Arts at Work Alumni Day

Register by April 26
Apr 30, 2024, 11:30 am6:30 pm
  • Graduate Students
  • Undergraduate Students


Event Description

Arts At Work Alumni Day is a series of panels, workshops and info-sessions led by alumni volunteers that will introduce a variety of paths available to students interested in pursuing careers in the arts and creative fields.

Sessions will include:

  • Creative Writing Panel: Getting Published
  • Portfolio Workshop for Visual Artists & Designers
  • Theater Alumni Day Panel & Discussion
  • Dance Alumni Day Panel & Discussion
  • Networking Lunch and Closing Pizza Reception

The Arts at Work program is designed to provide Princetonians with a supportive arts and creative community and opportunities to learn about the realities of life and work in various creative fields.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Career Development and Lewis Center for the Arts.

Email Satomi Chudasama ([email protected]_) to request accommodations at least 2 weeks prior to the program.


Full Schedule 

  • 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM - Keynote Luncheon - DRAPKIN
    • Featuring novelist Akhil Sharma ‘92 and A. R. T. Executive Director Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. ‘09 in conversation 
    • Marion Friedman Young ‘00, moderator
  • 1:00  PM - 1:15 PM - Break
  • 1:15 PM - 2:30 PM - Creative Writing Panel: Getting Published - DRAPKIN
    • A panel made up creative writing professionals, including editors, writers, journalists, and publishers talking about the journey to getting work published.
    • Featuring:
      • Rakesh Satyal ‘02, Executive Editor at HarperCollins Publishers
      • Sam Nicholson ‘10, Senior Editor, Spiegl & Grau
      • Rachel Poser '11, Story Editor at NYT Magazine
      • Chris Murphy '15, staff writer at Vanity Fair
      • A.M. Homes, Moderator
  • 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM - Break
  • 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM - Portfolio Workshop for Performing & Visual Arts - KERR
    • Multi-media artist Lex Brown ‘12 and Lighting Designer Alex Mannix ‘12 will lead an interactive workshop session that will provide practical tips and tools for presenting professional work samples, including creating both digital and physical portfolios. The session will include the  opportunity for select participants to have their portfolios reviewed.    
  • 4:00 PM - 4:15 PM - Break / Kerr setup for Dance Alumni Day
  • 4:15 – 5:45 PM - Theater Alumni Day - DRAPKIN
    • 10-15 early career alumni (1-5 years out) will share their experiences, good and bad, as they adjusted to life after graduation and pursued a career in the arts.
      • Alex Mannix ‘12
      • Steven N. Tran ‘15
      • Daniel Krane ‘18
      • Feyisola Soetan ‘19
      • Sonya Hayden ‘16
      • Abby Jean-Baptiste  ‘18
      • Eric Yang ‘17
      • Minjae Kim ‘21
      • Faith E. Iloka ’21
      • Rosie Vasen ‘21
      • E Harper Nora Jeremijenko-Conley ‘20
      • Jane Cox, moderator
  • 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM - Dance Alumni Day - KERR
    • Both early-career and more established alumni will share their experiences working in dance, representing a range of career paths that might include performance, choreography, scholarship/teaching and administration.
    • Featuring:
      • Camryn Stafford ‘23, managing director, Camille Brown Dance Company
      • Liam Lynch ‘21, NY Hip Hop
      • Sophie Blue ‘21, Managing Director of NY Theater Ballet
      • Angie Sheehan ‘22, Associate Platform Consultant at Yext; arts volunteer
      • Glenna Yu ‘16, building Pillow Fort arts Center in Catskills
      • Rachel Schwartz ‘18, Director of Trenton Youth Dancers
      • Alexis Branagan ‘11, moderator
  • 5:45 PM - 6:30 PM - Pizza networking reception - DRAPKIN


Speaker Bios


Akhil Sharma ‘92

Akhil Sharma ‘92 is the author of the novels Family Life and An Obedient Father. He has, among other honors, received the Folio Prize, the International Dublin Literary Award, and a Guggenheim. His short stories are frequently published in The New Yorker. He is a professor at Duke University.  








Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. ‘09

Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. ‘09 (he/him/his) is the Executive Director of American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University. Kelvin joined A.R.T. following his roles as Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor Adjunct in Theater Management at the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University and the General Manager of Yale Repertory Theatre. Prior to Yale, Kelvin served as General Manager of Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, where he produced over 25 productions and two original cast albums, including Be More Chill. Kelvin currently serves on the Board of Directors for the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and the Board of Trustees for the Theatre Communications Group (TCG). Kelvin has served as the chair of the LORT Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee since 2016.  Kelvin is a coordinator for the LORT-Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival ASPIRE Fellows program supporting the development of future theatre industry leaders. Kelvin developed his passion for theater management and producing while an undergraduate at Princeton University where he received his A.B. degree in English and received a certificate in Theatre & Dance from the Lewis Center for the Arts. Kelvin earned his M.F.A. in Theatre Management & Producing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.


Marion Friedman Young ‘00

Marion Friedman Young ‘00  is the Executive Director of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, overseeing the academic artistic work of the University including the Programs in Creative Writing, Dance, Theater and Music Theater, and Visual Arts. Prior to returning to Princeton, Marion was the Executive Director of Art-Reach in Philadelphia, an organization that connects underserved audiences to artists and art events throughout the region. Marion was previously the Managing Director of The Civilians, an investigative theater company based in New York and a stage manager, working on Broadway and at regional theaters around the country.









Lex Brown ‘12 is a multimedia artist who uses poetry and science-fiction to create existential narratives about the Information Age. Working fluidly between installation, film, live performance, painting, and sculpture her work contemplates spiritual experience through humor and satire. Brown has performed and exhibited work at the MIT List Center, New Museum, the High Line, the International Center of Photography, and The Kitchen. Her films have been presented at e-flux Screening Room, New York; Transmediale, Berlin; and the East End Film Festival, London. Brown received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and an MFA from Yale. She was a 2021 United States Artist Fellow. She is the author of My Wet Hot Drone Summer (Badlands Unlimited, 2015), Consciousness (Genderfail, 2019), and the creator of the audio project 1-800-POWERS. She will premiere her first operatic work at the Kennedy Center in January 2025 as a librettist in the Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative.


Alex Mannix ‘12 is a New York-based lighting designer for theater, dance, and live performance whose recent designs include: Once (Geva Theatre Center), Carnival of the Animals (Princeton University), Eclipsed, (Berlind Theatre), and diSiac 2.0 (Berlind Theatre). Most recently, she been working as an assistant lighting designer on Tina (Lunt-Fontanne Theater), Hadestown (Walter Kerr Theatre), Alice By Heart (MCC), and Apologia (Laura Pels Theatre). She also spent many summers designing both plays and musicals for Princeton Summer Theater, including Assassins, Pippin, The Crucible and Metamorphoses. Alex holds a graduate degree in Design for Stage and Film from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and an undergraduate degree in Classics from Princeton University.




Rachel Poser ‘11

Rachel Poser ‘11 is an editor at The New York Times Magazine, where she works on reported features, profiles, investigations, and essays. Before that she ran the paper’s Sunday Opinion section and spent six years at Harper’s Magazine, ultimately as its deputy editor. Stories she has edited have won numerous awards and have been selected for inclusion in the Best American writing series. Her own writing has been published in the Times Magazine, Harper’s, The New Yorker, and elsewhere.








Chris Murphy '15

Chris Murphy '15 is a writer, actor, and comedian living in the Bronx, NY. Chris is a staff writer at Vanity Fair, covering entertainment and popular culture. Beyond his writing for the magazine, you can find him interviewing celebrities on the red carpet and co-hosting Vanity Fair’s TV podcast, Still Watching. As an actor, Chris has performed at Atlantic Theater Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Flea Theater, 54 Below, New York City Children’s Theater, Theater Row, and most recently starred in the world premiere of Kev Berry's Rough Trade at The Tank. As a comedian, he's performed all over New York at The Bell House, Caveat, Club Cumming, Union Hall, the Netflix Is A Joke Festival in Hollywood, The Real Housewives of New York, and is currently a vision resident at Ars Nova. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at your own risk @christress.





Rakesh Satyal '02

Rakesh Satyal '02 is the author of the novels Blue Boy and No One Can Pronounce My Name. Blue Boy won a Lambda Literary Award and the Prose/Poetry Award from the Association of Asian American Studies and was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle's Edmund White Debut Fiction Award. It is currently being developed as a film by the writer, director, actor, and comedian Nik Dodani. No One Can Pronounce My Name was nominated for the Dublin Literary Award. Satyal is currently an Executive Editor at the HarperOne Group/HarperCollins. His cabaret act has been covered by such outlets as the New York Times, The New Yorker, and Time Out. He lives with his husband in Brooklyn.






