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DAVE CLEMMONS

Head of Faculty

Dave began his career as a performer on Broadway with roles in Les Misérables, The Civil War (original company), The Scarlet Pimpernel (original company and Chaeuvelin on original concept recording). He was seen as Jean Valjean in the National tour of Les Misérables (2 years) and the National tours of Jekyll and Hyde as well as the pre-Broadway productions of Whistle Down the Wind (by Andrew Lloyd Weber, directed by Hal Prince at The National Theatre in DC) and Jekyll and Hyde (The Alley Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Seattle’s 5th Ave. Theatre). He was also featured as Corin/Amiens/Hymen in As You Like It at the Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. Other roles have included Che in Evita, Freddie in Chess, The Teen Angel in Grease, Dinadan in Camelot (starring and directed by Terrence Mann) and Richard in The Lion in Winter.

Dave is an in demand teacher/lecturer having taught at the premiere music theater training programs across the country as well as master classes in New York, LA, Chicago, Boston, Houston, and Orlando. He is a visiting professor at the acclaimed Elon University Musical Theatre Program and is a founding faculty member and music supervisor of The Performing Arts Project. He operates the Dave Clemmons College Advisory Program (DCCAP), preparing top high school talent to audition for the competitive field of study that is musical theater at the collegiate level.

Dave currently serves as The Dean of The Humphreys School of Musical Theatre – the educational wing of Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and commercial music from the renowned Frost School of Music at The University of Miami, Fl.

As a producer, Dave serves as a Producing Partner for StylesFour Productions. StylesFour has been producers/investors for the Broadway productions of Once (Tony Award-Best Musical), Orphans (starring Alec Baldwin), Driving Miss Daisy (starring James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave), Spring Awakening (Tony Award- Best Musical), the critically acclaimed original New York production of Bat Boy, An Intimate Evening with Frank Wildhorn and Friends (starring Frank Wildhorn, Linda Eder and Douglas Sills), Pee-Wee Herman on Broadway, Talk Radio, and 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother (starring Judy Gold).

Dave Clemmons was the founder/owner of Dave Clemmons Casting, whose Broadway projects included: The revival of Driving Miss Daisy, The Boy from Oz (starring Hugh Jackman), Brooklyn (starring Eden Espinoza), Ring of Fire, In My Life, Dracula, The Civil War, Cinderella starring Eartha Kitt and Jamie Lynn Sigler, and Frank Wildhorn’s Wonderland.

Off-Broadway shows: Bat Boy, Bare, Altar Boyz, the New York revival of Charles Mee’s, Big Love, Zanna Don’t!, Dear Edwina and the 2000 revival of Godspell at The York Theatre (starring Shoshanna Bean, Leslie Kritzer, and Barrett Foa).

National Tours: Jekyll and Hyde, Fosse (supervised by Ann Reinking), Moving Out (choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp), West Side Story (directed by David Saint and choreographed by Joey McKneely), Evita (directed by Hal Prince), Fiddler on the Roof (starring Topol/Harvey Firestein), Starlight Express, Jesus Christ Superstar (starring Ted Neely), The Civil War (starring Larry Gatlin and Bebe Winans), Chicago, CATS, Dr. Doolittle (directed by and starring Tommy Tune), Thoroughly Modern Millie (directed by Joey McKneely), Joseph…, Saturday Night Fever, and the new national tour of The Wizard of Oz.

International tours: Fosse (Paris/Germany-starring Ben Vereen and Ruthie Henshall), West Side Story (Germany- directed and choreographed by Joey McKneely), 42nd St. (Moscow-directed and choreographed by Randy Skinner) and The Sound of Music (Asia), The King and I (Asia).

Regional: Little Shop of Horrors at The Alley Theatre, Steel Magnolias, Chicago and The Civil War at Flatrock Playhouse, The Full Monty and Footloose at Marriott Lincolnshire, Driving Miss Daisy at Casa Manana (starring Sandy Duncan), Camelot at North Shore Music Theatre, History of the Word at the Tony Award-winning Crossroads Theatre, Making Tracks at San Jose Rep. and The Great Game (directed by Randal Milam) at The Duke Univ. Theatre Co.

Las Vegas: The American premiere of the international sensation Notre Dame de Paris which opened the Paris Hotel, The Las Vegas company of Saturday Night Fever and the Las Vegas engagement of Fosse.

As a music/vocal director/supervisor Dave has worked on the Broadway production of The Civil War, National Tours of Jekyll and Hyde and The Civil War, Little Shop of Horrors at The Alley Theatre, The Civil War at The Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. and casting director/vocal director/arranger for The Presidential Gala performance of The Civil War at The National Theatre in Washington, D.C. starring Trisha Yearwood, Clay Aiken, Larry Gatlin, Hal Holbrook, Bebe Winans, and Maya Angelou.

Dave Clemmons has conducted the Broadway Gospel Choir and the Dave Clemmons Choir in performances at Carnegie Hall, The Today Show, the Bravo Network, The Palace, and Gershwin Theatres on Broadway as well as the Linda Eder album/DVD “Christmas Stays the Same.”

Dave served as a Minister of Music at First United Church Methodist in Miami.

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RONALD DEAN NOLAN

Texas Tech

Ronald Dean Nolen, Head of Acting and Directing, received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the School of Drama, Yale University where he was honored as a Constance Welch Scholar, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Music from Hardin-Simmons University. An award-winning actor, Mr. Nolen has originated roles in over a dozen new plays and musicals from Broadway, where he co-starred as Harry Bright in the original Broadway cast of the smash hit Mamma Mia! to off-Broadway where he created the roles of Terence in Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vasillaros' critically-acclaimed Pulitzer-Prize finalist Omnium Gatherum, as well as the role of Jeffrey in Rob Ackerman's Tabletop, for which he received a 2001 Drama Desk Award. Other New York credits include performances at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Working Theatre, VOICETheatre (company member), and Naked Angels Theatre Company as well as some of our nation's most prominent regional theatres including Yale Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geva Theatre, The Wilma Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Lyric Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, D.C., Virginia Stage Company, TheaterWorks, New Stage Theatre, among others.

Internationally, Mr. Nolen traveled in 1999 to St. Petersburg, Russia where he joined in a collaboration between graduate students from Yale School of Drama and the St. Petersburg Academy of Theatre Arts, led by David Chambers and Nikolai Pesochinsky, respectively, in a reconstruction of Meyerhold's 1926 (then highly controversial) production of Gogol's Revizor (The Inspector General), which was ultimately performed at the International Theatre Festival in Amsterdam, Holland. On television, Mr. Nolen guest-starred as Dan Enright opposite Sam Waterston on “Law & Order;” as Philip Montrose opposite Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni on “Law & Order: SVU;” and as Nigel Hammaker opposite Taylor Schilling and Margo Martindale on “Mercy.” Other television appearances include “Fling” (Pilot) with Amy Sedaris and the late Sidney Pollack, “Crossing Jordan,” “Criminal Intent,” “All My Children” as well as a performance as Harry Bright on the 2001 Tony Awards in the original cast of Mamma Mia!

As a director, Nolen's work includes the World Premieres of Division Avenue at the June Havoc Theatre in New York City (which earned 9 Midtown International Theatre Festival Awards including Outstanding Direction and Production) and the play's subsequent production for Contemporary Theatre of Dallas in November of 2013, and Shauna Kanter's Birds on a Wire in both the U.S. as well as the 2012 International Festival Fringe, Edinburgh, Scotland. Other productions include Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd, Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (Or What You Will), Wilder's Our Town, Horton Foote's The Roads to Home, Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart's Hello, Dolly!, among others.

In March 2013, Nolen collaborated with Country Music star Larry Gatlin and co-wrote, with Gatlin, the book for his original musical Texas Flyer, which they continue to develop. Nolen is also developing, in collaboration with writer/actor Lee Trull, “Godley”, a pilot for series television as well as a new play - The Maladjusted Oyster by Louis Irwin - based on the lives of artists Clint Hamilton, Andy Warhol, and Nathan Gluck.

Prior to teaching at Texas Tech, Mr. Nolen was Artistic Director and Assistant Professor of Theatre at Hardin-Simmons University. Prior to that, he taught Acting at Eastern Connecticut State University and conducted master classes at Wilkes University and Old Dominion University as well as teaching privately while maintaining a professional career as an actor. He has trained under the late master teacher Earle Gister, Evan Yionoulis, Wesley Fata, Walton Wilson, Barbara Somerville, David Chambers, Jessica Wolf, Mary Lyn Henry, Dr. Patricia McAdams, Dr. Jaynne Middleton and Larry Wheeler. An accomplished researcher/writer, he will soon begin work on the 8th Edition of The Film Encyclopedia, published by HarperCollins.

Professor Nolen served as Producer on the documentary film “None Less Than Heroes: The Honor Flight Story,” which chronicles the journey of World War II veterans traveling free of charge to Washington, D.C., to experience the memorial built in their honor. The film, narrated by Oscar-nominee Gary Sinise, made the rounds on the festival circuit after being completed in summer 2011.

