Helene Siebrits is an Associate Professor of Costume Design and Head of the Costume Program at Ohio University. She has worked as a costume designer and draper in theatre, opera, dance, and film. Helene has also created illustrations for publication. She has designed and created costumes for a wide range of genres including contemporary plays, musicals, Shakespeare plays, opera, film, and dance. At Ohio University Helene has designed costumes for the School of Dance, Theater and Film. Helene has also had the privilege to design costumes for the inaugural season and second season of Tantrum Theater.
Currently, Helene is working with Amrita Performing Arts Artistic Director, Chey Chankethya, on two new dance narratives that will be performed in China and Japan. Helene will also work with Amrita Performing Arts performers, opera director Peter Sellars, and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen on Persephone (Stravinsky) at the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2019.
Recently, Helene collaborated with the iconoclastic opera director, Peter Sellars, on Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms (Stravinsky) at the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm, the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix en Provence. Helene has also collaborated with Peter Sellars on the double-bill production of Iolanta/Persephone(Tchaikovsky/Stravinsky) for Opéra de Lyon, Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix en Provence, and the Teatro Real in Madrid. Helene has previously collaborated with Peter Sellars on productions at the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, La Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Sydney Opera House, the Luzerner Theatre in Switzerland and Santa Fe Opera.
Helene has designed costumes regionally at the Latino Theatre in Los Angeles, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, the South Coast Repertory Theater, Texas Shakespeare Festival, West Virginia Public Theatre, and Festival Antigonish in Nova Scotia. As a costume draper Helene has created bespoke costumes for respected designers including Paul Brown, Claire Mitchell, Robert Innes Hopkins, Gideon Davey, Dunya Ramicova and Martin Pakledinaz. Helene’s costume creations have been seen on the stage at several venues in North America and world-wide. Helene has draped costumes at companies including Shakespeare Santa Cruz, California Shakespeare, American Musical Theater in San Jose, and Santa Fe Opera. Helene’s design aesthetic is informed by a deep understanding of costume construction.
At Ohio University, Helene’s teaching is focused on fostering collaboration amongst the theatre disciplines and on the building of excellent design skills. Helene teaches foundational drawing and design, intermediate and advanced rendering, text analysis for designers, and costume history. Helene is particularly interested in the cross-disciplinary approach to design solutions for set, lighting, projection, and costumes.
Helene’s research interests include capacity building in the performing arts. She is committed to the design training of individuals traditionally underrepresented in the theatre design disciplines. In 2013, Helene received a USITT fellowship to investigate the on-going endeavour to re-build the performing arts in Cambodia. Her research focuses on traditional costume design in Cambodia, the emergence of new performing arts narratives in Cambodia, and the training of a new generation of Cambodian designers. Helene received an OURC grant from Ohio University in 2017 to continue her research of scenographic practices in Cambodia and collaborate on new Cambodian narratives for the stage.
Helene received her MFA in Design from the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television. She holds a BA in Theatre, Magna Cum Laude from UCLA and a BA in Fashion Design and Technology from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Helene is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 and an active member of USITT.
Dan Denhart has been the Head of the Technical Direction Program at Ohio University since 1986 and has recently been appointed Head of Production Design and Technology Program for the Division of Theater.
Recent Division of Theater Technical Direction credits include The 4th Sister (2005-06), Knock Me A Kiss (2007-08), What the Butler Saw (2008-09), The Hostage (2009-10), and The Holiday (2010-11). In 2002, Dan joined the faculty and was awarded tenure in 2005. Dan has overseen numerous productions for the Division of Theater and has trained many technical directors that are successfully working in theaters across the country. Dan also enjoys working as Production Manager, Set Designer and/or Scenic Charge Artist (not all at the same time mind you) for the Ohio Valley Summer Theater which partners with the Ohio University Division of Theater. Over the past 25 seasons Dan has designed scenery for over 15 OVST productions. Recently Dan’s technical direction work was seen in New York as he served as Technical Director for the Off-Broadway production of Finding Claire and Technical Advisor for the production of On Naked Soil both produced at the Theater For A New City on NY’s lower east side.
Dan has served on the National Conference committee for the United States Institute of Theater Technology, (since) 1995, in the capacity of Special Exhibitions Coordinator and Media Resources Coordinator. Dan currently is in his fourth term as VP Special Operations for USITT. Dan served as the Associate Exhibition Director and Technical Director for the Inaugural World Stage Design Exhibition in Toronto Canada in 2005, the Producing Director for the USA-USITT National, Student Theater Design and Theater Architecture exhibit entries to the 2011 Prague Quadrennial and has recently accepted the request to continue in this position for the 2015 Prague Quadrennial.
Props Technologist Thomas Fiocchi joined the Division of Theater in 1997 to lead the props artisan training program. His graduates work in major theaters around the USA. In addition to teaching, Tom is the owner of Fiocchi Sword and Prop, specializing in custom stage combat weapons for individual customers and theaters. His swords have been seen onstage at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Shakespeare Theater, Lost Colony, Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg and at numerous Renaissance fairs. Tom has produced commissioned props for Enchantment Theater, Spirit of America, Washington Opera, Arena Stage, and the Studio Theater in DC. Previously, Tom was a staff member of the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, DC, McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ, and George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ. He was Assistant Technical Director at George Washington University from 1989 to 1997. Tom received is BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in Set and Costume Design.
Lara Southerland Berich is a Draper, Tailor, and Educator recently working with Oregon Shakespeare Festival (since 2012) and the Santa Fe Opera (since 2006) in addition to overhire and outsourcing for companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Pearl Theatre, and many others. In the time at OSF they have enjoyed a wide variety of opportunities to produce new work and old with phenomenal colleagues and designers such as Susan Tsu, Dede Ayite, Deb Dryden, Paloma Young, and David Woolard. While at Santa Fe they have enjoyed working with such designers as Tom Ford, David Woolard, Martin Pakladinaz, Sue Wilmington, Constance Hoffman, Paul Brown, and Fabio Toblini as well as innumerable talented costume technologists. Since 2013 Lara has also functioned as the Costume Technology Advisor to the costume apprentices in production of two nights of scenes after the Operas are all in repertory. Prior to working with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Lara was the Draper and Costume Technology Instructor with Indiana University Bloomington from 2007-2012, developing and instituting new courses at the undergraduate and graduate level including: Men’s Tailoring, Understructures for Historical Costumes, and Period Patternmaking and Construction. Together with Costume Design professor Linda Pisano they developed the curriculum for and received approval for the Costume Technology graduate program at Indiana University, but the approval coincided with a rare opportunity to drape for the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival costume department. Lara is proud that many of their former students from their time at Indiana University now hold professorships and / or professional positions from Alaska to Utah to Illinois and elsewhere. Lara holds an MFA in Costume Production from Boston University (2006) and a BA in Theatre Performance with Teacher Licensure from Greensboro College in North Carolina. Lara believes firmly that we should all, industry wide, strive to be a colleague with whom we would enjoy working.
Lowell Jacobs serves Ohio University Division of Theater by heading up the Sound Design and Production program and as the staff Master Electrician. He has been a professional entertainment technician in theatre, film/television, concerts, and convention/exposition services for over two decades. Working out of Phoenix AZ, he has worked on hundreds of national commercials, dozens of features and made for TV movies, and some theatrical releases. Lowell received his MFA from Arizona State University in Intermedia, with emphasis in performance and technology. A performance artist and New Media artist, Lowell has exhibited works across the U.S.. He also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.
The sound design program embraces concept and technology to develop enhanced theatrical experiences. Students are exposed to the production process and then are given ample design assignments to develop their conceptual and technical skills. Students are encouraged to explore curriculum in related Divisions such as Film, Dance, Music, and Media arts and Studies. Completing this rigorous program prepares the graduate for a variety of design and engineering jobs related to theatrical performance, as well as time based media, and site specific environmental/installation work.
We work with Q-Lab and SFX playback software, as well with numerous editing and content creation packages. Video projection in scenic design has become common, and our Sound Shop has taken over engineering these systems in our productions, as well as advanced networking, and use of MIDI machine control of other equipment such as dowsers, lighting consoles, etc… We push for strong technological skills and consider part of our mission to be doing research and development.
