Skeleton Crew Theater

The Board

Skeleton Crew Theater is run by a board of folks dedicated to the creation and growth of SCT.

Working year long together, the board works to make sure all of our scheduling, creature design, story telling and volunteer support flow together to bring the magic of the Greenwood to life where ever we are. 

This board will be the main contact for everything SCT, below is some information on what their duties are and what they do outside of Greenwood.

Jonathan Chappell

Founder, Creative Director. Since elementary school, Chappell has made puppets and monsters and has never forgotten his love of Legos and audio dramas.

He has worked in museum exhibit design and fabrication as a cameraman for an NBC affiliate and created specialty promotional items for the Girl Scouts, casinos, cruise lines, tradeshows, films, and nightclubs. Chappell holds a 2015 MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and teaches digital filmmaking and theater arts in the Gill-Montague Regional School District.

He is presently working on a new monster in his studio, directly across from Barton Cove in Gil, MA.

Finn Cross

Finn is the director of SCT, directors wear many hats and juggle many things. Finns duties include but are definitely not limited to story writing/directing, creature development, social media/website, stage managing.

As well as dipping their hands into creature building/design and business flow to support other board members.​

Finn was invited to a private backyard show in 2008 and has been in love with SCT ever since.

They have been working with SCT since 2010.

They fell in love with everything SCT from creature design/building, story writing, acting and sense of community.

Outside of working with SCT, Finn runs their own dog training business, Fox Hollow Dog Training.​

When Finn isn't working with dogs or creatures they can be found hanging out with their own dogs and family. Their sons Jack and Casey, their dogs KayLee and Fox, a slew of cats, and a very supportive partner, Bucky, who is the tech director for SCT.

Finn loves to watch fantasy shows/movies, play comfy video games, explore the local woods or hang out around the fire pit under the stars.

Nic 'Bucky' Cross

Nic 'Bucky' Cross is the tech director of SCT. Bucky joined in fall of 2020 when he met Finn.

Bucky immediately enjoyed the atmosphere of creativity and wanted to help how ever he could (with some motivation from his partner Finn).

He jumped in as tech director and has helped stream line all of SCTs technical needs as well as editing all the tracks for sound effects.

Bucky graduated from GCC in 2012 with a degree in liberal arts, with a focus on his love of music.

Bucky is a gear head through and through and is often found tweaking his musical gear to perfection. He plays in multiple bands, and regularly plays live shows with them.

When Bucky isn't playing music or helping SCT he can be found napping with his dogs, doting on his and Finns son Casey, playing video games or adjusting/trading his music gear.

Jayne Finn

Jayne's Bio soon to come

The History of Skeleton Crew Theater

unofficially started in the 1980s, when multimedia artist and film teacher Jonathan Chappell, as a young boy, made a scarecrow that local police mistook as a real missing woman. 

Inspired, Chappell continued making “monsters” as simple, handmade Halloween-themed lawn decorations displayed on Chappell Drive, in Gill, MA, that charmed and impressed his neighbors. 

As the years passed, experience grew. Sticks, hay, bailing twine, and paper mache were replaced by PVC, epoxy, resin, latex, and silicone. 

The display grew from a couple of figures to extensive scenes, earning the approval of many passersby, including Spooky God Tim Burton himself.

The first-ever Skeleton Crew Theater production came from these displays, which Chappell performed entirely by himself to a small audience of close friends. 

Since then, with the support of the Gill and Turners Falls community, the effort of TFHS students, and the willpower of Chappell himself, Skeleton Crew Theater has blossomed from a seasonal hobby into a one-of-a-kind theater group specializing in adaptable, immersive outdoor performances with larger-than-life creatures.

Venues have included events for colleges, fundraisers for high schools, libraries, public/private events, festivals, local organizations, films, and Boston Arts Week.

SCT has employed hundreds of Turners Falls High School students in the past several years, allowing them to access and experience a unique form of project-based learning and art. 

In November 2017, a barn containing several SCT characters and sets caught fire. The damage was substantial, with a loss of several creatures and sets. But a successful crowdfunding effort raised enough funds to help replace the loss. 

In April 2020, tragedy struck when Chappell’s father, Louis, died of Covid-19 after a three-week hospital stay. With the encouragement of Finn and Jayne, SCT produced a show in Lou’s honor in October of 2020.

Since then SCT has continued to produce high-quality theatrical shows and displays. 

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