Kenny C. Gannon, PhD
Program Director & Alumnae Distinguished
Professor of Theatre
Kenny Gannon holds a PhD in Theatre from Louisiana State University, an M. M. from Converse College, and a B. A. from Samford University. Recent acting projects for Kenny Gannon include Sigmund Freud in the Royal Court play Hysteria for Burning Coal Theatre, Roy Cohn in both parts of Angels in America for Theatre in the Park, and Jeremiah Mears in God’s Man in Texas for the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre. Since coming to Peace in 1995, Kenny’s productions have regularly won rave reviews and many “Best of Triangle” awards from the Raleigh News and Observer, the Independent Weekly and the Classical Voice of North Carolina.
Jason Dula, MTE
Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre
A North Carolina native graduated from NC School of the Arts with a degree in Vocal Performance and a Masters in Educational Theatre from the City College of New York. As a professional actor, Jason toured the country as Philippe in the Maury Yeston Phantom. He has performed Off-Broadway in Make Me A Song; Lingoland; Click, Clack, Moo; The Grass Harp and New Girl InTown. He sang with Linda Eder at the Gershwin and Palace Theatres on Broadway as well as at Mohegan Sun and on her Bravo TV Christmas Special. He was also featured among the talents of Kelli O’Hara, Kristen Chenoweth, and Linda Lavin in “Some Enchanted Evening” celebrating the music of Richard Rodgers, Mary Rodgers and Adam Guettel; musically directed by Mary Mitchell Campbell and directed by Christopher Gatelli. Regionally Jason has appeared in The Spitfire Grill(Joe Sutter), Beauty and the Beast(Beast),I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change (Man 2), Carousel (Enoch Snow), Ragtime(Younger Brother) and Cabaret (Cliff). He is also a sports fan and commentator and can be heard weekly on the “Sports Pants Podcast” which is available on iTunes.
Jennifer Mann Becker, MFA
Resident Lighting Designer & Instructor
Jenni received an MFA in Theatre & Film Design from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her credits as Lighting Designer for William Peace Theatre include Suddenly Last Summer, An Inspector Calls, The Children’s Hour, The Curious Savage, King Lear, Uncle Vanya, A Doll House, THEmisanthrope, My Sister in This House, Cry Havoc, The Shape of Things, Scapin, The Winter’s Tale, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, A Shayna Maidel, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jane Eyre, These Shining Lives and Cabaret. Other credits include Scenic Design for Tartuffe and Crumbs from the Table of Joy at Burning Coal Theatre; Scenic Design for Glengarry Glenn Ross and The Clean House and Lighting Design for Radio Golf" at Deep Dish Theater Company; Lighting Design for Avenue Q at Hot Summer Nights; Lighting Design for Patience and HMS Pinafore at Durham Savoyards; Light Design for 2008 Halloween Spooktacular & 2008 New Year’s Eve Concert at the North Carolina Symphony; Light Design for ThiStory and Moving Words for Even Exchange Dance Theater.
Eliza Laskowski, PhD
Lecturer in English, Dramaturg
Eliza’s involvement in the theatre began when she was a teen-ager, helping out with the summer musicals at her hometown community theatre. By the time she graduated from college, she had appeared in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Importance of Being Earnest (Cecily), Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience (Lady Ella), and Reckless (Trish) and done everything behind the scenes from paint sets to produce three shows at Sewanee, where she earned a degree in English in 1996. Extensive choir training, including performances at the Kennedy Center, Winchester Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey, complimented her theatrical experiences. Eliza continued her studies in literature, with a master’s degree from The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 1999 and a Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006. Concentrating on sixteenth and seventeenth-century drama, she focused her research on an elite form of entertainment called masque, a complex union of poetry, music, dancing, scenic spectacle, and allegory, to which she brings a unique interdisciplinary perspective. Eliza currently teaches in the English Department at William Peace University and has been serving as the University’s dramaturg since 2010.
Wade Newhouse, PhD
Assistant Professor in English, Acting Coach
Wade began his theatre career at the Fayetteville Little Theatre when he was in middle school. After appearing in a handful of shows in high school and at UNC-Chapel Hill, he joined ComedySportz of Chapel Hill in 1993 and began to hone his skills in improvisational comedy. Since then, he has appeared in local community theatre productions of Desire Under the Elms, Assassins, and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, and directed productions of The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, and Hamlet while teaching English at Cary High School. Wade helped found Raleigh’s Village Idiots in 1997 and, since returning to Raleigh from graduate school, has performed with that local improv troupe almost monthly for over five years. Here at Peace, where he teaches in the English and Theatre programs, Wade and his Village Idiot friends teach annual improv comedy workshops and perform regularly with students to help them master the craft. Wade has also appeared in Peace’s recent productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jane Eyre, These Shining Lives and Cabaret. He currently teaches courses in American Drama, Southern Literature, Children’s Literature, Comic Improvisation, and Advanced Composition.
