The Department of Theatre and Dance is proud to host numerous working professionals from across the disciplines who spend time on campus making art and guiding students artistic growth. Through this unique opportunity to interact with established theatre and dance artists, your artistic and educational experience will be deeply enriched. Below are a few of the many guest artists who have been on campus in recent years.
Joe Deer is an award-winning director, choreographer, performer, teacher and author. He has been a part of over one hundred-fifty productions including the Broadway revival of “Guys and Dolls,” the national touring productions of “Anything Goes,” “The American Dancemachine,” and “Singin' In The Rain,” and Off-Broadway works including “Rainbow and Subway Series.” Mr. Deer is also a prolific author, most notably of “Directing In Musical Theatre: An Essential Guide,” and the definitive textbook on its subject, “Acting In Musical Theatre: A Comprehensive Course.” Mr. Deer was a guest artist during the 2017 Theatre Education Week, teaching master classes and mentoring Theatre Education students.
Steven Dietz is a lauded playwright whose 30-plus plays have been produced Off-Broadway and at regional theatres across the country, not to mention internationally in more than 13 countries. Recent plays include the Pulitzer-nominated “Last of the Boys” (produced by Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago), the Steinberg Award finalist Becky's New Car, and the Edgar Award-winning Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. Other plays include “Fiction,” “Shooting Star,” “Inventing van Gogh,” “The Nina Variations,” “Private Eyes,” “Halcyon Days,” “God's Country,” and “Lonely Planet.” Mr. Dietz served as a guest artist at Ball State during the 2017 Discovery New Works Festival.
Ryan Johnson [@rkj.dance] is an award-winning Artist, who seeks to provoke, inspire, and hold space for cultural dialogue and reflection by presenting historically informed, intellectually rigorous, and genre-bending performance and dance engagement activities. He is the co-founder and Artistic Director for SOLE Defined Percussive Dance company, an artist in residence at Dance Place in Washington, DC. SOLE Defined's mission is to re-establish percussive dance as a vital part of the concert dance community while cultivating art education programming in historically disinvested communities. His work has been performed globally throughout Africa, North, South, and Central America, Southeast Asia, and on stages including Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Clark Theater and The John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts, along with commissioned new works by Universities across the United States. As an educator, Johnson has served on faculty as an Adjunct Professor at Ball State University, Coppin State University, and guest lecturer at universities across the country. He has taught at Broadway Dance Center, Millennium LV, LA Tap Festival at Debbie Allen School of Dance, Motor City Tap Festival, and Black College Dance Festival and numerous dance studios, conventions, and festivals across the United States.
Kanomé Jones is a casting director, director and producer and greatly enjoys working in partnership with several theater companies. Most recently, she served as the Community Engagement Coordinator & Dramaturg for Re-Writing the Declaration (NYU Education Department), a dynamic participatory play inviting folks to question and restructure the historical document. She was also the Associate Producer at Victory Gardens Theater, where she led the casting and producing team in shepherding groundbreaking and thoughtful work such as The First Deep Breath, Cambodian Rock Band, How To Defend Yourself and Tiny Beautiful Things. With Midsommer Flight, she served as the Associate Producer, facilitating casting for multiple seasons and, starting in 2016, producing their annual holiday hit, Twelfth Night, at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Kanomé's directing credits include: Stop Kiss (Arc Theatre & Pride Films and Plays), Plainclothes (Co-Director, Broken Nose Theatre), She Kills Monsters (Aurora University), Kingdom (Broken Nose Theatre), Mansfield Park (Assistant Director, Northlight Theater), Radio Golf (Assistant Director, Court Theatre) and Insurrection: Holding History (Assistant Director, Stage Left Theatre). She is a proud alumni of the Actors Theatre of Louisville Apprenticeship, a BFA graduate of Missouri State University and serves on the Board of Directors for Midsommer Flight. Outside of theatre, Kanomé is a NASM-certified personal trainer and enjoys watching anime.
Jerrilyn Lanier has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design and Production from The University of Alabama. Roll Tide! Jerrilyn has costume designed at the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, Millbrook Playhouse, and film on the Gulf Coast. She also does freelance wig work and has worked in the wig department at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Last year she traveled to 8 universities to give in-person workshops for Bridging the Gap. Bridging the Gap means so much to Jerrilyn. It is a true passion project. Bridging the Gap has opened the door to some important conversations that were missing in the theatre industry.
Kathy is a professional Dialect/Text/Vocal coach based in Chicago. Past BSU credits include Twelfth Night, Alias Grace, The 39 Steps, Major Barbara and Guys and Dolls. Professional Chicago coaching credits include Marriott Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Windy City Playhouse, Porchlight Music Theatre, Theo Unique, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Raven Theatre, Steep Theatre, and A Red Orchid Theatre. Regional credits include The Clarence Brown Theatre, The Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and TheatreSquared. International credits include The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Jane Austen Festival in Bath, The Camden Fringe, and The Buxton Fringe.
Tom Moore is an award-winning director whose original Broadway production of “Grease” ran for 3,388 performances. He has also directed Carol Burnett in the original production of “Moon Over Buffalo,” the premier of Marsha Norma’s Pulitzer-winning “‘night, Mother,” and many others. Mr. Moore has received Emmy nominations for directing the hit TV drama series “LA Law” and “ER,” and the comedy series “Mad About You.” He’s also directed episodes of “Gilmore Girls,” “Ally McBeal,” “Dharma and Greg,” “The Wonder Years,” “Cheers,” and “Northern Exposure,” among others. In the spring of 2017, Mr. Moore conducted directing workshops and master classes in the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Jeanine Tesori has written a diverse catalog for Broadway, opera, film and television. Along with Missy Mazzoli, Ms. Tesori is one of the first female composers commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. Her musicals include: Fun Home (Tony Award, Pulitzer finalist); Soft Power (Pulitzer finalist); Caroline, or Change (Olivier Award); Violet; Shrek; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Twelfth Night; A Free Man of Color; Mother Courage (starring Meryl Streep). Her Operas include: Blue (Libretto, Tazewell Thompson); A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (Tony Kushner); The Lion, The Unicorn and Me (J.D. McClatchy); and the upcoming Grounded (George Brant). In addition to her work as a composer, she is the founding artistic director of New York City Center’s Encores! Off-Center Series; the founding creative director of A BroaderWay, an arts empowerment program for young women; and a lecturer at Yale University.