Founder & CEO
Resident Director & Choreographer
Birthday: August 14
Favorite Color: Teal
Your role at MCCA: I am the co- owner and creator of MCCA. I teach pre-professional dance classes, run our pre professional musical theatre program, coordinate Jumpstart Theatre, and create new and exciting programs and initiatives for the students and staff at MCCA.
What classes do you teach: Luminary level Jazz, Advanced Musical Theatre, Voice lessons. I also sometimes provide acting and audition technique lessons.
Who would play you in a movie and why: Probably Anne Hathaway or Rachel McAdams.
Name a song that describes your teaching style: Don’t Stop Believin
What is your favorite part of being an MCCA Teacher: The tribe and community we have created. I love that positive atmosphere and that everyone feels like they can exhale and be themselves when they walk through the door. You can feel the love and compassion all around. It’s such a magical feeling.
Top 5 words that come to mind when you think of YOUR MCCA: Family, Love, Home, Courage, Gratitude
Coty Forno is the creator and co- owner of MCCA along with her husband Pete Forno. She is an artist, dreamer, adventure seeker, never-take-no-for-an-answer go getter, believer in the impossible, daughter, wife, friend, and now mother who loves the arts, laughter, coffee and chocolate.
Coty’s love of theatre began by watching Hollywood movie musicals with her mom. Her first performance at the age of 3 was singing “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and “Tomorrow ” to the customers dining at her parent’s restaurant, The Hen House. Coty turned her love of make believe into a career working as professional actress, singer, dancer, director, choreographer, and teacher for over 20 years.
After years of performing and traveling, Coty felt a pull to be closer to home and a desire to create a performing arts space in her rural hometown. She wanted to provide a safe space for young artists to receive quality arts education, to explore their creativity, and to find their own unique voices as artists. MCCA opened in September 2013 and has been to many young artists throughout its 9 year operation.
Prior to creating Mountain City Center of the Arts, LLC., Coty worked as an actor, director, choreographer, and teacher in all of the major entertainment markets including: D.C, Pittsburgh, New York, and Los Angeles. A graduate of Frostburg State University with concentrations in acting and directing, Coty worked across the country for award winning theatrical companies such as Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, West Virginia Public Theatre, City Theatre Company, Bay Theatre Company, Santa Clarita Performing Arts, RWS & Associates and more. She worked extensively in voice over and print work for companies such as Fisher Price, Gold’s Gym, and starred in several industrials, independent pilots, and feature films, including Buttons, which played in theaters nation-wide in December 2018.
As an educator, director, and choreographer, Forno worked for outstanding companies such as Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, The Richard E. Rauh Conservatory, RWS & Associates, City Theatre Company, The Lori Allen Dance Center, Just Dance Conservatory, Frostburg State University, and as the resident choreographer of the National Pike Opry House.
In addition to running MCCA, Coty continues to teach acting, voice, acrobatic Arts, musical theatre, and dance. She coordinates the pre-professional musical theatre program, and directs and choreographs plays and performances throughout the year. She is a 6 time Freddie G. Award winner, with 3 consecutive outstanding production awards for Seussical Jr, James and the Giant Peach Jr, and Singing in the Rain Jr from the Junior Theatre in Atlanta, GA. Coty is also an acrobatic art certified instructor, and leads rural expansion of the Jumpstart Theatre program in partnership with the Educational Theatre Foundation bringing theatre program to underserved middle schools in Maryland, Pennsylvania. and West Virginia. In 2016 she was selected as one of Maryland’s Leading Women for her work in arts education. In 2019, Coty was awarded a Freddie G Fellowship by Music Theatre International (MTI) during the 2019 Junior Theatre Festival. and as a Young Alumni Achievement Award from Frostburg State University.
Coty Forno has also had the privilege of studying with some of the best teachers and mentors in the industry including award winning teacher Anthony Meindl, voted LA’s number one acting school Anthony Meindl’s Actor’s Workshop, Fitzmaurice Voice Work creators Catherine Fitzmaurice and Saul Kotezubei, Clay Banks of Clay Banks Studio International, Dallas Travers – The Actors Advocate, Improv with Lia Fischer of Second CIty Chicago, and dance at Broadway Dance Center in NYC and the Debbie Reynolds Dance Center in Los Angeles.Warn also had the opportunity to work with EMH productions facilitating workshops with notable Los Angeles based casting directors. Coty regularly attends continuing education workshops to improve her craft. Most recently she has attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts summer education program, The Broadway Teacher’s Summit, the Dance Teacher Summit in Long Beach, CA and in New York City where she trained with the countries top choreographers and dance educators.
Coty is blessed to do what she loves every day and hopes to continue to tell stories, inspires others, create opportunities, pave pathways, and motivate courageous and compassionate artists of all ages to nurture and pursue their passions. She believes in the power of the arts not only a means of expression, but as a tool for healing. Her greatest joy is sharing this marvelous adventure with her husband and beautiful sons who inspire her everyday to be the best she can be.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” ~Anatole France