Jim Bumgardner (Producer/Director/Professor) has been on the faculty at Bergen since 2002. He teaches both theatre courses as well as produces all of the Bergenstages productions. Some of his favorite shows that he has directed were …and the World Goes ‘Round, A Christmas Pudding, Into the Woods, Oh,Coward, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, Company, The Threepenny Opera, The 1940’s Radio Hour, The Heiress, Cabaret, Kiss Me, Kate, Godspell, A Funny Thing Happened…Forum, Kindertransport, Brigadoon, Damn Yankees, Mousetrap, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, Deathtrap, Steel Magnolias and Moonlight and Magnolias. He received his M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY and his B.A. from St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC.
Dr. Leigh Jonaitis (Director/Professor) earned a B.F.A. (Musical Theatre) and a B.A. (English) from the University of Michigan and an M.A. and Ed.D. from Columbia University Teachers College. Recent directorial credits include Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe, and Radium Girls by D.W. Gregory. She wrote and directed Hunterdon, a play about attempts to ban LGBTQIA+ books. She has also devised and directed two works of verbatim theatre with Christine Eubank: The Body in Conversation, a piece culled from student voices about women’s experiences and Coming to Jones Road / The Ancestor Journeys, inspired by the artwork and writing of Faith Ringgold. Acting roles include Kate in Dancing at Lughnasa, Dr. Charlotte in Falsettoland, Arlene in Baby, the Witch in Into the Woods, Sarah in Company, and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible. She performed regularly with guitarist Larry Newcomb and recorded vocals on Newcomb’s album Living Tribute with jazz guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli. She has published articles in Teaching English in the Two-Year College, the Journal of Basic Writing, and Research and Teaching in Developmental Education. She has served in multiple leadership roles for the Two-Year College English Association (TYCA)-Northeast, and was elected to the position of National Secretary for TYCA. She is also faculty co-advisor to the Bergen Theatre Club.
Jared Saltzman (Lighting Designer/Director/Professor) is a professor of performing arts, cinema studies and communications. A founding member of the theatre program, Saltzman, with the help of many students, designed, renovated, and built the Ender Hall Laboratory Theatre and was also actively involved in the design of the Ciccone Theatre. He has designed the lighting and scenery for more than 125 shows at Bergen and has also served in the capacity of producer, director, and technical director. In addition to his academic work, Saltzman is a professional stage technician with memberships in numerous trade organizations and unions (IATSE). He is a Certified Entertainment Electrician and is nationally recognized as a Qualified Trainer in the entertainment industry.
Thomas O’Neill, EdD (Sr. Tech Coordinator/Director/Designer/Adjunct Professor) holds an M.F.A. and B.F.A. from the NYU School of the Arts and an Ed.D. from NAU. He has also studied at the National Theatre of Great Britain and is a certified Alexander Technique Teacher. In his 23rd year on staff at Bergen, O’Neill has helped to coordinate and produce over 300 professional series presentations featuring luminaries, Olympia Dukakis, Phillip Glass, Ben Vereen, George Winston, Peter Yarrow, Cissy Houston, John Densmore, Rufus Reed, Janis Ian, Tom Paxton and Suzanne Vega. His directing credits include, Rumors, Much Ado About Nothing, Angels in America, Cyrano, Elephant Man, Media and Crimes of the Heart. Design credits (sets) Cabaret, As You Like It, Bus Stop, The Importance of Being Earnest, All My Sons, and The Cherry Orchard. His sound design credits include South Pacific, Other People’s Money, and Company. O’Neill is a firm believer in education and the transformative nature of theatre as keys to a successful life in whatever the endeavor. His doctoral dissertation concentrated on the powerful influence of theatre arts studies on community college students and the development of the non-cognitive behaviors such as critical and creative thinking, persistence, self-esteem, and more. O’Neill said, “Thank you, Professor Jim Bumgardner for the many opportunities and for your untiring leadership and commitment to a successful experience for each and every student who participates in our theatre programs at BCC!”
Jessica Abrams (Musical Director) is an award winning composer, director, and musician. Her work has also been seen at Ramapo College as the music director and music arranger for Viet Rock. She is a KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival) award winner for Musical Adaptation of Viet Rock. She is an active musician playing with different bands throughout the New York Metro Area. She has conducted and performed in such venues as Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls at Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, The Izod Center, Giants Stadium, The Prudential Center, Disney World, Universal Studios, NJPAC, Bergen PAC, as well as countless convention centers and concert halls across the United States. She has also performed in Vienna, Prague, the Philippines, and Guam. Directing credits include Fiddler On The Roof, Big Fish, The Addams Family, The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, Once Upon A Mattress, Damn Yankees, Bye Bye Birdie. Music directing credits include, …and the World Goes Round, Into the Woods, Guys and Dolls, Oh Coward!, South Pacific, Company, The Three Penny Opera, 1940s Radio Hour, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Avenue Q, and Viet Rock.
Marie Natali (Costume Designer/Adjunct Professor) is an adjunct professor in costume design at Bergen. Natali said, “I am always so impressed by our talented students and the great work they accomplish under the guidance of such extraordinary directors and staff. It is a joy to be associated with such a professional and dedicated design team.” Audiences saw Natali’s designs in our recent productions of Radium Girls, …and the World Goes ‘Round, Rumors, The Crucible, Scapin, 12 Angry Jurors, A Christmas Pudding, The Wolves, Fahrenheit 451, Much Ado About Nothing, Picnic, Noises Off, Cyrano, Into the Woods, Barefoot in the Park, Guys and Dolls, A Flea In Her Ear, Oh, Coward!, South Pacific, The Rivals, Company, Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Threepenny Opera, Blithe Spirit, Pygmalion, The 1940’s Radio Hour, The Heiress, A Man for All Seasons, As You Like It, Cabaret, The House of Bernarda Alba, Kiss Me Kate, Medea, Tartuffe, The Elephant Man, The Cherry Orchard, A Raisin in the Sun, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. She has designed for other plays including Annie, She Loves Me, Chicago, Evita, and My Fair Lady, to name but a few.
Graham Frye (Lighting Designer/Set Designer/Adjunct Professor) has been the lighting designer for Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Veronica’s Room, Other People’s Money, What I did Last Summer, Noises Off, Picnic, and The Wolves. His set designs include Rumors and Scapin. He has spent almost twenty years working as a stagehand and helping students learn the craft.
Eireann Ingersoll (Set Designer/Scenic Artist/Adjunct Professor) has her B.A. in Theatre Studies from MSU and has been part of numerous productions on, off, and around the stage. Some of her past roles include: Hermia in The Illustrious Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Catherine in The Heiress, and Marta in Company. She has enjoyed many roles off stage as well including: script writer, director, master electrician, stage manager, set designer, lighting designer, scenic artist, and fight choreographer. She is currently an on-call technical staff member for the Bergen Community College theaters and adjunct theatre teaching faculty. Some of her past set designs include Radium Girls, Picnic, Barefoot in the Park, and What I Did Last Summer. She also works professionally with Silver Knights Productions as a stunt performer and script writer, and as a performer with Sirens of Circe touring the US.
Dimitri Mokarakorn (Set Designer/Projections Designer/Adjunct Professor) is an alumni of Bergen Community College and Ramapo College, with a degree in lighting design. He has designed several shows, for set, lights and projection. His first production was projection work for Bergenstages’ production of Angels in America Part One, and since then has had numerous design credits such as lightning design for Scapin, set design for The Laramie Project, and projection design for Fahrenheit 451. He looks forward to continuing to work on Bergenstages productions as a stagehand and designer.
Miru Kim (Lighting Designer/Adjunct Professor) is an adjunct faculty at Bergen and freelance theatre lighting designer. She has participated in many Bergen shows as a lighting designer/stage tech. Past Bergen design credits include August: Osage County, Hamlet, The Chairs, Cyrano, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelve Angry Jurors, The Crucible and Radium Girls.
Dean Mattson (Sound Designer) has been an audio engineer and sound designer for 36 years. Recent credits at Bergen Community College includes Angels in America, The Elephant Man, Godspell, Hamlet, Fahrenheit 451, A Christmas Pudding, Twelve Angry Jurors, …and the World Goes ‘Round, Scapin and Radium Girls. Mattson is the recording engineer and sound designer for Bergenstages Radio Theatre. Currently, Mattson is the front of house audio engineer and production manager for the band YES and the Pink Floyd tribute band, The Machine. He is also the chief audio engineer at Banana Sound Productions in Fair Lawn.
Steven Schwartz (Sound Designer) has been working in sound for over 40 years and is happy to be a part of the Bergenstages’ production team. Schwartz’s craft has given him the opportunity to work for Banana Sound, John Harms Center, and Mayo PAC among many others and has allowed to him to mix sound for such greats as David Letterman, The Mamas and the Papas, Tommy James, and Lilo Thomas.
Dan Conrad (Props Designer) has designed props for over twenty shows and many at Bergen. He worked two summers as the properties designer at Cortland Repertory Theatre in Cortland, New York. His experience in the stage extends to acting and directing. As an actor, he has performed in over forty plays in New York and New Jersey. His directing credits include Egad, What a Cad at Bergen and Where There’s No Will at Midtown’s Medicine Show Theatre. Conrad’s recent experience is in film where he wrote and stared in many short films, including Marty and Doug’s New Religion and Greg’s Guardian Angel. He is also a freelance animator, author and cartoonist.
Codi Chester (Box Office Manager) graduated from Ramapo College of NJ with a B.A. in theater with a concentration in stage management. Chester has been working in the Box Office at Bergen for over 5 years. She previously has stage managed 1776 with Phoenix Productions and Other People’s Money at Bergen.