Artistic Directors

GEORGE H. CROOM has been an active member of the theater community for over 35 years.  After attending Brooklyn College, he began his career as an actor with tours of Evita, Purlie, Godspell and A Soldier’s Play; off-Broadway productions of Sweethearts, The Wind in the Willows, Moby Dick and The Imaginary Invalid; and countless regional productions. As a music director he worked as far as Edinburgh for the European premiere of Myths and Hymns; off-Broadway with the premiere of The Scarlet Letter; and on over 200 productions regionally and locally.  Working with many companies across the tri-state area, he has directed Something Rotten, Spamalot, Assassins, Into the Woods, Bonnie and Clyde, Sweeney Todd, and the regional premiere of Beautiful.  George has composed music for productions of Twelfth Night, Suicide in Bb, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the world premiere of the Grateful Dead musical Shakedown Street.  He has been a member of the Clocktower family for 20 years, starting with Purlie.  He is Clocktower’s resident music director and the director of many of the shows that have graced the Irvington & Tarrytown Music Hall stages. Among his favorites are The Laramie Project, Hairspray, Twelfth Night the Musical, The Odd Couple, In the Heights and You Can’t Take It with You. George has extensive experience working with children; he is currently a voice adjunct at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry and is music director/director for several schools and youth groups in the tri-state area.
RENE O'NEAL graduated from Manhattanville College with a double major in business and music management and a minor in theater. She also studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Rene worked as an administrator for several companies over the past 27 years in the corporate and performing arts sectors. In 2010 Rene began working as the registrar for Clocktower Players, swiftly moving up to Executive Manager/Producer. She was responsible for maintaining all the day-to-day operations of the company and assisting the Artistic & Executive Director. Sharing her love of theatre, Rene works with the Clocktower Players' Youth Troupes as a director, production assistant and producer. She has directed the Teens & Jr Teens in Chicago, Les Misérables, Once on This Island, Into the Woods, Mary Poppins and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  Equally at home working with Clocktower's renown Kids Troupe, she most recently directed the youngsters in Aladdin, Moana, Winnie the Pooh, Frozen and Peter Pan. As an actress she has appeared in many productions with Clocktower Players since 2003. She has also been onstage at numerous theatres in Westchester, Connecticut, and New York City. Some favorite shows include; 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 Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Pippin (Leading Player), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Rene), Sister Act (Delores) and Ragtime (Sarah’s friend). 


EMMA ARMUS (Sound Design) is a live sound engineer based in Westchester, NY. She studied audio production at Mercy College and graduated in Spring of 2023. She began working with Clocktower Players in November of 2021, and has since rekindled her appreciation and admiration for theater, after being involved in productions at her local high school. She enjoys working with the young actors of Clocktower players, who are hard-working and dedicated, and always put on an amazing performance.

MOLLY GALLAGHER (Acting Instructor) is a proud Clocktower Players Alum. Her love for theater began when she attended Cagle McDonald’s Acting Adventures class in 1997. She has done over 20 shows with Clocktower, most recently she played the Viola in 12th Night the musical on the Irvington Theater stage prior to its closing since covid. She graduated from NYU Steinhardt with a degree in Vocal Performance concentrating in Musical Theater and is a SAG/AFTRA and AEA member. Molly is currently auditioning for shows in NYC while balancing her two part time jobs in finance and fitness. Molly LOVES all things Disney and Clocktower!

