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Current Students

2022 Cohort

Janine Hunt

Janine Hunt is an actor, writer, director, and singer, originally from the middle of nowhere Oklahoma, though she has also lived on both coasts. Although she holds a BS in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling and has spent most of her career in education, her passion has always been the arts. She holds a minor in Theatre and has completed prior graduate work in Theatre at Oklahoma State University. She directed many plays over the years; some of her favorite productions are “Little Women,” “Steel Magnolias,” “The Foreigner,” and one wildly-interactive melodrama called “The Villain Wore a Dirty Shirt.” Her favorite acting roles are as Lady Capulet in “Romeo and Juliet” and the monologue “Audition” from “Talking With.” She has also worked as an actor for Dinner Detective, a national murder mystery dinner theatre, for several years. In addition to stage work, Janine also performed in several short films for festivals during her previous time in California, which is when her love for screen acting was born. In addition to the numerous acting and directing credits she holds, Janine is also an award-winning musician. Although her training is in classical music, she has won numerous awards as a country and gospel solo artist and was the female vocalist in an Oklahoma-based country band, and she was both the lead vocalist and lyricist in a rock and blues band out of Long Beach, CA. Janine is thrilled to be a part of the Oklahoma City University Screen Acting MFA Cohort II and is excited to see what the future holds.

Lauren Wheeler

Born in Alexandria, Virginia, Lauren Wheeler lived in Wiesbaden, Germany and grew up in Stafford, Virginia. At an early age Lauren showed interest in all things entertainment, sports, and the arts. During her junior year at North Stafford High School, she started her journey on becoming an actress. Lauren graduated with honors from Norfolk State University with a B.A. in Drama and Theatre, where she was an active member of the Norfolk State University Theatre Company.

Sean Smith

Sean Smith is from Oklahoma City and recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Political Science. He has wanted to be an actor since he performed in his first play in middle school (Honk! Jr.) and is thrilled to be a part of the Oklahoma City University MFA in Screen Acting program. Sean's most notable OKC theater roles include Lord Farquaad in Shrek the Musical, Sonny in Grease, and Walter Cunningham in To Kill a Mockingbird. He has also been an extra on several movies filmed in the OKC area such as Stillwater and The Line. Sean enjoys playing and watching basketball, following OU football, playing guitar and banjo, and watching movies.

Meghan Baker

Meghan Baker (she/her) is beyond excited to join OCU’s screen acting MFA. She is a recent graduate of Salisbury University with degrees in Theatre Performance, Theatre Production and History. Her past performance credits include “Porcelain on Fire” (Izzy), “These Dreams have No Names” (Woman), “Our Town” (Mrs. Gibbs), “Medea” (Woman of Corinth), “One man, Two Guvnors” (Dolly), as well serving as the Woman’s Swing and Assistant Director of “Mamma Mia!” In her free time she loves to do photography and travel. She cannot wait to learn everything that OCU has to offer and expand her craft. She is incredibly grateful for this opportunity!

Abrah Ophelia Katzman

Abrah Ophelia Katzman is an actor, producer, and activist from Philadelphia, PA. They are a recent graduate of New York University where they studied musical theatre and producing. In NYC, they performed in a multitude of new works including The Patriotic Mystery of Marienne’s C*nt (Her C*nt) , Pet Rock (Clara), One Ounce of Pain is Worth 28 Grams of Glory (Anton), and more traditional shows while at school and summer stock such as Into the Woods (Swing), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), and The Magic Flute (Second Spirit). As a producer, their work has played at Soho Playhouse, The Caveat, Joe’s Pub, and online. They are hopeful of being an agent of change to make the industry a more accessible and equitable place for all, create art that has meaningful impact, and of course, be in the next season of L Word: Generation Q.

Christopher Bates Jr.

Christopher Bates Jr.'s journey into the art of acting initiated at the age of 3. He began his performance training on-stage at the Little Theatre in Norfolk in Norfolk, Va. and was infatuated with the craft ever since. Christopher has starred in various plays as a young child, and films while in high school, with productions such as "The Scheme of the Driftless Shifter," "High School Musical On Stage!", “Our Town,” and “12 Angry Men.” With his training from The Acting Training program at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Christopher's skill set ranges from Shakespeare technique to Stanislavski-based techniques, both onstage and on-screen. He has also developed experience in Musical Theatre, with a vocal range at Tenor. Christopher has extensive training in Modern Dance, Jazz, and Ballet, and is proficient in Stage Combat with a range of movement and vocal techniques. Christopher has also starred in numerous productions at his University, including “A Raisin in the Sun,” “As You Like It,” “The Three Musketeers," which showed my stage athleticism, and “In the Red and Brown Water.” Christopher was also fortunate enough to be featured in incredible projects, such as "The Favorite", starring actor John Schneider and UFC fighter Tyron Woodley, a small role in the Hulu series "Reprisal," and "Future Investor," a short film in which he starred in that was featured at the Charlotte 48 Hour Film Festival. After receiving his BA at UNC Pembroke, Christopher is ecstatic to continue his training and further his passion with the esteemed MFA in Screen Acting program at OCU.

Lindsay Fabes

Lindsay Fabes is thrilled to be joining Cohort II! Lindsay, a New York native, received her BFA in Acting from the University of Oklahoma. She had her first acting job at 2 months old on the television soap opera "Another World", and has been a working actor ever since. She would love to give a huge shout out to her very supportive and eccentric family that always nurtured her love of performing by constantly bringing her to concerts, operas, broadway shows, and watching all of the shows she has performed. Some of her favorite off-broadway/regional credits include Lea in Double Rainbow (The Secret Theatre), Captain of the Guard in Il Trovatore (Regina Opera), Sylvia u/s in Tribes (Barrington Stage Company), Aerosol in AfroAmericana (54 Below/The Tank), and Elinor Pomby in Broken Hands (Hudson Guild Theatre). She is looking forward to bringing her love of stage combat, musicals, and makeup artistry to the program.

Lorenzo Pugliese

Lorenzo Pugliese is an actor/singer-songwriter from Scranton, PA. As an undergrad, he studied at The University of the Arts and earned a BFA in Musical Theatre for his time. Professionally, he is best known for his performance as SpongeBob SquarePants in the first National tour of The Spongebob Musical. Regarding the singer-songwriter he claims to be, he has yet to release a thing, though he insists he has lots of unreleased material coming soon…

Anyway, Go Stars!

Scott Rydelski

Scott Rydelski is a Mexican-American actor, director, and writer from Orange County, California. Scott received his B.A. in Theatre Performance and his B.A. in Comedic Arts from California Baptist University. Scott’s eclectic education has landed him opportunities on stage, in voiceover, and on screen all throughout California. Scott is beyond thrilled to bring his talents over and start this amazing opportunity with OCU’s MFA in Screen Acting program.

Anirudh Mohan

Anirudh Mohan is an actor who has contributed to a number of roles in theater, short films and voiceovers around the San Francisco Bay Area. Anirudh studied acting in San Francisco State University and was part of a Shakespeare Troupe that toured multiple high schools around San Francisco School District to teach students about the Bard himself. During the pandemic, he has been part of live zoom plays with companies such as Bay Area Drama Company, Naatak House and Cloud Playhouse. Anirudh believes the best quote that signifies the art of acting is: "Acting is like sculpture, it's what you take away from yourself to reveal the truth of what you're doing that makes a performance" - Orson Welles. Apart from being an actor, Anirudh enjoys watching movies, reading novels, hiking and supporting his favorite teams; Golden State Warriors and Manchester United.

