Avila University
Theatre Faculty
char Charlene Gould
Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
816- 501-3689

Dr. Charlene Gould is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri.  She oversees academic and co-curricular programming for undergraduate and graduate majors, including a professional licensure in psychology and a professionally accredited social work program.  Responsibilities include departmental strategic planning, program review, curriculum development and assessment, and budget oversight.

Dr. Gould is Professor of Theatre and Producing Artistic Director of Goppert Theatre at Avila. She has created a partnership with Theatre for Young America, a professional children’s theatre company, which led to co-productions at the Union Station City Stage in Kansas City, Missouri and job opportunities in design and performance for Avila graduates and faculty. 

Dr. Gould earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in theatre and film. She was a recipient of a post-doctoral fellowship at Northwestern University where she participated in historical and interdisciplinary representation of the Holocaust.  Dr. Gould co-authored an article with historian Dr. Jeffrey Myers, in Trajectories of Memory: Intergenerational Representation of the Holocaust in History and the Arts (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008). She and her co-author present at international conferences and are reviewers for the Holocaust and Genocide Studies, published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Dr. Gould, whose teaching interests include directing, theatre history, and interdisciplinary courses, has presented at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and continues to direct.  She serves her community by participating in a women’s educational organization and supporting an intercultural dialogue foundation. 



Robert Foulk
Director of Performance Studies

Associate Professor of Theatre
816- 501-2405

Mr. Foulk earned his M.F.A. from Florida State University. He has directed locally for Theatre for Young America, New Directions Theatre, Theatre in the Park, Full Circle Theatre Company, and Kansas City Community College and stage managed for the Unicorn Theatre, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, and the American Heartland Theatre. He also has worked regionally at Dodger Productions at the Goldenrod Showboat Theatre in St. Louis and the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.

Mr. Foulk has attended the internationally renowned Shakespeare and Company in Lennox, Mass. He also has directed Equity showcase scenes at the UMKC Performing Arts Center.

Professor Foulk teaches beginning and advanced acting, Stage Management, Theatre Management, Shakespeare and the interdisciplinary course, The Mask. His students have gone on to prestigious graduate programs or work professionally.  He also directs for Goppert Theatre at Avila University.

Jason Harris
Director of Theatre Design and Technology

Associate Professor of Theatre

816- 501-3733

Mr. Harris has the distinction of winning Professor of the Year in 2007.  He holds an M.F.A. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and a B.S. in Secondary Education from Kansas State University. Before joining the Avila faculty, Jason made stops around Kansas City at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Theatre in the Park, Quality Hill Playhouse, and the Coterie Theatre.  Since coming to Avila, Professor Harris has worked during the summer, along side his students, as Technical Director for Starlight Theatre and Theatre in the Park.  He continues to design for many local theatres.

Professor Harris designs, builds, and/or supervises all design and technical aspects for the main stage shows.  He teaches all the Theatre: Design and Technology courses offered at Avila University.  While at Avila, his students have won awards for their work at the American College Theatre Festival and have internship opportunities. After graduation, they are prepared to work professionally and/or advance to highly-selective graduate programs.

amity Dr. Amity Bryson
Music Chair
816- 501-3651

Dr. Amity Bryson, Music Department Chair, teaches various music courses including applied voice, and directs both Avila Singers and University Singers. Dr. Bryson completed her doctoral work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music and holds both a BS Ed in music education and a MM in voice performance from the University of Missouri-Columbia, she is also an alumnae of Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. In addition to previous faculty appointments at William Woods University and Westminster College, Dr. Bryson has taught in the public school systems at both the elementary and secondary levels.

Dr. Bryson is active in local, state, and national professional music organizations. As a member of the board of the Kansas City Metro chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing for the last two years, Dr. Bryson was recently appointed president of the chapter for a two-year term. She also serves on the state board of Missouri Choral Directors Association as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Women's Choirs.

As a lyric soprano, Dr. Bryson continues to perform on both the recital and opera stage. Recent recitals include a program of art songs by women composers, featuring In a Persian Garden by Liza Lehmann. Opera roles have included Zerlina, Juliette, and Ännchen, but most memorable was her portrayal of Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel.