A B O U T
Educate Motivate Elevate Cultivate
Act Out Theatre Group is an organization focusing on performance and education of the art of musical theatre. Our goal is to not only produce fine art but to facilitate an educational and fun social climate where students ages 4 to seniors in high school can be free to express themselves without judgment, to learn about music and theatre, and to share a common passion among peers.
In 2017, Dan Pittman took over as Act Out Theatre's artistic director and owner after Candice and Conway Rowe (who first opened Act Out Theatre) decided to pursue other opportunities. Dan ran Act Out Theatre Group LLC at its Taylor location until 2018 when the building was unexpectedly put up for sale and sold. To keep the Act Out name alive and the arts program continuing, he found a new location at 150 E. Grove Street in Dunmore.
Nothing short of a massive Act Out Family effort allowed the theatre to close its final production at the Taylor location and move to Dunmore in a week. Nineteen days later, again thanks to the Act Out Family effort, Heathers: The Musical, School Edition opened on the Dunmore stage.
Since that first production, the theatre has gone through a number of changes, but the family spirit has remained. Theatre offerings have evolved to include adult productions, educational theatre camps for children, family fun nights and more community involvement opportunities. The theatre is committed to creative a safe, inclusive environment where all children and teens are encouraged to explore the arts. Smaller workshop opportunities allow for more individualized attention and for participants to be more than just a face in the crowd.
The theatre also has an active Parent and Friends Booster Club that plans to become a 501c3 entity in 2020. This will allow for greater fundraising efforts to bring workshop opportunities to more children and teens who might otherwise not be able to afford them.
Meet the family...
DAN PITTMAN is the owner and artistic director of Act Out Theatre Group LLC. He has a bachelor's degree in musical theatre from DeSales University, and is a NEPTA nominated choreographer and accomplished director, and performer. He has worked at a number of community theatres throughout Luzerne and Lackawanna counties and has also served as a substitute teacher in Luzerne, Franklin and New Cumberland counties.
Although Dan spends most of his time directing and choreographing, he was most recently on stage as Candy in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men at Act Out Theatre Group. Last summer, he was an ensemble/dance ensemble member of Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre's production of Beauty and the Beast. He also ran the 2017 and 2019 children and teen summer workshops at the Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville. His 2019 workshops at the Music Box were both nominated for NEPTA awards.
At Act Out, he most recently directed and choreographed Peter Pan. Currently, he is directing Children of Eden, a (10-18 years old) musical. This winter, he was named one of the NEPA Business Journal's 20 Under 40 and is also a nominee for Cultural Ambassador of the Year. Dan also is active in the community, having served on the Music Box Dinner Playhouse's publicity committee and as a Professional Dancer for KISS Theatre's annual fundraiser.
KALEN CHURCHER has been active in community theatre since 2014 as an actor and production staff. She is the primary costumer for Act Out Theatre Group LLC. and can most often be found directing the theatre's youngest actors and actresses. She most recently performed in Act Out Theatre's production of The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie, as Mrs. Boyle, and directed Frozen Jr. and Guys and Dolls Jr. at Act Out.
When she is not part of the production staff, Kalen enjoys performing and most recently performed as Madam de la Grande Bouche (aka the operatic Wardrobe) in Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre's 2019 production of Beauty and the Beast. She also ran Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre's summer theatre workshop in 2017 and 2019, as well as its online workshop in 2020. Both 2017 and 2019 workshops were nominated for NEPTAs. Kalen is the former publicity chair for the Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville and the 2020-21 community chair for the Junior League of Wilkes-Barre. She is currently directing The Boys in the Band (an adult production) and music directing and costuming Children of Eden at Act Out Theatre Group.
Kalen received her PhD in mass communications from Penn State University. She is a professor at Wilkes University and teaches courses in public speaking, multimedia journalism, public relations, media law and cultural studies.
JENNIFER HUNTER holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education and a Master’s Degree in Piano Pedagogy from West Chester University. She has music directed and played keyboard in more than 30 musicals over the last three years at a variety of theaters including the Little Theater of Wilkes-Barre, Music Box, Act Out Theatre, Scranton Cultural Center and Misericordia University.
In addition to her work in theater, Jennifer teaches music at Susquehanna Prep/Apple Tree, teaches private piano lessons and is the parish administrator, organist, and choir director at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas, Pa.
Jennifer most recently finished music directing Jekyll and Hyde at Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre and Sweeney Todd at the Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville. She was awarded a 2019 NEPTA for music directing Next to Normal at Gaslight Theatre.
AUSTIN R.D. BURNS recently relocated to the Scranton area after completing her MA at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. While abroad, she had the honor and pleasure of co-directing Love's Labour's Lost for the Shakespeare Institute Players, as well as functioning as the dramaturg and choreographer for This Filthy Crow at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Other Place theatre.
Previous to her scholarship in Shakespeare, Austin has been the dramaturg for several plays and musicals. Some of these include Elephant’s Graveyard, Buried Child, Fiddler on the Roof, The Glass Menagerie, A Year With Frog and Toad, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Noises Off. Austin has also functioned as a Script Reader for the Colorado New Play Summit as well as the in-house dramaturg for the Bridge 2 Broadway New Works Festival.
Austin is working with Act Out Theatre Group on its upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet as the assistant director...and resident Shakespeare guru.
ISABELLA SNYDER is a choreographer at Act Out Theatre Group as well as a proud alum of Act Out, Ballet Theatre of Scranton, Arts Alive and Scranton Prep.
She is currently a junior at Marywood University, where she studies Musical Theatre and Early Childhood Education. She previously attended Muhlenberg College for three semesters, where she studied Theatre Performance and Dance Education.
Her favorite roles include Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), Joseph and the Amazing...(Narrator), Into the Woods (The Witch), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), Children of Eden (Eve), The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), The Little Mermaid (Ariel), The Little Mermaid (Ursula), and Urinetown (Pennywise.) Isabella mosst recently choreographed Frozen Jr. at Act Out.
ELIZABETH GUARNIERI POWERS (bio coming soon)
JAHMEEL POWERS (bio coming soon)
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN is the Act Out Theatre Group student representative to the theatre's booster club. She is also a teen counselor and the daughter of Tom Jr. and Shannon McLaughlin of Sweet Valley. A senior honor student at Lake Lehman High School, she is ranked in the top 10 percent of her class.
Erin is an award winning vocalist whose theatre credits include Little Red in Into The Woods, The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, and Genie in Aladdin with Lake-Lehman Theatre. She recently portrayed the role of Gabriella at The Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville, Elle Woods in Act Out Theatre Group's production of Legally Blonde, and Wendy in Peter Pan, also at Act Out.
Erin was a competitive tap dancer with Back Mountain Dance Studio for 13 years but recently decided to devote her time to her love of theatre. Erin is participating in Act Out's summer 2020 production of Children of Eden (Eve). Her future plans include attending college to become a pediatric surgeon.