The Catholic University of America

Faculty Profiles

Gail Stewart Beach

M.F.A., University of Hawaii.
Associate Chair, Costume Designer, Associate Professor for Professional Practice

Gail Stewart Beach was a free-lance designer in the Baltimore-Washington area, specializing in dance until she became the resident costume designer at Catholic University in 1987, working on over 60 shows in that time. She has continued designing in the area as costume designer for the Doug Hamby Dancers and the Phoenix Dance Company, as well as other modern dance companies, and the UMBC Artists-in-Residence program. Other theatre work has included costumes for Much Ado About Nothing at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Justice for the Library of Congress, and Hedda Gabler, The School For Scandal, And the Nightingale Sang and The Turn of the Screw at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. She has also designed costumes for Longacre Lea Productions since its inception, which have included Pinter’s Hothouse, Stoppard’s Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth, and Ionesco’s Man with Bags. She collaborated with Kathleen Akerley on Catalyst Theatre’s Shkspr Prjct and designed for Catalyst Theatre’s production of Eleemosynary, by Lee Blessing. Recently she participated in the co-production of Swift To My Wounded… at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. She is a member of United Scenic Artists local 829.

Courses:  Introduction to Design, Costume Design, Costume Construction, Theatre I, Asian Theatre.

Thomas F. Donahue

PhD., University of Maryland.

Dr. Donahue is a member of United Scenic Artists. He is the Executive Producer of the Festival of Religious Art, a bi-annual arts festival, which had its premier season this year.  As a professional designer Dr. Donahue has worked with the National Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Pennsylvania Theatre Company, Barter Theatre along with many others.  He is also a founding member of the Shaker Mountain Performing Arts Feera includes work with the Baltimore Opera Company, Summer Opera Theatre Company, The Young Victorians, The Peabody Conservatory of Music, and the Shaker Mountain Festival.  He is the resident scenic and lighting designer for the department.  

Courses:  Introduction to Design, Stage Lighting, Scenic Design, Production Design and Management, Scene Design and Application.

Rosalind Flynn

B.A., The Catholic University of America; M.Ed, University of Maryland; Ph.D. University of Maryland
Head of the Master of Arts in Theatre Education Program

Dr. Flynn is a practicing Teaching Artist who works both locally in the Washington, DC area and nationally. Her national touring workshops for teachers were developed in collaboration with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Since 1994, she has worked with students and teachers from 43 states and the District of Columbia. She focused her doctoral research and dissertation on the use of drama as a learning method. She is the author of two books on arts-integrated teaching strategies: A Dramatic Approach to Reading Comprehension and Dramatizing the Content with Curriculum-Based Readers Theatre, Grades 6-12. Her articles have appeared in Teaching Theatre, Dramatics, Youth Theatre Journal, Language Arts, English Journal, Teaching Artist Journal, and The Reading Teacher. To read more about Dr. Flynn’s work and the MATE students and program, please visit her blog.

Courses: The Teaching of Theatre; Drama in Education, Parts 1 and 2.

Marietta Hedges

B.A., New York University; M.F.A., Columbia University, New York.
Associate Professor, Head of the M.F.A Acting program

Marietta Hedges has worked as an actor in theatre, film and television in London, New York, San Francisco, and the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. Her credits include performances at The Camden People's Theater and at the Etcetera Theater Club, London; La Mama, The Connelly Theater, The Present Company, Jean Cocteau Rep and The Ionesco Festival in New York, and regionally at the California Conservatory Theater, the Winter Harbor Theater and the Baltimore Theater Protanamo which received readings in Washington,D.C. and London and was produced at the 2006 new York International Fringe Festival. She has taught at the University of North Texas and in conservatories and actor training programs in New York and California. Marietta has conducted classes and workshops in the Viewpoints and in the pedagogy of Augusto Boal's Theater of the Oppressed at the American College Theater Festival, the New England Theater Conference, the South Eastern Theater Conference and at the Shanghai Theatre Academy in China. She holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University, where she worked with Anne Bogart, Andrei Serban and Kristin Linklater.

Courses: Acting II, Acting III, Scene Study

Eleanor Holdridge

B.A., Sarah Lawrence College; M.F.A, Yale School of Drama
Producer, Assistant Professor, Head of the M.F.A Directing program

Off-Broadway productions include Steve & Idi, (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), Cycling Past The Matterhorn (Clurman Theatre), The Imaginary Invalid, and Mary Stuart (Pearl Theatre Company). Regional credits include I and You (Geva Theatre);Gee’s Bend (Arden Theatre); Hamlet, Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Lettice And Lovage, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Taming Of The Shrew (Shakespeare & Company). The Crucible (Perseverance Theatre), Educating Rita, Noises Off and Art (Triad Stage), Julius Caesar and Macbeth (Milwaukee Shakespeare), Two Gentlemen Of Verona (Alabama Shakespeare), Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare St. Louis), Henry V (Shakespeare on the Sound), Betrayal (Portland Stage), and Lion In Winter (Northern Stage). Her DC area productions include I and You (Olney Theatre), Zorro, which she co-wrote (Constellation Theatre), Double Indemnity (Roundhouse Theatre),The Gaming Table (Folger), God of Carnage and Pygmalion (Everyman Theatre); Something You Did and Body Awareness (Theatre J); and After the Revolution and Much Ado About Nothing (Taffety Punk). Eleanor has been Founding Artistic Director for the Red Heel Theatre Company, Resident Assistant Director at the Shakespeare Theatre, and Resident Director at New Dramatists. She has directed and taught students at the Yale School of Drama, NYU’s graduate program, and the Juilliard School, among others.

UPCOMING: Selma ’65, LaMaMa in NY, Other Desert Cities at Triad Stage in NC, The Tale of the Allergists Wife at Theatre J in DC.

Courses: Graduate: Elements of Directing I, II; Undergraduate: Directing 1; Topics - Two Islands, the Renaissance of Japanese and English Theatre.

Jon Klein

B.A., Vanderbilt University; M.A. Indiana University; M.F.A. UCLA.
Associate Professor, Head of the M.F.A. Playwriting program

Jon Klein is the author of over twenty plays, presented Off-Broadway and at over a hundred American regional theatres, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Repertory, the Arden Theatre, the Alley Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, and the Alliance Theatre. D.C. area productions include plays at Arena Stage, Center Stage, Woolly Mammoth, Roundhouse Theatre, Theatre of the First Amendment, and the Contemporary American Theatre Festival (where he has also directed). He has won three NEA Playwriting Fellowships for his work, as well as the Dramatists Guild/CBS New Play Award, the HBO Playwrights USA Award, and playwriting fellowships from the Bush, McKnight and Jerome Foundations. He was a TCG/NEA Playwright-in-Residence at American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA, and a Playwright-in-Residence at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. He has taught playwriting and screenwriting at Ohio University, Harvard University, the University of Texas, the University of Washington, and Hollins University.

Courses: Graduate: Playwriting Seminars I, II, III; Performance Studio II; Writing for the Profession; Screenwriting. Undergraduate: Introduction to Playwriting;Theatre I, Topics.

Gary Sloan

B.A., Wheaton College; M.F.A., Southern Methodist University.
Professor (AEA,AFTRA,SAG)

Gary Sloan has been a professional actor for thirty years and has performed leading roles in New York, Los Angeles and the most prestigious regional theatres in the United States. He has authored the book, In Rehearsal, published by Routledge, 2011 (read a review here). Recent performances include: a world premiere of a new children’s play by Ken Ludwig at Adventure Theatre in D.C., narrations in Defiant Requiem, Verdi at Terezin for the Prague Music Festival in CZ and the Kennedy Center; Enoch Arden for the Virginia Chamber Orchestra.

