The classrooms of Life Hall are often filled with an upbeat enthusiasm that is not just from students but also faculty members that work within them. One faculty member you can always find bringing energy to Life Hall is Cynthia Kumor, who likes to be referred to as “Cyndi.”
Kumor, a Colorado native with signature thick glasses and curly golden hair, is an adjunct faculty member who teaches musical theater classes at Montclair State University. She is also the production associate for the university’s Department of Theater and Dance.
Many people do not know the amount of work that takes place backstage in order to put together a production. Kumor and her team work hard to make sure every show has everything it needs.
“I am part of the team that purchases set pieces, props and lighting accessories as well,” Kumor said.
Her job also enlists that she helps secure the rights to all musicals, plays and certain dance pieces used in the shows. Her name can be found on the back of all the programs from Montclair State theater and dance shows.
Kumor brings a ton of theater experience to the classroom. With her talents showcased in places like Broadway, students say she’s fully capable of teaching future Broadway performers. When asked about her experiences on Broadway, she smiled and wasn’t hesitant to reminisce about her time on the “Great White Way,” an event venue in New York City. Kumor was an understudy for the lead roles in both “Les Misérables” and “Showboat” on Broadway.
“I had to memorize the parts of several different characters and every night I could be playing an entirely different role,” Kumor said.
Along with being on Broadway, Kumor has starred in touring productions such as “Les Misérables,” “Ragtime” and “42nd Street.” She went to many different places as she traveled around the world with the productions. She has performed in regional theater for companies such as Country Dinner Playhouse in Denver, Colorado where she was in “Anything Goes,” and also “Gateway Playhouse” in Long Island, New York.
Along with performing, Kumor has also gone on to direct a number of shows done by local groups in the surrounding area. She mentioned that she might begin directing theater at Bergenfield High School soon.
“It’s not confirmed yet, but it is in the works,” Kumor said.
Kumor’s contributions to Montclair State do not go unnoticed. A former student of hers, Charles Cobbertt III, praised Kumor for everything she has done for him in class.
“She has great enthusiasm with students, goes over lectures step by step and she’s a lot of fun,” Cobbertt said. “I highly recommend her.”
Cobbertt said he continues to take more theater classes because of Kumor.
Along with students, fellow coworkers have also admired all of the hard work Kumor has done for the theater and dance department, including Production Manager for the Department Peter J. Davis.
“She is a great asset and wonderful to work with,” Davis said. “She has a lot of experience from a great career of theater which is beneficial and is also a fantastic multitasker.”
“For her to balance work, teaching, directing and running a family at home— well, that is just an achievement all in its own,” Davis said.
Kumor currently lives with her husband Michael and daughters Alyson and Rachel in Bergenfield, New Jersey. She is passionate about her job and would like to continue teaching theater for years to come.
“I really enjoy what I am doing,” Kumor said. “I hope to continue doing this for a very long time.”