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Sidney Diaz

Class of 2022

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

Maya Angelou

Sidney Diaz is a classically trained actor, based in New York City. Born and raised in the Bronx, to a family of anything but creative minds, Sidney’s love for acting came from directing and starring in her own short films at the age of 10. In her teenage years she attended Laguardia High School of Performing Arts, where she decided to pursue her growing passion for acting. Continuing her training at Mason Gross school of the Arts, Sidney has had the opportunity to work on a number of productions including Joan of Arc, directed by Christopher Cartmill, Twelve Angry Jurors, directed by Kevin Kittle, and most recently Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, at The Globe Theater in London. Sidney believes that acting is one of the most effective ways of uniting people from all walks of life, and challenges audiences to seek empathy. She wants to use her work to inspire others and make strides in diversity for the LatinX community. When Shakespeare came up with the famous line, “And Though she be but little, she is fierce”, he was referring to Sidney Diaz.

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Liam Thomas Young

Class of 2022

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

E.E. Cummings

Liam Thomas Young hails from Hardwick, New Jersey, where he’s lived most of his life. He grew up in the rural woods of Northern New Jersey within a family of six. Through high school stage crew, he found a love of theater that eventually blossomed into a love of acting. He studied engineering science straight out of high school at the County College of Morris. Realizing after two years that engineering was the last thing he wanted to do with his life, Liam returned to the fold of theater in 2016. In 2018, he began his journey at Mason-Gross School of the Arts towards a career in performing arts. His more recent credits include Sir Andrew and Antonio in Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater; Talbot and Thibaut in Schiller’s Joan of Arc and Al Manners in Trouble in Mind at Mason Gross School of the Arts; and John Merrick in The Elephant Man at the County College of Morris.

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Daniel Cooney

Class of 2022

Daniel Cooney is an actor and musician from New York City. He discovered his deep appreciation for acting while training at LaGuardia High School. As a musician, Daniel most recently wrote one of the songs for the Rutgers company production of Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, and played many other songs in the show. After graduation, Daniel looks forward to getting into the business of acting as well as getting the time to finally put together his first full length EP.

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Malcolm Callender

Class of 2022

I’m just totally fascinated by people.”

Nikki Giovanni

Malcolm Callender (he/him/his) is an actor and creator born and raised in The Bronx, New York. Before coming to Rutgers for his BFA he attended Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) in Manhattan where he gained an education in musical theater. He has performed on stages locally in New York, but recently, had the pleasure of being directed by Philip Bird in Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Malcolm has worked both in front and behind the camera. This includes writing and directing the short films Rose, Summer Games, and his latest, Cycles, which will be submitted to film festivals this summer.

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Daniel Allitt

Class of 2022

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Curiosity and adventure have driven Daniel (he/him/his) his whole life. Growing up just above the Adirondack mountains in New York he spent his childhood exploring the woods around him and creating elaborate imaginary worlds in his backyard. In middle school he took an interest in beekeeping taking care of two hives and lugeing in the winter at the Lake Placid Olympic Center. Once he entered high school, however, his interest became focused on art and performance. This love led him to Mason Gross School of the Arts to complete his BFA training. Daniel is interested in the social and psychological impact of the digital age. He is an avid rock climber and reads widely in psychology and philosophy.

Rutgers Theater Company credits include: The Mastiff in The Moors, Sebastian/Viola in Twelfth Night, Montgomery/Etienne in Joan of Arc, Juror #2 in 12 Angry Jurors, Hestia in When Silence Falls, and Elder Benson in there we sat down.

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Kirby Davis

Class of 2021, BFA

Kirby Davis originally from California, has performed in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts production of Ruined, directed by Shirley Jo Finney, and South Coast Repertory’s A Christmas Carol with Hal Landon Jr. After entering the Rutgers training program, she has had the opportunity of playing “Girl” in Hello Out There, directed by Gabriel Vega Weissman, “Amaryllis” in The Rehearsal directed by Christopher Cartmill and “Perdita” in The Winters Tale directed by Nicole Charles. This year she had the pleasure of being directed by Machell Ross in the Rutgers Playwright festival production of Bad American Dreams, written by Thalia Sablon, as she played “Roselyn”. Kirby has been actively preparing for her life outside of Mason Gross and looks forward to the launch of her career.

