School of Theatre and Performance Studies: Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

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Full-Time Faculty

  • Margaret Baldwin

    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
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    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; 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.

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  • Jamie Bullins

    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 KSU
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    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 10 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 10 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

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  • Ming Chen

    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
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    Ming Chen is a tenured full professor and resident theatrical designer with 23 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.

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  • Judith Cole

    Judith Cole

    Resident Musical Director
    Contact: |
    B.M. Piano Performance, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    M.M. Accompanying, with a concentration in Musical Theatre and Chamber Music, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
    Areas of Emphasis: Musical Theatre Performance, Music Theory and Sight-singing for Actors, Piano Performance.
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    Judy Cole is considered by local area colleagues to be one of the most versatile pianists and accompanists in the Atlanta commercial music scene. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying with Marvin Blickenstaff. After taking a year off from school, during which she toured the United States playing in a show band, she was invited to attend the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she earned her Master of Music degree in Accompanying, with a concentration in Musical Theatre and Chamber Music. Her teachers included Olga Radosavlovich at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Dr. Robert Evans, Babbette Effron and Dr. Kelly Hale at CCM.

    Here at KSU, Mrs. Cole teaches academic classes in music theory, coaches Opera and Musical Theatre, musically directs for the Theatre and Performance Studies division of COTA, and accompanies both faculty and student recitals. As often as scheduling allows, she plays in the pit orchestra for Broadway touring shows playing at the Fox Theatre. She has also been selected by the Educational Testing Service to serve as an Aural Skills Reader for the national Advanced Placement Music Theory exams for several years.

    Mrs. Cole has worked professionally and made a successful career over the last 30 years as a free-lance pianist and commercial musician playing in a variety of settings. To quote J. Lynn Thompson, founding Artistic Director of the Atlanta Lyric Opera, “Judy Cole is one of those rare artists who can move effortlessly between styles ranging from opera to Broadway, jazz to rock and roll. She is a conductor’s and singer’s dream of a pianist.” Mrs. Cole has been featured on numerous recordings both as an accompanist and as a soloist, including her own CD “By Request”, and has several solo recordings in process at this time.

    In addition to local performances, Mrs. Cole travels routinely to accompany classical, instrumental, vocal, and religious Jewish music concerts throughout the US where she is known for her ability to arrive, rehearse and perform demanding concert material all within a span of several hours. She has collaborated with many of the top Cantors and musicians in the Jewish music world, including Hazzan Naftali Herstik, Cantor Asher Hainovitz, Simon Sargon, Bonia Shur, Michael Isaacson, and Debbie Friedman. Recently Judy became a member of the Board of Directors for the Guild of Temple Musicians, the national organization of Jewish musicians and composers. She is the staff accompanist for both The Temple in Atlanta and Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell, and is still an active commercial musician, playing both as a soloist and as a keyboardist/vocalist with the Alan Knieter Entertainment Group. She is a mom to daughters Katy and Rebekah, and now son-in-law Richard, and is very happily married to Cantor Herb Cole.

  • Jim Davis

    Jim Davis

    Assistant 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
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    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 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

    John Gentile

    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
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    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.

    Gentile teaches classes 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. His directing credits include his original adaptations of major works of folk and literary narrative such as: Over Nine Waves: Celtic Mythtelling from 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, Ovid’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 (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. He is currently working on an adaptation of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which is scheduled to be produced during the 2015 – 16 Season.

    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.


 As an actor and storyteller, Gentile has performed throughout the metro-Atlanta area. He has performed at 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.

    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. 

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  • Miriam Hahn

    Miriam Hahn

    Interim Assistant Professor, Resident Dramaturg
    Ph.D.  Theatre, Bowling Green State University
    M.A. Theatre, University of South Carolina
    B.A. Theatre and English, Wofford College
    Areas of Emphasis: Theatre History; Performance Studies; Dramaturgy; Theatre Appreciation
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    Originally from Dearing, Georgia, Miriam Hahn recently received her Ph.D. in Theatre from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She is excited to return to the Southeast, where she earned her M.A. in Theatre from the University of South Carolina, and her B.A. in Theatre and English from Wofford College. Miriam joins the faculty of KSU’s Department of Theatre and Performance Studies as an interim assistant professor and resident dramaturg.

