Seussical Kids Creative
Onstage Director, Seussical Kids Show Director, ChoreographerDena McKell
Dena McKell is from the Harrisburg region and has been a teacher and choreographer for over 24 years. She began teaching dance instruction at the age of 16 at Harrisburg Dance Conservatory under the guidance of Forrest Gehret. Ms. McKell has also worked as an Artistic Director for Harrisburg Dance Conservatory which transitioned to Harrisburg Ballet Theater. Currently, Ms. McKell teaches pre-ballet and tap instruction at Pennsylvania Ballet Academy located in Camp Hill. Ms. McKell is also the tap and jazz instructor for the Preparatory Level at Pennsylvania Regional Ballet in Enola and she also teaches pre-ballet. She has been the Choreographer for Encore! Homeschool Productions for over 12 years. Her choreographic works include Seussical the Musical, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man, Peter Pan, and Beauty and the Beast to name a few. In May 2016, her choreography in Peter Pan received an Apollo Award for Outstanding Dance Number in a musical. She was also awarded an Apollo Award in May 2017 for Outstanding Dance Number for her choreography in Beauty and the Beast. In May 2018, her choreography in Fiddler on the Roof received an Apollo Award for Outstanding Dance Number in a musical. She has also done choreography for East Pennsboro Area Middle School Panther Productions of Guys and Dolls Jr., Beauty and the Beast Jr., Shrek Jr., Little Mermaid Jr., Willy Wonka Jr., and Wizard of Oz Jr. Ms. McKell has also done choreography for East Pennsboro Area High School Panther Productions of Grease. Ms. McKell also worked with Harrisburg Christian Performing Arts Center to assistant direct and choreograph Mulan Jr. She has also served as choreographer for Oklahoma and Tarzan. In May 2018, Ms. McKell has also directed Madagascar Jr. at Harrisburg Christian Performing Arts Center. Other choreographic credits include The Lion King - Kids, Seussical - Kids, and Shrek Jr. for the Harrisburg Area Jewish Community Center. Lastly, Ms. McKell has also worked with Hershey Area Playhouse choreographing Children of Eden and at Oyster Mill Playhouse Curtains.
Backstage Director, COO for Mind Steward LLC, Mindsteward Classic Showcase DirectorLiz Dalenberg
My name is Liz Dalenberg. I have been a part of Musical Theatre since I was a kid. Having been on the stage and then finding my true love in behind the scenes. I have managed many stages and shows from my education career and Mind Steward. I assisted manage my first stage when I was a freshman in high school eventually taking over the full reins by the time I was a senior. I continued to manage stages as my extra curricular activity as an educator. I have a BS and MS in Inclusive Education and Special Education with a concentration in Biology. I have teaching licenses in NY and NJ. I love working with children. I was a Special Education Science teacher for 14 years before I stepped away to have my miracle son. I truly believe that everyone has a gift and should be given the opportunity of arts education. I love the vision of Mind Steward to provide that to every member of the family and community. I have seen first hand the impact of Arts Education on the students I have taught and the campers at Mind Steward. This is an experience of a lifetime that touches the heart, mind and gifts of all.
Visual Art DirectorNancy Mendes
My name is Nancy Mendes. I've been an artist all my life, and have had the pleasure of teaching art for many years. Art, music, theater, writing and dancing are important ways of nourishing our spirit! Most people don't recognize that they are artistic. To quote Picasso: "Every child is born an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once they grow up." Making art, listening to music and dancing have become special coping mechanisms to me. I have loved leading art activities at MindSteward Camp, and working with the very special people who join the camp.
