WELCOME TO THE KINGSWOOD OXFORD AWARD-WINNING THEATER PROGRAM

Kingswood Oxford School Proudly Presents the December 2020 Choreographer Showcase

THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE

In the spring of 2020, the Kingswood Oxford cast and crew continued to raise the bar, giving a jaw-dropping performance of Thoroughly Modern Millie that ended with a standing ovation from the audience. Not to mention, being voted Best High School Musical in the entire state!

CHICAGO

In the spring of 2019, the Kingswood Oxford theater department delivered a show-stopping performance of the Broadway classic CHICAGO. The production took home several HALO awards and earned the performers top recognition in the state and beyond. 

Broadway@KO

Broadway@KO is a signature program that creates the opportunity for our students to learn from the best Broadway professionals of our time. Each year, Broadway@KO brings some of the hottest names in showbiz to our campus, or most recently, virtually! Our students have the opportunity to sing for their critique, learn famous broadway choreography, and perfect their acting alongside industry professionals. This signature program is truly one of a kind for independent schools. 

Eva Noblezada

Miss Saigon, Hadestown

Two Time Tony Award Nominee, Olivier Award Winner

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Eva Noblezada

    Eva Maria Noblezada is an American actress and singer most known for her work on the Broadway stage and independent film. Noblezada made her Broadway debut as Kim in a revival of Miss Saigon, a performance for which she received a 2017 Tony Award nomination. She also originated the lead role of Eurydice in Hadestown on Broadway, a performance for which she received her second Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, as well as won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Noblezada also played the title character of Rose in the film Yellow Rose, which premiered in theaters on October 9, 2020.

Christy Altomare

Anastasia, Spring Awakening

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Christy Altomare

    Christy Altomare played the role of Wendla in the first national tour of the Spring Awakening, played Sue Snell in the off-Broadway revival of Carrie, and made her Broadway debut as Sophie in Mamma Mia!. She originated the titular role in the Broadway premiere of Anastasia in Anastasia. 

Barrett Wilbert Weed

Mean Girls, Heathers

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Barrett Wilbert Weed

    Barrett Wilbert Weed is best known for originating the roles of Veronica Sawyer in the Off-Broadway production of Heathers: The Musical and Janis Sarkisian in the Broadway production of Mean Girls.

Taylor Louderman

MeanGirls, Kinky Boots

Olivier Award Winner

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Taylor Louderman

    Taylor Louderman is best known for originating the role of Regina George in the Broadway musical Mean Girls, for which she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 2018. Other Credits Include: Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Grease and Bring it On, the musical.

Shoshana Bean

Wicked, Waitress, Hairspray

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Shoshana Bean

    Shoshana Bean is best known for her incredible performance as Elphaba in Wicked, Jenna in Waitress and within the Broadway company of Hairspray. She has released three records and has appeared on many theater cast recordings and film soundtracks. 

Lesli Margherita

Olivier Award Winner

Matilda

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Lesli Margarita

    Lesli Margherita is best known for her outstanding performance as Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda, the musical.  She also won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her performance as Inez in Helen Edmundson's musical, Zorro.

Jessica Lee Goldyn

A Chorus Line, Hello Dolly, Tuck Everlasting

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Jessica Lee Goldyn

    Jessica Lee Goldyn (A CHORUS LINE, TUCK EVERLASTING, FINDING NEVERLAND, and more!) held a Broadway Masterclass in New York City with KO students focusing on dance audition training combined with a physical technique workshop. She taught a rigorous physical warm-up, audition combinations, and finessed technique all while providing individual feedback to each student!

Deidre Goodwin

A Chorus Line, Chicago

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Deidre Goodwin

    Appearing in 10 Broadway shows and with over 40 film and television credits, Broadway triple threat Deidre Goodwin came to KO in January and did a master class with theater students. Goodwin played Sheila Bryant in the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line, then followed that role with a star turn as Velma Kelly in Chicago in 2009.

Ben Fankhauser

Newsies

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Ben Fankhauser

    In May of 2019, Ben Fankhauser's came to KO to run a masterclass. His Broadway credits include (Newsies, Original Broadway Cast), National Tours: Spring Awakening, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical. Television/Film: The Deuce, Twenty Something, It Could Be Worse, and Submissions Only. Fankhauser originated the role of Davey in Newsies at Paper Mill Playhouse before bringing the show to Broadway.

