Theatre Faculty & Staff
DianeTimmerman, Chair, Professor of Theatre
Diane is a professional actor, director, and producer with longstanding memberships in Equity (Actors’ Equity Association), SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild + American Federation of Television & Radio Artists), and VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association.)
Diane is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher, one of about 250 worldwide, and enjoys teaching a variety of voice, acting, audition, and theatre courses at Butler. She is the proud recipient of the 2014 Butler University Distinguished Faculty Award in Teaching. Diane received her M.F.A.in Acting from Indiana University and her B.A. in Theatre and German from Southern Illinois University. She studied for one year at the University of Hamburg on a German Academic Exchange Service Fellowship (DAAD) and for one year at the University of Vienna.
Diane serves as Executive Artistic Director of the Equity theatre, Indianapolis Shakespeare Company, and spearheaded the move of Indy Shakes from White River State Park to Indy’s beautiful Riverside Park, which is not far from Butler. In 2019, Diane produced an acclaimed production of Hamlet in Riverside Park. Indy Shakes teamed up with the Indianapolis Parks Foundation (now called the Indianapolis Parks Alliance), Indy Parks, and Indiana Landmarks to create a plan to restore the Taggart Memorial into the Taggart Memorial Mainstage Amphitheatre in Riverside Park, which will be the new home for Indy Shakes. This initiative is funded by a generous 9.24 million dollar Strengthening Indianapolis Through Arts & Culture Innovation Grant from Lilly Endowment. Butler Theatre students, alumni, faculty, and staff are always involved in Indy Shakes productions, and we expect that tradition to continue in the new amphitheatre which opens in Summer 2021.
As part of the move of Indy Shakes to Riverside park, Diane has become engaged in the vibrant Near Northwestside community and is the proud Co-Chair of the Arts, Parks, & Public Spaces (APPS) Committee of the Near Northwest. She is also a member of the Riverside Business Association and the Riverside Parade Committee.
Diane also produces the Indy Shakes Traveling Troupe productions which tour to schools, parks, libraries, and community centers throughout Indianapolis. More info on Indy Shakes is here: https://www.indyshakes.com/
Diane’s professional acting roles include include Emilia in Othello, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Nerissa in Merchant of Venice –all with Indy Shakes. Favorite contemporary work at the Phoenix Theatre includes roles in Rancho Mirage, August: Osage County, Next Fall, November, Bug, Beautiful Thing and others. Diane has appeared with the Human Race Theatre Company in Ohio in Spinning Into Butter and Beautiful Thing. Other credits include Angel Street at the IRT and numerous credits on Chicago stages. Diane has appeared in many commercials and films, including Amanda for Adrenaline Motion Pictures and The Package with Gene Hackman.
Diane’s books include: Spare Scenes: 60 Skeletal Scenes for Acting and Directing; 90-Minute Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream; 90-MinuteShakespeare: Romeo & Juliet.
Diane is also a successful freelance voice coach who works with business people, TV news anchors, preachers, teachers, attorneys, and all sorts of people who want to make a shift in their voice. Clients are often interested in working for more volume, less vocal fry, more power, less nasality, more expressivity, more ease in speaking, more command, and many other topics. Voices are like fingerprints: each one is unique, and Diane enjoys working with a wide range of people to achieve their voice goals.
Diane is a two-time recipient of the Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. She loves all kinds of international theatre practices and taught on the Spring 2010 voyage for the Semester at Sea program. Diane enjoys facilitating Butler Theatre’s unique Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artist (VITA) program, which brings internationally-recognized theatre artists to Butler to teach and direct or design. Diane is thrilled to teach at Butler Theatre where the students, faculty, and staff are bright, talented, open, curious artists who seek to better our art form each day.
Why I love Theatre
Because to me it is an extension of life and is a means to emphasizing the joys of interpersonal communication.
Why I love Butler Why I love Butler
It is a great team, a family of people passionate about art who allow themselves to fearlessly strive for new ways of theatrical expression.
Why I love teaching
I believe that the rejuvenation of Theatre begins in college. I love the energy and inspiration that students bring to the classroom and feel that it is a mutually beneficial learning experience.