    Miriam’s current research centers on the strategic theatrical and performative appropriations of Native American cultures, histories, and identities during counterculture movement of the 1960s, a topic she explores in her dissertation, Playing Hippies and Indians: Acts of Cultural Colonization in the Theatre of the American Counterculture. Recent and ongoing research projects also include work on the theatre of the Spanish Golden Age, Holocaust drama, contemporary American popular culture studies, and autoethnographic explorations of the intersections of place and memory. In 2012, she was awarded the Charles M. Shanklin Award for Research Excellence for her paper “’As If There Were No Damages’: Representing Native American Spirituality in the Dramas of Lope de Vega and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz” at Bowling Green State University. Miriam is a member of the Mid-America Theatre Conference, the American Society of Theatre Research, and the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry.

    Miriam’s most recent directorial work includes a staged reading of Kara Hartzler’s No Roosters in the Desert, a play that engages with issues of immigration and the pursuit of the ever-elusive “American dream,” and a production of Melinda Lewis’ Sonia Flew, the dramatic story of a young Cuban girl sent to America as part of Operation Pedro Pan in 1960. She has also appeared onstage in roles such as Jean in Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Cel in Madeleine George’s The Most Massive Woman Wins, Claire Zachanassian in Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Visit, and Gwendolyn Fairfax in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Production dramaturgy credits include Sonia Flew, Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, and Ellen McLaughlin’s Iphigenia and Other Daughters.

  • Harrison Long

    Harrison Long

    Interim Associate Dean, College of the Arts, Associate Professor, Artistic Director
    M.F.A. Theatre (Acting), Southern Methodist University
    B.F.A Theatre (Acting), Florida State University
    Areas of Emphasis: Contemporary Scene Study, Period Styles
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    Harrison Long received a B.F.A. (Acting) from Florida State University and an M.F.A. (Acting) from Southern Methodist University. He is an alumnus of the Teacher Development Workshop at the Actor’s Center in New York City as well as Richard Schechner’s ECA Performance Workshop at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. In 1999 he traveled to Indonesia to study Balinese Theatre, Shadow Puppetry, and Mask Making.

    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 Festival), Athol Fugard’s A Lesson From Aloes (78th Street Theatre Lab) 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, and Georgia Ensemble Theatre where he was a founding company member.

    Long directed the premiere productions of What Rough Beast Slouches and Trinity at the 14th Street Playhouse. He has staged operas ranging from Gilbert and Sullivan to Mozart. He has also guided the creation of original works such as FLOOD!; a performance piece integrating world mythology with survivor experiences from the 1997 Red River Flood in North Dakota. For KSU Professor Long has directed productions of The Laramie Project, Comedy of Errors and The Glass Menagerie. The student costume design of his production As You Like It won top national honors at the American College Theatre Festival.

    In 2008, Long’s portrayal of Magwitch in the Georgia Ensemble Theatre production 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 Directors” and “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 will play the role of Clayton in Horizon Theatre’s world premiere of Night Blooms written by KSU’s Margaret Baldwin and directed by KSU’s Karen Robinson.

    Teaching credits include Marymount Manhattan College, The 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, and the Summer Theatre Institute at Columbia University. He has coached students, professionals and was the Dialogue Coach for the CBS series, Dangerous Curves. He is a member of The Actor’s Equity Association.

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  • Rebecca Makusa

    Rebecca Makus

    Assistant Professor, Lighting
    Assistant 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
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    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.

    Photo by Andrew Edwards

  • Charles Parrott

    Charles Parrott

    Assistant 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
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    Charles Parrott received his Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (2011). He earned an M.A. with an emphasis in rhetoric from Ball State University in Indiana (2002) and majored in Speech Communication and Sociology at Hastings College in Nebraska (2000) where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He teaches courses at KSU focused on performance studies, including the intersections between performance and culture and he is the director of The KSU Tellers storytelling troupe.

    A native Nebraskan, Charles cemented his love of performance as a forensics competitor for Hastings College from 1996 to 2000. He is proud of the time he spent coaching competitive forensics: first, as a graduate assistant at Ball State University; and later, as Director of Forensics at Clemson University. His students earned multiple national and regional awards including two national championships.

