Alumni of Note

The Ohio State University boast several award-winning alumni in theatre, film, and television.

Tony Awards

  • Lee Adams
  • Eileen Heckart
  • Peter Lawrence
  • Bonnie Milligan

Academy Awards

  • Matt Derksen
  • Eileen Heckart
  • Chris Wedge

Emmy Awards

  • Patricia Heaton
  • Eileen Heckart
  • Tom Shelly
  • Bruce Vilanch
  • Ed Sabol

Department Alumni

Lee Adams (BA, theatre '49), writer, librettist. Tony Award for Best Musical in 1961 for Bye Bye Birdie.

William Barclay (MFA, theatre '76), scenic designer and art director for stage and screen.

Raymond Caldwell (MFA, theatre '06), Producing Artistic Director and Executive Director of Theatre Alliance.

Shane Cinal (MFA, theatre '15), Scenic Designer for The Bear (FX).

John Donkin (BA, photography and cinema '83; MA, art education '86), film producer. 2006 Academy Award-nominated animated short No Time for Nuts.

Patricia Heaton (BA, theatre '80), actor. Two-time Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy for Everybody Loves Raymond. Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Culinary Program for Patricia Heaton Parties.

Eileen Heckart (BA, theatre '42), multi-award-winning actor. 1973 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Butterflies Are Free. 2000 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play; Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance; and Outer Critics Circle Award for The Waverly Gallery. 1957 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress--Motion Picture for The Bad Seed. 1997 National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble for The First Wives Club. 1994 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Love and War. 1953 Theatre World Award for Picnic. 2000 Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre.

Kermit Hunter (BA, theatre '31), playwright.

Toni-Leslie James (BFA, theatre, '79), costume designer for stage and film. 1997 Irene Sharaff Young Masters Award. 2009 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Costume Design. Tony Award nominations for Jelly's Last Jam (1992), Jitney (2017), and Bernhardt/Hamlet (2018).

Chris Jones (MA, theatre '86; PhD, theatre '89), editorial page editor and chief theatre critic for The Chicago Tribune and Broadway critic for New York Daily News. Author of Rise Up! Broadway and American Society from 'Angels in America' to 'Hamilton'.

Jerome Lawrence (BA, theatre '37; DRH, '63), playwright and author. Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical for Mame (1966).

Peter Lawrence (BA, theatre '66), production stage manager. 2013 Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre.

Esther Kim Lee (PhD, theatre '00), Frances Fox Professor of Theater Studies, International Comparative Studies, and History; Director of Asian American and Diaspora Studies, Duke University. Association for Theatre in Higher Education 2007 Award for Outstanding Book for A History of Asian American Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 2006). Author of The Theatre of David Henry Hwang (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2015); Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era (University of Michigan Press, 2022).

Jeffrey Light (BFA, art '78; MA, photography and cinema '83), animator.

Patrick Markey (BA, theatre '77), film and television producer.

Bonnie Milligan (BA, theatre '06), stage actor. 2023 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for Kimberly Akimbo.

Monica White Ndounou (PhD, theatre '07), associate professor, Dartmouth. Founding Executive Director, CRAFT Institute. Founding member, National Advisory Committee of The Black Seed. Co-founder,

Charles Newirth (BA, photography and cinema '77), film producer.

Coyote Peterson (BA, personalized study program '04), Youtuber and wildlife educator.

Gigi Rice (BFA, theatre '87), film and television actor.

Tom Shelly (BFA, photography and cinema '84), television producer. 2001 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstand Non-Fiction Program for Survivor.

Spencer Stander (BA, photography and cinema '93), film and television producer.

Bruce Vilanch (BA, theatre '70), comedy writer. Head writer for Academy Awards, 2000-2014. 1991 and 1992 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program.

Dina Waters (BA, theatre '88), actor with Turner Classic Movies.

Nar Williams (BA, theatre '06), film, television, and new media writer and director.

University Alumni in Theatre or Film

Todd Aronauer, (BA communication '96), freelance post-production producer for numerous Hollywood studios including FX, Disney, Netflix, Hulu, CBS, and Warner Bros.

Jocelyn Bioh (BA, English '05), playwright, actor.

Carole Federle Black (BA, English '65), President and Chief Executive Officer of Lifetime Entertainment Services (1999-2005).

Budd Boetticher, film director.

Marc Butan (BS, accounting '93), film producer. Chief Executive Officer of MadRiver Pictures.

Matt Derksen (BA, art '01; MFA, art '04), animation artist. Head of Rigging at Industrial Light and Magic. 2018 Oscar for technical achievement.

Howie Deutch (BS, education '72), film and television director.

Charles W. Fries (BS, business administration '50; DRH '86), film and television producer. Former Vice President of Columbia Pictures.

Don Handfield (BA, journalism '93), director, producer, writer, actor.

James C. Katz (BA, journalism '60), film historian and preservationist.

Adrienne Kennedy (BS, education '53; DRH, '03), playwright. 1964 Obie Award for Distinguished Play for Funnyhouse of a Negro. 1996 Obie Award for Best New American Play for June and Jean in Concert and Sleep Deprivation Chamber. 2008 Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement. 1967 Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Writing. Rockefeller Foundation grants in 1967 and 1970. 1972 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. 1990 American Book Award. 2021 Dramatists Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award. 2022 American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Drama.

Fred Ladd (BA, speech '49), television and film writer and producer.

Richard Lewis (BA, marketing and communications '69), comedian, actor, writer.

Warren Ostergard (BS, sports and leisure '98), film producer.

Ross Patterson (BA, communications '99), actor and writer.

Jean Peters, film actor.

Jennifer Reeder (BFA, fine art '94), director, writer, producer. Professor of Moving-Image at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kristen Ruhlin (BS, fashion and retail studies '06), actor.

Ed Sabol, filmmaker. Founder of NFL Films. 2003 Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Fred Silverman (MA '60), producer and television executive at CBS, ABC, and NBC. 1999 inductee into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

Loren Singer (BA, English '47) novelist and television writer.

Randy Skinner (BA, education '74), director, choreographer, performer. Four-time Tony Award nominee for Best Choreography for Dames at Sea (2016), Irving Berlin's White Christmas (2009), 42nd Street (2001), and Ain't Broadway Grand (1993).

Chris Wedge (MA, art education '85), actor and director. 1999 Academy Award for Best Animated Short for Bunny.

Tom Wheeler (BS, business administration '68), 31st Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.