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Faculty & Staff

Theatre Faculty

Sean Blue

Sean Blue is the director of the Design/Tech program at the Governor's School for the Arts and a freelance scenic technician and entertainment rigging specialist. He teaches Introduction to Production Technology for ODU. After earning his BFA in scenic technology at UNC School of the Arts, Sean worked for theaters throughout the country including: The Everyman Theater in MD, The Stevens Center in NC, The Adirondack Theater Fest in NY, and Virginia Stage Company in Norfolk. He also has a focus in theatrical automation and performer flying. While working for The Chicago Flyhouse, Sean designed the user interface for a personnel flying rig that is used to aid in the rehabilitation of those with spinal injuries. It is currently the only system of its kind. At GSA Sean teaches stage crafts, carpentry, rigging, magic, and is the technical director.

Ryan Clemens

Ryan Clemens is an actor, director, playwright, teacher, and Mark Twain enthusiast. Among his greatest passions is his one-man show Meet Mark Twain. Originally from Wyoming, Ryan began his career leading a traveling Wild West show. He has performed at theatres around the nation, with his recent work including five seasons with the Virginia Stage Company and four with the Virginia Shakespeare Festival. Working with ODU, Regent University, the Governors School For the Arts, or VSC, Clemens teaches a variety of courses like Shakespeare, Acting, Theatre Appreciation, and Improvisation. He holds a BA in Theatre from Western Washington University and an MFA in Acting from Regent University. www.clemensistwain.com

Kate Clemons

Kate Clemons serves as an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University and at Regent University. She also works in Education and Community Engagement at Virginia Stage Company in downtown Norfolk and frequently performs professionally in the Hampton Roads area. An Ohio native transplanted to Virginia, she holds an M.F.A. in Theatre Performance Pedagogy with an emphasis in Voice and Speech from Virginia Commonwealth University in addition to a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Communication from Regent University. As a Voice and Speech specialist, Kate taught in actor training programs at VCU and the Conservatory at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. She teaches private voice specializing in musical theatre and freelances as a dialect and voice coach. She believes in empowering her students to live impactful stories on and off the stage. She lives in Virginia Beach with her middle-school band director husband Gabe, amazing son Gideon, and perfect pooch, Mr. Bingley.

Patrice Covington

Patrice Covington is an Emmy award-winning Broadway, television and film actress. As a Broadway vet, Patrice has toured the globe with all-star Broadway casts and made her television debut in the critically acclaimed NatGeo anthology series, Genius: Aretha, as Erma Franklin, an American Gospel singer, activist, and elder sister to Aretha Franklin. She was most recently seen in the Amazon and Sony TV series A League of Their Own, playing Gracie.

Patrice shone as Squeak in the 2015 Tony, Emmy, and Grammy award-winning revival of The Color Purple, and also as Martha Reeves in Berry Gordy's Motown, The Musical, as Roz in The Heart of Rock and Roll, as Effie in Dreamgirls, and many more. In 2009, she received a Grammy nomination for her performance in the Broadway national tour of Ain't Misbehavin'. Patrice most recently performed her first leading role in a film, For What It's Worth, for BET+.

An activist in her own right, Patrice is the creator of The Galaxy Method, an aspiring artist teaching series using music as a healing agent. She is in development on her latest purpose project, a documented television series fusing music therapy, celebrity musicians, and incarcerated youth together to create opportunities to enhance mental health and improve rehabilitation. She serves as a celebrity ambassador for Kids in the Spotlight, an organization empowering foster kids through filmmaking. Her trademarked motto is, "Don't be a star...be a galaxy." For more information, please visit www.PatriceCovington.com and follow @patricecovington on all social media platforms.

Leila Earl (Leila Stephanie)

Leila Earl (Leila Stephanie) is a performing artist, director, and educator. Leila received her B.A. in Business in 2015 from Norfolk State University, where she performed with the NSU Players & NSU Theatre Company. While in graduate school, Leila discovered her passion for teaching theatre. After receiving her M.F.A. in Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art & Design in 2017, Leila started her teaching career as a long-term substitute at Savannah Charter Academy. Leila progressed to teaching in Atlanta & Dekalb County Public Schools and 3E Educational Services Summer Program at Georgia State University. Since returning home to Virginia, Leila has continued to perform, while employed as an adjunct instructor in the Drama & Theatre department at Norfolk State University, serving as a freelance acting coach and a teaching artist with Virginia Stage Company. As a teaching artist, Leila works with a host of community organizations providing theatre instruction to diverse groups ranging from young children to adults, blind & visually impaired, and military veterans. Leila has a passion for working with marginalized groups, for she believes that everyone should have full access to reap the benefits and enjoy the magic of theatre!

