Speaker Bios

A Phoenix Too Frequent Play Talk
Ursula Meyer

Ursula has had the privilege of studying voice with Cicily Berry, Patsy Rodenburg, Andrew Wade, Arthur Lessac and is a designated Linklater teacher. She graduated with distinction from the Advanced Voice Studies Program at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London under David Carey. She taught Voice/ Speech/Accents and Text at U.C. Santa Barbara, U.C. Santa Cruz, University of Washington, and four years as the primary voice teacher at the Yale School of Drama. Regional: Guthrie Theatre, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla, the Old Globe in San Diego, the Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC, and the Idaho, Santa Cruz, Utah, and Oregon Shakespeare Festivals where she has been working off and on since 1985. Acting credits include: the Oregon

Shakespeare Festival, A.C.T. Seattle, the Seattle Rep, the Milwaukee Rep, and the La Jolla. She is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainer’s Association where she was recently a board member and is currently sponsoring its new Mentorship Initiative. In 2007, she was a recipient of UCSD’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award.

Cymbeline Play Talk
Valerie Wayne
Valerie Wayne is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Hawaii. Her edition of Cymbeline for the Arden Shakespeare series was published in 2017. In preparation for it, she attended thirteen live productions of Cymbeline in England and the US, often multiple times, and watched eight more on archival video and film. She has also edited Thomas Middleton's play, A Trick to Catch the Old One for Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works (Oxford, 2007) and Edmund Tilney's The Flower of Friendship: A Renaissance Dialogue Contesting Marriage (Cornell, 1992). Her edited essay collections include Women's Labour and the History of the Book in Early Modern England (Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2020), Staging Early Modern Romance (Routledge, 2009), and The Matter of Difference: Feminist Materialist Criticism of Shakespeare (Cornell, 1991). In 1985 she received a Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Hawaii, and in 2000 she was President of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. 

Rough Crossing Play Talk
William Brown, Director
Rough Crossing marks William Brown’s 21th production at APT. Other productions include The Recruiting Officer, Three Sisters, King Lear, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, All My Sons, The Critic, Another Part of the Forest, The Matchmaker, and The Cherry Orchard. Bill lives in Chicago, where he has directed 17 shows at Writers Theatre, most recently Moon for the Misbegotten (featuring Jim DeVita), Company, Doubt, The Liar, and A Little Night Music. Bill co-wrote and directed the world premiere of To Master the Art, a play about Julia and Paul Child in Paris, for TimeLine Theatre where he is an Associate Artist. He has also directed at Goodman, Court, Northlight, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Indiana Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Drury Lane Oakbrook and Marriott Lincolnshire. He is very proud to have directed 17 plays for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. During the pandemic he directed three Zoom productions -- Arms and the Man and This Wonderful Life for APT and All’s Well That Ends Well for Loyola University. Bill regularly teaches and directs at universities across the country, most recently Animal Farm at the University of Houston. Bill received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Director for The Liar, a Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Henry Kissinger in Nixon’s Nixon and the 2010 Spirit of Diversity Award from Actors Equity. He was named Artist of the Year for Theatre by the Chicago Tribune. His website is williambrowndirector.com.

Rachel Anne Healy, Costume Design
Ms. Healy is honored to create with the talented artists & company at APT. Previous productions include August Wilson's Fences, King Lear, A Streetcar Named Desire, Romeo and Juliet, All My Sons, Richard III, Les Liaisons Dangerous, Troilus and Cressida, The Critic, Another Part of the Forest, Hay Fever, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Misalliance, TheNight of the Iguana, The Matchmaker, Tartuffe, Twelfth Night, and The Cherry Orchard. Based in Chicago, Ms. Healy’s costume designs have been seen on various stages including The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Resident Ensemble of Delaware, Writers Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre, 1st Stage Children’s Theatre of Milwaukee, People’s Light Theatre, The Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Timeline Theatre and Indiana Repertory Theatre. Additionally, Ms. Healy is proud to be an educator at Loyola University,Chicago. www.rahealy.com

Andrew Hansen, Sound Design & Original Music
Andy returns to APT for his 13th season. Previous productions include The Recruiting Officer, Three Sisters, King Lear, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, The Critic, The Comedy of Errors, Night of the Iguana and The Matchmaker. Andy is an Associate Artist with Chicago's TimeLine Theatre. In Chicago, his music is heard annually in the Goodman Theatre production of A Christmas Carol, and in productions at Northlight Theatre, Writers Theatre and Lifeline Theatre.

