Faculty and Staff

Full-Time Faculty

Name
Position
  • Ming Chen

    Ming Chen Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Ming Chen Position:
    Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-6156
    Email: mchen@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 248


    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 27 years of university teaching experience and three years of full time professional theatre experience. Born in Shanghai, China, she worked at Shanghai Youth Theatre Company in Shanghai and the Shakespeare Theatre at Folger in Washington, D.C.; 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, U.K., 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). She is also a major contributor for ArtsTrends USA, a 347-page Chinese-English bilingual book on current topics in performance and design (published in 2017). Her other publications include essays and translations in top peer-reviewed professional journals such as Theatre Topics (co-author), TD&/T, Theatre Arts, and EPerformance. She has frequently presented papers at national and international theatre conferences and 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.

  • James Davis

    James Davis Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Jim DavisPosition:
    Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-2475
    Email: jdavi231@kennesaw.edu
    Location: UC 116


    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 KSU's nationally recognized Department of First-Year and Transition Studies, where he teaches the First-Year Seminar as part of the World of the Scholar Artist Learning Community specifically for first-year TPS majors.  He is privileged to work with theatre artists who are early in their academic careers.

    Dr. Davis has been at Kennesaw State University since 2007.  He has worked as a director, dramaturg, performer, deviser, designer, builder, and critic both on-campus and at numerous professional theatres in Atlanta and beyond, 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). He has directed Feathers and Teeth, 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. He has also created numerous solo and ensemble works for puppet theatre.

    Jim's research focuses on traditional theatre practice as well as the intersections between performance and popular culture.  He has published work on professional wrestling, superhero comics, and the "theatricalization" of Major League Baseball.

  • Timothy Ellis

    Timothy Ellis Lecturer of Musical Theatre

    Tim-EllisPosition:
    Lecturer of Musical Theatre

    Phone: (470) 578-4489
    Email: tellis55@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 140


    MFA, Musical Theatre, The University of Central Florida
    BA, Speech Communications & Theatre, LaGrange College
    Member:  AEA, SAG-AFTRA

    Musical Theatre encompasses a variety of skills.  Timothy’s teaching experience includes classes in Acting, Acting the Song, Jazz Dance, Tap, Musical Theatre Dance, Voice, and Theatre Careers.  His career in theatre spans thirty-plus years.

    Timothy appeared on Broadway in Annie Get Your Gun (U/S, Tommy Keeler), with Bernadette Peters.  He was also a cast member of the national tours of Show Boat (Swing and U/S, Frank) and Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (U/S, Melvin P. Thorpe), as well as a European tour of Evita (Magaldi).  Regional Theatre credits include: Goodspeed Opera House, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Arvada Center, Cleveland Playhouse, Flat Rock Playhouse and Atlanta Lyric Theatre.  As choreographer, Timothy has staged productions of A Simple Song: A Leonard Bernstein Celebration, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Show Boat, Debbie Does Dallas, How I Became A Pirate, The Magical Adventures of Merlin, and Rocky Horror Show - to name a few. He has presented master classes in Musical Theatre Dance, Prepping for the Singing Audition, and Taxes for Actors.  Master classes have taken him across the U.S. and to Taipei, Taiwan. 

    Previous Faculty Appointments:

    University of Miami
    University of Central Florida
    LaGrange College
    http://www.timothyellis.com 

     

  • Thomas Fish

    Thomas Fish Limited Term Assistant Professor of Theatre

    Tom FishPosition:
    Limited Term Assistant Professor of Theatre

    Phone: (470) 578-4441
    Email: tfish2@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 223


    PhD English (Drama & Theatre), McGill University
    MA Drama, Tufts University
    BA Theater Studies, Emory University

    Dr. Tom Fish is a Meisner-trained actor, director, theatre historian, and arts educator with over 15-years experience as a scholar-practitioner. He has taught at McGill University, Tufts University, Dawson College, Georgia State University, and Oglethorpe University. TV appearances include Devious Maids and My Crazy Life, and stage credits include ART, Matrix Theatre, Victory Theatre, Theater Emory, and Out Front.

    Dr. Fish's peer-reviewed articles and reviews have appeared in Theatre Survey, Shakespeare Bulletin, Theatre and Religion, Ecumenica, and Theatre Arts Journal: Studies in Scenography and Performance. His research interests include: Shakespeare, spirituality and performance, gender, and LGBTQ theatre.

  • John Gentile

    John Gentile Professor of Performance Studies & Communication

    John GentilePosition:
    Professor of Performance Studies & Communication

    Phone: (470) 578-6338
    Email: jgentile@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 233


    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, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Redwing: Voices from 1888, Dark Forest: Tales and Poems from the Brothers Grimm, The Hero's Journey (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 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.

    As an actor and storyteller, Gentile has performed throughout the metro-Atlanta area. He has performed at the Jung Society of Atlanta, Theatre du Reve, Aris Theatre, 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. In 2017, he received the Lilla A. Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies from the National Communication Association for his essay "Shape-Shifter in the Green: Performing Sir Gawain and the Green Knight."

    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.

    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.

  • Emily Kitchens

    Emily Kitchens Limited Term Assistant Professor of Acting

    Emily KitchensPosition:
    Limited Term Assistant Professor of Acting

    Phone: (470) 578-6661
    Email: ekitche7@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 222


    MFA American Conservatory Theater
    BFA University of Evansville

    Emily Kitchens is a teacher, actor, theatre-maker, writer, and director originally from Leesburg, GA and has been based in New York City for the past 8 years. She has acted in classic to contemporary works at vital American theaters including The American Conservatory Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Guthrie Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, California Shakespeare Theater and The Alliance Theatre. She is a founding member of Hunger and Thirst Theatre, as well as a founding core member of The Group Lab, a tribe of artists in New York City. She is also a frequent collaborator with Amios, a downtown theatre group in NYC. She has written and collaborated on original and devised theatre and performing art works in New York City, the Bay Area, Edinburgh, Berlin, and Leesburg, GA. Emily has taught Acting and Voice Speech at various institutions in New York City, Jersey City, and The Bay Area. 

  • Harrison Long

    Harrison Long Senior Associate Dean of College of the Arts and Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies and Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Harrison LongPosition:
    Senior Associate Dean of College of the Arts and Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies and Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-6884
    Email: hlong3@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 205


    M.F.A. Theatre (Acting), Southern Methodist University
    B.F.A Theatre (Acting), Florida State University
    Areas of Emphasis: Contemporary Scene Study, Period Styles

    "At the center of theatre training is perhaps the greatest lesson of all: the power of imagination. Imagination is important because it allows each of us, as leaders, to see beyond our current limitations and to visualize what we are capable of becoming." — Harrison Long

    Harrison Long has twenty-five years experience as a director, actor, writer, teacher and leader. He has worked in television, regional theatres and in New York on material ranging from contemporary drama to musical comedy with special emphasis on Shakespeare.

    Harrison is a regular invited speaker on the topic of leadership at venues ranging from local civic organizations, to international universities, to MLK day celebrations to commencement exercises. His public speaking clients range from ministers, to business leaders to college presidents. In 2005, he returned to metropolitan Atlanta to found the Acting program at Kennesaw State University (KSU). Since then, he has held a variety of other leadership positions including Artistic Director of Theatre, Interim Director of the School of Art & Design, supervisor to the acclaimed Zuckerman Museum of Art and Interim Chair of KSU's nationally-acclaimed Department of Dance. Harrison currently serves as Sr. Associate Dean of the College of the Arts and as Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies.

    In 2011, Long's production of Splittin' the Raft received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to tour seven North Georgia communities, creating healing conversations within inner-city schools and rural mountain towns. In 2013, Long directed the first site-specific production of Lee Blessing’s cold war drama, A Walk in the Woods at Serenbe Playhouse. In 2105, he staged the Tony award-winning musical Parade at Marietta's Strand Theatre to commemorate the centennial of Leo Frank's tragic death, 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 is an alumnus of the Florida State University School of Theatre, The Meadows School of the Arts and Southern Methodist University, and the University System of Georgia's Executive Leadership Institute. His most recent acting credit: "Bottom" in A Midsummer Night's Dream for Shakespeare Kennesaw. Harrison is the 2013 recipient of the Kennesaw State University, Foundation Prize for Publication and the 2014 winner of KSU’s Distinguished Professor Award.

    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
    The Casablanca International Theatre Festival

    In the early 1990s, Long served as a dialogue coach for episodic television with CBS.

    Publications include articles in The International Journal of Arts Education and the Journal of Higher Education Outreach & Engagement and the Journal of Global Initiatives: Policy, Pedagogy, Perspectives.

    Harrison is a proud member of The Actor's Equity Association.

  • Michele Minnick

    Michele Minnick Limited Term Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Michele MinnickPosition:
    Limited Term Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-2347
    Email: mminnic2@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 220


    Michele Minnick (PhD, CMA) is an artist, researcher and teacher whose work integrates the fields of theatre, performance studies, performance art and somatic practice. As a director and teacher of performance, her focus has been on ensemble and physical theatre. She is a developer of The Performance Workshop and Rasaboxes, originated by Richard Schechner, and is certified in the Laban/Bartenieff approach to movement studies. She is currently co-authoring and editing the first book about TPW/Rasaboxes, to be published by Routledge in 2020.

    Recent directing work includes Sotoba Komachi at James Madison University, A Body of Water and Lungs at The Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, NY, The Mesmeric Revelations! Of Edgar Allan Poe with Submersive Productions in Baltimore, Lamatown in Natal, Brazil, and Kid-Simple, A Radio Play in the Flesh at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. In 2018 Submersive produced her original solo work, BATS!, a partly autobiographical, multimedia work about fear and madness with puppets and original songs on accordion. Since 2012, Michele has been performing ReDress, a solo participatory street performance that invites accidental audiences to consider the invisible but palpable forms of gendered violence that take place every day in every woman’s life in public places.

    Michele taught The Performance Workshop at New York University's Performance Studies Department (1999-2016), and a broad range of graduate and undergraduate courses, from Movement for Actors, to Theatre History and LGBTQ Theatre and Performance at Towson University in Maryland (2008-2013). She has also offered courses at The New School and Stevenson University, and has led many workshops at colleges and universities around the country and abroad. She has produced and led TPW & Rasaboxes workshops in New York City and presented the work at festivals and conferences internationally since 1998. She has taught at The Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York, and has been a guest teacher in the pre-certification program in Rio de Janeiro since 2010. Recently she has begun using her skills as a theatre artist in arts-in-education contexts in Baltimore, adapting the Rasaboxes and other techniques for K-12, and offering training to K-12 teaching artists and educators.

    Michele's dissertation, "Breathing Worlds: Somatic Practice, Performance and the Self in the Life/Art Work of Leeny Sack" (2016) considers a "performativity of the breath," a relational approach based in witnessing self and other as a key to the creative process and to working through trauma. Both her practice and research see performance and somatic practice as keys to personal and social transformation. Michele's current focus in both her research and her artistic work is finding ways for theatre and performance to engage the more-than-human, particularly in the context of the climate crisis currently unfolding. She is devising participatory performances, rituals, and proposals to vitalize and invigorate individual bodies, spark new ways of thinking, and reimagine community across lines of difference. The core assumption grounding her work is that art in general, and performance in particular, offers us an alternative to politics as usual, a way of moving beyond the status quo to engender new forms of collaboration, civil dialogue, and civic engagement.

  • Amanda Wansa Morgan

    Amanda Wansa Morgan Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    A MorganPosition:
    Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-4408
    Email: amorga97@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 224


    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 serves as Coordinator of Musical Theatre & Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University. She teaches classes in musical theatre performance, musical theatre voice, acting, and musical theatre history and literature. At KSU, she has directed productions of Heathers The Musical and A Man of No Importance and has worked on numerous productions and projects as vocal coach and mentor. She joins the KSU faculty after serving on the faculty at The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) for three years, where 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. Additionally, she has music directed at The Alliance Theater, The Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Actor's Express, Six Flags Over Georgia, Playhouse on the Square (TN), Post Playhouse (NE), and Osceola Center for the Arts (FL). In 2016, Amanda was proud to serve on the music team for the world premiere of the Broadway-bound musical The Prom, with music by Matthew Sklar, at The Alliance Theater.

    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). Amanda has composed original music for productions which include 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 book's 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), National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), 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 and media samples.

  • Charles Parrott

    Charles Parrott Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    C ParrottPosition:
    Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-2347
    Email: cparrot5@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 220


    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's teaching and research focus on Performance Studies with an emphasis on performance theory, devised performance, and storytelling.  He is the Director of the KSU Tellers storytelling troupe, housed in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies. Under his direction, the KSU Tellers have performed widely: at national and international conferences, fringe and storytelling festivals, and in partnership with schools and community organizations. In addition to his work with the KSU Tellers, he has produced and devised original theatrical productions including Frankenstein'd, Don Quixote Ugly, and Bloody Pulp: Crisis in the American Comic Book.

    Dr. Parrott regularly presents his research at the National Communication Association Annual Convention and he has published articles and reviews in the American Communication Journal, Text & Performance Quarterly, Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, and Storytelling, Self, and Society. He is the recipient of a KSU Diversity Fellowship and the Rising Star Award, recognizing outstanding junior faculty in the College of the Arts. Dr. Parrott has a PhD in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with an emphasis in Performance Studies and Philosophy of Communication.

  • Margaret Pendergrass

    Margaret Pendergrass Coordinator of TPS 1107 and Senior Lecturer of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Margaret BaldwinPosition:
    Coordinator of TPS 1107 and Senior Lecturer of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-2257
    Email: mbaldw11@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 232


    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 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 Pendergrass is a Senior Lecturer for the KSU Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, where she has taught since 2007. Margaret received her MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and her BA in English and Modern Studies from the University of Virginia. As a professional playwright, Margaret has had plays and ensemble works produced throughout the US and abroad. Her play Night Blooms received its world premiere at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta (2010) and its mid-Atlantic premiere at Virginia Repertory (2012). Margaret earned the 2011 Gene Gabriel Moore Playwriting for Night Blooms (2011) and a National AT&T Onstage Award for the premiere of her play Her Little House at Horizon Theatre in (2004). Recent adaptations include The Followers: A Retelling of The Bacchae, which will premiere at 7 Stages Theatre in February 2018, and In the Twilight: Chekhov's Stories Retold, produced by the KSU Department of Theatre and Performance Stories (2013).  Her play Coyote Hour, was a finalist for the 2015 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Margaret is the winner of the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award for Kennesaw State University and the 2016 University of Georgia Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching.

  • Karen Robinson

    Karen Robinson Assistant Chair of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies and Artistic Director and Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    K RobinsonPosition:
    Assistant Chair of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies and Artistic Director and Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-4446
    Email: krobins1@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 245


    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. KSU productions include Peter and the Starcatcher, In the Blood, Ruined, 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." 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" and "Polyphonic Dynamics as Educational Practice" co-authored with colleagues Ming Chen and Ivan Pulinkala (Theatre Topics); her writing is also included in ArtsTrends USA, a 347-page Chinese-English bilingual book on current topics in performance and design. A passionate advocate for global learning and intercultural performance, Karen served as Global Learning Coordinator for KSU's College of the Arts from 2006-2013. Her global projects have included education abroad programs in Germany and Morocco; student performances of Metamorphoses in Paderborn, Germany; The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party and John Gentile's adaptation of Moby-Dick at the International University Theatre Festival in Casablanca in which she performed French narration 2009; the direction of Margaret Baldwin's world premier adaptation of the Chinese folk novel Monkey King 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 that focused on Kenyans living and studying in the KSU community. The production was also 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 professionally as a director, dramaturg, and stage manager for theatres in New York City, North Carolina, California, and Atlanta, Georgia for over thirty years. In Atlanta, she has directed productions and staged readings for the Alliance Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, Actor's Express (Cardboard Piano and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet); and the world premieres of Margaret Baldwin's plays Night Blooms and Her Little House for Horizon Theatre Company. 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 year’s most memorable theatrical productions), 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. 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.

  • Pamela Rodriguez-Montero

    Pamela Rodriguez-Montero Assistant Professor of Costume Design

    Pamela Rodriguez-Montero Headshot PhotoPosition:
    Assistant Professor of Costume Design

    Phone: (470) 578-7874
    Email: prodri31@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 240


    Pamela is a theatrical designer, educator, and visual artist. She earned her BFA degree in Arts and Visual Communications from the National University of Costa Rica. She received her MFA in Scenography from the University of Kansas, graduating with honors.

    Her formal education and design production reflect the ability to develop a comprehensive and global visual environment for theatre and dance shows and a mastery of visual representation techniques. She is the proud recipient of the Ethel Hinds Burch Outstanding New GTA in Theatre Award (2014) and the Ethel Hinds Burch Outstanding GTA in Theatre Award (2015) in recognition of her excellence in teaching.

    After receiving a Tinker Field Research Grant, Pamela visited Guatemala to develop a contextual research and collect reference materials for her thesis project about the Mayan dance/drama of Rabinal Achi. This project has consolidated her research interests at the intersections of costume design, arts, and the Latinamerican - Indigenous identity, particularly in the Mesoamerican ceremonial garments.

  • Johanna Stull

    Johanna Stull Limited Term Instructor of Musical Theatre

    Johanna StullPosition:
    Limited Term Instructor of Musical Theatre

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: jstull1@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 246


    Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Johanna Stull is a music director, vocal coach, and pianist that specializes in creating high-quality, collaborative performing experiences. Johanna maintains an active career in both the classical and music theater worlds, using her versatile skill set to bring inspiration both to students and seasoned performers. Most recently, Johanna has music directed for Beck's Peter Pan and the lovable Annie with CYT Dallas. At the piano in 2019, Johanna has prepared and coached productions of West Side Story (Abilene Opera and Utah Festival Opera), as well as Newsies (Utah Festival Opera). As a trained mezzo-soprano, Johanna has a distinctive command of classical vocal coaching. She has collaborated with the vocal studios at the University of North Texas and at Texas' Woman's University, as well as coached summer opera programs at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Bayview Music Festival. A dedicated advocate of the collaborative arts, Johanna coordinates annual CollabFest conferences as assistant to the artistic director. Her administrative and business skills gained her recent recognition for an innovative music business plan, targeted towards equipping pianists throughout their careers. Johanna holds a M.M. in Collaborative Piano and Music Entrepreneurship from the University of North Texas, as well as a B.M. in Piano Performance from Missouri Baptist University. When she's not at the keyboard, Johanna finds happiness traveling, playing recreational sports, and creating culinary delights in the kitchen.
  • Kristyl Tift

    Kristyl Tift Assistant Professor of Acting

    Kristyl D. Tift Headshot PhotoPosition:
    Assistant Professor of Acting

    Phone: (470) 578-4927
    Email: ktift@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 241


    Ph.D. Theatre, University of Georgia
    Graduate Certificate, Women's Studies, University of Georgia
    M.F.A., Acting, New School for Drama
    B.A. Theatre (Music Minor), Georgia Southern University

    Areas of Emphasis: Acting (stage and screen), Voice and Speech, Movement and Dance, Queer-of-color Performance, African Diaspora Theatre and Performance

    Dr. Kristyl D. Tift is an Assistant Professor of Acting in the Theatre and Performance Studies Department at KSU. She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre with a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Georgia. She also holds an M.F.A. in Acting from the New School for Drama and a B.A. in Theatre (with a Music Minor) from Georgia Southern University.

    As a performer, she has worked professionally in the Atlanta area as an actress, singer, and voice artist since 2008. Some of her favorite theatre roles include Aunt Em in True Colors Theatre Company's The Wiz, Bessie Smith in True Colors' concert reading of Gut Bucket Blues, Lacey Sims in Aurora Theatre's Buy My House, Please!, and Cookie in The Renaissance Project's production of Rumors. She has co-starred on such television shows as Greenleaf, House of Payne, and One Tree Hill, and has had principal roles in the films Hall Pass and Looper. Her commercial and industrial work include Target and Atlanta Falcons spots. Her voice work includes narrations for Tantor Audio and University Audio Press.

    As a professor, Dr. Tift has taught a variety of courses in Theatre and Film Studies, Communication Arts, and Women's Studies Departments at Georgia Southern University and the University of Georgia, emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning in the Arts and Humanities and a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the classroom. In 2015, she was awarded an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia.

    As a scholar, her research on black queer performance has been recognized by The Ford Foundation and The Princeton Society of Fellows. Her research foci are the works of such playwrights and performance artists as Sharon Bridgforth, Shirlene Holmes, and Staceyann Chin.

    Dr. Tift's other creative and research interests include African diaspora dance, popular culture and music, directing, writing for the stage and screen, and audio and visual recording and production.

Part-Time Faculty

Name
Position
  • Nicole Adkins

    Nicole Adkins Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre

    Nicole B. AdkinsPosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: nadkins3@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    M.F.A. Children's Literature, Hollins University
    B.A. Theatre Arts, University of Central Oklahoma

    Nicole B. Adkins has taught classes and workshops to students of various ages at theatres, K-12 schools, and universities. Her plays have been performed at Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Hollins University, Mill Mountain Theatre, Studio Roanoke, Creative Drama Children’s Theatre in Winston-Salem, NC, SkyPilot Theatre in Los Angeles, the American International School in Guanghzou China, and other theatres, schools, and museums nationally and abroad. She has six plays published through YouthPLAYS, where she also serves as Artistic Associate. She is coauthor of Playwriting and Young Audiences: Collected Wisdom and Practical Advice from the Field (Intellect Press). National playwriting awards include the Waldo M. and Grace C. Bonderman Award and recognition in the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Marilyn Hall competition. A Hollins Children’s Literature MFA graduate and Hollins Playwright's Lab Core Faculty member, Nicole is also a member of Dramatists Guild and TYA/USA.

  • Justin Anderson

    Justin Anderson Part-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Position:
    Part-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: jande189@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    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 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.

  • Natashya Armer-Giardina

    Natashya Armer-Giardina Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Natshya Armer-GiardinaPosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: narmer@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    M.F.A. Acting, Northern Illinois University
    B.F.A. Acting, Virginia Commonwealth University

    Natashya Armer-Giardina is the 2017 Kennesaw State University Part-Time Faculty Award recipient.  She has been part of the Kennesaw State University Department of Theatre and Performance Studies as part-time faculty since January, 2006.  She was the first faculty member (full or part-time) in the College of the Arts to earn certification for teaching online, and continues to be a leader in distance learning.

    She continues her professional teaching & performing career in Atlanta, Georgia. 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 at Northern Illinois University in May 2004, Armer-Giardina had the extraordinary experience to study and perform in Russia with the acclaimed Moscow Art Theatre.

    In fulfillment of her M.F.A. she performed roles in Waiting for Lefty, Disguises of Arlecchino, The Laramie Project, A Man's a Man, Balm in Gilead, several roles in Bob Schneider's adaptation of The Birds, 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 studied film, auditioning techniques, and business of theatre 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 The Taming of the Shrew, both Puck and Helena in Midsommer Night's 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 Ashley

    Fredrick Ashley Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre

    Fredrick AshleyPosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: fashley@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    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 2007. He has directed around thirty AE productions, including critically acclaimed productions of The Crucible, Appropriate, and Rent. Other directing credits include work with Dad’s Garage, Aurora Theatre, Theatre Gael, Jewish Theatre of the South, and Atlanta Lyric Theatre.

    Ashley has worked on new play projects with playwrights Lindsey Ferrentino, Jen Silverman, Joshua Harmon, Michael Lew, Janine Nabers, Sarah Gubbins, Kathryn Walat, Kenneth Lin, Marco Ramirez and Amy E. Witting. He has developed new work with the Kennedy Center, Playwrights' Center, Page 73, the New Group, Theater Emory and Alliance Theatre, where he previously served as Literary Manager and was dramaturg for over thirty productions.

    He is a three-time Suzi Bass Award winner (Best Actor, The Whale; Best Director, Grey Gardens, and Rent) and has been named Best Director in Atlanta by Creative Loafing three times. He is a past winner of the Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.

    Ashley has served on the faculty of Kennesaw State University since 2002 and sits on the Board of Directors of the National New Play Network. He holds an MFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi.

  • Brian August

    Brian August Part-Time Instructor of Stage Management

    Brian August Position:
    Part-Time Instructor of Stage Management

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: baugust@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    B.F.A., Stage Management, Boston University

    Brian August is currently the staff Production Stage Manager at The Atlanta Opera. Additionally, he is also the Production Stage Manager at Des Moines Metro Opera during their summer festival, where he is in seventh season. Additional opera companies include Sarasota Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Boston, and Central City Opera. Favorite productions include Dead Man Walking, Jenufa, Elektra, Soldier Songs, Turandot, and Silent Night. Brian is a graduate of the Boston University School of Theatre, with a BFA in Stage Management, cum laude. Brian originally hails from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and is now proud to call Atlanta his home.

  • Seamus Bourne

    Seamus Bourne Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Seamus BournePosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: sbourne6@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    M.F.A. Scenic Design, Indiana University
    B.A. Theatre, UNC Wilmington

    Seamus M. Bourne is a working professional scenic designer based out of Metro Atlanta and is a member of United Scenic Artists, IATSE Local USA 829 (the labor union representing professional designers and craftspeople in live theatre). He has designed scenery or worked in other production capacities throughout Atlanta, including Actor's Express, Theatrical Outfit, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Aurora Theatre, The Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare, and Theatre in the Square. Regionally he has worked in Lincoln, NH, Tulsa, OK, Richmond, VA, Sullivan, IL, and Kearney, NE. Seamus is the Production Manager for Actor's Express in Atlanta. He is a two-time Suzi Bass Award nominee and nine-time Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region IV Faculty Merit Award recipient. He also received recognition from KCACTF Region IV for Excellence and Service to the Region in 2018.

    www.smbourne.com 

  • Kara Cantrell

    Kara Cantrell Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Kara Cantrell Headshot PhotoPosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: kcantr15@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    B.F.A. Theatre/Performance, Western Kentucky University
    M.F.A. Acting, University of Georgia

    Kara Cantrell is an actor, director, and educator who is currently serving as a part-time Assistant Professor here at Kennesaw State University in the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies. She most recently appeared on the big screen in Logan Lucky, The Divergent Series - Allegiant, Pt. 1, in the Atlanta-produced web series, That's Educational, and numerous commercials and industrials. She has appeared on the Atlanta stage with Arís Theatre, ART Station, Aurora Theatre, Stage Door Players, Actor's Express, The Process Theatre Co., Theatre in the Square, Jewish Theatre of the South, and Synchronicity Theatre, and is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of Impulse Repertory Company. Professor Cantrell has also taught theatre courses at UGA and Georgia Perimeter College, The Alliance Theatre's Education program, The Center for Puppetry Arts, Marcus Jewish Community Center, and the Ferst Center for the Arts. She is a Certified Teacher with the National Michael Chekhov Association.

