Acorn Acting Academy Faculty


Christopher Beaulieu, Education Director and Co-Founder of revolutionary arts education company, Creatively Independent, is an internationally touring trickster hell-bent on ferocious play. For over 25 years, Chris has worked as a director-actor-educator with Shakespeare & Co., Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Greylock Project, Dell’Arte, Circus Smirkus, ISTA, NYU/Tisch, Brown/Trinty Rep, BU, UVA, Kennedy Center (KCACTF – SE), SETC (2015-17 Stage Movement chair), Performing the World, multiple State Thespians and teacher training conferences. Recently, Chris created “To The Breach”, a high-energy adaptation of Henry V (world premiere, Germany) which will be highlighted in CI’s second book “Shakespeare’s Ensemble: Creative Ownership Project”. He’s currently workshopping “A Fire Just Waiting” featuring Ani DiFranco’s music. TRAINING: Shakespeare & Co., Dell’Arte International, Society of American Fight Directors, Pilobolus. AWARDS: NEA grant, Paddy Crean Award (SAFD) more @


Daniel is the Artistic Director of the Maine Playwrights Festival. He has developed and directed new plays for theaters including Penobscot Theatre Company, Mad Horse Theatre, Saco River Theatre, Boston Playwrights Theater, and Portland Stage Company, where he was previously Literary & Education Manager. Other Maine credits include the world premieres of One Blue Tarp at Penobscot Theatre and Legbala Is A River at Mayo Street Arts, as well as productions at Portland Stage, Penobscot Theatre, AIRE, Dramatic Rep, and Deertrees Theatre. He is also a member of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.


Jared Culverhouse is the founder of Working Man’s Clothes Productions, a theater company which he started in 2005 in New York. Working Man’s Clothes Productions has produced works by playwrights including Romulus Linney, Bekah Brunstetter, Samuel Brett Williams, and Chisa Hutchinson. Working Man’s Clothes was instrumental in getting new plays seen and published. As an actor Jared has been seen in multiple productions including To Nineveh (Best Ensemble NYIT Awards), Derby Day (Clurman/Theater Row), and New Country at the Cherry Lane Theater. Jared received his BFA in Acting from Texas State University and his MFA in Directing from UMass Amherst. As an educator Jared has worked at The New York Film Academy and the Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. This summer his devised piece 8X10, dealing with the effects of solitary confinement, was seen at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.


Avner Eisenberg was described by New York Magazine as “a clown for the thinking man.” His show Avner the Eccentric was a hit of the 1984-1985 Broadway season. He appeared again on Broadway in Ghetto and The Comedy of Errors. Avner is widely known for his scene-stealing portrayal of the holy man in the Michael Douglas film The Jewel of the Nile. Avner studied with Jacques Lecoq from 1971 to 1974. Since then, he has developed a unique physical approach to comedy and acting that he teaches in workshops around the world. Avner continues to tour his one-man show internationally and has won awards at the Edinburgh Festival, the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival, and the Festival Internacional de Pallassos in Barcelona. He won the “Snow Star” for comedy in Switzerland, and the “Lachmesse” award in Germany. Visit for more information.


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 devised 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 Artistic Director of the Naked Shakespeare series. He has been teaching acting classes at Acorn for almost 20 years as well as directing several dozen productions for Acorn. He has also taught acting and playwrighting at SMCC and the Stonecoast Writing Program and written several plays for Acorn, including The Dybbuks of Park Slope and The Legend of the Golem. 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.


Bess Welden holds an MFA from the National Theater Conservatory, and 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 works 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. Her original storytelling performance event, Legbala is a River, premiered in June. She is also collaborating as a director/dramaturg with Kari Wagner-Peck on her new storytelling performance, Not Always Happy, which will premiere as part of Portland Stage’s Studio Series in November.