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Meet the Teachers

We are extremely proud of all the people at kidsActing! We have professional actors, dancers, directors, music directors, musicians, costumers, set designers, prop masters, lighting and sound designers... all from some of the top theatres and universities from all over the United States! All our staff has had thorough background checks to ensure the safety and well-being of your children.

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DEDE CLARK

Artistic Director

Dede established kidsActing in 1980, when she discovered her passion was working with children. Dede received her BSE in theatre education from the University of Kansas, ran a newspaper in Tahiti, worked in theatre in NYC, and got her master's degree in film from UT.

She's worked with the Coen brothers on movie, television and commercial projects, and was awarded a gubernatorial appointment to the Texas Film Commission board. Dede has written, directed, and produced eight original musicals: The Velveteen Rabbit, Cyberella, Waking Sleeping Beauty, Monsters!, The Emperor’s New Shows, Goldie, Alyce in Wonderland, TX and Bugs, each with original songs created for the productions by many great Texas songwriters, including Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Marcia Ball, Ray Benson, Robert "Beto" Skiles, and all of The Flatlanders: Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and Joe Ely.

She has produced and directed over 100 productions, receiving numerous nominations and awards for her work. She was voted Best Stage Director by the Austin Chronicle.

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TIFFANY WILLIAMS

Executive Administrator

A native Austinite, Tiffany graduated from Anderson High School and went on to study Interior Design and Architecture. She has worked as kidsActing's office manager since 2005 and managed our moves from our long-time location on Burnet, through a couple of temporary homes, until we found Center Stage Theatre.

 

Tiffany is known as kidsActing's central nervous system, because she calmly keeps the administration running smoothly, corralling various artistic departments and personalities.  She is the ultimate "cat herder." She has a gift of organization and attention to detail, and keeps candies on her desk!

JAZMINE MILLER

Production Manager/Enrollment Manager

Jazmine found her love of theatre at the age of 4 while participating in acting classes and productions in Los Angeles. When she moved to Austin she

became a kidsActing student, participating in seven shows including two of our original productions, Bugs and Goldie, a Fish Story.

 

Jazmine began working in kidsActing in 2003 as Enrollment Director and added the role of Production Manager to her responsibilities in 2012. She is also an established stage manager with various companies in Austin including Dirigo Group, Glass Half Full, and is a Company Stage Manager for the Rude Mechs. Children's theatre is her first love and she is excited to bring her experience and knowledge to kidsActing and teach students about the technical aspects of theatre. 

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COURTNEY JACOBS

Education Director/Teacher/Director

Courtney Jacobs has been with kidsActing since 2012. Before moving to Austin, Courtney owned her own musical theatre company for young children in Scottsdale, Arizona, in addition to being a Montessori preschool teacher for 4 years. 

A vocal performance major with a dance/choreography minor at Arizona State University, she has worked with kids in the theatre community for over 10 years. Some of her credits include working at Disney World as a dancer/character performer, as well as playing major roles in musicals throughout the southwest.  She is so excited for you to join us at kidsActing!

LOWELL BARTHOLOMEE

Resident Video Designer/Playwright

Lowell Bartholomee is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts where he studied film. He has been a video designer for theater since 2002 and has provided designs for the Rude Mechs, the Dirigo group, Red Then Productions, Salvage Vanguard Theatre. Breaking String, Austin Playhouse, and several other companies.

 

His designs have been awarded the Austin Theater Critics Table and B. Iden Payne Award. In 2008, he co-wrote and produced the feature film Holy Hell, which premiered at the Austin Film Festival and is the first feature to be distributed via iPad. He is also an award-winning actor, director, and producer. 

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DAVID BLACKBURN

Teacher/Music Director/Vocal Coach

​David has played with the national touring companies of The Who's Tommy, Once On This Island, and many others. He began his professional career as music director in summer stock at the age of 16. Since then he has been involved with hundreds of musicals. Among his favorites are Most Happy Fella, Guys and Dolls, and Victor/Victoria.

