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CCSU, Maloney Hall
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain CT, 06050

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© 2013 CCSU Department of Theatre
Our Faculty & Staff

The most important part of any educational experience are the teachers. A good teacher must reach out to his or her students and pass on decades of experience in the span of a few hours each week. At CCSU Theatre our faculty must not only be good teachers, but also expansive and engaging artists, creating theatre that both entertains and challenges our community. It is no simple feat, but we have found a few special men and women who attempt this juggling act every single day.

Department Chair

Thomas J. Callery Jr.
Associate Professor
Production Manager, Lighting

Tom came to CCSU in 1983, the same year Central Connecticut State College became a University. He has watched it grow over the years into the exciting and vibrant campus you see today. He received his MFA in Theatre Production/Management from the University of Oregon, and holds an AA and BA from the University of Maine. Tom came to Central after a two year stint at Tufts University, and over the years has freelanced throughout the Hartford and Boston area, working with many and varied theatre and entertainment production companies. He spent his summers in the mid-eighties as the Production Manager of The Cape Cod Melody Tent and later as the Stage Manager of the Lake Compounce Amphitheatre. As Chair of the Department he now spends most of his time with the students of CCSU Theatre, teaching them and helping to guide their budding careers. He and his family settled into a hilltop home in the "quiet corner" where they enjoy the company of family and friends and a multitude of wild animals.


Scott Bartley
Assistant Professor
Technical Director, Lighting, Sound,
Video and Computer Technology

Scott first arrived to CCSU as a student in 2001.  After receiving his BFA, he remained involved in the CCSU community working as the Shop Foreman while serving as the Production Manager for the Hartford Children’s Theatre.  Scott has been spending his summers as the Technical Director for the Bay Street Theater Festival since 2007.  He completed his MFA in Technical Direction from UConn in 2009.  Scott enjoys pursuing his work on the outside as a freelance artist around the region bringing students and the professional world together.

DeMara Cabrera DeMara

Assistant Professor       
Scenic and Costume Design      

DeMara is an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department. She teaches Scenic and Costume Design, runs the costume shop, and designs for the department productions. DeMara received her MFA in Theatre (Design) from Boston University and a BA in Drama from Stanford University. DeMara previously taught Costume Design at Linfield College and designed costumes for their productions of The Waiting Room and Women in Congress, for which she received an ACTF award. She joined the CCSU family in 2013.

Thomas Delventhal
Acting, Voice, Improv, Stage Combat, Masks, Dialects

Thom has directed several productions with CCSU Theatre, including The Importance of Being Earnest, The Crucible, The Comedy of Errors, Fuddy Meers, Replika, The House of Blue Leaves and  The Seagull. Before moving to Connecticut Thom taught at Carnegie Mellon in The Schools of Music and Drama for 10 years and was on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. Thom's been nominated three times for CCSU’s Excellence In Teaching Award and was a semi-finalist for the award in 2001.
Thom is also a professional actor and a member of Actors’ Equity Association. In 1997 his portrayal of Marc Antony in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra for Pittsburgh’s Quantum Theatre earned him a “Best Performance” mention in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's "Best of '97" year-end theatre review. He performed many roles at The Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, The City Theatre and The Pittsburgh Public Theatre including Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Banquo in Macbeth, and both the twin Dromio’s in The Comedy of Errors. In 2008 Thom directed The Tempest here and played Prospero.
As a Fight Director Thom has worked at Carnegie Mellon, The City Theatre, The Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, The Pittsburgh and Boston Ballet companies, The Metropolitan Opera, The Juilliard School, The Hartford Stage Company and others.
Thom acted in, directed scenes and coached dialects for Mystic Voices, a documentary on The Pequot Wars, which aired on CPTV. He Co-wrote and performed in The Nearly Famous Death Lazzo of Edmund with a student at CCSU and created a completely new adaptation of Aristophanes' Birds through improv.
Thom has a BFA degree in Acting from Carnegie Mellon and an MFA in Acting and Teaching Pedagogy from the University of Pittsburgh. He is married to and in love with Tracy Ginder-Delventhal and the blissful father of four: Zachariah, Elijah, Willem and Anya.


