Visual and Performing Arts
Paul Menzer is a professor and the director of the Mary Baldwin University MLitt/MFA Shakespeare and Performance graduate program and Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. He is the editor of Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars Stage (2006), Romeo and Juliet (2017), and Doctor Faustus (2018). He is author of The Hamlets: Cues, Q’s, and Remembered Texts (2008), Anecdotal Shakespeare: a New Performance History (2015), Shakespeare in the Theatre: The American Shakespeare Center (2016) and of dozens of articles, essays, reviews, and chapters on theatre history, textual criticism, and performance studies. He is past President of the Marlowe Society of America and the founding co-editor of The Hare, an online journal of brief essays and untimely reviews. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Shakespeare Quarterly. He is also a practicing playwright and his plays Anonymous, The Brats of Clarence, Shakespeare on Ice, Invisible Inc., and Robin Hood is Dead have appeared on the Blackfriars stage and elsewhere. He has two forthcoming books, The Brief Life of William Shakespeare and Shakespeare’s Enemies.
Doreen Bechtol is the Master of Fine Arts Company Manager and Director of Training for the Shakespeare and Performance program at Mary Baldwin University. As a physical trainer, her approach blends several modes of training, such as: Suzuki and Viewpoints, acrobatics, dance, yoga, and basic calisthenics. As the director of the MFA Company’s devised show, she developed her brand of ensemble-based work for creating collaborative performance through years of training with the SITI Company and with Joseph Chaikin, the founder of the Open Theater. She has directed and performed in over fifteen original devised performances, and she also wrote, directed, and edited a silent film based on The Winter’s Tale called For This Time We Pardon. She is a co-founding member of the Performers Exchange Project, a company dedicated to the creation of new and original work. She worked at the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) for over ten years both as a performer and choreographer in the Resident Troupe at the Blackfriars Playhouse, and most recently she directed, Antigone, for the Touring Troupe, which is the first Greek play produced by the ASC. As the Director of Youth Programs and College Prep for the ASC from 2006-11, she ran an internationally recognized Shakespeare theatre camp for teens. While at the ASC she also developed educational outreach programs, and led workshops examining the dynamic use of architecture in Shakespeare’s plays on the early modern stage. She remains the only actor at the ASC ever to have used the fly system when she entered from what is known as “the heavens” on a circus hoop as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She received her MFA from Mary Baldwin University’s Shakespeare and Performance program, and her BFA in Theatre and Education at Western Michigan University. She is a member of ATHE, SDC, and SETC.
Ralph Alan Cohen
Ralph Alan Cohen is Co-Founder and Director of Mission at the American Shakespeare Center and Gonder Professor of Shakespeare and Performance and founder of the Master of Letters and Fine Arts program at Mary Baldwin University. He was project director for the building of the Blackfriars Playhouse — a recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre — in Staunton Virginia. He has directed 30 productions of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, including America’s first professional production of Francis Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle. He also directed the first revival of Thomas Middleton’s Your Five Gallants and co-edited the play for Oxford University Press’s Collected Works of Thomas Middleton. He is the author of ShakesFear and How to Cure It: A Handbook for Teaching Shakespeare. He twice edited special teaching issues of the Shakespeare Quarterly and has published articles on teaching Shakespeare as well as on Shakespeare, Jonson, and Elizabethan staging. He founded the Studies Abroad program at James Madison University, where he won Virginia’s award for outstanding faculty. He has frequently directed summer institutes on Shakespeare and staging sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2001 he established the Blackfriars Conference, a bi-annual week-long celebration of early modern drama in performance. In 2008, Cohen and ASC co-founder Jim Warren earned the Commonwealth Governor’s Arts Award. In 2009 he was the Theo Crosby Fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. He earned his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and his doctorate at Duke University and has honorary degrees from St. Lawrence University and Georgetown University.
Kerry Cooke earned her B.A. from the University of Nevada, Reno, and her M.A. and PhD from The Shakespeare Institute in Stratford upon Avon (UK). She is an assistant professor at Mary Baldwin University where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Shakespeare and drama. Her research interests can be organized into two categories. She focuses on the materiality of literature in early modern England, using bibliographical principles to understand non-dramatic forms of writing such as epistolary theory and correspondence. This work coalesces in her monograph project, An Epistolary Democracy, to be completed next year. She has published shorter essays on epistolarity, like “Addressing the Address: Shakespeare and Early Modern Epistolary Theory” inJournal for Early Modern Studies. Parallel to this, and as a faculty member interested in Mary Baldwin’s history as a college for women, she researches and writes on issues of gender and class in both pedagogy and drama. This work has been published recently in the journal Early Modern Culture.
Matt Davies is an Assistant Professor in the MLitt/MFA Shakespeare and Performance program at Mary Baldwin and a professional actor and director of twenty years standing in the UK and the US. An associate director of renowned Shakespeare company Actors From The London Stage, Matt has been touring the States since 1999. He began his graduate studies at UT Austin in 2004 and defended his Ph.D dissertation in the summer of 2012. Earning three fellowships and a graduate teaching award while at UT, Matt also continued working professionally in the city’s vibrant theater community. Alongside UK national acting awards for two new works, Our Boys and Misconceptions, Matt has received numerous B. Iden Payne and Critics Circle awards and nominations for his classical work for Texas theater companies Austin Shakespeare, Hidden Room, and the Chekhov-based Breaking String, of which he is a founding member. Matt has directed both the classics and new works in London, Glasgow, Houston, and Austin.
Dr. Brian Granger is a musical theater bookwriter, playwright, theatre scholar, songwriter, and actor/director, whose works are an ongoing exploration of how we treat one another across lines of race, gender, and class. His academic research interests include North American ethnic playwrights and Africana musicals on Broadway. He holds degrees from Kenyon College (B.A.), The Ohio State University (M.F.A.), and the University of California – Santa Barbara (PhD). He remains particularly proud of his second M.F.A. in musical theatre writing from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied under some of the nation’s greatest living (and Tony Award-winning) musical creators. Some of his works for the stage include: Dierdre, an a cappella rock opera; Medicine Show (with composer Robert Nafarrete), a musical satire of American racial stereotypes that premiered at Dixon Place in New York City as part of their “Not For Broadway: Festival of New Musicals”; Baby Wolf (with composer Christian Imboden), an urban re-telling of the epic of Beowulf; and Rebel Moon, a story of two Puerto Rican American sisters navigating urban life (and urban men) that was staged as a part of UC Santa Barbara’s “New Plays Festival.” A scene from Rebel Moon is currently available in print in Duo: the Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century (Applause Books, 2009).
Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music; MM, DM, Indiana University
Pianist Lise Keiter has performed throughout the U.S. and in Europe, and she is very active as a solo recitalist, collaborative artist, and soloist with orchestra. Her European appearances include recitals with France’s International Roussel Festival, as well as with the Internationale Academie de Musique in Gargenville, France. She has recently appeared as a concerto soloist with orchestras in Indiana, Virginia, and North Carolina, and her latest solo and chamber music performance engagements have taken her to New York City, North Carolina, Maryland, Wisconsin, Idaho, West Virginia, Illinois, South Carolina, and throughout Virginia, including recent performances with the Heifetz Institute and with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival.
Dr. Keiter is on the faculty at Mary Baldwin University, where she also serves as Music Department Chair. Her work at Mary Baldwin led her to develop an interest in the music of female composers, and in 2005, she developed an all-female composers program of solo piano works, in honor of the bicentenary year of pianist and composer Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1847). In February 2014, she was the featured soloist with the Waynesboro Symphony, performing Florence B. Price’s recently-reconstructed Concerto in One Movement. In the fall of 2019, she will perform Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor with the Waynesboro Symphony.
Frequently in demand as a lecturer, adjudicator, and masterclass clinician, Dr. Keiter is active in many organizations. She is the State MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Competitions Chair for Virginia and also serves as Scholarship Chair for the Thursday Morning Music Club in Staunton. She is also involved with the College Music Society (CMS) and is a Past-President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of CMS. She is also a member of the Charlottesville Music Teachers’ Association. She has given guest lectures and presentations on a wide variety of topics, including the music of female composers, memorization techniques, the works of Charles Griffes, composer and pianist Florence B. Price, composer William Grant Still, and “How to prepare to be a successful music major in college.”
Dr. Keiter is committed to furthering the education of young musicians and maintains a studio of high school students. Her students include numerous competition winners, and many have been accepted into prestigious music programs at colleges, conservatories, and graduate programs across the U.S. and in Europe.
Originally from Charleston, Illinois, she has a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory, where she received several top prizes, and she completed a Master’s Degree and the Doctorate of Music at Indiana University, where she also received the Award for Outstanding Teaching. Her teachers have included Leonard Hokanson, Gyorgy Sebok, Robert McDonald, Emile Nauomoff, and Evelyn Brancart
BS, BFA, MA, Virginia Commonwealth University
Kerry Mills is an Assistant Professor of Art History and a Faculty Adviser in MBU Online in Richmond. Kerry received her Masters of Arts in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University with a focus in American Art and Modernism. Her Masters Thesis is titled “Reconsidering Barnett Newman.” While writing her thesis, Kerry was awarded a Fellowship from the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian. Her research includes interviews with Clement Greenberg, Irving Sandler, Jules Olitski, Richard Carylon, Annalee Newman and Helen Frankenthaler. She has presented at The South Eastern College Art Conference three times, was a Graduate Lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, co-curated numerous shows in Richmond and New York, as well as working with galleries in Richmond on exhibitions and projects. She has published numerous critical essays in art publications including New Art Examiner and Art Papers. Currently, she is working with the archives of Davi Det Hompson’s estate and Virginia Commonwealth University to create a monograph on the artist, and writing an article on his relationship with Fluxus Mail Art practices.
James Allan Moyé
BA, East Carolina University; MFA, University of New Orleans
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Film, Director of Film Minor, and Director of Studios Allan Moyé has taught communication courses at Mary Baldwin University for nine years, including video production classes, film studies, screenwriting, and broadcasting. He received his undergraduate degree from East Carolina University. He studied screenwriting at Georgetown University and UCLA, filmmaking at the New York Film Academy, and has had extensive training in audio production. He earned his MFA in Drama/Communications from the University of New Orleans, in which program he studied under filmmaker Miroslav Mandic in Prague, Czech Republic.
Moyé also teaches screenwriting for the University of New Orleans’ Low Residency MFA program and has been an instructor at UNO’s Summer Seminars in Madrid, Spain.
He is a two-time recipient of the Governor’s Award for Screenwriting at the Virginia Festival of American Film and has won awards from America’s Best Screenplay competition and the Wisconsin Screenwriter’s Forum. Two of his narrative screenplays, “The Blue Man” and “The Good Neighbor” have been optioned in Hollywood. Moyé has produced and directed various short films and been a contributor to many narrative and documentary projects. He is front man and songwriter for the rock ‘n roll band, The Findells.
Craig L. Robertson has been a music educator for over 13 years, and his choral ensembles has performed at state and national events as well as being recipients of several regional and national awards. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Virginia State University (Petersburg, VA) and a Master of Music Education from Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA). He has recently completed all coursework for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting and Literature at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where he served as the conductor of the CU Men’s Chorus. As a graduate assistant, he has also conducted the University Singers, University Choir, CU Festival Singers and organized, supervised and conducted the CU Summer Lab Choir. He has been an invited guest conductor at various high schools throughout the Denver area and presented two interest sessions at the 2019 Colorado Music Educators Association. While residing in Denver, Craig served as the Director of Music for Children and Youth Choirs at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, where he conducted children choirs and youth hand-bells, and occasionally led the Westminster Choir.
He has also taught at the Middle and High School levels. Ensembles under his direction have performed at the Georgia Aquarium, the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, Georgia State University’s Mid-SingFest, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorial, Disney World (Orlando, FL) CaroWinds Park Music Festival (Charlotte, NC), Carnegie Hall (NYC), Bring the Noise Gospel Choir Competition (Austell, GA), and many other venues throughout the East Coast. Under his coaching, individual students have also been accepted in the Georgia All-State Chorus, Georgia Sight-Reading Choir, District Honor Choir, and Spivey Hall Honor Choir.
BFA, Virginia Commonwealth University; MFA, Mount Royal School of Painting, Maryland Institute, College of Art
For over 30 years Martha Saunders has been exhibiting her work throughout the east coast, including solo shows at the University of South Carolina, Hood College of Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth Medical Center of Virginia, and Piedmont Virginia Community College. In 2000 she was awarded a grant from the Southeastern College Art Conference, and her art is held in a number of corporate collections, such as those of Capital One Corporation, UVA Emily Couric Cancer Center, and VCU Medical Center, Richmond. Saunders received a MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, and a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and is represented by Les Yeux du Monde (Charlottesville, VA).
