Emily Helton by Shawn Poynter

The Moors is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com

Off-Broadway premiere produced by The Playwrights Realm (Katherine Kovner, Artistic Director; Roberta Pereira, Producing Director) in January 2017. World Premiere produced by Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut; James Bundy, Artistic Director; Victoria Nolan, Managing Director

Advisories: Recommended for mature audiences. Contains theatrical fog, sexual themes and violence.
Run Time: 109 minutes with no intermission.


Directed by
Casey Sams
Musical Director
Terry D. Alford
Scenic and Projection Designer
Sophie Smrcka
Costume Designer
Alex Heder
Lighting Designer
Mitch Wilson
Sound Designer/Composer
Amoirie Perteet
Emily Pope
Fight / Movement Director
Charles R. Miller
Stage Manager
Mayson Knipp
Artistic Director, Department Head
Kenneth Martin
Managing Director
Tom Cervone
Production Manager
Susan L. McMillan

The Lab Theatre logo

Casey Sams

Casey Sams (Director) Casey teaches movement for actors, musical theatre, and serves as the Associate Chair for the Theatre department. She regularly directs and choreographs for the CBT, and has served as Intimacy Choreographer for the CBT, River and Rail Theatre Company, First Take Productions, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. She has had the great good fortune to work as a choreographer or director at such theaters as Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, PlayMakers Repertory Theatre, The Roundhouse Theatre, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Vermont Stage, The Utah Shakespearian Festival, Great River Shakespeare Festival, North Carolina Stage, and Knoxville Opera, among others. Her Undergraduate and Graduate degrees are from Penn State, she is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst from the Laban / Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York, and she is a member of the inaugural class of Education Advocates with Theatrical Intimacy Educators.

Terry D. Alford

Terry D. Alford (Musical Director) Terry is a Distinguished Lecturer in Theatre and teaches Musical Theatre Performance and Honor’s Introduction to the Theatre and Acting. Prior to joining the UT faculty Mr. Alford held the positions of Director of Musical Theatre at The University of Tulsa, and Director of Musical Theatre at The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. He has worked professionally as a performer, director, musical director, and composer at theaters across the country, including the California Theatre Center, Madison Repertory, Omaha Playhouse, Augusta Barn, Fireside Theatre, Light Opera of Oklahoma, and the Clarence Brown Theatre. Terry has directed or musically directed numerous productions and has created the scores for four original musicals and a variety of chamber and vocal music pieces. He is a member of the Clarence Brown Professional Company and regularly directs and musically directs for the Clarence Brown Theatre. Terry is the director of the CBT Summer Acting Workshop and serves as co-facilitator of Outreach and Education hosting Theatre Tours and Talk Backs.

Sophie Smrcka

Sopie Smrcka (Scenic and Projection Designer) was born and raised in Colorado, and graduated from the University of Denver in 2022, with B.A.s in Theatre and Communications. She is now an MFA candidate in Scenic Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This will be Sophie’s second time designing in the Lab Theatre at the CBT. Previously, her work was seen in Men on Boats. Most recently her work was seen onstage in A Case for the Existence of God at River and Rail Theatre. More of her work can be found at @smrckadesigns on instagram. Enjoy the show!

Alex Heder

Alex Heder (Costume Designer) Alex is a second-year graduate student from Northern Utah. He has a BFA in costuming from Utah State University, and also has a robust background in scenic and properties design. He designed the costumes for a film adaptation of Monteverdi’s opera L’incoronazione di Poppea and the world premiere of an original opera based on the book Uncovered by Leah Lax. The Moors is his fifth realized design. Outside of theatre Alex spends most of his time attending conventions, renaissance fairs, participating in buhurt armored combat, and crafting related things. He is a certified blacksmith and a leather artisan among other things and his work can be viewed at www.alexheder.com

Mitch Wilson

Mitch Wilson (Lighting Designer) Mitch is the current Lighting Design MFA candidate for the UT Theatre department. This is his second production as lighting designer in the Lab theatre, and his 6th show over the past year. He has just started his third semester of graduate school, and will also be the lighting designer on The Giver next semester. He would like to thank his girlfriend Kiera and his family for their love and support.

Amoirie Perteen

Amoirie Perteet (Sound Designer and Composer) is originally from Chicago, Illinois and currently a second-year MFA candidate in Sound & Media Design. She graduated from UT in 2022 with a BA in Music Production & Business. Over the summer, she was the assistant sound designer for Romeo & Juliet at the American Players Theatre. Recent and future credits with the Clarence Brown Theatre include: Blood at the Root, Trouble in Mind, Hairand Anon(ymous)She is excited that The Moors is her second ever sound design with the Clarence Brown Theatre. To keep up with her, you can find her on Instagram @amoirie. 

Emily Pope (Dramaturg) is a dramaturg, writer, and director based in Knoxville, TN. She is the Administrative Specialist for the Department of Theatre at the University of Tennessee. She studied dramaturgy and playwriting during her undergraduate career here at UT, where she wrote and produced a play, Callaway, for her senior thesis. This is Emily’s first official dramaturgy credit with the Clarence Brown Theatre, and she is so honored to be part of such a great team.

Charles R. Miller

Charles R. Miller (Fight / Movement Director) is a Professor and the Director of Theatre at Pellissippi State. He was the co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of the Smoky Mountain Shakespeare Festival for eight years. He’s worked as an actor or director at the Clarence Brown Theatre, American Stage, Asolo Theater, Porthouse Theatre, and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. He’s worked as teacher, voice coach and fight choreographer for our MFA program and the Clarence Brown. He is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®. He’s been recognized as an Actor/Combatant by the Society of American Fight Directors and has done the fight choreography for over two dozen shows. He holds an MFA from Southern Methodist University and a BFA from the University of Idaho.

Mayson Knipp

Mayson Knipp (Stage Manager) is so excited to be doing her first show in the Lab Theatre. She is a junior at UT, and is getting a BA in Theatre. Previous credits at the Clarence Brown Theatre include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Deck Crew), Always…Patsy Cline (Assistant Stage Manager), Murder on the Orient Express (Assistant Stage Manager), and Hair (Assistant Stage Manager). She has also worked at the Darkhorse Theatre on Assassins (Assistant Stage Manager). She would like to thank Patrick Lanczki for being a wonderful mentor and teaching her how to be a successful stage manager. She would also like to thank her family for believing in her every step of the way. Finally, she would like to give a special thank you to her little sister, and best friend for pushing her to follow her passion for theatre.

The Cast

Agatha – Catherine Blevins
Huldey – Molly Brennan
Emilie – Ella Trisler
Marjory / Mallory – Jasmine R. Handy
The Mastiff – Jackson Ahern
The Moor-hen – Abigail McCarter


Agatha – Brooke Premo
Huldey – Whitney Priest
Emilie – McKenzie Jordan
Marjory / Mallory – Mia Eller
The Mastiff – Wyatt Skillen
The Moor-hen – Jenna Mitchell

Jackson Ahern

Jackson Ahern (The Mastiff) Jackson is a junior in the Theatre program. His last role was Gaston in Tennessee Valley Players Beauty and the Beast. His last Clarence Brown appearance was as Chuck in She Kills Monsters. He is excited for what the future brings. He would like to thank his many mentors in life that have brought him to be who he is today.

Catherine Blevins

Catherine Blevins (Agatha) Catherine is a senior at UT who transferred from Pellissippi State after earning an AFA in Performance. Catherine was most recently seen as Frank Goodman in CBT’s spring production of Men on Boats. Other recent credits include The Wolves (River and Rail), Love and Information, Sappho at the Edge of the Abyss, Popcorn at the Odessa, and The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 (Pellissippi State), and Death of a Salesman (Theatre Knoxville Downtown).

Molly Brennan

Molly Brennan (Huldey) Molly is very excited to be in her first Clarence Brown Theatre production. She is an undergraduate Theatre major, and co- Vice President of the campus long-form improv team, ISP. She’d like to thank her family, friends, and teachers for supporting her. She’d also like to thank Jen Silverman, and the entire cast and crew for their beautiful work, support, and dedication to create such a thought-provoking show. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Mia Eller

Mia Eller (Understudy / Marjory, Mallory) Mia is a freshman at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, majoring in Theatre with an acting concentration, and she is beyond excited to be taking part in her first Clarence Brown Theatre production! She began acting in 2020, and past shows she’s enjoyed taking part in include Play On! (Polly), The Sound of Music (Sister Berthe), and Mamma Mia! (Rosie). She would like to extend her gratitude to director Casey Sams, who gave her the incredible opportunity to act in the Lab, and her family, who have never stopped encouraging her to pursue acting. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Jasmine R. Handy

Jasmine R. Handy (Marjory / Mallory) Jasmine is thrilled and immensely thankful to be back in the Clarence Brown Lab Theatre. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, she is seeking to complete her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre with an Acting Concentration. Her previous training includes attending the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and Kennesaw State University’s College of the Arts. This will be her fourth show at the University of Tennessee Department of Theatre. Previous CBT credits include Blood at the Root (Raylynn); Adaptive Radiation (Olivia); and Men on Boats (John Wesley Powell). She would like to extend special thanks to her loved ones for their unwavering support and Casey Sams for the wonderful opportunity.

McKenzie Jordan

McKenzie Jordan (Understudy / Emilie) McKenzie is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee. She is studying Theatre and Political Science. She is excited to be part of such a special show. She would like to thank her family and instructors for their constant support.

Abigail McCarter

Abigail McCarter (The Moor-hen) Abigail is a student in the UT Theatre and Psychology Departments. She was last seen as Toria in Blood at the Root. While she acted throughout high school, this will be her second production with the Clarence Brown Theatre. She would like to thank Casey Sams for the amazing opportunity. She would also like to thank her parents, especially her mom, for supporting her through the late rehearsals and early mornings.

Jenna Mitchell

Jenna Mitchell (Understudy / The Moor-hen) is so incredibly excited to be a part of this wild and entrancing show. She is a double major at UT in Theatre (acting) and Art (2D). Jenna’s previous work with CBT includes wardrobe crew for Murder on The Orient Express and Assistant Stage Manager and Female Steve U/S for Adaptive Radiation. Jenna has been acting since the age of six and has loved getting to grow and develop with the theatre program here at UT. Enjoy the show!

Brook Premo

Brooke Premo (Understudy / Agatha) Brooke is thrilled to be a part of The Moors! She has been in multiple productions including Donna (Mamma Mia!), Joanne (Rent), Ilse (Spring Awakening), and Dot (Sunday in the Park with George). Brooke would like to thank the talented cast and directors for making this an astonishing experience. Also, to her friends and family for their love and support.

Whitney Priest

Whitney Priest (Understudy / Huldey) Whitney is a sophomore at UT this year and is thrilled to be making her CBT debut in this year’s production of The Moors. She comes from the Appalachians but has had a wonderful time exploring the fog of the English Moors. Whitney has previously been involved in All Campus Theatre’s Musical Theatre Revue and is majoring in Anthropology with a concentration in Forensics. She would like to thank her mother for all of her endless support, and introduction into this beautiful world of theatre.

Wyatt Skillen

Wyatt Skillen (Understudy / The Mastiff) Wyatt is thrilled to understudy as a part of his first show with the Clarence Brown Theatre! He is currently a sophomore at UT as an Theatre major. Previously, Wyatt has been a part of ACT’s Twelfth Night and the annual Musical Theatre Revue. He would like to thank his family, friends, and all those close to him for supporting his aspirations.

Ella Trisler

Ella Trisler (Emilie) is a senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She studies Theatre, with a concentration in acting, and she is thrilled to be back on the Lab stage! Most recently, she played Hall in Men on Boats at the Lab Theatre. Some of her favorite roles so far include Mayella Ewell in To Kill A Mockingbird and Louisa Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. This summer, Ella studied acting for six weeks in New York City with NYU’s own Atlantic Acting School through their Summer Intensive.

Jen Silverman

Jen Silverman

Jen Silverman

Jen Silverman is a New York-based playwright, novelist and screenwriter. Jen’s plays include SpainCollective Rage: A Play in 5 BettiesThe MoorsThe RoommateWitch and Highway Patrol. They have been produced off-Broadway, regionally across the US, and internationally in Australia, the UK, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Spain. Jen is the author of the debut novel We Play Ourselves and the story collection The Island Dwellers; Jen’s next novel is forthcoming from Random House in 2024. Jen wrote The Miranda Obsession as a narrative podcast for Audible, starring Rachel Brosnahan. Jen is a three-time MacDowell Fellow and a member of New Dramatists. Honors include the Yale Drama Series Award and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim. Jen also writes for TV and film.

Welcome to the Lab Theatre!

Just like in other labs across campus, our Lab is where the theatre department both trains students and experiments with new ideas. The Lab Theatre is where you will see UT student actors take on big, challenging, dynamic characters. The Lab is where you might see a future household name take on their first major role, so you can say, “I saw them when…”

The Moors, by Jen Silverman, is a perfect Lab play. It challenges the students to find both the darkest and the funniest aspects of humanity. It asks them to explore the works of the Brontës and the gothic side of Victorian literature as well as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. It requires them to sing and fight and hone their comic timing – and perhaps transform into a dog. 

