Department of Theatre & Dance

Faculty and Staff

The Theatre and Dance team is a diverse and dynamic group of committed educators, experts in their field and respected members of the professional theatre community.

Faculty

David Charles, Ph.D.

David Charles, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance & Producing Director

B.A. (Hons), Theatre Performance and English, Roosevelt University, 1995
M.F.A., Theatre Performance, Western Illinois University, 1998
PhD., Theatre History, Criticism and Dramatic Literature, Louisiana State University, 2003

A New Zealander by birth, I have called the United States my home since 1991 and joined the Rollins’ faculty in 2003. Much of my scholarly and performance work has focused on the realm of improvisational and non-scripted theatre. I have performed with numerous professional improvisational companies across North America, such as Chicago Comedysportz, Astor’s Beechwood, Downtown Disney’s Comedy Warehouse and SAK Comedy Lab, where I currently serve as the Associate Artistic Director. I am also a graduate of North America’s oldest improvisational training center, Josephine Forsberg’s Players Workshop of Second City, and I am the founding Artistic Director of Rollins Improv Players, an on-campus troupe committed to service and entertainment through performance. Creating and directing new improvisational work is a particular passion—original works include: Your Opera in a Trunk (Pensacola Opera), FourPlay: The Improvised Musical (SAK Comedy Lab, Winter Park Playhouse), Is This Seat Taken? (Jester Theater), and Murder We Wrote, It’s All Greek to Me and The Lost Comedies of William Shakespeare on the beautiful Annie Russell stage here at Rollins College. My primary interest is in exploring the boundaries, function and face of theatre in our ever-changing modern world. I am a proud member of Actors’ Equity, and the recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the Hugh F. McKean Award, Arthur Vining Davis Fellowship and Cornell Distinguished Faculty Award. 

Robin Gerchman

Robin Gerchman

Director of Dance

B.F.A. Dance, University of the Arts
Ed.M Dance Education, Temple University
M.F.A. Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College

My teaching and research interests stress the interconnectiveness of movement with multiple disciplines, aesthetics, criticism, historical and cross-cultural perspectives. Through teaching I work to develop students' abilities of movement and introduce them to new ways of seeing and knowing the world; all of which provide a framework for the exploration of creativity and individual expression. In addition to my degrees, I have concentrated training with Ann Vachon and Risa Steinberg, original members of the Limon Dance Company. My most recent performing has been with DanceLink, a dance company in Pennsylvania and producing community-based dance events with the Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange. As a choreographer I enjoy engaging the community by presenting site specific works with community performers and musical theatre.

Missy Barnes

Missy Barnes

Musical Theatre

B.A., Drama, Loyola University New Orleans, 1997
M.F.A., Music Theatre, Roosevelt University, 2001

My teaching and research interests include musical theatre performance, musical theatre history, and psycho-physical education. In addition to my degrees listed above, I am a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique as well as a certified Somatic Movement Educator, trained at the School for Body-Mind Centering. I have spent many years working as a musical theatre performer, actor, director, and choreographer. I am an active member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), Alexander Technique International (ATI), and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

Lisa Cody-Rapport

Lisa Cody-Rapport

Artist-In-Residence, Costume and Scenic Design

B.F.A., Theatre Design/Technology, West Virginia University, 1981
M.F.A., Theatre Design, University of Connecticut, 1989

I’m particularly engaged with introducing and sharing the creative design process with students in collaborative intersections of art and theatre.  My teaching interests are set, costume, make-up, and the fundamentals of design, as well as scenic painting, costume construction and devised theatre. My designs and artwork often utilize illusion, expectations, and transformation in both traditional and non-traditional environments, and I enjoy developing site-specific concepts.  I am also very committed to enabling students to experience international influences through field studies at the Prague Quadrennial in the Czech Republic every four years and Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival in the UK. For more information about my work, visit www.lisacody-rapport.com or http://artbelow.org.uk/artists/lisacody.

Hilary Cooperman

Hilary Cooperman

Performance Theory and Practice

Ph.D. Northwestern University, Performance Studies, 2015
M.A. Ben-Gurion University, Middle East Studies, 2008
B.S.  Northwestern University, Theater, 1995

I am a scholar, performer and activist particularly immersed in the study and teaching of performance as theory and practice and its ability to reach across boundaries to provide different ways of knowing. My current work focuses on Palestinians’ experience of occupation. I have spent numerous years studying and researching in Israel and the West Bank. I created a one-person show about the 2009 war in Gaza and also created and performed an ethnographic ensemble piece about discrimination against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. My dissertation research focused on the lives of young Palestinians living in the West Bank town of Beit Jala. Using theatrical techniques we explored issues related to space, affect and the body. I am currently working towards turning my dissertation, “They Built Their Wall Through My House”: The Performance of Occupied Space in Beit Jala, into a full length book. Favorite courses I teach include Peacebuilding Through Theater and Rap and Revolution in the Middle East.

Marianne DiQuattro

Marianne DiQuattro

Theatre, Literature

Ph.D. University of Notre Dame

I come to the theatre department through my research interests in the intersection of dramatic literature, performance history, and phenomenology and through my artistic interest in directing, theatre for small communities, and theatre for and with children. My dissertation research focuses on moments of what I call “unsettled spectatorship,” in which performance events place ethical demands on their spectators. I examine specific dramatic works and performance histories of Antonin Artaud, Samuel Beckett, and Martin McDonagh. Professionally, I present at conferences on a wide range of literary and theatrical research interests, most recently on Artaud’s body as a performance of the plague metaphor, and on the limited access disabled individuals face to professional opportunities in the theatre world.  I teach the Theatre History I and II and Script Analysis courses, along with electives in Global Theatre, Travel Narratives, and Rollins Foundation in the Liberal Arts offerings in the neighborhood of When Cultures Collide. I am the founder and artistic director of Paper Sky Theatre in Grove City, PA. It is a nonprofit theatre that seeks to be a location for theatrical excellence, education, inclusion, and community development. My recent directing credits include: Twelfth Night and As Your Like It by William Shakespeare, Sylvia by A.R. Gurney, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, and The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh. 

Kevin Griffin

Kevin Griffin

Resident Lighting Designer & Production Manager

A.A. - Liberal Arts, Seminole Community College, 1985
B.F.A. - Theatre Arts, Design & Technology, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, 1988
M.F.A. - Theatre Arts, Lighting Design & Technical Production, School of Theatre, Penn State University, 1998

My professional lighting design experience includes several designs at The Orlando Shakespeare Theater, The Orlando Repertory Theater, Pennsylvania Center Stage, Mad Cow Theater, Allegheny Highlands Regional Theater, Pennsylvania Dance Theater, Valencia State College, UCF Repertory Theater, and The Mellon Patch Players. I have served as designer/consultant for the Bellefonte Historical Preservation Museum of Bellefonte, PA, the Head of Lighting for Cirque Du Soleil’s La Nouba! at Downtown Disney, as well as a live action stage technician at Disney’s EPCOT. I am a current member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 631 in Orlando, FL, as well as a member of U.S.I.T.T. where he serves on the lighting and education commissions.

Jennifer Jones Cavenaugh, Ph.D.

Jennifer Jones Cavenaugh, Ph.D.

Winifred M. Warden Endowed Chair of Theatre and Dance

B.A., Policy Studies, Dartmouth College, 1982
M.F.A., Dramaturgy and Theatre Criticism, Brooklyn College, 1990
PhD., Theater History and Dramatic Criticism, University of Washington, 1995

My areas of teaching and research include gender and performance, theater history, script analysis and American musical theater.  My book Medea's Daughters: Forming and Performing Women Who Kill (Ohio State University Press 2003) examines representations of women criminals in plays and television. My most recent research has focused on the working conditions of chorus women in the golden age of musical theater, focusing specifically on sexual harassment and sexual assault. I am a proud member of Actor's Equity and have performed and directed for over twenty-five years. I’m currently serving as the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences but my heart is always in the Annie!

Robert Miller

Robert Miller

Technical Director & Resident Sound Designer

B.S, Criminology, Florida State University, 1990
B.A., Theatre, University of Central Florida, 1994
M.F.A., Technical Direction and Sound Design, University of Memphis, 1999

I teach in multiple areas of technical theatre including technical direction, sound design, rigging, pneumatics and structural design for the stage.  Areas of research include the use of engineered materials for scenic construction and the application of digital technology in sound design. A former officer of the Northwest Section of The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), I am currently a member of both the National and Southeast Section of USITT.

Thomas Ouellette

Thomas Ouellette

Acting, Directing

B.A., Holy Cross College
M.F.A., Acting, Catholic University of America
Additional training: HB Studio, New York and the Director’s Programme at The Royal National Theatre in London

Chair of the Theatre and Dance Department and Producing Director of the Annie Russell Theatre from 2002-2008, I have been a faculty member since 1996 and teach courses in the acting and directing sequence. At Rollins, I have directed main stage productions of How I Learned to Drive, Equus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Macbeth, Noises Off, A Delicate Balance, Extremities, The Foreigner, Dancing at Lughnasa, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, among others. I inaugurated the Second Stage series in 1998 and have produced over 30 student-directed shows including Waiting for Godot, Closer, Keely and Du, The Triumph of the Golds, The Laramie Project, Necessary Targets, Spinning Into Butter, and a dozen original works. I direct and perform in Orlando and around the country and am an active member of Actors Equity Association (AEA), The Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and The Association of Film, Television and Radio Actors (AFTRA). Recent credits include The Folger Shakespeare Theatre and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre and Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando; St. Michael’s Playhouse in Burlington, VT; The Charles Playhouse in Boston; and The Mason Street Theatre in San Francisco. Recent national acting credits range from Montano/Duke of Venice in Othello to the record-breaking and still running production of Shear Madness. Recent national directing credits include All’s Well That Ends Well (co-directed with Jim Helsinger), Blithe Spirit, Educating Rita, Stop Kiss, Lobby Hero, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I am proud to have received the Cornell Distinguished Faculty award in 2010. It’s tough to find a speechless theatre professor, but, truly, I was floored when President Duncan called my name.

