Board of Directors

The TTAO Board of Directors is made up of 10 Members with the following roles: Chair, Chair Elect – Adjudicator Training, Past Chair – Awards, Communications Director, Treasurer, Treasurer Elect/Historian, Communications Director-Elect, and 3 Director at Large Positions.

Function of the Board of Directors

  • Review adjudicator and contest manager evaluations
  • Nominate adjudicators to UIL for area/region/state
  • Govern the non-profit’s financial expenditures
  • Conduct the general business of TTAO

 Meet the Current Board

Yvonne Phillips-Dupree – President

Yvonne J. Phillips-Dupree is a veteran of education who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA with a concentration in acting. She is currently retired from the Houston Independent School District after having dedicated many years of tireless service. Previously, she taught theater arts at Ross Sterling Senior High School for over 20 years and competed five times at the U.I.L. One-Act Play State Meet. Following her tenure in the classroom, she became a School Improvement Facilitator, a Magnet Coordinator, a Literacy Coach, an Instructional Coordinator, and a College Access Coordinator. At present, she is a UIL One-Act Play Adjudicator, the President-Elect of the Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials Organization, and the Board President Emeritus of the Shabach Enterprise Fade to Black Theatre Festival. She has directed professionally at the Encore Theater, the Ensemble Theatre, and the Fade to Black Theater Festival in Houston, Texas.

Craig Hertel – Past President

Craig Hertel has directed over 25 UIL one-act plays–including six State Champions. He is currently the President of TTAO, has served as chair of UIL’s OAP Advisory Committee, and been on the Board of Texas Thespians. He has been a Contest Manager and judge many times, including the State Meet. He has directed many times at the college level (including ACTF), for summer camps and for community theatre. He has also been a UIL Academic Coordinator for many years, guiding his school to 15 State Academic Championships.

R. Scott Allen – President-Elect

R. Scott Allen holds a BFA in Theatre with an emphasis on directing from Texas State University. He obtained his Masters of Education in Administration in 2001 and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership in 2006 from Sam Houston State University. Scott is the recently retired principal of Kinder High School for Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) in the Houston ISD and now serves as the Executive Director for the national arts education nonprofit, Arts Schools Network (ASN). He was involved in OAP as a high school student and competed with nine one acts while teaching high school theatre. In addition to his UIL OAP involvement, Scott’s background includes theatre work in New York and community theatre in Texas. He believes strongly in the educational value of the UIL OAP process and feels that a positive OAP experience teaches students unlimited life lessons.

Mandy Epley – Communications Chair

Mandy Epley is currently pursuing her PhD in School Improvement at Texas State and holds a masters degree in Education Administration from Lamar and a BFA in Acting and Directing from Sam Houston State University. Mandy serves Navarro ISD as Superintendent of Schools. She taught high school theatre for 16 years. Her productions qualified for Region multiple times and her students performed at the state meet in 2009. In addition to acting and directing professionally, she has served as a Camp on the Coast director at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and Artistic Director of Inception Theatre. In 2012, Mandy was named Texas Educational Theatre Association Educator of the Year, in 2009, Brandeis High School Educator of the Year, Northside ISD High School Educator of the Year, and KENS5/SACU Excel Award winner. She has judged state twice and is a K-12 theatre program consultant for Enhance the Arts and is one of the authors of the Maestro Theatre Publications, LLC. Teacher Resource for Theatre Education. Mandy is also a guest instructor for workshops and clinics across the state.

Carla Schumann – Communications Chair-Elect

Carla Schumann taught high school theatre for 26 years and supported all fine arts as Fine Arts Director for seven years, but is now retired from public education.Carla values the educational experience of UIL She serves on TTAO Board and Texas Thespians as Membership and Communications Manager. Her love for OAP began in her own high school years and continues still today. She has competed at every level including two 5A state appearances in 2011 and 2012.

Aquilla Aubrey – Treasurer and Historian

Aquilla Aubrey is currently an Assistant Principal at MacArthur Senior High School in Aldine ISD where she is responsible for managing and supporting performing and visual arts programs. She has served previously as Contest Director for UIL Academics, Director for speech and debate contests and assistant director for one act play contests. With a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts from the U. S. International University in San Diego, and a Masters in Educational Administration from Prairie View A&M University, she has also worked with Disney to support a special reunion project on an Aldine High School campus. Her more than 31 years of experiences include elementary to secondary levels as classroom teacher, director, contest manager, adjudicator, and administrator. Additionally she has performed in community theatre, and worked as stage manager professionally. She believes that theatre is the impetus that allows directors to provides a platform or momentum for actors to breathe new life, innovation, and imagination on stage.

Larry Carpenter – Treasurer / Historian-Elect

An adjudicator since 2010, Larry has judged more than 450 shows from all over Texas in all conferences and all levels. Larry has directed one-act plays in conferences 1A-5A, advancing to area, region, and state along the way. Additionally, he has directed more than 50 shows at the high school, middle school, elementary, and community theatre levels. Several of his students have gone on to either college or professional theatre in New York, California, Washington, and here in Texas. He currently is the Treasure Elect for the TTAO Board of Directors and administers the Contest Manager trainings on behalf of the organization. He proudly serves as the Director of Fine Arts for Waco ISD.

Kelsey Kling – Board of Directors – Director-at-Large

Ms. Kling is, above all things, an advocate for theatre and the fine arts in Texas education. She first experienced One-Act Play as a high school student in West Texas and went on to earn a BFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University and an MA in Theatre History and Directing from Texas State University. Kelsey is a member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) and has earned several awards and nominations for her work on Austin-area stages. She has taught at the middle school, high school, and university levels, and has also directed professionally in Austin. After serving for eight years as the Fine Arts Coordinator at Texas Education Agency (TEA) where she was also the Texas representative for State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE), she moved to a Government Relations (lobbyist) position with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)–Texas and works statewide and nationally to improve both respect for the profession and the working conditions of teachers. Continuing in the work she began at TEA, she sits on the Commissioner of Education’s Extra-Curricular and Co-curricular Taskforce working to add fine arts and other student engagement measures to the state accountability system and the Arts Education Taskforce for the Texas Cultural Trust focused on improving equity of access to arts education across Texas. Kelsey sits on the Board of Advisors as well as the Public Affairs and EDIA committees for Texas Educational Theatre Association (TxETA) and is an at-large member of the Board of Directors for Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials (TTAO). This season marks her 14th as an adjudicator; she has been honored to judge at every level of competition, including 2A (2016), 5A (2018), 6A (2021) and 3A (2023) State competitions.

Phillip Morgan – Board of Directors – Director-at-Large

Dr. Morgan is humbled to serve as an adjudicator for today’s one-act play contest. He has served as a student competitor, teacher, department chair, playwright, clinician, college instructor and K-12 administrator for fine arts programs. Dr. Morgan is a lifetime member of TTAO, adamantly advocating the impact of participation in the UIL OAP contest, and is honored to serve its students. Phillip holds degrees in Theatre Arts (A.A. & B.F.A.), Business Communications (M.A.), and Educational Leadership (Ed.D.), and continues professional learning through various state fine arts administrator organizations. In his tenure as a critic judge, he has been honored to adjudicate multiple District, Bi-District, Area and Region level contests, as well as the TAPPS State One-Act Play Contest twice, and the UIL State One-Act Play contest three times. Professionally, Dr. Morgan is in his 11th year as a fine arts administrator, currently serving as Director of Fine Arts for the Plano Independent School District. Phillip was the 2018 recipient of the TxETA Founders Award and currently serves as the Past-Chair of the Texas Theatre Administrators Conference and as a Director at Large (officer) on the TTAO Board of Directors. Dr. Morgan is honored to have learned his love of the theater and the UIL contest under his mentor, professor and friend, Ray Karrer.

Freddie Buckner – Board of Directors – Director-at-Large

Freddie Buckner taught high school and middle school theatre arts for thirty years in Aldine ISD, Houston. He has been a member of TETA for over 37 years. Mr. Buckner has been involved in UIL on all levels of One-Act Play since 1976. He has the greatest respect for educational theatre directors. He considers them to be an essential element of a thriving school. While teaching at both MacArthur and Eisenhower High Schools in Houston, his students advanced from zone through regional contests numerous times and advanced to state twice, once in 2000 and again in 2011, placing second runner-up in 2000. Since the early 80’s, his students made yearly performances at State Thespian Festivals. Over the years, students competed at Nationals at NFL, NCFl, and in T.F.A. speech tournaments. Mr. Buckner served on the TTAO Standards and Practices Committee for One-Act Play in 2016-2017, does Theatre Staff Development, UIL Clinics, and is on the TTAO Board for 2022-2024. You can watch his cameo performance with his former students on Disney Plus in the show ENCORE with Eisenhower High School!