Two Stephens College Conservatory Faculty Star in National Tour

It’s what you know and who you know.

By: Dec. 19, 2022

Two Stephens College Conservatory Faculty Star in National Tour

Stephens College Conservatory for the Performing Arts faculty John Hemphill and Lisa Brescia are starring in the Dear Evan Hansen Broadway national tour. Brescia plays Heidi Hansen and Hemphill plays Larry Murphy.

Brescia, an Associate Professor of Acting, has also played the role of Heidi Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen at the Noel Coward Theatre in London's prestigious West End.

Brescia has now played the role on Broadway, on the Broadway National Tour and on the West End, which is a rare and remarkable trifecta for a performer.

Both Brescia and Hemphill treasure the opportunity to offer their students real-world guidance.

"I'm really driven to give students the best chance possible to fulfill their dreams," Hemphill said. "It's a joy sharing what has inspired me in my life and career in the business."

The Stephens College Conservatory for the Performing Arts faculty includes Broadway actors, ballet masters, theatre managers and artistic directors, and a regular rotation of working artists.

Jennifer Hemphill (AEA, SDC) | Dean of the Conservatory for the Performing Arts

Broadway's Mamma Mia!, National Tours, symphony concerts, regional theatre, KCACTF Region V MTI Coordinator

John Hemphill (SAG/AFTRA, AEA) | Assistant Professor of Acting

Broadway's Mamma Mia! and School of Rock; First National Tour of Dear Evan Hansen and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; national commercials and TV shows

Lisa Brescia (AEA) Associate Professor of Acting

Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen, Mamma Mia!, Wicked, The Times They Are A-Changin', Aida and The Woman in White. Regional credits include A Comedy of Tenors, The Winter's Tale, Hamlet, August: Osage County, Victor Victoria and Cabaret.

Darren Gibson (AEA) | Assistant Professor of Dance

Broadway's Movin' Out, On the Town, Fosse; Feld Ballet NYC

Jamey Grisham (SAG/AFTRA, AEA) | Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre

Lyric Opera of Chicago's Eugene Onegin, resident acting company member and director/choreographer with the historic Barn Theatre

Brett John Olson | Assistant Professor of Theatre

Associate artistic director of Minot State University Summer Theatre and North Dakota Shakespeare Company; specialist in classical theatre and stage combat

Nollie Moore | Associate Professor of Voice (NATS)

Professional tenor performing with the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall and regional theatre; vocal trainer and director; member of Grammy-nominated choral ensemble Kentucky Harmony, and Vox Nova

Michael Burke (AEA) | Chair of Technical Theatre and Costume Design

Director of production and operations for Okoboji Summer Theatre; stage manager and company manager for 5th Avenue Musical Theatre in Seattle

Martha J. Clarke | Assistant Professor of Costume Design

Costume director for Sonoma State University; Cutter/draper for Utah Shakespeare Festival

James Leo Ryan (SAG/AFTRA, AEA) | Guest Artist

TV: The Blacklist, Law & Order: SVU, NCIS, CSI, Medium, The Shield, Charmed, Love Inc, Numb3rs, ER, Three Sisters, The Pretender, and movies of the week for Hallmark and SyFy; Film: MGM's Species lll, No Ordinary Hero, A Light Beneath Their Feet, and Racing Colt; Broadway/National Tour: Annie, Les Misérables, Show Boat, Peter Pan, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Brandon PT Davis | Visiting Assistant Professor of Scenic and Lighting Design

Scenic designer for more than 90 productions across the U.S.


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In conversation with MFA Candidate Anastasia Ellis, Parker discusses how dramaturgy moves in traditional text-based theatre and in the nonverbal dance world.

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