Meet The Professors!

September 07, 2016

The NC Theatre Conservatory's Advanced Conservatory BFA Workshop is the area’s premiere Musical Theatre Masterclass geared toward acceptance into the country’s finest BFA programs. The Advanced Conservatory Program offers the student the rare opportunity to test their material in front of respected BFA professors to gain valuable feedback prior to their actual college auditions. Recent Advanced Conservatory students have gained admission to CCM, FSU, Point Park, NYU, and more.

Meet this year's visiting BFA professors!



Syracuse University, Department of Drama
Professor of Practice, Musical Theater

David Lowen

stein joins the faculty as an alumnus of the drama department, having worked professionally for the past 25 years. After graduating he started his performing career touring the country in several national tours, including On Your Toes and 42nd St. He made his Broadway debut in the multi-Tony Award-winning Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. His other Broadway credits include 1776, On the Town, Seussical!, and The Frogs, among others.

During his successful performing career Lowenstein honed his teaching skills at New York University’s musical theater program CAP 21 and directed and choreographed many regional, stock, and off-Broadway productions. He choreographed the Drama Desk Award-winning off-Broadway review Howard Crabtree’s Whoop-Dee-Doo! and most recently co-created and choreographed Shoutthe Mod Musical, which was produced in London, had an off-Broadway run, and is currently on tour and in regional theaters across the country.

Lowenstein is a member of the Actors' Equity Association.



Penn State, School of Theatre
Head of Musical Theatre

John Simpkins directed the three-time Drama Desk nominated Off-Broadway production ofBloodsong of Love:  The Rock and Roll Spaghetti Western (by Joe Iconis) at Ars Nova.  He also directed Iconis’ The Black Suits at Center Theatre Group (Kirk Douglas Theatre).  New York credits also include the Off-Broadway productions of The Bus (59E59 Theatre); ReWrite (Urban Stages);The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (Theatreworks, USA- Lucille Lortel Theatre); Things to Ruin (which he co-conceived and directed productions of at Second Stage, Le Poisson Rouge, Zipper Factory, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova, NYMF) and The Black Suits (SPF at the Public Theatre – starring Annie Golden, Jason Tam, and Krysta Rodriguez). Regional productions include Hairspray (North Carolina Theatre – starring Dale Hensley, Dirk Lumbard); The Black Suits (Barrington Stage – starring Ben Platt, Annie Golden); Damn Yankees(Engeman Theatre – starring Andre De Sheilds, Felicia Finley, Austin Miller); A Wonderful Life(Engeman Theatre); Annie (Sacramento Music Circus- starring Mark Zimmerman, Jim Walton, Adinah Alexander); Cabaret (Sacramento Music Circus- starring Teri Ralston, Jacquelyn Piro, Max von Essen); Evita (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma- starring Kate Chapman, Eric Michael Gillet, Dan Cooney).


John is Artistic Director at Sharon Playhouse – where he has recently directed Merrily We Roll Along, Falsettos, Les Miserables, and They’re Playing Our Song.  A strong supporter of the development of new work, he has directed workshops/ readings/ productions of Georgie:  The Life and Death of George Rose (starring Ed Dixon); True Love (Sarah Schlesinger/ David Evans); Adam Lives (Goodspeed Opera House); Hellraisers (Barrington Stage); Fantasy Football, the MusicalAll the Kids Are Doing ItWhen the World Ends (Blaemire- Ars Nova); Ripper (NAMT); Party Come Here(David Kirshenbaum/ Daniel Goldfarb); Go-Go Beach (NYMF – 37 Arts); Pool Boy (Tsakalakos/ Allard); Next Thing You Know (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Queen Esther (Merkin Hall); Half Married (Cunningham/ Antin); Plastic! (Maddock/ Iconis/ Jacobs - York Theatre), 29 (Alter/ Newman), Lyrical Langston Hughes (New Triad- Lincoln Center), Blood Drive (Rachel Sheinkin), Beasts and Saints (Mindi Dickstein) and Like You Like It (Buck/ Acquisto).

Prior to joining Penn State, John was a member of the music theatre faculty at New York University Steinhardt - where he directed Sweet Smell of Success, Floyd CollinsA Man of No ImportanceThe FixKiss of the Spider Woman, VioletUrinetownMerrily We Roll Along, Parade, Fiorello! and A New Brain.  His production of Parade was preserved and is on reserve at Lincoln Center’s Theatre on Film and Tape Archive.  He holds a Bachelor of Music from Miami University and a Master of Arts from NYU.



Texas State University, Department of Theatre and Dance
Head of Musical Theatre Program

Kaitlin Hopkins is currently head of the Musical Theater BFA program at Texas State University ( an actress, Kaitlin has performed in theatre, film, television and radio for over 25 years. Favorite credits include: Broadway: Noises Off, Anything Goes (Lincoln Center), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original “mama who”).  Off Broadway (original cast): Bare: a pop opera (cast album), The Great American Trailer Park Musical (cast album), Nicky Silver’s Beautiful Child and Bat Boy-The Musical (cast album) for which she received a Drama Desk and an Ovation award nomination for her performance as Meredith. Other notable credits: She Loves Me– Reprise Series (Ovation nomination/with Rebecca Luker), Disney’s On The Record (National Tour/Ovation nomination/cast album), Dir

ty Dancing (American Premiere, National Tour), The Importance of Being Ernest (Robby Award / best actress in a comedy/ with Patrick Demsey), John Adams’ opera I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky directed by Peter Sellars (International Tour) and The Philanderer (South Coast Rep) Kaitlin has recorded numerous award-winning radio plays for LA Theatre Works, including The Heidi Chronicles, Working  and Proof with Anne Heche. She has made over 50 film and television appearances including: Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Nanny Diaries, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, three years as Dr Kelsey Harrison on Another World, JAG, Spin City, Rescue Me, Star Trek Voyager and Deep Space Nine and all three Law and Orders shows.

Kaitlin’s directing credits include:  Lippa’s A Little Princess (Texas Music Theater), Oklahoma(Texas State University), Lippa’s The Wild Party (for which she received the Austin Critics’ Table award for Best Direction), All Shook Up (named #2 in the top 10 Austin Chronicle’s list of Best Theatrical Wonders of 2010), Bat Boy-The Musical (Texas State University-nominated for Best Production 2009 Austin Critics’ Table Awards), All Shook Up (Texas State University- for which she received a commendation for Direction from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival/ Top 10 List productions 2011- Austin Critics), The Bock/ Harnick Revue Beautiful, Beautiful World (The William Inge Festival/world premiere), she also served as director and dramaturge for The Real Tobasco (The Westport Playhouse/Actors Studio), Collision Course and Colony Collapse (The Lark Play Development Center, New York) and the new musical Cold Feet (Dramatists Guild). She is a member of the Playwright and Directors Workshop at The Actors Studio. Kaitlin has served as panel member for YoungARTS Week for the NFAA, as a judge and respondent for The Irene Ryan Awards for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and as a judge for the Las Casas Foundation Scholarships in San Antonio. She currently serves on the board for the William Inge Foundation, and co-founded the Pasadena Playhouse Outreach Program.  She lives in New York, Los Angeles and San Marcos, Texas with her husband actor, playwright Jim Price.



Elon University
Dance & Musical Theatre Professor

Linda Sabo, a professional dancer, teacher, director and choreographer, was a founding member of the musical theatre program at Syracuse University and is presently on the performing arts faculty at Elon where she teaches dance and musical theatre courses and is a director/choreographer for the music theatre program.
As a performer and choreographer, Sabo’s work has been seen in New York theatres such as BAM, Town Hall and the TOMI Theatre, as well as at Syracuse Stage, Disney World in Orlando, various dance companies and many stock and regional venues arou

nd the country. Ms. Sabo’s background teaching musical theatre performers has spanned almost 30 years in places such as Syracuse University, the University of Michigan, Iowa State University and the distinguished Interlochen National Music Camp. Very many of her former students have successful careers as professional performers, directors, choreographers, writers, producers, agents and teachers.
Sabo has either performed in or been director and/or choreographer for well over 200 musicals, plays, children’s theatre productions, operas, industrials and concert dance pieces since 1970. Professor Sabo is also a cultural historian and critical writer about the performing arts, particularly in the areas of dance, theatre and musical theatre.
She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, The Dance Critics Association, the Society of Dance History Scholars, and the Congress on Research in Dance. Professor Sabo holds degrees from The Boston Conservatory and Iowa State University.


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