SAVANNAH, GA – January 28, 2020 – Savannah Ballet Theatre (SBT) has announced their Board of Directors who will guide the local nonprofit in its 2020-2021 season led by Artistic Director Sue Braddy and Advancement Director Abby McCuen.
Sue Braddy lends her vision and talent as the Artistic Director of Savannah Ballet Theatre. A native of Savannah, Braddy began her ballet training with Rosalie Cotler and went on to study with the Pennsylvania School of Ballet on scholarship. Braddy returned to Savannah and danced with the Savannah Ballet Company for ten years under the direction of Karena Brock, a former principal with American Ballet Theatre. In 1988, Ms. Braddy established her own ballet school and the Savannah Ballet Theatre.
Abby McCuen serves as Advancement Director at the Savannah Ballet Theatre. McCuen is a graduate of Valdosta State University, where she earned a Bachelors of Fine Art in Theatre with a minor in dance. Her choreography has been showcased at the American College Dance Festival and various competitions throughout the Southeast. She has danced in 7 countries and has attended workshops around the world. McCuen began working for Savannah Ballet Theatre in 2010. She is currently in charge of fundraising, grant writing, and educational outreach for the company. She recently created five original ballets for SBT: The Wizard of Oz, Sleepy Hollow, Jack the Ripper, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Curt Bryant is the President of the Board of Directors. Bryant graduated with a Bachelors in French from California State University and The University of Paris in 1988. In 2005, he and his family moved to Savannah from Paris, France. His background in Vocal Performance and Choral music have played a focal point in his life since his early years. Curt has been active with the Savannah Philharmonic’s Chorus since arriving in Savannah. Bryant met SBT Artistic Director Sue Braddy in 2009, while they worked on the Philharmonic’s production of The Merry Widow. They continued to work together to build a strong board for the Savannah Ballet Theatre.
Florence Bryant serves as Secretary of the Board. She was born and raised in France where she participated in international choral competitions, choral music workshops, theatre and opera festivals. Florence holds a Master in International Studies from the Université de La Sorbonne and works as the Associate Director of Graduate Advising at SCAD. Professionally, Florence’s role as an educator and administrator reinforces her belief that art is essential in shaping the minds of the younger generation and making the world a better place. Florence has been involved with SBT since 2009 as a cast member in the production of The Nutcracker.
Traci Hall is a Teaching Artist and Choreographer who has performed as a dancer in every medium. Hall graduated from The Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (renamed University of The Arts). Her choreographic resume includes an array of work as vast as her performance career. From Mummer’s Parades on New Year’s Day to live video shoots featuring Patti LaBelle at The Apollo Theater, Ms. Hall has always welcomed new choreographic challenges. She specializes in training aspiring young artists. She created a unique dance space that mirrored the life of a Professional Performing Artist. Ms. Hall’s Company combined a quality dance education with extensive performance experience. Her company stretched the accepted norms of dance for children. PNC Bank selected Traci Hall & Co its Artists-In-Residence at The Please Touch Museum, citing Hall and her young artists as “The most imaginative, ambitious and utterly unique.” Hall has received numerous honors and awards from The Philadelphia Dance Alliance, The School District of Philadelphia and The William Penn Foundation to name a few. She is most proud of being selected as an honoree for the “Year of the Child” award for providing outstanding programming in arts & culture for the children of Philadelphia. Hall now resides in Savannah where she is honored to be a SBT Board Member.
Jay Jernigan began his formal dance training and undergraduate degree from East Carolina University in North Carolina. Jernigan has performed nationally for multiple prestigious organizations and has originated several lead roles including Peter Pan and the Grinch for some of the most renowned dance companies in Georgia. Jernigan’s choreography has been commissioned all over the United States. He has taught for a variety of organizations ranging from public elementary schools, high school bands, independent arts organizations, and professional dance companies. Jernigan is in his ninth year as a faculty member at Savannah Arts Academy and is currently the department head for the dance department.
Gif Lockley is an acclaimed and award winning principal, serving schools in Texas, North Carolina and Georgia. Lockley is currently principal of the Savannah Arts Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, a National Blue Ribbon School rated in the top 5 high schools in Georgia and one of the nation’s top 150 schools by US News and World Report. He is a graduate of the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, Stephen F. Austin State University and has completed the coursework for his doctorate degree (ADB) at Nova Southeastern University. He has performed and choreographed in musical theater and opera throughout the United States and Europe.
Jennifer Madison serves as Treasurer of the Board. She earned a BA in Communications from Georgia State University before entering the Property Management business in Atlanta. Madison gained an extensive background in managing commercial office buildings, vendor management, budgeting and contract management. Madison joined Hancock Askew as an Accounts Payable Specialist in 2018, assisting with bookkeeping and financial reporting.
Rob Miller is a composer, audio consultant and educator. He currently serves as a Professor of Sound Design at SCAD. Miller has worked in Sound Design as a Production Supervisor and Faculty member for California Institute of the Arts, The UCLA School of Theater Film and Television, The Yale School of Drama & Repertory Theatre. He has toured and performed in theaters all over the world working as sound designer and musical consultant “for John Cage and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.” Rob has composed electronic music for a multitude of iconic films and designed sound for the first high definition interactive research project collaborating with SONY, Disney and the National Broadcasting Association.
Lauren Schwan holds a Bachelor of General Studies, with a focus in Public Relations, Marketing and Communication Arts, from Georgia Southern University and a Master of Science in Leadership from South University. She currently serves as the Arts Marketing Manager at Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus, where she works with the art, music and theatre programs to promote each area of study and events. Her passion for the arts started at a young age and have grown with her. As a former dancer with SBT, she has enjoyed watching the organization further develop and grow. On top of her day job, Lauren enjoys volunteering with local theatre companies as a choreographer and actor.
“We are very excited to continue growing as Savannah’s only professional dance company and we are thankful to these individuals for joining our mission,” said Board President, Curt Bryant. “We encourage people to reach out and participate if they’re a lover of the arts.”
SBT is the only classical ballet company in coastal Georgia that provides both dancers and audience members with a full season of professionally staged performances and outreach programming. Although SBT is known for its superior production of The Nutcracker, the company is also known throughout the Southeast for their innovative, original adaptations of popular stories and movies. In addition to these productions, SBT is dedicated to preserving classical ballet through their staged classical productions. It is their mission to develop and showcase the talent of dedicated Savannah dancers alongside top professional dancers who train in the studio, and to engage in educational outreach and promotion of the art of dance within the community.
For more information on the performances, history and mission of the Savannah Ballet Theatre & School of Dance, please visit their website at www.savannahballettheatre.org.