FACULTY AND STAFF
Faculty and staff members are chosen for the Texas Arts Project based on the individual teacher’s professional and instructional experience. All faculty members are of the highest caliber and communicate with students in a positive, constructive, and encouraging manner. The core faculty has an established professional relationship allowing them to work closely with one another to guide each student to his or her next level.
Every student, regardless of his/her goals, should receive the best possible training. The faculty and staff take pride in making sure all students receive personalized training and individual attention. No two artists are alike. Therefore, it is very important for each student to know how to approach his or her craft in a safe and thoughtful manner.
Our students are taught the value of fine arts so they may become a life-long supporter of the arts regardless of the paths they may choose.
Ginger Morris, Artistic Director
Ginger graduated with a BFA in Theatre from the University of Texas at Austin. She worked as Stage Manager or Production Manager for various Austin Musical Theatre Productions, where she managed the AMT Performing Arts Academy for six years. Ginger has directed productions with St. Edward’s University, Zilker Theatre Productions, Arts On Real, Second Youth, and Austin Scottish Rite Children’s Theatre. She has also been guest director and/or choreographer for several schools in central Texas and conducts theatre workshops all over Texas. As the Director of Education and Outreach for the Long Center, she currently runs Texas Arts Project, Summer Stock Austin, The Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards, and the College Audition Program. She is founder/director of Texas Arts Project, a nationally recognized arts sleep-away camp at St. Stephen’s School. She is a proud co-founder of Summer Stock Austin, where she has directed Footloose, West Side Story, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweet Charity, The Producers, Pippin, Into the Woods, and The Addams Family. Ginger has been the Producing Director of the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards since its inception in 2014. She is director and coach for the College Audition Program, preparing high school students for college auditions.
Nick Mayo, Head of Acting
Nick is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where his favorite projects included One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, As You Like It, The American Clock, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Listener, Henry IV, The Realm of Chelm, Kitty Kitty Kitty, The Workroom and Platonov directed by John Stix. He made his debut on Broadway on The Ritz. He went on to perform in South Pacific and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He would eventually move from his career in New York City to Austin, TX where he directed She Loves Me at St. Edward’s University. That show won him the 2016 Austin Critics Table Award for Best Musical. Nick has taught classes, workshops, and master classes for Interlochen Arts Academy, The Juilliard School, North East School of the Arts in San Antonio, The Kennedy Center Summer Educational Center, and The Shubert Organization educational outreach.
Dustin Gooch, Head of Filmmaking
Dustin got his start in Austin many years ago after attending St. Edward’s University and joining Austin Musical Theatre. He moved to New York to work for The Schubert Organization for a couple years before going back to college to study filmmaking. Dustin received his B.F.A. from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking in 2009 with an emphasis in directing. He has worked as a writer, director, editor and actor on numerous independent short and feature films since graduating. He has headed the filmmaking program at Texas Arts Project since 2015, modeling the program after the education he and his fellow teachers received at UNCSA.
Jacob Scott, Director/Choreographer — TAP Junior
Jacob Scott (Junior Camp Director/Choreographer) is returning to Austin after a five year hiatus during which he performed at several regional theatres, earned a BFA from the Webster Conservatory, became a member of Actor’s Equity, and moved to New York City. His work in the city includes leading numerous short films, portraying Romeo in the Shakespeare podcast “Lend Me Your Ear”, starring in the webseries “Tipping Point”, and starring in the reading of a new musical “Parallel Lines”. In addition to his acting work, Jacob (Jakob Skot) wrote, recorded, and produced the single “Wait”, now available on iTunes and streaming on Spotify and every major service. Jacob is thrilled to be returning to TAP Camp where he was privileged to experience five years as a camper and two as a counselor, dance instructor, and acting coach.