It also gives the audience great things to talk about after they’re done laughing. Do you know people like Huldey or Agatha? Have you seen relationships like the one between the Mastiff and the Moor Hen? What would you write in your diary if you lived in an isolated mansion on the bleak and barren moors?  The Moors asks, what would you do to feel seen, or heard, or cherished? What wouldn’t you do?

Thanks for joining us in The Lab. We hope you have a great time, and that you come back to see more of our experiments!

~ Casey Sams

Dear Reader,

It is unlikely that the events which you are about to witness have ever happened in real life. Maids do not often switch personalities at the drop of a hat and dogs and moor hens are certainly not known to carry on conversations. This play, however, would not exist without the very real letters of Charlotte Brontë. 

Our playwright, Jen Silverman, spent months reading Charlotte’s passionate letters before coincidentally heading to a week-long writing residency. She could have written about anything, but Charlotte’s words were so strong, so beautiful, so influential that she couldn’t seem to write about anything else. The play you are seeing today is quite different from that first draft, but the traces of Charlotte and her family are still undeniably woven into the fabric of the play.

You might notice throughout the play some of the characters have a need to be famous, heard, independent, or simply known and loved. Each of these desires present themselves time and time again in Charlotte’s letters, many of which we still have today thanks to Ellen Nussey, Charlotte’s closest companion, whom history has deemed a “close friend”.

There is no way to determine what exactly Charlotte Brontë’s life was like. Who’s to say she did not have a philosophic talking mastiff? Thankfully, this play is not about historical accuracy. Instead, reader, allow yourself to be immersed in a genre-bending combination of absurdity and gothic literature, and please, listen to our characters – they do so love to be heard.

~ Emily Pope


Assistant Director and Voice Coach
Rachel Darden

Assistant Director
Cearan Costello

Assistant Stage Manager
Belle Holmes


Wardrobe Supervisor
Amber Williams

Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor
Dottie Haller

Wardrobe Crew
Destinee Vess


Deck Crew
Emmy Sinclair


Assistant Lighting Designer
Kayla Moore

Light Board Operator/Electrician
Samuel McRary

Spot Operator
Emmy Sinclair


Sound Board Operator
Skye Reid


Projection Operator
Christian Pence


Gideon Rainey


Artistic Director/Department Head – Kenneth J. Martin
Managing Director – Tom Cervone
Business Manager – Tara Halstead
Marketing and Communications Director – Robin Conklin
Administrative Specialist – Emily Pope
General Manager – Vickie Carter
IT Specialist – Mark Spurlock
Graphic Designer – Julie Anna Summers


Manager of Ticketing and Sales – Sarah Burton
Box Office Manager – Callie Bacon
Lead House Manager – David Ratliff
Patron Service Associates – Faridat Akindele,
Kelly Boyle
, George Bull, Desirea Burke,
Izzy Fenech, Tyler Glover, Emma Massengill,
Faith McManus, Jospeh Molitor, Emmy Sinclair,
Jalen Smith, Savannah Smith, Lily Snead,
Marissa Speck, Justin Spinella, Alissa Sullinger,
Devon Thompson, Jenna Tiger, Camden Tripp,
Madison Wall, Sarah Wahrmund, Sierra Woodard
and Jamison Yeager

External Relations Manager – Shelly Payne
Grants, Education, and Outreach Manager –
Hana Sherman
Tours, Workshops – David Brian Alley
Summer Acting Workshops, Actor Talk Backs –
Terry D. Alford

Production Manager – Susan L. McMillan
Rental Coordinator/Assistant Production Manager –
Phyllis Belanger
Production Stage Manager – Patrick Lanczki

Costume Shop Manager – Melissa Caldwell-Weddig
Cutter/Draper – Kyle Andrew Schellinger
Costumers – Elizabeth Aaron,
Amber Williams, Ellen Bebb
and Laura Clift

Costume Assistants – Alex Heder,
Kaelyn Williams, Lily Arnwine,
Laura Asmussen and
Victoria Kahnle

Electrics Shop Manager – Travis Gaboda
Lead Electrician – Jon Mohrman
Lighting Assistants – Caroline Bradley

Technical Director – Jason Fogarty
Assistant Technical Director – George Hairston
Lead Carpenter – Jerry D. Winkle
Senior Carpenter – Kyle L. Hooks
Scene Shop Assistants – Justice Morris,
Elaina Przybyszewski,
Sophie Smrcka, Becca Stockhaus
and Didi Vermillion
Scenic Charge Artist – Isabel Isaac
Scenic Artist – Michaela Lochen

Props Supervisor – Christy Fogarty
Lead Properties Artisan – Sarah Gaboda
Prop Assistants – Katie DePriest
and Monica Gardiner

