Meet Our Academy Teachers
ACT Academy Instructors
Meet our Teachers!
Fall 2017 Instructor: Acting for Musical Theatre
Past Academy Classes: Auditions Workshop for Teens (Fall 2016)
Recent Projects at The ACT: The Music Man Jr. (Director), Into the Woods Jr. (Director)
Upcoming Projects at The ACT: Mary Poppins (Director)
About Alex: Alex came to The ACT for the first time in Fall 2015, as the director for Into the Woods Jr. Most recently, Alex directed The Music Man Jr., which received the honor of being named the Best Show of our 18th Season. Alex holds a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis in Musical Theater from the prestigious Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University. He has trained with some of the country's top voice and theatre professionals and has worked with performers in national tours, concerts, Summerstock, and regional theaters across the country. We are pleased to have him back as an instructor for the Academy!
House Operations Manager and Camps Administrator
Fall 2017 Instructor: Behind the Scenes Theatre Arts Practicum in Sewing
Recent Projects at The ACT: Elf Jr. (Costume Mistress), Seussical KIDS for TNT (Costume Mistress), The Aristocats KIDS camp, Singin' in the Rain Jr. Teen Intensive, Seussical KIDS camp (Costume Mistress and Camp Administrator)
About Lesa: Lesa learned to sew at the age of nine and made most of her own clothes through high school, including formals for prom. She taught a beginning sewing class for her homeschool co-op for several years. Coming to The ACT in 2006, her first volunteer job was to help with costumes. In 2015, Lesa was the costume mistress at The ACT for My Son Pinocchio, which was directed by her son Jack. Since that time, she has costumed Elf Jr., Seussical KIDS, Aristocats KIDS and Singin’ in the Rain Jr. Lesa loves to sew and sees that the skill has been declining among the last three generations! She wants to share her love of this art form and help “fuel the fire” to bring it back. Not only useful for mending tasks, it can be an outlet for creativity, especially when used in the theatre arts!
Arden Claire Coates
Fall 2017 Instructor: The Adventures of Peter Rabbit Musical Play Lab
Recent Projects at The ACT: The Jungle Book KIDS, The Aristocats KIDS, and Seussical KIDS (Assistant Director, Choreographer, Junior Campers Director), Elf Jr. (Stage Manager)
About Arden Claire: Arden Claire is a senior enrolled in a dual credit program at Richland College. She has been involved at the ACT for 13 years and loves working with kids of all ages! Musical theater is her forte, and she has worked hard to hone her skills in acting, singing, and dancing. Most recently, Arden Claire was the Junior Campers Director and Assistant Director and Choreographer for Aristocats KIDS and Seussical KIDS. She last performed in at The ACT in the Teen Intensive, Singin’ In The Rain, and in The ACT’s select tour show, Dear Edwina Jr., in May 2017. She is thrilled to be joining the ACT Academy as an instructor this fall for preschool and early elementary kids, saying “There is so much joy to be found in teaching kids something that is such a huge part of who I am.”
Fall 2017 Instructor: Improv and Acting Intensive (Homeschool), The Adventures of Nate the Great Play Lab (Homeschool)
Past Academy Classes: ABC [America Before Columbus] Play Lab (Spring 2017)
About Melissa: Melissa Hartman Couture is a native of Dallas, Texas and has a BFA from OU and a Masters from TWU. She lived in NYC for 12 years where she was fortunate enough to land roles in two Off-Broadway shows (Schoolhouse Rock Live! and The It Girl). She also toured with The Swiss Family Robinson, sang and danced on The M.S. Maasdam cruise ship, and was a magician’s assistant in a Harry Potter musical in Seoul, South Korea! Once back in Dallas, she got to have a blast in such shows as The Women, Dixie Swim Club, Shrek, Suite Surrender and Pride and Prejudice at the following theaters; RCT in Richardson, Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Runway, Garland Civic, ACT in Allen, and Rover Dramawerks.
Melissa first came to The ACT in 2014 as a substitute teacher and taught the ABC (America Before Columbus) Play Lab in Spring 2017. Melissa loves teaching private piano lessons, preschool music, and tap dancing and is represented by Core Talent Agency. She is looking forward to working with more ACT students this fall!
Fall 2017 Instructor: Homeschool Fairytale Characters and Scenes for Young Actors, Homeschool The Adventures of Peter Rabbit Musical Play Lab
Recent Projects at The ACT: Ever After-The Musical, The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever, Goldilocks & the Three Bears, 101 Dalmatians KIDS, The Three Little Pigs, We Are Monsters, The Jungle Book KIDS, Disney’s The Aristocats KIDS, and Seussical KIDS (Camps Music Director)
About Lara: Lara holds a Masters of Music degree from Texas State University, specializing in vocal performance and education. Although her musical journey began in the world of opera, the adventure has lead to teaching college voice and nurturing a private voice studio. As the vocal director for Valley Creek Church-Denton campus, she also uses her gift to grow the next generation of worship leaders!
