Theatre Department faculty are both master teachers and working professionals. They bring a breadth and depth of experience in all aspects of theatre, and make each individual’s educational journey both exciting and successful.

Learn about our advisors on the College of Fine Arts website.


Actor Training Program and Musical Theatre Program

Jacque Lynn Bell

Associate Professor

Performing Art Building, Room 206

Jacque Lynn Bell is a dancer, choreographer, and an AmSAT certified instructor of the Alexander Technique. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography, both from the University of Utah. She received her teaching certification in the Alexander Technique from the American Center for the Alexander Technique, located in New York City, NY.

Ms. Bell taught at the Soho Center for the Alexander Technique in New York City where she intermittently lived, choreographed, and performed from 1982-1998. She developed the Alexander Technique program (based on the Juilliard model) for the Department of Theatre’s Actor Training Program, where she also teaches Movement for Actors. Additionally, she is an Associate Lecturer for the Department of Dance at Brigham Young University, and has taught modern dance at the University of Utah and Utah Valley University.

Ms. Bell has taught, performed, and choreographed all over the world, including presentations in the UnitedStates, Canada, Europe, Japan, and the Philippines. She has been a movement specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts and was a Teaching Artist for Dance and Theatre at the Lincoln Center Institute for the Performing Arts in New York City.

Ms. Bell’s article “Dance and the Alexander Technique” was published in the second edition of Dance Kinesiology in 1996.

Denny Berry

Assistant Professor
Head of the Musical Theatre Program

Pioneer Memorial Theatre 202

Denny Berry is an esteemed director, choreographer, educator and writer. She brings a combined wealth of knowledge and professional experience that is invaluable to the students of the Department of Theatre. She is the Associate Choreographer, Production Dance Supervisor and was the original Broadway Dance Captain of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Hal Prince The Phantom of the Opera. Most recently, she has been responsible for casting, coaching and setting 12 worldwide productions of Phantom, as well as the Las Vegas Spectacular and The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary at Royal Albert Hall.

At home in opera, operetta, musicals and ballet, Ms. Berry has created work from Vienna to Zurich to London. Career highlights include her work on the 2000 Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar; Pink Plasma for the Westchester Ballet;Herr Der Ringe, the original theatrical incarnation of the JRR Tolkien musical conceived to be presented in a tent with acrobats and actors in Berlin, composed and directed by Bernd Stromberger; A Christmas Carol (Kevin Moriarity, Trinity Rep); Street Scene (Francesca Zambello, Houston Grand Opera); 110 in the Shade (Live Oak Theatre, Austin, TX); Tango in Ebony andOnly a Prelude (Friends of Vienna State Opera).

Ms. Berry wrote, directed and choreographed A Soul Wailing in Darkness for Austin Contemporary Ballet, and is currently at work on a musical theatre version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, for which she is book and lyric co-writer.

Certified by the NY Botanical Garden in Landscape Design, Ms. Berry is a member of the Associate of Professional Landscape Designers and founded her own floral and garden design company, DB Blooms.

Ms. Berry is a graduate of the University of Texas Department of Theatre and Dance where, together with her late husband Steve Barton, she has been honored with an endowed Presidential Scholarship.

Brian Manternach, D.Mus.

Vocal Assistant Professor (Clinical)

Dr. Brian Manternach’s voice students are actively pursuing performance careers from New York to Los Angeles. They have been cast in professional productions in the USA and abroad in national tours, Equity theatres, cruise lines, and in amusement parks and they have earned top honors in vocal competitions at the local, regional, national, and international level.

As a teacher and scholar, Dr. Manternach was the recipient of the 2016 Voice Pedagogy Award from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Foundation. He has presented original research on music theater singing for the Pan-American Vocology Association (Toronto), the Voice Foundation (Philadelphia), and NATS (Chicago) and given lectures for the National Center for Voice and Speech, the University of Utah Voice Disorders Center, the Utah Theatre Association, the Idaho State Thespian Festival, and TEDxSaltLakeCity. He currently serves as president of the Northern Utah chapter of NATS.

As an author, he is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Singing, writing and editing “The Independent Teacher” column. He also authors “The Singer’s Library” book review column for Classical Singer magazine, has been published in the Journal of Voice and the Music Theatre Educators’ Alliance Journal, and is a contributing author to the book The Voice Teacher’s Cookbook.

As a performer, Dr. Manternach’s staged roles range from Tamino in The Magic Flute to Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus to Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He made his European operatic debut as Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail in St. Anton, Austria. For two seasons he served as apprentice-artist at the Skylight Opera Theatre (WI) and has made solo appearances with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and the Notre Dame Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, among others.

Dr. Manternach is a frequent music director and orchestra conductor for stage productions throughout the Salt Lake Valley, including Aida, Annie, Anything Goes, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Crazy for You, Drowsy Chaperone, Footloose, 42nd Street, Funny Girl, Peter Pan, Once Upon a Mattress, Shrek the Musical, South Pacific, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and West Side Story.

He has taught at every level from middle school through graduate school and is currently an Assistant Professor (Clinical) in the University of Utah’s Department of Theatre. He previously taught studio voice at the University of Notre Dame and for six years was a teacher at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Utah, where he directed two choirs, taught AP Music Theory, and was the music director for all school musicals.

A native of Iowa, Dr. Manternach earned a B.A. in music from St. John’s University in Minnesota, a Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Doctor of Music degree in Voice Performance and Literature from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has also completed all three levels of Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) training from the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia.

Christopher DuVal

Associate Professor
Head of the Actor Training Program

Performing Arts Building, Room 219 (801) 587-9088

Chris DuVal is the Head of the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah. Previously he served as an Assistant Professor and the Head of BFA/MFA Performance at the University of Idaho, where he directed and taught courses in acting, voice, and movement. He has additionally worked as a teacher, actor, and fight director at universities and regional theaters across the country.

Chris has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 18 years, teaching stage combat skills test classes, acting and fight directing for such productions as Twelfth Night, Great Expectations, River Bride, Count of Monte Cristo, The Heart of Robin Hood, Troilus and Cressida, The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, The Trip to Bountiful, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Love’s Labor’s Lost, The Tempest, Othello, Henry VI Parts I, II, and III, and many others. He has also worked as an actor, director, or fight director at such regional theaters as the Dallas Theatre Center, Sacramento Theatre Company, Laguna Playhouse, Shakespeare Orange County, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, Idaho Repertory Theatre, Pioneer Theatre Company, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, and at South Coast Repertory, which included appearing in the US Premiere of She Stoops to Folly and the World Premiere of Wit.

Chris is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, a Master Instructor of Theatrical Combat with Dueling Arts International, an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voice work, holds a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido, and is a member of AEA. He is the author of “Stage Combat Arts: an Integrated Approach to Acting, Voice and Text Work + Video”, published by Bloomsbury Methuen in 2016.

He received a B.A. in Theatre Arts from California State University, Fullerton and an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of California, Irvine.
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Ellie Hanagarne

Mrs. Ellie Hanagarne began dancing at the Ballet Conservatory at age 3 in Lewisville, Texas where she was also a member throughout high school of LakeCities Ballet Theater. At age 14 she was accepted to attend Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas. She also attended summer programs at Boston Ballet and the Rock School for Dance Education.

Ellie received a BFA in ballet and modern dance from The Boston Conservatory where she was awarded a dance scholarship. Her performance in Anna Sokolow’s Magritte Magritte was lauded in the Boston Herald as a solo that provided “a deep command of Sokolow’s highly expressive lyrical style.” In 2012 she completed her MFA in teaching and choreography from the University of Utah’s department of Ballet where she was awarded a teaching assistantship to teach ballet and modern classes to undergraduate dance majors. She currently enjoys being a mother as well as a regular guest choreographer for Municipal Ballet Co. in Salt Lake City. This is her fourth year teaching dance in the Musical Theater Department and is passionate about passing on her love for dance to her students.

Charlotte Kelley

Adjunct Instructor

Charlotte Kelley is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. She received her training at The Raleigh School of Ballet under Mary LeGere, Rebecca van Dorsten, and Margot Martin. While at The Raleigh School of Ballet, she performed with the affiliate performance company Raleigh Dance Theatre, in Paquita, Swan Lake Act II, Sleeping Beauty Prologue and Act III, Les Sylphides, along with original choreography by Mary LeGere, Leslie Jane Pessemier, Laura Dean, Susan Galdy, and Pablo Perez. In addition to her time spent performing with Raleigh Dance Theatre, Charlotte performed with Robert Weiss’ Carolina Ballet, one of America’s premier professional ballet companies, in Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, and the Nutcracker. While training at the Raleigh School of Ballet, Charlotte spent summers at: The Rock School for Dance Education, Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, The Washington School of Ballet, and Carolina Ballet. Charlotte entered the University of Utah in 2011 to pursue a degree in Ballet Performance, with a double major in Exercise and Sport Science. She  graduated with a BFA and BS, respectively, in 2015. While at the University of Utah, Charlotte choreographed numerous pieces for the Ballet Department’s Ballet Showcase, a student choreographed and produced show presented each semester. In addition, Charlotte also teaches ballet at several local studios including Salt Lake Dance Center and Luv 2 Dance.

Alex Marshall

ALEX MARSHALL is a versatile scholar having completed two degrees from the University of Utah – a B.M. in Piano Performance and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. Hailed by the press as a musician “you have to see…perform to completely understand what a rare talent he is” and “who deserves praise for his talent and ability,” Alex can be found throughout Salt Lake as an active member of the professional musical community performing in classical, rock, jazz, and musical theatre styles playing with the premier musical groups and institutions of Salt Lake City including the University of Utah and the Utah Symphony. Production credits include music director of Lexi Walker’s 2016 National Theatre & Concert Hall Christmas Concert (National Concert Hall, Taiwan), Dogfight (Babcock Theatre), Bring It On (Hayes Christensen Theatre), Into the Woods (Studio 115), Hello Dolly! (Kingsbury Hall), American Idiot (Hayes Christensen Theatre), Spring Awakening (Babcock Theatre), and Sweeney Todd (Babcock Theatre). He was also commissioned by the University of Utah to compose and music direct Pomp and Circumstance: A New Musical (Studio 115).

Christine Moore

Adjunct Instructor

Christine Moore is a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer from Canada. She has her MFA and BFA from the University of Utah, where she majored in Ballet with an emphasis in Teaching, Performing,and Choreography. Christine has extensive training in many forms of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and theatre dance. She began dancing at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School where she was in the professional ballet division. Christine has also trained at Banff Fine Arts Centre (Banff, Alberta), University of Utah (Salt Lake City), Steps Performing Arts Centre (New York City) and The Edge (Los Angeles).

Christine’s professional career includes performance and choreographic work on stage, television, films, and commercials. She has performed across the North American continent and overseas in Korea. Christine can be seen in the hit movie “Hairspray” by New Line Cinema starring Michelle Pfeiffer, John Travolta, Christopher Walkin. Some of her other credits include “Eoy Silhouette” (Wolfson Bell), “Everything’s Gone Green” (Radke Films) and a commercial for Splenda. Her theatre credits include: White Christmas, 42nd Street, Man of La Mancha (Pioneer Theatre Company); Guys and Dolls(Port Hope Theatre); The Producers, White Christmas (Neptune Theatre); The Music Man (Rainbow Stage); and Guys and Dolls(StageWest). Dance works include” Cascades,” “Bride’s Tree” and “Vivaldi’s Concerto” (Utah Ballet), “Stardust Follies” (Diamond Entertainment), numerous industrials shows including “Fashion Cares.”

Christine teaches at the University of Utah, as well as numerous schools and professional studios including Metro Movement, Sheridan College and Royal Winnipeg Ballet). Her choreography has been showcased in the American College Dance Festival, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas show PBS Special, and various musicals and industrial shows. Christine also adjudicates and is on audition panels for amateur and professional dance competitions across Canada and the USA.

Jerry Gardner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Performing Arts Building, Room 212

Dr. Jerry Gardner teaches courses in movement to students in the Actor Training Program. He holds a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies with an emphasis in ritual and meditation from the Ngagyur Samten Chockhorling Institute, located in the city of Manali in Himachal Pradesh, India. He performs and teaches numerous movement systems including Butoh, Viewpoints, Noh Theatre, illusionary and corporeal mime, mask work, ballet and contemporary dance, Pilates, Laban/Barteneiff, and the martial arts of karate, kung fu and tai chi.

Dr. Gardner is the co-owner, director and master instructor of Red Lotus School of Movement where he teaches advanced courses in Wing Chun Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chu’an. “Sifu” Gardner has earned the titles of Seventh Level Black Sash in Wing Chun Kung Fu under Master Sifu Duncan Leung, a direct disciple of Grandmaster Yip Man; Fourth Dan Black Belt in Neisi Goju under Master Chaka Zulu; and Fifth Dan Black Belt under Master Ronald Van Cleif. In Tai Chi Chu’an, Sifu Gardner studied Yang Style with disciples of Master Cheng Man Ch’ing (Jonathan Gaines, Maggie Newman, Ed Young, Lou Kleinsmith, and Jane and Batan Fargo), Tung Style with Master Bing Lee, and Chi Quiong with Master Chan.

In 1994, Dr. Gardner established the Urgyen Samten Ling Gonpa (the Tibetan Buddhist Temple), and was ordained a Lama in 1997 by the late Khenchen Thupten Ozer and Khenpo Konchok Monlam Rinpoche.

Dr. Gardner is an accomplished teacher and dancer of Butoh. He studied in Japan with the co-founder of this unique art form, Kazuo Ohno; Yukio Waguri, a disciple of Tatsumi Hijikata; and Yushito Ohno, the late Kazuo Ohno’s son and current director of the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio. He has also studied with Diego Piῆon of Butoh Ritual Mexicano.
Dr. Gardner is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Allen Gardner Dance Theater, a company dedicated to the integration of numerous movement and dance forms to create engaging theatrical performances.

Read the article, The Way of Motion here.

David Schmidt

AssociateProfessor Lecturer

Performing Arts Building, Room 212

Associate Professor (Lecturer) and Head of the Voice Area for the Department of Theatre at the University of Utah. His classes include voice lessons, vocal pedagogy, audition technique, and music theory. Prior to his appointment as faculty member with the University of Utah, he was an Adjunct Professor of Voice for both the Musical Theatre and Classical Voice programs at Weber State University.

David earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy, and has worked on his Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Utah.

David is the co-founder and past Board President of the Salt Lake City’s first high school for talented performing artists, Salt Lake High School for the Performing Arts.  He is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of the Utah Light Opera Company.

David has worked with the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) as past State Governor, past president of his local chapter, and Program Director for the 2010 NATS National Convention.

