Resume

Mary has over 30 years of experience performing and working with students of all ages.   She is a professional storyteller, playwright, actress, costumer and director who has extensive experience teaching in arts based residencies from pre-k through college. As a professional storyteller she has performed for over 6000 children and adults. She has led workshops, given personal performance coaching, and coordinated storytelling conferences and festivals. She teaches performance and playwriting skills, is a performed playwright and published writer. She is Rostered with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts “Arts In Education” program, a Lehigh Valley Arts Council Rostered Artist, a member of the Lehigh Valley Storytellers Guild, the National Storytellers Network, is an Ensemble Member at Touchstone Theatre, on the faculty at Pennsylvania Youth Theatre and Lehigh Valley Charter Arts High School, and received the 2014 Tribute to the Arts Award from the Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission for her body of work to date.

Experience

Performance                                                                        1985-present

  • Five original one-or-two-woman shows (Kitchen Chronicles (current), Mae Swe, Arabella’s Great Adventure, A Couple of Cronies, If That Building Could Talk).
  • Over 150 storytelling performances at schools from pre-k through college;
  • More than 20 festivals including Boise River Festival, National Storytelling Conference Fringe Festival, Musikfest, Mayfair, Story Fusion, Lehigh Valley Storytelling Festival and Arts Fest;
  • 40 professional theater productions including Touchstone Theatre (ensemble member and current ensemble associate), Magnolia Theater Company, Chicago Shakespeare Company, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, American Stage Company;

Directing/Writing                                                                 1988-present

  • Created, wrote and directed original theater/storytelling pieces based on gathered oral histories for three different professional productions, The Southside Experience for Touchstone Theatre 2002 and If That Building Could Talk: The Willson Project for Goggleworks Center for the Arts 2007, and Touchstone’s Dream of the Red Pavilion: Journey from the East for production in 2014, based on the oral histories of Chinese residents, immigrants and tourists in the Lehigh Valley;
  • Wrote and directed Aesop & Co. for Touchstone Theatre, 2001;
  • Directed more than 10 other scripted work productions including: Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (Magnolia Theater Co.), Our Town, The Hobbit, Diary of Anne Frank (Pennsylvania Youth Theater), eight years of Young Playwright’s Festival one-acts (Zoellner/Touchstone), Guys & Dolls (Liberty High School), Measure for Measure (Chicago Shakespeare Co).

Workshops/Residencies/Teaching                                   1998-present

  • Over 70 artist-in-residencies including storytelling, theater, playwriting, and language acquisition;
  • Storytelling and acting classes for pre-professionals with Touchstone Theatre’s Apprentice Program;
  • Teaching acting (Advanced Acting 1 & 2; Master Class; Company) to high-school students enrolled in Pennsylvania Youth Theater for the past 8 years;
  • Artist In Residence for Fresh-Ground-Pepper Company in their yearly summer residence in Lehigh Valley – worked with numerous artists from Playwrights Horizons and other New York writers, directors, designers on the creative process and listening delightedly to its creation;
  • More than 100 workshops/continuing education classes for adults in such subjects as performance skills, storytelling, theater skills, creating original stories and gathering family stories;
  • Playwriting classes for elementary through high-school through Touchstone Theatre’s Young Playwright’s Lab Program.

Costuming                                                                         2000-present

  • Dictators for Dummies.  Touchstone Theatre. Design and create costumes for 6 dictators all played by same actor.
  • Jakopas Punch Processional.  Touchstone Theatre.  Design and create costumes for 10 piece band, 8 large (12′) puppets and 8 small hand and rod puppets.  2017
  • Ulysses Dreams.  Touchstone Theatre.  Design and create costumes and fabric set pieces for outdoor extravaganza.  2011
  • Guys and Dolls.  Liberty Theatre.  Design and lead 10 person costume committee to create 100 costumes.  2010
  • Frog and Toad Together Again.  Pennsylvania Youth Theatre.  2010
  • Peter Pan.  Design and lead 15 person costume committee to create 75 costumes. Liberty Theatre.  2009
  • Hamlet.  Design and create 50 costumes with small costume committee.  Liberty Theatre.  2008
  • Beauty and the Beast.  Liberty Theatre.  2008
  • Stewart Little.  Pennsylvania Youth Theatre.  2006
  • Aesop & Company.  Touchstone Theatre.  2003
  • Assistant Costumer for Christmas City Follies at Touchstone Theatre, 2010 to present.

Education

Allegheny College                                                             1981-1985

B.A. in Communication Arts/Theater

Continued Training                                                          1994-present

Arts in Education at Kennedy Center; Art as a Way of Learning at East Stroudsburg University and Lehigh Valley Arts Council; Storytelling workshops with nationally acclaimed storytellers including: Jay O’Callahan, Margaret Read-MacDonald, Laura Sims, Hannah Harvey, Kevin Cordi, Brenda Wong-Aoki, and Elizabeth Ellis.