Texas State University
Kaitlin Hopkins is an award-winning actress, director, and educator and has worked in theatre, film, and television for more than 30 years. She currently heads the BFA musical theatre program at Texas State University. Broadway performance credits include: Noises Off, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Anything Goes. Kaitlin has a half-dozen cast album credits to her name, and has originated multiple roles off-Broadway, including in Bat Boy - The Musical, for which she received a Drama Desk Award nomination. She has appeared in more than 50 television show and numerous films. Favorite directing credits include the world premiere of The World According to Snoopy at Theatre Under The Stars and Theater Aspen, Lippa’s “It Gets Better” music video (all proceeds benefit The Trevor Project) and Lippa’s The Wild Party and A Little Princess (premiere) at Texas State. Hopkins is also the co-founder of Living Mental Wellness; a holistic, evidence-based company that offers educational programs to enhance mental wellness through an integrated scientific life skills model. In addition, Hopkins is the proud creator and president of Fontus Green Apple Dry Throat Lozenges. Kaitlinhopkins.net
Texas State University
Michael Maresca has worked with tens of thousands of singers across the globe changing how they understand the human voice and how to build it. In 2010 Michael noticed a pattern in the human voice that became the catalyst for the vocal movement now known as One Voice. As the creator of the One Voice theories, techniques, and training, he has certiﬁed multiple One Voice Coaches and Masters to teach private singing sessions and masterclasses internationally. Currently, Michael teaches inperson exclusively for the Texas State Musical Theatre Program, and he trains commercial singers worldwide online and in masterclasses outside of Texas State. He has served as faculty on The Performing Arts Project, Broadway Theatre Project, and the Tennessee Arts Academy. He has been a guest artist and taught numerous workshops at the International Thespian Festival, the Texas Thespian Educators Conference, Arte’ Studio in Mexico City, as well as the Texas, Tennessee, and Missouri State Thespian Festivals. Michael appeared in the Broadway National Tour of Mamma Mia!, the National Tour of Saturday Night Fever, and was a speaker for the 2018 TEDx at Texas State University. To learn more about One Voice go to SingOneVoice.com.
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.
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.
Abilene Christian University
Katie Hahn is a director, educator, dramaturg, and voice/dialect coach from Abilene, TX. She holds an MFA in Performance and Pedagogy from Texas Tech University and a BFA in Theatre from Abilene Christian University. Most recently, she directed the world premiere staged reading of Attachment Disorder by Hallie Palladino and served as the Assistant Director of Tigers Be Still, both at Outpost Repertory Theatre in Lubbock. Her favorite production is Next to Normal at Texas Tech, for which she received Excellence in Directing honors from Region 6 of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. While working on her graduate studies, Katie served the program in several capacities, most notably as Voice/Dialect Coach for Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play and Assistant Director/Stage Manager for the world premiere of Shooting Blanks by Mark Charney at the Prague Fringe Festival. Her dramaturgical work includes In Defense of Hope by Michael Kelly (world premiere), Shakespeare in Hollywood, and multiple productions of Little Women: The Musical. She has presented her research on vocal pedagogy and women's narratives within the musical theatre canon at various conferences across America as well as in Singapore. Katie has served on the theatre faculty at Hardin-Simmons University since 2018 and has also worked for Creede Repertory Theatre in Colorado, SummerStage at the Dallas Theater Center, KidCity Camp in New Orleans, and Northland Christian School in Houston.
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!
Mark Castle is a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, teaching in the areas of acting, directing and design, and is the advisor for the Musical Theatre program. Originally from England, he attended drama school at the Arden School of Theatre in Manchester. He received a B.A. (Honors) degree in Drama from the University of Leeds, focusing on Scenography. During this time he spent a semester at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., where he met his wife, Starla. Before coming to live in the States, he worked professionally as a designer and stage manager at several theatres in England. He earned his M.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Memphis, Tennessee, in directing, and has worked as an actor, stage manager, director and designer at Greenbrier Valley Theatre in West Virginia. In the Birmingham area Mark has performed with Birmingham Festival Theatre, Muse of Fire & Theatre Downtown. He was the voice of Charles Wesley in the documentary film "A Heart Set Free", and his short play "The Night the Widget Broke" was published by iUniverse, and performed at the Short & Sweet Festival in Sydney, Australia. Mark is also the director of the Praxis Project, a collaborative faculty/alumni theatre company. He has two sons Sean & Charley.