Sam Nicholson ‘10

Sam Nicholson '10 is an independent book editor, specializing primarily in literary fiction and nonfiction. Previously, he was Senior Editor at indie publisher Spiegel & Grau, and prior to that he was an Editor at Random House for a decade, while also overseeing the Modern Library Classics list. He has edited multiple New York Times bestsellers, as well as recipients of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and Whiting Award. Over his career, he has published and edited nearly a hundred titles, from authors including Svetlana Alexievich, Edward Snowden, Joshua Cohen, Denis Johnson, Ronen Bergman, Carol Leonnig, and Anne-Marie Slaughter. He has also served as a Literary Consultant for HBO, and his writing has been featured in The New York Times Book Review and other publications.






Rosie Vasen is the program associate for child well-being at the Doris Duke Foundation. Prior to joining DDF in 2023, she worked as development associate and the special assistant to the executive director at Partnership Schools, a network of Catholic elementary schools serving students in New York’s and Cleveland’s low-income areas. She also worked as a research assistant in the Department of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center, focusing on the prevention of sexual and domestic violence.  

Vasen graduated from Princeton University in 2021, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history with concentrations in theater and gender and sexuality studies. 

Minjae Kim ‘21 (he/him) is currently a rising third-year M.F.A. Sound Design candidate at the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University, building upon his foundation in theater design developed during his time at Princeton – both supported by the LCA and in the dungeon depths of Theatre Intime. Recent select sound design credits include Cleansed (the Geffen School), Fucking A (the Geffen School, assistant sound designer and engineer), Ghost Quartet (Princeton Summer Theater), The Match Girl (Cellunova), Mary Stuart—-A New Translation (Princeton), and The Hello Girls (Princeton McCarter). Additionally, he serves as one of the Artistic Directors for the upcoming 50th Season of the Yale Summer Cabaret, contributing to shaping its creative direction and programming. With a passion for design, directing, playwriting, and performance, he looks forward to continuing his artistic exploration. For more information, visit

Sonya Hayden '16 (she/her) is a New York-based composer, lyricist, librettist, and playwright. Recipient of the MAC John Wallowitch Songwriting Award, ScreenCraft Stage Play Competition Mentorship Prize, Kurt Weill Foundation Songbook Award, and Marble House Project Residency. Her work has been performed at the Lincoln Center Festival, New Perspectives Theatre, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Little Fish Theatre, the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts, Urban Stages, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Duplex, and more. Member of the BMI Musical Theatre & Librettists Workshops, the Dramatists Guild, and ASCAP and previously the Recording Academy’s Musical Theater Mentorship Program, New Perspectives Theatre’s Play LAB, Maestra’s Mentorship Program, and the Princeton Triangle Club Writers Workshop. She has been a Script Supervisor at Audible and is the Co-Director of Maestra Music's Mentorship Program. Master’s in Playwriting, University of Edinburgh; B.A. Music and minor in Theater, Princeton University. @sonyahayden11

Fey Soetan is a writer-actor from New York with an MA in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2021) and a BA in Anthropology from Princeton (2019). Her recent performance credits include starring as the lead role in upcoming Christmas feature film, Mr. Santa, and appearing as a supporting character in the anthology sci-fi TV series, Shatter Belt. Her voiceover credits include a radio play called Rapunzel Alone, for which she played the titular role. Her stage credits include Processing… with Theatre East, Eclipsed with the McCarter Theatre, Spring on Fire with Princeton University, and Zoyka’s Apartment with the McCarter Theatre. Her playwriting credits include A Spectrum Unspoken with Princeton University, for which she was awarded the Suzanne M. Huffman Memorial Prize in honor of her gender studies-based research.


Faith E. Iloka

Faith E. Iloka (she/her) is a Princeton University class of 2021 alumni. At Princeton, she majored in African American Studies and received certificates in theatre and music theatre. Faith’s interests lie at the intersections of mental health and wellness, creative arts, and intersectionality. After Princeton, Faith obtained a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Teachers College, Columbia University. Faith currently works as a licensed mental health counselor in New Jersey and continues to pursue her creative arts passion through the Trenton Arts program (TAP) at Princeton. Within TAP, Faith serves as the Director of Trenton Youth Theatre, a role that enables her to support and empower select Trenton High students who share an interest in theatre and hope to further explore their creative expression.





Eric Yang '17 studied economics and theatre while at Princeton, and—naturally—worked in finance after graduation. Inspired by the growing representation of Asian stories on screen and on stage, he left his job in 2021 to star in the world premiere of Lloyd Suh's The Far Country at the Atlantic Theater. That followed his Off-Broadway debut starring in New Federal Theatre’s world premiere of Gong Lum’s Legacy. On screen, Eric has appeared in "FBI: Most Wanted" (NBC) and the independent feature birth/rebirth (Sundance 2023). He also works extensively in voiceover, and can be heard in a number of video games and audiobooks. 

Abigail Jean-Baptiste (all pronouns) is a theater maker, director, and writer born & based in NYC with roots in Haiti and the American South. their work uses fragmented language and repeatable gestures in a search to build nonsensical ways of being and liberate our relationship to the past. currently: FY2023 NYSCA Grantee with Playwrights Horizons, IAMSOUL Directing Residency at National Black Theater, Audrey Residency at New Georges and HGB BOLD Resident Director at Northern Stage. previously: Project Number One Artist at Soho Repertory Theater, Bushwick Starr Reading Series, Resident Lead Artist at Mercury Store. some recent directing work: in search of (black) comfort at JACK (writer/director), Fefu and Her Friends at Atlantic Theater NYU Tisch, Workshop of Lucky/Bird by Audley Puglisi at Page 73, The House That Will Not Stand by Marcus Gardley at Le Petit Theatre (New Orleans). A 2018 Lilly Award Winner.




Camryn Stafford ‘23

Camryn Stafford ‘23 is a NYC-based dancer, choreographer, teacher, and company manager. A recent graduate of Princeton University (class of 2023), Camryn's experience in the dance department at the Lewis Center for the Arts included collaborations with Netta Yerushalmy, Christopher Ralph, Peter Chu, Francesca Harper, Urban Bush Women, and Ronald K. Brown. Her senior dance thesis, "There She Is," received the Toni Morrison Prize, the Outstanding Creative Work award, and accolades from Dr. Brenda Dixon Gottschild. She was a Peer Arts Advisor and received funding from the Lewis Center of the Arts through The Peter B. Lewis Fund, The Mellor Fund, and the Mallach Fund to pursue creative and choreographic research. Outside the dance department, Camryn was the Artistic Director of diSiac Dance Company and a dancer with Princeton University Ballet and Black Arts Company.  In New York, Camryn was named a Moving Forward Emerging Choreographer, she worked with Isaiah Newby during a residency at the 14th Street Y, and danced in Ehizoje Azeke’s Black Feminine Residency at Mercury Store. Since graduating, her work has been presented at Arts on Site, Mignolo Arts Center, and the  McCarter Theater Center. Camryn is the Company Manager for the Joffrey Concert Group in NYC and Camille A. Brown & Dancers. She works with Misty Copeland and the Misty Copeland Foundation, teaching ballet to young dancers in the Bronx. In 2017, Camryn founded Turning Tables Inc., a non-profit organization committed to challenging discriminatory practices in dance and increasing diversity in the field. Camryn has trained at institutions such as Princeton University, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Booker T. Washington HSPVA, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and Gibney Dance.


Sophie Blue ‘21

Sophie Blue ‘21 (she/her) is a dancer and arts administrator, whose work reflects her passion for building community and expanding access to the arts. Since July 2023, she has been the Managing Director of the New York Theatre Ballet. She graduated from Princeton University in 2021 as an Anthropology major with certificates in Dance, Cognitive Science and Gender Studies and from NYU with her MA in Performing Arts Administration in May 2023. As a lifelong dancer, she has trained with and performed works by Crystal Pite, Ohad Naharin, Alexandra Damiani, Omri Drumlevich, Jon Bond, Robert Battle, Peter Chu and Kyle Abraham. During college, she discovered her passion for arts administration, holding leadership roles in numerous student-arts organizations. In 2019, as the inaugural Fellow, she founded Trenton Youth Dancers to introduce high school dancers in an underserved community to a range of dance genres and experiences. In 2022, she held a yearlong fellowship position with The School at Jacob’s Pillow. Prior to this, she interned for the Dance Division at 92NY, Sidra Bell Dance New York, A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, and American Ballet Theatre.



