Department of Theatre Faculty
Click on any faculty member's name to see a list of achievements.
Joseph Frost is a playwright, actor and director living in Jackson, Mississippi, with his wife, Shannon and their children, Nina, Darby and Emory and Beau. He earned an MFA in Script and Screenwriting and an MA in Theatre Acting/ Directing from Regent University. Joseph’s short plays have been featured around the country on university stages at Malone, Regent, Spring Arbor, Belhaven, and at Gizhou University in China. His bio-play van Gogh was produced at an exhibit of the artist’s work at the Chrysler Museum of Art, and his work The Memory Trilogy has been given readings (whole or in part) in VA, MS, NC, and New York City and produced by Belhaven. Joseph’s play Oz was developed into the independent feature film Before We Close, and he has penned several short films, including the Cine Award winning The Heart of Saturday Night. Joseph’s farce comedy The Mayfair Affair premiered at Belhaven in 2012, and he is developing its follow-up Mayfair, Ma Chére for premiere in 2015. He’s written a cycle of short plays, The Long Surrender, inspired by the music of Over the Rhine, and has twice completed the 31 Plays in 31 Days project (a short play each day for the month of August). As an actor, Joseph has performed on stage in over 50 productions, including comedies (Scapino!, Fools, Jake’s Women), dramas (Betrayal, All My Sons, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Crucible, Dinner with Friends), contemporary (Dead Man’s Cell Phone, The Bald Soprano), original works (Letters to John Lennon, In the Flesh, Pilate, Hymn to the Chesapeake, Holy Motion), musicals (Assassins, The Fantasticks, Gifts of the Magi) and Shakespeare (The Tempest, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and an award-winning turn as Hamlet). He appeared in the independent feature films The Proper Care and Feeding of an American Messiah and Endings, and was a founding member of the Slap Happy! Improvisational Comedy Troupe. Joseph’s directing work has included plays by Shakespeare, Ionesco, Chekhov, Eliot, Brecht, Pinter, and world premieres of Kurt Gerstein by Paul Patton, a performance adaptation of Ecclesiastes, his own works, Braids, The Silent, The Playhouse, and the devised work Johanne d’Arc. Joseph is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, a board member and head of the New Works Initiative for Christians in Theatre Arts (CITA), and is the Mississippi state representative to the board of directors of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) from the Mississippi Theatre Association (MTA). Joseph is the artistic director of the floodlight theatre company.
Rebekah Bert (2010) Specialty Instructor of Technical Theatre
B.A., Grove City College
M.A., Binghamton University
Rebekah Bert went to Grove City Collage in Pennsylvania for her Bachelors in Music and Business and a Minor in Theatre, and received her Masters in Technical Theatre from the State University of NY in Binghamton, NY. She started working at Belhaven University as the Technical Director in the fall of 2010.
Rebekah has been a guest designer for Noises Off for SUNY Binghamton, drop design and build for Ballet Magnificant’s show of The Snow Queen, and several shows for Millsaps College Theatre department.
Working for Belhaven University has provided her with unique opportunities to problem solve and be creative in the build and production of many different types of theatrical productions. Rebekah looks forward to many more years of creative collaboration for the Belhaven University theatre department.
Kris Dietrich received his theatre training at the University of Missouri at Kansas City under the instruction of John Ezell. During his time there he had the opportunity to interact with and work along side some of the best theatre professionals in the industry. Their influence and teaching fostered an environment where he could not only grow in his craft, but develop into a theatre professional who values hard work, supreme effort, and constructive collaboration.
Kris enjoys all aspects of design and has been fortunate to have worked in theatre for the past 18 years. During that time he has been a part of over 80 productions, many of which he was a principle designer for some aspect of the production. He enjoys finding visual solutions in a quest to tell great stories worthy of an audience. He also enjoys teaching and mentoring his students, always working to build them up into the type of artists that he would want to collaborate with as a colleague.
On a personal note, he is a father to 4 fantastic boys who are an endless source of energy and entertainment, and a man who is lucky to have married his best friend.
Nadine Grant (2011) Assistant Professor of Theatre Costuming and Production
B.A., Bethel College
M.F.A., University of Missouri
Nadine Grant is an award-winning designer, whose work has been featured in Canada, the US and England. Notable Designs includes: Borderlands and Brokeology at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and the World Premier of Kingdom Undone in Minneapolis with Theatre for the Thirsty. In Canada, some of her designs include da Kink in my Hair seen in Toronto, and at National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina, and the Canadian Premier of Ruined with Toronto’s Obsidian Theatre.
Nadine served as a design assistant to Paul Tazewell at the Stratford Festival in 2010.
She is the proud recipient of USITT Costume Design and Technology Award 2009, Stratford Festival’s Ian and Molly Lindsay Young Design Fellowship 2010, , and a Dora Nomination for Costume Design (Toronto) 2010.
She received her MFA in Costume Design and Technology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
Stewart Hawley has his work published in Quiddtas, Journal of the Society of American Fight Directors, Asian Theatre Journal and Texas Theatre Journal. Stewart will soon become a certified teacher of stage combat this summer and is working on his PhD in theatre. As a practitioner Stewart has worked in these theatres: Alliance Theatre, Actor's Theatre, and the AD Players. He has also worked on the following films: Evening Star, Rocketman, and Warning: Parental Advisor.
Marianne Savell worked in Los Angeles for 15 years as a freelance Director, Actor, Teacher & Coach. In the fall of 2012 she joined the Theatre faculty at Belhaven University. While in Los Angeles Marianne was the Producing Director of the award winning Actors Co-op theatre company in Hollywood. She also served as the Assistant Director of Act One: Writing for Hollywood. Professional directing credits include: the Jeff Award nominated Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Victory Gardens, Chicago), The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (B Street, Sacramento), Shadowlands (American Coast Theatre Company); at Actors Co-op Hollywood: A Long Day's Journey Into Night, Yours, Isabel (American Premiere), King Lear, Wit (Best Revival LA Weekly award, Best Director nominee LA Drama Critics Circle), The Crucible (Best Director nominee LA Weekly), Hamlet, Gulf View Drive (World Premiere, Best Ensemble LA Weekly award), Angel Street, Translations, As It Is In Heaven (West Coast Premiere), It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (West Coast Premiere), Yours, Isabel, (workshop) God & Shakespeare (Original), Molly Sweeney (Los Angeles). Professional acting credits include: A Streetcar Named Desire (ACTC), The Seagull (LA Weekly Award for Best Featured Actress), As You Like It, The Voice of the Prairie, The Hasty Heart, All My Sons, Uncle Vanya, Twelfth Night, Bullshot Crummond and Henry V. Marianne has taught at Azusa Pacific University, Biola University Regent University, Biola University and Vanguard University where she directed The Lion in Winter, As It Is In Heaven, Saint Joan, America’s Broadway and Three Sisters. She teaches in the teen conservatory at South Coast Rep. In 2008 she directed Margaret Hunt’s And the Ravens Feed Us at the New Harmony Project is an alumnus and participant of Directors Lab West, an associate artist with Taproot Theatre Company in Seattle, served on the Advisory Board of Provision Theater Company in Chicago and was the Producing Director of Actors Co-op Hollywood. Training: MFA Acting, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Guest Artist Central School of Speech and Drama, London. Upcoming projects include developing a historical Civil War play with playwright Jeff Berryman. Marianne is a member of Actors Equity and SAG.
Bonnie McNair, Administrative Assistant to Visual Arts & Theatre
Bonnie McNair, originally from Florida, has called Jackson, Mississippi home for almost 18 years. She graduated from Belhaven in 2006 with a B.S. in Psychology. The following year she spent time in French Camp, Mississippi as an intern at French Camp Academy where she ministered to children and teens attending the boarding school. She then enjoyed a summer working at Camp of the Rising Son, as the Registrar, before returning to Jackson and beginning work at Belhaven the fall of 2008. Bonnie is in her sixth year of serving as the Administrative Assistant to Theatre, Visual Art, Arts Administration, and Graphic Design, as well as Camp Administrator for the Summer Arts Camp. She enjoys connecting with students and helping them settle in to their school routine, while assisting the fun and diverse faculty in each department. She and her husband live in Fondren with their dogs and she loves cooking, baking and learning new crafts.
Shannon Frost (2004) Adjunct
B.A., Malone College
M.A., Regent University