Naomi Hatsfelt Baker is an assistant teaching professor of integrative arts and theatre. Prior to her appointment at Penn State Altoona, she was a tenured associate professor of theatre at Wilkes University for eight years and was a voice and speech specialist at the University of Alabama Birmingham for four years. At Penn State Altoona, she teaches acting, musical theatre, introduction to theatre, and integrative arts classes.
In addition to teaching, Naomi has directed numerous university theatre productions including The Curious Savage, an award-winning production of Godspell, Songs for a New World, Picnic, and The Praying Mantis to name a few favorites. Naomi worked as the coordinator of the Project for Devised Theatre for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, Region 2, as well as a co-coordinator of the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions for three years. In addition, she was the winner of the 2011 KC/ACTF Region 2 Road Warrior Award for Extraordinary Respondent work. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, and is a Certified Lessac Voice Trainer.
Most of Naomi’s performance experience was garnered in the Dallas/Fort Worth, TX metropolitan area where she performed in such shows as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Man of La Mancha, Romance/Romance, and many others. She also has significant credits in voice-over and industrial videos. She spent three months performing in Hello, Dolly!, directed by Lee Roy Reams in Paris, France, and she spent two years working as a singer on Celebrity Cruises.
Although a good deal of her performance experience is in musical theatre, Naomi developed a strong interest in devised theatre while she was completing her MFA in Acting at The Ohio State University. Her MFA thesis role was in a devised theatre piece about the life of the famous French sculptor, Camille Claudel. Her greatest passion is creating devised theatre about social issues.