Assistant Professor and Fight Master Scot J. Mann is an award winning and internationally recognized Fight Director and Teacher through the Society of American Fight Directors, the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat, and Director of Theatre at Mercer University. He has choreographed, performed and coached theatrical violence in the US, England, and Germany with such companies as The Steppenwolf Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Alliance Theatre, and the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, where he is an Associate Artist. Recent Atlanta credits include Superior Donuts at the Horizon, and August; Osage County at the Alliance Theatre. He has also served as tactics choreographer and gun wrangler for film and television, and on-set Swordmaster for the Bollywood Epic, DRONA, filmed in Jaipur, India. As a director, he received a Meritorious Achievement Award for his direction of Scapin, by the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival in 2005. He lives in Macon, Ga, with his wife, Actor Combatant Kelly Mann.
Marian Zielinski, professor of communication and theatre arts, presented a paper titled "Power and the Art of Theatre as Symbolic Communication" at the Fourth Biennial Summer Symposium and Professional Development Seminar on "Communication In and Beyond the Concept of Power," with particular reference to Ernst Cassirer's work on culture and communication to the International Communicology Institute. The event was sponsored by Danish Centre for Philosophy and Science Studies, Skagen, Denmark, June. Zielinski also won second place in the Middle Georgia Art Association's show, "Fantastic Fibers" and "Re-mastered" for her piece titled, "Human Nature." It is currently on exhibit in the Art Zone Gallery on Ingleside Avenue in Macon. Find out more about here artistic endeavours at   marianzielinski.com
The Theatre department of Mercer is dedicated to the concept that Theatre is where the arts converge and meet life. We strive to imbue this idea in the entirety of our work, striving to achieve the ultimate in excellence in the arts
Our productions take place in the intimate space of our 60 seat Back Door Theatre, as well as the expansive, 850 seat Grand Opera House in down town Macon. throughout any given school year four major productions take place. Two each semester with student showcases and other performance and technical opportunities available throughout.
Every student is different and thus will have a different experience in the realm of theatre arts and acting. The intimacy of Mercer Theatre program allows for studio classes on a personal level in which instructors create bonds with students and help them on an individual basis to prepare themselves for the unique challenges they will face in the entertainment industry. Come be a part of a hidden gem of the acting community, and in advance welcome to the family!
T. Cat Ford T. Cat Ford's nationally recognized play, POW'R IN THE BLOOD (New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest, Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights), opened Barter Theatre's 75th Anniversary season in January of 2008. Her ten minute play, Gut Shot, is published in the collection STAGE THIS! TOO! and was presented in the SHE SPEAKS! Festival in Kitchener, Ontario in March, 2009. A SIMPLE GIFT, her exploration of 19th century Shakerism was a semi-finalist for the 2003 Mill Mountain Theatre New Play Competition and finalist for the 2004 National Playwrights Conference. ROAR LIONS! ROAR!!, finalist 2002 Mill Mountain Theatre New Play competition received a workshop production in 2003 sponsored by Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre. Mill Mountain Theatre staged a reading of her one-act play “Poolside” as a part of their Lunchtime Series. “Poolside” is a part of a full length play entitled LINKS which was given a staged reading in 2006 as a part of the Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre's Professional Playwrights' Unit reading series. Other plays include: searchers.net, a computer dating extravaganza; MERMEN, a space coast tale of love and mermaids, and THE CHAOS TRADE, an insiders view of the financial meltdown of 2008. Ms. Ford is a member the Actor's Studio P/D Unit and Workshop and is a fellow of New River Dramatists. Ford's Acting Career As an actor, she began with a one-line part in a play in New Jersey in 1982. This was followed by work in regional theaters in the USA and off-Broadway in New York City. As an actor she was most interested in the story line and was discriminating in her choice of vehicles. While working with the playwright Romulus Linney, she watched him closely, and learned a great deal about her craft in this way
Amy Eakins Casterline Amy Eakins Casterline is an Actor who graduated from Mercer in 1993. She attended the graduate program at Northern Illinois University before moving to New York and has been appearing on stage, television, and film for the last 18 years. Commercial work includes a national campaign for DiGiorno Pizza and various voice over and industrial film projects. Amy presently lives Near Knoxville, TN, where she is represented by Talent Trek, and recently appeared in the independent film, Summerville, and on television in Crimewave:18 Months of Mayhem.
