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.
Cara Hinh is a director, educator, and theater artist originally from the Midwest. She is currently in her second season at Baltimore Center Stage, serving as the Ethel J. Holliday Education Fellow. Her love of theater is driven by the need to bring the stories of othered bodies to the stage. Her identity as a queer, fat, mixed race artist informs every artistic decision she makes. Most recent theater credits include assistant directing on this season’s King of the Yees at Baltimore Center Stage and Vietgone at Studio Theatre. Directing credits include Sa'idah at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival and Heavy Hors d'oeuvres with Interrobang Theatre Company. She is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio.
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.
Molly Cohen is a graduate of Towson University with a BFA in acting, a concentration in costume design and construction, and a minor in electronic media and film. She is a local actor, singer, costume designer, and collaborative interdisciplinary artist as Company Member to theater The Acme Corporation and film collective Lux Daze Media. She has performed and designed for Baltimore and DC theater companies such as The Acme Corporation, Single Carrot, Theatre Alliance, Through the Fourth Wall, Fells Point Corner Theatre, and multiple film production companies. Molly is thrilled to be joining Baltimore Center Stage's Teaching Artist Team to give back to the community she is an active member of, and longtime resident.
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.
Mike Fleg is a filmmaker and theater artist who teaches in the Baltimore/DC area. He started a production company, Red Motion Studios at the age of 21 and worked locally before moving his company to Los Angeles. Mike has written, directed, and edited projects airing on CNN, FOX, MTV, ESPN, History, and other national networks. Since returning to the area, Mike has interned in the production department of Studio Theatre in DC and has performed as an actor in shows or showcases with Studio Theatre and Washington Improv Theatre. Mike has also played and performed piano for 25 years and has a strong love for musical theater. He has three degrees including a Master’s in Education from University of Maryland, College Park.
Hannah Fogler, a native of Houston, Texas, knew she wanted to do theater when she was eight years-old. Now, 20+ years later, she is making her dreams come true by freelancing as an actor, stage manager, makeup/SFX artist, and teaching artist all over the Baltimore/DC area. Hannah holds a BA in Theatre and Psychology from Goucher College and an MAT in Secondary Theatre and English from Notre Dame of Maryland University. Some of her favorite credits include: Stage Managing Macbeth and The Three Musketeers at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Stage Managing a regional tour of Scrooge: A Christmas Carol Concert, performing as Creon in Antigone with Glass Mind Theatre, and designing Makeup and SFX for Evil Dead: The Musical with Red Branch Theatre Company.
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.
Khaleshia Thorpe-Price has worked in arts education since 2000. As an artist, she co-wrote A Journey with Jazz, an interactive performance experience for young audiences, for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts. She performs in this production with the Wolf Trap Jazz Trio. She has served as the host for the Music Box Family Concert Series with members of the BSO at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and has directed performances in the Folger Shakespeare Children's Festival. As a teaching artist, Khaleshia has facilitated residencies and workshops for children and adults for many arts organizations including Wolf Trap, Arena Stage, Young Playwrights’ Theater, Young Audiences of Maryland, Folger Shakespeare Library, Shakespeare Theater Company and M-NCPP. As an arts manager, she has coordinated workshops and residencies for thousands of students and educators in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. She partnered with many organizations including the United States Department of State, the National Portrait Gallery, and ZERO to THREE to provide unique arts learning experiences for all ages. In addition, she managed enrichment and academic afterschool programs for DC Public Schools. She earned an MA in Arts Management from the University of Central Florida and a BA in Theater Arts from Morgan State University.
Jacob ZabawaJacob Zabawa is an actor and theater educator. He has worked as a teaching artist in the Education Department for the past four years after initially being hired as an intern at Camp Center Stage. When he is not in the education office you can find him in the Prop Shop, where he works as an overhire artisan. Jacob is a former company member of Baltimore Annex Theater. Recent performance credits include Life or Theater? and In Threes. He is a graduate of the Goucher College Theater and Peace Studies programs.
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