Instructional/Production Short-Term Staff

Scott Cummins – Visiting Assistant Professor (Acting/Directing)
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Scott joined the Department as a Visiting Assistant Professor in August 2016 as an Acting and Directing staff member.   He is an an accomplished theatre maker and have been working professionally for over 25 years.   He has been involved in over 80 productions throughout the country as either an actor, director and/or fight choreographer.  He has worked multiple times at such prestigious theatres as The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, The Writers’ Theatre, Famous Door Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Theatre, The Next Theatre, Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Odyssey Theatre (LA), and The Road Theatre (LA) to name a few.  He has also received much recognition for his work including several Ovation Awards and nominations, LA Weekly Awards and appeared on several “Critics Choice”lists while in Los Angeles and received Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations, an After Dark Award and been on many “Best Of” lists in Chicago.

He has taught at several schools that will aid them in becoming complete artists.  He received his MFA from Northwestern University in Directing (where he taught directing) and have a BFA in Theatre in Acting from University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign.

Michael Cobb – Visiting Assistant Professor (Acting/Voice)
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Michael served our Department as a Visiting Assistant Professor from 2012 – 2015 and we have the honor of having him back this August 2016. He has appeared in leading and featured roles at Tony Award-winning Trinity Rep, where he was a member of the resident acting company under both Adrian Hall and Anne Bogart, at the Dallas Theatre Center, and on PBS, among many others. He has been directed by and acted opposite Academy Award and Tony alumni in large and small cast shows, and directed, produced, and performed in theatre and dance/theatre works both independently and for others, including a stint as Director/Executive Producer of the (now) Gamm Theatre in Rhode Island, where he helped re-establish a resident company. He has served as Production Vocal Coach at the Guthrie Theater, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and the American Repertory Theatre, and for directors Libby Appel, Robert Woodruff, Valerie Curtis-Newton, Mark Wing-Davey, Martha Clarke, Dominique Serrand, and Ethan McSweeney. Michael served as Head of Voice, Speech, and Text at the National Theatre Conservatory from 2005 – 2012, and has taught for the B.F.A. Actor Training Programs at the University of Minnesota and the University of Utah, for the American Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre School, the State University of New York at Potsdam, St. Lawrence University and Rhode Island College.

Michael holds a Master of Fine Arts from the A.R.T./M.X.A.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard, a Master of Arts in Theatre Studies from Brown University, and is a graduate of the Trinity Rep Conservatory.

James Wagoner – Lecturer
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James is a returning Lecturer to our Department this Academic Year 2016-17.    Previous to all the classes he has taught for our Department, James has was an Adjunct Professor at the School of Theatre Arts at Illinois Wesleyan University and an Instructional Assistant Professor at the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State University.

He possesses a background in Directing/Playwriting that dates back from 1994-2012; he has been a voice, dialect and text coach from 1991-2013, has done sound design/composition 2004-2013, been involved in film production, has acting in select roles in Theatre and in Film, Television and Radio.

James holds a MFA in Theatre:Directing from Illinois State University.  A BA in Communications: Playwriting from Georgia State University and a BFA in Acting from Webster University.

Whitney Derendinger – Lecturer
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Whitney is returning to us as a Lecturer again this Academic Year 2016-17.   Whitney is an alumni of our Department and we are excited to have one of our own continue on in our Department.

Whitney has been an instructor for Children’s Theatre of Madison (CTM) Summer Shakespeare, UW-Madison, Stroller’s Theatre, CTM’s Peter Pan, Door County Shakespeare, Arts Wisconsin, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.

He has experience as being a director and fight choreographer for productions at CTM, Theatre Lila, Door Country Shakespeare, and UW-Madison.   He has done film and voiceover work from 2010-2013 and has acting in several professional and academic venues, such as, CTM, American Players Theatre, Mercury Players, Alley Stage, Forward Theatre, etc.

Whitney graduated with a MFA from UW-Madison in 2012 and a BA from Truman State University.

Catrina Sparkman – Lecturer
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Catrina Sparkman joins us this Academic Year 2016-17 as a Lecturer to teach TD357 Theatre for Cultural and Social Awareness Program.

She is an accomplished and self-motivated educator with over 13 plus years of hands-on
experience in creative arts management, curriculum design and business ownership, excellent communication skills across multicultural environments.

She graduated from UW-Madison in African American Studies in 2016 and she has a BA in English Creating Writing.

Nicole White – First Hand (Costumes)
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Nicole White is joining us this Academic Year 2016-17 in the Costume Studio to assist Jim Greco, the Costume Studio Supervisor half-time.

Nicole has worked with Jim Greco in the University Theatre’s costume shop for over a decade as a guest artist.  Nicole has used her sewing skills in a variety of settings, including film/theatrical costume shops (professional and educational) and home interior workrooms.  She is a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 251 here in Madison where she utilizes a wide variety of skills (wardrobe, hair/makeup, electrics, and carpentry) on a regular basis.

Nicole holds a BA in Theatre.

Tara Austin – Scenic Charge Artist
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Tara Austin joins us as the Scenic Charge Artist this Academic Year 2016-17 in the Scene Shop assisting Rob Wagner, the Scenic Studio Supervisor, half-time.

Tara graduated with a MA from the UW-Madison in 2016 and will be graduating with her MFA in Painting in 2017 from UW-Madison.   Tara has worked as a Scenic Painter in our Department as a Teaching Assistant and also a Scenic Designer for 2016 Summer Production of The Complete Works by William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised).

We are thrilled to have her on board and look forward to her working with us in 2016-17 productions and with the students.

Gregory Silver – Scenic Carpenter
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Gregory will be joining us this Academic Year 2016-2017 as a Scenic Carpenter in the Scene Shop, working with Rob Wagner our Scenic Studio Supervisor, half-time.

Gregory started building scenery in 1992 as a student at Madison West Highschool and over the past 24 years he has made a career as a stagehand and as a scenic carpenter.   He is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE Local 251) and has worked on countless theatrical and music productions such as the annual UW Varsity Band concert, major motion pictures, University Opera, Madison Opera, etc.

Gregory has a BA in Biological Aspects of Conservation and Certifications in ETCP Rigger- Arena and Theatre.

Shannon Jones – Properties Master
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Shannon will be joining us this Academic Year 2016-2017 as the Properties Master and will be working for Rob Wagner, our Scenic Studio Supervisor, half-time.

Shannon graduated in May 2016 with a BFA in Studio Art and a BA in Theatre and Drama right here at UW-Madison.   She has continuously been involved with various productions within and outside of our Theatre Department, often as a properties artisan.   She has specifically served as a Properties Master or Assistant Properties Master from 2013-2015.   She has also served as a Stage Manager, Light/Sound Board Operator, Run Crew and Scenic Carpenter on our shows.

We look forward to having Shannon on board for our upcoming productions and assisting with students.