Angie Sheehan ‘22

Angie Sheehan ‘22 graduated with a degree from the School of Public and International Affairs and a certificate in Dance. During her time on campus, she was deeply involved in the dance community, acting as the Artistic Director of Princeton University Ballet and dancing in Expressions Dance Company. She also held the role of RCA at the former First College. Currently, Angie works as an Associate Platform Consultant at Yext. Beyond her professional role, she remains involved in the dance community, serving as the Board Treasurer of Second Act Network and the Director of Strategy at Ballet & Books.






Glenna Yu ‘16

Glenna Yu ‘16 is a movement artist based in Andes, NY in the Western Catskills. She has danced as a freelancer in NYC for many years and currently performs with H.T. Chen & Dancers, a contemporary dance company providing moving experiences in Asian-American history through performance and arts education; and with BIRDHOUSE, a collective under the direction of Raven White that breaks down performance from the format of audience watching “other” into simply humans being humans with each other. Beyond performing, Glenna strives to build a stronger and more vibrant dance community in the Western Catskills through her work as a member of NYS DanceForce and as a dance teacher for children and teens. Finally, Glenna is the proud co-founder of Pillow Fort Arts Center, an interdisciplinary artist residency and community. She created Pillow Fort to be a resource for artists; to imagine alternative systems; and to provide a space for exploration, sensitivity, rest, and (re)creation.




Rachel Schwartz ‘18

Rachel Schwartz ‘18  is an educator, artist, choreographer, dancer, and designer, and currently serves as Director of Trenton Youth Dancers. She also teaches full-time at Trenton Central High School as the long-term substitute in Dance.  Previously, she taught in special education settings, such as The Quad Manhattan, and with girls’ empowerment organizations throughout NYC. She was also a teaching artist for Art as a Catalyst for Change, a NYC initiative that brings anti-gun violence messaging and opportunities for creative expression to middle and high schools with high incidences of gun violence. In 2023, Schwartz choreographed the Princeton Theater Department’s fall musical: The Winter’s Tale, which featured a cast of over 80 people, including 45 community members ranging in levels of experience and age from 8-79. She continues to collaborate on devised theater projects with Nathalie Ellis-Einhorn and GASH Theatre Company in London. Schwartz graduated with honors from Princeton University in 2018 where she studied Visual Arts and Dance. She won the Outstanding Creative Thesis Award for her choreographic thesis “Can You Taste It?” which explored the social rituals of mealtime and power of family recipes. Throughout her time at Princeton, she was also awarded the Visual Arts Department Senior Award 2018, Mallach Senior Thesis Grant, Lewis Center Award for Outstanding Work in the Dance Department 2015 and a Community Leader Award from the LGBT Center. PU Webpage


Alexis Branagan ‘11

Alexis Branagan ‘11 (moderator), graduated from Princeton with a degree in English and a certificate in Dance. While an undergraduate, she co-founded Princeton University Ballet and was the ensemble’s first Artistic Director. She received awards from the Lewis Center for the Arts for summer funding, outstanding work in Dance, and outstanding senior thesis production. As of September 2022, after a 10-year dance career with New York Theatre Ballet, she is thrilled to be back at Princeton, supporting the mission and furthering the visibility of Princeton University Concerts (PUC) alongside terrific colleagues. In addition to her role at Princeton University Concerts, she programs and manages the Ballet Connoisseurship seminar series at the School of American Ballet and performs with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance and at NYC dance festivals in works by choreographer Amanda Treiber. While at New York Theatre Ballet, Alexis performed works by Merce Cunningham, Agnes de Mille, José Límon, Pam Tanowitz, and Antony Tudor. She also performed in productions for Carnegie Hall, Public Theater’s Shakespeare in Central Park, opera, and television. Alongside her dance career, Alexis held senior-level positions in communications, marketing, and adult education programming at American Repertory Ballet, 92NY, the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center, and Literature to Life theater company and developed a following as an adult beginner ballet instructor. 


Liam Lynch ‘21

Liam Lynch ‘21 is a New York-based dancer specializing in hip hop, popping, and house. After learning to dance in high school by ciphering with friends in the hallways, he began to formally study and pursue the art form in college at Princeton through the dance department and student groups. From 2021-2022, he taught weekly dance classes while working at the nonprofit HomeWorks Trenton. Liam currently lives in New York, where he performs with the Mets “Queens Crew” dance team, BOLD Dance Company, IMGE dance company, and works as a professional commercial dancer for music videos and performances. He is also active in the New York freestyle and battle scene, and continues to choreograph and teach.