Join Us for Critical Conversations

September 20, 2020

The new UWPIAA Programming Committee is announcing our first program titled Critical Conversations. There will be multiple series of panel discussions, each with three episodes looking at different elements of various topics.

Each episode will feature a pre-selected alumni panel along with program host, T. J. Mannix (’91B), and be professionally moderated by a non-alumnus/a. All will take place on Saturdays and begin at 12 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. GMT+2 / 1 a.m. GMT+9 (Sunday). These events will be live via Zoom and also watchable afterwards on our YouTube account.

All alumni are invited to tune in, join the Q&A, or even participate on a future panel in these Critical Conversations. Additionally, we are seeking alumni specifically with personal experience in the upcoming series topics to serve as panelists. 

The first series, Success with Education During COVID, will feature the below episodes moderated by Michelle Brodie. Register for this series HERE.

We’re seeking all perspectives from Pre-School to College. We are particularly interested in alumni of Cast K, Cast T, and Camp UWP to participate in Episode 3! Please reach out to Programs Chair Donalda McCarthy (’91B) if you are interested in being a panelist:


Racism On Tour

  • October 24, 2020 — Episode #1: Male POC Castmembers’ perspective of how their tour differed a bit
  • October 31, 2020 — Episode #2: Tour Manager and PR Reps experiences when setting up cities in Europe that were contending with immigrant issues
  • November 7, 2020 — Episode #3: Long-time Allies’ perspective


  • November 28, 2020 — Episode #1: Gender and the new language we are acquiring. LGBT Community perspectives
  • December 5, 2020 — Episode #2: Multiracial Kids- We offer the space for the CHILDREN of Alum to share how they move throughout their daily lives
  • December 12, 2020 — Episode #3: Adopted Outside of Culture or Race- This space will offer Alum who are adopted but don’t share the same race or original culture as their parents


Michelle Brodie, born in Reno, Nevada and grew up in Adelaide, Australia, began her event career with FOX Studios and Nintendo Australia in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics as a project Event Manager.  This experience would go on to set her up for a lifetime of event management success. After a short stint in hotels and weddings, this self-published author shared her tips to plan a perfect wedding worldwide with brides in the US, UK, New Zealand, Germany, Hong Kong & Australia. Loving her global citizen lifestyle with her pilot husband, Michelle now works with a global team producing live & virtual events with attendees from across the globe.


T.J. Mannix traveled in Cast 91B, and on road staff in 92B, 93C, and 94D He teaches acting, on-camera auditioning, and improvisation in NYC at Circle in the Square on Broadway, the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre, NY Film Academy, and the Montclair Film Festival. T.J. Is a graduate of the University of Miami. He has appeared in more than 85 TV commercials and voiceovers – along with roles on Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, All My Children, One Life to Live, As the World Turns.


  1. Great and necessary topics. I have another suggestion, which may or may not be relevant: “how it feels to really WANT a chance to do something in UWP, but all you get to do is travel and be on stage”

    A large part of the cast, at least in my year, never had any other role than stage fillers. Many want to have various roles as intern, advance crew etc – yet (at least in my year), the same people were selected multiple times. Some up to 3 times.

    UWP is about opportunity, chances, performance. But only the best get to shine. Yet, all paid same fee.

    I still personally know the feeling of being rejected, yet again. Hope it’s better these days.

    1. I agree with you. I really wanted to be a dancer. I did Pr 3 times which I’m really grateful for and bus monitor which really should have gone to someone else.

      At a reunion, our band cast mates talked about how they had such a different experience because they never really got to do other things either.

  2. I have professional background in K-12 educational administration + software management for the same segment. My kids are having good success with online college curriculum at Mount Holyoke and MIT respectively and my wife Kate manages authors and presenters across several print and online platforms – all from our home in Philadelphia!

    1. Would be great to get you involved Randy. Best regards Birger Husted

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