ABOUT US

Making theatre accessible to ALL!

Our Mission

Open Arts Alliance is a social-service organization which utilizes students’ artistic abilities to facilitate social service outreach to the senior population of our community focusing on brightening the day (and spreading education) to aging adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

 

We achieve our mission through each of our 5 cornerstone programs feature volunteerism training and arts education to ensure that all our students-ages 4 to 104 (yes, really)- experience the power of personal growth through the performing arts.

Our Vision

We believe in the POWER OF THEATRE

We believe in SOCIAL SERVICE

We believe in CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

We believe in a SUPPORTIVE, AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT

We are DEDICATED TO EXCELLENCE

 

Our Name

OPEN: (v) to afford access

ARTS: (n) the quality, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance

ALLIANCE: (n) a merging of efforts or interests by persons, families, states, or organizations

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Our Staff

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Eileen Bartels

Stephanie O’Donnell

Jennifer Dunn

Kerry Gavin

Rocco Natale

Ronnie Staplefield

Kathy Walker

Parent Theatre Arts Commitee (PTAC)

Katie Breen

Lauren Chiappetta

Linda Filar

Ellie Flores

Erik Jensen

Keith Hirsch

Jack Kriskey

Matt Kummell

Ana Laborde

Elise Libow

Joe Munoz

Adelia Piazza

Rose Ann Salvate

Lisa Shereck

Neal Spitzer

Samantha Steele

Annie Yardis

Wayne Zabel

Rocco Natale

Executive Director

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 had the pleasure of working at The Cherry Lane Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop’s 4th Street Theatre and Arena Stage. Rocco’s adaptations of GREAT EXPECTATIONS and K.C.@BAT (a musical commission for the National Boys & Girls Club of America) 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, Urban Stages, Inside Broadway, 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. 

www.rocconatale.com

 

Kyle Lemaire

Director of Education

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, Kyle has worked with many companies across the country including The New School, Virginia Repertory Company, Independence Park Theatre, Theatre Baton Rouge and TheatreWorks/USA. He has taught both elementary and high school Theatre in the public school system as well as privately. Kyle has served as the Associate Artistic Director for The Victory Dance Project, a dance company focused on the mission of “Artists for Peace”, Associate Artistic Director for The Other Realm Theatre Company focusing 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. Kyle is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association. 

www.kylelemaire.com

 

Morgan Bartholick

TEaching Artist/Voice Teacher

Morgan is an NYC performer and teaching artist. He has been involved in various aspects of making theater for the past 15 years, including being on stage, in the pit, in the wings, and behind the table. During his time in Louisiana, he worked for Playmakers of Baton Rouge, Theatre Baton Rouge, New Venture Theater, Rivertown Performing Arts Center, Independence Park Theatre, and Swine Palace. In addition to being a vocalist, Morgan is an accomplished violist/violinist. He has performed with Opera Louisiane (Principal Viola), Queer Urban Orchestra (Principal Viola), Lake Charles Symphony, Acadiana Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony, Rapides Symphony (Section Viola), and was the concertmaster on the 2012 National Tour of Titanic The Musical. He was on the Violin/Viola/Voice faculty for “Kids’ Orchestra”, one of the largest after school music programs in the nation. Since moving to NYC, Morgan has performed at Don’t Tell Mama, Feinstein’s/54Below, Green Room 42, the Secret Theatre, and the Players Theatre, to name a few. He was a member of the 2015-2016 Apprentice Company at The Barrow Group Theatre Company and School, mentored by Co-Artistic Directors, Seth Barrish and Lee Brock. Morgan is a founding company member and the casting associate for The Other Realm Theater, based in Jersey City and the Associate Artistic Director for Stay True, An LGBTQ+ Theatre Company based in NYC.

 

Todd Buonopane

Teaching ARtist

Todd Buonopane is an actor, singer, story-teller, cabaret artist, host & musical theater nerd! He has starred in four Broadway shows: …Spelling Bee, Grease, Chicago and Cinderella. On television, he was featured as one of 30 Rock’s most memorable recurring characters: Jeffrey Weinerslav. Other television credits include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Grey’s Anatomy.Todd grew up in Andover, Massachusetts. (He is proud to the only one in his family without a Boston accent.) He received his BFA from The University Of Michigan’s Musical Theatre Department. He also spent seven summers of his youth at Stagedoor Manor. As a cabaret artist, Todd has performed in all the great cabaret spaces of New York City and Los Angeles. He has performed his one-man-show, Lying In The Driveway & Other Stories in NYC and Virginia. In recent years, Todd had discovered his love and talent for teaching. He has taught masterclasses and workshops all over the country, and teaches regularly at The University of Michigan and The New York Film Academy. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammeled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure.

 

Maria Pizzarello

Teaching Artist

Maria McConville Pizzarello is the Theatre Program Director at the Darien Arts Center. Maria was a NYC Public School teaching artist from 2005 – 2017 before resettling in Stamford, CT. In the past she 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. Maria is a playwright; her published plays include “To Date or Not to Date” (Playscripts) and “#VIRAL” (Stage Partners). As an actor, you can see Maria in the new play CRY IT OUT with the company Thrown Stone, July 2019.