Vocal Director, Show PercussionistTommy "Pipes" McDonnell
Hi! I’m Tommy McDonnell, also known as “Pipes” . I am a musician who grew up on the streets of New York City’s East Bronx. By the time I was 10 years old, I began studying drums and by age 15 I was already performing in established bands. In 1988, I decided to step out from behind the drums and embark on a singing career that met with instant success. A featured singer on many albums including the SOS All-Stars, Syndicate of Soul, and with young guitar virtuoso Gil Paris. My résumé includes recording and performing with ‘The Original Blues Brothers Band”, The National Symphony, The Pacific Symphony, The Dallas Symphony, The Pittsburgh Symphony, The Super Bowl, The Hollywood Bowl, The David Letterman Show, Saturday Night Live, and was a featured singer and Universal Pictures’ “Blues Brothers 2000”, with Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman, Blue Lou Marini, Alan “Mr. Fabulous” Ruben, Steve Cropper, Matt Guitar Murphy, Duck Dunne, Paul Schaffer. I have also shared the stage with such greats as a BB King, James Brown, ZZ Top, Eddie “knock On Wood” Floyd, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Lou Rawls, Isaac Hayes, Gary US Bonds, Koko Taylor, Travis Tritt, Grover Washington, junior., Bo Diddley, Sam Moore, Wilson Pickett, Jewel and Al Green. All this allowed me to tour the USA and the world for the last 28 years. For the last two years I have been privileged to be the music Director at Ocean Community Church, which I love a lot! It was there that I met Joanne. Last year I was the drummer at the show . I loved it so much I really wanted to be involved more this year.
Creative Director for Mind Steward LLCDawn McDonnell
Hello! My name is Dawn McDonnell. I am an Artist that has always been inspired by the world around us. I was born and raised in a suburb outside of NYC. I received my BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts. I went on to become certified in teaching early childhood education. I love to paint, I stay busy year round with commissions for pet and house portraits. I have many of my personal pieces in various shops and boutiques as well as hanging in Veterinarian and Dentists offices. You will find me dabbling in many creative forums as well. For the last six months I have been creating weekly events for fellowship at my Church. I have worked for several textile companies, an artist representative, Teaching Art classes at various schools and foundations. I have owned my own businesses as a mural painter, a gallery owner and an interactive art studio. I moved to Manahawkin, NJ about 19 years ago with my very supportive husband and two children.
Robotics DirectorJackson Harvey
Hi, my name is Jackson Harvey, I am going into my Sophmore year of college, as a Mechanical Engineering student and this is my 6th year of Mindsteward. I started as an intern and was the Robotics Director last year. I have learned problem-solving skills and how to cooperate with other individuals. I am looking forward to being the Robotics Director again this year.
Instrumental Music TeacherLeanne Griffo
My name is Leanne Griffo and my biggest passion is education. I love to teach and I love to learn. Growing up in New Jersey, I started studying music very early with violin and piano lessons and once in school I concentrated on voice. I sang and played in many different groups and attended Lebanon Valley College and majored in music education. I am certified K-12 in vocal and instrumental music in PA and NJ. I am in my 21st year of teaching elementary instrumental music and I am currently employed in the Central Dauphin School District. Yes I teach music, but I also teach a lot more than that. Some of my favorite skills to teach in my classroom is perseverance, problem solving, time management, collaboration, coping skills, empathy and sooooo much more! The arts are a perfect vessel to teach all these important skills for students to have and a place to be creative! What I love most about Mindsteward and what made me want to join the team is that all of the campers are involved in the show and no one sits out. It is a beautiful display of using everyone’s gifts for the greater good. I am looking forward to being part of the team and learning from all of you as well. The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. -BB King
Lead Intern, Stage Tech for LightingGabriel Harvey
Hello everyone, My name is Gabriel Harvey and I am a freshmen in high school at Covenant Christian Academy. I have participated in the camp for four years and have loved the camp, especially the backstage program. I also have a musical background, as I play the saxophone for seven years and played a year of violin and a year of viola. Another thing that I enjoy doing is teaching children how to play lacrosse at the CD East Youth Lacrosse Club.
Intern, Stage Tech for SoundAthan George
Hi everyone, my name is Athan and I am about to graduate 8th grade at covenant Christian academy. This my first year doing anything with Mindsteward and I am Excited to get started on working back stage. I have worked with a sound virus for two years now with our school performance and have gotten pretty comfortable with it.
