CREATIVE TEAM
Cagle McDonald - ARTISTIC & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR / DIRECTOR / PRODUCER
Prior to Clocktower Players, founded and ran the enormously popular performing arts center Cagle & Company Arts Warehouse in Dobbs Ferry. She has directed and produced hundreds of shows for performers of all ages, was instrumental in the development of Rivertowns Teen Summer Stock, a collaborative quad-village theater program, and in 2013 initiated Clocktower Players first-ever summer program, SUMMER STAGE. The recipient of the 2009 Cab Calloway Lifetime Achievement Award, Cagle was thrilled to produce Clocktower Players gala fundraisers: The Wiz starring a host of Broadway performers including Tony-winner Ann Duquesnay, DIVAS! starring Liz Callaway, Randy Graff, Terri Klausner and Joshua Henry; a star-studded Man of La Mancha in concert, Freedom: A Tribute to Philip Rose with Ruby Dee; Stars-On-Hudson with Rob Evan; Sophisticated Fun!; featuring Marni Nixon; Prelude To A Kiss starring Jace Alexander, Maddie Corman, Joel Higgins and Richard Seff; and Driving Miss Daisy, starring Jane Alexander and directed by Edwin Sherin. Cagle is a graduate of the Theater Department of Indiana University and the Dallas Theater Center. Her career as an actress includes stage, film and television credits. She considers working under the tutelage of Philip Rose on the landmark production of Purlie, which brought a primarily African-American cast to the Irvington stage for the very first time, a highlight of her development as a director. Favorite coproduction: Mary Caitlin. 
Michael C. Penta - FOUNDING DIRECTOR EMERITUS directed seventy-two shows in Irvington since his arrival here in 1967. Prior to that time he performed, choreographed and directed Equity productions both for off-Broadway and for regional, stock and community companies around the country. Once off the train in Irvington he directed and choreographed productions at the High School and taught drama and dance for 26 years. Michael holds theater degrees from Rutgers and Columbia. He takes his role as a theater educator as seriously as he takes his craft, and it is clear that he instills a love of theater and dance in his graduates. Nearly 300 have gone on to careers in professional and educational aspects of theater. Today, to paraphrase Mrs. Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly!, he still "spreads it around, encouraging young things to grow."
Robin Abbott - INSTRUCTOR - Robin attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts for dance and studied for two years with Sandy Meisner at Neighborhood Playhouse.  After living and working in NYC , Robin and her husband settled in Irvington where they have raised three children. She has been teaching dance and theatre locally to very young children for years and has studied for a graduate degree in early childhood education. Robin could not be happier about this opportunity to join the wonderful team at Clocktower Players.
Jennie Berkson - ​INSTRUCTOR - Jennie joins our team with over 20 years of teaching experience.  She’s known for her Mommy and Me, Wondrous Ones, and theatrical pre-school music classes throughout Westchester and Rockland Counties.  During the summer she plays the role of Director at Camp Rainbow. You may have seen her on this stage as Mother in Ragime, La Cage, Swing! and as Luisa in Nine. She has appeared Off-Broadway, regionally and has written and performed in several Cabarets in New York City.  She’s excited for her new role with the Clocktower family, merging her love of theater with her love for children.
George Croom - DIRECTOR, MUSICAL DIRECTOR  has served as music director for over 150 productions, including, Kiss Of The Spiderwoman, 42nd Street, Cabaret, Urinetown, Personals, City Of Angels, Songs For A New World, A Little Night Music, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, Into The Woods, Gypsy, West Side Story, Merrily We Roll Along, the European premiere of Myths And Hymns, and the off-Broadway premieres of The Scarlet Letter and Shakedown Street. As an actor, he has appeared in national tours of Evita, and Purlie; off-Broadway in Celebration (first NY revival), The Wind In The Willows, The Elephant Piece, and Sweethearts; regional productions include Cats, Ain’t Misbehavin, As You Like It, Angels In America (both parts), Bat Boy, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged). He has directed productions of Spamalot, Company, Dreamgirls, Bloodbrothers, Sweeney Todd, Damn Yankees, On The Twentieth Century and Me And My Girl. For Clocktower, he has directed productions of In The Heights, 9 To 5, Hairspray, You Can’t Take It With You, The Odd Couple; as  MD Ragtime, Cabaret, Leagally Blonde and Nine; as an actor La Cage Aux Folles and Swing! He recently appeared in Clocktower Players Gala as The Lion in The Wiz
Josue Jasmin - CHOREOGRAPHER was born in Brooklyn and developed his extraordinary love for dance and theater at a very early age. This love grew as Josue connected with the Young Professional Division at Alvin Ailey School and the Broadway Dance Center in NYC. In addition, Josue had the privilege to train at the Ballet School of Stamford, was selected for the New Hampshire City ballet, and as a principle dancer with the world-renowned Locust Contemporary Dance Company in NYC. His passion for dance extended to teaching and choreography as he began teaching at Brass City Ballet. Josue choreographed, and danced for the recording Pop Star artist Neil Nathan on the TODAY SHOW, and R&B singer Rain during her US tour. Josue also choreographed for the 2004 - 2005 VIBE MAGAZINE’S fashion show for BET and NEW FACE DEVELOPMENT INC. IMTA NY and LA. His theater credits include: Guys & Dolls, La Cage Aux Falls, Raisin in the Sun, The Colored Museum, Oklahoma, Pajama Game, Into the Woods, Dreamgirls, Once on this Island, Ragtime, Swing, Kiss me Kate…and the list goes on. Camelot was his Clocktower Players debut as choreographer.
Jennifer Jonas - CHOREOGRAPHER started her dance training at Marya Kennett Ballet Theatre. Jennifer has a BFA in Dance from Boston Conservatory. At the conservatory she studied under Leslie Woodies and performed in numerous works including Les Sylphides and the world premiere of Heaven and Hell. Upon graduating, she has been a part of BalletRox’s Urban Nutcracker, various ballets with Eryc Taylor Dance and Palame Productions’ New York! New York! (Choreographer/Performer). She has also performed as a guest artist as Sugar Plum Fairy in Marya Kennett’s The Nutcracker. Jennifer has been a part of Yorktown Stage’s Fiddler on the Roof (Fiddler), Grease (ChaCha), and Oklahoma! (Dream Laurie), to name a few. She has also been in A Chorus Line (Kristine), Hairspray (LuAnn), 9 to 5 (Ensemble), La Cage Aux Folles (Cagelle) and Ragtime (Ensemble) at Clocktower Players. Her regional credits include The Music Man (Zaneeta Shinn), Oliver! (Ensemble) and Seussical (Jungle Citizen/featured dancer) at Westchester Broadway Theater and Cats (Victoria) at White Plains Performing Arts Center.  Miss Jonas has choreographed for Strauss Theater, Goshen High, Putnam Valley high and Stamford High and Clocktower Players. 
David Lovett - SET & LIGHTING DESIGNER trained at London’s Chelsea School of Art and Design. After working in British repertory theatres and touring major American productions he worked for London’s newly formed Almeida theatre with Pierre Audi. He was an associate of ACT Theatre Consultants specialist international theatre designers and a visiting lecturer at the Central School of Speech and Drama as well as the Theatre Department of Croydon College. His work includes pieces for: Extemporary Dance, Dancers Anonymous, Scottish Opera, Garsington Opera, Newcastle Playhouse, Northern Symphonia, Electro-Acoustic Music Association of Great Britain (EMAS) and The Matrix Ensemble, and was a design associate on Alan Rickman’s Hamlet. Lovett worked on realizing John Cage’s installation piece Essay in the Espai Poblenou, Barcelona and the tour of Cage’s Europeras 3 & 4. For the Contemporary Opera Studio of English National Opera he lit the world premiere of John Tavener’s Mary of Egypt. Production design for the Off Broadway production of Transatlantic Liaison, and Against the Rising Sea at Queens Theatre in the Park. Other credits include work with Ute Lemper, London Children’s Ballet, Steve Montague, Julia Bardsley & Andrew Poppy, New York’s Composers Collaborative, Centro Dramatico Nacional, Madrid, DiMauro Dance and Queens Theatre in the Park.
John  McDonald - DIRECTOR, ACTOR, ACTING COACH graduated Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in Acting. After a successful twenty year acting career (Broadway: The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Tough to Get Help Off-Broadway : Split Second; Film: The Rosary Murders TV: Dr. Frank Grant on All My Children and Lt. Art Hindman on Loving) he changed careers and was Director of Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center Performing Arts and Director of Operations at Carnegie Hall. He co-wrote the film, By the Sword, produced by Philip Rose, John is now a private acting coach who specializes in preparing students for the grueling college-audition process. His students have been accepted at such prestigious schools as Carnegie Mellon, NYU, University of Hartford/The Hartt School, Ithaca, Elon University, Fordham University, Pace University, Marymount Manhattan, Baldwin-Wallace, Syracuse, University of the the Arts, and Emerson College. jmcdonaldactingcoach.com
Rene O'Neal - ADMINISTRATOR/ EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT/DIRECTOR graduated from Manhattanville College and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Rene has been Administrator for Clocktower Players since 2010 . Sharing her love of theatre Rene has worked with the Clocktower Players' Teen  and Kids Troupes as Production Assistant  and directed Les Miz, Once on This Island and Into The Woods with the Jr and Teen Troupe.  As an actor she has appeared in many Adult productions with Clocktower Players and several other theatres in the Westchester, Connecticut and the New York City Area; Cinderella (Fairy Godmother), Kiss Me Kate (Hattie), Swing! (Principal Singer/Dancer), A Raisin in the Sun (Ruth), Dreamgirls (Effie), Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal), Purlie (Church Soloist), Sweeney Todd (Ensemble), Into the Woods (Stepmother), A Salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein (“Lady Thiang”, The King and I; “Queenie “, Showboat), Midsummer Nights Dream (Puck), A Night of Shakespeare (Narrator), Pippin (Leading Player) and several workshops. Rene can also be heard on the Stage Stars Productions' recording of Dreamgirls, singing the role of Deena.
Jesse Pellegrino - CHOREOGRAPHER, DIRECTOR, SOCIAL MEDIA DEVELOPMENT attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy for Musical Theatre as well as State University of New York New Paltz for Musical Theatre and Dance.  He has studied under the tutelage of Linda Duci (Country Academy of Dance), Lisa Duci (Country Academy of Dance), Lindsey Chambers (AMDA), Keri Casserly (AMDA), Harry Woolever (AMDA) and Yoav Kaddar (SUNY New Paltz).  After school Jesse has been performing and teaching all over Westchester County and the world.  He has appeared in the European Tour of West Side Story (Snowboy), Xanadu (Terpsicore), The Wedding Singer (David/Father of the Bride), The King & I (Simon of Legree), Peter Pan (Mr. Smee), Grease! (Kenickie/Dance Captain), Forum (Protean) and West Side Story (Baby John/Dance Captain).  Jesse has choreographed various productions for Yorktown Stage, including Joseph...Dreamcoat, Grease!, and Peter Pan.  He has developed and taught several Dance Workshops and Classes all over Westchester County at Northern Westchester Center for the Arts, Dance Theatre of Westchester, The Dance Shop, Carmel High School, Mildred E. Strang Elementary School and Club Fit.  Jesse held the position of Director of Education & Outreach for White Plains Performing Arts Center where he oversaw the Conservatory Theatre, the Resident Theatre Training Program.  He also served as Director of Theatre & Dance for the Lighthouse Youth Theatre for 2 years.  In addition to his work with Clocktower Players, Jesse choreographs and teaches dance at Rye Neck Middle School and High School, as well as Pelham Middle School.  At Clocktower Players, he has been able to spread his wings even further by making his directorial debut with Thoroughly Modern Millie and choreographing Into The Woods, Shrek the Musical, The Music Man Jr. and The Jungle Book.
Brett Pontecorvo - MUSICAL DIRECTOR is a New York City based musical director, accompanist, and pianist who believes it is important to show people, through hands-on experience, the value of art and community. While studying Jazz Performance at The City College of New York, Brett has been privileged to work with theatre companies such as New Haarlem Arts Theatre and The In-Between People as a musical director. He offers vocal coaching sessions for musical theatre courses at The City College of New York, as well as privately. Brett has also had the opportunity to be involved in the public school system by working with students on their school shows. Brett has performed as an accompanist with The Transition Workshop, and with the Planet Connections Theatre Festival where he played for Mark Garcia's original work, Holy Cows of Credence.
Lili Thomas – DIRECTOR started her theatrical career with Cagle McDonald in The King and I (1995 at ITHT) and is overjoyed to return to her roots joining the staff here at Clocktower Players.  She assisted with the Teen production of Rent, was the associate choreographer on A Chorus Line and Director of Spring Awakening.  Her favorite professional theatre credits include Rent (Mimi), a part for which she was award nominated, Cabaret (Lulu), Pippin (Fastrada), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy Park), Miss Saigon (Gigi), The King and I (Tuptim), and Reefer Mandness! (Placard Girl/Dance Captain).  New York City workshops include Sound of Plaid, Radiant Baby (both with writer Stuart Ross), and Metropolis (with Golden Globe and Academy Award winning writer, Joseph Brooks). She was the Young Soprano in the world premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Garden of Light (Disney Millennium Symphonies) at Avery Fisher Hall with the New York Philharmonic.  Lili holds a BFA from Collaborative Arts Project 21-NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is a proud member of AEA. Growing up as the child of Classical musicians Ronald Thomas and Mihae Lee, Lili thrived in music, playing 7 instruments but always concentrating on voice. She started studying ballet at age 4 at the Peabody Conservatory (later leading to pursuing her strengths in jazz and tap), and Stanislavsky acting techniques in Manhattan at the age of 14. She now resides in  Westchester  with her  husband and two children and teaches private voice. 

Artistic Advisors

Jane Alexander - ACTRESS, ACTIVIST - Honorary Board is a four-time ACADEMY AWARD Nominee for her roles in the films: Testament, Kramer vs. Kramer, All the President's Men and The Great White Hope.  Her film career includes roles in: Fur, The Ring, Sunshine State, The Cider House Rules, Glory, Square Dance, Sweet Country, City Heat, Night Crossing, Brubaker, The Betsy, and The New Centurions. Ms. Alexander, a six-time Tony Nominee for best actress in: Honour, The Sisters Rosensweig, The Visit, First Monday in October, Find Your Way Home, 6 Rms Riv Vu, she was awarded the Tony forThe Great White Hope opposite James Earl Jones. Her television credits include Emmy Awards For Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Warm Springs, Playing for Time and five nominations for: Law and Order/Special Victims Unit, Malice in Wonderland, Calamity Jane, Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years and Eleanor and Franklin. Beginning September 9th and continuing for ten weeks she will seen in the new HBO series, Tell Me You Love Me and on September 14th she plays Morgan Freeman's wife in the feature film, Feast of Love. From 1993-1997, Ms. Alexander was the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and from 2001 to the present has served as the Commissioner for the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Doris Belack - ACTRESS, Honorary Board (in memoriam) has appeared on Broadway in such plays as The Cemetery Club, Social Security, The Trip Back Down, Bad Habits, and Last Of The Red Hot Lovers.  She has starred Off-Broadway at the American Place Theatre as Sylvia Plath’s mother in Letters Home, at the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s One Act Festival in Frank Gilroy’s Real To Reel, and in a tour of Lettuce & Lovage. On television she has guest starred on Everwood, The Cosby Show, The Golden Girls, Sisters, Chicago Hope, Picket Fences, Touched By An Angel, and Ellen. She appeared as a regular on the series Family Album and Laurie Hill, and has played the recurring Judge Margaret Barry on Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU.  She created the role of Anna Craig on One Life to Live.  Among her film performances were featured roles in Tootsie, What About Bob?, Opportunity Knocks, Naked Gun 33 1/3, Batteries Not Included, She-Devil, Krippendorf’s Tribe,The Odd Couple II, and Prime, with Meryl Streep. She is married to Philip Rose, a theatre producer and director, and author of a fascinating memoir, You Can’t Do That on Broadway! Doris died in October, 2011.
