Staff - ACADEMY OF MUSIC

Staff

Legal:
A. Craig Brown, Esq.
Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C.
60 State Street Northampton, MA 01060


Before joining the Academy of Music Theatre, Executive Director Debra J’Anthony served as the executive director of the Shea Community Theater in Turners Falls, Mass., for sixteen years. During her tenure there, she was awarded the Community Theater Association Back Stage Award and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Senate Official Citation. In addition to her work as an arts administrator, Debra taught flute and chamber music at Stoneleigh-Burnham and Eaglebrook schools, and has performed professionally as a musician throughout North America and Europe. Her passion for the arts takes many forms. Debra is a published poet,
and is a current board member of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce and MassCreative. Debra is a member of the Hampshire Regional Tourism Council, Paradise City Cultural District Committee, Massachusetts Cultural Council Gaming Mitigation Panel, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and New England Presenters.


Melissa Cleary Pearson is delighted to be returning to the Academy of Music Theatre as Theater Manager. During her 6 year hiatus from the Academy, she held a position as Audience Services Manager for the UMass Fine Arts Center and as an events coordinator for the Downtown Northampton Association. She is an active member of the arts community serving as Treasurer of the Board of Directors at the Northampton Center for the Arts and rehearsal captain for the Legible Bod(ies) dance company. She teaches ballet at the Children’s Ballet and Movement Company. Melissa is a UMass Theater graduate.


Chloe Estrella Soto graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a BFA in Theatre as well as a BFA in Film Studies. She has worked extensively as a customer service representative, as well as consistently being involved in her Holyoke community. She currently works for a local non profit organization as well as serving as producer for Valley Voices Story Slam. She is a lifelong resident of the Pioneer Valley deeply invested in the education, elevation, and advancement of underrepresented communities.


Dashiell Menard is an alumnus of the San Francisco State University School of Theatre and Dance (BA, Drama) and the Yale School of Drama (MFA, Technical Design and Production). Having spent the last several years working in custom fabrication for live performance, broadcast television, interactive museums, themed retail, and more, he is thrilled to have his “boots on the ground” again working for the Academy. Originally from California, he is enjoying getting to know the Pioneer Valley.


Susan Dillard is a music and theater educator and performer with a deep connection to Western Massachusetts. Since 2005, she has been a part of the music and theater scenes as a student at Northampton High School and later at UMass Amherst. In 2014, Susan moved to Oklahoma City to complete her master’s in Music Theatre at Oklahoma City University. After graduating in 2016, she taught voice lessons as OCU faculty until moving back to Western Mass in the summer of 2021. Since 2013 Susan has been co-directing the Summer Musical Theater Workshops at the Academy and she is so excited to continue her work with the youth program as Director of Education.


Noel Clark comes to the Academy of Music Theatre from Minneapolis, MN, where he previously worked as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator with The Bakken Museum, with a focus on STEM education and beautiful events in a historic-mansion-turned-museum. He previously worked with Theater Mu as Communications Director for the second-largest Asian American theater organization in the country. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism, and has worked with non-profit media outlets such as American Public Media and KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio in Minneapolis to create engaging audio and visual media for diverse communities.