Intern, Villain Acting CoachLuke Patterson
Hello there! My name is Luke Patterson and I’m currently going into my Junior year of high school at Covenant Christian Academy. I have been performing in shows since I was in fourth grade and I love being on the stage. I can’t wait to see you all this summer! Last summer was amazing and much of the credit goes to my first time at Mind Steward. Besides the role of an actor there are many parts I enjoy playing. I have some experience working with animals as a volunteer at the Erie Zoo. After much training, I went to PIAA Districts as the independent swimmer of my school team. I also enjoy voice acting and making my friends laugh with impersonations. I love writing with a passion and I am fascinated with the art of telling stories well. I’m thrilled to take on the role of intern again this year and pass on my knowledge to the campers and do my part to make this an enjoyable experience for them.
Intern, Supportive Villain Acting CoachKalen Mayeski
Hi! My name is Kalen Mayeski, and I am going into 10th grade at Covenant Christian Academy. I have been participating in plays since 5th grade, and I love acting. I helped as an intern in Mindsteward last year, and the year before that, I was Jafar in Mindsteward’s Aladdin play. I loved helping with and participating in Mindsteward. The last play that I participated in was a few weeks ago: Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Outside of places, this year I participated in soccer, and I am currently doing track and field. I like board games, reading, and video games. I am excited to intern at Mindsteward again this year.
Intern, Jungle of Nool Acting and Dance CoachCaila Noss
Hi! My name is Caila Noss. I am going into my junior year of high school and this is my second year interning at Mindsteward. I have been acting for seven years now including doing shows at Mindsteward. Along with theater I also do dance, where I am apart of a dance performance group. I'm so excited to be back for another year of interning! I'm excited to help the kinds grow in their acting, dancing, and singing. I can't wait for another great year of Mindsteward!
Intern, Supportive Jungle of Nool Acting and Dance CoachParker Schroeder
Hi my name is Parker. I'm in 8th grade. This is my first year as an intern. I've been a camper at Mindsteward for 2 years. I've been doing theater since the age of 2. I've learned a lot over the years, like how to deal with stage fright and how to be energetic. I'm looking forward to helping campers through their journey at Mindsteward this summer.
Intern, Supportive Robotics CoachKiran Mayeski
Hi! My name is Kiran Mayeski, and I'm going into 9th grade. I was born here in the US but was overseas for 7 years (2013-2020). Since then, I've had some experience volunteering at my church, helping with student ministry and organizations such as Catlin's Smiles and Love the Hill. I've performed in a few plays, along with having helped with robotics and backstage in the Mind Steward plays for the last two years. Though I don't have much experience with plays, I'm excited to intern here this year!
Internship Director, Supportive Sound EngineerAmy Eckel
My name is Amy Eckel and I live in Harrisburg, PA with my family. Music is an important part of our home, including our homeschool. When I was in high school I was a band geek through and through and loved being a part of the musicals. I graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2003 with a dual degree in special education and elementary education. After teaching for about 6 years I became a stay-at-home mom, eventually homeschooling our four children. I love being a part of Mind Steward Kids Theater and observing children finding and growing in their skills and talents. Working together to create a unique experience is a highlight for me. So many people of many ages and gifts bring together something amazing every summer.
Intern, Backstage Coach, Character Development Program Coach, Stage Left ManagerAlice Tomasetti
Hello! My name is Alice Tomasetti. I am a rising junior at Wilson Hill Academy, and currently working on getting my associates degree in business with liberty university. I am the third oldest of six kids, and a part-time nanny of three kids under the age of six. I really enjoy baking, botany, and theater. I’ve been in over 16 productions, and 6 different singing groups over the years and I’ve worked with mindsteward for two years going on three! I love working with children and helping refine their skills as well as my own when it comes to onstage and off stage character development. I can’t wait for the rest of this year holds!
Financial ControllerChris Ross
My name is Chris Ross, and I am new to Mindsteward. I have worked in many different small businesses including produce and seafood. I returned to college later in life and obtained a degree in Economics from Rutgers College. Since then, I worked in various accounting and finance roles for the past 30 years in medium sized businesses to major corporations. Some of these roles gave me the opportunity to travel to places throughout the world where I had to pinch myself to make sure it was not a dream. Even though it was considered “work”, every country was a new adventure! Last year, I attended the second week of Theater Camp, and was truly impressed by the extraordinary talent of the teachers, interns and campers! The enthusiasm and commitment inspired me to join Mindsteward and am happy and honored to support the 2023 Theater Camp! Best wishes and “Break a Leg”!!!
