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  • Meet the Theatre Department

  • Ballance_ColleenColleen M. Ballance, Associate Professor
    B.F.A., Tulane University
    Teaching Certificate, University of Texas- Austin
    M.F.A., Brandeis University
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    Colleen has her BFA in Painting from Tulane University in New Orleans, and her MFA in Theater Design from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. Making the leap between fine art and theater design was for her, mostly a matter of size. “The larger the art work, the better.”

    She is head of the design program in the Wofford College Theatre Department, and teaches all aspects of set, lighting, and costume design, including a favorite course in Period Styles. She has an extensive background in painting and art history, and makes the creation of dynamic stage pictures her highest priority as a teacher and a designer. Colleen is especially interested in developing the visual creativity of her students, and, if so inclined, in assisting them become student designers for Wofford Theater main stage productions. She believes creativity is a form of knowledge, and puts it at the core of all her classes.

    Colleen has over 10 years each professional experience with two of the most highly regarded theatrical institutions in America – the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston. Other areas of experience include Feature Film, TV, Opera, and Business Theater. She continues to work professionally on an annual basis as a set designer for theater and opera. With this amount of professional experience, it is impossible not to have that be the other half of her academic agenda. She teaches a very high standard in theatrical design process. “There’s no point in doing it, if it’s not done with integrity and aiming for the most visual bang possible for the audience.”

    “How can it be that in the theater…in the West…everything that is not contained in dialogue, has been left in the background? I maintain that the stage is a tangible, physical space that needs to be filled and it ought to be allowed to be its own concrete language.” – Antonin Artaud
    dandjDaniel J. Day, Assistant Professor
    B.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City
    M.F.A., Southern Methodist University
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    Before proudly joining the Wofford Theatre faculty in 2011, Dan Day taught acting and directing at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, South Carolina where many of his former students went on to become professional artists and actors in film, television, and the live theater – including a recent Tony Award winner!

    Before moving to South Carolina, Dan co-founded and served as the Artistic Director for fourteen years of Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, Texas – an award winning professional theatre company known for its bold interpretations of the classics and its commitment to new plays and playwrights. As Artistic Director of Kitchen Dog, Dan directed numerous productions, including King Lear, The Tempest, Othello, Waiting for Godot, Buried Child, and the world premieres of Permanent Collection, Isaac, The Virgin Project, The Still Beating Heart of Crank the Clown, Fugitive Pieces, and Eighteen. Nationally, his directing work has been seen in Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Taos, New Mexico. Dan also taught acting and improvisation as an assistant professor in the BFA and MFA programs at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas.

    Dan is a tireless advocate of the live theater and approaches teaching with great passion:

    “I feel it is important for my students to know at the outset why I work in the live theater. This helps, I hope, to create an engaging and exciting learning environment, and to inspire a classroom ethos in which we are all serving something bigger than ourselves. It’s also a way for students to understand what we can expect from each other. For me, the live theater is:

    1. An indispensable art form because of its life–altering potential to inspire empathy, self-examination, and compassion in both practitioners and audience members.

    2. An increasingly rare communal activity in which living people meet in the same space to explore and celebrate what it means to be human.

    3. An alternative to electronic media and a reminder that we have physical bodies (that we are animals, inseparable from nature) and that human beings are more complicated, complex and interesting than any of our technologies.

    4. An intensely difficult process; one which requires the joys and challenges of collaboration, self-discipline, sacrifice, perseverance, and generosity of heart.

    5. An art form that demands from the actor an endless pursuit of craft and the individual mastery of body, voice, and mind.

    6. More fun than almost anything else on earth.”

    Along with his love for teaching and the live theater, Dan is the joyful and grateful husband of Ida Kozlowska-Day and father of a Frank Day.
    fergusonkmKerry Mulvaney Ferguson, Lecturer
    B.A., M.A., Washington
    University in St. Louis
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    Professor Kerry Ferguson earned her BA in Theatre and her MA in Dramatic Theory from Washington University in St. Louis. Primarily a director and playwright, her theatrical interests also include costuming, dramaturgy, and movement for the stage. Her classes include Introduction to Theatre, Acting for Non-Majors, Directing for the Stage, and Theatre for Youth.

    Regional directing credits include West Side Story (Ballet Spartanburg), Steel Magnolias and Driving Miss Daisy (Greenville Little Theatre), Last Lists of My Mad Mother (Theatre Converse), portions of Suzan Lori Parks’ year-long national performance project, 365 Days/365 Plays (The Showroom at Hub-Bub) and Slut! The Musical (Actors Theatre of Charlotte).

    Kerry’s own latest play, connect: a memory play premiered at Wofford in October of 2007. Three of her childrens’ plays, created with Wofford students enrolled in her Theatre for Youth class, also premiered in the Tony White Theatre. Go to Bed, Amelia Red!, Abby the Alien and her Animal Adventures, and Rutabaga’s Royal Academy all opened to rave reviews and ecstatic young audiences. Kerry most recently directed one of her favorite plays, Big Love, by Chuck Mee, with a fabulous ensemble of Wofford actors.

    Other credits include work at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, where she worked as John Malkovich’s assistant director.

    At the core of her theatrical teachings is the idea of the ensemble, and the vitally important role of collaboration. Using techniques loosely based on the works of theatre director Anne Bogart, Kerry emphasizes the importance of both the actor’s body and physical awareness of his or her space.

    In addition to her theatrical work, Kerry also helped create and launch the Hub-Bub Artist-In-Residence Program in 2006, which annually hosts 4 emerging young artists in live/work spaces in downtown Spartanburg. She is also the recipient of the 2009 Hub City Writers Project First Prize for Poetry. Finally, she is married to Mark Ferguson and is the proud full-time mama to daughter Mirabelle, son Beckett Clyde, and sweet baby girl Felicity Dare.

     

    fergusonmaMark A. Ferguson, Associate Professor, Deptartment Chair and Director of the Wofford Theatre
    B.A., Wofford College
    M.A., Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
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    Dr. Mark Ferguson came to Wofford in the fall of 2003, with the institutional mandate to transform a venerable and storied extracurricular program, the Wofford Theatre Workshop founded by Dr. James R. Gross in 1970, into an artistically and intellectually rigorous degree granting program, the Department of Theatre, and producing organization, the Wofford Theatre.

    Before coming to Wofford, Mark taught drama, American literature, translation, and composition at the Universität Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany, as well as founding the English-speaking University of Stuttgart Theater Project. Recently (2012) he returned to Germany with his family on a sabbatical during which he lectured and taught various Dramatic Literature and Playwriting courses at the Universities of Freiburg, Stuttgart and Zurich.

    Mark is a proud alumnus of Wofford College (German and Humanities, ’94, magna cum laude) and holds the MA in Dramatic Literature and the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Drama from Washington University in St. Louis, where he also taught in the departments of English and Performing Arts. Other jobs included work in the arts, academia, advertising and financial services (Chicago and St. Louis), as well as a stint as a welder. Dissertation: “Landscape, Politics, and Alienation in the work of Heiner Müller and Richard Foreman.”
    Thesis production: Hamletmachine.

    Mark has done most theatrical jobs at one time or another but spends most of his time now in the rehearsal hall as a director, or in the classroom teaching the Introduction to Theatre class, as well as upper division dramatic literature courses: Greek and Roman, African American, Contemporary, Modern, Dramatic Theory, and 19th century, as well as the freshman seminar Humanities 101 and Introduction to Theatre.

    “Theatre as a discipline is one of the most important tools in our critical arsenal. Much like the study of philosophy, psychology, religion, and history, the serious study of theatre can be enormously powerful as we attempt to understand the puzzles of our own culture and the nature and purpose of human existence.”

    Some of his favorite directing projects at Wofford include The Visit, Into the Woods, Ciminal Genius, Much Ado About Nothing, Red Roses, Metamorphoses, and The Clean House.

    “Apart from the fun in the rehearsal hall and the development of a rapport with the cast and crew, the greatest pleasures available to me as a director are during performances when I am able to witness the enormous amount of work done by committed designers, technicians, support staff and actors come together to create a beautiful, elegant, hilarious, heartbreaking, or revelatory moment. It is a privilege and a rare gift to get to be a part of something like that.”

    “My favorite thing about working at Wofford is the opportunity to spend every day with extremely bright, talented, and motivated students as they discover the courage, discipline, and tenacity to become amazing artists and scholars, and discover their own distinctive artistic voices.”

    Mark is married to Kerry Mulvaney Ferguson, an actor, director, playwright, poet and adjunct professor at Wofford. They have three crazy children.
    moshurejeJesse Moshure Technical Director
    B.S., Bradley University
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    Jesse Moshure is the Technical Director for the Wofford College Theatre Department. Jesse began his theatre career at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, where he earned a B.S. in Technical Theatre. From there he moved to Chicago where he was both lucky and good enough to land a job as a carpenter for the world renowned Goodman Theatre. At the Goodman, he was able to work with and learn from some of the most talented stagehands and designers that are working in theatre today. Jesse spent a total of seven years at the Goodman and was involved in the construction of over 40 productions ranging from classics like A Christmas Carol to Arthur Miller’s Finishing the Picture.

    In 2008, Jesse headed south to join the Wofford Theatre Department.

    “At Wofford, I am able to use my technical knowledge and skills to bring the designer’s and director’s artistic vision to life. Some of our most memorable sets have included a 5,000 gallon pool for Metamorphoses and a 12 foot tall pair of boots for Big Love. These types of challenges let me use my construction and welding skills in new and interesting ways while sticking to the sound principles that I was taught. At the same time, I am able to pass on these skills and principles to the students that work with me in the scene shop.”

    “During the summer, I continue to work in the professional theatre, and have spent the last five summers as a carpenter at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin. American Players Theatre is an outdoor theatre in the woods that presents Shakespeare and other classic theatre productions in rotating rep. When I’m not playing in the theatre, I’m playing in the woods around the Spartanburg area, where I train dogs for search and rescue as a member of South Carolina Search and Rescue Dog Association.”

    Jesse is married to Stage and Production Management guru Sharon Savage Moshure.