Guest Artists

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Current Guest Artist - Teena Marie Custer

Teena Marie is an urban dance artist based in Pittsburgh, Pa/Ontario,Canada.  She has battled and performed nationally and internationally with her crews, Venus Fly, as well as her local Pittsburgh crew, Get Down Gang. She has won b-girl battles such as Enter the Cypha and UnderGround Movement, and won the “House Cypher” award at Chicago’s Slick City event. Her hip hop dance theater work has been presented at the Breakin’ Convention in London, The American Dance Festival, Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, Ford Amphitheater in LA, and the American College Dance Festival Gala Concert.  She has created hip hop dance theater works for over 30 university dance departments around the U.S., and in addition to touring her solo show, “My Good Side,” she also dances with Bessie award winning Ephrat Asherie Dance in NYC and Bill “Crutchmaster” Shannon. Teena was on faculty at Slippery Rock University for 14 years, as well as the American Dance Festival, and has an M.F.A. in Contemporary Dance Performance from The Ohio State University.​

Past Guest Artists Include…

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

Daniel Charon

Fall 2018

Artistic Director of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company since 2013, Daniel Charon has been active as a choreographer, teacher, and performer for over twenty-five years. While based in New York City, Daniel maintained a project-based company and danced with Doug Varone and Dancers and the Limón Dance Company. He is a BFA graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and an MFA graduate of the California Institute of the Arts in Choreography and Integrated Media. As Ririe-Woodbury’s Artistic Director, Daniel has created original works for the stage, gallery installations (Utah Museum of Contemporary Art), and had designed video for his and other choreographers’ works. Daniel is the recipient of City Weekly's Best of Utah 2016 Award in Choreography for his Together Alone Trilogy. A nationally known and respected educator, Charon regularly teaches master classes and workshops nationally and internationally and has taught at the Metropolitan Opera, the Bates Dance Festival, Salt Dance Fest, North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Comprehensive, Varone Summer Dance Workshops, and Limón Summer Workshops. He has been a guest artist at numerous universities and was an adjunct faculty member at Hunter College (NYC) and the California Institute of the Arts. Daniel has staged the works of José Limón, Jirí Kylián, and Doug Varone at schools and companies around the world.

Christine Rohde

Spring 2018

Christine Marie Rohde 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.

Suzanne Bronson

January 2018

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 inaugural 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.​