Visiting Guest Artists
We are lucky at Butler Theatre to welcome a plethora of visiting guest artists to our department each year. We have two high-profile series that bring in artists who engage with our students and the public in meaningful ways. The Jordan College of the Arts Signature Series (https://www.butler.edu/jca/signature-series ) is a high-impact program which has brought us fabulous artists.
Our own Butler Theatre Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artist (VITA) program (https://www.butler.edu/theatre/dehaan-vita ) brings in an internationally-recognized artist to be in residence with us every other Fall semester. VITAs direct or design a production, teach classes for our students, and connect with the university and Indianapolis communities.
In addition to these formalized programs, we have guest artists stopping in—or zooming in—to see us all the time. Whether directing or designing a production with us, teaching a masterclass, or auditioning our students for future professional work, we value the artists who share their craft with us.
Mikael Burke is a Chicago-based director, deviser, and educator. A Princess Grace Award-winner in Theatre, Jeff Award-nominated director and proud Butler Theatre grad ('09), Mikael’s worked with Victory Gardens Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Jackalope Theatre Company, Windy City Playhouse, About Face Theatre, First Floor Theater, American Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, and The Story Theatre in Chicago, and regionally with Geva Theatre Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and Phoenix Theatre. Mikael serves as Associate Artistic Director at About Face Theatre in Chicago, is Head of the Directing Concentration of the Summer High School Training Program of the Theatre School and is an adjunct faculty member there as well as in the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Recent directing credits include we are continuous by Harrison David Rivers; Kill Move Paradise by James Ijames; The Agitators by Mat Smart; Sugar in Our Wounds by Donja R. Love; At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen by Terry Guest. The Theatre School at DePaul University (MFA) | mklburke.com
Butler Theatre is honored to host Nicole Brewer for an anti-racist workshop with our department. Ms. Brewer will lead students, faculty, and staff through a series of exercises this fall. She will return in the spring to follow up on our progress.
Nicole Brewer is a passionate advocate for anti-racist theatre. She has spent the last seven years refining and practicing an inclusive method of theatre training and practices which she calls Conscientious Theatre Training (CTT). She has authored four articles about the need for the theatre industry to shift from racist and oppressive models to anti-racist and anti-oppressive. Why ‘Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’ Is Obsolete was reported by American Theatre as one of their top ten most read stories of 2019.
Nicole is invited all over the US to teach and speak about CTT and facilitate anti-racist theatre (ART) workshops. She’s also facilitated ART workshops in the UK providing workshops for The Globe and Cambridge University.
Nicole is a board member of Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) where she works to shift how the industry can become more proactive to the needs of caregivers.
Nicole is one of the four producers of the COVID-19 freelance artist resource website, freelanceartistresource.com. The producing collective also partnered with HowlRound to produce six weekly webinars that centered the needs of freelance artists impacted by the pandemic.
Ms. Brewer is on faculty in the acting department at the Yale School of Drama. She has worked at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a premier performing arts high school in Washington, DC as visiting faculty (acting). Nicole was visiting faculty at the National Theater Institute (NTI) for several years. She was faculty in the theatre department of Howard University for seven and a half years and has also worked at Northern Virginia Community College and Montgomery College teaching acting and introduction to communications courses.
Nicole is frequently invited to share her work on CTT and ART at conferences such as ATHE, SETC, and TCG; The Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, North Carolina; and in the UK at Goldsmith’s University.
Nicole Brewer earned her MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University and her BFA from Howard University. She’s worked professionally as an actor, director and educator.
Constance Macy directed Butler Theatre's A Midsummer Nights Dream in 2018, The Underpants in 2007 and Top Girls in 2004. She has also directed at Franklin College and Anderson University. As an actor, she works at regional theatres throughout the country and at home, including the Indiana Repertory Theatre and Indy Shakes where she is a company member. She has a BA in Theatre from Indiana University; she is a Lunt-Fontanne national fellow, twice an Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Fellow, and was named an Indy Theatre MVP by the Indianapolis Foundation.
