Faculty & Staff
Department of Theatre, Dance & Film Faculty
M.F.A., Brooklyn College
Born the tenth of eleven children, Kathleen Moore Ambrosini, grew up in New York. Her performance career was launched at age 5, and she began to study professionally in her teens. Kate earned her Bachelor's Degree from Binghamton University, studying Meisner Technique under Tom Kremer, and then moved back to New York to study Method Acting with Penny Allen and Mark Zeller. While living in NY, she performed Off-Broadway, before completing a Master's Degree at Brooklyn College. She moved to Providence and performed at Alias Stage, Brown University, the Sandra-Feinstein Theater, The Granite Theater, and at Mechanics Hall in Worchester. In 1999, she became a Visiting Lecturer for Providence College. In 2002, she was hired at Brown University as an instructor in the Arts/Lit Program. Kate currently teaches at Providence College, Brown, and R.I.S.D. In 2006, she was nominated at R.I.S.D. for the John R. Frazier Award. The Frazier Award is presented "in recognition of an exceptionally gifted faculty member."
Her courses at PC include Acting, Public Speaking, Oral Interpretation, and Theatre Appreciation.
Professor M.F.A., Southern Methodist University
David Costa-Cabral is a full-time Associate Professor of Theater at Providence College where he is the Resident Scenic and Costume Designer. David received his M.F.A. in Theater Design from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. His designs for the stage have included works for the Public Theatre, the New York International Fringe Festival, The Boston Conservatory and The Green Mountain Guild, The Walnut Hill School, The Boston Lyric Stage and many others. Among his assorted design credits are The Tempest (Providence College), Follies (The Boston Conservatory), The Who's Tommy (The Walnut Hill School), Side Show (The Boston Conservatory) and A Little Night Music (The Boston Lyric Stage).
Courses that David Costa-Cabral teaches at Providence College are Theatre Appreciation, Intro. To Theatre Design, Intro. To Theatre, Dance & Film, History of Fashion and Costume, and American Musical Theatre.
Mary G. Farrell
M.F.A., Illinois State University
Mary G. Farrell is a Professor in the Department of Theatre, Dance and Film and head of the Acting Program at Providence College. In the course of her tenure here, she has directed over 25 productions in the Blackfriars, most recently, Seagull (for which she received a CAFR (Committee on Aid to Faculty Research) grant to study at Chekhov's estate, Melikhove, near Moscow, Waiting for Godot and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Outside the College her work has been seen locally at the former Alias Stage (now Sandra Feinstein Gamm Theatre), Newgate Theatre, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra Family Series and 1st Stage Providence, which she co-founded with Nancy Mundy. She has been an active member of the American College Theatre Festival and has been invited to direct in their 10 minute Play Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Recently, Prof. Farrell collaborated with PC alumnus Aidan Connolly ('92) on an adaptation of James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and directed its premiere at the Irish Arts Center in NYC.
Courses that Mary Farrell teaches at Providence College are Intro. To Acting, Acting Realism, Acting Improvisation, Acting Presentational Styles, and Children's Theatre and Creative Drama.
M.F.A., Virginia Commonwealth University
Renina Flores is an Assistant Professor of Voice and Diction in the Theatre, Dance and Film Department at Providence College where she is the Resident Vocal Coach. She is a graduate of Guildford School of Acting in Surrey, England and received her MFA in Theatre with a specialization in Voice and Speech from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked in theatre, voiceovers and television. Her credits include projects for GW Television, Reflexive Entertainment, and Discovery and the Learning Channel. Her vocal and dialect coaching credits include Lord of the Flies for Henley Street Theatre, My Fair Lady for Barksdale Theatre (co-dialect coach), Suddenly Last Summer for Richmond Triangle Players, Two Precious Maidens Ridiculed and Troy Women for Shafer Street Playhouse in Richmond and assistant vocal coaching for Les Liaisons Dangereuses, VCU Mainstage.
Courses that Renina Flores teaches are Voice and Diction, Fundamentals of Public Speaking and Oral Interpretation.
M.F.A., Catholic University of America
John Garrity has been a member of the Providence College Faculty since 1976. In his capacity as Managing Director of Theatre he is responsible for the administration of the production programs in the Department of Theatre, Dance and Film and for theatre facilities within the Smith Center for the Arts.John has worked at the Olney Theatre Center in Maryland, at the MCC theatre in New York and has directed over 30 plays at Providence College. Some of the most recent of these include Amadeus, The Tempest, and Agnes of God. In 2006 the Masterpool Foundation established a theatre scholarship fund at Providence College in Mr. Garrity's name.
John Garrity teaches Script Analysis, Directing, Seminar, and Production courses, and serves as a mentor to student directors.
Kenneth Gumbert, O.P.
M.F.A., University of Utah
Father Kenneth Gumbert is an Associate Professor of Film Studies in the Department of Theatre, Dance and Film. Besides being a filmmaker, he is a painter and sculptor. Father Kenneth Gumbert was born in Framingham, MA, attended Arizona State University, Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley CA, and University of Utah, where he received a masters degree in fine arts. While in graduate school, he produced two documentary films that aired on PBS: "Ritual Ways" and "Between Two Worlds." He won a Dore Schary award for human relations for one of these documentaries, "Ritual Ways." In 1994, Father Gumbert served as a Production Assistant on the set of the film "Federal Hill," where he earned the nickname "Padre to the Stars." In 2003, he created a documentary, "Saving Grace," which focused on religious persecution in the former Czechoslovakia. Though originally shown on PBS, "Saving Grace" was also shown on the Providence College campus, and several film festivals since. In 2005, Father won a Gabriel Award from the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals for this documentary. Father Gumbert has been a professor of Humanities and has taught Philosophy, Art and Film at Providence College since his arrival here in 1992.
Fr. Gumbert teaches History of Film (Classic and Silent Era), The Catholic Imagination of Four American Filmmakers (John Ford, Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese), Film Video Production and Women in Cinema for the women's studies program, where we explore theoretical concerns of women who make and consume films.
Musical Director and Conductor
M.Mus., Virginia Commonwealth University
M.Mus., Boston University
After completing his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, David Harper went on to earn a Master of Music from Virginia Commonwealth University. He continued his studies at Boston University, as Dean's Scholar, earning a second Master's degree from the School of Music in 1994, graduating with top honors. He is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda music society. As a singer, he studied with Richard Cassilly; as a pianist, his teachers include Daniel Ericourt and Anthony di Bonaventura. He has accompanied such illustrious Metropolitan Opera singers as Richard Cassilly and Patricia Craig in concert and has twice been chosen to participate in the prestigious Cleveland Art Song Festival where he worked with such artists as Warren Jones, Roger Vignoles, Olaf Bar and Sarah Walker. David has held teaching positions at both Boston University and Rhode Island College, and is currently Coordinator of Vocal Studies in the Department of Music and Musical Director in the Department of Theatre, Dance and Film at Providence College. At Trinity Repertory Theater in Providence, Rhode Island, David was musical director for the premier of the Richard Cumming opera, The Picnic and in 2004 he served as the assistant musical director for A Christmas Carol. He has also done national tours of To Whom It May Concern by Carol Hall and A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
David was the musical director and conductor of Providence College's production of Carousel, as well as the musical director for Brigadoon in 2005 and Merrily We Roll Along in 2002.
David Harper teaches Voice Class, Lyric Diction, Song Repertoire, Opera/Musical Workshop, Music in the Theatre and Music Appreciation.
MFA, Ohio State University
Betsy Miller is a co-director of Propel-her Dance, an innovative choreographic collective based in New York City. She has performed with shove gently dance, in her own work, and in collaborations with Maggie Bennett and Erik Abbott-Main. Her choreography has been presented in venues throughout New York City and Columbus, OH. Betsy most recently worked as a guest choreographer with Mam-Luft&Co. Dance in Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University, where she taught classes in modern, ballet and jazz, and a BA in Dance from Connecticut College.
M.F.A., Temple University
Ed.D., Columbia University
Wendy Oliver has an M.F.A. in dance from Temple University and an Ed.D. in Dance Education from Columbia University. She has been teaching and choreographing at Providence College since 1985, and is the director of the PC Dance Company. Before coming to Providence College, she performed with the Minneapolis-based company Contactworks, performing and teaching throughout the upper Midwest. She is the past recipient of choreographic grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Oliver is Chair of the Department of Theatre, Dance and Film, and also runs the Children's Dance program on Saturdays on the Providence College campus. She is currently working with the Arts Learning Network to create and implement dance proficiencies for high school graduation throughout Rhode Island. She has published two books and several articles, most recently "Reading the Ballerina's Body:Susan Bordo Sheds Light on Anastasia Volochkova and Heidi Guenther" in Dance Research Journal, and "Dance Proficiency in Rhode Islands, Opportunities and Challenges," in Journal of Dance in Education.
Wendy Oliver teaches Intro. To Dance, Modern Dance, Women in Dance and Sport, Women in the Arts, Children's Dance, and runs the Providence College Dance Company.
Matthew D. Powell, O.P.