Steve J. Earle

Mr. Earle has been an actor and director for many years. Acting credits include The Virginia Stage Company, Theatre IV, Richmond Triangle Players as well as television and commercial work. Directing credits include Reasons to be Pretty (ODU) Boys in the Band, Deranged and Durang, Lonely Planet (Richmond Triangle Players), The Marriage of Bette 'n Boo (Longwood University), and dozens of others at various theaters and schools. Mr. Earle is Chair of the Department of Theatre & Film at The Governor's School for the Arts and holds an MFA degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BFA from the University of North Carolina. He has also studied at the Gaiety School for Acting in Dublin, Ireland. Mr. Earle has taught for Longwood University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the School for the Arts in the Richmond Community, Virginia.

Kathleen Ferguson

M. Kathleen Ferguson is currently a PhD candidate pursuing her degree in Education specializing in Technology Education at Old Dominion University. She earned her MEd in Industrial Education at Clemson University and her BS in Technology Education at Virginia Tech. She has taught technology education for over 25 years at all grade levels. She takes pride in her diverse teaching background which includes teaching in an alternative education, international baccalaureate, career academy, rural, and urban classroom settings. Currently an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University, Kathleen has been focused on student issues since being employed as the Virginia Technology Student Association State Advisor and her work as a TEECA student and advisor. She has won various awards for her dedication to the profession including Henrico County Teacher of the Year, ITEEA's Program of the Year, the Maley Spirit of Excellence Outstanding Graduate Student Citation, and ODU's Technology Education Outstanding Graduate Student. The focus of her research is technology education teacher needs in Virginia. Her instructional focus is tooling, machines, safety, and design.

Katherine Hammond

Katherine Hammond is a director and media artist. She is the Producing Artistic Director of Warehouse of Theatre. As an actor, she worked in regional theatre for many years, performing in 39 states and three countries. As a digital media artist, Ms. Hammond's specialties include sensored, multi-media, live performance. Her works have appeared at the New York International Fringe Festival, EchoFluxx Festival of New Media and Art in Prague, New Orleans International Fringe, FringeWilmington, the Virginia Stage Company, Fresh Fruit Festival at the Wild Project in NYC, and ODURep, as well as being part of the Kress Project at the Georgia Museum of Art. She has been awarded the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) numerous times for Directing and Media Design. Before coming to ODU, Katherine worked as the Production Manager of the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Kennedy Center Honors, AFI Salutes, and was the Production Coordinator for The Weird Al Show and the Rosie O'Donnell HBO Special. She also was Project Coordinator at 20th Century Fox's Photo Archives. Ms. Hammond holds an MFA in Theatre & Dramatic Media from the University of Georgia. At ODU she teaches performance, script and performance analysis, voice over, stage and production management, documentary production and editing. She is a proud member of USITT, SAG/AFTRA and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

Christopher Hanna

His work as a professional (SDC) director has filled stages from London to Alaska and his wide experience allows him to mentor ODU students towards making their smartest careers decisions. As a professor, Chris particularly loves teaching acting and directing. He previously served as Resident Director at the world famous Juilliard School and coached actors privately in his own New York City performance studio. Chris is proud of several actors he helped win Oscar and Emmy nominations but is also similarly proud of the performers that became incredible teachers, community actors, and audience members through his guidance. He likes asking questions that no two students will answer the same way. As a theater artist himself, Chris directs and writes exclusively for the stage, usually in collaboration with cast members and a hard-thinking design team. Most often these performances combine classical stories with contemporary text. One previous creation based loosely on Shakespeare's OTHELLO toured nationally and represented ODU at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. Chris' most recent campus collaboration, HAMLET#INPIECES, took Shakespeare's title character as a starting place to riff on the pressures of being twenty something, smart, and really confused. It was a tragedy but luckily there were a lot of laughs. Mr. Hanna holds an MFA in Directing from the University of California, San Diego, and a perfect attendance certificate from second grade. He prizes both.

Brittney S. Harris

Brittney Harris teaches Acting One and The Theatre Experience in the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts. Her areas of expertise are in performance, cultural enrichment, and diversity/inclusion. Prior to ODU, Brittney taught Intro to Acting for Non-Majors and Applied Collaborative Techniques at Virginia Tech and University of Georgia. She has conducted workshops in Solo Performance Development and Race in Performance within the Southeast theatre conference region including Black Theatre Network (BTN), KCACTF Region IV, Georgia Theatre Conference (GTC) and Virginia Theatre Association Conference (VTA). Brittney has created work and performed professionally at Virginia Stage Company, Chrysler Museum of Art, and Hampton University.

Education/Training: M.F.A., University of Georgia; B.F.A., Old Dominion University
Membership Affiliations: Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA)

Jim Lyden

Jim Lyden is the Theatre Program Director and Director of Technical Theatre Production at Old Dominion. He has worked as Technical Director for the California Shakespeare Theatre and as a Set Designer and Technical Director for the Utah Festival Opera. He was an Associate Professor for the College of Santa Fe and The University of Colorado. He has collaborated with the Central City (CO) Opera, the Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre, and the Colorado and Illinois Shakespeare Festivals. He has designed sets, lights, or sound for countless productions, and continues his design work both on and off campus. Locally, he has designed sets for Virginia Musical Theatre, Virginia Opera, and WHRO Studios. He lives in Norfolk with his wife, Helene Clehr, his offsprout Gray, and Hope the Theatre Dog.

Meredith Magoun

Meredith has just moved to the Hampton Roads area from the Pacific Northwest, although she's a native New Englander at heart. She is currently the Lecturer of Costume Design and Costume Shop manager at Old Dominion University Prior to teaching at ODU she was at Central Washington University. She teaches courses in Costume Technology, Stage Costuming, Costume Design, Costume Crafts, Fashion History, Intro to Theatre (Theatre Experience), Intro to Production Design and Mask Making. She also mentors students, if the faculty mentor of the ODU's USITT Student Chapter, and designs shows (both on and off campus). She has designed for Village Theater Kidstage, Weston Playhouse, Longwood Players, Arts After Hours, Boston Baby Dolls, Northeastern University, Berklee College of Music, Emerson College, Stoneham Theater, Zeitgiest Stage Co., and CompanyOne. She also was the Adjunct Costume Design Teacher at Boston Arts Academy, where she taught 9-12th graders the skills and joy that goes into good design.She is a capable Wardrobe Mistress, Milliner, Photographer, Artist, and Balloon Sculptor. She holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University ('11) in Costume Design and a BA in Theater from Smith College ('05). Visit her website to see her work: www.meredithmagoun.com

Dana Margulies Cauthen

Dana Margulies Cauthen has served as choreographer and movement consultant for ODU productions and teaches the Methods of Theatre Education class. She has choreographed for many other universities and theatres in the area, including Christopher Newport University, Virginia Wesleyan College, Tidewater Community College (Chesapeake), Little Theatre of Norfolk, Little Theatre of Virginia Beach, Generic Theatre, Peninsula Community Theatre, Williamsburg Players, Poquoson Island Players, and Smithfield Little Theatre. She has served on the Board of Directors at both Little Theatre of Norfolk and the Peninsula Community Theatre and holds a Masters degree in Education.

Bethany Mayo

Bethany Mayo is a theater artist and teacher who comes to Norfolk by way of Des Moines, Kansas City, and Baltimore. She is an experienced performer who has worked on stages of all kinds and across the full spectrum of educational, volunteer, professional and union theater. Her primary areas of expertise are in analysis and performance of Shakespeare and the development and implementation of Creative Dramatics, a mythology which uses theater skills to support reading comprehension. Her undergraduate degree from William Woods University in Fulton, MO is in Musical Theater and her graduate degree in Theater Education was awarded from The Catholic University of America in Washington DC. She served as the Director of Education at Baltimore Shakespeare Factory from 2018 to 2021. From 2022 to 2023 she served Virginia Stage Company as Director of Education. She also teaches acting and scene study at the Governor's School for the Arts. She is a founding member of the Black Classical Acting Ensemble at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in Baltimore, MD. Most recently Mrs. Mayo was a presenter and panelist at In and Out of the Closet, a conference focused on Early Modern dramatic literature sponsored by Sorbonne Nouvelle University and ENS de Lyon in Paris, France.

Ricardo Melendez

Mr. Melendez is Founder and Producing Director for Actor's Workshop of Virginia. He was awarded 'Best Male Actor' at the Dublin Gay Theater Festival for his interpretation of Nijinsky in Workshop Theatre Group's production of Nijinsky's Last Dance, as well as best actor nomination for Cloaked (2011). As a Director, Melendez's works include: 12fth Night at Shakespeare at The Plot, My Dorian, Romeo and Juliet, The Laramie Project, Servant of Two Masters, Metamorphosis, Comedy of Errors, Blood Wedding and Hamlet, among others. As a playwright, some of his works are: Call me Boricua (2009), Cloaked (2010), Two Men and the Ocean (2012), My Dorian (2013), and Paper Cranes (2015). Mr. Melendez is the Associate Artistic Director for Todd Rosenlieb Dance, and Artistic Director of Virginia Ballet Theater. He is a Professor at Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community College, Norfolk Campus. He currently teaches at the Governor School for the Arts both in the Theater and Dance Departments. Mr. Melendez was recently nominated for the Alli Award by the Cultural Alliance of Hampton Roads for his tireless contribution to the Arts and the Community at large.

Patrick Mullins

Patrick Mullins is the Associate Producer at the Virginia Stage Company where he most recently directed and adapted The Taming of the Shrew, a synth-pop fantasia mixing Shakespeare's text with the music of DJP and MrT. Other recent projects include Swingtime Salute on the deck of the USS Wisconsin, Honky Tonk Angels at The Wells Theatre, and Moon Take Thy Flight - an immersive Shakespeare festival/visual art installation/performance event - in Town Point Park. In addition to work at VSC, he has recently directed shows at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, NY and Ensemble Theatre Company in Santa Barbara, CA. Productions he has created for touring and young people include a video heavy Romeo and Juliet that integrated area high school students with professional actors, an R&B fueled tour of Julius Caesar, and a reworking of A Christmas Carol that celebrated the music and instruments of Dickens' period. A former high school teacher of seven years, Patrick is also an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University. In 2010 he was recognized by the Hampton Roads Cultural Alliance with the Bettie Minette Cooper Arts Educator award.

Woody Robinson

Elwood Robinson is the Facilities Manager for the theatre complex at Old Dominion University. In addition to overseeing the day to day operations of the theatre plant he designs (scenery and lighting) several shows each year for both the theatre and dance aspects of the Theatre Arts Program, the Governor's School of the Arts (Dance and Opera) and visiting Dance Companies who perform in the University Theatre performance space. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Stephens College in 1980 and has worked in New York at the Public Theatre and designed Off-Off Broadway. Prior to his position at ODU, Mr. Robinson has worked in San Francisco, North Carolina, Iowa, and Missouri. He served as a member of the staff at the Virginia Stage Company (LORT C) but is best known locally for his designs at the Generic Theatre where he was resident designer for six years. Mr. Robinson says of ODU, "The students here are great and their energy and creativity are what make this job a joy.

Lee Smith

Lee Smith is a graduate of The University of Louisville, The Drama Studio-London and The University of Southern California School of Cinema/Television. Lee worked in Los Angeles on such television productions as Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond, The Primetime Emmy Awards, The X Files and Millennium and his first feature length film, The Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon, was released on DVD in 2008. Lee has written episodes of the series Dream Living for the Learning Channel as well as numerous short stories published in the US and Europe. Lee is Co-Artistic Director of Warehouse of Theatre and his works have appeared at the New York International Fringe Festival, New Orleans International Fringe, FringeWilmington, the Fresh Fruit Festival at the Wild Project in NYC and ODURep, as well as being a permanent part of the Kress Project at the Georgia Museum of Art.

