Many of our theatre alumni continue their theatrical puruits!

Jacob Bollacke


Elon University 

BFA in Acting

Communications Minor

Favorite roles at AK were Billy Flynn in Chicago and Mr. Kipps in The Woman in Black


"The most important thing I learned at AK is to believe in myself. Every role I had taught me to be a better actor, and I am forever thankful for the opportunities that Ardrey Kell Theatre provided for me." 

Member of Elon University's Rip_Chord, award-winning acapella group

   *Performed The National Anthem for the Charlotte Hornets with Rip_Chord (2018)

   *Recorded a studio album with Rip_Chord (2018)


Inducted into Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society

Samantha Richmond


UNC Chapel Hill

BA Public Relations 

Dramatic Arts Minor


Favorite role at AK was Dance Captain of Mary Poppins


“AK Theatre taught me that theatre has the power to bring together so many different people and create something so beautiful and memorable. AK Theatre truly provided such an accepting, supportive environment that I didn’t think theatre could provide for me.”

Holly in Our Place (Fall 2018), Ensemble in Cabaret and The Producers 

Company Management Intern at North Carolina Theatre 

Choreographer of Pippin, Chicago, and Growing Pains

Box Office Manager and Fundraising Chair for Company Carolina

Secretary of Alpha Psi Omega Honors Theatre Fraternity 



Nominee for “Best Choreography” in the 2018 Penny Awards and the 2018 Oppie Awards 

Haley Stone


UNC Chapel Hill

BA Human Development and Family Studies

Dramatic Arts Minor

Favorite role at AK was Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins

"AK Theatre helped me discover who I am and who I could be. Mr. Gabbard, Mr. Seagroves, and everyone involved in the AK theatre community fosters an environment in which the students have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves. This environment challenges and pushes students to be better, and the experiences stick with them forever. I'm the person I am today because of AK Theatre and the love that this community showed me."


Fraulein Schneider in UNC Pauper Players' Cabaret

Member of the UNC Loreleis, award-winning acapella group

Connor Nielsen 


UNC Chapel Hill

BA Dramatic Art and Economic Development

Favorite role at AK was Julian Marsh in 42nd Street

"The most important thing I learned in AK Theatre was the importance of building an inclusive

community around something we all love."

Professional debut as Laurent in Tartuffe, PlayMakers Repertory Company

Producing Director of UNC undergraduate main stage, Kenan Theater Company

Summer Intern at New York Stage & Film

Co-director of Godspell (Fall 2018) for Company Carolina

Actor in ten other shows since graduating including Cabaret, A Chorus Line, and The Cherry Orchard


2018 UNC Oppie Awards Best Actor in a Musical for “Burrs” in The Wild Party 

2018-2019 UNC Lillian Chason Scholar in Dramatic Art 

Annie Saum


Baylor University

BFA Theater Design and Technology with an emphasis in Stage Management

Acted in 1 show at AK and stage managed 8

Favorite show was Eleemosynary

"The most important thing I learned at AK was that theater is a family. It
doesn’t matter what happens with the show in a competition, what
matters is that every show you are involved in helps to broaden your
mind and helps you to develop meaningful, long lasting friendships. And
this is truly the case in high school and college."

Production Intern at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Shadowed stage managers in New York, Chicago, and Dallas

Worked primarily in stage management at Baylor, but also does lighting design, carpentry, and scenic art

Nikko Austen Smith


Coastal Carolina University

BFA in Acting from Coastal Carolina University 

Favorite role at AK was Juliet in Romeo & Juliet

"The most important thing I learned in AK Theatre is to KEEP GOING and keep working hard. What is for you will come to you."

Recurring role (9 episodes) on Ava DuVernay's Queen Sugar on OWN

Lead in an indie feature starring Victoria Rowell (The Young and the Restless), Daphne Reid (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), and Richard Brooks (Being Mary Jane)

Signed with Abrams Artists Agency and Seven Summits Pictures & Management in Los Angeles

Recognitions: Suma Cum Laude (top 3 in class) 2018 Coastal Carolina University 

Mckenzie Wilson


UNC Chapel Hill

BA Dramatic Art, BA Communication with focus in Performance Studies


Favorite roles at AK were Assistant Director of Romeo and Juliet and President of ITS

"Listen. Listen to the air around you, your head and heart, your teachers, your parents, your friends, the energy around you, the stories on the news, the sounds the weather and car and computer and dog and shoes make, and all the people and world around you. Whether you are on stage, in the audience, or backstage - take it all in. The only way to make stories matter is to listen to them so that we can share them. So be present, be awake, be prepared, and listen to every experience - fill yourself with stories, with colors, with life. Then share it with whoever will listen." 

Carrie The Musical (Ensemble), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Paulina), A Chorus Line (Producer) 

The Cherry Orchard (Charlotta), Cabaret (Director), The Vagina Monologues (Performer), Me Too Monologues (Producer)

The Wolves (#13), Our Place (Director, Fall 2018)

Has worked in UNC Pauper Players, LAB! Theatre, Company Carolina, UNC Student Television, Carolina Film Association, Kenan Theatre Company, and PlayMakers Repertory in writing, producing, directing, sound, performing, and arts administration

Has worked professionally in Charlotte and Raleigh and has studied in NYC with professors and artists from NYU, Yale, and Julliard

If you are an alum and have continued in theatre, please email us at to learn how to be included here! 

© 2019 Ardrey Kell Theatre Department