In 2009, he traveled to the English Theatre of Vienna to perform the role of Walter in Arthur Miller’s The Price, directed by the late Robert Prosky. In 2007, he co-authored and performed the role of Edwin Booth in a one person show at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Kennedy Center’s Shakespeare in Washington Festival.  Favorite stage roles include: Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Mercutio, Mark Antony, Berowne and Edgarat the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., Rakitan in A Month In the Country at Arena Stage, Macbeth at the Folger, Doc Holliday in The Legend of the Five Pointed Star at Cincinnati Playhouse, Moe Axelrod in Awake & Sing at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, Otto Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank at the Round House theatre, Serge in Art at Syracuse Stage, Judge Brock in Hedda Gabler at the Hudson Guild in L.A., Jack Rover in Wild Oats and Faust in Goethe’s Faust off-Broadway at the CSC Repertory  and a production of King Lear with Hal Holbrook at Roundabout theatre in NY.  On stage, he has appeared opposite such recognizable names as Tom Hulce, Peter Gallagher, Sigourney Weaver, Pat Carroll, Keith Hamilton Cobb, Mary Beth Hurt, J.T. Walsh, Stacy Keach, Fritz Weaver, Michael Learned, Stephen Spinella, Marsha Mason, Kathleen Chalfant, JoAnna Going, Lynn Redgrave, Lea Michele, Robert Prosky and Hal Holbrook.

Courses:   Acting I, Acting II, Performance Studio I, II, III, IV and V.

Patrick B. Tuite

B.A., University of Notre Dame; M.A., San Francisco State University; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Chair, Executive Producer, Associate Professor, Head of the M.A. Program

Patrick Tuite is the Chair of the Department of Drama at The Catholic University of America, where he runs the M.A. program in theatre history and criticism and teaches graduate courses in early-modern drama. He has published articles in Youth Theatre Journal, Theatre InSight, and The Drama Review. His essays also appear in anthologies entitled Audience Participation: Essays on Inclusion in Performance (Greenwood Press, 2003), Second Star to the Right: Peter Pan in the Popular Imagination (Rutgers University Press, 2008), and World Building and the Early Modern Imagination (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2010). In 2010, Susquehanna University Press published his book, Theatre of Crisis: The Performance of Power in the Kingdom of Ireland, 1662-1692. He was recently a fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library, where he completed an essay that examines how the aesthetics of radical dissenters impacted the staging of the execution of King Charles in 1649. Ashgate will publish the essay in 2015. He has also started to work on his second book, Dramaturgy in the Age of Monarchy: New Play Development in Ireland, 1662-1665. Finally, he teaches a seminar in Dublin through CUA’s study abroad program titled From Shakespeare to Sheridan: The Irish in the Theatre 1600-1775.

Courses: Introduction to Theatre Research, Theatre Topics, Shakespeare in Theatre, Shakespeare on Film, Dramaturgy I and II.


Dody DiSanto

Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris. Graduate Program, Pedagogic Degree

Teacher, performer, director and movement specialist, Dody DiSanto teaches at the Center for Movement Theatre as well as the Academy for Classical Acting in Washington, D.C. and the Yale School of Drama. Thirty years of performing includes Off- Broadway at LaMaMa E.T.C., Lincoln Center, Theatre for New City, the Avignon Festival and film and television performances. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Membrane Ensemble Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre, and a member of several ensembles including Chantier Theatre, Present Company and Barking Rooster Theatre. Dody also created, owned and managed internationally acclaimed music venue, Nightclub 9:30 in Washington, D.C. from 1980-87.

Melissa Flaim

B.A. Pennsylvania State University,M.F.A. University of Missouri-Kansas City

A professional actress and teacher, Melissa Flaim is the resident vocal coach at Washington Shakespeare Company. She has performed at the Roundhouse Theatre, the Shakespeare Project, Signature Theatre, Source Theatre, the Travelling Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger Library and Arena Stage. As a company member of Bard on Wheels she worked on both workshops and residency Shakespeare productions as a teacher/coach, actor and director. She is also co-founder of the Education Theater Company.

