Regular Staff Members
Marcia Bender is the Theatre Director at Woodstock Union High School and Middle School, working with teens to develop theatre and community skills, producing four shows each season. After studying piano performance and pedagogy at Goshen College and Westminster Choir College, Marcia worked at the New School for Music Study in Kingston, NJ, a community piano school, piloting new curriculum and working with grad students to hone their teaching skills. During this time, Marcia was a part of the Westminster Choir, performing with Robert Shaw, Luciano Pavarotti, Riccardo Muti, among others. In Vermont, teaching has continued to be the focus of Marcia’s work, with piano teaching, leading Kindermusik classes, directing community and church chorus, singing and performing with Village Harmony, with Revels, and now with the exploration of bringing this experience to theatre.
Scenic designer and builder
Fred Schlabach is the owner of Broad Brook Carpentry, LLC, and uses his background in art and graphics to design and build beautiful spaces for people. He started Broad Brook Automotive Art in 2018 to capture the beauty that he sees in the rust and decay of cars and trucks that have been discarded. His work can be seen at The Worthy Kitchen. He has been building sets for Yoh Theatre since 2015. He enjoys collaborating with Marcia Bender and her actors on design and elements of productions. A highlight of his time with Yoh was when he accompanied the Yoh Theatre Players to Scotland as a chaperone for their experience at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018.
Costume design and seamstress
Tech Design and Building
Scott is a full-stack web developer and system administrator. Scott has worked regularly with Yoh Theatre since 2015. He sets and focuses lighting, helps build sets, makes sure all of the technical elements of Yoh shows are functioning well, and fixes anything that is broken. In his free time, Scott loves biking and skiing.
Costume Designer Emeritus
Diane has worked Accounts Receivable for Proampac for 23 years. She designed costumes for Yoh Theatre from 2011-2020 and enjoyed every minute of it. She enjoys sewing and gardening.
Even after she finished her work as Yoh’s costume designer, Diane has continued to support Yoh in various ways, including helping to organize the program’s volunteer work at the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in 2022. She is an invaluable and well-beloved member of the Yoh community.
Recurring Workshop Leaders
Brigid Armbrust is a modern dancer and current Middlebury College student (class of 2025).
She has been dancing her whole life, and has studied with a number of teachers including: Kate Gamble, Peggy Brightman, Neva Cockrell, Daniel Bear Davis, Deborah Harris, and her mother, Kelly Armbrust. In addition to contemporary technique, her movement background includes ballet, yoga, martial arts, contemporary partnering, improvisation (including contact improv), and the Axis Syllabus. She believes that dance/movement practice isn’t just a performance art; it can also help us learn to interact with ourselves, our bodies and our worlds in a more healthy and
Kelly Armbrust holds degrees in both dance and dance/movement therapy and has engaged with dance both artistically and therapeutically for much of her life. As a teacher, her approach blends the traditional and technical with more contemporary and somatic practices, always holding the dual intention of training dancers while supporting her students’ growth as human beings. She believes that dance can connect us more deeply to ourselves and our world, and strives to awaken a growing curiosity and authenticity in her students. She currently teaches modern dance at Open Door Integrative Wellness (in WRJ), homeschools her daughter and grows a lot of food. She feels strongly that we should all be dancing more….and that dancing and embodiment practices are forms of activism! For the more present we learn to be in our bodies, the more we can create positive change in our world.
Molly Armbrust (she/her) is a dancer/mover and high school student (partially
homeschooled/part-time at Hartford high). She first worked with YOH in collaboration with her
mom and sister in 2019 on their performance of Metamorphosis and has since helped with a
few other shows. Her work included incorporating dance/movement into the shows as well as helping the performers to find a more embodied presence both on and off stage. Molly’s movement experiences include modern/contemporary dance, ballet, contemporary partner work, yoga, axis syllabus, and martial arts. It is always a joy working with the YOH community!
Conrad Bender has been a production designer and technical director in the Philadelphia area for the past 25+ years. Conrad has designed scenery and/or lighting for numerous dance and theater artists and companies in the Philadelphia area. Conrad is currently the Senior Technical Director at MC3, where he is responsible for production design and logistics management for a wide variety of corporate events. A founding member of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival (now FringeArts), Conrad was the Technical Director of the Festival for the first 12 years, and continued as a production consultant with the festival for several years after that. Conrad has managed many other festivals, including Dance Affiliates’ Next Move Festival, Movement Theatre International’s Clown-Theatre Congress, Philadelphia Dance Alliance’s Transit Dances Festival, and Philadelphia Dance Project’s Packard Building Festival. Because of his minor knowledge of Mandarin, Conrad accompanied Philadelphia artists to the International Sister Cities Arts Festival in Tienjin, China on two separate occasions.
Tesha Buss has choreographed several shows at WUHSMS since 2016. Her professional choreography credits include: Hair (Pentangle), Godspell (Grange Theatre), Heat Lightning (Off Broadway), First Lady Suite (Drama Desk Nomination, Best Revival), Hot Mamas (Dillons Cabaret), Peter Pan (Trinity Rep), LooLa (Best in Fest, MITF), Joys of Sex (NY Fringe), 7 seasons at The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, Sisters of Swing (Capitol Repertory), Gyspy (Theatre at the Center), Seth’s Sassy Friends (PS-NBC), Sprint PCS, and ‘Nothing Like a Dame’. Performing credits: Cats (Broadway), The Rhythm Club (Signature Theatre), Gypsy, Red, Hot & Blue and Grease at Paper Mill Playhouse, Sandy Duncan’s understudy in That’s Christmas! conceived by Jerry Mitchell, Fraulein Kost in Cabaret at Pentangle.
