The School Headmaster

Jeff Bender has acted in numerous productions at Sight & Sound Theatres since 1998. In 2003, he became a member of the Producing Group where he’s been actively involved in creating, writing and directing shows such as Ruth, Psalms of David, Voices of Christmas, In the Beginning, Joseph, Jonah and Moses. After graduating with an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he acted professionally in theatre and television in New York for 7 years. He went on to earn a Masters of Theology from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He is a worship leader, and has performed in and directed drama ministries for churches, parachurch ministries and on the mission field.

Core Faculty

Johnny Russell has spent nearly two decades studying and performing across the country as well as internationally in Toronto, London, throughout Scotland, Wales, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and China. After completing a residency at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, he went on to co-found the award-winning SiNNERMAN Ensemble. He has his M.F.A. in Theatre from Penn State University where he was awarded the Manuel Duque Scholarship. Most recently Johnny taught in the theatre departments at both Penn State and Malone University, and served as the founding Artistic Director and lead teacher with Parallax Ensemble in Canton, Ohio. He is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Association of Theatre Movement Educators and is a certified Tai Chi instructor.

Joanne Abrom has her BM in Music Education from Susquehanna University and her MM in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Arizona Stage University. As a teacher and adjudicator, she has been hired nationally and overseas to teach to a variety of age groups on topics ranging from Vocal Pedagogy to Musical Theatre. She has taught in both Private and public schools and has conducted both elementary and high school choirs. At the University level, Joanne has worked as a choreographer and musical theatre director. As a singer, she has performed pieces in at least seven different languages, studied music of different cultures, and attended workshops with teachers from all over the world. Currently, she teaches private voice lessons to approximately 70 students from her studio in Lancaster, and is on the private teaching staff at Lancaster Country Day. Her students have performed professionally on Broadway, regional theatres, theme parks, commercials, movies, as front singers for bands, recording artists, and as music directors and conductors. Many of her high school performers have gained full scholarships for University study, allowing them access to a plethora of musical opportunities and choices. Joanne is also a Teaching Artist at the Fulton Academy of Theatre where she is the musical director for their Broadway Junior shows.

Kristine Anthony received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kutztown University in 1998. She majored in related arts with a concentration in dance, and supplementary areas in literature and theater. While at Kutztown, Kristi was a substitute teacher and was a member of the school’s Performing Dance Portmanteau. Kristine spent a year traveling the contiguous United States with the group Re-Creation. For the last 10 years she has also taught at two separate dance studios, Dance one Studios in Pottstown, PA where she was entitled the Ballet Specialist; and Willow Street Dance Steps where she continues to teach today. She also has spent several years working with the studio’s competitive dance company, Les Etoiles, earning awards for her choreography.

Scott Ticen has been a full time actor at Sight and Sound Theatres for over 10 years, having appeared in Abraham and Sarah, Daniel, Noah, Ruth, Miracle of Christmas, Behold The Lamb, Joseph and more. Since 2001, Scott has collaborated with the Producing Group in choreographing and teaching stage combat for all productions at Sight and Sound. Scott Received his BFA in Dramatic Performance from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music in 2000. He is a Recognized Actor/Combatant by the Society of American Fight Directors and is certified in Rapier/ Dagger, Unarmed fighting, Quarter Staff, and Broad Sword. In addition to acting at Sight and Sound, Scott is regularly featured in television and radio commercials.

Tricia Bridgeman has been a performer at Sight & Sound Theatres for 12 years. Her roles have included Sarah in Abraham and Sarah, Elizabeth in Miracle of Christmas, Jonah’s mother Rivka in Jonah, and Noah’s wife Emuwnah in Noah. Tricia graduated from Bob Jones University in 1995, with a B.S. in Special Education and a minor in Interpretative Speech. During her 6 years of teaching in the public education system of VA and PA, she directed various middle school drama club, church and community theatre productions. She also taught Bible and English at S.Y.M.E., KOREA, serving as a short-term missionary with Word of Life. For the past ten years, Tricia and her husband Steve have ministered with Blessed Hurricane Ministries as musicians in the Christopher Wright Band. They also performed together in 2 east coast Christmas tours of the original production A Peculiar Christmas, written and performed by Charlie and Ruth Jones of Peculiar People.

William W. Shiplet started riding horses at the age of 3. He grew up on a farm, and was taught how to handle many different animals. After graduating from Oxford Area High School in 1987, he went on to Cecil Community College for 3 years, where he studied acting and photography and worked in theatre, film and television. In 1991 he began working at Sight and Sound Theatres and was cast in acting roles that required him to ride horses. In 2000 he became a full time animal trainer for Sight and Sound Theatres. He has studied under many different trainers, and has completed level 2 of the Pat Parelli Natural Horsemanship program. He has also attended many animal training seminars, and studied from a variety of animal trainers including dogs, mules, and donkeys. He has taught numerous actors and animal handlers horsemanship for performance in theatrical productions.

