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Department of Theatre & Dance

Martin Bldg., Room 113
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4020
Email: tilden@ucmo.edu





Where are they now?

Theatre & Dance Alumni

Where are they now?

Charles Adamson

Charles Adamson, BFA Performance 1992; MA Theatre 1993
C.D. (Chuck) Adamson is currently finishing his PhD in Fine Arts (Theatre) at Texas Tech University.  His dissertation topic is, "Defining the Jukebox Musical: From The Beggar's Opera to American Idiot."  Chuck is currently teaching theatre at Vista College in Lubbock and an online Intro to Theatre course for Victoria College, both in Texas. Over the years, CD has worked for New Theatre Restaurant as their company manager, did a stint with the show production department at Science City and has remained an active actor and director.  Some of his recent productions include portraying "Nicky" in The Seafarer and directing The Woman in Black for The Garza Theatre in Post, TX.  Most recently, he directed Moon Over Buffalo for Lubbock Community Theatre.  He has also directed "The True Story of Red Riding Hood" and The Music Man for Central Missouri Repertory.

Chase Ashurst

Chase Ashurst, BFA Performance 2005
Following graduation, Chase signed with Exposure Model and Talent Agency in Kansas City and has been a featured actor on numerous commercials including Belfonte Ice Cream, Big Twelve Basketball, Iowa Lottery, Sprint and Thoroughbred Ford.  A member of SAG and AFTRA, Chase’s film work includes the movie Play On.  This past spring Chase was a starring actor in the American Heartland Theatre’s production of Maybe Baby It’s You. When not on stage, Chase works with his wife/photographer Amy at RYE Studio in KC.

Trevor Belt

 

Trevor Belt, BFA Performance 2010
Since graduation, Trevor has been very active as a director in the Kansas City area. He is co-founder and artistic director of Relevance Productions and has directed Waiting for Godot and The Dead Guy for the company. He has also directed Pillowman for She and Her Productions.

Jessica Barker
Jessica Barker, BFA Design and Technology 2007
A graduate of the Yale School of Drama Stage Management Program in 2010, Jessica works as an AEA and AGMA professional stage manager.  Currently Jessica lives in San Francisco and stage manages for the San Francisco Ballet. Jessica’s New York stage management credits include working for Lincoln Center Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre and Atlantic Theatre Company
Quixotic
Matthew Bennett, BFA Technical Theatre 2004
Matthew is currently the Head Rigger and Technical Director for Quixotic in Kansas City, MO. In addition to working for the New Theatre Restaurant as a Swing Technician and the Heart of America Studios as co-owner and operator, Matthew has served as a freelance designer for the Kansas City Ballet and the Hybrid Movement Collective
Jason Bohon
Jason Bohon, BFA Performance 2000
Following graduation from Central, Jason received his MFA in Physical Theatre from the London International School of Performing Arts-Naropa University. This training inspired Jason to create his own company 3 Sticks Theatre in Minneapolis MN www.3sticks.org. As an actor, Jason specializes in classical material and has performed many roles in the works of Shakespeare, Moliere, Sophocles and Feydeau. Jason also enjoys directing and has served as an assistant director at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.  Jason is currently touring as a performer with Split Knuckle Theatre throughout Brussels, the Netherlands, England and Germany.
Rich Brown

Rich Brown, MA Theatre 2000
As a student in Central’s Master of Arts in Theatre program, Rich received the University’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Following his graduate work at UCM, Rich earned his PhD in Theatre with an emphasis in acting, directing and devising from the University of Oregon. After a year of training with master teachers Stephen Wangh and Mary Overlie at New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing, Rich taught acting, directing, and dramatic literature at Hartwick College before landing at Western Washington University where he currently teaches devising and acting movement. He has published in Theatre Topics and Theatre Journal; presented at Association of Theatre in Higher Education conferences in San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, and Denver; performed with Mary Overlie in the Shady Corners Performance Art Festival, and co-founded Theatre 88, which produced The Zoo Story and What I Heard About Iraq, which performed at LaMama E.T.C. in New York City and Montreal. Rich studied at Anne Bogart’s SITI Company’s summer intensive training in Saratoga Springs, New York and at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California. Rich teaches Grotowski inspired psychophysical acting, Suzuki, Viewpoints, and classes in devising.