Elina Cummings

Elina Cummings is an educated Trinidadian woman from New York. Elina grew up with Abrams Artist Agency where she did commercials and made an appearance on Saturday Night Live at the young age of three. As Elina grew up she took to the stage to perform musicals of all kinds including Hairspray, Oklahoma, and The Little Mermaid. Elina then took her talents down south where she attended the illustrious Clark Atlanta University. Elina received her Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Theatre Arts with the highest distinction of Summa Cum Laude. Elina spent time at CAU honing her monologue and poetry skills. As Elina moves forward she plans to receive her MFA in screen acting before diving back into the realms of the entertainment world.

Sarah Anne Kauffman

Sarah Anne Kauffman is honored to be a member of the second cohort for the MFA Screen Acting Program at Oklahoma City University! Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Sarah Anne recently graduated from University of Tampa where she earned her BFA in Musical Theatre. Sarah Anne was seen on stage at UT in their production of "9 to 5" as Margaret and on screen was seen in the independent pilot "Divine Intervention", "Ozark", "Senior Year", and "Christmas Deja Vu". When she's not making jokes, Sarah Anne creates content for her plus size fashion blog! @sarahannerk. sarahannekauffman.com

Marc Arricale

Marc Arricale is a SAG-Aftra actor born and raised in Queens, NY. He received his BA in Theatre from SUNY Oswego and is a graduate of the Conservatory Program at The Atlantic Acting School in New York City. Marc is thrilled and honored to be a part of the second cohort of Oklahoma City University's MFA in Screen Acting Program.

Sango Tajima

Sango Tajima (she/hers) is a Japanese-American performer, writer, & theatre-maker. Born in Michigan and raised in Thailand, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, and Japan, she returned to the U.S. to get her BFA at the University of Michigan. Upon graduation she spent a decade working as an artist and arts administrator in the Bay Area theatre scene. She has worked with Berkeley Rep, Guthrie Theater, Cal Shakes, SF Playhouse, Shotgun Players, Marin Theatre Company, Campo Santo, Magic Theatre, Cutting Ball Theater, Playwrights Foundation, Bay Area Children's Theater, FaultLine Theater, and has performed on stages in Japan, China, Korea, and Israel. She is a company member of Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company and former member of Ragged Wing Ensemble, both of whom have produced her work as a playwright.

Berta Manevich

Berta Manevich is very excited to join the MFA Screen Acting program at Oklahoma City University! A multifaceted actress, Berta is fluent in Russian and loves ballroom dancing including Waltz, Foxtrot and her absolute favorite... Salsa! Berta graduated from Central Washington University with a B.A in Theatre Arts and Russian Studies. She is a recipient of the Audience Choice Monologue Award at the 2021 Seattle Film Summit and her credits include multiple leading roles in award winning films. Her theatre credits include The Diary of Anne Frank (Miep Gies), Picnic (Christine), The Safeguard Society (Cassandra Featherstone), Ghosts of Living Flesh (Nurse) and Black Water (Ella). When she's not on stage, Berta loves hiking, photography and content creation with a focus on sharing her behind the scenes and theatre adventures, fashion and body positive content. She is looking forward to learning, honing her acting skills and working with her fellow cohort to create stories of meaning and purpose! Berta can be found on Instagram @berta_m and on her website www.bertamanevich.com.

2021 Cohort

Aaron Kirk

Aaron Kirk

Aaron Kirk is an Actor, having received his B.A. in Theater from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. There he performed in productions such as Macbeth (Lennox), The Visit (Alfred Ill), House Arrest (Various), and the devised play (via zoom) Unmute Yourself. Additionally, Aaron has performed in the region of central PA in Heathers: The Musical (Kurt), and Spring Awakening (Otto).

Anna Knight

Anna Knight

Anna Knight formerly of Northwest Arkansas is elated to continue her Oklahoma City University journey across the pond to finish earning the first ever Master of Fine Arts in Screen Acting! She holds a B.A. in theatre performance from the University of Arkansas and is a graduate of Levels I, II, and III of Somatic Voicework ™, the LoVetri Method, as well as Soul Ingredients® Methodology in partnership with Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory in Music. Regional credits include Matilda the Musical (Big Kid 6/Others/Mrs. Phelps u/s) at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, AR. University of Arkansas credits include Heathers: The Musical (Martha Dunnstock), Green Day’s American Idiot (Ensemble), Tribes (Sylvia), She Stoops to Conquer (Bridget), Lilies on the Land (Margie), and Rebirth of Beautiful (Mary). Additional local credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Mamma Mia!, Smile, Legally Blonde, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Rocky Horror Show, Young Frankenstein, The Wedding Singer, and Newsies where she used her dance training to serve as choreographer and dance captain for multiple theatre groups. Over the last year in Los Angeles, she is incredibly proud to have seen such thrilling growth not just in transferring her skills from one acting medium to another, but in the further development of passion projects she hopes to bring to the marketplace following graduation. Anna is an advocate for safe working conditions for actors and continuing the efforts of #MeToo, #TimesUp, and consent culture.

Arnaldo A. Carrasquillo-Muñoz

Arnaldo Carrasquillo-Muñoz

Arnaldo A. Carrasquillo Muñoz was born and raised in Puerto Rico. After graduating high school, he moved to New Jersey to study acting at Rider University. At Rider, he was part of two student comedy sketch shows, LIVE from Lawrenceville It's Saturday Night, and two school production, Inherit The Wind and A Flea in Her Ear. A year after undergrad, he started in Hairspray as Edna Turnblad. In 2019, moved to New York and started in A Comedy Sketch at the Producers Club. His latest credit is Cinderella's Stepmother in Into the Woods by Taller Artistico de Caguas, Puerto Rico's first live musical after the pandemic.

Ashli Bell

Ashli Bell

Ashli Bell was born and raised in a small town in Kansas. She grew up playing sports with her siblings while her parents were coaches. When she was about 10 or 11 she discovered that she had a passion to be on stage and onscreen. She began to split her time between being on stage and on the court/field. She also participated in Forensics at her school, where she would perform dramatic monologues competitively. She went to state twice and placed both times. Ashli received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at Sterling College. Even though she was heavily involved in athletics at the university level, she made time to be involved in as many acting classes and workshops as possible, performing in South Pacific her senior year. She’s looking forward to this amazing opportunity with OCU and is excited to solely focus on acting and honing her skills.

Courtney Anne McLaren

Courtney McLaren

Courtney Anne McLaren is ecstatic to join the Screen Acting MFA program at Oklahoma City University! As a multi-faceted theater artist, Courtney has flourished as an actor, teaching artist, assistant director, house manager, video editor, and more. A proud New England native, she earned her BA from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with concentrations in theatre, music, and arts management. Since that time, Courtney has found artistic homes at theatres such as American Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Berkshire Theatre Group. She has worked everywhere from the tranquil Berkshires of Massachusetts, to the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida, to the rustic Rockies of Colorado. As an actor, some of her favorite roles include: Lydia in Miss Bennet Christmas at Pemberley, Piglet in Winnie the Pooh, and Sally Bowles in Cabaret. Additional, career highlights include house managing the pre-Broadway run of Children of a Lesser God, bringing to life the works of student playwrights, and performing alongside Broadway veterans. In addition to acting, Courtney’s interests include upcycling, collaboration, time with family and friends, being an active pen pal, and writing lyrics. Courtney would love to give a major thank you to Oklahoma City University, her parents, and her close friends for their constant support!

JT Wright

John Taylor

JT Wright is an artist who graduated with B.A in theatre and his TESOL certification from Oklahoma State University. He hopes to be able to use his interest in international entertainment, theatre, and linguistics to help show people the cultures around them and around the world. His performance credits at Oklahoma State include Argonautika (Castor & Ensemble), A radio play version of Charlotte’s Web (John Arable & Gander), a reworked version for zoom of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged (Daniel Singer), and a new work play made by students Walter & Barney (Walter). While at Oklahoma State, John also worked as a tech and the credits include Argonautika (Lift/Movement Captain) Doubt: A Parable (Assistant Stage Manager), Bye Bye Birdie (Stage Manager), and Oklahoma (House manager). He is excited to continue his pursuit in acting and education with the MFA in Screen Acting program at Oklahoma City University!

Joseph Galloway

Joseph

Joseph Galloway is an actor and singer currently based in Los Angeles, CA. He had always wanted to pursue an MFA and when he learned of Oklahoma City University’s brand new MFA in Screen Acting program, he applied for the program and was accepted in its first class. Within his first year he not only developed a richer love for performing in film projects but also discovered a new passion for writing, editing and working in sound design. He has one screenplay in the books and is researching future projects. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts. During his time at LMU, Joseph performed in and worked behind the scenes in stage productions on campus, took on acting roles in student film thesis projects, and studied performing arts abroad in Bonn, Germany and Moscow, Russia. He is very excited to add London to his roster. The opportunity to study in London through OCU with his fellow colleagues is an experience that he is looking forward to. He can’t wait to see what lies in store for him. When he’s not training or at Disneyland, he can be found hiking, learning piano or honing his skills in the exciting world of accounting.

Julia Stypula

Julia Stypula

Julia Stypula is a Los Angeles based actor, writer, and director, who is in her second year of receiving her MFA in screen acting. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, She had previously attended Seton Hill University, where she received her degree in Musical Theater. There she was the President of her schools Improv Troupe, and would hold performances during all major events. Since moving to Los Angeles she has had the opportunity to work with many people in the industry, and is very excited to continue her journey moving forward.

Kalvin Etienne

Kalvin

Kalvin Etienne hails from Brooklyn, New York. He is interested in using his talents in the performing and visual arts, to involve himself in emotionally deep stories. He is very excited to start working in Indie Dramas, with strong romantic elements. His favorite, and most influential projects, include narratives of interracial dynamics; such as "Jungle Fever," "Dating & New York," and the Amazon Prime series "Modern Love." He still loves theatre, of course! And plans to keep sharpening his skills in any way possible, to keep being an asset to the stories he feels matter the most to humanity.

Kenny Lam

Kenny Lam

Kenny Lam is an immigrant from Hong Kong and a US Army Veteran. He holds a BS in Computer Information Systems from Buffalo State College. Since the program, Kenny has gotten to work on professional sets from Disney, Fox, Warner Bros, as well as Universal Studios. Kenny enjoys video games, anime, basketball, and MMA.

Lauren B. Leigh

Lauren

Lauren B. Leigh is an actor, narrator, and writer. She received her BFA in Theatre: Acting & Directing from Stephen F. Austin State University. Lauren’s film career began with the Christian drama A Brand New Kitchen. She guest starred in the web series Apartment 101 and played Katie in The Cran, a dark comedy feature film. Lauren has lent her voice to numerous upcoming Bucketnaut Animation Studios projects. While working in regional theatre, Lauren discovered her love for audiobook narration. Lauren is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring stories to life on screen, on stage, and in your ear. When she's not creating or in the midst of a Star Wars marathon, Lauren enjoys swimming, rock climbing, and reading rom-com novels. Lauren is honored to be a member of the inaugural cohort of Oklahoma City University’s MFA in Screen Acting Program. @lauren.b.leigh | www.laurenbleigh.com

Maddi Caldwell

Maddi

Born in Oxnard, California, Maddi Caldwell was raised with her three older brothers. Growing up she enjoyed juggling an excitingly packed schedule. When not in class, she was hopping from one extracurricular to the next. From varsity soccer and volleyball, rehearsal for theater and dance class (ballet, tap and jazz), Maddi aspired for success. She received her BFA in acting for the stage and screen at the nationally ranked and esteemed Azusa Pacific University, graduating magna cum laude. During her time at APU she studied underneath industry professionals such as Andi Chapman, Alexandra Wright, Jill Brennan-Lincoln and David Hadinger. Upon graduating, she began teaching and directing musical theater to young actors at a non-profit theater in Ventura, CA. Maddi is ecstatic to continue to grow in her craft as she furthers her training. She is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to further her education and cannot wait to see what the future holds.

