The Department of Theatre, Dance, and Motion Pictures is proud of its illustrious line-up of alumni, who are pursuing a wide range of careers  nationwide. These include actors and singers, dancers and choreographers, musicians and composers, writers and teachers, stage managers and theatre managers, lighting and set and costume and property designers, as well as script writers and editors and cinematographers in all aspects of film making. And they're working all over the globe, from Berlin to Broadway, from L. A. to countless ocean cruises. What's more, many are parlaying their training and networks into numerous careers and life pursuits well beyond theatre, dance and motion pictures. And to all of them, we say, "keep in touch" and let us know what you're up to, wherever you are.  

We invite our alumni to stay connected to the latest news as a member of the Wright State Alumni Association.

Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients  

College of Liberal Arts graduates exhibit many fascinating paths to success. Each year we celebrate the accomplishments of our alumni at an Outstanding Alumni Awards Ceremony.

Martin Fahrer (2015 Recipient)

BFA, Design/Technology

Martin Fahrer studied Theatre Arts at Wilmington College of Ohio for two years before transferring to Wright State University and earning his BFA in Design/Technology in 1989. Moving to New York City, he earned his Master of Fine Arts from New York University in 1992.

Fahrer has garnered six Daytime Emmy Awards and fifteen Daytime Emmy Award nominations. He was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design for a Drama Series for the daytime television drama Another World in 1998. He is also the winner of the 2001 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design for the PBS children’s educational program Between the Lions. In addition Fahrer also won Daytime Emmys for All My Children in both 2003 and 2009 and for One Life to Live in 2007. His last two Daytime Emmy Awards were won in the same category for his work on the reboot of One Life to Live and All My Children when both shows tied for the award. 

Currently teaching at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, traveling, and working on numerous projects, Fahrer resides in New York where he continues to enjoy a successful career as a freelance set designer in television, theatre, music video, and commercials. 

Brent Huffman (2014 Recipient)

'03 B.F.A. Motion Pictures

Brent E. Huffman has been making social-issue documentaries and environ-mental films for more than a decade in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. His documentaries have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; been featured   at the China Exploration and Research Society; and aired on The Discovery Channel, The National Geographic Channel, NBC, CNN, PBS, and Al Jazeera. Huffman has also directed, produced, shot, and edited short documentaries for The New York Times, TIME, Salon, Huffington Post, and PBS Arts online outlets. He was also an editor of Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s Primetime Emmy-winning PBS documentary series A Lion in the House about children battling cancer.

In addition to the Primetime Emmy, Huffman’s films have won numerous other awards including Best Conservation Film-Jackson Hole, Best Documentary-Fresno, College Emmy, Student Academy Award, Grand     Jury Award at AFI’s SILVERDOCS, and three Cine Golden Eagle Awards.

An assistant professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Huffman has written for CNN, Asia Society Online, Tricycle magazine, Bust Magazine, The Wilson Quarterly, FRONTLINE, and The China Digital Times. He recently completed a book about his experiences in China, called Life in the Heart of China: Diary from a Forbidden World.  Most recently Huffman completed The Colony, a documentary for Al Jazeera about China in Africa. He is currently working on two new documentaries in Afghanistan and China.

Chauncey Jenkins (2013 Recipient)

'06 B.A., Acting

Chauncey Jenkins is a television, film and commercial actor who has performed in North America, Internationally and on Broadway.

The Wright State University musical theatre alum’s credits include Eddie in the North American tour of Mamma Mia, The Color Purple Broadway and National tours and Dreamgirls National Tour. He now resides in Los Angeles, California, where he has appeared in The Newsroom (HBO), How I Met Your Mother (CBS), Vegas (CBS), America’s Most Wanted (Fox), and independent films The Scam and Secret Agenda. Jenkins has also shot national commercials for Sobe Life Water, Amica Insurance, and McDonald’s. He currently plays the role of Caleb in a new web series called "The Choir.”

While at Wright State, Chauncey performed in numerous productions includingRagtime, and The Piano Lesson. During his down time, the Columbia, South Carolina born and Georgia native enjoys teaching master classes for middle and high school theatre students and at Universities.

Joel Shier (2012 Recipient)

'06 B.F.A. Theatre Design and Technology

Joel Shier graduated, magna cum laude, from Wright State University's Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures in 2006. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Design and Technology, with a concentration in Lighting Design.

After graduation, Joel moved to New York City and has been working steadily ever since. His list of accomplishments as a recent graduate is a testament to his abilities and work ethic. At this point in his young career, Joel has managed to move up through the ranks in the New York theatre lighting world quite rapidly and impressively.

He has worked on numerous Broadway productions as an associate or assistant lighting designer. Broadways shows that he has served on the design staff for include the following: Follies, The Addams Family, Wonderland, The Little Mermaid, Lestat, and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. He is currently serving as the associate lighting designer for the musical stage version of Ghost, which will begin preview performance in the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway in March of this year.

