Myrlin Valerio


Myrlin Valerio, (Director) (Director, Costumer, Acting and Improv teacher)
Is a theatre director, producer and costumer working in the Hudson Valley for over 25 years and director of Croton Academy of Arts since it's formation in 2003.  Myrlin works with children, teens and adults teaching drama and comedy improvisation. She is a professionally trained actress who worked with local and Regional theatre companies. Myrlin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre.






Natalie Arneson (Director, Choreographer, Voice teacher) Natalie graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in England with a BA in Musical Theatre. While overseas, she played Princess Jasmine opposite Britt Eklund and Issy van Randwick in the pantomime Aladdin, toured England and Germany as Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest, and played Cunegonde in Candide. She has worked extensively in her native Houston, with credits at the Alley Theatre (A Christmas Carol, Much Ado About Nothing), Houston Grand Opera (Manon Lescaut, La Cenerentola), Arneson Productions (Side Show), Bayou City Concert Musicals (Follies, Fiorello), Houston Shakespeare Festival (The Tempest), Main Street Theater (Nine, Lady in the Dark), among others. She performed her original show “Mama Drama” at The Metropolitan Room, The Duplex, and Don’t Tell Mama, subsequently winning the 2016 Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabarets Award for “Best Female Debut.”Natalie has extensive experience in several teaching disciplines, including ballet, tap, jazz, singing, acting, and stage combat. Her career as an actress has expanded into that of director and choreographer of many children’s musical theater performances. She has directed and choreographed for several companies. 


Nic Coccaro (Acting, Stage Combat Choreographer)  SAG-AFTRA member, certified Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and has studied at the British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat.  BA Theatre, actor, stunt performer, combat choreographer. Has fight directed numerous comedic and dramatic works here and abroad for professional theatre, community theatre, and college and high schools. From Genesius Theatre’s Hamlet at Theatre Under St. Marks, NYC to SUNY Binghamton’s Anne Boleyn to CAA’s She Kills Monsters to Cider Mill Playhouse’s Deathtrap, Nicolas has worked with both children and adult actors. Nicolas is happy to teach young actors and educate them on how to act out violence on stage in a safe and clear manner.


Irene Corvinus (sound design) Irene Corvinus is a writer and filmmaker. Irene is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz with a BA in Digital Media Production and English: Creative Writing. Her poetry can be found in both “Chronogram” and “The Stonesthrow Review.” Irene has worked in theatre her whole life both on stage and behind the scenes. Stage Manager: Willy Wonka Jr., Alice in Wonderland Jr., Coney Island Christmas, and Tapestry. Sound Design: Coney Island Christmas, Free To Be You and Me, Willy Wonka Jr. and Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some).

Andrea Furey (CAA Administrator) Andrea Furey has a wealth of experience in arts administration, education,  public affairs and communications that includes directing national arts programs for the National MS Society, administration for the International Council at the Museum of Modern Art, teaching Pre-K at Childrenspace and serving for a decade on the Croton-Harmon School Board, currently as Vice President. A theater kid in high school herself, her terrible singing voice meant that she mostly performed behind the scenes. She is thrilled for this new opportunity to be working with the performing arts and, of course, the fabulous young people who come through our door!


Jennifer Jiles (Private coaching or small group by appointment: Coaching, Acting, Auditions, Scene study and monologs by Jen Jiles ) Jennifer is an Emmy Award-winning host and multi-award winning actress, writer and producer who’s worked with such stars as Tim Conway,Tom Poston, Samantha Eggar and Carl Reiner. She is also perhaps one of the best known Ex-Radio City Rockettes because of her critically-acclaimed Off Broadway solo show, “KICKING & SCREAMING, The Musical!” about her years at The Music Hall. Ms. Jiles is the Executive Producer and starred in the short film “The Waiting Room” by Debra Markowitz for which she’s won BEST ACTRESS, and she is the 2 time BEST ACTRESS winner for the multi-award winning short film “Mother of the Week” in which she is the lead actress, wrote the original story, co-wrote the screenplay, and co-produced. She’s been on the web series “Small Miracles” starring Judd Hirsch, and has appeared in the films “Flat Brim”, “Hey, You Never Know” and “Restaurant” starring Adrian Brody, as well as on television, including “100 Centre Street”, “Guiding Light” and “As the World Turns.” Jennifer can be seen and heard in numerous commercials (TV & radio), and narrates children’s, young adult, non-fiction and fantasy genre audio books. Ms. Jiles is also a popular acting coach, specializing in kids and teens.


Catherine Riedel, (past Co-Director, Yin Yoga) Has taught acting, comedy, and movement to children and adults for the past 30 plus years. She has produced and performed off-Broadway plays and served as artistic director for theatre companies in New York City and the Hudson valley, as well as being co-founder of Croton Academy of Arts. Catherine is also a professional choreographer and a certified yoga instructor. Catherine’s undergraduate degree is in Dance and she has studied acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio and The Acting Studio, both in New York City. Catherine has a Masters Degree in Library and Information Sciences and is Assistant Director at the Rye Free Reading Room.


Joseph Riedel (Prepare for Impact, caca Company Improv, middle school improv) is a Writer, Director, and Performer who returned to New York after spending six years in Chicago. During his time in the midwest Joseph performed on improv teams at the IO Theatre, and worked as a writer, director, and producer on a number of Transmedia productions for web, television, commercials, as well as live theatrical events. A lover of television critical analysis, Joseph has also dedicated a lot of time working with publications such as the online scholarly resource "The Watercooler Journal" where he wrote journalistic articles on television studies. The creation of his autobiographical web series “A Good Sense of Tumor” was featured on NPR’s Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson.



Melissa Shawcross (lighting design)  Melissa is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz with a BA in Theatre Arts. She enjoys working both on and off the stage. She has designed lights for The Indigo Girls, Dweezil Zappa and most recently, Amy Schumer, Lewis Black and others.




Rory Scholl (Improv workshops) lives in New York and has been an improviser and entertainer for over 14 years, and is currently a teacher for and member of the touring improv troupe, Chicago City Limits ( In addition to teaching corporate comedy and workshops to such companies as Disney, Time Warner, and Nokia, Rory is the lead guitarist in the all improvised rock-n-roll storytelling band, the BTK Band, who start touring in the summer of 2011. He is co-director of The Creative Outlets, promotions and events company that uses comics to assist agencies in campaigns ( He eats almonds to lower his cholesterol.  




Janice Paganelli (CONNECTIONS Director, dance and choreography) comes to CONNECTIONS with many years of experience working with children as the Resident Choreographer for Actors Conservatory Theatre.  Janice is an Ossining Girl Scout leader for 24 years as well as the Community Director for 8 years and has worked as a Child Behavior Specialist for Andrus Children's Home.