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2018/2019 Staff Listing

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

Jess is proud to be 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.

Matthew Mills
Associate Production Manager/Technical Director
(802) 296-7000 ext. 128

Matthew 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.


Hector Figueroa
Assistant Technical Director

Originally from Los Angeles he’s excited to see what Northern Stage and Vermont have in store for the near future. His most recent work include Strength of this Nation, Polygon, and Pacific Overtures. His focus fixed on Environmental Design, he’s eager to see the worlds that will come to fruition at Northern Stage.

Audra Giuliano
Carpentry Intern

Audra Giuliano is extremely excited to be joining Northern Stage as a scenic apprentice. She is a recent graduate from Central Connecticut State University, where she received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Theatre Design and Production Technology. Audra is native to Connecticut and has worked in several theatres there including Playhouse on Park and the Westport Country Playhouse but comes to Northern Stage from Olney, Maryland, where she was working at the Olney Theatre Center (OTC). Her recent credits at OTC include Every Brilliant Thing, The Crucible, and The Invisible Hand.

John Kantack


jhgkjMelissa Robinson
Scenic Charge Artist & Director of TAP
(802) 296-7000 ext. 130

Melissa Robinson has been working in the Northern Stage paint shop since 2012. After graduating from SUNY Oswego with a BA in Technical Theatre with a concentration in Set Design, she moved to the Upper Valley from NY. Melissa has also painted at Upper Darby Summer Stage, Stagedoor Manor, and River Valley Rep. As well, Melissa is the Director of the Technical Apprenticeship Program and is passionate about mentoring young technicians in the theatre world.

Diane Zimmerman
Scenic Artist

Diane is thrilled to be joining the Northern Stage team! Originally from the suburbs outside of Philadelphia she grew up surrounded by communities of theatre. Diane is a 2018 graduate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in with a B.F.A. in Scene Painting. Her other places of employment include Scenic Charging the program of Upper Darby Summer Stage in 2017, where she was previously a Scenic Artist (‘14/’15) and the Dorset Theatre Festival in the summer of 2016 as their Scene Paint Apprentice.


James Roeder
Props Master
(802) 296-7000 ext. 129

James Roeder 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.

Ali Kress
Assistant Props Master

Ali is very excited to be joining the Northern Stage team! Originally from Castleton, New York, she has spent most of her time living and working in Upstate NY. Ali recently graduated Ithaca College with BFA in Theatre Production, Technology concentration. While at Ithaca College, she worked in various production roles, including Props Master and Production Electrician. She has spent the past three summers working at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY, as an Electrics and Stage Operations Intern.

Amanda Bentz
Paint & Props Intern


Kevin Allinder
Master Electrician
(802) 296-7000 ext. 131

Kevin is excited to join the production staff at Northern Stage! He originally hails from Birmingham, Alabama where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Technical Theatre from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design and Technology from Purdue University. Previously, Kevin was the Master Electrician at Chicago’s Court Theatre, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, and the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre. He has also spent time as an electrician in various touring halls. Lighting design credits include: Love Labour’s Lost, Taming of the Shrew (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Quest Theatre Ensemble), Carousel, Henry V, Blithe Spirit, Merchant of Venice, The Bell of Amherst, Princess and the Players, (Texas Shakespeare Festival), Seussical the Musical (Birmingham Children’s Theatre), Noises Off (Brightside Theatre), Love, Loss and What I Wore (First Folio Theatre).

Ben Montmagny
Sound Engineer
(802) 296-7000 ext. 131

This is Ben’s fifth season as the Resident Sound Designer/Engineer here at Northern Stage. He also is the Resident Sound Designer at the New London Barn Playhouse. He graduated from Keene State College in 2013 with a BA in Design and Technical Theatre. Credits include Godspell, The Secret Garden, Souvenir, West Side Story, All Shook Up, On Golden Pond, Brigadoon, How to Succeed…, Shrek, The 39 Steps, Crazy For You, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Kiss Me Kate, Spamalot, Damn Yankees, A Little Night Music, Over the Pub, Dial M for Murder (NLBP), Trick or Treat, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Mountaintop, Hound of the Baskervilles, Mary Poppins, Our Town, Songs for a New World, Orwell in America, Blythe Spirit, Clybourne Park, Good People, Fox on the Fairway, 12 Angry Men, God of Carnage (Northern Stage) and The Other Place (Weston Playhouse). His designs for Shrek and Brigadoon at the New London Barn were nominated for a New Hampshire Theater Award in 2016.

Clif Rogers
Assistant Master Electrician/IT
(802) 296-7000 ext. 131

Helen Rooker
Sound & Lighting Intern


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

Denise is thrilled to join the Northern Stage team! 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.

Rachel Allison
Wardrobe Supervisor

Rachel was born in the small town of Paris, Tennessee. After discovering her love for the arts and costume design, she moved to New York City and earned her degree in Fashion Design. After working a few years in the fashion industry, she decided to return to the theatre and start her career as a costume designer, a stitcher, a dresser, and a wardrobe supervisor. She has worked for numerous theaters across the country including the Richard B. Fisher Center in upstate New York and the Tuachan Center For The Arts in St. George, Utah. Previous credits include: Newsies, Mamma Mia!, The Master and Margarita (world premier), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Rachel also manages her own blog and online store which can be found at She is very grateful and excited to be part of Northern Stage season.

Amber Harrison

Amber Harrison is excited to join the Northern Stage’s Costume Shop as draper for their 2018-2019 season. She is a recent graduate of Baldwin Wallace University with a degree in Costume Technology and Design. During her time at BW she as served Costume Shop Foreman as well as a draper on productions such as Quality Street, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Intimate Apparel, and Our Town. Her work has been seen at The New London Barn Playhouse (First Hand/Draper), The Idaho Shakespeare Festival (Design Asst./Stitcher/Wardrobe) and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (First Hand).

Steven Barnes
Costume Intern

Steven is a recent graduate of Theatrical Costume Design and Technology from Central Connecticut State University. His most recent work has been at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Theatre By The Sea as a stitcher and Associate Costume Designer of his university’s production of Into The Woods. He aspires to attend graduate school for costume design and continue on to work as an educator in a university.


ciara-heaps-headshotCiara Heaps
Resident 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.

Kyla Mermejo-Varga
Stage Management Intern

Kyla is thrilled to be back for her second season at the Northern Stage after being last season’s YES Stage Manager and Education Intern! Kyla graduated from Dartmouth College in 2017 with a BA in theater. At Dartmouth Kyla filled a variety of roles on productions including props designer, spotlight operator, and scene shop assistant, though her true passion lies in stage management. Kyla stage managed multiple productions; her favorites include Chicago and The Baltimore Waltz. She has also worked at the New London Barn Playhouse for two summers, first as their Junior Intern Stage Manager and then as their Stage Management Intern. Favorite Barn credits include: Newsies (ASM), Sylvia (ASM), The 61st Annual Strawhat Revue, and The Wizard of Oz.