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Lindsay Browning

215.895.2451
ljb89@drexel.edu

Biography

Lindsay Browning is a Performing Dance Theater Artist based in Philadelphia, Pa. She studied the Performance, Practice and History of Contemporary Dance at Radford University in Virginia. Lindsay received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from RU in 2005. Since moving to Philadelphia she's received opportunities to collaborate with many of Philadelphia's established companies as well as Independent artists including Group Motion Multimedia Dance Theater, Scrap Performance Group, Penn Dixie Productions, Susan Rethorst, Olive Prince Dance, Tania Issac Dance, Chisena Danza, The Opera Company of Philadelphia, <Fidget>, Wally Cardona Dance, Ausdrucktanz Dance Theater, Idiosyncrazy Productions, Silvana Cardell and White Box Dance Theater.

Lindsay is currently creating a series of Dance Theater Productions with Philadelphia Based Actress Kathryn Raines. Their first collaboration  “Human Realm | Earth” premiered in October 2015 at legendary Mosaic Artist Isaiah Zagar’s South Philadelphia Art Space.  Lindsay and Kathryn will premiere their second collaboration  “Human Realm | Space” in August 2016 in Philadelphia.

In addition to her work as a Performing Artist, Lindsay has developed a presence in the Philadelphia community as a Movement and Performance Photographer. Her work as a Visual Artist can be seen in several venues around the city including a Permanent Instillation in Rittenhouse Square’s Saxby's Cafe. For more information about her Photography visit www.lbrowningphotography.com.

Jim Bunting

215.895.2451
jrb97@drexel.edu

Biography

Jim Bunting graduated from the University of the Arts in 1995, receiving his BFA in Dance. During this time, he danced professionally as a founding member of Koresh Dance Company for 9 years. Jim then went on to develop his talents as a choreographer and teacher and has over 20 years of experience teaching and choreographing dance in the greater Philadelphia area. As a choreographer, Jim has had the pleasure of creating works for Koresh Dance Company, Pennsylvania Ballet's Shut Up and Dance at the Forrest Theater and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. In 1999, Jim received a Fellowship Grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for his outstanding choreography. Jim's 20 years of experience teaching modern jazz and ballroom technique has allowed him to serve as a mentor and instructor for both children and adults. Jim was a proprietor of the former Rittenhouse Dance Academy and currently choreographs on youths performing for the pre-professional dance companies in residence at Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center and Radomile Academy of Dance. As a ballroom instructor, Jim teaches both Latin and Standard styles, specializing in the Latin dances salsa and Argentine tango. He is a former instructor for several Philadelphia area studios including the Academy of Social Dance, Dancesport Academy and Society Hill Dance Academy. Jim has taught several master classes for the dance and musical theater departments at the University of the Arts, St. Bonaventure University in New York, the University of Colorado and The Roswell Dance Theater in Atlanta. Additionally, Jim has been on faculty as an adjunct professor of jazz dance at Drexel University since 2007. Most recently, started Jim Bunting Dance Company with the 1st full length production of “The Shaman’s Dream” which premiered at the Mandell Theater in Philadelphia. The company has performed at the Capitale in NYC for the School of Visual Arts Annual Holiday Party and the Philadelphia Art Museum's "Friday After 5 Series."

Dinita Clark

215-895-2451
dac385@drexel.edu

Biography

Dinita Clark is a native of Philadelphia, PA. She earned her Bachelor Of Fine Arts from The University Of The Arts in 2005. She dedicated over 17 years to Hip Hop/Street dance culture as a professional dancer/performer, educator, mentor, choreographer, community leader and cultural ambassador of street dance. She has toured both nationally and internationally as a Principal dancer with Illstyle & Peace Productions from 2002-2007. She then joined Rennie Harris Puremovement from 2007-2014 serving as principal/assistant Rehearsal Dir. Dinita was featured in Dance Magazine “On The Rise” written Lisa Kraus, highlighting her artistic journey as performing artist. Locally, Dinita is a Senior Lecturer /Adjunct professor at The University of the Arts and Drexel University. She has also taught at Bryn Mawr College, Temple University and has set choreography for each University/ College. In 2010, she co-founded Just Sole! Street Dance Theater Company, followed in 2011 by “Funky Sole Fundamentals,” a bi-monthly workshop series dedicated to the preservation of Hip Hop, House, and Funk Styles dance. Dinita has performed and taught internationally in Poland, Mexico, UK, Amsterdam, Canada, Paris, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan & Jordan. Dinita has represented the USA as a Cultural Ambassador three times. She has taught at dance Festivals including The 13th Contemporary Dance Festival in Bytom, Barriquismo Festival Puebla Mexico, City Lights Festival in New Castle England, Bates Dance Festival, Illadelph Legends Festival and Ladies Of Hip Hop to name a few. Dinita has also judged and won national and international street dance competitions including “Freestyle Session/ Survival of the Illest”, “Bust A Move” Canada and “Juste Debout USA”. Dinita was the assistant to the choreographer Kyle “JustSole” Clark in his work for Alvin Ailey II entitled “I Am the Road”. With funding provided of the Pew Center for the Arts & heritage in 2016 for Kyle Clark’s “The Life Of A Just Sole”, Dinita was the Administrative Assistant, Co Choreographer, Outreach coordinator and Master class educator. Dinita “Queen Di” is the recipient of the 2017 Leeway Transformation Award for her dedication to Hip-Hop/ Street Dance and culture to Philadelphia and beyond. In the summer of 2018, Dinita was apart of an impromptu dance video that went viral in the USA, Europe, Africa and etc. It was created when world renowned black women dance artist from the USA, Europe and Canada teamed up at “Summer Dance Forever” in Amsterdam to represent sisterhood, solitude and blackness in Hip Hop and Street dance culture.

 

Antoinette M. Coward-Gilmore

215.895.2451
amc445@drexel.edu

Biography

Antoinette M. Coward-Gilmore is the Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble. She holds a BFA from University of the Arts & an MA from New York University both in Dance Education and Performance. Coward-Gilmore is a founding company member of Eleone Dance Theatre (Phila. PA.), former member of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company (NY.) and Rod Rodgers Dance Company (NY.). As an established choreographer, Coward-Gilmore's works have been seen on such stages as Aaron Davis Hall, New Victory Black Box, Kimmel Center, Strayhorn Theatre and the Prince Music Theatre just to name a few. Currently,Coward-Gilmore is a newly appointed adjunct instructor at Drexel University and the Director of Dance at The MLK Talent Center, a Philadelphia School Board initiative.

Susan Deutsch

215.895.2451
sed32@drexel.edu

Biography

Susan Deutsch danced professionally for over 30 years. She was the movement coach/rehearsal director for several Philadelphia companies and has taught modern dance in the city since 1980.

For the past 31 years Susan has been a somatic movement educator. She was Certified at the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in 1987 and is certified through Level 2 in the Franklin Method. She loves to help people deepen their own embodiment skills and gain insights into movement that will help them move with ease and clarity.

She has a private practice working with a diverse group of clientele ranging from dancers to individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities, and people recovering from physical injuries. Along with her Laban and Franklin training, Susan brings Feldenkrais and Zero Balancing to each session.

Susan works at Drexel in both the Drexel Dance program and the Creative Arts Therapy Graduate Program. She also teaches at Circadium, the first higher education circus program in the USA.


Clyde Evans, Jr.

215.895.2451
ce334@drexel.edu

Biography

Clyde Evans, Jr. began dancing Hip-Hop at 11 years old. Originally from Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Evans immigrated to the United States in the early 80’s where he began to learn how to Break dance. It was the Hip-Hop phenomenon of “Breakin” that inspired him to dance and allowed him to fit in to the American culture. His circle of friends encouraged him to dance on a popular kid’s television program, Dance Party USA where he met Rennie Harris, who is one of the pioneers of Hip-Hop Dance Theater. In 1991, Evans became a founding member and lead dancer in Harris’ company. Then in 2001 began Chosen Dance Company. His purpose in forming Chosen dance is a direct result to his faith in God and the belief of presenting Hip-Hop in a way that loves, is responsible, constructive and uplifting to its audience. This attitude has allowed him to teach and perform Hip-Hop all over the world, appear in movies and videos with renowned celebrities Robert Redford, Jill Scott, Bruce Willis, Will Smith, Brad Pitt and most recently M. Night Shyamalan. It has also afforded him the opportunity to perform in events like the ESPN X-Games, appear in NFL Super Bowl commercials, 106 & Park for BET, tours for Sunny D, etc. From the summer intensive dance program at Bates College, recreational centers in the inner city to America’s Best Dance Crew, Evans continues to teach Hip-Hop at all levels throughout Philadelphia and now at Wesleyan and Drexel Universities on the East Coast. As his opportunities increase, Evans desires to utilize technology with dance across genres of performance art.

Chris Farrell

215.895.2451
cbf27@​d​r​e​x​e​l​.​e​d​u​

Biography

Christopher B Farrell is an award-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and founder of the critically acclaimed instrumental ensemble, the Rit Mo Collective. Christopher has scored music for over 100 multi-media productions including film, television, dance, and spoken word poetry. He averages over 150 live performances a year and has performed on five continents during his 30-year career as a musician.

Samples of his work can be found at the following sites –

Mud: Bodies of History, Red Earth Calling, Sound Cloud and Trombo.



Britt Fishel

215-895-2451
bwf34@drexel.edu

Biography

Britt (Whitmoyer) Fishel was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where she studied Cecchetti from an early age. She attended East Carolina University and upon graduating with a BFA in Dance, Britt moved to New York City and pursued performing and choreographing professionally.

 

There, she joined Mariana Bekerman Dance Company, but left in 2009 in order to establish and develop bnw:dance. As artistic director of bnw:dance, Britt led company tours throughout New York City, Richmond, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Chicago. In 2010, the company was selected for a summer residency in London, England, and created and presented Interrogation with the help of London lyricist and composer, James Reindeer. She and Reindeer continue to collaborate, a decade later.

 

Britt went on to receive her MFA in Dance (Screendance) from the University of Michigan, in 2014. Her screen work has been seen in Greensboro Dance Film Festival, Y'allywood Film Festival, Detroit Dance City Festival, EnCore Dance on Film Festival, DanceBARN, Dance for Reel, as well as several gallery exhibitions across the country. Fishel's 2017 film, billet-doux, was published in the biennial edition of Women CineMakers (Berlin) and research from her 2018 work, Epoch, was published in the 7th Issue of The Dancer-Citizen.

 

Most recently, Fishel presented a paper entitled Dance is for Everyone: Digital Consumption in a Post-Information Age at Dance Studies Association's 2019 Annual Conference at Northwestern University.  Describing her work, ArtsATL states: "The final moments of site., which enmeshed dance and video, were stunning." DIYdancer describes Fishel as having "a sharp eye for film and passion for her research." 

 

During her time in Atlanta, she was part-time dance faculty at Clayton State University, the creator of Opine Dance Film Festival, and a founding member of Atlanta Dance Collective.

 

She currently resides in Philadelphia, PA where she is a lecturer of Dance at Bryn Mawr College, Dance Adjunct at Drexel University,  and continues to make both live performance and dance film independently and collaboratively. 


Miriam Giguere, PhD

Department Head

215.895.4914
mgg22@drexel.edu

Biography

Dr. Giguere directed the dance program at Drexel University from 1992-2015, before becoming Department Head for Performing Arts in 2015. She teaches academic dance classes in 20th Century Dance History, Dance Pedagogy and Dance Criticism and Aesthetics, alongside studio courses in modern dance. Also in this capacity, she directs the Drexel University Dance Ensemble, a 55 dancer company, and FreshDance, a freshmen only company of 35 dancers, both of which perform two professional caliber dance concerts each year at the Mandell Theater.

Dr. Giguere graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania earning both a BA in psychology and an MS in education in four years. She earned her PhD in dance from Temple University, where she was awarded the Emerging Doctoral Scholar award. Her dissertation was recognized nationally by the American Educational Research Association with their 2009 National Dissertation Award for Arts and Learning. Her research has been published in Research in Dance Education, Arts Education Policy Review, Journal of Dance Education, Arts & Learning Journal, International Journal of Education and the Arts, Selected Dance Research Volume 6, and Public Scholarship in Dance. Dr. Giguere was the keynote speaker for Dance Education Conference 2010, Singapore, an invited presenter at the Dance and the Child International conferences in Taiwan in 2012, and in Copenhagen in 2015. She is an associate editor of the journal Dance Education in Practice where she writes a regular column entitled “Dance Trends”. Dr. Giguere is also a peer reviewer for the Journal of Dance Education, the Journal of Emerging Dance Research and the author of the textbook Beginning Modern Dance, published in 2013 through Human Kinetics. She is currently serving on the board of the National Dance Education Organization.

Ama Gora

Director of Community Based Learning

215.895.2451
ag3866@drexel.edu

Biography

Ama Ma’at Gora, Brooklyn native is a choreographer, educator and dance artist. She received her BA in Dance from Georgian Court University and is a current MFA candidate at Temple University. Throughout her career, she has been featured in choreographies by Dr. Kariamu Welsh, Earl Moseley, Dr. S. Ama Wray, Karen Love, Darrell Moultrie, Gregory King, Sidra Bell and more. As a Philadelphia resident, she tours with Cardell Dance Theater and writes for The Black Dance Magazine. She currently serves as Community-Based Learning Director at Drexel University where she directs the Youth Performance Exchange Ensemble and oversees dance at the Dornsife Center. An alumnus of Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute (‘17 & ‘19) she serves as the founder and artistic director of Ma’at Works Dance Collective (‘17). Her works have premiered at Judson Church, Bridge for Dance, the Koresh Artist Showcase, The Golden Ratio, and Leah Stein’s Art Room. She is an adamant believer in storytelling, lineage and collectivity through dance.


Blanca Huertas-Agnew

215.895.2451

Biography

Blanca Huertas-Agnew began her training in her native Puerto Rico. She was an apprentice and further became a member of the corps of ballet at Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico. Later, she joined Ballets de San Juan, where she earned the title of Principal Soloist. Lead roles include Lise in Fille Mal Gardée, Swanilda in Coppélia, Princess Tsarevna in Firebird, and Myrtha in Giselle. She performed Balanchine repertoire with leading roles as Polyhymnia in Balanchine’s Apollo, and Who Cares? Autochthonous repertoire from Puerto Rican Choreographers includes Los Soles Truncos, Amores, Julieta, Pas de Quatre Criollo, and Misa Criolla. Her professional career allowed her to perform in her native Puerto Rico and in the United States, Central America, South America, and Europe.

Blanca is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 & Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She was also an ABT® Affiliate Teachers, an honor given to ABT® Certified Teacher that presented students for examinations and passed with High Honors. Her students have been accepted to international programs such as the Royal Ballet and Paris Opera Summer Programs as well as national programs such as American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, The Cuban Classical Summer Intensive at The School of Ballet Hispánico, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and Ellison Summer Intensive in NY. Blanca was the founder and Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet Arts in Chalfont, PA. Blanca is certified to teach Progressing Ballet Technique Junior through Advanced level acquiring PBT Level 3 Badge designation, the highest designation in the program.

She is part of the faculty The School of Pennsylvania Ballet and acts as an adjudicator in their national audition tour. In addition, she is part of the faculty of teaching artists of Pennsylvania Ballet in their different Community Engagement Programs. Blanca has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Temple University with a concentration in Risk Management & Insurance. In 2017, she received the Howard Gilman Fellowship Award at Jacksonville University, Florida. She completed her MFA in Choreography in 2019. Blanca has been commissioned to choreograph for Drexel University Dance Ensemble. Blanca is the Founder and Artistic Director of Puerto Rico Classical Dance Competition, the first classical dance competition in Puerto Rico.

Valerie Ifill


vji24@drexel.edu

Biography

Valerie Ifill is an active dance artist, educator and researcher interested in the intersection of dance and community as well as making dance more accessible. Valerie is an independent collaborative dance artist and Associate Teaching Professor of Dance at Drexel University.

Valerie is invested in this work through university-community dance education initiatives and using the Africanist perspective to support university dance curriculum. Her written research is centered on university-community partnerships; race and power in education; and making dance accessible to all.

Valerie’s research and/or workshops have been presented at the South Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance conference, the American College Dance Association festivals, International Conference on Urban Education, National Arts Education Association conferences, Blumenthal Performing Arts Educational Lunch & Learn series, the Journal of Dance Education, and National Dance Education Organization conferences.

Invested in making dance more accessible to communities of color, Valerie has founded and directed university-community dance programs at Drexel University through Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships in Philadelphia, PA, and at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC. Certified to teach Inside-Out Prison Exchange courses, Valerie also teaches classes for groups of university students and incarcerated citizens. Black Girls STEAMing through Dance is a collaborative project making Dance, Code, and Making with electronic textiles accessible to 7-12 year old African American girls. This research has been presented nationally and internationally, as well as being mentioned in TED-X Philadelphia (2019) as innovative work making STEAM accessible to people of color.

Valerie physicalizes her research through her choreography; leading process-based self-reflective movement workshops on identity; performing with M.B. Dance choreographed by Maria Baumann (NYC); bringing interactive dance experiences into urban elementary and middle schools; and creating interdisciplinary site-specific performances for non-traditional dance audiences.

Collaborative interests have led to multiple projects including founding IfillDance Co./LAB and co-founding TRANSForm Dance Collective, a cross-country collective focused on contemporary discourses on and through the art of dance.

Valerie earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Oregon, completed the Independent Study Program at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a Dance minor from Kent State University.

 

Lucinda Lea

215.895.2451
ll52@drexel.edu

Biography

Lucinda Lea has been teaching ballet at Drexel University since 2001. She trained at Boston Ballet under the direction of E.Virginia Williams, Indiana University, where she earned a BA in English, and Boston Repertory Ballet. She founded Ballet Arts Academy, Nashua, N.H., in 1975 and directed the school along with Ballet Arts Dance Ensemble, where she was also resident choreographer, until 1985. Upon moving to the west coast, she taught,choreographed and staged professional ballets for Westside Ballet Co. in Santa Monica, CA and South Bay Ballet in Torrence, CA. Since 1990 Ms. Lea has lived in Philadelphia and instructed at the PA Ballet Academy, Philadelphia Civic Ballet, and University City Arts League. At that time she became a certified Trager Practitioner/Movement Educator and currently has a private practice in Philadelphia. She also serves as a Tutor and introductory Workshop Leader for Trager International, helping train practitioners world wide.

Beth McNamara

215-895-2451
em39@drexel.edu

Biography

Elizabeth McNamara, BC-DMT, LPC, NCC is a Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor in Philadelphia. She works with individuals and couples in Private Practice as well as provides EAP consulting in a corporate setting. She is the Program Director for the Creative Arts for Everyone project within the Family Court system, where she has worked for 20 years providing creative arts interventions for non-custodial parents and their children. Elizabeth is an Adjunct Faculty member at Drexel University. Areas of specialty include working with families impacted by trauma and providing licensure support in Clinical Supervision.

Elizabeth trained at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet before attending Towson State University (Dance/Psychology) and Hahnemann University (MA in Dance/Movement Therapy).

Jennifer Morley

Drexel Pilates Training Program Director

215.895.2018
jsm76@drexel.edu

Biography

Jennifer Morley is an Associate Teaching Professor and the Somatics coordinator in the Drexel University dance program. She is the Director of both the Drexel Pilates studio and the 450-hour Drexel Pilates training program. She is the coordinator of the Somatics minor. Her scholarship is highly focused on both existing and emerging embodied practices and the cultures and value systems from which they emerge. Jennifer is dedicated to anti-racist pedagogy and active inclusion.

Her specific work in the Pilates method has been centered on the deconstruction of the biomechanics of the classical repertoire. This practice is reflected in the 400-page training manual she authored and utilizes in the training program. This approach, partnered with exploration of the kinetics of dynamic stabilization and a love of full-bodied expressive movement create the foundation of her dance pedagogy.

Jennifer’s choreographic research is focused on the development of archetypal movement modes as a starting point for the creation of inhabited landscapes. Utilizing the Jungian understanding of archetypes as energies that reflect innate tendencies that mold and transform individual consciousness that live in all humans across time, space, and culture, she works to develop movement motifs that connect to lived experiences.

Her work was most recently presented at the Somatic Dance conference in Geneva New York and at the Cardell Dance Studio in Philadelphia. She has had a two-year choreographic residency at Philadelphia’s Community Education Center and been the recipient of multiple New Stages for Dance grants through Dance USA Philadelphia and the Pew Center for Arts and Culture.

Jennifer is invested in the development and support of community. She teaches mindfulness workshops throughout the University and beyond. She developed a community-based yoga course, through which she was able to study trauma informed care at the Kirkbride Center behavioral health care facility.

Her background includes Pilates certifications from Romana Kryzanowska (Romana’s Pilates) and Karen Carlson (Pineland Pilates) and multiple yoga certifications including a dynamic flow certification from Alex Holmes. She is working toward a Dynamic Embodiment certification from Dr. Martha Eddy and holds select certifications in the Franklin Method. Drexel Pilates has been highlighted in Dance Magazine, Pilates Style Magazine, and Drexel Quarterly. Interviews with Jennifer have been published on DanceAdvantage.net and the Gratz Industries International newsletter. Jennifer’s performance background includes work with Keith Thompson/ danceTactics, Olive Prince Dance, and Deborah Goffe’s Scapegoat Garden. Through danceTactics, Jennifer taught master classes at Duke University and at the American Dance Festival in North Carolina. She was the recipient of a 2020 Rocky Award.



Nkosi Newkirk

215.895.2451
nhn38@drexel.edu

Caroline O'Brien

Assistant Director; Dance Ensemble

215.895.2451

Biography

Caroline “Collo” O’Brien is a freelance dance artist living in Philadelphia. Since 2007 Collo has danced for numerous artists and companies within the city and abroad, including Olive Prince Dance, Danse4nia Repertory Ensemble, Rebekah Rickards, and Arts Fission Dance Company. Caroline has also produced and curated independent performances over the last six years, donating profits to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, and the Myron "Mike" Moss Memorial Fund. The tragic passing of Dr. Moss birthed a beautiful partnership between Caroline and fellow Drexel graduate Steve Davit; forming Everything Is Improv. Facilitating monthly jam sessions for artists of all mediums, Collo and Steve emphasize the importance of improvisation practices for the creative being; 'Improv to Improve'. Caroline supports the power of collaborative spaces, and strives to incorporate authenticity, reflection, and growth within her creative work and practice. Each body has a unique voice that speaks profoundly when it speaks its own language. Caroline has worked within the healthcare field as a CPhT for eleven years. Currently she works full-time at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, and serves on the Educational Steering Committee through the national organization ASHP.

Sandra Parks

Program Director

215.571.3527
ssp337@drexel.edu

Biography

Sandra holds her B.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and her M.F.A. from Smith College, MA.

Originally from Taiwan, Sandra danced with Four Seasons Ballet and Wu-I Dance Company in Taipei; toured nationally and internationally with a Broadway production of the King And I. She also danced with Bosoma Dance Company, Dance Collective, and Impulse Dance Company in Boston, MA.

