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Member at Large for Focus Groups
Becky Prophet, professor of theatre at Alfred University, firmly believes in the teaching of theatre to create excellent theatre artists. She has participated in ATHE since its foundation, having served as Conference Planner for Directing, Directing Focus Group Chair, joined others to write the original guidelines for T and P for Directors, and served as Nominations Committee chair. Very active in the Directing Program, Theatre as a Liberal Art, and the Playwrights and Creative Teams Focus Groups, Becky is working with others on revising tenure and promotion guidelines for the organization.
Vision Statement: Always a passionate advocate for theatre as an essential aspect of any society, I will work to represent to the Governing Council the power and value of the large number of approaches to theatre and the teaching of theatre that ATHE makes possible through the essential focus groups. In the shared work between the focus groups and the Governing Council, ATHE is well-poised to continue to support theatre's vast variety of possibilities on campuses and throughout our society and to expand that influence in farther reaches of academe and our broader world culture. I am thrilled with the opportunity to continue as Member-at-large for Focus Group Representatives to help our organization and discipline carry ATHE's advocacy; diversity; and social, political, and aesthetic awareness from Chicago's marvelous arts environment to the wider world-with growth and renewal in all amiable theatre environments.
Tom Robson is an Assistant Professor of Theatre & Dance at Millikin University, where he teaches courses in theatre history, dramatic literature, directing, and playwriting. He served for many years in leadership of ATHE's Theatre History Focus Group, including as Focus Group Representative. Also within ATHE he currently serves as chair of the Subcommittee on Pedagogy and sits on the Conference Planning Committee for ATHE 2017 in Las Vegas. He has presented scholarship, artistry, and pedagogy with ATHE's Theatre History, Black Theatre Association, American Theatre & Drama Society, Music Theatre & Dance, and Playwrights and Creative Teams focus groups. He is also the former co-chair of the Mid-America Theatre Conference Playwriting Symposium. He has published in Theatre Journal, Ecumenica, Theatre History Studies, the film journal JUMP CUT, and the edited collection Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor.
Vision Statement: I attended my first ATHE Conference in 2007 in New Orleans while a graduate student, and in that time I have found ATHE to be a tremendous asset to my professional career. The organization can prove an invaluable asset to those within the field, and because I have taken such advantage of its resources I have always believed I had a responsibility to give back to it. An organization as large and complex as ATHE necessarily must value communication, and communication between the focus groups, the governing council, and the membership must be a priority. As MAL for focus groups, I would hope to serve in support of the clearest communication possible. As someone who has so long respected and valued ATHE, I would relish this opportunity to contribute to the organization.
Member at Large for Finance
Lionel Walsh has served ATHE as a Focus Group Rep, Focus Group Conference Planner, Pre-conference Planner, MAL-Operations, VP-Awards and, most recently as VP-Conference 2015 in Montreal. In his most recent position, he gained an in-depth knowledge of the workings of the budget, which will serve him well as MAL-Finance. He has a keen interest in serving ATHE's membership and in helping the organization develop new initiatives. Lionel is Associate Professor, School of Dramatic Art, University of Windsor, where he also holds an administrative position as Assistant Vice-President, North American Recruitment. He is also the director of the Inspired Acting Lab in which he and his students investigate and create new exercises in Fantastic Realism. He will experiment with these exercises in a production of Choking the Butterfly by James Johnson, which will be presented in Windsor and Toronto in May/June 2016. He is a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique and a founding Associate Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium.
Jeff Wax is an Associate Professor of Theater and Film at Lone Star College in Cypress, Texas where he teaches acting and directs. An ATHE member since 2001, Jeff has been a panelist in Acting Focus Group sessions on contemporary acting techniques and a presenter of several scholarly papers. Additionally, he has served as a director and actor in the New Play Development Workshops; most recently featured as a performer in SETC/PACT Getchell Award staged reading of Robert Plowman's play, The Missing Link at the 2014 ATHE conference. Jeff is a member of Actor's Equity. He studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and at Shakespeare & Company and earned his MFA in Directing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Jeff has been a member of the artistic staff of The Barksdale Theater in Richmond, Virginia, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, The Hartford Stage and the Asolo Theater in Sarasota, Florida. He was formerly the founding artistic director of the Dark Water Theatre Company in Portland, Maine. As a stage actor Jeff has performed throughout the United States and also at Scotland’s Edinburgh Festival, The Chekhov Theater Festival in the Ukraine and in London, England.
Vision Statement: With twenty years professional experience, I remain as energized and fulfilled by theatre as I was when I first discovered it. I take pride in the manner in which I manage my life as a theatre practitioner and educator. I am proud to be a long-standing member of ATHE and ascribe to its mission of supporting and advancing the study and practice of theatre and performance in higher education. I am committed, if afforded the opportunity, of assuming an integral role in contributing to the efficacy of this outstanding organization. As a Member-At-Large to the Finance Committee I will work assiduously with my colleagues contributing my knowledge and expertise in budgeting and financial management drawing upon my solutions-based experience as the Producing Artistic Director of a professional theater company, which I founded and managed for ten years. Philosophically, I believe arts organizations should establish a comprehensive financial management system as a framework structured through a series of financial questions in developing the most effective financial management practices. I advocate strategic planning as a critical building block for an effective financial management culture. While the financial modeling done in this planning process is valuable, it is the focus and shared understanding of mission that this work brings to the organization that most impacts day-to-day financial decisions. Discussions quickly focus on projects and opportunities that are in line with the mission, allowing more time to be spent on the financial analysis of this much smaller set of options. In this way, the effort to create and communicate a strategic plan helps create a financial management culture that is quick to focus and can be more rigorous in its investment decisions.
The election for this position will happen on-site in Chicago.