Listee Features — Theater

Maureen Vidal


Maureen Eris Vidal is an accomplished theater educator and actress celebrating 45 years of diverse performances in numerous stage and film productions. Ms. Vidal’s mother was a singer and she grew up around the entertainment industry, so it came as no surprise when she fell in love with theater after taking an acting class in junior high school. She continued to act throughout high school and decided to pursue a career in education based on the impact that her early theater classes had on her. Ms. Vidal graduated from the State University of New York College at Cortland with a Bachelor of Arts in 1976, and was granted her teacher’s license the same year. She began teaching for the New

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Lani Click


After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, Lani Click, also known at Yale as Lani London, was admitted to the Yale School of Drama as the sole woman playwright in the class of 1973. After receiving her Master of Fine Arts, she created an original survey, which was later transformed into an article called “The Playwriting Student: A Threatened Species,” published by the Yale Alumni Magazine. Lani worked as a playwright for many years and taught on the faculties of the University of Connecticut, Hampshire College and the Community College of Baltimore County. While in Massachusetts, Lani became the first playwright in residence of a church in the United States, at the Second Congregational Church

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Renowned for her commitment to theater education, Kathryn Gately parlays more than three decades of experience into her role as the artistic director and master teacher of the Gately/Poole Conservatory. Along with her husband, Richard Poole, she founded the school to train young actors who prefer conservatory training to conventional long-term projects. Her instruction offers total immersion; she has a unique ability to pick apart scenes moment by moment to offer new ideas and approaches to her students. As Lloyd Williamson, the creator of the Williamson Technique, says, “Kathryn Gately’s instinctual intelligence about the art of acting is sure, well-grounded and inspired.” Ms. Gately began her illustrious career by obtaining a certification in acting from the Neighborhood Playhouse in New

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Aileen A. Hendricks Couvillion, PhD, is renowned as an actor, director and theater educator with a career spanning more than 45 years. As a child, she wanted to become the world’s greatest actress. Against the advice of her father, she auditioned for a repertory company on Long Island, New York, and began a career in touring productions. Dr. Hendricks Couvillion initially pursued an education at the University of Texas at Austin, completing undergraduate coursework. She continued her studies at Texas A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English and theater in 1971 and a Master of Arts in English and theater in 1974. She subsequently obtained a PhD in English, speech and theater at Louisiana State University in 1988.

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Patricia Walker


Now retired from a successful career in education after 20 years, Patricia Barnes Walker, PhD, was a teacher, assistant principal and principal for the Virginia Public School System and a state supervisor for the Virginia Department of Education in Richmond between 1967 and 1987. She subsequently held adjunct faculty appointments at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. During her tenure as an instructor, Dr. Walker also excelled as a consultant and trainer for Allied Corporation in Petersburg, Ohio, and for the Virginia Department of General Services in Richmond. Following her departure from education, Dr. Walker and her husband owned their own business, the Aquarian Bookshop, between 1997 and 2004, during which time she trained

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Lyn Dutson


Admiring the patience and ability to teach of her high school play director, Richard Hutchinson, Lyn Dutson was attracted to becoming a theater educator by her grandmother, who was one of the earlier female teachers in Pennsylvania, as well as her mother Ada, who taught her to sew at age 7. Somehow theater, costumes, history and direction all came together, which further sparked her interest. She enjoyed directing and has worked with hundreds of people. Ms. Dutson has been recognized as a professor emeritus of Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona since 2010, previously serving the college as a faculty member for 40 years. Prior to this tenure, she lectured at Arizona State University from 1967 to 1968. Ms. Dutson’s responsibilities

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Donna White


Shifting from teaching speech and drama to speech, musical theater and stagecraft, Donna Hayes White began her professional career as a teacher at various high schools and a junior high school in Pennsylvania in 1961, remaining in this position for 11 years before transferring to teach in Hillsborough County, Florida, from 1972 to 1974. She then taught at Gibbs High School in Pinellas County, Florida, from 1974 until her retirement in 2005. In addition to this tenure, Ms. White sponsored the International Thespian Society from 1974 to 2005 and was president of the Pinellas Association for Theatre Education for several terms, as well as the Treasure Island Historical Society from 2005 to 2017. During this time, she served on the

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Bonnie Zindel


After attending a professional children’s school and studying dance, Bonnie Zindel decided to move into something else. She worked in public relations at the Cleveland Playhouse as the public relations director from 1969 to 1972. Following this, she had her own radio show titled the “Intermission Feature” on Station WCLV-FM in Cleveland from 1970 to 1972, where she would interview people in the arts such as the Boston Symphony. She met her husband Paul Zindel, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and began to write plays, including one where she had a reading with actress Julie Harris as the lead. Ms. Zindel found that her direction was going toward the arts, so she continued writing books and plays. She then decided she

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Gerilyn Tandberg is the woman behind the mask—literally. A costume designer and theater educator with more than four decades of experience, she is passionate about making sure actors and actresses look and feel their part before the curtain rises. Her combination of interests and knowledge, particularly history and theater, enabled her to ensure that the garments she selected were accurate and made her an invaluable asset behind the scenes. Although Dr. Tandberg has since retired, she is noted for her time as a costume designer and historian for the theater department at Louisiana State University between 1973 and 2009, and as an assistant professor at Minot State University between 1966 and 1973. She is proud that her work allowed generations

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