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Guest Artist Program

In addition to our curricular and production offerings, we also invite professional guest artists as part of our Guest Artist Program, which allows working professionals to visit the Whitman Campus and share their expertise, experience, and talent with our theater students. This program is made possible through the generous gifts of the John R. Freimann Visiting Artist Endowment and the Harper Joy and Dorothy Mendenhall Joy Memorial Fund.

Directors, designers, playwrights, choreographers, actors, and other theater specialists who have participated in our theater program in recent years include:

Yussef El Guindi

Yussef El Guindi

Born in Egypt, raised in London and now based in Seattle, Yussef El Guindi’s work frequently examines the collision of ethnicities, cultures and politics that face immigrants, Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans in particular. El Guindi holds an MFA in playwriting from Carnegie-Mellon University, and has worked as a playwright at Silk Road Rising, literary manager for Golden Thread Productions, and playwright-in-residence at Duke University. He is the recipient of many honors, including the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, the Stranger’s Genius Award, and the 2010 Middle East America Distinguished Playwright Award. He recently won the American Blues Theater’s Blue Ink Playwriting award for his play Refugee Rhapsody. El Guindi’s past productions include People of the Book at ACT in Seattle; Language Rooms at Pony World Theatre in Seattle, and Broken Nose Theatre in Chicago; Hostages at Radial Theater Project in Seattle; The Talented Ones at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland (Santa Barbara Independent Indy Awards); Threesome at Portland Center Stage, ACT, and at 59E59 (winner of a Portland Drammy for Best Original Script); Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World (2011 Gregory Award) also at ACT, Center Repertory Company at Walnut Creek, CA, and at Mosaic Theater Company (DC). Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat was produced by Silk Road Rising and won the M. Elizabeth Osborn award. His plays Back of the Throat (winner of L.A. Weekly’s Excellence in Playwriting Award for 2006), Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World, Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes, Such a Beautiful Voice is Sayeda and Karima’s City have been published by Dramatists Play Service. Ten Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith, Collaborator, Threesome, The Talented Ones, and Hostages have been published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc. Also upcoming from Broadway Play Publishing Inc. is a collection of short plays entitled In A Clear Concise Arabic Tongue. Bloomsbury/ Methuen Drama published Selected Works by Yussef El Guindi. Currently a Core Company member at ACT in Seattle.

Heather Raffo

Heather RaffoHeather Raffo is the solo performer and writer of the Off Broadway hit, 9 Parts of Desire which details the lives of nine Iraqi women. For her creation and performance of 9 Parts and its national and international tour, Heather garnered many awards including a Lucille Lortel Award, and the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn and Marian Seldes- Garson Kanin playwriting awards, as well as Helen Hayes, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League nominations, for outstanding performance.

Heather first performed 9 Parts of Desire in August 2003 at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.
It later moved to the Bush Theatre in London’s Off-West End where critics hailed it as one of the five best plays in London in late 2003. Its Off Broadway premiere was at the Manhattan Ensemble Theatre, where the show ran for nine months and was a critics pick (of the New York Times, Time Out and Village Voice) for over twenty four weeks in a row. In 2009, Heather created a concert version of the play for The Kennedy Center with renowned Iraqi maqam musician, Amir ElSaffar.

9 Parts of Desire has been performed all over the U.S. and was one of the top five produced plays of the 2007-2008 American theater season. It has had international productions/translations in Brazil, Greece, Sweden, Turkey, Malta, France, Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Scotland, England and Canada. Publications are by Northwestern University Press and Dramatists Play Service as well as a number of anthologies.

Currently, Heather is developing a libretto for an opera commissioned by the Annenberg Foundation and City Opera Vancouver. The opera details the life of a US Marine who served in Fallujah in 2004 and relates the haunting experiences of identity and belonging for both veterans and their families as well as Iraqis.

Heather’s recent acting credits include: The feature film Vino Veritas, dir. Sarah Knight; Food and Fadwa, (world premiere New York Theater Workshop); In Darfur (world premiere The Public Theater, Delacourt); Palace of the End (Drama League Nomination -Epic Theater Center); Seven (Skirball Center, London’s House of Lords, Aspen Ideas Festival); The French Lieutenant’s Woman (world premiere Fulton Opera House); Over The River and Through the Woods (John Houseman); Off Broadway/National Tour of Macbeth (Lady Macbeth), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Mistress Page) and The Rivals all with The Acting Company. Regionally with the Old Globe Theater: Romeo and Juliet (dir. Daniel Sullivan); Othello (dir. Jack O’Brien); As You Like It (dir. Stephen Wadsworth); Macbeth (dir. Nicky Martin).

Raffo served as 2010-2011 Artist in Residence at Vassar College, sponsored by the Mellon Foundation. She enjoys an ongoing residency in the Department of Performing Arts at Georgetown University. She has taught and performed at dozens of universities and arts centers both in the United States and internationally engaging students about the politics and arts of Iraq and about her own experience as an Iraqi-American playwright and actress.

Raffo received her bachelor of arts in English from the University of Michigan and her masters of fine arts in acting performance from the University of San Diego. She also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London.

