Wheat has an extensive record of professional and administrative achievements. Although she considers herself a theatre generalist with a broad range of teaching and professional experience, her primary efforts have been focused on costume design and directing. She has designed and built costumes for nearly 100 drama, musical theater, and opera productions, as well as more than 50 dance pieces. Her recent professional design credits include Annie Get Your Gun and You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown at the Jekyll Island Musical Theatre Festival, The Libertine for The Unseam'd Shakespeare Company in Pittsburgh, Pa., and The Music Man for Mill Mountain Theater in Roanoke, Va. Since fall 2001, Wheat has served as resident costume designer for the Actors Theatre of Charlotte. The award-winning company’s 2002-2003 season included Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Laramie Project, Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage, and The Waiting Room. She has directed pieces ranging from the rock musical Hair to the Greek tragedy Antigone. At Winthrop, in 2003 she directed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, a co-production with the Department of Music. Wheat and the production team received a Presidential Citation for the work.
Wheat regularly leads workshops and gives presentations at professional conferences and is an active participant in such national and regional groups as the National Association of Schools of Theater (NAST), the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF), and the Southeastern Theater Conference. She has received six Meritorious Achievement Awards from KC/ACTF and has traveled extensively on NAST accreditation visits at colleges and universities across the country.
Wheat held faculty positions at Allentown College, Lehigh University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). She also developed outreach programs in the local schools and community through the use of children's theater and puppetry, and she obtained social equity grants from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to direct and develop on-campus creative arts programs for minority high-school students showing artistic and academic potential. In May 2001, Wheat was honored with IUP's Distinguished Faculty Award for the Creative Arts. In 2002, she received a Winthrop University Faculty Research Grant to bring the Amy Marshall Dance Company to campus for a weeklong series of master classes and performances.