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Program Faculty and Staff

Paul Menzer

Paul Menzer

Associate Professor of English; Program Director
pmenzer@mbc.edu
Rose Terrace 112, Ext. 7058

Paul Menzer is an associate professor and the Director of the Mary Baldwin College MLitt/MFA Shakespeare and Performance graduate program. He is the editor of Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars Stage (2006), author of The Hamlets: Cues, Q’s, and remembered texts (2008), and of dozens of articles, essays, reviews, and chapters on theatre history, textual criticism, and performance studies. He is President of the Marlowe Society of America and co-editor of The Hare, an online journal of brief essays and untimely reviews. He is also a practicing playwright and his plays Anonymous, The Brats of Clarence, and Shakespeare on Ice have appeared on the Blackfriars stage and elsewhere. His most recent play, Invisible Inc., will premiere at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas in early 2013.

Featured publications

  • The Hamlets: Cues, Qs, and the remembered text, University of Delaware Press: 2008. Times Literary Supplement, “Book of the Year,” 2010
  • Editor, Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars Stage, Susquehanna University Press: 2006.
  • “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” in Moving Shakespeare Indoors, eds. Farah Karim-Cooper and Andrew Gurr (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • “Lines,” in 21st Century Approaches: Early Modern Theatricality, ed. Henry S. Turner (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • “Marlowe’s End” in Marlowe in Context,eds. Emma Smith and Emily Bartels (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • “Character Acting,” in Special Effects on the Early Modern Stage, eds. Tiffany Stern and Farah Karim-Cooper (Arden, 2013)
  • cf. Marlowe,” in Richard II: New Critical Essays, ed. Jeremy Lopez (Routledge, 2012)
  • “Ophelia’s Wake” in The Afterlife of Ophelia, eds. Deanne Williams and Kaara Petersen (Palgrave, 2012)
  • “Crowd Control,” in Imagining the Audience in Early Modern Drama, 1558-1642, eds. Jennifer Low and Nova Myhill (Palgrave, 2011)
  • “Fractional Faustus” in Christopher Marlowe the Craftsman: Lives, Stage, and Page, eds. Sarah Scott and Michael Stapleton (Ashgate, 2010)
  • “The Spirit of ’76: Original Practices and Revolutionary Nostalgia” in New Directions for Renaissance Drama and Performance Studies, ed. Sarah Werner (Palgrave, 2010).
  • “The Weaver’s Dream: mnemonic scripts and memorial texts,” A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Critical Guide,ed. Regina Buccola (Continuum Press, 2010)
  • “‘The Tragedians of the City’? Q1 Hamlet and the settlements of the 1590s,” Shakespeare Quarterly, 57 (2006): 162-82.
  • “The Actor’s Inhibition: early modern acting and the rhetoric of restraint,” Renaissance Drama, 35 (2006): 83-112.

Ralph Alan Cohen

Ralph Alan Cohen

Gonder Professor of English; Co-Founder and Director of Mission, ASC
ralphalancohen@gmail.com
ASC, 20 S. New Street,; 885-5588
Rose Terrace 111; Ext. 7251

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 College. 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.

Julie D. Fox

Asst. Director for Operations
jfox@mbc.edu
Rose Terrace 116/15-A; Ext. 7237

Julie Fox has worked as an administrator and publicist for the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, the James Madison University School of Theatre and Dance, the Beverly Street Studio School, and, since 2007, the MBC Shakespeare and Performance graduate program. She earned a BA in English with minors in art and art history at JMU, and her Master of Art Education and PhD in Fine Arts degrees were awarded by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Matthew Davies

Matthew Davies

Assistant Professor
mdavies@mbc.edu
Rose Terrace 220; Ext. 7248

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 founder member. Matt has directed both the classics and new works in London, Glasgow, Houston, and Austin.

