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Faculty & Staff

Office: Arts Center
Phone: 585-389-2603
Chair: Yuanting Zhao
Secretary: Meredith Kahl

Mailing Address:
Nazareth College
4245 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618


Theatre Arts Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Lindsay Reading Korth

Professor - Acting & Directing
(585) 389-2780
Education: Master of Fine Arts – Directing, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bachelor of Arts, Mount Holyoke College Lessac Voice Intensive, University of Colorado at Boulder Internship, The Recording and Research Center, Denver Center for Performing Arts

Instruction: FYS: Introduction to Theatrical Analysis; Fundamentals of Acting; Acting in Comedy; Voice for the Stage; Diction and Dialects; Movement for the Stage I; Play Direction; Styles of Acting

Areas of professional and artistic interest: Ms. Korth is particularly interested in the energy between actors on stage and between the audience and the stage as manifested on the body and the voice. Her favorite stage work is physical theatre a good example of which is the original devised work entitled Grimm.

Faculty & Staff

Matthew Ames

Assistant Professor - Acting & History
(585) 389-2785
Education: Ph.D., Theater, Louisiana Sate University (1996), M.A.,Theater, University of Maine (1990), B.A., English Literature, Theater Concentration, Acadia University, (1985).

Instruction: Introduction to Theater, Play Analysis, Theater History of Theater I and II, Acting Shakespeare, Styles of Acting, Senior Seminar, Advanced Acting: Characterization, Fundamentals of Acting, New Student Spotlight/ACTF Preparation, Directing

Areas of Professional and Artistic Interest: Solo Performance, Performance Art, Community Theater, Semiotics, Dramaturgy

Dr. Ames is a member of Actors Equity and the Screen Actor's Guild with ten years experience as an actor in New York, having appeared in off-off and off-Broadway work, as well as in commercials and on television shows such as Law and Order and Sex and the City. Since arriving in Rochester in 2007, he has appeared in several readings at Geva Theater Center as well as various other area projects. Dr. Ames also directs both at Nazareth and throughout the Northeast.

Faculty & Staff

Yuanting Zhao

Chair, Department of Theatre Arts
Professor - Costume Designer
(585) 389-2786
Education: BFA Acting, Shandong College of Arts, China
MFA Costume Design, University of Arizona

Courses Taught:
THA 120 Introduction to Theatre
THA 125 Play’s the Thing
THA 230 History of Fashion
THA 332 Costume Design
THA 233 Costume Construction
THA 235 Stage Makeup
THA 360 Chinese Theatre
THA 363 Chinese Religion and Performance
THA 403 Special Topic-Stage Craft

Professor Zhao has been teaching at Nazareth College since 1996. During her time at Nazareth, she has designed costumes or supervised student costume designers for more than 60 productions, as well as designed for Geva Theatre Center, Rochester City Ballet, and other local theatres. She loves costumes, but most importantly, she loves teaching. Working with students on daily bases and see her students making progress is pure joy for her. Even Costume Design is her primary focus, professor Zhao has many other interests. Prior coming to the US, she held a BFA in acting, taught acting and makeup at Shandong College of Arts for six years. She stared in movies and TV movies, and hosted many TV programs.

Faculty & Staff

Allen Wright Shannon

Assistant Professor - Scenic Designer
(585) 389-2788
Courses: Intro to Theatre Analysis
Tech I: Intro to Technical Theatre
Tech II: Drafting for the Theatre
Scene Painting
Scenic Design I and II
Styles and Ornamentation for the Theatre

MFA: Minnesota State University, Mankato
BS: Minnesota State University, Mankato and Simpson College

Served as faculty:
Nazareth College -- Rochester,NY
Lon Morris College -- Jacksonville, TX
Grandview College -- Des Moines, IA
Normandale Community College -- Minneapolis, MN
North Dakota School of the Performing Arts -- Grand Forks, ND
The Monique Dance Companie -- Minneapolis, MN

