Faculty and Staff
Margaret Baldwin Pendergrass
Margaret Baldwin (Senior Lecturer, Coordinator of General Education)
M.F.A. Theatre Arts (Playwriting), University of Iowa
B.A. English/Modern Studies, University of Virginia
Areas of Emphasis: General Education, Script Analysis, Performance Composition, Adaption, Ensemble Performance
Margaret Baldwin, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, has produced her plays and ensemble theatre works throughout the US. Her most recent play, Night Blooms, received its world premiere at Horizon Theatre Company in Atlanta, September 2010, directed by Karen Robinson, with dramaturgy by Lisa Adler. Night Blooms was named one of the top plays of 2010 by both the Atlanta Journal Constitution and ArtsCriticATL.com; Margaret and Night Blooms were featured in an interview for American Theatre Magazine (October 2010). Developmental workshops and readings of Night Blooms include Horizon's New South Play Festival (2006-9), Orlando Shakespeare Festival's PlayFest, the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, MN, Working Title Playwrights, and the KSU New Works and Ideas Festival. Margaret and Horizon Theatre received a National AT&T Onstage Award for the world premiere of her play Her Little House, named one of the Best New Plays of 2004 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Her family plays include Tom Thumb the Great, commissioned and produced by Georgia Shakespeare (2008) and developed in collaboration with the KSU Department of TPS&D; and Alice Through the Wonderglass, commissioned and produced by Synchronicity Performance Group (2003). Other recent works, You Always Go Home, Monkey King, and Roland's Song: A War Story were commissioned and produced by the KSU Department of Theatre, Performance Studies and Dance. Monkey King, funded in part by the Coca-Cola Foundation, traveled to China for a festival at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Margaret's solo works, The Wet Nurse Sings and The Deepest Part of the Creek (2003), were published in Monologues for Women edited by the Playwrights' Center. Her collaborative theatre work in development with Out of Hand Theater, Without Which Nothing, was featured at Emory University's Brave New Works Festival (April 2011).
Margaret holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Playwrights' Center, and Working Title Playwrights. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Paul Pendergrass, and serves as Lecturer and Interim General Education Coordinator for Theatre and Performance Studies in the KSU Department of Theatre and Performance Studies.
Jamie Bullins (Associate Professor, Coordinator of Design Tech, Faculty Advisor Kennesaw Improv Society, Stupid!)
M.F.A. Theatrical Design, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
B.A. Studio Art, Campbell University
Areas of Emphasis: Scenography, Production/Theatre Management
Born and raised in North Carolina, the South has always been home, and was the setting for his formal education; BA in Studio Art (Campbell University) and MFA in Scenography (University of North Carolina-Greensboro). The effects of the ongoing learning are undetermined, and it persists. The last 17 years found him working as an art director, photographer, graphic designer, and on campuses such as Auburn University and the University of Florida as well as the last 11 years here at Kennesaw, where he coordinates the design/technology concentration of the department as well as supervises the production activities and process each academic season.
Course material includes the history of period style, theatrical design (costume, lighting, makeup, scene, sound) and mask making/performance. Within the forty-something productions designed at KSU, The Oresteia, The Triumph of Love, Sweeney Todd, The Grapes of Wrath (yes, that one), King of Hearts, Moby-Dick and Bat Boy the Musical are marked among favored experiences.The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival has recognized his work on several occasions and students are beginning to follow suit, appearing on stage with national awards for costume and scene design three times between 2007-2010.
He was among four design consultants, including Keith Belli, Liz Stillwell and Paul Tazewell, to Rosemary Ingham's final text before her untimely passing in 2008, From Page to Stage: How Theatre Designers Make Connections Between Scripts and Images.
He clings to the belief that professional development in the field is inseparable from your worth as an educator. Do it and teach it. Throughout the past 11 years, he has designed 74 projects off-campus with 17 separate companies like Theatrical Outfit, Center for Puppetry Arts, Dad's Garage Theatre, Actor's Express, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Connecticut Theatre Festival and The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble.
During his continuing development as a teacher and designer, he has never ceased to wonder at the artisans around him and their devotion and skill. Talent is one thing, fervent dedication to one's art is another. A huge humble note of gratitude is owed to those folks; those who taught me and teach me.
Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one. -- Stella Adler
Ming Chen (Professor, Resident Designer)
M.F.A. Stage Design/Theory, Shanghai Theatre Academy
M.A. Theatrical Production, University of Pittsburgh
B.F.A. Stage Design, Shanghai Theatre Academy
Areas of Emphasis: Scenic Design; Costume Design
Ming Chen is a tenured full professor and resident theatrical designer with 24 years of university teaching experience and three years of full time professional theatre experience. Born in Shanghai, China, she received her two master's degrees in Stage Design/Theory and in Theatrical Production from Shanghai Theatre Academy and the University of Pittsburgh respectively. She had worked at the Shakespeare Theatre at Folger in Washington, D.C. and Shanghai Youth Theatre Company in Shanghai and taught at SUNY at Buffalo in New York as well as Shanghai Theatre Academy in Shanghai before moving to Kennesaw, Georgia.
As a scenic designer, Ming Chen's table works have been displayed at the Prague Quadrennial (co-design), Czechoslovakia, the USITT Design Expo in Long Beach, California, and China's National Stage Design Exhibition in Beijing and Tokyo. Her designs were seen at Atlanta Ballet, the national gala performances of the American College Dance Festivals at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Miller Theatre in New York City, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, the Shanghai International Arts Festival and Shanghai Theatre Festival in China. In addition, her works were commissioned by many professional theatres in Atlanta including the Alliance Theatre Company, the Horizon Theatre Company, 7 Stages and Theatre in the Square, as well as university theatres such as SUNY at Buffalo and Cornell University in New York.
As a scholar, Ming Chen is the author of Visual Literacy for Theatre, a 565-page textbook on design (published in 2011). Her other publications include essays and translations in top peer-reviewed professional journals such as Theatre Topics (co-author), TD&/T and Theatre Arts. She is also a columnist for EPerformance, a peer reviewed professional journal in China. She has frequently presented papers at national and international theatre conferences and has guest-lectured internationally. Drawing from her cross-cultural experiences, she has directed and co-directed a number of cultural exchange projects that garnered grants and funds from government and private funding agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cultural Services of French Embassy, the Georgia Humanities Council, the French Consulate in Atlanta, the Confucius Institute, and the Coca Cola Foundation. She is a member of United Scenic Artists (Local USA 829) and of the China National Stage Design Association. She has been listed in Who's Who in America and in Who's Who among Asian Americas.
Alexander Crosett (Lecturer of Musical Theatre)
M.M. Piano Performance, Manhattan School of Music
U.D. Piano Performance, Longy School of Music of Bard College
B.M. Piano Performance, Emerson College
Areas of Emphasis: Musical Theatre Performance, Applied Voice, Resident Accompanist, Musical Direction
Alexander Crosett is an award-winning pianist, vocal coach, music director and teacher. Before arriving at KSU in 2016, he operated a successful private vocal studio in midtown Manhattan and held faculty positions at Manhattan School of Music, Bloomingdale School of Music, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. He has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, Germany, and France.
In New York City, he taught and accompanied stars from Broadway productions of Fun Home, Finding Neverland, School of Rock, Annie, Pippin, Matilda, Miss Saigon, Billy Elliott, Newsies, Mary Poppins, Soul Doctor, Big Fish, Little Miss Sunshine, A Christmas Story, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Shrek the Musical, The Assembled Parties, Enron; original West End productions of Miss Saigon and Cats; Off-Broadway productions including Crashlight; national tours of Mame, Annie, and White Christmas; films including Into the Woods; television's X-Factor, American Idol, America's Got Talent, Chinese Idol, Norwegian Idol, and music directed Off-Broadway shows at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre in Greenwich Village.
His vocal students have also performed at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola and Feinstein's/54 Below and venues across Europe and Asia (including the 2008 Beijing Olympics). They have been admitted to prestigious institutions including the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Berklee College of Music, Mannes The New School for Music, and LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.
An accomplished classical pianist, he earned his Master of Music in Piano Performance at Manhattan School of Music as a student of Van Cliburn Competition 1981 Gold Medalist André-Michel Schub, having completed undergraduate studies as a full scholarship student of Eda Mazo-Shlyam at Bard College's Longy School of Music. He pursued additional work with Jacques Rouvier, Aldo Ciccolini, and Eteri Andjaparidze at Centre d'Arts Orford in Quebec, the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, and the Euro Arts Festival in Leipzig, Germany, and masterclasses from such musicians as Peter Frankl, Ian Hobson, Ann Schein, and 2001 Van Cliburn Competition Gold Medalist Olga Kern. He won the 2006 Interlochen Concerto Competition. Please visit www.alexandercrosett.com for more information.
Jim Davis (Associate Professor, Jointly Appointed with the Department of First Year Programs)
Ph.D. Theatre, Bowling Green State University
M.A. Theatre, University of Northern Iowa
B.A. Drama/Speech, Clarke College
Areas of Emphasis: American Dramatic Literature, Directing, Theatre History, Popular Culture Performance, Puppet Theatre
Dr. Jim Davis is jointly appointed in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, and the Department of First-Year Programs. Among his classroom responsibilities, he teaches sections of KSU 1101: First-Year Seminar, specifically for first-semester T&PS majors.
Jim has his Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from Bowling Green State University and has worked with a variety of arts organizations, including The Center for Puppetry Arts, The Atlanta Lyric Theatre, the Chicago Historical Society, the Mississippi River Museum (Dubuque, Iowa), Blackhawk Children's Theatre (Cedar Falls, Iowa) and Horizon Youth Theatre (Bowling Green, Ohio).
Jim's areas of research include Modern American dramatic literature, musical theatre of the Harlem renaissance, puppet theatre and the intersection of performance and popular culture. His research has been featured in Northsiders: Essays on the History and Culture of the Chicago Cubs, the reference work Graphic Novels, which will be published in late 2011, and at numerous national academic conferences.
He has directed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Bash: Latterday Plays, Pinocchio, Picasso at the Lapine Agile, and Tough Choices For The New Century: A Seminar For Responsible Living; and acted in Jane: Abortion in the Underground, Auction Today! and Annie; and created numerous solo and ensemble works for puppet theatre.
John Gentile (Professor)
Ph.D. Performance Studies, Northwestern University
M.A. Mythological Studies, Pacifica Graduate Institute
M.A. Performance Studies, Northwestern University
B.A. Dramatic Arts and English, State University of New York Geneseo Areas of Emphasis: Solo Performance; Performance History; Chautauqua Movement; Storytelling; Myth; Adapting Literary and Folkloric Texts for the Stage
John S. Gentile, Professor, (Ph.D. and M.A. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University; M.A. in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute; B.A. in Dramatic Arts and English from S.U.N.Y. Geneseo) served on the faculty of the University of Northern Iowa before assuming a faculty appointment at Kennesaw State University.
John Gentile's theatre credits include his original adaptations of major works of folk and literary narrative such as: Over Nine Waves: Myths of Ancient Ireland, Jack of Beech Mountain: Folktales from Southern Appalachia, Nathaniel Hawthorne's Twice Told-Tales, The Bell Witch and Other Legends: Ghostly Stories from the American South, American Gothic: Stories by American Masters of the Macabre, Ovidâ's Metamorphoses, Redwing: Voices from 1888, Dark Forest: Tales and Poems from the Brothers Grimm, The Hero's Journey: Mythic Stories of the Heroic Quest (which was featured as a plenary session at the international Mythic Journeys conference celebrating the centennial of Joseph Campbell's birth) and Red Hanrahan (which toured to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival). His adaptation of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick was presented at the Casablanca Theatre Festival in 2009, where it won the major award for Best Performance. Moby-Dick was re-staged for an experimental immersion production by Saiah Arts International at the Lifecyle Building Center in Atlanta in the spring of 2013 and was named Best Play by Creative Loafing and earned a nomination for the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award from Atlanta's Suzi Awards. His most recent theatrical adaptations are The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which was produced at Kennesaw State University during the 2015-16 KSU Season, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, which was produced at Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, where it enjoyed a sold-out run in December 2015. He is currently working on a new version of his adaptation of Moby-Dick for Smock Alley Theatre's 2017 season.
As an actor and storyteller, Gentile has performed throughout the metro-Atlanta area. He has performed at the C. G. Jung Society of Atlanta, Theatre Gael, the Roswell Magnolia Storytelling Festival, the Winter Storytelling Festival, Theatre in the Square, and 7 Stages. The City of Roswell presented him with The President's Award in 1999 for his service to the community in establishing the annual Roswell Magnolia Storytelling Festival. He has led study/tours to Ireland's mythic and early sacred sites and currently serves as the faculty director for the summer study abroad program Acting in Irish Drama in partnership with the Gaiety School of Acting, the National Theatre School of Ireland. Gentile has served as a scholar-performer with the Wyoming Chautauqua, Rocky Mountain Chautauqua and Tulsa Chautauqua public humanities programs. In 2003, he received the Distinguished Teaching Award and Distinguished Research and Creative Activity Award from the College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University. In 2004, he received the College of the Arts Distinguished Research and Creative Activity Award for a second time and was named a finalist for the University's Distinguished Research and Creative Activity Award. In 2010, he received the University's Foundation Prize for his adaptation of Moby-Dick. In 2011, he received the National Storytelling Network's Oracle Award for the Southeast Region for Leadership and Service in Storytelling.
Gentile is the author of Cast of One: One-Person Shows from the Chautauqua Platform to the Broadway Stage (University of Illinois Press), a history of American solo performance. His articles have appeared in Text and Performance Quarterly, Studies in Popular Culture, On the Culture of the American South, The Future of Performance Studies: Visions and Revisions, Storytelling, Self, Society, Queers in American Popular Culture, and Eighteenth-Century British and American Rhetorics and Rhetoricians. He has presented his research at conferences for the National Communication Association, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Chautauqua Network, Popular Culture Association, Performance Studies International, Southeastern Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, American Humanists Association, Southeastern Theatre Conference, Georgia Communication Association, and has served as the keynote speaker and performer at national performance festivals. He has served on the executive boards of the Performance Studies Division of the National Communication Association, Storytelling in Higher Education Special Interest Group of the National Storytelling Network, Southern Order of Storytellers, and on the faculty for the Leadership Institute of the Executive M.B.A. Program at the University of Chicago. He is the founding co-editor with Joseph Sobol of Storytelling, Self, Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Storytelling Studies, for which he currently serves as the book reviews editor and served as the guest editor of that journal's 2011 special issue on Storytelling and Myth. He is an associate editor of the National Communication Association journal Text and Performance Quarterly. His most recent publication, Shape-Shifter in the Green: Performing Sir Gawain and Green Knight appears in Storytelling, Self, Society.
Gentile teaches classes at Kennesaw State University in performing literature, storytelling, performance art, and adapting literary texts for the stage, which is his area of emphasis as an artist, and he developed the department's distinctive curriculum in storytelling studies. Additionally, Gentile served for twelve years as chair of the department. Under his leadership, the department's student enrollment more than tripled, the number of its faculty more than doubled, and its innovative curriculum and ambitious production season recognized for excellence. During his term as chair, the department opened the Onyx Theatre, the first new theatre space at the University in twenty years. Gentile moved the department from one focused on solely on drama to a broader vision that integrates theatre and performance studies approaches and that emphasizes a wide range of performance styles and texts. His vision established the department's mission to nurture scholar-artists, students and faculty whose accomplishments reflect achievement as both creative artists and articulate, informed scholars of their chosen area of emphasis.
Rick Lombardo (Associate Professor, Artistic Director, and Chair)
M.F.A. Stage Direction, Boston University School for the Arts
B.S. Psychology, Georgetown University
Areas of Emphasis: Stage Direction, Acting, Adaptation, Arts Leadership, Producing
Rick Lombardo is an award-winning stage director, Artistic Director, adapter and educator. He was the Artistic Director at San Jose Repertory Theatre for six seasons from 2008 - 2014, where his work included world premieres of both plays and musicals, as well as significant revivals. Noteworthy among these were the world premiere of the musical The Snow Queen, which he also co-wrote, along with the new play Game On by Tony Taccone and Dan Hoyle, (TBA Award Best New Play 2014), and Love in American Times by Philip Kan Gotanda. The Snow Queen became a featured selection at the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it won the Special Licensing Award as well as the award for Overall Production. Other San Jose Rep productions include The Death of the Novel, Disconnect, God of Carnage, A Christmas Carol, Spring Awakening, The Dresser, Black Pearl Sings!, The Weir, and As You Like It.
For 13 years he was the Producing Artistic Director of Greater Boston's New Repertory Theatre, overseeing its development into one of New England's leading mid-size theaters. He was awarded the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence from the Boston Theatre Critics Association for his body of work there. At New Rep his award-winning productions included The Clean House, Sweeney Todd, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ragtime, Waiting for Godot and The Weir. His world premiere of Bill W. and Dr. Bob enjoyed an extended run Off-Broadway at New World Stages. His work has also been seen at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, New York City's Town Hall, Opera Boston, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, The Actors Shakespeare Project, Porthouse Theater, and The Berkshire Theatre Festival, among others.
He was previously Co-Director of the Theatre Program at Fordham University's College at Lincoln Center, where he taught Acting and Directing. He has also taught and/or guest directed at Yale University, The City College of New York, Boston University, Brandeis University and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
He has served on the boards of SDC, The Society of Stage Director and Choreographers, NNPN, The National New Play Network, ArtsBoston, Stagesource, and served for more than 8 years as the President of NEAT, The Association of New England Area Theatres. He is also a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley. He holds the MFA in Stage Direction from the Boston University School for the Arts.
Harrison Long (Professor and Associate Dean, College of the Arts)
M.F.A. Theatre (Acting), Southern Methodist University
B.F.A Theatre (Acting), Florida State University
Areas of Emphasis: Contemporary Scene Study, Period Styles
Harrison Long has over twenty-five years experience as a director, actor, writer, administrator and teacher. He is the 2013 recipient of Kennesaw State University’s Foundation Prize for Publication, and the 2014 winner of the university’s Distinguished Professor Award. Before beginning his current appointment as Interim Associate Dean in the KSU College of the Arts, Professor Long successfully served in a variety of administrative roles: Head of Acting, Artistic Director of the KSU Dept. of Theatre & Performance Studies, and Interim Director of the School of Art and Design for 2013-14 academic year.
Professor Long has a wealth of directing experience ranging from opera to devised performance pieces, with special emphasis on socially engaged theatre. In 2013 he directed the first site-specific production of Lee Blessing’s cold war drama, A Walk in the Woods at Serenbe Playhouse. The production received rave reviews and garnered multiple Suzi Bass nominations, including one for Best Production and the Award for Best Actor.
At KSU, Professor Long has directed The Laramie Project, As You Like It, Arms and the Man, Comedy of Errors and The Glass Menagerie. In 2011, Splittin’ the Raft received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to tour seven North Georgia communities, and was one of five full-length productions invited to perform at the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (Region IV). KSU student John Stewart was one of only four college actors in the nation recognized by the Kennedy Center for his “Outstanding Performance.”
Long’s recent staging of Parade at Marietta’s Strand Theatre commemorated the tragic 1915 death of Leo Frank, which occurred just a few miles from the performance site. In conjunction with the performance, Long orchestrated a KSU residency for playwright Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy, Last Night of Ballyhoo).
Harrison Long began his professional acting career in 1986 and has performed styles ranging from contemporary drama to musical comedy with a special emphasis on Shakespeare. New York credits include the title role in Henry V (Hudson Valley Shakespeare), Athol Fugard’s A Lesson From Aloes (78th Street Theatre) and Bloomsday On Broadway (Symphony Space). Regional credits include People’s Light and Theatre Company, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre and the Utah, Texas and North Carolina Shakespeare Festivals. In Atlanta, Long has performed for the Alliance Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Theatre in the Square, ART Station, Theatrical Outfit, Theatre Emory, Horizon Theatre, Out of Hand, Synchronicity and the Georgia Ensemble Theatre, where he was a founding company member.
Long’s portrayal of Magwitch in Georgia Ensemble’s Great Expectations received an “Honorable Mention for Best Supporting Actor” in the Sunday Paper’s annual Spotlight Awards. The production, which featured the work of 17 KSU students and faculty, also made the Spotlight list of “Top Ten Productions” for the 2009 theatre season. In 2008 Long played Cromwell in Theatre in the Square’s A Man for All Seasons, which received the Suzi Bass award for “Best Production”’ In fall 2010, he originated the role of Clayton in Horizon Theatre’s world premiere of Night Blooms written by KSU faculty Margaret Baldwin and directed by Karen Robinson.
