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
Rosie graduated from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts at the top of her class, being elected class speaker by her classmates. She continues to let dance lead her life and is a part of many companies and organizations in the Hartford area. She is the female dance team lead at DFX Entertainment, and has a focus in the commercial dance arena. Rosanna also performs on the dance teams supporting the NLL New England Black Wolves and the Connecticut Sun WNBA team. She tours the country with the world's most famous Michael Jackson impersonator, Joby Rogers and the Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience. In addition, she is the lead choreographer and puppeteer for Nightfall, an annual performance in Hartford. As an artist, Rosanna focuses locally. She believes dance is an art form that encompasses all things, it is not just simply moving. She strongly believes in the beauty of collaborating and implicates these ideas into her classes and her own artistic endeavors.
Abigail Winkler is a music educator and a singer/songwriter and plays piano, guitar, ukulele, cello, flute, clarinet, vibraphone, as well as a range of hand percussion. She began studying music at five years old, including classical piano for more than 15 years, and one year at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln (Cologne University of Music). While a student at Yale University, Abigail wrote and directed a production of The Bremen Town Musicians with Yale Children's Theater, facilitating the outreach program to bring theatrical productions to local elementary schools.
Since receiving her Bachelor's Degree at Yale, Abigail has worked as a music instructor at the New Surry Theatre Performing Arts School and as Musical Director for several theatrical productions, including THE SECRET GARDEN, SOUTH PACIFIC, MY FAIR LADY, THREE PENNY OPERA, INTO THE WOODS,JR. ALICE AND WONDERLAND, JR. THE MAGIC SHOW and SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL.
Recently, Abigail served as the Director of Operations at BackBeat City, where she taught music and voice lessons, directed multiple show choirs, and was the Program Director of the summer camp program, Camp BackBeat. As an educator and instructor, Abigail has lead music programs locally at R.J. Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts and Montessori Magnet School Moylan Campus. Abigail currently maintains a private studio in the Hartford area teaching voice, piano, and audition prep; she is also an Artist Instructor in the Musical Theater department at Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School, and continues to work as a vocal performer as well as an accompanist for a range of performers and theatrical productions. Abigail lives in the Hartford area with her family.
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