On October 4, 2009 alumni from Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) will take the stage of The Theresa Lang Theatre to honor Professor Emeritus J. William Bordeau, who passed away on July 25. The MMC community will be celebrating Professor Bordeau's life with a memorial from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the College, 221 East 71st Street in New York City. The celebration of Bordeau's life will also be broadcast LIVE on the Web at www.mmm.edu. A cocktail reception will follow from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in The Great Hall at the College.
Professor Bordeau's dedication, artistic vision and vibrant personality built a strong foundation for the success of Marymount Manhattan's Theatre Arts and Dance programs. In his 30 years of teaching, Professor Bordeau was a much loved mentor and educator, who went to great lengths to nurture and challenge his students.
The program will include remarks from Judson R. Shaver, Ph.D., President of Marymount Manhattan College, Mary Fleischer, Ph.D., Chair of the Division of Fine and Performing Arts, Robert Bordeau and Randall Tupper. Tributes will be made by Regina Peruggi, President of Kingsborough Community College and President Emeritus of Marymount Manhattan College; Suzanne Murphy '87, Vice President for Advancement of Columbia Teachers College, Charles Repole, Chair, Department of Theatre at Queens College and Tony-nominated performer, and Edward VanSaders '95, B.F.A., CFO at WRNN (New York) and WTVE (Philadelphia).
Professor Bordeau received his B.A. in Theatre and English at Northern Michigan University and his M.A. in Theatre from the University of Michigan; additional graduate work in theatre and dance was completed at Columbia University. Bill began college teaching in 1961 at Suffolk Community College where he created the first Telecommunications program of its kind in New York State, and served as the design consultant for the construction of its theatre and arts complex.
When Professor Bordeau arrived at MMC in 1968, he focused on teaching acting, directing and communication arts. As Chairperson of Communication Arts in the 1970s, he was central to establishing the BFA programs in Acting and in Dance. He served as the design consultant for the Theresa Lang Theatre, which was originally dedicated in 1975 as the Marymount Manhattan Theatre. For that occasion Bill directed the Theatre's inaugural production of Beckett's Waiting for Godot.
On October 4, members of the 1975 cast of Godot including Susan Slocum Melino '75 (Estragon, "Gogo"), Kevin S. O'Malley '75 (Vladimir, "Didi"), Virginia Strong Mazzello '75 (Lucky), Ken Merkel '75 (Pozzo), and Mary Leonard '75 (A Boy), will be reading excerpts from the production.
Professor Bordeau was a guest director for Fordham, SUNY Stony Brook and Columbia University and worked professionally in opera, television and film. A board member for several institutions including the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Circum-Arts Foundation and the Neurological Research Foundation of NYC, Bill also served as the U.S. consultant to the Drama Studio (London) where he directed and taught master classes. From the mid-1980s until his retirement, Bill served as our first Director of Recruitment for Theatre Arts, taking particular care in mentoring students through the admissions process and, in collaboration with colleagues, substantially increasing the program in size and quality.
At MMC, Professor Bordeau nurtured the talents of his students, many who have successful careers in Broadway productions, television shows and movies. The Oct. 4th memorial will feature some of Professor Bordeau's former students including Ta'Rea Campbell '01, B.A.; Ryan Kasprzak '03, B.F.A.; Scott Laska '02, B.F.A.; Claire McKeveny '04; Nick Sanchez '03, B.F.A.; and Jake Warren '09, B.F.A., who will perform.
· Ta'Rea Campbell has joined the Broadway company of The Lion King. Taking on the role of "Nala," the queen-to-be lioness, Campbell's first performance at the Minskoff Theatre was on March 3, 2009. A native of Philadelphia, Campbell toured for three years as Nala in both the Cheetah and Gazelle tours of The Lion King. Her other Broadway credits include Little Shop of Horrors and Aida, playing the title role for matinee performances and as an understudy.
· Ryan Kasprzak recently appeared on the hit television show, So You Think You Can Dance, along side his brother Evan. Ryan's comic style has been featured at Tap City, the NY Musical Festival, the West Virginia Tap Festival, and the Cos Fest in Barcelona, Spain. He appeared with Tony Award winner Sutton Foster in Broadway Under the Stars recorded live in Central Park for CBS television. Ryan served as dance captain for the International Tour of Fosse and has been honored to perform with such legendary entertainers as Liza Minelli, Gregory Hines, Ben Vereen, Ann Reinking and the Nicholas Brothers. Recent performances include Revolution at the Joyce Theatre and Cut to the Chase at 59E59 Theater.