Workshops

A Truthful Approach to Acting: Introduction to the Meisner Technique

Nate Gross

Dip your toes into Meisner. Sanford Meisner trained thousands of actors (Google them) and developed a technique using essentially improvised behavior within the bounds of scripted dialogue and obligations from the text. Meisner taught this within a two-year process. You will only learn enough in this workshop to confuse you and make you mad.

Adventures in Costume Crafts -

Ronnie Chamberlain

This workshop explores techniques in armor making, specialty costuming materials, and bringing your creations to life.

“Annotating Gestures: Making Meaningful Movement Choices on Stage”

In this workshop, students will examine the movements and gestures we make in everyday life and will work to understand the meanings behind common gestures and how to make clear, direct movement choices on stage. Topics covered include movement efficiency, expression through movement, gestures, and making movement choices for characters.

Audition Do’s and Don'ts (20-25 participants)

Peter Cocuzza

Your audition starts from the moment you walk onto the stage and lasts until the moment you leave. Most auditors/directors have made up their minds about you within 15 seconds of your monologue and sometimes even before you speak. Our workshop gives you some of the DO’s and DON’T’s of auditioning to make your next audition successful and get you to the call back.

Broadway Auditions

Auditioning for a Broadway musical doesn’t have to be scary or stressful.

In this interactive workshop, participants will be led through a broadway style audition/callback setting, learning material from the pre-Broadway musical “Austen’s Pride”. Tips and tricks for positive auditions will be discussed. Broadway producer R. Erin Craig and actor/choreographer Brian Curl will discuss what they are looking for in the audition room.

Clowning Around: The Joy of Silliness and Discovering Your Authentic Self

Daryl Phillipy

This workshop will encourage participants to fully engage their voices, bodies, and connect to their emotional core through a series of exercises that will help them to get out of their heads and into their body, and become aware of authentic impulses to play.

"CLUEing in to the Mysteries of Leadership!"

You're invited to Leadership Mansion on Thespian Hill! Learn about yourself as a leader and solve the mysteries that may arise in your own troupe as you explore the 4 strength domains and problem solving tactics that will help any create any great detective! (All STCs are required to attend)

‘Connection to Action’

Grae Greer

‘Connection to Action’ is a workshop that uses group interaction to create strong ensemble building skills. Using imagination and memorization skills, students will learn how to communicate without speaking and leave with a stronger understanding of group acting.

Costuming Twelfth Night -

Starr Garrett

Come hear about a stylized contemporary production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Professor Starr Garrett with Campbellsville University will share about her process of designing a visually dramatic world inspired by contemporary runway fashion.

Design a Superhero!

Denise Watkins

Learn about process of design and the elements of design by creating your very own superhero for a theatrical performance! This workshop is especially beneficial for students who are interested in design and directing, though all are welcome.

“Five Keys to Acting on Camera”

Learn the “Five Keys to Acting on Camera” in this fun workshop that will give you confidence in the world of film and television!  Students will act in a short scene on camera and lean how to improve their performance instantly.  Students will have an opportunity to view their footage and look for ways to improve.

“From First Page to Broadway Stage: rewrites, cuts and discovering the finished product”

Brian Curl & R. Erin Craig

How does a broadway musical goes from an idea to an actuality? Join producer R. Erin Craig and actor Brian Curl in a discussion about how your favorite shows got to where they are. This workshop will look into how a new musical or play evolves and changes from when it is first written to when it gets to the stage: Broadway or Off-Broadway production.

Grooves Class  

Steffan Clark

Helping students develop confidence and control through dance and movement. Students can expect to learn exercises for flexibility and mobility, how to add grooves to their dancing and tips to improve their performance on stage.

Improv

Learn how to keep the fun in acting!  Acting should always be fun, and this workshop will remind you just that.  Focus will be on getting out of your head, responding in the moment, and always saying yes to the situation in front of you.  Warm-ups, playful games, and short-form improvisation will be explored.  This workshop will bring excitement to your acting!

Aleis Work

Lighting Design Basics -

Haley Strong

What is really happening under those lights when colors are used?  Will they compliment or contrast each other?  Will they fool you?  The M&M Game is a workshop designed to show students how colors can compliment, contrast, or even change each other and will allow students to better understand the purposes of using color in theatre.  We will explore lighting and color techniques for actors and scenery.

Moving Into Character with LMA/Viewpoints

Darryl Clark

The class will be taken through the basics of moving through space using Viewpoints. Then, the instructors will guide each dichotomy of movement that comprise the Laban Effort Scale. Once the elements are connected, the students should know each of the eight efforts from a physical perspective and be able to put them to use with scripted work or improvisation.

Nailing the Monologue.  

Navji Dixon

Monologues don't have to be scary! In this workshop, students will learn to effectively mount and execute a monologue to nail the audition. Through process, technique and discovery, students will hone their ability to tell a story in a minute or less.

Networked Lighting Controls

Sean Cole

With the increase in the number of color changing and moving lights, and the ever increasing complexity of lighting controls, network systems are becoming both more prevalent and more necessary.  Using equipment from a variety of manufacturers, we will set up, configure, troubleshoot and use a networked lighting control system, including both wired and wireless components.  Basics of DMX and networks will be covered briefly as well.  Any level; suitable for teachers and students.  

Oh, the Places You'll Go!: Blocking for Emerging Directors

“Kid, you'll move mountains! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!" This workshop is for anyone and everyone who is interested in directing OR actors who want to learn more about the director's perspective. We will focus on blocking - how and when to move actors, how to create motivated blocking, ways to develop powerful stage pictures, and more!

One Singular Sensation! A Chorus Line Class:  

Participants in this workshop will be dancing with top hats & learning some original choreography from this iconic musical theatre number.

Paper Clay Mask Making

In this 45-minute workshop we will introduce participants to mask-making using paper clay Paper clay is a non-toxic, light weight air drying clay that is ideal for sculpting theatrical masks, which are durable enough for the stage. Props artisans, Costume crafts Technicians, Costume designers and Set designers alike will find use for this versatile sculpting medium. We will start with a gessoed mask form and use paper clay to build up unique features to create a mask of your choosing.

Once we create the overall form, sculpting tools will be used to create textures and details to achieve a one of a kind mask!

***Participants who attend both sessions will have the opportunity to paint their masks in the second session. ***

Physicalized Shakespeare: The Sequel to Last Year (but seeing the original is not required)

A step by step process, using our bodies and voices to communicate Shakespeare so the audience gets it the first time. This builds upon last year's workshop, but it's fine to skip right to this advanced class. Wear clean underwear.

Play It Like You Mean It! -  

Dr. Daryl Harris

This workshop explores exercises and activities for team-building and collaborative creative work.

Puppetry Creating:

Leah Webster

Walk in with a sad, naked hand and walk out with a fabulous new puppet friend in this basic class.

Dip your toe into the wide, weird waters of puppet construction: cutting, designing and gluing your way to a finished puppet. Discuss the intricate nature of puppet construction and the delightful details of puppeteering from a felt loving, puppet wielding, Suesstastic Theatre Enthusiast.

Rockette Girls Class:

Ashley Ayer

This workshop will focus on precision, kicking, jazz/ballet techniques and what it takes to be a Rockette. You will learn a Rockette short routine and gain valuable tips!

Scene Design on the Fly!

Ian Peggs

The Scenic Design workshop will include: learning to use and application of the scale ruler; scale renderings and drawings to life size objects; quick painting techniques for texture; and painting for the stage - color matching and design coherence.

Smashing Through Writer’s Block: A Speed Playwriting Challenge!

Rebecca Wright

Learning how to work speed-writing into your routine is a great way to avoid writer’s block. If you’ve ever been stuck staring at a page or screen, you know that overcoming writer’s block is a pain.  This workshop will teach you various tricks to smash that barrier and flood your writing with dialogue, action, and maybe even add a few new elements you weren’t expecting! Bring a laptop or tablet and be ready to write.

Stage Combat

Audra Jones

This workshop offers students the basics of hand to hand unarmed combat for the stage. While being taught proper combat technique, participants will learn different variations of punches, knaps, and slaps as well as ear and hair pulls.

“The Suessification of Advocacy”

Do you want to learn to advocate?

Come on in and find out how!

Don't know what that is? That's great!

Its super easy to learn now!

With the help of Doctor Seuss,

Put your advocacy skills to use!

The Seussified Character Makeup Workshop

Lyndsey Bassett

The Seussified Character Makeup Workshop will focus on the color and line of Dr. Seuss' iconic illustration style. Students will be able to test their abilities to create makeup in similar fashions, bringing characters from the page to the stage.

Theatre Games

Taylor Davis

This Theatre Games workshop will utilize the fun and educational creations of Viola Spolin and others to stretch your imagination, warm up your minds and bodies, and get your creativity flowing! In addition to having loads of fun, participants will see how tangible skills can be developed and applied to numerous aspects of theatre all while doing what we do best: PLAYING!”

Theatre Marketing:

John Thomas Priar

Ever thought about opening and running your own theatre? Are you interested in pursuing theatre but from a business standpoint? In this interactive workshop, learn about the many jobs the arts and theatre can offer that are vital to the success of the arts and artists.

Tricks to Make Your Lines Work Every Time. (15-20 participants with observers welcome -we’ll be working in a circle)

We’re all looking for the perfect line reading in our monologues and scenes. Why is it so hard? It’s not! Here are a few simple vocal adjustments that anyone can do to make your line readings more interesting, colorful and clear to an audience. Bring one memorized sentence from your monologue or scene and come to play. Observers welcome.

Up, Up, Up Your Warm-Ups!

Dr. Amanda Dawson

"It's not about what it is. It's about what it can become!" Are you an actor, director, or stage manager who is looking for ways to change up your warm-ups? This is the workshop for you! We will wiggle and jiggle our way through some old and some new engaging and purposeful warm-ups to use at rehearsals.

Viewpoints Training: Creativity in Time and Space

Richard Hess

This workshop will introduce the core principles of Viewpoints Training in a few short group exercises that will allow all participants to create together in time and space. These fun exercises allow all participants to practice being open and present on stage and to create as an ensemble. Please come dressed and ready to move in bare feet.

Yoga

Kathy Fisher

We'll be doing a beginner level yoga class full of stretching and basic yoga poses that will help you feel relaxed during the busyness of KTF activities.

You Can’t Stop the Beat – Dance from Hairspray:  

This dance workshop will touch on musical theatre jazz.  Dance across the floor with fun upbeat moves in a combination from the 60’s era!


Artist Bio

Ian Peggs is a Scenic Designer in the Charleston-Huntington Area of West Virginia. Graduated in 2016 with a BFA Degree in Theatre Production and Design from Marshall University. He currently works for Marshall University's Theatre Department as Shop Staff doing Scenic Artistry and Set Painting. Some of his show credits include: Brecht's "The Good Woman of Setzuan" at WVSU; "The Snow Queen" at Children's Theatre of Charleston; "The Hobbit" at The Alban. It is his first year here at The Kentucky Thespian Festival and is so thrilled to have the amazing opportunity to share his love of theatre and design with the students of Kentucky, in hopes, to ensure theatre remains alive in our region for many years to come!

Steffan Clark (Dance Instructor) is making his KTF debut. Regional Theatre: Skeleton Crew at Actors Theatre. Other Theatre: American Tales at Stage One Family Theatre; Peer Gynt and August: Osage Country at the May Studio Theatre;Wild Party and Mystery of Edwin Drood at Shanklin Theatre; Zoo Story at the Trinity Center; and Pride & Prejudice at the Empress. Additional Credits: Clark received his B.S. in Theatre Performance from the University of Evansville.

Michael Braaksma is a visual storyteller whose multi-disciplinary approach to art making touches on drawing, painting, sculpture, illustration, puppetry, mask making, theatrical design, and art direction.

Michael received his B.A. from Hope College where he studied Theatre with an emphasis in scenic and costume design. He is a proud member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the National Association of Art Educators and the Louisville Emerging Artist League. His art has been featured in many publications and stage productions including Actor's Theatre, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Squalis Puppeteers, The Voice Louisville, and Louisville Magazine. Michael currently teaches visual art at Mercy Academy. Additionally, he has taught technical theatre at Mercy and assists as a set designer for the theatre department, helmed by the sensational Ms. Simmons.

 

 

Leah Webster has been the theatre teacher at Galletin High School for four years. From Shakespeare to puppetry, Leah is committed to her craft.  Some of her accomplishments include directing several high school plays including: "Much Ado About Nothing", "The Velveteen Rabbit", "Almost, Maine", and "You Can't Beat The House".

Emily (Emmy) Woosley is graduate of WKU. Passionate about volunteering and the arts; Emmy is on the board of directors for Theatre Workshop of Owensboro, works extensively with high shcool girls through the Impact 100 NextGen program and volunteers throughout the community whenever possible. Emmy loves sunflowers, and strives daily to make more people smile.

Sean Cole graduated in 2012 with a BA in Design and Production from Purdue University. After college, I started working for Associated Controls + Design (ACD) as a Systems Integrator. During my time at ACD I have had the opportunity to work on many lighting systems from High Schools to Universities to architectural projects. Some of these projects include Mooresville High School (full LED system upgrade), Manchester High School, Notre Dame University (new lighting systems in 7 rooms across 3 buildings), and the RiverWalk in Bowling Green, KY (lights and the controls). Each of these systems have brought their own unique challenges and helped me to grow and learn just what’s really possible with the technology that is available to us.

 

 

 

Ashley Ayer  is the dance teacher at Owensboro High School and Middle School North.  She attended WKU and the University of Arizona, where she earned a BFA in Dance. She has taught and danced with professional companies in Chicago and New York, including 11 years performing as a Radio City Rockette in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She is thrilled to be teaching workshops at KTF.

 

 

Peter Cocuzza is a Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He holds an M.F.A. degree in Performance from Ohio University’s Professional Actor Training Program. For the past 30 years he has taught a variety of acting related classes and has directed over forty theater productions at and/or outside of the University. As an actor Peter adapted the book Town Hall Tonight into a one-person which he toured. He has also performed Shakespeare, toured Children’s Theatre, performed in dinner theater, summer stock theater, as well as acted in industrial films, television commercials and voice-overs in the Pittsburgh market. These varied and numerous experiences enabled him to teach, coach and advise the careers of hundreds of students over the years.

Denise Watkins is a Professor of Theatre at Morehead State University. She holds the M.F.A. in Theatrical Production Design from Michigan State University, and is a Humanities Ph.D. candidate at the University of Louisville. She has designed professionally for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the Pleiades Theatre Company, and Lexington Children's Theatre.  

 

 

John Thomas Priar is from Owensboro, KY and a senior Theatre & Arts Administration double major at the University of Kentucky. He is a graduate of Owensboro High School (Troupe #3161) and was a State Thespian Officer for three years. JT recently completed an internship at the KY Governor’s School for the Arts, and he is now working with AthensWest Theatre Company in Lexington! Go Cats!

Marcus Hayes is Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance at Austin Peay State University (APSU) in Clarksville, TN. Hayes received a dual Bachelor of Arts in History and Theatre Arts: Dance from Beloit College in Wisconsin and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Mills College in California. Hayes joined the faculty of APSU in fall 2006. Hayes performed and choreographed professionally with the Without Shoes Modern Dance Company and has taught dance for the Chicago Park District, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Rockford College, and the School for the Rockford Dance Company. Hayes’ research interests include identity politics in performance, formal issues in choreography, and most recently the West African influences on the folk dances of Latin America. He is the author of a textbook, Introduction to Dance: A Guide for Understanding Dance as an Art Form, available through Great River Learning.

Haley Strong has been the Assistant Technical Director and Head of Sound at the RiverPark Center for the past 10 years.  She attended Indiana University and the Recording Workshop, as well as Owensboro Community and Technical College.  Haley has received professional training from events such as LDI, USITT, as well as having served as an intern at PRG in Las Vegas.  She has been active in the Owensboro Arts community for many years, designing sound and lighting for organizations such as Owensboro Dance Theatre, Theatre Workshop of Owensboro, and Encore Musicals.

Daryl W. Phillipy (Director) is an Associate Professor in his 8th year at MSU. He received his MFA in Acting from the University of Southern Mississippi. He teaches the Meisner Technique for Actors, Voice and Diction, and Stage Dialects, as well as serving as a director for season productions for the Department of Theatre. Daryl has worked as a professional actor, director, and educator for over 20 years. Daryl has two films coming out in the next year, the horror film Starlight, and the baseball biopic The Silent Natural.

 

 

Daryl Harris is an Associate Professor in the Theatre and Dance Program. At NKU since 2003, he is a 50- year veteran of traditional, experimental, educational, and applied theatre. He has studied and worked throughout North America, Europe, West Africa, Asia and Australia. In addition to teaching diverse interdisciplinary theatre courses that routinely include Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project classes, Harris also acts in, directs and costume designs theatrical productions locally, nationally and internationally. He is a member of Phi Beta Delta, Honor Society for International Scholars, and a 2010 recipient of President Obama’s President’s Call to Service Award, the highest level of awards recognizing and honoring volunteerism. Recently, as a Fulbright Specialist, he co-wrote, costumed, directed, and played a cameo role on Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy’s world premiere production of the traditional Buddhist tale, Sanda Kinduru. This was the third in a series of initiatives using theatre techniques to help English as a Second Language students learn and confidently use the language. The research for his MFA in theatre and his PhD in interdisciplinary studies continues to fuel his primary passion: engaging scholars and communities transculturally and transnationally across disciplines.

Ronnie Chamberlain is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance at Northern Kentucky University, where she teaches classes in Stagecraft with a Costume Emphasis, Costume Construction, Costume History and Design. She received her MFA in Costume Design from The University of Alabama. She is involved in United States Institute for Theater Technology and recently served as Treasurer for The Heart of America USITT Chapter. She is active in Southeastern Theatre Conference, the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (past designs have received Meritorious Achievement Awards and four invitations to display her designs in Region V’s Costume Parade.) As a costume designer, her work has been seen in productions at the Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival, Black Hills Playhouse, Central Missouri Repertory Theatre, Haricake Productions, Relevance Productions, and Open Stage Theatre. Some of her favorite past designs includes The Three Musketeers, Electra, Arabian Nights, The Tempest, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Spamalot.

 

 

Lyndsey Bassett - EKU and University of the Cumberlands graduate; 9 years theater teaching experience.

Nancy Jones is a Professor at the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance. Beyond her work on campus, she collaborates with performance artists to translate, create, and produce classic french theatre in her company, Théâtre Farouche. Moliere’s Women (a play she wrote and directed) premiered in 2006 at the Mae West Festival in Seattle, Washington and in Paris, France July 2007. Her work as a Theatre Director has been featured in New York at the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, the New York International Fringe Festival, La MaMa Experimental Theatre, the American Living Room Festival at HERE, Immigrant’s Theatre Project, New York Performance Works, New Dramatists, the country’s premiere playwright development organization, and the Actors Theatre of Louisville 24-Hour Play Festival. On UK campus, she has developed many interdisciplinary projects including: Tartuffe and Le Grand Guignol (both cross-disciplinary collaborations with the French Department); El Mundo de los Sueños (a project with Latin American Studies); and Affrilachia(developed with Anthropology and African-American Studies). Her passion for French Theatre led to the development of a UK Study Abroad Program held in Paris, France each summer. Her company, Théâtre Farouche is a collective of artists determined to explore the works of the great French playwrights in translation and adaptation for a contemporary audience. She translated and directed Jean Genet's The Maids, a cross-gender cast production, which was performed at the Bardstown Theatre in Louisville, KY and La MaMa Experimental Theatre, NYC. Nancy translated and directed Ionesco's The Lesson for the Slant Culture Theatre Festival in Louisville. And in August 2015 she brought her translation of Marivaux'sThe Dispute to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.

Starr Garrett is the Director of the Theater Department at Campbellsville University. While at Campbellsville she has worked with TownHall Productions to create a thriving community theater program that serves the surrounding area by offering classes for are youth through its Creative Spirit Theater Academy and producing four annual community theater productions. Holding degrees in acting and directing, and in the social implications of costuming, Garrett enjoys both actor coaching and costuming. Garrett continually strives to create works that convey a love and respect for her community while offering an opportunity to evaluate the world in which we live.    

Richard E. Hess

A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Acting

University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), Professor Hess has been Chair of CCM Acting for the past 25 years. He created and directed an original piece entitled H2O: A Play about Water that played in both the Cincinnati and Edinburgh, Scotland Fringe Festivals this past summer. He has been teaching Viewpoints since 1998 and has offered master classes in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Georgia, California and New York in the U.S, and in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia, Nairobi, Kenya, and Beijing, China internationally.

Navji Dixon is a graduate student in Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky and delighted to be returning to the Kentucky Thespian Festival in her hometown of Owensboro, KY. Recent Theatrical credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Ronette), Ragtime (Sarah), Jesus Christ Superstar! (Mary Magdalene), In the Red and Brown Water (Oya) and Avenue Q (Gary Coleman). Navji holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Kentucky with an emphasis on performance. Additionally, Navji is a proud alumna of Troupe #3161 from Owensboro High School.

 

 

 Grae Greer is the founder and artistic director of Bluegrass Children’s Theatre. Having recently left NYC to focus more on cultivating the arts in her hometown, Grae has been traveling from north to south teaching elementary - high school aged students the fundamentals of costuming, connection to script work, duet acting intensives, introduction to monologues, and beginners set design.
Select teaching credits include: Bluegrass Children’s Theatre (KY), Georgia Thespian Festival (GA), Opening Act! (NYC), ‘Teens Take The Met’ with TITAN Theatre Company (NYC), Winger Arts Track (NYC), ‘Explore & Soar’ (WV), and Educational Touring Company (WV). Grae is also a  Kentucky Thespian and a former State Thespian Officer!  

R. Erin Craig / La Vie Productions LLC (Producer) - Over the past 20+ years, Erin, and her company, La Vie Productions LLC, have developed and mentored new artists and projects through their work as a Producer, General Manager, Executive Producer, Production Manager and Consultant. La Vie has worked in the mediums of Theatre, Film, Music and Events.Current producing projects include: "Austen's Pride", "Mr. Rickey Calls A Meeting", "Academy", "Beatsville”, "Right Before I Go" (suicide prevention play), “Christmas in Hell”, “Into The Wild”, “Victory Train”. Select past La Vie projects include: “The Evolution of Mann”, "DeNovo",, "The Assignment" and "gUN COUNTRY" (Houses On the Moon Theatre Company), "Easter Mysteries" (live musical film), "Himself and Nora", "Stalking the Bogeyman", "Liberty: The Musical", "Velocity of Autumn" (Broadway), "In The Heights" (OB/Broadway), "High Fidelity" (Boston / Broadway), "Irena's Vow" (Broadway), "How We Got Away With It" (film).Member: The Broadway League, The Off-Broadway League, The League of Professional Theatre Women, Theatre Resources Unlimited (TRU) and NY Women in Film and Television. Board Member - Houses on the Moon Theatre Company. In her free time, teaches and mentors young artists and producers. www.LaVieProductions.com

Brian Curl is a New York based actor/choreographer who has performed in 49 of the 50 states and across Canada. Performer: Off-Broadway, Off-off-broadway, national tours, regional, theme park, dinner theatre, and summer stock. Choreography/teaching artist: International Thespian Festival, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, New Jersey, New England, Nevada, Tennessee. A big kid at heart, Brian enjoys working with the future of the theatre industry.

