Arts Academy Faculty
Kristen Poulakis (Arts Academy Director) – Kristen is proud to say she began her journey here at the WHBPAC in 2014 as a teaching artist and has had the great opportunity of directing/music directing several shows for the Arts Academy throughout those years. Kristen has been a vocal coach, piano instructor and song writing advocate here on Long Island for over 14 years. She had also taught all styles of dance at the Dance Centre of the Hamptons for several years. Kristen co-owned/directed two musical theatre companies, ACT Out East as well as East End Children’s Theatre company at the Vail Leavitt Music Hall. Kristen’s formal training in dance and voice began in Boston where she grew up as well as at the Broadway Dance Centre in Manhattan. She attended the prestigious colleges, The Boston Conservatory of Music as well as The Berklee School of Music but ultimately obtained her bachelor’s degree from the buddhist based college, Naropa University, in Boulder Colorado. She has a degree in Vocal Performance and Music Therapy. Kristen loves that she is able to help develop confidence, foster talent and instill the love of the arts to students of all ages.
Michael Drozd (Music, Musical Theatre, Dance) – Michael has been a part of the WHBPAC Arts Education team as a teaching artist since 2016. Michael graduated from The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance. While at Queens College, Michael co-founded a Musical Theater Organization dedicated to student run productions where he was director, co-music director and co-choreographer. He’s been in many shows with the North Fork Community Theater, the Riverhead Faculty Community Theater, Queens College, Southampton Cultural Center and Riverhead High School.
Bethany Dellapolla (Choreographer) – Bethany is an actress herself, who also teaches, choreographs, and directs various theater camps, productions, and classes throughout the island and Manhattan (ages 3 to adult). Teaching and coaching credits include: Broadway Dance Center (Children/Teen – Triple Threat Program), Bay Street Theater (Camp Director/Choreographer), TADA! Youth Theatre (Director/Choreographer), Pierson Middle-High School (Resident Director/Choreographer), Gateway Playhouse (Acting Faculty/Director/Choreographer), and NexGen Youth Theatre, her own youth theatre company based in NYC (www.nexgentheatre.com). She has been fortunate to direct and/or choreograph many shows for children and adults as well, such as Into the Woods, The Little Mermaid, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Wedding Singer, Spring Awakening, Anything Goes, Zombie Prom, Seussical, Beauty and the Beast, Willy Wonka, Shrek, 13, Fame!, and The World Goes ‘Round. As an actress, Bethany has performed in everything from independent film, to radio and theatre. Most recently, Bethany was seen as Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast (BroadwayWorld.com nomination – Best Actress in a Musical), as Steph in Reasons to Be Pretty (Broadwayworld.com nomination – Best Actress in a Play), and as the Fairy Godmother in a touring production of Cinderella. Twitter/Instagram: @bdellapolla
Justin D. Harris –(Musical Theatre, Dance, Theatre) Justin is an East End actor, director, and writer. He also is a masterful teaching artist working with actors from Manhattan to Montauk. Justin is a graduate of Brown University in neuroscience and has studied theatre, music, and dance among activities like mariachi band (trumpet), acapella, and step dance team. Justin recently directed the Long Island Premiere of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Bright Star. Favorite credits include Emcee (Cabaret), Chutes&Ladders (Water By The Spoonful), and several Shakespearean characters-Othello, Brutus, Bottom, and Lucio.