Guest Artists

Lamar University's Department of Theatre & Dance is dedicated to providing students with diverse and professional learning opportunities. The department regularly engages guest artists to work with students to create dance and theatre works, to conduct workshops and master classes, and produce performances.

Recent guest artists include:

 

Kara Greenberg - Guest Professor, AuditioningKara Greenberg

Kara Greenberg is a professional actress, voice-over artist and acting coach. Her acting work has been seen in many theaters in Houston including The Alley Theater, Stages Repertory Theatre, Main Street Theater, Theater Lab and Landing Theater. In Los Angeles she was seen in many Regional and World Premiers on stage, and was also part of The Groundlings. She has done numerous national commercials, industrials, web hosting and independent films as well as made for TV movies.  She has voiced dozens of leads in many Anime series.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Drama -University of Texas at Austin, Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre -University of Houston. Member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.

 


Sean Carmon - Professional Choreographer, Broadway PerformerSean Carmon

Sean Aaron Carmon (Beaumont, TX) began his training under the late Bonnie Cokinos at her School of Dance. Under her guidance, he began competing nationally with Dance Masters of America. Sean held the titles of Mr. Dance of Texas in both 2004 and 2006 while in high school. Thanks to two dedicated teachers, Eva Leblanc and Lucia Booth, and a host of support from other district faculty members, Sean was awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship, affording him the opportunity to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2006 on full scholarship. After moving to New York, he began taking supplemental classes at the Ailey School, which led to an inevitable transfer to, and later graduation from, the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program in Dance in 2010.

He was a member of Elisa Monte Dance before originating the role of "Phaedra" in the 2010 Tony Award–winning revival of La Cage Aux Folles and performed on the 2010 Tony Awards broadcast, Good Morning America and Live! with Regis and Kelly. Mr. Carmon also performed in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera and has appeared as a guest artist with Joshua Beamish's MOVETHECOMPANY, the International Dance Association in Italy and with the Cape Dance Company in South Africa. 

Mr. Carmon danced with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for seven years and performed major solo roles including Mikhail Baryshnikov’s original role in Alvin Ailey’s Pas de Duke and featured roles in ballets by other notable choreographers such as Wayne McGregor, Robert Battle, Aszure Barton, Johan Inger, Ulysses Dove, Matthew Rushing, Hope Boykin and Christopher L. Huggins. In addition, he was featured on Conan, the national TBS television talk show, Lincoln Center at the Movies, broadcast nationally on PBS and profiled in the Huffington Post for his work as an AGMA union representative for the Ailey dancers.

After seven seasons with Ailey, Sean made the decision to go back to his musical theater roots -- you can now see him performing all over North America as a featured dancer with Disney's The Lion King

As a choreographer's assistant, Sean has learned from some of the best professional choreographers working today, including Christopher L. Huggins, Joshua Beamish, Matthew Rushing and Nicholas Villeneuve. 

His own choreographies have been performed all across the country and internationally and have been lauded as "everything and then some..." and "powerful" and "seriously flawless" by major national print and online publications such as The New York Times, Newsweek, JET Magazine, BroadwayBlack, DanceSpirit and Dance Magazine. He was awarded The Joffrey Ballet's 2017 Winning Works Choreographic Award and created his Suite Hearts on The Joffrey Studio Company and The Joffrey Academy's advanced trainees. Also in 2017, his work, longstoryshort, was commissioned by the Dance Gallery Festival NYC and was selected as the Audience Choice Award Winner out of 30 pieces created for the festival. He has also created works on the AAADT for multiple Ailey Dancers’ Resource Fund benefit performances. Mr. Carmon created a critically acclaimed work, Youth Novels, on METtoo and a sensuous, moving duet, begin again, for DUO, METdance's intimate performance series in Houston, TX. He also teaches master classes and choreographs for studios, dance conventions, high schools, colleges and universities across America and internationally.


Richard Warner - Guest Acting Teacher. Guest performer as Oliver Lucas in The Vertical Hour by David Hare (February 2018).  Richard Warner

While working as an actor in New York City, Richard studied with Michael Howard and performed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Chelsea Theatre Center, W.P.A. Theatre and Douglas Fairbanks Theatre. He has acted regionally in more than 100 roles in many prestigious regional theaters.

Film credits include: Homer Benson in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2011); Dr. Ezra Abbott in Ridley Scott’s Killing Lincoln (2012); Chester Bowles in National Geographic channel’s Killing Kennedy (2013); Vic LeClue in Patriot Son, winner of the 1998 LA Film Fest’s independent short category and selected to show at the Telluride Festival. In 2014 Richard played the lead opposite Grey’s Anatomy’s Sarah Drew in the short film, Waking Marshall Walker. This film was selected for viewing at over 40 film festivals. He appeared in Farewell Old Stringy in the leading role of Davey and created the role of L.P. Everett in the episode, “The 20% Solution” for the television program, Homicide, Life on the Street.

As a director, he has staged Hamlet, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, Hedda Gabler, Hay Fever, A Raisin in the Sun, Cloud Nine, Fuddy Meers, The Foreigner, A Man for All Seasons, Misalliance, Suddenly Last Summer, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Laramie Project, Lend Me a Tenor, Lost in Yonkers, Driving Miss Daisy, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and True West.

Richard taught acting at the University of Virginia for 30 years where he has had the honor of coaching many talented UVA actors including Tina Fey, Ben McKenzie (Gotham, The O.C.), Sean Patrick Thomas (Cruel Intensions, Barbershop), Ntare Mwine (The Chi, Treme), Jason George (Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19), Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy, Everwood) and Emily Swallow (Supernatural, The Mentalist). He received the UVA’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1991, the Mayo Distinguished Teaching Professorship in 1998 and was selected as an inaugural member of the University Academy of Teaching in 2011. He is a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.


Jamie Williams - Hula MasterclassJamie Williams

Jamie Williams is from Wharton, TX where she discovered her love for movement and art at a young age. She earned her B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in Dance from Sam Houston State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Williams is also a certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst through the internationally recognized Integrated Movement Studies program, and is currently working toward her certification in Yoga. She serves as dance faculty and dance program coordinator at San Jacinto College, and performs with Frame Dance and several independent artists in the Houston area.

Williams was first introduced to Hula in a World Dance class taught by Dr. Cindy Gratz at SHSU, and immediately fell in love with the dance form and the culture. Since 2011, she has studied Hula under the guidance of Kumu Pua Nani Kamali’i Chang, and has taught several Hula classes at numerous schools and conferences, including ACDA and Bailando Dance Festival.


Carolyn Johnson - Guest Director, Mauritius (2017) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (2018). Carolyn Johnson

Carolyn Johnson is an Equity actress, singer, director and dialect and acting coach with more than 25 years of professional experience. She has directed professional and academic productions for the stage; most recently, Panto Wonderful Wizard for Stages Repertory Theatre (Houston Press Best Musical Nomination), and has performed with numerous theatres in Houston, Prague, Chicago, LA and Philadelphia. Recent roles include Romeo & Juliet for Prague Shakespeare Company (Lady Capulet), Trevor for Catastrophic Theatre (Sandra), and Luna Gale for Stages Repertory Theatre (Caroline), for which she won the 2017 Houston Press Best Actress Award. In Chicago, she was a company member of Noble Fool Theatre and co-artistic director of Bugeater Theatre. Carolyn has been the dialect and vocal coach on productions for Teatro Real Opera (Madrid, Spain), The Barbican/BBC Symphony (London), Houston Grand Opera, Prague Shakespeare Co., Stages Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Main Street Theater and Unity Theatre, among others. She also privately teaches/coaches accents and acting, and works with the online accent resource, AccentHelp.com. She received her BFA in Acting from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Jared Doster - Hip Hop Master ClassJared Doster

Jared Doster is a former dancer with Pilobolus Dance Theatre where he toured internationally to more than 25 countries from 2010-2016. Jared has a very diverse background in drafting, metal fabrication, welding, theatrical set design, hip hop, contemporary floorwork, partnering and choreography. Jared was also a founding member of Houston, TX based NobleMotion Dance Company, where early on he was a part of the collaboration of many of their signature works. Since 2016, Jared has designed and built six unique structural set designs for the company that serve as conceptual centerpieces in their choreography as well as standalone functioning sculptures. He holds a B.S. in Industrial Design, B.F.A. in Dance, and an M.F.A. in Dance from Sam Houston State University. In 2018 Jared won the Dance Magazine’s Outstanding Choreography Award and was featured in Dance Teacher Magazine. Jared’s work has been showcased at the Kennedy Center, Jacob’s Pillow, the McCallum Dance Festival, Seattle’s Men in Dance Festival and across Texas. Recently Jared was co-commissioned with Victoria DeRenzo to create a 25-minute work for the Level Up series at the Dance Gallery Festival.


Lisa Villegas - Guest Lecturer, Auditioning, Contemporary TheatreLisa Wartenberg Villegas

Lisa Villegas is a classically-trained actor whose work spans theatre, commercials, and voice-over. Most recently, she was featured as Kay in touch(ed) produced by Rogue Productions in Houston, TX. Past work includes Main Street Theater: The Last Wife (Kate Parr); Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (Anne Boleyn); 1946 (World Premiere), Fallen AngelsTime Stands Still; Classical Theatre Company: A Christmas Carol (2014 & 2015); Unity Theatre: Boeing-Boeing; Mildred’s Umbrella: Museum of Dysfunction VICassandra; University of Houston: Midsummer Night’s DreamJulius CaesarBoston MarriageArcadia; Obsidian Art Space: Dangerous Liaisons; Quintero Theatre: Blood Wedding; Illinois Shakespeare Festival: The RivalsAs You Like ItSugarloaf Mountain: Tecumseh! The Outdoor Musical; wow café theatre (NYC) The Maids; Player’s Theatre (NYC): Urban Death. Film: Nothing in the NothingnessKatie55East Brighton, jane. V/O: Busythings (Spanish). Others: Pangea (Luciole International Theatre). Teaching includes Rice University, University of Houston. Education: M.F.A., University of Houston, Acting; B.A., New York University, Dramatic Arts. www.lisa-villegas.com


Alissa LaVergne - Radio City RocketteAlissa LaVergne

Alissa started dancing at the age of three in Southeast Texas. After graduation, she went to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville and received a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre and Dance. While in college, she performed with the Houston Symphony's A Very Merry Pops, danced aboard Majesty of the Seas with Royal Caribbean and performed in Hello, Dolly! at Theatre Under the Stars in Houston. Alissa became a Radio City Rockette in 2009. With the Rockette's, she has performed on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Celebrity Apprentice, America's Got Talent, The 2017 Tony Awards, Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting, Presidential Inauguration and numerous other daytime TV shows.

Alissa's other professional credits include the New York Spectacular, A Chorus Line (Sheila Bryant), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Beatrice), Spamalot, White Christmas, Guys and Dolls, Mary Poppins and Oliver.

She recently performed in Houston Grand Opera's production of "West Side Story." Between contracts, Alissa teaches aspiring dancers all over the country.


Matt Anderson - Guest Lecturer and Adjunct Faculty, Musical Theatre & Into to TheatreMatt Andersen

Matt Andersen graduated in 2015 from the FSU Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training with his Masters of Fine Arts, and received his bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts from Eastern Michigan University. He is a proud member of the Actor's Equity Association, and has acted in plays and musicals in Houston and around the state of Texas at theatres including Theatre Under The Stars, Main Street Theatre, Casa Mañana, A.D. Players and TexArts.

 

 


Philip Lehl - Guest Lecturer, Auditioning, Shakespeare. Guest Director, The Importance of Being Earnest (2018)Philip Lehl

