Region 2 Festival 51 Keynotes

Rob McClure

Rob McClure (Opening Keynote) has received Tony, Drama League, Astaire, and Outer Critics Circle nominations and won Theatre World and Clive Barnes awards for his performance in the title role of Chaplin: The Musical. Rob’s other Broadway credits include Nick Bottom in Something Rotten!, Tim in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Noises Off, Jack Singer in Honeymoon In VegasI’m Not Rappaport, and the roles of Princeton and Rod in Avenue Q. He later received a Helen Hayes nomination for his performance in the Avenue Q national tour. He delighted 92nd Street Y audiences in Kathleen Marshall’s salute to MGM musicals Going Hollywood and similarly charmed crowds at New York City Center Encores! in Where’s Charley? and Irma La Douce. Regionally, he appeared in the world premiere of Ken Ludwig’s Comedy Of Tenors and The Game’s Afoot both at the Cleveland Playhouse and Robert and Willie Reale’s Johnny Baseball at the American Repertory Theatre. A fan favorite at St Louis’s Muny, Rob has been seen there in Little Shop of HorrorsMary PoppinsShrekThe Addams FamilyHello, Dolly!Beauty & The Beast, Into the Woods & Jerome Robbins’ Broadway.  Particularly active in the Philadelphia theater scene, Rob has collaborated with the Arden Theatre Co. (A Funny Thing…,Flea and the Professor), The Walnut Street (Mozart in Amadeus, Carmen Ghiain The Producers), and many more, winning him two Barrymore Awards for Best Actor. Other regional work includes; Paper Mill Playhouse, The Old Globe, Delaware Theatre Co., Flat Rock Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, and La Jolla Playhouse. Rob recently made his film debut in the Award winning short film Recursion, directed by Sam Buntrock for which Rob won Best Actor at both The Queen’s World and Williamsburg Independant Film Festivals. Recent TV credits include CBS’ Person of InterestElementary and The Good Fight.

Susan Hilferty

Susan Hilferty (DTM Keynote) has designed over 300 productions across the globe including the United States, the UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Malaysia, Spain, Brazil, Germany, and South Africa. Her many Broadway designs include Wicked (Tony, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk awards and Olivier nomination), Present Laughter (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations), Hands on a Hardbody, Spring Awakening (Tony nomination), Lestat (Tony nomination), the 2013 revival of Annie, Into the Woods (Tony and Drama Desk nominations; Hewes Award) and Frank Wildhorn’s Wonderland. Her designs for opera include Rigoletto for the Metropolitan Opera and Manon at LA Opera and Berlin Staatsoper. Her designs for New York’s off-Broadway theatres are innumerable and include Richard Nelson’s Apple Family Plays, August Wilson’s Radio Golf and Jitney.
She works with such well-known directors as Athol Fugard (the South African writer with whom she works as set and costume designer and often as co-director on over 32 productions since 1980), JoAnne Akalaitis, Laurie Anderson, Arin Arbus, Christopher Ashley, Walter Bobbie, Anne Bogart, Gregory Boyd, Jonathan Butterell, Oskar Eustis, Robert Falls, Yael Farber, Frank Galati, Garry Hynes, David Jones, Selina Cartmell, Moisés Kaufman, Tony Kushner, Mark Lamos, James Lapine, Michael Longhurst, Richard Nelson, Des McAnuff, Marion McClinton, James MacDonald, Emily Mann, Joe Mantello, Michael Mayer, Neil Pepe, Bartlett Sher, Rebecca Taichman, Robert Woodruff, Doug Wright, and the late Garland Wright.
Hilferty also designs for film, dance (Alvin Ailey), the circus (Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey) and concerts (Taylor Swift SPEAK NOW World Tour). Hilferty’s many awards include an OBIE for Sustained Excellence in Design, the Lilly Award and the Ruth Morley Design Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women. In addition, she Chairs the Department of Design for Stage and Film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. 

Region 2 Festival 51 Invited Guests

Ekundayo Bandele

Ekundayo Bandele founded Hattiloo Theatre in Memphis, TN, in 2006. He’s directed many of August Wilson’s plays and played King in King Hedley II. He’s the author of If Scrooge was a Brother. From 2012 – 2014, he spearheaded a $4.3M capital campaign that resulted in the construction of Hattiloo’s venue that opened debt-free in 2014. In 2016, he raised $900,000 to build the Hattiloo Development Center, which opened in April 2017, also debt-free.

Becky Becker

Becky K. Becker is Chair of the Department of Performing Arts at Clemson University and professor of theatre. A director, dramaturg, and playwright, Becky has staged a wide range of established and new works and conceived, written, and directed several documentary plays, including Westville: Collected Lives and Bibb City: Collected Lives From a Mill Town. Becky is Chair of the National Playwriting Program for Region 4 of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, serves on the Publications Committee for the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). Her work has been published in various edited volumes and journals.

Michael Bobbitt

Michael J. Bobbitt is the Artistic Director of Adventure Theatre. He has directed and choreographed at DC’s top theatres including Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Constellation Theatre, Center Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and the Washington National Opera. His national and international credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Mel Tillis 2001, La Jolla Playhouse, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, and the Olympics. He has taught theater and dance at George Washington University, Catholic University, Howard University, and the Washington Ballet. He is a member of SDC and DGA.

Michelle Bombe

Michelle Bombe is Professor of Theatre and Director of Theatre at Hope College, in Holland, MI. Michelle received her MFA in Design from the University of Texas-Austin and her undergraduate degree in theatre from the University of Evansville. Michelle has designed costumes for over 150 productions for professional theatre, colleges, and even in prison through her work with Shakespeare Behind Bars. Her professional credits include 10 seasons with Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and 17 seasons with Hope Summer Repertory Theatre.

Michelle is the National Vice Chair of KCACTF and the Immediate Past Chair of Region III. She was awarded KCACTF’s Gold Medallion for Excellence in Theatre Education in 2016. Michelle’s design work has been recognized with Design Excellence Awards by KCACTF and inclusion in the Region III Costume Parade. Michelle was recently selected as a Fellow with the International Council of Fine Arts Deans for 2018.

Ami Brabs0n

Ami Brabson has had recurring roles in a number of television shows. She frequently appeared as Mary Pembleton in HOMICIDE: Life on the Streets. Ms. Brabson played Allison Trivas, a recurrring character in THE JURY, another Barry Levinson/Tom Fontana production. Other TV credits include LAW & ORDER SVU, DAMAGES,
UNFORGETTABLE, LAW & ORDER, THE BEAT, WONDERLAND and various Soap Operas.  Brabson’s stage credits include the one-woman show, PHENOMENAL WOMEN,
Upcoming performance dates: Baltimore Theatre Project March 8th, 9th and 10th For tickets and more information: Other stage credits include the New York Premiere of TOUGH TITTY by Oni Faida Lampley. Some of her favorite regional theater roles are Faye in Dominique Morisseau’s SKELETON CREW, Quilly in John Henry Redwood’s THE OLD SETTLER and Rose in
August Wilson’s FENCES.  Ms. Brabson is an accomplished soprano and cabaret singer. She has performed at New York City venues as varied as Merken Concert Hall, The Metropolitan Room and Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar.  Ms. Brabson received her MFA from the NYU/Tisch Graduate School of Acting.

Mike Burnett

Mike Burnett holds a BA in Theatre from Sul Ross St. Univ. & an MFA in Theatre from the Univ. of Mississippi. Mike has worked with regional and international theatre artists on world and American premieres, including When the World was Green by Joe Chaikin and Sam Shepard for the Atlanta Olympics. In addition to designing & teaching, Mike is a theatre consultant, working with theatres & schools across West Texas, director, and One Act Play adjudicator/contest manager. He is the Assistant Director of Theatre at Angelo State University. Mike has served on the Board of Directors for the Texas Educational Theatre Association as Vice-President for College/University Section. He served as host for the Region 6 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in 2015-18, and was recently became the Region 6 Chair.

Billy Bustamante

Billy is a NYC based Performer, Director and Photographer. Broadway credits: Miss Saigon (Engineer u/s), The King And I (Lun Tha u/s). NYC/ Regional credits: Here Lies Love at the Public Theatre, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Paper Mill Playhouse, Sacramento Music Circus, Walnut Street Theatre, San Jose Rep, North Shore M.T., Pan Asian Rep, Prospect Theatre Company and The Arden Theatre Company. Billy recently directed the Off-Broadway revivals of The Adding Machine and LaChiusa’s The Wild Party. Other directing/choreography credits include Goodspeed, Lincoln Center, NAAP, TUTS, Merry Go Round and CFRT. He is co-founder of Broadway Barkada and on teaching faculty at Jen Waldman Studio. Billy is passionately committed to the development of new works and new artists. INSTA: @bjcb

Jane Childs

Best known as half of the team of “Don and Jane” and continuing The Legacy of Don at SILV developing better ways to train students on cutting edge technology and to be the best humans they can be. In addition to being Don’s partner in all life brought, Jane has done simultaneous translation for Ladislav Vychodil and swam competitively (individual medley), studied at Indiana University, La Sorbonne, University of Iowa. Shares Don’s demand “Integrity is all we have: an artist without integrity had nothing,”and that each day is a new beginning.

Joy Lanceta Coronel

Joy is a voice and speech professional based in Manhattan. She holds an MFA in Voice Studies from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and a BFA in Acting from University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. Joy served as voice and speech faculty at HB Studios, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music (CCM), College of Staten Island, and East 15 Acting School in the UK. She has coached with NAAP, Ma-Yi Theatre, Atlantic Theatre, Center Theatre, New Dramatists, and Comedy Central. Her article “Coaching Asian Actors and Asian Accents with Cultural Sensitivity” was published in early 2018.

Stuart Duke

Stuart Duke’s extensive lighting design career includes New York and regional theatre, opera, dance, and industrials. Recent work includes the off-Broadway production of Orwell in America, Matilda at Walnut Street Theatre, Fun Home at Weston Playhouse and Tosca for Palm Beach Opera. Other credits include Goodspeed Musicals, Ford’s Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Huntington Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, American Stage Company, Geva, and North Shore Music Theatre. He has guest lectured or taught classes in lighting design and arts management at James Madison University, Oberlin College, Washington College and Castleton University.

Janice Goldberg

Janice L. Goldberg (Director / Playwright / Workshop Leader) lives in New York City, directs a lot of new plays, served as Artistic Co-Director of ANDTheatre Company, and sometimes she wins awards like The KCACTF Gold Medallion. She recently directed the Off-Broadway premieres of the lauded I Of The Storm and Once In, Never Out! Her play Rose Colored Glass (co-written with Susan Bigelow) is published by Samuel French, Inc. and has had productions all over the world. Janice has worked with Tony winners/nominees Frances Sternhagen, Kathleen Chalfant, Evalyn Baron, Terrence Mann, Michele Pawk, Richard Kind, Olga Merediz, , among others. She leads her Nail-the-Job workshops in Cold Readings and Auditions for students all over the country. Member: SDC, Dramatist’s Guild, New Circle Theatre Company, faculty member of the Dramatists Guild Institute. She studied under the legendary Leland Starnes of Yale University.

Jacqueline Goldfinger

Jacqueline is a playwright, poet, and dramaturg. She co-Founded The Foundry @ PlayPenn. She is an Affiliated Artist at New Georges and The Lark Playwright’s Center. She is a member of the writers’ labs at The Barrow Group and Azuka Theatre. She won the Yale Drama Prize, Smith Prize, Brown Martin Award, Barrymore Award, and Philadelphia Critics Award. Her play Bottle Fly was a Finalist at the 2018 International Book Awards. Her plays have been developed and/or produced by theaters including: The National Theatre/London, Wilma Theatre, The Kennedy Center, La MaMa, Disquiet/Lisbon, Florida Studio Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare, Kansas City Rep, Perseverance Theatre, Capital Stage Company, The Seattle Public, Manhattan Theatre Works, and the NYC International Fringe Festival. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and represented by Abrams Artists Agency. For more information:

Jim Holmes

Jim is the National Vice-chair of the KCACTF National Playwriting Program. He serves on the faculty of Loyola Marymount University (LMU). He won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his direction of David Steen’s Avenue A at the CAST Theatre Los Angeles and directed a revival in 2001 Off-Broadway. Jim’s recent theater directing credits include Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, The Baltimore Waltz by Paula Vogel at LMU, Sexsting by Doris Baizley at the Skylight Theatre Los Angeles, Snapshots by Gloria Kellett at the Stella Adler theater in Hollywood, Body and Sold by Deborah Lake Fortson at the Glendale Auditorium and Badge for the Hayworth Theatre, Los Angeles Celebrity Reading series with Carol Kane. At LMU he also directed The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Working by Stephen Schwartz, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller and The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman. He was a writer producer on The Corndog Man an accepted entry in the Sundance Film Festival and winner of multiple festivals in the US. He also directed the short comedy film Mystery Cave which premiered at the Filmstock film festival in the UK. As an actor he has appeared in multiple film and television shows over the last 30 years. Most recnetly The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Mom, Vegas, Harry’s Law, The Middle , Switched at Birth, Mad Men and Mike and Molly. He holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Baron Kelly

Dr. Kelly a Full Professor and Head of Acting at the University of Louisville. Broadway performances include Salome and Electra. International credits include the National Theatre of Great Britain; Stratford Festival of Canada; Yermelova Theatre Moscow; Edinburgh Theatre Festival; Bargello Florence, Italy; Constans Theatre, Spetsis, Greece; Academy Theatre, Dublin; among others). Performances for over 30 of America’s regional theatre companies include The Guthrie, Yale Rep, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre, San Diego’s Old Globe, and Utah, Dallas, Southern California Shakespeare Festivals among others. Recent acting credits include King Lear, Toby Belch, and Claudius.

Padraic Lillis

Padraic Lillis: This past fall he was The Humana Visiting Scholar and Artist in Residence at Centre College. His plays have been produced across the country and are published with Dramatist Play Services. He has been awarded the NY I.T. Award for Outstanding Director and Overall Excellence in Directing from NY International Fringe Festival. His film Hand Over Hand, which he wrote and directed, was awarded Best Short Film at the Milan International Film Festival. Padraic is the Founding Artistic Director of The Farm Theater, resident dramaturge for Compass Needle, a member of the LAByrinth Theater Company, and a lifelong Yankee fan.

Samantha Manfredi

Samantha is an artist activist and performer originally from California and is now living in NYC working as the Manager of Programs at ASTEP | Artists Striving to End Poverty. Before joining the ASTEP team, Samantha received a degree in Theatre and Dance from Santa Clara University and was a professional performer and teaching artist throughout the San Francisco Bay Area – she was the Artistic Director at The Audacity Performing Arts Project, Inc. and Program Manager for the Arts for Social Justice Program at Santa Clara University. Samantha has taught workshops ranging from choreography, Shakespeare, auditioning techniques, voice lessons, and everything in between. She is honored to be doing work that helps people realize their dreams are beautiful, attainable, and 100% worth it

Brian Myers Cooper

Brian Myers Cooper is an actor, writer, director, dramaturg, and acting coach. Most recently he created Sonnet Play, told entirely using Shakespeare’s sonnets, which he developed with the acclaimed Bedlam Theatre Company’s MadLAB! residency, and has performed in NYC and San Francisco. Follow his journey as he memorizes all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and get tips and tricks on how you can start your own journey! He served as dramaturge for two plays in the 2016 NY Fringe Festival. Favorite acting roles include Pastor Paul in The Christians, Gillette in The Game’s Afoot, Miss Saigon (2nd Nat’l.), Galileo (Moisés Kaufman, dir.), Romance, Romance! (Alfred/Sam – Lauren Kennedy, dir), James Baldwin’s Blues for Mr. Charlie (Parnel), End of the World Party (original Off-Broadway cast)and the American premier of Billy Roche’s The Cavalcaders (Florida Stage). A longtime labor advocate, he is a trustee of the Equity-League Pension & Health Trust Funds, and served for twelve years on the national Council of Actor’s Equity Association.

James Phillips

James Phillips is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York. He was the founder and director of the Capitol City Improv and the commedia del’ arte troupe, Theatre de la Fleur in Jackson, Mississippi. At MSMC, he founded a now student directed improv group and wrote and directed original commedia scenarios. This spring he will direct Or at York College in York, PA and The Wolves at MSMC.

William Andrew (“Andy”) Propst

Andy Propst is the author of You Fascinate Me So: The Life and Times of Cy Coleman (Applause Books) and They Made Us Happy: Betty Comden & Adolph Green’s Movies and Musicals (Oxford University Press). As a critic, his work has appeared in the Village Voice, TimeOut NY, and Backstage and online at the site he founded, and on Andy served three terms as judge for the Voice’s Obie Awards and four terms as nominator for the Drama Desk Awards. He has mentored for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Critics Institute and National Music Theater Conference.

Adam Sanders

Adam Sanders is a director specializing in theater training and community outreach. He is the Associate Director for the Sorenson Center for the Arts at Babson College and the Associate Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. At Babson College, Adam supports the artistic development of undergraduate students within a business focused curriculum. For CSC, Adam serves as director and text teacher for the Apprentice Program, an intensive classical actor training program, and is the director and originator of CSC2, a cohort of early-career actors. Director, Romeo and Juliet, ’19. MA Theater Education, Emerson ’08; MBA, Babson ’19.

Shirley Serotsky

Shirley Serotsky has been a director, dramaturg, artistic leader, educator and programmer in the Washington, DC area since 2001. She is currently the resident dramaturg for Mosaic Theater Company. Between 2008-2016 she served in a series of leadership positions (including Interim Artistic Director for the 2015-2016 season) at Theater J, a professional theatre company committed to producing timely, and often politically-charged, new plays and revivals. Shirley has taught and mentored students in the fields of directing, acting, dramaturgy, play analysis, theatre appreciation, new play development and auditioning. Selected directing credits include: The How and the Why, Another Way Home, The Call, Yentl, The Argument, The Hampton Years, The History of Invulnerability, The Moscows of Nantucket, Mikveh (Theater J); Rapture, Blister, Burn (Round House Theatre); The Jungle Book (Adventure Theatre); a 21/24 Signature Lab Workshop presentation of The Break (Signature Theatre); Other Life Forms, Working: The Musical (Keegan Theatre); Blood Wedding (Constellation Theatre); A Man, His Wife, and His Hat and Birds of a Feather (which won the 2012 Charles MacArthur Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, The Hub Theatre); Juno and the Paycock (Washington Shakespeare Company); Reals, Five Flights and Two Rooms (Theater Alliance); Crumble and We Are Not These Hands (Catalyst Theater); References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (Rorschach Theater, for which she received a 2007 Helen Hayes nomination for outstanding direction); Sovereignty (The Humana Festival of New Plays). Training: BFA, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts; MFA, Catholic University.

Jeremy Stoller

Jeremy has served as dramaturg on the world premieres of Ken Urban’s A Guide for the Homesick (Huntington) and Nibbler (Rattlestick); L M Feldman’s A People (Orbiter 3); Paper Canoe’s Light at Triskelion Arts; Thomas Choinacky & John Jarboe’s Beaut and R. Eric Thomas’s Will You Accept This Friend Request?, both at First Person Arts. Director of New Work, Keen Company. Founder, The Dramaturgy Open Office Hours Project. Co-founder, Beehive Dramaturgy Studio. Additional dramaturgy/literary work with Disney Theatrical, The Flea, George Street Playhouse, Luna Stage, Musical Theatre Factory, PlayPenn, Jewish Plays Project, terraNOVA Collective, and Two River Theater. BA, Drew University.

Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor teaches lighting design and stage management at Utah Valley University. He maintains an active freelance career throughout the US designing for several theatre companies and theme parks including several productions for Riverside Repertory Theatre, Plan B Theatre Company, Busch Gardens, and Seaworld. He has worked as a designer, assistant and associate on Broadway, the Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC, and the Old Globe in San Diego, as well as several theme park and cruise ships including Seaworld, Busch Gardens, Royal Caribbean, and Disney Cruise Lines. Matt is a proud member of USA 829.

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