Missouri State University
Missouri Fine Arts Academy June 8-28, 2014

Faculty and Staff (2013)

Felicia BasanaviciusFelicia Basanavicius

Resident Assistant and Faculty

Felicia Basanavicius (Fee) will graduate from Missouri State University's Theatre and Dance Department with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting in May of 2013. Basanavicius is a 2008 alumni from the Missouri Fine Arts Academy and is proudly returning for a second year as an RA, and first year as an elective class instructor! She will be spending the second half of her summer as a returning director/performer at Shawnee Summer Theatre Company before she moves to LA to pursue a career in acting, directing, and writing.

Robert BattleRobert Battle

Resident Assistant and Faculty

Robert Battle is glad to be returning for his 6th season with the MFAA. Originally from St. Louis, Battle attended Central Visual & Performing Arts High School and graduated from Kirkwood Senior High. After receiving his undergrad from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music & Dance, Battle went on to teach elementary music in Columbia, Mo. where he teaches general music and conducts a percussion ensemble and jazz choir. In just two years, he has been promoted as the director of the Columbia Public Schools 5th Grade Honors Choir and co-directs the Boonslick Chordbusters Barbershop Chorus. Battle is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Missouri Music Educator's Association, and the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America. An active voice teacher and advocate for equal arts opportunities in urban areas, Battle spends most of his off time dancing, gardening, running, cooking, or catching up on short stories mostly written by David Sedaris.

Julie BloodworthJulie Bloodworth


Julie Bloodworth has been involved with the Missouri Fine Arts Academy since 1997. A lifelong educator, Bloodworth has taught speech, theatre, and English in both Texas and Missouri to students in middle-school, high school, and college.  

Bloodworth now teaches theatre classes per-course at Missouri State University, where she earned both her Bachelor of Arts in theatre and her Master of Science in education (English emphasis). She has been active for some years in Springfield theatre productions and will be performing in Missouri State University Tent Theatre's production of "Steel Magnolias" this summer.   

Bloodworth writes poetry and has been published in a variety of regional and national publications. In 2011, she won Missouri Citizens for the Arts arts advocacy award and the Missouri Arts Council education award.  

In her spare time, she helps out at Springfield Hot Glass, the blown glass art studio owned by her husband and son. 

Joey BorovickaJoey Borovicka


Joey Borovicka was born in Springfield, Mo. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from Missouri State University in 2003, and his Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Indiana University in 2008. He currently teaches as a per-course instructor of drawing, painting, and design at Missouri State University. His paintings have been shown in solo and group shows nationwide, and his work has been published in the nationally known periodical "New American Paintings," first in 2010 and again in the forthcoming 2013 Midwest issue. In describing the theme of his creative work, Borovicka says, “I am interested in the experience of spaces, the way I am affected by them, and the way I misremember them. In paintings of interior space I am free to dwell, decorate, and fantasize. An inhabited space becomes more than an inert box, it mingles with the memory and imagination of the inhabitant."

Ray CastreyRay Castrey


Ray Castrey has been part of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy since its inception in 1996, first as a faculty member, then as lead teacher, interdisciplinary arts/arts integration specialist, and academy coordinator before becoming the academy director last year.

He is an emeritus member of Missouri State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, and has spent 29 years providing music and soundscapes for departmental productions. He has created more than 70 works for theatre, dance, and video productions, and has performed in nearly every imaginable and unimaginable music venue.

Castrey looks forward to a great experience this summer with the students, faculty, and staff of MFAA 2013.   

Richard ClineRichard Cline


Richard Cline spent two years after high school working for Sperry Rail Service, traveling throughout North America. He was inspired by his travels to embrace his calling in art, so he quit his job and enrolled at St. Charles Community College, which he attended from 1991 to 1993. Cline spent the summer of 1992 in Spain studying art and experiencing the birthplaces of many great artists. He was a co-founder of Zebra studios in St. Peters, Mo., a non-profit venue available to local artists and students to show their work. During this time, Cline participated in various art shows, including a solo exhibition at the college in St. Charles in 1996. He transferred to The School of The Art Institute Chicago in 1994 where he focused on sculpture and ceramics. He participated in several small group shows there including the Coyote Art Festival in Wicker Park, Ill., and was featured on the cover of the 1998 course catalog for the Oxbow School of Art in Saugatauk, Mich. Cline received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1997 from the School of The Art Institute Chicago. He also received a master's degree in education administration in 2004 from Lindenwood University. He currently teaches at Hope High School in O'Fallon, Mo., a school designed specifically for at-risk youth.

Megan FrauenhofferMegan Frauenhoffer


Megan Frauenhoffer is a printmaking artist originating from St. Louis, Mo. Her formal art training began at Missouri State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art with an emphasis in printmaking in May 2007. In May 2010, she completed a master's in visual studies, focusing on both drawing and printmaking at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her drawings, prints, and collages explore the ideas of perfection/imperfection, subconscious fears, identity, and trans-formative narratives. As an artist, Frauenhoffer's artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her artwork has been featured in "Beautiful/Decay Magazine," "Minneapolis CityPages 100 Creatives," "Paper Darts Press Get In If You Want To Live," and "Miami Art Basel." As a teacher, she has trained students of all ages at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis’s Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Saint Louis ARTworks Summer Program, Missouri State University, and Ozarks Technical Community College.

Melissa HarperMelissa Harper

Resident Assistant and Faculty

Melissa Harper is a theatre teacher who has spent 13 years as a performing musician. Her pursuit of art is an exploratory journey into what art can be and what, to her, it shouldn't be. Harper has shared the stage with several national touring acts and has played many empty coffee houses. As a theatre teacher, her goal is to develop students through the benefits of theatre education. As a human being, her goal is to perpetuate the idea that people are important and that they matter.

Kurt HeinleinKurt Gerard Heinlein


Kurt Heinlein is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Missouri State University where he coordinates the BFA Actor Training Program. This is his fourth year teaching at MFAA. Heinlein is a working member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA. He is also an active member of The Society of American Fight Directors, Fight Directors Canada, and serves as executive leadership for The Association of Theatre Movement Educators. Heinlein has performed and directed extensively since completing his MFA in Acting from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), with union performance credits that include New York, regional theatre, daytime drama, film, commercial print, and over 25 national television spots. His directing credits include New York, regional, and university theatre, and his stunt, aerial, and combat work have been seen in daytime drama, numerous national commercials, and in the professional and educational theatre circuits. Heinlein completed his Ph.D. in Theatre from Louisiana State University, and has been awarded several honors for his work in Green Theatre (performance that promotes socio-environmental betterment). Notable publications include "Koko and the Performance of Conservationism," "Green Theatre," and "Evangeline Drowning." In 2009, NPR dubbed Heinlein “The emerging father of American Green Theatre.” He maintains a consistent dedication to environmental education, noted by his volunteer work for The Nature Conservancy, The National Park Service, and the SAG sponsored BookPals Literacy Program. Heinlein has received several awards for his volunteerism and public service. He is married to Courtney Heinlein and they have two wonderful children together.

Jacob HiserJacob Hiser

Accompanist and Faculty

Jacob Hiser is a senior at Missouri State University pursuing a degree in jazz studies. He plays both piano and violin, and enjoys playing all styles of music. With his brother, he has performed professionally around the United States as the Hiser Brothers; and with the band Powder Mill, he has traveled as far as France to perform. He is also a member of the Springfield Symphony, playing 1st violin.



Angela HorchemAngela Horchem


Whether approaching Shakespeare or an original, devised work, Angela Horchem brings a passion for character, love for the physical, and spirit of exploration and discovery. Her background in team sports especially prepared her for the teamwork and collaboration necessary for devised theatre, or original plays created in ensemble. Horchem currently serves as Artistic Director for ETCETERA, the late-night program at Live Theatre Workshop. In the 2012-13 season her ensemble, Theatre 3, is focused on devising all new works for the ETCETERA stage. This collaboration yielded MixTape, an evening of physical theatre; Improviso! a mask show in the style of contemporary Commedia Dell’Arte; and Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, a ritual designed to share stories, music, and culture from different regions around the world while collaborating with community guests. Horchem serves the Tucson community by offering workshops in devised theatre, clown, mask, and other forms at local schools and theatres. She also co-founded Clown, R.N., a clown therapy program working with Tucson-area hospitals and clinics focused on using performance to serve and uplift the community.