Andrea Calderon originally from Lexington, Kentucky, holds a BFA in Performing Arts/Dance from Western Kentucky University. For the past 16 years, Andrea has performed, taught, and choreographed around the country. Teaching credits include Dove Dance Studio (Oklahoma City), 3D Dance Studio (Sevierville, TN), Viktor Yeliohin's International Ballet Academy, Cavod Academy and Premiere Danse Academy.  Performance credits include five years with the award winning show Country Tonite in Pigeon Forge, TN (Matt Davenport Productions), and in Branson, MO (Starlite Entertainment) as a featured dancer. She also spent two years working at Fee/Hedrick Entertainment, with her husband Wally Calderon, in their productions of The Miracle, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry.  Locally she has been seen with PRiMA Theatre Company, as a back-up dancer for Weird Al Yankovic at The American Music Theatre, and as a magician's assistant in The Magic and Wonder Show in Bird-in-Hand.

Ray Hilton received his Bachelors in Music from East Texas Baptist University while also studying and participating in theater. After graduation, he became an apprentice with the Atlanta Shakespeare Company at the New American Shakespeare Tavern where he studied stage combat, acting for Shakespeare, and movement while working on stage and as an education artist. He then went on to appear at various theaters in the Atlanta area as Edgar Beane in Titanic, Ira Stone in Laughter On The 23rd Floor at Next Stage Theatre Company, and Angelo the Goldsmith in Comedy of Errors at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company to name a few. Ray has been with Sight and Sound Theatres since January of 2014 and is the understudy for Aaron in Moses. His teaching experience includes working as an Education Artist with ASC and teaching with Christian Youth Theater as well as private lessons in acting.

Kim Miller is the oldest daughter of Glenn and Shirley Eshelman, the founders and owners of Sight & Sound Theatres in Lancaster County, Pa and Branson, Mo. She has been involved in the ministry of Sight & Sound from the beginning, serving in many capacities. For years she was a principle actress and singer in multiple productions, and presently serves as the company’s Ministry Coordinator. Kim is also a speaker for a variety of ministry events, and is a member of the Sight & Sound Board of Directors. Kim and her husband, Dwight, have four children and four grandchildren.

Chris Faith holds an MFA in Acting from Brandeis University and a BA in Theatre Performance from the University of Missouri. Chris has been an actor as well as an educator for over 20 years. Some of his favorite roles have been Colin in The Secret Garden (Off Broadway-NYC), The Fool in King Lear (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Huck Finn in Big River (Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre) and Gaza in Sight and Sound’s new production of Samson. Chris served as professor of Acting at the Boston Conservatory and professor of Musical Theatre at Temple University in Philadelphia. He also owned and operated a successful performing arts school, Dance Arts Collaborative, in Plumsteadville, PA. He developed and led a Drama Ministry program for Schweitzer United Methodist Church in Springfield, MO, writing and directing many works dramatizing the themes and messages of weekly sermons. Most recently, he headed up the Performing Literature, Period Styles in Acting and the Improvisation for Scene Technique classes at Missouri State University and Evangel University, both located in Springfield, MO.

Leah Ann Rooney began her training at Linn McDonald Dance Co. where she studied all styles of dance for over ten years. Additionally, Leah studied under such names as, Barbra Weinberger founder of the PA Youth Ballet, Doug Bentz of Point Park University and School of American Ballet. She was one of 30 dancers in the state selected to attend PA Governor’s School of the Arts where she majored in ballet and minored in voice. She has performed lead roles in numerous ballets such as, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee. Musical Theatre credits include: The King and I (Eliza), Phantom (Belladova) Bucks County Playhouse, Christy (Christy) Footloose, Crazy for You, Kiss Me Kate Prather Family Theatres. In 2007 Leah joined the cast of Sight & Sound Theatres where she took on the role of Dance Captain for the premier show, In The Beginning. Other shows at S&S include; Daniel (Queen Amitis), Psalms Of David (Story Teller), Miracle of Christmas (Orpha) Jonah (Jonah’s Sister.) Leah continues to perform and choreograph in the Lancaster County area, where she resides.

Kelsey Zimmerman is a Music Education graduate from Susquehanna University. After graduation she toured around the country performing at different regional theaters and studying voice and pedagogy with Dr. Kim Councill and Dr. Ann-Marie Daehn. Some of her favorite roles to date are Suzie in The Marvelous Wonderettes, Gertrude in Seussical, and Little Sally in Urinetown. She came to Sight and Sound Theaters in 2012 as a cast member, working in both the Lancaster and Branson locations. She has taught voice, piano and theory with several theaters, dance studios and academies, including Miss Kathey's Academy of Music, Carol's Academy of Dance, Dutch Apple Dinner Theater, and currently teaching at a private studio in Lancaster, PA.