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Musical Theatre Department

New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Kristy Cates Kristy Cates
Chair of Musical Theatre Department

Kristy Cates’s credits include Elphaba in Wicked (Broadway, First National Tour, Chicago), Miss Bassett in Finding Neverland (Broadway), Grandma Josephine in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Broadway), Jerry Springer: the Opera (Carnegie Hall), a handful of off-Broadway shows, and many regional productions. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA. Kristy is an original member of the NYFA Musical Theatre faculty and is a professional voiceover artist.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Anna Ebbesen Anna Ebbesen
Music Supervisor

Anna Ebbesen has made a career commitment to fostering new voices in the industry. Her orchestrations can be heard on over twenty original movie musicals currently on the film festival circuit, including scores by Zoe Sarnak (2018 Jonathan Larson Award), Anna K. Jacobs (2020 Jonathan Larson Award), and Avi Amon (2019 Jonathan Larson Award). Music Director for the New York Youth Symphony Musical Theatre Composition Program and the American Theatre Wing Songwriting Challenge '18/'19/'20. Her recent premieres include Mary & Max (Bobby Cronin) at Theatre Calgary and We Were Everywhere (Avi Amon) at Princeton.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Michelle Potterf Michelle Potterf
Head of Dance

Michelle Potterf came to NYFA from a nine-year run in the Musical “Chicago” on Broadway, where she played Go-to-Hell Kitty and understudied the lead, Roxie Hart. She was chosen to work side-by-side with Ms. Ann Reinking as the dance captain for “Chicago” on Broadway. Michelle has also had the privilege of constructing and overseeing a special one night performance by the incredible Chita Rivera at the Hotel Pierre. Michelle has danced professionally in such productions as “Crazy For You” (International Tour), “The Will Rogers Follies” (National Tour), and “Beauty and the Beast” (Walt Disney World.) She was a featured dancer in the remake of the “Stepford Wives” movie and in a national Ebay commercial directed by Sam Mendes, as well as many other TV appearances. She has also taught dance in the NYC public school system through The National Dance Institute under the direction of the legendary Jacques d'Amboise. Michelle earned a BFA in Dance from Missouri State University. Currently she is head of the dance department within the Musical Theater Conservatory Program at the New York Film Academy.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty D. Michael Heath D. Michael Heath
Head of Voice

D. Michael Heath has worked with many of Broadway’s greatest composers and lyricists, including John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cy Coleman, Marvin Hamlisch, Stephen Sondheim, Alan Menken, Tim Rice, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. His Broadway, off-Broadway, and touring performance credits include “Starlight Express,” “The Most Happy Fella,” “They’re Playing Our Song,” “Peg,” “A Tribute to Agnes DeMille,” “Nunsense,” “Street Scene,” “Shenandoah,” “The Pirates of Penzance,” “A Little Night Music,” and “Les Miserables in Concert,” where he served as stage director and played the leading role of Jean Valjean. D. Michael was handpicked by Andrew Lloyd Webber to sing opposite Sarah Brightman in his original international tour of “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in Concert.” D. Michael then went on to become associate director for two national touring companies of the same show starring Petula Clark & Michael Bolton. In Canada, he stepped in for Colm Wilkinson in Livent’s original production of “Music of the Night” and played opposite Betty Buckley in the American tour. For 10 years D. Michael toured the U.S. and Canada with Pulitzer Prize winner Joshua Logan in “Musical Moments.” As an educator, D. Michael is currently the head of voice at the New York Film Academy’s Musical Theatre School and has served on the voice faculties of the College Conservatory of Music/University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, Long Island University/CW Post Campus, New York University’s CAP 21, the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts and Lee Theodore’s American Dance Machine. Voice Foundation Member, NATS, AEA, SAG, AFTRA, AGMA.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Josephine Wilson Josephine Wilson
Chair of the Acting for Film Department