Special Counsel for Mind Steward LLCSarah McCarroll, Esq.
Lead Intern, Acting and Singing Coach for WhosEmily Creason
Hi everyone! My name is Emily Creason. I was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but now my family and I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am a senior in high school with the hope of someday pursuing a career in the medical field. I have been performing in plays and musicals since I was six years old and have a true passion for theater! I am currently in a musical theater group that is putting on a show in April. I have taken voice lessons, as well as jazz, ballet, and tap dance classes. I have interned at Mind Steward summer camps twice before, and I had a great experience! I love working with kids and helping them grow and develop many skills, especially in the arts. I am a hard worker, and I will always strive to do my very best!
Intern, Supportive Singing and Dance CoachEmma Eckel
Hello, my name is Emma Eckel and this is my first year interning with MindSteward. I have been a camper in Mindsteward from the beginning. I have learned so much at MindSteward, like how to read better, sing, and be more confident in front of an audience. I am a dancer at Reverance Studios for 11 years and just became a referee for Upwards Soccer. I love to sing in my youth group’s worship team. I look forward to helping campers grow in their gifts and abilities as I have. This year’s show is going to be amazing!
Intern, Supportive Singing and Acting Coach for WhosNorah Miller
Hi! My name is Norah Miller and I have always loved to sing and dance. I have been involved in three of mindstewards shows as a camper and now I am excited to be an intern! I go to school at Covenant Christian Academy where I participate in the drama productions each year. We are currently doing Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”. Through mindstweard I have learned that it is ok to step out of your comfort zone. As a camper I looked forward to mindstweard all year long and I am very excited to take on the role of an intern this year. 🤗
Intern, Supportive Violin Coach, Supportive Acting Coach for Jungle of NoolBarkesuamie Mendy
Hi! My name is Barkesuamie Mendy. I am a freshman at Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School in Downtown Harrisburg for the music program as a violinist and pianist. I’ve been attending Mind Steward for 4 years. This is my first year as being an intern for the theatre camp this summer. I am looking forward to helping kids and encouraging them. I’m so excited to see new faces at this summers camp!!! See you then.
Intern, Dance Coach, Acting Coach for Sour Kangaroo, Young Kangaroo, Mayzie LaBird, and Gertrude,Assistant Manager for Mind Steward LLCNaomi Link
Hey Guys! I am Naomi Link. I am a competitive dancer. I love working with kids, helping them learn new things and grow from their experiences. I have been in many shows and have had professional dance training in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Manahawkin, New Jersey as-well as Huston, Texas. Some of you may know but we recently moved to NJ and that has really opened "A Whole New World" to me, I am so thankful to have all my friends and teachers that have made me who I am today. I have been with mindsteward from the very start, and some would say that this camp was even based around my family and our needs. I have seen this camp grow from the 13 kids that were in the very first one to now almost hitting 100!! I hope I will always be able to bring "The sunny side to every situation" as they said in my last show 42nd Street!
Intern, Supportive Singing and Acting Coach for Cats and HortonNatalie Creason
Hello, My name is Natalie Creason. This is my first year interning at Mind Steward, but I have enjoyed being a camper at Mind Steward for 3 years. I have enjoyed theater and singing from a young age and have participated in my chamber choir and mixed choir at my school. I have been attending Covenant Christian Academy from the age of 5 years old and I will be entering my sophomore year at Covenant in the fall. Another love of mine is the viola for l have played since the age of six in many orchestras and camps. I am also a runner as I participate in cross-country and track in my free time. I love guiding kids in music and theater and am looking forward to seeing growth in camper’s abilities during the time we are together.
Lead Intern, Singing and Acting Coach for Cats and HortonElena Creason
Original Creative Team
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
Co-Conceived by Lynn Ahrens , Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle
Based on the works of Dr. Seuss
Music Supervised, Adapted and Produced by Bryan Louiselle
Co-Conceived by Lynn Ahrens , Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle
Based on the works of Dr. Seuss
Music Supervised, Adapted and Produced by Bryan Louiselle