Catherine Fellows
(Physical Education Department)

Catherine J. Fellows is a Full Professor in Physical Education at Central Connecticut State University, where she has been a faculty member since 1976.  During her tenure, Fellows has pioneered, designed and implemented the dance major and minor in the Department of Theatre and the Dance Cross Endorsement in the Department of Physical Education and Human Performance. 
Her experience and expertise in teaching, performing, and choreography have led to many successful residencies, performances and presentations at colleges and universities, public and private schools, conferences and conventions.  She has toured internationally performing, guest teaching and presenting Dance Education workshops in England, Italy, and Hungary and is well recognized for her community engagement events throughout New England.
She has been happily married for twenty-two years and has one amazing daughter. 

Lani Johnson
Professor Emeritus

Lani (aka Louise) arrived at CCSU as an instructor fresh out of an MFA program in Costuming at Ohio University in 1968, dressed as a hippy with long straight hair.  She has hopefully matured since then and has costumed almost 200 shows at CCSU and directed nine productions.  She became Chair of the Department in 1991 and handed over the Chair position to  Professor Tom Callery in 2010.  Lani is married with two grown sons, has a small farm in Terryville, and leads African safaris every two years. A trip to Kenya in 2013 will be her 18th safari.
Josh Perlstein  Josh Perlstein

Associate Professor      

Josh Perlstein has taught at Central Connecticut State University for 20 years. He received his MFA from the University of Massachusetts. He has also served as the vice chair of the Region 1 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), where he co-chaired the Irene Ryan Acting competition.  In the past his productions of Lebensraum, Keely and Du, and 9 Parts of Desire were selected as regional finalists at KCACTF.

Adjunct Faculty


Jackie Coleman
Theatre Education
Jackie Coleman is Interim Executive Director for Hartford Performs and Senior Executive Advisor for the Arts for Hartford Public Schools. As such she works toward bringing dance, music, theatre and visual art to the students of Hartford in as many ways as possible.

Prior to Hartford Schools, Jackie left Hartford Stage as Director of Education. During her 6 years there she expanded the reach of Connections – a theatre literacy program, created Innovations –a science/theatre residency, formed the Hartford Stage Young Company, designed a multitude of interdistrict and after school programs, increased professional development opportunities and started their adult acting series. 

Jackie is a Master Teaching Artist on the roster for the Connecticut Office of the Arts. She has 15 years of acting credits in and around New York City and Connecticut. She holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina and a BFA from the University of Connecticut.

Scott McKenna
Scott McKenna started his career here at CCSU in 1985 as an undergraduate studying Technical Design Theatre and obtained his BFA in 1991. He went on to get his Masters in Educational Technology and Media from Central, and later received his Ph. D in Professional Higher Education from the University of Connecticut. The love of Theatre drove Dr. McKenna to pursue a job administration, managing major performance venues at Central in 1991, and he has been here ever since. Dr. McKenna began teaching various subjects in Theatre in 1999. His role as Director of Operational Logistics and Events leaves him in charge of management and contracting of over 233 spaces on campus. His latest project is a book on access and security for higher education. 

Leigh Radziwon

Leigh Radziwon is the instructor for Makeup I and Advanced Makeup Courses at Central Connecticut State University. Leigh received a Master of Science Degree in Education from the University of New Haven and has worked as a Professional Special Effects and Beauty Makeup Artist in the television and film industry for over seven years. Leigh has done work for ESPN, The Discovery Network, History Channel, NBC, ABC, and many more. Leigh also works professionally in the medical field as a Prosthetics Specialist, creating lifelike prosthetic hands, fingers, feet, and facial devices that are virtually undetectable when worn by her patients.

Bryan Kopp

Bryan Kopp
University Assistant

Bryan Kopp is an alumnus of the Central Connecticut State University Theatre Department, from which he completed his BFA in Performance in 2013.  While at central he starred as Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as well Judas in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. He was president of TU, one of CCSU's four student run theatre clubs, and he hosted a local arts and entertainment TV show called Frames Per Second. Bryan is also an accomplished special effects makeup artist, recently having won RAW Connecticut's Makeup Artist of the Year.

Jackie Colon
Jackie Colon has worked for the State of Connecticut for 14 years, and has worked for the Theatre Department for the last 2 of those years.  She enjoys spending time with her family and little Chihuahua, Bella.

Peggy Messerschmidt
Scene Shop Manager

Peggy has worked with many Connecticut Community Theaters and high school programs as a set builder, designer, and scenic artist for over 40 years.
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