Backstage @ Platt House

Listen to the latest episodes below!

Backstage @ Platt House is a new interview series from Penn’s hub for the student performing arts. Tune in as our guests share, document, and celebrate the performing arts at Penn, in Philly, and in Penn’s homes around the world.
In Season 1, we’re interviewing friends and alumni of the performing arts who have stayed in Philadelphia to pursue their creative careers. Transcripts will be available shortly – stay tuned!

Our student host, Jaden Cloobeck, introduces a new initiative for Season 2: Performing Arts in the Pandemic! To share your journey on the podcast or document your experience in other ways, contact our team at Find our Season 2 host, Jaden Cloobeck, on Facebook and on Instagram @jadencloo.

Collaborators and performing arts alumni Chelsea Cylinder, Danie Moore, and Hannah Spear are just days away from the premiere of a new digital piece! Crossover: A New Pop Musical runs September 24 – September 26 as part of the 2020 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Current students at the University of Pennsylvania can enter our lottery to snag free tickets! For more about the show and to purchase tickets, visit Check out the producing company, Green Light Group Productions, and find all of our alumni online! Follow Danie on Instagram @Danie.Moore, visit Chelsea on Instagram at @cecylinder and on, and keep an eye out for Hannah’s ongoing project with the Women’s Theatre Festival

Theatre artists Ben Behrend and Logan Schulman join me on the internet to talk about the Philadelphia theatre scene, art and grief in the age of COVID, their newest collaboration coming to screens near you! Their new virtual show, Welcome to the Shiva House,  runs September 10 – September 27 as part of the 2020 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Tickets are free! For more information and for tickets, visit You can find Ben online at, and Logan at

Music educator, multi-instrumentalist, theatre maker, dramaturg, and singer Gilberto Vega shares his journey (casi una telenovela) from Penn to the present, including several important stops to explain how he got backstage at Hamilton, why we need a Latinx version of The Wiz, and – why is Miley Cyrus attacking Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with a wrecking ball?? Check out Gil’s bilingual music education and outreach work with POPS In Schools @ Home, and find him on Twitter and Instagram as @soygilbertico.


Director of Communications by day, comedian and Co-producer of The Moth StorySLAM by night –  Paul Richards is the man behind the mask! 
In May, Paul sat down with Jaden to recap his journey, from writing and editing for the DP to finding his footing on stage as a comedian and storyteller. Also featuring a peek backstage at some Zoom improv woes, and his hopes for the performing arts on the other side of COVID!
Check out his comedy team, Shore Fire, as well as The Moth on Facebook as The Moth Philadelphia. And follow Paul (and his dogs) on Instagram as @PaulRichards3!


Producer, actress, dancer, teaching artist, and arts administrator Grayce Hoffman maps our her rollercoaster ride through Philly’s Penn network, from apprenticeships to the founding of Paper Doll Ensemble, as well as an important expose on her all-time favorite seasons of The Bachelor. Find Grayce on Facebook as Grayce Hoffman Artist and on Instagram, @ladygrayce – and follow her pup on Tik Tok and Instagram @PepperRosePuppy!
Looking for theatre, film, or arts and culture jobs? Check out the job banks from Theatre PhiladelphiaThe Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and You can also participate in or watch the Going Viral Festival on Facebook, including performances from Grayce
(and pieces directed by Claris Park, from Episode 6)!


Actress, director, playwright, arts administrator, and future law school student Claris Park took a break from virtual play directing to chat with us about how they wound up in their first theatre class, working in the Philly theatre scene, and the value of finding a creative home. Find her on Instagram at @ClarisParkis, and while you’re at it, follow PAPA on Facebook and Instagram @PhillyAsianPerformingArtists, as well as Spiral Q Puppet Theatre@SpiralQ on both. Tune in to the Going Viral Festival on Facebook, and keep an eye out (and fingers crossed) for a remount of Esther Choi and the Fish that Drowned!
Read about and donate to the Philadelphia artist relief fund here:
Theatre Philadelphia Emergency Relief.


Peter Lu, C’21, composed two short tunes and submitted them for our theme song contest earlier this month! We loved our pick, Retro Climb, but you’ve only heard a snippet of the full jam in our regular intro and outro.
This time, grab some headphones and enjoy the full tracks of Retro Climb and Subtle Bug.


Tap dancer, choreographer, and jazz composer Pamela Hetherington takes it from the top as she retraces her journey into dance, through Penn (with a special stop at Soundworks), from street hoofing to jazz, and to the founding Take It Away Dance and Sound Space Performing Arts right here in Philly. Find her online at and on Instagram @SoundSpaceDance, and stay up to date with chapter releases of her forthcoming book on facebook and on her website,


Content warning: This conversation contains brief mentions of child abuse and sexual assault. Listener discretion is advised.
Composer, musician, actress, and amateur archaeologist Melissa Dunphy visits us to talk shop about classical music, how to pursue all of your dream career(s), and a little dirt on the history of her own neighborhood in Old City Philadelphia. Find Melissa online as mormolyke, and listen to The Boghouse podcast with her co-adventurer and husband Matt on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyiHeartRADIO, or Google Play.


Acrobat-actor-dancer-director-producer Ben Grinberg, with fellow dancer (and -berg) Hannah, trace Ben’s artistic career and all the hurdles, hoops, and leaps of faith along the way. Find Ben’s company on Facebook as AlmanacDCT and on Instagram: @Almanac_US.


Podcast producer and Wharton’s Associate Director of Student Life, Aman Goyal, takes us on a tour of his winding path from student life to Student Life at Penn, and how a love for storytelling led him to his side gig as Philly’s regional producer for The Moth. Find The Moth on Facebook as The Moth Philadelphia, and check out his content for Wharton Undergrad on Instagram: @whartonugr.


Actress and singer Annie Fang reunites with an old friend to reminisce about Penn theatre, share career advice, and give one million shout-outs. Find Annie on Facebook as Annie.Fang.1485 and on Instagram @thefatpecan. Also, check out this past project at the Icebox Project Space on Instagram: @Killjoys_Kastle_Philly.


Introducing a new podcast from our little corner of the University of Pennsylvania!
This season, we’re broadcasting conversations with local alumni at all stages in their journeys. This series of interviews, hosted by current students in the performing arts, will tell you what it’s like to be forge an arts career in the city of brotherly love. 
In this episode: Amanda Labonte, James Grant, Laurie McCall, Megan Edelman, and Sara Outing.
View Episode 0 Show Notes and Transcript