Prior to his Tony-nominated Broadway debut as Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar, Josh had the distinction of playing the role of Marius in Cameron Macintosh’s Les Misérables and in more subsequent productions than any other actor.
Josh also won the Theatre World Award for Best Debut Performance for his turn in Superstar. He went on to originate the role of John Newton on Broadway in the world premiere of Amazing Grace. Josh was awarded the Broadway World Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his turn as Che in the North American Tour of the Olivier Award-winning revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, directed by Michael Grandage.
This was a reprisal of the role for Josh, having been awarded the same distinction by Broadway World Toronto for Gary Griffin’s production of Evita at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Josh was a company member of The Stratford Festival for two seasons, the rare American to be given the opportunity at this world-renowned institution. It was Stratford’s production of the Des McAnuff re-imagined Jesus Christ Superstar that brought Josh back to the states.
Josh toured Europe and Asia as Tony for the 50th Anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Also abroad, and most recently, he played Jerusalem as famed Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in the biographical rock musical Soul Doctor.
Regionally, Josh’s performance as Tateh in Ragtime earned him the prestigious IRNE Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He’s performed in North America's finest regional theaters including La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, Walnut Street Theater, St. Louis MUNY, Baltimore Center Stage, Ogunquit Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Huston’s Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company and North Carolina Theatre. He's been involved in new works with NYC's Roundabout Theatre Company, The Transport Group, and The New York Musical Theater Festival.
As a concert artist, Josh has had the privilege of performing with major symphonies across the globe. Equally, at home in more intimate venues, Josh has written no less than 5 one-man cabarets which have sold out venues from New York City to Ho Chi Minh City. Josh is a frequent headliner on Crystal Cruises’ specialty voyage “Crystal on Broadway,'' where his self-written solo shows are highlighted.
Josh can be heard on numerous albums, including the original cast recording of Amazing Grace and on his two solo albums: Still Dreaming of Paradise and his self-titled debut album, Josh Young - several songs of which have been used by championship figure skaters, Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford. Both albums are available on iTunes and Amazon Music.
Josh is the co-founder of Cutting-Edge Composers, a concert and weekly web series on broadwayworld.com, created to give exposure to musical theatre's next generation of songwriters.
Long Island University
David Hugo received a BFA in acting from Syracuse University and moved directly to NYC where he worked as an actor in regional theater, National tours, and on Broadway. He was last seen on Broadway playing the role of Grantaire in Les Miserables where he also had the honor of understudying Terrance Mann in the role of Javert. After twelve years working professionally, he returned to school to receive a master’s degree in theater in order to teach aspiring young actors. He received his master’s degree from LIU Post in 2006, where he had the distinct pleasure of studying under Maria Porter, Benjamin Moore, and Cara Gargano. He is thrilled to be able to start his teaching career among such inspiring professors and artists.
The University of Oklahoma
Following a long acting career in New York and around the world, Ashton earned his MFA in Directing with an emphasis in Musical Theatre from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in 2010. He then went on to coordinate the Musical Theatre Performance program and serve as Associate Chair and Academic Director for the Theatre Department at Columbia College Chicago. He’s had the privilege of working with students that have gone on to Broadway, National Tours, Regional and stock theatres all over the country. His research on pathways to success for Musical Theatre actors has been published in Dramatics magazine and the blog: www.musicaltheatretraining.com.
Ashton's acting credits include three seasons on Broadway in Susan Stroman’s annual A Christmas Carol starring Tim Curry, F. Murray Abraham and Jim Dale, and he was featured in the National Touring companies of The Producers (US and Tokyo), Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel, the Tommy Tune revival of Grease! with Adrian Zmed, Sutton Foster and Marissa Jaret Winokur, Will Rogers Follies with Larry Gatlin, I Love New York, and My Fair Lady (Europe). Ashton has also played roles in many regional and stock productions around the country including: The Music Man and 9 to 5 (Little Theatre on the Square), The Spitfire Grill (Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Arkansas Rep.), Forever Plaid (Flat Rock Playhouse, NC), Joseph…Dreamcoat and Cats (Ogunquit Playhouse, ME), Will Rogers Follies (Cape Playhouse, MA and Jupiter Theatre, FL), West Side Story (Westchester Broadway Theatre, NY), Kingdom (World Premiere with the Denver Center Theatre Company), and he earned his Equity card in The Secret Garden at the Paper Mill Playhouse.
