Faculty Bios

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Playhouse Theatre Academy Teaching Artists - Summer


Sadie is a first year graduate student in the Puppet Arts Program with the UConn Department of Dramatic Arts. Her artist's philosophy is as follows: "Often, I am guided by the mantra: people over product. To support this, I work to create a space that allows people to be human before artisans- fostering safety to allow art to shine alongside the person creating it."



Marie R. Altenor is a Bloomfield, CT native who after years in the legal field, has now found her passion in the world of theater and introducing young children to that world. Marie is also a teaching artist with The Hartford Stage and has performed on stage, television and film. Recent credits include Hole in the Wall Theater’s BARBEQUE (Barbara), Sweet2theSoul Productions AMINA (Amina), Head Trick Theatre’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Titania), Wildflower Women’s Ensemble/Apocalyptic Shakespeare’s MACBETH (Lady Macbeth), and Dionysus Theatre Company’s DETROIT '67 (Bunny). Marie has studied with The Complete Actor’s Studio in Avon, CT and The Hartford Stage in Hartford, CT. With a focus on Broadcast Journalism and Creative Writing, Marie graduated with a B.A. in Communications from Fordham University (Lincoln Center Campus) and also holds certification from University of Hartford, in paralegal studies.


Julie is so excited to be joining the Teaching Artist Staff at Playhouse Theatre Academy! She will be graduating this spring from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Theatre Studies and Communication. She has been acting, dancing and singing for many years and loves working with kids, especially within theatre. She has a passion for Performance and Choreography and enjoys teaching others from her experiences. She has worked on various productions at Connecticut Repertory Theatre as well as just recently choreographed her first Middle School production at Gideon Welles School in Glastonbury, CT. As the former President and current Choreographer of Notes Over Storrs, a co-ed A cappella group at UConn she is a part of, Julie has choreographed two professional performance ICCA sets over her time in the group. She has also worked several summers at the Glastonbury Music and Arts Camp as a Dance and Theatre instructor to children and loves to inspire them to continue to love and pursue the arts!


Lauren is a seasoned teaching artist with educational and artistic credits in theater and music. She has over twelve years of teaching artist experience, focusing on “Creating a Play” with children and youth ages 5 through 12 years old. She has been an acting coach and teaching artist with EXCL of Farmington, Performing Arts Programs, and Hartford Children’sTheatre (2010). She also has led artistic programming in her current position at High Road School, focusing on elements of modern art. She has participated in the 24 HR Play Festival at the Hole in The Wall Theatre, and had her short play “Honey and Candy” produced and performed at The Gallery Playhouse of New York. She performed in Revolution Improv’s “A Team” in New York, NY while receiving her MA in Educational Theatre from NYU Steinhardt. She has written, directed, and co-produced original plays with her theater troupe Zenbaby Theatre Co. (2007-2009). She has her BFA in Musical Theatre from Hartt School, University of Hartford and enjoys bringing her creativity to projects in the Hartford area. Most notably, she received The Master Teacher Award as Creative Performing Arts Instructor for ESF Dream Camp of Trinity College in Hartford, CT (2023).


Abigail Donaghy is excited to be teaching this spring! She grew up performing in Connecticut local theaters and has had television roles on shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, FBI: Most Wanted, and Bupkis. She most recently appeared in upcoming feature films; The Book of Jobs and Ashes of a Dream.



Marc Sokolson is a music director, arranger, conductor, producer, and keyboardist based out of Hartford County, CT. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Marc is equally adept in the instrumental and vocal worlds. While his specialty is music directing and arranging for musical theater and a cappella, he frequently works with solo vocalists, bands and other instrumental ensembles. Though he spends the majority of his time behind the scenes, Marc has also performed on stage with groups as a lead vocalist, ensemble singer and vocal percussionist.


Heidi Jean Weinrich has been working in theatre for decades as an actor at Playhouse on Park and many other theatres in CT, Seattle, and New York. She also has directing experience and has taught Language Arts on the secondary and college levels. As a Teaching Artist she has worked with New Britain Youth Theatre, Hartford Performs, and other organizations, and this past summer she was the Drama Instructor at Auerfarm Summer Camp in Bloomfield.


Jill Zarcone hails from Tolland, CT and besides being a teaching artist, she is also the Director of Education for Playhouse Theatre Academy! She brings almost 18 years of experience in performance, scene studies, auditioning techniques, Shakespeare, comedy, puppetry, playwriting and directing to Playhouse and loves working with students of all ages. She is a BFA Performance graduate of Eastern CT State University and has MFA accreditation from the University of North Carolina with a focus on Theatre for Youth. She has worked with previous theatres such as Sargent Theatre (NYC) Hartford Children's, Flock Theatre, Newington Children's, Little Theatre of Manchester, Windham Theatre Guild and the Greensboro City Arts Drama Center and also had the amazing experience of interning with puppeteers from Jim Henson's Co for two summers! She recently directed the world premiere of DANDELION for Playhouse on Park’s Theatre for Young Audiences! When time permits she loves to read, bake, write, and go on adventures with her husband, son and her dog, fittingly named Adventure.