On October 17 at the Annual Membership Meeting, Essex Theatre Company welcomed five new members and one continuing member to its Board of Trustees: Lawson Prince Allen, James Coleman, Bill Feehely, Leigh Firestone, Heather Maxey, and Eleanor Diana Lawrence (continuing).
Lawson’s grandmother came to Essex in 1903, and every generation has summered here. Recently widowed, she and her husband made Essex an important part of their lives for almost 45 years. Until recently she was a Board member at CFES-Brilliant Pathways in Essex. Currently, she is a Trustee at Adirondack Foundation.
Mr. Coleman was the Artistic Director at Essex Theatre Company at its inception. He taught drama and directed plays at the Spence School in NYC for many years. He is interested in the area of educational outreach in theatre and increasing opportunities for community involvement in local theatre activities. Currently, he enjoys playing his ukulele and singing at various open mic sessions.
Bill Feehely is a playwright, actor, teacher, director, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. As a playwright, he has written Outside Paradise, The Trojan Women (adaptation), Ordinary Heroes, Working with Glass, and The Payout. He has directed and acted in several stage plays for The Tennessee Repertory Theatre, The Actors Bridge Theatre, The O’Neill Theatre, The Belmont Theatre, and Belmont University. He is founder of the Actors Bridge Actor Training Program. He was the Head of Acting/Directing and a tenured professor at Belmont University and held private classes on the Meisner Technique. Bill released his music album Money and Love in August 2017. He also appears in Reba McEntire and Home Free music videos.
Leigh Firestone is originally from Sonoma County, CA, and raised her four children in Oakland and Berkley, CA. She moved to Essex, NY, during the Covid outbreak and purchased the old Essex firehouse, which she has turned into the Barn Door Tavern. Ms. Firestone is a patent attorney by profession, and she assisted in this year’s ETC summer activities.
Heather Maxey holds a BA in Theatre Arts and is a theatrical director, acting coach, composer, singer, dancer, and choreographer. She has directed youth drama classes and is founder of Back River Drama, LLC in Duxbury, MA. She has overseen the production and direction of five summer musicals in Duxbury including High School Musical, Oklahoma, Sound of Music, Shrek, and The Lion King. This past summer Heather organized ETC’s Independence Day parade float and orchestrated ETC’s Talent Show.
Eleanor Diana Lawrence, returning ETC Board member, is currently serving as Secretary of the Board. She also serves as a Vestry member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, and is a Board member of the Champlain Valley Chapter of Sweet Adelines in Plattsburgh. Diana made her acting debut with ETC in 2003 in Private Lives and has acted in several ETC productions since then including The Prisoner of Second Avenue, My Favorite Year, Three Oranges, The Sunshine Boys and, most recently, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. She co-directed Jacob Marley’s Christmas for ETC at several local churches and has sung in several church choirs and choruses and now sings with the Champlain Valley Chorus (Sweet Adelines) and the Cumberland Bay Chorus (Mixed Barbershop).
We welcome all these new and returning members to the ETC Board of Trustees. If you wish to make a donation to the Company, please visit our website at www.essextheatre.org. Now onto the 2023 season, currently in the works!
ETC Board President