Theatre Hall of Fame

The Marist Theatre Hall of Fame honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the history of theatre at Marist College. The Hall of Fame provides an opportunity to honor contributors, while also inspiring current students to achieve excellence in theatre. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame, alumni recipients must have been graduated for at least five years. Criteria include notable ability to collaborate, exceptional work ethic, commitment to quality and abundant participation in any variety of positions or leadership roles. Alumni achieving career success in theatre are also eligible for induction. Other candidates for nomination are faculty, staff or artists who have demonstrated long-standing service and dedication to theatre at Marist.

Nominations are solicited each year from alumni and members of the Marist community. The induction is held annually at the College during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, and inductees, alumni, family and the greater Marist community are invited. A Hall of Fame plaque listing members is on permanent display in the lobby of the theatre.

Please send your nominations for the 2014 Theatre Hall of Fame to Prof. Matt Andrews, Director of the Theatre Program: matthew.andrews@marist.edu. Please include candidate's name, graduation year and a brief background for each submission. 
Deadline is January 18, 2014
.

The new Marist Theatre Alumni Group is looking for alumni to join its executive board.
One if its main duties is overseeing the nomination and selection process for the Theatre Hall of Fame. Interested alumni can contact  President Jim Joseph '91 at jjoseph@mtc-nyc.org, or Vice President John Roche '87 at john.roche2@marist.edu. For more information on the Marist Theatre Program, please contact Prof. Matt Andrews, director, at matthew.andrews@marist.edu.

Theatre Hall of Fame 2012

On Saturday, September 22, 2012, during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend,
the following alumni were inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame:

George Halpin '69
Vince Capozzi '78
Marydale Dolezal Leonard '87
James Fedigan '87
Marc Liepis '92
Shelley Curran '95

PAST THEATRE HALL OF FAME HONOREES



George Halpin
Class of '69

George is ecstatic to be inducted into the Marist Theatre Hall of Fame this year and is grateful for the honor.

Before attending Marist, George traveled the country. He was born in Delaware but spent his childhood in North Augusta, South Carolina. Later, he attended Aquinas High School in Augusta, Georgia. George then attended Marist College from 1964 to 1969 and worked in the theatre between 1967 and 1968. After graduation, George taught high school science and math for a few years. He also spent his spare time volunteering as a carpenter for the Christina Appalachia Project in Kentucky until 1972.

In 1972, George decided to attend New York University School of Medicine to pursue a career in pediatrics. While completing his degree at NYU, George met and married his wife Pat Hartz and they later had a daughter named Anna. In 1976, he graduated from NYU and then worked in the Maternal and Child Health sector of the Department of Health in the State of New Jersey until 1992. During this time, he received a Masters in Public Health from Yale University.

He then moved with his family to Baltimore, Maryland in 1992 and did a pediatrics residency at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. Later, he joined the Sinai Hospital Faculty of Pediatric Medicine and worked there as a director of their clinic, a teacher of residents, and a clinician until June 2010.

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Vince Capozzi
Class of '78

Vinnie’s years in the Marist Theatre were among the happiest of his life. Besides meeting his wife Noreen Fennell at Marist, he claims to have learned here that “All the world is a stage”, how to be truly creative, and developed management skills. Vinnie continues to value and use these skills in his life and in his professional career.

Vinnie entered the entertainment arena early at the age of five taking piano lessons and it proved to be the only time that he performed on stage. His interests thereafter were focused behind-the-scenes in various technical crews, stage management, technical director, and producer positions. His theatrical interests began in high school at our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie. He participated in both school and local community theatrical productions.

His theatrical career at Marist College included Chamber Music & The Emperor Jones (1975), Barefoot in the Park (1976), The Mousetrap (1976), Aladdin & the Wonderful Lamp (1976), The Hobbit (1976), MCCTA Variety Show (1977), Winnie-The-Pooh (1977), The Wizard of Oz (1978), and he consulted for several Marist College productions before and after his graduation in 1978, including Plaza Suite (1977), The Miracle Worker (1978), I Remember Mama (1978), and The Jungle Book (1979).

