Graduate Studies Faculty
|Michael Allen, MFA
Deputy Chair of Production
Stage Management, Production Management
Michael Allen has earned professional credits in a variety of areas in theatre including Arts Education, Performance, Administration, Production/Stage & Arts Management, Production Design and Directing. Organization and committee affiliation include the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Regional II (Chair for Design Technology and Management). Additional University service affiliations include, Student Conduct Council, Minority Student Retention Committee, Student Grade Grievance Committee, and Graduation Senior Speaker Selection Committee. Allen is the faculty advisor for SGA University Players, The Student Campus Ministries and Buddhist for Peace International. Michael also serves on a variety of committees within the Department of Theatre and Dance. Mr. Allen has directed two joint project, one with the Justice Studies Department,The Exonerated and African American Studies Department, Requiem for Brother X. Also as a director, Michael has worked on productions for Players including Twilight of the Gold’s, In the Blood, The World Goes Round, and Lysistrata (adapted by Karen Anslem). In the department, he has designed lights for the dance productionWorks A Foot; worked as the scenic designer for the production of Working and stage-managed Steel Magnolias and Trojan Women. He has also written and directed three children’s theatre plays for the Gifted and Talented Program, An African Tale, Cindy and the Battle of Aspru and Robin the Hood.
|Neil Baldwin, Ph.D.
Director, The Creative Research Center
Theatre Criticism, How to Run A Nonprofit Arts Organization
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.
|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. Professor 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, Ms. Kerner 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.
|Randy Mugleston, MFA
Randy Mugleston is currently the Technical Director for the Department of Theatre and Dance at Montclair State University. Mugleston has an undergraduate degree from Utah State University and a graduate degree in Theatre Technology from Indiana State University. Over the years, he has designed many productions at Montclair State, as well as served as the Technical Director for most of the theatre department’s productions. He has also designed lights “ Off-Broadway” in New York City and sets and lights for several dance spaces.
|Jane T. Peterson, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Coordinator
Theatre History, Research
Jane Peterson teaches theatre history, play analysis, and criticism in both the undergraduate and graduate programs at MSU. She is the author of the 30 dramaturgical essay series “Plays in Performance” for the 2009 edition of The Norton Anthology of Drama (2009). Her research in American Theatre includes women (contemporary playwrights, Cheryl Crawford), scenographer Robert Edmund Jones, and the representation of Muslims in American drama from the late 18th century to 1950. In addition to writing Women Playwrights of Diversity, she has authored numerous articles in books, journals and encyclopedias. Jane Peterson is also a professional dramaturg who has worked in many theatrical capacities at theatres across the country and in the film industry.
|Erhard M. Rom, MFA
Erhard Rom (set designer) is currently the head of the Scenic Design area in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Montclair State University. He has designed settings for more than 150 productions throughout North America, including the recent Canadian premiere of John Adams' opera NIXON IN CHINA. His designs have been featured in the Prague Quadrennial International Design Exhibition.
His work includes numerous engagements with Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Virginia Opera, Wolf Trap Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. His work has also been seen frequently at Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre Center in New York State. Other Theatre Companies he has worked for include: Indiana Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Interact Theatre, and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington DC. He has also designed for Opera Cleveland, Kentucky Opera, Ordway Music Theatre, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Curtis Institute of Music, San Francisco Opera Center, Oklahoma Mozart Festival and for ABC Television.
Mr. Rom received his BA in Music from the University of Washington, and his M.F.A. in Design from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Mr. Rom is a member of the United Scenic Artists, Local 829.
|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. 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.
|Suzanne Trauth, Ph.D.
Coordinator, B.F.A. Acting Program
Dr. Suzanne Trauth is a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Montclair State University where she coordinates the B.F.A. Acting program. Most recently, she co-created and directed Katrina: the K Word at Montclair State and directed staged readings of the play at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and Drew University. Other productions directed at Montclair State include She Stoops to Conquer, The Grapes of Wrath, Nicholas Nickleby, Picnic, Extremities, Laramie Project, Flyin’ West, and House of Bernarda Alba. For TheatreFest, she directed The Middle Ages, served as Associate Producer, and founded the experimental Next Stage. She co-produced and directed productions at the Ensemble Studio Theatre (NYC), the Whole Theatre, and 12 Miles West. As part of a global initiative for the College of the Arts, she directed The Crucible for the Theatre-on-Podol in the Ukraine. She has co-authored Sonia Moore and American Acting Training and Producing Musical Theatre, and co-edited Katrina on Stage: Five Plays About Hurricane Katrina. She has also written journal articles on acting theory and Soviet theatre. Dr. Trauth served as Assistant Artistic Director and faculty member at the Sonia Moore Studio and performed for the American Stanislavski Theatre. She holds degrees from the University of Dayton and Bowling Green State University.
Part-Time Faculty, Adjuncts and Visiting Specialists
Misti Mugleston, MFA
Production / Stage Management