  • Amelia Fischer

    Amelia Fischer Part-Time Assistant Professor of Acting

    Amelia Fischer - Assistant Professor of ActingPosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Acting

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: afische8@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    MFA from the University of Houston’s PATP
    BA from Coastal Carolina University

    Amelia is a professional actor, director, and fight choreographer based in Atlanta, GA. Amelia has worked for theatres from Washington DC to Washington state, including seasons with: Tennessee Shakespeare Company, Georgia Shakespeare, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Classical Theatre Compnay, Shakespeare Walla Walla, and Houston Shakespeare Company. Here in Atlanta, Amelia has worked in casting and literary for Horizon Theatre, and performed with Theatrical Outfit, The Alliance, Horizon, Theatre Buford, Essential Theatre, and Theatre Emory. Amelia is certified by the Society of American Fight Directors and has choreographed fights with her brother, Connor Hammond for Synchronicity Theatre, Actor's Express, Theatrical Outfit.

    Anime fans have heard her voice several characters for Sentai Filmworks, including Jibril in No Game No Life. Amelia is proud to have received her MFA from the University of Houston's PATP, her BA from Coastal Carolina University, and trained with the Gainesville Theatre Alliance.

  • Kia Keyton

    Kia Keyton Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Kia Fisher KeytonPosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: kfishe23@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    M.F.A. Acting, University of Louisville
    B.A. Theatre Arts, Clark Atlanta University

    Kia Fisher Keyton has taught at numerous institutions in Georgia and South Carolina.  She is a member of the SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) actors' union.  Kia began taking acting classes as a child in the Gifted Artistic Theatrical Expansion (G.A.T.E.) Program. After graduating and relocating to Los Angeles, CA, Kia completed a series of commercial, television, and film classes. She has appeared in films, webisodes, and plays, and has toured with several companies. Acting credits include the lead in Antigone, The Glass Menagerie, for colored girls who have considered suicide..., and 'night Mother, among other productions.

  • Dori Leeman

    Dori Leeman Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    D GarzianoPosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: dgarzian@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    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.

  • Melanie Long

    Melanie Long Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Melanie Martin LongPosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: mlong26@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    M.F.A. Directing, University of Minnesota
    B.A. Theatre and English, The College of William and Mary

    Melanie Martin Long has worked as a director, writer, and actor for several Atlanta theatre companies, including Georgia Shakespeare, Alliance Children's Theatre, Jewish Theatre of the South, Georgia Ensemble, Theatrical Outfit, and Theatre Emory. Before coming to Atlanta in 2005, Melanie was Artistic Associate at the Lark Play Development Center in New York, where she produced its acclaimed Playwrights Workshop with Arthur Kopit. As a professional director and adapter, she has guided more than thirty productions at the Off-Broadway, regional and collegiate levels. Publications: "Mastering Stage Presence" DVD series for The Great Courses, The Frog Prince (Book and Lyrics with composer James Woodward), and annotations of Julius Caesar and The Tempest. Memberships: Lincoln Center Directors' Lab, Voice and Speech Trainers of America (VASTA). In addition to teaching, Melanie maintains a full schedule as a workshop leader, speaker and performance coach for actors and presenters.

  • Lorraine Reyes

    Lorraine Reyes Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Lorraine_Rodriguez_HeadshotPosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: lreyes19@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    M.F.A. (Acting), American Repertory Theatre
    (A.R.T.)/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University 
    B.A.  Theatre Arts State University of New York at New Paltz

    Lorraine Rodriguez-Reyes, is a part time professor at Kennesaw State University.  She has extensive experience teaching theatre and acting in various institutions in New York.

    Lorraine has an acting career that has led her to the stages of Cherry Lane Theatre Verse Chorus Verse, Mint Theatre On The Edge, Repertorio Espanol La Gringa, Theatre Row A Bicycle Country, Dog Day Afternoon, Columbia Stages Three Sisters,  LaTea Theatre GlassChord, The Importance of Being Blanca, Moscow Art Theatre Dostoevsky Demons and Melancholy, a show she did at the beginning of her career at Harvard, directed by Scott Zigler; and the role of La Extrana in De Donde at The Looking Glass Theatre which earned her an OOBER Award. Lorraine's one woman show Mami Confessions was the winner of the ONE Festival in NYC and had two runs Teatro Circulo and at the Kitchen Theatre, Ithaca NY. Lorraine also co-wrote Cuatro Mujeres which premiered at the prestigious FILEY 2017 Festival Feria Internacional de la Literatura Merida, Yucatan Mexico. Cuatro Mujeres had its stateside premiere at the Aurora Theatre. Television credits: CW Legacies, NBC Good Girls, Tyler Perry's The Have's and Have Nots, HBO The Sopranos, recurring Guest star role on ABC "What Would You
    Do?", Diversity Inclusion Playbook for ESPN and Cookin' in Brooklyn for Discovery.

    Film: Lifetime movie, Room for Murder, Eli Moran, Taught to Hate, The Stick Up Kids, Willets Point, nominated for Best Dramatic Actress at The Long Island International Film Expo.

