2017-18 Directors, Instructors, and Staff

Director, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 2019
Director, Quilters (2018)
Director, Teen Artists in Residence Program
Acting Instructor, Teen Summer Acting Studio 
Director, Into the Woods (2018)

Pat Gleeson has returned to Bloomington from Boston where she served for 20 years as Executive Director of the Boston Children’s Theatre, one of the oldest companies in the United States. She is currently Interim Executive Director of Stages Bloomington. Mrs. Gleeson directed more than 350 productions featuring youngsters ages 5-19 years old, taught beginning and advanced theatre classes, and created many performance-driven events. Prior to her work in Boston, Mrs. Gleeson taught and directed in the theatre program at Bloomington High School North. She also created ACTING UP, a MCCSC program that produced children’s theatre by and for children, as well as many family events in Bloomington, including “The Enchanted Forest” and the “Mini Play Festival”. Mrs. Gleeson is also the founding director of the Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre located in Alexandria, Virginia. Mrs. Gleeson taught spring, summer, and fall drama classes for Stages Bloomington, directed Stages productions of Seussical, The Secret Garden, and Brundibar, and serves as a consultant to the Stages Board of Directors.


Director, The Hobbit (2018)
Acting Instructor, Spring Triple Threat Classes, grades 5-12 (2018)

Artistic Director of Ivy Tech’s John Waldron Arts Center. Paul holds a MFA in Directing from Indiana University and a BA from Indiana University with a double-major in Theater and Drama and Sociology. Paul joins Stages Bloomington as guest acting instructor for the Spring Triple Threat Class for older students.

Throughout his years in theater, Paul has been involved in every aspect, including acting, writing, directing, designing and teaching. His work has been seen in Bloomington, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Boston, Washington, D.C., New York City and London, England.

Paul was born in Kokomo, IN and began performing on stage at the age of 10. He left town to pursue a BA at Indiana University in Theater and Drama, and he played George in "Our Town" as part of IU's mainstage season his senior year. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he performed in multiple plays and film projects. While there, Paul also co-founded and then helped run the theater company Rabbit Hole Ensemble. The last show he was involved with at Rabbit Hole Ensemble, "The Night of Nosferatu," was picked up from off-off-Broadway and taken to Wellfleet (Cape Cod) where the Cape Cod Times deemed it one of the best shows of 2007. It also made's list of Top Ten Things to Love in 2007. With the birth of his son, Paul moved back to Kokomo to be close to family. Paul was awarded Outstanding Lead Actorin a Play in New York's 2010 Planet Connections Festival.

photo, Amy Osajima
Director, Honk Jr. (2019)
Acting Instructor, Fall Triple Threat Classes, grades 3-6 (2018)
Director, Androcles and the Lion, Playwright, and Acting Instructor, Stages Summer Camp (2018) 

Liam Castellan has a MFA in Theatre Directing from Indiana University with a concentration in arts management, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Theatre with a History minor from Northwestern University.  For Stages Summer Camps he directed Androcles and the Lion in 2018 and wrote and directed Shipwrecked in 2017.  At IU he directed The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The Exonerated, Rat in the Skull, Bad Joke and Two Gentlemen of Lebowski.  He recently directed Church & State for Jewish Theatre of Bloomington.  Before IU he spent over a decade directing, acting, teaching and producing in the Philadelphia area and beyond, working with Hedgerow Theatre, Curio Theatre Company, Shakespeare in Clark Park, the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium and others.   Read more.

Choreographer and Dance Instructor, Quilters (2018)

Tamara Loewenthal has been performing and teaching various styles of American and Celtic step dance for over 30 years. Growing up in the Appalachian foothills of southwestern Pennsylvania, Tamara fell in love with clogging as a young adult and has been flatfooting ever since. A founding member of the nationally acclaimed dance company Rhythm in Shoes, she has toured across the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Japan. She has won awards for her clogging, including a blue ribbon at the Mt. Airy, NC, Fiddler's Convention. Tamara is also an accomplished French Canadian step dancer and, in 1999, received a prestigious Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Fellowship to study with masters in this field. Tamara is much in demand for her work with children of all ages and works extensively with Arts For Learning (formerly Young Audiences of Indiana) and the Ohio Arts Council's Arts Learning program. She has produced a CD and booklet, Dance Together Children! , of long-playing dance tunes and play party games, as well as a Square Dance booklet, published in 2016, entitled Square 'Em Up! She regularly calls square and contra dances for groups around the country and teaches step dance classes in Bloomington, and workshops wherever she goes. Tamara's passion for dance has led her to many different communities, and she is much beloved for the clarity of her calling and teaching. She is a 2003, 2005, 2014, and 2016 recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. Her most recent passion is Old Time fiddling, which she pursues with various bands around Bloomington.

Music Director, Honk Jr. (2019)
Music Instructor, Spring Triple Threat classes, grades 5-12 (2018)
Music Instructor, Fall  Triple classes, grades 3-12 (2017)

Emily Crowley Davis is a performer and musician and is thrilled to teach with Stages again! She has had the pleasure of serving as the music director for Stages productions of Legally Blonde the Musical and Once on This Island Jr. She has also served as the music director of Aladdin, Jr. and the assistant music director of Willy Wonka at the Colonial Theatre with the Idaho Falls Youth Arts Centre. As a performer, she has performed both Off-Broadway and at Lincoln Center. Most recently, she was seen as Kate in Calling All Kates with the Bloomington Playwrights Project. A New York transplant, she currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her wonderful husband, Craig. Her love of teaching extends off the stage into her own studio, where she teaches both piano and voice. She holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from New York University Steinhardt. Read more.

Choreographer, Into The Woods (2018) 
Dance Instructor, Spring Triple Threat classes, grades 5-12 (2018)
Dance Instructor, Fall Triple Threat classes, grades 7-12 (2017)
Co-Dance Instructor, Fall Triple Threat classes, grades 3-6 (2017)

Mary Sue Hosey is Director of The Dance Center, a popular and established dance studio in Bloomington that offers beginning to advanced-level tap and jazz classes for children, middle school, and high school students. Past credits include dance instructor for St. Charles Summer Institutes and choreographer for Acting Up theatre productions. Mary Sue taught dance for Stages Bloomington's spring 2016 Triple Threat classes and served as choreographer for Stages production of Brundibar.

Vocal Coach, Into the Woods (2018)
Songs and Music, Spring Break Vaudeville Camp (2018)
Music Instructor, Artists in Residence Program (2017-present)
Vocal Coach, Teen Summer Acting Studio, 2017-18)

Stages is pleased to welcome Deanna Demes, accomplished performer, vocal coach, and longtime music teacher for MCCSC.  Deanna brings to Stages the expertise of a successful career in music education. Well known and loved as an elementary school music teacher in Bloomington,     she also lived and taught in Brussels, Belgium for three years. She holds a B.M.E and M.M.E. from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. While at IU, Deanna sang with the Singing Hoosiers which culminated in a USO tour to the Caribbean. Deanna served on the board of directors of Bloomington Town Theater and performed in a number of productions. She has coached and accompanied for several MCCSC musicals. For 15 years she arranged music and performed at the Pine Box Theater in Nashville, Indiana. A highlight for Deanna was working with Acting Up for Pat Gleeson. She looks forward to renewing that experience.

Instructor, Creative Dramatics, grades K-2 (2015-present)

Gail Bray is a professional actor, director and educator. Gail comes to Stages with mre than three decades of theatre and teaching experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University, where she studied theatre, and holds a master’s degree in education from Antioch University in Seattle. Gail recently developed and launched Stages Bloomington's new KinderStages initiative which focuses on theatre experiences for young children. She is the primary instructor and continues to develop new and exciting classes for our youngest participants. “Promoting quality theatre and providing creative experiences for children are two of my greatest passions, and Stages is a dynamic organization which does exactly that," she asserts. Locally, Gail has acted in productions with the Bloomington Playwrights Project, Cardinal Stage, and the Jewish Theatre of Bloomington, as well as the Shawnee Theatre in Bloomfield and the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis. For three years, Gail taught the Bloomington Playwrights Project’s after-school drama program in local elementary schools and served as director of the MiniPlay camp. Before moving to Bloomington in 2005, Gail taught drama and directed yearly productions at the middle school level in Washington. She has also taught preschool, served as an interventionist, tutored elementary students, and coached high school actors in Shakespeare productions. Gail previously served as Executive
Director for Stages.

