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DSA THEATRE Guest Artist Series



In addition to providing a full curriculum of theatre classes for grades 6-12 and an extensive performance season, the DSA Theatre Department offers a wonderful series of master classes from teaching artists. The goal of the DSA Theatre Guest Artist series is to bring professional performers into our schools to share their experience of working in the field of theatre with our students. Their visits will educate, inspire, and challenge students to seek training and career opportunities that will allow them to pursue their artistic passions.


Notable guest artists including SIRIUS XM Radio Host and Broadway favorite Seth Rudetsky and Tony-­award winning star of Broadway’s The Drowsy Chaperone, Ms. Beth Leavel.


As you can imagine, bringing artists of this caliber to our school is still a bit of a financial challenge. This is why we hope you will consider sponsoring these exciting learning opportunity for our students and great performance for our community.  


Guest Artist Roster 2014-2015

VISITING ARTIST SERIES: “Masks & Movement” with KT Childress

Thursday, September 18, All Day

DSA Black Box Theatre

Thursday, September 25, 6-8pm

Carr Dance Studio or Upper Dance Studio

DSA Theatre is excited to welcome KT Childress as the first in this year’s series of presenters on the craft of theatre, KT works as a performer, teaching artist, photographer, costumer, stage manager, puppeteer and mask maker. Her work has been seen from coast to coast and on the high seas

KT receives her BA in Theatre Studies/ Performance from Austin Peay State University. She has studied clowning, movement and masks extensively including at the Helikos School in Florence, Italy and the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, CA.

KT will be presenting all day to Technical Theatre students in the art of mask making in preparation for our upcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on September 18 and to our actors on both September 18 and 25 in the area of acting with masks.




VISITING ARTIST SERIES: “Theatre Education” with Mr. Josh Purvis

Tuesday, September 30th

First & Second Period

DSA Black Box Theatre


DSA Theatre is excited to welcome Mr. Josh Purvis to this year’s series of presenters on the craft of theatre. A proud member of the UNCG family, Josh is pleased to serve as the Director of Theatre Education, coordinating both the BFA Theatre Education and M.Ed. degree programs for the Department of Theatre.

During the past decade, Purvis has taught in multiple settings: Myers Park High School in Charlotte, West Johnston High School in Benson, as well as first-year theatre courses at UNCG. He has also worked with elementary/middle students at Cary Youth Theatre, in both instructional and directorial capacities. As a member of AEA, Purvis has acted with Triad Stage's UpStage Cabaret, and, most recently, with Deep Dish Theater in Chapel Hill. Holding a BFA in Theatre Education and an MFA in Acting, Purvis provides instruction for Teaching Methods, Acting I/II and also facilitates the student teaching experience for future teachers. During the summers, he coordinates the Summer Institute for Theatre Education for veteran teachers across the state and beyond.

Mr. Purvis will be observing classes with his student teacher interns and presenting on the programs UNCG provides and careers in Theatre Education.


Wednesday, October 1

5th Period – Invited Students

DSA Black Box Theatre


DSA Theatre is thrilled to welcome multi-talented actor, singer, and songwriter Cheyenne Jackson as our surprise guest artist in musical theatre! Mr. Jackson has one of the most diverse careers in entertainment. His Broadway credits include: The Performers, Finian’s Rainbow (Drama Desk nomination), Xanadu, (Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominations), All Shook Up (Theatre World Award, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards nominations), Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Aida. Off-Broadway, Mr. Jackson has performed in Damn Yankees, The Agony & The Agony, and Altar Boys.

On film, Mr. Jackson’s work can be seen in the Oscar-nominated united 93, Lola Versus, Price Check, The Green, Hysteria, Photo Op, Hysteria, Mutual Friends, and Lucky Stiff. On the small screen he has been a cast member on“ 30 Rock,” “Behind the Candelabra,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Law and Order,” “Ugly Betty,” and others.

Last year, he released a new album of original music entitled I’m Blue, Skies, that includes the top 40 hit singles “Drive” and “Before You.” Mr. Jackson will be performing hits from the Great American Songbook, including "Besame Mucho," "Angel Eyes," "Walking My Baby Back Home" and "Luck Be a Lady,  and other numbers  in the tradition of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway spectaculars in his one-man cabaret act at the Carolina Theatre later in the evening.


Special thanks to SIRIUS XM Radio Host and Broadway favorite Seth Rudetsky.



VISITING ARTIST SERIES: “Savannah College of Art & Design” with Ms. Alexa Watkins

October 21st

4th and 6th Period Technical Theatre

and both lunches

DSA Black Box Theatre


DSA Theatre is happy to welcome Admissions Representative for Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Mr. Ethan Pell. Ms. Watkins is an alumnus of the Disney College Program, which led to her employment as Client Services Coordinator for The Walt Disney Company and Casting Assistant for Disney Cruise Lines. An avid traveler, Ms. Watkins has visited The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, and England.

Ms. Watkins will present to students on the variety of creative courses of study available at SCAD’s Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Lecoste campuses as well as a her own journey to the university from high school through undergraduate study. Students will ask questions about college selection and campus life and be able to signup for free materials from the college.


VISITING ARTIST SERIES: “A Career in Creativity”

with Mr. Joe Appleton

Monday, November 10th

3rd through 7th Period

DSA Black Box Theatre


Mr. Joe Appleton is a retired kindergarten teacher and state employee. He taught in Durham Public Schools from 1994-2003 and 2011-2013. From 2003-2010 he was a state education program consultant for the N.C. Governor’s More at Four Pre-kindergarten program. Joe is currently an independent early childhood education consultant, providing training, technical assistance and other professional development to private and public preschool programs throughout N.C. He is also an artist-in-residence for the Durham Arts Council’s Creative Arts in the Public Schools (CAPS) program and a NC A+ Schools Program Fellow.