    Producing Credits: Atlantic Theatre reading of The Genius by Daniel Mitura and a reading of Kathleen McGhee-Anderson's new play A Shift in Gravity, directed by Ricardo Khan at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theater - The Pershing Square Signature Center in Manhattan.  Benefit reading of Gloria, screenplay adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned at The Mainstage Theater at Playwrights Horizons. At Cherry Lane she produced the Stripped Festival in association with Barefoot Theatre Company and East 3rd Productions; at Theatre Row, the Israel Horovitz Festival Reading and A Bicycle Country by Pulitzer Prize Winner, Nilo Cruz; and at the Gene Frankel, Weird Sisters. Also with East 3rd Productions: Strange Snow by Steven Metcalf, Mary Esther conceived by Christopher Petitand written by Nick Zagone. Film Producer credits: Award Winning short films Tapeworm and Capicu. Lorraine also produced Eli Moran, an independent film shot in NYC.

  • Maurice Smith

    Maurice Smith Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre

    Maurice SmithPosition:
    Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: msmit920@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    Maurice is a native of Philadelphia, PA and comes to Atlanta via 19years professionally working out of Los Angeles, CA. He reciecieved his BA from West Chester University & MFA from London England Mountview Theatre Conservatoire. Other Training includes working with celebrated acting coaches, directors and casting directors. His teaching experience includes working at Freedom theater, Philadelphia, Walnut Street theater, Philadelphia, private coaching, workshops and theater professor at California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA.

    Professionally he has performed on stage and screen receiving  accolades for best actor as "Boy Willie" in August Wilson's PIANO LESSON to Playing title role OTHELLO at Marietta Theater in the Square. On screen he has been seen in commercials for products like AT&T, LOWE’S and NINTENDO. Film credits range from UNCLE DREW to BRUCE ALMIGHTY and Television working on several tv shows like MOM, E.R., 24 and notably a series regular on Tyler Perry’s MEET THE BROWNS, playing the lovable character "Reggie."

    Maurice is excited to be working at Kennesaw State University helping shape the students become impactful individuals ready to disrupt the world and achieve their dreams. He humbly takes being instructor, mentor and example seriously.

Staff

Name
Position
  • Brittany Johnson

    Brittany Johnson Costume Shop Manager

    Position:
    Costume Shop Manager

    Phone: (470) 578-3673
    Email: bjohn168@kennesaw.edu
    Location: KC 162A


    Brittany completed her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Costume Technology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in costumes from University of Florida.  After graduation from UT Austin, Brittany pursued a career as a Costume Technologist in New York City where she spent two years working at one of the top Broadway costume shops as a Cutter/First Hand. She moved to Atlanta in 2006 and worked in the costume shop of the Tony award-winning Alliance Theatre in addition to freelancing as a constructionist around the city. Brittany is part owner of J&R Santaprises, which specializes in custom-ordered Santa and Mrs. Claus suits. Brittany has been the Costume Shop Manager at Kennesaw State University since 2010.
  • Troy Parker

    Troy Parker Office Manager

    Troy ParkerPosition:
    Office Manager

    Phone: (470) 578-3123
    Email: tparke94@kennesaw.edu
    Location: WB 249


    Troy is an Atlanta based performer, creative and performance driven Marketing and Communications professional. He received his BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Reinhardt University in 2013. Locally, he has performed at The Atlanta Lyric Theatre, 7 Stages, Fabrefaction Theater, The Wallace Buice Theatre Company, Stone Mountain Park and Telltale Children's Theatre. At The Atlanta Lyric Theatre, he worked as a Stage Manager and transitioned over to the House Manager the beginning of 2017. He has over twelve years of Administrative and Management experience along with five years of Marketing, Public Relations and Sales experience. He most recently served as the Marketing Coordinator and Filming Liaison for Herschend Family Entertainment's Stone Mountain Park.
  • Daniel Terry

    Daniel Terry Technical Director, Scene Shop Manager, and Part-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Daniel TerryPosition:
    Technical Director, Scene Shop Manager, and Part-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies

    Phone: (470) 578-3623
    Email: dterry6@kennesaw.edu
    Location: CP 205


    Daniel joined the staff of KSU's Department of Theatre and Performance Studies in 2017. He graduated from the department in the Spring of 2011 with a concentration in Design and Technology. Daniel has over eight years of professional experience working in the Atlanta theatre community for companies that include the Alliance Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Actor's Express, Atlanta Lyric Theatre, and Aurora Theatre. He served as staff member with Aurora Theatre for 5 years - three years as Assistant Technical Director, and two years as Technical Director.

 

 

 

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