Corie Melaugh is a music director, vocal coach, pianist, and orchestrator/arranger in the Oklahoma City metro area. She earned degrees in piano and violin performance from Oklahoma City University (OCU) and a master of Music in Vocal Coaching from the same. She has worked at renowned summer festivals around the US, including Brevard Music Festival, College Light Opera Company, and Opera in the Ozarks. Internationally, she serves as music director for OCU’s performances and summer intensives with the Tianjin Conservatory of Music in Tianjin, China, has participated in Tango Sin Fin’s Tango for Musicians workshop in Dresden, Germany, and given masterclasses in musical theatre accompaniment and song performance at the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Kawasaki, Japan. She is co-founder and music director of The City Cabaret, co-founder and past music director of OCU OPERAtions, and a founder and music director for the OKC-based Fresh Paint Performance Lab, specializing in development of new works. For the past three years, she’s served as a music director and orchestrator for Summer Stock Austin (SSA) and Texas Arts Project. Recent projects include The Kelli O’Hara Awards (OKC Broadway), Annie Get Your Gun (SSA), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (SSA), Walk: A New Musical (Fresh Paint Performance Lab — WORLD PREMIERE), and Bernstein’s Mass (Canterbury Voices).
Guest Artist, Acting Instructor
David was the Director of Theatre at St. Paul’s School for 9 years. Before that, he was the Director of Theatre for the Theatre Focus program at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Prior to coming to St. Stephen’s, he was Theatre Department Chair and Arts Facilitator (fifteen years) at one of the top ten nationally ranked performing arts high schools in America. David was awarded “arts educator of the year” from the Milwaukee Magazine in 1998. He has directed many award winning plays and musicals in Milwaukee and many of his former students have gone on to study at the some of the top pre-professional acting programs in the country. His goal as a theatre educator is to make it clear to student actors that the classroom is an extension of the stage and that the stage must always be a classroom. His goal is to guide actors through a “process” rather than a “product” oriented curriculum. David has his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and has MFA graduate training from Boston University and Minnesota State University.
Dance Instructor and Dance Captain, Senior Camp
Jamie Askey is a professional dancer in NYC. She also teaches and choreographs around the area. She recently worked for RWS and Associates on Holland America Line and for Matt Davenport at HersheyPark. While working on Holland America Line she had the privilege of working with the stars from ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for a special at sea addition. Along with that, she has also worked with ME Dance Company and Dawn Branch Works in Orlando, Florida. You can visit her at www.jamieaskey.com and follow her on Instagram @jamieaskey.
Guest Choreographer, Senior Camp
Kristie Copeland has been a theatre director at Cedar Ridge High School for the past seven years. Prior to starting the theatre program at Cedar Ridge, Kristie was a dance and theatre teacher in Round Rock ISD from 2007 — 2010 at Hopewell Middle School. She holds her teaching certification in theatre, dance and physical education. Kristie graduated from Abilene Christian University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Theatre with an emphasis in musical theatre. Following graduation from college, Kristie moved to New York City to audition and pursue a career as a musical theatre performer. While in New York , Kristie worked for a children’s theatre company. However, in the fall of 2005 she returned to Texas to serve as the associate theatre director at Cooper High School in Abilene. Kristie has been teaching, directing and choreographing for students of all ages for over fifteen years. She has choreographed and directed musical productions such as Bring It On, Ragtime, In the Heights, CATS, Footloose, Guys and Dolls, Beauty and the Beast, and numerous other musical reviews for school. She has also taught and choreographed for dance studios including the Greater Austin Dance Academy (GADA) in Round Rock. In addition, she has taught dance for the Jewish Community Center summer musical theatre workshops, classes for the Abilene Performing Arts Company, choreographed for the Cooper High School Cougarette drill team spring shows and other school productions.
Guest Choreographer, Senior Camp
Christa Oliver is proud to be a Lecturer in the Dance Department at Texas State. Since relocating to Texas in 2012, she has taught and choreographed for Zach Theatre, The Austin School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Austin Community College, Huston-Tillotson University, and The Jewish Community Centre. Throughout her academic teaching career she has taught courses in Dance History, Choreography, Classical Ballet, Limon, Dunham, Cunningham, Graham, Horton, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, Liturgical, African and Musical Theatre Dance.
