ETC: Educational Theatre Collaborative

Erin McDonald

Erin McDonald (Co-President 2010-2011, Secretary 2009-2010) is a 3rd year MFA candidate in Drama/Theatre for the Young at EMU and received her BA in Theatre from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. This past summer,  Erin worked as a teaching artist with the Lexington Children's Theatre where  taught children ages 3 - 16 years theatre. She worked with a different class each week teaching a variety of theatre activities. The classes culminated in a class showcase which Erin co-directed. "Getting to play each day all summer? Best. Job. Ever."  Erin has also spent the past three summers working with the Harvey Cavalier Camp as the Little Cavs Theatre Director and production teacher. In this capacity, Erin wrote scripts, directed summer productions and taught intro to theatre to 3 - 9 year olds.

Erin is currently working as the Graduate Assistant for CrossTown Theatre troupe working with local high school students to promote youth voice and action in the Washtenaw area. Check us out at:

Emily Patton

EMILY Patton (Co-President 2010-2011, Treasurer 2009-2010) is a second year MFA student in Drama and Theatre for the Young at EMU. As a graduate assistant for the communications department, she loves teaching freshmen speech. The last two years she worked for Saltworks Theatre in Pittsburgh as a tour actor and educator. Emily has assistant directed several summer camps for GEMS girls club, including one in Zambia, Africa last summer. She recently wrote and performed a one-woman show, "Homestays" where she tells stories of seven widows she met during a theatre tour from 2003-2004. She is currently the director for the Interfaith Roundtable of Washtenaw County's touring show: Sacred Storytelling.

Kristala Pouncy

Kristala Pouncy (Treasurer, 2010-2011, Community Liaison 2010) is originally from Flint, Michigan.  She is a first year MFA candidate at Eastern Michigan University in the Drama and Theatre for the Young program.  She holds an MA in Theatre from Northwestern University and a BA in Theatre from Kalamazoo College. Kristala recently returned to Michigan after living, performing, and teaching in Chicago, Los Angeles, Alabama, and Maine.  While at Eastern, she has performed in The Prince, The Wolf, and The Firebird and she works as a teaching artist in the after school Cross Town Theatre program at Wayne Memorial High School in Westland, Michigan. 

Diviin Huff

Diviin Huff (Community Liaison 2010-2011) is a second year MFA candidate at Eastern Michigan University in the Drama and Theatre for the Young program.   She holds a BA from University of Michigan in Psychology and African American history.  She has taught K-12 in Ypsilanti, Chelsea, Wayne Westland, Milan and Ann Arbor  In her spare time, she is a writer, performer, Yogi and hula hooper.  She works as a teaching artist in the after school Cross Town Theatre program at Ypsilanti High School and the Early College Alliance program at EMU.

Robert Moore

Hello everyone my Name is Robert Moore,( Documenter 2010-2011) and I have been involved with theatre since Middle School, I have been in Musicals, like Beatuy and the Beast, Elizabethen Christmas, Song Of America, Disney With the Stars, and Fame. I'm also from Flint Michigan my Hometown, and during my High school year I been performer at Flint Youth Theatre. The shows I had been in was Middle Passage, In Company of the Pirates, and The Trials. I also work with Flint City Theatre, and Mcree theatre, and the show I have done there was Titus, and Fame. I also did an end of a year perfomance at Mott community college for my theatre class, that was Directed by Dan Gerics. Right now I contuined my Career at Eastern Michigan University and now I'm working on tech theatre, and maybe do some show for the EMU theatre department. The First Tech theatre that I was involved in was Hamlet, that was truelly an amazing show!!!! And now I working with the DTFY Tour that we performer for different school for the young, and my main focus of my career is teaching theatre for the young, and becoming a famous actor, or maybe a Book Writer.

Andrew Mosquera

Hello I'm am Andrew Mosquera,( Secretary 2010-2011) and I been work with YAG for a while, and are upcoming show that coming up for this month of November is Stuart Little.

Richard Wright

RICHARD A. WRIGHT attended Gordon College and Armstrong Atlantic State University where he received his BA in Theater with concentration in Theater Management. Richard is currently a 3rd year MFA candidate in the DTFY program at Eastern Michigan University. Richard has also been a member of the Hilberry Repertory Theatre, Wayne State University's graduate theatre program. During his career Richard has toured professionally and most recently was the Company Manager for the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield MA, where he worked along side the best and brightest of Broadway. Richard has taught workshops throughout the nation on Role-playing, Improvisations, Basics of Acting, Make-Up, Theater Games, Community Theater Development, History of Storytelling, Theater Etiquette, and Theater Marketing and has taught theatre on both the middle and high school levels. This summer Richard traveled back down south, to be the Guest Artist at Gordon College.

Want to join? We'd love to have you. Email us at

ETC Alumni

Donald Amerson

DONALD AMERSON (Co-President 2009-2010) is a third year in the MFA Drama Theatre for the Young program at Eastern Michigan University. He uses he's art to promote social justice and equality for people of all ages. Most recently he directed several shows at EMU including The Vagina Monologues. In Los Angeles he helped train teachers to incorporate creative drama in their classes. Donald has become renown for creating new and innovative works around the country.

