Get to know the Teaching Artists visiting your classrooms
Liz Fentress is an award-winning playwright, director, and actor with extensive experience in professional, community, and educational theatre. In Louisville she acts with StageOne and Bunbury Theatre, and is a teaching artist for Actors Theatre of Louisville’s New Voices program. She also teaches the Online Playwriting Workshop for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Continuing Studies. Liz’s new play Stages of Bloom will premiere at the Public Theatre of Kentucky in Bowling Green in March of 2017, followed by a production at the Bunbury in June. Liz’s play The Honey Harvest won the North American Actors Association annual Playwriting Competition and was staged in London’s West End. KET’s production of Liz’s Circus Story, which Liz wrote and performs, won the National Educational Television Association award for Best Dramatic Narrative. Prior to moving to Louisville, Liz worked at Horse Cave Theatre for 13 seasons as a director and actor, and also served on the theatre’s management team. Later she served as co-editor of World Premieres from Horse Cave Theatre, an anthology of 14 plays by or about Kentuckians. Visit Liz’s website at www.lizfentress.com
Betsy Anne Huggins is the Education Manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville, having served as an Education Intern and Teaching Artist in the 2011-2012 season. At Actors, Betsy works to keep the Education department running smoothly, which includes managing the department’s budget, calendar, and marketing, as well as continuing to teach in and out of the classroom. Betsy also serves as the co-chair for the Professional Theatre Network at the American Alliance and Theatre and Education. Outside of Actors, Betsy is an actor, director, dramaturg, playwright and puppeteer and has worked with Squallis Puppeteers, Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, Kentucky Shakespeare and other local and national theatres. Huggins was recently awarded the Champion of Art in Recovery award by Seven Counties Services for her work on The Power of Stories: A Seven Counties Story Slam, where Betsy taught storytelling to people recovering from mental health and addiction issues. She has directed in Actors’ New Voices Young Playwrights Festival and Walden Theatre’s Young Playwright’s Festival, and served as directing assistant on brownsville song (b side for tray) by Kimber Lee in the 2014 Humana Festival of New American Plays. Betsy graduated cum laude from Beloit College in 2010 with degrees in Theatre Arts and Political Science.
Jane B. Jones is the Education Director at Actors Theatre of Louisville. At Actors, Jane teaches playwriting to middle and high school students, is the Literary Manager of the New Voices Young Playwrights Contest, and heads the theatre’s lobby enrichment initiative. Jane has directed and dramaturged for the Apprentice/Intern Company solo performance series and directed in the New Voices Young Playwrights Festival. In 2012, Jane’s short play, Dress Up, was produced in the A/I Tens and she was commissioned to write TMI: a sex-ed puppet show for Squallis Puppeteers. Jane is a M.F.A. candidate in Writing, with a concentration in playwriting, at Spalding University. Jane graduated cum laude from Smith College.
Lexy Leuszler is thrilled to serve as the Education Associate for Actors Theatre of Louisville. She has taught with Court Theatre, Steppenwolf for Young Adults, the National Theater Institute and the Chicago August Wilson Monologue Competition. From 2013 to 2015, Lexy served as Associate Director of Theatremakers, a new play training intensive at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. Outside of the classroom she is a director, dramaturg, puppeteer and co-director of the youth theatre troupe, the Neverland Players (Chicago & Minneapolis Fringe Festival, Audience Pick Award). Lexy graduated from Grinnell College with honors in Theatre and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies.
Victoria Masteller is an Education Apprentice for the 2016-17 Professional Training Company. She is a recent Theatre Education BA graduate of Emerson College. She worked as a Creative Producer at ArtsEmerson under P. Carl as a work-study student at Howlround. She assisted classrooms and audience development work as a Development/Education intern at the Lyric Stage Company during her time in Boston. Victoria was the 2016 Emerson College International Chair for Undergraduate Orientation. Her extracurricular work focused on dramaturgy/directing of new works and social activism. She was a teacher under Jumpstart! and under Jewish Vocational Services’ refugee section. She hails from outside Philadelphia where previous acting credits include the Walnut Street Theatre. She is honored for Actors Theatre to be the next step in her journey.
Keith McGill is thrilled to be a teaching artist for Actors Theatre’s New Voices and Living Newspaper programs. He also teaches with Walden Theatre, Kentucky Shakespeare, Shakespeare Behind Bars, and ArtsReach. In addition to teaching, Keith is an accomplished actor, and has appeared in productions with local theatre organizations, such as The Necessary Theatre, Shoestring Productions and Louisville Repertory Theatre. He’s also a stand-up comic, having appeared on CMT, BET, and the Bob and Tom Show, as well as performing for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
Talleri McRae is a theatre artist, educator, disability scholar, and inclusion/access specialist based in Louisville, KY. Over the last 10 years, Talleri has forged partnerships with theatre artists and educators in Kentucky Texas, Alaska, California, and Illinois. While completing her MFA for Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities in Austin, TX, Talleri researched how casting choices apply to perceptions of theatre and disability with young people. As an independent contractor working regionally and nationally, Talleri teaches and collaborates with Actors Theatre of Louisville as well as The University of Louisville, The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, The Kentucky Arts Council and The American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE). Talleri holds a BS from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Elliott Talkington is an Education Apprentice for the 2016-2017 Professional Training Company. He is a recent graduate of Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and English. During his time at Western, he served as many roles including as playwright to three original plays fully produced at WKU including a children’s play, Milo’s Intergalactic Circus, and a solo performance piece, Best Man. He also directed a touring children’s production of The Emperor’s New Clothes which toured over fifteen elementary schools throughout Kentucky as well as developed and taught after-show workshops and classroom resources. He has also taught and developed curriculum for Theatre in Diversion programs for at-risk youth for the last two years in collaboration between both the WKU Theatre and Sociology departments and the Warren County Juvenile Court System. Outside of education, his performance experience spans from companies all over Kentucky and Indiana. As a devoted partner in outreach, he is always looking for new opportunities to bring theatre into the community and is thrilled to do so this year with Actors Theatre.
Letitia Usher is an award-winning theatre arts teacher and is excited to be a teaching artist for Actors Theatre’s New Voices and Living Newspaper programs. She also teaches with Commonwealth Theatre Center, Sacred Heart School for the Arts, and The Nativity Academy. Letitia (Tish) is a Colorado native who graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and Speech Communications from Murray State University in 1994. In 2009, she earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Louisville in Counseling. She is a Master Storyteller, Certified Teacher and School Counselor who has over 25 years’ experience in Theatre Education. She has worked professionally as an actress, storyteller, scenic painter, carpenter, and stage manager. Ms. Usher has taught theatre and storytelling/ literacy building programs to young people in multiple states, including; California, Colorado, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.