Marydell Merrill Teacher / Director -
She has directed over 25 productions, as an actor she has performed with several Connecticut companies including Long Wharf Theatre and Connecticut Free Shakespeare. Marydell is an audio describer for the vision impaired and describes several productions every season for Yale Repertory Theatre. As a workshop presenter she has participated in the Yale Repertory Theatre WILL POWER! teacher workshops, the CT Association for Physical Fitness, Health, Recreation and Dance, Master Teaching Artist for Breakdancing Shakespeare at Hartford Stage, and several educational theatre festivals at the state, regional and national level, including the International Thespian Festival. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and is the current State Director of Connecticut Thespians, an Educational Theatre Association Affiliate. Marydell was the recipient of the 2014 Inspirational Theatre Educator Award from the International Thespian Society, and the Hall of Fame Award from the NorthEast Educational Theatre Festival. Her work with middle school students was featured in the fall 2014 issue of Teaching Theatre.
Stephen Baranski, Ph.D. Teacher / Musical Director - Stephen teaches Music Theory, Piano Lab, Music Technology and Chorus. He also directs the Chamber Choir and is the Musical Director for the Mainstage Productions.
Gregory J. Downing Lighting Designer -
Greg is the Director of Engineering for a video display company. He has been a lighting designer for 30 years and was the Technical Director for the John Lyman Center at SCSU for 20 years!
Sara Normand Costume Designer -
"Sam" has been with Hamden Theater for over thirty years. She holds a BFA in Theater Management and Costuming from University of Rhode Island. She worked for many years with Stage Lighting Rental Service and spent several summers at Mac-Hayden Theatre. She served for ten years as Production Stage Manager for CDA High School Theatre Festival.
Z. Aaron Barkon Instrumental Director/Conductor-
Aaron has been a part of Hamden High School’s Department of Fine Arts since 2011. He has conducted many high school productions at Hamden High School including GREASE, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, NUNSENSE, SECRET GARDEN, and, 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE. He is very excited to be a part of this production of ADDAMS FAMILY. Aaron invites many students to be a part of the pit band each year and even allows them to conduct as needed. The professional musicians hire to supplement the pit are a valuable part of the process. Having been hired to play trombone in many high school productions, he understands that the professionals help guide the students to execute the music as if it were a professional production.
Jim Brewster Set Construction -
Jim has recently joined us for The Secret Garden and Wait Until Dark, and now for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Alejandro Lopez Scenic Charge Instructor -
Alejandro Lopez is a graduate of Hamden High School and Mainstage Ensemble. He is an actor and a theatre artisan. Previous tech credits include: Play Director for Spring Glen School. Company Manager, Prop Designer, Graphic Designer for Connecticut Free Shakespeare. Prop Designer, Graphic Designer, Scenic Charge Instructor for Hamden High School. Stage Manager for Pantochino Productions.
Hollie Michaels HMS Teacher / HMS Director -
She has worked in all aspects of theater, film and TV in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, NYC and now Hamden. Hollie is a published and produced playwright. Her youth play No Fear, was a finalist in the East Valley Children's Theater Playwriting Contest and in the Moonlight Wings playwriting festival in 2015. Another youth play, Children of Hooverville, published by Youthplays, recently had a production at Arts Live Theater in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was originally performed at MS 51 in Brooklyn, NY. As a Director Hollie has had productions at The Producers Club, The Brooklyn Lyceum, TSI/Play Time Series, Brooklyn One, Hudson Shakespeare Company of NJ, Manhattan Repertory Theater Company, The Heights Players Theater, and The Public Theater as part of a night of US / UK exchange Cabaret produced by Old Vic New Voices Network. She has also directed countless youth theater productions in NYC and CT. She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, The Old Vic New Voices New York Network, AATE and SCBWI. She has a M.A. in Creative Writing (Plays) from City University of London, M.S. ED in Educational Theatre from City College of New York and a B.A. in Film Production (Screenwriting) from Columbia College Chicago.
Kate Socha HHS Teacher/Conductor-
Kate teaches Music Technology and Instrumental Music Lessons at HHS. This is Kate’s first year working with the MainStage Ensemble as the music conductor.