A rising star on Broadway
By Kathleen McDonald ’94
Salem State University’s theater grads are busy in the industry as designers, stage managers, directors, and stage actors. In the case of one theater alumna, that stage is in American theater’s mecca—Broadway. Salem State theatre graduate Tracee Chimo ’01 first turned heads on the Great White Way in 2009 in her role as a Jewish seamstress in Irena’s Vow at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Since then she has increasingly been recognized as one of Broadway’s rising stars.
Chimo’s talent first attracted New York buzz last year when she played the awkward, mumbling hooded character in Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker. The play—about strangers who come together in a creative drama class—showed off her ensemble skills and won the cast the prestigious Obie award, which annually honors the best of Off-Broadway theater.
More recently Chimo has shared the stage with David Duchovny and Amanda Peet in Neil LaBute’s latest work, Break of Noon. In it, she plays both a prostitute and a talk-show host. New York Magazine highlighted her performance in its list of “good things.” In August, during her run in Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette, the Salem State actress was the subject of a feature article in The New York Times (read the article). In his review, Times theater critic Charles Isherwood pronounced: “Ms. Chimo, so superb as the mousy nerd in Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation, proves equally terrific as this cold, confident but emotionally brittle manipulator.”
The youthful, multi-talented Chimo is a Saugus native and graduated from Salem State in 2001. She performed in both the Mainstage and Callan theaters as a student. In a production of Into the Woods, Ms. Chimo portrayed a tree. And Salem State is proud to be the roots of her budding career.
Photo caption: Tracee Chimo ’01 on opening night for The Break of Noon on November 21 with cast members Amanda Peet, David Duchovney and John Earl Jelks.
For the Salem State University Center for Creative and Performing Arts upcoming events, go to salemstate.edu/arts.
Save the date! Theatre alumni reunion - Saturday, June 4, 2011
Join us for the first-ever Salem State University Theatre Alumni Reunion, featuring an all-star roast honoring Professor Whitney “Whizz” White as he retires after 38 years. Mark your calendars now and watch for details in early 2011.