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Professor, Theatre, Directing & Dramaturgy
Director, Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy

Leah Lowe earned her undergraduate studies in theater and religion at Oberlin College. She went on to earn her MFA in directing at the University of Minnesota doctorate and completed a certificate in women’s studies at Florida State University.  Professor Lowe joined Vanderbilt in 2011. Since that time she has raised the bar on innovative student productions, while serving as Theatre’s department chair for a total of seven years. She received the Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Undergraduate Teaching in the Humanities in 2018 and served as 2021-2022 interim director of the American Studies program.

On campus, Professor Lowe spearheaded the Plays from the Pandemic project, which commissioned and produced plays with themes inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, she led the committee of faculty and students who selected the plays from diverse and emerging playwrights, and she directed two of the shows: Wingman Telegram and To Stab a Butterfly Through the Heart, or Vladimir Nabokov on a Westbound Train.

In the Nashville community, she has directed several plays for Actors Bridge Ensemble, including Tiny Beautiful Things last April, and the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s upcoming production of Cymbeline. She was a co-collaborator and directed the world premiere of Sloppy Bonnie: A Roadkill Musical for the Modern Chick at OZ Arts Nashville in spring 2021.

As Curb’s Director, her oversight of all center activities ensures that the center is engaging in work to fulfill its guiding mission. She will continue to teach in the theatre department while exploring how the Curb Center can develop trans-institutional programming which sees Curb partnering with groups on campus and in the community to advance creativity.


Associate Professor of Flute
Associate Director, Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy

Professor Barth is a Grammy Award-winning flutist, professor and clinician who moves effortlessly from concert hall to teaching studio to rehearsal room to orchestral section. She has been described as a “ferociously talented” performer (The Oregonian) whose performances are always concentrated and intense. She has premiered hundreds of pieces, finding the creation of new music uplifting and miraculous. You can hear Molly’s blend of control and ferocity on Vento Appassionato, digging into 20th century solo flute repertoire; Thorn, focusing on the chamber music of David Lang; and Castillos de Viento, performing intimate music with guitar.

She was awarded first prize at the 1998 Concert Artists Guild International Competition and received the 2000 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Molly is a co-founder of the Zohn Collective, a group of curious musicians who share a love of risk and exploration. As a founding member of new music sextet Eighth Blackbird, Molly won the 2007 Best Chamber Music Performance Grammy.

As an associate professor of flute at the Blair School, and she guides her students to become comprehensive flutists. She gets her teaching inspiration from her stellar teachers at Oberlin, the Cincinnati Conservatory, and Northwestern.


Program Manager, Academic & Educational Support

Rachel Thompson, M.A.R., serves as the Curb Center’s program manager. Rachel brings nearly a decade of experience in education and arts programming to her work at the Curb Center, including positions at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She earned a Bachelor of Arts with majors in English and in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Texas and a Master of Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School.

Rachel is animated by a deep curiosity about how individuals and communities make meaning of their life experiences through the modes of art, spirituality, and education. A firm believer that arts encounters should be accessible to everyone, Rachel is eager to collaborate with her colleagues at the Curb Center to amplify the presence and impact of the arts on Vanderbilt’s campus and in the wider Nashville community.


Program Coordinator, Academic & Educational Support

David received his MFA in Painting from Illinois State University, a BA in Fine Art and Design from Columbia College in Chicago, and an associate degree in art from Joliet Junior College. Prior to joining the Curb Center, he was the Art Instructor, Program Coordinator and Gallery Director for Owensboro Community and Technical College in Kentucky. Before moving to Kentucky, he was the Gallery Director for the Salem Art Association in Oregon and instructed community art education courses at Oregon Coast Community College. David has a passion for community art education, curating art exhibitions, and building artistic connections within Nashville.

Additionally, he worked with Black Hills State University, Eureka College, Illinois State University, Joliet Junior College, University of St. Francis, and the International Music Camp as their summer camp art instructor and coordinator. As a practicing artist, he has participated in over 100 art exhibitions, and conducted grant-funded research with the U.S. military art archives in Washington DC. David is currently curating a historical exhibition of original comic strip artwork.