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Walker Clermont

Class of 2021, BFA

Walker Clermont is from West Palm Beach, Florida. A son to Haitian parents, his upbringing was in many parts multicultural and fascinating to say the least. He discovered his love of theatre and the arts when he began to attend a film & performing arts high school at the age of 14 and never looked back. He is also a philosophy and script writing enthusiast. His Rutgers Theater Company credits include: Ralph in The Motherf**cker with the Hat, Child in Bad American Dream, Florizel/Mamilius in The Winter’s Tale; Second King in The Rehearsal; Dippy in Dead End; Malcolm in Sisyphus Is Happy. Other credits: Robin in Dr. Faustus and Robert Earl Hayes in The Exonerated at G-Star School of the Arts.

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Marcella Cox

Class of 2021, BFA

"My duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. Whether that be on the stage, in front of or behind the camera, or through music - that reflect all voices, especially those less heard. "

Marcella Cox is a North Carolina girl through and through. She developed her love for all things Acting by being exposed and immersed in the Arts at a very young age. Prior to her joining Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of The Arts in 2017, she studied at Enloe Arts Magnet High School, which is renowned for its theatre and singing program. While there, she starred in many shows including Into The Woods and The Crucible. During her High School summers, she spent time performing Violet at Playmakers Repertoire/UNC Chapel Hill and Mirandy & Brother Wind at the Raleigh Little Theatre. She also studied with UNC Chapel’s Choir program, being intentional about strengthening not only her acting but her singing instrument as well. Her senior year of High School she got into the prestigious University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) High School drama program where her training further intensified. Her stint at UNCSA was the catalyst for her acceptance into Rutgers University, Mason Gross School Of The Arts. Marcella has further honed her craft while at Rutgers through Performance Ensemble where the students devise and create their own show and acting in productions of Dead End and The Rehearsal. In 2019, Marcella spent a year studying abroad at Shakespeare’s Globe which culminated in her performance in The Winter’s Tale; where she was selected to participate in Sam Wanamaker Festival. Marcella is a dynamic and multi-talented rising star that can’t wait to share her talents with the world!

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Zoë Kim

Class of 2021, MFA

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Samuel Beckett

Zoë Kim (she/her) is a classically trained Actor and Filmmaker based in New York City. Originally from South Korea, she left home at sixteen to pursue an acting career in America. Her recent work includes Motherf**ker with the Hat, The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare’s Globe in London), 4000 Miles, The King’s Language (world premiere at Hollywood Fringe), and No Returns (AFI Film). She also hosted a popular YouTube show, K-POP PLZ, on the channel AsianCrush (3 million subscribers). As a Filmmaker, her film Meet Me at a Funeral became an official selection at various film festivals and won her the honorable Emerging Filmmaker Award at DisOrient Asian American Film Festival. She was the Founder of Seoulful Films, the Asian-American Filmmakers Meetup in L.A., and Blue Match Productions. She is proficient in Muay Thai and can speak Korean and Japanese. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA. 

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Slater Ashenhurst

Class of 2021, MFA

"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about."

Oscar Wilde

Slater is from a small Wyoming village called Wheatland. He comes from a long line of farmers. He grew up painfully shy but joined theatre his freshman year of high school after some coercing by some upper-classmen. He NEVER LOOKED BACK, BABY.⁣

Slater received his BA in Musical Theatre from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, after which he immediately was accepted to his dream school, Mason Gross School of the Arts.⁣

Slater has his toes dipped in many genres of theatre, including Shakespeare, TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences), Contemporary, and Musical Theatre. He has spent the last 7 summers at various regional theatres in the U.S., doing summerstock musicals.⁣

Some of his favorite past credits include: Willy in Willy Wonka, Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet, Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, and Lucas in The Addams Family.⁣

He is just a little country boy who can’t wait to set up camp in the big citay.⁣

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