Alumni Memories: April 4

Alumna Melinda Robinson MFA '78 shares a costume shop memory from backstage on Oklahoma.

The costume shop, Spring 2015. Photo by Chris Shinn.

For #SDA75, we’re looking back on our fondest memories, from alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, donors and friends: this short story was submitted by alumna Melinda Robinson MFA ’78.

I started at the USC Department of Drama mid-year in January of 1976, in the graduate design program. David Maverick Lane was the entire design faculty. The next summer, a costume design faculty member was hired, Ricky Spencer. He had just come from SUNY Purchase. At that time, the grad design program was a two-year MFA. After our production of “Oklahoma,” which was in the Bovard Auditorium, the actor who played Aly Hakim, LeVar Burton, was one of several actors from USC who was auditioned for the miniseries “Roots” by Alex Haley. LeVar was cast, and he let us know in the costume shop above the Scene Shop by hooping and hollering through the Scene Shop and running upstairs! “Roots” shot that next summer, and LeVar went onto many other film and television projects, like “Reading Rainbow” and “StarTrek: The Next Generation.”

Share your memories with us!

Celebrating Over 75 Years SDA Logo

To help celebrate our 75th anniversary, the School of Dramatic Arts is collecting memories from our community to share during our year-long celebration. Submit your stories from your time at SDA through words, images or videos. #SDA75