Faculty and Staff

Faculty

Michael Barnett  - Chair & Professor of Lighting Design

Michael Barnett is Chair & Professor of Lighting Design in the Theatre & Film Department where he heads the BFA Lighting Design Program. Recent designs include: National Tour (Forever Plaid, Miracle on 34th Street); North Shore Music Theatre (Grease, The Sound of Music); Faction of Fools (Our Town, Titus Andronicus); Barter Theatre (TarzanBeauty & the BeastAlways…Patsy ClineThe Wizard of Oz, Kiss Me Kate, Forever Plaid); Arkansas Repertory Theatre (Always…Patsy Cline); Tennessee Repertory Theatre (Sweeney ToddBig RiverSuperior DonutsCabaretA Christmas Story )...

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Alan Arrivée - Associate Professor of Film 

Alan Arrivée is a filmmaker, writer, and artist. He is Associate Professor of Film and head of the BFA in Thearte Arts, emphasis in Film Production program in the Department of Theatre & Film at The University of Mississippi. His short film SILENT RADIO was awarded Best Foreign Film at The European Independent Film Festival 2007 in Paris, and his short THE ORIGINAL I.Q. TESTER received the Founder's Choice Award at the 2015 Queens World Film Festival. His short play THE ORIGINAL I.Q.TESTER was a finalist for the 2007 Heideman Award and was published in The Tusculum Review.

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Micah-Shane Brewer - Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre

Micah-Shane Brewer is a director, actor, musical director, and vocalist.As an actor, Micah-Shane has appeared in diverse works like Doubt (Father Flynn), Sweeney Todd (Tobias), Spamalot (Sir Robin), Sunday in the Park with George (George), A Christmas Carol (Bob Cratchit), Our Country’s  Good (Sideway/Collins),  The Full Monty (Malcolm), Cats  (Munkustrap), Our Town (Stage Manager), Three Days of Rain (Walker/Ned) and more. As a director, he was the Founding Artistic Director of Encore Theatrical Company in East Tennessee and has directed for other professional theatres in the region. 

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Donna Buckley - Instructional Assistant Professor of Costume Technology

Donna Buckley is a costume technologist, costume designer and costume historian. She is  an Instructional Professor of Costume Technology at the University of Mississippi.  She received her Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design from Wayne State University and her bachelor of Arts from Oakland University. Donna’s work experience has covered many areas in theatre from musicals and children’s theatre, to classical drama and dance. Some of her favorite films that she has worked on are Superman vs. Batman, Oz the Great and Powerful and All’s Faire in Love.

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Yi-Tai Chung - Instructional Assistant Professor of Lighting Design

Yi-Tai Chung is an artist working with light. Chung has designed lighting for classical and new plays, musicals, opera, dance, and commercial events throughout Taiwan and the United States for ten years. Momentum, his recent dance lighting design presented by Dance Repertory Theatre, won the Austin Critics Table Award for Best Dance Ensemble in 2017. His previous lighting design at the Butler Opera Center for the opera Dialogues of the Carmelites was selected for the World Stage Design 2017 Exhibition.

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Jaye Sarah Davidson - Assistant Professor of Film Production

Jaye Sarah Davidson is thrilled to be joining the University of Mississippi Film and Theatre faculty. She has spent the last several years working in the film and commercial industry in Atlanta Georgia. Currently she is in post-production for a short film entitled "The Lady Edison," which tells the story of the inventor Margaret Knight. Jaye specializes in writing, producing, and directing narrative short films and documentaries.

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Leslie DeLassus - Instructional Assistant Professor of Film & Gender Studies

Leslie DeLassus is an Instructional Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Film for the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and for the Department of Theatre and Film. Her courses include Gender and Sexuality in Cinema, Comedy in Film, and Drama in Film.She has published chapters in Australian and American Cinemas: International Perspectives and The Image in Early Cinema: Form and Material, which examine the relationship between the practices of film preservation and film history.

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Carey Hanson - Professor of Costume Design

Carey Hanson is a Professor of Costume Design at the University of Mississippi. Her costume experience has covered a wide range of theatre, dance, opera, musical theatre, and theatre for youth. Carey has worked professionally with The Santa Fe Opera, Utah Opera, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Unicorn Children’s Theatre, Sundance Summer Theatre, Old Lyric Repertory Company, Harper Joy Theatre, The Pink Garter Theatre, and Playmill Theatre-Jackson. Carey has worked professionally in the costume industry since 1991 and has been teaching costuming in higher education since 2000.

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Sarah Hennigan - Assistant Professor of Film Production

A Dallas-born Cherokee filmmaker, Sarah grew up on-set and backstage, and has been involved in the arts ever since. Her directorial work has been seen in festivals such as LA SkinsFest and the Green Bay Film Festival. Outside of writing and directing her own films, she focuses on documentary and narrative cinematography, with work recently shown at the Austin Film Festival, the Texas Filmmaker's Showcase, and seen on PBS. Her most recent short as a Cinematographer, I Am Mackenzie won the SXSW 2019 Texas Shorts Jury Prize.

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Rhona Justice-Malloy - Professor of History & Literature

Rhona Justice-Malloy is a Professor of Theatre at the University of Mississippi. She is a Fellow of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, a Fellow of the Mid-America Theatre Conference, and a Fellow of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies. She received the University of Mississippi, College of Liberal Arts, Research, Scholarship and Creative Achievement Award. She has served as President of the Mid-America Theatre Conference and was the editor of Theatre History Studies for nine years.

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Rory Ledbetter - Associate Professor of Voice & Acting

Rory Ledbetter is Associate Professor of Voice, Speech, and Acting in the Theatre & Film Department. He received his MFA in Theatre Directing from Florida State University in 2004. He is a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework® and has extensive training in the Linklater Voice Progression, Knight-Thompson Speech Work, and Patsy Rodenburg's voice methodologies. Rory has studied Clowning with Chris Bayes, Avner the Eccentric, and Elizabeth Baron.

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Lauren Bone Noble - Assistant Professor of Movement for the Actor

Lauren Bone Noble is Assistant Professor of Movement for the Actor in the Department of Theatre and Film.  Lauren has studied Lecoq based movement styles with Giovanni Fusetti, Charlie Oates, Susan Chrietzberg, David Bridel and Ronlin Foreman. Professionally Lauren has performed both on and off Broadway, regionally at Studio Arena Theatre, The Denver Center Theatre Company, Portland Stage Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Arkansas Rep.  Lauren has also worked internationally at Vienna’s English Theatre. 

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Matthew Shifflett - Instructional Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts

Matthew Shifflett is a theatre historian and writer who has worked professionally as a playwright, a dramaturg, and an actor. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland--College Park. He has previously taught at Georgetown University and Montgomery College and has led acting workshops at Shepherd University. He is a member of the American Society for Theatre Research, the Mid-America Theatre Conference, and the American Theatre and Drama Society.

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Jared Spears - Instructional Associate Professor of Scenic Technology

Jared, a native of the Mississippi Delta, is a designer and sculptor who received his MFA in Theatre Design from the University of Mississippi in 2005. Jared was a co-recipient of the Mississippi Governor’s Award For Excellence in the Arts in 2002. In 2010, Jared received a special achievement award from The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters for his work on The Passions of Walter Anderson: A Dramatic Celebration of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Artist


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Dan Stearns - Assistant Professor of Acting

Dan Stearns is Assistant Professor of Acting in the Department of Theatre and Film. In 2009 he received his MFA from the Shakespeare Theatre's Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University. He holds two degrees from the University of Chicago where he was also a Lecturer in both Humanities and Theatre and Performance Studies, as well as production manager of University Theater. While living in Chicago he worked at the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and others. His on-camera experience includes television, commercials, industrial film, independent film, and new media.

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Cody Stockstill - Assistant Professor of Scenic Design

Cody Stockstill is a designer and Assistant Professor of Scenic Design.  He received his Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Design and Technology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2011 and undergraduate degree in theatre and religious studies from Millsaps College.  Past teaching appointments include Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Theatre at Mississippi State University and Instructor of Costume and Scenic Design at Southeastern Louisiana University.  

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Harrison Witt - Assistant Professor of Cinema Production

In addition to being an award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, Harrison Witt brings more than 20 years of professional production experience in cinematography and lighting to the Department of Theatre & Film at Ole Miss. Logging thousands of hours on set with directors like Richard Linklater, Quentin Tarantino, Terrence Malick, Spike Lee and Robert Rodriguez has been invaluable to Harrison’s development as a filmmaker and teacher. Similarly, learning camera and lighting techniques while working side by side with cinematographers like Roger Deakins, Emmanuel Lubezki, and Pawel Edelman...

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Peter Wood - Instructional Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts

Dr. Wood is deeply invested in understanding how the stories people tell themselves--through drama, film, performance, and history--affect human behavior and thought. His research focuses on cross-cultural avant-garde, cognitive science, popular culture, and gender within the US, Europe, and Japan during the 20th and 21st centuries. He has presented work on the shared corporeal topography of Butoh dance and live zombie performances and the cognitive effects of certain kinds of dramatic language and his publications include works on gender representation in theatre (Into the Woods) and film (Aliens), as well as performance and book reviews.

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Adjunct Faculty

Roxie Thomas Clayton - Adjunct Professor of Dance

Roxie Thomas Clayton is a native of Tupelo, Mississippi.  She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Mississippi, where she was one of six dancers chosen for the Dwight Rhoden Choreography Project, which was then showcased at the Kennedy Center.  While attending school Roxie was extremely active in Mississippi: The Dance Company, where she was a featured soloist and choreographer. Roxie completed her Master of Arts in Dance at Shenandoah University, where she studied with Alan Arnett, Ting-Yu Chen , Maurice Fraga, Kim Gibilisco, Elijah Gibson, Erica Helm, and Linda Miller.

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Paul Marszalkowski - Adjunct Professor of Musical Theatre

Paul Marszalkowski is a music director, vocal coach, pianist, composer, and arranger hailing from Buffalo, New York. He holds a Master's degree in Musical Theatre from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and a Bachelor's in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia.Paul has worked as the Resident Music Director at PCPA - Pacific Conservatory Theatre, where he led many productions including the west coast premieres of Newsies and Disney's Freaky Friday, as well as working with composer Brad Carroll on a revised version of his musical Lend Me a Tenor.

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Faculty Emeritus

Joe Turner Cantú - Professor Emeritus of Theatre Arts

An actor trainer, director, and playwright, Joe is head of the acting program and is a teacher of acting, directing, and playwriting. His teaching expertise is in acting process, acting styles, and voice. For ten years, Joe was artistic director of Oxford Shakespeare Festival (OSF), a summer theatre on the Ole Miss campus.  His professional playwriting credits include several productions throughout the country of his play Rock and Betty Dance, winner of a Rockefeller playwriting grant award. His play American Cowgirls performed at a theatre festival in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.

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Dex Edwards - Associate Professor Emeritus of Scenic Design

Dex holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Mississippi and has spent the last 15 years designing and directing nationally and internationally. During six years as resident designer at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, his designs won the Critics Choice Award three years in a row. Regionally, he has designed for theatres such as Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Portland Centre Stage and the Sacramento Theatre Company.

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Jennifer Mizenko - Professor Emerita of Movement & Dance

Jennifer Mizenko is a Professor of Movement for the Actor and Dance at the University of Mississippi, where she has run the Theater Department's dance program since 1989 and the movement program since 1996. Jennifer's duties include teaching jazz and modern technique classes, plus dance composition, dance appreciation, movement for the actor, and directing the university dance company, Mississippi: The Dance Company. Throughout her tenure at Ole Miss, Jennifer has continually enhanced her skills as a movement instructor.

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René Pulliam - Associate Professor Emerita of Theatre Arts
Since 1993, René Pulliam has been head of the BFA program in Musical Theatre at the University of Mississippi. She received her BA in Music from Whittier College in 1972 and her MFA in Dance/Choreography from Mills College in 1992. She has directed and/or choreographed hundreds of musicals across the United States, including the West Coast premieres of SmileCloser than Ever, and Over Here. She has been awarded the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Award for her choreography on No, No Nanette and Good News.

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Production Staff

Mary Ball - Costume Shop Manager

Mary Ball, formerly known as Gietzen, is excited to be the Costume Shop Manager for the Ole Miss Theatre and Film Department. She received her MFA in Costume Design, at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. This is where her love of running a shop was born. During this time she learned that working with the students to discover their passion made her journey much more rewarding. She enjoyed teaching them the basic techniques needed to create!

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Jeffrey Hannah - Master Electrician

Jeffrey Hannah is pleased to be joining the staff of Ole Miss in the position of Master Electrician. Originally from Troy, Michigan, Jeffrey holds an MFA in Lighting Design from the University of Illinois, as well as a BA in Theatre Performance from Oakland University, additionally he has completed internships at the Ozark Actors Theatre and Jeff Daniels’ Purple Rose Theatre Company.


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Jonathan Morrill - Film Equipment Manager

Jonathan is a New Orleans native and a University of Mississippi alumnus. He started working in the film industry in New Orleans and worked his way up from lamp operator and company grip to gaffer and key grip. He has 16 years of grip and lighting experience on feature films such as 21 and 22 Jump Street, GI Joe Retaliation, Now You See Me, Looper, Green Lantern, and Unhinged and TV shows for Netflix such as Pitbulls and Parolees and most recently on Claws. He has 10 years of lighting experience for interviews for NFL and FOX Sports and a variety of commercials.

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Jonathan Smith - Film Equipment Manager

Jonathan Smith is a documentary filmmaker, writer, and geek.  He has a life-long love of story, although he took detours through careers in I.T. and archaeology before he found his home in film.  He has been able to combine these diverse skills to support others' film projects through research, technical and equipment advice, and IT support, in addition to creating films of his own.  His short film, “Remembering Elwood Higginbottom”, has been shown to community groups and city governments in support of lynching memorialization, as well as showing at several regional film festivals.

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Lisa Wilson - Costume Shop Assistant

Lisa Wilson is currently the Costume Shop Assistant at University of Mississippi. She recently graduated with her MFA in Costume Design/Technology from Kent State University. She moved to Mississippi after spending eight years costume designing in Cleveland, Ohio primarily for children’s shows and Theatre for Young Audiences.

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Felipe Macias
Technical Director 
femacias@olemiss.edu I 662-915-1334

Ed Neilson
Master Carpenter
jeneilso@olemiss.edu

Professional Staff

Katherine Stewart - Program Coordinator

A Massachusetts Yankee in King Faulkner’s court, Katherine was raised in New England by Arkansan parents. After earning a degree in linguistics from the University of Iowa, she moved to Little Rock and embarked on a serpentine journey through the publishing world that included newspaper reporting, book fact-checking, and the editorship of a statewide magazine. Coincidentally, her first magazine job was at The Oxford American.

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Jordan Smith
Administrative Assistant to the Chair
jsmith10@olemiss.edu | 662-915-7287