Phillip M. Church

Associate Professor | Associate Director of External Relations

WPAC 139B | 305-348-3358 |

Phillip M. Church trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA). He received his MFA in Directing from the University of California, Irvine and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Since joining FIU Theatre thirty-six years ago, Professor Church has directed numerous classical and contemporary plays, musicals, and community-engaged projects. While his focus lies in classical and Shakespeare performance, Professor Church is following his passion for interdisciplinary study and is currently developing a Filmmaking Certificate Program at FIU open to students across a broad range of disciplines. In 1999, through the FIU Office of Study Abroad and in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Church, he established the bi-annual Shakespeare-in-Stratford & London Study Abroad course.

In 2011 he founded What if Works Inc. (WiW) a non-profit post-graduate company offering a bridge between the academic environment and the professional world. ( Currently, Church is in rehearsals for an upcoming WiW production of “Driving Miss Daisy” at the Seminole Theatre in Homestead.

He is set to direct Dancing at Lughnasa for FIU Theatre and then a Miami-Dade County Public Schools traveling production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest for the award-winning Gablestage.


Rebecca Covey

Associate Professor, Head of Performance

WPAC 138B | 305-348-3728 |

Rebecca Covey earned her MFA from the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Wisconsin, and her BFA in Theatre and BA in French from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is an Equity actor and a designated Linklater Voice teacher. In Chicago, she taught at the Theatre School at DePaul University, Northern Illinois University, and Columbia College.

Favorite Chicago acting credits include Simone de Beauvoir in Nelson and Simone (Live Bait Theatre), Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Lady MacBeth in MacBeth, Hester in The Scarlet Letter, and Anka in Hunting Cockroaches (Footsteps Theatre), Sarah in The Lover and Jane in Benefactors (Writers Theatre Chicago), Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Devil’s Disciple, and Back to Methusela (Shaw Chicago). Regional credits include Sarah in The Substance of Fire and Viola in Twelfth Night (The Northern Stage – Milwaukee), All My Sons (New American Theatre), Quake and ID (Quantum Theatre – Pittsburgh), Mother’s Day (Boarshead Theatre), Lady MacBeth in MacBeth (Theatre at the Center), Relatively Speaking (Next Act Theatre, Milwaukee), Abigail in Denial (Jewish Ensemble Theatre), Something Wicked This Way Comes (Meadowbrook Theatre), and Eleemosynary (Williamston Theatre). Rebecca has also performed in Scotland, Australia, and France. Her two-person show “The Heart of Winter” recently debuted at Fairmount Theatre in South Pasadena, CA. She also acted in Michael Yawney’s new play Exile Jesus Starbucks which premiered at the Miami Light Project’s Here & Now. Recent credits as a professional dialect/voice coach include Stripped and Betrayal at Zoetic Stage at the Arsht Center and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Milesquare Theatre, New Jersey. As the resident voice and dialect director for Florida International University Theatre, she has worked on Kingdom City, A Flea in Her Ear, 6 Characters in Search of An Author, An Ideal Husband, Juanita’s Statue, Julius Caesar, June Moon, Sleeping Beauty and Cardenio, amongst others.

Her scholarly research focuses on helping neurodiverse theatre artists reach their full potential. Additional interests include: the intersection of gender, culture and voice; accents and dialects; and heightened language including Shakespeare, Moliere and Shaw. She has presented papers and workshops at international conferences with the Voice and Speech Trainers Association and the Association of Theatre in Higher Education, as well as with the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Her article “Chop-alogues: an Exploration of Embodied Language” was recently published in Methods: A Journal of Acting Pedagogy.

Tony Galaska

Associate Professor, Head of Design and Production

WPAC 137B | 305-348-2564 |

Tony Galaska received his MFA in Lighting from Purdue University, a BFA from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, and an AA from the University of Wisconsin Waukesha. He has designed for The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Texas Shakespeare Theatre Festival, and in NYC for a variety of theatre companies such as Toy Box Theatre Company, The Gallery Players, Wings Theatre Company, Metropolitan Playhouse, and New Perspectives Theatre Company. Professor Galaska has received faculty excellence awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for his lighting design of The Cook, Spring Awakening, The Cherry Orchard, and The House of the Sprits. Tony is currently the Vice Chair of Design, Technology, and Management for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region IV.

Chris Goslin

Technical Director

WPAC 138A | 305-348-2636 |

Chris Goslin received his Master’s Degree from New York University and has worked as a Technical Director, Designer, Instructor, Producer, and Stage Manager over the course of the last 20 years. He is currently the Technical Director for Florida International University’s Department of Theatre. A few of his previous credits include Technical Director for California State University’s Summer Arts Program, Miami-Dade College, and for the Charlottesville Opera. He has held previous positions such as the Prop Master at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Stage Manager at the NYC Fringe Festival, and served as the Managing Director for First Foot Theatre Productions, a not-for-profit theatre company in New York City that developed new works through workshops and performances. He is proud to have been a part of over 120 theatrical productions at the professional, university, and secondary levels.

Jennifer Ivey

Assistant Professor of Scenic Design

WPAC 135A | 305-348-1684 |

Jennifer Rose Ivey received her MFA in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her BFA in Technical Theatre and Design from the University of Central Florida.  She is a passionate and dedicated theatre educator who has worked around the country as a designer, scenic artist, prop master, and teacher.

She has worked as a designer and/or technician at the Georgia Ensemble Theatre in Atlanta, West Virginia Public Theatre, Atlanta Opera, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, WILL-TV Illinois Public Broadcasting, Theatre Workshop of Owensboro, Jacksonville State University, Florida International University, and most recently, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.

Jennifer currently teaches Introduction to Design, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting, Portfolio, The Business of Theatre, and Rendering and Period Styles for Theatrical Design. In addition, she advises students on scenic design, props, and painting for productions throughout the academic year. In the past she has also taught Computer Graphics, Stagecraft, and numerous independent studies. She has also devoted time to workshops in portfolio development, resumes, sketching, and computer skills in programs like VectorWorks, InDesign, Sketchup, Corel Painter and Photoshop.

Jennifer is excited about joining the FIU faculty for many reasons, including the dedicated, intelligent, driven students who show their passion for theatre and willingness to grow in both the classroom and on stage.

Ivan Smiley Headshot (2)

Ivan R. Lopez

Instructor, Director of Audience Development

WPAC 133B | 305-348-3365 |

Ivan R. Lopez has an MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory and a BFA from Florida International University. He currently teaches Acting and Dramatic Literature and is responsible for the department’s marketing.

Ivan has acted in over 40 plays and short films in New York, Denver, and Miami. Some favorite roles include Katurian in The Pillowman (White Rose Miami), Hal in Proof (White Rose Miami), Dan Aykroyd in Not Ready for Primetime (New Theatre), Felix in Bird in the Hand (New Theatre), Davey in second. (S12E – NY), Treves in The Elephant Man (Denver Center Theatre), and Williamson in Glengarry Glen Ross (Florida International University). Directing credits include The Pot at Main Street Playhouse and Florida International University, Willow (White Rose Miami), An Evening of Art and Whimsy (White Rose Miami), El Odio de Un Pais (Miami 1 Acts), Michael Bay Writes a Play (Miami 1 Acts), The Position (Microteatro), Salsa (Microteatro), Another Castle (Microteatro), and three years with the One Minute Play Festival at the Deering Estate. Writing credits include 17 Likes (Miami 1 Acts), The Era of No Time (White Rose Miami), Orquidia or My Home on the Sun (White Rose Miami), Dreaming on the Hudson (aMios Theatre Shotz), Waiting for Now (Shotz), and Hipsters Hopped the L Train (Shotz).

Ivan also works at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital making rounds as Dr. Purple. This is part of Healthy Humor’s professional Red Nose Doc (humor therapy) program. He has also worked for two summers at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut as a humor therapist. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was founded by Paul Newman and is dedicated to providing a “different kind of healing” to seriously ill children and their families.

Daniel Mitan

Daniel Mitan


WPAC 135B | 305-348-2237 |

Danny Mitan has vast experience in the professional and academic realms of theatre, film, and television, including membership in SAG/AFTRA, Actors’ Equity, and the Society of American Fight Directors.

He has an MFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Florida, a Master of Science in Education from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Miami, where he double-majored in film and theatre. While enrolled at the University of Miami, Danny was also a varsity non-scholarship quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes where he was teammates with Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson.

During his time in Los Angeles, Danny trained in Improvisation with instructor Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas) at the world-renowned Groundlings Theatre. He co-wrote a screenplay entitled The Task Manual, which finished in the top two percent of the prestigious “Project Greenlight” Screenplay Contest sponsored by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Danny currently works as a full-time Instructor at Florida International University teaching acting, theatre, filmmaking, and stage combat. The nationally accredited Society of American Fight Directors has certified Danny in the rank of “Actor Combatant” in the disciplines of unarmed stage combat, rapier & dagger, and broadsword. Danny has developed two online courses in conjunction with the Online Learning Staff at FIU, the first ever Theater courses to go online at FIU. He is currently developing a hybrid course as well. As part of the Alternative Theatre Festival at FIU, Danny directed Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Momma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad. Most recently, he served as fight director for the FIU productions of Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Choreographing a Rape Scene to go into a Feminist Play, and the Nova Southeastern University production of Hamlet.

Joel Murray

Department Chair

WPAC 131B | 305-348-2895 |

Joel Murray is the chair of the Theatre Department at Florida International University. Originally from Los Angeles with many northeast ties, he received his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University. He has written, directed, and acted in over 200 stage, film, and prime time and daytime television productions–including national commercials. Joel is a member of such professional organizations as the Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity Association, and the Dramatists Guild. He has also been a member of numerous theatre groups, such as the MET Theatre with actors such as Ed Harris, James Gammon, Tom Bower, and Holly Hunter; Padua Hills Playwrights with Murray Mednick, John Steppling, Sam Shepard, and many others.

Professor Murray has won various best actor, instructor, playwright, and director awards, including Los Angeles Drama-Logue Awards and Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival regional and national recognition. He has received multiple grants and fellowships for his directing and playwriting, as well. Joel has presented over 100 papers and workshops on acting, directing, playwriting, and theory and criticism at national and regional conferences, and has published many papers in international, national, and regional journals. Further, he has sold and optioned screenplays and published play scripts. He is past Chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VI National Playwriting Program and served as the National Vice Chair before stepping down to become chair of the Theatre Dance Department at the University of Texas-El Paso, where he also served as head of the acting program. He also has worked in various positions for Disney and other film companies, as well. Further, Joel has served as chair for various committees at the Southwest Theatre and Film Association and the Mid-America Theatre Conference.

Stephen Neal


AC2 231A (BBC Campus) | 305-348-2895 |

Stephen Neal teaches intro to acting, theatre appreciation and playscript analysis, received an MFA in Directing from Florida State University, and a BA from Louisiana State University. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild and is a founding member of the Theatre League of South Florida. He has appeared on screen in Miami Vice and Wise Guys and several commercials and industrial films. He has directed, designed and/or performed in over a hundred plays in academic and professional theatre. Favorite roles include the Stage Manager in Our Town, Ross in The Goat, the titular character in Tom Walker and Malvolio in Twelfth Night. He was a company member of New Theatre’s Shakespeare Project: where he has played Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Morocco, Aragon, Tubal and the Duke in The Merchant of Venice, Cassius in Julius Caesar, Prospero in The Tempest and a host of other character roles. Directing favorites include The Taming of the Shrew, Mikado, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma!, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Affluenza! and FIU’s production of The Underpants!, which earned him Excellence in Directing recognition from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Marina Pareja

Senior Lecturer, Costume Designer

WPAC 133A | 305-348-2749 |

Marina Pareja was born in Lima, Peru. She has an MFA in Costume Design from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, a BFA in Costume Design from Florida International University, and an AA in Fashion Design and AS in Fashion Merchandise from Miami-Dade College. Marina has designed costumes at FIU for Medea, Julius Caesar, A Flea in Her Ear, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midwinter Night’s Dream, and Little Shop of Horrors. She has been recognized for Excellence in Costume Design by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) for The Liar, An Ideal Husband, and Blithe Spirit.

Recently, Marina directed La Nona at FIU, the department’s first Spanish language production. The show was presented at the Regional KCACTF Festival in Statesboro, Georgia and Marina was recognized for Excellence in Design.

Marina served as the Production Manager and Associate Artistic Director for the Alternative Theatre Festival (ATF), FIU’s summer season. She has directed numerous shows for ATF including Reefer Madness, Bicycle Country, Reverse Psychology, and The Weird.

Wayne E. Robinson, Jr.

Associate Professor

WPAC 137A | 305-348-3361 |

Professor Robinson is a graduate of the National Theatre Conservatory, Northwestern University, American Conservatory Theatre (STC), and is a member of Actors’ Equity. His career, which includes directing or acting in more than 70 productions, has taken him to Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami.

He is a professional actor, director, and acting coach. At FIU, he has directed Eleemosynary, The Rose Tattoo, All in the Timing, Talking With…, Sylvia, 5th of July, The House of Blue Leaves, Glengarry Glen Ross (twice), The Hot L Baltimore, As You Like It, Balm in Gilead, Anna in the Tropics, Electricidad, Pericles, A Lie of the Mind, Twelfth Night, Swimming in the Shallows, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, June Moon, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midwinter Night’s Dream and the musicals Company, Gypsy and Hair.

Local professional projects include directing Line, All in the Timing, and frag, as well as acting in Betrayal, Talley’s Folly, King Lear, Never the Sinner, The House of Seven Gables, Electra, Wit, The Weir, Hamlet, Othello, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Proof, and The Pillowman. Next year he will direct Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and play the title character in Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape for FIU Theatre.

Lesley-Ann Timlick

Lesley-Ann Timlick

Associate Professor

WPAC 136B | 305-348-3612 |

Lesley-Ann Timlick was awarded her MFA in Acting from University of California, Davis, and her BA in Acting/Directing) from Eastern Washington University. She has done post-graduate study at the National Theatre Conservatory/National Center for Voice and Speech. She holds certifications in the Feldenkrais Method, Michael Chekhov Technique and Meisner Acting. Lesley-Ann studied directly with vocal masters Kristin Linklater, Patsy Rodenburg, Arthur Lessac, Cecily Berry, Katherine Fitzmaurice and Andrew Wade. She also was an intern for master voice teacher Bonnie Raphael at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard.

Professor Timlick has also done extensive training in mask work and Pilates. She is an award-winning teacher, and has worked professionally as an actor, director, and voice/ movement coach in both the U.S. and Canada. She has coached for such companies as the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, American Repertory Theatre at Harvard, Denver Center Theatre Company, Gables Stage, Florida Shakespeare and New Theatre Miami. She has held positions on the Governing Council for the Association of Theatre and Higher Education and the board of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators. She has presented her pedagogical research at top international, national, and regional conferences, with her work often being cited in journals, books, and periodicals. During her tenure at FIU, she has served as both the Chairperson/Artistic Director and Head of Performance Training. Lesley-Ann has also taught at Actor’s Movement Conservatory/New York, National Theatre Movement Institute/ Webster University, Tom Todoroff’s Acting Studio, University of Oklahoma, New World School of the Arts, and the University of California/Davis. Her students have gone on to perform and direct professionally on Broadway, London’s West end, top professional theatres, and in Film/TV. She is extremely pleased that many of her former students have also gone on to teach at top professional training programs such as Rutgers University, University of California/San Diego, Boston University, DePaul University, Webster University, Linkalter Center/New York, Pace University, Temple University, Wayne State University, SUNY/Purchase and University of Oklahoma.

She is currently working on a book, which combines highly sought after vocal, physical, and acting approaches to provide a complete methodology for multi-dimensional character conversion for actors across the cultures. Her research interests are Transcultural performance, integration of psychophysical performance pedagogies to train culturally diverse performers, understanding and training the neuro-diverse performer, directing, voice/movement coaching, and performance.

Michael Yawney

Associate Professor

WPAC 139A | 305-348-7545 |

Michael Yawney holds an MFA in Directing from Columbia University and a BFA from the Experimental Theater Wing of New York University. His original play Exile Jesus Starbucks debuted at Miami Light Project in 20015 and he directed Rudi Goblen’s PET, which premiered at Miami Light Project in 2013 and is currently touring. He also dramaturged and directed Heather Woodbury’s 12-hour stand-up novel As the Globe Warms, which was seen at Austin’s Vortex Rep and L.A.’s Redcat. Other recent productions include Juan C. Sanchez’s Catherine’s Wheel and Kenny Finkle’s A Thousand Years at FIU’s Summer Theater Festival, Noye’s Fludde, Amahl and the Night Visitors and Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale for Orchestra Miami, as well as Cardenio and The Liar for Florida International University.

Michael was a fellow in Miami-Dade County’s Playwright Development Program 2010-2012, and his play, 1,000 Homosexuals, was developed in a residency at New York Stage and Film and premiered at the Arsht Center (which had commissioned the work). Further, he co-curated the international Iranian Theater Festival in New York, which presented his production of Assurbanipal Babilla’s Something Something Uber Alles. He also helped organize and presented at a symposium on Babilla’s work sponsored by New York University. Professor Yawney’s production of Three Angels Dancing on a Needle was named Best Theatrical Production of 2007 by Miami New Times. This production went on to be named Best Foreign Language Production at the Brooklyn Brick Theater’s Pretentious Festival. His work has been seen at New York’s Public Theater, Dixon Place, BMI Musical Theater Workshop, HERE, Downtown Art Co., Ensemble Studio Theater, Indiana University, and the Pittsburgh Performance Art Festival.

Michael’s critical writing has appeared in Theater Week, Propaganda, and OFF as well as in the book, Michael Chekhov: Critical Issues, Reflections, Dreams.

Israel Garcia Bio

Israel Garcia

Israel Garcia has been teaching theatre for the past twenty years at Florida International University, as well as with Miami Dade County Public Schools, Florida Atlantic University, and Miami Dade College. At FIU, “Izzy” teaches Introduction to Acting and Theatre Appreciation. Although his focus and passion is sharing theatre experiences with non-majors to broaden their understanding of culture, themselves, and the human condition, several of his students have taken the journey further and majored in Theatre at FIU.

Izzy continues acting professionally as a member of Actors’ Equity. Credits include classic roles such as Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew as well as lead and supporting roles in contemporary plays, children’s theatre and musicals in South Florida venues such as New Theatre, Palm Beach Playhouse, and Actor’s Playhouse. He has also performed in theatre festivals in Orlando and Argentina. Credits also include television commercials and a featured “baddy” in Burn Notice.

Izzy has also written short plays produced in Miami by White Rose Miami, Microtheatre, and New Theatre. Awards and honors include two Carbonell Award nominations, the Silver Palm Award for Performance in 2010, the New Theatre Award for Best Actor (twice), as well as the Excellence in Teaching Award at FIU. He received his MFA in Performance from Florida Atlantic University.

Pioneer Winter
Dance Minor Coordinator

Pioneer Winter is a Miami-based choreographer, and director of the Pioneer Winter Collective – a group of allied bodies that democratize performance through unexpected bodies, unexpected places, and unexpected social change. Through his Collective, Winter also directs several programs, including Leaders of Equality through Arts and Performance (LEAP), for LGBTQ-identifying teens and their allies that focuses on using the arts for activism; and the Grass Stains fellowship, a Knight Foundation supported site-specific performance initiative that mentors and commissions artists interested in creating site-based and public art work in Miami through a close collaboration with acclaimed site choreographer Stephan Koplowitz.

A Horatio Alger Scholar, he is an alumnus of the Florida International University Honors College, and holds a Masters in Public Health and Epidemiology. Winter also completed a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from Jacksonville University/White Oak, as the first artist to be named a Dennis R. Washington Achievement Scholar.

He is a two-time Dance Miami Choreographic Program recipient, Diversity and Inclusion awardee (State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs) and Luminaries of Equality awardee (SAVE), Miami Goes Elsewhere Fellowship recipient, “Best Dancer” in the Miami New Times “Best of 2018” edition, and is a fellow and faculty member in the FIU Honors College and Theatre Department since 2014. Pioneer Winter has been festival director of ScreenDance Miami Festival since 2016. He was recently awarded a commission and residency for the inaugural season of the MDC Live Arts Lab Alliance (2017-2019), and is a supported artist of the Local Artist-in-Residence program at the Miami Light Project. He has been mentored by noted choreographers Ana Sánchez-Colberg, Michael Kliën, Jüri Nael, and Octavio Campos, as well as intensive labs with Nora Chipaumire, Mario Zambrano, Marc Brew, Alonzo King, Stephan Koplowitz, and Keith Hennessy. He has choreographed and performed throughout the United States and toured in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain and Mexico City; his film work has been screened in festivals internationally. Pioneer Winter has held residencies at Cannonball Miami, Miami Dade College, Miami Theater Center, Nova Southeastern University, Broward College, and Jacksonville University.

The Miami Herald said this about his last premiere: “Pioneer Winter’s work, what he supports, what he thinks about and the ideas he voices, speak to and for people […] it was provocative in just the way you want performance to be provocative, making you think about something you hadn’t or feel for someone you hadn’t identified with before; startling, exposed, unnerving, unexpectedly loving.”