His directing work includes Hello, Dolly!, Disney's Beauty and the Beast and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at The Little Theatre on the Square, (title of show) and The Marvelous Wonderettes at Open Door Theatre in Chicago, Bye Bye Birdie and Annie Get Your Gun for the Wilmette Starlight Theatre; Anything Goes, Orpheus Descending, Urinetown and Godspell at CCM, and Rent, Victor/Victoria, Oklahoma!, Once On This Island, and Sweet Charity as well as several Freshmen/Senior Showcases at Columbia College Chicago. Professor Byrum earned his undergraduate degree in Musical Theatre from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. Originally from Winston-Salem, NC, Ashton, his wife Gina, and their 9-year-old son, Dylan, moved to Norman from Oak Park, IL.
RONALD DEAN NOLAN
Ronald Dean Nolen, Head of Acting and Directing, received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the School of Drama, Yale University where he was honored as a Constance Welch Scholar, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Music from Hardin-Simmons University. An award-winning actor, Mr. Nolen has originated roles in over a dozen new plays and musicals from Broadway, where he co-starred as Harry Bright in the original Broadway cast of the smash hit Mamma Mia! to off-Broadway where he created the roles of Terence in Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vasillaros' critically-acclaimed Pulitzer-Prize finalist Omnium Gatherum, as well as the role of Jeffrey in Rob Ackerman's Tabletop, for which he received a 2001 Drama Desk Award. Other New York credits include performances at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Working Theatre, VOICETheatre (company member), and Naked Angels Theatre Company as well as some of our nation's most prominent regional theatres including Yale Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geva Theatre, The Wilma Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Lyric Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, D.C., Virginia Stage Company, TheaterWorks, New Stage Theatre, among others.
Internationally, Mr. Nolen traveled in 1999 to St. Petersburg, Russia where he joined in a collaboration between graduate students from Yale School of Drama and the St. Petersburg Academy of Theatre Arts, led by David Chambers and Nikolai Pesochinsky, respectively, in a reconstruction of Meyerhold's 1926 (then highly controversial) production of Gogol's Revizor (The Inspector General), which was ultimately performed at the International Theatre Festival in Amsterdam, Holland. On television, Mr. Nolen guest-starred as Dan Enright opposite Sam Waterston on “Law & Order;” as Philip Montrose opposite Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni on “Law & Order: SVU;” and as Nigel Hammaker opposite Taylor Schilling and Margo Martindale on “Mercy.” Other television appearances include “Fling” (Pilot) with Amy Sedaris and the late Sidney Pollack, “Crossing Jordan,” “Criminal Intent,” “All My Children” as well as a performance as Harry Bright on the 2001 Tony Awards in the original cast of Mamma Mia!
As a director, Nolen's work includes the World Premieres of Division Avenue at the June Havoc Theatre in New York City (which earned 9 Midtown International Theatre Festival Awards including Outstanding Direction and Production) and the play's subsequent production for Contemporary Theatre of Dallas in November of 2013, and Shauna Kanter's Birds on a Wire in both the U.S. as well as the 2012 International Festival Fringe, Edinburgh, Scotland. Other productions include Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd, Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (Or What You Will), Wilder's Our Town, Horton Foote's The Roads to Home, Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart's Hello, Dolly!, among others.
In March 2013, Nolen collaborated with Country Music star Larry Gatlin and co-wrote, with Gatlin, the book for his original musical Texas Flyer, which they continue to develop. Nolen is also developing, in collaboration with writer/actor Lee Trull, “Godley”, a pilot for series television as well as a new play - The Maladjusted Oyster by Louis Irwin - based on the lives of artists Clint Hamilton, Andy Warhol, and Nathan Gluck.
Prior to teaching at Texas Tech, Mr. Nolen was Artistic Director and Assistant Professor of Theatre at Hardin-Simmons University. Prior to that, he taught Acting at Eastern Connecticut State University and conducted master classes at Wilkes University and Old Dominion University as well as teaching privately while maintaining a professional career as an actor. He has trained under the late master teacher Earle Gister, Evan Yionoulis, Wesley Fata, Walton Wilson, Barbara Somerville, David Chambers, Jessica Wolf, Mary Lyn Henry, Dr. Patricia McAdams, Dr. Jaynne Middleton and Larry Wheeler. An accomplished researcher/writer, he will soon begin work on the 8th Edition of The Film Encyclopedia, published by HarperCollins.
Professor Nolen served as Producer on the documentary film “None Less Than Heroes: The Honor Flight Story,” which chronicles the journey of World War II veterans traveling free of charge to Washington, D.C., to experience the memorial built in their honor. The film, narrated by Oscar-nominee Gary Sinise, made the rounds on the festival circuit after being completed in summer 2011.
A member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG/AFTRA), Theatre Communications Group, Texas Educational Theatre Association, Musical Theatre Educators' Alliance, Tau Alpha Phi and Alpha Psi Omega, he is also one of three recipients of Hardin-Simmons University's 2006 Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Missouri State University
After a lengthy performing career that included work on Broadway and Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, national tours, television and film, Mr. Westenberg is now concentrating on teaching, directing and playwriting. He is perhaps best remembered for his roles in the original Broadway casts of Into the Woods as the Wolf and Prince, for which he received a Tony nomination and Drama Desk Award, Secret Garden as Neville Craven, and Sunday in the Park with George, where he replaced Mandy Patinkin in the title role. He also performed the role of Javert in the Broadway production of Les Miserables. Other Broadway credits include leading roles in 1776, Company, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, A Christmas Carol and Zorba, for which he received a Theatre World Award. While known for his work in musical theatre, he has also appeared in numerous plays and classical works in theatres around the country. His national tour credits include Zorba, Funny Girl, and The Full Monty. His film and television credits are The Ice Storm, Before and After, The Stars Fell on Henrietta, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Swift Justice, Central Park West, and Law and Order: SVU. He has sung at Carnegie Hall in The Gay Divorcee and can be heard on several original cast albums. Mr. Westenberg is married to Kim Crosby and is the proud father of their three children. He is a graduate of the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and completed his degree studies at the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver. After serving as chair of the theatre department at Drury University for several years, he is now the coordinator of the BFA Musical Theatre program at Missouri State University.
Head, Musical Theatre Program; BA, Oklahoma City University, 1978; Doctoral Equivalency, California State University, Fullerton, 1996. At Webster since 2007.
Lara Teeter has performed, directed and choreographed for major regional theatre and opera houses nationwide. Prior to coming to the Conservatory, Lara was an associate professor at the Shenandoah Conservatory, an associate professor in the Theatre and Dance Department at California State University at Fullerton, an assistant professor in the Music Theatre Certificate program in the School of Speech at Northwestern University, and the artistic director of Light Opera Works in Evanston, Illinois.
He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in the 1982 revival of the Rodgers and Hart classic On Your Toes performing the role of Junior Dolan, originally portrayed by Ray Bolger in 1936. Other Broadway credits include The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, The Pirates of Penzance, Happy New Year, and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. Other roles performed in prominent theatres include Jamie Lockhart in The Robber Bridegroom, Steven Kodaly in She Loves Me, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, and the Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors. National Tours include the role of Don Lockwood in Singin' In The Rain, Will Parker in Oklahoma!, and the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz starring Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt. Lara has performed at Lincoln Center with the New York City Opera as Silas Slick in Naughty Marietta, and as Herman in The Most Happy Fella. He made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut performing the role of Steve Sankey in Street Scene starring Catherine Malfitano.
Directing credits include My Fair Lady for Opera Pacific, The Pirates of Penzance for San Bernardino Civic Light Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Dayton Opera, Jacques Brel is Alive and Living In Paris for the Hollywood Cinigrill, and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas for the Fullerton Civic Light Opera.
Recordings include the original Broadway cast recording of the 1982 revival of On Your Toes, the Gershwin Trust/Library of Congress first ever recording of Gershwin's "Lady Be Good," and the Grammy Award nominated recording of The Wizard of Oz starring Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt. In the summer of 2000, Lara made his Carnegie Hall debut performing the role of Henry Higgins in a tribute to the work of Lerner and Loewe
Texas Woman's University
Praised by The Capital for his “rock-solid vocalism and powerful projection”, bass Jeffrey Tarr has an extensive performance career in opera, oratorio, and as a recitalist. Among the opera companies with which he has performed are the Washington National Opera, Baltimore Concert Opera, UrbanArias, The InSeries, and Festspiele Gut Immling. Mr. Tarr’s portrayal of Basilio in Annapolis Opera's production of Il barbiere di Siviglia was described by The Washington Post as "fervent [&] robust." Internationally, Mr. Tarr has performed several roles with Gut Immling Festspiele including Argante in Rinaldo and Zuniga in Carmen. In Berlin, he performed Crespel in Les contes d ’Hoffmann under the direction of Gidon Saks. Other operatic credits include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Polyphemus in Acis and Galatea, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Colline in La bohème, Bartolo and Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro, Collatinus in Rape of Lucretia, and König Marke in Tristan und Isolde.
On the concert stage, Mr. Tarr has performed as bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Faure’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Brahms’ Requiem, and Bach’s Magnificat. He has performed with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Cathedral Choral Arts Society, Frederick Symphony Orchestra, and the Capital City Symphony. As a recitalist, he has performed in such venues as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. His performance of Messiah with the New Dominion Chorale and Orchestra was lauded by The Washington Post as "outstanding…a large, resonant voice, filled with both power and clarity."
Dr. Tarr received a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Tennessee Temple University and a Masters of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance with an emphasis in Vocal Pedagogy at the University of North Texas. Dr. Tarr’s academic research focuses on the historicity and present-day application of character strengths within the music studio. His additional training includes German for Singers at the Middlebury College and the American Wagner Project of the Institute for Young Dramatic Voice with directors Dolora Zajick and Luana DeVol. Mr. Tarr was a prize winner in the Annapolis Opera Competition, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, and Vocal Arts DC Discovery Competition. In addition to his Teaching Fellowship at the University of North Texas, he has held teaching positions with Texas Woman’s University, American University, Hood College, and Montgomery College.
DAWNE SWEARINGEN MEEKS
Abilene Christian University
Dawne Meeks (AEA, SSDC) Assistant Chair, will move into the Chairs Position in June of 2015. Associate Professor, Meeks holds an MFA in Acting from The University of Arizona. Dawne originated The Cat in Sheldon Harnick’s workshop of Dragons at Arizona Rep. She worked as assistant choreographer and played the role of Josie Cohan for the NYC premiere of George M. Cohan: In His Own Words which was published by Samuel French. Dawne sang on the original cast recording of Yankee Doodle Boy. She was credited as an original leading cast member in The George M. Cohan Revue published by Baker’s Plays. Choreography highlights include Anything Goes with Tony winner Debbie Shapiro-Gravitte, and assistant choreographer for Little Shop of Horrors at The Lycian Theater with Sam Scalamoni. Dawne choreographed Noah and Spokesong both at The Storm Theatre. in Manhattan. She is also a member of The Group Theatre Too, a theatre collective in NYC. Directing/choreography credits at ACU include A Grand Night for Singing, The Centennial Pops Concert with the Abilene Philharmonic, Little Shop of Horrors, Emma, Titanic, Triumph of Love, Star Spangled Girl, The Crucible, Private Eyes, Singin in the Rain and Razzle Dazzle with ACU Opera Workshop co-director Les miserables, The Glass Menagerie, Big Fish, & The Marvelous Wonderettes.
KAREN COE MILLER
Oklahoma City University
Karen Coe Miller was appointed assistant director of the Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company at Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music in Fall 2009.
She developed a passion for working with the singing actor early in her career, while on staff at The Minnesota Opera. Miller had a long association with the company, over the years serving as assistant director, stage director for the touring and education department, and artistic associate for a department developed to create new work.
In 1992, she co-founded the New Music-Theater Ensemble (now Nautilus Music-Theater), a professional company that supports the development and production of new work. As co-artistic director for the Ensemble, she produced and directed world premieres and served as producer, director, or dramaturg for over 30 sessions of work-in-progress. During her tenure, the company established Rough Cuts!, a monthly performance series and completed the National Residency Program, a project designed to encourage the development of the creators, performers, and audiences for new music-theater. The program involved more than 150 artists across the country in professional training workshops for writers, composers, and singer-actors. As part of these residencies, Miller’s directing work was presented at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, PICA in Portland, Oregon, and District Curators, Inc. in Washington, D.C.
Miller directs work in many forms of theater including opera, musical theater, operetta, plays, and experimental music-theater. Her work has been seen at the Minnesota Opera New Music-Theater Ensemble, Nautilus Music-Theater, The Southern Theater of Minneapolis, Geva Theatre Center of Rochester, N.Y., Midwest Opera Theater (Minnesota Opera touring affiliate), Minnesota Contemporary Ensemble, North Star Opera of St. Paul, the Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, Lyric Opera of Cleveland, the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, Northern Arizona University, Baylor University, the University of North Texas, and The Ohio State University, among others.
Miller is committed to performer training. She directed professional apprentice programs for the Des Moines Metro Opera, Lyric Opera of Cleveland, Sarasota Opera, and Tulsa Opera. As a guest artist, she presented performance workshops for Augsburg College, Georgia State University, Gustavus Adolphus College, Northern Arizona University, University of Minnesota, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, University of North Texas, University of the Arts, Webster University, and Washington University.
She has also presented at local, regional, and national NATS conventions. Miller has been a staff director and instructor for the Wesley Balk Opera/Music-Theater Institute since 1986 and is currently on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS), in Graz, Austria.
Miller received a B.A. degree from Macalester College with a major in music and later studied acting and directing with H. Wesley Balk at the University of Minnesota. She holds a M.F.A. degree in directing from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.
University of Central Oklahoma
Greg White is an actor, director, playwright, producer, presenter, who is the Director of Musical Theatre and Executive Director for Broadway Tonight at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Broadway National Tours: State Fair with John Davidson (Harry), A Funny Things Happened on the Way to the Forum with Rip Taylor (Miles Gloriosus). International: National Concert Hall, Taipei: Anything Goes (Captain). Regional: Watertower Theatre in Dallas: This Wonderful Life (The Entire Town of Bedford Falls), Oklahoma! (Will Parker), Stewart & Son (Jimmy Stewart), The Will Rogers Follies (Will Rogers), It’s a Wonderful Life (George Bailey). Greg appeared in the Original New York Cast of Nunsense A-Men! (Amnesia) directed by creator Dan Goggin.
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma (since 1986): Assassins (Czolgosz), Big Fish (Karl), Hello, Dolly! with Sally Struthers (Cornelius), The World Goes ‘Round (Man One), 1776 (Richard Henry Lee). Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park; Private Lives (Elyot Chase), Scenes from an Execution (Ostensible). Greg appears regularly with the OKC Philharmonic.
