Faculty and Staff

John David Lutz

Mr. John David Lutz

Department Chair/Theatre
Hyde Hall 110

John David Lutz graduated in 1964 from what was then known as Evansville College. Afterward, he received an MA from the University of Denver in 1965 and returned to his alma mater that same year.|

In 1980, he received an MFA. from the University of New Orleans. After 45 years on the faculty, he has brought the UE Theatre Department to national recognition as one of the premiere theatre training programs in the nation.

He is a founding member of the New Harmony Project and is still actively involved in this script development workshop, and he is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Scott Lank

Mr. Scott Lank

Hyde Hall 133

Mr. Lank has studied acting at The Actors Center, the New York Ensemble Studio Theatre, and with Uta Hagen. His professional experience includes major positions as actor, director, and production manager at regional theatres across the nation. As a director, he has had three productions selected to appear at the Kennedy Center as part of the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.|

He is the recipient of state and national grants in playwriting, having had his work developed at the Canadian Stage Company, Toledo Repertory Theatre, the Lark Theatre, Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Edward Albee Theatre Festival. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Nebraska.

Patti McCrory

Ms. Patti McCrory

Shanklin Theatre 103

Ms. McCrory received her MA from the University of California, Santa Barbara and joined USA (United Scenic Artists) in 1990.

As a participant of the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, she travels to other participating colleges and universities, responding to their productions for inclusion in the regional Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.|

A recipient of the National Design Fellowship, she studied with costume designer Constance Hoffman and scene designer Ming Cho Lee in the summer of 2004 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

She regularly teaches at Harlaxton college in the summer, and recently spent a month drawing at the Italia Accademia in Florence. In 2008, she assisted Linda Cho and Ming Cho Lee at the Kennedy Center’s Summer Intensive titled The Collaborative Process: Designer/Director Process.

Chuck Meacham

Mr. Chuck Meacham

Shanklin Theatre 108

Mr. Meacham received a BA in Theatre from Wake Forest University after which he served there for two years as the Assistant Technical Director. He earned an MFA in Theatre Technology from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, in 1997.|

He worked for six years with Hope Summer Repertory Theatre as a master electrician, lighting designer, and production manager, and at the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival as a technical director.

Diane Brewer

Dr. Diane Brewer

Hyde Hall 112

Dr. Brewer teaches theatre history and dramatic criticism, serves as the department’s Resident Dramaturg, and directs text-based as well as ensemble-generated productions. An avid supporter of new plays, she has actively developed new work in venues such as| Primary Stages, the Tofte Lake Center, The New Harmony Project, the Utah Shakespearean Company Plays in Progress, the Mark Taper Forum’s P.L.A.Y, and the University of Evansville. Her dramaturgy has earned published credits in Arlene Hutton’s See Rock City and Gulf View Drive. She regularly dramaturgs for award-winning playwright Mark Rigney, whose plays, including Acts of God and Bears, have been produced in nineteen states and Canada. She is a founding ensemble member and performer with In the Mix, an Evansville-based company dedicated to the collaborative development of new work. Her work as a director is a featured subject in Deaf Side Story: Deaf Sharks, Hearing Jets and a Classic American Musical (Gallaudet University Press). She has received the Dean’s Teaching Award from the University of Evansville and a Certificate of Merit for Dramaturgy from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Her developmental initiative has generated grants for playwriting, dramaturgy, and directing from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, the University of Evansville, and the Illinois Arts Council. Her published articles have appeared in The Dramaturgy Protocol, The Dramaturgy Sourcebook (vol. 4), Theatre Topics, PAJ: Performing Arts Journal, and HowlRound at the Center for Theater Commons. She is a member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and the Network of Ensemble Theatres. She earned a B.A. from Tufts University and a Ph.D. from UCLA.

Christia Ward

Mrs. Christia Ward

Associate Professor/Theatre
Shanklin Theatre 100C

Ms. Ward received her MFA in Acting from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She is a member of AEA (The Actor's Equity Association) and VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainer Association). Her acting credits include roles with the Dallas Theater Center and Chicago's Mary-Archie Theatre.|

She was previously on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma and served as the vocal coach on Gunfighter: A Gulf War Chronicle and The Christmas Carousel, two world premieres by Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff.

Eric Renschler

Mr. Eric Renschler

Associate Professor/Theatre
Shanklin Theatre 102

Mr. Renschler returned to the University after nearly twenty years working on and off-Broadway. His Broadway designs include scenery for As Long As You Both Shall Laugh (including a national tour and PBS special) and Mamaloshen. Off-Broadway credits include designs at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Circle Repertory Company, Pan-Asian Repertory Theatre, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, and The Juilliard School. Regional credits include Cincinnati Playhouse, Chautauqua Opera, Barrington Stage Company, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Adirondack Theater Festival, Hangar Theatre, and Seattle Repertory Theatre.|

As an associate of designer John Lee Beatty, he worked on over forty Broadway productions and tours including The Color Purple, Doubt, Chicago, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Footloose, Proof, Wonderful Town, The Redwood Curtain, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

He holds an MFA in Theatre Design from the University of Michigan and is a member of IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) and USA (United Scenic Artists).

Stephen Boulmetis

Mr. Stephen Boulmetis

Assistant Professor/Theatre - Lighting Design

Mr. Boulmetis received his BFA from the University of Cincinnati–College Conservatory of Music, his MFA from Boston University, and is a member United Scenic Artists–Local 829.|

His Broadway credits include Associate Lighting Designer for The Drowsy Chaperone, Assistant Lighting Designer for Ring of Fire, Whoopi, Old Aquaintance, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, and Prymate. At the Utah Shakespearean Festival, he served as Lighting Designer for 15 different productions and Assistant Lighting Director on another 12 productions since 1998.

He has also worked at Williamstown Theatre Festival, South Coast Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, and the Huntington Theatre Company. Mr. Boulmetis has experience in lighting design for television, fashion shows, cruise lines, and theme parks.

Sharla Cowden

Ms. Sharla Cowden

Marketing Director/Theatre
Hyde Hall 107

Ms. Cowden has her MFA in Theatre Management from Wayne State University. She served as the Managing Director of Connecticut's Hartford Children's Theatre, Marketing Associate at Hartford Stage, and worked extensively for eight seasons with the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival.|She also served as the Audience Development Coordinator at the University of Oklahoma School of Drama for six years. She is a graduate of Leadership Evansville and serves on the Integrated Marketing Communications Committee for the University.

Jean Nelson

Ms. Jean Nelson

Costume Manager/Theatre
Shanklin Theatre 4

Ms. Nelson has an AA in theatre and business from Austin Community College, a BA in family and consumer science from Mankato State University, and an MA Design, Housing, and Apparel from the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.|

She worked for the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Opera, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Santa Fe Opera, Baltimore Opera, and Disney. For 20 years, she owned and operated Town Tailor, specializing in alterations, tailoring, and custom sewing.

Paul Kaufman

Mr. Paul Kaufman

Assistant Technical Director/Theatre

Mr. Kaufman received his BS in Theatre from Murray State University and has worked as a freelance technician for more than 20 years. His vast experience in technical theatre includes work as a grip, gaffer, lighting technician, stagehand, and audio technician.|He also worked as Production Technician and Building Manager for Rainbow Communications. His work in the greater Evansville area includes projects for Old National Bank, AT&T, General Electric, and Citizen Bank.


Mrs. Amy Esche

Mrs. Amy Esche

Senior Administrative Assistant/Theatre
Hyde Hall 106