Additional Credits:
Scenic Painter: Sesame Street Live, Muppet Babies, Sesame Street Japan -- Vee Production Services, Minneapolis, MN
Scenic Painter: Times Square Installations for Target Corp. and Motorola -- Atomic Props and Effects, Minneapolis, MN
Choreographer/Instructor of Ballet/Pointe/Costume and Scenic Designer -- The Monique Dance Companie, Minneapolis, MN
Scenic Designer: Merry Go Round Playhouse -- Auburn, NY
Design segments on: HGTV, The Discovery Channel, KARE 11 TV, and Good Housekeeping Magazine
Scenic Designer: Miss Minnesota (America) Scholarship Pagent
Designer/Choreographer: Minnesota Junior Miss Scholarship Program
Scenic Designer: Guest Artist, SUNY, The College At Brockport
Costume Designer: The West Players -- St. Paul, MN

12 Certificate of Merit in Scenic Design: The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
Winner: The Barbizon Prize for Scenic Design

Faculty & Staff

Don Kot

Director of Music Theatre
(585) 389-2708
Departmental Responsibilities:
Director of Musical Theatre
Music Director
Vocal Coach
MTHA 101: Page to Stage
MTHA 260: Musical Theatre Performance I
MTHA 360: Musical Theatre Performance II
MTHA 452: Musical Theatre Senior Seminar and Showcase
MTHA 499: Musical Theatre Senior Comprehensive
Coordinator for Incoming Student Auditions
Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Coach and Pianist
Producer of Junior Benefit

Resident Music Director at Geva Theatre Center

Cleveland Institute of Music, MM
Nazareth College, BS

Don Kot is known for his work as pianist, vocal coach, conductor, and music director. At The Cleveland Institute of Music, he was awarded the Valedictory Prize and the Madame Gwendolyn Koldofsky Award, recognizing excellence in accompanying. Don has been on the music staff of Lyric Opera Cleveland and was the pianist for master classes with Marilyn Horne, Elly Ameling, Gerard Souzay, Madeleine Milhaud, and Jan DeGaetani, among others. He maintains a performing career as a collaborative pianist and has had performances broadcast over WXXI and WCLV radio.

New York musical theatre credits include The Women’s Culture Project, Roads Traveled, and elegies for angels, punks and raging queens and performances at the Bleecker Street Theatre, Laurie Beechman Theatre, and The Duplex. Professional regional theatre credits include Company, The Music Man, Five Course Love, Sweeney Todd, The House in Hydesville, Cabaret, Urinetown, Our Town, Inherit the Wind, A Chorus Line, Camelot, 1776, Convenience, A Christmas Carol, The Best of Forbidden Broadway, Smokey Joe’s Café, Leader of the Pack, Honk!, and The Most Happy Fella, among others. Don has played for the national touring productions of Fosse, Footloose, Fiddler on the Roof, Mamma Mia, Hairspray and The King and I.

He is the Resident Music Director and an Associate Artist at Geva Theatre Center. In Rochester, he has also performed with Downstairs Cabaret, Blackfriars Theatre, JCC Center Stage, Rochester Children's Theatre, and Rochester Opera Factory, Mercury Opera, among others. Don has been the stage director and music director for Nazareth College Opera Workshop productions (john & jen, The Marriage of Figaro, Sunday Excursion, Sister Angelica, Cox and Box, The Zoo), scenes presentations (Heart and Music; Mozart, Menotti and More) and music director for Nazareth College Theatre department productions (Spring Awakening, Dames at Sea, Babes in Arms, A Little Night Music, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Rocky Horror Show, Side by Side by Sondheim, Sweet Charity, Falsettos, Where’s Charley?, Cabaret, Nunsense, Into the Woods, And the World goes 'Round, Pippin, Baby, Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors).

Don can be heard with singer Linda Foster on Roads Traveled, a CD of cabaret and musical theatre repertoire produced on the Songburst label.

Don is the proud recipient of the 2000 Volunteer of the Year Award through the Education Division of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League.

