Presented by the School of Performing Arts
Conservatory Staff
Dr. Norm Schroder, Theatre and Dance Department Chair, ISU Theatre Professor/ Acting Performance Teacher
Dr. Norm Schroder is Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Idaho State University. A native of northern Wisconsin, Norm completed his B.A. in Theatre at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, and holds M.A. and Ph.D.s from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Before coming to ISU, Norm was a one-person theatre department in a small liberal arts college in central Kansas. Norm teaches most of the Theatre History/Dramatic Literature and graduate courses here at ISU. This coming year he will direct Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
Jenna Davies, Camp Director/ Dance Performance Teacher
Jenna Davies is excited for this opportunity to serve as Director for the first annual ISU-CTC. She has 19 years of dance training in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, contemporary and modern dance. While in high school she competed at a national level in New York, Colorado, and California (The Pulse) . Jenna has worked professionally in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (dancer), in Jeju Island, South Korea (Latin dancer), and Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas (dancer). Most recently, Jenna spent 3 years teaching ballet, tap and jazz to elementary and high school age students with the Dana Smith Dance Studio, Pocatello-American Falls.
Jenna’s theatre experience includes both professional regional summer repertory and also numerous roles in local community theatre. A few of her favorite roles to date are Wednesday (The Addams Family), Janet Van De Graaff, (The Drowsy Chaperone) , and Diana (Next To Normal). She has worked as a director, stage manager, and choreographer in local productions and has experience in set design and costuming. She worked as Co-Director of Mystique Theatre’s 2013 Kids Summer Camp and as a student teacher with IDT Performance classes in 2012.
While at ISU Jenna was honored to receive a nomination for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee- Rona Lisa Peretti) and was awarded an ISU Gala Scholarship in 2015. Jenna is a senior at Idaho State University and will graduate in the spring in Theatre and Business Management. Jenna is Idaho raised, loves Pocatello, and resides here with her sweetheart.
Debbie Bray, Staff/ Costume Construction and Design Teacher
Debbie has been involved in theatre for 40 years. During her years performing on stage she discovered a love for costume design. She is a member of the International Thespians as well as Phi Ro Pi. She has been a costume designer for 20 years and has designed and sewn costumes for over 100 shows. Some of her favorites include Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Chicago, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Brittany Hooper, Staff/ Audition Performance Teacher
Brittany Hooper attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, California where she graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre. While she was there she had the opportunity to study under seasoned Broadway performers such as Karen Morrow, John Rubinstein, Jane Lanier, and Danny Gurwin. She discovered a love of theatre at a very young age and has been involved with theatre for over 15 years. Some of her favorite past productions include Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Addams Family, The Drowsy Chaperone, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She has also served as the Artistic Director for a couple of original, Broadway themed, revues. She currently resides in Idaho Falls.
Rachel Fornarotto, Staff/ Music Performance Teacher
Rachael Fornarotto is an upcoming sophomore at ISU. She has always had a love for theatre and all performing arts. She spent her last two years of high school at Interlochen Arts Academy pursuing her love for theatre. Some of her credits include She Loves Me, Little Women, Into the Woods, The King and I, Guys and Dolls, Platonov and others. She has studied classical voice with Nicole Philibosian, and Diana Livingston Friedley. Rachael enjoys baking, hiking, watching movies and summer. She is excited to share her love of theatre and the performing arts with others.
Jack Johnson, Team Leader/ Stage Combat Teacher
Jack Johnson is an upperclassman in the Idaho State University theater department. He has acted professionally for the Old Lyric Repertory Company in Logan, Utah and will be graduating ISU in 2017. His favorite roles include Nathan Detroit (Guys and Dolls), Man in Chair (The Drowsy Chaperone), and Gabe Goodman (Next to Normal). He has extensive stage combat training and has served as fight captain and combat consultant for a number of shows.
Venus Gulbranson, Team Leader/ Lighting Design Teacher
Venus Gulbranson is in her senior year as an undergraduate student at Idaho State University. She has been a volunteer and a member of the Scenic Shop Crew since her freshmen year, and has been involved in theatre for nine years. She also serves as a member of the presidency in our theatre fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega. In the last year, Venus has designed a show at ISU for both scenic and lighting, and was also hired to be a lighting designer by an outside company. A graduate of Timberline High School in Boise, Idaho, Venus is soon headed to Ashland, Oregon to join the design team at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She also likes Pepsi (if bribing is ever a factor).
Michael Fornarotto, Team Leader/ Improv Teacher
Michael Fornarotto currently attends Idaho State University as a theatre major. He performs improvised comedy at the Comedy Project. He currently serves as a liaison on the Comedy Project’s Board of Directors. Michael also served as the student Senator for ISU’s College of Arts and Letters, where he advocated for the university’s theatre program. He enjoys making people laugh, learning new things, board games, and talking about himself in the third person.
Johnie Rankin, Team Leader/ Scenic Carpentry Teacher
Johnie Rankin is the Scene Shop Foreman for the School of Performing Arts at Idaho State where he assists with the various technical facets of a production, such as scenic design and construction, lighting, painting, and set dressing. As a Stage Manager, he enjoys the various aspects of 'running' a live show from calling the cues to working with the stagehands and operators of the production. Outside of the theater, Johnie can be found Student Teaching the Stagecraft class and Peer Instructing Theater 1101 with the Bengal Bridge Program.