    While attending Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Charles participated in nine performances in four years in the Marion Kleinau Theatre. These performances included work under the direction of Dr. Ronald J. Pelias, Dr. Craig Gingrich-Philbrook and Dr. Jonny Gray. His original work appeared in The Kleinau Theatre in 2007 when he co-wrote and directed Doctor Weathervaine’s [adjective] [adjective] Olde Timey Medicine Show (and Revue), and he wrote and directed Rip Cardigan and the History of the Future in 2008. He was honored in 2009 as the recipient of the Marion Kleinau Theatre Award for outstanding contributions to performance studies at SIUC. He regularly performs his own poetry and stand-up comedy and is a former member of the Carbondale Illinois chapter of the improv comedy troupe Cult of the Stage Monkey.

    Charles’ research employs Continental philosophy—phenomenology and hermeneutics particularly—to examine popular entertainments and performance art. His other areas of interest include performance history, materialities of communication, performance in the community, improvisation, popular culture and creative collaboration. He regularly presents his research at the National Communication Association Annual Convention and at the Western States Communication Association Conference, where he has served as Secretary and Vice Chair of the Performance Studies Division.

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  • Karen Robinson

    Karen Robinson

    Professor, Interim Chair and Coordinator of Internships
    M.F.A. Directing, New York University
    B.A. Theatre/English, University of Colorado
    Areas of Emphasis: Directing; Performance; Dramaturgy (new plays and classical texts); Theatre Appreciation; Audition Techniques
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    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. Karen’s production work includes chamber theatre, performance ethnography, contemporary and period classics, and new play development. Recent KSU productions include Lynn Nottage’s "Ruined", Tarell Alvin McCraney’s "Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet," "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.

    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. Recent 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—a 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 twenty-seven 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 Actors' Equity Association. 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.

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  • Henry Scott

    Henry Scott

    B.F.A. Musical Theatre, Webster University
    Areas of Emphasis: Musical Theatre, Movement, Dance, Ensemble Theatre
    Theatre for Social Change
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    Henry Scott began his training at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama and completed his study of musical theatre at Webster University Conservatory in St. Louis. He subsequently moved to New York City where he appeared in the Pre-Broadway tour and Broadway production of Grease as a cast member and as the first cover for Danny Zuko, Kenicke, and Vince Fontaine. National tours include Bye Bye Birdie starring Tommy Tune and Ann Reinking, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Sam Harris, George M! starring Joel Grey, Brigadoon, and the European tour of West Side Story. Regionally he was seen in productions of Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, Goodsports, The Wizard of Oz, and Oliver!

    Upon leaving New York, Henry continued his career as a director/choreographer and teacher. His work has been seen on the stages of the Alliance Theatre, Seven Stages, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Northshore Music Theatre, Cherry County Playhouse, Birmingham Summerfest, Birmingham Children’s Theatre, Kennesaw State University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Webster University, and Birmingham-Southern College. Hylan spent two summers on the theatre faculty at the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program and taught for six years at Woodward Academy—four of which he was the director of the theatre program.

  • Jan Wikstrom

    Jan Wikstrom

    Assistant Professor, Interim Head of Acting and 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
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    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.

Part-Time Faculty

  • Justin Anderson

    Instructor of Acting
    B.A. Theatre Arts, Campbell University
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    Justin Anderson is a producer, director, educator and actor. His directorial work has been seen at theatres all across the greater metro Atlanta area. Recent projects include Les Misérables at Aurora Theatre, The Fabulous Lipitones at Theatrical Outfit, and Angry Fags at 7 Stages Theatre. Justin also serves as resident casting director for Theatrical Outfit. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Campbell University and has studied directing and theatre performance at Rutgers University and Regent University respectively. For more information, please visit

  • 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
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    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.

  • Freddie Ashley

    Assistant Professor of Acting
    M.F.A. Theatre Performance, University of Southern Mississippi
    B.F.A Theatre, Shorter College
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    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

    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
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    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.

  • Carolyn Dorff

    Carolyn Dorff

    Assistant Professor of Vocal Performance
    M.F.A. Opera Performance, North Carolina School of the Arts
    B.F.A. Music, Dennison University
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    Carolyn Dorff holds a Master’s Degree in Opera Performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She has performed extensively across the United States, most notably as “Lily” in the second national Broadway Tour of The Secret Garden. Her resume is filled with a wide variety of credits from Opera, Musical Theatre, Oratorios, Symphonic Work, Recitals, Folk and children’s music, straight Theatre, and Dance.

