Our Teachers

Kortney Adams

Kortney Adams

Kortney is a native of St. Louis, MO, but has been working as an actor, director, and teaching artist in Boston since 2002. Before becoming a theater artist, Kortney was a practicing environmental engineer, and holds BS and MS degrees from Washington University and MIT.  In addition to performing on professional stages throughout New England, Kortney has also appeared in numerous films, television and radio spots, and educational videos.  At WFT, Kortney’s performed in several productions, most recently Aladdin and Pippi. She began teaching for WFT in 2007, and has taught Auditioning, Classical Acting, Creating Characters, and Improv, among other classes. Kortney is the former Artistic Director of Deana's Educational Theater Company, and co-directs the professional performances on KidStage at the Boston Children's Museum.

Marianne Adams

Marianne Adams

Marianne is a teaching artist and full time instructor in the arts at Wheelock College with 30 years of experience teaching drama and creative movement in schools, camps, and community programs. She has worked at Newton Center for the Arts, Kaleidoscope in Andover, Arts in Progress, and the Cambridge Public School Drama Collaborative to name a few. She currently collaborates with VSA of Massachusetts and does annual work for the ECE gifted and talented program Beverley. She is excited to be working at Wheelock Family Theatre this summer.

Katherine Akerley

Katherine Akerley

Katherine has been involved at Wheelock Family Theatre since 2010, starting as an assistant teacher. She is a recent graduate of Suffolk University with a major in English and minor in Theatre. Katherine loves theatre and is very excited to combine her interests of teaching and drama as an educator at Wheelock Family Theatre. She will start as a teacher at the Riverbend School in September.

Esme Allen

Esme Allen

Esme has taught, directed and collaborated with students Pre-K to High School through organizations and school systems as diverse as Wheelock Family Theatre, the Community Arts Partnership with Franklin High School in East Los Angeles, and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and has also been a collaborating actor with the McCarter Theatre Education department. She holds an MFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts and performs in a number of professional shows in the Boston and beyond. She is a Founding Artistic Associate at Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston. She also creates collage-based visual art, which has been exhibited on the North Shore. 

Christy Betit

Christy Betit

Christy Betit has a master’s degree in theatre education from Emerson College, an excellent graduate program that has produced quite a number of WFT teaching artists. Christy has taught many classes at WFT over the past 5 years, winning the respect and affection of her students and colleagues alike. She is currently an elementary drama specialist in the Waltham Public Schools and also directs the K-4 drama program at the Butler School in Belmont, MA.

Danny Bolton

Danny Bolton

Danny Bolton is a Boston College graduate and has been a teaching artist at Wheelock Family Theatre for many years. Danny has appeared in numerous productions here at WFT, as well at other area theatres including Wellesley Summer Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Lyric Stage, Speakeasy and Commonwealth Shakespeare. Danny also teaches and directs at Babson College, Wellesley College, Roxbury Latin School and the New Art Center in Newton and is a company member of Theatre Espresso.

Olivia D'Ambrosio

Olivia D'Ambrosio

Olivia D'Ambrosio is the Producing Artistic Director of Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston. An actor first, Olivia earned her BA in Theatre & Dance from Amherst College (summa cum laude) and her MFA in Acting from Brown University/Trinity Rep. She is currently enrolled in the Arts Administration & Fundraising Certificates at Boston University. A proud member of Actors' Equity, Olivia's performance credits include Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Trinity Rep, Asolo Rep, Paper Mill Playhouse and Hartford Stage. She teaches in the Department of Physical Theatre at the Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Program, and in the Department of Music & Theatre Arts at MIT. Teaching appointments with younger students include Wheelock Family Theatre, and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's BARDS Program.

Laura DeGiacomo

Laura DeGiacomo

Laura D. DeGiacomo has been teaching musical theatre classes at Wheelock Family Theatre since 2003. She recieved her BFA in Musical Theatre from Emerson College with a secondary concentration in Dance. Laura has performed on the European Tour of K. Hill's Phantom of the Opera, and National Tours of Grease and Showboat. She has also choreographed locally for Littleton High School, Freelance Players, and The Village Theatre Project. Laura is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.

