Meet Our Faculty

Michael Johnson

Michael Curtis Johnson, Department Chair
Assistant Professor, Film Production

UNA Box 5260
2nd Floor, George S. Lindsey Theatre

Johnson's film Savage Youth was selected 
for the Venice International Film Festival's Biennale College Cinema program and had its premiere at the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival. It screened at the Atlanta Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Award at the Florida Film Festival. His first feature film Hunky Dory won jury awards at the Slamdance, Atlanta, Nashville, Naples, BendFilm, San Francisco Indie, and American Film Festival. In all, his feature films and shorts have screened and won awards at over 75 international film festivals. He was chosen for IFP's Narrative Film Lab, US in Progress - Wroclaw, and the Berlin International Film Festival's Berlinale Talents program. He is an alumnus of the directing program at the American Film Institute Conservatory.


Abigail Dillard, Visiting Assistant Professor, Theatre

UNA Box 5260
2nd Floor, George S. Lindsey Theatre



Abigail Dillard (she/her) holds an MFA in Directing from Baylor University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Centenary College of Louisiana, Magna Cum Laude. Her interest in educational theatre led her to an internship at The Kennedy Center for their Explore the Arts programming. She also worked as a Teaching Artist for Imagination Stage, a children’s theatre in Maryland.  Her specialization in devised and physical theatre has led her to train with SITI Company, Pig Iron Theatre, Double Edge Theatre, Frantic Assembly Company, and her own explorations with her students. Favorite directing credits include The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised], a devised work entitled#WhyUntoOthers?, and Treasure IslandYou may find examples of her creative work at

Bryan McHenry

Bryan McHenry, Assistant Professor
Film Production

UNA Box 5260
2nd Floore, George S. Lindsey Theatre


Bryan McHenry is an award-winning filmmaker, educator, and performer whose work has screened in festivals around the world and in millions of US homes on Vibrant TV. He graduated from Columbia College, Chicago with a Master of Fine Arts in Directing and Screenwriting. His films explore the lives of gay men, family dynamics, and body self-image. He is also a classically trained musician with a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy and a Bachelor of Music in Secondary Instrumental Music Education from The University of Memphis. He taught film production for over 15 years in the Chicagoland and Milwaukee areas. He may also occasionally be found at less prestigious locales telling stories that are mostly true or bombing with new material in an attempt to build a solid 10 minutes.


Ariel Lauryn, Visiting Assistant Professor,
UNA Box 5260



Ariel is a plucky polymath of devised theater and puppetry. She collaborates on creating original theater productions as a writer, director, improviser, and performer. She has taught at institutions like Cornell College and the University of Portland.

She has performed nationally, internationally, Off-Broadway, On-Camera, with and without puppets: Internationally at places like Animo Festival (Poland), Akko Fest (Israel), Beijing City Theater (China), Musée du quai Branly (France), Nationally at places like Wallis Center (Los Angeles) and U of Washington (Seattle), and NYC at Theater Row, PRTT, Dixon Place, and The Connelly. 

Ariel has an MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theater from Dell'Arte International, where she studied devised theater, mask, clown, and movement. 



Magela Crosignani - Film Production 

Charlton James - Theatre

Suzanne Mills - Theatre

Amanda Perry - Theatre

Patrick Underwood - Film Production