DR. ANNE HEALY
University of Texas at Arlington
Dr. Anne Healy comes to the Dallas/Fort Worth area from New York City where she worked for many years as a professional actress and musical theatre performer. Anne holds a Ph.D. in Humanities- Aesthetic Studies – Musical Theatre/Theatre from The University of Texas at Dallas, an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre, and is an Associate Professor and the Musical Theatre Area Head in the Department of Theatre Arts at UTA.
As a member of Actors Equity Association (AEA), Anne has worked both Off-Broadway and in regional theatres across the country, with local performances at Casa Manana and Amphibian Productions in Fort Worth. She is thrilled to have worked with such notable directors such as Johnathon Pape and Academy Award winner/Emmy winner/Tony Award nominee Rob Marshall. Anne is an associate member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Union (SDC) and was recently in their 2017-2018 observership class. Regional directing credits include serving as the Assistant Director for A Raisin in the Sun at the Tony Award-winning Dallas Theater Center, as well as joining Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall at Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut as her directing observer. At UTA, Anne has directed The Heidi Chronicles, Dead Man Walking, The Robber Bridegroom, Fiddler on the Roof, As It Is In Heaven, West Side Story, the regional premier of The Theory of Relativity, and the world premiere of Troupers: A Musical Vaudeville, to name a few.
Anne’s research in the areas of vaudeville, musical theatre, and directing has led to multiple papers and panel discussions nationally and internationally regarding inter-disciplinary collaboration processes in the arts, as well as several creative works. Anne’s recent article on her experiences at Goodspeed Musicals was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in the November 2017 issue of Theatre Topics.
DR. KATHERINE NOONE
University of Texas at Arlington
Dr. Katherine Noone, soprano, is a diverse and active singer and actor, appearing with various professional, regional, and local companies across the country. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Instruction in Voice/Musical Theatre at The University of Texas at Arlington where prior she was as an Assistant Professor of Voice/Music Theatre at North Dakota State University for nine years. She also enjoys commercial and radio work, and has worked and performed with
Broadway composer, Andrew Lippa, and Broadway actresses, Julia Murney and Becky Gulsvig. One of her favorite roles was that of the Adult Woman where she played five characters in Spring Awakening at the Scotland Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Currently she performs as Karen Carpenter with The Shadows Tribute Band, teaches swing dancing, and prides herself on being a versatile vocalist and teacher of all musical genres.
DR. LAURA AVERY
Sam Houston State University
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.
DR. HARRY PARKER
Texas Christian University
Dr. Harry B. Parker is the Chair of the Department of Theatre at Texas Christian University, and the Managing Director of the Trinity Shakespeare Festival at TCU. A native of Oklahoma City, Harry received a B.F.A. (magna cum laude) in Theatre from TCU, and from the University of Kansas in Lawrence he earned an M.A. in Theatre (Acting/Directing), and a Ph.D. in Theatre and Film. He has also served on the faculty of Westmar College in Iowa, and spent eleven years as the Director of Theatre at Emporia State University in Kansas. For seven summers Harry worked professionally as the Assistant Artistic Director at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, where he assisted in staging over 30 major musicals. He has directed more than 80 professional, community and academic theatre productions across the country including professionally at the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.); Stages Repertory Theatre (Houston); American Heartland Theatre (Kansas City); and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City). In Fort Worth, he has directed professionally for Amphibian Stage Productions, Jubilee Theatre and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, as well as having directed 9 shows for Circle Theatre. His directing credits include Holiday, Antigone, South Pacific, The Importance of Being Earnest, Extremities, Godspell, The Miser, Charley’s Aunt, The Philadelphia Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Will Rogers Follies, The Comedy of Errors, Marvin’s Room, The King and I, The Matchmaker, The Laramie Project and The Taming of the Shrew. He has served on the TCU faculty since 2003.
