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School of Theatre and Film Graduate Students Value New Partnership with Actors Theatre of Phoenix

November 09, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. – The ASU Herberger College of Fine Arts School of Theatre and Film recently gained Actors Theatre of Phoenix as a partner.  The school now has relationships with all three Valley-based professional theatre companies, including the Phoenix Theatre and Childsplay.  

The new enterprise with Actors Theatre of Phoenix establishes School of Theatre and Film graduate students with an Actors Equity company that not only ties them to the community but further develops the School of Theatre and Film’s arts entrepreneurship efforts. 

“The relationship can give our graduate students a place at the Actors Theatre at least once during their three years of study,” says Linda Essig, director of the Herberger College School of Theatre and Film.

Cathan Bordyn, M.F.A. student in performance currently is the first student to take advantage of this new partnership and is in Actors Theatre current show, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow by Rolin Jones.

“It is very humbling to be the first one in this relationship,” Bordyn says.

His work at Actors Theatre, an Actors Equity Association (AEA) company allows him to receive equity membership credit toward joining the official union for professional stage actors.  The union guarantees actors’ health benefits, a competitive pay scale with professional theatre companies, and adds to his chances of landing auditions with other equity companies across the nation. 

“AEA is extremely competitive, and not everyone can join,” Bordyn says.  “To be a member is considered to be a huge stepping stone in a professional actor’s career.” 

The School of Theatre and Film also has entered into an affiliation with Phoenix Theatre for new play development.  Students in the playwriting area of the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing work with Phoenix Theatre on a national playwriting contest. Plays written by the students will be performed in staged reading at Phoenix Theatre as well as on the ASU Tempe campus.

Gary Minyard, completing his M.F.A. in Theatre for Youth in the School of Theatre and Film also directs Peter and the Wolf for Tempe-based Childsplay this season.

The Herberger College School of Theatre and Film provides a comprehensive range of courses in performance and directing; design and production; new work development; theatre and performance studies; film; and theatre for youth. Its Theatre for Youth program is nationally ranked in the top three and the creative writing/playwriting program is ranked 15th among public institutions by “U.S. News & World Report.” Learn more about the School of Theatre and Film at: