Chaya Gordon Headshot.jpg

Chaya Gordon-Bland, Executive Artistic Director

Chaya Gordon-Bland is a co-founder of the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival and an Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of South Dakota. Chaya holds an MFA in Performance Pedagogy from the University of Pittsburgh. Her professional background includes work as an actor, teaching artist, dramaturg, director, and fight director at theatre companies across the country, including the American Shakespeare Center, New England Shakespeare Festival, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, American Globe Theatre, Inwood Shakespeare Festival, Hawaii Shakespeare Festival, Black Hills Playhouse, and Native Voices at the Autry. Chaya is a member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the Association of Theatre Movement Educators (ATME), the Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA) and the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD). In 2018 she was  honored with the Belbas-Larson Excellence in Teaching Award, in the tenured category, at the University of South Dakota. 

Brian Smallwood, Director of Operations and Production

Smallwood Pic.jpg

Brian Smallwood has project managed as a Technical Director and Production Manager for dozens of Off and Off-Off Broadway companies. He co-founded a production company called No Time for Love Productions, with clients like the Ma-Yi Theater Company, New York Musical Festival, New York Photo Festival, and Second Stage. He graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 2013 with an MFA in Technical Design and Production. Brian is currently an Associate Professor and Production Manager for James Madison University’s School of Theatre and Dance. Brian’s research interests include structural engineering for production and increasing productivity through employee wellness. Watch for Brian’s book: Productivity Through Wellness for the Live Entertainment and Theatre Technician: Increasing Productivity, Avoiding Burnout, and Maximizing the Value of An Hour slated for release in May 2020.



Tara Moses, Director
Tara Moses Photo by Teresa Siler.png

Tara Moses (she/her) is a citizen of Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Mvskoke, a director, multi award-winning playwright, co-Artistic Director of Red Eagle Soaring, co-Founder of Groundwater Arts, and associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Most recently, her work as a director has been seen with Brown/Trinity Rep (Providence, RI); Princeton University (Princeton, NJ); Spectrum Theatre Ensemble (Providence, RI); The Manton Avenue Project (Providence, RI); San Francisco Playhouse (San Francisco, CA); Red Eagle Soaring and ACT Theatre (Seattle, WA); American Indian Community House (New York, NY); Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.); Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (New Haven, CT); Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective (New York, NY); telatúlsa (Tulsa, OK); Oklahoma Indigenous Theatre Company (Edmond, OK); Serenbe Playhouse (Chattahoochee Hills, GA); and Amerinda (New York, NY). She holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Tulsa and is a M.F.A. candidate in Directing at Brown University/Trinity Rep.
Twitter/Instagram: @taratomahawk

Photo Credit: Teresa Siler

Mickey Morstad, Stage Manager/Education Coordinator

Mickey Morstad Headshot.jpg

​Mickey is an MFA Directing candidate at the University of South Dakota. This is his first production with SDSF. Some of his favorite outside directing credits include Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook and his original adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at GREAT Theatre in St. Cloud, Minnesota.