Meet Our Faculty and Staff!

Rachel Anderson

Costume Studio Manager

PAC 283

(360) 650-3305

Rachel.Anderson@wwu.edu

Rachel Sophia Anderson

Rachel has been with the Theatre Arts Department for seven years, and has worked with the Summer Stock program for over ten years. After receiving her BA from Fairhaven College, Rachel spent three years doing graduate costume design work at the University of Montana, and several more working professionally in Seattle. She received her MFA in Costume Design from UM in 2000. In 2003 Rachel had the opportunity to take a much-needed sabbatical from Summer Stock to work as a First Hand in the Costume shop of the renowned Santa Fe Opera. Her other credits include: Stitcher at Kaufmen-Davis Studio and Greg Thompson Productions, and Wardrobe for the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Children’s Theatre. Past costume design credits include Rimers of Eldritch, WWU’s 2001 production of Vagina Monologues, Snoopy!!!, Side by Side by Sondhiem, Arcadia, Guys and Dolls, and James and the Giant Peach.

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Michael Bajuk

Senior Instructor and Dance Musical Director

Carver 60B

(360) 920-5209

Michael.Bajuk@wwu.edu

Michael Bajuk

Michael has accompanied dance for ACDFs, ADF, AXIS Dance, Bill Evans Dance Intensives, the National Ballet of Zimbabwe, and Western’s dance faculty. Composition projects have included music for dance, film, and concert pieces. Mike has served as an audio engineer at Binary Recording Studios and Media For Development Trust (MFDI) Studios in Harare, Zimbabwe. He has performed aboard Majestic American and Carnival cruise lines, and with jazz and rock groups throughout the Northwest. Mentors include composer Roger Briggs, jazz artist Chuck Israels, and percussionist Patrick Roulet. Mike is active in K-12 music education and has composed for Western’s Dance Makers program for the past seven years.

B.M. in Music Composition Western Washington University

M.S. in Music Technology Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

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Rich Brown

Associate Professor

PAC 287

(360) 650-7320

Rich.Brown@wwu.edu

Rich Brown

Associate Professor RICH BROWN earned his PhD in Theatre with an emphasis in acting, directing and devising from the University of Oregon. After training with master teachers Stephen Wangh and Mary Overlie at NYU Tisch’s Experimental Theatre Wing, Rich landed at Western Washington University in 2006 where he currently teaches Grotowski inspired psychophysical acting, Suzuki, Viewpoints, commedia, and classes in devising. He has published in Theatre Topics, Theatre Journal, and The Western States Theatre Review; presented at six Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) conferences on devising; performed with Mary Overlie in the Shady Corners Performance Art Festival, and co-founded Theatre 88 in New York, performing The Zoo Story and What I Heard About Iraq, which performed at LaMama E.T.C. in New York City and Montreal. Rich studied with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company’s summer intensive training and at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Recent WWU directing credits include: Dog Sees God, The Mistakes Madeline Made, The Monologue Project(s) I-VII, the WWU Theatre Ambassadors Tours, Some Girl(s) and the devised works cheat, US, Soapbox and Commedia in the Park. Over the past few years he has led Viewpoint Intensives for Teatrul Fara Frontiere at the National Theatre of Romania in Bucharest and for the Portland, Oregon devising company hand2mouth; he has also led Devising Intensives for Bucknell University, Seattle University, and Rio Hondo College. Recently, Rich performed in The Pillowman at the iDiom Theatre, Poison the Well at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Into the Woods at the Mt. Baker Theatre, The American Family at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (which he also co-directed), and Circle Mirror Transformation at Idaho Repertory Theatre. Rich received a 2008 Bellingham Mayor’s arts award for co-creating The Monologue Project, WWU’s prestigious Excellence in Teaching award in 2010, and last year the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival awarded him the national Outstanding Lead Deviser/Director of a Devised Work for WWU’s creation of US, which also received a national Distinguished Devised Work award from the Kennedy Center.

