Co-Founder and Director of Education
Lindsay Pontius has been a professional actor, director, and teacher working both regionally and internationally for over 25 years. Pontius is Co-Founder and Director of Education of Courageous Stage, and also serves as Education Director of Town Hall Theater (THT) in Middlebury, Vermont. Over the last seven years, Pontius developed the THT Education Program, which annually serves more than 20 schools and a thousand children in Vermont. Pontius is a founding member of Shakespeare & Company’s nationally award-winning Fall Festival of Shakespeare that involves 10 high schools and thousands of students (grades 7-12) every year. She has a doctorate in Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont.
Co-Founder and Director of Programs
As a professional actor for nearly 20 years and member of Actor’s Equity, Craig Maravich has worked in leading theatres across the United State as an actor. He is a member of The Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble and faculty artist at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English since 2010 and Visiting Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College. Craig's work as a teaching artist includes developing and implementing programs for all ages of youth and adults. In partnership with Courageous Stage, he is leading a pilot program at Middlebury College - Beyond the Page - that expands the work of the Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble teaching artistry to undergraduate classrooms. As a former teaching artist at The Flynn Center for the Arts, he curated a community engagement play-reading series that he founded. Maravich holds an MFA in Classical Acting from The Academy for Classical Acting at The Shakespeare Theatre/GWU.
Courageous Stage partners with a network of internationally acclaimed Associate Artists, who bring their extensive expertise to bear in the classroom. Our turnkey model, and its teachers, travel to schools and cultural institutions across Vermont. Vermont-based Associate Artists include:
Clint Bierman is a band leader, studio engineer, songwriter, producer, and composer. He has created numerous albums, played guitar for the NBC show, Smash, and co-wrote I'm on My Way, which was featured on the Shrek 2 soundtrack. He has extensive music education experience, including leading Rock-It Science music camps.
Madeline Ciocci recently graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College ('20) with a Theatre major and a Linguistics minor. She performed in and was on the creative team for a myriad of shows through college, including two seasons of the Potomac Theatre Project in New York City. She is one of the interns at Town Hall Theater and is currently serving in a marketing and administrative role at Courageous Stage.
Bair Lambert currently studies theatre and philosophy at Middlebury College, where he has performed in numerous productions and worked in both the College Store and Davis Library's ILL department. In addition, he is the current music director for the Middlebury Mamajamas, a gender-inclusive Acapella group. He has interned with the Town Hall Theater for the past two summers, during which he assistant music directed and performed in Taming of the Shrew. He has also contributed lyrics for several Courageous Stage productions.
Jack DesBois is a singer, actor, and educator who teaches Town Hall Theater youth programs. Jack performs in productions by the Middlebury Actors Workshop, the Opera Company of Middlebury, Town Hall Theater, and The Middlebury Bach Festival. He holds a BA in Music from Middlebury College and is a Master of Letters Candidate in Shakespeare & Performance at Mary Baldwin University.
Madeleine Russell recently graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College ('19) where she studied theatre and history. While at Middlebury, she performed in a number of faculty and student directed shows, managed the college's student black-box theatre, and worked as an administrative assistant for the theatre department. She currently serves as the Associate Director for Beyond the Page, a newly piloted Bread Loaf School of English initiative that uses theatre arts to illuminate literary works in undergraduate classrooms at Middlebury College.
After graduating from Shimer College, Scott Gibbs taught high school English and humanities for thirty five years, two at Duluth Cathedral High School and the remainder at Westport Central School on Lake Champlain in New York. While at Westport, he received two NEH summer scholarships to study writing and literature at Harvard University and at Bard College. Since his retirement, Scott works as a teaching artist in the Shakespeare, It’s Elementary program, among other interests. Scott lives in Westport with his wife, Margaret.
Joe Schine is a fine artist, educator, movement performer with background in stage combat. He was an original member of Courageous Stage's flagship program: Shakespeare It's Elementary. Joe instructs Visual Communications at the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center, assists in technical theater at the Town Hall Theater, and runs Joe Schine LLC, a humble painting business. He is thrilled to work with the creative team that is Courageous Stage!
Melissa Lourie is the co-founder of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, an accomplished Equity actress, a veteran teacher of acting and theater at the University of Vermont, and the current Artistic Director of the Middlebury Actors Workshop.
Paul Schnabel is an actor/producer and co-founder/President of Off Center for the Dramatic Arts, an incubator performance venue in the Old North End of Burlington. Paul is a longstanding member of the internationally acclaimed Riot Group in NYC and of the Screen Actors Guild.