Suzanne Salapa, Ph.D.

Ballet, Choreography

B.A., Dance, Shenandoah UniversityM.F.A., Dance, Florida State UniversityDoctorate of Education, University of Central Florida
Additional training: Annandale Dance Theatre, under the direction of Patricia Nicholson, Kathleen Brown, and Kay Hearton; Maryland Youth Ballet; Columbia City Ballet.

I have served on the faculty of George Mason University and Shennandoah University. I am a member of the dance faculty at Valencia Community College and here at Rollins.

Robin Wilson

Modern, Jazz

B.A. Dance, University of South Florida

I teach modern and jazz technique. I was formerly a Professor of Dance at Ball State University and co-chaired the dance program for the Indianapolis High School of Performing Arts for fourteen years.  I’ve choreographed for the Anderson Ballet, Ball State University, Dance Kaleidoscope, and for the Interlochen National Arts Academy. As a performer, I worked for six years as a member of Dance Kaleidoscope, Indiana’s professional modern dance company. My training includes expertise in the Limon technique through work with original member of the Jose Limon Company, Bill Hug; LUIGI (NYC); and the Alvin Ailey School (NYC). I co-teach Dance for Parkinson’s Disease in coordination with the Parkinson Outreach Center at Florida Hospital. 

Eric Zivot

Eric Zivot

Acting

I am an actor, director, and writer. My work in film, television and on stage has taken me across both the US and Canada, and to England as well. My theatrical background includes: The Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada, The American Conservatory Theater, Tour de Force, The Fountain Theater, the Alliance Theater and the Canadian company of Nicholas Nickleby. I have originated roles for such plays as Them That's Got, Raising Caen and Declarations. Film and Television work includes: JAG, The Alarmist, Babylon 5, Two Voices, Sunset Beach and Mob Story. I have been on staff and guest lectured for some of the most distinguished actor training programs in North America including A.C.T., The University of Washington, Southern Methodist University, C.A.S.T., The University of Dallas, Case Western Reserve University, Duke University, and the National Theater Conservatory. I am also a founding member of the Association of Theater Movement Trainers and have served as a Senior Mentor for the Voice and Speech Trainers Association. Before coming to Rollins, I co-founded and ran the Gymnasia Theatrica, my own school, in Los Angeles. It was here that I created my break through actor training methodology, the Triune Brain Method. I am proud to have students who are now working actors, literally, around the world.

Staff

Lauren Cushman

Lauren Cushman

Assistant Technical Director, Resident Prop Master & Projectionist

B.F.A., Theatre Design and Technology, University of Central Florida, 2006
M.B.A., Leadership and Management, Rollins College, 2011

I devote the majority of my time to teaching the production process in many areas of technical theatre, which include scenery construction, properties, and projections.  In addition to teaching, I scenic and projection design for the Annie Russell Theatre.  I am an active member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT).

Chelsea Hilend

Chelsea Hilend

Marketing & Box Office Manager

T. 407.646.2253

B.A. (Hons), Theatre Arts - Performance Emphasis, Rollins College, 2010
M.B.A., Rollins College, 2017

I'm responsible for connecting the campus community and the public with the magic that happens at the Annie Russell Theatre! I also manage ticketing services for the Winter Park Institute and our gorgeous Christmas Vespers. I'm honored to teach "Intro to Theatre Administration," exploring best practices and the skills necessary to succeed whether you pursue a career at a mammoth presenting organization or as an entrepreneurial actor. You can find me most weekends performing and teaching at SAK Comedy Lab, flexing the improvisational theatre muscles I developed as a member of Rollins Improv Players. I feel lucky to a member of the Central Florida arts community.

Seth Schrager

Seth Schrager

Costume Studio Manager & Costume Designer

B.A., Humanities, Rollins College, 2013

I joined the Annie Russell family in 2005 after three decades of experience in the entertainment industry. Performing professionally since a teen, I eventually ended up behind the scenes in television, helping to produce shows for ABC, CBS, MTV, Vh-1, Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. I began sewing at nine years old after my mom received a sewing machine for Mother’s Day (her most hated gift ever).  During my years at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA, I learned the art of costume design and construction from my dear friend and mentor, Patricia Seyller. I would like to acknowledge the incredible support of the Annie Russell team, especially Lisa Cody-Rapport, whose guidance, support and expertise has aided my return to costuming and design. I look forward to many years of sharing my knowledge and experience with the wonderful community of Rollins College students.

Alexandra Feliciano

Alexandra Feliciano

House Manager, Administrative Assistant

407.646.2501

Department of Theatre & Dance
Rollins College
1000 Holt Avenue - 2735
Winter Park, FL 32789
T. 407.646.2501
backstage@rollins.edu