Doreen Bechtol

Doreen Bechtol

MFA Company Manager; Director of Training
dbechtol@mbc.edu
Rose Terrace 221B; Ext. 7261

Doreen Bechtol is the Master of Fine Arts Company Manager and Director of Training for the Shakespeare and Performance program at Mary Baldwin College. 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 original 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 as the Director of Youth Programs and College Prep, where 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 College’s Shakespeare and Performance program, and her BFA in Theatre and Education at Western Michigan University.

Associated Mary Baldwin Faculty

Mary Hill Cole

Mary Hill Cole

Professor of History
mhcole@mbc.edu
Carpenter Academic 404; Ex. 7273

Mary Hill Cole is a Professor of History who teaches courses on Tudor-Stuart History in the graduate program, as well as a variety of European history courses in the undergraduate program. She is the author of the book, The Portable Queen: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Ceremony, which reexamines the queen’s progresses as an investment crucial to her female monarchy. Her other publications on progresses include chapters in The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth (eds. Archer, Goldring, and Knight) and Elizabeth I: ‘Always Her Own Free Woman’ (eds. Levin and Barrett-Graves). Her article “Maternal Memory: Elizabeth Tudor’s Anne Boleyn” appears in Elizabeth I and the ‘Sovereign Arts (eds. Stump and Levin). Her academic presentations include keynote addresses at U.S. and U.K. conferences devoted to Elizabethan progresses and the English Renaissance. She appeared on National Geographic’s television show Undercover History: Secrets of the Virgin Queen, and she has given numerous talks to the public on Tudor England. Currently Chair of the History Department, she also directs the summer study Virginia Program at Oxford. She has won three awards for teaching at Mary Baldwin and has been nominated for two Commonwealth of Virginia teaching awards. In addition to being chosen for a National Endowment for the Humanities Institute, she received an honorary membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She served on the Board of Directors of the American Shakespeare Center and helped to establish the MLitt/MFA program. She has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia, where she earned her PhD.

Sara Nair James

Sara Nair James

Professor of Art History
sjames@mbc.edu
Chris House 102, ext. 7195

Sara N. James is Professor of Art History and Chief Faculty Marshal. She teaches a variety of European art history courses in the undergraduate program, directs the Renaissance Studies in Italy Program, and has designed a course in Early English Art and Architecture for the graduate program in order to give Shakespeare and his contemporaries a broader context. She is the author of Signorelli and Fra Angelico at Orvieto: Liturgy, Poetry and a Vision of the End-time, (Ashgate Publishing, 2003), which was runner up for the ACE/Mercers International Book Award for an outstanding contribution to the dialogue between religious faith and the visual arts. She has also published several entries in the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, Artibus et Historiae, and a chapter, “Vasari on Signorelli: The Origins of the Grand Manner of Painting,” in Reading Vasari (Philip Wilson, 2005). Inspired by the Shakespeare program, Dr. James has developed a parallel interest in Early English art and architecture. She has assisted in research on a recently rediscovered sixteenth century portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, published a chapter, “Cardinal Wolsey: The English Cardinal Italianate,” in Renaissance Papers (2008), and given related presentations at the Renaissance Society of America and the National Portrait Gallery in London. She has received research grants from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, ARTstor, the Mednick Foundation, and the Ross and Yum Arnold Fund as well as appointments to the Summer Teachers Institute in Technical Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and the Metropolitan Museum, a summer seminar on Making and Meaning in Renaissance Art at Oberlin College, and two appointments a Visiting Scholar to the American Academy in Rome.

Theresa Southerington

Professor of Theatre
tsouther@mbc.edu
Deming 06; Ext. 7192

Janna Segal

Janna Segal

Assistant Professor of Theatre
jsegal@mbc.edu
Deming 06; Ext. 7031

Dr. Janna Segal is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Mary Baldwin College, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in early modern theatre, contemporary American theatre, Shakespearean adaptation, and dramaturgy. Prior to joining the MBC faculty, she was an IHUM Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, where she taught classes in performance studies. She has published single and co-authored articles on Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Roaring Girl, As You Like It, and Fo and Rame’s Elisabetta. Dr. Segal is also a dramaturg whose production work has included new plays in development (The Man of Rock), Shakespeare (As You Like It), Shakespearean adaptation (Love’s Fire), and contemporary theatre (Ruhl’s Eurydice). She is the resident dramaturg for the Comparative Drama Conference’s new play staged reading series, and a dramaturg for ATHE’s annual New Play Development Workshop.