Joel has also served as an associate or assistant lighting designer on a number of national tours, including Wicked, Sweeney Todd, Storytime Live!, Bowfire, and Thomas and Friends: Live Onstage. He has worked as an associate lighting designer for the last four years on Broadway Bares, the annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit production held at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC.

Joel has worked with Tony-award winning and nominated lighting designers, such as Kenneth Posner, Natasha Katz, Paul Gallo, Hugh Vanstone, and Paul Miller, among others.

His young career as a lighting designer is also impressive, including NYC designs for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, the Drama Desk nominated production of Fugitive Songs, Urinetown, White Noise, and Moonlight Room.

Andréa Bendewald (2011 Recipient)

B.F.A. Theatre

Andréa Bendewald is best known for playing Maddy Piper on the hit TV series Suddenly Susan starring Brooke Shields. She originated the role of Lisa in the critically acclaimed play D Girl, written by Roger Kumble, and enjoyed taking her one woman show, Above and Beyond to the Aspen Comedy Festival and runs both in NY and LA. Andrea is also getting ready to star in the highly anticipated new play Girls Talk by Roger  Kumble, opening this March in Los Angeles.

Television credits include:  Without a Trace, The Game, According to Jim, Two and a Half Men, House, Entourage, CSI Miami, Center of the Universe, Men Behaving Badly, That 70’S Show, Providence, Ellen, Friends, Seinfeld, That's Life, and Secret Lives of Men to name a few.

Andréa is a graduate of the School of Performing Arts and holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Wright State University where she performed in Les Liasons Dangereuse, Stepping Out, and Laura in Tennessee Williams’ Glass Menagerie, which went to the regional semi-finals of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

In addition to her acting career Andréa is founder of where she brings the power of celebration to many Angelenos through creating sacred ceremonies and facilitating transformational circles. She is married to actor/writer Mitch Rouse and mother to two beautiful children, Tennessee Louise and Strummer James.  

Mark Lyons (2010 Recipient)

'97 B.F.A. Motion Pictures Production

After working in the printing industry for ten years, Mark Lyons returned to college and earned his BFA in Motion Pictures Production from Wright State University. As an independent documentarian, Mark began his directing career with Confrontations: A Film About the Abortion Controversy, which was screened at the Cork, Ireland International Film Festival. Screened on PBS, his subsequent film 1913: The Great Dayton Flood – From Story to Stage documented the process by which real people’s stories became the basis for a play about this historic tragedy.

Over the years, Mark has worked on numerous local films, in many different capacities. Mark’s most recent film, Lest We Forget: Silent Voices, sheds light on how society has treated the mentally handicapped and the profoundly tragic impact this treatment has had on both them and their loved ones. Five years in the making, Lest We Forget was screened at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and is now being distributed by Fanlight Productions.

Mark has also worked on a wide variety of TV and film projects as a field producer, gaffer, and director of photography. Mark is now teaching filmmaking at Wright State University while working on his personal projects – activities which have effected such a profound change in his life that when asked his occupation, he answers: “Filmmaker.”

Bruce Cromer (2009 Recipient)

'82 B.F.A. Acting

Bruce Cromer is a professional stage actor, with over thirty years of regional theatre credits on his resume. He has acted, directed, and/or choreographed fights for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Santa Fe Stages International Theatre Festival, Clarence Brown Theatre, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, etc. Favorite roles include Prospero, King Lear, Macbeth, Prior Walter in Angels in America, Scrooge and Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, Morgan in The Drawer Boy, and The Librarian in Underneath the Lintel.

Bruce is a proud Actors’ Equity Association member, resident artist with the Human Race Theatre, a certified teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, and a full professor of theatre at Wright State University. He lives in Yellow Springs with his wife, Carol Allin, and sons, Charlie, Toby, and Elliot.

Susan Blackwell (2008 Recipient)

'91 B.F.A. Acting

Susan Blackwell was born in Dayton, Ohio and received her B.F.A. in Acting from Wright State University in 1991. Upon completion of her M.F.A. in Acting at the University of Minnesota, she joined the acting company at The Guthrie Theatre.

In New York, Susan has appeared Off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre, Atlantic Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Source and Vineyard Theatre. Television appearances include The Sopranos, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Third Watch. Films include P.S.: I Love You, Margot at the Wedding and Changing Lanes. As a writer, she has contributed original material to many projects, including The New Wondertwins (with fellow WSU acting major, Rebecca Finnegan), PS122's Avant-Garde-Arama series, The Actors Fund 125th Anniversary Gala, Don't Quit Your Night Job, NYCLU's Broadway Stands Up for Freedom!, the [title of show] show (

Susan made her Broadway debut in June 2008 with [title of show] in the role of Susan. She currently resides in New York with her husband, Steve White, who is a long-time performer with the Blue Man Group.

