Meet the 2022 Guest Faculty
Claudia Benack – Associate Teaching Professor, Voice, Carnegie Mellon University, Claudia received both her BFA and MFA degrees in Vocal Performance from CMU’s School of Music where she studied voice with Beatrice Krebs and Opera Workshop with Mildred Miller. She continued her vocal studies with Ellen Faull of the Juilliard School, the late Margaret Hoswell of the Manhattan School of Music, and Gary Race, formerly of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Iowa. Benack is a member of NATS, Sigma Alpha Iota, and has served as Vice-President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of NSAL. As a performer, Benack is comfortable in a broad range of settings. In the operatic genre, she is an award-winning lyric soprano: MTNA National First place winner in Voice (1983), NSAL Regional winner and National semi-finalist (1987) and recipient of the Minna Kaufmann Ruud Fund grant. She was a leading soprano for twenty years with Pittsburgh Opera Theater, and performed frequently with Pittsburgh Opera, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Pennsylvania Opera Workshop, and other regional opera companies. Benack also boasts an impressive array of musical theater credits. Favorite productions include BABY (Arlene), THE SOUND OF MUSC (Maria), Guys and Dolls (Sarah), OKLAHOMA! (Laurey), A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Charlotte), OF THEE I SING (Benson), and MY FAIR LADY (Eliza). Benack 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. She also maintains her own thriving private studio. Benack’s favorite part of her career has become watching and enjoying former and present students appear in countless national tours and regional productions. Broadway shows that presently have 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.
Raymond Sage – Professor of Voice, Penn State University. Raymond received a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Baylor University and a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), followed by doctoral and post-graduate work also at CCM. Before joining the musical theatre voice faculty at Penn State, Sage was on the voice and musical theatre faculties of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ prestigious musical theatre conservatory, Collaborative Arts Project 21, Inc. (CAP 21). He remains on the voice faculty of the CAP 21 Professional Musical Theatre Summer Institute. His students have been seen in many Broadway productions, such as FOLLIES, TITANIC, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, STEEL PIER, HIGH SOCIETY, CATS, SCARLET PIMPERNEL, and many more.
As a performer, Sage appeared in the Broadway and national touring productions of CAMELOT, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, AND TITANIC, as well as in regional theatres across the country, such as Paper Mill Playhouse, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Dallas Summer Musicals. He has made television appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, The Howie Mandel Show, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Sage is also a founding member of Monday Off, a jazz vocal quartet specializing in vocal jazz with a Broadway flair. Monday Off often appears at Carnegie Hall with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops Orchestra and at many other concert halls and jazz clubs across the United States.
Kaitlin Hopkins – Director of Musical Theatre, Texas State University. Kaitlin Hopkins is an award-winning actress, director, and educator. She has worked internationally, on and off-Broadway, in major regional theaters, opera, film, television, and radio over 30 years. Hopkins currently heads the BFA Musical Theatre program at Texas State University, recently ranked in the top 10 programs in the nation by collegemagazine.com. In 2016 she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching from Texas State University, and in 2013, she was recognized by the Broadway Dreams Foundation as an innovative voice in education, participating in a panel as one of the 6 top women educators in the country.
During her time at Texas State, Hopkins launched the first musical theater training program in Chile, and is pioneering groundbreaking research on mental wellness and performing artists. Her recent TEDx Talk on the subject has garnered international attention, along with her research at Texas State, which utilizes curriculum-based training for performing artists. She is also the proud creator and President of Fontus Dry Throat Lozenges. Originally designed for performers, Fontus Dry Throat Lozenges are the lozenge of choice of many Broadway and touring companies and is the official lozenge for Hamilton.
As an actress, Kaitlin has a half dozen cast album credits to her name, originating the role of Meredith Parker in Bat Boy-the Musical for which she received Drama Desk and Ovation award nominations, Claire in the cult-hit bare: a pop opera, Jeannie in The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Diane in Disney’s On The Record and Margorie in Dirty Dancing (National Tours). Kaitlin’s Broadway credits include Belinda in Noises Off, the original Mama Who in How The Grinch Stole Christmas and she also played the role of Hope in Anything Goes with Patti Lupone. She originated the role of Tiffany in the international tour of John Adams’ opera I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky directed by Peter Sellars, and received an Ovation nomination for the role of Ilona in She Loves Me with Rebecca Luker as part of the Reprise Series. Hopkins has appeared in over 50 television shows (including three years on Another World as Dr. Kelsey Harrison), 11 feature films (including The Nanny Diaries, Confessions of a Shopaholic, How to Kill Your Neighbors Dog with Kenneth Branagh and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. As a director, Hopkins productions have been recognized by the Austin Critics’ Table Awards with 11 nominations and 7 wins, including Best Musical in Austin for Oklahoma and Anything Goes. She recently directed and co-produced the world premiere of The World According to Snoopy, and will be launching a national tour in 2019.