Josephine Wilson is a transplant to New York from the Berkshires, where she spent many years with the internationally-acclaimed Shakespeare & Company as an actor, director, education artist, and resident company member. She teaches for Lincoln Center's renowned Shakespeare program, is a company member of the Humanist Project, and writes and produces classically-inspired new plays. New York acting credits: “Macbeth” (South Brooklyn Shakespeare), a five-person “Macbeth” as Banquo, Lennox, Hecate, etc. (The Humanist Project), “Titus Andronicus” as Marcus (The Humanist Project), Lincoln Center Hall of Fame's “Voice of God”. Regional credits include: Annie in “Table Manners” (Mixed Company), Miss Jean Brodie in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (Pennsylvania Centre Stage, directed by Tony Award nominee Susan H. Schulman ), Lady Macbeth in “Macbeth,” and Titania in “A Midsummer Night's Dream” (Shakespeare & Company). She has dedicated her life to the pursuit of excellence in theatre and acting training. Josephine holds her MFA in Acting from Pennsylvania State University and is a proud member of Actor's Equity.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Charissa Bertels Charissa Bertels
Charissa Bertels is a Broadway actress and champion of new musicals. Charissa recently toured the country in the first national tour of “If/Then,” starring Idina Menzel, La Chanze and Anthony Rapp. She made her Broadway debut in the original Broadway cast of Pasek & Paul's Tony-nominated musical “A Christmas Story,” and later reprised her role at Madison Square Garden. As part of the singing ensemble for New York City Center Encores' productions of “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” and “Lady Be Good,” her work can be heard on the subsequent cast recordings featuring Megan Hilty and Tommy Tune. Charissa produced the new musical “Academia Nuts” at NYMF, garnering awards for best new musical, best director, and two best actors. She produced two concerts of new works with participants of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop at The Duplex: “Musical Speed Dating” and “Contemporary Christmas.” Her original one-woman musical “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend” recently received a world premiere at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, where she has been named an Artistic Patriot. She is a proud faculty member of the musical theatre department at New York Film Academy and can be seen in two of their original musical films: “Gingerbread House” and “It Is What It Is.”
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Ladonna Burns Ladonna Burns
Ladonna Burns is an accomplished singer, actress and dancer from Indianapolis. She has been seen nationally and in Canada in the national tours of “RENT” as the “Seasons of Love” Soloist/Joanne understudy, and “Seussical the Musical” as the Sour Kangaroo. LaDonna has appeared as Teen Angel/Miss Lynch in “Grease” at the International Music Festival in Macau, China. Some of LaDonna's regional credits include “All Shook Up” (Sylvia), “Smokey Joe’s Café” (BJ), “Children of Eden” (Eve/Mama Noah), “Aida,” “Ain't Misbehavin” (Armelia), “Beehive” (Aretha Franklin/Patti Labelle/Diana Ross), “Crowns” (Jeanette) and “Satchmo: The Life and Times of Louis Armstrong” (Ella Fitzgerald/Bessie Smith). She recently performed in a cirque inspired production of “Godspell” at Arkansas Rep and is looking forward to originating the role of the Jitterbug Queen in a cirque inspired “Wizard of Oz” at Syracuse Stage. She is one half of the comedy duo “The Black Ups.”
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Nathan Brewer Nathan Brewer
Nathan Brewer is an educator and director of theatre, concert, and film. Credits include Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, NYMF, Theatreworks/USA, The Adrienne Arsht Center, New Studio on Broadway (NYU, Tisch), Penn State University, New York Film Academy, Westminster Choir College, Northwestern University, The American Pops Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Fairfax Symphony, The Princeton Festival, Blue Hill Troupe, 54 Below, Warner Theatre, Lincoln Theatre, Park Avenue Armory, Manhattan Theatre Source, Pennsylvania Centre Stage, and The York Theatre. Nathan is Resident Director for Nouveau Productions, and Artistic Director of Recreational Arts, Inc.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Carl Danielsen Carl Danielsen
Carl Danielsen’s New York credits include Polonius, “Hamlet” (Kraine); Duke, “Measure for Measure” (Island Shakespeare); Roger, “Enter Laughing” (York); “Souvenir” (La Mirada); “42nd Street” (dir. Gary Griffin); “Much Ado About Nothing” (Stratford Festival); “A Marvelous Party” (Northlight, Jeff Award); “Cole!” (San Jose Rep); “LACLO” (BATCC/Dramalogue awards); Homer, “Morning’s At Seven” (Caldwell); “World Goes ‘Round” (TheatreWorks, BATCC award); “Taming of the Shrew,” “Oh, Kay!” (SF Shakespeare, BATTC award); Bert “Mary Poppins,” Cosmo “Singing in the Rain”; Barnum, “Barnum”; John Adams, “1776”; Albert Peterson, “Bye, Bye, Birdie” (Webber Douglas Academy of Drama, UK). Harrington award for composition, BMI, advanced workshop.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Harris Dorman Harris Dorman
Harris Dorman is an award-winning writer, director, actor, and producer. He wrote, directed and produced the award-winning feature film “Beauty,” which won a Jury Prize for Breakout Performance in the LA Film Festival and is currently playing festivals around the country. His short film “The Story of Milo and Annie” features Alysia Reiner and Academy Award nominee Cathy Moriarty, and won Best Narrative Short in the Indie Memphis Film Festival. He has written the feature screenplays “Atticus Brown is Still Here” (Sundance, Tribeca and Hamptons Sloan finalist), “COG” (Academy Nicholl Fellowship quarterfinalist), “In the Wake” (Austin semifinalist), and “An Unofficial Of Mice and Men Remake.” He produced the award-winning short film “Photo Op” and the feature “The Mutineer.” He has written the stage musicals “Bleeding Love,” “Wasp Woman,” and “Salvage,” as well as pop songs including "Falling Away" for Marian Raven (#1 European Billboard). Harris is an award-winning actor who has been seen in projects ranging from Broadway to TV to indies, including the Sundance premier of “My Best Day.” He has written for the TV series “I Love You But I Lied” for Lifetime and “Reenact” for TWST. Harris trained as an actor at The Juilliard School and has taught acting as a private coach and teacher for 15 years.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Christine de Frece Christine de Frece
Christine de Frece has been teaching at New York Film Academy since 2014. She is a graduate of Circle in the Square and the University of Lethbridge. Regional roles include “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (Domina), “Rumors” (Cookie), “Oliver!” (Mrs. Sowerberry), “A Christmas Carol” (Mrs. Fezziwig), “Music Man” (Marian Paroo), “Ragtime” (Mother u/s, Ensemble).
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Deidre Goodwin Deidre Goodwin
Deidre is a veteran of 8 Broadway shows, a voice-over artist, and has appeared in several TV shows and films. Broadway credits include the original companies of "Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life," and "Never Gonna Dance," and the original revival casts of "Nine," "Rocky Horror Show," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "A Chorus Line" and "Chicago." Film credits include Oscar-winning film "Chicago," "Every Little Step," "Across the Universe," "It’s Complicated," "Half Nelson," "Magic Mike XXL" and "Ocean’s 8." Television highlights include "30 Rock,""Dancing with the Stars," "Law & Order SVU," "Broad City," "Search Party" and "Madam Secretary." As one of the founding faculty members of the NYFA Musical Theatre Program, Deidre teaches jazz and theatre dance, choreographs a variety of school productions for stage and screen, and is the supervising producer for the Dance on Film Projects.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Jeremy Greenbaum Jeremy Greenbaum
Jeremy Greenbaum appeared on Broadway as Davey in “Newsies” and has been seen off- Broadway in “The Fantasticks” (Mute/Matt u/s), Prospect Theater Company’s “Tamar of the River” (Shelah), and York Theatre Company’s “Saturday Night” (Dino). He has performed at regional theatres around the country, including Ogunquit Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Gateway Playhouse, American Theater Group, Miami Theatre Center, The Gretna Theatre, and The Media Theatre. Jeremy holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Penn State University and currently teaches on faculty at the New York Film Academy, American Musical Theatre Academy, and Broadway Kids Auditions. He also coaches and gives master classes around the U.S. and abroad. Jeremy is currently represented by Wolf Talent Group and Innovative Artists.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Kenny Ingram Kenny Ingram