Guest Choreographer, Junior & Senior Camps
Daniel Adams | Carson Alexander | Carla Anderson | Kelly Bales | Michael Baxter | Michelle Brandt | Coy Branscum | Travis Brendle | Buckner Cooke | Paul Davis | Lisa del Rosario | Rona Ebert | Taylor Edwards | Kasey Eggleston | Michael Fariss | David Gallagher | Kirk German | Angela Gutiérrez | John Howrey | Monique Huff | Stacey Huston | Heather Huggins | Erik James | Larry Lehew | Robin Lewis | Jill Leberknight | Meg Matthews | Katie McDowell | Dr. Michael McKelvey | Ginger Morris | Aaron Moten | Melissa Rosenberg | Jacob Scott | Alan Shorter | Dustin Struhall | Marita Stryker | Scott Thompson | Justin Triezenberg | David Valdes
Jazz Choreographer, Senior Camp
Stacey is happy to be involved with TAP as often as possible. After graduating from UT with a Business degree, she attended The University of California at Irvine and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Dance, Theater and open-by-audition-only Choreography program. At UC Irvine and an away-program in NYC, she studied dance, voice and acting under such renowned greats as Susan Stroman, Uta Hagen, Donald McKayle and Harry Garland to name only a few. Stacey has been involved in partner dancing in one way or another for over 13 years. She tested out and is certified through American Style Gold levels and competed heavily in International Latin for 3 years. Her rankings include top six placements in Rising Star events in many national competitions like California, Nevada, Washington, Virginia, and Florida. Upon completion of her competing career in 1996, she was ranked 7th in the U.S. and 13th in the World in Rising Star Latin and Jive styles. Her vast experience includes Feature Films, Television appearances, Commercials, Special Gala events, and stage productions. Her most recent work has been 5 years with stage show productions in theaters and hotels in California, New York, Philadelphia, and finally overseas on cruise ships. She has quite literally been around the world and back.
Larry Powell is a playwright, actor, director, and teacher. New York Credits: Actors Theatre (The Christians, The Mountaintop). Regional Theatre: Goddess at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (2013 National Music Theater Conference); The Brothers Size at Everyman Theatre; Marcus, Or the Secret of Sweet at City Theatre; Brokeology at Kansas City Repertory Theatre; The Task at Quantum Theatre; and Bronzeville at the Robey Theatre Company (NAACP Theatre Award Nomination). New York Credits: Brokeology (u/s) at Lincoln Center Theater; Ruby Place Nest on the Ground at Signature Theatre; Dutchman at Labyrinth Theater Company’s NYNY Festival; Sakharam Binder at 3-Legged Dog; Dunkfest ’88 at Ars Nova; and The Fire This Time Festival, among others. Additional Credits: Powell is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama (Roth-Levine Acting Award).
Danny holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious School Of Drama. He has performed in NYC, regional theatres, and films. He was in The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife on Broadway with Linda Lavin, Michele Lee, and Tony Roberts. He has worked with young artists as a theatre teachers, private acting coach, and workshop presenter.
Counselor, Acting Teacher, Residential Director
Carson Alexander (BFA in Acting, Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University) loves TAP CAMP! He graduated from St. Stephen’s where he studied acting throughout high school and was active on the Helm stage. Carson is a New York City resident, where he starred in a one-man show Off-Broadway. Theatre has been his passion since he was 13 and he hopes to make it his life work.
Carla Anderson (Professional Dancer; BFA in Dance, Conservatory of Music, Univeristy of Missouri, Kansas City) has studied dance for 20 years. She has worked as a dancer for Crystal Cruises, multiple theatre companies across the country, Oakland Ballet, Anaheim Ballet, and Albany Berkshire Ballet. She has also danced in numerous films, music videos and industrials. She currently teaches dance and works as a choreographer and guest artsist on the West Coast.
Director/Choreographer, Junior Camp
Kelly Bales served as Director/Choreographer for TAP Junior for the past 5 years and Choreographer for TAP Senior in 2009. She has taught for Austin Musical Theatre and Footworks Academy. Kelly has worked as assistant director and choreographer for a number of middle and high schools and most recently for Summer Stock Austin. Kelly was an original member of Austin Musical Theatre’s Junior and Senior Companies and participated in over a dozen professional shows with Austin Musical Theatre at the Paramount Theatre. Kelly also played the role of Irene in Crazy For You at Zilker Hillside Theatre and occasionally performed with The Small Stars, an Austin rock band.
Michael is a professional actor, singer, dancer, teacher and choreographer (AEA Member). He currently resides in New York City after having received his BFA with Departmental Honors in Musical Theatre from The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. Selected performance credits include – NYC Theatre: The Cradle Will Rock (Theatre Ten Ten). Regional: The Drowsy Chaperone & Guys and Dolls (STAGES St. Louis); Guys and Dolls (Riverside Theatre in Florida) 42nd Street, The Producers & My One and Only (St. Louis MUNY); Kiss Me Kate (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); She Loves Me & Godspell (Hope Summer Repertory Theatre). Other selected performances credits include: Oklahoma! (Will Parker), Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Lead Performer), Angels in America: Millenium Approaches (Prior Walter) & Cabaret (Emcee). Recent choreographic credits include: The Producers & My Fair Lady (Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre), Man of La Mancha (Insight Theatre Company).
Movement Teacher, Counselor, Dance Captain
Michelle Brandt is a graduate of St. Edward’s University. Her performance credits at St. Edward’s include City of Angels, The Stronger, and On the Town. She also served as the choreographer for the mainstage production of Peer Gynt. Michelle is a founding company member of DA! Theatre Collective, a movement based acting company in Austin. As a DA! member, she has assisted several workshops teaching the Droznin System of physical actor training at T.E.T.A and in local middle schools. Michelle has spent over ten years studying and training in classical ballet, the Cecchetti Method, tap, jazz, lyrical dance, modern dance, acting, and voice in the greater Austin area. She currently resides in New York City.
TAP Junior Director/Choreographer
Travis is currently a resident Install Production Stage Manager for Norwegian Cruise Line, putting new entertainment experiences onboard the fleet of 13 Norwegian Cruise Line ships. He just opened the critically acclaimed The Illusionarium onboard the brand new Norwegian Getaway. The show, the only magic event in the round ever conceived, was conceived by Las Vegas Headlining Magician Jeff Hobson, directed by Astaire award winning director Patti Wilcox (B’way: Motown, A Night with Jannis Joplin) featuring scenic design by multi Tony Award Winning designer David Gallo (Memphis, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Drowsy Chaperone) Costume Design by multi Tony and Academy Nominee Eduardo Sicangco and an score by Emmy winning composer Edward Kiessel. Having stage managed musical theatre, opera, drama, circus and magic, some favorite credits include the world première workshop of One For My Baby: The Music of Harold Arlen, the off-broadway revival of Carrie, Assassins ‚Thoroughly Modern Millie and Oklahoma with SummerStock Austin, and the regional premieres of Becky’s New Car and The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. He also spent three months in Las Vegas as the stage management intern for The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil in 2009. Travis is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) with a BFA in Theater Design and Production with an emphasis in Stage Management. He is a graduate of the St. Stephen’s Theatre Focus Program and loves coming back to TAP as often as possible.(Camper in ’04, Councilor in ’06, and Production Manager in ‘07/’08/’10). He is a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association. His next project will be a brand new production of Pricilla Queen of the Desert aboard the Norwegian Epic.
Head of Filmmaking, Senior Camp
Buckner is a graduate of the University of North Texas. Buckner has been working professionally for over ten years. His work in the music industry has been broadcast both national and internationally on MTV and he served as the Music Video Judge at the 1999 SXSW Film Festival. In 1999 he co-founded Red Frame Productions, a full service production company in Austin Texas. Since that time, Buckner has worked as a Producer, Director, Director of Photography, and Sound Mixer for several diverse types of film and video projects. Over the course of the last several years Buckner’s work has been screened at film festivals including SXSW and Slamdance as well as being broadcast nationally on PBS and ABC. Buckner has been the head of Filmmaking for Texas Arts Project since its inception in 2003.
Technical Design, Senior Camp
Paul is an active set designer in and around Austin. He has also worked as a scenic artist for the Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Stage, and Connecticut Repertory Theatre; and as Scene and Costume Designer for Finborough Theatre in London, England. In 2004, Davis was nominated for his work on The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as a B. Iden Payne Award for The Drawer Boy. His students have placed among the top in the state at the Texas Thespian Convention for set, costume and mask design. Many have also qualified for National Competition is Set and Lighting Desgin.
