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Welcome and Who's Who

CLOCKTOWER PLAYERS, the not-for-profit resident theater company of the landmark Irvington Town Hall Theater, produces vibrant, jubilant theater enriching the lives of our community. For community. By community.

Welcome from the Artistic, Executive Director

 

 

Exhilarating, dynamic, thought-provoking theater in your own backyard  - Welcome to the 2013/14 Season at Clocktower Players!

As Artistic Director, my greatest pleasure is sparking and nurturing a passion for the performing arts. In developing each performer's growth, our team delights in the energy and happiness our players of all ages exude.  Here at Clocktower —driven by joy, passion, and heart— we strive to help our dedicated players find their own unique voice and gain the confidence to share it with the world.

For thirty-six years, with your support, we have flourished into an exciting, creative home for performers and theater-lovers of all ages—a cozy hub of creativity and self-expression.  Let's keep the magic going for 36 more!

To captivate and entertain you we offer eight sensational theater experiences. Eight chances to be amazed and inspired. Please join us!

We're going to have a fantastic time this season.  
I can't wait to share it with you. 


Cagle

Cagle McDonald
Artistic, Executive Director

“The arts aren’t just a part of our nation, they are the heart of our nation.”


— First Lady Michelle Obama

 

Creative Team

2009 CAB CALLOWAY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Recipient

Cagle McDonald - ARTISTIC & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR / DIRECTOR / PRODUCER
founded and ran the enormously popular performing arts center Cagle & Company Arts Warehouse in Dobbs Ferry until 2006. In the Clocktower Players inaugural season she directed and/or produced Grease, High School Musical (the Westchester premiere), The Jungle Book and Peter Pan. This inspired teacher/director/producer created the innovative children's theatre program Adventures in Creativity nearly two decades ago, which has been taught in schools, recreation programs and homeless shelters. She has directed and produced numerous shows in the county, including: Rent, Camelot, Swing!, Singin' in the Rain, Driving Miss Daisy starring Jane Alexander Split Second, The Laramie Project, Annie Get Your Gun, Hair, Kiss Me Kate, Chicago, Brigadoon, Crazy For You, Smokey Joe's Café, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Cabaret, Purlie, Annie, My Fair Lady, Cinderella, Gershwin & Friends and many more. She was instrumental in the development of Rivertowns Teen Summer Stock, a collaborative quad-village theater program that hundreds of area teens and college students participated in. Cagle is a graduate of the Theater Department of Indiana University and the Dallas Theater Center under founder Paul Baker. Her career as an actress includes stage, film and television credits. She has had the opportunity to work with F. Murray Abraham, Fred Astaire, and Patricia Neal, among others - she was also the international "Ivory Girl"! Local audiences will remember her as Marian the librarian in The Music Man, Lady Thiang in The King & I at ITHT, and Joanne in Company. She considers working under the tutelage of Philip Rose on the ITHT Foundation/Cagle & Company landmark co-production of Purlie, which brought a primarily African-American cast to the Irvington stage for the very first time, a highlight of her development as a director.

Michael C. Penta - FOUNDING DIRECTOR EMERITUS
"Michael's creative staging and imaginative choreography continue to enhance our productions, raising the standards to new heights."
Janet O'Hara, former president ITHTF Executive Board

Michael Penta has directed seventy-two shows in Irvington since his arrival here in 1967. Prior to that time he performed, choreographed and directed Equity productions both for off-Broadway and for regional, stock and community companies around the country. Once off the train in Irvington he directed and cho¬reographed productions at the High School and taught drama and dance for 26 years. Michael holds theater degrees from Rutgers and Columbia. He takes his role as a theater educator as seriously as he takes his craft, and it is clear that he instills a love of theater and dance in his graduates. Nearly 300 have gone on to careers in professional and educational aspects of theater. Today, to paraphrase Mrs. Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly!, he still "spreads it around, encouraging young things to grow."

"Michael Penta's absolutely brilliant production of the Mikado is in the realm of genius!"
Lawrence & Linda Levine 2001

2009 CAB CALLOWAY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Recipient

John Danelle (AKA) McDonald - DIRECTOR, ACTOR, ACTING COACH
is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama. His first professional acting job was as a member of the Lincoln Center Repertory Company. His Broadway credits include Alton Scales in Lorraine Hansberry's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, directed by Alan Schneider and the dual role of Leroy Jackson (John Amos' son) and Young Luther in Tough to Get Help, directed by Carl Reiner. Off-Broadway he originated the role of Val Johnson in Split Second and then performed the role of Rusty in the Westchester premiere. In the film, The Rosary Murders, starring Donald Sutherland, he had the featured role of Detective Harris. He is known to many for his portrayal of Dr. Frank Grant on ABC-TV's All My Children and Lt. Art Hindman on Loving. He was the Director of Alice Tully Hall at LCPA and Director of Operations at Carnegie Hall. John is now a private acting coach who specializes in preparing students for the grueling college-audition process. His students have been accepted at such prestigious schools as Carnegie Mellon, NYU, University of Hartford/The Hartt School, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, Marymount and Emerson College. John starred opposite Jane Alexander in the role of Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy at the gala fundraiser celebrating ITHT Foundation's 30th Season and as King Pellinore in Camelot, and Zach in A Chorus Line.
George Croom - DIRECTOR, MUSICAL DIRECTOR
has been musical director for many productions including Purlie and Cabaret for Cagle & Company, Forever Plaid, Kiss of the Spider Woman, City of Angels, West Side Story, Gypsy, and Personals locally, in NYC the premiere of The Scarlet Letter, and the European premiere of Myths And Hymns. He composed the score for Twelfth Night at the Newman Theater and is a resident composer for The Raw Expressions Theatre Experiment and The Peculiar Works Group. He is currently working on the book for a musical based on the lives of Stephen Foster and Solomon Northup. As a performer he has appeared nationally in tours of Evita and Purlie; Off-Broadway in The Wind in the Willows, The Elephant Piece, and Sweethearts; regionally in Bat Boy, Ragtime, Angels in America, Ain't Misbehavin' and many, many more. Under the direction of Cagle McDonald he appeared as Gitlow in Purlie, Parker in Split Second and as a principal singer/dancer in Swing! . For Clocktower Players he has directed The Odd Couple, You Can't Take it With You and last seasons hit, Hairspray!
Josue Jasmin - CHOREOGRAPHER
was born in Brooklyn and developed his extraordinary love for dance and theater at a very early age. This love grew as Josue connected with the Young Professional Division at Alvin Ailey School and the Broadway Dance Center in NYC. In addition, Josue had the privilege to train at the Ballet School of Stamford, was selected for the New Hampshire City ballet, and as a principle dancer with the world-renowned Locust Contemporary Dance Company in NYC. His passion for dance extended to teaching and choreography as he began teaching at Brass City Ballet. Josue choreographed, and danced for the recording Pop Star artist Neil Nathan on the TODAY SHOW, and R&B singer Rain during her US tour. Josue also choreographed for the 2004 - 2005 VIBE MAGAZINE’S fashion show for BET and NEW FACE DEVELOPMENT INC. IMTA NY and LA. His theater credits include: Guys & Dolls, La Cage Aux Falls, Raisin in the Sun, The Colored Museum, Oklahoma, Pajama Game, Into the Woods, Dreamgirls, Once on this Island, Ragtime, Swing, Kiss me Kate…and the list goes on. Camelot was his Clocktower Players debut as choreographer.
Jennifer Jonas - CHOREOGRAPHER
started her dance training at Marya Kennett Ballet Theatre. With the company she performed in Giselle, Paquita, The Nutcracker and Fosse. Jennifer has a BFA in Dance from Boston Conservatory. At the conservatory she studied under Leslie Woodies and performed in numerous works including Les Sylphides and the world premiere of Heaven and Hell. Upon graduating, she has been a part of BalletRox's Urban Nutcracker, various ballets with Eryc Taylor Dance and Palame Productions' New York! New York! (Choreographer/Performer). She has also performed as a guest artist as Sugar Plum Fairy in Marya Kennett's The Nutcracker. Jennifer has been a part of Yorktown Stage's Fiddler on the Roof (Fiddler), Grease (ChaCha), and Oklahoma! (Dream Laurie) to name a few. She has also been in A Chorus Line (Kristine), Hairspray (LuAnn), 9 to 5 (Ensemble) and La Cage Aux Folles (Cagelle) at Clocktower Players. Her regional credits include Oliver (asst. choreographer/dance captain/ensemble), The Music Man (Zaneeta Shinn/ Asst. Choreographer) and Seussical (Jungle Citizen/featured dancer) at Westchester Broadway Theater and Cats (Victoria/Assistant Choreographer) at White Plains Performing Arts Center. Last year, Jennifer travelled to Louisiana to assistant choreograph Cats at Strauss Theater. Ms. Jonas has choreographed Putnam Valley High's The Phantom of the Opera, Stamford High musicals of Bye Bye Birdie and Guys and Dolls, as well as, Lighthouse Youth Theater's . Jennifer has had the privilege to be assistant choreographer to Josue Jasmin and Greg Baccarini with many shows.
Photo: Brett Pontecovo
Brett Pontecorvo - MUSICAL DIRECTOR
is a New York City based musical director, accompanist, and pianist who believes it is important to show people, through hands-on experience, the value of art and community. While studying Jazz Performance at The City College of New York, Brett has been privileged to work with theatre companies such as New Haarlem Arts Theatre and The In-Between People as a musical director. He offers vocal coaching sessions for musical theatre courses at The City College of New York, as well as privately. Brett has also had the opportunity to be involved in the public school system by working with students on their school shows. Brett has performed as an accompanist with The Transition Workshop, and with the Planet Connections Theatre Festival where he played for Mark Garcia's original work, Holy Cows of Credence.
Jocelyn Jones - CHOREOGRAPHER
has been a part of the Clocktower Players team since it’s 2006 inception. She has a background in jazz and theater dance, and studies at BDC. As choreographer for the Kids Troupe, she was the creative force behind the dancing in such shows as Disney’s The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, and The Aristocats, Annie, Jr., and original versions of Charlotte’s Web, and Peter Pan. She made her Clocktower Players directorial debut with Annie, Jr. Her choreography was featured in the Westchester premiere of Disney's High School Musical, as well as the Teen Troupe productions of 13 and All Shook Up. In addition to her role as choreographer, Jocelyn serves as stage manager for the Kids, Jr. Teen, and Teen Troupes and has appeared as a member of the Adult Troupe as Lois in Kiss Me Kate, principal dancer in Swing! and Camelot. Jocelyn has also choreographed at Croton Harmon High School, Robert E. Bell Middle School, and with myriad other organizations throughout Westchester and New York City.

Lili Thomas - DIRECTOR, CHOREOGRAPHER
started her theatrical career with Cagle McDonald in The King and I (1995 at ITHT) and is overjoyed to return to her roots joining the staff here at Clocktower Players. Last season, she assisted with the Teen production of Rent and was the associate choreographer on A Chorus Line. Her favorite professional theatre credits include Rent (Mimi), a part for which she was award nominated, Cabaret (Lulu), Pippin (Fastrada), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy Park), Miss Saigon (Gigi), The King and I (Tuptim), and Reefer Mandness! (Placard Girl/Dance Captain). New York City workshops include Sound of Plaid, Radiant Baby (both with writer Stuart Ross), and Metropolis (with Golden Globe and Academy Award winning writer, Joseph Brooks). She was the Young Soprano in the world premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Garden of Light (Disney Millennium Symphonies) at Avery Fisher Hall with the New York Philharmonic. Lili holds a BFA from Collaborative Arts Project 21-NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is a proud member of AEA. Growing up as the child of Classical musicians Ronald Thomas and Mihae Lee, Lili thrived in music, playing 7 instruments but always concentrating on voice. She started studying ballet at age 4 at the Peabody Conservatory (later leading to pursuing her strengths in jazz and tap), and Stanislavsky acting techniques in Manhattan at the age of 14. She now resides in Dobbs Ferry with her new family and teaches private voice independently and at The Master's School.

 

Rene O'Neal - ADMINISTRATOR/ EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT/DIRECTOR
fell in love with theatre and music at the age of 10. She began studying singing, acting, dance and gymnastics; and has been working at her career in theatre for over 26 years. Rene is a graduate of Manhattanville College where she double majored in Music and Business with a minor concentration in Drama. In a constant effort to continue working on her craft she has studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, studies dance at the Broadway Dance Center and works with vocal coach Barbara Bliss. Sharing her love of theatre Rene has worked with the Clocktower Players' Teen troupe as a Production Assistant for Rent and Bye Bye Birdie. As an actor she has appeared in many Adult productions with Clocktower Players and several other theatres in the Westchester, Connecticut and the New York City Area; appearing in Cinderella (Fairy Godmother), Kiss Me Kate (Hattie), Swing (Principal Singer/Dancer), A Raisin in the Sun (Ruth), Dreamgirls (Effie), Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal), Purlie (Church Soloist), Sweeney Todd (Ensemble), Into the Woods (Stepmother), A Salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein (“Lady Thiang”, The King and I; “Queenie “, Showboat), Midsummer Nights Dream (Puck), A Night of Shakespeare (Narrator), Pippin,(Lead Player) and several workshops. Rene can also be heard on the Stage Stars Productions' recording of Dreamgirls, singing the role of Deena.
David Lovett - DESIGNER
trained at the Chelsea School of Art and Design, in London. He has had paintings and graphic work exhibited at the Festival Hall, The Serpentine Gallery, The International Students House and Art into Landscape in London. After working in a number of British repertory theatres and extensive touring of major productions in European theatres and opera houses, he worked for the Almeida theatre in London in its formative years with Pierre Audi, with whom he later lit pieces by De Pablo and Berio at the Centro Dramatico Nacional, Madrid. He was an associate of ACT Theatre Consultants, a specialist international theatre design company. He was a visiting lecturer at the Central School of Speech and Drama and at the Theatre Department of Croydon College in England. His work includes pieces for: Extemporary Dance, Dancers Anonymous, Scottish Opera, Garsington Opera, Newcastle Playhouse, Northern Symphonia, Electro-Acoustic Music Association of Great Britain (EMAS) and The Matrix Ensemble, and was a design associate on Alan Rickman’s Hamlet. Lovett worked on realizing John Cage's installation piece Essay in the Espai Poblenou, Barcelona and the tour of Cage's Europeras 3 & 4. For the Contemporary Opera Studio of English National Opera and the Aldeburgh Foundation he lit the world premiere of John Tavener's Mary of Egypt. He received critical notice for his set and lighting for the Off Broadway production of Transatlantic Liaison, and Against the Rising Sea at Queens Theatre in the Park. Other credits include work with Ute Lemper, London Children’s Ballet, Steve Montague, Julia Bardsley & Andrew Poppy, New York’s Composers Collaborative, DiMauro Dance, Joyce Harrigan Dance.

Artistic Advisors

Jane Alexander - ACTRESS, ACTIVIST, Honorary Board
is a four-time ACADEMY AWARD Nominee for her roles in the films: Testament, Kramer vs. Kramer, All the President's Men and The Great White Hope. Her film career includes roles in: Fur, The Ring, Sunshine State, The Cider House Rules, Glory, Square Dance, Sweet Country, City Heat, Night Crossing, Brubaker, The Betsy, and The New Centurions. Ms. Alexander, a six-time Tony Nominee for best actress in: Honour, The Sisters Rosensweig, The Visit, First Monday in October, Find Your Way Home, 6 Rms Riv Vu, she was awarded the Tony for The Great White Hope opposite James Earl Jones. Her television credits include Emmy Awards For Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Warm Springs, Playing for Time and five nominations for: Law and Order/Special Victims Unit, Malice in Wonderland, Calamity Jane, Eleanor and Franklin:The White House Years and Eleanor and Franklin. Beginning September 9th and continuing for ten weeks she will seen in the new HBO series, Tell Me You Love Me and on September 14th she plays Morgan Freeman's wife in the feature film, Feast of Love. From 1993-1997, Ms. Alexander was the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and from 2001 to the present has served as the Commissioner for the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Jace Alexander - ACTOR, DIRECTOR
as an actor could be seen in several films by John Sayles, as well as the movies Clueless and Crocodile Dundee II. He performed on Broadway in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, Six Degrees Of Separation, and I'm Not Rappaport, as well as in many plays Off-Broadway and across the Country, including the original production of Sonheim's Assassins. He was a regular director on the first 4 seasons of the acclaimed tv show Rescue Me. He directed the feature, Carry Me Home, which can still be seen on showtime and the CBS Movie, Jenifer. Other TV credits include, House, Prison Break, Love Monkey, Third Watch, Lizzie Mcguire, Homicide, Phil Of The Future,The Practice, Xena: Warrior Princess, Ally Mcbeal, and twelve seasons of Law & Order, to name a few. Jace directed the pilot for the USA hit Burn Notice, and was a Producer/Director On The ABC Show Six Degrees. This year he shot WAREHOUSE 13, a new pilot for the Sci-Fi channel, as well as ROYAL PAINS, a new show for USA. He is a co-founder of the Naked Angels Theater Company, where he has directed and produced over 25 plays. His best productions to date are Isabelle Moon, Mac and Finn, co-created with his talented, amazing wife, Maddie.
Maddie Corman - ACTRESS
currently starring on Broadway in the Tony-nominated best play, Next Fall,  Maddie made her stage debut here on this stage in the first children's musical sponsored by the ITHT Foundation. She started her career as a teenager in multiple after school specials and such 80s movies as Seven Minutes In Heaven and Some Kind Of Wonderful. She went on to appear in films including My New Gun, Ford Fairlane, Swingers, Pcu, Mr Wrong, I Think I Do, Mickey Blue Eyes, Maid In Manhattan, Beer League and Ira And Abby. On TV Maddie played Laura San Giacomo's best friend in the CBS film Jenifer and she was a series regular on Mr President and All American Girl. Maddie's many guest spots include Frasier, Law And Order, Tracy Takes On… and Curb Your Enthusiasm. On stage, Maddie has appeared in numerous Off Broadway productions including stints at the Public Theatre, Second Stage, AJT and the Directors Company. She starred in the recent revival of Wendy Wasserstein's Isnt It Romantic at the Tribecca Playhouse. This Fall Maddie may be seen in Phoebe In Wonderland, Sunshine Cleaning (starring Amy Adams and Emily Blunt) and Adam. A phi beta kappa graduate of Barnard college, Maddie lives in Westchester with her husband director Jace Alexander and their 3 nutty kids - Isabelle Moon, Mac and Finn.

Doris Belack - ACTRESS, Honorary Board
has appeared on Broadway in such plays as The Cemetery Club, Social Security, The Trip Back Down, Bad Habits, and Last Of The Red Hot Lovers. She has starred Off-Broadway at the American Place Theatre as Sylvia Plath’s mother in Letters Home, at the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s One Act Festival in Frank Gilroy’s Real To Reel, and in a tour of Lettuce & Lovage. On television she has guest starred on Everwood, The Cosby Show, Golden Girls, Sisters, Chicago Hope, Picket Fences, Touched By An Angel, and Ellen. She appeared as a regular on the series Family Album and Laurie Hill, and has played the recurring Judge Margaret Barry on Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU. She created the role of Anna Craig on One Life to Live. Among her film performances were featured roles in Tootsie, What About Bob?, Opportunity Knocks, Naked Gun 33 1/3, Batteries Not Included, She-Devil, Krippendorf’s Tribe, The Odd Couple II, and Prime, with Meryl Streep. She is married to Philip Rose, a theatre producer and director, and author of a fascinating memoir, You Can’t Do That on Broadway!

 

1921-2011

Philip Rose - DIRECTOR / PRODUCER, Honorary Board
made his Broadway debut with Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun, the 1958-59 winner of the New York Drama Critics Award as Best Play of the Year; he then went on to co-produce the film starring Sidney Poitier. He has been involved as a director, producer, and/or author of many Broadway productions, including the plays The Owl and the Pussycat, Nobody Loves an Albatross, Purlie Victorious, Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?, Split Second, and Checkmates, and such musicals as Purlie and Shenandoah. For Purlie, Mr. Rose received three Tony nominations, as a director, producer, and co-author. Shenandoah received six nominations and won two, including best book for Mr. Rose. He directed the television production of Purlie, for which he received the ACE and Silver Awards from the International Film and TV Festival of New York. He is currently executive producer of the play Sun Flower: The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and tours extensively as a guest speaker at colleges and schools discussing his acclaimed book, You Can't Do That on Broadway. Mr. Rose died on May 31, 2011.  He was 89 years young. He is survived by his wife of sixty-five years, the actress Doris Belack.

 


Jack Viertel - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, Honorary Board
is creative director of Jujamcyn Theaters and the artistic director of City Center’s Encores! series.  He is the former dramaturg of the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and was the drama critic of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He conceived of and co-produced Smokey Joe’s Cafe, dramaturged Hairspray and has been associated with six August Wilson plays, Angels in America, and many others.

 


Edwin Sherin - DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, Honorary Board
a graduate of Brown University, began his professional career as an actor in 5 Broadway plays, a dozen roles for the American and New York Shakespeare Festivals, in regional theaters across the country and in many filmed and live television dramas. He began directing on Broadway with The Great White Hope which won the Pulitzer, the Tony and the Drama Critics Award. Among his other Broadway credits: Rex, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Visit, Of Mice and Men, An Evening with Richard Nixon and Friends..., First Monday in October, 6 rms riv vu, Find Your Way Home, Eccentricities of a Nightingale, Do You Turn Somersaults, and Prymate. He was Artistic Director for the Hartman Theater, Stamford, Connecticut; Associate Producing Director, Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.; Director, Theater School, Boston University and Artist-in-Residence, Florida State University. He has directed feature films, television movies and hour-long episodic dramas including Law and Order where for nearly a decade he was Executive Producer.

 


Mary McDonald Mary McDonald - Director of Business Development
attended of Columbia University, where she studied History and Philosophy. She was actively involved in the 2008 presidential elections, first as a Field Intern in Iowa and later serving as New York State Deputy-Coordinator of 'Students for Barack Obama,' simultaneously acting as the Director of 'Students for Barack Obama' Columbia Chapter. Last year, Mary moved to Washington D.C in order to work for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of the nation's most renowned defense think-tanks. There she assisted department fellows in assessing the long term mission and strategic requirements for the United States Marine Corps. Her particularly focus was on determining the demand for amphibious capablities within US Southern Command's Area of Operations over the next five to fifteen years. Since January 2011, she has worked as the Special Projects Officer for Berico Technologies, a information technology and intelligence firm which provides customized IT solutions to soldiers down-range. Reporting directly to the company's Deputy Vice President, Mary has worked to streamline and maintain business development methodologies across the company. Despite a young career focused on national security and domestic issues, Mary is no stranger to theater community, or the Irvington stage. At the age of twelve Mary made her Irvington Town Hall Theater debut in a Riverwork's production of Bye Bye Birdie. She subsequently studied at NYU's CAP 21 Studo, HB Studio, Northwestern University Theater Department, and was a member of the Williamstown Theater Festival Apprentice Company. Mary is extremely excited to be a part of the Clocktower team, and is eager for the opportunity to combine business development knowledge with her long held love of theater.

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