Matt Ripa Director of HSDI
Matt Ripa is a director, producer, and teacher. He received is Master of Fine Arts in Directing for The Catholic University of America. He teaches Theatre Production and Management to all drama majors and various courses in the Master in Theatre Education Program.
He most recently directed Helen Hayes Recommended THE WAR BOYS at Ally Theatre Company. At Catholic U, he directed THE LARAMIE PROJECT and OUR TOWN which received MD Theatre Guide's Audience Choice Award for Best Educational Theatre Production. Other directing credits include the Helen Hayes Recommended MACK, BETH at Keegan Theatre Company in Washington, DC. With Doorway Arts Ensemble, where he was the Producing Artistic Director, he directed the world three premieres. At Forum Theatre, he directed WE TIRESIAS, which won DC City Paper's choice for Best New Play in 2013 and TheatreMania's audience award for Best Drama at the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival.
He has directed at companies throughout the Washington region, including Imagination Stage, Forum Theatre, Pinky Swear Productions, Rorschach Theatre Company, Doorway Arts Ensemble, Landless Theatre Company and Traveling Players Ensemble. As an educator, he has over 15 years experience teaching students grades K through 12 with a focus on teaching theatre to students with language-based learning differences.
Kelly Renee Armstrong Acting Instructor
Kelly Renee Armstrong is a theatre artist and writer who facilitates creative interaction as a professor and through numerous after school programs. As an artist she has had the pleasure of working with a number of wonderful theatres including Rep Stage, Studio Theatre, Theatre J, Center Stage, Everyman Theatre, Theatre Alliance, and Arena Stage. She just finished a fascinating year as a participant in Arena Stage’s Playwrights Arena. Ms. Armstrong is a recipient of a 2013 Individual Artist Award for her solo work (Testify) from the Maryland State Arts Council. She is a learning enthusiast who takes every opportunity to enhance her craft.
Melissa Flaim Head of B.F.A. in Acting for Theatre, Film, and Television
Melissa Flaim is a professional actress, educator and coach who lives and works in Washington DC. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and French from The Pennsylvania State University. She is the Voice and Speech teacher at Catholic University where she teaches Introduction to Theatre, in addition to her Voice classes for both the graduate actors and the undergraduates. As a Vocal Coach she has worked at Round House Theatre on their productions of: Handbagged, Book of Will, and Miss Bennet; Christmas at Pemberly. She worked with Constellation Theatre on their production of Zorro. Ms. Flaim coached The Gaming Table at The Folger, and Woolly Mammoth’s production of Measure for Pleasure. For Baltimore Shakespeare Company: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Love’s Labour’s Lost. WSC/Avant Bard productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Scaramouche, Jumpers and Titus Andronicus. As a member of the faculty at CUA she has coached a number of productions including: Macbeth, Bloody Poetry, Pride and Prejudice, The Revolutionists, Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare in Hollywood, Brutus, Tartuffe, Cymbeline, The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui,, The Seagull, Romeo and Juliet and Love’s Labour’s Lost. Ms. Flaim is also a vocal coach in the private sector and has clients in government, law, business, the liturgical and not-for-profit professions.
As an actress her performances in Washington include: Misa in happiness and other reasons to die, and Cheryl in Not Enuf Lifetimes for The Welders; Sophie in Treadwell Bright and Dark at American Century Theatre, Haley in Bad Dates at Olney Theatre Jacqueline in Wintertime for Roundhouse Theatre, Various Roles in Antony and Cleopatra, Olivia in Twelfth Night and Rosalind in As You Like It for The Shakespeare Project; Angels in America, Parts I & II at Signature Theatre; Two Headed, Learning Curves and The Triumph of Love at Washington Shakespeare Company; the world premier of Amstel in Tel Aviv at Source Theatre; Kyle Donnelly's production of A Month in the Country at Arena Stage; Lenox in Macbeth and Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, both for The Travelling Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger Library. As a company member of Bard on Wheels, she worked on both day-long workshops and eight-week residency productions of As You Like It, The Tempest, and Much Ado About Nothing as a teacher/coach, actor and director. In 1997 with Stan Kang, Elizabeth Kitsos-Kang, Hope Lambert and Tom Mallan she founded Educational Theater Company. She worked on their premiere project, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and directed Henry V, and An Evening with Shakespeare for the company.
Rosalind Flynn Head of the Master of Arts in Theatre Education Program
Dr. Rosalind Flynn, Director of the High School Drama Institute, is the head of Catholic University's Drama Department’s Master of Arts in Theatre Education (MATE) degree program. She is also a National Teaching Artist for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has conducted workshops for students, teachers, and artists from 43 states and the District of Columbia. Her articles on educational theatre have been published in many journals and she is the author of two books. She worked as an instructor in the High School Drama Institute back in the 1970s and 80s and she is delighted to be a part of bringing this excellent summer learning experience back to Catholic University. To read more about Dr. Flynn’s work, please visit her blog.
Maurice Johnson Jazz Instructor and Choreographer
Mr. Johnson was born in Lexington, Kentucky. He received his Bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Kentucky with a minor in spanish. He studied and performed with a variety of notable dance institutions including The Lexington Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Repertoire, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and North Atlanta Academy School of Dance. He appeared in the HBO movie "Miss Ever's Boys" and performed in the U.S Olympic ceremonies. His choreographic talents has enabled him to work with the production teams of Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna and Paula Abdul among others. Today, he is one of the area's most sought after choreographers and master teachers. Mr. Johnson is current faculty at Joy Of Motion Dance Center. He also serves as adjunct faculty for American University and The Catholic University of America.
Marc Bryan Lilley Head of B.M. in Musical Theatre
Vocal Coach and Accompanist
Marc Bryan Lilley works as an accompanist, vocal coach, and music director in and around the D.C. metro area. He currently serves as the faculty accompanist and vocal coach for the Musical Theater division. Since 2008 Marc has music directed for the Summer Dinner Theatre program at Montgomery College in Rockville Maryland. Additionally during the summer he works as music director for the MTIT program at The Theatre Lab in downtown Washington D.C. In 2009 he toured with The New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra as orchestral pianist, and assistant conductor, traveling to China and accompanying Broadway and Hollywood legend, Mrs. Shirley Jones. While earning his masters in conducting at Ithaca College he served as the graduate assistant to the Director of Opera and worked as assistant conductor for the Opera and Musical Theatre productions, accompanying all rehearsals and workshops, as well as serving as a coach, chorus master, and frequent performance conductor. In 2009 He worked as assistant music director for Merry Go Round Theatre in Auburn New York, playing for the east coast premier of Stowell and Zuehlke’s “Church Basement Ladies.”
Brandon McCoy Acting Instructor
Brandon McCoy is a proud graduate of the CUA MFA in Acting program. He is an adjunct theatre professor at numerous area colleges and universities, including Catholic, George Washington, Montgomery College, and Howard Community College. As an actor, Brandon's work has been seen in such theatres as Round House Theatre, Theatre J, Rep Stage, Arena Stage, Studio Theatre, Studio Theatre 2nd stage, Forum Theatre, No Rules Theatre Company, Theatre Alliance, and The Bay Theatre. Brandon has appeared on HBO's Veep, and is also a successful director and stand-up comedian.