kids theater, The A.C.T. - The Acton Cooperative Theater Acton, MA About Us
About Us 

The Acton Cooperative Theater, known as The A.C.T., is a non-profit theater organization for children in Kindergarten through Grade 12. The A.C.T. welcomes children and teens interested in exploring the world of theater. 

Who We Are 

LYNDA BURGESS (Owner, Executive Director, Executive Producer): Lynda founded The A.C.T. in November 2010 after producing and directing with StarzNLightz Productions. Lynda is originally from New York where she studied Music, Communications, Audio Engineering and Dance. While in NY, Lynda worked at one of NYC's top radio stations. Since moving to Massachusetts, Lynda has performed with several local theater companies and was a Medical Office Manager with Partners Healthcare and Emerson Hospital where she ran multi-specialty offices for Pediatric, Adolescent and Adult Medicine. Lynda is a mother of two beautiful children, who share her passion and love for music, theater and dance.

SHANNON CALLISON (Director/Producer): Shannon is a creative spirit with a love of people and a passion for the arts. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 1996 with a degree in English and Communications and worked as a corporate writer for many years. Shannon has always loved theater and upon moving to Massachusetts, joined The A.C.T where she has directed and produced more than 20 shows featuring kids of all ages, from kindergarten to high-school. During the summers of 2013-2016, Shannon had the opportunity to attend sessions at the Broadway Teachers Workshop in New York City where she trained under some of Broadway’s most elite directors, producers, choreographers and performers. Shannon is the President of Acton-Boxborough Friends of Drama and lives in Acton with her husband of 23 years and their four children. 

EMILY JONES (Stage Manager): Emily is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she majored in theater. Emily has experience working in children's theater and has a wide range of theater skills, including directing, stage managing, costuming, and lights. 
RUTH BENDIG (Music Director):

Ruth has worked as a performer for many years, appearing in theatres from Chicago, IL to Edinburgh, Scotland.  She was an MFA candidate at The Theatre School at DePaul University, and worked for many years as a production coordinator for television commercials. Ruth recently returned to the stage in local productions of Cinderella, My Fair Lady and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She has been with The A.C.T. since it was founded in 2010 and has provided the musical direction for all of their main stage musical productions.


NICOLE FLAHERTY (Choreographer): 

Nicole began her dance training 19 years ago studying under Janice Zawodny as well as the dance faculty at Dean College’s Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance. Nicole recently graduated from Dean College with her BA in Dance and BS in Business so that someday she can have a dance studio of her own.  You can find Nicole teaching numerous dance styles at Gina’s Studio of Dance and Fitness in Boxborough MA as well as teen tap at The Movement Center in Acton MA. In addition to being a dance teacher, Nicole also loves to spend her time choreographing for The A.C.T. And has been for many years now as well as being the choreographer for Superstar Productions in Harvard, MA. Nicole loves nothing more than spreading the love of dance to others. Nicole’s favorite performance she’s participated in was the NFL Season Kick off Game for the New England Patriots in 2017. But, most of all, Nicole’s favorite performances to watch are of those that she helps create here at the A.C.T. 

MARIE ROBB: (Costume Designer):
Marie has been designing and creating costumes for the A.C.T. productions since it was founded in 2010. She has also designed for other regional children's theater companies, as well as the RJ Grey Junior High School musicals.  Frozen Jr. marks her 43rd production.  When she is not creating costumes, Marie is an Operating Room Nurse at Lahey Hospital and is the mother of 4, now grown, fantastic children.
TROY FANTON (Set Designer):

Troy began his adult theater career as the Stage Manager for StarzNLightz productions of the Wizard of Oz and Cinderella.  Troy has been designing the sets for The ACT since is conception in 2010.  He has been a technical theater geek since high school.  He is a jack of all trades with expertise in lighting, sound, stage design, scenic art, construction and stage management.  He wrote several plays in college and continues to enjoy the creative process of writing and the theater.  He is a special education teacher for incarcerated youth and proud father.

GINA FLAHERTY (Choreographer): Gina began her formal dance education and training in 1975 under the direction of the Boston area’s leading dance instructors. Since then she has performed and choreographed for many dance troupes and companies in the Boston area. Her training began with Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Hip-Hop and she has now expanded her solid dance and fitness foundation to teach Zumba. Her depth of dance knowledge and breadth of experience enable her to bring a variety of dance elements to all of her students and classes. Gina is currently teaching Zumba in Boxboro at Fitting Fitness In and in West Concord at Gold’s Gym and also works as a Choreographer for various musical theatre programs in the area. Gina creates a learning environment that is always positive, inspiring, warm and friendly. Gina is happy to share her expertise and love of dance and fitness with everyone she meets.