Greg premiered his critically acclaimed original musical Flipside: The Patti Page Story about Oklahoma’s Singing Rage, Miss Patti Page at UCO. He collaborated with Miss Page on the production he conceived, created, and directed that won 18 Awards at the National Kennedy Center Festival in Washington D.C. Flipside then played Off-Broadway at the prestigious 59 E. 59 theatre to standing ovations. The show continues to tour regionally.
While he holds a PhD in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University, Greg also has two fine arts degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma, he’s an Edmond Memorial Graduate, and he is proud to call Edmond his hometown
University of Central Oklahoma
Kelli Cormick is an actress, vocalist, artist and director. She currently serves on staff for UCO’s College of Fine Arts and Design, as the Event Coordinator for the Broadway Tonight Celebrity Series and as a Recruiter for the UCO School of Music, Musical Theatre division.
She is an alumni from UCO, where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre, and still performs locally around town to this day!
University of Texas at Arlington
Professor Felicia Bertch has been teaching at UTA since January of 2014 and is an Assistant Professor of Instruction and the Head of the BFA Acting Program. She received her BA in English from Wheaton College and her MFA in Acting from The University of South Carolina. Professor Bertch studied physical theatre arts at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques LeCoq in Paris and received her Vinyasa Yoga Certification in New York City. Her areas of specialization are Movement, Devised Theatre, Physical Theatre (following the lineage of Tadashi Suzuki and Jacques Lecoq), Mask, and Shakespeare and she has studied extensively with Master Teachers in these areas both nationally and internationally. She is most passionate about instilling a creative, playful, and fully embodied approach to life, learning, and performance in her students. And she delights in guiding students away from cynicism and self-consciousness and instead helping them see the world as a place of possibility and wonder.
Professor Bertch has taught, directed, devised and choreographed at various institutions, including Wheaton College, The University of South Carolina, The University of Chicago, and Columbia College as well as in Tanzania, East Africa. She was a Co-Founder, Managing Director, and Ensemble Member of the red nose clown company Dal Vivo in Chicago and has produced her own devised work with her company The Cloud 9 Collective. She has been a Co-Founder, Company Member, Producer, and Undergraduate Program Director for Wheaton Shakespeare in the Park in the Chicago area every summer since 2013, which attracts an audience of approximately 1200 to each outdoor performance.
For the past 20 years, Professor Bertch has lived and worked professionally as an actor, director, clown and model all over the country and abroad, with stage work ranging from off-the-beaten-path-down-and-dirty Fringe Festivals to off-Broadway shows, and on-camera work ranging from commercials to film. She continues to work as a professional theatre artist, on-camera artist, and model in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where she is represented by Kim Dawson Agency and in Chicago, represented by Lori Lins Ltd.