Steven Bognar (2007 Recipient)

'86 B.F.A. Motion Pictures

Over the years, Steve Bognar has worked as a dishwasher, farmhand, delivery driver, busboy, movie projectionist, grip, sound recordist and cinematographer. Since 1988, he has worked in schools throughout Ohio as an artist in residence for the Ohio Arts Council and the Muse Machine. He is also an award-winning independent filmmaker of both documentaries and dramatic films. He writes screenplays and produces, directs, shoots and edits his films. Four of his films have had their world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and have screened at festivals worldwide.

Steve's first film, Personal Belongings, won top prizes at the San Francisco, Atlanta, Charlotte and Ann Arbor Film Festivals. His film, Picture Day, won Best Short Documentary at the Florida Film Festival, and his film, Gravel, won Best Short Film at the Nashville Film Festival. His most recent film, A Lion in the House, made with Julia Reichert, won numerous awards at film festivals around the world.

Steve's films have also been viewed by millions in their national broadcasts on PBS, the Sundance Channel, the Independent Film Channel and in a dozen other countries. His films have also screened at top museums around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Te PaPa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. He is the 2006 recipient of the Ohio Governor's Award in the Arts for Individual Artist, the state's highest honor in the arts.

Lenny Daniel (2006 Recipient)

'89 B.F.A. Dance

By the time he graduated, Lenny Daniel had already performed professionally with the Dayton Ballet and Norwegian Cruise Lines, and spent a summer studying with the Royal Danish Ballet in Denmark . He was then bestowed the honor of being named Outstanding Dance Major from the National Association of Dance in 1990.

Lenny was honored to perform the role of Alonzo in the final Broadway Company of “CATS.” He performed in, assistant directed and toured nationally with the Madison Square Garden production of “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Roseanne Barr and legendary Mickey Rooney. Career highlights include NYC Opera's “Wonderful Town,” at Lincoln Center, U.S. National tours of “Camelot,” and “South Pacific,” both starring Robert Goulet, and the pre-Broadway tour of “Jekyll & Hyde,” as well as the World Premier cast of the spectacular, “Sinatra ... His Voice, His World, His Way,” at Radio City Music Hall. Last year, Lenny was critically acclaimed as Eglamour in Shakespeare's “Two Gentlemen of Verona – The Musical” at Baltimore 's Center Stage Theater. More recently he was in “Here Lies Jenny,” with award winning star Bebe Neuwirth in NYC and San Francisco , where he was also the production's dance captain for choreographer, Ann Reinking. Currently, Lenny can be seen in the national and international touring company of the musical “ Chicago ,” which is playing venues all over the USA , as well as Japan and Canada and will be heading to Dubai this May.

Lenny is a very proud uncle to his niece and nephew, Alexis and Christopher, and is always happy to baby-sit in his “spare” time.

Jim Volz (2005 Recipient)

'75 B.A. Theatre Studies

Jim Volz holds a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Wright State University, is a Ph.D. graduate from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and former Managing Director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He is one of America 's leading theater consultants with over three decades of work with theater, dance, music museum and arts center management. From coast to coast, all who have worked with him praise him highly.

Jim has produced over 100 professional productions and authored several books, including Shakespeare Never Slept Here, and the recent How to Run A Theater. He has also published over 100 articles on management, arts criticism, and Shakespeare in the Oxford University Press' Theatre Research International, Hollywood 's Drama-logue, New York 's Backstate, as well as for national and international publications.

Most people know Jim as a theater critic/columnist for Back Stage Magazine, as President of Consultants for the Arts, as Editor of the Shakespeare publication, quarto, or as a Professor at California State University, Fullerton. He is also a voting member of the prestigious Tony Award's Regional Theatre Award, serves on the National Advisory Council for the Institute of Outdoor Drama based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and sits on the Board of Trustees for California State University. Jim has also served as a strategic planning/time management program presenter for the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Dance and the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

Susan D'Aloia (2004 Recipient)

'91 B.F.A. Theatre Arts

Susan has stage managed productions for several professional companies locally, including Dayton Opera, The Human Race Theater Company, and Victoria Theatre.

Suzy Bassani introduced her to The Muse Machine in 1992, and as a result, Susan staged managed 10 consecutive musicals for the organization and joined the staff on a full-time basis in October 1992, assuming the role of executive director in 2002. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Dayton and was in the Leadership Dayton Class of 2003.

Brad Sherwood (2003 Recipient)

'96 B.F.A. Acting

Brad Sherwood is a regular cast member on ABC's Whose Line Is It Anyway? and was a regular on the British version on Comedy Central. Brad is also a regular on the live episodes of The Drew Carey Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. His recent credits include To Tell the Truth and guest hosting Talk Soup; and past credits include a season on LA LAW and hosting The New Dating Game.

Erik T. Bork (2002 Recipient)

'89 B.F.A. Motion Pictures

Erik Bork won the Emmy Award for producing the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon with Tom Hanks. Also to Erik's credit is his production supervision of Band of Brothers , also an HBO miniseries produced by Tom Hanks and Seven Spielberg. Erik moved to California in 1991 and got his first break one year later as a producer's assistant on the Emmy-Award winning TV series Picket Fences.