FTC Theatre Arts Division Faculty

Dr. David Krasner

Professor and Chair of Theatre
BFA in Acting, Carnegie Mellon University; MFA in Acting, Virginia Commonwealth University;
Ph. D. in Drama, Tufts University

David KrasnerDr. David Krasner has been teaching acting and theatre for 40 years.  He was a professional actor in New York for 12 years, and has appeared on both stage and film. He was the director of undergraduate theatre studies at Yale University for ten years, Head of the B.F.A. acting program at Emerson College for five years, Dean of the School of the Arts at Dean College for five years, Head of the graduate directing program at Southern Illinois University for two years, and taught acting, voice, speech, movement and directed plays at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York for nine years. Not surprisingly, many of his past students have also gone on to win Obie and Tony Awards.

Dr. Krasner studied acting under Paul Mann, Kim Stanley and Barbara Loden, and holds a Ph. D. in Drama from Tufts University. He is the author and editor of eleven books covering topics from Method acting, theatre history, dramatic literature, modern drama, African American theatre, theatre and philosophy, American drama, dramatic theory and criticism. He serves on the board of editors for Stanislavsky Studies, Theatre Journal, and African American Review. He was the recipient of the Betty Jean Jones Award for the best teacher of American theatre and drama (2008), and has twice received the Errol Hill Award from the American Society for Theatre Research for the best work on African American Theatre (1998, 2002). He is also the co-editor of the University of Michigan Press’s series on Theatre. As an actor, he last performed Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge in Massachusetts, which can be seen on YouTube.

Kaelem Camper

Acting, Adjunct
Temple University (B.A.) and Long Island University (M.F.A.)

Kaelem CamperKaelem Camper is an actor from Philadelphia, PA who has written numerous plays, as well as directed shows as he crafts his personal consent-based pedagogy. Upon earning his Masters, he became an adjunct professor at both Long Island University and Five Towns College. He also has multiple certifications from Theatrical Intimacy Education (T.I.E.) which he puts into practice in both his educational work, directorial work, and his intimacy coordination. As an actor, he has starred in musicals Tick, Tick, Boom and Orange is the New Musical, plays Dog Sees God and Zooman and the Sign, Shakespeare, The Tempest and multiple devised works. He has directed many original plays, devised pieces, and multiple first year college showcases. Recently, he, along with his friend Brett Wolfe, created a new theatrical film company called The Wonderstruck Uncut. For the company’s opening season, Kaelem starred in a film titled “Quandaries of the Living”, which he also wrote. He also directed a film titled “Tumor”. kaelemvoncamper.com wonderstruckuncut.com

Joshua Warner

Set Design, Adjunct

Josh WarnerJoshua Warner has designed over 100 projects for theater, film, television, and beyond. Designs include Off-Broadway Revivals of The Baker’s Wife; A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine; A Class Act; and The Boys from Syracuse; The Bachelor Musical Parody (Apollo Theater, Chicago); Love Actually? the Musical Parody (Off-Broadway + Chicago); FRIENDS! the Musical Parody (Off-Broadway + North American Tour); The Dark Star from Harlem: The Josephine Baker Story (La Mama E.T.C. – AUDELCO Nom.); SUDS (Lincoln Center Education); Between the Sea and Sky (NYMF Outstanding Design); Theater for the New City; Theater Row; St. Luke’s Theater. International: Victor’s Imagination (Shenzhen, China). Virtual: Zoom Fatigue – A 24 Hour Zoom Performance. associate/assistant: Ford’s Theater; Signature Theater NY; Arizona Broadway Theater; Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Bay Street Theater; Argyle Theater; HERE Arts Center. Joshua has collaborated with students at York College; Emerson College; Five Towns College; New York Film Academy; Stages on the Sound; the College Light Opera Company; and Leaders By Choice.  He is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829, Broadway Green Alliance + USITT.

Michael Kauffman

Technical Director, Assistant Professor, Head of Design and Technology

Michael KaufmannMichael Kaufman is a designer, technician, and production manager who has worked countless productions at a myriad of New York venues. After initially training at Bard College, he worked professionally at The Fisher Center for The Performing Arts, The Tilles Center, Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, The Landmark on Main Street, The John W. Engeman Theatre, The Argyle Theatre, and other venues. He has also spent several years in the live event technologies industry, working with local specialists such as Bestek Lighting and Staging, Shadowbox Design Management, and Luminous Designs.

