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Broadway actors are NMSU Theatre Department virtual guests; public welcome to join in


Broadway and touring company husband-and-wife actors Matt DeAngelis and Christine Dwyer will be the special guests of the New Mexico State University Theatre Department during a Wednesday, March 3, virtual presentation, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Mountain Time, and the community is welcome and invited to join in at no cost.

The presentations are part of the Theatre Department’s program to engage students during the pandemic, which has prevented live theatre productions since last March.

“I connected with most of these artists by attending the Theatre Makers Summit Conference, virtually, in November, and reached out to guests I viewed that I thought would inspire our students,” said Theatre Department Head Wil Kilroy. “The conference was filled with accomplished Broadway artists.   However, Matt DeAngelis is a former student of mine from the University of Southern Maine. I directed him there as a prince in ‘Into the Woods,’ got to see him perform in Boston in the national tour of ‘Hair,’ and reconnected when I took NMSU students to New York City and we saw ‘Waitress’ on Broadway, and Matt was part of the show – a great surprise!” Kilroy said.

DeAngelis made his Broadway debut in 2009 in the Tony-winning production of “Hair,” and continued with its production in London. He was also part of the first national tour of “Hair” and its Broadway revival, and was in the casts of the first national tours of “American Idiot” and “Once.” DeAngelis has appeared in nearly 2,000 performances in the past five years. On television he has acted in “Person of Interest,” “Madam Secretary,” “Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Chicago PD” and other shows.

Dwyer made her Broadway debut in “Wicked,” and played Elphaba in a touring production of the show. She played Maureen in the national tour of “Rent” and has appeared in regional theatre productions of “Tommy” and Gypsy.”

DeAngelis and Dwyer co-own The Working Studio, a music, theatre and acting studio. They have also launched a master class series called Upgrade Your Audition.

"We are so excited to be returning to Las Cruces (digitally) to teach this group of passionate and excited students,” DeAngelis and Dwyer said. “We were here last year and were able to see the production of ‘Spelling Bee’ and were super impressed.  Can’t wait to work with everyone again!!”

Upcoming guest artist presentations, each session is 12:30-1:30 p.m. Mountain Time, are

  • Wednesday, March 17: Director, producer, playwright and dramaturg Jamil Jude, artistic director at True Colors Theatre in Atlanta. Jude has served as producer in residence at the Mixed Blood Theatre Company in Minneapolis and as a new play-producing fellow at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. He co-founded Colored People’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. and has led productions in the nation’s capital, Denver and the Twin Cities.

"I'm excited to speak to the students at NMSU,” Jude said. “Having spent their lives in an ever-increasing, digitally active world, there is so much that this generation will change in our field. I'd love to help them on their journey by providing some perspective from my career and time spent and to challenge them to take their passions and drive our industry forward."

  • Wednesday, April 14: costume designer Benny Lumpkins, whose TV credits include “9-1-1,” “Fallout” and other series’ and films.

“Costume design is the most important part of creating a character, unless they are naked the entire show,” Lumpkins said in an email to the Bulletin.

  • Wednesday, April 28: Broadway producer Brian Moreland: “Blue,” “The Sound Inside,” ”Sea Wall/A Life” starring Jake Gyllenhaal” and the shutdown-interrupted “American Buffalo” starring Laurence Fishburne.

The first guest artist to participate in the program, on Feb. 3, was Sammi Carnold, a theatre director who is one of Forbes Magazine’s 2019 30 Under 30 in Hollywood and Entertainment. Carnold’s recent credits include “Evita,” “Ragtime,” “Violet” and “Allegory.” Her upcoming projects include “Carmen” as well as a documentary and a feature film. Carnold has a B.A. from Stanford University and an MA from Harvard.

"It was such a pleasure to speak with the NMSU Theatre students,” Carnold said. “At a time when the performing arts are suffering all around the globe, the determination of these students to pursue what they love despite the challenges was incredibly inspiring to me. They asked incredibly intelligent questions and I so look forward to following their progress and cheering them on in the months and years to come."

The second guest, on Feb. 17, was Matthew Stern, who has been stage manager for more than 20 Broadway productions, including “Finding Neverland,” “On the Town,” “Doctor Zhivago,” “Side Show,” “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark,” “Death Of A Salesman,” “An Evening with Patti LuPone & Mandy Patinkin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Wicked,” “Fiddler On The Roof,” “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All,” “The Phantom Of The Opera” and “The Full Monty.”

Stern also has toured with “Mandy Patinkin: Dress Casual,” “Mandy Patinkin: Diaries,” “John Lithgow’s Stories By Heart,” “Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays,” “Les Miserables” and “Grease.” He has also stage managed for corporate events around the world for Google, Samsung, Facebook and many others.

"I'm always excited to speak with students and young stage managers,” Stern said. “It's an opportunity to elevate their perception of the job and give them a new perspective as stage managing is so much more than paperwork and cue-calling. There is an art and craft to stage management that involves leadership, emotional intelligence and so much more. It's a pleasure to engage them in discussions about theatre, art, and life."

If you would like to link in to join any or all of the presentations, email Theatre Department head Wil Kilroy at wkilroy@nmsu.edu to receive the appropriate links.