Graduates of the Theatre + Dance Program are working in professional theatres in every major city in the United States and on five continents, having successful careers on Broadway and in regional theatre, in film and television, on cruise ships and in theme parks. They are studying at leading MFA programs across the country and are teaching in universities, public and private schools. You can see our alumni at every theatre in the Greater Cincinnati area, both on and off stage.
Anna Schindler Brown (BFA Musical Theatre, 2019) is currently the Music Teacher at Queen of Peace Catholic School. After graduation, she toured for 9 months with the Missoula Children's Theatre as a Tour Actor/Director. She traveled all around the U.S., teaching an hour-long show to kids ages 5-18.
Why did you choose to study at NKU SOTA?
I felt like the faculty really cared about my education and helped me succeed. I was able to define myself creatively and make life long connections with faculty and fellow students.
Roderick Justice (BFA Musical Theatre, 2007) is a member of The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and has been producing theatre for nearly two decades. He’s an award-winning choreographer, actor, director, costume designer, playwright, adjudicator, and mentor to hundreds of young performers. Originally hailing from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, Roderick has trained and worked in cities all over the United States, in Canada and Europe, but now proudly calls Cincinnati his home.
The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) welcomed him in 2008 as the company’s first full-time Associate Artistic Director. He became the Program Director of The STAR Program, the highly-acclaimed musical theatre training program for young performers ages 9 to 18. Many of his STAR alums have gone on to great success on Broadway, TV, and film.
Roderick’s tenure has been driven by his passion for live theatre-for-youth, the impact the arts have on early childhood development, and harnessing the power of storytelling to change the world for the next generation. Since becoming the Producing Artistic Director of TCT in 2015, he has commissioned and produced over a dozen new musicals, plays, and world-premiere adaptations.
He often works as a free-lance guest artist, director, and choreographer for other arts organizations, including as his alma mater, Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts (SOTA), The School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), the award-winning Commonwealth Theatre Company, The Carnegie, and The Lincoln Amphitheater (Lincoln City, IN).
Most recently Roderick accepted the Sara Spencer Child Drama award on behalf of The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati at the 2020 Southeastern Theatre Conference.
Lizzie Lotterer (BA Theatre Arts, 2020) recently moved to Maine and is currently working for the Portland Stage Company, an equity regional theatre.
Why did you choose to study at NKU SOTA?
I liked the wide range of classes in the Theatre and Dance program. It's really helped me find employment, especially in the pandemic!
Kat Wolf (BA Integrative Studies Creative Arts, 2016) recently opened Northern Kentucky Dancewear (NKY Dancewear) just three minutes from NKU! The mission of Northern Kentucky Dancewear is to serve the dancing and performing arts community in order for all performers, teachers, and students to find quality products and superior service. We provide onsite fittings, delivery and support to studios and the performing arts community. We are committed to supporting the arts within Cincinnati, and foster individuals who are confident, competent and growing while learning the art of dance. Northern Kentucky Dancewear provides dancers the availability of quality products and services every single day at affordable prices.
Kat was a part of the NKU Athletics Dance Team, a member of the NKU SOTA Dance Tour Troupe, and involved in numerous faculty dance concerts as well as showcasing her own choreography. She also founded the Emerging Choreographers Showcase (ECS); a fully student-run production to increase visibility of choreographers. Studying within SOTA allowed Kat to pursue all avenues of her arts abilities and passions!
After graduating, I headed straight to Matunuck, RI to do my internship with Ocean State Theatre Company at Theatre by The Sea. There, I teched for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and performed in Man of La Mancha, Hairspray, and The Drowsy Chaperone. I stayed after the summer season to understudy their production of The 39 Steps. After that, I headed to Lancaster, PA for a 9 month tour with Prather Entertainment in Me and My Girl with stops in Lancaster, PA, Fort Myers, FL, and Mesa, AZ. Soon after I headed to NYC to assist JR Bruno as assistant choreographer and dance captain for a production of Hairspray at The Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, CT where I obtained my Equity card. After Hairspray, I returned to TBTS to star in Ocean State Theatre company's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying as Bud Frump. Afterwards I moved to NYC where I worked on the beginnings of a new musical; The American Dream, music/lyrics/book by Richard Amelius. Soon after, I booked a cruise contract in RWS' inaugural cast on Holland America Cruise Line where we sailed the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Baltic Sea performing five different shows. After returning to the city in July 2014, I will begin rehearsals for a second contract with RWS on Holland America embarking for the Caribbean once again on October 10, 2014!
Since graduating a semester early from NKU I have been working consistently as a professional musical theatre actress! In the spring of 2012, I moved to Lanesboro, MN where I worked at The Commonwealth Theatre Company. I performed in "The Pillars of Society" (Dina Dorf), "The Philadelphia Story" (Dinah Lord) and "Miss Julie" (Kristine). After living the Midwest life, I traveled to St. Petersburg, FL to perform in my favorite show of all time, "Spring Awakening" at FreeFall Theatre. More than anything, I fell in love with St. Pete and the Tampa Bay Area. I went to New York for a bit because that is what I thought I was supposed to do, and while I loved it, the stars weren't aligned. Since then I have moved back to the sunshine state, where I recently starred in "The Burnt Part Boys" (Frances) and will soon be going "Into the Woods" as Little Red. I hope to one day return to the Big Apple, but for now I live on the beach so I can't really complain. Other than musical theatre, I love playing my ukulele, hiking, and devouring libraries one book at a time. "Keep looking up and head for the sun."
Upon graduating from NKU, I moved to NYC where I spent 2 years pursuing a career in Musical Theatre. I worked on various projects including the workshops of 2 new musicals: James and the Giant Peach, and Bigfoot and Other Lots Souls. I performed off-broadway in the musical Dear Edwina, and played Antiphalus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors. Over time, my interest turned to on-camera work. I now live in Los Angeles and am signed with Coast to Coast Talent Group. I have several commercials running on major Spanish networks, including one for Mercury Insurance and coming soon a spot for the Ford Fiesta, and have a holiday Bing commercial running on the English networks. I am proud to be an NKU alum and am grateful for the preparation the theatre department provided me with to take on this exciting (and crazy) career!
John plays Tommy DeVito in the National Tour of Jersey Boys. John hails from Edgewood, Kentucky. As a singer/songwriter, John’s CD “The Way We Weren’t” is available on iTunes. Before Jersey Boys, John played Timon in the national tour of The Lion King. Regional: Big River, Much Ado About Nothing, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Christmas Carol, The Tempest. Television: All My Children. BFA, Northern Kentucky University. MFA, Alabama Shakespeare Festival. John’s favorite roles include: Hamlet, Jean Valjean, King Lear, Othello & Darth Vader… and someday he hopes to play them.
Kong, Gangster, Travis, Viper Executive, Ensemble Broadway Debut! Off-Broadway: RENT. National Tour: RENT. Workshops: American Idiot, Dirty Hippie Jam Band Project. Regional: Civil War; tick,tick…BOOM!; JC Superstar. Acclaimed singer/songwriter: Twitter: @Aaron_LaVinay. Facebook.com/aaronlavignemusic. B.F.A. Northern Kentucky University. Thanks family, Sarah, & Rachel at Telsey.
After Graduating from NKU, I moved to Las Vegas to study at The Second City Las Vegas. I studied sketch and improv comedy and eventually performed with the Scriptless show weekly on the Strip. I then went on to perform with The Second City on Norwegian Cruise Lines, doing shows on the Spirit, Star, and Dawn. I came home from the high seas and toured the nation with The Second City Red Touring Company. Now I am understudying the ETC stage and living in Chicago with my beautiful wife, who also works for The Second City. I am so proud to be an alumnus of NKU, and will always be grateful for the lessons learned there.