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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Phoebe acted in plays at kidsActing as a kid and loves teaching summer camps now! Currently Phoebe is an undergraduate student at UT Austin
studying biological anthropology.
Alexa loves theater and acting. She's been with kidsActing for five years now and is very excited to work for them!
Hannah has previously performed in musicals at kidsActing Including Le Mis, Legally Blonde, RENT and Chicago! She is excited to now be teaching summer camps. Hannah is currently an undergraduate student at UT Austin studying Psychology and Studio Art.
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.
Ashley Benedict is a current kidsActing student and highschool student at Vandegrift High School. Starting when she was 8 years old, Ashley has done over 15 musical productions with kidsActing and has most enjoyed being a part of the Elite Ensemble group! Some of her favorite shows have been Cabaret, Footloose, Fame, and Into the Woods, and when she is not on stage she loves to bake, binge watch Criminal Minds, and hang out with her adorable dog.
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.
Hi everyone, my name is Ben and I am twenty five years old. I live in Pittsburgh with my amazing fiance 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.
Born in New Orleans, David moved to Austin and started doing kidsActing in 2005 appearing in shows such as Bugs, Cabaret, Chicago, and Into the Woods. At 13 years old, David was cast in the original Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical and was nominated for the 2009 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. In 2017, David graduated from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University with a Bachelor's degree in Performance Art. Now back in Austin again, David is thrilled to be working on the creative team at kidsActing!
Tanner Boring has been with KidsActing for almost a year, and was last seen as Shaindel in the Elite Ensemble production of Fiddler on the Roof! When she isn't performing, you can find her crying over a clarinet sonata that was written over 100 years ago by a composer she's never heard of. She is so excited to work as a teaching assistant this summer!
Chase Brewer is an Austin native and graduate of Southwestern University. Favorite roles include: Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad, and Leroy in A Bright New Boise. When not acting, he enjoys speaking to dogs like they are people.
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.
Sofia has been in several shows with KidsActing and frequently attended KidsActing summer camps when she was young. She participates in theater and tech at school, and loved her time as stage management for LASA’s production of Legally Blonde. Outside of theater, she plays water polo and is a certified firefighter/EMT. She can’t wait to meet you!
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.
McKenna Cantrell, an incoming Junior at Round Rock High School has been a kidsActing student since 2014, and is currently apart of the Center Stage Elite Ensemble. They absolutely love it here at kA, and are so excited to be apart of the staff!
LUCKY CANTU is currently a member of KidsActing's Elite Ensemble where she was last seen playing Hodel. She has trained and performed with
various theatres since the age of three, including KidsActing, the Zach Pre-Professional Company, Cedar Park Theater Company and school
productions. Professionally, she is represented by Collier Talent and has been in local and national commercials and films. She was also named
Best Performer in the UIL production of Persephone. The stage is where she finds the most joy and looks forward to being on Broadway someday!!
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.
Maddie Caudle is a freshman at Westlake high school, this year she participated in her middle school acting class. Maddie is also a Westlake
cheerleader and can’t wait to spend the summer supporting the kids at kids acting.
Tyler Cloar is starting his senior year in High School and is happy to work at KidsActing were he has performed countless times.
Hi I’m Kayla! I have been apart of 6 KidsActing productions. I am so excited to have a great summer with KidsActing!
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), Junglebook (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.
Katie had been acting on and off with Kidsacting since she was 8 years old! When not performing with Kidsacting, she can be found on stage at the Georgetown Palace Theatre, The Bastrop Opera House, and The Sam Bass Theater. Some of her favorite productions she has done are, Bugs! ( Starla), Newsies (Les), and Fiddler on The Roof (Fruma Sarah). She has also done commercial acting, modeling, and her voice work is currently on exhibit at the Houston Museum of the Fine Arts. Katie is currently a musical theater major at The Austin School for the Performing and Visual Arts (ASPVA) and working hard. She has a passion for theater and wants to help those who have a passion as well, learn and grow!
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.
Arwen Frederiksen has been with KidsActing for 3 years now and loves working onstage and behind the scenes. She is so excited to get back
to work as a teaching assistant this summer!
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!
Sherry has worked as a Teaching Assistant for summer camps in the past. I'm very excited to be working with KidsActing again this summer!
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!
I am a college junior who enjoys hiking and theater tech! My introduction to kidsActing was working on the 2018-2019 production of Les Miserables.
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!
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.
Hi y’all! My name is Mackenzie Kennedy! I am apart of the Round Rock High School Choir and Show Choir! I have done 7 shows with Kids Acting and am so thankful for all the amazing memories I have made with so many wonderful people! I can’t wait to make even more!
