Sarah Campbell is a member of the USC School of Dramatics Arts class of 2022, pursuing a BA in Theatre. She is so excited to be a part of the MTR Artistic Board! In high school, Sarah worked with the Educational Theatre Association in her home state of Georgia and in Nebraska as a stage manager. Sarah has a love for educational theater, and this past summer she worked as an intern in the education department of the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. She also spent a summer training at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts studying Production & Design in 2017. Some of her favorite productions to work on were Memphis (Backstage Manager), Big Fish (Stage Manager & Featured Ensemble), and The Addams Family (Stage Manager). Sarah has also worked as a lighting designer, set designer, and props designer. She assistant stage managed MTR’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and is now co-producing Dogfight! This is her first semester serving on the board, and she’s so excited to continue working with such an amazing group of artists!
Nick Kassoy (he/him) (Co-President)
Nick Kassoy is a member of the USC School of Dramatic Arts’ class of 2022, pursuing a BA in Theatre and a minors in Music Production. From Glen Rock, New Jersey, Nick graduated from the Academy for Technology and Computer Science at Bergen County Academies where he was also deeply involved in the theatre program. He has served as a scenic design intern at Edward Pierce Studio for the Broadway production of Angels in America, as well as a lighting intern for New York Stage and Film's 2019 Powerhouse season. These days, Nick primarily works as an actor, music director, composer, and arranger, but continues to explore all aspects of theatre. Favorite credits at USC include Ghost Quartet (Music Director), The Busybody (Marplot), Happy Puppet Hour 2 (Composer), as well as many productions with MTR: Avenue Q (Assistant Lighting Designer), Spring Awakening (Associate Lighting Designer), Long Story Short (Songwriter/Orchestrator/Lighting Designer), Spelling Bee (AMD), Dogfight (AMD), and LSS @Home (Music Supervisor). He is excited to continue the work of reshaping MTR into a more inclusive organization focused on work that redefines the musical theatre canon.
Erica Ammerman (she/her) (Production Manager)
Erica Ammerman is a sophomore at the USC’s School of Dramatic Arts, pursuing a BA in Theatre along with a minor in Dance at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Erica graduated from the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts: Theatre Concentration at Bergen County Academies, where she trained for four years along with attending the Cherubs Program at Northwestern University in the summer of 2018. Back home in Northern New Jersey, Erica was the Co-Artistic Director of a student-run theatre company and has worked as a Production Intern at the Metropolitan Playhouse in NYC. As an actor, some favorite credits include: Durdles in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Bergen County Academies), #7 in The Wolves (The Cherubs at Northwestern University), and Kellin in Crocs! The Musical (New York Theatre Festival). Erica has also had the opportunity to perform in three world premieres of new musicals, two of which being workshopped in New York City. She first got involved with MTR by Assistant Lighting Designing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and is extremely excited to see what the future holds for her time on the MTR board as a director, producer, lighting designer, choreographer, and hopefully so much more!
Ella Lao (she/her) (Secretary)
Ella Lao is a B.A. Theatre major with an acting emphasis and an Entertainment Industry minor. She grew up in the performance world starting her practice in aerial arts, but then moving into the musical theatre genre. Her favorite musical she has performed in is Godspell, but her favorite show is Carousel. She is very excited to share her artistic passions as a member of Musical Theatre Repertory and cannot wait to learn and grow in this environment.
Madison Thompson (she/her) (Treasurer)
Madison Thompson is best known for starring as “Erin Peirce” in season three of Netflix’s fan-favorite show “Ozark.” In addition to Ozark, Madison has appeared in several television series, including recurring roles on "Kevin (Probably) Saves the World" (ABC) and "Shots Fired" (Fox), as a guest star on "NCIS: New Orleans"(CBS), "American Housewife" (ABC) and "Creepshow" (AMC's Shudder) and additional appearances on "Henry Danger" (Nickelodeon) and "Major Crimes" (TNT) among other shows. Aside from acting professionally, Madison is a Presidential Scholar in the USC class of 2023. She is in the BCA Program, a joint-degree in the Marshall School of Business and SCA as well as a Thornton Musical Theater Minor. She is thrilled and honored to work so closely with this group of artists and to join the MTR family. Madison is pursuing this degree and collaboration with MTR with the hopes that the experience will prepare her for a future of producing and directing theater and tv/film, in addition to continuing her on-screen career.