Teaching credits include:
Marymount Manhattan College
University of Tennessee
St. John’s University
Southern Methodist University
Georgia State University
Clayton College and State University
Virginia Governor’s School of the Arts
Summer Theatre Institute at Columbia University
In addition, Professor Long was Dialogue Coach for the CBS series, Dangerous Curves
Recent publications include articles in The International Journal of Arts Education and the Journal of Higher Education Outreach & Engagement.
Harrison is a proud member of The Actor's Equity Association.
Rebecca Makus (Associate Professor, Resident Lighting Designer)
M.F.A. California Institute for the Arts
B.A. Smith College
Areas of Emphasis: Lighting Design, DIY Lighting/Media, Experimental Performance Read more
Rebecca M. K. Makus holds an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts and a B.A. from Smith College and is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Kennesaw State University. Her work frequently includes custom designed and built light objects that are unique for each production. Her international work includes designs at Lyon Opera Ballet, Nuffield Theatre at Lancaster University, Opera de Monte Carlo, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Sibiu International Theatre Festival. She has also worked extensively in New York City for over 10 years including shows at Lincoln Center, Mint Theatre, Dance New Amsterdam, Dance Theatre Workshop, P.S. 122, HERE Arts Center and D.R.2 Theatre.
Amanda Wansa Morgan
Amanda Wansa Morgan (Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Musical Theatre)
M.F.A. Acting, The University of Central Florida
B.A., Music/BA, Florida State University
Areas of Emphasis: Acting, Musical Theatre Performance and Literature, Musical Direction, Vocal Pedagogy, Voice and Speech
Amanda Wansa Morgan joined the faculty at Kennesaw State University in 2015 after serving on the faculty at The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) for three years. Amanda teaches classes in musical theatre performance, musical theatre voice, acting, and musical theatre history and literature. At Ole Miss, she directed productions of Marisol, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Time Stands Still as well as music directed Hairspray and The Spitfire Grill. Prior to joining the Ole Miss faculty, she spent three years as the Director of Music Education at Charleston Stage, South Carolina's largest professional theater, serving as music director, director, sound designer, dialect coach, music arranger, and/or composer for 28 productions. She has also music directed professionally at Playhouse on the Square (Memphis), Post Playhouse (Nebraska), and Osceola Center for the Arts (Orlando).
Amanda has an MFA in Acting from The University of Central Florida and undergraduate degrees in Music (Voice) and Theatre from the Florida State University. She has worked as a professional actor at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Seaside Music Theater, Oxford Shakespeare Festival, Tony and Tina's Wedding (Orlando), and Theatre Southeast (FL). Notable acting credits include Pennywise in Urinetown, Maggie in Lend Me a Tenor, and Rona in The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee.
Amanda has composed original music for productions of A Christmas Carol, Twelfth Night, The Little Mermaid, The Velveteen Rabbit, and August Wilson's The Piano Lesson. She is currently adapting a children's book called Mary Had a Little Ham into a children's musical, in partnership with the books' original author, Margie Palatini.
Amanda is an "integrative practitioner" with the One Voice Integrative Studies Centre, run by Joan Melton and Jennie Morton. She maintains a Certificate of Figure Proficiency from the Estill Voice System® as well as memberships with the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), Musical Theatre Educators Alliance (MTEA), Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), ASCAP, and The Dramatists Guild. Amanda has also served as an improvisational pianist for Theatre99 Improv Theatre (SC), as well as a freelance private voice coach, music arranger/orchestrator, and a jazz pianist/vocalist.
Visit www.amandawansamorgan.com to check out projects as well as music & media samples.
Charles Parrott (Associate Professor & Director of The KSU Tellers)
Ph.D Performance Studies and Speech Communication, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
M.A. Ball State University
B.A Speech Communication and Sociology, Hastings College
Areas of Emphasis: Performance Art, Solo Performance, Phenomenology, Performance Criticism and Popular Entertainment
Dr. Charles Parrott is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies where he teaches courses at KSU focused on performance studies including the intersections between performance and culture, performance art, performance of literature. He is also the director of the KSU Tellers storytelling troupe.
Dr. Parrott has led The KSU Tellers in performances at: local high schools, the Atlanta Fringe Festival, the Southern States Communication Association Conference, KSU's 24th Annual Conference on Literature for Children and Young Adults, the International Council of Fine Arts Deans Annual Conference, International Association for Research in Service Learning and Community Engagement International Conference, Serenbe Theater, Push Push Theater, the Do Tell Festival Storytelling Festival, KSU's All Boards Day, and DragonCon among numerous other events.
His recent theatrical productions include a devised theatre piece called Frankenstein'd and a fully produced production called Bloody Pulp: Crisis in the American Comic Book which conceived, wrote, and co-directed with Dr. Jim Davis.
Dr. Parrott's research focuses on storytelling, performance pedagogy, performance ethnography, history, and devised theatre. His publications include articles in Storytelling, Self, and Society, American Communication Journal, and Text & Performance Quarterly. He regularly presents his research at the National Communication Association Annual Convention. He has also presented papers at the Southern States Communication Association Conference, the Western States Communication Association, the Central States Communication Association Conference, the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement, and the Ezra Pound International Conference.
Karen Robinson (Professor, Coordinator of Internships)
M.F.A. Directing, New York University
B.A. Theatre, University of Colorado, Boulder
B.A. English Literature, University of Colorado, Boulder
Areas of Emphasis: Directing; Performance; Dramaturgy (new plays and classical texts); Theatre Appreciation; Audition Techniques; African American Theatre
Karen Robinson holds an M.F.A. in Directing from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and B.A.'s in Theatre and English Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Prior to her arrival at KSU in January of 2000, she taught at University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Wake Forest University. She teaches courses in directing, performance studies, dramatic literature, theatre history, auditioning, and theatre appreciation in addition to directing for the Department's production season. She served as Interim Chair for the Department from 2013-2015.
Karen’s production work includes chamber theatre, performance ethnography, contemporary and period classics, and new play development. Recent KSU productions include Suzan-Lori Parks’ “In the Blood,” Lynn Nottage’s "Ruined," Tarell Alvin McCraney’s "Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet," which she also directed at Atlanta’s Actor’s Express; "The Good Person of Szechuan," "Fences," and the regional premiere of Karin Coonrod’s chamber theatre adaptations of Flannery O’Connor’s “A View of the Woods,” and “Everything that Rises Must Converge.” In 2010, she directed the world premiere of Margaret Baldwin’s play "Night Blooms" for Atlanta’s Horizon Theatre Company with subsequent tours of staged readings to Selma, Alabama, and Paderborn, Germany.
