Michael Popovsky : Owner/Director/Voice Instructor

Michael Popovsky - Owner/Director/Voice Instructor

Michael Popovsky has had the honor of performing up and down the east coast with such theatres as Opera Naples (Fl), Opera Delaware, Fulton Theatre, Gretna Theatre, Opera Lancaster, Bootless Stageworks, Opera Seabrook, EPAC, Servant Stage Company and many more. Some of his favorite roles on stage include Schaunard (La Boheme), Harold Hill (Music Man), Man #2 (My Way…Frank Sinatra), Satan (Jerry Springer the Opera), Silvio (Pagliacci), Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf (Into the Woods), Marullo (Rigoletto), Snoopy (You’re a Good Man…) and Lesgles (Les Miserables).

As teacher, Michael is a member of NATS (National Association of Teacher of Singing) and a former winner of the Independent Teacher Fellowship Award. He has spent his teaching career working with ENTs, SLPs and master voice teachers to develop his own dynamic style of teaching. His students have had great success and have attended such programs as Point Park University, NYU, AMDA, Temple and Penn State’s Summer Musical Theatre intensive. His students have also been semifinalists and winners at NATS student auditions and have been cast in professional, semi-professional, community and school productions.

Michael also has more than a dozen directing and musical directing credits to his name including professional, collegiate, educational and community productions. A highlight of his directing resume was directing the area premier of School of Rock for PPAS. Michael’s previous voice teachers include Dr. Thomas Houser, John Darrenkamp, Gweynne Geyer and he currently studies with Master Teacher Robert Edwin.

When not fully engrossed in all things theatre, Michael enjoys playing hockey, golf, watching football and wing night at Dip Co.

Devon Lutz : Director of Dance

Devon Lutz - Director of Dance

Devon Lutz holds a BA in Theatre and Dance from James Madison University. While in college, Devon performed in the Virginia Repertory Dance Company, JMUs pre-professional dance company. Under the direction of Shane O’Hara, VA Rep performed in a number of different cities including; Richmond, Charlottesville, Washington DC and Brooklyn, NY. After graduating, Devon moved to Philadelphia and began performing and creating with femme. Collective, a group of artists committed to helping women share work in the city. In Lancaster, Devon has performed with Rev9 Dance Company and at the Fulton Theatre.

As a choreographer, Devon has presented her work at the American College Dance Festival, James Madison University and Philadelphia, PA. She also has the honor of working under Cody Smith as one of the choreographers for Hempfield High School’s Dance Theatre. This is where she found her love of teaching and working with students.

Devon is thrilled to join the PPAS team! She is excited to teach and share her love of dance with all of the students of PPAS!

Christa Schimitsch : Voice Instructor

Christa Schimitsch - Voice Instructor

 

Christa Schimitsch, a native of Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, is currently the Director of Choirs at Manheim Central High School. Additionally she serves as the vocal coach for Manheim Central's theater department and is on their marching band staff. On the weekends, Christa runs youth and children’s music at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. At Trinity, she instructs Pre-School Music, Children’s Choir, and Youth Choir. 
 
Christa is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree of Music Education. At Penn State, she studied voice with Jennifer Trost and performed with numerous ensembles, including Concert Choir, Essence of Joy, Oriana Singers, and Penn State Opera Theater. She was chosen for Voice Jury Honors on numerous occasions and participated in several collaborative and solo recitals. Christa competed in the National Association of Teachers of Singing vocal competitions throughout her collegiate career and was selected as a Finalist and Semi-Finalist at every adjudication. Currently, she studies voice with John Darrenkamp and has participated in performances with OperaLancaster and Susquehanna Stage Company. 
Christyn Rutter : Owner/Director/Music Together Instructor

Christyn Rutter - Owner/Director/Music Together Instructor

Christyn Rutter studied Music Education and Music Theory at Eastern University in Wayne, PA. She began studying piano at age 4, alto saxophone at 9, flute at 10, French horn at 12, guitar at 14, Music Theory at 15, and vocal training at 16. Christyn has played horn in the pit orchestras in productions of Kiss Me Kate, Jekyll and Hyde, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Honk!, and more. While in college, Christyn was a member of several orchestras and choirs, and played with a brass quintet.

Christyn also had the opportunity in college to work with children ages 3-12 in the children’s choirs at Wayne Presbyterian Church for 3 years. After college, Christyn moved to Los Angeles and married the love of her life. In 2010 she moved to Lancaster and has since immersed herself in the vibrant music and arts culture in Lancaster County. She has two children, Ella and Gregory, who you’ll often find bumping around the studio.

Christyn joined the staff of PPAS in 2014 as the director of the Music Together program, and has since become co-owner and co-director of the company. She is so thankful for this studio and the people who make it a family, and the endless opportunities it provides to share her love and passion for music.

 

Debra Macut : Acting Instructor

Debra Macut - Acting Instructor

Debra Macut holds a BA in drama and psychology from Franklin and Marshall College and an MFA in Acting from Catholic University of America. Ms. Macut is also a proud member of the Actors' Equity Association (AEA). Ms. Macut has enjoyed a successful career in professional theatre, having performed throughout the U.S. This includes a 10 year residency at Stage One in Louisville, Ky. and a world premiere production of "The Great Gilly Hopkins" at the New Victory Theatre on Broadway, in which she originated the role of Maime Trotter. Debra also has experience with industrial work including film, commercials, and voice-overs.

