Faculty & Staff

Lee Neibert

Lee Neibert
Director of Theatre 
Full Professor

Office: Humanities and Performing Arts Center 113

Lee Neibert is in his 12th year of teaching at USC Upstate and his 6th year as the Chair of Fine Arts and Communication Studies. At USC Upstate, Lee has directed 18 productions including, Tick, Tick, BOOM!Bluest EyeA Midsummer Night’s Dream, the musical Spring Awakening, Rumors and A Raisin in the Sun. He has also directed Pursuit of Us, a devised theatrical piece, Mud, Almost Maine, and All About Ives for the International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) at The Rose Theatre in Kingston, London. Lee has taught Script Analysis, Fundamentals in Acting, Intermediate Acting, Fundamentals of Directing, Voice and Diction, Voice for the Actor, Audition Techniques, Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Classical Styles of Acting, Alternative Styles of Acting, and Advanced Directing.

Lee received his B.A. in English from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania and his M.A. in theatre from Oklahoma State University. In 2010, Lee received his MFA in Drama Directing from the University of Oklahoma. He currently serves on the Advisory/Selection Board and as the Coordinator of Devised Theatre Project for the Region IV Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF).

Del DeLorm

Del DeLorm

Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Theatre Design, Production, & Technology

Office: Humanities and Performing Arts Center 130

Del DeLorm is a native of Charlotte, NC, where he attended the UN - Asheville. After earning his BA with Honors in Drama, he went on to earn his MFA in Theatre from the University of Memphis. While there, he served as Graduate Assistant in the costume and electrics shops. He remained in Memphis for several years after graduation as the TD of the Michael D. Rose Theatre, taught adjunct classes, and worked as a freelance designer for Playhouse on the Square, Theatre Memphis, and the University of Memphis Opera program. Several of his designs were nominated for the Memphis Theater Awards, in both the college and professional divisions.
He returned to North Carolina as an Assistant Professor at Western Carolina University, where he was the TD of the Bardo Performing Arts Center and taught classes in production, design, and stage management. While there, he was nominated for Faculty of the Year in The College of Fine and Performing Arts. His desire to teach more led him to the University of Nebraska - Kearney, where he was Assistant Professor in Production, Lighting, and Stage Management. While there, he designed for both for the university and professionally for companies such as Crane River Theatre, Theatre West, and BLIXT. Many of his university designs were recognized by Region V of KCACTF, including his lighting for a production of Eurydice, which earned him a Commendation for Distinguished Achievement in Lighting Design. Altogether, he has taught for over 20 years and designed for more than 90 productions.

Laura Rikard

Laura Rikard
Assistant Professor of Theatre

Office: Humanities and Performing Arts Center 132

Laura Rikard (SAG-AFTRA/AEA/SDC) is in her 3rd year of teaching at USC Upstate. She is a director, actor, stage movement specialist, intimacy choreographer, intimacy coordinator, and a founding member of Theatre Intimacy Education. Directing credits include: The Three Sisters, Anon(ymous)The SeagullDead Man’s CellphoneSpring Awakening13 - the MusicalRomeo and Juliet, and others.  Acting Credits include: A Streetcar Named Desire, By the Bog of CatsTwo Gentlemen of VeronaMacbethThe Last Night of BallyhooRhinoceros, and others. Stage Intimacy Choreography includes: Scenes from an Execution, Heathers, Indecent, Spring Awakening  and other. She has worked as an Intimacy Coordinator for NBC Universal and the upcoming film What If?. She contributed to the only book on Theatre Intimacy, Staging Sex; Best Practices, Tools, and Techniques for Theatrical Intimacy by Chelsea Pace. Laura has worked in film and television in NYC, regionally, on national tours, internationally and devised solo performance productions.
She has been coaching and teaching for 20 years. Former students have won the National Shakespeare Competition at the Lincoln Center, been accepted to top MFA programs and are currently working on and off Broadway, in professional theatres in Chicago, Los Angeles, London, at top regional theatres and her students can also been seen in numerous films and television series. Laura is a recipient of the American College Theatre Festival Kennedy Center Medallion for her contributions to the intimacy discipline, best acting award at the Virginia Film Festival, and has been named by Academic Keys as a "Who's Who in Fine Arts Education" Festival.  She has  taught theatre at the University of Virginia, Stephen F. Austin State University, Brown University, and the University of Maimi.  She is a member of the SAFD, ATME, ATHE, VASTA and Learn more about Laura at www.laurarikard.com and www.laurarikarddirector.com

Allen Evans Allen Evans
Associate Faculty

Office:  Humanities and Performing Arts Center 133

Allen is in his 15th year of teaching at USC Upstate.  He received his M.F.A. in Acting from the Yale School of Drama and his B.A. from Wofford College. He also received extremely valuable training as an apprentice at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Allen has been active in many aspects of theatre since drumming for musicals in various orchestra pits as a teenager. He has acted in community theatre, academic theatre, and professional theatre from New York City to New Haven, CT to Louisville, KY to the Upstate of SC.  He served on the board of SCTA (South Carolina Theatre Association) for numerous years and has worked professionally in a local theatre as Development Director and Marketing Director.

Allen directed our department's Voices to Hear series production of Last Night and the Night Before by Donnetta Grays, Rotterdam by Jon Brittain with John Marshall Branham, and directed Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino.  He looks forward to continuing the series this season with A Question of Loyalty by Robert K. Maesaka this Fall.

Voices to Hear is a staged reading series here at USC Upstate that shines a light on recent works from both upcoming and established playwrights whose voices may not be heard otherwise. It focuses on diverse characters, themes, and cultures that may not be experienced or appreciated within the confines of the mainstream, commercial theatre.

When not teaching, Allen also enjoys working at the Peace Center box office and assisting patrons in experiencing the joy of live theatre.

Fred Van Patten Fred Van Patten
Adjunct Professor

Office:  Humanities and Performing Arts Center 133

Frederick Van Patten has worked in community theatre, academic theatre, equity-waiver theatre, and professional theatre over the past four decades. Fred is a produced playwright, an accomplished teacher, and an award-winning director. After earning his MFA in Dramatic Art from the University of California, Davis (way back in the ‘70s), Fred pursued a directing career in Bay Area theatre. He directed for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the JulianTheatre, City Repertory Theatre, The Works Theatre Company, San Francisco Musical Stage, Intersection for the Arts, and the Eureka Theatre, as well as various independent production companies on the West Coast and in New York City. Fred has directed everything from musicals to Shakespeare, and he has loved them all. Fred has taught theatre and speech at the University of Denver (as a Ford Foundation Fellow), at the University of California, at the University of San Francisco, North Carolina Wesleyan College,  Cleveland Community College, Spartanburg Community College, and here at the University of South Carolina – Upstate.

Stephen Unwin Stephen Unwin
Adjunct Professor  

Stephen Unwin is a very experienced, award-winning British theatre and opera director.

He has directed almost 100 professional theatre productions and worked with a wide range of famous actors including Tilda Swinton, Simon Russell Beale, Alan Cumming, Ken Stott and Timothy and Samuel West.

In 1993, he founded English Touring Theatre, for whom he directed more than 30 productions of classical and new plays including award-winning productions of Hamlet, Hedda Gabler, Henry IV Parts One and Two, King Lear,The Seagull and Ghosts. In 2008, he became Artistic Director of the new Rose Theatre in Kingston, which he ran until January 2014.

He’s directed more than 20 operas and written 10 books on theatre and drama. He has also written five original plays (All Our Children was premiered in 2017, New York in 2019) and numerous translations. He has taught in universities and drama schools across the UK and the USA.

Stephen is active in campaigning for the rights of the disabled. He is Chairman of KIDS, a national charity which provides a wide range of services for disabled children, young people and their families.



Jimm Cox

Jimm Cox
Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Director of Theatre (1974-2018)


Twice nominated by USC Upstate for the United States Professor of the Year Award, Jimm received the USC system wide Trustee’s Professorship and the Founder’s Day Award from the University. He was named the 2009 South Carolina Art Administrator of the Year in Higher Education and was nominated for the Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. He spent 45 years teaching in the USC system, having previously taught on the campus in Columbia and at Coastal Carolina University. 

Tiffany Bismarck

Tiffany Bismarck
Box Office Manager

Office:  Humanities and Performing Arts Center 138

Tiffany Bismarck joined the USC Upstate family in fall of 2015 as the Performing Arts Center Box Office manager. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Ceramics from Clemson University in 2003.

Over the past 15+ years, Tiffany has worn many hats including marketing & administrative assistant at NASCAR®, ceramicist at Cider Press Tile, guest services representative & museum guide at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, and painting instructor at Wine & Design - Greenville. In her free time, she enjoys cheering for the Clemson Tigers, working out, crafting, hiking, building LEGOs, horseback riding, spending time with friends & family and adventuring with her husband, Stephen and son, August.

Performing Arts Center Box Office 
Humanities and Performing Arts Center, 138
170 Gramling Drive
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Hours: Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.