Laura Ballard (Ruby), originally from New Orleans, LA, is a rising junior majoring in Musical Theatre at The University of Alabama. Past professional credits include Stephen Foster Story (Jane) and Footloose (Rusty u/s, Featured Dancer). Previous UA credits include Hair (Sheila), The Violet Hour (Rosamund), and The Bourgeois Gentleman (Soprano). Thank you to my friends, family, and faculty for their continued support.
Bobby Becher (Dick), from Huntsville, AL, is a recent graduate of The University of Alabama, and is very happy to be returning to Gulf Shores. Previous SummerTide credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Leaf Coneybear), Godspell (Lamar), and You're A Good Man Charlie Brown (Schroeder). Other UA credits include Big River (Huck), Flora the Red Menace (Harry), and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon).
Jeff Horger (Hennesey/Captain) earned his BA in theater, Spanish, and education at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Originally from LaSalle, IL, he is currently a graduate student at The University of Alabama working on his MFA in acting. Previous theatrical credits include Big River (The King), The Rose Tattoo (Alvaro), An Enemy of the People (Horster), Twelfth Night (Orsino), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Demetrius), The Playboy of the Western World (Old Mahon), and Cabaret (Schultz).
Matthew Lummus (Lucky) is an Atlanta, GA native and recent graduate of The University of Alabama's musical theatre program. At The University of Alabama, he appeared in Big River, Moby-Dick, Saint Joan, The Bourgeois Gentleman, Candide, Hair, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Medea,and The Wild Party. matthewlummus.com.
Marianne McConnell (Joan) is thrilled to be a part of SummerTide this season! Marianne hails from Huntsville, Alabama and is a senior studying Musical Theatre. Her favorite past credits include Ado Annie (Oklahoma!), Master of Philosophy (The Bourgeois Gentlemen), Jeanie (Hair), Dancer (Moby-Dick) and choreographing for Dance Alabama! Many thanks to her friends and family for their unconditional love and support.
Emmett Louise Smith (Mona Kent), who hails from Opelika, AL, is thrilled to be spending her summer tapping away by the Alabama beaches, which are much different from the Rhode Island shores where she spent last summer as an Intern for Theatre By The Sea. Her favorite regional theatre credits include A Chorus Line (Val), The Full Monty (Susan), and Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal u/s). Her previous UA theatre credits include Hair, Moby-Dick, Candide, and The Bourgeois Gentleman.
Edmond Williams (Director) was the founding Chairman of the UA Department of Theatre and Dance at its formation in 1979, and served in that position until 2007. His production of Edward Bond’s Lear was honored with its selection to the national level of the American College Theatre Festival and was performed at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Dr. Williams has been recognized with Druid Arts Awards for Best Production of a Play and Theatre Educator. In 1996, he was honored by the National Alumni Association of The University of Alabama with their Outstanding Commitment to Teaching award. Dr. Williams is a past president of the Alabama Theatre League and the Southeastern Theatre Conference. Former Chairman of the Commission on Accreditation, Dr. Williams now serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Schools of Theatre, and was recently elected to the National Theatre Conference, an honorary organization of the American Theatre. Williams has directed Anything Goes, Grease, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Little Shop of Horrors, Godspell, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for SummerTide Theatre.
Raphael Crystal (Musical Director) is the founder and director of the musical theatre program of the Department of Theatre and Dance. Active professionally as a composer and musical director, he received a NY Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical for his score for the show Kuni-Leml. Recent premieres of his music include filmed sequences for the new Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not in Times Square, MegaHeroes at the Birmingham Children’s Theatre, and The Bourgeois Gentleman at the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre in New York. He has served as musical director for shows throughout the country, including all of the productions at SummerTide. He is a member of ASCAP, The Dramatists Guild, the Musical Theatre Educators Alliance, and the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, and an alumnus of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.
Stacy Alley (Choreographer) teaches musical theatre/dance at The University of Alabama after seven years on faculty at Arkansas State University, where she taught acting, dance, and voice & movement. She is a professional director and choreographer whose recent credits include A Chorus Line at Forestburgh Playhouse in NY. She has been performing professionally for twenty-five years, including five years in Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular. Stacy is excited to be a part of SummerTide again after performing the role of Rhetta in the inaugural production of Pump Boys and Dinettes as well as choreographing Pump Boys and Anything Goes. Stacy is a member of Screen Actors Guild, the Association of Theatre Movement Educators, the Musical Theatre Educators Alliance, and The Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in NYC, where she was recently awarded the title/degree of Certified Movement Analyst. She is also Chair of the Musical Theatre Committee for the Southeastern Theatre Conference. Stacy holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from The University of Alabama and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of Southern California.
Andy Fitch (Scenic Designer) has designed dozens of productions and leads the MFA program in Scenic Design at UA. Some recent designs include: Joseph…,The Sound of Music, and A Lesson Before Dying for Theatre Tuscaloosa; The Producers and Damn Yankees for The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina; The Three Sisters, The Grapes of Wrath, and Forever Plaid for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival; The Drowsy Chaperone, The Wizard of Oz, Damn Yankees, Cats, and Gypsy for Red Mountain Theatre; and The Drawer Boy and Betrayal for the Warehouse Theatre of South Carolina. He is a founding member of the acclaimed Kitchen Dog Theatre in Dallas. His training includes an MFA degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he studied with noted stage designers William and Jean Eckart.
