Meet our Production Coordinator
Phyllis earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton. She also has a Masters Degree in elementary general and special education (Grade 1-6). Phyllis was the coach and choreographer for the New York Dragons Arena Football Team FireDancers for 9 seasons and the New York Islanders Ice Girls and Ice Breaker Dance Team for the 2008-2009 hockey season. She also coached and choreographed the Westchester Wildfire Dancers, a semi-professional basketball team coached by retired NY Knicks player, John Starks. Phyllis has always loved musical theater and has choreographed many shows for school districts and community theater. She began her journey with the Hastings Theatre Program in 2011, and since then has choreographed several productions within the district. Currently, Phyllis is a third grade teacher at Hillside Elementary, and she is thrilled to be the Production Coordinator for this wonderful program.
To contact Phyllis Udice email her at email@example.com
Meet our Directors
Laurie Walton (Director) has been proudly directing Hastings students in theatrical productions for 17 years! Laurie is the Artistic Director of the award-winning performing arts program, Riverdale Rising Stars, just down the road! Prior to creating that program she could be seen as an actor on Broadway (Showboat), in Regional theaters playing favorite roles such as Ado Annie in Oklahoma, Polly in Crazy For You, Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, Annelle in Steel Magnolias and many, many more. She has also been seen repeatedly (cuz of re-runs!) on television (Frasier). In between acting and directing, Laurie was a Talent Agent, opening the East Coast branch of the NY agency now known as Wolf Talent. Married to actor/director/writer Bob Walton, they are the proud parents of two actor children, Alex Walton (Hastings graduate) and Emily Walton (who has choreographed many of the Hastings musicals).
Rachel Wineberg earned her M.F.A. in directing from Columbia University. Her professional credits include working at The Public, Ensemble Studio Theater, Dixon Place and The Women’s Project. Before moving to Hastings, she was a teaching artist with the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Creating Original Opera program, and taught playwrights to juvenile offenders through the Playwright’s Theater of New Jersey. In Hastings, Rachel started the Middle School One Acts as a training program for young directors. To this day, it is the place for middle schoolers to learn directing. She launched the Playwright’s Festival with Sarah Walters, and now on her own runs the “24 Hours to Make a Play Extravaganza. As a fiction writer, Rachel has been nominated for a Pushcart and published by Lilith among other literary magazines. She recently completed Stanford University’s online Certificate Program in Novel Writing.
ob Walton has directed many of the shows that his wife, Laurie, has directed for the Hastings schools over the years. As an actor, Bob has been on Broadway in City of Angels, Showboat, Once Upon A Mattress, 42nd Street, The Drowsy Chaperone and, most recently, in The Girl From The North Country. TV credits include Law and Order: SVU, Nurse Jackie, Person of Interest, The Good Wife, Elementary and others. As a writer, with actor/brother Jim Walton, he has written several shows, including Double Trouble (A Musical Tour de Farce), Mid-Life! (The Crisis Musical), Mid-Life 2! #WhatDidIComeInHereFor? and Game Show. Along with Laurie and their kids; Alex (Hastings ’09) and Emily, they are trying to bring back vaudeville.
Originally from Long Island, Jon Riss has acted in theatrical productions since elementary school. He made his community theatre music directorial debut with Pippin at the age of 15 and has directed nearly 100 shows since then. Jon holds degrees in Conducting and Music Education from Temple University and Ithaca College, music directing a number of student-run productions at Ithaca (including one with director Laurie Walton’s daughter Emily!). He maintains his community theatre and Long Island ties as Artist-in-Residence at Cultural Arts Playhouse in Syosset (where he has been on staff since 2005) - his favorite credits include Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere/Music Director), West Side Story (Music Director/Lt. Shrank), The Rocky Horror Show (Narrator), Newsies (Music Director), and the amateur premiere of Carrie (Music Director). Jon has been Director of Choral Activities at HHS and FMS, and the Hastings Theatre Program, since 2013.
Mrs. Lisa Levine is honored to be the director of the 4th grade musical at Hillside Elementary School and 6th grade musical at FMS. Starting at a very young age, Mrs. Levine began acting, singing, and dancing in musicals and plays. She continued her education and her love of performing at The American University in Washington, DC where she majored in Musical Theater Performance and earned her BA. After college, Mrs. Levine moved home to New York and began her career in the Elementary Education field. Through the years Mrs. Levine would put on performances with her class, create movies, and help boost children’s confidence through the arts. Mrs. Levine lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and four amazing theater-loving children.
Meet our Technical Director
This is Gillian’s 6th year as Technical Director for the Hastings Theatre Program. Gillian enjoys teaching students how the backstage crew helps bring the onstage show to life. She spent more than 15 years as a professional stage manager in NYC and across the country. Credits include: The Civil War National Tour, Off Broadway: The Fantasticks, Classic Stage Company, Naked Angels, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, Red Bull Theater, and The Women’s Project. Regional credits include: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Chautauqua Theatre Conservatory, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Papermill Playhouse, The Studio Theatre, and The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C. She lives in Hastings with her husband Peter and their 8th grade daughter Lila.
Meet our Choreographers
Born in Kingston Jamaica, Emily has been studying dance and the performing arts since the age of three. After receiving her high school diploma from Walnut Hill School in Natick, MA (with a Major in Ballet), she moved on to New York where she received her BFA from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. Emily has had the privilege of studying at the Alvin Ailey School, Dance Theater of Harlem, The Kirov Academy of Ballet, The Ballet Centre, and the Edna Manley School of Dance in Kingston, Jamaica. Emily has been a ballet instructor for over 14 years and believes through positivity and nurturing the development of strong dance technique, artistic expression, self-confidence, and passion for the art of dance can be achieved. Emily has choreographed full-length ballets such as the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote, amongst many more, during her tenure as the Director of Ballet at Allegra Dance Greenwich. It is with great enthusiasm that Emily debuts her choreographic talents in the Hastings On Hudson School District.
Maya Lopez is a theatre artist based in Brooklyn, NY and is so excited to work with the wonderful cast, crew, and team of Seussical! Past choreography/directing credits include: A Chorus Line (NYU), Pippin (NYU), Margaret: A New Musical (The Jerry Orbach Theater), Here, All Dwell Free (NYU). Past teaching experience includes work with The Play Group Theatre, MK Dance on Hudson, and The Broadway Training Center of Westchester.