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Arts Education
Our Education mission is to encourage innovation and quality by nurturing empathy, respect, and responsibility in an environment for growth.

MTVarts Classics Series honors our cultural and literature heritage with an educational outreach to secondary students. Our productions present authentic, uncensored works by iconic American playwrights as the author intended.

The 21st century student experiencing live theatre in an educational environment has greater tolerance and improved ability to read the emotions of others, has increased understanding of plot and vocabulary, and gains an appreciation for the arts.

Measured in the lives engaged, the thoughts provoked, and the experience of seeing literature studied come to life on the stage, this is our most successful endeavor.

The next Classics Series Show will be announced in 2021.


artsIQ is a unique program featuring an intensive weeklong summer workshop teaching the fundamentals of theatre and introducing the youth production. When casting the show all participants are guaranteed a role. Once cast the students go into a six week rehearsal period for a full-scale musical on the stage of the Memorial Theatre.

Currently participants may choose from three tracks:

artsIQ KIDS offers youth ages 8-12 the basics of theatre through acting, music, and choreography instruction complete with a field trip to the Memorial Theater for a behind-the-scenes look at MTVarts' summer musical.

artsIQ JR offers youth 13-18 an opportunity to engage with experienced instructors as they learn music and choreography in a 3-day intensive.  An audition experience is part of both KIDS and JR with all participants earning a role in the production.

artsIQ Tech Track was developed around a kinetic curriculum experiencing the behind-the scenes aspects of production.  Field specific experts teach at the beginner level and the workshop culminates with production team positions for each workshop participant.

Registration will open later in 2021.  note - if you registered in 2020, your name is still on the list.

Read more: 2021 Disney's Frozen JR and Disney's Frozen KIDS





Sarah Gratz

Sarah is a retired teacher with 35 years of experience in grades four through eight. Her formal education includes a bachelor and master's degree from The Ohio State University. In addition she served as a graduate teaching assistant at The Ohio State University for two years. She has been involved with MTV Arts IQ for the last nine years. Sarah and Kristen Campbell have planned, organized, and conducted workshops for groups of up to 80 students introducing them to the elements of theater. After the workshops, Sarah and Kristen have continued to work during rehearsals and backstage during productions.

Joe Jancura

Joe has been studying music for over twenty years. His formal education includes a bachelors and master’s degree in music education from West Virginia University where he studied with Dr. James Miltenberger, Dr. Molly Weaver, Dr. Sandra Schwartz, Dr. David Bess, and Dr. Janet Robbins. He is currently the choral director at Clear Fork Valley Local School District where he directs five middle school ensembles and two high school ensembles. Joe also performs locally as a vocalist with the Heritage Singers and as the pianist for the Knox Community Jazz Orchestra. Joe has been a part of artsIQ for one season as the music director for Willy Wonka Jr and Willy Wonka Kids.

Dingle Diane

Diane Dingler has a degree in music with certification in education from Capital University Conservatory of Music, a Masters Degree in Vocal Pedagogy from The Ohio State University, post graduate work at OSU and Ashland University. She is an adjunct instructor of voice at Kenyon College, teaches voice and piano in her home studio, and is the Director of Music at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church. Diane is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association. She has been the vocal director for MTV Arts since its inception. 

Christa Brady

Christa has been a piano accompanist for MTVarts since their inception. She accompanies musicians from local high schools and Kenyon College. A graduate of Mount Vernon High School, she has always had a passion for all things musical and is thrilled to share her gift- not only with the community, but with her own children who look forward to being a part of each theater season.

Sample of her work: 

Lalo Cello Concerto Prelude with Caleb Zak

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Jessica is the Family and Consumer Science teacher at Danville Local Schools. Jessica has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising Apparel, Dance Minor and a concentration in Family and Consumer Science from The University of Akron.  She has also obtained a Master of Education degree in Workforce Education and Development from Bowling Green State University. Jessica has been involved in multiple theatre and dance productions since high school. While in college, Jessica worked in The University of Akron’s Costume shop where she altered or constructed costumes for the theatre and opera productions. Jessica also was the student wardrobe mistress for the theatre productions and the wardrobe mistress for opera productions. Currently, Jessica is the costumer/choreographer/set designer for the Danville High School theatre program. Jessica has worked with the theatre program for the past six (6) years.  Musicals Jessica has worked on while at Danville include Little Shop of Horrors, Aladdin, Bring It On, The Wizard of Oz, and Willy Wonka. Additionally, Jessica costumed the following Danville fall plays Cafe Murder, Harry Potter at Twilight, Flowers for Algernon, Jane Austin, and Drop Dead Juliet.  Jessica has helped construct and/or alter costumes for the following MTV Arts productions: The Addams Family, The Wizard of Oz, Annie Kids, Annie Jr., Willy Wonka Kids, and Willie Wonka Jr.

Susan Brown

Susan S B Brown has been doing theatre since she was a little girl and although she started college as a Pre-Med major, by the end of her Freshman year she was spending all her spare time at the theatre. She went on to achieve an MA, most of a PhD and an MFA in theatre. She worked at a Non-Equity summer theatre company for two summers and at the New York Renaissance Festival for 3 summers. She taught Costume and Make-up design, directed several plays and taught Intro to Theatre at Ashland University for 15 years. She is currently the curator of the Costume collection at MtVArts in Mt Vernon, Ohio, for which she has designed costumes for Wizard of Oz (twice), Addams Family, the Musical., She has also designed costumes for Mt Vernon Nazarene University, and Fredericktown High School, the Alcove dinner theatre, and some period costumes for members of Historical Reenactment groups.

Ruth Frady head shot

Ruth Frady's passion of the arts goes back to her childhood where she sang, wrote and performed for elementary school and church activities. She developed a love for landscape, still life, and portraiture in her teens and had studied under American professional artist, Robert Warren in her young adult life. Ruth also directed an award winning teen drama ministry through The Church of the Nazarene for ten years, and has enjoyed artistic interests such as calligraphy, clay head sculpture, and jazz singing. Given the opportunity to work with MTVarts, Ruth was given the opportunity to work with makeup and hair, as she had been a Mary Kay beauty consultant and local school hair stylist in the theater program. This evolved in honing her diverse art background into the area of coiffure and wig design. Self taught, Ruth now oversees a four hundred piece inventory of wigs, hairpieces and supplements for a very active theater schedule. She is continually challenged by character interpretations, quick change conflicts, and even gravity constraints in her designs. Inspired by media accessibility to Broadway-caliber creativity and quality tutorials, Ruth's education continues.

Mike Headshot 1Michael Sears has seven years of experience handling replacement parts orders and logistics for worldwide distributors of a locally manufactured product. He works closely with software and web developers for a better experience for both external and internal users. He previously worked for 5 years as a Marketing Manager and Event Coordinator for an industrial truck distributor with multiple locations in North and South Carolina. Mike earned an Associate’s degree in Business with a focus on Marketing and Promotion. However, his various life and work experience makes him a jack-of-all trades and that fits right in when working with theater and the arts.

"After moving to Mt. Vernon, Ohio with my wife and daughter in 2013, we did not know about MTVarts or that we had moved to a community that was so supportive of the arts. We definitely had no idea that we would all become involved and get so much enjoyment out of being a part of the arts community. My daughter, who was only three years old at the time we moved here, has discovered a love of singing, performing, and learning that has helped develop her confidence and overall well-being."