Theatre Arts Faculty and Staff

James McDonnell

Chair, Fine Arts Division
Professor of Acting, Cinema Arts, Costume, Introduction to the Theatre,​ Make-up, Musical Theatre, Shakespeare
Director, Costume Designer, Make-up Designer, Wig Designer

As part of the Theatre faculty at the College of the Sequoias, James teaches classes in acting, musical theatre, costume design and construction, make-up, and cinema.  At COS, he has directed:  The Addams Family, One Man, Two Guvnors, Mystery of Edwin Drood, Boeing-Boeing, Jekyll & Hyde, The Secret Garden, The Phantom of the Opera, Blithe Spirit, Cabaret, Postmortem, Mel Brooks’ The Producers, Moon Over Buffalo, Sweeney Todd, Lend Me a Tenor, Dangerous Liaisons, Macbeth: the Opera, Evita, Noises Off, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and Quilters.  In addition to directing, James is the resident costume designer at COS, designing such shows as Phantom, Dracula, Beauty and the Beast, Crazy for You, Richard III, Guys and Dolls, and Big River.  James’s professional credits include costume designer for the Kern Shakespeare Festival (Twelfth Night and Macbeth); assistant costume designer with the Missouri Repertoire Theatre (Comedy of Errors and The Seagull); wig stylist for the national tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the national tour of Miss Saigon; and key costumer for the Ang Lee film Ride with the Devil.  In addition, James has worked extensively at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Mac-Haydn Theatre, and the UMKC Opera Conservatory.  James holds a BA in Acting/Directing from DeSales University and an MFA in Design/Technology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Contact:  Email or (559) 737-4801

Chris Mangels

Lead Instructor, Theatre Arts
Professor of Acting, Cinema, Introduction to the Theatre, Shakespeare, Stagecraft, Stage Combat
Director, Choreographer, Scenic Designer, Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, Puppet & Mask Designer, Experimental Theatre Ensemble Advisor

Holding an MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University, Chris is a full-time professor in the COS Theatre Arts Department where he serves as resident scenic designer, fight choreographer, and director.  At COS, he has directed Dracula, The Henriad, Company, Metamorphoses, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar, Urinetown: The Musical, The Hobbit, The Grapes of Wrath, As You Like It, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Rashomon, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Our Country’s Good, and Richard III as well as designed the sets for such ambitious productions as The Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd.   In addition to his work at COS, he also serves on the board of the Fourth Wall Theatre Company where he has directed and designed such challenging fare as Hamlet, Avenue Q, Assassins, and Art.   Chris resides in Visalia with his wife and best friend, Diane, and their beautiful daughter, Sage. 

Contact:  Email or (559) 730-3865

Steve LaMar

Assistant Professor of Lighting, Cinema
Theatre Manager, Theatre Technician
Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, Technical Director

Steve is in his 28th season with the COS Theatre Department.  His versatile experience in professional theatre has enabled him to take on many roles including Actor/Singer and Technical Director/Designer.  As Technical Director for the COS Theatre, he is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the facility. Steve also serves on the board of the Three Rivers Players.

Contact:  Email or (559) 730-3822

Nick Terry

Assistant Professor of Introduction to Theatre, Stagecraft
Theatre Technician, Scene Shop Supervisor, Webmaster
Director, Scenic Designer, Sound Designer, Assistant Technical Director

Nick is happy to be in his eighth year at COS.  As an Adjunct Professor and Full-Time Staff member of the Theatre Arts Department, Nick is extremely proud to work with such creative and dedicated colleagues and friends.  During his time at COS, Nick has filled the roles of Director and Production Designer (on One Man, Two Guvnors, The Man Who Came to Dinner, and The Hobbit), Assistant Technical Director, Scenic Designer, Sound Designer, and Master Carpenter, working on productions such as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Postmortem, Cabaret, Rashomon, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Blithe Spirit, The Phantom of the Opera, As You like It, The Grapes of Wrath, the Secret Garden, The Hobbit, and even appearing on-stage as Lloyd Dallas in Noises Off.   As always, Nick would like to thank his wife, Alison, for her continued love and support.​

Contact:  Email​ or (559) 737-6114

David Rasner

Assistant Professor of Introduction to Theatre, Improvisation

Noble Johnson (Professor Emeritus)

Professor of Cinema Arts

Abby Briggs

Box Office Manager

Last Updated: 8/30/2017 2:39 PM