Traci Ledford, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Theatre Arts, received her Master of Fine Arts in Directing as well as her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing and Design from Baylor University. In the interim between the two degrees, Traci served as the Education and Outreach Intern at the Dallas Theater Center before devoting nine years to teaching theatre in the public school systems of Texas and North Carolina.
As a director, Traci has helmed over fifty productions. Among them are Our Town, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Three Musketeers, The Voice of the Prairie, Moon Over the Brewery, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Dazzle, Sunday in the Park with George, Eurydice, The 39 Steps, and Metamorphoses. Traci also continues to perform as an actress; her roles have included such classics as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Viola in Twelfth Night, Mariane in Tartuffe, Andromache in The Trojan Women, and the Mother in Blood Wedding. Most recently, she appeared as Clytemnestra in Iphigenia 2.0.
Professionally, Traci has served as an assistant director at Horton by the Stream in Elka Park, New York; WaterTower Theatre in Addison, Texas; and at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder, Colorado.
Traci’s interests also extend to playwriting. Her original work, Three In One, was honored as a finalist in the CITA playwriting competition.
M.F.A. (Directing), Baylor University;
Teaching Certification (Secondary Theatre Arts), Texas A&M University Commerce;
B.F.A. (Directing and Design), Baylor University
John Dement, Associate Professor of Theatre, joined the faculty of East Texas Baptist University in 2014. He received his MFA from Louisiana State University and his Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University. As the newest member of the faculty at ETBU, John serves as the resident scenic and lighting designer. He has designed various combinations of lighting, sound, properties, and scenery for over fifty productions for multiple colleges, universities, and professional and community theatres. John has designed for Fort Worth Shakespeare in the Park; the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina; the Alley Theatre in Houston; the Houston Shakespeare Festival; Capital City Playhouse of Austin; and Playmakers of Baton Rouge. As a theatre generalist, John’s experience also includes directing more than forty academic and community theatre productions. As an actor, John’s credits include Love’s Labours Lost, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Mad Forest and The Seagull. As a background actor, John has appeared in several feature films and television series.
M.F.A. (Performance), Louisiana State University;
B.A. (Theatre), Baylor University
Tyler Cureton, Technical Director for the Department of Theatre Arts, joined the staff of ETBU in 2014. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard Payne University and is a proud alumnus of the Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society. While pursuing his degree, Tyler was involved in several community programs such as Arts in the Park as Director of Operations and the Brown County Historical Society’s productions of Haunted Jail and I Served Time at the Brown County Jail as an actor and director. He has also served as lighting designer, set designer, and as master of ceremonies for the Jazz Line Dance Studio.
Tyler’s technical experience includes set construction, lighting/electrics, and sound for The Terrell Actors Playhouse, The Greenville Follies, Lyric Performing Arts Company, and Howard Payne University. His work has been featured on productions such as Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Harvey, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, and Fuente Ovejuna. As an actor he has portrayed such roles as Paul Bratter in Barefoot in the Park, Monsieur Jourdain in Bourgeois Gentleman, and Bo Decker in Bus Stop.
B.A. (Theatre), Howard Payne University
Samantha Pettigrew, Costume Designer and Costume Shop Manager, joined the staff of the Department of Theatre Arts in 2016. A native of Scurry, Texas, she graduated in December 2015 from ETBU with a BA in theatre with a performance concentration. As an actress, Samantha appeared in Pride and Prejudice (Charlotte Lucas), A Piece of My Heart (Whitney), The 39 Steps (Annabella Schmidt), Urinetown (Josephine “Ma” Strong), Proof (Claire), Iphigenia 2.0 (Bridesmaid 1), and The Heiress (Catherine Sloper). Behind the scenes, she served as sound designer for Barefoot in the Park, properties designer for Proof, costume designer for Iphigenia 2.0, and assistant costume designer for Metamorphoses. Other production experience includes appearances in Too Much Memory at Trinity Valley Community College and The Night I Died at the Palace Theatre at the Henderson County Performing Arts Center. As a senior at ETBU, Samantha directed Almost, Maine as part of the production season.
B.A. (Theatre), East Texas Baptist University