Karen Carpenter (Artistic Director)

Karen Carpenter, a producer, director and teacher, a theatermaker for more than 30 years, is the Artistic Director of the William Inge Center for the Arts and produces the Annual William Inge Theater Festival. Ms. Carpenter also heads the Theater program at ICC.

Best known for directing the smash hit, Love Loss and What I Wore, by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, produced by Daryl Roth; her production was met with unanimous critical acclaim, broke all existing off-­Broadway box office records, won the Drama Desk Award for Best Unique Theatrical Experience, and ran a record 1013 performances in New York, featuring rotating celebrity casts. Karen has directed over 150 of our most celebrated comediennes in the show to date: Rosie O’Donnell, Jane Lynch, Marlo Thomas, Fran Drescher, Rhea Perlman, Tyne Daly, Natasha Lyonne, Kate Mulgrew, Janeane Garofolo, and Caroline Rhea, among them. Additional companies have played Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Norway, Germany, and the Philippines; the show is now enjoyed world-wide. A new tour is playing the U.S. this year.

Her most recent stage work includes the New York Times critics’ pick Handle With Care, soon to be at the Colony in Los Angeles, the premiere of Witnessed by the World at 59E59; regional productions of The Vagina Monologues at Bucks County Playhouse, starring Andrea McArdle, Lea Delaria, and Adriene Lenox; and the premiere of Wendy Yondorf’s Admit One in a sold-­out run at New Jersey Rep, now Broadway-­bound. Last season, she directed Michael Keaton for the Festival de Sole, Napa; premiered Rosemary Loar’s fractured-­fairytale rock musical, Spoolie Girl, for the Midtown International Theater Festival (Best of the Fest,) and Mary Walsh’s Dancing With Rage in Newfoundland, which toured Canada.

Karen is honored to be leading the William Inge Center for the Arts, working to honor playwrights for lifetime achievement, and hosting more professional guest artists than any other two year program in the country, for the betterment of our ICC Theater students. 

Ben Corbett (Instructor of Acting and Voice, Independence Community College)

Ben Corbett is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher (Shakespeare & Co. '12).  He teaches Kristin Linklater’s vocal progression, phonetics and accents using Louis Colaianni’s Phonetic Pillows, and Uta Hagen's approach to acting. His professional vocal coaching credits include Shakespeare Dallas, CityRep, William Inge Theatre Festival, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, Barter Theatre, Burning Coal Theatre Co., Bare Theatre, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

Ben’s professional acting credits include two-and-a-half years as a resident actor at Barter Theatre, with additional roles at the William Inge Theatre Festival, City Rep, Blowing Rock Stage Co., Burning Coal Theatre Co., Light Opera Oklahoma, Shakespeare & Co., North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare Festival of Dallas. He has served as both an actor and voice teacher at the Last Frontier Theatre Festival in Valdez, AK.  He's is a proud member of Actor’s Equity, and an Associate Editor for Oklahoma for the International Dialects of English Archive. He has launched his own voice practice,, and welcomes private clients who wish to explore the possibility and power of their speaking voices.

Bruce Peterson (General Manager) primarily worked in arts and entertainment journalism and promotion prior to his arrival at the William Inge Center for the Arts in Independence. This includes Casting Editor with Back Stage publications in New York City, the development office of the International House in Berkeley, Calif., and as an arts editor for daily newspapers. He worked as marketing and development associate with the William Inge Center for the Arts, prior to his appointment as General Manager. He holds a Master of Science degree in arts administration from Drexel University (Philadelphia) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting from San Francisco State University.


Terri Barbera (Company Manager)

Terri Barbera has over 15 years of office administrative experience as well as several years of leadership and managerial experience. Terri held the Quality Manger position for four years and Educational Instructor position two years previous at Innovative Marketing Strategies. From 2004-2014, she played many roles at Cessna in Independence, including customer concierge, and smooth running of communications and logistics.  

Following her love for the Fine Arts, in July of 2014 Terri left Cessna to join the ICC Team. 

Terri is widely known in the community with performances at numerous productions, including at the William Inge Center for the Arts, Neewollah, ICC productions, and the Chautauqua Hills Blues Festival, to name a few.  Terri is also active behind-the-scenes, helping offstage at many events such as the Dancing with the Indy Stars and the new Astra Arts Festival.