Mary Ellen Kingsland-Eckels
Executive Director and Founder
Mary Ellen Kingsland-Eckels, a life-long resident of Wallingford, is the Executive Director and Founder of the Wallingford Center for the Arts and its programs. Creating a center for the arts has been a lifetime dream of hers. Feeling her life was richly blessed by teachers and mentors who generously shared their talents and time with her, she endeavors to honor the family tradition of giving back to her community. Ms Kingsland-Eckels holds a Bachelors Degree in Theater, with major concentrations in Music Education and Music Performance. She also is a certified and registered Music Therapist with the American Association of Music Therapy and is currently employed as a therapist with the Meriden Board of Education. In addition to post-graduate studies in Music Therapy and Special Education, Ms. Kingsland-Eckels has studied voice with Mr. John Cosentino and Diction/Foreign Language Vocal Coaching with Mr. Harold Mason, both of the Metropolitan Opera, NYC. Ms. Kingsland-Eckels has performed in concert throughout New England and New York. She has more than 30 years of acting and directing experience in college, community, and industry circles. She finds great joy in bringing people together and helping them discover their gifts through the arts.
Choreography and Production
Meghan began her involvement with the Wallingford Community Theatre as an intern stage manager and choreographer for Grease in 2008 and The King and I in 2009. Since she was two, Meghan trained at Judyth Parks Academy of Dance Arts, where she studied various styles ranging from the core techniques of Ballet and Lyric to her personal favorites of Jazz, Tap, Street Tap, and Hip Hop. She has progressed from a student to a faculty member, continuing her passion by teaching students in Tap, Street Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop classes. When she is not teaching in the classroom or choreographing for the theater, she attends master classes as well as dance conventions throughout Connecticut and New York. In addition to dancing, Meghan also has a background in acting and musical theater, performing in musicals and various plays from middle school throughout high school and college. Meghan received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in Theatre. While she hopes to pursue a career in the arts, she is thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of the Wallingford Community Theatre.
Matthew William Bennett
Technical Direction and Theatrician
Matthew began his involvement with the Wallingford Community Theatre as an intern in set design and construction in 2012 and acting and performance, directing, and marketing in 2013 and 2014. Matthew received a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Theatre with a dual concentration of acting and stagecraft from Southern Connecticut State University in December of 2014. During that time, Matthew also studied at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City. He has been involved in over thirty productions, including ten musicals. Matthew has performed Off-Off-Broadway at the Crowne Theatre in the play Bolero, by David Ives. He was also a featured model on the cover of the Young Adult novel, Arise, by Estevan Vega. Along with acting, Matthew has held various titles within the theatre, including Technical Director, Set Designer, Sound Designer, Lighting Designer, Projections Master, and Master Electrician. Outside of the theatre, Matthew has had a job and many freelance projects as a graphic designer. Matthew aspires to be a professional actor and playwright and is thankful to the Wallingford Community Theatre for all of the opportunities it has granted him in pursuing that aspiration.