Philip Rose - DIRECTOR / PRODUCER, Honorary Board (in memoriam) made his Broadway debut with Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun, the 1958-59 winner of the New York Drama Critics Award as Best Play of the Year; he then went on to co-produce the film starring Sidney Poitier. He has been involved as a director, producer, and/or author of many Broadway productions, including the plays The Owl and The Pussycat, Nobody Loves An Albatross, Purlie Victorious, Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?, Split Second, and Checkmates, and such musicals as Purlie and Shenandoah. For Purlie, Mr. Rose received three Tony nominations, as a director, producer, and co-author. Shenandoah received six nominations and won two, including best book for Mr. Rose. He directed the television production of Purlie, for which he received the ACE and Silver Awards from the International Film and TV Festival of New York. He is currently executive producer of the play Sun Flower: The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and tours extensively as a guest speaker at colleges and schools discussing his acclaimed book, You Can't Do That on Broadway. Mr. Rose died on May 31, 2011.  He was 89 years young.
Jack Viertel - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, Honorary Board is creative director of Jujamcyn Theaters and the artistic director of City Center’s Encores! series.  He is the former dramaturg of the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and was the drama critic of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He conceived of and co-produced Smokey Joe’s Cafe, dramaturged Hairspray and has been associated with six August Wilson plays, Angels in America, and many others.
​Edwin Sherin - DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, Honorary Board a graduate of Brown University, began his professional career as an actor in 5 Broadway plays, a dozen roles for the American and New York Shakespeare Festivals, in regional theaters across the country and in many filmed and live television dramas. He began directing on Broadway with The Great White Hope which won the Pulitzer, the Tony and the Drama Critics Award. Among his other Broadway credits: Rex, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Visit, Of Mice and Men, An Evening with Richard Nixon and Friends..., First Monday in October, 6 rms riv vu, Find Your Way Home, Eccentricities of a Nightingale, Do You Turn Somersaults, and Prymate. He was Artistic Director for the Hartman Theater, Stamford, Connecticut; Associate Producing Director, Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.; Director, Theater School, Boston University and Artist-in-Residence, Florida State University. He has directed feature films, television movies and hour-long episodic dramas including Law and Order where for nearly a decade he was Executive Producer.
Mary McDonald - DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT attended Columbia University, where she studied History and Philosophy. She was actively involved in the 2008 presidential elections, first as a Field Intern in Iowa and later serving as New York State Deputy-Coordinator of 'Students for Barack Obama,' simultaneously acting as the Director of 'Students for Barack Obama' Columbia Chapter. Last year, Mary moved to Washington D.C in order to work for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of the nation's most renowned defense think-tanks. There she assisted department fellows in assessing the long term mission and strategic requirements for the United States Marine Corps. Her particularly focus was on determining the demand for amphibious capablities within US Southern Command's Area of Operations over the next five to fifteen years. Since January 2011, she has worked as the Special Projects Officer for Berico Technologies, a information technology and intelligence firm which provides customized IT solutions to soldiers down-range. Reporting directly to the company's Deputy Vice President, Mary has worked to streamline and maintain business development methodologies across the company. Despite a young career focused on national security and domestic issues, Mary is no stranger to theater community, or the Irvington stage. At the age of twelve Mary made her Irvington Town Hall Theater debut in a Riverwork's production of Bye Bye Birdie. She subsequently studied at NYU's CAP 21 Studo, HB Studio, Northwestern University Theater Department, and was a member of the Williamstown Theater Festival Apprentice Company. Mary is extremely excited to be a part of the Clocktower team, and is eager for the opportunity to combine business development knowledge with her long held love of theater.
Meredith Vieira - JOURNALIST, Honorary Board Member - As special correspondent for “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” Vieira contributes her signature reporting for the broadcast, as well as “Today,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Dateline” and co-hosted the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic Games. She also curRently serves as host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” a position she’s held since 2002. At the end of 2008, Vieira founded her own TV/film production company, Meredith Vieira Productions. Vieira has been honored with eleven Emmys, including two Daytime Emmys for best morning newscast for her work on “Today,” which she joined as co-anchor in 2006. Before joining NBC News, Vieira had been moderator of ABC’s “The View” since the show’s inception in 1997. She started at ABC in 1993 when she joined their news division as chief correspondent of “Turning Point,” which debuted in March 1994. Prior to her work at ABC, Vieira spent more than a decade at CBS News, where she garnered five Emmy Awards for her work as a correspondent on the news magazines “60 Minutes” and “West 57th.” A native of Providence, R.I., Vieira received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University in Medford, Mass. She has three children, Ben, Gabe and Lily with her husband, Richard Cohen.