Current MFA Grads

Graduate Teaching Assistants 

MichaelJoseph Barber

MichaelJoseph Barber is a first year MFA student. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is Jackson State University educated, where he earned his Bachelors in Speech with a concentration in Theatre. His stage credits include Eurydice, Talk to me like the Rain, Fetch Clay, Make man, and Hoodoo Love to name a few. He is excited to further his education at the University of Louisville. 


Taijee Bunch is a 1st year student for UofL’s MFA program for Performance and the African American Theatre program! Taijee is an actor, playwright, and director from Lonoke, Arkansas. He received his BFA in Musical Theatre with honors as well as his Masters of Arts in Teaching from Southern Arkansas University in 2019 and 2023 respectively. 
During his time between degrees, Taijee performed in various community theatre shows in Little Rock, Arkansas to include: The Color Purple (Asst. Director/Harpo), Memphis: The Musical (Bobby Dupree), and Black Nativity. One accomplishment Taijee holds dear to his heart is being the director of an all-black casting of Next to Normal as well as being the first student of color to write, direct, and produce his own show at SAU.  

Taijee dedicates his work and talents to creating safe and inclusive spaces for marginalized groups and peoples in theatre. He looks forward to learning from all that UofL offers! 

Robert McFarland

Inability to sit calmly and behave led Robert McFarland to a 18 year career working internationally with ballet companies. Along the way he explored a spectrum of opportunities in dance, theatre and opera, performing with Ballet Arizona, Göteborgs Operan Balett, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Louisville Ballet, The Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, and at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. He has danced works by luminaries like George Balanchine, Agnes DeMille, Bob Fosse, Violette Verdy, Val Caniparoli, Bella Lewitzki. Frederick Franklin, and Trey McIntyre. Since retirement from professional dance, he has worked in the industry as a choreographer, stager, director, print model, aerialist, film and stage actor, and in his favorite role as arts educator. Locally, he has worked with Actors’ Theater of Louisville, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, The Necessary Theatre, Bunbury Theatre, Stage One Family Theatre, Louisville Orchestra, Theatre 502, and Commonwealth Theatre Center. 

Zye Reid

Zye Reid is a first year MFA Performance student at the University of Louisville. He graduated from the University of Miami with a BFA in Musical Theater in 2021. In between then, Zye has performed in several theatres across the east coast in shows. Credits include Rent (Benny and Collins U/S), The Prom (Mr. Hawkins), and Escape to Margaritaville (Jamal). Zye is beyond grateful to have the opportunity to strengthen his craft and grow alongside the many talented artists that grace this program!

Faith Artis

Faith Artis is a second-year grad school student who started doing theatre when she was a young girl. She has always dreamt of acting and is so grateful to still be doing what she loves. She specializes in improvisation and solo performance. Her past credits include Avenue Q (Gary Coleman), Fairview (Keisha), Gloria (Lorin). She earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Rollins College as a Priscilla L. Parker Scholar and hopes to use the knowledge she gathers from UofL to perform and eventually teach later in her career. 

Ashley Nicole Cabrera

Ashley Nicole Cabrera (she/her) is a second year MFA grad student. Ashley spent her summer with Kentucky Shakespeare performing as Princess in Love's Labour's Lost, a Fairy in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Gentlewoman in Macbeth. She is excited to start a new year of learning and performing with her classmates. Last school year, Ashley was featured in Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Darrin Mosley Jr.

