Theatre Faculty Bios

Beth Schachter, Department Chair

Professor: Acting, Directing, and History & Theory
Ph.D., City University of New York; M.F.A., University of California,
San Diego; B.A., Harvard-Radcliffe University

Dr. Schachter has directed at New York Theatre Workshop, Second Stage, The Public Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Adirondack Theatre Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and The Vineyard Theatre, among others. She has directed world premieres of plays by Suzan-Lori Parks, Doug Wright, Theresa Rebeck, and Mac Wellman. She also co-wrote and directed the musical Lures and Snares with Troy Dwyer. Dr. Schachter is fomerly the director of Muhlenberg’s Women’s Studies Program. Her areas of expertise include contemporary American avant-garde theatre, feminist theatre and theory, African-American drama, and Jewish ethnicity studies. Before coming to Muhlenberg, Dr. Schachter taught at Princeton University, Brooklyn College, City College, and UCSD. She recently directed the world premiere of Brighde Mullins's The Bourgeois Pig at Muhlenberg College, as well as two staged readings for The Blank Theatre (Los Angeles).

Charles Richter, Director of Theatre

Professor: Directing, Theatre History, and Theory
M.F.A., Southern Methodist University; B.S., Syracuse University; Certificate in Drama, University of Bristol, England
Member, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society

Mr. Richter was the founding chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance. He has taught at Muhlenberg for the past 38 years. His professional directing experience includes productions for the New York City Opera’s education department, Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park, New York’s Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Theatre Three in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Richter served as the artistic director of the Pennsylvania Stage Company (LORT) for four seasons. He has been the artistic director of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre Festival for the past 30 years. Mr. Richter has directed more than 60 productions for the Muhlenberg College Theatre, the most recent being the world premiere of the musical An American Tragedy, with music by Charles Strouse and a libretto by Mark St. Germain. He is a recipient of the NBC/Kennedy Center Gold Medallion for service to the American College Theatre Festival, the City of Allentown’s Arts Ovation Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, and the Joel and Ruth Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Curtis Dretsch, Director of Design & Technical Theatre

Professor: Scenic, Costume, and Lighting Design
M.F.A., Southern Methodist University; B.A., Montana State University

In addition to his more than 100 designs for Muhlenberg College Theatre and Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre over the past 31 years, Mr. Dretsch’s designs have been seen in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Dallas, Edinburgh, and London. He has designed for the Dallas Shakespeare Festival, Terry Beck Dance Troupe, and Pennsylvania Stage Company, where he did scenery and/or lights 41 times over 12 years. During the 1990s he served Muhlenberg as Dean of the College for Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Tim Averill

Timothy Averill

Professor: Scenography
M.F.A., Yale School of Drama; A.B., Vassar College
United Scenic Artists; Local 829, SD, HW

Mr. Averill has been involved with Glimmerglass Opera, Yale Repertory Theatre, Powerhouse Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Syracuse Opera, Arena Theatre of Buffalo, Andy’s Summer Playhouse, Theatre of the First Amendment, and Mac-Haydn Theatre. He has been a faculty member at Colgate University, Syracuse University, and the University of Virginia. Mr. Averill has designed sets for many shows at Muhlenberg College including The Tempest, Polaroid Stories, the world premiere of An American Tragedy, Twelfth Night, Tartuffe, Into the Woods, Juliet and her Romeo, Pentecost, Dido and Aeneas, and Orpheus Descending.

Holly Cate

Associate Professor: Acting
M.F.A., Brandeis University; B.A., Harvard University
Member, SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity Association

Ms. Cate is an award-winning actor who has appeared on Broadway in An Ideal Husband, directed by Sir Peter Hall, and regionally in Blithe Spirit (Portland Stage), An Ideal Husband (Pioneer), All My Sons (American Stage), and Arms and the Man (Asolo), in addition to numerous New York Theatre credits. Ms. Cate recently made her Philadelphia debut at the Walnut Street Theatre in Judith/Dresses/Joe, an evening of avant-garde masterworks presented by Parade Ground Unit, of which she is a founding member. She also played the deliciously evil Janice Maxwell on As the World Turns, has appeared in over 20 national television and radio commercials, and works as an audio book narrator. Ms. Cate is a Stanislavski-based acting technique teacher with an emphasis on the role of the body in the actor's process.

Michael G. Chin

Adjunct: Acting and Stage Combat
B.A., Pace University

Mr. Chin is a professional actor who is part of the AEA, AFTRA, and SAG as well as a sanctioned master instructor and choreographer with the Society of American Fighting Directors. He serves as fight director in residence for both The White Horse and Pan Asian Rep in New York City. He has taught, choreographed, and consulted on Broadway as well as for The Mint, Murder To Go, Theatreworks USA, La MaMa ETC, The National Asian American Theatre Company, The Public, The Vineyard Theatre, Juilliard, New York University, Henry Street Settlement, The Drama League, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, and the New York Renaissance Faire.

Joseph Dulude II

Joe Dulude II

Baker Artist-in-Residence: Stage Makeup

Mr. Dulude is probably best known for his makeup designs for the Tony Award-winning hit musical Wicked. He has won both an Etsy Design Award and Local 706 Makeup and Hair Guild Award for this work. Since Wicked, Joe has moved on to do such productions as Dr. Zhivago, On the Town, If/Then, Beautiful, The Wedding Singer, Grease!, Follies, Jekyll & Hyde and many more. He has also consulted on several Broadway productions, including Catch Me If You Can, The Normal Heart and Assassins. Mr. Dulude is a teacher of theatrical makeup at Pace University, Muhlenberg College, and the Hartt School. He has most recently added makeup for film to his resume on such productions as Manchester by the Sea, Central Intelligence, and Ghostbusters. Prior to his design work on Broadway, Joe freelanced as a makeup artist in both New York City and Los Angeles. His makeup skills have been seen on E!, Style and Lifetime, as well as several commercials. In his spare time Joe is also a fine artist and photographer and has recently added playwright and director to his list of accomplishments.

Dexter F. & Dorothy H. Baker Foundation

Troy Dwyer

Troy Dwyer

Associate Professor, Acting and Voice & Speech
M.F.A., University of Wisconsin; B.A., Oglethorpe University
Associate Member, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society
Member, Voice & Speech Trainers Association

Mr. Dwyer is a writer/actor who has devised and performed in new experimental
theatre at venues throughout the United States, including Theatre
Artaud (San Francisco), Velocity Dance Center (Seattle), The Painted Bride
(Philadelphia), The Riant Theatre (NYC), Horizon Theatre Company (Atlanta),
and many others. His original works for the stage include dance theatre epics
such as World Headquarters and Caw (both with Charles O. Anderson), new
musicals such as Lures & Snares (with Beth Schachter), and performance art
such as Journey/Cave (with Tim Miller). Mr. Dwyer is an acting-styles teacher
with specializations ranging from classical lyric performance (such as
Shakespeare) to the contemporary realist acting methodologies of Sanford
Meisner. He is also a teacher of voice & speech specializing in the work of
Kristin Linklater and Arthur Lessac. Mr. Dwyer is also a founding member of
the theatre company Parade Ground Unit. His scholarly writings on queerness,
voice, and acting have appeared in leading academic journals such as Theatre
and The Voice & Speech Review.

Ora Fruchter

Ora Fruchter

Visiting Lecturer, Acting
B.A., University of Maryland

Ms. Fruchter is a Brooklyn-based puppeteer, performer, director, and educator. She is the co-artistic director of Doppelskope, an interdisciplinary theatre company that creates open-hearted new theatre that approaches life’s darkest problems through comedy and community. Doppelskope's original work has been performed at Dixon Place, The Tank and The PIT (NYC) at the Shadowbox Theatre (New Orleans), the Cell Theatre and Penasco Theatre (New Mexico) and at Muhlenberg College. Ms. Fruchter has studied with Sandglass Theater and Blair Thomas (puppetry) and Eric Davis, Dody DiSanto, and Aitor Basauri (clown). She is also the artistic director of Yellow Sneaker Puppets, a puppet company in Brooklyn.