Philip Lehl is an actor, director and teacher. For 4th Wall/Stark Naked he has acted in True West, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Ho Ho Humbug, The God Game, Winter's Tale, Faith Healer, Macbeth, Debt Collectors, and Dinner With Friends; and directed or co-directed Winter's Tale, Midsummer Night's Dream, Debt Collectors, and Body Awareness. He appeared at the Alley Theatre this season in The Nether. Broadway: Blood Brothers, The Kentucky Cycle. Off-Broadway: Hundreds of Hats. National Tour: Titanic, the Musical. Since arriving in Texas in 2001: More than thirty productions at the Alley including: Clybourne Park, The Pillowman, The Farnsworth Invention, Eurydice, The Crucible, The Exonerated, Our Lady of 121st Street, The Mousetrap, Hamlet and The Invention of Love. Stages: Oh, the Humanity, Yankee Tavern, I Am My Own Wife, Mr. Marmalade, Lady, Souvenir, Amy's View, The Pavilion, Dirty Blonde. A.D. Players: Twelve Angry Men. Main Street Theatre: Arcadia. Classical Theatre Company: Merchant of Venice, Tempest, Uncle Vanya, Ghosts. Houston Shakespeare Festival: King John, Romeo and Juliet, Love's Labour's Lost, Julius Caesar, Cymbeline. TUTS: LMNOP, Wonderful Life, Sound of Music, and one memorable performance of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. Generations: Bat Boy, Spring Awakening, Our Town. BCCM: On the Town, Fiorello, Assassins, She Loves Me. EHS: The Tempest. Regional: St. Louis Repertory, Cleveland Play House, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Portland Stage Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The New Harmony Theatre and Weston Playhouse. Education: The Juilliard School, Drake University, NTI, Moscow Arts Theatre School. Other theatre direction: Almost MaineReckless (Brave Dog Theatre), Ferdinand the Bull (Stages), On the Town (co-director, BCCM) Art (Generations). Lehl is a proud member of Actor's Equity


Kim Tobin-Lehl - Guest Director, The Importance of Being Earnest (2018)Kim Tobin-Lehl

Kim Tobin-Lehl is co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of 4th Wall Theatre Company, Previously directed for 4th Wall Theatre/Stark Naked Theatre, Small Mouth Sounds, Ho Ho Humbug 2.0, A Midsummer Night's Dream & A Winter's Tale. She has directing credits in both NYC and in L.A. Kim has acted in the company's productions of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Small Mouth Sounds, Stage Kiss, Ho Ho Humbug, The God Game, Faith Healer, Macbeth, All Girls, God of Carnage, Body Awareness, Dinner with Friends and Debt Collectors. A Houston native, Kim has a B.A. in acting and directing from the University of Houston (including training with Jose' Quintero, Edward Albee & Sidney Berger) and, in addition to appearing in numerous regional productions, she won the "Actress Excellence" award at the Texas College Play Festival for her portrayal of Sarah in Children of a Lesser God. After relocating to New York she trained with/at a number of elite teachers and conservatory's. These include, but are not limited to; Stella Adler & The Stella Adler Conservatory, Gene Frankel, Circle In The Square, The Shakespeare Lab at The Public Theatre and Seth Barrish & Lee Brock at The Barrow Group. In N.Y., Kim became an officer with the New Mercury Theatre Company, where (among other roles), she produced and starred (as Sally) in the 1995 revival of Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind. Kim later became the Artistic Director of the Blue Sphere East theatre company (the New York sister company to the acclaimed Blue Sphere Alliance theatre company based in Los Angeles). Her favorite Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway credits include: Talk to Me Like the Rain…, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Fifth of July, Fool for Love, Savage in Limbo, The Smell of the Crowd, Bed, Bawd & Beyond, Impassioned Embraces (Emotional Recall), Ctrl, Alt, Delete and Trust and the Barrow Group's production of  Short Stuff Two and their production of her original one-woman show, Inside Out. Kim spent more than three years in Los Angeles studying with Sandy Marshall and Larry Moss, and highlights of her L.A. theatre productions include: the world premiere of Children of Shame, The Interrogation, Masseur, Baby with the Bathwater, Check to Check and The Foreigner. Kim's film credits include roles in The Big Lebowski, The Alarmist, Ash, and Sex Maniac, as well as the television series Sunset Beach. In addition to her extensive body of work, Kim is a highly sought-after acting teacher, and her studio (based on the teaching principles of Meisner, Adler and The Barrow Group) offers an array of courses (from beginner to advanced levels) in acting technique, improvisation, script analysis and scene study. More details about Kim's background and her current class offerings can be found at her studio website: www.kimtobinactingstudio.com.


Ferran Garrigues - Guest Teacher, Auditioning, Continental European TheatreFerran Garrigues

Education/ Training:
ESAD VALENCIA BA in Drama 2003-2007, Pedagogical Aptitude Course at the Galileo Galilei School in Valencia.

Ferran continues his training with intensive courses, having received training from professionals in the performing arts such as: Stephan Levi (Moveo) Sergio Claramunt, Mar Navarro and Andrés Hernandez, Jorge Picó, Dafni Valor, Jorge Eines, Chema Cardeña, Paco Zarzoso, Paco Maciá, Sophie Kasser, Olivier Decriaud, Jose Sanchis Sinisterra, Ita Aagaard, Alfonso Zurro, Soledad Garré, Isabel Úbeda, Ramón Ollé, Paolo de Vita, Carles Vila and Juancho Calvo, among others.

As an actor, Ferran has formation in physical theater and text based drama acting. Since finishing acting school in 2007, he has been working and collaborating with companies as La Fura dels Baus, Visitants, A Tempo Dansa, Festival Internacional de Teatre de Carrer Vila Real, Centro dramático de Vila Real, Teatro de la Saca, La Fam, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Palau de la Música, Teatro Principal de Valencia, TEM Teatro Musical Valencia, Teatro de la Maestranza Sevilla, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, HGO Houston Grand Opera  and National Taichung Theater. He has also been part of Flying Freedom Festival, Kuks Theater Festival in Czech republic.

Ferran was awarded with the Nuevos Tiempos 1st prize in Valencia in 2006 with the play Trashumantes. He also writes poetry, is a blogger, illustrator and playwright. 

Ferran has worked onstage with directors such as: Zubin Metha, Carlos Saura, Klaus Sallmann, Cecilia Ligorio, Daniel Slater, Patrick Summers, Emilio Sagi, Esteban Muñoz, Carlus Padrissa, Sonia Alejo and Ramón Moreno, among others. 


Meaghen Quinn

Actress and University of Windsor professor, Meaghen Quinn, visited Lamar to teach the Acting II Stage Movement class.


Konstantin Brazhnik

In a joint endeavor between the Department of Theatre & Dance and the Department of Communication, interactive media producer Konstantin Brazhnik taught courses in film and media and gave a talk on the history of film. Brazhnik holds an M.F.A. in cinema production from the celebrated School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.


Jesus Pineda

Jesus Pineda, a graduate of the theatre program at Lamar, and currently first electrician at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, returned to design lights for the LU production of the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.


Tim Miller

In fall of 2011, performance artist Tim Miller was in residence for a week to perform his piece Glory Box and to conduct a workshop in which students and faculty crafted a one-hour performance titled Body Maps.


Scott Pask

The Tempest

In spring 2011, Tony Award-winning designer Scott Pask designed The Tempest for young audiences, which was produced in the University Theatre February 17-20. 


Nathanel Johnson

L.A.-based actor/director Nathanael Johnson was in residence January 24 - February 20 to direct The Tempest; he also conducted a master class titled The Secret to Great Acting.


Jaime Hernandez

J. Hernandez was guest artist for the fall 2010 production of A Doll's House. Hernandez, a Texas native, grew up in the Rio Grande Valley where he first found an interest in theatre working on productions in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Tri-City area. After high school, he went on to receive his B.F.A in acting at the College of Santa Fe, and, later on in 2005, would received his M.A. in directing from Texas State University in San Marcos. His most recent degree, completed in 2008, comes from the University of Virginia, where he earned his M.F.A. in acting. Upon graduating from Virginia, Hernandez has gone on to work for the Heritage Theatre Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival and the Texas Shakespeare Festival.


Donald McKayle

Games

In 2009-2010, the department was awarded an American Masterpieces: Dance-College Component grant, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, to restage Donald McKayle's Games (1958). Students had the opportunity to work closely with Mr. McKayle and his assistant to recreate this work, participate in master classes and attend a lecture about his life and career. Games then toured at area schools during the month of February to commemorate Black History Month.


Richard Robichaux & Jeremy Hutton

In the spring of 2010, L.A.-based actor Richard Robichaux conducted a master class on auditioning for the camera for theatre majors, and guest artist Jeremy Hutton, artistic director of Hart House Theatre in Toronto, led workshops on stage combat and choreographed fights for the Lamar Studio Theatre production of The Burial at Thebes.