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Haila Strauss


M.A., Musical Staging, Mentor MMC Theatrical Intimacy Education and Direction. MMC Professor Emerita.

Professor Strauss is delighted to be working on Mr. Burns with Professor Ellen Orenstein (our ninth collaboration) and the faculty, staff, and students of the Theatre Department.

As a professional choreographer Prof. Strauss staged over 250 dances for New York, regional theatres, film, television, and the concert stage. Outstanding productions include Paul Green’s Pulitzer Prize Winner The Lost Colony, the Roundabout Theatre’s long-running revival of Harold Rome’s Pins and Needles, the Princeton Triangle Show and Kuni Leml, winner of four Outer Circle Drama Critics’ Awards.

At MMC, from 1982 to 1996 Prof. Strauss choreographed concert dances (for the MMC Dance Company) and full-length ballets (for the MMC Children’s Dance Theatre) for the Dance Department. Since 1997 Prof. Strauss has had the marvelous opportunity to stage dances and devise movement for productions directed by the Theatre Department’s Acting Faculty.

As an MMC administrator, Prof. Strauss built the Dance Department, co-chaired the Musical Theatre Minor, and coordinated the MMC Continuing Education Department’s Fitness Instructor Certification Program, which for 18 years was the only program of its kind on the East Coast. Currently, Prof. Strauss teaches Movement for Actors for the BFA Acting Program.

In 2019 the MMC Theatre Department embraced the principles and practices of Theatrical Intimacy Education and Direction and continues to be in the forefront of liberal arts colleges in educating students, faculty, and staff in this important new addition to theatre direction. Prof. Strauss, with the support of then Chair, Mary Fleischer, initiated the program and, currently, under the guidance of Chair, Jill Stevenson, mentors the MMC Theatrical Intimacy Education and Direction program.

As Director of her own enterprise, The Dance Workshop for Actors and Singers, Prof. Strauss coaches performers for Broadway, film, and television auditions. Prof. Strauss received her B.A. in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College and M.A. in Dance Education from Columbia University. Her most notable teaching award is Backstage Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Dance Teacher.


Musical Staging