MAKENZIE SANDS (she/her)

Makenzie, who also commonly goes by Max, is currently an amateur performer with a dream of directing and performing professionally. She is studying at the University of Southern Maine, and is one year away from earning her B.A. in Theatre with a Double Concentration in Technology/Design & Performance. 

She has done most of her performing in educational spaces, but she hopes to branch out and work with theaters around southern Maine very soon!  

ZÖE LEWIS (she/her)

Zoë is super excited to join the STAGES team! She loves connecting with young people and seeing them grow both on and off the stage. 

Zoë studied American Sign Language Interpreting and Theatre: Stage Management at the University of South Florida -Tampa. After graduation, she moved to Maine for an internship at Portland Stage, loved the area, and decided to stay. Zoë has been blessed to work on productions in many different roles in Florida, Massachusetts, and Maine. 

At STAGES, Zoë is a teaching artist and director – and recently joined the STAGES Board of Directors! When not at STAGES you can find Zoë planning weddings, fundraising/planning events for numerous non-profits, and hanging out with her family and friends. 

Zöe as young dancer!

MARY KATE GANZA (she/her)

Mary Kate is an actor and an artist based in Portland. She studied Theatre at the University of Southern Maine, and joined the STAGES crew in 2021. Her first ever job was in children’s theatre and she’s thrilled to be back!

When not teaching young people or stomping around the stage herself, Mary Kate enjoys hiking, embroidering, and spending time with her partner and their three wonderful pets. 

Mary Kate’s favorite childhood photo (age 9)!

CAMI GIBSON (she/her)

Campbell (Cami) Gibson is a performer/director/theater educator in the Portland area who currently holds a B.A. in Theater and minor in Dance from the University of Southern Maine.

She has performed and directed at various venues across Maine including: Waterville Opera House, Deertrees Theater, Lakewood Theater, USM, Mad Horse Theater Company, Monmouth Community Players, and School House Arts. In the past couple years Cami has also performed with Lime Arts Productions in LA, performing virtually with other artists nationwide.

When Cami is not performing, directing, or teaching at STAGES, she is currently working on writing her one woman play or reading scripts. She is very excited to be working at STAGES and teaching improv and other forms of storytelling!

Cami performing as University of Southern Maine student!

HOLIDAY CHANGES

Here at STAGES, we continue to evaluate and assess our commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusion. In that spirit, we recognize that – like many other organizations – our programming schedule over the years has been directly influenced by the Christian holiday calendar. Earlier this fall, we created more space in our calendar for young people, their families, and our staff to observe a wider array of additional holidays without missing out on STAGES programming. A list of holidays appears below. 

We are excited to learn about more of the traditions and celebrations that make the STAGES community unique, and we are committed to recognizing and celebrating different cultures throughout the year.

STAGES administrative offices, and all programs/activities will be CLOSED on the following holidays:

New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Jr Day
*President’s Day
*Patriot’s Day
Memorial Day
Juneteenth
Independence Day
Labor Day
Indigenous Peoples Day
Veterans Day
All of Thanksgiving Week
The last 2 weeks of December (including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve)

*President’s Day and Patriot’s Day begin the February and April school vacation weeks, respectively. STAGES will be closed on these days, with the exception of any M-F vacation daycamp programs taking place.

STAGES administrative offices may be open on the following holidays – but there will be no rehearsals, class meetings or performances; and, staff members observing any of these holidays are excused from work:

Passover (first night)
Ramadan (first night)
Eid-al-Fitr
Eid-al-Adha
Rosh Hashanah
Yom Kippur
Hanukkah (first night)

We invite feedback from the STAGES community about this list, including any omissions, or suggestions about how we can make our program more welcoming for our young people and their families. Contact us any time!




Accountability

STAGES Youth Theater recognizes and acknowledges the decisions and actions made in our past that have had a negative impact on the students, families, co-workers, and audience members in our community.

