Marie Nicole - Director of Education / Teaching Artist
Marie is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association. You may have seen her perform locally with companies such as The Growing Stage, Centenary Stage, or Allenberry Playhouse. On a global scale, Marie has traveled through Europe, Africa, and Asia working as a production singer and headline act for Oceania Cruises. Currently, Marie sings with 7th Ave, a vocal band created by Chris Rupp, the founder of “The Sing Off's” season 4 winner Home Free. You can also find Marie on television, starring in episodes on Investigation Discovery (“Shadow of Doubt”) and SyFy (“The Internet Ruined My Life”).
When she is not performing, Marie is helping children develop a passion for the arts. She has been teaching music, theatre, and dance to children ages 3-17 since 2008. In 2016, Marie joined the artistic staff of the prestigious Stagedoor Manor as a Director/Choreographer in residence. In her free time, you can find Marie running marathons or OCRs, or being obsessed with all things Disney!
Jarrod Scott - Teaching artist
Jarrod Scott has been performing for 26 years, and has been a proud member of Actors Equity for 10 of them. Credits include: Off B-Way: Naked Boys Singing, Bring Me A Dwarf, We Beat Whitey Ford. Jarrod can also be seen on television and in print campaigns. He spent 7 years performing and managing on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and is currently working with Element Music band in NYC.
LEAH BLUMEL - TEACHING ARTIST
Leah has been involved in the dance world for over 40 years. She studied in her early years with Dance Master Rosemary Boross in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical and Hip Hop. During her career, she has danced both soloist and principle roles with many of the outstanding choreographers of our day, and has had the opportunity to study under/perform works by notable choreographers such as David Howard, Christine Spizzo, Terry Lacey, and Mia Michaels. She has been teaching, judging and choreographing for more than 20 years, and has been both a Master Teacher, and award winning choreographer for numerous studios, dance competitions and Performing Arts High Schools throughout the tri-state area. In 2007 she opened her own school and now many of her students have gone on to college with full dance scholarships while many others are now dancing with professional companies. She is very passionate about teaching and believes that you never stop learning in dance and in life.
Nick D'Ambrosia - Teaching artist
Nick is thrilled to be working with Phoenix again this fall after appearing in their spring production of Young Frankenstein. He is a writer, director, and performer that has been seen on the Basie stage in over a dozen Phoenix shows and performed with various companies across the state of New Jersey. He has taught performance, improv, and directing for several local theaters and hopes to bring his passion for storytelling to young performers everywhere! Performance credits include: The Producers (Leo Bloom), Beauty and the Beast (LeFou), West Side Story (Bernardo), Evita (Magaldi), Spring Awakening (Adult Man), and Macbeth (Macbeth).
Dan Peterson - Teaching artist
Dan is a member of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television & Radio Artists). He serves on the Nominating Committee for the SAG Awards. He also is a must-join for AEA (Actorʼs Equity Association). Dan has performed in both regional and professional theatre productions and has made several television appearances. He won a world title as a tap soloist at the Fred Astaire International Jazz and Tap Championships held at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan, NY. He is a member of the faculty at a number of facilities including the Academy of Dance Arts, Broadway Bound Dance Centre, and the New York City Performing Arts Centre. Dan has served as a guest artist for the Dance and Drama programs and as Choreographer of the spring musicals at Red Bank Regional High School Visual and Performing Arts Dept. He has also been an instructor for the Shakespeare Young People’s Company and Tap Instructor as part of the the Count Basie Theatreʼs educational program. Dan is no stranger to Phoenix Productions. His favorite past Phoenix credits include: Cat in the Hat (Seussical), Historian/Not Dead Fred/etc. (Spamalot), Scarecrow (Wizard of Oz), Leo Bloom (The Producers), Billy Lawlor (42nd St.), Bobby Child (Crazy for You), and Cosmo Brown (Singinʼ in the Rain).
Ashley Martin - Teaching artist
Ashley is a NJ/NYC based dancer, actor, choreographer and teaching artist with a degree in Theatre Arts and Dance from Marymount Manhattan College. She has been a performer and dance captain professionally across the US, in shows such as White Christmas, 42nd Street, Hairspray and A Chorus Line, as well as teaching dance and theatre to a broad range of students, from toddlers to professional adults. Her go-to styles are based in tap and theatre jazz, with a foundation in storytelling and musicality, as well as technique. She believes that every dancer has something personal to bring to movement to tell their story in a beautifully unique way, and hopes to help her students find what brings them joy through dance!
Christine Jay - Teaching artist
Christine Jay is an Actor, Director, Singer, Writer, and Teaching Artist residing in Freehold with her husband, daughter, and two cats. She received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Emerson College, where she trained under world famous Acting and Speech teachers like Kristin Linklater and Ken Crannell. She worked professionally in touring and children’s theatre while living in NYC, and has been teaching theatre arts classes for well over twenty years. Christine now performs and directs in theatres all over Monmouth County, and also frequently works as the resident Actor for healthcare staff training at Hackensack-Meridian Health. Christine believes that a foundation in the performing arts can give a person invaluable training in teamwork, concentration, empathy, and leadership that they can utilize for success in any path in life.
Mike O’Keeffe- Teaching artist
Mike O'Keeffe has been performing and teaching improv comedy professionally for over 25 years. After graduating from Villanova University in 1989, he worked in Orlando, Florida with the Sak Theatre Comedy Lab, where troupe-mates included cast members of "Whose Line is it Anyway?", “Castle” and "The Office" . He received his MA in Education from Monmouth University in 1996, and has been a public school teacher for over 20 years. He has done regional improv touring shows with former troupe-mate Wayne Brady, and has traveled across the country performing corporate comedy and team-building. He has developed programs to assist medical, education, and corporate professionals in their communication and leadership skills. He even developed a new program for corporations that deals with recruiting and keeping millennials in the workplace. He also works with many schools to help eradicate bullying, and to become better leaders. Recently, he presented a TED Talk on the concept of “Play” called “Using Improv to Become a Better Human”. He is an Adjunct Professor at Monmouth University, where he teaches Public Speaking. Last spring, he was a keynote speaker at the National Youth Leadership Council’s, “More Powerful Together” conference in Washington DC, which brought together educational leaders and future educators. He was a speaker at Princeton University this summer, where he demonstrated how to integrate performing arts into their Common Core curricula.
Bob Sammond - Teaching artist
Robert Sammond has been an active, private, piano teacher, voice coach, pianist, accompanist, music director, church musician and choir director for over 25 years, having done more than 110 fully staged productions of 62 different musicals. Of the 62, he has directed 43, several on multiple occasions. In addition to existing shows, he has coordinated, arranged and musically directed numerous reviews and cabaret productions. As an educator, he has had the privilege of training hundreds of students, including many who have gone on to successful music careers or avocations. Training includes technique, theory, interpretation, and presentation skills. He has been the music director for Camp Phoenix since 2009. He has played in 29 Phoenix shows, music directing 15 of them. Bob is excited to join Phoenix once again this summer.