FRANCINE THOMAS REYNOLDS (Artistic Director) has been the artistic director at New Stage since 2006 and has worked as a theatre artist for 28 years. She recently directed Red, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Time To Kill. Recent portrayals include Dr. Katherine Brandt in 33 Variations, Polly in Other Desert Cities, Lucille in Dividing the Estate, and Edna Earle in Eudora Welty’s The Ponder Heart. She has directed a variety of shows including All The Way, The Whipping Man, The Grapes of Wrath, Hairspray, Mahalia: A Gospel Musical, The Great Gatsby, Lombardi, Boeing, Boeing; A Christmas Carol, Gee’s Bend, A Raisin in the Sun, Annie, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, A Soldier’s Play, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Reynolds is serving her second term on the Board of Directors for the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for American theatre and is on the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Theatre Association. She was a panelist for the 2016 TCG National Conference Theatre Nation and the 2016 Mississippi Community College Creative Writing Association Contest. Other associations include Leadership Mississippi Class of 2014, National Endowment for the Arts grants panel, Poetry Outloud adjudicator, Southeastern Theatre Conference adjudicator, Mississippi High School Drama Festival adjudicator, South Atlantic Modern Language Association national conference presenter, and Mississippi’s English Speaking Union Shakespeare Competition judge. Reynolds worked as a locations casting director in film and television for several years. Originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Reynolds enjoys living in Jackson with her husband, Chuck.
DAWN BUCK (Managing Director) has worked on staff at New Stage for more than 20 years. She began her career at New Stage in the fall of 1981 as a box office assistant. Since that time, she has worked as box office manager, audience services director, house manager, bookkeeper, business manager and marketing director. Buck’s other professional artistic credits include the USA International Ballet Competition, the Thalia Mara Arts International Foundation – World Performance Series presenting a series of performing artists including American Ballet Theatre, Aquila Theatre of London, Joshua Bell, Alvin Ailey, Cirque Eloize, Wynton Marsalis, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. She attended Belhaven University and is an alumnus of Leadership Jackson and a graduate of Dale Carnegie. Buck also completed a residency on theatre management at the Eugene O’Neill Center through a grant from the Foundation for the Extension and Development of Professional American Theatre (FEDAPT). Prior to serving on the staff of the USA International Ballet Competition, she worked with America Reads – Mississippi overseeing and training 270 AmeriCorps members who provided one-on-one tutoring in reading for students in primary K through the3rd grade across the state. In 1990, she served as Vice President of Administration and Finance for Imageworks – Films for Business. She helped produce commercials, documentaries and training videos for that organization. Buck resides in the Heatherwood neighborhood in Jackson with her husband David, who retired in 2009 after a 26 year military career with the U. S. Air Force and the Mississippi Air National Guard. He has recently initiated beekeeping as a new hobby.
BILL MCCARTY III (General Manager) is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and has extensive background in wholesale and retail sales and real estate property management with the Jitney Jungle stores. McCarty has volunteered with New Stage for more than 38 years in all areas including production, running crews, lighting and sound design and New Stage fundraising events. He is involved in the day-to-day management, maintenance and production for the theatre and serves on the Board of Directors. His favorite design credits are Greater Tuna 1986 production, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Gin Game, and A Christmas Carol 1984 production.
MELISSA TILLMAN (Marketing Director) is a graduate of Belhaven University where she received a B.A. in technical theatre. She served as the audience services director at New Stage, has worked as a box office associate at Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nevada and assisted with many box office activities at Belhaven University. Tillman has stage managed many shows in several parts of the country, including Las Vegas and Tennessee. Her stage managing credits include Oklahoma!, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz, Taming of the Shrew, and Love’s Labours Lost. Her most recent work includes Noye’s Fludd and La Boheme with the Mississippi Opera. She is a member of Metro Jackson Attractions Association and recently served as the treasurer for the organization. This is Tillman’s eleventh season with New Stage. She currently resides in Madison with her husband, Kyle; son, River; and their dog, Charlie Brown.
SHANNON FROST (Marketing Associate) received a B.A. in communication/theatre from Malone University and a M.A. in theatre from Regent University. Previous experience includes: theatre manager at Regent University’s Theatre Department, managing director for The A.C.T.S. Series at Regent University, marketing director at Red Clay Theatre, marketing director at New Stage Theatre, and theatre teacher at Christ Covenant School. Frost is currently an adjunct professor of Arts Administration at Belhaven University, and is the financial and membership director of the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education. She resides in Jackson with her husband, Joe and kiddos, Nina (16), Darby (13), Emory (6), Beau (2), and new baby #5 (Feb. 2017).
KERRI COURTNEY SANDERS (Education Director) graduated from Belhaven University with a B.A. in theatre. She served as acting/directing intern for the 2011-2012 season and has been an instructor for several education programs at the theatre including New Stage’s Youth Acting Troupe since 2011. Sanders has appeared in such productions as A Time to Kill, A Christmas Carol, One Man, Two Guvnors, Other Desert Cities, The Great Gatsby, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Grapes of Wrath, Dracula, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her directing credits include The Taming of the Shrew, Walk! Don’t Ride: A Celebration of the Fight for Equality, Twelfth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing. Sanders is also the host of the Mississippi Public Broadcasting series Job Hunter.
CHRIS ROEBUCK (Resident Teaching Artist) graduated from Mississippi College with a B.A. in history. He taught for two years at Madison Central High School, where among other responsibilities he assisted with the Drama Club. Roebuck was an acting intern at New Stage Theatre, working with four other interns to take three touring shows across the state. Among his numerous professional acting credits, Roebuck has appeared in The Robber Bridegroom, Shrek, The Foreigner, and The 39 Steps. In addition to the education touring shows, his directing credits include A Wrinkle in Time, Goodnight, Moon, The Cat in the Hat, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, The Weir, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, and Dead Man’s Cell Phone at New Stage and American Buffalo and Dinner with Friends with Fondren Theatre Workshop.
ALISA PRICE (Box Office Manager) has a B.A. in theatre arts from High Point University, and is a former intern of New Stage Theatre. As an intern she performed in Death of a Salesman, Charlotte’s Web, and A Christmas Carol. She also toured with her intern cast in a montage of Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, and Chekov one-act plays, and has been in productions for several theatre companies in Virginia, including Swift Creek Mill Theatre, Theatre IV, and Richmond Theatre Company for Children, where she later became the Marketing & Sales Director. Having recently relocated from the Maryland/DC area, Price and her family now reside in Ridgeland. She most recently worked in higher education, and for the State of Mississippi, but jumped at the opportunity to return to the arts! She is a member of the Jackson Revival Center, and an active part of their theatre ministry. New Stage Theatre will always hold a special place in Alisa’s heart because it is where she first met her husband, Hillery. They now have three beautiful children, Darryn, Gabriel, and Elijah, aka “The Three Fusskateers.”
BETTY WONG (Box Office Assistant/Education Assistant) begins her twelfth season at New Stage. She enjoys traveling to schools throughout the state with the Professional Intern Company to provide live theatre experiences for students of all ages. When not on the road, you can find her in the box office. She has also served for many years as a volunteer in other areas of the theatre. Her professional work experiences in education and her passion for live theatre has contributed to the growth and expansion of New Stage’s Educational Department. She has served as a consultant to school districts throughout the state of Mississippi. Wong has a B.S. in Educational Psychology from Mississippi State University, and a M.Ed. from Delta State University.
BARBARA MARTIN (Box Office/Business Office Assistant) is in her 21st season at New Stage. First joining the staff in 1997, she has served as box office assistant for 19 years and as box office manager for the two years before and during the Intermission Season. She also assists with development, reviews and maintains theater insurance coverages, and performs other business office functions.
CARLA MARSH (House Manager) received her B.A. in criminal justice with an emphasis in juvenile justice from Jackson State University. She is pleased to be returning to New Stage for her ninth season. Marsh has been employed with the Hinds County Sheriff’s office for more than 12 years.
ELISE MCDONALD (Stage Manager) is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi with a B.A. in theatre. She began stage management while at Southern and was able to work on shows such as Light Up the Sky, A Lesson From Aloes, Fallen Angels, The Good Doctor, Big Love, Little Shop of Horrors, and Electra. She worked as a production assistant in stage management at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and was backstage for several shows such as Les Miserable, The Foreigner, The Elephant Man and The Who’s Tommy. McDonald begins her sixth season at New Stage. Some of her favorite past productions include: Dracula, The Foreigner, The Great Gatsby, Hairspray, The Grapes of Wrath, The Whipping Man, All The Way, Peter Pan, One Man Two Guvnors, Crimes of the Heart, and The Robber Bridegroom. She is excited to be working with New Stage and would like to thank her family and friends for their unending support!
BRENT LEFAVOR (Lighting Designer/Resident Designer) M.A., MFA, has been a professional director, and set and lighting designer since 1976. He designed lights at Robert Redford’s Sundance Summer Theatre for 10 years; was a founding member, director, and designer for Walk-On’s Inc. in Salt Lake City; and worked as a director and designer for Grand Teton Mainstage theatre in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Lefavor moved to Mississippi in 1983 where he taught for 25 years at a local liberal arts college. During that time he directed numerous productions, and designed sets and lights for more than 100 shows, and taught in all areas of theatre. Lefavor began as a guest artist at New Stage Theatre in 1998 with the light design for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; he became a full-time staff member in 2009, where he begins his eighth season. He has designed lights and sets for numerous productions including: 33 Variations, Christmas Carol (2013), A Christmas Memory, All My Sons, The Miracle Worker, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Smokey Joe’s Café, Noises Off, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. At New Stage he has directed Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club and Peter Pan.
RICHARD LAWRENCE (Scenic Designer/Technical Director) serves as the Vice President of Fondren Theatre Workshop and has appeared in A Christmas Memory at New Stage, FTW’s The Rocky Horror Show, Buck Nekkid for Jesus, directed FTW’s Christmas show Every Christmas Story Ever Told, and most recently appeared as Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q. He was also the director of the widely successful productions of Cabaret and Company, which were joint productions of FTW and Actor’s Playhouse of Pearl, with support from New Stage. Lawrence has been seen in New Stage productions of The Trip to Bountiful and UnFramed’s The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, How I Learned to Drive, The Weir, Circle Mirror Transformation, and Dublin Carol. Lawrence has won two “Best Set” awards at Mississippi Theatre Association conferences.
RICHART SCHUG (Resident Scenic Designer) is starting his fourth season with New Stage where he has designed sets for Red, One Man Two Guvnors, All The Way, Mrs. Mannerly, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, and others. He has also worked as a scenic painter and designer in New York at Purchase College SUNY where he went to school. He would like to thank the very talented staff of New Stage, his family, and his fiancé Sarah Beck.
CLARA SEITZ (Properties/Production Associate) is a graduate of Mississippi University for Women (and smart men too). There she earned a B.A. in theatre. She is very excited to be at New Stage for her sixth season. Her previous credits include lighting design for Constellations, scenic design for A Wrinkle in Time, props design for All the Way, costume design for Dog Sees God, and sound design for Mrs. Mannerly.
LESLEY RAYBON (Resident Costume Designer) joined New Stage in 2004 as an acting intern and since then has worked both onstage and off. She has found her place as the resident costume designer and has enjoyed designing shows, and working with guest designers and costume shop assistants. Some of her favorite shows include: The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, Goodnight Moon, and A Wrinkle in Time. When not at New Stage, she is a barista at Starbucks, a puppeteer with Puppet Arts Theatre, wife to her wonderful husband Lawrence, and mother to her daughter EV.
PROFESSIONAL ACTING INTERN COMPANY
JAKE BELL (Professional Acting Intern) is from Memphis, Tenn. and is an avid sports fan. He recently graduated from the University of Memphis in May with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Bell was last seen this past summer as an acting intern for the Texas Shakespeare Festival in Kilgore, Texas. Some of his favorite credits include Will Parker in Oklahoma! and Action in West Side Story. Bell would like to thank his family for all their constant love and support.
CHRISTAN MCLAURINE (Professional Acting Intern) is a graduate from Middle Tennessee State University where he received a B.S. in Theatre and Dance. Upon graduating, he moved back to Nashville to continue his work on perfecting his craft as an actor and director. In his short five years in the theatre world, some of his favorite roles included: Crooks (Of Mice and Men), Preppy Stud (HEATHERS: The Musical), Hysterium (A Funny Thing…Forum), Dr. Peter Rank (A Doll’s House), and Luke (Amen Corner). He would like to thank New Stage for this wonderful opportunity and his loving family and friends for their endless support!
HOPE PRYBYLSKI (Professional Acting Intern) is delighted to be joining the New Stage team this year to make art in her hometown. She is a recent graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi where she received her BFA in Theatre Performance with a minor in English. Favorite past performances include The Tempest, Top Girls, The Skriker, and Machinal. All love and appreciation go to her family and friends for their unwavering support.
LASHARRON PURVIS (Professional Acting Intern) is a recent graduate of Dillard University receiving a B.A. in Theatre Performance. She is excited to jump in and begin working on productions and participate in the production process at New Stage. After the internship, she plans on attending graduate school to receive her MFA in theatre performance and ultimately, work on Broadway. She is very excited to experience the theatre culture of Jackson and further her skills and experience.