South Dakota Shakespeare Festival 2024 Season Board of Directors
Greg Huckabee, President
University of South Dakota
Greg Huckabee served 27 years as an Army Judge Advocate and taught at the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business for 20 years before retiring in May of 2023. He was one of the SDSF’s co-founders in 2011.
Connie Nelsen, Vice President
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.
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.
Susan Huckabee, Secretary
Vermillion Community Member
Susan LaBelle Huckabee is a resident of Vermillion and a retired R.N. with 42 years working in the Critical Care areas of Medicine. She helped start the SDSF with her husband Gregory M. Huckabee and Chaya Gordon-Bland. She is honored to be on the board of the SDSF to help it grow, educate, and entertain the fans of the theater and Shakespeare.
Rebecca Bailey, Executive 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.
Carol Geu, Director
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.
Dennis Nelsen, Director
Vermillion Community Member
Dennis Nelsen attended the University of South Dakota where he received a Bachelor degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. He spent his career working with local government and nonprofit organizations. Nelsen was a police officer for the City of Vermillion for eight years. He worked in healthcare administration for Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Towards the end of his career he served as City Administrator for Freeman and Elk Point, South Dakota. For 13 years, Nelsen was Adjunct Faculty for National American University teaching health care administration and business management courses. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Horizon Health Care, Horizon Health Care Foundation, and the South Dakota Scottish Rite Foundation.
Joe Stollenwerk, Director
Joe Stollenwerk 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.
Tyler Van Meter, Director
Info to Come
Vanessa Wergin, Director
Senior Director, gpac
Vanessa Wergin is married to her college sweetheart, Rand Wergin, PhD, and has four adult offspring who are making positive impacts on the culture and economy! Two of their children are married with children. The oldest is a graphic designer in Colorado Springs, the second is a recruiter in banking, residing in Beresford, and each couple has two children, which keeps Vanessa in grandparent mode often. Two more adult children are career recruiters and live in South Dakota. Vanessa and Rand own a small vineyard, and grow, harvest, and bottle Northern Hybrid vines and wines under the name of Extra Wergin. They also maintain honeybee hives.