Meet the Founders


Cynthia Mazzant and Elaine Meder-Wilgus are the founders of the Central PA Theatre and Dance Fest.

Cynthia Mazzant


Cynthia is a director/choreographer, teaching artist, educator, playwright, producer and performer. She is a member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers, an independent national labor union, and a member of The Dramatists Guild, Inc. Cynthia currently serves as the Co-Artistic Director for Tempest Productions, is a registered consultant artist for the PA Council on the Arts and a lecturer at Penn State University. She has been the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants for her work in creative drama and drama-in-education. She has spent the last 30 years working in Theatre-in-Education (TIE), Drama-in-Education (DIE) and Conflict Resolution Through Drama (CRTD).

Cynthia has also served as the Artistic Director of Teens-N-Theatre (a youth socia-political theatre company) and has worked extensively with the NYC Board of Education, NJ Education Association and the Galaxy Program, PA Council on the Arts to train classroom teachers on the uses of drama in the classroom and literacy through the arts.

Cynthia was part of the NY State Council on the Arts Initiative in Arts Assessment and Practice, where she was one of the original members of the program working with Jane Remer (Nat’l Consultant) and Terry Baker (EDC Center for Children and Technology). Cynthia received her MA from New York University in Theatre/Educational Theatre. As an actress & director, Cynthia has toured regionally throughout the US, Europe and South America.


Elaine Meder-Wilgus

Elaine Meder-Wilgus is active with many theatre companies, performing and serving on various boards and as co-founder of the Central PA Theatre & Dance Festival. Elaine is the owner of Webster’s Bookstore & Café, a community center creating, marketing, and hosting over 50 intergenerational, multicultural, and inclusive community events each month. Awards include the 2014 PA Governor’s Community Impact Award and the 2018 Corporate Partner of the Year for the Centre County Women’s Resource Center. She prides herself on collaborative contributions to local community organizations such as Centre LBGTQA Support Network, Jana Marie Foundation, and Mid-State Literacy Council among many.