Emilia has worn practically every theatre “hat”: actor, director, assistant director, teaching artist, stage manager, vocal coach, and stage technician. She started her theatre career at an early age with BAPA’s Imagination Stage. She began her theatre studies at NYU with the Playwrights Horizons Studio where she completed her two-year primary studio training. Emilia earned a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland. Eventually, Emilia would return to Imagination Stage as an employee and discover a love for working with students who have special needs.
Since then, Emilia has earned a MA in Education and Human Development from George Washington University with a focus in Transition Special Education and works as a special education teacher with Montgomery County Public Schools.
Emilia has a conversational ability in ASL and fluency in Spanish. With ArtStream, she teaches classes in voice, music and movement, drama, musical theatre, and is an assistant director with Gaithersburg Inclusive Theatre Company A.
Emilia O’ConnorTeaching Artist/Co-Founder
Nicolette is a theatre educator, social skills trainer, playwright, and director. With ArtStream, she designs curriculum for Leadership Programs which teach social and pre-employment skills using an arts model. Among these programs, she created the award-winning “Positively Speaking” workshops in partnership with Down Syndrome Network Montgomery County.
Nicolette has written two books: an interactive handbook, ArtStream for Life: A Social Skills and Communication Handbook for Self Advocates, and a children’s book, The Colorful Adventures of Pauline and Tiff. ArtStream for Life was published by ArtStream, Inc. and Tilson & Diaz Solutions, Inc., and produced with a grant from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. The lessons in the handbook are presented live by Nicolette and a self-advocate to help the audience understand that communication skills are for everyone. Pauline and Tiff was co-authored by Nicolette and an ArtStream client with Down syndrome and features illustrations by Annie Dykstra. The book was self-published through a private grant.
Nicolette is proud to co-host Montgomery County, MD’s first inclusive talk show “Telling Your Story with Terrel and Nic.”
In 2017, Nicolette was awarded “Outstanding Technical Achievement” by the Ethan Saylor Memorial Film Festival. The award recognizes Nicolette’s commitment to empowering individuals with disabilities, and, especially, her work preparing self-advocates with Down syndrome to speak in the halls of Congress.
Nicolette is a proud member of Leadership Montgomery 2010 Core Class and holds a Master of Education from George Mason University. She lives in Germantown, Maryland.
Nicolette StearnsTeaching Artist/Co-Founder
Patti is a Co-founder and the Founding Executive Director for ArtStream. She now serves as a Master Teacher and consultant for ArtStream. Patti wears several hats during the day. She currently teaches drama and directs for ETC and Theatre Lab. As a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT), she works privately with clients, and also works as a professional organizer for Basic Organization. She loves directing again and is very thankful for everyone on the team in Arlington Company A!
Patti WoolseyTeaching Artist/Co-Founder
Sydney is a 17-year-old assistant director from Silver Spring, MD. Sydney became and assistant director after volunteering with Silver Spring Company A for seven years. She is a student at Montgomery Blair High School. Sydney has also performed at the Highwood Theatre. She loves art!
Sydney AcuffTeaching Artist
Madeleine Barry is a local DC director and theatre educator. Since her graduation from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, she has been both an assistant director and an assistant teacher with ArtStream. Last season she became the director of Gaithersburg Inclusive Theatre Company B. In addition to her work with ArtStream, Madeleine is a teacher and inclusion facilitator with Imagination Stage, and a director and teacher with Theatre Lab’s Life Stories Programs, where she works with people of many different backgrounds. Her greatest hope is to create a platform for people to express themselves through the arts.
Madeleine BarryTeaching Artist
Pamela, a veteran educator (Drama, English, Chorus, Special Education), holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Ithaca College and an M.A. in Communication Arts and Theatre from The University of Maryland. An international Gilbert and Sullivan director, Pamela is founder and stage director of PB Theatricals, which offers performance and technical theatre opportunities for young people in the UK. She is on the board of Best Medicine Rep, a Gaithersburg-based theatre company dedicated to the production of new comedies.