Faculty & Staff

Beth LaJoie

Assistant Professor - Lighting Designer/TD/Shop Foreman
(585) 389-2789
Department Responsibilities:
Production Manager
Lighting Designer
Technical Director
Scene Shop Foreman
Design the Lighting for all Department Productions

Instructor of:
Stage Lighting Design
Stage Management
Technical Theatre One

MFA in Lighting Design from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville
BCA in theatre from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Ms. LaJoie also works for the Nazareth College Arts Center as an Assistant M.E. and Light Board Op for the incoming Guest Artists when time permits. Prior to locating to Rochester, she spent many years all over the south and points west doing summer stock, dinner theatre, Regional and TYA Equity tours all the way up and down the East Coast and reaching all the way to California. Some favorite companies include The Nebraska Theatre Caravan, Chico State Court Summer Theatre in Chico, CA, Fourteen seasons at the Cumberland Theatre, an SPTC Equity House located in the beautiful mountains of Western Maryland, the Hollywood Playhouse in Florida, Charlotte Shakespeare Company in North Carolina and at the Clarence Brown Theatre Company where she completed her graduate work. She has also designed for local organizations such as Bristol Valley Theatre, Eastridge High School, Rochester Children’s Theatre, and the JCC. Originally from Charlotte, NC she loves the Rochester area and the most important thing she values at Nazareth College is the opportunity to work with many talented and dedicated students with in the Department of Theatre Arts.

Faculty & Staff

Patti Lewis Browne

Adjunct Instructor - Acting & Directing

Meggins Kelley

Adjunct Instructor - Dance

Faculty & Staff

Heather Roffe

Assistant Professor - Dance
(585) 389-2163
Roffe received her M.F.A. from The College at Brockport in 2007, and joined the faculty of the Nazareth College Theatre Arts Department in 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Dance. Previous to that, she served as Dance faculty at SUNY College at Brockport, Wells College, SUNY Potsdam, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and at St. John Fisher College. She also has performed nationally and internationally with Garth Fagan Dance Company and nationally in her own work and with Bill Evans Dance Company, and Assemblage Dance. Heather Roffe has been a collaborating director, performer, and choreographer with Rochester’s critically acclaimed FuturPointe Dance Company since 2009. FuturPointe Dance’s aesthetic runs to the theatrical, combining cultural influences from Afro-Caribbean dance, Latin dance, modern dance and ballet with film and other mixed media/artistic collaborations. Roffe has been described as “One of the most dramatic and exciting dancers in our region,” (Democrat and Chronicle), and “…striking” ( Roffe’s early training was in classical ballet with Karen Ninos (Joffrey Ballet, SAB, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet), in Limón technique with Susan Caligaris (Lucas Hoving Performance Group) and the Limón Company (Carla Maxwell, Raphaël Boumaïla, Roxane D’Orléans Juste, and Francisco Ruvalcaba), and later, she worked closely with Bill Evans, studying the Bill Evans Dance technique for 8 years, and received her certification to teach it in 2010.

Roffe’s choreography has been presented in various venues across the country, and has been commissioned by both professional companies and dance programs throughout the US. Her choreography has been described as “entertaining…but with a cutting edge…a sharp one,” (Carlsen, City Newspaper), “playful and witty…with…a refined sensibility… Roffe used her dancers' bodies in ways that seemed new and fresh, yet it was still accessible and, at times, even poignant. An amazing talent….” (Rezsnyak, City Newspaper). FuturPointe has performed Roffe’s work on tours and at college residencies and performances, and at many Dance festivals across the country.

She has received recognition for her work in the Dance community, being listed as one of the “Rochester 10 – Behind-the-scenes Rochesterians doing great things that you should know about” in Jan. 2014 ( and in the Summer 2011 edition of Rochester magazine, was featured on the cover as one of Rochester’s “Fascinating Women.” Roffe is excited to have the opportunity to build the Dance program at Nazareth, and develop the Dance major here (B.S. in Dance Studies, coming soon!). In addition to her responsibilities at Nazareth, Roffe continues to actively perform, choreograph, guest teach, and one day, if she can sit still long enough, would like to continue to research, write, and publish her work (about, what else, dance!).

Judy Molner

Adjunct Instructor - Acting

Mary Farmer

Costume Shop Supervisor
(585) 389-2783

Meredith Kahl

(585) 389-2603

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