Skip to main content

Error message

Notice: Undefined index: bundle in fieldable_panels_panes_load_from_subtype() (line 995 of /var/www/html/sites/all/modules/contrib/fieldable_panels_panes/fieldable_panels_panes.module).
Theatre for all stages

Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artists (VITA)

Building on more than a decade of internationally focused, cutting-edge theatre work. Butler University's Department of Theatre proposed to elevate its contributions to the Indianapolis community by establishing the Visiting International Theatre Artist (VITA) program. With the generous sponsorship of the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation we are pleased to inaugurate a four-year pilot program of the Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artist.

The spirit of the VITA program is grounded in selecting artists of the highest caliber and of broad national and cultural diversity. Each VITA will reside at Butler for approximately 8-10 weeks, teaching special seminars in the Theatre Department and directing and/or designing a theatrical event. In so doing, the VITA authentically expands Butler Theatre's well established tradition of unique theatre productions that explore theatrical practices from a range of cultural and artistic perspectives. The productions will offer Butler students and our extended audiences a unique and different international infusion of new ideas each year. While in residence, the VITA will lead workshops for professional artists further building links with the local working theatre artist community in a yearly opportunity to work with a different, acclaimed international theatre artist. Wherever appropriate, the VITA will lead workshops for local secondary school students, including students from IPS and Christel House Academy.

Madeline Sayet: Fall 2020


Raised on traditional Mohegan stories and Shakespeare, Madeline Sayet is a director whose work is shaped by the idea of Story Medicine - the belief that every story we put into this world has the power to do real world harm or healing. What story do you wish you had heard growing up? How can theatre be used to transcend the world we are in and build a better future?

For her work as a stage director of new plays, classics, and opera - Madeline has been named a FORBES 30 UNDER 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, a TED FELLOW, a MIT MEDIA LAB DIRECTORS FELLOW, NCAIED NATIVE AMERICAN 40 UNDER 40, a recipient of THE WHITE HOUSE CHAMPION OF CHANGE AWARD from President Obama, the NATIONAL DIRECTORS  FELLOWSHIP, and a National Arts Strategies' CREATIVE COMMUNITY FELLOW. Madeline is the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP) and a member of Long Wharf Theatre's artistic ensemble. Her directing work has been praised by the Wall Street Journal as "enchanting," and the New York Times admired the "transparent and almost weightless" fluidity of the worlds she builds. Her work promoting Native voices onstage has been featured in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, GOOD Magazine, and MENTAL FLOSS.  

Her solo performance piece Where We Belong recently premiered at SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE and RichMix in London where it received 5 STARS from The Upcoming and was called "A spiritual journey-Sayet performs with humbling passion." Another review noted, "Not only is Sayet joyfully emotional, real, and incredibly funny, she is a euphoric storyteller, with an important story."

Marco Luly: Fall 2018

Born in Rome, Marco Luly has more than 30 years’ experience in theatre from medieval to contemporary drama. Marco is known as one of the world’s foremost experts in commedia dell’arte, a comedic theatrical form which originated in Italy in the 16th century and is characterized by large physicality, innovative masks, and stock characters. Marco specializes in the plays by the “Father of Italian Comedy”, Carlo Goldoni, and he is directing Goldoni’s A Servant of Two Masters for Butler Theatre.

In 1990, Marco founded the company Luoghi dell’Arte in Rome, Italy, and has been Artistic Director of the company ever since. Marco performs, directs, teaches, and writes for the company. He is committed to reviving medieval and commedia dell’arte theatre and has won acclaim for rediscovering medieval and renaissance period manuscripts and adapting them in a modern style. He has won numerous awards at festivals throughout Europe, including Best Director, Best Author, and Best Show awards.

Marco has performed and taught at festivals and schools all over the world including India, China, Morocco, Turkey, France, Slovenia, Croatia, the US, and more. He travels extensively to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam) where he has performed and taught workshops almost yearly since the early 1990s.

Recognized by his professional peers and the press as a world expert in commedia dell’arte, Marco has also given countless master classes for the International School Theatre Association at festivals around the world.

