» Presenters and Lecturers

Robert Becker

Headshot for Robert BeckerA graduate of the Juilliard School, Assistant Professor Robert Becker was appointed to the position of Director of String Studies at Chapman University’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music in 2006.  From 1982 to the present day, he has been the Principal Viola of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra for all performances, tours, and recordings. The James and Catherine Emmi Foundation underwrites his position with PSO. He is a past recipient of Chapman University’s Excellence in Teaching Award for 2011. In the summer of 2013, he was a guest soloist/artist at the festival as well as presiding over the International String and Piano Competition in Cremona, Italy at the invitation of that host committee. In March of 2012, he was invited by the American String Teacher’s Association to present a lecture at its national convention in Atlanta, GA on “Preparing Your Young Violist for Pain-Free Playing and Limitless Musical Options.” Serving as a string adjudicator for both ASTA competitions on the west coast and VOCE competitions, he is highly sought after as a judge and workshop presenter at all levels of string playing. In 2011 he was invited to preside over two conference presentations at the ASTA convention as his national and international reputation as a string pedagogue continues. His students have gone on to graduate study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Hartt College of Music, New England Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, and are members of nationally known orchestras and chamber music ensembles.

As Principal Viola of the Pacific Symphony, Becker has been heard as the solo violist for all visiting ballets at the Segerstrom Performing Arts Center for which the orchestra has performed. Those internationally known companies include ABT, the Cuba ballet, Danish ballet and others. As PSO Principal Viola under the baton of Maestro Carl St. Clair, he has appeared on stage over the last few seasons with Pinchas Zukerman, Andre Watts, Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang, Conrad Tau, Sarah Chang and has participated in the recording and release of new works by Phillip Glass, William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty, Frank Ticheli, and Richard Danielpour. Also in his capacity as Principal, he has served as chairman of the audition panel for viola seating auditions. In this role, he was also Principal Viola for the PSO’s European tour with acclaimed performances in Munich, Lucerne, Frankfort and Vienna among others. Professor Becker also serves as a musician representative to the Board of Directors of the Pacific Symphony, its Investment Committee and the Board Affairs Committee. Learn more...

Thomas F. Bradac

Headshot for Thomas F. BradacProfessor Thomas F. Bradac has been a theatre professional for over forty years.  He recently adapted and staged Shakespeare’s poem Venus and Adonis for the Prague Fringe Festival.  Co-produced by The Prague Shakespeare Festival, the production garnered critical acclaim in the Czech Republic, most notably from the Prague Post, an English language newspaper.  He is the founder of Shakespeare Orange County (1992-2013), where he has directed and produced over 50 productions. His productions have been recognized by regional and national publications including the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Orange Coast Magazine, Backstage, LA Weekly and OC Register.  He also founded the Grove Shakespeare Festival (1979-1991), guiding it through a thirteen-season tenure where he produced and/or directed 110 productions including Cyrano De Bergerac, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Dresser, The Merry Wives Of Windsor, Quilters, Mrs. California, and The Merchant Of Venice. Tom was awarded the prestigious Hollywood Drama Logue Publisher's Award for Exceptional Achievement in Theatre for his work with Grove Shakespeare Festival, The Helena Modjeska Award for Service to Orange County, CA by OC Weekly and Kennedy Center/American College Excellence in Education Award for his teaching.  As an actor he has performed as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing and Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, among others. He is a founding director of the Shakespeare Theatre Association, an international service organization for theatres dedicated to producing Shakespeare, and has served as the organization's President.  He is also on the performance advisory board for the Internet Shakespeare Editions, University of Victoria, Canada.  Learn more...

Gavin Cameron-Webb

Gavin Cameron-Webb is the former artistic director of the Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, NY and the Boston Shakespeare Company. He is currently a free-lance director residing in Orange County. His recent work includes Angels in America (UCI) and Tale of the Allergist’s Wife (California Repertory Company), Dracula (Denver Center Theatre Company), Pride and Prejudice (University of Texas at Austin) and Dial “M” for Murder (Pioneer Theatre Company). Gavin has taught at the Juilliard School and SUNY Purchase, the Film Academy in Vienna and, most recently, at Indiana University. He holds an MFA from Ohio University and a BA from the University of New Orleans. His work has been seen at the McCarter Theatre, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, the Clarence Brown Theatre, the GeVa Theatre, Syracuse Stage, the Capital Repertory Company, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger as well as Vienna’s English Theatre and the American University in Cairo. He has served as an auditor for the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Joseph Horowitz

Headshot for Joseph HorowitzJoseph Horowitz, Pacific Symphony’s artistic advisor since 1999, has long been a pioneer in thematic, interdisciplinary classical music programming, beginning with his tenure as artistic advisor for the annual Schubertiade at New York’s 92nd Street Y. He is most recently the author of On My Way – The Untold Story of Rouben Mamoulian, George Gershwin and “Porgy and Bess.” As executive director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, he received national attention for “The Russian Stravinsky,”“Dvorak and America,” “American Transcendentalists,” “Flamenco” and other festivals that explored the folk roots of concert works and the quest for national identity through the arts. Now an artistic advisor to various American orchestras, he has created more than three dozen interdisciplinary music festivals since 1985.

Horowitz is also the founding artistic director of Washington, D.C.’s path-breaking chamber orchestra, Post Classical Ensemble, in which capacity he has produced two DVDs for Naxos that feature classical documentary films with newly recorded soundtracks. He is also the award-winning author of eight books that address the institutional history of classical music in the United States. Both Classical Music in America: A History (2005) and Artists in Exile (2008) were named best books of the year by The Economist. The Czech Parliament has awarded him a certificate of appreciation; he is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Columbia University.  Learn more...

Dennis Krausnick

Headshot for Dennis KrausnickDennis Krausnick is a founder of Shakespeare & Company (1978) and has served as its Director of Training for more than fifteen years.  Krausnick has been instrumental in creating and developing the Company’s internationally acclaimed actor training programs.  He has also developed a number of training programs utilizing theater training methods for corporate and other non-theater clientele.  Krausnick holds an MA from St. Louis University and an MFA in Acting from NYU.

As a Designated Linklater voice teacher and diagnostician, Krausnick has collaborated to design and create Executive Training for individual corporate client needs.  As a Master Teacher of text, rhetoric and structure of the verse, Krausnick has provided residencies and workshops for theater companies and university theater departments across the country. As a teacher, director or guest-artist, he has worked in theatre training programs across the country including NYU, ACT, Boston University, Emerson College, Wake Forest University, Southern Methodist University, University of Washington, MIT, University of Pittsburgh, University of Tennessee, Chapman University, Bradley University and University of South Carolina.  Krausnick is currently writing an actor’s handbook: The First Folio: Unlocking the Actor’s Toolbox.  Learn more...

Kent Lehnhof

Headshot for Kent LehnhofKent Lehnhof earned a BA in English from Brigham Young University and a PhD in British Literature from Duke University. He has been teaching at Chapman since 2004, where he specializes in early modern literature, with a particular emphasis on Renaissance drama and questions of gender. His essays on Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton have appeared in several edited collections as well as in such journals as ELR, ELH, SEL, Shakespeare Bulletin, Milton Quarterly, and Milton Studies. His most recent articles are forthcoming in Renaissance Drama and Modern Philology.

Dr. Lehnhof's past research projects have focused on somatic experience in Paradise Lost and intersections of antitheatricalism and antifeminism in early modern England. At present, he is editing a collection about Levinas and Shakespeare and researching twinship in the Renaissance.  Dr. Lehnhof holds the rare distinction of having received the highest honor Chapman can bestow on a faculty member for excellence in scholarship (the Wang-Fradkin Professorship, which Dr. Lehnhof received in 2008) and the highest honor Chapman can bestow on a faculty member for excellence in teaching (the Outstanding Teaching Professorship, which Dr. Lehnhof received in 2013).  Learn more...

Julia Lupton

Headshot for Julia LuptonJulia Reinhard Lupton is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, with a joint appointment in Education. Beginning September 1, 2014, she is Associate Dean of Research for the School of Humanities. In 2013-14, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her book project, "Shakespeare Dwelling: Habitation, Hospitality, Design." In 2013-14 she served as Interim Chair for the Department of English. From 2010 to 2012, she directed UCI’s Program in Jewish Studies. In 2007, she was named a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of California, Irvine, in recognition of her contributions to Shakespeare studies. In 2014, she was elected Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America.

Her most recent scholarly books are Thinking with Shakespeare: Essays on Politics and Life (Chicago, 2011) and Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology (Chicago Press, 2005). She is also author of Afterlives of the Saints: Hagiography, Typology and Renaissance Literature (Stanford, 1996) and co-author with Kenneth Reinhard of After Oedipus: Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis (Cornell, 1992). She is the co-editor with Graham Hammill of Political Theology and Early Modernity (Chicago 2011) and has collaborated with Jen Rust and David Pan on two volumes on Schmitt and Shakespeare.  Learn more...

John Mangum

Headshot for John MangumJohn Mangum is the President and Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. In this capacity, he works with the Philharmonic’s Board of Directors, its volunteers, and its staff to further its mission to present performances of the highest quality and provide dynamic and innovative music education programs to the Southern California community.  Mangum has held several senior artistic planning roles at major American orchestras. Most recently, he served as Director of Artistic Planning at the San Francisco Symphony, where he worked with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas to shape the Symphony’s overall artistic profile through the selection of repertoire, projects, and artistic collaborators. His appointment at the SFS began in June 2011.

Prior to San Francisco, Mangum worked as Artistic Administrator for the New York Philharmonic and as Vice President for Artistic Planning at The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He started his career in 1999 at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he worked as the staff program annotator and later as Artistic Administrator, developing the Orchestra’s programs at the Hollywood Bowl as well as a variety of concerts and projects at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Learn more...

Michael Nehring

Headshot for Michael NehringProfessor Michael Nehring is an accomplished actor, director, teacher, and choreographer. Michael is a founding member of several successful theatre companies, most recently Son of Semele Ensemble in Los Angeles. For Son of Semele, he played Napoleon in the Ovation Award winning musical Animal Farm. As a founding member of Shakespeare Orange County, Michael has been seen as Iago in Othello, Touchstone in As You Like It, Horatio in Hamlet (Dramalogue Award), Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing, the Fool in King Lear, Autolycus in Winter's Tale, Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar, Feste in Twelfth Night, Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice, a witch in Macbeth and as Caliban in The Tempest. Michael was also a founding member of the award-winning Friends and Artists Theatre Ensemble (FATE) in Los Angeles. For FATE he appeared as the Herald in Marat-Sade (L.A. Weekly Award, Dramalogue Award), Semyon in The Suicide (Dramalogue Award), and Precious in Dolores and Her Loved Ones. Other roles include La Flech in The Miser and Pippin in Pippin at the Gem Theatre. He spent four seasons as a leading player with the Hollywood Theatre Ensemble in Pennsylvania and performed in over twenty musicals. He can be seen in the lead role of the 1998 feature film release Celestial Rhapsody, which was featured at the Berlin Film Festival.

Directing and choreography credits include If I Should Die Before I Wake, La Mirada Civic; West Side Story, San Jose Civic Light Opera; Looking Glass, Laughing Horse Repertory - Washington; Mame, the Gem Theatre; The Threepenny Opera, FATE and A Shakespearean Christmas for Shakespeare Orange County. Michael has served as an on-camera acting coach for The Disney Channel and for Sal Romeo Workshops in Los Angeles during the last fifteen years.  He was awarded Chapman University Faculty of the Year in 1990 and a Chapman University Excellence in Creative Activity Award in 2000.  Learn more...

Daniele Struppa

Headshot for Daniele Struppa

Dr. Daniele Struppa has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Maryland (1981) and joined Chapman University as Provost in July 2006 and he then assumed the position of Chancellor in July 2007. Prior to coming to Chapman University, Dr. Struppa had a distinguished career as a Professor of Mathematics, and occupied positions at the University of Milano (Italy), at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (Italy), at the University of Calabria (Italy) and, since 1987, at George Mason University. He is the author of more than 100 refereed publications, including six books, and he is the editor of several volumes.  Just a few months ago, the Board of Trustees of Chapman University named him “Presidential Designate,” thus selecting him as the person to succeed President James Doti at his retirement.

While at George Mason, Dr.  Struppa served as director of the Center for the Applications of Mathematics, as chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and as associate dean for graduate studies. In 1997 he was selected dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at George Mason University, a position he held until he joined Chapman University. Learn more...

Curt Tofteland

Headshot for Curt ToftelandCurt brings thirty-six years of professional theatre experience to his current role as a freelance theatre artist – director, actor, producer, playwright, writer, teacher, program developer, and prison arts practitioner.  Curt is the Founder of the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Behind Bars (SBB) program, now in its 20th year of continuous operation.  From 1995-2008, Curt facilitated the SBB|KY program at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky.  During his thirteen year tenure, Curt produced and directed fourteen Shakespeare productions.  Two participants in the SBB|KY program have garnered three Pen Literary Prison Writing Awards.

During the 2003 SBB production of The Tempest, Philomath Films chronicled the process in a documentary that premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and 40+ film festivals around the world winning a total of eleven film awards.  Additionally, Curt has worked as a prison arts practitioner in the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women – where he taught college classes for the Jefferson Community and Technical College and created a Ten Minute Playwriting Program, and the Kentucky State Reformatory – where he taught JCTC theatre classes.  Learn more...

Angel Vazquez-Ramos

Headshot for Angel Vazquez-RamosAngel M. Vázquez-Ramos, Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Music Education at Chapman University, is a native of Carolina, Puerto Rico. He teaches undergraduate courses in music education, conducts the University Women’s Choir, and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, which he established in 2011. In addition, he supervises secondary music student teachers. Dr. Vázquez-Ramos is founder and director of the Chapman University Choral Music Camp. He is currently serving on the California ACDA Board as the Youth and Student Activities Chair. Before completing his doctoral studies at Florida State University, he taught secondary choral music for seven years in Pinellas County Schools in the Tampa Bay Area. He previously held positions in churches in both Largo and Tallahassee, Florida, and is currently serving as Director of Worship Arts in San Clemente, California. His research interests include: teacher preparation, rehearsal techniques, adolescent choirs, and assessment in music education.

Dr. Vázquez-Ramos is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and NAfME: National Association for Music Education. He completed his Bachelors of Music Education degree at the University of Puerto Rico, Magna Cum Laude.  In addition, he received a Masters in Music Education and Ph.D. in Music Education/Choral Conducting at Florida State University where he studied with André J. Thomas, Rodney Eichenberger, Judy K. Bowers, and Kevin A. Fenton. He has published articles on assessment in music education and teacher preparation in the Journal of Research in Music Education, the International Journal of Choral Journal and the Florida Music Director.  Learn more...

Daniel Alfred Wachs

Headshot for Daniel Alfred WachsConductor Daniel Alfred Wachs emerged on the international scene following his debut with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg in November 2010, leading a world première by Toshio Hosokawa at the Grosses Festspielhaus. The Austrian press praised: “Engaging, rhythmically inspired, precise in its execution, the “Mambo” was equal to a performance by Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra!”  Wachs has guest conducted Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, the Auckland Philharmonia, the National Symphony Orchestra (as part of the National Conducting Institute), the Sarasota Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Monterey Symphony, the Spartanburg Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. Wachs has also served as assistant conductor at the Cincinnati Opera and for the French première of Bernstein’s Candide at the Théâtre du Châtelet, a Robert Carsen co-production with La Scala and the English National Opera. He has conducted the West Coast Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “Frieze” with the Orange County Youth Symphony, a co-commission with the New York Philharmonic and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. In 2015, Wachs makes his debut on the acclaimed new music series Jacaranda: Music at the Edge in Santa Monica conducting works by Weill and Stravinsky.

