’s Trippy, Beautiful Piano Music

Kelly Moran’s Trippy, Beautiful Piano Music
New York artist’s avant-garde compositions break through to unique transcendence
By Christopher R. Weingarten “I kind of just accepted that no one would really care about my work because I was such a weirdo,” says New York’s Kelly Moran, an avant-garde composer and pianist who drones, plucks and buzzes on the lines between modern classical, ambient, electroacoustic and jazz. “I had so many rejections [from record labels], and so many that were based around the fact that what I was doing was too niche. Part of me was like, ‘No one’s ever going to hear this, but I need to do it for myself anyway, because if I don’t I’m just going to feel like I’m dead.'”

UC Irvine alum Jon Lovitz returns home

Jon Lovitz goes back to his roots Saturday, Sept. 29, by bringing his stand-up routine to his alma mater, UC Irvine, where the Irvine Barclay Theatre is located.

Although this will be his Irvine Barclay debut, the comedian/actor/stand-up comic will recognize the surrounding campus.  Or not.

“Boy, the campus sure changed,” said an amazed Lovitz, 61, a UCI alumnus (drama major) who attended 1975-1979.  “I don’t really recognize it.  The Irvine Barclay wasn’t here when I was here.  A lot of it wasn’t here.  The campus has grown so much.  The buildings seem to swallow up the campus I remember.”