Acting, Theatre Studies Faculty
Department of Theatre and Dance
|Neil Baldwin, Ph.D.
Director, The Creative Research Center
Dramaturgy, Danceaturgy, Play script interpretation, Graduate theatre criticism and arts administration, Theta Alpha Phi
Neil Baldwin, PhD, critically-acclaimed author, editor, and cultural historian, has published many works of nonfiction and biography over the course of his long career in the arts. As Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, he has created two new courses representing his teaching passions: Introduction to Dramaturgy: The Questioning Spirit (for undergraduates); and How to Run a Nonprofit Arts Organization (for the graduate MA Program in Arts and Museum Management). He also focuses upon introductory classes in The Theatrical Medium and Play Script Interpretation. Dr. Baldwin invented a new writing and critical discipline, "Danceaturgy," in which he works in close collaboration with the Dance Division faculty and students exploring the arc of the repertory every year; and shares his broad historical expertise as "Talk Back" moderator for many performing arts productions. As a further teaching innovation, Dr. Baldwin engages in ongoing email correspondence with faculty and students in drama and dance over the course of the semesters' productions. He is founding Director of The Creative Research Center, and serves with great pleasure as Faculty Advisor to the Theatre and Dance Honor Society, Theta Alpha Phi.
Heather Benton received her MFA in Acting from the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at the American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre at Harvard University in 2003. She joins MSU from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts conservatory in New York where she was a member of the faculty for five years and the head of the movement department. Prof. Benton’s expertise is in a multiple-technique approach to actor training that includes Stanislavsky, Practical Aesthetics and Viewpoints. As a professional Equity actress she has participated in several national tours and worked in regional theatres across the country including American Repertory Theatre, Montana Repertory Theatre, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Annex Theatre, Book It Repertory Theatre, Village Theatre and the Children’s Theatre Company. Benton is a company member of the international theatre company East River Commedia and has created and performed several original pieces (Living With Betty, Half Awake and Falling Through the Sky and Chasing Immortality, a Performance-Lecture) for various festivals in New York City.
|Eric Diamond, MFA
Deputy Chairperson, Theatre
Theatre, Musical Theatre
Eric Diamond is a Professor of Theatre and Deputy Chairman of the Department of Theatre and Dance, as well as coordinator of the Musical Theatre minor. He has written and directed two original musicals produced by the department, Speak Easy and A Day in the Life. Prof. Diamond earned his BFA in Music Composition from Penn State University, and his MFA in Musical Theatre from Temple University. Before coming to Montclair State, Prof. Diamond spent over eleven years working in professional theatre in New York City. Off-Broadway he musical directed and/or composed music for Playwright's Horizons, The American Globe Theatre, The Acting Company, and on Broadway for George Abbott's musical play Broadway which played at the Royale Theatre. He was a member of ASCAP’s Musical Theatre Composer’s Workshop has spent two seasons at both the Williamstown Theatre Festival as resident composer and musical director, and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. He has musical directed departmental productions such asPippin, Gypsy, Grease, Godspell, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, A Chorus Line and Fiddler on The Roof and has composed and arranged incidental and vocal music for productions such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Inherit The Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, and Nicholas Nickleby. Prof. Diamond created the musical arrangements and orchestrations and played keyboards for The Best of Broadway, a College of the Arts' musical production that traveled to the Ukraine and to Holland. He composed and arranged music for Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost at the University of the Arts’ Artsbank Theatre in Philadelphia.
*Note: Based in the College of Humanities
|Susan Kerner, MFA
Susan Kerner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance. A member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, her directing credits include productions in New York, London, Shanghai, and at major regional theatres throughout the United States including the Tony Award-winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and Meadow Brook Theatre (MI). As Resident Director at George Street Playhouse for 10 seasons, her critically acclaimed productions include the American premiere of Tom Kempinski’s Separation, and the world premiere of James Still’s award-winning And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank. Prof. Kerner has taught and directed at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York University in London, Rutgers University, and Drew University. She served on a National Endowment for the Arts' Theatre panel for Education and Access and the National Advisory Committee for the Theatre Praxis. A 1996 recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education, she holds graduate degrees in Dramatic Literature from Columbia University and Directing from Boston University. She was a Fulbright Scholar in India and has taught and directed theatre programs in Greece, Italy, England, China, and Korea.
|Deborah Saivetz, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Theatre Studies Program
Acting, Directing, Ensemble Performance
Deborah Saivetz coordinates the Theatre Studies program in the Department of Theatre and Dance. She has directed and developed new work with New York and regional theaters such as The Foundry, Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, New Dramatists, Voice & Vision, Red Bull Theater, INTAR, the Goodman, the Guthrie, Long Wharf and Seattle Rep. Her directing credits include Javier Malpica’s Our Dad Is in Atlantis (Working Theater), Sarah Ruhl’s Late:A Cowboy Song (Clubbed Thumb), Catherine Filloux’s Passion.com (HB Playwrights’ Theater), Carmen Rivera’s The Next Cycle (Women’s Project & Productions), Caridad Svich’s Twelve Ophelias (Baruch Performing Arts Center), and Elizabeth Egloff’s The Nose (Drama League of New York). Regional theater directing credits include Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas’s Bird in the Hand (Hartford Stage), Svich’s Perdita Gracia and Egloff’s Phaedra (New York Stage and Film/Powerhouse Theater), her own adaptation of Donald Barthelme’s Novel The King (ShakespeareTheatre of New Jersey), and Wallace Shawn’s Marie and Bruce (Parallax Theater, Chicago). For the Lark Play Development Center’s U.S./Mexico Playwright Exchange, she directed Irela de Viller’s Quetzalcoatl Puddle, Cutberto López’s Yamaha 300, Verónica Musalem’s Adela and Juana, and Jorge Celaya’s Van Gogh in New York. She directed the Spanish-language translation of Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House for Mexico City’s DramaFest ‘08, and is collaborating with the Oaxaca-based Teatro Cuauhpanco on a Spanish-language production of Ruhl's Eurydice. Prof. Saivetz is a New Georges Affiliate Artist, an alumna of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, a Drama League Directing Fellow, and was a 2004–2005 Resident Director at New Dramatists. She is the author of An Event in Space: JoAnne Akalaitis in Rehearsal.
Part-Time Faculty/Adjuncts/Visiting Specialists
Voice for Performer
Movement for the Actor
Theatre History, Senior BA Project