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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 Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS.








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 Theater.

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. *not offered in 2021

Registration for artsIQ will be open soon.

Read more: 2022 Dreamworks Shrek JR.





Bell Megan
Megan is currently attending Lesley University as a candidate for her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Arts Therapy. She has always been involved in the arts in her local and university communities and is excited to be pursuing a degree that recognizes and celebrates the healing nature that the arts provide. She hopes to pursue a career as a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist in a trauma-informed practice with a focus on providing children and adolescents an outlet to express themselves through all artistic modalities in a safe and inclusive environment. Megan hopes to continue to bring awareness of the expressive arts to local communities and engaging with the youth in these communities through art, music, dance, drama, and poetry.

Megan earned her BFA in Studio Art/Pre-Art Therapy from Ohio Northern University. She was heavily involved in her university's bands and choirs, participated in multiple dance showcases and productions, took part in theatrical productions, and created artwork for campus events, faculty research, studio courses, and professional development.

Megan has been active in MTVarts productions with her family for years, performing in and choreographing for many shows. Some of her favorite shows to choreograph include Godspell, Once Upon a Mattress, Bye Bye Birdie, The Addams Family, and The Wizard of Oz. She enjoys working with MTVarts and looks forward to continuing sharing her love of dance and choreography with all involved.

Bruce Jacklin


Bruce Jacklin has directed and acted in more than 150 productions over the last 35 years. This includes professional, summer stock, collegian and community theater productions. He has received awards in acting and directing at both regional and state festivals. Bruce has appeared in national and local television films and commercials. He won Best Supporting Actor at the San Francisco Actor's Film Festival for the film “Nietzsche Ate Here”. He is the recipient of the 2014 Red Cross Education Hero Award. PCG Talent and Docherty Casting Agency represent Bruce. He holds a bachelors and a Master’s degree in art education and curriculum instruction. Bruce is the artistic director for MTVarts and the Alcove Dinner Theater.

Corey Strinka


Corey Strinka has been working as a middle and high school music teacher since 2008.  Currently employed at Highland Local Schools, he directs the vocal music program and teaches piano, guitar, history of rock and roll, and middle school general music classes.  He also serves as an accompanist at Kenyon College and has experience as a worship leader and piano instructor. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Corey has served as an accompanist for numerous MTVarts summer productions, including The Music Man, Shrek, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, and Bye Bye Birdie. Corey is excited to be a part of the music team at MTVarts, and is thankful for all of the people who continually support the arts in our community.  He lives in Mount Vernon with his wife, Juliet, and their three sons.

HEADSHOT. BIOChristan Sears has been an elementary educator since 2005 and currently teaches at Danville Elementary School. In 2020, she earned a Master’s degree in Literacy from Walden University to add to her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from The University of Akron. She has also had the honor of being awarded the title of a National Board Educator, based on the National Board Professional Teacher Standards (NBPTS). Christan has taught students in multiple grade levels in both North Carolina and Ohio over the past 17 years. She has been involved with the development and implementation of various educational and behavioral programs that foster student’s learning, behavior, and social growth.
“I have always had a love for musicals and theater. When I was younger, I was involved in musicals and school/church choirs. Performing had a positive impact on me growing up, and now I can see it firsthand with my daughter being involved with MTVarts. As a thespian and educator, I can see the benefits of “the arts” on students. Theater and performing helps create a positive and lasting impact on a child’s confidence, social development, and cognitive performance.” ~Christan Sears~

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

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.

ianernsberger1Ian Fraser Ernsberger has been acting for 30 years, directing for nearly 20 years and has worked multiple shows as the lighting/sound designer and Stage Manager for 15 years. For the last 5 years, Ian has been the acting coach for MTVarts and their youth artsIQ program. Ian is also the Managing Producer for The Alcove Dinner Theatre, which he has been with since its inception in 2004 and is a Working Board Member of MTVarts, where he has been a part of the group since their creation in 2007. Besides Mount Vernon, Ian has also appeared in shows at The Renaissance Theatre and Mansfield Playhouse in Mansfield Ohio, The Coshocton Playhouse in Coshocton, Ohio and professional Summer Stock theatre Weathervane Playhouse in Newark Ohio. Ian has been the recipient of numerous awards from The Ohio Community Theatre Association, BroadwayWorld.Com and The Ohio State University.

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."