Education @ Hartford Stage aims to provide students of all ages throughout Connecticut with innovative, quality theatrical opportunities and education programs that challenge and inspire. Our programs use theatre techniques to build community and citizenship, to promote a passion for literacy and create expression, and to encourage life-long learning. Education @ Hartford Stage serves more than 21,000 students and adults each year. Our programs include student matinees, in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes for students (ages 3-18) and adults, afterschool programs and professional development courses. The education department is committed to serving students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds; nurturing the next generation of artists and theatre professionals; developing a new audience of theatre-goers; and being a leader in providing in-school, theatre-based programs that promote creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.
Education at Hartford Stage was voted 2018 Most Loved Acting Studio by Hulafrog!
For more information about how you can support or get involved with our education programs, please contact us at (860) 520-7244 or click here.
Director of Education
Jennifer Roberts is in her seventh year at Hartford Stage, having previously held the position of Education Associate for Literary and In-School Programs. Before coming to Hartford Stage, she worked as the Resident Teaching Artist at George Street Playhouse and served as the Artistic Director of the Papermill Children’s Theatre in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Her work as a director and playwright has been recognized by the Austin Circle of Theatres and the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. Her essay on the future of theatre and education, “Changing the How”, was published in the November 2008 issue of TCG’s American Theatre magazine. She received a Masters degree of Fine Arts in Drama and Theatre for Youth from the University of Texas at Austin.
Associate Director of Education
Nina is responsible for overseeing department curricula for all programs, recruiting and training teaching artists, implementing professional development, and assisting the Director of Education in forming new partnerships and increasing Hartford Stage’s visibility in the community. In her artistic work, Nina has directed the Hartford Stage Young Company in Breakdancing Shakespeare productions of The Tempest, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, and Antony and Cleopatra. Other local directing projects include productions at Central Connecticut State University, Anna Maria College, Classical Magnet High School, Hebrew High School of New England, the Hartford Public Library, and Hartford Stage’s Write On! festival. She has also directed at Chicago’s Bailiwick Rep., the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, the Vital and Access Theatres in New York, and the Studio Space at Portland Stage Company. Assisting credits include working alongside director John Dillon and playwright Ariel Dorfman on the world premiere of Picasso’s Closet and with Josh Fox – director of the Academy Award nominated documentary Gasland – on his debut film Memorial Day. Nina received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence and her BA from Bowdoin College. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, and an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Nina also teaches evening courses at Capital Community College and Anna Maria College in Paxton MA where she is advisor to the Drama and Improv clubs.
Education Programs Manager
Robert holds a BA in Drama from Ithaca College and has had extensive teaching experience in New York and Massachusetts. Before joining the Hartford Stage Education Department, Robert was a Teacher Assistant in Special Education program at Geneva Middle School in New York State. For over 25 years, he has served in the capacity of instructor and choreographer for numerous award-winning high school marching bands and color guard programs. Since 1992, a member of the Massachusetts Judges Association and the New York Federation of Contest Judges, Robert has been a national adjudicator representing Winter Guard International for a variety of programs that incorporate creativity, instruction and educational values. At Hartford Stage, Robert administers all aspects of the education department, working closely with schools and teachers to facilitate outreach and in-theatre programming. He is co-founder and currently Executive Director for the Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus. He is the recipient of the 2012 Barry Award for outstanding service and dedication to Hartford Stage.
Emely has taught in the Connecticut area for many years – teaching such classes as Comedy Improv, Accents and Dialects, Audition Workshops as well as providing acting coaching to students of all ages and levels. Some of her students have gone onto study at Stamford University, Eastern CT State University and one student has appeared in the film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Emely has also directed several productions including The Hobbit, Bang Bang You’re Dead, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Under Jekyll’s Hyde, Sally Cotter and the Prisoner of Ala Katraz and How I Became a Pirate. As a performer, Emely has appeared in many productions with area theatres such as Hartford Stage, Hartford Children’s Theatre, The Spirit of Broadway, Capital Classics Shakespeare Festival and Newington Mainstage. Emely is a highly trained professional, having earned her BFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and also works as lead singer for her band “Hardwood.”
Krista DeVellis is a performing and teaching artist with a talent for making objects come to life. She is a graduate of Skidmore College with a bachelor of science in Theater. As an educational outreach intern for the Puppet Showplace Theatre in Brookline, MA she assisted in teaching puppetry workshops and communicated with local schools for educational opportunities. While at the Accademia Dell’Arte in Arezzo Italy, she studied various physical aspects of theatre, including mask, acrobatics, and puppetry. Krista has also worked as an Assistant in the Costume Shop for Skidmore’s Theatre Department. Her costuming work includes assistant designing for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Back County Crimes. She has appeared onstage at Skidmore in their productions of Back County Crimes, The Highwayman, and Ludlow. In her free time, she enjoys playing banjo, reading plays, and drawing.
Natalie Pertz holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre and communication arts from Gannon University. There, she graduated Summa Cum Laude and as outreach coordinator for Gannon’s Alpha Psi Omega, organized a theatrical after-school program at The Erie MLK Center. In addition to her undergraduate study, Natalie has trained at The Eugene O’Neill National Theater Institute, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC (TO NYC), and The Globe Education Center in London, England. Under TO NYC, Natalie received her level-one joker certification. In March 2014, Natalie led a day of elementary theatre workshops at Nueva Vida, a girl’s school, in Merida, Mexico. Favorite acting credits include The Sound of Music (Maria), Spring Awakening (Ilse), The Children’s Hour (Karen), and Tintypes (Emma Goldman). Following graduation, Natalie spent the 2014-2015 season working as an Education Apprentice at Hartford Stage. As a teaching artist, Natalie has taught pre-school through high school students in multiple states and schools districts such as The Syracuse City School District, The Erie School District, and Hartford Public Schools. Prior to returning to Hartford Stage, Natalie was a teaching fellow at Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse, NY. During her tenure there, Natalie taught and supervised the implementation of STEAM curriculum as a full-time enrichment teacher to students from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade.
Resident Teaching Artist
Carly graduated from California State University, Fresno with B.A.s in Theatre Arts and French, where she also obtained a Single Subject Teaching Credential for drama, English, and French. Here in the U.S., Carly has performed, directed youth productions, and taught theatre and languages to students from preschoolers to adults. In addition to this, she has spent several years teaching English as a foreign language abroad. She worked for a year at a vocational high school in Alès, France and for five summers as a counselor at English immersion summer camps throughout France. Carly also taught English in Spain for four years, where she started a bilingual after-school drama program with her high school students. She was an Education Apprentice with Hartford Stage during the 2018-2019 season and has a special interest in how language learning and theatre education can be integrated to enhance student growth in both areas of study.
Education Enrollment and Marketing Coordinator
Grace Clark is a journalist, mass communications and public relations professional, social advocate and performing artist. She has worked for various broadcast and print media companies in roles, including television news producer, reporter, assignment editor, TV and radio talk show host and freelance writer. In addition, Grace has served as a communications director and writer for a host of non-profit and education organizations in Connecticut. Grace formerly attended Emerson College in Boston, Mass, and later earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Journalism at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn. An actress, enamored with the theatre since childhood, Grace attended a Hartford Stage summer studio program as a youth, and attended the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts high school for theatre. She has performed in various theatre and dance productions in the Connecticut area. She is also an autism advocate and public speaker who works to promote social and arts activities for youth on the spectrum and in diverse communities. As Education Enrollment and Marketing Coordinator at Hartford Stage, Grace manages studio registrations and student matinees for its mainstage productions, and particularly enjoys marketing and promoting programs to families. Prior to working at Hartford Stage, Grace was a freelance writer for the Hartford Courant, and a substitute school teacher for Hartford Public Schools and surrounding towns.
Follow Education @ Hartford Stage!
Take classes all year long to develop, improve, and show off your performance skills. All levels of experience welcome!