Hali Bekofsky

Assistant Professor, Head of Dance, Co-Head of Musical Theatre
BFA in Dance, University of the Arts; MA in Education, Stony Brook University

Hali Bekofsky

Hali Bekofsky was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She was a competitive dancer from the ages of seven to seventeen and upon finishing high school attended the University of the Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia, where she graduated in May 2010 with a B.F.A. in Jazz Dance Performance. While attending UArts she received the Faculty Award for “Excellence in Dance”, was a founding member and soloist of the Xhale Dance Company, and, simultaneously, received her Certification in Nutrition for Optimal Health, Wellness and Sports through Stony Brook University.

After graduation she was honored to have the opportunity to dance for a year in Israel under the MASA Apprentice Program with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and upon returning to NYC, she worked with companies such as Michael Susten and Company, DeMa Dance Company, Leon Contemporary Dance Company, Amalgamate Dance Company, BEings Dance Company and performed different project works at APAP Festival, NYC REVERBdance, The Young Choreographers Festival and as a dancer for recording artist Ja’Shayla at Gap Stores. In 2013 she became a 200hr certified Vinyasa Yoga Instructor and from 2013-2016 she was the Creator/Co-Owner of Mindful Practice Workshop: Conditioning and Wellness for the Competitive Dancer which was featured in the February 2015 edition of Dance Studio Life Magazine. In addition to being at Five Towns College, she is a dance teacher in NY where she teaches multiple levels and styles, a choreographer for competitive gymnastic floor routines, and is a JV Dance Team Coach at a local high school. 

Dr. Rich Harris Jr.

Vocal Instructor, Adjunct

Dr. Harris has been teaching voice, acting, and piano for almost 20 years. Rich currently teaches at a South Shore public high school, where he serves as the Director of Musical Productions, Choral Activities, and the Music Theory program. Rich has spent years on the Tri-State band circuit as a vocalist and keyboardist.  During the early part of his career, he has worked extensively as a performer and educator while undertaking a Bachelors degree in Music Education, a Masters degree in Music History, and a Doctoral degree in Music History. Past accomplishments include being selected to the national touring companies of Rent and Movin’ Out as well as working on an MTV pilot show.

Mitchell Walker

Co-Head of Musical Theatre, Assistant Professor, Head of Vocal Production
BFA in Musical Theatre, University of Cincinnati

Mitchell WalkerMitchell Walker is a NYC based Director and Record Producer. He is also the Co-Founder of No Reverse Records, the Artistic and Creative Director for The Rusty Anchor Acting Company (RAAC). As a Record Producer he has worked on production with Greg Calbi, Six-Time Grammy Award Winner Alex Venguer, 3-Time Grammy Award Winner Oscar Zambrano. His records have been on the Billboard Top 10 Cast Album Chart, #1 on iTunes Blues and R&B charts, #1 on Amazon, and have won Broadway World’s Solo album of the year (2016) and the Decade (2010 – 2020). Releasing music by Grammy Nominated Singer Songwriter LOLO aka Lauren Pritchard (Spring Awakening), Hamilton Duo Saffron Lips (Stephanie Jae Park & Voltaire Wade-Greene), Original Studio Cast Recording Frankie! The Musical (Broadway Records), Classical Crossover Composer Blake Allen, and Broadway stars Blaine Krauss, Michelle Dowdy, and Alexa Green. As a director he has worked on Night of the Living Dead: The Musical at Theatre Row (Off-Broadway), Birthday Boy the Musical at The Davenport Theatre (Off-Broadway), The Last Five Years at Columbia University, Gemini starring Diana DeGarmo at Sony Hall, and DNA: Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young at Birdland. Member of Actors Equity Association. www.noreverserecords.com

Monica Athenas

Monica AthenasStage Management, Adjunct
BFA in Theatre Arts, Adelphi University

Monica Athenas is a Queens, NY based Stage Manager and theatre collaborator. She is the stage management professor of Five Towns College Theatre Division. She is currently working with KGM Theatrical as the Production Stage Manager for Asi Wind’s: Inner Circle. For more info on upcoming/current projects visit monicaathenas.com

