John Rea – Artistic Director and Writer/Director – graduated from Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Theory and a Teaching Certificate (K-12). He also received an MA in Theatre from Villanova University. He was the director of Discovery Division for youth at the Walnut Street Theatre from 1995-99. He was the Literary Manager/Dramaturg for Philadelphia Theatre Company from 1997-99. He has overseen all MacGuffin productions and teaches a variety of classes there. He has directed several film projects for MacGuffin including: More Than Anything (2018), Clueless, After Midnight Scream for Monty Python’s Ghostbusting Brother, Getting Out and Chasing the MacGuffin (documentary), Happy Birthday and A Real Kiss. He has composed music to many shows including Arcadia and The Women of Argos. As a playwright/composer/lyricist he has written The Skeleton Woman, Mak and the Shepherds, Cinderella Story, More Than Anything, The Three Trees, As I Do (Playwriting Award, Cleveland Public Theatre), The Lost, The Cruel Sister, A Place Called Up, The Tale of Orpheus, Mischief Manor, Dodger, The Tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, The Fiery Furnace, Eden, The Witches, Wendy’s Story and Jonah and the Big Fish and Vito. He has taught music and drama in the Philadelphia School District and the Delaware County School District. He is currently working on a new short musical based on Doreen Cronin’s “Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type.”
Liz Fredette – Associate Artistic Director, Director, Choreographer – has been involved in theatre, in some way or another, since 1986 when she had the leading role in her 1st grade play. Twenty-plus years later, she’s still here! Liz attended Sarah Lawrence College where she earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Education, with a focus on theatre education and acting. Liz has been working with John and MacGuffin since 2003, where she has functioned as: Director; Assistant Director; Choreographer; Stage Manager; Costume, Set, and Props Designer; and Instructor. She is the resident choreographer for MacGuffin’s cabaret troupe The Singin’ Bohemians and co-director of The Mechanicals Acting Troupe. She has directed and choreographed shows at many schools in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, including: The Philadelphia School, Germantown Friends School, Chester Arthur Elementary, and Greenfield Elementary School. Liz is the founder and director of Poolside Players, a summer drama program, at the Lombard Swim Club where she has worked in some capacity since she was 16 years old. Over the years, she has worked with several theatres and theatre outreach programs in Philadelphia and New York, including Arden Theatre Company and Lunchbox Theatre Outreach (2003 Arts Award, Education for Outreach Theatre Program; 2003 Sarah Lawrence College Community Service Award). When she’s not working with kids in a theatre she can usually be found near a pool–lifeguarding or teaching kids to swim. Next up? Directing MacGuffin’s Spring production of Hamlet.
Jen Jaynes – Director and Comedy Instructor – is a graduate from Kutztown University (2007) with a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music Performance and an MA in Theatre from Villanova University. Following her undergraduate studies, she apprenticed with Touchstone Theatre in Bethlehem, PA. There she studied clown, Le Coque, and creating original ensemble works. For the past five years, Jen has performed for Without a Cue Productions, an interactive murder mystery company and Family Stages, a traveling children’s theatre company. In 2009 she helped to start up High Dramma, Fishtown’s premier sketch comedy group, for which she still actively writes and performs. At MacGuffin she has directed Wicked, Legally Blonde, Annie and High School Musical. She also directs MacGuffin’s comedy improv troupe, This Side Up.
Emma Ditnes – Artistic & Administrative Assistant, Instructor, Co-director of The Mechanicals – holds a BFA in acting and an M. Ed. in Early Childhood with a certificate in Infant Toddler Mental Health from Arcadia University. Favorite roles have included: Titania/Hippoly
Mwazhuwa Kuretu – Director of Photography & Lighting and Instructor
Tina Lynch – Choreographer
Joy Orlemann – Choreographer and Instructor
L-R Liz Fredette, Emma Ditnes, Emily Ballentine Erb, Joy Orlemann, John Rea, Jen Jaynes, Jessica Boyle (intern), Tina Lynch and Mwazhuwa Kuretu.
MacGuffin Board of Directors
Erica Salvi, President
Judy Leone, Vice-President
Joshua Zissman, Treasurer
Holly Lentz-Kleeman, Secretary
David Horwitz, Member
Kristin McKenna, Member