Department of Theatre & Dance

ON THE MOVE, Fall 2009

News Highlights . . .

Montclair State Theatre Majors Broadway-Bound in "Bye Bye Birdie"!

Two of Montclair State University’s BFA in Musical Theatre students have been cast in the upcoming Broadway production of "Bye Bye Birdie", starring TV/film actor John Stamos. Sophomores ALLISON STRONG and PAUL PILCZ make their Broadway debut as part of the musical’s ensemble. The show will be the inaugural production of the new Henry Miller's Theatre (124 West 43rd Street) beginning Thursday, September 10th, 2009 with an official opening taking place Thursday, October 15th, 2009. The show will run as a limited engagement through January 10th, 2010. For the full article, click here. For the article in the Montclarion, click here.


Dance Program kicks off Celebration of African American Choreography project

The Dance Program at MSU will produce a series of performances -- accompanied by conversations, talkbacks, community outreach events, and a symposium -- celebrating African American Themes and Choreographers throughout 2009-2010. Spotlighting performances of important works of African American choreography, the program will address complex themes of pedagogy, identity and diversity that help define the African American experience. Selected repertory includes: the primal Bantu ritual, Buschache Etude (1949) by Pearl Primus; our centerpiece, the harsh urban street epic, Games (1951) by Donald McKayle; the poignant Negro Spirituals (1928-1941) by Helen Tamiris; and the vibrant, innovative Arbitrary Intersections (2008) by Robert Battle -- which will be featured in the WORKS-A-FOOT 2009 and DANCEWORKS 2010 dance concerts. For more information on these performances, contact the MSU ticket office at (973) 655-5112.


Sun and Fun, Song and Dance for MSU Musical Theatre Students

In March, twenty students from MSU’s new BFA Musical Theatre program served as ambassadors for the University by traveling to Miami, Florida’s Four Seasons Hotel, for a fun and sun filled four days of hard work and performance for Children’s Resources, one of the nation’s largest charity organizations. This black tie event, which raised over two million dollars for children with physical and emotional disabilities, was attended by over 400 people and was sponsored in part by the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida. For the full article, click here.


In Rehearsal . . .

The Department of Theatre and Dance has many exciting productions in the works…

A Man of No Importance (musical) opens in the Fox Theatre, directed by Guest Director Evan Pappas.

Noted director Robert Woodruff (invited here by faculty member, DEBBIE SAIVETZ) is in rehearsal with our students with a special project set for a showing later this month (October 2009).

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard is in rehearsal for a November 18th opening in the Kasser Theatre.

Polaroid Stories by Naomi Iizuka is in rehearsal for a December 3rd opening, directed by student directors KERRI KOSTA and BRANDON MONOKIAN!

As You Like It by William Shakespeare is in rehearsal for a December 4 opening with guest artist Julie Fain Lawrence.

Works-A-Foot, a dance concert opening December 2nd includes: Negro Spirituals by Helen Tamiris and
Robert Battle's Arbitrary Intersections.

Faculty members MAXINE STEINMAN and NANCY LUSHINGTON have new work in rehearsal

Doug Elkins, famed choreographer, dancer, and performer, is creating a new piece with our dance students.


More People Spotlights . . .


NEIL BALDWIN was the Curator/Producer for the “American Spring” Performing Arts Festival in collaboration with Theatre/Dance and Music faculty late last spring. This festival was supported by a major grant from the New Jersey Council on the Humanities and by private donors.

LORI KATTERHENRY initiated the Intergenerational Dance Project with MARIE SPARKS of the Office of Educational Outreach which resulted in a pilot class on April 30, 2009.

SUSAN KERNER directed Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses (August 2009) at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts New York City.

LONNE MORRETON presented choreography at Dance Marathon 75 at the Harkness Center 92nd Street Y (October 2009) and at other venues.


Sophomores ALLISON STRONG and PAUL PILCZ make their Broadway debut as part of the musical’s ensemble in the upcoming Broadway production of "Bye Bye Birdie", starring TV/film actor John Stamos. For more information about the show, click here.

LAURA BARRY, Theatre Studies major, completed an internship for the Head Games television show, which is produced by Whoop, Inc. and Discovery for Science Channel. For the full article on Laura’s experience, click here.

KELLY KARCHER won the KCACTF Regional Dramaturgy Award and competed at the Kennedy Center National Festival.

BFA Acting majors once again won the Kennedy Center Theatre Festival National Acting Awards and BFA Dance Majors once again were adjudicated to attend National American College Dance Festival.

SCOTT BRIEDEN won the KCACTF Regional Irene Ryan Acting Award and competed at the Kennedy Center National Festival.


TIMOTHY KOCHKA, BFA Dance ‘09, received a scholarship for study at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance where he studied in the summer 2009. Recently he auditioned for, and was offered a position with, the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, a NJ based modern dance company.

NICOLE SMITH (photo to the left), BFA Dance, ‘07, has been accepted as an apprentice for the Bill. T. Jones dance company.

Freespace Dance run by Alumni DONNA SCRO, ’91, and LISA GRIMES, ’91, has been added to the New Jersey Young Audiences Roster. Freespace Dance has upcoming performances in New Jersey and New York. For upcoming events visit

MARC SCHNEIDER, BFA Acting major, ’04, is appearing in several television commercials.

DIANA ALFIERI, BFA Dance, ’05, Managing Director of the Garden State Dance Festival, a non-profit presenting dance organization. Dance Educator and Choreographer at CORE Academy of Movement, Mt Laurel NJ.

JESSICA RICHARDSON, BFA Acting major, ’01, has entered the MFA in Creative Writing program at University of Alabama.

NINA LAW, BFA Acting major, ’06, has entered the MFA Acting program at UCLA.

KAREN LOVE, BFA Dance, ’93, is the Festival Coordinator, Wofabe African Dance and Drum Festival, Newark, NJ. Artistic Director Umoja and Usaama Dance Company, Montclair, NJ

Four students graduated from the newly established B.A. in Dance Education program in spring 2009 and two have been hired into the New Jersey public school system as of fall 2009.