Sandra has presented work in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Boston, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, in addition to Beijing, China and Taipei, Taiwan. She has created work for professional dance companies including Bosoma, Cangelosi Dance Project, and Of Moving Colors; for university programs including Colleges of the Fenway, Kennesaw State University, and Smith College. Before joining Drexel University, Sandra served as a faculty member at Boston University, Bridgewater State College, Colleges of Fenway, Kennesaw State University, Louisiana State University, Smith College, and master classes at National Taiwan University of Arts.

In 2013, Sandra founded Women in Dance L.L.C. to celebrate and promote female leadership in dance, and she is the director of the international Women in Dance Leadership Conference.

Olive Prince

Dance Ensemble and FreshDance Director

215.895.2451
okp23@drexel.edu

Biography

Olive Prince is a veteran Philadelphia performer having worked with many independent artists as well as a company member with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers (2007-2013), and Merian Soto (2005-present) for close to a decade. Prince received her MFA in dance and choreography from Temple University where her choreography was chosen for the American Colleges Dance Festival Association’s National Concert at the Kennedy Center. She has been commissioned to create dance for Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, Group Motion, and to create site-specific work for Hobart and William Smith College’s 40th anniversary of the women’s studies program as well as choreograph at Drexel University, Bryn Mawr College, Stockton College, Kutztown University, and West Chester University. She was also commissioned by Drexel University to create an original piece for students to perform at the International Night of the Singapore Youth Festival – the only American company ever to receive this invitation.Prince is artistic director of Olive Prince Dance which has been presented at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, the 2010 Live Arts Festival, the International Contemporary Dance Conference, New Dance Alliance’s Performance Mix Joyce Soho, the CEC Resident Artist Series, the nEW Festival and as part of the Susan Hess Choreographer’s Project where she was a resident artist. OPD’s most recent work was created in collaboration with visual artist, Carrie Powell while resident artist at the Iron Factory. As an educator, Prince has taught as a full-time and adjunct faculty member at Drexel University since 2008, focusing on modern dance, composition, and improvisation. Most recently, Prince was featured in an interview on her most recent work, on WHYY’s piece “Articulate with Jim Cotter”.

Lauren Putty White

215.895.2451

Biography

Lauren Putty White, received her BFA from University of the Arts in 2005 along with the Choreography Prize and Outstanding Performance in Modern Dance award. She has toured internationally with world –renowned companies Parsons and PHILADANCO. Lauren has choreographed for companies and schools such as Ballet X , Grace Dance Theatre, Bryn Mawr College and Drexel University; as well as taught at University of the Arts , Stockton University and Temple University. White also has done guest artist residencies at Mercy High School and Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Baltimore, MD, and has taught for AileyCamp Baltimore. In 2012 Lauren founded Putty Dance Project, a collaborative company with her musician husband, producing socially conscious critically acclaimed works. Putty Dance has presented at the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, PA, the K Dance Yes Invitational, Richmond, VA, the American Dance Guild Festival, NY, NY, That Which Connects Dance Festival in Camden, NJ and Baltimore Dance Invitational. Lauren recently received her MFA in Dance from Montclair State University.

Albert Quesada

215.895.2451

Biography

Albert Quesada (Spain, 1982), is a Spanish dancer and choreographer. He trained at MDT (Amsterdam) and PARTS (Brussels) after he studied philosophy and multimedia engineering in Barcelona. The exploration and translation of musical structures and compositions into choreography and the invitation of an audience to perceive and to listen to the proposed works stands at the heart of Quesada’s choreographic work. Next to that, Albert is intrigued by group movement and dynamics, sparkled by his collaboration with ZOO/Thomas Hauert.

He holds many artistic projects, both educational and for the stage. Together with Katie Vickers, he co-directs two educational programs in the USA: the theatre and dance summer program at Mercersburg Academy, and the Practicing Performance / International Dance Festival.

In 2005 Albert created Solo on Bach & Glenn and later Solos Bach & Gould (2010). This was followed by Trilogy (2011), created with Vera Tussing, an evening of three short pieces exploring musical structures. Albert then expanded into larger, group choreographies with the pieces Ensemble (2012), Slow Sports (2012) and Wagner & Ligeti (2014), an examination of our understanding of orchestral music, Slow Sports Outdoors (2014), Slow Sports Kids (2015), OneTwoThreeOneTwo (2015), a duet inspired by the world of flamenco, and VIVA (2016), where the amateur group De Genoten dances to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. It's time (2017) was a collaboration with Octavi Rumbau, Federica Porello and Zoltán Vakulya. And as an associated artist in Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona), he created his big format piece Flamingos (2019).

Since 2009 Albert has been dancing with the company ZOO – Thomas Hauert (Accords, You’ve Changed, In Vivo Danse, Mono, Inaudible, How to Proceed). He has also performed for Benjamin Vandewalle.

He is now working with Katie Vickers on the project The Sun is Always the Sun and is doing his MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program at Goddard College.

On Albert's website you find descriptions/links to all his work http://acmearts.xyz

Meredith Rainey

215.895.2451
mkr38@drexel.edu

Biography

Meredith Rainey, Carbon Dance Theatre Founder & Artistic Director, began dancing at 15 in his hometown of Fort Lauderdale.  In 1985 he joined the Milwaukee Ballet. In 1987, he joined the newly formed Pennsylvania-Milwaukee Ballet, remaining with the Pennsylvania Ballet when the collaboration ended as a soloist until his retirement in 2006. The recipient of the 1995 & 2002 PA Council on the Arts Fellowship, the 2001 Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Artist as Catalyst Grant, the 2002 Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts and, a 2003 Pew Fellowship in the Arts Finalist.  Meredith has been commissioned to create works for Pennsylvania Ballet, Delaware Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, National Ballet De Cali, BalletX, Danse4Nia and institutions such as Drexel University, Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr College. His work has been performed in North and South America and throughout Spain.

Wesley Rast

215.895.2451
wdr29@drexel.edu

Lauren Stepanski

Megan Tomey

Dance Ensemble and FreshDance Producer

215.895.2451

Biography

Megan Tomey is a nonprofit and arts administrator in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Drexel University with a Master of Science in Arts Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Entertainment and Arts Management. Megan is currently the Assistant Program Manager in Philadelphia at Compass, an organization that offers pro bono strategy consulting services to local nonprofits. She has previously held positions at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia, and the Barnes Foundation, and she has served as the Graduate Assistant in Drexel University’s Department of Performing Arts. Megan enjoys supporting Philadelphia’s arts and cultural sector, including serving a panelist with the Philadelphia Cultural Fund’s grant program. Megan is an alumnus of Drexel Dance Ensemble and FreshDance and is thrilled to serve as Producer for these ensembles.

Katie Vickers

215.895.2451

Biography

Katie Vickers is an American artist, a graduate of PARTS (2014) and of The Ohio State University (2010). She has danced for and with Daniel Linehan (USA), Albert Quesada (SP), Martin Nachbar (GE), Benjamin Vandewalle (BE), Vera Tussing (GE), Rósa Omarsdóttir (IS), Kendell Geers (ZA), Thierry de May (BE) and as a guest artist for the Cullberg Ballet’s ‘Figure a Sea’, choreographed by Deborah Hay. She has conducted workshops internationally, and spearheaded the Mercersburg Academy Summer Program for Dance and Theatre in the USA as well as Practicing Performance at The Ohio State University and Philadelphia.
Katie steers towards environments and various collaborations with people that challenge her development of methods to take existing knowledge in new directions. Her own work and research spans through a variety yet their common ground is to question the use of the body to find the unfamiliar in the familiar.

In 2014, Katie created ‘Slogan for Modern Times’ with Inga Huld Hakonardottir, a duet interested in the temporality of the sublime and monstrosity. After the PARTS graduation tour, the became an evening- length production, premiering in Monty in 2015. Following that, she created ‘5 Seasons’ (2016) with Benjamin Pohlig, a duet made on their long collaborations together based on pop music and identity. Both pieces performed and premiered in the festival Bouge B in deSingel. These projects have been supported by institutions such as Dommelhof TAKT, Vooruit, School Van Gaasbeek, STUK, wpZimmer, Uferstudios, and Schloss Bröllin.

She premiered ‘We Will Have Had Darker Futures’ (2017) in deSingel, with Inga Huld Hakondottir and Rebecka Stillman, based on the temporality of fear and hope. In Spring 2018, she choreographed ‘Tribute’ for the amateur group Degenoten in Belgium. She recently finished ‘The home of Dance’, a research project on alternative spaces for performances, rethinking the theatre home (supported by Flanders government).

Kelvin Vu

215.895.2451

Biography

Kelvin Vu is an artist and designer based in Philadelphia, PA. Originally from Massachusetts, he received a BA in environmental studies at Yale University before training in the year-round program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the artistic direction of Summer Lee Rhatigan. Kelvin moved to Tel Aviv in 2013 to join Batsheva - the Young Ensemble under the direction of Ohad Naharin and performed works by Naharin, Hofesh Shechter, Sharon Eyal, and Danielle Agami. He also created his own choreographic work for the Ensemble Creates platform and served as the assistant to the artistic director of Batsheva until 2020. As a freelance dancer, he has collaborated with Noa Zuk and Ohad Fishof, Roy Assaf, Dafi Altabeb, and Shira Elkouby. Kelvin is a certified Gaga teacher and is now also a student of landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Luke Abruzzo

Program Director

215.571.3528
laa24@drexel.edu

Biography

Luke Abruzzo received his M.M. in jazz studies from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts in 1998, and a B.A. in music from the University of Pittsburgh in 1996. He is currently a full-time auxiliary instructor of music at Drexel University teaching music theory, composition and arranging, as well as guitar. Luke Abruzzo resides in the Philadelphia area and maintains an active career as a freelance guitarist and composer.

He is nationally recognized for his jazz big-band arrangements and original compositions. His work has been performed at jazz festivals in Colorado, California, and Philadelphia as well as at national conferences for the College Music Society. Locally, Luke Abruzzo is the staff arranger for Up Front, a Philadelphia based big-band. He has also brought his music to Drexel University through a series of commissions by the Drexel University Keyboard Ensemble. In the spring of 2008 he premiered his first piece for concert band, “Reflections of Prague”, written exclusively for the Drexel University Concert Band.

In December of 2008, with his band Up Front, some of Luke Abruzzo’s arrangements will be featured in a live radio broadcast in Philadelphia. He is currently working on another commissioned piece for the Drexel University Keyboard Ensemble, planning to be premiered in 2009. Also premiering in spring of 2009 is a concert band arrangement of Astor Piazzolla’s “Libertango”, to be performed by the Drexel University Concert band.

Luke Abruzzo is an active member of the College Music Society, National Association of Music Education, and the Society of composers.

Stephanie Abruzzo

215.895.2451
sma39@drexel.edu

Scott D. Bacon

Director; All-College Choir, Advisor for Pi Nu Epsilon

215.895.4915
sdb33@drexel.edu

Biography

Scott D. Bacon is an Assistant Teaching Professor in Music at Drexel University. Mr. Bacon teaches courses in Rock Music, American Popular Music, Percussion, Introduction to Music, and a course on the Music of The Beatles. He also conducts The All College Choir.

Prior to joining Drexel University, Mr. Bacon taught choral music for 10 years in Maryland and Pennsylvania.  His high school choirs traveled extensively and received excellent and superior ratings at festivals in the United States and Canada. He was twice nominated to Who’s Who of American High School Teachers. Mr. Bacon is also active as an adjudicator for Choral ensembles.

Mr. Bacon received his Master of Science in Higher Education from Drexel University in September of 2008 and his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Elizabethtown College in 1992. Mr. Bacon is also the faculty advisor for Pi Nu Epsilon, an honorary student performing arts fraternity at Drexel.  He also conducts a church choir in his home town of Lititz, Pa.

Patrick Bailey

Director; Concert Band

215-895-2451
pbailey@drexel.edu

Biography

Patrick works to engage students through music - education, performance, and advocacy are common threads. He is a 2008 graduate of the Pennsbury School District, 2012 graduate of Temple University, and 2016 graduate of Drexel University. His current work in the field seeks to help understand the intersection between the arts, education, and the impact of a quality arts experience on a child’s future.

The Pennsbury School District’s instrumental music program, where Patrick teaches full time as a tenured faculty member, has been recognized annually since 2006 by the NAMM Foundation as one of the top communities for music education in the country - current initiatives include cross-curricular instructional design. In addition to work in public education, Patrick serves on the artistic and administrative staff for the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra as an Assistant Conductor and Operations Director & Librarian. He is also an adjunct professor at Temple University where he co-authored the Arts Enterprise course on personal financial management and small business development in the arts, and at Moore College of Art and Design where he teaches Entrepreneurship for the business minor program. He is also an active freelance percussionist; performances as a soloist included the 2012 North American Debut of John Psathas’s Timpani Concerto “Planet Damnation” as a guest soloist with the Temple University Symphony Orchestra. He is a published composer and author, active clinician, and advocate for students, music, and public education. In 2019 Patrick was appointed as the Music Director & Conductor of the Drexel University Concert Band.

Patrick holds degrees from Temple University (B.M. Music Education) and Drexel University (M.S. Arts Administration), as well as continuing education credits from the University of the Arts and the American College of Education. Graduate research at Drexel focused on the goals, communication channels, and funding structures of non-profit performing arts organizations' arts education programming in public schools. This research has helped to engage arts leaders in conversations about how arts education programs are structured and implemented, and how those programming decisions impact students’ musical experiences. In 2016, Patrick was awarded the Karen Murdoch Scholarship for Visionary Leadership in the Arts by Drexel University. Other honors include Temple University’s Jack Moore Scholarship for contributions to the percussion department, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Helen Carp distinguished service award, Pennsbury’s Stan Kenton Award for excellence in jazz, and membership in various academic honors societies. Patrick is a member of the PMEA and NAfME music education associations.

Karen Banos

Director; Chamber Strings Ensemble

215.895.2451
kmb53@drexel.edu

Biography

Karen is violin and viola instructor at Drexel University. She attended Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the New School of Music, where she studied with Jascha Brodsky. She also studied with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School for Strings, and had additional chamber music studies with Charles Castleman at the Quartet Program.

Karen is currently a member of the orchestras of the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Key West Symphony and the Philly Pops. She toured with the NYC Opera, National Company, and is also currently a regular substitute for Broadway musicals. She is a founding member and first violinist of the Rittenhouse String Quartet, and spends her summers playing with the Lake George Opera Company in Saratoga Springs, NY and the Endless Mountain Music Festival in Wellsboro, PA.

Committed to the education of the underprivileged, Karen has worked for the Institute for Arts in Education (trained by the Lincoln Center Teaching Artists) as well as the PA Arts in Education Partnership. These residencies in the city schools of Philadelphia provide music education to students who attend schools that no longer offer general music

In addition to classical performing, Karen has enjoyed performing with headlining stars like Bob Hope, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach and Bernadette Peters, to name a few. She has performed with the Trans Siberian Orchestra, and on Broadway has played in the pits for Secret Garden, Tommy, Ragtime, Boy from Oz, and West Side Story.

Mark Beecher

Director; Percussion Ensemble

215.895.2451
meb26@drexel.edu

Biography

Mark Beecher has over 30 years experience, playing and teaching worldwide. Mark attended Widener University, where he performed & toured with their Jazz Ensemble, directed by Woody Herman alumnus, John Vanore. Mark studied with Latin percussion masters Frankie Malabe and Jose Luis 'Changuito' Quintana, African drumming master Oscar Sulley, Eastern Indian drumming master T.N. Bala, and Frank Zappa drummers, Chad Wackerman & Chester Thompson.

Mark has recorded over 30 albums with a variety of artists, is a voting member of the GRAMMYs (Recording Academy), has authored a number of published works, including 'The Rudimental Percussionist' and the book, 'I.A.R.P. Rudimental Solos,' as well as his own instructional DVD, 'The Art of Ancient Rudimental Drumming,' which has been endorsed by members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony.

As a drum & percussion instructor with over 30 years experience, Mark has taught award-winning high school bands and drum corps, including the Independence Fife & Drum Corps, Valley Forge Military Academy Field Music and the Washington Memorial Pipe Band (of which he is the current Drum Sgt) and has conducted a number of Drumming & Percussion clinics and seminars with the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA).

He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, The Company of Fifers & Drummers and is the President of The National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD) - originally founded in 1933 and sponsored by the Ludwig Drum Company.

Mark Beecher is an endorser for Ludwig Drums, Evans Drumheads & Vic Firth Drumsticks

Rev. Perry Brisbon

Director; Gospel Choir

215.895.2451
pob23@drexel.edu

Biography

Mr. Brisbon has enjoyed both national and international success as an Operatic Tenor. He has performed such roles as Tamino in “Die Zauberflote”, Hoffmann in “Tales of Hoffmann”, Count Almaviva in ‘Barber Of Seville’ Sportin’ Life in “Porgy and Bess”, Tchekalinsky in “Pique Dame” Joe in “Carmen Jones”, and Zoogy in “Romulus Hunt”. Mr. Brisbon has made appearances with Orlando Opera Company, Edmonton Opera (Alberta Canada), Opera Ebony/Opera North, The Metropolitan Opera Guild, The Kennedy Center, Lake George Opera Festival, the Bienale Festival of Munich, Germany, as well as Ashlawn Opera Festival. Mr. Brisbon has been honored to work with several notable composers, directors and conductors such as Gian Carlo Menotti, John Demain, Karen Keltner, Francesca Zambello, Mark Lamos, Wesley Balk, Tania Léon, and Carly Simon. Equally comfortable in recital and oratorio, he has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Undine Smith-Moore’s “Scene From The Life Of A Marty’, the South New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Lancaster Symphony among others. Honors include: Winner of the Luciano Pavarotti/Opera Company of Philadelphia International Voice Competition, recipient of the Richard Gold Memorial Award of the Shoshona Foundation, winner of the National Society of Arts and Letter Award, Mid. Atlantic Region, Twice winner of the Mario Lanza Competition, recipient of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Grant, recipient of the Philadelphia Music Foundation Grant, and winner of the W. Russell Johnson award, and Esther Boyer Student Soloist Award. Most recently, Mr. Brisbon has been featured in the acclaimed book by author, Elaine Mack: Black Classical Musicians of Philadelphia. Perry Brisbon attended the Curtis Institute of Music where he received the Master’s of Opera degree. He completed his B.A. in Vocal Performance from Temple University via Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

In addition to Drexel, he is Adjunct Professor and director of various choral ensembles at Eastern University and Cabrini University.

Wanda Canfield

215.895.2451
wlc22@drexel.edu

Biography

Wanda Canfield is a graduate of Temple University with a Master of Music in Composition and a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Piano. She is a performer, songwriter and arranger. She is also a church pianist, and accompanies vocalists, instrumentalists, and choirs.

Wanda Canfield is founder and director of the Drexel University Keyboard Ensemble, and she teaches class piano, private lessons, and piano improvisation. She has taught at Drexel since 1995 and is also piano faculty at Cabrini College.

Brian Dilts

215-895-2451
bmd35@drexel.edu

Biography

Brian Dilts is an instructor of piano and music theory, and chief accompanist for the Vocal Department at Drexel University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from West Chester University, and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Temple University.

He has taught throughout the region, including at Settlement Music School and Haddonfield School Of Music. He has taught at Drexel University since 2006.

His performance career includes recitals as a soloist and vocal accompanist, in Philadelphia and the surrounding area, as well as appearances in New York and Oxford, England.

Mr. Dilts is also an active singer/songwriter. He has performed in that capacity all over the region, including Drexel's Mandell Theatre, Milkboy Coffee, and Steel City Coffeehouse. He has produced two albums of his own material, the latest an EP called 'After The Dawn'

Rosalind Erwin

Director; Symphony Orchestra

215.895.2451
rme49@drexel.edu

Biography

A flexible, creative and highly accomplished conductor, Rosalind Erwin is welcome on podiums both in the USA and abroad. Her credentials include performances with the Sofia Philharmonoc in Bulgaria; in concert under the auspices of NATO in Zagreb, Croatia; performances in Western Europe; and at home where, in six years, she built a fledgling regional orchestra in the suburbs of Philadelphia to one attarcting international attention, record executives and European solo artists.

Rosalind Erwin received her Bachelor's Degree in Clarinet Performance from the New School of Music in Philadelphia where she received an NEA Fellowship, and her Masters in Performance from Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University where she studied with Anthony Gigliotti, Principal Clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra and was appointed Resident Conductor of the Composition Department. Rosalind Erwin is an accomplished instrumental performer, having appeared as clarinet soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony and having performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has studied with and been mentored by some of the great names in the conducting world, including Loren Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Leonard Slatkin and David Zinman. She has been honored by the Leopold Stokowsky Memorial Conducting Competition sponsored by the Rittenhouse Square Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Rosalind Erwin was the founder and creative force behind Musica 2000 – The Symphony Orchestra (2000 - 2005). Erwin commissioned works by emerging American composers, presenting world premieres both in the USA and abroad. Unique to Musica 2000, Erwin developed effective educational outreach programs, introducing not only instruments and music styles, but also involving students in the art of composition .

During her tenure as Music Director of the Pottstown Symphony Orchestra, Rosalind Erwin elevated this regional orchestra to exceptional artistic heights, expanded educational outreach,  and brought contemporary music into the mainstream of concert programming. Among other works, Erwin commissioned and premiered the overture simple by Guggenheim Fellow and internationally respected composer, Robert Maggio; Alabanza by Philadelphia composer Kile Smith; and conducted the regional premiere of Joan Tower’s ASOL/Ford Foundation commissioned work, Made in America. Beginning in 2005, Erwin and the Orchestra’s concerts were regularly rebroadcast on Philadelphia NPR station WHYY’s Symphony Space. During Erwin’s tenure the PSO was offered a rare recording opportunity with American independent label Newport Classics. Her guest conducting engagements have included orchestras in Portugal, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, as well as throughout the USA. She was featured conductor in 2003 during American Music Week with the Sophia Philharmonic in Bulgaria. In 2009 Erwin guest conducted Sinfonijski orkestar Hvratska vojske, performing the Croatian premier of David Gillinghams’ Marimba Concerto No. 2 with renowned soloist Ivana Bilic.

Rosalind Erwin has been highly acclaimed as a conductor and educator by the legendary composer and author Samuel Adler of the Eastman School of Music. Erwin has been invited by Pennsylvania and New Jersey Music Educator Associations to guest conduct All-State, Regional and District Festival Orchestras to great acclaim. Erwin is the former Music Director and Conductor of the Delaware County Youth Orchestra, Luzerne Music Center Orchestras and Settlement Music School Advanced Studies Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble, with which she performed at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and Independent Study Proffesor of Conducting at The College of New Jersey. Erwin has served as guest lecturer for Arcadia University's Community Scholars program, and Guest Lecturer and Celebrity Guest for the Philadelphia Orchestra Lecture/Luncheon Series.

Rosalind Erwin was hired by the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization in 2014 as Director and Conductor and Artistic Staff for the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, feeder orchestra to the renowned Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, now under the administrative umbrella of the PYO Music Institute. Erwin currently teaches conducting at the Bryn Mawr Conservatory and was hired as adjunct professor of Advanced Conducting at Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance in 2019.

Jacqueline Faiman

215-895-2451
jf424@drexel.edu

Biography

Jacqueline Faiman, pianist, has performed to critical acclaim in numerous solo and chamber music settings, including the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and the “Zionist Confederation House” series in Jerusalem, Israel. She has been a featured soloist with the Oberlin Orchestra and Richmond Philharmonic. A laureate of the Beethoven Foundation Fellowship auditions, she is also the recipient of an Oberlin Graduate Fellowship and Hebrew University’s Fay Grand Music Scholarship.

Dr. Faiman has served on the faculties of the Quartet Program, the Musicorda Summer String Program and American University’s Summer Vocal Workshop. As an administrator, she has served as operations director of the “IN” Series in Washington, DC and as executive director of The Boston Camerata. She has performed at the Aspen, Sarasota, Banff and Nice music festivals and was selected to participate in a USAID performance tour of Spain. Dr. Faiman holds a Bachelors of Music from Oberlin Conservatory and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Peabody Conservatory, where her teachers included Leon Fleisher, Julian Martin, and Ellen Mack. Dr. Faiman has taught piano at Drexel University since 2016.

John Faye

215.895.2451
jkf32@drexel.edu

Biography

John Faye has over been a professional musician and songwriter since the mid-90’s when he fronted the major label alternative rock band The Caulfields, who released two albums on A&M Records, yielding the top-40 modern rock hit “Devil’s Diary” and soundtrack placements on Fox Television’s “Melrose Place” and Columbia Pictures “The Babysitters Club.” The band toured the U.S. and Canada, as well as Australia, where the band received airplay on Triple J., a national rock station. Faye had a publishing deal with Warner-Chappell Music and has since had various song placements, on various television shows, including Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime talkshow “Ellen.”

Faye has been an independent artist since 1999, with a total of 15 career releases, with The Caulfields, his solo projects, and his bands IKE and John & Brittany, receiving airplay on Sirius XM’s station Little Steven’s Underground Garage, and garnering two of the station’s “Coolest Song In The World” designations. Faye’s song “Into Philadelphia” has been in permanant recurring rotation on Philadelphia’s commercial rock station WMMR since it was added as the lead track on “Jaxon’s Local Shots, Vol. 1” in 2005

Faye has shared stages with over 60 national and international artists including REM, Bon Jovi, Ramones, Pat Benatar, Matthew Sweet, Butch Walker, and many others.

John has taught songwriting at Drexel since 2005.

Dennis Fortune

215.895.2451
dhf32@drexel.edu

Biography

Dennis Fortune, adjunct professor of music at Drexel University has been teaching and performing in the Philadelphia area of over 35 years. He holds a B.A. degree from Dickinson College and is currently the musical director for the group FVC. He has traveled extensively throughout the US and the world performing with such artists as Jean Carne, Esther Satterfield, Charles Fambrough, Billy Paul and numerous others. He is the recipient of the Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship for jazz composition. He currently has released four CD's and produced projects for many other artists. He composed the music for the WHYY television special 'Four Presidents the Great American Clean Up' and the Delaware production of 'The Four Poster' starring Jasmine Guy and Keith David.

Eve Friedman, D.Mus.

Director; Chamber Winds Ensemble

215.895.2451
eaf79@drexel.edu

Biography

Eve Friedman has recently performed on historical flutes with Tempesta di Mare, American Bach Soloists, and Tafelmusik; and on modern flute with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Opera Philadelphia, the Delaware Symphony, and the world music ensemble EZUZ.  Her solo playing has been called “particularly fine” by the Washington Post.  About her first book, Tone Development on the Baroque Flute, the journal Early Music America wrote,  “This carefully researched, imaginative book should be on every baroque flutist’s bookshelf.”

Friedman serves on the National Flute Association's Historical Flutes Committee, and has also been a judge/guest artist for the American Musicological Society, San Francisco Conservatory, and the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia.

She received her Master of Music from Boston University and holds a Doctorate of Music from Indiana University.  She performs and teaches at the Summerkeys festival in Maine with her husband (and fellow Drexel faculty member), composer/pianist Roberto Pace, as the Halcyon Duo.

Bruce Kaminsky

Director; Mediterranean Ensemble

215.895.2451
bk46@drexel.edu

Biography

Bruce attended West Chester College for Music Education and Gratz College for Jewish Liturgical Music, earned both an M.M. and B.M. degrees from Combs College of Music, Philadelphia. He studied double bass with Dr. Irving Cohen, Mr. Albert Stauffer and Mr. Eligio Rossi.

Since 1990, Bruce, has been on the music faculty of Drexel University, where he teaches Music History and Bass Studies along with directing the Drexel Mediterranean Ensemble performing music from the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans. He is also on the faculty of Montgomery County Community College, teaching Music History.

Bruce Kaminsky is the designer and president of the KYDD Products, Inc., manufacturer of KYDD Basses sold internationally and used by the bassists with John Legend, Lou Reed, Katy Perry and the Emmy Awards. He is also the designer of the KYDD Bass Lab made in conjunction with the Roland Corporation. He is a member of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and holds two U.S. patents.

Bruce Kaminsky has been a bassist on more than fifty recordings. He has performed at the United Nations for the signing of the Israeli/Jordanian Peace Accord, the Jewish Music Festival - Berlin, Germany, Faro Chamber Ensemble Festival-Faro Portugal and the World Café in Philadelphia. Bruce has performed with international artists, including Simon Shaheen (Palestinian), Samuel Heifetz (Latvian), Edmond Joseph (Iranian), Geoffrey Williams (British), Boaz ben Moshe (Israeli), Hamit Golbasi (Turkish), Henrik Goldschmidt (Danish) and Adib Rafela (Egyptian). Maurice Chedid (Lebanese). Bruce Kaminsky has also performed with The Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra. In the jazz world, he has performed with Tal Farlow, Jimmy Knepper, Larry Coryell, Eddie Daniels, and Jimmy Bruno. As a production member of the International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE), Bruce worked directly with Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea and Dave Holland.

Bruce has authored articles including, “Converting Rock Musicians to Play Jazz,” Downbeat Magazine November 1982 and “Tips From the City Of Brotherly Bass,” Bass Player Magazine June 2004.

Radio and television appearances include: WHYY: “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” WRTI: “Crossroads with Jill Pasternak and Jack Berkel,” ABC: “Good Morning Philadelphia,” NBC: “AM Philadelphia,” and NJN: “New Jersey Live with Mary Cumming.”

Susan Lerner

215.895.2451
svl27@drexel.edu

Biography

Susan Lerner, Cellist, received a B.M. from the Hartt School of Music and Masters Studies in Performance from The Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Lerner can be seen often performing with the Delaware Symphony, Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Philly Pops. She has shared the stage with countless headlining stars, including Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, Josh Groban, Peter Gabriel, Smokey Robinson and Tony Bennett. Ms Lerner is the principal cellist for the “Broadway at the Academy” series as well as for the musicals at the Forrest and Walnut Street Theaters. Recent engagements include Hamilton an American Musical, Hello Dolly, and Dear Evan Hansen. A dedicated educator, Ms. Lerner teaches at Drexel University, LaSalle College High School and Merion Mercy Academy.

Rebecca Oehlers

215.895.2451
kro23@drexel.edu

Biography

A two-time GRAMMY winner and four-time GRAMMY nominee, Rebecca Oehlers is a sought-out soloist and professional ensemble singer specializing in New Music. Ms. Oehlers received her education at Mannes College of Music and Temple University, where she majored in both French Horn and Voice Performance. She has sung as soloist with Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Choral Arts Society, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Classical Symphony, where she collaborated in a concert of 17th Century Spanish Opera with Early Music Soprano Ellen Hargis and the Harp Consort under the direction of Andrew Lawrence King.  Rebecca has been a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic singing Louis Andriessen's De Materie and with the New York Philharmonic in Julia Wolfe's "Fire in my mouth" which was also released as a recording on DECCA Gold.

She has worked as a member of The Crossing with Eric Whitacre at the KennedyCenter for the broadcast of his music for the Chorus America Festival. She has also given the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams' Sila: The Breath of the World at Lincoln Center. Rebecca just completed a project as soloist with the American Composer's Orchestra for the SONiC festival in NYC featuring the new work, My City, by Judd Greenstein. Rebecca has performed at the Mostly Mozart Festival in June of 2016 with The Crossing Choir, Quicksilver Baroque and ICE. She has also performed with TENET and The Venice Baroque Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans .

Rebecca also holds a residency with The Crossing at Warren Miller Perfroming Arts Center each summer in Big Sky, Montana. Rebecca can be heard on numerous recordings with groups such as The Crossing, Piffaro, St. Clement's Church and Antioch Chamber Ensemble.

She has been an adjunct professor of voice at Drexel University since 1997 and has held positions on the Board of Directors for The Crossing Choir and The Greater South Jersey Chorus.

Roberto Pace

215.895.2451
rjp326@drexel.edu

Biography

Roberto Pace is a composer, music director, pianist and educator. He is recognized in concert music, as well as in music for theater and dance. His works have been played, and he has performed, throughout the U.S. and Europe, as well as in Canada, Brazil and Japan.

Mr. Pace studied at the New England Conservatory of Music with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Donald Martino, and the late great theorist Ernst Oster. He holds an M.F.A. in composition from SUNY Purchase, where he was the first to be awarded the Anthony Newman Prize for artistic and academic excellence.

Mr. Pace's recent commissions include the Network for New Music, American Opera Projects, The Greenwich Village Orchestra, the canonization of Padre Pio, the Viola Society of Philadelphia, the baroque/contemporary ensemble Mélomanie, which has released a commercial recording of his sextet written for them, Chamber Music Now!, the Elysian Camerata, The Gleeksman-Kohn Chorus of the Settlement Music School, and the American Composer's Forum of Philadelphia. He is currently fulfilling a joint commission of three celebrated guitarists for a solo work. His compositions have received public as well as critical success:"…a fantasm of shifting moods, featuring eloquent writing for strings" (NY Times); and "a kaleidoscope of colors wrapped in rhythms that leap with energy" (Philadelphia Inquirer). In 2011 Pace was elected to the Association for the Promotion of New Music (APNM), which will publish several of his scores through Subito Music.

He has served as music director and conductor at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's "Next Wave Festival", at La Mama Etc., and on tour throughout the United States. He has been pianist for many major dance companies and choreographers including the Dance Theater of Harlem, Jerome Robbins, Alvin Ailey, Suzanne Farrell, Peter Pucci, and Patrick Corbin.

A successful educator as well, Mr. Pace directed the music program of Fordham at Lincoln Center and lectured for the New York Philharmonic. He currently teaches theory and composition at the Settlement Music School of Philadelphia, and at Rowan and Drexel Universities. His summers are spent in Lubec, Maine, where he composes, and gives concerts and lectures at the SummerKeys Festival.

Chris Parks, Ed.D

Director; Pep Band

215.895.2451
ckp48@drexel.edu

Biography

Dr. Parks earned his B.A. in Music Education at the University of Texas El Paso and a M.M. in Music Performance from Boston University. Dr. Parks performed in orchestras in Mexico, spent 5 years touring with Broadway productions and spent his summers teaching and administrating programs at the world-renowned Tanglewood Institute. The Tanglewood position led to a full-time appointment at Boston University where Dr. Parks was the director of the music program directing the Concert Band, Jazz Program, and the Athletic Bands. During his tenure at Boston University Dr. Parks increased student involvement in music making on campus by more than 200% and more than doubled the department’s budget.

