Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Faculty


 

Meta Lasch, Technical Director of Theatre

M.A. – Art, University of Pittsburgh

Meta Lasch has been teaching Theatre at WLU since 1981 where she has produced well over 100 plays and musicals. A graduate of West Liberty in 1976, Ms. Lasch teaches a variety of courses including costuming, makeup, lighting, drafting, and stagecraft.

Her extensive professional experience includes work as a regional Emmy judge (Set Design category), Casting Director and Costumes for Wheeling Visitors Bureau Commercial series for Walkabout Productions, The West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts, West Virginia with the Arts in Industry Show sponsored by Oglebay Institute, Ohio Valley Summer Theater, the Three River’s Shakespeare Festival, and much more.

“While I’ve been spoiled by amazingly supportive staff at other facilities, and courted by other companies and institutions, no place offers the freedom of expression that you find at West Liberty. If you can’t grow here you weren’t planted right, and I believe that those who can do, teach. ”

 


Michael L. Aulick, Theatre Director

MFA, Performance – University of Louisville

Michael L. Aulick trained as an actor and director at the University of Louisville under, among others, James Tompkins and Rinda Frye. He spent a few years touring with the acclaimed Louisville Repertory Theatre Company before taking a position as Professor of Theatre and Artistic Director of the Northeast State Theatre in Blountville, TN. In the nine years he was at Northeast State, the program experienced exponential growth in student-majors, curricular offerings, number and size of productions. He was able to build a program that gained prominence in the area and was recognized for excellence in Theatrical Education. His approach to Theatre-Education includes a strong sense of collaboration between artists prompting him to create The Mountain Empire Theatre Alliance, serving as its president for several years. The alliance maintained 17 institutional memberships (professional, college, community, and high school theatre programs). Through the alliance, a sense of community was created among the members, often leading to collaborative projects, consultation of specific skills, and the sharing of resources. He is proud to have been part of the Historic Barter Theatre/Education Wing in Abingdon, VA where he led workshops and classes in Improvisation and Mask Work.

He is proud to join the talented faculty and staff of West Liberty University’s Department of Music and Theatre as the Director of Theatre. As Theatre Generalist, he uses his training in Stanislavski’ System in conjunction with Kristin Linklater’s Vocal Techniques and a Physical Movement Approach to approach a realistic performance that includes the mind, body, and voice. While he has directed everything from Greek Tragedy to Farcical Comedy to Musical Theatre to Shakespeare, his true passion is in the art that reflects life today. He particularly enjoys the works of Samuel Shepard, Martin McDonagh, Tracy Letts, and David Mamet.

His true love is working with students and looks forward to a long career helping student-actors fulfill their potential as theatre artists.

 


 

John Hennen, Adjunct Professor of Theatre

MFA – Performance, West Virginia University

John was a student at West Liberty State College and a founding member of the Brooke Hills Playhouse who received his graduate degree in theatre from West Virginia University.  He spent several years working in West Virginia before heading to New York City where he worked for many years as an actor, having recurring roles in The Guiding Light, Search for Tomorrow, and As the World Turns. His NY theatrical credits include productions in various theatres, including The Stanford Meisner, The Open Eye, Network Productions and some Off-Broadway productions; the most highly reviewed of which were Frankenstein and Gentrification.  John has spent the last few years teaching and directing at West Liberty University.  His recent directing credits include: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Macbeth, A Company of Wayward Saints, and The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. In addition to directing, John continues to perform and was seen on our stage as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley and he teamed up with his talented wife, Judy, in the production The Gin Game.

 

Maggie Balsley, Adjunct Professor of Theatre

MFA – Performance

Maggie is an award-winning graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.  She taught Speech and Voice for the Actor and directed for the Saturday AADA program and at Brandeis University.  She was the founder and director of Café Espresso, a small acting troupe in New York City. Other New York directing credits include Circle Repertory Theatre and the Gallery Players. Locally, she has directed full productions and staged readings at Off The Wall Theatre, Terra Nova, and Bricolage. She currently teaches, among other courses, Voice, Directing, and Communication in the West Liberty College of Art and Communications.

 

Joanna Obuzor, Adjunct Professor Theatre

AEA Stage Manager  

Joanna is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and excited to be a part of the teaching staff at West Liberty University.  She is a professional Stage Manager based in the Greater Pittsburgh area.  She has stage managed for several theatres including City Theatre, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Texture Contemporary Ballet, Carnegie Mellon University, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, TriArts Sharon Playhouse, University of Pittsburgh, Prime Stage Theatre, Attack Theatre, South Park Theatre, and the Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival.  Some favorite credits include Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir (City Theatre), Blackbird (CityTheatre), Blur (Texture), Porgy and Bess (Opera Theater), as well as her time with The Pittsburgh Tap Ensemble.  Joanna has also worked internationally with tours to France, Belgium, and Mexico.