Category: GEMA, GEMA Alumni Spotlight

Title:GEMA Spotlight – Q&A with the Georgetown Theater Network

Matt Beshke (SFS’18), Kathleen Hill (SFS’15) and Daisy Steinthal (SFS’23) are members of the Georgetown Theater Network (GTN) steering committee. 

GTN is a new, affiliate network of GEMA that aims to build community among Georgetown theater professionals and theater enthusiasts, promote work by members of the Georgetown community, and provide career support and networking opportunities for students and alumni. GEMA spoke with Matt, Kathleen, and Daisy to learn more about how GTN came about and opportunities for alumni to get involved.

Getting to Know GTN:

How were you involved with theater at Georgetown and what are you doing now?

Kathleen: I’m a 2015 SFS graduate who studied international culture and politics. I spent most of my time on campus with the Chamber Singers, nomadictheatre, and Mask & Bauble. Currently, I work for WolfBrown, a non-profit research and consulting firm based in Cambridge, MA. We specialize in completing program evaluations of arts organizations across the country. Highlights of my work have included collaborating with the Kennedy Center, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Matt: Before graduating from the SFS in 2018 as Global Business major, I was drawn into the theater community on campus from day one of my freshman NSO. During my time on campus, I acted in shows for Mask & Bauble, was Sales Director on M&B’s Board 165, and worked behind the scenes on plenty of other productions. I also sang with the Chimes. Now, I work in sales at an investment bank in New York, putting my Asian Studies and Chinese minors to use, focusing on Asian equities.

Daisy: I graduated this past May from the SFS, where I studied Culture and Politics. At Georgetown, I was a bit of a student theater chameleon, working on shows across all of the clubs and the Department of Performing Arts. Some of my favorite roles I took on include producing Zoom DBMOAF 35, assistant directing Cabaret, producing Sweat, and devising/directing the first “Miscast” charity concert. Post grad, I moved back home to New York, and I am a PR consultant specializing in capital markets communications.

What is the history of GTN, and how have you gotten to where you are today?

Kathleen: In the early 2000s, alums formed “Georgetown theater Alumni” to support Hoyas who were involved with the student theater groups. After several years, this group fell into inactivity, but the concept lingered — even nagged at a few people working in theater who kept running into Georgetown alumni.

In 2018, a group of recent alums decided to restart the alumni community. With support from the Department of Performing Arts, we adopted the old GTA acronym but changed our name to “Georgetown theater Alliance” to capture the theater community both on and off campus. We set to work coordinating alumni nights for campus performances and a regular reception at Homecoming.

What are some GTN success stories from the past few years?

Matt: It was fantastic to see our community connect and grow together over the past few years, even during pandemic. We helped put on a series of virtual productions directed by students and alumni, including A Christmas Carol, Tam Lin and Other Journies, and Murder/Suicide. Additionally, we were proud to help Georgetown’s Black theater Ensemble (BTE) fundraise for much-needed technical equipment, connecting students and generous alumni for a great cause. I also fondly remember a Summer Social that we hosted in New York back in 2019, which was attended by over 30 alumni and included a staged reading from Caitlin Cassidy (C ’11), Artistic Director of LubDub theater. We hope to do more of these in the future!

Are there any examples you have of connecting with Georgetown theater alumni across the eras?

Daisy: My junior year, I produced Sweat alongside director Reginald Douglas (C’09). It was the first time an alum came back to lead a student production, and it went up during a key moment in our transition out of covid and back to “normal.” Throughout the process, we had to relearn a lot of practical knowledge and rebuild lost institutional memory. Reg truly grounded the space, bringing not only his professional expertise and artistry, but his overwhelming love of Georgetown. Through small moments like laughing about campus dining and debriefing the age-old (friendly) rivalry among the clubs, Reg gave us much needed perspective and tethered us to our community’s history at a time when everything felt very new and uncertain.

You recently completed a strategic planning process. Tell us about that and its impact on GTN.

Kathleen: After a few years of highly successful, but informal programming, the team felt like we had the momentum to begin “formalizing”. In 2020, I was lucky enough to partner with Cailin Dutkiewicz (C’15) to lead the group through a strategic planning process. Both of us had recently completed or were in the process of completing programs in arts/theater management, and we were ready to put those skills to good use. (She and I also happened to spend summers at the same community theater outside Boston growing up.)

We interviewed university staff, faculty, and nearly 25 alumni from the 1960s-2020s. We also completed a series of design thinking exercises to better articulate our mission and activities. One of our takeaways was that Georgetown truly has a robust and dynamic network of organizations that support alumni — we would be better off leaning into them rather than trying to work independently. So, we were ecstatic when we were able to connect with GEMA.

Starting a New Chapter with GEMA

How do you see GTN and GEMA working together over the years to come?

Matt: We are so thrilled to announce our affiliation with GEMA, as we believe that all alumni will be able to benefit from each group’s connections, events, and opportunities. GEMA has done a phenomenal job building strong and lasting connections in the entertainment and media industry. We want to help wherever we can by bringing in the theater world. From easy wins like sharing information on upcoming projects, to future goals like shared co-productions or showcases, there are lots of possibilities.

Do you have any events in the pipeline that the community should be aware of?

Daisy: Our next GTN event will be an on-campus gathering and tour of DPAC during reunion weekend 2024. We also just held an event in NYC around New Relic theater’s production of Antigone and look forward to coordinating more GTN meet-ups in conjunction with their upcoming productions.

Who can be a member of GTN? 

Matt: Anyone! Well, any graduate of Georgetown that is interested in theater. We want to stress that all alumni who identify themselves as theater enthusiasts or professionals – whether you work in the arts or not – have a place in GTN.

How can a reader of this Q&A contribute to the next chapter of GTN?

Kathleen: Sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on instagram to stay up to date with events and activities! Also, pop over to our website to learn more about the team and opportunities to support our work. Better yet — share how we can support you by reaching out to us.

Lightning Round

Favorite Georgetown Restaurant or Bar?

Daisy: Tombs of course! Especially on Trivia night.

Kathleen: Tombs for me too! Bring back the Hoya Salad. ASAP.

Matt: Hah! As a 99 Days Club member, I’ll third The Tombs. But a Wisey’s Hot Chick still holds a special place in my heart.

Best spot on Georgetown’s campus?

Daisy: I love sitting on Copley, especially under the big tree in the fall as its leaves turn yellow.

Kathleen: Is it cheesy to say Dahlgren? I loved singing in the space with the Chamber Singers.

Matt: Don’t boo me, but I did always love going to Lau 2 to “study”. There was nothing like hanging out with my friends when I really should’ve been hitting the books harder!

What’s the best part of being a part of GTN?

Daisy: I love that GTN allows me to meet and work with alums who I did not overlap with on campus and would otherwise not get the chance to know.

Kathleen: In college, I knew I wanted to meld my love of the arts and policy together, but I had no idea how. I’m hoping GTN can not only be the bridge for people to learn about exciting opportunities in the creative industries but also how they can leverage their theater skills to seize them.

Matt: Again and again, it’s been the chance to meet people! It’s been great getting to know both older and younger alums that are looking for ways to connect over a shared passion for the performing arts. Georgetown’s theater-loving alumni base is so much stronger than I had known it to be as an undergrad, and GTN has been a fantastic opportunity to learn from others and forge new connections.

To read other Alumni Spotlights, click here