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Dennis A. Dulmage

President and Dean of Students

Nan Kyle Ficca

Vice President and Director of Admissions

Tiffany Nice

Business Manager

Lisa Rose Middleton

Education Director

John Montgomery

Artistic Director

Aaron Carmichael

Technical Director

Barbara Luchs


Frances Cole





Karen E. Batra


Dennis A. Dulmage


Nan Kyle Ficca

The Business of Acting

Niki Gilliam


Barry Hemphill


Michael Johnson

Stage Combat

Barra Kahn

Acting/Advanced Scene Study

Jim Mahady


Brian McNelis


Lisa Rose Middleton


John Montgomery


Jim Zidar



Guest Artists

Each year the Conservatory also hosts a number of guest artists who conduct seminars, workshops, master classes and serve as directors for Actor's Repertory Theatre productions. Previous guests have included:

Jane Alexander
Jo Mielziner
Elizabeth Ashley
John Montgomery**
Joe Banno
Don Murphy
Harold Clurman*
Joseph Papp
Yvonne Farrow
Tony Roberts
Betsy Friday
Howard Rossen
Davis Gaines
Richard Seer
William Gibson
Martin Sharnin
Joyce Hall
Lee Strasberg
Mari Lyn Henri
Fred Strother
Yvette Heyliger
Rosemarie Tischler
Ralph Hoffman
Elizabeth Van den Berg
Davey Marlin Jones*
Eli Wallach
Jack Lee
Linda Wright
Jeff Lee
David Young
  Dorothy Louden

* former faculty member


** current faculty member


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Karen E. Batra - Dance/Movement

Karen Batra holds a B.F.A. in acting and MEd in Fine Arts Education from East Carolina University. During college, Karen spent summer breaks dancing in summer stock productions, working professionally as a stage technician, and directing children's theatre groups. In 1985, she founded a children's theatre company in Atlanta, Georgia and developed an eight-week summer stock program where students learn all aspects of theatre production.

Following graduate school, Karen served as theatrical director at Washington High School in Washington, NC, and developed the performing arts curriculum for North Carolina public high schoools.

Karen continues to teach Master classes and serves as recital director and stage manager for various dance companies and acting troupes in the area.

Karen teaches the first and second year dance/movement classes at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. Before coming to NCDA, she taught dance at Creative Dance Center, a private dance studio in Chantilly Virginia and directed and choreographed for the Institute of Performing Arts for Youth, CDC's resident dance company.

Karen has more than nineteen years experience in theatre and has been teaching and directing performing arts programs for the past twelve years.  


Dennis A. Dulmage - Voice/Speech

B.S.Ed - Ashland University, M.F.A. in Theatre - University of Akron. His work over 35 years as actor, director, producer, and teacher has enabled Mr. Dulmage to develop skills in every aspect of the theatre arts. Mr. Dulmage founded the Ohio Community Theatre, founded and was a company member of In Good Company a professional touring group. In New York Mr. Dulmage taught theatre and voice at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and worked under the guidance of Dr. Edward Satrakian of the Actor's Studio.

Over the past ten years Mr. Dulmage has worked as actor and director in the Metro area including New Horizon's Theatre and New Playwrights. He won a best actor award from the Northern Virginia Theatre Alliance.


Niki Gilliam - Acting

B.A. Western Maryland College. Ms. Gilliam first became affiliated with The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in 1978 bringing to the institutions her experience in theatre, radio, film, television and speech. Because of this diversified background and her ability to coordinate her teaching and theatre skills, Ms. Gilliam has been involved in many aspects of curriculum at the Conservatory. She has been the recipient of several awards for best actress and best supporting actress for her work with theatre groups in the Metropolitan area.


Barra Kahn - Acting/Advanced Scene Study

Ms. Kahn got her start in theater dancing in Benjamin's Modern Jazz Dance Theater in Amsterdam, Netherlands. After three years, Barra returned to her native New York where she acted and danced in two shows at AMAS Repertory Theater, Bo-Jangles, and The Mikado. After performing Godsong both off-off Broadway and off-Broadway, Barra landed a CETA grant which gave way to Juba, A Book of Etiquette, and Faust at La Mama Annex She was then cast in the long-running Oh! Calcutta! on Broadway, in which she got to dance the famous pas de deux. Subsequent shows were The Importance of Being Earnest, At Home, The Petrified Forest, Waiting for Lefty, The Owl and the Pussycat. Regional theater performances include Fen, and The Happiest Girl in the World. In film, Barra can be seen in Trading Places, I, The Jury, The Stage and Age and Perception. Barra has directed, choreographed, and loves teaching the craft of theater to those impassioned by the stage.


Michael Johnson - Stage Combat

Michael Johnson is an actor, director, fight director, and teacher in the D.C. area. He has performed at most of the professional theatres in town including the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, Metro Stage, Source Theatre Company (where he is an artistic associate), Theatre of the First Amendment, Toby's Dinner Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, Theatre at Lime Kiln, and the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival.

Michael's appearances in TV and film include Atif's Journey and The Future of Science (winners of the Cable Ace Awards and Emmy, respectively) and the Pelican Brief. He has directed for The Kennedy Center, Source's Washington Theatre Festival, the Folger Shakespeare Festival and the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop.

Michael holds the title of Fight Director with the Society of American Fight Directors. He has choreographed fights for nearly 60 productions including Romeo and Juliet at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Bent and Twelfth Night for the Washington Shakespeare Company and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at both the Keegan Theatre and NCDA. Michael has also taught at Georgetown University, The Kennedy Center, the University of Maryland's Maryland Opera Studio and his alma mater, the North Carolina School for the Arts.

Michael received the 1995 Source Award, and is recognized for his accomplishment by Who's Who in Entertainment, Who's Who in America and International Men of Achievement.



John Montgomery - Acting

John Montgomery is currently the artistic director of The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Washington, D.C. He has been a guest director/instructor at the State University of New York at both Purchase and New Paltz, NY. As a director and producer, his work has been seen throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. John presented an American Musical Theatre concert for the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany, and he directed the first international production of Starting Here, Starting Now. He also served as consultant for the American premier of The Master Class at the Kennedy Center as well as New York's Roundabout Theater.

John staged the premiers of Gunmetal Blues at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Festival; Peter Ekstroms's Close Your Eyes and Think of England; Jose Ferrer's A Song For Cyrano with music and lyrics by Wright and Forrest; Butterfly Days starring Jean Stapleton; The Barbary Coast starring Eddie Bracken and Kaye Ballard; and An Evening With Who? starring Pat Carroll.

As a director/choreographer John consulted on episodes of ABC's One Life to Live and the PBS series The Best of Families. He was a sign language interpreter on PBS in New York City. His off-Broadway work includes the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies, the musical Lovesong, as well as dance consultant for Miss Julie starring Geraldine Page and Rip Torn at the Hudson Guild Theatre. He conceived and choreographed two evenings of his own theatre works, A Dancing Picture Show and New Beginnings and served as assistant to the Broadway musical director, Jack Lee on An Operetta Nosegay. For Milwaukee's Music Under The Stars, he directed La Traviata and for the San Diego Civic Light Opera Company he directed Big River and Showboat.

He creates Business Theatre productions for Armstrong World Industries and other clients. John lives in New York City and he is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Inc.




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