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May 4, 2023

Meet the 2023/24 Season 21st Century Artist Interns


Each year, UMS and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance pair students with an internship working with dance, theater, and music ensembles in the forefront of their fields.

The 21st Century Artist Internship is a highly competitive program developed to prepare students for new demands that working artists face in the contemporary marketplace.

This summer, interns will develop industry contacts, hands-on work experience, and deep connections with internationally recognized performing artists. And upon their return to campus, the interns continue their work via a one-credit independent study where they serve as campus ambassadors, educators, and marketers to support their respective artists during their visit to Ann Arbor in UMS’s 2023/24 season.

The 21st Century Artist Internship program is made possible in part by Tim and Sally Petersen.

This Year’s Interns

Matthew EggersMatthew Eggers

Class of ’24
Major: Theater Design and Production
Placement: Javaad Alipoor Company (Manchester, England & Edinburgh, Scotland)

Related UMS Performances
Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World
Nov 15-18, 2023 // Arthur Miller Theatre

Matthew Eggers is a theater artist currently working as a BFA candidate at the University of Michigan in Theater Design and Production. They are a Queer artist that loves to explore the intersection of performance, design, and community. Trained as a Costume Designer, they have picked up skills from scenic, lighting, and stage management during their time at the University. Although they could do a whip stitch at a moment’s notice, they could also just as easily daisy chain DMX, lay a floor of Marley, and run a production meeting in a lighthearted manner.

They are currently the Artistic Director of Basement Arts, a student-run theater company geared towards community-centered theater at the University. They have previously held the position of Late Night Coordinator, creating engaging events to celebrate art, identity, and life. Outside of theater, they are a journalist and editor, specifically in the arts. In 2021 they were selected as the O’Neill Theater Journalism Fellow at the National Kennedy Center American College Theater Conference and joined the National Critics Institute 2021 class at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Currently, they are a Senior Newsletter Editor at the Michigan Daily.


Sasha GusikhinAlexandra (Sasha) Gusikhin

Class of ’25
Major: Voice Performance and Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN)
Placement: The Philadelphia Orchestra (Philadelphia, PA & Saratoga Springs, NY)

Related UMS Performances
The Philadelphia Orchestra
April 20-21, 2024 // Hill Auditorium

Sasha Gusikhin (she/her) is a dual degree student from Commerce Township, MI, studying voice performance with Professor Caitlin Lynch and biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience (BCN) at the College of LSA. She is passionate about using music and performing arts events as mobilizing agents to facilitate tangible action, community engagement, and holistic healing through inter-audience connection. She is currently the co-executive director of the Aphasia Community Friendship Center, where she works to fuse neuroscience and music to foster language recovery in a safe environment for persons with communication disorders.

Sasha’s passion for event production was ignited when she conceived and co-produced the Benefit Concert for Ukraine (2022) at the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, where she also serves as an alto soloist and section leader. Later that year, she co-produced the mental health-centered YES GALA at the Michigan Theater with Express Your Yes Foundation in collaboration with six local nonprofit organizations and over 40 community performers. At U-M, she has produced Boys in the Band with In the Round, a student theater organization dedicated to providing a safe space for queer stories and storytellers. Sasha hopes to apply her education to cultivate powerful and neurologically-informed experiences of community healing through the arts.


Kate KlassaKatherine (Kate) Klassa

Class of ’24
Major: Organizational Studies and Theater Arts
Minor: Dance
Placement: Martha Graham Dance Company (New York City, NY)

Related UMS Performances
Martha Graham Dance Company
Feb 17-18, 2024 // Power Center

Kate Klassa (she/her), from Dearborn Heights, MI, is a junior at the University of Michigan pursuing degrees in Organizational Studies and Theater Arts with a minor in Dance. She hopes to continue down the path of performing arts management and arts organizing as she is passionate about expanding the reach of art to new communities and audiences. Kate is not only an administrator, but she is also an artist and an educator in dance. She has been dancing since the age of 4 and continues to perform with her lyrical and jazz dance group at her university. As a teacher at local dance studios in her hometown and now her college town of Ann Arbor, she is dedicated to building community and empowering dancers to make connections within themselves, their bodies, and others in the classroom.

Outside of her love for dance, she has become drawn into the worlds of theater and musical theater in recent years while volunteering for run crew and ushering for student groups and university productions at U-M. Kate found that musical theater combines her love for music and movement and storytelling and pushed her to pursue her current role as a producer of musical theater productions through MUSKET, a student organization on campus. As she moves into the professional art world, she hopes to intertwine her experiences within the performing arts community and use this knowledge to inspire further change toward creating a more equitable and just, arts-filled society.


Emilia VizacheroEmilia Vizachero

Class of ’24
Major: Acting
Minor: Community Action for Social Change
Placement: Druid Theatre (Galway, Ireland)

Related UMS Performances
Druid O’Casey
Oct 18-21, 2023 // Power Center

Emilia Vizachero (they/she) is an actor, writer, educator, and community organizer from Baltimore, MD. Introduced to theater at a young age, they have always had a fascination with the transformative power of the performing arts and their ability to spark dialogue. Their first forays into arts activism began during their years at Baltimore School for the Arts, where they served as editor of a youth-led feminist collective that published zines biannually. They produced and directed Lauren Gunderson’s play Natural Shocks to raise funds for Everytown for Gun Safety, led theater workshops at local retirement homes, and wrote scenes to raise awareness about conscientious objection to war.

At the University of Michigan, Emilia continues their work exploring the intersection of storytelling and social justice. While pursuing a BFA in Acting and a minor in Community Action for Social Change, Emilia has staged plays to raise awareness for various social issues, devised performance pieces to call attention to misogyny, and written one-acts, most notably Simple Verses In Technicolor, which explores the queer experience. They have also been an active member of the Theater department by participating in the Season Selection Advisory Committee (crafting a diverse, student-focused production season) and the Accountability Team (strategizing ways to uphold standards of equity in the department).