    Carolyn’s operatic and musical theatre roles include The Marriage of Figaro (Countess), The Magic Flute (Papagena), Pirates of Penzance (Josephine), Postcards from Morocco (Lady With a Cake Box), and leading roles in The Music Man, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Dames at Sea, My Fair Lady, Camelot, Carousel, The King and I, Curtains, Gypsy, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, to name a few. She has also performed solos with many orchestras, including Green Eggs and Ham with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the Boise Philharmonic, and Mahler’s 2nd with the North Carolina Symphony. Carolyn has appeared in many straight theatre roles as well, including Same Time, Next Year (Doris), Extremities (Marjorie), A Christmas Carol (Mrs. Cratchitt), Diary of Anne Frank (Mrs. Van Daan), and Wisdom of Eve (Margot Crane).

    Carolyn has distinguished herself not only as a performer but also as a teacher, both in the studio and on the stage in Master Classes. Her teaching style is designed to instill a sense of self-confidence, honesty in presentation, and love of performance in each student. Many of Carolyn’s students have appeared on Broadway, in movies and on television, and have recorded their own material.

    Carolyn comes to KSU from Central Pennsylvania, where for the past five years, she has been running a successful voice studio. Before that she had another successful studio for ten years in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has had winners in both Classical and Musical Theatre categories at the NATS state and regional competitions. Many of her graduating High School students have gone on to College Music programs, such as North Carolina School of the Arts, Oberlin University, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, Wilmington, and Greensboro), East Carolina University, Appalachian State University, Elon University, George Mason, DePaul, Marymount Manhattan, Meredith College, and Messiah College.

  • Shannon Eubanks

    Instructor of Acting for the Camera
    B.A. Drama-Speech, Birmingham-Southern Colle
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    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).

  • Kathryn Farley

    Assistant Professor of Performance Studies
    Ph.D. Performance Studies, Northwestern University
    M.A. Theatre, Northwestern University
    B.S. Humanities and International Affairs, Georgetown University
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    Nr. Farley's classes, creative projects and scholarship focus on exploring the digital mediation of live performance events. Before coming to Kennesaw, she completed a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. At both Northwestern and GA Tech, Professor Farley has instructed undergraduate and graduate production and composition courses that explored the performance of contemporary drama, the adaptation of fiction and the integration of art and technology.

  • Kia Fisher

    Assistant Professor of Arts in Society: Theatre and Performance
    M.F.A Acting, University of Louisville
    B.A. Theatre Arts, Clark Atlanta University
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    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

  • Richard Garner

    Richard Garner

    Instructor of Acting
    Contact: English and Theatre, Berry College
    Two-Year Certificate Acting, American Conservatory Theatre
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    Richard Garner was the co-founder (1986) and Producing Artistic Director of Georgia Shakespeare (1988 until 2014), one of the premier classic theatre companies in the Southeast. Richard trained as an actor at American Conservatory Theatre and in theatre administration at Double Image Theatre in New York. In his nationally recognized role of Artistic Director, Richard guided Georgia Shakespeare from a four week summer season in 1986 to a LORT D regional theatre, producing year round mainstage and educational programming. Recent directing credits for Georgia Shakespeare include "As You Like It," "Piedmont Park" (2014), "Hamlet," "Much Ado About Nothing" (2012 Suzi Bass Award for Best Director), "The Glass Menagerie," and "Noises Off;" his world-premiere adaptation of "The Odyssey: A Journey Home" at Georgia Shakespeare; and Tom Key’s adaptation of "A Confederacy of Dunces" at Theatrical Outfit. As an actor, he most recently appeared as Alfie in the regional premiere of "One Man Two Guvnors" at Georgia Shakespeare (2014 Suzi Bass Award for Featured Actor), and Charlie Aiken in "August: Osage County" at the Alliance Theatre Company (Suzi Bass nomination for Featured Actor). In addition to numerous shows for the Georgia Shakespeare mainstage and Shakespeare for Students tours, Richard has guest directed at the Alliance Theatre, Theatre Emory, Gainesville Theatre Alliance, Berry College, University of Georgia, and Springer Opera House. He has served as a grants panelist for the Theatre Communications Group, Georgia Council for the Arts, South Carolina Arts Commission and is the past president of the International Shakespeare Theatre Association. He was a 2011 finalist for the Zelda Fichandler Directing Award and has been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Theater Conference, the Flourish Award for Arts Leadership from Kennesaw State University, the ABBY Award for Outstanding Arts Professional from the Arts and Business Council of Atlanta and as a LEXUS Leader of the Arts in Atlanta. Richard holds a B.A. in English and Theatre from Berry College and a two-year conservatory certificate from the American Conservatory Theatre.

  • Dori Garziano

    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
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    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
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    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 Arts in Society: Theatre and Performance
    M.F.A, University of Minnesota
    B.F.A., University of Evansville
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    Pam Joyce is a director, educator and performer. In her over fifteen years of experience in the Atlanta arts scene she has worked with Horizon Theatre, the Alliance, Georgia Shakespeare, Actors Express, Synchronicity, Essential Theatre and Fly-By Theatre, a physical theatre company she founded to create original performances. She is an Atlanta native who received her BFA from the University of Evansville and her MFA in directing from the University of Minnesota. She has taught at University of West Georgia and Kennesaw State University.

  • Matt Lewis

    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
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    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

  • 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
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    Melanie Martin Long joins the KSU faculty after 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.

  • Libby Mickle

    Instructor of Stage Management
    B. A. Theatre Arts, LaGrange College
    Member of Actors' Equity Association
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    Libby Mickle is delighted to be a part time faculty member at KSU where she teaches and mentors the stage management students. Libby is a freelance stage manager and proud member of Actors' Equity Association since 2008. She interned in stage management at Arkansas Repertory Theatre where she stage managed two Arts-in-Education tours and taught Shakespeare workshops. Libby worked as the production assistant on A Tale of Two Cities: The Musical, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, during its Sarasota tryout at Asolo Repertory Theatre. In the Atlanta area, Libby has stage managed at the Alliance Theatre, The Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Theater Emory, and the late Theatre in the Square. Libby has also stage managed across the country at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Jenny Wiley Theatre, Hersheypark, and the late Seaside Music Theatre.

  • Elizabeth Rasmusson

    Assistant Professor of Stagecraft and Visual Imagination
    M.F.A Costume Design, The University of Florida
    B.A. Theatre, Berry College
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    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

    Susan Reid

    Assistant Professor of Acting
    M.F.A. Directing, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    B.A. Randolph-Macon Woman’s College
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    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.

  • Keland Scher

    Assistant Professor of Clown Technique
    M.F.A. Acting, York University
    M.S. Occupational Therapy, Washington University
    B.F.A. Theatre, Miami University of Ohio
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    Keland Scher has worked as a professional actor on Shakespeare, classical pieces, original devised ensemble creations, contemporary pieces, improvisational theater, buffoon, and clown work for such companies as Out of Hand Theater (which he co-founded) Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, The Alliance Theater, and First Folio. He has taught for Roosevelt University, York University, Cirque de Soleil, Emory University, The Big Apple Circus and the Horizon Circus Camp. He has professionally coached, choreographed, and directed theater and clown performances for six years. After completing Ringling Brothers clown college and riding the rails for one year he worked as a professional clown for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care unit in hospitals, nursing homes, and The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a camp for children with various life threatening illnesses. For five years, throughout six hospitals in Atlanta, New York and Chicago, Keland sat at the bedside of hundreds of children with diseases, empowering the children and parents, inspiring emotional strength and healing through the art of clowning and play. Other jobs, which led him towards occupational therapy was Cirque du Soleil’s outreach program and Circesteem; both companies work with underprivileged and emotionally, challenged children and adolescents

    Keland completed his Master's of Science in Occupational Therapy at Washington University's School of Medicine in St. Louis in May 2014. He presented his clinical research, which involved the promotion of self-efficacy and the participation of children who are deaf or hard of hearing through the collaboration of occupational therapy and circus performance, in Yokohama, Japan, at the World Federation Occupation Therapy Conference (WFOT) and at the American Occupational Therapy Association in San Diego, California. He has his national and GA state licensing and is very excited to teach the integration of clowning and movement at Kennesaw State University and to work at Playworks, a pediatric occupational therapy sensory clinic, as well as Atlanta International PT Inc., an interdisciplinary pediatric and adult outpatient clinic.

  • Ashley Walden-Davis

    Assistant Professor, Producing and Theatre Administration
    M.F.A. Producing, California Institute of the Arts
    B.A. Theatre Studies, Old Dominion University
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    Ashley Davis is the Community Partnerships Specialist at Alternate ROOTS. Her primarily responsibilities are to provide oversight and direction for Partners in Action and the Presenting Subsidies Program, including project management, design, implementation, development, administration and evaluation.  She also cultivates membership and relationships by developing Learning Exchanges across the fourteen-state region in the American South.

