Meet our Great Faculty and Staff!
Artistic Director, Dance. Reagan Messer is a native of Atlanta and former Boston Ballet Soloist. Until recently he continued to dance as a guest artist throughout the United States. Reagan has performed principal and soloist roles inSwan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker, Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Winter Dreams, Michael Pink’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly, Bruce Well’s A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Paul Taylor’s Company B, Agnes De Mille’s Rodeo, Lila York’s Celts and numerous ballets by George Balanchine. In 1993, Reagan toured Brazil with Fernando Bujones and Friends where he danced Don Quixote Pas de Deux and Gopak. In 1994, he was a finalist at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. Reagan was Ballet Master for Boston Ballet II from 2000 to 2002 and directed and produced the International Ballet Gala in Atlanta, GA featuring artists from Boston Ballet and the Royal Ballet of London in 1995 and 1996. Before his ballet career, Reagan’s focus was in the jazz and tap world where he worked with Smokey Robinson, David Hasselhoff, Issac Hayes, Ruth Buzzi, Carol Lawrence, Director John Landis as well as dancing at Walt Disney World. Besides being the Artistic Director of Dance for , Reagan is Artistic Advisor for North Atlanta Dance Theatre as well as Vice President on their Board of Director’s. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Keene.
Gretchen Carmel: B.F.A. in treatments/Performing Arts. Dancer, performer, healer and teacher, is a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher, Phoenix Rising Yoga therapist and Reiki practitioner, and has danced professionally throughout the United States. Gretchen has been teaching Yoga classes and workshops since 1993.
Tracy Croteau has been dancing and performing with for over 5 years. She enjoys choreographing and preparing dancers for performances. Previously, she has taught martial arts, in which she holds a black belt. In addition, she devotes time to raising her 2 children.
Sarah Franklin studied with famed teachers Ruth Currier, Daniel Lewis, Phyllis Lamhut, and Truda Kaschman and has performed in NYC for 10 years in her own and other’s works in various venues from 1985-1995 and taught at the Limon Institute, Danspace, and the Ruth Currier Studio. She went on to teach and be the interim Dean of Dance at the Hartford Conservatory. She created and initiated the dance program at Fairfield University where she was also resident choreographer from 1994-2000. Sarah was featured dancer at New Haven’s Education Center for the Arts, for years, in works of Mary Barnett, Sandra Kopell, and Judy Dworin. Most recently in 2007, Sarah performed at Dance Theatre Workshop’s 40up in a piece choreographed by local choreographer Sally Bomer. She takes care of her son Sam who is 7.
Kristen Leach: BS in Education. In addition to teaching dance at , Kristen is currently the Artistic Director for the New Hampshire Dance Institute and holds a winter residency at Vermont Academy. In her free time, Kristen enjoys performing in or choreographing for local theater projects.
Marty Hennum: Artistic Director of Theatre and CAKE. MA, theatre instructor and program Director. Marty comes to us from the Boston area where she was a professional actress with the Next Move Theatre Companyand a founding member of the Play It By Ear Improv Troupe. She directed plays and musicals in the Boston area for over 20 years and she was the Arts Department Chair for The Brimmer and May School in Chestnut Hill, MA. In 1998, Marty was honored as the “Outstanding Arts Educator” of Massachusetts. Marty was the founding director of The International Arts Program in Brookline, MA. Since arriving in Keene, Marty has headed up the Theatre Program at and directed shows for many area groups. She has been nominated several times for New Hampshire Theatre Awards as Best Director and several Teen Musicals have also received nominations. Marty is the founding director of C.A.K.E. which is based on the Charles River Creative Arts Program in Dover, MA. She directed the assessment of C.A.K.E., a NEA Summer School in the Arts site, by convening a panel of art educators, members of the NH State Council on the Arts and the NH Dept. of Education to develop the evaluation tools and rubrics. She trained and assisted the independent evaluators and oversaw the implementation and assessment of the process and longitudinal studies of the outcomes. Marty lives in Keene with her husband and two children.
JoAnne Mead: BS in Elementary Education and Music Education (Instrumental and Vocal). She has extensive post graduate work in vocal studies. She received her training with teachers from Boston University, Keene State College and Opera Singer Anna Gabrieli. She is known as a Vocal Instructor, Music Director and Soprano Soloist. She has performed as a soloist with numerous choral/orchestral organizations singing oratorio, opera, classical recitals and concerts, to musical theatre. She has performed with Lowell Opera, Granite State Opera, Opera North and Raylynmor Opera Company. She vocal coaches, music directs and teaches workshops in the area school districts. She serves as a Judge/Adjudicator for the New Hampshire Music Ed. Association(NHMEA), for the annual All-State Choral Festival, and has been a Judge/Adjucator for the National Assoc. of Teachers of Singing(NATS).
Deanna Zilske: BA in theatre and a MEd in Elementary Education. After undergrad she worked for Stage One, Louisville’s Children’s Theatre as the Assistant Education Director. After her time at Stage One, Deanna moved to New York City where she taught elementary school in Brooklyn, New York. Deanna currently teaches at Fuller School, musically directs for Keene High School, and musically directs and teaches for .
Danielle Fitzpatrick: Program Director, Young Arts. Danielle Fitzpatrick has been teaching dance and theater in the tri-state area for more than a decade. She moved to Keene after graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst so that she could pursue a Master’s degree in treatments/movement therapy at Antioch NE. She has taught creative dance, children’s theater and ballet in studio settings, classrooms, preschools, and workshops. In addition to teaching dance, she works as a dance therapist specializing in geriatrics. When she is not dancing, Danielle enjoys raising her two daughters.
Kay Stewart has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Framingham State College, and taught preschool and Kindergarten before pursuing private study in music, the arts and professional clowning. She started a business called “Merry Music for Kids” which incorporated the joy of live music with action oriented activities. She plays three types of Ukuleles, a Mandolin, and many percussion instruments from around the world. The business has evolved and been successfully used in preschools, Kindergartens and libraries for over 20 years. When she wasn’t in the classroom, she was performing as “Melody the Clown” to the delight of hundreds of children. The delight and laughter of those shows overlap to all the groups she works with. She resides in Swanzey with her husband, and a menagerie of animals.
Beth Brown: Director of Development
Mia Houman: Communications Manager holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University & graduated Cum Laude in 2001. Since 2001, Mia has worked as an Assistant Editor at Examgen, an educational software company, and as a Publications Specialist at SRC, a non-profit research organization. In 2006, she began working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, creating custom portraits of animals and a line of giftware. Her animal illustrations have been in juried exhibitions at the Everson Museum of Art, the AKC Art Show at the Dog Show, and the New York State Wildlife Art Exhibition. In her spare time, Mia enjoys spending as much time as possible with her husband, dogs, and cat
Alex Trombly, Facilities & Technical Director, BA in Design/Technical Theatre & Dance from Keene State College. His experience begins in 6th grade, assisting with the technical aspect of performances at his elementary school. He has continued through high school at Monadnock Regional High School, designing the lights, sound, and the set for multiple shows, including, Beauty and the Beast, Seussical the Musical, and Les Miserables. He also works in local high area high schools as the Technical Advisor for the Drama programs, working with students on show. He has worked for MoCo for 5 years, and designed lighting, sets, and sound for dozens for MoCo productions.
Dianne McGilvary, Business/Development Office Assistant
MoCo Art’s Front Desk Staff