Faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance



Michael Boudewyns

(MFA, University of Delaware) | Visiting Assistant Professor | Fundamentals of Acting, Intermediate Acting | mboudewy@tulane.eduMPB+blue+tie 2

Michael studied Theatre at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, and is a graduate of the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware. He is co-founder of and has created and performed vaudeville-inspired theatrical productions for young audiences with numerous symphony orchestras since 2004, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Utah Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra among others. Regional theater credits include American Player's Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, Resident Ensemble Players, Enchantment Theatre Company, First State Children's Theater, and the Utah and Baltimore Shakespeare festivals. He has adapted several classic stories for the stage, including scripts of Treasure Island, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Maltese Falcon, as well as scripts for radio theatre, including The Three Musketeers, Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, Around the World in 80 Days, and Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Michael is a member of Actors' Equity (AEA).

Diana Cupsa

(PhD. University of Bucharest) | Associate Professor | Scenic Design, Design for TV |

Diana CupsaDiana Cupşa, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Scenic Design and Head of the MFA Design Program at the Tulane's Department of Theatre and Dance. She joined Tulane University in the Fall of 2003. Diana has been on the faculties at the National University of Theatre and Film "I.L. Caragiale" in Bucharest, Romania; Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa; College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, and Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. Diana's work has covered a broad range of set and costume design for theatre, film and television working with respected directors on well known professional stages in Europe, Africa and the US. They include Romanian directors such as Ion Cojar, Sergiu Nicolaescu and Gelu Colceag; South African directors such as Barney Simon, Gary Gordon and Ise van Hemert and also American Directors such as Ron Jenkins and Yuryi Kordonski. She is a two-time recipient of the South African's FNB "Vita Award" and also the Romanian's "Oradea Grand Award" while her designs are displayed at the Prague Quadrennial and the World Stage Design exhibitions. She is the author of the book titled: Theatre in South Africa published recently in Bucharest, Romania.

Vlad Ghinea

(MFA, Tulane University) | Professor of Practice | Technical Direction, CAD |

Vlad Ghinea received his MFA in 2012 from Tulane University. His specific areas of expertise are Technical Directing and Lighting Design. Prior to coming to Tulane, he also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science for Business Management as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Bucharest, Romania, where he is originally from.

Ron Gural

Ron headshot(MFA, Yale University) | Professor | Acting, Directing, Video Production |

Ron Gural received his BFA in Drama from the University of Houston and his MFA in Acting/Directing from the Yale School of Drama.  He is a member of the Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG) and has appeared as a professional actor  at such theatres as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Portland Stage Company, and Theatre X. He has played numerous roles on both television and film and is an experienced voice-over actor. He has directed productions for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Theatre X, the Contemporary Arts Center, the Tulane Shakespeare Festival as well as the Tulane Theatre Department.  His production of Hallowed Ground by Laura Harrington won the 2004 Big Easy award for Best University Production. Most recent directing credits include Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck, Fifteen Minutes at Midway co-directed by Jim Fitzmorris, and Wasp by Steve Martin.  Ron is also a founding member of both Theatre X and the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane. He directed and edited his first full length film Compression for the theatre department at Tulane and served as a producer and actor in NOLA, a film that was created out of a class entitled Feature Film. That film was directed by guest artist Harold Sylvester and is currently in the process of seeking distribution. You can visit his website at

Michelle Hathaway

(MFA, Louisiana State Uuniversity) | Professor of Practice | Costume Technology | mhathaw1@tulane.eduMichelle Hathaway

Michelle L. Hathaway received her MFA in Costume Design and Technology from Louisiana State University in 2010.  She spent a full year interning with the Walt Disney World Creative Costuming Workroom where she got to participate in several exciting projects, as well as spending several months working in the Costume Shop at Colonial Williamsburg.  She spent three years as the Costume Shop Manager and Adjunct Faculty at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan where she helped design and produce shows ranging from Carrie the Musical to The Coronation of Poppea.  You can find her website at




Victor Holtcamp
Victor Holtcamp bw

(PhD, University of Washington ) | Assistant Professor | Theatre History, Literature, Criticism |

Victor earned dual degrees in history and drama at the University of Washington, a Masters degree from Brown University, and completed his Ph.D. in 2003. Major areas of study include the intersections of culture and theatre, Shakespeare, acting pedagogy, and modern U.S. theatre history. He has published work in Theatre History Studies, The Shakespeare Yearbook, and the Texas Theatre Journal among others. He is currently at work on a book project: Brave New Stage: Acting in the Age of the Interchangeable Part.

