Adena Varner is the new Director of Education at Baltimore Center Stage. She has accepted this new role of leadership after serving as Program Coordinator for the 2017/18 Season. Mrs. Varner is a Baltimore native who graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts Theater Department in 2004. She earned her BA in Theater at The University of Maryland College Park in 2008. There she was in several productions including The Colored Museum, The Amen Corner, and Filthy Rich. In 2009, she was in The Girls Inside which debuted in the Capital Fringe Festival. In 2010, she wrote and directed her first playPrepare the Way and since has written and directed several plays for the Shiloh Players including Job Under Grace, The Live Nativity Scene, Life: The Gospel According to Us, and Virtue. She is a graduate at The Catholic University in Washington DC where she is earning her MA in Theater Education. Along with her position at Center Stage, she serves the community as a teaching artist and director and she continues to advocate for arts integration into the public schools systems of Maryland.
Dani Turner is an administrator, director, producer, and dramaturg originally from Baltimore. For the past two seasons, she has served as the Artistic Assistant at Baltimore Center Stage. This season, she is taking on a new role as Education Coordinator. In a myriad of artistic, production, and administrative capacities, Dani has worked with Ars Nova, Black Lab Productions, Classic Stage Company, Dixon Place, Lesser America, New York Stage and Film, and Encores! Off-Center at New York City Center in New York, the Tristan Bates Theatre in London, and Everyman Theatre, Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, and Job Hunters in Baltimore. She is the co-founder of both Potluck: Young Playwrights and Directors Collective and Paper Kraine Productions at the Kraine Theater in New York. Dani is also a former Creative Team member at Idina Menzel’s A BroaderWay Foundation.
Victoria is a director, educator, and teaching artist from Western Kentucky. She recently graduated with a BS in Theater from Murray State University. Her most recent accomplishment was directing for colored girls who have considered/when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange and having the first predominately Black cast and crew at Murray State University. Victoria’s drive for social change in theater pushes her to create artistic content that strives for diversity. Her directing credits also include RACE by David Mamet and Tale of the Mouse by Anita Gustafson at Murray State University. She is looking forward to expanding her knowledge and growing more as an artist at Baltimore Center Stage
Jacob Zabawa is an actor and theater educator. Over the past four years he has worked at Baltimore Center Stage as a Teaching Artist and as a general overhire in the Scene Shop, Prop Shop, and Company Management before accepting the position of Learning and Social Accountability Associate. Recent acting performance credits include BCS: Antigone (Guard, Messenger), The Christians (Community Choir); Submersive Productions (Collective Member): Mass/Rabble (Large Ensemble); Mercury Theater: Timon of Athens (Painter, Cupid, Senator, Flaminius); Feral Woman: In Threes (Ray, Sherwin, Mom). He is a graduate of the Goucher College Theater and Peace Studies programs.
Our Teaching Artists
Many teaching artists have worked with Center Stage in years past. Here are the biographies of just some of these brilliant minds:
Dylan Arredondo is a theater-maker, teaching artist, and technician, new to the DC/Baltimore area. In addition to Baltimore Center Stage, he works in the education departments at Imagination Stage, Olney Theatre Center, and the Kreeger Museum. Dylan has garnered 70 acting credits at theaters in Las Vegas, New York, DC, and throughout the United States. Most notably, a repertory national tour of Othello, The Great Gatsby, and Alice in Wonderland with National Players Tour 69, which traveled to communities in 65 cities in 31 states over the course of a year. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, during which he studied acting technique at the Stella Adler Studio in New York, physical theater at the International Theatre Workshop in Amsterdam, and Shakespeare in performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. In addition to drama, he also studied psychology of sexual orientation, entertainment law, and received an honors certificate in theater studies. Over the past four years, Dylan has been an affiliated artist with Blessed Unrest, Theater Mitú, INTAR’s Unit 52, the Bats at the Flea, and Shakespeare in the Square. DylanArredondo.com
Tonnia is a 25-year-old graduate from Rose Bruford College, where she majored in theater studies. She received her Associates degree (ATCL) and her LTCL for Musical Theater from Trinity College in London. She was crowned Miss Exquisite America on August 3, 2013. She has also done numerous speaking engagements, including Anacostia High School and Randallstown High School. On top of being a pageant queen, she has performed in many shows, including The Sound of Music, King and I, Music Man, Phantom of the Opera, Babes in Toyland, Annie, South Pacific, Motown, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Dreamgirls, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and The Wiz. She has also modeled Baltimore Fashion week, DC Fashion Week, Maryland Fashion Awards, Mount Vernon Fashion Show, Harrisburg Fashion Week, and Maryland Fashion Week. In the summer of 2012 she studied abroad at Cambridge College and it was there where she sung for the Queen of England and attended the 2012 Olympics. When she was just 17 years old she started her own magazine called Iceware and has recently launched her own ICEWARE brand. Iceware inspires young people to be all they can be, shows what true beauty is and showcase’s current events and the latest fashion trends. She has now recently released her first single “LoveStruck,” which she wrote. Be on the look for her full EP album.
Allison Elizabeth Brown is a Baltimore native, who has over 20 years combined experience of youth based, non-profit work, as well as working professionally in the entertainment industry. She has a deep passion for the development of minority owned businesses, and programs designed to empower minority youth. aebbusiness.com
Zipporah Brown is a working actress and teaching artist in Baltimore City. She graduated Cum Laude from Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, in 2015 where she earned her BA in Theater. As part of her studies, she was also able to study abroad and complete a January acting intensive at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland. Upon graduation, she returned to her home in Baltimore County and has just recently relocated to Baltimore City. During this time, Zipporah has been a teaching artist for different theaters and their programs including Center Stage’s Young Playwrights Festival and Camp Center Stage. She has also acted in several plays with various theater companies in Baltimore and surrounding areas. A few recent acting credits include the DC One Minute Play Festival at Round House Theatre, Promenade: Baltimore at Single Carrot Theatre, and Harry and the Thief at Strand Theatre. Zipporah is humbled by her past, delighted about her present, and excited for her future. She is grateful for the unique opportunity she has to help create and facilitate the space in which children express their theatrical talents and proclivities.
Carolyn BuckCarolyn Buck, a native Baltimorean, has been a theater educator for over three decades. She holds a BA in Theater and English from Mount Holyoke College. She trained as a director and stage manager at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. For 30 years she taught theater and English at the Institute of Notre Dame (IND), Baltimore’s historic high school for girls. As IND’s theater director, Carolyn directed over 40 productions. Among her favorites are Les Miserables, Hairspray, Crimes of the Heart, The Miracle Worker, Fiddler on the Roof, The Secret Garden, Pride and Prejudice, and Peter Pan. A local writer, Carolyn’s op ed articles have appeared in The Baltimore Sun. She has been a frequent member of the Broadway Teachers Workshops in NYC. Carolyn also participated in the University of Virginia Symposium on Shakespeare at Oxford University, UK in 2006.
Cori Dioquino is a Filipino-American actor, educator, producer, and storyteller. She earned her Associate of Art in Music Performance from Howard Community College and her Bachelor of Science in Theatre Studies from Towson University. In 2017, Cori received her arts integration training and certification from the Teaching Artist Institute. She is the head of McKinnon Acting Studio’s Youth Division and assistant coach for the Adult Division. In the summer of 2018, Cori co-founded the Baltimore Asian Pasifika Arts Collective (BAPAC) for which she currently serves as Co-Executive Director. You can learn more about the organization at BaltimoreAPAC.org.
Susan StroupeSusan Stroupe is a theater maker who specializes in devised and non-traditional theater practices. She has worked as a performer, puppeteer, and teacher all over the country with many different communities. Now based in Baltimore, she works primarily as a director, as an Artistic Associate with Submersive Productions (Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe, HT Darling's Incredible Museaum) and with many independent companies including The Strand (Harry and the Thief), Iron Crow (The Goodies), and Cohesion Theatre Company (La Llorona and Orphan Sea). She is a continuing associate of Philip Arnoult's Center for International Theatre Development. Susan received her BA from Macalester College and MFA in Theatre Arts from Towson University. She has worked with Center Stage's Education Department as a Teaching Artist since 2013.
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