Virtual opportunities to support the College of Fine Arts
The College of Fine Arts is continually exploring ways to bring our art to you, even
when circumstances prevent a traditional audience setting. This month's newsletter
will, in part, highlight upcoming performances, presentations, and exhibitions that
you can view while social distancing. Whether it is a live virtual premiere, a Facebook
or YouTube video series, or an outdoor concert, the College of Fine Arts continues
to persevere to bring you the highest quality art in all of its forms.
Voices in the Void | Thursday - Saturday, March 11th - 13th, 7:30pm; Sunday, March
A devised theatre piece centering around a group of twenty-somethings struggling to
find their own voices among pressures from all around. An evening built from the feelings,
thoughts, ides, and anxieties of contemporary college students. Voices in the Void is a live theatrical event delivered virtually from our hearts and homes to yours.
[title of show] | Thursday - Saturday, March 25th - 27th, 7:30pm; Sunday, March 28th,
[title of show] is a musical about writing a musical about writing a musical. Yes, you read that
correctly! Struggling writes, Hunter & Jeff, race against a deadline to enter an original
musical into a theatre festival. With the help of the friends, Heidi & Susan, they
begin to make their dreams a reality. [title of show] is an intelligent, playful, lovable musical where the audience is treated to an
inside look at the tough work of being a creative artist. Frequently hilarious, occasionally
heartbreaking, and thoroughly inspiring, [title of show] is a love story of individuality and creativity. Music Director: Phil Taylor
(This is a live-streamed event with two different casts.)
Jeff: Ethan Crank
Hunter: Jackson Dorris
Heidi: Nora Dooley
Susan: Ariel Glorsky
Larry: Phil Taylor
Jeff: William Day
Hunter: Lucas Lowry
Heidi: Natalie Carrera
Susan: Grace Roush
Larry: Phil Taylor
Tickets may be purchased at www.wichita.edu/FABOTickets or by calling the WSU College of Fine Arts Box Office at 316-978-3233. All virtual tickets are $10 with discounts available for current WSU Students. Sales will close 30 minutes prior to evening performances and one (1) hour prior
to matinee performances. An email will be sent to the address given on order approximately
15 minutes prior to “show time”. Please ensure that any emails from email@example.com are not blocked by spam.
Ulrich Museum hosts the XXIII Faculty Biennial: It's All Part of the Process
The Faculty Biennial is the longest-running series of exhibitions at the Ulrich Museum,
and represents the breadth of creative work and research being undertaken by the faculty
of the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries (ADCI). The 2021 edition is on display from January 21st through May 8th, and will showcase the faculty’s work in art history, art education, ceramics, curatorial
practice, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture,
and new media. The biennial’s theme,It’s All Part of the Process, seeks to prompt reflections and start conversations about each faculty member’s
personal process, highlighting the diversity of activities that contribute to creative
practice, from research to studio time to interactions with colleagues and students,
Read the artists' statements and view a complete list of scheduled talks on the Ulrich
WSU community members invited to share their unique stories of home for Ulrich exhibition
Sharing Matrilineal Memories at WSU, the fourth exhibition in the Solving for X = Identity series, is participatory, focused
on collecting memories of home from WSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and retirees.
All submitted stories and images will be included in the Solving for X exhibition
and on display in the Ulrich’s Grafly Gallery from January 21 – May 8, 2021.
On May 4th, 2021, students in Sociology, Dance, and the Honors College will present their research
and choreographed performances in response to these collected memories as part of
the Ulrich exhibition Solving for X=Identity: Sharing Matrilineal Memories at WSU. The performances are at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Both performances will take place outdoors on the front terrace of the Museum to
allow for appropriate social distancing. Masks are required.
ShiftSpace Gallery focuses on collaboration, mutual aid
The students who help run ShiftSpace Gallery are focused on community outreach this
Members of the ShiftSpace Student Group assisted with Mulberry Gallery’s first exhibition,
“Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself: An Introduction to Wichita Artists,” on view from
10 a.m. –6 p.m. Monday through Saturday through March 19 at the Lux, 102 E. 1st Street.
“ShiftSpace really came in clutch,” said Anthony Joiner, creative director and founder
of Mulberry Gallery.
Students hung the work in “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself,” came up with a creative
lighting solution, assisted with social media, and more. This spring, Mulberry will
move to a space in the Revolutsia shipping container mall near Central and Hillside.
The gallery focuses on Black artists, artists of color, and artists historically excluded
from gallery representation. The first exhibition includes works by several Wichita
Also on view at ShiftSpace is “Everybody Eats, Period,” an exhibition about food that
doubles as a donation drive for ICT Community Fridge, a mutual aid project that places
refrigerators in businesses around Wichita. Community members are welcome to leave
food or take what they need.
