Maura Giles-Watson (General Director, Tudor Plays Project) teaches in the English Department and serves as chair of Digital Humanities in the USD Humanities Center. Maura has been a Keck Faculty Fellow and received student-awarded teaching recognitions from the Mortar Board Honor Society in two consecutive years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Classical Studies from Harvard and her PhD in English (Medieval and Renaissance Studies) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she also worked with and learned from the generous digital humanists in UNL’s renowned Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. Maura’s articles on classical, medieval, and Renaissance drama and performance culture have appeared in Early Theatre, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, and in essay collections. Her current activities include two books—Performing Arguments: Debate in Poetry and Drama and The Last Minstrel: John Heywood in Performance—and developing and publishing new digital resources for the study and performance of Henrician drama for the Tudor Plays Project. The concept for the Tudor Plays Project first emerged during Maura’s graduate studies when she was searching for resources on Henrician debate plays and found them to be scarce.
Ryan Beattie Scrimger (Artistic Director, The Tudor Players, 2016-) teaches in the Theatre and Music Departments at USD. She specializes in acting and audition techniques, musical theatre, voice, dialect and singing techniques, and career design and entrepreneurship. Ryan earned her BA in Theatre from the California State University at Chico and her MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University. Her professional credits include serving as voice and dialect coach for The Old Globe’s productions of The Rainmaker, Double Indemnity, and The Last Goodbye, La Jolla Playhouse’s Glengarry Glen Ross, private coaching, competition adjudicating, and special event presentations. Ryan currently serves on the board of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 8; she is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and faculty advisor and member of Alpha Psi Omega–the National Theatre Honor Society.
Paul Evans (Technical Director, TPP Authorship-Attribution Project, 2015-) teaches in the English Department at USD and serves as Humanities Center Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities. Paul is a PhD candidate in Medieval Studies at The Catholic University of America, where his was the first Digital Hunamities dissertation proposal to be approved. He was previously a graduate research assistant at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland. Paul also holds an MAR in the History of Christianity from Yale Divinity School, and he brings nearly two decades of technical and IT management experience in Silicon Valley where he designed, deployed, and operated large-scale server environments for Internet startups. Both Paul’s dissertation research on Gratian’s Decretum (c.1140) and his work as technical director on the Tudor Plays Project, focus on the statistical analysis of common function words for authorship attribution.
Alexandra Annen (Actor & Musician, The Tudor Players, 2015-17) is originally from Mountain View, California and is in her third year at the University of San Diego. She studies Theatre Arts and Music with an emphasis in Vocal Performance and hopes to receive her teaching credential and become a high school drama and music teacher. Alex sings regularly with USD’s Founders Chapel Choir and the Choral Scholars. Most recently, Alex assistant directed USD’s production of Art. Her acting credits include Twelve Angry Women (USD) and Rent (Hilbarn Conservatory). Alex recently traveled to London, England where she found a new love for the theatre of the Tudor period.
Caitlan Bertram (Videoeditor, 2017-18) is a senior at University of San Diego graduating in May 2018 with a Communication Studies Major and French and Marketing Minors. She fell in love with the creative aspect of video editing in a high school journalism class and has filmed and edited music videos, recitals, time-lapses, and is excited to be editing Tudor Plays Project performance videos. At USD, Caitlan is a Residential Assistant, Director of Operations for USD Student Media, and Student Technology Assistant in Maher Media Lab. She will be pursuing a career in Global Marketing where she can combine her love for travel and creating inclusive and diverse advertisement campaigns.
Emily Bezold (Assistant Dramaturg; Student Representative, DH Working Group, 2014-17) is a USD English Major with Minors in History and Classical Studies; she comes from Miami, Florida. Emily is a recipient of an Alcalá Award Scholarship and the Highest Academic Achievement Award; she member of the Honors Program, has received First Honors, and has been included on the Dean’s List. Emily is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and also serves as President; she is also Treasurer of USD’s Sigma Tau Delta National English Honor Society chapter, a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, and a member of the Mortar Board Honor Society. Emily has volunteered for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Bayside Community Center, and Semester at Sea Impact Service Projects. Emily has worked on the Tudor Plays Project since the project began accepting students in 2014, and she served as Medieval and Renaissance Studies Fellow as well. In 2016-17, Emily is serving as a Preceptorial Assistant, helping first-year students acclimate to college.
Cara Carucci (Actor, The Tudor Players; TPP Liaison to Theatre and Performance Studies, 2014-17) is excited to be returning for another semester with the Tudor Plays Project, after spending spring 2016 abroad at University College Cork (Ireland). Cara is a senior majoring in Theatre and Performance Studies and minoring in Business at USD. Her twin loves of literature and theatre have also led her to take numerous English classes, which in turn led to her adding an English minor—and to her being recruited to work in the English Department office. Cara, who comes from Lompoc, California, has enjoyed being involved in the Theatre Department and collaborating on its productions; she has previous experience as a Dramaturg and Literary Historian and has earned various acting credits including various parts in The Secret in the Wings, Juror #6 in Twelve Angry Women, and Mrs. Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank. Cara is grateful for the opportunity to work on a groundbreaking digital humanities project with a wonderful team of dedicated people.
Abigail Caywood (Designer, Gentylnes and Nobylyte, 2016-17) is a costume designer based in Southern California. She received her BA in Drama from the University of California, Irvine, where she was awarded Honors in Design. Her professional credits include MAESTRO: The Art of Leonard Bernstein (59E59 Off-Broadway) and An American Story (Pasadena Playhouse) for acclaimed performer Hershey Felder, Marry Me a Little (Theatre Out) and The Iliad (UC Irvine). Her university credits include Hay Fever (set and costume design), Ghosts, The Tempest, The Fifth of July, Yerma, Crave and Dead Man’s Cell Phone. Her professional assistant design credits include Hamlet, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth for New Swan Shakespeare Festival, The Illusion at North Coast Repertory Theatre and She Who: Frida, Mami & Me for Contra Tiempo Dance Company. Abigail has also interned in the costume shops of San Diego Repertory Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse.
Jude Caywood (Associate Director & Dramaturg, TPP, 2014-17) is a member of the inaugural cohort of USD students on the Tudor Plays Project and led the collaborative work on the creation and adaptation of the first Modern English performance text of Gentylnes and Nobylyte (published on this website). Jude graduated from the University of San Diego in 2016 with a BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities and minors in both French and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her thesis, Rædende Iudithðe: The Heroic, Mythological and Christian Elements in the Old English Poem Judith, was published by the University of San Diego Honors Program. Jude’s academic interests include early English literature, ancient languages, and women’s history.
Jacquelyn Giles (Hair and Makeup, The Tudor Players, 2016-17) has performed in numerous operatic and theatrical productions, often doing her own makeup and that of other actors and singers. A finalist in the Metropolitan Opera auditions, her leading operatic soprano roles include Tosca in Puccini’s Tosca, Musetta in La Bohème, Michaela in Carmen, and Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, and her theatre roles include the title role in Anastasia as well as the Widow Quinn in Playboy of the Western World; she also designed makeup for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. For San Diego’s Starlight Musical Theatre, she portrayed the tap-dancing Christine in Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music, and Nettie in Carousel. Jackie’s most challenging makeup/design assignment was to create a break-away mask for the Nutcracker-turned-Prince in Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet.
Yasmine Hachimi (Teaching Assistant & Bibliographer, 2014-15) is studying for her PhD in English at the University of California at Davis, where she focuses on Early Modern literature and culture. Yasmine earned her BA in English with a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from the University of San Diego in 2015. While completing her undergraduate degree, Yasmine’s interest in British literature led her to the University of Oxford, where she studied at Keble College’s Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. She has co-designed (with Maura Giles-Watson) a new course, “‘Off With Their Heads’: Henry VIII in Popular Culture,” and is collaborating with her former teacher to design another new course, “Contemporary Shakespeares: Adaptation and Appropriation.” Yasmine has also worked with UC Davis Professor Gina Bloom on “Play the Knave”– a motion capture video game that allows players to perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. Yasmine’s research and teaching interests include the Tudors in popular culture, early modern epistolography, feminist theory, and digital humanities.
Emma Heflin (Researcher and Writer, 2018-) is from Ridgecrest, California, and is a first year at the University of San Diego. She is planning to major in both English and Philosophy and minor in German. Emma has joined the Tudor Plays Project due to a developing fondness of Tudor literature beginning with Maura Giles-Watson’s Shakespeare 240 class. Emma will pursue this interest in the summer of 2018 as she works in collaboration with Maura in the SURE undergraduate research program. Though she can usually be found in the stacks at Copley Library, some of Emma’s other favorite activities are traveling, hiking, running, and playing the cello. Eventually, Emma would like to run a marathon and live in Europe. She also plans on attending graduate school for either English or Philosophy and become a professor like the ones who consistently inspire her.
Yousif Hermiz (Actor, The Tudor Players, 2015-17) graduated from the University of San Diego in the spring of 2017 with a BA in Theatre Arts & Performance Studies. Yousif has always had an attraction to literature as well, and has pursued courses in medieval and Renaissance studies, including “Roman and Renaissance Comedy.” Yousif has performed in several dramatic productions during his time at USD, playing the roles of Chubukov and Nyukhin in ‘Anton’s Shorts’: Three Brief Comedies by Chekhov, Serge in Art by Yasmin Reza, Sergio in No Such Cold Thing by Naomi Wallace, and Socrates in Will Huddleston’s adaption of Lysistrata by Aristophanes. Yousif has also spent a considerable amount of time backstage – working in both the costume and scene shops, serving as stage manager for the production of On the Verge by Eric Overmyer, and as propsmaster in the production of The Secret in the Wings by Mary Zimmerman. In addition, Yousif earned certification from the American Society of Fight Directors as an actor-combatant in the weapon skills of rapier and dagger.
DeZell Lathon (Videographer, The Tudor Plays, 2016-17) is a senior at the University of San Diego majoring in Theatre and minoring in Communication Studies (emphasis in FIlm). He has always been passionate about working in a creative environment. DeZell’s production credits include but are not limited to, Creative Director for USDtv, Production Assistant and Slate to several local production companies, creator of the F Word, a show that highlights food and fashion in San Diego with friends found on The Odyssey and creator of Afro Love Poetry Slam. He has also worked onstage as well with his most recent credits in Lysistrata (USD), Finding the Sun (USD), 15 Ways to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (Clairemont Act One) and Cheating Death (Clairmont Act One). DeZell also has directing credits with Christian Youth Theatre for Peter Pan, Charlie Brown and Hercules. Recently, DeZell was able to write and direct a one act that was performed in the Black Box Theatre at USD called Royals which highlights African history and tackles colorism and female empowerment in the Black community. DeZell plans to pursue a lengthy career in film as an actor and director in which he would use his talents to showcase beauty in subjects who have been oppressed in our society.
Jordan Matuszewski (2017- ) is originally from Long Island, NY, and is currently pursuing a B.S. in computer science. Jordan demonstrates his thirst for knowledge both in and outside of the classroom. Whether it be through formal research projects or a good book, his devotion to learning is sure to have him out of bed by sunrise and on his fourth cup of coffee by lunch. Jordan is working on the Tudor Plays Project to better understand the Digital Humanities, learn new skills, and apply his knowledge of the computer programming languages he’s been studying over the course of the past two years.
Maya McAuliffe (Technical Coordinator, 2015-17) is from Palo Alto, CA, and studies Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of San Diego. Maura Giles-Watson recruited her to work on the Tudor Plays Project by a lucky accident: Maya was in English Professor Deborah Sundmacher’s office hours casually demonstrating a computer program she had written for analyzing lexical features in Shakespeare’s plays; Deborah then called Maura in from next door to meet Maya. As a programmer, Maya is most excited about how the Tudor Plays Project can use code to analyze anonymous texts for their probable authorship. Maya’s other passions include training as a circus performer in aerial arts, flying trapeze, and handstands, and traveling around the world.
Erin McDonald (Technical Coordinator; Student Representative, Digital Humanities Working Group, 2015-17) is a senior majoring in Computer Science with minors in Math and Theology. Erin has a wide range of academic interests including Python programming, fractal geometry, and postmodern theology. Erin participates in Student Conduct Leadership Team, a group of students who helps adjudicate boards related to conduct violations, and Rainbow Educators, a group of faculty, staff, students, and alumni that presents on various topics surrounding social justice and identity exploration. She also works as a tutor for athletic support services. Beyond the classroom, Erin enjoys spending time in the water, whether that means swimming, water polo, or paddleboard yoga. She also spends a lot of time at farmers markets gathering ingredients for vegan cooking. Her post-graduation plan is to apply for jobs around the United States and see where she lands.
Shahra Meshkaty is Senior Director of Academic Technology Services (ATS) at the University of San Diego, where she oversees instructional technology development, Client Support Services, Digital Media Support, Learning Space Support, Computing labs and academic and research systems support. Shahra has been at USD for 20 years in different roles at ITS, including as adjunct faculty at the School of Education and the School of Business. Her teaching role includes her tenure at the San Diego Community College at the New Media Center. She has taught courses in business applications, IT management, web publishing, and multimedia and graphic design. In her current role, she coordinates visioning, planning, and implementation of Academic Technology within USD. Shahra helped form and co-chaired the Innovative Learning Space Design Committee at USD — the first attempt to improve formal and informal learning spaces at the university. She has given numerous talks, papers and presentations at national and international conferences such as the SIGUCCS, New Media Center, Blackboard, EdMedia, Educause, DET/CHE, and E-Learn -World Conference and is currently serving as the president of the DETCHE Organization (Directors of Educational Technology/California Higher Education). In close collaboration with faculty and students, she has been involved in numerous rewarding IT projects and initiatives. launched the Annual Technology Showcase, the Student Technology Assistant program, the digital initiative of the Classroom iPad project, and most recently the Innovative Summer Institute for faculty. She was one of the first advocates for Digital Humanities at USD and the Tudor Plays Project is grateful for her support and for the participation of ATS.
Morgan Moore (Researcher and writer) joined the Tudor Plays Project in the early spring of 2017 after a lively lunchtime conversation with Maura revealed how closely Morgan’s own interests in medieval and early modern performance aligned with the TPP’s aims. Morgan graduated from Wellesley College in 2015 with a degree in Medieval-Renaissance Studies, completing an honors thesis entitled How Wales was Made So Happy: Nation and Nonsense in Shakespeare’s Treatment of the Welsh. As the recipient of Wellesley’s Susan Rappaport Knafel ’52 Scholarship for Foreign Study, she spent 2015-16 at Aberystwyth University in Wales, where she earned an MA in Medieval Welsh Literature with Distinction for her dissertation Performance and Power in the Poetry of the Cywyddwyr. At Wellesley, Morgan spent three years performing with the Wellesley College Shakespeare Society and two semesters with the college’s early performance ensemble Collegium Musicum. Her interests also include medieval oral literature and manuscript studies, which she has pursued through positions in Wellesley College’s Special Collections and in the publishing offices of the Medieval Academy of America’s distinguished journal Speculum.
Kathryn Morton (Actor, The Tudor Players, 2015-17) is a senior at the University of San Diego where she is working towards a degree in Theater Arts and Performance Studies with a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. She is absolutely thrilled to be taking part in the Tudor Plays Project, which combines two of her biggest passions: theatre and earlier English literature. She is interested in the stories we as a society tell ourselves and how drama reflects our cultures and the collective subconscious. She is so thankful for this opportunity to participate in reviving neglected Henrician plays for our tech-focused age.
Amanda Pendleton (Assistant Dramaturg, 2014-2017) is a passionate English major and literature student at the University of San Diego who seeks to find significance and solace in everything she reads. She finds that earlier English literature and drama provide exciting challenges and fascinating discoveries, and she learns something new with each endeavor. The Tudor Plays Project is a wonderful intersection of text analysis, performance studies, and modern technology that she is thrilled and honored to be a part of. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys exploring, swimming, and spending time with her cat.
Nic Remer (Videographer, Gentylnes and Nobylyte, Scene B) is a USD alumnus originally from Finley, Washington. He has worked in motion picture and video production since 2009. Some of the clients he has performed videographic work for include Bloomberg Business Week, Spike TV, MTV Networks Teen Wolf, AMC’s The Walking Dead, Comedy Central and Extra. Nic has a degree in Finance and currently also develops retirement income strategies for Foresters Financial Services.