Adrian Burke

TEacher Artist

Adrian Burke is a Peruvian-American actor, comedian, and writer based in New York City. He has worked with TVLand, BET, VH1, Broadway Video, and on many indie film projects. He is the creator and host of the podcast La Mezcla: Conversations With Mixed-Race Americans.

Adrian tours internationally with his musical improv team Night Captain and with his original duo improv show Bound. He is an advanced level improviser at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and a teacher at Katie Cappiello Studio in Manhattan. You can catch Adrian performing in theaters and bars all over NYC doing material about his immigrant mom.

Adrian is an alumn of the Acting Apprenticeship program at The Barrow Group Theater Company. Training includes the Boston University College of Fine Arts, The Atlantic Theater Company, Terry Schreiber Studio, and The Barrow Group Theater Company. He received his undergraduate degree in film production from Boston University.

Hale McSharry

TEaching Artist

Hale McSharry (choreographer) 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. The Jungle Book Kids is his mainstage choreography debut.

 

Leif Steinert

TEaching Artist

Leif has taught acting at Theater of Arts College in Hollywood, CA, The Young Playwrights Conference and Naked Angels in NYC.

Televison: Criminal Minds (Guest Star, CBS), The Enemy Within (Guest Star, NBC)

Film: Dementia 13 (NBC/Universal), The Spearhead Effect (Produced By Terrence Malik) Theater: Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Macbeth (Macbeth), “ADAM” in Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Cherry Lane Theater). Leif holds a degree from The Circle in the Square Theatre School and a Masters in Acting from The New School for Drama.

 

Jake Lloyd

TEaching Artist

Jake Lloyd is a director, composer, lyricist and librettist living in New York City. As a Director: Once On This Island, Seussical, The Sound of Music, Joseph…Dreamcoat. Writing credits include: ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (book, music, and lyrics), KINGED (book and lyrics), ONCE UPON THE MOON, (composer); THE LOST BOYS (book music and lyrics; off-Broadway 2010); BUILDING CITIES, (composer); and DREAMCHASER (composer). In addition, Jake is active in the musical theatre scene as a music director, conductor and pit musician. Finishing his 9th year as a classroom educator at Dwight-Englewood School, Jake teachers the middle school choral program, directors the middle school mainstage musical, and administrates the private lesson program. 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.

 

Sean Hinckle

TEaching Artist

Sean Hinckle is a New York-based actor and teaching artist. He has performed and taught in New York, Chicago, Kansas City, Florida, Oklahoma and now Connecticut. He has previously worked with New York Shakespeare Exchange, Florida Studio Theatre, and the Coterie Theatre as a teaching artist. Sean is also a resident ensemble member of both the Brickabrack Ensemble and Bated Breath Theatre Company. He is overjoyed to be joining Open Arts Alliance for their touring production of Alice in Wonderland!

 

Michael Busani

Teaching Artist

Michael is a rising senior at Boston University studying English Education and Arts Leadership. A Greenwich High School alum, Michael has worked with groups all around town, including GHS Theatre, St. Catherine’s Players and OAA! He is currently the Artistic Director for Off-Beat Players, a nonprofit theater company for young adults with disabilities .He has also worked with the Boston Playwright’s Theatre, BU on Broadway, and Theatre Talk Boston. Michael has also gained experience as an educator at Eastern Middle School, Boston Green Academy, and as a tutor for 826Boston. Michael also has 8 years of improv experience and is currently the president of BU’s award-winning improv comedy troupe, Liquid Fun.

Sarah Walkier

TEaching Artist

Sarah Walker is a student at Vassar College, pursuing a double major in Drama and Economics. Her passion for theatre is driven by a fascination with how the dramatic arts can be used as a tool for social and personal growth and an interest in how economic markets can be used to support artistic fields. She has previously held internships/apprenticeships with several regional theatre companies including Shakespeare on the Sound (New Canaan, ct), Magic Theatre (San Francisco), and American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco). Sarah has performed in musicals and plays from the age of twelve; she was an active participant in her highschool’s drama program, serving as thespian director for the GHS thespian troupe, and she continues to be involved with both student and department productions at Vassar College. She is also a proud OAA alum having played the role of the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods and having performed with the JET.

Julia Bibeault

TEaching ARtist

Julia Bibeault is a student at Belmont University, seeking a BFA in Theatre Performance. Julia loves performing and bringing joy to audience members who may be otherwise consumed by the struggles of everyday life. She has worked with OAA in the past as the assistant stage manager for their 2019 production of Annie jr. Outside of theatre, Julia has a background in working with children. She worked as an employee with the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich as an assistant to the drama program and as a counselor. Julia has always loved performing in musicals and plays. She started acting at age eleven and continued as a devoted member to her high school’s drama department; she served as a thespian director for the Greenwich High School thespian troupe and an improv leader. Julia is heavily involved with the theatre department at Belmont University and has been involved with shows on and off stage. Julia is a proud alum of OAA and has fond memories of performing with the JET and portraying the Witch in Into the Woods. She cannot wait for this summer!