PENNY AYN MAAS (Director, Choreographer, Actress, Teacher) worked as a professional actress, singer and dancer in New York City for over 20 years. On Broadway she had long, successful runs in three Tony award winning shows: the original cast of Crazy for You, including singing on the cast album, the revival of Damn Yankees both with Victor Herber and Jerry Lewis, and the acclaimed revival of Cabaret at Studio 54 where she played multiple instruments and worked with such stars as Alan Cumming, Neil Patrick Harris, John Stamos and Brooke Shields. She is featured on the Off-Broadway cast album of Swingtime Canteen, a show she has performed in and staged all over the country. She was a ballroom dancer in the movie The Stepford Wives and she made her television debut as “Joy” on the soap opera “Another World”.
As a director and choreographer she has worked Off-Broadway with the National Yiddish Theatre (The Pirates of Penzance, The Marriage Contract,) the Algonquin Theatre Company (Sessions, From Gershwin to Berlin), Second Stages (Vanities) and for the Fringe Festival (Kaboom!). She was also the Associate Director and Choreographer for three years on the BC/EFA benefit concert "Broadway Backwards” and has staged numbers for celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg and Shirley Jones. Regionally she continues to direct and choreograph for the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts (Mamma Mia!, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Oklahoma!, Buddy, the Buddy Holly Story,The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Les Miserables) where she recently won the Broadway World DC Award for Best Direction of a Dinner Theatre show! Also in Virginia, Penny has had great success directing at the Richmond Triangle Players (Psycho Beach Party, Cabaret), with RTCC Award Nominations for Best Musical, Best Direction and Best Choreography. Recently, she co-directed & choreographed A Chorus Line (Riverside CPA) and Guys and Dolls, (Lyric Stage, TX) as well as Love Changes Everything & Come to the Cabaret! A Celebration of Kander & Ebb for the Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival in Pennsylvania, where she served as the Artistic Associate for two years. Other Lyric Stage, TX, credits include the regional premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mame and Anything Goes for which she won a Column Award for Best Choreography of a Musical, Equity.
For her day job, she is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Texas Christian University where she teaches Musical Theatre Performance and Dance. For Theatre TCU she has directed and choreographed Bare, Bat Boy: The Musical, Pippin, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Spring Awakening as well as providing choreography for Guys and Dolls, No, No, Nanette, the original revue We Need a Little Christmas and movement for the new plays Born on a Sunday and Everyman. Penny is a proud member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA, ATME and an Associate member of SDC where she she participated in the Observership Program.
For Theatre VCU she choreographed numbers and helped stage The Elephant Man, Grease!, Troy Woman and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. She has taught hip-hop, jazz and tap dance for the Performers Theatre Workshop in New Jersey and has been the Dance Director for both the Columbia Gorge School of Theatre and Triple Threat Theatre Camp in New Jersey. She has offered several popular dance workshops at the Southeast Theatre Conference and has been an artist in residence, working with students on musical productions, for many high schools across the country.
Other Virginia credits include choreography for The Winter's Tale (Henley Street Theatre) and assisting on the Barksdale Theatre production of White Christmas. She has been a guest choreographer for three years with New York City's Theatre Arts Center "Bound for Broadway" shows. She has directed many children’s theatre productions with the renowned Random Farms Kids Theatre in Westchester and for the Center Stage Theatre Company in Connecticut. She is also the founder of the Broadway Camp, at Allegro’s Music School, in Warrenton, Virginia.