Before coming to Phillips Academy in 2013, Allen worked in both professional and academic venues, including Arena Stage, The McCarter Theater Center, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, and the Northfield Mount Hermon School. Mr. Grimm teaches acting, directing, and a variety of other classes based in the study of contemporary theater. He co-created a course about Hip-Hop Theater, developed a two-term course about the playwright August Wilson, and produced the academic premiere of Facing Our Truth: Ten Minute Plays On Trayvon, Race, and Privilege. He is an enthusiastic proponent of art as unifying experience and theatre as way of exploring social issues. His work as a theatre educator is based in the belief that everyone has a story, and sharing those stories through live performance can expand our understanding of the world.
Instructor of Playwriting, Acting and Directing
Kevin Heelan is the author of numerous plays, including Distant Fires, seen in New York off-Broadway at the Circle in the Square theatre. It was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as best play and subsequently was produced in Los Angeles, starring Samuel L. Jackson, and was nominated for Hollywood's Ovation Award. Other plays include Right Behind the Flag, produced at Playwrights Horizons with Kevin Spacey, and Heartland, starring Sean Penn on Broadway. The Hope Zone was produced in New York in 1996 by Circle Rep and starred Olympia Dukakis. His screen adaptation of Split Cherry Tree, starring the late Colleen Dewhurst, was seen on HBO and subsequently nominated for an Academy Award as best live action short. Along with Norman Lear, Heelan wrote and co-produced the pilot episode of a television series, 704 Hauser. In 2008, Mr. Heelan’s one-act play was part of Atlantic Theatre Company’s 20th Anniversary Festival.
Billy W. Murray
Instructor of Costume and Lighting Design
Billy Murray has a B.A. degree in theatre arts and classical studies from St. Andrews, an M.F.A. degree in design, theatre, cinema, and an M.Ed. degree in fine arts education, K-12, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His credits include costume/ lighting design for Misanthrope, The Crucible, Big River, Dido and Aenaus, On the Verge; scenic design for the National Opera, Gianni Schicchi, M. Choufleuri, The Italian Girl in Algiers, Elixir of Love, Beatrice and Benedict; costume design for Gianni Schicchi, Evita, La Boheme, Sour Angelica, Street Scene, University of North Carolina, Conservatory of Music; and cutter/draper for Julius Caesar, The Matchmaker, The Dybik, As You Like It, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival.