Fall Visiting Artists
November 5–November 9: Olive Teague | Suzie Rivers (THDA)
Teague is the Founding Artistic Director of Notch Theatre Company and recipient of the Embark Fellowship Award for Social Innovation in Entrepreneurship. Teague directed the spring musical for Mattea Denney ’23’s senior honors project, and visited campus in November to manage auditions.
November 18–November 21: Reilly Horan, Diane Exavier, devynn emory | Marie Lalor (Student Affairs)
Horan, Exavier, and emory facilitated follow-up sessions for the Creative Arts and Performance (CAP) orientation program with the Office of Student Affairs. The CAP orientation program has a 8 year long relationship with all arts departments on campus, and is an integral part of orienting new students to Amherst's rich arts community. This was the sixth time CAP orientation program facilitators stayed at the Bailey Brown House.
Horan is a Brooklyn-based crew lead, stage/road manager, production manager, technical director, scenic carpenter, teaching artist, storyteller, writer, and movement improviser. Both in New York and in a touring capacity, their work focuses on devised and multimedia collaborative theater and dance, large theatrical community engagement projects, arts accessibility and working with young people, and disrupting and reimagining the profound lack of diversity and equity in the technical theater industry.
Exavier is a writer, theatermaker, and educator who creates performances, public programs, and games that invite audiences to participate in a theater that rejects passive reception. Dispatching from the Caribbean Diaspora, Diane explores what she calls the 4L’s: love, loss, legacy, and land. Oscillating between performance and poetry, her work has been presented at BRIC Arts, Haiti Cultural Exchange, Sibiu's International Theater Festival, Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place, and more. Her writing appears in The Atlas Review and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind, amongst other publications. Her play Good Blood received a 2017 Kilroys List Honorable Mention. That same year her chapbook, Teaches of Peaches, was published by TAR Chapbook Series. She is the author of The Math of Saint Felix (The 3rd Thing, 2021), as well as a Jerome Foundation finalist. As an educator, Diane’s pedagogy focuses on creating spaces of care and self-expression with young people. Some organizations she has worked with include ArtsConnection, Community MusicWorks, New Urban Arts, Providence Public Library, RISD Museum, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. Diane studied Theater & Dance at Amherst College and holds an MFA in Writing for Performance from Brown University. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
November 7–November 14: Ashton Lites | Suzie Rivers (THDA)
Ashton “Stackz” Lites (Youth Hip-Hop) is a native of Boston and has been dancing for about 6 years. Ashton’s professional dance career sprouted soon after joining Side Street, in which he co-leads now, with Russell Ferguson (Season 6 winner of “So You Think You Can Dance). He is a krumper and uses this free, expressive style of dance to mentor to youth in and around the inner city. Ashton explored the more classical styles of dance first through the Reach Program at Boston University, then brought under the wing of Melissa Kelly Clark at the Dance Studio of Braintree/ Braintree Ballet Company, through which he transitioned into Dean College where he currently studies as a Dance Major, working toward his BA in Dance.
Spring Visiting Artists
February 14–April 10: Olive Teague and Keiji Ishiguri | Jenna Riegel (THDA)
Teague strives to create theater that connects with community in a deeply personal way and endeavors to push the boundaries of what that connection can achieve. She is the Founding Artistic Director of Notch Theatre Company and recipient of the Embark Fellowship Award for Social Innovation in Entrepreneurship. Teague directed this year’s spring musical, The Last Five Years.
Keiji Ishiguri is an actor-singer-musician-vocal coach-arranger-music director-teacher based in New York City. With training in classical piano and musical theater voice, Keiji has coached singers of all ages and styles at some of New York’s most well-known institutions, including Pace University and 54 Below. As a performer, he was most recently one half of a dueling pianos show for Billboard Onboard with Holland America Lines, played Schroeder in the national tour of A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage, and appeared as the Emcee in Cabaret at the White Plains Performing Arts Center.
March 3–March 4: Ryan Keberle, Frank Woeste, and Vincent Courtois | Bruce Diehl (Music)
Debuting with Suite Ravel in 2018, Reverso established itself as a virtuosic, trans-oceanic chamber jazz ensemble premiering new compositions inspired by French classical composers. In support of the group’s 2019 sophomore release The Melodic Line (an homage to the 20th-century composers known as the Group of Six or Les Six), Reverso toured to over 10 cities on two continents in February and March of 2020. The music grew and deepened every night, culminating in a performance for the ages at Le Triton in Paris on March 13, 2021, recorded in high-definition audio and video by France Musique (the rough equivalent of NPR) for nationwide broadcast later that spring. After listening back, the members of this unique trio — pianist Frank Woeste, trombonist Ryan Keberle and cellist Vincent Courtois — agreed that what transpired that night was magical enough for a full-fledged album. The resulting Live puts Reverso’s melodic gifts, expansive sonorities and undeniable chemistry on full display.
