top of page


Marianne Adams
Marianne Adams joined the Theatre and Dance department in 1990. She currently teaches Modern Dance, Somatics, Pilates, Gyrokinesis®, Gyrotonic®, Dance History and Choreography. Her research interests include mindfulness, dance pedagogy, somatic writing, physical spirituality and somatic sustainability. As a dance professor, she has coordinated the Dance Studies honors program and created over twenty-five new courses in the curriculum.    

​​Derek Davidson
Derek Davidson teaches Playwriting and Script Analysis at Appalachian State University.  Before ASU, Derek taught Dramaturgy at Carnegie Mellon University, and had worked at The Barter Theatre in Virginia as a Resident Company Member and Coordinator for the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights.  Derek’s plays The Road Where It Curves Away and Holmes have been performed at Barter and in theatres in Ohio.  His film This is Not the South has shown at festivals and conferences throughout the southeast. His most recent play, Bumbershoot, was named among the “Best of the Fest 2012” at last summer’s New York City International Fringe Festival.

Derek Gagnier
Derek Gagnier is an Associate Professor of Theatre whose interests are in acting, Shakespeare, dialects, and musical theatre. Derek has been acting professionally for more than 25 years, and has been Coordinator of the Performance concentration at Appalachian since 2001. Derek received his MFA in Acting from UNC-Chapel Hill and a BA in Drama from SUNY Potsdam.


Mike Helms
Prior to coming to ASU in 2009, Mr. Helms was a professor of theatre at Snow College in Ephraim, UT. In his 22 years at Snow College, Mr. Helms designed scenery and lighting for over 80 productions and directed some 25 productions. He was lighting and set designer for the Nevada Ballet Theatre in Las Vegas for 9 years. In that time he has designed lights for some 36 productions. He has worked with nationally recognized choreographers and repetitures and has toured with the Nevada Ballet in throughout the western United States and in Europe. He was technical director/production manager for the Utah Shakespearean Festival from 1988-1994. In addition, he has designed scenery for the BYU Opera and The Jackson Hole Playhouse. He has also designed lighting for The American Folk Ballet.

Teresa Lee
Teresa joined the Department of Theatre & Dance in 1988. She teaches acting, creative drama, stage movement, and serves as the Artistic Director for the Appalachian Young People's Theatre. Ms. Lee has a rich background in producing drama with young people, training drama educators and directing theatre for young audiences. She is also a movement specialist, certified to teach the Alexander Technique since 1995. Her training and background include Alexander Technique certification from The Alexander Alliance school in Philadelphia, work with Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, and the California Theatre Center in San Jose. Ms. Lee has recently published a chapter on Alexander Technique and actor training in the book, Movement for Actors, Allworth Press.


Martha Marking
Martha Marking, holds a BFA in Costume Design and Technology and an MFA in Costume Design. Her professional credits include design and technical work at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and other theatre companies.  She is the Vice-President for Members, Sections and Chapters for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, the National Professional organization for design, production, and technology professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry.  Martha is a Professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina in the areas of Costume Design/Technology and Makeup.

Jonathan Ray
Jonathan Ray has more than 35 years of teaching experience in theatre for all ages, from elementary school to university. He has taught at Appalachian State University and Lenoir-Rhyne University. He has performed extensively with Charlotte Shakespeare and Shakespeare in the Park in Newton. At the secondary level he was the first Theatre Arts Director at Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, and he also taught at Fred T. Foard and  Newton-Conover High School in Catawba County. He was in the first cohort of Shakespeare Lives!, a joint project of UNC School of the Arts and Shakespeare's Globe of London, studying performance techniques at the Globe in London. He has recently retired from full-time teaching but continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor of Theatre at ASU.


Adrian Rieder
Adrian Rieder joined the Department of Theatre and Dance at Appalachian State in the spring of 2017. He has over 30 years of experience as a professional actor and is a member of the Screen Actor's Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and Actor's Equity Association. He was awarded the highest Level One Award in Theatre by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and met and performed for President William J. Clinton as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He has trained with renowned theatre directors Anne Bogart and Moises Kaufman and is a graduate of The Juilliard School Drama Division.


Joel Williams

Joel W. Williams is a professor of Theatre at Appalachian State University.  He received a B.S. in Speech and Theatre with K-12 Teacher Certification from Troy University in his home state of Alabama and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in stage direction from the University of Alabama.  While his first love in the theatre is directing he has also worked professionally as a stage manager, actor, technical director, actor, scenic designer, and recently his full-length play, Promises, was selected by Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre for a world premiere production in their 2014 summer season.  Two plays directed by Joel have been recognized by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival with productions at the Region IV Festival, A Lesson Before Dying in 2001 and The Pursuit of Mr. Rockefeller in 2011.   Joel enjoys professing his love of theatre to students.​

bottom of page