Faculty and Staff
Department Chair/Scenic Design/Associate Professor
Shanklin Theatre 110
As an associate designer, he worked on over forty Broadway shows, national tours, and international productions, including The Color Purple, Doubt, Chicago, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Footloose, Proof, Wonderful Town, The Redwood Curtain, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The UE Center for Innovation and Change named Mr. Renschler a 2011 Global Scholar Award-winner. He used his award to expand his experience in the international design arena with a year-long comparative study of national design aesthetics as exhibited through theatrical scenography. He is a board member for the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana and a member of the Evansville Historic Preservation Committee.
He holds an MFA in Theatre Design from the University of Michigan and is a member of IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) and USA (United Scenic Artists).
R. Scott Lank
Artistic Director/Head of Acting/Professor
Hyde Hall 107
He is the recipient of teaching awards from the University of Evansville, Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, and KC/ACTF. He serves on the board of the National Congress of Actors and Acting Teachers at the Actors Center and is active in developing curriculum/peer review for acting programs across the nation. Mr. Lank is the recipient of national grants in playwriting, having had his work developed at the Canadian Stage Company, Toledo Repertory Theatre, the Lark Theatre, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Edward Albee Theatre Festival in Alaska.
Mr. Lank is a member of SDC (Stage Directors and Choreographers Society) and holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Nebraska.
Managing Director/Head of Theatre Management
Hyde Hall 112
She served as the Managing Director of Connecticut's Hartford Children's Theatre, Marketing Associate at Hartford Stage, and worked extensively for eight seasons with the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival. She also served as the Audience Development Coordinator at the University of Oklahoma School of Drama for six years.
She is a graduate of Leadership Evansville and is regularly asked to make presentations on networking and business etiquette. In addition, she serves as the co-coordinator of the National Unified Auditions, held annually in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Ms. Cowden has a BA from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and a MFA in Theatre Management from Wayne State University’s Hilberry Theatre in Detroit, Michigan.
John David Lutz
Shanklin Theatre 100 B
His first play to direct as a member of the UE faculty was Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke. He now has directed over 75 productions at UE. During UE’s 38 years of participating in KC/ACTF, 32 productions were invited to perform at regional festivals—with an 18-year uninterrupted streak of regional appearances. Mr. Lutz directed 24 of those 32 productions, and R. Scott Lank, directed the other eight. Additionally, eight UE productions were invited to the national festival, six directed by Mr. Lutz and two directed by Mr. Lank.
In 2007, by special invitation, the UE production of The Comedy of Errors was one of the Kennedy Center’s contributions to the “Shakespeare in Washington” celebration. Lutz has also directed at regional theatres and the Off-Broadway premiere of Between Daylight and Boonville, by Matt Williams, a UE alumnus.
A few of his awards include: 1982 University of Evansville Medal of Honor, 1984 KCACTF Gold Medallion, 1987 Berger Award for Outstanding Creative Artist, 1994 Evansville Mayor’s Arts Award for Arts Educator of the Year, 1995 Indiana Governor’s Arts Award for Arts Educator of the Year, 2005 Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana’s Mayor’s Arts Award, 2007 induction into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, 2012 KCACTF Outstanding Career Achievement in Directing, and 2014 University of Evansville Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.
Mr. Lutz graduated in 1964, from what was then called Evansville College. He earned an MA from the University of Denver and returned to UE in 1965 as an instructor and technical director. He later earned an MFA from the University of New Orleans.
Technical Production/Stage Management/Professor
Shanklin Theatre 108
Mr. Meacham teaches classes in scenic production techniques (carpentry, welding, rigging, drafting) as well as sound design and production and stage management. Every fall, Mr. Meacham heads a team of design and technology faculty team-teaching a course on portfolio and career preparation for senior theatre students. He heads the stage management program and is the Production Manager for the Department of Theatre.
He received a BA in Theatre from Wake Forest University, after which he served there for two years as the Assistant Technical Director. He earned an MFA in Theatre Technology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Speech and Voice/Acting/Associate Professor
Shanklin Theatre 100C
Ms. Ward serves each University of Evansville theatre production as Voice, Dialect and Text coach. She has done workshops with Cicely Berry, Catherine Fitzmaurice and David Smukler. She is currently training in Knight-Thompson speech work, which is rapidly becoming the standard in professional acting programs.
At UE, she teaches Voice and Speech, Dialects, Acting Shakespeare, Audition, Character Study, and Fundamentals of Acting. She has recently directed the classroom projects Elemenopea and August: Osage County. Ms. Ward has been honored with acknowledgement of meritorious work by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for her dialect work on Jekyll and Hyde, and her text work on The Comedy of Errors and The Winter’s Tale.
Ms. Ward received her MFA in Acting from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers’ Association).
Theatre History and Criticism/Professor
Hyde Hall 122A
She has received the Dean’s Teaching Award from the University of Evansville and a Certificate of Merit for Dramaturgy from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Her developmental initiative has generated grants for playwriting, dramaturgy, and directing from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, the University of Evansville, and the Illinois Arts Council. Her published articles have appeared in The Dramaturgy Protocol, The Dramaturgy Sourcebook (vol. 4), Theatre Topics, PAJ: Performing Arts Journal, and HowlRound at the Center for Theater Commons.
She earned a BA from Tufts University and a PhD from UCLA. She is a member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and the Network of Ensemble Theatres.
Lighting Design/Assistant Professor
Mr. Boulmetis received a BFA from the University of Cincinnati–College Conservatory of Music, an MFA from Boston University, and is a member United Scenic Artists–Local 829.
Sarah J Smith
Visiting Assistant Professor, Costume Design
Hyde Hall 122B
Costume Shop Manager
Shanklin Theatre 207
Ms. Nelson has an AA in theatre and business from Austin Community College, a BA in family and consumer science from Mankato State University, and an MA in Design, Housing, and Apparel from the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.
Assistant Technical Director
Shanklin Theatre 108
Dance and Movement/Adjunct Instructor
She began instructing students at Jan’s School of Dance after graduating from high school and while pursuing her B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Evansville. In 2011, she expanded her instruction to include several classes at Bob’s Gym in Evansville including Pilates, Group Centergy and Burn at the Barre. She continues to perform and choreograph with Legacy Dance Company in Evansville.
Theatre Education/Adjunct Instructor
In 2011, he was named recipient of the Founder’s Award by the Educational Theatre Association and in 2014 received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Education by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.
Mr. Taylor received his BME and MM degree from Indiana University.
Joseph P. Flauto
Since Mr. Flauto retired from UE, he has designed over a dozen productions, including sets for a production of Skin of Our Teeth at Hope College and costumes for a new play, Bud, Not Buddy at the University of Michigan-Flint.
Mr. Flauto is also active with UE as the President of Friends of Art, a Theatre Society member, and a member of a committee that organizes monthly lunches for the University’s Emeriti Faculty. He also continues to regularly teach at Harlaxton College in the summer.
Senior Administrative Assistant
Hyde Hall 106