Mr. Cooper received his MFA in Acting from the Professional Actor Training Program, University of Washington and his BFA in Theatre from Tulane University. Raised in Abbeville, Louisiana, Mr. Cooper moved on to tour nationally in NOISES OFF, was featured in 80 network commercials, and has several film and television credits including a starring role in the film “Snakeskin Jacket.” He has also performed in London, Moscow and Los Angeles.
Holtcamp is a writer and director. Her directing credits include Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar (The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane), Arabian Nights (NOCCA), Shakespeare’s R&J (Serenbe Playhouse), Waxie Moon: Extreme Boylesque (Northwest New Works at On the Boards), Waxie Moon: Boylesque Cinematheque (Next Stage), Heavens to Betsy by Stephanie Timm (Next Stage), Wonderful Life (Washington Ensemble Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (EVE Productions), A Christmas Story (Everett Historic Theatre), Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters First 100 Years (Public Theatre of Kentucky), Sorry, Wrong Number (The Culture Project, NY), Christina and Apartment Building of the Blind (Soho Rep, NY), and Machinal and Stage Blood at the University of Washington. Her play, Dead Reckoning, was produced as part of the Soho Rep Summer Camp Festival of New Plays and The Mystery of Chung Ling Soo (created with The Flying Carpet Theatre Company) ran in Atlanta’s Seven Stages Studio Space (Creative Loafing Award for Best Touring Show of 2005) and at festivals throughout Europe. Her plays, Relevant, Adult, Uncensored, and Island of Misfits were produced in Seattle, WA and her latest work, String Theory, was performed at The Studio in New York City and Vassar College. Holtcamp is a graduate of Vassar College and holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Washington.
Kesha McKey is a choreographer, educator and professional performing artist in New Orleans. Kesha is a graduate of NOCCA, has received her Bachelor of Science from Xavier University of Louisiana and her Master of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the founding Artistic Director and Choreographer of KM Dance Project and has directed and produced concerts such as Taken, Distorted Images, Lasting Images and Footprints; traces of expressions. She is on the faculty of the Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute and has directed multi-disciplinary productions such as the Vagina Monologues and The Origins of Life on Earth. Kesha has worked as an arts educator in New Orleans for the past 15 years and is currently the Program Coordinator of the Kuumba Institute Youth Arts Program at Ashé Cultural Arts Center.
Kesha is a featured performing artist and rehearsal director for local dance companies such as Lula Elzy Dance Theatre, Kumbuka African Drum and Dance Collective, Chard Gonzalez Dance Theatre, Prophecy Dance Company, Exhibit Dance Collective, and with Ashé Cultural Arts Center. She has studied dance at various institutions in New Orleans as well as received scholarships to study at The Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute, Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, The Broadway Dance Center, and Celebration Barn Theater. She has had the wonderful honor and opportunity to work closely and study with well renown artists such as Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Chuck Davis, Robert Battle, Richard Gonzales, Michael Foley, Tania Issac, Lynn Simonson, Anne Reinking, Chet Walker, Nat Horne, and Luigi. Kesha continues to nourish her artistic talents and grow as an accomplished performer and educator as she teaches, choreographs and performs throughout the country.
Mr. Meissner is an actor, award-winning filmmaker and comedian with over 20 professional film and television credits. He received his A.B. with Honors in Theater, Speech, and Dance at Brown University. He performs regularly at the New Movement Theater and has taught improv workshops at national conferences in Austin and New Orleans. He holds a fourth degree black belt and is owner and head instructor at Shaolin-Do Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
Diana E.H. Shortes is a performing artist, writer, director and yoga instructor who has been living in New Orleans since the year 2000. She is a graduate of Antioch College, and is currently a member of the faculty at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.
Diana has created and produced three original solo works: “The Baroness Undressed”, a recounting of the incredible history of The Baroness de Pontalba of New Orleans,
“White Sauce and Diaper Babies”, an exploration of the life and work of poet Anne Sexton and “Ventriloquist Verses: Voices from Beneath the Water’s Edge”, a response to the artist’s direct experience with Hurricane Katrina. Diana has also produced four writing for performance workshops: “Women and the Word”, “Surviving the Storm: Stories of Women and Resilience”, “Women and War” and “Sirens, Suffragettes and Super-Heroines: A Celebration of Women’s Power and Progress”. While in New Orleans, Ms. Shortes has served as Artist in Residence for the Dog and Pony Theatre Company, appeared on stage in both classic and contemporary roles for Southern Repertory Theatre, The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, and Moscow Nights. Diana has also served as co-director and touring stage manager for “Sweet Thunder”, Delfeayo Marsalis’ theatrical treatment of Duke Ellington’s suite dedicated to the plays of William Shakespeare, and Veronica Russell’s “A Different Woman”, a solo adaptation of Gertrude Beasley’s west Texas memoir. Diana recently traveled to Moscow with “I Take Your Hand in Mine”, a two person account of Anton Chekhov’s correspondence with his wife, Olga Knipper. She has also directed an original solo performance entitled “Wit and Wrath: The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker”, produced in conjunction with the Tennessee Williams Festival. Ms. Shortes currently serves as Co-Director of Louisiana History Alive, an organization dedicated to both the education and entertainment of tourists and locals alike, through live interaction with actors portraying significant figures from Louisiana’s history.
Originally from Japan, Natsumi Sugiyama has been a member of the Shizuoka Performing Art Center (SPAC) under the leadership of renowned director Tadashi Suzuki. There, she performed in “Kachikachiyama”, “Ivanov”, “Cinderella” and more. After her involvement with SPAC, she joined famous Tokyo based Theatre Company Ku na’uka lead by artistic director Satoshi Miyagi, and performed many leads such as Narukami in the play of the same name, Desdemona, Helen of Troy, and Electra to name a few.
She has also performed internationally in various highly prestigious theatre festivals such as The Theatre Olympics in Delphi Greece, The Beseto Festival in Neiha China, The Nikan Festival in Seoul South Korea, The International Theatre Festival of New Delhi India, The Boco Theater Festival in Indonesia, and The Tokyo International Festival in Japan to name a few.
She has performed her one-woman show “The Tale of Mephisto” at the Asian Performing Art Festival in Gimhae, South Korea. She recently was the lead in the film “Medea Redux” based on her one-woman show “Medea”.
Drama Faculty: Shakespeare, Speech, Professional DevelopmentDrama
Mr. Tullos serves as Director of Operations at The New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, where he recently directed a series of interdisciplinary shows entitled Incarnate and The Luna Series. He is also an Adjunct Faculty member at Tulane University where he teaches Shakespeare on the Road: An intensive class for Tulane students that culminates in a touring show about Shakespeare’s life and work, which tours to local schools for free. As an actor and director he has worked with companies including Virginia Stage Company, The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, The American Shakespeare Center, SITI Company, and Swine Palace. He also had the pleasure of performing at the reopening of Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. Furthermore, Chaney freelances as a stage manager and has worked with many of the city’s most respected theatre companies. He holds an MFA in Acting from LSU and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.