Kelly Finley Courtesy of IMDB: Preacher's Kid(2010) .... Meghan "Twentysixmiles".... Amanda Burnish (6 episodes, 2010) - Bewitched (2010) TV episode .... Amanda Burnish - Emergency! (2010) TV episode .... Amanda Burnish - Family Affair (2010) TV episode .... Amanda Burnish - Movin' On(2010) TV episode.... Amanda Burnish - Switch(2010) TV episode .... Amanda Burnish The Lost & Found Family(2009) .... Clerk "The American Experience" .... Sara (1 episode, 2009) - We Shall Remain: Part III - Trail of Tears (2009) TV episode .... Sara One Missed Call (2008) (uncredited) .... Mom Good Neighbor (2001) .... Mother ... aka "The Killer Next Door" - USA (MIFED title) "Legacy" .... Nurse Jo / ... (4 episodes, 1998-1999) - A House Divided (1999) TV episode .... Nurse Jo - Winter's Storm (1999) TV episode .... Nurse Jo - Just Kissed (1999) TV episode .... Nurse Jo - The Big Fix (1998) TV episode .... Nurse
Bryant Smith Originally from Georgia but currently residing in New York City, Bryant received his M.F.A. (Acting) from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. He received his B.A. in Theatre and his B.B.A. in Business Management from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Bryant is also a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He has been blessed to have worked with many great theatres including Theatre In The Square in Marietta, GA; the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, NY; Theatre Macon in Macon, Georgia; 14th Street Playhouse in Atlanta, Georgia; Gainesville Theatre Alliance in Gainesville, Georgia; Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Jersey Productions and the Aronoff Center for the Arts in Cincinnati, OH; and the Hippodrome Theatre in Gainesville, Florida. Favorite onstage roles include: William Campbell in the World Premiere of Stealing Dixie; Eddie in the World Premiere of COLLEGE: The Musical; Jean in Rhinoceros; Max in The Real Thing; Mr. Andrews in Titanic; John Utterson in Jekyll & Hyde; Younger Brother in Ragtime; Superintendent in The Drowsy Chaperone; Mike Costa in A Chorus Line; Chuck Rascal in Dollywood's Buddy Baxter's Bandstand USA; Donny in American Buffalo; Max in Lend Me A Tenor; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Amadeus; Cosmo Brown in Singin' In The Rain; Satan in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; Bill in Pinter's The Collection; and Matthew St. Germaine in the East Coast Premiere of The Sleeper. Bryant is a proud member of the Actor's Equity Association.
Eamon Glennon Eamon Glennon is an actor, artist, filmmaker, and writer who currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Eamon started his professional visual arts career as a teenager inking comic book pages for a neighbor who happened to be an artist in the comic industry. Eamon became interested in theater after seeing a Mercer theater production, and later went on to study theater in New York at the "American Music and Dramatic Academy". Eamon has appeared in various theatrical and film productions in New York , Georgia, and Los Angeles.
Shelly Blackwell Theatre Teacher SSHS, UT Martin Shelley Blackwell received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from The University of Southern Mississippi and her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Mercer University. Ms. Blackwell has worked in the theatre since 1988, and in television, film, and radio throughout the U.S. since 1992. She directed for the Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles and has trained actors on the high school, collegiate and professional level. Shelley has received 3 National Irene Ryan Acting Nominations for her stage performances and an Irene Ryan Honourable Mention for theatre criticism. Shelley currently resides in Jackson and teaches theatre at the University of Tennessee at Martin and South Side High School. Ms. Blackwell has been recognized as Who's Who Among American Teachers, recognized as a Teacher of the Year by the Rotary Club, received the “I Made a Difference Award” presented by South Side High School Administration, and selected as the 2008 Walmart Teacher of the Year for Madison County.
Sylvia Haynie Sylvia Haynie, co-owner and theatre instructor Academy of the Performing Arts, currently serves as a frequent guest director for a number of Middle Georgia theatre organizations. Since 2004, she has directed over 25 main stage musical for Macon Little Theatre as well as co-directing the successful Macon Little Kid's Theatre Summer Camp productions. Her work with Youth Actor's Company of Theatre Macon includes productions of Big River and Pippin. She directed and appeared in Missouri Waltz for the Cox Capitol Theatre in 2009, working closely with playwright and film star Karen Black. At the APA, Haynie writes and directs a three-show season of original works for children. In 2011 she was the local Munchkin Coordinator for the National Tour of Wizard of Oz and continues to serve in a casting capacity for APA kids, placing students in national tours, professional film, radio and commercial opportunities. During her tenure as director of theatre at Stratford Academy (1993 - 2004), she annually produced and directed three large-scale and two student developed performances, as well as overseeing an active drama club, teaching a variety of course work, and organizing study trips to New York. Under her direction, Stratford's yearly One-Act Play entry won ten region and six Georgia Independent School AAA State Championships.
Shannon Elizabeth Johnson FILM/TELEVISION: Med Alert Principle Del Shores (writer/director) Metonymy Principle Polyonax Productions Borderline News Lead (Host) Latimundo LLC LibertyFest 2010 Lead (Host) Farmers Branch Television Unnatural 20: The Search for Steve Principle Mad Centaur Productions Game Principle Fish note Entertainment Christ is Sufficient Principle Dir. INTERNET: Inappropriate Things: To Do While Making Out Lead Dan and James Present Inappropriate Things: Gifts to Give Your Lover Lead Dan and James Present Inappropriate Things: Ways to Receive a Gift Lead Dan and James Present Jeff and Gary Save the World: Episode 1 Supporting Mad Centaur Productions
Phillip Banze Phil Banze, Mercer Class of 2009, has been working in a number of different areas of theatrical production since his graduation. Phil is the interim Director of The Grand Opera House and Mercer Ticket Sales. Phil married fellow Mercer Theatre Alumnus Emma Stitt in July of 2012. Emma is studying Law at Mercer.
Chris Rader Chris Rader graduated from Mercer in 1994, and has gone on to work in Administration and Stage Management for such companies as Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, The Encore Theatre Company. Chris is presently the Production Stage Manager for Chicago Opera Vanguard.
Christina Thorington OFF BROADWAY: The Sanctuary American Theatre of Actors A Lesson In Blood American Theatre of Actors Resurrection Manhattan Movement & Arts Center
David Pulliam David graduated from Mercer in Theatre in 1982, and went on to complete a graduate degree at The University of Alabama. He has worked professionally as a Technical Director with dozen of professional companies. He is presently a professor of Design and Technology at Catawba College. In addition to being the resident scenic designer, David coordinates the Bachelor of Science in Theatre Arts Administration degree and the Studio Art minor. David's awards and honors include First Place in the Southeastern Theatre Conference Scene Design competition in two consecutive years. David designed scenery for the University of Alabama's
Elanor Savage Eleanor Savage is a Program Officer at the Jerome Foundation, an independent foundation that supports emerging artists in the creation and development of new work. She previously was the Associate Director of Event and Media Production at the Walker Art Center for sixteen years. In addition to her professional work, Savage founded and was Program Director of the Naked Stages program for nine years; this program supports the creative development of emerging performance artists. Savage also produced and curated many community-focused events through Intermedia Arts, Walker Art Center and KFAI radio. She is a civic-minded media artist and has produced video work with many Minneapolis and New York performers and choreographers, including Cheryl Dunye, Christian Marclay, Bill T. Jones, Morgan Thorson, Hijack, Shawn McConneloug, Pauline Oliveros, Holly Hughes, and Split Britches. Savage has also taught Women in the Arts and Queer Visual Culture classes at the University of Minnesota.
Courtenay Wilson Courtenay works in the Foundation's Arts and Culture program which seeks to support and advance a vibrant regional cultural community by working with non-profit professional cultural organizations with a focus on organizational capacity building, strategic planning, and financial and organizational management. Major projects include: the National Cultural Data Project; Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour (PennPAT)and ArtsRising, a ten year initiative aimed at increasing the coordination of and access to high quality arts education opportunities both in and out of school time for every child in the region by 2020. Prior to joining the Foundation, Courtenay had over 16 years of experience in senior arts management positions including: Senior Program Officer at the Southern Arts Federation in Atlanta; Executive Director of the Grand Opera House, a performing Arts Centre of Mercer University in Macon, GA; Deputy City Representative in the city of Philadelphia's Office of Arts and Culture; and Managing Director of the Wilma Theatre. He holds an M.F.A. in Arts Management from Yale University's School of Drama.
Tony Pearson Professor/Technical Director/Designer 2007-Present Gordon College 2002-2007 Mercer University Adjunct Professor/ Technical Director