Department of Theatre and Film

2023-2024 Newsletter

Greetings from the Chair

Lesa Lockford Headshot Greetings From the ChairIt is once again my pleasure to invite you to read our annual newsletter. Here you will learn about the exciting year we had in the Department of Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University. Creativity and productivity were in abundance as students once again delivered a vibrant slate of theatre and film productions. Our students and faculty had a busy year full of engagement in professional development opportunities, scholarship, productions and performances, and celebrations as new members of the community joined us in the fall and others left us at the end of this academic year.

As per usual, we opened with our annual kick-off meeting to launch the academic year. We welcomed both our returning and new students on the Wolfe Center patio. We then enjoyed a screening of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre here at the Wolfe Center.

Throughout the year, we offered workshops and professional development opportunities for students and faculty. You can read about them in more detail below, but here are some highlights: Our first event of the year was a masterclass with screenwriter Mitch Brian, who is also a teaching professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He joined us last year as well and was so well received then that we invited him to return. BGSU film production alum, Kyle Petitjean, came in October to do a two-day hands-on workshop with students. In late September our dance students were able to do a workshop with Ohio native and BGSU alumna, and now New York based dancer Sarah Zehnder. Every November, we hold the Major Event, which is our annual assessment activity for our junior and senior theatre majors. This year, to work with and adjudicate our students’ work, we brought in Peter Riopelle, Artistic Director of Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater Michigan, and Jess Fialko, lighting, costume, and scenic designer at the University of Michigan Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.

We also had several noteworthy screenings and performance events. ArtsX, which is our annual showcase of the arts here at BGSU included the work of lots of theatre and film students and faculty. In January, several students travelled to Flint Michigan to attend the Region 3 Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF). As you will see in this newsletter, we had a tremendous showing there as several students advanced in the competition and quite a few won awards. Across the academic year, there were four 48-Hour Film challenges in which students receive a prompt on a Friday night and by Sunday have to create a short film. Within a week following the challenge, the resulting films are then screened and judged. In the spring semester, BGSU hosted a two-day screening of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, which is dedicated to highlighting experimental films from around the world.

The Mainstage and Elsewhere theatre seasons provided terrific opportunities to showcase the talents of our theatre students, faculty and staff. Our season also included the Winter Dance Concert that showcased outstanding work by our faculty, student dancers, and choreographers. We ended the theatre season with a production of Heathers: The Musical. I am pleased to note that the production was sold out for all five performances. That show also was the departmental directorial debut for Assistant Professor James Stover and the first show musically guided by our new Musical Coordinator, CJ Capen. It was a great show to bring the Mainstage theatre season to a close.

In this issue of our newsletter, you will find additional information about all of this year’s productions, events, and student activities, as well as what is upcoming for next year. We also feature interviews with faculty members, students, and alumni. We welcome new Assistant Professor of theatre lighting design, Baxter Chambers. We also say goodbye to Associate Professor Angela Ahlgren who resigned at the end of this academic year. We will miss her and her profound influence on our students and department. We wish her well in her future endeavors. I want to also note that alum Darin Kerr, who received his doctorate from us in 2015, and who brilliantly illuminated our stages as a director and actor, sadly passed away in the fall; with his departure, he leaves a great big gap for all who knew him. I also want to welcome Jonathan Chambers as the incoming Chair of the department, who will move into the role this coming July. It has been my pleasure to serve the students, faculty and staff as the Department Chair. I am grateful to Jonathan for being willing to serve, for I know we will all be in good hands as we move forward.

We are incredibly proud of the work we have done in the department this year. I hope you will enjoy reading this newsletter and learning about all we have done. I hope you will agree that it has been quite an exciting time here at the Wolfe Center for the Arts!


Lesa Lockford
Professor and Chair
Department of Theatre and Film

To view previous newsletters:

Theatre and Film Newsletter Archive



Annual Kickoff Party
On August 24, 2023, students and faculty gathered in the Wolfe Center scene shop for pizza and to learn about the upcoming events for the year, auditions and screenings. Students were introduced to Department of Theatre and Film faculty and staff, and leaders of student organizations associated with the department.


Shall We Join the Ladies?
Teaching Professor Geoff Stephenson participated in the College of Musical Arts Faculty Artist Series in a one night event on September 6, 2023, celebrating women through song.

Screenwriting Class with Mitch Brian
On September 12, 2023, students participated in a screenwriting master class with Mitch Brian. Our future screenwriters learned how to connect their audience to their words and images through a discussion centered around the1993 German short film Schwarzfahrer (Black Rider).


Screen-Play: Staged Readings of Contemporary Plays
Alumna Seraiah Proctor and current student Sophia Encina debuted staged readings of their screenplays - Long Distance and The Goons: End of a Beginning - at this year's Screen-Play on September 19, 2023. Students were able to ask the screenwriters questions about their writing process, aesthetic choices, and next steps.


Contemporary workshop with Zehnder Dance
Sarah Zehnder led a dance workshop with DANC 1150 in September 2023.


Kyle Petitjean Presentation and Workshop
Alumnus Kyle Petitjean talked cameras, collaboration, IASTE, and the film industry to our students on October 13 2023. The next day, THFM majors were able to get hands-on experience working behind and in-front of the camera under Petitjean’s trained eye as they learned how to set up the perfect shot, work a dolly, and more.

An Afternoon with Filmmaker and Author Curtis Chin
Students across campus came out to hear Curtis Chin talk about his new memoir about growing up queer in Detroit’s Chinatown on November 14, 2023. During the Q&A session, Chin answered questions about his long career as a filmmaker and what it means to make shows about the Asian-American experience.


Fall Cineposium
This year’s Fall Cineposium on October 24, 2023, screened student-made short films from the past academic year. The event was hosted by Associate Professor Lucas Ostrowski, and student presenters included Matthias Bates, Parker Kavanagh, James Koehler, Carissa Karolin, Eli Moenter, D Garcia, and Ross Musarra.

Major Event
Adjudicators Peter Riopelle and Jess Fialko critiqued students' work for the Department’s Major Event in November 2023.  

Brian Enk
The annual Senior Portfolio Review is a professional development class where students curate their creative portfolio and research many aspects of life after BGSU. The culmination is an individual portfolio review with a film production professional who offers personalized feedback on student work, their website (digital portfolio), and professional presentation. Editor/filmmaker (and BGSU alumnus) Bryan Enk provided feedback to our senior students in November 2023.


Arts X
The annual showcase and celebration of the arts featuring the creative works of BGSU students, faculty, and staff was held December 2, 2023, in both the BGSU Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts. This year’s event was titled ArtsX: Movement which invited participants to experience how arts moves us intellectually, emotionally, and socially.


In January 2024, students from the Department of Theatre and Film attended the KCACTF Region 3 Festival held in Flint, Michigan. Students attended workshops and shows, and competed in various competitions held over the weekend! Read about KCACTF in our Highlights section about what our amazing students have achieved this year!

Ryan Scobel
Ryan Scobel, Artistic Director of the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, a professional summer theatre in Iowa, came to BGSU to audition students for his summer season on February 3, 2024. Assistant Professor James Stover and Senior Mariah Fallouh both received summer stock contracts to work with the Repertory Theatre in the Summer of 2024.

Ann Arbor Film Festival
On February 13, 2024, BGSU welcomed a selection of films from the 61st Annual Ann Arbor Film Festival. Attendees watched a series of short films that ranged from a parody documentary starring mice to microscopic views of a stamp to roaming, animated plants.

Mancunian Man Screening
This documentary features footage created by Associate Teaching Professor Stephen Crompton. The film dives into the life and legacy of Cliff Twemlow, UK’s most prolific indie filmmaker. The documentary was screened on February 27.


Film and Media Festival and Senior Showcase
The annual Film and Media Festival, hosted by the student organization BGReel and supported by the THFM department, was Friday, April 5-Sunday, April 7. The festival featured a slate of screenings of student-made films that ranged from documentaries to music videos to narrative fiction. To top off the festival, this year also featured a Senior Showcase that highlighted films made by senior film production majors. The showcase preceded an awards ceremony for department and festival awards. 

Senior Film Capstone
Wesley Vert, a senior film production major, debuted his senior capstone project, Finn, on April 19. Finn follows Brandon as they begin to question their gender after the death of their character in a role-playing game. The screening was followed by a Q&A session with Wesley and other students who participated in the making of the film.

Trip to Ragtime
Thanks to Gary and Eleanor Fox, the generous donors to the Fox Family Fund, which allowed 20 BGSU Theatre and Film students to see Toledo Opera's production of Ragtime on April 21.

