Associate Professor Paul B. Crook
Director of Recruiting for the
Department of Theatre
Paul teaches both undergraduate and graduate acting and directing courses and supervises all student directing projects, in addition to directing for the University Theatre. He also serves as the Director of Recruiting for the University Theatre. Paul has previously served as the Director of Theatre Arts for Andrew College in Cuthbert, GA; on the faculty of Shelton State Community College Theatre; as a Distance Educator for the University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance; was one of the founding directors of the Kentuck Players in Northport, AL and also served as the Artistic Coordinator for the SecondStage Theatre in Tuscaloosa, AL.
In addition to his work at Louisiana Tech, Paul has directed and acted in theatres around the nation. He has previously served as the Associate Artistic Director for the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, a summer rep theatre in Durant, OK and currently serves as the Artistic Director of The B & B Theatre, a company that he formed with his wife, Mary Fran, a theatre professor at Grambling State University. Two of the plays Paul has written:Brit Lit, OR All You Need to Know to Survive Senior English but Were Afraid to Ask and AMLIT! were commissioned for production by Stage Centre, an educational touring theatre company, and toured across the state of Alabama. Two of his ten-minute plays: “Front Porch Requiem” and “LAVALOOOOO!!!” were selected for performance at the nationally known Kentuck Festival of the Arts Ten Minute Play Festival.
Paul is a member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference, where he serves as Chair of the College and University Division and Chair of the Leighton Ballew Scholarship Committee. As part of his work for SETC, Paul writes occasionally for the “SETC News” and Southern Theatre magazine. He is also the Louisiana state Chair for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, Region VI.
Professor Mark D. Guinn
Director, School of the Performing Arts
A Professor of Theatre at Louisiana Tech University, Mark serves on the faculty as a Professor of Movement and Production Manager for the Department of Theatre. He is a professional director, designer, and fight director. He has worked in theatres from Tokyo to Rome as lighting designer, director, and fight director. He has over twenty-eight years experience working in outdoor drama. Mark received his B.A. from Centre College of Kentucky and his M.F.A. from Memphis State University. He is a Fight Master with the Society of American Fight Directors and a Certified Teacher with the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat.
He has served as Coordinator of the National Stage Combat Workshops in Las Vegas, the Stage Combat Workshop at Louisiana Tech University and was on the faculty of the First International Stage Combat Workshop, the 1994 Paddy Cream Workshop, the Summer Sling in New York, and the British National Stage Combat Workshop. Mark has collaborated on original productions with William Joyce, Mikel Rouse, and the Flaming Idiots.
Some of his recent directorial credits include: The Leafmen and the Brave Good Bugs, a play based on the book by William Joyce; Shane, the world stage premiere; Bluejacket the Epic Outdoor Drama and Qui Nguyen’s Living Dead in Denmark.
His scenic design credits include the stage premiere of Shane, and The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs. His lighting design credits include The Flaming Idiots at the New Victory Theatre, A Christmas Carol at New American Theatre, A Knight at the Fights for University of Nevada Las Vegas, and telescan operator/designer for Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and the Gypsy Kings. Mark has done all this in search of Einstein’s quote, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science”.
Ms. Dianne Maroney-Grigsby
Dianne Maroney-Grigsby, LADA Choreographer, Artisti-in-Residence. A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Dianne left for New York in 1973. After joining the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, she toured extensively with that company. Dianne also performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
In 1983, Dianne left her positions with Ailey as soloist, assistant artistic director of the Ailey Repertory Ensemble, and full-time faculty member at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center to become artistic director of Orchesis Dance Company at Grambling State University (GSU). Since moving to Louisiana, Dianne received her BA degree from GSU and her MA degree in theatre from Louisiana Tech University (LTU). She is currently on faculty as dance instructor for both GSU and LTU’S School of Performing Arts.
Dianne taught at Louisiana Dance Foundation’s Summer Dance Festivals from 1983-2007 and has set numerous award winning ballets on LDF’S resident dance company, Louisiana Dance Theatre (LDT) including I Won’t Let Go of My Faith, World Hunger, Red, Red II, Obsessions, Lacrimosus, Immortalis, Apotheosis, Many Different Roads, Long As I Got King Jesus, and I Believe I Can Fly.
LDT has performed Dianne’s choreography in Russia, Austria, and throughout the U.S. in Chicago, IL; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, FL; throughout Louisiana; and throughout Texas in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Amarillo, and Abilene. LDT performed Dianne’s choreography at the Jazz Dance World Congress at the Kennedy Center in 1996 and in Chicago in 1994 earning the Silver LEO Award ($1,000) for her choreography, Red. LDT was also selected to perform Dianne’s choreography, Apotheosis, on the Gala performance of Regional Dance America’s first-ever National Festival at Jones Hall in Houston. LDT recently received Gala status at the 2006 RDA/SW Festival for their performance of Lacrimosis at the Dorothy Chandler Woodland’s Pavilion in Houston.
LDT and Grambling’s Orchesis Dance Company have collaborated in more than 25 workshops and performances since 1983. The 1995 Living Legend recipient and director of Orchesis has taken the 58 year-old company to a new level. As an ambassador for Louisiana, Orchesis has performed in Japan and throughout America from New York to California. Orchesis has been featured in Proctor and Gamble national TV commercials, live appearances with recording artist Vicky Wynans, and with the GSU Tiger Marching band in the hit movie, Drumline. Dianne recently choreographed and appeared in Denzel Washington’s new movie, “The Great Debator.”
Professor Kenneth Robbins
Professor of Playwriting, Analysis,
and Criticism and Dramatic History and Literature
Kenneth Robbins, author of twenty-one published plays, four novels, four collections of Christmas stories and numerous essays, stories and memoirs. He currently serves Louisiana Tech University as Director of Graduate Studies, School of the Performing Arts. At Louisiana Tech, he has directed productions of Peter Snoad’s Guided Tour, winner of the first Arthur W. Stone New Play Award, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, by William Shakespeare, Master Harold…and the Boys by Athol Fugard, Robert Bolt’s drama, A Man for All Seasons, Our Town and Fiddler on the Roof.
Among his honors and recognitions are service to KCACTF as National Playwriting Chair, a member of the National Selection Team, and Playwriting Chair for Region V. In addition he is a former Fulbright Scholar to Macedonia, a Malone Fellow to Saudi Arabia, a lecturer in Israel, the alumni of the Year, College of Education at Georgia Southern University, a juror for the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre in Egypt, and an Artists Fellow in Japan. His novels have received the Toni Morrison Prize for Fiction and the Associated Writing Programs Novel Award. His dramas have been produced throughout the US, Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, Tasmania, Lebanon, and Japan while receiving the Festival of Southern Theatre New
Play Award, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting Program Award, and the Charles Getchell New Play Award offered through the Southeastern Theatre Conference. His plays have been produced at the Dallas Theater Center, Nashville Academy Theatre, Second Stage (Chicago), the Barter Theatre, and others. He has participated in development projects at the Project Theatre, Dublin, the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, and New Dramatists in New York City. He is a two-time recipient of the Kennedy Center Golden Medallion.
In addition to his novels, Robbins, with his wife, Dorothy Dodge Robbins, has edited three collections of literary works: Christmas Stories from Georgia (UP Mississippi, 2005), Christmas on the Great Plains (UP Iowa, 2004), and Christmas Stories from Louisiana (UP Mississippi, 2003). His fictional titles include The City of Churches (NewSouth Books, Montgomery, AL, 2004), Matchless (Dream Catcher Pub., forthcoming), In the Shelter of the Fold (Dream Catcher Pub., 2002), The Baptism of Howie Cobb (USD Press, 1995) and Buttermilk Bottoms (UP Iowa, 1987).
Professor Cherrie A. Sciro
Coordinator of Theatre
Cherrie Sciro is the Coordinator of Theatre and Professor in the School of Performing Arts at Louisiana Tech. Her most treasured directing experience here at Tech was the 1999 production of Six Women with Brain Death…, which was awarded 21 awards throughout the region and state, including the Richard A. Weaver Best Production Award, a first for the University Theatre. She directed the 2006 fall production of W;t, a play close to her heart because of its promotion of cancer awareness.
Ms. Sciro is also known nationally for her Broadway credits which include Production Coordinator of the Tony Award-winning productions Cats, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon. As well as Broadway Stage Manager for Song and Dance, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly, an All-Star Tribute to Ethel Merman, featuring Lainie Kazan, Patti LuPone, Andrea Martin, Elaine Stritch and Bette Midler. Stepping out of the theatre, Ms. Sciro served as the Production Manager for the 1999 Hard Rock Rockfest in Atlanta, GA, and the Stage Manager for the 2001 New Year’s Eve in Times Square in New York City. She was also Road Manager for Patti LuPone and Dixie Carter.
Her International credits include the London, England productions of Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Follies, and Sunset Boulevard. She also served as the Production Manager for the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain and Atlanta, GA.
Mr. Adam Spencer
Adam is a native of Nebraska where he attended Chadron State College and received his Bachelors of Arts in theatre. After graduating he worked professionally at several theaters around the nation such as The Olney Theatre Center in Olney, MD and The Lexington Children’s Theatre in Lexington, KY. He studied for an MFA in theatre at Illinois State University where he focused on scenic and lighting design. After graduate school he worked for two years at the Birmingham Children’s Theatre in Birmingham, AL as the Technical Director and Resident Designer, where he designed sets for shows such as Young Abe Lincoln, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Mr. Spencer teaches Theatre Appreciation, Intro to Theatre, Theatre Practicum, Technical Direction, and Stagecraft.
