Theatre Arts Faculty

Full Time Faculty

Rogers JoelJoel P. Rogers

Director of Musical Theatre
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts
Office: Day Hall 101
Phone: (828) 689-1203
Education: B.F.A., Northern Kentucky University; M.F.A., University of Memphis

Joel came to Mars Hill University from California State University, Chico, where he was the director of the Musical Theatre Degree Program. He served as chair of the Department of Theatre (CSU, Chico) for five years and for a year served as dean of Visual, Applied, and Performing Arts at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California. He was the president of the Chico Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi and served on many university committees. He has been very active in KC/ACTF in Region VII and Region VIII and has served as festival accompanist and as a respondent for many productions throughout the region. Prior to California State University, Chico, Joel was the director of theatre for Bethel University in Tennessee for two years. Joel has served as artistic director for theatre on the Ridge in Paradise, California, and for many years was the producer/artistic director of Court Theatre, a summer repertory company associated with CSU, Chico. Joel earned a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre Performance from Northern Kentucky University and an M.F.A. in Direction from the University of Memphis. He has served as musical director/conductor for over a hundred productions and has directed several shows around the country. Some of his favorite productions have been Hello Again, A Little Night Music, The Will Rogers Follies, H.M.S. Pinafore, Gross Indecency, Urinetown: the Musical, Fiddler on the Roof, Into the Woods, Side by Side by Sondheim, Honk!, and Tintypes. A member of Actors' Equity Association, he has appeared in such shows as Man of a Mancha (Padre), Cabaret (Ernst Ludwig), Ruthless: the Musical (Sylvia St. Croix), Pump Boys and Dinettes (L.M.), Nunsense A-Men (Reverend Mother), and Anything Goes (Sir Evelyn Oakleigh). Joel serves as a member of the Regional Selection Team for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival and is the Respondent Coordinator for North Carolina and Virginia for Region IV for KC/ACTF. In his spare time, Joel has served at several churches as organist/choirmaster, most recently at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal in Chico, California. He is currently the Director of Music at Grace Episcopal Church in Asheville, NC.

Gregg BillWilliam E. Gregg

Professor of Theatre Arts
Executive Producing Director of the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre

Office: Spilman 402
Phone: (828) 689-1377
Education: B.A., Mars Hill College; M.F.A., University of Virginia

Bill Gregg came to Mars Hill University from the New American Theater in Rockford, Illinois, where he was the producing artistic director. He has directed many productions all over the country, in New York City, Washington, DC, Minneapolis, and Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre. He has previously served as artistic director for TheatreVirginia in Richmond, where he staged Harvey, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and Terra Nova (which won best director, best production, best scenic design, and best supporting actor from Richmond critics). At the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Bill worked as production stage manager and assistant director to Artistic Director, Liviu Ciulei. Among Bill’s directing repertoire are such plays as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Steel Magnolias, Zelda, The Glass Menagerie, Peter Pan, Grace and Glorie, The Importance of Being Earnest, Always, Patsy Cline, and Pump Boys and Dinettes. In Bill’s first year at Mars Hill College, he taught several classes and directed the theatre arts department’s production of The Little Foxes. Bill is married to actress, singer, and RN, Elizabeth Aiello. They are the proud parents of Cameron Michael, Lucas James, and Emelia Anne. Bill holds a B.A. in Theatre from Mars Hill College and an M.F.A. in Drama/Acting and Directing from the University of Virginia.

Richard Seagle Seagle Richard

Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts
Technical Director

Office: Spilman 401
Phone: (828) 689-1397
Education: B.A., Catawba College; M.F.A., University of Alabama

Richard Seagle holds a B.A. in Theatre from Catawba College and holds a M.F.A. degree in Design and Technical Theatre from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. He has supervised all technical aspects of countless theatrical productions and special events in many local venues including the Biltmore Estate Outdoor Festivals and Asheville Community Theatre. Richard manages bookings and supervises events taking place in Moore Auditorium on the campus of Mars Hill University. He serves as designer and technical director for most departmental shows. Richard also designs for scenery for Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre in the summers as well as serving as production manager for the SART season. Richard’s freelance design work includes set designs for mountain area groups such as Jericho Players, Parkway Playhouse, and Highland Repertory Theatre. Richard has received numerous awards which acknowledge his design work and academic work. Graduate set designs for Of Mice and Men and The Three Sisters were adjudicated by Ming Cho Lee in conjunction with the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (Region III). Designs for The Three Sisters received regional acknowledgement for best set design in a competition sponsored by the university. Richard was also honored this year by Catawba College and was inducted into their Blue Masque Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to the theatre profession and his meritorious life in theatre.

