Faculty & Staff

Jeff Paul

Jeff Paul

Director, Musical Theatre Conservatory

jeff.paul@ocsarts.net

Jeff Paul earned his MFA in acting and directing from California State University, Long Beach. Upon graduating summa cum laude, Mr. Paul was awarded recognition as the Outstanding Graduate of the College of the Arts and subsequently became an adjunct faculty member. Mr. Paul has directed productions at the Century City Playhouse, West Hollywood’s Elephant Lab Theatre, Saddleback Civic Light Opera, where he was also the artist-in-residence from 1987-2002, Long Beach Studio Theatre, Long Beach Playhouse, SOKA University, the Costa Mesa Playhouse, and various college and university programs.

Mr. Paul has served as Director of the Musical Theatre Conservatory since 2003, which also housed what is now the Acting Conservatory until 2013. He created comprehensive Musical Theatre and Acting curriculums, as well as performance programming for 7th through 12th grades. Additionally, Mr. Paul continues to bring in an impressive roster of talented artist teachers and world renowned guest artists.

Mr. Paul co-taught with artists-in-residence Bill Irwin and Rachel Rosenthal for the California State University, Long Beach summer arts program, and is featured in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Who’s Who in American Education. Through his professional performances, Mr. Paul won awards for Sweeney Todd, Merlin, Marat/Sade, and La Cage Aux Follies, as well as receiving directing/production awards for Psycho Beach Party; The Marriage of Bette and Boo; The Wiz (twice, once for Orange County School of the Arts). He has also won awards for the Orange County School of the Arts productions of Working, Cinderella, and All Shook Up.

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Karen Rymar

Karen Rymar

Assistant Director, Musical Theatre Conservatory

karen.rymar@ocsarts.net

Karen Rymar came to the Orange County School of the Arts with an extensive background in theatre and entertainment, both onstage and off.  As a performer, she appeared in over 60 shows. Over the years, her experience expanded to include producing, directing, business management, box office management, company management, personal assistance, and artist management/booking. Mrs. Rymar worked with such performers as Susan Egan, Georgia Stitt, Krysta Rodriquez, Alice Ripley, David Burnham, Malcolm Gets, Shirley Jones, and Paula Abdul.

Mrs. Rymar serves as producer of the Musical Theatre Conservatory’s productions, as well as overseeing the production and booking of the a cappella singing group, OCSA Unplugged. She’s directed Urinetown, Titanic, Changing Minds (West Coast Premiere), Once Upon A Mattress, Once on this Island, Honk!, Seussical, Babes in Arms, Rumors and Bigger than Life. Outside of the Musical Theatre Conservatory, she has directed for various one-act festivals, Quilters, Carousel, and Once Upon a Mattress.
 
As a guest artist liaison, she has booked various industry professionals for masterclasses, Q&A sessions, and collaborative performances with our students. She created and still produces and directs our Performing with the Pros program, which is an exciting performance series that gives students the opportunity to rehearse, collaborate, and perform side-by-side with entertainment industry professionals. Through this program, students have had the unique opportunity to share the stage with Broadway stars, such as Tony-nominated Broadway performers Susan Egan and Liz Callaway, Tony-Award winners Alice Ripley and Jason Robert Brown, as well as Eden Espinosa, Krysta Rodriguez, Danny Gurwin, Anne Runolfsson, David Burnham, Teri Bibb, Karen Culliver, and Lindsay Mendez.

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Wendy Tobiska

Wendy Tobiska

Production Assistant, Musical Theatre Conservatory; Instructor

Teaches: Business of the Business, Introduction to Stage Movement

wendy.tobiska@ocsarts.net

Wendy Tobiska is the International Thespian Society Advisor on campus that is open to all middle and high school students, and she serves on the California State Thespian Board. Ms. Tobiska began performing professionally in musical theater at the age of 17. She has performed in coveted roles such as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, for which she was nominated for the prestigious Irene Ryan Award; Mona Kent in Dames at Sea at Downey CLO, for which she was nominated as a Robby Award for Best Actress, Tzietel in Fiddler on the Roof; and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha

She performed with many musical groups throughout California, including lead vocals in several Top 40, Rock, and R&B groups. Ms. Tobiska was a featured solo artist on the NBC television special, Performance, hosted by Peter Marshall, and she has recorded studio work with arranger Jimmy Haskell. She appeared as Jimmy's Mum in the world premiere production of Quad, a fully-staged musical tribute to The Who's album, Quadrophenia. She appeared in her one woman cabaret act ISNG4U at venues in Hollywood and Orange County. She has produced, directed, and performed in the Music at The Chance series at the Chance Theater in Anaheim.

Ms. Tobiska is proud to be a 2012 National Artist Teacher Fellow. She is a faculty member for the Pacific Symphony’s Arts X-Press Summer program, where she teaches drama. She is also a successful private voice and performance coach. Ms. Tobiska is the sole proprietor of Nova Arts and Stellar Productions, an arts teaching, coaching, and producing business.

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Daniel Babcock

Daniel Babcock

Instructor

Teaches: Musical Theatre Voice Technique 1

daniel.babcock@ocsarts.net

Daniel Babcock earned a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from University of  California, Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in musical theater from the University of Redlands. Professionally, Mr. Babcock is in high demand as a soloist and chorister.  In addition to many years of singing with Pacific Chorale and the John Alexander Singers, he has performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Bach Collegium San Diego, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and The Clarion Singers.  Mr. Babcock is engaged as a Chorister in four Los Angeles Opera Productions during the 2015-16 season.  Additionally, he is a staff singer at St. James’ in the City Anglican/Episcopal church in Los Angeles.

Amelia Barron

Amelia Barron

Instructor

Teaches: Production and Design Overview, Theater Overview, Contemporary Musical Theatre Analysis

amelia.barron@ocsarts.net

Amelia Barron (‘09) has been teaching dance and musical theatre in Los Angeles and Orange counties since 2003. She is currently a faculty member at Orange County School of the Arts, South Coast Conservatory and McCoy Rigby Academy of Performing Arts. She is an alumna of the Orange County School of the Arts and California State University, Fullerton.

Since 2007, Ms. Barron has been directing, choreographing and producing shows in Orange County at Orange Coast College, Orange County School of the Arts, Huntington Central Park and Grand Central Art Center. She is a part of the Artistic Team for esteemed company, Shakespeare Orange County and helped launch Temptation!, an original musical adaptation with Peter Uribe. Ms. Barron is an accomplished vocalist and has had the privilege to study and work with some of the top names in Musical Theatre and Jazz. Some of her favorites include Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line), Matthew Morrison (Glee, Light in The Piazza), Susan Egan (Beauty and the Beast, Hercules), Danny Gurwin (A New Brain, The Scarlett Pimpernel) and Jeff Hamilton (The Jeff Hamilton Trio, Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra). Ms. Barron also has been featured on a number of award-winning albums and in music videos.

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Jeffrey Budner

Jeffrey Budner

Instructor

Teaches: Stage Combat

jeffrey.budner@ocsarts.net

Jeffrey Budner (‘07) is a performer, director and fight choreographer/coordinator. He is an alumnus of OCSA’s Musical Theatre Conservatory and holds a BFA in acting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Mr. Budner has worked on plays for various organizations, including South Coast Repertory (Carla Ching’s Nomad Motel), Shakespeare Orange County (As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet), and the Disneyland Resort. He also had the opportunity to work overseas as a performer for Disney Cruise Line.

Abby Carlson

Abby Carlson

Instructor

Teaches: Musical Theatre Voice Technique III

abby.carlson@ocsarts.net

Abby Carlson holds a Bachelor of Music in Education and Vocal Jazz Performance and a K-12 Teaching Credential from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. She is certified in the Kodaly Approach to Music Education and has worked with students of all ages. She also directs the choirs at Shepherd’s Grove High School and teaches music at the Academy.

Mrs. Carlson is an active performer, vocal coach, and choreographer in the Southern California musical theatre scene. She currently sings and plays in four bands and in the acapella group, WestBeat, produced by 3-D Theatricals. She gigs regularly as a classical and jazz vocalist. She has had the great pleasure of touring and singing in some of the world’s finest venues, including the Hollywood Bowl, the Vatican, and Carnegie Hall. Regional credits include 3DT’s Parade, The Sound of Music (Sister Sophia) and The Wizard of Oz, McCoy/Rigby’s Cats and Miss Saigon, FCLO’s Jane Eyre (Original Cast – Mary Rivers) and Brigadoon, and SCLO’s Joseph. Other favorites include Jekyll & Hyde (Emma), A Man of No Importance (Adele), Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), and Hay Fever (Sorel). Mrs. Carlson lives in the South Bay with her husband, composer/musician Matt, and is honored and blessed to be able to perform and teach the arts for a living. Mrs. Carlson has been teaching at OCSA since 2000.

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Anne Dugaw

Anne Dugaw

Instructor

Teaches: Introduction to Operetta, Musical Theatre History, Musical Theatre Voice Technique I

anne.dugaw@ocsarts.net

Anne Dugaw holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance, graduating summa cum laude on scholarship from Arizona State University, as well as a master’s degree on scholarship with honors in vocal performance from California State University, Los Angeles. Ms. Dugaw has training and experience in a variety of musical styles. She studied at the Wesley Balk Opera/Music Theatre Institute of Minnesota Opera. In addition, she is certified in commercial vocal techniques through the Voiceworks® program in Los Angeles. She has taught at the University of California, Irvine, Cypress College, Santa Ana College, and Coastline College.

Ms. Dugaw’s singing experience includes classical and musical theatre performances, as well as jazz and commercial music styles. She has appeared in principal and supporting roles with San Diego Opera, Opera Pacific, Long Beach Opera, and Guild Opera. Other performances include choral works, cabaret performances, and in a jazz trio. She is a member of the Music Teacher’s Association of California and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She also maintains a private piano and voice studio in Costa Mesa, where she teaches students age five to 75 in varied styles ranging from pop, rock, R&B and jazz to musical theatre and classical.

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Amy Harwell

Amy Harwell

Instructor

Teaches: Introduction to Music Theory, Musical Theatre Audition, Musical Theatre Studio, Musical Theatre Voice IV

amy.harwell@ocsarts.net

Amy Eklund holds a Bachelor of Music in Musical Studies from the University of Redlands and a master’s degree in vocal performance from New York University, so she is knowledgeable about what it takes to be a performer on either coast. She has appeared throughout the country in musicals, operas, and concert performances. She has made it her mission to perfect the art of training singers and has built a busy and successful studio of voice students, preparing them for a professional career in the arts.

Casey Garritano

Casey Garritano

Instructor

Teaches: Introduction to Musical Theatre Voice/Broadway Bound

casey.garritano@ocsarts.net

Casey Garritano graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in musical theater. His directing and choreographing credits include The Producers (Tibbies Center Stage - Fontana), Oklahoma (DCLO), Tintypes (DCLO), Barely a Bear, written by Paul Jury (Santa Monica Playhouse), Alice in Concert (Redondo Beach Playhouse).

Mr. Garritano’s performance credits include: Will Parker in Oklahoma! (Welk Resort Theater, Performance Riverside, DCLO), Cosmo in Singin’ in The Rain (Candlelight Pavilion, Performance Riverside), Tommy Djilas in The Music Man (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, NY), Sam in Crazy For You (Musical Theater West), Benny in Guys and Dolls (Performance Riverside), Gus in Babes in Arms (SCLO), The Drowsy Chaperone (3D Theatricals), Annie Get Your Gun (CLOSBC), On Your Toes (Reprise! Broadways Best), 42nd Street (FCLO), Pajama Game (Musical Theater West), and as a dancer for The Los Angeles Opera’s Idomeneo.

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Donald Amerson

Donald Amerson

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Technique III

donald.amerson@ocsarts.net

Donald Amerson holds an master’s degree in theatre for young audiences from Eastern Michigan University. He has acted in both New York and Los Angeles. Mr. Amerson also serves as a resident youth acting teacher at South Coast Repertory Theatre.

Bodie Newcomb

Bodie Newcomb

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Fundamentals I, Acting Fundamentals II

bodie.newcomb@ocsarts.net

Bodie Newcomb has been acting for many years in theatre, TV, and film, working alongside talent like Clint Eastwood, Sean Penn, Russell Crowe, Alan Arkin, and Julia Louis Dreyfus. He also works extensively in commercials, including two recent national campaigns.

Kelly Galindo

Kelly Galindo

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Technique II

kelly.galindo@ocsarts.net

Professor Kelly Galindo studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute, and then became a lifetime member of the Actors Studio in 1998. She has worked as an actress in many independent films and guest starred on television series, such as ER, Flashforward, Sons of Anarchy, and The Closer.

She has also directed theater, Bridge and Frank and Ava, which won Best of Fringe in 2003. Currently she is directing a documentary on the global issue of sex trafficking.

Today, Kelly balances her acting and directing career while passing on her craft on to future generations, at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Media Arts, Santiago Canyon College, and NOCCCD, and now is thrilled to be back to teach at OCSA. Kelly says, “I am passionate about encouraging young directors and actors in becoming artists and in bringing a new level of truth to their work.”

