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 in 2006 as the acting and directing faculty. 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. Heidi’s scholarship is focused on participatory and community-engaged theater. Her work in devising began with Theatre de la Jeune Lune in Minneapolis and locally 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 civic engagement led her to co-found, with DASS faculty Roger Foster, Inside Out Playback Theatre ( to build community and resilience through interactive story-telling. Inside Out has curated events in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and California for conferences, colleges, churches, and therapeutic communities.

Adjunct Faculty


Theater Electrician
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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