Acorn Acting Academy Faculty


Sarah Barlow is a Portland-based theatre artist and company member of Acorn Productions’ Naked Shakespeare ensemble. Since returning to Portland, she has directed for Sound & Fury, Naked Shakespeare, and PortFringe, and has been seen on stage with Naked Shakespeare, Portland Shakespeare Company, Maine Playwrights Festival, PortFringe and Portland Players. Prior to moving to Maine, she worked in southeastern Massachusetts for 15 years as an actor, director, and text coach. She holds a degree in Vocal Performance and Theatre from Wheaton Conservatory, and has also studied at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox MA, and the Sandra Feinstein Gamm Studio in Providence. Not content to have even a tiny amount of free time, Sarah is also a bodyworker, playwright, and photographer.


Lindsey is the Producing Artistic Director of 60 Grit Theatre with a hunger for physical and devised theatre. She recently directed the Maine premier of Sarah Kane’s Blasted and is currently devising Unsinkable, an original piece created by 60 Grit. Lindsey received her MFA in Theatre Directing from East 15 Acting School where she spent two intensive years studying and directing devised and adapted theatre under the tutelage of Mathew Lloyd. Her work has been produced regionally and academically at Etcetera Theatre (London UK), The Drayton Arms Theatre (London UK), Theatre Madness Festival (London, UK), University of Southern Maine, East 15 Acting School, Portland, ME, and Seoul, South Korea. Lindsey served as the Artistic Director of Seoul Shakespeare Company in South Korea from 2010 – 2014 and has worked as a Teaching Artist for Wintergreen Arts Center, The University of Southern Maine Theatre Academy, and Seoul Shakespeare Company.


Dana Wieluns Legawiec is a professional actress, movement director and arts educator with over two decades’ experience performing and teaching in Los Angeles, New York, Maine and internationally. As co-Artistic Director of Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble, she has contributed to nearly every show as a performer, movement coach, choreographer, Mask instructor or director. She is also an Artistic Associate with the Bath and Camden Shakespeare Festivals. Dana received her BA in English Literature and a Certificate in Theatre and Dance from Princeton University, and is a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre.


Michael Levine is the founder and Producing Director of Acorn Productions, as well as the co-Artistic Director of the Maine Playwrights Festival and Artistic Director of the Naked Shakespeare series. He has written several plays for Acorn, including The Dybbuks of Park Slope and The Legend of the Golem, as well as several children’s theater adaptations of fairy tales. He has directed several dozen productions for Acorn and taught acting and playwrighting at SMCC and the Stonecoast Writing Program. He is a graduate of M.I.T., where he studied playwrighting with A.R. Gurney, as well as acting with Kristen Linklater, and Shakespeare and Company and he is a certified secondary school English teacher.


Megan Tripaldi is an actor, playwright, and educator working in Portland, Maine. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a BA in Theatre in 2012 and has had her plays produced in Maine, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Washington. She most recently performed in The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Bare Portland Theater; eight shows in the last two seasons of Naked Shakespeare; The Ballad of Daphnis and Chloe with Kerr and Company; and the tour of Romeo and Juliet, and currently the tour of Macbeth with Portland Stage. She has worked in education programs with Stages Performing Academy, Acorn Productions, The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, and Portland Stage Company.


Bess Welden has been making theater professionally as an actor, writer, and educator for 25 years. She has focused much of her teaching work on helping students of all ages and backgrounds connect with their authentic voices. She has worked one-on-one with seasoned performers, first-time actors, and business executives, and has served on the teaching faculty at Vassar College, The School for Film and Television (NYC), University of Southern Maine, and currently Colby College. She is currently developing an original multi-disciplinary performance piece, Legbala is a River, slated for production in 2017 as well as collaborating as a director/dramaturg with Kari Wagner-Peck on her new storytelling performance, Not Always Happy.