Faculty

Making the arts available to the community

The Fine Arts Association’s faculty is one of the most highly qualified collection of instructors in northeast Ohio. Nearly all of our instructors are degreed in their particular craft, and have pursued specialized study in related areas. In addition to unquestionable educational background, many continue to perform in their art, thus bringing a new dimension of vitality and professionalism to the classroom.

Students of all ages continue to take classes in our expansive facility. From preschoolers through senior citizens, thousands of students have experienced the satisfaction of learning a new craft, or the excitement of performing Chopin on the piano.

Art Therapy

Olivia Doty, MA, LPC

Art Therapy

Olivia is an Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults across medical/hospital settings, outpatient mental health, and community arts programs for those with disabilities. She…

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Autumn Sierra-Holloway, MA

Art Therapy

Autumn Sierra-Holloway is an artist and art therapist based in Cleveland, Ohio. She has a BA in psychology from Wright State and a master’s degree in Counseling and Art Therapy from Ursuline…

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Maribeth Smelko, MA,ATR

Art Therapy

Maribeth is a Registered Art Therapist. She has worked in various school settings, as well as parent/child groups for a community organization. Her favorite medium is clay, and she loves seeing what…

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Sara Wasserman MA, ATR, LPC

Art Therapy

Sara Wasserman has a wide range of skills as a Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. She has worked with all types of clients including children, adolescents, adults and families. She…

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Visual Arts

Mia Kosem

Visual Arts

Mia Kosem is a Cleveland Institute of Art graduate with a BFA in Biomedical Art. Mia is part of the Visual Art Faculty Team at FAA, specializing in advanced drawing skills. Mia co-instructed CIA’s Life…

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Julie Krofcheck

Visual Arts

Julie Krofcheck earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ohio State University, where she majored in printmaking. She has exhibited prints, drawings, and mixed media works in the Ohio State Fair…

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Kathy Mercer

Visual Arts

Euclid High School graduate with a concentration in Graphic Arts. Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education and Associate of Applied Business in Graphic Arts degrees from Lakeland Community College. Former…

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Sandy Patterson

Visual Arts

M.A. & B.A. University of Louisville. Attended the Art Institute of Chicago on scholarship for 6 years. Taught at St. Xavier College , Chicago; Beverly Hills Fine Arts Association, Chicago; Rhode Island…

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Melissa Sextella

Director of Visual Arts Education

Melissa is a certified visual art teacher licensed to teach Pre-K through 12th grade. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Kent State University in…

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Dianne Stiver-Lang

Visual Arts

Dianne Stiver- Lang earned her B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from Cleveland Institute of Art with a major in Ceramics, and a minor in Photography. She also earned an OSTNA (Ohio State…

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Caitlin Van Niel

Textiles

Caitlin Van Niel is a Costume Designer with more than 20 years professional experience, as well as having performed in many area theatres on stage as well. Now as a mom to…

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Brittany Weisbarth

Visual Arts

Brittany Hoose Weisbarth earned her Associate of Arts degree from Lakeland Community College where she learned most of her ceramic craft. Brittany continued her education at Cleveland State University and completed her…

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Dance

Lindsay T. DePenti

Jazz and Tap

Lindsay T. DePetni (Choreographer) has been dancing since she was three years old with experience in ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop, and tap. In addition to her work at FAA, Lindsay has…

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Nicole Dolansky MT-BC

Dance

Nicole Dolansky has been dancing since she was three years old, and competed throughout high school. In addition to the FAA, Nicole is a student and an instructor at The Studio in…

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Lisa-Marie French

Pre-Ballet/Tap

Lisa-Marie French began her professional career as a ballerina with McGill Danse of Montreal, Que. Upon return to the United States, she was Artistic Director of Ballet at a private studio in…

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Beatrice Hammett-Parker

African Dance, Interpretive Dance, Pre Ballet/Tap

Mrs. Parker’s training includes a multitude of dance forms including jazz, modern, African, and other cultures around the world. She is also involved with The Fine Arts Association’s Sarah Weeden Richardson Minority…

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Jade Holloway

Hip Hop

Jade fell in love with dance at the age of three, where she began dancing at Starmaker Performing Arts Center. She joined the All-Star performance team where she competed and performed in…

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Rose Lesak

Contemporary, Jazz

Rose Lesak (Choreographer) has been dancing for almost 15 years. She has trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, contemporary, Hip Hop, Musical Theater, and Modern dance. She has competed with a professional hip…

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Janice Smith

Ballet

As one of our Fine Arts dance instructors for many years, Janice Smith holds an advanced performance and teaching degree from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, London England, including a…

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Trinity Tyler

Hip hop

Trinity has been dancing for five-plus years. Currently, Trinity trains with ELEVĀTED, a professional Hip-Hop dance company based in Independence, Ohio. He Specializes in Hip-Hop and Improv but loves all styles of…

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Howard Washington

Creative Director of Dance

Howard is a graduate from Lake Erie College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specializing in choreography and minoring in Entrepreneurial Studies. Within his 12 years of being in the Cleveland…

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Brass

Dr. Bryan DePoy

Trumpet, French Horn

Dr. Bryan DePoy, our instructor of trumpet and french horn, is also currently the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lake Erie College before which he was the dean of the…

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Dr. Matthew C. Saunders

Trombone

Dr. Saunders has taught music from kindergarten to college in styles from madrigal to mariachi. Dr. Saunders is Professor of Music and music department chair at Lakeland Community College, where he also directs…

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Andrew Tatman

Euphonium

Currently performing and teaching throughout Northeast Ohio, Andrew Tatman completed his Master of Music in Music Theory from Ohio University in Athens, OH, where he also completed his Bachelor of Music in…

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Joshua Woodie

Trumpet

Josh has been a music teacher in the Willoughby-Eastlake School district since 2002. During that time, he has taught 5th-8th grade band, middle and high school jazz band, marching band and 3rd-8th…

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Music Therapy

Jodi B. Dobos, MT-BC

Music Therapy

Jodi B. Dobos, MT-BC Bio Jodi grew up in a family of musicians, By school age, Jodi was taking piano and started in the school strings program in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The program…

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Nicole Dolansky MT-BC

Music Therapy

Nicole Dolansky is a recent graduate of Cleveland State University’s music therapy undergraduate program. She completed her eight month internship at STEPS Academy in Parma, Ohio, a school for kids with disabilities…

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Beth Friedman-Romell PhD, MT-BC

Music Therapy and Adapted Theatre

Beth became a Board Certified Music Therapist in 2019, upon completing her studies at Cleveland State University and an internship at MetroHealth Medical Center, where she focused on neurological rehabilitation after stroke,…

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Ellen Mann, MT-BC

Music Therapy

Ellen has her Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy from Marywood University. She has been a Board Certified Music Therapist since 2004. Ellen has experience working within the medical setting/hospital; schools; with…

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Grace Markulin MA, MT-BC

Music Therapy

Grace became a board-certified music therapist in July 2017, after completing a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy at Cleveland State University and a music therapy internship at New Avenues to Independence…

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Emily McDonald MT-BC

Music Therapy

Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Theory and Composition from The University of Akron and post-baccalaureate certification in Music Therapy from Cleveland State University. She became board-certified in October 2016 after completing…

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Alex Mullenax MT-BC

Music Therapy

Alex Mullenax (she/her) graduated with her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Cleveland State University in May 2023 after completing a 6 month internship with the Groovy Garfoose, a private practice based…

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Danielle E. Musat MT-BC, NMT

Music Therapy

B.M in Music Therapy, minor in Psychology, Baldwin-Wallace College in 2000. She spent the first 3 years of her career working as a Music Therapist in a residential treatment facility for children and…

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Elizabeth (Beth) Price, MT-BC

Music Therapy

Elizabeth (Beth) Price has been a board-certified music therapist since 2018. She completed a B.S. in Harp Performance from Roberts Wesleyan College in 2013 and went on to complete her M.S. in…

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Ann Marie Raddell MT-BC, NICU MT

Music Therapy

B.M., Music Therapy, University of Dayton. Board Certified Music Therapist, since 2006. Specialized certification in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Music Therapy. Ann Marie joined the Fine Arts Association team as a music…

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Jillian Truchan MT-BC

Music Therapy

Jillian Truchan graduated with her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Georgia College & State University in May 2023 and completed her internship at A Place To Be, a nonprofit music therapy…

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Percussion

Evan Mitchell

Percussion

Evan makes his living as a freelance percussionist, playing all styles of music. Evan received his formal musical training at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), where he studied primarily with legendary…

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Piano

Bella Brandelis

Piano, Violin, Suzuki

M.A. Cleveland State University , B. A. Moscow Conservatory. Member of Suburban Symphony Orchestra (violin). Suzuki teacher training in violin and piano. Member of National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Ohio…

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Jonathan Fuller

Voice, Piano, Suzuki

Jonathan Fuller is a pianist, singer, songwriter, and educator currently based in Cleveland Heights. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Vassar College, Jonathan has worn many hats in many…

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Cliff Habian

Piano

The late jazz critic, Leonard Feather of the Los Angeles Times, said that “Cleveland has an engaging eclectic in Habian, everything switches around from cut to cut: the size of the band,…

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Sanni Kearns

Piano, Organ

Sanni Tenkku Kearns is delighted to be part of the Fine Arts tradition, providing a nurturing environment to enhance each individual’s development. As a dedicated piano and organ instructor with over 40…

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Barbara Klonowski

Piano

Graduate Studies, Cleveland Institute of Music; Peabody Conservatory of Music. Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance; four year talent scholarship. Chamber music, Bowdoin College. CIM Preparatory School. Piano studies with David Bean,…

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Feroza LaBonne

Suzuki and Traditional Piano

Piano Teaching Diplomas from both the Royal Schools of Music and the Trinity College of Music, London, UK. Her Masters Degree in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University-Cleveland Institute of Music…

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Darryl Lewis

Piano, Voice

Darryl Lewis is a singer, composer, playwright, actor, and educator. Mr. Lewis is a resident of Euclid, OH. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from The D’Angelo School of Music…

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Maryann Messina

Piano

Bachelor of Music Education, Cleveland State University (duel major in performance and education).  Studied piano with Andrius Kuprevicius and James Savage (Fine Arts founder).  Graduate classes in Piano Pedagogy taken for private…

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Dr. Timothy Minnis

Piano

D.M.A., Ohio State University, M.M., Manhattan School of Music. Has taught at Kenyon College, Ohio State, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the Metropolitan Music School of New York City, where he was…

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Marge Syroney

Suzuki and Traditional Piano

Marge has her B.M. degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music; and both her B.S. in Education and M.M. degrees in Music Ed.are from the University of Akron. She did her private…

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Strings

Bella Brandelis

Piano, Violin, Suzuki

M.A. Cleveland State University , B. A. Moscow Conservatory. Member of Suburban Symphony Orchestra (violin). Suzuki teacher training in violin and piano. Member of National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Ohio…

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Denny Carleton

Guitar, Ukulele, Song Writing, Bass

From beginners to more advanced students, Denny specializes in the creative aspect of playing, while teaching students the notes and theory behind the instrument. In addition to teaching, Denny plays locally as…

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Natalia DePoy

Violin

Natalia DePoy, a violin instructor at FAA, has performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (New Orleans), Acadiana Symphony, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, in addition to working as a freelance performer in and…

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Jonathan (Skip) Edwards

Guitar, Bass, Piano, Cello

Johnathan (Skip) attended CIM and the Berkeley College of Music. In addition to cello, Skip teaches piano and guitar as well as the upright & electric bass. In addition to teaching at…

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George Gecik

Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Bass

Master of Music coursework, Youngstown State University; BA in Music, Kent State University; Classic Guitar Studies with Aaron Shearer, Carlos Barbosa-Lima and Sophocles Pappas. Narciso Yepes Master Classes in Paris, France 1975.…

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Lauren Godfrey

Suzuki and Traditional Violin

Lauren Godfrey is a product of the Fine Arts Association. She studied at the Fine Arts with Maurice Wolfson of the Cleveland Orchestra while she was a student at Mentor High School.…

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Dr. Carol Linsenmeier

Suzuki and Traditional Violin, Fiddle, Viola

Dr. Carol Linsenmeier received her Ph.D. in Special Education Research from Kent State University; A Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia; A Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from…

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Eliza Poxon

Cello

• Pre-College diploma from The Juilliard School • Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music • Professional Studies diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music • Suzuki Pedagogy Certification in…

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Suzuki

Bella Brandelis

Piano, Violin, Suzuki

M.A. Cleveland State University , B. A. Moscow Conservatory. Member of Suburban Symphony Orchestra (violin). Suzuki teacher training in violin and piano. Member of National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Ohio…

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Lauren Godfrey

Suzuki and Traditional Violin

Lauren Godfrey is a product of the Fine Arts Association. She studied at the Fine Arts with Maurice Wolfson of the Cleveland Orchestra while she was a student at Mentor High School.…

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Sanni Kearns

Piano, Organ

Sanni Tenkku Kearns is delighted to be part of the Fine Arts tradition, providing a nurturing environment to enhance each individual’s development. As a dedicated piano and organ instructor with over 40…

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Feroza LaBonne

Suzuki and Traditional Piano

Piano Teaching Diplomas from both the Royal Schools of Music and the Trinity College of Music, London, UK. Her Masters Degree in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University-Cleveland Institute of Music…

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Dr. Carol Linsenmeier

Suzuki and Traditional Violin, Fiddle, Viola

Dr. Carol Linsenmeier received her Ph.D. in Special Education Research from Kent State University; A Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia; A Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from…

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Marge Syroney

Suzuki and Traditional Piano

Marge has her B.M. degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music; and both her B.S. in Education and M.M. degrees in Music Ed.are from the University of Akron. She did her private…

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Voice

Jonathan Fuller

Voice, Piano, Suzuki

Jonathan Fuller is a pianist, singer, songwriter, and educator currently based in Cleveland Heights. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Vassar College, Jonathan has worn many hats in many…

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Bob Godfrey

Voice

Bob Godfrey has been a music educator for over 40 years. During that span, he has found time to continue performing and has appeared in operas and musicals in North Eastern Ohio,…

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Darryl Lewis

Piano, Voice

Darryl Lewis is a singer, composer, playwright, actor, and educator. Mr. Lewis is a resident of Euclid, OH. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from The D’Angelo School of Music…

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Val Sibila

Voice

Val Sibila (xe/xem/xyrs) is a lyric coloratura soprano who studied with Dr. Mary Schiller at the Cleveland Institute of Music; xe achieved a Master of Music degree in January 2023. Xyr stage…

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Phyllis Speirs

Voice

Phyllis Speirs majored in Vocal Performance at Kent State University and continued her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Cleveland State University. She is a featured soloist of opera, oratorios,…

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Woodwinds

Charles Baker

Clarinet

Charles Baker teaches beginning through the most advanced students of all ages. He obtained his Masters degree in Music from Case Western Reserve University. His Bachelors degree in Music is from the…

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Opal Curry

Oboe and English horn

Opal Curry received her Master of Music Degree in Performance from West Virginia University, studying with Cynthia Anderson, and her undergraduate degrees in Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of…

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Judith Elias

Flute and piccolo

Judith Elias received her B.M.E. from Youngstown State University and her Graduate study from Kent State University. She studied extensively with Maurice Sharp and Raymond DeMattia. In addition to being a member…

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Ed Michaels

Saxophone

Over the years, Ed Michaels has established himself as a strong voice in the field of music education and saxophone performance.  He is well known for his leadership in directing the annual…

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Theatre

Theatre

Doriann D'Apice

Theatre

Doriann is an ELL (English Language Learners) teacher in Mentor Schools, working with kids from 14 different countries in grades kindergarten through fifth. She also teaches Intro to Humanities for adults up…

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Dawn Hill

Theatre

Dawn Hill has her B.S. degree from Miami University in K-Primary/Elementary Education with a concentration in Dramatic Expression. Her Master’s degree is in Elementary Administration from Cleveland State University.  Dawn has been…

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Sandy Kosovich Peck

Theatre

Local actress appearing in many area theatre productions. Also directs youth theatre productions as well as instructs youth drama class. FAA Theatre Arts Camp Director, FAA Young Actors Ensemble Director, FAA Chili…

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David Malinowski

Theatre

B.A. Theatre, with minors in English and Philosophy, Ashland University. Active in Theatre as Actor, Teacher, Director and Stage Manager. Previous experience includes Theatre Teacher and Assistant Director at Stagecrafters Summer Theatre…

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Mary Messmore

Theatre

Mary began her journey with Fine Arts at age 8yrs old when she was cast in her first play. For over 30yrs she has participated in several productions on stage as well…

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