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About Us

Cause and Fx provides production and educational support to theatre professionals and educators in the tristate area. Production support includes (but is not limited to) directing, fight choreography, theatrical makeup, in-school residencies, and workshops. One of our main priorities is providing support in a safe, coherent, and comfortable environment focused on clear communication between our clients, participants, and our staff. To that end, it is part of the mission of Cause and Fx to identify and cultivate the next generation of theatre teaching artists servicing the tristate area

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Stephen Davis

Stephen is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at Centenary University, a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association, and is the fight director/makeup designer for the Centenary Stage Company. Since receiving his BFA in Acting from the Theatre School in 1995 and acquiring additional training in theatrical makeup and becoming a certified actor combatant with the SAFD (1995), Stephen started to choreograph fights for productions in the Chicago area and was a makeup artist for productions including the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In 1999, he went to work for the Ben Nye Company in Los Angeles California where he taught makeup workshops across the country. While in California, he was the cofounder of a Theatre Company, the WolfPack Production Company. In 2003, Stephen started training for my MFA in Directing at the University of South Carolina, where he met Bonnie J Monte from the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ). In the summer of 2004, he started teaching stage combat classes at the STNJ for the Summer Professional Training Program.

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Erik Gaden

Erik Gaden, one of the co-founders of Cause and FX, is a New York/New Jersey based fight director, makeup artist, and actor. He received his B.A. in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Acting from Centenary University. He has performed in various theaters in northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As the resident fight director for interACT Productions in New Jersey he has worked on The Crucible, The Full Monty, Into the Woods, Carrie: The Musical, Night of the Living Dead LIVE!, Almost, Maine, Deathtrap, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and Sister Act. He has also been Fight Director on Peter Pan Jr. with the Morrow Theater Camp in Maplewood, NJ; The Hired Man at Briarcliff High School, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea with Alliance Repertory Company and the short web film Wasteland Radio. Erik also worked with the Virginia Opera Company as fight director on productions of La Fanciulla del West and Don Giovanni. Erik designed special effects make up for productions of The Little Mermaid Jr., Night of the Living Dead LIVE!, Deathtrap, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, and Gruesome Playground Injuries. He also teaches stage combat and special effects makeup workshops throughout the tri-state area.

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Joelle Zazz

Teaching Artist

Joelle is a teaching artist, actor, model, and collaborator from New Jersey, with a BFA in Theatre Performance and a BA in Mathematics (Kean University). She made her professional actor debut at age 17, and has several other areas of expertise, such as singing, dancing, and a second degree black belt in mixed martial arts, emphasis in MMA fighting, Tae Kwon Do. Joelle is also a skilled actor-combatant with proficiency in rapier, broad sword, and unarmed combat, and has assisted fight choreographer/teacher Doug West in combat classes for apprentices at the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ and has assistant directed for their 2018 mainstage season, in addition to being a company member. In 2019, she became a fight captain for Centenary Stage's Beauty and the Beast, and is a teaching artist for Premiere Stages, Phoenix Productions (where she also directed), and the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ.

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Meghan Kolbusch

Teaching Artist

Meghan is a graduate of Centenary University with dual degrees in History and Political and Governmental Affairs with a minor in Theatre Arts. Her journey as an educator began as she served as a teaching assistant and a national park intern during her undergraduate career. While assisting in various theatrical workshops and creating educational exhibits, Meghan gained experience across fields. Most recently, Meghan has worked alongside Stephen Davis for the past five years on a week-long Shakespeare residency at Blairstown Elementary School in Blairstown, New Jersey. In addition, as a member of the education department at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City, Meghan has led and co-created programs for a variety of audiences, from school age children to members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Special Operations Command. Meghan is currently a graduate student at the George Washington University in Washington D.C., pursuing a Masters degree in Museum Education.

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Sarah Shea Farber

Teaching Artist

Sarah graduated in 2016 with a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a Concentration in Dance and a B.S. in Biology.  Sarah started teaching at Warren County Technical School in 2017 as the Theatre Advisor/Drama Teacher, in charge of producing the spring musical, including directing, choreographing, costume designing/coordinating, managing the box office, fundraising, lighting and sound designing, carpentry, makeup artistry and designing, and everything in between.  She became Zumba certified in December of 2017, and went on to get several other Zumba certifications since initially becoming an instructor.  In 2018, she became certified as a Rock Steady Boxing Coach, designed for people with Parkinson’s Disease to fight back on the degeneration of the disease.  Then in March of 2020, Sarah completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Glow Yoga in Bedminster, NJ with Erin and Carl Klemme.  Sarah teaches Zumba and Yoga at various studios, as well as dance and flexibility classes.  She has taught many workshops in stage combat, including the PAWS Theatre and Dance Intensive at SUNY Purchase, and workshops in both stage combat and trauma/zombie makeup at the Warren County Teen Arts Festival. 

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Trevor Callahan

Lead Graphic Artist

Trevor is a graphic artist working alongside various theatre artists with similar goals. Trevor has created artwork for Kevin Lynch's A Christmas Carol album on Spotify, and has been involved in multiple productions over the years on stage, back stage, or in film. He is currently the Assistant Office Manager at Centenary Stage Company designing street banners, posters, and various web design elements. He has been sound operator for some recent Centenary Stage Company productions, and played the lead role in the award winning film, The Divine: a Tale of Love, Murder, and Meatloaf, and its sequel, Closer to the Divine. Trevor teaches the summer graphic design class to the Young Performers Workshop for kids ages 8-18.

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Nick Bettens

Teaching Artist / Marketing Director

Nick is a graduate of Centenary University. He got his degree in Theatre Arts: Performance Studies with a minor in Social Media Marketing. During his time at Centenary, Nick was a First Year Leader, helping freshmen adjust to college life, as well as a writing tutor in the Writing Collaboratory on campus. Stephen Davis was a professor of Nick’s throughout his college career, training him in acting, stage combat, and stage makeup. Throughout his college career, Nick not only had the chance to act onstage at Centenary Stage Company, but also work as a fight captain, and teach classes in CSC’s Young Performer’s Workshop in both acting and stage makeup. After college, Nick has gone to work at Scaramouche Costumes, helping organize and put together costumes for shows as well as deal in customer service. In his acting training after college, with his mentors Anne Occhiogrosso and Randall Duk Kim, Nick has grown a passion for Shakespeare’s works as well as the work of many other great playwrights. Additionally, Nick uses his Social Media Marketing minor to assist individuals in developing websites to showcase their portfolio, or sell their artwork. Nick’s role in Cause and FX is a perfect culmination of all of his interests.

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