Faculty Bios

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Director Of Education


Elizabeth Simmons is a Theatre Educator/Teaching Artist with over 10 years of experience developing programming and building curriculum for theatres, schools, and arts organizations. She recently moved to Connecticut from New York City, and is pleased to be joining the team at Playhouse on Park! She currently teaches at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Goodspeed Musicals, as well as with Hartford Performs. In New York City she received her Master's Degree in Educational Theatre from the City College of New York. Prior to relocating, Elizabeth worked as a Teaching Artist for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Queen's Theatre and the Center for Arts Education. She has served on the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable Committee, and this past year joined the planning committee for the NYC Theatre in Our Schools conference, where she planned logistics and led workshops for over 80 arts administrators, teachers, and teaching artists. As an actress, Elizabeth recently appeared as Miep in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK at Playhouse on Park: other favorite credits include: Stephanie Crawford (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD), Mrs.Rogers (AND HEN THERE WERE NONE), Annie (TABLE MANNERS) and Catherine (BOSTON MARRIAGE).


Playhouse On Park Teaching Artists


This is Tori’s 2nd year teaching at Playhouse on Park! She is no newbie to the Playhouse or to teaching. She loves teaching the 5-8 year olds because the kiddos "usually" won't be taller than her.  

You might recognize Tori from seeing her perform on the Playhouse on Park stage or at AC Petersen’s on Monday nights at Mainstage Monday. Her Playhouse on Park Theatre for Young Audience credits include GO, DOG. GO!, GOODNIGHT MOON, MAIN STREET KIDS CLUB, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, BUSYTOWN, FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY, 3 LITTLE PIGS, & PINKALICIOUS! She is also a regular stop/time dance theater performer, as well as Mama Ds!

In 2010, Tori started teaching at Hartford Children's Theatre, then was scooped up by Hartford Stage in 2013. She's taught all sorts of classes throughout the years including Mini Production, Storybook Theatre, and Musical Theatre Cabaret Jr. Tori has also been the Director, Musical Director, Choreographer, and Costumer (in other words...the whole shebang) for 101 DALMATIONS KIDS (2013), THE JUNGLE BOOK (2015), THE ARISTOCATS KIDS (2017) and coming soon Disney’s CINDERELLA (2018). One of her big passions is teaching Summer Theatre Camp at Hartford Stage Summer Studio! She has been the Director of Children's Cast (ages 5-8) since 2011. 

Fun Facts: Tori was born & raised on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; her favorite color is ToriQuoise, & she is obsessed with Red Velvet cupcakes!

TEACHES: Creative Kids (& Plus), Summer Programs


Emily was born and raised in Glastonbury, CT. She has always had a strong passion for the arts and grew up dancing, acting, and seeing as much theater as possible. While in CT she worked with various theaters such as The Hartford Children's Theater, Park Road Playhouse, Performing Arts Programs, The Hartbeat Ensemble & various high school productions. She is a 2014 graduate of Marymount Manhattan College's acting program. While in NYC she had the opportunity to intern with CBS Primetime Casting where she worked beside casting directors & was able to learn the ins & outs of show business. Since graduation she has been an acting teacher for The Warner Theater, Performing Arts Programs, & has been providing private acting lessons as well. She is trilled to join Playhouse on Park and is looking forward to working with everyone!

TEACHES: Young Actors (& Plus), Actor Performance Training Program, Summer Programs

Additional Summer Faculty


Musical Theater Preparatory Dance Instructor / Choreographer

Mallory Cunningham was seen on the Playhouse on Park stage last summer in HAIR and is currently playing Kristine in A CHORUS LINE! She studied and taught for several years at the Glastonbury Dance Center and earned a BFA in Acting from the University of Connecticut. In addition to teaching and performing, Mallory has choreographed numerous productions for regional theaters around the country. Some favorite roles include Eldorado Casino: FOOTLOOSE (Urleen); Cape Fear Regional Theatre: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Tzeitel) and SPAMALOT (Ensemble / Choreographer); Connecticut Rep: CABARET (Kit Kat Girl), INTO THE WOODS (Rapunzel); Woodstock Playhouse: LES MISERABLES (Fantine), WEST SIDE STORY (Consuela), CHICAGO (Annie), and LEGALLY BLONDE (Vivienne); Temple Theatre: CATS (Rumpleteaser / Assistant Choreographer), and THE MUSIC MAN (Zaneeta); and Granbury Opera House: SOUTH PACIFIC (Dinah). 


is the Director of Theatre and Performance Studies at Bay Path University, where he most recently directed MARY POPPINS, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and LITTLE WOMEN. Working extensively as a music director, director, actor and accompanist throughout Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, Kevin has had the distinct privilege of pairing with Playhouse on Park, Goodspeed Opera House, the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Broadway for a New America, Hall High School, Good Company Theatre and Unified Theatre. As a Theatre Arts instructor in the Hartford and West Hartford school districts for several years, Kevin has directed and music directed over 30 productions for the middle, high school and collegiate demographic. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Education from Emerson College and a M.A. in Shakespeare and Education from the University of Birmingham, UK. Kevin is a graduate of Circle in the Square Theatre School's Musical Theatre Program in New York City, and he is in an active member of ATHE and EDTA.


Anna Marie Russell is a California-born performer and choreographer who has been movin’, groovin’, and singing ever since she can remember! She was most recently seen at Playhouse on Park as Thing 2 in The Cat In the Hat, but has also appeared in A Chorus Line and Junie B. Jones. In addition, she can also be found next-door singing at Mainstage Monday! Anna has taught at a variety of studios and theaters including Dance 10 Dance Center, The Hawkins School of Performing Arts, California Musical Theater, American River College, and Playhouse on Park. In the spring of 2018, Anna will graduate from The Hartt School of Music, Theatre, and Dance with a BFA in Music Theatre. In her spare time, Anna can be found reading, eating ice cream, and petting dogs.




moved to West Hartford from Seattle where she was an ensemble member at Unexpected Productions, Seattle's first and most reputable improv theater company. She performed weekly in Seattle Theatresports™ and long-form shows such as HAROLD, SPOKEN, BLANK SLATE, FAKESPEARE, THE MELANIE GAME, CAMPFIRE, A(N) IMPROVISED CHRISTMAS CAROL, BLACK-EYED BLONDE, IMPRESSIONISTIC HORROR, and improvised versions of movie genres. She was also the Assistant Artistic Director and only female member of Sisters of Sal, a long-form improvisational comedy troupe that won Seattle Cage Match and performed with Ryan Stiles. She has studied improv at Unexpected Productions, Magnet Theater, and UCB Theatre. Her instructors have included Randy Dixon, Matt Smith, Jill Farris, Armando Diaz, Christian Capozzoli, Keith Johnstone and Mick Napier. Locally, she has been seen in VANITIES, ISN'T IT ROMANTIC, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE and LEND ME A TENOR as well as other scripted and improv productions in theaters around the state.

TEACHES: Adult Improv classes