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.
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.
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.
Catherine Johnson joined the ballet faculty at The Academy of Performing Arts in 2017, after relocating from Western MA, where she taught classical ballet for more than twenty years. Born and raised in Massachusetts, her Russian-based training began at the Southborough School of Ballet and continued under the direction of Mme Ana Roje in Boston and the former Yugoslavia. She studied with New York City Ballet dancer Melissa Hayden at Skidmore College and was trained and certified in the Vaganova Russian teaching method under the direction of Rose and Charles Flachs at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. Catherine graduated as a Frances Perkins Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa/magna cum laude, from Mount Holyoke College with a BA degree in Biology and Dance. She was on the teaching faculty at Dance Arts in Westfield, MA and at the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet in Holyoke, MA, where she also served as their preballet program coordinator, parent volunteer coordinator and as a member of their Board of Directors. Additionally, Catherine returned to Mount Holyoke College to teach as a Visiting Artist in Dance and has been involved in community outreach at Western MA elementary schools, libraries and parks/recreation departments. Locally, she has initiated an after school Music and Movement program for elementary students at Cape Cod Academy. She believes that dance can prove beneficial to all ages and that this exposure – whether as a performer, pre-professional, novice, or appreciative audience member – can enrich our lives. Catherine is enjoying sharing her love of, and enthusiasm for, ballet with the talented students at The Academy of Performing Arts!
Richard Stocks (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.
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)
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. Geof’s first major project as Technical Director was making major upgrades to the Playhouse’s sound system, made possible by a generous donation. These upgrades 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 cash bar.
Ellen Birmingham (Director of Marketing and Communications/Box Office Manager) received her degree in Arts Management from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where she also studied theater including classes in acting, design, and production management. A life-long musician and theater performer, Ellen joined The Academy in 2013 for both summer productions of Chicago and Les Miserables. She was hired that fall as the Box Office Manager, and soon after became the Director of Marketing and Communications for the organization. A regular for Academy productions, Ellen has performed in shows such as Carousel, Private Lives, Cabaret, Blithe Spirit, A Chorus Line, Prisoner of Second Avenue, Legally Blonde, and The Importance of Being Earnest; has stage managed shows such as The Game’s Afoot, Deathtrap, Same Time Next Year, and Monty Python’s Spamalot; and has designed sets and costumes for The Addams Family Musical, The Liar, Monty Python’s Spamalot, and The Importance of Being Earnest. When not at the theater, Ellen plays violin for the Cape Community Orchestra, where she also serves on the Board of Directors, and is a member of the Boston Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women.