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 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.

Dede founded kidsActing Foundation, which offers free theatre, dance and art classes to low-income children, as well as children with catastrophic illnesses, mobility impairments, Down Syndrome, and autism, plus teens in the juvenile justice system. KAF and kidsActing, hand in hand, are encouraging children from diverse backgrounds to participate in the creative process, developing community through the arts.

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 acting 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 Ful, 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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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. 

DAVID BLACKBURN

Teacher/Music Director/Vocal Coach

 

David has played with the national touring companies of The Who's Tommy, and Once On This Island, and many othersHe 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.

 

David has composed scores for 18 original musicals, including a commission by Weber State University in Ogden, Utah to write orchestrations for the original musical, Sleepy Hollow and another new musical, Pirated. He is currently working on his original musical, Dangerous Games.

 

Locally, David has served as music director/conductor/pianist for theatres throughout Central Texas. He has performed as accompanist and singer with Austin's Capital City Men's Chorus and is a private musical theatre vocal coach. David is the founding Artistic Director for the Austin Theatre Project and teaches Musical Theatre at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville.

CAROLINE BOBBITT

Teacher/Stage Manager

Caroline Bobbitt graduated from Texas State University with a BFA in Theatre. She is a Theatre Artist with passion for telling stories that both reflect and transform communities through understanding the art form, the culture, and the individuals in the room.

SHANNON BREWER

Director of Marketing/Graphic Design/Photography

From forcing childhood friends to star in her original productions (which always featured a Paula Abdul dance number) to writing competition musicals, Shannon has always loved the theatre. But in college, she fell down a Public Relations rabbit hole into the wonder that is Marketing and was forever changed. Since then, she has done event planning and marketing for companies like Toys 'R' Us, BookPeople, comic stores, web series, bands, musical festivals, and so much more.

In her free time, Shannon hosts movies at Alamo Drafthouse, writes comics and kids books, is on the Board of Directors for Hops+Heroes Comics, teaches writing workshops, cosplays, and spends an unnecessary amount of time telling people how cute her cat is. Seriously, don't ask or she will show you pictures!

CHRIS EHRESMAN

Teacher/Director/Choreographer/Musician

Besides his work as a teacher and director, Chris co-choreographed and was the percussionist on the kidsActing advanced class productions of Chicago and Cabaret. He also choreographs and is the drummer for all of kidsActing's Glee! classes. Outside of kidsActing, Chris works at the Metropolitan Community Church of Austin as a section Leader.

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!

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!

REMY JOSLIN

Teacher/Director

Remy Joslin is currently a student at ACC, pursuing a degree in American Sign Language Interpretation and Drama.

 

Before moving to Austin, Remy worked as a Performing Arts Teacher at a local children's theater.

 

Since moving to Austin, Remy has worked with Summer Stock Austin and ACC's Drama Department both on and offstage. 

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!

AUSTIN KIMBLE

Music Director, Pianist, Vocal Coach

Austin Kimble is a Central Texas Excellence in Theatre Award nominee and a two-time recipient of the BroadwayWorld Austin Award for "Best Musical Direction." 

 

Music directing credits include Evita, Rock of Ages, Man of La Mancha, Shrek, My Fair Lady, A Christmas Carol, Spamalot, Smokey Joe’s Café, Damn Yankees, and Tarzan (Georgetown Palace Theatre); Nunsense, Ruthless (City Theatre); and Ghost Quartet (Penfold Theatre), among many others. Acting credits include Million Dollar Quartet (Jerry Lee Lewis), Guys and Dolls (Benny Southstreet), and West Side Story (Gee-Tar).

He holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Jazz Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, and has performed worldwide. During the day, Austin teaches musical theatre classes at St. Edward’s University and individual music lessons to full studio of private students. He is also a long-time member of the non-profit organization Symphony of Soul with his wife, performing jazz music at care centers throughout Austin and Georgetown.

MARY MEIRON

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. 

 

Mary is currently enrolled at Paul Mitchell the School where she is practicing cosmetology. In her limited free time, she likes to binge Bob’s Burgers and cuddle with her three cats. She could not be happier that her journey has led her to getting to play with wigs and makeup for some of the coolest kids for the last five years.

MICHAEL MERGEN

Senior Director, Teacher

Michael has 20 years theater and film experience, with more than 40 productions to his credit as an actor, producer, director, and designer. Michael has appeared in more than 20 Shakespearean/Elizabethan plays, with various companies, including Shakespeare at Winedale, Austin Free Shakespeare Society, Bedlam Faction and Hidden Room. He has been in multiple touring productions, performing in Los Angeles CA, Houston TX, Minneapolis MN, Cedar Rapids IA, Columbus OH, and Salzburg, Austria. 

 

Michael also spent 5 years working in film production, working on features directed by Woody Allen and John Tuturro. Recently, Michael was chosen to play Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream for the 45th Anniversary Reunion of Shakespeare at Winedale. Michael is also a company member of Rude Mechs theater collective.

TA'RON MIDDLETON

Teacher/Director/Stage Crew

A former kidsActing student, Ta'Ron returns to us as a teacher. Ta'Ron attended kidsActing as a student and participated in nine musical productions including High School MusicalCyberellaLes Miserables, Rent, Chicago, and Beauty & the Beast.

 

Ta'Ron is a recent graduate of Southern Methodist University and holds a BFA in Theatre with a minor in child psychology.

CAT PHILLIPS

Director/Teacher

Cat Phillips is a senior at UT pursuing a History major with a Theater and Education minor. Through the UTEACH department she has been a student teacher and observer in elementary schools, middle schools and in the fall will begin working with high school students here in Austin. After graduating she hopes to get her Masters to become a school counselor. She graduated from the MFAA as a Musical Theater major participating in plays, musicals and operas while taking voice lessons. 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. 

JET QUEALY

Teacher/Director

Jet Quealy is a member of the Austin performing arts scene for going on five years. Jet's love for performing arts led him to Austin's vibrant theatre culture from Vail, Colorado, where he was a Programs Director for multiple summer camps. His very first "camp name" was Hollywood, and he certainly holds true to the name, always willing to entertain!

 

He's currently an Icon Monster at the prolific House of Torment haunted attraction here in Austin. He is frequently onstage and backstage with resident companies of Austin including The Vortex and Austin Shakespeare. 

 

"I'm so thankful to be able to be a part of something as special as kidsActing, where our future's brightest stars can shine on stage and light up the whole world" - Jet

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.

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.

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 World.

 

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.

EMILY VILLARREAL

Teacher/Director

Emily is a working actress, singer, director, and teaching artist in the local Austin area. In the Fall of 2016, she founded Cabernet Cabaret: Austin's Premier Musical Theatre Showcase. After two years and four successful productions, CabCab has established itself as a well known and much loved staple in the Musical Theatre industry in Austin. When Emily isn't in rehearsal or on stage, she actively teaches music, movement, and theatre with Creative Action and the City of Austin. With a BA in Musical Theatre from Manhattanville College, Emily studied musical and theatrical performance  in depth under actors Brian McManamon (Gotham on FOX), Diana Canova (Soap, Happy Days, and Company on Broadway), and Julio Augustin (Fosse and Chicago on Broadway). In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, annoying her cats, and spending time with her boyfriend, Zach.

In the mornings, Emily discovers the power of liberty, bravery, and teamwork with third graders all over the Austin area in the regional tour of Turn the World Around with Creative Action. She also tours with Creative Action's: The Courage to Stand where she actively challenges fourth graders to combat bullying without using violence.

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