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Obituary: Ann Katharine Seamans, Ellis School graduate studied dance, ceramics

Monday, October 18, 1999

By Christopher Rawson, Post-Gazette Drama Critic

Ann Katharine Seamans, a sophomore at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., was already known as a gifted young dancer, filmmaker and ceramist.

She was following in the artistic footsteps of her parents, Joseph and Elizabeth Seamans of Point Breeze. He is an independent producer and cinematographer who created award-winning documentaries at WQED-TV, and she works for Family Communications, producers of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," on which she plays Mrs. McFeely.

Ms. Seamans, 19, died Thursday as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in the Strip District.

"I've known Annie since she was born," said Fred Rogers. "What a wonderful person, filled with grace, passionate for the arts. She lived her almost 20 years as intensely and beautifully as someone who lived many more years."

While a student at Ellis School, from which she graduated in 1998, Ms. Seamans won an internship with Pittsburgh Filmmakers to work on several films of her own. Her dance training began in classical ballet and shifted to modern dance, which she studied with Dance Alloy. She had performed locally with different dance groups. At Ellis, she choreographed musical productions, created and performed her own solo work and in her senior year taught a section of sixth-grade dance.

She was equally gifted in ceramics, where she took Best of Show in the 1998 Scholastic Art Competition, earning a Gold Key, the highest award for the Western Pennsylvania region, and a finalist's place in the national competition. Her winning piece was displayed at the Warhol Museum.

"We all think our own kids are absolutely fabulous," said Judy Callomon, former director of the upper school at Ellis, "but Annie was. Her interest in the arts was tremendous but she was also a scholar, very active in peer counseling and president of the student council."

In addition to her parents, Ms. Seamans is survived by her brother Michael; her paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Seamans of Beverly, Mass., and her maternal grandfather, Dr. Alexander Nadas of Needham, Mass.

Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. today in Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Ave., Shadyside, where the funeral will he held at 11. Burial will be in Homewood Cemetery.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Dance Alloy Scholarship Fund, 5530 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, 15206.

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