Toby joins LCA '18 from Colby College, Waterville, ME. Toby Vera Bercovici is a director whose work utilizes a rigorous authenticity and playful relationship with the elements of time to help tell important stories. She has created several dance-theater adaptations of classic texts, including Spring Awakening: A Sin of Omission (co-created with Emily Denison; reviewed in New England Theatre Journal), Of Turlygods & Time: The Tale of King Lear, and The Life and Death of Queen Margaret (co-created with Dan Morbyrne). New York credits include Spring Awakening at the Looking Glass Theatre and the world premiere of Genesis at the Circus Warehouse. She also assistant directed Belize, Imminence, and Hot Lunch Apostles for The Talking Band at La Mama E.T.C. and Old Comedy for Target Margin at Classic Stage. In Western Massachusetts, she has directed for Silverthorne Theatre, Hampshire Shakespeare Company, the Majestic Theatre, Northampton Center for the Arts, Ashfield Community Theatre, Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble, and Pauline Productions. She is a governing company member of the ensemble Real Live Theatre and an associate artist for Pauline Productions. She recently co-created the solo performance piece Offering It Up with performer Carolyn Shakti Sadeh. Other productions include A Doll House, The House of Bernarda Alba, Night on the Galactic Railroad, O Yes I Will (I will remember the spirit and texture of this conversation), Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, and 4,000 Miles. She was a participant of the 2012 Shakespeare & Company Month Long Intensive and has taught theater at Holyoke Community College, American International College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as on her own in a series of community-based adult acting courses.
Gretchen Lane is a believer of arts in education having grown up immersed in visual and performing arts. Gretchen has a Masters Degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in visual and performing arts. She is a multiage teacher at Cornville Regional Charter School. working with children ages 5-8. She started performing at Lakewood Theater almost 20 years ago and has worked with Sandy River Players and The Waterville Opera House. Gretchen has done it all from performing arts like dance, music, theater, and visual arts like drawing, painting, sculpting, to design work like furniture making and sewing.
Lisa Neal has been a classroom teacher in RSU19 for the last fifteen years having taught at Somerset Valley Middle School and Nokomis Regional High. Lisa holds her B.A. in Education from the University of Maine, as well as her Master's degree in Literacy from the University of New England. For 26 years she has been the director of Middle and High School Show Choruses in RSU 19 which are auditioned, award-winning vocal groups. Since 2012 Lisa has served as the director of the Theatre Arts program at Nokomis Regional High teaching academic classes that center around the performing arts including various levels of Acting, Comedy, Stagecraft, Playwriting, History of Musical Theatre, History of Sitcoms and Advanced Theatre Arts, as well as being the director of the after-school drama program that has involved more than a third of the student body in one capacity or another. Lisa has been active in Community Theatre for over thirty years working at Lakewood Theater in Madison, Maine. She has played roles such as Mamma Rose in Gypsy, Adalaide in Guys and Dolls and Reno Sweeny in Anything Goes. Lisa has also been fortunate enough to work at Waterville Opera House having the privilege to perform in two separate productions of Into the Woods (her favorite show ever!) playing the roles of The Baker's Wife and The Witch. She enjoys sharing the stage with her husband Dean who also performed in Into the Woods. In 2015, Dean and Lisa starred as Gomez and Morticia Addams in Watervilles's production of The Addams Family.
Dean Neal has served as Director of Music at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine since 1990. Currently he teaches the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Vocal Jazz 1,2 and 3, Pep Band, Classroom Guitar, and Popular Music in Society. Dean serves as the Visual and Performing Arts Department Head at M.C.I. where the V.P.A. program has grown in the past three decades from two faculty members to five full time teachers in instrumental music, vocal music/piano, theater, visual art, and ballet. M.C.I.'s and B.B.T,'s (Bossov Ballet Theater at M.C.I.) performing arts ensembles have received numerous local, state and regional honors over the past 30 years.
Dean has served as a guest conductor for Kennebec Valley Music Educators Association, MMEA District VI Honors Jr. Band, MMEA District II Honors Jazz Choir and the New Hampshire All State Jazz Choir. He has also adjudicated MMEA district jazz festivals and has been a clinician in Maine schools for instrumental and vocal jazz focusing on style and interpretation along with improvisation. Dean has been active in the Maine Music Educators Association having served on the executive board as the state's Jazz Activities V.P., Instrumental Jazz Chair, All State Honors Jazz Band Manager and All State Honors Jazz Choir Manager. He has held positions in the Kennebec Valley Music Educators Association as Sr. Band Manager, Jr. Band Manager, and is currently KVMEA President.
In addition, he has appeared at the Waterville Opera House stage as the voice of Audrey II in the Little Shop of Horrors; The Wolf and Prince Charming in Into The Woods; Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar; Bobby Kennedy in Jack; Gomez Addams in The Addams Family and most recently as The Baker in Into The Woods. Dean serves as worship/song leader at St. Albans Union Church coordinating music ministry, He earned his A.S. in Jazz and Contemporary Music from the University of Maine-August in 1987 and B.M.ed. from the University of Maine-Orono in 1989.
Debbie Bubar teaches 5th & 6th grades at Warsaw Middle School in Pittsfield. A lover of the arts, she likes to help out with Nokomis Show Chorus sets and costumes. She has always dreamed of singing and dancing on stage and screen but can do neither, so instead enjoys it all from back stage!
It all started at an early age when Jesica would hide under the dining room table. As someone walked by, she would jump out with a "Ta da!!" and a curtsy.
Nowadays, Jesica directs every chance she can, so when she saw LCA, she knew she needed to get involved. But getting our young involved with theatre is only half her story. By starting the Royal River Community Theatre (in Yarmouth), Jesica is developing opportunities for people of all ages to work together to create unique performances.
Just a few weeks ago, PopOnOvers and Big Bill’s were only a “pipe dream”. Needless to say, if we had thought that merely two months later we would have virtually everything in place to open both a café/bakery and an ice cream shop we would have said “impossible”! But we know that God is the Author of the impossible! We have been blessed that the vision, the timing, the sacrifices of many friends, family, and community have made all these things come together so quickly and with such precision and detail!
Bobby Keniston is an actor, director, teacher and playwright from Dover-Foxcroft. A graduate of Bennington College, Bobby has acted and directed all over the state of Maine. He created the theater program for Foxcroft Academy. He is also an award-winning playwright with over 30 plays published for the youth and high school markets. He is excited to be a part of LCA!
Colonel Wilson, son of MSgt (ret) Robert Wilson, was born in Aqudilla, Puerto Rico, grew up in Jacksonville, Arkansas, and earned his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in1986. His career, primarily focused on the telecommunications and cyber arena, spanned a diverse spectrum of operational, joint, and support functions culminating with his retirement in June of 2012from a position with the Defense Information Systems Agency as the Deputy Chief Information Officer where he led 323 military, government civilian, and contract personnel supporting Agency information resource management and information technology system requirements for eight billion dollars in assets. He helped shape information strategy consistent with Department of Defense vision and developed strategic plans to support net-centric capabilities.
Previously, he was the Installation Commander for Cheyenne Mountain. He led the 721st Mission Support Group, a 550-person group composed of two squadrons, a civil engineer division, and a
test control division, operating secure, survivable systems & facilities
for Air Force Space Command, NORAD, USNORTHCOM, SSTRATCOM to perform their air defense, space surveillance, and missile warning missions. Additionally, he commanded a remote detachment in Turkey and two joint tactical communications squadrons; he was the Deputy Installation Commander and Director, Communications and Information at the 422nd Air Base Squadron, Royal Air Force Croughton, United Kingdom; served as a war,
contingency and exercise planner in the Joint Communications Support Element and the 1st Combat Communications Group in Germany; and coached football at both the Air Force Academy and its Preparatory School; where he also taught chemistry, physics, and computer applications. Colonel Wilson also served as Knowledge Operations and Initiatives Division Chief, Assistant Chief of Staff, Operations Directorate, Combined Forces Command/US Forces Korea, US Army Garrison-Yongsan, Seoul, South Korea.
Colonel Wilson is married to the former Elyse Studt of Hartland, Maine. They have six children; Robert, John, Rusty, Christopher, David, and Elyse.
Keltie Collins: A 2012 Winner of the President’s Award from Kennebec Chamber of Commerce, Keltie Collins of Kennebec Dance Centre in Augusta will join our Nokomis LCA Day. When Keltie Collins began her career in dance, she was just 3 years old. Keltie opened Kennebec Dance Center in 1973 during her senior year in high school and became the youngest teacher yet to coach the dancing chorus for Cony High School’s Chizzle Wizzle. Chizzle Wizzle is the nation’s longest-running student variety show. Keltie celebrated her 40th teaching anniversary just a few years ago. “When I first started teaching, I wanted kids to enjoy dance, and to this day that’s my main goal,” Collins said. “We’ve had great success stories: a lot of kids go on to dance professionally on Broadway or to a professional ballet company.”
Mr. Poulin, retired from Julliard School of Drama, Dance and Music, will join LCA Faculty
on February 22nd.
Mr. Poulin expects to conduct both a dance and a knitting workshop. He could conduct these classes in any of seven languages
Here is news of Mr. Poulin from Central Maine News and Keith Edwards. (LCA is so very fortunate and grateful.)
Alphonse “Alphy” Poulin, the 11th of 14 children raised by the late Merilda and Lucien Poulin
on Arsenal Street, has returned home to Maine following a career in dance and choreography that took him around the world and back.
Poulin recently retired to Rome, Maine after 15 years as ballet master and faculty member at the prominent Juilliard School in New York City, where he taught dancers who are now taking the stage at performance venues around the world. He speaks with pride of those dancers he taught who are now populating prominent stages worldwide.
Those are stages he once danced, taught, and choreographed on himself in a career that took him to Boston, Brazil, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany and elsewhere.
Poulin received no formal ballet training as a youth in Augusta, though his talent in other forms of dance was clear to those who saw him perform.
Sydney Leonard, then ballet mistress of the Boston Ballet, didn’t even need to see him dance more than a few spins after he took a Greyhound bus from Augusta to Boston to know he had the body and talent to excel. She selected him for one of only three male positions with the ballet that year, and less than three months later, he was dancing in “The Nutcracker.”
He performed with Boston Ballet for several years, then went on to dance in several foreign countries, learning five different languages and two different dialects.
He served as ballet master of Le Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve for 14 years in Switzerland, then worked as a guest master around the world, including in Russia.
While visiting New York City, he was offered a job teaching dance at Juilliard. He declined it at first, then accepted it after friends said he was crazy to turn down that job.He was there 15 years and relished working in the studio with dancers.
He said he achieved success because of hard work and passion. He said he also had his father’s agile body.“I always earned my money sweating, but doing what I love,” he said.
A friend’s husband, playwright Steven Belber, met him once and, after spending the day listening to Poulin and his wife talking and taking in Poulin’s personality, wrote a play called “Match.” It was based on Poulin’s personality, though the play was not biographical.
The play was later made into a movie in which noted actor Patrick Stewart played the character based on Poulin.
Poulin, 67, shied away from attention from “Match,” in large part because he felt it was Belber’s creation. But when a movie-goer asked Stewart, at a film festival, who his character was based on, he asked Poulin to stand up. Poulin said he received thunderous applause.
Poulin choreographed several operas, something he said his dad would have loved as a huge fan of opera.
“Sundays were sacred at our house. It was the ball game and opera,” he said. “We’d listen to the Red Sox game then dad would put on his (Enrico) Caruso.”
Poulin said his father and brothers were excellent singers, while he took to dance. He said his parents “brought us up to be good citizens and hardworking and vigorous, and told us to never forget where you come from, so you can always come back.”
He said it was hard, back then, to be a dancer in Augusta as classmates called him twinkle toes and other names.
He visited Maine regularly even as he lived for some 30 years in foreign countries. When it came time to retire, he chose a modest home on a peaceful wooded spot in Rome, close to his eight surviving siblings who live in the Augusta area. He said he loves Maine for its clean environment, large amount of forest, people who are helpful but also keep to themselves, and its large variety of different ethnic groups.
He said he always believed in his dreams and fears many of today’s youth don’t seem to have goals.
Local resident Roger Pomerleau, in helping present the Mayor’s Recognition of Excellence Award to Poulin, said he shows what can be accomplished with hard work. “He sets a great example that a Cony student from Augusta, Maine, when you have the courage and drive and conviction, can succeed anywhere in the world,” Pomerleau said.
Poulin, who graduated from Cony in 1966, noted his upbringing here gave him the tools to do well around the world.
“I never forgot where I came from,” he said. “And I’m always happy to tell people where I came from. I’m a Maine boy.”
(Special Thanks to Central Maine News and Keith Edwards.)
Nathan Roach: Mild-mannered ed tech, tutor and soccer coach by day, internationally recognized singer, actor and voice-over talent by night: Nathan has been a teaching artist for Penobscot Theatre Company's Shakespeare in the Schools program for over 5 years, teaching about the Bard and stage combat to students in middle and high schools across the state. He was fight choreographer for Nokomis Drama productions of "The Taming of the Shrew" and "The Servant of Two Masters", as well as Penobscot Theatre Dramatic Academy productions of "Romeo and Juliet" and "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" and Ten Bucks Theatre's "Dracula".
Hi! I am Lynn Dee Ackerman. I am a self-taught special effects makeup artist and I have been doing makeup for about 6 years now. I have experience in applying prosthetics, making basic wounds, making burns, old age profession, and regular makeup. I graduated from Nokomis in 2015 and I am currently attending the University of Maine Augusta and Fort Kent for Nursing, so I get real-life experience for wound ideas.
Cara Flannery: A Pennsylvania native, Cara is still a "newb" to the Newport area and teaches at Nokomis Regional High. A music enthusiast, a fitness advocate, and a teacher, she decided to combine these three passions and began to instruct dance fitness classes within the community. To quote the great Frank Zappa, “music is the best!” Humor and laughter are other necessities of her life; often times, comedy will play a role in her instruction.
I am a lifelong music and makeup enthusiast so I was thrilled to hear about this amazing program. I’ve studied makeup application techniques unofficially for years and recently became a team member with Senegence International - the makers of LipSense. They produce a makeup line with the goal of providing long wearing ‘life proof’ products. Perfect to combat bright stage lights! I am currently a part of their Seneblends Makeup Artist Certification Program. I’ve always felt that makeup is a beautiful form of artsitic self expression so I’m excited to share my love for makeup with you.
Diana Dearborn developed a love for dance at a young age. She started dancing at the age of 3 at Mary Jane's School of Dance in Greene Maine. She studied tap, jazz, and ballet. During her teen years, Diana competed in tap dance with her peers in the Boston area. For two year's, Diana studied ballet with Nancy Dionne in Belgrade Maine. From 2008-2012 Diana taught hip hop to beginners at Rising Sun Dance studio in Winthrop Maine. In 2012, Diana and her daughter started taking various classes at Kennebec Dance Centre in Augusta Maine. Diana currently teaches an adult beginner tap class at Kennebec Dance Centre. She continues to take adult ballet and jazz from Andrea Michaud Tracy at KDC.
My name is Brandy Cloutier! I am a dance and yoga instructor right here in Newport, ME. I own Balance Yoga and Dance Center where I teach 15 classes a week from ages 3-adult. We generally do 2 performances a year. We have Ballet, Tap, Jazz, HipHop and Yoga. My favorites are Ballet and Yoga mostly. I trained in ballet for 15 years up and down the east coast. I also did point for a few of those. Ballet is kind of my passion. Yoga, on the other hand, is something I fell into in my late teen years. I ended up going through my YTT (Yoga Teachers Training) at a young age as more of a self-help venture, but after my training, I decided I wanted to share this wonderful thing called Yoga. It is my center and home. I have been studying yoga for about 8 years now and still continue to learn not only more about yoga but also about all movement and expression of the body.
Bob has been a Physical Education teacher in RSU 19 for the last 24 years. He earned his B.S. in Health and Physical Education, as well as his M.E.D. in P.E. from UMO. Bob has served as a Certified Athletic Trainer at UMO, Colby College, Maine Principal's Association and Nokomis High School over the last 24 years. He recently attained his 25 year pin as a member of the National Athletic Trainer Association. Bob coordinated the events associated with the 21st Century Grant which included Archery instruction. He was part of developing the Archery curriculum for RSU 19. He has also organized the "Shoot for the Cure" fundraiser for the last 10 years, which has raised thousands of dollars for cancer research. Bob has been happily married to his beautiful wife Myla for the last 21 years!
Darcey LaPrade is a 5th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Sebasticook Valley Middle School. Drama has always been a passion for Darcey and she performed in both high school and in college. She has directed and co-directed shows at Newport Elementary School as part of the 21st Century Grant. Darcey is a 1991 graduate of Nokomis Regional High and earned a B.S. in Elementary Education with a Minor in Visual and Performing Arts from the University of Maine at Farmington in 1995. Darcey resides in Dixmont with her husband Victor and their two children, Charles and Abigail.
Johanna Sorensen is the Art teacher for grades 9-12 at Nokomis Regional High but also loves to create art on her own and with her two young sons! She graduated from Orono with a BA in Art Education and a love for all things art. Her favorite mediums are Oil Pastel, Watercolor painting, and Clay. She also enjoys illustrating children's books and being outdoors with her family and pets!
Gary Dorman has been involved in theater since 1982 when he was a founding member of the Levi Stewart Theater in Corinna. He has been involved in all aspects of theater production from acting, set construction, house management, to directing. Since 2010 Gary has been the director of all of the Levi Stewart Productions. Gary also has performed for the last 10 years in over 20 productions at Lakewood Theater in Madison.
I have been painting for a very, very, VERY long time :)! I have been helping others paint for several years and, oh my, is it FUN! I love seeing peeps surprised by their own creative abilities. I may play a nurse by day, but - SHAZAM! - being an Accidental Artist is my favorite role!
I play violin in the Bangor Symphony and teach violin and viola privately. I have agrees in music from Ithaca College and an assoc. degree in science, animal medical technology, from UMO.
I have boarded and raised horses, chickens, and dogs for the past 35 - 40 years. My hobbies are gardening, landscaping, riding, hiking, skiing, SCUBA diving, canoeing, kayaking, and sailing.
I am a graduate of Nokomis High School where I performed as lead tenor sax player in the Nokomis Jazz Ensemble. I also played tenor sax in the award-winning Nokomis Show Choir band. I am a soon to be graduate of the University of Maine at Augusta with a major in music and a minor in education which I will use as a music teacher for Madison Elementary and Madison Junior High Schools. I have performed as part of UMA's Jazz on Tour. I reside in Canaan, Maine with my husband, 4 children, 2 cats, 14 chickens, and 1 naughty beagle puppy.