Emeritus Faculty

C. Robert Jones

CrobertjonesProfessor Emeritus of Theatre Arts
Founder, Musical Theatre Degree Program
Former Chair, Department of Theatre Arts
Founding member and Staff Director, Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre

Web page:
Education: B.A, University of South Carolina; MA, University of Georgia; MFA, The Catholic University of America; Fulbright Grant: The Sorbonne, Paris and the Faculté des Lettres, University of Dijon, France; Oglebay Opera Institute with Boris Goldovsky; Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities, Yale University.

C. Robert came to Mars Hill University after a four-year stint as Artistic Director of The Little Theatre in Savannah Georgia (26 shows), and five years as Chair and Founder of the Theatre Arts Department at Gardner-Webb University. While in Savannah, he founded the Little Theatre’s Drama School, started its Theatre Guild, and directed the theatre’s first play for children. As Gardner-Webb University was going from Junior College to Senior College status, he built the four-year theatre arts degree program, and in the first senior graduating class saw five students achieve their BA’s in Theatre Arts. Starting his theatre work first as an actor in Washington, DC, C. Robert moved to directing and playwriting. He has written about fifty plays covering the wide spectrum of theatre from children’s plays to mystery plays, to romantic comedies, to serious dramas. He is also a composer. His musical, Rivals, which premiered at the University was a winner of the David B. Marshall Musical Theatre Award from the University of Michigan. His musical, Mandy Lou, was produced by SART, and the University produced his musical Treasures at its Sesquicentennial Celebration in 2006. He is author of three one-person shows about such diverse personalities as Jenny Lind, Bert Williams, and Stephen Foster. C. Robert was honored in 2011 with the Robert Chesley Foundation Playwriting Award for his plays, The Love Quartette and The Catbird Seat. That award also included a three-month writing residency at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico where he wrote a theatrical memoir, I Like It Here! His plays have been performed in all the forty-eight contiguous states and in Canada. Among those which have brought exceptional pleasure are The Clown (for children), Chiaroscuro (Nocturne), which was a winner in Theatre Memphis’s national play search, and Taking A Chance On Love, SART’s ScriptFest Winner in 2005. His latest musical (Broadway Babies, 2016) is in development. C. Robert is also the author of the four-volume children’s short story series, Lanky Tales.

Neil St. Clair

NeilstclairProfessor Emeritus of Theatre Arts
Former Chair, Department of Theatre Art
Education: B.A., Mars Hill University; M.F.A., University of Houston

Neil St. Clair began his tenure at Mars Hill College in the fall of 2000 as the Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts and Production Manager for The Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre. He came to Mars Hill after 17 years as Chair of the Division of Communications and the Director of Theatre at Howard Payne University in Texas. He holds a B.M. in Music and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Mars Hill College. After graduation he completed an internship at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and then worked as a professional actor, stage manager, and music director for four and half years. In 1981, he received an M.F.A. from the University of Houston and served an internship at Houston Grand Opera. He is all but dissertation for a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University. During his years at University of Houston, Mr. St. Clair studied mime under Claude Caux and was a member of his troupe for two years. St. Clair also served as Director of Theatre at Alief-Elsik High School, a 5A school in the Houston area from 1981-1983. In 1995, Neil won the “Outstanding Faculty Member Award” for Howard Payne University. In 2011, he was awarded The Mars Hill College Faculty/Staff Heritage Award for dedicated and long-term service to the College. Mr. St.Clair began his relationship with The Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre in 1978 and through the years worked as an actor, stage manager, and director. He also served as Production Manager from 2000-2009. Neil twice taught theatre courses in Oxford, England for the World Class Oxford Program, a consortium between Howard Payne University and two other Texas universities.

James W. Thomas

JameswthomasProfessor Emeritus of Theatre Arts
Former Chair, Division of Fine Arts, Mars Hill University

James W. Thomas is the Dean of the School of Performing and Visual Arts at Gardner-Webb. He is best known for his 38 years at Mars Hill College, where he chaired both the Theatre Arts Department and the Division of Fine Arts. He is also Founding Director of the award-winning regional theatre, the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, which he founded in 1975 and which is still going strong. He has also been honored with numerous awards and accolades, including the North Carolina Theatre Conference's Distinguished Career award and North Carolina's highest civilian award, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine."