Teaching Artists

The Education Program at Portland Stage works with professional actors, directors, and designers to inspire, educate and illuminate the theater arts. Our dynamic teaching artists aim to immerse students in high-quality, collaborative, creative, and FUN theatrical experiences!

Hannah Cordes (Education Director) is an educator, actor, director, and native New Englander who moved to Portland in 2015. She graduated from Bucknell University with a BA in Theater and English Literature. She works with teachers, artists, and students of all ages to use theater as a tool for self-discovery; literacy; community-building and collaboration; exploration of difficult or controversial topics; and creative expression. She believes that theater is a force for social change and that it inspires young people to be creative thinkers, playful individuals, and confident learners.


Anita Stewart (Executive & Artistic Director) has worked with Susie Konkel to develop the Theater for Kids program at Portland Stage.  Anita graduated from Yale School of Drama and is one of the few designers running a regional theater in this country.  In addition to teaching master classes and workshops for students from the age of four to 84, she has taught at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Julianne Shea (Education Administrator) is a graduate of Muhlenberg College where she received a degree in Theatre (Acting/Performance Studies) and Music (Vocal Performance/Music History). She was an Education Intern at Portland Stage prior to stepping into her role of administering its programs. Outside of Portland Stage, Julianne has worked in many artistic capacities with Acorn Productions and is a company member of Bare Portland.

Moira Driscoll 2010Moira Driscoll has been a professional actress and theater educator for over 20 years.  Her first big role was as Henny Penny in Chicken Little Revisited (4th grade), and she’s been busy on the stage ever since, both off-Broadway—for 15 years in NYC—and in Portland for the past 10 years. She loves her work teaching theater to students—from elementary-school age to adults, and everyone in between. Prior to moving to Portland, Moira worked as an educator with the 52nd Street Project in NYC. Moira is also heavily involved in the drama program at Casco Bay High School.

Bess Welden is an actor, playwright, educator, member of PS’s Affiliate Artists, and a mom. She has worked with theater students of all ages for over 20 years, and has been performing and teaching with PS since the education program began. She teaches in Colby College’s Theater & Dance Department. She especially loves solo performance, like her one-woman shows The Passion of the Hausfrau and Big Mouth Thunder Thighs, both of which premiered at PS. Bess is a graduate of Oberlin College with an MFA from the National Theater Conservatory in Denver.

Sally Wood headshot

Sally Wood started acting when she was eight. Her first role was Lucy in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Sally loves fighting (stage combat) and chocolate cake. She is an actor, director, and fight director and has spent many summers with the Theatre at Monmouth and across the country. She has trained in New York, Russia, Germany, England, and Italy.


Dustin Tucker A native of Amarillo, TX, Dustin has performed on Broadway, regional theaters and children’s theaters across the country for the past 10 years. Dustin moved to Portland in 2008 and is very excited to be a part of Portland Stage’s Theater for Kids program, where he has been acting and leading workshops since its inception. He enjoys acting, reading, and playing with his dog Minnie.


Abbie Killeen headshot 02Abbie Killeen has acted off-Broadway and regionally. She toured in plays all around the country and carried everything she owned in a red suitcase. One time she did a movie and she was also on TV, but she thinks being onstage is more fun. She trained at NYU (Tisch) and Brandeis University. She considers it a great privilege to be part of the wonderful communities that make theater in Portland and Boston. Abbie is also an Assistant Professor of Theater at Bowdoin College.

Christopher Holt is an actor and theater educator and a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater in New York City.  Chris has enjoyed acting in Portland for the last 10 years with Dramatic Repertory Company, Lorem Ipsum, AIRE, Good Theater and others. Chris is currently an Education Artist in many of Portland Stage’s education programs.


Shannon Wade is an educator, puppet maker, puppeteer, performer, and former Portland Stage intern! She has been lucky enough to teach and perform with arts organizations across the country, including the Yocum Institute for Arts Education in Pennsylvania, the Omaha Theater Company at The Rose in Nebraska, and both Portland Stage and Stages Youth Theater here in Maine. When not hanging out with kids, in a theater, or with puppets, Shannon enjoys playing board games, stiltwalking at 9 feet tall, baking bread, and soaking up the Maine sea & sunshine.

Lisa (3)Lisa Boucher Hartman has performed all over the world, most notably as Columbia in Rocky Horror Show and Yitzak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Recent shows include A Celtic Christmas with AIRE, Love and Information with Lorem Ipsum, title of show with DRC and November with Mad Horse Theater. She currently resides in Portland, teaches Acting at SMCC and is a proud founding committee member of Portfringe.


Tess Van Horn is a Portland based teaching artist that works with students at Stages Youth Theater, Portland Stage’s Theater for Kids, and at Southern Maine Community College. She also works as a director and actor throughout Maine with such companies as Good Theater, Fenix Theater, Dramatic Repertory Company, Portland Stage, and Theater at Monmouth. She holds a degree in theater from Sarah Lawrence College.


Megan_TMegan E. Tripaldi is an actor, playwright, and theater educator working in Portland, Maine. They graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a BA in Theatre and has had plays produced in Maine, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Washington. They have most recently acted with Acorn Productions, Polyphonic Theatre Ensemble, Portland Stage, and Seven Stages Shakespeare. In addition to Portland Stage education, Megan has worked in education programs with STAGES Performing Academy, Acorn Productions, and The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine.

MarjoWheadshotMarjolaine Whittlesey is an actor and educator who, despite having roots on both sides of the Atlantic, calls Maine home.  She loves to juggle the verbal thrills of Shakespeare with the embodied storytelling of physical theater. She teaches writing at the Telling Room, directs Little Red Rug, a Portland based physical theater ensemble, and enjoys acting with several local companies including the Celebration Barn Ensemble, Dramatic Repertoire Company, Ziggurat Theater Ensemble, Lorem Ipsum and Theater At Monmouth.


Dana Wieluns Legawiec is a professional actress, mask and movement director and theatre arts educator who has worked all over Maine, Los Angeles, New York and internationally.  She is an original founding member and co-Artistic Director of Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble, based in Bowdoinham. Dana is a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater and Princeton University.


Hannah Daly is a Portland-based actress and educator whose acting career started right here at PS in A Christmas Carol! She graduated with a BFA in Acting from Syracuse University, and is a proud graduate of the university program at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, England and the Tepper Semester in NYC. As an actress, she has worked extensively in the New England theater and film markets. Hannah has spent the past three summers teaching young actors ages 4-16 as the Director of Drama Programming at Small Point Summer School in Phippsburg, ME.

Ella Mock is a Portland-based artist after a successful transplant from Texas. Since then, they have largely focused on Shakespeare with Pie Man Theatre Company (Julius Caesar), Bare Portland (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Acorn Productions (assorted works). They are an ensemble member of 2 Sheets Theater Company & work with Speak About It.


Buxtonheadshot2014 (2)Catherine Buxton is an actor/educator who believes in storytelling above all else. You may have seen her on stage around town, but she most enjoys working with young adults on issues of social justice through performance as she has done with Boston’s The Theater Offensive and Speak About It.



Nolan Ellsworth (he, him, his) is an educator, actor, cartoonist, and proud Mainer! He is a former Portland Stage intern, and now teaches for many education programs, including Fall Conservatory, Directors Lab, and Play Me A Story. Nolan also works in the Portland Stage Box Office, and as a Programming Assistant at STAGES Youth Theater. He has acted locally with STAGES, Dramatic Repertory Company, Fenix Theater Co, and PortFringe, and he is a co-creator of the theatrical land-sea adventure Aardvark Boat Tours. 

Julia Fitzgerald is a theater educator & actor, and a former Portland Stage Education Intern. Julia is an ensemble member with Acorn Productions.

Jeanette Plourde is a director, performer, and devisor of physically-driven performance.  She studied at the Jacques Lecoq Theatre School in Paris, lived and worked in New York for over a decade, and has created new works for a number of arts festivals across the country.  Most recently, she taught at LSU and directed The Shakespeare Project, an intensive workshop series for incarcerated youth in Louisiana.  Originally from Maine, Jeanette received her BA from Yale University, and her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.