48-Hour Film Festivals
Four 48-Hour Film Festivals were held this academic year. Teams were tasked with creating a six-minute, fully-edited short film in only 48 hours. Screenings were September 21, October 31, January 25, and February 29. Check out our article to see how January’s 48 went!


Footlights Dance Concert
Choreographed by students in DANC 4270: Choreography and Design, Footlights Dance Concert was performed in the Whitney Dance Studio on April 18-19, 2024.


In The Round
In The Round continued to bring in speakers throughout the 2023-2024 academic year, beginning in September with Ryan RedCorn, a graphic designer, WGA screenwriter [credits include Reservation Dogs], filmmaker, photographer, and co-founder of the Indigenous comedy troupe, The 1491s. Later in fall semester, Talon Silverhorn, historical interpreter and cultural programs manager for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, joined the lineup of creative speakers. During the spring 2024 semester, Traci Sorell, a children’s book and YA author, spoke both on campus and at the Wood County District Public Library.

Mainstage Productions


By Suzan-Lori Parks, Directed by D. Amy-Rose Forbes Erickson


By Selina Fillinger, Directed by Jonathan Chambers


Winter Dance Concert: Evolve
Directed by Colleen Murphy


John Proctor is the Villain
By Kimberly Belflower, Directed by Sara Lipinski Chambers


Heathers: The Musical
By Kevin Murphy & Laurence O’Keefe, Directed by James Stover.

Elsewhere Productions


By Milcha Sánchez-Scott, Directed by Haley Anissa Alvarez and Sarah Hopson


The Lover
By Harold Pinter, Directed by Donovan Callahan


Dear Flower
By Jo Jae A, Directed by Jaehoon Kim

Collaborations with College of Musical Arts

Music by Frederick Loewe, Book by Alan Jay Lerner

By Pauline Viardot


STAD - a New Student Organization for Students in Theatre Design and Tech

Beginning at the department Kick-Off Party in August, some may have noticed a new organization represented at the event, STAD. The acronym stands for Student Technicians, Artisans, and Designers. The current president, Rowan Rozzi, said that STAD’s purpose was designed with all our behind-the-scenes folks in mind. "We wanted our design/tech students to have their own space for professional development, and just a space to get to know each other.”

As a first-year official BGSU student organization, STAD is still establishing what it means to the design/tech students in our department, as well as what kinds of resources it can offer them in future years. Rowan explained where the idea for this organization originated. “I had the idea after being a part of Alpha Psi Omega and MuTS, two other theatre student organizations,” Rozzi said. After sharing the idea with other students in the department, it became clear that the idea was popular. "So I ventured to make it happen.”

STAD meetings are open to all students who have an interest in theatre design/tech or the organization. Additionally, the faculty advisor for the organization, Kelly Mangan, is a great resource for any questions regarding the design/tech specialization.

Regarding the future of STAD, Rozzi expressed exciting things being planned for next year and beyond. “We’re working towards more technical workshops, some speakers, and other things in the future - including fun socials! In our last meeting of the semester, we will have a speaker Zoom in and chat with us who is currently touring with Disney on Ice on their wardrobe crew.”

Additionally, the officers for next year have been announced. Molly Moreland will serve as president alongside Leo Sears as vice president. Camden Riggs will be the secretary, and Emily Nash will serve as the business manager.

If you have an interest or desire to know or work in design/tech here at BGSU or beyond, STAD is a great place to learn more and get connected with like-minded students in the department. At the next department Kick-Off, look for their booth, and if you get the chance, attend a meeting and support this new and growing student organization!

January 48-Hour Film Festival

The weekend of January 19 was snowy, cold, and - for a dedicated group of students - filled with creativity and filmmaking. While other students were inside, binging Netflix and trying to stay warm, these students were rushing to finish a short film in only 48 hours.

BGReel, a student film organization, hosts four 48-Hour Film Festivals each year. The goal is to make a six-minute, fully-edited short film in only 48 hours that meets both standard and randomized criteria. For the January 2024 film festival, the overall theme was “Cabin Fever” which meant that everything needed to be shot in one location. For many student groups, this challenge was a blessing in disguise as the snow “would have kept them inside anyways.”

Friday, January 19, was the criteria selection and kick-off, which saw nine teams given their global challenge, as well as creating and choosing other must-haves in their film. These randomly selected criteria included: a line someone must say; a prop that needs to be shown; a genre the film must follow; and one more challenge about the formal elements of the film. Selected criteria ranged anywhere from “a found-footage film that features a box of chocolates” to a “mockumentary shot in a public location.”

As the nine teams went off to write a script, shoot it, and then edit, the countdown began. As one team, Cat Vomit Productions, described it, "BGSU's 48-Hour Film Festival is always an ultimatum of 'do I want this weekend or not?' But after the writing sessions, long set hours, and perfect collaboration in no more than 48 hours, with a miracle, you get the opportunity to tell a story. It's everyone's dream to make a movie, and we are lucky enough to see our hard work up on a big screen. If only someday we won't be scrambling out the door and racing against the deadline with our flash drive.” For team members Bella Cameron and Samuel Musteric, the hard work paid off, as their film Little Lamb took second place at the screening on January 25.

The screening itself was well attended with almost every seat in Olscamp 117 filled. The audience laughed at every joke, cheered at every victory, and gasped at the moments of horror or shock. With rousing applause after each film, it was hard to tell who would win the Audience Choice Award, let alone First Place. Lucas Ostrowski, associate film professor, was one of the judges this year and remarked that it was “easy to find the positives” in each film and that the students’ passion sang through.

Team Tickle Gang, who’s film Tim Kim’s Great Escape ultimately took both Audience Choice and First Place, had “an incredible level of professionalism,” said Ostrowski. This undergraduate team really went for it, including a convincing fight scene as well as moments of comedy and levity in their great escape caper. “You really see these students building their skill set and expressing their voice at the 48s,” notes Ostrowski, who hopes to see the 48s continue to entertain and educate future students.



In January 2024, just days after returning from winter break, several BGSU students from the Department of Theatre and Film attended the KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival) Region 3 in Flint, Michigan. This region consists of universities from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Northwest Ohio, and Wisconsin. While the weekend’s events boasted a multitude of workshops on various aspects of theatre, the festival also presented productions each evening selected from the region and held competitions for students in performance, design, stage management, and more!

Students from BGSU participated in the eventful weekend in various capacities. Sophomore Liv Lutz is the current president of the Student Council. In addition to leading several events during the festival, she also gave speeches at both the opening and closing ceremonies, and was recognized by faculty leadership for her work. Kenna Harrington competed in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition (with scene partner Madison Ellis, a current graduate student of the department). Kenna won the VASTA Acting Award and the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre Residency Award, which includes a paid fellowship as an actor at the professional Equity theatre. Senior Rowan Rozzi competed in the Stage Management Fellowship competition where he was one of 12 finalists and won the Stage Management Fellowship Meritorious Achievement Award.

Of the two musical theatre scholarship competitions sponsored by Open Jar Studios, BGSU students Maria Fallouh, Claire Oliver, and Grace Whetstone were all finalists from approximately 100 competitors. In the dance competition, Nykera Gardner and Claire Oliver were chosen finalists. Senior Mariah Fallouh won first place in the vocal competition, receiving a scholarship to attend the Open Jar Summer Intensive in New York and to perform at the KCACTF National Festival in Washington, D.C. in Spring 2024.

The talent of BGSU theatre students was widely recognized, and the department looks forward to continuing to attend and bring our students' work there for years to come! Next year’s festival will take place in Madison, Wisconsin. Students interested in attending should reach out to this year’s attendees or to Assistant Professor James Stover to learn about the experience.

Coca-Cola Refreshing Films Finalists

Nine-hundred teams of student filmmakers from across the country participated in the 2024 Coca-Cola Refreshing Films Contest. The contest tasked participants with first submitting a script for a short film that would be shown during the previews at a movie theater. Those selected would then have a week to film their vision with the help of a Coca-Cola Refreshing Films coach. Out of the 900 chosen, BGSU students Izzy Cain and Cori Abele were selected as one of 15 semi-finalists that got to turn their script into a film.

Both Izzy and Cori are third-year film production students with a passion for storytelling. This year’s contest had a prompt of “showing the real magic of going to the movies.” This translated into their film Transported which is about a young couple, Mia and Raven, going to the movies. However, as they watch a romantic scene take place on screen, Raven feels herself magically pulled into the film. Raven and Mia, now replacing the main characters of the film, resume the actions of the original characters, and we watch as Mia proposes to Raven. Raven then transports back into the theater and reflects on the experience, noting that she would say yes someday. Izzy remarked that when writing the script, it was “important for LGBTQ+ representation to appear on screens.”

They describe the process of working with industry professionals as “intense, but a great learning experience.” They had one week to finalize the script, create a storyboard and animatic, create a budget, and film. In addition to their Coca-Cola Refreshing Film coach Ed Hellman, they had support from Professor Cynthia Baron and Associate Professor Lucas Ostrowski. Cori said that even though they were not selected as finalists, the experience with Coca-Cola gave them hands-on experience with real-world filmmaking for a large corporation. They would recommend that BGSU students apply for the contest in the future.

Cori Abele
Izzy Cain

Darin Kerr Scholarship

Students, alumni, and faculty can look forward to a new award for theatre students at BGSU coming in 2029. The award is named in honor of Darin Kerr, a former doctoral student in the department, who passed away from cancer in 2023. Friend and colleague Travis Cook remembers Kerr as “a brilliant student, but an even more brilliant actor and theatre practitioner.”

The Darin Kerr Memorial Award in Theatrical Excellence is designed to reward an outstanding Graduate Student (or rising junior or senior) for their work on the BGSU stage. It will be a monetary award distributed by the Department of Theatre and Film to a deserving student who has demonstrated excellence in the theatre - primarily acting, but with potential to reward other areas of excellence.

The award is intended to assist students during their time in BG in various ways. “As this is an award, not a scholarship, the awarded funds could be used for needs such as housing, food, textbooks, or even to fund further artistic work beyond the stage,” explains Cook. “The idea sprang about following Darin’s terminal cancer diagnosis… We all wanted to make some large gesture to help honor and memorialize what he meant to us and countless others.”

Cook and fellow BGSU alumnus Heather Utsler-Smith began by forming a committee with the intention to reach out to the University to learn the best means of creating a scholarship or award and then continuously following up with the school to ensure that its creation was a viable success. However, their work cannot be done alone. Cook explains that at this point in the development process, they have a five-year timeline for funding. The goal is to raise $25,000 to ensure that the fund is fully endowed and sustainable for the long term. About $10,000 has been raised with initial donations.

Cook also credits Dr. Lesa Lockford for being "equally instrumental in helping bring this fund into existence."

Darin’s brother, Tim, is thankful for the support from BGSU faculty, alumni and friends. ”Darin was intelligent, purposeful and loved the theatre and teaching. He cared for others in his sphere and was witty and sharp… We miss him tremendously and are thankful that you are all pursuing this is his name.”

Donations can be made to the Darin Kerr Memorial Award in Theatrical Excellence online or by contacting the Department of Theatre and Film at 419-372-2222 or

For many seniors, graduating college is a bittersweet experience. As much as they are excited to move on toward their future careers and adventures, they are also struck with a nostalgia and fondness for their time at BGSU. Film Production majors, in addition to these feelings, are also left with a handful of films and multimedia projects that are the cumulation of their time in the department. One such senior, Isaiah Zapata, wanted to do something with those films. With the support of his fellow students and THFM faculty members, he organized a Senior Showcase that would allow students to show their films to family, friends, and other audience members.

“Creating the senior showcase was an experience I was unfamiliar with but instilled within me a sense of pride for being able to put together something I believe to be important for all film students," Zapata said. "Many of us at the end of our time at BGSU feel like we are missing something, that we did not learn enough or take advantage of all the opportunities that the department offered, but I think the showcase remedies that in a way by giving us a space to exhibit our work. Rather than being judged by a panel of people we do not know, or receive a grade we are banking on to pass, we were able to let our guard down and show our friends and families the progress we have made during our time as film students.”

The Senior Showcase debuted as part of the annual Film and Media Festival on April 7. Before the Festival and Department Awards were given, audience members watched a selection of short films, trailers, and excerpts from seniors. Seniors who contributed were: Sophia Encina, John Mauceri, Samuel Nickoloff, Grace Heerdt, Brandon Bastillo, Gavin Green, Isaiah Zapata, Kaylee Lopez, Mya Wallace, Kayden Whaley, Antonio Garcia, and Carissa Karolin.

Baxter Chambers


Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get introduced to theatre, and where did you get your degrees?

A: I primarily work as a lighting designer and electrician. I have worked at many professional and academic theater organizations including as Associate Theatrical Lighting Manager at the University of Michigan, as a Design Fellow at the Chautauqua Theatre Company, and as the House Electrician at Marathon Center for the Performing Arts.

I have been involved with theatre since I was a kid. I played Bert in the BGSU Department of Theatre and Film production of All My Sons when I was 7 or 8 years old. 

I received my BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from here at Bowling Green State University and my MFA in Theatre: Lighting Design from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

Q: How did you first get introduced to lighting design?

A: I got involved in lighting both in school and for work sort of simultaneously. I was already working as a scenic carpenter during undergrad and got asked by another student if I was interested in serving as the assistant lighting designer for them on an upcoming production. During that time, Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in Findlay had recently opened, and I had begun working part-time as a production assistant, helping assemble their new lighting rig out of the box, etc.

Q: What are your research and teaching interests?

A: I am interested in the temporal aspect of lighting design. Light is closely intertwined with time and our understanding of each is informed by the other. Thinking about the way light can manipulate our experience of time fascinates me and is always something I relish the chance to experiment with in theatre. 

Beyond this, I am particularly interested in a holistic approach to theatre-making. Something I try to encourage in my classes, even the lighting specific ones, is to approach the work flexibly. Design is about problem solving and looking across disciplines can help maintain elasticity when faced with a challenge.

Q: What projects are you currently working on?

A: For the department, I was the lighting designer for John Proctor Is The Villain, which opened in mid-February, and Heathers: The Musical, which opened in April.

Q: What classes are you currently teaching at BGSU, and what classes would you like to offer in the future?

A: I am currently teaching THFM 1410: The Theatre Experience which is a theatre appreciation and exploration course. We're taking advantage of the Department of Theatre and Film spring mainstages and talking a lot about adaptation. For the future, I am working on developing a course centered on creative team collaboration which will explore how directors and designers can use different collaborative models and approaches to best serve their artistic goals. 

Q: Are you active in any other organizations/ institutions outside of BGSU?

A: I am an emerging professional member of the Illuminating Engineering Society, and I am a member of USITT.

Q: Do you have any projects in development for the future?

A: I'll be returning to Purdue as a guest artist for an original production called Entropics: A Tragic Parable for a Combustible Age. That show will be running previews in West Lafayette before transferring to Chicago for a limited run this May at Theater Wit.

Then looking ahead to 2025, I'll be heading to Georgia where I'll be the lighting designer for the Gainesville Theatre Alliance production of Macbeth.

Q: What aspects of the Department of Theatre and Film excite you the most?

A: I appreciate that students are encouraged to explore different roles in our production process. I feel that having students take on work in performance and production is both good pedagogy for understanding how to make theatre and develop skills for the profession, but also encourages a liberal arts approach to higher ed at the department level. I am most interested in helping students discover new passions and become lifelong learners and I feel our department does a good job facilitating that.

Rowan Razzi


Q: Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, and how did you get introduced to theatre?

My name is Rowan, my pronouns are he/him, and I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio (or a small town outside of Cincinnati, but saying Cinci is easier!). I was introduced to theatre growing up watching various movie musicals. Classics we all know like The Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, Grease, Hairspray, etc. I have always loved musical theatre, and my family does too. I got involved with my high school’s theatre productions, and fell in love. The rest is history!

Q: When did you discover your passion for stage management?

I stage managed in high school, and enjoyed my time immensely. It was something I wanted to do more, but since my senior year was cut short I didn’t have the chance to. Graduating from high school, I hadn’t done as much as I’d have liked, but something kept pulling me back to it. A year into my time at BGSU, I changed my major to theatre, and started with stage management simply because it was something I knew how to do. It wasn’t initially my end goal, but after working on BGSU’s production of She Kills Monsters as an ASM, I immediately fell in love all over again like I had in high school. I decided then that I wanted to pursue stage management officially.

Q: How do you feel BGSU has shaped you as a person and/or artist?

Having the opportunity to work with my fellow students and professors over the years has taught me so much, not only about my craft but about life as well. I was an entirely different person when I came into this department, and I’m leaving the department this year changed for the better. I’ve achieved a lot of personal goals, and I finally am starting to feel like I’m prepared to call myself a "professional" instead of a "student." Though, I would not have reached these goals without the guidance, care and generosity of some of the faculty members. Special shoutout to Kelly Mangan, Jonathan Chambers, and James Stover for always having my back and believing in me. I’ve made so many wonderful friends and connections at BGSU that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life, and I believe this place has changed me for good. :)

Q: How have you been involved in the department over the years?

My first production was Pippin, and I worked as a follow spot operator. Since then, I have been 1st ASM on She Kills Monsters, 2nd ASM on BiG Moves Dance Concert, SM on Evil Dead the Musical, SM on POTUS, light board operator on Evolve Dance Concert, and SM on Heathers: The Musical. I was also elected as Historian of Alpha Psi Omega for the 2023-2024 year. I co-founded the organization STAD (Student Technicians, Artisans & Designers), and designed and coordinated apparel for the Department of Theatre and Film. I’m also a student ambassador for the Department of Theatre and Film, and have ushered shows and participated in recruitment events!

Q: What have been some of your greatest accomplishments during your time here at BGSU?

A: One of my greatest accomplishments was winning a Meritorious Achievement Award at the Region 3 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Imposter syndrome is something that I struggle with often, and even just having the chance to attend the festival and learn so much from the guest artists was an amazing experience. I felt so proud of myself for winning that award, and I actually am able to look back on that experience and feel like I deserved it, which is new for me! Something else I’m incredibly grateful for was having the chance to go to London on Spring Break of 2023. I made connections with peers in the department whom I didn’t know super well before, and I spent a week in a place that’s so rich with history, culture, and beautiful art. That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget, and would not have had the opportunity to do if it weren’t for the department.

Q: What's next for you after graduation?

I’m not totally sure yet! I have received a summer job offer which is exciting, but it’s really far away. I’m leaning towards wanting to hang around BG for a while, save up some money, hang out with friends, and then see where the wind blows me.

Q: What advice would you give an incoming freshman who is interested in being involved in the department?

There were a lot of things I’d wish I’d known coming in, and I should have asked more questions. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions! Our department is full of wonderful, intelligent and caring faculty who only want the best for their students and their education. Make connections with others, ask how to get involved, and try new things! You’ll never know what you end up liking.

Heather Hill


Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself! When did you attend BGSU? What’s your background? What are you currently doing now?

A: I attended BGSU from 2013-2017 and was in the musical theatre program! Though I did a lot more than just MT. I also did film, directing, choreography, writing, puppetry, TYA, basically anything I could get my hands on. That was one of the primary reasons I chose BGSU. I loved the diverse theatre education that the department offered. Currently, I am living in London, United Kingdom and doing a mixture of things! I just finished a seasonal pantomime contract where I played the Sheriff or Nottingham. Now I am back on the audition grind!

Q: How did you get into the performance job you have now? What would you say are the best parts of it and what parts have been the most challenging or surprising?

A: I have representation here in London, but I actually secured this job myself. The best part of this job was going into schools and community venues and bringing theatre to audiences who probably wouldn't get to experience it otherwise. For a lot of students or community members, we may be the only live performance they see all year. The most challenging part was the demanding tour schedule and balancing that with normal life and taking care of yourself.

Q: What advice would you give to current students interested in pursuing a career similar to yours?

A: Try everything you can! BGSU is a fantastic place to try out different performance formats and aspects of an artist's career. The more you know, the more marketable you are. People always want to work with someone who is keen to learn and willing to jump in headfirst! Also, really pay attention during your shop hours. Knowing how to sew and build/paint sets has gotten me multiple jobs.

Q: You completed your degree in the United States, and now you’re living and working in the United Kingdom. What can you share about your experience living, learning, and working in different cultural settings?

A: I want to preface that doing what I am doing is NOT easy. It has taken me a very long time to get to the point where I have a stable visa. I'm fortunate enough to have found my husband here and that has been key in my immigration. Without him, it would have been nearly impossible. The UK is not an easy country to immigrate to, so if you're reading this and wanting to move to the UK or Europe, it is very difficult. Do your homework and prepare to spend a lot of time and money dealing with immigration.

That being said, I always recommend studying outside of the US. Student visas are completely different from resident visas in terms of complexity, and having a chance to explore your craft in a different culture gives you a broader worldview as an artist. Studying abroad in the UK for three weeks between my sophomore and junior year was life-changing and just look where it lead me!

It can be quite daunting to just pack a suitcase and fly across the ocean. I've done it 3-4 times now, but it is 100% worth it! People never regret studying abroad, but they always regret NOT doing it. Coming into a different country, there is always going to be culture shock and an adjustment period, but that is a part of the whole experience. I've been here for almost five years (non-consecutively), and I still find it difficult sometimes!

Q: How did you manage the transition from being a student to working in the industry? What advice would you give to upcoming seniors or those who are beginning to think about their next steps after graduation?

A: Welp, I graduated from my Masters program in the UK and not even six months later the pandemic hit. So it was not a smooth transition whatsoever, and I really didn't properly transition into the industry until December of 2022 when I received my UK work visa. My biggest piece of advice is to be flexible in your career and stay resilient. You never know where you will end up! I ended up doing voiceover in my mom's walk-in closet throughout lockdown. I would have never guessed that back in 2019. Don't be so closed-minded with your career goals, that you end up missing out on other great opportunities. Remember when I said try everything? Yeah. THAT has allowed me to build a career.

Seniors, first of all, chill. Rome was not built in a day and your career won't be either, so stop stressing out. You're not going to be perfect, and honestly please don't be. Interesting artists are not "perfect." Relish in what makes you unique. There are a lot of artists out there, but there will only ever be one YOU. Embrace that. I frequently think about something my drama teacher in the UK used to say: "You may not be everybody's cup up tea, but you will be somebody's gin & tonic."

Q: What are some of your favorite or most impactful memories from your time here at BGSU?

A: I had such a great time at BGSU and my favorite memories always revolve around my craft. My senior year was insane, but probably my favorite part. I was in Jonathan Chamber's Twelfth Night, while concurrently writing and directing my own original work, going on the London trip, auditioning for UK drama schools, and somehow finishing my course work/degree. I know it wouldn't have been able to happen without the support from the department or my wonderful professors. Their belief in me and my goals got me where I am today, and I am so grateful to them for everything. 

Q: I know you were a part of Treehouse Troupe (THT) while you were a student here at BGSU, can you share a bit of your experience working with THT? How has it helped or impacted your work post-grad?

A: I absolutely LOVED doing Treehouse Troupe. It was the best pre-professional experience I had while at BGSU. Yes, being in the department shows is fantastic experience, but with THT, you get out of the Wolfe Centre and are fully immersed in it. A lot of your career is going to be small tours, teaching, and working with young people, so the skills learned in THT are fully transferable to other aspects of your career.

Q: Where do you see yourself and your career in the future? What’s next or upcoming for you?

That is certainly a big question and the truthful answer is: who knows? I think we learned from 2020 that any sort of planning can be disrupted at a minute's notice. For now, I'm going to remain flexible in my career, seize opportunities where I can, and fully enjoy what the twists and turns of this career can offer.

Daniel Williams


Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? (Background, research interests, etc.)

A: After a first year filled with disillusionment at USC, I worked in the film industry in St. Louis for almost two years, as an usher and assistant manager at a local film theater chain, before transferring to Howard University where I earned my BA and MFA, both in film. I wanted to attend Howard because I saw my creative and cultural interests shifting. The history of Black cinema and the exploration of Black cinema aesthetics are some of the things I’m interested in. 

Q: What drew you to a career in film – both in terms of production and teaching? What motivates the work that you do?

A: I grew up in a family of artists. My older brother and three older sisters were musicians, painters, and performers. They were all more accomplished than me, and I was in awe of them. I dabbled in music and theatre, but I became more interested in the production process of filmmaking after seeing Star Wars. Science-fiction and fantasy, in movies and fiction, were my main interests. As a graduate teaching assistant, I felt that there was more that I could do, to contribute in a way, to the undergraduate students studying film. I also realized that if I developed my skills, and, one day, secure a teaching position, I could use that to gain access to production equipment, and make films on my own. That, of course, meant giving up my dreams of becoming the next Spike Lee. 

While it’s a continual struggle, being an independent artist brings with it a certain amount of freedom and autonomy. I don’t have to answer gatekeepers, or the marketplace, for that matter. And while not everyone is going to like or even see my films, I don’t make films for the purpose of entertainment. I hope that my films have something to say and offer a personal perspective or aesthetic approach to the craft. I’m driven to tell stories. And often those stories are about people that aren’t typically the subject of the stories being told. As I get older, I’m exploring other forms of cinema, such as essay films, non-fiction films, and creative fiction writing. The main objective is to continue telling stories in whatever form I can.

Q: What projects are you currently working on? 

