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Theatre Faculty

  • Charlene Gould

    Charlene Gould

    Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Professor of Theatre
    Phone: 816.501.3689
    Charlene.Gould@Avila.edu

    Dr. Charlene Gould oversees academic and co-curricular programming for undergraduate and graduate majors, including a professional licensure in psychology and a professionally accredited social work program.

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    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. 

  • Dylan Bollinger

    Dylan Bollinger

    Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Design & Technology
    Office: BOR 452
    Phone: 816.501.3733
    Dylan.Bollinger@Avila.edu

    Dylan G. Bollinger, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre—Design Technology, holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is a theatrical designer and production manager whose credits span theatre, opera, and the event industry. 

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    Dylan is currently the resident lighting designer at Weathervane Playhouse, and will be designing their production of Gypsy in December. Previous designs include: A Chorus Line, I Hate Hamlet, 42nd Street, and Pippin. Additionally, Dylan has designed for: Monomoy Theatre, Greensboro Opera, North Carolina Theatre for Young People, Oddfellows Playhouse, Firehouse Theatre, Georgia Thespians, UNC-Greensboro,  & Columbus State University.

    Dylan has served as a production manager for the following theatres: Firehouse Theatre, Peppercorn Theatre, and Project: Educational Theatre.

    During his time working with Ampa Events, Dylan served as the Lighting and AV Manager for fundraisers, galas, and promotional events. high profile clientele included: Former Vice President Joe Biden, The US House of Representative, The US Senate, and the NAVY among others.

    Dylan received recognition for his design of Compañeras from the Kennedy Center. Additionally, Dylan has served as a National Stage Management Fellow at the Kennedy Center.

    Dylan is excited to be working at AVILA!

  • Matt Schwader Harbor

    Assistant Professor of Theatre & Director of Performance Studies
    Office: GOP 321
    Phone: 816.501.2405
    Matt.Schwader@Avila.edu

    Matt Schwader Harbor has been teaching and coaching actors since 2012. He has previously worked full-time as a guest lecturer for the University of WI – Parkside Theatre Arts Dept., where he directed A Midsummer Night's Dream and Will Eno’s Middletown, and has led a variety of performance workshops for universities and theatres in WI, MO, and KS.

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    Outside of his work in academia, Matt has worked since 1998 as a professional actor, performing with The Old Globe, The Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and many other theatres across the country. Internationally, Matt performed at the Royal Shakespeare Co. in the UK and with Shakespeare Link Canada in Quelimane, Mozambique. He spent seven years as a Core Acting Company member with American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI and has recently appeared on stage in Kansas City with Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and Kansas City Actors Theatre. Matt holds an MFA in performance studies from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program (2003).

  • Dr. Amity Bryson

    Dr. Amity Bryson

    Music Chair
    Office: BOR 312
    Phone: 816.501.3651
    Amity.Bryson@Avila.edu

    Dr. Amity Bryson, Music Department Chair, teaches various music courses including applied voice, and directs both Avila Singers and University Singers.

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    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 and is a member of the board of the Kansas City Metro chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. 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.

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