The Theatre Arts Department is dedicated to a broad based study of the history, theory, and practice of theatre and its various disciplines in the context of an overall liberal arts education, together with an extensive production program that centers on student involvement and leadership in all of the theatrical arts. Contact our faculty at

Daniel LaPenta

In 2009-2010, Dan celebrated his 30th year teaching at Drew, serving as Chair of the Theatre Arts Department for fourteen of those years. At Drew, Dan primarily teaches directing and has done a wide variety of productions including some Shakespeare (including Twelfth Night in Spring 2011) as well as plays by Beckett, Pinter, and Euripides. He has also directed several original, student-written scripts. Among his favorite productions at Drew have been Charles L. Mee’s Big Love and Jane Anderson’s Defying Gravity. Dan has also directed at other universities and professionally. He is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association as a stage manager. Dan has run Drew’s London Semester three times (for a total of 3 years in England) over the course of his Drew career.

Jim Bazewicz

Professor Jim Bazewicz teaches classes in all aspects of theatrical design. He holds and M.F.A in set design and art direction from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. As a freelance designer Jim has designed for many New York productions and regional theatres. New York City credits range from new plays such as his Off-Broadway success Tibet Does Not Exist to classic plays such as Shakespeare’s King Lear. Professional New Jersey credits include, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, (both here in Madison) and The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morristown. Jim likes working locally and his regional theatre credits remain on the east coast, his work has taken him from Florida to Maine and as far west as Missouri. When not teaching or designing Jim performs with various singing groups and plays the drums in a Klezmer Band.

Rosemary McLaughlin

Professor Rosemary McLaughlin is a playwright, poet and director whose awards include several New Jersey State Council on the Arts fellowships, Chicago’s coveted Jeff Award and the Governor’s Award for Arts Education. Her most recent work, A More Opportune Time, premiered at the Kirby Theatre directed by adjunct professor Jen Plants with set design by Eric Harriz. Paterson Falls, commissioned by Playwrights Theatre of NJ, will be part of the centennial commemoration of the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913. Rosemary’s paper on this research, From Paterson to P’town: How a Silk Strike in New Jersey Inspired the Provincetown Players, was published in the premiere issue of Laconics. The Chair, a one-act comedy about global politics, recently premiered at the Provincetown Theatre Company.Other plays, including Motherless Child, Standing in the Shadows and The Raw and the Cooked, have been performed in New York and regional theatres, as well as in the UK. At Drew, she has directed Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Bryony Lavery’s Last Easter and Caitlin McWethy’s Sleep Study. Her comedy, Voices Carry, was directed by the late Joe Patenaude at Drew as well as at New Jersey Repertory Theatre. She is a founding producer of Waterfront Ensemble, as well as the Win Atkins Theatre Project and the Hallie Flanagan Play Series/Women at Wings. A member of the Dramatists Guild, she received her M.F.A. in Theater Arts from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts. Her plays and poetry can be found in a number of anthologies, including Classroom Scenes and Monologues (Dramatic Publishing); Intimate Acts (Brito Lair); The X-Y Files and Written with a Spoon (Sherman Asher).

Andrew Elliott

Prior to joining the Theatre Arts Department at Drew, Andy Elliott worked professionally on the west coast as a theatre technologist and stagehand. He has worked at The Old Globe Theatre, The La Jolla Playhouse, The San Diego Opera. Notable productions include Rent, Harmony, Play On!, and Dogeaters. Andy received his BA in Theatre with an Emphasis in Design from San Diego State University, and his MFA in Theatre Technology from Indiana University.

Lisa Brenner

Lisa Silberman Brenner, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Drew University, where she received the 2013 President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and the 2009 Faculty Leadership Award for Civic Engagement. Brenner received her Ph.D. in Theatre from Columbia University and has worked extensively as a playwright and dramaturg in New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. She is the co-editor of Theatre Topics, an official journal of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, published by Johns Hopkins University Press. She is also the editor of the book Playing Harry Potter: Essays and Interviews on Fandom and Performance and the co-editor of Katrina on Stage: Five Plays (Northwestern UP). Her play documentary- based play Katrina: the K Word (co-written with Suzanne Trauth) has been presented on campuses in over fourteen states. Her published articles include “Playing Jewish at the National Asian American Theatre Company (Theatre Topics); “Beyond Words: Producing Palestinian–Israeli Dialogue at the Galilee Multicultural Theatre” (Theatre Topics); and “Storming the Nation: Post-Katrina New Orleans, Documentary Theatre, and Civic Responsibility” (Transformations).

Chris Ceraso

Professor Chris Ceraso, Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, is an actor and a playwright. He has acted in premieres of work by such prominent writers as John Guare, David Mamet, Joyce Carol Oates, Lanford Wilson, Romulus Linney, Arthur Giron and Christopher Durang, among many others. He has also appeared on TV (several appearances “Law and Order) and in independent films. Regional work has included classic and modern classic plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, and Tennessee Williams. He is a long-time member of New York’s renowned Ensemble Studio Theatre (E.S.T.). As a playwright, he has been produced off-broadway and regionally, and has been published by Samuel French and Plays For Living. He has also had work produced for feature film, radio and TV.

Kimani Fowlin, Dance

Kimani Fowlin is an internationally recognized dancer, choreographer and educator. Her work abroad includes performing and teaching in Russia as part of the Fifth International Festival of Movement and Dance on the Volga; performing in Ghana for Panafest and choreographing and performing in Greece with funk R&B band Milo Z. Fowlin is dedicated to creating art with a purpose—social justice is at the core of her dance making. To serve the youngest among us, she is co-founder of Boom!Beep!Bop!, a children’s dance class rooted in the African Diaspora. She has collaborated with Broadway Dancer Nicole De Weever, teaching for her organization, Art Saves Lives. She has also worked with acclaimed playwright Nina Angela Mercer and international visual artist Justin Randolph Thompson. She has performed and/or choreographed for Ronald K. Brown, David Rousseve, Youssouf Koumbassa, Andrea E. Woods, Souloworks, M’Zawa Danz, Umoja Dance, Harambee Dance Company and Antibalis. She has been a Rutgers University Mason Gross Dance faculty member for more than 17 years, and teaches dance residencies throughout New York City for organizations such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music; DreamYard Project; Community Works; and Urban Arts Partnership. As an AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Fowlin teaches and organizes events for Crunch in New York City. She is also the dance consultant and collaborator for the prestigious Cathedral Arts Program in Jersey City, and serves as an advisory council member for the Field Leadership Fund. Fowlin received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin.

Adjunct Faculty

  • Rodney Gilbert, Acting and Directing; Speech
  • Jen Plants, Art of the Play
  • Jamie Richards, Acting and Directing
  • Kristi Spessard, Dance
  • Kyle deCamp, Dance
  • Jessica DelVeccio, Art of the Play, Women in Theatre, Theatre History
  • Olivia Harris, Applied Performance
  • Annie McAdams, Speech