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 Director
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.
Education Director/Director/Teaching Artist
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 Artist/Accompanist/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 & Dolls, and Victor/Victoria.
Director/Teaching Artist/Associate Sales Manager/Tech Support
Hi, my name is Ben. I grew up in Corpus Christi, TX where I spent my free time swimming, playing in the marching band, and competing in mock trial/debate. Later I graduated from Trinity University with a BA in Philosophy and Spanish. I have moved across the country and now live in Pittsburgh with my amazing wife Hannah and two dogs Leo and Mickey. I have taken on a number of new opportunities, the most exciting of these being working at kidActing where I assisted musical productions and have had the opportunity to work with kids of all ages, teaching various Dungeons and Dragons classes. I love to encourage their creativity and let their imaginations soar as they work together to overcome obstacles and meet challenges. (I also get a kick out of hearing their laughter!). I look forward to working with you!
Caroline graduated from Texas State University with a BFA in theatre. She is a Theatre Artist with a passion for telling stories that both reflect and transform communities through understanding the art form, the culture, and the individuals in the room.
Caroline currently has her own performance group, Cold Frame Collective, that can often be seen performing on the SLAB at Center Stage Theatre. They are currently working on a production of Alice in Wonderland to be performed this coming November.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
Sophie Gallia is a junior at AESA Prep Academy, and has been with kidsActing for 6 years. She loves theatre and acting! When Sophie is not on stage, she enjoys baking, video games, and makeup. She is very excited to become a part of the community that is the kidsActing staff!
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!
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.
Director/Teaching Artist/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.
Director/Teaching Artist/Stage Manager
A former kidsActing student, after graduating from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Theatre with a minor in child psychology, Ta'Ron returned to kidsActing in 2018 as a teacher/director. 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.
Assistant Director/Teaching Artist
Madelyn Morneault, a born and raised Austinite theatre artist, performed at kidsActing throughout her childhood and began teaching in 2016. Madelyn is currently finishing her bachelor's in Theatre for Youth and Communities at the University of Texas with a passion for facilitating artistic expression as a tool for children to discover their true selves; just as kidsActing did for her all those years ago! Outside of kidsActing, Madelyn is an active public speaker and author for public health, most recently published in the 2021 October Issue of Austin Woman Magazine.
Anthony has been with kidsActing for 8 years and has been teaching since 2018. He has spent most of his kidsActing 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.
Ollie 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 Hadestown 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.
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 semester!
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, Teaching Artist
Kel Sanders has held many positions at kidsActing including, but not limited to, teacher, box office manager, stage manager, light/sound board op, the list goes on. He is 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 is also an actor, appearing in such shows as Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Schadenfreude (Cold Frame Collective), Antigone (Oh Dragon Theatre), All My Sons (Palindrome Theatre), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Mary Moody Northen Theatre) He has previously been a member of Palindrome Theatre and St. Edward's Transit Theatre Troupe. He loves comic books, Nintendo games, and his dog Grayson.
Toni Siena is kidsActing veteran and currently majoring in theatre and minoring in dance at California State University Northridge. While at CSUN Toni has been on the Dean's List every single semester and recently stared as Prospero in the university's production of The Tempest. When Toni isn't analyzing Shakespearian text, she loves going on hikes with her small fluffy dog Daisy. Toni is super excited to return to kidsActing and hopes to make her students' class experience lots of fun!
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 baby boy, Dak, and her two pugs, Wensdae and Barnabas.
Lilly Welch is a teaching artist, director, and actress originally from Austin! She received a BFA in Theatre for Youth at Samford University, where she had the joy of directing several productions, including The Boy Who Stole the Stars (by Julian Wiles), and performing in shows such as Ella Enchanted The Musical (by Karen Zacarias and Deborah Wicks La Puma) and The Gulf (by Audrey Cefaly).
Lilly's goal as a teaching artist is to create a safe space where students can express themselves and connect with others. She wants to encourage her students to be bold, be brave, and most importantly, have fun!