Eric Clark

Eric Clark, BFA Performance 1997
Eric’s professional theatre credits include a lengthy tenure with the Creede Repertory Theatre and the Ozark Actors Theatre. In Creede, Colorado, Eric served as an actor and outreach director from 1998-2003. From 2004-2008, Eric has served as Artistic Director, Director, Casting Director and Creative Consultant for the Ozark Actors Theatre in Rolla, MO. For the last three years, Eric has spanned the globe working training customer service representatives for NCO Financial Systems.

Jennifer Davis

Jennifer Davis,  Theatre Minor
Jennifer is currently pursuing theatre and modeling in the Kansas City area.  She has performed in Steel Magnolias, The Dixie Swim Club and The Woman in Black with the Corbin Theatre and performed in Rumors and A Flea in Her Ear with Bobette’s Dinner Theatre.

Amanda Duffy
Amanda Duffy, BFA Design and Technology 1999
Working in New York City for the past ten years, Amanda has been active both on and off the stage. Amanda completed a professional internship program in the wig shop at The Julliard School and received her MFA in Acting from Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House. In New York she has studied at the Actor’s Studio and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera under the direction of Peter Sellers and has performed in productions of Pygmalion, Pride and Prejudice, A Christmas Story, The Seagull, The Little Foxes and numerous roles in the plays of Shakespeare. Amanda has done professional wig work on Broadway with productions of Sweet Charity, Mary Poppins, The Color Purple and The New 42nd Street.
Indiana Wesleyan

Greg Fiebig, Master of Arts 1978
Greg Fiebig is Professor of Communication and Theatre at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. He holds a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia, the M.Div in Religious Education from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and an MA in Theatre from the University of Central Missouri. Greg teaches a variety of courses in theatre and communication, focusing primarily on design, technical production, and management for the theatre, organizational and interpersonal communication, and communication theory.

Jeremy Frazier

Jeremy Frazier, BFA Performance 2009
Jeremy is currently enrolled in the MFA Dramatic Writing program at Carnegie Mellon. An active playwright and member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Jeremy has had several productions of his plays in the Kansas City area. Jeremy was a John Cauble National Finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre One Act Play Festival and a John Cauble Regional Finalist for the KCACTF Region V Festival.

Nicole Hall

Nicole Hall, BFA Performance 2007
A talented actor, dancer and choreographer, Nicole has been active in the Kansas City theatre scene since her graduation in 2007. Nicole’s performance experience includes roles with Martin City Melodrama, Relevance Productions, She&Her Productions, KC Fringe Festival and the Gorilla Theatre Company.  She has served as a guest choreographer for UCM Theatre and for Ruskin High School and has served as assistant stage manager for Musical Theatre Heritage.

David Hawkinson

David Hawkinson, BFA Design and Technology 2005
Having completed his MFA in Scenic Design at UMKC, David now resides in New York where he is a proud member of United Scenic Artists 829 and is serving as scenic artist on both HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" and CBS' new series "Unforgettable." David has worked as Properties Artisan, Carpenter, and Technical Coordinator for New York University, Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre, The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and Crossroads Theatre Company. While in Kansas City, David was the Scenic Artist for the Unicorn Theatre, the Coterie Theatre and Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

Beth Herron

Elizabeth Herron BFA Performance 1992
Elizabeth Herron currently resides in Harlem, NY where she was a Van Lier Directing Fellow in residence at Second Stage Theatre and a member of Lincoln Center Theatre’s Directors Lab. She received her MFA in directing from the New School and has directed disfigurationof a diva by hattie gossett for HERE Art Center andHear the Beat/Dance the Story by at Dance Theatre Workshop. Ms. Herron has directed several original playsincluding Project 9 and Under Covers by Tyler Jason Fereira, black and blue by Matthew Kelty along with a national tour of Hair Storiesby Urban Bush Women. She directed A Raisin in the Sun at Essex College in Newark, NJ and Home at the H.A.D.L.E.Y Players in Harlem (Audelco Award). Beth directed Susan Lori Parks’ AS IDI AMIN LIES IN A COMA IN SAUDI ARABIA for The Berkshire Fringe as part of the 365 Days/365 Plays commission.  She directed ’for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf’ and Blues for an Alabama Sky at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.  While at UK she taught and conducted a workshop series that explored Hip Hop Theater.  Beth has also worked with Jazz Composer, Craig Harris on a contemporary adaptation of God’s Trombones which premiered at the World Famous Apollo Theater in and was presented at Teatro Manzoni in Milan, Italy.

Jaclyn Jensen

Jaclyn Jensen, BFA Performance 2006
Upon graduation, Jaclyn moved to Chicago, IL where she has been very active as an actress in the Chicago theatre scene. In addition to doing film, television and voice over work, she has performed on stage with the Strangeloop Theatre, St. Sebastian Theatre Company, Shapeshifters Theatre Company, Wrecking Crew Productions, Gorilla Tango Theatre and the Chicago Parks District.

Cory Johnston

Corey Johnston, BFA Design Technology 1994
Corey received his MFA in Costume Design in 1997 from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Corey currently teaches at the University of San Diego where he is the faculty Costume Designer. He teaches costume design, construction and theatre history. Corey’s professional credits include working with the Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and Tacoma Actors Guild. He also works with the Old Globe's MFA Acting Program.

Beth Leonard

Beth Leonard, Master of Arts Theatre
Dean of the School of Performing Arts and Chair of the Department of Theatre at Stephens College, Beth has been a full-time faculty member at Stephens for sixteen years. For the past twelve years Beth has loved spending her time as the artistic director of the Okoboji Summer Theatre in Spirit Lake, Iowa.  Beth has an MFA in Performance from UMKC and has directed and acted professionally throughout the Midwest including, the Unicorn Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre and Central Missouri Repertory.  Beth is also a produced playwright.

Deanna Mazdra
Deanna Mazdra, BFA Performance 2011
Upon graduating from UCM, Deanna moved to the KC area and signed with Exposure Model and Talent Agency where she is auditioning for a variety of film, commercial and voice over work. She is currently employed by the Coterie Theatre and is working as a Peer Educator in their annual Dramatic AIDS Education Project which is an award winning collaborative program between the Coterie, University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine and the University of Kansas Medical Center to educate teens about the transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS. She was recently seen on stage with fellow UCM alumni in Relevance Production's Reckless. Deanna is continually auditioning and seeking new and exciting work in the KC area and hopes to some day be fortunate enough to travel around the world doing what she loves.   
Ryan Q. McIntire

Ryan McIntire, BFA Performance 2006
Upon graduation from Central, Ryan received an MFA in Acting and Directing from Regents University. At Regents, Ryan developed his love for stage combat. He has been a member of the Society of American Fight Directors since 2001 and has taught classes and workshops in unarmed, single handed, broad-sword, two handed broad-sword, knife, and filmed combat. Ryan founded E.T.V., Education Through Violence, in order to offer professional and safe combat choreography to theatre companies, film makers, and schools in need of energetic, dynamic scenes of violence for their projects. His experiences fighting on stage and for film include all of the above, as well as improvised weaponry, rapier and dagger, rapier and cloak, saber and small sword. He is a professional actor who has appeared on stage and screen. From classical Shakespeare to contemporary street performance, Ryan has studied with accomplished combat professionals such as Dale Girard, Michael Kirkland, Richard Ryan, Michael Johnson, and David Boushey.

Lisa Mettlen

Lisa Mettlen  BFA Performance 2004
Lisa has been working with Walt Disney Company in California since 2008 as a Parade Performer and Lead/Trainer. She has worked on A Christmas Fantasy, Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, High School Musical 3, and Pixar Play Parade. Prior to moving to California to pursue her dance career, she was promotions director for WDAF in Kansas City and performed as an interactor for the Kansas City Zoo.

Michelle Moll

Michelle Moll, BSE 2009
Since graduating in December 2009, Michelle has been teaching and performing in her hometown of St. Louis. Michelle is currently a Theatre teacher and director at Francis Howell Central High School in St. Peters, Mo. She recently signed with a St. Louis based talent agency, West Model and Talent Management, and has been auditioning for a variety of commercial, film, and theatre work. Michelle plans on actively pursuing Theatre performance during the summer months.

ArtWorks Academy

Cheryl Morris, Master of Arts Theatre 2007
Upon completion of her MA in Theatre at Central, Cheryl and her husband Jonathan moved to Norman, Oklahoma where they started ArtWorks Academy. The Academy offers classes in dance, music, and theatre for students from 18 months through adult. Their musical productions include students age 5-18. Cheryl also directs the competition dance team. Over the last four years they have produced 4 dance recitals, 2 voice recitals, and 16 musicals. Musical productions include: Seussical: The Musical, Grease, Dear Edwina Jr, Annie Jr, 42nd Street, Crazy for You, Sleeping Beauty Kids, and Jane Eyre.

Joel Moses
Joel Moses, BFA Performance 2006
Joel received his MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University in 2013. Roles at NIU included Hamlet, Rev. Packard in Mrs. Packard, Malcolm in Macbeth, Theophilus in Theophilus North, and Moritz in Spring's Awakening. He currently lives in Chicago, IL where he has worked with the Organic Theater Company and Theatre Y. Prior to Graduate School, Joel spent several years in Kansas City, where he worked with the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Journeyman Theatre Company, Bacon Shake Sketch Comedy and others. Additionally, Joel has spent a summer abroad studying at the Moscow Art Theatre and a month in residency in the States with artists from KOBEZ-Centre Memoire du Corps (KOBEZ-Body Memory Center - Toulouse, France).Currently, Joel is an Instructor of Theatre at Northern Illinois University.
Florida Grand Opera

Kevin Mynatt, BFA Design and Technology 1990
Kevin is currently Director of Production for Florida Grand Opera in Miami, FL. Following his graduation from Central, Kevin received his MFA in Lighting and Theatre Design from Brandeis University and has largely been in the world of opera theatre.  He has served as Production Manager and Resident Lighting Designer for Chautauqua Opera, Production Manager and Technical Director for Opera Omaha, Director of Production for Portland Opera Association and Managing Director for Central City Opera House Association.

Blue Man Group

Chris Notestine, BFA Design and Technology 2009
After stage managing aboard the Carnival Triumph cruise ship, Chris has given up life at sea to stage manage for several companies in Chicago, IL.  Most recently, he was the assistant stage manager for Sideshow Theatre Company's Steppenwolf Garage Rep production of Heddatron featuring a cast of 10 human and 5 fully-functioning robots.  Currently he works as deck crew and front of house staff for Blue Man Group and as a ticket office assistant at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

Todd Proffitt

Todd Proffitt,  BFA Design and Technology 1994
Todd is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at SUNY-Fredonia.  In addition to Fredonia he has served in a variety of technical and design positions with Chautauqua Theater Company, Loyola University New Orleans, The Producer’s Circle, Cortland Repertory Theatre, Anglefire Mountain Theatre Group, Central Missouri Repertory, Opera Iowa and Des Moines Metro Opera.  He is an active member of USITT serving in the Lighting Commission in a number of positions including Chair of the Light Lab and the 2011 Vice Commissioner for Programming. Todd received his MFA in Design from Texas Tech University and was recipient of the 1999 USITT’s Barbizon Award for Lighting Design.

Cason and Jennifer Renfrow

Cason Renfrow and Jennifer Gaines Renfrow, BFA Performance 1999
Upon graduation from Central, Casey and Jennifer established Center Stage Academy of the Performing Arts in Warrensburg, Missouri. Since those first early days in their small studio, they have grown into the area’s largest performing arts studio with two locations, Warrensburg and Sedalia, serving 450 students. The Academy offers classes to students from age 2 through adult in dance, music and theatre. Each year the studio produces two in house children’s theatre productions and an annual spring dance recital. Additionally they have teamed up with Central Missouri Repertory to produce an annual summer community children’s theatre musical. In 2011, they produced a full staged production of The Wizard of Oz.  Center Stage Academy currently employs 12 instructors teaching over 100 classes each week.

Timothy Schaffer

Timothy Schaffer,  Master of Arts in Theatre 2005
After graduating with his MA in Theatre, Timothy spent one year teaching at Neosho County Community College before returning to graduate school in the fall of 2006. He graduated with his Ph.D. in Theatre from Bowling Green State University in December 2010, writing his dissertation on the work of theatre critic and Brecht collaborator Eric Bentley. His research interests include mid-twentieth century political theatre and his performance and book reviews appear in Theatre Journal. He presented original research at Mid-America Theatre Conference, National Communications Association, and Association for Theatre in Higher Education conferences. Dr. Schaffer is currently an instructor at Atlantic Cape Community College in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he teaches Acting and Introduction to Theatre.

Imago

Jeff Simmons, BFA Technical Theatre 1998
Jeff’s talents and creativity have kept him busy both on and offstage. Following graduation, Jeff moved to Portland, OR where he served as tour manager, sound engineer and performer for Imago Theatre.  In Portland he also served as sound engineer for Portland Center State and station manager and programming director at Portland Radio Authority.  In 2007, Jeff moved to the other coast, making his home in NYC where he has served as sound engineer at numerous professional theatre and radio stations.

Jill Szoo
Jill Szoo, BSE Secondary Education 2001.
After graduating from UCM, Jill attended Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA where she earned her MFA in Acting and Directing for Theatre. Since graduating from Regent in 2006, Jill returned to the Kansas City area where she has performed on several professional stages, namely the American Heartland Theatre, the New Theatre Restaurant, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre and The Living Room Theatre. She has also directed several college productions in the area, including Twelfth Night at Johnson County Community College, as well as Leading Ladies for UCM’s own Central Missouri Repertory. Jill has enjoyed a prolific camera-acting career through work she has garnered through the Kansas City talent agency, Talent Unlimited. Having been featured in over 20 commercials, Jill is most recognizably known as “The Price Chopper Girl,” as she maintains her on-going role as the official spokesperson for the Kansas City owned grocery store chain, Price Chopper. Jill’s newest venture is the beginning of her business Lights Up!, through which she offers private actor coaching to Kansas City actors from ages 5-100!

Janet Ulrich Brooks
Janet Ulrich Brooks, BFA Performance 1979
A member of Actors Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild, Janet has been a professional actress and teaching artist in Chicago for a number of seasons. Originally a member of Child's Play Touring Theatre, Janet is currently a company member with TimeLine Theatre Company, where she has performed  All My Sons, Not Enough Air, Weekend, Paradise Lost and A Man for All Seasons. Janet is also a recipient of a Jefferson Award for her portrayal of Golda Meier in Golda’s Balcony with Pegasus Players. Janet has also performed with the Steppenwolf Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Writer’s Theatre and the Goodman Theatre.
Mark Varns

Mark Varns, BFA Design and Technology
Mark is Chair of Theater and Resident Lighting Designer at Southern Illinois University. A graduate of the MFA Design and Technology program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Mark has worked with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Sacramento Theater Co., Utah Shakespearean Festival, The Black Rep of St. Louis, New Harmony Theatre, Millikin University, McLeod Summer Playhouse, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Central Missouri Repertory Theater. Recent professional design credits include; The Drawer Boy at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Death and the King’s Horseman at The Black Rep in St. Louis, MO and Treasure Island at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Danielle Vermette

Danielle Vermette, BFA 1997
After completing her BFA at the University of Central Missouri, Danielle Vermette ventured to Portland, Oregon, where she has (so far) remained. She began working with the renowned Lecoq-based company, Imago Theatre, in 1999 and has appeared as the lead in numerous productions there, while touring nationally and internationally with the shows Frogz and Biglittlethings. May 2012 will mark her foray into film. She is a manuscript away from earning an MFA in fiction at Portland State University where she teaches writing to undergraduates.

Aaron Westlake

Aaron Westlake, Master of Arts Theatre
Aaron is currently in the PhD program in Theatre at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI where he is a graduate teaching assistant and director for the Studio Theatre.  Since graduating from UCM he has directed Bash by Neil Labute for the Robidoux Resident Theatre in St. Joseph, MO and Ravenswood by Terrence McNally, Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, and A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen for WSU’s PhD Studio Director’s Series.  While at WSU Aaron has had the pleasure of studying at the Moscow Art Theatre and presented research at conferences including ATHE and the Center for the Study of Citizenship. 

Zach Woods
Zach Woods, BFA Performance 2003
A commercial film, industrial film, and theatre performer, Zach has been extremely active in the Kansas City market.  Upon graduation, Zach signed with Exposure Inc. Talent Agency and has been a featured actor on numerous commercials including Mr. Goodcents, Missouri Lottery, Nebraska Smoke Free, Pinnacle Career Institute and Metro Sports Productions. His voiceover work includes Hallmark, Virginia Historical Society, Remington and KDOT. On the theatre scene, Zach has performed at the American Heartland Theatre, Martin City Melodrama, Kansas City Fringe Festival and Actor’s Equity.
Eric Yazell

Eric Yazell, Master of Arts in Theatre 1992
Eric is currently a Speech & Theatre Instructor at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, MO. Eric has over 20 years of experience in the theatre – acting, directing, assisting with costumes and designing and building sets.  He has directed over 50 plays and has served in many support roles for Camp Blue Sky, a summer arts camp program for elementary and middle school students.  Eric was instrumental in re-launching the children’s theatre program at SFCC in 2001, now serving over 5,000 area children, parents and teachers. His recognitions include awards from KCACTF for Outstanding Sound Design for Domestic Tranquility and Outstanding Comic Direction for Over the River and Through the Woods.  Eric has also served on the Board of Governors and as President of the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri. He was also awarded the STAM Loren Reid Service Award. 

Katy Zoeller

Katy Zoeller, BFA Performance 2006
Following graduation, Katy returned to her hometown of St Louis, where she pursued her M.Ed. in Secondary Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She completed her student teaching with fellow Central graduate Michelle Moll at Marquette High School and this fall (2011) will begin teaching high school theatre in the Bayless School District.