Alumni News, Awards and Honors

Stars of Stage and Screen

New roles, new readings, the Tony Awards, and The Last O.G. See where you can spot Bennington drama alumni this summer! 


Michael Starobin '79

Starobin has received a Tony Award nomination for Best Orchestration for Once on this Island

The Broadway revival opened in November 2017 and is scheduled to run through June 3.

"The show’s musical team have rebuilt Once on This Island’s score by creating a new sonic palette colored with instruments made out of found objects, including trash bins, flexible piping, and more," wrote Playbill of the production.

John Bertles '81 and his ensemble Bash the Trash collaborated with Starobin on the unusual instruments used in the production.  

"All the orchestration is very much inspired by what we learned from [former faculty member] Gunnar Schonbeck," Starobin said.

Jonathan Marc Sherman '90

Sherman has written the book for The Connector, a new musical that will be workshopped this summer at Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College.

This new musical explores "how true is true enough?" 

New York City, 1995. Aspiring writer Ethan Dobson has his first article published by The Connector, a magazine with a storied history. As Ethan strives to be part of the magazine’s legacy, he navigates editors with god complexes, fact checkers with vendettas, proofreaders, lawyers, and the challenges of his own history.

From June 6-13, Sherman will also participate in the Sallie B. Goodman Artists' Retreat, a centerpiece of McCarter's LAB, a platform and creative incubator devoted to ongoing theatrical development and artist cultivation.

Brooks Ashmanskas '91

Ashmanskas takes the stage at Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer from June 26 - July 14 in the world premiere of The Closet by Douglas Carter Beane.

Ashmanskas stars alongside Tony Award-winner Matthew Broderick in "this contemporary satire that breaks the chains of political correctness and celebrates the possibility of finding authenticity and love (and show tunes) in unexpected places."

Peter Dinklage ’91

Dinklage will star in the titular role in Cyrano, a new musical that will have its premiere at Goodspeed Musical, running August 3 - September 2.

Dinklage is joined by Haley Bennett, known for her roles in The Magnificent Seven and The Girl on the Train. This new adaptation of Edmond Rostand's play will feature music by members of indie rock band The National.

Earlier in April, Dinklage's role as Eitri in Avengers: Infinity War was hotly anticipated.

Hyla Matthews ’91

Matthews draws upon four years spent battling breast cancer that metastasized to her brain in her new stand-up comedy show, You Are Here.

You Are Here comes to The Slipper Room in New York City (owned by James Habacker '94) from June 6 - 7 and to The Hudson Backstage Theatre/Comedy Central Space in Los Angeles from June 15 - 16. 

"The subject matter can be a bit scary, but hopefully people will laugh, Matthews said. "And you will walk out of that theater with a warm, happy feeling that you aren't me." 

Watch a preview of You Are Here.

Melissa Ross '94

Ross will have a reading of her new play at Dorset Theatre Festival's Pipeline Series on July 10. The Festival is led by Artistic Director and Bennington faculty member Dina Janis.

In Ross' play, Diana is the new president of a prestigious liberal arts college, but she can barely get her pictures hung on the walls of her office before the school's hallowed history sits squarely in the way of her big plans. About where we've come from and figuring out where we even have to go, this never-before-seen new play by Melissa Ross confronts life and politics and feminism in academia under the hard fluorescent light of today.

Joel Marsh Garland '97

Garland is guest starring on TBS's The Last O.G., which stars comedian Tracy Morgan. Garland plays Big Country, who is Morgan's halfway house bunkmate. 

TBS has renewed The Last O.G. for a second season.