Stephen Nunns is an associate professor and director of the MFA Program in Theatre Arts at Towson University. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Musical Quarterly, The Journal of American Drama and Theatre 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.
Before coming to Towson University, 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. He is a co-founder of the Baltimore-based theatre company, The Acme Corporation.
Stephen has taught at Brooklyn College, New York University and Eugene Lang College. He holds a bachelor's degree in drama and literature from Bennington College, a Master in Fine Arts in dramaturgy from Brooklyn College, and a Ph.D. in performance studies from New York University.
Juanita Rockwell Professor
Juanita Rockwell is a writer/director specializing in the development of new works. Her produced writing (plays, operas, radio drama, site-specific pieces and plays with songs) include The World is Round, Upstream, Waterwalk: Surface and Depth, A Cave in the Sky. Lunar Pantoum, What’s a Little Death, and Between Trains.
As Artistic Director of Company One Theater (Hartford), she directed dozens of early premieres by such playwrights as Paula Vogel and Suzan-Lori Parks. Other direction includes projects at Everyman, Theatre Project (Baltimore), The Ontological, Mabou Mines/Suite, Culture Project, Blue Heron (NYC), City Theatre (P’burgh), Teatro Muincipão (São Paolo), RS9 (Budapest), and National Public Radio. She co-directs 3 Hands Clapping, a new theatre ensemble, with director/performer Leslie Felbain and composer/designer Chas Marsh, her husband and frequent collaborator.
Juanita was founding director of the MFA in Theatre at Towson University where she continues to teach and direct. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Costa Rica and has developed projects with artists from São Paolo to Warsaw. Juanita is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and is a recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council 2007 Award in Playwriting.
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 since 2006:
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 in the Theatre Department at Towson University in Maryland, where he trains actors in movement; voice/movement integration; and movement theatre techniques, improvisation, and production. His dynamic approach to training actors uses a foundation of Laban Movement Studies (LMS) that is blended with other vocal and physical pedagogies. Tom received his Ph.D. in Theatre in 1998, from The Union Institute Graduate School. He was certified as a Movement Analyst (CMA) by the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) in 1988, and received post-certificate training in Advanced Teaching Methods in 1990.
He has taught LMS for actors as a guest artist at the Webster Movement Institute, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, University of Texas at Austin, Southern Illinois University, and Calvin College. He was recently a guest artist in the theatre and opera departments at the University of Pretoria and Pretoria Technikon in Pretoria, South Africa. He has presented at the Southeast Theatre Conferences, the South African Performers Voice and Movement Educators Conference, and the International Laban Conferences in Amherst, Minneapolis and Baltimore. He has also published articles in ATME News and Movement News. His current research is in voice/movement integration, exploring the manner in which values and belief systems influence vocal/physical/emotional expression.
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.
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.
Naoko Maeshiba Associate Professor
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.
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.
David White Assistant Professor
David White has a B.A. from New College, Sarasota, Florida; an M.A. from the University of Missouri—Kansas City; and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri—Columbia. His dissertation, Developing Playwright(s), provides perspectives into the process of new play development and self-dramaturgy. David worked as an instructor at the University of Missouri—Columbia in the fields of playwriting and acting and has taught solo performance at the National Theater Institute. He has responded to plays, presented papers, and lectured at universities and regional conferences around the country on the topics of playwriting, playwriting as oral tradition, new play development and dramaturgy. In 2004, White was appointed to the position of Literary Manager and Director of Educational Outreach at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut and worked there for three seasons developing new works by student playwrights as well as internationally known playwrights at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Music Theater Conference and Cabaret Conference. He also worked as dramaturg on Freedom of Speech a one-woman show by Eliza Jane Schneider (from television’s South Park) and directed her latest show Sounds of Silence for the 2006 Ignite Festival in New York City. He is currently the Artistic Director of the WordBRIDGE Playwrights Lab, which is in residence at Clemson University in South Carolina.
As a playwright, David White’s play Trash has been produced at the University of Missouri—Columbia (2002), The York Theater, New York City (2002) and the New York International Fringe Festival (2005). David’s play Ain’t Nothin’ Quick ‘n Easy received second place in the Mark Twain Comic Playwriting Awards at the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C. (2004) and has been produced at theatres around the country. His play Watersheds had a reading hosted by Epic Repertory Theatre in New York City (2005).
MFA Program in Theatre Arts
Center for the Arts, Room 3025 (map)