Donna Meester (Costume Designer), Associate Professor of Theatre, is Director of Costume Design/Production at The University of Alabama. Some of her favorite designs while at UA include: Ragtime, All’s Well That Ends Well, and The Threepenny Opera. Other design credits include work for The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, The Memphis Black Rep, The Red Light Theatre (Washington D.C.), Arkansas State University, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Ouachita Baptist College, Henderson State University, Louisiana State University and The University of Northern Iowa. Meester recently served as Design Chair for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival-Region IV and was the 2011 Recipient of the Kennedy Center Golden Medallion Award. Her costume designs have won several awards from KCACTF, including designs for Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Voices and A Bright Room Called Day. An active member in the United States Institute for Theatre Design/Technology, Donna is currently serving as the Costume Commissioner. She holds a BS in Apparel Technology from Purdue University and an MFA in Stage Design from Southern Methodist University.
Bill Teague (Lighting and Sound Designer) is the Chair for the Department of Theatre and Dance, and teaches design and technical theatre. In addition to this theatrical work, he is represented in other media as well. He has designed scenery for Alabama Public Television and was Production Designer for the feature motion picture, Rebel Love. Mr. Teague wrote and supplied graphics for the Computer Assisted Design section of Scene Design and Stage Lighting, the most widely used text in technical theatre. He has also served as a theatre consultant on restorations and new facilities around the southeast. He is an active member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, serving many years on the executive committee, the 1995 winner of the USITT Southeast Region “Outstanding Educator of the Year” award, former President of the Alabama Conference of Theatre and Speech, and a member of SETC, as well as USITT. In 2004 he received the “Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award” from the UA National Alumni Association.
Karen Baker (Stage Manager) is pursuing her Masters in Fine Arts in Directing at The University of Alabama. Karen has stage managed at the Asolo Center for the Performing Arts/FSU Acting Conservatory, and at UA: Candide and The Tales of the Lost Formicans. Some of her directing credits include Good News, ZAP!, The BoyFriend,and Don’t Drink the Water. She directed Screwtape and The Baby Dance this past year and is looking forward to Directing City of Angels in the fall.
Spencer Collins (Technical Director) is a senior at The University of Alabama, majoring in Theatre. He has appeared in such critically acclaimed films as The Lost Stallions: A Journey Home (starring Mickey Rooney) and Stream, nominated for best cinematography in the short films category at Sundance 06'. He has also worked as a lighting designer for Kim Wayans and Malcolm Jamal Warner with the National Black Theatre Festival. Technical credits, while at The University of Alabama, include The Rose Tattoo and The Bourgeois Gentleman (Master Electrician), Candide and Hair (Sound Operator), The Realm (Lighting Programmer) and Flora, The Red Menace (Sound Designer). Spencer has recently been seen on stage in UA’s Department of Theatre and Dance's production of The Baby Dance (Ron).
Christopher Thomas (Pianist), a doctoral student in piano performance at The University of Alabama, has served as staff accompanist at the Universities of Montevallo, North Alabama, and Alabama at Birmingham. Currently, Thomas is an accompanist at Shelton State Community College, a private piano instructor at UA's Community Music School and will be serving as a graduate assistant next year in the musical theater department at UA. A native of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Thomas plans to pursue a career as a professor of piano.
Cooper Kennard (Percussionist) is a rising junior at The University of Alabama majoring in Musical Theatre and Political Science. UA credits include The Time of Your Life, Saint Joan, An Enemy of the People, and Moby-Dick (world premiere). Having played both drum kit and percussion since age seven, Cooper is no stranger in the pit. Roll Tide and break legs!
Christopher M. Montpetit (Business Manager) is originally from Niagara Falls, NY, where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English/Theater from Niagara University. He continued his studies at Columbia University in New York City, where he earned a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Theater Management. Professionally, Mr. Montpetit has worked at such companies as Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Publishing, The Kathryn Bache Miller Theatre, The Alma Schapiro Theatre, Artpark Theatre and ABC Television. He served for many years as Manager of Public Relations Operations for Showtime Networks and, most recently, as Audience Services Manager for Genesee Community College. A member of the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) and the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), Professor Montpetit was newly selected as the Vice Commissioner for Arts Management for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Inc. (USITT).
Nicholas J. Shabel (Assistant Business Manager) could not be more excited to be working with such a talented group of people in such an amazing community! Having just graduated from The University of Alabama, he intends to pursue law school in the fall. His UA credits include Picasso at the Lapin Agile (C.D. Schmendimen), The Time of Your Life, Sueño de una Noche de Verano, Henry V, The Winters Tale, Romeo & Juliet, and Our Town.
www.summertide.org The Professional Summer Theatre of The University of Alabama