Dancin on Broadway has had the opportunity to work with many of the top guest and master teachers in the dance world.
View our guest and master teacher biographies below:
Guest Teacher and Choreographer
Matthew Prescott, born and raised in Idaho, graduated high school from Interlochen Arts Academy and attended a year at Joffrey/New School University in New York City.
In 2000, he joined the Joffrey Ballet.Matthew has worked and performed with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Ballet NY, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Armitge Gone! Dance, BalletX, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Morphoses and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
Matthew was featured in Robert Altman’s film The Company. Matthew was the Resident Choreographer on the national tour of Billy Elliot as well as performing the roll of Older Billy. He made his Broadway debut on Broadway in the cast of Phantom of the Opera.
Matthew is currently:The Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet School’s Musical Theater programming.The Head of the Dance Department at The Institute for American Musical Theatre in New York City.The producer, director and star of the hit reality show Joffrey Elite created for AwesomenessTV and YouTube.
Chris DupreProducer, Director, Choreographer and Entrepreneur are all titles used to describe Chris Payne Dupre’. With a keen eye for detail and the insight of a visionary, Chris has created works on stage and screen that have captivated audiences the world over.
As Supervising Choreographer on the NBC hit reality television show “America’s Got Talent”, Chris worked to transform contestants weekly from rank amateurs to world-class entertainers. His choreography can also be seen on the FOX reality television show “Take Me Out”, Soul Train Awards, and HBO series “Arli$$”. Renowned musical artists have also sought out Chris’ signature moves, such as Prince, rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, and rock icons Jane’s Addiction.
“Amazing job you have done this season. Truly organized and creative; getting the best out of the acts.”
-Jason Raff, Executive Producer America’s Got Talent 5-
Training in Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop and Salsa, among other dance disciplines, has allowed Chris to perform as a dancer for Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Kylie Minogue and Enrique Iglesias. He has danced on the Academy Awards, the made-for-TV movie “Cinderella”, in the cult classic film “Newsies” and in the Original Broadway Cast of Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida”. Through dance, Chris has had the privilege of working with such notable directors as Rob Reiner (Rumor Has It), Robert Zemeckis (A Christmas Carol), Tom Hanks (That Thing You Do), Chris Columbus (Rent) and John Landis (Pepsi).
Chris has also enjoyed his time behind the camera as an Associate Producer on the film “Sugar”, co-producing and choreographing Daniel Bedingfield’s music video “Out Of My Head”, and as a producer and director for the web series “Does Your Mama Know”. Currently, he is developing TrueVisionEntertainment (TVE), his production company and sound stage facility located in downtown Los Angeles. TVE has quickly become sought out by clients such as Chris Brown, America’s Got Talent, Faith Evans, and Dancing with the Stars.
Chris continues to enjoy teaching dance around the world (Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Canada, Japan and throughout the Unites States), inspiring and motivating students of all ages and skill levels. Chris’ passion, talent and creativity have always made him stand out and with the addition of TVE, the sky is the limit.×
Dancer, Choreographer, Model & Juror
Kirov Academy of Ballet scholarship graduate Adrienne Canterna is the recipient of numerous national and international awards including the 1998 Women’s Junior GOLD Medal at the USA International Ballet Competition. Other prestigious awards include winning the “Grishko Award of Excellence in Ballet.” Adrienne has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean and more as a dancer, choreographer, model & juror. As a Principal guest ballerina she danced the roles of Gamzatti in “La Bayadere”, the Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker”, and Kitri in “Don Quixote” with the Universal Ballet in Seoul, Korea.