JOSUE JASMIN (Director, 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 principal 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. His work with Clocktower Players began as a dancer in 2007. Camelot in 2009 marked his debut as a choreographer with the company.
LARRY E. JOHNSON (Graphic Design) is originally from Philadelphia and a graduate of Rutgers University. He has twenty-plus years conceptualizing and producing exciting marketing collateral and graphics for various clients, including publishing, fashion, and lifestyle for print and web. He's a creative problem solver, and enjoys collaborating and developing relationships with clients, colleagues and vendors. Some stage credits include Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Purlie, Kiss Me Kate, Ragtime, Oklahoma!, and Pippin. He has been a long-time member of the Charles Moore Dance Theater, and has danced with other companies, such as The Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, and Eleo Pomare Dance. Other credits include Television and Film.
JULIA LAVERDE (Stage Manager) has happily been on the production team for Clocktower Players' Junior Teen Troupe, helping to expand young actors’ experiences in the theater, helping them flourish and grow their talent and confidence, and to encourage them to get to places swiftly and quietly. Other companies Julia is involved with include Actors Conservatory Theatre in Yonkers where she is on the board of directors, GoJo Clan Productions, and Westchester Collaborative Theatre. Julia lives in Irvington with her partner and lighting designer Keira, and their slightly spoiled but adorable cat Lina
STEVEN LOFTUS (Set Designer) is pleased to be on the Clocktower team. He is the owner and lead scenic designer for Scene Works Inc, a fully serviced scene shop located in Ossining NY. Scene Works provides scenic design, fabrication and installation for theater, film and events. Steve has tech directed and designed all over the tristate area.
JESSE PELLEGRINO (Director of Marketing/Social Media, Choreographer) 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 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). As a performer Jesse has appeared in the European Tour of West Side Story (Snowboy) and in regional productions of Xanadu (Terpsicore), Peter Pan (Mr. Smee), Grease! (Kenickie/Dance Captain), ...Forum (Protean) and West Side Story (Baby John/Dance Captain). He has developed and taught dance workshops and classes at Northern Westchester Center for the Arts, Dance Theatre of Westchester, The Dance Shop and Carmel High School.  Jesse has choreographed for Yorktown Stage, Rye Neck Middle School and High School, Pelham Middle School and Pelham Memorial High School. At Clocktower Players, he made his directorial debut in 2013 with Thoroughly Modern Millie and has choreographed multiple productions annually since then
JOCELYN ROSENTHAL (Director Camp SummerStage, Youth Education Development) is a highly motivated and driven teacher, choreographer, and performer with over 20 years’ experience as a theater educator and youth programming leader. She is an energetic, eager, and fast learner with a positive attitude, easy humor, and a great ability to work with others.
LILI THOMAS (Guest Director, Vocal Coach) started her theatrical career with Cagle McDonald in The King and I (1995 at Irvington Theater). She returned to her roots as assistant director of the Teen production of Rent, associate choreographer on A Chorus Line and Director of Spring Awakening and Spelling Bee.  Currently she is playing Cynthia Murphy in the Broadway national tour of Dear Evan Hanson. Recently in Dave Malloy’s pre-Broadway run of Octet. Off-Broadway: We’re Gonna Die (2nd Stage), The Hello Girls, Only Human. Select regional: Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Berkely Rep, Milwaukee Rep, The Rev. BFA NYU/Tisch.  
CAGLE MCDONALD Artistic & Executive Director Emeritus
Clocktower Players was led by Cagle from 2006 through 2023.  She championed diversity and produced shows that highlight the breadth of the human experience such as Purlie, In the Heights, Rent, La Cage Aux Folles, Miss Saigon and Spring Awakening. She significantly grew all Clocktower educational, mainstage and community engagement programs. Cagle initiated the annual Gala starring a host of Broadway performers including Jane Alexander, Liz Callaway, Maddie Corman, Ruby Dee, John Danelle, Ann Duquesnay, Rob Evan, Randy Graff, Joshua Henry, Joel Higgins, Terri Klausner, Marni Nixon, Richard Seff – and more!  Prior to Clocktower, she founded and ran the performing arts center Cagle & Company Arts Warehouse in Dobbs Ferry and was instrumental in the development of Rivertowns Teen Summer Stock.  A graduate of the Theater Department of Indiana University and the Dallas Theater Center, her career as an actress includes many stage, film and television credits.  The recipient of the 2009 Cab Calloway Lifetime Achievement Award, 2018’s Bravo Award and an OnStage best director nominee, she has directed and produced hundreds of shows for performers of all ages. Cagle 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 co-production: 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."


JANE ALEXANDER (Actress, Activist) 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, Feast of Love 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 for The 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. 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.
ERIC JAVIER (Principal & Managing Director with CCS), draws from a wide-range of experience working on more than 200 major fundraising initiatives with CCS, one of the most comprehensive and widely recommended fundraising consulting and management firms in the world. Eric has assisted several of the nation’s most sophisticated and well-known nonprofit institutions to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in support of a broad spectrum of needs. Eric’s primary areas of expertise include feasibility and planning studies; annual capital and endowment campaigns; major gift solicitation strategies; strategic development planning; case messaging and development; and coaching and training. Eric has also designed and facilitated numerous training courses at CCS on major donor cultivation and solicitation, prospect management and proposal development. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Eric is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross.  Eric, his wife Kristin, and their two daughters reside in Westchester, NY.
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.
BRIAN C. SMITH (Mayor of Irvington, Founder and COO of Bayberry Capital Partners, Broadway Producer) was head trader at Blue Ridge Capital LLC. for 18 years prior to founding Bayberry Capital Partners in 2018. Born and raised in the village of Irvington, Brian has served as Mayor of Irvington since April of 2011. The Smith family have long been lovers of theater.  Brian’s wife, Keira, was in several Irvington high school musicals and even played Sandy in Grease and both  their children performed with Clocktower Players. Brian made his producing debut with Broadway’s It’s Only A Play after investing in Ken Davenport's Broadway revivals of Godspell and Spring Awakening.  Most recently he co-produced Gettin’ the Band Back Together and the Tony-award winning revival Once On This Island.
MEREDITH VIEIRA (Journalist) as special correspondent for “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” Vieira contributed 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 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.
JACK VIERTEL (Artistic Director, Producer) is creative director of Jujamcyn Theaters and recently retired as 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.


DORIS BELACK (Actress/Honorary Board in memoriam) 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 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 was 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, Author/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 was executive producer of the play Sun Flower: The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and toured 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.
EDWIN SHERIN (Director, Producer/Honorary Board in memoriam) 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.