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Gemma Hebson

Gemma Hebson

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Technique I, Musical Theatre Workshop/Broadway Bound, Musical Theatre Studio

gemma.hebson@ocsarts.net

Gemma Hebson earned her bachelor's degree in theatre arts from California State University, Fullerton and is a third generation drama teacher. She has performed, directed, and choreographed at many theatres and schools throughout Southern California, including South Coast Conservatory, Saddleback College, Civic Light Opera, and Pacific Symphony’s Arts-x-press. She has coordinated the acting and singing classes for nationally recognized community outreach program, Camp OCSA. Ms. Hebson also serves as member of Dance Discovery Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the performing arts.

Her Musical Theatre Conservatory choreography credits include Seussical the Musical, Guys and Dolls, Cinderella, Babes In Arms, Little Women, Chess, Once On This Island, Broadway’s New Millennium, All Shook Up (2011 JRAY Award for Choreography), and The Wiz.

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Callie Prendeville Johnson

Callie Prendeville Johnson

Instructor

Teaches: Acting for Camera, Acting Technique II

callie.johnson@ocsarts.net

Callie Prendiville Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts from the University of San Diego, as well as an MFA in acting in theatre, television, and film productions from California State University, Los Angeles. She also attended conservatory intensives at South Coast Repertory, American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco), Queen Mary College (London), and Upright Citizen's Brigade. Mrs. Prendeville has taught at the University of San Diego, Gary Spatz's The Playground, and the La Habra High School Theater Guild.

Mrs. Johnson’s professional credits include: The Car Plays, The Car Plays Interchange (La Jolla Playhouse), Tartuffe, understudy for Pride and Prejudice (South Coast Repertory), The Odd Couple (North Coast Repertory), Lucia di Lammermoor (LA Opera), To Kill a Mockingbird (Long Beach Playhouse), The Crucible (MOXIE), Pirates of Penzance (Lyric Opera San Diego), and Blamed: An Established Fiction, which was performed in San Diego and Tijuana as a part of the San Diego International Fringe Festival and won for Best Drama.

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Ken Johnson

Ken Johnson

Instructor

Teaches: Musical Theatre Voice Technique II, Musicianship, OCSA Unplugged

ken.johnson@ocsarts.net

Ken Johnson holds a master’s degree and worked as a music director for churches and musical theaters, prior to teaching at OCSA in 2001. Mr. Johnson has served as a festival clinician, choral and vocal coach. Mr. Johnson has also taught choir, vocal jazz, music theory, musicianship at university. Currently, he plays in a jazz band and teaches piano. He conducted choirs and taught many courses, including music theory, musicianship, songwriting, and voice.

Cynthia Karim

Cynthia Karim

Instructor

Teaches: Stage Makeup

cynthia.karim@ocsarts.net

Cynthia Karim has worked as a professional makeup artist and licensed Aesthetician since 1975. She began her tenure at the OCSA as a designer and teacher in Special Effects Makeup, Hair, and Wig Design in 2001. She also works at the university level and in the industry including SNL and MadTV. Mrs. Karim also earned her special effects makeup certification from Paramount Studios, Hollywood.

Ron Kobayashi

Ron Kobayashi

Instructor

Teaches: Beginning Keyboard

ron.kobayashi@ocsarts.net

Ron Kobayashi is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton and has taught since the 1980s both privately and in the classroom. Mr. Kobayashi was recognized as a Role Model and Inspiration for Asians in the Field of Music by the Orange County Asian Business Association in 2005.

As a pianist and composer, Mr. Kobayashi has performed and recorded in a variety of musical settings. He has performed with Mel Torme, Peter Frampton, Margaret Whiting, Tom Scott, Kenny Burrell, Peter White, Jerry Van Dyke, comedian Bob Saget, and Paula Kelly Jr., as well as the Modernaires. Additionally, Ron and his band have shared the stage with David Sanborn, the rock group Berlin, Eddie Palmieri, David Benoit, Cirque Du Soleil, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Mr. Kobayashi’s jazz trio has recorded five CDs and one DVD to date, receiving airplay around the world. In 1992, he performed for President Bill Clinton. Additionally, in 1996 his jazz trio was awarded Outstanding Jazz Group in Orange County by the Orange County Weekly. And in 2012, they were nominated for Best Jazz by the Orange County Music Awards. Over the past 30 years, Mr. Kobayashi's television appearances have included: featured performer on The Johnny Yune Television Show, the Jerry Lewis Telethon, and several appearances on the TVONE series Life After. For five years, he served as Music Director for the Annual Hollywood Diversity Awards, where stars, including Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, and George Lopez were honored. Several cuts from his Trio’s discs were used in the Gary Busey movie, Sam and Janet.

