Faculty & Staff

Eastern Oregon University Theatre Faculty & Staff

Ken Bush

Ken is Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts specializing in Acting and Directing. He received his BA in speech and theatre from Colorado State University and his MFA in directing from the Catholic University of America. Ken has also studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse under Sanford Meisner, the Stella Adler Studio with Stella Adler and Mano Siletti, and the Mirror Theatre with Geraldine Page. Ken came to EOU in 1999 to work in a smaller school and a better environment. Recent productions at Eastern include directing Our Town, A Flea In Her Ear, The Lion in Winter and Twelfth Night which received recognition at the 2000 NWDC/ACTF. In 2004, Ken directed the 75th anniversary production of Arms and the Man. In April, he appeared as Phineaus in Medea. And most recently he directed Fefu and Her Friends in an “environmental theatre” production that took place at the Stange Manor, one of La Grande’s finest historical homes. When asked about his greatest achievements, Ken was torn between once consoling a crying Michael Jackson and escorting Jackie Kennedy down the stairs of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street.

Kenn Wheeler


Kenn, in his twelfth year, is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts who considers himself a theatre generalist. His areas of concentration would include musical theatre, stage management and directing, but he also designs scenery, and teaches acting, theatre history, stage makeup and stage combat. He received his BA from Southern Utah University and his MFA from Michigan State University. His most recent project was directing the musical The Secret Garden. In the fall of 2010, Kenn was privileged to direct the first amateur university production of The Phantom of the Opera staged in the United States. While some of his favorite projects have included Urinetown, the Musical, Into the Woods, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Much Ado About Nothing, he considers his greatest productions to be his three daughters, Jennifer, Jessica and Jillian. He and his wife, Denise are now working on spoiling the Wheeler grandkids: Valin, Boston, Nathaniel and Oren

Michael Heather


Mike is excited to be the new Assistant Professor of Theatre in Design and Technology at Eastern Oregon where he will teache scenic design, lighting design and stagecraft. Previously Mike was Assistant Professor of Theatre at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. Other courses that he has taught include Sound and Costume Design, Introduction to Theatre, Theatre History, Stage Management, and Irish Drama. Mike earned his MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University in Design. He holds a BS in both Theatre and Social Studies/History from Southern Utah University. Towards that end Mike has been Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Georgetown College, Technical Director for Randolph College, Resident Designer and Technical Director for the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, Granbury Opera House and Black Hills Community Theatre. Mike has also worked for the “Mouse”, Walt Disney Resorts, Entertainment Art at Disneyland as a Consultant/Assistant Art Director. Last spring while at Augustana he directed the surreal comedy Romance Language for the Theatre Department. Some of Mike’s favorite plays on which he has worked include The Crucible, I Hate Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, The Fantasticks, Winnie the Pooh, To Kill a Mocking Bird, and Translations. His most brilliant production to date has been to collaborate with his wife, Martha in the creation of Connor, their four-year-old son. Mike holds memberships in USITT and the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society. Mike loves history, films, cooking, and an occasional canoe race.

Heather Tomlinson


This is Heather’s fourth at Eastern Oregon University. She is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts whose main focus is costuming. She received her BS in Clothing, Textiles and Design from the University of Idaho and also her MFA in Theatre Arts: Costuming from the University of Idaho. She received a KCACTF Certificate of Merit for her Costume Designs for The Country Wife. The costumes combined found objects with richly colored fabrics to create the ornate look of the Restoration Period. She has also designed costumes for Words, The Stonewater Rapture, and Oklahoma. Heather has worked for the Idaho Repertory Theatre and also the Tony Award winning Utah Shakespearean Festival. Last year, Heather designed costumes for EOU’s productions of Pippin and Macbeth.

Beckie Thompson-Hendrickson


Beckie is an adjunct faculty/guest choreographer who began training in ballet at the age of 3 and was dancing professionally by her teens. She has danced with the former Portland Ballet Theatre and Portland Repertory Theatre with special solo appearances in My Fair Lady, Kiss Me Kate, and The Music Man to name a few. She has over 30 years experience as a professional dancer, teacher, choreographer and coach. Beckie says that her two children are her greatest accomplishments! Her daughter Daisy is a dancer for the Portland Trail Blazers and her son George is a singer, songwriter living in New York. In 1980, she opened Beckie’s Studio of Dance and coached and choreographed the La Grande High School’s Competitive Dance Team for ten years. She was an artist in residence at Luigi Galvani Institute in Quito Ecuador teaching dance to over 350 school children in 2004. She also served as adjudicator for the Portland Trail Blazers dance team finals in selecting their 06-07 & 07-08 teams. She has been resident choreographer and instructor for the EOU Theatre Program since 1994 choreographing such shows as The Scarlet Pimpernel, Fiddler On the Roof, Coyote Tales and As You Like It. Most recently, she choreographed EOU’s production of Pippin .

Student Staff for 2013 – 2014

  • Alexander Fuller – House Manager
  • Nicole Terrill – Box Office Manager
  • Hayley Stavenger – Costume Shop Manager
  • Caitlin Burke – Costume Shop Assistant
  • Caleb Hulsey – Assistant Scene Shop Technical Director
  • Joshua Cornwell – Promotions Assistant
  • Johann Hoogstraten – Promotions Assistant
  • Caleb Stavenger – Promotions Assistant
  • Bryn McLaughlin - McKenzie Theatre Student Technician
  • Rachel Bentz – Assistant McKenzie Theatre Student Technician


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