John Rea – Artistic Director and Writer/Director – graduated from Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Theory and a Teaching Certificate (K-12). He also received an MA in Theatre from Villanova University. He was the director of Discovery Division for youth at the Walnut Street Theatre from 1995-99. He was the Literary Manager/Dramaturg for Philadelphia Theatre Company from 1997-99. As a producer/director he has directed or overseen all Youth Theater productions and teaches a variety of classes at MTF’s Theater School. He has directed several film projects for MacGuffin including: Clueless, After Midnight Scream for Monty Python’s Ghostbusting Brother, Getting Out and Chasing the MacGuffin (documentary), Happy Birthday and A Real Kiss. He has composed music to many shows including Arcadia, and The Women of Argos. As a playwright/composer/lyricist he has written Dodger, The Skeleton Woman, Mak and the Shepherds, Cinderella Story, More Than Anything, The Three Trees, As I Do (Playwriting Award, Cleveland Public Theatre), The Lost, The Cruel Sister, A Place Called Up, The Tale of Orpheus, Mischief Manor, Dodger, The Tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, The Fiery Furnace and Jonah and the Big Fish and Vito. He has taught music and drama in the Philadelphia School District and the Delaware County School District. He is currently working on a new short musical comedy based on the Adam and Eve story in The Book of Genesis. Eden will be produced in 2016.
Liz Fredette – Associate Artistic Director, Instructor, Director, Choreographer, Costume Designer – has been involved in theatre, in some way or another, since 1986 when she had the leading role in her 1st grade play. Twenty-plus years later, she’s still here! Liz attended Sarah Lawrence College where she earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Education, with a focus on theatre education and acting. Liz has been working with John and MacGuffin since 2003, where she has functioned as: Director; Assistant Director; Choreographer; Stage Manager; Costume, Set, and Props Designer; and Instructor. She has directed and choreographed shows at many schools in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, including: The Philadelphia School, JR Masterman Middle School, Greenfield Elementary School, and Friend Select School. Liz is the founder and director of Poolside Players, a summer drama program, at the Lombard Swim Club where she has worked in some capacity since she was 16 years old. Over the years, she has worked with several theatres and theatre outreach programs in Philadelphia and New York, including Arden Theatre Company and Lunchbox Theatre Outreach (2003 Arts Award, Education for Outreach Theatre Program; 2003 Sarah Lawrence College Community Service Award). When she’s not working with kids in a theatre she can usually be found near a pool–lifeguarding or teaching kids to swim. Next up? Directing MacGuffin’s Spring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Lauren Rooney – Instructor and Director – is a 2007 graduate of Temple University holding a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Theater. After playing the role of Mother in Temple’s Ragtime in her senior year Lauren has been working as a professional actor and singer throughout the city of Philadelphia. She has performed regionally at the Media and New Candlelight theaters and was most recently seen playing Philia in A Funny Thing…Forum. In addition to theater she works in film and television and can be seen in commercials for the Goddard school and in the recently world premiered feature film Neighbor. Lauren has trained in improvisation comedy at DeSalles University, Temple University, and the Walnut Street Theater and performs regularly for improvisation groups throughout the Philadelphia area. She has been working with MTF since January 2009 and is very excited about sharing her skills with the many talented folks at MacGuffin.
Brian Cowden – Acting and Fight Instructor is a local Philadelphia actor and teacher. A graduate of the University of the Arts, Brian has worked with many local theaters in Philadelphia area and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association. He is also trained in stage combat and holds awards for exellence in all 8 SAFD fighting styles. Brian was last seen on stage in Tom Sawyer at Peoples Light and Theater Company, and is very proud to be a part of the amazing staff at MacGuffin Theatre and Film Company.
Jen Jaynes (Director and Comedy Instructor) is a graduate from Kutztown University (2007) with a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music Performance and an MA in Theatre from Villanova University. Following her undergraduate studies, she apprenticed with Touchstone Theatre in Bethlehem, PA. There she studied clown, Le Coque, and creating original ensemble works. For the past five years, Jen has performed for Without a Cue Productions, an interactive murder mystery company and Family Stages, a traveling children’s theatre company. In 2009 she helped to start up High Dramma, Fishtown’s premier sketch comedy group, for which she still actively writes and performs.
Mwazhuwa Kuretu – Director of Photography and Instructor
Joy Orlemann – Choreographer and Instructor
L-R Intern, Emma Ditnes, Choreographer, Joy Orlemann, Interns, Allie Boyle and Michaela Shuchman, Artistic Director, John Rea, Associate Artistic Director, Liz Fredette, Lighting Designer and Instructor, Mwazhuwa Kuretu, Intern Meredith Brandt, Director, Jen Jaynes and Choreographer, Adrienne Maitland.
MacGuffin Board of Directors
Barbara Klock, President
Judy Leone, Vice-President
Joshua Zissman, Treasurer
Erica Salvi, Secretary
David Horwitz, Member
Holly Lentz-Kleeman, Member
— Elaine and Bill Kent, parents