Honorary Board

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Christy Altomare

Christy Altomare originated the role of Anya in the Broadway production of Anastasia, which opened at the Broadhurst Theater on April 24, 2017. On June 4, 2012, Christy opened in her Broadway debut as Sophie Sheridan in Mamma Mia at the Winter Garden Theater - NYC. Christy portrayed the role of Sue Snell in the reimagined MCC Theater off-Broadway production of Carrie for its 2011/12 season. In the fall of 2011, Christy brought to life Jerusha Abbott in the Detroit run of John Caird and Paul Gordon's new musical Daddy Long Legs. Christy joined the 1st national touring cast of Spring Awakening as Wendla Bergmann in the summer of 2008.  She took the stage for over 600 performances through 44 cities across the US and Canada. 

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Ted Chapin

Ted Chapin was President and Chief Creative Officer of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, responsible for management of the copyrights created by Richard Rodgers and/or Oscar Hammerstein II and others. Ted was the co-founder of the Encores! series and has been a host and interviewer on many television shows. He appears in various documentary films on the musical theater, including the PBS shows Broadway: The American Musical and Out of His Dreams, a documentary on Oscar Hammerstein II. His book, Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical “Follies,“ based on his experience as the production assistant on the original Broadway production of the Sondheim/Prince musical Follies, won both an ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award and a Special Jury Prize for Distinguished Achievement by the Theatre Library Association. Ted serves on the boards of New York City Center, Goodspeed Musicals, The Kurt Weill Foundation, where he currently serves as chairman, and The American Theater Wing which he chaired for four years. He has been on panels of the National Endowment for the Arts, has been a guest lecturer at many universities and has been honored with many awards.

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Gerald Dickens

Gerald Dickens is an actor, director, producer,and  the great great grandson of the author Charles Dickens.  His is honored to be included in Oscar's honorary board and he reflects fondly on his time performing in Oklahoma! He is eager to see Oscar's home retained as a place of theatre education for future generations.

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Jonathan Groff

Theater: Hamilton (Tony Nomination, Grammy Award), Spring  Awakening (Tony, Drama Desk, and Drama League Nominations, Theater World  Award), In My Life, Little Shop of Horrors (Lortel, Drama League, Outer Critics  Circle nominations) The Submission (MCC), The Bacchae (Public), Hair (Public),  Spring Awakening (Atlantic), OBIE Award for Prayer For My Enemy (Playwrights  Horizons) and The Singing Forest (Public), Deathtrap (West End), Red (Mark  Taper). Film: Matrix 4, American Sniper, Frozen, The Normal Heart, Taking  Woodstock. TV: Mindhunter, Looking, Boss, Glee.

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Justin Guarini

Justin Guarini’s performance career launched with the first season of American Idol in 2002.  His stage appearances since then include Broadway productions of American Idiot, Romeo and Juliet, Wicked and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.  Justin has hosted the Oscars, the Emmys and the Grammys.  He continues to reprise his role as the lovable Lil’ Sweet in commercials for Diet Dr. Pepper.  A strong proponent for music education in schools, Justin has advocated for funding on Capitol Hill by lobbying for the International Music Products Association.  He has worked with Education Through Music Los Angeles, a nonprofit that promotes using music education as a catalyst to improve academic achievement, motivation for school and self-confidence in under-served communities.  In 2019, Justin founded Artist Mindset Mastery (ILiveToPerform.com) to help performers achieve success.

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Mariel Hemingway

Mariel is excited to join the honorary board to preserve Oscar's home as a museum and education center. "Coming  from a family of creatives the Arts are incredibly important to me, (not to mention my family) and to my outlook on life. Part of our sense of history comes from our connection to Art in all of its forms."

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Shirley Jones

"I owe my career to Oscar Hammerstein. He and Richard Rodgers gave me my first job: the role of Laurie in the motion picture version of "Oklahoma." I loved Oscar and am honored to support the preservation of his home and the creation of the Oscar Hammerstein Museum and The Theatre Education Center.  This is where so many of his lyrics, known the world over, were created. I am pleased to lend my name and voice to this important project as a member of their honorary board.”

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Derek Klena

Derek Klena is a 2020 Tony Award nominee (Best Featured Actor in a Musical) for originating the role of Nick Healy in Jagged Little Pill. Broadway credits include Dmitry in Anastasia, Michael in The Bridges of Madison of County and Fiyero in the 10th anniversary company of Wicked. He has made appearances on several television series, including playing Adam Turnbull in The Code on CBS and DJ Fingablast on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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Morten Lauridsen

The music of Morten Lauridsen occupies a permanent place in the standard vocal repertoire of the Twenty-First Century. He was named an “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2006, he was awarded the 2007 National Medal of Arts by the President in a White House ceremony “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power, and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide.” In 2016 Mr. Lauridsen received the ASCAP Foundation “Life in Music” Award at Lincoln Center. His eight vocal cycles, instrumental works, art songs and series of sacred Latin motets are performed throughout the world and have been recorded on over two hundred CDs, including several that have received Grammy nominations. Named an “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2006, he was awarded the 2007 National Medal of Arts by the President in a White House ceremony “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power, and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide.” In 2016 Mr. Lauridsen received the ASCAP Foundation “Life in Music” Award at Lincoln Center.

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Melinda Mathias Walsh

Granddaughter of Oscar Hammerstein II

 

I was nine years old when my grandfather died.  My memories of him are that of a small child and much like any other child’s, nothing terribly unique.  My lasting impression of him has been shaped by the stories and personal letters passed down to me by my mother and other relatives.  When I think of my grandfather, I think of a life lived with integrity and humanity, a model for what it is to be a good citizen of the world.  He once said “When a writer writes anything about anything at all, he gives himself away.”   I think these characteristics shine in all of his work.  He believed that the good in humanity would prevail, a belief we cling to now while seeking comfort and hope .

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Kassie Mundhenk

Kassie Mundhenk has worked on numerous TV and movie sets, most recently playing Moira Ross in the HBO Max mini-series Mare of Easttown. Additionally, she has been featured in a commercial for NYU Children’s Hospital, a lifestyle shoot for the City of New York and two campaigns for the clothing line Justice. A passionate theater lover and diligent student, Kassie is a member of the National Honor Society and graduated from high school in June 2021. As a child and preteen, she developed her poise and confidence by participating in pageants.

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Sam von Trapp

Sam von Trapp is the grandson of Baroness, Maria von Trapp, from the movie, “The Sound of Music.” Sam is the Executive Vice President of The Trapp Family Lodge and von Trapp Brewing in Stowe, Vermont. He strives to carry on his grandmother’s legacy of providing warm and friendly service to all their family’s guests while overseeing all day-to-day operations. Sam continues to be the face of his family’s business, while spreading word of the von Trapp lagers throughout all New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia.