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Spotlighting our Alumni

As the Department of Theatre & Dance matures, our graduates are finding themselves more involved in the professional world. These professional connections validate the quality of our program. We are proud of their success and use this page as a place to boast some of their successes.

This page is only a representative sample of some of our alumni. Please contact us to submit, or update, your information.

BA Theatre Generalist

Currently Featuring: Jonathan Fitts

Jon is a New York City based playwright, director, composer, and dramaturg. Over the past several years, Jon’s plays have been performed across the east coast from Florida to Massachusetts. Jon was recently the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s David L. Shelton Award in playwriting for his play THE PURSUIT OF MR.ROCKEFELLER, recently produced in Boone, NC and Daytona Beach, FL. It recently received a reading in New York City at Davenport Theatrical Studios. Last year, his play RED BUG, produced at Old Dominion University in fall of 2011, was a regional nominee for the Kennedy Center’s national short play award. This year, his one-act play WHITE OR THE MUSKOX PLAY won the Kennedy Center’s John Cauble Outstanding Short Play Award and was a finalist for the O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference. It will be published in the Applause Books anthology, “The Best American Short Plays 2011-2012,” this August. His play LOBOTOMOBILE was a finalist for the 2013 terraNOVA Groundbreakers Playwrights Group and was recently workshopped at The Public Theater through New York University. He was recently commissioned to develop an immersive experience based on Akutagawa’s, “Hell Screen.” More info is available online.

Randy Davis

After graduation, he worked at various regional theaters as actor and technician. He has worked for the last 5 years as Lead Carpenter and Floor Manager at Harpo Studios in Chicago. He earned a Daytime Emmy award for his work on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He and his wife, fellow App Theatre and Dance grad Vanessa Welch, are expecting their second child in December. 

Jessica Fern Hunt

Jessica graduated from ASU in 2002 and moved to Atlanta, GA where she has acted in productions with The Atlanta Shakespeare Company at the New American Shakespeare Tavern, Stage Door Players, Onstage Atlanta, Out of Box Theatre just to name a few. In 2012, Jessica co-founded The Fern Theatre Company, a 501c3 Professional Theatre in Atlanta. Jessica is the Co-Artistic Director of The Fern, and recently produced & directed The Fern's inaugural production 'Private Eyes'. Visit for more information!

Shawn Girdham

Shawn graduated in 1999 and worked in the theater for 13 years, earning two undergraduate degrees plus a minor in dance and was involved in over 100 theatrical productions in two states (MI and NC). Shawn has since retired from theater, is now enjoying a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant and is living happily ever after in Oregon with his wife and two young children.

Noah McBrayer James

Noah McBrayer Jones is an original native of Knoxville, TN. He attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and received his BA in Theatre Arts. Upon moving to Staunton, he attended Mary Baldwin College's program of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance (Directing) and received both his Masters of Letters and Masters of Fine Arts. He has worked professionally with Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre and Heritage Repertory Theatre, interned with the American Shakespeare Center, owns and operates Leet Shakes/Golden Duck Productions, and is the Court Square Theater Manager in Harrisonburg, VA.

BA Design/Tech

Currently Featuring: Marc Hurst

After graduating, Marc worked in theater, opera, television, film and concerts before landing at Walt Disney World in Florida. Currently, he is Principal Technical Director for Walt Disney Entertainment, overseeing projects across the resort and a team of designers. His projects have ranged from designing unique parade floats (Mulch, Sweat & Shears) and stage shows (Jedi Training Academy), to toilet papering Cinderella's Castle and shooting fireworks off the Disney Cruise Ships, as well as Disney events across the country. Outside of Disney, Marc has released two albums as part of the band Lost In Chaos (bass player), and is most proud of his daughter, who is also training to take down the zombies in our future.

Jessica Lewis

Jessica has been very active as a stage manager in the Atlanta area, working with the Horizon Theatre, The Alliance, Theatre Decatur, Dancing Monkey Cabaret, Ansley Park Playhouse, and the Atlanta Opera.

Chet Longley

Chet is an Associate Professor of Design and Theatre Technology at the University of South Carolina Aiken and holds the Thomas F. Maurice Chair in Fine Arts. After graduating Appalachian State University he received an MFA in Theatrical Design from the University of Arkansas.  He has served as some combination of designer, carpenter, or technical director at multiple southeastern theatres including Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Trustus, Highlands Playhouse, Flat Rock Playhouse, Wofford College, and the Village Square Theatre on more than 200 productions. He’ll be happy to tell you some old theatre war stories if you like.

Frank Mohler III

Frank graduated as a Theatre major and Communications minor. Upon graduating Frank moved to California. After three and a half years as the Production Electrician at the Pasadena Playhouse, he left theatre to pursue a career in video editing. He has spent the past 6 years working freelance and creating trailers and DVD bonus features for titles such as Transformers & GI Joe the animated series, Max Headroom, Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Jem, Greek, Leave It To Beaver, and the soon to be released Power Rangers. Frank has also worked on a number of award winning short films and web series. See Frank on IMDB

Bill Nelson

Bill graduated from ASU and earned his M.F.A. In scenography From the University of Kansas. He has been a draper at the Washington National Opera for several years and was previously the first hand at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C.


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