• Laura Hope

    Laura Hope

    Associate Professor of Theater and Dance, Director of Theater and Chair of the Department of Theater and Dance

    Harper Joy Theatre

    Laura Hope joined the faculty at Whitman College as chair of the Department of Theater and Dance in 2020. She has a doctorate in performance studies from the University of California, Davis. Her primary research interests are in new play and musical development, directing, dramaturgy and Irish theater.

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Theater Faculty

  • Aaron Chvatal

    Aaron Chvatal

    Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater and Costume Director

    Harper Joy Theatre, 21

    Aaron Chvatal joins the faculty of Whitman College after an exciting decade of traveling the country and designing costumes for a range of theater, opera, and dance productions.

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  • Christopher Petit

    Christopher Petit

    Professor of Theater and Paul Garrett Fellow

    Harper Joy Theatre, 122

    Christopher Petit is a director, performer and teacher. He holds an MFA in directing from Columbia University and a BFA in acting from Rutgers University.

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  • Daniel Schindler

    Daniel Schindler

    Associate Professor of Theater

    Harper Joy Theatre, 123

    Daniel Schindler is a theater designer and scenic painter. He is a member of United Scenic Artists #829 and has designed professionally at the Toledo Repertory Theatre, the Arvada Center in Denver, Colorado, and the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts.  

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  • Nathan Tomsheck

    Nathan Tomsheck

    Senior Lecturer of Theater and Technical Director

    Harper Joy Theatre, 202

    Nate Tomsheck has spent over 15 years teaching and serving as a technical director in a small liberal arts setting. Prior to coming to Whitman, Tomsheck served as the resident scenic and lighting designer at LaGrange College.

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Dance Faculty

  • Renée Archibald

    Renée Archibald

    Associate Professor of Dance

    Harper Joy Theatre, 126

    Renée Archibald is a dancer and choreographer. She has performed throughout New York City, the United States and internationally. Her choreographic work has been presented at NYC venues including The Brooklyn Museum, The Chocolate Factory, DanspaceDanspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, and The Kitchen. She has received choreographic residencies through the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Movement Research, and YaddoYaddo and has taught at Barnard College, University of Illinois, the Yard, and White Mountain Summer Dance Festival.

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  • Peter de Grasse

    Peter de Grasse

    Senior Lecturer of Dance

    Dance Studio Office

    Peter de Grasse is a teacher, performer, and choreographer whose practice embodies both street and studio cultures. His style is built on popping foundations, with a focus on hitting, waving, and basics of animation. He battles under the moniker 'Sandman,' and is a member of 404 Crew, whose members hail from Dallas, L.A., Las Vegas, Portland, and Singapore. His teachers and mentors include AJ Megaman and Slick Dogg, as well as his crewmates, including Marcus 'Grillz' Brown.

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  • Candace Rose


    Candace Rose is a jackrabbit of all trades… and plays improvisational piano for dance classes. Originally from Colorado Springs, she holds a B.A. double major in ceramics and music from Colorado Women’s College in Denver. Ventured to Walla Walla in 1974, raised goats and chickens, and continues to thrive with many seat-of-the-pants careers including graphics designer in the days before computers, massage therapist, piano teacher, and assemblage artist in her downtown studio; she stays grounded with lots of yard work.

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  • Paul Whetstone


    Paul has been a piano/percussion accompanist for dance classes at Whitman since 2017. After completing a Bachelor of Music Education at UNC-Chapel Hill, he performed and composed for a number of music and theater groups as well as creating 13 solo keyboard projects on CD. Before coming to Walla Walla, he was immersed in the social dance communities of Durham, NC, and Ann Arbor, MI, including teaching ballroom dance for three years.

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