Nordonia Drama Staff
Contact Chris Simmons
Phone: (330) 908-6168
Nordonia Drama Advisor
Director, Fall Play and Spring Musical
Advisor, International Thespian Troupe 2802
Chris Simmons is a graduate of Nordonia High School, Class of 2004. He has since earned degrees in Education and Theatre Arts at The University of Akron. In 2013, he completed his Master's Degree in Education.
Chris has been involved with Nordonia Drama in some capacity since he graduated high school. Originally a production assistant and backstage coordinator, he moved up to the role of Assistant Director for 2011's Beauty and the Beast and then assumed the role of Director for the 2013-2014 school year. He has directed the fall play since 2012 and made his Nordonia spring musical directorial debut in 2014 with The Wedding Singer. This year will mark his nineteenth musical with Nordonia Drama as a member of the production staff, his twenty-third overall. During his time at Nordonia, Chris is honored to have been a three-time recipient of the Superintendent's Award.
In addition to Drama at Nordonia, Chris is still active in the community as an actor, director, and properties designer. Some of his favorite roles have included: Guys and Dolls (Nicely Nicely Johnson), Aida (Zoser), the Northeast Ohio Premiere of The Gospel According to Tammy Faye (Jerry Falwell), Godspell, A Christmas Carol (Scrooge), The Taming of the Shrew (Tranio), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bottom), and Big River, for which he earned an American College Theatre Festival Irene Ryan nomination for his portrayal of The King.
His directorial credits include: The Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma!, Little Shop of Horrors, Once Upon a Mattress, Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, Disney's The Little Mermaid, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Crucible, Once Upon a Mattress, Almost, Maine, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Les Misérables.
Chris is active as a director, actor and properties designer at several area theatres including: Rubber City Theatre, Buckeye Community Theatre and Weathervane Community Playhouse. He has taken home Chanticleer Awards for his Properties Designs of Weathervane's productions of Oklahoma! and Willy Wonka. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Rubber City Theatre, based out of Akron, with whom he has worked since their inception in 2013.
MEGAN LEE GARGANO
Choreographer and Assistant Director, Spring Musical
Megan Lee Gargano is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, where she began her training in 2003 at the Royal School of Ballet under the direction of Joanne Hughes Morscher. In addition, Megan studied at The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, BalletMet, performed with The Pennsylvania Ballet and participated in several dance festivals throughout Ohio.
In 2012, Megan received her BFA in Performance and Choreography from Ohio University School of Dance where she developed her own artistic voice under the mentorship and direction of Madeleine Scott, Marina Walchli, Mickie Geller, Travis, Gatling, Tresa Randall, John Bohuslawsky and Gladys Bailin. While studying at OU, Megan performed the reconstruction of Alwin Nikolais piece Noumenon Mobilus, under the direction of Alberto del Saz. She has performed in faculty works by Mickie Geller and guest work by Adriana Durant, Stefanie Batten Bland and Sean Curran.
In 2009, Megan co-founded The Movement Project, a professional dance company located in Cleveland, whose mission is to challenge perspectives, evoke social change and bridge communities through the power of movement. TMP received their non-profit status in 2013 and in 2017 they officially moved to their new home at Pilgrim Church in Tremont.
In July 2010, Megan studied at the Laban Centre in Greenwich, London, where she furthered her studies in Limon and Release Techniques, choreography and contact improvisation. In 2010, Megan set original work at the Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights and in 2011 her work “Formally Phrased, with the exception of a few” was selected for adjudication at the American College Dance festival held at Grand Valley State University, Michigan. Megan first choreographed for Nordonia Drama with 2013's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and assumed the title of Assistant Director starting with 2015's production of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida.
Currently, Megan serves on the Board of Directors for the non-profit Columbus based organization OhioDance and is also an active member of the Dance Advance Team at DANCECleveland. The Movement Project’s work has been featured at Cleveland Public Theatre, Hullabaloo/Valerie Mayen, Cellar Door Cleveland, Arts in August, OhioDance Festival at BalletMet, Baldwin Wallace University, Ohio University and Dumbo Dance Festival in NYC.
Associate Conductor, Spring Musical
Drama Club Photographer and Production Assistant
Vocal Director, Drama Summer Camp
Ryan Dulaney is a 2019 graduate of Nordonia High School. While at NHS he was active in Band, Synergy and Drama, appearing in Oklahoma! (Cord Elam), All in the Timing (Mark) and The Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow).
Ryan is a student at Baldwin Wallace University majoring in Film Study. He likes to write and play music. and is thrilled to be back helping with Nordonia Drama. He is also an avid chess player, and still owes Chris a game.
Coordinator and Director, Drama Summer Camp
Cati Brasdovich is a 2015 graduate of Nordonia High School. In some way, shape, or form, she has been involved with Nordonia Drama since 2011. Cati has performed on stage with us in three musical productions: Joseph, The Wedding Singer, and Aida, as well as our 2011 fall production of Clue.
She joined the summer camp team as a counselor during high school and continued throughout college. You can sometimes find her hanging out in the auditorium, which is still labeled as her “home away from home”. Our 2018 summer camp marked her first turn as Director and we are excited for many more to come!
Cati is a May 2019 graduate of Kent State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education and recently completed her 4th and 5th grade Endorsement.
DANE CT LEASURE
Resident Fight Choreographer
Acting/Dialect Coach and Production Assistant
Assistant Director, Midsummer, Much Ado, All in the Timing
Dane CT Leasure is a professional director, actor, and fight choreographer. He is the founder of Rubber City Theatre in Akron, Ohio, where he serves as the Producing Artistic Director. He has directed throughout Northeast Ohio, Virginia, and New York City.
Some of is favorite directorial credits include, Dr. Faustus, Hamlet, Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, Lear, The Twelve Dates of Christmas, The Revenger's Tragedy the Musical, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Dane has been involved with Nordonia Drama since 2014. He has taught acting and combat workshops, served as fight choreographer on several productions. He choreographed all the sword fight sequences for our production of Aida, and most recently served as Assistant Director for our 2019 fall production of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Fight Choreographer for our spring 2018 production of Oklahoma!