Artistic Direction

Mary Brennan, Founder & Artistic Director

Mary Brennan is Founder and Artistic Director for the Barrington Dance Ensemble and holds a speech and theater education degree from the University of Illinois.  Her dance training includes study with Richard Ellis and Christine DuBoulay, the National Academy of Dance, the University of Illinois in Champaign, and the Royal Academy of Dance in London.  After graduating from the University of Illinois, Mary held the position of drama director for the Champaign, IL public school system.  Later, she owned and operated a school for dance and dramatic arts while doing post-graduate work at the University of Illinois and performing with regional companies.  Ms. Brennan currently owns and directs the Barrington Dance Academy, founded in Barrington, Illinois in 1984, and trains the BDE in classical ballet.  Her directing and choreographic credits include The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Peter and the Wolf, Under the Big Top, Graduation Ball, Scenes from Childhood, and The Nutcracker in addition to numerous smaller works.  She served on the Illinois Arts Council Dance Panel for four years and created dance curriculum for the state of Illinois public education department.  Ms. Brennan’s mission is to expand young dancers’ life experience through the art form of dance and to provide the highest caliber performances for the general public and underserved audiences.