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2009 Theatre Faculty

John Mauldin
Theatre Division Chair

John Mauldin joined the MTSU faculty in the Fall of 2003. He received his MFA from Florida Atlantic University in 2001. He received his undergraduate degree, BS in Speech & Theatre from MTSU. John currently performs with Ideaprov, Nashville's leading Improv Theatre Company. John is also Theatre Auditions Coordinator for Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts. He thoroughly enjoys working with new students each year in the Freshperson's Showcase.

Kate Goodwin
Theatre Production Coordinator

Kate Goodwin, a fourth year veteran of GSFTA, is a 2000 graduate of the Theatre program at MTSU and is currently pursuing her MFA in Stage Management at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Prior to returning for a graduate degree, Kate chaired the Theatre Department at the Nashville School of the Arts where she taught and directed for six years. She is thrilled to once again be working with such talented young people, as she has seriously missed her high school students now that she's back in college.

Bill Bowers

As an actor, mime and educator, Bill Bowers has traveled throughout the United States. His original mime shows, 'NIGHT SWEETHEART 'NIGHT BUTTERCUP and UNDER A MONTANA MOON have been produced Off Broadway to critical raves.

Margo Jefferson of the The NEW YORK TIMES writes,

"To watch Bill Bowers was to see the technical elements of a style that brings Marcel Marceau readily to mind, joined to the American West.

Mime can be wonderful - the air between him and us was his palette.";

His Broadway credits include Zazu in THE LION KING, and Leggett in THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL. He has also appeared in New York at Ensemble Studio Theater, Here, LA MA MA, St. Anne's Warehouse, and the NY Fringe Festival. Bill's regional credits include Berkshire Theater Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, Rep of St. Louis, Northshore Music Theater, Two River Theater, Arkansas Rep,George Street Playhouse, Montana Rep, PaperMill Playhouse, the Denver Center, Tennessee Rep, Seven Angels Theater, and the Eugene O'Neill Center.

Bill's latest play, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING, had a sold out run Off Broadway this season, and has also been produced at Berkshire Theater Festival and the Adirondack Theater Festival.

He is featured in the film TWO WEEKS NOTICE, and on television in Disney's OUT OF THE BOX, REMEMBER W.E.N.N., ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and ALL MY CHILDREN.

Committed to introducing MIME to new audiences, Bill has toured his solo show UNDER A MONTANA MOON all over the U.S. This year alone he performed at numerous settings, including one room schools in Montana and Nebraska , an Amish Colony, the Flathead Indian Reservation, Homeless shelters in New Jersey, as well as The Kennedy Center in DC, and Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater.

Bill works extensively with young people as a a guest artist for organizations such as City at Peace, Operation Smile, Very Special Arts (people with disabilities), Make-A-Wish-Foundation, Camp Comfort (for children who have lost a parent to cancer),and the Boston-based In the Best Interests of the Children, (an advocacy for children and teens living with HIV/AIDS.) He also provides after-school programs through the NewYork Public Library System.

Following the events of September 11, Bill traveled to NYC schools to work with children on how to express their feelings of anxiety and fear. Feature articles about his work have appeared in THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE DAILY NEWS.

For many years Bill toured the U.S. as Slim Goodbody, America's Health Hero, teaching school children how to take care of themselves and make healthy life choices. He helped to develop and perform educational shows about dinosaurs ( The Mesozoic Musical), substance abuse (Attention to Prevention), and the environment ( Healthy Planet.) He has also co-authored plays for young audiences including The Fables of Aesop and On the Move. Bill is a founding member of the Unlimited Potential Theater Company, comprised of actors with physical disabilities. He co-authored two plays for this company, Romance Mystery Theater, and Dorothy in Wonderland.

Bill is a popular teaching artist for educators, and provides in-service workshops on issues of Disabilities in the Classroom, Kinesthetic Learning and Creative Play, and Curriculum-based Arts and Aesthetic Education.

Bill holds an MFA from Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts, and an Honorary PhD from his alma mater, Rocky Mountain College.

He presently teaches at NewYork University, and is a teaching artist for the PaperMill Playhouse, Urban Stages, and the Institute for Arts and Humanities Education. He regularly presents workshops and master classes, and has studied with the legendary Marcel Marceau.

Jason Michaels

"If you want to be blown away, you need to see Jason!!! Think David Copperfield and David Blaine all in one." Dana Sims, Event Coordinator - Nashville, TN

Audience responses such as the one above are the reason Jason Michaels has established himself as one of today's premier entertainers. Known for a slight edginess and raw energy, Jason creates magic and illusions that will make you laugh, cry, cringe, and question your own understanding of reality.

The term "magician" simply isn't sufficient to describe Jason Michaels. Jason creates an unforgettable experience far beyond the scope of the traditional "magic show." While he makes excellent use of magic techniques, Jason also draws from an extensive theatrical background to add depth and power to his performances. By utilizing the mediums of acting, dance, music, and multimedia Jason Michaels is creating unforgettable magic and dynamic illusions that connect with his audiences. As in most great theater, Jason creates at times uncontrollable laughter and, at other times, tense, gripping suspense that forces you to the very edge of your seat.