Wanting to pursue his passion for student leadership and development, Dr. Parks left Boston University to obtain his Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Communication at Northeastern University.

Dr. Parks served as the Managing Director of a non-profit in Baton Rouge, LA and then held a position in the Dean of Students Office at Stony Brook University where he was the Director of Athletic Bands as well as an Academic Advisor.

Steven Powell, D.Mus.

Director; University Chorus, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Chamber Singers

215.895.4912
powellss@drexel.edu

Biography

Dr. Steven Powell has built choral programs at universities in Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Louisiana and Wisconsin, and a high school in Indiana, taking his groups to NY (Carnegie Hall), Montreal, Boston, Washington D.C. and San Antonio. When he came to Drexel in 1989 there were three choral groups on campus, with about 60 students participating. Today, there are over 250 students engaged in choral performance on campus in five choral groups administered by the Department of Performing Arts, and three student-run a cappella groups started by singers in the University Chorus.

Dr. Powell’s educational background includes a B. Mus. from the University of Michigan in Voice, with a teaching minor in Physics, and Master and Doctor of Music degrees from Indiana University (Bloomington) in Choral Conducting with minors in Musicology and in Voice.

He is an active researcher with numerous books and articles, and a busy choral clinician and guest conductor. His research areas include the use of music techonology in choral performance, cutting edge work as a music engraver, and expertise in the large choral-orchestral works of the British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. His doctoral document, “A Conductor’s Analysis of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ‘Five Tudor Portraits’” was used to inform a performance of the work at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Powell is owner/managing editor of DVM Publications, a music engraving company, and is the author of the critically acclaimed book "Music Engraving Today," currently in its second edition. He has won 12 Paul Revere awards, awarded by the Music Publishers Association for best professional engraving in a given year. His client list includes Oxford University Press, Hal Leonard Publishing, Boston Music, Garland Music, Brichtmark Music and Plymouth Music. He is a music font designer and his music-in-text fonts “Metronome” and “MetTimes” are in use by dozens of universities and major publishers.

Madeleine Riley

Director; Fusion Band

215.895.2451
mcr27@drexel.edu

Biography

Madeleine (Lynn) has been on the faculty at Drexel University since 1999. She is the director of the Fusion Band and wrote the arrangements for and produced their 7 recordings, Tell Me Something Funky (2019), Tell Me Something Good (2018), Funk Out Front (2016), Black and Blue (2014), Comin’ Home Baby (2012), Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing (2010) and Cold Duck Sauce, Best of Drexel Fusion Band (2008).

Lynn also directs the music program for the community based learning practicum PRFA-100. The course pairs Drexel students with community children to teach free after-school music classes at the Dornsife Center, Drexel’s civic engagement center.

Lynn has been described more than once as "Superwoman" of the sax. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised outside of Philadelphia, Pa., she received a M.L.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaii. Lynn has performed with many legendary musicians, including Grover Washington Jr., Philly Joe Jones, David Bromberg, Rachelle Farrell, Peter White, Gerald Veasley, David Murray, Frank Wess, Shirley Scott, Charles Earland and Johnny Pacheco, as well as leading her own groups. She was chosen in 2020 to be the Artist in Residence at Paris Bistro Jazz Café. She was chosen in 2000 to present her band at the Painted Bride Arts Center for their series Women Leaders in Jazz. She has opened for artists such as Najee, Spyro Gyra, Nelson Rangell, Nester Torres, Andy Narell, the Indigo Girls, Brenda K Star, the Mahotella Queens and Compai Segundo of the Buena Vista Club. She has performed throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. She is currently working on a new recording due out in 2021. Her 2 previous recordings Say What Lynn Riley and The World Mix (2014) and Too Cool (2009) are both available at lynnrileyandtheworld-mix.bandcamp.com


David Schneider

215.895.2451
ds3236@drexel.edu

Biography

David Schneider, Professor of Oboe at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design and The College of New Jersey, is currently Principal Oboe with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, a regular substitute with The Philadelphia Orchestra and is a very active freelance musician in the PA-NJ-DEL region. Previous professional experience includes principal Oboe with the Opera Company of Philadelphia Orchestra for 30 years, substitute Principal Second Oboe with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and as well as Principal Oboe with the Mozart Society of Philadelphia, Utah Festival Opera Company, Princeton Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Delaware, Reading, and Lancaster Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Schneider has toured Europe with The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Wolfgang Sawallisch, as well as with the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia.

Highlights of Mr. Schneider’s commercial experience include touring with Frank Sinatra, recording and performing with Tony Bennett, recording with Lou Rawls and Johnny Mathis, numerous recordings for The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) and touring with Sarah McLaughlin. In addition, Mr. Schneider is a founding member of The Fairmount Woodwind Quintet.

Mr. Schneider has taught at Rowen University, Rutgers University and Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. He gives extensive oboe reed-making clinics and performance clinics both in the US and Europe and maintains a full private studio in Philadelphia.

Rebecca Siler

215.895.2451
rls324@drexel.edu

George Starks, PhD

Professor Emeritus

215.895.1732
starksgl@drexel.edu

Biography

George L. Starks Jr., professor emeritus of music, served for 35 years as director of the highly acclaimed Drexel University Jazz Orchestra, Jazzet, and Saxtet. For 20 years, he produced the Jazz Orchestra's celebrated Jazz Extravaganza, an annual event that drew capacity crowds to Drexel's Mandell Theater. An esteemed lecturer, "Doc," as he was fondly called by his students, taught a variety of courses including World Musics, African American Music, Jazz History, Jazz Improvisation, Topics in Jazz, and Introduction to Music.

An ethnomusicologist with a specialty in New World Musics of African origin, he holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in music from North Carolina A&T State University and the University of Illinois respectively, and the Ph.D.in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University. He has conducted field research in Barbados, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the South Carolina Sea Islands, and Anderson County, South Carolina.

Scholar/musician, his publications are on sacred and secular musics, rural and urban musics, traditional and contemporary musics. Starks served as associate editor of the International Jazz Archives Journal; as contributing editor to The Black Perspective in Music, the pioneering scholarly journal on African derived musics; as Black Scholar-in-Residence at LeMoyne College; as a member of Call and Response, a think tank on African American music; as a Carnegie Hall Advisory Scholar, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts

He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities; been the recipient of the Legacy Award from the African American Museum in Philadelphia, and the recipient of the prestigious Benny Golson Jazz Master Award from Howard University.

As an alto saxophonist, he was recognized in the Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition Category of the Down Beat International Jazz Critics Poll. He has performed with musicians ranging from Ghanaian master drummer Kobena Adzenyah to avant-garde trumpeter Clifford Thornton to vocalist Roy Hamilton to the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra.

Starks was commissioned to compose and perform the music for the soundtrack of Trading Church Street: Pride, Prejudice, and a Parking Lot, a documentary on what was once a thriving African American business district in Anderson, South Carolina, and he appears in BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, an internationally acclaimed documentary on the life and work of author, activist, educator, and Philadelphia's first Poet Laureate, Sonia Sanchez. He has lectured and/or performed at Harvard University, Yale University, Cornell University, and the University of Pennsylvania, among other colleges and universities.

In addition to Drexel University, he served as chairman of the music department at Spelman College; as Ethnomusicologist-in-Residence at Howard University; as a member of the faculty of the Gullah Studies Institute at historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island, SC, and on the music faculties of Coppin State University, the Community College of Philadelphia, and the University of Virginia.

Brent White

Director, Jazz Orchestra and Jazztet

215-895-2451
bw352@drexel.edu

Biography

Brent White, director of the Jazztet and Jazz Orchestra, is a Philadelphia native who received his training under the tutelage of master trombonists Al Grey and Clifford Adams. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Widener University, and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts. As a trombonist, Mr. White has toured with the likes of Roy Ayers (BBC London), John Legend (Indonesia), Kindred Family Soul (South Africa), and the Sun Ra Arkestra (Europe). Mr. White has been welcomed to the stage by Zap Mama, and has recorded in-studio for Patti Labelle. Mr. White is no stranger to the Philadelphia and New York jazz scenes. Currently, he performs with Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band, Josh Lawrence and Color Theory, and the Fresh Cut Orchestra, among other ensembles.

When he is not performing, Brent White serves as a teaching artist and administrator, a role he has held for over 15 years. Mr. White has taught jazz in the Philadelphia Prison system, the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, in the Camden, New Jersey City School system, and as a private lesson instructor of trombone at Drexel University. He has also worked with the Julliard School of Music Out-reach Department (Bay Area Tour) where he provided jazz workshops in juvenile detention centers and at children’s hospitals and schools in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently, Mr. White works as the Education Program Manager at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts where he created instrumental programs for students around the Philadelphia region.

Gregory Wright

Director; Rock Ensemble

215.895.2451
gjw28@drexel.edu

Biography

Greg Wright is the guitar instructor at Drexel University, he also directs the Rock Ensemble, which performs at Drexel and coordinates recording with music industry classes. When he is not teaching, Greg performs on guitar, plectrum banjo, electric bass, mandolin & ukulele.

Greg’s undergraduate degree is from Combs College and he has previously taught jazz guitar at Swarthmore College & Widener University. He also coordinates all music courses at Harcum College.

Greg is the director and co-creator of Summer Music Programs, Inc., which develops skills of young musicians in professional recording, performance and rehearsal disciplines. This program received “Best of Philly” 2008 Philadelphia Magazine for best summer camp and 2007 Coolest Camps on the Main Line, Main Line Magazine.

Greg was a bandleader for SWING SHIFT, a versatile, small Big Band that performed events and concerts throughout the tri-state area from 1988 until 2008. Greg’s interest in banjo and the music of New Orleans & traditional jazz started in the 1990’s as he led the Bid Easy Dixieland Band. He also currently performs Hot Jazz with Drew Nugent & The Midnight Society and is a member of the Wild Bohemians, a thirty-year Philadelphia tradition of NOLA street music.

In addition, you will find Greg strolling vintage train excursions, singing and playing banjo in West Chester and New Hope, and performing holiday music. Vintage rock band, traditional/modern celtic music, solo acoustic guitar gigs, jazz trios are all current activities that still fill his schedule.

Theatre

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Nick Anselmo

Program Director, Director of Mandell Professionals in Residence Project; Producing Artistic Director Co-Op Theater Company

215.895.1920
nma28@drexel.edu

Biography

Nick is the Director of the Theatre and Mandell Professionals in Residence Project (MPiRP). Since 2005, MPiRP has received four Barrymore Nominations for Excellence in Theater, and won for Outstanding Sound Design by Christopher Colucci with Azuka Theatre in residence for The Long Christmas Ride Home. 

 

Nick is the Founder/Executive Director and Resident “Playmaking” Instructor for the Mantua Theater Project (MTP), www.mantuatheaterproject.com.  MTP is an official replication of New York’s 52nd Street Project creating positive self-esteem building experiences using theater to serve the youth of the Mantua and Powelton neighborhoods.  The Courage Plays were a result of a recent collaboration with the Science and Leadership Academy Middle School (SLAMs) and yielded twelve new plays written by young students and performed by professional Philly actors free for the public. He is also the Founder of The Late Night Series (LNS) created in 2002 and still running today as a free weekly open mic that champions and nurtures developing artists and features professionals and students performing in a free-wheeling eclectic coffee house environment. 

 

He has directed numerous productions at Drexel including Reefer Madness, Crimes of the Heart, Godspell, Our Town and the Laramie Project.  Before coming to Drexel he was the Artistic Associate/Education Director of the Passage Theatre Company in Trenton, New Jersey, where he directed several productions for their youth outreach program The State Street Project.  He has also directed for The National One Minute Play Festival, Writers Theatre of New Jersey, Mainstreet Musicals, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Hedgerow Theatre, Players Club of Swarthmore, Amish Acres, Musicana Dinner Theater and his own adaptation of letters from soldiers fighting in Vietnam for a show called Vietnam: Letters and Remembrances, for which he also composed the music. 

 

He occasionally finds time to perform as an actor appearing as Pop in Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue at Walnut Street Theatre (also done as a staged reading at the Arden Theater), and Egeus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Loyal the Bailif in Tartuffe for Mauckingbird Theatre.  He has appeared Off-Broadway at the York Theatre in their Musicals in Muft series and at the Ensemble Studio Theater working with director Rene Buch. He was a company member of The Pulse Ensemble on 42nd Street in New York City. A few of his favorite roles include the Cabaret Corp (Williamstown Theater Festival with Andrea Burns), Richie Valens in Buddy (Walnut Street), Biondello in Taming of the Shrew (Asolo Theatre), and Raul/guitarist in Fort Chaffee (World Premiere - Arkansas Repertory with choreographer Mia Michaels), Into the Woods (Jekyll Island) and Zorba (Apple Tree). 

 

He studied Meisner Technique at the True Acting Institute with Larry Silverberg, and acting with Uta Hagen, Robert Cohen, Eli Simon, John Basil (Folio Shakespeare), and Song Performance with David Brunetti and Helen Gallagher.  He has an MFA in Musical Theater from University of California-Irvine, a certificate in Arts Administration from New York University, and is completing a certificate in Meisner Actor Training.

 

Bobbi Block

215.895.2451
bb457@drexel.edu

Biography

Bobbi Block has been performing, teaching,  producing and directing Improvisational Theatre in the Philadelphia area for over 20 years.  She is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director and performs with the critically-acclaimed unscripted theater company Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater (tongue-groove.com).  In addition to their monthly shows and Fringe Festival appearances, Tongue & Groove was invited to perform at the Kimmel Center for PIFA Festivals 2011 & ‘13.  Bobbi has taught her signature Actors’ Improv ™ approach throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand, where she directed her popular show, SECRETS, for the New Zealand Fringe Festival. Bobbi received a Philadelphia City Paper Choice Award,“Actress who will lead Improv to the Promised Land.”  Bobbi conceived and directed LEAP: The Actors’ Improv Experiment, for the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.  For 15 years, Bobbi was the Co-Producer and Education Director of the Barrymore Award-winning improvisational theatre company,  ComedySportz Philadelphia (comedysportzphilly.com), and was Artistic Director of the company for two years.  In addition, Bobbi performed longform improv for 12 years with LunchLady Doris, and performs with the interdisciplinary improvisational theatre company, Playback Philadelphia.   In addition to her theatrical  career, Bobbi founded, choreographed and performed with the body percussion troupe, P3: People Percussion Project, and is a percussionist  with the Brazilian samba band Unidos da Filadelfia.  After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Bobbi got her Masters degree in Theatre from Villanova University,  and has since trained with master improvisers in Chicago, NYC and LA.  Bobbi has taught improv at the University of the Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Bucks County Community College, the Wilma Theatre, the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, ComedySportz, Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) and private classes.  She currently teaches Improvisation at Temple University, Drexel University, and the University of Otago in New Zealand.  As a Communications Skills Consultant, Bobbi has traveled the world using acting, improv and theatre techniques to train corporate executives in leadership and team development skills (bobbiblock.com)


Damon Bonetti

215.895.2451
dcb48@drexel.edu

Biography

Damon Bonetti is a Philly based actor, director, musician and teacher. He has performed or directed at many of the area theaters including the Walnut Street Theater, Philadelphia Theater Company, Lantern Theater, Theater Exile, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater, Passage Theater, Hedgerow Theater and Theater Horizon. Damon is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, a site-specific theater company, dedicated to the performance of rare classical plays. For the PAC he has directed The Sea Plays, Changes of Heart, Blood Wedding (co-production with the Mandel Professionals in Residence Project at Drexel University) He Who Gets Slapped (partnership with the Philadelphia School of Circus Art) and The White Devil. As an actor he has appeared in The Duchess of Malfi, Creditors and All’s Well That Ends Well and has adapted a two-man version of A Christmas Carol. He is a three time Barrymore Nominee (Outstanding Director, Outstanding Supporting Actor, Outstanding Ensemble) and his company, The PAC, won the 2015 June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Emerging Theater Company. Damon appears extensively on film, commercials and is heard in voice-overs. He received his BA in Theater from DeSales University and earned his MFA at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. He is an adjunct professor at Rutgers - Camden and Rowan Universities and is the lead guitarist for Jawbone Junction. Please visit http://www.philartistscollective.org/ for more info.

Josh Browns

215.895.2451
joshua.l.browns@drexel.edu

Biography

Joshua Browns is a Philadelphia-based actor, director, and educator. His acting credits include appearances for the Maine Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, the Walnut Street Theatre, Lantern Theater Company, and many more, including two national tours of Romeo and Juliet for Theatreworks/USA. He served as the Education Director for Lantern Theater Company's Barrymore Award-winning education program, Illuminations, and is a co-founding company member and former Producing Artistic Director of Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company, which produces free classic theatre in the parks of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties each summer.


Dom Chacon

215.868.3675
jdc69@drexel.edu

Biography

J. Dominic Chacon

Dominic was born and raised in the Midwest. He is a native of Dixon Illinois and attended the University of Iowa where he received is Bachelors of Fine Arts in Lighting and Sound design. He began his career in Philadelphia as an Arden Theatre Company Professional Apprentice. He fell in love with Philadelphia and has not left. He attended Graduate School at Temple University where he received is Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre Design. Along with teaching at Drexel University he is also the resident Lighting Designer for Drexel Dance Ensemble and the new Fresh Dance. He has designed for Theatre, Dance and Opera for the past 10 years.

Peter Danzig

Performance Ensemble Choreographer

215.895.2451
peterandrewdanzig@gmail.com

Biography

Peter Andrew Danzig is an actor, choreographer, arts management consultant and Professor. Peter’s work has been seen on-screen in films such as Paranoia and guest roles on television for Pan Am, One Life to Live, Forever and others. Theatrically, his work as an actor, choreographer and teaching artist has spanned New York and Philadelphia, having the pleasure of working with organizations such as Simpatico Theatre Project, EgoPo, Arden Theatre, Walnut Street Theater, 11th Hour Theater Company, Warren Productions and many others. He’s also been Barrymore nominated for his movement work on It Girl, with Simpatico Theater Project.


A proud member of Actors Equity Association and SAG- AFTRA, Peter served as the Professional Development Consultant for SAG Philadelphia from 2014-2016 and as a member of the AEA Liaison Committee from 2014-2016. He presently serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for Theatre Philadelphia. In 2014, Peter founded Theatrical Trainer, the nations first holistic wellness organization devoted to research and programming serving mental health and physical wellness specifically for creative artists of all disciplines. He’s been profiled in American Theatre and The Wall Street Journal for his research and contributions to the field of Theatre Arts. His social advocacy project, The Body Aesthetic Project has been supported in Philadelphia through grants to expose body dysmorphia in the arts.


Peter is excited to be a part of the Drexel Theatre program. He’s also taught at University of the Arts, NYFA, West Chester University and University of Pennsylvania. He’s also served in recruiting and auditioning for the BFA program at University of the Arts as well as administratively in the President’s Office and for special events, coordinating and assisting in creating the Hamilton Hall Public Art Initiative.


Peter earned his B.A. in theatre arts (acting concentration) at Temple University and was awarded a full scholarship as the Acting Scholar at Villanova (acting concentration), where he attained his M.A. in Theatre. Presently, he is pursuing a terminal degree in mental health and social advocacy at Bryn Mawr College, hoping to further change the landscape of wellness in the arts and collaboration among multiple disciplines.

Charis Duke

Musical Director; Cabaret

215.895.2451

Biography

Charis is a multi-faceted musician who enjoys composing everything from children's operas to avantgarde electroacoustic music. She finds inspiration in Palestrina, Shostakovich, George Crumb, and Mozart operas. Her inherent love for all things drama has led her to not only compose stage works, but to also coach theater repertoire and music direct for universities, regional theaters, and children's theater programs.

Charis has been the recipient of the Robert Campbell Prize at the Ithaca College Choral Composition Festival, Honorable Mention in the OperaHub of Boston Aria Competition, a four-time winner of The International Christmas Carol and Chanukah Song Writing Competition, and The Nancy Van de Vate International Prize for Opera.

Charis received degrees in composition from Brigham Young University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently coaches music theater students at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and Drexel University. When not busy with new music, Charis can be found growing organic tomatoes in her urban garden. She especially enjoys stalking the basement of the FBI with Agents Mulder and Scully, looking for signs of alien life.

Bill Fennelly

215.895.2529
wjf35@drexel.edu

Biography

Bill Fennelly is an award winning stage director whose work has been seen on Broadway, Off Broadway regionally, and Internationally in theatre and on television.

Bill’s work has been seen in NYC at The Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons; and regionally at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Dallas Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Syracuse Stage, Portland Center Stage, Hartford Stage Company, Goodspeed Opera House, LaJolla Playhouse, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, TheatreWorks in Palo Alto California, TheaterWorks in Hartford Connecticut, Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Express, Ford’s Theatre, People’s Light, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Walnut Street Theatre, PlayPenn, Guild Hall of East Hampton, The 2006 Cultural Olympic Festival at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, Glimmerglass Opera, and Chicago Opera Theatre.


Recently Bill collaborated with CNN political commentator and Sirius Satellite Radio POTUS talk show host Michael Smerconish on the creation of his one-man political and journalistic retrospective: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking which aired internationally on CNN.

Bill has been invited by the Taipei Performing Arts Center to be a regular collaborator at the annual TPAC Director’s Lab, in Taipei Taiwan; a professional directing laboratory with a focus on directing and creating musical theatre.

Bill was the original Assistant Director on the creation of the TONY Award winning Jersey Boys directed by Des McAnuff, he was the Resident Director for the Broadway First National Tour of Disney’s award winning The Lion King directed by Julie Taymour, he was the Associate Director for the world premiere and Broadway production of The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm directed by Mark Lamos; he was also the Assistant Director to Sir Alan Ayckbourn on the U.S. premiere of Sir Ayckbourn’s and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical By Jeeves. Bill spent four seasons as a staff director with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center where he worked on over thirteen new productions including the Glimmerglass World Premiere, the NYC Premiere and the EMMY nominated PBS Great Performances Telecast of Central Park by Terrence McNally, Robert Beaser, Wendy Wasserstein, Deborah Drattell, Michael Torke and A.R. Gurney. Additionally, Bill directed the world premiere and Off Broadway production of Frankenstein the musical.

Bill served as an Assistant Artistic Director at Cirque du Soleil in Montreal, Chicago and New York City, Producing Artistic Director at Actor's Express in Atlanta Georgia, and Associate Producing Artistic Director of the TONY honored The Acting Company in NYC.

