Per Janson grew up in Iowa and Seattle and is proud to call Deer Isle home. Prior to joining Opera House Arts, he co-founded and served as Artistic Director of The Light Fantastic Theater Co., based in Brooklyn, NY, touring classic plays to community centers, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, senior centers, and other nontraditional venues. At OHA, Per directed The Glass Menagerie and has appeared in several plays and staged readings. He has worked at The Public Theater (NY), Ten Thousand Things, Trinity Rep, The Guthrie Theater, Cherry Lane Theatre, The Abbey Theatre (Dublin), and others. He has taught at CUNY: The College of Staten Island and has taught workshops at the Opera House, Island Arts Camp, in the Deer Isle/Stonington schools, and elsewhere.
He has presented at conferences in Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Boston, as well as in Mexico and England. Per trained as an actor in Italy, first at the Accademia dell'Arte in Arezzo, then as apprentice to actor/cantastorie Nino Racco in Calabria. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College, his M.A. in Theatre & Performance Studies from Brown University, and his M.F.A. in Acting from Brown/Trinity Rep. He believes art belongs to everyone and can happen anywhere.
director of operations
Pam Getto is an Island Native who believes good theatre can bring people of all walks of life together. She attended USM for computer science and worked 10 years as a corporate trainer for a large insurance company. She has been active in several community organizations such as chair for The Reach Performing Arts Center, the theatre at Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School, Secretary for the Alumni Association for Deer Isle Stonington, and the actors' representative for Cabin Fever Theatre. She lives in Deer Isle with her husband Alex, and children Riley and Luke and dog Daisy. She loves that the Opera House gives anyone with a passion to be on stage the opportunity.
interim director of development
Kelly Johnson is a community engagement professional, writer, fundraiser and public speaker. In 2012, she received from American University her MA in Public History, with a concentration in cultural and theater history in the United States. For the last five years, Kelly has worked in development and engagement in non profit theaters in Maine. As a strong believer that communities of artists can effect real change in the world, she is the creator of the annual Writers For Hope Auction, benefiting the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).
director of communications & engagement
Kate Russell, a theatremaker and poet, believes storytelling is at the heart of community. As the Founding Artistic Director of Threadbare Theatre Workshop, she illuminates epics in a simple way, making theatre from scratch in rural places with local people. Kate is an Emerging Leader of NY Arts fellow and has been named one of Creative Capital's “Artists To Watch”. She was invited as a 2018 Visiting Artist to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts & OHA to develop The Royal Tar, an original play based on a true story that has become legend up and down the Maritimes. Her work as a performer, director, and writer has been featured in The New York Times, VICE, and Recipes for Self-Love. Before heading Down East, she served as the Art Ready Program Manager for Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, New York— a city she called home for twelve years. She holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Rutgers and spent a year-long residency at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.
director of education
Joshua McCarey is a performer and arts educator who believes theater is a powerful tool for learning and building community. Over the past seventeen years, he has performed and taught professionally in Galicia, Burma, and Berlin before settling down on the beautiful Blue Hill Peninsula. Recent productions include The Royal Tar with Threadbare Theatre Workshop, Marjorie Prime at the Stonington Opera House, and Ser Actor with Tale Feather Theatre. Joshua, a self-proclaimed "life-long learner", also teaches local, collaborative Spanish classes through his school La Mesa Turquesa. He holds a BA in Theater from Emerson and trained in the Lecoq technique at the Institute of Theater in Barcelona.
artistic leadership apprentice
Esther Adams grew up in the Deer Isle- Stonington community, and is delighted to be back home on the Island. As both a singer and violinist/violist, Esther was a frequent performer in the local area, and has since gone on to perform and study in New York City, Vienna, Austria, and Florence, Italy. While completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnomusicology at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City, Esther was a founding member and served on the Executive Board of the New Opera Workshop. She also taught free violin lessons at P.S. 145 through the Musical Mentors program. Esther recently returned from two years living in Austria, working as an English Teaching Assistant through the Fulbright USTA program.
Esther has been involved with Opera House Arts in many capacities through the years- as a Performer, Student and Assistant Director, Lael Stegall Memorial Intern, Artistic Advisory Board Member, and House Manager. Esther is drawn to collaborative art making where every voice in the room is heard, and as a citizen strives to use the arts as a way to bring all of us together to strengthen community.
Isaac Goss has worked with Opera House Arts since 2011, beginning as a projectionist who was the last to work on the "old locomotive", 35 mm super-simplex. Today he serves as the steward of the historic Stonington Opera House by collaborating with all visiting artists regarding audio/visual and sound as well preparing films to be shown on the big screen and documentation for OHA's archives all year long.
Mary Jean (MJ) Sedlock grew up on an asparagus farm in Illinois, but now happily calls Orono, ME home. In addition to her work at the Opera House, she works full-time as the Production Manager & Technical Director for the University of Maine Theatre/Dance Division, where she has produced over 30 shows with the department and teaches courses in Stagecraft, Stage Management, and CAD drafting. MJ is also the Production Manager for the International Performing Arts for Youth’s Annual Showcase in Philadelphia, PA. She holds a BA in Theatre from Illinois State University and an MFA in Scenic Technology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. In May 2020, she will graduate with an MBA from the Maine Business School. MJ is also an active member in the United States Institute of Theatre Technology where she serves as the Vice Commissioner for Mentorship in Technical Production, as well as Web Coordinator for the New England section of the organization.
TED CROUCH, facilities
IAN CUST, projectionist
GRACE TORREY, facilities
RILEY GETTO, head house & concessions manager