FTC Theatre Division Bios
DR. DAVID KRASNER (Chair of Theatre Division) 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.
ALEXA GREEN (Co-Head of Musical Theatre) is best known for her turn as Glinda in the Los Angeles and San Francisco companies of the hit Broadway musical Wicked. She appeared alongside Neil Patrick Harris and Patti LuPone in the international cinematic release of Stephen Sondheim’s Company with The New York Philharmonic live from Lincoln Center. Alexa has toured both nationally and internationally as a singer and actor on national tours and regionally and is passionate about the development of new musical theatre. She has appeared as a guest star with symphonies nationwide and has most recently worked in the studio with 16-time, Grammy Award-winning record producer and songwriter, David Foster, on his upcoming Broadway projects.
She has been featured in the acclaimed concert series Broadway Sings, with Carole King at Avery Fisher Hall, and with Aaron Tveit on his Live Nation concert tour and received critical acclaim for her sold-out solo show, A Shining Hour, at Feinstein’s 54 Below. Broadway Records recently released Alexa’s debut solo album, So Good, and was nominated among Broadway legends Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, and Barbra Streisand winning Best New Solo Recording at the 2016 Broadway World Awards. As an educator, Alexa currently owns her own private voice practice in NYC and is in residence working with singers, actors and speakers both at the college and professional level. She lectures nationwide on vocal health and longevity as well as musical theatre and contemporary commercial music vocal technique. Alexa holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music and is a current graduate student in Music and Music Education with a specialization in vocal pedagogy at Columbia University, Teachers College.
DAN RENKIN (Stage Combat) 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).
HALI BEKOFSKY (Head of Dance, Co-Head of Musical Theatre) 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.
KATE EMINGER (Head of Directing) is a director and filmmaker based in New York. She has developed work for Ars Nova, Dixon Place, The Drama League, IRT, NYU, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Luna Stage, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, NYC Fridge Festival, Gowanus Arts Productions, and Wide Eyed Productions, among others. Selected directing credits: Cape Disappointment by The Debate Society, reluctant to burn and no seconds by Korde Arrington Tuttle, nightnight by Lucas Hnath (The New School), Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, trans. Sarah Ruhl (GAP, New York Premiere), Endgame by Samuel Beckett, Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, and Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl (Ausitn Playhouse, Regional Premiere). Assistant Directing: Daniel Aukin, Les Waters, Meredith McDonough, and Ian Belknap, among others. She is a Lincoln Center Directors Lab member (2014), Actors Theater of Lousiville Directing Intern (2012-2013), and a SPACE on Ryder Farm Resident Chef. MFA directing: The New School www.keminger.com
MICHAEL COSTA (Technical Director, Head of Design/Technology) – originally from Massachusetts, Michael has worked as an actor and technician all over New England. Michael has served as Designer and Technical Director in theatres all over the New England Region. Credits include: A Little Night Music (Master Carpenter, Barnstormers), Anything Goes (Scenic Designer, College Light Opera Company), Legally Blonde (Assistant Technical Director, Boston Children’s Theatre), Tuesday’s with Morrie (Technical Director, Acadia Repertory Theatre), Some Problems for the Moose Lodge (Technical Venue Manager, Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival), The Silencer (Light/Sound Designer, NYWinterfest), Measure for Measure (Technical Director, Brown Box Theatre Project). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Theatre & Acting from Dean College.
RONALD LAND (Head of Vocal Production, Co-Head of Musical Theatre) has cultivated a distinguished reputation as one of the most sought-after voice/opera coaches in the United States. His unique background in musical comedy and classical music has allowed him to focus his attention on the diverse theatrical and musical aspects of shaping the modern opera/musical theater singer. As a coach-accompanist, he has worked in many American opera companies, including Des Moines Metro Opera, International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Opera Theater, Augusta Opera, and Opera New Jersey where he worked for nine seasons. Mr. Land has been involved with many teaching programs and masterclasses aimed at the development of the young artists. He currently enjoys working with Martina Arroyo in both the summer “Prelude to Performance” program and the “American Singer’s Opera Project,” concentrating on character development and role preparation.
SHERRY KFARE (Costume Design) has worked professionally in theatre as a designer, director, and teacher for over 40 years. Sherry has served on the faculty of Lynbrook Children’s Theatre, Theatre Workshop, and Islip High School. As a designer, she has worked in regional theatres and various theatre companies in Manhattan and Long Island. She is currently resident costume designer at FTC and USDAN. She is the owner and designer of Sherry L. Theatrical Costumes. Her credits include: My Fair Lady, Cabaret, Sound of Music, South Pacific, Music Man, Hamlet, Annie, Hello Dolly, Boys from Syracuse, Secret Garden, and Blues Clues (world premiere). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech Arts/Theatre Arts from Pace University and a master’s degree from Brooklyn College.
TIM GOLEBIEWSKI (Scenic Design) is enjoying his second year as a faculty member at Five Towns College. Off-Broadway credits include: Beneath the Gavel (59 E 59); Liberty: A Monumental New Musical (Theater 80); Regional: The Surrogate, Centenary Stage; Tommy and Into the Woods, (Scenic/Projection Design) Forestburgh Playhouse; Big Love and O’Beautiful, Connecticut Repertory Theatre. He is also the resident scenic/projection designer at the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, as well as serving as Assistant Set Designer to James Youmans on To Kill a Mockingbird and The Cocktail Hour, The Guthrie. Previously, Tim was a faculty member/resident designer for Connecticut College for five years and served as assistant to multiple Emmy award winning designer, Bob Phillips.
