Guest Artists

Christine Rohde

Current Guest Artist – Christine Rohde

Christine Marie Rohde is originally from Madison, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point with a BA in Dance and also completed a clinical massage therapy program. Ms. Rohde graduated from the Theatre and Dance Program with a MFA in Dance from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May 2012 with a secondary emphasis in the Alexander Technique. Ms. Rohde's extensive professional background with nationally recognized jazz dance and contemporary dance companies brings further insight to her teaching. She trained and performed in 2002-2003 with the contemporary dance company Juan Carlos Rincones Dance Theatre in Washington D.C., performing at the Kennedy Center among other national venues. Additionally, her have professional experience with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, as a performing apprentice in 2004-2005. Christine has performed with the company at the Harris Theatre in Chicago and at the Jazz Dance World Congress in San Jose, Costa Rica. From 2005-2009, Ms. Rohde worked professionally with Thodos Dance Chicago, a contemporary dance company, performing nationally and internationally. In 2009 she toured with the company to South Korea, representing the United States, for the Busan International Dance Festival. Additionally, she taught, choreographed, and performed for the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop with the resident jazz dance company Interweave Dance Theatre from 2010-2012. Most recently Christine dances professionally for 3rd Law Dance Theater, in their multi-media, collaborative dance theater productions from 2014 to today.  She has performed the repertory of such well know dance choreographers as Lar Lubovitch, Gus Giordano, Mia Michaels, Eddy Ocampo, Sam Watson, Rennie Harris, Jon Lehrer, Billy Siegenfeld, Ann Reinking, Katie Elliot, Melissa Thodos and Tony Powell among others.

Beyond her performing experience she has successfully showcased her choreographic work nationally and internationally.  One of her works, Camarilla (2007), was purchased as a repertory piece for  the professional dance company Thodos Dance Chicago from 2007-2009, which was performed by the company and toured throughout the Chicago-land area. Additionally her choreography has appeared at the Ruth Page Dance Center, in Dance Chicago (a Chicago Dance Festival), Thodos Dance Chicago’s Fall Engagement and Winter Concert and the American College Dance Festival (representing the Dance Department of the University of Colorado at Boulder). In 2010, her solo work The Box (2009) was chosen to represent the University of Colorado at Boulder's Dance Program at the American College Dance Festival in the Northwest Region, where she performed and taught several master classes. In 2010, Christine was invited to represent the University of Colorado at Boulder in Costa Rica, presenting a number of her solo works as a headliner for the Promising Artists of the 21st Century. Other choreographic accomplishments include performing and setting an original choreographic work entitled A Heart Full of Love (2012) for Interweave Dance Theatre of Boulder, Colorado and serving as guest artist in 2012 at Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA, where she set a new contemporary jazz dance piece entitled Reawakening. In 2010, she acted as the assistant choreographer for the University of Colorado’s Theatre and Dance Dept’s 50th Anniversary production of Rent: The Musical as well as choreographing for CU’s Opera production of Bernstein’s Mass featuring three choirs and two orchestras. Additionally, she has taught, assisted, and directed numerous community outreach programs (including CU Contemporary Danceworks) providing dance education, lecture demonstrations and performances throughout the Southern Colorado communities.

As a teacher Ms. Rohde is known as a generous, knowledgeable, and energetic educator who pushes her students to explore the range of their abilities as technicians, artists and performers. In 2012, she was awarded the Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she taught university dance classes for Dance Majors and Minors from 2009-2012. Ms Rohde served as adjunct dance faculty in the Dance Department at Pikes Peak Community College from 2012-2013 in Colorado Springs. From 2013-2014 she was Assistant Professor of Dance at the State University of New York Potsdam teaching dance majors and minors in Dance Composition, Jazz Funk, Ballet, Senior Students and Modern Dance. For the last three years she has served as Dance Director at The Art Underground leading, directing and choreographic three different levels of competitive dance companies, teaching ages two to adult in creative movement, ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, jazz funk, tap and musical theater.   

Past Guest Artists Include…

Peter DiMuro, Courtney Jones, Marilyn Sylla and Sekou Sylla, Beth Malone, David Taylor, Matthew Montenegro, Mike Esperanza, Jessica Taylor, Dante Lara, Suzanne Bronson.

Suzanne Bronson

CMU grad Suzanne Bronson was in residence at CMU during the month of January 2018 to premiere her original play, Mothafckers - Tales of Modern Greek, for the theatre department's innaugural Mesa Lab performance. Mesa Lab is dedicated to original work and is CMU’s foray into the cutting edge of contemporary theatre making. A Master of Fine Arts graduate from the Dramatic Writing program at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Suzanne Bronson’s full length plays A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy, The Nail Sings, and Spill the Beans have been performed at several staged and unstaged readings in New York and Colorado. The ten minute play, Fool's Mate, was the November 2016 first round winner in Torrent Theatre's The Play Off!. Another ten minute play, Father, Son, and Coffee was a winner in the Clarke Hall PAUMC, Thematic Thursdays in June 2017. Suzanne holds a Bachelors in English Writing from Colorado Mesa University and an Associates in Liberal Arts from the State University of New York. She is a member of the Theatre Communications Group and Dramatist Guild of America. 

Beth Malone

Broadway star and Tony Award-nominated actress Beth Malone was the guest of honor at the Moss Performing Arts Center on Jan. 30. She spent the afternoon speaking with Colorado Mesa University theatre majors about her experiences onstage and answering their questions about careers in the field.

Malone is currently starring on Broadway as Big Alison in the musical Fun Home, a new show based on the best-selling graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel. Malone was nominated for a Tony Award in 2015 for her role in the musical.

A Colorado native, she was in town visiting her parents and had just finished a day of skiing when she stopped by to chat with the students about her intimate involvement with the development of Fun Home from the ground up. She also talked about her experiences as a Broadway actress who is also working to get her foot in the door of TV and film.

Much of Malone’s time at CMU was spent taking student questions and advising them on their careers as well as on how to stay motivated and inspired as an artist. She stressed that everyone is on their own journey and has a valuable story to tell.

She was realistic but encouraging about the struggle ahead for the young artists. “You’re going to get discouraged,” Malone said, but emphasized that it’s what you do about that discouragement that counts.

She noted that finding work as an older actress is sometimes a struggle, as she feels she is beginning to “age out of what society finds interesting,” but that this situation is beginning to change.

Malone also recently played Molly Brown in The Unsinkable Molly Brown at the Denver Center, a role she described as joyful, in contrast to her role in Fun Home which is fulfilling in a different way — more “intrinsically satisfying and … pure,” she said. For her, comparing the two roles is like “comparing apples to semi trucks.”

She took time after her talk to meet students personally, to sign autographs and to take lots of pictures before heading back to Fruita for her favorite pizza at The Hot Tomato.​