The award winning Theatre Department at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts takes pride in educating the next generation of American theatre artists. Our mission is to provide students with the comprehensive theatre arts studies and practical experiences necessary to enter prestigious college, university and conservatory programs as well as the professional industry.
Based upon a track system, students choose to focus their studies on Acting, Musical Theatre, or Technical Theatre after the freshmen year. Dreyfoos Theatre annually produces both a straight play and a musical in our mainstage theatre, Meyer Hall, as well as a straight play, and musical in the Blackbox theatre. We also have a Theatre for Young Audiences production and several student showcases as a part of our Black Box Series.
Over the last 25 years, our alumni have been seen on Broadway, Film/TV, national tours, cruise ships, and regional theatres across the country. Graduates have been accepted to The Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Berklee School of Music, CalArts, Carnegie Mellon, Elon, Emerson, Florida State, The Hartt School, The Juilliard School, Marymount Manhattan College, University of Michigan, The New School, New World School of the Arts, NYU-Tisch, North Carolina School of the Arts, Northwestern, Oklahoma City University, Pace, Penn State, Point Park, Roosevelt, Syracuse University, Southern Methodist University, SUNY Purchase, Texas State University, University of the Arts, University of Southern California and Webster University. Students have also attended summer programs at Boston University, Broadway Artists Alliance, Broadway Artists Intensive, Broadway Theatre Project, Cincinnati College Conservatory, Florida State University Summer Theatre Intensive, French Woods Festival, the MUNY, NY Conservatory of Dramatic Art, Northwestern University, Oklahoma City University, Penn State University, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Texas State University, The Performing Arts Project, Triple Arts, University of the Arts, Wagner College.
Michelle Petrucci (Dean of Theatre; Dance and Choreography) BFA Musical Theatre, The Boston Conservatory
Originally from Northern New Jersey, Michelle grew up in the dance studio and found her home in the theatre. She has used her passion for dance and musical theatre to lead her to a fulfilling career as a performer, choreographer, director and educator. She spent the first part of her career in New York as a working actor, then relocated to Florida where she began making the transition to direction, choreography and training. As a performer, Michelle toured the country in the Broadway National Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, served as the Dance Captain of the National Tour of Camelot, spent months at sea as a lead singer/dancer for Princess Cruise Lines, and has been seen regionally in A Chorus Line, Chitty... (Dance Capt.), Hello Dolly, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pal Joey, Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, and Pippin. Michelle’s favorite choreography credits include Pal Joey (IRNE Award of Boston nomination, Best Choreography), 110 in the Shade and 1776 at Palm Beach Dramaworks, Chicago at Apex Theatre Studio, Snoopy: The Musical under the direction of co-creator Arthur Whitelaw, Urinetown and Bat Boy: The Musical at Area Stage Company, and Lippa’s The Wild Party at Outré Theatre Company. Educationally, Michelle has held teaching positions in studios and schools from Miami to West Palm Beach. She has also spent summers teaching and choreographing at University of the Arts, University of Miami, Cornish College of the Arts, University School of NSU, and French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in New York. Michelle was the Kravis Center Dream Awards' first recipient of the Inspiring Theatre Educator Award. She earned her BFA in Musical Theatre with an emphasis in Dance from The Boston Conservatory and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Edward Blanchette (Technical Director, Stagecraft) BFA and MFA Playwriting, Florida State University
In his eleventh year at Dreyfoos, Edward Blanchette comes from a long career in the professional theatre – technical Director of The Joseph Papp Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival where he supervised the scenery built for such Broadway productions as Elaine Stritch at Liberty (Tony Award – 2001), Topdog/Underdog (Tony Award Best Original Play and Pulitzer Prize – 2001) and Mike Nichols’ production of The Seagull (Shakespeare in the Park) starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Natalie Portman. Prior to his tenure at The Public Theatre, Ed was the Technical Director at Manalapan’s Florida Stage where he was responsible for providing the technical direction for many of its Carbonell Award-winning sets. He had the distinct honor of technically supervising productions for award-winning Broadway, film, and television designers such as Tony Walton, Eugene Lee, David Gallo, Bob Crowley, Klara Siglarova, and Neil Patel. He has also had the honor of working with many of Florida’s top designers such as Michael Amico and Michael McClain.
He enjoys presenting stagecraft workshops at local and national theatre conferences. But, at this juncture in his life, he is most proud of his technical theatre students who are responsible for the beautiful scenery, lighting, and sound seen and heard in the Theatre Department’s Mainstage shows as well as their considerable accomplishments in some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and theatre’s.
Mr. Blanchette received his training at Florida State University’s School of Theatre where he received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. in playwriting. In his spare time, he fishes (fresh water), plays music (guitar), bakes (pastries and breads), and writes (plays). However, his most important moments are spent with his love, partner, and best friend … his wife Beverly … his daughters Erin and Megan, son-in-law Eric, and the stars of his show, his granddaughters Stevie and Parker.
Andrew Gilbert (Musical Theatre, Music Director) BA, Nova Southeastern University
Andrew Gilbert’s love of the arts and education has led him right to the doorstep of Dreyfoos School of the Arts in beautiful West Palm Beach. As a West Palm Beach native, growing up in Wellington, it made sense to return to his hometown to start his family and infuse everything he has done in the arts back into his home community. After attending and after graduating from Nova Southeastern University in Performing and Visual Arts and Education, he worked as a Music Director in community, educational and professional environments for companies like Slow Burn Theatre Company, Thinking Cap Theatre, NSU and more. His productions have been nominated for and won multiple Carbonell Awards such as Always, Patsy Kline, Spring Awakening, Rent and Little Shop of Horrors. He is finally home and ready to lay roots while upholding the legacy that is DSOA.
Artist in Residence
Penny Koleos-Williams(Costume Design and Construction) Keith Betts (Lighting, Sound)
Quin Gordon, Assistant Professor of Drama, University of North Carolina School of the Arts - John Simpkins, Head of Musical Theatre, Penn State University - Grant Kretchik, Director of BFA Acting Program, Pace University - Amy Rogers, Director of BFA Musical Theatre Program, Pace University - Amy Dugas Brown, Head of Design, Production and Playwriting, University of the Arts - Dr. David Herendeen, Director of Opera and Musical Theatre, Oklahoma City University - Mark Madama, Professor of Musical Theatre, University of Michigan - Bruce Linser, Professor of Musical Theatre, Lynn University - Matt Morgan, Lecturer of Musical Theatre Voice, University of Florida - Kevin Wilson, Associate Professor of Voice, The Boston Conservatory - Michelle Chassé, Musical Theatre Dance, The Boston Conservatory - McCaela Donovan, Assistant Director of the School of Theatre, Boston University - Claudia Benack, Assistant Professor of Voice, Carnegie Mellon University - Rick Edinger, Associate Professor of Music Theatre, Carnegie Mellon University - Kristina Fluty, Professor of Movement, DePaul University - Kaitlin Hopkins, Head of Musical Theatre, Texas State University - Byron Easely, Head of Dance, NYU Tisch’s New Studio on Broadway - Dave Clemmons, former NYC Casting Director, college audition coach - Crista Moore, Tony-nominated Broadway actor - Jennifer Perrone, Juilliard-trained ballet master teacher - Josh Chenard, Certified teacher of Michael Chekhov Technique and Fitzmaurice Voicework - Open Jar Institute, summer theatre training company, NY - Lindsey Bell, Equity musical theatre dancer - Michelle Shannon, DSOA Theatre alumni, hip hop master teacher - Brian O’Keefe, Resident Costume Designer, Palm Beach Dramaworks - Katie Pyne, Assistant Stage Manager, Palm Beach Dramaworks - Brittani Seach, Costume Shop Manager, Maltz Jupiter Theatre John McDermott, Technical Director, Maltz Jupiter Theatre - Nathan Tysen, musical theatre composer, Amelie lyricist - Christine Dwyer and Matt DeAngelis, principal actors from the Waitress National Tour - Elon University Musical Theatre Class of 2019