Jorge Luis Cacheiro — a visionary director and university performing arts leader with deep roots to the New York and international theater communities — has been appointed the new Chair of Dyson College of Arts and Science’s Performing Arts Department (PAD) at Pace University, effective September 5, 2011. PAD houses the College’s undergraduate performing arts programs, which complement the College’s graduate programs, housed in the renowned Actors Studio Drama School. Cacheiro succeeds Ruis Woertendyke, who becomes Associate Chair after six years at the helm of Pace’s Performing Arts faculty.
Cacheiro joins Pace from Montclair State University, where he was the founder and first director of the New Works Initiative (NWI), which is dedicated to developing new work for the American theater and dance world. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, during the past two decades Cacheiro has also headed MFA Professional Director Training Programs at Ohio University in Athens, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Considered one of the country’s leading acting teachers, Cacheiro has taught Master classes at UCLA, Cal Arts, Princeton and the University of Iowa, as well as run his own studio in Los Angeles.
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Jorge’s caliber as the leader of our rapidly growing performing arts department, which has attracted nearly 400 declared majors from all over the country,” said Nira Herrmann, PhD. Dean, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. “The department’s growth has been carefully managed to provide each major with personalized attention within the different areas: BFA in Acting; BFA in Musical Theater; and BA in Theater Arts with tracks in Acting, Directing, Design/Technical Theater and the track in Commercial Dance. We look forward to the new programs and perspectives that Jorge brings to this exciting department.”
“From my very first visit on Pace’s campus, I sensed an immense energy from students, faculty and administration alike,” said Cacheiro. “There is an undeniable united goal to make PAD one of the nation’s leading professional training programs. I am confident that with the support of our outstanding faculty, we will succeed.”
In choosing Cacheiro, PAD has gotten a scholar/artist with a keen entrepreneurial vision of present-day education. According to Cacheiro, “We are in the business of education. This is our contemporary reality. I am very comfortable in both of these worlds. The cross section between the university world and the larger industry is still being defined. I believe it offers immense opportunities in the training and career prospects of young artists and creative thinkers.”
Cacheiro plans to immediately introduce a New Work Initiative similar to one he created at Montclair State University. This would complement the Pace New Musicals program. “The two programs will help imprint Pace’s Performing Arts Department as an important incubator of new American performance work, a place where major professional artists — writers, composers, choreographers — can draft and develop work in a safe environment,” elaborated Cacheiro. “For our students to take part in the process as performers is an invaluable training and networking opportunity. We want to nurture work at Pace from the development phase hopefully all the way to a world premiere.”
Cacheiro has long harbored a passion for new works. Under his direction, plays by such prominent playwrights as Harry Kondoleon, David Lindsay-Abaire, Eduardo Machado and Luis Santeiro have premiered in theaters ranging from New York Theater Workshop, Circle Repertory and INTAR in New York to Echo Theater in Los Angeles to the Magic Theater in San Francisco. He has also been a guest director at the O’Neil Theater Conference and the Ojai Playwrights Conferences. His original projects have been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, TCG, the New York State Arts Council, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Goethe House and the Spanish Embassy among others. Cacheiro is a former Circle Rep Lab member and Princess Grace Award winner.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Cacheiro has also worked tirelessly to build academic and professional cultural bridges between the US and Cuba. He has pursued academic agreements between Cuba’s Institute of Superior Arts and American universities and has brought artists from Cuba to work in the US.
In 2010, with the Rita Montaner Theater Company’s Latin American premiere of Canto del Pozo Ciego by Jorge Cortiñas in Havana, Cacheiro became the first American director invited to lead a major Cuban company. Cacheiro received support from TCG and the Andrew Mellon Foundation for this work. He returns to direct again in Havana in 2013.
About Dyson College of Arts and Science’s Perfoming Arts Programs at Pace University:
Undergraduate: Dyson’s Performing Arts Department (PAD) offers Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees in Acting and in Musical Theater and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts with specialized focuses in Acting, Directing, Commercial Dance or Design/Technical Theater. On average, there are 1,000 applicants for every 100 new openings each year. PAD presents over 50 performances every year. Performance spaces range from the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Schaeberle (black box) Theater, and Studio 501, home to many student-directed productions.
Graduate: The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, also located in Dyson College, is the only MFA (Acting, Directing and Playwriting) theatre program officially sanctioned by the legendary Actors Studio (co-presidents Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino). All MFA students participate in the Craft Seminars known to the world as the Bravo Network television series Inside the Actors Studio (taped at Pace’s Schimmel Theater and open to students), hosted by James Lipton, Dean Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Actors Studio Drama School.
About Pace University: For 105 years, Pace University has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu