Faculty & Staff

RYAN MILLER

RYAN MILLER

Director, Musical Theatre Conservatory

ryan.miller@ocsarts.net

As a performer, Mr. Ryan Miller studied with members of the SITI company, specifically Ellen Lauren who cast him as Oberon in her tap dance-infused rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He also worked with Michael Hackett on an adaptation of Helen by Euripides. Locally, he has worked with the Torrance Theatre Company, Coeurage Theatre Company, Shakespeare Orange County, American Coast Theater Company, and Pacific Symphony.

Mr. Miller’s film and television credits include All Summer LongWinesburg: DeathA LadyWhen Pressed, and Sanity. He was part of the development and performance of the 2017 original play Paper Cranes. Mr. Miller is the co-author of The Cordray Christmas Variety Hour, a new play that had its world premiere in 2022. Directing credits include Something RottenLearned Ladies, Shaina Taub’s musical adaptation of As You Like It (2018 JRAY Award for Direction and Best Ensemble), AntigonePride and PrejudiceCharley’s AuntPeter and the Starcatcher, and Spoon River Anthology.

Mr. Miller is the recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Acting Fellowship, as well as the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Award for Artistic Merit. An arts educator for more than 14 years, he was awarded the Outstanding Orange County Educator Award for his work at OCSA in 2018. Mr. Miller holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Vanguard University and a Master of Fine Arts in theatre from UCLA.

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AMELIA BARRON

AMELIA BARRON

Manager, Musical Theatre Conservatory

Teaches: Production & Design Overview; Theatre Overview; Contemporary Vocal Styles

amelia.barron@ocsarts.net

Ms. Amelia Barron (MT, ‘09) has been teaching dance and musical theatre in Los Angeles and Orange County for the past 16 years. She is a proud Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) alumna, and now faculty member and Conservatory Manager at OCSA. Ms. Barron has also served on the Artistic Team for the esteemed company Shakespeare Orange County for 7 years.

Ms. Barron has been directing, choreographing, and producing shows in Orange County for the past 12 years with productions at Orange Coast College, Shakespeare Orange County, OCSA, Huntington Central Park, and Grand Central Art Center. Some of her favorite projects include Pirates of Penzance, Mamma Mia, Antony + Cleopatra and As You Like It. She was the associate director for the launch of Temptation! an original musical adaptation by Peter Uribe. 

Ms. Barron is an accomplished vocalist and has had the privilege to work with some of the top names in musical theatre and jazz. Some of her favorites include Tony winner Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line), Tony winner Lindsay Mendez (Dogfight, Wicked), Tony-nominated Matthew Morrison (Glee, Light in The Piazza), Tony-nominated Susan Egan (Beauty and the Beast, Hercules), David Burnham (Wicked, Light in the Piazza), Danny Gurwin (A New Brain, The Scarlett Pimpernel), Grammy winner Barbra Morrison, and Jeff Hamilton (The Jeff Hamilton Trio, Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra). Ms. Barron has been featured on several award-winning albums and in music videos.

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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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