Naoko Maeshiba Associate Professor and MFA Program Director
Naoko Maeshiba is a director/choreographer/performer/educator. Having worked and lived in diverse environments since 1991 ranging from a communal performance collective to a regional theatre, she has been bridging various disciplines and forms in her performance creation. She has studied and worked with Min Tanaka, Betty Jones, Akira Matsui, Richard Emmert, Ohta Shogo, Pak Wayan Dibia, Cheryl Flahearty, and Vicky Takamine amongst others. In 2002, she founded Kibism, a performance unit/lab in order to explore the depth of the body, enhance the exchange and connection between different disciplines and cultures, and experiment with various forms of perception. Maeshiba's solo and ensemble pieces have been experienced in the North America, Europe, and Japan. Most recently, she presented a solo, When the wind crossed my body cried like an octopus (Theatre Jo, CESTA, Czech Republic) and toured an ensemble piece, Paraffin (Theatre Project, Baltimore. Questfest, DC). In 2007, she collaborated with a Polish electro-acoustic duo, Wlodzimierz Kiniorski and Dariusz Makaruk in Absence (International New Media Festival: Moving Closer, Warsaw, Poland, 2007). From 2005 to 2006, she created and toured Remains of Shadow to three festivals in the U.S. Her work Trace (The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, DC, 2004) was granted as The Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project and received Metro DC Dance Award for Excellence in Sound Design. She has received the Individual Artist Award in solo performance and choreography from Maryland State Arts Council and Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, and the Individual Artist Fellowship Grant in theatre direction from DC Commissions on the Arts and Humanities & NEA. She is a certified Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement instructor.
Stephen Nunns is an associate professor at Towson University. He is the cofounder of the Acme Corporation and co-directed the company's 24-hour production of Samuel Beckett's "Play," which won Best Production in the City Paper's Best of Baltimore for 2013. Before coming to Baltimore, Stephen lived in New York City for fifteen years, directing, writing, and composing music for theatre pieces at a variety of off-off Broadway venues, including HERE, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Dance Theater Workshop and the 78th Street Theatre Lab. He was an associate artist at the seminal avant-garde theatre company Mabou Mines, where he created three theatre pieces, including the Obie Award-winning The Boys in the Basement.
His book, Acting Up: Free speech, pragmatism, and American performance in the 20th century was published in 2011 by LFB Scholarly Publishing. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Musical Quarterly, Theater Magazine, The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, The Journal of Popular Music Studies, and other publications. From 1996 to 2000, he was an associate editor at American Theatre magazine, where he regularly covered national politics and the arts.
Stephen has also taught at Brooklyn College, New York University and Eugene Lang College. He holds a bachelors degree in drama and literature from Bennington College, a Masters in Fine Arts in dramaturgy from Brooklyn College, and a Ph.D. in performance studies at New York University.
Juanita Rockwell Professor
JUANITA ROCKWELL is a playwright, librettist, lyricist and director specializing in the development of new work, with over 100 projects produced in over a dozen cities on three continents. Produced writing includes BETWEEN TRAINS and WHAT’S A LITTLE DEATH (plays w/songs); THE WORLD IS ROUND (opera, libretto pub. by Company One and CD at Hogriver Music); WATERWALK: SURFACE AND DEPTH (gamelan opera); CAVE IN THE SKY (puppets/multimedia); LUNAR PANTOUM (dance-theatre); THE GILGAMESH VARIATIONS (multi-playwright adaptation); QUANTUM SOUP, LANGUAGE MONKEY, A TABLE IN HELL and PACKING/PECKING (short plays, the latter pub. by Thinking Beard); PLAYING DEAD (trans. Bros. Presnyakov, pub. by CITD); UPSTREAM and THE CIRCLE (radioplays, the latter available at banishedproductions.org) and the upcoming recording of her opera with composer Douglas Knehans, BACKWARDS FROM WINTER, on Ablaze Records.
As Artistic Director of Hartford’s Company One Theater for five years, she directed professional premieres for stage and radio by America’s leading experimental playwrights, including Suzan-Lori Parks, Paula Vogel, and Erik Ehn. Other direction includes projects at Everyman, Theatre Project (Baltimore); Theatre of the First Amendment, Atlas, Source, DCAC (DC); The Ontological, Mabou Mines/Suite, Culture Project, Blue Heron, Bushwick Starr, The Flea (NYC), City Theatre, Black Sheep Puppet Festival (P’burgh), Teatro Municipão (São Paolo), RS9 (Budapest), Teatro Abya Yala (San José, CR) and National Public Radio.
She was Founding Director of Towson University’s MFA in Theatre for a dozen years, where she continues to teach. She has received awards and funding from a variety of states, cities and foundations, including a Fulbright, NPR funding for radio productions, NEA support for multiple projects and a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award. She has been granted writing residencies at TSKW/The Studios at Key West (FL), Wildacres Retreat Center(NC) The National Theatre Institute at the O’Neill Theatre Center, and The Ko Festival of Performance (MA). She is a longtime member of both The Society of Directors and Choreographers and Dramatists Guild.
Yury Urnov Artist in Residence
Yury Urnov (Fulbright Scholar/Artist-in-Residence) graduated with an MFA in directing and teaching from the Russian Academy of Theatre Art (GITIS). number of productions in Russia and abroad, including Moscow main-stages “Orpheus” by E. Boyakov (2000),Yvonne, princes of Burgundies by V. Gombrovich (2005), Dead man cell phone by Sarah Ruhl (2008) ; as well as number of experimental projects, such as Tania-Tania by Olga Mukhina (1999, Armenia), In the Retina by Maxim Kurochkin (2002, Moscow),Dostoevsky-trip by Vladimir Sorokin (2003, Berlin/Novosibirsk),Vodka. Fucking. Television by Maxim Kurochkin (2006, Moscow), and others. He has translated the plays of Edward Albee, Martin McDonagh and Sarah Ruhl into Russian.
Members of the Towson University faculty who have taught classes in the MFA Program:
Tom Cascella Professor
Tom Cascella graduated from Yale University. He serves on various regional and national committees, organizations and boards. Mr. Cascella is a frequent guest lecturer at universities, high schools, and conferences. He teaches design and technical production courses and serves as the assistant chair of the department. He is also considered the rogue fundraiser of the department.
Tom Casciero Professor
Tom Casciero is a Professor of Theatre at Towson University, where he trains graduate and undergraduate actors in movement; voice/movement integration; and devised theatre techniques. He is also a Certified Laban Movement Analyst and a Research Associate for the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. His doctoral thesis, Laban Movement Studies and Actor Training, is a contextual essay and teaching manual for training actors in physical awareness and expressivity. His research focuses on Laban Movement, embodied character, movement impulse improvisation, and neo-surrealist approaches to devising. He has taught and presented his research at universities and conferences in the United States, Brazil, Costa Rica, Slovakia, and South Africa.
Daniel Ettinger has worked as a freelance designer for 20 years and has taught at Towson for the past eight. He has designed over 260 productions for New York and regional theatre companies. New York area companies he has designed for include The Roundabout Theatre Company, The Juilliard School, George Street Playhouse, American Stage Company, and York Theatre. Regional companies include The Barter Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, and Maine State Music Company. He has designed world premieres of new plays, including Craig Wright's Recent Tragic Events, Other People's Money, Horton Foote's The Night Seasons and the off-Broadway hit Pageant. He has designed in large theatre venues and small black box theatres, with budgets ranging from $500,000 to $2,000, in union and non-union shops, in television and film. His art direction includes the award-winning film, Dangerous Music. Since moving to Baltimore to join the design faculty at Towson University, Daniel has worked for The Everyman Theatre Company, Axis, Maryland Arts Festival, Rep Stage, and The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in DC.
Julie is the costume designer and the professor of costume design at Towson University. She has worked as a freelance costume designer for the last 20 years. She began her career in fashion, as a design assistant for Eddie Bauer. She received her MFA in Costume Design from Boston University. Since finishing graduate school, Julie has designed in Boston, Rhode Island, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. Since moving to Baltimore to join the design faculty at Towson University, she continues to freelance design for Baltimore theatres such as Iron Crow Theatre Company and Everyman Theatre.
Jay Herzog Professor
Jay Herzog is a graduate of Brooklyn College (BA) and The University of Massachusetts/Amherst (MFA). Jay came to Towson from East Carolina University as an assistant professor and previous to that was the production coordinator for the Brooklyn College Department of Theatre. His primary focus in theatre is lighting and sound design and his designs have been seen or heard in professional theatres worldwide.
He is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 and is the resident lighting designer for the Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. Other local affiliations as a designer locally are the Woolly Mammoth Theatre, which has been quoted by the New York Times as being the "most daring theatre company in Washington, DC ", RepStage, Signature Theatre, Theatre J and The Roundhouse Theatre. In 2000, Jay was the recipient of the Helen Hayes award for best lighting design in the Washington region, and he has had numerous "best of" awards for outstanding work from Baltimore newspapers and organizations.
Jay served as the chair of the Theatre Department at Towson University from 2005 to 2011. Most importantly, Jay is the father of Asher and Seth. For more information and portfolio, visit: See Jay Herzog's website.
Robyn Quick Professor, Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts
Robyn Quick is a professor and chair of the Theatre Arts Department at Towson University. She holds a Ph.D. in theatre studies from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in theatre from Kent State University and a bachelor's degree in theatre and English from Western Maryland College. She is the 2010 recipient of the Elliot Hayes Award for Excellence in Dramaturgy from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. In the fall of 2011, she taught dramaturgy at the Russian Stage University for the Humanities in Moscow as a Senior Fulbright Scholar. She teaches theatre history and dramaturgy at Towson University.
Quick’s areas of research include intercultural theatre, new Russian drama, women in theatre and dramaturgy in higher education. She has presented at numerous national conferences and has published articles in American Theatre, The New England Journal of Theatre, Slavic and East European Performance, Theatre Studies, and Technological Horizons in Education. She has also worked with several companies across the country, including The Hippolytus Project, Action Theatre, Theatre Kent, Catalyst Theatre, the Maryland Arts Festival and the Ann Arbor Repertory Theatre. Most recently, she served as a production dramaturg for the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival and the dramaturg and coordinator of the New Russian Drama Project, a collaborative venture of the Center for International Theatre Development and the Towson University Department of Theatre Arts.
Nancy Romita Lecturer
Nancy Romita, artistic director of The Moving Company, has three times received an Individual Artists Award for Excellence in Choreography from The Maryland State Arts, and grants from the Mayor's Committee of Art and Culture from 1994-2002. Nancy Wanichi-Romita's work has been performed in New York City at Dance Theater Workshop, Theater of the Riverside Church, and the 92nd Street YMWHA. She has worked as movement designer for directors Tim Brown and Kate Chislolm and Scott Susong. Her dance/theater work has also been performed at the Dance Place in Washington D.C., Dance Theater Workshop in NYC, Connecticut College, and State University of New York at Purchase, Theater Project and throughout the Northeast.
Steven J. Satta
Steven J. Satta is the Artistic Director of Iron Crow Theatre Company which he helped to found in 2009, as Baltimore’s only queer theatre company. Since its inception, Iron Crow has presented 3 world premieres and more than 10 Baltimore premieres. ICTC has raised money for local charities and organizations such as Moveable Feast and the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore, been honored to be the first company in Maryland to present Dustin Lance Black’s 8 to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights on the issue of marriage equality, and is pleased to count among its friends and supporters Tim Miller, Holly Hughes, and David Drake.
Steven is also an actor, director, and voice/dialect coach in the Baltimore area and has worked for Everyman Theatre, The Olney Theatre, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, and Maryland Ensemble Theatre. Before becoming a faculty member at Towson, he spent 15 years in New York as an actor and teaching artist for such companies as National Actor’s Theatre, Irondale Ensemble project, National Shakespeare Company, Mill Mountain Theatre, The Wayside Theatre, ENACT, Theatre for a New Audience, Young Audiences New York, and the Broadway Theatre Institute.
Here at Towson, Steven created and co-directs Towson Theatre Infusion, a program which gives undergraduate theatre majors and minors training in the pedagogy of the teaching artist and curricular design. These students then go into local high schools to deliver interactive workshops designed to prepare those students to attend a matinee of a production in the Towson Center for the Arts.
Steven holds a BFA in Acting from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, an MFA in Acting from York University in Toronto, and a University Diploma in Voice Teaching, also from York University where he was trained by David Smukler in the Linklater Voice work. He has also studied the Roy Hart voice work with Richard Armstrong, taken workshops with Patsy Rodenberg, been trained in Theatre of the Oppressed techniques with The Creative Arts Team at NYU under Chris Vine, and studied with Tectonic Theatre Company under Moises Kauffman, Andy Paris and Greg Pierotti. He has presented his work at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, The Voice and Speech Trainers Association, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, and the Hawaii International Conference on the Arts and Humanities. He has been at Towson since August of 2000.
David White Assistant Professor
David M. White teaches courses that include Script Analysis, Playwriting, Special Project in Theatre Research (Senior Thesis), and Text Construction as an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Theatre Studies at Towson University; he also oversees the Towson Theatre Lab, an on campus home for reading and responding to new works in the Towson Department of Theatre Arts.
David is a founding member of Generous Company and has been Artistic Director of WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory since 2007, nurturing over 30 new plays by emerging playwrights from around the United States with a company of 60+ multidisciplinary artists.
As a playwright David’s focus is both local and global; he has written extensively about the Ozark Mountains, where he was raised; written works for Baltimore companies and audiences; and he has worked extensively with new Russian drama, translating two plays with Yury Urnov and seeing two of his plays translated into Russian. In May 2013, David received a Likhachev Cultural Fellowship to support his work on Dance on Bones, a play inspired by Russian jazz.
David has attended and presented his scholarship at conferences and festivals around the world including over a dozen regional conferences of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Lyubimovka Playwrights Festival (Moscow, Russia), Conference for New American Drama (St. Petersburg, Russia), New York University’s New Works Festival.
David holds his B.A. from New College in Sarasota, Florida; his M.A. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. His dissertation DEVELOPING PLAYWRIGHT(S) focused on interdisciplinary processes of developing new works for the stage.