Colleen Megarity Ballance Associate Professor of Theatre
B.F.A., Tulane University Teaching Certificate, University of Texas, Austin M.F.A., Brandeis University
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 Theater Department, and teaches Set Design, Costume Design, Period Styles, and Scene Painting. 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 they are so inclined, in mentoring them as student designers for Wofford Theater Departmental 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, Ballet, and Business Theater. She continues to work professionally on an annual basis as a set designer for theater, ballet, 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 authentic and dramatic visual experience possible for the audience.”
In addition to her theatrical design career, Colleen’s interests have begun to include Islamic studies, and use of Islamic landscape, architecture, and imagery in her watercolor painting. She occasionally teaches Watercolor for the Studio Art Department at Wofford.
“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
B.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City M.F.A., Southern Methodist University
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:
An indispensable art form because of its life–altering potential to inspire empathy, self-examination, and compassion in both practitioners and audience members.
An increasingly rare communal activity in which living people meet in the same space to explore and celebrate what it means to be human.
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.
An intensely difficult process; one which requires the joys and challenges of collaboration, self-discipline, sacrifice, perseverance, and generosity of heart.
An art form that demands from the actor an endless pursuit of craft and the individual mastery of body, voice, and mind.
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.
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, The Art of Acting, 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 play, connect: a memory play premiered at Wofford in October of 2007. Many of her childrens’ plays, created with Wofford students enrolled in her Theatre for Youth classes, have also premiered on the Wofford stage. From Go to Bed, Amelia Red! (2006) to The How to Be a Kid Show! (2018), Kerry’s plays have opened to rave reviews and ecstatic young audiences. Kerry has also 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.
Dr. Mark A. Ferguson Chair and Professor | Director of the Wofford Theatre
B.A., Wofford College M.A., Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
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, Criminal 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
B.A., Chico State University M.F.A., Humboldt State University
David Kenworthy is the Technical Director for Wofford’s Department of Theatre. He holds a B.A. in Theatre from Chico State University and an M.F.A. in Scenography from Humboldt State University. Prior to coming to Wofford, he taught all aspects of technical theatre and design at Oklahoma Baptist University. For seven years, he was the Production Manager and Technical Director for the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts in Eureka, CA. He spent time as a stage manager and crew chief at Walt Disney World in Florida, running shows in multiple parks, including Tarzan Rocks, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and others. For the past fifteen years, he has toured as a sound engineer, lighting designer, production manager, and stage manager, working with different rock bands, including the Beach Boys, Blue Oyster Cult, the Doobie Brothers, and others. David loves theatre and puts all he has into it. It is his passion and what keeps him moving forward. His goal is to impact not only the students but the world at large with the power of theatre.
Dr. Miriam Thomas Arts Administrator and Adjunct Professor of Theatre
B.A., Wofford College M.A., University of South Carolina Ph.D., Bowling Green State University
Miriam Hahn Thomas serves as the Arts Administrator for the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts, assisting with arts programming, publicity, and more for the Department of Art & Art History, the Department of Theatre, and the Richardson Family Art Museum and Gallery. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Theatre Department, most regularly teaching Introduction to Theatre and The Art of Acting. Other teaching interests include theatre history and theory, dramaturgy, modern and contemporary drama, and cultural diversity in performance. A 2006 Wofford graduate, she earned her Ph.D. in Theatre from Bowling Green State University in 2014, and has since held Visiting Assistant Professor positions at Kennesaw State University and Ball State University. As a theatre historian, her work is broadly centered on indigenous American representation, the intersections between place and memory, and performative constructions of American identity, with particular regard to the mythic ideal of the American West.
Thomas has most recently published in Ecumenica: Journal of Theatre and Performance, and she presents regularly at the Mid-America Theatre Conference, the American Society for Theatre Research, and the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. Recent directorial credits include Kara Hartzler’s No Roosters in the Desert and Melinda Lopez’s Sonia Flew. Production dramaturgy credits include Sonia Flew, Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, and Ellen McLaughlin’s Iphigenia and Other Daughters.