M.F.A. Theatre Design & Technology, University of Georgia B.F.A. Theatre Design & Production, Columbus State University Areas of Emphasis: Arts Management; Scenic Design; Health and Safety in Entertainment
ProductionTrevor Carrier (he/him/his) is a trained theatre designer focusing on facilitating
equitable collaboration and inclusive narratives. Prior to serving as the Production
Manager for the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University,
Mr. Carrier was the Director of Production for the School of Fine Arts at Northern
State University and the Production Manager of the Northern Fort Playhouse.
With over ten years of experience as a scenic designer and theatre maker, Mr. Carrier
has worked around the country with Aurora Theatre, Burning Coal Theatre, Alpine Theatre
Project, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the River Center, the Alliance Theatre, and
the Horizon Theatre. He is OSHA 10/General Entertainment Safety certified and a member
of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology.
Brittany Johnson (she/her/hers) 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.
Steven Love (he/him/his) graduated from the Theatre and Performance Studies program at Kennesaw State University in 2012. He worked as a freelance electrician for many companies in the Atlanta theatre community including the Aurora Theatre, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, the Center for Puppetry Arts, and Barbizon Lighting. Steven was a Staff Electrician at the Alliance Theatre for 5 years before being promoted to the position of Director of Lighting and Projections, which he held for 3 years. During his time with the Alliance Steven worked on over 80 productions including the world premiere productions of Broadway musicals Tuck Everlasting and The Prom.
Daniel TerryTechnical Director, Scene Shop Manager & Part-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Technical Director, Scene Shop Manager & Part-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Daniel Terry (he/him/his) 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.
Ming Chen (she/her/hers) is a tenured full professor and resident theatrical designer
with 32 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 commissioned by many professional theatres in Atlanta including Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, 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. Her designs were also 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. Her film credits include costume design for Roadblock and Co-producing/Co-directing/Production Design/Storyboard Art/Film Editing of the trailer for The Heritage of Chinese Culture & Dance.
As a scholar, Ming Chen is the author of Visual Literacy for Theatre, a 565-page textbook on theatrical designs (published in 2011). She is also a major contributor to ArtsTrends USA, a 347-page Chinese-English bilingual book on performance design (published in 2017). Her other publications include essays in top peer-reviewed professional and academic journals such as Theatre Topics (co-author), TD&/T, Theatre Arts, EPerformance, Theatre Arts Journal, and Scenography International. She has frequently presented papers at national and international theatre conferences.
Drawing from her cross-cultural experiences, she has directed and co-directed many
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.
Hernando Claros-VelascoAssistant Professor of Theatrical Design and Technology
Assistant Professor of Theatrical Design and Technology
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 (he/him/his) 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.
M.F.A. Musical Theatre, The University of Central Florida B.A. Speech Communications & Theatre, LaGrange College Member: AEA, SAG-AFTRA
Musical Theatre encompasses a variety of skills. Timothy Ellis' (he/him/his) 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
Dr. Tom Fish (he/him/his) is a theatre historian and dramaturg with over 15 years of experience as a scholar-practitioner. He has taught at McGill University, Tufts University, Dawson College, Georgia State University, and Oglethorpe University.
Dr. Fish's research interests include: LGBTQ theatre; critical theory (queer, gender,
affect); and religion and performance. Currently, he is researching queer embodiment
in contemporary immersive theatre. His peer-reviewed articles have explored the performance
of early modern female martyrdom (Religions); baroque stage machinery (Studies in
Scenography and Performance); controversies regarding Terrence McNally's 1998 queer
passion play (Ecumenica); and the theatrical craft of evangelical preacher Aimee Semple
McPherson (Theatre and Religion).
As an actor, Tom's TV appearances include Devious Maids and My Crazy Life, and stage credits include American Repertory Theatre, Matrix Theatre, Victory Theatre, Theater Emory, and Out Front. As a director, he has most recently staged an immersive rendition of Charles Busch's camp classic Psycho Beach Party for Georgia State University.
Ricky GreenwellAssistant Professor of Costume Design
M.F.A. American Conservatory Theater B.F.A. Theatre Performance, University of Evansville Emily Kitchens (she/her/hers) 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 LongInterim Dean of College of the Arts and Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Interim Dean of College of the Arts and Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
M.F.A. Theatre (Acting), Southern Methodist University B.F.A Theatre (Acting), Florida State University
Areas of Emphasis: Contemporary Scene Study, Period Styles, Public Speaking, Leadership Skills
"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 (he/him/his) has twenty-five years of 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 and Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, 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. He currently serves as Sr. Associate Dean of the College of the Arts.
