Contact:
Dr. Mick Sokol
Chair of Theatre Department
Professor of Theatre
Office: (417) 873-6821
msokol@drury.edu


Robert Westenberg
Artistic Director
Associate Professor
Office: (417) 873-6342
rwestenberg@drury.edu



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Theatre Alumni

 
Leonard Pronko

Leonard Pronko
Year of Graduation: 1947
Major: French
Minor: Spanish

After graduating from Drury Leonard went on to receive his M.A. in French and Spanish from Washington University and his Ph.D. from Tulane University.

From 1957-86 Leonard taught French, Spanish and some Italian, at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He has published seven or eight books, including Theatre East and West, The World of Jean Anouilh, Avant-Garde, Georges Feydeau and Guide to Japanese Drama.

He participated in Theatre Studies at the Ecole d'Art Dramaitque Charles Dullin in Paris and the Kabuki Training Program at the National Theatre of Japan. On his first sabbatical in 1963 he had a Guggenheim Fellowship and discovered kabuki and, thereafter, made it a major specialty. For about thirty years he directed kabuki plays in English, including replicas of Japanese classics and original "Western Kabuki" using kabuki techniques in plays based on western themes, like Revenge at Spider Mountain , Lancelot Bewitched and Atahualpa. His kabuki production in 1972 was chosen for the American College Theatre Festival performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and he was awarded a Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Award.

In 1986 he was decorated by the Japanese government with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Third Degree. In 1997 he received the ATHE (American Theatre in Higher Education) Award for Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education.

In addition to nineteen kabuki productions, he has directed several dozen western plays, chiefly classics, from Shakespeare and Moliere to Ibsen, Shaw, Cocteau and Duerrenmatt. He continues as a Professor of Theatre teaching half time, one course and one play each year, at Pomona College.


 

Peg Waeckerle Crandall
Peg Waeckerle Crandall Year of Graduation: 1961
Major: Psychology / Sociology
Minor: Global Studies

Peg has spent 20 years in Human Resources management, development, and training.  She received her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and Development and taught Human Resources in the Webster University Graduate Program.  She is a Certified Life Coach.  Peg is a caregiver advocate and speaker whose published book, Caregivers: Angels without Wings, is for and about caregivers, providing inspiration through caregivers' stories, their words of wisdom, and 'how to' advice on walking the caregiver path. She continues to enjoy acting and performing in community plays.


 

Carol Ritzen Kem, Ph.D.
Year of Graduation: 1963
Major: History
Minor: English/Education

Carol spent time in both the music and theatre programs while at Drury. Today she is an Emeritus professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. She is active in the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research and with the Association for Academic Women, as well as remaining active in several national professional organizations.


 

John D. Tabor
Year of Graduation: 1968
Major: Speech and Theatre

John holds a Master's Degree from Syracuse University. He is the Executive Director of The Crisis Pregnancy Centers of Tucson serving in that capacity since February of 1995. Certified as a CFRE by National Society of Fund Raising Executives in 1981(now the Association of Fund Raising Professionals, AFP) and Fellow by the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) in 1982. John also served as the Development Director for the AZ Theatre Company in the early 1990s and taught Radio/Television/Cinematography for three years at University of North Dakota and St. Louis University.

John has served numerous non-profit organizations in staff and volunteer capacities. He has also served many others throughout the U.S. as a development consultant. Currently, John serves as Co-Chairman of the Board for the Arizona Life Coalition (Phoenix, AZ), and as a member of the Board for Harvest Media Ministries (Tucson, AZ), Life International, (Grand Rapids, MI), and is a member of the National Advisory Council for National Institute of Family & Life Advocates (Fredericksburg, VA). He most recently joined the Board of Unite4Africa, Tucson, AZ. He also serves as Secretary for Pinnacle Forum, (Tucson, AZ). He has served as the Tucson Men's Children's Supervisor for Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) 1995-2002, and as a member of the boards of Christian Family Care Agency (Tucson, AZ), 1991-1994, The Crisis Pregnancy Centers of Greater Phoenix 2003 – 2006, for which he also served as their Interim Executive Director 2005 - 2006, Heartbeat International, Treasurer (Columbus, OH), 2002-2007, Life Steward Ministries (Knoxville, TN), 2002-2007, Greater Tucson Leadership, 2000-2006 and as the Umpire in Chief for the CDO Little League, 2001-2002.

John was ordained as a Pastor in recognition of the work of the CPCs of Tucson in the lives of those he serves in 2008. The Southern Arizona Chapter of AFP honored him as the Fund Raising Executive of the Year in 1999. John also is a charter member of the Emeritus Society of AFP and served as a founding member of the first Certification Board for that organization certifying fund-raising professionals from around the world. He is a member of the Southern Arizona Chapter of AFP.

Awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, John continues to have contact with Vietnam and Cambodia through the CPC ministry there. He also team teaches around the globe on the sanctity of human life and Biblical sexuality and serves as a member of the faculty for the Great Turnaround, a fund-raising ministry of the Exponential Group led by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. John was named Servant of the Year in 2009 by Heartbeat International.

John has been married to his wife Lynne for nearly 43 years and has three children. He has been blessed with six grandchildren.


 

Florence M. Warren Buchanan
Year of Graduation: 1968
Major: Biology
Minor: Education

Florence retired after 31 years in education working as a junior high and high school science teacher, secondary and elementary counselor and special education director and currently works for Lebanon R-II Schools as a part-time school psychological examiner for early childhood special education.

While living in Nevada, Missouri Florence was president of the Community Theater Board, served on the Community Council for Performing Arts, was active in organizing theater for children and children's theater experiences, and volunteered for the Nevada High School theater and debate activities.

Florence is currently living in Richland, Missouri where she volunteers as board member for Warren Senior Center and the Pulaski County Sheltered Workshop.


 
Joe Potter

William "Joe" Potter
Year of Graduation: 1977
Major: Theatre
Minor: Speech / Music

Joe is currently in his 29th year as a full-time theatre professor and Artistic Director of Theatre at William Woods University. He earned his BA in Theatre from Drury University and his MA in Theatre Arts from California State University, Los Angeles. Before being employed at WWU, he worked in professional theatre, television, and film. His professional theatre credits include four seasons with Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, MO. His television and movie credits include such productions as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 1941, Blade Runner, Superman, The Waltons, Little House On The Prairie, Dukes of Hazzard, Charlie's Angels, M*A*S*H, Fantasy Island, and The Carol Burnett Show. Joe is a member of the Educational Theatre Association, United States Institute for Theatre Technology, National Collegiate Players, Alpha Psi Omega and a past member of the Society for American Fight Directors and Choreographers.


 
Michael Mallory

Michael Mallory
Year of Graduation: 1977
Major: Speech and Dramatic Arts

Michael is a writer living in Glendale, California. He is a member of SAG/AFTRA/AEA.


 
Todd Potter

Todd Potter
Year of Graduation: 1979
Major: Speech and Dramatic Arts / Art History
Minor: Sociology

Todd lives in New York City and works on and off Broadway as a Set Designer. He is currently working on Business Meetings for Target Corporation designing sets for the meetings. Normally he works in NYC as an Associate Set Designer having designed for shows such as Catch Me If You Can (Broadway/National Tour), In The Heights (Broadway/National Tour), White Christmas (Broadway/National Tour/Seasonal Tour), High Fidelity (Boston/Broadway), Barefoot in the Park (Broadway), Avenue Q (Broadway/Las Vegas/National Tours), Little Women, The Musical (Broadway) and Enchanted April (Broadway).

Todd also designs for regional theaters when he has the time. Visit his Web site:
http://www.toddpotter.me

 


 
Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper
Y
ear of Graduation: 1980
Major: Theatre / Communication

Ben is a freelance director living in Los Angeles, California. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Shake the Bard Theatre Company in Eureka, California.

Ben participated in Voice Training Workshop with Arthur Lessac in 1980 and Training for the Actor, Wynn Handman, New York, New York in 1982. He was a Directing Apprentice to Clifford Williams, Royal Shakespeare Company and a Directing Apprentice to Eamon Morrissey, Abby Theater, Dublin in 1983. Ben received his M.F.A. in the Professional Director Training Program under George Sherman, Ohio University in 1984.

His past involvement in theatres around the country include Director, Venice Playwrights Festival, Santa Monica, California; Director, Various Stage Productions Los Angeles, California; Creative Consultant to The Giraffe Group, Long Beach, California; Actor, Bent, Coast Playhouse (with Steven Bauer & Viggo Mortensen), Los Angeles, California; Director of Conservatory Training, PCPA Theatrefest, Santa Maria, California; Resident Director, PCPA Theatrefest, Santa Maria, California; Guest Director, Minnesota Repertory Theater, Duluth, Minnesota; Play Development Project, Old Globe Playhouse, San Diego, California. (Tony Awarded Season); Assistant Director, Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, Cleveland, Ohio; Director/ Staff Writer for Circus Ridiculous Comedy Troupe, New York, New York; Casting Agent for Elissa Myers Casting , New York, New York; Stage Manager, A My Name is Alice, Off Broadway, New York, New York; Stage Manager, The Early Girl, The American Place Theater, New York, New York; and Production Manager, The Women's Project, The American Place Theater, New York, New York.


 
Brad Southwick

Brad Southwick
Year of Graduation: 1983
Major: Theatre and Business Administration

Brad produced his first movie, The Willies, released by Paramount in 1990. Since then he has produced over twenty-five features, four television series and countless commercials, music videos and industrials. He has worked on location throughout North America and extensively in Europe and Asia.

In 2008 he produced Legion starring Paul Bettany and Dennis Quaid. Released in 2010 by Screen Gems in 2,476 theaters in the United States, the film went on to become an international box office hit. Other feature film credits include A Warrior's Heart starring Twilight's Kelen Lutz and Ashley Green. Brad's credits also include Last Will starring Tatum O'Neil and Tom Berenger, and Living in Peril with Rob Lowe and Jim Belushi. He produced Body Armour starring Chaz Palminteri and Til Schweiger in Barcelona, Spain and Rancid with Matthew Settle and Fay Masterson in Stockholm, Sweden. He also produced the film adaptation of Norman Mailer's The Time of Her Time and most recently the 3D docudrama Divine Awakening, both directed by Francis Delia.

Southwick's television credits include the twenty-three part epic series The Korean War, shot in the United States and China for CCTV and thirty-nine half hour episodes of programming for HBO including most recently The Girls Guide to Depravity. He has also produced two HBO World Premier Movies, five SyFy Channel original movies and too many commercials, music videos and industrials to count.

Brad began his career as a production assistant in New York City. Relocating to Los Angeles, he worked for Michael Jackson's Ultimate Productions during the making of the Bad album, his follow up to the hugely successful Thriller. He is a member of the Director's Guild of America.


 
Michael Naumann

Michael Naumann
Year of Graduation: 1983
Major: Theatre / Business Administration
Minor: Economics

Michael Naumann is currently the Managing Director for Theatre Development Fund, a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts. As Managing Director Michael develops programs and initiatives that promote theatre access and education, oversees the management of TDF's three TKTS ticket booths and the 75,000 piece Costume Collection and is responsible for personnel and administrative policies. TDF's programs have filled over 78 million seats at discount prices and returned nearly two billion dollars in revenue to thousands of theatre, dance and music productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths in New York City, TDF's membership, access and education programs, as well as its Costume Collection, help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone.

Prior to joining TDF, Michael was the Finance Director for Frankel Green Theatrical Management/Richard Frankel Productions for 6 years. RFP produces and FGTM general manages Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, musicals and touring productions. Some of FGTM/RFP's recent productions include A Little Night Music, Rock of Ages, Hairspray, Burn The Floor, Young Frankenstein, Finian's Rainbow and Stomp New York & tour. Prior to RFP Michael was the Director of Finance & Administration for Manhattan Theatre Club for 20 years. At MTC he was responsible for all accounting, budgeting, financial reporting, human resources, and information systems. He has been a financial consultant to various Off-Off Broadway companies. He also has been Adjunct Assistant Professor for the Theatre Arts Program of the School of the Arts at Columbia University since 2001.

Michael has been living in Stamford, CT for the last 25 years and is married to Lisa Snow Naumann. They have two children, Chris (21)and Rachel(19).

