Faculty

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STEPHEN AGOSTO
Program Director
Musical Theatre Performance

Stephen Agosto (Director/Choreographer) is the Senior Director of Artistic Engagement at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, winner of the 2016 TONY Award for Best Regional Theater. He has directed, choreographed and/or provided musical staging for such shows as The Drowsy Chaperone and The Lucky Stiff (The Blue Hill Troup, NYC); Triangle Logic (Crosshatch Theatre Co.); A Christmas Story: the Musical (Paper Mill Playhouse; Asst. Dir.); West Side Story (Westminster); Modotti (Off-Broadway); Cabaret, Assassins, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, and The Wild Party (Fordham University); and Scene and Be Seen (The Neighborhood Playhouse) to name a few. In 2011, Stephen directed The New York Musical Theatre Festival’s “Best of Fest” winner, Crazy, Just Like Me. He has directed various concerts and cabarets in NYC including three shows for Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater and Separate: Battle Songs of Youth for Ars Nova. He is the winner of the 2001 MTI Young Director’s Fellowship where he directed the world premiere of Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler’s musical Dear Edwina.  Stephen is an adjunct professor of theatre at Rutgers University; holds teaching artist positions at Rutgers Summer Acting Conservatory, Circle in the Square Theatre School, and Fordham University; and guest teaches at numerous educational institutions. He is the co-founder/conceiver of Paper Mill Prep, a program to prepare students and their families for college BFA auditions.

In the world of arts education, Stephen has co-written numerous programs including “Across the Pond: The Musical Theatre Bridge Project,” (an arts exchange program with London’s famed BRIT School) as well as The Broadway Mentorship Program. He is also contributor of Musical Theatre curriculum for the New York City Department of Education. He is currently working on developing the new Musical Theatre BFA program at Rutgers University launching Fall 2020.

From 2010-2015, Stephen served as Director of Musical Theatre at Talent Unlimited High School for the Arts in Manhattan. For TUHS, he directed and choreographed The Nutcracker; Little Shop of Horrors; Into The Woods; You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; NINE; Little Women: The Musical; Godspell; and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. For his production of Godspell, he and his students were Circle in the Square “Teens on Broadway” honorees, recipients of “Special Honors” from the Gershwin Theatre Awards, and recipients of The Shubert Organization High School Theatre Award (Top Honors). Stephen’s program received a special grant from Exploring the Arts founder and acclaimed recording artist, Tony Bennett. Mr. Bennett tweeted, “I just heard the Musical Theatre kids at TUHS. Mr. Agosto provides the best training!”

Prior to directing, Stephen enjoyed a career as an actor, having been seen regionally, on tour, and in New York City in over 40 plays and musicals. He is a graduate of both The Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University (Acting, BFA) and The Neighborhood Playhouse, home of The Meisner Technique.


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ANTU YACOB
Acting for the Stage

ANTU YACOB was born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia and raised in San Francisco and Minnesota. She received her MFA in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and her BA in Communication from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.  She was last seen onstage in the 2017 United Solo Theatre Festival’s premiere of her one woman show In the Gray on Theatre Row in New York.  Her play Mourning Sun, a love story shedding light on the fistula epidemic set in Ethiopia and the US was featured in the 2016 Kampala International Theatre Festival in Uganda. The play received its world premiere as part of Theatre 167’s 2015-2016 season at the West End Theater in New York. Antu’s two-woman play The Firsts, a historical piece about six women who overcame adversity, premiered in Project Y Theatre’s 2013 New York New Playwrights Festival.  Her work has been featured in readings at the inaugural NowAfrica Playwrights Festival at Tisch-NYU, Crossroads Theatre’s CommonGround Festival, CoLAB Arts theOrphanage series and Project Y Theatre’s Racey Plays Series.  As an actor, Antu’s theater credits include Risen from the Dough (Sam French OOB Short Play Festival-Winner) Mourning Sun (KITF and Theatre 167), In the Continuum original national tour (Primary Stages), Stepping out of the River at Dawn, Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World and A Jew on Ethiopia Street (Mixed Blood Theatre), Holiday Jubilee (Crossroads Theatre), Crowns (The Theater Project), The House That Crack Built (Pillsbury House Theatre) and No Longer at Ease (Pangea World Theater). Her film & television credits include Night Comes On, Gypsy, Law & Order: SVU, Conjure, Eminent Domain, and Walking in Circles. She teaches Acting at Baruch College and Rutgers University. www.antuyacob.com


Regina McAllen Headshot

REGINA MCALLEN
Music Director
Musical Theatre Performance 

Regina McAllen is a graduate of Westminster Choir College with degrees in Piano Pedagogy/Performance and Music Education. She is currently the Vocal and Choral Director for the performing arts magnet program at Howell High School (FPAC). She has travelled the world with her choirs (London, Montreal, Florida, Bahamas, Washington, Ireland, Scotland, Bermuda, France, and Spain) and has been invited six times to perform at Carnegie Hall with artists such as Kate Winslet, Sarah McLachlan, Zachary Levi, Jackie Evancho, Steven Van Zandt, and Darlene Love. She has been the President, Vice-President, Secretary and pianist numerous times for the All Shore Chorus Association and the NJ American Choral Directors Society Repertoire and Standards Chair for Male Choirs. She has been pianist and guest judge for the “Rising Stars High School Classical Musicians Competition” and is a faculty consultant for the AP Music Theory Examination. Regina also teaches and accompanies at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn and is a reader for the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

In 2013 Regina was a quarter finalist for the 2013 Grammy Music Educators Award, and the following year she was 2014 Teacher of the Year and was featured on NJTV’s “Classroom Close-Up” in an episode entitled “Meet the McAllen’s.” In 2015 the Howell High School Choir placed 1st in the nation for All State and All National Chorus acceptances. That same year, Regina was a finalist in the 2015 Princeton University Distinguished Teaching Award. She is the Algonquin Theater’s “2016 Arts Educator of the Year,” which was presented by Tony Danza. Last year she was personally invited by President Barack Obama to perform at The White House Holiday Reception.


MARIAN MURPHY POWELL
Vocal Technique
Music Theory

Marian is an accomplished singer and theatrical artist who brings a versatile background to her work on stage, the teaching studio and directing. A veteran of national Broadway tours and major regional theatre productions, her favorite roles include: Cosette in Les Misérables (Broadway National Tour), Christine in Phantom, Mother in Bright Lights, Big City, Marian in The Music Man, Fleur in Esmeralda (World Premiere), Mary Jane Wilkes in Big River and Fiona in Brigadoon. She has been featured with several orchestras around the world, including the Shanghai Symphony and the Concordia Orchestra at New York’s Lincoln Center. Her career has taken her to many stages here and abroad, and to other venues such as churches, cabarets, cruise lines, theme parks, dinner theaters and benefit concerts.

She has three solo recordings: “This Must Be Love”, celebrating love songs from many genres, a jazz CD – “Live at the Saturday Club” with renowned jazz pianist Bill Schmearer, and most recently, “Amazed By You” – all new music written by pianist/composer Matthew Quayle. She can also be heard as a guest artist on Gail Levinsky’s recently released “Tipping Point”.

As a teaching artist and clinician, Marian holds workshops and assemblies in educational institutions ranging from elementary schools to universities. She has a Bachelor of Music degree and a Performer’s Certificate of Merit from the School of Music at the State University of New York in Fredonia and earned her Actor’s Equity Association membership with the Tennessee Repertory Theatre’s Young Artist Program. As a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing, she has been teaching private voice students for over twenty years. She was an adjunct voice teacher and the Musical Theatre Artistic Director at The Hill School in Pottstown, PA and  has been a member of the faculty at New England Music Camp for twenty-two years, where she is the Artistic Director of their Musical Theatre Program. Stage Directing credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Brigadoon, Into The Woods, The Addams Family, and Little Women.

Marian is thrilled to be working with the next generation of artists at The Rutgers High School Musical Theatre Academy.


LAUREN BARCHI
Vocal Technique

Lauren Barchi has been a teacher and performer in the New York City/ New Jersey area for almost ten years. She is currently going to Rutgers University for an Artist Diploma in Opera. While at Rutgers she has been seen as La chouette in L’enfant et les sortilèges and Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites.
Ms. Barchi received her undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College. While at Ithaca College, she performed as the First Lady in The Magic Flute. After completing her education at Ithaca College, she obtained her initial certification to teach K-12 music in New York and pursued a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from New York University. Lauren had numerous performance opportunities at NYU, which included: Soprano soloist in Stravinsky’s Les Noces, a soloist in a Kurt Weill review and Monica in The Medium. Ms. Barchi was also an adjunct voice professor at NYU and taught voice lessons to undergraduate students.
Other favorite roles she has worked on include: La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi), Susannah (Susannah), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serial), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Norina (Don Pasquale), and Lady Billows (Albert Herring). She was also a soloist with the Ridgewood Concert Band. Most recently, she sang the role of Aline (The Sorcerer) with the Westchester Gilbert and Sullivan Group.
Lauren Barchi started teaching at a very young age; from teaching her friends art songs for competitions to assistant directing her school’s musical. While at Ithaca she taught, kindergarten, 5th-grade guitar and chorus, jazz chorus and small group lessons to middle and high school age students. While at NYU, she taught undergraduate students of differing majors and took classes in the science of singing, voice disorders, and vocal repertoire.
Ms. Barchi is comfortable teaching all genres of music. She has extensive experience teaching musical theater, classical, opera, pop, rock, R&B and jazz. She has helped many of her students find their voice, be confident and prepare for auditions, competitions, and performances.

IVETTE SOSA DEMPSEY
Ballet
Musical Theatre Dance

Ivette Sosa Dempsey has over 15 years of experience in show business and teaching various styles of dance. She has performed in numerous musicals and stage productions including West Side Story at the famed La Scalla Opera House in Milan, Italy; Latinologues on Broadway and Yo soy Latina at the TONY award-winning Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick to name a few. Ivette is best known as a member of the pop singing group Eden’s Crush where she toured with superstars ‘NSYNC and Jessica Simpson performing her Billboard #1 hit single “Get Over Yourself.” Her TV and Film credits include Chasing Papi, Disney’s Even Stevens, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and various commercials and music videos. Most recently, television audiences can hear Ivette sing “Imagine” in the UNICEF national campaign. Ivette is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a BFA in Dance.


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