PAC Staff and Faculty
Lois Brace, Executive/Artistic Director
Mrs. Brace has lived in Mexico for 25+ years and together with her husband Craig raised 3 children Collin, Evan and Lillian. She has a MFA from Texas State University in Theatre Directing, her Bachelors of Arts in Speech Communication and English from Southwest Baptist University. She has been involved with Presser Performing Arts Center since 1992 as production director, and now as the Founding Executive Artistic Director of the Center. She has also served on the Board of Directors for Missouri Association of Community Theaters. She has received the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce award for community achievement. Lois received Outstanding Contribution to Mexico Area Community Theatre Award. She serves on the Board of Directors for Missouri Association for Community Arts Agencies, the Arts Education Collaborative for the State of Missouri, as a Missouri Arts Council Panelist, and is a member of the D.A.R. and P.E.O. It is through Mrs. Brace’s planning and vision that PAC has grown and developed into a thriving arts center. Her enthusiasm has only been matched by her energy to impact vibrancy in the arts for Mexico and the surrounding area. Her passion is directing and seeing lives change through creativity.
Stephanie Kulas, Administrator
Stephanie is originally from Lake of the Ozarks where her love of the arts began as a small child participating in community theater and church choir productions. She moved to Mexico in 2010 and is very excited to be involved with Presser Performing Arts Center. Stephanie has a Bachelors of Arts in Music and Arts Administration from Drury University where she was a member of Drury Singers and Zeta Tau Alpha. She also has a Masters of Business Administration-Social Media from Stephen's College. Stephanie loves reading and quilting. She lives in Mexico with her husband Mike and daughter Penelope.
Catherine Quinlan, Makeup Director
Catherine is professionally trained as a makeup artist and has been working as a stage professional for over 6 years. She manages makeup crews and shows.
If you are interested in volunteering on the make up team please complete a volunteer form and send to: Presser PAC, ATTN: Catherine Quinlan 900 S Jefferson St. Mexico, Mo 65265
Linda Ahmann, Marketing Outreach
Linda has been a permanent fixture in the community of Mexico for a very long time serving the Red Cross, Garden Club, Book Clubs, and the lists are too long to list. If you have available time and you are looking for a connection she can help you.
Júlia Coelho, Voice Instructor
Júlia Coelho, soprano, comes from Portugal. She has a MM in Vocal Performance (2017) from the University of Missouri, and is currently pursuing a MA in Musicology at the same institution, where she studies with Prof. Tharp and worked for 3.5 years as graduate teaching assistant in voice and in music theory, and as graduate research assistant in musicology.
She has a M.M. in Canto Lirico from the Conservatory D. Cimarosa in Avellino (2013; vocal performance with focus on music history), and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Lisbon (2010), where she added foreign languages to her studies, namely German, Spanish, and French. As a researcher, she has presented at conferences in Missouri and Italy, and has publications and translations in English, Portuguese, and Italian related to music, poetry, and philosophy.
With a major focus in Early Music as a scholar/performer, she has performed in several choirs and as a soloist in concerts, recitals, staged works/operas, and music festivals in Italy, Portugal, and USA. She won prizes in competitions such as “Città di Eboli” and “Campi Flegrei” (2011, Opera) in Italy, “Luísa Todi” (2015) in Portugal, “MMTA” (2014, 2015) and “American Prize” (2016, Art Song and Oratorio) in the USA. On stage in Italy and in the USA she has performed as Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Cleopatra in Händel’s Giulio Cesare, Fortuna in Monteverdi’s Poppea, Zabel in Keil’s A Serrana, Amina in Bellini's La Sonnambula, Suor Genevieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Premiére Musicienne in Lully’s Le Carnaval Masquerade, among others, and through the Amherst Early Music Festival with Dr. Julianne Baird, she performed in 2016 Orontea in Cesti’s Orontea.
Sam Dalton, Film Director
Sam is an actor, writer, producer and director. He teaches our summer theatre camp and consults throughout the year on our projects. Our movies are in-depth, crash courses on film making. They are submitted to film festivals nationwide and they get in!
Jina Deimeke, Ceramics Instructor
Jina grew up on a farm outside of Martinsburg. She always had an interest in art, but it wasn’t until college when she discovered her passion for pottery. Columbia College Ceramic professor Bo Bedilion, convinced Jina to take a Ceramics course to learn wheel throwing. Jina instantly fell in love with manipulating the clay to create functional forms. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics in 2013. After graduation, she attended Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine for an Assistantship Residency she was awarded from her college professors. Jina specializes in wheel throwing but also has experience with hand building. Recently, Jina and her husband Scott moved to Benton City where she has an in-home studio. Along with creating pots, Jina also stays home to care for their son Owen.
