Alumni News

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Eric F. Avery
Years at KU: 2002-2006
Degree from KU: B.G.S. in Theatre and Film, emphasis in Theatre

Since leaving KU, Eric has been working as a professional theatre artist across the U.S. In 2013 he received his MFA in Interdisciplinary Theatre from Townson University.

Alexander R. Brown
Years at KU: 1966-1968 and 1983-1986
Degree from KU: M.A. Speech and Drama, with an emphasis in Radio-Television-Film

Mr. Brown writes: I hold a Master of Arts degree in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of Kansas. My broadcast experience began in the cable industry and includes videography, audio, editing, film-style and multi-camera directing, live news direction, and audio talent work in video and on public radio. I have taught media at the University of Kansas, Washburn University, Mississippi State University, and Arkansas State University. At Mississippi State, I also served as producer/director/cable channel manager as a professional staff member of the University Television Center. I am currently on the faculty of the Radio/Television Department in the College of Communications at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where I teach courses in video production, advanced video production, radio production, corporate media production, and film studies. Before my media career, I was a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer with earned degrees in dance from the University of Oklahoma (B.F.A.) and Florida State University (M.A.). I performed professionally and was on the dance department faculties of Florida State University, Western Illinois University, Radford College, and the University of South Florida.

Department of Radio/Television:
P. O. Box 2160
State University, AR 72467

David Carey
Years at KU: 1978-1980
Degree from KU: B.G.S. in Speech and Drama

David arrived at the KU theatre as Candide and was offered "the best of all possible worlds" studying voice in the music department and performing in a number of productions in the theatre department. Though best known for napping on the vinyl sofas in the green room, David was awake long enough to also appear in Little Foxes, Grease, Romeo and Juliet, Louanne Hampton Lavety Oberlander, A Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Boyfriend, and Equus along with various other class productions. Behind the scenes memories include blowing up the basement for You Can't Take It With You and shoveling sand for 10 hours during strike for "Chalk Circle". Good times. Since his years at KU David has performed in many productions in Minneapolis and South Dakota and appeared breifly in a film starring Michael O'Keefe which was seen by very few people...thankfully. David and his wife Renee (Franceschiello) live in Minneapolis where David is a video and film producer/director with Savvy Jack, a company he launched in 2006.

Bill Doty
Years at KU: 1964-1965
Degree from KU: B.S. in Journalism (Radio, TV, Film)

Mr. Doty worked in film (actor, extra, double, stand-in) in Hollywood and at Calvin Productions in Kansas City, before, during and after attending KU. Though in Radio, TV, Film, he studied at KU Theatre and continued acting (West Side Story, Little Mary Sunshine). After graduation he free-lanced, writing on-air promotion for CBS Network. He studio directed live television for Metromedia stations including KTTV, Los Angeles; was named Director of Production Publicity for Metromedia Producers Corporation, Los Angeles - Merv Griffin Show (ten years), NBC's Little Gloria, Happy at Last, and more. He Associate Produced Godunov: The World to Dance In on PBS; Co-Produced Glenda Jackson's Princess and The Goblin at Television International, London. He wrote and directed (Anne Bancroft) segment opens for I Claudius and edited the series for syndication. In 1984, he was hired away from Metromedia to produce on-air promotion for The MGM-UA Entertainment Company's FAME (all six years) and Kids, Incorporated. In 1991 he left television to become an archivist for The National Archives, working on Garbo, Chaplin, Sam Spiegel, Bette Davis, Streisand, and Lew Wasserman biographies. Bill retired to Kansas City, where he has publicized the jazz community, including three-time Grammy nominee Karrin Allyson. He currently represents Louise Harrison, sister to the late Beatle George Harrison for personal appearances and her forthcoming memoir.


