Teachers

CLASSES

PERFORMANCES

TRIPS

 

Current Teachers / Staff

Carla Gibbs-Zellmer

(Owner, Artistic Director, Teacher: Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Pilates, Combo, & Pre-K classes)

Carla was a professional classical ballet dancer for 6 years. She has danced with many companies: Anglo-American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Colorado Ballet to name a few. She was privately coached by David Howard, Gelsey Kirkland, and Nanette Charisse. Carla also had extensive training with many of New York's finest teachers: Simon Dow, Willy Burman, Nancy Bielski, Mark Jelks, Madam Darvash, Peter Schabel, and Robert Tucker. As a teacher, Ms. Zellmer has choreographed high-scoring platinum and national award winning dances. In addition to teaching the ballet, Pointe, lyrical, combo, & pre-K classes, she also runs the company rehearsals.

The youngest students call her Ms. Carla, but to the older students and parents she goes by Carla.

You can email Carla at: Carla@MPAConline.com

 

Phaedra Lewis

(Teacher: Hip Hop, Contemporary & Modern classes)

Phaedra has an Associates Degree of Fine Arts in Dance from the New York Film Academy in New York City and a BFA Degree from CUNY Hunter College in Manhattan. Ms. Lewis has studied Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Yoga, Stage Weapon Combat and Hip Hop under some of the most prestigious teachers in the field today and was a professional dancer with Peri Dance Company in New York City. Phaedra’s teaching experience includes several classes in different styles of dance with Dare 2 Dance, The Dance Star, Marya Kennett Dance Studio, New York Dance Center and MPAC.

The youngest students call her Ms. Phae (pronounced "Fay"), but to the older students and parents she goes by Phae or Phaedra.

 

Melissa Thomas

(Teacher: Theater Dance)

Melissa began her career singing with the Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Choir. She continued studying the performing arts at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Bowling Green State University before her move to NYC, where she received her professional training from the city’s best. Her professional credits span the Dinner Theatre & Summer Stock circuits and include performances at the Duplex Cabaret, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Symphony Space with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players. Memorable roles include “Marian” in The Music Man, “Annie” in Annie Get Your Gun and “Babe” in Pajama Game.   Locally she appeared in Baby at Forestburgh Playhouse, Noises Off and Something’s Afoot at Tusten Theatre and Mystery of Edwin Drood at Museum Village Playhouse.  Melissa is has been the Choreographer for Try-City Stage since its inception and prior to that she has choreographed 15 Presby Players Musical Productions. Melissa is also the resident choreographer for Delaware Valley and Port Jervis High Schools for which she has received critical acclaim.  She teaches dance classes and offers theatre dance workshops in the area. Melissa received the Helen Hayes Theatre Award for Outstanding Choreography in 1999 and was also honored with Special Congressional Recognition for Outstanding & Invaluable Service to the Community.

The youngest students call her Ms. Melissa, but to the older students and parents she goes by Melissa.

 

Christine Ertola

(Zumba Dance Instructor, Substitute Teacher for Hip Hop, Ballet, Jazz and Modern)

Christine recently relocated to Pike County and holds a Master of Science degree in Creative Arts Therapy - Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute. She also holds a BA in Dance and Psychology from CUNY-Hunter in New York, and her training and background include some of the top dance schools in New York such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Miller Ballet, Debbie Reynolds Studio, Hunter College Dance Company, Benjamin Cardozo Performing Dance Company, Dancesation Dance Studio and Stony Brook Spare Change Dance/Theater Company. Among her teaching and choreographing credits are professional companies such as Gotta Dance Studio, Dance Expression of Westchester, Sullivan Dance/Theater Company, Twyla Tharp, Dancesation Dance Studio, Dance Theater Workshop and Hunter College Dance Company. Christine is a licensed Creative Arts Therapist and she is a registered Dance Therapist. She is also certified in adult, child and infant CPR.

The youngest students call her Ms. Christine, but to the older students and parents she goes by Christine.