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Ron Levy

Ron Levy

Instructor

Teaches: Introduction to Jazz Vocal, Introduction to Music Theory

ron.levy@ocsarts.net

Ron Levy earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music composition from the University of California, Los Angeles. He taught courses in aural and keyboard skills at there, as well as composition, aural skills, music appreciation, and chamber music at Idyllwild School of Music and The Arts (now the Idyllwild Arts Academy). There, he also accompanied modern dance and ballet classes, rehearsals, and performances, played for music department recitals, and served as composer-in-residence. Mr. Levy toured Mexico City and Tucson with the Idyllwild Arts Academy’s Dance Department, and in Napa, California with the Mark Wood Band. He has appeared at the Blue Note in Las Vegas, The Grove in Anaheim, and the GEM Theater in Garden Grove.

Mr. Levy also works as a freelance musician with steady engagements at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Pelican Hill Resort, and many other venues. He currently serves as Orchestra Director at the Center for Spiritual Living Newport-Mesa and leads a Saturday jazz worship service at St. Mark Presbyterian in Newport Beach. Mr. Levy collaborates with many great vocalists and instrumentalists, including songwriters Paul Williams, Eric Marienthal, Barbara Morrison, and Karen Gallinger. Mr. Levy’s orchestral compositions have been performed by South Coast Symphony, Irvine Valley College Orchestra, Orange Coast College Symphony, and the International Chamber Orchestra.

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Charna Lopez

Charna Lopez

Instructor

Teaches: Introduction to Musical Theatre Voice/Broadway Bound, Musical Theatre Voice Technique II

charna.lopez@ocsarts.net

Charna Lopez received her BFA in film and television, broadcast journalism from Chapman University and her MA in cross-cultural education/teaching. As a performer, she has appeared all over Southern California in such venues as Candlelight Pavilion, Saddleback CLO, Tustin Light Opera, Moonlight Amphitheater, Avo Playhouse, and Performance Riverside. She also teaches voice, musical theater, tap, and jazz at The Music Room in Orange.

Among her favorite roles are the title role in Peter Pan, Rizzo in Grease, The Witch in Into The Woods, DeLee in Smokey Joe’s Café, for which she won the Theater League Award and received a Patte nomination, The Waitress in Working, Joan in Dames at Sea, and Patsy in Crazy For You.

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Lupe McDonald

Lupe McDonald

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Fundamentals I

lupe.mcdonald@ocsarts.net

Lupe McDonald earned her bachelor’s degree in theater from the California Institute of The Arts (CalARTS). After graduating, she worked in commercials, television, on stage, and in a music video. Before joining the Musical Theatre Conservatory, she co-directed and choreographed many shows for Rim of the World High School. Mrs. McDonald ran an arts program for 15 years at Lake Arrowhead Elementary, where she also helped run and choreograph their Show Choir. She also taught three years of Jazz, Tap, and Musical Theater at Lake Arrowhead School of Dance, as well.

Brenda Smith

Brenda Smith

Instructor

Teaches: Acting Technique IV

brenda.smith@ocsarts.net

Brenda Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in dance and theatre and an MFA in acting from California State University, Fullerton. She also attended the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. As an actor, Ms. Smith has appeared in numerous shows in the Los Angeles area. She created the Met Theater workshop in Los Angeles, which included Holly Hunter, Ed Harris, Alfre Woodard, and Amy Madigan. This group developed new plays by playwrights like Beth Henley and nurtured now critically acclaimed actors, including Angelina Jolie and Lucy Liu.

Ms. Smith spent 10 years in Taos, New Mexico producing, performing, and directing at the Taos Center for the Arts and the Metta Theater. She has also taught classes at Taos Filmmakers Initiative, Goldenwest College, and California State University, Fullerton, among others.

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Jac Tobiska

Jac Tobiska

Instructor

Teaches: Introduction to Pop Vocal, Pop Vocal II

jac.tobiska@ocsarts.net

Jac Tobiska began performing professionally at the age of 13 and was playing in nightclubs by the time he graduated high school. He then spent the next 20 years performing in clubs across the United States and Canada, with only a brief interruption to do a USO tour of the pacific-rim in 1977. He is proficient on several instruments including keyboards, bass, guitar, drums, and percussion. Mr. Tobiska directed the harmony projects for the California Arts Center Best of Broadway and Pop, including Idol Ideals, Heart and Song, and Music from the Basement.

He has written several screenplays, as well as the book, music, and lyrics for his original, historically based musical called Amarna that was produced in 2012 by Stellar Theatricals. He also wrote music, lyrics, and arrangements for the original musicals Band vs. Brand in 2013 and Beyond This in the summer of 2014. Mr. Tobiska also plays keyboards and sings with the Silva Brothers Band around the Southern California area. He is currently writing a new score for the original musical, Music from the Basement.

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Christopher W. Smith

Christopher W. Smith

Instructor

christopher.smith@ocsarts.net

   information coming soon

Advisory Board

Danny Gurwin

Danny Gurwin

Assistant Professor

School of Theatre, Film and Television

University of Arizona

Danny Gurwin is currently the head of musical theatre at the University of Arizona, Tucson. He is a MAC and Arty-Award winning director, as well as a Broadway World, Eddon, and Barrymore award-winning actor and singer. He holds a BFA in musical theatre from the University of Michigan; his Broadway credits include The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Full Monty, Urinetown, Little Women, Kismet, A Little Night Music, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Off-Broadway, he starred in Forbidden B’way, The Thing About Men, Kuni-Leml, R & J, and many, many others, as well as numerous television and regional shows, concert work, and cast recordings.

As a renowned director, teacher, and guest artist, Mr. Gurwin has coordinated and taught at University of Michigan, University of California, Los Angeles, Western Michigan University, Youngstown University, Clark College, American Musical and Dance Academy – Los Angeles, Las Vegas School of the Arts, Professional School for the Arts, Showchoir Camps of America, Making It On Broadway Intensives, and the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts. 

“OCSA is graduating some of the country’s finest, upcoming students in Musical Theatre.  Any college or university is lucky to have them joining their ranks!”

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Dr. Ivan Fuller

Dr. Ivan Fuller

Professor of Theatre

Chair, Theatre & Dance Department; Associate Dean, School of Fine and Performing Arts

Rider University

Dr. Ivan Fuller serves Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts as a professor of theatre, chair of the Theatre and Dance Department, and associate dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts. He teaches courses in Theatre History, Script Analysis, and Dramatic Literature.

Prior to coming to Rider University, Dr. Fuller was a professor of theatre at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota over twenty years, where he served as chair of the Performing & Visual Arts Department. He was the founder and artistic director of the Bare Bodkins Theatre Company, which produced summer performances of Shakespeare in Sioux Falls. In addition to his work as a director, actor, theatre educator, and poet, he is a playwright. Dr. Fuller received his undergraduate degree in theatre from Butler University and his master’s and doctorate from Bowling Green State University.

 

"OSCA's commitment to creating the best possible training program for musical theatre is very impressive. They not only studied what higher education institutions require of their students, they sent team members to my school to observe first-hand. This is compelling evidence of how seriously OSCA cares about developing a program of study that will best prepare their students for the next level of education on their way to becoming exceptional artists."

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JV Mercanti

JV Mercanti

Head of Acting for the Musical Theatre Program

Pace University School of the Arts

JV Mercanti most recently directed the critically-acclaimed premier of Songbird at the 59E59 Theater, as well as the premier of World Famous at Theater for a New City. He is currently the head of acting for the Musical Theater program at Pace University’s School of the Arts, and previously, he spent two years teaching Acting and Directing at the University of Miami. He served as the casting and associate director on the recent Broadway revival of Romeo & Juliet with Orlando Bloom. He cast the Kevin Kline revival of Cyrano de Bergerac, co-starring Jennifer Garner. He also spent many years as a casting associate for Roundabout Theatre Company, working on numerous Broadway, off-Broadway, and West End productions.

He has many regional and university credits, including: Floyd Collins, Odile’s Ordeal, Icarus, and The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in the World, a play that took place almost entirely in the dark. Mr. Mercanti holds an MFA from Rutgers University and a bachelor’s degree New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies. He is the author of the monologue book series In Performance, which is published by Applause Books. www.jvmercanti.com

"In my time at Pace I've been fortunate enough to audition, teach, and conduct Master Classes with OCSA students. They are receiving some of the best theatrical training, not just in the Los Angeles area, but in the country. The faculty and the facilities are unparalleled. I hope that we at Pace continue this long-term collaboration.”

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