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Theatre Faculty and Staff

Theatre Department

Jim Lile Ph.D.

Dr. Lile joined the Theatre Faculty in the Fall of 2004.  Jim LileHe earned his B.A. and M.A. in Theatre at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce) and his Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism at Kent State University. Equally at home in rehearsal or in the classroom, Dr. Lile brings a wealth of teaching, acting, directing, and design experience gathered over three decades from schools and theatres in Texas, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. For Dr. Lile, Theatre is a way of life. To study the theatre is to explore our humanity and to celebrate the richness of our experience. It is a great journey, and Dr. Lile is happy to be one of the guides.

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Anne Jaros

Anne Jaros has been at Missouri Southern State University since 1989. She is an Associate Professor Anne Jaroswhose primary training and experience are in costume design. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana. Both degrees are in theatrical design. She has both designed professionally and/or taught at the college level for over 20 years. Anne is a member of United Scenic Artists Association, the professional designers' union. She is a native of the Chicago area but now calls Joplin her home. Her current goal is to teach students to do high quality theatre work while maintaining their physical and emotional health. 

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Ann Lile

Ann began her work as the Southern Theatre Costumer in the Fall of 2004. As a Theatre Artist of wide Ann Lileand varied experience, Ann brings a unique expertise to her position. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing Therapy from Midwestern State University, a Master's in Theatre from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce), and a second Master's in Higher Education Administration and Student Services from Kent State University. As a teacher, an actor, a director, and an advisor, she exemplifies the value of training and discipline. Additionally, and, perhaps, most importantly, Ann's experience has taught her to treasure, and to share with her students, the singular joy that a life in the Theatre can be.

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Lyndall W. Burrow

Better known as "Lyle" he has served as Assistant Technical Director for Southern Theatre since 1990. Lyle BurrowHe has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Missouri Southern State College. He teaches the Sound Design class and the Theatre Lab class. He enjoys all technical aspects of theatre. What really intrigues him most are the outside events where you start with a bare stage and have a few hours to get everything ready, the show is done, and then in a few more hours the stage is empty again. Lyle has designed lights and sets and sound and props. He has stage managed, built sets, hung lights, painted, and built props, but the most fun he has is finding "elegant solutions" for properties, sets or lights, and trouble shooting problems that occur during the run of a show. "There is such a variety of events at Taylor Performing Arts Center, I never do the same thing two days in a row."

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Matt Myers

Matt Myers became Costumer for the MSSU Theatre Department in 2008. He holds a BFA with Honors inMatt Myers Illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL, and brings to the Department 25 years of experience as a free-lance artist and designer. Working primarily for the Hospitality industry, he is an accomplished scenic artist with installations in hotels, nightclubs, and cruise ships throughout the world. Theatre has consistently figured prominently in his life, and his experiences both onstage as a performer and behind the scenes as a set and costume designer have led him to enthusiastically join the MSSU theatre staff.

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Terri Spencer

Terri Spencer serves as the theatre department secretary her day to day duties include scheduling Terri Spencerevents for Thomas E. Taylor Performing Arts Center, and the Bud Walton Black Box Theatre. Terri is also responsible for coordinating seating and ticket arrangements for the some 10,000 school children that attend the Show Me Celebration children's plays performed every Semester. She also has served as accounts payable clerk for Southern for three years prior to moving to the theatre department. She also has been a cashier in the Business Office.

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Sam Claussen

Mr. Claussen holds the status of Faculty Emeritus at M.S.S.U. and teaches University Experience and Sam ClaussenOnline theatre appreciation. Students enjoy his contagious energy and can-do attitude. Mr. Claussen holds an M.F.A. from the University of Virginia. He still often serves as lighting designer and general problem-solver. He is now retired but still serves as adjunct faculty for the department and sponsor of the "Backstage" club for theatre students. His interests both inside and outside of the theatre are numerous, and his enthusiasm is boundless.

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Gerrie Ellen Johnston

Ms. Johnston was born and trained in New York City. She has been instructing Theatre Appreciation, Gerrie Ellen JohnstonCreative Dramatics, Musical Theatre and Stage Movement at Missouri Southern State University since 1989. Ms. Johnston has also been owner and director of School of Ballet in Joplin Missouri since 1986. She received her Education Degree From MSSU in Theatre with a minor concentration in Vocal Music as well as a Master's in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, New Orleans. More recently she has choreographed Kiss Me Kate, The Pajama Game, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, and Godspell. She has performed in the ballets, Swan Lake, Beauty and the Beast, Le Cigale, Sleeping Beauty and continues to perform in ballets and musical theatre in the four state area.

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