 

Bryan G. Zellmer

(Owner, Executive Director, Executive Producer, Teacher: On Stage Arts, iMPACt, Acting Improvisation)

Bryan has performed numerous lead, supporting, and ensemble acting roles in many theaters: The Paramount Theatre, The Bardovan Opera House, UPAC on Broadway, The Courtyard Theatre, and King Centre. Bryan has also worked in every backstage role such as stage manager, producer, director, sound/light board operator, and stage hand in theaters such as: The Lyceum Theatre, Orange Hall, The Arts Theatre, Lakewood Cultural Center Theatre, The Lava Lounge at Mighty M Gaming, and Metro Black Box Theatre. Bryan sang the National Anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies pro-baseball game and Elijah with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. He's also performed with a marching band in Disney World, Kings Dominion, Dorney Park and NYC parades. Bryan was inducted into the National Thespian Society and holds a B.A. degree in Communications with a minor in Marketing and an emphasis in Theater from Metropolitan State College of Denver. He earned his MBA in Marketing at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Some of Bryan's mentors from which he studied under include: Dr. Marilyn Hetzil, Max Schaefer, Sally Waldman, Jack Aaronson, Charles Mortimer, Janet Gehres, Christa Damaris, Claudia Cummings-Aaronson, and Tony Award winner Shepard Coleman. Bryan is a former Board Member of the Tri-State Chamber of Commerce, former member of Port Jervis Rotary Club and past member of the steering committee for Sussex County Chamber of Commerce's Young Business Leaders. Bryan's held many executive level positions for various companies such as with Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts in Bushkill, PA, Marketing Unlimited in Port Jervis, NY, Niki Jones Advertising Agency and was the Cultural Affairs Director at Sussex County Community College.

To students and parents alike, he goes by "Bryan","Bry", or "BZ" (take your pick).

You can email Bryan at: Bryan@MPAConline.com

 

Jay Woods

(Lighting Designer and Technical Theater Consultant)

Jay Woods’ created Jay Woods Design in 2001 after graduating from the Theatre Arts and Film Conservatory at Purchase College. Realizing the need for fresh ideas and a new approach in the industry, he has made a commitment to intergrating the latest technology with the most carefully intergrated design solutions. Jay's design credits include  Historic Hudson Valley’s Winter Wonderlights and The Great Jack-O’-Lantern Blaze and performances of Andrea Marcovicci,  Louis Black, Bill Cosby, Greenwich Ballet Academy, Equity Fights AIDS – Dancers Responding to AIDS, DanceFest, AIG Financial Group, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, Village Light Opera Group, New York Stage and Joe’s Pub at the NY Public Theatre. Mr. Woods has designed lighting for renowned artist Charles Fazzino at NY's JFK airport and other locations. He has also worked as Lighting Director for the Clinton Global Initiative conference and Love in the Nick of Tyme national tour and DVD filming. In addition to his theatrical lighting experiences he has been a part of many architectural lighting projects throughout the country including the restoration of the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Toy’s R Us flagship store in Times Square NY, the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Olympic Monument Park and Olympic Museum in Salt Lake City, UT.

 

Brian Riker

(Sound Design and Technical Theater Consultant)

Brian has collaborated with MPAC since 2002. He was the Technical Director for D.V. Schools for over 15 years and looks forward to MPAC shows. Students and parents alike may call him Brian.

 

Daniel Torres

(Set Designer, Properties, Set Construction, Backstage Crew, Guest Performer: The Nutcracker)

Dan has been with MPAC since they opened in 2002, and he brings over ten years of set building experience to the company. He’s worked on touring shows such as Ozfest, Dora the Explorer, Scoobie Doo, Blues Clues, Pokemon, MTV Video Music Awards, International Emmy Awards, and he is a member of IATSE local 311. Students and parents alike may call him Dan.

 

Janet Gibbs

(Costume Designer and Costume Mistress)

Janet has been making dance costumes for three decades. Her specialty is making tutus and character costumes, but she’s also known for her elaborate soloist gowns. Her work has been seen in the Tri-State Area with local companies such as Tri-State Dance, Delaware Valley Dance Company, The Dance Center in Port Jervis, and a handful of others. Students and parents alike may call her Ms. Janet or just Janet.

