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.
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 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.
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
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
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.
William "Joe" Potter
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 is a writer living in Glendale, California. He is a member of SAG/AFTRA/AEA.
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:
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 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 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).
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
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
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 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 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 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
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 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 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
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
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.
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 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 and is currently appearing as Chastity Daily in the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. www.rachelgitel.com
Mallorie is currently the Consumer Insights Manager at Dallas-based advertising agency The Loomis Agency. Mallorie has worked on television shows such as GCB, The Good Guys, Lonestar and the upcoming remake of Dallas on TNT. Additionally, she is a working voiceover actress with clients that include Sleep Therapy Associates of Texas and other Dallas-based companies.
Emily Manck White
After graduation, Emily moved down to Houston, TX and now works as a graphic designer for a nutraceutical manufacturing company. She was married to Bill White, a Latin teacher and lacrosse coach, in March 2012. They live in Houston, TX.
Sarah Fenner King
Now back in Norman, Oklahoma where she grew up, Sarah is working as a librarian at the public library and writes plays in her spare time. In September 2012 the Horse Trade Theatre Group in New York City will perform a staged reading of Sarah's one-act play, Roadkill Man, in The Red Room Theatre as a part of their Drafts reading series for upcoming playwrights.
Sarah and fellow Drury Theatre alum, Cait Goddard, have started a non-profit theatre, Namron Players Theatre, Inc., in Norman and are working on raising the funds for federal 501c3 status. Their first show, "The Taylor Trap," will be May 16, 17 and 18, 2012. This is a script Sarah has written and directed. Sarah commented, "I'm using those theatre skills I learned at Drury to bring an outlet to my community which didn't have any theatre opportunities like this before, and I couldn't be prouder."
Ann has worked in the St. Louis area under several Actors' Equity Association contracts, including The Imaginary Theatre Company, a professional touring ensemble of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. She has recently moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting.
Since graduating from Drury Chelsea has been teaching English and reading at the 7th grade level. She taught a Summer Camp for 5th-7th graders to introduce them to Drama. Chelsea is currently working on her Masters in Educational Administration.
Amy is substitute teaching at Nixa Public Schools and Springfield Catholic School (Pre-K thru 12).
Mary P. Sands
Mary is residing in New York City and is booking numerous auditions and callbacks. She has done background work on the TV show Mercy and the new HBO series How to Make It in America and has joined the acting company of The Actors Project of NYC. She recently booked her first national commercial.
B.J. and fellow Drury alum, Jim Anderson '09, won the National Playwriting for Young Audiences Competition in Warrensburg, Missouri, for Morgan and the Falcon Prince and were also selected for the play lab readings at the Great Plains Theatre Festival in Omaha,
Brian works for the Children's Theater division of Theater IV, a national touring company which is based in Richmond, Virginia performing in the plays I Have A Dream: The Life and Times of Martin Luther King and Tales As Tall As The Sky.
In 2013 Will began an apprenticeship at the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City in their education/outreach department. He loves being able to use the best of his skills, including working with underprivileged students.
Eli moved to Chicago in September of 2011 to pursue a career as an actor. Since then, he has been active in the theatre community of Chicago's North Side. Eli attends monthly script readings hosted by local writers and auditions regularly for theatre, film, television, commercial and print work. His recent credits include a Hunger Games-themed wedding shoot organized by Naturally Yours Events, as well as an appearance in the online catalog for Hick Stuff, both of which received nationwide internet coverage. Starting in June, Eli will be represented by Lily's Talent Agency under their New Faces label.
To support himself, Eli is represented by Mack & Associates, a boutique temporary and direct hire staffing agency based in the Chicago Loop. He is also represented by the temporary staffing and direct hire department of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. These two relationships allow Eli to earn a living wage while maintaining the flexibility necessary for him to audition, rehearse and perform.
Drew moved to NYC after being accepted to the Atlantic Theater Company's Acting Conservatory Program. He appeared in the original off Broadway productions of And the Holy Spirit and City Fables with the INTAR Theatre Company.
Stephanie Frost Weddell
Stephanie holds a B.A. in Arts Administration and Theatre from Drury University. Her work in the Drury Theatre Department included serving as stage manager for The Broadway Cabaret, The Hypochondriac, Twelfth Night, She Loves Me and Company. Stef was also director of the Reader's Theatre production, Assassins, and the one-act play, The Problem. During the spring of 2010, she served as the Theatre Arts Administration Intern, successfully securing a grant from the Missouri Arts Council. She is currently a Drury graduate student working towards a Masters in Communication with an emphasis in Non-Profit Organizations and serves as a Graduate Assistant / Grant Administrator for the Drury Theatre Department. Additionally, Stephanie works for local arts organizations such as the Springfield Regional Opera and the Springfield Contemporary Theatre. Her latest work was as the stage manager for Avenue Q at the Springfield Contemporary Theatre.
Amanda will attend Illinois State University in Normal, IL, where she will be working on a masters degree in Industrial-Organizational/Social Psychology. She will also be a teaching assistant there.