Alumni Spotlight

Graciela Rey, photo: Ted Ely

Graciela Rey (CAS ‘20)

“I left AU with a toolbox of approaches and resources I could bring into every rehearsal process and audition room, and a network of peers and mentors that have become friends as well as collaborators.”  

Graciela Rey graduated from AU with a BA in Musical Theatre in 2020, and has since built a successful career as a musical theater performer, dancer, and singer across the DC area. She appeared in two world premieres: On Your Feet! en Español at Gala Hispanic Theater (which won the Helen award for Outstanding Musical Production) and Make Way for Ducklings at Adventure Theater, for which she was nominated for a Helen Hayes award for Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical. She recently played Vanessa in In The Heights at Nextstop Theatre and has worked on productions at Olney Theatre Center, Rorschach Theatre, Imagination Stage, Arts on the Horizon, Synetic Theatre, Flying V Theatre, Fickle Theatre Co, and Gloucester Stage Company.

Graciela views her time in the AU Department of Performing Arts as vital to her career trajectory. “AU is small enough that I was able to develop specific interests and skills alongside musical theater—including business, communications, and dance,” she says. AU’s liberal arts background provided Rey with different perspectives and contexts to study art. “It enables graduates to think critically about artistic practice and take ownership over the impact of our choices..”

These experiences instilled Rey with core values that have transitioned into her career. “The AU theater program prepares actors to be ethical and responsible artists,” she says. Rey is currently in performances for Fiddler on the Roof at Olney Theatre Center and will be understudying Lend Me a Soprano there in the spring. 

Instagram: @graci_rey

Alumni News & Notes

AU Theatre alumni nominations for Helen Hayes Awards: Graciela Rey (CAS '20) (Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical/In The Heights at NextStop Theatre Company), Paige Austin Rammelkamp (Outstanding Musical Direction/ Urinetown at Workhouse Arts Center), and Josh Sticklin (Outstanding Set Design / Seussical at The Keegan Theatre).

Emma Wallach and Arielle Moore (CAS '23) performed in The Chameleon at Theatre J.

The American University Alumni Associated hosted a talk about the Broadway musical Here Lies Love featuring Don Mike Mendoza (SOC/BA ’10, MA ’17). Watch the recording and read Mendoza's profile.

Embracing Passion(s)—Plural—at AU featured alumni Aisley Wallace Harper (CAS/BA ’23, SPA/BA ’23, MS ’24) who graduated summa cum laude with dual-degrees in musical theatre and justice and law in May 2023.