Student and Alumni Updates – 2019

Ma Rosalie Abeto Zerrudo, MA, 2012

Ma Rosalie Abeto Zerrudo bridges multi-characters as cultural worker, performance and visual multi-media artist. She combines her BA in Psychology and her MA in a community-engaged culture-based process-centered art practice she calls soulwork. Currently she serves as Assistant Professor at University of San Agustin, Iloilo, Philippines.

Shizue Amano, BS, 1996

Karin (Shizue) Amano has been telling Japanese folktales professionally at number of settings including, Young Authors Conference, Read Across America, Asian American Storytelling Summit, as well as various cultural festivals, schools, libraries, and Walt Disney World. She is a board member of National Storytelling Network’s YES! (Youth, Educators, Storytellers Alliance).

Kristin Benner-Prentice, MA, 2012

After graduation from NYU, Kristin began teaching theatre for Montclair Public Schools as a K-2 teacher. She now teaches theatre for Tenafly Public Middle School in New Jersey. In 2016 she married her husband and they now have a son, Landon, who turned two in July.

Samantha Bessudo Drucker, BS, 1994

A lifestyle expert/personality/host/actress, Samantha has translated her twenty year career as an acclaimed image consultant into her new endeavors as AskSam and the production of Love and Design Project, a renovation series focusing on the stylist transformation of urban apartments with husband, architect Jeffrey Drucker.

Coutney J. Boddie, MA, 2003

Courtney is the New Victory Director of Education/School Engagement, TYA Community Impact Award recipient and Host of Teaching Artistry, a podcast. She oversees the Theater’s Education Partnerships; Victory Dance, free dance education for NYC summer schools; Create, teacher professional development for NYC Pre-K for All teachers; SPARK, serves arts-deprived school communities; and GIVE, equitable student engagement in inclusion classrooms.

Steve Borowka, MA, 2001

Steve is the Performing Arts Chair at Friends Seminary in New York City. He teaches drama to middle and upper school students as well as directs the school plays and musicals. Steve is also the owner and camp director of Acting Manitou – a theater camp located in Maine – now in its 17th summer.

Jason Boxer, BS, 2016

Jason moved to Buenos Aires in March for a nine-month physical theatre intensive at the Cabuia Escuela Internacional de Creación Teatral y Movimiento. He’s studying clown, mask work, Feldenkrais method, and more!

Lulzim Bucolli, MA, 2016

Lulzim has been working as an assistant acting teacher at the University of Prishtina, and also a theater practitioner in Kosovo, mixing up process drama and forum theater for different communities in the Balkans. After two years he has established a drama program at the juvenile center in Kosovo.

Jean Burgess, PhD, 2002

Jean has recently written a textbook entitled Collaborative Stage Directing: Creating and Managing a Positive Theatre Environment, published by Routledge/Francis & Taylor.

Andrew P. Burnstine, PhD, 2001

Andrew is an Associate Professor of Fashion Marketing and Management at Lynn University where he has been teaching for the past nine years. Burnstine, A.K.A “Dr. Fashion”, has also presented major red carpet fashion segments on South Florida local network affiliates.

Andrew Coopman, MA, 2015

Andrew is currently pursuing an MFA in Directing at the University of Washington. He is also a teaching artist at Village Theater, Seattle Opera, and other local theaters.

Gaspare DiBlasi, MA, 2014

Gaspare is completing his 5th year as a theater teacher at P.S. 217 in Brooklyn.

Suzanne Evans, MA, 1991

Suzanne is an Inc. 500/5000 business owner for five years and New York Times bestselling author. She provides support, consult, and business development skills to the over 30,000 entrepreneurs enrolled in her wealth and business building programs. She currently lives with her family in Chapel Hill, NC.

Sheng-Tao Fan, MA, 2008

Sheng-Tao has been working at National Taiwan Normal University where he mainly teaches Theatre in Education as well as Arts and Business Cooperation. Dr. Fan recently published his book Performing Arts Application: Teaching, Healing, and Facilitation in Mandarin Chinese.

Zak Ferentz, MA, 2016

Zak is currently teaching kindergarten at Schechter Westchester in White Plains, NY. This past October, he married fellow Ed Theatre alum Dana Shapiro. They are so grateful they met in Amy Cordileone’s Acting: Pedagogy, Technique, and Performance class!

Andrew Gaines, PhD, 2018

Andrew is on tenure-track as the Head of Theatre Arts and Communication at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Washington where he lives with his wife Michelle and baby daughter Shayna. Visit andrewmgaines.com to learn more about what Andrew has been up to.

David Graybill, MA, 2012

After graduating the Ed Theatre MA program, David went on to get a PhD in Shakespeare Studies from the University of Birmingham (UK) and the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon. He is currently the Technical Theatre Director for the Wildwood School in Los Angeles.

Laurie Gruhn, MA, 1991

Laurie is Head of Lower School/Asst. Head of School at the The Browning School an all boys’ school in NYC, where she teaches drama in the classroom whenever she can!

Ashley Hamilton, MA, 2013; PhD, 2017

Ashley just completed her second year as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Denver where she also founded and is Co-Director of the DU Prison Arts Initiative (DU PAI).

Clare Hammoor, MA, 2013; EdD, 2018

Clare is the Director of Inquiry and Instruction at Compositive Primary in Denver, Colorado. He is also devising and directing professionally with students at the University of Denver and with incarcerated folks in the Colorado prison system.

Liz Heck, MA, 2017

Liz found a theatre teacher position right after graduation in a NYS public school nestled into the Hudson-Valley. She currently teaches K-8 theatre class and is excited to have completed her second year at Garrison Union Free School.

Jonathan P. Jones, MA, 2004; PhD, 2014

Jonathan recently directed Quiet No More: A Celebration of Stonewall at Carnegie Hall for World Pride NYC/Stonewall50, featuring 564 singers from across the United States (a modern record at Carnegie) with new compositions from Julian Hornick, Michael McElroy, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Our Lady J, for which he was featured in a BBC News feature, Stonewall Riot: ‘It was the day everything changed.’ His recent edited publications include Paradigms and Possibilities: A Festschrift in Honor of Philip Taylor (Amazon.com) and ArtsPraxis.

Laura Josepher, MA 1990

Laura runs ContemporaryMusicalTheatre.com with business partner David Sisco. Together they teach masterclasses and workshops about auditioning and how to work on new musicals all over the world. Their book Mastering College Musical Theatre Auditions: Sound Advice for the Student, Teacher, and Parent will have its second printing this summer.

Sobha Kavanakudiyil, MA, 2003

Sobha is Faculty in The Graduate Program in Educational Theatre at The City College of New York has also been Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable and is thrilled to begin the EdD in Educational Theatre at NYU in Summer 2019!

Jeff Kennedy, MA, 1995; PhD, 2006

Jeff is an Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance at Arizona State University, his book Staging America: The Artistic Legacy of the Provincetown Players is to be published by University of Alabama Press, and he recently received a Fulbright Scholar Award to research for six months at the British Library.

Heni Koenigsberg, BS, 1974

Heni is a producer of Broadway theatre, and is dedicated to making theatre accessible and relevant for all audiences. A lifelong passion that was ignited at Steinhardt, Heni has received numerous Tony Awards and is currently represented on Broadway by Hadestown, To Kill a Mockingbird, Tootsie and others.

Mary Ellen Lowe, MA, 1996

Mary Ellen has been teaching 4th Grade with Detroit Public Schools for 23 years. Teaching a predominantly Latino population, Mary Ellen incorporates arts infused education into lessons. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and a Fulbright Scholar. In her free time, she loves to explore the streets of Detroit by bike!

Peter Lubrecht, PhD, 2003

Peter has retired from active teaching and is currently an author and presenter. His next book Carl Schurz American Statesman for Fonthill Media is due to be launched in the Summer of 2019.

Natalie Mack, MA, 2012

Natalie teaches Drama & Humanities at The Institute for Collaborative Education in The East Village. She is a theatre and music maker, and proud member of Trusty Sidekick Theater Company and St. Fortune Theater Collective. Check her out here: www.natmack.com

Jerry Maraia, MA, 2005

Jerry recently completed his PhD in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. He serves as the Academic Dean at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School across Pre K-12 with a focus on four major areas: curriculum, instruction, and assessment; teacher recruitment, retention and development; student support services; and accreditation.

Tommy Marr, MA, 2008

Tommy has been the Director of Theatre at Great Neck South High School for the past 10 years, where he teaches a full theatre curriculum and directs/produces a full season of shows and events including a musical, play, one act festival, TYA play, improv troupe, and coffee house.

Christina Neubrand, MA, 2007

Christina is an adjunct professor at LIM College and BMCC where she teaches courses like Public Speaking, Communication Across Cultures and Theatre. She is co-founder of The AJ Project, a nonprofit that uses the arts to promote organ donor awareness and also supports several start-ups under the Cantu Holdings umbrella as Executive Manager. Christina is working on a performance project incorporating her cello playing and singing with storytelling.

Cody Page, MA, 2014

Cody is a doctoral student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. His research focuses on historiographical adaptations of LGBT+ history within contemporary theatre.

Kimberly Poppiti, PhD, 2003

Kimberly has written a new book, A History of Equestrian Drama in the United States. The book is published by Routledge and was released in June 2018. She has also accepted a new teaching position, joining the full-time faculty in the Communication Studies Department at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, New York.

Daphnie Sicre, MA, 2004; PhD, 2017

Daphnie will be joining the faculty at Loyola Marymount University in the fall as Assistant Professor of Theatre with specialization in Directing & Social Justice. There she will be directing, teaching, helping shape their Social Justice program and their new MFA in Pedagogy of Theatre.

Robert Thaxton-Stevenson, BS, 2013; MA, 2014

Robert is a Brooklyn-based theatre maker and educator. For the past five years he has been a teaching artist for the New Victory Theater, Metropolitan Opera Guild, and New York Theatre Workshop. This fall he will start as the Upper School Drama Teacher and Technical Director at the Chapin School.

Richard Wallace, MA, 2005

Richard recently completed his doctoral work at The University of Alabama with Movie: The Musical! A three-article dissertation examining the phenomenon of Broadway musicals based on films, which was the focus of an article in Forbes: shorturl.at/jq457. He is currently the CEO and Founder of Optidefno, a consulting service that uses statistical analysis and dramaturgical expertise to predict the monetary success of Broadway musicals.

Britney White, MA, 2013

After being a Theatre Director at a performing arts school, Britney has been promoted to Clayton County Public Schools Performing Arts Center Specialist. Her duties include lead theatre & dance teacher, artist outreach, artistic partnerships, county-wide Arts Advocacy Day leader, director of all county musicals & musical theatre intensive camps.

Carolyn Marie Wright, MA, 2008

Currently based in Phoenix, Carolyn serves as Director of Education & Outreach of Valley Youth Theatre and Artistic Director of Humanity Play Project, and volunteers with Cancer Support Community of Arizona. She is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and AATE (also Senior Content Editor of Incite / Insight Digital Magazine).

Carol Weinstein, MA, 1997

Carol is a mentor/tutor with the Each One Reach One playwriting program in San Francisco and SF Bay Area working with institutionalized youth, promoting empowerment through artistic expression and critical thinking 13 years and counting!