Faculty

Kate Clarke

Kate Clarke is a singer, actress and teacher. A graduate of Oberlin College (BA) and the University of Washington (MFA), she has been seen on both small and regional stages in New York, Seattle, Edinburgh, Denver, San Francisco, Cleveland, Jacksonville, New Orleans, and Moscow, ID. Kate has taught Acting, Movement and Voice at Oberlin Theater Institute, The University of Washington, Tulane University, and CUNY Hunter College. Kate is a member of Actors Equity and the Screen Actors' Guild.

She is currently the head of the Theatre program at Juniata.

From 1990 to 1997 Kate was a company member of Annex, an award winning not-for-profit theater in Seattle, whose mission was to provide an artistic home for emerging artists, and a forum for new work. Annex was instrumental in the creation and development of the Regional Alternative Theatre (RAT) Conference, wherein small theaters around the country have formed an alliance. Kate has appeared in world-premiere productions by many now-established playwrights including Erik Ehn, Naomi Izuka, Glen Berger, Y York, Todd Alcott, Suzanne Maynard, Chris Jeffries, Erin Cressida Wilson, and others. On the east coast, Kate has worked as an actress and teacher, developing new musical theatre, workshopping emerging plays, and creating work as a teaching artist for students in summer programs through regional theatres, colleges and universities.

Since 2007, Kate has been a member of The Gravity Project, a theatre company formerly based out of Juniata College (www.thegravityproject.org). With TGP, Kate appeared as Donna Matilda in an adaptation of Pirandello’s “Enrico IV”, as the Mouth in Beckett’s “Not I”, as the Stage Manager in "Our Town", and as the Widow Daventry in “Crispin the Cross of Lead”, which was a co-production with People’s Light and Theater in Philadelphia. 

At Juniata, Kate has directed "Pippin", "Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches", "Twelfth Night", “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”., and "Metamorphoses."

In 2010, Kate was certified in Open Source Forms, a movement technique derived from Skinner Releasing. She is currently working on a certification in Laban/Bartenieff Fundamentals in NYC. Her teaching pedagogy includes: Viewpoints, Suzuki, Alexander Technique, Stella Adler and Meisner studio work, Fitzmaurice and Linklater voice training, Shakespeare, Musical Theatre, Singing, and Aereal Dance.

Neal Utterback

Neal Utterback graduated with a BA in Theatre from Coastal Carolina University, an MFA in Acting from the University of Florida, and is completing his Ph.D. in Theatre with a minor in Cognitive Science at Indiana University. As an actor, Neal has worked regionally and in New York City. “Stagehands: Gestures and the Embodied Actor,” his dissertation, is based on empirical research that he is leading and will explore how actors use (consciously and unconsciously) gestures in rehearsal and performance to disambiguate language, expand meaning, and memorize text. His scholarly work has been presented at conferences around the world and he has co-chaired a new graduate conference at Indiana University. A playwright and theatre-maker, his play second. is published in NYTE's Plays and Playwrights 2005 as well as monologue and scene books for actors. The Picture (of Dorian Gray), Neal’s adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s infamous novel, premiered at the Absolutâ Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in Dublin, Ireland.  The highly physical, ensemble-based production earned nominations for Outstanding Production and Outstanding New Writing in Theatre

Jessie Sullivan

Jessie Sullivan is a Technical Director who has worked along the eastern coast of the US for the past 14 years.  Originally from NY Jessie came to the Halbritter Center for Performing Arts in 2006 for the opening of the new center and inaugural performance in the von Liebig Theatre.  She is not only the Technical Director for the Juniata College Theatre department but also the Halbritter Center itself.

With a background in stage management, construction, welding, and electrics she has worked in both indoor and outdoor facilities at The ATA Theatre NY, Ashlawn Opera Festival VA, Trump Plaza NJ, The Hardrock Casino FL, and McCarter Theatre NJ.

Having worked with a wide range of performance types-dance, opera, roadhouses, touring shows, and in house productions Jessie has specific training and experience in managing and overseeing venues with multiple performances and productions occurring concurrently.

In addition to her professional work Jessie has also been involved in educational outreach programs with school age children from grade school to college in both NY and VA.

The Gravity Partners 2012/13

Stephanie Skura

Stephanie Skura, a radical & perpetual innovator & Bessie award-winner, is a choreographer, director, performer, teacher & writer. Called "reliably irreverent," she has toured professionally for three decades in 13 countries & 30 states. Her current work integrates an innovative approach to language, continuing her life-long investigations of the boundaries & intersections of dance, theater, poetry and performance.

