Theatre and Dance Hosts Inaugural Alumni Awards

Northern Michigan University's Theatre and Dance Department will host a 60th anniversary reception and inaugural alumni awards celebration to honor exceptional achievements in the entertainment arts.

The events kick off with a welcome reception from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at Digs in Marquette. The awards ceremony takes place on Saturday, Oct. 28, in Forest Roberts Theatre. Registration and a cocktail hour begin at 6 p.m., award presentations at 7:30, and a post-awards reception at 9. There is no cost to attend any of these events, but advance registration is required at

"The inaugural NMU Theatre and Dance alumni awards promises to be a night to remember,” said Department Head Bill Digneit. “In the spotlight of Forest Roberts Theatre, we gather to celebrate not just the history of our department, but the stars it has produced. The past will meet the future, with shared moments of artistry, inspiration and heartfelt recognition. Join us as we applaud the luminaries who have cast a brilliant glow on and off the stage and continue to illuminate the world of performing arts."

The following awards will be presented:

NMU Theatre and Dance Circle of Champions

This honor is bestowed upon an individual who has made significant contributions to the enduring success and legacy of the Theatre and Dance program at NMU. Honorees:

·       James Rapport (Professor, Director of Theater and Department Head of Speech, 1958 -1998)

·       James Panowski (Professor, Director of Theatre, 1978 - 2009)

·       Shelley Russell (Professor, Theater, 1983 - 2021)

·       Victor Holliday (Associate Professor, Head of Design, 1982 - 2020)

NMU Theatre and Dance Outstanding Alumni - Hall of Fame

This honor is bestowed upon NMU Theatre and Dance alumni who have developed a sustained and significant career in the industry of entertainment arts. Honorees:

·       Michael Detroit (Executive Producer, Playhouse in the Square - UPTA Creator)

·       Leah Hocking (Broadway performer, 10 shows)

·       Janel Cooke Rayome (Administrative Director, Ballet Tech, NYC)

·       Porter Kelly (Actor with 40+ TV/film credits)

NMU Theatre and Dance Outstanding - Young Alumni 

For those 40 years of age and under who have distinguished themselves with significant success through exceptional accomplishment in one or more of the following: a professional theatre or dance production; educational or community theater and dance; or an arts-related industry. Honorees:

·       Kelly Moscinski (Owner/Head of Casting at The Voicecaster, Burbank, CA)

·       Travis Moscinski (Actor/ Voice Actor)

·       Jalina McClain (Arts Administration and Management)

NMU Theatre and Dance - Rising Stars

For alumni no more than 10 years removed from their NMU graduation, who have achieved significant early success in the industry of entertainment arts. Honorees:

·       Sophie Sam (Director)

·       Abbey Schneck (Management)

·       Alycia Reynolds (Dance)

Prepared By

Kristi Evans
News Director

Categories: Alumni, Arts and Culture