Mr. Appleton has been an actor and singer in the Durham area since 1981, performing with the North Carolina Theatre, Triangle Opera, Little Big Children’s Theater, and Manbites Dog (of which he was a co-founder). He was also a co-founder of The Scrap Exchange in Durham.

Mr. Appleton will be presenting to students about concepts in creativity and thinking ahead to create a career path that will sustain them holistically.


VISITING ARTIST SERIES: “Encouraging Talent”

with Ms. Bridie Carroll

Friday, January 16th

2nd Period

DSA Choral Music & Theatre Departments


Durham School of the Arts is wicked happy to welcome Ensemble member and Madame Morrible understudy in the Munchkinland Tour of “Wicked” the musical, Ms. Bridie Carroll to our classes!

Bridie is happy to rejoin the Wicked family after having been gone for a short stint. She was last seen Off-Broadway in the new musical “Fat Camp”. Her national tour has included playing Jan in “Grease” and playing regionally “The Little Mermaid”, “High School Musical” and “Hairspray”. Original Cast Recording: Thirteen Stories

Ms. Carroll earned her B.F.A. at Boston Conservatory. She will present to students in the area of acting  and engage in a brief Q&A with students as a part of her visit. Ms. Carroll appears courtesy of the Durham Performing Arts Center.


with Ms. Laurel Harris

Friday, January 16th

5th Period

DSA Choral Music & Theatre Departments


Durham School of the Arts is wicked happy to welcome Durham native and current Elphaba in the Munchkinland Tour of “Wicked” the musical, Ms. Laurel Harris to our classes!

Laurel is enchanted to fly back to Munchkinland where her “Wicked” journey began 3 years ago as understudy for Elphaba & Nessarose. She comes straight from playing the Elphaba standby/Nessarose understudy on the Emerald City Tour. Her Broadway credits include: “Evita” (Eva understudy), Radio City Christmas Spectacular. At NCT, Ms. Harris was seen in “Annie” (Star to Be).

Ms. Harris is the daughter of two Duke University graduates who met as students in Durham. The family moved to Raleigh when Harris was a baby, and she grew up there, graduating from Enloe High School and heading off to the University of Michigan to earn her BFA in musical theatre. Now she’s based in New York City.

Ms. Harris will present to students in the area of musical theatre performance and engage in a brief Q&A with students as a part of her visit. Ms. Harris appears courtesy of the Durham Performing Arts Center.

VISITING ARTIST SERIES: “Playmakers Summer Youth Conservatory” with Ms. Jenny Wales

Wednesday, February 4th

2nd & 3rd Periods

DSA Black Box Theatre


DSA Theatre is fortunate to welcome Ms. Jenny Wales, Education Manager at PlayMakers Repertory Company. Ms. Wales was raised in Danville, VA, where she made her stage debut as Annie in “Annie” over 20 years ago. She is a classically trained actress and has appeared in productions in regional theatres across the country. She earned her Master’s degree in Acting from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and her BA in Theater from the University of Virginia. Last year, after years as an actress in New York City, Jenny relocated to Chapel Hill, NC where she works as the current Education Manager at PlayMakers Repertory Company. Ms. Wales maintains a thriving performing career, teaches acting and serves, by appointment of the Town Council, as a commissioner on the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission.

Ms. Wales will present information on summer study opporunities for students with PlayMakers Repertory Company.


with Mr. Todd Fisher


2nd & 3rd Period

DSA Dance & Theatre Departments


DSA Dance & Theatre proudly welcomes Actor, Playwright, Dancer, Producer, Teacher, and Designer, Todd Fisher to present a combined master class in Viewpoints acting technique.

The Viewpoints are a technique developed by Anne Bogart (SITI Company) and Tina Landau used to focus actors’ awareness on different elements of performance (tempo, duration, gesture, spatial relationship).

Since graduating from UNCG with BA in Theater, Todd has studied with the SITI company, become the director of the Greensboro Fringe Festival, Co-Artistic Director of the Informall Theater Company. His play Koun Kukki- The Legend of Hamachi and Unagi won Best Drama at the 2nd Annual D.C. Fringe. He currently works for City Arts as the Arts and Education Director and for Win-Win Resolutions as a Theater Instructor.

VISITING ARTIST SERIES: “Staying True” with Mr. Chris Chalk



DSA Theatre is thrilled to welcome actor of the stage and screen Mr. Chris Chalk as our guest artist.

Television viewers will recognize Mr. Chalk from his guest appearances on the series Law & Order: SVU, Homeland, and the new series The Newsroom. Moviegoers may recall Mr. Chalk from his portrayal of Clemens Ray, a slave kidnapped along with Chiwetel Ejiofor's Solomon Northup in Twelve Years a Slave, and from other films such as RENT, and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

Broadway fans may have caught his Broadway debut as Cory Maxson, the aspiring college football player who clashes with his unsupportive father, Troy (played by Denzel Washington), in the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s Fences which won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play and

Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play in 2010. Off-Broadway, Mr. Chalk’s credits include The Hasty Heart, Defiance, The Overwhelming and Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Ruined.


Mr. Chalk is a 2001 graduate of the Theater program at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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