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Welcome to Celebrating Einstein! The WVU Physics and Astronomy Department and the School of Theatre and Dance invite you to enjoy and learn from this multimedia extravaganza that is designed to communicate the beauty and significance of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. Through danced lectures and orchestra performances, artwork and demonstrations, lectures and planetarium shows, and even a Space Race Fun Run, we hope you feel inspired.
Unless otherwise noted, everything is FREE!


Kathryn Williamson
Kathryn Williamson is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the WVU Physics and Astronomy Department and a member of the Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology. She attended the original Celebrating Einstein event as a graduate student at Montana State University in 2013 and was awed and inspired. When she came to WVU in 2016, she began to organize how to bring Celebrating Einstein to Morgantown and West Virginia. She is very excited to be able to engage people of all ages and all backgrounds and interests in Einstein's theories and the recent discovery of gravitational waves!

Kathryn also manages the WVU Planetarium and started the West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (SPOT), which trains college students to give science-themed presentations to students throughout the Mountain State. Her current area of research focuses on how youth in out-of-school-time science clubs, such as the Pulsar Search Collaboratory and Skynet Junior Scholars, learn to see themselves as scientists and choose to pursue careers in science. She also worked as the Public Education Specialist at the Green Bank Observatory prior to coming to WVU.

Jessica Morgan Bishop
Jessica Morgan Bishop is an Associate Professor of Stage Movement in the School of Theatre & Dance where she teaches in the BFA and MFA Acting Studios. She also serves as a Fight Director and Movement Coach for WVU productions and the Coordinator and Faculty Advisor of the Community Children's Theatre. Jessica has trained with the Society of American Fight Directors, Anne Bogart / SITI Company, and Marcel Marceau. Her work in the classroom focuses on Suzuki, Viewpoints, Composition and Experimental Theatre, Laban Effort Qualities, Mask Work, Period Movement, and Unarmed Combat. As an actor she has performed professionally throughout the region for Unseam'd Shakespeare Company, IF Theatre Collective, Weathervane Playhouse, Mountain State Repertory, and Greenbrier Valley Theatre, as well as for the ETA Hoffmann Theatre in Bamberg, Germany. Most recently, she appeared in the staged readings of Not Someone Like Me at WVU, directed by Chris Sarandon, Miss Zelda: Reflections of a Southern Belle in both Morgantown and New York City, and in A Christmas Carol with West Virginia Public Theatre. Jessica has a special interest in creating original movement based theatrical work both in the classroom and for the stage, and is very excited to be a part of bringing Celebrating Einstein to life as Director/Producer of the Danced Lecture. 

Sean McWilliams
Sean McWilliams is an Assistant Professor in the WVU Physics and Astronomy Department. He is a member of the Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology, and played a significant role in the LIGO discovery of gravitational waves. He is a gravitational wave astronomer, numerical and analytical relativist, and data analyst. His research focuses mainly on understanding the dynamics of compact binaries, which are systems composed of any combination of black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs. Through numerical simulations and analytical modeling, he studies the behavior of these highly dense objects, which stretch Einstein’s theory of general relativity to its limit.  He was also a theatre performer in his younger days, and wrote and will perform in the series of Danced Lectures.

Stephanie McWilliams
Stephanie McWilliams is a Clinical Instructor in the WVU Psychology Department. She received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University in New York and  a post-Masters specialization in Sport and Exercise Psychology from California University of Pennsylvania.  Stephanie is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a specialization in Youth Mentorship from West Virginia University. Stephanie has danced from a very young age, and continues to choreograph and perform with her families’ studio in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  She attended Bucknell University for her undergraduate education and was a member of the Bucknell Dance Company, along with receiving a minor in dance.   Stephanie is the choreographer the WVU Celebrating Einstein danced lecture.

Maura McLaughlin
Maura McLaughlin is a Professor of Astronomy in the WVU Physics & Astronomy Department. She is the Director of the Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology, and her research interests involve studying neutron stars and their environments through radio, X-ray and gamma-ray observations. Neutron stars are amazing physical laboratories for general relativity, studies of the interstellar medium, high-energy particle and plasma physics, and studies of stellar evolution. A significant research aim, as chair of the NANOGrav collaboration, is to use neutron stars to detect gravitational waves through timing an array of ultra-precise millisecond pulsars. She is the Principal Investigator of the International Pulsar Timing Array for gravitational wave detection. She also helps high school students discover pulsars through the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, which is featured in the "little green men" film. Maura is also an oboe player in the Morgantown Community Orchestra, which is performing "A Shout Across Time."

Zach Etienne
Zachariah Etienne is a Professor in the WVU Math Department and a member of the Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology. His research centers on modeling some of the most extreme events in the Universe on supercomputers, including gravitational wave and gamma-ray bursts. Zachariah is also part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and his work within the collaboration has deepened our understanding of the black holes involved in the first detections of gravitational waves.

Duncan Lorimer
Duncan Lorimer is a Professor in the WVU Physics & Astronomy Department and a member of the Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology. His research is on compact objects (black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs) which he studies using radio pulsars: rapidly spinning, highly magnetized neutron stars. He discovered Fast Radio Bursts in 2015, which has led to a new classification of radio signals. He also helps high school students discover pulsars through the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, which is featured in the "little green men" film. Duncan is also a musician and will play a song he wrote called "Gravitation" during the "A Shout Across Time" intermission.

Maureen Mansfield Kaddar

Maureen Mansfield Kaddar is a part-time lecturer in dance for the WVU School of Theatre and Dance.  She received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is a member of the National Dance Educator's Association (NDEO), International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), and the American College Dance Association (ACDA). As a professional dancer, she performed with Paul Taylor Dance Company. She choreographs for WVU dance and theatre productions and works as a guest artist with other regional and national dance schools and companies. Passionate about the power of building learning connections through movement, Maureen enjoyed teaching Arts Integration in the public schools of Morgantown through a WV state grant. She has choreographed the abstract dance, “Epic”, which follows the danced lecture.


Andra Ward Jr. is thrilled to be Celebrating Einstein at WVU. He is as a second year MFA Acting Student here at WVU, where you may have seen him in Pericles,Race, Arabian Nights, and The Beaux' Stratagem. Some of his favorite roles include, Thomas Donahue (These Shining Lives), William King (Brokology) and Trekkie Monster (Avenue Q) as well as roles in Traveling Thomas and, Complete Female Stage Beauty. He strives to continue to learn and grow with talented artists and is grateful for all things achieved thus far. He would like to thank Rae Charles and family for all of their continued support through the years.

Bethany McPherson is a sophomore at WVU, studying Sport and Exercise Psychology with a minor in Dance.  She is the founder and president of the WVU Circus Arts club, and she is in the process of starting a circus and aerial arts program for youth in the Morgantown community.  Aside from her academic goals, she hopes to soon perform and teach aerial acrobatics.  She receives training at the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, Vermont during the summer, with her focus being training on aerial fabric.

Cassandra Hackbart, a West Virginia native, is a second year graduate student in the MFA Acting program at West Virginia University. She received her undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies- Music and Theatre from West Liberty University. She has been seen in several WVU mainstage productions; Pericles (Thaisa), The Trojan Women (Andromache), Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights (Ensemble), and Kiss Me, Kate (Katherine/Lilli Vanessi). Over the years, she has also worked as a member of TOTL Theatre Company, Independent Theatre Collective, and Allegro Dance Company.  She would like to thank everyone involved in this collaboration as well as Mr. Albert Einstein and all the scientists who challenge themselves to discover more about our world every day.

Haleigh Fields is a sophomore at West Virginia University from Berkeley Springs, WV. She is majoring in strategic communications with an emphasis in public relations and minoring in recreation, parks and tourism. She is involved in WVU’s chapter of PRSSA and a member of the Chimes Junior Honor Society. This is her first dance performance at WVU, but she has been dancing and performing for 17 years in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and pointe. She would like to thank her friends and family for always supporting her and her fellow dances for their energy and spunk during practices.

