Community Programs & Education 

Center Stage's education programs integrate theater into the lives of nearly 10,000 Maryland students each season, inspiring young imaginations through programs that cultivate creative and intellectual potential, and developing a practical understanding of the arts. 

Our programs inform and inspire tomorrow’s audiences, enriching individual lives and ensuring a strong future for the arts in our communities. Participating in meaningful cultural activities as a regular part of a well-rounded educational experience helps to develop empowered creative thinkers who are better equipped to thrive in a global marketplace of diverse and rapidly changing ideas. As public schools struggle to provide arts exposure in a difficult economic climate, community-based programs like Center Stage's become even more essential.


Kristina Szilagyi, Education Coordinator, earned a BA in Theatre Studies and Comparative Literature from Wellesley College and studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Locally, she has worked with Single Carrot Theater, Variations Project, and the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory. Kristina served as a member of the Board of Directors for Boston-based GAN-e-meed Theatre Project, where she focused on creating opportunities for playwrights. Her work as a playwright and educator has continued as a guest artist at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Rachel Varley is the Community Programs & Education Intern. Since graduating, Rachel has worked locally in Grand Rapids, Michigan as a Teaching Artist for K-12 and Directing Intern at Civic Theatre, an Assistant Director for Actor’s Theatre, the Audience Development Assistant for Circle Theatre as well as a community performer. Outside of the theater Rachel worked as the Farm and Volunteer Coordinator for Well House, a nonprofit that provides community style housing to combat homelessness. Most recently she worked as a lead teacher in development of free after school theater classes for low income families. As a teacher she especially loves storytelling, plays with music, and collaborative ensembles.

Maria Broom is nationally known as an actress for her recurring roles in HBO’s The Wire and The Corner but is also a storyteller and dancer with more than forty years of performing and teaching in the US and across the globe. She is a Fulbright scholar and former news reporter for the ABC affiliates in Miami and Baltimore. Currently, she is on the theater faculty at the Baltimore School for the Arts. A native of Baltimore, Maria has received many awards and honors including the Eubie Blake Award, the Sarah’s Circle Award and the 2004 Governor’s Arts Award for Individual Artist. In 2007, she was named, Artist of the Year by Young Audiences of Maryland, Inc.


Joshua Thomas is an Actor and Teaching Artist in the Baltimore/DC Area. He is a Mississippi native. He received his BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi. He moved to Baltimore in Fall, 2013 after receiving Center Stage Theater's Professional Internship in Community Programs & Education. He was kept on as a Fellow, and has stayed in Baltimore since his contract there ended. He is now a freelance Actor and Teaching Artist. He is thankful for his time as an Intern/Fellow at Center Stage, and is happy to be joining as a Teaching Artist!

Rich Espey’s plays have been produced throughout the United States. Recent highlights include Rice Futures at the 2010 Source Festival and Three Andys produced by Single Carrot Theatre at the Baltimore Museum of Art. His award-winning play Hope’s Arbor was produced by Gallery Players in New York City in June, 2008.  Rich is a two time winner of the Carol Weinberg Award for best play at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, a member of DC’s Playwrights Gymnasium, has served as Chair of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival and is currently the President of the Board of Single Carrot Theatre. Rich proudly teaches science at The Park School of Baltimore. Check out samples of his work and a production history at

The Jokesters. Steve Bauer and Marianne Wittelsberger are professionally trained in the fine arts of Mime, Clowning, Magic, Makeup and Costume Design. The Jokesters have been performing for audiences all over the United States with their Live Show since 1983, including 8 Command Performances at the White House for Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton and a Royal Command Performance for the King of Saudi Arabia.

CJay Philip made her Broadway debut in Big: The Musical (based on the Tom Hanks film) and was in the Broadway productions of Street Corner Symphony and Hairspray. CJay is currently the artistic director of Dance & Bmore, a Baltimore based contemporary dance company that serves children by engaging entire families through music and dance and providing online resources.

D. Wambui Richardson is a former Center Stage intern now professional artist, Wambui is proud to return to this theatre. Away from Center Stage he’s directed at every level from academic theater to works off-Broadway. Currently, Wambui is the artist-in-residence for Coppin State University where he has been commissioned to adapt and direct new works. Wambui is an alumnus of Dillard University, The New York Film Academy, Brooklyn College and the prestigious Drama League.

Susan Stroupe is an interdisciplinary theater artist based in Baltimore, MD. She has worked as a theater and writing teacher of adults with development disabilities in Albuquerque, NM and part of the experimental ensemble In Strange Company; as a touring puppeteer for Das Puppenspiel Puppet Company and more recently in the development process of Lee Breuer’s La Divina Caricatura, and as an actor in dozens of shows including The Laramie Project, The Tempest, Africa, Aloha Say the Pretty Girls, The Oresteia: Live!, 365 Days/365 Plays, The Vagina Monologues, Ping Chong’s Undesirable Elements (Albuquerque), Vodka, Fucking, and Television, Martial Arts (as part of Towson University’s New Russian Drama Season), and Thr3e Zisters. As a writer she has worked in ensemble writing and devising, often for non-traditional spaces, including recently 3 Ways to Leave Baltimore, performed in an attic, as part of the international Home Theater Festival. She also often explores classical and religious texts, including her masters thesis production at Towson University, The Book of Lilith/The Gospel of Eve. She also served as the Associate Director for The Center for International Theatre Development, managing international travel projects with theater artists from across the country, going multiple times to Russia, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Susan holds a BA from Macalester College and an MFA in Theatre from Towson University.


Ann Turiano is a teaching artist, actor, and dramaturg from Pittsburgh, PA. She has taught playwriting, acting, and improvisation for organizations such as City Theatre, Compass Rose Theatre, Drama Learning Center, and Creative Kids. As an actor, she has performed with Fells Point Corner Theatre, Spotlighters, The Strand, and Vagabond Players. She is a proud company member of the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory. Ann holds a BA in Acting from the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University and an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice: Dramaturgy from the Central School of Speech and Drama.

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