At the heart of Karen's teaching philosophy are collaboration with colleagues and students and integration of the theoretical and practical; most vividly reflected in the profile of the scholar-artist. As a scholar-artist she balances creative work with research and scholarship of teaching and learning, and frequently authors/co-authors essays reflecting upon her production work. Examples include "O'Connor Onstage: Embodiment and Polyphonic Narration", published in the "Flannery O'Connor Review" (2013), and "Polyphonic Dynamics as Educational Practice" co-authored with colleagues Ming Chen and Ivan Pulinkala ("Theatre Topics," 2010). A passionate advocate for global learning and intercultural art and performance, Karen served as Global Learning Coordinator for KSU's College of the Arts from 2006-2013. Her global projects have included student tours of "The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party" (2012) and John Gentile's adaptation of "Moby-Dick" to the International University Theatre Festival in Casablanca in which she performed French narration (2009); the direction of a world premier adaptation of the Chinese folk novel "Monkey King" (2005) that was presented at Kennesaw State University and subsequently toured to Shanghai; and the co-direction (with playwright Margaret Baldwin) of a performance ethnography entitled "You Always Go Home" (2006-7) that focused on Kenyans living and studying in the KSU community. The production was presented as part of an international conference: The Role of the Kenyan Diaspora in Kenya's Development. Inspired by a visit to Shangilia's Kenyan residence school that uses the performing arts to rehabilitate street children and orphans' Karen designed and coordinated a 5-day residency and performance at KSU featuring the Shangilia Youth Choir in collaboration with Micocci Productions of New York City, director Lee Breuer ("The Gospel of Colonus"), singer/music director J.D. Steele, and gospel musician Butch Heyward.
Outside the university, Karen has worked as a freelance director, dramaturg, and/or stage manager for theatres in New York City, North Carolina, California, and Atlanta, Georgia for over thirty years. An Associate Artist at Georgia Shakespeare from 1990-2014, she directed fourteen productions for the company, including "As You Like It," "Twelfth Night" (reviewed by the Wall Street Journal as "an absolute knock-out", "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The School for Wives," "Amadeus" (listed by the Atlanta Journal and Constitution (AJC) as one of the most memorable theatrical productions of 2001), "Tartuffe," "Saint Joan," "The School for Scandal," "Much Ado About Nothing" (named one of the year's 10 best shows by the AJC), "Love's Labour's Lost," "Cyrano de Bergerac," and "The Bourgeois Gentleman." She is a member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the National Communication Association, and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. Karen is the recipient of several awards including Kennesaw State University's 2009 Award for Distinguished Teaching, the 2010 College of the Arts Distinguished Service Award, a 2010 University of Georgia Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the 2011 KSU Distinguished Professor award.
Angela M. Farr Schiller
Angela M. Farr Schiller (Assistant Professor and Resident Dramaturge)
Ph.D. Theatre and Performance Studies, Stanford University
M. A. Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University B.A., Theatre, University of California, Santa Cruz
Areas of Emphasis: Critical Theory, Dramatic Literature, African American History and Performance, Performance Studies, Critical Race Studies, Sensorial Studies, Dramaturgy, Acting, Directing
Dr. Angela M. Farr Schiller received her B.A. in theatre from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she completed her final year of study at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She also studied at the University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana and the University degli Studi di Siena, Italy. She received her Master's Degree from the department of Social and Cultural Analysis with an emphasis in Africana Studies from New York University, and completed her Ph.D. in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Dr. Schiller joined the faculty of KSU's Department of Theatre and Performance Studies as an assistant professor and resident dramaturge in fall 2015.
As an artist, Angela works professionally as a performer, director, and dramaturge. She co-wrote and directed an original work, The Knot, in collaboration with Dr. Lindsey Mantoan. She has appeared onstage with the Emmy Award-winning Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Programs, the National Dance Company of Ghana, the Tony Award winning Old Globe Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse, and toured with Stanford Repertory Theatre's production of The Wanderings of Odysseus in Athens, Greece. As a dramaturge, she has worked on productions of The Color Purple, Hairspray, and Cabaret and the development of new works including, Higher Ground, Elephant, and The Jasper Ridge Project. Most recently, Angela directed Lydia R. Diamond's adaptation of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, and Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger's Dreamgirls. Her production of Dreamgirls was nominated for eight (San Francisco) Theatre Bay Area Awards including Outstanding Direction of a Musical and Outstanding Production of a Musical.
As a scholar, Dr. Schiller has presented her research on the intersections of touch, race, and performance at various conferences, including Performance Studies International (PSi), and the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR). She is a member of Performance Studies International (PSi), The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), American Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), and the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Her dissertation The Choreography of Jim Crow: Race, Performance, and the Politics of Touch was awarded a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship. Her areas of research include Performance Studies, 20th century African American History and Performance, Critical Race Theory, Dramatic Literature, Sensorial Studies, and 20th and 21st Century American Drama.
As an artist-scholar, Dr. Schiller's work is about revealing the ways that performance can be utilized as a meaningful tool of social engagement and compassion about what it means to be human.
Jan Wikstrom (Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Acting, Resident Vocal Coach)
M.F.A. Classical Acting, The George Washington University B.F.A. Acting, University of Southern California
Areas of Emphasis: Voice and Speech, Acting, Alexander Technique, Yoga
Jan Wikstrom is an Assistant Professor of Acting and Voice. Having served on the faculties of Millikin University and the University of Florida as well, her professional acting credits include appearances at such venues as the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Hippodrome State Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, and the George Street Playhouse. Roles include Nora in A Doll's House, the title role in Candida, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, and Vivian in Wit. Jan's extensive experience with high school students (which has earned her the Presidential Scholars Program Teacher Recognition Award and nine National Foundation for the Arts Awards) led her to create workshops and curricula for young people, and eagerly accept the responsibilities of Recruitment Coordinator for TPS. Jan's interests include the work of Uta Hagen, with whom Jan studied for many years, and who inspired the recent "Hagen Legacy" acting class at KSU. Jan is certified to teach both Yoga and the Alexander Technique. She is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, and is currently completing the requirements as a teacher of Knight/Thompson Speechwork as well. Jan received her M.F.A. in Classical Acting from The George Washington University and her B.F.A. in Acting from the University of Southern California.
Justin Anderson (Instructor of Acting and Acting for Musical Theatre)
B.A. Theatre Arts, Campbell University
M.A. Theatre Studies, Regent University
Justin Anderson is an Atlanta-based professional director whose credits include award-winning stage productions in the Southeast. At present, he serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Aurora Theatre (www.auroratheatre.com) in Lawrenceville, Georgia--a professional Equity theatre and the fastest growing theatre in the state. His directorial work has earned him both popular and critical praise, producing what one critic dubbed a "quickly-becoming-overwhelming list of successful stagings" (Brad Rudy, AtlantaTheatreBuzz.com, April 15, 2012). Recent productions include Lin-Manuel Miranda's and Quiara Alegría Hudes' IN THE HEIGHTS, a co-production between Aurora Theatre and Theatrical Outfit, THE CITY OF CONVERSATION by Anthony Giardina at Horizon Theatre Company, Sondheim and Lapine's INTO THE WOODS at Aurora Theatre and a co-production of VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE by Christopher Durang at both Aurora Theatre and Horizon Theatre Company. Other recent productions include: the world premiere of SPLIT IN THREE by Daryl Lisa Fazio at Florida Repertory Theatre and the web series THAT'S EDUCATIONAL (www.thatseducational.com).