Skura directed a New York City-based touring company for 15 years, received seven Choreography Fellowships & five Dance company Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and grants & commissions from many corporations, foundations, government agencies & performing companies worldwide. Her work has toured at major festivals in Zurich, Vienna, Lisbon, Budapest, Italy, the UK, the Netherlands, France & Canada, and at such US venues as the Walker Art Center In Minneapolis, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and in New York City at Roulette, Dance Theater Workshop, the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center, Central Park Summerstage, Danspace Project, and Performance Space 122.

An innovative teacher & mentor, Skura's influence on countless students, teachers, artists, choreographers, and audience members has been a major force in the field of dance and performance. With a deep respect for individual diversity, and a sturdy respect for the subconscious, her work is guided by integration of body/mind/heart, creativity & technique, form & content, art & healing, intellect & intuition.

Skura was on graduate faculty at the University of Washington School of Drama for 5 years, on core faculty at the Skinner Releasing Institute for 14 years, and is creator/director of Open Source Forms Teacher Certification, with centers in Seattle & Italy. She holds a BFA & MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and was Associate Artistic Director of The Gravity Project, an elemental theater company affiliated with Juniata College 2004-10. Her non-fiction & poetry have appeared in several literary journals, and in Dance Magazine, the Village Voice, Contact Quarterly, and the book Reimaging America: Art & Social Change.

At Juniata College, Skura wrote and directed The Corduroy Prayer and Two Huts, and was the choreographer for Pippin, The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, Standing Stone, and Crispin the Cross of Lead. She served as Associate Director for Nine Gates, Enrico IV, and Return.

Skura currently lives near Seattle. For more information, please visit Stephanie's website: http://www.stephanieskura.com/

Nathan Dryden

Nathan Dryden is a performing artist, choreographer, and teacher newly relocated to Seattle WA, where he teaches aerial dance, improvisation, and the Skinner Releasing Technique. Nathan holds a B.A. in art and film studies from U.C. Irvine where he began to explore performance art and dance.

In 1994 he was invited by director Anne Bunker to join Orts Theatre of Dance (O-T-O) in Tucson AZ, where he began performing the aerial dances of Robert Davidson for the single-point trapeze. Davidson also introduced him to the work of Joan Skinner and in 2001 Nathan became a certified SRT teacher. He has served on faculty at SRT intensives in Turkey, New Zealand, as part of the Florida Dance Festival in Miami FL, at Juniata College, PA, and Seattle, WA.

He has choreographed and performed independently and with the NEW ARTiculations Dance Company, ZUZI! Move It Dance, Zenith Dance Collective, Kevin Schroeder, and Beth Braun Dancers in AZ, the Black Earth Collective in WI, Charlotte Adams and Dancers in NYC, and Moving Current, FL. He performed in England for the first time this last June - a solo for trapeze plus an improvised duet with dancer Julie Nathanielsz.

He is a member of The Gravity Partners movement theatre company. In 2006 he created the evening length work "Airstonewater" with TGP collaborator Erica Kauffman for the Juniata College Theatre Department. He also appeared on stage in Crispin: The Cross of Lead, a TGP collaboration with People's Light & Theatre Company in Philadelphia, PA, as well as a puppeteer for Juniata Theatre’s Return.

Michelle Krusiec

Michelle Krusiec is best known for her starring role opposite Joan Chen in the romantic comedy Saving Face directed by Alice Wu. The role garnered her a nomination for the Chinese Language Oscar, also known as the Golden Horse, for Best Actress in 2005. On stage, Michelle stars as the lead in Chinglish named one of the best plays of 2011 by TIME magazine (Berkeley Repertory and South Coast Repertory). Michelle also originated her tour-de-force solo show Made in Taiwan, which premiered at the 2002 HBO Aspen Comedy Arts Festival, the 2003 LA Women’s Theatre Festival, the 2005 New York Asian American Theatre Festival, and the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival and Fringe Encores. She also developed the original role of Creta Kano in workshop productions of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (3-Legged Dog, Asia Society). Michelle’s selected film credits include Duplex, Far North, A Helping Hand, Henry Poole Is Here, Knife Fight, Nanking, Nixon,Pumpkin, Sweet Home Alabama, What Happens in Vegas, and Zoom Hunting (Taiwan). In TV, Michelle starred in the series One World and Travelers and her favorite recurring/guest appearances include Blue Bloods, Community, Dirty Sexy Money, Fringe, Grey’s Anatomy, Mind of the Married Man, Monk, Nip/Tuck, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Touch, and Weeds.

Michelle volunteers and advocates for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness with the Center for the Pacific Asian American Family.

Rick Wamer

In 1982, Rick Wamer began his studies of mime at The Goldston School for Mimes in Gambier, Ohio, under the direction of Gregg Goldston. He continued this pursuit of mime, participating in Marcel Marceau’s U.S. Seminars in 1985, ‘86 and ‘87 in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has assisted Mr. Marceau in later Seminars. He now serves with Lorie Heald as Artistic Director of The School for Mime Theatre in Gambier, Ohio and Theatrical Mime Theatre in Tucson, Arizona.

Rick’s solo performances, collaborations and residencies have delighted and entertained audiences of all ages throughout North America, in Asia, Eastern Europe and the West Indies. His one-man show Geometries: Performing Art Experiments by a Not-So Mathematical Genius, a fast-paced performance mingling mime and monologue has been delighting audiences throughout North America since it’ premier in 1994. He toured for several years as a founding member of The Invisible People Mime Theatre and contributed his choreography to their effort. Other major projects have included performances in Warsaw, Poland, with Bartek Ostapczuk, Gregg Goldston and Lorie Heald at the Mithynarodowy Festiwal Snuki Mimu, and upon several occasions in Eastern China with Alithea Mime Theatre, and Theatrical Mime Theatre’s 5-member mime ensemble at the China Shanghai International Arts Festival. Most recently Wamer performed at the first Panphys Physical Theatre Festival in Skopje, Macedonia, for which he won “Best of Festival” and in May, 2009 he represented the United States in a Festival for Peace among Jewish and Palestinian Israelis in Shefa-'Amr, Israel. Besides directing Theatrical Mime Theatre with Lorie Heald, Rick holds an M.F.A in Theatre Arts from the University of Arizona and serves as the Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA) Program Coordinator, working with the Tucson Unified School District. References to Wamer and his artistry can be found in two significant, recent publications: From the Greek Mimes to Marcel Marceau and Beyond, by Annette Lust, page 184, and Innovate the Pixar Way: Business Lessons from the World’s Most Creative Corporate Playground, by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson, pages 58 and 64. He makes his home in Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A. For more information, please visit Rick’s website: www.theatricalmimetheatre.org

Jen Peterman

Jen Peterman holds a BFA in Drama from Syracuse University and has been a writer/performer in NYC for over 17 years. Her stand-up comedy was performed on the Gotham Comedy Club stage, Moonwork, Stand-Up New York, and held a regular spot at The Duplex. In 2005 she received a grant from the Tony Award winning Araca Group to write her first play "Tooth and Nail" which was read at Stage Left Studios for further development. Jen's writing was selected for collaboration on a fledgling TV pilot "Los Dos" which has been submitted to the creative agencies at HBO, FX Channel, Oxygen and Showtime. She just recently performed "Annelle," at The Peoples Improv Theater and the piece was selected for the " Women at Work Festival" this fall. She is currently developing her solo show "Admit One"; a project including "Annelle" and three other vastly different characters that admit one significant truth about themselves that change the state of their world and the world of another.

Ariel Fristoe

Ariel Fristoe is the founder and Co-Artistic Director of Out Of Hand Theater, where she creates innovative new work by partnering with passionate experts to create compelling, intimate theatrical events, engaging communities around ideas that matter. Since 2001, she has developed 12 original pieces, 8 of which have toured the U.S. and Europe. Original works include HELP!, an interactive self-help seminar exploring group psychology; MEDS, a wonderland fun-ride through the pharmaceutical industry; and HOMINID, a collaboration with world-famous behavioral scientist Frans de Waal, which toured five cities in Europe. Last year, Out of Hand collaborated with the NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution to develop GROUP INTELLIGENCE, an interactive theatrical event modeling origins of life chemistry on a human scale. GROUP INTELLIGENCE premiered in Atlanta, toured to Europe, and is now touring the U.S., including science festivals and the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Out Of Hand has been featured in Variety, Studio 360, Back Stage, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Discovery News, Theater Journal and TheaterForum, and received a New Generations: Future Audiences award from Theater Communications Group. Out Of Hand has been named Atlanta’s “Best New Company” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), “Best Theatrical Mad Scientists” (Creative Loafing), and one of “A Dozen Young American Companies You Need to Know” (American Theatre Magazine). Directing credits include Theater Emory, Jewish Theatre of the South, Theatre du Reve and The National Black Arts Festival. Acting credits include Actor’s Express, Arkansas Repertory, Jewish Theatre of the South, Geva Theatre and Theatrical Outfit. Ariel holds a BA in Theater and French, summa cum laude,from Emory University, where she received the Lewis Sudler Prize in the Arts and the Friends of Theater Emory Most Valuable Collaborator Award. Ariel is a 2004 Finalist for the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors, and a winner of the Loridans Artist Encouragement Award 2009. In 2010 she was the runner up for Best Local Director by The Sunday Paper.

Tara Giordano

Tara Giordano is a New York-based actor, improviser, and teacher. Acting credits include work at NY Theater Workshop, NY Musical Theater Festival, Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, McCarter Theater, and many others. She most recently appeared in CITIZEN RUTH at the Minetta Lane Theatre (winner of Best New Musical at the NY International Fringe Festival). She performed short-form improvisation for two years as a member of Comedy Sportz in Washington, DC and has over 6 years of long-form improvisation performance experience, including weekly shows at The Peoples Improv Theater in NY and The Comedy Spot in DC. Ms. Giordano has studied improv at The Peoples Improv Theater and The Magnet Theater and has trained/performed with artists from Second City, UCB, and Improv Olympic. She was a recipient of the Washington DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Individual Artist Fellowship, which allowed her to study Mask and Red Nose at the Actors Center in NY (Per Brahe) and at the Boulder Circus Center in CO (Giovanni Fusetti). She has been a teaching artist at McCarter Theater, Peoples Light and Theatre Co., Two River Theater, Imagination Stage, and Acting Manitou, and has taught workshops in improvisation at Middlebury College and Vermont Stage Co.

Liz Green

Liz Green oversees Programming and Production at First Person Arts, a multi-disciplinary arts organization in Philadelphia dedicated to the power of the personal, producing memoir based theater, dance, visual, and literary works. She runs the new work development program for emerging artists called First Person RAW, where artists develop and present new works that push their personal and artistic boundaries. In 2011, she was the production coordinator for the Network of Ensemble Theater's MICROFEST: Philly. Prior to that, she was the Casting Director and Artistic Associate at Two River Theater Company in New Jersey for four years, where she founded the Local Artists Network, a career development program for actors. She has conducted research for community-devised plays at Sojourn Theater (Portland, OR), Cornerstone Theatre (Los Angeles, CA), and Passage Theatre (Trenton, NJ) and trained in Civic Dialogue and Performance with Michael Rohd, and therapeutic art practices with BuildaBridge, International. She studied Theatre Arts (directing) and Sociology at Drew University.

Amy Smith

Amy Smith is Co-Director of Headlong Dance Theater along with Andrew Simonet and David Brick. She received her BA in Dance and Religion from Wesleyan University, and later studied at the Center for New Dance Development in Holland. In addition to Headlong, Amy has performed in the works of Deborah Hay, Ishmael Houston Jones, and other choreographers. She has also performed extensively in theater and cabaret, and has won both a Barrymore (Philadelphia Theatre Award) for 1812 Productions' Suburban Love Songs and a Bessie (New York Dance Award) for Headlong's ST*R W*RS and other stories.  In 2011 she choreographed a co-production of The Cunning Little Vixen for the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Curtis Institute of Music. She also played the role of Jane Fonda in Theatre Exile's That Pretty Pretty. Teaching has long been a great passion of Amy’s and she has taught and lectured at Rutgers University, Drexel University, Stephens College, and many other schools. In 2008, Headlong started the Headlong Performance Institute, a semester intensive training program for college students and recent graduates. Amy is Finance Director for Headlong, and often serves as a mentor to younger artists and companies in Philadelphia, helping them increase their financial literacy and improve their financial management skills.

Melissa Noble

Melissa Noble is a movement specialist focused on both the performing and the healing arts. In addition to her work as an instructor, dancer and choreographer, Melissa is also a Certified Instructor and Instructor Trainer with STOTT PILATES™, and a Licensed Massage Therapist. She has been assisting clients with injuries using therapeutic massage and Pilates since 1996. Melissa has acquired three Pilates certifications: as an apprentice to Cary Reagan in 1995, another with the Physical Mind Institute in 1996, and most recently her designations as a Certified Instructor and Instructor Trainer with STOTT PILATES™ in 2005. She served as a faculty member at the ARC Dance School of Ballet from 2004-2007, where she choreographed several pieces on the company and was also on faculty at University of Washington in the Theatre Dept. from 1999-2006. In 1999, she opened Bodycenter Studios in Washington, which became the first Licensed Training Center in Seattle for the education of Pilates instructors. After moving to Bloomington in 2007, Melissa opened Bodycenter Bloomington, a private studio focused on the treatment of injury and chronic pain through massage and Pilates. STOTT PILATES® Intensive Mat-Plus™ Course.

Christopher Patrick Mullen

Chris has worked with People’s Light and Theatre Company since 1989. He is a graduate of DeSales University and has acted extensively with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival since it opened in 1992. A co-artistic director of Quinnopolis NY, Chris has also collaborated with the Arden Theatre Co., Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Syracuse Stage, the George Street Playhouse, Mumpuppet Theatre, Retro Productions, the Hedgerow Theatre, the Century Center and the Chester Theatre Co., among others. He has made appearances on NBC’s Law & Order.

Adrian Latourelle

Adrian LaTourelle is a classically trained stage and film actor with an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. He has also studied with Sanford Meisner. His many stage credits include work in some of the best theaters in the country, such as the Mark Taper Forum, the Shakespeare Theater in DC, The Old globe, the San Jose Rep, the Dallas Theater Center, and the Yale Repertory Theater. He has appeared in numerous television series such as House, NCIS:LA, Boston Legal, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, Numbers, with a recurring role on Sons of Anarchy. Adrian is a member of the Antaeus Company of Actors in Los Angeles.

Gregory Colburn

Gregory Colburn holds a B.S. in Dance Therapy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing and Bikram Yoga, and has extensive training in the Alexander Technique from the Barstow Institute and in Experiential Anatomy and Developmental Movement from the School for Body Mind Centering. He is a senior teacher at Yoga Vida, an actor/performer in the children's theatre ensemble, Stories That Soar, and a founding member of the improvisational dance ensemble, Movement Salon.

His love of improvisation and approach to movement art was instilled by his teachers: A.A. Leath, Ellen Moore, Claudia Gittleman, Ruth Zaporah, Simone Forti, Barbara Mettler, the Architects, Jennifer Kayle, Katherine Ferrier, Pamela Vail, and Lisa Gonzalez.

Allison Narver

Allison Narver has an MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. Seattle Credits: Romeo and Juliet (Intiman).Female of the Species, Eurydice, The Clean House and A Christmas Carol (ACT); Robin Hood, Bluenose and 100 Dresses (SCT); Or, Three Tall Women, Memory House and Bad Dates (The Seattle Repertory Theatre); Orange Flower Water (New Century Theater); Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (5th Avenue Theater); Little Women (Book-It Repertory), Bust (premiere), Vera Wilde, 1984, G-D Doesn’t Pay Rent Here (25 Questions for a Jewish Mother), Texarkana Waltz and Valley of The Dolls (Empty Space Theater). Regionally: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Studio Theater, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Portland Stage Company, Alice B. Theater, Boise Contemporary Theatre, Circle X Theater, Redcat, Portland Center Stage, Annex Theater and The Yale Repertory Theater, Disney Creative, The Kirk Theater, The Public Theater, The New Victory Theater, Ars Nova and The Women’s Project. Former Artistic Director of The Empty Space Theater, Annex Theater and The Yale Cabaret.

Ian Merrill Peakes

Regional: Denver Center: Glengarry Glen Ross, When Tang Met Laika, The Catch; Actors Theatre of Louisville: Twelfth Night, Crucible; Shakespeare Santa Cruz: Much Ado, Tempest; Folger Shakespeare Theatre: Othello, Macbeth, Henry VIII, Two Gents, Measure for Measure, Melissa Arctic, Game of Love and Chance; Shakespeare Theatre, DC: Taming of the Shrew; Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre: The False Servant; Boarshead Theatre: Hamlet; Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival: Othello, Henry IV, As You Like It. Philadelphia (Home): Wilma: Invention of Love; Arden Theatre Co.: World premiers of Something Intangible and Molly’s Delicious, Clybourne Park, R and G Are Dead, All My Sons, Prayer for Owen Meany, Three Days of Rain; Walnut Street Theater: Of Mice and Men, Enchanted April; Philly Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet; Philadelphia Theatre Company: Sideman. International: Derby Playhouse, UK, Great Expectations. Film: Lebanon, Gentleman’s Game. Television: Still Standing, Hack, Homicide. Awards: Helen Hayes Nominations for Macbeth, Henry VIII and Game of Love and Chance; Ovation and Henry Award Nominations for Glengarry in Denver; Best of Denver Westword Awad for Glengarry and The Catch; Barrymore Nominations for Red Light Winter, Romeo and Juliet; Barrymore Awards for Something Intangible, All My Sons and Sideman; 2003 F. Otto Haas Award for Emerging Artist in Philadelphia.