Hi! My name is Madi Kennedy, I am 15, and I am going to be a sophomore at around Rock High School. I am a part of the Round Rock High School Choir as well as Show Choir and enjoy playing the bassoon. I have performed 10 shows with kidsActing and have loved every single one! So many memories and so many friends have been made at kidsActing!
Sophie is a kidsActing and McCallum Fine Arts Academy alumni currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Chicago. She is so excited to be back in Austin and looks forward to creating this summer!
Before moving to Austin in 2020, Olivia was a Senior Company member of the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet, as well as a tap, ballet, and jazz teacher at Shreveport Dance Academy. When she wasn’t dancing, she loved taking part in local theatre productions. Some of her favorite performances include Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Woodstock in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Little Red Riding Hood in the ballet Little Red Riding Hood, and dancing with her tap company on Broadway in 2019. She performed with KidsActing for her first time this year in their production of Fiddler on the Roof. When she isn’t dancing or acting, Olivia loves tutoring and sewing.
Tyler Mabry is an award-winning composer, instrumentalist, and music director who has performed original work with theater companies and Austin bands for over fifteen years. Mabry has published several choral works with Hal Leonard, has received the B Iden Payne Award for Best Original Score, has performed in two official SXSW showcases, and currently teaches the Songwriting class at McCallum Fine Arts Academy (where he also serves as Associate Choral Director and Musical Theater Teacher). Shortly before the pandemic, his band The Foxtones participated in the Pueblos Blancos music festival in southern Spain. He holds a PhD in English from UT, and is a VORTEX company member and pianist at Berkeley United Methodist Church in south Austin.
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.
Joshua Mason is 17 Years old and has been performing at KidsActing for 9 years. He will be a Senior at Hutto High School in the fall. When he isn't performing on the stage, he enjoys designing video games, hanging out with friends, and participating in his JROTC's Drill Team.
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.
Audrey loves singing, dancing, acting, and dinosaurs! She's been a part of 5 KidsActing productions and is so excited to spend the summer working at KA!
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 Zoe 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!
LARA MURRAY PALMA
Lara is currently a high school student who loves theater and music. Lara has previously performed with kidsActing as Jane Banks in the advanced cast of Mary Poppins and performed in productions at her high school’s theater. She has also worked as a Teaching Assistant with kidsActing in previous summers. Lara enjoys teaching children about theater and helping them to feel confident on stage!
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.
Cameron Niemietz is a former KidsActing Student and currently a Junior in college. Cameron has worked for KidsActing for over 5 years and is so excited to be back!
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 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.
Cat Phillips is a graduate of UT as a History major with a Theater and Education minor and is currently a full time teacher at Dripping Springs
Middle School. When she was 12 years she began performing with KA in their productions of Into the Woods, Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast,
and many more including two KA originals: Bugs and Monsters! When she's not teaching or at school she loves giving voice lessons and being with her friends and family.
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!
Emma is so happy to be working with kidsActing as a Teaching Assistant this year. She has been with kidsActing for about 5 years now and is
ready for more years to come along. She loves to perform as well as teach children about the joy of theater. .
I was born in Illinois, But now am a Texan. I've been involved with theatre since I was nine years old. I aspire to be an actor in the long run.
I love working with kids and having an appropriate connection with them.
Now a sophomore at Westlake HS, India has been a part of Kids Acting since she was in the 2nd grade.
She's played Madame de la Grande Bouche in Beauty & the Beast, the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz,
Ariel in The Little Mermaid, "the Holy Terror" in Mary Poppins, the Witch in Into the Woods, and most recently Golde in Fiddler on the Roof.
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..
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.
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.
Alyssa Shumaker is a graduate of James Bowie High School and will be attending UNCSA next year pursuing a BFA in Stage Management.
She discovered her love for theatre early on and loved being in KidsActing herself in elementary school. Alyssa has loved directing, acting, and being a technician in high school and hopes to share her love of theatre with others!
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 students summer camp experience lots of fun!
Hi I am Vivian!! I’m a high schooler and I have been a student at Kids Acting since I was in 5th grade!! I love working with kids and at KA!!!
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.
Jewels is a senior at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She is majoring in Theatre with a focus in tech/design with teacher certification, and a minor in dance. While at TAMUCC, she has choreographed, worked as a Production/Stage Manager and Master Electrician. This is her fourth year working with KidsActing! She loves the outdoors and choreographing.
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 apresing in some producions. This is his first year team teaching for kidsActing, but this wont be his last.