Anita Rich (Conductor): Has a real passion for engaging students in the classroom, co-curricular projects and beyond. She is proud to have been honored for teaching excellence by the Central States Communication Association as well as in 2008 when she was awarded an EMU Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award. One of her joys is exposing students to performance studies festivals where they explore various notions and emergent theories of performance and text. An expert in interactive theatre methodologies and applied performance, she is the director of EMU’s 6 Figures Playback Theatre founded a decade ago. Especially innovative, this performance group and courses such as Interactive Theatre utilize techniques to engage audiences in addressing social issues and creating safe environments for dialogue.Anita has presented papers and performances at numerous national and regional conferences in performance studies, theatre, and communication. She was especially pleased to have served as guest artist/visiting professor for Japan’s Ibaraki University, the Petit Jean Performance festival in Arkansas, and Alma College here in Michigan. In addition to teaching and creative/scholarly efforts, Anita has been an active representative on national, regional and numerous university committees. Her interdisciplinary approach and performance studies background along with her energy and passion have enabled her to work, engage, and explore performance in rich ways with a wide range of audiences in various contexts. She looks forward to continuing this breadth and depth of work and service in the years ahead.
Elizabeth Shaffer (Executive Director/Performer): Elizabeth is a current graduate student at Eastern Michigan University. Prior to this, she studied at University of Connecticut and received a B.A. in Theatre Studies with a concentration in directing. While at the University of Connecticut Elizabeth was awarded a Fine Arts Talent Scholarship in Theatre and the Cecil E. and Martha C. Hinkel Scholarship and Fellowship 2012-2013. She currently resides in Ann Arbor, where her and her husband have created a touring puppet theatre. She has directed and assistant directed many stage productions as well as served as an actor and puppeteer. Her work expands beyond the stage, where she has served as an assistant director and production assistant for puppet films. Additional experience in the theatre include production, house, and company management. Recently, she spent her summer as house and company management at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre for the summer Nutmeg Series.
Mike Fedel (Musician/Performer): Mike's a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumental musician, currently playing jazz with Five Miles More, "70s rock" with The Bonfire Poets and improvised music for the 6 Figure Playback Group. He credits his ADD with his love of Improvisation, his varied fields of study, and his endless curiosity. Over the years, he's taught philosophy (at EMU and WCC) and Comparative Religion (for UC-Berkeley), traveled the world teaching software for Verhoef, Arbortext, and PTC, and successfully made the conversion from charcoal to propane grills. His day job is developing software (which started as a summer job back in 1974), he has a wife in Ann Arbor (who makes a great chicken piccata) and a daughter who's majoring in English (and has done some solid stand-up comedy over the years). In 1998, he lost his 8-year old daughter Amy to a drunk driver (well "lost" isn't the right word, is it?), and loves parenthetical asides in his writing (some people say I use them too much, but I [obvioiusly] disagree). Mike loves and respects the members of the 6 Figure group, and especially appreciates Anita's ability to establish a safe space that allows everyone to play and take risks.
Chawna Dorsey: bio coming soon!
Cassandra Helmer: bio coming soon!
Anton P. Koyton (Performer): Anton is currently a senior at Eastern Michigan University where he is a theatre arts major. He has been a member of 6 Figures for around two years now. He started acting in 2010 and has been a member of Closeup Theatre Troupe. His talents are with 6 Figures Playback Theatre as a veteran member.
Jenifer Andrews (Performer): Jenifer Andrews was introduced to Playback two years ago as an audience member, and was invited to join 6 Figures at the end of 2012. In the last year she has found herself enjoying both playback and adaptive theatre and hopes to pursue a career in those fields. She has performed at two of Eastern's Performance Hours, Worked backstage on Four Main Stage shows, and will be Assistant Directing the Dec Main Stage show this semester. She will receive her Bachelor's of Science in Theatre Arts this December and is currently trying to figure out what to do next for her career path.
Jenny Koppera (Performer):Jenny Anne Koppera has her MFA in Drama/Theatre for the Young from Eastern Michigan University, and she is active nationally and internationally in the field of children’s theatre. In 2010, she received a national AATE Doyle Fellowship Special Recognition Award for her work in the field, and in 2011, she was one of 6 global interns selected for the ASSITEJ World Congress. In 2012, Jenny was selected as one of the Rye Fellows at the IPAY Showcase, and in 2013, Jenny was the US Delegate to the ASSITEJ Germany International Directors’ Seminar.Jenny has worked with the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, TYA/USA, ASSITEJ International, Imaginate Children’s Theatre Festival, The Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices program, Imagining America, and the Write Local. Play Global. Initiative. Locally, Jenny was one of the founding creators of Eastern Michigan University’s Global Play Project, CrossTown Theatre Troupe, and Educational Theatre Collaborative. Professionally, Jenny comes from a back ground in dance, theatre and the study of the French language. Currently, she frequently directs, choreographs, and lectures at Eastern Michigan University and in the Michigan area.More information on Jenny’s past & current projects and her CV can be found at: http://jakoppera.weebly.com/
Marianne Shepherd: Marianne, AKA Mare, is an alumnus of EMU with a Master's in Theatre Arts. She also studied theatre at Brigham Young University. She has been with 6 Figures since 2008 and currently volunteers with fellow 6 Figurians at the Woodland Center Correctional Facility. She enjoys acting and playing with/making puppets.
Daphne Adams: Dephane retired from major automotive manufacturer with 30 year’s experience in Human Resources and Communications. She joined 6 Figures in 2010, and 6 Figures Theater Group at Woodland Correction Center the same year. Played Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking and was cast inJerry Spinelli’s Loser in December 2011 in Dr. Rich’s Adapting and Directing class at EMU. Dephane was a member of EMU's Fall 2012 Tour of Safe Schools Project: LGTB; played role of Old School. She played Fonsia Dorsey in The Gin Game at Redbud Productions in April 2012.
Seraphina Vandentoorn: I'm Seraphina! I have a small obsession with bovine, I love cycling and I live for anything involving creativity. I speak Japanese and have been to Japan twice. I hope to go back again soon. I'm terrified of storms and driving. Having wet feet is the biggest annoyance to me. I've been with 6Figs since my freshman year at EMU back in 2009. I'm graduating in April and I hope to move to Milwaukee or Madison to be a scenic painter.
Sarah Grasfield: bio coming soon!
Tadzia Beard: bio coming soon!
Tesa Hatfield: bio coming soon!
Emily Lavickas: Emily has an MFA in Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young and is currently a part-time lecturer at EMU. She was the Staff Director of theatre at Concordia University from 2011-2013 where she directed several productions including The Glass Menagerie and Dracula. She has also directed productions at SAU including The Diviners last spring and performed her one-woman show “Homestays” at the SAU homecoming last Fall. Emily has lead several summer theatre programs for youth at Wild Swan Theatre in Ann Arbor and Saltworks theatre in Pittsburgh, PA. She also founded youth summer programs at Spring Arbor and Trinity House Theatre in Livonia, MI.
Jamie Pappas: Bio coming soon!