Jennifer Jacobs

(MFA, New York University) | Visiting Assistant Professor | Costume Design |

Jessica Podewell

(MFA, Ohio State University) | Professor of Practice | Fundamentals of Acting, Beginning Acting, Plays & Playwrights |

Jessica received her BFA from Webster University and MFA from Ohio State University. She is a member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and has worked professionally in theatres throughout Austin, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, and New York.  She is currently Artistic Director of the children's theatre, The Patchwork Players.

(MFA, Ohio State University) Professor of Practice | Fundamentals of Acting, Beginning Acting |
Jessica Podewell
Gary Rucker

(MFA, University of New Orleans)  | Senior Professor of Practice  | Fundamentals of Acting |

Gary received his MFA in Acting from the University of New Orleans, where he was a member of the Resident Acting Company. He served as an adjunct acting instructor for 3 years before joining Tulane's faculty as a Professor of Practice. Gary is the director in residence for Rivertown Rep in Kenner, as well as being a member of The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane for the past 7 years. He has also been a member of the Patchwork Players company for 8 years.


Gary Rucker
Marty Sachs

(MFA, Florida State University)  | Professor and Chair  | Lighting Design, Sound, Theatrical Photography | 

Marty Sachs received his BA in Theatre from Grinnell College and his MFA is Design/Technical Production from Florida State University. He has designed lighting at such theatres as the Fredericksburg Theatre Company, the Dallas Theater Company, the New Orleans Opera Association, the American Southwest Theatre Company, Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre, Le Petit Théâtre de Vieux Carré, and the Contemporary Arts Center. He is the recipient of four Gambit Magazine's Big Easy Entertainment Awards for Best Lighting Design. He is also a member of United Scenic Artists (lighting design).


Marty Sachs
Antony Sandoval

(MFA, University of Delaware) | Associate Professor, Head of Acting | Acting, Suzuki Method of Acting, Directing |

Originally from France, Antony Sandoval has been working as an actor and director all over the world. His directing credits include various productions for Tadashi Suzuki's Theatre Company at the Shizuoka Performing Arts Center in Shizuoka and in Toga Mura, Japan. He also directs in the United States where he has received a "Garland" and "LA Weekly" Award for Best Director as well as a nomination for an Ovation Award for Best Direction. Some of his directorial work was seen at the Franko National Theatre in Kiev, Ukraine where he opened a new adaptation of the book Heart of Dog at the first International Bulgakov Festival. His production, The Tale of Mephisto, was also invited at the Gimhae Asian Performing Art Festival (GAPA) in South Korea. His acting credits include performing in Japan under the direction of renowned director Tadashi Suzuki. He has also performed throughout the USA in various festivals and has appeared on many occasions on television shows and in movies. He is one of the founding members of the "International Theatre Laboratorium-USA," ITL-USA

Antony Sandoval
Sara Valentine

(MFA, University of Delaware) | Assistant  Professor | Voice and Speech, Fundamentals of Acting, Professional Development |

Sara joined the Theatre faculty at Tulane in 2011. In addition to her classes in the Department of Theatre and Dance, she has taught workshops in public speaking for the Newcomb College Institute. She is also a Peer Observation fellow with the Tulane Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT). Her research interests include the Roy Hart Theatre Voice and voice pedagogy. She has studied with several Roy Hart Theatre Voice teachers in the United States and at the Center Artistique International Roy Hart in Malerargues, France.  She is a candidate for certification in the Roy Hart Teacher Training Program. Sara received a BA in Theatre Arts from Ithaca College, and her MFA in Acting from the University of Delaware Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP). Her professional theatre credits include performances with the Shakespeare festivals of Maine, North Carolina, Philadelphia, and Colorado, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, the Arden Theatre, and the Resident Ensemble Players, among others. As co-founder of the production company Really Inventive Stuff, she has produced and performed programs for young audiences with major symphony orchestras throughout North America. She is a member of Actor's Equity (AEA), the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), the Pan-American Vocology Association (PAVA), and is an editor-at-large for the International Dialects of English Archives (IDEA). She is currently serving as Louisiana Vice Chair for the Region 6 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). You can see more of her work at

Sara Valentine headshot 

Kirche Zeile

(MFA, New York University) | Assistant Professor  |  Costume Designer  |

Kirche Leigh Zeile is a costume designer whose work has been seen in New York City and regional theatres across the country. Off-Broadway credits include Long Story Short; Amazons and Their Men; The Lady is Not For Burning; Monsterface; and The Last Word…. She is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb, one of New York's premiere off-Broadway theatre companies for which she has designed multiple productions including The Small, Telethon, What Then?, Alice the Magnet, and Demon Baby. Her design work with Clubbed Thumb has been published in the anthology, Funny, Strange, Provocative: Seven Plays for Clubbed Thumb (Playscripts, Inc). Regional design credits include St. Ex (world premiere), Rent (New England premiere), Death of a Salesman (featuring Christopher Lloyd), Doubt, and I Am My Own Wife for the Weston Playhouse; Visiting Mr. Green for Syracuse Stage; Merchant of Venice for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; Intimate Apparel (Big Easy Award Nomination) for Southern Rep; Picasso at the Lapine Agile and 7 Homeless Mammoths Wander New England for Two River Theatre; and numerous musical productions for TriState Center for the Arts. In addition, she has costume designed a large number of films, including Snapshot (Hoboken Film Festival Premiere), 1956, and Bellclair Times. She is also an accomplished fashion historian who recently presented a paper entitled, Change of Habit: Evolution in Dress of the Sisters of Charity 1812-2008, for the Costume Society of Great Britain's Conference in 2009. She has served as faculty and the Costume Design Program Coordinator at Marymount Manhattan College where she designed multiple theatre productions and taught courses in Theatre History, Costume Design, and Fashion History. Kirche received her MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2002.  


Nancy Gunn (MA, Tulane University) | Adjunct Assistant Professor | Producing, Plays & Playwrights, Theatre in Contemporary Society |

Mike Harkins (MFA, University of New Orleans) | Adjunct Assistant Professor  |  Fundamentals of Acting

Eric Kuzminski (MFA, Univeristy of North Carolina School of the Arts) | Adjunct Assistant Professor  | Basic Makeup|

Sharon London (MFA, Louisiana State University) | Adjunct Assistant Professor  | Fundamentals of Acting|

Clare Moncrief (MA, University of New Orleans) | Adjunct Assistant Professor | Fundamentals of Acting  |

Chaney Tullos (MFA, Louisiana State University) | Adjunct Assistant Professor | Stage Management, Shakespeare on the Road|

Carl Walker (BFA, Boston University)  |  Adjunct Assistant Professor  |  Fundamentals of Acting |,





Michaela Cannon

(MFA, University of Utah) | Senior Professor of Practice | Modern Dance, Dance History, Yoga |

Michaela Cannon received her BA in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. She has worked with choreographers such as Eva Meyer-Keller, Abby Fiat, Satu Hummasti, Eric Handman, Michelle Boule, and Stephen Koester.

Michaela Cannon
Diogo de Lima

(Conservatory Maestro Juliano, Brazil) | Senior Professor of Practice | Modern Dance, Ballet, Dance for the Camera |

Diogo de Lima received training in music, theater and dance at Conservatório Maestro Julião in Sao Paulo, Brazil and also attended the Royal Academy of Dance of London and the Toshie Kobayashi Academy of Dance. He has received many awards for his dancing and choreography, both in Brazil and internationally. He was most recently nominated in 2003 for the prestigious Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative. He began dancing professionally in 1996 and has appeared as a guest artist with several dance companies in Brazil. Among others, Mr. de Lima has worked with choreographers Ana Bottosso, Ivonice Satie, Eduard Bonnis and Ilara Lopes. In 1999 he joined Grupo Corpo Brazilian Dance Theater and performed with that company until 2006 under choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras. He has performed in theaters and dance festivals all over the world.


