Creative Management Team
Mike Mazur – Managing Director, NTPA – Plano
Mike is thrilled to be a part of the NTPA family, having worked as a theatrical director, writer, choreographer and educator since earning his Bachelor’s in English, Speech and Drama Education from Bowling Green State University in his home state of Ohio. Since graduating, Mike has taught theatre at the High School, Community College and University level and earned his Master’s in Musical Theatre Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
He has directed over 60 shows in New York, New Jersey, Ohio and California. Among his favorites are Rent, Hair, Oklahoma!, The King and I, and Children of Eden. As a writer, his youth theatre piece THE SIXTH DAY has been performed in NYC three times, and he was commissioned to create “Simple Joys,” a revue of the work of Stephen Schwartz at the Cassidy Theatre in Ohio. As a youth, he was a member of The Singing Angels Performing Chorus, an internationally touring show choir based out of Cleveland, Ohio.
After graduating from NYU, Mike became their Artistic Director. Under his direction, the group toured Hollywood, London, Warsaw, and Paris; released two recordings; performed with Nancy Sinatra and Roberta Flack; and was invited to a Command Performance at The Pentagon. He then became a professor of Musical Theatre at California State University, Chico, where in addition to teaching and directing shows, he led the “Off-Broadways” Touring Ensemble in performances in New York and San Francisco.
These experiences have led Mike to lecture on the role of theatre in society at both The Sondheim Symposium in New Jersey (where he met Stephen Sondheim) and the International Conference on Fine and Performing Arts in Athens, Greece. He shares his experiences with the talented youth of North Texas and empowers them to use the performing arts as a tool to build the self-confidence needed to succeed in any career path they choose.
Lindsey Lederer – Managing Director, NTPA – Frisco and NTPA – Dallas
Lindsey Lederer is no stranger to North Texas Performing Arts. She started with the organization as student, taking the stage and falling in love with the performing arts on an NTPA stage. She became a Summer Intern, then a Director, and now takes on the opportunity to lead the two newest NTPA theaters to an exciting future. After lighting her passion for the theatre arts, Lindsey graduated from the NTPA program and went on to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theater and minor in psychology from Ouachita Baptist University. She has performed with major entertainment corporations, such as Disney and Six Flags and spent almost the last two years working at Prestonwood Baptist Church as the Children’s Creative Arts Coordinator. Favorite NTPA directing credits include Annie Jr., A Year With Frog and Toad Kids, Junie B. Jones the Musical, Jungle Book Kids, Music Man Jr., and Cinderella G2K. Lindsey strives to instill a great passion of the arts in all of her students and to make a difference in the lives in youth throughout the artistic process. She loves her NTPA students and families and wants to thank them for making her job the most rewarding!
Cibby Bowden – Managing Director, NTPA – Fairview
Cibby Bowden joined the NTPA team in 2017 to serve as Director and Managing Director of NTPA – Fairview. Cibby has worked in the industry as a director and actress for over 35 years. She previously worked as Theatre Production Manager, Resident Director and Acting Instructor at Katy Visual and Performing Arts Center and as Theatre Director at Faith West Academy both in Katy, TX.
Favorite director credits include; Little Women, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, Oklahoma!, Once Upon a Mattress, A Christmas Carol, Annie Get Your Gun, Oliver Twist, Willy Wonka, Beauty and the Beast, Annie, Honk!, Legally Blonde, High School Musical 1 and 2, The Wizard of Oz, Shrek and Xanadu. She has also appeared in many of KVPAC’s Encore Players productions including Joanne in Sondheim’s Company, Mistress Paige in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Betty Meeks in The Foreigner, Mrs. Trotsky in All in the Timing and Effy in The Spitfire Grill.
In her twenties, Cibby worked as an actress in Hollywood and can be seen (in re-runs!) on Full House, Cheers, Married with Children, Night Court, Star Trek the Next Generation, Days of our Lives and several films including Ghostbusters 2 and Maid to Order.
DeAnna Stone – Managing Director, The NTPA Academy
DeAnna Stone serves as the Managing Director for the North Texas Performing Arts Academy. She began her adventure on the stage at the young age of six years old and continued to pursue the stage throughout college. After college, she continued her theatre journey within the homeschool community. As a homeschooling mother of four children, she has a passion for creating opportunity for students that desire an alternative style in education. She has a passion for motivating the youth and inspiring others to achieve their best. The North Texas Performing Arts created opportunity for her own personal family and upholds the values that she deems important is growing future leaders.
She served as President, Vice President and Managing Director of the Drama department for the McKinney Area Christian Homeschoolers (MArCH) over the past 14 years. During that time, she has been directly involved with teaching and directing children with a passion for theatre between the ages of 3 and 18. She has directed productions such as Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka, Jr., The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe as well as worked as the choreographer for high school and middle school casts in productions such as “Beauty and the Beast”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Tom Sawyer” and many others.
She has served as a leader in the Home School Athletic Association for the last 8 years. In working with youth on the stage or on the court it all translates to where she finds her passion which is investing in the youth. She has also taught group fitness for over 20 years that has provided the opportunity to coach, mentor, encourage and inspire others in setting and accomplishing goals. It is an honor for her to serve the North Texas Performing Arts families and continue the quest in developing character in the youth through the amazing journey of the stage.
Morgan Southard – NTPA Creative Director
Morgan Southard is an actor, director and teacher who is thrilled to be making a difference in the lives of our youth! She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from the University of Evansville in 2007 and her Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from Southern Methodist University in 2010. She taught at Southern Methodist University 2008-2010 and has been teaching and directing professionally in the area since 2013.
Other experience includes time spent at Les Subsistances Theatre Performance Program in Leon, France where she received training in acrobatics, improvisation, play, masks and puppets. Professional stage experience includes roles in A Bright New Boise (Circle Theatre), Mrs. California (Contemporary Theatre of Dallas), Arms and the Man (Stage West), Macbeth (Trinity Shakespeare Festival), As You Like It (Trinity Shakespeare Festival), Boeing-Boeing (Circle Theatre/WaterTower Theatre), Donʼt Dress For Dinner (Theatre Arlington) and Bright Ideas (Circle Theatre). Favorite directing credits include The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown, School of Rock, The Addams Family and Mary Poppins. She loves her boyfriend Cesar, her dog Bandit, and her NTPA family more than words can say!
Christian Black – Senior Resident Director and Program Director, NTPA – Dallas
Danny Miranda – Artistic Director, NTPA Repertory Theatre
Daniel Dean Miranda started choreographing for NTPA in the Summer of 2008. From there, he took on shows as director, choreographer, and music director. In 2015, he took a break to explore other ventures, and realized this is where his passion was. After a 3 year hiatus, he is thrilled to return to NTPA to be working with such talented youth, and working with NTPA’s Repertory Theatre, helping bring Broadway style productions to the burbs!
He has been a local actor since the age of six. Some of his acting credits include: Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Jesus in Godspell, Emcee in Cabaret, Patsy in Monty Python’s Spamalot, William Barfée in The 25th Anual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance, among others. Directing credits include: Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, The Wizard of Oz, Godspell, Little shop of Horrors, Seussical the Musical, Heathers the Musical, among others.
Special Program Directors
Gabby Banzon – Therapy Programs Director
Gabby is the Therapy Programs Director at NTPA. She earned a Bachelors in Music Therapy from Georgia College & State University in 2014 and a Masters of Arts in Music Therapy from Texas Woman’s University in 2017. Her clinical experiences include clients of all ages with various developmental & intellectual disabilities and mental health conditions. She also presents at conferences and serves on committees for music therapy. Outside of work, she writes and performs on her own and in ensembles, singing and playing various instruments. You can find her music on iTunes! When not working or playing music, Gabby enjoys having good conversations over a good meal.
Gregory McKnight – Technical Programs Director
Nick Mann – Senior Resident Director
Nick grew up in the towns of Bowie, TX and Carlsbad, NM. Even as a child, Nick was always interested in drama. He recalls the very first musical he created with stuffed animals and a tape recorder when he was in the 4th Grade! Nick graduated from the University of North Texas earning a B.A. in Theatre Performance and Education. His advanced training includes Song Interpretation with Tony Award-Winning Actress Betty Buckley, Meisner Acting Technique with Terry Martin and Improv and Sketch Comedy at The Second City Training Center.
Nick is also a Stand-Up Comedian and playwright. His play, Baby of Mine, was a semifinalist for the 2012 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Nick’s special talent is that he can name all the winners of every Academy Award in the Picture and Acting category (Hopefully that means he will win one)!
