- Mill Road Intermediate School
Consultants help make most of PAC
With the Red Hook High School Performing Arts Center in full swing, two part-time consultants are working with the district to ensure that staff, students and the community can make the most of it.
RHHS graduate Danielle Brescia (Class of 2007) returns to her alma mater as one of two technical directors at the PAC, bringing experience with Disney Land, Disney Cruise Line and as the national tour manager of “Kinky Boots” with her.
“My love for theater started when I performed in “Gypsy” at Red Hook,” she said. Pursuing theater in college, Brescia graduated from The University of the Arts with a bachelor’s degree in stage management.
She spent the next 10 years working in theater, but said she knew her career would lead her to the world of education.
“I just received my master’s in education with a dual certification in English and theater. As a graduate of Red Hook Central School District, I always wanted to come back and lend my expertise and experience to the community.”
Brescia wants to bring new opportunities to Red Hook students.
“As a student, I would have grown so much more in the arts if I had had the opportunities current students have. I have always been passionate about arts education so this role seemed like a great fit,” she said.
On a day-to-day basis, Brescia and her colleague, Ryan Bannen fix technical issues as they arise and help faculty, staff and community members when they use the space for guest speakers, classes, etc.
When it comes to productions at the center, they help with lighting design, props acquisition, scene construction and more. They also train students in areas including sound and lighting design/operation and stage management.
In addition to a love of theater, Brescia is a big women’s soccer fan.
Born and raised in Saugerties, Ryan Bannen has been acting since he was five. He graduated from Le Moyne College with a bachelor’s degree in English and theater. It was there he learned the technical side of theater.
After graduating, he moved to New York City and worked on various film productions before landing a management position at then startup, Mixing It Up Productions.
Bannen moved from New York City to Albany and focused on a career in office administration.
“I knew something was missing. I wanted to get back into the theater community. When I found this position at RHCSD, I was excited for the possibility of returning to the Hudson Valley and getting back into theater,” he said.
“The construction of the new Performing Arts Center is an amazing opportunity for the students that not many high schoolers have access to in other districts. I plan to use my experience and knowledge to grow the community of theater here at Red Hook and help grow the theater program for the students,” he said.
Bannen and Brescia want to see use of the PAC expand.
“One of our main goals is to grow this program for students and community members. We want to focus on the functionality of this space allowing students and community members to utilize this space as much as they can. We want to help students experience a program that educates them and prepares them if they are interested in pursuing careers in theater,” he said.