Elected to the Board of Directors of both the Marist College Theatre Guild and Marist College Children’s Theatre in 1976, Vinnie recognized that the strengths and weaknesses of the then separate organizations could compliment and be of benefit to each other. Working with the other separate board members, Dean Gerard Cox, and the Student Government, he created the mechanism for the combination of the two organizations under one umbrella organization and the first charter for the Marist College Council on the Theatrical Arts. In 1978, Vinnie organized a petition submitted to the Marist College English and Communications Department signed by more than 300 people expressing an appeal for Marist College to expand academic curriculum offerings into theatre theory, history, acting, technical design, playwriting, technical production, and construction. The expanded curriculum would be taught in cooperation with the productions presented by MCCTA as a workshop to better cultivate and refine the talent that Marist College already possessed and to better serve the community. In 1980, Vinnie was the first recipient of the Gerard A. Cox Award. After graduation, Vinnie continued his involvement in local theatre productions working with County Players under the mentorship of Jan Denison.

Vinnie fondly remembers the long hours of set construction, editing scripts, lack of sleep, casting calls, recruiting musicians, still not enough sleep, the politics, encouraging actors and directors, really not enough sleep, organizing schedules, and generally keeping everything running in an organized fashion toward the opening date.

Today Vinnie and his wife Noreen and their two children Christopher and Katharine live in Tuxedo Park, NY.   Vince is a Product Director for a private Fortune 100 company and still relies upon the tool box from his days at Marist College believing that all he really needed to know, he learned in the theatre.

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Marydale Dolezal Leonard
Class of '87

Upon arriving at Marist as a freshman in the fall of 1983, Marydale was no stranger to the stage. She started performing in local children’s theatre productions in her hometown of Glenville in upstate New York before entering elementary school and continued to be active in school and community theatre venues, both on stage and behind the scenes. When Marydale was in elementary school, her father and sisters acted in many productions, while her mother worked backstage creating beautiful, elaborate costumes. She had small roles in children’s theatre as well as school productions up until she was granted the lead role in Cinderella at the end of her junior year.

Marydale’s love for the stage strengthened throughout her four years at Marist and she participated in almost every production up until graduation. No one was more surprised than her when she was selected to perform in her first Marist production as a freshman - the lead female role of Grace Drumuff in Lead Me Home, written by Dean Gerard Cox. Dean was one of the first campus leaders she met her freshman year and he became a tremendous inspiration, as well as a mentor and strong supporter. Marydale was on the MCCTA board for two years, was Assistant Producer for Godspell in 1986, and co-directed Cinderella in 1987. In addition, she performed in minor roles in The Wizard of Oz, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Peter Pan, and acted in lead roles in Seasons’ Greetings at Hobart Arms and Dancing In The End Zone. It was an honor and privilege for Marydale to participate in MCCTA productions each year as a student, but she felt especially honored to receive the Gerard A. Cox Award along with John Roche at the end of her senior year.

During her junior and senior years at Marist, Marydale’s video production coursework enabled her to obtain internships in television news at WRGB in Schenectady and WNBC in New York. After graduating from Marist in 1987, she went on to produce a local weekly real estate program for the ABC affiliate in Albany, as well as work as the Radio and TV Production Manager at Radio TV Reports in New York and Boston. While working full time, Marydale stayed active in theatre via the same children’s theatre group that inspired her love for the stage – the Pashley Players. Whatever the job - be it costumes, makeup, sets, or on stage - Marydale thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of the spotlight, including her last stage performance as Eeyore in Winnie The Pooh in 1990.

In 1995 Marydale took a giant leap from coast-to-coast, and moved to Los Angeles. At that time, she went back to school and earned her certificate in Information Systems and started working in the computer software field. As a Project Manager and Systems Instructor, she worked for a variety of software companies in the Los Angeles area. While working as a Project Manager and Campus Liaison at California State University, she met her husband Michael and was married in 2004. Today, Marydale and her family are living in Orange County, California. She has two young children who have just started school. Marydale recently began working as an office manager at a local elementary school in order to spend more time with her family. It is her greatest wish to pass on her love for theatre to her children, Thomas and Grace.

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James Fedigan
Class of '87

Jimmy Fedigan grew up in and around theatre. His father and uncles worked on Broadway shows as electricians where he was frequently sent by his mother on weekends to get out of her hair. At the age of sixteen, he started to run followspot on Sugar Babies, starring Mickey Rooney and Anne Miller. While other kids started their odd-jobs and summer work, he continued to learn different jobs at Broadway theaters and to work at the family theatrical lighting manufacturing shop.

Throughout his four years at Marist, Jimmy played quarterback on the football team. He was talked into going with his friend John Roche (fellow Marist Theatre Hall of Fame inductee) to audition for Dark of the Moon, directed by Broadway/Hollywood veteran Terence Michos. Terrence was able to talk Jimmy into accepting the lead role in the show and graciously worked around his football schedule. Jimmy went on to win the award for Best Actor in the Marist Musical that year. He served on the MCCTA executive board his junior year.

Jimmy has worked on over seventy Broadway shows and over thirty Broadway Touring productions, along with numerous televised awards shows including Miss America, The Tony Awards, and The Grammys. His work is currently represented on Broadway with seven musicals including Jersey Boys, Chicago, and very recently, Chaplin the Musical.

At the age of 24, he was appointed to the position of Production Electrician in charge of the lighting and video departments, crewing the shows, and transforming a set of blueprints to the final product seen on stage.

Jimmy is a big supporter of Autism Awareness. His family has raised over $170,000 for the Dutchess County Walk for Autism in the past ten years. He leads the Broadway Cares technical team for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, helping to raise over $10 million in the last ten years.

Jimmy credits his parents and his Uncle John with instilling in him a drive to do things the right way and to work hard to achieve his goals in professional theatre and in life. Currently, Jimmy lives in East Fishkill, NY with his family that inspires him every day: his wife Allison (Marist ‘87) and three kids Michael, Molly, and Christopher. Jimmy dedicates every day to his late father Christopher Fedigan who always led by example with his love of family and the theatre.

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Marc Liepis
Class of '92

Marc Liepis became an actor when a tree branch was tied to his kindergarten-aged head to play the Grinch’s dog, Max in the First Graders’ holiday show at West Ridge Elementary School in Southington, CT. He went on to become a regular performer in school plays and community theater through most of his childhood and into high school. He scored his first (and only) professional acting job at 10, performing as Patrick Dennis in the musical Mame at the Coachlight Dinner Theatre in Windsor, CT. He won’t sing the songs for you…so don’t ask.

Upon arriving at Marist, he put theatre on the back burner to compete on the college’s debate team for his first two years on campus, earning national titles individually and for the team. He returned to the theatre and performed in MCCTA plays including House of Blue Leaves and Fools (which was directed by fellow Hall of Fame inductee Jim Steinmeyer) as well as Burn This.

Marc became a writer at Marist. His one-act plays were a regular fixture in the annual MCCTA One-Act Festival. He also wrote and directed his first full-length play Stranger Than Fiction in his senior year. Later, two of his one-acts: The Shark Tank and Cutting Remarks were mounted off-off (off?) Broadway at the famed Village Gate Theatre, which is now a CVS.

Since graduating, Marc moved to New York City and entered the television industry, doing publicity work for clients as varied as Maury Povich, Ricki Lake, Michael Moore, and Rosie O’Donnell. He also began training and performing long-form improv comedy after graduation at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, the hugely influential comedy theatre where he was a member of a house improv team.

He went on to put in a twelve-year run as the director of late night publicity for NBC, overseeing the press campaigns for Saturday Night Live and Conan O’Brien and in 2009, he became a producer for the Emmy nominated Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Today, he lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his tremendous five year old Harrison and his preposterously tolerant and lovely wife Heather.

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Shelley Curran
Class of '95

Shelley is honored to be inducted into the Marist Theatre Hall of Fame and is grateful to the committee for all their hard work in keeping the history of theatre that meant so much to us in the past and present part of our lives.

Over the course of four undergraduate years and almost thirty productions, Shelley acted, directed, produced, and worked on props, costumes, sets, and publicity. Some of her favorite acting credits include chorus in Evita, surprise guest appearance in Good News, Vibrata in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. In the majority of the shows she worked on, Shelley served in the role of Producer (or Assistant), including, Burn This, King Lear, Noises Off, I Hate Hamlet, Loves, Labours Lost, Good News, Wizard of Oz, Forum, and Festival ’95. One of her favorite MCCTA experiences was co-directing the children’s theatre production of Robin Hood with Rich Cocchiara. Shelley served on the MCCTA Executive Board as Treasurer in her junior year and President her senior year. She was awarded the Dean Cox Award in 1995 and was the first recipient of the Jennifer Dressel Award in 1994. After graduation, she co-directed two fall plays for MCCTA, Rumors and Proposals with Hall of Fame alumna Sue Lozinski.

Shelley’s professional career continued in performing arts while working for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival as a Production Manager for Universal Studios, Operations Manager for Bardavon Opera House, and General Manager for Ulster Performing Arts Center. Her current position is Concerts and Events Manager for the Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College.

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COMPLETE LIST OF PAST RECIPIENTS

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