Teaching Artists

Ned Coulter

Bio

Chris Kuiken

Bio

Chris Kuiken is the Artistic Associate at Luna Stage. He recently directed Ramón Esquivel’s Luna for StudioLuna’s Teen Summer Performance Conservatory. He was the assistant director to Ari Laura Kreith for Luna’s Mainstage productions of Heartland and Pirira. Chris also directed various works for Luna’s New Moon Series, as well as New Jersey's One-Minute Festival. As a teaching artist, Chris has mentored young artists for StudioLuna's Youth Creative Response Team and Valley Stories Project.

Kait Kerrigan

Bio

Kait Kerrigan is an award-winning bookwriter, playwright, and lyricist. Off-Broadway: The Mad Ones (fka The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown), Henry & Mudge. She has written book and lyrics for The Bad Years, Republic, Unbound, Irena, and lyrics for Rosie Revere, Engineer & Friends and Earthrise. Her plays include Father/Daughter, Disaster Relief, Imaginary Love, and Transit. Her plays and musicals have been developed by La Jolla, Kennedy Center, Theatreworks/Silicone Valley, Primary Stages, Goodspeed, and others. Awards: Kleban, Larson, Theatre Hall of Fame Most Promising Lyricist. Alumna of Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Page 73's I-73, Barnard College, BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop. Kerrigan has taught workshops and masterclasses all over the world and is excited to grow the Luna Stage's writing community close to her Maplewood home.

Faith Blasi

Bio

Faith Blasi holds a Masters in Educational Theater from New York University ('12) and a B.A. in Elementary Education. She has thrived on stage since she was a child and has made it a priority to offer the world of theater to others, especially children. In pursuit of developing her own theatrical skills, she discovered she LOVED teaching and directing. She is a long-time educator in theater and related arts in schools and communities in New Jersey, and has worked with grades K-12 and adults. Most recently, she served as a Drama teacher in Montclair Public Schools where, besides teaching, she was able to hone her playwriting and directing skills as well. She has a particular interest in using theater to bridge the gaps folks sometimes experience navigating the challenges of life, such as building healthy relationships, self-esteem and efficacy, and making sense of challenges and conflict they see around them. She is delighted to be a part of Luna Stage and their commitment to meaningful theatrical "work."

Nicolette Lynch

Bio

Nicolette Lynch is a NJ based Actor, Writer, Director and Teaching Artist. After graduating from Drew University, where she studied Theatre Arts & Creative Writing, Nicolette spent two years on the high seas as an Entertainment Host/Performer with Disney Cruise Line. Nicolette is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and her work includes performances in plays such as Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf & Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. You can also stream Nicolette in films on Amazon Prime or catch her in the new BRIC TV series, SAUCE, premiering Fall 2019. 

As a Teaching Artist, Nicolette focuses on cultivating a safe and supportive environment that enables her students to push past fear, to grow, and to explore/enhance all of their creative capabilities. To connect/learn more visit www.nicolettelynch.com

Joann Merrigan

Bio

Joann Merrigan has been inspiring children to discover their gifts, believe in their dreams, realize their limitless potential, and shine bright for over three decades. A true believer in the transformative power of the arts, Joann has an extensive background in stage experience including NJPAC, the Forum Theatre, and various off-Broadway venues. She studied modern dance and musical theatre at Montclair State College where she received a BA in Speech and Theatre. Joann taught ballet and acting at the Children’s Theatre Workshop/Peppermint Players for 14 years under the direction of Marie Thomas Foster. Now celebrating her 12th summer as founder and Artistic Director of Sundance Theatre Camp, Joann feels strongly that participation in arts-based experiences fosters open creativity and collaboration, builds self-esteem, and develops cultural literacy. Currently serving as Creative and Performing Arts Program Director at the Sundance School in North Plainfield, Joann is thrilled to be joining the dynamic team of arts educators at LunaStage and looking forward to an amazing season.

Marlaina Powell

Bio

Marlaina’s favorite stage credits include Disney’s The Lion King (Broadway), and Smokey Joe’s Café (Broadway), The Civil War (National Tour), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (National Tour) Hair,Little Shop of Horrors, and A My Name Is Alice. Most recently, Marlaina appeared in Abram Hill’s On Strivers Row, at the Obie Award winning Metropolitan Playhouse. Marlaina Powell is a recipient of a Master of Music degree from New York University’s Steinhardt School and is a 20 year member of Actors Equity Association.  

Tony Scheitinger

Bio

Tony Scheitinger is a West Orange–based composer/writer/director/actor. He has performed at Manhattan Theatre Club, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Spoleto Festival and the International Meeting and Symposium of Greek Drama, and appeared in numerous productions as a member of LaMama’s Great Jones Repertory Company, including the Obie Award–winning Fragments of a Greek Trilogy. His compositions have been performed at LaMama, the Women’s Experimental Theatre, Bayside Korean Arts Collective, NYU’s Tisch Mainstage, NYU’s Creative Arts Team, Opera Sacra and the Vancouver International Children’s Festival. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Tony studied at the Playwright’s Horizons Theatre School and the Actors and Directors Lab. He worked extensively with Elizabeth Swados and playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie, is a member of the BMI workshop and a three-time Broadway Show League All-Star.


Maryanne Zarbetski

Bio