Mark Sasaki (Musician, The Tudor Players, 2015-17) is originally from Los Angeles, California. He is in his fourth year at University of San Diego, where he majors in Mechanical Engineering and minors in both Music and Mathematics. Mark sings regularly with the USD Choral Scholars and the Founder’s Chapel Choir. In addition to singing and playing guitar, he enjoys playing bass, ukulele, and cajon. Recently, he served as the music director for the Old Globe/USD MFA Program’s production of Chekhov’s The Seagull. Mark is thankful for the opportunity to work on such a fantastic project.
Emily Schlichting (Editor for Initial Corpus Preparation, 2010-12) is a native Nebraskan who served as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legislation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama Administration. In this role, Emily managed Secretary Burwell’s preparation for Congressional hearings, prepared other legislative briefing materials, and worked with the Secretary on Presidential nominations and Departmental priorities in Congress. Previously, Emily worked on a variety of health policy issues as a Legislative Aide to Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa), then Chair of the U.S. Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee. Prior to joining the HELP Committee staff 2013, Emily was a Truman-Albright Fellow in the Office of Rural Health Policy in the Department of Health and Human Services. A 2011-12 Truman Scholar, Emily graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a double major in Political Science and Communication Studies and a minor in Latin. While a student at UNL, Emily received a competitive UCARE (undergraduate research) grant to collaborate with Maura on the preliminary preparation of the corpus of Henrician debate plays that underpin the Tudor Plays Project’s digital authorship-attribution study of Gentylnes and Nobylyte.
Meg Stoll Tron (Videographer, Gentylnes and Nobylyte Scenes A, C, and D, 2015-17) graduated from the University San Diego with degrees in both English and Theatre and Performance Studies. Her acting credits include Eurydice, Lysistrata, Dog Sees God, and Chekhov’s The Celebration. Meg has also directed Finding the Sun, designed costumes for On the Verge, assistant directed and choreographed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and worked as wardrobe assistant on the productions of Hamlet and Richard II at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Meg has training in red nose clown, rasaboxes, neutral mask, Commedia dell’Arte, and broadsword. She is also an avid dancer, having trained in hip-hop, bhangra, contemporary, jazz, and tap, and she teaches swing dancing around the San Diego area.
Connor Sullivan (Actor, The Tudor Players, 2016-17) holds a BA from USD, where he double-majored in Theatre & Performance Studies and Communication Studies. He has trained at the MeisnerChekhov Integrated Training Studio in San Diego and at the Summer Training Congress at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Connor’s San Diego theatre credits include The Metromaniacs, The Car Plays (Moving Arts, La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival), 4000 Miles, Jesus Hates Me (ion theatre company), Out on a Limb: Unplugged (Scripps Ranch Theatre), readings at Cygnet Theatre Company, Intrepid Theatre Company, and Diversionary Theatre, as well as Richard II, Sense and Sensibility, and the workshop production of When It Comes (all three at The Old Globe Theatre). His film credits include Thane of East County and A Life Lived. He is currently an educational tour member with both Lamb’s Players Theatre and Intrepid Theatre Company.
Phoebe Woofter (2018-) is a first year student at the University of San Diego currently pursuing an a Major in English with a Minor in Music. She is a native of Portland, Oregon. Upon graduating from high school she earned her TEFL certification from the International TEFL Academy in Toulouse, France and taught English, Art, and Music in Khon Kaen, Thailand. Phoebe performs with the USD Choral Scholars and plays piano, guitar, and ukulele. Her passion is storytelling, whether that be through art, writing, theater, or dance. She is thrilled to become a part of the Tudor Plays Project.
Julie Ye (Videographer, 2016-17) is a junior at University of San Diego. She is currently pursuing a degree in International Business with a minor in Performing Arts Entrepreneurship. When the opportunity arose to work behind the scenes with Tudor Play Project, the chance to learn about videography sparked her interest and she decided to take a leap of faith and to try something new that was outside of her comfort zone. Through the project, Julie has learned a lot about the technical aspects of the production process and she is thankful for the amazing opportunity to participate and work with motivated and talented people.