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Meet Our Teachers

 

Sorrel McCarthy

Director of Education

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ACT Academy Director

Past Academy Classes: Scenes for Teens: Acting and Directing (Spring 2018), 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: The Three Musketeers (Director), 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!


Alex Bigus

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Past Academy Classes: Acting for Musical Theatre (Fall 2017), Auditions Workshop for Teens (Fall 2016)

Recent Projects at The ACT: The Importance of Being Earnest (Director), Mary Poppins Jr. (Director), The Nutcracker (Music Director), The Music Man Jr. (Director), Into the Woods Jr. (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!


Jack Bledsoe

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Director of Special Programming

Past Academy Classes: Musical Theatre Explorations - Monday After School (Spring 2018), Fairytale Characters and Scenes for Young Actors - Monday After School section (Fall 2017)

Recent Projects at The ACT: The Nutcracker (Costume Designer), The Three Musketeers (Set Designer), Disney's The Lion King Jr., Grease: School Version Musical Theatre Teen Intensive, Winnie the Pooh KIDS Musical Theatre Camp, Honk! Jr., James and the Giant Peach Jr., Dear Edwina Jr., Seussical Kids TNT Show, 101 Dalmatians Field Trip Series, Elf Jr., Wizard of Oz YPE, My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Director & Choreographer); Seussical KIDS, Singin’ in the Rain Jr., Aristocats KIDS, Jungle Book KIDS, Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr., Three Little Pigs, 101 Dalmatians, Rockin’Tale of Snow White, Goldilocks, The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever (Camp Producer, Director, and Choreographer); 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th Annual Toady Awards (Director); The [Somewhat] True Tale of Robin Hood (Set Designer), Music Man Jr. (Asst. Director and Choreographer); Alice in Wonderland Jr., High School Musical Jr., Ever After, Rapunzel (Camp Producer & Choreographer); Captain Louie Jr., Annie Jr., The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Jr., Narnia, Willy Wonka Jr., Aladdin Jr., The Little Mermaid Jr., A Christmas Carol, The Phantom Tollbooth Jr., Sleeping Beauty KIDS, Alice in Wonderland Jr., The Prince and the Pauper, Snow Whiten and the Seven Dwarves, Winnie The Pooh (Choreographer)

About Jack: Jack is the Director of Special Programming here at The ACT! He first joined The ACT as a performer at the age of 8 and is so glad to be back directing, choreographing, teaching, and more! Jack has over 15 years of experience in acting, singing, and dancing. He has performed at several theatres in the DFW area, including Casa Manaña, Artisan Center Theatre, Garland Civic Theatre, Greater Lewisville Community Theatre, and Frisco Community Theatre. Jack is beyond thrilled to get to share his passion for the stage and join The ACT Academy family!


Lesa Bledsoe

House Operations Manager and Camps Administrator

Past Academy Classes: 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), The Lion King Jr., Grease: School Intensive, Willy Wonka Jr., Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Camp Adminstrator)

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!


Hannah Bowen

Fall 2018 Instructor: Cry Wolf! Play Lab for Young Performers

Recent Projects at The ACT: Aladdin Jr. (Director)

About Hannah: More info coming soon!


Lindsey Campbell

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Fall 2018 Instructor: Pandora's Socks and Other Fractured Greek Myths - Play Lab, The Shakespeare Project - Play Lab, E-I-E-I Oops! - Introduction to Musical Theatre (Monday After School)

Past Academy Classes: Vacation on Mars: Journey Through the Solar System Musical Play Lab (Spring 2018), Treasure Trunk Theatre (Spring 2017), The Odyssey Play Lab (Spring 2017), The Actor's Toolbox (Fall 2016)

Recent Projects at The ACT: Stuart Little, Peter Pan Jr., The [Somewhat] True Tale of Robin Hood, and Little Women (Director); Singin' in the Rain,   The Jungle Book KIDS, We Are Monsters, Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr., 101 Dalmatians KIDS, The Rockin' Tale of Snow White, Junie B. Jones, and My Son Pinocchio (Stage Manager)

About Lindsey: Lindsey is an East Texas native who now calls Dallas home! A returning teacher for the ACT Academy, she holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Studies from The University of Texas at Arlington. Lindsey has worked with several companies and theatres around the DFW including Stage West and CAST.  Most recently she directed Peter Pan Jr. at The ACT and will be directing Stuart Little this spring. Lindsey has a passion for sharing her love of theatre to future generations and is ecstatic to be back working with her ACT family.


Arden Claire Coates

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Past Academy Classes: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Play Lab (Assistant Teacher),The Trial of Goldilocks Play Lab, Storybook Drama Adventures (Spring 2018), The Adventures of Peter Rabbit Musical Play Lab (Fall 2017)

Recent Projects at The ACT: Willy Wonka Jr. Musical Theatre Camp (Director), Winnie the Pooh KIDS Musical Theatre Camp, The Jungle Book KIDS, The Aristocats KIDS, and Seussical KIDS (Assistant Director, Choreographer, Junior Campers Director), Elf Jr. (Stage Manager)

Upcoming Projects at The ACT: Madagascar Jr. (Director)

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 Director for Willy Wonka Jr., the Junior Campers Director and Assistant Director and Choreographer for Aristocats KIDS and Seussical KIDS. She last performed at The ACT in the Teen Intensive Grease: School Version, Honk! Jr. as Ida, in James and the Giant Peach Jr. as Spiker, in the Teen Intensive, Singin’ In The Rain, and in The ACT’s select tour show, Dear Edwina Jr., in May 2017. She loves being an instructor at the ACT Academy, saying “There is so much joy to be found in teaching kids something that is such a huge part of who I am.”


Melissa Couture

Past Academy Classes: ABC [America Before Columbus] Play Lab (Spring 2017)

About Melissa: Melissa Hartman Couture 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 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.


James Esely

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Fall 2018 Instructor: Stage Combat

Recent Projects at The ACT: Aladdin Jr., The Three Musketeers (Fight Choreographer)

About James: More info coming soon!


Lara Harris

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Fall 2018 Instructor: First Steps in Drama: The Little Red Hen Musical - Play Lab, E-I-E-I Oops! - Introduction to Musical Theatre (Monday Homeschool), Musical Theatre Dance & Voice (Monday Homeschool)

Past Academy Classes: Treasure Trunk Theatre, Musical Theatre Explorations (Homeschool Mondays), Group Voice 10+ (Saturdays) (Spring 2018), Homeschool Fairytale Characters and Scenes for Young Actors (Fall 2017), Homeschool The Adventures of Peter Rabbit - Musical Play Lab (Fall 2017)

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, Seussical KIDS, Winnie the Pooh KIDSWilly Wonka Jr., and The Lion King Jr. (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!


Rhiannon Lomonaco

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Past Academy Classes: Antigone: Study and Performance - Play Lab, Jack and the Giant Beanstalk - Play Lab (Spring 2018), Fairytale Characters and Scenes for Young Actors (Fall 2017)

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 continue teaching for the ACT Academy!


Samuel Moran

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Past Academy Classes: Preschool Drama Rama, Auditions and Movement for Young Actors (Instructor - Spring 2018), Musical Theatre Dance & Voice, Fairytale Characters and Scenes for Young Actors - Monday after school (Assistant - Fall 2017 )

Recent Projects at The ACT: The (Somewhat) True Tale of Robin Hood, Peter Pan Jr., Seussical KIDS Camp (Stage Manager), Aristocats KIDS Camp (Camp Counselor)

About Samuel: Samuel Moran graduated from Coram Deo Academy in May 2018 and has been involved at the ACT for the past six years! Recently, he performed in the Teen Intensive Grease: School Version, as Cat in Honk! Jr., in James and the Giant Peach Jr. as Earthworm, in Seussical KIDS as Horton, and in GTK Once Upon a Mattress. as Sir. Harry. Other major roles at The ACT have included Buddy in Elf Jr., Tommy in Music Man Jr., The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz Young Performers Edition, Jack in Into the Woods Jr., Donkey in Shrek Jr., and Louie in Captain Louie Jr. In addition to 20+ ACT mainstage productions, he has also performed in productions at Lyric Stage in Irving and Casa Manana in Fort Worth. Samuel has had a passion for theatre since he was little and intends to continue it as a major in college this fall! He is grateful for the opportunity to develop the skills of your child and is honored to have been a part of their journey in the performing arts.


Eliana Reece

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Fall 2018 Instructor: Tap & Jazz - Upper Elementary (Monday Homeschool and Monday After School), Tap & Jazz - Middle/High (Monday After School)

Recent Projects at The ACT: Aladdin Jr., Mary Poppins Jr. (Choreographer)

Upcoming Projects at The ACT: Madagascar Jr. (Choreographer)

About Eliana: Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Eliana began her dance training at the age of 3, graduated from the Commercial Dance Department at the Orange County HS of the Arts (OCHSA), and was a 4 year member of the National Champion Long Beach State Dance Team. While earning her degrees in Film and Spanish at CSULB, she returned to OCHSA as a dance instructor, which also allowed her to be mentored by top choreographers in Los Angela. She was also a dancer for a modern/contemporary company called The Brockus Project, taught summer Dance Team camps for US Spirit Leaders, and became a Los Angeles Rams Cheerleader. She seized the opportunity to relocate to St. Louis with the Rams to develop a new Cheerleading program, providing their choreography, scheduling public appearances, styling swimsuit calendar photo shoots, and coordinating GameDay entertainment. She also co-founded the Jr. Rams Cheerleader program.

Eliana stepped away from dance and the entertainment industry to raise her children, but discovered The ACT in Fall 2017 while looking for an activity for her daughter. It didn't take long to reignite her love for the arts and she is excited to be back and actively engaged in choreography for several of our mainstage shows! Eliana feels passionately about pushing her performers to build their dance vocabulary, challenges them with stylized choreography, and is a stickler for solid technique. She looks forward to building foundational dance skills in ACT Academy dancers that will build their confidence and aid them in their musical theater pursuits.


 

Angela Senter

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General Production Manager and Resident Stage Manager

Past Academy Classes: Auditions and Movement for Young Actors, Call It! Stage Management for Teens (Spring 2018), Call It! Stage Management for Teens (Fall 2017)

Recent Projects at The ACT: Aladdin Jr. (Stage Manager), Mary Poppins Jr. (Stage Manager), 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 40 productions at The ACT, she is excited to share her experience and knowledge at our theatre, training the the next generation of theatre arts lovers!


Shaun Senter

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Fall 2018 Instructor: The Actors Conservatory Show Choir, Broadway Bound - Advanced Musical Theatre (Homeschool & After School), Musical Theatre Dance & Voice (Monday After School), The Wizard of Oz Play Lab (Monday After School), and First Steps in Drama: Mary and Her Little Lamb Musical Play Lab (Saturday)

Past Academy Classes: The ACT Show Choir (Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018), Advanced Musical Theatre Dance & Voice (Spring 2018), The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Play Lab (Spring 2018), The American Revolution: 1763-1789 - Musical Play Lab (Spring 2018), Musical Theatre Dance & Voice (Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017), Fantastic Mr. Fox Play Lab (Fall 2017)

Recent Projects at The ACT: Grease: School Version (Music Director), Aladdin Jr. (Music Director), Stuart Little, James and the Giant Peach Jr., Dear Edwina Jr. (Stage Manager), Peter Pan Jr. (Music Director), Singin in the Rain Jr. (Music Director)

Upcoming or Current Projects at The ACT: Madagascar 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. He began teaching at the ACT Academy in Spring 2017 and is excited for this next semester!


Jenna Smith

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Fall 2018 Instructor: Act Up! Fundamentals of Acting

Past Academy Classes: Advanced Musical Theatre Dance & Voice, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Play Lab (Assistant - Spring 2018)

Recent Projects at The ACT: The Lion King Jr., Willy Wonka Jr. (Juniors Director), Winnie the Pooh KIDS Camp (Assistant Choreographer/Assistant Director), Aristocats KIDS Camp (Stage Manager)

Upcoming or Current Projects at The ACT: Madagascar Jr. (Stage Manager)

About Jenna: Jenna has performed at the ACT for the last eight years and graduated from Decatur High School in May of 2018. She recently performed as Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest, Maggie Pie in Honk! Jr., Miss Andrew in Mary Poppins Jr., and Mrs. Mayor in Seussical KIDS. She has also worked behind the scenes for 15+ ACT productions/camps. Jenna plans to pursue theatre education in college and will be talking classes at NCTC in the fall. Theatre is her passion and she is so excited to share her love for the arts with your children through the ACT Academy!


Rebekkah Wesselius

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Fall 2018 Instructor: Dance Essentials - Lower Elementary (Monday Homeschool, Monday After School, Saturday)

Recent Projects at The ACT: The Nutcracker (Choreographer)

About Rebekkah: Rebekkah grew up in the Dallas area and went to Belhaven University in Jackson, MS where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies. She has been teaching dance since 2003 and started dancing 20 years ago! She taught dance at a co-op in Coppell for 8 years before going to college. Since college, she has been teaching dance and choreographing at places like The ACT and Rock Pointe Church. With college choir and community theatre at Theatre Coppell (A Christmas Carol and Over the River and Through the Woods), as well as the role of Marie in The Nutcracker at The ACT in December 2017, she has really enjoyed growing in the realm of singing, acting, and of course: more dancing! She is so excited join The ACT family as a teacher!


Meet Our Class Assistants

 

Cameron Clay

Spring 2018: Jack and the Giant Beanstalk Play Lab

 

Bryn McCarthy

Spring 2018: Preschool Drama Rama, The American Revolution: 1763-1789 Musical Play Lab

Fall 2017: The Amazing Adventures of Peter Rabbit Musical Play Lab, Fairytale Characters and Scenes for Young Actors (After School), Acting for Musical Theatre

Spring 2017: Treasure Trunk Theatre

 

Colleen McCarthy

Fall 2017: Fantastic Mr. Fox Play Lab

 

Soraya McGarrh

Spring 2018: The Trial of Goldilocks Play Lab

 

Deborah Samuelson

Spring 2018: The Trial of Goldilocks Play Lab

Fall 2017: Fantastic Mr. Fox Play Lab

 

Jenna Smith

Spring 2018: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Play Lab, Advanced Musical Theatre Dance and Voice (Monday after school)

 

Melissa Weaver

Fall 2017: The Amazing Adventures of Peter Rabbit Musical Play Lab (Homeschool), Fairytale Characters and Scenes for Young Actors (Homeschool)

Spring 2018: Lighting Designer for Play Labs

 

Sarah Wilson

Spring 2018: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Play Lab, Musical Theatre Explorations (Monday after school)