Alumni Spotlight

Highlighting the Phenomenal Work of Our Alumni!


VOICES, An Actors Showcase of Monologues Featuring Distinguished Alumni of the Howard University Department of Theater Arts, presented by The Bison Repertory Theater Wed. May 26 @ 7pm on the Bison Repertory Theater Facebook page.

Rayven Leak- SP21

H.U. Dance Arts Alum Rayven Leak receives Liz Cherry Jones Memorial Commission


The annual commission will support the creation of new performance work on Company| E by a student or recent alumni of Howard University Dance Arts in its inaugural year. Tthe Liz Cherry Jones Memorial Commission has been awarded to Rayven Leak (@rayven.nishae), a 2020 Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate of H.U.  Rehearsals will begin with Company | E in May and her work will premiere as part of the NEXT: WARMER Concert this summer.


LIZ Cherry Jones ( April 28, 1995 -August 1, 2017) was a longtime teacher for the Albemarle County School District (VA), a textile artist, a local African Amerian community historian, and an Angora Goat Farmer who also played piano and loved to sing. Dedicating her life to education, Liz was passionate about the importance of Interdisciplinary arts education for people of all ages. Today would have been her 66th birthday.

Amber Iman

NY PopsUp returned to Broadway with another performance, this time from Amber Iman!


Click here to view the performance.

To read more click here.

Anthony McDonald

Anthony McDonald has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the historic and legendary Shubert Theatre.

McDonald received his BFA from Howard University in Theatre Arts Administration and his MFA from Columbia University in Theatre Management and Producing. He is a proud member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers. He and his wife are looking forward to their move to Connecticut and meeting the New Haven community.  McDonald commented, “It's such an honor to be given the opportunity to lead this historic theatre into the future. The city of New Haven is such a diverse, vibrant community and I look forward to welcoming everyone into our home.” As Executive Director of the Shubert, New Haven, McDonald will lead the Connecticut Not-For-Profit Organization as a key contributor to the cultural vibrancy and diversity of the region and as an effective partner to New Haven’s arts and culture sector.


To read the entire article please click here.



Ashley Elm- Elbi

Arts Administration Alumnae Ashley Elm (Elbi) awarded $25,000 grant

Elm enrolled at Savannah College of Art and Design as a performing arts major for two years before transferring to Howard University. After changing her major to theater management, Elm got to see the Black community enrichment by attending a historically Black college and university (HBCU). "I had already fell in love with Savannah, and wanted to cultivate change here," Elm said. She left her non-profit job and moved back to Savannah to create TCU.  Exclusive to people of color, The Culturist Union (TCU) is a hub for creative empowerment for Black entrepreneurs and creators that was created by Elm in 2018, and licensed in 2019.  "It was birthed out of the problem here in Savannah, that creators who are people of color didn't have a place to gather, commune or come together," Elm said. "I wanted to fill that void by creating a safe space for us.


To read the full article click here.

Ralph Remington

SFAC to Appoint Ralph Remington to Lead the Arts Commission Starting January 2021

The San Francisco Arts Commission is very pleased to announce that Ralph Remington has been appointed as the new Director of Cultural Affairs.


"We live in times that require bold fearless leadership around issues of arts and culture interwoven with equity, diversity and inclusion," said Ralph Remington. "I am thrilled for the opportunity to work progressively with Mayor Breed and the San Francisco Arts Commission to boldly further the path of equity, diversity and belonging in the City of San Francisco, one of the world's greatest arts and culture capitals."


To read the full story click here.

Chadwick Boseman

Watch Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, In select theaters November and on Netflix December 18, 2020:


Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), her ambitious horn player (Chadwick Boseman), and the white management determined to control the legendary “Mother of the Blues.” Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play.


Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by George C. Wolfe. Starring Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts, Glynn Turman, Dusan Brown and Taylour Paige. Coming to Netflix December 18, 2020.


Ma Rainey's Black Bottom | Official Trailer | Netflix

Black women with locked hair in a bun on her head with blue jacket on

Nikkole Salter Named TCG Board Chair


NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre and the publisher of American Theatre magazine, has announced new officers for its board of directors. Nikkole Salter, actress, playwright, educator, and arts advocate, based in Bloomfield, N.J., will chair a slate of officers.


For the full article and interview click here.

Nicole M. Brewer

Nicole Brewer is a passionate advocate for anti-racist theatre.  She has spent the last seven years refining and practicing an inclusive method of theatre training and practices which she calls Conscientious Theatre Training (CTT).  She has authored four articles about the need for the theatre industry to shift from racist and oppressive models to anti-racist and anti-oppressive.  Why Equity Diversity and Inclusion Are Obsolete was reported by American Theatre as one of their top ten most-read stories of 2019.


Ms. Brewer is on faculty in the acting department at the Yale School of Drama.  Nicole is frequently invited to share her work on CTT and ART at conferences such as ATHE, SETC, TCG, The Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and in the UK at Goldsmith’s University. Nicole Brewer earned her M.F.A. in Acting from Northern Illinois University and her B.F.A. from Howard University. She's worked professionally as an actor, director, and educator. 


For more information about Nicole M. Brewer and her latest work click here.

kamilah forbes-pic

SDCF: Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation announces 
Kamilah Forbes as the 2020 recipient of the Zelda Fichandler Award 

A Howard University alum, Forbes has won awards for both directing and producing, including a Peabody Award, the 2019 NBTF Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award, and an NAACP Image Award. Perhaps what stands out most about Forbes’ work is her ability to intricately weave together contemporary art and culture in the works she curates and produces. 

Forbes’ directing credits include By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, written by Lynn Nottage, at Signature Theatre in New York; Blood Quilt, written by Katori Hall, at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.; Detroit ’67, written by Dominique Morrisseau, at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta; and Sunset Baby, also written by Morrisseau, at Labyrinth Theater Company in New York. She has worked closely with Kenny Leon on “The Wiz Live,” and the Broadway productions of A Raisin in the Sun, Mountaintop, and Stick Fly. Forbes has produced several works for television, most notably the seventh season of the Peabody Award-winning series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO. 

Forbes’ most recent projects include directing the world premiere, tour and theatrical adaption of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ New York Times best-selling novel Between the World and Me. In addition to her work at the Apollo Theater, Forbes is set to direct the Broadway premiere of the musical Soul Train alongside Questlove, Dominique Morrisseau, and Camille A. Brown. 


For the full prese release click here.

Otis Donavan Herring

Otis Donovan Herring pic

OTIS DONOVAN HERRING is a native of College Park, Georgia, USA. He received his training and BFA from Howard University in Washington DC. He lived and performed in New York, New York, USA with numerous companies and choreographers including Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, Camille A. Brown and Dancers, and continues to choreograph independent works. Mr. Herring moved to Auckland, New Zealand in 2013 to dance with Black Grace dance company under the direction of Neil Ieremia. He most recently modeled "The Cube" in the World of Wearable Art (WOW) this year.  He also works closely with Joash Fahitua and Perri Exeter-directors or Trip The Light Dance Collective.


Flowidus - Shelter (Official Music Video)

Shoccara Marcus- Brown Girls do Ballet

Dance Atlanta: An Ode to Self Expression and ATL’s Fiercest with photographer Shoccara Marcus — Brown Girls Do Ballet®

Brown Girls Do Ballet has teamed up with photographer Shoccara Marcus to create Dance Atlanta!, a photo project showcasing the energy of Atlanta through dance with talented Black and Brown dancers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Think Wide Open Videography by Shoccara Marcus

Click here to learn more about Shoccara and the Project!


Rahni Lindsey

Celebrating Great Work from Rahni Lindsey!

Rahni is dance instructor at Malone Studios Dance Academy in Nashville, Tennessee established in 1998. This program represents one of the few Black owned ballet oriented dance schools in the state. She teaches and choreographs ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, tumbling, and aerial silks to students ages 5-17 including the multinational champion competitive teams. Rahni created the studio’s YouTube channel “Inside the Academy” where their videos have received notable recognition from Chris Brown and actor/singer Algee Smith. Additionally, she works as a medical transcriptionist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and is a medical school applicant hoping to begin school in Fall 2021 to pursue a career in sports medicine where she will work with dancers and performance artists!


For more information visit the links below:

YouTube channel

Instagram Page

Algee Smith Instagram Post

Malone Studios Website 


Get in contact with us by clicking here.