Summer 2023 Intensive Instructors

CHOREOGRAPHY: Melanie Barber

 is a DC-area dance instructor and choreographer. She was trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, modern, and hip-hop, from childhood through college. For the past 19 years, she has worked with educational and community theatre groups in the area. Currently, she teaches at HST Cultural Arts, Inc. She also has the privilege of choreographing the musical productions at Quince Orchard High School. She’s excited to be working with  the company members of the Free Theatre team this summer!




DIRECTING: TJ Lukacsina 

TJ (he/him) has been working with community theatre in the DMV area since 2014. He is currently the Artistic Director for Silhouette Stages and sits as the Chair for the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (W.A.T.C.H.) organization. Directing: Hairspray – Rockville Musical Theatre; Cinderella, Big Fish, Legally Blonde – Silhouette Stages; Into the Woods, Thoroughly Modern Millie – Heritage Players; Sweeney Todd, High School Musical, White Christmas – Laurel Mill Playhouse. Lighting Design: Jekyll & Hyde: An Immersive Experience, Striking 12, Always Patsy Cline, Murder Ballad – Free Range Humans; Cabaret – Silhouette Stages. Music Direction: 14 shows with Hammond High School. TJ is in his second year teaching The Free Theatre summer workshops!



Rikki Howie Lacewell (she/her) is a WATCH nominated choreographer, director and performer based in the Washington DC area. She has worked extensively in the Professional and Community Theater community over the past 20 plus years. Rikki has been teaching workshops with The Free Theatre since the beginning!




ACTING A SONG: Jimmy Mavrikes

(he/him) is the Co-Artistic Director of Monumental Theatre Company. For MTC, Jimmy has directed Head Over Heels, and Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, known for having “the best gross-out laughs of the season” according to The Washington Post. Jimmy can also be seen acting on the stages of other DC theaters. He is a three time Helen Hayes nominee for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, with one Best Leading Actor win for his role of Will in Girlfriend at Signature Theatre. Other credits include Sweeney Todd, Rent, Assassins, and Cabaret at Signature Theatre, The Wild Party at Constellation Theatre Company, Bat Boy at 1st Stage, Fiddler on the Roof and Oliver at Arena Stage, as well as many TYA productions at Imagination Stage and Adventure Theatre. He holds a bachelor of music degree in Musical Theatre from Catholic University. Currently you can see him in Miss Nelson is Missing at Imagination Stage. This is Jimmy’s third summer intensive with The Free






Hailey (she/her) is a Lighting and Projection Designer, who has been working in the DC area since 2018, and has worked with The Free Theatre since December 2018. She grew up in Bethesda Maryland and returned to the area after attending Ohio Wesleyan university studying History and Theatre. Theatre has been a central part of Hailey’s life ever since she started doing tech work in middle school. She believes that student leadership and technical/ design knowledge is so important for any young artist and she is so thrill to have the opportunity with The Free Theatre to pass down some theatre know-how. This is her second summer intensive with The Free Theatre! You can find some of her recent work at



Marci (she/her) has served as music director for hundreds of professional, community and educational program productions in the D.C. area over the past 40 years. In addition to working with The Free Theater since its inception, she is the resident Music Director for Free Range Humans, a professional immersive theater company, and serves on the Board for Free Range Kids (both based in Frederick, MD). Marci has worked extensively with educational musical theater in the DMV, including Montgomery County Public Schools drama programs. Some favorite productions include Once (American University), Little Women (Univ of MD and Montgomery College), Newsies and Anastasia (Quince Orchard HS Theater), Jekyll and Hyde (immersive), Murder Ballad, Always Patsy Cline, Striking 12, 35mm (Free Range Humans), Double Trouble (Imagination Stage), Infinite Future: A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein (Monumental Theater), Aida and In the Heights (Northwest High School), Spamalot and Forever Plaid (Rockville Musical Theater). She is a University of Maryland theater and music department alumnus. Marci is also a collaborative accompanist, mentor, audition coach and freelance musician.


COSTUME DESIGN: Kristina Martin

Kristina (she/her) is excited to be working with The Free Theatre this summer!  She has a Theatre degree from The College of William and Mary, where she worked as the Wardrobe Supervisor. Her DMV Costume Designer and Wardrobe Supervisor credits include: Virginia Shakespeare Festival, NextStop Theatre Company, Infinity Theatre Company, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Silver Spring Stage, Studio Theatre, Theatre Prometheus, bel Cantanti Opera Company, Urban Arias, Keegan Theatre, Washington National Opera, Brave Spirits Theatre, Land and Hungry Theatre Company, 4615 Theatre, Catholic University, Towson University, and Forum Theatre Company.  As the Resident Designer and Shop Manager of Transcendence Theatre Company in Sonoma, CA, Kristina won awards for 2019 Best Costume Design from Broadway World Bay Area, as well as Costume Designer of the Decade. Recent local work includes multiple productions with Imagination Stage and Montgomery College. This is her second summer teaching for The Free Theatre!



Megan (she/her) is a scenic designer, scenic painter, and theatre artist. She graduated from James Madison University in 2017 and has been freelancing in the DMV area since 2019. Her first production scenic designing with the Free Theatre was Fame in 2019, and she never left! This is Megan’s second summer teaching for The Free Theatre!




PROPS DESIGN WORKSHOP: Rooster Skylar Sultan

is a prop designer/artisan and technical theatre educator in the DC theatre area. She is a Teaching Artist with Adventure Theatre MTC. Some of her recent prop design credits include:  Mojada; The Visit; A New Brain; The Amateurs; Men on Boats; Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea; The Nether (Montgomery College) Human Museum; Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea; Chemical Exile: Synthesis (Rorschach Theatre) Possumneck Playhouse . . .; Blackwell Island; The Pursued . . . and The Tired (Signature in the Schools) Quilters; The Rainmaker (1st Stage). Rooster is a graduate of The University of North Georgia and a member of USITT – Chesapeake Region.   




Jess Vogel (she/her) is the Artistic Director at Quince Orchard High School’s QO Theatre. She also teaches Theatre and English. She has been directing and teaching theatre for 10 years in MCPS and has been involved in theatre since a young age. One thing she loves most about improvisation is the ability to take on so many new characters in a short period of time. She is ready to have fun this summer with The Free Theatre!



STAGE MANAGEMENT: Brittany Huffman and Lauren Markovich

Brittany Huffman (she/her) is a stage manager and performer active in the Northern Virginia community theatre scene. Previous roles as stage manager with Little Theatre of Alexandria include Fences, Ripcord, Love Letters, and Fox on the Fairway; previous on-stage roles include ‘Celia’ in As You Like It with NOVA Nightsky and ‘Mary’ and others in A Christmas Carol with Little Theatre of Alexandria. She studied theatre at Seton Hill University in PA and loves a good read-a-thon with her friends and sitting in a dark theatre before a show, communing with the theatre ghosts.
Lauren Markovich is a stage manager and general theatre enthusiast based in Northern Virginia. Previous stage management credits in the DMV include Firebringer and [title of show] at Dominion Stage and Rumors and Wait Until Dark at the Little Theatre of Alexandria. She has also mentored and provided support to several new stage managers in the area. In college at the University of Delaware, she also worked on several shows with the Delaware Resident Ensemble Players and studied Theatre Production. When not doing theatre, Lauren can be found at her day job working with families experiencing homelessness in DC.





Rikki Howie Lacewell and Marci Shegogue