comedy and tragedy masks on a stage, with stage lights


September 21, 2022

SIU theater majors to perform their original works at ‘New Faces’

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Theater and Dance on Saturday will introduce audiences to this year’s new theater majors. 

The performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Communications Building’s Christian H. Moe Laboratory Theater, Room 1045. 

The production is generated from the theater 220 freshman theater seminar, which is taught by e.k. doolin, the penname for Emily Klingensmith, a second-year Master of Fine Arts in playwriting student. She notes that STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) classes often have a team-building project at the start of a student’s career, and that “New Faces” “is our theater version of this project.”

The freshman showcase consists of monologues, scenes, and songs from Broadway plays and musicals and is directed and conceived by Matthew Williams, an assistant professor in theater and dance and Klingensmith.

“I’m so proud of these students who have put together a show in just a few weeks, from scratch,” she said. “So, the production will not only showcase what the student performers can do individually, but illustrate how they work together as a group to create a real theatrical experience.”

Here is a list, by hometown, of the 15 students who are 2022 “New Faces.” All are musical theater majors unless noted. 


  • Cairo: Angelique Jones, theater.
  • Chicago: Varee Williams, theater.
  • Hillsboro: Alexis Lessman.
  • Marion: Bella Morris.
  • New Lenox: Edie Balaster. 


  • Michigan City: Kenzie Losinski. 


  • Louisville: Olivia Manning. 


  • Troy: Sawyer Richman. 


  • Fredericktown: Faith Smothers, mechanical engineering.
  • St, Charles: Lydia Holterman, theater. 
  • St. Louis: Shane Thompson, theater.


  • Leipsic: Grace Douglas. 


  • Jackson: Malia Jones.
  • Nolensville: Van Leonard. 


  • Katy: Elizabeth Cutherell. 

“I’ve seen ‘New Faces’ as an outside-of-theater person, and it’s always been a fun time,” said H.D. Motyl, interim director of the School of Theater and Dance. “I’m especially excited about this year’s show as a new face in theater myself, and I’m looking forward to meeting the talented students who have just begun our programs.”