Nicole S. Gonzalez
Years at KU: 2001-2003
Degree from KU: M.A. in Theatre & Film

After graduation, Nicole earned her M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She was a semi-finalist judge for the Nevada Film Office's Screenwriting Contest, and a quarterfinalist in the Scriptapalooza TV Writing Competition. She has a screenplay in competition at the Beverly Hills Film Festival. A TV series she created is currently in pre-production in Arizona where she freelances as a script doctor.

Jennifer Jacob
Years at KU: 1996-2000
Degree from KU: B.A. in Theatre & Film

Since leaving KU, Jennifer has been working all over the country as a costumer. She spent 3 seasons with the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA, 8 summers at Seaside Music Theater in Daytona Beach, FL, a summer at the Santa Fe Opera, and 3 years at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC. In 2006, she finished her MFA in Costume Production and Management at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. She is currently living in New York City and working as a shopper for Carelli Costumes, one of the Broadway costume shops. She also freelances as a shopper and costume design assistant.

Keith Jochim
Years at KU: 1959-1963
Degree from KU: B.A. in Theatre

MA from University of Michigan
Post Grad Work at Berkeley
Post Graduate Summer Study at the University of Vienna

Mr. Jochim writes: I am a working professional actor & photographer living in Providence, RI. I would love to share with the students & faculty some of my experiences over the last 45 years in the professional theatre. I have just returned from a year of performances in four different repertory theatres through out the country. I had the good fortune this year to play Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon at the Rep Theatre of St. Louis, Richard Feynmann in QED at MIT and the Central Square Theatre in Cambridge, Mr Fezziwig & Xmas Present in A Christmas Carol at the Cincinnati Playhouse, and perform in a new Off Broadway production called Gray Area in New York City. I have also been a theatrical & resume photographer for the last 25 years. Please visit my website, Keith Jochim Photo.

289 Merrymount Drive
Warwick,RI 02888

G.J. "Jerry" Koellsted
Years at KU: 1965-1970
Degree from KU: B.S. in Theatre & B.A. in Speech & Drama

After graduation, he served on the faculty of Auburn University in Alabama for 5 years. He was an Assistant Stage Manager at Starlight Theatre In Kansas City for three years, and Lighting Coordinator for one year. He retired from the Alabama Department of Public Health in 2004 where he was a restaurant inspector for 18 years.

David Montee
Years at KU: 1984-1987
Degree from KU: Ph.D.

Instructor of Theatre Arts David Montee has directed and acted in more than 150 stage productions over the course of his professional and educational career. New York acting credits include work at Town Hall, Queens Theatre-in-the-Park, Tribeca Repertory Theatre and First ACT Theatre; regional acting credits include work at the Hilberry Theatre in Detroit, Chamber Theatre of Boston, Boarshead Theatre and Newburyport Theatre. He was formerly the Artistic Director of the Arts Encounter Theatre Company in Lansing, Mich. Additionally, he has performed in feature films and industrials throughout the country. He is the author of Translating Shakespeare, A Guidebook for Young Actors. Additional writings have been published in periodicals such as Theatre History Studies, The Uncommon Reader, The Drama/Theatre Teacher, and Teaching Theatre.
Dr. Montee has received educational awards from every institution at which he has taught in his 25 years of instruction. He has been cited numerous times by Who's Who Among America's Teachers and named as a Distinguished Teacher by the U.S. Department of Education's Presidential Scholars program twice, in 2001, and again in 2009. In 2004, he was awarded the Coca-Cola Distinguished Teacher in the Arts from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Many of his former students from Interlochen have performed over their subsequent professional careers in featured roles on television, in films, on Broadway, and with prestigious stage companies throughout the United States and internationally, including the Public Theatre's Shakespeare in Central Park series at the Delacorte Theatre, the Acting Company, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Utah Shakespeare Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company venues in both London and Stratford.

Instructor of Theatre, former Director of the Theatre Division
Interlochen Center for the Arts

Bill Nesbitt
Years at KU: 1977-1979
Degree from KU: M.A. in Theatre

Rev. Nesbitt writes: After KU I went to L.A. to pursue an acting career. I had some parts on General Hospital and had some commercials and some stage work but in 1980 trusted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and went to seminary in 1983. I have been in the ministry for over 20 years now. I am married to Lisa and we have 3 kids.

505 Eagle Ct.
Stratford, WI 54484

Kip Niven
Years at KU: 1964-1968
Degree from KU: B.A. in Theatre with an Acting Concentration

Kip continues as a company member of the award-winning radio comedy show, Right Between the Ears, heard nationally every Saturday night on Sirius Satellite Radio, and in the Greater Kansas City area on KCMO-AM (Saturday nights) and Kansas Public Radio (Sunday nights). He says that It remains the most fun he's ever had in 30-something years as a professional actor. He appeared with guest star Jamie Farr in Busybody, a 1940s murder mystery spoof, at The New Theatre Restaurant, in Overland Park, KS. He was invited to Chandler-Gilbert Community College, in Chandler, AZ, to present the World Premier of A Dozen Rootabagas, a theatre for young audiences play he's adapted from twelve Carl Sandburg children's stories.

8109 Sagamore Road
Leawood, KS 66206

Harry B. Parker, Ph.D.
Years at KU: 1980-1987
Degrees from KU: MA in Theatre, Emphasis in Acting/Directing and Ph.D. in Theatre & Film

Dr. Harry Parker is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Theatre at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Harry received a BFA in Theatre from TCU, and from the University of Kansas he earned an MA in Theatre: Acting/Directing, and a Ph.D. in Theatre and Film. He previously served on the faculties of Westmar College (Iowa), and Emporia State University (Kansas). For seven summers Harry was the Assistant Artistic Director at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, that state's largest professional theatre. He has directed more than 60 professional, community and academic theatre productions across the country including credits at the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), Stages Repertory Theatre (Houston); American Heartland Theatre (Kansas City); Lyric Theatre (Oklahoma City), Our Town Theatre (New York), Circle Theatre (Fort Worth), and Amphibian Stage Productions (Fort Worth). He currently serves on the boards of the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County and Circle Theatre. He is also the current National Vice-Chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and has served as a respondent for more than 125 KCACTF productions nationwide. He has twice been honored with the Kennedy Center Medallion for his service to KCACTF.

TCU Department of Theatre
PO Box 297510
Fort Worth, TX 76129

Bill Russell
Years at KU: 1970-1971
Bill Russell wrote the book and lyrics for the critically acclaimed Broadway musical Side Show, receiving a Tony nomination for book and sharing a nomination with composer Henry Krieger for score. He co-wrote the book and lyrics for Off-Broadway's long-running musical Pageant (with collaborators Frank Kelly, Albert Evans and Robert Longbottom), and directed it at the King's Head Theatre in London. That production transferred to the West End. Mr. Russell authored the book and lyrics for Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (music by Janet Hood), directing it in New York and in London's Fringe and West End, among many others. His other credits as Bookwriter/Lyricist include: Off-Broadway's Fourtune and The Texas Chainsaw Musical (co-author), Family Style (Minneapolis) Lucky Duck (Old Globe, St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse) and Kept (with Henry Krieger and Steven Chbosky), which premiered at TheatreWorks of California.

Shannon Blake Skelton
Years at KU: 1991-1995
Degree from KU: B.A.

Shannon Blake Skelton completed his Ph.D. at The University of Wisconsin-Madison in Theatre and Drama in 2013. His dissertation focused on the late film, stage and screen work of the actor, playwright and director Sam Shepard. After his time at KU he instructed high school in Texas and New Mexico. He regularly contributes book reviews to scholarly journals and currently teaches composition and public speaking at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. Areas of research include: Contemporary American Drama, Transmediality, Critical Theory, Pedagogy, Popular Culture and Political Theatre of the 1930s. As a playwright he has had original works staged in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Wisconsin.

2 University Houses D
Madison, WI 53705

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