Student Notes

Pace University and The Department of Performing Arts will present selections from the December Production of A Christmas Carol adapted by Assistant Professor Grant Kretchik based on the novel by Charles Dickens during the Tree Lighting Ceremony at South Street Seaport on November 26, 2010. This presentation will consist of Christmas Carols with original arrangement by Junior Performing Arts Student Meggan Herod who is the Music Director on the show. The Tree Lighting Ceremony will begin at 6pm and we will be presenting about 15- 20 min. of material.

On October 10, 2011, Broadway director, producer, and lyricist Jack O’Brien held a masterclass for Pace University BFA Musical Theater and BFA Acting students in Schimmel Auditorium. O’Brien has earned three Tony Awards, an additional seven Tony nominations, and five Drama Desk Awards for his work in musicals, plays, and opera. His directorial work includes Hairspray, The Full Monty, Porgy and Bess, and Henry IV.  Musical theater majors Maisie Salinger, Taylor Noble, Jeffrey Perri Jr., Grace Caudle, and Sarah Nathan performed song selections for Mr. O’Brien.  Scenes from The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, 'Night, Mother, Uncommon Women and Others, and Lonesome West were performed by Pace students Alionka Polanco, Mike DePaulo, Shannon Agnew, Gina DeMay, Emily Asaro, Sandra Bates, Austin Sprague, and Patrick Pribyl. The students were thrilled to learn from such a successful director whose work spans many genres. Jack O’Brien joins an impressive list of Broadway professionals who have given masterclasses at Pace, including the actress Joanna Gleason, director Michael Greif, and choreographer Jerry Mitchell.

Pace University’s improv troupe “Nacho Cheese” will be opening for the “Upright Citizens Brigade” in a Variety Show being put on the by University with Homecoming. “Nacho Cheese” is made up of the Performing Arts’ Level II Improv Class taught by Kelli Porterfield. Opening for “Upright Citizens” is a huge honor and we hope you will come and support the students in their efforts. The show will take place Friday October 22 at 6pm in the Layton Student Union.

A new opera called I FIORETTI IN MUSICA that is produced by La MaMa E.T.C and features Pace Univerisity theatre students, alumni and faculty, will run for 12 performances only starting Sept 30, 2010 at La MaMa E.T.C. on East 4th Street. Gian Marco Lo Forte who has recently joined Pace as a faculty member in the Technical Theatre department, conceived, designed and directed this exciting new Italian Opera based on the 14th century book of poems in vulgar Italian I Fioretti (Little Flowers- The miracles of Saint Francis of Assisi) with libretto and visual concept that explore the importance of St. Francis’ teachings, such as peace and tolerance, in contemporary society. The cast includes Pace students and alumnae/i Spencer Bazzano, Dana Marcolina, Dorothy James Loechel, Kimberly Diamond, and Kayla Mason.

BFA acting major Cooper Rivers is currently shooting Mark Mann’s feature film Generation Um… in the Lower East Side. Starring Keanu Reeves, Bojana Novakovic, and Adelaide Clemens, the film is expected to be released in 2012.

Brandon Contreras

Brandon Contreras, a junior musical theater major, will be joining the first national tour of In The Heights, as the male swing and understudying the roles of Sonny and Graffiti Pete. Brandon will be on the road until April, even making a stop in Puerto Rico. Visit for dates.

Cailan Rose

Cailan Rose, a junior musical theater major, will be hitting the road this October in the national tour of Hair. She will be playing a Tribe member, a role she also held with the Broadway company this past spring. Visit for dates!

Kate Bristol

Junior musical theater major Kate Bristol will be joining the national tour of The Wizard of Oz as Dorothy. Kate will be on the road for five months starting this November. Visit for more info!

Lyle Colby Mackston

Junior musical theater major Lyle Colby Mackston is now a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, and will be starring as Leaf Coneybear in the Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The show begins an out of town run in Philadelphia this November, then returns to the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ from January 19th to February 13th, 2011.

Melissa Johnsen

Melissa Johnsen, Theater Arts senior, made her New York City theater debut this past August appearing in the play titled, “Trepidation Nation.” The play was performed at the Roy Arias Theater Center Tuesday, August 24th through Sunday, August 29th. For more information, read “No stage fright for Johnsen as she prepares for ‘Trepidation Nation’,” an article featuring Melissa in the August 18th Denville Edition of Neighbor News.

Michael D’Angelo, Criminal Justice student, was selected as a recipient of the Scholarship for Service (SFS) sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). He will be asked to sign a Service Agreement which will state that he agrees to pursue a degree in the information assurance fields and serve in the Federal Government in a covered position for a period of up to two years upon completing academic degree requirements.

National Tour

Three Musical Theater students booked National Tours this summer. Cailan Rose was in the Broadway company of Hair and will be leaving for the 1st National Tour. Brandon Contreras will be in the National Tour of In The Heights. Kate Bristol will be in the National Tour of Wizard of Oz.

Geri Brown

The New York Times calls Pace Musical Theater student Geri Brown’s Off-Broadway performance “ferocious.” Read more


People’s Daily Online interviewed Nira Herrmann, Dean of Dyson College, about how Pace’s Confucius Institute is bridging east and west as well as community and scholarship. Read the August 13, 2010 article, “A Home to Support Cultural Expression.”

Christopher Bert

Christopher Bert, a Junior, BFA Acting Major has booked a leading role in “The Green,” an upcoming feature film starring Julia Ormand, Cheyenne Jackson, Illeanna Douglas the film also stars Jason Butler Harner, Karen Young and Bill Sage. Learn more

Pace New Musicals

Want to see your work performed on stage? Open submissions announced for Pace New Musicals. Read the article on

Osas Ighodaro

MFA student Osas Ighodaro has been named Miss Black USA.


A team of Pace faculty, staff, and students including Linda Anstendig, PhD, Beth Gordon Klingner, PhD, Jim Stenerson, PhD, CIO Ravi Ravishankar, and students Chiara Travia and Samantha Egan presented Pace’s ePortfolio initiatives at the 1st annual ePortfolio conference in July hosted by the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning.

2010 SOF Induction Ceremony

The Dyson Society of Fellow inducted a new class of Associate Members: this year’s class is named for the late Professor Thomas O’Sullivan of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies who served on the Executive Board of the society and was an enthusiastic participant in society events.