Meet the Theatre and Art Faculty
Dr. Henry Brown Graham IV
Dr. Graham came to CMU in 2007 after a long and interesting career in the arts and archaeology. Trained at Princeton University where he earned his A.B. in European Civilization and his M.F.A and Ph.D. in Art History and Archaeology, he first taught at Washington University in St. Louis where his courses covered ancient through Renaissance art. While there he organized an exhibit of medieval illuminated manuscripts. Then at New College of the University of South Florida he set up the Medieval Fair which was attended by 10,000 people and continues to this day, took 31 students to Italy for a full semester in the European Workshop program, and became involved in underwater archaeology, diving on and excavating an American Revolutionary warship in Penobscot Bay in Maine. Then as chairman of the Art Department at Trinity University in San Antonio he established a major’s program in Art History and was appointed Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology based at Texas A&M University. In that capacity, he took part in diving excavations of ancient Roman and medieval shipwrecks in the Mediterranean.
After seventeen years as a university professor, Dr. Graham, with his wife Claudia and their three children, decided to make their home on a 33-foot sailboat which they equipped for world cruising. They sailed from Texas to the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, Bermuda, across the Atlantic to England, the canals of France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Spain, Madeira, the Canary Islands, and back across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, all in a voyage that lasted nearly six years, three of which were spent in the Mediterranean.
The Grahams then settled in northern California where they raised Tuscan olives and Dr. Graham taught at a middle school where he also ran the Gifted and Talented program, produced a daily on-campus television broadcast, and sponsored the National Geographic Bee. In 2005, the Grahams moved back to a farm south of Fayette that has been in the family for six generations. After building a house and settling in, Dr. Graham was appointed to teach at Central. He is also a member of the Fayette Round Table Club and on the executive boards of the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art at Central and of the Fayette Area Heritage Association. In addition, he originated and for 6 years coordinated the annual Fayette Festival of the Arts, a judged art show with an all-day program of musical entertainment, sponsored by the Fayette Area Heritage Association. The Festival continues and is now in its 12th year. In 2013, he was chosen Fayette Citizen of the Year and in the summer of 2019, he led a group of 25 on an art study tour of Italy, France and the Netherlands.
At Central Dr. Graham teaches Art History I, Art History II, and Art Appreciation. Married since 1958, the Grahams have three children and six grandchildren.
Dr. Mark Kelty
As Professor and Director of the Little Theatre at Central Methodist University since 2004. Dr. Kelty has directed over 60 productions at CMU and many more at other venues. Since joining the faculty at CMU, he has integrated theatre activities into the American College Theatre Festival and served on the Festival Management Team numerous times, served on the board at the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri, and presented workshops at both events as well as at Missouri Thespians annual festival. For the past eight years, he has led CMU students in presenting interactive vignettes on healthy relationships to CMU 101/102 classes, nearby high school and youth groups, as well as for conference presentations. Children’s Theatre presentations are now an annual event, bringing hundreds of elementary school students to the Little Theatre each year. All Little Theatre productions have been livestreamed since Fall 2020. He previously served as the Artistic Director of InterAct Teen-to-Teen Theatre, which represented Missouri at the 1999 Teen Theatre Festival at the Bevard in Syracuse, N.Y., bringing home the Best Performance Award. He founded and served as the Artistic Director of the Loose Change Players at the University of Missouri, where he earned his Ph.D. in Theatre. He’s fluent in Spanish, has lived and worked in Latin America as a teacher, baseball player, and archaeologist. When time allows, he works as a voice actor and stage actor and has two film roles to his credit: Radar Operator in the James Bond movie Licence to Kill and Journalist #1 with Jane Fonda and Gregory Peck in Old Gringo.
Prof. Lonna Wilke
Lonna Wilke is a CMU alum - class of '89. Shortly after graduating from CMU, she attended graduate school and received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with emphasis in theatre design and technology. She was the scenic/lighting designer and technical director at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana for five years after graduating, where she also taught Scenography and supervised student written, directed and designed productions. She returned to Missouri in the late 90’s and designed and engineered lighting for a custom lighting company in downtown St Louis before signing on with St Charles Community College in St Peters Missouri as for the theatre manager, designer/TD and then theatre faculty for nearly 20 years. Lonna jumped at the chance to return to CMU in the fall of 2019 to design, TD and teach theatre tech and design classes to the next generation of theatre students.
In her career she has designed scenery and lighting for over 100 productions. Some of her most memorable designs were for Angels in America first at Wabash College where she met playwright Tony Kushner. Wabash was also the first college or university granted the rights to produce Angels in America. She also did a much different and memorable Angels in America design at St Charles Community College. Other memorable production designs include Scratch, Miss Evers Boys and As you Like It at Wabash College, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Big River, The Diary of Anne Frank and the costume design for the Drowsy Chaperone at St Charles Community College, and the musicals Fun Home and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at Central Methodist University.
In 2007 she began to try on the director’s had by directing short plays. She then quickly jumped to directing full length dramas such as Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, The Elephant Man and Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Her most recent directing endeavor was the Haunted Lives one acts for CMU’s Little Theatre in Spring of 21.
In 2013, and after a nearly 30 year hiatus, she picked up the drumsticks and started playing drum set and hand percussion for the worship team at her church in South St Louis City. She also learned to run, engineer and mix live sound for worship and for theatrical production. At one point she played in and ran sound for 3 different bands and or churches. For three years prior to relocating to Fayette, she was the laity representative of her UMC church to the Missouri Annual Conference.
From 2003-2009 she played women’s full contact, semi professional football for the St Louis Slam. She started at center for four of those years fulfilling a life-long dream of getting to play the sport she loved, but women were not allowed to play. When not in the theatre teaching students to build and paint scenery, she is relaxing at home or out on a trail with her 3 rescue dogs. She also enjoys cooking, grilling, reading and writing short stories and novels.
Lonna has students who design, teach and work in theatre and film internationally, throughout the United States and on Broadway.