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.
Ysaÿe Alma is a dancer, choreographer and teaching artist from Chicago, IL. She is currently a 3rd year Dunham Technique Instructor candidate, an apprentice with Viver Brasil and studying Tahitian dance and culture at Nonosina Polynesia under the direction of Tiana N. Liufau. Ysaÿe graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BFA in Dance and Minor in Philosophy in 2013. She has also had the honor of studying dance at the Taipei National University of the Arts where she performed in work by Ming-Lung Yang. She has performed with professional dance companies such as Viver Brasil, Red Clay Dance, Aloha Chicago, The Humans, Momentum Sensorium, The Untitled Project and more. Since 2014 Ysaÿe has been a resident choreographer, ensemble-builder and ensemble member for Teatro Luna. Some of the recent plays she has choreographed include the play adaptation of The House on Mango Street directed by Alexandra Meda at Greenway Court Theater, The Real Life Adventures of Jimmy de Las Rosas at Free Street Theater directed by Ricardo Gamboa and Cinderella: The Remix directed by Coya Paz at Depaul University. This January Ysaÿe completed her Yoga Teacher training and Mind-Body Wellness and Social-Emotional Learning Teacher training with Breathe for Change. Ysaÿe creates with the intention to heal self and community while honoring tradition and cultural differences.
Alice Blumenfeld is the founder and artistic director of ABREPASO flamenco. The company’s name means to break open space and their mission is to deepen appreciation for flamenco and create original flamenco choreography, finding new entry points into and new pathways within flamenco. Recognitions include an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for Choreography (FY20), a YoungArts Silver winner, and a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. She has performed nationally and internationally and her workshops have been lauded by schools and universities across the U.S.
Blumenfeld grew up in Albuquerque, NM, immersed in flamenco culture. Graduating summa cum laude from NYU in Comparative Literature, literary & translation theories have shaped her approach to dance exploration. In 2012, she received a Fulbright to study choreography in Spain and upon her return to the U.S., Blumenfeld toured nationally with Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana and has been a guest artist with many of the preeminent flamenco companies in the U.S. Blumenfeld graduated from Hollins University with an MFA in Dance in 2017. She holds teaching certificates in Simonson Technique and Yoga. Blumenfeld is currently President of the Fulbright Association of Michigan/NW Ohio and a teaching artist at the Rainey Institute and Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center in Cleveland.
Indya Childs is from Atlanta, Ga and received her BA in dance from Kennesaw State University. Before the pandemic, Indya was living in New York and dancing with Abby Z and The New Utility. She is currently the director of the Peace, Love, and Dance Project organization which officially launched in September 2020.
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.
Tony Howell is a business coach and digital designer for Emmy, Grammy, Tony, Oscar, and Olivier award-winning artists. His work has been featured by Google, Squarespace, SAG-AFTRA, Actors' Equity Association, and more. Before becoming an entrepreneur, he was an actor for 20+ years—performing on Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours, and more. In addition to weekly free content and scholarships to his quarterly programs, Tony donates a percentage of profits to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and 100% of all the profits from his book, Artists to Artist
to the ACLU. Learn more at TonyHowell.co
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.
Kim Katzberg is a Brooklyn-based queer writer and performer who has been creating genre-bending, darkly comedic, multimedia works for theater since 2010. In 2011, Katzberg’s breakout solo show Penetrating the Space, which she developed as Artist-in-Residence at Dixon Place and presented in the Sublet Series at HERE, was the life-changing endeavor that gave her a place within the theater world. The New York Times wrote, “Penetrating the Space has a glowing, vulnerable, haunting center.” She debuted her second play, Darkling, at IRT Theater in 2014 as Artist-in-Residence, for which she was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award for “Outstanding Solo Performance.” Katzberg workshopped her third play Terry: Recovering Pet Detective in Ars Nova’s ANT Fest 2015. It was renamed Strays, premiering in 2016 at The Brick Theater, where she was Artist-In-Residence. Katzberg won the 2016 New York Innovative Theatre Award for “Outstanding Original Short Script.” Strays is included in The Best American Short Plays, 2015-2016, published by Applause Books. She workshopped her most recent play, Dad in a Box, at Dixon Place in 2019, prior to a three-week run at HERE and an encore at The Wild Project in January 2020. Katzberg won the 2019 New York Innovative Theatre Award for “Outstanding Solo Performance” and was nominated for “Outstanding Original Short Script” and “Outstanding Innovative Design” for the video pieces in the show. Katzberg has performed original work at the Bushwick Starr in Catch Performance Series, Dead Darlings at Judson Memorial Church, Showgasm at Ars Nova, The Upstart Program at BAX and in Little Theatre at Dixon Place. In September-October 2020, Katzberg was a resident artist in the inaugural Downtown Brooklyn Rehearsal Residency Initiative which provided residents with free outdoor rehearsal space. Katzberg received a BFA in Acting from The Experimental Theatre Wing at NYU and an MFA in Acting from Columbia University. She is represented by Renee Glicker of About Artists Agency.
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.