David has authored numerous articles about singing and the teaching of singing for many national magazines and websites, and is a frequent lecturer for music conventions and symposiums.

David is co-author, with his wife, Shalee, of GottaSing, a 3-DVD set of instructional voice lessons. He is also the author of an 8-CD set of vocal instruction for the beginning singer produced by InAChord Productions.

Opera and Operetta directing credits include: Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail (2012), Don Pasquale (2013), Hänsel und Gretel (2014) and Cosi fan tutte (2015) at the St. Anton Arts Festival (St. Anton, Austria); and Die ZaubeflotePirates of Penzance, and The Gondoliers for Utah Light Opera.

Musical Theatre directing credits include: Les Miserables, The Wild Party, Songs for a New World, Sweeney Todd, Avenue Q (Co-directed with original Broadway cast member Jen Barnhart), Once Upon a Mattress, A Funny Happened on the Way to the Forum, Young Frankenstein, and The Full Monty. He has music directed Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

David is also an avid performer and has played many roles in musical theatre including Rudolf in Hello, Dolly!, Sister Hubert in Nunsense A-Men, Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods, Rooster in Annie, Emcee, et al in Lucky Stiff, as well as parts in South Pacific, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and Fiddler on the Roof.

David’s opera roles include Papageno in The Magic Flute, Marco in Gianni Schicci, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, as well as parts in The Bartered Bride, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Don Giovanni. 

Throughout the 1980s, David was involved in the Nashville music scene. He was a singer/dancer at Opryland and the Grand Ole Opry, as well as a studio singer and performer at numerous convention venues.

Shalee Schmidt

Vocal Assistant Professor (Clinical)

Shalee Mortensen Schmidt currently teaches voice in the Department of Theatre’s Musical Theater and Actor Training Programs. She maintains a private voice studio in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a regular guest presenter specializing in Musical Theater Vocal Technique for organizations and groups such as the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Weber State University Music Department, University of Utah Theatre Department, Southern Utah Music Symposium, Utah Theatre Association Conferences, Utah Home School Association Conventions, local high schools and private studios.

Shalee is co-founder of Gottasing Vocal Studios, providing private vocal instruction, coaching and master classes. She is a co-creator of the voice lesson series (DVD) and Voice Lessons with David and Shalee (CD). She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Utah Light Opera, which produces opera, light opera and musical theater productions, as well as recitals and concerts. Shalee is a co-founder, past Executive Director, teacher, music director, and assistant director of productions of Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, a performing arts charter high school. She is a regular contributor of voice-related articles for “Singer Magazine.”

Shalee recently made her Pioneer Theatre Company debut as Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol: The Musical! She also performed the role of Mother Abbess in the iconic musical Sound of Music at Sundance Summer Theatre. Other musical theater credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (Drowsy Chaperone), Great American Trailer Park (Betty), Hairspray (Velma) Western Regional Premiere, Hello, Dolly! (Dolly), Nunsense (Sister Hubert), Lucky Stiff (Dominique), Into the Woods (Rapunzel) and Annie (Star to Be/ Boylen Sister). Opera credits include The Gondoliers (Duchess), The Magic Flute (Papagena), and Merry Wives of Windsor. Theater credits include Steel Magnolias (Clairee), Boxcar Children (Mrs. Alden/Baker’s Wife/Mrs. Truman), and Really Rosie (voice of Rosie’s Mother). Live Radio Gold Productions: premieres of the original plays Dry Run (Mary) and A Matter of Husbands (Famous Actress); and My Favorite Husband (Liz), originally starring Lucille Ball.

Shalee graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Music, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance, Language Diction emphasis. Shalee’s passion is best expressed through performance and her teaching.

Sarah Shippobotham


Performing Arts Building, Room 212 (801) 587-9088

Sarah trained as an actor at The Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales, and worked professionally in the UK for twelve years before gaining a Postgraduate Diploma in Voice Studies from The Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

Sarah has spent twelve seasons as Voice and Dialect Coach for the internationally renowned Shaw Festival in Ontario, Canada. Her credits there include Return of the Prodigal, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Lord of the Flies, Matchmaker, Floyd Collins, Happy End, Maria Severa, My Fair Lady, Belle Moral, The Plough and the Stars, Albertine in Five Times, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Candida, Man and Superman, and Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Sarah has also served as dialect coach for two sessions at the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre at the Stratford Festival. Locally, Sarah has worked as a voice and dialect coach for Pioneer Theatre Company where her works include The Light in the Piazza, Sunset Boulevard, Our Town, Is He Dead?, Dial M for Murder and Present Laughter. She has also worked at Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC) where she coached The Overwhelming, Kimberley Akimbo, Going to St. Ives, The Beard of Avon and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Most recently Sarah spent a year in New Zealand working as the Additional Dialect Coach on Peter Jackson’s major motion picture, The Hobbit.

Recent local acting credits include Kathryn in J. T. Rogers’ Seeing the Elephant (Salt Lake Acting Company); The Syringa Tree(Utah Contemporary Theatre, Rose Wagner), Vivian Bearing in W;t (Studio 115), and Hannah Pitt and Ethel Rosenberg in Angels in America: Perestrioka (Babcock Theatre).

Sarah has directed many shows for the Department of Theatre including Hay Fever, The Rocky Horror Show, Ring Round the Moon, Happy End, Assassins and The Duchess of Malfi.

Robert Scott Smith

Assistant Professor

PAB 210

Scott is a professional actor who received his MFA from the prestigious Old Globe Theatre Actor Training Program at the University of San Diego and his BFA from the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah.

As a professional actor, his NYC credits include Keeping Ishmael (Workshop);  Pericles (SLANT); and the co-development of Roger Benington’s new work, Mormon Bird Play. SLC acting credits include Two Henrys and Crucible (PTC); Shhh! Burlesque, Pains of Youth, and Santaland Diaries (Tooth and Nail Theatre); Climbing With Tigers, Rapture Blister Burn, Good People, CHARM (World Premiere), Swimming in the Shallows, Six Years, Big Love, BATBOY: The Musical, and Gross Indecency (Salt Lake Acting Company); OUR TOWN (The Grand Theatre); Mockingbird (Pygmalion); and Kreutzer Sonata (World Premiere) and BASH (Plan-B). Film and TV credits: Wildlife (Official Selection Cannes Métrage Selection 2015) Blessing, Animae, Guiding Light. Print: The Unfortunate Moment of Misunderstanding (Jim Fiscus).

Scott is also Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory. Flying Bobcat is a theatrical laboratory dedicated to exploring the possibilities of storytelling in performance through language, movement, technology, and design. Recent collaborations include; In March 2016 the World Premiere of Climbing With Tigers, adapted for the stage by Troy Deutsch, based on the book by Nathan Glad and Dallas Graham Produced by Salt Lake Acting Company in collaboration with Flying Bobcat and Red Fred Project. Climbing was a new devised work involving animation and live action and was featured in American Theatre Magazine May 2016. In September 2014 Flying Bobcat collaborated with the SLC Men’s Choir to create LOST IN THE WOODS a theatrical concert at The Masonic Temple. In May 2015, collaborated with choreographer Charlotte Boye-Christensen, NOW-ID and NYC Playwright Troy Deutsch to create FEAST a site-specific performance at The Great Saltair. As former Creative Director at The Leonardo Museum in SLC he created the POPUP@LEO program; a fusion of science, technology and art which featured three new devised theatrical productions. SENSES 5, LOVE, and MIND OVER MATTER.

