Musical Theater

Photo of Catherine Caldwell
Catherine Caldwell
Jazz and Ballet Dance Teacher

Catherine is a local New Orleanian and began her dance training with Deidre’s School of Dance and Gymnastics then with Kelly’s School of Dance and Gymnastics. As a teen, Catherine was accepted into The Dance Theatre of Harlem School, and studied at The Ailey School (the official school for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre). She has also studied with Kris Cangelosi as a member of the Cangelosi Dance Project. Catherine spent two summers studying with Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute. She has also participated in the Teacher Fellowship program with the annual Bates Dance Festival. Catherine has studied and worked with several amazing dance teachers and choreographers such as Deirdre Jefferson, Adrianne Mitchell, Ana Marie Forsythe, Maguette Camara, Liz Lehrman, Jawolle Zollar, Maria Bauman, Marjani Forte, and the list is still growing.
She currently performers with KM Dance Project here in New Orleans. Catherine holds a Master of Arts Degree from the University of New Orleans, where she wrote her final thesis on Arts Integrated Learning. She has taught dance in several local schools, in the Greater New Orleans Area.
She currently serves as a Ballet teacher at Kelly’s School of Dance, as well as the Ballet, Modern and Jazz teacher at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.

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Stephani Kammer
Jazz & Hip Hop Dance

Stephani Kammer resides in New Orleans as a professional instructor and choreographer. After earning her Bachelor of Performing Arts degree from Oklahoma City University Stephani began her professional career in New York appearing in regional theaters, industrials, and prime time television. Upon relocating to Los Angeles, Stephani would begin her nine-year working relationship with Janet Jackson. She has appeared in several videos and TV performances with Ms. Jackson and served as Assistant Creative Director to Gil Duldulao on Janet’s Rock Witch U world tour. Most recently Ms.Kammer was hired by Touch Down Entertainment to help cast the local talent and serve as field director for the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show in New Orleans featuring Beyonce. Stephani currently serves on the faculty at NOCCA and is the head choreographer for the Miss USA and Universe pageants.. Stephani is very active in the professional dance industry and had the honor of performing in the Michael Jackson tribute on the MTV Video Music Awards after his passing. In recent years she has been inducted into The Cambridge Who’s Who Among Executive & Professional Women for her many years of hard work and dedication to the arts. Stephani has taught internationally in Tokyo, Japan at Broadway Dance Center and traveled to over 65 countries educating and inspiring dancers all over the globe.

Stephani Kammer
New Orleans Center for Creative Arts
Dance, Musical Theatre Instructor

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Heidi Malnar
Tap and Jazz Dance Teacher

Heidi Malnar is an Emmy Award and two-time Big Easy Award winning dancer and choreographer from Chicago. She is the founder, artistic director and principal choreographer of Gulf Coast Theatre on Tap– New Orleans’ Premier Rhythm Tap Company; whose mission is to celebrate, promote, and preserve America’s indigenous dance form in the birthplace of jazz.

Currently teaching in the dance and musical theatre departments at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Columbia College Chicago. Heidi is a former company member, of the Chicago-based Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, directed by Billy Siegenfeld, where she received an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence on Camera: Performer” for her work in the multiple-Emmy- Award-winning documentary Jump Rhythm Jazz Project: Getting There, produced by HMS Media and aired on PBS. She also performed with Chicago Tap Theatre, directed by Mark Yonally.

Recent productions include “Hoofing for Heroes,” “Neutral Ground,” “Love Taps: An Evening of Romance and Rhythm” with Gulf Coast Theatre On Tap. In the theatre community, Heidi has choreographed “Peter and the Starcatcher” at Le Petit Theatre; as well as “One The Air,” “America’s Wartime Sweethearts: The Andrews Sisters,” “The Mysterious Wisterias,” and “Always, Patsy Cline” at the National WWII Museum’s Stage Door Canteen. Heidi also performs in the SDC’s “Thanks for the Memories Bob Hope and His All Star Pacific Tour”. She has also had the pleasure of choreographing at Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts in “Annie,” “42nd Street,”“13,” and “Spamalot.” She has enjoyed teaching positions at Tulane University, New Orleans Ballet Association, St. Martin’s Episcopal School, and Encore Studios. Before moving to New Orleans, Heidi enjoyed her faculty position at Carthage College where her choreography for “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” received a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Certificate of Merit. She is eternally grateful to her family, teachers and Earl for their tremendous support, guidance, and love.

Kevin Murphy
Drama Faculty: Vocal Music & Musical Theatre Faculty: Acting Drama & Musical Theatre
Dan Pruksarnukul
Acting Musical Theatre

Daniel Pruksarnukul is a Creative Producer & Director. He worked at Arena Stage in Washington, DC for nine seasons where he served as the Artistic Associate & Casting Director and helped produce over 60 main-stage shows and dozens of new play readings & workshops. His work on Arena’s productions of “every tongue confess” and “Ruined” has been nominated for the Casting Society of America’s Artios Awards for Excellence in Casting, and the New Yorker Magazine listed his entire cast of “Oklahoma!” as one of the Best Performers of 2010. He has helped launch world premieres by playwrights such as Daniel Beaty, Marcus Gardley, Moises Kaufman, Charles Randolph-Wright, Tazewell Thompson and Karen Zacarias. Other regional casting credits include projects for CenterStage Baltimore, Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, Seattle Rep, Seattle Children’s Theater, and Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company.
He is a graduate of the Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship Program at Arena where he trained in Casting, Directing, & Producing and was awarded the Thomas C. Fichandler Award for Theater Management Excellence. He received his B.A from Middlebury College where he triple majored in Theater, English, & Religion.

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Jefferson Turner
Department Chair Musical Theatre Musical Theatre

Since arriving in New Orleans to study music at Loyola University (Bachelor of Arts in Music History, 1999), Jefferson has built a career in performing, music directing, and composing in theatre. He has worked at many local theatres and with local companies, including Rivertown Theatres, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, NOLA Project, Jefferson Performing Arts Society, and Cripple Creek Theatre Company. From 2003 – 2005, Jefferson was the music director in residence for NORD’s Ty Tracy Theatre. In 2006 he attended the Cabaret Conference at Yale, and has gone on to write and perform many original cabaret works with Amy Alvarez, Ricky Graham, Sean Patterson and Mandy Zirkenbach, and Janet Shea. With Mr. Graham, Jefferson also wrote the original Christmas musical Scrooge in Rouge, published and licensed through Dramatists Play Service in New York.  In 2013, Jefferson wrote (with Graham and Patterson) an original musical for the Theatre Department at Loyola University, The Money Box, based on Moliere’s play The Miser. He has music directed the regional premieres of Tony Award-winning musicals Next to Normal and Fun Home, both with Southern Rep Theatre.  He is the recipient of several Big Easy Awards; favorite music directing projects include Me and My Girl (Rivertown), Assassins (NOLA Project), Ragtime (Cripple Creek), and Hairspray (both Le Petit Theatre and Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre).  Jefferson spends much of his time developing and performing new works for local stages.