Summer Institute : Theater : Faculty

Courses in the Summer Institute Theater program are taught by theater professionals, actors, and specialty artists. The majority of our faculty teach in the degree programs at UArts. Our expert faculty is comprised of seasoned educators and dedicated artists who enjoy the opportunity to share their expertise and collaborate with the next generation of actors, playwrights, directors, and artists.

*Please note: this list reflects a selection of our 2016 Summer Institute instructors.  Check back for updates about the 2017 Theater faculty.  

Amy Dugas Brown
Amy Dugas Brown is a director, casting director, audition coach and Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts. She has cast over 80 professional theater productions (Philadelphia Theatre Company, Arden Theatre Company, Wilma Theater). She spent ten seasons as Associate Artistic Director at Arden Theatre Company, where, along with providing artistic stewardship, she designed, developed and helmed Arden's educational programs.  She is a project director with the Brain Behavior Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania's Division of Neuropsychiatry, hiring and directing actors to portray a variety of emotions to create videos and photographs that help researchers examine emotional perception in those with brain disorders.  Amy teaches four courses at the University of the Arts (Business of Theatre, Musical Theatre Professional Preparation, Audition Technique and Survey of Theatre).  She graduated cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University.  She is the recipient of the 2006 Ann Shaw Fellowship and a 2007 Pennsylvania Humanities Council grant.  

Justin Jain
Justin Jain is an actor, playwright, and teaching artist whose pedagogy is based on ensemble-driven collective collaboration. He received his BFA in acting from the University of the Arts in 2004 with honors. Justin is a founding member of The Berserker Residents (, whose original comedic work includes 2011 NYC hit The Annihilation Point, The Lapsburgh Layover at Ars Nova, and Philly favorite The Giant Squid. Other regional performance credits include Arden Theatre Company, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Theatre Horizon, Shakespeare in Clark Park, The McCarter Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, and Teatro Delle Due, among others. Justin has also created several independent original theater projects including shiFt / transFer, his solo-fantasia Neverboy, and Bedtime Stories For Special Boys created in residence at Philadelphia Live Arts in 2011-12. Justin is a graduate of UArts and was a 2012 finalist for the F. Otto Haas emerging artist award. He is currently part of the 2014-2015 company-in-residence at FringeArts and will be going to the Edinburgh Fringe this August.   

Rachel Camp
Rachel Camp is an actor and teaching artist, living and working in Philadelphia since 2010.  She graduated with a Theatre B.F.A. from Montclair State University and has since worked with the Arden Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, Theatre Horizon, 11th Hour Theatre Company, People's Light & Theatre Company, Flashpoint Theatre Company, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, and PlayPenn.  She won the 2010 Barrymore Award for her work in Theatre Horizon's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  Rachel teaches theater classes for the Arden Drama School and Arden for All programs, dance/imagination classes for ZoomDance, and is a 5-time director for the Musical Theater program for Upper Merion's Consortium for the Arts program. 

Alex Bechtel
Alex Bechtel is an actor, writer, and musician. He earned a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Musical Theater Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and performs with local theater groups including 1812 Productions, the Walnut Street Theatre, and Act II Playhouse. Recent credits include This is the Week That Is, The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!, and Here's Tony. Alex is also employed as a pianist, vocal coach and teaching-artist by the University of the Arts, Walnut Street Theater, the Wilma Theatre and The Arden Theatre. 





James Ijames
James Ijames three-time Barrymore Award-winning actor and playwright. His regional theater credits include: Empty Plate at the Cafe du Grand Boeuf, James and the Giant Peach, Romeo and Juliet, Superior Donuts, The Whipping Man, Endgame, Three Sisters (Arden Theatre Company), Angels in America Part 1 and 2 (Wilma Theatre) Grey Gardens, Ruined (Philadelphia Theatre Company), PROM (New Paradise Laboratories), The Threshing Floor, The Importance of Being Earnest (Mauckingbird Theatre Company),One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,Gossamer, and Shipwrecked (People's Light and Theatre Company) Around the World in 80 Days (Delaware Theatre Company). He also appeared in The Gloucester Stage Company’s production of Ponies as Ken for which he received an Independent Reviewer’s of New England Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Play and Wild With Happy at Baltimore Center Stage in June. James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient. He also won two Barrymores for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for Superior Donuts and Angels in America and received a 2011 James received an Independence Foundation Fellowship in Performing Arts. James' play The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington was developed at PlayPenn in 2013 and will receive a production with Flashpoint Theatre Company this June. He is a native of Bessemer City, NC. He received a BA in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and an MFA in Acting from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. James resides in South Philadelphia.