Alumni Profile: Annalisa Dias-Mandoly

  • CAS Class of 2010
  • Double major in English and Religion; minors in Theatre Arts and French
  • Now living in: Washington, DC


1. Tell us about your life since graduation! 

I live and work in DC as a playwright, director, and performer. I’ve been fortunate in being able to work with theater companies in the area including the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Source Festival, Theater Alliance, the Inkwell, and the Folger Theater. My plays have been produced in New York, DC, Glasgow, and London. I also co-founded the Washington DC Coalition for Theatre & Social Justice in 2014, and work as a Program Coordinator for Intercultural Programs at The Catholic University of America.


2. Share with us some of your BU memories.

Some of my best friends from BU were students that I met through Core, and I still keep in touch with many of them. We spent long hours discussing Plato and Aristotle, relishing our academic pursuits.

What I really remember is shared commiseration with fellow Core members when we were all simultaneously working on work-for-distinction papers, and spending hours upon hours poring over research materials. The Core office became a second home for many of us.

I only took two sections of Core, but even those few classes created lasting relationships. I hope the Core continues to prepare students for rigorous intellectual discussion and helps students find like-minded peers.


3. How did your time in Core play into your current professional life?

I work in professional theatre, so the ‘great books’ aspect of Core continually informs my decisions about what kinds of work to pursue and how to pursue it well.


4. This wouldn’t be a Core profile if we didn’t ask: What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The Empty Space by Peter Brook and Less Than Human by David Livingstone Smith.


5. St. Augustine says, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” Do you have any travel experiences you would like to share?

So many! I recently traveled to Trivandrum, India to study a 9000-year-old martial art called kalaripayattu for two weeks. In 2014, I had the opportunity to travel to London to see a play that I wrote staged at London’s Theatre503. In 2013 I traveled to Malawi and South Africa to teach theatre of the oppressed and film a documentary about the work, and larger issues of theatre and community health in rural Africa. That film, entitled The Salima Project premiered as an Official Selection in the 2014 Awareness Festival.


8. What quote, from a Core author or otherwise, sums up what Core taught you about life? 

Plato: “The object of education is to teach us to love what is Beautiful.”


Friends and former classmates can connect with Annalisa online at or on Twitter @ajdm.

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