The Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence
In 1985, country music legend Roy Acuff generously established an endowment to enrich the arts community at APSU and in Clarksville Montgomery County. The result was the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence, which brings regionally and nationally acclaimed artists to APSU to share their expertise with students and the community in a dynamic atmosphere of unrestricted experimentation. The Acuff Chair rotates between APSU's four creative arts areas—Creative Writing, Music, Theatre/Dance, and Visual Art—and has been filled each year with residencies by nationally and internationally known artists since its inception.
2019-2020 Acuff Chairs of Excellence -
Theatre & Dance
Fall (For More Info Click HERE)
John Patrick Shanley - Playwright - World Premiere Evening of One Act Plays: Five Savory Dishes - Nov. 21-24, 2019
A graduate of NYU and a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. He received the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for his 1987 film Moonstruck. In 1990, Shanley directed his script of Joe Vs. the Volcano starring Tom Hanks and also wrote two songs for it. In 1995, he wrote the screenplay for the film Congo. In 2005 Shanley’s play Doubt: A Parable was awarded the Pulitzer prize for Drama, and the Drama Desk and Tony awards for Best Play. He wrote and directed the film version of Doubt in 2008 starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis. This film was nominated for 5 Oscars, BAFTAS, Critics Choice Awards, SAG Awards, and Golden Globes. It won SAG and Critics Choice Awards. Mr. Shanley is the author of more than 23 plays which are frequently produced in the USA and Europe. For a full list of projects visit: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0788234/
Freddie Ashley - Director - World Premiere Evening of One Act Plays: Five Savory Dishes
Nov. 21-24, 2019
Freddie was appointed Artistic Director of Actors Express in July 2007. Suzi nominated productions directed at AE: Stupid F***ing Bird, Rent, The Rocky Horror Show, End of the Rainbow, Spring Awakening, Becky Shaw, Mauritius, Dark Play or Stories for Boys (Atlanta Journal Constitution Top Ten of 2007), The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and I Am My Own Wife (Atlanta Journal Constitution Top Ten of 2007). Suzi award winning productions at AE: Grey Gardens – Best Director of a Musical. Other directing credits include: A Man of No Importance – Theatre Gael (AJC Best Musical Revival of 2004), Lawrenceburg – Dad’s Garage (AJC Top Ten of 2006), and A Catered Affair (Suzi nomination.) Freddie is a faculty member at Kennesaw State University and holds degrees from University of So. Mississippi and Shorter College. For more info visit: https://www.freddieashley.com/.
Spring (For More Info Click HERE)
Antoinette DiPietropolo - Director/Choreographer - The Addams Family - April 23-26
As a director/choreographer/and actor Antionette has worked on stages and screens across the country. Working mostly in NYC, she has made a career of connecting with audiences through passion, movement, comedy and storytelling. Recent productions include: Hairspray (Argyle Theatre, NY) The Ride (NYC Bus Tour – 2013 Drama Desk Nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience), Mamma Mia (John Engeman Theatre NY), Shear Madness (Palace Theatre), FAME (National Tour), & Scooby Doo Live (International Tour). For more info visit: https://www.antoinettedipietropolo.com/.
ZFX - Flying Effects - The Addams Family - April 23-26
ZFX began 20 years ago as an idea in a Las Vegas garage, and is now the largest flying company in the world. Since our creation, ZFX has proudly grown with nearly 30 employees around the globe who are experts in their craft. All of our designers and craftsmen are year-round, full-time and dedicated professionals with keen instincts and the highest levels of training. We are the only flying effects company who has all of the following: in-house, custom design, a full studio dedicated to testing and proof of concept, complete in-house fabrication for custom effects, 3D motion control, quick cue writing, and an AWS certified welding inspector on staff, not to mention the most enthusiastic group of kilt-wearing, free-thinking artists you’ll find. For more info visit: https://www.zfxflying.com/
Ronald Keaton - Uncle Fester - The Addams Family - April 23-26
In his 4 plus decades as an actor, Ronald Keaton has established himself as a dependable and versatile performer at many theatres – Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane – Oakbrook,Theatre Wit, Oak Park Festival Theatre, First Folio Theatre, and several others in Chicago. Regional credits include: Indiana Rep, Coconut Grove, Houston’s Alley, and Nat Horne Theatre in New York. Ron has career paths in VO and commercial work. With artistic director Kurt Johns, he is now a producer at SoloChicago Theatre which is dedicated to the development of solo performance. His solo play CHURCHILL had a successful six-month run off-Broadway in 2015 and is currently touring around the country. Ron is also a proud member and elected representative to the Central Regional Board of Actor’s Equity Association. For more info visit: https://churchilltheplay.com/