Online Seasonal Faculty
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Seasonal Staff

Amalia Drewes

Seasonal Faculty

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Annie Ewaskio

Seasonal Faculty

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Carolyn Popadin

Seasonal Faculty

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Christopher Drobny

Seasonal Faculty

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Deirdra Hazeley

Seasonal Faculty

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Diana Crum

Dance, Department Chair

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

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Hawley Hussey

Curriculum Specialist

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

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Hildur Palsdottir

Seasonal Faculty

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Jacqueline Selesky

Seasonal Faculty

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James Crichton

Seasonal Faculty

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James Incorvaia

Theater, Department Chair

Seasonal Faculty

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Javan Howard

Writing, Coordinator

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

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Jerry James

Seasonal Faculty

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Jessica Blair

Seasonal Faculty

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Jordan Hue

Seasonal Faculty

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Julia Forrest

Seasonal Faculty

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Levy Lorenzo

Seasonal Faculty

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Mark Bligh

Music, Department Chair

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

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Meher Manda

Seasonal Faculty

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Michael Blutman

Seasonal Faculty

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Rachel Sigrid Freeburg

Seasonal Faculty

Reuben Lorch-Miller

Seasonal Faculty

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Sage Chasen

Seasonal Faculty

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Sam Dillon

Seasonal Faculty

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Tiffany Bryant-Fulton

Seasonal Faculty

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Zach Rifkind

Assistant to the Music Department Chair

Seasonal Faculty

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Rachel Sigrid Freeburg

Seasonal Faculty

Rachel Sigrid Freeburg

Rachel Sigrid Freeburg is a Brooklyn-based dance artist and educator. Her work has been shown through Movement Research at Judson Church and the WIP series and the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought. Additionally, her collaborations with s.lumbert have been shown through the Work-Up residency at Gibney Dance. As a performer she has had the privilege to dance in works by Emily Climer, Bebe Miller, Dustin Maxwell and Susan Rethorst as well as for the companies Arena Dances (Minneapolis) and Companie La Halte Garderie (Paris). She is currently on faculty at Brooklyn Arts Exchange and the Mark Morris Dance Center. Rachel holds an MFA from The Ohio State University and a BFA from the University of Minnesota. This is her second summer teaching at Usdan.

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Sage Chasen

Seasonal Faculty

Art

Sage Chasen

Sage Chasen, a recent graduate of Lehigh University, loves to explore the interdisciplinary relationship between design and engineering. After receiving a B.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering and a B.S. in Integrated Product and Fashion Design, Sage went on to work for companies including Vans, The North Face, and Ralph Lauren. Sage is very excited to join the Usdan teaching community this Summer with his Fashion as Creative Expression course. Although this is Sage's first Summer teaching at Usdan, he attended camp when he was in middle school!

sagechasen.myportfolio.com/

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Deirdra Hazeley

Seasonal Faculty

Art

Deirdra Hazeley

Deirdra Hazeley is from Brooklyn, NY.  In her studio practice she explores beauty and dignity in her portraits of African descendants.  Hazeley is a graduate of Cornell University, Florida International University and Columbia University.  She studied abroad in Spain with the School of Visual Arts.  She played capoeira in Brazil and painted in France.  Hazeley speaks English, Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish.  She was a resident artist at the Art Students League Residency at Vytlacil and the Vermont Studio Center.  She was a participant artist in the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition Iggy Pop Life Class: A Project by Jeremy Deller, which traveled to the Royal Academy of Arts in London, UK.  Her drawings from the aforementioned shows are in the Brooklyn Museum’s collection.  Hazeley’s art has been shown at Brooklyn College, ARTs East New York and DC Arts Center.  She was a participant in Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Visiting Artist Program and was a resident artist at Palette 22.  She has taught visual art for fourteen years. Hazeley attended Usdan as a teenager and is thrilled to return for her second year teaching visual art.

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Reuben Lorch-Miller

Seasonal Faculty

Art

Reuben Lorch-Miller

Reuben Lorch-Miller is a Brooklyn, NY based artist and educator. His studio practice encompasses sculpture, collage, photography and artist books. He has been an active visual artist for over twenty-five years and has been working as an arts educator with both children and adults for the past eight years. He has an MFA in New Practices from San Francisco State University and has taken coursework in psychology. He recently completed nine months of training in contemplative care at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. This will be his third summer teaching at Usdan. His artwork can be seen at lorch-miller.com.

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Amalia Drewes

Seasonal Faculty

Art

Amalia Drewes

Amalia Drewes is a Mixed Media Artist, a lover of nature, and a spiritual explorer. Amalia graduated from Parsons School of Design, The New School in 2015 with a BFA in Illustration. Over the last few years Amalia has continued to add new creations to her portfolio, operating as a freelancer and a graphic designer. One of her biggest joys was becoming a teacher of Reggio and nature-based learning for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade at Spark Elementary. This will be Amalia's first time teaching at Usdan, which she had the pleasure of attending a young girl, starting in 3rd Grade. Her summer days at Usdan are some of her best memories. Although we won't be on the campgrounds this summer, Amalia hopes to embody the same joy and freedom she experienced when she was a young camper in her online studio.

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Jerry James

Seasonal Faculty

Art

Jerry James

Jerry James is an artist and educator based in New York City. He works in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, photography and music production. He currently teaches in the graduate school of education at the School of Visual Arts and at his art studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. An advocate for innovative and inclusive arts education, Jerry designs and facilitates workshops for teachers, students and families around the world. Prior experiences include teaching at Lincoln Center Institute and Columbia University, and directing the Department of Teaching and Learning at the Center for Arts Education.  

Jerry has an M.F.A. in painting from Yale University and an Ed.D. in Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a recipient of The Ely Harwood Schless Memorial Prize for Painting from Yale University and The Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching from Columbia University. Since 2015, Jerry has served on the Executive Committee of the New York State Blue Ribbon Commission for the Arts. 

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Julia Forrest

Seasonal Faculty

Art

Julia Forrest

Julia Forrest is a Brooklyn based artist. She works strictly in film and prints in a darkroom she built within her apartment. Her own art has always been her top priority in life and in this digital world, she will continue to work with old processing. Anything can simply be done in photoshop, she prefers to take the camera, a tool of showing reality, and experiment with what she can do in front of the lens.

This is Julia's 6th year as a lead teacher at Usdan, although she has been a part of the Usdan community for much longer, as an assistant and student lifer. Julia is also working as a teaching artist at the Brooklyn Museum, and Abrons Art Center. As an instructor, she thinks it is important to understand that a person can constantly stretch and push the boundaries of their ideas with whatever medium of art they choose. Her goal is for her audience to not only enjoy learning about photography, but to see the world in an entirely new way and continue to develop a future interest in the arts.

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Annie Ewaskio

Seasonal Faculty

Art

Annie Ewaskio is a painter and artist in Brooklyn, New York. She has participated in prestigious solo and group shows across the country, and her work has been published in The New Yorker, The Brooklyn Rail, and New American Paintings. She is the recipient of numerous fine arts grants, including two Kossak Painting grants, and teaches painting and drawing at Usdan.

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Hawley Hussey

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

Curriculum Specialist

Art

Hawley Hussey

Hawley Hussey is an artist who is working between the visual, the written word, and the performing arts. Throughout her career she has engaged in diverse mediums including painting, printmaking, small press publications, artists books, sculpture and installation. Hawley got her BFA from The University of Massachusetts in Amherst and her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Art where she has presented as Workshop Faculty for the Masters Program in Art and Design Education. Hawley served as Education Coordinator and Director of Contemporary Art Education at BRIC Arts Media and as an Art Education Mentor for the New York State Council on the Arts. Hawley is proudly a co-founder of the arts integrated high school, Bronx Envision Academy and she is also a founding member of the Park Avenue Armory Artists Corps where she remains active as a Teaching Artist. Hawley is a contemporary art education activist engaging recent immigrants and special needs students in immersive art laboratories that she builds and calls the HH:ArtLab. 

Hawley has been working as Usdan's Curriculum Specialist since the beginning 2020 and has played an integral role in the development of Usdan Online. 

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Javan Howard

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

Writing, Coordinator

Creative Writing

Javan Howard

Javan Howard is a poet and writer from the Bronx. He believes that the lived experience is the ultimate teaching tool and uses poetry as a social forum to foster discourse about love, culture, and identity. He currently is the Tap lead mentor for Teaching Artist Project at Community-Word Project. He is also a Teaching Artist for Usdan Summer Camp for The Arts and Teachers & Writers Collaborative. He has also facilitated for The New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Voices UnBroken, The GO Project, and others.  Howard participates in open mic events under the moniker "@RighteousTPoet." His work has been featured online at Black Heart Magazine and Brooklyn Stories Vol. 13. He has read his work at The HBO Shop, The Inspired Word Reading Series, Lamprophonic, The Dead Rabbits Reading Series, and more. For more: www.Javanjhoward.com

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Meher Manda

Seasonal Faculty

Creative Writing

Meher Manda

Meher Manda is a poet, short story writer, journalist, and educator originally from Mumbai, India, currently based in New York City. She holds an MFA in Fiction, and is the author of the chapbook of poems, Busted Models, published by No, Dear Magazine and Small Anchor Press in 2019. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Catapult, Hobart, Los Angeles Review, Peach Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for Best New Poets 2020. This is her first year teaching with Usdan.

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Jessica Blair

Seasonal Faculty

Dance

Jessica Blair

Jessica Blair is a performer and dance teacher based in New York City. She is so happy to be returning to Usdan for her 3rd summer teaching Broadway Jazz! Originally from Chicago, Jessica received her B.F.A in musical theatre from The University of Michigan. She has performed in musicals across the country and was last seen in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Pioneer Theatre Company in SLC, Utah. Jessica has served as a choreographer for Young People’s Theatre in Ann Arbor, MI and Plymouth State University’s Educational Theatre Collaborative. She currently teaches at Shuffles NYC in Manhattan.

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Diana Crum

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

Dance, Department Chair

Dance

Diana Crum

Diana Crum works at the intersection of dance and education. She currently serves as Program Director for Movement Research’s Dance Makers in the Schools and teaches dance in NYC and NJ public schools with ArtsConnection, Brooklyn Arts Council and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Her choreography has been presented in New York, Atlanta, Mexico, and across Europe. Recent honors and awards include Brooklyn Studios for Dance Artist in Residence position (2018), Su-CASA artist residency (2017), and Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant (2015). 2020 marks her third year at Usdan, where she enjoys dancing in the woods with young people.

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Jacqueline Selesky

Seasonal Faculty

Dance

Jacqueline Selesky

A proud native of Long Island, NY, Jacqueline always knew she’d be a performing artist and educator. This is Jacqueline’s third year teaching at Usdan, and she plans to be back for many more to come!  She graduated from Montclair State University with a BA in Dance Education. Jacqueline has performed elite choreographed pieces by Bill T. Jones, Martha Graham, Jose Limon, David Parsons, Larry Keigwin, and Frederick Earl Mosley. She was the lead soloist in Martha Graham's Daughters of the Night, Night Journey performed at The Joyce Theatre, NYC. Jacqueline has been a dancer with Dance Key West for three years and just recently performed at the Studios of Key West in the musical, “Prime Time”. She was also the lead actress in The Truth Urban Theatre Group’s production of  “VIVA AFRICA” in Long Island, NY. Jacqueline appeared on Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” Netflix series as well as a dancer on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America, and Live with Kelly and Ryan. She can also be seen in various television commercials including Nutrafol Hair and Ultimate Ears Speakers. Jacqueline is a part of the top dance agency in NYC, Bloc Agency and has walked in Brooklyn Fashion Week. Jacqueline was afforded the opportunity to teach in the Orange Public School District in New Jersey as a K-12 Dance Teacher. All of Jacqueline’s experiences have allowed her to not only advance her skills as a dancer but also as a well-rounded performing artist and educator.

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Levy Lorenzo

Seasonal Faculty

Music

Levy Lorenzo

Born in Bucharest, Filipino-American Levy Marcel Ingles Lorenzo, Jr. is a percussionist and electronics engineer that works at the intersection of music, art, and technology. On an international scale, his body of work spans electronics design, sound engineering, instrument invention, installation art, free improvisation, and classical percussion.  Lorenzo’s work has been featured by the International Contemporary Ensemble, MoMA PS1, MIT Media Lab, STEIM (NL), pitchfork.com, slashdot.org, Philips, Bose, BBC, Burning Man, and The New York Times which named him an “electronics wizard”.  Holding degrees as Master of Electrical & Computer Engineering from Cornell University, and Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance from Stony Brook University, Levy was recentally appointed Assistant Professor of Creative Technologies at The New School, College of Performing Arts.  Levy has been an artist-in-residence at Usdan for the past 3 summers.

 

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Zach Rifkind

Seasonal Faculty

Assistant to the Music Department Chair

Music

Zach Rifkind

Zach Rifkind serves as the director of bands at Lynbrook North Middle School during the school year. He holds a BS and MS in Music Education from Hofstra University Honors College. He is an active member in the Long Island music scene, regularly performing with various area ensembles. He is a proud Usdan alumnus. This is his fourth summer working at Usdan and is excited to be on board for this summer’s digital offerings.

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Michael Blutman

Seasonal Faculty

Music

Michael Blutman

Michael Blutman enjoys a diverse career as a trumpeter and music educator. A graduate of The Juilliard School and the University of Maryland, some of his performing and recording credits include: Sting, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Jonathan Batiste Jazz Band, Broadway shows, David Bowie’s band, and many others. As an educator, Michael has taught at Jericho Schools (NY), Five Towns College, Ithaca College, East Meadow’s (NY) Fusing Culture and Curriculum, Nassau Suffolk Performing Arts, and has a private trumpet studio on Long Island. Michael also co-founded Pinnacle Music Press , a music education publishing company, and has written articles for several music education journals and websites.

This will be Michael's 11th consecutive summer teaching at Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts; he is especially excited to teach music theory for the first time at Usdan!

 

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Mark Bligh

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

Music, Department Chair

Music

Mark Bligh

Mark Bligh is the director of the Denton Ave Elementary Band (Herricks UFSD, New Hyde Park, NY) where he teaches winds, brass and percussion for grades 3-5.  The Denton Ave Band regularly attends NYSSMA Majors and consistently earns Gold and Gold with Distinction honors.  

Mark Bligh is a graduate of the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University where he received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with Honors. He received a Master of Arts from Stony Brook University.  Mr. Bligh was published in Scholastic for his contributions in an article entitled, “10 Best Musical Apps for Kids”. Mark has been honored to conduct the Winds, Brass and Percussion sectional for the NYSSMA All-State Symphonic Orchestra.  Mark was privileged to conduct the 2018 SCMEA Division 1 Central All-County Band and the 2019 WCSMA All-County Elementary Band.  Mr. Bligh has performed with the Long Island Wind Ensemble, Atlantic Wind Symphony, Northwinds Symphonic Band as well as various chamber ensembles.  Mark is the current Music Department Chair at Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts  where he has worked for the past 15 summers.

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Sam Dillon

Seasonal Faculty

Music

Sam Dillon

Native New Yorker, saxophonist, composer and teacher, Sam Dillon has established himself as one of the most in demand musicians of his generation.  Sam’s prolific soloist and sideman work includes over 20 studio recordings, performances on a global level and international critical acclaim garnering him recognition as one of the defining voices on the tenor saxophone today.

In 2016, Sam received his Artist Diploma from the prestigious Juilliard School as the saxophonist in the A.D. Jazz Program.  This ensemble toured and taught internationally at destinations including The Tokyo Jazz Festival, The Torino Jazz Festival, The Sao Paulo Jazz Festival, and Lincoln Center.  In 2013, Sam was selected as one of 13 semi-finalists for the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition where he performed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. 

In addition to performing, Sam is the Jazz Conductor at Usdan Summer Camp For The Arts, Woodwind Teaching Artist for The New York Pops, saxophone instructor for The Juilliard MAP program, and improvisation teacher for The Big Apple Music Festival.

Sam is an endorsing artist for Yamaha Saxophones and D’Addario Reeds.

For more information please visit www.samdillonmusic.com.

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Tiffany Bryant-Fulton

Seasonal Faculty

Nature & Sustainability

Tiffany Bryant-Fulton

Chef Tiffany Bryant-Fulton is a personal chef, owner of More Please and author of a vegetarian cookbook. She graduated culinary school 5 years ago, is ServSafe certified and has won several culinary awards. Chef Tiffany has worked at such restaurants as Hush Bistro and The View before starting her own company. This is Chef Tiffany’s first year working at Usdan as their chef instructor, but has been a chef educator with the nonprofit RISE Rockaway for over two years where she first discovered her love for teaching others the importance of healthy cooking and eating.

 

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Hildur Palsdottir

Seasonal Faculty

Nature & Sustainability

Hildur Palsdottir

Dr. Hildur Palsdottir received a PhD in Biochemistry from the Max-Planck Institute of Biophysics where she studied Molecular & Cellular Bioenergetics 2000-2004. Hildur worked as a Research Scientist in the Life Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 2004-2007 followed by New York University Medical School, until she founded Sol Center in Port Washington in 2017. 

Hildur is a co-founder of Rewild Long Island and serves as Communications Director for the Steering Committee of Rewild. Hildur is dedicated to mindful environmental stewardship and enjoys lecturing in schools, corporations and community centers about mindful, sustainable and regenerative living. She contributes to the weekly Earth Matters column in the Island Now newspaper and co-hosts weekly Your Environment Now, interdisciplinary talk show on Zoom.

Hildur is a certified mindfulness meditation instructor, serves as President of the Board of Trustees for the Science Museum of Long Island and is dedicated to bringing mindfulness and sustainability to STEAM education. She leads guided nature walks at the Sands Point Preserve and teaches a middle school enrichment program there called Earth Expeditions. 

Hildur grew up in Iceland, lives in Port Washington and enjoys sharing her love of nature with her children Sandra (10) and Vincent (11) and 2 shih tzus.

This is Hildur’s first year of teaching at Usdan. 

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Christopher Drobny

Seasonal Faculty

Theater

Christopher Drobny

Christopher Drobny, vocal coach, pianist/conductor and musical theatre historian, lives in New York where he maintains an active vocal studio and works as a musical director. He has taught vocal repertoire and musical theatre history at New York University, the Juilliard School of Drama, Pace University, Syracuse University, the Guthrie Theatre of Minneapolis, and the North Carolina School of the Arts. 

Conducting credits include productions at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, and the Huntington Theatre of Boston. As a composer, his work has been heard at the Sundance Theatre Lab, the O’Neill Music-Theatre Conference, Playwrights Horizons, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. 

He holds an MA in American Studies from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York where he studied music and theatre history with Marvin Carlson, David Savran and Jeffrey Taylor, his thesis focusing on John Brougham and the development of the musical burlesque in mid-nineteenth century America.

This is Christopher’s eighth summer at Usdan and his fourth co-teaching with Jordan Hue. Favorite Usdan moments include productions of 70, Girls, 70 (about misbehaving senior citizens) and Heathers (about misbehaving high school students), as well as collaborating with scores of student singers in preparing their performances for the Last Day Cabaret.

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James Incorvaia

Seasonal Faculty

Theater, Department Chair

Theater

James Incorvaia

Jim Incorvaia is a retired high school AP English and Theater teacher returning to Usdan for his 30th summer.  A Long Island native, Jim lives in Westbury and leads the charge for Usdan’s Theater Department, planning, scheduling, and producing the Camp’s annual 35-day, 11-show season for 200-plus theater students. He recently directed Usdan’s Live Virtual Event “Under The Lights” and is working this summer to coordinate and oversee the camp’s virtual arts program, “Usdan Online.”

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Carolyn Popadin

Seasonal Faculty

Theater

Carolyn Popadin

Carolyn Popadin is a teaching artist, actress, and Usdan Musical Theater Director. Her work has brought her into schools and theaters throughout New York City and Long Island. She currently serves as a program director for Broadhollow Theater Company and co-director of the Infinity Arts Studio. She trained professionally with British American Drama Academy and has toured with the National Theatre of Performing Arts.

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James Crichton

Seasonal Faculty

Theater

James Crichton

James Crichton is an actor, singer, pianist, & theatre educator/vocal coach who has appeared Off-Broadway: Unknown Soldier (Playwrights Horizons), Jasper in Deadland (Prospect Theater Company).  National Tour: Peter and the Starcatcher. Regional: Botticelli in the Fire (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre Company), The Last Ship (Pioneer Theatre Company), and Sweeney Todd (The Rev Theater Company). He is the host and creator of the podcast, Actors: On Process. As both a student and faculty member, this is his fifteenth summer at USDAN. Education: Hofstra University (BFA).

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Jordan Hue

Seasonal Faculty

Theater

Jordan Hue

Jordan Hue is a teacher, writer, actor, and director. He is currently the theatre arts educator at Long Beach High School in Long Beach, NY. He remains active and involved with a number of local theatre companies, including and especially those dedicated to offering youth programs. This is Jordan's fourth summer at Usdan. Education: Hofstra University (BA, MS); Adelphi (MS).