Pam BilikTeaching Artist
Annie is a native of Northern Virginia who received both a Bachelor and Master degree in music from Towson University and the Cleveland Institute of Music, respectively. She has performed in a number of operas and musicals with various companies throughout DC, MD and VA.
She first became involved with ArtStream after meeting Patricia Woolsey during a 2011 production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte. She has worked as a choreographer with ArtStream ever since.
Outside of ArtStream, Annie works at BuckleySandler LLP, a proud sponsor of ArtStream. She also sings with the National Philharmonic Chorale and has a side job as assistant music director at a church in Alexandria.
Annie looks forward to continuing to work with, support, and promote ArtStream!
Annie CoffmanTeaching Artist
A native of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Elizabeth received a BA in Vocal Performance and Theatre from Indiana University, then moved to New York City. While in NYC, Elizabeth helped to record numerous new musicals. She also had the chance to work on the business side of the industry at a talent agency representing TV, film, theatre and musical theatre actors.
With ArtStream, Elizabeth has worked as a choreographer, assistant director, and director.
Elizabeth CroninTeaching Artist
Caitlin Davies is an educator from Arlington, VA. She is thrilled to be returning to ArtStream for her fourth show as an assistant director. Caitlin studied theatre at Grinnell College and is currently a Special Education teacher at Patrick Henry Elementary in Arlington Public Schools. She recently completed a Masters in School Administration. “Thanks to my fellow artists for their inspiring work!”
Caitlin DaviesTeaching Artist
Rye Ellis is a teaching artist from Damascus, MD. Rye works as a life coach for students with disabilities at McDaniel College and a transcription typist at Rev. He enjoys playing video games, playing ukulele, and cats. “Thank you to the cast and crew for another spectacular year!”
Rye EllisTeaching Artist
Joanne D’Eugenio is thrilled to be joining the ArtStream Team as Stage Manager! She recently moved from CT, where she spent many years involved in community theatre as stage manager, director, and set designer. Her real love is writing and she is currently working on several books and plays, which she hopes to get published. When she isn’t writing, Jo loves to sing, swim, hike, and camp. She would like to thank the entire ArtStream team for all their love and support! She would especially like to thank her daughter, Emily, and son, Billy, for making the move to VA worthwhile!
Joanne D’EugenioTeaching Artist
Shelley Fisher is a choreographer and performer. She teaches dance classes, performs, and manages events. Some of her most rewarding moments come from serving as the choreographer for Gaithersburg Company A. “Now everyone put your hands to your mouth and yell out loud, ‘Go Gaithersburg Company A!!’”
Shelley FisherTeaching Artist
Kathryn Hamilton is a co-director and teaching artist at ArtStream. When Kathryn isn’t working or volunteering within Artstream, she is working her two other less exciting jobs or hanging out with her animals and her fiancé. “A huge thank you to Robbie for helping with props, Chris for driving to rehearsals sometimes, and Ravi for always treating her like family.”
Kathryn HamiltonTeaching Artist
Wendy Lanxner is a Washington area music teacher, composer and multi-instrumentalist. She has maintained a private studio for over 20 years, and works as a music director for ArtStream and Lumina Studio Theatre. Wendy teaches lessons in flute, guitar, sax, bass, recorder, piano and ukulele. She sings, writes originals, and plays bass with the band Wendy & the Lost Boys, and also performs in the jazz duo, WendySteveJazz. Wendy is the youth stage coordinator for the Takoma Park Folk Festival. Wendy volunteers in hospital settings through Musicians On Call. She is thrilled to be doing music for her very first Artstream show. Go Gaithersburg Company A!
Wendy LexnerTeaching Artist
Julie Bain Miller
Julie is a proud graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City where she focused on Musical Theatre Performance. After graduation, she spent five years creating, producing and performing with the Rising Sun Performance Company in lower Manhattan and worked as the female awards handler for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards. She was last seen on a local stage as Pam in Rockville Musical Theatre’s critically acclaimed Baby.
Julie first joined ArtStream as a performer, playing Princess Glory in both the film and touring productions of their innovative musical Knights of Glory. Since joining the team, Julie has served as a choreographer, assistant director, and director with the Inclusive Theatre Companies and has also taught several classes. She couldn’t be more proud of the incredible and inspiring work that ArtStream creates!
Julie Bain MillerTeaching Artist
Amy Sheff Neumann
Amy Sheff Neumann worked across the country as a teaching artist, director, and performer. Amy currently performs with Now This!, a DC-based musical improv comedy troupe and Synergy in Action, a Playback Theatre company. A member of the Actor’s Equity Association, she appeared at the Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre, Round House Theatre, and the American Century Theatre. Amy toured nationally in both The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Annie.
Amy has directed and taught acting, musical theatre, and music at the Ensemble Theatre Community School, Columbia Center of Theatrical Arts, Long Lake Camp for the Arts, Imagination Stage, and the Young Actors’ Theatre. By day, Amy is a social worker; her work focuses on children and teens with special needs. She also holds a BFA in Acting from Syracuse University and an MSW from Catholic University.
Amy Sheff NeumannTeaching Artist
Sandra has a BFA in dance from The Boston Conservatory of Music and an MA in dance from American University. She taught dance and creative movement in the Greater Washington DC area for 25 years, working with Imagination Stage, The Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital, Iona Senior Services, and Arts for the Aging teaching creative movement to older adults. She also works with Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) teaching music and movement.
Sandra is currently working with Nancy Havlik’s Dance Performance Group. She has had previous performances with DPG in Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Philadelphia, PA; and New York, NY.
With ArtStream, Sandra teaches classes in schools and other provider organizations for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD). This work is highlighted in the Stone Soup Films production “DC Hero — Sandy Roachford.” She also works as a choreographer with Inclusive Theatre Companies.
Sandra RoachfordTeaching Artist
Penny is a teaching artist and performer based in the DC/Baltimore area. She has worked as a writer, director and performer with the Blue Sky Puppet Theatre since 1994, and performs with Good Life Theatre, where she just completed a three year run at Wolf Trap. Other favorite performing companies include Bread and Puppet Theater, The Other Opera Company, Adventure Theatre, and The Puppet Company at Glen Echo.
Penny teaches puppetry workshops throughout the DC/Baltimore region and beyond, including workshops as far away as Scotland. She is a regular teaching artist for the Wolf Trap Institute and also sings with the Swing Set Trio and the Roland Cumberland Orchestra.
With ArtStream, Penny has teaches classes in schools and other provider organizations for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD). She also leads workshops in self-advocacy.
Penny RussellTeaching Artist
Annetta Dexter Sawyer
Annetta is a graduate of Rutgers University and American University where she earned her Bachelor degree in English and Communications and her Master in Performing Arts for Dance & Theatre, respectively.
She is honored to foster self-expression and self-worth with students through poetry, performance, dance, yoga, and visual arts. She has also worked with Arts for the Aging, teaching healing movement, healing stories, theatre improvisation and visual arts. Annetta feels that her well-rounded experience and understanding of the arts as a healing tool aligns well with ArtStream’s varied programming, including its military hospital program, Allies in the Arts.
Teaching Language Arts and Moving Arts for Arlington public schools, Annetta has been awarded as a poet-in-residence for The Arlington Humanities Project. She is also a member of the MCPS Teaching Artist Roster through the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. In addition to her artistic work with children, Annetta is also on the Fine Arts faculty at Trinity University and works locally in the DC region as a freelancer.
With ArtStream, Annetta teaches multiple arts in schools for children with special needs. She also served as Assistant Director and Choreographer in the inaugural 2017-2018 Cabaret Company.
Annetta believes strongly in arts integration and mixed-ability integration. She is proud to work with the unique, progressively productive theatre, and exceptional organization that is ArtStream.