Co-Director, James and the Giant Peach JR. (2018)

Ansley Valentine is a professional director and choreographer for the theatre and musical theatre and an educator with experience teaching professionally at the collegiate level and in both public and private performing arts high schools. Ansley is currently a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Ansley's recent productions as director/choreographer include Hairspray, Annie Get Your Gun, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Forever Plaid and Les Miserables starring Broadway's Paul Truckey as Jean Valjean. Plays include Six Degrees of Separation at Buffalo United Artists, The Colored Museum at Northern Michigan University, Mrs. Warren's Profession at The College of Wooster, West Hollywood Affair at Cleveland Public Theatre and the Midwest regional premiere of The Near East at The Players Guild in Canton, Ohio. Read more Read more.

Co-Director, James and the Giant Peach JR. (2018)
Acting Instructor, Fall Triple Threat, grades 3-6 (2017)

Erika is thrilled to be teaching again with Stages. Erika taught Stages Summer Camp Theater and poetry in 2014, and she was the Stage Manager for Pat Gleeson’s wonderful production of Seussical. Erika has returned to her hometown of Bloomington having lived in Los Angeles for the last twenty years. Erika taught acting, dance and music to children at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks. She can be seen playing her harp in the commercial, “Honda Ridgeline” with Chuck Norris. Erika wrote, directed and acted in the Zeitgeist Theatre Company’s One Page Play Festival where she won best actress and director. Most recently, she worked for Bloomington Montessori School running Circus Camp, where she helped children ages 6-13 with juggling, plate spinning, devil sticks, diabolos, and stilt walking. Erika also worked as a Teacher’s Aide at Arlington Heights Elementary School. She loves guiding children in the arts. Furthermore, she was in the musical variety shows at LAVC featuring Anna Maria Alberghetti titled, “Celebration”, and if you watched Cardinal’s production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Erika played the notorious Mrs. Gloop. Erika has also worked as a costumer and seamstress for the Los Angeles Opera. Mrs. Edelberg is a graduate of the Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama. She is thrilled to be on board working for Stages again and especially under the direction of Pat Gleeson.

Music Director, James and the Giant Peach (2018)

Brian Samarzea is thrilled to be working with Stages once more. He is the founding member of Bloomington Music Works which eventually turned into Stages!  Brian's last venture with Stages was as Music Director and Stage Director for their teen production of Godspell. He is a graduate of IU Jacob's School of Music and is equally comfortable in front of the podium, at the keyboard, or on the stage. Some of Brian's favorite past performances include roles in Bye Bye Birdie, Godspell, Hair, Hello Dolly, Into the Woods, Jesus Christ Superstar, She Love Me, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeny Todd. As a music director, Mr. Samarzea has conducted and taught dozens of musical scores for groups ranging from high school and community theater to collegiate and professional companies around the Midwest. Brian lives in Bloomington with his husband Rick Armstrong and their dog Sunny Von Bulow.

Clowning, Vaudeville Spring Break Camp (2018)

Joe Lee is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, and clown.
Stages Bloomington is delighted to include Joe as a clowning instructor for it’s new Vaudeville Spring Break Camp and set artist for Stages’ 2018 musicals Into The Woods and James and the Giant Peach. Recently for Stages, he created the set art and projections for Brundibar.

With a degree from Indiana University centering on Medieval History, Joe decided to do his graduate studies at the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Clown College.  He subsequently worked for Ringling Brothers, and for King Brothers-Cole, and Hoxie Brothers Circuses.

Joe lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife Mary Bess, son Brandon, and their terrier (or rather terror) George. He works as a free lance author, illustrator and cartoonist for Writers and Readers Pub. Inc. Ny, NY.  His works include History of Clowns for Beginners, Mythology for Beginners, Dante for Beginners; Dreams of Everyman, Rip Off Press, Auburn, CA. 1992, and most recently, LeGrande Circus and Sideshow Tarot, for US Games. Each Saturday you can see his latest cartoon on the Editorial page of the Bloomington Herald-Times.

“Joe's style is unique and his ideas are fresh. He offers a sophisticated and thoughtful look at issues. His strong suit as a cartoonist is his ability to connect the dots to make people confront issues they may not want to confront. His strong suit as a person is that he's just a heck of a nice guy.”—Bob Zaltsberg, Editor, Bloomington Herald-Times.
read more: Read more.

Pratfalls and Stage Combat Instructor, Vaudeville Spring Break Camp (2018)

Grant joins Stages’ Vaudeville Spring Break Camp as instructor for stage combat and comic pratfals.  A Ball State University graduate with a B.S. in Theatre Education, Grant brings several years of teaching experience as Theatre director for Silver Creek High School, Sellersburg, Indiana, and just this fall joined Bloomington High School North Theatre Department as instructor for Advanced Acting, Theatre, and Advanced Theatre production.  Grant is a member of The Society of American Fight Directors and has taught stage combat workshops at colleges and high schools throughout Indiana.  He is a member of the Educational Theatre Association and an Indiana Thespians Executive Adult Board member as well as an Indiana State Troupe Officer.  According to BHSN Fusion, his passion and enthusiasm are catching and North students find him not only really ilkable but someone who takes pride in his students’ work.

Magic Instructor, Vaudeville Spring Break Camp (2018)
Bob Wolanin's interest in stage magic, metalism and ventriloquism began at age seven. Taken under wings of several adult professional magicians and entertainers, Bob began performing magic for audiences as a very young professional at age 10 and very first television performance at age 13. At age 16 he was performing and creating special effects and presentations for trade shows for fortune 500 companies (and those not so fortunate).

He has entertained audiences all over the USA including the creation of original stage illusions/effects as well as being a creative director and consultant for other professional magicians.
Bob has performed and directed shows in Las Vegas, Reno, Branson and toured the country entertaining audiences for many years.
Also Bob has been a lighting and set designer, director, road director, technical director and production manager for many national touring and in-house professional theater and opera companies. He created special effects and designs for the professional and amateur entertainment and music industries.

Teaching his craft to children and adults most of his life in the Chicagoland region and also Bloomington Indiana since his re-location to the area in 1995.
Semi retired, Bob is now spends most of his time as a character designer creating 2D, 3D, puppets and costume characters for individuals, media, motion pictures, amusement parks, companies/businesses, and most anything your mind could possibly imagine. There are at least one of his creations in every country in the world.

Hoops Instructor, Vaudeville Spring Break Camp (2018)

Paula is a classically trained dancer turned hula hoop dance instructor. She is the co-founder of the popular Flow Arts Group The Hudsucker Posse, who are best known for their hula hoop performances and free local workshops and programming. Paula has an extensive background in fitness and dance theory and is a dynamic and knowledgeable health and wellness enthusiast.

Photo: Chris Rall
Juggling Instructor, Vaudeville Spring Break Camp

Corey Hollinger, a Bloomington local, is the Arts and Outreach Director for FlowMotion Events. Credits include VaVaVa-Vaudeville (Stage Manager), WhoDunnit: A Murder Mystery Variety Show (Writer,  Director) and the upcoming On Her Majesty’s Secret Circus (Writer, Performer) as well as cirque and fire performances for The Hudsucker Posse, Krampus Night, Trashion Refashion, and Bloomington PRIDE. He has been practicing and teaching juggling and other prop-spinning skills for over three years in private lessons and at events like Hyperion Music and Arts Festival and FlowMotion Symposium.