The faculty at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre is comprised of highly qualified teachers, each with extensive professional experience in their respective disciplines. The student-to-faculty ratio is approximately 6 to 1, ensuring individual attention for every student in our acting program.
Hamish Allan-Headley ~ Drills
Hamish Allan-Headley is originally from Bowen Island, British Columbia. He is a graduate of the Neighbourhood Playhouse, received his MFA in European Classical Theatre from Drama Centre London, UK and trained at the Boris Schuckin Theatre Institute in Moscow, Russia. Hamish works as an actor in theatre, film and television in New York City, regionally and in Canada. His most recent Off-Broadway credits include Irish Repertory’s Belle Of Belfast and The Clearing at 59E59.
James Brill ~ Meisner Acting Technique I
Mr. Brill has been teaching acting in New York for over two decades both privately and at The Neighborhood Playhouse. In 1983 he graduated from The Playhouse where he studied acting with Sanford Meisner, William Alderson and Richard Pinter. After graduation he began his career as an actor and has worked in theatre, film, & television. Early on Mr. Brill was drawn to the idea being a Meisner instructor and began an apprenticeship under his artistic mentors from the Neighborhood Playhouse to learn the craft teaching acting. In addition to being a faculty member at The Playhouse he has also taught at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC, and runs a successful private studio in NYC.
Sandy Faison ~ Meisner Acting Technique II
Sandy Faison is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse, where she studied with Sanford Meisner She holds a BA from Hamilton College and a Master’s degree from NYU’s Steinhardt School Of Education.
On Broadway, she created the role of Grace Farrell in ANNIE and was in the original companies of Is There Life After High School? by Craig Carnelia and Charlie and Algernon by Charles Strouse, as well as the award winning Broadway revival of You Can't Take It With You opposite Jason Robards, Colleen Dewhurst and NP graduate Elizabeth Wilson. Her numerous regional theater credits include leading roles at Hartford Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse and The Folger Theater in Washington.
In film she worked with directors Sidney Lumet (Prince of The City), Michael Chapman (All The Right Moves starring Tom Cruise), and Alan Pakula (The Sterile Cuckoo, starring Liza Minelli). On television, she had starring roles in two soap operas: The Guiding Light and The Edge of Night. She had a recurring role on NBC’s The Days and Nights Of Molly Dodd, and was a regular on the first season of ABC’s Anything But Love, starring Jamie Leigh Curtis and Richard Lewis. Her many guest star appearances include roles on Quantum Leap, Scarecrow and Mrs King, The Wonder Years, Grace Under Fire, Coach, Pros and Cons (with James Earl Jones), Party Of Five, Eight in Enough among many others.
She has produced original works in Los Angeles, ( LA Times Critics Choice Award ), off-Broadway, and at the Goodspeed Opera House.
For the past 13 years, Sandy has been an acting teacher at LaGuardia High School Of Music and Art and Performing Arts (The Fame School). In 2010, Ms. Faison became the coordinator of the Theater Department at LaGuardia. In 2011, she became the head of both drama and technical theater and in 2014 was promoted to Assistant Principal of Theater. During her tenure at LaGuardia she has produced over 39 plays, musicals, talent shows, and industry showcases. Ms. Faison coaches actors privately in NYC and is honored to teach an annual workshop at London’s Royal Academy of Music.
Sean Hagerty ~ Shakespeare I & II
Sean Hagerty trained under Sanford Meisner at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and studied classical theatre at the renowned Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He holds a Masters Degree in Shakespeare and Theatre from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he graduated with Distinction. Sean has worked as an actor, teacher, director and producer regionally and internationally for many years. Credits include: New York Classical Theatre, The Lord Chamberlain's Men, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, The Group Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Bath Shakespeare Festival, The New Vic, Theatre Royal Bristol, and BBC Radio, among others. Sean has served as the chair of Education & Training for the international Shakespeare Theatre Association and as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the Artistic Director for Shakespeare@.
Gary Kingston ~ Meisner Acting Technique I
Gary Kingston is a native of California, where he was a member of LACT in San Francisco. While there he appeared in a number of plays, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Present Laughter, and A Cry of Players. Later he acted in both Stockholm and London. In NYC he has appeared at Synchronicity Space, Playwrights Horizons and is a founding member of The Neighborhood Group Theater, where he played the lead in the original production of William Mastrosimone’s Air Guitar on Theater Row. He appeared regionally at The Schoolhouse Theater in Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer. Mr. Kingston is also a director whose work has been seen at various NYC venues including The Arclight Theater and Alice’s Upstairs. He graduated in 1981 from The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre where he studied with Sanford Meisner, Richard Pinter and Ron Stetson. Mr. Kingston was later trained by Mr. Meisner to be a teacher and has been a senior member of the acting faculty of The Neighborhood Playhouse for over 20 years.
Stephanie Jones ~ Meisner Acting Technique I
Stephanie Jones hails from Ontario, Canada and is a prolific actor, playwright, and theater educator. She is the founding Artistic Director of The Essential Collective Theatre (ECT): a Niagara based theater company committed to the creation and production of new Canadian work. Stephanie trained at Canada’s Humber College Theater Department, and Brock University’s Dramatic Arts Program. She studied extensively in Canada with Neighborhood Playhouse graduate and prominant Meisner Technique teacher, Jacqueline McClintock, and was awarded an OAC Chalmers Professional Development grant to come to New York and study the Meisner Technique with Ron Stetson here at The Neighborhood Playhouse. Ms. Jones began an apprenticeship with Mr. Stetson in Meisner instruction. Ms. Jones established the Niagara Region’s first Meisner training program. In 2010 she was presented with the YWCA’s Women of Distinction award and recently received the St. Catherines Established Artist Award.”
Todd Susman ~ Voiceover & On Camera Acting
Todd Susman has been a professional actor for forty-eight years. His latest features are “The Taking Of Pelham 123,” starring Denzel Washington, “You Don’t Know Jack,” starring Al Pacino, “The ‘A’ Plate,” starring Sam McMurray, and “The Discovers,” starring Griffin Dunne. Todd has co-starred in a TV series six times as a series regular; he recurred in twelve more, including five years as “Officer Shifflett,” the town cop in “Newhart.” Todd has done twenty-two television pilots, myriad Movies Of The Week, and performed in countless episodic television shows, voice-overs and on-camera commercials. He was the “Public Address Announcer” in the TV series “MASH” for eight years, and the “Man From Mitsubishi” on radio for eight years as well. Todd starred as “Wilbur Turnblad” in "Hairspray" on Broadway and co-starred in “Old Jews Telling Jokes” at Westside Arts. He recurs as Jason Biggs’s father in “Orange Is The New Black” for Netflix and recently filmed episodes of “Blue Bloods,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and the CBS spinoff, “The Good Fight,” starring Christine Baranski. Todd has written two plays that received EQUITY productions and rave reviews. His first play, “Locked and Loaded,” garnered additional raves and ran six months in its Los Angeles premiere.
John Tyrrell ~ Meisner Acting Technique II
John Tyrrell has appeared on Broadway in the original casts of Equus, The Merchant with Zero Mostel, and The Miser with Philip Bosco. Off-Broadway: The Crucible and Nora (The ArcLight Theater). National Tour: The Elephant Man. John’s regional credits include appearances at: The Schoolhouse Theater (where he was last seen as in Richard in The Seafarer), Cape May Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Shakespeare on the Sound, Merrimack Repertory Theater, Fulton Playhouse, and South Jersey Regional Theatre. He was nominated for a Boston Outer Critics Award (Best Supporting Actor) for Racing Demon. Television: Deadline. John is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse, where he studied with the late Sanford Meisner.