A pianist as well as a conductor, Wachs’ performance with the Minnesota Orchestra “proved a revelation, delivering a technically impeccable, emotionally powerful performance of two Mozart piano concertos and a pair of solo works,” raved the St. Paul Pioneer Press. With the encouragement of Zubin Mehta, Wachs began his studies with the late Enrique Barenboim in Tel Aviv before pursuing studies at the Zürich Academy and graduating from The Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. He has also participated at such festivals at Aspen, Tanglewood and Verbier. Wachs has also been entrusted with preparing orchestras for Valery Gergiev to Vladimir Spivakov, and has served as Assistant Conductor to Osmo Vänskä at the Minnesota Orchestra and at the National Orchestra of France under Kurt Masur. Additionally, he has served as cover conductor for the Houston Symphony and the Rotterdam Philharmonic.  Learn more...

Symposium Speakers

Joseph Campana

Headshot for Joseph CampanaJoseph Campana is a poet and scholar of Renaissance literature, with essays on Spenser, Shakespeare, Nashe, Defoe, Middleton, poetry and poetics, and the history of sexuality in PMLA, Modern Philology, Shakespeare, Prose Studies, and elsewhere. He is the author of The Pain of Reformation: Spenser, Vulnerability, and the Ethics of Masculinity (Fordham UP, 2012), and two collections of poetry, The Book of Faces (Graywolf, 2005) and Natural Selections (2012), which received the Iowa Poetry Prize. His poems appear in Slate, Kenyon Review, Poetry, Conjunctions, Colorado Review, and many other venues. He has received the Isabel MacCaffrey Essay Prize, the MLA’s Crompton-Noll Award for LGB studies, and grants from the NEA and the HAA. Campana serves as Editor, 1500-1659 of Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 and Consulting Editor for the new Riverside Shakespeare. Current projects include a study of children and sovereignty in the works of Shakespeare entitled The Child’s Two Bodies, an edited collection (with Scott Maisano) entitled Renaissance Posthumanism, and a collection of poems entitled The Book of Life.  Learn more...

David McCandless

Headshot for David McCandlessDavid joined the faculty in Fall 2010 and is the Director of Shakespeare Studies and Professor of Theatre Arts at Southern Oregon University. He earned his doctorate in the scholar-director program at Stanford University. David is the author of Gender and Performance in Shakespeare’s Problem Comedies, as well as several articles on Shakespeare and performance, and a play, Invisible Threads.  He previously taught and directed plays at Carleton College and the University of California, Berkeley.  Learn more...




Matthew J. Smith

Headshot for Matthew J. SmithMatthew J. Smith is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University where he teaches courses on Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. His research is on the Renaissance understanding of theatricality especially as related to politics and religion, and it has appeared in journals such as Studies in English Literature, English Literary Renaissance, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, and several book collections, most recently including The Return of Theory in Early Modern English Studies, vol. 2. Matthew has recently completed a book called Stage, Cathedral, Wagon, Street: The Theatricality of Belief in the Early Modern Performing Arts. It provides the first comparative study of multiple performance genres—such as plays, ballads, sermons, ceremonies, pageants—and investigates the relations between believing in theatrical and religious practices. Learn more...

Don Weingust

Headshot for Don WeingustDon Weingust is Director of Shakespeare Studies and Associate Professor of Theatre at the Center for Shakespeare Studies of Southern Utah University and the Utah Shakespeare Festival, where he is also a dramaturg. A Berkeley-trained Ph.D., he is the author of Acting from Shakespeare’s First Folio: Theory, Text and Performance for Routledge, and the forthcoming Original Practices for Palgrave Macmillan, as well as many articles, including for Shakespeare, the journal of the British Shakespeare Association, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the forthcoming Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare. A member of the Editorial Board of Theatre Survey, eight years ago Don founded and continues to co-chair the Shakespearean Performance Research Group, the largest continuing group within the American Society for Theatre Research.  He has led other seminars for ASTR and for the Shakespeare Association of America, has taught for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Institute, at the University of California at Berkeley and at Tufts University, and is a member of the International Shakespeare Conference of the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon. A member of Actors Equity Association, Don trained with the legendary Stella Adler, and has performed extensively, including Off-Broadway and in regional repertory theatre.  Learn more...

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"Shakespeare Reimagined" is presented by Chapman University and Pacific Symphony

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