 

Barbara Sudano

(Backstage Coordinator & MPAC Bookkeeper)

Barbara has been working backstage, assisting Carla, since her oldest daughter’s first Nutcracker in 2005. She loves helping Carla with the organized chaos that goes on backstage. Barbara is also an MPAC dance student herself, taking tap, and she says she thoroughly enjoys it. Students and parents alike may call her Mrs. Sudano, Ms. Barbara or just Barbara.

 

Christine Williams

(Front of House Manager)

Christine has been working with MPAC since her daughter first joined MPAC in 2004. She handles the Box Office, Bake Sales and other fundraisers as well as helping on a day-to-day basis around the studio from carrying items, shopping or babysitting. No job is too big or too small for Christine.Students and parents alike may call her Mrs. Williams or simply Christine.

 

Teachers at MPAC-Sponsored Trips to Master Classes, Workshops & Programs

to be updated very soon...

 

Guest Artists

James Campistrous (J. Angelo)

(Performing Arts Consultant and Guest Performer: Mid Summer Night's Dream, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty)

James was a principle dancer with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company with Mikhail Baryshnikov from 1973-1975. He has also performed in Broadway shows, including, Nine 1982, La Cage 1983, and Brigadoon revival 1986. He was appointed to the 1976 Olympic Men’s Figure Skating Team but was ineligible to compete due to an injury. In 1980, James received his Professional Registered Nurse Diploma and entered the U.S.A.R. Nurse Corps. His twelve year military career includes graduating the Academy of Health Science with honors, and being decorated five times for service and achievements; retiring at the rank of Captain.  James received his Bachelors degree at Farleigh Dickenson University and continued his executive career with Fortune 100 organizations. Currently, James is working at a local hospital’s emergency room, owns his own event planning company, J. Angelo,  and continues with his forth year of dancing and collaborating with MPAC. Students and parents alike may call him James.

 

Christopher P. Weber III

(Guest Performer, MPAC Stage Crew and Former MPAC Teacher: The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Acting I)

Christopher has been involved with almost 40 productions within the past 12 years. His acting and directing credits include “The Female Odd Couple” for Women In Arts, “Hamlet” for the Butchers’ Guild, “The Importance of Being Earnest” for Creative Theatre-Muddy Waters Players, “Waiting for Godot” for the Apprentice Players, “Deathtrap” for the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop, “Desire Under the Elms” for the Centennial Community Theatre which won 3 awards at the Rocky Mountain Theatre Festival, and he has created 13 one-act plays, and is currently directing his full-length play “Night of January 16th” for Women In Arts. He also teaches Drama in South Fallsburg. Students and parents alike may call him Chris or Christopher.

 

more to be updated soon...

Teachers from past MPAC Classes and Workshops

Christopher P. Weber III (Teacher: Acting Improvisation & Character Development)

Claudine Cino (Teacher: Yoga Workshop)

Daniel Kopcso (Teacher: Jazz Dance)

Dave "D-Lerious" (Teacher: Hip Hop & Breakdancing)

Diana Mahat Shahein (Teacher: Egyptian Dance Workshop)

Diane Mozzone (Teacher: Modern Dance)

Dina Michael Sage (Teacher: Play Reading and Scene Development)

Daniel R. Spradling (Teacher: Tap Dance)

Jim Quinlan (Teacher: Mixed Glee - Music Director/Coach)

Jonathon Cieslak (Teacher: Improvisation for Actors)

Joyce A. Brinson (Teacher: Ballroom Dance Workshop)

Michael Ruby (Teacher: Ensemble Acting I)

Patrick Bresnyan (MPAC's Milford Players Artistic Director, Teacher: Acting I)

Regina Walenczyk (Teacher: Yoga)

Samantha Messenger (Teacher: Jazz Dance and Hip Hop)

 

MPAC's past Apprentices and Interns

Jonathon Bolte

Kaitlin Paul

Kate Hoover

Megan Paul

Melissa Kopcso

Karen Wolsiefer

Shannon Duran

Anthony Reyes

Laura Brown

Jessica Sudano

Maggie Kelly

Georgana Williams

 

 

Stay up-to-date with us on Facebook

Join our page on Facebook under "Milford Performing Arts Center (MPAC)" to connect with our students, current and former, and their families. See pictures and videos from our performances that they post, check out some of the questions they ask and other fun stuff!

 

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