Anna Pfeil-Director, Playwright, Workshop Instructor-One of the founding members of The Octavians, Anna began working in theater at The Beverly Dinner Playhouse in 1976 where she worked behind the scenes with such stars as Larry Linville of M.A.S.H., JoAnne Worley, Imogene CoCo, Martha Raye, Jane Kean, Dina Merrill, and local stars Becky Allen, Ricky Graham, and current New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landreau.
Since 1982, Anna has created costumes for Tulane University's Summer Lyric, Little Lyric, and Music Department, where she worked under award-winning designers Elizabeth Parent, Julie Winn, and Charlotte Lang. She has also designed for Jefferson Performing Arts Society, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond Ballet, and Columbia Players/Command Performers (now, Back On Stage) where she won two "Hammy" awards for best costumes.
Anna's directing career began in 1996 with her church Vacation Bible School program and Liturgical Dance Group. She directed skits and dancers for ten years. In 2000, she worked with Don Marshall (Executive Director of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival) and Southeastern Louisiana University's Cultural Resource Management program, writing and directing her original version of The Pied Piper. She has since directed plays for Hammond High School, Nesom Middle School, and the Tangipahoa Parish Talented Theater Program. She has written four full-length plays and three summer camp skits for The Octavians as well as three short plays for her Talented Theater students.
Anna holds an Ancillary
Certification in Talented Theater from the State of Louisiana, and an
Associate's Degree in Fashion Merchandising from Barbizon. She studied
art at UNO and costume design at USL (now, University of Louisiana at Lafayette), but has learned the most by being
on the job with great designers and lovers of theater. Currently, she is the Executive/Artistic Director for The Octavians and Teacher of Talented Theater in Tangipahoa Parish.
In her free time, she likes to volunteer at The Columbia Theatre for Performing Arts as wardrobe assistant for touring road shows. Anna lives in Hammond, Louisiana with her husband Pete. They have four children, all of whom are Southeastern Louisiana University academic scholarship recipients, and involved in the arts in one form or another.
Jessica Cressionnie-Assistant Director, Workshop Instructor-Jessica, a native of Ponchatoula, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication with Minors in both Music and Theater from Southeastern Louisiana University. Jessica has been doing theater since her debut performance at the age of 3 in a play called The Light Brigade. Growing up Jessica loved performing, and she actually started writing and directing shows when she was still in High School. After High School she moved to California to become part of The Young Americans. The Young Americans is a non-profit musical theater organization that tours both nationally and internationally. Jessica still believes that being a Young American was the experience of a lifetime. However, she decided to return home and pursue her degree and career in Louisiana. Jessica currently teaches private voice and piano lessons, writes and directs additional shows in the Hammond area and absolutely loves being a part of The Octavians! Her passion is music and theater, and she loves to work with them in any form separately or together!
-Movement Instructor-is a multi-faceted choreographer, performer and instructor. Whether choreographing or performing- Brit loves the stage! Brit has a passion for choreographing productions and also teaching people of all ages. She is fluent in Ballet and classically trained in Cecchetti, Tap, and Modern. Brit studied dance at both the Purchase Conservatory of Dance in NY and the University at Buffalo where she graduated with honors with a dual degree in Theatre & Dance, and Urban Planning. Brit has traveled the world performing and choreographing including working with the Alvin Ailey School in New York, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the American Ballet Theatre, Anheuser Busch Entertainment, Walt Disney Entertainment, and the makers of the Lion King. Most recently she performed the Sugar Plum Fairy pointe solo in her hometown of Detroit Michigan, guest appeared as a soloist for the production “Smokey Joe’s Café” and performed in Hawai’i as a soloist in the production “This is the Song”. Off the stage Brit is continuing her graduate career in the field of Architecture and Urban Planning having traveled to China and studied at the University of Hawai’i school of Architecture. Brit absolutely loves animals and in the winter you can always find her hitting the slopes for some downhill skiing! Pete Pfeil
-Technical Advisor-Pete currently holds the position of Director of Operations and Production for Southeastern Louisiana University's Columbia Theatre where he sets the stage for performances by national touring companies such as Paul Taylor Dance, Winwood Theatrics, and Aquila, bands like War, Gregg Allman, Eric Burdon, Better Than Ezra, and local productions of Hammond Ballet, JPAS, Fellom Ballet and many more.
He began his professional career in 1978 at The Beverly Dinner Playhouse as the resident lighting designer. There he worked with world renowned directors such as Ross Hunter, Storer Boone, Pat Bauldaff, and Kenneth McMillian. Pete has also worked as production manager for Tulane University-Newcomb Music Department which hosted performances like Yo-Yo Ma and The Brothers Karamazov, and Summer Lyric Theater with local stars Ricky Graham, Christopher Carey, Becky Allen, Anthony Lacuira, and Leslie Castay to name just a few. As theater manager for the Orpheum Theater, he was production manager for the New Orleans Symphony and worked with Pete Fountain, Aaron Neville, Bob from Sesame Street and many more.
Pete came to Hammond in 1995 as
Production Manager for Southeastern Louisiana University's Music
Department. He worked on campus running Pottle Music Auditorium, and
with Harriet Voyt on Fanfare until The Columbia Theatre for Performing
Art opened in 2002. He then moved into The Columbia space.As a child, Pete was a member of the Pick-a-Pack Players in Milwaukee, WI and worked with the group for almost 10 years. He
discovered his love, and talent, for lighting while still in high school.
Mark Myers-Self Defense Instructor