Our People

Staff
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April Evans
Executive Director

April, a life-long resident of West Chester, has more than 20 years in the arts industry, is the former COO of the Chosen Dance Company in West Chester, PA where she worked for more than 16 years. April has been with Uptown! since 2017 when she joined the team as the Assistant Director.

She is very proud of the impact Uptown! is making to further performance art and culture in our town and sees an even greater opportunity for a more profound influence in Chester County.

THERESE WALDEN-MURPHY
Education Director

Director of West Chester Studio for the Performing Arts, which she founded in 2009, Therese is a professional actress who has performed in New York City, Los Angeles as well as regional theaters across the country. She holds an MFA in Classical Theatre from the Old Globe Theater Professional Actor Training Program and has been seen and heard in Commercials, Voice-overs, TV, Soap Operas, Industrials, Film, and on Stage. Therese joined the closing cast of the 1997 Broadway Company of Annie as Martin Charnin’s assistant director and continued on with the National Tour. Therese received a Best Actress Dramalogue Award for her work as Grace in Annie and was nominated for a Best Actress Robby Award for her work as Fiona in Brigadoon, both while working in Los Angeles. In addition to performing Therese has taught Musical Theatre, Shakespeare, Acting and Speech for over 30 years at many theaters and performing arts schools across the country. Therese is a proud member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA.

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kennedy bernard
Administrative Assistant

Kennedy Bernard has been involved in the performing arts since the first grade when she first fell in love with the art of performing. She began by taking acting classes and being part of the cast for shows. She then began stage managing at 16 and teaching classes at 20. She has been with the resident theater school, West Chester Studios, since 2012 and has loved every second of it.

Kennedy is thrilled to be part of the team bringing the arts to West Chester and to grow with Uptown!

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Debra Danese
Assistant Director
Program Coordinator

Debra started her professional career in Musical Theatre touring the east coast in Me and My Girl and Annie. In London, she conceived, created and implemented an intensive course in Dance and Musical Theatre utilizing her proximity to the West End. Debra now offers the course in the U.S. and has published a feature article in Dance Studio Life Magazine (October, 2015) based on her curriculum. She also created a program matching American and international dance schools which was nationally sponsored by National Dance Week.
Debra graduated with a certificate in dance from the University of the Arts and also holds a B.A. in Arts Administration. Debra has been featured in Dance, Dancer and Dance Teacher Magazines for her work in dance education. She is certified in all three levels of Progressing Ballet Technique and is accredited at the Master Level with the National Registry of Dance Educators. Debra is a Temple University honorarium proctor for the performance examination of dance education candidates. Debra was a contributing writer for Dance Studio Life Magazine for eight years and is currently a columnist for The Dance Journal and Phindie.

Charlotte Kroft
Administrative Assistant

Charlotte Kroft is one of two Administrative staff at Uptown! In addition to general administrative duties such as box office, house management during performances, and coordinating memberships, Charlotte is on point for scheduling and training the theater’s cadre of volunteers. Prior to joining the staff, Charlotte volunteered at Uptown! and enjoyed a long-term and diverse career at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. She was  a member of Concordia Choral Arts for many years and served as both Secretary and President. At Uptown!, Charlotte enjoys the diverse and fast-paced nature of the theater, especially interacting with patrons and tremendously talented performers!

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maggie o’connor
Assistant Director of Education

Maggie is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist/educator and recent graduate from Rowan University where she received an MST in Theatre Education (2021) and BA in Theatre (2020). While Maggie has been performing since she was a little girl, her passion is in the classroom. She has worked with students from age 4 into adulthood, and has taught theatre and improv at The Garden State Discovery Museum (Cherry Hill, NJ), Cooper Medical School (Camden, NJ), Community Music School (Trappe, PA), Levoy Theatre (Millville, NJ), Southern NJ Performing Arts Academy (Sewell, NJ) and of course, Uptown! 

Maggie uses theatre as a way to help her students become more confident, empathetic, and well-rounded human beings. 

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Josh Zettlemoyer
Technical Director

With a passion for excellence in live production and over 10 years in production management, Josh comes from a rich background in the arts both professionally and personally. As a multi-instrumentalist musician, he directs and produces with unique insight and perspective.
Josh has been in Lighting & Sound America Magazine for his work in bringing the L-Acoustic K2 Audio system to the Historic Loew’s Wonder Theatre, now the United Palace theater on Broadway, New York City, where he has worked on numerous movie and television sets.

Board of Directors
Molly Morrison – President
Eric Lorgus – Vice-President
Christopher Howe – Treasurer
Nicole Scimone – Secretary
Holly Brown – Immediate Past President
Richard May – Uptown! Bravo
Theater Representative
Tom McEvoy, – At Large
A. Roy Smith – At Large
Kane Bender
Lillian DeBaptiste
Blayne Easter
Gary Green
Chris Hanning
Jimmy Jefferis
Michelle Kichline
Beth Knauer
Chris Lang

Bob Lohrmann
Robert Miller
Helen Mountain
Marilyn Parsons
Meredy Patterson

 

 Michael Phelan
Gail
Pippin
Joe Riper
Don Scholl
Robert Sparre
Howard Sundwall
Leslie Telthorster
Timothy Blair
Lynn Erskine
Martha Carson Gentry
Dave Gorney
Cassandra Jones
Mell Josephs
Angeline May
Jeannie McGinn
Richard Merion
Sterling Murray
Nancy Pine
Sue Schick
Paul Tresca
Neil E. Weissman
Tom Wilcox
Paul Woodruff