Alumnus Spotlight: Ben Williams
Success After UndergradRecent graduates Blake Harris, Gregory Jackson, Alex Miller-Long, and Rebecca Rouse discuss their time with UTC Theatre Co.
Alumni and Former Student News
Marty received an M.F.A. in Theatre Design and Production from Tulane University and is a professor and technical director at Loyola University New Orleans.
Chris is an Editorial Assistant at the American Library Association in Chicago.
Jeff won Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play in the World Premiere Production of Clive Barker’s In The Flesh at the Organic Theatre in Chicago. Other Chicago theatre credits include The Next Theatre, European Repertory Company, Blind Parrot Productions, Chicago Dramatists, and Victory Gardens.
PAIGE LA GRONE BABCOCK
Paige completed her graduate degree in education at Trevecca Nazarene University and teaches in the Metro Nashville Public School System.
Whitney received her M.F.A. in Performing Arts Management at CUNY Brooklyn and currently works at Stage Entertainment Germany.
Ashanti received her M.F.A. in Acting from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and currently lives in Los Angeles.
Brian received an M.F.A. in Film Studies at Northwestern University. Brian and Ben Williams are currently performing their original piece, Mind On Heaven, in New York, Chicago, and Chattanooga. Brian’s recently completed a documentary called Starship Chicago that is premiering in October 2017.
Laura completed her law degree at Georgia State University.
CARLENE HAYES CONWAY
Carlene can often be seen on the stage at the Chattanooga Theatre Center and Shakespeare Chattanooga. She is also an instructional coach for the Hamilton County Department of Education.
Rhys is a sound engineer and is often on tour around the world.
Jeanna is the East Coast Agent at International Music Network in Boston.
Kevin lives in Washington, DC and is currently the Grants and Finance Coordinator at World Resources Institute. Kevin continues to work as an apprentice advisor at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
Nathan works at the ID3 company in Atlanta and plays in a band: www.afighttothedeath.com.
Doreen currently works at Smoky Mountain Opry in Pigeon Forge.
Beth has directed numerous production for the Chattanooga Theatre Centre since 1993. She can also be seen on stage as well. Beth teaches drama at Baylor School and is a painter. Her work can be seen at the Winder Binder Gallery.
Jamie is studying for her M.F.A. in Acting at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Andrew is currently working with Theatre One in Louisville, KY as the Associate Artistic Director of Education.
Dennis is best known for his role as Principal Belding in Saved By the Bell. He recently guest starred on Men of a Certain Age and Neighborhood Watch.
Malcolm was nominated for Chicago’s 2000 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Director for his production of Laughter On the Twenty-Third Floor for Open Eye Productions. The production won the Jeff Award for Best Non-Equity Ensemble.
Karen has a MA in Film studies and teaches Film and Theatre Education here at UTC in the Theatre Division.
Shane is a Chicago actor whose credits include Steppenwolf Theatre, Chopin Theatre and Bailiwick Repertory Company. Shane is currently writing his second performance piece.
Bob works at Chattanooga State Community College as the Technical Director/Auditorium Manager.
Mario is currently playing Romeo in The Romeo and Juliet Project for Tennessee Shakespeare Company in Memphis. He can also be seen at Playback Memphis and will be playing Cory in the upcoming production of August Wilson’s Fences at Theatre Memphis.
Gaye is currently an Associate Professor of Theatre at UTC. Chicago theatre credits include: Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens, Northlight Theatre, National Jewish Theatre, Cloud 42 Productions, Lifeline Theatre, and Chicago Dramatists. Gaye’s play Philo, based on Sophocles’ Philoctetes, was workshopped at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and has been produced at Tennessee State University and Austin Peay State University. In 2011 Gaye was awarded the UTC College of Arts and Sciences Creative Scholarship Award.
Leslie is an actor and playwright best know for his Emmy Award-winning role as Beverley Leslie in Will And Grace. He also originated the role of “Brother Boy” in the play and film Sordid Lives. Leslie’s autobiographical one-man show My Trip Down the Pink Carpet opened off-Broadway at the Midtown Theatre In April 2010.
Kannon is currently the Head Video engineer at Coke HQ in Atlanta. He has done extensive lighting design and production work and was the Production Manager for the Stone Mountain Highland Games for 2 years.
Jess recently began her ninth season at Chicago Shakespeare as a dresser. She is known as the “Best Dresser” in Chicago by many who have benefited from her knowledge and expertise. Check out her podcast at: www.thehoneydarlingshow.libsyn.com.