Further directing credits include: Boublil and Schönberg's LES MISÉRABLES (Five-time 2013 Suzi Bass Award Winner including Outstanding Direction of a Musical and Outstanding Production of a Musical) and Kerrigan and Lowdermilk's THE UNAUTHORIZED AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SAMANTHA BROWN at Aurora Theatre; the world premieres of HARABEL by Jonida Beqo and THE FABULOUS LIPITONES by Mark St. Germain and John Markus at Theatrical Outfit; the world premiere of ANGRY FAGS by Topher Payne at 7 Stages (2013 Suzi Bass Award Nominee, Outstanding Director of a Play); Sondheim and Weidman's ASSASSINS at Fabrefaction Theatre Company; and TIME BETWEEN US by Brett Schrier and Tess Barker and ORDINARY DAYS by Adam Gwon at Serenbe Playhouse.
Artistic associations include Theatrical Outfit, Synchronicity Theatre, Serenbe Playhouse and Pinch 'N' Ouch Theatre. While studying directing at Rutgers University, Justin had the privilege to work with Amy Saltz, Pam Berlin, William Carden, and Deborah Headwall. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Campbell University and an M.A. in Theatre Studies from Regent University
Justin is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia where he directs and teaches courses in acting and musical theatre. In addition, he is a graduate of the 2016 Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA) Institute and the 2016 inaugural class of the Gwinnett Chamber Young Professionals Leadership Institute. For a complete list of directing credits or for more information, visit www.justinandersononline.com.
Natashya Armer-Giardina (Assistant Professor of Arts in Society: Theatre and Performance)
M.F.A. Acting, Northern Illinois University
B.F.A Acting, Virginia Commonwealth University
Natashya Armer-Giardina continues her professional career in Atlanta, Georgia doing theatre, on-camera and voice-over work, teaching and coaching other theatre professionals. Recently, she joined the Kennesaw State University Department of Theatre and Performance Studies as part-time faculty teaching theatre classes. Past experiences include performing and teaching in the Chicago area for Our Town Productions, a professional theatre in Downers Grove, Illinois, and the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, Illinois. In completion of her master of fine arts in acting in DeKalb, Illinois at Northern Illinois University in May 2004, Armer-Giardina had the extraordinary experience to study and perform with the acclaimed Moscow Art Theatre.
In fulfillment of her MFA she performed roles in Waiting for Lefty, Disguises of Arlecchino, The Laramie Project, A Man's a Man, Balm in Gilead, and her thesis role, Gabriella in David Edgar's Pentecost. In addition to receiving this degree, she has a bachelor of fine arts in acting from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and has taken several film, auditioning techniques, and business of theatre classes with the private studio, The Audition Studio in Chicago. Professionally, Armer-Giardina has performed as Lampito in Lysistrata with the Side Studio Theatre in Chicago, Kate in Taming of the Shrew and both Puck and Helena in Midsommer Nights Dreame with the New England Shakespeare Festival, and several roles with Our Town Productions. Armer-Giardina has also had the pleasure of performing at the world's largest theatre festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Fredrick "Freddie" Ashley
Freddie Ashley (Assistant Professor of Acting)
M.F.A. Theatre Performance, University of Southern Mississippi
B.F.A Theatre, Shorter College
Freddie Ashley has been Artistic Director of Actor's Express in Atlanta since July 2007. He has directed nearly 20 AE productions, including Spring Awakening Fair Use (Atlanta Journal-Constitution Top Ten of 2009, Creative Loafing Best Play of 2009), Grey Gardens (Suzi Bass Award winner Best Director of a Musical), Mauritius (AJC Top Ten of 2009, Suzi nomination), dark play or stories for boys (AJC Top Ten of 2007, Suzi nomination), The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Suzi nomination) and I Am My Own Wife (AJC Top Ten of 2007).
Prior to joining Actor's Express, he was Literary Manager of the Alliance Theatre (recipient of the 2007 Regional Theatre Tony Award), where he served as dramaturg for 30 productions and developed work with playwrights including Kenneth Lin, OyamO, Tammy Ryan and Keith Josef Adkins. Freddie has worked as a dramaturg developing new plays at the Alliance, as well as the Kennedy Center, The New Group and Page 73 Productions. In 2002, he received the Elliott Hayes Award for Dramaturgy from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and was a recipient of a first-ever Arts Encouragement Award from the Charles Loridans Foundation. He has twice been named Best Director in Atlanta by Creative Loafing (2009 "Readers" Pick, 2010 "Critics" Pick).
Other directing credits include The Last Schwartz (Jewish Theatre of the South); Cabaret (Atlanta Lyric Theatre); A Man of No Importance (Theatre Gael, AJC Best Musical Revival of 2004); Lawrenceburg (World Premiere, Dad's Garage, AJC Top Ten of 2006); and numerous shows with Aurora Theatre including Glorious (American Premiere) and A Catered Affair (Suzi nomination).
Freddie holds degrees from Shorter College and the University of Southern Mississippi and serves on the faculty of Kennesaw State University.
Kara Cantrell (Assistant Professor of Arts in Society: Theatre and Performance)
M.F.A. Acting, University of Georgia
B.F.A. Acting, Western Kentucky University
Kara Cantrell is an actress, improviser, director, producer, and theatre educator. She holds an MFA in acting from the University of Georgia, a BFA in acting from Western Kentucky University, and is a Certified Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique of acting via the National Michael Chekhov Association. She has appeared on stage with Stage Door Players, Theatre in the Square, Actor's Express, Synchronicity Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Jewish Theatre of the South, The Process Theatre Co., and Impulse Repertory Co., which she founded in 2011 and over which she presides as producing artistic director. Kara has taught acting and theatre & performance studies at the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Georgia, Georgia Perimeter College, and Kennesaw State University.
Shannon Eubanks (Instructor of Acting for the Camera)
B.A. Drama-Speech, Birmingham-Southern College
For over thirty-five years. She's performed on network television for HBO, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, the Disney Channel, Lifetime, and the Family Channel; in feature films for 20th Century Fox, Columbia, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate, and Anchor Bay, and was an award-winning theatre actor/director in Los Angeles for eighteen years, as well as across the United States in regional repertory. With her husband, James Donadio, she has co-written three features, two teleplays, served as a staff writer for the Emmy-winning children's series The Reppies and as a script doctor for King's Road Productions in Los Angeles, and was writer-director of the Shakespeare compendiums Her Infinite Variety and Patchwork Shakespeare for the Shakespeare Society of America/Los Angeles and the California Youth Theatre.
She has taught acting as a Guest Artist at the high school, college, and graduate levels, for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Conservatory and M.F.A. programs across the country, and as a noted private coach in Los Angeles and now in Atlanta. Her cold reading and camera technique for actors has been developed and refined so as to be suitable for both absolute beginners (for whom it strikes a balance between technical facility and creativity) and working professionals (as it works well in concert with any discipline the performer currently uses).
