Creative Activity/Research

Faculty in the Department of Theatre and Dance work in a variety of fields. The following are fields and creative activities in which the Theatre and Dance faculty have distinguished specializations.


Stacy Alley – A professional director and choreographer whose recent credits include work in Norway, Scotland, Chile, and at Forestburgh Playhouse in NY and SummerTide Theatre in Gulf Shores. She is a member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the Alabama Conference of Theatre, and is Vice President of the Musical Theatre Educators Alliance International.

Jacki Armit – A professional costumer for theatres across the country including The Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City, UT), The Alley Theatre (Houston, TX), Florentine Opera Company (Milwaukee, WI), Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival (Lake Tahoe, NV), PlayMakers Repertory Company (Chapel Hill, NC), and New American Theatre (Rockford, IL).

Steve Burch – A dramaturg who has published two books, Stanislavski in Ireland: Focus at Fifty and Breaking Boundaries: A Anthology of Original Plays from the Focus Theatre, as well as Andrew P. Wilson and the Early Irish and Scottish National Theatres, 1911-1950 and Stage Plays: An Introductory Anthology. He has also published articles and reviews in Theatre History Studies, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Theatre Symposium, Southern Theatre, David Mamet Review, Theatre Journal, Prospects, the Oxford Companion to United States History, Holocaust Literature, and Reference Guide to Holocaust Literature

F. Randy deCelle – Specializing in technical production and entertainment automation, he has worked professionally with Fisher Technical Services in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he continues to work as a consultant and designer.  At Fisher, he was the Head of Electrical Design, responsible for automation design on projects such as:  Celine Dion’s Return to Las VegasShrek the Musical at Drury Lane Theatre, London; and the renovation of the David H. Koch Theater at New York City’s Lincoln Center.  Additionally, he managed automation design for projects including The World of Colorand Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure Park, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark on Broadway; and The Metropolitan Opera’s Ring Cycle in New York City. He is an active member of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology and served as the Digital Media and Technology Coordinator for the United States entries into the 2007 Prague Quadrennial International Exhibition of Scenography and Theatre Architecture in the Czech Republic.  He is also a member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers.

Andy Fitch – (Member-United Scenic Artists) specializes in Scenic Design and has designed scenery for 75 Equity Theatre productions. Theatres Andy has designed for include: the Warehouse Theatre of Greenville, SC; Red Mountain Theatre in Birmingham; The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina; The Hippodrome in Florida; and The Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He is also the founding designer for Kitchen Dog Theatre in Dallas.

Luvada Harrison – Accomplished Soprano Luvada A. Harrison made her Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the Manhattan Philharmonic and her Lincoln Center debut in Alice Tully Hall with the New York Choral Society as the soprano soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater. She has also worked for the Education Department of the New York City Opera Company, the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the “Meet the Artist” series at Lincoln Center, as well as presented recitals and master classes at several universities throughout the United States including Lawrence University in Wisconsin, Albany State University in Georgia, Liberty University in Virginia and Pikeville University in Kentucky. Harrison has also appeared as a featured soloist with the Tuscaloosa Symphony.

Allison Hetzel – Specializing in Acting and Voice, she recently presented a selection from her upcoming project “Step Mama Drama” in Chicago, Illinois as part of the Identity Cabaret during the summer of 2016 at DePaul University, the piece presented later in production at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In August of 2014, she was invited to perform in “Cross Cultural Archetypes” in London, England at the Royal School of Speech and Drama. Vocal coaching credits include the 2011 summer season at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and the New York productions of Hell and Alcestis Ascending. She also created and performed in a one-woman show titled Considering Georgia O’Keeffe at the 2009 and 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe as well as the 2010 East to Edinburgh Festival in New York City. She recently co-authored an article titled “Managing ‘Vocal Dose’ and the acting voice: how much is too much?” in the December 2017 Voice and Speech Review Journal. She is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA).

Annie Levy – Specializing in Directing and Theatre-making, her recent New York credits include City Center, Dixon Place, HERE, The New Ohio Theatre, Theatre at the Tank, Access Theatre, Figment Festival, and The Green Building. Annie is a founding member of World Wide Lab in residency at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center (2011), the Irondale Center in Brooklyn (2012 & 2013), Teatro Due in Rome (2014), Syros Institute on the Greek Island of Syros (2015), 435 Art Zone in Taipei, Taiwan (2016) and Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, Canada (2017). In summer of 2018 she premiered a new piece called TREE ARMY: The CCC Project, an exploration of the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, an Associate Member of SDC and is the co-founder of the literary series SWEET! Actors Reading Writers.

William A. Martin – Specializing in Musical Theatre and Vocal Instruction, his varied performance credits include the role of Maurice on the National/North American tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, roles with numerous opera companies including Atlanta Opera and Baltimore Opera, as well as several summers with Lees-McRae Summer Theatre. He also taught and performed at the Escola de Musica da Universidade Federal da Bahia in Brazil and is a member of the Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance, the Southeastern Theatre Conference, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Guild of Musical Artists, and Pi Kappa Lambda.

Donna Meester – Specializing in Costume Design and Production, credits include work for The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, The Memphis Black Rep, The RedLight Theatre (Washington D.C.), Arkansas State University, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Ouachita Baptist College, Henderson State University, Louisiana State University and The University of Northern Iowa. Meester served as Design Chair for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival-Region IV and is a 2011 Recipient of the Kennedy Center Golden Medallion Award, the highest award given to Educators. An active member in the United States Institute for Theatre Design/Technology, Donna recently served six years as the Costume Commissioner.

Seth Panitch – Specializing in Acting and also a professional director, playwright and filmmaker, he has worked internationally in Havana, Cuba with the Ministry of Culture (directing productions of The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Importance of Being Earnest, Beyond Therapy, and Alcestis Ascending); Off-Broadway at the 59E59 Theatre , American Place Theater, Westbeth Theater Center, Harold Clurman Theatre, Samuel Beckett Theatre, and Urban Stages Theatre; regionally at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival (three seasons), Utah Shakespearean Festival, Texas Shakespeare Festival and Idaho Repertory Theatre; and in Los Angeles at the Globe Playhouse, Odyssey Theatre, Ventura Court Theatre, Complex Theatre and the Hillside Repertory Company. His plays Hell: Paradise Found (published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc.), Alcestis Ascending and Dammit, Shakespeare! have received critical success in New York and Los Angeles productions. He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and the Dramatists Guild of America.

Matt Reynolds – Specializing in Lighting, Sound and Digital Design, his work has been enjoyed at American Southwest Theatre Company, Phoenix Theatre, Cardinal Theatre, and Brown County Playhouse, among others. He has also had the pleasure of designing for fantastic choreographers like George Pinney, Ben Munisteri, Jin Wen Yu, Bella Lewitzky, Debra Knapp, Sherrie Barr, and Iris Rosa.  He has 2 publications by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, the Gretel Geist Design Award for his lighting design of The American Clock, Best Sound Design Pulsar Award Nomination for As You Like It, Best Lighting Design Pulsar Award Nomination for Legally Blonde, KCACTF Regional Selection for As You Like It (sound design) and Twelfth Night (sound and lighting design) and is a long-standing member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology; the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects, and Technicians; Phi Beta Kappa; and an affiliate of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

Kelley Schoger – Specializing in Acting, Stage Movement and Alexander Technique, recent movement and directing credits include Arena Stage in Washington DC and Richmond Symphony in VA and credits as an actor, puppeteer and other capacities include MCC Theater, La Mama E.T.C., Theatre for the New City, Mabou Mines, Aisling Arts, The Roundabout Theatre Company and Inside Broadway. She taught theatre, puppetry and directed with Limelight Productions, a theatre company she co-founded to promote theatre and facilitate dialogue on Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Dominic Yeager



Sarah M. Barry – Specializing in Modern Technique, Choreography and Improvisation, Dance Pedagogy and Dance History, her choreography has been shown across the U.S. and internationally, including performances in Sorrento, Italy, Biel, Switzerland and at the Edinburgh International Fringe
 Festival. She directs the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive at UA where she teaches modern, dance history, and experiential anatomy and has choreographed for their Showcase. She has been a guest artist with Alabama State University, Emory University, the Alabama Dance Festival, the American College Dance Association, the Children’s Dance Foundation, and the Alberta School of the Performing Arts. Sarah also has publications in the Journal of Dance Education, the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters journal, and the Journal of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science.

Cornelius Carter – Specializing in all forms, most recently he served on the panel for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. He was awarded the National Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Washington, D.C. in 2001. He was as the new artistic director for one of the first contemporary dance companies and schools in Reykjavik, Iceland and a faculty member at the American Ballet Theatre, American Dance Festival (Moscow 1997 and Korea 2002), Bates Dance Festival and Harvard Summer Dance Festival (Dean of Students).   He also teaches and choreographs for the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive Program (2001-present) in New York.  In 1999, he attended the American Choreographers Showcase where he presented and performed his choreography in France, Holland, Austria, Vienna, and Lithuania.

Qianping Guo – Specializing in Ballet, he has danced with two of the top ballet companies in China and America, including Liaoning Ballet of China and Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. Guo has performed many principal and solo roles of ballet including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Gisselle, Le Corsaire, and George Balanchine’s ballet Jewels Rubies, Stars and Stripes, and Midsummer Night’s Dream. He participated in many national and international ballet competitions including China’s 1st National Ballet Competition in 1985, in which he won the silver medal; the 2nd International Ballet Competition in New York in 1987; the 13th international Ballet Competition in Varna Bulgaria in 1988; and the 7th International Ballet Competition in France in 1988, in which he won the gold medal. He was awarded a certificate of qualification to teach Vaganova ballet method from Ballet Heritage Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia and he also is a certified teacher for American Ballet Theater’s National Training Curriculum.

Lawrence Jackson – Specializing in Modern Technique, he devoted several years with the internationally acclaimed modern dance company, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. Additionally, he has performed as a guest artist in a variety of venues; on the concert stage, PBS television programs, dinner theatres, and summer dance intensives. He has published in many scholarly journals in the field of Black Dance. Most recently, he co-edited and published a special edition devoted to Black Dance in the Journal of Pan African Studies. This edition marked the second occurrence in history, where an academic journal edition was committed solely to Black Dance.

Ja’Morris Rivers – Specializing in Ballet and Jazz, He is the Resident Choreographer and Artistic Director of AROVA Contemporary Ballet in Birmingham, Alabama. He has danced with Montgomery Ballet, Southern Danceworks, Alabama Ballet, AROVA, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet appearing in the US, Europe, Brazil, and Australia. He is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

Rebecca Salzer – Her creative activity transcends disciplinary labels.  Her varied collaborative projects and her work for Rebecca Salzer Dance Theater have been supported by the California Arts Council, the Berkeley Arts Council, Theatre Bay Area, and various private and corporate donors.  Ms. Salzer’s recent work for the stage has been seen at Links Hall Chicago, Highways Performance Space and Gallery in Los Angeles and at The La Jolla Playhouse.  Her films and videos have been programmed in national and international film festivals and on PBS-affiliate stations nationwide.

Rita Snyder – Specializing in Ballet and Modern, she has danced professionally with American Festival Ballet, Classical Ballet Theatre, Berkshire Ballet, Tandy Beal and Co., and Clay Taliaferro and Dancers.  She has also served as ballet coach for Kennedy Center performances of The Next Ice Age and taught modern dance for the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive.