South Dakota Shakespeare Festival 2023 Season Board of Directors
Carol Geu, President
University of South Dakota, Art Department
Carol Geu (She/Her) is a senior lecturer for the Art Department at the University of South Dakota, teaching online art history courses and faculty led programs to Europe. She was born and raised in southeast Nebraska. Geu received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with majors in painting and art history and a minor in business administration and a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of South Dakota. She continues to be a student of art history, art criticism, and philosophy. Before moving to South Dakota, Geu worked as a graphic designer for newspapers, advertising agencies, and educational institutions in Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. and also had the pleasure of serving as an intern for the curator of works on paper at the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. In her free time Geu enjoys supporting the arts, reading, gardening, and spending time with her family.
Joe Stollenwerk, Vice President
University of South Dakota, Assistant Professor of Directing
Joe Stollenwerk is Assistant Professor of Directing at the University of South Dakota where he oversees the MFA Directing program and also teaches acting, playwriting, film, and theatre history. He received his Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from Indiana University, his MA in English and Master of Education from Xavier University, and his BA in Drama from Kenyon College. He has worked with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Know Theatre, Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Indiana Festival Theatre, Black Hills Playhouse, and many others, including Ovation Theatre Company in Cincinnati, which he co-founded and served as Artistic Director for nine years.
Rich Holland, Treasurer
Vermillion Community Member
Rich Holland was raised, educated, and worked in Los Angeles, California. He is an electrical engineer who had a 35-year career as an Aerospace Engineer and Manager. In California, Rich’s hobbies included early music performance, management of early music workshops, and performances for the Southern California Recorder Society. After retirement and moving to South Dakota, Rich was elected to the Vermillion City Council and has served nine years to date.
Evelyn Schlenker, Secretary
University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine
For over 36 years Evelyn Schlenker taught and conducted research as a Professor in the Sanford School of Medicine teaching a variety of students including undergraduates, graduate, medical students and residents. Evelyn serves as a Board member and Secretary on the Clay County Historic Preservation Commission, on the Board of the Friends of the W. H. Over Museum, where she also volunteered in museum cataloging and exhibit design, and volunteers at the Vermillion Food Pantry. Recently she started work at the USD Library in Archives and Special Collections. Evelyn serves as secretary and Board member of the Vermillion Community Theatre which puts on children’s workshops and plays during the summer and, more recently, a dinner theater during the winter to early spring. In that context she helps with fundraising and the production of costumes and sets as well as being on stage. Finally, Evelyn has published six books as follows: two documenting stained glass windows in old St. Agnes Church and Wakonda Saint Patrick’s church, houses owned by a physician who practiced medicine in Vermillion during the first half of the 20th century, development of Dakota Hospital, the history of two Carnegie libraries in Vermillion, SD, and a history 138 year of 2-3 Main Street (built in 1884), one of the first commercial buildings constructed in Vermillion when it moved above the bluff in 1881 that still is operational.
Rebecca Bailey, Interim Artistic Director
Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Education Program Director
Rebecca Bailey spent the past four years serving as Asst. Professor of Theatre at The University of the Ozarks. In July, she began a full-time position serving as the Education Program Director for the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault where she uses theatrical techniques in training Victim Advocates and other first responders. In 2021, she received a Visionary Voice Award for her work with ACASA. She studied Shakespeare and Performance at Mary Baldwin University, finishing her MFA in Directing in Dec of 2016 at University of South Dakota. Having served as a freelance director, Wine with Will performer, and South Dakota Shakespeare Festival board member, Rebecca was thrilled to accept the Interim Artistic Director position with SDSF in the fall of 2021, Rebecca has served as a director for Prairie Repertory Theatre, North Dakota Shakespeare Festival, and South Dakota Shakespeare Festival. Favorite productions directed include Comedy of Errors (South Dakota Shakespeare Festival), Venus in Fur (University of South Dakota), The Diary of Anne Frank (University of the Ozarks), The Little Mermaid (Prairie Repertory Theatre), and Extremities (University of the Ozarks). Rebecca served as the Arkansas State Chair for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VI. She now freelances as a director and movement/ intimacy coach teaching classes focused on Acting, Directing, Shakespeare, Movement and Voice. In 2021, she directed a devised production, For Hurting Hands which received two national awards from KCACTF including a Citizen’s Artist Award. She directed this production devised by seven students approaching their perspectives on equality and diversity. Rebecca is passionate about using theatre as a means to energize, entertain, and bring forth conversations about the world around us.
Janet Davison, Director
University of South Dakota, Lecturer, Department of Media and Journalism
Janet Davison is a Lecturer at USD in the Department of Media and Journalism and has lived in/around Vermillion for 30+ years. She grew up in Topeka, Kansas. Janet has worked in print and broadcast, and taught media and journalism courses. She has served in music ministry at churches in Vermillion, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City, and has been a member of the symphony choruses in Oklahoma City and Sioux Falls. As a member of the board of directors for the Sounds of South Dakota in Sioux Falls, Janet helped raise money for vocal music students to audition at major opera companies in the U.S. She has participated in Vermillion Community Theatre productions for many years as a costumer, dresser, and makeup person. Janet also served on the Vermillion Area Arts Council board of directors.
John Howe, Director
Grand View University, Senior Student Affairs Officer
John Howe serves as Senior Student Affairs Officer at Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa. John’s path to Iowa was not a direct one; he was born in India and raised as an Army brat in Germany and throughout the United States. He has also served as an educator and administrator in Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, India, and Afghanistan. He now calls Des Moines home.
Shekendra Morgan, Director
University of South Dakota, Theatre Department
Shekendra Morgan (They/Them) is a non-binary actor/stage manager from Rapid City, South Dakota and a grad from the University of South Dakota with a degree in theatre performance. They have been dancing, singing, and putting on theatrical productions since age five. Over the years they have found a true passion for classical texts in theatre and exploring ways in which to incorporate diversity to these texts and the community itself. They have been seen performing on stages all over South Dakota from the Black Hills Playhouse to South Dakota Shakespeare Festival. They also do some voice acting in shows including Y2K Pod. They are so excited to bring Shakespeare to the community and beyond.
Connie Nelsen, Director
Unified Judicial System
Connie Nelsen is a resident of Vermillion and worked professionally with Unified Judicial System. She was an adjunct instructor in the Criminal Justice Department in both Vermillion and Sioux Falls. She has volunteered with the Vermillion Community Theatre Board of Directors, United Way, Main Street Center, and Vermillion Area Arts Council. She has been involved with youth theater through Dakota Players. When she lived in Freeman, South Dakota Connie was a member of the Community Theatre Board of Directors specializing in youth involvement. Connie currently serves on the Opera Guild and is excited to be a member of the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival Board.
Alexis Mabel Oskolkoff is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota (Rosebud Sioux) from her mother’s side and Unangan (Alaskan Aleut) from her father’s side. She received her A.A. in Business Management at Sinte Gleska University with an emphasis in Cultural Resource Management. There she was vice President of Student Council and Ms. Founders Day Runner-up. She received a dual B.A. degree in Anthropology and Native Studies at The University of South Dakota with minor in Archaeology & Earth Science. She was a member of the Student Government and an active member of many campus clubs and organizations. Oskolkoff has worked in cultural reparation and language revitalization for area tribes. She has a strong passion for and does work in HIV/AIDS awareness in tribal communities. She is currently a stay-at-home mom of three boys and a girl, and enjoys beading, sewing, and painting in her free time.