Hannah Thompson is a freshman BA Theatre major at the School of Theatre and Dance and a graduate of Musselman High School in Inwood, WV. MuHS credits include SPAMALOT (Lady of the Lake), WAIT WAIT BO BAIT (Woman Waiting for Phone Call), and LITTLE WOMEN (Beth March). Outside of Musselman, Hannah performed with the Artistic Endeavors Summer Theatre Camp and worked with the Apollo Civic Theatre. Hannah would like to dedicate her performance her parents. Thanks to Maureen and the cast for an awesome first show with the WVU School of Theatre and Dance!

Kevin Smith is a senior Puppetry and Creative Dramatics major at West Virginia University. Along with various puppet shows at local schools, Ruby Memorial, and the Greenbrier Resort, with the Puppet Mobile (Wee View Review) (Yankee Doodle Poodle), Kevin has also acted in department lab shows (Poe) and children's theatre productions (The Mirror Man). Kevin plans to continue his education in puppetry and get his MFA in Puppetry. He is very excited to expand his abilities by joining this dance/movement production.

Kuriko Kanesaki is a junior, International Liberal Arts major from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. As an exchange student, studying at WVU since August 2016. Thanks to Maureen and friends for giving me this opportunity. I'm leaving WVU after this semester, but this performance must be one of the best memories of my WVU life! 

Megan Chacalos is a current sophomore obtaining a BFA in Acting and a Dance minor. She was born and raised in Wheeling, WV where she discovered her passion for Theatre by performing in many community and school productions. Her recent WVU credits include, She Kills Monsters (Lilith), The Vagina Monologues (Crooked Braid), and Dog Sees God (CB's Sister). She'd like to thank her parents for supporting her through the years and for being her biggest fans.

Monica Hanigan is a Senior in the BFA Acting program. This is her sixth show at WVU’s School of Theatre & Dance, but her first dance show. She was most recently in WVU’s production of Pericles. She would like to thank her family and friends for their love and support, as well as the other dancers for being amazing to work with.

Nativa Kesecker is a Senior in the BFA acting program from Berkeley Springs, WV. Her recent credits include roles in WVU’s productions of Pericles, The Trojan Women, and Arabian Nights. She also directed lab theatre’s production of Disgraced in the spring of her junior year. She is very excited to be part of such a unique project and would like to thank everyone involved for their spirit and patience along the way.

Rachel Ryan is a first year student in the Musical Theatre program at West Virginia University. She is currently a member of the New World Ensemble, directed by General Hambrick and most recently stage managed the student directed show, Dog Sees God. Rachel is excited for her first performance for the School of Theatre and Dance and would like to thank the cast and crew for making this such a great experience!

Samantha Mazzone is a senior Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology major from Follansbee, WV. She will be performing in a piece choreographed by Maureen Kaddar for Celebrating Einstein.

Stefanie Lemasters is a senior in the BFA Acting program at WVU and will be graduating in May. She will be performing in the movement lecture. Stefanie most recently acted the role of Marina in Pericles and has also been seen in shows Arsenic and Old Lace, Noises Off, and The Beaux Stratagem. She would like to thank Jessica and Stephanie for this opportunity as well as her fellow actors for being creative and fun. Enjoy the science!

Joseph Gay is a MFA Acting student here at WVU School of Theatre and Dance. He most recently appeared in the mainstage production of Pericles as multiple characters. Previous shows he has performed in include Trojan Women, Venus in Fur, and The Beaux Stratagem. He is incredible grateful to Jessica and Stephanie for asking him to be involved in Celebrating Einstein and truly appreciates the amount of work they have done to bring this all together. "It's been an incredibly fun process with an equally as fun cast. What a pleasure to work on something dance-based again, and I have learned a lot about how the sciences can work in unity with all art-forms."