Sound and Video Manager – Chris Walters
Sound Assistants – Allison Bucher
and Amoirie Perteet


Kenneth Martin Department Head, CBT Artistic Director
Casey Sams Movement & Musical Theatre, Associate Department Head
Kenton Yeager Lighting Design, Head of Graduate Studies


Jed Diamond Acting
Joe Payne Sound and Media Design
Christopher Pickart Scenic Design


Kathryn Cunningham Voice and Speech
Gina Di Salvo Theatre History and Dramaturgy
Shinnerrie Jackson Acting
Katie Lupica Directing
Lauren T. Roark Costume Design
Neno Russell Costume Technology


David Brian Alley Senior Lecturer in Acting, Head of Undergraduate Studies
Terry D. Alford Distinguished Lecturer in Music Theatre
Tracy Copeland Halter Acting
Steve Sherman Acting
Laura Beth Wells Acting


Misty Anderson Professor of English and Theatre, English Department, Allen C. Carroll Chair of Teaching
Stanton B. Garner, Jr. Professor of English and Theatre, Chair, Department of English


Bill Black Costume Design & Technology Professor Emeritus
Kate Buckley Directing Professor Emeritus
Marianne Custer Costume Design Professor Emeritus
Calvin MacLean Department Head, CBT Artistic Director, Professor Emeritus
John Sipes Acting, Directing & Movement Professor Emeritus
Terry Weber Acting, Voice Professor Emeritus

Artists Circle 

Dr. Meagan Elizabeth Dennison and Jeffrey Navel
Dr. Jeffrey and Virginia Eberting
Pamela and James Given
The Lederer Family
Mrs. Townes Lavidge Osborn and Robert S. Marquis
Linda and Terry Tyler

Producer Circle

Jennifer Banner
Dr. Larry and Jeanie Brakebill
Elizabeth W. Carroll
Dr. Jimmy and Ileen Cheek
Bonnie Carroll and Roy Cooper, Jr.
Kenneth and Jane Creed
Dr. Jeffrey and Virginia Eberting
Dr. R. Kent and Susan Farris
Drs. Joseph and Jayne De Fiore
Stanton and Alison Garner
Donna Geckler-Solod
Rosemary R. Gilliam
Tara and Scott Halstead
John George Hoffman III and Susan Hoffman
Julie Howard and Ted Flickinger
Susan and Jerry Kornegay
Theresa Lee and Jacob Love
Maureen Dunn McBride  and Neil McBride
Margie Nichols and John Gill
Linda B. Norris
Dr. Lee L. Riedinger and Mary Zuhr
Susan Sgarlat
Patsy Roux-Sharp
Donna Solod
John F. Sorey III and Delores R. Sorey
Alice Torbett
Robin C. Turner
Nancy Voith and Kenneth Stark
Donna and Terry Wertz

Director Circle

Vickie Ellis
Donna and Randall Riggs
Robin C. Turner

Rising Star

Dr. Myrwood and Susan Besozzi
Drs. John T. Bushore  and Betsy Haughton
Dr. Howard C. Filston
Dr. Jeffrey D. Kovac
Dr. Samantha Murphy  and Mr. Justin Roby
Sheena McCall
Marsha Mitchell
Sarah Phillips
Sandra K Stoutt
Jeffrey and Carol Stratton
Alexander Oaks Waters

Leading Player

Jay Aldrich
Andrea J. Anderson
Virginia L. Caperton
Amy Caponetti
Brooks and Karen Clark
Col. Ken and Joan Clevenger
Michael Combs
Dr. Timothy Paul and Patricia Ann Ezzell
Christopher and Lauren Herbstritt
Julie Carroll Lohnes
Janet Parkey
Meredith Peccolo and James Vaughan
Dr. Robert N.Trigiano
Georgiana Vines

David Andrews
Gayle Burnett
Karen Clapp
Deborah Emery
Margie Gill
John Hoffman
Julie Howard
Virginia Kerwin
Jerry Kornegay
Susan Kornegay
Sharon Kreis
Steve Krempasky
Stephen LaVie
Karen Lesieur
Angela Masini
Vanessa McAfee
Maureen McBride
Sheena McCall
Jeffrey Navel
Linda Norris
James Peterson
Sara Phillips
Elizabeth Pollock
Donna Riggs
Helen Sirett
Robin Smith
Julie Thornburg
Alice Torbett
Linda Tyler
Terry Tyler
Georgiana Vines
Nancy Voith
Donna Wertz
Shelly Wilson
Cheryl Zamora