Lisa del Rosario
Co-Head of Dance/TBallet & Modern Teacher & Choreographer, Senior Camp
Lisa began her dance studies at the Margo Marshall School of Ballet and the Cleveland San Jose School of Ballet. She continued her training as a presidential scholarship student at the University of Texas at Austin where she received her B.F.A. in Dance. She also studied classical piano and violin for many years and in her later years Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, Vipassana Meditation, Taoist Meditation, and the Feldenkrais Method of movement education. Lisa danced professionally in the Philippines with The Philippine National Folk Dance Company, Bayanihan. She currently dances locally with Moving Voices Dance, Sharir/Bustamante Danceworks, Sheep Army/Elsewhere Dance Theatre, Subclavian Groove Dance Company, Yellow Tape Construction Co., and other independent choreographers. Lisa has taught and choreographed at the UT Informal Classes, the Dougherty Arts School, the McCallum High School Fine Arts Academy, and the Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet divisions of the Ballet Austin Academy. She is thrilled to be in her third season teaching for the Texas Arts Project at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Lisa is also undergoing training in New York City to become a Guild Certified Practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method.
Tap Teacher/Tap Choreographer, Senior Camp
Rona began studying ballet and tap at the age of 8, in many schools across the country as she traveled with her military family. Arriving in Austin at age twelve, she began professional ballet training with Eugene Slavin and Alexandra Nadal (Slavin-Nadal School of Ballet). Under their direction, she danced with Austin Civic Ballet (now Ballet Austin) for eight years. After graduating from U. T. with a B.F.A. emphasizing graphic design, she joined Austin On Tap, a nationally touring company based in Austin. Ms. Ebert traveled the with the company for five years and in 1990, joined Tapestry Dance Company, followed by Estampa Y Española, a local Flamenco company. A serious injury put a stop to her career for two years. Upon recovering in 1996, Ms. Ebert began working with Scott Thompson and Richard Byron, directors of Austin Musical Theatre She was graphic designer for the company until 2002, and has danced in their productions of Peter Pan, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Music Man and Celebrate Austin Musical Theatre, The Wizard of Oz as well as numerous Gala productions. In addition to her professional career as a graphic designer, Ms. Ebert has taught tap and ballet for over 20 years at various locations including Austin Civic Ballet, The YMCA, the Slavin Nadal School of Ballet, and Austin Musical Theatre.
Musical Theatre TA, Counselor, Vocal Assistant, Dance Captain
Taylor Edwards is a junior at Texas State University where she is pursuing her BFA in Musical Theatre under the direction of Kaitlin Hopkins. Texas State credits include Madeleine True in Lippa’s The Wild Party, Ermengarde in Lippa’s A Little Princess, and Vivian in Oklahoma!, as well as Reader in The D’Amboise Project, A Workshop under the direction of Chris D’Amboise. Other credits include Nikki in Sweet Charity and Usherette in The Producers with Summer Stock Austin.
Guest Artist, Dance
Kasey Eggleston is an English Teacher at Dripping Springs High School. She has danced in numerous professional musical theatre productions with Austin Musical Theatre, Austin Playhouse, Zachary Scott Theatre and more.
Michael Fariss is in his third year studying Acting at Webster University in St. Louis. He performed with Summer Stock Austin for five seasons. His final role was the Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors.
Musical Theatre TA, Dance Captain, Dance Instructor, Counselor
Lindsey Ferguson hails from NYC where she is a performer, choreographer, and dance instructor. She has worked all over the world as a dancer and dance captain with Celebrity Cruises. She has worked as a guest artist with Chicago Tap Theatre, a performer on Sesame Street, and a teacher with the Joffrey Ballet School and Times Square Center for the Arts. She is also an aerialist and ballroom dancer.
Residential Director, Acting Instructor
David Gallagher graduated from St. Edward’s university in Austin, TX. He received his bachelors in Theatre Arts and a minor in business and music. Currently he lives in New York City and has been for the past two years. He is a member of Actors Equity Association, which is the union for professional actors. Some of his New York credits include, “Othello” produced by Wandering Bark Theatre company, “Estreies Verdes” with Full Stop Theatre Collective, and last year he had the wonderful opportunity to intern with the great Acting Company. He has been the Residential Director/Acting Coach for Texas Arts Project for the past 4 years.
Residential Director, Senior Camp
Kirk German has worked in the arts and education for over ten years in three states. At Middlebury College in Vermont, where he graduated with honors with a degree in theatre, literature, and art history, he worked extensively as a playwright, director, actor, and stage manger. He also worked as an RA, a feature writer for the campus newspaper arts section, and as a DJ for the local radio station. During the summers, he taught extensively for a variety of theatre camps and arts education enrichment programs, including a two-month stint as an RA and instructor for the Exploration Summer Program in Wellesley, Massachusetts. After graduating, he worked for a year as an assistant dean and residence hall director at Middlebury College while also writing and directing for Middleground Children’s Theatre Company. Since returning to his hometown of Austin, Kirk has performed with several companies including Austin Lyric Opera, TexArts, Austin Playhouse, Different Stages, Naughty Austin, and Theatre at the J, for which he received the B. Iden Payne “Best Ensemble” award along with four other actors. He has directed several children’s shows, including James and the Giant Peach for the Austin Scottish Rite Children’s Theatre and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown for kidsActing. During the day, Kirk has happily worked for the past five years as a teacher of English and theatre at Huntington-Surrey High School in Hyde Park.
Counselor/Dance Captain, Junior Camp
Angela Gutiérrez was born in Monterrey, México and began taking dance lesson at an early age. She attended tap camp for three years in a row getting the award for musical theatre major of the year in 2010. She’s won several prizes in different dance competitions like Nuvo, LADF and Festival Nacional de Baile del ITESM. Currently she teaches dance to young girls at a studio in her hometown as well as choreograph for the dance team at her university.
Musical Director/Musical Theatre Instructor, Senior Camp
Adjunct faculty at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Curry College. Currently pursuing his MFA in the Dynamic Media Institute at MassArt. Theatre credits include Bat Boy (Metro Stage Company, BroadwayWorld Boston Award), Sunfish (Stoneham Theatre), Oklahoma, Footloose, Les Miserables, 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Once Upon a Mattress (Stoneham Theatre’s Young Company), The Rocky Horror Show (Suffolk University), Pageant, Personals (Naughty Austin Productions), The Rocky Horror Show, The Santaland Diaries, (ZACH Theatre), You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Austin Musical Theatre), Merrily We Roll Along and Passion (Austin Circle of Theaters). John has taught for Stoneham Theatre, Austin Musical Theatre, Austin School of Music, ZACH Theatre and more. John is a graphic designer. His Map of Musical Theatre History can be found in Strange Maps by Frank Jacobs or at chonny.com.
Monique Huff is a Junior B.F.A Musical Theatre major at Ithaca College. Ithaca credits include Kit in Top Girls and Miriam in A Thousand Years, a workshop. Her other credits include playing Logainne Schwartzandbrubenierre in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Hangar Theatre.
Head of Dance/Jazz Teacher/Acting Teacher, Senior Camp
Heather has taught at Baylor University, Ballet Austin’s Musical Theatre Division, Musical Theatre Institute at St. Stephens Episcopal School, Footworks Dance Center, Zilker Academy, Performers’ Workshop, Young Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Kids’ College and DanceWorks. Regionally she has performed with Austin Musical Theatre, Broadway Texas!, Hyde Park Theatre, Vortex Repertory Theatre, Sharir + Bustamante Danceworks, Silver Star Productions, Waco Musical Theatre, Inc., Zachary Scott Theatre Center and Zilker Theatre Productions. Her recent performance credits include Rhonda in You’re No One’s Nothing Special, Frenchie in Cabaret, Kathleen in Chopper and Lilianna in Windblown, conceived by Kimmie Rhodes and directed by Joe Sears. Heather is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance, where she was a member of Dance Repertory Theatre under the direction of Yakov Sharir, Lyn Elam and Jeffery Bullock. Heather received her MFA at the Boris Schukin Insititue at the Vakhtangov Theatre, a studio of the Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) in Moscow, Russia. She now spends most of her time as the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of DA! Theatre Collective.