Staging and Lighting Design

Alan McEwen
Alan McEwen, Clinical Assistant Professor of Lighting and Sound Design, joined the School of Theatre and Dance in 2008. Previous work experience includes Whitman College, Idaho Repertory Theatre, Mountain State Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Wyoming Summer Stock Theatre, and The Columbine Players. Alan has taught in higher education for 20 years, in various duties and capacities, focusing on lighting, sound, stagecraft, and contemporary theatre. Lighting and sound credits include musicals, opera, theatre, dance, and performance art in addition to system consulting, design and installation. Alan received his MFA in lighting from the University of Oregon and is a member of USITT

Mary McClung
Mary McClung, Professor of Costume Design, Director of Costuming, and Mabel DeVries Tanner Professor of Theatre, has designed costumes, puppets, and sets for theatre, video, and television. Companies include Disney, Children’s Television Workshop, Universal Studios, Dallas Children’s Theatre, The Idaho Repertory Theatre and The Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Design credits include: As You Like It, The Dining Room, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Life of Insects, The Beggar’s Opera, Henry IV part I and II, Great God Brown, The Seagull, Three Sisters, Sesamo Barrio (Sesame Street, Spain), The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Big Friendly Giant, and Tartuffe. Designs while at WVU: Guys and Dolls, Jekyll and Hyde, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Dracula, Another Part of the Forest, Hamlet, The World Goes Round, and 4 dance concerts. McClung has also taught at The University of Dallas, (Dallas, Texas) and Whitman College, (Walla Walla, Washington) where she also worked as a guest designer. McClung was awarded The 2002 Dallas Critic’s Award for Costume Design for The Beggar’s Opera.

Justin Burns is a first year M.F.A. Lighting Design graduate student at West Virginia University. He graduated from James Madison University in 2016 with a B.A. in Theatre and Dance, Design/Technology. Selected previous work includes: Lighting Designer for Dance Now 2017, and Asst. Lighting Designer for Trojan Women. Upcoming work includes Lighting Design for Topdog/Underdog and Exit, Pursued By Bear.

Morgantown Community Orchestra 

Juliana Cantarelli Vita
Juliana Cantarelli Vita, Conductor. Born and raised in Recife, Brazil, Juliana began studying violin when she was eight years old at the Conservatório Pernambucano de Música. Growing up surrounded by the rich musical traditions of northeastern Brazil, she had opportunities to play in Western and traditional ensembles. Juliana has Orff-Schulwerk teacher certification from the Eastman School of Music (levels I and II, 2011-2012) and the San Francisco International Orff Course (level III, 2015). In 2016 she obtained her Master’s of Music in Music Education degree from West Virginia University, where she developed her thesis, "Listening To Their Voices: An Ethnographic Study of Children’s Values and Meaning Ascribed to Learning World Music in Elementary School General Music." Juliana actively believes in community music, serving as the director and conductor of the Morgantown Community Orchestra since July 2015.

Sonja Bearce, Violin
Stephanie Becker, Violin
Brittany Blair, Harp
Haley Blair, Flute
Caryn Crozier, Soprano
Sara de Blas Henandez, Violin
Billy Burgess, Cello
Anthony Camele, Clarinet
Amy Chorpening, Clarinet
Leona Chorpening, Violin
Sean Elliott, Violin
Jack Hammersmith, Trombone
Summer Harrison, Cello
Connie Lama, Violin
Celina Liang, Violin
Catherine E Lovell, Violin
Maura McLaughlin, Oboe
Tamara Miller, Flute
Jon Miltenberger, Trumpet
Anne Mittal, Cello
Lor Mueller, Violin
Melody Ollerton, Violin
Martin Poncelet, Viola
Gary Michael Pyles, Clarinet
Susan Ramey, Viola
Larry A Rhodes, French Horn
Shirley Rosenbaum, Violin
Anna Runner, French Horn
Jeri-Sue Santangelo, Flute
Martha Schwab, Violin
Steven Shaffer, Trombone
Karen Shultz, French Horn
Maria Sierro Fernandez, Flute
Erica, Skorlinski, Cello
Joel Schoolcarft Starn, Flute
Rodney Sterlin, Cello
Nichole Tong, Violin
Lillian J Waugh, Cello
Chris Wilkinson, Clarinet


Sarah Guerry
Sarah Guerry is a ceramicist in the Morgantown area. She lives in Morgantown with her partner, daughter, and two Boston Terriers. She teaches Art at Mountainview Elementary. She graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC and from UNC-Greensboro. She earned an MA in Art History from VCU in Richmond, VA, where she took pottery classes and also found that teaching kids is way more fun than teaching grown-ups. Around town she is known for her cicada mugs, and, now, black hole pottery!

Kathryn Williamson has enjoyed oil painting in addition to physics and astronomy, so she will also display some spacetime paintings.


Thomas Steinberger
Thomas (or Tom/Tommy/etc.) Steinberger is a graduate student at West Virginia University studying to get his Ph.D. in Plasma Physics under direction of Dr. Earl Scime.  Specifically, Thomas uses Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) to measure characteristics of an iodine plasma with the goal of applying this work to ion Hall thrusters.  Thomas graduated from Ohio Northern University in 2014 with a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics.  Thomas is also heavily involved in providing, maintaining, and designing physics demonstrations for lectures and outreach events.

Linda Blake
Linda Blake is the Science Librarian and works with the faculty and students for all Eberly science and math departments, as well as forensics and investigative sciences.  She teaches information literacy concepts on request; advocates for the sciences for collection development; and troubleshoots faculty-library issues.  Linda chairs the Libraries’ Open Access Author Fund Committee which consists of librarians and teaching faculty who make decisions regarding funding author processing fees.  She created a list of books for further reading about Einstein, the man and the science, and an exhibit highlighting the Celebrating Einstein event. 

Paul Baker
Paul T. Baker is a postdoctoral fellow at the WVU Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology.  He is a member of LIGO Scientific collaboration and the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) collaboration.  He researches methods used to detect and characterize gravitational wave signals.  He received his PhD in Physics from Montana State University in 2013.

Michael Lam
Michael Lam is a postdoctoral researcher in the WVU Physics and Astronomy Department and a member of the Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology. He is currently working with the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) collaboration. His current area of research is on characterization of NANOGrav's gravitational wave detector, an array of pulsars distributed throughout the galaxy. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2016.

Laura Sampson
Laura Sampson is a postdoctoral researcher at Penn State University. She received her doctorate at Montana State University and worked previously at the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) at Northwestern University. She is one of only five nationwide recipients of the 2015 L'Oreal USA "For Women in Science" Fellows.

Additional Special Thanks to:

The Faculty and Staff of the School of Theatre & Dance
The Faculty and Staff of the Department of Physics & Astronomy

Dr. Paul Kreider, Dean of the College of Creative Arts
Dr. Gregory Dunaway, Dean of Eberly College
Joshua Williamson, Director of the School of Theatre & Dance
Earl Scime, Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Elvira Stanescu and the Morgantown High School Physics Students
WVU Student Recreation Center
Ira Mowitz
Viola Bryant
Margaret Mattson
Andrea Teeman
Jamie Whoolrey
Caila Shields
Jay Malarcher
Darko Velichovski
Majid Jaridi
Candy Cordwell
Jessica DeAngelis
Devon Copeland
Sherry McCarty
Sue Ann Heatherly
Karen Taddie
Sarah JM Kolberg
Joyce Ice
Andrea Eridani
Megan Jones
Aaron Weaver
Cabot Zabrinske
Courtney Gelaty
Dusty Madison
Emmanuel Fonseca
Gaby Alvarez
Pranav Sanghavi
Kristina Islo
Marissa Hovey
Paul Miller
Ned Flagg
Weichao Tu
Uthapa Herath Mudiyans
Belinda Cheeseboro
Amber Lenon
Nick Pingel
David Buch
Sophie Knudsen
Will Armentrout
Brent Shapiro-Albert
Nihan Pol
Amy Sardone
Rodney Elliott
Selina Smith
Nichol Cunningham
Ryan Dotson
Golnoosh Golpayagani
Kennith Sible
Bobby Rawls
Aryaunna Mosley
Cheyenne Clayton
Jennee Maxwell
Alexander James
Corey Lieneman
Chantel Willis