While working in the banking industry, Karen has performed for several theatre companies in the Chicago area.
After six seasons of working at the Goodman Theatre as an electrician and carpenter, Steven completed his studies at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Margaret was named the Artistic Director at City Theatre in Miami in May of 2017. She was the Associate Artistic Director and Resident Director for The Promethean Theatre and was on staff at Nova Southeastern University.
Erin recently starred in the independent film “Green Corn”, directed and written by fellow UTC Alum Brian Cagle and produced by UTC Alum Jeff Atkins.
Doug has performed in numerous productions in Chattanooga, including the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, Ensemble, East Brainerd Community Theatre and Theater for the New South.
Patti is a professional actor, most recently seen in the title role in the National Tour of The Drowsy Chaperone. Other recent credits include: National tour of Little Women (Marmee), 1st National tour of The Wedding Singer (Rosie), 1st National tour of Oklahoma! (Aunt Eller) and 2nd Regional Premier of Midlife! The Crisis Musical (Woman #3).
LISA YEARGAN MCQUEEN
Lisa has been the musical director and ensemble member at the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago for over twenty years. Lisa has also served as musical director at Second City as well as Chicago Shakespeare. She also performs with the Jeanie Tanner Jazz Quartet and the Rolling Clones in Chicago.
Barbara is a stand-up comedian working in clubs throughout the Southeast and Midwest. She also works as a freelance writer, with her highest profile credit being that epic drama, "Country's Most Shocking: The Story behind Southern Rock and Outlaw Country," which aired on CMT. (www.barbneligan.com)
Michael can often be seen performing at Chattanooga Theatre Centre. He teaches at Hixson Middle School.
SHANI HEDDEN PALMER
Shani is a musician and singer who continues to contribute to the beauty of live performance in Chattanooga.
Ed is a writer, producer, and copy editor at CNN News in Atlanta.
DEANNA M. PRATHER
Deanna is a free-lance costume designer and theatre arts teacher. Her work as been seen in costumes for productions at Georgia Shakespeare Company, True Colors Theatre Company, Theatre Mercado, Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts and Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Center. She is sole proprietor/designer of Design DeeVine, a custom clothing source, and Retro Mercantile, an artisan collective.
JOLIE RUNYON FINKBINER
Jolieis a consultant in Youth Development in Illinois. She is the director of the Children’s Theatre Project as well as an actor and director in community theatre productions in Robinson, Illinois.
JAYETTA BENEFIELD SLAWSON
Jayetta received her PhD in Performance Studies from New York University and is currently teaching at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Lydia is currently pursuing a Masters in Education at UVA Falls Church. Prior to that she worked as a props designer at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington D.C. and for the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival.
Brooke is an occupational therapist at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
CARLENE HAYES WEST
Carlene can often be seen on the stage at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. She is also on faculty at the Baylor School.
Amber completed an MFA from Ohio University and is currently working in the costume shop at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Ben is an actor, an Obie-Award winning sound designer, and director in New York City. He is a member of Elevator Repair Service and a found member of minor theatre with Julia Jarcho. Other collaborators include Christina Masciotti, The Wooster Group, Lily Whitsitt and Door 10, Suzanne Bocanegra, Sibyl Kempson, Rich Maxwell, and Moises Kaufman. He has toured extensively across 5 continents, to venues including the Sydney Opera House, the Prague Quadrennial, the American Repertory Theater, and the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End. Ben also teaches sound design at The New School and edits the Performance Texts Section for BODY, an online journal. Check out his website at: www.benwilliamsdotcom.com.
BRENDA MCCANN WINSTEAD
Brenda has an M.F.A. in costume design from the University of Connecticut. She has worked in Chicago as a freelance costume designer for over 10 years. She is currently a Theatre Ensemble Member at Stage Left Theatre in Chicago.
Annie is currently an actor in Atlanta, having completed the intern program at Actors’ Express, where she performed in NEW CENTURY, SLASHER, and DISASSEMBLY. Her credits include work with Synchronicity Theatre and Stage Door Players, as well.
Andrew's New York theatre credits include a nomination for a New York Innovative Theatre Award for his work with the Babel Theatre Project. Selected acting credits include Romeo and Juliet at Allentown Shakespeare, The Euthanasist at Manhattan Rep and Things Beyond Our Control at the Grid Theatre.