Guest Artists and Residencies

A major part of learning for students is becoming familiar with the work and styles of various artists. Because the industry is such a "tight-knit"; profession, career networking is of utmost importance for early career artists. For these reasons, we offer regular opportunities for students to interact with and observe visiting professional artists in master classes, artist residencies, and performances.

Guest artists make meaningful contributions to the development and growth of our students throughout the year. The Guest Artist Program at Middle Tennessee State University creates an environment that is supportive, substantive and inclusive of diversity. The guest artist series actively engages the theatre and dance program, campus and the community in special activities and programs that focus on multicultural issues within art and society. The extended residencies by innovative and acclaimed artists give students, faculty, and staff new materials and perspectives to integrate into their professional work and development.


  • Jon Royal - "Anti-Racism Tools for the Academy" workshop for faculty, staff, and students.
  • Arnel Sancianco - Professional Scenic Designer
  • Tamiko Robinson Steele - Professional Actor
  • Jeremy Gillett - Professional Actor. Guest performer for Introduction to Theatre. 
  • Alex Volckhausen - Professional Broadway Stage Manager


  • Jacqui Swift - Actor/Writer. Guest Artist for Introduction to Theatre. 
  • Jessica Fisch - Chicago based director. Guest Artist for Advanced Directing. 
  • Laura Rikard - Intimacy Choreographer, Coordinator and Educator with Theatrical Intimacy Education.
  • Dan Deming - Production Manager with Cedar Point Live Entertainment to interview production applicants for summer employment.
  • Michelle Mercedes Russell - Professional Dancer. Guest Artist for Advanced Contemporary. 
  • Brittney Johnson - Broadway performer, including Les Miserables, Motown, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and made Broadway history as the first African-American to play Glinda in Wicked.

  • Hunter Ryan Herdlicka – Broadway performer in the Tony Award-winning revival of A Little Night Music and has appeared in multiple regional theatre productions. 

  • Julio Agustin – Accomplished director/choreographer, Broadway & TV/Film actor, audition coach, and author of The Professional Actor’s Handbook: From casting Call to Curtain Call.
  • David E. Foster – Operations Supervisor with Cedar Point Live Entertainment to audition actors, singers, and dancers for summer employment.


  • Daniel Gwirtzman - Choreographer, Performer, Instructor and founder of Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company
  • Darius Wallace - Actor, Writer, Poet. Guest Artist for Introduction To Theatre
  • Heather Ondersma - Guest Director for 2019 Production of Spring Awakening
  • Hannah Chase - Director of Megawatt, Instructor and Performer. Guest Artist in Improv Development
  • Shawn Knight Shawn Knight is a professional Equity actor living in Nashville, TN
  • Jason Thomas Kidd


  • Chris Rhoton - Scenic Designer. Guest designer for 2018 production of 9 to 5.
  • Jon Royal - Actor and Director. MTSU Alumni. Guest artist and contributor for TN Governors School for the Arts.
  • Melanie Mortimore - Professor of Theatre at Miami University (OH) Costume Designer
  • Darius Wallace - Actor, Writer, Poet. Guest Artist for Introduction To Theatre
  • George Staib - Artistic Director and founder of StaibDance
  • Rebecca Steinberg - Choreographer and dance educator. Member of New Dialect dance collective
  • Dorse Brown - Choreographer and performer
  • Kelly Ferris Lester - Professor of Dance, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Shawn Knight Shawn Knight is a professional Equity actor living in Nashville, TN
  • Marina Hunley-Graham - Artistic Director for Unto These Hills in Cherokee, NC. 
  • Jill McMillan - Executive Director at Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville
  • Wallace Nason 
  • Elizabeth Bond Lentz-Hill
  • Katherine Duke Karten  
  • Angela Scruggs


  • Banning Bouldin - Nashville Native and founder of dance collective NEW DIALECT
  • Elaine BromkaEmmy Award-winning actress Elaine Bromka, with over thirty years in film, television, Broadway and Off-Broadway
  • Carolyn Conn - Associate professor of Lighting/Sound Design at Stephen F. Austin University - Sound desginer for A Streetcar Named Desire and master class in Sound Design
  • Brandon Bruce - Artistic director of Birmingham Children's Theatre - Professional Mock Audition and Portfolio Screening
  • Robin Daugherty - Agent at Talent Trek Nashville - Acting for the camera workshop
  • Windship Boyd - Guest Choreographer
  • Carol Ponder and Robert Keifer - writers and performers of My Father's War. 
  • Shawn KnightShawn Knight is a professional Equity actor living in Nashville, TN


  • Christopher K. Morgan 
  • Michael Lugering, master teacher of voice, movement, and acting; author of THE EXPRESSIVE ACTOR.
  • Windship Boyd, professional dancer and choreographer with a classical background, recent specialist in West African dance, creator of Papalagui
  • Carol Ponder, professional actress and award-winning recording artist, co-writer and performer for My Father's War
  • Robert Keifer, multifaceted actor and director with a specialty for developing one-person shows, co-writer and director for My Father's War


  • Lindsay Pierce
  • Amanda K Miller
  • Analia Alegre-Femenias
  • Jessica Lindberg-Coxe 


  • T. Lang 
  • Teena Marie Custer 
  • Jessie Zaritt


  • Angie Simmons and Amy Shelly
  • Shannon Robert, scenic designer; recipient of Atlanta's 2014 Suzi Bass Award for best set design for a musical for Mary Poppins at Aurora Theatre.
  • Stafanie Batten-Bland
  • Heidi Schill Clemmens


  • Aaron McGloin
  • T. Lang
  • Cynthia Gutierrez Garner
  • Kanta Kochhar- Lindgren


  • Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner
  • Holly Handman Lopez
  • Tina Marie Custer


  • Alwin Nikolais Residency, Alberto Del Saz, Director
  • Claire Porter
  • Laurie Merriman
  • E.E. Balcos
  • Stefanie Batten-Bland


  • Wendy Allen
  • Stefanie Batten-Bland


  • Ivan Pulinkala
  • Mari Jo Irbe
  • Sara Semonis
  • Zelma Badu-Younge
  • Travis Gatling
  • Erica Wilson-Perkins


  • Zelma Badu-Younge
  • Travis Gatling
  • Ursula Payne
  • Wrica Wilson-Perkins


  • Chung Fu-Chang
  • Tina Marie Custer
  • Ivan Pulinkala
  • Zelma Badu-Younge 


  • Heidi Clemmens
  • Tina Marie Custer
  • Travis Gatling
  • Ivan Pulinkala
  • Chung Fu-Chang
  • Zelma Badu-Younge


  • Heidi Clemmens
  • Travis Gatling
  • Zelma Badu-Younge

Past Theatre and Dance Guest Artists:

  • Allan Barlow, MTSU alumnus and veteran stage actor, performance of his one-man version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
  • Bill Bowers, mime artist and Broadway actor in THE LION KING, performance of IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING
  • Lane Davies, MTSU Theatre alumnus, TV/film and stage actor, performance and residency for ROMEO & JULIET
  • Brian O'Neil, author of ACTING AS A BUSINESS, workshop in CAREER PLANNING STRATEGIES
  • Anthony Rapp, actor in RENT (stage and film), CAREER DISCUSSION session
  • Nick Roesler, associate Director of Theatremakers at the National Theatre Institute of the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center
  • Ron Hubbard, film Maker, workshop on ACTING FOR THE CAMERA
  • Liz Warren, storyteller, teacher, and award-winning recording artist; performance of AN EVENING OF IRISH FOLKS TALES
  • Craig Wroe, author of AN ACTOR PREPARES TO LIVE IN NYC, master class on STARTING A CAREER IN NEW YORK



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