Sharrell Luckett

Sharrell D. Luckett

Assistant Professor: Theatre History, Performance Studies, Theory, and Dramatic Literature
Ph.D., University of Missouri–Columbia; M.Ed., Kennesaw State University; Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Georgia State University

Dr. Luckett's literary and embodied interdisciplinary scholarship is situated in performance theory, Black studies, and Women’s studies. In addition to her being an award-winning director, performance professor, and producer, Dr. Luckett's research has appeared in several publications, including Theatre Topics, Cultural Studies <‐> Critical Methodologies, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, and Continuum. She is lead editor of Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches, which is the first book to highlight diverse acting/directing methods rooted in Afrocentrism, such as The Hendricks Method. Her manuscript in progress, YoungGiftedandFat: Size, Sexuality & Privilege, engages with her experience as a transweight performer. Dr. Luckett's solo show, YoungGiftedandFat, is on a rolling premiere and was recently staged Off-Broadway. She is a proud invitee of the Performance Encounters series at Cornell University, Northwestern University’s Mellon Program in Black Feminist Performance, and a Fellow of the esteemed Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Before coming to Muhlenberg, Dr. Luckett taught theatre and performance studies courses in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.

Mark McKenna

Adjunct: Acting
B.A., University of New Hampshire

Mr. McKenna is a graduate of the Lecoq International School of Theatre in Paris, majored in theatre at the University of New Hampshire, and trained in theatres in New York and Philadelphia. He was an ensemble member at Bethlehem's Touchstone Theatre from 1986 to 2008, and also served as artistic and producing director there, developing and acting in more than 40 original Touchstone productions and collaborations. In 1990 he was the recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artistic Development Grant to study the process of the actor-creator in Europe.

Careena Melia

Careena Melia

Visiting Assistant Professor: Acting
M.F.A., American Repertory Theatre / Moscow Arts Theatre Institute, Harvard University
Member: Actors' Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, Voice and Speech Trainers Association, and New York Women in Film & Television
Certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework

Irish born actress Careena Melia has over 20 years' experience in film, television and theatre. Previous work includes the award winning production of Sleep No More at the American Repertory Theatre and its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run in NYC, where she originated the role of Hecate. Regional and NY work includes productions at Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles,The Huntington Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, The Irish Rep, Theatre for a New Audience, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Ms. Melia is the Artistic Director of Walden Shakespeare. In summer 2015 she produced and directed A Midsummer Night's Dream in Massachusetts at NARA Park Amphitheater and in New York's Central Park as part of their inaugural season. Film and television work includes Moonlight Mile with Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, and Jake Gyllenhaal; Songs in Ordinary Time with Sissy Spacek; and award-winning independent film Under Hellgate Bridge. Ms. Melia was the Grant Wood Fellow in Devised Theatre 2014- 2015. Her solo show The Gertrude Bell Project has been chosen as part of The Boston Center for the Arts 2016-2017 season and is scheduled to tour the UK.

Matthew Moore

Assistant Professor: Directing, Performance Studies, Theatre History & Theory
Ph.D., Stanford University; B.A., Muhlenberg College
Member, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

Dr. Moore has directed at theatres in New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, San Francisco and Ireland, and is a founding member of The Proper Villains Theatre Co. He has taught courses in directing, devising, theatre history and theory at Stanford University as well as courses in acting and playwriting for the University of New Orleans. His current artistic work centers on group devising practices and methods of physical training, both of which played a key role in his recent production of Agamemnon at Muhlenberg College. His scholarly interests include the avant-garde, ecological theatre and performance theory.

James Peck

James Peck

Professor: Directing, Performance Studies, and Theatre History
Associate Dean for Diversity Initiatives
Ph.D., New York University; M.F.A., University of California, San Diego; B.A., Carleton College
Member, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society

Dr. Peck has directed well over fifty productions of plays, operas, and musicals at theatres throughout the United States. He has published numerous scholarly articles in academic journals and in books from major university presses. His current research focuses on the theory and practice of directing and eighteenth-century British and Irish theatre history. He served as editor of Theatre Topics and book review editor of Theatre Journal. At Muhlenberg, he has received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Williams Award for Research by a Junior Faculty Member, and the First Year Advising Award. He chaired the Department of Theatre & Dance from 2006 to 2013. In addition to Muhlenberg, Dr. Peck has taught at the Yale School of Drama, the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and the Playwrights Horizons Theater School.

Leticia Robles-Moreno

Leticia Robles-Moreno

Visiting Lecturer: Theatre and Performance Studies
Ph.D. Candidate, New York University
M.A., New York University; M.A. University of Colorado at Boulder
B.A., Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Leticia Robles-Moreno teaches courses on Performance, Race, Gender, Memory, and Politics in the Americas. In addition to her academic background, she studied theatre arts in the Club de Teatro de Lima, as well as improvisational theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. Her doctoral research focuses on theatre groups of “creación colectiva” in Latin America — particularly in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador — exploring their networked practices as strategies of political survival, from a combined perspective of Performance Studies, and Memory and Affect Studies. As a member of the Women Mobilizing Memory research group at the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University, she studies Latin American Antigones’ role in post-conflict contexts. She has published in Latin American Theatre Review, Contemporary Theatre Review, and Conjunto. She is currently the Project Manager of HIDVL – the Digital Video Library of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University.

Francine Roussel

Francine Roussel

Professor: Acting
M.A., University of Paris, La Sorbonne;
L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq
Member: SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity Association

Francine Roussel, following studies at The Sorbonne, was among the founders of the Actors Studio in Paris. She has written and performed her own shows, and continues her acting career in Europe and America: Sydney Pollack’s film The Interpreter (with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn); Sex and the City; Saturday Night Live. Recently she played Bélise in The Learned Ladies and Hermia in a European tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has also recently performed with the rock band Zen for Primates and with French jazz pianist Patrick Poladian for their duo cabaret act, Parisian Fare. Before Muhlenberg, Ms. Roussel taught acting and directed at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Stella Adler Conservatory. She was movement director for Nicholas Hytner’s film The Crucible, and mask coach on The Green Bird, directed by Julie Taymor, at The Victory Theatre. She also directed The Square, by Marguerite Duras, at UBU Repertory Theatre in NYC. For Muhlenberg College, she directs a mainstage production nearly every year.

Christopher Scheer

Christopher Scheer

Visiting Lecturer: Acting
B.A., Muhlenberg College

Mr. Scheer is an actor, clown, puppeteer, writer, magician, dialect coach and aerialist. In NYC, he has appeared at the People's Improv Theatre, Theatre for the New City, Dixon Place, The Tank, and New York Theatre Workshop. Regionally, Mr. Scheer has performed at Lost Nation Theater, Hampton Theatre Company, Centenary Stage Company, the International Mystery Writers Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theater of the American South, and Peterborough Players. As an actor/creator, Mr. Scheer's original work has been performed in NYC at the the PIT, Dixon Place and The Tank and regionally at the Shadowbox Theatre of New Orleans, the Cell Theatre and Penasco Theatre of New Mexico, and multiple times at Muhlenberg College. As a puppeteer Mr. Scheer's notable credits include X-Tink-Shun (Jim Henson Company/Philadelphia Zoo) and Sirens of the Lambs (Banksy). Mr. Scheer apprenticed at Actors Theatre of Louisville, studied rehearsal technique with Fiasco Theatre, and studied clown with John Leo. As both a performer and creator, Mr. Scheer is interested highly physical, interactive, and interdisciplinary material.

Larry Singer

Larry Singer

Visiting Assistant Professor: Directing and Acting
B.F.A., Boston University

Mr. Singer established The Larry Singer Studios in 2006, where he teaches professional actors in New York City. He received a B.F.A. from Boston University in 1977 and made his Broadway debut in the comedy Gemini in 1980. He then worked Off-Broadway, landing the lead in Andora, by Max Frisch, as well as roles at Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Circle Rep Mr. Singer’s acting career has included work in regional theatres, commercials, television, and film. In 1988 he began his work as a teacher and director. He has taught at New York University (founding board member of CAP 21), AADA, AMDA, and the prestigious Michael Howard Studios. In 2002 he joined the faculty of the Columbia University M.F.A.
    He recently established LSS ONstage, that produces ensemble work with high artistic standards. He also established a summer conservatory which is accredited by Muhlenberg college to further actors abilities and educate them in preparation for professional careers.