Below you'll meet just some of the incredible humans and professionals who mentor and support our students while they're on campus, and long after their summers at SSTI have concluded.
Andrew is a composer, pianist, and conductor currently living in Brooklyn. After graduating from college, he moved to NYC where he worked at several arts schools while free- lancing as a conductor for many theatres and universities in the NYC area. Since that time, Andrew has music directed almost 100 productions of operas and musicals across the country most recently at Virginia Music Theatre, John Engeman Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, and Gateway Playhouse.
As a teacher, he has taught both high school and college-age students working at several schools in NYC including the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and ten years at the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA. As a composer, his works have been presented up and down the East Coast. In 2016, he was named composer-in- residence for the Tidewater Opera Initiative who presented his opera, The Snow Maiden of Appalachia. Andrew holds a doctorate in composition from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins.
Anderson Bandy is very excited to return to her 3rd summer at SSTI! She is originally from Fayetteville, AR and received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Ole Miss, where she was Artistic Director for Ghostlight Repertory Theatre. She has had the pleasure of working on Anything Goes, Young Frankenstein, Chicago, and Tuck Everlasting at SSTI, and can’t wait to see these young performers do with the 2019 season!
Joe Barros is a New York based director and an award-winning choreographer working on Broadway, regionally, and internationally. SSTI credits: Tuck Everlasting, Catch Me If You Can, Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical, My Way. Broadway: Gigi. Off-Broadway: The Evolution of Mann (starring Max Crumm and Allie Trimm), Cagney, Bastard Jones, A Taste of Things to Come, Hard Times, Sam’s Room, and workshops of Nancy Drew and King Kong. Regional/Int'l: Beaches (Chicago’s Drury Lane), The Mysterious Candy Factory and Mini Lover (Shanghai), Aida (Singapore), plus DC's Signature Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Music Academy International (Italy), NYMF, NAMT NYFA, CAP21/Molloy College, Michigan State University, and The Hartt School. Artistic Director: New York Theatre Barn. Recipient: The Drama League’s First Stage Residency, 2017 BroadwayWorld Regional Award (Best Choreography), New York Innovative Theatre Award nominee. Joe has served as an associate to Lorin Latarro, Eric Schaeffer, Bill Castellino, Gabriel Barre, and Graciela Daniele.
Guest Instructor, Carnegie Mellon University
Ms. Benack, alumna and Associate Professor at CMU, is a true advocate and promoter of healthy singing through solid vocal technique and training and continues her studies in vocal teaching by attending singing workshops throughout the country and working with numerous vocal therapists and throat doctors. Ms. Benack also maintains her own thriving private studio. Ms. Benack’s favorite part of her career has now become watching and enjoying her former and present students appear in countless national tours and regional productions. Broadway shows that presently or have had her students as cast members include 42nd STREET, JERSEY BOYS, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, MARY POPPINS, WICKED, 9 to 5, DRACULA, FLOWER DRUM SONG, RENT, THE PAJAMA GAME, GOOD VIBRATIONS, ALL SHOOK UP, THE PRODUCERS, AND PACIFIC OVERTURES.
Wig and Makeup Designer
KARINA BRANSON is a Wig/Hair/Makeup Designer and Scenic Painter currently living in Dallas Texas as she finishes up her Cosmetology schooling at Paul Mitchell The School Dallas. After graduating from Baylor University with a BFA in Theatre Performance, she moved to New York City where she free-lanced for many off-Broadway houses. A Makeup and Wig designer, in 2013, Karina joined the International Tour of I Love Lucy: Live on Stage as the Makeup Artist. In 2014, she became the Makeup Designer, Wig Assistant and Costume Assistant/Onsite Scenic Painter. In 2014 she joined the staff of Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute. Credits include: The Addams Family, Big Fish, Little Shop of Horrors, Always: Patsy Cline, Catch Me If You Can, John Denver, Pippin, Tenderly: A Rosemary Clooney Musical, Anything Goes, Young Frankenstein, Chicago, My Way, and Tuck Everlasting. Dallas Credits include: She Kills Monsters. Also as Scenic Painter, her credits include: Broadway Transfer “The Elephant Man” with Bradley Cooper and Patricia Clarkson (Scenic Design by Timothy Mackabee), “TheImportance of Being Earnest” with Tyne Daly directed by David Hyde Pierce (Scenic Design by Allen Moyer) , “The Blue Deep” with Blythe Danner (Scenic Design by Andrew Boyce and Takeshi Kata), Far from Heaven with Steven Pasquale and Kelli Ohara (Scenic Design by Allen Moyer) all at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Off Broadway credits include: “Springs Awakening” at the Julliard School, “Murder Balled” with Cassie Levy, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Will Swenson (Scenic Design by Mark Wendland) at Union Square Theatre, The Williamsburg Music Hall, and The Magic Pot at La Mama Theatre. Once moving to Texas, she returned to Baylor University to act as Scenic Paint charge for their production of Fiddler on the Roof, and has painted many productions at Watertower Theatre including Bright Half Life and Ring of Fire.
JACOB BRENT is the Director of Musical Theatre for James Madison University. Before teaching in academia he spent ten years as a Broadway performer, a professional director and choreographer, and a teacher. Jacob holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Dance and a M.F.A. in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University. Jacob is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Mistoffelees in the Broadway, London and Video productions of CATS. He is the only performer to have appeared in all three and the only actor to perform in both of the record-breaking performances of the longest running Broadway and West End show. He also had the privilege of working with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber while in the original cast of STARLIGHT EXPRESS in Las Vegas.
As a director and choreographer his work can be seen Off Broadway, regionally and in summer stocks across the country. In 2016, he choreographed WE ARE THE TIGERS, which was recently produced Off-Broadway. Other credits include, RAGS (Off Broadway), THE WIZ (Virginia Rep), NEWSIES (Forestburgh Playhouse), THE LITTLE MERMAID, FOOTLOOSE (Clinton Area Showboat Theater) XANADU (Watertower Theater) and LYSISTRADA JONES (PACE University), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM and AVENUE Q (Weston Playhouse), GUYS AND DOLLS and HELLO, DOLLY! (Indianapolis Symphony) He served as the choreographer for West Coast regional premiere of THE PRODUCERS (Diablo Theater Company.) Recently he directed WEST SIDE STORY and THE SOUND OF MUSIC for Shenandoah Summer Music Theater. Additionally, Jacob is one of the few approved to re-stage the original production of CATS, which he has done many times around the world.
When not working on productions, Jacob teaches in New York City at both Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway and well as highly involved in the Junior Theater Festival and Broadway Jr. productions inspiring a new generation of young actors. He adapted the high school editions of CHICAGO and A CHORUS LINE and has directed the premiere productions of LEGALLY BLONDE JR., RENT school edition, and AVENUE Q school edition. Jacob currently serves as a Vice President of the Musical Theatre Educator’s Alliance and a proud member of Actors Equity Association.
Seth Brown is a lighting designer from Lee's Summit, Mo. He recently graduated from Missouri State University with a BFA in Lighting Design. His past work includes the lighting design for Missouri State's production of Twelfth Night, directed by Lisa Brescia (Dear Evan Hansen, Mama Mia, Ordinary Days), as well as Heathers the Musical, bare: A Pop Opera, and Clybourne Park. He was recently the lighting and projection designer for the Regional Premiere of the play Parliament Square at the Balcony Theatre in Springfield, Mo. This is his second year as Master Electrician for SSTI and he couldn't be more excited to be back!
Guest Instructor, Baldwin Wallace University
Victoria Bussert has been working as a professional director for more than 30 years. New York credits include THE GIG at Manhattan Theatre Club, DUST AND DREAMS at the YorkTheatre and concert stagings of THE BREAK UP NOTEBOOK: THE LESBIAN MUSICAL, FACTORY GIRLS and THE CIRCUS IN WINTER at New World Stages. Regionally, her work has been seen at Goodspeed Opera, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse, Portland Stage, Dallas Theatre Center, Firebrand Theatre, Playhouse Square, Cleveland Playhouse, Dobama Theatre, Beck Center for the Arts, Pegasus Players, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and Great Lakes Theatre where she serves as Resident Director; her opera direction has been seen at Anchorage Opera, Piedmont Opera, Pennsylvania Opera Theatre, Skylight Opera and Cleveland Opera.
Victoria directed national tours of INTO THE WOODS, BARNUM, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, GUYS AND DOLLS, THE SECRET GARDEN and THE WHO'S TOMMY. International credits include the Danish Premieres of AVENUE Q (2012 Reumert nomination) and [title of show] for the Fredericia Theatre along with the Danish and London premieres of LIZZIE. Victoria is the Director of Music Theatre for Baldwin Wallace University.
Carrli is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre and Dance. She earned a Bachelor of Theatre Arts concentrating in Stage and Performing Arts Management. She is a community educator, invested in creating opportunities in the performing arts for disenfranchised communities, and a birth doula. Ms. Cooper has worked for the Orlando Repertory Theatre, the Brevard Music Center, U-M’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, and the University Musical Society (UMS). Originally from Orlando, she has also stage managed numerous shows in and around Central Florida, as well as productions in Texas and South Carolina. An alumna of SSTI, Ms. Cooper is thrilled to be returning to a place that means so much to her! She would like to thank her parents for all of their support, and Christ for continuing to sustain. "The art of making art is putting it together.”
Addie Counts is thrilled to join the staff of SSTI as Assistant Stage Manager this summer season! Originally from Chattanooga, TN, she recently graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Stage Management credits include the world premiere of SAVAGE with book and lyrics by Tommy Newman and music by Jaime Lozano, Working the Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee(ASM), and Vinegar Tom (ASM). Favorite roles include Shelly in Hairspray, Cynthia in The Real Inspector Hound, Erato in Xanadu, Missy in The Marvelous Wonderettes, and Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
SSTI Essentials Instructor, Baldwin Wallace University
Greg has been the head of the Dance Program at Baldwin Wallace University for 10 years. As a professional dancer, Greg has performed in regional theaters from coast to coast, in national and international tours of Broadway shows and, for nine years at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in NYC. He teaches master classes at studios across the country. His choreographic credits include Anything Goes, starring Tony Award nominated Dee Hoty; the world premiere of a new musical, My Own Song (Flatrock Playhouse, NC), starring Clint Holmes; and Putting it Together (Syracuse Stage), starring Tony Award winners Lillias White and Chuck Cooper. Other shows include Cabaret, Les Miserables and The Secret Garden(Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Great Lakes Theater), Dreamgirls and Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Cain Park), and the regional premiere of Spring Awakening and Carrie: the musical (Beck Center for the Arts). Greg also had the rare honor of creating an original number for the World Famous Rockettes at New York's famed Radio City Music Hall for the Commerce Bank WOW Awards.
For Baldwin Wallace University, he has choreographed such shows as Rent, La Bohème, Lizzie: The Musical, Follies, A Chorus Line and just recently the academic premiere of Kinky Boots. Awards include 2012 and 2014 Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Choreographer for the regional premiere of Spring Awakening and Carrie, and 2012 and 2014 Broadwayworld.com Cleveland Award for Best Choreography for Sondheim on Sondheim, Carrie and Les Miserables. He is a member of Actors' Equity Association and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Mary Anna Dennard
College Audition Coach
Mary Anna Dennard is a nationally recognized college audition coach and the founder of CollegeAuditionCoach.com, the first-ever online prep for college performing arts applicants. She is the author of the books “Before I GOT IN! The Young Teen's College Audition Guide for Acting And Musical Theatre,” and “I GOT IN! The Ultimate College Audition Guide For Acting And Musical Theatre.” In addition, you might recognize her writings for the New York Times theater section, TheaterMania, Educational Theatre Association, and Get Acceptd. She also has a regular college blog for the Huffington Post. Dennard conducts master classes throughout the country and serves as a guest instructor for the Broadway Dreams Foundation, Broadway Teachers Workshop, the Dallas Summer Musicals, and the Performing Arts Project. Dubbed “the Princeton Review for college theater auditions,” since 2000, she has coached hundreds of high school students all over the country who have been accepted into the most prestigious college programs in the U.S. and Europe. Many have gone on to have successful careers in the recording industry, on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. For more information, visit College Audition Coach and follow @collegeaudcoach on Twitter. Visit her YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
SSTI Essentials Instructor, Boston University
McCaela Donovan is an Elliot Norton and IRNE award-winning actress, theatre educator, and audition coach, and has served as Associate Artistic Director and founding member of Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston. She has performed Off Broadway and in various regional theaters, including Primary Stages, NYMTF, ArtsEmerson, Huntington Theatre Company, American Repertory Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage, Gloucester Stage Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Lyric Stage Company, New Repertory Theatre, Company One, Stoneham Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Reagle Music Theatre, and Children’s Theatre of Sioux Falls, SD.
A member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA and SAFD, Donovan has worked and taught at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Boston Conservatory, Emerson College, Dean College, Emmanuel College, and Walnut Hill School for the Arts. As Assistant Director of the BU School of Theatre, she serves as head of Admissions and Recruitment for performance and teaches in the areas of music theatre and career opportunities.
Director of SSTI Essentials, Carnegie Mellon University
is an accomplished music director, vocal coach, pianist, and actor. He is currently an Associate Professor of Musical Theatre/Vocal Coach/Music Director at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. As a vocal coach in New York for over 10 years, Edinger’s former and current clients have performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, on national/ international tours, and in regional houses across the globe. Broadway: Pacific Overtures (2004 Revival), Children and Art, Kristin Chenoweth’s My Love Letter to Broadway. Rick has taught and music directed at dozens of universities and regional theatres including Shenandoah Conservatory and NYU Tisch. Edinger is in the process of writing and editing his first book, The National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Nuts & Bolts Guide to Producing New Musicals. As a strong advocate for the development of new works, he plays a large role in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s annual endeavors. He maintains a private studio as vocal coach in New York & Pittsburgh. Edinger trained at Manhattan School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Brooklyn College, and Hunter College. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.
Wigs and Makeup Assistant Designer
Hannah Humphrey is thrilled to be returning to SSTI for her second year as the Wig & Makeup Assistant. She is a graduate of the University of North Georgia where she received her BFA in Design and Technology for Theatre with a focus in Costumes Technology through the Gainesville Theatre Alliance. Previous credits with GTA include: The Wizard of Oz (Makeup Design), The Odyssey (Hair and Makeup Design), and Much Ado About Nothing (Hair and Makeup Design), and Noises Off (Scenic Paint Charge). Hannah has also worked for the Central City Opera in Colorado.
Kyle Jensen is a sound designer and audio engineer based out of Rochester, New York, and is excited to be returning to SSTI. Kyle got his start in technical theatre in 2009, and he quickly realized it would become a career pursuit. He graduated from American University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Audio Production. During his time in DC, he was able to freelance design and engineer for numerous venues and theatres in the area.
At American University, he served as the Lead Audio Engineer at the Greenberg Theatre. He is an Affiliated Professional member of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA), and during the colder months serves as an Audio Engineer at Rochester’s GEVA Theatre Center. Notable productions he has worked on include Spring Awakening; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; You’re a Good Man..., and the world premieres of The Magician’s Daughter and Revival: The Resurrection of Son House; The Royale; Chess: The Musical; SSTI’s productions of Chicago, and Tuck Everlasting; and the 2015 Broadway National Tour of Kinky Boots. Additionally, he is a touring producer and DJ and has performed at festivals in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Mexico, Canada, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Assistant Musical Director
Jeremy is a Kansas City and St. Louis based performer. He is a music director and pianist primarily but spends plenty of time directing, producing, and performing onstage as well. He is currently pursuing a B.M. in Music Direction for Musical Theatre from Webster University in St. Louis, MO, where he is a Presidential Scholar. Alongside his studies, Jeremy is a Producing/Marketing Intern for STAGES St. Louis and a musical theatre instructor/accompanist in their Academy for the Performing Arts. He is the assistant choral director for Variety Children’s Chorus, the special needs chorus of St. Louis. He is the Artistic Director and resident Music Director for Ping! A Performing Arts Collective, where he has directed the critically-acclaimed productions of Carrie: the Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and The Pillowman. He is the Founder, Artistic Director, and Music Director for the ChordLoks, Webster University’s premier A Cappella group. Favorite past credits include Big Fish (Faust Theatre), Evita (Trentino Music Festival - Mezzano, Italy), Daddy Long Legs (Spinning Tree Theatre), Falsettos (Faust Theatre), The Last Five Years (Webster Conservatory), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Ping!), and Xanadu (Music Theatre Kansas City).
Bakari Jamal King
SSTI Junior Director
Bakari, a native of Chicago, has spent the last 13 years in education and is currently teaching middle school theatre & coaching high school cheerleading at the University School of Nashville. When not in the classroom, he makes his home on the many stages of Nashville as an actor, director, and choreographer. He’s been seen in productions across many of the city’s professional theatres including Tennessee Rep, Street Theatre, and Boiler Room Theatre. His favorite productions include Big River and To Kill A Mockingbird at TN Rep, and I Love You’re Perfect, Now Change at the Street Theatre. Currently, he is working alongside Grammy Award winning songwriter Marcus Hummon (God Bless the Broken Road) on a new musical about the life of Fredrick Douglas. Bakari is so proud to represent the Nashville Theatre family at SSTI and he looks forward to sharing his passions with the students of SSTI Junior!
Director/Choreographer, Rider University
Robin Lewis is a 12-year Broadway and national Broadway touring veteran. Credits include: Fosse, Dance Captain of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Dance Captain of A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden. He toured with the first national tour of The Producers with Jason Alexander and Martin Short in Hollywood. He has toured in A Chorus Line, Hello Dolly, Beauty and the Beast, as well as performances at The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Robin can also be seen on the PBS Dance in America movie Fosse: A Celebration in Dance.
He is an accomplished choreographer, having created works for Texarts’ Broadway Series: The Music Man with Rebecca Luker, Damn Yankees with Meg Gillentine at the Paramount, as well as Evita for Oklahoma Lyric Theatre, Zachary Scott Theatre and others regionally. Several works have garnered Austin Critics’ Circle and B. Iden Payne Awards. The New York Times recognized his choreographic work for Zachary Scott’s production of Porgy and Bess at the Austin Music Hall. Lewis also choreographed the movie Bernie starring Shirley MacLaine and Jack Black directed by Rick Linklater. Robin is currently on faculty for Musical Theater (BFA) at Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University.
Guest Artist, University of Michigan
Mark Madama has been at the University of Michigan since 2000, teaching musical theatre performance classes at levels from freshmen to senior; musical theatre history classes from the 1860s to the present; and directing numerous productions including Assassins, Rent, Big River, Guys and Dolls, Company, City of Angels, The Pajama Game, Nine, Ragtime, Into the Woods, Children of Eden, Good News!, The Full Monty and the Horton Foote play 1918. He has also worked on the yearly “Senior Showcase,” which is presented in Ann Arbor and New York. Before starting his tenure at Michigan, Mark worked as a director, writer and actor throughout the world. He has been one of the resident directors at Music Theatre of Wichita for over twenty years. Mark has also worked regionally at such theatres as The Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, Studio Ensemble Theatre in New York, Casa Manana Musical Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, Theatre Under The Stars, Kansas City Starlight, Theatre Memphis and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma.
Kathy McGill made her first theatrical costumes -for Fiddler on the Roof- more than 40 years ago before taking a detour into the travel industry and as a professional bowler. She continued to hone her skills as a seamstress, and eventually her two teen-age children drew her into work for their high school theater program. Since then she has costumed over 50 theatrical productions. Kathy’s passion is working with young actors and creating memorable costumes that provide a professional experience. Her credits span a diverse body of work from Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors (which one director called “a true work of art”) to the Jazz Age fringe and flash in Chicago to the spooky, kooky Addams Family members -past and present. Kathy delights in her partnership with Ben Wolfe as it has spanned 15 productions (and counting), resulting in some of her best work.
Director, Penn State University
John Simpkins is a Director and Educator. His directing work has included New York, Regional, and International theatres and venues – and his portfolio has focused primarily on the development and direction of new musicals. Among the many writers he loves working with, he has had the pleasure of a 15-year collaboration with Tony nominee Joe Iconis – directing his shows The Black Suits, Bloodsong of Love, Things to Ruin, Rewrite, The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks, and all 11 years of The Joe Iconis Christmas Extravaganza. His next project with Mr. Iconis is Love in Hate Nation – opening Fall, 2019 at Two River Theater.
As an educator, John became the Head of Musical Theatre at Penn State University in Fall, 2015. Among the new initiatives he has created are a New Musicals commissioning program and a wellness center for young artists.
Christian Specht is the Associate Professor of Lighting and Sound at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He holds an MFA in Lighting Design from Virginia Tech and a BFA in Performance from Valdosta State University. He has assisted various lighting designers on Broadway as well as in multiple regional theaters, including Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas and Signature Theatre in Washington, D.C. Christian is married to Shelbye, an art teacher, and they have two children.
Technical Director, Director of SSTI Tech Education
Kyle Spens is a Technical Director and tech educator currently based in Chapel Hill, NC. He is a current MFA student at UNC-Chapel Hill working towards his masters in Technical Production. While there, he is continuing to work professionally with PlayMakers Repertory Company as well as teaching undergraduate courses in technical theatre. Kyle has worked professionally in Seattle, WA for several years as a TD and ATD for organizations including Seattle Repertory Theatre, Spectrum Dance Theatre, and Balagan Theatre. He has also spent time on the east coast, spending summers with Williamstown Theatre Festival and Theatre by the Sea. In addition, he served as Technical Coordinator for a month-long tour of Bulgaria and Italy, as a part of the Varna International Music Festival. A native of Tacoma, WA, he obtained his BFA in Theatre Arts from Central Washington University. His past work can be seen on his website at www.kylespens.com.
Libby Stadstad is a scenic designer for theatre, opera, dance, film, television and immersive installations. Her work has been presented by New York City Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Williamstown Theater Festival, 59E59, The New School, The Cell, Ramapo College, Luna Stage, Curtain Call Theater, Clarence Brown Theater in Tennessee, Children's Theater of Charlotte and many others.
In 2019, Ms.Stadstad will make her scenic design debut with the highly acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at New York City Center featuring new choreography by Jamar Roberts.
Ms.Stadstad also works as an associate designer and assistant art director for Film, Television, Broadway, Opera, National Tours and Immersive installations.
Ms.Stadstad is an adjunct professor of Scenic Design at Ramapo College in New Jersey. Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829. Stadstad is a graduate of the University of Knoxville Tennessee with an MFA in scenic design.
A recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, Peter is thrilled to be back at SSTI this year as associate Director/Choreographer! New York Theatre: 35mm (Prospect Theater Company), South Pacific (National Dance Institute) Other Credits: Gypsy (Ocean State Theater Company), Guys and Dolls (Ocean State Theater Company). Love to my family and friends! IG: @Pwill496
Alexander is the interim associate program head of Pace University's BFA Musical Theater program in New York City. He holds his MM from Shenandoah Conservatory in conducting and an honors BMUS from Arizona State University in composition. A current composer with the BMI Lehman Engel Music Theatre Workshop, Alexander has worked on the off-Broadway premieres of The Little Match Girl and Love & Yogurt. He has helped champion new works with Arizona State University, Shenandoah Conservatory, North Central College, and Phoenix Theatre.
Additional appointments include Interlakes Summer Theatre, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre, Creede Repertory Theatre, Arizona Broadway Theatre and Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. Select production credits: 10th Anniversary National Tour of “Grinch,” Guys and Dolls, Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, The Last Five Years, West Side Story, Oklahoma!, La Cage aux Folles, Ragtime, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Lysistrata Jones, Spring Awakening. Musicals: Of Leto, Til Death.
SSTI Founder and Artistic Director
Ben is the proud founder of SSTI. For over a decade, he has been the fortunate leader of many talented teachers and the grateful director to hundreds of aspiring young performers. Also at SSTI, Ben can frequently be found serving as janitor, lunchlady, or occasionally even as a marginally-qualified home appliance repairman. In other similar lives, Ben has been the Director of Performing Arts at Hilton Head Preparatory School from 2009-2013. In the off-season, Ben is a resident of New York City, where he keeps a finger on the pulse of musical theatre, allowing SSTI to have access to the highest caliber of instructors and first-class productions. Gratitude is the attitude.