She has also danced with the Washington Ballet and Complexions Contemporary Ballet in NYC where she was partnered by Desmond Richardson. She has appeared in numerous galas worldwide including the “Vail International Dance Festival”, the “Dance Open” in Russia and “Les Gala des Etoiles” where she performed “Le Corsaire” pas de duex with international ballet star, Carlos Acosta. She appeared as a soloist in “Placido Domingo, Tribute to the Washington Opera,” performing to “Stars and Stripes” in a segment directed and choreographed by Debbie Allen, airing on PBS. She can be seen as a ballet soloist in the motion picture “Step Up”. Ms. Canterna is a “Messenger” for Mondetta Performance Gear and is featured in their international ad campaign. Adrienne is the choreographer & co-creator of the international hit dance show “ROCK the Ballet” and was a special guest performer with the BAD BOYS of DANCE on FOX TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance”. In 2013 she created & choreographedthe world premiere of Rasta Thomas’ “Romeo and Juliet” in Europe to rave reviews from the critics & audiences alike.×
Choreographer, World-reknowned Panelist, Judge, Dance Educator and Cultural Ambassador
Suraj, coined as the “The Queen of Waacking Nuevo” by the dance media, is also the Queen of many historical firsts. The first waacking videos on youtube, influencing everyone in the industry the world over. If there is a Waack in a routine, guaranteed it’s impact can be traced back to Suraj, one way or another. Suraj is the first waacking choreographer to explicitly introduce the dance style to mass media by creating dance content for the FOX reality hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance. Suraj, is the founder and CEO of the LA’s International Waack/Punk/Pose Festival (Waackfest), which is the first and only festival in the world solely devoted to the cultural education and preservation of Waacking, Punking and Vogue. Suraj is considered as the “go-to” expert for this underground dance from the 70s, serving as an international ambassador of its history, culture and technique.
Kumari Suraj is a world-reknowned panelist, judge, dance educator and cultural ambassador. Specializing in teaching Waacking, Vogue, House, Hip Hop, West/South African dances and her own personal Afro Fusion of Dancehall.
Classes begin with a warm up of movement foundation, technique and musicality exercises, in various dance styles designed to challenge students while building confidence and personal freedom through self expression.×
Executive/Artistic Director:pushing progress, a company/a workshop
Raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, Calen Kurka started his training in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Musical Theatre, Modern, and Chinese Dance. He then later moved to Edmonton, Alberta, furthering his training competitively.
Currently on faculty at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, as an instructor Calen has taught across Canada, the U.S. and Japan, and more recently in Ireland at Dublin's Dance Jam '07. He is currently instructing for Dance Masters of America as one of their Master Faculty, and is also on faculty with Dance Educators of America. His choreography has been recognized as outstanding at many competitions throughout the U.S. and Canada, and has been the recipient of many awards. In addition to teaching in and around New York he's also assisted choreographer, director, instructor, Michele Assaf. Calen's performing credits include being an original member of the first national tour of Jeff Amsden's widely acclaimed "A Few Good Men Dancin'", and performing with recording artist Carmella in a tribute concert to Cher. He's also worked closely with choreographer/instructor Chris Hale. As a featured performer, Calen's stage credits include having spent a year on contract with Tokyo Disney as a Main Stage performer,and taking on such leading roles as Capt. Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" and Seymour in "Little Shop of Horrors" in regional stage productions. In addition he can be seen in "The Live! at Broadway Dance Center" video series "Turns and Turn Combos", dancing with choreographer Danny Herman, and heading his own instructional video "Floor Work with Calen Kurka and Chris Hale": A new addition to the "Live at BDC" collection.
As founder and Artistic Director of :pushing progress a company, Calen hopes to continue his journey as an artist, instructor and choreographer. He wishes to inspire,and be continually inspired by those who so honestly give of their talent and themselves. He continues, with his company, to create work pushing new movement, strong technique, honesty, emotional commitment, and growth. It is an evolutionary journey with no boundaries, no limits, no ends.
:pushing progress is a New York based contemporary dance and workshop company under the direction of Chris Hale and Calen Kurka. Born out of a desire to strengthen awareness of mind, movement, and body, :pushing progress is considered a new dynamic force in the dance community bringing forward a new generation of technical strength and contemporary movement. It is pioneering new programs for training and making knowledge of the the human anatomy as a foundation for technique in dance. accessible not only to an elite, but to anybody who wishes to truly understand their ability and artistry as a dancer.×
Associate Director/Training Program Director
Associate Director/Training Program Director :pushing progress a company/a workshop, and is currently on faculty at Broadway Dance Center NYC. Professional credits include KTU’s Miracle on 34th Street, where he performed with such recording artists as Mary J. Blige, Deborah Cox, Tamia, Gloria Gaynor, and Michael Jackson. In 2002, he had the pleasure of performing with international singing sensation Anastasia at the FIFA World Cup Final Draw in Busan, Korea. Television credits include HBO’s “Sex and the City” playing opposite Kim Catrall.
