Technical and Creative Staff

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Daniel Bennett (Technical Director) Daniel Bennett, recently finished his second year of graduate school at Southern Illinois University. Growing up in Central Kentucky, he has spent time working at The Santa Fe Opera as well as lived in New York City where he worked for The Juilliard School, The Public Theater, and The Signature Theater.  After serving as the Assistant Technical Director last summer at McLeod, Daniel is excited for the opportunity to return as the Technical Director. He'd like to thank his wife, family, and friends for the supporting him through his theatrical journey.

Brandyn McGhee (Sound Designer) is currently employed as the technical director of the O’Neil Auditorium at John A. Logan College. In addition to sound design, he has a vast knowledge of scenic design and construction, and also lighting design. Over the past several years, he has worked with numerous theater companies and in many different theaters across Southern Illinois. This is his second season as sound designer for McLeod Summer Playhouse. McGhee greatly enjoys the work he does and would like to thank his family and friends for all of their continued support.

Caitlin Entwistle O’Donoghue (Costume Shop Manager)  is thrilled to be back at the McLeod Summer Playhouse for her ninth season! Previous credits with MSP include Spamalot, Hair, Cinderella, and The Drowsy Chaperon. During the school year, Caitlin is the costume shop manager in the Department of Theater at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Other design credits include Yerma, Twelfth Night and Ghosts (Illinois State University); The Book of Liz (Chemically Imbalanced Comedy); Shades of Heart and Birds of Paradise and Kudzu (Illinois State Dance Theatre).  Caitlin holds an M.F.A. in costume design from Illinois State University and a B.S. in theatre and apparel design from Central Michigan University.

Lisa Janssen (Producer, ASHSTP/Executive Director, CCA) is grateful for the partnership with McLeod Summer Playhouse to present the All Southern High School Theatre Project (ASHSTP).  Carbondale Community Arts (CCA) started the ASHSTP program in 1997. CCA is a local arts agency serving Carbondale and the 26 southernmost counties of Illinois. The overarching mission of CCA is to cultivate, nurture, and celebrate the creativity and vibrancy of our region. In her role as Executive Director and as a mother of two, Janssen is especially interested in providing high-quality programs for youth to participate in the arts.

Grenville Burgess (Scenic Designer: Once Upon a Mattress) recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with an M.F.A. in scenic design. He has designed for Virginia Repertory Theatre, Richmond Triangle Players, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Southern Mississippi. He is grateful to return to MSP after designing Into the Woods for last year's season.

Darryl Kent Clark (Choreographer: 9 to 5, The Musical, Once Upon a Mattress) is making his debut with MSP. Clark brings a total of over thirty years of experience as a choreographer and director to this position. His choreography runs the gamut from musicals to concert work and from Springfield Dance Alliance to dance entertainment for the Mike Ditka Foundation Benefits produced by Clements, Brady and Associates. Recently, he has extended his creative interests to direction and has staged productions of The It Girl and Nijinsky’s Last Dance.

Amber Cook (Costume Designer: Mamma Mia!) Amber is a costume and scenic designer and Assistant Professor of Costume Design for the Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University.  She has worked as a designer in professional and academic theatres across the country, including Off-Broadway. A proud member of United Scenic Artists, MFA in Production Design from Michigan State University. She is currently working on a book about digital textile design through Focal Press. Much Love to CGH.

Will Coeur (Lighting Designer: Mamma Mia!, Once Upon a Mattress)is a proud alumnus of the Southern Illinois University Department of Theater. Since graduating in 2008, he has worked professionally across the country in theaters both big and small. Recently, Coeur completed his M.F.A. degree in lighting design from Western Illinois University. Will is thrilled to return to MSP for yet another summer, having designed several shows over the last few seasons. Will would like to thank Mark and Tom for this wonderful opportunity, as well as his friends, family, and Sarah for their love and support.

Michael Frohling (Lighting Designer: The Jungle Book, 9 to 5, the Musical), is an Assistant Professor of Lighting and Sound at Western Kentucky University. His recent work includes These Shining Lives, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, and Evening of Dance all at Western Kentucky.  Regional theatre work includes Pacific Conservatory Theatre, New Harmony Theatre, GREAT Theatre, Theatre in the Round and the Guthrie Theater.  Past work at MSP includes The Producers and Little Women. He received his M.F.A. from SIU in 2010 and is thrilled to come back to MSP and Carbondale.

Jen Gillette (Costume Designer: Once Upon a Mattress)  resides in Washington, D.C. working as a Kenan fellow for The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Costume design credits include Bud, Not Buddy at the Center, Trojan Women with Taffety Pink, Cymbeline and A Midsummer Night Dream at New Orleans Shakespeare Festival; The Drowsy Chaperone and Angels of America an UNCSA, and Crimes of the Heart at Triad Stage. Credits as an installation artist installations for Columbus Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Gillette holds an M.F.A from University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Ronald Naversen (Scenic Designer: The Jungle Book, Mamma Mia!)received his B.A. in Theater from Miami University of Ohio, his M.F.A. in Theatre Design from Carnegie-Mellon University and his Ph.D. in Performance Studies and Theater with an emphasis in Theater History at Southern Illinois University. Ron taught at SIU for 30 years and serves as Emeritus Professor of Theater Design. He was Artist in Residence in Design for 2016-2017 at the Conservatory of Theater and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University. A member of United Scenic Artists 829, his freelance career has included designing for the Muny Opera, Westport Country Playhouse, Tulsa Opera, and New Harmony Theater. Ron’s designs, and writings can be viewed at his website:

Casey Watkins (Costume Designer: 9 to 5, the Musical) a native of Wilmington, NC, received her BA from North Carolina State University and her MFA in Costume Design from SIU.  She has worked, designed and taught at such places as North Carolina Theatre, Porthouse Theatre, Monomoy Theatre, Valdosta State University and of course, Southern Illinois University. Thrilled to be back at SIU, Casey looks forward to working with everyone!

Tim Wessel (Choreographer: Mamma Mia!) from Murphysboro, Illinois, is an alumnus of the SIU Bachelor of Fine Arts Musical Theater program. Since graduating he has been busy working as a performer on Disney Fantasy Cruise Lines, teaching Zumba in New York and, in the national and international tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat directed and choreographed by Tony Award winning, Andy Blankenbuehler.