Loyola Theatre Arts & Dance Department Welcomes New and Returning Fall Faculty

The Loyola Department of Theatre Arts and Dance will welcome some new and familiar faces to our faculty this fall. 

Kai Knight will be returning to take over for Alyssa Stover, who is heading to graduate school. Knight will be teaching both Basic Ballet and Jazz Dance for Musicals. A choreographer, performer, and instructor, Knight is an active member in the New Orleans based cultural performance companies Kumbuka African Drum and Dance Collective and Bamboula 2000 Band. She is the Artistic Director of Silhouette Dance Ensemble and Breathe! /A Multi-Cultural Collective Breath through Movement Company. 

Karl Lengel will be sharing his wealth of knowledge in our Stage Management course. Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. Lengel has stage managed productions including Broadway productions of Miss Saigon and Minnelli on Minnelli, and national tours of Les Miserables, Cats, Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Annie.

We are thrilled to have Helen Jaksch back to teach World Theatre I. Jaksch has produced and served as dramaturg for new plays, devised performances, and youth play-making programs in New York, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Texas. A passionate advocate for young voices and community artists, she serves as Southern Rep's Associate Artistic Director and Director of Arts Education. Jaksch will also be directing Cadillac Crew by Tori Sampson at Loyola this fall.

Brendan Connelly, an exciting addition to the department, will teach Sound Design. Connelly is a composer and performer from Queens, New York- now living in New Orleans. He is co-founder of the Obie-award winning Two-headed Calf (along with director Brooke O’Harra) and has created the sound and music for all of its productions, including You, My Mother, Trifles, Room for Cream, Major Barbara, and Drum of the Waves of Horikawa.

Elizabeth Parent, a long time faculty member, will be teaching Costume Design. Parent holds an MFA in Design from Tulane University in New Orleans. Parent has taught and designed for over thirty years. Her accolades include multiple Big Easy awards, Storer Boone Awards and an Alpha award. She was Costume Director/Designer of Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre for 15 seasons. Her costume designs have been featured at the World Travel Gala in Manhattan.

We are honored to have Sherri Marina  joining our family to teach Black Theatre: 1940s-Present. Marina is an actress, best known for Girls Trip (2017), Deal (2008), and Freshman Orientation (2004). She earned her Bachelor in Fine Arts from Kent State University, then continued her education at the University of Iowa, earning an MFA in Acting. Marina has also previously served as Dillard University's Chair of the Theatre Department.


By Madeline Taliancich