In April 2016, Scott directed a sold out run of an All-Female Production of HAMLET in conjunction with the University of Utah Department of Theatre featuring actors from the Actor Training Program and Musical Theatre Program.

Cristin Tillinghast

Cristin Mortenson Tillinghast, soprano, from Los Angeles, California earned her Bachelor of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in Opera when, at the age of 22, she was cast as Christine Daae in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. A role she performed for over 3 years. Cristin is delighted to teach in a University setting after enjoying a rich and varied 32 year career that includes opera, musical theatre, film, recital, and television.

Cristin began her career at the age of 6 with voice over work in FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON at the Los Angeles Music Center. She moved from voice over to performing on stage, in commercials, after school specials and films while attending summer sessions at The Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. Prior to graduating from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, in her junior year, she was awarded a scholarship to sing in Europe with the College of the Desert vocal ensemble as the only non-collegiate member. In her senior year, she was the first winner of the prestigious Winterfest Spotlight Award at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – Los Angeles Music Center, under the direction of Doc Severinson and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She then appeared, (perform/interview), on THE TONIGHT SHOW starring Johhny Carson to celebrate her win.

In New York, Ms. Mortenson Tillinghast made her Broadway debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BY JEEVES working with Alan Ayckbourn, (dir.) She also had the privledge of working directly with Tony Award winning composer Cy Coleman, and choreographer Patricia Birch, on his last work entitled LAWYERS, LOVERS AND LUNATICS. She worked steadily performing such roles as Laurey in OKLAHOMA starring opposite Rue McClanahan (Golden Girls), Cinderella in CINDERELLA (The North Carolina Theatre), Tracy Samantha Lord in HIGH SOCIETY, (Westminster Broadway Theatre), Sandy in GREASE, (Westminster Broadway Theatre), Cinderella INTO THE WOODS (Lucille Lortel Theatre, NY for BC/EFA), Hope Harcourt in ANYTHING GOES w/Ron Palillo (directed by Bob Durkin), Nellie Forbush in SOUTH PACIFIC, Miss Anna THE KING AND I, (Thomaston Opera House), Margy in STATE FAIR, (Candlewood Playhouse/Gateway Playhouse), Martha Jefferson in 1776, (Gateway Playhouse), where the New York Times called Ms. Mortenson Tillingast; “…gorgeous and to die for.”, Miss Dorothy in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, (Patchogue Theatre), where again the New York Times praised her work; “Miss Dorothy, the rich innocent, is irresistable.”, and her first four productions of Maria in THE SOUND OF MUSIC…to name a few.

She reconnected with some of her PHANTOM castmates as a soloist on 3 separate occasions with the Adrian Symphony Orchestra with John Dodson – Artistic Director. She also reconnected with choreographer Patricia Birch and was asked to join the cast of THE STEPFORD WIVES, (director Frank Oz), and returned several times to the casts of ALL MY CHILDREN, (New York City) PASSIONS, (Los Angeles), and THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, (Los Angeles), in recurring roles. And a co-star role in BOSTON LEGAL. Often stradling both coasts, she worked in the tv/film industry in Los Angeles. She was the SIMMONS BEAUTYREST National/International Spokeswoman, (TV, print, billboard), from 2006-2011, and starred in many national commercials.

In 2002 Ms. Mortenson Tillinghast began taking on private voice students, and her studio grew from there, teaching in New York from 2002-2009. In 2006 she opened two Private Voice Studios in Hollywood, and Thousand Oaks, California. In 2008, she decided to retire from performing, and was cast one last time as the role of Maria in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, (Sacramento Music Circus). The Sacramento News and Review said of her performance; “…the incredible voice, particularly Cristin Mortenson, is worthy of undivided attention. Mortenson’s artistry shines through. She’s believeable as a naïve girl with a spine of steel and her interactions with the children are natural and funny, and she hasn’t got much to do but sing – so she does, and extremely well.” In 2009 she received the honorary award of Outstanding Alumni from the College of the Desert for her contribution to the world of performing. That same year, she met and married her husband, Jason, and moved to Connecticut where she opened the CMT Voice Studio. While teaching in Connecticut she was also a Guest Artist Teacher at the Pomperaug High School. Later, while living in Seattle, Ms. Mortenson was a Guest Instructor at Cornish College of the Arts. The success of her students has led them attend musical theatre and opera programs such as NYU Tisch, NYU Steinhardt, Syracuse University, University of Connecticut, Columbia, Penn State, UCLA, The University of Utah, and many others.

Ms. Mortenson Tillinghast is a 2x Ironman Finisher, (Couer d’Alene, Idaho & Whistler, Canada), a 5x marathon finisher, (New York City – 2x, Los Angeles, Hyannis, St. George), and resides in Syracuse, Utah with her husband Jason.

Performing Arts Design Program

Kyle Becker

Associate Professor Clinical
Technical Director

Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 110 (801) 581-3269

Kyle Becker is the Technical Director for the Department of Theatre and a member of the teaching faculty for the Performing Arts Design Program. He teaches courses in scenography, computer drafting and design, scene painting, and stagecraft. Prior to his tenure at the University of Utah, he taught design and technical theatre at the University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Central Florida.

Kyle has designed and constructed projects in California (including Disneyland and Orange County Fairgrounds), Oklahoma and Florida (including Orlando Repertory Theatre). Locally, he has designed and constructed sets for the Classical Greek Theatre Festival and Youth Theatre at the U. He has also served as the Technical Director for Utah Musical Theatre in Ogden.

Kyle received his BFA from the University of Utah Department of Theatre, and his MFA from the University of California-Irvine with an emphasis in Scene Design.

Amanda French

Wig Master/ Hair & Makeup Designer
Pioneer Theatre Company Adjunct Faculty

Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 105 (801) 581-3232

Amanda French has been the Wig Master and Hair and Makeup Designer for Pioneer Theatre Company and the Department of Theatre since 2002. She has designed and constructed wigs and makeup for over 130 productions between the Pioneer and Babcock Theatres including the regional premieres of Disney’s Beauty and the BeastandLes Miserables. As a member of the Performing Arts Design Program faculty, Amanda teaches courses in wig construction and styling, prosthetics, stage makeup, and hair and makeup design.

With over 20 years of experience in professional theatre Amanda has worked for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Utah Opera, Egyptian Theatre Company, Plan-B Theatre Company, The Alley Theatre, The Performing Arts Center and the University of Texas at Austin, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and The School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Amanda is a contributing writer in the ninth and tenth edition of Stage Makeup by Corson, Glavan and Norcross, and her work can also be seen in The Costume Technicians Handbook by Ingham and Covey, andWig Making and Styling: A Complete Guide for Theatre and Film by Ruskai and Lowery.

Amanda attended the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where she studied withHair and Makeup Designer Lenna Kaleva. Amanda is a proud member of The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT).

Thomas George

Thomas is a scenic designer and artist based in Salt Lake City. He holds an MFA from UC San Diego and a BFA from the University of Utah. He currently teaches at the University of Utah and works on productions locally and around the world. Recent local credits include Climbing with Tigers and Stupid F*cking Bird at Salt Lake Acting Company, Based on a True Story and Kingdom of Heaven at Plan-B Theatre Company, Selma ’65 and Mockingbird for Pygmalion Theatre Company.