- Guiding postgraduate students in their education at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts, Moscow (GITIS), Summer 2016 IFTER
- “Karlsson on the Roof” by Astrid Lindgren, Butler University, February 2016
- 6 Week Intensive Acting Summer Program at Moscow Art Theatre School (MXAT), Summer 2016
- Organizing new advanced program in Acting, Directing and Design in Moscow, Summer 2017
Professor Artemiev graduated from the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS) with an MFA in Directing.
Later she completed her Ph.D. at the same institution. She is one of the disciples of Maria Knable who was a distinguished Russian Theatre director and the student of Stanislavsky and Michael Chekhov.
Elaina was a founding member of the Tabakov Studio Theatre in Moscow, where she had worked for many years before starting a teaching career at the Moscow Art Theatre School (MATS). Many of her students have achieved national and international acclaim in the Theatre, Television and Film industries. She moved to the United States and joined the Butler University Faculty in 2005.
Her directing credits at Butler include "Crime and Punishment" by F. Dostoevsky, "The Blizzard" by A. Pushkin, "The Marriage" by N. Gogol, "Balzaminov’s Wedding" by N. Ostrovsky, "The Cherry Orchard" by A. Chekhov, "The Twelfth Night" by W. Shakespeare, “The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belissa in the Garden” by F.G.Lorca and others.
Elaina founded the Butler International Theatre Exchange Program and has developed a system for training that incorporates Michael Chekhov’s Method, Vakhtangov Research and the Stanislavsky System. This unique course is aimed at developing an awakening of the actor’s imagination, stage awareness and creativity.
She took a year of sabbatical (Fall 2012 and Spring of 2013) during which she organized the nonprofit company – International Foundation for Theatre Educationand Research (IFTER). She also developed a brand new program for postgraduate students in Acting and Directing at GITIS with training in acting, directing, voice, movement, dance and the Russian language. She arranged for one of her former students to successfully teach classes at Butler during her absence in Fall 2012.
William Fisher is a professor of theatre at Butler University where he directs productions and teaches Directing, devised theatre, physical theatre, and acting. He joined Butler Theatre after years at Ohio University as head of the undergraduate performance program and Director of the School of Theater. He served on the faculty of CalArts, UCIrvine, and UNC Chapel Hill, as well as teaching at the Ecole de la Ville de Paris – Marcel Marceau, in his own studio, and at the Étienne Decroux School in Paris.
William was trained by Etienne Decroux and served as his assistant. After leaving Paris he founded Zeta Collective, a company and venue in downtown Los Angeles that focused on new performance work and training. His research and practice have been supported through the US Information Service guest artist program, the Soros Foundation through the CDU Zagreb, The PuffinFoundation, the National/State partnership (CAC/NEA), Los Angeles CulturalAffairs Department, and the US Department of Education (Title IV). In1998, William began training with Anne Bogart and SITI Company and maintains a relationship to that work and company. Before coming to Indianapolis, his professional work as a director has been presented at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), TheDubrovnik Festival, The Vienna Theatre Festival, and Kampnagel (Hamburg).
Other international credits have included serving as a Master Teacher and Festival Coordinator at the MKFM – theInternational Festival of Youth Theatre in Pula, Croatia, and directing the OhioUniversity College of Fine Arts Global Theatre Institute study programs(Croatia and London 1997 – 2007, New York City 2008-2010.) William served as a site reporter for the NEA Theater Program, served on the National Movement TheatreAssociation board of directors, and edited its publication MovementTheatre Quarterly. His essay Struggle and Irony / Ashes and Flames appears in the book Words on Decroux,(Thomas Leabhart, editor, 1994). In 2004 along with his with his late colleague and friend, Nigerian playwright and poet Dr. Esiaba Irobi, William organized Performing Peace, an international symposium under the aegis of the Baker Peace Conference at Ohio University.