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BEN BLANKE

Teacher

Hi everyone, my name is Ben and I am twenty five years old. I live in Pittsburgh with my amazing fiancée Hannah and my two dogs Leo and Mickey. I grew up in south Texas for the majority of my life. Corpus Christi was where I spent my youth hanging out on the beach and participating in the marching band in school. I got my undergraduate education at Trinity University, graduating with a BA in philosophy and Spanish (not Spanish philosophy!). Since graduating I have moved across the country, taken on a number of new jobs and exciting opportunities, and much more. The most exciting of these being kidsActing! I have absolutely loved the past year of kidsActing classes. I teach a number of different D&D classes currently and I am looking to broaden my horizons in the near future. 

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MIKE BROWN

Accompanist

Mike Brown hails originally from Houston.  He has accompanied church choirs, solo instrumentalists and vocalists for many years, and played piano and bass in classical, jazz, rock, bluegrass, and theater groups, or any genre of ensemble that would let him in.  He holds a Master's in Collaborative piano

from the University of Miami, and has been providing music with kidsActing classes and shows since 2015.

NOAH CANTRELL

Team Teacher

A former kidsActing student, Noah is ecstatic to return this summer as a team teacher! Noah is a recent graduate of Texas State University, holding a BFA in Theatre: Performance and Production with a minor in Music. Noah's performance credits include Newsies, Mary Poppins, Rock of Ages (Georgetown Palace) and The World Goes 'Round (Austin Theatre Project). When not performing or teaching theatre, Noah loves hanging out and making music with his friends.

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STEVE CARLTON

Music Director

Steve received his B.A. in music, with a focus on jazz and classical piano, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2011. 

After graduating, he worked as an accompanist for the Central Coast Youth Chorus, San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church, and several

high schools.  In 2014, Steve moved to Austin to pursue additional opportunities in music.  In addition to teaching at kidsActing studio,

he works as a musician for The Honor Choir in Bastrop, the Austin and Bastrop school districts, and teaches elementary music at

Good Shepherd Lutheran School in Bastrop.   When not musically involved, Steve pursues his passions for cooking, bbq'ing, skiing, and painting.

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Jenna Clayborn

JENNA CLAYBORN

Teacher

Jenna is an Austin native, and graduate of Duke University, with degrees in Political Science, English, and Theater! Her love of the stage took root in high school and blossomed during her time at Duke, where she dabbled in everything from acting to executive producing. Jenna's spent a few summers

teaching with kidsActing, and she absolutely loves watching students learn to channel their creative energy into putting on a great show, and she's

excited to see more of that this year!

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SUSANNAH CROWELL

Teacher/Director

Susannah Crowell is an actress, singer, dancer, comedian, and voiceover artist based in New York City! She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

and Dance from the University of Texas at Austin. Performance credits include the virtual world premiere of Human Resources the Musical,

Annie (TexArts), Jungle Book (ZACH Theatre), Amazon Prime’s Good Omens activation (SXSW), Hulu’s A Handmaid’s Tale activations

(SXSW, NYC), Cosplay Cabaret (GeekLifeRules), The Drowsy Chaperone (Texas Performing Arts), Build Your Own Bollywood (Agni Arts),

The Who’s Tommy (City Theatre Austin), Oedipus the Tyrant (Fox Den Theatre), and the Under the Shroud podcast.

CHRIS EHRESMAN

Teacher/Director/Choreographer/Musician

Chris Ehresman has worked as a director, choreographer, and musician for kidsActing for 7 years, most recently choreographing and drumming

for the Elite Ensemble's Fiddler on the Roof and directing the virtual productions of Clue! He directs and choreographs the CSTEE Show Choir.

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ANN MARIE GORDON

Resident Set Designer

Ann Marie Gordon has been in Austin almost too long to remember. She is a double digit company member at the Vortex Repertory Company, an experimental company still going strong for over 20 years.  She had the pleasure of designing kidsActing's first production of Bugs!, one of her favorite shows to date and can say that working with youth in theater is extremely rewarding and continues to amaze and inspire her. She would like to thank all the talented kids and everyone in kidsActing for the opportunity to do this kind of work and looks forward to the great shows coming up this season!

ANDREW HEGER

Vocal Coach

Andy Heger studied music at the University of Texas focusing on Music Production with a minor in Public Relations. He is a worship leader at Metropolitan Community Church of Austin and also plays several other instruments whenever given the chance. Working with children is such a rewarding experience and he's always looking forward to each semester's group of talented performers!

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Sadie Henderson

SADIE HENDERSON

Teaching Assistant

Sadie has enjoyed acting in plays and musicals since entering elementary school and is currently active in Austin High School’s Red Dragon Players theater department. She loves being backstage and working on crew where she can offer support for a wide range of activities. Sadie’s love for youth-based enrichment began with scouting when she “joined Girl Scouts all by herself” the first week of Kindergarten. Scouting has continued to be a key part of her daily life through Boy Scouts of America (Scouts BSA) and Girl Scouts of America where she mentors scouts in teamwork, life skills, camping skills, outdoor ethics and leadership. Her role as a guide and staff member for numerous Youth Leadership Training courses compliments her desire for lifetime learning as well as her aptitude for engaging youth creatively and with purpose.

KENZIE KLEM

Director/Teacher

Kenzie first stepped on stage at the age of 12, and hasn't left since. She completed her BA in theater at Keene State College. While acting was her specialization, she also studied comedy improv, technical theater, costume design, and set design. After graduating, she moved to Sydney, Australia where she continued to study theater and film at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. While in Sydney, she was also trained in the Meisner Technique. Afterward, she moved to New York City where she acted both on stage and screen. She continued her studies with several local New York acting coaches. In March of 2021, she relocated to Austin to continue acting. When not acting or teaching, she loves hiking, kayaking, and playing with her dog, Bondi.

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MARY MEIRON

Teacher/Director/Wig and Make Up Designer

Mary has been a theatre kid ever since she saw CATS at 5 years old. She started taking theatre classes when she was 11, and continued throughout high school, where she was the president of her ITS chapter. She majored in Theatre at Tarleton State University and did everything from designing, acting, and stage managing to master electrician, props master, and crew.  She is an alum of the honorary theatre fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega. Some of her favorite roles have been Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web, Katherine in Radium Girls, and Charlotte Hay in Moon Over Buffalo

When Mary is not at kidsActing, she likes to bake, binge Bob’s Burgers, cuddle with her three cats, and learn new things! She is currently studying Art Therapy and practicing cosmetology. She could not be happier that her journey has led her to get to play with wigs and makeup for some of the coolest kids in Austin.

TA'RON MIDDLETON

Teacher/Director/Stage Manager

A former kidsActing student, Ta'Ron returns to us as a teacher. Ta'Ron attended kidsActing as a student for many years and participated in several musical productions including High School Musical, Les Miserables, Rent, Chicago, and Beauty & the Beast. Ta'Ron is a  graduate of Southern Methodist University and holds a BFA in Theatre with a minor in child psychology.

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NATALIE MORALES

Teacher

I'm Natalie, a multi-passionate movement artist with infinite curiosity. I see the arts as therapeutic to the creative spirit, so I aim to use imagination and play to unblock lost parts of ourselves and find greater self-awareness. My background in yoga, childcare, and theatre performance makes me as silly as I am sincere and as dark as I am light. And that's how I like it. My singing voice is somewhere between Amy Winehouse and Zooey Deschanel. I'm a dancer, but more so in spirit than in technical training. I write because I like to and because I have to (gotta drain the brain). I cook tasty, nourishing meals as a love language. Happiest when I'm frolicking outside, exploring new places and ideas with friends, and of course - performing, babe! This summer is going to be a wonderful new adventure for me - I'm looking forward to joining the kidsActing team and producing these dazzling shows!

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Anthony Neuendorff

ANTHONY NEUENDORFF

Team Teacher

Anthony has been with kidsActing for 8 years and has been teaching since 2018. He has spent most of his kA career in Elite Ensemble productions including Beauty and the Beast and Into the Woods. He is passionate about teaching and sharing his love for theatre with others.

