Theatre Alumni

Jason Liles (09) attended FHU for just one year. However, he describes that year as the inspiration for his professional career. While a student here, Jason appeared in Macbeth (Macduff) and Terra Nova (Admunsen). Jason now lives in LA, specializing in "creature acting." He has appeared in numerous independent films, the TV series "Lights Out", and did voice work for the video game "L.A. Noire." His Geico airs annually. Although his face is hidden by extensive prosthetics, Jason appeared in the Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones comedy, "Men in Black III," and in the 2017 release of the "Halo Wars 2" national commercial.

Learn more about Jason here.


Cherie Evans (02) graduated with a BA in theatre performance and immediately began her professional career as a full-time actor and teacher in ShoWagon, a touring children's theatre group. While there, Cherie played the title roles in Romeo & JulietRamona the Pest, and Alice in Wonderland. In 2004, Cherie moved to Chicago where she performed in Fiddler on the Roof (Hodel) and The Music Man (Marian), which she also choreographed. She did a three-month run with Emerald City Theatre Company as the Mouse in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Cherie recently shot her first feature length film, portraying Merv Tollsen's girlfriend, Meg in The Myth of Merv Tollsen: Air Guitar Legend. Favorite shows at FHU include The Taffetas (Donna), Steel Magnolias (Shelby), A Midsummer Night?s Dream, and Fiddler on the Roof (Hodel). Cherie now lives in Burbank, California. She recently appeared on AMCs popular drama "Mad Men."


Tiffany Christensen (07) completed her BA degrees in theatre performance and music. Her passion for ministry led her to Redding, CA shortly after graduation where she interned for the Art's Director at Bethel School of Ministry and subsequently produced and directed the school?s first full-length production in 2010. "Being at FHU helped expand my vision for what the arts and ministry could do together," she says. For the last few years Tiffany had the privilege of working for a children's theatre as an instructor and Artistic Director. In addition to the performing arts, other creative venues include, set-designing for several local shows, helping her father start a ministry-focused arts website, and creating and selling artwork of her own. She is currently teaching Jr. High art and looking for the next opportunity to implement her theatre and music training. Favorite roles at FHU include Miracle Worker (Annie Sullivan), The Winter's Tale (Paulina), and Enchanted April (production director).


Andrea Kelley ('00 grad) credits Freed-Hardeman with allowing her every opportunity to explore theatre from every angle.  From FHU stages and classes, she has gone on to teach Technical Theatre, Acting, Musical Theatre, and even Puppetry and Greek Tragedy on the middle and high school levels in Texas and Alabama.  Currently, she is pursuing her Master of Letters and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Shakespearean and Renaissance Literature in Performance at Mary Baldwin College, in conjunction with the American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia.  With roles in Henry VIII, The Alchemist and The New Inn, and experiences of leading workshops, guest-lecturing at local universities, and interning with the professional Blackfriars Playhouse, she has truly used her background earned at FHU. Upon completion of her Masters degrees, she plans on continuing her connection to both theatre and education.


Since graduation Will Slayden ('01 grad) has worked in a variety of venues. He started his professional career here at Freed-Hardeman as a Technical Director and Scenic Designer. Since then his designs have been seen at Wayside theatre in Winchester Virginia, Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and at Century College in White Bear Lake Minnesota. He spent a couple of summers teaching and building for Trollwood Performing Arts School in Fargo North Dakota. Recently, Will confessed that "if it wasn't for Freed-Hardeman and it's dedication to individual attention both in the classroom and in practical application of my studies on the stage  I would not have been nearly as confident about the skills and knowledge that I possess." His work has also appeared in a number of smaller community theatre venues around the Twin Cities area. He currently is designing and teaching at Century College while holding outside contracts with a local community theatre as their Scenic Designer and Technical Director.


Starla Steward ('05 grad) was an active part of the program completing a BA in Theatre (performance) and a minor in communications. Starla performed regularly for adult audiences and for children with the Freed-Hardeman Pied Pipers. After graduation, Starla worked as a nanny in New York City, then with the Jackson Sun as a graphic artist before opening Starla Stewart Photography.  "It is amazing how much theatre plays a role in my photography," says Starla. "I value all of my experiences with the FHU theatre program.  Even though the program is not very large, it allows for one-on-one coaching and the opportunity to have a lot of stage time.  I was able to play a wide spectrum of characters from a young girl in Our Town, to a middle aged woman in All My Sons to a storybook narrator in Into The Woods. I use my theatre knowledge while staging my photoshoots. I'm grateful for what I gained from FHU theatre."


Kell Christie ('92 grad) served as Theatre Memphis' Artistic Director, having previously served that organization as Director of Education and Outreach. An adjunct faculty member at the University of Memphis, Kell holds an M.F.A. in directing and an M.Ed in curriculum and instruction after receiving a BA in English from FHU. An actress and director, she has been seen in such plays as A Little Night MusicHamlet, and Once on this Island, for which she won the Memphis theatre community's coveted Ostrander Award. Directing credits include Our TownRomeo and JulietGodspellFiddler on the RoofThe Wizard of Oz, and Tintypes(Ostrander award for Best Ensemble). Kell Christie is the daughter of FHU's late Professor of Theatre, Dr. Hank McDaniel and Joy McDaniel. "The FHU theatre experience allowed me to explore a wide variety of roles, both onstage and offstage. My first directing experience was at FHU, as was my first playwriting experience."