Andrea Doane

Andrea Doane

Andrea is a first grade teacher in the Brookline Public Schools. She has worked with the Wheelock Family Theatre since its inception as a drama teacher, choreographer and director. In addition, Andrea is an Audio Describer for Blind and Low Vision audience members at WFT.

Donna Folan

Donna Folan

Donna Folan has over 20 years of professional experience in acting, movement and directing.  She has taught people with and without disabilities and has been artistic director of the award-winning Access to Theatre program for many years as well.  In addition to teaching at WFT, Donna is a Very Special Arts National Teaching Fellow.

Ellie Friedland

Ellie Friedland

Ellie is Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at Wheelock College, as well as a WFT teaching artist. She has a Ph.D. in Education and the Arts and teaches college courses in Early Childhood Education, Theater, and Human Development. Ellie is a Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner, and teaches courses in Theatre for Social Change for Wheelock Family Theatre. She also teaches WFT drama classes for children and teens with special needs. Her book, co-edited with Toby Emert of Agnes Scott College, Come Closer: Critical Perspectives on Theatre of the Oppressed, was published by Peter Lang, Inc. in 2011. She also studied and taught at the Actors Institute in Boston and New York, and before that she studied and performed clowning with the Cumeezi Bozo Ensemble in New York City; and then founded and led the Clown Jewels Clown Troupe in Boston.

Angie Jepson

Angie Jepson

Angie Jepson is an actress, fight choreographer, and teacher in the Boston area, and she has been a proud teacher at Wheelock Family Theatre for the last several years! Professional acting and fight choreography credits include work at The Huntington Theatre Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Gloucester Stage, SpeakEasy Stage Company, the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and Stoneham Theatre.  Angie teaches acting and stage combat at Worcester State University, and starting this fall will be the stage combat instructor at Boston University.

Dev Luthra

Dev Luthra

Dev trained at the East 15 Acting School, London, England, Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA and in Forum Theatre and Rainbow of Desire with Augusto and Julian Boal. He has been the Artistic Director of And Still We Rise, a theatre company committed to the empowerment of prisoners’ and former prisoners’ voices, since 2007. He has also facilitated theater intensives with Access to Theatre in Boston MA and at the Ivy Street School in Brookline, MA. Dev has acted and directed at theatres throughout New England including Actors' Shakespeare Project, Apollinaire Theatre, Underground Railway, the Winsor School, Newton North and South high schools and various elementary schools in the Brookline school system.

Marge Lusignan

Marge Lusignan

Marge is the Wheelock Family Theatre Props Master. She brings years of acquired creative skills and a slightly unconventional style of teaching to the summer programs. Marge encourages students to be prolific in their creative thinking and keen in the editing of their work. She teaches an economic approach to the choice of materials, using mostly post-consumer and recycled supplies. Her students learn to work with the tools of many different trades. They are strongly encouraged to strive for perfection while settling for excellence in the execution of their work.

Grace

Grace Napier

An Equity actor, singer, and dancer since 1986, Grace has appeared throughout New England, New York, the United States, and Canada. Career highlights: The King and I (national tour - Rudolf Nureyev), A Christmas Carol (Trinity Rep - Stacy Keach), Odessa (Walnut Street Theatre), and numerous roles at WFT including Carousel, The Music Man, Cinderella, Little Women, Hello, Dolly!, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, and Anne of Green Gables. For over 15 years, Grace has directed WFT’s Story Troupers summer touring program, as well as teen intensives in musical theatre and opera and our main stage production of Seussical. A graduate of M.I.T., Grace has also taught at many area venues including the Boston Ballet School, Boston Lyric Opera, Framingham public schools, and Walnut Hill School extension and summer programs among others.

John O'Neil

John O'Neil

John O’Neil has been a teaching artist with Wheelock Family Theatre since 2000. John co-teaches the WFT's musical theatre intensives and reaches out to area schools through WFT's dramashop program. John operates his own vocal studio, mounting performance master classes and teaching at educational institutions such as Regis College, Northeastern University and Riverside Theatreworks. In additional to working as an audition accompanist for area theatres, John was Stagesources’s principal audition accompanist for a number of years. John helps singers choose appropriate audition material and find the monologue within the song to bring out each person's best performance. Most recently, John music directed WFT's show It's a Wonderful Life

Sophie Rich

Sophie Rich

Sophie has been involved with WFT for fifteen years, first as a student and young performer, and now as a teacher and co-director of Story Troupers. Sophie recently graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in theatre, concentrating on theatre for young audiences and directing. During her time at North Western Sophie taught at Haven Middle School and in Evanston's District 65 Drama Enrichment Program, overseeing the program's lesson planning this past year. Sophie was received Northwestern's Winifred Ward Award for creative drama, and is also an experienced performer, tap dancer, and singer. 

Ilyse Robbins

Ilyse Robbins

Ilyse is an actress, director, choreographer and teacher in the New England area and has been teaching musical theatre at WFT for many years. Ilyse holds a BS in Communication/Theater from Northwestern University, certification in theater from the British American Drama Academy and an Ed.M. from Harvard University. Ilyse teaches critical thinking, oral speaking, and dance history at Wheelock College and creative drama education for Brandeis University. Prior to having children of her own, Ilyse ran the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio Children’s program and taught creative drama in both the Waltham and Brookline public schools. Ilyse is also on the staff of Mohr Collaborative as an oral speaking and presentation skills coach.

M. Lynda Robinson

M. Lynda Robinson

Lynda been working in theatre, film & TV for the past 35 years as an actor, director, producer, teacher, coach, and playwright.  As an actor she has performed in many theaters in Boston including Wheelock Family Theatre, the Publick, Lyric, Wilbur, Huntington, Shear Madness, and New Rep, as well as in NY and DC. Lynda has taught at WFT for many years as well as Boston Casting and the Gloucester Writers Center. In 1993 she was honored with the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Boston Actress, one of the first local actors to win this award, and was chosen by Arts/Learning to recive the Distinguished Arts Educator Award in Theatre.  She attended the Masters Program in Playwriting at B.U. and is a published playwright as well as a short film screenwriter.

Brynnalee Simmons

Brynnalee Simmons

Brynnalee attended Emerson College and San Francisco State University where she studied Theatre Arts with an emphasis on acting. She also received her BFA in art with a concentration in painting from Emmanuel College. Currently she is working on obtaining her Masters in Elementary Education with American International College. Brynnalee has been performing since the age of four and has worked professionally in theatre, dance, and singing.  She has had the pleasure of teaching children's theatre in California and locally at The Children's Theatre of Newburyport. Park Brynnalee is a Massachusetts Certified Art Teacher. She is thrilled to be back in Boston for the Summer and to be teaching at WFT.

Fran Weinberg

Fran Weinberg

Fran Weinberg teaches Wheelock Family Theatre's Teen Advanced Performance Intensive each August and has taught a variety of other drama classes at WFT. Fran also teaches scene study and monologue classes at Boston Casting, where she has been a member of the teaching faculty in their Media Performance Institute for almost a decade. She received her Masters degree in Theatre from Emerson College where she has taught on the performing arts faculty, as well as at Stonehill College, Stoneham Theatre and Riverside Theatre Works. In addition, Fran is a director and private acting coach.

Alan White

Alan White

Alan is delighted to be teaching with Wheelock Family Theater where he has worked as both an actor and a teaching artist. He has also worked with Theatre Espresso, Commonwealth Shakespeare and CityStage among others. Alan has a BA in Theatre from UMASS Amherst and is proud to bring theater programs and education to students of all ages.

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For Our 2014-2015 Season

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