Samuel Avila (he/him) (Public Relations)
Samuel Avila is a BM Choral Music major and Musical Theatre minor. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Samuel got his start singing in his local church choir and numerous musical theatre vocal competitions around Los Angeles including the 2017 & 2019 Jerry Herman Awards under the direction of Kenny Ortega and Michael Orland. On campus, Samuel is a student employee for the Department of Public Safety’s Logistics Division, serves as a Thornton Ambassador for incoming students, is a member of the Thornton Community Engagement Program, sings with the USC Chamber Singers, serves as Secretary for USC ACDA’s Student Chapter and is a member of Troy Tones A Capella. Samuel is excited to be apart of MTR’s Artistic Board and serve as your Public Relations Board Member this year! In the future, Sam hopes to sing professionally around the Los Angeles area as a session singer and begin teaching.
Gabriella Antifantis (she/her) (Member at Large)
Gabriella Anifantis is a double major in Cinema Media Studies and Theatre. Originally from Washington, D.C. she has ventured to the West Coast, to pursue the entertainment industry both on and off stage/screen. Some of her favorite shows to have been a part of are HAIR, Urinetown, RENT, and Guys and Dolls. Before becoming a member of the board, she acted in MTR’s production of Long Story Short, and looks forward to continuing working with the group in other capacities. Apart from theatre, she is a writer for SPEC, USC’s lifestyle, culture, and wellness magazine. She is also a member of the Hellenic Students Association, Women’s Network, and a singer in Troy Tones Acapella.
Joy Cheever (she/her) (MTArtist)
Joy Cheever, Class of 2021, is working towards a BFA in Sound Design at the School of Dramatic Arts. She was first a dancer from the age of three, then shifted to theatre in middle school when she found her true passion wasn’t onstage, but behind the curtain. She fell in love with Sound Design at her High School in Keller, TX, and decided to pursue a career in the field. Joy was introduced to MTR by designing for Avenue Q in Fall 2018,and the rest is history! Outside the Artistic Board, Joy serves as the Theatre Students Association Assistant Marketing Chair and has designed the sound for a multitude of other ISP companies including BNT, ATC, Impulse, and One and All. Joy will be designing this year’s production of The Busybody, and looks forward to designing for more SDA Mainstage productions in the future. Beyond the realm of theatre, Joy has worked for the Marshall School of Business for over a year. When outside of a dim theatre or office, Joy loves to go outdoors, travel, and spend time with friends. This is her first semester serving on the MTR Artistic Board, and she couldn’t be more excited to work with such a talented group of people! www.joycheever.com
Jordan Fox (he/him) (Member at Large)
Jordan Fox is earning a degree in BFA Technical Direction and is excited to be graduating with the class of 2021. He joined theatre in his second year at Irvine High School and became lead Set Designer and Master Carpenter as a junior. Jordan also received two Cappies Commendee & Nominee’s for his work as Set Designer on Brighton Beach Memoirs and Cinderella by Rodgers and Hammerstein. In his first year, he has worked on the development and execution of over 20 productions at USC but the most rewarding have been Game Night (Set Designer), Stage Kiss (Master Carpenter), Tongues & Savage Love (Technical Director), Titus Andronicus (Set Designer and Technical Director), Cabaret (Assistant Technical Director), and the New Works Festival Year 2: Family Riots, Tunnels, and Counting (Student Technical Director). He is ecstatic to be assisting MTR this year and to be a part of such a prestigious group of individuals! Jordankerrfox.com
Stephen Jung (he/him) (Member at Large)
Stephen is a member of USC’s class of 2022 pursuing a degree in Music Industry. A graduate from Redwood High School in Larkspur, California, Stephen worked at his local theatre company, Ensemble Production Company (EPiC) for all of his high school career. There, he cultivated his love for theatre and the arts, and being a classically trained pianist, he started to volunteer at local theatres by being a rehearsal pianist. Looking for more opportunities in college, Stephen as been involved with every MTR production in his freshman year as Assistant Music Director, Rehearsal Pianist, and as band conductor (Avenue Q, Spring Awakening, Long Story Short, Spelling Bee). Stephen is extremely excited for the next season of shows, and wants to further prove himself as an asset to his artistic community.
Austin Karkowsky (he/him) (Music Coordinator)
Austin Karkowsky is from Houston, Texas and is a proud member of both the Thornton School of Music and the School of Dramatic Arts, graduating in 2021. As a performer, he has performed all over the country, with some of his favorite credits including Fly: A New Musical, and The Sound of Music Live! on NBC. As a composer, he is proud to say that his original musical, Boy Meets Girl, had its world premiere in London in Fall of 2017, and has additionally had music performed on Sesame Street. With MTR, Austin has appeared on the stage as Moritz (Spring Awakening), in the pit as Music Director (Avenue Q, Long Story Short), and looks forward to a future directing opportunity in the coming school year.
Zach Manske (he/him) (Dance Coordinator)
Zach Manske grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota training in various styles at Woodbury Dance Center. From 2012 to 2013, he played the role of “Billy Elliot” in the second national tour of Billy Elliot the Musical. He is currently majoring in Dance at University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. At school, Zach trains with artists such as Jodie Gates, William Forsythe, Fiona Lummis, and more. He also enjoys choreographing at both school and various studios across the nation.
Eric Renna (he/him) (Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion)
Eric Renna is proud to be a part of USC’s School of Dramatic Arts class of 2022 and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, Theatre - Acting Emphasis degree with a Minor in Musical Theatre from Thornton School of Music. Ever since being cast as the iconic village fish seller in a middle school production of Beauty and the Beast, Eric has devoted all his love to theatre. He has studied musical theatre for nine years and recently transferred to USC’s theatre community this year. Eric has been involved with theatrical projects with California companies like One More Productions at GEM Theatre, Rose Center Theatre, New Play Project, and The Del Rey Players. Some of his recent roles include Benny in In The Heights with Loyola Marymount University, Gabe Goodman in Next to Normal with The Del Rey Players, and Chino in West Side Story with One More Productions at GEM Theatre. He is honored and thriving as a new member of Musical Theatre Repertory and is committed to helping the board’s committee for diversity, equity, and inclusion to create a safer and more welcoming space for theatre artists. Visit www.ericrenna.com for more.
Jordan Rice (he/him) (Member at Large)
Jordan Rice is a student in the School of Dramatic Arts and is expected to graduate in 2024. He will graduate with a BA in Theatre with an Acting Emphasis and a minor in Musical Theatre. Jordan grew up in Chicago, Illinois where he did theatre for young audiences, community theatre, as well as educational theatre (during High School). His favorite roles have been Cosmo in Singin’ in the Rain as well as Emmett from Legally Blonde. He also studied musical theatre at the NYU New Studio on Broadway during one summer as well as with a group called The Performing Arts Project. He became involved with MTR by working as Co-Director on the song “Make This Bed,” a part of MTR’s song cycle Long Story Short Part 2. Jordan is thrilled to be joining the MTR artistic board and cannot wait to begin working on various projects.
Cole Slater (he/him) (Member at Large)
Cole Slater is a current member of the School of Dramatic Arts Class of 2022. He is double majoring in Theatre and French and is beyond excited to be a part of the MTR family. Cole is a multidisciplinary artist and studies many mediums including directing, acting, fashion, and film photography. Some of his acting highlights include Moonface Martin in Anything Goes (Flintridge Prep), Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors (Flintridge Prep), Cornelius in Hello, Dolly! (Flintridge Prep), and Ernst in Spring Awakening (MTR). Professionally, he has performed as TJ in Tommy’s Toyshop (The Lounge Theatre), as a guest performer at Back to Bravo (Alex Theatre), and as a series of characters in invisible theatre projects in Los Angeles. Cole has directed many works including the play Machinal. In addition, he has studied musical theatre over past summers at Tisch New Studio on Broadway, University of Michigan, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Broadway Artists Alliance. He is psyched to be challenged by MTR future productions!
Tata Vivas (she/her) (Member at Large)
Tata is a member of USC’s Class of 2021, pursuing a double major in Theatre and Narrative Studies. Originally from Venezuela, she somehow ended up in the lovely Winchester, Massachusetts where her passion for the arts flourished. She discovered her love for musical theatre in high school, after having dabbled in dance and choir, and quickly realized she could not live without it. Her USC credits include SDA’s Happy End (Jane), MTR’s Spring Awakening (Thea), SDA’s Sunday in the Park with George (Woman with Baby) and ATC’s Mother Courage (Producer). Tata is thrilled to be a member of this board and looks forward to growing with this community of artists!
Beth Yeo (she/her) (Member at Large)
Beth Yeo is a member of USC’s Class of 2021 pursuing a major in Communication with a minor in Business Administration. Beth’s love for musicals developed following a life-changing trip to Wicked aged 11, after which she went on to play an active role in her school’s Theatre Club during her middle and high school years. More recently, Beth began a theatre blog, The Stage Narrative, combining her love for writing and theatre through reviewing shows and interviewing Broadway and West End actors. She also took on the role of Contributing Editor at BroadwayWorld during her Freshman year abroad in Switzerland, reviewing European touring productions such as The Rocky Horror Show. You can probably find Beth in a theatre or in her room listening to show tunes in her free time. She has loved her time assistant stage managing MTR's productions of Avenue Q and Spring Awakening as well as stage managing Long Story Short, and cannot wait for the remainder of her journey with MTR! www.thestagenarrative.com
What about our alumni? Click here to meet the rest of the MTR family!