Executive Director/Founder - Directed RCT’s productions of 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie, In The Heights and Sister Act. He is also an award winning freelance producer for BRONXNET, the Community Cable Television Station. Since it’s creation in 1993, he has done feature stories on activities and organizations in just about every Bronx neighborhood. In 2008, he received an Emmy nomination as the writer and director of the acclaimed documentary “Memory Brings Us Back: Irish Stories of Farewells and Fortunes”
Derek has never strayed too far from his theatre roots. As a teenager, He was a member of the pioneering First ACT (The First All Children's Theatre), a professional NYC theatre company whose alumni included Ben Stiller and Nicole Sullivan. He was the creator and director of BHPA (Bronx House Performing Arts), a borough wide teen theatre group from 1993-1998, and continues to appear in regional productions as both an actor and director (when time allows!)
For more about Derek Woods, log on to www.dwiproductions.com
Artistic Director/Founder - Classes & Shows / Group Voice / Voice & Audition Prep
Becky has a Master of Arts in Teaching Music from Lehman College and a BFA in Musical Theatre from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. She started teaching and directing in 2006, and has directed over 40 regional and community productions. In 2010, She co-founded the Riverdale Children’s Theatre, and has created and guided a program that has received national recognition for excellence. Among her Directing credits: Dear Edwina, Seussical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Peter Pan, Oliver, Once on This Island Jr and Annie Jr. As an actress and singer, she has performed regionally and nationally in such shows as Peter Pan, Annie Get Your Gun, Meet Me in St Louis, Dear Edwina and Grease and is a member of Actors Equity. Becky also serves on the Special Education Committee for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York
For more about Becky Woods, click Here
Krystal Hall-Glass has worked the past eight years as Director of the Dance Department at the Harlem School of the Arts. Prior to that, she spent seven years as the Director of Dance at Mindbuilders Creative Arts Center. As an instructor, she has served on the faculty of Howard University, SUNY Purchase, City College and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Krystal is a Performing Arts High School alumna and appeared in both the film and Broadway version of "The Wiz" while attending the Julliard School of Music. She toured both nationally and internationally, having worked with choreographers Michael Peters, Otis Sallid, George Faison, and actors Ossie Davis and Lynn Thigpen. Krystal is also the 1991 recipient of a choreographic grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
“ I don’t work with kids, I work with young performers”-Krystal Hall-Glass
Justina is an accomplished performer/ choreographer, who has also been an active teaching artist since 2008. In settings ranging from dance studios to enrichment centers to theater camp, She has worked with kids in areas such as developmental movement, various styles of dance technique, gymnastics, music, and fundamentals of acting. Her goal is to create a safe environment where children can grow, explore, and most importantly, have fun! Among her RCT credits: Thoroughly Modern Millie,The Wizard of Oz,42nd Street, Joseph...,Annie, The Little Mermaid, Snoopy, Dear Edwina and The Wiz. To learn more about Justina , go to www.justinaercole.com
Vocal instructor/Broadway Babies/Music Director
Shana Mahoney is a graduate from the Hart School of Music, University of Hartford, with a bachelor's degree in Music Theatre. She has performed in several Broadway musicals both here and abroad including the Broadway 1st National tour of CABARET, EVITA, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES, CATS, and FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, among many others. Shana teaches music to young students weekly and her private voice studio includes over 30 students. She is currently serving as Music Director for St. Barnabas Parish in Woodlawn.
Director/InstructorNia started her dance training at the age of 2 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas & it has been her lifelong passion. After receiving many regionally & nationally recognized accolades as a competition dancer Nia became an instructor with the National Dance Alliance & a Golden Girl with UAPB’s M4 Marching Band. She has a BA in Theatre with a Concentration in Dance from Spelman College.
She has appeared in AIDA with the Atlanta Opera, I Dream directed by Jazmine Guy as a soloist dancer, International Tour Drumline Live as a soloist dancer/singer, National Tour UniverSoul Circus as a soloist pointe ballerina, Black Nativity as the lead role of Mary, & Crowns where she debuted as an actress just to name a few.
Nia lives by the words: “To touch. To move. To inspire. That is the true gift of dance.”
Shauna Hicks starred on Broadway in Blood Brothers opposite David and Shaun Cassidy with Petula Clarke, Carole King and Helen Reddy. She played Rosemary in the Broadway tour of "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" opposite Ralph Macchio, garnering Florida's Carbonell Award and a Chicago Jeff Award nomination. Other credits include Meet Me in St. Louis on Broadway, in which she understudied the Garland role and performing in Sesame Streets production of “Sesame English. She is a graduate of The American University in Washington D.C. Shauna has vast experience as an acting coach and educator, and has brought her considerable talent to RCT since it began in 2010 , serving as an exceptional artist, educator and friend.
Director - Classes & Shows
Antonia has been been an actress/director in numerous regional productions, and has been with RCT since its inaugural production, "The Wizard of Oz" (Wicked Witch). She also directed RCT’s 1st Spotlight Production of “101 Dalmatians Kids” in 2011, and since then she has also directed ”A Year with Frog & Toad" and “Cinderella”. She has taught Broadway Babies & Kids, and appeared in "Annie" (Grace), and "Peter Pan" (Mrs. Darling). Her love of theatre is matched only by her love of helping others, as Antonia is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), and her insights have helped shape RCT’s commitment to its young artists both on and off stage.
Guy has a Specialized B.A. in Shakespearean Theatre (Combined Degrees in Classical Drama and Elizabethan Literature) from CUNY and studied with Ruby Dee and with Lee Strasberg, Westside Center for the Arts and the Actor’s Institute. He worked for SNL and was “Ted O’Toole” in the Disney series Cool Tool Adventures and was a scenic carpenter, theatre technician, Equity Actor & Stage Manager and has performed in over 100 plays on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally.He developed the Classic Theatre Collaborative, which introduced classical theatre to children & youth in over 32 community based organizations throughout NYC, including various locations of YMCA of Greater New York, and The After School Corporation.
James Merillat is an award-winning composer, has been working professionally in the theatre since his teens. He was an adjunct faculty member in the Drama Department at Catholic University in Washington D.C. James studied under Lehman Engel and Maury Yeston in the BMI Workshop for Musical Theatre composers and lyricists. Collaborating with Dick Pasqual, James’ show EXIT MUSIC, based on a short story by Noel Coward, was the winner of the first Bernice Cohen ASCAP Workshop Award and was produced off-Broadway by the Village Theatre Company in 1992 earning rave reviews. Other shows produced around the country include A Christmas Carol (1982, Baltimore), Still Waiting (1985 New York, 1989 and 1992 Chicago), Teasers & Tormentors (1987 New York), Trunk Songs (1993 New York), Playing the Palace (New York 1999, La Crosse 2002), Radio Eyes (New York 1986, Austin 2008) and Wonderland High (all over US 2010-present), licensed through Music Theatre International (MTI). James is a proud member of the Dramatist’s Guild.
Paul Loman is an experienced music director, teacher, pianist, and composer. He studied music at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. He has accompanied and music directed youth, collegiate, and professional productions in Virginia, New Hampshire, and New York at Papermill Theatre, Performing Arts Luray, James Madison University, and the White Plains Performing Arts Center, among others. He has also composed new music for several musicals. Paul is currently the Music and Choir Director for St. Ann’s Church in Yonkers, and teaches music at St. Ann’s School.
Linda LoPresti is our resident musical director for RCT/Bronx House. She began working as a choral director and then received her Masters in Music at Lehman College. She has performed as a singer and musician at many NYC recording studios. She currently is music director at PS57 in the Bronx and also teaches music at Lehman College
TIFFANY LUTZ- Summer lights Program Director
Tiffany has been an integral part of the success of RCT’s Summer lights Program since its inception in 2011. Tiffany has an MA in Educational Theatre from NYU, and a BFA in Musical Theatre from New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. She served as Assistant Program Director for RCT’s Summer Lights program and has directed and choreographed numerous summer productions. Before focusing her career on arts education, she performed all over the country in shows such as I Do, I Do! (Agnes), They’re Playing Our Song (Sonya), and The Will Rogers’ Follies (Z’s Favorite) as well as on the high seas as a production singer for Norwegian Cruise Lines. She currently teaches Communications and Theatre at North Broward Preparatory School in Florida
Ms. Smallwood serves as the production coordinator/supervisor for all of RCT productions, and her creative ideas and experience have played a major role in shaping RCT’s professional approach and acheivements. She has worked as a professional stage manager in NYC for over 20 years and is a member of Actors Equity. She has stage managed numerous productions in the New York area including: The Pearl Theatre Company: Cymberline, Venice Preserv'd, The School for Scandal, Miss Julie, The Miser, and The Seagull. The Melting Pot Theatre Company: Home. La Mama: Agamemnon and she assisted on The Shawl and Living Proof at The Jewish Repertory Theatre and Dancing on Moonlight at The Public Theatre. She has also worked at Stamford Performing Arts Center with such artists as Sinbad and Patti Page, among others.
Jazmine works with Harlem Children’s Zone, Joffrey Ballet School, Alvin Ailey AIE, Greenhouse Arts Center, & Blue Morph Collective. She’s an Alum of Spelman College (BA) & the University of Florida (MFA). Choreography credits include “Catherine” for The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy’s Dance Company. She is currently our Director/Choreographer for RCT Bronx House