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FACULTY

Brittany Wigglesworth (Artistic Director, Teacher) holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Western Connecticut State University. Dancing and performing since the age of seven, Brittany has performed regionally in Connecticut, as well as in New York and internationally in Edinburgh, Scotland.

         

In 2014 Brittany received an award from The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for her choreography work on the musical Little Women. She choreographed and performed in the original productions of Lysistrata: The Disco, Vaudeville, Rock N’ Roll Musical (Reconciliation/Old Women’s Chorus) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and Should I Have Said That? It’s All Write! (Herself), performed at the TBG Theatre in

New York City. Her choreography has been seen at dance recitals, concerts, competitions, and children’s theatre productions throughout Connecticut.

       

Some of Brittany’s favorite theatre performances include You Can’t Take It With You (Essie Carmichael), Chicago (Mona/Dance Captain), Into the Woods (Granny), A Christmas Carol (Mrs. Partlett), The Green Bird (Ensemble/Tartagliona u/s), and Alice in Wonderland (Lewis #5/Alice’s Ball/Forest) at Ives Concert Park. She also performed in the chorus of the award winning production The Events four times throughout New York, New Haven and Edinburgh, Scotland.

       

Brittany has trained with Elizabeth Parkinson, Julio Agustin, Scott Wise, Jen Turey, Pamela McDaniel, Sal Trapani, and Michael Bartoli. She has been in productions under the direction of John Hickok, Ramin Gray, and Sean Harris. In addition to her training, Brittany has organized master class workshops with Broadway veteran and judge on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, Rachelle Rak, actor and dancer in Broadway’s Jersey Boys, Peter Gregus, and cast members of the off-Broadway musical Heathers.

       

During her time as a competitive dancer, Brittany received several high-score, title, and special awards and was a finalist on "Shoreline’s Got Talent". In addition to performing and choreographing, Brittany has experience as a director, stage manager, and house manager.

       

Brittany is currently undergoing training with Dance Masters of America (DMA) and Acrobatic Arts. With DMA she has completed years one & two, the acro clinic, and the musical theatre intensive. She has also completed module one and the aerial & back handspring workshop with Acrobatic Arts. This summer Brittany will be attending year 3 of DMA and module two of Acrobatic Arts. She continues to perform, audition, take classes and workshops.

Emily Benzi (Pointe/Ballet) Emily Benzi of Westbrook, CT started ballet classes at the age of 5 with Eastern Connecticut Ballet (ECB) under the instruction of Gloria Govrin. At ECB, Emily performed in works including The Nutcracker, Interplay, Carnival of the Animals, Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra, George Balanchines: Raymonda and Who Cares? In 2013, she was named Connecticut’s Shoreline Top Talent in Dance.

 

After graduating High School, Emily continued her studies in classical ballet at the University of North Carolina

School of the Arts (UNCSA), under the instruction of Susan Jaffe. There, she performed in Stars and Stripes, Raymonda, Coppelia, Don Quixote, and Paquita.

 

Emily also performed in contemporary works for UNCSA’s Emerging Choreographers Showcase and with Wayne McGregor’s company, Random Dance. Ms. Benzi holds a BFA in Ballet.

Nanci-Lyn Lockwood (General Manager) holds a B.A. in Communications from Albertus Magnus College. As a fan of good stories, Nanci concentrated her studies in Film Appreciation. Her biography was published in Who’s Who Among Students at American Universities & Colleges (1995).  She has been seen backstage at many recitals pulling curtains, calling lighting and music cues, and organizing dancers for their entrance on stage.

Guest Teachers

Andrew Hendrick (Broadway Workshop) Andrew is an Actor and Producer currently living in New York City. He most recently completed performing aboard Disney Cruise Lines, and spent a year on the first national tour of BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, Directed by Susan Stroman and Written by Woody Allen. He is among the longest running cast members in the show's history. He also recently completed filming his first feature film, a romantic comedy called TOSS IT.

Tours: Jekyll and Hyde (Bishop). New York/Regional; The Little Mermaid (Chef Louis), Sister ActLes Miserables, Spelling Bee (Barfee), Seussical (Horton), Almost Maine, Avenue Q (Brian).

Andrew is an associate producer of the hit Off-Broadway musical Liberty and a producting associate with Broadway Records (The Color PurpleThe VisitBig FishMatildaBonnie and ClydeDr. Zhivago and the Live at 54 Below series). Andrew is represented by About Artists Agency in New York City.