Kia Fisher Keyton
Kia Fisher Keyton (Assistant Professor of Arts in Society: Theatre and Performance)
M.F.A Acting, University of Louisville
B.A. Theatre Arts, Clark Atlanta University
Kia Fisher moved from Los Angeles to Atlanta where she freelance coaches and teaches Acting 101 and Intermediate Acting at Clayton State University Center for Continuing Education. Kia has been an educator for many years. Kia began taking acting classes as a student in the Gifted Artistic Theatrical Expansion (G.A.T.E.) Program of the Greenville County (SC) School District. Kia received a BA in Theatre Arts from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. There, she was mentored by the late Carol Mitchell-Leon, the late Whitman Mayo, and J.W. Lewis. Kia has a MFA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Acting from the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY. There, she studied under Zan Sawyer Daily, Associate Director of the Actors Theatre of Louisville and Jennifer Hubbard of Anne Bogart's SITI Company. As a member of the Repertory Company, Kia performed at many area schools and taught Acting for Non-Majors.
While at Clark Atlanta, Kia performed in the Black Arts Festival and interned at the Alliance Theatre. While at U of L, she traveled to the Grahamstown Arts Festival in Grahamstown, SA as a member of an African and American delegation to perform "Middle Passage: A Ritual of Healing". In pursuit of her MFA, Kia performed as the lead in Antigone, The Glass Menagerie, for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, and night Mother, among others. Kia also worked as an actor-educator at C.L.I.M.B. Children's Theatre in St. Paul, MN. Kia has toured the country as a member of hereandnow Theatre Company, which is located in Los Angeles, CA. She started with that group in the summer of 2009 in the show, "Layover in LA." Kia Fisher recently appeared in Atlanta on stage in the HUCC Productions play, MALICE as Joyce. In addition to theatre, Kia has experience on television, new media, and film. More information can be found at www.kiafisher.weebly.com.
Dori Garziano (Assistant Professor of Acting, Arts in Society: Theatre and Performance, Theatre Education)
M.F.A. Theatre Performance, University of Southern Mississippi
B.S. Elementary Education, University of Southern Mississippi
Dori Garziano Leeman holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Performance and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is certified to teach K-12 performing arts. Dori has been an educator for over 15 years, working with a variety of age groups from pre-school to college. Dori has worked at many theatres throughout metro-Atlanta as an actor, stage manager and educator, including Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, Stage Door Players, and the Alliance Theatre to name a few. Dori also holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology from Brenau University. She has experience counseling adolescents, adults, and families. Dori has a passion for using the creative arts as a therapeutic tool for mental health and well-being.
Michael Haverty (Instructor of Puppetry)
B.A. Theatre, Sarah Lawrence College
As Producing Artistic Director of The Object Group, Associate Artistic Director of 7 Stages Theatre, and a freelance artist, Michael produces, writes and directs original performances/adaptations including Gilgamesh, William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying," Stephen Crane's "Red Badge of Courage," "The Colour of Her Dreams," and the smash hit interactive epic "The Navigator," named Atlanta's best world premiere (2013). At KSU, he has directed "Ubu Roi" and "The Veiling Mists or More Perils of Photography."
From 2002-2012 Michael was Artistic Associate at the Center for Puppetry Arts, performing in over twenty shows, touring internationally, writing and directing puppet theatre for families, adults, teens, and the very young. From 2004-2013 Michael was program director of Xperimental Puppetry Theater. In 2011 Michael founded The Object Group, an ensemble devising interactive performances for museums and public spaces, including the High Museum and Georgia Aquarium. He also curates the Curious Encounters festival of interactive performance at 7 Stages. Michael has received grants from the Jim Henson Foundation, Irish Consulate, Puppeteers of America, and Meet the Composer Foundation, and performed at the 2009 and 2011 National Puppetry Festival. In 2010 Michael received the TCG New Generations Future Leaders grant. In 2012 he was named a Princess Grace Foundation USA fellow. In 2013 Michael received a MacDowell Colony residency, and in 2014, a residency at Yaddo.
Pam Joyce (Assistant Professor of Theatre in Society and Introduction to Theatre Studies)
M.F.A, University of Minnesota
B.F.A., University of Evansville
Pamela Joyce is a freelance director, performer and educator. For thirteen years she directed and devised poetic, movement based productions as the Artistic Director of Fly-By Theatre, a company she founded in 2001. She has held artistic, technical and administrative positions at the Horizon Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare, Alliance Theatre, Actor's Express, Synchronicity, Essential Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and The New Harmony Project. Directing highlights include Wedding on the Eiffel Tower by Jean Cocteau, and A World of Silents, a devised performance using silent films to explore silence and the act of being silenced in our lives. In 2009 she created The Art Block, an arts education program for at risk youth in collaboration with Hammonds House Museum. She has overseen artistic community partnerships with the City of College Park and Atlanta's historic West End neighborhood as well as facilitated a personal narrative project with the Decatur community. She has trained with world-renowned artists Anne Bogart, the SITI Company, and Ruth Zapora. She is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the Association for Theatre Movement Educators. She is a graduate of the University of Evansville (BFA) and the University of Minnesota (MFA Directing).
Maia Knispel (Assistant Professor of Acting)
M.F.A. Theater Practice and Intercultural Actor Training, University of Exeter, UK
B.A. Theater Studies, Emory University
Maia Knispel has worked as an actor, director, creator, teacher and/or movement coach for many theater companies in Atlanta including 7 Stages, Horizon Theater, Georgia Ensemble Theater, Essential Theater, Actor's Express, Theater Emory and others. She has also performed in Manchester, Liverpool, Exeter, New York and many cities in the South West. She has been teaching Theater and Acting at Emory University and Oxford College for the past two years and guest teaching (devising, acting, movement, ensemble creation, clown) for other universities, theater companies, and performance groups for many years. Maia also works as a Clown Doctor (Dr. Me Me) for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit in Atlanta. This work is designed to bring professional clown performance to the bedsides of hospitalized children. With the Clown Care Unit, Maia performs at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, Hughes Spalding, and Scottish Rite where she is also the Site Supervisor.
Maia is a Co-Founder Out of Hand Theater (2000), a company dedicated to 'Event' theater, ensemble training, and the creation of original work. Maia served as Artistic Director and Co-Producing Artistic Director of Out of Hand from 2001 - 2009.
From 2009 - 2011 Maia studied and trained under mentor Phllip Zarrilli in the UK. With Zarrilli, Maia practiced 'psychophysical acting' with an intense focus on daily training including yoga, taiqiquan, and kalarippayattu.
Maia's performance trajectory has always been focused on movement/physicality and training the body as the instrument of the performer. Her current main areas of interest and practice are devising, ensemble creation and development, 'physical theater', and clown.
Matt Lewis (Assistant Professor of Acting and Arts in Society: Theatre and Performance)
M.F.A. Acting, University of Alabama
B.A.Theatre and Performance Studies, Kennesaw State University
Matt's recent acting credits include performing Off-Broadway in Hell: Paradise Found at the 59E59, and two seasons with the Texas Shakespeare Festival (Cymbeline, Macbeth, The Winter's Tale, The Comedy of Errors, Camelot, My Fair Lady). Matt's Atlanta credits include the Alliance, Georgia Ensemble, Stage Door Players, Dad's Garage, Fabrefaction, and several others.