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Alice Pascal Escher

(MFA, Temple University) | Associate Professor  |  Modern Dance, Ballet, Laban, Dance Composition, Dance History |

Alice Pascal Escher was born in New Orleans. She has been a member of the Newcomb Dance Program faculty since 1982 and is presently the Dance Coordinator. She is the Artistic Director and founder of the Newcomb Dance Company, the student dance company at Tulane. Escher holds a B.F.A. in dance from Florida State University and an M.F.A in dance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Before coming to Tulane, Escher was on the faculty of the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet and a member of Sybil Dance Company. She remains an active member of the New Orleans dance community, continuing to perform and choreograph with local modern dance and ballet companies. Escher authored 28 articles on dance for Twentieth Century Culture: France from 1900-1975. She is certified in Laban Movement Studies by the Laban Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York City.

Alice Pascal Escher
Jeffrey Gunshol

(MFA, University of Utah)  | Senior Professor of Practice, Weiss Fellow | Performance, Modern Dance  | 

Jeffrey Gunshol has danced with many different artists including, Liz Lerman, Mark Dendy, Melanie Stewart, and Kattie Duck and collaborated with Vincent Cacalano, Adrienne Clancy, Reggie Crump, Stephanie George, and Michaela Cannon. He began dancing at the Baltimore School for the Arts then headed to New York City and attended Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. He pursued his undergraduate degree at Virginia Commonwealth University and after graduation started dancing with Dendy Dance. Following his work with Mark Dendy, he began to teach, choreograph, and dance for Liz Lerman for five years. He moved to Amsterdam to work with Vincent Cacalano. While abroad he was a guest artist with Magpie Music and Dance, created his own work, did long term projects with Danish choreographer Eric Pold, and Dutch choreographer Martin Butler. He received his Masters in Dance from the University of Utah. After leaving Utah he taught at East Carolina University for a year before coming to Tulane. He is a 2004 recipient of the Weiss Presidential Fellowship for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Tulane University.

Jeffrey Gunshol
Barbara Hayley

(MFA, New York University Tisch School of the Arts)  | Professor, Dance Coordinator | Modern Dance |

Barbara Hayley has been a member of the Newcomb Dance Program faculty since 1985 (Coordinator of Dance, 1989-2006; Chair of Theatre and Dance, 2001-2007.)  She teaches ballet, modern dance, choreography, dance history, and courses in community engagement through the arts.  In New York, Ms. Hayley taught dance at Wagner College on Staten Island, danced with numerous choreographers, and directed Barbara Hayley & Dancers.  She received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in 1997/1998 for work throughout Russia, the impetus for creative work/exchanges on the international dance scene. Ms. Hayley is active in community partnership building and concert modern dance in New Orleans, including the direction of New Orleans Dance, a modern dance company comprised of local professional dance artists. New Orleans Dance and Ms. Hayley have received awards for both original choreography and modern dance production, including the 1999 Mayor's Arts Award. Research: choreographic projects and oral history of early Alwin Nikolais dancers/German lineage of modern dance.

Barbara Hayley 3
Jeffrey Lloyd Smith

(MFA, Florida State University) | Visiting Assistant Professor | DanceJeffrey Lloyd Smith Dance 2

Jeffrey Lloyd Smith is a choreographer, multimedia artist, and dancer who is originally from Rhode Island. He received his BFA from The Boston Conservatory and his MFA from Florida State University focusing on new and emerging collaborative relationships between dance and multimedia technology. From 2002 to 2004 Jeffrey was a member of The Martha Graham Ensemble, performing classic Graham works such as Diversion of Angels, Acts of Light and El Penitente. In 2005, he became a member of The Paul Taylor Dance Company, touring internationally and performing in over 45 Taylor masterpieces. Most recently Jeffrey has been a faculty member of New World School of the Arts and New World High School in Miami, Florida. His multimedia dance piece, Rise premiered at FSU's Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre in the Spring of 2014, and his most recent choreographic work will premiere in the Fall of 2015 on The Peter London Global Dance Company.