A: I currently have two films in post-production, a short film, and a feature length documentary. I’m also writing several screenplays and short stories, and I recently re-started work on a long gestating novel. I’m also in the early stages of several critical essays concerning the representation of Black characters in Hollywood films.

Q: Can you talk about your continued work with your mentor at Howard University, particularly what you worked on this past year?

A: In addition to assisting Professor Emeritus Haile Gerima with various workshops with emerging filmmakers, in Egypt and Washington, D.C., I took a leave of absence from BGSU in 2022-2023 to work as a full-time editor on an episodic non-fiction project tentatively titled The Maroons of America, which explores the history of Black resistance to slavery and other forms of white supremacy in the U.S. Specifically, it traces Black people who escaped from slavery, formed maroon colonies in places such as Virginia, the Carolinas, and Florida; how they formed allegiances with Indigenous people; fought wars against the United State Army; were subsequently relocated to the Arkansas and Oklahoma territories; and eventually created communities in southern Texas and Mexico to secure their freedom. It’s an amazing story that spans several hundred years and is mostly unknown.

Q: What classes have you taught this academic year, and what have been some of your favorite moments of the semester?

A: I’ve taught my typical range of courses including Lighting for Film and Digital, and Concept to Distribution. This spring semester, I’m teaching, for the first time, a course that explores the history and contribution of Black film directors working within the Hollywood studio system. I’ve learned some things I was unaware of in prepping for the course, and while I can’t explore all the various individuals that contributed to Hollywood filmmaking, it’s clear that Black talent, mostly in front of the camera, has been a part of the machine since the silent era. So, even if they aren’t directors, it’s nice to be able to highlight some of these individuals and share them with the class.

Q: What advice would you give to a young filmmaker to help them find their path as an artist?

A: Be open to inspiration. Be open to other forms of creative expression. If you’re interested in telling stories, or making films, don’t tell stories or make films about the things you think other people want to hear or see, or the story that you think will get you noticed. Tell a story that hasn’t been told. Tell someone else’s story. Tell the story of your grandmother, or your great-grandmother. Tell your personal story in a way that is grounded in truth and honesty. 

Q: What are some of your favorite films and why?

A: There are films and filmmakers that I admire and respect. Wong Kar Wai, Charles Burnette, Kathleen Collins, Julie Dash, William Greaves, Oscar Micheaux, Spencer Williams, Spike Lee, Francis Ford Coppola, Andrei Tarkovsky, Michaelangelo Antonioni, and Orson Welles. This is not an inclusive list.

Wesley Vert


Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

A: I am from Waynesville, Ohio, which I like to describe as being equidistant from Dayton and Cincinnati. I spent most of my childhood there with my parents and three siblings. I’ve enjoyed drawing, writing, and making videos since I was young. I would make short YouTube videos with my friends following characters we created. I believe this is what made me fall in love with film production - which is my major! I also enjoy photography, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and cooking. 

Q: What extracurriculars are you involved in?

A: I am involved in the three film-related student organizations on campus. I am the president of and help run the Film Appreciation Club and BGReel. I am also an active member of BG On Screen where I am often involved in the various student productions that the organization manages.

Q: What drew you to be so involved in the various film organizations on campus? 

A: As a student whose first semester was Fall 2021 which was after the COVID-19 quarantine and during the active pandemic, it had a massive impact on what I wanted out of the rest of my college experience. As a first year, due to the pandemic, it felt like there was no sense of community within the department, and I was constantly in the dark on what was going on and being offered on campus. Since then, I have wanted to create the opposite effect for incoming and currently enrolled students. I like to imagine that my heavy involvement in the various film organizations on campus is leading to a community and flow of information that I would have liked to have had in my first year.

Q: Can you talk a bit about the Film and Media Festival and the first ever film student Senior Showcase?

A: Yes! The Film and Media Festival is the annual film festival managed by student org BGReel that takes place on campus. The festival is judged by industry professionals and is a great opportunity for students and local filmmakers to get their work screened and judged. We have a catered awards ceremony on the last day of the festival where we celebrate all the films submitted and bestow glass trophies to each categories’ winners.

The senior showcase is something new this year and is made possible through collaboration with the THFM Department. Screening just before the awards ceremony, the senior showcase is a curated collection of work created by THFM seniors to give students another opportunity to screen work and show what they’ve done during their time at BGSU before graduating.

 Organizing these events is always a lot of work, but it is so satisfying to see them come to fruition. I’m glad these kinds of opportunities exist at BGSU and hope they continue long after I’ve left.

Q: What made you choose BGSU and the THFM Department?

A: When I toured BGSU in my senior year of high school, I enjoyed the scenery of the campus and what Bowling Green had to offer. The THFM Department seemed inviting and full of other passionate people. The opportunities to work with film equipment and be a part of productions was too good to pass up.

Q: What have been some of your favorite experiences from this academic year?

A: This year I was able to pursue my Senior Capstone Project, a short film titled “Finn” about a college student’s journey in finding a gender identity they’re comfortable with. Although it challenged me in a way I never have before, it was immensely rewarding to get to write and direct this project with a wonderful cast and crew to support me. Another great experience from this academic year was getting to see Ryan Redcorn visit as part of the In The Round series. It was amazing to hear him talk about his film, career, and still be able to joke around with the crowd.

Q: Do you have any exciting plans for after BGSU?

A: Right now, I am applying to a lot of internship programs for the summer. I’m hoping to obtain a position that will allow me to gain more hands-on experience in the film industry and create professional connections with the people I work with.

Cynthia Baron

Awards & Professional Recognition
2023 Distinguished Service Award, Society for Cinema and Media Studies
“individuals who have demonstrated sustained commitment to the Society.”

Editor, Journal of Film and Video (2023 to 2028)
Official journal of the University Film and Video Association

Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness. Eds. Charlene Regester, Cynthia Baron, et al. University Press of Mississippi, December 2023.

“Fourth Cinema Genre Mashup: Coming-of-Age Drama and Sketch Comedy in Reservation Dogs.” The Velvet Light Trap 92 (Fall 2023): 27-39.

“Brando’s Engaging Contradictions.” Cinephile 17.1 (Summer 2023): 16-27.

Book Chapters
“Mesmerizing Outsiders: Washington, Mackie, and Performance in Contemporary Action Cinema.” Action Cinema Since 2000. Eds. Chris Holmlund, Lisa Purse, and Yvonne Tasker. London: Bloomsbury, May 2024.

“Black Autonomy On Screen and Off: Gordon Parks, The Learning Tree (1969), and Shaft (1971).” Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness. Eds. Charlene Regester, et al. University Press of Mississippi, December 2023. Co-author Eric Pierson.

Devil in a Blue Dress: Aesthetic Strategies that Illuminate ‘Invisibility.’” Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness. Eds. Charlene Regester, et al. University Press of Mississippi, December 2023.

Conference Papers
“Performances in the Spiritual Sci-Fi Indie Film Nine Days (Edson Oda, 2020)”

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Boston, March 2024.

Sorry to Bother You: Politicized Aesthetics and the Black Utopian Tradition.”

University of Film and Video Conference, Savannah, July 2023.

“Sydney Freeland’s Award-winning Drunktown’s Finest (2014): Recognition of Trans Navajo Women On Screen and Off. Console-ing Passions Conference, Calgary, June 2023.

Professional Positions
Co-Chair, Caucus on Class, Society for Cinema and Media Studies (2021 to 2025)

Steering Committee: Town Hall “Global Solidarity: Across Regions, Social Identities, and Academic Ranks,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies (Spring 2023 to Spring 2024)

Sara Chambers

Production Work Affiliated with BGSU
Faculty supervisor to Donovan Callahan and Arden Roberts, Directing The Lovers for the Elsewhere Season, Fall 2023. These students applied for and received a CURS grant to support their production.

Jonathan Chambers, James Stover, Geoff Stephenson, and I combined forces to offer the reconceived weekly Performance Studio to benefit all performance students in the department Fall 2023-present. Each week we present on a topic or facilitate experiential learning to support the development of all performers.

Continued training in intimacy direction:
“Intimacy Choreography: Kissing” Digital Workshop, Theatrical Intimacy Education, 5:00pm-8:00pm, October 3, 2023.

“Intimacy Coordination for Film & TV” Digital Workshop, Theatrical Intimacy Education, 11:00pm-6:00pm, July 29, 2023.

“Power Play” Digital Workshop, Theatrical Intimacy Education, 5:00pm-8:00pm, June 6, 2023.

“Staging Non-Consensual Intimacy” Digital Workshop, Theatrical Intimacy Education, 5:00pm-9:00pm, June 7, 2023.

“Intimacy Direction: Best Practices” Eva Marie Saint Theatre, Theatrical Intimacy Education, 10:00am-5:00pm, May 9, 2023.

Director, Life Sucks, Oak Street Theatre, Bowling Green, OH, May 2024, Black Swamp Players.

Director, John Proctor is the Villain, Eva Marie Saint Theatre, February 2024. BGSU Department of Theatre & Film.

Director, Medea Kills Her Children, a staged reading of this new play by BGSU alum Dr. Chris Woodworth both at BGSU’s ArtsX and at Gearan Center for the Performing Arts, Geneva, NY, November 2023, Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Performed the voice over narration for One Within the Woods, Narrator V.O., Director Luke Ostrowski. BGSU Department of Theatre and Film, Spring 2023.

Performed the role of Ms. Apathee in Finn, October 2023, Wesley Vert Senior Capstone, BGSU.

Intimacy Direction or Consultation
Intimacy Director, Heathers, Director James Stover, Bowling Green State University, April 2024.

Intimacy Director, The Moors, Director Fran Martone, Black Swamp Players, Bowling Green, OH, Fall 2023.

Intimacy Director, Brigadoon, Director Geoff Stephenson, College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green State University, Fall 2023.

Intimacy Consultant, And the Beat Goes On, Student Film, Writer/Director Connor Guthrie, Bowling Green State University, Fall 2023.

Co-Workshop Presenter with BGSU alum Quincy Thomas, “Introducing Consent Culture to Collegiate Theatre”, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 3. January 2024.

Service Assignments
Course Coordination

THFM 1910 Script Analysis, Bowling Green State University, Fall 2007-present.

Season Selection Committee

Chair, Bowling Green State University, 2021-present.

Department Grade Mediator


Student Organization Advisor

Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society, 2014-present

Distinguished Teaching Award Committee

Bowling Green State University, March 2024-March 2026.

Board Member of The Black Swamp Players Community Theatre

Bowling Green, Ohio, June 2022-present.

Telling Tales Playwriting Award Selection Committee

Black Swamp Players Community Theatre, Bowling Green, Ohio, 2023, 2024.

Lesa Lockford

Refereed Publications
"Swallowing Words," Cultural Studies <--> Critical Methodologies, August 8, 2023 published online; print forthcoming.

“The Mind’s Mask: Concealing, Filling In, and Filling Out,” International Review of Qualitative Research, 16.1. 2023, 53-57.

“Pushing Walls with Tami Spry,” special issue on The Place of Performance and the Performance of Dr. Tami Spry in Cultural Studies <--> Critical Methodologies, forthcoming.

Refereed Conference Presentations
"Make Way for PandeePants: The Work Wear for Post-Pandemic Times" presented as part of the "What Now? Autoethnography in a Post (?) Pandemic World?" panel at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Urbana, IL, May 2023.

"Swallowing Words," presented as part of the "‘I don’t know why she swallowed the fly:’ On Dubious Cures and Drastic Measures in Post (?) Pandemic Times.” International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Urbana, IL, May 2023.

"Face to Face," All Plenary Performance, ensemble performer and co-author, International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, May 2023.

Audiobook Narrator for Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip by Matthew Algeo, Dreamscape Media LLC, Sept. 2023.

Service to the Discipline
Chair and Panel Organizer, Honoring the Scholarship and Performative Acumen of Tami Spry, International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Urbana, IL, May 2023.

Co-Guest Editor, with Ronald J. Pelias, special issue on The Place of Performance and the Performance of Dr. Tami Spry in Cultural Studies <--> Critical Methodologies, forthcoming.

Colleen Murphy

Conference Presentation
Rhythm Tap Master Class Instructor at the American College Dance Association East-Central Conference. University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. March 2024

Production Work
Director/Choreographer of the Winter Dance Concert: Evolve. BGSU Department of Theatre & Film Donnell Theatre. February 2024.

Choreographer for Heathers: The Musical. BGSU Department of Theatre & Film Donnell Theatre. April 2024.

Director/Choreographer of Footlights Dance Concert, BGSU Department of Theatre & Film Whitney Dance Studio. April 2024.

Production Work outside BGSU
Director of The Beat Dance Company’s Season 15 Recital. Bowling Green High School Performing Arts Center in Bowling Green, OH. June 2023.

Company Director and choreographer for The Beat Dance Company’s 105-member Competition Company. Based in Bowling Green, OH and competing across Ohio and Michigan.

Heidi Nees-Carver

2023 Faculty Senate Distinguished Service Award (Honored with jenn stucker for In The Round)

2023 American Advertising Federation (AAF Toledo) Awards (Honored with jenn stucker)

Mosaic Diversity Award // In The Round // Advocacy Category

Best of Show Addy Winner // In The Round

Gold Addy Winner // In The Round // Social Media Category

Silver Addy Winner // In The Round //Multiple Events Category

Conference Presentations
November 2023 Working Group Participant: “Global Indigenous Performance: Practicing Care, Theorizing Hope”

Paper title: “Hope on Historical Margins: Indigenous Performance at Knott’s Berry Farm” American Society for Theatre Research (Providence, RI)

November 2023 “Art, Stories & Presence of Native American Creatives” Co-authored with jenn stucker (BGSU, School of Art) Ohio Art Education Association Annual Conference (Toledo, OH)

October 2023 A Lens Toward the Future: Moving the Words of a University Land Acknowledgment Statement into Meaningful Action” Co-authored with jenn stucker (BGSU, School of Art), Design Educators Community, LENS Symposium. AIGA: The Professional Association for Design (New York City)

August 2023 “Care and Capital: Fundraising for Guest Artists” Co-presented with Dr. Claire Syler, Assistant Professor, University of Missouri, Association for Theatre in Higher Education (Austin, TX)

Invited Lecture/Talk; Facilitated Workshops
March 2023 WBGU-PBS The Journal

Nees, Heidi L. “Re-Righting Cherokee History in Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Sovereignty.” Theatre Annual: A Journal of Theatre and Performance of the Americas, Vol. 75 (2022) 24-41. (*published in 2022 issue, but the issue was not released until summer 2023)

Nees, Heidi L. “Present Perfect Tense: Revolutionizing Dramatic Narratives through Living History at the Oconaluftee Indian Village.” Theatre History Studies, Vol. 42 (2023) 147-157.

Nees, Heidi L. & jenn stucker.Circling the Impossible with In the Round.” Theatre/Practice (Spring 2024).

In the Round: a guest speaker series featuring Native American creatives continued in Fall 2023 with Ryan RedCorn (Graphic Designer; WGA Screenwriter [credits include Reservation Dogs]; Filmmaker; Photographer; Co-Founder of the Indigenous comedy troupe, The 1491s) and Talon Silverhorn (Historical Interpreter; Cultural Programs Manager for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources). During the spring 2024 semester, Traci Sorell (children’s book and YA author) spoke on campus and at the Wood County District Public Library. Copies of her books, including Classified: the Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer and We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga were distributed to over 1,300 area elementary students and families.

Cortland Rankin

Routledge nominee, SCMS 2022-23 Best First Book Award (2023).

Nominee, Outstanding Early Career Award, BGSU (2023).

Book Chapters
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990).” Screening American Independent Film, edited by Justin Wyatt and Wyatt Phillips, Routledge, 2023, 286-294.

Editorships of Journals
Dossier editor. “Mediating Urban Automobility.” Mediapolis – A Journal of Cities and Culture, vol. 8, no. 3 (September 2023),

Journal Articles
“Introduction – Mediating Urban Automobility.” Mediapolis – A Journal of Cities and Culture, vol. 8, no. 3, “Mediating Urban Automobility Dossier” (September 25, 2023),

“City of New York, No Parking Anytime: The City and the Car in Postwar City Symphony Films.” Mediapolis – A Journal of Cities and Culture, vol. 8, no. 3, “Mediating Urban Automobility Dossier” (September 26, 2023),

Conference Presentations
Presenter. “‘World Famous’ for ‘Being Nowhere at All’: Erasing and Rewriting the Image of Toledo in Film and Television,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Conference, Boston, MA (March 2024).

Panel Organizer and Chair. “Rethinking the Rust Belt,” SCMS Conference, Boston, MA (March 2024).

Invited Talks & Presentations
Roundtable Discussant. Presidential Panel: “Midwestern Culture in the 21st Century: Recent Trends in Literature, TV, and Film, 2000-2024,” Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature Symposium, East Lansing, MI (May 2024).

“Parody,” The Audiovisual Lexicon for Media Analysis (online teaching resource), project co-editors Vincent Longo and Matthew Solomon, University of Michigan, forthcoming.

James Stover

Played Miss Trunchbull in "Matilda the Musical", produced by Rubber City Theatre, an equity theatre company based in Akron, OH. June 2023

Invited Workshops
Musical Theatre Performance Workshop at the University of Toledo February 2024.

"How Learning About Shakespeare Can Help Your Musical Theatre Performance" for the upcoming Ohio Thespians State Conference in Sylvania, March 2024.

Assistant Director of Off-Broadway's Keen Company's concert production of the musical "Glory Days" starring Tony Nominees Derek Klena and Colton Ryan. New York, February 2024.

Director of Heathers: The Musical at BGSU, April 2024.

"To Bootleg or Not to Bootleg: How Does the Theatre Industry View Illegally Filmed Productions Today?" The Musical Theatre Educators Alliance, published January 2024.

Judge for the annual fundraiser "Fort Wayne Sings" at the Clyde Theatre, which raised over $100,000 in support of the Fort Wayne YMCA Youth Service Bureau. September 2023.

Samson Akanni

Indie Award for Excellence in Choreography (BGSU, 2023)

"Centering Germaine Acogny’s Contemporary African Dance as a Decolonial Tool for Africa". Global Africa, no. 4, 2023, p. 257-270.

Invited Talks & Presentations
“Fridomu Konifaindi: A way to Heal Yourself and Excel in Whatever You Do”, TEDxBGSU: For Public Good (March, 2024)

“Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over to the Promised Land: Combating Racism, Reimagining Black Identities, and Liberating Black Bodies.” Funded Emerging Scholar Presentation for the Mid-American Theatre Conference (MATC- March 2024)

“Business of the Performing Arts: Life as a Grad Student.” Guest Speaker at DePauw University (February 2024)

“Dance, Sex, and Death in Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman” Original Paper Presentation for Theatre History Symposium, MATC (March 2024)

“Moving Through History: From Traditional African Dance to Contemporary African Dance and Afrobeat” Conference Workshop for Performance Philosophy Research Network (May 2024)

“Africana Womanism and Gender Equality in Africa: An Analysis of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti,” Canadian Association of African Studies Conference

Haley Anissa Alvarez

Outstanding Graduate Student, BGSU Latinx Issues Conference, Bowling Green, Ohio, March 2024.

Conference Presentations
"Las Promesas: A Successful Tool for Unions Seeking Theatre-Based Activism", Mid-American Theatre Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, March 2024.

"From Vendida to Licensiada: An Investigation of the Anti-Feminist Tropes in Early Chicano Theatre", BGSU Latinx Issues Conference, Bowling Green, Ohio, March 2024.

Production work
Co-Director of BGSU Elsewhere's Roosters by Milcha Sánchez-Scott in September 2023.

Sarah Hopson

Conference Presentation
“From Stereotype to Stewardship: How the Enneagram Encourages Responsible Representation of Latinx Stories on the PWI’s Stage,” BGSU Latino/a/x Issues Conference, Bowling Green Oh, March 2024.

Production Work at BGSU
Co-Director of BGSU Elsewhere’s Roosters by Milcha Sánchez-Scott in September 2023.

Christopher Jones

Grant Recipient
2023 Toledo Lucas County Rescue Plan Grant Cycle 2, The Arts Commission, Toledo, OH, Awarded December 2023.

Production Work
Technical Director, Traverse City Dance Project, Summer Tour 2023, July-August 2023.

Production Coordinator, Provincetown Dance Festival, August 2023.

Script Reader, 12th Annual Warner International Playwrights Festival, CT, 2023.

Invited Speaker
Panel Speaker, Diversity and Inclusion Session, Lighting Design International Conference, Las Vegas, December 2023.

Jarod Mariani

Professional Work Outside of BSGU
May 1, 2023 - Began full-time job as the Lead Virtual Simulation Specialist in the College of Education and Human Development at Bowling Green State University. I oversee a team of simulation specialists and handle the scheduling and creation of new sims. I also run most of the simulations we offer to instructors and external clients.

January 10, 2024 - Filmed a national commercial for American Modern Insurance with Lightborne Communications in Cincinnati, OH.

Conference Participation
Participated in the “Still Finding Hope at the Theater” working group at ASTR in Providence, Rhode Island. The working group was dedicated to Jill Dolan’s Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theater (2005) and discussed new challenges and considerations for performance scholarship making use of Dolan’s theorization of the utopian performative. November 11, 2023

Story Moosa

Production Work at BGSU
Served as Assistant Director for the mainstage production of POTUS at BGSU.

Liz Seung-A Liz

Conference Presentations
“Souvenirs and Changes of Command: Gender, Sexuality, and Korean Representation in Seasons 4 & 5 of M*A*S*H.” Co-author with Dr. Britt Rhuart, Midwest Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association (MPCA) 2023, Chicago, Illinois, October, 2023.

Publications - Published Translation in Journals
“Digital Theatre Experiments in Latvia: The Case of Audio Productions.” Authored by Ieva Rodiņa, Translation in Korean. The Korean Theatre Journal Vol.109, Summer Issue, June 2023, pp. 173-178.

“The Romanian Theatre of the Last Thirty Years or the Theatre of Paradigm Shift.” Authored by Oana Borș, Translation in Korean. The Korean Theatre Journal Vol. 110, Fall Issue, September 2023, pp. 179-184.

“Post-Covid Theatre in Greece: Recovering (?) From Successive Crises.” Authored by Lina Rosi, Translation in Korean. The Korean Theatre Journal Vol. 112, Spring Issue, March 2024. To-be Published.


Jim Dachik was honored for 25 years of service at BGSU at the Service Awards Ceremony on April 17, 2024


Student Organization UDA (University Dance Alliance) was awarded “Outstanding Student Organization” at the 28th Annual Gregory T. DeCrane Applauding Excellence Ceremony on campus

Theatre and Film Department Awards

  • Dr. Ralph H. Wolfe Award: Kaylee Lopez, Samuel Nickoloff, and Nate Sherry
  • Edgar Fisher Daniels Prize in Filmmaking: Nicholas Polace
  • Rachel Mae Witjas Undergraduate Scholarship: Claudette Jones and Denver Ferguson
  • Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award: Kassidy Plocizniak-Eyre

Graduate Award

  • F. Lee Miesle Award for Outstanding Dissertation: Hyecun Ceon

Undergraduate Awards

  • F. Lee Miesle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Design and Technology: Cam Bruder and Atlas Mitchell
  • F. Lee Miesle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance: Madelyn Hatton and Dannie Ellis
  • Lois Cheney Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Production Program Contribution: Ruby Brandon

APO Masque Awards

Indie Awards (Elsewhere Production Awards)

  • Excellence in a Leading Role: Mel Starcher as Richard & Jamie Stopczynski as Sarah in The Lover
  • Excellence in a Supporting Role: Avery Jones as Chata & River Slone as Narrator #1 in Roosters
  • Excellence in an Ensemble Role: Joel Wilson as Shadows 1 & 2 in Roosters
  • Excellence as a Newcomer Actor: Claudette Jones as Juana in Roosters
  • Excellence in Dance/Stunt performance: Alejandro Alvarez as Gallo/San Juan in Roosters
  • Excellence in Assistant Directing: Vic Jenson for Dear Flower
  • Best Elsewhere: The Lover directed by Donovan Callahan and Arden Moore

Joe E. Brown Awards (Mainstage Production Awards)

  • Excellence in a Leading Role: Maria Fallouh as Veronica in Heathers and Sara Madden as Shelby in John Proctor is the Villain
  • Excellence in a Supporting Role: Mel Starcher as Beth in John Proctor is the Villain, Justin Andrews as Jake in Evil Dead, and Hailey Wright as Heather Chandler in Heathers
  • Excellence in an Ensemble Role: Mckinley Witt as Dusty in POTUS and Jamie Stopczynski as Stoner Chick in Heathers
  • Excellence as a Newcomer Actor: Kyle Metzler as Ram in Heathers
  • Newcomer Dancer: Leah Bennington in Evolve
  • Excellence in Dance/Stunt Performance: Mckinley Witt as Dance Captain in Heathers
  • Excellence in Tech Contribution: Atlas Mitchell
  • Excellence as a Newcomer Technician: Juno Szymanski
  • Excellence in Stage Management: Rowan Rozzi
  • Excellence in Assistant Directing: Story Moosa for POTUS
  • Excellence in Choreography: Ruby Brandon for Fight Choreography for Heathers
  • Best Mainstage: John Proctor is the Villain

Excellence in Tech Awards

  • Cam Bruder for his work as ASM, TD, Sound Designer, and playing The Door for The Lover
  • Maria Fallouh for her work as Wardrobe Crew Head for Evolve
  • Jack Freas for his work on deck crew for Venus
  • Gabrielle Guyton for her work on deck crew for Heathers
  • Leta Jorda-Talevich for their work as deck crew for POTUS
  • Molly Moreland for her work as 2nd ASM for John Proctor is the Villain
  • Jessie Norman for her work as deck crew for Evil Dead

Recognition of Excellence to Lesa Lockford

We would like to award a Recognition of Excellence to Lesa Lockford. Lesa has been our Department Chair for 8 years. She was our Department Head throughout the Covid pandemic, which raised extra challenges for the world of theater. As Chair, Lesa always advocated for students and faculty members, was supportive of student initiatives, and publicized our work to get the recognition we deserve. Lesa is always willing to work with students in shows, in class, or independently. She always makes herself available to aid staff and production teams for shows. Lesa, we cannot thank you enough for all of the work that you do for this department.