Nick was honored as NTPA’s Director of the Year for 2017. His all-time favorite directing credit is 2018 “Fiddler on the Roof”, performed at Fairview Youth Theatre. Other favorite directing credits include “The Lion King,” “Guys and Dolls,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Sound of Music,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Anything Goes” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
Denver Danyla – Senior Resident Director
Denver received his BFA in Acting for Stage and Screen from Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles. He found his passion for acting while in Jr. High and High School, landing such roles as Curly in Oklahoma! and Harold Hill in The Music Man. He went on to pursue his study of acting. Stage credits include Lord Goring in An Ideal Husband, Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing and several other Indie stage productions. While in college he worked as a counselor at several youth camps including Kanakuk and Forest Home where he then knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life working with students.
Soon after graduating, he began directing children and young adults in the Houston area and is thrilled to continue his love for teaching, directing and mentoring here in the Dallas area. Some of his favorite works as a Director are: Honk! Jr, Game of Tiaras, Elf Jr., and Avenue Q: School Edition.
Bethany Bourland – Resident Director
Bethany Bourland has been directing and teaching children’s theatre for nine years. Bethany received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama: Acting Emphasis from the University of Oklahoma Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama. Growing up in Katy, Texas, Bethany began her directing and teaching career with the Katy Visual and Performing Arts Center. In 2014 and 2015, Bethany interned with Dallas Theater Center in their summer theatre education program. From 2016 to 2018, Bethany worked in Oklahoma as a Casting Associate for film and television with Freihofer Casting. During that time, she also worked as an on-camera acting coach and as the program director for The Actor Factory Young Performer Academy. Bethany acted as Associate Producer for the OU School of Drama’s theatre-for-young-audiences touring series, Helmerich Literature Alive, since 2015.
Favorite directing credits include: Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr, Legally Blonde Jr. Into The Woods, The Music Man Jr., Sleeping Beauty Kids., and Little Mermaid Jr. As an actor, Bethany’s favorite roles include: Amy in Little Women, Pennywise in Urinetown, Ado Annie in Oklahoma, The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Juliet in The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet, Ensemble in Les Mis, and Dr. Zavala in Distracted.
Bethany loves spending time with her friends and family—especially her husband, Connor, and dog, Judge, who graciously indulge her theatre, Disney, and iced green tea habit.
Donovan Lawson – Resident Director
Donovan Marie Lawson graduated from Oklahoma City University where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre for Young Audiences with a Directing Minor. She started performing at a young age at Miss Persis Studio, Theatre Arlington, and around the DFW metroplex. Her favorite stage credits include Rusty in Footloose recently earning her the Best Actress in a Musical at the 45th Annual Stony Awards, Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, Rita La Porta in Lucky Stiff, and Dorothy in Oz! Discovering her love for the arts and children, she decided to combine the two and work in children’s theatres across North Texas.
Donovan’s favorite NTPA directing credits are Junie B. Jones The Musical Jr, Annie Jr, Alice in Wonderland, and Once on This Island, Jr. Donovan is thrilled to be a part of the NTPA family where she has the wonderful opportunity to share her knowledge as a theatre artist, director, designer, and arts advocate helping to enrich the lives of children!
Kaitlyn Wright – Resident Director
Kaitlyn Wright graduated in 2013 Cum Laude from Texas Woman’s University where she performed in both their opera and theater productions. She has been with NTPA since 2017 and has directed and music directed with the organization on many occasions. Some of her favorite titles have been: Elephant and Piggie (director), Sleeping Beauty KIDS (director), and Little Women (music director). She taught music and choir in Plano ISD for five years. Kaitlyn is certified in the Kodaly Method of music education and completed her third level of training in the summer of 2015. For the 2015-2016 school year, Kaitlyn received the Bass Hall Fellowship for excellence in music education and in the spring of that year presented about elementary music at the Texas State Music Education Association conference in San Antonio. Kaitlyn is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society, Who’s Who Nominee, Presser Scholar Nominee, and the recipient of the first Lily Mildred Hodges Endowed Scholarship. For the 2016-2017 school year, she was nominated as Teacher of the Year and received the PTA Life Member Award. Music and theater are her passion and she loves to see children grow through the arts.
Aaron Mateo Arroyo – Resident Director
Aaron Mateo Arroyo comes to NTPA after working on stage and video in Los Angeles earning his Actor’s Equity status. Aaron grew up in Texas earning his BA in Acting and Directing then went on to earn his Masters in Fine Arts in Drama from the prestigious Claire Trevor School of the Arts at University of California, Irvine, one of the nation’s top theatre and film acting universities. Aaron is represented by RPM Talent. Aaron’s lovely wife Sterling also holds a BA in Acting and Directing.
Aaron brings his passion for teaching and extensive onstage acting and dramatic talent to expand NTPA’s offerings of non-musical/play productions. Aaron has extensive experience in multiple acting methods and genres including Shakespeare, modern drama and comedy and a long list of equity and non-equity roles to his credit. He also provides individual instruction in the NTPA Private Lesson program in the areas of Audition Prep, Acting, Stage Combat and more.
Favorite gigs include a season with Utah Shakespeare Festival and touring with Missoula Children’s Theatre. Acting credits include Jonathan Waxman in Sight Unseen, Abram Baker in Our Class, and Freddie Trumper in CHESS: The Musical. Aaron is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be working with the strong talent pool of artists in North Texas. He firmly believes theatre can shape young actors into outstanding adults. His favorite works as a director are Los Vendidos, The Secret Garden, Wizard of Oz, and The Little Mermaid.
Cheryl Lowber – Resident Director
Cheryl Lowber is thrilled to be a member of the NTPA family and is so excited to work with all of the amazingly talented students and their equally amazing and hard-working parents! She believes that theatre offers so much more than a place to shine in the spot light (though that sure is a fun perk!). It also teaches discipline, persistence, flexibility, confidence, resilience, empathy, PLAY, and the list goes on! Cheryl is a professional actor, director, and acting coach based in DFW as well as an experienced UIL One Act Play adjudicator at both the Middle School and High School levels. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from Oklahoma Baptist University and an M.F.A. in Acting from Southern Methodist University, where she taught undergraduate courses in “The Art of Acting.” Cheryl has appeared onstage at numerous venues in DFW, New York City, and as far away as South Korea, where she played Lady Anne in Shakespeare’s Richard III for the Eurasia Shakespeare Theatre Company. In addition to onstage roles, she occasionally works as a voiceover artist, performing in audiobooks, commercials, and industrials.
Favorite regional acting credits include: The 39 Steps (Stage West); Role Play (Stage West); A Christmas Carol (Dallas Theater Center); House and Garden (Theatre Three); Picnic (Theatre Three); A Premature Corpse (Pocket Sandwich Theatre); Blithe Spirit (Garland Civic Theatre); A Winter’s Tale (Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park)
Her absolute favorite roles, however, are those of wife to Adam and mom to Evie (4) and Maggie (1)!
Hannah Makepeace – Resident Director
Hannah graduated from Ouachita Baptist University where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. She grew up training in all forms of dance and performing in theatre productions.
In high school, she was a member of the pre-professional ballet company Arkansas Festival Ballet, and was also the director of an improv troupe. In college, she produced an original MainStage production of her own design called Not a Clue, a frame-worked improvised production that spoofs the board game Clue. After graduation, she worked and performed at Walt Disney World before moving to the Dallas Area!
Some of her favorite performance credits include The Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol, Cha-Cha in Grease, Johnna in Naomi in the Living Room and most recently performed in the Candlelight Processional Cast Choir with Celebrity Narrators Jodi Benson, Warwick Davis and Neil Patrick Harris.
Hannah has a passion for the theatrical arts, and loves being able to see the students she works with grow in their skills and challenge themselves to be daring in their pursuits.
Hannah Brewer – Associate Resident Director
Hannah Brewer started with North Texas Performing Arts as a sophomore in high school, beginning as an actress and now as a Director. Her acting career began when she was 6 years old in the homeschool community, and she has never looked back. Some of her most favorite roles include Sarah Brown in “Guys & Dolls”, Rosie in “Bye Bye Birdie”, and Ms. Darbus in “High School Musical”. Currently, she is attending Texas Woman’s University and working toward her B.A. in Child Development.
Much of her experience includes several years of working along side the other Directors at North Texas Performing Arts in performances such as “The Jungle Book KIDS”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Aladdin KIDS”, and “The Hobbit”. Hannah has also taught many camps, classes, and audition privates. She has directed students ages four to eighteen in major productions such as “High School Musical”, “Stuart Little”, “Mystery at Shady Acres”, and more. Beyond theatrical training, she is passionate about educating the students in NTPA’s 10 Characters and using them to advance in performing arts, education, or wherever else life may lead.
