Our Bios reflect experiences that range from Broadway to the academic arena. This diversity helps define SJCT as a professional team that understands “to teach is to learn twice.”
R. O’Donnell (Producing Artistic Director) is a 3-time A.S.C.A.P. (
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) award-winner and has written the book, music & lyrics for Mr. Scrooge, Alice Isn’t All There, Kreepy Hollow, Twist, and Orchard of Hide & Seek. At 14 years old, he ran away with the Sells and Grey traveling tent circus. He co-wrote the off-Broadway musical comedy One & One. On Broadway, he co-wrote Radio City Music Hall’s critically acclaimed Manhattan Showboat. As a choreographer, O’Donnell staged Dick Hyman’s Joan And The Devil, and Walter/McDowell’s Rapunzel And The Dragons at the famed Greenwich Village institutions 13th Street Repertory Company, and Actors’ Playhouse, respectively. In New York, he has work-shopped with multiple Tony award-winning choreographer/directors Michael Bennet (A Chorus Line/Dream Girls), Ron Field (Cabaret), and Tommy Tune (Will Rogers Follies). In Chicago, he co-founded both the New Variety cabaret and the professional theater company New Age Vaudeville. At New Age Vaudeville O’Donnell wrote two of its biggest cult hits: An Evening With Elmore & Gwendolyn Putts –The Neighbors Next Door, and The TV Dinner Hour (featuring improv guru Del Close). O’Donnell worked as Executive Producer and host (hence the title) of the variety/comedy television show R. Rated on Fox, Chicago. Widely regarded as a brilliant slice of the Chicago comedy scene, R. Rated featured, among others, Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Mick Napier (Annoyance Theater), and Stephnie Weir (MADtv). O’Donnell also produced and directed comedy segments featuring Matt Besser (Upright Citizens Brigade) for Fox, Chicago’s variety special Twisted. Additionally, he directed a series of improvised commercials (featuring Besser in a stylistic homage to Ernie Kovacs) for McDonald’s, Toyota, Jiffy Lube, and Ameritech. O’Donnell’s stand-up comedy work has seen him featuring for celebrated comics Chris Rock, Bill Maher, Brian Regan, Rick Overton, and the late great Bill Hicks.
Angela Conzone Dwyer (Executive Music Director/Choreographer) has starred in all of our productions to date. Angela has a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Fredonia and a Master’s Degree from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, both in Music Education. She teaches K-6 Vocal/General Music in the Ogdensburg City School District, is the Choir Master at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Assistant Choreographer at Julie’s Dance Studio, and is a private piano/voice teacher. She has been the Musical Director of Nunsense (Fulton, NY), and Choreographer of both Peter Pan (Oswego, NY) and Once Upon a Mattress (Potsdam, NY). Some of her acting credits include Once Upon a Mattress, Camelot, The Music Man, Nunsense, The King and I, Annie, and Beauty and the Beast. Having met during summer theater, Angela and Christopher are excited to be working together both on the production team and on stage. The couple lives in Ogdensburg with their daughters, Rozalyn and Eliana.
Stephen Chambers (Props/Set Dressings) is a nationally recognized, award-winning fine artist who has successfully worked in a wide variety of mediums. From mass-produced commercial sculptures to oil paintings, this versatile artist is comfortable creating whatever the artistic vision requires. Mr. Chambers has brought life to all of the St. John’s Conservatory Theater productions with his beautifully crafted props and set designs.
Ryan C. McNally (Arrangements/Orchestrations) has digitally orchestrated the original and revised productions of A Christmas Carol and Orchard of Hide and Seek, as well as Kreepy Hollow, Twist, and the revised production of Alice Isn’t All There. Outside of the theater, he has orchestrated for shows including OFA’s production of Steel Magnolias and Lisbon Central School’s productions of Orphans in Candyland and The Big Bad Musical. His interests in music and songwriting began when he was 9 years old when he play songs by ear on the upright piano in his house. Seeing his musical interests, his parents saw that he took piano lessons. In 4th grade, he began playing saxophone in the band and from then on his ability to play both excelled. His compositions were at first written solely for the piano until his uncles, Tom and Mark McNally spurred his interest in playing music with others and he began incorporating other instruments and lyrics into his pieces. In the summers of 2013, 2014, and 2015, he, his uncles and brother recorded albums together with the band name “Camp Jammers.” With the stimuli of one recording session a year not enough, he began to write and record music on his own. From 2014 to today, he has recorded and produced 6 albums and counting, and in 2015 he formed a musical group “The Band Room Band” to bring his music to life live. He and the group recently put on a show “The Voyage”, which consisted of 20 of Ryan’s compositions. He has also recently written and conducted a concert band piece “Theme 2017”, which was a piece dedicated to all of his years in the OFA music program. He intends to further his musical career at Onondaga Community College this fall, to pursue an Associate’s Degree in music.
Karen Fischbeck (Costume and Makeup Designer) is a dietitian currently working with children at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center. She is a Registered Dietitian, and has the professional credentials of R.D., CD/N. Karen has been the costumer and makeup designer for Kreepy Hollow, Orchard of Hide and Seek, Twist, Alice Isn’t All There, B. R. Kreep’s Christmas Carol and is an invaluable member of the St. John’s Conservatory Theater.
Ann Losurdo (Costumes) is a retired middle school Spanish teacher who has been sewing since the age of 13. In addition to fashioning everyday wear, Ann is the queen of Halloween costumes, prom gowns, and bridesmaids’ gowns. In her copious free time, she enjoys quilting, singing with Concinnity (an all-women a cappella ensemble), and traveling the world.
Heron Hetzler (Senior Costumer) is a recent graduate of St. Lawrence University with a degree in studio art. During the course of her studies, she worked in the theater department, designing and constructing costumes for plays and dance recitals. Heron enjoys making art from many different materials and combining them in new and interesting ways. Her passion for the wearable arts has led her to create such varied pieces as gloves, jewelry, hats, and masks.
Tonya Ott (Props Master) was born and raised in Ogdensburg and still lives here with her husband and daughter. This is her fifth production with SJCT, having served as Props Master for Kreepy Hollow, Orchard of Hide and Seek, Christmas Carol, and Twist. She is thrilled to be sharing this experience with her daughter, Gabi.