Kenny Ingram is proud to have been a part of the New York Film Academy’s musical theatre faculty for four years as a tap and jazz dance instructor. He also has had the pleasure of teaching tap for NYFA’s high school summer programs. Mr Ingram is currently in Disney's “The Lion King” on Broadway.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Bob Kale Bob Kale, CSA
Bob Kale began his show business life as an actor working in theatre, film and television. His 20+ year casting career began as an assistant, then associate, and then casting director at Hughes Moss Casting/Barry Moss Casting for several years. Bob is a partner of MKA Casting. A partial list of the projects he has worked on includes Broadway: “A Tale Of Two Cities,” “Little Women The Musical,” “Souvenir,” “King Hedley II” (August Wilson), “An Inspector Calls,” The Who's “Tommy,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (1995), “Titanic The Musical,” “The Life,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” “A Christmas Carol” and “The Wizard of Oz” at Madison Square Garden. He also worked on the National Tours for most of those productions as well. Off-Broadway: “Bedbugs!! The Musical” (APA and ArcLight), “I Forgive You Ronald Reagan,” Frank McGuinness' “Gates Of Gold,” “Rounding Third,” “Dracula,” “Dietrich & Chevalier,” “Over the River and Through the Woods,” and “The Deep Throat Sex Scandal,” among many others. Additional National Tours: “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” starring Ann-Margret, “Barry Manilow's Copacabana,” “Nunsense” (25th Anniversary Tour), and “Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk” starring Savion Glover. He has numerous feature film and TV casting credits as well, and has cast for Goodspeed Musicals, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, North Shore Music Theatre, Dallas Summer Musicals, Atlanta Theater of The Stars, and Ford's Theatre. Bob graduated from the Neighborhood Playhouse, Juilliard Drama Division. At Neighborhood Playhouse he first came into direct contact with acting teacher, Sanford Meisner, who became his mentor. He studied with Mr. Meisner during his two years at the Playhouse and worked as Mr. Meisner’s assistant in his professional class for three years, including the class being taught in the book, “Sanford Meisner On Acting.”
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Chad Larabee Chad Larabee
Chad Larabee directed the critically acclaimed off-Broadway production of “Dreyfus in Rehearsal,” as well as the London world-premiere of “Ain’t We Got Fun.” Off-Broadway credits include the world-premieres of “POPart The Musical,” “Do Not Disturb,” “Molineaux,” and “Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island.” Chad directed “Mary Poppins” and “Clybourne Park” at Northern Stage, where he is an artistic associate. This fall he will direct “The Little Mermaid” at Northern Stage. Select regional directing credits include “Big River,” Assassins,” “Always... Patsy Cline,” “Violet,” “On Golden Pond,” and “Singin’ In The Rain.” Film credits include directing the NYFA films “Life In Free Fall” and “The Ghosts of Ethan Dean,” which won Best Musical Short at the 2017 Garden State Film Festival. Chad is a graduate of The University of Iowa and Florida State University, where he received his MFA in Directing.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Daniel Lincoln Daniel Lincoln
Daniel Lincoln’s Broadway credits include “Wicked” and “On Your Feet!” Off-Broadway: “Avenue Q,” “Tick, Tick ... BOOM!” National Tours: “Matilda,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Wizard of Oz.” International concert tours: “The Midtown Men,” “Burlesque to Broadway.” Daniel has also worked for Telsey + Co Broadway Casting, and taught at NYU Tisch. As composer/lyricist: “Queen Bea: A Soapsical!” (3 Rules Prod, NY, starring the cast of TV’s “One Life to Live”), “Calixte” (Festival South, MS), “Wrong Could Be Right” (Facade Prod, London UK), and the upcoming movie-musicals “Plus One,” and “Bang! Boom! Pow!” Graduate of UCLA (BA: Music) and NYU (MFA: Musical Theatre Writing).
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Matt Lopez Matt Lopez
Matt Lopez first started dancing at the age of 10, performing for a Filipino dance troupe in New Hampshire. He majored in theatre at Northeastern University and transferred to the University of Central Florida, where he danced at Walt Disney World. Matt performed with Hilary Duff in the Christmas Day Parade televised on ABC. He also worked as the mascot for the New England Patriots. In the spring of 2010, Lopez was featured in the Go-Go Segment on "Live with Regis and Kelly." His other notable past stage/television performances include dancing for Sean Kingston and Wyclef Jean on a kids programming show on PBS, as well as for Demi Lovato on ABC's "Good Morning America." Matt now lives in New York City, where he is currently dancing and choreographing with his partner, Melissa Ramos-Lopez, who previously danced for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. In April 2012, Lopez was the audition facilitator for a Nicki Minaj performance and was chosen as a lead dancer in Times Square for the debut of her album, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded." Matt choreographed for the 5-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots Cheerleaders, the pre-game performance at Madison Square Garden for the NY Knicks and for R&B/Pop artist, Sid Haywoode. In 2015, he was selected as one of the Top 12 Dance Convention Teachers in the U.S. by "Dance Informa Magazine." Lopez is currently teaching hip hop and street jazz at Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, Sarah Lawrence College and the New York Film Academy.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Karl Maier Karl Maier
Karl Maier received his training from The University of New Hampshire, Boston Ballet, and The American Academy of Ballet at Vassar. During his career as a dancer, singer, and aerialist, Karl has had the privilege of working with and performing with many inspiring artists including Vanessa Williams, Mark Dendy, Micky Dolenz, and Robert Lepage and his Ex Machina. Select Credits: “Late Night with Conan O'Brien,” the national tour of “Pippin” (aerial captain), and nine years dancing and flying with “The Metropolitan Opera.” He can be seen on PBS's “Great Performances at the Met,” dancing and flying in many operas including John Adams' Grammy Award-winning “Dr. Atomic.” In addition to teaching ballet with NYFA's Musical Theatre Department, Karl teaches movement for The New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts, and conducts master classes and private lessons in meditation and energy direction for actors.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre FacultyT.J. Mannix T.J. Mannix
T.J. Mannix has 20 years of experience in New York City in film, TV, musical theater, commercials, voiceover, improv, and musical improv. T.J. has co-starred in “Law and Order: SVU,” “Law and Order,” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” and recurred on “All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “Late Night with Conan O'Brien.” With over 80 commercials and voiceovers credits, highlights include: Santa Claus in the Radio City Music Hall’s “Christmas Spectacular,” “BLANK: the Musical” (New World Stages), “Stephen Sondheim's 80th Birthday” (PBS/Lincoln Center), “The Piper” (opposite Christiane Noll), “Oliver!” (Bill Sykes), and singing for President Clinton and Pope John Paul II. T.J. is an improvisor/instructor with Chicago's The Second City/NCL, Magnet Theater, and UCB. He is the founder/co-producer of the ninth annual New York Musical Improv Festival and teaches master classes across the world. He is also known for creating and starring in “LimboLand,” a one-man completely improvised musical (Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, Vancouver, Berlin, Pittsburgh, Palm Beach). As a faculty member in the NYFA Musical Theater Conservatory, T.J. teaches acting for film, acting for TV, improvisation, musical improvisation, and comedy, and directed the original movie musical “Plus One.”
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Peter Marciano Peter Marciano
Head of Acting For Musical Theatre