Cassidy Crown Confer – Senior Director
Cassidy has been a director with NTPA since 2004. She is also an actor herself in the DFW metroplex but taking a small hiatus till her little star, Keaton Gail, grows up a little more. Some of her credits include, “The Sound of Music” with Garland Summer, “Of Mice and Men” & “Ten Nights in a Barroom” with ICT Mainstage, “Beauty and the Beast” & “Footloose” with Garland Civic, the regional premiere of “Legally Blonde” and “The Boxer” at the Fringe Festival in New York. Cassidy holds a degree in opera performance from Baylor University where she studied abroad & performed in the ruins of Pompeii Italy! She is so thankful to have NTPA – Plano as her long-lasting extended family. But of course, would not be where she is today without the loving support of her husband and family.
Charlotte Forcht – Adjunct Director
Charlotte Forcht has been a Director at NTPA since 2013. She has a B.A. in Literary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. She has been performing in theatre, improvisation, film and television productions in Boston, New York, Providence, Dallas and other parts of the country for over 15 years, and she continues to work in the DFW area.
Seth Nelson – Adjunct Director
Seth Nelson is a proud Adjunct Director with NTPA and has been directing here since 2017. Seth graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SMU in Theater, with a focus in acting and directing and has performed in both Theatre and Film across the DFW area. Seth is profoundly grateful for the opportunity to help young artists flourish, and hopes that through theatre, each student who comes through our doors can grow themselves both as an artist and as a person. Some favorite directing credits include: Anne of Green Gables, Fools, Mauritius, Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Julius Caesar and She Kills Monsters.
Mick McCormick – Director
Mickaléan ”Mick” McCormick is a first-generation Irish-American. He grew up in the New England area. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BFA in Film and Theatre. He is a member of The Society of American Fight Directors and The Screen Actors Guild. He spent 16 years in Hollywood working as an Actor, Director and Producer on stage, screen and television. He gave up his career in California and moved to McKinney to be in his children’s lives. He now works as a Freelance Producer, Director and Fight Choreographer while teaching and directing for North Texas Performing Arts.
Mick also serves as NTPA’s Facilities Manager, is responsible for all Volunteer Operations, and is the Plano location’s Back of House Manager.
Hayley Grafflin – Choreographer
Hayley started dancing at the age of two and has never stopped. She began her training at Riley’s Dance Center in Irving and then continued her studies at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. She further studied dance at Stevens College in Columbia, MO, and in 2006, graduated from the University of North Texas studying Dance, Kinesiology, and Business.
After college, Hayley worked as an expert pointe shoe fitter and store manager at Suffolk Dance Boutique in Lewisville. Hayley has performed professionally with Beckles Dancing Company in Dallas and Momentum Dance Company in Irving. Hayley is currently on staff at The Dance Movement studio in Plano, having taught all ages and styles of dance.
She has always had a passion for dance and for sharing that love with her students. Hayley lives in Plano with her wonderful husband Ron and their two beautiful children, Jackson and Marley Jean.
Trisha Martin – Choreographer
Trisha Martin has been a part of the NTPA family since January 2017. Since young childhood, Trisha has been educated in dancing, singing and acting in the Texas panhandle. She has performed in several shows with Amarillo Little Theatre including Annie and Chicago, danced in “Texas” The Musical Drama in Palo Duro Canyon, and in mainstage shows at West Texas A&M University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre with an emphasis in dance. Also, Trisha has experience teaching acting, voice, ballet, jazz, tap and hip-hop, and has a passion for teaching to young and old.
She is grateful for every opportunity to teach, direct, choreograph and perform in NTPA Youth and Repertory productions. When busy with choreography, performing and classes, she dedicates her time to her three girls, Nora, Abbigayl and Natalie who are her light, joy and grace.
Nancy Devine – Visual Art Instructor
Nancy Devine has a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin. She started teaching art and drama at 17 years old for an after-school program at Hamilton Park Elementary School in Richardson. This sparked her passion for teaching art and she has done it “forever.” She has taught art with Capers for Kids Drama and Art School for over 25 years. She has also taught for the Young Artists’ Program, the Fairhill School, Yavneh Academy, Vanguard Preparatory School, Oak Hill Academy, and New Century Montessori Academy (where she teaches presently).
Lindy Waldmeier – Starcatchers Instructor
Lindy P. Waldmeier, MM, graduated with a BA in Voice Performance from McNeese State University, obtained an MM in Voice Performance Pedagogy from University of Louisiana, and is currently working on her MA in Music therapy at Texas Woman’s University. Lindy has performed as a soloist with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra, and has performed in various Opera and Musical Theater productions. Most notably, Lindy played the principle role as Marcelina in Le Nozze di Frigaro, and Sally Bowles in Cabaret. Lindy’s performed internationally while attending the Vocal Arts Master Workshop at the Real Conservatorio de Musica in Granada, Spain, under the tutelage of world renowned opera singer, Teresa Berganza. For over ten years, Lindy enjoyed her career as a music educator both in the classroom, and as a private voice and piano instructor. As music therapist, Lindy’s worked in diverse clinical settings with children and adults, with varied physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities.
DeeDee Munson – Choreographer
DeeDee is the Staffing Coordinator and part of the Executive Staff at MA Dance & MA Visual FX and teaches for the North Texas Performing Arts – Academy. She has been teaching & educating students since 1991! She is the former General Manager/Artistic Director for the Power House of Dance. Her credits include Kilgore College Rangerette, Stephen F. Austin Repertory Company Member, Stephen F. Austin Pom Squad member and coach, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, and Dallas Mavericks Dancer. While attending SFA she won two consecutive NCA National Dance Championship titles. She is also a former Walt Disney World Dancer where she performed in The Beauty & The Beast Show, Pleasure Island Explosion Dancers, various conventions and special events, and the Rhythms of the World Show at Tokyo DisneySeas.
DeeDee has taught and choreographed for drill teams and dance teams across the country as well as being a head instructor and adjudicator for MA Dance. She has appeared in Body Wrappers, Dance Spirit, Cheerleader & Danzteam, YM, and Glamour Magazines. She also modeled for Disney Animation where her likeness was used for the image of Princess Kida in Atlantis Milo’s Return. Her television appearances include Good Morning Texas, Good Day Dallas, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Salvation Army Halftime with Reba McEntire, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade with Aaron Carter and John O’Hurley, Live with Regis and Kelly, the Oprah Winfrey Show and Street Talk with Wendy Williams. She was also a dancer/actress in the movie Miss Congeniality starring Sandra Bullock and can be seen judging in the documentary Sweethearts Of The Gridiron featuring the Kilgore College Rangerettes. DeeDee has served as a judge for The Dance Worlds held at Walt Disney World. She has served on USASF Dance Worlds National Advisory Board, Power House Dance Foundation, Twelve 12 Ministries & the North Texas Performing Arts Management Board.
Linda McAdams – Choreographer
Linda has a B.A. in psychology and a Master’s degree in education. She has been involved with NTPA since 2004. She took dance, musical theatre, voice and piano growing up. She performed onstage as a dancer in high school and again as an adult taking tap classes. Growing up in Dallas, she attended the Dallas Summer Musicals for many years and dreamed of dancing in a musical. Being a first-grade teacher in PlanoISD was one of her favorite experiences. She has served on the executive board for several PTAs, chairperson for a cub scout pack in Plano, Service Unit Cookie Coordinator for Girl Scouts and on the NTPA Dallas board. Linda has assisted in many shows as the Show Manager and helping with choreography, sound and sets. Favorite choreography credits include Shrek the Musical, Beauty and the Beast, and Mary Poppins Jr. Having seen firsthand the incredible growth in her own children through theatre, she loves working with the parents and children at NTPA and being a part of their dreams.
Andrew Makepeace – Lighting Designer/Director
Andrew graduated from Ouachita Baptist University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in technical theatre. His love of technical theatre began when he worked part time in high school as a stagehand and follow-spot operator at his local community theatre. This passion brought him to Ouachita, where his favorite credits were designing lights for an original project by his wife Hannah, called Not A Clue, and assistant directing Seussical the Musical.
In college, he and two of his classmates created an original main stage production titled Painting the Roses Red, a story acting as a prequel to the story of Alice in Wonderland. Andrew continues to enjoy directing, designing lights, and honing his technical skill.
Jasmine Mathew, CTRS – Choreographer
Jasmine Mathew was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. Growing up, Jasmine has dance knowledge and experience performing Bharatnatyam, a classical Indian dance form, through M.G. Dance Institute. She was also active and heavily influenced by theater during high school in Drama Club and performing in musicals. Jasmine graduated from Temple University with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation and has been an active Recreation Therapist since 2001. She has worked in the states of PA, CT, NY, and now TX. The populations that she worked with included children, newborn to teens, with various special needs, including anywhere from Traumatic Brain Injury to Autism. She also has worked with the elderly sub-acute rehab patients of nursing homes. While working with various populations, she also worked for Arya Dance Academy, teaching Bollywood dance to kids, ages 4 to teens. She since started her own dance business named “Jasmine’s Beat” and has taught Bollywood Fit and Bollywood dance to students, ages 4 to adult. While in TX, she also trained and worked for Stretch-n-Grow, teaching ballet and jazz classes to preschoolers in the North Texas area. In 2018, Jasmine combined her love of working with people with disabilities and her love of dance. “Jasmine’s Beat” is now an Adaptive Dance Company that provides inclusive fusion dance classes for people of all abilities. She currently teaches an Adaptive Dance class at Next Step Dance at The Star in Frisco, TX. Jasmine is excited to partner up with NTPA to provide quality dance classes in their Starcatchers program! Jasmine is happily married and mom to three beautiful kids, TJ, Arielle and Leo. Her hobbies include dancing, watching movies with friends, and hanging out with her kids.
Tevin Cates, Choreographer
Tevin recently moved back to Texas after working for two years at Walt Disney World in Entertainment. He walked stilts in one of the parades as well as danced in the “Festival Of Fantasy Parade.” Tevin has been performing in the DFW theater community since he was 7 years old. He has done over 100 stage productions in the area. He enjoys teaching students new styles of dance through choreography.
Jacob Hemsath, Choreographer
Dr. Robert Gross, Starcatchers Instructor
Dr. Robert received his DMA in music composition at University of Southern California where he also received a graduate certificate in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television, and was the first person to complete two graduate-level programs in music at USC simultaneously. He also received an MA in Music for Film, Television and Theatre from the University of Bristol in England; an MM in Music Composition from Rice University; and a BM in Music Composition from Oberlin Conservatory. He has taught graduate and undergraduate level music theory at Rice University, and is currently a graduate student in music therapy at Texas Woman’s University and formerly in intern at Haven Behavioral Health in Frisco, TX.
He co-wrote the musical Yeehad! produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and is the former composer-in-residence of the Relevant Stage Theater Company in Los Angeles. He was half of Blind Labyrinth with the late Kenneth Downey, an experimental electroacoustic music duo, whose CD Blasted Light was released on the Beauport Classical label in 2014. He has presented papers at the national Society for Music Theory conference, the Texas Society for Music Theory Conference, the West Coast Conference of Music Theory and Analysis, and both national and regional chapters of Society of Composers, Inc. His post-tonal analyses have been published in Perspectives of New Music and Journal of Schenkerian Studies, and his music therapy analyses published in Qualitative Inquiries in Music Therapy and Voices: An International Forum for Music Therapy. Awards and honors include winner of University of Georgia Arch Composition Award for Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments; special recognition award, First Music Competition, New York Youth Symphony; winner of tri-annual Inter-American Music Awards Composition Competition, with publication of winning piece by C. F. Peters; twice Margaret Jory Grant from American Music Center; ASCAP Grants to Young Composers Honorable Mention; orchestra work Halcyon Nights chosen for Whitaker New Music Readings by American Composers Orchestra; twice ASCAP Victor Herbert Award winner; twice ASCAP Grants to Young Composers Finalist.
Abigail Doust, Adjunct Director
Alina Cho, Starcatchers Instructor
Jeff Swearingen - Senior Guest Director
After having been on the NTPA Director team for almost two decades, Jeff left to take his own production to off-Broadway which finished a successful run in the spring of 2018. Jeff is a highly regarded DFW actor/director with Column Awards (DFW’s equivalent to the Tony’s) for Revolutionizing Children's Theatre, Best Director of a Play Non-Equity, Best Actor in a Play Non-Equity, Best Featured Actor in a Play Non-Equity, and Outstanding New Work by Playwright. He also received several awards from the Best of Dallas and Critics Forum including The Best of Dallas Award for Best Theatre Teacher and The Mastermind Award for his new approach to teaching the craft. He has also received professional awards for many of his original children's plays. He has performed for many local theaters including Kitchen Dog Theatre, Theatre 3, Shakespeare Dallas and others. He has been featured in commercials and on television shows for NBC, ABC and other stations in Europe and Asia. He has performed long form improvisation all over the country and around the world. He is represented by The Mary Collins Agency.