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Chaya Gordon-Bland, Founding 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. 

Rebecca Bailey, Interim 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. 

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Director of Operations and Production

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Tara Moses, Director
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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
Website: www.taramoses.com 

Photo Credit: Teresa Siler

Mickey Morstad, Stage Manager/Education Coordinator

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​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.