Darrin Mosley Jr is a second year MFA student/Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Louisville and graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Minor in Theatre. Darrin was a valuable member of Attack Theatre’s teaching artist team in Propel Schools, and he has also taught with Weary Arts Group, Gemini Children’s Theater, the hip-hop instructor for Dance Conservatory of Pittsburgh, and most recently a lead counselor with Kentucky Shakespeare summer camp. As a performer his work spans both dance and theatre, performing with Attack Theatre in Pittsburgh Opera’s Moby Dick (2018), Black Swan Ballet Company, Weary Arts Group (2017), the Pittsburgh Musical Theatre production of Newsies (2019), South Park Theater (2019), Steel City Shakespeare (2019), the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival, UofL's productions of Gloria (2022) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2023), and most recently, Tajleed Hardy's original play, Unchained (2023).  Darrin has appeared in the short film series A Very Covid Christmas (2021) which received a silver Telly award for best remote production. Darrin is very excited for his upcoming role as Husband in The Old Settler this fall semester, and can't wait for audiences to enjoy this role with him. Darrin would also like to thank his fiancé and mother for their unwavering support throughout his time in his graduate teaching career.

Krystal Waller

Krystal Waller is a 2nd year MFA student at the University of Louisville. Most recently, she performed as “Jasmine” in UofL’s production of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview. She has been entertaining audiences since the age of 4, where she began as a dancer. Some of her previous roles include: “Nan” in Gloria, “Nancy” in Oliver!, and “Mayzie La Bird” in Seussical. Krystal received her B.A. in Africana Studies with a minor in Theatre Arts from the University of Pittsburgh in April of 2020. She is committed to centering and uplifting Black stories and voices through her theatrical work. Krystal is grateful to her family for their unwavering support of her acting and academic journey.

Tajleed Hardy

Tajleed Hardy is a 3rd Year MFA student at the University of Louisville where he is working to receive his degree in Performance. He is also a member of the African American Theatre Program. He has worked as an actor all over Hampton Roads, Virginia. He has performed in shows such as Fences, Ruined, The Amen Corner, and A Soldier's Play. He has also performed professionally at the Virginia Stage Company in The Tempest, The Wiz, and The Comedy of Errors.

Tajleed is a New Orleans, Louisiana native. He has lived in Norfolk, Virginia for the last five years. He is a recent graduate of Norfolk State University where he received his BA in Drama and Theatre. Tajleed graduated summa cum laude with a 3.79 GPA. Tajleed was also part of the award-winning NSU Theatre Company where he won Best Supporting Actor, Outstanding Leadership, and Sustained Academic Excellence.

He performed at the University of Louisville in their productions of Split Second in the role of Parker, Afromemory in the role of John, Blood of the Root in the role of Justin, and Fairview in the role of Dayton. He performed in Louisville Kentucky this past summer in Kentucky Shakespeare’s season. You can see him in September in The Island by Athol Fugard and in February in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at the University of Louisville.

Nyazia Martin

Nyazia is an actress, dancer, teacher, and 3rd Year MFA candidate at the University of Louisville. While at UofL, Nyazia has been in the productions Afromemory (2021), the Spring Shorts (2022), Blood at the Root (2022), and Fairview (2023) as well as touring two Theatre for Young Audiences shows with the UofL Repertory Company. She is looking forward to opening the departments season with her thesis role of Elizabeth in John Henry Redwood’s The Old Settler 

Her most recent professional stage credits include: Witch 3 in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Hermia in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night's Dream, Lady Katherine in Shakespeare’s Loves Labors Lost, Karen in Tracy Lett’s August: Osage County, and Melissa in Matthew McLachlan’s The Murder Play with Jack & Melissa. Nyazia is a native of West Philadelphia, PA. She graduated summa cum laude from Belmont University in Nashville, TN in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Performance. 

Nicholas Wills

Nicholas Wills is a Third-Year graduate student at UofL. While originally from Los Angeles, Nick spent most of his youth growing up in Fayetteville, Georgia. After graduating High School, he moved down to Alabama where he attended Troy University. Going off the advice of a few of his professors, Nick decided to join the theatre department and soon realized that he had found the performative calling he had been searching for in his life. He graduated Cum Laude from Troy, earning a B.S. in Communication Studies. His goal is to inspire and help others to find their own calling, and to support the development of Fine Arts Programs for youth around the world.