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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Susannah Crowell is a multi-hyphenate performing artist based in NYC from Austin, TX whose first full-scale musical production was right at kidsActing! She performs, writes, and choreographs with regional & local theaters like The Tank NYC, ZACH, TexArts, Fox Den Theatre, Hyde Park Theatre, City Theatre Austin, and Austin Theatre Project and produces musical & comedy content online. Susannah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance from The University of Texas at Austin.
Besides his work as a teacher and director, Chris co-choreographed and was the percussionist on the kidsActing CST Elite Ensemble's 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 is a graduate of UT Arlington where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She has appeared in a variety of both film and stage productions. Along with acting, she has also directed stage productions as well as dance shows. Although she majored in Theatre, her roots in the Arts started with Dance. Having acquired over a decade of dance training she has choreographed in both studio and stage settings. Some of her favorites include; Seussical Jr at Lyric stage, The Wizard of Oz with Texas Creative Arts Academy, and Footloose at Pantego Christian Academy. She is excited to be back in the theatre, after having been with a studio for the past two years, and can’t wait to start this new chapter!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.