Annetta Dexter SawyerTeaching Artist
Luke Scaros is from Madison, CT. He has performed at Generic Theatre (Virginia Beach, VA) East Haddam Stage Company, (East Haddam, CT) Connecticut Free Shakespeare (Bridgeport, CT), Ohio Wesleyan Players (Delaware, OH) and Regent University Theatre. Luke teaches with Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s Educational Program, and is developing The Organic Theatre, a theatre company based in Baltimore. He enjoys reading, playwriting, and coming up with a new recipe of the week. “Thanks to Colleen and Madeline for giving me the opportunity to work with such a wonderful cast!”
Luke ScarosTeaching Artist
Daniel Villar is an accomplished singer, pianist, and songwriter in the Washington, DC Metro region. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland. Daniel has enjoyed teaching private voice and piano lessons to children and adults since 1999. He also works as a music teacher, musical director and composer for theatre companies, including ArtStream’s Inclusive Theatre Companies.
Daniel VillarTeaching Artist
Natalie is a writer, director and actor who has appeared on area stages for over 20 years.
Natalie researches and writes original historical theater pieces. She trains and costumes actors for events such as the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum’s 50 Years of the Space Age, and for the National Archives Sleepover at the Archives. She created an historical three-character drama for the hip-hop theatre artist, Holly Bass. She is a licensed tour guide and a tour developer. In 2001 she launched Historic Strolls, a company that combines historical walking tours with theatre to create a unique experience. She is the author and director of The Ghost Story Tour of Washington, DC’s longest running costumed/character-led tour and A Dickens of a Tour: Charles Dickens in Washington. She has appeared as a guest and expert on History Channel and Travel Channel and has told stories for Canadian and French television, NPR, CNN Radio, Washingtonian Magazine, Politico and others.
Other credits include Natalie’s one-woman show: Dolley Madison’s Washington and the original, interactive program Maryland, My Maryland: Early Maryland History in public schools and home schools. Natalie is the lead actor and guide for the International Spy Museum’s Spy City Tours. She teaches drama in after-school programs for public and home schools. She also appears as an expert witness for local law firms in mock trials.
With ArtStream, Natalie has worked as an assistant director and director with the Inclusive Theatre Companies, and has taught several classes. She also developed the Cabaret Company, which premiered in the 2017-2018 season.
Natalie ZaninTeaching Artist
Melanie Zehner (Assistant Director/Choreographer) Melanie Zehner is a 28-year-old actor from Syracuse, NY, who has been with ArtStream since 2017. She got her Masters in Physical Acting at the University of Kent. She also performs at Laugh Index Theatre, Capital Fringe, Museum of the Bible, and even on TV in Thespian, Thou Shalt Not, and House of Cards. During the day, she is an SAG Actor, a mentor/writer/actor at the Museum of the Bible, and performs sketch and improv! In her spare time, she likes to read, write, drink cups of tea, and try new vegan food. “Defy Gravity!”
Melanie ZehnerTeaching Artist
Delia is a vocalist and actor who performs opera, classical art song, music theatre, jazz, and theatre.
She has appeared in productions with Annapolis Opera, Riverbend Opera Company, Center Stage Opera (PA), Loudoun Lyric Opera, Studio Theatre, Montgomery Playhouse, OutoftheBlackBox Theatre Co., DC Playwright’s Forum, and the Capital Fringe Festival. Recent operatic roles include Lisette in La Rondine, Genevieve in Suor Angelica, Nannetta in Falstaff, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. In oratorio she has performed solos in Faure’s Requiem and Mendelssohn’s Gloria. In concert, she was a featured performer at the Johnny Mercer Music Festival in Savannah, GA, and in recital with the Washington Flute Society, the Kunen Theatre at Levine School of Music, the Kosciuszko Foundation, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library Concert Series. In 2013 Delia released her first solo album, “Boston Two,” featuring songs by American composers Amy Beach and Arthur Foote.
Delia is proud to be an ArtStream teaching artist, teaching classes in schools and other provider organizations for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD). She also leads workshops in self-advocacy.