Elsewhere in Tucson, Horchem was a company member at The Rogue Theatre where she appeared as Buddha and others in "Journey to the West," musician in "Shipwrecked!," Kate amd others in "As I Lay Dying," and Amalia in "The Decameron." She worked as a performer with Stories that Soar!, bringing to the stage original stories written by elementary-aged kids. Last summer, Horchem received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to attend the organization’s Institute on Roman Comedy in Performance, giving her the chance to interact with other artists, scholars, and leading experts in the field of Roman Comedy and Mask Performance.

Horchem graduated from Dell’Arte International where she studied physical theatre. She studied shadow puppetry and traditional Topeng dance for six weeks in Bali, Indonesia. She earned her Master of Arts in theatre from the University of Nebraska at Omaha where she focused on movement roles in "Metamorphoses," "The Arabian Nights," "Much Ado About Nothing," and "Mother Courage and Her Children." She worked four consecutive years for the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, where her favorite role was Iras/Mardian in "Antony and Cleopatra." She was a guest ensemble artist with The Witching Hour’s production of "Grimm Reaping in Omaha," and National Headquarters’ production of "Angelus Novus" in Chicago. While in Chicago, Horchem worked for CircEsteem and the Chicago Youth Circus as a clown, grant writer, and director of clown performances. In her eleven years as a professional teaching artist, she taught classes in acting, drama, movement, and communication to students of all ages.

Marcy KamlerMarcy Kamler

Director of Residence Life

Marcy Kamler is a 2002 MFAA alumni, and credits the experience for inspiring her to pursue a career in the arts. Kamler received her bachelor's in music education in 2008 from Missouri State University, and has performed in a variety of ensembles, including Missouri State Symphony Orchestra, Missouri State Chamber Orchestra, Missouri Southern State University Orchestra, and Drury Civic Orchestra. She has taught both band and orchestra in Caddo Parish, La., and Springfield, Mo. This past year, she worked for the Department of Residence Life at The Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy, a Residential High School in the suburbs of Chicago. This will be her 8th summer returning to the Missouri Fine Arts Academy.

Kacey KennedyKacey Kennedy

Resident Assistant

Kacey Kennedy is a young and enthusiastic lover of the Fine Arts. She recently graduated with her bachelor's in music education from Culver-Stockton College and plans to be a high school band director.

Music was Kennedy's first love. She began her vocal career at a young age, singing in the shower, car, or anywhere else she was allowed to make a sound. In the sixth grade, she expanded her musical abilities by learning to play the trumpet, and upon entering high school she began learning to play the French horn, an instrument with which she fell in love, and continues to play today.
Throughout her musical career, Kennedy has taken part in several ensembles including the 2011 Missouri All Collegiate Choir which performed at the Missouri Music Educators Association Clinic at Tan-Tar-A and a 20th Century Camerata group at Culver-Stockton College. Her musical interests do not stop at performance and education, but rather have led her to other parts of the world including Russia and France where she studied culture, language, and music.

In 2007 Kennedy began her journey at the Missouri Fine Arts Academy as an instrumental music student. It did not take long before she realized MFAA would forever be a part of her life, and decided that one day she would return. Just four years later, in 2011, Kennedy returned to the Academy as a Resident Assistant. This is her third summer with the Academy, and what she describes as the highlight of her entire year. Kennedy thoroughly looks forward to working with the brightest and best students Missouri has to offer, and could not be more excited about the adventure set before us!

Melinda LeinMelinda Lein


Dr. Melinda Lein (voice instructor) is returning for her fourth year at the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Wingate University in Wingate, N.C., where she teaches applied voice as well as music appreciation and an honors course in fine arts. She completed her doctoral degree in voice and her master's degree in musicology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and she holds a master's degree in vocal performance and bachelor's degrees in vocal performance and music education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Lein is an active recitalist and has appeared as soprano soloist in works such as Brahms’s "Ein deutsches Requiem," Handel’s "Messiah," Mendelssohn’s "St. Paul," Rutter’s "Magnificat" and Vivaldi’s "Gloria," just to name a few. Opera credits include roles in "Giulio Cesare in Egitto" (Handel), "Dialogues of the Carmelites" (Poulenc), "Die Fledermaus" (Strauss), "Gianni Schicchi" (Puccini), and "Die Zauberflöte" (Mozart). She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the College Music Society (CMS), and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Kyle McKenzieKyle McKenzie


Kyle McKenzie is a painter from Webb City, Mo. He received a Bachelor of Arts in studio art and literature from Missouri Southern State University in 2004, a Master of Arts in painting and drawing from Pittsburg State University in 2006, and a Master of Fine Arts in painting and drawing from the University of Arkansas in 2009.  

