Page address:



George Grubb

George E. Grubb, PA 120

Sound Design and Technical Director


George Grubb received his BA in Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University, Moorhead and received his MFA in Technical Direction in December 2005 from Minnesota State Mankato. Before Mankato, he worked for many theatres in the Twin Cities including The Guthrie Theater, Theatre de la Jeune Lune and Park Square Theatre. For the department, George teaches all theatrical sound and stagecraft classes as well as designing or supervising student designs for all sound in the department. He is part of the graduate faculty.

Heather Hamilton

Heather E. Hamilton, PA 208

Acting & Directing


Heather E. Hamilton holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Plymouth State College (NH) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Dramatic Literature and History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Heather was the Director of Theater at the Wolfeboro NH Area Creative Arts Center, served on the board of The Sandwich Players, and was an adjudicator and workshop leader for the NH Educational Theater Guild.  During the summer, she taught Shakespeare for the Graduate English program at PSU.  Heather has directed and acted in plays on both American coasts, playing major characters in close to forty productions over the last decade.  She was the recipient of the NH Theater Award for Best Professional Actress in 2004.  Her research interests include philosophy and theater, and the psychology of violence in performance.  Most recently, Heather has directed As You Like It (Feb. 2014), Blithe Spirit, And Then There Were None, Dracula, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Evil Dead: The Musical.

Paul Hustoles

Paul Hustoles, PA 201

Chair, Acting, Directing


Paul J. Hustoles earned his MA from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. He serves the department as Chair and Producer and is also Artistic Director of Highland Summer Theatre. Dr. Hustoles teaches acting, directing, theatre history, research, theory and criticism, theatre management and music theatre. He is past Region V Chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and is the proud recipient of the Kennedy Center Gold Medallion of Excellence Award in Theatre.

Julie Kerr-Berry

Julie Kerr-Berry, PA 210

Director of Dance


More information

Julie A. Kerr-Berry, EdD, is a Professor and Dance Program Director at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her primary teaching responsibilities include both theory and practice. Julie coordinates the K-12 Dance Education license program. She is active in the Minneapolis-St. Paul dance community where she often lectures and presents master classes. A founding member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), she was Co-Editor-in-Chief of its official journal, the “Journal of Dance Education” (JODE) for its first decade. Her writing focuses on critical pedagogy in dance education aimed at issues of social justice. Nationally, she presents her work at various conferences. Julie earned an EdD and MEd in dance from Temple University in Philadelphia. In 2010, she was the recipient of NDEO’s Outstanding Leadership Award. In 2011, she received a Top Paper Citation from NDEO and it was later published in JODE in 2012.

Mike Lagerquist

Mike Lagerquist, PA 214

Director of Public Relations


Michael Lagerquist joined the Department of Theatre and Dance staff as Public Relations Director after writing about its events for more than 13 years as a writer and editor at The Free Press in Mankato and Applauze magazine. He received his undergraduate degree in Mass Communications and English from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and is currently pursuing his masters degree at MSU. In addition, he has been involved with more than two dozen productions at Mankato's Merely Players Community Theatre.

David McCarl

David McCarl, PA 220

Costume Design


David McCarl received his MFA from Indiana University. Professor McCarl serves as Costume Designer and Production Area Head. He teaches stage makeup, advanced makeup, costume design and advanced costume design, costume history, costume construction, portfolio seminar, basic design and stage combat.

John David Paul

John David Paul, PA 222

Scenic Design


John Paul earned his MFA from the University of Minnesota and served most recently on the faculty of Northwestern College in Orange City, IA. He was technical director at the Cricket Theatre in Minneapolis and spent five years working at Scenery West, a popular scenic design company in Hollywood. His resume includes award-winning theatrical design credits, collaboration with Oscar award-winning artists, and work on seven feature films—including assistant art director for "Fargo" and "Grumpier Old Men," and set designer for "Jingle All the Way," "The Cure" and "Feeling Minnesota." He completed some of his education at Minnesota State Mankato and returned for the scenic design for Show Boat in Highland Summer Theatre 2004.




Catherine Schmeal

Catherine Schmeal-Swope, PA 114A



Catherine Schmeal-Swope holds a BF. in Theatre from Northern Kentucky University and an MFA in Theatre Design from The Ohio State University. Selected past design productions before joining the department at Minnesota State Mankato include: Othello (Guest Director Alison Bomber, Royal Shakespeare Company), The Long Christmas Ride Home (Peggy Ezekiel Award of Distinction) and The Elephant Man. Catherine has worked for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, interned for Cynthia Amneus at the Cincinnati Art Museum and served as Head Draper on many productions at OSU, as well as designing/assisting in lighting.

Steve Smith

Steven Smith, PA 218

Lighting Design


Personal web pages

Steven Smith received his MFA in Technical Direction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and now serves as the Lighting Designer for the department, responsible for designing or supervising students' designing of lighting for all MSU Theatre productions. Since leaving graduate school, he has served as lighting designer for more than 100 productions, as technical director for more than 50 productions and as resident scenic designer for Torchlight Theatrics for three years. He is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and USITT. Steve won the KCACTF National Teaching Artist Grant in lighting design in 2009. He teaches introduction to theatre, basic design, theatre drafting, lighting technology, lighting design and advanced lighting design.

Daniel Stark

Daniel Stark, PA 212

Dance Technique

E-mail: ;

Daniel Stark, Assistant Professor of Dance, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Iowa. As an instructor he has taught at the Beijing Dance Academy, Zenon in Minneapolis and most recently at the University of Iowa for three years as a Visiting Assistant Professor. He will teach Introduction to Dance, contemporary dance technique, ballet, jazz, conditioning, dance improvisation, dance composition and dance in technology.

Nick Wayne

Nick Wayne, PA 208

Music Director


Nick Wayne is a 2002 graduate of Bethany Lutheran College, where he majored in Music. In May 2004 he earned his Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Minnesota State Mankato, and has taught as an adjunct faculty at Minnesota State Mankato, Gustavus Adolphus College and Bethany Lutheran College. In addition, he served as Musical Director for MSU’s Mainstage productions of Man of La Mancha, Urinetown and Beauty and the Beast plus Highland Summer Theatre productions including Nunsense, Grease, The Robber Bridegroom and Bye Bye Birdie.


Adjunct Faculty

Christi Smith
Christina Dyrland Smith

Vocal Instruction

Christina Dyrland Smith is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. Her life-long performing career includes theatre, opera, musical theatre, concerts, recitals and more. She teaches voice at Gustavus Adolphus College as well as at Minnesota State Mankato, where her husband Steve is the Lighting Designer (their two daughters also love to perform!). Christi appeared in Highland Summer Theatre 2010 as "Rona Lisa Peretti" in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, 2008 in the ensemble of Smokey Joe’s Café and as “Eulalie Shinn” in The Music Man, HST 2007 as “Mae Peterson” in Bye Bye Birdie, HST 2006 as “Sister Mary Amnesia” in Nunsense, HST 2005 in Master Class, Beehive and Cinderella after making her HST debut in 2000 as one of Jerry’s Girls.

Allison Doughty
Allison Doughty



Allison is a proud Twin Cities native. A diverse performer, Allison’s stage experience ranges from principal ballet roles to dancing alongside comic Louie Anderson in musical theater review. After spending years training and performing in New York City and Chicago, she returned to Minneapolis to continue her performing career, and earn her BFA in Dance at the University of Minnesota. Locally, Allison was a founding member and principal dancer of the Saint Paul City Ballet Company from 2007-14, and served as Interim Artistic Director in 2012/13. She has also been a soloist with Eclectic Edge Ensemble, a Minneapolis-based jazz company, since 2006.

As a dance educator, Allison is blessed to have taught and choreographed both nationally and internationally. In 2010, she spent 8 months working with the Chiang Mai Ballet, and was honored by the U.S. Consulate in Thailand for her choreographic work. In addition to being adjunct faculty at Minnesota State University, Mankato since January 2014, she also currently teaches in the Twin Cities.

In 2013, Allison completed an MA in Holistic Health Studies from St. Catherine University. She balances her time spent in the dance studio with her work as a holistic nutrition and health coach, and has a passion for working with dancers and other inspired movers to create balance and wellness through whole foods and other holistic modalities. She will be teaching Beginning and Intermediate Ballet classes.

Giselle Mejia
Giselle Mejia



Giselle Mejia began learning traditional dances of Latin America from her family of Ecuador and by literally standing on the toes of her father the "Salsa King." She followed her heart through rigorous training at Larkin Dance Studio of Maplewood, MN and pursued a career in dance performance after earning her BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance in New York.

After traveling internationally to perform in styles of Jazz, Tap, Modern, Latin, Contemporary and Hip Hop, she co-founded Curio Dance to fulfill her purpose as an Artistic Director and Choreographer, most recently establishing Team iLuminate, as seen on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. She continues to curate and direct the show Drop The Mic, an all-styles dance production, which is in it’s 5th season at the The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts. Giselle recently returned from performing in New York City in the off-broadway "iLuminate." She will teach Tap and Beginning Jazz classes as an adjunct faculty at Minnesota State University, Mankato.