Bethany Formica Bender
Choreographer and Movement Specialist
Bethany Formica has been a professional modern dancer, teacher, and choreographer for the past 25 years. She is currently a performer with Cardell Dance Theatre, guest choreographer for West Chester University Dance Co., teacher at Bryn Mawr College, and the owner of Sawdust Siren, a custom woodworking company specializing in creating objects for the home from reclaimed/repurposed wood. Bethany graduated with a BFA in Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 1994. She has a major interest in partnering, upside down, flip and floor work, teaching how to use one’s upper body as articulately as the lower body, often using elements from Capoeira and Yoga. Bethany spent 10 years in New York City, performing with various groups. She has also performed internationally with Dada von Bzdülöw Theatre and Koncentrat in Poland, Melina Martin (Argentina), and Sylvain Emard (Montreal), among others. Bethany has taught dance, theater, and vocal master classes and residencies throughout the United States as well as internationally in the Czech Republic, Sweden, Italy, Ireland, Dominican Republic, Poland, and England.
Holly Levison is a costume designer and writer living in Vermont. Over the last 23 years, she has costumed and designed over 200 shows for high schools, summer camps, enrichment centers for adults and youth with special needs, and regional theatre companies. Her first production with Yoh Theatre was Under Milkwood in 2008. Favorite productions include Mamma Mia, Anne Carson’s Bakkhai (played in Woodstock and at the 2018 Edinbrugh Fringe Festival), 1776, Working, Once On This Island, Hair, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Fish Tales, The Secret Garden, Under Milkwood, Seussical, and Scrooge. She has also loved working with words her entire life, in the form of writing plays, speeches, essays, memoirs, and stories. There have even been multiple moments of putting words on fabric while creating healing quilts. Her love of combining theatre and alchemy runs deep and continues.
Bob Merrill is a composer, producer, and audio engineer. He began playing piano at five years old, and has played bass and piano professionally for nearly 50 years. He can be found playing jazz at local venues, private engagements with area musicians, or silent films at Dartmouth and other venues around the state. He now makes his home in Wilder, Vermont. For Yoh Theatre, he has played for American Divas, Scrooge, Mamma Mia, and As You Like It.
WUHSMS Alumni Work
Allison (Sage) Bradley
Fall Show Assistant
Allison is a former Yoh master who worked as the assistant director for the 2021-2022 school year after graduating in 2021. She is passionate about all things movement, and worked to choreograph fights ranging from martial arts to fencing, as well as coaching actors in expression through gesture and gait.
Educational Technical Director
Lilian graduated from Woodstock Union High School in 2015, having participated in every show the Yoh Theatre Players produced since 2011 under Mrs. Worrell. Lilian went on to double major at Smith College in Architecture and Theatre Design, graduating in 2019. The year following, Lilian worked as the Educational Technical Director for Yoh under Marcia Bender, teaching students technicaly components of theater design and then producing the video components of the performances after Vermont locked down during the beginning of 2020. At the start of the 2022 academic year, Lilian is moving to Edinburgh, Scotland, to get an MSc in Architectural Conservation.
Hi! I’m Eve (she/her). I am a proud alum of Yoh Theatre and an eternal Yoh master. I’m currently an animajor (animation major) at MassArt and my favorite color combination is purple and yellow.
Ian graduated from WUHSMS (and Yoh) in 2016 and went on to study Filmmaking at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. Ian currently works as a part-time freelancer and full-time Video Content Specialist for 1% For the Planet. In his free time he likes to make linoleum block prints, write short films, and try to find the Korean fried chicken recipe.
Theo grew up on a farm in the outskirts of Woodstock, Vermont with three older sisters and an older brother. He attended public school at Woodstock Elementary and then Woodstock Union High School and Middle School, where he graduated in 2019. His involvement with Yoh theatre was largely influenced by seeing his siblings performances. When he first began perform with Yoh theatre, he played children, urchins and butts of reindeer (however, just one butt of one reindeer). He continued acting in high school as a new passion for improv theatre was forming.After 2019, Theo moved back and forth between Woodstock and Burlington. Now Theo lives in Burlington, Vermont.
Organization and design
Anna (she/her) participated in Yoh Theatre as an actor from 2013 until her graduation in 2019. She currently studies English and French as a member of the class of 2023 at Carleton College in Minnesota, where she also works as a Scene Shop Assistant in the theater department. Through workshops at Yoh and her work at Carleton, she has a background in scenic design, lighting, stage management, and assistant directing as well as acting. She now works with Yoh during the summer to keep the costume and props closets clean, organized, and prepared for the upcoming year.
Gordon Twigg-Smith has been a part of Yoh theater since 2019. He has worked mainly in the tech department but has also been in acting roles, most notably as the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol and Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers. He currently lives with his parents and his little brother and very dumb but cute dog. Gordon wishes to work in the freelance art business and enjoys Cats.