Musical Director, TAP Jr
Erik James is a classically trained pianist and composer living in New York City. Frequently playing and Music Directing cabaret and theatre, New York knows him as a versatile pianist, singer, and entertainer. Erik also makes a living by composing and producing music for TV and Film. His credits include the College Baseball World Series theme song, “Omaha” for ESPN, as well as many orchestral, pop and rock library packages for ESPN, Spike TV, and Inside Edition. Erik has collaborated with such musicians as Frank Black (of the Pixies), Stephanie J. Block (“Wicked”, “Pirate Queen”), Mario Cantone (“Sex and the City”), and Mark Mulcahy.
Robin Lewis is a veteran of several Broadway stage productions including Disney’s Beauty & the Beast (dance captain), A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden (dance captain) and Fosse (including the film version) with Ben Vereen and Ann Reinking. Additional credits include the Off-Broadway production of The Green Heart as well as the first national Broadway touring production of Mel Brooks’ The Producers starring Jason Alexander and Martin Short. Lewis has taught for the University of Texas, Saint Edward’s University and has been a guest lecturer for American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensives, Ballet Austin, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Oklahoma University, Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Camp Broadway in NYC, US Performing Arts Camp and others nationwide. He has also been a guest teacher for, and holds membership with, the Musical Theater Educators Alliance and the Texas Educational Theatre Association among others. He is also a member of Actor’s Equity.
An actor in varied professional settings for over 20 years and enthusiastic teacher of theatre, Ms. Leberknight has taught for some of the top performing arts organizations in Austin and on the East Coast where she grew up. She believes in a strong educational foundation based on learning technique and strives to help students build their “traveling suitcase of performing tools.” She holds a BA from Penn State University and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Residential Director, Junior Camp
Meg is a Senior at TCU majoring in Child Development and Spanish but is originally from Dripping Springs, Tx. She participated in a few musicals while in high school and was a member of the high school band. Meg is very excited to be working at TAP Camp this summer and getting to work with the students.
Film TA, Counselor
Katie McDowell is majoring in Radio/Television/Film at the University of Texas, Austin. She has directed, written, produced and filmed several short films over the past five years that have run the festival circuit, including WorldFest, Berkeley Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has worked internships in Toronto, Canada (CTV) and Austin, Texas. She recently finished shooting her first feature film with fellow TAP camp alum, Andrew Edison. They won the Audience Award for Best Feature at Slamdance Festival 2011. This will be her seventh year with TAP camp and she can’t wait for TAP 2011.
Dr. Michael McKelvey
Musical Theatre & Voice Instructor; Senior Camp
Dr. McKelvey is the Head of Private Voice/Associate Professor at Point Park University. He served as coördinator of Music at St. Edward’s University for 6 years and received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas. Performance credits include work with Austin Lyric Opera, The State/Live Oak Theatre, Austin Musical Theatre, Austin Shakespeare Festival, and Mary Moody Northern Theatre, Dallas Opera, Shreveport Opera, Theatre Three, Deep Ellum Opera Theatre, New Texas Music Festival. He has been a musical and vocal director for Austin Musical Theatre, The State Theatre Company, and Austin Playhouse. This past year Dr Michael Mckelvey won Austin Critic’s Table award for best musical direction and received his third B. Iden Payne nomination. He has served on the faculties of Concordia University, St. Stephen’s School, Broadway Texas/AMT Academy, The Zilker Academy @ Footworks and Mountain View College. He also runs a private vocal studio in north Austin, opened a new theatre production company in Austin, where he has won a number of awards for Best Director and Best Musical Director.
Head of Acting
Aaron Clifton Moten, Juilliard Graduate, joins the Texas Arts Project faculty as Head of Acting for 2014! Austin born, Aaron is a St. Stephen’s alumnus and is eager to return to his roots for three weeks this summer after having begun his very successful career in NYC. Aaron’s Broadway debut was in “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Blair Underwood, Nicole Ari Parker and Daphne Rubin-Vega. He has appeared on TV in “Happyish” (ShowTime), “Criminal Justice” (HBO), and “NCIS” (CBS). Most recently, Aaron originated the role of Avery in the Pulitzer Prize winning play “The Flick.” The Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway play garnered Aaron nominations for the Drama Desk Awards as well as the New York Times Clive Barnes Award for young actors and dancers. Aaron Moten currently resides in New York City. Originally from Austin, Texas, Aaron has performed locally to fantastic reviews, as Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, Emcee in Cabaret, and Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. While studying Acting at The Juilliard School, Aaron played King Henry V in Henry V, Semyon Medvedenko in The Seagull, George in A Raisin In the Sun and many other notable roles. We are so very fortunate to have this amazing teaching artist on our team!