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CASSIE PADGETT

Teacher/Director

Cassie Padgett is a kidsActing veteran and has been directing children’s musical theatre productions for over 10 years.

Her passion for teaching and love of children has called her back to fill in that missing piece in her heart.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of her own business and graduated from Texas State University with a B.A., Iowa State University with an M.A., and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Digital Marketing from Arizona State University. 

GILLIAN PAYNE

Team Teacher

Gillian is currently in college getting a BFA in Technical Theatre with an emphasis in stage management. They have loved theatre since they were a kid and is excited to pursue it further. Their favorite show at the moment is Hades Town and can usually be seen jamming in their car to it. In their free time they love to cosplay, create art, make music, cuddle with their black cat Bentley and cause some chaos every now and then. They absolutely love working with kids and is happy to share what they love with future generations.

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Abi Pither

ABI PITHER

Teaching Assistant

Abi has been acting and singing since she was eight years old and has been a part of kidsActing since she was twelve. She loves performing and spending time with kids and can't wait to jump into another summer!

ABBIE SAGE

Teacher/Director

A former kidsActing student herself, Abbie Sage graduated from Harvard University in May of 2021 and is thrilled to be back in Texas this summer!

Abbie started as a student at kidsActing when she was ten years old, and she has been teaching with kidsActing for the past six years.

She loves helping students find their confidence on stage, and she believes that the skills we learn in theater inform every aspect of our lives.

She will be moving to London in the fall to begin a program in Technical Theatre and Stage Management at RADA.. 

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CHAZ SANDERS

Technical Director/Props Master

Chaz Sanders is excited to be working at kidsActing. Chaz is a graduate of Southwestern University, where he received a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre.

He has worked on several shows, such as Rent (kidsActing), Footloose (kidsActing), 12th Night (Austin Shakespeare), and The Flick (Hyde Park).

Chaz has filled various roles including Master Electrician, Technical Director, Props Designer, Lighting Designer, and Stage Manager.

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KEL SANDERS

Box Office Manager, Director, Teacher

Kel Sanders is an Austin-based actor and a graduate of St. Edward's University (class of 2011), where he majored in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Performance and minored in English Writing and Rhetoric. He has been seen in such productions as All My Sons (Palindrome Theatre), Antigone (Oh Dragon Theatre), Carousel, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Mary Moody Northen Theatre). Kel formerly served as Manager of Publicity and then Artistic Director for Transit Theatre Troupe and Marketing Manager for Palindrome Theatre.

He also served as Box Office Manager for Mary Moody Northen Theatre.

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ANTONIA SIENA 

Team Teacher

Antonia Siena is kidsActing veteran and currently majoring in theatre and minoring in dance at California State University Northridge. While at CSUN Antonia has been on the Dean's List every single semester and recently stared as Prospero in the university's production of The Tempest. When Antonia isn't analyzing Shakespearian text, she loves going on hikes with her small fluffy dog Daisy. Antonia is super excited to return to kidActing and hopes to make her student's summer camp experience lots of fun!

CHASITY TAYLOR

Costume Shop Manager / Costume Designer

Chasity has always had a love for fashion, theatre, and pugs. She was involved in theatre throughout high school, where she starred in Grease as Sandy. After graduating, she majored in fashion design at the University of the Incarnate Word. She designed her own brand and then went on to show collections throughout Texas, New Orleans, New York, and London. Her work has been featured in numerous fashion magazines.

Although she had a passion for fashion, she felt like something was missing. She decided to merge her love for theatre and fashion and do something she has always enjoyed: costumes! Upon joining kidsActing, she finally feels like she’s doing what she’s meant to do. When Chasity is not working, she is spoiling her two pugs, Wensdae and Barnabas.

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MARTAY WHITFIELD

Team Teacher

Martay is a senior at Texas State University, majoring in theater with a focus in performance and production. He aspires to become a film director shortly. Having created many short films, and appearing in some productions. This is his first year team teaching for kidsActing, but this won't be his last.

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