Jackie Nowicki originates from Chicago, Illinois. She received her BFA in Dance from Western Michigan University, where she graduated summa cum laude and was named Presidential Scholar in April 2008, and she was chosen as the Department of Dance's Distinguished Alumni for the 2016 school year. She danced for Pilobolus Dance Theater in their PCS company performing for them all over the world, and is certified to teach for their Educational Outreach Program. Her professional credits also include dancing for Mike Esperanza's BARE Dance Company, Calen Kurka's :pushing progress, and Marlena Wolfe's The Wolfe Project. Jackie worked as a part-time faculty member at Western Michigan University's Department of Dance, and for ten years had taught all over the New York dance scene including being on faculty at Peridance Capezio Center, and guesting at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center. In Chicago, she is currently on faculty at Visceral Dance Center, Extensions Dance Center, COMMON Conservatory, The Rooted Space, and was a guest faculty member at Lou Conte Dance Studio. Jackie’s athletic, daring, and unique approach to movement has also landed her numerous master classes and conventions throughout the United States and even internationally in Rome, Italy. She is on faculty for Celebrity Dance Conventions, Dance Device Lab, Turn it Up Dance Challenge, and Stage Door Workshops, specializing in Contemporary and Improv classes. Jackie is the artistic director of her own contemporary dance company based out of New York and Chicago, NOW Dance Project. Her choreography has been commissioned by numerous colleges, dance companies, studios, and universities including The Ailey School, Elon University, The HARTT School, Salve Regina University, Western Michigan University, Urbanity, the Peridance Certificate Program, and many more. Jackie’s work has received numerous acclamations and awards and was even selected to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, for the American College Dance Association's 2016 National Festival. She also judges for numerous dance competitions in the U.S. and Canada and is a nationally certified personal trainer.
Maree ReMalia is a choreographer, performer, teaching artist, and certified Gaga instructor. An adoptee born in South Korea and raised in Ohio, movement has supported her in an ongoing process of self-discovery, liberation, connection, expression, healing, and care. She welcomes individuals across disciplines, identities, and experience levels into processes where participants can celebrate moving bodies and a diverse range of expressions. Her collaborative performance projects have been presented at venues such as BAAD! Bronx Academy of Art and Dance (NY), Cleveland Public Theatre, Dance Place (DC), Gibney DoublePlus Festival (NY), Kelly Strayhorn Theater (PA), La MaMa Experimental Theater Club (NY), Mahaney Center for the Arts (VT), Movement Research at the Judson Church (NY), New Hazlett Theater (PA), and Daegu International Dance Festival (South Korea). ReMalia is currently a performer in Lida Winfield’s Imaginary. She has danced in the work of Gabriel Forestieri, Bebe Miller, Ohad Naharin, Blaine Siegel and Jil Stifel, Christopher Williams, and Noa Zuk and was previously a member of MegLouise Dance, MorrisonDance, and STAYCEE PEARL dance project. Since earning her MFA at The Ohio State University, she was selected as the Andrew W. Mellon Interdisciplinary Choreographer for Middlebury College Movement Matters Residency and has been faculty at Bates Dance Festival, Lion’s Jaw Performance + Dance Festival, Point Park University, University of Florida, and University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has been a teaching artist with Colorado Conservatory of Dance and Dreams of Hope Queer Youth Arts. Maree is based in Milwaukee, WI on traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk and Menominee homeland, where the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida and Mohican nations remain present. www.mareeremalia.com
Helen Simoneau, originally from Rimouski, Québec, is the artistic director and choreographer of
Helen Simoneau Danse. Described as “a Choreographer-on-the-rise” by Dance Magazine,
Simoneau creates work that exists at the intersection of intent and impact.
Her commissions include The Juilliard School, Oregon Ballet Theatre, the American Dance
Festival, UNC School of the Arts, The Yard, Springboard Danse Montréal, The Ailey School, the
University of the Arts (PA), and the Swiss International Coaching Project (SiWiC) in Zurich.
Simoneau was a resident artist at Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYU/Tisch, Bates Dance Festival,
New York Dance Lab, The National Choreographic Center in Akron, the University of Buffalo via
the Creative Arts Initiative, and has received fellowships from The NYU Center for Ballet and the
Arts, the Bogliasco Foundation, and twice from the North Carolina Arts Council.
Her work has been presented nationally and internationally at The Guggenheim Museum
(NYC), Dance Place (DC), Joyce SoHo (NYC), Tangente (Montréal), The Aoyama Round
Theatre (Tokyo), the L.I.G. Art Hall Busan (South Korea), Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out (MA),
PACT-Zollverein in Essen (Germany), Athens International Dance Festival (Greece), and the
Shanghai Dance Festival (China). Simoneau was awarded 1st place for Choreography at the
Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany.
She was recently a Fellow at Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab and is the current
Choreography Fellow at New York City Center.
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.
Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Raphael Xavier is an award-winning artist and alumnus of the world renowned Hip Hop dance company, Rennie Harris Puremovement. A 2013 Pew Fellowship Grantee, 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and 2016 United States Artist Fellow, Xavier has been a professional breaker/dancer for the last 20 years, working in a variety of fields including music, photography and film. A self-taught Hip Hop dancer and Breaking practitioner since 1983, Xavier continues to learn and recreate new ways to expand the vocabulary of the dance form through constant research of the culture, performance, practice and by staying present in the community. His extensive research in Hip Hop forms and culture, specifically Breaking, has led to the creation of Ground-Core, a Somatic dance technique that gives the practitioner a better understanding of the body within all dance forms. His goal is to make the form accessible to any body type and level. Ground-Core technique is featured in most of his choreography and repertory works. He is currently in production on a new repertory show entitled Sassafrazz: From Roots to Mastery. The production features a Jazz quartet and 4 Breakers highlighting the parallels of street dance, improvisation and African-American forms. Xavier currently lives in Philadelphia and is a professor at Princeton University, where he teaches the History of Hip Hop Dance and Culture and Intro to Breaking courses.