Kate Baldwin

Hello Dolly, Finian's Rainbow, Big Fish

Two Time Tony Award Nominee

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Kate Baldwin

    Kate Baldwin is a two time Tony Award-nominated actress and singer known for her work in the musical theatre circuit. She received a Tony Award nomination for her work in the 2009 Broadway revival of Finian's Rainbow. She also co-starred opposite Bette Midler, David Hyde Pierce, and Gavin Creel in the hit Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, for which she received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critic's Circle award nominations for her work as the saucy Irene Molloy.

Natalie Weiss

American Idol, Emojiland

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Natalie Weiss

    Natalie Weiss gained an international following from her performance videos and popular YouTube web series, "Breaking Down The Riffs," which have collectively reached over 4 million views. As a private vocal coach and master class teacher, she trains performers across the US and throughout the world. She is known for her performances on American Idol, and the off-broadway show, Emojiland. 

Shina Ann Morris

Tootsie, Anastasia, West Side Story

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Shina Ann Morris

    Shina Ann Morris is a true broadway gypsy. Her credits include: Tootsie, Anastasita, Holiday Inn, Cinderella, Annie, Nice Work if you can get it, Anything Goes and West Side Story.

Kate Marilley

The Prom, My Fair Lady

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Kate Marilley

    Kate's Broadway accolades include Flying Over Sunset, The Prom, My Fair Lady and Billy Elliot in addition to countless regional performances and film/TV appearances. 

    Kate attended and graduated from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama with a BFA in acting and musical theatre. She also attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). 

    She is also passionate about teaching and has recently begun teaching master classes in dance, acting, and audition preparation at various schools and intensives.

Autumn Hurlbert

Legally Blonde

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Autumn Hurlbert

    Autumn Hurlbert's accolades include Broadway, national tours, regional theater, off Broadway and television including lead roles in Legally Blonde, Something Rotten, Little Women, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, Evita, Tomorrow Morning and The Sound of Music, Live! Hulbert ran a masterclass where she guided student performances through presentation, nuances of character, and presence.

Chris Fitzgerald

Waitress, Wicked, Young Frankenstein

Three Time Tony Award Nominee

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

Grasan Kingsberry

Once On This Island, The Color Purple

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Grasan Kingsberry

    Grasan Kingsberry is a true broadway gypsy. His credits include: Once On This Island, The Color Purple, Motown, Nice Work if you can get it, Leap of Faith, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Catch Me If you can, Finian's Rainbow, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. 

Thayne Jasperson

Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast)

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Thayne Jasperson

    Thayne Jasperson is an American actor and singer who portrayed the character Samuel Seabury in Hamilton. Outside of theater he is known for being a finalist of Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance. He has also been in High School Musical, Newsies, Matilda and Finding Neverland. He has had Hamilton appearances as Seabury, King George III and John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton.

Stephanie Bissonette

Mean Girls

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Stephanie Bissonnette

    Stephanie Bissonnette launched her Broadway debut from being seen as Dawn Schweitzer in Mean Girls on Broadway. Other credits include The Muny, Riverside Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, And Seven Angels Theatre. She has also appeared in music videos including Keith Urban’s Never Comin’ Down. 

Choreographer Showcase

Choreographer showcase connects our dancers to industry professionals throughout the country - this means: Broadway performers, ballet company dancers, athletic dancers, street fusion dancers, contemporary/modern professionals, and more. Each year our choreographers bring their knowledge, talent, and inspiration to young thespians, working with them for over two months in what culminates as an epic performance by both the choreographer teachers and their students.

Ronnie Bowman (2021)

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

Lili St.Amand (2021)

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Lili St.Amand 

    Lili “Bloom” St.Amand found her love for Hip Hop when she was six years old. She believes in spreading her love and knowledge for Hip Hop through her teaching and is always eager to teach the next generation so Hip Hop can stay alive. In May 2017 Lili had won World Of Dance New Jersey Head Bangerz Brawl. She has also participated in Breakdancing Shakespeare on Hartford Stage. Her latest accomplishment was receiving the Jumpstart award this past March through the Connecticut Dance Alliance. Lili is always striving to give her students the best education possible and is excited to help create the world's next artists.
     
     

Meghan McDermott (2021)

In Partnership with IMMIX Dance Project

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Meghan McDermott 

    IMMIX Dance Project is a contemporary dance company centered around collaborating with local artists to create new work and performance opportunities.  With a focus on building community and connections, the group seeks to support dancers, choreographers and companies and to help each other grow both individually and together. The company was born out of a desire to collaborate with local artists in an effort to grow both individually and together. The four core collaborators Lindsay Castonguay-Hany, Meghan McDermott, Christine Perry and Tessa Grunwald have been dancing together since 2013 and have a strong connection both in the studio and out. They created Immix Dance Project as an outlet to generate ideas, push each other creatively and spend time together doing what they love.  
     
     
     

Rachael Gnatowski (2021)

In partnership with New England Ballet Theater Company

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Rachael Gnatowski 

    Originally from Frederick, Maryland, Rachael began her dance training under the direction of Joyce Morrison at the Frederick School of Classical Ballet. While performing as a member of the Urbana High School Dance Company under the direction of Stephanie Weigelt, she was named a Maryland All-State Dancer. She furthered her dance training attending summer intensives at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, North Carolina School for the Arts, the Kansas City Ballet School, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Rachael then went on to graduate from Mercyhurst University in 2013 with a BA in dance. Since graduation, she has danced professionally with Ballet Fleming, Fort Wayne Ballet, and Ballet Hartford. In January 2020, Rachael Co-Founded New England Ballet Theatre, a professional ballet company serving the Greater Hartford region, where she currently performs and works as Co-Artistic Director.
     
     
     
     

Savana Jones (2020)

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Savana Jones 

    Savana Jones is a native of Hartford and at age eight she began her studies in dance at The Artist Collective doing African dance under the tutelage of Aca Lee Thompson. From that point on, she continued studying in many styles of dance including jazz, tap, hip-hop, modern, and social dancing. Graduating as a Dance Major from The Hartford Conservatory in 2009, is now a well-known dance instructor and choreographer in the Greater Hartford district. 

Lauren Horn (2020)

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Lauren Horn 

    Lauren Horn is a movement and text based artist from Windsor, CT. She graduated from Amherst College with degrees in Psychology and Theatre and Dance. Lauren’s work explores identity and the ways it can be uncovered, marginalized, highlighted, and erased. By utilizing movement and text as means of fostering a more welcoming form of vulnerability, the work creates a space for self-reflection and conversation for both the performer and viewer. Lauren’s choreographic work has been showcased at The BAM Fisher Theatre in Brooklyn NYC, Hibernian Hall in Boston MA, The Meydenbauer Center Theatre in Belleview WA, The Studio of Contemporary Dance and Thought in Northampton MA, The Northampton Center for the Arts, Amherst College and ACDFA New England.

JuS Hughes (2020)

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • JuS Hughes 

    Justin “JuS” Hughes is a versatile musician and mover(dancer) From Bloomfield, CT who has made his mark in the industry. JuS has been singing and dancing since the age of 6 starting with genres such as African, Tap, Ballet, Jazz, and Modern. Working and touring with artists such as, Madusa from def Poetry Jam, Pharaoh Monch and Slum village for the “Beats For Peace Tour” and sharing the stage with New Edition, Take 6 and Casely, JuS has also gained exposure to Sony/BMG Music entertainment. As a Choreographer, JuS has choreographed for newly signed artists in the industry and performed in front of Industry Executives from BET. Being an R&B, Soul, and Hip Hop singer, JuS has been able to utilize his talents and electrify every stage with his versatile performance.From attending Berklee College of Music in the heart of Boston, MA, to CEO, JuS of JuS Move Studios has become a well known name throughout the East Coast.

Geo Mantilla (2019)

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Geo Mantilla

    Geo is a dancer/choreographer from Peru. He and his family moved to Connecticut when he was 13. Art was always a part of his life since both grandfather and uncle played Peruvian musical instruments. He learned street dancing, and he street performed with his neighborhood friends at age 11. After moving to the U.S., he stopped dancing to focus on school and to learn the culture of his new country. By freshman year of high school, he tried to get into the Hip-hop dance community in Connecticut and New York, and a year later he performed with Neighborhood Studios’ Breakdancing Shakespeare at Hartford Stage. 

Rosanna Karabetsos (2019)

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Rosanna Karabetsos

    Rosanna Karabetsos is a freelance choreographer and performance artist based in New York City. She graduated from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts after 15 years of competing in regional and national dance competitions and has since been dancing professionally. Rosanna is currently on the NBA Brooklynettes dance team and is also a Resident Artist with the Dance Collective; a female dance company based in Hartford, CT providing opportunities to emerging female choreographers. 

Avery Casasanta (2019)

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Avery Casasanta 

    Avery Casasanta started dance before she could walk at Terpsichore Dance and Theater Company in Simsbury, CT. Terpsichore is where she fell in love with dance as an art form for both its physical challenge and theatrical presence. She graduated from Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts as a dance major in 2017 and is now pursuing a BFA at SUNY Purchase in New York. Avery has studied classically in ballet as well as the Graham and Cunningham techniques. 
     

Mary Cadorette-Daly (2019)

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Mary Cadorette-Daly

    Mary Cadorette-Daly is an American actress and dancer best known for playing John Ritter's live-in girlfriend, flight attendant Vicky Bradford on the 1984 Three's Company spin-off, Three's a Crowd. Mary also spent three and a half years on Broadway as an understudy for the lead role of Peggy Sawyer in the Broadway musical 42nd Street. Mary, also crowned as Miss Connecticut 1975, Daly is on the faculty of the Musical Theater Department at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts’ Half-Day Program where she teaches ballet, tap and the Luigi jazz technique and has directed/choreographed a host of musicals such as Day in Hollywood/Night in Ukraine, West Side Story, and A Chorus Line (all three in collaboration with Kyle Reynolds). She holds an MFA in Arts Administration, both from the University of Connecticut.

Past Seasons

Director of Theater Kyle Reynolds

Kyle is an award-winning director with an accomplished career in theater education and directing. Under Kyle's instruction, his students have achieved successful careers in both Broadway and off-Broadway productions as well as national tours. At the college level, Kyle's students have also gained acceptance to elite musical theater universities: Baldwin Wallace, Shenandoah, Ithaca, Boston Conservatory, New York University Tisch, and the University of Michigan. Kyle, a performer himself, continues to be inspired by the creativity and hunger for musical theater training at KO. Kyle has transformed our theater program over the last three years into a triple threat curriculum and as a result, leading our program to become award-winning after winning "Best Musical" in the State of Connecticut for Kingswood Oxford's 2020 production of Thoroughly Modern Millie which was centered in the establishing our program as a vehicle to promote student awareness, cultural competency and courageous conversations in both an entertaining and educational manner. 

The Process

Students have the opportunity to register for several artistic electives to further their craft within a process-based learning environment. Students learn the following skills in the following classes

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Public Speaking

    Students will engage in the art of public speaking within an effort to become more comfortable with their communication skills and presenting material to a group of people. We will study various aspects, techniques and strategies to assist in the utmost successful delivery possible. Skills learned, informative speaking, persuasive speaking, imagery, debate, eye contact, posture, diction, establishing credibility and research.
  • Introduction to Musical Theater

     This is a triple threat class that focuses on singing, dancing and acting within an introductory setting. Students are assigned condensed scene study projects, audition prep repertoire and choreography. Students begin with researching characters and researching repertoire material. This class heavily focuses on the importance of ensemble. 
     
     
  • Scene Study

    Students engage in a number of small ensemble numbers that build on the attributed combination of incorporating singing, acting and dancing into one piece. Students work on both contemporary and classical work to further their repertoire. 
  • Advanced Musical Theory

    After building your introductory skills, we move into a more advanced setting where students learn a variety of training/technical skills within an effort to build their theatrical craft. Students dive into full length monologues, songs and choreography pieces. Students participate in a number of full length scene study pieces along with several audition prep opportunities. By this point, students should have built a repertoire book should they be interested in applying to BFA Musical Theater Programs.

The Product

Kingswood offers several performance opportunities throughout the academic school year:

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Fall Play

    Rabbit Hole, Arabian Nights, Almost Maine
  • Choreographer Showcase

    Kingswood Oxford is home to a ground-breaking choreographer showcase, which brings world-class choreographers to campus to work and collaborate with students. Names like Mary Cadorette-Daly, Avery Casasanta, Rosie Karabetos, and Geo Mantilla bring their knowledge, talent, and inspiration to young thespians, working with them for over two months in what culminates as an epic performance by both the choreographer teachers and their students.

    These choreographers are working actors, Broadway performers, dancers, musicians, photographers, arts advocates, athletic dancers, ballerina, and street dancers.
  • Winter Musical

    Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chicago, Pippin, Hello Dolly, Grease, Annie
  • Spring Student Directed Plays

    One acts or cabaret

The Facilities

The 585-seat Roberts Theater
A malleable Black Box Theater
A Professional Dance Studio
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.
Copyright 2018. Kingswood Oxford.