University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

Three Theatre and Dance Alumni Succeed as Arts Professionals in New York

Friday, July 28, 2017

School of Theatre and Dance Miriam Rochford (BA 2011), Allison Blanchard (BFA 2014), and Thomas Bowersox (BA 2016) are pursuing arts careers in New York City. The graduates are putting their arts educations to work at one the top creative destinations in the United States.

Miriam Rochford
Upon making the move to New York City, Rochford immersed herself in the city's Deaf theatre community, working with New York Deaf Theatre, ASL Rocky NYC, and ASL Cabaret NYC. She continues to freelance stage manage in a variety of settings, including opera, events, staged readings, performance companies, and more. Miriam's recent productions are Son of Dublin with the Victor Herbert Renaissance Project LIVE!, the 62nd Annual Viennese Opera Ball, The Shades as part of The Dramatists Guild 'Friday Night Footlights' series, and Hairspray at American Stage Theatre in the Park.

Thomas Bowersox
Thomas Bowersox is the Technical Director for New York Live Arts where he is responsible for working with diverse artists on audio, video, lighting, and scenic design to help them realize their artistic visions. New York Live Arts was founded in 2011 by a merger of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop.

Thomas' work centers on advancing technical elements and generating drafting for all theater and studio productions. He works in collaboration with other full-time production staff, to supervise load-ins, load-outs, and technical rehearsals while also maintaining audio, video, scenic, and rigging equipment in the theater, backstage, lobby, and studio areas.

"I had never worked in theatre and wasn't a theatre major at the time. Working for Events and Production Services at the College of The Arts exposed me to all different departments of production and gave me the opportunities and freedom to hone my craft as a technician and designer. The connections I made there and in class set me up to begin a professional career at local theatres, from the Shimberg to Morsani, and doing summer gigs in theatres like Capital Rep in Albany."

Allison Blanchard
Blanchard recently served as a dancer in the 2016-17 national tour of 42nd Street with Big League Productions in New York. Blanchard was on stage for nearly the entire two and a half hour show – something she describes as fun despite a busy performance schedule.

"When I first started, I wondered if I would get tired of doing the same show every night, and after about 368 shows I can honestly say I was never tired of it," said Blanchard in an email.

Blanchard says the College of The Arts helped her transition to the New York City arts industry confidently.

"I learned so much about classroom and audition etiquette, which is very important in the professional world," said Blanchard. "I also think USF made me a 'smart dancer.' I can walk into any class, be it modern, ballet, or theatre dance, and be confident in my abilities, know how to apply corrections, and find ways to be challenged by the class.

Blanchard continues to audition and train in New York.