ECC Theatre Faculty

Grace Austin

BFA, Directing- Texas State

MFA, Directing- Virginia Commonwealth University

Phone- 636 584 6695

Office: HH130

Grace joined the ECC Theatre faculty 15 years ago. She has directed over 50 shows here and around the United States. Grace also serves on the summer musical faculty at the Center of Creative Arts where she directed the 10year Anniversary production of Ragtime. Grace is also the assistant coach of the state award winning Pacific High School Speech Team and has coached several students to the Missouri State performance finals.  In addition to her directing work, Grace works in Wardrobe with Variety Children's Theatre, The Fox Theatre, The MUNY and OTSL.

Lauren SmithBearden

MFA, Costuming- University of Florida

Lauren Smith Bearden is a costume designer originally from Owensville, MO. She has recently moved back to Missouri after completing her M.F.A. in Costume Design and Technology at the University of Florida. Previously she has worked at New Harmony Theatre, The Purple Rose Theatre Company, and Maples Repertory Theatre. She teaches Theatre Appreciation at East Central and serves as the Costume Director for Clayton High School. Recent designs in the area include Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Q-Collective) Guys and Dolls (Stray Dog Theatre) and King Lear (Ozark Actors Theatre).

Alex Freeman

MFA, Directing- Western Illinois University


Alex S. Freeman started directing in the shadow of Michigan's capital over 10 years ago. While his work has taken him around the country, he’s never lost his midwestern roots - and they served him well in his tenure as the Artistic Director of Ozark Actors Theatre (OAT) in Rolla, MO for three years. At OAT, Freeman led the company into a new era of growth and expansion, building on the 30 year history that preceded his arrival. He is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.


Freeman has acted and directed across the country, from New York to Los Angeles. He has written and directed two off-off Broadway shows (Love, and When Johnny Comes Marching Home). His writing has also been seen on stage in Indianapolis, Lansing, and Chicago. 

ECC Theatre Staff

Sylvia Sellers

BFA, Theatre Design and Technology- Lindenwood University

Office: HH114

Phone: 636 584 6720


Sylvia is a Scenic Designer/Artist based in St. Louis and originally from Cuba, MO. She serves as the in-house scenic designer and master carpenter for the Chesterfield Community Theater in the Chesterfield Family YMCA, recently producing Shrek Jr, Anne of Green Gables, and Suessical Jr. Previously, Sylvia worked for Lindenwood-Belleville University as Technical Production Manager of the Lindenwood Auditorium where she served as Technical Director and Scenic Designer for A Streetcar Named Desire, Medea, and Noises Off!  Sylvia has a passion for all things theatre and music as a proud alum of Missouri State Concert Chorale and Missouri State University, from which she holds a BFA in Theater Technology with an emphasis in scenic design. She is ecstatic to join the ECC Theatre family as the Performing Arts Center Manager.

Shannon Penrod

Phone: 636 584 6693
Shannon Penrod moved to the area in 2005 and has spent her time since then, being a mom of 6 and running her photography business. She has been involved in ECC Theatre productions for the last couple of years and is excited to be working with the theatre in a different aspect.

She has a background in Musical Performance and Theatre , and has been involved in theatrical and musical productions at Three Rivers College, Meramec College, Truman State University,  and various St. Louis area theatre companies. She also serves as our resident theatrical photographer.

Join our faculty.






We will be hiring a full time Technical Director starting in the Fall of 2020.


We anticipate opening applications for the full-time position in February of 2020. Please keep checking back for updated information.

ECC Theatre Guest Artists

Chris Page Sanders

Choreographer, 9-5

BFA Dance- UMKC Conservatory


Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Chris received his formal dance training from the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) and from the University of Missouri- Kansas City (Conservatory of Music and Dance). He currently serves as co-founder and co-artistic director of the Nu-World Contemporary Danse Theatre which he founded with Bashir Page-Sanders. For the past seven years he danced as a member of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (Denver, CO), serving as both choreographic assistant to Ms. Cleo Parker Robinson and as the assistant rehearsal director. In the past he has been fortunate to dance with such companies as Wylliams\Henry Contemporary Dance Company, Owen\Cox Dance Group, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey as well as other theatre companies such as The St. Louis Black Repertory and the MUNY. He has served as resident choreographer at ECC for the past 10 years. His choreography has been presented on a national level twice at the International Associations of Blacks In Dance Conference. In 2013 and 2014, he was recognized and given the Leni Wylliams Award for choreography and innovation for the work that he has produced for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. 

Holly Barber


Music Director, 9-5

BA, Music- Principia College

MM, Choral Conducting- California State University Los Angeles

In addition to vocal directing thirteen musical productions as choral director at Principia School, Holly has had the honor of MDing the Q Collective’s critically acclaimed production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch this past summer and is having an amazing time MDing Myriad Productions’ inaugural show, Heathers the Musical, this November. As a composer, she has collaborated on and music directed the new one-act musical Vegan of Venice with Alice Stanley Jr. (produced spring and summer 2018), and “That Perfect Kiss,” the new short folk “poperetta” with lyrics by Lee Ehmke, which premiered at the Q Collective’s Coming Out Play Festival in October 2019. You can find her performing around town as a member of the Main Street Remnants, and upcoming projects include singing in Incubating Now! A Cabaret Fundraiser with Under the Arch Incubator and singing at the studio recording release party of Light a Candle, a new Christmas oratorio by John Gerdes. 

Colin Healy


Music Consultant, 9-5

A St. Louis transplant via South Florida, Colin Healy knows the stage in many forms. As a touring singer/songwriter, his work in pop music has been recognized by Billboard, College Music Journal and has received radio play nationwide. Two of his original theatrical compositions have seen production (Anthem, 2009 & 2011, Translation, 2015) with his musical, The Gringo, chosen as the headliner for the 2018 STL Fringe Festival. His original musical, Forgottonia was produced by ECC in 2018. He studied Music Education and Acting at Florida International University in Miami and is currently working on staff as a music director at COCA (U. City, MO) and East Central College (Union, MO). Colin is currently working on his new musical, Madam, which will have its 2020 STL premiere in January.

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East Central College Theatre

East Central College

1964 Prairie Dell Rd

Union, MO 63084

Box Office- 636 584 6693