Originally from Michigan, Heather currently lives in New York. Her father is from Iraq and her mother American.

Curtis D. Shepard

Curtis D. Shepard(a.k.a. Curt…from Detox), is an actor, writer, spoken word artist and founder of the grass
roots, non-profit support group for dads, D.A.A.M. -Supporting Moms with More than Money.
In 2023 he was announced as one of the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s Resident Artist where he revived his one-person show, ‘UnMasked’.

He’s kept busy perfecting his one-man show, ‘Sidewaze Rain’ while also co-staring in Greg Stallworth’s stage play, ‘Trapped.’

In 2021, Curtis worked with The Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park with ‘Upstanders Onstage’, The Falcon Theatre as well as the extremely, creative minds of The Breath Project. Actors from across the country pulled together to be a part of his recent creation, “Get Off Of Me’, which was performed at the 1st Pacific Northwest Multi Cultural Readers Series & Film Festival.

Curtis is busy creating new works: Ronnie and Vince and, DAAM the Stage Play while carving out his own unique way of sharing his gifts through raw, unapologetic storytelling, humor, and poetry.

Tracy Ward

Tracy Ward


Cliff Caruthers

Sound Design

Kim Fain

Lighting/Video Design

Alexandra Beller

Alexandra BellerChoreographer

Drama Tops


Jasmine Jamillah Mahmoud


Shannon Stewart


Cliff Caruthers
Sound Design

Guest Artists for They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay! by Dario Fo and Franca Rame

Devin Peterson - Scenic Designer
Genevieve Beller - Costume Designer
Trevor Cushman - Lighting Designer
Rob Witmer - Sound Designer
Craig Wollam - Master Electrician

Guest Artists for bare by Damon Intrabartolo and Jon Hartmere

Alex Higgin-Houser - Director
Jessica Rosas Posada - Music Director
Dani Norberg - Lighting Designer

Guest Artists for 2022 Studio Series

Mina Nishimura - Performer
Sadiqua Iman - Performer
Christopher Williams - Performer
Carlo Antoniuo Ortega Villanueva - Performer

Guest Artists for Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue

Drew Yerys - Lighting Design
Andrew Fox - Sound Design

Guest Artists for The Climate Change Project directed by Annelise Lawson

Annelise Lawson - Director

Guest Artists for over under on in between: a dance show

LROD - Choreographer

LD - Lighting Design

Guest Artists for The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson

Mike Inwood - Lighting Design
Lauren T. Roark - Costume Design
Robertson D. Witmer - Sound Design
Nate Tomsheck - Scenic Design
Monica R. Harris - Actor, the role of Marianne

Guest Artists for GHOST PIXCELLS - Our Fall Dance Concert

Kathleen Kelley - Choreographer
Christian Von Howard - Choreographer 
LD DeArmon  - Lighting Design 

Guest Artists for The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Aaron Chvatal - Costume Designer
Wen-Ling Liao - Lighting Design 
Cliff Caruthers - Sound Design
Andrew Fox - Music Director & Arranger
Renée Archibald - Choreographer
Dan Schindler - Scenic Designer

Guest Artists for Blood at the Root by Dominique Morisseau

Gamal Abdel Chasten - Director
Millicent Johnnie - Choreographer
Mike Durst - Lighting Designer
Darron West - Sound Designer

Eric Ting & Aldo Billingslea - "Grappling with Othello in Contemporary American Theatre"

Patrick Page - "Whitman to Broadway"

Enrique Urueta,  Luis Alfaro, Migdalia Cruz & Elaine Romero: On Borders and Hybridity: Contemporary Latinx Theatre “On Borders and Hybridity: Contemporary Latinx Theatre”

Torange Yeghiazarian - "Putting the Middle East Center Stage" 

Debbie Chinn - "The Business side of Theater: Creative Approaches to Diversifying Arts Organizations from the Stage to the Board of Directors"

Alexis Black – Intimacy Director
Ashley Flowers – Props Designer
Jess Pretty – Choreographer
Thorn Michaels – Lighting Designer
Leslie Stamoolis – Costume Designer
Jessica Buttery – Lighting Designer
Jimmy Garver –  Sound Designer
Mike Inwood – Lighting Designer
Carey Hanson – Costume Designer
Devin Petersen – Scenic Designer
Angelica Langley – Spring Studio Series workshop
Laura Ann Samuelson – Performance
Julie Mayo  – Performance and Workshop
Tia Kramer – Spring Studio Series
Jade King Carroll – Guest Director 
Sharath Patel – Sound Design

Scot Augustson - Playwright
Mia Chung - Playwright
Genevieve Beller - Costume Designer
Mike Inwood - Lighting Designer
Rob Witmer - Sound Designer
Gary Grundei - Musical Director
Tia Kramer - Dramaturgy
Kristin Leahey - Dramaturgy
Sharath Patel - Sound Designer
Annaliese Baker - Costume Designer
Lillie DeArmon - Stage Manager
Michaels Thorn - Lighting Designer
Eliza Van De Rostyne - Costume Designer
Raquel Davis - Lighting Designer
Carlos Vargas-Salgado - Stage Director

James Mapes - Lighting Designer
Evan Mosher - Sound Designer
Kristopher Pourzal - Guest Performer
Candace Rose - Dance Accompanist
Paul Whetstone - Dance Accompanist
Jakyung Seo - Lighting Designer
Heather Kravas - Guest Performer
Tia Kramer - Dramaturgy
Gary Grundei - Musical Director
Andrea Andresakis - Director and choreographer
Shawn Stalberger - Dance Accompanist
Paul Whetstone - Dance Accompanist
Anna Whitehead - Guest Performer

Heather Aichele - Costume Designer
Scot Augustson - Playwright
Genevieve Beller - Costume Designer
James Graver - Sound Designer
Michael Inwood - Lighting Designer
James Mapes - Lighting Designer
Yvonne Meier - Choreographer
Evan Mosher - Sound Designer
Greg Moss - Playwright
Gregg Mozgala - Actor and dancer
Sarah Lee Parker - Dancer
Akiko Rotch - Scenic Designer
Elizabeth Stanton - Sound Designer
Aimee Suzara - Playwright
Nathan Tomsheck - Scenic Designer
Jakyung Seo - Lighting Designer
Tom Valach - Costume Crafts Workshop
Angie Wright - Costume Designer

Andy Sowers - Sound Designer
Scot Augustson - Playwright
David Bengali - Lighting Designer
Angie Wright - Wig, Make up and Hair Designer
Genevieve Beller - Costume Designer
Paul Budraitis - Director
David Thomson - Choreographer
Jennifer Zeyl - Set Designer
Sarah Cubbage - Costume Designer
Arthur Rotch - Set Designer
Karine Keithley Syers - Playwright
Mara Poliak - Choreographer/Performer
Maryanne Lachman - Choreographer/Performer
Jessica Litwak - Playwright
Christine Williams - Vocal Workshop
Mike Inwood - Lighting Designer
Christina Trotto - Stage Management
Erin Thompson - Costume Design Assistant
Meredith Ries - Set Designer
Lily Fossner - Lighting Designer
Nibia Pastrana Santiago - Choreographer

David Schmader (playwright)
Sybil Kempson (playwright)
Angie Wright (wig and make-up)
Art Rotch (lighting designer)
Lily Fossner (lighting designer)
Sayda Trujillo (clown ensemble/movement coach)
Laurie Haluska (costume designer)
James Bigbee Garver (sound designer)
Dante Olivia Smith (set designer)
Claudia Everett (costume designer)
Tláloc López-Watermann (lighting designer)
Jesse Hewit (dance)
Larry Arrington (dance)
Deke Weaver (dance)
Jimmy Maize (visiting educator)
Lucky Peckham (visiting educator for sound)
Joe Krienke (movement coach)

Daniel Alexander Jones (playwright)
Kristin Newbom-Hancock (playwright)
Seth Reiser (lighting designer)
Jimmy Maize (director)
Eliza Ladd (movement and voice coach)
Akiko Nishijima Rotch (scenic designer)
Raquel Davis (lighting designer)
Michael Walling (director)
James Bigbee Garver (sound designer)
Elizabeth Klob (costume designer)
Dante Olivia Smith (lighting design, costume design, playwright)
Gerard Manning (AD Seattle Rep)
Laurie Haluska (costume designer)
Angie Wright (wig and make-up)
Sara Walsh (scenic designer)

Laura Jelenick (set designer)
Brian Ireland (Set designer)
Akiko Rotch (set designer)
Greg Moss (playwright)
Lucy Thurber (playwright)
Elizabeth Harper (light designer)
Raquel Davis (light designer)
Driscoll Otto (light designer)
Corinne Merrell (set designer)
Laura Haluska (costume)
Angie Wright (hair and make up)
Nina Trotto (stage management)

Dan LeFranc (playwright)
Jason Grote (playwright)
Kristen Kosmas (playwright)
Vivienne Friedman (costume)
Christine Bowers (costume)
Laurie Haluska (costume)
Erin Thompson (costume)
Jimmy Garver (sound design)
Rose Henderson-Diehl
Claudia Everett (costume)
Mimi Lien (set design)
Sarah Mixson (stage manager)
Raquel Davis (light design)
Gary Gabriel

Adam Rapp (playwright)
Sheri Wilner (playwright)
Kristen Kosmas (playwright)
Greg Mitchell (light design)
Brian Senter (fight choreographer)
Laurie Haluska (costume)
Ann Stephens (costumes)
Jason Weber (costume)
Erin Thompson (costume)
Lucia Neare (voice)
Raquel Davis (light design)
eth Reiser (light design)
Christina Campanella (writer, composer)
Stephanie Fleischmann (writer, composer)
David Barber (set design)

Nick Zagone (playwright)
Kia Corthron (playwright)
Calvin Johnson (playwright)
Kristen Kosmas (playwright)
Claudia Everett (costume)
Eliza Rankin (set design)
Laurie Haluska (costume)
Greg Mitchell (set design)
Shannon Doughety
Raquel Davis (light design)
James Garver (sound design)
Carey Hanson (costume)
Ryan Burbank (Stage Management)
Alden Moore (movement)

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