Marissa Nappo

Marissa

Marissa Nappo is a Buffalo native and holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from SUNY Fredonia. Some of her favorite theatrical credits include: Nickie in Sweet Charity, Vera in She Kills Monsters, Charity the Angel in Anything Goes, Sheila Bryant in A Chorus Line and she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical at the Kenny Awards for her role Elizabeth Benning in Young Frankenstein. Marissa has had the pleasure of being in two original workshops (Krampus a Winter Suite as the lead Eike and The America Project). Some of her concert credits include: “ITunes Remixed” Live in concert with Mandy Gonzales & Telly Leung at The Producers Club in NYC, “One Hand One Heart” Live in concert with Kara Lindsay and Telly Leung at the Wild Project Theatre in NYC and the “2016 ATA Performing Arts Opening Gala” Live in concert with Adam Pascal, Mandy Gonzales, Telly Leung, and Priscilla Lopez. Marissa is currently a student at the Groundlings Theatre & School. Marissa is also the social media intern for the Burbank International Film Festival and you can see her video content on their Instagram, TikTok and YouTube channel(@burbankfilmfest). When Marissa is not performing, she spends her time teaching. Marissa has taught dance, acting and voice for over 7 years at the ATA Performing Arts center and has taught dance, acting, and voice at Playground Academy for 2 years.

Nicole Friedberg

Nicole Friedberg

Nicole Friedberg is a writer and actor who identifies as a nerd and an old soul. Above all else, she is a storyteller who believes that telling stories — whether fictional or true — is how humans can affect change and start important conversations. As a storyteller, her mission is to provide people with escapes, new ways to look at the world, and connections that make them feel less alone. She believes that art is one of the biggest influences on the world and her life’s purpose is to be an artist who wields that power to make the world a better place. Nicole — who will also respond to Nikki, or if your voice sounds like her mother’s, Hershey, or Scout (her dogs’ names) — was born and raised for most of her life in a small northern New Jersey town, where she first fell in love with performance through school plays. At 13, Nicole’s family relocated to a suburb of Atlanta, GA, where she found comfort in writing assignments and at a local acting studio where she took classes in on-camera acting as she became acquainted with her new surroundings. After high school, she went to the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a double minor in French language and theatre arts. Nicole is thrilled to be embarking on her next adventure in LA and London for years one and two, respectively, of her MFA in Screen Acting program alongside her brilliant cohort. Nicole can be found on Instagram, @nicole.friedberg17, and at her website, nicolefriedberg.com.

Samantha Nedoroscik

Samantha

Samantha Nedoroscik is an actor whose most notable roles include Worcester in Henry IV Part I and Schwartzy in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, both of which were produced at her alma mater, Clark University. Samantha graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Theatre Arts, concentrating in Acting, and a B.A. in English from Clark University. Upon graduation, she began studying at The Hanover Theatre Conservatory under Wanda Strukus and Sharon Hart. Other notable roles include Aquata in The Little Mermaid, Cathy in DNA, and Frenchie in Cabaret. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she has always been engaged in the arts. She grew up studying ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, break dancing, and gymnastics, competed in the beauty, model, talent, and photogenic divisions in the All American Girl and Boy Beauty Pageants, and began acting at the age of 13. After completing her first year of Oklahoma City University's MFA in Screen Acting Program in Los Angeles, Samantha is thrilled to begin her second year of the Program in London.