Matt Grasso (Broadway Workshop) Matt, an award winning actor based out of Connecticut, got his start as a performer in the Connecticut community theatre circle, acting in such shows as Seussical and Les Miserables. Matt went on to study musical theatre at Western Connecticut State University, where he received his bachelors in Musical Theatre. While in his senior year at University, Matt recieved the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival award for best actor in a musical for the year 2016 for his portrayal of Leo Frank in the musical PARADE. 

After graduation, Matt went on to perform in Big River at the Old Castle Theatre Company, to great reviews. Most recently, Matt completed a seven month contract on the world premier national tour of Paw Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue, performing in sold out shows at such venues as the historical 1,548 seat Fox Theatre in Detroit, and in the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Tara Llewellyn (Broadway Workshop) Tara is a Connecticut native and Manhattan actress, designer, and wardrobe supervisor. Over the past four years, she has spent her time in New York, working professionally both on and off stage. tara has been on the production teams for shows such as HeathersSongbirdHimself and Nora, and is currently working on the Broadway Revival of CATS. She has since been an active participant in fundraising for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, joining the cast of CATS on the 2016 Carols for a Cure recording at the Minskoff Theatre for the 31st Annual Easter Bonnet Competition in April.

 

Having worked on many developing musicals with Broadway professionals, Tara's favorite New York performing credits include Zoe Tiller in #Love Story: A New Musical, Marty in Grease, and her one woman show Seams and Songs: Chronicles of a Wardrobe-Supervising Actress. She holds her Bachelors Degree from Western Connecticut State University, where she studied Theatre Performance.

Willie Marte (African, Hip-Hop, Salsa) Willie Marte holds a B.A. in Theater Performance from Western Connecticut State University. His innate ability to dance Salsa was discovered at a very young age, motivating him to learn other styles such as Jazz, African, and Hip-Hop. Performing in theater since the age of 14, Willie has performed in Connecticut, New York, and nationally.

Willie received an Irene Ryan alternate nomination for his work as John Brooks in Western Connecticut State University's  Little Women and had the opportunity to compete at The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

He performed in New York many times including Should I Have Said That? It’s All Write! (Himself) and a reading of the original play, Pick Up Pots!, both performed at the TBG Theatre in New York City. Most recently, Willie spent last fall performing in a national tour of Don Quixote. His choreography has been seen at dance showcases, fashion shows, and children's theatre productions.

Some of Willie's favorite performances include: Don Quixote (Samson Carrasco/Cardenio/Nicholas), Smokey Joe's Cafe (Ken), Little Women (John Brooks), Chicago (Harry), Spring Awakening (Georg), Into the Woods (Cinderella's Father), and Avenue Q (Gary Coleman).

Willie has trained with Elizabeth Parkinson, Scott Wise, Julio Agustin, Pamela McDaniel, Michael Bartoli, and Janelle Robinson. Willie continues to perform and audition in New York City.

Eric McKinley (Improv Workshop) Eric McKinley is an actor, singer, dancer and improv artist, originally from Prospect, CT, and based in New York. He is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University's Musical Theatre program. Eric was president of Western Improv Group, where he coordinated and completed workshops with Upright Citizens Brigade, People's Improv Theatre, and Leland Williams. Eric also studied at the Musical Theatre Lab at the Vineyard Arts Project under directors Scott Wise and Elizabeth Parkinson. 

Regional: Cat in the Hat (Fish) at Playhouse on the Park, Shalamazoo at Ives Concert Park, The Events (Choir) at New York Theatre Workshop. Education: The Drowsy Chaperone (Fledzieg), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Big Daddy), Parade (Britt Craig), Smokey Joe's Cafe (Michael), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour). Commercial: Allstate. Eric is signed with Carson-Adler Agency, Inc. He is an Equity Membership Candidate and SAG/AFTRA eligible.

Julie Vegliante (Hip-Hop) Julie is an NYC based master class teacher and performing artist signed to MSA Talent Agency. Growing up in CT she trained and competed in all styles of dance. It was when she moved to NYC that Julie centered her focus around hiphop and commercial dance.

 

Julie has performed in and choreographed music videos, commercials and has danced with artists like Lady Gaga as a rehearsal dancer. Julie has been teaching since her teens and brings enthusiasm and fun to classes for all ages and levels.