Mrs. Cooper, a graduate of Liberty University, holds a Master of Arts in Humanities from Hollins University, has completed ABD of her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, and has continued education at The College of William & Mary. Mrs. Cooper is a registered songwriter with BMI in New York City, and is a member of both The Dramatists Guild of America, and The Gospel Music Association. Mrs. Cooper also works professionally as a director and choreographer, and is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. She is the Executive Producer of The Miracle at The Miracle Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN, and is a commissioned writer/director for Fee-Hedrick Family Entertainment, Inc.
Besides being a winner of the Charles M. Getchell national award for playwriting, her lyrics for Rebel Cry were a finalist in the national Lehman Engel Musical Theater Competition in New York City in the fall of 2002. Rebel Cry was a national finalist in the 2003 David Mark Cohen Playwriting Competition sponsored by the Kennedy Center, and April Morning was a 2004 semifinalist in the Appalachian Festival of New Plays. Besides the recently completed musical, The Miracle, other works include Monte Cristo: The Musical, April Morning, Ribs for Dinner, June & Judd of the Blue Ridge, Fireflies, Who’s Your Best Friend, Shenandoah Christmas, Christmas at the Five & Dime, One Holy Lamb, and To Each His Own. She is currently working on a new Christmas musical, and a concept for a new musical based on the Holocaust. She and her husband own Greenbrook Productions, Inc.
Mrs. Cooper teaches Playwriting, Advanced Acting, Directing, Theater and Stage Management, Musical Theatre, and Advanced Musical Theatre. Directing credits include: Macbeth, Steel Magnolias, Oklahoma!, Hello Dolly, Guys & Dolls, Into the Woods, Wait Until Dark, Crazy for You, She Loves Me, Will Rogers Follies, Big River, Grease, 12 Angry Men, Godspell, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Cheaper by the Dozen, Our Town, Once On This Island, Singin’ in the Rain, The Gifts of the Magi, Ragtime, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, Beauty & the Beast, The Secret Garden, Aida, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Parade, Little Women, Smoke on the Mountain, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Crazy for You, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Jane Eyre, Hairspray, and The Phantom of the Opera. Mrs. Cooper has received five Kennedy Center American College Theatre Merit Awards for excellence in directing.
Mr. Brasher is a native of Alabama and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and History from Samford University in Birmingham and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. His professional credits include multiple roles with Shenandoah Shakespeare, Alabama Public Television, and Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival where he recently played Macbeth.
Mr. Brasher joined the Liberty faculty in 2004. He teaches a range of courses including Basic Acting II, Foundations of Theater, Voice for the Stage, Stage Accents, Classical Acting Styles, and Stage Combat. Directing credits include Pygmalion, The Glass Menagerie, Driving Miss Daisy, All My Sons, The Importance of Being Earnest, Smoke on the Mountain, Love's Labours' Lost, The Rainmaker, Much Ado About Nothing, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Crucible, A Raisin in the Sun, An Inspector Calls, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, and Enchanted April. Mr. Brasher also enjoys joining his students on-stage in such productions as Parade, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Shadowlands.
He and his wife, Sarah, have two children-Sophie and Elizabeth.
Mr. Nelson holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Regent University. As a professional actor, some of his credits include Chris in Terrence Malick's The New World, starring Colin Farrell, Davey Boy Smith in the independent feature Judges, David in the independent feature As It Is In Heaven and multiple other film and commercial appearances.
In 2011 Mr. Nelson had the privilege of directing The Miracle at the Miracle Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN. In 2007 he also had the honor to direct and produce 1607: First Landing, an outdoor drama located in Virginia Beach, VA to pay tribute to America's 400th Anniversary. For six years he worked as an artist-in-residence for Spring Branch Community Church, a part of the Willow Creek Association, where he performed and directed as part of their drama ministry. Since then he continues to work with the church as an independent performer.
He currently oversees the Liberty University Summer Arts Program, which welcomes nearly 200 local and out-of-state students to the campus each summer. Similarly, he worked four years as the Summer Arts Coordinator at Regent University where he designed multiple theatre and film camps. Mr. Nelson also sits on the board for the Hollywood Youth Theatre, a new children’s theatre company in Burbank, CA.
He teaches Basic Acting, Basic Acting II, Drama in the Church, Introduction to Motion Picture Directing, and Acting for Film. Directing credits include Beauty and the Beast, Oliver!, The Gifts of the Magi, The Odd Couple, Fiddler on the Roof, A Doll's House, Annie Get Your Gun, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Christmas Carol, The Civil War, Ragtime and Little Shop of Horrors. He has received Kennedy Center American College Theatre Merit Awards for excellence in directing for both Little Shop of Horrors and Ragtime.
Mr. Geffken received his Masters of Fine Arts in Acting at Regent University. In 2008 he graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Theatre Arts. He appeared in numerous LU Theatre productions during his undergraduate career. His graduate credits included Jack Palmer in The Boys Next Door, Jaques in As You Like It, Carr Gomm in The Elephant Man, Jesus in Godspell, Joe Farkas in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Brian Rivard in The Runner Stumbles, and Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye Birdie, among others.
Over the last few years he has been a part of establishing new theatre companies on the east coast. Throughout graduate school he helped start the Regent Shakespeare Company in Virginia Beach, Virginia and currently he spends his summers with the Americana Theatre Company in Plymouth, Massachusetts where he also serves as Marketing Coordinator. This past season he performed as Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps, and in a stage adaptation of Francine Rivers’ best-selling novel, Redeeming Love. Other notable credits include The Taming of the Shrew, Victor Prynne in Private Lives, and the title roles in Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.
Mr. Geffken teaches Basic Acting I and II, Theatre Appreciation, Senior Project, Stage Movement, and Stage Combat as well as serving as Fight Director for all mainstage productions. Recent fight choreography includes Oklahoma!, Romeo and Juliet, and Alluvion Stage Company’s Peter Pan. He has studied Stage Combat for several years, training with some of the world’s premiere combat instructors through the Society of American Fight Directors in which he is also a member.
He and his wife, Erica, are overjoyed to be back in Lynchburg with their son, Rhett, to raise their family and reinvest their lives in the department where they met and fell in love.
Mr. Gawinski received an MFA in Technical Theater from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been actively involved in theater technology and design since 1989. He has been a professional lighting designer for dance, theater and opera working both nationally and abroad. He has been the Resident Lighting Designer for the Dance Department at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Adjunct Lighting Designer for James Madison University’s Dance Department. Prior to coming to Liberty, Mr. Gawinski was the Systems Division Manager and Lead Integrator for Barbizon, in Washington, DC, having worked on many projects for prominent television studios, theatres, government facilities and worship facilities in the DC/MD/VA/PA region. Recent projects have included the Eisenhower Theater renovation at the John F. Kennedy Center, CNN, the Paramount Theatre in Charlottesville, and multiple projects for the office of the President of the United States and the Pentagon. Barry had the pleasure of working for Dr. Falwell when he was Barbizon’s lead designer for the theatrical and broadcast lighting system for the new 5,000 seat sanctuary at Thomas Road Baptist Church. A few years later he was again Barbizon’s lead designer for the lighting and rigging systems for the Tower Theater here at Liberty University. Outside of Liberty, Barry enjoys writing and directing Gospel-based dramas for churches and Outreach. He is thrilled to be able to combine his love for theatre with his personal desire for advancing the Gospel through the dramatic arts, and loves that he has the opportunity to help raise up young designers to bring Christian world-view into secular arts.
Barry and his wife Rachel have three girls: Abby, Emma, and Lily.
Ms. Poch received a Master of Business Administration, as well as a Bachelor of Music in Piano from Liberty University. As a student, Ms. Poch worked as an Academic Office Assistant, and began her full-time position as Theatre Arts Manager in 2007.
Ms. Poch runs the Theatre Office, oversees ticket sales, manages all student workers, and coordinates all events held in the Tower Theater. She is also the official Department Accompanist for all classes, auditions, callbackst, etc., and directs the orchestras for all Main Stage productions. Ms. Poch received the 2007 Excellence in Theater Production award, as well as being chosen on several occasions to perform in the Department of Music and Humanities Piano Showcase both as a soloist and accompanist. She was also named a University Employee of the Month in July of 2012.
Liberty stage credits include Godspell, Oklahoma!, Macbeth, Ragtime, She Loves Me, Monté Cristo, Guys & Dolls, Into the Woods, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Conducting credits include Crazy for You, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Annie Get Your Gun, Jane Eyre, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Hairspray, A Christmas Carol, The Civil War, OKLAHOMA!, Little Shop of Horrors, Ragtime, and Peter Pan.
David is a graduate of Liberty University with a degree in Visual Communication Arts (VCAR), and a concentration in Graphic Design (2011). While at Liberty, David also studied Psychology, Computer Science and Theatre Arts, and worked part time in the Theatre as the Media Assistant before getting hired full time in July, 2011.
As Media Specialist, David provides quality designs for the Department of Theatre Arts in the form of: posters, programs, billboards, radio and tv commercials, and other advertising signage. David is also producing the department's first Radio Drama, written and performed by students within the Department of Theatre Arts.
David lives in Lynchburg with his wife, Katelyn Steele, and hopes to soon have a dog.
Mark holds an MFA from Carnegie-Mellon University in Technical Production. He has previously held faculty positions in the theatre departments of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, the University of Florida, and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. His professional credits include the Grove Shakespeare Festival in California, Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland, Minnesota Opera in Minneapolis, and Sea World of Ohio. As a technical director he has over 175 shows to his credit.
He and his wife Stephanie reside in Staunton, VA.
Nicholas is a graduate from SUNY Fredonia with a BA in Technical Production and Design. He is joining the department from Upstate NY where he spent the last year as ATD/ Master Carpenter for Capital Repertory Theatre and Technical Director at Cortland Repertory theatre.
In addition to working on shows through those venues he has also spent the last four years as a freelance designer and Technical Director in NYC.
Mrs. McWilliams graduated from Liberty with BS in Communication. She continued her technical education with LDI Institute and Broadway Master Classes. April is pleased to return to Liberty Theater after a five year hiatus where she worked all over the East Coast as well as Colorado and Wyoming doing production work. Professional credits include George Winston, John Deere, MLB Commissioner's party and the Colorado Film Commission.
Liberty credits include: Aida, Monte Cristo, Rebel Cry, Love's Labor's Lost, and Driving Miss Daisy.
Mr. Klein, a Lynchburg native, graduated from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC with a B.A. in Communications, with an emphasis in Television and Radio. He was first introduced to Theatre through the GWU work study program as a student. It was during those four years he developed a stronger passion for Theatrical arts, film, graphic design, and special effects.
GWU production credits include Children of a Lesser God, The Adding Machine, Dogfall, The House of Bernarda Alba, Medea, Skin of our Teeth, Purging Mary. He received a nomination for best lighting designer from the Metrolina Theater Association for the musical Baby. Mr. Klein and his good friend Robert Vilushis were recently awarded Best Editing for their work on the animated short film “Winterland.”
Mr. Klein humbly thinks of himself as a jack of all trades when it comes to theater and film. He is always ready to lend a helping hand, and constantly looks for ways to refine his craft. Liberty Technical credits include The Civil War, Enchanted April, and The Phantom of the Opera.
Nicole Campbell graduated in 2008 with a BA in Theatre Arts from Christopher Newport University where she studied Design and Technical Theatre. While originally intending to pursue a career in acting, Nicole fell in love with the production side of the theatre. Shortly after finishing her BA she received her M.Div. degree in Christian Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Technical credits include: Romeo and Juliet, South Pacific, Blue Room, Great Men of Science, Little Shop of Horrors, The Adding Machine and Dancing at Lughnasa. Nicole has also done prosthetics and FX makeup for VCU film school. Her love for the church has brought her to assist in technical production in multiple church venues in Virginia and North Carolina.
Josh DeVries is a graduate of Liberty University with a B.A. in Theatre Arts. Though his degree concentrated on theatre performance, Josh has a love for both sides of the curtain. His backstage interests include design, graphic design, construction and writing. While a student at Liberty, Josh worked as a Technical Assistant in the scene shop and as Production Assistant in the theatre office.
As Shop Supervisor, Josh ensures that the scene shop is always a safe, productive and interactive environment, providing the necessary training and supervision for all student workers and volunteers.
Josh lives in Lynchburg with his wife Micah and their cat Nymeria.
Mrs. Webb is a graduate of Liberty University, earning a B. S. in Fashion Merchandising and Interiors. Her main concentration being fashion, Mrs. Webb developed an eye for style, a love of color, and mind for design. While a student, she was very involved with the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and participated in the school's annual fashion show.
As head costumer for the Department of Theatre Arts, Mrs. Webb designs and styles costumes for all main stage shows. She is also responsible for making, ordering, renting, buying, and managing all costumes. Costuming credits include Fiddler on the Roof, Dancing at Lughnasa, My Fair Lady, The Crucible, A Doll's House, The Music Man, Annie Get Your Gun, A Raisin in the Sun, Jane Eyre, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, An Inspector Calls, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Hairspray, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, A Christmas Carol, The Civil War, Enchanted April, and The Phantom of the Opera.
Mrs. Forth, a native of the Netherlands, is a graduate from Liberty University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Interiors, with a focus on fashion. Her European roots have made way for a unique outlook on fashion and design. While attending Liberty she was a part of the Cotton Collection fashion show hosted by the FACS department and received two awards for her ‘Skittles’ Collection.
Mrs. Forth lives in Lynchburg with her husband Justin and their dog Phoebe.
Costuming credits include The Civil War, Enchanted April and The Phantom of the Opera.