Richard Roland – Head, B.F.A. Musical Theatre Program, Indiana University, Richard is a fourth-generation performer and a third-generation Broadway veteran, having appeared on Broadway in Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Follies, and in the National Tours of Titanic and …Millie. Off-Broadway audiences saw him in Zombie Prom, Forever Plaid, The Fantasticks, and The Cocoanuts. Among his regional performing credits are La Cage aux Folles, The Who’s Tommy, West Side Story, Damn Yankees, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Cabaret, The Sound of Music, Shenandoah, and Mame. He played Jason Sheffield on TV’s All My Children and appeared in several television commercials. A vocal arranger as well, Richard founded and directed the jazz vocal group Monday Off, co-produced two CDs, and toured all over the country and Canada, and played many clubs in New York as well as Carnegie Hall in New York over ten years.
Richard’s directing credits include She Loves Me, The Secret Garden, 110 in the Shade, Brigadoon, A Christmas Carol, Dogfight, Working, Forever Plaid, Barefoot in the Park, Souvenir, Urinetown, Avenue Q, God of Carnage (Raleigh Indy Week Best Director), Hairspray, Ragtime (NH Theatre Award, Best Direction of a Musical), Dear Ruth, No Way to Treat a Lady, Grease, …Millie, Chicago, Steel Magnolias, Metamorphoses, and served as Associate Director for the NYC premiere of Vanities: A New Musical and the Danish premiere of Story of My Life, and served as Associate Artistic Director for a season at Theatre Raleigh.
His IU main stage productions include City of Angels, Wonderful Town, Big Fish, and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. He serves as the Associate Producing Artstic Director for IUST, for which he has directed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Little Shop of Horrors, and the radio thriller Twisted Tales of Poe. In winter of 2022 he will direct Elf, the Musical for Bloomington’s Constellation Stage and Screen (née Cardinal Stage).
He holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Denison University and an M.F.A. in Directing from Penn State, where he also served on the School of Theatre faculty. At PSU he taught Audition Technique, Theatre History, Musical Theatre History/Form and Function, and an AEA 29-hour Reading class. He was also an adjunct faculty member and directed at University of West Florida. Richard has taught master classes on Audition Technique and Acting the Song in New York, across the country, and abroad.
At Indiana University, Richard has created and teaches the following courses: Acting the Song, Musical Theatre Audition Techniques, Intro to Musical Theatre/Musical Theatre Form and Function, History of the American Musical Theatre, and Directing for Musical Theatre. He also has taught Broadway Cabaret, Senior Showcase, Working in the Profession, among others.
Mark Madama – Professor of Musical Theatre, University of Michigan, Mark is going into his twenty-second year as a Professor in the Musical Theatre Department at the University of Michigan. His students have been awarded Academy, Tony, Grammy, Golden Globe, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Obie Awards. Besides teaching, he also is an award-winning director and writer. He’s directed productions in major theatres from coast to coast, Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic. As a writer, Mark’s writings have appeared in theatre books and journals. Included in his work Mark has with partner Wayne Bryan, co-authored a revised version of GOOD NEWS!, which has received over 300 productions. He also teaches master classes throughout the country, preparing hundreds of students for their college audition process.
Robin Lewis – Professor of Musical Theatre, Rider University, is a 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 Gardens. 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. Off-Broadway, he was the Dance Captain for Charles Busch’s musical THE GREEN HEART for the Manhattan Theatre Club. Robin can also be seen on the PBS Dance in America movie FOSSE: A CELEBRATION IN DANCE. He has choreographed numerous productions regionally: KINKY BOOTS, NEWSIES, MARY POPPINS, THE WHO’S TOMMY, DROWSY CHAPERONE, RENT, URINETOWN, and HAIRSPRAY. He works with Broadway Dreams, Camp Broadway, and Broadway Artists Alliance. He also choreographed the movie “BERNIE” starring Shirley MacLaine and Jack Black directed by Rick Linklater. Robin is currently on the musical theatre faculty at Rider University in New Jersey.
Call 561-651-4376 for more information.