Students have placed donation boxes around campus, and visitors to the gallery can
drop off non-perishable items at the gallery from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The community-based projects reflect the interests of the ShiftSpace Student Group,
said President Lydia Humphreys, who has seen the power of artistic connection and
collaboration in her hometown of Joplin, Missouri.
School of Performing Arts creates Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Alliance
In Summer 2020, the WSU School of Performing Arts created the SPA Inclusion, Diversity
and Equity Alliance (IDEA). Born out of "deep reflection on Diversity and Inclusion
in recognition of our common humanity", IDEA strives to advise, guide and dialog on
matters of inclusion, diversity and equity for the School of Performing Arts. It is
comprised of current students, faculty and alumni representing all programs within
the School. Since its inception, SPA IDEA has met several times via Zoom to "create
a space that minimizes politics and amplifies voices to inform our school and promote
“The School of Performing Arts at Wichita State University stands in solidarity with our
students and colleagues of color. We live in a country that continues to struggle
with racism and other implicit and systemic injustices for many marginalized groups
As artists and teachers in the arts, we have the unique opportunity to share stories and
artistic expressions that represent our common humanity. As artists and scholars, we
are compelled to speak out against injustice and against a culture that fosters the
delegitimizing and dehumanizing of people based on the color of their skin.
We are dedicated to promoting diversity and embracing cultural differences by examining
curriculum, programming, policies, and practices. We are committed to continued diversification
of both our faculty & student education including guest faculty and artists of color,
community dialogue focused on equity, and virtual conversations with artists across
As faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners, let's begin this work
for change together by forming the School of Performing Arts Diversity Council. The
council will guide us towards a better understanding of each other and how to create
a space that is diverse, inclusive, and safe for everyone.
We stand with our students and others across the nation who are building a better
future. Through direct struggle, allyship, and practice, the arts can help create the
future our students deserve. We know there is work to be done and we are committed
Cheyla Clawson - Chair
MFA/MA (Dance/Sociology), Assistant Professor of Dance, Associate Director of the
School of Performing Arts
She/Her, Mexican American/LatinX
Cheyla has instructed dance at several colleges including the University of Oklahoma,
Wichita State University and Barton County College. She has performed works of various
artists including Robert Battle and Douglas Nielsen. Cheyla founded Chandler Dances, a by-project dance company, in 2009 and has produced concerts across the Midwest.
Ms. Clawson’s modern dance research is focused on Horton Technique, developed by modern
dance pioneer Lester Horton. She attended the Horton Dance Technique Certificate Program
2013-2016 and 2020 at The Ailey School in NYC.
Her two duets, AnamChara (2014) and nosuchSymbiosis (2016) were invited to The National American College Dance Association Festival at
The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Cheyla presented her latest researchfocused on community integration curriculum in dance performance degrees at The American Dance Symposium 2020 through The Joyce Education Program in January of 2020 (NYC), and was invited to
present at the International Future(s) of Dance Education(s) in April of 2020 (Norway), and the International Arts in Society conference in June 2020 (Ireland).
She is currently working on a dance film “She Moved the Prairie” focused on female
Kansas farm labor practices in the early 20th century supported as a Tallgrass National Artist 2020 and WSU faculty URCA grant.
Cheyla is also working in collaboration with Dr. Twyla Hill in the WSU Sociology Department
on funded research focused on memories of home of Kansas women in assisted living
communities in the Wichita, Kansas area. Her scholarship most often focuses on immersive
community dance to promote social dialogue.
Sarah E. Bussard - Faculty Member
MFA, Costume, Makeup, & Wig Designer, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Costume Design
Before coming to Wichita State, Sarah served as Theatre Design and Production Faculty
at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas. She has also served as a resident
designer and taught design for both Bethel University in Mishawaka, In, and Taylor
Her myriad of work includes theatre (including Indiana Repertory Theatre, Notre Dame
Shakespeare Festival, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse) opera (Sarasota Opera, Virginia Opera,
Cincinnati Opera, and Chautauqua Opera, among others) as well as Film and Video.
Her recent designs include Raisin in the Sun (Indiana Repertory Theatre), A Gentleman’s
Guide to Love and Murder (The 574 Theatre Company) The Imaginary Invalid (Notre Dame
Department of Theatre), The Drowsy Chaperone (Bethel University, IN), and Metamorphoses
(Taylor University). She also served as Key Makeup for Silk Trees (Evermore Pictures),
as well as Evaluating Kaitly, and 177, award-winning short films with Runaway Pen
Productions. She has also worked with the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival since 2014
as either the resident wig & makeup designer and/or costume craftsperson.
She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies (Theatre, Literature, Writing) from Bethel
College (now University) in Mishawaka, IN, and her M.F.A in Design & Production from
the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), University of Cincinnati (where she focused
on makeup/wig design and wig making.)
Aviance Battles - Alumni
From Kansas City, KS, Aviance is a recent college graduate from Wichita State University,
with her BFA in Performance Dance with an emphasis in Modern. At Wichita State, Aviance
served as a Fine Arts Ambassador, being a representative of the Fine Arts College
community and reaching out to prospective students.
It was here Aviance has had the opportunity to perform in annual Kansas Dance Festivals
and spring concerts, travel to the American College Dance Association and perform
in the regional gala twice, attend Professional Development in NYC, as well as be
a part of Mid-America Dance Theatre’s performance tour to Veracruz, Mexico. Aviance
has had the chance to work with guest-artists Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Darrell
Grand Moultrie, Jammie Walker, and Mary Lynn Graves, as well as dance companies such
as Urban Bush Women from NYC and Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
Aviance is currently living in Wichita as a hip-hop, modern and ballet dance teacher,
and in the process of earning her Gyrotonics Teacher Training Certification.
Esme Bañuelos - Alumni
Thanks to Covid, Esme currently resides in Wichita. She is a voiceover artist, actor,
and model. After graduating, she took a break from acting but came back full swing
recently. She has performed with local companies like Madcap, Wichita Shakespeare
Company, Wichita Community Theatre, and Guild Hall Players. Although heavily trained
in Theatre her main focus is television and film. She has audition for networks like
HBO, CW, Hulu, and many more. Her motto in life is “f*** average, be legendary.”
Taurean Everett - Alumni
BFA Dance, Musical Theatre
Taurean Everett, a native of Wichita, Kansas, graduated from the College of Fine Arts
at Wichita State University in 2007. His professional experience planted roots during
the course of his BFA program at Wichita State, beginning with Alithea Mime Company,
led by Nicolas Johnson and Sabrina Vasquez, which offered him opportunities to perform
in Taiwan, Poland, and at the United Nations in NYC. In conjunction with the dance
program, he also performed at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
as a featured dancer in a production led by Linda Starkey. Guided by this experience,
he began performing professionally in Ballet Wichita’s annual production of The Nutcracker,
as well as with Music Theatre of Wichita as a resident company member for four consecutive
years before moving to NYC to pursue a career on Broadway.
After joining the Actor’s Equity Association in 2010, his experience in the field
began with a wide range of regional theater performances. Some standouts include Can
Can at the renowned Paper Mill Playhouse, Guys and Dolls at the famous Carnegie Hall,
Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey Two in drag (setting the trend of featuring drag
performers and women as that character for many productions thereafter), and the national
tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Eventually he made his way to Broadway, performing
in the musicals Mamma Mia, Miss Saigon, and The Cher Show. In addition, he earned
several television highlights on The Tony Awards in 2018 and 2019, the 2019 Met Gala
featuring Billy Porter, Project Runway (Season 18), and the New York Fashion Week
Project Runway finale for the winning contestant Geoffrey Mac.
Currently, he is building a fitness brand, while simultaneously preparing to engage
public school students in after-school programs focused on introduction and exposure
to the Fine Arts.
Da'Merius Ford - Alumni
Da’Merius is an NYC-based performing artist from Kansas City. He's worked regionally
in theatre and at theme parks. He recently spent the last two years in South Korea
as a Resident Actor for a children's theatre company where he had the opportunity
to create, write and design original works for the company. Within his work, he strives
to advocate for BIPOC & LGBTQ+ artists and projects alike and is grateful to be a
part of the inaugural SPA IDEA.
Rev. Nick A. Smith
BA, M.Div, Lighting and Sound Design, Pastor, Teacher, Podcaster, Mentor, Music Manager,
Pastor at Plainville Church of the Nazarene
He/Him, Multi-Racial: Black, White, and Native
Nick graduated from WSU with his BA in theatre -- with emphasis in sound and lighting
design. While at WSU, as well as shortly following graduation, Nick designed all around
Wichita for WSU, Cabaret Old Town, Prairie Pines Playhouse, Wichita Community Theatre,
Heights High School, Music Theatre for Young People, Friends University, Mosely Street
Melodrama, and Roxy's Downtown. Nick worked with IATSE Local 190, Music Theatre of
Wichita, as well as engineered for several audio companies. In 2013, Nick moved to
Lancaster PA to work as a lighting technician for Sight and Sound Theatres.
After the loss of his brother in 2013, Nick felt the calling into full-time ministry.
He began pursuing his Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore,
Kentucky where he will be graduating in May of 2021. Nick has served as senior pastor
of Burden United Methodist Church in Burden, Kansas from 2014-2016. He currently serves
as senior pastor of Plainville Church of the Nazarene in Plainville, Kansas.
Nick and his wife Kylie Jo Smith, another WSU SPA alumn, have 2 children and live
in Plainville, Kansas. They host the NixMyth Podcast, which has over 5,000 downloads
to date and has been heard in dozens of countries around the world. Nick also serves
as the music manager for Kylie Jo as she tours and performs original Contemporary
Deiondre Teagle - Alumni
Deiondre is an actor, choreographer, and dance instructor currently based in Wichita,
Kansas. Deiondre is a resident dance instructor for Wichita State University, Butler
Community College, and Encore Dance Studios. Classes he teaches include Hip Hop, Jazz,
Tap, Lyrical, and Ballet. Teagle has choreographed for college and high school theatre
productions, high school dance teams, and studio competition companies. Professional
theatre credits: ZACH Theatre, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Forum Theatre Company, and
Wichita Contemporary Dance Theatre. Commercial credits: Gander Mountain, Koch Industries,
Kansas Strong. Film credits: DEATH RANCH, Don’t Date Your Sister (see IMDb).
Mirta N. Santana-Morales - Current Student
She/Her, Puerto Rican
Mirta N. Santana Morales is a Boricua actress, dancer, model, and improviser from
The Gregory Agency. She is currently in her Junior year at Wichita State University
pursuing a Fine Arts Bachelor’s Degree, in Theatre Performance, with a Minor in Dance.
From the WSU Improv Club, Adrianna in “Comedy of Errors,” Agatha in “The Moors,” Astrid
in the sitcom “Thrilled To Announce,” and currently Vanessa in the web series “The
Rule Of Three;” Mirta has been active in the WSU Theatre program since her Freshman
year. Outside of school she works at a part-time job in retail to pay for her studies.
Mirta is fluent in Spanish and English and is actively working to become fluent in
Korean. Learning about new cultures and their native tongue have always excited her.
Mirta is thrilled to be a part of Wichita State University’s SPA IDEA and to see what
changes can be accomplished.
Emerson Ross - Current Student
Emerson is a Junior pursuing his BFA in Musical Theatre at Wichita State University.
Within the past two years, he has been involved on campus with the Office of Admissions
as a Shocker Navigator and Student Ambassador. He also currently serves on the School
of Performing Arts Student Council for his second year as High School Outreach Chair.
Emerson is a strong advocate for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in his Wichita and
arts communities and is very excited to have a platform to extend these ideals within
the Performing Arts community at Wichita State.
School of Digital Arts Director, student honored by Wichita Police Department
The Wichita Police Department, Domestic Violence Sex Crimes Unit and the Public Information
School of Digital Arts D
irector, Justin Rorabaugh, with an Outstanding Citizens plaque for his contributions
in many WPD media projects and more recently, in a media campaign geared towards bringing
awareness to victims of strangulation. Ciara Duarte, a current student at Shocker
Studios, directed, filmed and edited the awareness video. She was also awarded the
WPD’s Outstanding Citizens plaque.
Justin and his team of students went above and beyond to ensure a successful media
campaign. Their contributions and talent, along with the launch of the DIVRT Team,
made a significant impact in reducing domestic violence cases in Wichita.
Performing arts professor focuses on changing the world one class at a time
SPA professor Ed Baker is featured in an article in The Sunflower for his positive approach to teaching during the pandemic.
“Why didn’t anyone ever tell me I could be a teacher? ‘Cause this is what I’m meant
to do," he says in his interview with Arts and Entertainment Editor Tabitha Barr.
The article highlights his approach to change, listening to others, and respect for
his students and colleagues.
“I believe that every human has a story, every story has a place where it belongs,
and my entire job is to help people find the place where their story belongs,” Baker
says. “I just help people tell their stories.”
Led by Dean Rodney Miller, this series of video interviews delves deeper into the
lives of many notable faculty and staff in the College of Fine Arts. Featured here
are faculty members from each of the four schools: Brittany Lockard (Art, Design and
Creative Industries), Justin Rorabaugh (Digital Arts), Walter Mays (Music), and Amy
Baker Schwiethale (Performing Arts).