Peter Marciano is a New York City-based actor and teacher. He received his MFA in Acting from The Actors Studio Drama School in 2012. He is a Designated Linklater Teacher, having studied voice, speech, and Shakespeare with Kristin Linklater. Peter has taught voice, movement, and acting at the New York Film Academy, The Hewitt School, Molloy College, Columbia University, and the Premier Film Academy in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and at The Linklater Centre in Orkney, Scotland.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Jason Marquette Jason Marquette
Jason Marquette graduated with a BFA in Musical Theater from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Performance credits include the original cast of the 1st National Tour of the revival of “42nd Street, The Musical,” theme parks and regional theaters all across the country. In 2008 he mounted his self-produced NYC production “The Next Step.” He is the owner/operator of Marquette Productions and managing director of MPower Dance Workshops. Mr. Marquette is also on the judging faculty with Spotlight Dance Cup and the All American Talent Awards. He has been teaching for over 24 years in cities all across the country as well as internationally. In 2014, Jason taught at the first annual SoFlo Tap Festival in Lake Worth, FL, and has most recently joined the faculty of Resonance, a Northeast U.S.-based travelling tap festival. He was on faculty at various studios in New York City including New Dance Group, The Peridance Capezio Center, and Broadway Dance Center for six years teaching tap and theater dance. He is currently on faculty teaching tap at the New York Film Academy.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Bronson Norris Murphy Bronson Norris Murphy
Bronson Norris Murphy is currently in the Broadway production of “The Phantom of the Opera” (Raoul u/s) and has performed in the National Tours of “Love Never Dies” and “CATS” (Gus, Growltiger, Bustopher Jones). He has 40 regional credits roles and has has the privilege to work at really wonderful places. Faculty: New York University, New York Film Academy, Joffrey School of Ballet. Education: Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Choral Conducting from Western Kentucky University. Master of Music in Vocal Performance from NYU:Steinhardt.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Stephen Nachamie Stephen Nachamie
Stephen Nachamie is an Award-Winning Director whose work has been seen on Broadway, in NYC, regionally and internationally. He is developing and writing new work for stage and film. Broadway: Associate Director - She Loves Me 2016 Tony Winning Revival. (Broadcast on Great Performances/PBS and Broadway HD.) New York Credits Include: Little Shop of Horrors – Reunion Concert – with Alan Menken, The Witness Project (First Person Holocaust Survivor Stories- UJA), Carrie (NYFA), Small Town Confessions (with Alice Ripley and Daisy Eagan), Becoming Dr. Ruth, Buyer and Cellar, My Name is Asher Lev, the premieres of Mr. Confidential and Foreverman (NYMF), Driving Miss Daisy, I Hate Hamlet, Faraway Bayou (with Nikki M. James), Luck! (with Faith Prince), The 25th Anniversary production of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy starring Seth Rudetsky. Regional Credits: Becoming Dr. Ruth (Cincinatti Playhouse) Fiddler on the Roof (with Tony Winner Debbie Gravitte and Loni Ackerman), Tick, tick… BOOM!, Gutenberg! (New Rep), Cal in Camo (Denizen Theatre), Sex with Strangers, 4,000 Miles (Capital Rep), A Chorus Line (Olney Theatre – Helen Hayes Award), The Whipping Man (Omaha Playhouse),. Lady Day … (WHAT, Capital City Theatre), Camelot, 1776 (Olney), West Side Story (North Carolina Theatre/Italian Tour), Dreamgirls (WV Public). The Sunshine Boys and Almost, Maine (Barnstormers Theatre). Film and TV Work: Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree (Thanksgiving Day Parade/NBC – Emmy Winner Best Song.). Stand Still (Telly Award Winner – Direction / Non-Broadcast), Winning New York (New Filmmakers NY Award), Bang! Boom! Pow!, and the award winning internet hit Jersey Christmas (with Ben Rauch co-produced by Melissa Rauch). Concert / Opera: Kellie Pickler in Music City Christmas (Nashville Symphony), The Judy Garland Songbook and Bernstein’s Broadway (Omaha Symphony), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Steamboat Springs Symphony) His career in New York Theatre began while in High School working for the final year of the Original Off-Broadway Production of Little Shop of Horrors. He holds a BFA from New York University Proud Member of Actors’ Equity and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Johanna Pinzler Johanna Pinzler
Johanna Pinzler worked as a professional actor and singer for 11 years before getting her MFA in acting from Brooklyn College. She works around the country as a director and serves as an associate artist and resident director at Summer Repertory Theatre in Northern California. There, she has directed and choreographed 12 productions including “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Avenue Q,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Odd Couple,” “Present Laughter” and “Company.” She teaches acting and directing at both NYFA and Marymount Manhattan College. She has directed productions at both institutions, including “Urinetown” for NYFA and and “The Laramie Project” for MMC. She is also proud to have made her debut as a film director with the movie musical “Food Like Love” at the New York Film Academy.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Mark Price Mark Price
Mark Price is a performer, teacher and coach who teaches performance lab as well as showcase director. His 15+ years as a teacher includes heading his own studio practice as well as serving on the faculty of The Performing Arts Project, AMDA, and Heifetz Institute, as well as leading college and training workshops around the country. He co-founded Base Camp, a coaching intensive for creatives, with life coach Di Ana Pisarri, and is an independent vedic meditation instructor and graduate of Ithaca College (BFA). As a performer, Mark has had over 20 years experience, originating roles in Broadway companies of ”Mary Poppins” (Robertson Aye), “Wonderful Town," “All Shook Up” (Dennis), “Rocky Horror Show” (Riff Raff), “Mamma Mia!” (Pepper), “Dance of the Vampires” (Boris), “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (Snoopy u/s), Paul Simon’s “The Capeman” (Anthony Krzesinski); as well as appearing in roles in “Chicago” and “Beauty and The Beast” (Lefou). Regional work includes “The 39 Steps,” “The Producers" ”Lend Me A Tenor," “Assassins," “Into The Woods," “Sondheim Celebration” at Lincoln Center, “Sweeney Todd” (Tobias) at the Kennedy Center, for which he received a Helen Hayes Award nomination, and “70, Girls, 70” and “Tenderloin” for City Center Encores! Film TV credits include: “Law & Order,” “Broadway’s Finest,” “The Tony Awards,” and “The Good Wife."
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Dan Renkin Dan Renkin
Dan Renkin has taught for NYFA's Musical Theatre Department since its inception, and for the school since 1996. He has choreographed stage combat, taught and performed from regional theatres to Broadway, from the Metropolitan Opera to FringeNYC. His film work has won festival awards, and he was a stunt coordinator on "As the World Turns." Faculty/Guest Instructor: AADA, Circle in the Square, HB Studio, Broadway For All, Broadway Classroom, Juilliard, CAP21, Martina Arroyo. Recent credits include: “Singin in the Rain” (New Canaan), “Dex: a Killer Musical” (Fringe), “Extinction” (Guild Hall), “Monte Cristo” (New Light), “R&J&Z” (New Ohio).
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Robert W Schneider Robert W Schneider
Robert W Schneider is a New York-based theatre director and historian who has had the great pleasure of collaborating with many of the entertainment industry’s greatest artists, including Audra McDonald, Stephen Sondheim, Emma Thompson, Christopher Durang, Christina Aguilera, Seth McFarlane, Laura Osnes, Jane Krakowski, Darren Criss, and many others. As a director he has over 100 credits to his resume including the regional premieres of “Memphis” (LA StageScene Award for Best Musical and Best Director), and “Rock of Ages,” as well as award winning productions of “The Last Five Years,” “Nine,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” and many others. Robert is an original programming producer at Feinstein's/54 Below in New York City and a proud member of SDC. Robert received an MFA in Directing for the Musical Theatre from Penn State University. Along with fellow NYFA instructor Kevin David Thomas, Robert co-hosts the popular iTunes podcast “Behind The Curtain: Broadway's Living Legends” (Twitter: BroadwayCurtain).
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Kevin David Thomas Kevin David Thomas
Kevin David Thomas is an actor, singer, music director, and arts educator. He last performed on Broadway in the revival of Sir Trevor Nunn’s production of “A Little Night Music,” sharing the stage with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angela Lansbury, and then subsequently Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch. Kevin was also seen on Broadway in the first revival of “Les Misèrables” after touring in the original Third National Tour. As a music director, he assisted the music director/supervisor on the Broadway production of “A Tale of Two Cities,” Town Hall’s “Pamela’s First Musical” (starring Donna Murphy), and served as assistant music supervisor for the U.S. national tour of “Little House on the Prairie” (starring Melissa Gilbert). A specialist in new works, Kevin served as music supervisor on the world premiere of “Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On” (cast recording), as well as the world premiere of “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend” (Merrimack Repertory Theatre). Kevin has hosted, performed, music directed, and accompanied cabarets and concerts throughout New York City (Below 54, Duplex, Town Hall) and the nation. As an arts educator, Kevin has taught, accompanied, and music directed extensively with New York Film Academy’s musical theater department. He spent much of 2011 in Moscow, Russia teaching and music directing at the Russian Theater Academy (GITIS). Kevin has been an educator at various universities, conservatories, and regional theaters from Shanghai, China to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. He has a bachelor of music from Baldwin Wallace University’s Conservatory of Music and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.
New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Wysandria Woolsey Wysandria Woolsey
Wysandria Woolsey originated the role of The Sugar Bowl in Disney's Broadway production of “Beauty and the Beast,” and is featured on the cast recording and in the national commercial. She performed the role of Carlotta in the Broadway production of “The Phantom of the Opera” and was in “Parade at Lincoln Center,” both directed by Hal Prince. Other original Broadway shows include: “Aspects of Love” and “Chess,” both directed by Trevor Nunn. In Europe she was Grizabella in the Austrian production of “Cats,” and has performed in numerous national tours including “Whistle Down The Wind” (dir. Hal Prince), “Zorba” with Anthony Quinn (dir. Joel Grey), “On the 20th Century” as understudy to Imogene Coca, and “Song and Dance” as stand-by to Melissa Manchester. She was a featured soloist in “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Weber” (dir. Arlene Phillips). Other regional and stock credits include: “City of Angels,” “Blood Brothers,” “A Chorus Line” and “Street Scene.” She has also appeared as a soloist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra in both Cleveland and Breckenridge Colorado, and was featured in the Lincoln Center Tribute to Alan Jay Lerner and at in a “Tribute to Stephen Sondheim” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Faculty Joshua Zecher-Ross Joshua Zecher-Ross
Joshua Zecher-Ross has worked on over 100 productions in New York and around the country as a music director, conductor, and orchestrator. New York credits: “Avenue Q,” “A Night with Janis Joplin,” various shows at 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, The Laurie Beechman, Don’t Tell Mamas, and others. Regional: Barrington Stage Company, Sharon Playhouse, Little Theatre on the Square. Recently: “Sweetee” directed by Patricia Birch at The Signature, NYC. Bachelor’s degree in music and vocal performance from the Steinhardt School at NYU.
Caley Millikin
Caley received her BA in Biology from SUNY Buffalo and her MFA in Acting from Purdue University. She has trained extensively with Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, MA where she has been a company member for the last 16 years. Also a classically trained dancer and choreographer, her choreography credits include Imagination Stage, KaTet Theatre, Tennessee Shakespeare Co, Shakespeare & Co, Skidmore College & Purdue University. She has served as a Visiting Professor of Theatre at Purdue University & as Training Programs Manager at Shakespeare & Co. As an actor, Millikin has appeared at theatres across the country, including Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Florida Studio Theatre, Portland Stage Company, Shakespeare & Co, Tennessee Shakespeare Co, Constellation Theatre Co, Cherry Lane Theatre/NYC, among others. She has also appeared in numerous commercials, most recently for eBay & the NJ Lotto.
Michael Laibson
Michael Laibson is an Emmy-winning Producer of Daytime Dramas. For over twenty years, he led the creative teams at All My Children, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, and Another World. He started in the business as an actor, working at many theatres in Los Angeles and New York, in productions ranging from classical to musical. He directed productions of Loveliest Afternoon of the Year, Thieves, and Loneliest Game in Town before moving into Television Production.

Laibson directed the award-winning production of The Savior of Fenway for Full Circle Theatre at the New York International Fringe Festival and then in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a Director for the Garage Theatre Group in Teaneck, New Jersey, and an Adjunct Professor teaching Acting for the Camera and Directing Actors at conservatories in New York City and at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Michael’s love for Performance Arts comes from his zealous need to communicate how and why passionate relationships make life … livable.
Bill Waldinger
In addition to his position at NYFA, Bill Waldinger is a regular faculty member at The Joffrey Ballet School, Broadway Dance Center (regular guest artist), Molloy College's CAP 21 Musical Theater Program, and the New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. He has also taught at The Manhattan Ballet School (Director of Jazz), the contemporary company Cora Dance (Director of Ballet), and Hamilton Dance (Director of Ballet).

Certified by Luigi to teach the Luigi Jazz Technique, Waldinger has recently been filmed and interviewed for the recently released feature film Uprooted, which chronicles the history of Jazz Dance. He has taught Luigi Jazz workshops for the New Rising Sun Dance Project at DANY Studios/Joyce SoHo and has coordinated workshops bringing together the techniques of Luigi and Matt Mattox with classic musical theater choreography. Bill frequently travels the world As a Master Teacher, teaching both classical Ballet and Jazz. In addition, he has developed absolute beginner “Dance Classes For Singers" at The Singers’ Forum. As a performer, Waldinger has appeared in musical theater, concert dance, commercials, music videos, television, and industrials. Highlights include regional and Off-Broadway productions of A Chorus Line (Paul in the first regional production), Carousel (Carnival Boy), Kismet, Drood, Oklahoma! (Dream Curly), A Funny Thing…, Guys and Dolls, and Godspell. He was a company member of The David Storey Dance Works and the Labyrinth Dance Theater and has danced in commercials for Time-Life, music videos for the group Fila-Antoine, and was a featured dancer on the television show Soul Alive and appeared in videos for the Theater Dance Workshop.

James T. Lane
James T. Lane is originally from Philadelphia. His credits include The Scottsboro Boys and A Chorus Line - Revival (Palladium Theatre) for West End; Kiss Me, Kate (Paul), King Kong the Musical, The Scottsboro Boys (Ozie Powell/Ruby Bates), Chicago, and A Chorus Line (Richie Walters) for Broadway; Jersey Boys, Cinderella, Fame the Musical for National Tours; Mary Poppins (Bert) Drury Lane Theatre, The Wiz (Tin Man), Broadway at Music Circus, The Old Globe, and The Little Mermaid (Sebastian) The Muny, A.C.T and Dallas Theatre Center for Regional Theatre. Encores/Off Center Promenade, Grand Hotel, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope Concerts: Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops, Ottawa Symphony, and many more. Mr. Lane teaches musical theatre dance when and wherever anyone will let him.
Jennifer DiDonato
Jennifer DiDonato has been teaching throughout the city in such institutions as Alvin Ailey Dance School, NYU, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and was a founding faculty member for NYFA's musical theatre film program. She was also chosen as Susan Stroman’s SDC Observer for the Broadway production of Young Frankenstein. Past Productions include Footloose (Wendy Jo), A Chorus Line (Tricia/Swing), Cabaret (Texas), and A Christmas Carol (Charlotte Fezziwig). Choreography credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (assoc.) - NY Innovative Theatre Award Winners for Choreography, Crazy for You, Beauty and the Beast, and many more other productions around the city. Her work has also been featured on such websites as Café Regular, Martha Stewart, and Dance Teacher Magazine, for which her choreography was awarded Editor's Choice. She is also a proud AEA member.
Kathy Calahan
Kathy Calahan is a Broadway performer, teacher, and choreographer--and is happiest when her skills help to inspire future generations. She is currently teaching tap and theatre dance classes at PCMT at NYFA, Dance Molinari, and MMAC. She has taught voice at the MTC’s School of Performing Arts, LaGuardia Community College, The Broadway Artists Intensive, and The Broadway Arts Lab.

Calahan enjoyed a five-year run in Broadway’s Mary Poppins, where she performed as a swing, covering over 10 parts, including Bird Woman, Mrs. Corry, and Miss Lark. She toured nationally in the original production of Ragtime, shared the stage with Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot, and danced in Randy Skinner’s pre-Broadway production of White Christmas. Favorite regional credits include Dolly in Annie Get Your Gun, Josie in George M!, Polly in Crazy For You, and Woman 2 in And the World Goes ‘Round. As a choreographer, Calahan’s credits include White Christmas, Cole!, The Fantasticks, How to Succeed..., The Melody Lingers On, and Broadway’s Easter Bonnet Competition. Calahan received her BFA from The Boston Conservatory and was trained classically in voice and piano at The Eastman School of Music. Teachers and mentors include Bob Audy (tap), Luigi (jazz), and Rita Shane (voice).
LaQuet Sharnell Pringle
LaQuet Sharnell Pringle began training at the acclaimed Booker T. Washington HSPVA. She is the recipient of awards and scholarships from NYCDA, Jacob’s Pillow, Broadway Theatre Project, and the NFAA (Honorable Mention & Merit Awards). She went on to train at the NC School of the Arts as a Contemporary Dance major. As an actor, she’s a graduate of the William Esper Studios. Her credits consist of the following, Broadway/National Tour: Mrs. Doubtfire The Musical (U/S Wanda Sellner), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Lysistrata Jones, Memphis The Musical, The Lion King, Sweet Charity; Off-Broadway: Make Mine Manhattan and Ave Q; Regional: Candide, The Wiz, Aint Misbehavin’, Princess-A New Musical, Chicago, Footloose, AIDA, Shrek The Musical (NY Workshop), Jawbreaker: The Musical, Caty Bridgewater: A Musical; Television/Film: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, As the World Turns, Step Up 3D, Devoted, and Sylvia Plath Project. Previously, she was a faculty member at Texas State University in the musical theater department.
Sara Antkowiak
Sara Antkowiak is a New York City-based actress, dancer, and educator. She is currently on the faculty at New York Film Academy and The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts., where she teaches ballet, modern, and jazz in the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at NYFA and has choreographed movie musicals, graduation showcases, and industry showcases for the program.

Recent credits include Kayla Nixon in the new HBO series The Undoing (starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant); the lead role of Delilah in José Rivera’s play Lovesong: Imperfect; and producer and the lead actor playing Lily in José Rivera’s short film The Fall of a Sparrow. She has been fortunate to work with Steven Schwartz as the aerial soloist in Goodspeed's tour of Pippin with Chazz Palminteri in The Hours Are Feminine at The Actors Studio; with José Rivera on his new play Your Name Means Dream at Rattlestick Theater, and with Bartlett Sher dancing in The Tales of Hoffmann at The Metropolitan Opera and on PBS' Great Performances.

Antkowiak helped create the principal role Love in Mary Zimmerman’s Armida, and danced in Laurent Pelly’s Manon and Robert LePage’s Damnation of Faust, all original casts at The Metropolitan Opera, NY. Workshops include world premieres in Chicago (Goodman Theatre), Boston (Huntington), and the 25th anniversary of José Rivera's Marisol in NYC. Other credits include film festival winner Have You Seen Calvin?, Elsinore County at Theatre Row (also choreographer), Dream Laurie in Oklahoma! at Media Theatre, The Silencer (Best Play nominee NYTF), Your Name Means Dream for Sundance Theatre Lab, and The Maids at INTAR.

She appeared on television in One Life to Live, and danced in Cinderella and Peter And The Wolf, both at Lincoln Center. She has been a featured model for acclaimed photographers Jordan Matter (Dancers Among Us) and Howard Schatz (SCHATZ Images: 25 Years). Antkowiak is an accomplished choreographer for film and theatre in New York and has been a dance educator since the age of 15, working with students of every age and level from all over the world.
Vladimir Velev
Vladimir Velev grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria admiring American movies and television from afar. He has studied Latin American and Ballroom dancing from the age of six and trained with the top teachers in the competitive dance world as well as in other styles of dance. Velev is a former Austrian national champion and quarterfinalist of both the World and European Professional Latin Championships. Since moving to the United States, he has established himself as a sought-after instructor, performer, and competitor. He joined the Musical Theater department of the New York Film Academy in 2016.
Lauren Elder
Lauren Elder is an actress, director, singer-songwriter, and world champion whistler. She recently played Mary in the world premiere production of Mary and Max, a new musical by Bobby Cronin and Crystal Skillman, at Theatre Calgary, where she won the BroadwayWorld Regional Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Last year, Elder directed a critically hailed, immersive off-off-Broadway production of RENT at The Secret Theatre in Queens.

As a performer, Elder has been seen on Broadway in Side Show and Hair (Also West End in Hair). Other Theater: Hair (Shakespeare in the Park/NY Public Theater), The Village of Vale (Lincoln Center), Orange Star Smasharoo; Regional: Side Show (Kennedy Center, La Jolla Playhouse), Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival; TV: Law & Order SVU, Louie, Boardwalk Empire, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, 2009 Tony Awards. Elder is also an international private acting, voice, and career coach and on faculty at NY Film Academy and A Class Act. She is a regular performer at 54 Below, Joe's Pub, Birdland, and Club Cumming. Her debut album can be found on iTunes and Spotify.
Nick Cartell
Nick Cartell recently completed a two and a half year run as prisoner 24601, a.k.a Jean Valjean on the National Tour of Les Misérables. He was previously seen in Paramour, the first musical produced on Broadway by Cirque Du Soleil, where he was a standby for and performed the three male lead roles. He also appeared in Scandalous the Musical, written by TODAY show host Kathie Lee Gifford, about the life and trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, and can be heard on the Original Broadway Cast Recording. Cartell made his Broadway debut in the Tony-nominated 2012 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, understudying the roles of Jesus Christ, Judas Iscariot, and the High Priest Annas. He has also toured the U.S. and Canada in The Phantom of the Opera. ​​​​

Cartell has sung with the South Coast Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, and as a member of the critically acclaimed group The Broadway Boys. In March 2019, he performed his first solo show, Bringing it Home, to a sold out room at Feinstein's/54 Below. Cartell and his wife Christine are also the creators of Broadway Fights Ovarian Cancer, a benefit organization raising awareness and funds for Ovarian Cancer research. A graduate of Arizona State University with a BFA in Theatre, Nick enjoyed a brief stint in Japan performing with a certain famous Mouse. While there he met his incredible wife, actress/singer Christine Cartell.
Travis Greisler
Travis Greisler is a New York City-based stage director and writer. He has been a part of the creative teams for several Broadway shows including The Cher Show (​which will launch its 1​st​ National Tour Fall ‘21), ​Tales of the City​ (with music by the Scissor Sisters), and ​Fully Committed​ (starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson). Other associate director credits include Superhero (O​ff Broadway at Second Stage) and original development of T​he Book of Mormon​. Most recently, Greisler directed Once​ at the Bucks County Playhouse to rave reviews in the Wall Street Journal and created ​The Orion Experience​, an immersive circus/rock concert. Selected additional directing credits: Into the Woods (Northwestern & Cap21), ​Rocky Horror (​Yale), ​Company,​ ​Cabaret​, and various immersive experiences.

Greisler began his career as a professional actor at the age of nine appearing on Broadway in T​he Who’s Tommy,​ Radio City’s ​Christmas Spectacular, ​and the National Tours of ​Les Miz​ and Big.​ He continues to develop new projects while working as a teacher and private coach for actors in Manhattan.
Patricia Phillips
American actress and singer Patricia Phillips has altered the history of American Broadway theatre, twice. Known for her power-house soprano, Phillips is the first woman of color to portray the Tony Award-winning role of Carlotta in the longest-running show in Broadway history, The Phantom of The Opera. She is also the only woman of color to appear in Kinky Boots on Broadway. Classically trained at Carnegie Mellon University, Phillips has a wide range of stage and film credits including the Emmy Award-winning Live at Lincoln Center production of Sweeny Todd tarring Emma Thompson, the U.S premiere of Jerry Springer The Opera at Carnegie Hall starring Harvey Keitel, the Tony Award-winning productions of Baz Luhrman’s La Boheme (OBC), The Secret Garden (OBC) and The Sound of Music (OBC Revival). She can be heard on three original cast recordings on DreamWorks , Columbia, and RCA.
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