Michael J. Horejsi

Assistant Professor Clinical
Director of Lighting and Multimedia Design

PMT 119

Is an Assistant Professor in the Performing Arts Design Program in the Department of Theatre at The University of Utah, where he teaches Scenography, Drawing and Rendering, and is the Director of Props and Sound. He has an MFA in Design and Technical Theatre from The University of Minnesota. Michael has extensive National and International Touring experience with Arena and Theater Shows, as well as sporting spectaculars such as The NBA All Star Jam Session, and The USA Swimming Olympic Trials. Michael has worked as a technician and designer for theatres including ; Oregon Festival of American Music, The Guthrie Theatre, The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, American Players Theatre, The Great American History Theatre, and others.

Jennifer Jackson

Music and Sound Design

PMT 119

Jennifer is an Adjunct Instructor and Sound Design Faculty Advisor in the Department of Theatre where she teaches Sound Design, Sound Technology, and Music Composition in the Performing Arts Design Program.

Jennifer has designed sound and/or written music for Yale Repertory Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, The Grand Theatre, and University of Utah Youth Theatre. In addition, she has designed and composed for Salt Lake Shakespeare for the past four seasons. Jennifer has been Assistant Sound Designer with Yale Repertory Theatre and Pioneer Theatre Company. She is a founding member and resident sound designer/composer for Children of an Idle Brain Theatre Company, based out of New York City. For the Department of Theatre, Jennifer has designed and written music for The Geography Club, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Owl Girl, and School For Lies.

Following her interest in sonic installations and sound art, Jennifer has created installations for Yale University Art Gallery and the University of Utah Department of Theatre. She is also currently working on music and lyrics for her second musical.
Jennifer received her BFA from the University of Utah Performing Arts Design Program with an emphasis in Sound Design. She received her MFA in Sound Design from Yale School of Drama with an emphasis in music composition. Jennifer is a member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects, and Technicians (OISTAT).

Follow her work at

Carolyn Leone

Adjunct Instructor

Wendy Massine

Costume Shop Manager

Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 101 (801) 581-6152

Wendy Massine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Clothing and Textiles from Brigham Young University.

After graduation, Wendy worked in the clothing manufacturing industry as a patternmaker. In 1985, she was hired by Pioneer Theatre Company where she worked as a stitcher and draper for 10 years. She returned in 2006 to work part-time for the Department of Theatre as a draper. In 2012, Wendy was hired as Costume Shop Manager. She loves working with student designers to help make their costume designs a reality.

Halee Rasmussen

Assistant Technical Director

Pioneer Memorial Theatre, Room 110

Halee Rasmussen received her BFA in the Performing Arts Design Program from the University of Utah with a double emphasis in technical direction and set design.

Halee has been the Assistant Technical Director and Scenic Charge Artist for the U of U Department of Theatre since 2012. She is one of the instructors on record for the Scenography Lab courses and helps head the Theatre Department work study program teaching students carpentry, welding, rigging, painting, and stage safety. Halee also helps oversee the building and painting of all sets for the Babcock and Studio 115 theatre spaces helping to bring a set designer’s artistic vision to realization on stage.

Halee is also a local set designer. Some of her credits include: Lagoon Entertainment, Utah Cultural Arts Center, Salt Lake Shakespeare, U of U Lyric Opera, and Plan B Theatre Company. She is also the resident set designer for The Grand Theatre.

Arika Schockmel

Properties Designer and Set Decoration

Arika Schockmel is the Props Master for The University of Utah Department of Theatre. With almost 20 years of professional prop master and prop artisen experience, Arika teaches prop and stage craft techniques for the Scenography course and instructs a Prop Design and Construction course.

Arika has designed and built props, sets, makeup, costumes, projections, or set dressing throughout the Mountain West. Locally, Arika is the Resident Prop Master for Plan B Theatre Co, and has prop mastered and designed for Lyric Repertory Co., The Egyptian Theatre, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Lyric Opera, SLAC, Dark Horse, UCT and others.

Arika has also been a Costume Crafts artisan for Pioneer Theatre Company and has taught Stage Crafts for Youth Theatre at ETC. An Acting/Directing and Design alum of Utah State University Department of Theatre, Arika has also worked professionally as a costumer and actor in film and television, and as a member of AEA.


Brenda Van der Wiel

Associate Professor
Head of the Performing Arts Design Program

Gage Williams

Set and Production Design

Professor Williams is on sabbatical

Gage Williams has been a member of the Department of Theatre faculty since 1994 and served as Department Chair 2009-2018. His teaching and research are in set design, design communication, and American regional theatre.  Williams regularly designs sets for the department’s Babcock Theatre, and Studio 115. He founded the department’s Performing Arts Design Program (PADP) in 1999 and lead that program until 2013.  In 2000, he was awarded a University of Utah John R. Park Teaching Fellowship to develop curriculum in design for TV and Film. He served as a university representative to the Utah Theatre Association Board  2009-2018 and is currently a serving on the board of the Grand Theatre in SLC, UT.
Williams was the Resident Set Designer for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival (ISF) in Boise, Idaho, 1994-2008 and an Associate Artist with Great Lakes Theater(GRT) in Cleveland, OH.2002-2008. He was the set designer for the inaugural productions of the ISF Festival Stage at Warm Springs Reserve in 1998 and the GRT Hanna Theatre at Playhouse Square in 2008. He continues to design for both theaters regularly.
He has designed sets for numerous regional theaters and opera companies including Salt Lake Acting Company, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Childsplay, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Grand Theatre, Pioneer Theatre Company, and Utah Opera Company. His set designs for Anne of Green Gables at Childsplay and Hamlet at Idaho Shakespeare Festival were selected for the US Design Exhibit at the 1999 and 2003 Prague Quadrennial Stage Design Exposition(PQ) in the Czech Republic and is a featured US designer for PQ 2019.
His set designs have been featured in the United State Institute for Theatre Technology(USITT) publication TD&T numerous times, and a retrospective of his work was a solo exhibit at the 2016 USITT annual conference.
For television, Williams served as a staff  Art Director for Bruce Ryan Production Design from 1990-1994. He continues to work in TV, and his numerous credits include designs for ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, HBO, Showtime, ESPN, Disney, VH-1, and MTV. Williams received a CableACE Award for his Art Direction of the Showtime film Mastergate.
Williams holds a Master of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arizona State University. He is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829, the American Academy of Television Arts and Science, and USITT.

Stage Management

Amber Lewandowski

Head of the Stage Management Program

PMT 210

Amber K. Lewandowski is the Head of the BFA Stage Management program and Production Manager at the University of Utah. Previously, she was the Assistant Production Manager at ACT Theatre in Seattle, Washington, where she ran the ACTLab program – a second stage season that partners with local Seattle artists and fringe companies to serve as an experimental incubator and co-presents thrilling new works year round in all four of ACT Theatre’s performance spaces. She has taught stage management at Seattle University and the University of Iowa and has given master classes and lectures at Coe College, the University of Northern Iowa, and the Intiman Theatre as stage management mentor for the Intiman Emerging Artist Program.

Amber is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists, and the Stage Manager’s Association. Her stage management credits include work on plays and musicals, opera, dance, Deaf theatre, theatre for young audiences, experimental and new works, and various regional touring productions. Her favorite past credits include work with the Washington National Opera, Utah Opera, Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Intiman Theatre, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Crossroads Repertory Theatre, Chautauqua Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre (ACT), the Icicle Creek New Play Festival, Revival Theatre Company, Riverside Theatre, CATCO, and the University of Iowa International Writing Program.

Amber received her MFA in Stage Management from the University of Iowa and her BA in Theatre Arts from Otterbein University where she specialized in both vocal performance and stage management.