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Cher Carnell

Associate Chair, Senior Instructor

CM 113C

(360) 650-3893

Cher.Carnell@wwu.edu

Cher Carnell

Cher danced professionally for eleven years with numerous ballet companies both in the United States and Europe, including Milwaukee Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Ballet Metropolitan, Theater an der Wien and Scottish-American Ballet. She was featured in principal roles, such as Odette in Swan Lake, Giselle in full-length Giselle, Titania in Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker. Ms. Carnell has an extensive teaching background as a master teacher in pre-professional schools, Universities, as well as professional ballet and modern companies. She chaired the University of Louisville Dance Department and served as the Artistic Director of the University of Louisville Ballet Civic Company from 1982-1991. She has taught ballet at Western Washington University since 1997, specializing in the intermediate and advanced levels of ballet, and assumed leadership of WWU Dance in Fall 2008.

BA (with Honors) in Psychology, UW Madison, 1972

M. Ed. Western Washington University

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Kamarie Chapman

Instructor

High Street Hall 17

(360) 650-4687

Kamarie.Chapman@wwu.edu

Kamarie Chapman

Kamarie is a proud native of Washington State, and alumni of the Western Washington Theatre Department, having received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006. She received her M.F.A. from The University of New Mexico in 2009 with dissertation work in gender and playwriting. Kamarie is thrilled to be teaching the Theatre History, Advanced and Beginning Playwriting, and several theory-based courses in Theatre Arts. She has taught and directed theatre and outreach to many diverse populations and was the Artistic Director of a mixed-ability company in Albuquerque, NM called Equilibrium through VSA during her final year working on her Masters. Kamarie was also a member of the iDiOM Theater ensemble from 2003 – 2006 and is a huge fan and supporter of Bellingham and the wonderful artists who live here. Kamarie is a member of the Northwest Playwrights Alliance, The Dramatists Guild, The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and Artists Trust. Her play Deception Pass: An American Story was the winner of two national awards from The Kennedy Center (The David Mark Cohen and co-winner of the Paula Vogel playwriting awards) and is receiving its Washington State premiere in January of 2013 at WWU. This play was also the national winner of The ATHE playwriting award. In 2010 her short play, Dijon Love, was a finalist for the Humana Heidman Award and she was a top five finalist for the NPA/Seattle Rep/SAG Screenwriting contest in June of 2010. She has had her work published by NPA and numerous zines, including most recently in the fifth volume of Your Hands Your Mouth.

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Dr. Deb Currier

Associate Professor

PAC 387

(360) 650-2387

Deb.Currier@wwu.edu

Dr. Deb Currier

Dr. Currier holds a Ph.D. in Theatre Arts from the University of Oregon, Eugene, with emphases in dramatic literature, acting/directing, multicultural and children’s theatre. She has extensive experience with theatre for youth, serving as the Artistic Director for the WWU Summer Youth Theatre Institute (SYTI). She also served as Artistic Director for Mad Duckling Children’s Theatre in Eugene, as an Artist-In-Residence with Young Audiences of Montana, and a Tour Actor/Director with the Missoula Children’s Theatre International Touring Project. She currently writes and directs the WWU Multicultural Outreach Touring Project, an elementary-level literature-based touring show performed with WWU Drama in Education students. She has served as a Service-Learning Faculty Fellow at WWU, and has presented and published works regarding incorporating academic service-learning into the higher theatre-in-education curriculum. Her most recent directorial endeavors include Seussical!, The Jungle Book, High School Musical and a devised commedia show in Macerata, Italy, where she was a guest professor for a semester. Dr. Currier teaches Theatre History, Dramatic Literature, Children’s Theatre, Secondary Theatre Techniques, Creative Pedagogy and Puppetry.

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Nolan Dennett

Professor

CM 109

(360) 650-3129

Nolan.Dennett@wwu.edu

Nolan Dennett

Nolan Dennett is the architect of the dance program at Western and as such single-handedly designed and implemented the BA and the BFA dance majors. With the BFA it has been Mr. Dennett’s vision to provide a bridge from the world of academic dance training into the professional world of time-based art. Toward that end over the years Mr. Dennett has assembled a roster of internationally acclaimed dance artists to teach, perform, choreograph and be in residence at Western. Those artists have included Sylvain Lafortune from the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Kathy Casey, artistic director of Montreal Danse, Susan Marshall, Alan Good from the Merc Cunningham company and Kraig Patterson and Penny Hutchinson from the Mark Morris Dance Group to name only a few. Mr. Dennett has been teaching at Western since 1989, first as a movement specialist in the Theater Department and then as Director of the Dance Program. During this time he has directed and collaborated on a number of theatrical works as well as choreographing over 30 major ballets. In addition to being an award-winning choreographer in the academic setting, Mr. Dennett has created new works for the National Ballet of Peru, Ririe/Woodbury Dance Company, and the Idaho Theater for Youth-all of which tour internationally. Mr. Dennett has been a Fulbright Scholar and has appeared as a dancer, in the works of Louis Falco, Jennifer Muller, Lucas Hoving, Bill Evans, Alice Condodina (Limon) Della Davidson, and Anna Sokolow. He is also the author of numerous short stories and articles as well as the critically acclaimed novel, “Place of Shelter.” Mr. Dennett has served 3 terms on the National Board of Directors of the American College Dance Festival Association.

BA Brigham Young University

MA Western Washington University

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Erin Emry

Administrative Services Manager

PAC 395

(360) 650-7310

Erin.Emry@wwu.edu

Erin Emry

Erin is the Theatre and Dance Department’s Administrative Services Manager. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. Erin worked professionally in the public relations and hospitality industries before her employment at WWU began in 2005.

BA Washington State University

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Dipu Gupta

Assistant Professor

PAC 381

(360) 650-4427

Dipu.Gupta@wwu.edu

Dipu Gupta

Dipu Gupta is delighted to join the faculty of Western Washington University as an Assistant Professor of Set Design. Past teaching experience includes appointments at the University of California, Merced as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urbanism and Artist in Residence.

He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia and a Master of Fine Arts in Set Design from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania.

He has designed scenery for the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, the Julliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Gotham Chamber Opera, and Opera Africa in Johannesburg. He has been in professional practice as an architect and urbanist with completed projects in New York, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and California.

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Susan Haines

Senior Instructor

CM 113B

(360) 650-6318

Susan.Haines@wwu.edu

Susan Haines

Susan Haines is a dancer, choreographer and educator with performance credits with ballet and modern companies in Colorado, New York, North Carolina and Virginia, independent choreographers Gerri Houlihan, B.J. Sullivan, KT Niehoff, as well as collaborative work with Brad Parquette, and study at The Place; London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and Dock 11 in Berlin. Her dance training includes master teachers JoAnna Kneeland, Karen Clippinger, David Howard, and Frano Jelincic of English National Ballet. Susan’s choreography has been presented by Danceworks in Jacksonville, FL, ACDF, the NC Dance Festival, Highlands Arts Council, Black Mountain Center for the Arts, Labor Force Dances, Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival, the Power Company in residence at Columbia College (SC), Bellingham Repertory Dance, Dance Gallery, the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn, and Open Flight Studio in Seattle. She has worked with composer Bruce Hamilton for Do Ho Suh’s sculpture installation ceremony at WWU in 2012. Her dance films have been screened at the American College Dance Festival, as part of the “Next Generation of Dance Filmmakers” at the Dance for the Camera Festival in Salt Lake City, and at Tacoma Museum of Glass Dance Film series. She has an MFA in Dance from UNC-Greensboro, and is a certified Comprehensive Pilates Instructor through Balanced Body. Susan has received two NEA grants to restage works by the Trisha Brown Dance Company and the Martha Graham Dance Company, and has presented her dance conditioning workshops around the country. She is the founding director of It Must Have Been Violet Dance Productions, a professional dance company that presents contemporary work for stage and screen nationally.

BA Radford University

MFA University of North Carolina Greensboro

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Monica Hart

Assistant Professor

PAC 383

(360) 650-4682

Monica.Hart@wwu.edu

Monica Hart

Monica has taught at Dixie State College of Utah, University of Michigan-Flint Campus, and at Mesa Community College where she helped to mentor Mercedes O'Banion into the final round of Nationals at KCACTF for her costume design of Dracula. She has traveled all over the USA working for stock theatre companies such as Bigfork Summer Playhouse (many of the BSP alum have or are appearing on Broadway or in TV). Monica has also toured with the Montana Repertory Theatre Company with their productions of Smoke on the Mountain and Broadway Bound. She attended the University of Montana earning a BA in Theatre emphasizing in Technology. While at UM, Monica was an exchange student to Deakin University in Melbourne Australia where she studied art. Monica holds a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Costume Design for the Stage from Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan--one of the few grad programs that is run almost entirely by its grad students in a true collaborative style. She recently returned to her college roots in film and has completed her first screenplay, which she plans to enter into competitions.

BA University of Montana

MFA Wayne State University

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Penny Hutchinson

Associate Professor

High Street Hall 15

(360) 650-1240

Penny.Hutchinson@wwu.edu

Penny Hutchinson

Penny, a native of Seattle, attended the Juilliard School. She was a founding member of the Mark Morris Dance Group, 1980-1992 and was in Brussels from 1988-1991, when MMDG was in residence at Theatre de la Monnaie. In 1990 she received a New York Dance and Performance Award, BESSIE. In addition to teaching at the University of Washington, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and other MMDG workshops, Hutchinson has taught at Ulm Theatre Ballet (Joachim Schlomer-dir.), NYU Tisch School of the Arts, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore), University of Montana, Academy of Modern Dance (Chennai, India),and Sports Hojskole, (Denmark). She was assistant director for Peter Sellars’ The Rake’s Progress at the Chatelet Theater, Paris. She assisted director Stephen Wadsworth for the opera Ashoka’s Dream at the Santa Fe Opera. After receiving a BA through Vermont College, in 2001 she choreographed and made her acting debut in The Oresteia, three Greek tragedies, for the opening of the Berkeley Repertory’s Roda Theater with directors Stephen Wadsworth and Tony Taccone. While attending Mills College, Penny staged Marble Halls by Mark Morris for the Mills Repertory Dance Company. She graduated with an MFA in Dance from Mills. She has had two successful collaborations with composer Fei Wu of Beijing, China, also a Mills alumna, the second being under a “Meet the Composer” grant for University of Wyoming dance students and the Chandra Wyoga Gamelan.

BA Vermont College

MFA Mills College

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Mark Kuntz

Professor

PAC 295B

(360) 650-3789

Mark.Kuntz@wwu.edu

Mark Kuntz

Mark Kuntz is currently in his ninth year on the theatre faculty at WWU after spending eleven years at Eastern Oregon University. He received his BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Oregon. Mark has served three times as a member of the National Selection Team for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and was recently elected as National Vice-Chair. His work as a director has been produced regionally with K.C.A.C.T.F., and his production of Lips Together, Teeth Apart was recognized at K.C.A.C.T.F. Some of his recent directing credits include Shakespeare’s R&J and Summer Stock’s 2005 The Foreigner and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

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Pam Kuntz

Senior Instructor

PAC 295B

(360) 650-3789

Pam.Kuntz@wwu.edu

Pam Kuntz

Pam Kuntz danced in NY, Boston, and Montana before moving to Bellingham, WA in 1999 to teach at WWU. Pam strives to guide her students to explore their own creative voice, discover habits and make choices. Pam’s teaching is most strongly informed by her training in the Alexander technique. Along with teaching at Western, Pam also teaches a class in the community for people living with Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. She is dedicated to arts education for children and worked closely with OSPI by helping the state create assessments for both children (CBPAs) and educators (WEST-E). Pam enjoys choreographing on students in the dance program and was a founding member of Bellingham Repertory Dance, a professional dance company. She is the founder and Artistic Director of "Kuntz and Company" (kuntzandco.org) where she works with professionals and community members to tell the stories of our community through movement. Pam has received funding from The Bossak Heilbron Charitable Foundation, The City of Bellingham, Humanities Washington, PeaceHealth, TheWashington State Arts Commission, St. Luke’s Foundation, and Western Washington University. Pam is proud to be a 2012 Artist Trust GAP recipient, a 2012 Peace Builder recipient, a 2011 Ken Gass Community Building Award, and a 2007 Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award recipient. Her choreography has been recognized by the American College Dance Festival and her film “Parkinson’s Dreams about Me” won best experimental film at the Oregon Independent Film Festival 2012.

BFA University of Montana

MFA Boston Conservatory

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Beth Leonard

Department Chair

Professor

PAC 395B

(360) 650-3880

Beth.Leonard@wwu.edu

Beth Leonard

Beth Leonard comes to WWU as the new Chair of Theatre and Dance. She is a native Missourian and was previously the Dean of the School of Performing Arts at Stephens College in Columbia, MO. Beth has spent a career straddling the worlds of professional and academic theatre. She was the Artistic Director of the Okoboji Summer Theatre in Spirit Lake, IA for fifteen years and has acted and directed throughout the Midwest. Beth is also a produced playwright and enjoys the recording studio as a voice over talent. She holds a BS in Secondary Education, Theatre from the University of Kansas, an MA in Theatre from the University of Central Missouri, an MFA from the University of Missouri, Kansas City and is ABD in Theatre from the University of Kansas. It is with unimaginable pleasure that Beth joins the amazing Theatre and Dance Department, and looks forward to a challenging and exciting year.

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Jim Lortz

Professor

Acting Dramatic Literature

PAC 389

(360) 650-3790

Jim.Lortz@wwu.edu

Jim Lortz

Jim received his MFA from the University of Montana, Missoula, and now teaches acting, musical theatre, and voice and diction classes as well as contemporary literature studies. He has been a WWU faculty member for 24 years. He has professionally acted at the Bathhouse Theatre, Montana Repertory Theatre, and the Skid Row Theatre. Past directing credits at Western include Cabaret, Angels in America: The Millennium Approaches and Perestroika (both parts of which were invited to attend K.C.A.C.T.F. in Anchorage, Alaska, in February 2001), Into the Woods, Fiddler on the Roof, To Kill a Mockingbird, City of Angels, The Diary of Anne Frank, Grease, Sweeney Todd, Assassins, The Happy Prince, RENT, and The Cider House Rules. Every year, Jim travels to Bingham, NY, where he directs two productions every summer, most recently Legally Blonde.

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Rick Merrill

Senior Instructor

CM 113B

(360) 650-3879

Richard.Merrill@wwu.edu

Rick Merrill

Rick Merrill began dancing at Dartmouth College and studied at Naropa Institute with Barbara Dilley, Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith and with senior students of Tai Chi Chuan master Cheng Man `ching. In New York City he studied with Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Alfredo Corvino, Marjorie Mussman, Trisha Brown, and members of the Jose Limon Dance Company. He has collaborated and performed with Martha Clarke and Pilobolus Dance Theater among many others. In NYC, Rick began choreographing and performing his own work. Now based in Barcelona, Spain, he continues to choreograph, perform and teach throughout Europe and North America. In his personal work Rick aspires to create a theater of the senses in which movement, text, sound and image emerge and mingle in open space, where we can be touched directly and genuinely before concepts and opinions intervene.

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Cynthia White

Adjunct Faculty

PAC 385

(360) 650-2206

cynthia.white@wwu.edu

Cynthia White

Cynthia earned her MFA in Directing at Southern Methodist University, receiving the Bob Hope Award for outstanding work. She joined the WWU faculty in Fall 2013 to teach Acting Shakespeare and Vocal Interpretation of a Role, having directed Twelfth Night as a special guest artist the preceding year. She has taught acting and directing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Pacific Lutheran University, and at Taproot Theatre in Seattle. A member of SDC and AEA, Cynthia has directed at regional theatres, Shakespeare festivals, and universities nationwide, and was Associate Director and Director of Play Development at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. While there she directed Ballerina, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Toys in the Attic, Voice of the Prairie, Woman in Mind, and the premiere of Kristine Thatcher’s Emma’s Child as well as several play development workshops. She created OSF’s new play reading series and headed it for ten years. Cynthia’s favorite acting roles include Anna in Old Times (Pinter) and Carrie Watts in Trip to Bountiful (Foote). She is a past president of STA (Shakespeare Theatre Association). Cynthia earned a Certificate in Arts Management for the Performing Arts and a Certificate in Editing from the University of Washington. She also works as a developmental and copy editor at CynTactics Editorial Services.

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