A member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG/AFTRA), Theatre Communications Group, Texas Educational Theatre Association, Musical Theatre Educators' Alliance, Tau Alpha Phi and Alpha Psi Omega, he is also one of three recipients of Hardin-Simmons University's 2006 Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

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ROBERT WESTENBERG

Missouri State University

After a lengthy performing career that included work on Broadway and Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, national tours, television and film, Mr. Westenberg is now concentrating on teaching, directing and playwriting.  He is perhaps best remembered for his roles in the original Broadway casts of Into the Woods as the Wolf and Prince, for which he received a Tony nomination and Drama Desk Award, Secret Garden as Neville Craven, and Sunday in the Park with George, where he replaced Mandy Patinkin in the title role.  He also performed the role of Javert in the Broadway production of Les Miserables.   Other Broadway credits include leading roles in 1776, Company, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, A Christmas Carol and Zorba, for which he received a Theatre World Award.  While known for his work in musical theatre, he has also appeared in numerous plays and classical works in theatres around the country.  His national tour credits include Zorba, Funny Girl, and The Full Monty.  His film and television credits are The Ice Storm, Before and After, The Stars Fell on Henrietta, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Swift Justice, Central Park West, and Law and Order: SVU.  He has sung at Carnegie Hall in The Gay Divorcee and can be heard on several original cast albums.  Mr. Westenberg is married to Kim Crosby and is the proud father of their three children.  He is a graduate of the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and completed his degree studies at the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver.  After serving as chair of the theatre department at Drury University for several years, he is now the coordinator of the BFA Musical Theatre program at Missouri State University.

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PATRICK BYNANE

Texas Woman's University

Patrick Bynane received his Ph.D. in Theatre History/Criticism from Louisiana State University in 2002.

He studied at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) where he completed his M.A. in Theatre and at Ashland University in Ashland, OH where he graduated with a B.A. in Theatre with an Acting/Directing emphasis.

He has worked professionally as a teacher, actor, director and technician in North Carolina, Louisiana, Missouri and Ohio. At TWU, Dr. Bynane serves as the Theatre Program Director, advises the M.A. candidates, teaches theatre history, literature and structure as well as theatre electives such as improvisation.

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DAVE GASCHEN

Internationally renowned vocalist and stage performer David Gaschen remains best known for the years he devoted to the title character in "The Phantom of the Opera." That success did not arrive overnight; it only seems that way.

Gaschen graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, his home town, in 1993, his degree in vocal performance. He chose to move to Chicago, Ill., to begin his professional career.  He performed in more than 20 musical plays in Chicago --- and was cast by Light Opera Works of Chicago in the leading roles of Frederic in "The Pirates of Penzance," and Karl Franz in "The Student Prince."

 

Acceptance in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" would not be far behind.

In fact, in May of 1995, he was cast as the alternate for The Phantom in the original Swiss production of "The Phantom of the Opera" in Basel, Switzerland.  As an alternate, Gaschen averaged 3 to 4 performances per week as the Phantom. At age 26, Gaschen had become history's youngest performer cast as the Phantom in a professional production.

 

Gaschen’s first European performances were in German. Eventually, however, the immensely popular production in Basel began being produced six times in German, and twice in English, each week.  Gaschen was a success in Europe. After refining the role of the Phantom over the course of two years in Switzerland, he was contracted to perform the lead in the

German production of "The Phantom of the Opera“ in Hamburg.

 

All told, Gaschen made the role his own, acting and singing as the Phantom more than 1,000 times in Europe.

In the summer of 1999, Gaschen found himself walking out on stage to sing for famous Broadway producer Harold Prince. The result was immediate: Gaschen joined the Broadway cast after that audition. He would make his Broadway debut in the title role of "The Phantom of the Opera" in November 1999.

 

All told, Gaschen has performed the role of the Phantom in professional productions worldwide more than 1,300 times.

While producers of "The Phantom of the Opera" still call on Gaschen to temporarily join productions when needed, the versatile performer eventually opted to leave Broadway and seek success in the recording and concert arenas.

 

He already is included on the compact disc "Broadway's Fabulous Phantoms" with the likes of Howard McGillin, Hugh Panaro and Michael Crawford, the latter of course being Broadway's original and best known Phantom of the Opera.

However, Gaschen also recorded two solo CDs called "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy,"and "David Gaschen"  He just recently released a new Christmas CD titled "A Celebration of Christmas."  His recordings paved the way for pop music success, and his vocal guest appearances with orchestras include the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra  Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, Allen Philharmonic Orchestra, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Longview Symphony Orchestra as well as internationally with the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra in Guadalajara Mexico.

 

Success on the professional stage would also find Gaschen honored in his hometown of Lubbock. In September 2006, Gaschen was inducted onto the West Texas Walk of Fame, where bronze plaques depict West Texas natives being honored for excelling professionally in the arts; this walk of fame traditionally is located adjacent to a bronze state of the late Buddy Holly, considered Lubbock's native son. Gaschen also returned to Lubbock to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas Tech's School of Visual and Performing Arts.

 

Gaschen is most proud of his wonderful family. He thanks God everyday for his beautiful bride Jeanne and his incredible children Andrew and Molly!