Chelsea Pace, Susan McCully and alumna Katie Hileman
Theater colleagues presented at the 2019 Association of Theatre in Higher Education Conference in Orlando. The panel featured presentations and discussion on “Devising Feminist Structures for Playwriting” featuring Chelsea Pace and Susan McCully, and alumna Katie Hileman. Professor Pace discussed her process for devising “Gwyneth” which will be presented at UMBC this spring. Professor McCully discussed the creation of her play “Girls on a Dirt Pile” which will be produced at UMBC this coming fall. Katie Hileman (BFA ’12) discussed her plays “Chlamydia” and “I Will Eat You”- the latter her thesis project as she pursues an MFA at Towson University.
Eric Abele, Associate Chair, Lecturer, Costume Design
Eric Abele is a theatrical designer and construction artist who specializes in costume and puppet design for Theatre for Young Audiences. Before joining the faculty at UMBC in 2014, he was the Director of Design and Production at Lexington Children’s Theatre where he oversaw the design, design mentor-ship, and execution of all technical elements for professional plays. During his tenure at LCT, he designed costumes, puppets, scenery, and/or properties for over forty productions including several world premieres such as The Princess Who Lost Her Hair, I Dedicate This Ride (by renowned poet Frank X. Walker), and The Tallest Tale Ever Told. Eric is an experienced costume crafts artisan who has created puppets and specialty hats for a variety of theatres across the country, including the Off-Broadway production of In Transit and the national tour of Motherhood: the Musical.
Professor Nyalls Hartman, Department of Theatre, recently completed training as a Certified Meisner Acting Teacher. The month-long intensive, held at Willamette University by True Acting Institute, was taught by internationally-renowned Master Teacher, Larry Silverberg. The certification crowns years of Nyalls’ training as an actor and teacher of American Method Acting. Founded by Sanford Meisner, the approach is one of the top-three methods used to train professional actors today. Nyalls now serves as one of a limited number of teachers throughout the world certified to train students in the Meisner Approach to Method Acting.
Nyalls is currently developing syllabi for acting course work in the Meisner Approach and hopes to provide this training to students at UMBC next year.
Alan Kreizenbeck, Associate Professor
Alan Kreizenbeck’s interests include American theatre, acting theory, and contemporary playwrights. He has received fellowships from the Shubert organization and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His book, Zoe Akins: Broadway Playwright was published in 2004. He has directed university and professional theatres throughout the United States, winning “best production” awards in Denver and Houston. Named Honors College Professor of the Year in 2003, he teaches courses in acting, theatre history, dramatic literature, and most recently, Japanese performance. He has also worked with developmentally disabled adults to create theatrical performances. In addition, he has written and devised theatre performances that have been selected for the Charm City Fringe Festival. Alan has also presented workshops on Critical Response Process and partnered with WombWork, a black women’s artist collective, to conduct workshops on racism.
Joan Larkins Mather, Lecturer and Costume Shop Supervisor
Susan McCully, Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor Susan McCully’s new work All She Must Possess, a play inspired by the life of Etta Cone will have its world premiere February 7 – 25, 2018 at Rep Stage, the professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College. Professor McCully has two upcoming staged readings of the play scheduled – at UC-Santa Cruz on November 6, 2017 and at Everyman Repertory Theatre in Rockport, ME on December 30, 2017.
Adam Mendelson, Lecturer, Lighting and Sound Design
Adam Mendelson teaches Lighting and Sound Design. In August 2012, he helped prepare the new theatre spaces for the opening of the state-of-the-art Performing Arts and Humanities Building. He previously taught design at the University of Wyoming, the University of Texas-Arlington, Stephens College (Columbia, MO), and Lawrence Academy (Groton, Massachusetts). His design work has been seen across the country and as far afield as Edinburgh, Scotland. He designs lights and sound for our Theatre department productions and he teaches lighting design students in sophisticated professional level technology and supervises Theatre design majors.
Eve Muson, Associate Professor
Eve Muson is the principal director for GRRL Parts, UMBC’s festival of new plays by women: for this annual project, Eve has directed premieres by Sheila Callaghan, Tanya Saracho, Lucy Thurber, Ellen McLaughlin & Timberlake Wertenbaker. She serves as a director in new play development at WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory. She has directed dozens of university productions including Las Meninas, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Arcadia, Slavs!, Metamorphoses, Two Shakespearean Actors, and many new plays and devised works. She has been twice cited for Outstanding Direction by the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival for her work on Un Tango En La Noche (Boston University) and Las Meninas (UMBC.) She teaches courses in acting, dramatic literature, and devised theatre. Her particular research interests include collaborative playmaking, and the development and production of new works.
Colette Searls, Associate Professor
Colette Searls is a stage director with a particular interest in visual theatre and puppetry. At UMBC, Prof. Searls has taught acting, directed a mixture of classical and contemporary works, and created award-winning original puppet plays. She has received grants from the Jim Henson Foundation and Puppeteers of America for her original work in found-object puppetry aimed at adult audiences. She has provided puppetry coaching for professional theatre companies, published and lectured internationally on her digital puppetry research, and served on the UNIMA-USA board of directors. In 2013, she received a grant to work with award-winning animator Lynn Tomlinson and a team of programmers to create a digital puppetry app for artists. Prof. Searls has a background combining arts with human services; she has organized inmate arts programs and produced and performed in plays inside juvenile detention centers and California state prisons.
Nate Sinnott, Assistant Professor
Nate Sinnott is the Scenic Designer and the Faculty Properties and Paints Supervisor at UMBC. As a designer, he has over seventy design credits. His designs have received critical praise in Washington, D.C., various regions in California, Pittsburgh, PA, and many other areas across the country. He is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829. Nate has great interest in the role of computer technology in theatrical design. In his past, he has designed and taught a number of classes that focus on the integration of computer rendering into the scenic design process. Currently, Nate teaches the scenic design sequence at UMBC as well as the practical lab training and mentorship in the areas of Scenic Painting and Properties.
Lynn Watson, Chair, Professor
Professor Lynn Watson served as “Dialects and Voice Director” on DEATH OF A SALESMAN at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. The production is running now through October 22. Professor Watson and UMBC Theatre alum, Rachel Hirshorn, presented their research at the Voice and Speech Trainers Assoc. conference in Singapore this summer. In collaboration with neuroscientist Dr. Tyler Davis, they discussed their fMRI pilot study examining the effects of a performance training methodology (Fitzmaurice Voicework) on neurological activity and cognition. The investigation results were encouraging, and the research team has submitted an NEA “Creativity Connects” grant proposal to fund an expanded study. Creativity Connects “is a grant opportunity in the Art Works category that supports collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships between the arts and non-arts sectors.”