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Mark Swezey

Skip Gordon
Technical Director

Originally from New York City, Mark attended St. John’s University, Ottawa University, and the University of Kansas. After finishing school, Mark studied acting and directing at LaMama ETC in New York City. LaMama ETC is an experimental theatre where actors and directors worldwide are given the opportunity to study, create, and develop their craft with gifted artists; a
life-changing experience. Soon after returning to Kansas City area, Mark became Theatre Director at Shawnee Mission South, where he created one of the most vibrant and student-led theatre programs in the Midwest.

Mark has received numerous awards, including: 
Best of Kansas City Theatre awards for A Chorus Line and Cabaret;  Best Director for Company by The Barn Players; Best Director for Into the Woods by Greenroom Publications; The 2003 production of The Fantasticks 
was one of the Top Ten at the International Thespian Conference; He took the SM South 2012 production of Godspell  to the Kansas State Thespian Conference;
and received The Demmi Award and the Founders Award from Theatre in the Park.

Throughout his career, Mark has directed more than 350 productions. He views each production as a way to hold up a mirror to what is around us, to make the world a better place.


Skip has served as Technical Director at Shawnee Mission South since 2012. In addition, Skip is the Technical Director for Rockhurst University Theatre Department, the Technical Director for the Kansas City Fringe Festival and Director of WaterFire KC. Skip has worked with Theater companies: The Barn Players, Leawood Stage Company, Stageworx, Chestnut Fine Arts, and Stone Lion Puppets.  Before coming to SM South, Skip worked with other Kansas City area high schools, including: Desoto High School, Mill Valley High School, Ruskin High School and Blue Valley West High School.

Kristi Mitchell
Music Director

Kristi Mitchell is a local music director, conductor, and actor. She has performed and directed at several professional and community theatres in the Kansas City area and had the honor of being a featured soloist at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. during its 25th Anniversary season. Kristi received her Masters of Music Education degree from UMKC and has teaches music at The Barstow School. It's great to work with such a talented team of instructors and students eager to learn.

Jay Coombes
Costumes Coordinator

Jay is an Actor, Singer, Director, Choreographer and costumer who just celebrated his 50th year of theater.. He is also a voice teacher at Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice. Jay studied Music Education at Ottawa University and started his Kansas With theater Journey in 1984. He brings his knowledge and skills in costumes, hair, makeup, sewing, and designing to SMS Theatre's Costume Crew.

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