Ari Kassabian (Saturday Morning Drama Club) is a sophomore Theatre major at URI.  She has studied theatre and education at URI and in New York, studied voice with Erika Van Pelt, and has 5 years experience as a camp councilor. Her experience working with children and theatre has inspired her to combine the two and create something beautiful. Previous credits at the CTC include co-teaching the Saturday Morning Drama Club, core cast/creative team for the weekly Saturday morning children’s shows, acting, sound and light operation, and box office.

Maggie Papa (Saturday Morning Drama Club) has previously co-taught this class, and serves as the Director of the Family Show program at the CTC. Maggie has studied theatre and vocal performance at URI, has 4 years of experience working with the CTC as an actor, improviser, director, lighting technician, stage management crew, and teacher.

Michelle Mania (Creative Drama) taught theatre arts for over 20 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District in their Adult Education Division working with adults with disabilities. She was the Artistic Director of the Tierra Players where she directed and produced over 20 shows, some of which were original works developed by her students. She is a founding member of the Pasadena Shakespeare Company, and has worked all over as an actress. Her favorite role to date is being Mom to her two wonderful children and wife to her husband of more than 15 years.

Stephen Strenio (Young Actor’s Studio) has over 10 years of theater experience, including a degree in theater from Princeton University, a stint as the Managing Director of the Contemporary Theater Company, and work as a Flash Mob producer at He is also an experienced teacher, having taught classes in acting, public speaking, and meditation, as well as his years working as a professional tutor.

Ashley Macamaux (Young Actor’s Studio) has worked with the CTC for 6 years as a volunteer, actress, writer, and director. In the last year, she has taken on more teaching roles within the company. Ashley began working with the CTC as a high schooler and is thrilled now be teaching that age group. Along with Young Actor’s Studio, Ashley is also involved with the Micetro ensemble, the CTC’s improv group that performs every Friday night, and Testing, Testing 1234, the CTC’s yearly collaboration with the SKHS drama club, as a director.

Kate Sayles (Improv 101) took Improv 101 at the CTC on a whim and was instantly hooked. She can honestly say that it’s changed her life for the better in every way.  Kate has been performing with the CTC for three years, and has been co-teaching Improv 101 since spring 2015.  She performs with both the Micetro ensemble and WilburWilburNealbur, and recently spent a week training with the Hideout Theatre in Austin, Texas.  Kate is always finding new and interesting ways to incorporate improv into everyday situations, and encourages you to do the same.

Andy Hoover (Playwriting 101) is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced in New York, Princeton, NJ, and with the Contemporary Theater Company right here in Wakefield. He graduated with honors from Princeton University, where he attained a theater minor and worked on dozens of shows, from all sorts of angles: writer, actor, director, producer, proto-dramaturg, etc. While at Princeton, he studied under a wide range of successful playwrights, including Charles Mee, Robert Sandberg, and Lynn Notage, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Andy is currently the Contemporary Theater Company’s playwright-in-residence, and is working on two new plays to be premiered at the CTC, including Planet Christmas opening this holiday season. He also reads a lot!

Christopher Simpson (Directing 101is in his tenth season as Artistic Director of the Contemporary Theater Company. He has been teaching performance and direction for 6 years, and improv for 4. He studied theater and literature at Princeton University and worked during his undergrad years in professional theaters in New Jersey and Kenya. Chris has received numerous industry awards as an actor, producer, and director, and has performed across the country with his duo Bait & Switch, including a Sept ’15 appearance in the Austin Tx Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival.  He teaches for the Osher Lifelong Learning Intitute at URI, Ivy Labs at Brown, and is a guest instructor at the Middlebridge School and South Kingstown High School.