Dr. Amanda Dawson is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Speech at Brescia University in Owensboro, KY. She is also a co-founder of the Owensboro Theatre Alliance, which is a collaborative theatre company consisting of Brescia University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, and Owensboro Community Technical College. Professionally, Amanda is a director and dramaturg. Some of her most recent directing credits include She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen with Owensboro Theatre Alliance and Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo with Theatre Workshop of Owensboro

Nate Gross, director of the theatre program at Kentucky Wesleyan College,  is originally from Michigan, but lived most of his adult life in Southern California. He attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles and was a part of their repertory company. He received his MFA in acting and directing from the University of Arizona, where he also worked extensively with The Arizona Theatre Company. He performed, taught, and directed theatre for several years in California’s Inland Empire, winning four Inland Theatre League awards for both acting and directing. Most recently, Professor Gross directed the theatre program at Andrew College in Georgia, where he was recognized by The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Excellence in Directing for the production of “Master Harold” …and the boys. Shakespeare is an area of emphasis for Mr. Gross, he has performed many of the bard’s most interesting characters including Hamlet, Petruchio, Oberon, Launce, and Iago, as well as directing several of Shakespeare’s plays. He had a small recurring role on the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful in the late 1990s. In September of this year, he played the title role in Theatre Workshop Owensboro’s production of Macbeth.

Peter Allen Stone is an actor, director, writer, and  is currently Head of the Acting Program at University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance. He has performed extensively in film, television, and on regional and Off-Broadway stages.  He co-wrote the critically acclaimed play Unnatural Acts, which premiered at the Classic Stage Company in New York City in 2011 and received a 2012 Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Play.  Mr. Stone is the former Chair of Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy in New York City. He has taught internationally at Dongguk University in Seoul, Korea; Heidelberg University in German; and for NYFA in Florence, Italy and India. His former students have appeared on Broadway  and in Film/TV. He is a graduate of the MFA Acting Program at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and is a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity.

Audra Jones is a native Kentuckian and graduate from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington. She is currently a junior at Western Kentucky University where she is pursuing her BFA in Musical Theatre.  This is her second year teaching stage combat at the Kentucky Thespian Festival.

Kathy Fisher is a 200 hour RYT who has been practicing yoga for five years.  She has taught elementary and preschool children for over 20 years.  Kathy lives in Owensboro with her husband, four kids, two dogs, three cats, and some feathered fowl.  She is passionate about living a clean, green lifestyle in the country and encouraging the creative possibilities in others.  Her yoga practice has taught her to live with authenticity on and off the mat.

DARRYL KENT CLARK, BA, Columbia College, MFA, SUNY College at Brockport, brings a total of over thirty years’ experience as a dancer, actor, choreographer, director and teacher to his position as Assistant Professor of Musical Theater Dance at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.  His performance credits include stints with Princess Cruises, Sesame Street Live!, Zyngara Performance Troupe and Concert Dance, Inc.  He has played roles as diverse as Jacob in La Cage aux Folles, Mickey in The Normal Heart and Papa Ge in Once on this Island to Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet and Caliban in The Tempest.  He has also performed as soloist with the Brockport Community Chorus in Brockport, NY and Men’s Chorus of the Ozarks.   His choreography runs the gamut from concert work for Springfield Dance Alliance to musicals to dance entertainment for the Mike Ditka Foundation Benefits produced by Clements, Brady and Associates. Recently, he has extended his creative interests to directions and staged productions of LeRoi Jones’ classic Dutchman and newer scripts like The It Girl and Nijinsky’s Last Dance. He has taught many forms of theatrical dance at Missouri State University, Western Carolina University, SUNY College at Brockport and the University of Amsterdam as well as at studios in the USA and the Netherlands.         (Cut as needed)

Taylor Davis, works in membership services at the Educational Theatre Association. She is a Kentucky Thespian and a graduate of both Owensboro HS and Murray State University where she earned a BA in Theatre.  Taylor cries at Finding Dory, loves her cat named Tuna, and thinks cheese is the best food in the world.

Scenic Painting