Spotlight on Alums

Department of Theatre and Dance

Students graduating from the Department of Theatre & Dance go on to pursue successful careers as actors, dancers, directors, choreographers, technicians, teachers and arts administrators, among others. Some MSU Theatre & Dance alumni perform with prestigious theater and dance companies, while others have pursued graduate work with the goal of teaching in a college or university. Numerous alumni have opened their own studios or serve as teachers/administrators in the private sector. The MSU Theatre & Dance curriculum provides excellent preparation for a range of careers.

Below are a few examples of what our alumni are doing:

Kevin Allen – Production Designer

  • Class of 1981 : BA Speech and Theatre
  • Credits: TV - Money Line on CNN, CNBC New York, Larry King Live, Nick U-Pick Live!. Other - Amazon.com, Geico, Founder of KLAD Design Company. Awards – Emmy Award. More ...

Erick Avari – Actor

  • Credits: Broadway - Tis Pity She's a Whore and The King and I. Regional - King Lear and The Norman Project. Film - Planet of the Apes, Stargate, Independence Day, The MummyMr. Deeds, and For Love or Money. TV - Stargate SG-1, Cybill, Cheers, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Murder, She Wrote, and NYPD Blue. More…

Stephen Bienskie – Actor, Singer, Dancer

  • Class of 1989 : BFA Acting/Directing/Tech Theatre Major
  • Credits: Broadway – Cats and Chess (revival). Tours - International Tour of Tommy, and understudy for national tour of Tommy. Off Broadway - The Last Session, ZombieProm, and Slut. Regional - Avenue X, Balm in Gilead, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Pirates of Penzance. More…

Kevin Carolan – Actor

  • Class of 1990 : BA Theater Studies
  • Credits: Broadway - Dirty Blond . TV - Curb Your Enthusiasm, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and Trinity. Other - Over 30 Commercials and a Stand up Comedian. More…

Tom Leonardis – Producer

  • Class of 1986: BA Speech and Theatre
  • Credits: Broadway - Produced Whoop: Back to Broadway-The 20 th Anniversary. TV - Co-executive produced Ruby’s Bucket of Blood, Sketch Off, Strong Medicine. Film - Claus. Other - Personal Assistant to Whoopi Goldberg and President of One Ho Productions. Awards - Nominated for a Tony for Best Special Theatrical Event. More…

Gaspard Louis – Dancer

  • Class of 1993 : BFA Dance
  • Credits: Dancer with Pilobolus Dance Theater

Karen Love – Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer

  • Class of 1993: BFA Dance
  • Credits: Founder of Umoja and Usaama Dance Theater

Gerard McIntyre – Actor, Singer

  • Class of 1984 : BFA Acting/Directing/Tech Theatre Major
  • Credits: Broadway - Anything Goes,Once on This Island (revival), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (revival), and Uptown…It’s Hot!. Off-Broadway - Forbidden Broadway. TV - Law and Order, The Nanny and The Pretender. More…

Wilson Mendietta – Actor, Dancer

  • Class of 1997 : BFA Acting major/Dance Minor
  • Credits: Broadway - Man of La Mancha (revival) and Bombay Dreams. Regional work - A Chorus Line, West Side Story, and Camilla. Dance – performer with Shapiro & Smith Dance Co. Teacher - Culture Shock Dance Center, SUNY Purchase, and NYU Tisch. Awards - Nominated for Barrymore Award. More…

Krista Miller – Dancer

  • Class of 1993 : BFA Dance
  • Credits : Dancer with Kevyn Wynn, Lucinda Childs.

Grace O’Brien - Stage Manager

  • Class of 2001 : BFA Production Design
  • Credits: Stage Manager - Cirque de Soleil, Las Vegas.

Donna Scro-Gentile – Dancer/Choreographer

  • Class of 1991 : BFA Dance
  • Credits : Dancer with Nikolais/Louis Dance Theatre & Sean Curran Dance. Artistic Director of Freespace Dance.

Sebastian Smeureanu – Dancer

  • Class of 1991 : BFA Dance
  • Credits: Dancer with Pilobolus Dance Theater

Susan Speidel – Theatre Business/ Director

  • Class of 1978 : BA Theater
  • Credits: Director of Education at Paper Mill Playhouse; oversees the Rising Star Award for Excellence in the Production of High School Musical Theatre; vocalist with the Key West Symphonic Pops. More…

Joelle Van Sickle – Dancer/Choreographer

  • Class of 1991 : BFA Dance
  • Credits: Dancer with Nikolais/Louis Dance Theatre

Michele Tauber – Actress

  • Class of 1987 : BFA Acting/Directing/Technical Theatre Major
  • Credits: Off-Broadway - Romeo and Juliet, The Rivals, The Prodigal Cow and Dial M for Murder. Film - Funny Money. TV - The Street, Kate & Allie, and Law and Order.

Jill Witte - Lighting Designer

  • Class of 2003 : BFA Production Design
  • Credits: Awards - Emmy Award for 2004 Winter Olympics.

John Wooten – Playwright, Director

  • Class of 1990 : BA Theatre Studies
  • Credits: Published texts - Best scenes of 1998, Plays for Actresses, and Playing Contemporary Scenes. Play scripts - Trophies, The Role of Della, and The Mission Home. Artistic Director - Kean University’s Premiere Stages. Produced/Directed - over 50 Productions as Artistic Director of Theatrefest at Montclair State University. Memberships - Dramatists Guild. Awards - Nominated for American Critics Association New Play Award.

Stuart Zagnit – Actor

  • Class of 1974 : BA Speech and Theatre
  • Credits: Broadway - Seussical, The Wild Party, and Those Were the Days. Off Broadway - Little Shop of Horrors, Enter Laughing, Lucky Stiff, Mr. President, Breaking up is Hard To Do, What Makes Sammy Run?, and The Grand Tour. TV - Law and Order, Shaman King, and Winx Club. More…

Additional alumni have gone on to perform with such prestigious dance companies as: