Theatre

Instruction for Tennessee’s Young Thespians

Our philosophy is simple — to supply an opportunity for the student to learn. We do this by providing a program of dedicated and focused training in theatrical studies, with an emphasis on the process of creating live theatre. Students are to be given every opportunity possible to explore, to question, and to grow. The Theatre Program is a safe place where there are no wrong answers and no stupid questions. It is an environment fostering open communication and the exchange of knowledge and ideas. The mission of the Theatre Program of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts is based on the idea that we are part of a “school” and the objective should always be on learning and exploring the multiple facets of the art of theatre. The mission of the Theatre Program is to instill in every student the respect and understanding of the theatrical process as it leads to final culmination in performance, as well as to give the student the knowledge, skills, and creative opportunities to realize their own potential and grow as an individual, an artist, and a craftsman. Additionally, the student should gain a sense of where the art of theatre resides in relationship to the other art forms of the school, and how all these art forms are interrelated.

Theatre Curriculum

Students in Theatre focus studies primarily on aspects of performance. Conservatory style courses will include a variety of offerings such as Stage Movement, Stage Combat, Alexander Technique, Acting for the Stage, Acting for the Camera, Vocal Training, Musical Theatre, Pantomime, Improvisation, Dance, Auditioning, etc. However, all students must demonstrate a willingness to participate and learn in all aspects of theatre.

Goals

The Theatre Arts discipline embodies four fundamental goals and component knowledge, processes, and skills which this Tennessee framework comprises. The goals are to enable the learner to:

1. Develop means of expression for the individual through the use of drama/theatre experiences

a. Sensory perception b. Emotional expression c. Imagination d. Movement e. Language f. Voice g. Artistic discipline h. Concentration i. Self-concept

2. Create drama/theatre through individual effort, group interaction, and artistic collaboration

a. Ensemble and interpersonal skills b. Problem solving c. Improvisation d. Acting e. Directing f. Playmaking and Playwriting g. Technical elements h. Theatre management

3. Experience drama/theatre in its multicultural, social, and historical contexts

a. Dramatic literature b. Theatre history and heritage c. Drama/Theatre in a multicultural society d. Roles and careers

4. Form aesthetic judgments of drama/theatre experiences

a. Elements of drama b. Audience c. Theatre and other arts d. Aesthetic response  

 

Theatre Faculty

Jeff Gibson

Chair

Jeff Gibson is Chair of the Theatre Division of the Tennessee Governors’ School for the Arts and Chair of the

... read more

Jeff Gibson

Chair

Jeff Gibson is Chair of the Theatre Division of the Tennessee Governors’ School for the Arts and Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Middle Tennessee State University. Gibson serves as President of Southeastern Theatre Conference and is a Past Chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Region IV. A former Assistant to the President of Watkins College of Art&Design in Nashville, Tennessee, he received his MFA in Theatre Management from the University of Alabama and served as a management assistant at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Kate Goodwin

Stage Management Faculty

Since receiving her MFA in Stage Management from the University of Illinois, Kate has toured internationally with The Builders Association,

... read more

Kate Goodwin

Stage Management Faculty

Since receiving her MFA in Stage Management from the University of Illinois, Kate has toured internationally with The Builders Association, collaborated on new works with Voices of the South, and stage managed for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Now that she lives in Lexington, Kate teaches theatre courses for EKU and Asbury, in addition to stage managing, directing, designing, and killing it at karaoke. Some favorite stage management credits include Doubt, Metamorphoses, Cosi fan tutte, Cicada, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Driving Ms. Daisy, and Chicago. She is also proud both to serve on the community board and stage manage for The Girl Project.

Tara Houston

Scenic Design Faculty

Tara Houston is the Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Louisiana State University. Her design work has been featured at

... read more

Tara Houston

Scenic Design Faculty

Tara Houston is the Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Louisiana State University. Her design work has been featured at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Austin Shakespeare, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Music Theatre of Wichita, and Armory Free Theatre. After receiving her BFA in Scenic Design and Scenic Art at the University of Arizona, Tara graduated with her MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Illinois. She is a member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, the Guild of Scenic Artists, and the Latinx Theatre Commons. Her portfolio website can be found at www.tarahouston.net.

Shelly Elman

Finale Director

Shelly Elman is the Chair of the Theatre Department at the University of West Georgia, where she has taught for 20+

... read more

Shelly Elman

Finale Director

Shelly Elman is the Chair of the Theatre Department at the University of West Georgia, where she has taught for 20+ years. Of her directing credits at UWG, some of her favorites are: In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks, Kindertransport by Diane Samuels,Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, The Scarlet Letter adapted by Phyllis Nagy, Cabaret by Kander and Ebb (and Masteroff). She is thankful for the opportunity to once again work with Jeff Gibson and the cool crowd!

Darren E. Levin

Lighting Design Faculty

Darren E. Levin is a freelance lighting designer and lighting design faculty at Middle Tennessee State University.  He has designed lighting

... read more

Darren E. Levin

Lighting Design Faculty

Darren E. Levin is a freelance lighting designer and lighting design faculty at Middle Tennessee State University.  He has designed lighting for Nashville Repertory Theatre, Black Hills Playhouse, Green Mountain Opera Festival, Theatre West Summer Repertory, Cedar Point Live Entertainment. Favorite credits: Posterity (Regional Premiere), Pageant (Regional Premiere), Peter and the Starcatcher, Good Monsters (World Premiere), La Cage Aux Folles, The Drowsy Chaperone, Urinetown, and Pride and Prejudice. Darren worked as the Assistant Technical Director/Lighting Supervisor for McCain Auditorium at Kansas State University. He has also worked with Cedar Point Live Entertainment/Cedar Fair Entertainment Corporation, Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, and toured with Disney on Ice. Darren is a proud member of United Scenic Artists 829 (USA829), The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 205, and the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (serving on regional and national committees within the organization).

Neno Russell

Costume Design Faculty

Neno Russell is a professional patternmaker and costume designer and he teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University As a cutter/ draper

... read more

Neno Russell

Costume Design Faculty

Neno Russell is a professional patternmaker and costume designer and he teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University As a cutter/ draper for theatre, Neno has constructed costumes for leading costume designers, Toni-Leslie James, Cathy Zuber, Donna Zakowska, Amy Andrews Harrell, Lahly Poore-Ericson, and Paul Tazewell to name a few. Neno is currently the Assistant Designer on The Royale at Cleveland Play House, he was the Associate Costume Designer on the 2009 Broadway revival of Finian’s Rainbow, and he was assistant designer for the Broadway Productions of Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life and Footloose and the first National tour of Footloose. He patterned costumes for the Broadway productions of Bring in da’ Noise Bring in da’ Funk and The Rose Tattoo. He was also an assistant costume designer for Whoopi on NBC. Recently, Neno has patterned and built costumes for the 2015 Broadway production of Amazing Grace, Season 1 through 4 of AMC’s Revolutionary Drama Turn, Season 1and 2 of PBS’s Civil War Drama Mercy Street, Cotton Club Parade for New York City Center Encores, Comedy of Errors and this summer’s production of Othello at the Public Theatre/Shakespeare in the Park. Neno has designed over 70 national commercials (including: MTV, VHI, Journeys, Thomasville, Petsmart, NFL Films, The History Channel and Old Navy) and 7 documentaries for the History Channel.

Kristi Shamburger

Theatre Faculty

Kristi Shamburger is an Equity Actress and Associate Professor of Theatre at Middle Tennessee State University and specializes in Musical

... read more

Kristi Shamburger

Theatre Faculty

Kristi Shamburger is an Equity Actress and Associate Professor of Theatre at Middle Tennessee State University and specializes in Musical Theatre. She is originally from Murfreesboro, TN, but has lived and performed not only in Tennessee but also in Las Vegas, NV, New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA. Cleveland and Akron, OH, Vermont, South Dakota, North Carolina, and Japan! She taught at Middle Georgia College, Huntington University, and Belmont University before coming to Middle Tennessee State University in 2010. Kristi received her Musical Theatre undergraduate degree at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, OH and her MFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a certified teacher of The Expressive Actor Technique and is thrilled to be advisor for musical theatre minors, directing musicals and teaching Musical Theatre Performance I & II and Voice for the Actor.

Derek Whittaker

Performance Faculty

Originally from Nashville, Mr. Whittaker has performed and directed both around the country (for numerous theatre companies) and around the

... read more

Derek Whittaker

Performance Faculty

Originally from Nashville, Mr. Whittaker has performed and directed both around the country (for numerous theatre companies) and around the world (as a Guest Entertainer for Molyneux Entertainment onboard six-star line, Crystal Cruises.) Local acting credits include West Side Story (MTSU Theatre and Dance); Inherit the Wind, Cabaret, Clybourne Park, Little Shop of Horrors, Death of a Salesman and the past three seasons as “Ralphie” in A Christmas Story (Nashville Rep); Hello, Dolly!, Twelve Angry Men, It’s A Wonderful Life, Gypsy (Studio Tenn); Number the Stars (Nashville Children’s Theatre); As You Like It, Othello, Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale (Nashville Shakespeare Festival); Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, Rumors, A Tuna Christmas (Chaffin’s Barn). A Guest Teaching Artist for both Nashville Children’s Theatre and Metro Parks, Derek is also an Adjunct Professor of Theatre at MTSU, his undergraduate alma mater, and holds an M.F.A. in Acting from UT Knoxville, where he received the Clarence Brown Career Development Award.

 

Dance

Dance

Governor’s School students learn that dance is inherent to our heritage and world and that of others around us. Students are encouraged to perceive, evaluate, and understand dance as a conveyor of culture.

read more
Filmmaking

Filmmaking

Filmmaking students are introduced to both the theory and technical aspects of filmmaking. Through lectures, films and hand-on experiences, students will learn the three aspects of filmmaking: pre-production, production, and post-production.

read more
Instrumental Program

Instrumental Program

The School for the Arts provides educational instruction for students skilled in strings, wind ensemble, piano, and both choral and opera technique..

read more
Vocal Music

Vocal Music

The School for the Arts provides educational instruction for students skilled in strings, wind ensemble, piano, and both choral and opera technique..

read more
Theatre

Theatre

The theater school is a program of dedicated and focused study in all areas of theatrical studies, with an emphasis on the process of creating live theatre.

read more
Visual Art

Visual Art

Visual Arts students learn human understanding, achievement and self-development through the study and practice of visual art.

read more