Faculty & Staff

Joe Anderson headshotJoseph K. Anderson, Department Chair, Professor
Costume & Makeup Design
MFA University of Minnesota
BS Mankato State University
158 Center for the Arts

Joe Anderson has been on faculty in the Theatre Department at UWL since the fall of 1991.  He received his MFA in Costume and Makeup Design from the University of Minnesota.  Joe designs costumes and makeup for nearly all the theatre productions at UWL and SummerStage seasons.  He also free-lance designs for professional theatre and dance companies in the region. His design work has brought him as far away as Cairo, Egypt where he designed for the American University in Cairo.

Ruthann BensonRuthann Benson, Dean
Dean's Office ~ College of Liberal Studies
235 Thomas Morris Hall

Dean Benson has worked in UW-L Administration for nine years as Associate Dean/Director of the School of Arts and Communication.  At the college level, she has worked with financial management, personnel planning and hiring, public relations, enrollment management, strategic planning, event planning, fundraising, physical facilities planning and arts management and advocacy.  She chairs the UW-L Select Committee on Internationalization and administers the London Study Program.  Dr. Benson is tenured in the Department of Theatre Arts, where she served for three years as Director of Theatre and over a 13-year period taught courses in acting, directing, playwriting, theatre management, contemporary theatre, theater appreciation and dramatic literature & theatre arts (Honors Program).  Her directing credits at UW-L include Comedy of Errors, The Elephant Man, Glass Menagerie, Voice of the Prairie, Pippin, 1940’s Radio Hour and Little Women.  She has taught in the UW-L Scotland Summer Program, the UW-L Ireland Summer Program and has accompanied the UW-L Orchestra, Concert Choir and Jazz Ensemble on performance tours to Europe to coordinate university relations with exchange universities and sister cities.  Dr. Benson holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts/Theatre from Texas Tech University, a M.F.A. in Arts Management from University of Iowa and a B.S. in English and a B.A. in Speech/Theatre (with teacher certification) from Iowa State University.

Beth CherneBeth Cherne, Professor
Directing, Theatre Studies
Ph.D University of Minnesota
MA University of Minnesota
BA University of Wisconsin-Superior
350 Center for the Arts

Beth joined the UWL Theatre faculty in the fall of 2000. Beth teaches theatre appreciation, directing, and theatre studies, as well as directing productions for each UWL season and handling publicity for The Department of Theatre Arts.  Beth has taught acting, directing, theatre history, dramatic literature, non-western theatre, women playwrights and other theatre subjects at Winona State University, University of Minnesota at Morris, and the University of Oregon in Eugene, and has directed numerous productions in the Twin Cities.

Michelle Collyar, Costume Shop Supervisor
SB 12 Center for the Arts

Walter Elder's HeadshotWalter Elder, Associate Professor
Voice & Movement, Musical Theatre
MFA University of Oklahoma
BFA Carnegie Mellon University 
352 Center for the Arts

Most recently having taught at Interlochen Center for the Arts and Juniata College, Walter joins the faculty this year at UW-La Crosse.  Walter has worked in New York, around the country and abroad.  He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Society of American Fight Directors, and Black Earth Collaborative Arts Company.

Mandy Hart's HeadshotAmanda Hart, Assistant Professor
Scenic & Lighting Design
MA Ohio State University
BA University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
155 Center for the Arts

Mandy joined the Department of Theatre Arts in fall 2007 as an associate lecturer and scenic/lighting designer.  Mandy most recently moved from New York City where she designed for the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre and Three Graces Theatre Company.  Prior to moving to New York, Mandy served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps at St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Montona where she taught reading to kindergartners and participated in the volunteer fire department.  Mandy has designed scenery for Inspecting Carol and Cabaret and lights for Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Monkey King.

Laurie Kincman, Assistant Professor
Stage Management & Arts Administration
MFA University of California, Irvine
BA Dartmouth College
356 Center for the Arts

Laurie teaches courses in Stage Management and Arts Administration at UWL. She has worked professionally in theatre, dance, and opera — selected credits include the Old Globe Theatre, Shakespeare Festival/LA, and for choreographers Donald McKayle and Jessica Ivanson. Laurie spent seven years with Malashock Dance & Company in San Diego CA, as a stage manager, Production Manager and subsequently also Managing Director. Most recently Laurie was the Production Manager and head of the stage management emphasis at the University of Arizona. She is a member of USITT, the Production Managers Forum, the Stage Managers Association, the Association for Arts Administration Educators and Actors Equity Association.

Mary Leonard's HeadshotMary Leonard, Professor
Acting & Directing  
MFA Minnesota State University
BA Hamline University   
157 Center for the Arts

Mary is the director of the performance program in the Department of Theatre Arts at UWL and teaches a variety of acting classes. She has directed a wide array of shows at the university. Most recently she combined forces with the music department to create of the new Music Theatre emphasis within the major. Mary is also the creator and director of "Camp Creative," a creative arts summer camp for children at Viterbo University.

Megan Riley, Associate Lecturer
Scene Shop Supervisor
10 Center for the Arts

Krista Shulka headshotKrista Shulka
Academic Department Associate/Box Office Manager

BA University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
154 Center for the Arts

Krista Shulka is the Academic Department Associate and Box Office Manager for the Department of Theatre Arts. She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a focus on HIV/AIDS. She is currently the coordinator of the UW-La Crosse Program Associate Professional Development (PAPD) program, a grassroots program dedicated to enhancing the value, impact, and competence of program associates on campus. In 2011, Krista won the YWCA Outstanding Woman of the Year Award for Arts Administration.

Ron Stoffregen's HeadshotRon Stoffregen,  Associate Professor
Technical Director, Sound Designer
MFA University of Alabama
BS University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
010 Center for the Arts
Ron's Personal Webpage

Ron has been a member of the UWL Faculty since 1990 after teaching at Colorado State University for 5 years.  Ron is very active in the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) and served as Co-Commissioner of Education from  1995-2001. Other areas of expertise include SPFX  (Pyrotechnics), Sound Design, & Computer-Assisted Drafting.