Gary Ramsey ~ Voice & Speech
M.F.A. Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University (Scholarship Program); B.F.A. Stephens College, (Scholarship Program); Technical Training under Jacklyn Maddux; Certified Alexander Technique Teacher (ACAT); Worked with renowned Breathing Coordinators’ Dr. Carl Stough and Jessica Wolf. Coached: Ethan Hawke, Broadway production of “Macbeth”, Tom Skerritt, Broadway production of ” A Time to Kill”, Colin Quinn, Broadway production of “Long Story Short”, directed and produced by Jerry Seinfeld. Victoria Clark, “The Light in the Piazza, Vivian Beaumont, (Tony Award). Siobhan Fallon, one-woman show, “Momma”, Atlantic Theatre Company. Dialect Coach: one-woman show, Priscilla Lopez, “Class Mothers ‘68”, Clurman Theatre. “Mrs. Dally Has a Lover, Judith Ivey, Westbeth Theatre. He has appeared Off-Broadway, Regionally and abroad as an actor. Teaches acting: St. Mary’s College, Leap Program. Currently singing opera both regionally and internationally. www.garyramsey.org
Colleen Smith Wallnau ~ Voice
M.F.A., Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, B.A., the College of New Jersey. Adjunct faculty Centenary College teaching Acting Workshop, Voice and Articulation and Film Appreciation. Taught at Gately-Poole Studios, New Jersey Governor’s School of the Arts, Guest Lecturer at Drew University and George School. Colleen appeared on Broadway as Mrs. Fodor in Crazy for You. She appeared Off-Broadway at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in the one-person show Mary Todd: A Woman Apart. Other Off-Broadway credits include: Joseph Papp Public Theatre, Soho Rep, Peccadillo Theatre, Mint Theatre and Ohio Theatre. Regional Credits include: North Shore Music Theatre, Papermill Playhouse, Asolo Theatre, Meadowbrook Theatre, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and Centenary Stage Co. Daytime TV includes Loving, Guiding Light, As the World Turns and All My Children. Colleen is a proud member of Equity, SAG, AFTRA and VASTA.
Elizabeth Reese ~ Alexander Technique
Elizabeth Reese, AmSAT, M.Ed, LMHC, is a certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique, a certified dressage instructor, and a licensed mental health counselor. Elizabeth has had a thirty year career as a teacher of mindfulness and kinesthetic awareness. She began studying the AT in 1981 with Marjorie Barstow and considered the work as a core part of her training as a dancer/choreographer/performer in NYC. She trained to be an Alexander teacher from 1991-94 at the American Center for the Alexander Technique. In 2004 and 2006, she completed year-long graduate courses for AT teachers, first with John Nicholls followed by Jessica Wolf’s course The Art of Breathing, based on the practices of Carl Stough. She completed her master's degree at Hunter College. In 2014, she was a research associate on a study exploring the significance of posture in performance, injury, relationship and emotional regulation, using horses as models, funded by the American Holistic Veterinary Foundation. She was a senior faculty member at AT-NYC, a certification program for Alexander teachers, and a co-founder/instructor at Postural Rehabilitation,a continuing education program for veterinarians using alternative care in treatment. Her Alexander workshops have been presented around the country and at several of the American Society for the Alexander Technique’s annual national conferences. Elizabeth is currently on faculty at Bard College Graduate Vocal Arts Program and maintains a private practice. www.ResilientPosture.com
Douglas J. Cohen ~ Music II (Second Year)
Mr. Cohen received the 2010 Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting and won two Richard Rodgers Awards for writing book, music, and lyrics for No Way to Treat a Lady (produced twice off-Broadway resulting in productions worldwide) and The Gig (Manhattan Theatre Club Stage II, Goodspeed). He is the composer/lyricist of The Big Time (book by Douglas Carter Beane) which debuted at the NYMF Festival. Nominated for a 2005 Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Lyrics, Children’s Letters to God), he penned co-book, music, and lyrics for The Opposite of Sex (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and received a Jonathan Larson Grant for composing Barnstormer. His latest musical is Nine Wives with Dan Elish which will receive an off-Broadway showcase in 2013. As a vocal coach, Mr. Cohen has taught privately in New York since 2002. He was selected by Backstage to coach performers at Actorfest and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and helped prepare students from LaGuardia High School and PPAS. As a pianist-vocalist, he joined Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall in a tribute to Burton Lane and has performed at the Metropolitan Room and the Triad. Mr. Cohen is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and the Tony Nominating Committee. douglasjcohen.com