Sam Houston State University
Aaron Brown holds a MFA in Directing form Baylor University and a Bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre from Oklahoma City University. He previously taught theatre at Glenda Dawson High School in Pearland, TX before beginning his graduate studies. He has presented papers at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) conference, the Comparative Drama Conference, the Mid-America Theatre Conference, and been published in the Texas Theatre Journal, Ecumenica, and the upcoming journal Hamilton: History, Hip-Hop and Politics: Essays on the Afterbirth of a Nation. Aaron has directed and choreographed over 20 musical productions. Some of his past credits include Godspell, the world premiere of Regina Taylor’s Bread (Assistant Director), Crazy for You, Hamoncé: A Devised Piece, Black Magic: A Shakespeare Adaption, The Pavilion, and Hairspray. He is passionate about promoting diversity in the arts. You can get to know more about Aaron here: http://aaronbrowndirecting.squarespace.com
Sam Houston State University
Kyle Craig-Bogard received her MFA in Dance from the University of Washington and her BA in Musical Theatre from Baldwin-Wallace University. At SHSU, Kyle teaches Musical Theatre Jazz, Tap, and Auditioning for the Commercial Theatre, and serves as choreographer for the department’s musical productions. Kyle is a member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) and the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) and has performed on Broadway, at Radio City Music Hall, on national tours, and at regional theatres across the country and overseas. Kyle has had the honor and the pleasure to work with choreographers such as Christopher Chadman, Liza Gennaro, Michael Shawn, Tony Stevens, Linda Haberman, Robert Longbottom, John Dietrich, Michael Clowers, Dennis Callahan, AC Ciulla and Richard Stafford. Select performance credits include The Most Happy Fella (Broadway), Guys and Dolls (National Tour ’93), On the Town (Goodspeed Opera House), and Martin Guerre (Hartford Stage Company). Also, Kyle is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Select choreographic credits include Footloose (Maine State Music Theatre), Sweet Charity (Theatre by the Sea), Children’s Letters to God (Lamb’s Theatre Company) American Canteen in Paris (Celebrity Cruise Lines), and Jimmy Buffett’s concert tours. Currently, Kyle is working with Theatre Under the Stars as their Season Dance Audition facilitator and Assistant Choreographer for Spring Awakening and Elf the Musical. As a teacher, Kyle has trained dancers in New York City at Broadway Dancer Center, New Dance Group Arts Center and CAP21, as well as other studios and universities across the country. Additionally, Kyle is a certified STOTT Pilates instructor and a member of the National Dance Educators Organization (NDEO).
Dr. Laura Avery is Head of Musical Theatre at Sam Houston State University. She holds level III certification in Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method specializing in training contemporary musical theatre singing styles. Dr. Avery serves as Vocal Coach and Music Director for the musical productions at SHSU as well as teaches Voice I and II for the Actor, Musical Theatre Workshop and History of the American Musical. Dr. Avery earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice science and pedagogy from the University of Houston. In 2007, she was a finalist in the American Traditions Vocal Competition, part of the Savanah Music Festival. Dr. Avery has presented masterclasses and workshops internationally including the Physiology and Acoustics of the Voice (PAS5) International Voice Conference in Stockholm, Sweden (2010), Heidelberg University, Germany (2011) and the VASTA Conference in Chicago (2011). Dr. Avery’s students perform regularly in Houston and Dallas as well as in New York, Chicago, and on national tours. She is a member of The Voice Foundation, The Voice & Speech Trainers Association and the Musical Theatre Educators Alliance.
Texas Christian University
Guilherme Feitosa de Almeida, pianist, conductor, and teaching artist, a native Brazilian, completed his Master in Music at Baylor University in 2008. He earned a Bachelor in Sacred Music with emphasis in Composition at the Seminário Teológico Batista do Norte do Brasil in Recife (Brazil) in 2005.
Previously, Professor Almeida taught at McLennan Community College (Waco), Centro de Educação Musical de Olinda (Olinda/Brazil), Conservatório Pernambucano de Música (Recife/Brazil). Prof. Almeida is an ordained minister in the Baptist tradition.
A much sought after music director, performer, liturgist, and consultant, Prof. Almeida is immersed in storytelling, spirituality and the arts, transformational education, and social justice.
He has presented at the Goiânia Opera Festival (Vocal Music of the Baroque - Performance Practices), at the Political Theology Network (A Canção do Senhor na Terra Brasileira - Liturgies of Resistance), at the Baptist International Conference on Theological Education (TogetHEr: Re-imagining, Re-reading HERstory in the Church). Lately, he has led worship for the Baptist World Alliance Annual Gatherings (2017 - Thailand, 2018 - Switzerland, 2019 - The Bahamas).
Recently Prof. Almeida joined the 2020 cohort of CAS Creation & Scenario in Music at the Zurich University of the Arts where he will study and craft contemporary practices of communication and collaboration involving Theatre (Direction, Scenography), Music (Composition, Performance, Conducting), and Technology (Sound Design and Sound Architecture).