DAVID ORLANDO (Lighting Design) earned his BFA in Lighting Design from Boston University. He has recently worked designing Ripe Frenzy at Boston University and La Bohème with Boston Opera Collaborative. Additionally he has had the recent pleasure of assistant designing at Boston Conservatory, Berkshire Theater Group, American Repertory Theater, and Boston Lyric Opera. He also formerly served as the resident lighting designer of the New Classics Company.
JAMIE GANNON (Acting) graduate of Penn State University with a B.A. in Theatre Arts. He lived and worked in New York City, then moved to Los Angeles where he was fortunate to work professionally in Film, Theatre, Television, Commercials, and Voiceovers while studying closely with Stella Adler’s protégé, Arthur Mendoza, for five years. In 1999, he appeared in the World Premiere of Tennessee Williams’ play Spring Storm, in which he originated the role of Dick Miles. Jamie has been fortunate to teach both school-age children as well as adults, and now college undergrads.
FRANCESCA FERRARA (Acting) graduate of Catholic University with a B. A. in theatre and literature, is an actress and teaching artist, whose theatre credits include Romeo & Juliet (National Players), The Taming of the Shrew (Olney Theatre), Seduced, The Adding Machine, Twelfth Night, AS IS (New American Theatre), Stage Beauty (Crown City), Detainee (East 4th Street Theatre). Film and television highlights include How to Cheat, Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, Masters of Sex, How To Get Away With Murder, and Mad Men. Francesca has been mentored through the Hagen Teacher Lab at HB Studio, and has studied the craft with Herbert Berghof, Uta Hagen, Carol Rosenfeld, Jack Stehlin, Alfred Molina and Mercedes Ruehl. www.actressfrancescaferrara.com
JEREMIAH M. DUDE (Technical Direction) has a B. A. in Theatre with an emphasis in technical direction. He has been the TD, Stage Manager, Master Carpenter, and Lighting, Sound, and Prop Designer for dozens of plays and musicals. He is skilled in carpentry, light rigging, electrician, 3D design printing, and costume design.
RANDALL PARSONS (Designer) has an MFA is Scenic and Lighting Design from NYU. He has professional affiliation with the United Scenic Artists Local 829, and has worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and Regional Theatre for over twenty years.
NATALIE M. FABIAN (Vocal Production) has a BS in Music Education and is earning an MA in Music at Columbia University. She has taught singing and vocal pedagogy at Columbia and Adelphi University, and is an accomplished singer and musical theatre actress on stage and in cabarets. She has been playing the piano for two decades, and has performed in recitals, Churches, and Synagogues.
ROBERT VIAGAS (Theatre History) is an editor, author, journalist, lecturer, and teacher with more than thirty-five years’ experience, working on Broadway. He is the founding editor of Playbill.com, Playbill’s theatre news website, and has published 19 books on the performing arts. He served on the nominating committee of the annual Tony Awards from 2012-2019. Among his published books, Viagas was chosen by the original cast of A Chorus Line to tell their story in On the Line: The Creation of “A Chorus Line” (Morrow) and by the creators of the original The Fantasticks to tell their story in The Amazing Story of The Fantasticks (Citadel). He wrote liner notes for the 40th anniversary re-release of the A Chorus Line original cast album.
ANDREA ARIAS-MARTIN (Vocal) a native from Lynbrook, Long Island, is a graduate from the Master’s program at Manhattan School of Music, and received Bachelor’s from C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. She is currently working on her Master’s In Science for Music Education. While at Manhattan, Andrea performed “Mother” in Griffelkin and “Anna Maurrant” in Street Scene. The New York Times stated, “As Anna Maurrant, Andrea Arias-Martin sings with a bright soprano and effectively conveys the character’s disillusionment and unhappiness.” Andrea was part of the Chautauqua Opera Studio Artist for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, covering the roles of “Foreign Woman” in The Consul and the title role in Norma. At Glimmerglass Opera, Andrea was an American Artist covering “Micaela” in Carmen and “Elaine” in John Musto’s Later the Same Evening. Andrea currently works at Holy Family Parish and School in Hicksville, NY.
Five Towns College welcomes Andrea as an experienced and exciting Vocal Instructor for Theatre Arts degree majors.
JENNIFER BARSAMIAN (Vocal Production) mezzo-soprano, pianist and educator, has been teaching voice and piano for over 20 years. In addition to maintaining a private studio, Jennifer is co-owner and co-founder of the Long Island Studio of Music, which provides exceptional music instruction in your home throughout Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Westchester. www.LongIslandStudioofMusic.com Jennifer is also on the voice faculty of the Queens Sumer Vocal Institute at Queens College. She has previously served on the music faculty of Music Academy of Garden City, the Greenwich House Music School in Manhattan, Lucy Moses School in Manhattan, the Loomis Chaffee School in CT, the community division at The Hartt School of Music, and the community music school at North Carolina School of the Arts. As a performer, she has been praised as being a consummate artist with a winning personality and a deep, rich, strong, vocalism. Described as the “quintessential Carmen” Ms. Barsamian has sung the title role several times throughout the United States. On the opera stage she has sung with the Belleayre Music Festival, Opera Western Reserve, Asheville Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Company of the Highlands, Utah Festival Opera, New Jersey Verismo Opera, and the Spoleto Festival USA. Jennifer holds a Master’s Degree in Music from North Carolina School of the Arts and Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Westminster Choir College, where she began her studies as a pianist. She has also earned two post graduate certificates in Voice and Opera from both the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and the Hartt School of Music. You can hear Jennifer’s work and stay updated with her performances and projects on her website at: www.JenniferBarsamian.com