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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 first 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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Darius de Haas

Darius de Haas is an award-winning actor and singer whose career has spanned from Broadway to concert stages around the world. Darius made his Broadway debut in Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and followed with the Lincoln Center revival of Carousel, Rent, The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm, Marie Christine, Shuffle Along, as well as the anniversary concerts of Dreamgirls and Hair (both for the Actors Fund). Other notable theater appearances include the premiere productions of Running Man (for which he won an Obie Award), Children of Eden, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky, and Public Works’ As You Like It. Notable TV credits include Dietland, In the Life, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for which Darius is the singing voice of “Shy Baldwin.”

 

A versatile and critically acclaimed concert and recording artist (The NY Times praised him for his “fiery unabashedly abject interpretations and ingenuous trust in total honesty”), among Darius’ solo artist appearances include The Lincoln Center American Songbook, Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert with The Los Angeles Master Chorale, The New York Festival of Song, Carnegie Hall, London's Royal Festival Hall and many orchestras across the country. He has performed and/or toured with such artists as Marvin Hamlisch, Oleta Adams, Roberta Flack, Elvis Costello, Deborah Harry and Vanessa Williams. His recordings include his debut Darius de Haas-Day Dream: Variations on Strayhorn, Quiet Please (w/Steven Blier), and many original cast and soundtrack recordings. Darius is a founding member of Black Theatre United which serves to educate, empower, and inspire through excellence and activism in the pursuit of justice and equality for all black artists. www.dariusdehaas.com

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Gerald Charles Dickens

Gerald Dickens is an English actor, director, and producer. He is best known for his one-man shows based on the novels of his great-great-grandfather, the author Charles Dickens.  Dickens is honored to be included in OHMTEC’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

Jonathan Groff is perhaps best known for his portrayal of King George III in the original Broadway production of Hamilton, for which he earned a Tony Nomination and Grammy Award. He has also appeared in 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, The Bacchae, and Hair, among othersand received an OBIE Award for Prayer For My Enemy. In film, he has appeared in Matrix 4, American Sniper, Frozen, The Normal Heart, and Taking Woodstock. Jonathan's television credits include: Mindhunter, Looking, Boss and 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

Actress, author and film/television producer Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of Nobel Prize-laureate novelist Ernest Hemingway. "Coming from a family of creatives, the Arts are incredibly important to me, not to mention my family, and to my outlook on life,” said Hemingway in joining the Honorary Board. “Part of our sense of history comes from our connection to art in all of its forms." Hemingway began acting at age 14 with a Golden Globe-nominated role in “Lipstick” (1976) and received Academy and BAFTA Award nominations for her performance in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” (1979). She is also known for her leading roles in “Personal Best” (1982) and “Star 80” (1983), as well as in the TV series “Civil Wars,” for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. The author of three books, Mariel Hemingway is a health advocate who has spent a lifetime studying how mental and physical health are linked. Her work is focused on what to do to transform negative messages and influences into healing that becomes radiant energy, full of purpose and balance. 

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Shirley Jones

Upon graduating from High School, Shirley Jones went to New York to audition for the casting director of Rodgers & Hammerstein.  Taken by Shirley’s beautifully trained voice, she was signed as a nurse in the Broadway production of South Pacific. Within a year, she would be in Hollywood to appear as “Laurie,” the farm girl in love with cowboy Gordon MacRae, Jones’ idol (1955).  Following that, Shirley returned to Broadway for the stage production of Oklahoma! before returning to Hollywood to appear as “Julie Jordan” in Carousel (1956). Other major Hollywood roles of that era include “Marion” the librarian in The Music Man (1962) and with the young Ron Howard in The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963). Shirley would be remembered by another generation as “Shirley Partridge” in the television series The Partridge Family (1970), alongside teen idol David Cassidy, and numerous television movies.

"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.

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Kristine Lewis

Kristine Lewis founded Theatre Arts Center (TAC) in Bucks County in 1985 to prepare young actors for professional theatre. Previously she served for three years as Director of the Times Square Bid Kidz in Manhattan, a performance ensemble that entertained at various Times Square Broadway events.  Kristine has taught at North Carolina School of the Arts and throughout the U.S., as well as workshops in London. Her own training began studying with Uta Hagen at H.B. Studios and at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts for Drama.  As a dancer and choreographer, she studied with Phil Black, Matt Mattox, Gus Giordano and toured with the American Ballet Theatre.

 

Kristine’s career in show business spans the gamut. Her professional theatre credits are extensive and her work has appeared in national tours, summer stock, regional theatres, dinner theatres, and cabaret rooms throughout the U.S.  A partner in Lewis & Fox Casting, Kristine is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA) and has cast for many New York and regional theatre productions, as well as for film, television, music videos, commercials and industrials.  

 

As a theatrical producer, Kristine worked with one of the most prolific songwriting teams, Richard and Robert Sherman (MARY POPPINS, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BAND, JUNGLE BOOK +), when she and her producing partners undertook a revival of the brother’s show BUSKER ALLEY, starring Jim Dale.  Additionally, Kristine was managing producer on BURLEIGH GRIME$, associate producer on the NY production of VIGIL, and on Broadway’s ENCHANTED APRIL. She has produced numerous stage productions in Bucks County, including TAC favorite, THAT’S WHAT KIDS DO!

 

Kristine has directed shows too numerous to mention. Among the names, she has directed William Conrad, Lucy Arnez, Andrea McArdle and many others. Her creative staging of FIORELLO at the Players Club in New York was hailed by the show’s writer Sheldon Harnick. Additionally, she has directed well as over 200 children’s shows in Bucks County.

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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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Chita Rivera

A theatrical icon and one of Broadway's greatest triple-threat talents, Chita Rivera is one of the most nominated performers in Tony Award history having earned 10 nominations, won twice and received the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. Her most recent Broadway starring roles include The Visit, the revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood; The Dancer’s Life, and the revival of Nine. She trained as a ballerina (from age nine) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from the legendary choreographer George Balanchine.  Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her international stardom. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry’s Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven, Mr. Wonderful.  Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom and the coveted Kennedy Center Honor; performed her solo concert at London’s Cadogan Hall and Carnegie Hall. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente. Her long-awaited critically-acclaimed book CHITA: A MEMOIR was  published in April, 2023 by HarperOne.

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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.   

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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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