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Meet the Staff

Kecha Kambe Nickson

Kecha Nickson

Artist In Residence, New Directional Players

A native of Chicago, Kecha Kambe Nickson also teaches master acting classes at Purdue. Nickson received a bachelor's degree from Drake University in 1994 and her master's degree from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program in 1999. Nickson earned a certificate in acting from the Colchester Theatre in Colchester, England, and the National Theater Institute in Waterford, Conn.

Nickson has impressed classmates and instructors with her quiet, shy demeanor and huge voice. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Nickson sang back up for internationally renowned gospel artists Thompson Community Singers, Shirley Caesar and the late Jessy Dixon and the Chicago Community Choir.

She has amassed acting credits and recognition for such roles as Lady Macduff in Shakespeare's "Macbeth," Julia in "Wedding Band" and as Amelia in "House of Bernarda Alba." After graduating from NYU, Nickson was a supporting actress in a Chris Rock HBO special in 2000 and starred as Amina in the Sundance feature film "Five Deep Breaths" in 2003. Nickson was a William and Eva Fox Foundation fellow, studying Senegalese culture, dance and language at the National Theatre Daniel Sorano and Le Baobab Language Institute in Senegal in 2000.

From 2007 to 2009, Nickson served as a university lecturer and vocal/speech/dialect coach at Chicago State University. Since 2009, Nickson has served as an adjunct professor at Elmhurst College. She also is a voice, speech and dialect coach for the eta Creative Arts Foundation in Chicago.

"Kecha is quite special. She is intuitive (a real plus in teaching) and steady, with a gentle but firm and consistent work ethic. She is reliable and professional in her approach to work and has a terrific sense of humor. Beneath her even-tempered and easy personality lies a deep, instinctual intelligence which is both practical and playful."

—Deborah Hecht, Head of Voice, Speech and Text New York University's Graduate Acting Program