Who's Who at MPAC

The active learning environment at MPAC is made possible by the outstanding performing arts faculty members that serve both the Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools (ANC) and Bryn Athyn College (BAC).

Naomi Haus-Roth; MPAC, BAC, ANC

B.F.A., M.S.T. Rochester Institute of Technology
Mitchell Performing Arts Center Director

Naomi Haus-Roth is currently in her seventeeth year as the Director of the Mitchell Performing Arts Center where she has designed sets for The King and I, Wit, A Christmas Carol, and Anne of Green Gables, among others.

She teaches Scene Design and Production for the Bryn Athyn College and is the Advisor for the Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools Theatre Club.

Her regional theatre credits include over a hundred productions, many as a Prop Master/Artisan at the McCarter (Princeton, NJ), Goodman and Northlight Theater companies (Chicago). Her artisan credits also include stints in Chicago at the Steppenwolf, Royal George, Shakespeare Repertory and Court Theatres; and Broadway projects include The Roundabout and Walter Kerr Theatres.

Alison Cole; MPAC, BAC, ANC

B.A., Bryn Athyn College of the New Church
MPAC Assistant Director

Alison Cole is in her first year as Assistant Director of the Mitchell Performing Arts Center.

After graduating from Bryn Athyn College of the New Church with a degree in religion, Alison has been a tour guide at Bryn Athyn Cathedral as well as doing a lot of freelance work, including co-producing and assistant directing a short film.

Alison grew up with theater, including performing in many show at MPAC. She is honored and excited to be learning more about the behind-the-scenes of theater life.

Jessica Bostock; BAC

B.A., Ashford University; M.A., Arcadia University
BAC Performing Arts Head, Dance Ensemble Director, Dance Instructor, Theatre Director & Choreographer

Jessica is an award-winning choreographer who has taught and choreographed many styles of classical and contemporary dance, both privately and academically, for two decades. Jessica danced professionally in the Philadelphia area for a number of years with Bina Kachine, Dance! and was the owner and artistic director of In Motion Dance Studio. She has choreographed and directed numerous shows for high school, college, and professional theatre productions, at such places as Bucks County Playhouse, Steel River Playhouse, LaSalle University, and T4Y Playmakers. She was recently made the Director of Children’s Theatre Programming for The Resident Theatre Company of West Chester, PA. She is currently on the faculty of Bryn Athyn College as both an assistant professor of dance and theatre and the head of the performing arts program.

Mandy Rogers-Petro; BAC

B.A., Macalester College, M.F.A., University of Michigan
Instructor in English

In addition to teaching poetry and creative writing, Amanda Rogers-Petro has been the director or assistant director for many of the College's theatrical productions. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in various magazines and literary journals.

Martha Gyllenhaal; BAC

B.F.A. Carnegie Mellon University; M.A., PhD Temple University
Head of Humanities and Fine Arts Division, Assistant Professor of Art

Dr. Gyllenhaal, head of the Humanities and Fine Arts Division, is a painter and art historian who integrates humanities and the fine arts in her teaching. She enjoys using the art collections in Glencairn Museum to enhance her classes. Her course Topics in Twentieth-Century Architecture: Bryn Athyn Cathedral meets on site and examines the process it took to erect the Bryn Athyn Cathedral. She has lived and traveled extensively in Europe and encourages her students to plan their own grand tours. Her passion is 17th century Dutch art.

Dr. Gyllenhaal also serves as the advisor for Bryn Athyn College's annual theatrical productions.

Baird Kistner; ANC

B.A., University of Richmond; M.A., Villanova
ANC Freshman and Junior Boys English, Fall Drama Director

Mr. Kistner received a Bachelor of Arts with dual major in Theatre and Classical Civilizations from University of Richmond in 2002. He received a Master of Arts in Theatre with a concentration in script writing from Villanova University 2006. Since then, he has worked in both academic and professional theatre.

Interesting facts about Mr. Kistner:

  • In over 50 different productions there are only two positions I have never held: Make-up and costume dresser.
  • Started as a Economics major in 1998; did not begin pursuing theatre as a major until Fall of 2000.
  • Paid for 95% of Master's program by working as graduate assistant in Vasey set shop at Villanova University from 2004-2006.
  • Originator of the "Scotsman" intermission tradition begun in 1996.
  • Co-writer and one of the three original founders of ANC's Better Announcement Coalition.

Chris Waelchli; ANC

B.Mus., Catholic University
Fundamentals of Art, Choral Music, Performing Arts Portfolio, Stagecraft, Music and Technical Theater Director

Sarah Gladish; ANC

B.A., Brandeis University; M.Ed., Holy Family University
ANC Dance Instructor, Dance Ensemble Director and Choreographer

Ms. Gladish is trained in many styles of dance including ballet, modern, hip-hop, and jazz. Her dance and theater experience includes such varied performances as the Crucible, One Flew Over the Cuckoos' Nest, Camelot, and the Nutcracker. As a student, she also toured with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater.

She has taught at public and private schools in downtown Philadelphia and in the surrounding area. At ANC she runs the dance program, teaches Performing Arts Portfolio, and choreographs for the Spring Musical.

Sarah Waelchli; ANC

B.S.L.A., Georgetown University; M.A., St. Louis University, Madrid
Spanish 2, Spanish 3, Spanish 4, Drama Producer, Cappies Advisor