2021 Professional Theatre Reviewers
Steven Bergman – is an award-winning music director and composer. He has toured nationally in the orchestras for productions of Nunsense Jamboree, Les Miserables, Dreamgirls, Guys and Dolls and Sunday in the Park with George. Locally, he has musically directed productions for Speakeasy Stage, Lyric Stage, New Repertory Theatre, Worcester Foothills Theatre, and many others. He has enjoyed working at many area colleges including BSU (last season’s Urinetown), Brandeis, Dean College and Fitchburg State. Steven has composed scores to musicals including Jack the Ripper (written with Christopher DiGrazia, album available on all streaming platforms), The Curse is Reversed! (about baseball’s Boston Red Sox), and a musical adaptation of Orwell’s Animal Farm. He has just released an EP of four arts songs titled, In War: Four Poems by Isaac Rosenberg, and is currently at work on a new family musical titled Hannah and Maggie. He has taught college courses in musical theater, and music theory throughout the state.
Billy Butler has been a music and theatre maker between NH and NYC for more than three decades. Last year he apppeared as Cratchit/Marley in the premiere of Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre in Boston and as Billy in ONCE the Musical at Speakeasy Stage. As a writer and composer he wrote The Brechtones, Titus Andronicus Musicus, Missing: Wynter, The Songs of Billy Butler, and the rock musical Gay Bride of Frankenstein. Last spring he released a second record with his band, Bitter Pill. He has been featured on countless studio albums and has released a dozen of his own. "Art is not a mirror for reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” Brecht
Tommy Hensel is the Director of the Fine and Performing Arts Center at Moraine Valley Community College (www.morainevalley.edu/fpac), a position he has held since January 2008. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, he has worked for more than 35 years as a professional actor, singer, stage manager, director, and arts presenter. He holds a B.A. in music and a B.A. in communication from Florida State University and an M.A. in theater from the University of South Carolina. He currently serves as Chair of the Illinois Presenters Network and is a board member of NAPAMA. He served as co-chair of the 2018 Arts Midwest Conference and currently sits on the professional development committees of both NAPAMA and Arts Midwest.
Prior to his move to Chicago, Tommy was an 11-year resident of the Seacoast region of New Hampshire where he served as Executive Director of the Rochester Opera House and sat on several non-profit arts boards. He has served on grant review panels for the New England Foundation for the Arts, New Hampshire Arts Council, Vermont Arts Council, and Illinois Arts Council. During his years as an arts presenter, he has also served on the juried showcase panels for the Arts Midwest Conference and Performing Arts Exchange.
Among his many theater credits, Hensel was the founding artistic director of the Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival (now part of the Gamut Theatre Group in PA). He has over 50 professional directing credits to his name and an extensive resumé as a theatrical performer and cabaret singer. In Chicago, he has a side "gig" as a restaurant reviewer for the Your Chicago Guide website (https://yourchicagoguide.com/) and blogs about travel and food at https://www.tableforoneplease.com.
Bill Humphreys has worked from coast to coast as an actor and director in live theatre, film and television his entire life. With over 150 live theatre productions to his credit, national audiences have seen Bill in productions such as The Woman in Black, The Things We Do For Love, Happy Birthday Wanda June, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Cat on the Hot Tin Roof, The Mousetrap, Boys in the Band, Happy End, My Fair Lady, All the Way Home and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. He’s protrayed Edna Turnblad in Hairspray; Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Both Henry Drummond and Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind, Fagan in Oliver, Littlechap in Stop the World, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. His motion picture credits include such films as: Chappaquiddick with Jason Clarke – which premiered in theatres 2018; The Celebrant with Rae Dawn Chong; The Terrible Meek; Tech Support, Banazynski, Pale In Your Shadow, The Moonshine War with Alan Alda; R.P.M. with Anthony Quinn, Strawberry Statement with Bruce Dern; Hamburger Hill, The Vals, Against The Tide, Under Arrest, Flying With Icarus, and Willow’s Way.
As a director, Bill has worked with the likes of Carol Channing, Sarah Stiles, Billy Barty, Amy Spanger, Anthony Quinn, Bob Hope, Ed McMahann, Phyllis Diller, Brian Knowlton, Dick Martin, Morgan Woodward, Patty Duke, Terry Moore, Grant-Lee Phillips, Marjorie Main, Jack LaLanne and many others. Bill has been recognized by the International Film and Television Festivals of NY three times, The American Film Institute, The Telly Awards with eight 1st place wins, American Women in Radio and Television twice, The Ohio State Awards, The Associated Press five times, The National Association of Broadcasters and the Aurora Awards among others. He's been nominated 10 times for Televisions Emmy Award and has taken four Emmy's home for his work on PBS.
A graduate of Columbia College of Television and Motion Picture Arts in Hollywood, California, Bill focused his studies in Film Production, Directing and Acting. His ‘day-job’ is that of Producer / Director for StageWright Films – he and his wife Betsy live in Eliot, Maine.
Jill Jaysen, is an Award-Winning Playwright and Director. She is also the Founding Producer of two Award-Winning Theater Companies, Center Stage in Westport, CT and NYMF in New York City. Jill's positive, inspirational coaching continues to raise the bar for all of her students, bringing out their best. Her students have performed on Broadway, Film, TV and one was awarded a Tony. Earlier this year, one of her students was featured in a series on Brat TV and two of her students are currently featured on Netflix. Jill Jaysen is also a Corporate Communications Coach and Strategist, as well as an Award-Winning Stockbroker, Award-Winning Playwright, Director, Producer, TV Actor, Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner and Motivational Speaker. Jill not only talks the talk, she walks the walk. Her diverse background, which spans from corporate to creative, has allowed her to create major breakthroughs in the world of public speaking and corporate communications.
Jill has transformed speakers from phobic to fearless, from mediocre to masterful and everything in between. Her group workshops successfully engage and empower each individual while fully leveraging the corporation's synergy, productivity and profitability.
Carol Lucha-Burns, a graduate of Syracuse University and the University of Utah, is an award-winning author, playwright, performer, director, actress, singer and teacher who has been involved in over 200 performances of artistic creation. As a Professor Emeritus of Theatre at the University of New Hampshire, she developed programs in Musical Theatre, Theatre for Young Audiences, Storytelling and Puppetry. Although much of her work is centered in New England, where she won the NH Theatre Conference Lifetime Achievement Award and the New England Theatre Conference award for Excellence in Theatre Education, she has also taught, written, performed and directed in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Utah, New York City, Tokyo, Syracuse, and Vietnam.