Maria McConville Pizzarello
Maria McConville Pizzarello is the new theatre program director at the Darien Arts Center. She teaches with Open Arts Alliance in Greenwich, CT. As a NYC Public School teaching artist, Maria has worked with the Theatre Development Fund, LeAP! Onstage, and Theatre For A New Audience. Her students have performed and adapted the work of Shakespeare, written their own plays, devised ensemble performance pieces, sang and danced in musical productions, and performed their peers work on a Broadway stage. Growing up in New York, Maria attended LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts for Drama, and recently adjudicated the auditions for incoming students. In 2004, she graduated with a degree in performance from Fordham University at Lincoln Center. Maria is an actress, member of Actors’ Equity and also a playwright. She is published with Playscripts and Stage Partners.
Gary Betsworth
Gary Betsworth is an experienced Executive Director, Artistic Director, Managing Director, Board Chair, Producer, Playwright, and Actor. As a producer, Gary was Executive Producer on the film Consequential Lies, and he co-produced and wrote Friends Like These, which won first prize at the Georgetown Horror Film Festival. He has produced and directed some of his own plays including: Trysts and Turns for Expanded Arts Theatre and Actor's Theatre of Greenwich; a Children's Show, Keep Your Hans to Yourself! for New England Actors' Theatre and Hampton Playhouse, NH; and his first play A Magic Penny for Bailiwick Theatre in Chicago. As a Board Member, Gary co-produced La Boheme for Collegium Westchester Chorus and Orchestra, David Pittsinger and Blondie Chaplin concerts for Weston Commission for the Arts, and the Short and NEAT Theatre Festival for the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas.
Julia Feeley
Originally from Boston, MA, Julia began her training as a bunhead and danced with Festival Ballet Providence's student company. Since making the switch to musical theater she has been honored to study at Jacob's Pillow under the direction of Chet Walker (conceiver of Fosse, choreographer of Pippin) and the Verdon Fosse Legacy as well as interning at Barrington Stage company. Her regional credits include Mona (Chicago), Rhoda (White Christmas), Silly Girl (Beauty and the Beast) and others at theaters such as The Gateway, Theatre by the Sea, The Wick and The Dutch Apple. She has also been a part of the Joe Iconis Family in their Christmas Extravaganza at 54 Below. Julia is so excited to meet and work with these talented young students! IG: @juliafeeley
Claire Kelly
Claire Shannon Kelly is the Artistic Director of Shakespeare on the Sound in Rowayton, CT. Claire is also the director of the 2017 production of Macbeth. From 2011-2015 Claire worked at Shakespeare on the Sound as Artistic Associate and Director of Education. For Shakespeare on the Sound’s mainstage she has directed Hamlet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, which won the BroadwayWorld CT award for Best Ensemble Cast in a play, and As You Like It. Educationally, Claire just finished directing a 5 person A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She co-created and directed Shakespeare on the Sound’s K-5 touring production Let’s Play Shakespeare!, directed their anti- bullying program Speaking Daggers, and devised and directed a children’s version of All’s Well That Ends Well. Currently she is in development of two new plays: The Family and Wordsmith. She has worked at the Guthrie Theater, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, the Ordway Music Theater, and the George Street Playhouse among others. Additionally, Claire is a Teaching Artist and has taught theater to students from pre- school through high school. In August of 2017, she taught and directed Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Livingstone, Zambia. Claire has holds a Masters of Arts degree from New York University in Educational Theater.
Kyle LeMaire
Kyle LeMaire is an actor, director, and teaching artist from Louisiana, who holds an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. As a teaching artist he has taught many students with Virginia Repertory Company and TheatreWorks/USA. He has taught theatre in the school system elementary, high school, and college students. Mr. LeMaire was the Associate Artistic Director for The Victory Dance Project, a dance company focused on the mission of “Artist for Peace.” He has also served as the Associate Artistic Director for The Other Realm Theatre Company which focused on inclusion and blind casting, as well as, the Education Director for The Acting Space in NYC. As a performer he has been fortunate to be seen on various film/television shows and national tours across the country. He is a proud Actor Equity Association member.
Jake Lloyd
Jake Lloyd is a composer, lyricist and librettist living in New York City. Writing credits include, Off-Broadway: THE LOST BOYS (book music and lyrics); Regional: ONCE UPON THE MOON, (lyrics by Janine McGuire); BUILDING CITIES, (lyrics by Suzanne Davis); DREAMCHASER (lyrics by Joshua David Bishop). Upcoming projects include, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, (book/music/lyrics), O, PIONEERS (book/music/lyrics). His first youth fantasy novel will be published sometime next year. Outside of writing, Jake is active in the musical theatre scene as a music director, coach and pit musician. Selected musical director/conductor credits, off-Broadway: HOORAY FOR WHAT!; MR. PORTER AND MR. SHAKESPEARE, a concert of unpublished Cole Porter songs (in conjunction with the Cole Porter estate). Regional: CARLA BIANCO IN CONCERT, SEUSSICAL, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, INTO THE WOODS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE WIZ and others. Selected orchestration credits: ANY DREAM WILL DO – AN ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER CELEBRATION, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE; THE LOST BOYS; DREAMCHASER, and various arrangements for choral groups and orchestras. In addition, Jake regularly does dramaturgy work for other authors and is a consultant for shows in development. Jake has been active in the classroom for the past 15 years in the private school sector. He has served as choral director, musical director, and department chair. At his first school he founded the musical theatre program, and at his current school, Dwight-Englewood, he founded the Show Choir. A graduate of Nyack College with a degree in composition, Jake has studied with composer Dr. Paul Liljestrand, television/film composer Chris Hughes, and at the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, More information on Jake’s works can be found on his website,
Ryan McConville
Ryan McConville is an NYC based actor, singer, dancer. He has performed in various concerts/ productions around NYC and across the country. Regional credits include: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat ( Issachar) Christmas at the Palace (ensemble dancer) and A Chorus Line (Gregory Gardner). He is also a regular performer at NYC's Town Hall theatre where he was a featured vocalist in their Broadway's Rising Stars and Broadway by the Year concerts. He is a proud graduate of Wagner College where he earned a BA in Theatre Performance.
Hale McSharry
Hale McSharry is a theatre artist born and raised in Greenwich. After graduating from Greenwich High School in 2013, he studied theatre at Northwestern University in Chicago. In 2017, he played Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors on a cultural exchange tour of Bosnia & Herzegovina, presented by the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo. In 2018, he joined the ensemble of South African director William Kentridge’s The Head & the Load at MASS MoCA. Look for him in television shows such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Ray Donovan. Hale was the choreographer for Jungle Book Kids with Open Arts Alliance.
Jenifer Menedis
Jenifer Menedis has been performing since she was twelve and teaching voice and theatre since she was eighteen. She is a classically trained voice teacher, using traditional techniques to teach Pop, Rock, R&B and Broadway singing styles. She teaches students to mix without belting harshly, which is better for the long term health of their voices. Her students frequently get roles both at Darien High School, Middlesex Middle School, Greenwich High School and Stamford High School. She has studied voice with Robert Edwards Voice Studio in Los Angeles and at Ohio State University where she was an Opera Major. She has also studied dance and acting.
Rocco Natale
Rocco Natale is the founding Executive Director of Open Arts Alliance, Rocco Natale is the 2017 Moffly Media "Light A Fire" Award winner for arts engagement. A Newington-Cropsey Fellowship recipient for dramatic writing and research, Rocco is a playwright and director. His plays have been performed internationally and stateside he has worked at The Cherry Lane Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop's 4th Street Theatre, Inside Broadway, Urban Stages and Arena Stages. Rocco's adaptations of GREAT EXPECTATIONS and K.C.@BAT are published by YOUTHPlays. His play SMOKE SIGNALS holds the distinction of receiving the Siff Grant for educational performance and was developed to tour with Hospital Audiences, Inc. A semi-finalist in the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference and Premiere Stages, Rocco has had the pleasure of working with Signature Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Mirror Repertory Company, The University of Connecticut and Shakespeare on the Sound. BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. MA: New York University; BA: New York University, CAS: The University of Bridgeport. Guest Lecture: Playwriting (Sacred Heart University.)
Jason Pizzarello
Jason Pizzarello’s play Bethel Park Falls is part of Everyday Inferno Theatre Company’s 2018 season, directed by Christine Zagrobelny in NYC Central Park. Recently developed plays include After People Like You at Classic Stage, with director Anna Brenner; Providence Adrift with Meghan Finn at 3LD; Half Right, with director Michelle Bossy and the Fordham Alumni Company; All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Being a Zombie with director Damen Scranton at Irondale Ensemble; and When I Had Three Sisters with director Lila Neugebauer in the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Other plays include: Once There Was a Boy (semi-finalist, Princess Grace Award; semi-finalist, O'Neill Playwrights Conference); InsideOut (Live Project at HERE Arts Center); and Saving the Greeks: One Tragedy at a Time (Push Productions at 14th St. Y Theater). Five of his short plays have been selected by the Actors Theatre of Louisville as Heideman Award finalists. Over thirty of his plays are published and have been produced in all 50 states and in 22 countries, including a Norwegian translation. His work has also been featured in “Actor’s Choice: Scenes for Teens,” “Actor’s Choice: Monologues for Women,” and “Random Acts of Comedy” (Playscripts). He is the co-founder of Stage Partners, a licensing house for new plays for young actors ( He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two young daughters.
Nicholas Urda
Nick is an actor and teaching artist who lives in New York City. He serves as the Director of Educational Outreach for Shakespeare on the Sound in Rowayton, CT where he has also appeared on stage as Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Macduff in Macbeth. He has appeared on film and television but most enjoys his work in the theatre.
Martha Wollner
Martha aided Maysles Films Inc. in capturing real people stories for award winning projects that ranged from documentary features to landmark commercial campaigns and corporate projects for a host of Fortune 500 clients. Her duties at MFI included casting, producing and second unit directing on feature documentaries. Following her tenure as General Manager of the company, Martha established her own company, Very Real Casting, dedicated to nurturing human stories for all forms of media. Now in its 20th year, Very Real Casting is rooted in the same skill set the Maysles Brothers saw in Wollner from the outset; the ability to find and establish relationships with people who deliver the greatest window into their real stories. Martha is a proud member of NYC's renown Labyrinth Theater Company. Her performance and playwriting have both been featured at LAB. She has performed with the iconic Royal Shakespeare Company and attended the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland as both an actress and director. Her work in theater has long enhanced her story producing and casting skills.