creative team

creative team

Richard VidaRichard Vida – Director

Richard Vida has had an amazing career as an award winning actor, singer, dancer, teacher and producer. Some of his Broadway and National Tours include: 42nd Street, Les Misérables (Original and 25th Anniversary Productions), The Drowsy Chaperone, Busker Alley, and Anything Goes. He has performed all over the United States, around the world, on television and in movies, and is featured on several recordings. He has entertained two presidents and three kings, and is one of the Emmy-winning team who produced The Mole People: Life in the World Below (Discovery), The New Sideshow (TLC) and Repoman (USA Networks). Richard continues to teach master classes in musical theatre and in “applied theatre” where theatre practices and exercises are used in non-theatrical venues to inspire people of all walks of life to share their diverse voices and cultural experiences together.

Lainie SakakuraLainie Sakakura – Choreographer

Lainie Sakakura is an NYC-based writer, director and choreographer. She is the recipient of the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography and 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Choreography. Most recently, she wrote and directed Corner of Bitter and Sweet with music and lyrics by Paul Fujimoto (NYC reading produced by 5th Avenue Theatre, Ann Ramsey-Jenkins, Abingdon Theatre Company).

She served as choreographer for Once (Pioneer theatre); writer/co-conceiver of BCEFA Red Bucket Follies Opening Number celebrating Flower Drum Song’s 60th Anniversary & Asian Americans on Broadway. Other NYC directing and/or writing credits include: Cherry Lane Theatre, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Summer Stage, Neighborhood Playhouse, The Triad, Don’t Tell Mama. NYC Performer credits include: Original cast member of six Broadway shows including Fosse (dance reconstruction, on-stage dance captain), 3 City Center Encores, Radio City Rockette, Ballet Hispanico and the Met Opera.

Steven FisherSteven Fisher – Writer, Music Supervisor

Steve Fisher, like most artists, does a bunch of different things, but writing musicals for young people and the young at heart is one of his favorite things to do in the whole world. When his family musical Isabelle and the Pretty-Ugly Spell had its world premiere, the New York Times really liked it. But what makes Steve the most happy is when the kids who come to see one of his shows like it. the little dancer is dedicated to Dr. Paul Boskind, and was written in memory of Guillermo Schiess – both Degas of sorts.

Tama-Rose Bazzle – Production Stage Manager

Tama-Rose has worked as the Production Stage Manager for Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Academy of Music, New Jersey Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. Off-Broadway/regional productions: I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change, Blue Man Group, The Little Dancer. She is also on staff as a Scenic Artist, Lighting Designer and Technical Director at Curtain Call Performing Arts Center. She is in her 10th year as head of the Theater Department at Kellman Brown Academy. In addition, Tama-Rose serves as the Technical Director at several schools in South Jersey.

Moriah Tobin – Assistant Stage Manager

Moriah is making her debut as an Assistant Stage Manager on her first Off-Broadway show! She recently graduated from Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School and is making moves to start her career as a special ed teacher. Before her switch to stage crew, she was on the stage herself in over a dozen short films and the Off-Broadway show Pippie Longstocking. Moriah would like to thank Commonwealth Youthchoirs, Richard, Lainie and the entire company for this opportunity!

Joshua Suslak – Accompanist, MTGC Music Director, Rehearsal Pianist

Josh is a professional pianist, teacher, and accompanist. He is currently the Singer-Musicianship Coordinator and Accompanist for the Commonwealth Youthchoirs, and previously worked as accompanist for the renowned American Boychoir School. As a concert pianist, he has performed at many prestigious music halls such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He has also won numerous awards, including first place in the Marian Garcia International piano competition and finalist at the Eastman International Competition. In his free time, he also enjoys playing trombone, saxophone, and jazz/rock piano.

Jeremy Bailey Smith – Set and Costume Design

Known for his extensive design work both on and off the stage, Jeremy Bailey Smith is an experienced and accomplished fashion and theater designer in both the United States and abroad in Australia. With a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Set & Costume) from the Victorian College of the Arts and a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) from the Whitehouse Institute of Design, Jeremy’s commitment to superior design has seen him recognized with several awards and nominations for his work from the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria and Lyrebird Awards. His theatre credit highlights include West Side Story, Rent, Anything Goes, Sweeney Todd, Oklahoma! and The Wizard of Oz.

Mungioli TheatricalsMungioli Theatricals, Inc. – Casting

Arnold J. Mungioli, C.S.A., Lindsey Bristol & Melanie Lockyer are delighted to be working with The Little Dancer once again! Current shows include Nikki Sixx’s The Heroin Diaries, The Perfect Fit, Open Road, The Devil’s Arithmetic, Southern Promises… Other: Disney’s High School Musical, The Lion King, and Aladdin; Bill T. Jones’ Fela!, Fosse, Hal Prince/Susan Stroman’s Show Boat, Ragtime Joseph… with Donny Osmond, Sunset Boulevard, Hal Prince/Rob Marshall’s Kiss of the Spiderwoman; Candide, Little House on the Prairie starring Melissa Gilbert, 12.14 Foundation’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Trinity Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland PlayhouseTwo Artios Awards; CSA Media Access Award.

Angela WendeAngela Wende – Marketing Consultant

Angela Wende has been working in marketing leadership positions for 25+ years, including tourism, global language services and the performing arts. From Heidelberg to San Francisco, Philadelphia, and other places around the world, she´s been drawn to achieving results for theatre, dance, and educational projects. Since 2005, she has supported Commonwealth Youthchoirs with marketing and recruitment efforts.

John KahlerJohn Kahler – Web Design & Support

Working in media, communications and technology throughout his career, John Kahler has been a video producer, photographer, writer, communications director, instructor and instructional designer, and media consultant in academia, healthcare, broadcast, non-profit, and startup organizations, and as an independent producer and media consultant. His work has extended beyond traditional media into pioneering work in online learning, and as a freelance producer and photographer lead production crews creating personalized runner videos at marathons in the US and Europe, including a number of years for the New York City Marathon, where he produced the highlight reel for the awards ceremony.