About Us


Our Educational Outreach Team has created and compiled standards-based lesson plans and resource guides to pair with the play. These K-8 STEAM lesson plans incorporate science and performance content activities. They can be used to augment the experience of the live performance, or use them to create high-impact learning activities to be performed independently. These activities are adaptable for home or classroom learning.

Vivian Appler (director/ensemble) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the College of Charleston where she teaches history, devising, and feminist theatre. Her research interests include science and performance, practice-as-research, puppetry and mask, and activist theatre. She has published articles and chapters in Theatre History Studies, Global Performance Studies, The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Comparative Drama, and the Routledge Guide to Jacques Lecoq. She is currently developing a monograph about women performing science. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. from Queen Mary, University of London, and a certificate from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Vivian has extensive practical experience in devised and physical theatre. She has acted, directed, devised, and designed puppets in Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Pittsburgh, PA. She has held fellowships with Fulbright IIE (2010-11) and the Huntington Library (2015). Her science-integrative plays and performances include “Parallel Passengers: On Marriage and Spacetime” (2010), Particle Play: A Romance for Quarks, Strings, and Other Things (2011), and In the Still of the Night: Andromeda’s Dark Stuff (2013). “That which We Call A Rose” is funded by NASA’s South Carolina Space Grant Consortium and the SC Arts Commission.

Jack Wolfe (digital specialist/ensemble), co-investigator with Vivian Appler, is the Instructional Technologist at the College of Charleston for the School of the Arts and North Campus. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Art from Syracuse University in 2008. He has worked in education, technology and digital arts in a variety of roles, including as Instructional Technology Specialist for Wellesley College. He loves assisting faculty with their teaching needs and sharing his passion for using new media and design tools in academic applications. He is also the founder of video game design company Sneaky Party LLC. His contributions include digitally augmenting maps, 3D printing planetary topography, graphic design and audio/video editing.

Josiah Albright (puppeteer/ensemble) is a 2018 theatre performance graduate from the College of Charleston. Josiah’s focus is on stage direction, puppet-craft, and devised theatre. Josiah is an apprentice at PURE Theatre, and he last directed and designed a masked performance of “The Why” by Victor Kaufold, a show critiquing the influence of mass media on copy-cat shootings in schools, for PURE’s selection in the 2019 Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC.

Jenny Bettke (actor/ensemble) started performing at the young age of 5 and hasn’t stopped. In the summer of 2014, she had the opportunity to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the Churchill Theatre as Louise in Always…Patsy Cline. Recently, she graduated College of Charleston with a degree in Theatre Performance and a minor in Arts Management. At the college she was able to recreate dream roles such as: Florinda in Into The Woods, Martha Dobie in The Children’s Hour, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Randy Osteen in Superior Donuts, Mrs. Cohen/Company in Rent, and chorus in The Trojan Women. After graduating in 2018, she began performing throughout Charleston, some of her credits include: Mary Warren in The Crucible (Flowertown Players), Joan in Fun Home (PURE), Stagehand in Straight White Men (PURE), and most recently Crissy in HAIR. Currently, she is working as an acting apprentice with PURE Theatre.

Javaron Conyers (actor/ensemble) is a graduate of the College of Charleston’s theatre program, where he appeared in Rent, Chore Monkeys, and Into the Woods. He is working as an apprentice with Charleston’s PURE Theatre. He currently lives and works as an actor-educator in the Charleston area.

Noah Ezell (dramaturg/ensemble) is a junior at the College of Charleston majoring in Theatre with a concentration in Theatre Studies and a particular focus in dramaturgy. His recent dramaturgical credits include CofC’s production of Marisol by José Rivera and PURE Theatre’s production of Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl. He is the recipient of the KCACTF Region IV Dramaturgy Fellowship and the national LMDA Dramaturgy Award. He will also be embarking upon a residency at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference in 2019. This is his first time serving as dramaturg for a devised piece. He is very excited to be a part of a production that incorporates science and art!

Emily Pears Caitlyn (outreach coordinator/ensemble) is a recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Teaching Theatre program at College of Charleston. She has a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Western Carolina University and has been involved with theatre almost all her life. She is excited to enter the teaching profession and grateful to serve as the educational outreach person for this project.

Raymon Smith (robotics/ensemble) is an engineer by training who spends his days working with a team to build digital models and deploy IT solutions to better connect and enable people to work together in creating and fielding some of today’s most complex systems. He is a robotics and automation enthusiast who loves to talk technology, build robots, and strives to make the future better for us all.

Ceili Hesselgrave (scenic designer/ensemble) is an alumna of the College of Charleston with a bachelors degree in Scenic/Lighting Design and Technologies. Ceili has served as the scenic designer on four staged productions while attending the College of Charleston, including ENRON (2017), Rough Magic (2018), The Tempest (2018),  and Marisol (2019). Her ongoing work includes the scenic design and fabrication for That Which We Call a Rose (2020) through funding provided by NASA’s South Carolina Space Consortium and the South Carolina Arts Commission. Ceili has served as an Assistant Scenic Designer for various productions at the Olney Theatre Center in Olney, MD and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison, NJ. Along with her work as a designer, Ceili holds a full time position at a custom fabrication and installation company, TTS Studios, in Charleston, SC as an Assistant Project Manager. 

Ceili’s scenic design for ENRON (2017) was awarded first place for Undergraduate Scenic Design a the Southeastern Theatre Conference (2018). The same design was honored at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (Region IV) as the People’s Choice Display (2018). Her design for Rough Magic (2018) was awarded first place for Realized Scenic Design at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (Region IV)(2019) and went on to be recognized at the 50th annual National Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Kenya Gadsden (stage manager/ensemble) is a recent graduate from the College of Charleston with a major in Theatre (Theatre Studies) and a minor in Arts Management.  Kenya’s stage management credits include We Without Walls, The Wolves, and The Lady Demands Satisfaction. Kenya’s research interests include diversity in the arts, African American representation, and feminist theatre. Kenya has received several honors for her research including a 2017 First- Year Writing Award for her essay “Love and Hip-Hop: The Modern Black Minstrel Show” and SETC 2019 Young Scholar Award for her essay “Color-Blind Casting: The Perpetuation of Black Invisibility in American Theatre.”

Meagan McMahon (marketing and tour manager/ensemble) is a graduate of the College of Charleston with two degrees in Theatre and Arts Management. Her previous works include The Trojan Women, Rough Magic, and the World Premier of Chore Monkeys at the College of Charleston, as well as The Royale, Small Mouth Sounds, A Doll’s House, Part 2, Butcher Stories, Becoming Dr. Ruth, Choir Boy, The Lifespan of a Fact, and The Children at PURE TheatreShe also serves as PURE’s Patron Services Manager.

Leon Williams (writer/ensemble) is a graduate of the College of Charleston’s Theatre program, where he performed in Enron and Rough Magic. Leon also directed an evening of short plays by Douglas Turner Ward. He currently lives and teaches in Charleston, SC.