March 6–March 7: Sheela Ramesh and Ashley Burroughs | Katherine Pukinskis (Music)
Sheela Ramesh is a music director, composer, and arranger with a passion for stories and sounds that have traditionally been marginalized, and a mission to use art as a force for social justice. Since moving to NYC in mid-2021, Sheela joined the music teams of The Karate Kid (music director: Andrew Resnick), Annie Live! On N.B.C. (music director: Stephen Oremus), Bliss (music director: Julie McBride), We Won’t Sleep (music director: Cynthia Meng), and SIX on Broadway (music director: Julia Schade), and contributed orchestrations to Jessica Vosk’s My Golden Age concert at Carnegie Hall (music director: Mary-Mitchell Campbell). Based in the Bay Area until mid-2021, she has worked with Maestra Music, Stanford University, Contra Costa Civic Theatre, Youth Musical Theater Company, Musical Cafe, Theatre Rhinoceros, Inferno Theatre, and more.
Ashley Burroughs is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (BFA) and The Royal College of Music, London (Mmus) and has performed as both a singer and an actress in the US and abroad. Roles have included Blue Room in Broken Motherhood Museum (NuAfrikan Theatre), Ensemble in the Drama League nominated The Mutilated (New Ohio Theatre), Balthazar in Much Ado about Nothing (Arts for Progress), and Lucetta in Two Gentlemen of Verona (Hudson Shakespeare Company).
April 28–May 2: Yanira Castro | Ana Carneiro (THDA)
Yanira Castro is an interdisciplinary artist living in Lenapehoking (Brooklyn, NY) and making work under the moniker, a canary torsi. Working at the intersection of performance, installation, social practice, and technology, she forms iterative projects in response to site and community. Her work is rooted in communal construction inviting the public into co-creation. Castro’s work has been commissioned and presented by New York Live Arts, The Chocolate Factory Theater, Danspace Project, The Invisible Dog Art Center, Dance Theater Workshop, ISSUE Project Room and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her work has toured nationally including to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Vermont Performance Lab, The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, Bates Dance Festival, The Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, SPACE Gallery, The Yard, and the Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College. Castro has been commissioned to create new works at Bates College (ME), Barnard College (NYC), The Wooden Floor (CA), Keene State College (NH) and Island Moving Company (RI). Castro received her B.A. in Theater & Dance and Literature from Amherst College. In 2017, she received an honorary doctorate in the arts from her alma mater.
She has received two NY Dance & Performance Awards (aka Bessies) in 2020 for Last Audience commissioned and presented by New York Live Arts and in 2009 for Dark Horse/Black Forest presented by Performance Space 122 in the lobby restroom of The Gershwin Hotel. The archive for her participatory performance project, The People to Come, was featured in The New Museum’s exhibit, “Performance Archiving Performance,” in 2013. A trilogy of her works, CAST, STAGE, AUTHOR, were simultaneously presented in three venues across three boroughs in New York City over three weeks in September 2017. In 2018, she collaborated with choreographer Melinda Ring on a version of Simone Forti’s Dance Construction, See Saw, for the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit, Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done. In June 2019, she collaborated with artist Kathy Couch on a public art piece, now.here.this, for the Prague Quadrennial. She adapted the performance, Last Audience, into a printed manual for the public to perform at home during the pandemic for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in Fall 2020. Castro was the facilitator for and co-compiler and author of Creating New Futures: Phase 1, Working Guidelines for Ethics and Equity in Presenting Dance & Performance and Creating New Futures: Phase 2, Notes for Equitable Funding from Arts Workers.
Castro’s fellowships and residencies include: MacDowell Fellow (2021), New York Live Arts Live Feed Artist (2020-2018), Yaddo Fellow (2018), Marble House Project Artist (2018), Gibney’s DiP Resident Artist program (2017), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life program (2017-2015), _IN RESIDENCE Artist at Dancehouse in Melbourne, Australia (2016), BRIClab Artist (2016), Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (2014-2012, 2007), LMCC Process Space (2014) and Swing Space (2012, 2010), Dance New Amsterdam AIR (2013), Vermont Performance Lab Artist (2012), Pentacle’s ARC (2009/2008), Artist Ne(s)t AIR (2007, Romania), Sugar Salon AIR (2007), and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (2006, Bellagio, Italy). She has been recognized with various awards for her work, including from The New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, MAP Fund, The Jerome Foundation, New Music USA, Trust for Mutual Understanding, USArtists International, and a NY Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowship and a NYSCA Theater Commission.