Sherry Lee Allen
Sherry Lee Allen is pleased to be joining Peace College after serving on the faculty at Cornerstone University for over10 years. She has also taught classes in Theatre, Dance and Voice at GVSU and Aquinas College, West Catholic High School, and Grand Rapids Ballet. She is currently on staff at Meredith College and the NCT Conservatory, which just completed a spectacular production of The Who’s TOMMY. She has been Assistant Director/Choreographer at HSN@K past three seasons and performed as Missy in the Marvelous Wonderettes and NCT’s Mainstage production of EVITA. She has been an AEA union member for over 20 years, and received her BA degree from Point Park University. She toured with Broadway National company of EVITA for two years and European Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and many Regional roles including Kathy Selden in Singin’ In The Rain, Cha Cha in Grease, Dorcas/usMillie Seven Brides…Brothers, 42nd Street… She has been guest Director/Choreographer for well over 50 productions. Some Favorites include White Christmas, Godspell, Chicago, Joseph and….Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story, Something’s Afoot, Seussical:The Musical and Wait Until Dark which was awarded Outstanding College Production. Thank you for welcoming her and daughter, Jamie to Raleigh this past year.
Jennifer grew up in Georgia where she trained at the Atlanta School of Ballet. After being the youngest to be awarded a scholarship to the International Choreography Conference at the age of 14, she danced and toured for a year with the Atlanta Ballet professional company.
Following high school, Jennifer went on to earn a BFA in Musical Theatre from Elon University and an MFA in Acting from UNC Greensboro. She returned briefly to Elon as an adjunct professor to choreograph Children of Eden.
Some of Jennifer’s favorite roles as a performer have been “Maria” in The Sound of Music (you can see her in the extras of the 40th Anniversary DVD “Julie Andrews Remembers”), which she toured for all over the USA and ASIA; “Yonah” in Children of Eden; “Kate” in Taming of the Shrew; “Laurey” and “Dream Laurey” in Oklahoma!; “Polly” in Crazy for You; “Eliza Doolittle” in My Fair Lady; “Stella” in A Streetcar Named Desire. She also very much enjoyed her time as dance/fight captain/resident choreographer for the national tour of Les Miserables.
Jennifer has taught ballet and music theatre dance all over the southeast, including the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory of Dance Education and the Schramel Conservatory of Dance/New Orleans Ballet Theatre.
Julie Flinchum Bradley
Instructor, Piano & Music Director
Julie is a graduate of NC School of the Arts and UNC-CH. While still in school, she began working as assistant to conductor McCrae Hardy at NC Theatre, and spent a fulfilling 20-year career there. She is also very involved in area opera, community theatre, and youth education, including the Opera Company of North Carolina, Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh Conservatory of Music, and Chapel Hill Ballet School. Her work as orchestrator and arranger includes such clients as Ipo Productions, the Jimmy V Celebrity Classic and Going Barefoot, Inc. She also serves as the orchestra contractor for Broadway South, a presenter of touring musicals.
Jeff A. R. Jones
Jeff is a recognized Fight Director and Certified Teacher by the Society of American Fight Directors who has staged fights for theatre, opera, ballet and film. He staged fights with weapons ranging from swords to bread loaves on actors, singer, dancers, and even a giant dragon puppet. His fights have received rave reviews in both The Washington Post and The New York Times. He teaches classes locally and invites any interested parties to contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org. At William Peace University he has gouged out eyes in My Sister in this House, beaten people with crowbars and stabbed them with switchblades in King Lear, and punched, knocked down and shot them in Cry Havoc. Some other credits include North Carolina Theatre: Camelot (with Debby Boone), Virginia Stage Company: The Beauty Queen of Lenane (with Eileen Brennan), Asolo Conservatory Theatre: American Buffalo (with William Wise), Theatre Previews at Duke: Birdy (with Michael Pitt), Virginia Shakespeare Festival: As You Like It, Carolina Ballet: Romeo & Juliet, Carmen, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Messiah, Nutcracker, The Kreutzer Sonata, The Miraculous Mandarin, Virginia Opera: Romeo et Juliette, Otello, Pagliacci, New Jersey Opera Theatre: Romeo et Juliette, Pirates of Penzance, Opera Illinois: West Side Story, Bare Theatre: Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Parkway Playhouse: As You Like It, Duke University Theatre: Macbeth, Pericles, Sweeney Todd, Gint, Fool for Love, Angels in America, Spring Awakening, Shadow of Himself, Why Things Burn, Mao II, Florida State University: The Rover, Carousel (with Michael Piontak), Durham School of the Arts: Henry IV, Part 1, Raleigh Little Theatre: As You Like It, Independent film: The Promise. He is adjunct faculty at Duke University and has a secret life as resident scenic and costume designer for Carolina Ballet.
Sarah Putterman graduated from NC State University in 2006. She received her Cecchetti Grade 4 Certification from City Ballet of Raleigh. Sarah has trained at the Interlochen Arts Academy and University of North Carolina School of the Arts under Mel Tomlinson and Melissa Hayden. Sarah also studied at George Washington University under Dana Tai-Soon Burgess. Prior to becoming an adjunct faculty member at William Peace University, Sarah taught for five years at Carroll Middle School in Raleigh. She is a company member of Natalie Marrone's The Dance Cure, who was named the 2012 recipient of the North Carolina Dance Alliance Choreography Fellowship, has toured with the North Carolina Dance Festival with Courtney Greer, performed at The North Carolina Dance Alliance, and appeared in original works by Renay Aumiller and Ronald West. In addition to teaching dance in the BFA program at WPU, Sarah teaches at North Carolina Dance Institute, where she has studied and worked for many years under the direction of Kirstie Tice Spadie. She also works with North Carolina Arts In Action. Her passion for dance is evident to all who know her, and she loves to share that passion with her students.
After receiving her high school diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts, Ms. Reed received her bachelor of music degree in voice performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University and her master of music degree in voice performance from The Florida State University.
Opera credits include Nedda in I Pagliacci, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Suzel in L’amico Fritz with the Triangle Opera Studio, Gianetta in L’eslisir d’amore with Capital Opera, title roles Little Red Riding Hood with Triangle Opera and Gretel with Peabody Opera, the Florida State Opera, and Capital Opera’s Outreach program, as well as Mrs. Gobineau in Long Leaf Opera’s 2002 and 2008 productions of The Medium. Ms. Reed has recorded a CD, Tangos y Canciones, and performs frequently in the area with her father, classical guitarist, Randy Reed. Oratorio credits range from Baroque to contemporary and include Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Arvo Pärt’s Berliner Messe, and Bach’s Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (BWV211). Ms. Reed has performed nationally and internationally as soloist at the Aspen Music Festival, the Franz Schubert Institut, the Lake Placid Institute and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and with ensembles such as the Cantores Musicae Antiquae of Florida State University, Duke University Collegium, and Peabody Renaissance Ensemble. Ms. Reed is currently performing as part of North Carolina Opera’s outreach program in the schools and about the town.
With over ten years of teaching experience, Ms. Reed specializes in bringing out the best qualities in each student’s voice. Many of Ms. Reed’s students have placed in vocal and talent competitions and can be seen performing leading roles in musical productions. Her students have been accepted into programs such as Interlochen, Governor’s School, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Stage Door. Ms. Reed is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. .
Instructor, Music Theory & Musical Director
Jay Wright is a Wake County native and an accomplished pianist, arranger, and musical director. He holds a Master's of Music from North Carolina Central University and a Bachelor's of Music from East Carolina University. He has recently conducted William Peace University's production of Cabaret; Theatre Raleigh/Hot Summer Night's productions of Avenue Q, Violet, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change; North Carolina Theatre's productions of High School Musical, A Man of No Importance; Jay has also conducted for The Capital Awards, and assisted on several other musicals including EVITA, Dreamgirls, Peter Pan, and Chess. He served as arranger and musical supervisor for the 2010 Raleigh production of A Christmas Story. Other regional credits: Wonderful Town, The Last 5 Years, The Wildest!!! (world premiere) (Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts); Tapestry (Oregon Cabaret Theatre).
He has served as an accompanist at the American Music and Dramatic Academy in Hollywood and is also the Musical Director for Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell's It Takes Two, touring regularly throughout the state and the Southeast.
Guest Artists for 2012–2013
Broadway Comes to Peace
Broadway: stand-by for the ladies of [title of show] , created the role of “Hatchet-Face” in Cry-Baby: the Musical and understudied and performed the lead role of Jenny in In My Life.
Off-Broadway: The Extraordinary Ordinary (Karen), [title of show] (Susan & Heidi stand-by); I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (woman 1); The Marvelous Wonderettes (Missy Miller), How To Save the World and Find True Love in 90 Minutes (Violet & Julie stand-by) and I Love You Because (NYC Woman) recording on PS Classics.
Courtney has also had the opportunity to create roles in numerous readings and workshops of new musicals by incredible writers like Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron; David A. Austin; Sandy Rustin, Dave Rossmer and Dan Lipton; and Rinne Groff to name a few. Graduate: University of Michigan Musical Theatre. Jersey girl. Member: AEA.
Sonya studied theatrical design at William Peace University, UNC-Greensboro and Northwestern University. She has been the Resident Scenic Designer for William Peace Theatre for the last eleven years and continues to design throughout the Triangle. Selected Scenic Design credits include: for William Peace Theatre: These Shining Lives, Jane Eyre, A Shayna Maidel, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, A Winter's Tale, Scapin, The Shape of Things, My Sister in this House, Cry Havoc, King Lear, The Misanthrope, A Doll’s House, Uncle Vanya, The Curious Savage, An Inspector Calls, The Children’s Hour, Suddenly Last Summer, Eye of God, Measure for Measure, Antigone, Little Eyolf; for Burning Coal Theatre Company: Company, All the King’s Men, Lipstick Traces, Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Safe House, 90 in 90; for University Theatre at NCSU: Sweet Charity; for Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy: The Last Five Years, Graceland/Asleep on the Wind, Proof, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Starting Here, Starting Now; for Manbites Dog Theatre: Fit to be Tied, Now You See Mel and for Duke University Theatre Studies: Gulag Follies.
Stevan Dupor is a freelance entertainment designer and owner of a theatrical lighting / sound design and equipment rental company, DuporDesign, Inc., located here in Raleigh. Stevan completed his technical training at North Carolina State University, earning a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Computer Engineering. For WPU, Stevan has provided audio for the musicals Cabaret and Godspell, as well as Ray Walker, Erin Davie, and Jason Dula in the Broadway Comes to Peace concert series. DuporDesign has also provided audio support for the Peace Singers and for the WPU commencement ceremony. Stevan has designed sound for a variety of productions ranging from musical theatre to rock concerts and special events. Some of his favorite local productions to have been a part of include: bare: the musical (NGT), The Robber Bridegroom (Hot Summer Nights), Cabaret (WPU), Dracula (WTC) and Lurrie Bell in concert.
David is Technical Director for Peace on his available weekends. Previous shows include Scapin, Winter's Tale, Uncle Vanya, THEmisanthrope, My Sister in This House, Cry Havoc, The Shape of Things, Jane Eyre, These Shining Lives, Cabaret and Godspell.. David works full time as the Technical Director at NCSU University Theatre.
Laura Parker has been designing and creating costumes for theatrical productions and historic reenactors since 1999, with a focus on historically accurate reproductions and historically inspired fantasy costuming. Her work has concentrated on the experimental archaeology of clothing construction, with an emphasis on how cut, fabric, and construction details affect physical movement in European Medieval and Renaissance clothing. Costume design credits include Jane Eyre, These Shining Lives and Cabaret at William Peace University, Charlotte’s Web and Brighton Beach Memoirs at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre. Costume technician and draping credits include Twelfth Night, Piece of My Heart, Inspecting Carol, Urinetown, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Dixie Swim Club, Southern Comforts, WMKS: Where Music Kills Sorrow, The Philadelphia Story, Garden District, Little Women and Rent at North Carolina State University. Laura is the staff draper and costume technician at University Theatre at North Carolina State University.
Circle Mirror Transformation
Hampton is pleased to be returning to William Peace University as a guest artist this season. Last year he performed in all three productions at Peace- Cabaret, These Shining Lives and Jane Eyre. Past credits for Peace include Jeff in The Curious Savage, The Duke of Cornwall in King Lear, Waffles in Uncle Vanya and Phillip in The Shape of Things and Duvid in A Shayna Maidel. Hampton has also performed in Chapel Hill at Deepdish Theater as Sean in Orson’s Shadow and Florindo in Servant of Two Masters and Kevin in Superior Donuts. Hampton can be seen as Harker in the film Wesley and has also done local commercials and industrials. He is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University. Hampton performed in Romeo and Juliet starring Evan Rachel Wood at Raleigh’s very own Theatre in The Park. He has performed professionally in Chicago, Los Angeles and is glad to call Raleigh home.