In 2005, he produced an English language DVD, “The Spirit of Commedia”, in collaboration with his wife, Luciana Codispoti, and Roger Jenkins. The DVD has received critical praise and is used by teachers and students around the world who want to learn more about commedia dell’arte.

Marina Brusnikina: Fall 2016



MarinaBrusnikina comes to Butler University from Moscow, Russia, where she is an active professional director, the Associate Artistic Director of the Moscow Art Theatre, and a Professor at the Moscow Art Theatre School, where she serves as Head of Voice.

Marina graduated from the Moscow Art Theatre School (MATS) in 1982 under the direction of the famed Oleg Efremov. In 1985, she was accepted as an actress into the Moscow Art Theatre company where, over the next eighteen years, she played countless roles in classic and contemporary plays. Some of the roles most familiar to American audiences include Masha in The Seagull, Sofia in Chekhov’s Platonov, and Flora in Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo.

In 1988, Marina began teaching at the Moscow Art Theatre School, where she continues to teach acting and a unique technique of acting through the voice. Marina herself was taught by Anna Petrova, who is recognized as one of the world’s leading voice authorities of the 20th century. Marina has also served as a visiting Professor at Harvard University, where she has taught in the MFA program in connection with MATS. 

In 2002, Marina began working as a director at the Moscow Art Theatre. In a very male-dominated culture, Marina is the only woman director who directs as many productions as her most gifted Russian male counterparts. Her productions at MAT and at other theatres in Russia have earned her accolades and awards, and more often than not she has multiple productions running simultaneously in Moscow.

Among Marina’s multitude of honors, she holds the title of “Honorary Artist of Russia” the highest Russian honor any artist may achieve. She has received the Laureate of the State Premium, which is the highest monetary award the Russian government bestows on its citizens. She was bestowed the second highest civilian award that the Russian government issues "For the Service to the Country, 2d Class", which recognizes her contribution to the advancement of arts and culture. Her work as a teacher-director is noteworthy in that many of her student productions are as lauded as her professional productions.

Michael Williams: Fall 2014

Michael WilliamsMichael Williams is a prize-winning author of twelve novels published in USA, Europe and South Africa. He is an accomplished opera director and has written the book and lyrics for several indigenous operas. He wrote the libretti for three Temmingh operas, Enoch-Prophet of God and Sacred Bones, which were mounted by Cape Town Opera and the three-act Buchuland, commissioned by the State Theatre, in Pretoria. He wrote the book and lyrics for The Milkbird, The Seven-Headed Snake, Child of the Moon, Love and Green Onions  (based on Zakes Mda's Ways of Dying) and collaborated with Allan Stephenson on The Orphans of Qumbu, Who Killed Jimmy Valentine? and Wonderfully Wicked which have been variously performed at the National Arts Festival, in townships halls, schools and theatres throughout Southern Africa. He was commissioned by Norrlands Operan, in Sweden, to write the libretto for Poet & Prophetess(Larsson-Gothe) which had its world premier in Umeå and toured to South Africa in 2008. His second  commission from NorrlandsOperan -The Elephant Man  (Unander-Scharin) - had its world premier in Umeå 2011 before touring Sweden.  He wrote the book and lyrics and directed Mandela Trilogy which toured to Durban and Johannesburg in 2011 and won the Naledi Awards for Best Musical. The opera/musical had its European premier at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff in 2012 and toured to Deutsches Theater in Munich in 2014. He has directed many operas in all the major cities in South Africa, including Rigoletto, La bohéme noir, The Consul, Madama Butterfly, Lohingrin, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, La traviata, Turandot, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci,Hendrik Hofmeyr's The Fall of the House of Usher, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Faust, Aqua Opera 2004, and Carmen. He is currently the Managing Director of Cape Town Opera.

I Nyoman Sedana: Fall 2012

I Nyoman SedanaI Nyoman Sedana is professor at the Indonesian Arts Institute, Denpasar. He received a M.A. in Theatre from Brown University (1993) and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia (2002). Since 1990 Sedana has taught Balinese theatre in many institutions, such as: the University of California Santa Cruz, Brown University, MIT Boston, Holly Cross College, University of Georgia, Iowa University, Ohio University, and 15th Acting School, Essex University London. He received awards from Asia Research Institute, NUS (2007-8), Asian Scholarship Foundation (2004-5), Freeman Research Award (2001), and scholarship from ACC (1993, 1997-2002). His articles appear in ATJ, Puppetry International, Asian Music, Puppetry Yearbook, and Asian Culture 32. He co-authors Balinese Performance. London and New York: Routledge. 

Tim Hardy: Spring 2011

Tim HardyBased in London, Mr. Hardy is on the faculty of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company (in Peter Brook's Marat/Sade and Peter Hall's Henry V) and at prestigious theatres across the United Kingdom and Europe in plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Brecht, Stoppard, Wilde, Shaw, and more. A company member of Opera Music Theatre London, Mr. Hardy has also performed in numerous operas and musical theatre productions including La Traviata, The Magic Flute, and Guys and Dolls. He has narrated over 300 television documentaries, including series for The Discovery Channel and The History Channel, and his on-camera television work includes roles opposite Ian McKellen and Michael Gambon. Mr. Hardy's extensive directing credits include Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Twelve Angry Men, The Crucible, Gaslight, Lady Windermere's Fan, The Seagull, The Arcadians, and The Doll's House. Hardy has also completed three residencies with the Actors from the London Stage-a professional touring group which comes to ten universities in ten weeks teaching courses during the day and performing during the evening.


Spring 2011 Mainstage Production: As You Like It

Kunju Vasudevan: Fall 2011

Kunju VasudevanKunju Vasudevan is an expert on the rich performing arts tradition of his native Keral, India. Hailing from a family steeped in centuries-old traditions of Indian performing arts, Kunju has served as a producer, actor, director, drummer, filmmaker, and teacher of a wide variety of performing arts forms. Kunju has organized numerous tours of Keral arts to destinations such as Singapore, Berlin, Lisbon, Budapest, Paris, Zurich, and London. Kunju has also served as directed, performer, drummer and workshop leader for many of the tours. Notable international productions he was involved in include the acclaimed "Kathakali King Lear" of Annette Leday and David McRuvie at the London Globe, a tour of Kerala's Sama Veda chanters to Wales and Polan, and a production of the Sanskrit farce, "Bhagavadajjukam," for which Kunju served as director and played the clown role. Kunju has worked in feature films, films for television, and valuable documentaries detailing Indian traditions. Kunju worked extensively with noted theatre historian, Phillip Zarralli, serving as research assistant for Zarrilli whose publications on Indian performing arts are standard texts in the field. Kunju has taught courses in appreciation of Kathakali dance-drama and other Kerala performance traditions.

Fall 2011 Mainstage Production: The Priest & The Prostitute

Bhasi Pulingara

Bhasi is a professional Kathakali actor based in Kerala, India. In the early years he first had training in Bharathanatyam and Mohiniyattam. From 1979-1986 he had intensive training in Kathakali under the great teacher and performer or Kathakali the late Keezhmadam Kumaran nair and his students in the Gandhi Seva Sadanam, Kathakali Academy of Kerala.

He has been performing Kathakali since his training and is not recognized as one of the top actors of his generation. He has performed all over India and also conducted many workshops. Since 1990 he has performed Kathakali at various festivals in Singapore, Edinburg, Portugal, London, Berlin, Munich, Bremen, Switzerland, Hungary, Japan, and South Korea. He performed King Lear Kathakali at the Glove in London in 1999. He worked as an actor-dancer in various productions of Annette Leday of Paris, and toured many countries.

Aneesh Chemuttathu Veedu

Aneesh had his Chenda and Edakka, the drums used in Kathakali, training at Kerala Kalamandalam, the premier Kathakali Institute in Kerala under the great teachers and drummers like Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan and Kalamandalam Balaraman. Since completing his BA he has been performing at various performances in Kerala and also participated at various festivals in other parts of India. He is a very promising drummer of his generation and has a great future.

Jishnu Namboodiripad

Jishnu took his MA in Kathakali acting from Kerala kalamandalam, deemed Univeristy for Performing Arts. Besides and actor, he is a singer of Kathakali music too. He was initiated into Kathakali training by Kalamandalam MPS Namboodiri and later his student Kalamandalam Harinarayanan. He has been performing Kathakali both as an actor and singer for the last few years.