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Alumna Denise Nicholas left Michigan as a young woman to join the civil rights movement in the 1960s. As an actress with the Free Southern Theater, she performed across Mississippi and Louisiana.

Actress and novelist Denise Nicholas draws from her experiences in the civil rights movement

March 25, 2016

Denise Nicholas was 19 years old when she interrupted her pre-law studies at the University of Michigan to travel to the Deep South and the heart of the American Civil Rights Movement. It was a dangerous time and place for a…

Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary

6 reasons Shakespeare remains an icon 400 years after his death

February 8, 2016

“To be or not to be?” That is the question — that has passed over the lips of countless actors playing Hamlet in the last four centuries on stage and on screen. It’s also a question that people in…

Ilana (Tess Lina) meets brilliant but awkward student Suresh (Kapil Talwalkar) in <em>Animals Out of Paper</em>. Photo by Michael Lamont/East West Players.

Socially Conscious Actor

October 8, 2014

Any actor still in college would be thrilled to land a leading role in a big-city Equity production, sharing the stage with only two other actors, both of whom have lengthy stage and screen credits. And then to have the Los…

“The rest is silence,” said Bryan Garcia, splayed out, clutching his side as he played Hamlet. Undergraduates taking a Shakespeare course from USC Dornsife’s Julianne Werlin worked with USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) students to produce <em>Hamlet</em>. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

‘O, I Die, Horatio’

November 15, 2013

Foil shimmered under the spotlight as two young actors traded feints, thrusts and parries. As their black boots shuffled furiously, the flecks of foil that made up their swords flew around the stage. The actors kept going,…

Vanessa Bell Calloway portrays Zora Neale Hurston at Bovard Auditorium in 2012. Photo by Chris Roman/Daily Trojan.

Letters From Zora

August 15, 2013

When three USC faculty members agreed to share a conference stage in 2012, it turned out to be much more than a typical academic panel. The gathering became the catalyst for a lasting collaboration and an opportunity to more…

Poetry Takes Center Stage

Poetry Takes Center Stage

February 1, 2008

After her 55-year-old husband died of a heart attack, Carol Muske-Dukes brought some of his ashes to New York City. Muske-Dukes wanted her beloved to spend eternity the same place he began his acting career — on a…