MASTER CLASS ARTISTS

 

PAT BIRCH

A two-time Emmy Award winner and five-time Tony Award nominee, Patricia Birch’s career as a director and choreographer spans all media. Installed in the Theatre Hall of Fame last year, Patricia Birch created the musical staging for Broadway shows such as Grease, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, A Little Night Music, Candide and Parade. Ms. Birch trained at the School of American Ballet and the Martha Graham School after which she became a soloist in the Graham Company and later played “Anybody’s” in the original Broadway production of West Side Story. Ms. Birch will explore and demonstrate different approaches to staging a scene or musical number.


JEFFREY SWEET

An award-winning playwright based in New York City, his work has appeared Off Broadway and in regional theatres across the country. He has a longstanding connection with the Victory Gardens Theatre of Chicago, which has produced 15 of his plays, the widely produced The Value of Names best known among them. Other plays include American Enterprise, which earned a Kennedy Center grant and was named “Best Play” by the American Theatre Critics Association. Mr. Sweet is author of two texts on dramatic writing, The Dramatist’s Tool Kit and Solving Your Script. He is a council member of The Dramatists Guild. Jeff will show us how to fix scripts using a writer's tools. 

 

RON HOLGATE

A Tony Award-winning actor whose career began as an opera singer when he appeared in many leading roles under the direction of legendary impresario Boris Goldovsky. Mr. Holgate has had an extensive career in leading roles on Broadway and in touring plays and musicals, among them Urinetown, Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate, Lend Me A Tenor and 1776. He won the Tony Award for his portrayal of Richard Henry Lee in 1776, in which he can be seen on TV each year around the 4th of July. He has directed numerous productions including Comedians, 1776, Twelve Angry Jurors, Romeo and Juliet and Reunion. Ron will share his experience on Broadway / opera stages and offer advice for a successful performing career.

 

PAT MOORE-THEIS

A three-time Emmy Award winning professional makeup artist working in the New York City television and film industry, Pat’s career began in 1995 at ABC Television’s All My Children where she worked for thirteen years. For seven of those years she was personal makeup artist for Susan Lucci.  Recent film credits include: The Music Never Stopped, The Other Guys, Wall Street 2, Peace, Love and Misunderstanding, The Art of Love, The Sitter and Men In Black 3.  Television credits include: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Law and Order-Criminal Intent, Lights Out, Boardwalk Empire, Gossip Girls, Are We There Yet, Treme (NYC Unit) and Blue Bloods. Pat will conduct a practical demonstration of make-up, "Making Faces to Create Characters." 

 

TOM GLISERMAN

Tom has been Creative Directing, Directing and Editing commercials, high-end corporate films and programs for broadcast for over 30 years.  He is presently in post-production on his first feature film, The Thing on the Doorstep.  For the last 10 years Tom has run GreyHouse Productions, providing creative services for a large assortment of clients.  He is also the Creative Director for Mountain View Group out of Atlanta/NYC. Tom will share the process of making a film or commercial from a director's viewpoint.

 

CHRIS THEIS

A two-time Grammy Award winning audio engineer and producer, Chris is a graduate of the Institute of Audio Research in New York City.  He started at Quad Studios in Times Square and eventually moved to Sony Music Studios in Hell’s Kitchen where he rose to the position of Senior Engineer. Chris worked with a large variety of clients in almost every possible genre of music while picking up his Engineering Grammy Awards along the way.  He entered the freelance world in 2004, when he started writing and mixing in his own studio (aka ‘The Cave’) and at Henry Hirsch’s Waterfront Studios in Hudson NY. In the 20+ years Chris has been making records he has worked with many talented artists and producers including Lenny Kravitz, Santana, Lauryn Hill, Shakira, Vivian Green, Wyclef Jean, Michael Jackson, Coheed and Cambria, Mudvayne, Labelle, Swizz Beats, DMX and many others. Chris and Will Severin will explore how best to use music and sound to enhance any performance.

 

WILL SEVERIN

A two-time Audie Award winning producer and composer, Will has also composed for numerous original stage productions.  Many of his theatrical works are published by Samuel French, including A Little Princess and The Killings Tale.  He co-composed the scores for the musical Magna Carta and the award-winning A Tale of Cinderella with Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee George David Weiss ("What A Wonderful World").  As a musician he has performed internationally and even on Broadway in the orchestra for Les Miserables.  As a composer, his film scores include Dorian BluesNate Dogg and the upcoming The Thing on the Doorstep.  Commercial and corporate clients include New York Life, GE, Coca-Cola and Home Depot.  Will's record production credits include projects for Warner Music, Atlantic Records and various indie labels.  He is also the owner of Handsome Spyder, Inc., a television and film production company.

 

SEAN FAGAN

Trained at the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, Sean is the founder/owner of Circus Theatricks, his vehicle for teaching circus and theatre arts to young people across New York State.  An award-winning performer, Sean has appeared locally and regionally, as well as on stages and arenas in China, Holland and Singapore. His production credits include work with Disney and Nickelodeon. Sean will show how circus skills and combat techniques can enhance your chances for casting.

 

RALPH HAMMANN

A theatre and film critic for major publications in the Capital District and Berkshires for 25 years, Mr. Hammann developed and directed, for 35 years, a theatre program at Pittsfield (MA) High School that was awarded the Music Theatre International Certificate of Excellence. Among his many students who have gone on to careers in theatre and film is Elizabeth Banks, who credits him as instrumental to her success. Ralph has appeared on the stages of the Berkshire and Williamstown Theatre Festivals and directed his own adaptation of The Trojan Women at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Mr. Hammann will explore the responsibility and artistry of theatre and film criticism.

 

MICHELLE DAWSON

An actress and singer who recently appeared as Donna Sheridan in the Broadway National Tour of Mamma Mia!, and continues to appear in the show on Broadway. Her other Broadway engagements include leading roles in Ragtime, Showboat and Cyrano, The Musical. In addition to Mamma Mia!, her National Tours include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Secret Garden, Annie, Chicago, Grease, Jekyll & Hyde and Evita. Michelle will explore what performers need to "make it," and how to stay there.

 

MARY JANE HANSEN

An accomplished playwright, actor and teacher continuing a commitment to educate and encourage young people on stage and in the classroom, a calling that she first pursued at age sixteen as a tutor, peer educator and a brief stint as a Youth Commissioner of Human Rights in New York City. One of the founders of The Creative Place International, her plays have been performed for audiences young and old in the Capital District, New York City and internationally. Above all, she seeks to support budding activists and introspective artists as they work to make meaning of life’s events. 

 

ANNY DEGANGE HOLGATE

A choreographer, actress and singer who first trained as a dancer at the Juilliard School in New York City and toured with the Martha Graham Modern Dance Company. She has performed in many musicals on Broadway, including Evita, Les Miserables, Roza and Raggedy Ann. Ms. DeGange Holgate has choreographed numerous regional theatrical productions and has been an instructor in various college residencies. She also toured for a year with the “Artists in the Schools” program. At her own studio in New York City, she offered classes for everyone from toddlers to senior citizens.

 

PATRICIA B. SNYDER

A recognized authority on arts in education and the founder of The Empire State Youth Theatre Institute, one of the nation’s first theaters for young audiences to use the live theatre as a teaching tool. Dr. Snyder has produced or directed hundreds of theatrical productions, including shows that have played Broadway, Off Broadway and on the road. One of the founders of The Creative Place International, Dr. Snyder believes passionately in the importance of supporting young artists whose talent can grow in the process that gives life to a new play.