Theatre Department Faculty & Staff

Department chair: Jim VanValen | Contact info


Scott Olinger, Professor of Theatre, is Cornell's production manager and scenic/lighting designer, and he teaches courses in all aspects of stagecraft. His work has been seen at Riverside Theatre, Pennsylvania Center Stage, Theatre Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Juniata College, Cornell College, and on Iowa City Cable Television.  M.F.A. in design, Penn State University; B.A. in theatre, University of Northern Iowa. Read more

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Scott Olinger

Jim VanValen, Associate Professor of Theatre, is a professional actor who teaches courses in acting; voice and movement; Meisner; and auditioning. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, Jim spent three years as a resident actor with the historic Barter Theatre and has performed throughout the country in such regional theatres as The Fulton Opera House and Florida’s Riverside Theatre. M.F.A. in acting, University of Iowa; M.A. in theatre arts and B.A. in English, State University of New York at Stony Brook. Read more

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Jim VanValen

Janeve West, Associate Professor of Theatre, is a teaching-artist, director, and actor. She teaches in the areas of theatre history and directing. Janeve spent three years as a director/actor for the Omaha Theatre Company. She has directed a variety of world premieres, devised pieces and fully scripted productions for The Llano Estacado Institute for the Performing Arts, and at multiple venues in western Illinois, Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill. M.F.A. in theatre with a dual emphasis in directing and acting, Texas Tech University; B.A. in theatre and English education, Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan. Read more

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Janeve West

Amy Barr, Lecturer in Theatre, teaches dance classes

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Ron Clark, Distinguished Artist in Residence, teaches acting classes and directs Cornell productions. He is a founder and co-artistic director of Iowa City's Riverside Theatre, and has performed extensively, including recent roles as Lear in King Lear and Willie Loman in Death of Salesman. He and Jody Hovland won the STAR Award (Service To Arts in the Region) in 1998. M.F.A. in acting, University of Iowa.  Read more

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Ron Clark

Jody Hovland, Distinguished Artist in Residence, teaches acting courses at Cornell and is a founder and co-artistic director of Iowa City's Riverside Theatre. She has appeared at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Institution, and toured in many plays. Recent roles include Goneril in King Lear and Mistress Quickly in The Merry Wives  of Windsor for the Riverside Theatre Shakespeare Festival. M.F.A. in acting, University of Iowa; M.A. in English, University of North Dakota.  Read more

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Jody Hovland

Jenny Nutting Kelchen, Costume Shop Supervisor and Lecturer in Theatre, is a professional costume designer and artist who teaches costume design and construction at Cornell.  In addition to Cornell productions, she has performed costume work for The University of Iowa, Iowa Summer Rep, Coe College, Grinnell College, and Riverside Theatre. M.F.A. in costume design, University of Iowa; B.A. in studio art, University of Northern Iowa.  Read more

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Jenny Nutting-Kelchen

Don Schneider, Technical Director and and Lecturer in Theatre, teaches courses in stagecraft.

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 Don Schneider

Cathy Schonhorst, Academic Program Assistant   

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Cathy Schonhorst