Drama and Dance

Drama: Career Potential

Students with a major in drama graduate with a combination of classroom instruction and professional experiences that are highly regarded in today's competitive performing arts industry. Among 2017-2018 Hofstra graduates who majored in drama, 85% of survey respondents reported that within one year of graduation they were employed and/or attending or planning to attend graduate school. Among those Hofstra graduates who majored in drama and who reported salary, the median annual self-reported salary was $40,000.

Examples of where our recent drama alumni are working:

  • American Ballet Theatre
  • Ballet Austin
  • Barrington Stage Company
  • Boston Ballet
  • CBS/ CBS News
  • Joyce Theater
  • Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.
  • NY International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC)
  • Second Stage Theater Company
  • Walt Disney Company

Additionally, some of our recent graduates are pursuing advanced degrees at institutions such as:

  • American Public University
  • CUNY City College
  • CUNY Hunter College
  • Hofstra University
  • Kent State University
  • Lesley University
  • Naropa University
  • UCLA
  • University of Pennsylvania

Alumni outcomes data is based on the results of Hofstra’s annual Alumni Outcomes Survey and other reliable sources. Of the 1,508 undergraduate students who graduated between August 2017-May 2018, data was collected via surveys and other reliable sources resulting in knowledge about the outcomes for 83% of the 17-18 undergraduate alumni. Salary data is self-reported voluntarily by students and are based upon a 45% response rate for full-time employed undergraduate survey respondents. Salary figures only include annual base salary. They do not include bonus, commission or any other guaranteed compensation.

See alumni outcome reports in their entirety.

Look what our alumni are doing!

There are the stars and creative talents who are always in the spotlight – among them, Lainie Kazan, Phil Rosenthal '81, and Francis Ford Coppola. Joan See '55 wrote the book on commercials, and the spirit of Charles Ludlam and the Ridiculous Theater Company is still with us.

Ariya Ghahramani '09 had a recurring role on the HBO show The Night Of and a part in the film adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's novel, The Kite Runner.

Mel Johnson Jr. '71 (known for roles in Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) starred in the off-Broadway play The Road to Damascus at the 59E59 Theaters in early 2015. He also appeared in Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Season 2.

Joe Morton is starring in the CBS series God Friended Me and appeared in the blockbuster summer 2019 film Godzilla: King of Monsters. But he is perhaps best known as the villainous “Rowan Pope” on ABC's Scandal, a role for which he won a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama in 2014. He has had recurring roles on many television series, including The Good Wife, Proof, Law and Order and Grace and Frankie. He starred in the off-Broadway play Turn Me Loose in the summer of 2016 about civil rights activist Dick Gregory. He played Roy Wilkins in the HBO adaptation of the Broadway play All the Way. Recent film credits include Batman vs. Superman and Justice League. He is also remembered for Terminator II, Speed, What Lies Beneath and Brother From Another Planet.

Leslie Segrete is a designer on Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, where she revamps and redesigns troubled hotels. She was the series host and designer on A&E’s $100 Makeover, lead designer on WEtv’s The Ugliest House on the Block, and host for the Emmy-nominated WLIW (PBS) special, Going Green Long Island. She was a carpenter and designer on TLC’s hit series Trading Spaces and While You Were Out, where she helped design, build, and execute close to 400 rooms. She is also co-host of “The Money Pit,” a nationally syndicated home improvement radio show heard around the nation and on XM Sirius.

Kevin Shinick '91 (Creative Artists) is best known for creating MAD, Cartoon Network's #1 rated animated series based on the iconic humor magazine. Kevin's role as creator/producer/writer and main voice talent earned him a 2012 Emmy and Annie nomination for Outstanding Short Format Animated Program. Kevin is equally known for his work on Robot Chicken, Adult Swim's stop-motion sketch series for which he won a 2010 Emmy Award. His credits also include Marvel Comics: Superior Carnage, Avenging Spider-Man and AXIS: Hobgoblin (the latter nominated for Best Mini-Series of 2014).

On ABC, Susan Sullivan '64 played the spotlight-seeking Martha Rodgers in Castle. She has a recurring role in the Netflix series The Kominsky Method, opposite Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin. Fans also remember her from Another World, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Dharma & Greg, The Incredible Hulk and Falcon Crest.

On stage …

Tia Harewood-Millington '19 is assistant stage manager on the play One In Two for The New Group theater company in New York City. Prior to graduating, she interned twice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Jack Saleeby ‘16, Noah Silva ‘16 and Peter Charney ’17 workshopped their original musical Bright and Brave at Dixon Place, an experimental theater house in lower Manhattan in spring 2018. When not working on Bright and Brave, Saleeby has been acting in the national tour of The Wizard of Oz, Silva is an Equity stage manager in New York City and a production assistant on The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park; and Charney works in operations at Walt Disney World. Over the summer of 2019, Saleeby also performed with Elisa Galindez '15 in a production of the musical Head Over Heels for the Dirty Minds Theatre Company in New York City.

James Barbour '88 (Talent Works) played the title role in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway from 2015-2017. He was nominated for the Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Awards for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Sydney Carton in the Broadway musical version of A Tale of Two Cities. He has starred on Broadway in such Tony Award-winning shows as Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as the Beast, Carousel as Billy Bigelow, Urinetown as Officer Lockstock, and as Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre (Drama League Award nomination). He also appeared in the Broadway productions of Cyrano and Cats, and the national tour of The Secret Garden.

Versatile actor Fred Berman '94 (Stewart Talent) stars on Broadway as “Timon” in The Lion King. He also performed a major role on the audio book version of the bestselling novel Daisy Jones and the Six.

Margaret Colin (Innovative Artists) starred as Mrs. Mullin in the 2018 revival of Carousel at Broadway’s Imperial Theater. She recently had a recurring role in the HBO comedy VEEP and in the NBC drama Shades of Blue. She starred in the TV series Gossip Girl (2007-2013), appeared on stage in in the American premiere of Tony-winner Dennis Kelly's Taking Care of Baby for Manhattan Theatre Club's 2013-14 off-Broadway season. She also starred in The Columnist for MTC opposite John Lithgow. Audiences also remember her for roles in Three Men and a Baby and Independence Day.

Peter Friedman is appearing in the HBO drama Succession. He starred as Polonius in the 2017 The Public Theater production of Hamlet. He received a 2014 Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play and a 2014 Drama League Award Nomination for Distinguished Performance for his work in The Open House. For his work in the 2012-2013 off-Broadway play The Great God Pan, he received a Drama Desk Award nomination. He starred in the Hulu series The Path and was in the Showtime drama The Affair. In the early 1990s he starred in the TV drama Brooklyn Bridge. He was nominated for a Tony for playing Tateh in the original Broadway production of Ragtime. Other Broadway credits include The Tenth Man, The Heidi Chronicles, Twelve Angry Men, Piaf and Execution of Justice.

Kirk Gostkowski ’05 is founder and artistic director of The Chain Theatre in Manhattan. The organization is dedicated to providing opportunities for underrepresented voices in New York’s arts community.

Julie Halston is starring in Tootsie on Broadway. In 2016-2017 she starred in the play The Babylon Line at the Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center. She also appeared in a 25th anniversary concert production of The Secret Garden at David Geffen Hall and in the Broadway revivals of On the Town, You Can't Take It With You, Anything Goes, Twentieth Century and Gypsy.

Tom McGowan '81 starred on Broadway in the revival of Kiss Me Kate in 2019, She Loves Me in 2016, and Harvey Fierstein's Casa Valentina in 2014. He also played The Wizard in the musical Wicked, both on Broadway and in the national tour.

Arturo E Porazzi ’73, production stage manager for Broadway, industrials and special events, has dozens of Broadway shows to his credit, among them Come From Away (2017), The Illusionists (2015), First Date (2013), Memphis (’09-12), Xanadu (’07), Chita Rivera The Dancer’s Life (’05), 42nd Street ('02-'04), Marie Christine (’99), Triumph Of Love (’97) and Victor Victoria (‘95-97).

Susan H. Schulman has directed many Broadway musicals, including the 1989 revival of Sweeney Todd, the 1991 original production of The Secret Garden, the 1998 revival of The Sound of Music, and the 2005 original production of Little Women. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Direction for The Secret Garden and nominated for a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Sweeney Todd.

Lydia Gladstone ‘74 played Grandma Tzeitel in the acclaimed Yiddish-language production of Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Joel Grey and presented by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.

We can’t talk about Hofstra alumni on the stage without mentioning Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, the smash interactive theater show started that was was based on characters created by Hofstra drama alumni Mark Nassar ’81 and Nancy Cassaro ’81. The first commercial production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding took place in February 1988, and the show would go on to run for 10 years in Greenwich Village before moving to Times Square, where it ran for another decade. There were also productions in cities around the country and internationally. Many alumni have been part of the first weddings of Tony and Tina as well as its numerous revivals.

In production: Rachel Calter '14 is an assistant stage manager for Arts Brookfield, a production company that presents free indoor and outdoor cultural experiences in venues around the country. She has also served as an assistant stage manager for the National Yiddish Theatre. Bryan Chess '14 is an entertainment technician at Walt Disney World. Lindsey Elhai '12 is working in costuming at Walt Disney World. Havi Elkaim '06 is self-employed as a film and television costume designer. Lee Moore '11 has her own company in Chicago, working on scenic design and prop design. Veronica Sipp '16 is a freelance scenic design artist and costume designer whose experience includes work at the New York International Fringe Festival.