Theatre and Dance
Assistant Professor of Theatre
Office Location: 100A Browne Hall
Office Phone: (309) 298-1747
Lysa, the Head of the Musical Theatre program, is a native of Montana and a founding member of Venture Theatre in Billings, Montana. Lysa has an extensive resume as an accomplished vocalist, musical theatre, and cabaret performer, and also a director, choreographer, actress, and improv performer.
Lysa completed her MFA in Acting/Directing in 2010 at California State University Long Beach. During 2010 – 2012, she was invited to remain at Cal State as Adjunct Faculty and an active member in the acting ensemble of California Repertory. She was recognized for both Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and Distinguished Creative Work during her tenure with Cal State. During her time in California, she also served as part-time faculty at Orange County High School for the Arts in Santa Ana and as the Education Coordinator at the Long Beach Playhouse.
During her fifteen years nurturing Venture Theatre, her passion was Theatre Education. As the Education Coordinator, Lysa created the curriculum and basis for Venture’s strong educational focus and launched Venture Into Schools bringing a theatre experience to hundreds of students throughout the city. Her final year with Venture was as Artistic Director. Lysa was recognized in 2004 as one of forty people in Billings and the surrounding area as making significant contributions in their particular field. Some favorite projects during her time in Montana include Three Penny Opera (Polly Peachum), Blood Brothers (Mrs. Johnstone), Urinetown (Little Sally), The Heidi Chronicles (Heidi), Still Life With Iris (director), Art (director), Burn This (Anna), Our Country’s Good (Duckling) and Always, Patsy Cline as Patsy which became a signature role for her and was performed numerous times throughout the area.
Lysa considers Grandstreet Theatre in Helena, Montana and Thin Air Theatre Company in Cripple Creek, Colorado as artistic homes as well. She has spent the last several summers directing, choreographing and acting in a number of shows in both venues such as Ragtime (Mother), Into The Woods (Bakers Wife), Songs For A New World (Ensemble), All Shook Up (director/choreographer), Hairspray (choreographer) and My Fair Lady (director/choreographer).