Our Directors, Faculty & Staff
The Drama Studio's staff are professional artists and educators whose mission to validate the youth experience enhances every class, rehearsal and project.
Amelia Hays-Rivest, Director of Conservatory
Amelia has been an integral part of The Drama Studio since 1991. She has developed the unique curriculum for The Drama Studio, building a conservatory program that challenges and supports the development of students ages 6 - 18, working with students of all abilities and challenges. She teaches the advanced ensemble and choreography classes, as well as the introductory and intermediate classes for the younger ages. Her intermediate and advanced classes work collaboratively to create original work for the Studio. She also developed TheaterReaders as an outreach program within the Springfield Public Schools and is the primary teacher in that collaboration. Additionally, she has taught acting and movement for the Loon and Heron Theatre in Boston, Providence Hospital, and the University of Hartford’s Summer Place. She is the choreographer for the Dance Choir and the annual Boar’s Head Festival at Trinity Church. She graduated from Smith College with a BA in education, with independent studies in teaching dance and theatre to special needs populations. She has developed and directed many original productions at Drama Studio including Sea and Sky, Kristin's Rainbow, Dream Tamer, and Ophelia: a choreo-ensemble-translation of Ophelia's visions.
Steve Hays, Founding director
Steve was Producing Director of Stage West from its inception in 1967 until 1984. He has directed Doors, Ozma of Oz, Wiley and the Hairy Man, Mother Hicks, The Secret Garden, Ordinary People, Ramona Quimby, The Birds, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Anne of Green Gables, The Italian Straw Hat, The Tempest, Very Good Eddie, and The Boy Friend for the Drama Studio. He is also a playwright and musician, with four of his plays, The Snow Queen, The Little Match Girl, Me and Ruth, and Sara Crewe having premiered at the Drama Studio.
Dan Morbyrne, Master Faculty
Dan has been with the Drama Studio since 2005 where he teaches numerous classes and directs several productions every season. Dan has taught classes and workshops at numerous high schools and colleges throughout New England, and has directed with many Massachusetts-based companies as well as Off Broadway. In addition to his work at the Studio, Dan is also one of the co-founders of Real Live Theatre, a professional theatre cooperative based in the Pioneer Valley. As an actor Dan has performed nationally and internationally and continues to appear frequently in local productions. Dan has directed over forty plays at the Drama Studio including Begets: Fall of a High School Ronin, Present Company Excluded, The Secret Garden, Pinocchio, Antigone, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, Cymbeline, and Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom.
Seth Olsen, Faculty
Seth Olsen is a senior at Salem State University going for his BFA in Theater Performance. Seth has been with the Drama Studio since 2004, and began working in 2014 for the summer camps. Seth has studied ensemble training at Pace University (2013-2016), and will be graduating from Salem State University with a BFA in Theater Performance in 2020.
Phoebe Olin, Faculty
Phoebe has been a part of the Drama Studio since 2005 as a student, and joining in 2018 as faculty. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Kent State University in Art History, minoring in Studio Arts. Phoebe has consistently involved herself in improv since age 14, where she was in the Drama Studio Troupe. In college, she helped lead her improv troupe in practice, as well as performance. She has additionally participated in workshops with both Upright Citizens Brigade and Second City Network, as well as performed with Upright Citizens Brigade. Outside of the Drama Studio, she works in the East Longmeadow Public Schools in the Special Education department, in addition to teaching piano lessons.
Stephen Osgood, Faculty
An alum of the Drama Studio, Stephen is back this Fall to teach the Playwriting class. He has studied playwriting with Phil O'Donogue of the Smith MFA and STCC programs. With an undergraduate education in dramatic writing, he also has a background in both acting and directing, including The Laramie Project, Clybourne Park, and Wit. He is especially intrigued by the freedom that playwriting gives us to explore and play with the nuances of conversation. His passion for music is just as strong, and he plans to continue his education by studying the different relationships that live theatre can have with music.
Jane Schneeloch, Office Manager
Jane came to the Drama Studio after she retired from teaching English at East Hartford High School for 35 years. She received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English at Westfield State College. She has led writing groups for senior citizens, incarcerated women, and adolescents. Her poetry has been published in several journals, and she has written two collections: Climbing to the Moon and Turning Over Leaves. She has been a part of Doug Foresta’s playwriting classes, and her plays In Hiding and The Test were produced as part of the Drama Studio’s 2008 and 2013 Winter Shorts Festivals, respectively.
janet richards, honorary registrar
Since 1997, Janet Richards has been the registrar of the Drama Studio, stationed at her desk at the end of the entrance hallway, and known by every student and parent in our program. Janet's love of students, her work ethic, and her practical common sense have contributed hugely to the ethos of the Studio. In December 2017, Janet retired after 20 years of service! However, like most people who have spent time at the Drama Studio, she couldn't stay away, and you may still occasionally have the treat of seeing her at the desk.