John Dreyer, Violin/Cello Instructor
Biography arriving soon!
Izzie Duval, Theatre Camp Director
Izzie has been an avid thespian all her life. She began her theater career at the age of 5 as "Tootie" in Meet Me in St. Louis and fell in love with the theater, performing in countless productions throughout her entire childhood. Izzie trained in dance beginning at age 5 and gymnastics at age 10. She began classical vocal training at the age of 12 and went on to compete and win many district and state competitions, including performing with the National Youth Choir in NYC, and winning first place in the NATS Musical Theater (Central Region) competition in 2007. Izzie began teaching theater and musical theater dance at the age of 16 and went on to direct and choreograph multiple productions.
Izzie received her BFA in Theater Performance from Stephens College in 2009. While in college, she performed in every main stage musical, including some favorite roles as "Little Sally" in Urinetown and "Amy" in Little Women, the musical (dir. Jana Robbins, Broadway producer). While at Stephens, Izzie worked at the Okiboji Summer Theater. Izzie also worked for the Coterie Theater as a teaching artist for many years.
Izzie has been working at PPAC since 2012, where she choreographed and/or assistant directed "The Wizard of Oz", "Aladdin Jr.", "Mulan Jr.", "Bye Bye Birdie Jr.", "The Little Mermaid Jr.", and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Jr.". She also directed the Creative Dramatics Camp in 2013 (Where the Wild Things Are) and 2016 (Giraffes Can’t Dance). Izzie is thrilled to be directing Theater Camp this summer!
Grady Frazier, Guitar Instructor
Raised in an environment conducive to exploring the arts, Grady found an itch for music early on. Although the medium has changed from drumming, to saxophone, to a short experiment with the fiddle… guitar took the spotlight in eighth grade and has since been his weapon of choice.
As a singer-songwriter signed with Unlabeled Records (Kansas City, MO), the guitar plays an instrumental roll for Grady in expressing stories. Music, in his opinion, is the incarnation of emotion...the means by which emotion becomes tangible. Therefore his teaching philosophy revolves around the idea that exploring music can and should be used as a vessel to explore one’s self.
Margaret Frazier, Piano Instructor
Margaret Frazier has been playing piano since she was 6. She is a long time resident of Mexico having raised her family of 6 here with her husband Jeff, and has a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Missouri State University. She has been with Presser for the past 20 years in and out of productions and wants to give back now as the newly certified Suzuki Piano Instructor. She love to paint and spend time with her family.
Barb Green, Piano group class instructor
Biography arriving soon!
Yukiyo Lake, Piano Instructor
Ms. Lake has been with Presser for 8 years and grown the music program into a very competitive Suzuki program that is recognized in the state.Yukiyo was born and raised in Japan. She came to the United States in 1990, earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Colorado in Denver, and her Master’s degree from Wichita State University. She was inspired by Siri Geenen and the Suzuki method when her son, Adam, started taking violin lessons. She became a registered Suzuki piano teacher in 2007, and joined the Presser Performing Arts Center in 2008. She studied with Joan Krzywicki, Dr. Karen Bartman, Cathy Hargrave, and Bruce Anderson. She believes Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy that good teachers always continue to study to become better teachers. She frequently attends teacher trainings, workshops, and conferences. She is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, the St. Louis Suzuki Piano Teachers’ Association, the Music Teachers National Association, and the Federation of Music Clubs. Yukiyo enjoys teaching students ages 3 and up. Her students have opportunities to perform not only in solo but also with others in Mexico, Columbia, St. Louis and other places. She lives in Columbia with her husband, David; their 2 children, Adam and Nadia; and a dog named Jack.
Cheryl Morris, Art Instructor
Biography arriving soon!
David Pickering, Technical Director
David has been involved with Presser Productions for over 20 years, Miss Missouri productions for 20 years and has assisted and directed many concerts and events in mid-Missouri. He is the Sound and Lighting director for the Presser Arts Center and spends many hours training and helping others understand the art of visual effects. David is a professional photographer as well as a local businessman in Mexico, Missouri.
Melissa Trierweiler, Drama Instructor
Melissa is homegrown having been with Presser since 2008, she has become a very successful theatre actress and returns to us as the Drama Camp director for 2 weeks every year. She is a graduate of Stephens College with a major in Musical Theatre. She currently engages in the professional theatre scene in the the greater Kansas City area.
Cara Miller, Presser Community Choir Conductor
Biography coming soon!