Education Department Staff

Lucia Scheckner [workup] 200pxLucia Scheckner (Director of Education & Artist Programs) Since receiving an MFA in Theater Studies from Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts in 2006, Lucia has developed and directed theater and arts education programs in a variety of community spaces. From 2008 to 2012, she served as Director of Museum Programs for the Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA), a hands-on art making and exhibition space, where she was committed to ensuring the accessibility of the arts, regardless of means or ability, through a wide variety of fine arts and media arts program offerings. Prior to that, she was Director of Community Programs at CMA, leading the museum’s public school, charter school, and early childhood outreach programs. During her five year tenure at CMA, Lucia helped to expand the museum’s education programs to include a free tween and teen (Young Artist Kollective/YAK) and community-based programs, including free public programs on Governors Island, the High Line, and at the Dumbo Arts Festival. She founded the Museum’s RESTART program to bring free arts programming to youth living in temporary housing shelters. Prior to CMA, Lucia worked with Community Works West (CWW) in San Francisco where she developed, administered, and taught creative writing, theater, and performance workshops with youth and adult female populations impacted by incarceration. Through CWW, she co-founded an all women’s theater group, Rising Voices, for women formally incarcerated, collaborating and producing original theater productions based on the ensemble’s experiences. Concurrently, she worked as a freelance production dramaturg and script-consultant for Bay Area theater companies and playwrights, including the experimental Cutting Ball Theater and Just Theater Company, the Magic Theater, and the Berkeley Aurora Theater, among others. A New York City native, Lucia have also worked with youth through the Leadership Program, Inc., Theaters Against War (THAW), The Renaissance University for Community Education through Harlem Children’s Zone, and Brooklyn Nonviolent Communication. lucia@bax.org 


Ashley R. Thaxton-Stevenson (Senior Manager of Education Programs) (she/her/hers) is a theatre maker, educator, and nonprofit administrator originally from Southern California, with Black, white, and Korean ancestors. At BAX, Ashley facilitates exchanges between young artists, community members, and teaching artists, through BAX’s Education programs. As a nonprofit administrator, Ashley has worked in arts education and nonprofit administration at the 14th Street Y (Development & Events Associate; Director of the Teen Theater Summer Camp), Lineage Performing Arts Center (Director of Development and Education Programs), Brooklyn College (Department of Theatre Marketing Assistant), and the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program (Company Manager). As a theater maker and educator, her work is focused on antiracist actor training, collaborative rehearsal practices, and contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare. She holds an MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College where she was a Graduate Teaching Fellow and was awarded the Dean’s List Thesis Award for her work on Caryl Churchill’s Fen. In addition to her MFA education, she has trained with Fiasco Theatre Company, Scott Miller Voice Method, Nicole Brewer’s CTT (Conscientious Theatre Training), The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), artEquity, and RaceForward. Recent directing projects include Sea Longing (Parsnip Ship/Actors’ Theatre of Boston), Origen Story (Water House Collective), and the Living History Project (New Victory LabWorks). Ashley is a Core Ensemble Member of the Verbatim Performance Lab at NYU.  art-s.co  ashley@bax.org

Andrew Jannetti Headshot
Andrew Jannetti (School Breaks Arts Program Director)
has been dancing, choreographing, and teaching in NYC since he graduated from Montclair State University in 1976. His choreographic work has been presented in many venues in NYC including DTW, St. Marks’s Danspace, 92nd Street Y, Alvin Ailey Center, The Duke, DIA, BAX, Cunningham Studio, DUMBO Dance Festival, CoolNY Festival, ADG Festival, NY International Dance Festival, Philadelphia Fringe, as well as various venues throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the prestigious Edinburgh Festival. He has received grants from NYSCA, NJSCA, MCAF, Meet The Composers, the Field, and Harkness Center. He received a BAXten Award for his strong commitment to Dance Education and a PASEtter Award from the Partnership for After School Education for his work with after school arts programming for NYC youth. He was the co-director of Children’s Dance Project of Manhattan as well Summerstage, a music and theater workshop for children in Rockland County, NY. He taught at Staten Island Academy for 6 years where he developed the entire dance program for Pre- K thru 12th grade and an integrated arts curriculum for grades 1- 4. His lesson designs have been published in national magazines that include Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, and National Dance Association Journal. He is currently employed by the NYC Department of Education as a full time dance educator at PS 79 in Whitestone, Queens. In addition, he teaches modern dance to young students at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange and has been a teaching artist at PS 115 for the past two years. After an hiatus from BAX for four years, he returned as the director of all of the school breaks programs and has been coordinating them for the past three years. His classes for adults include modern/jazz dance, aqua aerobics, stretch and tone, and his own special brand of cardio-conditioning, Rhythmic Fitness, which he teaches throughout the New York metropolitan area. He is a recent honors graduate of the Steinhardt School at NYU with a Masters in Dance Education. andrew@bax.org