In house composition and creation is encouraged with emphasis on conceptual development. Field recording and Foley work brings better quality and personal connection to the production. Of course this also helps build stronger portfolios as well. Students are required to complete a professional internship during the course of study. This builds experience and connections upon graduation.
Joanna Koefoed is the head of costume crafts, wigs and makeup, and wardrobe. She completed her graduate work at Ohio University and is delighted to return in a teaching capacity. Along with teaching, and managing the Craft Shop, she does freelance crafts and millinery. During the summers, she works as the Assistant Milliner at The Santa Fe Opera. Her work has also been seen in productions at The Dallas Opera, Pioneer Theater, Timeline Theater, and Mercury Theater.
Michael Lincoln’s full time teaching career began at the Division of Theater in 2003. He was a guest artist several times from 1989-1992. He served as Head of the Production Design and Technology Program from 2007-2012, when he became Interim Director for the Division of Theater.
Michael’s professional lighting design career numbers well over 300 productions in theatre, opera and dance. He has designed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally for more than 30 years. Highlights: the Broadway and national tours of Copenhagen, the Playwrights Horizons production of The Bubbly Black Girl… and the Cleveland Play House production of A Streetcar Named Desire. He continues to design several productions each year, always with students assisting.
Michael’s extensive regional credits include long associations with Indiana Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre in Houston and the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. He has consulted on renovations for both Indiana Rep and Studio, where he designed lighting systems for two new theatres and all support spaces in the three building complex.
Michael had multi-year associations with Los Angeles Ballet, Tulsa Ballet and Santa Fe Opera. His multiple Broadway credits as an Associate Designer include hit revivals of Guys and Dolls and Anything Goes and original productions of City of Angels, Six Degrees of Separation and Lend Me a Tenor.
Michael taught for fourteen years at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and at the University of Southern California. Awards: L.A. Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Logue, Corbin Patrick and USITT Ezekiel, Phi Beta Kappa.
C. David Russell’s varied career includes costume and scenic design, costume and property crafts, and event design and project management. He is currently Assistant Professor and head of Scenic Design at Ohio University Division of Theater.
Mr. Russell recent design work includes The Scenic Design for Eurydice at Ohio University. At REP/PTTP Mr. Russell has designed costumes for The Importance of Being Earnest and the Set Design for Hay Fever, directed by Jack Going. The Scenic Design for Hay Fever was featured in Theater Design and Technology magazine in the summer of 2010. Also for PTTP, Mr. Russell designed Costumes for Tartuffe in 2007, for which he received a USITT Ezekiel Award for Outstanding Achievement. He also designed the Sets for Travesties and Ah Wilderness in 2002.
Mr. Russell has been the Production Designer with Enchantment Theatre Company for the past nine years where he has been responsible for the costumes, puppets and scenic designs for Scheherazade that also received a USITT Ezekiel Award for Outstanding Achievement, The Velveteen Rabbit and Pinocchio, as well as The Firebird, which toured with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland and Seattle Symphonies. All directed by Leslie Reidel.
Other Design work includes: costumes for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, also featured in Theater Design and Technology magazine, Julius Caesar and The Tempest at the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, and costumes for Lobby Hero at the Pittsburgh Public Theater.
Other Credits include: Costume Design for Spinning Into Butter, Lobby Hero, and The Laramie Project for Theater Works in Hartford Connecticut. Event design and project management experiences in New York City include the International Toy Fair, Little Golden Books National Read IN, Save the Children Gala, and The TISCH Gala. Mr. Russell has been a Master Props Craftsperson at The Santa Fe Opera, where he has been a staff member since 1992.
C. David Russell received his BFA at Ohio University Division of Theater and his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Costume and Scenic Design from New York University TISCH School for the Arts.
Daniel Winters has designed for companies such as St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Director’s Company, Labyrinth Theatre Company, Dixon Place, New York Shakespeare Exchange, Creative Destruction, Burning Coal Theatre Company, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and Available Light Theatre. During his time in New York he also worked on a number of new plays and experimental projects. His work on 2013’s The Man Who Laughs earned him a Drama Desk Award Nomination. He is very excited to be working with Ohio University and looks forward to continuing his explorations in collaboration.