Matthew Kossack

Matthew Kossack

Executive Director

Matthew Kossack

Matthew Kossack

Executive Director

Since joining ‘The Barn’ in 2007, Matthew has directed, choreographed and produced numerous productions on the Artbarn stage, serving as Artistic Director for five seasons before taking on the Executive Director role in 2012, which he shared with Chloe Lara-Russack until 2020. A graduate of Boston College (BA English/Theatre), Matthew has performed professionally with many regional theatres including the Lyric Stage Company, Fiddlehead Theatre Company, Moonbox Productions, Wheelock Family Theatre and Reagle Music Theatre, as well as with many of Boston’s fine local and community theatres. He has taught dance and drama for a variety of organizations throughout the Boston area including Chelsea Youth Theatre, Creative Arts at Tufts University, The Performing Arts Connection, and Arlington Center for the Arts, and his choreography and direction have been seen on the stages of The Longwood Players, Open Door Theater, Newton Country Players and Apollinaire Theater Company. In addition to his work with Artbarn, Matthew is a regular performer with Theatre Espresso, a touring theatre-in-education company, and in his younger days was a competitive ice dancer and a member of Team USA Figure Skating. These days he is most often found dancing through the streets of Boston to the music in his own head. www.matthewkossack.com

Chloe Lara-Russack

Chloe Lara-Russack

Executive Co-Director Emeritus

Chloe Lara-Russack

Chloe Lara-Russack

Executive Co-Director Emeritus

Theater has always been a part of Chloe’s life. Graduating from Bates College with a major in Theater and Education she soon found herself stumbling upon the magical stage of Artbarn Community Theater. In addition to her role as Artistic Director at the Barn, Chloe also worked in Brookline Public Schools developing theater curriculum. Chloe has always maintained a strong passion and belief that theater has the potential to heal, build relationships and strengthen personal self-esteem. To further pursue this dream, Chloe left Artbarn in 2007 to attend NYU’s Drama Therapy Master’s program. After graduating in 2010 Chloe returned to the Boston area and worked as a theater specialist in the Boston Public School System. In addition to her husband, Dan, and her daughters, Rowan and Hazel, Chloe’s greatest passion has and always will be the “theater.” In the words of a greeting card that Chloe has received time and again: “Given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.” Chloe never leaves home without her fairy wand safely tucked in her back pocket.

Laura Cohen

Business Manager

Laura Cohen

Business Manager

Jackie Borck

Jackie Borck

Founding Director

Jackie Borck

Jackie Borck

Founding Director

Jackie co-founded Artbarn Community Theater with Cathy Jacobs in 1999 and retired as Executive Director in 2012. She is thrilled to be returning to The Duck Soup Troupe where she’ll waddle about building the duck ensemble. Jackie graduated from Emerson College with a Master of Arts in Theater Education and has been teaching as a theater artist in residence for more than 25 years. Her skills in playwriting, directing, choreography, costume & scene design will help transform the page to the stage for these young actors. When she’s not dancing at the barn, she’s out back weeding the vegetable garden with her rabbit Lucky.

Adam Brooks

Adam Brooks

Music Director

Adam Brooks

Adam Brooks

Music Director

Adam has been writing silly music for silly people, both for the young and for the young-at-heart, since 2002. After graduating from Oberlin, he worked extensively with Second City Cleveland, writing, directing, and performing for countless shows, as well as teaching classes and workshops in musical improv. Adam returned to Boston in May 2005 to study film scoring at the Berklee College of Music while continuing to compose and perform with artists from all across the city. Credits include the critically acclaimed “Paragon Park: The Musical (winner of the 2012 NETC Moss Hart Award for Best Production), “What The Dickens!?”, “An Evening With Ladley & Craig”, and “Burlesque Me If I Love You.” Since joining in 2006, Adam has written extensively for Artbarn – many scripts and a great deal more songs – yet his greatest joy continues to be helping kids find their strength, confidence, and creativity on stage. Never stop playing.

Rebecca Elowe

Director / Storybook Theater

Rebecca Elowe

Director / Storybook Theater

Rebecca Elowe is a drama educator, actor, and musician from Chicago. She recently graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University with a degree in Theatre and a concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences. In Chicago, Rebecca taught drama workshops at Lifeline Theatre and sensory-friendly fine arts classes with Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Camp Red Kite program, and she could not be more excited to be exploring stories with the Sprouts this year! Rebecca also works with Watertown Children’s Theatre, Wheelock Family Theatre, and The Advent School’s After School Program.

Florrie Ives

Designer

Florrie Ives

Designer

Florrie Ives is an artist with a Masters degree in Art Education from the University of Georgia. For 10 years she taught elementary art in the public schools in both Atlanta, GA and Chelsea, MA.  Florrie lives in Brookline with her husband Joel, their three children and dog, Pancakes.  She currently teaches after-school art classes at the Lawrence School and is delighted to also be a part of the Artbarn team!

Song Writing with Jeff (Lower & Upper Barn)

Jeff Kimball

Music Director

Song Writing with Jeff (Lower & Upper Barn)

Jeff Kimball

Music Director

Jeff Kimball is a music director, performer, and improviser, and joined the Artbarn family in 2018. He’s active in community theatre, and is a resident music director and instructor at ImprovBoston. If you play your cards right, you might see him playing banjo and accordion un-ironically in public. To find out what inadvisable adventures Jeff is up to, check out jeffkimballmusic.com

Taylor Kirkwood

Taylor Kirkwood

Music Director

Taylor Kirkwood

Taylor Kirkwood

Music Director

Taylor Kirkwood is a passionate Boston based Musical Theatre Music Director, educator, pianist and composer. Taylor has MD’d for Stoneham theatre (now Greater Boston Stage Company), Boston Theatre Company, Watertown Children’s Theatre, The Driscoll School’s annual play, UMass Dartmouth’s Theatre company 20centFiction, and The Umbrella Theater, to name a few. Taylor has MD’d more than 60+ shows for Artbarn Community Theatre, where he’s had the pleasure of working with the Barncats Ensemble, Out of the Box Productions, Duck Soup Troupe, Traveling Geese Touring Co., Winterstock, and the Summer at the Barn Lower Barn ensemble. Taylor also has his own private piano lesson practice, plays the organ for the Pilgrim congregational Church in North Weymouth, where he also serves as a music director and choir director. “I love this company and what we stand for! So happy to be here and always looking ahead to how we can help each young actor grow and take risks in a safe supportive environment. We make it a priority to ensure every actor is seen and making their own individual contributions to the process, and has the best experience possible. Artbarn is a magical program that really knows how to encourage young actors to explore their own creativity in safe space.”

Adina Kruskal

Music Director

Adina Kruskal

Music Director

Adina Kruskal is a writer, composer, and music director from Newton, MA. She graduated in 2019 after studying at Skidmore College and the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. She loves teaching music to actors of all ages and experience levels, having worked on everything from children’s theater to the Late-Night Cabaret series at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Her first full-length musical, Unison, premiered in 2019 at the Chicago Musical Theater Festival. You can find more info about Adina and her work atwww.adinakruskal.com.

MacMillan Leslie

Director

MacMillan Leslie joined the Artbarn family in 2016, and it is one of the most fun and inspiring opportunities he has ever had. He currently assistant directs for Field Mice and Duck Soup Winterstock. An alumni of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he is a director, actor, improvisor, and performance coach. He has performed all over the greater Boston area with fringe and equity companies. He can be seen consistently performing with Catalyst Comedy in B.U.M.P an hour long fully improvised musical.

Katherine Logan

Choreographer

Katherine Logan

Choreographer

Katherine Logan is a Boston-based actor, writer, and educator who is so honored and excited to be a part of the Artbarn family! She graduated from Emerson College in 2018 with a BFA in Theatre & Performance and a passion for using creative spaces to empower young people. Most recently, she served as the resident teaching artist and music director for the Palace Youth Theatre program in Manchester, NH. Nowadays, she is proud to serve as a choreographer at Artbarn and as a teaching artist at Watertown Children’s Theatre. Outside of her work in education, Katherine is an actor, a produced playwright, and a poet. She also enjoys knitting, petting dogs, and singing along to Carole King. You can learn more about her and her work at www.katherine-logan.com.

Euridice Rivas

Euridice Rivas

Designer

Euridice has been part of the Artbarn family since the beginning. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Euridice was professionally involved in music since her early teens, as vocalist of several ensembles, film scores and multimedia productions. She studied Liberal Arts at Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) and then moved to Boston to complete a B.A. in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music. In addition to working as a musician and a voice coach, she has attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and MassArt in Boston to further explore her life passion for visual arts. During the full time mom years, Euridice started building theatrical sets while volunteering at her daughters’ school plays. Not too long after that, in 2001, she joined the staff at Artbarn Community Theater as a designer. Since then, Artbarn has been the creative ground for her vision as a visual artist. Euridice is very passionate about the arts overall and the undeniable power it has to heal and better humanity. She finds herself in a constant desire to learn, explore, and discover the many ways she can create, inspire, connect, and deliver. She feels incredibly enriched and grateful for her journey as an artist, and for all the people who have inspired her. www.euridicerivas.com

Allison Russell

Allison Russell

'Summer At The Barn' Director

Allison Russell

Allison Russell

'Summer At The Barn' Director

In addition to teaching, Allison is an actress in the Boston area, but she has found that instilling her passion of theatre into her students and watching them grow in confidence and understanding is her true calling. A graduate of Boston College, Allison has a B.A. in Theatre Arts as well as a degree in Business Management, and she hopes to return to school in the near future to pursue a Masters in Elementary Education. She is extremely grateful for Chloe and Matthew, who have not only created an incredible program for the kids, but have also established a fantastic work environment that keeps the teachers learning and growing alongside the students. Thank you both!

Hannah Shihdanian

Choreographer

Hannah Shihdanian

Choreographer

Hannah began her Artbarn journey with Duck Soup in 2013! She then expanded to working with the Barn Cats troupe and last choreographed their production of Spamalot in 2019. She has a BA in Theatre Performance from The University of Vermont and has worked professionally for the A.R.T. (under direction of Diane Paulus), The Greater Boston Stage Company, The Umbrella Stage Company, Reagle Music Theatre, and others. Hannah has choreographed for Wellesley Theatre Project (over 40 productions), Babson College, The Umbrella Stage Co, Needham Community Theatre, Alexander Children’s Theatre, as well as others. In 2018, Hannah moved to TX with her two kids, and has been incredibly grateful to return back to Artbarn this past fall and now virtually! Hannah is expecting her third baby in November 2020!

Alyssa Weathersby

Choreographer

Alyssa Weathersby

Choreographer

Alyssa is a Boston-based performer who teaches healthy vocal technique when she isn’t choreographing. She received her BM in Vocal Performance from the University of Houston and was recently awarded her MM in Vocal Pedagogy from the New England Conservatory of Music. Recent roles include Blanche Ingram in Jane Eyre at Seacoast Repertory Theatre, Morgana in Alcina with Opera del West, Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos with Lowell House Opera, and Fury 1 in New England Conservatory’s workshop production of REV. 23 in conjunction with Cerise Jacob’s White Snake Projects. With intensive study in ballet, jazz, and ballroom dance styles, Alyssa has taught at dance studios and in college seminars, and has choreographed for universities, festivals, and galas.