Production Staff

2016/2017 Staff Listing

jess-headshotJess Johnston
Production Manager
802-296-7000, ext. 120

Jess is thrilled to be celebrating her first season as a member of Northern Stage’s leadership team. Having graduated with a BA in Theatre from the University of Mary Washington in 2006, Jess spent the following 9 years working in event and stage management with a number of companies in New York and regionally. Her stage management work includes 16 world premiere productions, 5 years as PSM for the Brits Off Broadway festival at 59e59 Theaters, and 7 summers of Vermont Theatre at Weston Playhouse and Dorset Theatre Festival. In addition, Jess has managed events such as the National Magazine Awards, the Annual Blossom Ball, and the Product of the Year Awards, and has spent 5 years as Associate General Manager for Japan Day, an annual cultural festival in Central Park. Jess continues to stage manage at Northern Stage along with Production Managing.

mmillsMatthew Mills
Technical Director/Associate Production Manger
802-296-7000, ext. 128

This is Matthew’s second season with Northern Stage, and he couldn’t be more excited to be back working in the new Barrette Center for the Arts. He is originally from Ithaca New York and holds a BFA from Ithaca College where he studied technical theatre with a concentration in Technical Direction. He has most recently worked as the Assistant Technical Director at Olney Theatre Center in Maryland. His other previous places of employment include; Carpenter at Arena Stage in DC, Carpenter at Long Wharf Theatre in CT, Carpenter at Shakespeare and Co. In MA, Technical Director at Des Moines Metro Opera in IA, and Technical Director for Running to Places Theatre co. in Ithaca NY.

Nick Potts
Assistant Technical Director
802-296-7000, ext. 128

jhgkjMelissa Robinson
Scenic Charge Artist
802-296-7000, ext. 130

sami-adamsonSamantha Adamson
Scenic Artist

Sami is excited to be joining the production team at Northern Stage for her first season! Originally from South Jersey, she attended Ithaca College and graduated in 2015 with a BFA in Theatrical Production Arts. She recently spent a year freelancing in NYC and was able to work as a Scenic Artist on sets for Fashion Week and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She also acted as the Scenic Charge for several productions at the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott, NY. Other places of employment include; Scenic Artist at Utah Shakespeare Festival, Scenic Artist at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Scenic Art Intern at the Hangar Theatre, and Technical Intern for Camp Walnut at the Walnut Street Theatre.

John Kantack

kblakeslee-headshot-2016Kathryn Blakeslee

This is Kat’s first season with Northern Stage. Originally from Connecticut, she graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts with degrees in Theatre and Engineering. After graduation, she moved to Florida and spent several years in the Sunshine State, working first as a make-up artist at Walt Disney World and later as a Scenic Apprentice at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. She is excited to be starting at Northern Stage and to be back in the New England theatre scene. Previous other theatre work includes Carpenter at Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, WV, Production Assistant at Chester Theatre Company in Chester, MA, and Production Intern at New Century Theatre in Northampton, MA.

Kat Morrill
Master Electrician
802-296-7000, ext. 131

Clif Rogers
Assistant Master Electrician

Ben Montmagny
Sound Engineer
802-296-7000, ext. 131

Ben is a recent graduate of Keene State College with a BA in Design and Technical Theatre. He recently spent the summer at Interlakes Summer Theatre as the Assistant Stage Manager and Assistant Sound Designer. As a resident of the Upper Valley, Ben grew up doing theater around the area with groups like NCCT, Opera North, and the LHS Wet Paint Players. It is a wonderful pleasure for him to be joining the Northern Stage team, something he has wanted to do since he started doing theater.

sarah-burnettSarah Burnett
Sound & Lig
hting Intern

Sarah just graduated this past May from Lyndon State College, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Business and Industry.  She was an active member of the theater club on campus, The Twilight Players, including working on the electrics crew for HAIR, You Can’t Take It With You, and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.  Sarah is excited to be joining Northern Stage this season and is looking forward to expanding her knowledge about lighting and sound.

Joe Dottsjoe-dotts-photo
Props Manager
802-296-7000, ext. 129

Joe Dotts is excited to join Northern Stage as their Properties Master/Manager. Joe grew up in the hills of West Virginia, where an interest in the arts lead him to pursue a BFA in Design and Technical Theatre from West Virginia University’s School of Theatre and Dance. While at WVU he pursued both props and scenic design, and before graduating in 2015 he bolstered his experience with internships at New York Stage and Film and the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts (PCPA) in California. Since then Joe has been the Properties Artisan, and later Properties Designer, for Cortland Repertory Theatre, as well as the Properties Apprentice at Hartford Stage, where he got the chance on several major productions including the now Broadway-bound stage adaptation of Anastasia. In his spare time Joe enjoys games of all kinds and dabbling in personal artistic projects

james-roederJames Roeder
Props Assistant

James Roeder, Assistant Prop Master , has been working at Northern Stage since mid-August 2015. He has an undergraduate degree in Theatre Design and Technology from the University of Evansville, in Evansville, Indiana. He has worked in the upper valley as both a Properties Artisan and a Scenic Designer. His previous design work includes Vinegar Tom, Anatomy of Gray, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Young Frankenstein, Anne of Green Gables, Red White and Tuna, Jane Eyre, The Triangle Factory Fire Project, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, The Secret Garden, and School of Rock . He is excited to continue his Design work and Props work in the upper valley and looks forward to many more projects to come.

Nicolas Cy Benavides
Prop & Scenic Intern

Nicolas is very happy to be launching his career with Northern Stage. He graduated from University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BFA in Theatrical Design and Technology Production this past May. At school, he designed shows including In the Next Room or the vibrator play, Dani Girl, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. In the past, Nicolas has worked as the properties designer for Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts in Warsaw, Indiana and as a carpenter for the Interlochen Center for the Arts summer camp in Interlochen, Michigan. He is very excited to learn as much as possible as the production intern this season.

Denise Block
Costume Shop Manager
802-296-7000, ext. 112

Denise is thrilled to join Northern Stage for her first Season! She has a BFA in Production and Design from Long Island University at C.W. Post. Some of her previous theater work includes Hartford Stage craft artist, Huntington Theater hair and makeup, 4 seasons with Long Wharf Theater as Wardrobe with an additional 7 seasons as the Assistant Costume Shop Manger, YBOP hair and makeup designer, and McCarter Theater craft artist.

Kelsey Willis
Costume Technician

Samantha Key
Wardrobe Supervisor

ciara-heaps-headshotCiara Heaps
Assistant Stage Manager
802-296-7000, ext. 119

Ciara is thrilled to return for a second season at Northern Stage. She is originally from Florida, where she graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Psychology, English Lit, and International Affairs. She spent 4 years stage managing at Lakeland Community Theatre in Lakeland, Florida, and has since worked at several regional theatres around the country. Some favorite ASM credits include Our Town, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Living Together at Northern Stage; Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily and I Hate Hamlet at Dorset Theatre Festival in Dorset, VT; Peter and the Starcatcher, The Whipping Man, and world premieres of Zealot and tokyo fish story at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA.

jill-gowacJillian Gowac
Assistant Stage Manager
802-296-7000, ext. 119

Jillian is so happy to be back for a second season at Northern Stage, having worked on all six productions last season as stage management intern. Favorite credits include Mary Poppins, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Mad Love at Northern Stage; Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Seminar, and Time Stands Still at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. She has also recently worked in company management at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse/Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival in upstate New York. She is a Connecticut native with a degree in Theatre Design/Tech from Central Connecticut State University.