Elizabeth Abair is extremely excited and appreciative to be a part of ACT where she serves as Vice-President. She received her Bachelors of Arts with a major in Theatre from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2011. Elizabeth is also a member of Alpha Psi Omega the National Theatre Honor Society. Over the years she has focused mainly on the acting side of Theatre with involvement in over 20 community productions since graduating college. Her favorite and most rewarding roles to date include, Diana in Next to Normal, Stevie in The Goat or Who is Sylvia, Cathy in The Last Five Years, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, and Janet in The Rocky Horror Show. Although the acting side is where Elizabeth has focused, she was involved in many aspects while in college. For three years, Elizabeth was on the Board of Directors for the College Theatre Association, the student run theatre organization as Treasurer. Elizabeth is so pleased and thankful to be working with such an amazing group of people on this Board!
Gabrielle Dion is a recent graduate from SUNY Plattsburgh. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre with Administrative Business and Entertainment Tech minors. In the future, Gabrielle plans to pursue a Masters in Arts Administration. She has been participating in local theatre for over seven years and is thrilled to be working with Artistry Community Theatre for the first time. Some of her favorite recent credits include Tricia in Dog Sees God (SUNY Purchase), Natalie in Next To Normal (Essex Theatre Company), Brianna in Good Kids (SUNY Plattsburgh), and Lydia Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (Pendragon Theatre).
Derrick A. Hopkins is the current president and founder of Artistry Community Theatre (ACT) Corp., educator, animal lover, amateur videographer, and proud veteran supporter. He earned his BS and MS in Elementary Education at SUNY Plattsburgh and currently works at Willsboro Central School as an elementary and theatre teacher. Notable roles include Mary Sunshine in Chicago, Jud Fry in Oklahoma! and Horton the Elephant in Seussical. Derrick has been directing school and community productions in the area since 1998 including Cabaret, Chicago, Company, The Last Five Years, My Fair Lady, Next to Normal, Peter Pan, Rabbit Hole, West Side Story, Wit, among many others. He had the privilege and honor to direct Leslie and George Hearn in South Pacific and Mame. Derrick was asked by Broadway and West End star, Alisa Endsley, to assist her in creating videos for her Sing For The Stage online vocal classes, which has led to future video editing projects. He founded the Keeseville Hometown Heroes Banner program, which honors local veterans in the Town of AuSable and Town of Chesterfield, and he couldn't be more humbled to see the program growing daily.
Michael Rafferty is a senior at the University at Albany where he studies Political Science and Theatre. He is currently the Live Entertainment Manager at Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole, NY, where, for the past two years, has strived to strike a balance between preserving the history of the nation’s first theme park, and developing new works to be enjoyed by guests. Michael has been a member of various theatre groups throughout the North Country for more than a decade where he has been both an actor and technician. Some of his most notable projects have been You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (AVCS) and Next to Normal (ETC). Michael is a longtime supporter of youth programs in the North Country with groups including The Boy Scouts of America, The Missing Children’s Basketball tournament, and the AuSable Forks Christmas tree lighting celebration.
Andrew Russell is a partner at Russell, McCormick & Russell, the largest law firm in Keeseville, New York. Mr. Russell graduated from AuSable Valley Central School in 2000, SUNY Plattsburgh in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Minor in Music. In 2008, he graduated from Albany Law School with a Juris Doctor degree and was admitted to practice law in 2009 in all Courts of the State of New York as well as the Federal Court System. He is currently the Vice president for Literacy Volunteers of Essex and Franklin County, and a Member-At-Large for the Adirondack Regional Theatre. He is now a "retired" community theatre actor and has appeared in Annie, Sound of Music, Anything Goes, West Side Story, and Cabaret with ETC, and Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, Li'l Abner, Oliver, and Cinderella at AuSable Valley.
Saundra Stortz holds a degree in Speech and Dramatic Art with a minor in music history from the University of Missouri. She is past-president of the Board of Directors of the Champlain Valley Oratorio Society. Saundra teaches courses in musical theatre history, music appreciation, choral music and public speaking at Clinton Community College. She was the first recipient there of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching in 2015. She is also a retired music specialist from St. Peter’s and Seton Elementary schools for grades pre-K through 8. She has been seen on the stage in Anything Goes (Chazy Music Theatre 2013,) Chicago, (CMT 2014,) South Pacific, The Boyfriend, and Stop the World I Want To Get Off. She served as Assistant Director for Beyond Therapy ( 2015) and I Hate Hamlet (2016.) Saundra will direct ACT’s production of Constellations in Spring 2018.
Eileen Wrisley is happy to be a Board member for Artistry Community Theatre. She brings rich and varied experience to her work with Artistry. A graduate of Becker Junior College, Clinton Community College, and Plattsburgh State with a B.A. in Business Administration, Eileen has worked in Human Resources for the Press-Republican, the Manchester NH School District, and the UVM Health Network – CVPH, after 20 years in banking for Albany Savings Bank (now Community.) She was previously treasurer and on Board for Honor Society at Clinton Community College and sang with the Champlain Valley Oratorio Society and acted as their treasurer. Now retired to provide daycare for her grandson, she has found Artistry to help fill her free time. Last summer she was in the onstage ensemble for Hello, Dolly! She jumped in to save the day as costume assistant, altering costumes and constructing hats and Dolly’s spectacular headdress.
"Our stories come from our lives and from the playwright's pen, the mind of the actor, the roles we create, the artistry of life itself..."