Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Announces 2022 Annual SNL Scholarship Recipients


Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre is proud to announce the recipients of our second annual scholarship awards for diverse talent in partnership with Saturday Night Live.

Launched in 2021, the UCB/SNL Scholarship program aims to make space for diverse voices in our school and on our stages. In addition to providing students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to complete core and advanced classes in improvisation, character work, and sketch writing, “SNL” will be engaged in developing these students once they begin their work at UCB. These scholarship recipients will also have direct entry to submit an audition tape or sketch packet to “SNL.”

“We are inspired and energized by the level of talent that our SNL diversity scholarship application process brings into the UCB community. Through SNL’s financial and professional partnership, we see this program both as an opportunity and a privilege to set underrepresented talent up to navigate our community and the industry beyond successfully,” says UCB CEO, Mike McAvoy.

After reviewing over 600 applications, a diverse committee representing UCB performers and writers selected outstanding applicants for a final round of interviews.



The following performers and writers have been selected to begin training with UCB this fall:


Dawnie Marie (she/her) is a New Orleans native based in Los Angeles, CA. She is an actor, puppeteer, and all-around creative who loves making people smile.

Jessica Hopkins (she/her) began her career at UCB New York and has since written and produced for Above Average, Reductress, and Warner Bros. Television. She currently has a monthly show called Jess Hopkins + Friends that features talent like Ilana Glazer, Mark Normand, Punkie Johnson, Joe List, Moses Storm, and more. She also hosts a podcast called Jess & The Guest, where she interviews comedians, actors, celebrities, and even the cast of Tiger King.

Josiah Edwards (he/him) is the opposite of your stereotypical leading man  – he’s short, black, and queer, striving to write and perform content that furthers representation on stage and on screen.

Morthyn Roc (he/him) is a Dominican actor, writer, and stand-up comic from the Bronx, NY. His energetic slapstick style of comedy blends whimsical characters with bilingual humor. Morthyn is part of UCB’s Characters team and is currently producing his one-man show, which is set to premiere during the summer of 2023.

Nikhil Deshpande (he/him) is an Indian-American writer/performer born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He has written and performed in countless improv, sketch, and stand-up shows at UCB. He also can be found acting in a commercial from time to time or writing in the corner of a coffee shop somewhere in Los Angeles!

Nina P. Castro (she/her) is a Puerto Rican-Italian writer, comedian, actress, and veterinarian from New York, based in Los Angeles. She has a passion for character work and commercial parodies.

Renee Ross (she/her) is a former educator turned comedy writer and actor. She’s a proud Baltimorean who is passionate about telling stories that amplify the spectrum of Black experiences.

Tameishia Peterson (she/her) is an actor/writer UCB New York alumni who focused on Advanced Study Harold and Sketch Writing. She loves theater and comedy and is excited about this opportunity to hone her skills. For Sanity, she enjoys quality time with her four nieces and roller skating to her Jan/Bey/D. Summer playlist and venting on the socials.


Congratulations, Dawnie, Jessica, Josiah, Morthyn, Nikhil, Nina, Renee, and Tameishia!!!