Jacqueline Singleton, Stage Manager
This is Jacki's 20th summer with APT. She has been fortunate during the past year to have been working, both with APT (the Out of the Woods reading series in collaboration with PBS Wisconsin; the recorded poetry tour If These Trees Could Talk; This Wonderful Life), as well as on the outdoor Terrace Stage of the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida (We Need a Little Christmas; Fannie: the Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer; Camelot; Ana Isabelle and Friends in Concert: Stand Back, Sarasota). Some past favorite APT shows include Fences, Arcadia, A Flea in Her Ear, Timon of Athens, and The Winter's Tale. Other theaters she has worked with: Milwaukee Repertory Theater; Baltimore Center Stage; Clarence Brown (Knoxville, TN); Forward Theater; Madison Repertory Theatre; and numerous theaters in Chicago including The Goodman Theatre. Her hobbies include cooking, gardening, and cheering on the Chicago Cubs. She lives here in Spring Green with Adam the bulldog and Oscar the cat.

An Iliad Play Talk
Lisa Peterson, Playwright, An Iliad

Lisa Peterson is an American playwright and director who has directed new work by leading playwrights all over the United States. She first became interested in theater during high school and took her passion to college at Yale, where she wanted to pursue acting. After she took a class in directing, however, she got hooked. Peterson got her first big break when she adapted Virginia Woolf ’s The Waves into a musical with David Bucknam. When she staged the show at New York Theatre Workshop, she received a Drama Desk nomination for her directorial work. She continued her relationship with NYTW, which later presented her production of Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, winning her the Obie Award for direction in 1991. Heading out West, Peterson became the associate director at La Jolla. Three years later, she went to the Mark Taper Forum and served as the resident director from 1995 to 2005. Lisa is a graduate of Yale College, and a member of the executive board of SDC.

Denis O'Hare, Playwright, An Iliad

Denis Patrick Seamus O’Hare (born January 17, 1962) is an American actor noted for his award-winning performances in the plays Take Me Out and Sweet Charity, as well as portraying the vampire Russell Edgington on HBO’s fantasy series True Blood. He is also known for his supporting roles in such films as Charlie Wilson’s War, Milk, Changeling and Dallas Buyers Club. In 2011, he starred as Larry Harvey in the first season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story, for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2012. He returned to the show in 2013, playing Spalding in American Horror Story: Coven and once more as Stanley in American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Khalid Y. Long - The Mountaintop, May 29 at 10:00 am

Khalid Y. Long, PhD, recipient of the “Excellence in Teaching Award” (2020) and runner-up for the inaugural “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Teaching Activism Award” (2021), is an assistant professor of theatre, coordinator of theatre studies, and coordinator of dramaturgy at Columbia College Chicago. He teaches American Drama, Theatre History, African American Performance, and Performance Studies. His work examines the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality within marginalized and oppressed communities. Khalid has published in or has forthcoming essays in several scholarly periodicals. Khalid is a freelance dramaturg; his dramaturgical credits include Relentless by Tyla Abercrumbie, Native Son by Nambi Kelley, Sunset Baby by Dominique Morisseau, Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home by M.K. Abadoo, Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge, Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith and Kill Move Paradise by James Ijames.

James DeVita - An Improbable Fiction, June 5 at 11:00 am

Jim, a native of Long Island, is delighted to be premiering his newest play, An Improbable Fiction, on the APT stage this year. He would like to thank all who collaborated on the project. And a special thanks to Will, who inspired it. Jim, a recipient of the NEA Literature Fellowship for Fiction, is the author of numerous plays and the novels: The Silenced, A Winsome Murder, and the 2021 release of his revised edition of Blue.

Jim has been a core company member of APT since 1995 where he has performed in numerous roles as well as serving as the company’s literary manager. Previous directing credits include Cyrano de Bergerac, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, The Gift of the Magi, and The Desert Queen. Jim is a published novelist and playwright, and a recipient of the NEA Literature Fellowship for Fiction. His books Blue and The Silenced were published by HarperCollins, and A Winsome Murder, his latest book, was recently released by UW-Press. He is a member of Actor’s Equity, the Dramatist’s Guild, and the Author’s Guild.

Awards include: The Distinguished Play Award from The American Alliance of Theater and Education; The Intellectual Freedom Award by the Kentucky Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts; the Shubert Fendrich Memorial Playwrighting Contest, and The American Alliance of Theater and Education honored his body of work with the Charlotte B. Chorpenning Award. James is also a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Fiction. Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers