Tommy Statler is a director, producer, and teaching artist living in the Los Angeles area.
Following his graduation from SEMO in December 2009 Tommy has produced and directed 4 non-equity shows in the Los Angeles area. He has acted and done script editing for a bar-room Shakespeare company in West Hollywood. He spent two summers working with the education department as a teaching artist in "acting" and "voice and text" at California Shakespeare Theatre in the bay area. Tommy has also held directing internships with Berkshire Theatre Group and Santa Cruz Shakespeare.
Tommy is currently working as an independent teaching artist with The Help Group, a charter school program in the Los Angeles area. He was hired by The Help Group as a substitute teacher and classroom aide for students on the autism spectrum. With the support of The Help Group, Tommy started a drama class for high school age special needs students. Last year The Help Group produced its first Shakespeare play (Macbeth) in its history.
Tommy is very thankful for the education and experience he gained during his time at Southeast. From acting and directing classes with Kenn and Dr. Dillon, to theatre history with Dr. Phil Nacy, and earning his R&P hours under the guidance of Deana and Jeff Luetkenhaus.
After graduation, I moved to Sacramento, CA for an internship at B Street Theatre. While there I met up with fellow SEMO alumni and my now fiance Tony Poston. In June of 2015, we both relocated to Milwaukee, WI for my position at Milwaukee Repertory Theater as their Audience Services Manager. I am starting my third season at the Rep and I look forward to many more. Tony and I will be tying the knot in May of 2018. I would not be where I am without the faculty pushing and encouraging me along the way.
When I started at SEMO in 2000 there wasn't a BFA Dance program. In fact, I wasn't
able to technically declare until I was a Junior, being only the 2nd to Graduate with
a BFA-Dance in 2005.
At the end of my Freshman year I purchased my home studio in Sikeston, MO. It was a struggle to run a studio and attend classes along with the demands of the college Theatre/Dance life. They had not even broken ground on the River Campus while I was attending, though our small group of dancers performed on a concrete pad where you now have a beautiful new campus. Lol!
Since graduating I have focused the majority of my energy on my studio "Melissa's Studio of Performing Arts" in hopes to share my love for dance & the arts to those in my community. (Hopefully sending some your way). I've grown from 75 to 250 students. Each summer we have a Triple Threat camp where I hope to build interest and expand the studio into a true Performing Arts studio- offering more than just dance!!
My only regrets while in school.... not being able to participate in more shows (because I was commuting from Sikeston & running my studio durring rehearsal times) and not taking business classes (which would have helped me run a more successful studio).
The rest of my energy has been spent on my family! My husband and I will be celebrating our 13th anniversary in Jan and I have the best boys EVER! Reid-6 years and Rhett-2 years!
Earned Equity Membership Candidacy with The Old Creamery Theatre in Amana, Iowa, working in 4 shows through their 2013 season. Upon returning to St. Louis, has constantly being performing in venues around the area, including Stray Dog Theatre. There she has played Crystal in "Little Shop of Horrors", Van's Sister in "Dog Sees God: Confessions of A Teenage Blockhead," originated the role of the evil stepsister Munchanetta in the world premiere of "Spellbound: A Musical Fable" and is currently playing Magenta in Stray Dog's production of "Rocky Horror". Aside from theatre, Maria has also performed in several cabarets and showcases in the area with fellow alumn Dom Thomas, including "Musical Evolution" at the Kranzberg Arts Center, "Dom and Maria's Holiday Celebration" at The Emarald Room, and the two will be reuniting this December on the KDHX stage for their new cabaret "Lucky". This past spring, Maria made her directing debut with "Peter Pan Jr." at St. Justin the Martyr. Maria also sings professionally for weddings and other events, as well as with a local 80's cover band. She will be moving to the big apple next fall to pursue her stage career, and can't wait to see what the future holds!
Eileen Engel graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a BFA in Musical Theatre in May 2012. After graduation, she performed in the NYC Senior Showcase with her fellow SEMO graduates. She is currently a Saint Louis-based performer and is a member of the Equity Membership Candidate program. Most recently, she was nominated for a Theatre Circle Award for her performance as Rosa Bud in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" with Stray Dog Theatre under the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Musical against Tony Award, Grammy Award, and Drama Desk Award winner, Heather Headley. She works frequently at Stray Dog Theatre, previously performing in "Evil Dead: The Musical" (Linda), "Spellbound: A World Premiere" (Kokumo), "Five Women Wearing The Same Dress" (Frances), "Dog Sees God" (Marcy), River Front Time's Best Musical Award Winning "Cabaret" (Frenchie), and more. Sh e has al so performed with Variety Children's Theatre in "Beauty and the Beast", "Mary Poppins", and "Annie", which are directed and choreographed by Tony Nominee, Lara Teeter. She recently performed in her first opera, "Thyrsis and Amaranth", as Amaranth with R-S Theatrics. She received the opportunity to perform this opera with composer, Steven Serpa, in the audience two of the nights. She toured for a few months as Tooth Fairy in the "Land of Smiles" show and continues to perform the show sporadically. She also has worked with Murder Mysteries USA (Tour and local), Clever Productions, performed as princesses for parties, and performs in local cabarets and reviews as a soloist and dancer. She continually studies by taking voice lessons, dance lessons, and performance classes. Aside from performing, she worked as a stitcher for the Muny St. Louis for the past 4 summers and completed her first full-time season this past summer. S he also sews full-time at Veiled Prophet's costume shop for the 4th of July Parade and Ball, and part-time at The Fabulous Fox, Peabody Opera House, Scottrade Center. She costume designs at Stray Dog Theatre and is currently working on her 11th design. She received two Theatre Circle Award nominations for her work: Outstanding Costume Design In A Musical for "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" and Outstanding Costume Design In A Play for "And Then There Were None". She will be seen as Johanna in "Sweeney Todd" at Stray Dog Theatre next April and cannot wait to see what else the future holds.
Anna Hebrank (BFA- Musical Theatre '15) is a Mainstage Performer for Disney Cruise Lines.
Tim Nicolai (BFA in Acting, 2005) recently appeared in the New York Public Theatre productions of The Tempest and Cymbeline. Regionally, he has appeared in The Grapes of Wrath, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. He has also been seen on the CBS drama, Madam Secretary, and he was in The Three Sisters, Plenty, Describe the Night (Rajiv Joseph world premiere), The Beaux Stratagem, Pale Fires, and A Free Man of Color, while pursuing his MFA in Acting from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Nick Cutelli is a native from Saint Louis and a 2006 graduated from the Southeast Missouri State Theatre and Dance Department where he earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Acting/Directing. Cutelli is a graduate of both the Second City’s Improv and Musical improv conservatory programs. He currently resides in West Hollywood California where he is managed by Barry Krost and just signed with Sovereign Talent Group. Cutelli is an actor, writer, and Managing Producer of his studio Cutelli Comedy www.cutellicomedy.com. There he works on/creates filmed comedic shorts, Reality TV pitches, and also TV pilot sitcoms which he is currently pitching to Yahoo, EPIX, and Crossroads Entertainment.
Amy Coyle graduated from Southeast with her B.A. in Dance and a minor in Fine Arts Entrepreneurship in May of 2015. She moved to St. Louis where she is currently working at Wildwood Dance and Arts as the director of their competition team, as well as teaching Jazz Funk, Hip Hop, Contemporary, and Ballet. Amy is also a member of Ashleyliane Dance Company, a local company owned and directed by Ashley L. Tate. She hopes to create and explore her choreography on dancers in the company over the next couple of years.
Carrie Kesler (BFA Dance, spring 2013) is currently an apprentice with Leverage Dance Company in St. Louis. She is also the Dance Competition Director and a dance teacher at Full Out Dance and works as an independent choreographer of dance competition routines in the St. Louis area.
Crystal Lewis graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and continued on with her dance education at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas where she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in performance and choreography. Crystal has been teaching dance as adjunct faculty at various colleges since graduating with her MFA. She is currently living in Arizona teaching at Paradise Valley Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College and is the Founder and Artistic Director of Conversion Dance Project. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Redford University in Redford, Virginia.
Kristin Diering graduated from SEMO with a BFA in Dance in May of 2009. After graduating, Kristin became a full-time dance instructor and choreographer for L.A. Dance Center (the studio she grew up in), and has been teaching ever since. She has had the privilege of showcasing some of her pieces at numerous dance festivals in St. Louis, including Dancing in the Streets and National Dance Week. Aside from teaching, Kristin has found a passion for running. She will be participating in her seventh half-marathon this coming November in Orlando, FL at Disney World. Though she enjoys running the 13.1 miles, her main focus is 2018, where she will be running her first 26.2, a full marathon. While becoming a “functioning Forest Gump” (a nickname her boyfriend calls her), Kristin went back to school to pursue a degree in Interactive Media/Web Design at Lindenwood University. She graduated, Cum Laude, in May 2013 and is now a full-time Marketing Associate for a company in St. Louis, MO. Her next venture is to start her own business in media design and photography; an art she has loved since she was little. Her work can be found on her business page on Facebook, Kristin Diering Media Design & Photography.
Mary C. Woll earned her B.F.A. in Theatrical Design and Technology and B.A in German from Southeast Missouri State University in 2007, and is currently working toward her M.F.A. in Costume Design & Technology at the University of Minnesota. Recently she has work as wardrobe head for The Piano Lesson with the Olney Theatre Center, served as the assistant costume designer for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (2012-13 season), stitched for the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park on shows such as Always, Patsy Cline, Merrily We Roll Along, and Thunder Knocking on the Door. Main-stage design credits from across the country include most recently A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, where she earned the 2013 Broadway World award for best costume design; Lend Me a Tenor, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Crucible (Ozark Actor’s Theatre)’; Married Alive! (Cornwell’s Dinner Theatre); Fiddler on the Roof, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Bigfork Summer Playhouse). A St. Louis native, she has designed for the New Jewish Theatre’s children’s theater program, as well as worked on productions with the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, and Stages St. Louis. She has toured nationally with Church Basement Ladies where she was the wardrobe/wig head. A stage manager with the Actor’s Equity Association, she has also stage managed several tours of Church Basement Ladies, including the 2009 tour starring William Christopher from TV’s M*A*S*H. Other stage management credits include an international tour of Babes in Toyland , To Kill a Mockingbird , The Comedy of Errors, and the 2007 Medora Musical and Bully!. www.marycwoll.com
Since graduating in May of 2013, Joe Hartz has signed a contract with West Model and
Talent Management of Saint Louis, where he recently obtained his first professional
commercial shoot. In his free time, Joe enjoys writing, and has completed several
plays, one-acts, and short films, as well as articles for Paul Russell's "Answers
for Actors" and Cracked.com. While saving up for a move to Los Angeles, Joe has made
several contacts on the the West Coast performing arts industry, including some referred
to him by the great Joel Grey.
In June of 2014, Joe became engaged to Shannon Walton, another successful alumni of Southeast Missouri State University's Conservatory of Theatre and Dance.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Stephanie graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from SEMO in 2012. Since graduation, Stephanie made the move to the Big Apple and has been fortunate enough to work at several theatres around the country. She has worked as an actor for Peach State Summer Theatre in Valdosta, Georgia, Allenberry Playhouse in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, Hamstead Stage Company in Center Barnstead, New Hampshire, and most recently The Days of '98 Show in Skagway, Alaska. She has been so lucky to be able to combine her love for travel and performing and can't wait to see where her next job takes her!
Chance Hill (BFA in Dance, 2013) is a freelance dancer in New York City and has danced with Nijawwon Matthews as a principle dancer for his up and coming company, XY dance company. Chace is currently training at Broadway Dance Center, Gibney Dance, 3 Hairy Legs Dance company, and Aerial Arts NYC. He is a certified personal trainer and Zumba Zin instructor.
Keith Johnson (BFA in Musical Theatre, 2013) was just cast in the Equity production of Cats: The Musical, produced by the San Diego Musical Theatre in California.
Kelcey Matheny (BFA Dance, 2013) was just accepted into the Broadway Dance Center in New York City.
Sarah Tochtrop (BFA in Musical Theatre, 2012) is a Dancer at Princess Cruises and is currently on a world tour.
Rissa Crozier graduated from SEMO in 2008 and since then has worked as a costumer for many different companies in the St. Louis area including Stages St. Louis, Westport Playhouse, Upstream Theatre and The Muny. In 2009, she worked as the Costume Production Assistant for the movie "Up In The Air" starring George Clooney. Rissa also has designed costumes for three shows at Crossroads College Preparatory School and more recently co-designed costumes, alongside fellow SEMO alum, Megan Ligeti, for "Shepard's Daughter," produced in Chicago by The Paradeigma Collective, and written by another SEMO alum Whitney LaMora. Rissa also worked on wardrobe crew for Opera Theatre of St. Louis's 2010 and 2011 seasons, and she just finished her 3rd season as a stitcher in their costume shop. Currently, Rissa is about to start her 3rd season as the Mainstage Head of Wardrobe for The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.