Our Professional Staff
TOM LUPFER (Director/Producer/Technical Director) is a graduate of the Program in Educational Theatre at New York University, where he earned a M.A. He also holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Susquehanna University. Currently, Tom is a drama teacher and Related Arts Subject Matter Leader at a performing arts magnet school in Montclair, NJ. In May 2015, Tom co-produced the documentary film Ceremony for This Time, premiering at the Montclair Film Festival. The film chronicles the creation of a performance piece celebrating the power of the performing arts in education.
The director/producer for PV Theatre since 2007, Tom is proud to collaborate with his wife Merielle, with whom he was honored to share the 2014 Montclair State University JoAnn Fox Award, given to a director who is: "an inspiration to his/her students, whose passion for theatre is infectious, and who creates a community, a loving extended family in his/her school in the process of producing high quality productions." Tom's favorite productions are his twin daughters.
MERIELLE LUPFER (Director/Costumer) earned a B.S. from the Program in Educational Theatre at New York University. A 2001 alumna of PVHS, she is overjoyed to give back to the program that was her initial training in the craft. As an actress, favorite roles she has played include: Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Amy in Company, and various roles in The Laramie Project.
At PV, she has designed costumes, props and scenery, as well as co-directing since 2007. Merielle was honored to accept the 2014 JoAnn Fox Award honoring excellence in directing a HS Theatre program. She is most happy when she is at home with her family, which has grown to include her beautiful twin daughters.
MICHAEL MAHADEEN (Vocal Musical Director/Orchestra Director), a conductor, educator, performer, and composer, works as Assistant Director of the Symphony of Winds and Percussion at New Jersey City University, and serves as a music director, conductor, and orchestrator with the Montclair State University Theater and Dance Department and various local theater companies. Broadway/NYC credits include: On the 20th Century, Show Boat, Waterfall, The Hills Are Alive!, Once on this Island. As a composer, Michael has had music performed by the Czech Radio Orchestra (2007 Dvořák Festival, Prague and Vienna), the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Colonial Symphony, various all-state, region, high school, collegiate, and community ensembles, and is known internationally for his scores to video games in the Wing Commander series. In 2013, Michael began work with Connect4Education, arranging for their OnMusic Conducting course.
Michael graduated with honors from MSU, majoring in Music Education/Music Theory and Composition, and is a recipient of the New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher Award. In September 2013, Michael returned to MSU for his graduate studies in composition, concentrating in musical direction/conducting for musical theater, and became the Graduate Assistant for the program in September 2014. Michael is a member of Phi Mu Alpha, MENC, and ASCAP. His music is published by Bandworks Publications.
FRANCESCA SILVANO (Choreographer) is a native of Rome, Italy, where she graduated from the National Academy of Dance, before attending the Covent Garden School of Dance in London. Upon moving to the U.S., Mrs. Silvano has performed for various dance companies and choreographers in New York City. She holds a degree in Comparative Literature, and is happy to share both her talents -- academic and performing-- at PV.
KELSEY MCGRAIL (Choreographer) is a PV Theatre alum, class of 2012. She started choreographing during her junior year, and has choreographed musical numbers for ten PV Theatre musicals. She is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo.
CURTIS SHIELDS (Lighting Designer) is a New York City based lighting designer for theatre, dance, and opera. Broadway: The Spongebob Musical (Assistant to LD). Regional: Shrek The Musical, Evita (Assoc.) Oklahoma! (Assoc.), Fallen Skies. Additional Credits: West Side Story, Carrie, Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA, Triumph of Love, Den of Thieves, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (Assoc.), The Joci Awards, and numerous dance shows. PV: Urinetown, Anything Goes, Don’t Drink The Water, Cabaret, The Laramie Project and Ten Years Later. A proud PV Theatre alumni, Curtis is happy to be back in the space where he found his love for theatrical design. He is a graduate of Montclair State University where he received a BFA in Lighting Design. IG: @curtisshieldsdesign
ADAM FARNAN (Scenic Designer) is a carpenter who has worked with PV Theatre since 2010. He started off as a student on the crew team his sophomore year of high school, and became master carpenter his senior year. Since graduation, he has worked as Assistant Technical Director and Scenic Designer. In addition to his work at Pascack Valley, Adam also designs and constructs scenery for other HS and community theatres.