He currently teaches in the art departments of Pittsburg State University and Missouri Southern State University. In the summer of 2011, he apprenticed on the Joplin Community Mural and in 2012 led the Webb City Farmers Market Community Mural. His paintings have been exhibited throughout the region.

Rachel MenscherRachel Menscher

Resident Assistant

This coming fall, Rachel Menscher will begin her senior year as a piano performance major with a double minor in pedagogy and music literature/history at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. A native of Wentzville Mo., she began studying piano at age 5, and also plays flute, organ and is an avid vocalist at her church. She has been the student of Annette Burkhart of Washington University in St. Louis, and Vanderbilt’s Karen Ann Krieger. Menscher has also performed in master classes with Alon Goldstein, Jon-Kimura Parker, Roger Vignoles, Matthew Dirst, Jan Loeffler, and others, and is a graduate of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, class of 2009. In the summer of 2012 she studied piano, music literature of the Classical era, and German in Vienna, Austria. She is currently the President of the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chapter at Blair/Vanderbilt, and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society, and Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society. She has also experienced success as a competitive performer, accomplishing a gratifying junior piano recital in November 2012, for which she played Franz Liszt’s "Mephisto Waltz" among other works, and was awarded as a finalist of concerto competitions with the Vanderbilt Orchestra and LaGrange Georgia Symphony Orchestra, for which she performed Samuel Barber’s "Piano Concerto Op. 38." After graduating from Vanderbilt, she plans to attend graduate school, and hopes to one day teach piano at the collegiate level. 

David OllingtonDavid Ollington


David Ollington is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance at Kansas State University and this marks his eighth summer teaching for the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from K-State and an Master of Fine Arts in dance from Texas Christian University. His choreography has been called “witty” by “Pitch Weekly” and “brilliantly choreographed” by the “Kansas City Star.” He has received three commendations from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in recognition of his choreography for the K-State productions of “Pippin” (2005), “Urinetown” (2006), and “The Music Man” (2012). In 2003, The Kansas City Press Club presented him with two awards, Best Entertainment Writing and the President’s Award for Outstanding Work, for his Theatre/Dance review column in “EKC Magazine.” Ollington choreographed the world premiere of the Theatre for Young America version of “Seussical” at the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City (2004), returning to the Coterie to direct it in 2011. The historic Tent Theatre in Springfield, Mo. engaged him to choreograph the "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" in 2010. This summer, he will be directing “The Fantasticks” at the Great Plains Theatre. He has set dances for The Seattle Children’s Theatre, aha! dance theatre, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The American Heartland Theatre, the Heartland Men's Chorus, the City in Motion Dance Company, and the Disney Institute in Orlando, Fla.

Tom PolettTom Polett


Dr. Thomas C. Polett is currently a Professor of Music at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., where he is the Director of Low Brass/Jazz Studies. He has held similar positions at Georgia College, Limestone College (S.C.), and North Greenville College (S.C.).
Polett earned a bachelor's degree in music education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree in music performance from Arizona State University, and a doctrate in musical arts in trombone performance from The University of Georgia. He has studied trombone with Philip Jameson, Gail Wilson, Stephen McEuen, Scott Hartman, and Joeseph Alessi.
Polett has performed with numerous professional and regional symphony orchestras, including the Charleston (S.C.) Symphony, Greenville (S.C.) Symphony, Asheville (N.C.) Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, and the Arizona Ballet Orchestra. He is a former member of the South Carolina based Aurora Brass Quintet, which toured Italy twice, was the 1995 American representative to the Verona (Italy) International Brass Festival, and served as the Resident Brass Quintet for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C. Polett has made solo appearances at the Eastern Trombone Workshop, College Music Society, and Missouri Music Educator's Association Conference. Polett was a member of the Cramer Trombone Choir at the 1999 International Trombone Festival in Potsdam, N.Y., and performed for the 2000 New York Brass Conference as a member of the Missouri Brass Consortium.  

