Faculty and Staff
ISSA COULIBALY A master djembe drummer, originally from Mali, West Africa, Issa began studying the djembe and djun djun when he was 11 years old. Issa earned a reputation as a vocalist and mesmerizing performer while touring Africa and Europe before coming to the United States. He continues to travel from Maine to Puerto Rico facilitating retreats and performing as the lead drummer and musical director for a variety of African dance troupes, including Crocodile River Music’s troupe, Didakan. Issa’s performances, workshops, residencies, and drum circles are educational and fun for musicians of any age and range of experience.
SHARON HART Sharon has been involved in Theatre for most of her life. She is an actor, playwright, educator, and director. She has trained and performed in Los Angeles, Seattle, Northampton and Boston. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Masters of Art in Theatre Education from Emerson College. She has taught at Wheelock Family Theatre, Brookline Adult & Community education as well as with various companies on the West and East Coast. She is very interested in using Theatre to promote social justice and to empower kids to be their unique selves.
JACQUELINE HEAD Jacqueline received her B.F.A. degree from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts and holds a Masters degree in Education from Lesley University. She began her dance training at the age of 3 at Charlotte Klein Dance Centers, where she later became a member of the Dance Company and an assistant dance teacher. Ms. Head has performed in the Boston Ballet and Dance Prism productions of the Nutcracker and in 1992 was a featured dancer in Paramount Picture's School Ties. While attending N.Y.U., Ms. Head was a member of the Second Avenue Dance Company where she performed in several pieces including the World Premiere of Nonsense with Some Noise by acclaimed choreographer and dancer Ann Reinking. Other accomplishments include performing for EJM Entertainment and with the New Jersey Red Dogs Dance Team and a member of the Washington Square Repertory Company in New York City. In 2000, Ms. Head received the Outstanding Choreography Award at the Showbiz Competition for her piece "Happy Phantom.” Ms. Head has taught and choreographed locally since 1997 and enjoys teaching many different levels and genres of dance. Ms. Head was an adjunct professor for Nichols College teaching dance for many years.
KIM HEYMANN Kim Heymann is a trained theatre technician and stage manager from the Boston theatre scene. She has worked on numerous productions and concerts with Stoneham Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and Reagle Theatre as a stage manager and lighting technician. She has worked with theatre educational programs at Stoneham Theatre and Groton School as a production manager, stage management mentor, and has taught workshops in lighting, makeup, and design. Kim received her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Technical Theatre from Fitchburg State University, and a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Emerson College. She was a two-time semi-finalist in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival for stage management. She currently works at North High School in Worcester teaching mathematics.
ELISABETH HUGHES Elisabeth Anne Hughes has performed and choregraphed in local theatre productions for the past 30 years. Stage roles include: Polly in Crazy for You, Ginger in 1940s Radio Hour, America in Radio Gals, Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors, Aphra in Children of Eden, Chava in Fiddler on the Roof, and others. Film / Commercial credits include: Central Intelligence, Good Will Hunting, The Proposition, The Patient’s Repertoire, Reality Behind Closed Doors, and commercial work for Baker Cadillac, The Discovery Channel and Better Business Bureau. Elisabeth has instructed / directed / choreographed for Foothills Theatre, Performing Arts School of Worcester, Worcester Children’s Theatre, Theatre at the Mount in Gardner, and many other local theatre groups. She owned Performing Arts Theatre in Sterling for over 18 years, offering instruction in Dance, Theatre, Voice, and Music, and holds a BS in Theatre from Fitchburg State University. Elisabeth teaches at Mountview Middle School in Holden, and is certified to teach Middle School Language Arts, Elementary School (all subjects), and Theatre for Grades K-12.
LINNEA LYERLY Linnea Lyerly holds a B.A. in Vocal Performance/Arts Administration from University of Maryland, College Park. Since moving to New England in 1998, Ms. Lyerly has worked in the Shrewsbury Public Schools as an Extended School Care teacher and Classroom Aide. She has been a Music Together parent at Pakachoag since 2004 and was so excited about the program and its benefits, that in 2005 she completed the Music Together teacher training. As the younger of her two children reached elementary school age, Ms. Lyerly was happy to be able to continue her involvement with Music Together by joining Pakachoag’s roster of Music Together teachers starting in the Fall of 2010.
ALECIA THOMAS Alecia is a director, actor, singer, dancer, and teacher who grew up in Grafton, MA. Alecia studied dance at the Performing Arts School of Worcester, and was a member of the Worcester Youth Ballet and The Worcester Childrens Theater's Teen Repertory group before attending New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Alecia earned her a BFA in Drama from Tisch, where she studied musical theater at Collaborative Arts Project 21 and directing at the Playwrights Horizons Theater School. After graduating, Alecia was a director and performer in New York City before moving back to Massachusetts to start her family. She has recently re-immersed herself in the performing arts after taking some time off to have 3 wonderful children. She is very involved in local community theater as both a director and performer, and is the current Vice President/Artistic Director of the Washington Street Players in Holliston, MA. She is a MA certified Drama teacher who has worked in the public schools, and currently resides in Holliston with her husband and three young daughters.
DENNIS TRAINOR Dennis Trainor, Jr. is an actor, writer, director, and documentary film producer. Greater Boston Theatre acting credits include roles at Speakeasy Stage, Gloucester Stage, New Repertory, Company One, Lyric Stage, Foothills Theatre, and The Publick. He served as the Founding Artistic Director of the New York-based Rude Mechanicals Theatre Company, where he produced or ten productions including Largo Desolato, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Endgame. Playwrighting credits include the plays I Coulda Been a Kennedy (NYC Fringe Fest) and Plug (Rude Mechanicals), and an independently produced T.V. pilot: Consenting Adults. For TV, he served as producer, writer, and the host of Acronym TV (Free Speech TV Network) for three seasons and he has produced, directed and written three documentary films: Manifest Destiny’s Child, American Autumn: an Occudoc, and Legalize Democracy. Op-eds and other writing have been published by Salon.com, Huffington Post, Truth Dig, among others. Member AEA.
ED WIERZBICKI Since his first performance in a fourth grade play about the power of reading for National Book Week, Ed Wierzbicki has been hooked on acting and theatre. A seasoned arts educator, theatre director, and television producer, this two-time Emmy Award winner is deeply interested in how creativity and culture enrich our lives—especially those of young people. He currently teaches and directs in the Theatre Department at Central Connecticut State University and The Center for New Media at Middlesex Community College. Ed has also taught at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, the Walnut Hill School for the Arts (Natick), and at Naugatuck Valley College (Waterbury, CT) where he received the President’s Merit Award-winner as Distinguished Teacher. As both a director and actor, Ed’s professional work has been seen on stages at the New York International Fringe Festival, Seven Angels Theatre, Hartford Stage, San Jose Rep, California Young People’s Theatre, Illustrated Stage, and Theatre Center Philadelphia. The former Artistic Director of the New Zenith Theatre, Ed led this Connecticut theatre for young audiences for ten seasons; bringing innovative stagings to both new works and children’s classics, including several New England premieres. Ed also writes and produces for Connecticut Public Broadcasting, and his arts segments have appeared nationally on various PBS stations. Ed received his training in acting, theatre, filmmaking, and arts education at Boston University and Marquette University (MS, BFA).