Matt Lewis received his MFA in Acting at the University of Alabama and his BA in Theatre and Performance Studies from Kennesaw State University. Matt has taught acting, voice and diction, and various other undergraduate theatre classes at the University of Alabama, and Stillman College. This is Matt's third year at Kennesaw State University. For more information, visit www.mattlewisactor.com
Melanie Martin Long
Melanie Martin Long (Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing)
M.F.A. Directing, University of Minnesota
B.A. Theatre and English, The College of William and Mary
Melanie Martin Long is a seasoned professional with more than twenty years of directing, acting and teaching in Atlanta, Minneapolis and New York. She was a finalist for the NEA-TCG Directing Fellowship, a Dunn Peace Scholar to South Africa, and a recipient of three Lotta M. Crabtree Theatrical Trust Awards. She holds a B.A. from the College of William and Mary (PBK) and an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Minnesota, where she also trained as Assistant Director to Joe Dowling at the Guthrie Theatre. She further studied mask and performance in Bali, Indonesia. Before returning to Atlanta, Melanie spent five years as an Artistic Associate at the Lark Play Development Center in New York, where she produced its highly acclaimed Playwrights' Workshop with Arthur Kopit and directed countless staged readings. She has taught and directed at the University of Minnesota, University of Tennessee, Georgia College, Clayton State University, Georgia Ensemble Theatre and for the Metropolitan Opera's Creating Original Opera Program. Favorite directing credits include Old Woman Flying (Eugene O'Neill Center), A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings (Lincoln Center Lab), the The A-Word (Off-Broadway at Greenwich Street), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Virginia Shakespeare), Hamlet (Cape Fear Regional), The Tempest (University of Pennsylvania Players), A Shayna Maidel, A Body of Water, and Sight Unseen (Minnesota Jewish Theatre), and most recently Melancholy Play here at KSU. Acting credits include Theatrical Outfit, Alliance Children's Theatre, Theatre Gael and Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Memberships: Society of Directors and Choreographers, Lincoln Center Directors' Lab. Special Interests: Magic Realism, Theatre and Special Needs populations.
Shondrika Moss-Bouldin (Assistant Professor of Performance Studies)
Ph. D. Performance Studies, Northwestern University
M.A. Performance Studies, Northwestern University
B.A. Performance Studies, Northwestern University
Dr. Shondrika Moss-Bouldin is the proud co-founder of Soulploitation Creative Works/Acting Up!, a producing artistic company (fine and performing arts), based out of Atlanta and Los Angeles. The company motto states, "since our imagination is endless, our work is never done." Dr. Moss-Bouldin also works as an independent artist and scholar who has earned all of her degrees from Northwestern University (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.). She received a Fulbright in 2006 to study in South Africa and has taught and lectured at Northwestern University, CUNY, DePaul University, and Spelman College and presented at numerous conferences including National Minority Aids Council, American Alliance for Theatre and Education, Southeastern Theatre Conference, and American Society for Theatre Research. She is a member of The Lincoln Center's 2012 Director's Lab.
Some of her previous artistic and consultant work has been with Disney Theatrical Productions, The Kennedy Center, The Home DePot, Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company, Horizon Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, Creative Arts Team, Cobb and Atlanta Public Schools, Chicago Shakespeare, Georgia Council for the Arts, The National Black Arts Festival, and The National Black Theatre Festival. She has directed, produced, casted, and choreographed, in New York City (Off Broadway), San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta. Some of her favorite directing projects have been the development of The August Wilson Monologue Competition (Kenny Leon's True Colors), Free Like Brâer Rabbit (The Wren's Nest), The Vagina Monologues (Off-Broadway), Mirandy and Brother Wind (14th Street Playhouse), and the film, Color the Night (NYC).
For more information on Dr. Moss-Bouldin, please visit her website, www.scworks.tv
Elizabeth Rasmusson (Assistant Professor of Stagecraft and Visual Imagination)
M.F.A Costume Design, The University of Florida
B.A. Theatre, Berry College
Elizabeth Rasmusson holds an M.F.A. from the University of Florida in Costume Design and a B.A. in Theatre from Berry College. Elizabeth has served on the part time design faculty at Kennesaw State University and Berry College, teaching such classes as Visual Imagination, Stagecraft, The Theatre Experience, and The Costume Design Assistant. Prior to this, Elizabeth worked as the Costume Design Assistant/ Buyer at the Alliance Theatre. For the past four summers, Elizabeth, has worked with Georgia Tech as the costume design teacher at the Ferst Center for the Arts Drama Camp. Elizabeth has designed for many Atlanta Theatres including Synchronicity Theatre (Frog and Toad, Bunnicula, 1:23, My Name is Rachel Corrie), Horizon Theatre (The Missionary Position), Theatre in the Square (Red, White, and Tuna "Suzi nominated" Sanders Family Christmas, Looking Over the President's Shoulder), KSU (Annie Get Your Gun, Fences, Falsettos), Actor's Express (Judas Kiss, See What I Wanna See, Becky Shaw, and Kiss of the Spider Woman), Aurora Theatre (Drowsy Chaperone), The Alliance Theatre Education (The Short Story of Michael Fish) and The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (The Remarkable Farkle McBride and New Harmonies: The Roots of American Music).
Susan Reid (Assistant Professor of Acting)
M.F.A. Directing, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
B.A. Randolph-Macon Woman's College
Susan G. Reid is a television and film agent with Atlanta Models & Talent. Additionally, she worked as a professional director and acting coach for over fifteen years. She held positions as an Artistic Associate and Education Director at both Aurora Theatre and Theatre in the Square. An active member of the Atlanta theatre community, Reid has earned numerous awards for her excellence in directing. She served as Head of the B.F.A. Acting program for Columbus State University and taught at additional academic institutions and theatres throughout the southeast. Susan holds a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of North Carolina Greensboro and an undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon Woman's College. She was a participant in the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in 2009.
Hillary Scales-Lewis (Assistant Professor of Theatre in Society)
M.F.A Theatre Performance, University of Southern Mississippi
B.A. Speech & Theatre, Albany State University
New to the Atlanta area, Hillary Scales- Lewis has worked in Theatre for eleven years. She recently received her M.F.A in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi where she has performed and worked in theatre education. Hillary is a member of the Lessac Training and Research Institute where she serves as a Lessac Practitioner. As a performer, Hillary has worked with Shenandoah Summer Musical Theatre company, Love-It Productions Theatre Company, and the Savannah Stage Company, to name a few. In film & television she has worked on the movie "Get on Up" and on the TV show "Z: The Beginning of Everything." Her most notable theatre credits include Vera Stark in By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Celia in As You Like It, and Dolly Levi in The Matchmaker.
Dawn Eskridge (Manager | Part-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies)
Renee Jamieson (Office Manager)
Brad Herring (Facilities Manager - Stillwell/Onyx Theaters | Part-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies)
Kenyon Shiver (Manager | Part-Time Instructor of Theatre)
Brittany Johnson (Costume Shop Supervisor | Part-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies)