Faculty & Staff
Wendy Barrie-Wilson has performed in over 100 plays, and worked with dozen's of new writers helping develop their latest projects. Wendy was recently seen in I Capture the Castle (Mrs. Cotton) and The Grapes Of Wrath (Ma Joad) for the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ. She played Sister Aloysius in the European premiere of Doubt in Vienna. Wendy has received a SALT Award and a DayTony award for other productions of Doubt. Variety hailed her Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie as one of the best Amanda Wingfields ever. Wendy was last seen on Broadway in OUR TOWN starring Paul Newman; also on Broadway she performed in the Tony Award winning production of Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS.
Wendy has performed in over 100 productions, including Yelena (opposite Hal Holbrook) in Uncle Vanya, Lady Croom in Arcadia, May in Fool For Love, Masha in Three Sisters, Andromache in The Greeks, Tourvel in Les Liaisons Dangereuses; Mags in Painting Churches, Maud/Lin in Cloud Nine, , Nadya Lenin in Travesties, Anna in Old Times, Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town, Sasha in Wild Honey, Olivia in Twelfth Night, Mariana in Measure for Measure, and several times in her two favorite's; Roxane in Rostand's Cyrano De Bergerac, and Stella in Tennessee William's A Streetcar Named Desire. Wendy has performed all over the country, at the Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Huntington Theatre, Asolo Theatre, Virginia Stage, Portland Stage, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, River Arts Repertory, Indiana Repertory, Alliance Theatre, Playmaker's Repertory, and Denver Center Theatre Company, Princeton University Guest artist, among many others. She has worked with such wonderful writer's as J.P. Donleavy, Derek Walcott, Soviet writer Sasha Galin, The Red Clay Rambler's, Theresa Rebeck, and Arthur Miller.
Just before coming to Denison Wendy was playing Mrs. Chitwood on The Guiding Light. She can be seen on reruns of Law & Order/SVU and C.I. Recently she was on PBS in "Novel Reflections". Commercials: Wendy was for several years on Japanese TV as the Mom for General Foods “Blendy” Coffee. Others: for Adidas (Europe) starring Anna Kornikova; Wendy also won an Addy award for Z94's Morning Zoo for her voiceover work. Wendy coaches actors and has taught Master Acting classes and the "Business of the Biz", at Denison University, UNC-Chapel Hill; The ArtSchool, NC; Northeastern University, Baltimore's School for the Performing Arts, Denver Center Conservatory; Asolo Theatre; Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; among others. Wendy's Great-Great Aunt Elizabeth Risdon and Uncle Brandon Evans were members of the Theatre Guild and worked with Lunt and Fontanne, Helen Hayes, J.B. Shaw, among many other famous actors/writers. Wendy is also a potter; she taught pottery in NYC for 5 years prior to coming to teach theatre at Denison. Her pottery studio in now in Ohio and she sells her pottery locally.
Mark Evans Bryan is a playwright and historian of theatre and culture in the U.S. eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His scholarly work includes “‘Slideing into Monarchical extravagance’: Cato at Valley Forge and the Testimony of William Bradford, Jr.,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series, 67.1; “A Femme Fatale of Eighteenth-Century American Theatre Research: Reading William Bradford’s Cato Letter,” Performing Arts Resources 28; “‘Crusade of Conquest’: Orientalist Surrogations in Manifest-Destinarian Theatre,” Journal of American Drama and Theatre 21.1; “The Rhetoric of Race and Slavery in an American Patriot Drama, John Leacock’s The Fall of British Tyranny,” JADT 12.3; “Yeoman and Barbarians: Popular Outland Caricature and American Identity,” Journal of Popular Culture 46.3; “Performing ‘Amerikee’: Rural Caricature and the George Washingtons of Percy MacKaye and Jacques Copeau,” “To Have and Have Not”: New Essays on Commerce and Capital in Modernist Theatre (McFarland 2011); and “American Drama, 1900-1915,” Companion to Twentieth-Century American Drama (Blackwell 2005). “Middle True,” the first part of Dr. Bryan’s play cycle, Mercury Seven with Signs Following, was published in the Kenyon Review 26.1; the cycle has been performed in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. His recent work includes a new stand-alone adaptation of the second part of the M7 cycle, Mud Nostalgia, which premiered at the Prague Fringe Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, in May 2011, under the direction of Bruce Hermann and performed by Sue Ott Rowlands (and subsequently toured Hungary and was performed in Sri Lanka and the U.S.) and his one-woman play, fig. 1, which premiered at the 2010 Prague Fringe Festival with designs by the celebrated Czech “action designer” and artist, Jaroslav Malina. The Prague Post called fig. 1 “a play of romance and resignation, disillusionment and infatuation … intimate, gutsy, and ornately detailed”; Radmila Hrdinová was “enchanted” by the play, awarding it a rating of 9/10 in Právo. As an actor, Dr. Bryan is most proud of his work with his long-time collaborator, filmmaker Andrew M. Hulse, including his performance in Hulse’s awarding-winning short film, Gasoline (2008). Dr. Bryan is currently at work on a book project—on the Bradford family of eighteenth-century Philadelphia and popular culture in the U.S. middle colonies between 1755 and 1795—as well as on a new play, The Remotest Indies of This Living Earth, a not-especially-narrative piece set in mid-century Mexico City, Nixon-era southern Illinois, and in the present at the edge of the solar system. He is also very proud to serve on the board of the for/word company.
At Denison, Dr. Bryan teaches FYS 102 (“Humbug! Nineteenth-Century American Popular Entertainment”); THTR 100 (“Introduction to Theatre Studies”); THTR 170 (performance practicum); THTR 290 & 430 (playwriting); THTR 371-372-373-374 (the sequence in the history, literature, and theory of the theatre); and multiple versions of THTR 400 (junior/senior seminars on dramatic literature, theory of the theatre, and the history of theatre and culture), including “Theatre and the Early Republic, 1760-1860,” “Representing the Muslim World in British and American Drama,” “Modernism, Modernity, Theatre,” and seminars on vaudeville, minstrelsy, and popular theatre in the United States before the mid-twentieth century. Dr. Bryan is both an alumnus company member and the faculty advisor of Denison’s Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Company, an improvisational performance group founded in 1979, purportedly the oldest of its kind on American university campuses; B.S.T.C. counts among its alumnae/i numerous theatre, television and film artists, including Steve Carell.
Dr. Bryan earned his Ph.D. in Theatre (history, literature and criticism) at the Ohio State University; his A.M. from the University of Chicago (the interdisciplinary Master of Arts Program in the Humanities); and his B.A. from Denison.
Kirk Combe teaches literature, critical theory, and writing at Denison University. His specialty area is Restoration and 18th-Century British literature, with an emphasis on satire and stage comedy. He teaches upper-level courses in the poetry, prose, drama, and culture of the early modern period. He also teaches survey courses in early British literature. In addition to these literature courses, he teaches upper-level courses in critical and cultural theory as well as first-year composition. He won the Charles A. Brickman Teaching Excellence Award, Denison University, 2011.
Combe has published A Martyr for Sin: Rochester’s Critique of Polity, Sexuality, and Society (University of Delaware Press, 1998) and co-edited Theorizing Satire: Essays in Literary Criticism (St. Martins Press, 1995). He has published as well numerous articles on satire, drama, literary history, popular culture, pedagogy, and aging in academic journals such as Modern Philology; Texas Studies in Literature and Language; Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700; The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation; Notes and Queries; Pretexts: Studies in Writing and Culture; Eighteen-Century Life; Journal of Aging and Identity; and The Journal of Popular Culture. Some of his essays have been anthologized. He has also edited Restoration drama in The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama (2001) and contributed a chapter entitled “The Sentimental and the Satirical” to The Blackwell Companion to Restoration Drama (2001). He regularly reviews scholarly books for academic journals such as Notes and Queries; Scriblerian; Restoration: Studies in English Literary culture, 1660-1700; and 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era. He’s also published short fiction in literary journals, and his first novel, entitled 2084, came out in 2009 from Mayhaven Publishing.
Combe received his B.A. from Davidson College (North Carolina) and his M.A. from the Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College (Vermont). He completed his D.Phil. in literature at Oxford University, England. He has taught at universities in both Europe and the United States. Prior to becoming a career egghead, he spent several years playing professional basketball in Switzerland and Germany.
Dr. McFarren holds an M.F.A. in acting from the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, as well as a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She specializes in the teaching of acting, with an emphasis on teaching the performance of heightened language. She is a member of Actors Equity Association, and has worked professionally since the age of 18. Recent years have seen her perform with the Berkeley and Colorado Shakespeare Festivals, the Denver Center Theatre Company, Germinal Stage (Denver), the Commonweal Theatre Company (Lanesboro, MN), the Creede Repertory Theatre (Creede, CO), and the Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble (Ripton, VT).
She lives in Granville with her husband, artist Mathew McFarren, son, and two impudent dogs.
Joyce Merrilees received a Bachelor of Science in Textiles and Clothing from The Ohio State University and has been in charge of costume realization for Denison's Theatre Department since fall of 2001. As Supervisor of the Costume Shop, Joyce guides the student staff to become proficient in the craft of sewing and makes the designs of the staff or visiting costume designer a reality on stage. She also maintains a custom sewing and tailoring business in Granville.
Mark Seamon (Assistant Professor) holds his B.A. in Communication and Theatre from the University of Notre Dame, M.A. in Theatre from Miami University (Ohio), and Ph.D. in Theatre from The Ohio State University. Mark's research interests include acting and directing, contemporary American drama, solo performance, theatre for young audiences, musical theatre, and race and gender studies. Mark is a director, stage manager, and active member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), and the Mid-America Theatre Conference (MATC). He teaches acting and directing at Denison.