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  • Writer's pictureAugust Sorenson

2022 Year in Review, and Looking Ahead to 2023

As our department looks back on 2022, we’re blown away by the changing dynamic of the entertainment industry as it overcame the novel coronavirus. It’s something that feels more like a distant memory than a burdening reality. As this happened, our news channels have been in full swing to cover the many elements of this paradigm shift. The Academy Pages has maintained a presence covering interviews with alumni, the Industry Insight Series and Salon Sessions have given talks and advice for our students and alumni alike, a monthly series, "Star of the Month," that focuses on the career highlights of one of our legacy alumni, all while our quarterly newsletters circulate highlights and maintain a constant connection to our alumni community.

We brightly imagine our future. This year we are working on digitizing our recent graduating classes; this time-intensive process will be an ongoing project for the coming years. As frames are completed, they will be made available to the appropriate class before being made available to the general public. We are expanding our preexisting news channels by building a news page for alumni highlighting the constant updates that pour into our department, and bringing the archives—interviews and recordings of some of our legacy alumni—to life. These are to name just a few.

The immeasurable success of our alumni over the past year has been inspiring. Award nominations poured in (with several wins to be had), screen debuts were made, and passion projects have come to fruition. One thing has been certain; the craft of acting has been exercised. Without missing a beat, our alumni continue to bring pride to the name of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Find a list, inclined to brevity, of highlights from the past year below.

Jessica Chastain Wins Oscar

Is there a better way to kick off a year-in-review article than to celebrate actress Jessica Chastain’s reception of an Academy Award? Let’s give another nod to Chastain and her empathetic, moving performance of Tammy Faye in the biopic, The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge, The Amazing Spider-Man) is likewise brilliant in his performance of Jim Bakker, the then-husband to Tammy Faye.

Find Chastain’s acceptance speech here.

A Conversation with Enrico Colantoni

This past summer, we sat down to chat with actor, writer, and director Enrico Colantoni. Colantoni's belief of the craft being a medium of connection and togetherness rings especially true in our post-COVID return to live theatre. Colantoni was remarkably humble, speaking only with gratitude, praise, and respect for his mentors and colleagues. This is despite, or perhaps because of, his nearly three-decades-long career on stage and screen, with credits ranging from Veronica Mars to Galaxy Quest, regional theatre roles, and the recent Broadway premiere of Birthday Candles featuring Debra Messing.

Catch the interview with another “mystic of the theatre” here.

Arturo Castro, Una Estrella en Ascenso

He’s always popping up in the news, and for good reason. The actor-writer-director hasn’t let up any momentum in his career since the coronavirus pandemic. If anything, it picked up steam over the last two years. A recent Pages article details the extent of his success, from credits ranging from Broad City to Narcos, The Informer, to his most recognizable work, Alternatino. Most recently, catch Arturo in The Menu with Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy.

London Shakespearean Masterclass

This June, The Actors Society hosted a Shakespearean monologue Masterclass led by acclaimed British actor Dame Harriet Walter for alumni in the Bard’s former stomping grounds. Featuring several Academy grads, each working on a speech, the novel event is set to be the first of a consistent stream of workshops and events curated exclusively for alumni. Catch retrospects with James Physick and Aamira Challenger.

Ivy Quainoo debuts the role of Eliza Hamilton in the German-language production of Hamilton

It’s been heralded as a feat of translation, taking Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, a musical that masterfully uses the English language, and bringing it to life in German. And one of our own, Ivy Quainoo, stars as Eliza Hamilton in the brand-new production that opened in Hamburg, Germany, this past October.

Alumni at the Emmy Awards

The count of award nominations for our alumni is staggering: 111 Oscars, 347 Emmys, and 95 Tony Awards. This year, we proudly saw over seven nominations for six alumni: Adam Scott, Jennifer Coolidge, Brett Goldstein, Sarah Paulson, Adrien Brody, and Julia Garner receiving two nominations.

Taylor Mac

Taylor Mac continues to shine with new, innovative performances. Mac produced a 24-hour performance that swept through 240 years of American history, which has become renowned worldwide. This past year, the performer received a Drama Desk nomination for The Hang, a piece that dramatizes the final hours of Socrates’ life as it's imagined by Mac with his libretto, lyrics, and performance.


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