Two unrelated events set Jason on his current journey. One, a chance audition for a theatrical production netted Jason the lead role in the show and began a passionate love affair with the theatre. Second,a fateful meeting with a magician opened Jason's eyes to the power of performing the impossible.

Jason spent his college years focused on the study of theatre and honing his performance skills. Magic remained merely an intense hobby for many years until the opportunity arose to study and work with Brett Daniels, one of today's premier illusionists. Daniels was a major influence on Jason's "post-graduate work" in the field of stage magic and illusion.

Jason also had the opportunity to work with other masters of stage illusion, The Pendragons and The Hamners.

When Jason abandoned the "safety net" of working for other magicians, he employed his razor-sharp card technique to create lasting impressions on his audiences while he simultaneously worked on producing his first stage show "Illusion". Featured on several television programs, Jason's playful style of "street" magic continues to amaze with "intimate impossibilities" using only a deck of cards.

He has since opened for Tony Orlando, wowed celebrities, such as LeAnn Rimes and Barbara Mandrell, and has refined and polished his show in front of numerous audiences in the US and abroad. A member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and The Society of American Magicians, Jason has won many awards, including several international titles.

Today, Secrets and Illusions is a major hit at colleges and universities, in performing arts centers and on television. Jason's upbeat, fun style of performing is a refreshing feel for an illusionist.

To quote him: "I believe magic can and should have the same impact that a song, a play, or a piece of art has. I want my audiences to experience a roller coaster of, laughter, tension, reflection, awe, and guaranteed


Whether performing a high-energy illusion show, intimate street magic, or recreating Houdini's infamous Underwater Torture Cell, Jason Michaels is at home in any venue, on any stage. Shakespeare proclaimed, "All the world's a stage." Jason agrees and is determined to use every stage he's given to make a lasting impact on all who experience the Secrets and Illusions of Jason Michaels.

Richard Browder

Richard is excited to be returning this year as a teacher for the school. Since his summer of 1986 when he was one of the first Governor's School Theatre students, Richard has received his undergraduate degree in theatre at Middle Tennessee State University, received graduate work in acting at the University of Southern Mississippi, and his Masters in Education at Middle Tennessee State University. He has also worked across the region as a professional actor in such theatres as Tennessee Repertory Theatre were he was seen in such productions as Twelve Angry Men, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and 1776 directed by Rene Copland. He has also worked in Nashville Children's Theatre production of Aladdin, Seusical and School House Rock Live. Richard also works as a choreographer for Siegel High School's Chamber choir where he choreographed productions such as Once on This Island, Tommy, Aida, Evita, and Children of Eden.

Jarrod Houghton

Jarrod Houghton was born in Winfield Kansas. He attended the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture with distinction in 1999. With a full tuition Scholarship from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, IL, Houghton received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in 2002 in Sculpture. He is currently a One-year Professor in Foundations at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Jarrod has exhibited nationally in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Wyoming and Internationally in Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand.

Claire Syler

Claire Syler received a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Missouri and a M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Memphis. She is the Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, as well as an adjunct faculty member at Belmont University and a teaching artist for TPAC Education. As a director and actress, Ms. Syler's professional credits include the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Green Room Projects, People's Branch Theatre, Playhouse on the Square, Missouri Repertory Theatre, and the Huron Playhouse.

Robert P. Robins
Lighting Designer-in-Residence

Bob recently held the title of Lighting Designer-in-Residence/Audio Production at the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville Florida, a position he held for over 23 years. While at the Hippodrome, in addition to providing the Lighting Design for over 250 productions, Bob also engineered sound, including live sound mix and equipment specifications; Rental Manager, wrote rental policy, procedures, and contracts; Safety Officer, wrote safety and emergency preparedness policy and programs, and stage managed over 15 productions.

Now working exclusively as a freelance lighting designer and teacher based in Gainesville, some of Bob's most recent lighting design projects include: The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Eurydice, The Glass Menagerie, Suddenly Last Summer, and The Woman in Black at The Hippodrome State Theatre, Ring of Fire, The Christmas Card, and Hank and My Honky Tonk Heroes and the 2009 season at Flat Rock Playhouse , The Wizard of Oz, No Sex Please, We're British, and The Unexpected Guest at Ocala Civic Theatre, Robin Hood and Dance Spectacular for Dance Alive National Ballet , and Cinderella's Ball, The Nutcracker, and A Princess Ball for Marion Ballet Theatre. Other projects include the permanent exterior architectural lighting of the historic Old Post Office for the City of Gainesville, Florida, and teaching Stagecraft and Drama at Eastside High School in Gainesville Fl and Lighting Design at the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts at Middle Tennessee State University.

Bob has designed lighting for more than 400 theatre and dance productions, industrials, and special events and presents classes and workshops for a wide variety of schools and organizations. Bob is an Actors' Equity Association Stage Manager, and proudly holds a BFA in Theatre Production from the University of Florida.