I don’t know about you, but when I think of Carnegie Mellon University or CMU, I think of engineers, computers, expensive text books and pocket protectors. And yes, they produced a lot of computer experts and engineers but, until a few years ago, I never realized what a big-time theater school CMU has sitting right next door to us here in Oakland. For one week every year, WQED donates our big Studio A to their School of Drama, and it’s begins today. Seniors with the college write, act, build sets, shoot, and direct their own short plays and we tape them for their future resume reels.
Did you know that CMU’s School of Drama was founded in 1914 and is the oldest actor-training program in the country. In addition to the week-long taping they do here every year, they also have a showcase in New York and LA for their students to show off their skills for industry big shots. And the proof is in the pudding. Check out just some of the famous alumni who have come out of CMU. Are you ready for this?
Ted Danson from Cheers and Becker
Rob Marshall, Oscar nominated director of Chicago
John Wells, creator of The West Wing and ER
Laura San Giacomo
Cherry Jones, currently playing the President on 24
Steven Bochco, of Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue and L.A. Law fame
Zachary Quinto, Sylar on NBC’s Heroes
And that’s just the really famous people. There’s plenty more, so that’s pretty cool. On the downside, all of these future stars are walking through our parking lot so I hope I don’t hit them with my car.
No Tartans were harmed in any way during the writing of this blog, yet. – Dave R