Stellar Alumni

Marshall Garrett MFA ’16

Artist-in-Residence at the College of Saint Mary

Garrett commissioned a new play by fellow alum Merlyn Q. Sell (MLitt and MFA Class of 2016) for performance at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, NE. The work is a tapestry of Shakespeare text, featuring women from As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Measure for Measure, and Henry IV, described by Sell as such: “Banished from court by a corrupt and authoritarian Duke, five of Shakespeare’s pluckiest heroines find refuge in the Forest of Arden. While in the forest they meet and overcome a multitude of obstacles, ultimately proving one of As You Like It’s most famous lines, “Sweet are the uses of adversity”. It all culminates in a finale of forgiveness, redemption, and joy.”
Garrett will also be guest directing for several companies in the S&P community over the next year.  He directed Julius Caesar for Rubber City Shakespeare Company, with Dane CT Leasure (MLitt and MFA Class of 2014) as Artistic Director, opening in April, featuring Dane in the title role; and Much Ado About Nothing at Hoosier Shakes opening in July; and The Tempest at Baltimore Shakespeare Factory opening in January 2018.
Garrett is also just starting to form a new company in Maryland, the Susquehanna Shakespeare Ensemble. They have their first play (Macbeth) in May, with the intention to be an ensemble training/producing group, likely doing only a couple shows a year.

Angelina LaBarre MFA ’13

Adjunct Professor and Director at Contra Costa College 

LaBarre is an adjunct Professor and Director at Contra Costa College (CCC) in San Pablo, CA. She just finished directing Cupid’s Revenge with alumni Liz Lodato and Tony Tambasco for Bad Quarto Productions. LaBarre is taking a theater sabbatical this summer, but will be directing How We Got On in the fall at CCC and Angels in America in the Spring at Lakeshore Players Theater in Minneapolis, MN.

monica-cross-6-editMonica Cross MFA ’13

Technical Director of the Black Box Theater at New College of Florida

Cross also teaches theater courses at both New College and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Most recently she presented a paper at the Grand Valley State University Shakespeare and Pedagogy Conference on her 2016 production of The Maid’s Tragedy. In her most recent production, Gallathea, she was honored to have the help of fellow alum Brett Sullivan Santry, who provided long distance dramaturgical assistance on the project. Outside of the academic spheres, Cross works with local theaters in a variety of different areas. This summer she designed costumes for the Urbanite Theatre‘s production of Dry Land. She enjoys her ongoing role as text coach for the St. Petersburg Shakespeare Festival, and this summer directed a staged reading of Antony and Cleopatra for the group.

Ian Charles MFA ’16

Actor at Annapolis Shakespeare Company   

Charles just finished up a year as the Resident Troupe Understudy and Assistant Stage Manager at the American Shakespeare Center. Over his time with the ASC, he took on roles such as Edmund, Lear’s Fool, Feste, Andrew Aguecheek, the Bandleader, King Henry VI, Lady Sneerwell, Will Shakespeare, Snake, Trip, Launcelot Gobbo, Old Gobbo, and Bernard.
Now, Charles is a part of the resident company of actors at Annapolis Shakespeare Company. He will likely be engaged as an education artist with the company as well.

Jeremy Fiebig MFA ’07

Associate Professor, Fayetteville State University and Artistic Director of Sweet Tea Shakespeare

Fiebig was granted tenure and promoted to jeremy fiebigAssociate Professor in August 2017 at Fayetteville State University.  He also recently directed Pericles with a new company, Hoosier Shakes, that featured fellow alum, Jessica Schiermeister.  Schiermeister also directed Saint Joan for Fiebig’s company, Sweet Tea Shakespeare (STS), this past winter.  STS’ upcoming production of Othello will feature program graduates Rick Blunt and Justine Mackey, in addition to Fiebig.  He will also be directing Romeo & Juliet for Hoosier Shakes this summer, which may feature some current students and alumni!

Katherine Mayberry MFA ’07

Executive director of Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company

Mayberry recently served as a text and movement instructor for the inaugural year of the Shakespeare Bootcamp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan. Along with her regular work as the executive director of the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company and a dramaturg for the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival, Mayberry is currently directing a production of As You Like It for Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which ran in October, 2016.

Jessica Schiermeister MFA ’14

Actor, director, and dramaturg in Pittsburgh, PA

Schiermeister works as an actor, director, and dramaturg in Pittsburgh, PA. She also works as a trivia host for Sporcle Live, Inc. While in Pittsburgh, Jessica has worked with fellow alums Jeff Chips and Brett Santry. Last summer she played Luciana in Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks‘ production of The Comedy of Errors. Most recently she directed Shaw’s Saint Joan for Jeremy Fiebig’s company Sweet Tea Shakespeare in Fayetteville, NC. On November 23, 2016 she married Jake Borish, a University of Virginia PhD student she met while living in Staunton.

jessJess Hamlet MFA ’16

PhD student at the University of Alabama

Hamlet is a first-year PhD student in the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama. She just finished an essay, “‘Born in a tempest when my mother died’: Shakespeare’s Motherless Daughters” in the anthology The Absent Mother in the Cultural Imagination: Missing, Presumed Dead, due out from Palgrave Macmillan in Spring 2017.

reinselVictoria Reinsel MFA ’10

Co-founder of Brave Spirits Theatre

Reinsel is thrilled to still be making a living by acting and teaching. She is currently teaching residencies, summer camps, and on-off workshops, plus performing in community events and the two education shows, The Tiny Tempest and A Mini-Summer Night’s Dream, for Shakespeare Theatre Company. She is also a teaching artist at Ford’s Theatre and an in-classroom actor for Young Playwrights’ Theatre. Recently, she worked on an immersive theatre production about Edgar Allan Poe and his works, entitled A Dream Within a Dream: Madness, which is playing through Halloween at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria. Reinsel is also co-founder of Brave Spirits Theatre. Recently, Brave Spirits ran a production of Antony and Cleopatra directed by fellow alum, Charlene V. Smith. In the Spring of 2017, Brave Spirits ran a rep of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and A King and No Kingthe latter of which was directed by another alum, Cassie Ash.

Jeffrey Chips MFA ’12

Artistic director of Steel City Shakespeare Center

Chips continues his work as artistic director of Steel City Shakespeare Center in Pittsburgh. In February of 2016, they were acquired for fiscal sponsorship by local nonprofit New Sun Rising and have streamlined their mission to focus on community engagement through diversity, inclusion, and representation. In June, he directed and played Dogberry and Don Pedro in an extreme cast Much Ado About Nothing with a gender-swapped Beatrice and Benedick. In July, he performed his one-man adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Craik-Patton House in Charleston, West Virginia. He is currently producing an extreme cast all-female production of Pride & Prejudice playing at the end of October. In December, he will re-stage and play Bob Cratchit and others in a four-person production of A Christmas Carol which he adapted last year. Steel City Shakespeare plans to expand their presence in the Pittsburgh area in the future with extreme cast stagings of Shakespeare and other classical works, highlighting female and non-Western authors, and engaging with communities to bring people together to experience art.  To contact Steel City Shakespeare, you can email them here.

Rebecca Hodder MFA ’14

Language Arts teacher at Stuarts Draft Middle School

Hodder is currently in her third year teaching Language Arts to 8th graders at Stuarts Draft Middle School in Virginia. She has been involved with several local theatre productions too. Most recently, Hodder finished up a stint as lead puppeteer in Little Shop of Horrors with The Valley Playhouse. Getting to puppet not one, but three evil flesh eating plants was a blast, and made use of the puppetry experience she received in Rogue Shakespeare‘s Dr. Faustus.

james-byersJames Byers MFA ’13

Theatre teacher and Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016

Byers is working as a middle school theatre teacher in Texas. Byers has recently acted for The Baron’s Men as Richmond in Richard III and The Emily Ann Theatre as Vincentio in Measure for Measure.

current-headshotLia Wallace MFA ’16

Wallace continues to apply the skills she learned as Education Committee Head for Sweet Wag Shakespeare, the 2015/2016 S&P MFA Company, as the College Prep Programs Manager for the American Shakespeare Center‘s Education Department. She helps to develop and teach workshops to and for all ages, along with training Education Artists and Playhouse Tour Guides and coordinating “Little Academes” – customized educational programs of various length for student groups visiting the Blackfriars Playhouse.

That stuff is all secondary to her work as Camp Director of the ASC Theatre Camp, a life-changing summer program for dramatically-inclined teenagers, where she passes on the wisdom she learned during her time in the S&P program, including “the text is a lie and nothing is real,” “if you have the choice between being a jerk and not being a jerk, don’t be a jerk,” and that old pedagogical standby: “MAKE A CHOICE.”

 

rick

Richard Blunt MFA ’06

American Shakespeare Center performer, 2006–2015

After graduation Blunt completed six consecutive tours for the American Shakespeare Center’s (ASC) touring troupe, performing more than 30 productions at the ASC and more than 60 characters in an 8 year span.  In 2014 he began teaching at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA, and in 2015 at Concordia University in Chicago. Blunt sits on the Visiting Advisory Board at Mary Baldwin and Sweet Tea Shakespeare in North Carolina.