Polett cannot wait to begin yet another MFAA journey – the most rewarding and challenging time of his artistic and academic year.

Kimberly Proctor

Kim Proctor


Kimberly Proctor graduates this May from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art with an emphasis in photography and a minor in art history. Proctor began photographing with a 35mm camera and developing her own film in high school. She has experience with a variety of cameras including medium format, large format, and DSLRs, as well as printing experience in the b/w, color, and digital labs. Her main interest is in the fine arts field, but she also enjoys commercial and studio work. For many years she has worked with children and young adults through coaching gymnastics. Proctor hopes to find a permanent photography job at the end of the summer.

Susan RiegerSusan Rieger


In the last 25 years, Susan Rieger has toured throughout the Midwest teaching and performing for all ages, training professional dancers, and developing and presenting innovative choreography.  

Rieger served as Artistic Director of the 940 Dance Company in Lawrence, Kan. (2007-2011) and aha! dance theatre in Kansas City, Mo. (2002-2007). In 2009, her company was invited to perform in Puebla, Mexico at an international dance festival. She was one of the founders of aha! dance theatre, which had a 14 year history in Kansas City. During that time, she produced concerts at the Folly Theater, in galleries, museums and outdoor spaces, as well as developed dance programs for grade school, high school and adult audiences. She has worked in Kansas as an Artist-in-Education, providing workshops and performances throughout rural areas. In addition, she was on the KC Young Audiences roster for over ten years, with successful educational performances and workshops.
Rieger holds a Bachelors of Art in dance from the University of Iowa and a master's in social welfare from the University of Kansas. In 2012, she completed her Certified Yoga Teacher training. Recently, Rieger has been employed by the KU Medical Center to use dance and yoga as a therapeutic tool with adults and children who have cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

Denaye SpurlingDenaye Spurling

Resident Assistant

Denaye Spurling has been a member of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy since attending as a student in 2004. She returned as a Resident Assistant in 2008 and continues to serve on our Resident Assistant staff. Spurling received her Bachelors of Science in art education from the University of Missouri in 2009, her master's in educational, school, and counseling psychology in 2012 and is currently working on her doctorate in sports psychology. Spurling is a visual artist, with a focus on screen-printing, apparel design and cosmetics. In 2011, she authored a successful Google blog, "Denography," which documented the daily re-purposing of clothing articles and furniture into fashionable, modern pieces. She currently works and lives in Columbia, Mo. with her husband, Andrew and their dog, Titus. 

Chris ThompsonChris Thompson


Chris Thompson, baritone, divides his time between several performance mediums including opera, operetta, oratorio, recitals, and musical theatre in a variety of capacities: soloist, conductor, and music director/pianist. He has performed leading lyric baritone roles across the United States and England ranging from Figaro in "Il Barbiere di Siviglia," to the title role in staged productions of "Elijah," to Carl Magnus in "A Little Night Music."

A strong advocate of new music, Thompson made his Carnegie Hall debut in January 2012 singing "Posh," a new song cycle by composer Mohammed Fairouz, and just released by Naxos. In addition, Thompson made his Off-Broadway debut in Fermat’s "Last Tango," and is a featured soloist on composer Joshua Rosenblum’s debut recording, "Impetuosities."

Thompson joined the faculties of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy in the summer of 2012. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Loyola University, and Kansas State University and presently serves as Coordinator of Vocal Studies at Missouri State University.

AJ WallaceAJ Wallace

Resident Assistant

AJ Wallace is one musician with many hats. His debut EP, "Prodigal" (released November 10, 2012) was produced entirely by the multi-instrumentalist; original song compositions, instrument arrangement and performance, recording, mixing, and mastering were all done by Wallace in a mixture of dorm rooms and Webster University studios.

Originally from the small town of Warrenton, Mo., Wallace attended the Missouri Fine Arts Academy in 2007 for saxophone performance. After High School he attended Webster University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in audio production in May 2013. During his time at Webster, Wallace served as a tour guide, resident assistant, and audio engineer in Webster’s Studio A. In the summer of 2012 he interned at Quad Studios in Nashville, Tenn., and is currently interning at Shock City Studios in St. Louis.

In addition to his own music, Wallace composes instrumental pieces for dancers, films, and other arts, as well as lending his instrumental and recording abilities as a freelancer. He thoroughly enjoys collaborative work and looks back on his time at MFAA as an entry point for that discovery.

Matthew WalleyMatthew Walley


Matthew Walley currently teaches acting, improvisation, and collaborative play development at the University of Arizona where he recently directed a student-devised piece called "Ouroboros" for the UA Studio Series. He will direct a student adaptation of Edwin A. Abott’s "Flatland" in the fall of 2013 for the Studio Series. Walley has worked as a professional performer for 18 years, eight of which were spent working in Tucson. He spent four years as a wild west stuntman for the Pinnacle Peak Pistoleros, acted in numerous Live Theatre Workshop productions, and in 2004 co-founded the ETCETERA series, the late-night program at Live Theatre Workshop. ETCETERA allowed him and co-founder Sybille Bruun to challenge audiences with works not seen anywhere else in Tucson. Walley left Tucson briefly to return to school and gain additional performance experience. While in New York he was involved in a production with Mabou Mines, a new work entitled "Red Beads." He also founded Shakespeare Cafe, an ensemble dedicated to reading all of Shakespeare’s plays aloud to the passersby in Manhattan’s Union Square Park.

Walley studied wooden mask carving and traditional Topeng dance for six weeks in Bali, Indonesia. He performed an original tragedy, "Between Two Winters," at The Magic Theatre in San Francisco with his physical ensemble from Dell’Arte International. Walley soon graduated from Dell’Arte with an Master of Fine Arts in ensemble-based physical theatre. He then co-founded Theatre 3 and brought the ensemble to Tucson to continue working with this community. Walley’s plans for introducing new work to Tucson came full circle in the 2012-13 season when Theatre 3 collaborated with ETCETERA to focus on devising original works for the ETCETERA stage. This collaboration yielded MixTape, an evening of physical theatre; Improviso! a mask show in the style of contemporary Commedia Dell’Arte; and Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, a ritual designed to share stories, music, and culture from different regions around the world while collaborating with community guests. Other original works by, Theatre 3 include "Soy Formaggio" (contemporary Commedia Dell’Arte), "The Trial of D.D. Young" (an original adaptation of O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi), and "I Hate Heart" (a live-action cartoon).

Elsewhere in Tucson, Walley was a company member at The Rogue Theatre where he appeared as murderer and others in "Richard III, Yama and others in Journey to the West," clown in "Winter’s Tale," musician in "Shipwrecked!," Cash in "As I Lay Dying," and Bill Walker in "Major Barbara." He performed with Stories that Soar! bringing to the stage original stories written by elementary-aged kids. Walley continues to serve the Tucson community by offering workshops in devised theatre, clown, mask, and more to local schools and theatres and by performing with Clown, R.N., a clown therapy program working with Tucson-area hospitals and clinics focused on using performance to serve and uplift the community. He also serves on the board of The Shakespeare Forum, a New York City based company that fosters community through the performing arts with a specific focus on reaching under-served communities and adults/children with disabilities.

Nicholas WardNicholas Ward


Nicholas Ward's artistic practices include that of filmmaker, animator, poet, and visual artist. Since the spring of 2007 he has worked on numerous public and community-based mural projects throughout the United States. In response to the unique quality of community engagement inherent in these collaborative mural projects, he and artist Amber Hansen began working in 2010 to produce the feature length documentary film "Called to Walls" (release Jan 2014). In 2009 he studied at the acclaimed KID (Puppet for Film Animation) program in Prague, CZ. Ward is a Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, 2011 Artist in residence. He has instructed courses in drawing at the University of Kansas and has led youth courses in drawing and animation at the Lawrence Arts Center. Ward received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of South Dakota in 2007, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Kansas in 2010. He currently resides in Lawrence, Kan.