Andrea DelGiudice ~ Music I (First Year)
Ms. DelGiudice has enjoyed a full career in Europe and the United States as a leading international soprano. Theaters include the Scottish National Opera, Munich State Opera, Liege Opera, Bonn Opera, Edmonton Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, DiCapo Opera Theater and Arizona Opera. Her roles include the Puccini and Verdi heroines alongside renowned artists such as Placido Domingo, Johan Botha, Sherill Milnes, Alexei Steblianko, and Nicola Martinucci. Andrea has been a frequent concert soloist at Boston’s Jordan Hall, and WGBH’s “Morning Classics.” Andrea’s diverse talents led to numerous recording contracts in Rome, Italy with Walt Disney/Buena Vista, RAI television and Sundance Films. Ms. DelGiudice currently serves as Artistic Advisor and Voice Faculty at the Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo Italy, Italian American Opera Foundation in Orange County California, and Young Artist Consultant at Dicapo Opera Theater in New York City. She is Founder and Artistic Director, of the DelGiudice Vocal Arts Academy and Operatunity Outreach in addition to her private voice studios in Boston and New York City. Ms. DelGiudice is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and also an accomplished pianist. She studied at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut in both voice and piano. She has served as voice faculty at Dean College, Salem State College and Stonehill College in MA. www.andreadelgiudice.com
Devony Smith ~ Music I (First Year)
Devony Smith is a versatile soprano excelling in both contemporary and traditional repertoire with her “sensuous” and “strong” voice (New York Times). A California native, Ms. Smith makes her mark on New York City as a professional member of Musica Viva NY, where she recently performed Ernest Chausson's “Chanson perpétuelle” with the Aeolus Quartet, and the soprano solos for both Vivaldi’s Gloria and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem. In 2016, Devony made her Lincoln Center recital debut as the Grand Prize Winner of the MIMF Art Song competition. As an artist in residence with Fresh Squeezed Opera, Smith will preform Kate Soper’s self-accompanied opera Here Be Sirens at National Sawdust in 2018. Smith particularly relishes the opportunity to perform new works. As a 2017 fellow at Ravinia Steans Music Institute, she collaborated with composer William Bolcom on a concert of his art songs and cabaret music. As a Marc and Eva Stern Fellow at Songfest, she performed the world premiere of Ben Moore’s John and Abigail. While under the mentorship of Grammy Award-winning soprano Dawn Upshaw, Smith created the lead role in Shawn Jaeger’s opera, Payne Hollow, collaborated on concerts of contemporary music with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joan Tower, and performed the world premiere of Daniela DeMatos’ “Encounter” at the Morgan Library. Smith is a graduate of Pepperdine University (BA) and Bard College (MM) where she studied and performed as both a singer and a pianist. DevonySmith.com
Christine Dakin ~ Modern Dance I & II
Ms. Dakin was principal dancer and Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Dance Company. A member of the company from 1976, she is known for her performance of Martha Graham’s roles and those Graham created for her in Rite of Springand Phaedra’s Dream(partnered by Rudolf Nureyev) and for speaking/dancing roles created for her by Twyla Tharp, Robert Wilson and Martha Clarke. She received a “Bessie” (The New York Dance and Performance Award) and the Dance Magazine Award. Dakin has produced evenings of dance at The Playhouse performing classic Graham solos, and introducing contemporary choreographers creating work with her. Ms. Dakin was a Fellow of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University. She wrote and directed the filmLa Voz del Cuerpo/The Body Speaks,which was official selection of the New York Independent Film Festival, NewFilmmakersNY, and the Golden Door International Film Festival. Dakin teaches at the Ailey School, was on the faculty of The Juilliard School for a decade, is teacher for Techniche di Danza Moderna (Italy), Invernadero Danza (Mexico) and is dancer/Associate Founder of Buglisi Dance Theatre. Her teaching, choreography and research have been supported by a Fulbright Grant, ArtsLink CEC and two Rockefeller U.S.-Mexico Fund for Culture Grants. www.christinedakin.com
Gary Gendell ~ Jazz Dance
Graduate, High School of Performing Arts. Former Director of Showtime Dance Studios in Queens. Appeared in Annie on Broadway following a long engagement in the Broadway hit Chicago. Mr. Gendell has been Peter Gennaro’s assistant at the Radio City Music Hall and has performed everywhere from television to nightclubs to Europe. Gary is currently performing in NYC in Dance-Over-40.
Megan Campisi ~ Physical Theatre II
Megan Campisi is a performer, playwright and teacher who works extensively with her Brooklyn theater company, Gold No Trade. Recent work includes The Subtle Body, a bilingual comedy (English/Mandarin) about different interpretations of the human heart in 18th-century China. The Subtle Body was awarded a TCG Global Connections grant, was a semifinalist for the 2014 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and premiered at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre’s ACT Festival in an international collaboration with both Chinese and American performers. Other plays include: The Pinks (Collapsible Hole, Brooklyn), Floating Brothel (ACT Festival Shanghai; The Tank & Dixon Place, NYC), and Les Musciens de Brême (Avignon Festival). Campisi received the French Alfa and ADAMI prizes for new theater and the Yale Lustman Award for Artistic Achievement. She has served as adjunct faculty in the Yale University Theatre Studies department and Theater in Education department at the Shanghai Theatre Academy (one of the top performing arts universities in China). She has twice been a guest speaker on theater for the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools. Campisi received her B.A. from Yale University and MFA (French equivalent) from L’Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in France.
Blake Habermann~ Physical Theatre I
Blake is a graduate of The Experimental Theater Wing of NYU Tisch and L’Ecole Internationale du Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He has performed throughout Europe, perfecting his combination of mime, clown and contact juggling. At home he has performed with The Cirque du Soleil at Madison Square Garden, in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and with numerous theaters. In 2012 the company he co-founded, Asbestos Project, was invited by the Japanese Cultural Council for a month long residency at Dance Box in Kobe, Japan. There he co-created the original mime/butoh piece The Infinite Bliss of the Hungry Ghost Realm. He presently works with The Metropolitan Opera assisting in the development process for silent performance alongside the singers and as an understudy for a Principal Clown in their production of Pagliacci. Blake Habermann’s original piece, ABOVE/BELOW, presented at HERE Arts Center, won two Innovative Theater Awards for best performance art and best choreography. In 2016 Blake performed on the streets of Edinburgh during the famed Fringe Festival and is developing his new act, Under the Glass Canopy, for the 2017 season.
Brad Lemons ~ Stage Combat I & II
Broadway: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang w/ B.H. Barry; Off-Broadway: Treasure Island, Macbeth, Evil Dead: The Musical, Hamlet, Othello, Where’s My Money, A Stone Carver; NYC: Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, The Wild Party. Regionally: White Noise, Oleanna, That Championship Season, King Lear, American Buffalo, Dead Ringer, Murder in the Cathedral, Klonsky and Schwartz, Old Clown Wanted. Film: Lies I told My Little Sister, Beyond Belief, Asylum Seekers, Bust, Elevator Music, Paralysis. Opera: Fanciulla Del West, Stiffelio, Simon Boccanegra, Carmen, Otello, Cosi Fan Tutte, Les Contes d’Hoffman, Don Giovani; TV: “All My Children,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” He has taught at Juilliard, Mannes School of Music, New York Conservatory of Dramatic Art, Cornell University, Lafayette College, The Martina Arroyo Foundation, Southern Connecticut State University, New York Film Academy, Broadway Classroom and Circle in the Square Theatre School.
Carmen Lamar Daehler ~ Theatre History I & II (Library I & Library II)
Carmen Lamar received a BA in Communications from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Theatre from Hunter College. She studied privately with renowned acting teacher Fred Kareman and is a proud member of the professional acting unions, SAG-AFTRA and AEA. In addition to teaching Theatre History in the full time conservatory, she is the Junior School Director. Professionally she has worked in New York and regionally as an actor, singer, director, and teacher. She has performed in cabaret venues throughout the city, including Feinstein’s, The Metropolitan Room, The Laurie Beechman Theatre, and Symphony Space. She has been a professional spokesperson for SONY, Panasonic, Toshibia, Xerox and many other corporations. Carmen can be seen in the recurring role of Bomb Tech Carla Flores on the CBS hit series FBI. Coming from this rich and varied background in formal arts training and professional work in the industry, Carmen is able to combine these skills to provide a unique perspective to her classes here at The Playhouse. www.carmenlamar.com