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IMAGE: Susan Blurton, Costume Designer

Theatre Faculty

Stark Resident Faculty

IMAGE: Brian Newberg
Brian Newberg

Assistant Professor of Theatre & Theatre Director
103A Fine Arts

Brian Newberg is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Theatre Director at Kent State University at Stark. Brian’s directing experience (over sixty production credits) includes Broadway, Regional, Equity Waiver, industry showcases, new work development, and many college productions. He has extensive experience as an actor (over seventy production credits) in the New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oregon areas. He has also served as an Associate Artistic Director for a regional theatre company, run his own private acting studios, and taught at a number of colleges on the west coast before coming to Kent State. Brian is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and received his M.F.A. in Directing from the University of California, Irvine.

Stark Adjunct Faculty

IMAGE: Susan Blurton
Susan Blurton

Adjunct Faculty

Susan Blurton has designed costumes for various productions over the past 16 years including the Canton Palace Theater, Canton Civic Center, Players Guild, Porthouse Theatre, John F. Knight Center, Akron Civic Theater and The Christmas Spectacular, which was recorded and aired on PBS. She began her venture into theatre while living in New York and freelancing for Off-Broadway shows, mainly as a stitcher and pattern maker. She designed sportswear for the 7th Ave. design house Ellen Tracy/Liz Claiborne. Her duties included designs for sportswear and the dress division, purchases of all fabric and trims, and dressing models at runway shows and photo shoots. While living in L.A., she served as a dresser to Franki Valli, The Pointer Sisters, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and she was a personal shopper for Aaron Spelling. Along with designing costumes, she is an active artist and art teacher. She received her B.S. in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati, Teaching Certification from Mount Union University and M.A. from Marygrove College.

IMAGE: Michael Gatto
Michael Gatto
Adjunct Faculty

Michael Gatto is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State Stark. His performance experience includes professional work in New York, Cleveland, Akron, and Montgomery, AL. Michael was the visiting theatre director at Lake High School from 2008 to 2012 and, as a fight choreographer, his credits include professional, non-equity, collegiate and high school productions. Michael received his MFA in Classical Theatre from the University of Alabama/ Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

IMAGE: Ron Jarvis
Ron Jarvis
Adjunct Faculty

You might recognize Ron Jarvis as a performer, producer, music director, and/or composer for such stalwart North East Ohio acts as The Buckeye Biscuit Band, Ital, First Light, Alex Bevan, Pat Dailey and, most recently, Macaw; the American Worldbeat Band.  He is also an adjunct faculty member at Kent State where he has taught Art of the Theatre and Theatre Criticism classes as well as the three part series of Sound Design and Technology classes for the Entertainment Arts and Technologies certificates program.  Ron has worked with world renowned directors Vincent Dowling (composition for The Winter’s Tale at Kent State) as well as Ping Chong (Blindness: The Irresistible Light Of Encounter at La Mama Theatre in NYC) and has served as a live mix consultant at Geauga Lake and Cedar Point Amusement Parks. Although his first sound design for Kent State Stark was for the 2002 production of Dancing at Lughnasa, since 2007 he has designed many of the Kent State Stark theatrical productions including Oklahoma!, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Into the Woods, The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Mikado, Crazy for You, Dating is Tough to Do...and Funny, Too! and Songs for a New World.

IMAGE: James Lunsford
James Lunsford
Adjunct Faculty

James Lunsford obtained an M. A. in Theatre Arts from The University of Akron in 1992 and has been an Adjunct Instructor in Theatre at the Stark Campus of Kent State University since 1994. During his student years, he was also heavily involved in the theatre programs at Mount Union College as an actor and student director. For ten years, Mr. Lunsford directed a theatre program at the high school level earning numerous awards including Superior Ratings by the Ohio Arts Council.  He has also directed numerous productions in community theatre as a guest director in addition to administering a summer theatre program in Lorain County Ohio for several years as the artistic director.

IMAGE: Arwen Mitchell
Arwen Mitchell
Adjunct Faculty

Arwen Mitchell is a Midwest-based writer, dramaturge, and historian with over a decade of experience in playwriting, dramaturgy, and theatre history. Her work focuses on American history, women’s studies, pop culture, and humanism. As the co-facilitator and writer for The Old State Capitol’s "Living History" program in Springfield, Illinois, she developed versatile dramatic material and programming for historic sites, and frequently performed one of her pieces as Frances Dana Barker Gage, noted 19th-century abolitionist. Her produced plays include RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), Bitter Pills, The Maybe Pile, Everybody Has One, and I’ve Got Nothing to Do Today But Smile, About Face, and A Giant Leap. She is a company member of Ohio City Theatre Project (OCTP), and has served as dramaturge for their production of The Bald Soprano, as well as dramaturge/co-creator for their original production of Free Radical and The Late Night Sketchbook. OCTP will also produce Arwen's full-length vaudeville-style play Snake Oil (or, Kilbride & Delacourt's Forever Remedy - A Night's Entertainment) in the spring of 2015.  She is the recipient of the second Nord Playwriting Fellowship at Cleveland Public Theatre. Arwen holds an MS in Theatre History & Criticism from Illinois State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. She is a member of the Dramatist's Guild.

IMAGE: Louis Williams
Louis Williams

Adjunct Faculty & Theatre Specialist

Louis Williams is the resident technical director, an adjunct faculty member and the scenic and lighting designer at Kent State Stark and has designed over 200 productions in 30 years in theatre, opera, ballet and rock-n-roll. This includes work with such theatre companies as: The American Ballet Theatre II, The Joffrey Ballet II, The Arizona Theatre Company, The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, The Kenley Players, The Ohio Light Opera, The Cleveland Opera, The Cinncinnati Opera, Southern Arizona Light Opera Company, Carousel Dinner Theatre, The Agora, Cleveland Ohio, The Temple Of Music And Art, Tucson, Arizona, ChildsPlay Inc, of Phoenix, Arizona, and The Scottsdale Civic Center, Scottsdale, Arizona.  

His concert lighting design credits include work with: Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn, B.B. King, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, John Mayall and the BluesBreakers, James Cotton, Willie Dixon, Bobby Blue Bland, Carmine Appice, Donnie Iris, Eric Carmen, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. His film and television credits include Desert Bloom, produced by Johnny Carson Productions and the Sundance Film Institute, and episodes of Simon and Simon with Gerald McCraney and Jameson Parker.  

Louis’ extensive lighting crew experience includes work with: David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Celine Dion, White Zombie, Nine Inch Nails,  Black Sabbath, Ozzie Osbourne, Michael Bolton, Wynona Judd, Sting, Aerosmith, Korn, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Marilyn Manson, REM, Pearl Jam, Todd Rundgren, Sam Kinison, Joe Walsh, Destiny’s Child, Slipknot, Blues Traveller, Clint Black, Faith Hill, Stevie Nicks, The Dixie Chicks, Alan Jackson, Rusted Root, Pavement, Janes Addiction, Henry Rollins, and Tool. Louis was on the I.A.T.S.E crew for the installation of the original National Tours of Phantom of the Opera and The Secret Garden at the Palace Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio.                                                                                                                                                                                   
Mr. Williams has award winning designs for Death of a Salesman and A Little Night Music, and was inducted into Who’s Who in America for 2011.    

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