Theater Dept


Heidi Winters Vogel
Associate Professor
Prior to coming to EMU, Heidi served as visiting professor of directing at the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. She has also taught acting, directing and theatre studies at St. Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis, Penn State, and Stages Performing Arts Academy. As a professional director, Heidi’s work includes, A Walk In The Woods (Avalon Theatre), Snakebit (Pennsylvania Centre Stage), Driving Miss Daisy (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Three Days of Rain (Next Stage), The Love of the Nightingale (Penn State), Macbeth (Shakespeare at the Palmer), Trojan Women (St. Louis University), and Master Harold…and the boys (Loaves and Fish Repertory). Heidi has also been active in new play development, working with such playwrights and dramaturges as KC Davis, Susan Gregg, Naomi Iizuka, Thomas Kincaid, Carter Lewis, and Marisa Wegrzyn. She has participated in the Wise Write Playwrighting Program at the St. Louis Repertory Theatre, the A.E Hotchner Playwrighting Festival (Washington University in St. Louis) and was associate director of the Blue Sky Playwrighting program in State College, Pennsylvania. Her work in devising and collective theater began with Theatre de la Jeune Lune in Minneapolis, continued with The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol by Theatre de Complicite, and currently with local high school students in CRASHhouse Collaborative Theater Project (, co-founded with Pam Mandigo, playwright and then student. Heidi’s commitment to using theater as a tool for social justice has led her to co-found, with CJP graduate Roger Foster, a Playback Theater group with current and former EMU students to, among other applications, facilitate re-entry for EMU cross-cultural participants.
Justin Poole
Assistant Professor

Justin Poole earned a BA in Communications with a Theater Emphasis at Eastern University. He holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University and a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland. Poole spent time studying experimental performance in Europe thanks to the Ernst Mach Grant through the Austrian Academic Exchange Program. He and his wife founded Wanderlust Theatre Company ( outside of Philadelphia and are looking to remount the venture right here in Harrisonburg. His research interests are devised theater/ensemble play development, contemporary European experimental performance, and contemporary performances of classical texts.

David Vogel
Technical Director

David Vogel, freelance theatre artist, technical director, and adjunct advisor, received his B.A. in theatre arts from the University of Minnesota and his M.F.A. in theatre production from Penn State University. He has taught lighting & sound design and theatre production at Washington University in St. Louis and at Huntington University in Indiana, as well as at Penn State. Designs included Into the Woods, Guys and Dolls, Cloud Nine, The Glass Menagerie, Twelfth Night, Big Love, Much Ado about Nothing, Falsettoland, and Godspell_, among others. Professionally, David has designed for Children’s Theatre School (Pippin_), Illusion Theater (Family) and others in Minneapolis, and served three years as resident lighting designer for the Paul Bunyan Playhouse (Master Harold and the boys, Foxfire, Groucho A Life in Revue, Oklahoma! etc.). For the St. Louis Ballet, he designed The Nutcracker and the Contemporary Dance Festival, and was Production Coordinator for Swan Lake.
Mr. Vogel has designed lights for EMU Theater’s productions since 2006, has served as technical director since the fall of 2007M, and advises lighting and sound design students in their creative projects.

Adjunct Faculty


Gretchen Maust
Administrative Assistant


After a brief career in counseling children and families, Gretchen returned to EMU in 2008 to help launch the feasibility study for the Center for Interfaith Engagement. Her attraction to relationship building among people of different faith backgrounds stems from a combination of trying to figure out what it means to follow Jesus by taking seriously his “Greatest Commandment,” and recognizing that Christians are called to relate to all fellow humans in love. Paired with a love of travel and meeting people from all walks of life in international settings, interfaith work is an excellent fit.

Gretchen’s background in counseling children and families has intensified her belief that interfaith relationship building should begin with children. The Center offered to provide administrative and logistical support to assist an ad hoc group that had begun an Interfaith Peace Camp for children in 2008. The group’s one-week pilot session had met with excellent response and provided a good jumping off point to launch Abraham’s Tent Interfaith Peace Camp through the Center. Working with the Interfaith Peace Camp organizers has provided a natural link to the Muslim and Jewish communities in Harrisonburg where many wonderful new relationships are paving the way for more interfaith programming.

When she hops in her little blue Civic at the end of the day, Gretchen heads off to a 63-acre partnership farm (another story) at the foot of Massanutten Mountain. A huge garden and a herd of grass fed Angus cattle go a long way in providing food and “entertainment.” Two dogs, a cat and a very old turtle are also family members. In the winter when the green beans are on the shelf and the berries and corn are in the freezer, Gretchen loves to spend her free time cooking, knitting and reading.

Gretchen earned a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in counseling from EMU and sandwiched in between raising three children with husband, Robert, worked here in communications and as support staff in the Social Work and Sociology Department. A true-blue EMU family, Robert, as well as the two oldest Maust offspring, Adam and Amanda, have all graduated from EMU. Annika, an elementary education major, currently attends EMU.

Love never fails…And now these three remain – faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ from I Corinthians 13

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