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Erika Guay


Associate Professor of Theatre

Professor Erika Guay hails from Virginia and holds a B.A. from Gettysburg College and a M.F.A. from University of North Carolina Greensboro. She is a member of United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), Kennedy Center American College Theatre Association (KCACTF), Phi Beta Kappa,and Alpha Psi Omega. She has specialties in design and building puppets, mask making, and Asian theatre.

Erika’s love of puppets began while studying bunraku with the Tonda Ningyo Troupe in Biwa-cho, Japan. From this experience she performed with the Bunraku Bay puppet company at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She has designed and built puppets for many productions including an award winning puppet for the opera Barnum’s Bird, many innovate animal puppets for the children’s tour show, Wiley and the Hairy Man, and bunraku styled puppets for the SUNY Plattsburgh premier of The Bamboo Princess.

Erika has also studied abroad in Italy, England, and Australia and traveled to several other countries. A highlight trip was attending the 2007 Prague Quadrennial with the USITT PQ tour which traveled and experienced theatre in Eastern Europe before attending the conference.

As a transplant to the North Country, Erika is very interested in community outreach. She has worked as a Lighting Designer for the North Country Ballet Ensemble production of The Nutcracker, designed Scenery and Costumes at Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake, and regularly presents at the KCACTF Region 1 conference. She is the Co-Vice chair of DTM for KCACTF, and the Book Review Editor for USITT TD&T. Erika is also the faculty adviser for Alpha Psi Omega (APO), the Theatre Honors Society.

Erika also has a farm with her husband and two kids. They grow hops and a large garden, raise sheep, chickens, and ducks, and make maple syrup.

Education

  • M.F.A. in Theatre Design, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • B.A. in Theatre, Minor in Japanese, Gettysburg College

Teaching Areas and Interests

  • Asian Theatre/Intro to Asia
  • Farming/Local agriculture
  • Fiber Arts/Spinning wool
  • History of Style
  • Introduction to Theatre
  • Graphic Design
  • Gardening
  • Mask Design and Creation
  • Production Design
  • Production Leadership
  • Production Workshop
  • Scenic Painting and Prop Construction
  • Stage Costume
  • Stage Light and Sound
  • Theatrical Makeup
  • World Puppetry

Recent Productions

  • I Hate Hamlet, Scenic Designer, Pendragon Theatre
  • Babar and the Carnival of Animals, Puppet and Prop Designer, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Music
  • Go, Dog. Go!, Director and Scenic Designer, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre
  • Fashion, Costume Designer, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre
  • First Born, Producer and Design Mentor, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre
  • Oklahoma!, Scenic and Lighting Designer, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre
  • The Bamboo Princess, Director, Scenic and Puppet Designer, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre 
  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Scenic Designer, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre.
  • The Nutcracker, Lighting Designer, North Country Ballet Ensemble (2012-Present)
  • The Odyssey, Scenic Designer, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre.
  • On The Verge, Director, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre.
  • Suddenly Last Summer, Scenic and Lighting Designer, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre.
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Scenic and Lighting Designer, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre.
  • The 39 Steps, Costume and Scenic Designer, Pendragon Theatre.
  • L’Enfant et les sortilèges and L’Enfant Prodigue, Mask and Crafts creator, UNCG Opera.
  • Wiley and the Hairy Man Puppet Designer, UNCG Theatre for Young People.
  • Barnum’s Bird, Puppet Designer, UNCG Opera.

Professional Affiliations

  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) — Book Review Editor of USITT TD&T
  • USITT Upstate NY — Past Vice Chair of Programming
  • Kennedy Center American College Theatre Association (KCACTF) — Co-Vice Chair of DTM
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Alpha Psi Omega — Faculty Sponsor
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