Fiona Santos: Artistic Director
Fiona Santos is a Music Director, Pianist, Vocalist, Performer, and Instructor for Theatre, Film, TV, and Live Events.
Fiona has travelled the world playing piano, singing, music directing, and conducting. She tours as a musician and music director with 100 Years of Broadway, the #1 Broadway touring concert - with a roster of top Broadway singers. She is on the directing team of Summer With The Stars (starring 13 American Idols including season 2 winner Ruben Studdard, as well as Corbin Bleu of High School Musical & In The Heights, and Joey Fatone of *NSYNC), and The Ultimate Rock and Roll Experience (starring rock greats from the 1980s onward, including Jim Peterik of Survivor, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special, and Liberty Devitto of the Billy Joel Band).
Fiona is on the directing team of The US Open Tennis Ceremonies, where she was the associate music director for such highlights as Diana Ross and the Broadway cast of Blast!, broadcast on CBS. She arranged and music directed Enya's backup vocalists, (and performed as one of those vocalists), for live performances of her hit song "Only Time" on ABC’s The View. Fiona music directed, arranged music, and played keyboard for the Off-Broadway show The Water Coolers, and she has played in countless other orchestra pits.
Fiona was the founding Artistic Director of Brand X Musical Theatre in upstate New York, and has music directed with companies up and down the East Coast, including Ithaca Opera, Civic Theatres of Central Florida, First Edition, and SAK Comedy Lab, where she tore up the piano improvisationally and comedically every night. She spent two years performing and directing for the Walt Disney World Co., one of the industry leaders in family entertainment.
Fiona received her theatre and music training at Ithaca College and Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She has been a musical director for the Theatre and Dance Alliance in New York City, a Theatre Department Director at Long Lake Camp for the Arts, and an adjunct professor at New York University. She is currently the Artistic Director of Broadway Training Center, and is married to Co-Artistic Director Jason Brantman.
Jason Brantman: Artistic Director
Jason Brantman is a Director of Theatre, Film, TV, and Live Events, currently living in New York. He most recently directed the West Point Holiday Show - broadcast on Fox News.
For the past 14 years, Jason has been on the directing team for the US OPEN Tennis ceremonies, getting to work with incredible musical legends ranging from Art Garfunkel, James Taylor, Harry Connick Jr., Tony Bennett, Carole King, and Liza Minnelli to film/tv stars Liev Shrieber and Phylicia Rashad to theatre icons Ben Vereen, Idina Menzel, and Twyla Tharp, to fabulous divas Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Queen Latifah, and Cyndi Lauper. This event is broadcast live on CBS to millions of homes around the world, and includes Jason's favorite part - directing 40 Marines unfurling the largest American flag in the northeast.
Some other favorite projects include the following for Alliance Connection: Summer with the Stars - a week of events and concerts in Cancun, Mexico - featuring 13 stars from American Idol plus host Joey Fatone ('N Sync). Another - the Ultimate Rock and Roll Experience – was a week of events at the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – culminating in a New Year’s Eve concert with band members from Billy Joel, Survivor, .38 Special, Starship, Wet Willie, and Night Ranger. All of these events helped raise funds for the awesome organization Little Kids Rock - providing modern-band curriculum, teacher training, instruments and resources to disadvantaged public school students across America.
Other live events include: productions for Walt Disney Entertainment, ABC's "The View," associate director for the IBM e-server Spectacular event at Radio City Music Hall (featuring the band Smash Mouth), and production stage manager for The Water Coolers - both off-Broadway and as a show for corporations such as Microsoft, Toyota, JP Morgan, Lego, Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas, and the launch of Microsoft's Xbox 360.
NYC and regional theatre directing credits include: Spring Awakening and Peter and the Starcatcher for Sharon Playhouse (Artistic Director - John Simpkins), the world premiere of Lady Chardonney at Theatre Row on 42nd Street, and the NYC premiere of Are We There Yet? at Queens Theatre.
In addition to directing plays, musicals, and live events, Jason has been the director of several improvisation troupes across the northeast. He received his improvisation training at SAK Comedy Lab (training ground for Wayne Brady).
On the filmmaking front, Jason has had the privilege of working with Emmy Award Winning Documentary filmmaker Slawomir Grunberg.
Jason has a passion for animals, and loves collaborating with them whenever possible. He had the honor of being part of the opening team of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, performing in a breathtaking free-flight bird show called Flights of Wonder (developed and run by one of the foremost animal trainers in the world – Steve Martin). During his time at Disney World Orlando, Jason got to perform at each of the 4 Disney Theme Parks.
Jason is a proud member of SDC - the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and AEA - Actors' Equity Association.
Jason is a graduate of Cornell University, and very much enjoys bringing his love of theatre to the next generation. At the college level, he has been an adjunct professor at NYU and a director & guest lecturer at Cornell University. At the pre-college level, Jason is show director for the CASA programs at Queens Theatre & Queens College, providing theatre arts programs to hundreds of inner city students in Queens. He has been a senior director at Long Lake Camp for the Arts, has directed at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, and has worked with the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center - Youth Theatre Program. Jason is currently the co-artistic director of Broadway Training Center with his inspirational partner Fiona Santos and their mercurial child Mouser.
Lynne Ciocca: Dance Instructor
Lynne Ciocca has studied ballet, pointe and jazz since she was very young. Her initial training was with Al and Connie Fanton, of CT, where she became a soloist with the Fanton Dancers. She has trained with Peter Humphrey, Jo Ann Ogawa, Judith Garfinkel, Suzanne Hawe, Sheree Roller, Lisa Lockwood, and Joe Cavise, where she trained with his professional Company Off Center Dance Group. Lynne has taken master classes in NYC with Lisa Lockwood, Daniel Catanach, Joe Lanteri, Patricia Wilcox, Sheila Baker and Michele Assaf.
She has performed in numerous variety shows, theater productions, and dance performances, including a principal role with the SHPAC Professional Company, where she was also head choreographer for the Professional, Adult, and children companies. As a choreographer, Lynne has had many of her works copy-written, and performed as repertoire with various companies.
Lynne has been teaching dance in this area for over 20 years. She taught at Humphrey Dance Centre, Tappan Zee Dance Group, and Sleepy Hollow Performing Arts Center. She taught the after school program for elementary school children at Bedford Road School in Pleasantville, and the afterschool Dance program at Mahopac Middle School. She was also a guest teacher at Lakeland High School where she taught classes for their Dance Team, and was a guest artist at Dance Expression in Peekskill. In 2000, she co-founded the very successful Dance Centre of Westchester (DCW) dance studio in Pleasantville and was co-director until it's closing in 2011. At DCW, she taught both children and adult age ballet and jazz classes. She ran the advance level ballet and Pointe classes, and offered Pointe Variation Workshops, in which she taught professional Pointe Variation repertoire. Lynne's ballet students have been accepted into various dance programs including Alvin Ailey's prestigious summer dance program, the Boston Conservatory Dance Workshop, , and various other dance programs stretching from NYC to Russia. Her students have graduated and been accepted to many college dance major programs, including the University of Massachusetts, Vassar, Columbia, Potsdam University, and Westchester Community College's Dance Company.
Lynne graduated summa cum laude from Mercy College, in 1982, where she received her Bachelor's degree.
Kevin R. Free: Summer Mainstage Director
Kevin R. Free has appeared on national television in commercials and on NBC’s Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU. New York audiences have seen Mr. Free Off-Broadway, creating the role of Memphis in From My Hometown both for Amas Musicals and at the Gramercy Theatre, for which he was nominated for an Audelco Award. He was also seen Off-Broadway at the York Theatre in Taking A Chance On Love, and as Bubber Brown in The New Federal Theatre’s acclaimed The Conjure Man Dies. He is a writer/performer/director in the New York Neo-Futurists, writing and performing regularly in Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. Once a regular contributor the NPR show “News & Notes, “ Mr. Free’s voice can now be heard on the World Premiere Recording of the musical Avenue X and numerous audio books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Known World, for which he won an AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award. As director, he assisted Martha Banta with Barbara's Blue Kitchen off-Broadway. Though he has been an actor, singer, writer, and director in NYC since 1995, he is proudest of his accomplishments as a teaching artist. He has shared his passion for Theatre-making for organizations like Symphony Space, QIIQ, The Hamptons Shakespeare Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Roundabout Theatre Company. He created his own company, Working Actor For Hire in 2005, to create and develop programming for Drama Clubs, and directed or vocal coached numerous school productions in NYC, including Dreamgirls, A Year with Frog & Toad, and The Big Bad Musical (his favorite). Kevin is now the Artistic Director of Educational Programming at Queens Theatre in the Park, overseeing their ever-expanding CentreStage Program, in which over 500 elementary and middle school children write, edit, rehearse, and perform their own plays.
Sarah Hicks: Dance Instructor, ChoreographerSarah Hicks is very excited to join Broadway Training Center. She has been dancing, acting, and singing since the age of 5. Sarah has been lucky enough to share the stage with Patti LuPone (and fellow faculty member, John Scacchetti) in the 2008 Broadway revival of Gypsy directed by Arthur Laurents. She's also performed all over the United States and Canada in productions of White Chrismtas, 42nd Street, Chicago, Cabaret, and many more. Most recently Sarah has performed in North Shore Music Theatre's production of Tarzan with choreographer Josh Bergasse, of the hit television show Smash, where she had the opportunity to assist with an episode starring Sean Hayes in this upcoming season. Sarah has a BA in dance performance from Point Park University and has also been studying Improv and Comedy from Holly Mandel of the Groundlings.
Heather LoSchiavo: Managing Director, Acting/Dance Instructor, Summer DirectorHeather LoSchiavo is an accomplished producer, director, choreographer, master teacher and performer in NYC, LA and abroad. Currently, Heather is the Director of the Musical Theatre and Teen Acting Conservatory Programs at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in NYC and the Managing Director at Broadway Training Center of Westchester – both not-for-profit organizations dedicated to the enrichment and education of young people. Her experience in the professional world of entertainment has informed her teaching style, blending philosophies and technique to form an organic and impulsive way of utilizing movement with specialized moment-to-moment acting work. She is also a visiting guest artist at The Dance Center of Westchester and The Caymichael Patten Studio for adult professionals. Her students have been seen on Broadway, listened to on the Radio, featured on numerous TV shows, and spotted in Films and commercials.
Julie Mac: Dance Instructor, Choreographer
Julie Mac has been dancing tap, jazz, ballet, modern, lyrical, African and hip-hop for over 20 years. In 2004 she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance Studies with a minor in Theatre at the University of South Florida. At USF, her studies with well-known professionals in Choreography, Music for Dance, Dance Kinesiology, Dance History, Stage Practicum combined with hours of dance technique provided an in-depth understanding of the many styles of dance. While at USF, she performed and choreographed the production of “HONK! The Musical,” and numerous other fall, spring and student dance productions. After graduation, Julie landed her first professional dance job at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay appearing in the main stage show “Katonga, Tales of the Jungle.” She remained with the show for two years, working as a dancer and technician. In January 2006, Julie moved to New York City and was hired as a choreographer for Long Lake Camp for the Arts during the summer of 2006. She returned to Long Lake in 2007 and 2008 to choreograph and to co-direct the camps first year of a Dance Intensive. Julie is currently dancing and choreographing for MusInc.-An Artist Collective a local company based in Tampa and West Palm Beach.
Jason Marquette: Dance InstructorJason Marquette graduated with a BFA in Musical Theater from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Performance credits include the original cast of the 1st National Tour of the revival of 42nd Street, The Musical, theme parks and regional theaters all across the country. In 2008 he mounted his self-produced NYC production The Next Step. His choreography has also been seen in the SUNY New Paltz Production of Stephen Sondheim's Company as well as music videos, corporate events and various showcases in New York and around the world. He is the owner/operator of Marquette Productions - The Dancer's Music Source (www.marquetteproductions.com) and is a partner of MPower Dance Workshops - Master Classes and Workshops that Mpassion, Mpower and Motivate (www.mpowerdance.com). Jason, has been teaching for over 19 years in cities all across the country as well as internationally in Helsinki, Finland; Guayaquil, Ecuador and Guatemala City. He has taught at the DanceTeacherWeb Conference and Expo in Las Vegas for the past two years and was on faculty at Broadway Dance Center in New York City for 6 years teaching Tap and Theater Dance.
Patricia Santos: Administrator, Music Instructor
Patricia Santos, a native of New York, received her Bachelor’s of Music from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory with Regina Mushabac. After earning a magna cum laude degree in cello performance, Patricia’s postgraduate studies were with Bryan Dumm of the Cleveland Orchestra. Additional teachers include Carole Tilson and the late Andor Toth. She has performed at music festivals around the country and was an orchestral and chamber music fellow at Texas Music Festival in 2001. As an eighteen-year-old, Patricia took Gold Ribbon at the Young Artist’s Concerto Competition and subsequently performed Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major with the Rockland Symphony Orchestra. She is currently on faculty at Rockland Conservatory of Music and has served as Principal Cellist for the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her classical music pursuits, Patricia is active in pit orchestras for musical theatre and also collaborates with various bands on recordings and live shows.
John Scacchetti: Dance Instructor, ChoreographerJohn Scacchetti has performed on Broadway in the 2001 revival of 42nd Street, and the 2008 revival of Gypsy starring Patti LuPone. National Tour credits include 42nd Street, and My Fair Lady directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Matthew Bourne. Regional credits include Cosmo Brown in Singin’ in the Rain (Gateway Playhouse), Mike in A Chorus Line (Weston Playhouse), Slats in Good News!, and How To Succeed…(Goodspeed Opera House). John stars in the Web Series, ‘Who Could Ask For Anything More’, which pays tribute to MGM Movie Musicals and Silent Films (www.WCAFAM.com). As a dance instructor, John has taught at Broadway Training Center for the past 10 years, specializing in Tap and Theatre Jazz. John holds a BS in theatre performance from Bradley University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Cheryl Bass: Guest Ballet Instructor
Cheryl Bass began her career at age nine at The Metropolitan Opera House performing in over 40 operas and ballets, and national tours. She was an honors graduate of School of Performing Arts and was the owner/director of The Ballet Arts Center in Nyack for 23 years, and starred in and/or choreographed countless shows for Nyack Drama Group, Tappan Zee Playhouse Restoration, Theater For All Seasons and The Hudson River Repertory (in which she is still active).
Many of her students (including Fiona Santos) are now top professionals in dance, theater, film,TV and the fitness/nutrition industry. Cheryl thankfully continues her love of choreography and teaching with the extraordinary students of BTC.
Christopher Dippel: Guest Acting Instructor
Aaron Galligan-Stierle: Guest Acting Instructor
Aaron Galligan-Stierle is both an actor and a director, although he spends much of his time doing what he calls "artistic collaboration." He has assisted in the creative process of over forty-five original works, including scripts, movies, plays, cabarets, and dance concerts. He has an extensive performance resume including:
Broadway and 1st National Tour: Henry Ford in Ragtime (currently on Broadway), Papa Who in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2007 & 2008 Company.) International Tour: The Herald in Cinderella (starring Lea Salonga) Regional: Frankie in Forever Plaid, Flute in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mordred in Camelot, Leo Davis in Room Service, Slender in Merry Wives of Windsor (Utah Shakespearean Festival), Will Blunt in Measure for Pleasure (Florida Studio Theater), Phil Davis in White Christmas (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina), Hortensio in Taming of the Shrew (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Jamie in The Last 5 Years, Eugene in Broadway Bound, Stephano in The Tempest (Pennsylvania Center Stage), Action in West Side Story, Dickon in The Secret Garden (SSMT). Other favorite roles: Frank in Merrily We Roll Along, Motel in Fiddler on the Roof, Lloyd in Noises Off, Feste in Twelfth Night, and Old Tom in The Lost Colony. Aaron played Max in the 1st reading of the NYC-bound Lend Me a Tenor: The Musical as well as numerous workshops of original musicals through both the NYU Graduate Musical Theater program and the BMI Writer’s Workshop.
Some of Aaron’s favorite directing credits include:
The Pact (Penn State University), …Ever After…(Shenandoah University and The Grove Theater), Opaline (NAPP @ Utah Shakespearean Festival), and a world premiere version of Terrance Man’s “R & J.”
Additionally Aaron is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Late Night Cabaret at the Utah Shakespearean Festival. He served on the reading / selection committee in 2005 for the New American Playwright’s Project. He is also Co-owner of the film production company “Lonely Planet Productions.,” which has produced 4 short films including "The Big Production" which has screened world-wide at film festivals and won 1st Runner-up for Best Comedy at the 2007 College Emmy Awards.
Aaron received a BFA in Musical Theater from Shenandoah University and an MFA in Acting from Penn State University.
Laura Gusso: Guest Dance Instructor
Laura Gusso is a performer and teacher who lives in New York City. She grew up in Shaker Heights, OH where she started teaching musical theatre when she was still a student herself. She performed in shows and taught classes all over the Cleveland area. She worked at many theatre camps teaching dance, acting, & music. Laura also instituted theatrical curriculum into summer camps that were based around sports and arts & crafts. Laura moved to New York City in 2000, when she began studying Musical Theatre at NYU. In 2004, she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. After graduation, Laura continued her work performing for children. She was Meg in the original cast of Vital Children Theatre’s The Bully. She went on to tour with the production and performed in over 100 performances of the show. She also did several workshops of upcoming children’s theatre, including the smash hit, Pinkalicious. It was at Vital Theatre that Laura met her husband and creative partner, Miron. Miron is Educational Director for Teatro SEA, New York’s first bilingual children’s theatre, as well as a skilled clown and puppeteer. Laura is currently in pursuit of her Masters in Business Administration with a focus on Arts & Entertainment Business. She hopes to lend her business savvy to more arts education organizations. She is thrilled to be working for Broadway Training Center, a company whose values mirror her own. Favorite roles include Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Toffee in Zombie Prom, Cinderella in Into the Woods, & Rhoda in A New Brain (stage managed by Jason & musically directed by Fiona!).
Steve Konopelski: Guest Dance Instructor, Choreographer
Ginger Merritt: Guest Dance Instructor, Choreographer
Ginger Merritt has been on the faculty of Broadway Training Center for 3 years wherein she has taught Musical Theatre Dance and Tap and has choreographed Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. For the past 3 summers she has taught and choreographed at Long Lake Camp for the Arts wherein she choreographed such shows as Chicago, West Side Story, Footloose, Frog and Toad, and Free to Be You and Me. She has also choreographed and performed in Sugar Babies for Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Varia at Merce Cunningham Studios. Ginger has perfomed all over the world in such shows as 42nd St. and Fiddler on the Roof wherein she has worked with Broadway choreographers, Randy Skinner and Sammy Dallas Bayes. She holds a B.A. in Theatre/Dance from Wagner College. She is proud to be a part of the very talented staff at Broadway Training Center.
Rachel Wineberg: Guest Acting InstructorRachel Wineberg is a teaching artist with the Metropolitan Opera Guild, where she teaches students in Kindergarten through 4th grade. She uses theatre improvisation to get kids to write original plays based on their academic curriculum. She has directed everywhere from New York Stage and Film at Vassar College to the Public Theater. She taught acting classes to Cornerstone Theater whose company members included Amy Brenneman (of TV’s Judging Amy). She has taught at Wagner College, The Lark Theater and Circle Rep and public speaking at Cooper Union College.