Joe Naftal

Stage Lighting, Adjunct
BFA in Lighting Design, Design & Production conservatory at University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Joe NaftalJoe Naftal is a lighting designer for theatre, dance, opera, and themed entertainment. His lighting design credits include Area Stage Company, Holiday World Theme Park, the Arsht Center, Hofstra University, the Tank, Nassau Community College, John W. Engeman Theatre, and Philadelphia’s Academy of Music. Credits as an assistant lighting designer include American Ballet Theatre, The Washington Ballet, Philadelphia Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Piedmont Opera, Kennywood Theme Park, Phantom of the Opera (Broadway), Dog ManThe Gentleman CallerBulldozer, and The Mad Ones (Off-Broadway). He is the Lighting Supervisor for the acclaimed Paul Taylor Dance Company, where he has remounted lighting for the company’s repertory at Lincoln Center and across the United States.  He is a proud member of United Scenic Artists and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.  His book, Standby in the Wings, has been read across North America, Europe, and Australia.  Joe is an advocate for arts education and serves on the Board of Directors for CM Performing Arts Center and Robin Becker Dance.

Jamie Gannon

Adjunct Professor of Acting
BA in Theatre, Penn State University

Jamie GannonJamie Gannon got his first professional job at 16 and he knew he wanted to spend his life Acting. He received a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts and graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in Acting. He has trained with Ingrid Sonnichsen (Acting professor- Carnegie Mellon), Patsy Rodenburg (Voice coach- RSC & Royal National Theatre), and Arthur Mendoza (teaching protégé of Stella Adler). Within six months of graduation, through sheer luck and grace he found himself in NYC with an agent and a bi-coastal manager. After a move to L.A. he tested for his first pilot, joined the union, and worked professionally in Film, Television, Theatre, Commercials, and Voiceovers. Jamie has coached Acting in L.A. and taught at The Gateway Playhouse.

Kelly Horsted

Vocal, Adjunct

Kelly Horsted enjoys an active career in NYC as an accompanist and vocal coach. He has a long relationship with American Opera Projects, where he has been a music director for Composers and the Voice Series since 2006. Through AOP, he recently participated as a music director for The Stonewall Operas, a joint collaboration with the Tisch GMTWP’s Advanced Opera Lab. He is also a regular collaborator at the Madison Lyric Stage where he recently music directed Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.  Other notable associations have included Chelsea Opera, Center for Contemporary Opera, Long Island Concert Pops, The Wintergreen Festival, New Jersey Opera Theater, Friends and Enemies of New Music, and Five Words in a Line.  He has taught at Mannes College of Music, The Hartt School, Hunter College, Intermezzo, Five Towns College, OperaWorks, Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts, and the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at Tisch NYU as a thesis collaborator.  His Bachelor and Master of Music degrees are from the Eastman School of Music where he was a fellowship recipient and a 1st place Kneisel Competition winner.

Audra Moricca

Vocal, Head of Vocal Placement, Adjunct
Bachelor of Music in Applied Voice, Mannes School of Music; MA in Vocal Performance, Aaron Copland School of Music at CUNY Queens College

Audra_MoriccaAudra Moricca is a native of Northport, New York, began her musical studies as a violinist, studying at Manhattan School of Music. She maintains an active performing career and is a respected interpreter in both the operatic and concert arenas.  She specializes in the dramatic roles of Strauss, Verdi and Wagner, as well as the title roles of Tosca, Turandot, and Vanessa. Recent performances include appearances as Marcelina in Le Nozze di Figaro with North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and as Santuzza in Hotel Fables with Madison Lyric Stage.  With pianist Kelly Horsted, Ms. Moricca has performed and recorded extensive recital repertoire. Recent performances together include concert works Andromache’s Farewell, and Concert Arias K272 & K505 by Mozart, as well as Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder and Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis.  She maintains a private studio in Manhattan and Northport, NY, and has taught both pedagogy and performance classes. She is dedicated to the training of both classical and musical theater singers, and her students are frequently noted for extensive vocal range and power. Audra has had the pleasure of preparing singers for concerts, regional opera and musical theater. Audra is the voice coordinator at Five Towns College and has been a faculty member since 2001. She has also served as a past vocal faculty member at Molloy College and the Hartt School at the University of Hartford.

Peter Fogel

Costume Design, Adjunct
B.F.A in Theater Production, Hofstra University; M.F.A in Costume Design, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University

Peter FogelPeter Fogel is a Costume Designer whose creativity has been seen in plays, musicals, and operas throughout the United States and abroad. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Production from Hofstra University and received a Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Peter brings everything he has learned from these established programs, as well as from the abundance of shows that he has worked on to his style as an educator. Selected design credits include the off-Broadway productions of The Net Will Appear starring Richard Masur, Cyrano de Bergerac with director Gabriel Barre and Cyrano, by the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio, which was performed at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Regional design credits include the world premiere of The Net Will Appear, BetrayalVanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The 39 Steps, and It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at Mile Square Theatre, as well as The Full Monty, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Footloose, and An American in Paris at The Argyle Theatre. Peter has also designed costumes for opera. Costume designs for The Bronx Opera Company include Albert Herring and La Cenerentola. Associate design credits include Celebrate! The Sesame Street 10th Anniversary Parade at Beaches Resorts, Mabou Mines’ Glass Guignol: The Brother and Sister Play, and Medea (both of which were directed by OBIE Award Winner Lee Breuer).

Dan Renkin

Stage Combat Instructor
BA in Drama, University of California at Irvine
BA in Film Studies, University of California at Irvine
Certificate, Two-Year Professional Workshop, Circle in the Square Theatre School, NYC
Certified Stage Combat instructor and Fight Director with B.H. Barry (founder of modern fight direction,
co-founder BADC, and only Tony-recipient for fight direction)

Co-founder American Academy of Fight Directors, the only society with which Mr. Barry is a member

Dan Renkin assisted Tony-recipient B.H. Barry on Broadway’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and taught for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Circle in the Square, HB Studio and NYFA (founding faculty, Musical Theatre division.) He has fought and coached at the Metropolitan Opera and was a stunt coordinator on “As The World Turns.” Recent productions include Douglas Beane’s To Wong Foo and Hood! (NYC Workshops), R&J&Z (New Ohio), Poppea (Aspen Opera), Punk Rock (Montclair), Fruit Trilogy (Abingdon), Extinction (Guild Hall/Sawyer Spielberg), Monte Cristo (NLTP), Pirira (NYIT Award, Theatre 167), All My Sons (Alec Baldwin, Laurie Metcalf), and Loveless Texas (Sheen).

Lisa Strum

Adjunct Professor of Theatre, Resident Director
BA in English, Theatre, and Spanish, Albright College; MFA in Acting, University of Washington

Lisa Strum (MFA University of Washington) a Philadelphia native living and working in New York is an educator, actress, playwright, producer, casting director, director, singer and a certified wedding officiant! She received an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington in Seattle and has performed in regional theatres all across the country.  She directed For Colored Girls… at Five Towns College in Long Island, FALL for the Marathon 2019 One Act Play Festival with Ensemble Studio Theatre and starred as Rose in FENCES with the REP at The University of Delaware. Lisa also starred in the Michigan Premiere of Dominique Morisseu’s PIPELINE at the Detroit Public Theatre, and SWEAT at People’s Light. Her solo play, She Gon’ Learn premiered at the Emerging Artist Theatre Festival at TADA!, followed by sold out performances at the United Solo Festival on Theatre Row in NYC where the play received one of the festival’s Best Solo S how Awards. Other She Gon’ Learn performances include: The Obie Award Winning Fire This Time Festival; The National Black Theatre; The New Black Fest at The Lark Play Development Center; The Roselle Center for the Arts at University of Delaware, a workshop production at The Jersey City Theatre Center in New Jersey, and the headlining show for the inaugural Alumni Theatre Event at Albright College.  As an actor, Lisa has worked at Lincoln Center Theatre with the Tony Award winning director of HAMILTON, Thomas Kail, appeared at Summer Stage, Signature Theatre, New Federal Theatre, Intiman Theatre, The Obie Award Winning 48 Hours in…Harlem, ACT and The Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Lisa has also had a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU and co-stared in the television pilot Citizen Baines with James Cromwell from BABE and LA Confidential.  As an educational consultant, she has conducted numerous artist and professional development workshops in public schools, colleges and universities all over the country.  Lisa is a staff facilitator at Columbia University for The Literacy Unbound Summer Institute and was the Theatre Specialist for the Abrons Arts Center, Barbara L. Tate Summer Arts Program at the historic Henry Street Settlement for nine seasons.  Lisa was a Finalist for the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award, was the recipient of the Playwrights Initiative Fellowship at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award for Best Outstanding Actress in a Play, and received a Broadway World Award for Best actress in the Regional production of FENCES.