 

 

 

CaldwellCasey Caldwell MFA ’11

Mellon interdisciplinary fellow of critical studies in theatre and performance at Northwestern University

Caldwell’s first article appeared in Shakespeare Bulletin in 2013, and he published his second, “The Reconstructed Dramaturg,” with Dr. Amy Kenny, in Theatre Topics in 2014. He co-directed Richard III at the Athenaeum Theatre.

 

 

ChapmanMatthieu Chapman MFA ’10

Director of Theatre Studies MA, University of Houston

Chapman completed his Ph.D. in Theatre History, Theory, and Criticism at University of California San Diego after graduation from Mary Baldwin. He worked for two years as an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Central Washington University before accepting a position as the Director of the Theatre Studies MA at the University of Houston. Chapman dramaturged for San Diego Repertory Theatre and worked with the La Jolla Playhouse.  He has also presented at over 20 conferences, including SAA, RSA, MATC, ASTR, and others. His articles have appeared in Theatre Topics, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Early Theatre, and TheatreForum. Chapman’s monograph, “Anti-Black Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other Other” is available from Routledge Press.

 

CarrieDCarie Donnelson MFA ’04

Arts and Humanities Department Content Manager at Teachers College, Columbia University

Donnelson previously worked at Theatre for a New Audience and the American Shakespeare Center, and she has taught Shakespeare in elementary, middle, and high schools around New York City. In association with Rehabilitation through the Arts, she leads workshops on Shakespeare and creative writing in New York State maximum- and medium-security prisons.

 

 

EnloeSarah Enloe MFA ’09

Head of education, American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia

Enloe directs education programming at the ASC, including facilitating the ASC’s partnership with Mary Baldwin’s Shakespeare and Performance Program. She serves on the advisory board of The Shakespeare Factory, the editorial board of the online journal This Rough Magic, and the executive board of the Shakespeare Theatre Association.

 

 

 

LevyJemma Levy MFA ’11

Assistant professor and head of acting and directing in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Film Studies; associated faculty in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at Washington & Lee University

Levy is the founding artistic director of Muse of Fire, for which she has directed Henry V, Macbeth, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, The Taming of the Shrew, and Romeo and Juliet. Her essay “Competing Heights in Shakespeare’s As You Like It,” was published in Shakespeare Embodied in 2013, and her reviews can be seen in Shakespeare Bulletin.

 

 

NarvyJason Narvy MLitt ’05

Artistic director at Concordia University Chicago

While completing his PhD in theatre studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Narvy ran the community outreach theatre group I.V. Live and began a Shakespeare in the Park series, which continues to this day. He is also an accomplished film and stage actor with an extensive acting resume.

 

RiffeLaurie Riffe MFA ’11

Director of theatre and theatre department chair at Westridge School, Pasadena, California

Since graduation Riffe has directed 13 productions including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Eurydice, Antigone, The Miracle Worker, The Ash Girl, Little Women, Quilters, Oliver, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Ozma of Oz, and The Stinky Cheese Man.

 

SmithRobert Smith MFA ’08

Company member, Synetic Theater Company, Washington DC

In addition to acting professionally, Smith also frequently teaches acting and movement courses at various universities, including James Madison University, Eastern Mennonite, Washington & Lee, and Southern Virginia University.

 

 

 

 

 

SullivanColleen Sullivan MLitt ’04

Artistic & program director of Shakespeare Academy at Stratford

Sullivan is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab 2013; traveled to LaMaMa International Directors Symposium in Umbria, Italy; studied with Patsy Rodenburg, SITI company, Elevator Repair Service, and DAH Theatre; and completed her MFA in theater from Sarah Lawrence College.

Chelsea Phillips

Chelsea Phillips MFA ’09

Assistant Professor of Theatre and Head of Dramaturgy at Villanova University
Phillips completed her PhD at Ohio State in 2015 on a Presidential fellowship, where she worked on educational and dramaturgical projects with the Royal Shakespeare Company for three years. She now teaches dramaturgy and theatre history for Villanova University’s graduate Theatre program. Her publications have appeared in national and international journals and collections. Most recently, her work appeared in the journal Women’s History (2016).

The  Hamlet site is an interactive, educational resource for three early Hamlet texts: the First and Second Quartos and the First Folio. The site contains annotated versions of each individual text, as well as side-by-side comparisons of all three. The annotated scripts contain information ranging from social history to staging history, supporting the study of the play in performance and in its original context. This resource is the MFA dramaturgy thesis of Chelsea Lenn Phillips ’09.

 

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