Motifs: August 2021

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David McKenas (IAA 70-73, IAC/NMC 71-72) recently published Shocked: Life and Death at 35,000 Feet. Part historical narrative and part memoir, the book explores McKenas’s work in starting the onboard defibrillator program for U.S. airlines and tells the dramatic true story of the first “resurrection” on a commercial airliner.

Dermot Mulroney (IAC/NMC 79) will star in the forthcoming holiday comedy The Fight Before Christmas. The Lionsgate film, which will be released in the fourth quarter of 2021, also stars Janel Parrish and Hayley Orrantia.

Leslie Wagner, Ph.D. (IAC 80-81) was recently elected president of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society. Wagner is also the 2021-22 commodore of the Grosse Pointe Boat Club, a psychologist/chaplain at Lady of the Lake Ministries, and a member of the Board of Directors for the World Mental Health Coalition.

Dana Edell (IAC/NMC 89-91, IAA 91-94) will release her first book, Girls, Performance, and Activism: Demanding to be Heard in August 2021 through Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. The book “offers artists, activists, educators, and scholars a comprehensive analysis, celebration, and critique of the ways in which teenage girls create and perform activist theatre.” Edell is currently an adjunct instructor at New York University - Tisch.

David Montee (IAA Fac 88-18) published his second book, Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage?: Lessons and Advice for Young Actors, their Teachers, and their Families in June 2021. The book, a collection of essays on training of high school-age actors, offers advice for coping with the realities of professional life in theatre and counsel for teachers and families working with young actors. The book is available through Amazon and Horizon Books.

Katie Kitamura (IAC 90) released her fourth novel, Intimacies, in July 2021. Kitamura recently spoke about the book in The New York Times.

Kit Williamson (IAA 02-04) and Brittany Cavallaro (IAA 02-04, IAC Fac 17-19, 21, IAA Fac 17-) are adapting Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar literary universe for television. The series will be produced by Radar Pictures.

Ashley Park (IAC 03) will star as Cinderella in New York City Center’s two-week run of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods. The production, presented as part of the center’s Encores! series, will run May 4-15, 2022. The star-studded cast also includes Heather Headley, Sara Bareilles, and Christian Borle.

Lauren Ledger (IAC 17) played a principal role in the Lifetime movie Nobody Will Believe You. Ledger played Zoe, the emo best friend of the main character, in this suspenseful thriller. The film is available to stream on Lifetime’s website.

Andrew Christian (IAA 19-20) recently enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. He completed boot camp and earned the title Marine in June 2021.