Ms. Macut's teaching background is extensive, with over 20 years of experience including workshops on general acting, children's theatre, and Shakespeare. Debra has taught college level courses at Indiana University Southeast and acting for young people at Harrisburg Area Community College and Penn State Harrisburg.

Megan Witkovsky : Office Manager

Megan Witkovsky - Office Manager

Megan Witkovsky holds a B.A. in Theatre (Acting concentration) and Speech/Theatre Education from Ball State University in Indiana.  Megan was bit by the theatre bug at a young age while participating in a local summer theatre program.  After graduating high school, she started teaching and directing at this same summer program that made her fall in love with theatre, and decided she enjoyed teaching just as much as performing!

After graduating from college, Megan moved to New York City where she lived and worked as an actor for 6 years.  During this time, she participated in multiple workshops, was an active member of the theatre group, Broadway Theatre Studio, and traveled the country with Nickelodeon as a dancing Hippo in The Backyardigans Live!
Megan met her husband, Matt, while he was visiting mutual friends in NYC and a year later, followed him to Lancaster.  She is happy to call Lancaster her home now and is thrilled to be a part of the Lancaster theatre community.  Since living here, she has performed with The Belmont Theatre (Avenue Q), Prima Theatre (Oz in Concert, Chess, Children of Eden, Snow Queen's Party), and Popovsky Performing Arts Studio (Mixed Up Cabaret).
Megan recently took on her favorite role to date as "Mommy" to her sweet baby boy, Parker.  Aside from performing, she enjoys Zumba, reading, the beach, and traveling with her family-most of the time with their golden retriever, Bailey.
John Darrenkamp : Master Voice Instructor

John Darrenkamp - Master Voice Instructor

John Darrenkamp began his operatic career with the Lancaster Opera Workshop in 1957 and stayed with them until 1965. John was awarded a 4 year scholarship at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, and sang numerous compramario roles with The Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company while at School.

In 1969, John Darrenkamp made his professional debut in Barcelona singing Manon and Maria Stuarda.

He joined New York City Opera Company in 1969 and sang leading roles with them for 7 years.

He sang in the Community Concert Series with Columbia Artists for 10 years and sang concerts all over the United States and Canada.

John joined The Metropolitan Opera Company in 1979 and sang nearly 500 performances with that company over a 22 year career.

He also sang with The Ambassadors of Opera in the Far East singing operatic scenes in Hong Kong, Seoul, Manilla, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. John sang lead roles in the musicals Annie Get Your Gun, Brigadoon, Man of La Mancha and South Pacific. He has also acted the role of Dracula.

John has taught voice and opera at Vassar College and York College and taught voice for 20 years at The Pennsylvania Academy of Music in Lancaster, PA.

Since retiring from The Metropolitan Opera Company, he has directed opera for Opera Lancaster and the operas he has directed are The Elixir of Love, Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticanna, La Boheme and Tosca.

Michael Hadary : Voice Instructor

Michael Hadary - Voice Instructor

Michael Hadary (Mike) is thrilled to be joining the music faculty at Popovsky Performing Arts. Currently, Michael is working as a Professor of Studio Voice and Musical Theatre at Lebanon Valley College while working to complete his Master of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre Vocal Pedagogy at Penn State. At Penn State he has been studying under the tutelage of Mary Saunders-Barton and Dr. Norman Spivey. Previously, he has earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from NYU, studying voice and pedagogy with Michael Ricciardone and Dr. Brian Gill and a Bachelor of Music from James Madison University studying under Dr. Sonya Baker. Michael has also studied voice, acting and movement (Feldenkrais, Alexander, Open Source Forms, Yoga, Fitzmaurice) with such industry professionals as Meg Bussert, William Wesbrooks, Andrew Belser, Stan Tucker and Katie Agresta.

 

Michael has taught full time on the faculty of Valdosta State University and adjunct at NYU Steinhardt and Tisch. He has also had private voice studios in Chicago, New York and Orlando. Through the years he has taught performers from Broadway Shows/National Tours including Spamalot, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Sweeney Todd, Carousel, The King and I, Mamma Mia, Sister Act, Les Miserables, The Producers, Jersey Boys, Annie, Joseph…, Cats and more. As a director/music director Michael has helped mount professional and academic performances of Mary Poppins, 42nd Street, Evita, The Wiz, The Spitfire Grill, Les Miserables, Always Patsy Cline, Sugar, Singing in the Rain, The Little Mermaid, and many cabarets, showcases and industrials.

 

As a performer, Michael has appeared Off-Broadway in Sky Boys and regionally in Company, 110 in the Shade, Mary Poppins, 42nd Street, Oklahoma, Songs for a New World, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Into the Woods, The Spitfire Grill, Forever Plaid and moreIn the concert world, he has toured the east coast and also performed with Broadway Stars Linda Eder and Robert Cuccioli and Grammy Nominee Chandrika Tandon. Michael is a current member of NATS and AEA and a former member of NYSTA.