Meet the staff, teachers, and voulenteers who make it all possible!

OUR TEAM

Staff

image_123986672.JPG

Linda Schoonmaker

President and Owner

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

IMG_8686_edited.jpg

Hana Hondzinski

Instuctor and Executive Assistant

Hanna 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 has plenty of on-stage experience, Hanna is also well versed in stage management, tech, and set/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

Teachers 

bio pic.jpeg

Shannon ELDRIDGE

Vocal Instructor

Shannon holds a B.M. in Classical Voice Performance from the University of Southern Maine and has been teaching private voice lessons and classes in musical theater performance and acting since 2012 at a variety of community arts organizations including The Paige Conservatory for Performing Arts, Kaleidoscope Kids, Creative Arts in Reading, and Wellesley Theatre Project. Shannon specializes in Musical Theater and Classical Voice, and several of her students have gone on to pursue Music and/or Theater in programs at The University of NH, Boston University, and Emory University. As a singer and performer, she has sung with Opera Maine (formerly PORTOpera), Opera Providence, The College Light Opera Company, locally with Pentucket Players, Inc, and is a frequent soloist at South Church in Andover, MA.

3.jpg

Kristen Piekos 

Choreographer

Kristen graduated Manga Cum Laude from Keene State College in 2004 with a bachelor's 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. 

dave.png

Dave Cook

Vice President

Dave 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.  

con and me (2)_edited_edited_edited.jpg

Mollie SOUSA

Instructor and Outreach Lead

Mollie is excited to be an active part of the Acting Out! community, even as she pursues her graduate degree at Lesley University! Majoring in Expressive Arts Therapy, Mollie brings a unique mindset as she focuses both on the fun of theater as well as the healing aspect. Her passion at Acting Out is teaching, feeling fortunate to have watched many of our students grow over the years. She also has a continued role as social media and general outreach head. 

Resized952022062095124314.jpg

Jessi collard

General Manager

(She/ Her They/ Them) Jessi Graduated with a bachelor's Degree in Theater and Arts Management from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 2007. Along with two seasons performing at a historical outdoor theater in Ohio. She has spent most of her life after college working with various community theaters across Massachusetts in both production and administrative roles; However, she has never strayed far from the stage, even garnering an EMACT nomination for Best Specialty Ensemble in 2013. Jessi first became involved with Acting Out playing Grasshopper in James and the Giant Peach. Since then she has been active in performing fun roles such as Monsieur D'Arque in Beauty and the Beast,  Jacob Marley in Christmas Carole, and Grandpa in The Trail to Oregon! She’s thrilled to work with such great people and a wonderful company!