At TCU, Harry has directed You Can’t Take It With You, Bus Stop, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and The Fantasticks, which were co-productions with Circle Theatre in Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth, the musicals Little Women and Oklahoma!, and the original musical revue We Need a Little Christmas.
Harry has written four original musical revues, featuring the music of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and others. He hosts a weekly radio show entitled “Curtain Up!” on KTCU, 88.7 FM (also available at www.ktcu.tcu.edu) featuring songs from the musical theatre. He is currently the immediate past National Chair of the Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival, and has previously served as the National Vice Chair, and as a Regional Chair for an 8-state Region in that organization. He is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and serves on the Board of the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County, and of Circle Theatre. Harry is married to Karen Parker, and they have two children. He is exceptionally proud of his current and former students, and their impressive accomplishments.
Texas Christian University
Alan Shorter is a Professor on the Performance Faculty and the Associate Chair of the Department of Theatre at TCU. Alan attended Minnesota State University – Moorhead, received his B.A. in Theatre & Drama from Indiana University – Bloomington, and holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Minnesota State University – Mankato. He also served as Interim Chair for the TCU Department of Theatre for the Fall Semester, 2018.
Alan’s work as composer, music director, stage director, actor, conductor, and pianist has been seen at numerous regional theatres and in the national tours of The 1940’s Radio Hour, The Desert Song, A Christmas Carol, and The Student Prince. In 2011, he was a winner of TCU’s prestigious Deans’ Award for Creativity & Research and a year later was a finalist for the Wassenich Award for Mentoring in the TCU Community. He served as the Music Supervisor and an Artistic Associate for eight seasons of The Trinity Shakespeare Festival.
In 2015, Alan was Music Supervisor for TCU’s “Festival of American Song” featuring Jason Robert Brown and provided music direction of the student performances for “An Evening with Susan Egan.” He has been honored to provide piano accompaniment for public performances by Susan Egan and Beth Leavel during their visits to TCU. Alan also serves as the music director, arranger, and pianist for the TCU Senior Showcase presented in New York City.
Alan directed Circle Theatre’s productions of Under the Skin (regional premiere) and Mass Appeal, as well as their critically acclaimed Opus, for which he received a Dallas/Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum Award for “Outstanding Direction” and two Fort Worth Weekly Best of 2010 awards: “Best Production Staged by a Local Theatre” and “Best Director.” He has also served as stage director for Circle Theatre’s High School Playwriting Project since 2011.
At TCU, he has been the stage director for productions of Tartuffe, The Women of Lockerbie, Closer Than Ever, The Elephant Man, Doubt, And the World Goes ‘Round, The Laramie Project, and Anything Goes. Other stage direction credits include Wings, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Children of Eden, The Good Doctor, Tartuffe, … and They Dance Real Slow in Jackson, Nancy Drew: Girl Detective, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars, Sylvia Plath: A Memoir, Antigone, The Diviners, Lonely Planet, and A Night in November.
Alan was music director and conductor for Lyric Stage’s production of Hello, Dolly! in Dallas, as well as served as their associate music director for Carousel. (Both productions received the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum Awards for “Best Ensemble.”) He also provided music direction for the Theatre TCU/Circle Theatre co-production of The Fantasticks. Since 2010, he has composed, arranged, and recorded music for Trinity’s productions of King Lear, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo & Juliet, and Twelfth Night. A partial list of Alan’s other theatre credits includes The Central Children’s Theatre of Moscow (Russia), Theatre Three, Stage West, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, The Cricket Theatre, The Ordway, Hey City Stage, and two Tony-Award-winning theatres: The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis (where he was both Artistic Associate and Composer-in-Residence) and Theatre de la Jeune Lune.
He has provided music direction for over 100 professional and academic productions ranging from Sondheim’s A Little Night Music to Elton John’s Aida. His music direction for TCU has included Fiddler on the Roof, Sweeney Todd, Pippin, Guys and Dolls, Spring Awakening, Assassins, The Fantasticks, Oklahoma, Seussical: The Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, A Chorus Line, We Need A little Christmas, Little Women: The Musical, and No, No, Nanette.
As a composer, Alan has written over a dozen original scores for the theatre, including Anatomy of Gray, Spinning into Butter, Hamlet, Dracula, The Hobbit, The Voice of the Prairie, The Troubles: Children of Belfast, Strega Nona, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (produced in Russian at the Central Children’s Theatre of Moscow). Alan’s adaptation of Tomie dePaola’s Oliver Button Is a Sissy for the concert stage has been performed by over fifty major choruses nationwide and was featured at Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The concert work was also the centerpiece for the documentary “Oliver Button is a Star!” produced by Emmy Award winning producers Dan Hunt and John Scagliatti. The documentary aired nationally on PBS and has been given the National Association of Multicultural Education’s Media Award, Action for Media’s Pixi Award, the National Gay & Lesbian Journalist Association’s Excellence in Journalism Award, and Excellence in Media’s Silver Angel Award.
“Changing Hearts,” a work for men’s chorus, seven soloists, and small orchestra, debuted in Washington, DC, and Montreal by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, and was featured in their 25th Anniversary Concert at The Kennedy Center. Individual songs from that work have been featured on several CDs. “The Great Ends of the Church,” one of Alan’s choral works, premiered in Dallas, TX, in June of 2003. That same year, the Heartland Chorus in Kansas City commissioned and performed “Country Angel Christmas,” based on the book by Tomie dePaola.
The GALA Association of Choruses has included “They Sang to Me” (from “Changing Hearts”) in their songbook SONGS OF COURAGE, a collection of the top twenty-five songs from twenty-five years of commissions by 185 GALA choruses. In 2009, Alan’s composition Pascha nostrum for mixed chorus and French horn was released on the CD “O Vierge, Sois Clémente” by the Chœr de Saint-Louis. His compositions “Make the Earth Your Companion” and “Every Great Dream Begins with a Dreamer” premiered at the 2016 GALA Festival in Denver. In 2008, Bayou City Performing Arts commissioned Alan for three works, “Norm,” “Love’s Song,” and “The Gathering Storm,” and has performed the pieces in both Houston and Miami.
Alan has also written two short plays, The Best of Intentions and It’s Just the Way Things Are. Dealing with the issues of eldercare, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and end-of-life/quality-of-life issues, the plays were written to provide a stepping stone for panel discussions with experts in these fields and have received numerous performances in Fort Worth (featuring TCU actors), including the Tarrant County Academy of Medicine’s “Speak for Yourself” series attended by members of TCU’s Harris School of Nursing, Brite Divinity School, the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Texas Health Resources, Community Hospice of Texas, Baylor All Saints Medical Center (Fort Worth), Tarrant Area Community of Churches, JPS Health Network, and North Texas Specialty Physicians.
As an actor, Alan Shorter played James Apanomith in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 production of Ellis Island: The Dream of America and Father Stanley in Circle Theatre’s production of Hail, Mary! Other favorite roles include Noel Coward in Oh, Coward!, Hermann van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank, and Jimmy Powers in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. He also appeared on stage as Father Alan in the world premiere of Sister Amnesia’s Country Western Nunsense Jamboree (for which he was music director and pianist for the original cast recording) and Nunsense II: The Second Coming.
Alan is a member of the American Federation of Musicians (AF of M), Music Theatre Educators Alliance International (MTEA), the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), The American Composers Forum (ACF), the Educational Theatre Association, and was an Artistic Associate of The Trinity Shakespeare Festival.
Stan Denman joined the faculty of Baylor University in 1992 and currently teaches courses in directing, acting, and playwriting. For 18 years (2000-2018), Professor Denman has also served as Chairman for the Department of Theatre Arts. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Abilene Christian University, a Master of Arts in Theatre from Baylor University, and a PhD in Theatre and the Performing Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.
As a director, Stan has directed approximately 35 productions at Baylor and beyond, including productions of THE ORESTEIA, ROMEO AND JULIET, THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE, NOISES OFF, THE SHAPE OF THINGS, URINETOWN, THE MUSICAL, ANNA IN THE TROPICS, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, LEGALLY BLONDE, and APPROPRIATE.
As an actor, Stan has performed in numerous productions, and made his Off-Broadway debut in 2006 in Horton Foote's THE TRAVELING LADY (Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Play) in the role of Slim. In 2008, he played the role of Valdez in a critically acclaimed production of Craig Wright's drama THE UNSEEN at the Out-of-the-Loop Festival in Dallas, Texas.
In March of 2009, Stan went on to play the role of Valdez in the Off-Broadway premiere of THE UNSEEN at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre with playwright Craig Wright making "tweaks" to the script especially for this production.
Regionally, in May of 2014 Stan originated the role of Edwin M. Stanton in Steve Walters' gripping historical drama BOOTH at Second Thought Theatre in Dallas, Texas. BOOTH was recognized by several critics as one of the best new plays generated in DFW in 2014 and Mother Jones recognized Stan's portrayal of Stanton as one of the "great performances" of the year. And in October of 2017 he performed the role of Judge Roan/The Old Confederate Soldier in PARADE at Water Tower Theatre in Addison. Stan is a member of the Actors Equity Association.
As a playwright, Stan's play EMBRACING received its professional world premiere at Stage West in Fort Worth, Texas in 2006. A much-revised subsequent version of EMBRACING won one of three coveted spots in the 2007 Richard and Betty Burdick Play Reading Series at Florida Studio Theatre.
Dr. Denman's area of interest in traditional scholarly research lies at the intersection of conservative Protestant Christianity and the theatre. In the year 2000, Dr. Denman was one of three Americans invited to sit on a fifteen-member panel of international scholars in Perpignan, France to discuss regional identity and the arts from a global perspective. In 2004 his research article "Political Playing for the Soul of the American South: Theatre and the Maintenance of Cultural Hegemony in the American Bible Belt," appeared in The Southern Quarterly.
As an educator, Dr. Denman has taught some two dozen different courses on both graduate and undergraduate levels during his tenure at Baylor University, ranging from acting to theatre history, and playwriting to dramatic theory and criticism. In the year 2000, he was name the College/University Educator of the Year by the Texas Educational Theatre Association.
Stan is also very interested in world travel and is the current director of the Baylor Theatre Abroad program which began in the summer of 2008. Traveling in even-numbered summers for almost a month abroad, the program has taken dozens of theatre majors to see great theatre and have the time of their lives in England, France, Belgium, Italy, and Greece. Most recently, Dr. Denman has also begun an initiative with Christ University in Bangalore, India to help create cultural exchange experiences with young Indian artists on the other side of the globe.
The summer of 2017 saw Stan, three additional faculty/staff and 18 Baylor Theatre majors traveling across India for a rich cultural experience of performing with our Indian colleagues and touring throughout the country. Appropriately titled "East Meets West," this performance and tour allows one more place for Baylor Theatre majors to move beyond Waco and have a worldwide impact.
Melissa Johnson holds a Master of Arts from Baylor University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She has performed in a variety of musicals locally including Into the Woods and Side by Side by Sondheim.
At Baylor, Melissa teaches Traditional and Contemporary Voice for Musical Theatre and Musical Theatre Workshop. She has been the musical and vocal director for a number of Baylor productions including Crazy for You, Fiddler on the Roof, Legally Blonde, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. She particularly enjoys working with students in the Musical Theatre Concentration and the musical revue CaBEARet that takes place at the end of each semester to raise scholarship money.