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.

Photo of  Heidi  Malnar
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.

Photo of  Jefferson  Turner
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 Southern Rep. From 2003 – 2005, Jefferson was the music director in residence for NORD’s Ty Tracy Theatre. In 2006 he attended the prestigious 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 an original Christmas musical Scrooge in Rouge, which has been licensed and performed by theatres across the country. 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 is the recipient of several Big Easy and Storer Boone Awards for his work; favorites include music directing Me and My Girl (Rivertown), Hairspray (Le Petit), Next to Normal (Southern Rep), and Assassins (NOLA Project). Much of his time is spent developing and performing new works for local stages.