Director/Choreographer, Junior Camp
Melissa Rosenberg is so excited to be working with TAPjr! A former Austinite, she has been living in Chicago since graduating from Millikin University and has been paving her way as an actor. Most recently, she completed a US National Tour of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and worked with Light Opera Works in their New Musicals program to develop new musical theatre shows. She has also had the opportunity to be a teaching artist through American Theatre Company’s Bridge program, directing a group of high school students in an original play, as well as an actor/director with Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre. This is her fourth year working with TAP and she couldn’t be happier for the opportunity (and to be back in the Austin sunshine). Thanks to Ginger for trusting and believing, and to YOU, for sharing your kids with me. Not a day went by without a smile and the memories created will brighten my heart always.
Vocal Coach and Musical Theatre Director, TAPAdvanced
Alan Shorter received his BA in Acting/Directing from Indiana University and his MFA in Theatre Arts with a Directing Concentration from Minnesota State University. Mr. Shorter worked as an Instructor, Music Director, Artistic Associate, Stage Director and Composer for The Children’s Theatre Company & School in Minneapolis. He served as Director of Music Theatre for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Graduate Assistant in the Department of Theatre and Dance for Minnesota State University and Musical Theatre BFA Program Coördinator/Assistant Professor for The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Mr. Shorter has worked professionally as a Stage Director, Choreographer, Actor, Musical Director and Composer for college departments, organizations and theatre companies across the country. He is associated with The Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, The American Composers Forum, The American Federation of Musicians, The Theatre Communications Group and The Educational Theatre Association. Mr. Shorter is currently an Assistant Professor/Performance Faculty for Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX.
Dustin graduated from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ in 2007 and hightailed it back to Austin soon after. Since returning, his music education continues with work as an accompanist, vocal coach and music director. As a music director, he regularly collaborates with Stuart Moulton on his many musical adventures. Other artists include Joe Hartman on variations of his character “Cathy Dresden”, with Ginger Morris in the summers as music director for the Texas Arts Project. Other credits as a music director include Anything Goes at McCallum High School Fine Arts Academy, and Songs from the boX with Cathie Sheridan. As a keyboardist, Rockin’ Christmas Party (ZACH), Little Shop of Horrors (NJ), Wizard of Oz (Broadway Texas), Guys & Dolls (Broadway Texas Academy), Into the Woods (VLA, ZTP), Sweeney Todd (Westminster Actor’s Company), and The Will Roger’s Follies (ZTP).
Scott has over 20 years teaching experience. Though currently residing and teaching in New York City, he has worked nationwide at universities, conservatories, dance academies, and summer camps. Scott has guest lectured at NYU, California State College at Fullerton, Birmingham University, University of Arizona and the College of the Desert in Palm Springs, California. Scott Thompson has won numerous awards for directing and choreographing some of Broadway’s brightest talents in over 100 productions nationwide. Scott directed Tony Award winner Betty Buckley in her first GYPSY, country music legend Larry Gatlin in THE MUSIC MAN and Tony Award winner Cady Huffman in DAMN YANKEES. For the Library of Congress, he choreographed an all-star Gershwin Gala featuring four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, recording star Dawn Upshaw and Tony Award nominees Lara Teeter, David Garrison and Wanda Richert. For Princess Cruise Lines, Scott Created, Directed and Choreographed a multi-million dollar production show BROADWAY BALLROOM, which premiered on Princess Cruises new star ocean liner the Ruby Princess. Scott co-wrote and will direct/choreograph One For My Baby, a new musical in NYC.
Musical Director, Junior Camp
Justin graduated from Illinois State University in 2011 with degrees in theatre and Spanish. Since then, he has played for numerous camps, concerts, and full-length musicals. He currently lives in Naperville, Illinois (Chicago) but jumped at the chance to travel while doing what he loves. He’s very excited to see the talent that Texas has to offer!