Andrew N. Davis
First Year Graduate Assistant
Department of Theatre Office Manager
Andrew is a first year graduate assistant in the Department of Theatre. He received his undergraduate degree in Theatre from Samford University. After graduating he worked for the A.D. Players National Touring Company in Houston, TX. He has also performed and directed with the Heights Players and "Woman Seeking.." Theatre Companies in New York City. Most recently, he has worked with the Performing Arts Center and Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN. Andrew is a native of Radford, VA.
2nd Year Graduate Assistant
Head of Marketing and Promotions
Marian Fields holds a BA in English from Austin College, is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and is a featured playwright of Tech's chapter of Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society. She made her debut on the Stone Theatre stage last fall as Mrs. Muller in John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, A Parable. As a playwright, Ms. Fields' play entitled "Slain Gall" debuted on the Stone Theatre stage as a part of APO's Spare Change Initiative Theatre in the summer of 2014. Her journalistic works can be seen in both print and online publications such as All Christian News, DFW Child Magazine, Your Black World News Network, and California's Inland Valley News. Lastly, she is the author of the book of poetry and short stories entitled Ephemeral Moments. In her graduate studies, Marian seeks to expand her playwriting skills and also grow in the area of performance.
Monique W. Mapes
1st Year Graduate Assistant
Costume Studio Supervisor
Monique W. Mapes is a first year graduate student in the Department of Theatre. She received her undergraduate training from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where she received a BS in General Studies with a concentration in Theatre, Psychology and Sociology. While Monique's focus is in Costume Design, she also is interested in performance. She has performed in many musicals at her local hometown Community Theatre, ACT. Monique is originally part of the Waguespack Family, who mostly reside in Gonzales, LA. Her husband is a graduate student in the College of Engineering at Louisiana Tech.
2nd Year Graduate Assistant
Assistant to the Director of Recruiting
Orlando Shelly is a bass-baritone who received his undergraduate degree from Eastern New Mexico University with a music degree in Vocal Performance. He has performed a number of operas and musicals locally, including Le Nozze de Figaro, Die Fledermaus, Into the Woods and Rent. Orlando was nominated for his role as Duke Orsino in the Clovis Community College performance of Twelfth Night to compete regionally for an Irene Ryan award in Louisiana. He is now a Theatre Performance graduate student at Louisiana Tech University.
2nd Year Graduate Assistant
Assistant to the Director for the School of Performing Arts
Richard came to us from Baton Rouge to advance in his academics and earn his MA with a focus in playwriting and directing. He has worked as an Assistant Director, Sound Designer, and Dramaturg for the Department of Theatre.
Stephanie Tippi Hart
2nd Year Graduate Assistant
Box Office Manager
Stephanie is a native of Ruston and is pursuing her masters after a break to live in some of the most interesting cities in the country. She lived in such diverse places as Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, CA and New Orleans, LA. She moved back to Ruston 10 years ago to work in her family’s lighting business. She is thrilled to once again be at home in Howard Auditorium. While an undergrad at Louisiana Tech in the late 80’s Stephanie appeared on stage as Brooke in Noises Off, Inez in No Exit and Thelma in Pack of Lies. Before starting back to school, she was active in the Ruston Community Theatre with roles in The Red Velvet Cake War, Dearly Beloved and Nana’s Naughty Knickers.
2nd Year Graduate Assistant
Assistant to the Technical Director
Originally from Oklahoma, Trey attended undergraduate at Northeastern State University of Oklahoma. With skills in carpentry and acting, Trey is an all-around theatre practitioner . Some of his favorite roles include: Eilif in Mother Courage and her Children, Freddy in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Aaronow in Glengarry Glen Ross, and the Wolf in Red vs. the Wolf. Trey has worked abroad as a theatrical technician, building numerous show, including the How to Train Your Dragon Spectacular, Mary Poppins, Little Shop of Horrors, Noises Off, Don’t Dress for Dinner, and The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged. Last year, Trey appeared in Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Louisiana Tech.
1st Year Graduate Assistant
Assistant to Director of the School of the Performing Arts
Zachary Bentley is a grad student in the Department of Theatre. He also received his undergrad at Tech, where he learned much about the way all parts of theatre worked. He initially focused on the performance aspect but gradually discovered his love for the technical side as well. Now he tries to do both to varying degrees of success. Zachary performed in the role of the Friar in Much Ado About Nothing his first year at Tech and has been in love with that show ever since. He was also the Light Board Operator in KAB Man, Doubt and many others. He was also the Sound Board Operator in Fights Before Christmas.