Lara came to The ACT in 2013 for the launch of its first summer musical theater camp, Rapunzel. Since then, she has returned each year as music director for ages 4-13 in camps. “Life makes unexpected turns, but God has been faithful to keep music active in my life and place me exactly where He wants me to use my gift. I can’t wait to jump in to The ACT Academy classes for the fall!”
Fall 2017 Instructor: Fairytale Characters and Scenes for Young Actors
Recent Projects at The ACT: The Aristocats KIDS (Summer Camp Classes Instructor)
About Rhiannon: All of her life, Rhiannon has held a passion for the arts, whether onstage or off. Rhiannon has been acting since the ripe age of three, but first came to The ACT five years ago when she was fourteen. Since then, she has worked backstage, on tech, and recently, as an instructor at the Aristocats KIDS summer musical theatre camp. Rhiannon also works with other theatres as an actor, and has received training in theatre from professionals at the National Student Leadership Conference in New York City. She wants to foster an appreciation for character development and authentic connection to the arts within children and is excited to join the ACT Academy!
Director of Education and ACT Academy Director
Past Academy Classes: Monkey, Monkey: The Magical Adventures of the Handsome Monkey King Play Lab (Spring 2017), Characters and Scenes for Young Actors-two sections (Spring 2017)
Recent Projects at The ACT: Getting to Know Once Upon a Mattress (Stage Manager), Little Women (Music Director and Stage Manager), Into the Woods Jr. (Stage Manager), Captain Louie Jr. (Stage Manager), The Christmas Doll (Music Director), The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Jr. (Stage Manager), Narnia (Music Director), Scrooge! (Music Director), Seussical Jr. (Music Director)
About Sorrel: Sorrel has been performing in theatre and music since she was a child, including with the Houston Grand Opera, and has been a director and teacher in theatre, private voice, and choirs for over 20 years. She studied vocal performance at The Eastman School of Music and The Ohio State University and has performed in numerous vocal and theatre groups across the DFW Metroplex. She began performing and volunteering at The ACT in 2012 in the role of Mrs. Fezziwig and as the music director for A Christmas Carol. Since then, she has music directed and/or stage managed many mainstage productions at The ACT, and became the Director of Education in 2016. Sorrel believes passionately in the power of the performing arts to transform the lives of young people and bring them into a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. She looks forward to meeting your children in classes!
General Production Manager and Resident Stage Manager
Fall 2017 Instructor: Call It! Stage Management for Teens
Recent Projects at The ACT: Getting to Know Once Upon a Mattress (Director), Peter Pan Jr. (Assistant Director), The Music Man Jr. (Stage Manager), Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Director), Narnia (Assistant Director and Stage Manager), Rapunzel (Director), Willy Wonka Jr. (Stage Manager), Aladdin Jr. (Stage Manager), The Little Mermaid Jr. (Director)
About Angela: Angela is the General Production Manager and Resident Stage Manager at The ACT and has stage managed, directed, taught, and worked tech for ACT shows and camps since 2004. She earned a BBA from Trinity University in Illinois, studying the odd combination of Management, Accounting, and Fine Arts. She has been involved in the performing arts since she was a child, directing her first show at the age of 17! In addition to her own multiple roles on production teams, she has also trained most of the adult stage managers at the theatre. She is especially well known, however, for her work with ACT teens, instilling in many of them (as well as in adult volunteers) a true love for the art and responsibility of working in behind-the-scenes theatre positions. After more than 35 productions at The ACT, she is excited to share her experience and knowledge with the teens this fall, to train them towards taking on the critically important position of stage manager and to show them how enjoyable and rewarding the off-stage parts of theatre can be.
Fall 2017 Instructor: The ACT Show Choir, Musical Theatre Dance & Voice, and Fantastic Mr. Fox Play Lab
Past Academy Classes: The ACT Show Choir (Spring 2017), Musical Theatre Dance & Voice (Fall 2016, Spring 2017)
Recent Projects at The ACT: Dear Edwina Jr. (Stage Manager), Peter Pan Jr. (Music Director), Singin in the Rain Jr. (Music Director)
About Shaun: Shaun first joined The Actors Conservatory Theatre in 2004 as a 10 year old actor! Since then, he has performed in many shows, including at The ACT in 2015 as the Beast in Beauty & The Beast Jr. While earning his bachelors degree in music at SAGU in Waxahachie, he taught private and class voice and piano lessons, as well as acting camps. He was also a part of several traveling music teams, performing all across the US and overseas. Most recently, he was the music director for Peter Pan Jr. and the stage manager for Dear Edwina Jr. at The ACT. He began teaching at the ACT Academy a year ago and is excited for this next semester!