M.A., Miami University
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
Father Matthew Powell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre, Dance and Film. Father Powell attended the Universities of Dayton and Wisconsin, the Aquinas Institute, and Miami University. While at these colleges, he received B.S. and M.A. degrees for Speech and Drama, an M.A. for Theology, and a Ph.D. for Theatre. He was ordained in 1975 and assigned to Providence College in 1983. In the fall of 1987 he became an Assistant Professor for Theatre Arts. Since then, he has published The Christmas Crche: Treasure of Faith, Art, & Theatre and God Off-Broadway: The Blackfriars Theatre of New York, which was nominated in 1999 for the George Freedley Memorial Award, and Performing Parables: Religious Folk Tales, Legends and Fables for Readers' Theatre.
Courses that Father Powell teaches at Providence College are Theatre Appreciation, Oral Interpretation, History of Theatre Production, Public Speaking, Readings in Dramatic Lit, and 20th Century American Drama.
MFA, Boston University
Ben Sweeney graduated from Providence College in 2000 with a BA in Film and Video Studies and earned an MFA in Film Studies from Boston University in 2008. He has taught film studies classes at Boston University, University of Rhode Island, and Providence College. For the past eight years he has served as Associate Producer at Providence Pictures, a local production company specializing in documentary films for television. In that time he has worked on several films for The History Channel and over a dozen for NOVA on PBS. He has recently completed work on an episode of NOVA ScienceNow on forensic science for Time Frame Films.
Ben Sweeney teaches History of Film at Providence College.
Special Lecturer in Dance
M.F.A., Wayne State University
Bill Wilson is a Special Lecturer in Intermediate Tap. He is also currently the Director of Musical Theatre and the Director of the Performing and Fine Arts Commission at Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island. Previously, he served as Associate Director of Theatre at Minnesota State University at Moorhead, where he also served as an Assistant Professor, and as the head of the Dance program. Bill has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Bill has directed and choreographed over 75 productions and has directed several plays. As a choreographer and movement specialist, Bill has studied Tap, Jazz and Ballet since his childhood, and, in the last fifteen years, Pilates, Yoga, Alexander, Feldenkrais, and Rolfing.
Administrative Assistant - Academic Office
B.A., Providence College
Ali Boyd's diverse professional background includes both legal and academic environments. On the Providence College campus, she previously worked in other departments. She is a graduate of the College, with a BA in Printmaking, and has completed coursework toward an MBA as well. Film, however, is her current medium. She is writing, directing and producing a documentary about the life and death of singer-songwriter, Peter Kelley, who was signed to Sire Records in the late 1960's. Ali also creates work in other disciplines, including sculpture, writing and illustration. Ali was awarded RISCA Project Grants for Individual Artists in 2011 and 2012 for her documentary.
Assistant Technical Director
B.A., Providence College
Spencer earned his BA in Theatre in 2004 from Providence College and completed courses in Design and Production at Rhode Island College. Before he returned to PC in 2006, Spencer worked as Technical Director for LaSalle Academy and assisted with several Blackfriars Theatre Mainstage productions and student independent projects, working as a lighting designer, master electrician and technical consultant. He has also worked as a Production Assistant at the Walnut Hill School, High Output, and East Coast Lighting & Production Services.
B.F.A., University of Rhode Island
George Marks, Technical Director, received his BFA in technical theatre from University of Rhode Island in 1972. He has been working at Providence College since 1997. Previously, he worked as a carpenter and a master carpenter at Trinity Repertory Theatre. He also served as Technical Director at Rhode Island College, and has worked in commercial and industrial mechanical contracting as well as residential.
Production Office Assistant – Theatre
B.F.A., Cleveland Institute of Art
Susan comes to the theatre world from the visual arts. She is a still life photographer, working with both found and constructed objects. Her exhibition record includes solo and two-person exhibitions at the Wheeler Gallery (Providence, RI), The Print Center (Philadelphia, PA), Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and abroad in Italy, in both Assisi and Rome. During the yearsSusan lived in Rome, she taught photography for Temple University Rome, and for Cornell University's Program in Rome, and was a visiting artist for the Rhode Island School of Design's European Honors Program. In 2004 she received a Merit Award in Photography from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. In addition to her work in the studio, she is writing a novel.
Costume Shop Supervisor
Maxine Wheelock, Costume Shop Supervisor, has worked at Providence College since 2005. She has extensive experience in dressmaking, including work with Wood and Poplyk Costume Design, Costume World, Inc., Worcester Forum Theatre, and the Worcester Foothills Theatre. She was the principal dressmaker for Showboat, produced by Papermill Playhouse in New Jersey, then filmed for PBS for their "Great Performances" series, which led to an Emmy nomination for costume design. More recently, she ran her own business, Maxine's Custom Dressmaking, in Uxbridge, MA, where she specialized in wedding gowns, bridal parties, and theatre costumes.