Department of Theatre and Dance - Fall 2013


News Highlights...

Greetings from the Department of Theatre and Dance. I am excited to be the chair of an energetic department that is vital to the artistic community of Montclair State University.

This fall season, we are presenting a new musical by John Weidman and David Shire with lyrics by Richard Maltby called Take Flight, opening Oct 17 for a two-week run. Our second show is A Streetcar Named Desire with the production based on multiple perspectives and mental angles. Director Kari Margolis returns to MSU with a visceral and poetic exploration of Tennessee Williams’ classic tale. Works-A-Foot ’13 will have a star-studded array of featured works by guest dancers and MSU faculty. And, finally, we will close the semester with the musical Falsettos, a seamless pairing of March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, acclaimed off-Broadway musicals written nearly a decade apart. (Read more here.)

We are also pleased to add to our family of faculty and staff some exciting new faces that complement an already dedicated group. Let me take a few lines to introduce them.

KATHLEEN KELLEY, choreographer and dance filmmaker, is a full-time teacher in Dance Technique and Technology.  Originally from North Carolina, Kelly received her BFA from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and her MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has taught and designed courses in choreography for the camera, dance documentation, the history of dance cinema, and interactive performance technology with iPads.

JORGE ARROYO is a clinical specialist in lighting design. He has a B.A. from Marquette University and a MFA from New York University. Arroyo has been a freelance lighting designer for 17 years, specializing in theater, dance, concerts, and corporate events, and worked at many prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Public Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, among others. He's worked on 50-plus shows for artists such as Alicia Keys, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Wesla Whitfield, Jackie Mason, Paquito D’Rivera, Stanley Jordan, Kenny Garrett, Rockapella, Phoebe Snow, and others, and is the author of the Lightwright 4 manual and the Lightwright 5 tutorial, the industry standard database software for lighting paperwork.

GREG DLUGOS is the new musical director/clinical specialist. A graduate of Hartt School of Music and Montclair State University, Dlugos has worked extensively on Broadway and has served as conductor, associate conductor, musical director, pianist and keyboardist for numerous shows. His Broadway credits include Young Frankenstein, Fosse, Chicago, Nine, The Phantom of the Opera and The Kiss of the Spider Woman. As a composer, he has written industrial music for many companies including IBM, American Airlines and McNeil Labs and has recently composed a book of children’s music with poet and collaborator, Melvinia Garner. He has toured with personalities such as Betty Buckley, Antonio Banderas, Elaine Paige and Chita Rivera.

Our fall season is ambitious and diverse. We hope to see you in the theatre.

Prof. Randy Mugleston,


People Spotlights . . .Faculty, Students, Alumni


HEATHER BENTON served as: director on Cinders (First Act), by Janusz Glowacki, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Exam Play, N.Y., Spring 2013; period movement coach on The Rivals, by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, directed by Jonathan Bolt, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Company Show, N.Y, Fall 2012; movement coach on The Constant Wife, by W. Somerset Maugham, directed by Todd Peters, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Styles Play Series,  N.Y, Winter 2013; movement coach on The Prodigal, by Jack Richardson, by Barbara Rubin, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Styles Play Series,  N.Y., Winter 2013; and choreographer/ movement coach on Ring Round the Moon, by Jean Anouilh, directed by Jonathan Bolt, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Graduation Play Series, N.Y., Spring 2013.

 N  NEIL BALDWIN presented a paper the Dance History Scholars conference in Canada.

      JENNIFER CHIN taught and performed at a workshop in Florience, Italy, in July.

      LORI KATTERHENRY represented the MSU Division of Dance at the NASD conference in Tucson, Ariz., in September, 2012.  She was the recipient of a $2000 Student Research Grant to take the students to the ACDF at Hofstra University.

JULIE LAWRENCE appeared in Concussion, which played at the Sundance Film Festival, US Dramatic Competition, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. It was also an Official Selection at the Berlinale: Panorama. 

JIM LIGON recorded regional voice-over radio commercial for Connecticut Lottery October 2012;  performed at the Bickford Theatre in A Tuna Christmas December 2012; served as a member of the final selection panel for the NJ Young Playwrights Festival March 2013; and directed staged readings of two high school plays in the NJ Young Playwrights Festival at Kean University, May 2013.

NANCY LUSHINGTON taught in Graz, Austria, and Bolzano, Italy. She also: taught and hosted the Moving Wheels and Heels Workshop for dancers with and without disabilities; choreographed a new work Catalysis, for Marymount Manhattan College Dance Company, that was performed at Dance Theater of Harlem’s Sunday Series; and taught the Combined Audition class for Dance New Jersey at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is co-directing the first MayO’Donnell Technique Certification Workshop at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in June. She co-reconstructed May O'Donnell's Powers of Ten for the Montclair State University dancers and will be setting O'Donnell's Suspension on Rioult Dance Company this fall.

RANDY MUGLESTON is the resident lighting designer for Freespace Dance. The company’s 2012 NYC season was at the Salvatore Capezio Dance Theatre. He attended the annual United States Institute of Technology Conference in Milwaukee, Wis., where he is a member of the Technical Theatre Commission. He is on the task force for implementing the new CAD drafting standards. He continues to serve as a USITT mentor for technical directors working toward tenure and promotion.

BETH MCPHERSON was awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. She choreographed the ballet Reiterations for the MSU dancers in the fall of 2012. She also gave presentations and/or presented papers at the following conferences: National Dance Education Organization (October 2012), Congress on Research in Dance (November 2012), and the New York Metro American Studies (December 2012). Her writing was published in the Journal of Dance Education, Attitude the Dancer’s Magazine, The Martha Hill Dance Fund Newsletter, and on the Dance Heritage Coalition website. Her book, The Bennington School of the Dance: A History in Writings and Interviews was published in May of 2013.

MOLLY RICE's site-specific traveling play The Saints Tour enjoyed a sold-out run at the River to River Festival last July, presented by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The show was featured in The New York Times, and has been selected by Bricolage Theater Company in Pittsburgh for production in Fall 2014.  She was accepted to the Tofte Lake Playwriting Residency for a week to work on her new multimedia piece, Apps I Am Using to Feel Better Since Susan Died, in September.  She is also on the waiting list for Yaddo Writers' Colony for her musical in development, Corral.  For Pace University, she designed and wrote a new BA program for multi-genre writing, entitled 21ST Century Storytelling: Writing For Theater, Film, TV and New Media, which s awaiting full approval from the state of New York.

DEBBIE SAIVETZ served as: stage director on The Long Walk, American Lyric Theater, N.Y. January, (libretto workshop); director on Birder, New Dramatists PlayTime, N.Y., December; director, I Put the Fear of Mexico in ‘Em, MetLife Nuestras Voces Series, Repertorio Español, N.Y., 2012; stage director on La Reina, American Lyric Theater, New York, November (libretto workshop); director on Rebanadas de Vida (Slices of Life), Mexico City, Mexico, July-August; and director on Eurídice (Eurydice), Casa de los Teatros, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2012.

DIANNA SCHOENBORN finished her Linklater Designation and was hired to be the voice coach on Clive, directed by and starring Ethan Hawke and also including Vincent D'Onofrio and Zoe Kazan, at the New Group Theatre.

MAXINE STEINMAN received an MFA in Performing Arts/Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts, and presented Say it With Flowers, an evening length work inspired by flowers at the Martha Graham Studio in N.Y.  In addition, her work was presented by the American Dance Guild Festival and, as a guest choreographer, with Annabella Gobzalez Dance Theater.  She traveled to Israel to initiate a relationship between DanceJerusalem, Rothberg International School and Montclair State University. She taught a three-week dance intensive in Livorno, Italy, in July at the Tuscan Summer Dance Intensive. She also choreographed Women of the Sand for the Hofstra University Dance Department

SUZANNE TRAUTH continued her work with the National Science Foundation funded play iDream, which was performanced at Premiere Stages in Union, N.J., and the State Theatre in State College, Pa., in the fall 2012. Her short film Jigsaw was screened and nominated for a category award at the Paterson Falls Film Festival in May 2013.

DIANE ZAREMBA teaches classes in the Dance program and the Musical Theatre and Studio curricula. She earned a 200-hour yoga certification and incorporates the mind, body energy facets of yoga into the freeing the natural voice work. She continues to teach pilates  and yoga. She attended the Voice and Speech Trainers’ Association Conference in Washington D.C. Aside from her faculty position at Montclair State, she teaches the international students at American Musical and Dramatic Academy special classes in American Dialects.


DAVE OSMUNDSEN has been selected to participate in the New Play Dramaturgy Intensive and MIKE MCQUADE has been selected to participate in the New Play Directing Intensive, both at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. from July 27-August 4, 2014. The program is produced in association with the MFA Playwrights’ Workshop and National New Play Network.

KAITLIN OVERTON served as: associate producer for the new Off-Off Broadway show Grimm Women written by Brandon Monokian (November 2012); producer/organizer of V-Day, Montclair State's production of The Vagina Monologues.

MIRELA AMARAL (class of 2013) has been selected as an apprentice with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.  She has also been selected as the newest member of the Hee Ra Yoo Dance Company.

KATE ASCOLESE  (class of 2013) was the recipient of the Dean's Artist Scholar Award at the 2013 Convocation. Currently, she is in the Disney Internship Program.

MARISSA AUCOIN ( class of 2013) was accepted into SUNY Brockport's master's program in Dance. 

JUSTIN CAMPBELL and TRACY DUNBAR (class of 2013) were invited to teach for Indigenous Pitch Dance Program, a collective of ethnically diverse Philadelphia-based dance companies that create and perform works of artistic excellence to assist, educate and nurture children affected by natural and/or socio-economic disasters for two weeks last June, 2013.

JAKE DEIBERT, a senior in the Dance Division, received a full scholarship to the Perry Mansfield Dance festival in Colorado.

TRACY DUNBAR, a senior in the Dance Division, received a full scholarship to the Jose Limon Summer Intensive in NYC.

NICHOLAS HARNEY (class of 2013) and CHRISTIAN GALVIS (class of 2013) have both received dance contracts from Carnival Cruise Lines beginning June 2013.

NICOLE ROMANIELLO, a junior in the Dance Division, received the Cento Amici Award.  She was also the recipient of a work study scholarship at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC.

JACQUELINE SELESKY, a senior in the Dance Division, received the Jeanne Wade Henningburg Award for Fall 2013.

KELLY VAGHENAS, a senior at Montclair State, was awarded the 2013-'14 College of the Arts' Advisory Board Scholarship.  She was an intern for Dance Teacher Magazine in Manhattan this past summer.  The experience is being supported by the Bigel Grant from the Antoinette C. Bigel Endowment Fund of the Anthropology Department at Montclair State University. Thus, the project is called, "The Anthropology in and of Dance, as Investigated by an Insider at Dance Teacher Magazine."


PAULA GOLDBERG (BFA Acting) served as screenwriter for the film The Perfect Family, starring Kathleen Turner and Emily Deschanel, which was a featured presentation of the first Montclair Film Festival last spring.

GIA MCGLONE (BFA Acting) is on tour with Dreamgirls.

MARC (SCHNEIDER) DONOVAN (BFA Acting) was recently featured on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and currently is in Million Dollar Quartet in Las Vegas.

BRET LADA (BFA Acting) recently appeared in the TV series The Good Wife and Person of Interest.

JASON GROTE (BFA Acting) is a playwright and screenwriter, writing for the TV series Smash and Mad Men.

JOHN WOOTEN is producing artistic director of Premiere Stages, the professional Equity theatre at Kean University, where he has developed and produced numerous new plays including Opus, The Good Counselor and Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods (winner of the American Theatre Critics Association’s 2012 Primus Prize).

LIZ MACKINTOSH is a member of Two River Theater's Local Artist Network, understudying shows directed by Sam Buntrock, Nicky Martin, and May Adrales. She traveled to Ireland last summer where she co-produced and performed in William Luce's one-woman show about Charlotte Bronte.

ALLEGRA COHEN acted in and served as a producer for the film Putzel, which was world premiered at the 2012 Woodstock Film Festival, and screened at the 2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival (Best Picture Award winner) and Florida Film Festival.

STUART ZAGNIT is currently a cast member of the Tony Award-winning musical Newsies. His other Broadway credits include: Goldberg in The Wild Party, the Mayor of Whoville in Seussical (also original cast recordings), and The People in the Picture.

LISA GRIMES (class of 1991) is the president of Dance New Jersey and the executive director for Freespace Dance. She is on the faculty at MSU and Union County College.

ANDREW JANETTI is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Janetti Dance Company.

JP FERRARI (class of 2011) is a member of the cast of Newsies on Broadway.

ELAINE GUTIERREZ (2012) is a member of 360° Dance Company.

SHARROD WILLIAMS (2012) performed in a national tour of A Chorus Line, and is now in a national tour of Cats.

JULIE MARINUCCI (class of 2012) was accepted into Drexel University's MA program.

NICOLE SMITH (class of 2007) performed with Zvi Gotheiner and Shen Wei Dance Companies in Spring 2013.

KIM WHITTAM (class of 1991) was the 2013 recipient of the Fox Award.

KAREN LOVE (class of 1989) continues to run her dance companies, Umoja and Usaama, while teaching dance full time at Hillside High School.  She recently opened a dance studio in Union, N.J.

LISA PELUSO (class of 2000) is performing with Elisa Monte Dance Company.

MELISSA SANDE (class of 2011) and RACHEL FALLIS (class of 2007) are working on their MA in Dance Education at Rutgers University.

DONNA SCRO (class of 1991) is artistic director of Freespace Dance.

TIM KOTCHKA (class of 2009) is a member of the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble.

MICHELLE PARADISE (class of 2009) is the dance teacher at Lincoln Avenue School in Orange, N.J.

MEGAN FIBKINS (class of 2010) is a dance and math teacher at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, N.J.

ALYSSA STROMAN (class of 2010) is the dance teacher at Perth Amboy Middle School.

LAUREN MACALLISTER (class of 2012) and ALLISON PIRRONE (class of 2013) are on faculty at the Sharron Miller Academy of Performing Arts.

BEATRICE CAPOTE (class of 2013) is on faculty at the Ailey School in N.Y.

BRANDON MONOKIAN’s Grimm Women, premiered in New York in Fall 2012, made its Philadelphia premiere this May. He is also featured in a TED Talk discussing his Page to Stage series of productions for New Jersey libraries and starred in The Ride in 2012.

ROB MCCLURE was nominated for a Tony Award for his leading role in Chaplin. He is starring as Jack in a production of Honeymoon in Vegas, with Tony Danza, at the Paper Mill Playhouse.