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2019/2020 Staff Listing


Jess 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.

Sarah Schikora
Production Management Assistant


Sarah Schikora is excited to join Northern Stage and the community of White River Junction.  She has a Bachelor’s in Theatre and Drama from Indiana University, and has worked across the country in many capacities before making her way here, including Theatre Raleigh, Barter Theatre, and American Players Theatre.


John Seidensticker
Technical Director
(802) 296-7000 ext. 128


John Seidensticker is looking forward to working with Northern Stage and to continue the incredible work that they produce. A native of Arkansas he grew up around a college theatre program and a small community theatre where he discovered his love of technical theatre. He is a recent graduate of the Technical Direction MFA program from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He believes that being able to build the world of a play and to immerse the audience into the play is always a rewarding experience.

Hector Figueroa
Assistant Technical Director


Originally from Los Angeles, he’s excited to see what Northern Stage and Vermont have in store for the future. Some recent work include set design and technical direction of Strength of this Nation, Polygon, and Pacific Overtures. His focus is fixed on the interaction between people and their environment, he’s eager to see the worlds that will come to fruition at Northern Stage.

Ben Knight
Master Carpenter


Natively hailing from Arkansas, Ben’s love for creating different worlds onstage has lead him to work across the country, most recently serving as Lead Carpenter at Lyric Repertory Theatre in Logan, Utah for the summer after working as a stagehand at The McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California for the spring season following two years as a carpenter at The Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. Looking forward to exploring the beautiful area around White River Junction, I’m just as excited to work in a new space with new people to learn from and share experiences with. At Northern Stage I aim to exercise my skills in planning and creating immersive environments that draw our audiences from their everyday lives into a world of spectacle that inhabits this versatile space; The Barrette Center for the Arts.

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


Jill Koenig
Scenic Charge Artist
(802) 296-7000 ext. 130

Jill Koenig is excited to join Northern Stage! She has an undergraduate degree in Theatre Design and Technology from the University of Northern Colorado. Previously she has worked as a scenic artist at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre in Holland, MI and as a Charge Artist at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN.

Rachel Yanna
Scenic Artist


Rachel is excited to be joining the Northern Stage team! She is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in Theatre: Design and Technical Production with a focus in Scenic Art and Scenic Design. While at Western, she as served Paint Shop Assistant, as well as a Charge Artist on multiple shows. Her work has been seen at Farmers Alley Theatre (Scenic Artist), Tantrum Theatre (Scenic Artist), Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre (Carpentry Intern), and Flat Rock Playhouse (Carpentry Intern).


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.

Avery B. Coonts
Assistant Props Master


Avery is ecstatic to join of the Northern Stage family for the 2019/2020 season. From a small town in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, he has spent the last year working as the Technical Director for his alma mater, Arkansas Tech University. Prior he had the honor of working at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA and The Straz Center in Tampa, FL. He looks forward to this exciting journey in the Upper Valley!

Amanda Bentz
Paint & Props Apprentice

Amanda “Mo” Bentz is a props artisan, scenic painter, and puppet enthusiast from Oregon. They graduated from Cornell College in 2018 with a degree in Theatre Fabrication. They are excited to join Northern Stage for a second season. In the past, Mo was an apprentice with NYC’s Puppet Kitchen and a props artisan at Creede Repertory Theatre. Favorite projects include: Pete(Her)Pan at Northern Stage (props master) and Rocky Horror Show at Cornell College (puppet designer). Mo thanks R&C for continuing to support the ever-winding path they travel.


Clif Rogers
Sound/AV Engineer & IT Associate
(802) 296-7000 ext. 131


Clif has been working in the industry for over a decade and is thrilled to be currently employed at Northern Stage. Over the years Clif has been involved in most aspects of Technical Theatre with Sound, Lighting, and Carpentry as the primary focuses of Study. Clif attended The New England School of Communications, in Bangor Maine, first as an Audio Engineer Student and then later switching to the new program, Entertainment Production. Clif loves technology and it has led to being the IT person for Northern Stage. It has allowed for much growth and will continue to do so. Clif is a native of the Upper Valley and loves being back in the area. The mountains were very much missed.

Helen Rooker
Master Electrician
(802) 296-7000 ext. 131

Helen Rooker is an Upper Valley native who has only recently returned. She is overjoyed to be back working at Northern Stage for her fourth year, and fourth capacity! After college she toured internationally with Teatro Travieso (Troublemaker Theatre) before settling in to Northern Stage.

Lisa Mena
Assistant Master Electrician

Lisa Mena is delighted to be spending the next season at Northern Stage. They are a 2019 graduate from Smith College, where they served as lighting designer for multiple shows, including Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still, Heidi Schreck’s Creature, Zoe Rose Kriegler-Wenk’s Mothering Her Memories, and William Shakespeare’s As You Like It. They also designed sound for Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves and Samantha Noble’s Moonlight on the Miskatonic. Previously, Lisa has worked as the Lighting Intern at Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre, as well as a freelance electrician in the Washington, DC Metro Area. They look forward to pursuing an MFA in Lighting Design in the near future.

Michael Churchill
Lighting & Sound Apprentice

Michael Churchill is a graduate of the Entertainment Production program at Husson University. During his time there he directed Radium Girls and the world premiere of The Easter Parade. He is excited to work with Northern Stage after a hiatus from theater.


Celeste Jennings
Costume Shop Manager
(802) 296-7000 ext. 112

Lauren Smith
Wardrobe Supervisor

Lauren made her Northern Stage debut as a stitcher for Matilda, and she’s happy to be back! She has degrees in Studio Art and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. Some of her previous theater roles include costume designer (Twelfth Night, West Side Story), first hand/stitcher (The Nutcracker, Dracula, The Beatles Ballet, The Wiz, In the Heights, My Way), and wardrobe/backstage crew.

Jeanne Gaver

Jeanne is excited to be at Northern Stage as this season’s cutter/draper. They graduated with a BA in Theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Jeanne brings an abstract or outside-the-box approach and loves challenges. They look forward to being part of this season’s productions.

Rebecca Kurtzweil
Costumes Apprentice


Rebecca Kurtzweil is excited for her first season with Northern Stage. She is from Gulfport, MS and just graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a B.F.A in Theatre: Design and Technology with an emphasis in costumes this last winter. This is her first time working as a costume apprentice and is very eager to learn more about what working in a professional costume shop setting is all about. Her previous work was with Opera Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, NY as a costume intern.


Brian R. Sekinger
Resident Production Stage Manager

Kyla Mermejo-Varga
Resident Assistant Stage Manager


Kyla is thrilled to return for a third season at Northern Stage. Originally from California, Kyla moved across the U.S. to attend Dartmouth College, where she graduated with a BA in theater. At Dartmouth, Kyla was a props designer, spotlight operator, scene shop assistant, and stage manager. Favorite stage management credits include Chicago, Cotton Patch Gospel, and The Baltimore Waltz at Dartmouth and Newsies (ASM), Sylvia (ASM), The 61st Annual Strawhat Revue, and The Wizard of Oz at the New London Barn Playhouse. Northern Stage assistant stage management credits include Oslo, Dear Elizabeth, Venus Rising and Once.

Emma Anthony
Stage Management Apprentice

Emma Anthony is a northeastern PA native who just graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BFA in Drama, Concentrating in Design & Technical Production, Emphasizing in Stage Management and Minoring in Musical Theatre. She has previously worked with Triad Stage, The Great River Shakespeare Festival, and the American Dance Festival, and could not be more excited to be back up north and spending her time here at Northern Stage. She is an avid banjo/piano/guitar player and a lover of the tv show The Great British Baking Show. She thankful for her family and friends who have supported her along the way, and can’t wait for all of the adventures she’s bound to have.

Remembering our beloved friend and Costume Shop Manager Denise Block, who brought light and love to our company for two years. We love and miss you