Guest Artists

de Laski Performing Arts Building


Friends of Theater help bring guest artists to Mason

Every semester, artists at the top of their field are on our stages, in our classrooms, and working with our students.

Mason's Center for the Arts brings world-renowned performing artists to stages on our campuses every year and provides free tickets to students. Many of these same artists come into our classrooms to share their expertise.

Professional Artist Residency in Theater (PART)

In 2012, The School of Theater launched the PART program, bringing professional artists of all theatrical disciplines to Theater at Mason to teach, mentor, and work with our students. The guest artists frequently stay for a few days, a week, or a semester to teach and mentor students in their craft in an acting, directing, or technical role, offering master classes, workshops, special events, and courses that fulfill the requirements for Theater majors.

Generous donors help make the PART program possible. For information on sponsoring the this program, please contact the CVPA development office or call 703-993-1593.

Midsummer Rekindled Workshop

Midsummer Rekindled or Here’s a how-de-do!

(Combining the words of William Shakespeare and the songs of Gilbert and Sullivan)

By Nick Olcott and Catherine Flye


Six actors who starred in an award-winning production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Shakespeare Company 30 years ago, are living in a Manor House Retirement home just outside Stratford-upon-Avon.  Midsummer Rekindled adapts Shakespeare’s beloved comedy together with songs from the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan and uses the romantic confusion that abounds in the play to echo the day to day lives of the stars living at the Manor.

Project description

During the months of the difficult covid lockdown, Catie and Nick collaborated once again to create a musical together.  The two have collaborated many times over the years with shows at the Folger and Arena Stage, resulting in critical acclaim and Helen Hayes awards. These include Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Purloined Patience at the Folger which also included the songs of Gilbert and Sullivan highlighting the true story about the theft of the original score of Patience. George Mason University’s School of Theater have offered a home for a workshop of Midsummer Rekindled under the PART (Professional Artist Residency in Theater) program with Catherine Flye as Director and Joe Walsh as Musical Director. This workshop will provide the opportunity for students to work alongside professional actors to present a reading by invitation on Saturday, June 11, 2022. 

She was fully a guide for how to do things. It started with research. I would come up with ideas, and I would refine them and bring them back to her. Now I know what to do in any design process in all fields of theater.

Alex Wade, Theater major, 2018 on set designer Luciana Stecconi
American actress and singer and seven-time Tony Award nominee, Kelli O'Hara, participated in a Masterclass with Theater students at Mason.
American actress and singer and seven-time Tony Award nominee, Kelli O'Hara, participated in a Masterclass with Theater students at Mason.

Here are just a few examples of our artists in residence

  • Paige Whitley-Bauguess - A Baroque dancer who interprets, recreates, and performs Baroque theatre dance in venues all over the world.
  • Thomas W. Jones II Directed, written and performed in more than 200 plays worldwide. His work as a writer, director, and actor has been acclaimed nationally and internationally, receiving 48 Washington DC Helen Hayes Award nominations and winning 15 awards, including Best Director for Samm Art Williams’ Home and his own Bessie's Blues. His most recent works include Three Sistahs, Point of Revue, Two Queens One Castle, Bricktop, Heart ‘n’ Soul, Love Johnny, A Cool Drink A Water, Holler and Sheddin'.
  • Kelli O'Hara The American actress and classically-trained singer has appeared in many Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals such as Kiss Me, KateThe King and I, The Bridges of Madison County, and South Pacific. She is also known for Sex and the City 2Live from Lincoln Center and Numb3rs
  • Luciana Stecconi A scenic designer who has designed sets for more than 70 shows, mostly in the Washington, D.C., area. She has a very impressive and long resume of work including sets for The Winter’s Tale at the Folger Theatre, Jesus Christ Superstar at Signature Theatre, From the Mouths of Monsters at The Kennedy Center, and The Who and The What at the Roundhouse Theatre.
  • Jenelle Lynn Randall Actress, Jenelle Randall, is known for Law & Order: Special Victims UnitThe Young and the Restless and Boardwalk Empire. She has also appeared on Broadway and Off-Broadway. 
  • Ed Asner Actor, activist and winner of seven acting Emmy Awards, Ed Asner, is best known for his role as Lou Grant during the 1970s and early 1980s, on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series Lou Grant
  • Vladimir "Volodya" Shpitalnik Vladimir Shpitalnik is a set and costume designer, artist, and illustrator. He has created theater sets and costume designs for works such as Death of a Salesman, The Threepenny Opera, The Nutcracker and many others.
  • Stacy Keach A noted actor of stage and film, he has appeared in many productions including The Bourne Legacy, Planes, Man with a Plan, Two and a Half Men.
  • David Elias Guest Equity Stage Manager for The Mystery of Edwin Drood and also taught THR 201, Stage Management.
  • Stevie Zimmerman Guest director of Passaggio, a world premiere student-written production that opened March 2013; taught Text in Production.
  • Matthew Vaky Professional Equity actor, performed the title role in our 2012 production of Brecht's The Life of Galileo while teaching Acting 1.