William was a Fulbright Teaching and Research Fellow at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts (Reykjavik) Theatre Department in the Theory and Practice Program, with additional research in Oslo, Norway. Since coming to Butler, he directed and/or devised at least one production annually including Small Lives / Big Dreams, TheExonerated with the Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre (AEA), SEVEN, Tartuffe, Terminal, MadForest, Our Town, Lunar Revolution 2.0(devised), Love and Information, The Man Who…, The Mineola Twins, and most recently Fleeting Full – an evening of Beckett plays performed live during the pandemic which he directed via ZOOM. Local professional productions include Freud’s Last Session, An Act of God, and The Lyons at the Phoenix Theatre.
Web site under construction: http://www.williamfisher.net
Why I love theatre.
“When the actor stands up, it is humanity standing up.” ÉtienneDecroux
Theatre explores how to fill space and time and requires us to have deep reasons for being onstage, for standing, speaking and listening. While thrilling and delighting us, it can be a means to discover, reveal and challenge who and what we are as human beings, and to try to figure out how to be in the world.
Why I love Butler:
The BA in theatre is delivered within the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler. This unique offering fosters the balance of artistic rigor and breadth of learning. It attracts serious, motivated, generous students. At Butler Theatre I am able to bring my primary practices in Physical Theatre and as a director of devised new works in the studio and in the Mainstage production season including Lunar Revolution 2.0, anew reimagining production of Terminal by Susan Yankowitz, Joseph Chaikin and The Open Theatre, Fleeting Full – an evening of 5 Beckett plays. and to direct works of great playwrights including Paula Vogel, Caryl Churchill, Samuel Beckett, Moliere, Brecht, Thornton Wilder. Butler Theatre has allowed and encouraged me to develop off-campus immersion opportunities in London, New York, while pursuing my own practice as a director internationally, and to invite and encounter diverse voices including Ralph Lemon, Bernardo Rey, Dr. Cornell West, Marco Luly, Ann Bogart, and transcending pandemic isolation with ZOOM, Nicole Brewer and Rachel Chavkin.
Why I love teaching:
The pursuit of knowledge and experience, based in practice and built on hope, is a value in and of itself. Through teaching/learning we face our common past, engage the present moment and the profound changes in our culture, our work, and our world, and work to heal them and by extension ourselves and each other.
My long-term creative project takes me abroad to direct Small Lives / Big Dreams, a 5-person play created by SITI Company whose text is drawn from the major plays of Chekhov. Over the next several years productions are planned for the UK, Iceland, and Croatia. I am in the process of workshopping my French translation of the text with native French-speaking actors.
For the Summer of 2022, I am preparing a summer study intensive in New York and London.
Rob is an Associate Professor at Butler University and teaches Set and Lighting Design in the Department of Theatre. Rob also works as a freelance designer. He has designed for many theatre companies including: Indiana Repertory Theatre (Indianapolis, IN), The Lilly Theatre at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, The Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis, IN), Walnut Street Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (St. Louis, MO), The Cleveland Playhouse (Cleveland, OH), The Gulfshore Playhouse (Naples FL), The Weston Playhouse of Vermont (Weston,VT), Geva Theatre Center (Rochester, NY), the Contemporary American Theatre of Columbus Ohio (Columbus, OH), and the American Players Theatre (Spring Green,WI). Rob is a two-time recipient of the Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indy Professional Theatre MVP award from the Indianapolis Foundation.
Future projects include designing Murder on the Orient Express for Indiana Repertory Theatre and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Niceties for the Gulfshore Playhouse, and Slow Food for Geva Theatre.
Wendy Meaden – Professor of Theatre
Associate Dean, Jordan College of the Arts
Wendy is a professional costume designer and draper (pattern maker). She currently mentors students and teaches courses in Costume Design, Fashion History, Mask Work, and Stage Makeup.
Wendy particularly enjoys fantastic collaborations with students, colleagues, professionals, and guests from around the world. Together they explore new ideas about what theatre is, and what it might become.
“I love designing; it’s an immediate, visceral way to reach the heart, mind, and soul. Theatre engages us on many levels, and is the ultimate collaborative communication between writers, directors, designers, performers, characters, technicians, and audience.”
She delights in facilitating the growth of thoughtful, inventive students into professional theatre artists, and is inspired by seeing our students apply their theatre training to areas that are meaningful to them and the world we live in now.
She earned her M.F.A. in Costume Design and Construction at Indiana University – Bloomington, and a B.A. in Theatre from Bates College. She joined the Butler faculty following 10 seasons with Indiana RepertoryTheatre (IRT), where she was the lead draper/tailor. In addition to her patterning work with IRT, she has constructed costumes for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Louisville Ballet, the Huntington Theater, and the film The Best of the Best. She managed costume shops for The Theatre at Monmouth (Maine), the Nickerson Theatre, and Bates College. Wendy’s design career includes works for Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT), Cardinal Stage Company, ShadowApe, and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, among others. Several of her designs were included in the exhibit Costume at the Turn of the Century in Moscow (2015) and in the World Stage Design Festival in Toronto (2005).
In addition to teaching and designing at Butler, Wendy is an active member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), the Costume Society of America, the Fashion Arts Society, and Phi Beta Kappa. As a recipient of several faculty fellowships, she has traveled throughout Europe, and to Ghana, where she studied Kente and Adinkra textiles. Wendy is currently conducting research on and writing about masks, and she continues to freelance as a costume designer and maker.
Cathy Sipe attended University of Akron, where she began touring as an electrician with Ohio Ballet. She spent several years alternating ballet tours with local freelancing, most notably with Great Lakes Theatre Festival and Vincent Lighting. In search of stability, she became the main stage light board operator at PlayersTheatre Columbus, OH, with summers spent as Master Electrician at American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. Encouraged by life in the South, she moved to Atlanta, GA to freelance in all areas of live performance, including conventions, concerts, theatre, dance, and a ridiculous number of corporate parties. After moving back north for family reasons, Cathy took an administrative staff position at IATSE Local 30. Cathy joined the Butler community as Master Electrician for the Jordan College of the Arts in 2008, working on theatre, dance, and opera productions. Because of the wide variety of skills Cathy brings to the table, including lighting design, stage management, carpentry, and stitching, a new position was created and in 2018 Cathy became Technical Director for JCA.
Cathy works with several other companies around town, including Dance Kaleidoscope, Indianapolis Opera, and IATSE Local 30.
Glen holds a B.F.A. in Design and Technical Theatre from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and has done graduate work in lighting design at Indiana University, Bloomington. Glen’s most recent design for Butler Theatre was the Lighting Design for "The Nameless Star", and will be working on the Scenic Design for "Enemy of the People", this season. In May 2009, Glen was endowed by the Indianapolis Arts Council with a Creative Renewal Fellowship. Before coming to Butler, Glen was the Technical Director and Designer at Kent State University, Starke County Campus, in Canton, Ohio. In three and a half years at KSU-SC he designed and built 15 theatrical productions, four dance productions, over 50 music concerts of various types, and built for the Canton Players Guild. In the same time period Glen served as Technical Director/Instructor for Culver Military Academy’s Summer Camps program, completing two productions each summer.
Specializing in the Design and construction of Scenery, Lighting, Audio, and Video he teaches Production Fundamentals, Stagecraft, and Theatre Graphics.
Glen’s professional credits include Dartmouth Summer Repertory Theatre, Marshall Performing Arts Center, Brown County Playhouse, Indianapolis Opera, Minnesota Repertory Theatre and The Duluth Ballet. He is associated with the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.
Megan Wiegand, Costume Shop Manager
Megan has been working in the Theatre and Opera Costume Industry professionally across the country for over a decade. She received her M.F.A. in Costume Technology and Management from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, having previously earned her B.F.A. in Theatre Production and Design from the University of Evansville. Megan has been working and teaching our students here at Butler for over 5 years and loves teaching our students and watching them develop into amazing artist and professionals. Megan teaches our students both formally and informally the ins and outs of the costume industry. She specializes in costume construction and management, but also designs for Butler University annually. She is available to answer any questions one may have and can usually be found in the costume shop, or can be reached by email.