Most recently, he, along with fellow instructor Calen Kurka, released an instructional video for the Live At BDC series entitled, “Floorwork with Calen Kurka and Chris Hale.” As a choreographer, he continues to create work that pushes the boundaries of contemporary dance and hopefully brings it to the mainstream in a way that is accessible to everyone. His more than four years experience with the GYROTONIC® methodology has hugely influenced is teaching and brought a heightened awareness to his own dancing. Chris is very excited to add GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® methodologies to his teaching.
Chris is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® TeacherTraining Intensive in Primary through level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.×
Studio Owner, Choreographer, Teacher
Robert began his dancing career at age 4, and has studied all forms of dance – ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, and hip hop, but his specialty is hip hop. Robert recently performed with Xtreme Dance Crew on the second season of MTV’s hit show, America’s Best Dance Crew. He has opened for Souja Boy, Bow Wow and Mims, and was part of the ABDC tour performing at the Rosemont Theatre with the Xtreme Dance Crew. Robert was part of the award winning competition teams for Xtreme Dance Force, Forest Hills Dance Company, Dance Source Unlimited, and Midwest Movement. Robert choreographed for Xtreme competition teams in the 2007-2008 competition season.
He has also choreographed winning competition numbers for Forest Hills Dance Academy. Robert owns his own studio, Lewis Dance Progressions, and also teaches at several other dance studios in the Northern Illinois area. He has taught Master Classes in the Northern Illinois area, and has recently adjudicated at dance competitions. His greatest love is teaching and choreographing hip hop, and his new innovative style is fresh and exciting.×
Barry has 28 years of experience with both small and large-scale entertainment – from television to are spectaculars. His knowledge, creativity and easy-going personality are a true asset to productions of all sizes and budgets.
Barry has conceived, directed and coordinated the technical production of world tours for such artists as: Usher, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Miguel, John Fogerty, Ciara and the Pussycat Dolls. He has also served as a creative and technical director for TV performances with Trey Songz, Justin Beiber, P Diddy, Usher, Rihanna and Blake Shelton on the Grammys, American Music Awards, the VMA’s, Billboard Awards, BET Awards and CMA’s. In addition Barry has lent his talents to the top reality competition series: So You Think You Can Dance, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars.
Barry worked with John Legend, Robin Thicke, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Nettles on the series Duets producing multiple staged performances. He also directed the area tour Nuclear Cowboyz, featuring high flying freestyle motocross riders, stilt walkers, fire and parkour performers in an elaborate spectacle show for Feld Entertainment. The Super Bowl Halftime Show, the Academy Awards, theme park and cruise ship shows are also among Barry’s prestigious credits in dealing with global large-scale productions.
Barry directs the vital elements of production from concept to state, lighting and screen content design along with wardrobe, music an special effects. He excels at coordinating the production, communicating with all the department heads, tech-ing and producing live shows and special TV performances – bringing the creative elements, making the artist shine and delivering a show on a budget is of utmost importance to Barry.×
Barry has worked with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Jordan Knight, Christina Aquilera, Plus One, Pink, Brian Mcknight and Jennifer Lopez. He has choreographed industrials for Sega Dreamcast, Nike, Reebok, Namco and Skechers.
His television credits include MTV Awards, VH1 Awards, Miss America Pagent with Donnie Osmond, The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, The Young and the Restless, The Dove Awards, Nikki Cox Show J.Lo NBC Special and the Soul Train Music Awards with Busta Rhymes and P Diddy.
He also performed for the Queen of England and with Kid Rock, Ja Rule and J. Lo for the USO Show in Ramkin, Germany for the troops.
Barry has choreographed music video’s for such artists as Rachael Lampa, Brian McKnight and Nelly. He was a featured dancer in the movie “Bringing Down the House” with Steve Martin and Queen Latifa. You can also see his choreography on the Uda Div 1 National Hip Hop champions Hofstra University, USA National Champs Idaho State University and the 3-time nationals Uda Div 1 Hip Hop champions Cincinnati Bearcats.×
Born and raised in Orlando, FL, David was influenced by dance through music videos and concert tours at the age of 16. Most of his training in his early years consisted of many hours in front of the TV learning choreography from any and everything dance related. At the age of 20, David was a contestant on MTV’s Wade Robson Project and became a top 4 finalist.
He decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a dancing and choreography career. Since then, he’s worked for Busta Rhymes, Pepsi and American Idol’s AG Gil to name a few. His passion for teaching packs in classes at Millennium Dance Complex and has taken him all around the country teaching workshops and conventions year round. David has taught around the world in Berlin, Stuggart, Munich, Switzerland and Australia. He hopes to spread his passion and desire to make history in the entertainment industry all over the world.×
Deborah Y. Wilson, a native New Yorker started teaching dance and choreographing for neighborhood schools and performances at the age of 16. She attended Brooklyn College as a Dance Major and also studied at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on a 2-year scholarship where she mastered Modern, Ballet, African and Jazz dance, along with Music and Anatomy studies. After graduating, she studied under Frank Hatchett at Broadway Dance Center and soon became a Hatchett Dancer, which included teaching for him.
Deborah’s teaching credits include: Broadway Dance Center Children’s Program and Adult classes, Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Children’s Jazz Program, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and schools all over the country as well as Mexico, Russa and Austria. Some of her choreography credits include: Assistant Choreographer for Recording Artist Jaheim, The Carnival “Choreographers Ball”, Rhapsody’s “Sirens” Show, many Broadway Dance Center showcases, as well as up and coming Recording Artists.
In addition to her choreography work, Deborah has also worked in the industry as a Performance Director for Sesa,e Street Live and as the Production Assistant for the Dancin Feet Video Series featuring Lane Napper. Most recently she has extended her talents to the area of acting as she was a Stand In/Photo Double in the Will Smith movie “I am Legend”.
Some of her other performance credits include: National Tours of Sesame Street Live and The Wizard of Oz starring Eartha Kitt and Mickey Rooney, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York, Porgy and Bess in Bergen, Austria, The Rosie O’Donnell Christmas Special, 101 Dalmatians movie premiere, Acuvue Contact Lens Commercial for the MTV Music Awards and a dance extra in the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy video “Things Just Keep Getting Better”, to name a few.×
George "Geo" Hubela
George "Geo" Hubela is one of the most popular and sought after dancer/choreographers in the music industry thanks to his extreme talent and versatility. He is currently choreographing (European Pop Star) Billy Crawford. GEO is also working with French Pop sensation "Lorie" and just returned from Paris where he was choreographer and artistic director for her 2004 "Weekend" tour which will span across cities in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Tahiti and Quebec. This is the second world tour GEO has choreographed for Lorie. GEO has appeared as a recurring choreographer on the hit MTV show "BeComing," including the episodes "BeComing JLo," "BeComing Dream," and "BeComing 'NSYNC." Before GEO stepped into choreography he assisted Darrin Henson with the Spice Girls, industrial shows for Tommy Hilfiger and American Express and also danced in "Darrin's Dance Grooves."
GEO now has his very own instructional video, "GEO's Dance Party!" and you can find commercials for this hot Hip-Hop instructional video on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. As a performer, GEO has danced with some of the biggest stars in the music industry such as Will Smith, Michael Jackson, PINK, Britney Spears, 'NSYNC, Jessica Simpson, Macy Gray, Selena, Smashmouth, Deborah Cox and even danced on two world promotional tours with Jennifer Lopez. One of the biggest highlights of GEO's career was performing for the troops at the MTV USO concert in Germany while touring with JLo. He also performed with Jennifer Love Hewitt at the 2003 Pro Bowl halftime show in Hawaii. GEO's other TV credits include; That 70's Show, Chicago Hope, The Young and the Restless, Fame LA, The Nikki Cox Show, The Miss America Pageant, The Goodwill Games, The NAACP Image Awards and the 69th Annual Academy Awards. He also choreographed his first national TV commercial for Jet Blue Airlines. Film credits include; "The Wedding Singer" and "Boys and Girls." Geo has worked with hundreds of young aspiring dancers and teachers master classes all over the world.
Geo was part of the MSA Audition Workshop at BDC.×
Ginger Cox's multifaceted career as a teacher and choreographer has taken her all over the world. She is an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Pace University, on faculty at the PULSE Teacher’s Workshop, Harkness Dance Center, and is the Artistic Director of LiNK!.
Ginger has taught Master Classes in Luxembourg, Paris, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico and Japan; and for the Joffrey Ballet Contemporary Jazz Program, the Alvin Ailey Arts/Education Program, and the University of the Arts. Ginger holds a Masters Degree in Kinesiology, and a BFA in Dance from Temple University. She was featured in Dance Train Magazine for her dynamic teaching style and commitment to dance education, and is described as an innovative and inspiring teacher who is dedicated to the development of her students.
Ginger has choreographed for Nike, the NJ Nets Dancers, recording artist Lijie, and was one of 10 chosen to present work in the Élan Awards, honoring Mr. Lar Lubavich. Her work was commissioned by Dancing Wheels Company, a physically integrated dance company; Collaborative Movement Dance, and the Hanayashiki show in Japan, as well as several industrials.
Ginger's versatile choreography for her company, LiNK, was described as ‘absorbing, and inventive, with amusing Creativity’ by Jazz Dance E-news. Her work has been performed in the NuDance Festival, WaxWorks, Choreographers Canvas, the 60X60 musician collaboration, DRA Remember Project, the Queens Fringe Festival, Suite Summer Festival, and the Independent film Reflections, to name a few. The Jazz Dance E-news quotes, “The greatest exploration of the choreographic voice within jazz dance was seen in the work of Ginger Cox.”
Ginger and Derek Mitchell co-created BDC's Choreographer’s Workshop: a place for dancers to collaborate with working artists, and discover their choreographic voice. She designed Stretch it!, a fitness video produced by Leaders In Fitness; and her own, Dance Warm Up, produced by 10-9 Productions. She is on the Advisory Board for the Young Choreographers Dance Festival, and Broadway Dance Center’s Faculty Advisory Board.
Ginger and has contributed for articles in Dance Teacher Magazine, Dance Spirit and Jazz Pulsions. Some of Ginger’s many performance highlights include Saturday Night Live with Molly Shannon and Jimmy Fallon, at Radio City Music Hall, with Lou Bega and many industrials and concert works.×
Heather worked with all the great tap legends Jimmy Slyde, Buster Brown, Gregory Hines and assisted Henry LeTang. Heather toured as a soloist with companies Tap Fusion, Pat Cannon Foot and Fiddle Company and material from her one-woman show “Hoofer!”. Heather holds a Guinness Book of World Records for 16 turns in tap shoes on one foot!×
Master Teacher/Choreographer, Singer, Writer and the Designer/Creator of SilkWire Jewelry
Jacquie Bird has enjoyed a lengthy and fulfilling career as a triple threat, appearing on Broadway, film & television. Currently a master-teacher/choreographer as well as a singer, writer and the designer/creator of SilkWire Jewelry, she has worked in close association with the Young People’s Chorus for the past 8 years as their choreographer extraordinaire. She served as director/choreographer for their gala performance at Carnegie Hall the winter of 2013 and at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall for the past 4 years, including the most recent one March 3, 2014, showcasing 370 choristers ages 7-20 along with guest artists and the New York Pops.
The Brooklyn native enjoys guiding aspiring performing artists and has taught and choreographed in Japan, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Hong Kong, the Dominican Republic, Luxembourg, Canada, Bermuda and Colombia; domestically she has taught for the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (Theatre Department’s M.F.A. program); at Lehman College; Steps on Broadway; Ballet Arts, and at the Broadway Dance Center, where she was a long-time assistant to Frank Hatchett and subs for Sue Samuels. She has also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Hope College and was a guest teacher/choreographer at Stephens College, the University of Las Vegas and has been guest lecturer at Hofstra University and Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts for the past 4 years.
Jacquie holds a B.F.A. from the Leonard Davis Center for the Performing Arts at City College and for more information you can find her at www.jacquiebird.com.×
Steve started to dance in 1991,when back in the days "Mc Hammer, Kid and Play, The Fresh Prince, etc...was all on TV, and so, influenced by the way they were dancing, he started to practise on those moves who made "new jack swing" one of the coolest and "hypest" dance and music in town, influenced also by the B-boys and the B-boying culture, he has become one of them, and later, discovered his interest for "house dancing" in New York City, by starting to practise "house dancing" since 1997. He has become also one of the references in that type of dance, as well as the Hip Hop dance style (also called freestyle in USA).
He stayed mostly in the "underground" scene for 9 years, then dancing, performing for different events and shows or artist and finally get recognition in 2005, by Madonna herself, and being a part of the "Confessions tour 2006", where he first starts to assist her as dancer/choreographer with the "Talauega's brothers" and directed by "Jamie king" (Michael Jackson's dancers on Dangerous and History tour), where he developed his abilities and skills as a choreographer...and improved his style as a freestyler and now, being known and asked all around the world, for his teaching and instructing, he is passing and spreading out his knowledge and own experience in dancing/choreographing and meet many different dancers in his life, everywhere. Now based in Amsterdam after traveling the all world, he is pursuing his quest of knowledge and experience.×
Matt relocated to Los Angeles in 2010 after spending the last seven years working as a dancer on the east coast. He has a unique style combining commercial hip hop with isolations and grooves. Matt teaches weekly at International Dance Academy in Hollywood as well as workshops around the world.
Matt is the choreographer for EMI artist Fawni, and has worked with artists such as Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, DJ Tiesto, Busta Rhymes, and Lil Wayne, Jay Leno, and more.×
Andy Ausland is a choreographer and composer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over the past 13 years, he has been touring and producing shows as the co-creator of Ten Foot Five Productions. Ausland received his dance training from Larkin Dance Studio in Maplewood, Minnesota, where he trained for 15 years under the direction of Shirley, Molly, and Michelle Larkin. Ausland, Buckets and Tap Shoes and Ten Foot Five have performed for companies such as Best Buy, Target, Ecolab, MTV, and VH1.
Ausland has had the honor of performing in Finland, Russia, Austria, Malta, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Los Angeles and New York City. He is excited to be teaching and sharing his gifts. Dance.”×
Born and raised close to NYC, this Jersey girl fell in love with Broadway at age six when she saw ANNIE. She was struck by the immediacy and passion of a story told onstage. It transported her, and she knew she wanted to do that for other people, too. She went home and assembled a formidable artistic team (her cousins). She oversaw production and starred in a variety of original theatrical projects (in her living room) which earned unilateral raves from critics and audiences alike (her parents). By the time she turned 10, her parents realized this theater obsession was more than a passing phase. Marni began to train in earnest for a performing career.
A college auditions tour landed her a merit scholarship to The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, OH where she learned mechanics, history, repertoire, and influence of music from astonishingly talented faculty and students. Summers performing at Ohio Light Opera taught her to rehearse one operetta in the morning, a different one in the afternoon, and perform a third in the evening. She learned to sing in German, French, and Italian, with or without a full orchestra. She studied and performed lieder at the prestigious Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria. She traveled to Italy for the language, culture, food, and sunflowers. More locally, she learned the difference between East and West Coast Swing country-style at the Boot Scootin’ Saloon in Akron. She also learned to pump her own gasoline. (Fun Fact: NJ and Oregon are the only states that do not allow self-service gas stations.)
After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in vocal performance, Marni moved to the Big Apple to pursue her dream. Marni lived in New York for a whopping 3 weeks before booking her first gig. She hit the road and earned her Equity card playing the role of Christine Daaé in TheatreworksUSA’s production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA by Rob Barron and David Spencer.
Over the next few years she delighted audiences in the iconic ingénue roles of Luisa (THE FANTASTICKS), Julie Jordan (CAROUSEL), Eliza Doolittle (MY FAIR LADY) at Saint Michael’s Playhouse, Media Theater, and Carousel Dinner Theater, respectively. She also got to practice her German in the role of Jellylorum in CATS at the Operettenhaus in Hamburg, Germany. She sang a bit of classical repertoire, too, filling in rehearsals as Musetta in LA BOHEME with Boheme Opera NJ and performing Kate Pinkerton in Connecticut Grand Opera’s MADAME BUTTERFLY. With the Metropolitan Opera Guild, she traveled to elementary schools in New York City’s five boroughs performing a one-woman show, conceived and directed by Darko Tresnjak, designed to introduce young children to opera.
In 2001 she was offered the chance to play Christine Daaé again, this time as the understudy on the 3rd National Tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. She toured the US for the next 2 years, eventually taking over as the Christine Alternate. Homesickness brought her back to the Big Apple where she performed the lead in HAVE A HEART under Tom Mills’ direction at Mel Miller’s Musicals Tonight! Just a few months later (but not before she had the chance to meet her future husband on the subway), Marni was invited to play Christine Daaé yet again, this time as the principal of the original World Tour production premiering in Shanghai.
On a quick trip to South Africa for a costume fitting, Marni tried springbok for the first time and petted a lion cub. Over the next two years, she played Christine Daaé in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA to packed houses in Shanghai, Seoul, Taipei, and Hong Kong in the original cast of the World Tour. She left that company to travel around the US and Canada as the principal Christine on the 3rd National Tour. Marni joined the Broadway company as the principal Christine in 2008, and became the 4th longest running Christine in Broadway history with over 800 performances on the stage of the Majestic Theater. She remained with the Broadway company through winter of 2014, sometimes as the principal Christine, and sometimes as the alternate, which meant she could be home more often to make dinner for her husband and three step children, and do things like write and perform a one woman show, WISHES ARE CHILDREN at Show at Barre in LA. She currently serves as Literary Manager of Midtown Direct Rep, and continues to perform as often as possible.
Born in Detroit, MI he began his artistic career as a professional ballet dancer working with many of the top ballet companies in the United States such as the Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Chautauqua Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Working with choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, David Parsons, Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros, John Clifford, Fernando Bujones and Bill T. Jones to name a few. Performing many full length ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and his fair share of The Nutracker which he danced over 500 performances of during his career.
After only two years of vocal study he made his operatic debut with the Sarasota Opera in the role of "Flaminio" in L'amore di Tre Re (Montimezzi) and "Macduff" in Macbeth (Verdi) followed by his debut with the New York City Opera in the role of “Signor Pirelli” in Sweeney Todd (Sondheim). After his successful debut with the NYCO he was invited to sing the role of “Belfiore” in Il Viaggio a Reims” (Rossini), “Rodrigo” in La Donna del Lago (Rossini), “Victorin” in Die Tote Stadt (Korngold), "Acis" in Acis & Galatea (Handel) as well as many concert and gala appearances including "City Opera at the Pier" at the South Street Seaport in NYC, "Stars of The New York City Opera" at the West Hampton Performing Arts Center, "French Fete" opening night gala and VOX, a special program dedicated to showcasing modern operas.
He made his European debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy singing “Belfiore” and “Liebenskof” in Il Viaggio a Reims. With the Sarasota Opera he has also performed “Prunier” in La Rondine (Puccini). He was invited by the Caramoor International Music Festival to participate in the “Bernstein on Broadway” celebration concert with the Orchestra of St. Lukes and Broadway leading ladies Judy Kaye and Lisa Vroman with Michael Barrett conducting.
With the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, he performed in the World Premiere of “The Golden Ticket” (Ash) where he sang the role of “Augustus Gloop” to great critical acclaim. About Mr. Drost’s performance OperaNews Magazine said “…Augustus Gloop mimics a Wagnerian Tenor and Andrew Drost’s firm, bright top was thrilling!”. The beginning of 2011 he sang the role of SYME in “1984” (Maazel) at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel to critical acclaim and the title role in Mozart’s “Mitridate” in New York City. Spring 2012 brought Andrew to the Atlanta Opera to reprise his role of "Augustus Gloop" in The Golden Ticket!
Mr. Drost has worked under the baton of important conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Alberto Zedda, James Levine, George Manahan, Jose Miguel Perez-Sierra, Emmanuel Plasson, Michael Barrett, Ransom Wilson, Wil Crutchfield, Gerald Steichen and David Caddick among others.
Known for being a versatile artist, Mr. Drost's repertoire includes opera, oratiorio, symphonic as well as musical theatre.
Mr. Drost is currently:
In the Broadway cast of The Phantom of the Opera.
The founder, Artistic Director, and Head of Voice Department of The Institute for American Musical Theatre.
Mr. Drost was voted “Favorite Voice Teacher in NYC” by Backstage Magazine 2016.
Mr. Drost currently has 31 students performing on Broadway.