At times during the past fifteen years, we have chosen to produce shows that were not representative of our current community, and failed to practice race-conscious casting in doing so. We have not done our part to challenge the rights-holders of shows containing problematic themes and content, and instead have continued to present these plays and musicals with all-student casts. We have not done nearly enough to make our programs more accessible and welcoming for students who are not white and affluent. We have often relied on BIPOC Teaching Artists and students to bear the responsibility of helping STAGES create a more diverse program, instead of our predominantly white organization doing the work to make this happen.

We accept complete responsibility for our mistakes (including others not listed above) and apologize for the times when our activities may have hurt, confused, frustrated, excluded, or otherwise harmed anyone in the STAGES community.

KYLE AARONS (he/him)

Kyle grew up in a small town outside of Erie, PA.  It was there, at the Erie Playhouse, that he found his passion for all things musical.  From there, he obtained his BFA in Musical Theatre from SUNY Fredonia, moving right into an international children’s theatre tour upon graduation.  For 2 years, he traveled the US and Canada, teaching over 5000 students and traveling over 25,000 miles.  In 2013, he found his way to Maine and has been here ever since!

Over the last 8 years, Kyle’s work has been seen on stages up and down the coast line as an actor, music director, fight choreography, playwright, director, pit musician, and private coaching.  While off stage, he is very interested in theatre history and exploring the topics of classical musical theatre and drama and how they are still relevant in today’s world.  He also has a slight obsession with Sondheim musicals… very slight.  But whether he’s on or off stage, he’s just thrilled to be in the theatre.  It’s been his home for over two decades and he can’t wait to help more students find the home of their own!

Kyle joined the STAGES team in 2020. He has been a Teaching Artist and Music Director, and is the co-director for the 2021-22 Shakespeare Ensemble.

Kyle aged 16 on the set of West Side Story – playing Action

MARK MAGEE (he/him)

Mark is an artist, actor and movie/theater buff who lives in Portland, Maine.

Since 2013, he has regularly participated in Portland’s fringe festival, PortFringe, along with his creative partner-in-crime, Ashley Kotzur (Finyette Productions). Mark and Ashley also co-hosted a goofy WMPG FM radio show called The Portland Files from 2014 to 2020. Mark led a weekly art group at the Preble Street Teen Center in Portland for 5 years and currently contributes voice work to the Business Pants podcast available on Spotify and iTunes.

After finding Portland’s creative community somewhat late in life, Mark is excited to help young people at Stages discover how rewarding artistic expression can be. 

Mark joined the STAGES team in 2019. He is a Teaching Artist, a scenic painter, and the co-director of the 2021-22 Young Performers Ensemble.

Mark at age 11 in his bicentennial leisure-suit!

STACEY KOLOSKI (she/her)

Stacey is a theater director, designer, playwright, and arts community activist in Portland. When not at STAGES, she works regularly with Theater at Monmouth and Mad Horse Theatre Company (where she has been a member of the resident ensemble since 2015). She is also the co-founder of PortFringe-Maine’s Fringe Festival, and is the Vice President for the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals.

Stacey spent 11 years as a fundraising management consultant for non-profit organizations before co-founding STAGES (with Hollye Seddon) in 2007. It’s been an amazing ride and she still loves working at STAGES where she can split her time joyfully between managing spreadsheets, developing new dramatic work for young people, and wielding a hot glue gun in the prop or costume shop!

As a member of the STAGES Team, Stacey is the Managing Director, designer, director, playwright and other roles; and was the co-founder (with Hollye Seddon) of STAGES Youth Theater in 2007.

Stacey at age 4!

SHANNON WADE (she/her)

Shannon is a puppet maker, puppeteer, performer and arts administrator! As a former shy kid who was brought out of her shell by theater, Shannon absolutely loves seeing the same thing happen with our students. She is energized every day by hearing young people’s amazingly creative ideas and thoughts on the world, and finds a lot of joy being in constant touch with her inner kid.

Shannon has been lucky enough to teach and perform with arts organizations across the country, including the Yocum Institute for Arts Education (PA), Portland Stage Company (ME), and the Omaha Theater Company at The Rose (NE).

Shannon spends her free time biking, reading, playing board games, and soaking up the sea and sunshine.  

As a member of the STAGES Team, Shannon is the Director of Education, show director, music director, designer, teaching artist, and many other roles!

Baby Shannon!