Ryan Koharchik is excited to be back after designing the 2018 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ryan is the Resident Scene and Lighting Designer for Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre and, from 1996 to the present, has served as the Resident Lighting Designer for the Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre. Some of his most notable productions for Civic Theatre include: The Drowsy Chaperon, Pippin, Evita, Aida, Into The Woods, The Will Rogers Follies, Oklahoma!, and City of Angels. Other credits include: Driving Miss Daisy, The Turn of the Screw, Cyrano, Painting Churches, and many other productions for the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Angels In America parts 1 & 2 and Company for the Phoenix Theatre, La Casa Azul for the Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, The Year of Magical Thinking for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in St. Louis, MO, and associate designer for Mary Zimmerman¹s Arabian Nights for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre in Kansas City, MO. Ryan holds an M.F.A. in Lighting Design from Boston University, and a BS in Theatre Design and Technology from Ball State University. Ryan would like to thank his beautiful and talented wife Mikayla and his two beautiful sons Reed and Rowan for their love and support.
Guy Clark is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Guy manages the Indiana Repertory Theatre costume shop. His design work for IRT includes costumes for Morning after Grace, Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!,” The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, The Originalist, Stuart Little, The Mystery of Irma Vep, The Giver, The Velveteen Rabbit, Red, And Then They Came for Me, The House That Jack Built, God of Carnage, I Love to Eat, and Mary’s Wedding. In 2007, Aretha Franklin commissioned him to design and build a dress for her performance at that year’s Grammy Awards ceremony, and the following year, he created the two gowns she wore to President Obama’s inaugural balls. Guy is a member of Indianapolis Shakespeare Company, where has designed costumes for several productions. He has also designed costumes for several Dance Kaleidoscope concerts.
Corbin Fritz is a graduate of Butler University and is the Artistic Director of Character House producing Live-Cinema here in Indianapolis. Corbin also trained at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia, and studied drama and playwriting through IES London in England. Most recently, Corbin has directed Uncle Vanya, The Vortex, Russian Roulette, Antigone, and Dr. Chekhov with Character House, as well as assisting on the direction of The Agitators, Vino Veritas, Hotel Nepenthe, The Pill, and Halftime with Don at the Phoenix Theatre. Additionally, Corbin assisted the directing of You Can’t Take it With You at Indiana Repertory Theatre. Corbin is also the resident production designer for Phoenix Rising Dance Company and the Circle City Tap Company. Corbin is thrilled to be working with Constance, Guy, Rob, Ryan, and the whole Butler Theatre and Clowes team again to bring this important work to the stage in such a necessary time.
(photo credit Erik Tanner)
Tony Award-winning Director, Writer, and Dramaturg Rachel Chavkin is one of the most distinctive and innovative directors working on Broadway. She is best known for her award-winning musicals Hadestown and Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812.
A longtime staple of the off-Broadway scene, Chavkin has become recognized for her visceral directing style and seamless blend of experimental avant-garde with the traditional Broadway aesthetic. In her speaking engagements, she discusses the importance of diversity in theater, both in diversity of talent and in the incorporation of diverse elements in order to create innovative work.
After a twisty 13-year road to Broadway, Chavkin’s Hadestown finally opened in March 2019. Released to critical acclaim, the New York Times called it “sumptuous, hypnotic” and “gorgeous,” while the WSJ ranked it as “the best new musical of the season.”
Based on the music, lyrics, and book by Anaïs Mitchell, Hadestown is a folksy reimagining of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It received 14 Tony nominations, winning eight, including for Best Musical and Best Original Score, and earned a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Chavkin, for Best Director of a Musical.
In 2016, Chavkin directed Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1912, based on a 70-page segment from Tolstoy’s War and Peace. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, winning two, while Chavkin was nominated for Best Direction of a Musical, and won an Obie Award, Elliot Norton Award, Drama Desk Award, and several others for Best Director.
She is the founding artistic director of Brooklyn-based group the TEAM, an ensemble dedicated to creating new work about the experience of living in modern America. They have performed all over the U.K., including at the National Theatre, the Royal Court, and in multiple collaborations with the National Theatre of Scotland.
Chavkin’s first film, Remind Me, was an official selection of the Venice and Beverly Hills Film Festivals. Proud NYTW Usual Suspect and Member SDC.
She is currently working with composer Dave Malloy on an adaptation of Moby Dick.
Chavkin earned her BFA at NYU where she now serves on the directing faculty at Playwrights Horizons Theater School, and earned her MFA at Columbia University.