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Picture credit: Thomas Graning,Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Columbus state university

University of Mississippi

written by Alice Childress

Set during rehearsals for a major Broadway production, Trouble in Mind illuminates the inner life of a Black actress struggling with her career. Alice Childress's 1955 play – which finally premiered on Broadway in 2021 – is a funny, moving and heartbreaking look at racism, identity and ego in the high-stakes world of New York theatre.

Design Team

Scenic Designers
- Tim McGraw

Costume Designer- Kim Garcia

Light Designer- Jordan Nicholson

Properties Designer- Rae Palmer

Sound Designer-Ollie Cox

Technical Director-Chis Dills

Production Manager-Tim McGraw

Columbus State University

written by Naomi Iizuka

"A visceral blend of classical mythology and real life stories told by street kids, Naomi lizuka's Polaroid Stories journeys into a dangerous world where myth-making fulfills a fierce need for transcendence, where storytelling has the power to transform a reality in which characters' lives are continually threatened, devalued and effaced. Not all the stories these characters tell are true; some are lies, wild yams, clever deceits, baroque fabrications.  Inspired in part by Ovid's Metamorphoses, Iizuka's Polaroid Stories takes place on an abandoned pier on the outermost edge of a city, a way stop for dreamers, dealers and desperadoes, a no-man's land where runaways seek camaraderie, refuge and escape.  Polaroid Stories conveys a whirlwind of psychic disturbance, confusion and longing.  Their language mixes poetry and profanity, imbuing the play with lyricism and great theatrical force".

Design Team

Scenic Designers
- Jared Spears

Costume Designer- Ava Greer

Light Designer- Mya Harper

Properties Designer- Elena Romero

Sound Designer-Corey Kosman

Technical Director-Felipe Macias

Production Manager-Raey Bagley


written by Matt de la Pena
music by Lamont Dozier and Paris Ray Dozier

“CJ is staying with his Nana, in a world considerably different from the one he’s used to.

Guided by his veritable force-of nature Nana, CJ travels a little closer to his roots and sees

that things are not always what they seem. This is one hip hop, eclectic, heart-thumpin’, toe

tappin’ joy ride.” -Plays for New Audiences

Design Team

Scenic Designers- Madison Sloan

Costume Designer- Kim Garcia

Light Designer- Glitch Luffman

Properties Designer- Lailah Brewer

Sound Designer-Zoe Economides

Technical Director-Christopher Dills

Production Manager-Ian Rossin


Professional Theatre
Springer Opera House

 by Natalia Temesgen

This is the true story of the extraordinary 6-year-old who helped shape history when she became the very first African-American sent to first grade in an all-white school - changing America forever. Set in New Orleans in 1960, Ruby eventually befriends students and teachers and lives out a faith that tells her to stand firm. Look at the world through Ruby’s eyes and discover the true promise of America.

Design Team
Scenic Designer  -  Matt Swindell
Costume and Wig Designer - Alex Allison
Light Designer - Katie Underwood
Properties Designer  - Patti Fenzell
Sound Designer - Julianne Slaton
Technical Director -Walter Pigford
Production Stage Manager - MH Harrison


Look Forward: The Ruby Bridges Project

As a professional teaching artist, I had the pleasure of leading a teaching residency with the students of South Columbus Elementary School (Columbus, Georgia) where I shared about the life of Ruby Bridges. During the collaborative process with playwright Natalia Temesgen, we discussed what students took away from each workshop and how the story took up space in their little hearts. Students were able to articulate and creatively express how Ruby Bridges displayed bravery-their way.  Using arts integration as a paradigm, students were able to empathize and express the meaning of her tenacity and perseverance. I was also I given the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Janet Bussey, one of the first African-American students integrated into Columbus High School in Columbus, Georgia during the Civil Rights Movement. After a nearly 3-year study process of researching Ruby Bridges' life, teaching about her determination through arts integration (several workshops), collaborating and devising with an extraordinary playwright, being hit by COVID-19 (which kept putting the show back season after season), and interviewing a brave soul who never backed down to fear in Columbus, Ga., I was inspired and ready to take care of the storytelling as a director. With inspirational hints of Margaret Taylor-Burroughs (Louisiana native to honor Ruby Bridges) and Alma Thomas (Columbus, Ga. native to honor Dr. Bussey) displayed on the set and the soulful sound of Mahalia Jackson, this collaborative project/production cultivated into a masterpiece that will forever honor the life of 
Ruby Bridges.
(Runner-Up 2022 Broadway Regional Atlanta Award for Best New Play or Musical)


Working with students at South Columbus Elementary School (Fall 2019)

Left to right: Temesgen (Playwright), Dr. Bussey, Reeves (Director)
(Fall 2022)

Professional Theatre
Springer Opera House