Teaching Artist Bios
Evan Tyler Wilson is a Minnesota based singer/actor/educator in love with this beautiful state. He received his Bachelor’s of Music from Arizona State University’s Lyric Opera Theater Program and has worked professionally in the twin cities with Theatre Latte Da, Yellow Tree Theatre, The Duluth Playhouse, and Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Evan teaches private voice and piano at Linden Hills House of Music and has been teaching professionally for the past ten years.
Evan is a returning instructor who will be teaching Music Theater Intensive
Dana McConnell is a director, performer and educator. She was an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Music Theatre at Viterbo University, where she taught acting, voice, movement, directing and laboratory courses for pre-professional students. Her directing work includes regional premieres of Metamorphoses and Crave, Company, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Assassins and Cosi fan Tutte. With Black Earth Collaborative Arts, she created original works including Ball’s Out and Sky. The education director for two national tours with the American Shakespeare Center, Dana has also served on the faculty of the Interlochen Center for the Arts and was a guest artist at RADA, the University of Bathurst in Australia. Dana received an MFA in Directing from OU and has undertaken additional studies in Bartenieff Fundamentals and Movement Fundamentals
Dana is a returning instructor who will be teaching Music Theater Intensive
Kirstin Nelson is an actor, dancer, choreographer, and director who has recently moved to the Twin Cities. Her selected performance credits include: The Constant Wife (Constance) A Few Good Men (Jo Galloway), A Little Night Music (Petra), The Sound of Music (Elsa Schrader), Brigadoon (Jean) Miss Saigon (Gigi), Dracula, the Musical (Renfield), Cabaret (Texas), The Rocky Horror Motion Picture Show (Trixie), Rhinoceros (Mrs. Beouff), Return of the Musketeers (Justine D’Winter). Her selected direction and choreography credits include: Guys and Dolls, The 39 Steps, The Fiddler on the Roof, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Dracula, the Musical, Grease!, Into the Woods, Brigadoon, Oklahoma!, Hello, Dolly! Choreography: The Modern Nutcracker in Barefeet, Pinewood Players, Arizona Rose Musical Theatre, Lost River Stageworks, Santa Rita Shakespeare Touring Company, American College Dance Festival, Elevations, Higher Elevations, NAU Musical Theatre Camp. Before relocating she ran The Rocky Horror Picture Show for 9 years, was a member of the Flagstaff Light Opera Company board and artistic committee where she wrote The 20th Anniversary Show, and created their Valentine’s Day Showcase. She was and incepting member of the Encore Dance company and a guest soloist for Canyon Movement Company.
Kirstin is a returning instructor who will be teaching Music Theater Intensive and Music Theater Jr.
Jack Johnston is a senior at Concordia College in Moorhead MN, where he is completing his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education. He has experience as a performer and music director in the Twin Cities and Moorhead. Some of his recent performance credits include A Grand Night for Singing, Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, Big Fish, and Les Miserables. He is currently the music director for Ashland Productions’ first-ever Alumni Production of Next to Normal in June. Jack has recently begun his work as a freelance singer, actor, music director, voice teacher, and pianist. He is looking forward to working with the students at Merrill Arts Center!
Hannah Bakke is 3 shots of espresso with a dash of nutmeg. Always ready to collaborate on a new project, she is on a mission to help everyone (herself included) run full tilt towards their joy. She holds degrees in theatre art and philosophy from Concordia College, plays mandolin and guitar, and has recently taken to the sky on the aerial hoop. Hannah may be seen teaching theatre and acting around the Twin Cities. Favorite projects include touring with Missoula Children’s Theatre, performing as an actor and instrumentalist in The Chameleon Theatre Circle’s Spring Awakening, and co-writing Cirque De Lune’s children’s play Lost Girl; a cirque adaptation of Peter Pan.
Hannah is a NEW instructor who will be teaching Music Theater Jr. and The Play’s the Thing.
Alex Bretoi has participated in theater since his freshman year of high school, being featured in various plays and musicals ranging from Disney’s The Little Mermaid as Prince Eric, Thornton Wilder’s Childhood as Father, and even Les Miserables as Javert! He will be attending Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota this fall to study theater. He loves to sing and dance with his friends, and blast show tunes in the car!
Alex is a NEW instructor who will be assistant teaching Music Theater Jr.