    Ashley, a North Carolina native, is an arts administrator and theater manager with an affinity for working with community. She previously worked with Cornerstone Theater Company where she served as the Associate Producer. Cornerstone is a community-based theater company located in Los Angeles and engages with communities throughout the city, California and the nation. Ashley currently serves on the Board of Directors for Appalshop. Appalshop is a media, arts, and education center located in Whitesburg, Kentucky, in the heart of the southern Appalachian region of the United States.

    She holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Producing from California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies from Old Dominion University. Ashley has worked with Towne Street Theater, Virginia Stage Company and Elizabeth River Theater Company.  Honors include Theater Communications Group (TCG) New Generations: Future Leaders Grant, Cornerstone Theater Company Paula Altvater Fellowship, LA Stage Alliance Ovations Fellowship, and Arena Stage Fellowship.


  • Dawn Eskridge

    Dawn Eskridge

    Production Manager
    Contact: | 470-578-4773 | fax: 470-578-2426
    B.S. Theatre (Education), Florida A & M University
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    Dawn has nearly 20 years of administrative experience in both professional theatre and higher education. Prior to moving to Atlanta in 2008, she worked for several regional theaters in Chicago, including the Tony-award winning Victory Gardens Theater. Dawn returns to KSU after serving as the Patron Services Manager for the College of the Arts from 2010 until 2013. She is a member of the International Ticketing Association, Association of Arts Administration Educators, Theatre Communications Group, and Black Theatre Network.

  • Renee Jamieson

    Renee Jamieson

    Office Manager
    Contact: | 770-499-3123 | fax: 678-797-2426
    B.A. Theatre and Performance Studies, Kennesaw State University
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    Renee Jamieson is the administrative associate for the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies. She is a graduate of Kennesaw State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Performance Studies. In addition to working for Kennesaw State, Renee also stage-manages for Dad’s Garage and various theatre companies throughout Atlanta. In her rare free time Renee enjoys relaxing with her husband, Dru and her dog, Marlo Thomas.

    Andrew Edwards Photo

  • Brad Herring

    Brad Herring

    Facilities Manager for Stillwell and Onyx Theaters
    Contact: | 770-499-6515 | fax: 678-797-2247
    B.A. Theatre, Kennesaw State University
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    Brad is an alum of Kennesaw State University. Brad specializes in technical theater. He is the author of, Sound, Lighting and Video – A Resource for Worship. Brad is also a regular contributor for various magazines. He’s presented at the National Association of Broadcasters, InfoComm and LDI as well as various regional conferences over the years.

    Brad works around the Southeast as a lighting and sound designer, however most of his non-KSU time is focused on consulting and system design for Theater’s and Houses of Worship.

    Andrew Edwards Photo

  • Kenyon Shiver

    Kenyon Shiver

    Technical Director
    Contact: | 770-499-3623 | fax: 678-797-2426
    B.F.A. Art, Valdosta State University
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    As Technical Director for the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, Kenyon brings his lifelong background in art, construction, and entertainment to bear in creating the environments and various properties of the physical aspects of stage productions. Having been a part of over 150 projects throughout his career, his range of experience runs the gamut of technical theatre and design. Apart from his duties here at KSU, his work can occasionally be seen at theatres around the Atlanta area in the form of specialty props and other scenic elements.

  • Carolyn Dorff

    Brittany Johnson

    Costume Shop Manager
    Contact: | 770-499-3673 | fax: 678-797-2426
    B.F.A. Theatre, University Of Florida
    M.F.A. Costume Technology, University of Texas
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    Brittany holds her B.F.A in Costume Design (2000) from The University of Florida and an M.F.A. in Costume Technology (2004) from The University of Texas at Austin. After graduation, she worked in New York at Carelli Costume for two years. Since moving to Atlanta in 2006, Brittany has worked at the Alliance Theatre in addition to freelancing at various theatres around the metro area. She joined T&PS as Costume Shop Manager in 2010. She loves what she does at Kennesaw State University and strives to create a fun environment for her students to thrive and learn. Her specialties include, but are not limited to, costume construction, tailoring, pattern-making, millinery, and being a mom to four-year-old Violet.