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News and Announcements

John Shearin Passes Away


On April 9th, John Shearin, Director of the School of Theatre and Dance and Producing Artistic Director of the ECU/Loessin Playhouse, passed away at age 72.


Those of us who had the honor of working with him knew one his biggest passions was student scholarships. He frequently quoted “Dolly Levi” from Hello Dolly: “Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around, encouraging young things to grow.” Toward that end, the John Shearin scholarship fund is being established and the family has requested donations to his scholarship in lieu of flowers. For more information, contact Mary Jane Gaddis at 252-328-1268 or

Binkley Busy Since Hamilton Tony Award
Since last year's Tony Award win for Best Lighting Design for A Musical for the smash hit "Hamilton", SoTD alum Howell Binkley has been extremely busy.  Not only was he nominated for a 2017 Tony Award for "Come From Away" but he also has two productions running at present and two additional shows opening soon, "Come From Away" & "A Bronx Tale" and "Prince of Broadway" and "Escape to Margaritaville" respectively.

"Effie is gonna win." Wallace Makes West End Debut

Marisha Wallace (BFA - Musical Theatre & Theatre Education) made her West End debut as "Effie White" in the stage musical, Dreamgirls. The production in running at London's Savoy Theatre and will continue until October of 2017.  

For two years Marisha was cast in the Broadway musical, Something Rotten! after a long run in Disney's, Aladdin.  In summer 2016 she portrayed "Effie" in the Wyly Theatre's production of Dreamgirls. Click here for a "Powerhouse Performance."

In the linked video interview, hear Marisha discuss what it's like to be "Black on Broadway."

Ayala lands the "Golden Ticket"
School of Theatre and Dance alum Yesenia Ayala, fresh off her Off-Broadway run in Sweet Charity with Sutton Foster, has been cast in the Broadway premier of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The new musical officially opened on April 23 at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Woodard, J.
Woodard is "Wicked" in US Tour

Alum Jeremy Woodard, recently on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s (The Phantom of the Opera & Jesus Christ Superstar) new musical School of Rock, as well as Sting’s The Last Ship, is now performing in the US tour of Wicked as Fiyero.

Click here for more information and tour dates.

Want to know how Jeremy heard he'd booked his first Broadway production? Click here.

Kevin Williamson discusses Wes Craven and More
ECU SoTD Alum Kevin Williamson discusses Vampires Diaries, Scream twenty years later, the power of nostalgia, and remembering Wes Craven in this Collider interview.


Beth Grant
Beth Grant
In a recent television interview, Beth Grant, SoTD theatre alumna discusses her longevity in the entertainment business, her work experience and current and future projects. click here

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