Genevieve Bennett, Theatre Department Chair
Genevieve is a freelance director and teacher based in Minneapolis. Credits include Hedda Gabler, The Bear (The Southern Theater); Beyond the Owing (Red Eye); Bee Eater (Bryant Lake Bowl); The Good Doctor (Jon Hassler Theater); Anna Bella Eema, Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet (Theatre Unbound); The Seagull (Twin Cities Chekhov Festival); Camille (Old Arizona). She is the chair of the Theatre program at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and has guest directed for the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program. She received an MFA in Directing from Columbia University and a BFA with Honors in Theatre from the Experimental Theatre Wing/Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
Brandon Chambers, Visual Art Teacher
Brandon Chambers is a visual artist committed to a multidisciplinary practice. He uses art as a vessel to document and preserve his grappling with the human condition and its effects on lived experience. He does this abstractly by engaging in the creative act in varying contexts and observing himself, the process and results to draw conclusions and insights about existing. Brandon’s most recent interest is in the idea of virtual reality, not just as an emerging technology, but as a philosophical concept tracing back to Plato’s Cave and the question of how information and our perceptions shape our reality and how we live with uncertainty about the nature of reality. Brandon received his BA in Studio Art from the University of Maryland and an MFA from the University of Minnesota.
Paul Coate, Musical Theatre Department Chair/Musical Teacher
Paul was in a National PBS Broadcast, “All Is Calm.” He has also been in numerous regional theatre’s as well as concerts/operas. He has his BA and MA in Theatre from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Paul was a former radio DJ for 10 years and is into acoustic guitar, various dialects, gardening, running, hiking, model railroading, and teaching theatre.
Zamara M. Cuyún Grimm, Visual Arts – Muralism
Zamara received a BA Anthropology U of MN, and has completed 2 years of Graduate Studies in Anthropology at U of Penn. A self-trained muralist, Zamara uses elements of Guatemalan and Maya history, ideology and iconography while focusing on the strength of women in community building. Recent public art projects include St. Paul City Council Chambers, La Mexicana Supermarket (funded through an Early Career Artist Project grant from Forecast Public Arts). Zamara also serves on the leadership committee for Serpentina Arts, a Latinx Visual Artists Organization.
Bruce DeMorrow, Dance Teacher
Bruce DeMorrow trained at Woodbury Dance Center in Woodbury, MN. His energetic approach to tap classes along with his new, cutting-edge choreography at a fast and upbeat pace leaves his students feeling full of life. He was a competition dancer for many years at Woodbury Dance Center and has won numerous awards. He has had a variety of involvement with outside tap dance companies and is an experienced performer and choreographer. He recently performed with Kaleena Miller’s I Love Her!, Shift and Here Now performances and with Rhythmic Circus in their Feet Don’t Fail Me Now critically acclaimed show. Mr. Bruce is also very active with the Twin Cities Tap Festival.
Alma Engebretson, Instrumental Music Teacher
Alma has her BA in Music from the University of Denver, Suzuki certified through book 4, and graduated from Washburn High School. She has recorded two albums with “SPACE” Jazz Group, is the frontperson of Mr. Zipp, is an annual participant in the Ennio Morricone tribute show and Curtiss A’s John Lennon tribute show, a member of the Ron Miles tribute show, a performer in Open Eye Puppet Theatre’s “Once Upon a Winter’s Night”, a performer in Fox and Beggar Theatre’s “Vanaheimr”, and a performer is Dameun Stronge’s “Mother King.”
Wesley Frye, Class Pianist
Wesley is a freelance collaborative pianist, vocal coach, and operatic tenor. He worked with notable ensembles around the Twin Cities. Such as, Minnesota Opera, Sonomento, One Voice Ensemble, and more. In 2016 he got his BA in Voice Performance at Luther College and in 2019 got his MM Opera Performance at the University of Minnesota.
Sonia Greenfield, Creative Writing Teacher
Sonia is the author of two forthcoming collections of poetry, All Possible Histories (Riot in Your Throat, December 2022) and Helen of Troy is High AF (Harbor Editions, January 2023). She is the author of Letdown (white Pine Press, 2020), American Parable (Autumn House, 2018) and Boy with a Halo at the Southern Review, Willow Springs, and elsewhere. She lives with her family in Minneapolis where she teaches at Normandale College, edits the Rise Up Review, and advocates for both neurodiversity and the decentering of the cis/het white hegemony.
Anna Hashizume, Vocal Music Teacher
Anna is a Japanese-American singer/actor and voice teacher based in the Twin Cities. After receiving both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in vocal performance, she is equally comfortable on opera and musical theatre stages as wells as onscreen. She has performed with companies such as Theater Latte Da, Artistry Theater, Minnesota Opera, and Fargo-Moorhead Opera. On screen, she has worked for Best Buy, Target, Founder’s Brewing Co., and the Minnesota Lottery. Anna is also a two-time honoree of the Schubert Cub Scholarship Competition. Alongside performing, Anna is a passionate teacher. She is a teaching artist with both Theater Mu and Minnesota Opera. She runs her own private voice studio and co-coordinates the Prelude Program at the MacPhail Center for Music.
Alex Barreto Hathaway, Musical Theatre and Theatre Teacher
Alex Barreto Hathaway is a process-based artist and educator that leans into playfulness, theatrical clown, mask and physical theatre, clown again, and stories that celebrate the Latinx experience He earned his BA in Theatre Arts at the University of Minnesota with a thesis project exhibiting Mask, Puppetry, and Street Theatre practices studied in Pernambuco, Brazil. Since 2010, he has worked with theatre groups such as Open Eye, Exposed Brick, Red Bird, Theatre Forever, SteppingStone, as well as on tours throughout communities in the Midwest through the site-specific work of Sod House, TigerLion Arts, and The Department of Public Transformation. Additionally, he has devised, designed, and/or directed original pieces ranging from puppet operas (This Side of the Blue and Basement Creatures), to mask performances (The Legend of Diego and Escúchame), to ensemble-created multi-disciplinary installations (Awkward Love, Animus, and Fat Cat Falls). From 2016-2020, he designed and led arts-based learning for international English-learners at Roosevelt Highschool and then Highland Park High School. Barreto Hathaway was selected for an Artist in Residency program where he and participants from towns across the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate region dreamed-up and presented a month-long festival exhibiting art, music, photography, and puppetry created from local interviews recorded in 2020. In the same year, he and his partner became first-time parents to a hilarious kid named Ray.
Rachel Holder, Vocal Teacher
Rachel Holder is a singer and voice teacher based in the Twin Cities. She has a regular presence at several Twin Cities music venues including The Dakota Jazz Club, Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, and Eat Street Crossing. She is also a featured artist in concert series at The Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Chanhassen Fireside Theatre, and The History Theatre. Rachel received her B.M. from McNally Smith College of Music in 2006, and shortly after graduating joined the voice faculty where she taught until 2017. She currently teaches Contemporary and Jazz Voice at Macalester College, Concordia University, and St. Paul Conservatory of Music.
Joseph James, Dance Teacher
Joseph got his start in dancing through musical theater in high school as a Sophomore. He moved to social styles such as Latin and Swing, and from there found Breaking and got connected with the Funkstyles scene. Over the years, he has represented 4got10 Elementz, where he got his start, as well as YML (Yesterday’s Missing Life), and ALL DAY. Joseph has performed in places such as the Guthrie, Ordway, State Fair, doing shows like ROOTED and Being Brothas, Sistah Solo, and in productions at Main Street Theatre. Likewise, he choreographed “High School Musical” for Morris Park Players, and has taught at Moore than Dance and House of Dance Twin Cities studios and often serves as an adjudicator at dance competitions.
Michael Kleber-Diggs, Creative Writing Department Chair
Michael Kleber-Diggs is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things, won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize and will be published by Milkweed Editions in June of this year. Among other places, Michael’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Great River Review, Water~Stone Review, Poem-a-Day, Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, Potomac Review, Hunger Mountain, Memorious, and a few anthologies. Michael is a past Fellow with the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, a past-winner of the Loft Mentor Series in Poetry, and the former Poet Laureate of Anoka County libraries. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net and has been supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Jerome Foundation. Michael is married to Karen Kleber-Diggs, a tropical horticulturist and orchid specialist. Karen and Michael have a daughter who is pursuing a BFA in Dance Performance at SUNY Purchase.
Jennifer Manthey, Creative Writing Teacher
Jennifer has a book of poetry forthcoming in 2023, “The Fight” Trio House Press. She also has journal publications that include, Best New Poets, Prairie Schooner, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Calyx Journal, Tinderbox Poetry, and Crab Orchard Review. Jennifer Has her BA from the University of Minnesota and Her MFA from Hamline University.
Laura Osterhaus, Dance Department Co-Chair
Laura Osterhaus Rosenstone is a dance educator at SPCPA. She teaches Contemporary/Modern Dance and Jazz Dance from an improvisational lens. She received her BA in Dance from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and her MFA in Choreography and Performance from Smith College in Massachusetts. Laura was a company member of Zenon Dance Company from 2016-2019 and is the artistic director of Slo Dance Company. She has taught dance at various schools throughout the Twin Cities, including, SPCPA, Spring Lake Park High School, the Performing Institute of Minnesota, and Zenon Dance School. Her work has been featured in the Candy Box Dance Festival, and she is a recipient of a 2023 Paid Partnership with the Southern Theater. Laura currently dances for two East Coast-based dance organizations: Kia the Key & Company (Hip-Hop, club & street styles) and Vanessa Anspaugh (postmodern/improvisational).
Alonzo Pantoja-Patino, Visual Arts Teacher
Alonzo is an artist and educator. He earned his MFA in Fiber and Installation from MCAD and BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has participated in solo and group show in spaces such as: Arrowmont Galley (TN), Yours Truly (WI), Minneapolis Institute of Art (MN), Nemeth Art Center (MN), and Textile Center (MN) to name a few. Previously, he was a resident at Ox-Bow School of Art, a fellow at Arrowmont School of Arts, and a nominee for the Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellowship in painting and sculpture. He currently lives in Minneapolis, MN where he teaches at Augsburg University, MCAD and Textile Center.
Aaron Preusse, Theatre Teacher
Aaron received honors of Advanced Gold with Recommendation from the British Academy of Dramatic Combat and is also an Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. In addition to performing locally and regionally, Aaron has created fights for The Mammals Theater Company, UW Marathon County, Eat Street Players, Lyric Arts Company of Anoka, Concordia University of St Paul and Visitation School/VISTA Productions. He has worked on the film Profile of Killer where he was both Stunt Coordinator and Stunt Double. Aaron was also a precision stunt driver for the movie Thin Ice. Aaron is a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Sara Robinson, Musical Theatre Department Co-Chair
Sara is an actor, singer, and vocal coach recently relocated to the Twin Cities following a faculty appointment at Arizona State University. With a belief in uniting the performer’s voice, body, and mind, Ms. Schwabe teaches from a variety of disciplines. She has trained with SITI Company, Peter Sellars, David Barker, Rachel Bowditch, Bonnie Eckard, Micha Espinosa, and Joan Melton. As an actor, Ms. Schwabe has worked throughout the Southeast and Arizona. She was a resident artist with the Actors Co-op (Knoxville, TN) from 1998 – 2008. She is also the co-founder of the Global Cabaret interactive performance events, and is the leader of Sara Schwabe & Her Yankee Jass Band. Ms. Schwabe was a featured speaker at the VASTA voice conference in Mexico City 2010 and the recipient of the Meritorious Achievement in Acting award from the Kennedy Center in 2011. Ms. Schwabe is a member of VASTA, NATS, and Phi Kappa Phi. She received an MFA in Performance (Acting) from Arizona State University and holds a BA in Vocal Performance from the College of St. Benedict.
Djenane Saint Juste, Dance Teacher
A native of Haiti, Djenane is the Artistic Director of Afoutayi Haitian Dance, Music and Arts Company. She is a professional choreographer, dancer, actress and vocalist specializing in Haitian traditional dance and folklore. Djenane has also been trained in Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, Jazz and Ballroom at the Institut de Danse JAKA, Institut de Dance Vivianne Gauthier, and Artcho Dance Company in Haiti. She is the creator and instigator of the Annual Haitian Cultural Festival, and has brought exciting new themes and activities to engage participants in Haitian culture since the first Haitian Festival in 2009. Djenane has dedicated herself to the research, development and promotion of traditional Haitian dance, song and storytelling. She is an artist in residence at Hamline University, Coppin University and St. Olaf University. Djenane’s work towards the preservation of Haitian culture has been documented in works such as “Making Caribbean Dance” by Susanna Sloat, as well as “Lavil: Life, Love, and Death in Port-au-Prince (Voice of Witness)” by Peter Orner, Evan Lyon, and Edwidge Danticat. She published her first children book “The Mermaid and The Whale” in Fall 2020.
Mike Salow, Instrumental Music Teacher
Mike Salow is a multifaceted guitarist with over 20 years of playing experience. He graduated with honors from McNally Smith College of Music receiving a B.M. in guitar performance with a music business minor. After graduating in 2012, Mike was asked back to McNally Smith to join the guitar department as a teacher where he taught for the next 4 ½ years. Outside of teaching Mike has worked with various fusion, funk, jazz, hip-hop, blues, metal, pop, country, and rock bands. Currently Mike gigs throughout the Twin Cities with several groups, most notably with Minneapolis based rock band, Chester Bay. After joining Chester Bay in September of 2009, Chester Bay toured throughout the upper Midwest, was featured in Rolling Stone magazine, and also opened for national acts such as Candlebox, Los Lobos, Fitz and the Tantrums, and The Avett Brothers. Aside from Chester Bay, Mike acts as composer, guitarist, and producer of Twin Cities Progressive Metal band, Ideology. The band released their debut album in Fall of 2016 and is a project founded by Mike and Five Finger Death Punch drummer, Charlie Engen. Besides having taught at McNally Smith College of Music, Mike is also founder/teacher of Lessons With Mike LLC and Ideal Music Lessons. Two companies that are one in the same and specialize in providing in-home music lessons throughout the Twin Cities. You can also find Mike teaching online for InfiniteGuitar.com where his main lesson focus is on advanced jazz/fusion playing.
Ariane Sandford, Creative Writing Teacher
Ariane Sandford received her BA in Theatre Arts from St Olaf College 2002, an MA in English from Iowa State University in 2007, an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University in 2017, and is currently pursuing her MAT for English grades 6-12 at Hamline University. She has been a Dramaturg at the Guthrie Theater, worked at Milkweed Editions, published in Painted Bride Quarterly and Booth Magazine, among others, and has been selected to be mentee in the Loft Literary Center’s mentorship program.
Sam Stokley, Creative Writing Teacher
Sam Stokley is a disabled artist and educator from Peoria, IL living in Minneapolis. Since receiving his MFA from Hamline University, Sam has taught and mentored with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop and at The Loft Literary Center, as well as served on numerous MRAC grant panels. Sam’s writing across genres is housed, among elsewhere, in Water~House Review, Barrelhouse, Arkansas International, Puerto del Sol, Fairy Tale Review, and Poetry City. His chapbook manuscript, Dystrophies, is a two time finalist (BOAAT Press, Driftwood Press) and was recently longlisted by Frontier Poetry. A Tin House Winter Workshop alum, Sam’s essay “How to Discuss Race as a White Person” was anthologized in Brevity Magazine’s Best of Brevity, released in 2020 (Rose Metal Press). Sam was born with and lives with Epidermolysis Bullosa.
Darrius Strong, Dance Teacher
Darrius Strong is a Twin Cities based choreographer, dancer, and educator whose creative work has been chosen for Rhythmically Speaking and the Walker Art Center’s Choreographer’s Evening. He was featured in The New Griots Festival in 2015, as well as an American Standard billboard advertisement in NYC Time Square in 2016. He was also a 2017 Momentum New Works recipient. Strong has created works for Threads Dance Project, Flying Foot Forum, Alternative Motion Projects, and James Sewell Ballet. Recently, he was selected as a recipient of the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. Strong developed his own dance company STRONGmovement in 2015. He is also a faculty member at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts, TU Dance Center and Eleve Performing Arts Center, where he teaches how to connect their identity to movement. Strong is also a company member of Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater. Learn more at strong-movement.com.
Momoko Tanno, Vocal Music Sub
Momoko is a versatile singer/actor/educator, who has been actively performing in the Twin Cities, nationally, and abroad. She has Performed at the Guthrie, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, American Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Park Square Theater, Theater Mu, Mixed Precipitations and more. Her repertoire ranges from Baroque, Opera, Oratorio, Art Songs, Musical Theater, Folk Songs, Pop, Jazz, Rock and Spoken Word. She is a recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant FY2013, FY2019, Community Cultural Partnership Grant FY2015, CAAL (Coalition for Asian American Leaders) MOVEE (Making Our Voices Effective for Equity) cohort of 2021. She has also taught voice privately since 2000, at SPCPA in 2006-2007, MacPhail Center for Music for 13 years, University of Wisconsin River Falls, and K & S Conservatory for Music since 2022. Momoko got her BA at Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan. She also got her MM at the University of Minnesota as well as studies Melodies Francaise with Camille Maurane, in Paris, and Bel Canto with Elizabeth Mannion in Saint Paul.
Brooks Turner, Visual Art Department Chair
Brooks Turner is an artist, writer, and educator. His recent work engages the history of fascism in Minnesota and has been supported through a 2020 Artist Residency in the Weisman’s Collaboration Incubator, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, a Minnesota Humanities Center Innovation Lab Grant, and a Rimon: Minnesota Jewish Arts Council Project Support Grant. His work has been exhibited nationally, with upcoming exhibitions at the Weisman Art Museum and St. Cloud State University. Since 2014, he has taught sculpture, drawing, and painting at the University of California, Los Angeles, St. Cloud State University, and Ridgewater College. In 2017, he wrote A Guide to Charles Ray Sleeping Mime, published with Paperleaf Press, and continues to write essays for Hair and Nails Gallery and Temp/reviews.