April 29–April 30: Brian Martin | Bruce Diehl (Music)
Award-winning trombonist, composer, and music educator Brian Martin is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, holding a bachelor's degree in Music Education-Jazz Studies and a master's degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging. He remains active in both Iowa and New England as a performer, writer, and teacher. He is currently on the music staff of Derby Academy, both as a classroom teacher and as a private lesson instructor.
Martin takes great pride in his versatility as a trombonist. He is equally at home in the symphony hall as he is on stage at the local dive. While at UMASS, Martin was the lead/principal trombonist in Jazz Ensemble I, the Symphony Orchestra, and the Wind Ensemble. He is a current member of Boston’s Dirty Water Brass Band, as well as a freelance musician in the Boston area, having performed with local acts such as the Makanda Project, the Jeff Holmes Big Band, and Shokazoba. Before moving to Massachusetts, he performed most commonly with Grand Ave Ruckus, the 'Ceptet, the Metro Brass Quintet, and as a regular sub with The Des Moines Big Band. Additional performance experience includes the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz All-Stars, the Max Wellman Big Band, the Roni Garza Salsa Orchestra, and the Synergy Jazz Nonet, among others.
In addition to performing, Martin is a prolific composer of music in the classical and jazz realms. His current primary focus is writing for his Brian Martin Big Band, an elite ensemble comprised of many of the top jazz musicians from Iowa and New England that is dedicated to performing his original compositions and arrangements. The US Army Jazz Ambassadors performed his original composition “Lookin’ Forward” during the Young Composers Showcase at the 2019 Jazz Education Network Conference in Reno, NV. His orchestral rendition of George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” was the recipient of an Outstanding Arrangement Student Music Award from DownBeat Magazine in 2020. Eight of his compositions and arrangements have been recorded on five of UNI Jazz Band One's annual CDs. He has been commissioned to write music for ensembles ranging in ability and style from elementary concert band to collegiate jazz ensemble to high school show choir.
May 6–May 7: Jumatatu Poe | Jenna Riegel (THDA)
Jumatatu Poe is a choreographer, performer, and educator based between Philadelphia, PA and Durham, NC. Poe participated as part of the CHI's Black Queer Futures series with Watufani Poe and Jallicia Jolly, and taught a masterclass in contemporary dance technique in the Theater and Dance Department. Additionally, Poe offered a public workshop to all of Five College Dance students, faculty and staff. Poe’s visit drew folks together from multiple disciplines including Theater and Dance, Black Studies and the CHI. His work traverses both dance and sociology.
Poe’s early exposure to concert dance was through African dance and capoeira performances on California college campuses where his parents studied and worked. His work continues to be influenced by various sources, including his early technical training in contemporary African dance, his continued study of contemporary dance and performance, and his recent sociological research of and technical training in J-setting with Donte Beacham. Poe produces dance and performance work with idiosynCrazy productions. Poe has danced with Marianela Boán, Silvana Cardell, Emmanuelle Hunyh, Tania Isaac, Kun- Yang Lin, C. Kemal Nance, Marissa Perel, Leah Stein, Keith Thomby 6pson, Kate Watson-Wallace, Reggie Wilson, and Kariamu Welsh (as a member of Kariamu & Company).
May 27–June 8: Dana Kaufman | Ron Bashford (THDA)
Hailed as “whirlwind” (Gramophone), Dana Kaufman’s work focuses on disruptive opera and accessible and inclusive stages. Her music has been heard at venues and festivals throughout North America and Europe, such as New York Opera Fest; Jordan Hall; Contemporary Music Center of Milan; Carlow Arts Festival; Hartford Opera Theater; Hot Air Music Festival; Boston New Music Festival; Ravinia Festival’s One Score, One Chicago Program; Lowbrow Opera Collective; and Opera on Tap Chicago. Her works also have been performed and/or commissioned by GRAMMY-winning pianist Nadia Shpachenko, Wet Ink Ensemble, So Percussion, the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, Passepartout Duo, Great Noise Ensemble, 5th Wave Collective, mezzo-soprano/bassoonist duo Megan Ihnen and Darrel Hale, and members of OperaRox Productions and the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra. A former Fulbright Research Fellow in Estonia and four-time American Prize awardee/honoree, Kaufman also has received honors from the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, Boston Choral Ensemble, Black House New Operas Project, New American Voices, and more. Kaufman is a frequent speaker on women in composition and composing for trans voice, and has given lectures at institutions and conferences such as the LA Opera, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Leuphana Universität Lüneberg, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Music by Women Festival, and Pedagogy into Practice: Teaching Music Theory in the 21st-Century Conference. Current projects and commissions include the premiere of a work for haegeum at Carnegie Hall and the publication of Kaufman’s aria “To my mother’s closet” in NewMusicShelf’s Anthology of New Music: Trans & Nonbinary Voices, Vol. 1. Kaufman graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College (Bachelor of Arts in Music and Russian), completed her Master of Music in Composition at New England Conservatory, and received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition at University of Miami Frost School of Music as the first Frost student to be a Dean’s Fellow. She is Assistant Professor in Music Composition at University of California, Riverside.
May 28–June 8: Jasmine Muhammad | Ron Bashford (THDA)
Jasmine Muhammad is a versatile vocalist, bridging the gaps between the opera house, the harmonic space of background vocals, and the intimate recitals of art songs and spirituals. After completing three successful years as a Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist, Ms. Muhammad continues her work as a Manhattan-based freelance musician.
For her 2019-2020 season, Ms. Muhammad was featured as an ensemble member in the Metropolitan Opera's Porgy & Bess and Lincoln Center Theater's premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's new opera Intimitate Apparel as well as covering the role of Esther. Other engagements include Kanye West's operatic presentations of Nebuchadnezzar and Mary. She was also on the 2019-2020 roster of American Opera Projects’ Composers & the Voice fellowship program. Past seasons include performances as Hattie in the 2017 Pittsburgh Opera world premiere of The Summer King. During the 2014-2015 season she appeared as Rodelinda in Handel's Rodelinda and Micaëla in Bizet's Carmen. In 2013-2014 she appeared as High Priestess in Verdi's Aida, First Lady in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Eliza in Muhly's Dark Sisters, Mimi in the student matinee production of Puccini's La bohème, Countess Ceprano in Verdi's Rigoletto and Elisetta in Il matrimonio segreto. Other performances include Woman in a Hat and Duchess in The Ghosts of Versailles with Manhattan School of Music Opera Studio and First Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance.
Ms. Muhammad has sung background vocals for John Legend and Sharon Jones with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the Marvin Gaye What’s Going On tribute at Hollywood Bowl. She has also performed with Warren Haynes on the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration Tour for two consecutive years. In addition to live performances, she has also recorded backing vocals for Karen O, Benjamin Booker, Kanye West, Warren Haynes, Kevin Morby, and Michael Kiwanuka. Ms. Muhammad is a 2015-2016 Sullivan Foundation Award winner and 2015 Harlem Opera Theater Vocal Competition - First Place winner. In addition, she was a 2014-2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council District winner and received Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council-Pittsburgh District in 2013-2014 and 2012-2013. She also received a Commendation for Excellence from the 2014 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition.
Ms. Muhammad holds a masters degree in Voice from Manhattan School of Music and a bachelors degree in Vocal Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts.
May 30–June 4: Aiden Feltkamp | Ron Bashford (THDA)
Before pursuing their medical transition, Aiden performed opera professionally, specializing in Baroque opera and new music. Their most fulfilling roles include Hansel, Prince Orlofsky, Cherubino, Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea (especially in a Baroque gesture production with director Drew Minter), and Elizabeth in the World and NY premieres of Griffin Candey’s Sweets by Kate. They continue to train their new voice and have recently performed as Figaro in ChamberQUEER’s abridged Le Nozze di Figaro. They graduated from Bard College Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program (under the direction of Dawn Upshaw) with a Masters of Music, and received their B.S. in Vocal Performance from Hofstra University. They hold certifications in Leadership (Baruch College, New York Community Trust) and Data Science (BrainStation).
June 5–June 8: Kevin Eikenberg and Evan Chapman | Ron Bashford (THDA)
Four/Ten Media is a production company born from the partnership between filmmakers/percussionists Kevin Eikenberg and Evan Chapman. Kevin and Evan's unique background as classically trained percussionists has allowed the duo to create fresh and musically authentic visual representations of works in the contemporary classical and pop worlds. Their work has been featured by major press outlets including The New York Times, Alternative Press, NPR, Mental Floss, Paste Magazine, Q2 Music, and I Care if You Listen, among others.