Theatre Arts

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Faculty & Staff


Erin Degner
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts,
Head of BFA Musical Theatre Program
261 Fine Arts Center
John Graham
Associate Professor Emeritus of Theatre
Amanda Jones
Teaching Artist of Piano
243 Fine Arts Center
Taylor Mayne Teaching Artist of Voice 250 Fine Arts Center
Erik Meixelsperger

Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre

264 Fine Arts Center

Tristan Miedema
Teaching Associate of Voice

234 Fine Arts Center

Shayne Mims Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre

262 Fine Arts Center

John Pomeroy
Professor of Theatre Arts
258 Fine Arts Center
Josefa Poppen
Instructor of Theatre Arts 
Head of BFA Design/Technology Program
263 Fine Arts Center
Dr. Michael Rothmayer
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts,
Department Chair
256 Fine Arts Center
Michael Tomlinson
Adjunct Instructor of Dance

Jacob Lemons
Fine Arts Coordinator, Administrative Assistant for Department of Theatre Arts

273A Fine Arts Center

Departmental Accompanists: 

Sonya Siebert teaches piano lessons at her home in Des Moines. But she’s not old or boring. She earned her Master of Music in piano performance from the University of Kansas. She has toured with traveling Broadway shows including Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot, and Cabaret. She has played for productions at the Des Moines Playhouse and Des Moines Civic Center and with the Des Moines Symphony. She has performed in Canada and France, and also with local chamber groups, theater camps and Suzuki recitals. She enjoys playing tennis, going to the lake and is rated a 10 on the fun scale at (OK, the last part is the only one that’s made up).

Francine Griffith is a musician/educator in the Des Moines area. Some of her collaborations include: staff accompanist at Drake University, private piano instructor, Kinder Choir Director at Plymouth Congregational Church, musical director and pianist/repetiteur for area theatre productions. Ms. Griffith earned her BME from Drake, studying piano with Chiu-Ling Lin, and has taught Elementary Music in the Waukee School System.

Ling Yu Hsiao joined Drake as staff accompanist in 2020. She is the music therapist for St. Croix Hospice in the Des Moines area and is also staff accompanist at Dowling Catholic High School. She earned degrees in general music at CUNY Queens College, collaborative piano at the Eastman School of Music, and music therapy at Appalachian State University. She previously served as staff accompanist at Hofstra University, CUNY Queens, and Appalachian State. 

Flint Hawes has had a very fun career touring the world with Broadway shows as a Music Director, conductor and pianist.  Career highlights include national tours of Jesus Christ Superstar, Peter Pan, The Lion King, Avenue Q, Wicked, Bat Out of Hell, and the international tour of An American in Paris.  Flint earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music (piano) from Millikin University.  In addition to touring, he has played many cabarets, benefit concerts, accompanied choirs, musical theater students, music directed theater camps, played for churches, judged show choir competitions…. And randomly, flies airplanes!

Kathy Gedler received her Bachelor of Music Education with an emphasis in piano from Simpson College, and her Master of Arts in Education from Viterbo University. She taught music in public schools for 34 years.  Kathy has accompanied various levels of Heartland Youth Choir since 2003, plays for church services, and is an accompanist at Waukee Middle School.  She enjoys playing for weddings and solo/ensemble activities.  Kathy is a piano instructor with Drake University Community School of Music and resides in WDM and has 3 grown musician children along with a husband, dog and 2 cats and a garden.

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