Allison Engel is an author and produced playwright who has been an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor at national magazines.
Stories by Allison Engel:
How USC Thornton trains the next generation of music teachers
As the music school unveils a new master’s degree in popular music teaching and learning, graduates who are already teaching are adapting to the growing demand for music instruction beyond band, choir and orchestra.
Studying for finals? Let classical music help
Works by Bach, Brahms, Mozart and others are effective aids that improve sleep patterns and reduce stress, studies find.
USC Thornton at the vanguard of a new approach to teaching music
The journey now starts with a class that mixes students from the classical, jazz, popular music and music production programs, and examines big ideas that cross all disciplines.
USC drama students premiere original work at Edinburgh Fringe Festival
The student work revives a beloved tradition linking the USC School of Dramatic Arts and the largest arts festival in the world.
USC Thornton School to offer music teachers a master’s degree in teaching popular music
The new degree is designed for musicians wanting to transition into teaching as well as current K-12 teachers who want to immerse themselves in popular music pedagogy.
Student playwrights draw inspiration from world’s largest LGBTQ+ materials repository
🏳️🌈 PRIDE MONTH: Trojans get creative after a visit to the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, writing scenes based on a collection of photos from a 1950s gay wedding in Philadelphia.
Nice purse — you’d never guess it’s made from recycled theater backdrops
EARTH WEEK: Trojan Jennifer Wheeler Kahn transforms theatrical leftovers, including the curtain from USC’s Bing Theatre, into sustainable fashion goods.
Amplifying diverse voices in USC music classes
The Voices Fund has helped bring celebrated artists like jazz musician Roscoe Mitchell and mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges to speak in USC Thornton classrooms.
Honoring the life of Sandy Reed through student and alumni programming
The Sandy Reed Endowed Professional Development Fund, created in honor of the late alum, will endow professional development programming at the USC School of Dramatic Arts.
Two stars are born: New documentaries feature musical theater students
USC School of Dramatic Arts students Alana Bright and Nia Sarfo star in HBO Max’s Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020 and Netflix’s Giving Voice, respectively.
USC Thornton names first recipient of Victor McElhaney Memorial Jazz Drumming Endowed Scholarship
Dominic Anzalone, a student in USC Thornton’s Popular Music Program, has a background in jazz drumming and shares McElhaney’s belief that music can be a tool for social activism.
Othello presents special challenges for costume designer
As Howard Schmitt will tell you, the amount of serious historic research, fabric knowledge, understanding of body movement and sheer ingenuity that goes into costume design is one of the hidden secrets of the theater profession.
New endowed scholarship honors late jazz student Victor McElhaney
The Victor McElhaney Memorial Jazz Drumming Endowed Scholarship will provide scholarship support each year for an undergraduate drummer who reflects the spirit and ideals McElhaney represented.
Through a Bill Withers tribute video, USC music professors spotlight how to perform remotely
Faculty in the Popular Music Program collaborated virtually on a musical eulogy aimed at lifting up their students — and themselves.
USC playwright pens new ensemble piece for third-year acting students
Boni B. Alvarez, an adjunct lecturer at the USC School of Dramatic Arts, wrote Guarded specifically for a group of nine MFA Acting students.
New course on acting for video games explores the technical side of performing
The exclusive USC School of Dramatic Arts class — hosted in a production studio in Encino — focuses on gaming-centric specifics like facial capture and battle chatter.
Interactive theater program helps reinvigorate USC medical staff
The ACT Together residency uses the arts to give a revitalizing voice to burned-out doctors, nurses and medical staff.
Tracy Tutor’s path from USC to million dollar listings on Bravo and beyond
As both a real estate agent and a cast member on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, she’s benefitted from her acting training at the USC School of Dramatic Arts.
USC grad goes from drawing paper dolls in Korea to designing costumes on Black Panther
Though Chloe Ji Yoon teaches fashion design full time in Korea, the USC School of Dramatic Arts graduate can still find time for Hollywood gigs on Oscar-winning movies.
West Side Story showcases stellar work of USC’s actors, singers and dancers
The show marks a first-time collaboration among the USC School of Dramatic Arts, the USC Thornton School of Music and the USC Kaufman School of Dance.
Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner works on new version of an old play at USC
The Pulitzer Prize winner reimagines his acclaimed 1985 work A Bright Room Called Day for a cast of MFA actors.
Outspoken Iranian actress advises students to ‘stop pretending’
Shohreh Aghdashloo, who has played strong women on stage, television and in films, has simple acting advice for Trojans.
New scholarship honors director Jack Rowe’s love of theater
Reading and music have been constants in the life of the USC School of Dramatic Arts retiree, who now has an endowed scholarship in his name.
USC Thornton announces five new master’s degree programs
The school is adding the programs to stay ahead of major changes in the music industry, dean says.