Theatre Studies

Lynn Deboeck

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Adjunct Instructor of Gender Studies

Performing Arts Building, Room 218

Dr. Lynn Deboeck graduated in 2015 with her Ph.D. in Theatre and a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies from the University of Kansas.  Her research lies in feminist analysis of pregnancy and maternity in drama and her practice typically revolves around directing plays by or about women.  She has presented at several national conferences (including ATHE, ASTR and MATC) and her most recent publication can be seen in PARtake: The Journal of Practice as Research.  She is also a proud wife and mother of four children.

Jane England

Visiting Adjunct Professor

Performing Arts Building, Room 218

Jane has worked for the University of Utah Department of Theatre since August of 2011 teaching Script Analysis, Exploring Theatre, and Dramatic Arts in Television courses, as well as assisting in Theatre History and Theory courses. Before teaching at the University of Utah, Jane taught English courses at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University, as well as English as a second language in such countries as Vietnam and Cambodia, where she also worked with NGOs in international development.

Jane has worked with study abroad programs for various universities and organizations since 1994. Since 2001, she has helped organize the annual University of Utah Department of Theatre, Fine Arts and Humanities London Study Abroad Program (a 2013 recipient of the University of Utah Beacons of Excellence award), and currently serves as Associate Director of the program. She also organizes the British Studies Program in London for the Department of English, and co-leads Continuing Education’s Go Learn: London on Stage tour.

Jane studied for her MA in English Literature from Brigham Young University. She also completed her post-graduate coursework in Development Studies and Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries at London School of Economics and Political Science.

Alexandra Harbold

Assistant Professor of Directing

PAB 210

Alexandra Harbold is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Utah. Previously for the Department of Theatre, she directed You Never Can Tell; Self Defense, or death of some salesmen; The Owl Girl; Love Alone; and The Eccentrics. Recent projects include: directing Ion (Greek Classical Theatre Festival) Climbing with Tigers (Flying Bobcat and Salt Lake Acting Company), Picnic (The Grand Theatre), Tribes (SLAC); dramaturging The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Last Ship, An Inspector Calls and I Hate Hamlet (Pioneer Theatre Company); and acting in Hand to God (Salt Lake Acting Company). Upcoming projects include: acting in UtahPresents’ staged reading of Molly Sweeney, co-directing Jump (Plan-B Theatre with Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory and the David Fetzer Ross Foundation for Emerging Artists), and directing Macbeth and a new adaptation of Gorky’s The Lower Depths by Christopher Madsen (Pinnacle Acting Company). Education: Masters, University of London Goldsmiths College; BA, Middlebury College, Vermont; she is an alumna of the SITI Summer Intensive, Skidmore College, New York; BADA Midsummer at Oxford, Balliol College; and the Plan-B Theatre/Meat & Potato Theatre Directors’ Laboratory.

Kimberly Jew

Associate Professor

Business Classroom Building, Ethnic Studies Program, 308H

Kimberly May Jew holds a joint appointment in Theatre and Ethnic Studies. She teaches a wide range of topics ranging from Pacific Islander and Asian American studies, to theatre history, dramatic literature, script analysis, and devised theatre. Her expertise lies in contemporary American theatre with a special focus on Asian American and Pacific Islander drama. She has directed numerous university productions, and has composed and edited a collaborative performance project based on local letters to the editor, Lexington’s Letters to the Editor. This performance piece was staged twice at the Theatre at Lime Kiln in Lexington, VA and was published in script form by Mariner Press.

Dr. Jew has written on a variety of topics, exploring the diverse intersections of feminism, postcolonialism, theatrical experimentation, and ethnic American identity. She has also researched issues of local history as manifested in letters and personal journals. Her essays can be found in Pacific Asia Inquiry (journal of the University of Guam), MELUS (journal of the Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States), Literary Gestures (Temple University), and Seeking Home (University of Tennessee Press), to name a few. Her current research project is a full-length study of settler Asian and indigenous dramatic voices in twentieth-century Hawaiian theatre.

Dr. Jew received her doctorate in Educational Theatre from New York University, her master’s degree in English from Georgetown University and her bachelor’s degree in English from UC Berkeley. Her past full-time teaching positions include the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, and Washington and Lee University. She is committed to exploring the boundaries between theory and practice in theatre education, and seeks to create a holistic approach to theatre in all of her classes.

Bob Nelson, Ph.D.

Head of the Theatre Studies Program

Performing Arts Building, Room 218

Bob (Robert A.) Nelson taught theatre at BYU many years (chair, 1998-2004), and then “came home” to his alma mater, the U of U Department of Theatre (chair, 2005-09). He particularly enjoys theatre history, dramatic literature, new-play development, acting, directing, and Shakespeare. He has published on the teaching of Shakespeare, and on the stage plays of Samuel Beckett. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Bob has presented at ASTR (American Society for Theatre Research), ATA (American Theatre Association), ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education), Comparative Drama Conference, RMTA (Rocky Mountain Theatre Association), UTA (Utah Theatre Association), and KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival). He loves working with KFACTF because of its emphasis on the learning and growth of students.

Bob was raised in Omaha and Tucson. He has a BA (Dramatic Theory; Arizona) and a PhD (Theatre; Utah). He and the former Char Pomeroy are the proud parents of four and grandparents of seven.

Representative directing:

· 45 Seconds from Broadway, California Suite (Neil Simon Festival)

· The First Water Problem (Salt Lake Acting Company)

· Diary of Anne Frank, Wit (U of U)

· Handing Down the Names, Nathan the Wise (BYU)

Representative stage roles:

· Ephraim Cabot, Desire Under the Elms (Sting and Honey)

· Robeck, Winter (Salt Lake Acting Company)

· Dr. Pretorius, Bride of Frankenstein (Sackerson)

· Thomas Jefferson, The Third Crossing (Plan-B Theatre Company)

· Ben Epstein, Broadway Bound (Neil Simon Festival)

· Macbeth, Macbeth, and Prospero, The Tempest (BYU-Hawaii)

Representative feature-film roles:

· Father Vernon, “Evil Angel”

· Isaac Hale, “Emma Smith: My Story” and “Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration”

· Judge Richard Young, “Hancock County”

· Professor, “Pride and Prejudice”

· Parker, “Brigham City”

Representative voice-overs:

· Marley, “A Christmas Carol,” radio drama

· Narrator, “The Light of Men,” “The Restoration”


Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Associate Dean for Research, CFA

Performing Arts Building, Room 220 (801) 585-1080

Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell has been the Head of Theatre Studies in the Department of Theatre at the University of Utah since 2005. In addition to advising B.A. students and Theatre Minors, Dr. Cheek-O’Donnell teaches Dramaturgy, Directing, Theatre and Theory, Gender on the Global Stage, Science on Stage, and the History of Theatre.

Dramaturgy credits include Laughing Stock, Next to Normal, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 42nd Street, Miss Saigon, Chicago and The Heiress (Pioneer Theatre Company); Course 86B in the Catalogue and Charm (Salt Lake Acting Company); Archangels Don’t Play Pinball (Capitol Hill Arts Center, Seattle); Three Days of Rain, Enrico IV, and Accidental Death of an Anarchist (University of Washington); The Chekhov Project (Frank Theatre, Minneapolis); Fever, The Seagull and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (University of Utah).

Dr. Cheek-O’Donnell is also applying her dramaturgical skills and knowledge of Augusto Boal’s “forum theatre” techniques in a project with the Utah Pediatric Partnership for the Improvement of Healthcare Quality (UPIQ). Research interests include the intersections of science and performance, feminist performance and historiography, the history and current practice of dramaturgy, and the application of dramaturgical tools in non-theatrical settings.

Dr. Cheek-O’Donnell earned a PhD in Theatre History and Dramatic Criticism from the University of Washington’s School of Drama in 2004. She is a proud member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and Editor of Review: The Journal of Dramaturgy.

Tim Slover, Ph.D.


Dr. Tim Slover is a member of the Theatre Studies Program faculty, teaching courses in playwriting and dramatic literature. He also directs the Theatre, Fine Arts, and Humanities in London Learning Abroad Program and leads Continuing Education’s Go Learn: London on Stage tour.

Dr. Slover is an accomplished playwright and screenwriter whose works have been produced off-Broadway and in professional regional and university theatres all over the US, Canada, and UK. His writing awards include the Grand Prize, 65th Annual Writers Digest Writers Awards; the Christopher Brian Wolk Award for Playwriting Excellence; a Cine Golden Eagle; a Freedoms Foundation George Washington Honor Medal; and a Hopwood Award for Best Play. He was also a finalist for a Television Arts and Sciences Community Service Emmy. His plays are published by Samuel French, Inc., and Encore Performance Publishing. His writing has also appeared in the National Biography of American Theatre, Sunstone Magazine, and been published by Signature Books and Silverleaf Press.

Dr. Slover earned his B.A. in English at BYU and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan

Theatre Teaching

Kelby McIntyre-Martinez

Assistant Dean for Arts Education
& Community Engagement

(801) 587-1708

Kelby McIntyre-Martinez draws upon years of experience as an arts educator, choreographer, and director in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences. Mrs. McIntyre-Martinez received her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Youth Theatre from the University of Hawai’i Manoa. She has done extensive collaborative work with school districts, universities and non-profit organizations to create quality educational fine arts programs for youth that are more inclusive and accessible to the greater community. Mrs. McIntyre-Martinez is currently the Program Director of Professional Development at the University of Utah for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program where she works with 62 elementary schools across the Wasatch Front to provide professional development support and model best practices in the field of arts education and integration to classroom teachers and art specialists. Mrs. McIntyre-Martinez works in partnership with University Neighborhood Partners at the Hartland Youth Center to provide a year-round youth theatre and dance education program. She is adjunct faculty in the Department of Theatre at the University of Utah and is an active board member for the Dance and the Child International’s (daCi) Utah Day of Dance, the Utah Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and for the Spy Hop Institute for Teachers. As she assumes her new role as Assistant Dean of Arts Education and Community Engagement, Mrs. McIntyre-Martinez is honored to have the opportunity to continue to work in partnership with esteemed colleagues from the College of Fine Arts.

Xan S. Johnson, Ph.D.

Head of the Theatre Teaching Program

West Institute, Room 135 (801) 581-4927

Xan S. Johnson, PhD, is a full professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Utah. He is also an Honors professor and a member of the Graduate School faculty. Dr. Johnson has served as Department of Theatre Chair, Head of the BFA in Theatre Education, Director of the MFA/PhD program in Child Drama, and as Artistic Director of Young People’s Theatre. He also served as the Utah Theatre Consultant for the Utah State Office of Education for 15 years where one of his many challenges was writing the current K-12 mandated Core Curriculum in Theatre.

Prior to his tenure at the University of Utah, Dr. Johnson taught at the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Johnson received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he received his BA degree. He received his MA in Directing from the University of Nebraska, and his PhD in Child Drama from Northwestern University.

Dr. Johnson is an internationally recognized specialist in the fields of youth theatre, theatre education, and social cognitive neuroscience (brain research) as it relates to learning theory, emotional intelligence, theatre education, and child drama. He is a frequent presenter and lecturer at international conferences, most recently presenting at the National Drama Conference at the University of Swansea, Wales, UK.

Dr. Johnson is the founder and former Artistic Director of the internationally recognized Youth Theatre at the U, a program that has been invited to showcase in cities across the United States, United Kingdom, Russia and France. Most recently, under the direction of the current Artistic Director, Penelope Caywood, the program showcased at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

In the summers since 1991, Dr. Johnson has served as Founder/Artistic Director for the Zona Gale Youth Theatre in Portage, Wisconsin.

Dr. Johnson is a professional stage director and devised scriptwriter, and has directed nearly 200 stage productions over his career.


Margo Andrews

Assistant Professor Lecturer

West Institute, Room 210

Margo Andrews is a native of Utah and a graduate of the Department of Theatre’s Actor Training Program. Additionally, she trained at the esteemed American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, CA, and Trinity Repertory Conservatory in Providence, RI.
Margo’s professional acting career includes over 20 years of experience in stage work, television, and film. With five national tours to her credit, she has performed in 48 states. Her commercial and industrial film credits include work for such companies and organizations as Target, Ford Motors, USSB Television, 3M, The Minnesota Orchestra, and Dayton Hudson, to name a few.

As a director, Margo had the honor of staging the world premiere of Laurie Brooks’sEveryday Heroes for the 2002 Winter Olympics. She serves as an assistant director and children’s acting coach for Pioneer Theatre Company, and has worked on such productions as Peter Pan, A Christmas Story, and Annie.

Margo is also a specialist in the field of “museum theatre,” working with museums to use theatre as an interpretive educational tool to enhance exhibits. She has worked with the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL, as an actor and consultant. She has developed works for the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, MN, The Land Stewardship Project in Stillwater, MN, and the Utah Museum of Natural History where her recent production of Hipper and Hopper: Two TOADally Awesome Frogs was a big hit with crowds.

Margo’s favorite role is definitely that of a professor at the U, and she looks forward to connecting with each student as an individual. She teaches Acting for the Musical Theatre Training Program, Acting I and II for non-majors, and the special topics courses Auditions for Actors and Acting American Style.

Penelope Caywood

Artistic Director
U of U Youth Theatre

West Institute, Room 212 (801) 581-6098

Penelope Marantz Caywood is known and respected throughout the Salt Lake Valley as an actor, teacher, choreographer, and as the Artistic Director of University of Utah Youth Theatre.

Youth Theatre is a successful year-round performing arts training program for youth ages 4 to 18. Over 650 students train in drama annually and over 6000 elementary school students are bussed to see one of their two productions each year. Youth Theatre is part of the Kennedy Center Partners in Education program along with Kingsbury Hall and the Salt Lake City School District. Through her Partners in Education collaboration (Salt Lake City School District and Kingsbury Hall) she has created a unique theatre-arts program at Bennion Elementary School (SLCSD) in which she demonstrates drama strategies in the classroom, presents scaffolded workshops to teachers, and assists in the implementation of drama as a teaching method. As this program has grown, Penelope has presented at numerous arts integration and teacher training workshops throughout Utah.

Because of her unique position at the University of Utah, Penelope also teaches two courses for pre-service teachers; Materials and Methods of Creative Drama and Integrating the Arts in the Classroom. As a director and choreographer, Penelope has been involved with over thirty productions along the Wasatch Front. In 2011, she wrote the music and lyrics for an original musical about the perils of the internet called “VIRAL” and celebrated its World Premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland.

Nicholas Dunn

Adjunct Instructor

Nicholas Dunn is an actor, writer, teacher and filmmaker in Salt Lake City. As an actor, he has appeared on stage at Pioneer Theatre Company (Othello, Romeo & Juliet, 42nd Street), the Lyric Rep Company (Amadeus, Big River, Private Lives, Mousetrap, Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged) The Grand Theatre (Inherit the Wind), the Neil Simon Festival (Come Blow Your Horn), and Wasatch Theatre Company (W;t, Dinner) and on film with Magnolia Pictures, the WB, KUED, and a number of commercials and industrials.

As a writer, his work has been seen at Kingsbury Hall, the Babcock Theatre, the Unicorn Theatre in Logan Utah, the Rio Theater in Helper, Utah, Wasatch Theatre Company, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, the Fear No Film Festival, and on HBO. Nicholas is also an owner of Overcranked Pictures LLC, where he has written, shot, and/or directed a number of films, commercials, industrials, and music videos. He also serves as a board member for Wasatch Theatre Company.

Nicholas holds an Associates degree in Theatre Studies from Utah State Eastern, a BFA in Acting from the University of Utah, and is currently working on his MFA in playwriting and screenwriting at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is a graduate of the SLFS Screenwriter’s program, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and an associate member of the Writer’s Guild of America.

Hugh Hanson

Associate Professor (Lecturer)

Performing Arts Building, Room 218

Hugh Hanson holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Directing and a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology, both from the University of Utah. He specializes in voice production as well as a variety of speech disorders. He is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and the Voice and Singing Teachers Association. He is also fluent in Spanish.
Hugh teaches courses in acting, directing, voice and speech, and the online course Dramatic Arts in Television.
Hugh is the Artistic Director of Salt Lake Shakespeare, the Department of Theatre’s resident summer performance company. Over the past five years he has directed works including Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry IV Part I, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Twelfth Night for the company. Additional directing credits include Alcestis and Elektra for the Classical Greek Theatre Festival at Red Butte Garden; All My Sons and The Tempest in the Babcock Theatre; Snapshot, Bus Stop, The Pillowman, Top Girls and Hurlyburly in Studio 115. Hugh also regularly directs productions at Kingsbury Hall for the Youth Theatre at the U program. Recent directing credits with YTU include Diary of a Worm Spider and Fly, The Boxcar Children, andJames and the Giant Peach. Hugh has also directed works for Utah Lyric Opera and Utah Opera Company.

Amy Oakeson

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Performing Arts Building, Room 210 (801) 581-6406

Amy Oakeson is a specialist in the fields of Child Drama, Theatre for Young Audiences, Theatre Education and Musical Theatre History. Ms. Oakeson received her B.F.A. in Theatre Education from the University of Utah, and her M.A. in Theatre from San Diego State University, and is currently completing her M.F.A in Theatre Pedagogy at the University of Idaho.

Ms. Oakeson has been a faculty member with the University of Utah’s Department of Theatre for the past 20 years. Currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor, she began her career with the University of Utah as Education Director of the Youth Theatre at the U Program in 1999. A year later, she was promoted to Artistic Director of the organization, a position which she held until 2006. While Artistic Director, Ms. Oakeson commissioned and produced many new TYA works by playwrights such as Cherie Bennett (A Heart Divided, Reviving Ophelia), Sandra Fenichel Asher (Romeo and Juliet–together (and alive!) at last, Family Matters) and Glenn Brown (The Monster Spider). From 2010 to 2014 she was employed as the Department’s Project Coordinator, facilitating all marketing and communication, as well as education outreach.

Ms. Oakeson also currently works with the University of Utah’s Tanner Dance Program housed in the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Center as a director and acting coach for Elevate Theatre Company (a musical theatre company for actors with disabilities), and as a drama specialist teaching classes in creative drama and creative dance to children ages five through eighteen.

Prior to her employment at the University of Utah, Ms. Oakeson was the Artistic Director of J*Company at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla, CA. Concurrently, she was an instructor for the prestigious San Diego Junior Theatre.

Ms. Oakeson is an active member of AATE (Youth Theatre Director of the Year Award 2005) and ASSITEJ. In 2011 she was an American Delegate at the Imaginate Children’s Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Ms. Oakeson has extensive experience working in the non-profit sector, most recently serving as a Board Member and as Production/Staging Director for the internationally renowned One Voice Children’s Choir.

Richard Scharine, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Richard Scharine is a Professor Emeritus in Theatre and an Adjunct Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah where he has taught since 1978. He served the Theatre Department as Director of Graduate Studies from 1982 to 1991, headed the B.A. program from 1995 to 2005, co-founded the London Study Abroad Program, and was Interim Chair in 2004-2005. Specializing in theatre history, he continues to teach Black American Theatre and American Political Theatre, two courses he created.

The author of The Plays of Edward Bond and From Class to Caste in American Drama, as well as many articles on American and English political theatre and Black American theatre, Dr. Scharine is a former Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the University of Gdansk in Poland. His honors include the University Professorship, University of Utah Diversity Award, College of Fine Arts Faculty Excellence Award, and Outstanding Educator of America.

Dr. Scharine has directed over 90 plays (including fourteen for People Productions, Utah’s first African-American theatre company, which he co-founded in 2000), and has acted in ten states and seven foreign countries. It was for People Productions that he directed the Intermountain premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winner Ruined in August 2011. Recent onstage performances include Wallace Stegner in the premiere of Plan-B Theatre’s Wallace by Debora Threedy and Jennifer Nii (March 2010), and Giles Corey in the Grand Theatre’sThe Crucible (March 2012).

Richard Scharine received a B.S. from Wisconsin State University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. Before coming to Utah, he taught nine years at colleges in Iowa and Minnesota and was director of the Allen County Arts Council in Kansas.

Jerry Rapier

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Jerry Rapier has been Artistic Director of Plan-B Theatre Company since 2000. Four of the more than 30 plays he has directed for the company have had extended lives in New York. He has worked on new plays with Pioneer Theatre Company, Salt Lake Acting Company and Utah Shakespeare Festival and guest directed THE ADDING MACHINE, GEOGRAPHY CLUB and ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD for the Department of Theatre. A recipient of Salt Lake City’s Mayor’s Artist Award, Jerry has served as a seven-time theatre panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and on the National Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign. Jerry happily returns to Queer Theatre, which he previously taught from 2005-2007.

Barbara Smith

Associate Professor Lecturer

Barbara Smith, MFA/BFA (Associate Professor (Lecturer) – MFA from the University of Utah. She teaches in Department of Theatre for University of Utah and Westminster College. She is active in the theatre scene locally, acting and directing. She performed in How I Learned to Drive, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Comedy of Errors, Last Lists of My Mad Mother, Steel Magnolias, Macbeth, Sordid Lives, House of Bernarda Alba, All My Sons, Summer and Smoke, The Cherry Orchard, Night of the Iguana, Equus, A Lie of the Mind, Anna Christie, The Crucible and Hamlet. She has also performed for The Classical Greek Theatre Festival in Elektra, Iphigenia at Aulis Hippolytus, Trojan Women, and The Bakkhai. Her directing credits include Hecuba, And Then There Were None. Fever, Macbeth, Helen, Endgame, John Lennon and Me, Antigone, Picnic, Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, and Bus Stop.


Harris Smith

Department Chair

Performing Arts Building, Room 206 (801) 581-6448

Colleen Hirst

Theatre Accountant

Performing Arts Building, Room 206 (801) 585-7049

Cami Sheridan

Program Manager

Performing Arts Building, Room 206 (801) 581-5139

Josiane Dubois

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Performing Arts Building, Room 206 (801) 585-3816