Meet the Faculty and Staff of
The Academy of Performing Arts!
Jacqueline Underwood (AEA, SAG-AFTRA, NDEO) – Artistic Advisor
Finished her training as a scholarship student for 3 years at the School of American Ballet (New York City Ballet), after receiving the Advanced Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance. Her professional career began at 13; when she was chosen as a principal dancer for the Ballet Theatre of Maryland. Working extensively as a Guest Artist, she’s performed many of the classics including Giselle, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, & Swan Lake; as well as, works by Balanchine, Robbins, Fosse, Ashton, and DeMille. She’s worked with many notable artists including: Alexandra Danilova, Melissa Hayden, Violette Verdy, Suki Shorer, Helen Hayes, Denzel Washington, Wendy Wasserstein, and Estelle Parsons. After graduating with Honors from Fordham University, she returned to the stage, working as an actor, on Broadway and Regionally (Lincoln Center, The Majestic, Atlantic Theatre, Kennedy Center, Center Stage, Arena Stage, Rep Stage, Woolly Mammoth, and Everyman Theatre), as well as in film, TV, and radio… winning awards for her performances in Oleanna and The Yellow Wallpaper. She has taught for the Kennedy Center, Roundhouse Theatre Co., University of Maryland, American Dance Institute, Configuration Dance, Cape Cod Ballet Theatre for Children (Artistic Director), and Youth Performing Arts School, among others. Her students have won scholarships to many different professional training programs including: SAB, ABT, Joffrey, Kirov Academy, Boston Ballet, Walnut Hill, Nutmeg Conservatory, North Carolina School of the Arts, Chautauqua, Washington School of Ballet, Maryland Youth Ballet, Miami City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Interlochen, and the Shakespeare Theatre. Several have also performed with such companies as American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Joffrey, and Washington Ballet. Ms. Underwood is a member of Actor’s Equity Association, Screen Actor’s Guild, & the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; as well as, the Nat’l Dance Education Organization.
Katherine Whitelaw – Honorary Chair of Dance Department – Founded the Academy Dance Ensemble (1983) and was also the co-founder of the Children’s Musical Theatre Program. Ms. Whitelaw has been a teacher at the APA for over 35 years and Chairman of the Dance Department for over 15 years. In addition to a B.F.A from the Boston Conservatory, she trained with Ballet Russe, American Ballet Theatre, Luigi, Boston Ballet, and Jacob’s Pillow. Professional performing credits include: American Festival Ballet Co.,The King & I, Oklahoma, Merry Widow, and Carousel; as well as the original Broadway production of Mame, with Angela Lansbury. Locally she has both performed and choreographed for the Academy Playhouse, Cape Rep, and VIVA. She has also worked with the Akhmedova Ballet Academy – Cape Cod Summer Intensive, & is currently active as a volunteer teacher for Dance for Parkinson’s Disease.
Suzette Hutchinson – Holds a BA in dance performance, choreography and education. In addition to teaching and choreographing at the Academy of Performing Arts, Suzette is an adjunct faculty member at the Cape Cod Community College (teaching Modern Dance), and is on the faculty at the Harwich Junior Theatre (teaching musical theatre), and the Reaching Heart Center. She has also been active in Outreach programs at schools throughout Cape Cod. Suzette has choreographed numerous productions on Cape Cod (at APA, HJT, Cape Rep, Chatham Drama Guild and the 4 C’s) and her choreography has been performed in RI, Boston and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Colleen Kanaley (TCRG) – Began taking ballet classes at the age of three. Four years later, she joined the Haley School of Irish Dance under the instruction of Maureen Haley –TCRG of Co. Galway. Colleen competed as a beginner and quickly became an Open Champion. During her competitive career she ranked top 5 in New England many times, which led her to compete in the North American and World Championships. Colleen also gained many achievements in ceili team dancing at a young age. Before retiring in 2011, Colleen performed with artists such as Tony Kenny, Eileen Ivers of Riverdance, and the Boston Pops. In 2012 Colleen passed the TCRG Exam, the Irish Dancing Teachers Exam set by the Irish Gaelic Commission in Dublin. She passed with impressive scores in Dancing Ability, Teaching Ability, and Music Knowledge. Colleen’s mission is to teach her students to love Irish Dance and the Celtic arts as people have for many years.
David McCarty – Director, Choreographer, Teacher & Performer. As Director and Choreographer his productions include Company at CCftA’s, Showtune, Celebrating the Words and Music of Jerry Herman at CDG, and West Side Story at the Academy Playhouse. He has choreographed several productions at HJT including The Secret Garden and Big River; and, has performed in several productions there as well, including Man of La Mancha and The Secret Garden. As Producing Artistic Director for Cape Cod Opera his productions include: Carmen, Tosca, Cosi fan tutte, The Merry Widow, and Don Pasquale. David is a graduate of Nauset Regional High School and received all of his early training at the APA. He finished his dance training while a scholarship student at the School of American Ballet, continued voice training with Robert Bass and Dr. Thomas Vasil, and studied acting at H.B.Studios in NYC.