Robb Hunter

Certified Teacher, The Society of American Fight Directors

Robb Hunter is a Fight Director and Stage Combat/Movement Instructor and has taught in MFA acting programs, professional conservatories, workshops and privately, in places such as North Carolina School of the Arts, American Musical and Dramatic Academy (NYC), Rutgers University, The National Stage Combat Workshops in Las Vegas and the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. During his time in New York Robb was fortunate enough to spend three years working closely with Michael J. Fox as his stand-in and stunt double.

Casey Kaleba

Certified Teacher, The Society of American Fight Directors

Casey Kaleba has taught stage combat and movement throughout the region, including Regent University, the University of Maryland, and Shepherd University. He has offered professional training through Round House Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre, and has worked as a choreographer at the Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, Studio Theatre, Signature Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Rorschach Theatre, Forum Theatre, and both Olney Theatre and the National Players. Nationally he has taught at workshops in Iowa, Chicago, Virginia Beach, and the District; internationally he has been an invited faculty member for the Nordic Stagefight Society in Sweden and the Paddy Crean Workshop in Banff, Canada.

Thomas Morra

B.A. East Stroudsburg University, Speech Communications; M.A. Montclair State University, Communication Arts, M.A. Marymount University Counseling Psychology; Post Graduate Studies University of Maryland, College Park, Public Communications.

Thomas Morra is a full time educator who conducts research on learning choices and the use of emerging technologies to enhance the learning environment.  Thom teaches hybrid courses at both CUA and NVCC in Annandale Virginia.  He also has published an article on learning choices theory, consults on textbooks for various publishers of learning theory and communications courses and speaks at conferences and workshop on hybrid theory and technology in the classroom.

Courses: Introduction to Speech Communications; Public Speaking.

Mary Naden

M.F.A. Ohio University; ATI certified teacher of the Alexander Technique with a specialty in the performing arts.

Mary Naden has a lifetime association with the theatre as a teacher and performer. Her stage credits include work for Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Source Theatre and experimental companies in Washington. After receiving her M.F.A. in Acting from Ohio University’s Professional Actor Training Program, she studied voice with Kristen Linklater and other master teachers of her approach, and subsequently joined the faculty of the Ellington School of the Arts and the University of Maryland. She is a sought-after guest teacher for colleges, theatres and organizations throughout the mid- Atlantic. Mary continually updates her skills with ongoing research and training, including post-graduate Alexander studies with John Nicholls at ATNYC.

Courses: Introduction to Alexander Technique, Alexander Technique I, Alexander Technique II.  

Paata Tsikurishvili


A native of the Republic of Georgia, Paata Tsikurishvili is the innovative, award-winning Artistic Director of Synetic Theater and an educator with over 20 years of experience fusing the classical elements of drama, movement, dance, mime and music.  since Synetic Theater's founding in 2001, Mr. Tsikurishvili has directed and performed in: Hamlet...the rest is silence; The Master and Margarita; The Crackpots; Dracula; Host and Guest and Frankenstein.  He has also directed the company's productions of Salome, Bohemians, Jason and the Argonauts, The Dybbuk, Faust, Macbeth, animal Farm, The Fall of the House of usher, A Christmas Carol, Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, Dante, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello, King Arthur, Kind Lear and Don Quixote.  Synetic's inaugural production, Hamlet...the rest is silence received three Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Director, Outstanding Resident Play and Outstanding Choreography.  Over the past ten seasons, Mr. Tsikurishvili's work has drawn critical acclaim and garnered 79 Helen Hayes Award Nominations and 21 Helen Hayes Awards, including three awards for Outstanding Resident Play.  Personally, Mr. Trikurishvili has earned 26 individual helen Hayes Award Nominations and nine individual Helen Hayes Awards, receiving the Award for Outstanding director four times. 

Course:  Movement V