Nick Anselmo, Theatre Program Director, Producing Artistic Director Theatre Program, Teaching Professor.
Nick is the Theatre Program Director and teaches Acting Fundamentals, Scene Study, Meisner Acting Technique, Musical Theater History, Play Direction and Musical Theater Cabaret.
He has directed numerous productions at Drexel over the years including Be More Chill, ALiEN8 (world premiere musical), 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 Temple University, The National One Minute Play Festival, Writers Theatre of New Jersey, Mainstreet Musicals, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Hedgerow Theatre, Players Club of Swarthmore, Double A Productions, 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 score.
Nick is a proud native of Chicago where he often worked with Music Theatre Workshop on original musicals that were performed in the Chicago Public Schools that dealt with gangs, drugs, and gun violence. Part of the “Under Pressure Series,” these performances were followed by discussions and role-playing exercises with the students on the issues raised in the show.
As an actor Nick has appeared Off-Broadway at the York Theatre in Carmelina 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, and the American Globe Theatre in New York City. He has appeared in many shows in regional theaters and in industrial films. A few of his favorite roles include the Cabaret Corp (Williamstown Theater Festival with Andrea Burns), Richie Valens in Buddy (Walnut Street Theater), Biondello in Taming of the Shrew (Asolo Theatre), and Raul/guitarist/original music in Fort Chaffee (World Premiere - Arkansas Repertory with choreographer Mia Michaels), West Side Story (Mill Mountain), Into the Woods (Jekyll Island) and Zorba (Apple Tree).
Read Nick's CV here.
MFA in Musical Theater from University of California-Irvine
BA in Speech/Theatre Education, and Spanish from Elmhurst College
Certificate in Arts Administration from New York University
Nick has given two TED talks on theatre as part of Drexel’s TEDx conferences:
“Why Not Engage in the Dynamic World of Theatre?”
“The Power of the Many”
He served on the “Seed” Subcommittee, of National Weed & Seed program, for the City of Trenton, New Jersey.
He has presented several times on empowering youth through self-esteem building experiences using the arts for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts as part of their yearly Summit of Empowerment demonstrating the “Playmaking” and “One-On-One” models for underserved youth, and has given lecture/demonstrations at the Unity Conference, for the East Brunswick African-American Cultural Commission in New Jersey.
Nick’s current primary area of research is in Applied Theatre.
He is currently working with Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, and the School of Public Health on using theatre skills and theatre training to improve communication and building empathy in Healthcare Practitioners, Police Officers, and Young Adults.
Another aspect of Applied Theatre is community-based learning. 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 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 to the public. This project was partially funded by a grant from Public Citizens for Children and Youth.
Nick 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 in Tartuffe
for Mauckingbird Theatre
He is 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.