National Theatre Conference Welcomes
Eight New Members to Its Roster
Distinguished Group Represents A Wide Array of Genres, Vitality, and Expertise
This prestigious group of theatre artists, nominated by NTC members during the year and then decided upon by the NTC Board, is comprised of Nan Barnett (Executive Director, National New Play Network); Steve Broadnax (Associate Director, Pennsylvania Centre Stage); Nicole Hodges Persley (Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Theatre, University of Kansas); Marya Lowry ( actor/singer/teacher; Boston, Mass.); Dawson Moore (playwright/director/teacher/actor; Valdez, Alaska); Scott Palmer (Artistic Director, Bag&Baggage Productions/Hillsboro, Oregon); Courtney Sale (Artistic Director, Seattle Children’s Theatre); and Christine Young (director/dramaturg, associate professor, University of San Francisco). All eight members were introduced to the National Theatre Conference membership when the organization met in New York, Dec. 1-3, 2017.
Announcing this year’s new members, NTC President Michael Hood, Dean of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s College of Fine Arts, states “The National Theater Conference continues to invite to membership an inclusive and diverse group of distinguished leaders of the profession in all of its many iterations — academic, professional, commercial, non-profit, community-based, for adults and by–and-for children, and more.” He notes “This year’s class of new members is no exception. Our new members are performers, directors, administrators, and educators and, often, all or several of these demanding and important roles at once. Each of them has achieved much in those roles and will achieve, I am certain, even more. We welcome their energy, their intelligence, and their willingness to join us as we seek to support, connect, and advocate for the American theatre.”
NAN BARNETT is the Executive Director of National New Play Network, the country's alliance of theatres dedicated to new plays. She helped create NNPN’s acclaimed Rolling World Premiere and Residency programs and led the organization through the development and launch of the New Play Exchange. Before joining NNPN, Nan was a founding company member of Florida Stage, the nation’s largest regional theatre producing exclusively new works, where she oversaw the development and production of hundreds of plays and musicals for both emerging and veteran playwrights. Nan is also the Coordinating Producer of the DC Women’s Voices Theater Festival.
STEVE BROADNAX is currently Associate Professor of Theatre and Head of the MFA Graduate Acting Program at Penn State University. He is also Associate Director of Pennsylvania Centre Stage. Directing credits include Chautauqua Theater Company (NY); People’s Light and Theatre Company (Malvern, Pa.); Apollo Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, and Atlantic Theatre Company (all NY); Detroit Public Theatre; Baltimore Center Stage; The Black Theatre Troupe (Phoenix, Arizona); Arkansas Repertory Theatre; MoorenTheatre (Seattle); Market Theatre (Johannesburg, SA); Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland); National Arts Festival (SA); and the Adelaide Arts Festival (Australia). Steve has directed, choreographed, and conceived The Hip-Hop Project, an award-winning, full-length original play that has toured nationally and showcased at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C. Other writings include Camouflage (Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist). As a member of Actors’ Equity Association, Steve toured nationally and internationally. Training: BFA at Conservatory of Fine Arts, Webster University; MFA at Penn State University.
NICOLE HODGES PERSLEY is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Kansas. Her research specialty is the study of race and performance in American and transnational theatre. Hodges Persley has received numerous fellowships and awards including KU Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity Pride Award in 2017, The McNair Scholars Mentoring Award in 2016, KU's Byron T. Shutz Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015. Her forthcoming book Sampling and Remixing Blackness in Hip Hop Theater and Performance (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan 2018) is the first book to explore cross-racial performance in American and British theatre influenced by hip hop music and African American culture. Hodges Persley is a critically acclaimed theatre director with notable productions that include Welcome to Arroyo’s, Dutchman, and Rachel. She is currently the Associate Artistic Director of the KC Meltingpot Theatre in Kansas City.
MARYA LOWRY is an award-winning actor with over 35 years teaching and acting professionally. She has taught actors, singers, teachers, on-air journalists, and public speakers in the UK, France, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Poland, and U.S. Marya is a Roy Hart Theatre Voice Teacher, a founding member and resident actor with the Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Boston, and a member of the performance faculty at Brandeis University since 1989. Marya’s teaching practice highlights an approach to voice that is influenced by Roy Hart Theatre vocal approach, non-Western vocal practices, and Michael Chekhov technique applied to traditional Anglo-American voice training. Based in solid research of global vocal lamentation practices, she pioneered its inclusion into theatre voice training and is the creator of Ecstatic Voice – from Laughter to Lamentation for Actor Training and Performance. An actor/singer, Marya has performed in NYC, Boston, for Shakespeare festivals and regional theatres, as well as in France, Bulgaria, and Canada.
DAWSON MOORE is a playwright, director, teacher, and actor. He works for Prince William Sound College (Anchorage, Alaska), for whom he has coordinated the play development-focused Last Frontier Theatre Conference since 2003. His plays have been produced Off Broadway, across the country, and internationally in Canada, Italy, and Namibia. He has won national playwriting awards for his short comedies In a Red Sea The Peach, Burning, The Bus, Bile in the Afterlife, and Domestic Companion. Six Dead Bodies, which he co-wrote with Lindsay Marianna Walker, is included in Applause Books’ The Best American Short Plays 2010-2011, and has been turned into a short film by Kevin T. Bennett. He is a member of the Anchorage-based theatre company, Three Wise Moose, which produces on-line at www.dawsonmoore.com.
SCOTT PALMER is the founding Artistic Director of Bag&Baggage Productions (B&B), a professional theatre in suburban Hillsboro, Oregon. Scott received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, his Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Oregon State University, and studied for a PhD in Contemporary Theatre Practice at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. While in Scotland, Scott founded Glasgow Repertory Company, Scotland's only Shakespeare-dedicated theatre company which recently celebrated its 17-year anniversary. After returning to his home state of Oregon, Scott founded Bag&Baggage in 2005 as a vehicle for touring provocative interpretations of classical work to communities without access to professional theatre; B&B became the resident company in Hillsboro in 2008 and continues to focus on innovative interpretations of classical literature. Scott’s primary interest is in the original source materials, along with unknown adaptations of Shakespeare’s work, and he has directed world premiere adaptations of lost classics such as Dryden and Davenant’s The Tempest, or the Enchanted Isle, John Dennis’ The Amorous Adventures of the Comical Knight Sir John Falstaff, the anonymous Restoration-era adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Students, Colley Cibber’s Caesar In Eygpt, and most recently adapted Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet alongside the 12th century Persian masterpiece of romantic poetry, Nizami’s Layla and Majnun.
COURTNEY SALE currently serves at the Artistic Director of Seattle Children’s Theatre. Previously, she served three years as Associate Artistic Director at Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT). Select IRT directing credits include Jackie and Me, And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank, The Mousetrap, The Mountaintop, and two iterations of A Christmas Carol. Other regional credits: Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Phoenix Theatre, Heartland Repertory Theatre. As a director, Courtney has developed plays with New Plays for Young Audiences at NYU/Provincetown Playhouse, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Write Now, Dorset Theatre Festival, Denver Center Theatre Company’s New Play Summit, New Harmony Project, and the Orchard Project. Her playwright/director collaborations include the works of Steven Dietz, Allison Gregory, Sherry Kramer, MJ Kaufman, Kirk Lynn, Jason Gray Platt, and James Still. Select awards include Indianapolis 40 Under 40, Austin Critic’s Table Award, and UT Austin Continuing Fellowship. Courtney has taught at IRT Summer Conservatory for Youth, Summer at Cornish, Temple College and University of Texas at Austin. BFA, Cornish College of the Arts; MFA, University of Texas at Austin.
CHRISTINE YOUNG is an Associate Professor in the Performing Arts & Social Justice Program at University of San Francisco. She also freelances as a director and dramaturg specializing in new plays. As a feminist theatre practitioner, Christine develops and directs plays about social issues affecting women’s lives, practices creative casting that puts as many female performers onstage as possible, mentors young women theatre artists, and promotes a world where women’s lives are understood not as special interest stories, but rather as essential human stories. Prior to joining the USF faculty, Christine spent ten years working in non-profit arts administration, including six years as Associate Artistic Director for Playwrights Foundation, producer of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Her work has been funded by San Francisco Arts Commission, Haas Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Puffin Foundation, and Theatre Bay Area. Christine holds an M.F.A. in Theater Directing from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in Religion from Princeton University.