Deborah Wallace

Deborah Wallace is an Emmy-nominated producer, writer, director, and performer working in both film and theatre. She has collaborated as a producer on many films including the Academy Award-nominated, Emmy-winning documentary film, Gasland. Deborah produced its sequel Gasland, Part II for HBO, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013 and went on to win the Environmental Media Association Award for Best Documentary, Cinema Eye Honors and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Research. In addition, Wallace produced the films The Sky is Pink, Divest, Occupy Sandy; How To Let Go Of The World And Love All The Things Climate Can't Change, which was released by HBO in 2016; Artists Against Fracking (for Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon); and Brave Girls, which premiered at DOCNYC in 2018. She produced and co-wrote Blood on the Mountain, which was released by Netflix in 2017, honored by the International Documentary Association, and for which she received a second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Historical Documentary.


Helene Clehr

Helene has been the Outreach Director and Administrative Assistant for the ODU Theatre Program since Fall 2015, and for the ODU Dance Program since Spring 2018. You can ask her any questions you have, anytime!

A native of southern California, Helene attended colleges in Santa Barbara (UCSB), San Diego (SDSU), and Portland, OR (WSCC), and obviously still enjoys the atmosphere.

Professors Emeriti

Dr. Erlene Hendrix

Dr. Hendrix received her Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Missouri, where her emphases were on acting theory and experimental theatre. She has also studied acting with Lee Worley, a founding member of the internationally known Open Theatre company, and Pablo Vela, an actor and co-director with Meredith Monk and Monk's acclaimed experimental company, The House. Hendrix has published articles on the Open Theatre, Meredith Monk, and Djuna Barnes, and performance reviews for Theatre Journal. Her work on Joseph Chaikin, Open Theatre director and author of The Presence of the Actor, a major work of acting theory first published during the 1970s, is cited by Mr. Chaikin in Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard: Letters and Texts, 1972-1984, and in Eileen Blumenthal's Joseph Chaikin: Exploring the Boundaries of Theatre. She was invited by Mr. Chaikin to be a presenter at the 1983 Open Theatre Conference, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the theatre's founding, and at the 1987 Edwin Booth Award ceremony honoring Mr. Chaikin. At Old Dominion University, Dr. Hendrix served as Acting Chair and then as Chair of the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts for five years, and as Theatre Coordinator for nine years. During that time, she was instrumental in leading the theatre program to develop a Guest Artist program of directors from the professional theatre, to participate in the American College Theatre Festival, and to receive accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. She was also instrumental in introducing the experimental acting techniques and performance styles of Tadashi Suzuki and Anne Bogart to ODU students and the Hampton Roads community. Dr. Hendrix has directed over forty plays, and received the 1998 Port Folio award for Best Director in the Hampton Roads region. Early in her theatre career she acted in a number of productions, appearing as Hedda in Hedda Gabler, Antigone in Antigone, Rosalind in As You Like It, Claire in The Maids, Jean Brodie in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, among other roles.

Konrad Winters

Konrad Winters is a Production Designer at Old Dominion University and teaches courses in Film and Theatre Design and Production. Prior to his arrival at Old Dominion University in 1986, Mr. Winters taught theatre design and technical production at the University of Houston-Clear Lake (Tx.), Mankato State University (Minn.), and Chadron State College (Nebr.).

Mr. Winters' academic background includes a Bachelor of Science in Education from Concordia Teachers College (Nebr.) with an emphasis in Speech and Drama, a Master of Science in Theatre and a Master of Fine Arts in Scenic Design (1982) from Illinois State University (Ill.). Mr. Winters has been teaching design and technical production on the college level since 1976 and has designed and constructed over 100 theatrical productions in both academic and commercial venues. Konrad Winters' professional credits include Producing Director of the Houston Shaw Festival, Scenic and/or Lighting designs for: Magic 2000 at the Virginia International Waterfront Festival, The Virginia Ballet Theatre, Contemporary Ballet Theatre of Williamsburg, Virginia, High Frequency Wavelengths Dance Company, (New York City, NY), The San Jacinto Ballet (Houston, Texas), The Houston Shaw Festival, and the Opera and Theatre divisions of the Virginia Governor's School of the Arts. Mr. Winters recently served as a member of the National Board of Directors (Director at Large) for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) where he also served as the immediate past National Commissioner for Education. Mr. Winters is also a member of the Chesapeake Section of USITT.

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