Bill has been the recipient of prestigious awards for his work around the country: he earned a Bay Area Critics Award nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for the world premiere of the new musical Fly By Night at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, he won the Dallas Column Award for Outstanding Direction of a musical for Fly By Night at Dallas Theatre Center, he earned a Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for Herringbone at Flashpoint Theatre, he won the New York S.A.L.T. Award for Director of the Year and Production of the Year for his production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Syracuse Stage, and again the following season he won the New York S.A.L.T. Award for Director of the Year and Production of the Year for his production of the musical Hairspray at Syracuse Stage, he was awarded the California K.P.B.S. Patte Award and the San Diego Playbill Award for Outstanding Direction of Brecht’s Edward II, his production of Bird Boy at Hartford Children’s Theatre won the Moss Hart Award by the New England Theatre Conference, and Bill was also awarded the prestigious Phil Killian Directing Fellowship at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Bill is a proud member of the Drexel Theatre program. Bill has also taught at The Juilliard School, NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, University of California San Diego, Dartmouth College, Syracuse University, Emerson College, The University of the Arts, The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Indiana State University, and Philadelphia’s Directors Gathering.

Bill earned a contracted B.M. in Music Theatre Performance, Directing, and Dramatic Writing from the Hartt School at The University of Hartford and his M.F.A. in directing from University of California San Diego.

Jamison Foreman

215-895-2451
jforeman.is@gmail.com

Biography

Jamison is so honored to be teaching Voice and Speech as a Drexel Dragon. As an actor and teaching artist, he has worked at many theatres in the Philadelphia area, including Azuka Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, the Arden, People's Light, Theatre Horizon, Act II, Quintessence Theatre Group, Applied Mechanics, 11th Hour, Philadelphia Shakespeare Co., InterAct, and Inis Nua, among other regional theatres in New York, Baltimore and Washington DC. He was also honored with a Barrymore for Best Musical Direction in 2014. In addition to teaching Voice and Speech at Drexel, Jamison has also taught Musical Theatre Performance at the University of the Arts (his alma mater) and West Chester University. In addition to the BFA in Musical Theatre Performance he earned from UArts, Jamison also holds an MFA in Classical Acting from the Shakespeare Theatre's Academy of Classical Acting at George Washington University. 

Gerre Garrett

215.895.2451
gmg27@drexel.edu

Biography

Gerre Garrett holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University and a BA in English from Saint Joseph University. She teaches Acting Fundamentals, Sketch Comedy, Philly Theatre Let’s Go! and has directed Drexel Players' mainstage and studio productions. She writes and performs for the critically acclaimed sketch comedy troupe, The WaitStaff  (www.thewaitstaff.com.) Gerre is a creative dramatics specialist whose work with Philadelphia Young Playwrights won The Adele Magner Memorial Award for Teaching Artists and a Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theater Education.  In addition to Drexel, she has served as an adjunct instructor of theater at Cabrini College and Widener University. Her voice is heard locally in industrial films and commercials and nationally on two television series for the Discovery Network. She has appeared on numerous stages in and around Philadelphia. Gerre’s performance credits include Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge, Misery, Dancing at Lughnasa, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Paul Jerue

URBN Annex Black Box Theatre Production Manager and Technical Director

215.571.4243
prj36@drexel.edu

Biography

With 10 years professional experience in the Philadelphia Theatre Community, Paul has joined Drexel University as Production Manager and Assistant Professor ofTheatre Production.  

Prior to coming to Drexel, Paul was Production Manager for Theatre Exile as well asScene Shop Manager for West Chester University. He also spent two years as the Assistant Master Electrician at Delaware Theatre Company and two years as the Associate Production Manager at the Prince Music Theatre.

Paul has worked extensively with Amaryllis Theatre Company, as both a ProductionManager and a Stage Manager facilitating productions that focused on accessibility in the arts. This includes a Shakespeare production that was co-produced with Gallaudet University and cast with both deaf and hearing actors and performed in English and AmericanSign Language.

Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Paul studied stage management at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI. He holds a bachelors in Theatre and Electronic Media and Film from Towson University.

Donald Leake

215.895.2451
del36@drexel.edu

Biography

Donald “Postmidnight “ Leake is a nationally known and respected poet and performance artist. His decades long career has included everything from tour managing bands, managing venues, and representing artistic excellence on countless stages across the country. He has coordinated poetry writing and page to stage workshops for high school and college students. Aside from his performance achievements, Postmidnight is also an accomplished chef currently authoring his first cookbook.

Kimberly Marable

Guest Instructor; Musical Theatre Cabaret (THTR 143)

215.895.2451

Biography

Kimberly Marable has spent the last 14 years as a working actor. Her Broadway appearances include THE LION KING (u/s Nala, Shenzi, Sarabi) and SISTER ACT (u/s Deloris van Cartier). Most notably, she is an original cast member of the TONY and GRAMMY Award winning musical HADESTOWN on Broadway where she understudies Persephone and a Fate.

Her International Touring credits include THE BOOK OF MORMON, SISTER ACT (u/s Deloris van Cartier), DREAMGIRLS, HAIRSPRAY, and THE WEDDING SINGER (u/s Linda). Kimberly has performed at regional theaters including The Signature in Arlington, VA and Arkansas Repertory Theatre ("The Rep") in Little Rock, AR. She has participated in the pre-Broadway development of HADESTOWN, PAL JOEY with Marin Mazzie & Patina Miller, and THE WANDERER with NKOTB's Joey McIntyre, which is set to make its world premier at Papermill Playhouse.

She has appeared on CBS' BULL, NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert series, and numerous television specials, including the 85th & 93rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades and the 73rd Annual TONY Awards. Kimberly is the voice of Lorelai in the Netflix Anime series, CANNON BUSTERS and also the promotional voice for two shows on The CW. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Kimberly earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Theater modified with Sociology from Dartmouth College. In 2012, Kimberly co-founded Broadway Serves, an affiliate of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which provides theater professionals with community service opportunities.

Arin Sullivan


as469@drexel.edu

Biography

Arin is the Deputy Director of SMU DataArts, the national center for arts research. At DataArts Arin provides oversight of the relationship between products, programs, and technology and ensures that the organization has the capacity and the connections to achieve that work. An actor and stage manager at heart, prior to joining DataArts in 2008, Arin was the managing director at Hedgerow Theatre, theater manager for Drexel University’s Mandell Theater, and producer for Geva Comedy Improv at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York. Arin is also an adjunct faculty member with Drexel’s Theatre program. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, where she graduated cum laude, and she holds a Master of Science degree from Drexel University’s Arts Administration program.

D'Arcy Webb

215.895.2451

Biography

For over two decades, award winning voice and speech teacher D’Arcy Webb has been helping actors, performers, corporate executives, authors and speakers use their voices to connect with audiences around the world with power, eloquence and heart. As former Associate Professor of Voice and Speech at the University of the Arts and current member of the performance faculty at Drexel University, D’Arcy has worked with hundreds of new and seasoned performers to make their words resonate with clarity, precision and confidence. She has also served as voice, speech and performance coach for TEDxCambridge, and has been the Head of Vocal Training for Heroic Public Speaking since 2016. Keynote speaker and retired TEDx Cambridge Executive Producer, Tamsen Webster, calls D’Arcy’s work “magic.” “She produces instantaneous yet lasting effects.” D’Arcy is Partner and Co-teacher for the SAVI System of Singing Acting, a practical approach for the singing actor to building essential skills necessary for optimum performance on stage and screen.

David White

215.895.2451
dlw325@drexel.edu

Biography

David is a New Jersey-based playwright and educator that has worked with Passage Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Dreamcatcher Rep, PlayPenn, Rider University, and Drexel University as well as many other theatres and theatre programs in the NJ/NY/PA area. He received his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and his BA from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His work runs the gamut from improvisational theatre, political satire, oral history-based docudrama, musical theatre, educational theatre, and mental health advocacy. In 2016, David was commissioned by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Stage Exchange Program and Passage Theatre to create the play Fixed. The play premiered at Passage Theatre in May 2017. Previously, his play Blood: A Comedy was seen at Passage Theatre (2009) and Dreamcatcher Rep (2012). His play Slipper As Sin also received its world premiere at Passage in 2011. The one-act play White Baby was originally produced at Passage Theatre, then at Emerging Artists Theatre in NY. His solo show Panther Hollow was performed at Dreamcatcher Rep, The United Solo Festival in NY, The New Jersey Fringe Festival, Passage Theatre, Arcade Comedy Theatre in Pittsburgh, Point Park College, and Drexel University. At Passage, White created the show This Trenton Life which was the subject of an Emmy Award-nominated broadcast on PCK Media's State of the Arts. Other plays include The Festial Quartet (readings at Bristol Riverside Theatre and Writer's Theatre of New Jersey) and Rocket Sex Magic - a comedy about real life rocket scientist/occultist Jack Parsons (reading at Writer's Theatre of New Jersey). For the past two years, David has been working with Jeffrey Barg on the musical The Angry Grammarian and with Kate Brennan on the musicals Clean Slate and ALiEN8.


Staff

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Galen Blanzaco

Department Assistant

215.895.2451
gob27@drexel.edu

Biography

Galen has lived and worked in Philadelphia since 2013. She has worked as an educator, patron services associate, and administrator for numerous theater companies including The Arden Theatre Co., Theatre Horizon, Theatre Exile, Curio Theatre Co., 11th Hour Theatre Co., EgoPo Classic Theatre, and Yes! And...Collaborative Arts. She is thrilled to be a part of the Drexel Performing Arts team.

Galen holds a BA in Theatre Performance from Susquehanna University and an MA in Theatre from Villanova University.

Jessica Doheny

Mandell Theatre Managing Director

215.895.2528
jsd323@drexel.edu

Biography

Jessica Doheny is happy to be a part of the Drexel theatre faculty as Managing Director of the Co-Op Theatre Company. Jessica has more than 15 years’ experience as a theater administrator in the Greater Philadelphia area, handling fundraising, marketing, personnel, box office, and house management. Currently the Mandell Theater Managing Director at Drexel University, Jessica previously served as the General Manager of Lantern Theater Company for two seasons. Prior to that she was the Company Manager and Assistant to the Managing Director at Walnut Street Theatre for 12 years, where she also worked as a frequent understudy and as a member of the Theatre School staff, teaching introduction to acting and musical theatre to children and adults. In addition to her administrative duties, she has worked as an actor, director, stage manager, and vocal director of more than 30 local community and school productions. She has been a Barrymore Nominator for Theatre Philadelphia, is the current Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, and offers consulting services for budding arts organizations.

Amanda Melczer

Department Administrator

215.571.4440
am437@drexel.edu

Chris Totora

Mandell Theatre Technical Director

215.895.6444
cmt375@drexel.edu

Biography

Christopher Totora is the Technical Director/ Production Manager for the Mandell Theatre. Before coming to Drexel, Chris was Assistant Director of the Guaracini Arts Center of Cumberland County College in Vineland, NJ. In his role as Assistant Director, Chris curated a performance series that featured National, International, and regionally recognized touring artists and productions in a variety of disciplines. Additionally, he served as Technical Director/ Production Manager for the presented series as well as College produced plays and musicals.

Chris is the founding member and Producing Artistic Director of Little Fish Theatre, a South Jersey based theatre company which produces works at venues throughout the region, including a well regarded Children’s theatre touring program which presents original plays and musicals on environmental and social issues. Their latest commissioned work, Of Plastic Things and Butterfly Wings by Greg Romero, has been published by Youth Plays.
Chris also serves on the Board of Directors for the Vineland Regional Dance Company.

Past Directorial Credits include, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Rocky Horror PUPPET Show, The Zoo Story, his own original interdisciplinary adaptation of Alice inWonderland, subUrbia, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, abridged, and The Complete History of America, abridged.

Chris holds a BA in Theatre and a MA in Arts Administration from Rowan University.