Emily Mower – Received her training in Dance Pedagogy and Performance from Dean College – Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance; focusing on hip-hop, musical theatre, and modern. She also trained as a dancer at the Jeannette Neil Dance Studio in Boston. Ms. Mower won the Kennedy Center Choreography Award for her choreography of the Dean College production of “Medea,” in 2010; choreographed “Snowman in the Dunes” at the Provincetown Theatre in 2011; and, is currently finishing a degree in Psychology.
Terry Norgeot – Received her dance training from Alfredo Corvino, Oleg Briansky and Finis Jhung in Ballet; Bob Audy, Jerry Ames, Charles Kelley and Henry La Tang in Tap; and, Charles Kelley, Betsy Haug, Tony Stevens, JoJo Smith, and Frank Hatchett in Jazz. She studied acting at H.B. Studio and the Charles Kebbe Associates; T.V. Workshop and voice with Leslie Harnley, Benny Carter, and Jane Kennedy. Terry appeared professionally in productions from South America to New York City. Her Broadway and national tours include Hello Dolly with Pearl Bailey, My Fair Lady with Edward Mulhare, No No Nanette with Ruby Keeler and Don Ameche, Cabaret with Lucie Arnez, and Annie Get Your Gun with Barbara Eden. She was a featured dancer at Lincoln Center, assisted Jacques d’Amboise with the National Dance Institute in NYC, and has been a guest dance teacher in many studios nationwide. She is a well known director/choreographer throughout the Cape and her credits include Freckleface Strawberry, Celebrate Broadway, Broadway Kids, You’re a Good Man, CharlieBrown and Honk for HJT, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat for the Academy, and Urinetown for Cape Rep.
Courtney Reardon – Graduated from Dean College in 2010. Since receiving her BA in Dance she has found success in the non-profit world of dance and theater. By day Ms. Reardon is the Front of House Manager at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (W.H.A.T) in Wellfleet,MA. WHAT is a thriving equity theater that prides itself on producing interesting and provocative works of high quality. Ms. Reardon recently began dancing with TIDES Dance Company of Chatham, MA. TIDES is a multi-generational dance company performing in community, school and social settings throughout Cape Cod. Courtney has been teaching at APA for 3 years, she teaches ballet, creative movement and musical theater.
Richard Stocks – Music Department Chair (Guitar, Electric Bass, Saxophone, Keyboard, Outreach Artist) – Training: Hart College, 102nd Army Band, Hartford, CT. Self-employed musician, bandleader, music teacher since 1962, Mr. Stocks has performed in concert with Tony Orlando and Dawn, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, and Johnny Maestro and the Crests to name a few. He is staff musician for APA musical productions.
Lary Chaplan (Violin, Viola) – Training: BA music UCLA, BFA City University of NY. MEd. U.Mass Boston. Private study: Ben Berzinsky, William Heffeman, Stanley Applebaum; Orchestra affiliations: 1st violin: Cape Cod Symphony, Plymouth Philharmonic, Woods Hole Choral Society, SMU Symphony. String instructor for New Bedford School System.
Peggy Gerber (Flute, Recorder) – Training: flute and piccolo performance at Bowling Green State University; private studies with Blain Cory, professor of flute at Brown University. Performance: numerous chamber music groups in Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts and India. She is currently principal flutist for the Cape Community Orchestra. Her newest CD with piano accompanist Chris Morris is ‘Classical Music for my Grandchildren’.
Helene Guilet (AEA, SAG-AFTRA, AGMA, NYSTA, NATS) (Voice) – Received her training with Frank Corsaro, Peter Wilhousky, Milan Petrovic, William Home, Ira Petina and Anna Hamlin. She has been a performance soloist with The New York City Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Chattanooga Opera, Connecticut Opera, Maine Opera Co and the New York City Center Gilbert and Sullivan Company. Helene is a member of the New York Singing Teachers Association, The National Association of Teachers of Singing, American Guild of Musical Artists, Actors Equity Association and The Screen Actors Guild.
Christopher Morris (Piano, Musical Theatre) – Training: BM, MM Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Awarded the Carol Nott Piano Pedagogy Prize. Young Artists Piano program, Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Presenter, Music Educators National Conference, Washington D.C. Member of the American Choral Directors Association. Music Director for theatre productions at the Harwich Junior Theatre, the Chatham Drama Guild, and the Academy. Private study: Shirley Grew, Nancy S..Fadely, Lillian Enright and Lydia Frumkin.
