The Acting Out! Theater Company, Inc. has been bringing theater to the Merrimack Valley for the past 15 years.  As a non-profit organization, our mission is to provide opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to become involved in theatrical stage productions (as performer, crew, publicity, administrative assistance, or as a member of the audience) in a fun and supportive environment.


If you or your family and friends have participated in an ACTING OUT production, you know firsthand how positive an ACTING OUT experience can be!


Acting Out's goal is to expand the Merrimack Valley's cultural scene while rewarding local talent, young and old, with the opportunity to be part of the theater experience.


We thank you for your support as we continue to grow and expand.  We hope you share our belief that theater not only entertains, but encourages creativity and personal growth and makes our lives richer.


Remember... ACTING OUT is what it's all about!

Linda Schoonmaker (President) majored in Liberal Arts at the Bradford College and University of Wisconsin. She has performed, directed and designed for the past 30 years in venues in Chicago, Denver and the Boston areas and has expansive knowledge of costume and set design. Linda’s background also includes extensive improvisation training and has performed alongside Chicago’s Second City Alumni.  Along with her position at Acting Out! she is also currently the Drama Director at the North Andover high school.

Dave Cook (Vice-President) majored in Russian Studies (and performing at coffee houses :-) at Connecticut College and worked as a street juggler in California.  He has been with Acting Out for the past 7 years and has performed in many roles including Willy Wonka, Captain Hook, The King (The King and I), Dr. Frankenfurter in Rocky Horror, and many others.  He has also directed seven plays including Leading Ladies, Boeing Boeing, Plaza Suite and Steel Magnolias, for which he was nominated for an EMACT award for Set Design.  

Hanna (Instructor and Executive's Assistant) has called Acting Out! home for most of her life. She participated in her first show at Acting Out! when she was a middle schooler which developed her love of theater. While she does have plenty of on stage experience, Hanna has also had plenty of experience in stage managing, tech, and set and costume design. Since graduating college in May 2019, Hanna has been working full time at Acting Out! doing anything and everything. But her favorite thing of all is teaching the Showcase class where most of her students have never been on stage before- Hanna loves the ability to develop the love of theater and the confidence it provides to our young students

Laura Green (vocal instructor)has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in Music Education where she served as an adjunct professor in the choral area. She was music assistant and soloist at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Lowell, where she sang in their professional choir for ten years. Laura worked with Lowell Opera Company for 3 years where she served on the artistic direction committee as choral consultant and on their board of directors; she was also involved in music direction, production of smaller events and was cast in opera roles.

Kristen Piekos  (Choreographer) graduated Manga Cum Laude from Keene State College in 2004 with a bachelors degree in theater and dance. She majored in theater and minored in dance with a specialization in acting/directing. Her college internship took place at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida. She has over 30 years of classical ballet training from Centerstage Dance Academy.  In 2015 she showed up to Acting Out’s auditions for The Little Mermaid and the rest is history. She has performed in and/or choreographed over a dozen productions with Acting Out. Kristen believes that anyone, old, young, big, small, professional, amateur, adult, or child can dance in a musical. It is her passion, and she takes great joy in making that happen. You can dance! Kristen will show you how. 

Danielle Melendez is thrilled to be joining the Acting Out team, as Director of the YoungStars program! Though she did not grow up in the theatre, she has found a great passion for the art through her daughter, Isabella. Danielle has produced more than 20 productions with Kids Coop Theatre in Derry, NH where she currently serves as President of the Board of Directors. During the week, you can find her at Hampstead Middle School where she is a Paraeducator. When not at school or in the studio, Danielle enjoys reading, watching Netflix, and travelling with her family.

Jessi (Instructor) is thrilled to be joining the Acting Out production team! Jessi is a 6th grade English as a Second Language teacher at UP Academy Oliver here in Lawrence and is very excited to be getting involved with the arts in the city. Theater has always been an integral part to Jessi’s life. In May, she graduated from UMass, Amherst with a degree in Theater with concentrations in stage management, costume design, and arts management. Though technical theater and design was her focus in college, Jessi has been choreographing musicals since high school. Her most recent choreography credits include Willy Wonka Jr., The Lion King Jr., and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Middlesex School Summer Arts camp. She also worked for the Academy of Music in Northampton, MA music directing and stage managing Annie Jr. and Singing in the Rain Jr. When she’s not backstage, Jessi can be found performing. She loves to sing and has been in choirs all her life. In college, she sang with the UMass Chamber Choir and currently sings with the Reading Community Singers. Furthermore, some of her favorite theater memories include playing Hope in Urinetown and Alice Beineke in The Addams Family while in college. Jessi cannot wait to begin working on the winter season!

Acting Out! Theater Company, Inc.

56 Island Street

Lawrence, MA  01840

Tel: (978) 794-0001

Linda             Dave           Hanna           Margaret         Laura           Kristen          Danielle          Jessi

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