Faculty

Allen Grim,Allen Grimm
Instructor and chair, Theatre and Dance

Before coming to Phillips Academy in 2013, Allen Grimm worked in both professional and academic venues, including Arena Stage, The McCarter Theater Center, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, and the Northfield Mount Hermon School.  Mr. Grimm teaches acting, directing, and a variety of other classes based in the study of contemporary theater.  He co-created a course about Hip-Hop Theater, Feminist(s) Theatre, Immigration and Theatre as well as developed a two-term course about the playwright August Wilson. While at Phillips Academy,  he produced the academic premiere of Facing Our Truth: Ten Minute Plays On Trayvon, Race, and Privilege, Black Gods of the Asphalt  and numerous other productions. He is an enthusiastic proponent of art as unifying experience and theatre as way of exploring social issues. His work as a theatre educator is based in the belief that everyone has a story, and sharing those stories through live performance can expand our understanding of the world.

Kevin HeelanKevin Heelan
Instructor, Theatre

Kevin Heelan is the author of numerous plays, including Distant Fires, seen in New York off-Broadway at the Circle in the Square theatre. It was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as best play and subsequently was produced in Los Angeles, starring Samuel L. Jackson, and was nominated for Hollywood’s Ovation Award. Other plays include Right Behind the Flag, produced at Playwrights Horizons with Kevin Spacey, and Heartland, starring Sean Penn on Broadway. The Hope Zone was produced in New York in 1996 by Circle Rep and starred Olympia Dukakis. His screen adaptation of Split Cherry Tree, starring the late Colleen Dewhurst, was seen on HBO and subsequently nominated for an Academy Award as best live action short. Along with Norman Lear, Heelan wrote and co-produced the pilot episode of a television series, 704 Hauser. In 2008, Mr. Heelan’s one-act play was part of Atlantic Theatre Company’s 20th-Anniversary Festival.

Billy MurrayBilly Murray
Instructor, Theatre and Dance

Billy Murray has a B.A. degree in theatre arts and classical studies from St. Andrews, an M.F.A. degree in design, theatre, cinema, and an M.Ed. degree in fine arts education, K-12, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His credits include costume/ lighting design for Misanthrope, The Crucible, Big River, Dido and Aenaus, On the Verge; scenic design for the National Opera, Gianni Schicchi, M. Choufleuri, The Italian Girl in Algiers, Elixir of Love, Beatrice and Benedict; costume design for Gianni Schicchi, Evita, La Boheme, Sour Angelica, Street Scene, University of North Carolina, Conservatory of Music; and cutter/draper for Julius Caesar, The Matchmaker, The Dybik, As You Like It, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival.

Bradford SeymourBradford Seymour ’00
Instructor and Technical Director, Theatre and Dance

Mr. Seymour is the Technical Director for Andover’s Department of Theatre and Dance. He holds a BA in Theater and Dance from Colby College and an MA in Performance Production from the University of Connecticut. Before joining the faculty in 2018, Mr. Seymour taught technical theater in Connecticut and worked professionally at Connecticut Repertory Theater and Portland Stage Company. At Andover he oversees the technical side of all department productions. He also designs for department productions and teaches courses in Set Design and Stagecraft. His other areas of interest include theater technology, theater safety, CNC machining for theater, sustainability in theatrical production, and video production and animation.

Erin StrongErin Strong
Instructor and Director of Dance, Theatre and Dance

Erin E. Strong joined the faculty of Phillips Academy, Andover, MA in 2005 teaching various levels of modern contemporary, ballet, and jazz technique. In addition to technique classes, Erin teaches choreography and co-teaches a musical theater elective. She has directed large-scale musicals such as HairsprayA Chorus Line, and Ragtime. In addition to her work within the Theater and Dance Department, Erin has designed and organized arts focused Learning in the World trips to South Africa, NYC, and Scotland. She served as Chair of the Theater and Dance Department from 2008-2014 and as the Empathy, Balance, and Inclusion 10th grade course head.  Erin has also served for many years as a house counselor and academic advisor.

Rickey Watson
Instructor, Theatre and Dance

Mr. Watson joined Philips Academy this year (2020), with a BFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  He currently teaches Acting and directs mainstage shows here at Phillips Academy. Mr. Watson has been a professional actor and teacher since graduation, performing in musicals and plays around the country. Credits include: OurTown- Triad Stage (NC), Intangible- MCC Theatre (NYC), Jungle Book- Peppercorn Theatre (NC), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone- UNCSA (NC), Sideshow Musical- UNCSA (NC), Princess and the Pea- Missoula Children’s Theatre (LA), Arabian Nights- New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (LA). Mr. Watson directed many shows around NYC and many institutions along the eastern coast including Fame- National Black Theatre (Harlem, NY), State of the World- Success Academy (NYC), Christmas in Harlem- Harlem Children’s Zone (NYC), No Fear- Exeter Academy (NH) . Mr. Watson is honored to be a part of such a prestigious institution.

Judy WombwellJudith Wombwell
Instructor, Theatre and Dance

Wombwell came to teach dance at Phillips Academy in 1995 and has been running the dance program ever since. Her favorite pieces of choreography for Andover dancers include Earthworks, Dido and Aeneas, Appalachian Spring and a full-length Nutcracker. Wombwell is the current Chair of Theatre & Dance and she directs Andover Dance Group. Her productions of Rhinoceros, Parabox and The Road have toured to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Recipient of numerous grants and awards, in 2010 she was awarded the Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Choreography. Wombwell also is an avid origami artist and maintains a studio at Western Ave Art Studios in Lowell.