In 2011, his 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 Wood, 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, Parade, 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 1990's, 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.
Chuck MeachamChair of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies and Professor of Theatre
Chair of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies and Professor of Theatre
M.F.A. Theatre Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign B.A. Theatre, Wake Forest University
Chuck Meacham (he/him/his) is a professional theatre production manager and technical
director. He has been on the faculty at the University of Evansville for the past
22 years where, in 2018, he was invested as the John David Lutz Endowed Professor
of Theatre. During his time at the University of Evansville, he has taught a wide
array of classes in scenic production techniques (carpentry, welding, rigging, drafting),
production and stage management, senior seminar, portfolios, and sound. In 2010, he
helped establish the degree in Stage Management at the University of Evansville, a
program which he heads while also serving as the Production Manager for the Department
Mr. Meacham has worked with such organizations as the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Hope
Summer Repertory Theatre, and the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival in various capacities
professionally, including as a master electrician, lighting designer, production manager,
and technical director. He has been highly active with the United States Institute
for Theatre Technology, serving on the leadership team of the Technical Production
Commission since 2012. In the summer of 2019, he finished a three-year term as the
USITT Commissioner for Technical Production. Mr. Meacham received a BA in Theatre
from Wake Forest University, after which he served there for two years as the Assistant
Technical Director. He earned an MFA in Theatre Technology from the University of
In 2018, Mr. Meacham was named a Global Scholar by the University of Evansville Center
for Innovation and Change. As part of this funding, in the summer of 2019, he participated
in an Open Team Build in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as a way of identifying additional
experiences for students and leadership training opportunities through the Habitat
for Humanity Global Village Build Project. Mr. Meacham's recent work has made use
of his technical knowledge and leadership skills through a number of projects with
Habitat for Humanity. Locally, he has led three Habitat Barn Blitz build projects,
coordinating efforts between Habitat for Humanity of Evansville and the students and
staff of the University of Evansville. Mr. Meacham also worked with students to build
House #499 in the Evansville community. Nationally, he worked on the 2018 Rosalyn
and Jimmy Carter Build, and also internationally, in Chacala, Mexico, on a student-build
in the summer of 2020.
In the summer of 2020, Mr. Meacham joined Kennesaw State University as the Chair of
the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies. "I'm absolutely thrilled to be
joining the students and faculty of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies
at Kennesaw State University. This is an outstanding program that encourages a collaboration
between real liberal arts education and rich training for undergraduate theatre students.
I am excited to pursue the next phase of my career in such a vibrant place for scholar
Amanda Wansa MorganArtistic Director and Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Artistic Director and Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
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 is an Atlanta-based music director, composer, director, and actor who serves as Coordinator of Musical Theatre & Associate Professor at Kennesaw State University. At KSU, she teaches classes in musical theatre performance, voice, acting, and musical theatre history and literature. In recent years at KSU, she has directed productions of Ragtime, Heathers, and A Man of No Importance; and music directed productions of Bring It On and Thumbelina (world premiere). Amanda previously served on faculty at The University of Mississippi and also as Director of Music Education at Charleston Stage. Additionally, she has professionally music directed at The Alliance Theatre, Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, Actor’s Express, Synchronicity Theater, Wallace Buice Theatre Company & Buicentennial Productions, Playhouse on the Square, Post Playhouse, and Osceola Center for the Arts. She occasionally serves as a Teaching Artist for The Alliance Theatre, The Atlanta Lyric Theatre, and the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre.
Favorite professional Music Direction credits include The Color Purple (2018 Suzi Bass Award for Music Direction, 2018 BroadwayWorld Award in Music Direction), Jesus Christ Superstar, Songs for a New World, Hairspray, Avenue Q, Always Patsy Cline, and The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee. As composer, her original musicals have been fully produced at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Charleston Stage, Young Harris College, and Kennesaw State University.
Amanda has an MFA in Acting from The University of Central Florida and undergraduate degrees in Music and Theatre from The Florida State University. She has also worked as a professional actor throughout the Southeast since 2001 in shows such as Urinetown (Pennywise), The 25th Annual…Bee (Rona Lisa Peretti), Love’s Labours Lost (Princess of France), and Tony & Tina’s Wedding (Tina).
