Theatre Faculty


Jim Weaver
Director, Kent State Stark Theatre & Main Stage Productions

Jim Weaver is a director and choreographer whose body of work includes productions of Next to Normal, In the Heights, David Mamet’s Race, Spunk, Purlie, August Wilson’s Radio Golf, Fences, and Jitney, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Five Guys Named Moe, Guys And Dolls, Once On This Island, Saturday Night, Ain’t Misbehavin’, A Soldier’s Play and several others; including award winning productions of A Raisin in the Sun and Floyd Collins. Mr. Weaver, a Master of Fine Arts recipient from Kent State University, has had his work seen at New York’s Lincoln Center, The American Stage Festival, Maine State Music Theatre, The Weston Playhouse, Cape Playhouse, Porthouse Theatre, The American Stage Company, Bay Street Theatre, and many others in addition to choreographing productions of Ragtime, The Rocky Horror Show, and Legally Blonde for Kent State. Internationally, his work has been presented in The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, and Austria. In addition to his work as a director and choreographer, Mr. Weaver is an actor and singer who has performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, regionally, and across Europe. He has been seen on television, in films, and can be heard on several cast recordings and voice-overs. Mr. Weaver is a proud member of SDC with further information available at  

Michael GattoMichael Gatto
Adjunct Faculty

Michael Gatto is an adjunct instructor and resident fight choreographer in the School of Theatre and Dance at the Stark and Kent campuses. He is a proud member of AEA and has been a recognized Advanced Actor-Combatant with the SAFD since 2001. His performance experience includes professional work in New York, Cleveland, Akron, and Alabama. Michael was the visiting theatre director at Lake High School from 2008 to 2012 and now runs a performing arts summer camp there. As a fight choreographer, his credits include professional, non-equity, collegiate and high school productions. For Kent State, he has choreographed the stage violence for Crazy For You, Huck Finn, Tons of Money, Nathan the Wise, Hamlet, and House of Blue Leaves. Michael received his BFA in Acting from the University of the Arts, and his MFA in Classical Theatre from the University of Alabama/Alabama Shakespeare Festival's MFA/PAT program. His greatest role to date is that of proud father to two wonderful children. 

Ron JarvisRon Jarvis
Adjunct Faculty

You might recognize Ron Jarvis as a performer, producer, music director, and/or composer for such stalwart North East Ohio acts as The Buckeye Biscuit Band, Ital, First Light, Alex Bevan, Pat Dailey and, most recently, Macaw; the American Worldbeat Band.  He is also an adjunct faculty member at Kent State where he has taught Art of the Theatre and Theatre Criticism classes as well as the three part series of Sound Design and Technology classes for the Entertainment Arts and Technologies certificates program.  Ron has worked with world renowned directors Vincent Dowling (composition for The Winter’s Tale at Kent State) as well as Ping Chong (Blindness: The Irresistible Light Of Encounter at La Mama Theatre in NYC) and has served as a live mix consultant at Geauga Lake and Cedar Point Amusement Parks. Although his first sound design for Kent State Stark was for the 2002 production of Dancing at Lughnasa, since 2007 he has designed many of the Kent State Stark theatrical productions including Oklahoma!, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Into the Woods, The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Mikado, Crazy for You, Dating is Tough to Do...and Funny, Too! and Songs for a New World. 

Arwen MitchellArwen Mitchell
Adjunct Faculty

Arwen Mitchell is a Midwest-based writer, dramaturge, and historian with over a decade of experience in playwriting, dramaturgy, and theatre history. Her work focuses on American history, women’s studies, pop culture, and humanism. As the co-facilitator and writer for The Old State Capitol’s "Living History" program in Springfield, Illinois, she developed versatile dramatic material and programming for historic sites, and frequently performed one of her pieces as Frances Dana Barker Gage, noted 19th-century abolitionist. Her produced plays include RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), Bitter Pills, The Maybe Pile, Everybody Has One, and I’ve Got Nothing to Do Today But Smile, About Face, and A Giant Leap. She is a company member of Ohio City Theatre Project (OCTP), and has served as dramaturge for their production of The Bald Soprano, as well as dramaturge/co-creator for their original production of Free Radical and The Late Night Sketchbook. OCTP will also produce Arwen's full-length vaudeville-style play Snake Oil (or, Kilbride & Delacourt's Forever Remedy - A Night's Entertainment) in the spring of 2015.  She is the recipient of the second Nord Playwriting Fellowship at Cleveland Public Theatre. Arwen holds an MS in Theatre History & Criticism from Illinois State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. She is a member of the Dramatist's Guild. 

Louis WilliamsLouis Williams
Adjunct Faculty & Theatre Specialist

Louis Williams is the resident technical director, an adjunct faculty member and the scenic and lighting designer at Kent State Stark and has designed over 200 productions in 30 years in theatre, opera, ballet and rock-n-roll. This includes work with such theatre companies as: The American Ballet Theatre II, The Joffrey Ballet II, The Arizona Theatre Company, The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, The Kenley Players, The Ohio Light Opera, The Cleveland Opera, The Cinncinnati Opera, Southern Arizona Light Opera Company, Carousel Dinner Theatre, The Agora, Cleveland Ohio, The Temple Of Music And Art, Tucson, Arizona, ChildsPlay Inc, of Phoenix, Arizona, and The Scottsdale Civic Center, Scottsdale, Arizona.  

His concert lighting design credits include work with: Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn, B.B. King, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, James Cotton, Willie Dixon, Bobby Blue Bland, Carmine Appice, Donnie Iris, Eric Carmen, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. His film and television credits include Desert Bloom, produced by Johnny Carson Productions and the Sundance Film Institute, and episodes of Simon and Simon with Gerald McCraney and Jameson Parker.  

Louis’ extensive lighting crew experience includes work with: David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Celine Dion, White Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, Black Sabbath, Ozzie Osbourne, Michael Bolton, Wynona Judd, Sting, Aerosmith, Korn, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Marilyn Manson, REM, Pearl Jam, Todd Rundgren, Sam Kinison, Joe Walsh, Destiny’s Child, Slipknot, Blues Traveller, Clint Black, Faith Hill, Stevie Nicks, The Dixie Chicks, Alan Jackson, Rusted Root, Pavement, Janes Addiction, Henry Rollins, and Tool. Louis was on the I.A.T.S.E crew for the installation of the original National Tours of Phantom of the Opera and The Secret Garden at the Palace Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Williams has award winning designs for Death of a Salesman and A Little Night Music, and was inducted into Who’s Who in America for 2011.  

Stephen OstertagStephen Ostertag
Adjunct Faculty & Costume Designer

Stephen is excited to be a part of Kent State Stark Theatre’s creative team. Stephen earned his BFA in Theatre Design and Technology from Kent State University in 2015. After graduating in the top of his class, Stephen immediately joined Kent State University Stark as their Costume Designer in residence and adjunct instructor teaching Costume Design and Makeup courses. The proud father of three, Stephen founded the Silver Star Youth Theatre Company with his wife, Tricia. For five years Silver Star provided theatrical opportunities for young performers through collaboration with Stark Parks. Stephen hopes to continue working in theatre instruction at every age level, “Theatre is about community and team work, qualities which are vital to a healthy society.” Some of his favorite design credits include: Spring Awakening, Cabaret, These Shining Lives, Almost Maine, Memphis, Silent Sky, and Sister Act.