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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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JEFFREY TARR

Texas Woman's University

Praised by The Capital for his “rock-solid vocalism and powerful projection”, bass Jeffrey Tarr has an extensive performance career in opera, oratorio, and as a recitalist.  Among the opera companies with which he has performed are the Washington National Opera, Baltimore Concert Opera, UrbanArias, The InSeries, and Festspiele Gut Immling.  Mr. Tarr’s portrayal of Basilio in Annapolis Opera's production of Il barbiere di Siviglia was described by The Washington Post as "fervent [&] robust." Internationally, Mr. Tarr has performed several roles with Gut Immling Festspiele including Argante in Rinaldo and Zuniga in Carmen.  In Berlin, he performed Crespel in Les contes d ’Hoffmann under the direction of Gidon Saks.  Other operatic credits include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Polyphemus in Acis and Galatea, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Colline in La bohème, Bartolo and Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro, Collatinus in Rape of Lucretia, and König Marke in Tristan und Isolde.

On the concert stage, Mr. Tarr has performed as bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Faure’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Brahms’ Requiem, and Bach’s Magnificat. He has performed with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Cathedral Choral Arts Society, Frederick Symphony Orchestra, and the Capital City Symphony. As a recitalist, he has performed in such venues as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. His performance of Messiah with the New Dominion Chorale and Orchestra was lauded by The Washington Post as "outstanding…a large, resonant voice, filled with both power and clarity."

Dr. Tarr received a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Tennessee Temple University and a Masters of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance with an emphasis in Vocal Pedagogy at the University of North Texas. Dr. Tarr’s academic research focuses on the historicity and present-day application of character strengths within the music studio. His additional training includes German for Singers at the Middlebury College and the American Wagner Project of the Institute for Young Dramatic Voice with directors Dolora Zajick and Luana DeVol.  Mr. Tarr was a prize winner in the Annapolis Opera Competition, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, and Vocal Arts DC Discovery Competition.  In addition to his Teaching Fellowship at the University of North Texas, he has held teaching positions with Texas Woman’s University, American University, Hood College, and Montgomery College. 

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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!

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JOSH YOUNG

Oakland University

Prior to his Tony-nominated Broadway debut as Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar, Josh had the distinction of playing the role of Marius in Cameron Macintosh’s Les Misérables and in more subsequent productions than any other actor.

Josh also won the Theatre World Award for Best Debut Performance for his turn in Superstar. He went on to originate the role of John Newton on Broadway in the world premiere of Amazing Grace. Josh was awarded the Broadway World Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his turn as Che in the North American Tour of the Olivier Award-winning revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, directed by Michael Grandage.

This was a reprisal of the role for Josh, having been awarded the same distinction by Broadway World Toronto for Gary Griffin’s production of Evita at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Josh was a company member of The Stratford Festival for two seasons, the rare American to be given the opportunity at this world-renowned institution. It was Stratford’s production of the Des McAnuff re-imagined Jesus Christ Superstar that brought Josh back to the states. 

Josh toured Europe and Asia as Tony for the 50th Anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Also abroad, and most recently, he played Jerusalem as famed Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in the biographical rock musical Soul Doctor. 

Regionally, Josh’s performance as Tateh in Ragtime earned him the prestigious IRNE Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He’s performed in North America's finest regional theaters including La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, Walnut Street Theater, St. Louis MUNY, Baltimore Center Stage, Ogunquit Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Huston’s Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company and North Carolina Theatre. He's been involved in new works with NYC's Roundabout Theatre Company, The Transport Group, and The New York Musical Theater Festival. 

As a concert artist, Josh has had the privilege of performing with major symphonies across the globe. Equally, at home in more intimate venues, Josh has written no less than 5 one-man cabarets which have sold out venues from New York City to Ho Chi Minh City. Josh is a frequent headliner on Crystal Cruises’ specialty voyage “Crystal on Broadway,'' where his self-written solo shows are highlighted. 

Josh can be heard on numerous albums, including the original cast recording of Amazing Grace and on his two solo albums: Still Dreaming of Paradise and his self-titled debut album, Josh Young - several songs of which have been used by championship figure skaters, Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford. Both albums are available on iTunes and Amazon Music.

Josh is the co-founder of Cutting-Edge Composers, a concert and weekly web series on broadwayworld.com, created to give exposure to musical theatre's next generation of songwriters. 

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