Meet Our Team

Mr. Zimmerman 1a.png

Mark A. Zimmerman

Theatre Director

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Mark A. Zimmerman has served as the theatre director at the Akron School for the Arts since 1995 and has been the guiding force for the educational theatre program that has been named an “Outstanding School” by the Educational Theatre Association (2013). Shows under his direction have so far earned 7 Dazzle Awards from the NE Ohio Musical Theatre Competition including "Best Musical" in 2018. Zimmerman has been among the first area directors to present many musical productions including The Little Mermaid (2016), Ghost the Musical (2015), Mary Poppins (2014), Monty Python’s Spamalot (2013), The Color Purple (2012), Legally Blonde (2012), Hairspray (2011), The Producers (2009), Side Show (2008), and Urinetown (2007). Mark’s local directing credits include productions at the Akron Civic Theatre/ All-City Musical (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Bye Bye Birdie, Ragtime, Hairspray) as well as productions at the Cleveland Public Theatre, Weathervane Playhouse, Stow Players, the Western Reserve Playhouse, Coach House Theatre, and the University of Akron. He has recently started screening shows for the International Thespian Festival.

e kazle.jpg

Elynmarie Kazle

Director / Production Manger

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Elynmarie Kazle is a freelance stage and production manager, and stage director who has designed several stage management mentoring programs and management curricula for a variety of institutions across the country.  Most recent management gigs include stage manager for Match Girl for Columbus Dance Theatre and the Regional Emmy Awards for NATAS as well as company manager/co-director of Tech and Teacher Training for the Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute.  She currently chairs the Stage Managers’ Association of the United States and sits on both the regional and national boards of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. Previous experience includes that for Brooklyn Academy of Music, Deaf West, The Pasadena and Cleveland Play Houses, Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Opera Columbus, San Diego Opera and several international tours. She served nine years on the Actors’ Equity West Coast Stage Managers Committee, and three years working for SDC the Stage Directors Union. Recently named to the American Theatre Conference, she is the youngest fellow ever to be named by USITT. She holds a BFA in technical theatre from the University of MN, Duluth and an MFA inTheatre/Dance/Opera Management from Ohio University. She is a play responder and workshop presenter for International Thespians and has been an adult leader for the Boy Scouts for 15 years.  She is the proud mom of an Eagle Scout.

tess burgler.jpg

Tess Burgler

Guest Director

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Tess Burgler has dedicated her life's work to the study and performance of the works of William Shakespeare. She's performed professionally for over 25 years. Some of the theatres she's worked for include Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Porthouse Theatre, Theatre IV in Virginia, Dobama Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Coach House Theatre, Weathervane Playhouse, Beck Center, and more. The bulk of her professional work is done with Ohio Shakespeare Festival, where she is a resident actor and Managing Director. Some favorite roles there include Hamlet, Helena (Midsummer and All's Well), Rosalind (As You Like It), Ariel (Tempest) Imogen (Cymbeline), Viola (12th Night), Juliet, and many more. She's also an avid stage combat student, having spent the last three years dedicated to studying with the Society of America Fight Directors and with the resident OSF Fight Director (and her best friend in the world), Ryan Zarecki. 


Patrick Dougherty


  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Patrick Dougherty (instructor) has been teaching in the Akron Public Schools since 1993. He has an MFA in Painting from East Carolina University and studied Scenic Design at the University of Akron. Dougherty served as a scenic painter for the Kenly Players here in Akron. his other degrees include a BFA in Painting and a BA in Education from the University of Akron. His students have consistently won awards in a variety of art competitions. Dougherty is excited about working with theatre students to nurture their visual skills in pursuit of a quality scenic design.

post photo.jpg

April Post


  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Mrs. Post has joined the performing arts staff in 2019 after leading the Business and Marketing Program since 2013. Mrs. Post has greatly enjoyed the transition from traditional business to work specifically with the performing arts students in developing their career paths and interests. She also is the director of the new Judith Resnik Center for Innovation and Design at Firestone. Mrs. Post previously taught history, humanities, graphic arts, and technology at Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint, Michigan. She has a 

Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education from Central Michigan University, a Masters Degree in History from Michigan State University, and a Career Technology Education Endorsement from Kent State University. Mrs. Post has been involved in private business for many years, working in several family business ventures including a limousine service, ice cream shop and classic and collectible car sales. She has several current small business ventures, involving leather work and restoration and spends her free time riding horses, showing dogs, and racing sports cars.

Headshot - Tomlinson.Kelsey.jpg

Kelsey Tomlinson

Resident Costumer

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Kelsey is thrilled to be working for Firestone Theatre. A professional Costume Designer, she serves as a Resident Costume Designer for Rubber City Theatre, Ohio Shakespeare Festival, and Western Reserve Playhouse. She also serves as Costume Shop Supervisor for RCT and Players Guild in Canton. Notable credits include Hamlet, 1776, Measure for Measure and Dracula (Ohio Shakes); Dogfight, Little Women and Assassins (WRP); Merrily We Roll Along, A Little Night Music, and Freaky Friday (Lakeland Civic Theatre). She is forever grateful to family, friends, and her Emerson for all the love and support.  

emelia photo.jpg

Emelia Sherin


  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Emelia Sherin is a graduating senior in public relations with a theatre management minor at Kent State University. She's grown up in theatre and dance, performing in her first show at 9 years old (Wizard of Oz) to choreographing her first show at 14 years old (Little Shop of Horrors). Her most recent choreographed show was the sold out run of Frozen Jr. at Youngstown Playhouse this past winter. Youngstown Playhouse was also the theatre that gave her the opportunity to play Val in A Chorus Line in 2014, where she developed a new found love for this Broadway classic. Since then, she went on to perform as a backup vocalist for Donna McKechnie  (Cassie, Original A Chorus Line) and took classes from MaryAnn Black (Maggie, Original A Chorus Line) and Jessica Lee Goldyn (Val, A Chorus Line Revival). She's also established a professional career in the arts by performing on Disney Cruise Lines, continued choreographing at local theatres, and holding the position of PR/Marketing manager for Cleveland Ballet- Cleveland's resident professional ballet company. You may have also seen Emelia running around the city of Akron as the 2019 Miss Akron Canton representative for the Miss America Organization or as the Education Intern for Weathervane Playhouse under their phenomenal Education Director, Lauren Sprowls. Though Emelia is very active in the community, she still finds time to perform when she can. Some of her favorite works have consisted of Chicago (The Hunagarian), Hairspray (Amber VonTussle), and CATS (Rumpleteazer).