Recognition of Excellence to Cam Bruder

We would like to award a Recognition of Excellence to Cam Bruder for his many many hours of hard work and dedication to the theater department here at BGSU. Specifically this year they devoted their time to stage managing John Proctor is the Villain while carrying the workload of being both the main stage manager and the first assistant stage manager on his own; working as the Student Technical Director for this year’s opera Cendrillon which was a set full of challenges throughout the building process; working as the Co-Technical Director for The Lover which they worked many late hours to finish the set for with Atlas; working as the Co-Student Technical Director for Heathers with Atlas which had so many moving parts; and working in the scene shop for the past two and a half years. He has been a wonderful teacher and mentor for all the new employees and all the students working shop hours. They always come ready to work with a smile on their face and respect for everyone in the room. We are so proud of Cam for all the time they have put into their work and the people around them here at BGSU.

Recognition of Excellence to Atlas Mitchell

We would like to award a Recognition of Excellence to Atlas Mitchell for their dedication to this program at BGSU and specifically this year in their work Stage Managing The Lover and Co-Technical Directing The Lover with Cam putting in many hours of work out of their already busy schedule; stage managing the dance concert which had a very large cast to keep organized; working as the Student Technical Director for John Proctor is the Villain; running the light board for Venus; working as Co- Student Technical Director with Cam on Heathers; and working for the past three years in the scene shop and as the master carpenter this past year. We have seen first-hand how they devote all their time and energy to making sure these productions are built, run, and organized efficiently. They handle everything with grace and fun energy, and are a great role model to the underclassmen. We are so proud of them for their work here at BGSU.

We cannot wait to see what both Atlas and Cam do after graduation! This dynamic duo continues to set the standard of work ethic, kindness, respect, and artistry at BGSU and beyond.

Recognition of Film Student Organization Leaders

  • BG on Screen President: Nicholas Polace
  • Film Appreciation Club President: Wesley Vert
  • BG Reel President: Wesley Vert


  • President: Liv Lutz
  • Vice President: Finleigh Klein
  • Historian: Ella Sidder
  • Business Manager: Marian Petrie
  • Secretary: Alex Meade


  • President: Chris Jones
  • Vice President: Madison Ellis
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Blaine Hudak


  • President: Molly Moreland
  • Vice President: Leo Sears
  • Secretary: Camden Riggs
  • Business Manager: Emily Nash


  • President: Alejandro Alvarez
  • Vice President: Nykera Gardner
  • Secretary: Alex Meade
  • Treasurer: Matt Webb

Film Appreciation Club

  • President: Maddie Cieslica
  • Vice President: Clayton Sooy
  • Treasurer: Ethan Derby

BG on Screen

  • President: Nick Polace
  • Vice President: Noah Walter
  • Secretary: Noah Archer
  • Treasurer: Yui Sou
  • Social Media Manager: Maggie Finnegan



BG on Screen
The primary thing our club has done this year is help produce club members’ short films. We’ve done four productions this year, two of which have been screened to the club and submitted to the Film and Media Festival. We also helped a member produce a live event at ArtsX where a group of students played Dungeons and Dragons.

We have also filmed quite a few episodes of our student talk show, On The Couch: With BG on Screen. These episodes are then posted to our YouTube channel.

In addition to these projects, we have had a lot of workshops at our general meetings where we instruct our film members on a wide variety of film-related skills.

Film Appreciation Club


This past year, GuSTO continued to give back to our department by helping run the Coffee Corner held in the Cartwright Lounge. Led by second-year doctoral student Haley Anissa Alvarez, GuSTO also ran and designed our department's Dia De Los Muertos ofrenda for the second consecutive year that was set up in the Wolfe Building. GuSTO plans to continue to make this an annual part of the Fall semester for our department and larger campus.

Spring semester, GuSTO focused on community building within our organization and within the graduate community in the Theatre and Film Department. We celebrated our individual accomplishments, from conference acceptances to involvements in productions, as well as future endeavors. We also discussed ways to share the graduate student experience to current undergrads in the department for those interested in attending graduate school in the future.



University Dance Alliance is an organization for the love of dance! We encourage any and everyone who is interested in dancing to join us. Some of our members have 20+ years of experience, and some are just trying dance out for the first time, but we are all united together for our passion of the art! UDA is recognized as one of the largest organizations across campus.

Our organization participates in events like our yearly semester dance concerts (one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester), Campus Fest, and we sometimes participate in Dance Marathon. Our spring semester concert this year had one of our largest turnouts yet! We also host an end-of-the-year event for our dancers to enjoy themselves, have fun, and celebrate a year of hard work! At any event, we like to bring the energy and be the life of the party. For example, our members participating in showcase performances do a "hype circle" before our shows; dancers can take turns going in the middle of this dance circle composed of our members to show off some skills, do some fun dance moves, etc. Our dancers have grown to love this tradition, and it is such a fun way to raise the energy and get the nerves out before we perform!

Apart from those events, UDA also hosts weekly dance classes in Eppler taught by students, and they are open for anyone to try! These activities inspire the message that dance is for anyone at any time. Facilitating a safe and encouraging environment through our events and community has allowed for so many students to find an outlet to become involved on campus. Lifelong bonds are created in UDA, and we all have dance to thank!



This year, MUTS did so many things! We had so many fun meetings that included musical theatre trivia, karaoke, holiday celebrations, and so much more! We hosted a heels dance class taught by Dom Glover, a very talented and well-known dancer and choreographer in the area. We gave our members to opportunity to see a professional production of Hadestown at the Stranahan Theatre for free. We had our yearly muts/pups reveal (our big/little program) which was Survivor themed, and we hosted our annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS cabaret including so much talent, raffle baskets, and educational tables, and we raised over $4,000 for those living with HIV/AIDS!



Mainstage Productions

Poor Clare by Chiara Atik. Directed by Sara Chambers.
Eva Marie Saint Theatre
October 17-19, 24-26 at 8:00 p.m. and October 19-20, 26 at 2:00 p.m.

Maddi’s Fridge by Anne Negri. Based on the book by Lois Brandt.
Treehouse Youth Theatre Production
Conrad Coral Room
October 30 at 7:00 p.m. and November 3 at 2:00 p.m.

Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson. Directed by Madison Ellis.
Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre
November 21-23 at 8:00 p.m. and November 23-24 at 2:00 p.m.

Winter Dance Concert Directed by Colleen Murphy
Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre
January 31 & February 1 at 8:00 p.m.

The Legend of Georgia McBride by Matthew Lopez. Directed by James Stover.
Eva Marie Saint Theatre
February 13-15, 20-22 at 8:00 p.m. and February 15-16, 22 at 2:00 p.m.

The SpongeBob Musical Based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg. Book by Kyle Jarrow, Musical Production Conceived by Tina Landau.
Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre
April 10-12 at 8:00 p.m. and April 12-13 at 2:00 p.m.

Elsewhere Productions

Mojada by Luis Alfaro. Directed by Haley Anissa Alvarez.
September 20-21 at 8:00 p.m.

Les Marionettes du Mal present The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire.
An interpretation in shadow and projections to the music of Ruth White.
November 1-2 at 8:00 p.m.

Reverie’s Resignation by Claudette Jones.
An elevated staged reading directed by Claudette Jones.
February 7-8 at 8:00 p.m.

Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights by Gertrude Stein.
Directed by Blaine Hudak. Assistant directed by Madison Taylor Ellis.
March 14-15 at 8:00 p.m.

Updated: 05/24/2024 11:02AM