Robert Wilder (Musical Theatre, Piano Accompanist) – Training: MM, Ohio U, student of Ken Andrews (former principal flutist-Montreal Symphony Orchestra) and Nathen Jones; piano study with Chiu Ling-Lin and Stephanie Brown; harpsichord study with C. David Harris; conducting with John Canarina and Ken Andrews; accompanist for recitals at the Chautauqua Inst., St. Paul’s Concert Series (NYC) and competitions (vocalists and instrumentalists) performing literature from the Baroque to contemporary; Musical Director for theatre at the Cleveland Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse, Monomoy Theatre, off-off Broadway, and “The Secret Garden” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Academy.
Mark Van Bork (Drums) – BM, Music Production and Engineering, Berklee College of Music, Part time Instructor at Emerson College, freelance musician.
Peter Earle (Playhouse Executive & Artistic Director) has directed and acted in many fine performances at The Academy of Performing Arts. Peter was seen as Max Prince in Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Max Biallystock in The Producers, Albin in La Cage aux Folles, as Hucklebee in The Fantasticks, Antonio Salieri in the classic drama Amadeus, as Daddy Warbucks in Annie, as Billy Flynn in the smash hit Chicago, as Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and as Felix in The Odd Couple. Academy directing credits include the mega hit Les Miserables, The Addams Family, Beauty and the Beast, Gigi, Kiss Me Kate, The Fantasticks, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler on the Roof, Wizard of Oz and the blockbuster hit The Producers among many others. Peter is the Executive/Artistic Director at The Academy and Drama Instructor at Nauset Regional Middle School. Named one of the 100 most intriguing residents of Cape Cod in Cape Cod Life’s 25th Anniversary Issue, “Peter Earle actor, director, Artistic Director currently in residence at The Academy Playhouse where he works his magic producing extraordinary shows with volunteer actors.”
Ruth Prall (Fiscal Director/Interim School Administrator)
Laurie Snow (School Director)
Geof Newton (Technical Director) A former member of the Highlanders back in the 90s, Geof returned to The Academy stage in 2007 for Beauty and the Beast. His technical contributions began taking off in 2013 for the first run of Les Miserables, when The Academy first introduced projections into our productions. As an active volunteer, he worked to upgrade some of the computer systems in the box office and administrative offices; transitioned the Playhouse from renting to owning a projector; and has designed lights, sound, and projections for countless productions. He is a regular actor on The Academy Stage, and has given well-received performances in Carousel, The Game’s Afoot, Sweeney Todd, Wizard of Oz, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, and many others. As Technical Director, his first project will be making major upgrades to the Playhouse’s sound system, made possible by a generous donation from Susan Walker. These upgrades will include new speakers, area microphones, and personal microphones in order to improve hearing accessibility. He has also taken on the role of Co-Bar Manager to help supervise The Playhouse’s new cash bar.
Ellen Birmingham (Director of Marketing and Communications/Box Office Manager) came to The Academy Playhouse in the summer of 2013, performing in Chicago and Les Miserables. She began working as the Box Office Manager that fall, and has held that position since. This past summer, she was brought on as the Director of Marketing and Communications. With a focus on outreach, Ellen’s main goal for the upcoming months is to build The Academy’s membership and volunteer base. This past year, along with many other accomplishments, she has worked with designer Ally Piper to remodel our website; has maintained a presence on social media for The Playhouse; and has organized special events for performances. As an actor, designer, and stage manager, Ellen is very involved with almost every production that comes to The Playhouse’s stage. Her favorite productions have been Carousel, Private Lives, Cabaret, The Addams Family, Wizard of Oz, A Chorus Line, and Last of the Red Hot Lovers, to name a few. She has also taken on the role of Co-Bar Manager to help supervise The Playhouse’s new cash bar. In January, she will be returning, through online classes, to the University of Massachusetts Amherst to finish her degree in Arts Marketing.
Katherine Petitt-Quigley (Resident Stage Manager) returned to the Cape in 2005, where she took an internship at Cape Rep. There, she stage managed the East Coast premiere of Tibet Through the Red Box. In 2007, she began an internship at WHAT and went on to become the Box Office Manager and Development Associate. In 2011, Katie interned on Broadway for the revival of Driving Miss Daisy with James Earl Jones and Venessa Redgrave. Katie returned to the Cape after a whirlwind adventure in the city, and joined The Academy family soon after, as Stage Manager for: Is He Dead, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, To Kill A Mockingbird, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, Les Miserables, andThe Addams Family. She also co-directed her first production, Farndale Avenue… Christmas Carol, and performed as Katilin Hunyak in Chicago and as Helga in Cabaret.
Rebecca Banas (PR Volunteer)