The Villages’ Studio Theatre hires new resident director


Nathaniel Niemi. // Provided photo

The Studio Theatre Tierra del Sol, known for its motto,Think outside the box, inside the box,” has a new resident director.

Nathaniel Niemi, who takes over the position immediately, also will serve as director of education for the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center in The Villages, a news release states.

The Studio Theatre, a “black box” theater at 806 San Marino Drive, is an extension of the Sharon, 1051 Main St. in Spanish Springs Town Square.

Nathaniel has a passion for collaboration, education and innovation. At the Studio, Nathaniel is directing “Neighbors: A Fair Trade Agreement” and the large ensemble musical, “Assassins.” He also directed the musicals “Company” and “Now. Here. This.” over the past season, the release states.

As director of education and teaching artist at the Sharon, Nathaniel is instructing the Arts Academy and coordinating youth education programs, such as the annual Compass Creative Dramatics summer camps.

Nathaniel will lead new fall courses starting Nov. 4 for the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Academy.

A new Storytelling Lab will provide students with the space, tools and practice necessary to grow in the art and craft of personal storytelling. Students will create content from personal experience, learn strategies to craft and structure these stories, and practice dynamic storytelling performance. The class will culminate in a sharing of these stories with friends and the community (memorization is not necessary).

In Level 1: Basics for the Actor, students will receive an introduction to the knowledge and practice of acting. Level 1 will utilize scene assignments consisting of two to three actors per scene, assigned by the instructor for the class. By the completion of this class, students will have a working knowledge of the language utilized in the acting profession, an introductory understanding of performing through actions, the ability to read and analyze a script, and the practical skills to memorize and rehearse a scene.

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Nathaniel holds a bachelor of arts degree in theater from East Texas Baptist University and a master of fine arts degree in theater for young audiences (directing) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. There, he was part of many productions as an artistic associate of Honolulu Theatre for Youth, performing onstage in Ouch!,” “Shocka!” and “Thumbelina,” and directing “H2O: The Story of Water and Hawaii,” “Pinocchio” and “You and Me and the Space Between.” Nathaniel also directed “Extraordinary Stories of an Ordinary Ohana and taught Youth Theatre programs in improv and performance.


Nathaniel has appeared at the Hawaii Theatre in “Noodle Doodle Box,” in many productions at Kennedy Theatre and on the “Hawaii 5-0” TV show.

Aside from being an actor, director and theatre educator, Nathaniel also has performed clown and physical comedy with the Second City in Chicago, the Building Stage and Chicago Physical Theatre.

Nathaniel is the recipient of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s National Directing Award and is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, according to the release.