Fringe Benefits, LA
School of Performing Arts at Plaza De La Raza, LA
California Institute of the Arts, CAP Program, LA
Center Theatre Group, LA
P.L.A.Y., LA
Shakespeare Festival LA
Playwrights in the Schools, LA
Sable Collective at the Producers Club, NYC
Santa Clarita Repertory Theatre, Santa Clarita, CA
University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
American Theatre of Harlem, NYC
Imperial Theatre (non-union) Les Miserables, NYC [Broadway]
Center for Theatre of the Oppressed, LA

Kirk Carlson

KIRK CARLSON (Secretary 2008-2009) started his MFA in D/TFY in the Fall of 2007. He currently teaches Theatre, Humanities, and English at Clonlara School, is a freelance writer, and acts and directs all over in the state of Michigan. His most recent projects include acting in The Mystery of Irma Vep at Howmet Playhouse, directing Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Pied Piper with Young Actor’s Guild, and producing Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief, by ReActive Productions.

Kirk also writes plays and fiction. He has written three produced plays: Burgle, Time’s Up!, and The Legend of Muffins & Puffins. He was also written numerous unproduced plays: Queens (a musical about life and love as an intersexual woman in Queens, N.Y.), The Burghers of Calais (the true story of a French town during the Hundred Years War), Pfucked! (on the Pfizer economic collapse in Michigan), and Man Eats Everything (a drama about addiction). His current project that sucks away all his time is his first novel, LittleFoot: The Shadow Crowns. It’s a modern day fantasy set in the U.P. of Michigan where ten-year-old orphan Jaci Summerfield can see auras and communicate telepathically with animals. She discovers a hidden world with creatures that that have long remained dormant (think the opposite of “LittleFoot”…) and in her attempt to reveal them, discovers the truth about her past and her fateful role to play in saving the “Hidden Folk” and our own world from utter destruction.

Yuuri Mano

YUURI MANO (ETC Alumni, Documentor 2008-2009) from Tokyo, Japan. Yuuri completed her Performance Studies in college in Tokyo for 2 years, then moved in Michigan to pursue the Master degree at DTFY. Yuuri has been exposed to a variety of dramatic experiences, and is most interested in auto-ethnographic performance. She hopes to go back in Tokyo to teach for students in college level. Yuuri is currently attending Emerson College and is pursuing a degree in Theatre Education. Yuuri's favorite thing is eating (She falls asleep thinking about breakfast)

Gina Morris-Cicalo

No, Gina did not win that Emmy!  The award statue was willed by a distinguished alumnus to the Thespian Society of the high school where she teaches. For eighty-two years, this high school theatre program consistently produced students that are now working in the creative arts professions, training in elite post-secondary programs, or attending prestigious schools with full scholarships…until its elimination last year.  Numerous accounts of the reduction or elimination of the arts in the public schools has  inspired Gina to earn her MFA and advocate for a secondary curriculum that includes an increased collaboration of performing arts and academics.  Gina is both an Eagle and Huron!  She earned her B.S. in Communications/Theatre Arts/English, Secondary Teaching Certification, and M.A. in Theatre Arts from Eastern Michigan University.  Further studies in the field of education have included Saginaw Valley State University and Northeastern Illinois University.Gina has presented for and/or worked with numerous organizations, youth and community theatres, and performance companies, both as an artist and educator; including International Performing Arts for Youth, Flint Youth Theatre, Blue Collar Theatre Co., Chicago, and Flint Institute of Music.   Gina likes to spend her free time reading, refining future publications and workshops, and loves television…but spends as much time as she can with husband Vince and son Rocco because that is what she enjoys more than anything! Her favorite role, as either an actor or crew person, is the one “I have not yet tried!” 

Meriah Sage

MERIAH SAGE (Co-Founder, Co-President 2008-2009, Documenter 2009-2010) is a teacher, director and arts administrator. She is a third year MFA candidate in Drama and Theatre for Youth at EMU and received her undergraduate degrees at Western Michigan University in theatre performance/directing and elementary education. Meriah has worked as a teaching artist, artist is resident and director at many theatres and schools throughout the Midwest, most recently teaching with: Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit (ages 7-10), All The World’s a Stage at Macomb Community College (ages 7-18), Paint Creek Arts Center (ages 7-11) & Eastern Michigan University (Play and Drama in the Human Experience). She has worked as the education director for Apple Tree Theatre (Highland Park, IL), Education for the Arts (Kalamazoo, MI) and The Auditorium Theatre (Chicago, IL). Meriah looks forward to Antigone and Bud, Not Buddy this semster and working as the lead facilitator for this summer's  Chicago LCI National Educator’s Workshop . Visit for more.

Jenny Sawtelle Koppera

 JENNY SAWTELLE-KOPPERA (Co-Founder & Co-President 2008-2010) is a third year MFA candidate in Drama and Theatre for the Young at EMU.  Most recently she has directed productions with Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, The Young Actor’s Guild of Ann Arbor, and CrossTown Theatre Troupe of Ypsilanti, MI.  Jenny has also lived and worked in Chicago where she has taught French, dance, and theatre at North Shore Country Day School, performed as a member of Actors’ Equity at such theatres as the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre, and choreographed numerous productions at her alma mater Northwestern University.  After finding inspiration at the Imaginate Theatre Festival in Scotland, she is working on establishing the Educational Theatre Collaborative at Eastern Michigan University with Meriah Sage, presenting at the American Alliance for Theatre and Education conference, and creating and directing new works for children’s theatre.

Yi Hsin Lu

Venus Strong-Smith