 


 
Jennifer Henry

Jennifer Henry
Year of Graduation: 1993
Major: Psychology
Minor: Studio Art

After completing a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri – Columbia, Jennifer began her professional career as a Career Counselor at Central Missouri State University. She then returned to Drury as the Associate Director of the Career Center and, after completing her professional counseling license, as the Director of Student Support Services. In 2004 Jennifer moved to St. Louis, Missouri and is currently in her 8th year as the Director of Personal Counseling at Maryville University.


 

Jo Beth Tidgren Nicklas
Year of Graduation: 1994
Major: Theatre

Jo Beth has been teaching theatre and directing plays and musicals at Camdenton High School for 18 years. She is currently teaching acting 1 and 2, sound and lighting, college theatre and international baccalaureate theatre. Camdenton High School's production of the Wizard of Oz, with over 80 in the cast, had a total audience of 2,799. In addition to a BA in theatre from Drury, Jo Beth holds a masters in theatre from MSU.


 

Heather Manning Luby
Year of Graduation: 2002
Major: English
Minor: Global Studies

Heather is a writer living in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband Jason and two young daughters, Ryan and Tiernan.  Her short stories and essays have most recently appeared in Word Riot, Bartleby Snopes, Halfway Down the Stairs, The Citron Review, Travel by the Books and Annotation Nation.  Heather has a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles and is also part-time faculty with St. Louis Community College.  She is the Fiction Editor of The Citron Review and Associate Editor with The Splinter Generation.  As a Batman scholar, Heather can also be found lecturing around the U.S. on the merits of the graphic novel.


 

Cliff Johnson
Year of Graduation: 2003
Major: Advertising
Minor: Theatre

Cliff participated in various productions from 1999-2003 while attending Drury with responsibilities including acting, directing, lighting design, and scene design. His most notable theatrical achievement while at Drury was designing a bright green floor for the children's show his junior year - the paint probably still shines through the layers of black paint that have been added since! Cliff went to law school at Boston U straight after college and continued to get his theatrical fix as a member of the Legal Follies group at BU. He ended up directing the show in his third and final year and continues to participate in productions any time he gets the chance!


 

Bradley Fritz
Year of Graduation
: 2004
Major: Architecture
Minor: Music

Bradley has been working at OPN Architects in Cedar Rapids since graduation, specializing in performing arts design. Recent projects include renovations to Theatre Cedar Rapids, restoration of the historic Paramount Theatre, the Concert Hall at College Community, and currently working with a team from Pelli Clark Pelli Architects on the new Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa. He has also been involved as an actor, music director and set designer at Theatre Cedar Rapids. Bradley appeared on stage in nine shows since 2005, and has been in the pit for three. He also served three years on the Volunteer Board, including one on the Board of Directors as the chair of the Volunteer Board and appeared on stage for three shows at the Starlighters Theater in Anamosa, Iowa, and as music director and on-stage pianist for two shows at the Iowa Theatre Artists, a professional company in Amana, Iowa.


 

Erica SpyresErica Spyres
Year of Graduation: 2006
Major: Music
Minor: Global Studies

Erica Spyres moved to Boston in 2007 with her husband, composer Andrew Paul Jackson. Since relocating, she has worked at many professional theatre companies in Boston. Recent credits include Time Stands Still (Mandy), Big River (Mary Jane), Open House (Diane), and The Life & Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Tilda Price/Miss Snevellicci) with The Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Unknown Soldier (Lucy Lemay) and Pirates! (Isabel) with The Huntington Theatre Company, The Light in the Piazza (Clara Johnson) with SpeakEasy Stage Company (Winner: IRNE Best Supporting Actress in a Musical), the premiere of Sense & Sensibility: The Musical (Marianne Dashwood) with Wellesley College Theatre, and Fringe Wars with Blue Spruce Theatre and Company One. This spring, she will take on the role of Kate Monster/Lucy in the Boston premiere of Avenue Q. Erica loves coming back to Springfield to work with friends and family, and has most recently performed in Guys & Dolls (Sarah Brown) with Tent Theatre and The Light in the Piazza (Clara) with Springfield Contemporary Theatre. In addition to theatrical work, she has been seen on several web videos, commercials, and industrials, including Amica Auto Insurance (online coverage advisor) and guest-hosted the television show What's in Store for Boston's CBS affiliate. www.ericaspyres.com


 

Kathryn Ambrose
Year of Graduation: 2007
Major: Theatre
Minor: Architecture

Katie began a career as a professional stage manager immediately after graduation with Center Stage in Baltimore, Maryland. She is still employed there (2011) as a Production Assistant and lead Assistant Stage Manager. She also worked on the Broadway production of Sister Act as a technical assistant.


 

Stephen EhrlichStephen Ehrlich
Year of Graduation: 2007
Major: Theatre
Minor: Global Studies

Stephen feels blessed to have been able to participate in the professional theatre world in various aspects since graduation. As a casting intern for Tara Rubin Casting, he's worked on such Broadway productions as Jersey Boys, The Phantom of the Opera, Billy Elliot, Spamalot, and many others. He has also worked with stage management and production teams for four off-Broadway productions including the revivals of Angels in America and Rent and the world premiere of Hurt Village. Stephen has acted in readings, workshops and theatre festivals throughout New York City. Currently, he works at The Pershing Square Signature Theatre Center.


 

Josh Woodard
Year of Graduation: 2008
Major: Theatre
Minor: Global Studies

Josh has recently completed his first year at the Atlantic Acting School Conservatory Program, a prestigious 2½ year training program in New York City founded in part by William Macy and David Mamet.


 

Katherine Easterly Gibson
Year of Graduation: 2008
Major: Theatre
Minor: Global Studies

Katherine completed two years of teaching Theatre and English at Reeds Spring High School, Reeds Spring, Missouri and is now employed in the same capacity at Strafford High School, Strafford, Missouri.


 

Katie Schirmer Maltais
Year of Graduation: 2008
Major: Arts Administration

Katie is currently serving as the Marketing Director for the Lone Tree Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary presenting theatre in the Denver Metro area. Before joining Lone Tree Arts Center, Katie worked for TRG Arts in Colorado Springs where she was the Manager of Accounts and Services. There, she oversaw the client service needs of over 1,000 arts and cultural organizations.


 

Rachel GitelJim Anderson
Year of Graduation: 2009
Major: Theatre, English, Secondary Education

Jim Anderson is a third-year actor at the New School for Drama’s M.F.A. program in New York. New York theatre credits include Claudius in Hamlet and Meneleus in The Trojan Women at the New School for Drama, Harry Druggist in The Cradle Will Rock at Theatre 80, and Toby Belch in Twelfth Night with Black Henna Productions. Other professional theatre credits include Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, God in Creation of the World and Other Business, Tupolski in The Pillowman, Montfluery in Cyrano de Bergerac, Van Helsing in Dracula, and James Galloway in Tecumseh.


Rachel Gitel

Rachel Gitel
Year of Graduation: 2009
Major: Theatre
Minor: Global Studies

Rachel has been in several local productions in Springfield as well as in some professional venues since graduation. Locally she appeared in Cindy Rella: a one act comedy, Evil Dead the Musical, and the regional premiere of the original musical Women on Love. She also was the vocal director for Strafford High School's production of Beauty and the Beast and was the 'Dream Ticket' winner at The American Idol Experience in Disneyworld. Professional shows were The Miss Firecracker Contest at MSU's Tent Theatre and Love at First Fright: A Halloween Musical at Six Flags Saint Louis. She played the part of Rosie in the original musical The Confession in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Liz Baker in Christmas in Paradise at the Rainbow Dinner Theatre.


Leonard PronkoAlexandra “Lexy” Saner
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major: Arts Administration / Theatre
Minor: Global Studies

Alexandra “Lexy” Saner graduated from Drury University in 2011 with degrees in Arts Administration, Theatre, and Global Studies. She currently serves as the Membership Development Coordinator at the Springfield Regional Arts Council and on the Board of Directors for the Springfield Sister Cities Association. She has worked as a Stage Manager for several local production companies including SRO Lyric Theatre, Springfield Contemporary Theatre, Men’s Chorus of the Ozarks, and A Class Act Productions.

In September of 2013, she co-produced Nocturnal Bloom, Springfield’s first electronic music and performing arts festival on Park Central Square.