Beverly Trask

(MFA, University of Southern Mississippi) | Associate Professor, Artistic Director - New Orleans Jazz Dance Festival | Modern Dance, Tap, Jazz, Dance History |

Associate Professor Trask has choreographed and acted in numerous theatre and dance productions on campus and in the New Orleans Community for the last 25 years. She last appeared at Southern Repertory Theatre as Mrs. Wire in Tenneessee William’s Vieux Carre. In 1997, she began the New Orleans Jazz Dance Festival, a summer dance festival to promote research, professional training and cultural enrichment of the historical role of American vernacular dance as a unique American phenomenon.


Egeus_Beverly Trask

Carolyn Barber Pierre (MA, Bowling Green State University)  |   Adjunct Assistant Professor  |  Brazilian Dance  |

Nicole Boyd-Buckles (BFA, Tulane University)  |  Adjunct Assistant Professor  |  Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Hip-Hop   | 

Jarina Carvalho (BS, University of New Orleans, Dance Theatre of Harlem, School of American Ballet | Adjunct Assistant Professor |Classical Ballet |

Sarah Duax (MFA, University of Iowa)  |  Adjunct Assistant Professor  |  Ballet  |

Jerisse Grantham (BS, Louisiana State University)  |  Adjunct Assistant Professor  |  Advanced Rhythm Tap  |

Kehinde Ishangi (MFA, Florida State University)  |  Adjunct Assistant Professor  |  Ballet, Modern, Dance Science & Conditioning |

Ausettua Amor Amenkum Jackson (BA, Dillard University) Adjunct Assistant Professor  |  African Dance, Hip-Hop  | 

Monique Moss (BA, MA, Tulane University)  |  Adjunct Assistant Professor  |  Modern Dance  |

Katharine Parsons (BS, University of Alabama) | Adjunct Assistant Professor | Classical Ballet, Modern |




Hope Bennett - Costume Shop Manager (504) 314-7754 | 

Ardice Cotter - Production and Operations Manager (504) 865-5106   |

Clare Moncrief - Managing Director, Shakespeare Festival at Tulane  |

David Raphel - Assistant Technical Director/Scene Shop Supervisor (504) 865-5325  |

Gaynell Robinson-Watkins - Executive Secretary for Theatre Program  (504)  314-7760  |

Elizabeth Stewart-Ackers
 - Executive Secretary for Dance Program (504) 314-7761  |

Emeritus Professors

Jeanne Button  |  Professor Emerita  | Costume Design

Hugh Lester  |  Professor Emeritus | Scenic & Lighting Design

In Memoriam


Stephanie L. Dawson (MFA, North Carolina School of the Arts) | Professor of Practice | Technical Director | Production Manager

Stevie Dawson

Stevie Dawson joined the faculty at Tulane University as Technical Director in August of 2009 and then added the role of Production Manager in November of that year. She received her MFA in Technical Direction from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts and has worked professionally in theatres across the country including The Virginia Stage Company, The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, The Utah Shakespearean Festival, The East Carolina Summer Theatre, The Alliance Theatre Company, and The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, among others. She has taught at Old Dominion University, Louisiana State University, and at her alma mater, NCSA. Her areas of special professional interest include automation, engineering, and the production of new works for the stage. 

Stevie Dawson passed away on March 15, 2012. 



Buzz Podewell (Ph.D., New York University) | Professor Emeritus | Directing, Theatre History, Shakespeare

Buzz Podewell

Buzz Podewell received his Ph.D. from New York University and has taught theatre history, directing, and Shakespeare at Tulane until 2011. The director of almost two hundred productions for professional and university theatres, Dr. Podewell has served as the Associate Artistic Director of the Louisiana Shakespeare Festival and one of the founders and co-Artistic Directors of the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane. His improvisational children's theatre company, Patchwork Players, recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. He is the author of the forthcoming two-volume study of time and place in Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Watch. 

Buzz Podewell passed away on March 29, 2013.




Tulane University, Dept. of Theatre & Dance, 215 McWilliams Hall, New Orleans LA 70118, 504.314.7760


Tulane University, Dept. of Theatre & Dance, 215 McWilliams Hall, New Orleans LA 70118, 504.314.7760