Harriton Theater Coaches

Harriton Theater Coaches

Harriton Theater coaches are drawn from Philadelphia’s theater community and provide coaching for performance, technical and business aspects of theater.

Neill Hartley: Director

Neill Hartley is a professional actor, director and educator. He has principal roles in The Sixth SenseFirst Freedom (PBS documentary) and in three seasons of Netflix House of Cards.  Neill was seen on QVC as a spokesperson for two national companies, and he works regularly in industrial, voice-overs and commercials.

Neill has acted with many regional theaters including Arden, InterAct and the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival.  He shared a “Best Ensemble” Philadelphia Barrymore Award for Batboy, The Musical for 1812 Productions.  Neill is the artistic director of Acting Without Boundaries, a theater company for performers with physical disabilities.  In addition to AWB, he has directed for University of the Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Arcadia University, Ursinus College, Luna Theater, Isis Productions, and New City Stage Company.  Neill has directed Working, How to Succeed in Business, Museum, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Comedy of Errors, Gypsy, Sherlock Holmes and Young Frankenstein, Peter and the Starcatcher, 9 to 5, and Our Town for Harriton High School.

Neill is an assistant professor of theater at The University of the Arts, and he holds an MFA in Acting from Temple University.

Carl Smith: Technical Director

Carl has been a professional actor, teacher, and carpenter in the area for 12 years. Although he’s a native Texan, he currently lives in South Philly with his wife and daughter, and has recently begun cheering for better sports franchises. He enjoys the theatre community’s penchant for relentless pursuit of positive change through powerful storytelling, and is honored to have joined HTC in this mission. Working with young artists is the best way to ensure the future for generations to come.

Marissa Kennedy: Assistant Technical Director

Marissa Kennedy is thrilled to return as Assistant Technical Director at Harriton Theater Company. While not at Harriton, she teaches acting and playwriting in the Philadelphia Area. She has a BA in English from Oberlin College and an MA in Theatre from Villanova University.

Kelly Myers: Costumes Coach

Kelly Myers is excited to join the Harriton Theater Company as the Costume Coach. Her regional design work includes Philadelphia: Romeo and Juliet (Philadelphia Shakespeare Co), The Wizard of Oz (Quintessence Theater Group), The Last Match (Lantern Theatre Co), Matilda the Musical (Limelight PAC) Pittsburgh: A little Night Music (Pittsburgh Opera Theatre), The Farnsworth Invention and Saving the World (Throughline Theatre Co), Deepchurch Hollow (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). She holds an MFA in Costume Design at Ohio University, and a BA in Theatre at Slippery Rock University.

Jay Karawsky: Musical Director

Dr. J.A. Kawarsky is Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ.  As music director, he works with middle school students, high schools, amateur and professional.  He has toured with “Peter Pan” and enjoys the professionalism of the students at Harriton.  As a composer, he released the CD “Spoon Hanging From My Nose” in 2018. Recently he recorded his new work “Charlottesville: 12 August 2017” with the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

MeLinda Tatum Kaiser: Choreographer

MeLinda Tatum Kaiser has worked as an independent choreographer, director and educator in theatre and dance environments for more than 30 years at the university, secondary and elementary levels.  From 2009-2016 she lived in Shanghai, China, teaching at an international secondary school and choreographing for area HS and MS musicals there.  MeLinda is currently teaching Arts Integration at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA and directing/choreographing for everybody’s theater company (ETC) in Upper Dublin, Harriton, and Temple Sinai in Dresher.

Harriton High School Faculty

Harriton High School faculty are a key advocates for the arts in school, student run arts organizations such as Harriton Theater and coaches like the Harriton Theater coaches.

Harriton Theater coach Scott Weinstein

Scott Weinstein, Principal

Scott Weinstein joined the Harriton High School team in 2016 as the Principal. Prior to that, he served as the Principal of Gladwyne Elementary School, was an Assistant Principal at both Bala Cynwyd and Welsh Valley Middle Schools in Lower Merion School District. He also served 20 years as an educator in the School District of Cheltenham Township, mostly as an administrator at Cheltenham High School.

During his time at Cheltenham High School, besides being a teacher, department chair and Assistant Principal, Weinstein developed a leadership program. The program consisted of a leadership course that he taught as well as biannual student leadership conferences that focused on student leadership development and enhancing student voice.

Weinstein holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned his Master’s Degree in Education and principal certification from St. Joseph’s University.

Weinstein is honored to serve as Principal in one of the nation’s finest public high schools and is committed to cultivating an inclusive and world class school community.

He also enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, connecting with friends, and staying active with his alma mater by serving as a member of the VCU Men’s Basketball Board.

Harriton Theater coach Tom Ferguson

Tom Ferguson, Athletic and Activities Director

Tom Ferguson became a member of the Harriton staff as the Athletic and Activities director during the 2002 school year. Prior to this role he spent seven years as a fifth grade teacher, first at Penn Valley Elementary, and then moved to Belmont Hills Elementary when it was reopened in 1998. During his time as a classroom teacher he also ran the stock club, intramural activities, and coached football, wrestling, and lacrosse at Welsh Valley Middle School. He has enjoyed being a part of the Lower Merion community at every level.

His educational degrees come from West Chester University, where he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education, and St. Joseph’s University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership as well as a Principal’s certification K-12 and Supervisory certification K-12. In 2009 he became a certified Athletic Administrator and has been a member of PSADA (Pennsylvania State Athletic Director’s Association) since his tenure began at Harriton. He is currently the PIAA District 1 Boys’ Lacrosse Chairman, and served as the Central League President for 2010 school year.

In his off time, he enjoys golfing, attending sporting events and spending time with his wife Nancy, and children Ryan and Lauren.