Wayne State University

What are you up to?

We're proud of our accomplished theatre and dance alumni!


Garth Fagan is recognized as "one of the great reformers of modern dance."  His world-renowned choreography for The Lion King earned him a Tony in 1998 and an Olivier award in 2000.  He continuously re-invents and creates dance vocabulary through his extensive repertoire of modern dance.  This includes movement and energy of Afro-Caribbean, the technicality and foundation of ballet, and the exploration of post-modern dance.  Fang continues to be celebrated for his contribution to the dance and world community.  

Ernie Hudson is best known for his role as Winston Zeddmore in 1984's Ghostbusters, and can be seen in Grace & Frankie.  Hudson combined his love for writing and acting and created the Actor's Ensemble Theatre in Detroit.  He received his B.A from Wayne State University and his M.F.A degree from the Yale School of Drama.  Hudson's other credits include Congo and Hand that Rocks the Cradle.

S. Epatha Merkerson received her B.F.A. degree and Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Wayne State University, S. Epatha is one of the most well-known actors in Dick Wolf's series Law & Order.  She has appeared in off-Broadway as well as multiple Broadway productions, received a Drama Desk Award, and has multiple Tony and NAACP Award nominations.  She currently plays Sharon Goodwin on NBC's Chicago Med. Merkerson's film credits include Terminator 2 and Judgment Day. Her TV credits include Law and Order, Pee-wee's Playhouse, The Cosby Show and Frasier

David Ramsey is a Detroit native who attended Mumford High School and then Wayne State University where he received his B.F.A degree.  David is best known for his role on Blue Bloods and the current television series, Arrow, as John Diggle.  Film Credits include Pay It Forward, The Nutty ProfessorCon Air, Ali: An American Hero, and For Your Love

Sam Richardson began his comedy career at a comedy theater called Second City.  He moved from Detroit to Chicago and now resides in L.A.  He can be seen on the HBO show Veep as Richard Splett.  Richardson is a primary writer/creator and co-starring alongside Jason Sudeikis in the Detroit-filmed, 2017 television series, Detroiters, and can also be seen in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson won the 1996 Tony Award for acting in Seven Guitars.  Santiage-Hudson earned his master's from Wayne State University and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Buffalo State College.  He is known for his work in The Devil's Advocate, American Gangster, Castle, and Mr. Brooks.

Barbara Selinger holds a master's in Education in Dance from Wayne State University. After graduating, she studied with many distinguished professional dancers and companies such as the Jose Limon Dance Company and the Bill Evans Dance Company. Currently she is Artistic Director of the prestigious Detroit Dance Collective.  In 1987 she was awarded Dance Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Dance Association.  In 1989 she received the celebrated Arts Achievement Award in Dance from WSU and was selected as the Farmington Artist in Residence in 1997. As well as touring with DDC, she tours her own solo concert and directs choreographic residencies in colleges and universities.

Tom Skerritt is a Detroit native and he has appeared in more than forty films and more than two hundred television episodes since 1962. He is known for his roles in MASH, Alien, Top Gun, A River Runs Through It, Up in Smoke, and the television series Picket Fences.  Skerritt has earned several awards and nominations, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1993 for Picket Fences.

Bryan Strimpel graduated from Wayne State University in 2011 with a B.F.A. in dance. He danced with Nicholas Leichter Dance from 2009 to 2012 as well as the Brian Brooks Moving Company from 2011-2014.  Strimpel is the co-director of B.S. Movement.  He has performed internationally and across the U.S. in venues including: The Joyce Theater, Joyce SoHo, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Jacob's Pillow, Bates Dance Festival, Joe's Pub, Hundred Grand SoHo and many others. He teaches class in NYC regularly at Gibney Dance at 280 Broadway. Strimpel is honored to have been selected as one of Dance Magazine's 'Top 25 to Watch' in 2013.

Jeffrey Tambor received his M.F.A from Wayne State University in 1969. He was in Taxi, Starsky and Hutch, and Three's Company.  Tambor's latest and more well-known projects are Arrested Development, in which he received an Emmy nomination, and Transparent which earned Tambor a Golden Globe award in 2015. His film credits include Meet Joe BlackHow the Grinch Stole ChristmasMuppets from Space, and Doctor Doolittle. His TV credits include Arrested DevelopmentL.A. LawThe Golden Girls, and Three's Company.

Barbara Tarbuck participated in WSU's production of Where's Charley, which toured through Europe.  She was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to LAMDA.  She then moved to New York to pursue her acting career. Tarbuck played Lady Jane Jack on General Hospital and appeared on American Horror Story.  Barbara Tarbuck passed away December 26, 2016.

Sonya Tayeh is a familiar face to the dance community in Detroit as well as across the country as she continues to push boundaries on TV and on the stage.  She joined Fox's So You Think You Can Dance in 2002.  She has choreographed for Madonna, Florence and the Machine, Kylie Minogue, and Miley Cyrus.  She also choreographed Andrew Lippa's musical The Wild Party, at Encores! Off-Center.  Her latest endeavors include working with the Martha Graham Dance Company and presenting her work at The Joyce in NYC. 

150 years in the heart of Detroit