meet the fuse BOARD
Susan Larkin, Member
Noah Golden, Member
April Chateauneuf, Member
Elizabeth Santaus, Treasurer
Barbara Hentschel, Member
Jake Egan O'Hara, Member
Lyndsey Chance Simmons, Member
Susan Larkin, Member
Susan Larkin attended UCLA and has a BA in Theater Arts. She pursued an acting career in L.A. for ten years before moving to CT with her husband. She studied voice with Grammy Award winning composer/conductor Lucas Richman, and locally with Paul Elkin. She is a SAG performer who has performed in television, commercials, and theater from Shakespeare to Gilbert and Sullivan. Most notable roles are Ophelia in “Hamlet”, Sandy in “Grease”, Connie in “1940’s Radio Hour”, Iolanthe, in “Iolanthe”, and Meg in “Crimes of the Heart”. In CT selected roles include April in “Company” and Prudence in “Beyond Therapy”. In CT Susan taught acting/auditioning classes at the Naugatuck Community College Kids on Campus Summer program and the Amity Teen Center. Susan also has an MBA from Albertus Magnus College graduating with Honors.
Susan co-founded FUSE Theatre of CT with Lara Morton in 2019. She served as Executive Producer on their first production, Disney 'The Lion King Jr.' in 2020.
Lara Morton, Acting President
Lara Morton has been working professionally in educational and community outreach theatre for over twenty years. Passionate about the power of theatre to transform lives, she has a keen ability to identify and enhance students’ natural gifts while also strengthening their self-image, problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and relationship to the world around them.
Lara currently directs and instructs FOCUS Teen Improv of Madison, The Awkward Stage Players (adult improv), and teaches across the state and online in a freelance capacity through her company Handful Productions. She also performs regularly for the Yale School of Medicine as a Standardized Patient actor.
Previous engagements include Artistic Director/Playwright-in-Residence for the Yale-based Open End Theatre, Program and Education Director for Young Audiences of CT (Arts for Learning), and Assistant Director of the Mental Health Association Players (Binghamton, NY), where her lifelong relationship with Improvisational Theatre began. She has directed numerous educational theatre projects through Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Madison Arts Barn, WiSP, Alliance Children’s Theatre, Milford Public Schools, New Haven Public Schools, the West Haven Council on the Arts and the West Haven Child Development Center.
As a playwright, she has been honored with several professional staged readings in Manhattan (Epic Theatre Ensemble’s Sunshine Series of New Works, 2011) and New Jersey (Speranza Theatre’s Fall Festival, 2013), and her one-woman touring educational piece about CT State Heroine Prudence Crandall, The Prudence Crandall Story, has been gracing Connecticut school stages since 1998.
She co-founded FUSE Theatre of CT with Susan Larkin in 2019. She co-produced and directed their first production, Disney 'The Lion King Jr.' in 2020.
Elizabeth Dressler Santaus, Treasurer
Elizabeth Dressler Santaus graduated from Wellesley College with a major in studio art and a minor in mathematics. Elizabeth has over thirty years of experience in the financial accounting software and bookkeeping industry. With previous experience consulting and as CFO for three sister companies in Branford, Elizabeth knows how to help businesses prosper and grow. She has consulted, trained, and provided bookkeeping services for more than 300 small businesses in Connecticut and New York since launching Dressler Santaus LLC in 2006. She has been a QuickBooks© trainer for the Community Economic Development Fund's Bridgeport location and currently presents seminars in conjunction with SCORE. Elizabeth has been Treasurer of The Network of Executive Women of Milford, Inc. for seven years.
The arts, particularly fine art, musical theater, and dance, have been her unpaid passion, and she is thrilled to be able to combine this love with her financial management skills working with FUSE.
Jake Egan O'Hara, FUSE Board Member
Jake Egan O'Hara holds a Bachelors (Hons) in Drama, Applied Theatre, and Education from the Royal Central School of Speech of Drama, and has completed Masters coursework through Harvard University and the Harvard University Extension School with a concentration in the Dramatic Arts. He is a licensed Theatre teacher (all levels) through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Additionally, he is a master teacher and adjudicating member of the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild, and a member of the New Hollywood LGBT, a leadership group and think tank comprised of entertainment professionals dedicated to giving back to the community and helping shape the future of the film, television and theatre industries. Jake is the personal stylist to Broadway legends (watch the video for a clue as to who that might be).
In 2019, Jake joined the FUSE Board of Directors and contributed his incredible mask and custom costume pieces to our production of Disney's 'The Lion King Jr.' Jake's unique design sensibility, combined with his incredibly strong dedication to story and sensitivity around working with actors of all shapes and sizes, makes him the perfect costumer for FUSE.
April Chateauneuf, FUSE Board Member
April has designed and painted just over 100 sets for local community Theaters and school productions. She has many Regional Theater credits and an independent film credit under her belt. April's favorite projects, to date, are the Boston Ballet's Nutcracker designed by Robert Perdziola and Broadway's A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder designed by Alexander Dodge.
April holds a certificate in Technical Design and Production: Scenic Art from Yale School of Drama and is currently employed as a Scenic Artist at the historic Goodspeed Opera House.
Noah Golden, FUSE Board Member
Noah Golden has been involved with theater for most of his life. Favorite onstage roles include Barfee (“25th Annual...Spelling Bee”), Sancho Panza (“Man of La Mancha”) and Chas (“Trestle at Pope Lick Creek”). He has also worked as a director (The Orange Players), assistant director (A Shared Stage Productions), writer (Vintage Soul Productions, Long Wharf's upcoming New Haven Play Project) and played drums in the pit for several musicals around CT. Noah also covers New Haven theater for Onstage Blog and, during the day, is a video producer for Yale School of Medicine.
Barbara Hentschel, FUSE Board Member
Barbara Hentschel is a Connecticut and New York based actor and teaching artist. As an actor, Barbara has worked professionally in theatre (Westport Country Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Legacy Theatre, Circle in the Square Downtown), film, television (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, All My Children) and commercial print.
As a Resident Teaching Artist at Long Wharf Theatre she taught in-school residencies and crafted curriculum for schools in New Haven and throughout Connecticut. She also facilitated Long Wharf's Student Theatre Series, Educators' Laboratory (professional development), the Moments and Minutes Festival (Spoken Word Festival), Elder Play (with Tower One, New Haven) and The August Wilson Monologue Competition (Co-op High School). In addition, she taught adult acting classes and coached in LWT's Studio School.
Barbara earned her BA in Theatre Arts (performance) at Fordham at Lincoln Center and holds an MFA in Acting from the inaugural class of the Actors Studio MFA Drama Program at The New School, NYC. Barbara coaches acting privately and serves as a mentor for Theatre scholarship winners of the CT Shoreline Arts Alliance. She also volunteers with the Guilford Performing Arts Festival where she helps steer the programming committee for Drama.
Barbara’s greatest creative endeavor is being a mother to her two children and life partner to her best friend. Barbara believes that theatre is where we come together to learn empathy, community, creativity and teamwork; and that theatre teaches us what it means to be human.
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Lyndsey Chance Simmons, FUSE Board Member
She began her musical theatre career acting locally in Houston, Texas, at the age of 11. She learned her craft performing in numerous school and community theatre productions as a actress, dancer, and singer. After earning two Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree, Lyndsey gave back four years teaching musical theatre at Summit High School in Mansfield, Texas. Here, with the help of her colleagues, she produced and choreographed the first musical (and three additional awards winning productions) in a number of years and built strong, vital musical theatre and design programs. She produced numerous scholarship winning actors and designers, as well as Betty Lynn Buckley and Schmidt and Jones awards nominees and winners in the Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Actor/Actress in Minor and Ensemble Roles, and Scenic, Lighting, and Costume Design categories. She also directed and choreographed an annual Musical Revue and Theatre for a Cause (with which she helped her students to raise thousands of dollars for over 16 charities- including Broadway Cares- Equity Fights AIDS).
During her time as a teacher, she continued to hone her own craft by performing in plays and musicals locally. She studied voice, acting, and dance under wonderful, dedicated teachers for whom she is eternally grateful.