Meet the Staff
The theatre staff typically includes three or four directors, a choreographer, a technical director, and a musical director. All continue their theatre interest, often professionally, year-round. They demand and get good theatre.
Theatre Staff 2016
Last year Richard Currie celebrated his 50th year at Brown Ledge! This year he will once more leave his lighting design work in New York City to head the talented professionals of the Brown Ledge Theatre. You will find Richard directing plays, taking on a variety of roles onstage, and lighting each production to perfection. He leads by example, watching over the myriad details that go into the Saturday night productions. Richard was, for many years, the resident lighting designer for New York’s acclaimed comic troupe, The Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Richard has happily incorporated international travel into his winter life in recent years and this year the destination was Cuba.
Though she started at Brown Ledge as a camper and then theatre JC, it was twenty years ago that Franny Shuker-Haines returned to the theatre staff with her young family in tow. How fortunate we are that the Shuker-Haines family has integrated Brown Ledge into their lives. Franny directs our full length theatre productions, the mid-season three-act play, the stock company production, and the end-of-season musical. When not at camp, Franny is the associate director of Buxton School, a small, progressive boarding school in Williamstown, MA. In addition to being an administrator, you will also find Franny writing, editing, directing plays, and teaching classes. This year she added a course in magazine journalism.
Although Timothy Shuker-Haines is the technical director of the Brown Ledge Theatre, he is called on to do so much more. For the past 20 years, he has been in charge of designing and building sets for our productions. In addition, Timothy directs several plays each summer and he is regularly on stage. Timothy received his PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan. When he’s not at camp, Timothy teaches history and social sciences at Buxton School in Williamstown, MA. This year, his course offerings included Chinese history, history of the Middle East and the law in practice.
Catherine Alston is back for her 19th summer at Brown Ledge. Catherine is in charge of costuming and her home is the studio, which is packed to the rafters with the most amazing assortment of garments, shoes, and accessories. Catherine advises directors on costume choices and researches period clothing, in addition to endless hours spent creating, mending, altering and fitting. Campers and JCs come to hang out with Catherine and to assist in dressing the next week’s productions. Catherine studied costume design in New York and she has designed for plays, magazines, and film. Catherine lives in Burlington, Vermont and in the winter she works with Kevin Christopher’s Saints and Poets Production Company, most recently costuming A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail.
Isabelle Fenn returns for a third summer in the theatre. Originally from Burlington, Isabelle completed her third year at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in New York where she is pursuing a BFA in drama. Isabelle was a Brown Ledge camper, theatre JC and Vanguard recipient. In the fall, she trained at Playwrights Horizons Theater School, focusing on directing and designing. This school year also saw her acting in a wide variety of plays, directing Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and helping classmates develop their shows from the ground up. In the spring she focused on commedia dell’arte and clowning. Nest semester she will be learning about film and television work.
Katie Willard is returning for her seventh summer at Brown Ledge, her first on staff. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and has completed her freshman year at Vassar College where she is planning to double major in drama and political science and minor in French. Katie has long been involved in the theater. She attended Denver School of the Arts and, as a BL theater JC, Katie earned her Vanguard and an invitation to the Brown Ledge Stock Company. At college her interests are diverse; she is a member of the Vassar Shakespeare Troupe and the Vassar College Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign.
Lucas Olscamp comes to us through Isabelle Fenn, a fellow NYU student. Lucas is focusing on directing and design at NYU Abu Dhabi and he previously graduated from Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific. He grew up in Prince Edward Island, Canada and theater is a life-long passion. He attended the 2011 Canada Games National Artist Program as an ambassador of theater and poetry, and he also directed puppetry at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Lucas writes that he is excited to share his love of theater, dance, puppetry and poetry with Brown Ledgers this summer.
Kari Stevermer is back! Kari taught dance for two years at Brown Ledge and she is returning after a skipped summer. Kari grew up in Minnesota and she was a theater and dance major at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 2012. Kari has been living in southern California for the past two years, but she temporarily relocated to Washington DC this winter to intern at Dance/USA where she helped plan the organization’s annual conference in Austin, Texas. During her time in college, Kari choreographed musicals and taught hip hop and jazz and competed with the dance team. More recently, Kari developed and led an after school dance enrichment class. Kari writes that, after living in the mid-west and both coasts, Vermont is still her favorite place. During August, Kari will be joined by Annie Zanger who headed the dance department last summer.