Saunders’ current work consists of painted panels using beeswax, pigment and collaged matter. Built up layers of material move from opaque to translucent, from seductive surface which speak to shifts between states of matter.
John Paul "JP" Scheidler
John Paul Scheidler teaches movement and stage combat classes in both the MLitt and MFA programs. John Paul is a professional actor, fight choreographer and director with membership in Actor’s Equity Assoc. and is a certified teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors. He has worked professionally with Heritage Rep. Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Blackfrairs Playhouse, NYC Opera and was a company member with Wellspring/Cori Terry and Dancers for 3 years. Education includes an MFA from the University of Virginia, Hap Ki Do, and a BA in Drama and Dance from Western Michigan University.
Jim R. Sconyers, Jr.
BA, University of North Carolina at Asheville; MFA, Indiana University, Bloomington
Jim Sconyers, Jr. is an artist in a variety of media, including printmaking, photography, digital media, and sculpture. In 2002, he received his MFA in Printmaking with Distinction from Indiana University’s Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts. Since that time, his work has been selected for both national and international exhibition. Recent bodies of work include transition memory, contingency, imago corporis impressa, May in the Secret Garden, and imago corporis impress – state ii.
Jim’s work was selected for inclusion in juried exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, “New Waves 2017”, and the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA, in “Homeward Bound”. In July 2017, his work titled 3H2O was selected by the juror Francis Thompson to receive First Place Award in the national Juried Exhibit, “Celebrate Color & Light,” at the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts. A solo exhibition of the artist’s salt paper prints, May in the Secret Garden, exhibited at the Ox-Eye Vineyard Tasting Room in Staunton Virginia in 2017. A second solo exhibition of Jim’s work, imago corporis impress – state ii, exhibited in the Cleo Driver Miller Gallery in 2017 at Bridgewater College, in Bridgewater, Virginia. In 2018 Jim’s work Aposematic Fracture was selected by juror Reni Gower for Honorable Mention in the National Juried Exhibition “A Fine Line”, Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts, Fredericksburg, VA.
Upcoming group and solo-exhibitions are scheduled for the IHub – Staunton innovation Hub, Blue Ridge Community College, and the Beverley Studio Street School Gallery.
Jim teaches printmaking, photography, and foundations at Mary Baldwin University. He serves as the Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at MBU, Director of Hunt Gallery MBU, Director of the Susan Paul Firestone Lecture Series in Contemporary Art MBU, member of the Board of Directors for the Beverley Street Studio School in Staunton Virginia, and a member of the Gallery Committee for the BSSS Gallery.
Molly Seremet is a theatrical magpie and happily identifies as a director, devised theatremaker, costume designer, dramaturg, and scholar in equal measure. She holds an M.Res with Distinction in Performance and Creative Research from London’s University of Roehampton as well as an M.Litt/MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin University. While a graduate student at MBU, Molly became the first ever two-time winner of the Andrew Gurr Award for Outstanding Thesis. In her scholarly work and creative practice, Molly collides posthumanism and object-oriented feminism(s) with performative interventions into Shakespeare. She recently served as Assistant Director for Antigone for the American Shakespeare Center’s 2018-2019 Hand of Time National Tour, in collaboration with Doreen Bechtol. Other favorite directing and devising credits include Der Wal: A Moby Dick Kabarette (Coney Island Sideshows by the Seashore), Troilus and Cressida (Compass Shakespeare Ensemble), Machinal (Mary Baldwin University), and My Name is Rachel Corrie (NYC’s Kraine Theatre). Her award-winning devised piece Martin’s (words lost) has toured internationally to Battersea Arts Center, London Festival Fringe, Salzburg’s Szene Festival, and Stockholm’s STOFF Fest. Molly spent nearly a decade working in New York City as an actor/educator with the American Museum of Natural History, developing and performing eight different science-themed shows under the umbrella of Dr. Nebula’s Laboratory. She has previously taught for James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA) and College of Saint Mary (Omaha, NE). Her scholarly work has been published in Shakespeare Bulletin, Early Modern Culture, Platform Journal of Performance, and Stimulus:Respond and is also forthcoming in several edited collections. Molly trained with the Atlantic Theatre Company’s acting school and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity.