Theater Dept


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 ( and produced original work in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Harrisonburg. His research interests are devised theater/ensemble play development, contemporary European experimental performance, and contemporary performances of classical texts.

Heidi Winters Vogel
Associate Professor of Theater
Heidi joined the EMU theater faculty in 2006 as the acting and directing faculty. Her theater scholarship also includes participatory and social justice theater. 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 Pennsylvania State University University Park, St. Louis University, Shenandoah University’s Theatre Conservatory and Washington University in St. Louis. 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 and currently with local high school students in CRASHhouse Collaborative Theater Project (, co-founded with Pam Mandigo, playwright and EMU theater graduate. Heidi’s commitment to using theater as a tool for social justice has led her to co-found, with CJP graduate Roger Foster, Inside Out Playback Theater ( to facilitate re-entry for EMU cross-cultural participants and, more widely, build community and resilience through interactive story-telling. Inside Out has curated events in Virginia, Pennsylvania and California for conferences, colleges and therapeutic communities.

Adjunct Faculty


Gretchen Maust
Administrative Assistant

Gretchen worked as a social worker following college graduation and returned to EMU (then EMC) as assistant/staff writer in media relations (now the Marketing Dept.). She and her husband, Robert, also an EMU grad, worked as a freelance writer/photographer team for a number of years, traveling to Africa and Europe to cover stories for numerous church agencies and NGOs. In the early and then again late 90s she returned to EMU as office coordinator in social work and sociology and during that time earned her masters in counseling. She then worked as in intensive in-home therapist for children and families for a number of years before returning to EMU to help launch the Center for Interfaith Engagement (CIE) in 2008, later dividing her time between that position and office coordinator for EMU’s Visual & Communication Arts (VaCA) and Theater Departments. In 2013 she accepted the re-designed full-time administrative assistant position for the reconfigured VaCA and Theater Departments, and still enjoys contributing to the work of CIE.

Gretchen and Robert are parents of three adult children – all now married – and grandparents to three granddaughters. They live in an intentional community on a partnership farm in Keezletown.

In her spare time she enjoys knitting, crocheting, reading, cooking, walking and hanging out with their little doggies, Nora and Falafel.

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