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Theatre Arts Faculty


Jerry Goehring

Jerry Goehring is a Tony and Grammy-nominated producer who has produced shows on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in London and more than 70 national tours and sit-downs in many cities, including Chicago, LA, Boston and Seattle. Credits include executive director of the Tony Award-winning National Theatre of the Deaf, founder of the Stuart Street Playhouse in Boston and co-founded, with his wife Patty Carver, Connecticut Children’s Theatre, the acclaimed national touring company which has performed for over one million inner-city children across the country. Broadway includes the Tony-nominated “A Christmas Story, the Musical” (Best Musical) and “Be More Chill” (Best Score). Jerry is producing “Be More Chill” in London. Opening February 2020.


Leo Carusone

Broadway/National Tour credits include “CATS,” “Peter Pan,” “Annie,”<br /> “The Music Man,” “The Sound of Music” and the 20th All Star Anniversary Tour of “Nunsense.” He has also conducted Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” and “Phantom of the Opera” by Yeston/Kopit. Mr. Carusone musical directed the York Theatre productions of “Little Me” working with Cy Coleman. He was musical director for the video of “Nuncrackers- A Christmas Nunsense” starring Rue Mc Clanahan and “Nunsense Amen” in New York City. Mr. Carusone was conductor for Starlight Musicals in Indianapolis leading orchestras for “Kiss Me Kate” starring Judy Kaye, John Raitt in “Carousel” and “Shenandoah” and Lucie Arnaz and Lawrence Luckinbill in “I Do, I Do” to name a few. He created all the vocal and musical arrangements for the new “Nunsent Boulevard,” “Nunsenastion,” “Meshuggah-Nuns,” and “Nuncrackers- A Christmas Nunsense.” All are currently out on CD. Mr. Carusone is the Director of Theatre at Sacred Heart University and teaches voice and History of Theatre.


Chris D’Amato

Designed and built sets at Sacred Heart University since 1994. Involved in Performing Arts for over 30 years, as a technician, performer and a music teacher. Built sets for many Fairfield County theatres. Worked alongside the local Stagehand Union at many events over the years.


Frank Veres

Professional stagehand for over 25 years. Worked in in all aspects of theatre in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Technical Director of the Edgerton Center since 1994.


Simone DePaolo

Trained by masters of dance such as Mr. Charles Kelley, Phil Black and Don Farnsworth. Trained at Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theatre.<br /> Recorded both lead and back up vocals for various artists, nationally and abroad. Worked as a choreographer and artist for RAI TV in Rome, Milan and Naples. Travelled the world as a singer and dancer for Costa & MSC Cruise Liners. Toured nationally with musicals such as “Smokey Joe’s Café” (Brenda), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (Mary Magdalene) and “Pippin” (Leading Player). Assistant Artistic Director at D’Valda & Sirico Dance and Music Centre in Fairfield, CT. Guest faculty presenter at Dance Teacher Web conferences in Las Vegas. Resident choreographer for several Sacred Heart University’s Theatre Arts Program productions.

Theatre Arts Staff


Alison Roach

Graduated from Sacred Heart University in 2010 with a BA in English. Post graduation career has focused on arts management, including merchandise manager for “A Christmas Story, The Musical” on Broadway and East Coast tour Assistant to the producer and crowd funding campaign manager for “The Gig, The Musical” at New York Musical Theatre Festival Licensee liaison for those obtaining the rights to perform ACS. Currently assists with the Performing Arts, Theatre Arts Program and the Edgerton Center for Performing Arts.


Marisa Papa

Graduated from Sacred Heart University in 2015 with a degree in Psychology and Communications. Currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Media Literacy from Sacred Heart University. Provides day-to-day support to all areas of Performing Arts including guest artist agreements, and management of Edgerton Center staff. Experience in marketing and content creation across a variety of platforms.

Theatre Arts Professors


John Flaherty

Professional Actor for over 20 years. Acting credits include: The Shakespeare Theatre Company: Othello. Ford’s Theatre: A Christmas Carol. Academy of Classical Acting at the Shakespeare Theatre and the George Washington University: The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Maid’s Tragedy. Hartford Stage Company: The Philadelphia Story. New York credits include Rattlestick Theatre, The Kraine Theatre, and Expanded Arts. MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at GW University. Graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Niagara University. Director of productions of Twelfth Night and The Tempest at SHU. Instructor in SHU’s Theatre Arts department.


David Heuvelman

Scenic Designer – Technical Director. Music Theatre of Connecticut – Norwalk CT. Resident Designer/Production manager. Designed 10+ productions and helped to create concept and open their New Theatre space in Norwalk, CT in 2014. Director of Operations for Essay Video in Norwalk. Event and Corporate Meeting Video Production and installation. Technical Producer for Van Wyck & Van Wyck creating large scale destination events, responsible for all technical aspects of event production. Production Manager for Bernhard-Link Theatrical Productions working in the Event and Fashion industry producing all scenic elements for productions. Owner and Founder of Guest Scenic Creation doing high end fabrications and event and theatrical scenery for Off Broadway and large scale event producers. Husband and Father to the dynamic and ever lovely home team of Chandler & Dominic.


Jessica Smith, MA

Jessica Smith is a proud graduate of both the Boston Conservatory and William James College, and for more than 20 years has worked in theater as an acting and vocal coach, director and teacher. She is herself a performing artist, with appearances throughout CT and NY. As an acting teacher, she bases her work in the Stanislavski system, to strengthen the musical theater actor’s transition from scene to song. Jessica is also a musical storyteller, and has created several original pieces, weaving stories with music of the Great American Songbook, which have been performed throughout CT. Additionally, Ms. Smith is an Organizational Psychologist, specializing in leveraging her experience in theater and acting, to coach professionals and teams in public speaking and presentation, as creator of the Spoken Strong method.


Beth Manspeizer

Beth Manspeizer has been a Theatre educator for over 20 years. She works as a Graduate faculty for the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. In addition, she is a lifetime member and serves on the board of directors of The Actors Studio in NY. Beth is the former Director of Education at The Picture House Regional Film Center and was the film and drama teacher at Rye Country Day School for many years. Beth is also the Director of the Hope Performance Company, providing Theatre programs to schools throughout NY, developing and directing plays with students. Beth has a BS in Theatre from Skidmore College and an MFA in Acting from The Actors Studio Drama School. Beth is an actress who works in film, television, and theater, she is a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.