Meet Our Staff

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Eric Vaughn Johnson

Executive Director

Johnson is an award-winning director from Rochester, and has been involved with countless theatrical and film productions both on- and off-stage. He has been described as "an influential part of Rochester Arts” (West Side News), as "one of the leading figures in Rochester's musical arts scene" (Pittsford Neighbors Magazine), and was recently featured as a Rochester “Extraordinary Person” (News 8 Now).

 

Mr. Johnson is the Founding Executive Director of OFC Creations Theatre Center, a theatre company and performing arts center focused on youth engagement, performing arts education, and connections with the community. Founded in 2005 by Johnson, OFC offers classes in acting, singing, and dance at the brand-new OFC Creations Theatre Center after being at many different locations over the years. Students have had the opportunity to perform in both educational and professional shows under the direction of Johnson including: The Little Mermaid, Oliver, and Miracle on 34th Street.

 

In 2016, Mr. Johnson became the President of the Greece Performing Arts Society (GPAS) and led the organization for three years into their “50th Anniversary Next Chapter." In his second year as president, Mr. Johnson was described as leading “the 300-person performing membership… [into] an artistic and financial renaissance” (Monroe Post). In 2017, Mr. Johnson brought the re-opened Greece Theatre Company and Greece Choral Society together for the regional premiere of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the beautiful Lyric Theatre. 

 

Johnson served as the Program Director of Rochester Association of the Performing Arts (RAPA) for five years. At RAPA, Johnson designed all educational programs for students from ages four to eighty-four during the academic year and summer. Johnson also directed many of the RAPA Family Theatre and Youth Theatre season productions.

Johnson is most recognized for directing and co-writing the world premiere of Eddie Money's original stage show, Two Tickets to Paradise: The Musical, at the Kodak Center. Johnson worked directly with the late Money-Man writing and arranging a majority of the new script and broke box office records at each performance. 

Over the years, Johnson directed numerous professional musical productions on the main stage at the Kodak Center, including: West Side Story, Mary Poppins, the first Rochester production of Sister Act, Oliver, as well as the Upstate New York premiere of It’s Only A Play, and the regional tour of A Year with Frog and Toad to name a few. Johnson's directing ability specializes in storytelling choreography and transforming an ordinary show into an experience. 

Mr. Johnson has created and expanded many drama programs in several local schools, including: Seton Catholic School, Pittsford Middle School, World of Inquiry (School No. 58), St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Plank South Elementary, and Penfield Harris Hill. Previously he served for four years in Greece as the Artistic Director of SNAP Musical Theatre, a new summer program working with up to 80-students in each production. 

Performing has always been a joy for Mr. Johnson. At the 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival, he starred as the musical narrator, Ladahlord, in James and the Giant Peach and in 2016 portrayed the comical, gender-bending Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Show. Mr. Johnson can also be seen in William Fichtner’s feature film Cold Brook and continuing his on-going role as Dorothy in The Golden Girls Musical series.

 

He believes strongly in community partnerships. In 2014 Mr. Johnson partnered with Facing Race, Embracing Equity for a benefit production of The Wiz at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. In 2015, he brought OFC Creations and the Rochester Latino Theatre Company together to produce the Rochester premiere of In the Heights for several sold-out performances, and reprised the partnership in 2019 again with In the Heights for the next generation of performers. In 2018, Mr. Johnson and the Out Alliance partnered to bring the world-wide entertainer, Miss Richfield 1981, to make her Rochester debut at the Kodak Center. In July of 2018, Johnson published his first book, My Quarter-Life Crisis, reflecting on his passion and encouraging young artists to follow their dreams.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson didn't just continue, but expanded theatre offerings in the Rochester region by opening the OFC Creations Theatre Center. Johnson loves taking on new projects and finding new and innovative ways to grow the arts in our community.

Contact Eric Vaughn Johnson at Info@OFCCreations.com

Or by calling 585-667-0954 ext. 1

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Hunter Ekberg

Operations Manager & Technical Director

Ekberg, a native Minnesotan, serves as the Operations Manager of the OFC Creations Theatre Center and as an American Sign Language Interpreter in a wide range of settings and applications. Onstage, Ekberg has breathed life into characters such as Snail (A Year With Frog and Toad), Fairy Godmother (Bibbidi Bobbidi Cinderella), The Gingerbread Man (The Gingerbread Man), Long John Silver (Treasure Island), and Rose Nylund in the sold-out run of OFC Creations’ production of Thank You for Being a Friend: The Golden Girls Musical. 

 

Ekberg has flexed his directing muscles working with young creatives on wide array of projects as Be More Chill and Rent. However, his greatest enjoyment stems from the "mental Rubik's Cube" of seasonal intensives in which youth performers put on an entire full-length show in the span of one month. He has accomplished this feat with shows such as Into the Woods and Little Women where he worked in nearly every role in the theatre simultaneously (From Artistic Director to Lighting Designer). Ekberg, an experienced pianist and vocalist himself, has furthered his musicianship by vocal directing Newsies, In the Heights, Mamma Mia, Heathers, Annie Jr., Be More Chill, and the Upstate New York Premiere of The Spongebob Squarepants Musical.

 

Ekberg believes strongly in the incredible transformative power of performing & strives for a world where kids of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities are able to experience the joy of being on stage.

Contact Hunter Ekberg at Hunter@OFCCreations.com

Or by calling 585-667-0954 ext. 2

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Caeli Carroll

Full Time Theatre Arts Instructor

Carroll is a choreographer and dancer who recently graduated from Ithaca College receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts Management and Dance. She has been dancing since the age of three and has been performing in theatre since the age of eight. During her time at Ithaca, she was a dancer, teacher, and choreographer for two  dance companies, danced in the theatre departments Dance Concert, and worked as the Assistant Choreographer for their spring musical. Carroll recently returned from New York City where she participated in Dance Lab New York’s Broadway Choreography Intensive where she worked with some of the top professionals in the industry, including Josh Prince, Jeff Calhoun, JoAnn M. Hunter, and Al Blackstone. One of her favorite work experiences was working as a choreographer and dance instructor for Interlochen Center for the Arts summer program. Carroll believes that dance is a beautiful and fun outlet for expression and has limitless storytelling potential. She is incredibly excited to work at OFC and hopes to share her love and passion for the creative arts and spark a similar passion in the students! 

Contact Caeli Carroll at Caeli@OFCCreations.com

Or by calling 585-667-0954

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Courtney W. Schutt

Sales and Rentals Manager

A Rochester native with her BFA in Theater Performance from Niagara University, Schutt has been fortunate enough to share stages at Blackfriars Theatre, Lyric Theatre, Kodak Center, Out of Pocket Productions, JCC Centerstage, the Century Club of Rochester, Pittsford Musicals and as the lead vocalist of local pop/rock group That Party Band. She is a performance educator for local organization Impact Interactive – a theatre-based training company that helps organizations create healthy, diverse and inclusive learning and working environments and has been adjudicating acting for RBTL’s Stars of Tomorrow program since 2016. Since 2018, Schutt has served as the Business and Communications Manager at Dresden Public Relations - overseeing business operations, event planning and management and client/media relations. She resides in Brighton with her husband, Eric and daughter, Parker.

 

Schutt is no stranger to OFC Creations - directing both school break and summer camps since 2018 and appearing on stage in Shout! The Mod Musical (Green Girl), Nunsense (Sister Robert Anne), Spring Awakening (Ilse), The Wild Party (Queenie) and Vanities (Mary). As Sales and Rental Manager, Schutt looks forward to bringing her love for performing arts and ample experience in the sales, hospitality and public relations/marketing industries to create new opportunities and memorable experiences at the OFC Creations Theatre Center!

Contact Courtney Schutt at Courtney@OFCCreations.com
Or by calling 585-667-0954 ext 3

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Kitty Lipski

Scenic Director

Lipski is a Scenic and Costume Designer whose specialties include scenic painting, fantasy and trick costumes, wig styling, and stage effect makeup. She received her BFA in Theatrical Design and Technology with a double concentration in Costume Design and Scenic Painting from Emerson College in Boston. 

She started her career at OFC 13 years ago, designing and creating for our fearless leader, Eric Vaughn Johnson. She also appeared onstage and onscreen in a number of OFC’s earlier works. 

Since returning from college Kitty has been a freelancer for OFC and other theaters in the area but is thrilled to be taking on a more comprehensive role at OFC, focusing all her effort on creating rich onstage worlds for actors of all ages to play in.

As Scenic Director, Kitty will be spending most of her time in the scene shop painting backdrops and set pieces for our beautiful new stage. She will also step over to the costume department to produce specialty pieces and wigs as needed. A few noteable OFC costume credits include Squidward in “Spongebob, the Musical”, the Fairy Godmother in “Bibbidi Bobbidi Cinderella”, “Sister Act” and the regional premier of “Hunchback of Notre Dame”.

 

She is so thrilled to see the creative force that OFC has become in this area, and is honored and excited to keep creating theater magic as a resident designer of her favorite theater company. 

Contact Kitty Lipski at Kitty@OFCCreations.com
Or by calling 585-667-0954

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Brianna Ross

Office Manager & Teaching Artist

Ross is a recent graduate of the State University of NY at Fredonia with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in Musical Theatre. Brianna has been performing in the Rochester for over a decade, favorite credits including The 39 Steps, Dogfight, Into the Woods, and Anything Goes.

While theatre performance is a passion, for the past three years Brianna has been involved in a combination of Summer Theatre Administration for OFC and, more recently, directorial positions with OFC for numerous shows.

Contact Brianna Ross at Brianna@OFCCreations.com
Or by calling 585-667-0954

Meet Our Artists

Judith Ranaletta

Judith Ranaletta

ARTS PROGRAM DIRECTOR FOR CENTURY CLUB. Ranaletta is well known as the long-time, former Vocal Music and Drama Director at Greece Athena High School, where she successfully grew a thriving Performing Arts Program. Many of Judith's former and present students perform on Broadway and around the country each season.

J. Simmons

J. Simmons

TEACHING ARTIST Simmons is an actor, director, fight choreographer and private acting coach in Rochester. He has studied theatre for 31yrs and 26yrs+ experience in professional and regional theater locally and nationally. He has studied Ballet, Jazz, Modern and classical vocal training in opera for 15 yrs. He has created multiple summer camps, and has done over 100 master classes at area schools, programs and colleges. J was featured in the CITY paper's “Rochester 10”, one of his highest honors.

Paul Urriola

Paul Urriola

Paul Urriola grew up in Rochester and fell in love with theatre and performing in some of OFC’s first projects! Since graduating from State University at Buffalo with a BFA in Music Theatre, Paul has spent the past 5 years traveling between NYC and various theatre and theme park gigs where he’s worked as an actor, director, choreographer, and musician. Credits include 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, (Barfee; Geva) Seussical (Horton; Cape Fear Regional Theatre, NC), Chicago (Amos, FL)

Harrison Sakai

Harrison Sakai

TEACHING ARTIST. Sakai is currently studying as a BFA Musical Theatre student at Nazareth College. Most recently he was involved in the collegiate premiere of Chaplin the Musical at Nazareth, as well as a workshop of the new musical Modern by Selda Sahin and Derek Gregor. Some of Sakai’s other past credits include Leo Bloom (The Producers), Mr. Mayor (Seussical), and Bill Snibson (Me and My Girl).

Hadley Strelau

Hadley Strelau

VOICE TEACHER. Strelau is a Rochester native and has a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Nazareth College. No stranger to the stage, she regularly performs as a backup singer for Josh Groban, and has traveled throughout Western Europe as a featured soloist with The Sound of America. Her most notable credits include: Newsies (Katherine Plumber), Peter Pan (Tiger Lily), Clara, My Love (Clara Wieck), and The Old Maid and the Thief (Miss Pinkerton).

Charlie Harringotn

Charlie Harringotn

TEACHING ARTIST. Harrington grew up in Pittsford where he performed with OFC Creations during its early years. He also picked up the guitar at the age of 13, and has since been training his fingers to fly across the fretboard. Charlie moved to New York City to study at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He also studied guitar and songwriting at NYU's Steinhardt School of Music. In 2017, Charlie performed in his first Off-Broadway play The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder.

Orlando Boxx

Orlando Boxx

TEACHING ARTIST. Boxx is thrilled to be working with OFC Creations once again! He is a recent graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College, where he studied Music and Marketing. The most recent shows he has been in were Songs For a New World (Man 1) and Man of La Mancha (Anselmo) with OFC, Newsies (Elmer/Brooklyn Newsie) at JCC and Anything Goes (Sailor Quartet) at Roberts Wesleyan. Most recently he has choreographed For Sale, an original show with Roberts Wesleyan. Orlando is so excited to join OFC!

Frankie Paparone

Frankie Paparone

GUEST ARTIST Paparone: Broadway/NYC: Shrek, Elf (Madison Square Garden). Off-Broadway: I Spy a Spy. National/international Tours: Elf, Fame. Regional: Goodspeed, Muny, Ogunquit Playhouse, Kennedy Center, North Shore, Maine State Music Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Gateway Playhouse, Northern Stage, and Weschester Broadway. Outside of performing Frankie is a dance educator and adjudicator.

Emily Beseau

Emily Beseau

TEACHING ARTIST. Beseau is a graduate from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. She co-directed choral music in her professional fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota as well as studied ballet, jazz, and tap for several years at the New York Academy of Dance. She has performed in various shows in the Rochester community.

Eric Schutt

Eric Schutt

TEACHING ARTIST Schutt is a Fredonia acting graduate and has been seen off stage teaching vocals with shows like Addams Family and Spamalot. Schutt also frequently performs in Rochester in shows including: Titanic (Jim Farrell), Hands on a Hardbody (Greg), Meet Me in St. Louis (John), My Fair Lady (Jamie) and Sweeney Todd (Anthony).

Monique Franz

Monique Franz

TEACHING ARTIST Franz is an international songwriter, playwright, and theatre director whose programs have taken place across the Eastern globe. She is celebrated In Hong Kong as the head performing arts mentor of the former International Academy of Film/Television where she taught Hong Kong’s most phenomenal talent in onstage/on-camera acting, voice, and movement. Monique has held children’s enrichment workshops in Egypt, India, and Ethiopia, where she instructed hundreds of kids in the arts.

Lizzi Lou

Lizzi Lou

TEACHING ARTIST. Lou is a Rochester based choreographer, actress, creative and educator of young minds! Lizzi received her degree in Theatre Performance from Monroe Community College and specializes in children's dance and theatre instruction— although her focus is never confined to one outlet. Lizzi is energetic, silly, LOVES Disney and rainbows, and credits her artistry to her raw passion for children, performing arts and life!

Jeannie Hines-Clinton

Jeannie Hines-Clinton

TEACHING ARTIST. Clinton has sung at Lincoln Center with Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Misérables), she has been a part of the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival since 2005 and recently joined Sir Tim Rice in his US premiere of From Here to Eternity in the summer of 2016. Jeannie has been an educator in the Performing Arts in the Rochester area for over 13 years, worked with RBTL with the Stars of Tomorrow Program.

Courtney Larkin

Courtney Larkin

TEACHING ARTIST. Larkin holds a Bachelor's degree from Nazareth College in Adolescent Math Education and she is a Special Education Math teacher at Greece Athena High School. Courtney also has had the pleasure of choreographing for Greece Athena Middle School, Greece Olympia, Greece Odyssey, Artists Unlimited, OFC Creations, Next Generation Theatre, Greece Olympia Center Stage Show Choir, GAMS Show Choir, and teaches at Danc'letics of Rochester. She has performed in multiple community shows.

Mandi Lynn Griffith

Mandi Lynn Griffith

TEACHING ARTIST Griffith is a Roc native with a BFA in Dance. She studied improv at Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC, then went on to own and direct New York Academy of Dance for twelve years, here in Rochester. Mandi has participated in the local theater community as choreographer, performer and director and has been involved with productions for Blackfriars Theatre, GPAS, JCC CenterStage, Webster Theatre Guild and Roberts Wesleyan, as well as OFC. She also co-founded Last Fool Productions.

Shari Bischoping

Shari Bischoping

TEACHING ARTIST Bischoping is a 5th grade teacher with an undergraduate degree in Childhood and Special Education, a concentration in Theatre, and a Masters in Literacy from SUNY Geneseo. Shari has assistant choreographed the Victor high school musical, choreographed teen show choirs, and vocal directed for the Henrietta Summer Drama program. When Shari is not working with students, she enjoys acting in the local theatre community herself!

Rebecca Kemp

Rebecca Kemp

TEACHING ARTIST Kemp is a choral/general music teacher at Park Road Elementary School in Pittsford where she works with students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. She also serves as the vocal director for Barker Road Middle School’s 7th and 8th grade musical. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music therapy and music education from Nazareth College and a Master of Science degree in creative arts therapy. She currently performs around the Rochester area with Concentus Women’s Chorus.

Hector Manuel

Hector Manuel

TEACHING ARTIST Manuel recently returned from New York City and has been acting and directing across Rochester. His credits include: The Wild Party, the regional tour of A Year With Frog & Toad, and Oliver. You may have also recently seen him in the world premiere production of Eddie Money’s musical, Two Tickets To Paradise.

Marissa DelVecchio

Marissa DelVecchio

TEACHING ARTIST. DelVecchio is a recent graduate of Niagara University with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance. Most recently, she toured the United States and Canada with Missoula Children's theatre for which she directed and acted in their production of Peter and Wendy. Since returning to her hometown in Rochester, she is very excited to be a part of the theatre community that started her passion for the arts.

Crystal Robinson

Crystal Robinson

TEACHING ARTIST Robinson holds a Bachelors’ degree from SUNY Fredonia in Music and Elementary Education and her Masters degree from SUNY Brockport. She is a Music Education teacher at Greece Athena Middle/High School. Crystal also has had the pleasure of being the choral director for several GAMS theater productions and for the GAMS Show choir. She also teaches piano, voice and musical theater at Danc’letics of Rochester.

Alexandria Ireijo

Alexandria Ireijo

TEACHING ARTIST. Ireijo is an actor, singer, dancer, and artistic professional originally from Oahu, Hawaii. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Musical Theatre from Nazareth College Apart from theatre, Ireijo has worked in childcare and education with children ranging from 6 weeks old to 18 years old. She believes that theatre provides a safe outlet for expression, exploration, and best of all, fun! She strives to nurture her students and coach them to their fullest potentials.