Deborah Mogford
Chair, Professor of Acting and Directing
B.A., Trinity University
M.F.A., Dallas Theater Center/Trinity University

Phone: 815-226-4108
Fax: 815-394-5167
E-mail: DMogford@rockford.edu

Deborah Mogford earned her bachelor's degree in theater from Trinity University, San Antonio Texas, and her master of fine arts in acting/directing from the Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Texas. For 20 years, Ms. Mogford taught voice and acting technique to both graduate and undergraduate students at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, preparing them for professional careers and advanced studies in all aspects of the performing arts. Her students are found in the top graduate programs in the United States and in England, including Harvard, Yale, American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, Cal Arts and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. They have graced the stages of some of the most prestigious regional theaters, including Houston’s Alley Theater, Dallas Shakespeare, Seattle Repertory, The Guthrie in Minneapolis, Minn., Atlanta’s Alliance, Southern Repertory in New Orleans, The Goodman in Chicago and The Old Globe in San Diego. They have been seen in the Edinburg Theater Festival, London’s West End, the New York International Fringe Festival, the National Theatre of Great Britain and on Broadway both in front and behind the curtain. Her students have also found success in front of the camera, on TV in commercials, sit-coms, miniseries and in Feature and Independent Films.

Ms. Mogford is herself an accomplished actress and sought after director. She has won awards throughout the South for her innovative productions which are marked by naturalist acting and great attention to detail. She has directed throughout the South including Oklahoma Shakespeare, After-Dinner Players in Houston—where her production of The Importance of Being Ernest won awards for Best Play and Best Direction—and The Out-Of-The-Loop Festival in Dallas, Texas. As a director, she believes in the total vision of a work where all aspects perform together in a collaborative manner to enhance the overall impact of the theater. Her unique work in theater and education has been sought after by universities in Ecuador and Hong Kong. Currently, she has been heading an international team to develop the Paul Baker Idea Institute. This new institute is dedicated to infusing the integration of the arts and arts-based knowledge into the business, education and civic components of a community. This is an effort to develop more creative thought in today’s business and industry. The workshops and seminars demonstrate the international success that has been made by employing the innovative teaching techniques of theater pioneer, Paul Baker to the business, educational and civic entities. The purpose is to develop new ideas and directions for solving 21st century problems while fostering collaboration between artists, educators and CEOs of some of the world’s top companies.

Timm Adams
Associate Professor of Music
B.S., Liberty University
M.M., Baylor University

Phone: 815-226-4102
Fax: 815-394-5167
E-mail: TAdams@rockford.edu

Timm Adams, Associate Professor of Music, joined the Rockford University Performing Arts Department in the fall of 2001 after living in Chicago for 6 years. A native of Shawnee Mission, Kan., Timm received a bachelor's degree in music education from Liberty University and a master of music (M.M.) degree in vocal performance from Baylor University, where he was awarded Graduate Teaching Assistantships in both Opera and Theater. As the Opera Teaching Assistant at Baylor, Adams had the opportunity to work with renowned Guest Directors from around the country and direct several one-act operas himself.

After graduating from Baylor, he pursued a professional career in theater and performed extensively throughout the Southeast and Midwest. His credits include Hello, Dolly! (Cornelius), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Joseph), Singin' in the Rain (Cosmo), Oklahoma (Will Parker), Foxfire (Dillard), Side By Side By Sondheim, and Annie (with Rue McClanahan). Other regional credits include Norman Petty in Buddy…the Buddy Holly Story (Apollo Theater); Ariel, the rollerblading robot, in Return to the Forbidden Planet (American Heartland Theatre); Johnny in The Cardigans (Plaza Dinner Playhouse, KC); and L.M. in several productions of Pump Boys and Dinettes. Timm has also entertained audiences throughout Alaska aboard Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas.

In 1997, after being nominated for a KC Drama Desk Award for Best Director, he settled into a corporate job in Chicago with Unum Life Insurance Company, first as a sales coordinator and then as an account consultant. During his 4 years in the corporate world, Timm continued to direct music, perform and teach private voice. He is a member of Kappa Delta Pi (National Education Honors Society), Alpha Psi Omega (National Theater Arts Honors Society) and Pi Kappa Lambda (International Honors Society in Musicology). He is a proud member of the professional actors' union, Actors' Equity Association, and for 15 years was the Artistic Director of the renowned Chicago Chamber Choir. At Rockford University, Adams teaches private voice and a number of music and musical theater-related courses. He also conducts three choirs and musically directs the department's main stage musicals.

Jeff Hendry Rock Solid photo shootJeff Hendry
Professor of Performing Arts
B.F.A., University of Arizona
M.F.A., University of Massachusetts

Phone: 815-226-4089
Fax: 815-394-5167
E-mail: JHendry@rockford.edu

Jeff Hendry, Professor of Performing Arts and Costume Designer, came to Rockford College® in the fall of 1982. Originally from Arizona, where he received a bachelor of fine arts in theatre production from the University of Arizona, he moved to the east coast to study at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and received his master of fine arts in costume design.

Throughout his career, Hendry has worked at a variety of regional theatres on both coasts including the Old Globe Theatre, Champlain Shakespeare Festival, Tennessee Williams Arts Center, and New London Barn Playhouse. Here at Rockford University, besides teaching the courses in costume design and designing costumes for all the mainstage productions, he teaches in the musical theater program in addition to teaching a variety of other courses such as Introduction to Theatre, Performing Arts Seminar and Senior Seminar, as well as directing a production each year. Some of the favorite productions which he has directed include, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Pericles, Rashomon, A Little Night Music, Phantom and Angels in America Part 1.

Besides his costuming work at the university, Hendry has designed for the University of Wisconsin at both Stevens Point and Madison where he collaborated with nationally syndicated cartoonist Nicole Hollander on a musical version of her comic strip Sylvia’s Real Good Advice. Regionally, Hendry has designed costumes for the Fireside Theatre, Circa’ 21 Dinner Playhouse and Little Theatre on the Square, (where he received a Herald Award for his designs for Babes in Arms). In the Chicago area, his designs have appeared on the stages of Northlight Theater (Everything’s Ducky, It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues- with Broadway director Randal Mlyer), Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (The Little Mermaid), Theatre at the Center (Gypsy, Grand Hotel), Drury Lane Water Tower Place (Grand Hotel), and Drury Lane Evergreen Park, where he designed 29 productions including; Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, Sophisticated Ladies, Phantom and West Side Story and received two prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, (Chicago’s Tony Award) for his designs for Jerry’s Girls and Singin’ in the Rain.

Summer 2015 - Maine State Music Theatre, A conversation with costume designer Jeff Hendry

Angelo O-Dierno
Assistant Professor of Performing Arts
B.F.A., University of Wisconsin Green Bay
M.F.A., University of Utah

Phone: 815-226-4189
E-mail: AO'Dierno@rockford.edu


Matthew Sauer

Assistant Technical Director

Phone: 815-226-4122


Amy Wright
Assistant Professor of Dance
B.A., Sam Houston State University

M.F.A., Sam Houston University

Phone: 815-226-4106
E-mail: AWright@rockford.edu

Amy A. Wright holds both a BFA (2007) and MFA (2013) in Dance from Sam Houston State University. Since 2007, she has performed in national and international venues with numerous companies, including the Kista Tucker Dance Company, as a soloist at the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre in Branson, Missouri, with Princess Cruise Line, and as a guest artist with Houston’s NobleMotion Dance.  

Amy’s choreography has been seen in many concerts at SHSU and in her hometown, Lubbock, TX, as well as at Houston’s Dance Gathering and Venturing Out and Corpus Christi’s Bailando festival, where her work was featured in the gala performance.  While in graduate school, she also served as the choreographer for the SHSU Opera Workshop, taking part in productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Die Fledermaus, all under the direction of Rebecca Grimes.  

Amy also has a number of production credits to her name including concert direction, lighting and costume design, and stage management. Between 2010 and 2013, she served as the Production/Stage Manager for the Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre and Rednerrus Feil Dance Company and worked on the production team for NobleMotion Dance.  


Adjunct Faculty

Richard Raether
Adjunct Professor of Theatre

Margaret Raether
Adjunct Professor of Theatre

Steve Larsen
Adjunct Professor of Music

Sarah Simmons
Adjunct Professor of Voice

Martha Dahlberg
Adjunct Professor of Music

Patricia Jeske
Adjunct Professor of Piano


Performing Arts Staff

Erin Burke
Costume Shop Supervisor


Elizabeth Drog
Technical Director/Production Manager

Phone: 815-226-4122
E-mail: EDrog@rockford.edu

Drog is a Rockford native and graduated from Rockford College® in 2002 with a bachelor of arts in theater and a bachelor of fine arts in art (emphasis in photography). After graduating, she was an equity stage manager at New American Theater and Artists’ Ensemble, teaching theater at Keith School and the assistant technical director of Rockford College®. She has taken on the role of technical director at Rockford University and is very pleased to be working with such talented designers.

Rebecca Wallgren
Box Office Manager

Phone: 815-226-4032
E-mail: RWallgren@rockford.edu