Megan Burnett, B.S., M.F.A.
Director of Theatre Program, Assistant Professor
Megan holds a Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film Production from Texas Christian University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Louisville. She received graduate theatre training at Oklahoma City University, working under famed opera and music theatre director Carveth Osterhaus before moving to Louisville and receiving her MFA in 1991. Megan was an English Speaking Union Teacher Scholar, taking the “Teaching Shakespeare through Performance” course at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London in 2004. She served as a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund participant 2005, studying Kabuki, Noh and Bunraku as well as Japanese education practices in Tokyo and Hiroshima. Megan co-founded a theatre training school for adults: StageLab: Ongoing Training for Theatre Artists, and she was a co-founder and board member of The Pleiades Theatre Company. Ms Burnett received the Alice Lloyd College Campus Leadership and Excellence in Teaching Award in 2012. She is a 2014 recipient of a Post-Doctoral Faculty Fellowship from the Appalachian College Association.
Megan has worked in all aspects of radio, video production, film and theatre. She produced three radio drama productions for WMMT, a division of Appalshop and WWJD, Alice Lloyd College’s radio station. She directs for Jenny Wiley Theatre and serves on their board of directors. She works as a Voice and Text coach for area Shakespeare companies. She was a Narrator at the American Printing House for the Blind for several years. She has acted for professional theatre companies in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma, and she also performs in her nationally touring production of a one-woman show, Shame the Devil! An Audience with Fanny Kemble.
Megan’s research interests include women in theatre, children’s theatre, Teaching Shakespeare through Performance, Kabuki theatre, and researching women to create plays about them. Right now she is researching Mattie Griffith Browne, a Kentucky Abolitionist and Suffragist with the goal of presenting a one-woman play about her in 2016. Megan is on the Speaker’s Bureau for the Kentucky Humanities Council and has given talks about Mattie Griffith Browne, as well as the Women of the Settlement Schools of Eastern Kentucky. Megan has presented papers and panels at the Southeastern Theatre Conference, Ohio Valley History Conference: Mattie Griffith Browne, Kentucky Abolitionist, Women of the Settlement Schools of Eastern Kentucky, JFK and the Power of Speech, Kentucky Theatre Association, and the Shakespeare in Contemporary Performance Symposium at Appalachian State University: 2014 ALC’s Caudill Players: A Model for Performing Shakespeare in Appalachia.
Most recently Megan published, produced and directed the play Alice Lloyd College: A Light Unto the Mountains. This was a devised script based on oral archives at ALC. National premiere in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Performed there and in Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina.
Dr. Zackary Ross
Dr. Zackary Ross has a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s degree in Educational Theatre from New York University, and is an honors graduate of Lewis and Clark College’s theatre department in Portland, Oregon.
In addition to his experience as an educator, Zack is an active theatre artist. As a director, his most recent productions include 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Tony Kushner's adaptation of The Good Person of Szechwan, Tennessee Williams' short play Adam and Eve on a Ferry, John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain, and Charles L. Mee's Orestes 2.0. As and actor, he has appeared most recently in Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark, The Neo-futurists Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, Christopher Durang's The Actor’s Nightmare, and Wendy Kesselman's adaptation of The Dairy of Anne Frank. His dramaturgy credits include The Illusion freely adapted from Pierre Corneille’s L’Illusion Comique by Tony Kushner, Iphigenia and Other Daughters by Ellen McLaughlin, and Buried Child by Sam Shepard.
Zack's research interests include theatrical adaptation, contemporary drama, theatre and social change, early modern drama, and trauma studies. Recently, Zack published a chapter entitled “Too Much Memory: Interrogating the National Trauma of the War on Terror” in Reflecting 9/11: New Narratives of Crisis, Disaster and Change (2016).
Ben Aguilar is Technical Director for the Wyatt Center For The Arts, including the Black Box and Amy Cralle Theaters at Bellarmine, as well as a faculty member in the Music Department. He specializes in live performance, digital composition, and live and studio recording and production for students majoring in both music technology, as well as coaching and facilitating all of Bellarmine’s Music Technology Ensembles. In addition to his academic career, Ben is also an in-demand recordist and live-sound engineer, having worked on productions with Bill Moyers’ Moyers and Company, This I Believe hosted by Bob Edwards, Kentucky Governor’s School For The Arts, the Youth Performing Arts School In Louisville, The Berry Center for Culture and Agriculture, and many more. Ben is also a co-founder and producer of the Outsized Influence Music Festival, which celebrates the Bellarmine artistic community.
Kathi E.B. Ellis
Kathi E.B. Ellis is a professional theatre director, a member of the Lincoln Center and Chicago Director’s Labs, and an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. She directs professionally across the country, and has been nominated for the South Florida Regional Theatre Carbonell Award (West Side Story and Jekyll and Hyde). Kathi is co-Artistic Director and Resident Director of Looking for Lilith Theatre Company. She is co-producer and production director of Josephine Summerstage at Josephine Sculpture Park, a unique collaboration between visual and performing arts, for which she has directed their five annual productions. Kathi received a directing intership with Arena Stage, where she was assistant to Livui Cuilei (Ghosts). She has also served as assistant director to Dennis Krausnick of Shakespeare and Company. Kathi's primary research area is into the 19th century actress Frances Ann Drake who was headquartered in Kentucky and Cincinnati for much of her prolific career. Drake is frequently identified as the first great American tragedienne. Kathi has presented papers about this actress at the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the Ohio Valley History Conference; her research has been supported by the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Kathi received her MFA in Directing from the University of Louisville, and was the first recipient of the Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Award for Gender Equity, from UofL's Women's Center.
B.S. Psychology, Xavier University; M.S. Forensic Science, San Diego; M.C.A. in Theatre (Directing) University of Tasmania, Australia.
For a decade Angela enjoyed working at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in a variety of capacities which ranged from backstage Run Crew to Assistant Directing. She also directed with local groups such as Actors Alliance of San Diego, Plutonium Productions and Mo’olelo Performing Arts Theatre.
While obtaining her Master’s Degree in Australia, Angela taught at the University of Tasmania and Launceston College. During this time she had the opportunity to direct for Mudlark Productions and CentrStage Theatre. She also had the honor of being a guest speaker for the annual Drama Tasmania Teacher Conference. She returned to Australia in 2012 as an Artist in Residence where she lectured and directed Terminus for CentrStage Theatre.
Locally, Angela had the pleasure of directing numerous productions. Some of her favorites include The Complete Works of William Shakespeare at The Little Colonel Players, The Glass Mendacity, Sylvia and Proof for Louisville Repertory Company (LRC), two seasons of the Finnegan Festival, Bunbury Theatre’s Women on Fire, and numerous STAGE productions here at Bellarmine. Angela is currently the Vice President for the Board of Directors of the Louisville Repertory Company. She is also an active member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Dru Pilmeris one of a select few worldwide of Designated Linklater Voice Teachers, having been chosen to train with Kristin Linklater. A professional coast to coast actor with extensive training at Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts, for 21 years she has taught university and private voice, acting, improvisation, and movement classes, and has led multiple local and regional workshops. She served as Master Voice Teacher for Kentucky Shakespeare, and trains local TV personalities. She is based in Louisville, KY and Southern Indiana.
As a Linklater Voice teacher and acting coach, Dru works with actors, singers, professional comedians, TV personalities, and business professionals on vocal issues, public speaking, alignment, breath, and acting. She has served as Master Voice Teacher for the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, teaches for Shakespeare and Company’s (of Massachusetts) Weekend Intensive workshops held in Louisville and has led many voice workshops including those for the Southeast Theatre Conference and the Florida School of the Arts. She has served as voice coach for several play productions and teaches private and university voice classes.
Louisville’s TV stations have sought Dru's unique Linklater Voice teaching skills to coach on-air personalities who struggled with debilitating or distracting vocal issues. Law firms, the Kentucky Center for the Arts, and corporate (confidential) clients have hired Dru on multiple occasions to teach workshops and coach staff for more effective, confident voice presentations.
Her movement training includes university Ballet and Jazz Dance; LeCoq, Neutral Masque, Commedia, and Alexander based movement; professional sword and combat fight training and performance; and Period movement, with special emphasis on the Renaissance. Noted teachers include Trish Arnold of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts; Sarah Barker, author of The Alexander Technique; Susan Dibble, Director of Dibble Dance Theatre in N.Y; and Tony Simotes, former artistic director/combat director, Shakespeare & Company.
As a professional actor Dru’s acting credits include Shakespeare’s Lady MacBeth, Titania, Desdemona, and Adriana, as well as various roles in most genres of theatre including musicals. She has improvisation training with Second City’s Martin de Maat of Chicago and Gary Izzo of Disney and New York’s Sterling Renaissance Festival, where she worked multiple seasons as an improvisational actor. She performed three and a half years with the Louisville Improvisers, performing in St. Louis’ and Chicago’s Second City’s Improvisational Festivals. Film and commercial projects round out her varied performance experience.
Ms. Pilmer has had the great fortune to perform in almost every U.S. state, including Alaska, and before large audiences of more than 2,000. Inspired by her travels, she has been an active environmentalist for the last 20 years, and with her husband, designed and built an energy efficient house. She is also an abstract, expressionistic, and portrait painter.
B.F.A, Theatre Arts, Clark Atlanta University; M.F.A, Acting, University of Louisville
Scholarly Interests: Actor Training and Methodology, Directing, On-Camera Acting and Directing, Playwriting and Screenwriting, Mask Work, Stage Combat, Medieval Script adaptation.
Takayla has had the privilege of participating in Horizon Theatre’s Young Playwrights’ Festival as well as The National Black Theatre Festival’s Collegiate Playwrights competition. She has also worked with Atlanta Street Theatre, in Atlanta GA, performing in their play, Little Boy Blue. She has directed plays at Clark Atlanta University, such as, Go Ask Alice and The Stoop to name a few. She also staged managed Topdog/Underdog. She remounted The Stoop at the University of Louisville and premiered her play Where Do We Go From Here.