Alumni News

Alumnus Skyler Gray is changing the industry, one production at a time

By Mia Hammett Alum Skyler Gray (B.A. Directing and Stage Management, ’11) continues to push the boundaries of new play development. Having entered UCI as a music theater major, Gray’s academic and professional career inevitably evolved to recognize his desire to advocate for creators,...

Forging a Common Bond

Three UCI M.F.A. artists from 1969-71 reconvene in an Armory exhibition in Pasadena. By Richard Chang In 1969, three young women entered the newly formed M.F.A. program at UCI not really knowing what to expect. They were all divorcees with children. Each was doing a kind of art that was...

Art from displacement and loss

(excerpt from the Los Angeles Times) Born a refugee, Jenny Yurshansky (UCI, M.F.A. '10) creates works about migration and inherited trauma. By Deborah Vankin When Jenny Yurshansky’s parents fled Soviet-era Moldova in 1978, they could take only a handful of items with them— what...

Christopher Adriance Named Vice President of Marketing for the Irvine Barclay Theatre

Christopher Adriance (B.Mu. ’11) recently joined the Irvine Barclay Theatre as the Vice President of Marketing, overseeing the organization’s strategic marketing, branding and communications. Adriance joins the Barclay after eight years with the Pacific Symphony. During his time at the...

Curtains Up

UCI alumni and faculty help reopen live theater on Broadway and national tours By Christine Byrd One of Kaden Kearney’s, M.F.A. ’19, last performances before the pandemic was at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Now, Kearney is taking curtain calls at the Kennedy Center and the Ahmanson...

Learning the Steps

Young alumni are prepared to thrive in their professional dance careers By Christine Byrd Lauren Gresens’ final performance as a student was a solo in North Star, a piece by acclaimed modern dance choreographer and UCI professor Lar Lubovitch. When she graduated a few months later, in June...

G. Thomas Allen wins 1st place in international vocal competition

Vocal Arts alum, vocalist, composer, and music educator G. Thomas Allen recently placed 1st in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Allen is known for his remarkable vocal flexibility, warm timbre and cross-genre experimentation. He has worked with the late David Baker and the...

Jeffrey Lo Strives to Connect Theater with Diverse Communities

By Richard Chang Since graduating from UC Irvine in 2010, Jeffrey Lo has kept busy. He has stuffed a résumé full of accomplishments while pursuing theater in Silicon Valley — not exactly the first place you might think of when it comes to live theater. But he’s a San Jose native, so blazing...

Elaine Koshimizu Endowed Scholarship for Inclusive Excellence in Dance

The Department of Dance at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts ranks third in California and 10th in the U.S. Despite being nationally acclaimed, each year the department competes with other top dance programs to recruit high-achieving and underrepresented students in dance. Students often select...

Kaden Kearney (M.F.A., '18) Will Star As Emma In THE PROM National Tour

The tour is set to open November 2nd in Cleveland. Casting has been announced for the upcoming National Tour of THE PROM. Kaden Kearney (they/them) will star as Emma, Kalyn West as Alyssa Greene, Courtney Balan as Dee Dee Allen, Patrick Wetzel as Barry Glickman, Emily Borromeo as Angie Dickinson...

Kevin Kwan Loucks named CEO of Chamber Music America

After an extensive national search, Chamber Music America (CMA), the national network of ensemble music professionals, has named Kevin Kwan Loucks (B.Mu. ’04) as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective Sept. 1, 2021. Loucks brings over 15 years of national and international music and...

Donnetta Lavinia Grays Views Theater as a Place ‘Where Community Can Flourish’

By Richard Chang UC Irvine M.F.A. graduate Donnetta Lavinia Grays (acting, ’02) was already an accomplished actor and playwright when she received news this year that would change her life. In February, she was informed that she had won a prestigious Whiting Award, a $50,000 annual grant that...

Alumni Darcy Prevost, M.F.A. ’09, creates things larger than life

If you’ve seen Disney+’s original TV series, Earth to Ned, you’ve seen the work of Darcy Prevost, a UCI alumnus who worked as the production designer on the show. Prevost, who has worked for several major television companies including HBO, ABC Studios and Warner Bros., completed her Bachelor of...

New book by alumni Kitty Felde ’76

Children’s book author Kitty Felde (’76) released her newest book, Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza, on Dec. 3, 2020. Felde’s story — that has since been adapted to an audio drama and taped as an episodic podcast — tells the story of the 10-year-old daughter of a Los Angeles congressman who...

Alumni Headed to the Grammys

Kalbasi (B.Mu, ’10) performed as a soloist and with the Los Angeles Master Chorale on “IVES: Complete Symphonies,” nominated for Best Orchestral Performance. Allen (M.F.A., ’14) performed on “Choirmaster” by Ricky Dillard, which has been nominated for Best Gospel Album. Kalbasi is a SAG-AFTRA...

Alumni Ryan Rost, M.F.A. ’14 produces new album

Jazz musician and UCI Music alumnus Ryan Rost released his jazz trio album, “I Was Here,” on Oct. 29, 2020. The album features Doug Carter on piano, Peter Buck on drums and Rost leading on bass, and explores Rost’s curiosity through a unique compositional framework. “I’m constantly asking...

Rachel Fine discovers her calling by leading arts organizations

by Richard Chang Not everyone who studies piano and music in college grows up to be a world-class, professional artist. Some grow up to be world-class, professional arts executives. Rachel Fine attended UC Irvine in the 1990s as a transfer student, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta...

Taylor Fagins, B.A. '17, Wins 1st Place in the American Songwriters Contest

Excerpt from American Songwriter by Jacob Uitti "Fagins grew up in southern California and attended the University of California at Irvine, studying drama and musical theater. He moved to New York City for its plethora of stories, diversity and myriad faces, and he now works with two different...