Featured publications

  • “The aesthetic resurrection of the ‘death-mark’d’ lovers (R&J 1.P.9) in the some-other where-but-here-spaces of Romeo and Juliet.” Shakespeare and Wonder. Eds. Mark Aune, Adam Cohen, Joshua Fisher, and Becky Steinberger. New York: Palgrave, 2012. 139-48.
  • “‘And browner than her brother’”: ‘Misprized’ Celia’s Racial Identity and Transversality in As You Like It.” Shakespearean Criticism v. 135. Ed. Michelle Lee. London: Gale, 2011.
  • “Fugitive Explorations in Romeo and Juliet: Searching for Transversality inside the Goldmine of R&Jspace.” Co-authored with Bryan Reynolds. Transversal Enterprises in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Fugitive Explorations. By Bryan Reynolds. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 124-67.
  • “The Reckoning of Moll Cutpurse: A Transversal Enterprise.” Co-authored with Bryan Reynolds. Transversal Enterprises in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: Fugitive Explorations. By Bryan Reynolds. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 27-63.

Featured dramaturgical work

  • Resident Dramaturg for the CDC’s new play staged reading series (Spring 2013)
  • Dramaturg for ATHE New Play Development Workshop’s staged reading of Jesse Waldinger’s Mrs. Butler Returns, directed by Eve Munson (Summer 2012)
  • Dramaturg for the Climate Theatre production of Daniel Heath’s The Man of Rock, directed by Jessica Heidt (Winter 2010)
  • Dramaturg for Circle X’s staged reading of Lisa D’Amour’s The Cataract, directed by Trevor Biship (Summer 2009)
  • Dramaturg for Range View Productions’ production of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, directed by Trevor Biship (Spring 2009)
  • Dramaturg for Theatre of NOTE’s production of Larry Kramer’s Just Say No!: A Play About a Farce, directed by Trevor Biship (Winter 2007)

Extended Faculty

J.P. Scheidler

JP Scheidler

Combat and Movement Instructor
jpdoe@earthlink.net

John Paul Scheidler, adjunct faculty member, 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.

Kate Norris

Roslyn Knutson

John Harrell

John Harrell

Guest Instructor

John Harrell has been a resident actor at the Blackfriars Playhouse since 2002. He has appeared in nearly a hundred productions on its stage, and has played roles from Dogberry to Hamlet to 2nd Lord. He has a BA in English from James Madison University, and was a co-founder of Foolery, a theatre company based in Charlottesville.

Ali Glenzer

René Thornton, Jr.

Rene Thornton

René Thornton Jr has been a company member of the American Shakespeare Center since 2004. During that time he has appeared in over 60 productions, playing roles such as Othello, Leontes, Petruchio, Pericles, Benedick, and Doctor Faustus. Prior to his tenure at the ASC, he performed at the Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin Shakespeare festivals, and other regional theaters around the country. He has worked on the faculty of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and taught in education programs for the ASC, as well as at the Oregon and Utah Shakespeare festivals. René holds an MFA from the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware and a BFA in Acting from the University of Utah. He is also a member of the Actor’s Equity Association

Mary Coy

Mary Coy

Guest Instructor (Spring)
marycoy16@hotmail.com

Mary Coy is a 2006 graduate of the MLitt/MFA in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance and a designated Linklater teacher. She has taught voice, acting and improvisation in universities and professional theatre training programs all over the United States including Shakespeare & Company, University of Maryland, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, University of Mississippi, Virginia Commonwealth University, Syracuse University and Randolph Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College). She has performed with Nelson County Shakespeare Festival, Hamner Theater, Kristin Linklater’s Company of Women, Ensemble Studio Theater, the Open Eye and Shakespeare & Company. Favorite roles include Richard in Richard III, the Queen in Richard II, Cornwall in King Lear, Olivia in Earl Hamner’s The Homecoming, and Virginia in Vita & Virginia. Directing credits include Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, As You Like It, and Taming of the Shrew. Mary is a consultant to the Nelson County Public Schools and, with Betty Tabony, has written a manual for teaching Shakespeare to middle school students and edited a young people’s edition of King Lear for Swan Books.

Guest Faculty 2012-13

Jeremy West

Jeremy West

Jeremy West, adjunct faculty member, is a professional actor, director, and fight choreographer. He is the Director of the Theatre Emphasis Program at Stuart Hall School, Fencing Instructor at Mary Baldwin, and a veteran actor of the American Shakespeare Center where he has also served as a Fight Choreographer and Assistant Director for the 2012 Summer/Fall season. Other professional acting work includes: Shakespeare Theatre, D.C.; Virginia Shakespeare Festival; Virginia Stage Company; The Shakespeare Forum; Vanguard Theatre Company, U.K.; Next Stage Theatre; and Heritage Theatre Festival among others. Jeremy is recognized with the Society of American Fight Directors and the British Academy of Dramatic Combat in multiple weapons, of which 5 have earned him “recommendation” awards from the SAFD for excellence in the performance of stage combat. He has had placements for practical training at the Globe Theatre, London and academic research at the Shakespeare Institute Library in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and was a 2007 Fulbright Finalist for the U.K. He holds an MFA in Staging Shakespeare from Exeter University, U.K. and additional training with practitioners such as: Jane Lapotaire, Emma Thompson, Gyles Block, Ralph Zito, Stewart Pearce, and Michael Kahn.

Tom Cornford

The MLitt/MFA Educational Policy Committee

The policy committee meets monthly throughout each academic year and is responsible for academic requirements and regulations, academic policies, regulations for program development, and for working with the Director on all aspects of the program, including scheduling, staffing, and advising. The MLitt/MFA policy committee also makes admissions decisions for the program. Members of the committee are:

Paul D. Menzer
Associate Professor of English;
Program Director
pmenzer@mbc.edu
Rose Terrace 112; Ext. 7058
Theresa K. Southerington ’72
Professor of Theatre
tsouther@mbc.edu
Deming 06; Ext. 7192
Ralph Alan Cohen
Gonder Professor of English;
Executive Director, ASC
ralphalancohen@gmail.com
Rose Terrace 111; Ext. 7251
Marlena Hobson
Associate Professor of Art
mhobson@mbc.edu
Deming 304; Ext. 7197
Matthew Davies
Assistant Professor of English
mdavies@mbc.edu
Rose Terrace 220; Ext. 7248
Julie D. Fox
MLitt/MFA Program Assistant Director for Operations
jfox@mbc.edu
Rose Terrace 15A; Ext. 7237
Mary Hill Cole
Professor of History
mhcole@mbc.edu
Carpenter Academic Building 404; Ext. 7273
Kelly Elliott
Student Representative for 2012-13
elliotka7512@mbc.edu
(voted into office near the end of each Spring term)
Doreen Bechtol
MFA Company Manager and Director of Training
dbechtol@mbc.edu
Masonic Bldg. Blue Room
Lise Keiter
Assoc. Professor of Music
lkeiter@mbc.edu
Deming 114; Ext. 7193
Janna Segal
Asst. Professor of Theatre
jsegal@mbc.edu
Deming 6; Ext. 7031

Visiting Scholars & Artists

Melissa Aaron, English Department, California Polytechnic
State University, Pomona. PhD in English, University of Wisconsin

Tom Berger, Emeritus Professor of English, St. Lawrence
University; analytical bibliographer, textual critic, and editorial theorist,
Scholar-in-Residence, MBC MLitt/MFA program

Giles Block, formerly Master of the
Word, the New Globe Theatre, London

Mary Katherine Burke, Associate Professor, Head of Voice
Program for MFA in Acting, University of Virginia; BA, Notre Dame; MFA,
Ohio University

Antonio Fava, third generation Actor, Director, Teacher,
Librettist and world expert on Commedia dell’Arte; Director of
the International School of the Comic Actor in Reggio Emilia, Italy

Drew Fracher, Artist-in-Residence, Fight Master, Master
Teacher; BFA, Virginia Commonwealth University; MFA, Western Illinois
University; Past President, Society of American Fight Directors; British
Academy of Stage and Screen Combat; British Academy of Dramatic Combat;

John Frick, Professor of Drama, University of Virginia; BA,
Colgate University; MA, University of Montana; PhD, New York University;
Author; Theatre Historian

Andrew Gurr, Professor of English, Reading University,
England; Academic Advisor to Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Roger Hall, Professor of Theatre, James Madison University;
AB, Princeton University; MA, PhD, Ohio State University; Playwright

Franklin Hildy, Professor of Theatre and Director of
Graduate Studies, University of Maryland

Sandra McClain, Adjunct Associate Professor of Music,
Mary Baldwin College; BA, Meredith College; MM, Manhattan School of Music;
EdD, Teachers College, Columbia University

Russ McDonald, Historian, Critic, Lecturer, University
of London; BA, Duke University; MA, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Thadd McQuade, Actor-Combatant, Society of American Fight
Directors. Trained in voice, mime, and stage movement in
Europe and the US

Joseph Martinez, Associate Professor and Chair, Theatre
Department, Washington and Lee University; BA, Illinois Western
University; Graduate Diploma, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London;
Fight Master Emeritus, Examiner, and Past President, Society of American

Fred Nelson, Artistic Director and resident Voice Coach
with ASC; Member, Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild,
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and Voice and Speech

Kate Norris, Actor: ASC, Folger, Woolly Mammoth, etc.;
Whole Actor Research Project: Approaching dramatic texts through organic
movement and impulse; International School for the Comic Actor, Reggio

Tina Packer, founder and artistic director of Shakespeare
and Company; former Associate Actress, Royal Shakespeare Company, and
companies in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leicester, and Coventry

Barbara D. Palmer, President, Board of Directors, REED-USA,
Inc (Records of Early English Drama); Professor of English (retired),
University of Mary Washington; Scholar-in-Residence, MBC MLitt/MFA

Scott J. Parker, Director, Institute of Outdoor Drama;
BA, Guildford College, England; MA, University of North Carolina; MFA,
University of Virginia

Jan Powell, Founding Artistic Director of the Tygre’s
Heart Shakespeare Company, Portland, Oregon; Past President, Shakespeare
Association of America

Todd Ristau, Director of the MFA in playwriting, Hollins
University; BA and MFA, University of Iowa

John Paul Scheidler, Actor/Fight Director for ASC. Member,
Association of Theatre Movement Educators. Member, Actors Equity Association; Certified
Teacher, Society of American Fight Directors; BA, Western Michigan University;

Tiffany Stern, Lecturer and Shakespearean scholar, University
College, Oxford

Patrick Spottiswood, Director of Education, the New Globe,
London

Jenny Tiramani, formerly Director of Theatre Design at
the New Globe, London; vast costuming career for theatre and opera; extensive
research on Early Modern clothing construction/design

Patrick Tucker, Theatre Historian, Co-founder, the Original
Shakespeare Company (now disbanded); Director for stage and screen; Teacher
and Author

James Volz, Arts Consultant and Professor, California
State University at Fullerton; PhD, University of Colorado at

William Proctor Williams, Senior Lecturer in English,
University of Akron; Professor Emeritus, University of Northern Illinois; MA
and PhD, Kansas State University