DonnaDonna Costello (Education Programs Consultant and Lead Facilitator) Donna Costello is a dance artist working in the field of dance, theater and performance. She is drawn to investigative processes that asks questions, allows space for new discoveries and provides opportunities to share work within and for a community. Her practice and passion for the art form continues to deepen with the exchange she has cultivated over the past 15 years as a performer, creator and educator in dance. She has had the privilege to perform with Vicky Shick, jill sigman / thinkdance, Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance (founding member), Carrie Ahern, Jimena Paz and Mollie O’Brien. Additional projects that have shaped her as an artist include works by Stephan Koplowitz, Juliette Mapp, Naomi Goldberg Haas, Pele Bauch, Kelly Bartnik, Barbara Mahler, the human company, director Jennifer Sargent and collaborating with composer Anne Hege. In 2010, she taught and performed throughout Germany with the program Dancing to Connect for Aviva Geismar’s Drastic Action alongside Battery Dance Company. Her own work has been presented in New York by Movement Research at Judson Church, Dance Conversations at the flea theater, Green Space, Wow Café, Dixon Place, DanceNow/NYC, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, SWEAT dance series and at Performatica in Mexico. She was a space grant recipient at BAX in 2011. As a teaching artist, Donna dances with young people of all ages and ability in a multitude of settings. She has been on faculty at Poly Prep Middle School , Greenwich House Music School and Queensborough Community College. She currently creates and facilitates workshops for Lincoln Center Education and the Park Avenue Armory. She has taught at BAX since 1999 and very much considers this her artistic home. Beyond serving as the BAX Education Programs Consultant and Lead Facilitator, Donna also directs the annual YouthWorks Festival and the Dance Performance Workshop Level I classes and performances. donna@bax.org


Aviya Hersntadt (Education Assistant) Aviya is a dancer, movement educator, and New York City native. While working towards her BA in a self-created major, Psychosocial Perspectives on Education, at Pitzer College, she studied and performed with Kevin Williamson, Sakina Ibrahim, and Israeli choreographer Ronit Ziv, among others. Aviya spent a year living and studying in Quito, Ecuador, where she performed with La Frente de la Danza Independiente. Since moving home to Brooklyn, Aviya has performed with Dance to the People and joined Carmen Caceres’ DanceAction in December 2018, where she has been a collaborator in the piece Blindspot. In January 2019, she joined the BAX community as the Youth Education Administrative Intern, and later as a Lead Counselor in their Summer Arts Program. Additionally, Aviya is a teaching artist with Wingspan Arts at their public school partners. aviya@bax.org

Education Interns: Seasonally, the BAX Education Department employees interns to assist with general administration of the department or specifically to assist with coordination and planning of festivals or special events.

Audrey Berger (Education Administrative Intern) Originally from San Francisco, California, Audrey Berger started studying dance and choreography at a young age. To delve deeper into choreography Audrey accepted a place in the London Contemporary Dance School’s Bachelor’s program. Through her undergraduate degree, she became increasingly more interested in dance education and arts administration. Audrey hopes to take all that she has learned through her dance education abroad back to the United States, where she will pursue choreography, teaching, and arts administration post graduation. She hopes to continue learning about the impacts dance education has on self image, and to actively take initiative in evoking change within the education system in order for dance and arts education to create positive, equitable, nurturing spaces that celebrate the individual and are accessible to all. To see more of her work, visit https://audreythao.weebly.com/about.html.