Valerie Clayman Pye, BA, MFA, MFA, PhD
Assistant Professor of Theatre
Valerie Clayman Pye is Chair of the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Arts Management and an Assistant Professor of Theatre who teaches acting, voice and speech, and Shakespeare in Performance. She holds a PhD in Performance Practice, Drama and an MFA in Staging Shakespeare from the University of Exeter, where she worked with Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She also holds an MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College. Valerie’s research focuses on actor training pedagogy, Shakespeare’s Globe, Shakespeare tourism, and on practice-as-research (PaR). Her article, “Shakespeare’s Globe: theatre architecture and the performance of authenticity” is among the most-read articles in the journal Shakespeare (https://www.tandfonline.com/action/showMostReadArticles?journalCode=rshk20). Valerie is a professional actor and director whose work has reached audiences in over twenty countries. As a voice and speech coach, Valerie has worked in theatre, film, and television coaching Academy, BAFTA, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award nominees. Her book, Unearthing Shakespeare: Embodied Performance and the Globe (released by Routledge in January 2017) is the first book to consider what the unique properties of the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s theatre can contribute to both the training of actors as well as to the performances of Shakespeare’s plays. She is the co-editor of Objectives, Obstacles, and Tactics in Practice: Perspectives on Activating the Actor (with Hillary Haft Bucs), which was released by Routledge in December 2019, and the forthcoming volume, Shakespeare and Tourism (with Robert Ormsby; Routledge 2021). Valerie was named a 2018-19 LabWorks Artist at the New Victory Theatre in NYC, where she has been developing "Shakespeare’s Stars", an immersive, multi-media, multi-sensory performance for babies and their caregivers, along with Spellbound Theatre. She continued to develop “Shakespeare’s Stars” as a returning LabWorks artist in 2019-2020, and the most recent workshop production of the piece was featured in The Wall Street Journal (https://www.wsj.com/articles/to-baby-or-not-to-baby-shakespeare-show-for-theatergoers-who-are-barely-walking-11578523380). Like so many other projects, the full production of “Shakespeare’s Stars” has been postponed due to COVID-19.
Michael Colby Jones, BFA, MFA
Assistant Professor of Theatre
Michael Colby Jones is an actor, teacher, director, husband, and father… not necessarily in that order. MCJ is the former Program Head of BFA Acting at Brooklyn College, where he taught for 12 years, and is very happy to be joining the great faculty at LIU. MCJ has put his certification as a Registered Rodenburg Teacher (RRT) to work by serving as a Resident Voice and Speech Instructor at Michael Howard Studios where he taught in the Conservatory Programs, coached privately, and maintained a continuing Professional Scene Study Class. MCJ was an Assistant Professor at Ithaca College in the BFA Acting and Musical Theater programs, as well as NYU’s BFA Acting and MT programs at the New Studio on Broadway. MCJ’s coaching clients and students have performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at major regional theaters, in films and on television shows such as “Blacklist,” “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Atlanta,” and “Orange Is the New Black.” MCJ has created principal roles in new plays as a member of eight original NY production casts including Night Dance (Mint), It’s Just Sex (Actors Temple), and Murder in America (Second Stage Theater), as well as “multitudinous” productions of Shakespeare. He has worked on television in recurring roles, and in independent film. MCJ's NYC directing credits include “Office Hours” (Manhattan Rep), the first all-female cast production of ART (Alchemical Theatre), and over 90 plays for the Gi60 International Play Festival. MCJ earned his BFA in Musical Theater from Ithaca College, his MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College, and his post graduate Diploma in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, ATHE, CWA, and VASTA.
Cara Gargano, BA, MA, PhD
Assistant Professor of Dance
Cara Gargano is Professor of Dance and Theatre at the Post Campus of Long Island University. She studied at the New York School of Ballet under Richard Thomas and Barbara Fallis, and later taught at the school. She has performed both as a dancer and as an actress and her concert choreography has been presented in Europe as well as in the United States. A stage director and choreographer, she has worked in theatre, opera and musical comedy. She holds a Ph.D. in French from the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. Her recent research focuses on the intersection of science and the performing arts, with specific application to audience reception and the somatic marker hypothesis. She has written extensively on Québécois theatre and served a translator for both plays and novels. She is twice Past President of the Congress on Research in Dance and Recipient of the Dixie Durr Award for Outstanding Service to Dance Research.
Director of Dance
Assistant Professor of Dance
Fritzlyn Hector is an educator, choreographer and dedicated, enthusiastic performing artist, seasoned with a professional multi-dimensional artistic career of over 20 years and counting. A Brooklyn native of African-Haitian descent, Fritz credits her knowledge and expertise to the notable choreographers, master dancers, and drummers from America, Haiti, western, central and southern Africa that she trained and toured with for over 20 years. Fritzlyn is the cast trainer and veteran cast member of STOMP. As a Stomper, she traveled the world extensively with both the national and international tours, featured on STOMP billboards, playbills, press and other Broadway marketing ads.
Fritzlyn is the rehearsal director and one of the principal dancers of the Bessie Award winning Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company. Fritzlyn is featured on Julie Andrews’ Greenroom on Netflix, PBS “Free to Dance”, Late Night w/Jimmy Fallon & Paul Simon,The Roots, Dance Monster(Japan), assistant creative director of “NY Stiks” (NBA Knicks), VH1’s Hip Hop Honors, and she taught and performed in Australia for the 2018 Adelaide Festival with the Lost and Found Orchestra (LFO). Fritzlyn is currently a teaching artist for Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts and virtually teaches her “ Fritzation style” at notable institutions worldwide. Fritz is currently a dance professor and Director of Dance at Long island University Post campus.
David Hugo, BFA, MA
Director of Musical Theatre
Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre
David Hugo has been a professor in the Theatre Department at LIU Post since 2007. He teaches freshman acting and all the musical theater acting courses. David has performed regionally, on national tours and on Broadway in shows such as Jekyll and Hyde, Iolanthe, Into the Woods, and a stellar 12-year career with Les Miserables where he portrayed Grantaire in the final Broadway cast.
He was on tour with the Broadway production of Les Miserables when he developed a love for teaching through the workshops he gave at high schools and universities across America, Asia and Canada. He left the Les Miserables tour in 2005 to pursue a master’s degree in theater. His introduction to the Suzuki method while pursing his masters degree changed the course of his career. He found the Suzuki method to be an excellent technique for teaching musical theatre, and he was able to devise a way to integrate it into his musical theatre curriculum.
David holds an M.A. in Theatre from LIU CW Post, a B.F.A. in acting from Syracuse University and an Associates Degree in Music from Onondaga Community College.
Maria Porter, BA, MFA
Director of Theatre
Professor of Theatre
Maria Porter has been a theatre educator for over 30 years. As an actor, she has performed in New York and regionally at such theaters as Clubbed Thumb, Salt Theater, Target Margin, Milwaukee Playhouse, The Hangar Theatre, Hartford Stage, Virginia Stage Company, and The Kennedy Center. Maria is a master teacher of the Suzuki method of actor training, and has integrated it with other acting techniques to create an original pedagogy: a hybrid including elements from Suzuki, Viewpoints, and the Stanislavsky tradition. Her first solo, Ennobling Nonna, which integrated this technique into a devised performance, was performed at M.I.T, Brown University, the Perishable Theatre, and as part of the Transit Festival at the Odin Teatret in Denmark. Her last solo work, The Space Inside, debuted in Phoenix, Arizona, and has been performed at conferences and festivals throughout the United States. Her work demonstrations and master classes in this pedagogy have been featured in festivals and conferences in Wales, Denmark, England, Cuba, Peru, Greece, Spain and Switzerland. She has directed and co-created several ensemble-based performances that have been featured in festivals in Italy, Canada, Prague, New York and Scotland. Re-Membering Antigone, an adaption of Sophocles’ Antigone, won several honors at the 2012 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, including Best Director, and Best Devised Work. Her collaborative creation, Conditions of Love, an original piece based on the texts of Shakespeare and the music of Stephen Sondheim, was featured at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Internationally she has directed in Spain, and performed with Teatro delle Radici in Lugano, Swtizerland. Maria received her M.F.A. in Acting from the University of California, and is a member of the Magdalena Project, an international network of women in theater. She is has been on the faculty of Long Island University for 26 years, where she is Professor and Director of Undergraduate Theatre Studies, and was recently honored with the David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her book on her original pedagogy, Re-Purposing Suzuki: A Hybrid Approach to Actor Training, published by Routledge Press, will be out in the Spring of 2021.
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