Melanie Heard (Director / Board Member)
Melanie's professional arts background stems from the genre of classical ballet, and she studied dance with the Joffrey Ballet, Kirov Ballet School in DC, and Ballet West in Utah. Originally from the Los Angeles area, Ms. Heard has directed and/or choreographed 60+ full length shows, including Honk Jr, Seussical Jr, Lend Me A Tenor, and recently AAARGH! PinkEye, A Pirate's Parrot in Peril for Poison Pen Players. Melanie has played nearly every onstage role from a tap dancing chorus girl, to "Sally Bowles" in Cabaret to the title role in Evita. A credentialed teacher with a Master's of Education (MAed), and former "Teacher of the Year" in Los Angeles, she puts "working with children in the arts" at the top of her list of favorite things to do. She enjoys watching the sparkle in a child's eye when he or she steps out onto the "big stage" for the first time. There is truly no magic that compares to that moment when a child succeeds in the arts.
Jason Wood (Assistant Director / Musical Director/ Board Member)
Jason is proud to be able to share the gift of performing arts with young people through C.R.O.W.! No stranger to the stage himself, Jason performed as "Cliff" in Cabaret and as "Horton" in Seussical Jr. He has also starred as "Jack" in Into The Woods, and has played several roles for Poison Pen Players, including "Winston Montague," an English Detective in So Long Saloon: How The West Got Dead and "Lafitte PinkEye" - a human parrot in AAARGH! PinkEye, A Pirate's Parrot in Peril. Originally from Los Angeles, Jason studied with the Groundlings School of Improv and performed with The Imagination Machine, a children's theatre improv troupe. Jason teaches voice and piano lessons privately to many of Florence's talented young people and adults - he currently has over 25 students!
John Flaherty (Producer):
John owns the Florence Playhouse, and moved to Florence over 20 years ago, bringing with him a wealth of professional theatre experience. Originally from New York, he holds a Masters in Theatre as well as a Masters in Counseling/Psychology, both from University of Oregon. John worked as a probation officer for the Lane County Dept. of Youth Services for more than 20 years. Mr. Flaherty estimates that he has acted and/ or directed over 120 shows in his lifetime, 60 of which were musicals. Some of John's favorite roles include "Teddy" in When You Coming Back Red Ryder, "Herr Schultz" in Cabaret (at the Hult Center),"Billy Bigelow" in Carousel, and "The Stage Manager" in Our Town (at the Florence Events Center). John is delighted to help provide this opportunity for Florence's young people to experience the magic of live theatre.
Ellen Jacobson (Producer):
Ellen studied theatre arts in college in Long Beach, CA. with David Emmes, Director Emeritus of the prestigious South Coast Repertory Theatre Company. She married Michael in 1967 and they will celebrate 45 years without killing each other in June. She was fortunate to be able to pursue the other great love of her life as a quarter horse breeder and owner for more than 35 years in Southern CA. You might remember her performance a couple of seasons ago here in Florence as crazy Aunt "Abby Brewster" in Arsenic and Old Lace. Currently she writes, directs and produces for her family's murder mystery company, Poison Pen Players. When she is not working in the arts, you can find Ellen riding one of her horses, Maizy or Tabasco.
Mike Jacobson (Producer / Board Member):
A founding member of murder mystery troupe, Poison Pen Players, Mike is also no stranger to children's theater, having portrayed both hero and villain in Aladdin & The Swinging Genies (for which he also wrote the score, directed, and played the title role), The Little Mermaid, and Hercules (in which he portrayed "Cyclops," a one-eyed villain in an enormous prosthetic papier mache headpiece, who chased after Hercules' girl friend, played by his daughter, Melanie Heard.) Having been part of productions involving such diverse talents as Henry Mancini and Jerry Lewis, Mike is happy to work with with Florence's talented youngsters and perhaps Hollywood's future stars.
Contact Us: (541) 999-8641 email@example.com
Hal Weiner (Board Member):
Hal Weiner, MD, MBA, has over 45 years experience in the worldwide medical and healthcare information systems field including sales, marketing, development, consulting, implementation, and strategic planning. He is currently the President of Weiner Consulting Services, which he founded in 1998. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of C.R.O.W., Peace Harbor Foundation, Keep The Arts, and mTuitive Corporation. He has been on the board of several other non-profit organizations over the past ten years. He is also the Chairman of the Florence Winter Folk Festival. He has been involved in the music scene since the early 1960’s as one of the Barbary Coast Singers and is still an active musician and performer.
Polly Fleming (Costume Designer / Board Member):
Polly has always loved theater and dance, but had forgotten to make time for one of her favorite pastimes after becoming a mom. Luckily, Polly's kids were born with a love of the arts, and literally dragged her back into the world of the theatre. Local audiences may remember Polly's oustanding performance as "Maggie" in LEND ME A TENOR at the Florence Playhouse. In addition to performing herself, Polly designs beautiful costumes for C.R.O.W. Her mom taught her to sew at a very young age, and Polly is teaching her own kids now. Polly is also grateful to her good friend, Barbie Madden who taught her "the art of costuming a show." Polly says "Nothing makes me happier than to help bring the many positive experiences of theater to the fantastic children in my community!"
C.R.O.W. (Children's Repertory of Oregon Workshops) is a non-profit organization, dedicated to enriching the lives of local children, their families, and the community, through the magic of live performance, classes, workshops, and more. Our board and production team consists of wonderful folks with professional theatre arts experience . But more than anything else...we all believe in the importance of quality arts education for our kids.