Amanda has a Certificate of Figure Proficiency from Estill Voice Systems and she is an active member of Musical Theatre Educators Alliance (MTEA), currently serving as Secretary to the Executive Committee until 2022. She is also a member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Dramatist’s Guild, and ASCAP. Amanda is the author of book chapter “Women in CCM (Contemporary Commercial Music) in the Rowan & Littlefield book So You Want to Sing Music by Women. www.amandawansamorgan.com
Charles ParrottAssociate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Ph.D Performance Studies and Speech Communication, Southern Illinois University Carbondale M.A. Communication Studies, 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 (he/him/his) 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 PendergrassCoordinator of TPS 1107 and Senior Lecturer of Theatre and Performance Studies
Coordinator of TPS 1107 and Senior Lecturer of Theatre and Performance Studies
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,
Margaret Baldwin Pendergrass (she/her/hers) 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.
Jacqueline SpringfieldAssistant Professor of Acting
Jacqueline Springfield (she/her) is an actor, director and instructor of Acting, Voice, Speech and Dialects. Her previous teaching credits include: The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA-NY), Point Park University, The Black Arts Institute at Stella Adler, New York Film Academy, Brooklyn College and Middle Tennessee State University. Jacqueline has also served as Voice/Speech and Dialect Coach in several academic programs, including Montclair State University, University at Albany, Wildwind Performance Lab at Texas Tech, and The American College Theatre Festival. She has coached productions in professional theatres around the country, including : True Colors Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, American Players Theatre and Pittsburgh Playhouse.
As an actor, Jacqueline has performed in many off-off Broadway and regional theatres including Negro Ensemble Company, Cherry Lane Theatre, 13th Street Repertory, Triad Stage, Nashville Children's Theatre and Nashville Repertory Theatre (formerly Tennessee Rep). On screen she has been seen in The First Wives Club (BET+), The Good Cop (Netflix), Blue Bloods (CBS), Law and Order SVU (NBC), and The Americans (FX).
Jacqueline is a certified Associate Instructor of Fitzmaurice Voicework and has extensive
training in Knight Thompson Speechwork, and Suzuki Method for Actors.
Memberships: Actors' Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, Southeastern Theatre Conference, Voice and Speech Trainers Association, Association of Theatre in Higher Education.
Nicole AdkinsPart-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre
M.F.A. Children's Literature, Hollins University B.A. Theatre Arts, University of Central Oklahoma
Nicole B. Adkins (she/her/hers) 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.
Natashya Armer-GiardinaPart-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
M.F.A. Acting, Northern Illinois University B.F.A. Acting, Virginia Commonwealth University
Natashya Armer-Giardina (she/her/hers) 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 Midsummer 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
Seamus BournePart-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
M.F.A. Scenic Design, Indiana University B.A. Theatre, UNC Wilmington
Seamus M. Bourne (he/him/his) 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.
B.F.A. Theatre/Performance, Western Kentucky University M.F.A. Acting, University of Georgia
Kara Cantrell (she/her/hers) 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.
B.M. Piano Performance, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill M.M. Accompanying, Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music Concentrations: Musical Theatre and Chamber Music
Judy Cole (she/her/hers) is considered by local area colleagues to be one of the most
versatile pianists in the Atlanta commercial music scene. She has performed for corporate
presidents, university presidents, and even a former President of the United States,
in venues ranging from concert halls to nightclubs and recording studios, as a soloist
and as a collaborative pianist.
When Professor Cole first arrived at Kennesaw State University, she taught classes
in music theory and history, coached Opera and Musical Theatre, and accompanied student
and faculty recitals. From 2008 to 2016 she played, coached and musically directed
all the Musical Theatre productions for the Theatre and Performance Studies division
of COTA in addition to her duties for the School of Music. Since fall 2016, she has
been the Coordinator of Collaborative Piano for the School of Music, and now teaches
Accompanying, private studio lessons, Advanced Class Piano, and coaches/plays for
the Opera Theatre classes. Judy also enjoys a demanding schedule of recital performances
with faculty and students. In past years, Judy has been a featured soloist with the
KSU Wind Ensemble and the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra .
Mrs. Cole has worked professionally and made a successful career over the last 35 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. As often as scheduling allows, she plays in the pit orchestra for Broadway touring shows playing at the Fox Theatre and major events at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center.
Dean CoutrisPart-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre
M.F.A. University of Houston PATP M.B.A. University of Akron B.A. Accounting, Walsh University
Dean Coutris (he/him/his) graduated from the University of Houston's Professional
Actor Training Program (PATP) in the Spring of 2019 with a M.F.A. in theatre. He has
performed on stage in George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman as Mendoza, Twelfth Night
as Orsino, The Caucasian Chalk Circle as Azdak and The Singer, and A Flea in Her Ear
as Don Carlos Homenides de Histangua. In the Summer of 2019, he was cast in Houston
Shakespeare Festival's Julius Caesar (Julius Caesar) and As You Like It (Jaques).
Before moving to Houston, he performed professionally in the Northeast Ohio region
where he appeared in over 30 productions. He had the pleasure of working with wonderful
venues such as Ohio Shakespeare Festival, Rubber City Theatre, Coach House Theater,
Actors' Summit Theater, Ensemble Theater, and Dobama Theatre. A few of his favorite
roles include Bo Decker in Bus Stop, Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew, Slim in Of
Mice and Men, and Camillo in The Winter's Tale.
Before he was a professional actor, he worked for a number of years as an accountant.
He is a Certified Public Accountant with experience in small businesses, independent
contractors (especially artists), and non-profit organizations.
One of the things that appeal to him about Atlanta is its growing TV and Film market
in addition to a well-established live theatre scene. He has appeared in a number
of short-films, including Hunger for Knowledge, Professor Zardonicus, Montague Street,
and Inspired. He is hoping to add more TV and Film work to his experience while living
He is a certified stage combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD)
in five weapons: unarmed, knife, broadsword, single sword, and rapier & dagger. He
is also a certified teacher through the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium of
the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique. In 2014, he co-founded a long-form improv group
in Akron, Ohio called "Just Go With It." He is proud to say the group is still performing
and offering workshops to this day.
Amelia FischerPart-Time Assistant Professor of Acting
M.F.A. University of Houston PATP B.A. Coastal Carolina University
Amelia Fischer (she/her/hers) 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
Tyler GrahamPart-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre
M.F.A. Acting, University of Louisville B.A. Theatre Arts, Clark Atlanta University
Kia Fisher Keyton (she/her/hers) 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 LeemanPart-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
M.F.A. Theatre Performance, University of Southern Mississippi B.S. Elementary Education, University of Southern Mississippi
Dori Garziano Leeman (she/her/hers) 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.
Matt LewisPart-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies
M.F.A. Directing, University of Minnesota B.A. Theatre and English, The College of William and Mary
Melanie Martin Long (she/her/hers) 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.
Thomas McCarleyPart-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies
Part-Time Instructor of Theatre and Performance Studies
M.F.A. Acting, Wayne State University B.F.A. Performing Arts, Savannah College of Art and Design
David Sterritt (he/him/his) is an Actor and Fight Choreographer originally from the
Atlanta area. He is a Certified Teacher through the Society of American Fight Directors
and founded the A-Town Throw Down in 2011. He also has served as the Southeast Regional
Representative for the Society of American Fight Directors.
David has an M.F.A in Acting from Wayne State University through the Hilberry Repertory
Theatre. He also received his Advanced Theatre Training Certificate while training
in Russia at the Moscow Art Theatre and received his B.F.A. in performing arts from
Savannah College of Art and Design.
Selected Atlanta fight credits: Cardboard Piano, Serial Black Face, Slasher, Les Liaisons
Dangereuses, Appropriate (Actor's Express), Hand to God, Edward Foote (Alliance),
Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged and Two Noble Kinsmen (Shakespeare
Tavern), As You Like It (Georgia Shakespeare), Between Riverside and Crazy, King Hedley
II (True Colors), Beauty and the Beast (Lyric), and Dracula (GTA).
Selected Atlanta Acting credits include, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet the Musical,
Macbeth, Twelfth Night and Richard III, Henry VI Parts I-III at the Shakespeare Tavern.
Slasher at Actor's Express, James and the Giant Peach at Georgia Ensemble Theatre,
25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Fabrefaction Theatre Company, and Barefoot
in the Park at Gypsy Theatre Co. He was also in the Michigan premiere of Detroit by
Amanda WashingtonPart-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre
Amanda Washington (she/her/hers) is a freelance director based in the Atlanta, Georgia
community working in conjunction with KSU's Department of Theatre and Performance
Studies as a part-time Assistant Professor. Shows she has directed consist of August
Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, DJanet Sears's Harlem Duet, and Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses.
Washington is also the creator of Theatre From My View. A YouTube channel geared toward
exploring theatre through a woman of color's perspective. Early in 2020, Amanda started
her qualifications to become an Intimacy Director and Choreographer with Theatrical
Intimacy Education. In May of 2020, Washington received her Master of Fine Arts in
Directing from the University of Southern Mississippi. Check out her work at www.washingtonamanda.com
or visit her YouTube channel Theatre From My View.