Arts Education in North Alabama
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Our Mission

Provide Theatre Arts Access Through Production, Education, and Outreach

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Our Purpose:

Enrich the Lives of Children and Families through Theatre and Arts Education

Our Vision:

Be a Center of Excellence for Advancing Theatre and Arts Education to Positively Impact Our Local Community and Beyond

History

Created in 1961 by local parents wanting to provide a theater experience for their children, FPCTA has grown into the leading theater arts education organization in North Alabama. Operating as a community theater in an area of the state where professional theater is limited to touring and presenting houses, FPCTA attracts the area’s highest caliber of volunteer artists, technicians and performers to execute a production slate each year at the Von Braun Center Playhouse. Each production requires roughly 350 volunteers both on and off stage. Individual casts feature local talent in age appropriate roles, which often leads to families serving together multi-generationally. No costs are associated with performing in FPCTA shows and auditions are open to the public. All productions provide hands-on training for the next generation of theater artists by providing experience in all aspects of production. 

In addition to presenting discounted matinee performances for 2600 North Alabama public, private and homeschool students annually, our Fantasy Playhouse Academy provides 2100+ theater arts educational opportunities each year to students ages 3 – adult with classes, camps, school partnerships, and private workshops.

Recognized by the State of Alabama Council of the Arts as a former Governor’s Award recipient and the Madison (City) Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Award for Service and Leadership, FPCTA’s legacy is ever evolving to meet the developing and changing needs of the community that epitomizes the innovation and creative thinking that launched men into space. Named the 2017 Huntsville/Madison County Nonprofit Organization of the year, FPCTA is a community treasure and vital contributor to the $89.9 million arts and culture industry in Madison County. 

Fantasy & Fantasy Jr. at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center

 

Our Team

 

Karen Mockensturm, Executive Director

ExecutiveDirector@FantasyPlayhouse.com

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Karen Mockensturm holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Florida. She is a former arts administrator at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA, one of America’s premiere regional theaters. Her tenure at the Walnut included seven seasons, where she also served as Casting Director for over 50 productions including national and international co-productions. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Screen Actors’ Guild and the American Federation of Radio & Television Artists, Karen’s 16 year professional acting career (as Karen Hinton) included work in radio, television, film, improvisational comedy, and regional theater across the country. Favorite roles include: She in Maybe Baby, It’s You!, Viola in Twelfth Night, Frenchy in Grease, Kyra in Skylight, and Mary in Vanities. Some of Karen’s most important work off stage was as a teaching artist and acting instructor at the Walnut in Philadelphia and with the Roundabout Theatre Company, Creative Acting Company and Broadway Classroom in New York City.

Karen relocated to Huntsville in November of 2002. After almost a decade in the transportation industry, she was honored to take the helm at Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater & Academy in 2012. Under her leadership, Fantasy Playhouse has experienced unprecedented growth in both programatic reach and revenues and was named the 2017 Non-profit of the Year byt he Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

Karen served as the 2018 President for the Women’s Economic Development Council. She has served as a grant panelist for the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the ALSDE Arts Integration Grant Program and as member of Mayor Tommy Battle’s Arts & Culture Advisory Council. An alumni of Leadership Greater Huntsville’s Flagship Class 31 and Focus 28, she received the Madison Alabama Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Award for Excellence in Service and Leadership and was recognized by the Girl Scouts of North Alabama as a 2018 Woman of Distinction.

Karen believes in the power of theatre and arts education to serve as a change agent in today’s digital world and is deeply grateful to be in part of a community that values creativity in all its forms.


Candice Cooper, Education Director

EducationDirector@FantasyPlayhouse.com

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Candice Cooper is the Education Director at Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy. Ms. Cooper holds a BA in theatre from Jacksonville State University. Since graduating, she has worked at several theatres along the eastern U.S. ranging from Alabama to New York as a director, stage manager and educator. Ms. Cooper has been the Director of Education and Production, as well as a faculty member and Director of the Musical Showcases for Acting For Young People (AFYP), a highly regarded children’s theatre in the Washington, DC area. Prior to working with AFYP, she spent four years with Virginia Stage Company, a large regional theatre in Norfolk, VA, as the Education Associate and Tour Manger. She has served on the faculties of Imagination Stage, Educational Theatre Company, Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre and Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts. Ms. Cooper is thrilled to be back home in the Madison area with her husband and daughter.


megan Carter, Advancement Director

megan.carter@FantasyPlayhouse.com

Megan has a BS in Communications with a focus on Public Relations from the University of North Alabama. After she graduated from college she had the opportunity to live and work in Memphis, Birmingham, and Orlando. Some of her past roles include Community Relations Manager for the Huntsville Havoc, Education Director for the Germantown Community Theatre, Program Manager for the Alabama Folk School at Camp McDowell and Program Manager for the Burritt Folk School. Megan spent 5 years working for the Walt Disney World Company as an Education Coordinator before returning to Huntsville with her husband and two kids.

Megan grew up as a #fantasykid and is so excited to be back and working for this organization she loves!


Renée Gardiner, Business Manager

BusinessManager@FantasyPlayhouse.com

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Renée S. Gardiner has a BS in Elementary Education and an MS in Special Education. She taught for three years in Virginia public schools prior to raising and homeschooling her children. During twenty years of military travels, Renée volunteered with many organizations including Scouts (BSA, GSA, AHG), the Red Cross, Officer Wives’ Club, and MCCW. Upon moving to the Huntsville area in summer 2008, she quickly became involved in community theater as child chauffeur, backstage security, and usher. She became Fantasy’s House Manager in the 2010-2011 season, was elected to the Board of Directors in April 2011 and served as Treasurer 2013-2018. Renée and her husband, Scott, a retired Army Officer, have five children.


Kailey Burkhardt, Education Coordinator, Lab 87 director, tour manager

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Kailey Burkhardt is the Education & Outreach Coordinator at Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy. She is a senior at the University of Alabama in Huntsville double majoring in theatre and English. She began taking classes at FPCT in 2003 and has now appeared both on and offstage in 20 of their productions including Alice in Wonderland (Alice), Sleeping Beauty (Snapdragon), and A Christmas Carol (Martha Cratchit) for which she earned a Wings nomination for Best Female Youth.  Along with assisting and teaching classes, Kailey has also student directed for the Academy and assistant directed 2015’s The Snow Queen.

Active in the community theatre scene, Kailey has also performed and assisted in directing productions with HCCA (The King and I) and Theatre Huntsville (Lend Me a Tenor).  UAH credits include Agnes of God, Suddenly Last Summer, Rantoul and Die, Spoonlake Blues, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Kailey is the UAH Theatre Department’s work study student. She oversees the upkeep of the prop and costume shop. This past summer she earned her first professional credit as the ASM of New Country, off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre with Fair Trade Productions and Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre.


Dana Clark, Education Coordinator, Lab 87 Coordinator

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Dana.Clark@FantasyPlayhouse.com

Dana Clark holds a BFA in musical theatre from the University of Mississippi and an MM in vocal performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. While in school, Dana taught tap dance and private voice. As a part of her graduate program, she served as a teaching artist at Boston schools, teaching basic music concepts to grades 1-5. Dana has also choreographed for many organizations, including Mississippi: The Dance Company, University of Mississippi Theatre, and the Kate Smith D.A.R. High School Show Choir in Grant, AL. She received an Honorable Mention in the contemporary category from the Panoply Choreography Competition 2010. She has worked as an assistant director with Huntsville Community Chorus Association, and continues to participate both onstage and offstage with UAH Theatre, Fantasy, and Theatre Huntsville.


Bradley Cooper, Education Production Coordinator – bio coming soon!


Kendra Kizer, Marketing Coordinator

Kendra grew up a #fantasykid and has only ever dreamed to work in theatre since then. She studied Musical Theatre at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City and has worked at Dollywood as an actress, puppeteer, and stage manager. For five years she worked at Walt Disney World giving tours, training new Cast Members, and leading marching bands down Main St. USA for Disney Performing Arts.

In addition to her marketing duties, Kendra is proud to be a part of FPCTA’s touring show Poarch Creek Courage. Being able to work in the arts in Huntsville is a dream she never could have imagined would be available. She is so excited to watch people be inspired and find their passion for the next sixty years at FPCTA.


Kelley Reischauer, Development Coordinator —Bio Coming Soon


Rebecca BrownGraphic Designer

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Rebecca graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York in 2011. She earned a BFA in Graphic Design with a Minor in Marketing and a Concentration in Communications. Rebecca returned back to her hometown of Huntsville, AL after college and has been working at Simple Helix as a Graphic Designer/Web Developer since. She enjoys the challenge of crafting a compelling visual message that informs, influences and engages others. She currently lives in Fayetteville, TN with her husband and 1 year old son.


Teaching Artists

Mariah Beachboard, an alumna of Mary Washington College (MWC) and the Fredericksburg Theatre Company, has taught acting and directing at Christian Youth Theatre Fredericksburg for eight years. During that time, she directed Mary Poppins, Honk!, Scapin, and The Canterbury Tales. For recitals and showcases, she often wrote plays which highlighted her students’ talents and new skills. She also taught acting and dance at The Performance Place in Fredericksburg, VA. As co-owner of Spoken Word Events, LLP, she produced marketing videos for the Spotsylvania Education Foundation.  She studies voice acting at Hollywood Huntsville, and is a finalist for the Rocket City Playwright Series.  Mariah Beachboard is thoroughly excited to be teaching Fantasy in the Classroom!

Kailey Burkhardt is the Education Coordinator at Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater & Academy. She holds a BA in theatre and English University of Alabama in Huntsville. She began taking classes at FPCT in 2003 and has now appeared both on and offstage in 20 of their productions including Alice in Wonderland (Alice), Sleeping Beauty (Snapdragon), and A Christmas Carol (Martha Cratchit) for which she earned a Wings nomination for Best Female Youth. Kailey is a teaching artist in both Fantasy Academy and Fantasy in the Classroom capacities, as well as the director of Lab 87. Active in the community theatre scene, Kailey has also performed and assisted in directing productions with HCCA (The King and I) and Theatre Huntsville (Lend Me a Tenor). UAH credits include Agnes of God, Suddenly Last Summer, Rantoul and Die, Spoonlake Blues, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Eurydice.  In 2015, she earned her first professional credit as the ASM of New Country, off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre with Fair Trade Productions and Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre.

Lauren Carlton has been teaching in the academy for several years and will continue to teach during our summer camp season. An active actor, mezzo-soprano, and teaching artist, Lauren has appeared with Rocket City Shakespeare, the Athenian Players, Oregon’s Astoria Music Festival, Greensboro Light Opera and Song, the University of Alabama Opera Theatre, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, and Ars Nova School of the Arts. Recent stage credits include Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), Richard III (Queen Elizabeth, Richmond), Coriolanus (Brutus), Eugene O’Neill’s The Web (Rose), Trifles (Mrs. Hale), The Gondoliers (Duchess of Plaza-Toro), Die Fledermaus (Prince Orlofsky), and Gianni Schicchi (Zita). Lauren holds a BA in journalism and a minor in opera studies from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Her work as an arts columnist has been published in NewMusicalTheatre.com’s Green Room, OnStage, The Crimson White, and The Huntsville Times. She will be attending Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas in the fall of 2016 as a first-year MFA Performance and Pedagogy candidate.

Dana Clark is the Education Coordinator at Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater & Academy. She holds a BFA in musical theatre from the University of Mississippi and an MM in vocal performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College.  While in school, Dana taught tap dance and private voice.  As a part of her graduate program, she served as a teaching artist at Boston schools, teaching basic music concepts to grades 1-5. Dana has also choreographed for many organizations, including Mississippi: The Dance Company, University of Mississippi Theatre, and the Kate Smith D.A.R. High School Show Choir in Grant, AL. She received an Honorable Mention in the contemporary category from the Panoply Choreography Competition 2010. She has worked as an assistant director with Huntsville Community Chorus Association, and continues to participate both onstage and offstage with UAH Theatre, Fantasy, and Theatre Huntsville. Dana enjoys creating curriculum themed around current films and Broadway Hits: think Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemHamilton, and Thoroughly Modern Millie!

Candice Cooper is the Education Director at Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy. Ms. Cooper holds a BA in theatre from Jacksonville State University. Since graduating, she has worked at several theatres along the eastern U.S. ranging from Alabama to New York as a director, stage manager and educator. Ms. Cooper has been the Director of Education and Production, as well as a faculty member and Director of the Musical Showcases for Acting For Young People (AFYP), a highly regarded children’s theatre in the Washington, DC area. Prior to working with AFYP, she spent four years with Virginia Stage Company, a large regional theatre in Norfolk, VA, as the Education Associate and Tour Manger. She has served on the faculties of Imagination Stage, Educational Theatre Company, Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre and Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts. Ms. Cooper is thrilled to be back home in the Madison area with her husband and daughter.

David-Neil Edwards is a rising senior theatre major from Spartanburg, SC. He has performed on the Main Stage, LAB Theatre, and as a cast member with the Overreactors improv troupe since his freshman year. He will be making his directorial debut this coming Fall with a production of Laura Gunderson’s I and You. His professional credits include teaching improv at Camp McCall in South Carolina, SC’s Upstate Shakespeare Festival, and acting for SC Educational Television.  He will be playing Ferdinand in Huntsville Shakespeare’s The Tempest this July at UAH. David-Neil would like to thank God and the Staff at Fantasy for allowing him to be apart of the Summer Camp Staff.

Maegan Edwards A native of Huntsville, Maegan Edwards has been an assistant and teacher for over a decade. She has worked with numerous organizations including Merrimack Dance Your Dreams, Asbury Homeschool, and Community Ballet Association/Huntsville Ballet School as both a volunteer instructor and as a member of the faculty. Ms. Edwards has taken multiple Fantasy classes, was a member of the Fantasy’s Players, and Assistant Directed the group in 2012. Maegan has also worked as a Teaching Artist in FPCT’s Fantasy in the Classroom outreach program.  Ms. Edwards is currently attending school at Loyola in New Orleans pursuing a degree in Music Therapy. Ms. Edwards works closely with the PRISM project, and after graduation hopes to work with children with special needs or with the Veterans of America.

Tyler Henderson graduated with a BA in music from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an MM from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University while working as an Associate Instructor of Voice. A native of Huntsville, he was active in many local theater groups while attending Lee High School. While pursuing his Masters degree, he appeared with Cardinal Stage Company in Bloomington, Indiana as Edward Rutledge in 1776 and Grantair in Les Misérables, and a soloist with the Hendricks Symphony. Tyler is an experienced performer and instructor in the realms of straight plays, musical theater, oratorio, jazz, and opera.

Elaine Hubbard has performed, directed, designed, and choreographed award-winning shows for many North Alabama theatre companies through the years, including Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy, HCCA, The Whole Backstage, Independent Musical Productions and Theatre Huntsville. She holds a BS degree in theatre arts from Charter Oak College in Hartford, CT. In the 1990s she served as Artistic Director of Theatre ‘Round the Corner in Huntsville, providing over 50 productions to thousands of theatre patrons from the Tennessee Valley and beyond. Elaine is currently president of the Board of Directors at Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and is a teaching artist for the Academy. In 2013 she was the recipient of the 45th annual Virginia Hammill Simms Award for her volunteer support of the arts in Huntsville. When away from theatre duties, Elaine enjoys quilting, gardening and genealogy. She and her husband John travel extensively and delight in being with their granddaughters, Riley and Eliza.

Lorie Hubscher has been active in Huntsville theater for thirty years as an actor, director, writer and teacher. She has been awarded several times for her work with Fantasy Playhouse, Theater Huntsville, and other organizations as a Wings Award recipient for Best Show, Best Director and Best Actress. Lorie received her degree in communication arts from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She currently works for the Huntsville Madison County Public Library at the Bailey Cove branch in Youth Services. She is married and the mother of two boys.

Melissa “Birdie” Jones began her adventures in stage management at the University of Alabama in Huntsville under the tutelage of David Harwell. Her UAH credits include The Tempest, The Consul, and Sunday in the Park with George. In the summer of 2012, she began her professional career as an Assistant Stage Manager at the Mountainside Theatre in Cherokee, NC. In addition to her duties as ASM, she also spent time working with pyrotechnic effects and stage firearms, and learning the art of stage combat. She received a basic pass from the Society of American Fight Directors in knife combat. In 2014, she was hired by Phillip Otto at the Huntsville Ballet Company and is currently serving as their Production Stage Manager and Lighting Designer. Additionally, she has worked professionally with the Huntsville Arts Council and UAH Music Department. She is the General Manager for the choral group Ensemble Namárië. Birdie resides in South Huntsville with her husband and three angels masquerading as cats. When not making rehearsal schedules and chasing actors, she enjoys studying music, knitting, drinking good coffee, and baking.

Lezlie Lanza has been involved in theatre in some capacity since she was 8 years old. As an actor, she has worked with Theatre Huntsville, Independent Musical Productions, Huntsville Community Chorus Association, Renaissance Theatre, Theatre ‘Round the Corner, and Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater. Favorite roles include Chelsea in On Golden Pond, Mrs. Wall in Holy Ghosts, Mrs. Davidson in Southern Hospitality, and her reoccurring role as Mrs. Mallard in The Mill Stories. Lezlie has a Bachelor of Science and certification in elementary education and theatre (grades 6-12) from Athens State University. She has taught public education in Huntsville City Schools for 24 years (grades 1-6). She has been a teaching artist with FPCT for twenty years with classes such as Write, Direct, and Perform Your Own Play; Musical Showcase: The Enchantment of Beauty and the Beast; Audition 101; and others.

Joan Leggett has been a teacher most of her life. Since moving to Huntsville almost twenty years ago, she added story telling to her resume, entertaining students in public schools as well as private gatherings. For the last few years, she has also been involved in theater at Fantasy and Huntsville Community Chorus. At Fantasy Playhouse, she enjoys teaching children ages five through twelve. She also teaches “Bible Story Time” at Trinity UMC and First Presbyterian of Huntsville. Joan has appeared in several Fantasy and HCCA shows.

Laura Luke has a degree from American River College and has taught preschool for many years. She wrote and directed her first play at 11 years old. While living in California, Laura joined the Actor’s Workshop of Sacramento where she took classes and soon found her way onstage. There she participated in over 20 one act plays and 15 full length plays. Laura was also a member of the Chautauqua Playhouse Children’s Theatre for seven seasons. She has directed several plays and has also worked as a costume and scene designer. Since moving to Huntsville in September 2017, Laura has become very involved in the local theatre community and is happy to be a part of the Fantasy Family!

Daphne McKinley has a long history working in the community with children. For over 17 years, she has served as a storyteller in the city and a summer reading volunteer for the Huntsville Public Library. Daphne also worked with Scholastic book fairs for 3 years as a BookTalker/Field Sales Representative. She has been a Girl Scout leader for ten years and a member of the Riverton Kiwanis Club. Daphne, a certified Kindermusik instructor, taught Kindermusik classes with the Fantasy Academy for ten years. She is currently a teaching artist in both Fantasy Academy and Fantasy in the Classroom capacities.

Dave McLellan bio coming soon!

Mary McLellan bio coming soon!

Charlotte Morris grew up in Huntsville and began her journey with Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy as Piglet in Winnie the Pooh. She went on to act in numerous FPCT shows throughout her childhood. Her mother and father even hopped on board behind the scenes. Charlotte graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and has since worked as an actress in both New York and Atlanta in off-off Broadway productions, independent film work, industrials, voiceovers, and commercials. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University with a degree in education. After teaching in the Los Angeles Unified School District for several years, she made her way home to Huntsville where she currently teaches middle school reading intervention in Madison County. She holds an MA in Education from UAH.

Elena Ontiveros bio coming soon!

Kelley Reischauer has had a long and extensive career and love affair with Film, TV and Stage. She first fell in love with acting while growing up in Huntsville, AL.  Kelley went on to attend the prestigious acting conservatory, The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Kelley has carved out a career appearing in numerous national commercials, theatre productions, and independent films. Most recently, she returned to her musical theatre roots to co-write Monster’s in My Head, a WorryWoo musical. Kelley is also part of the team that developed the internationally acclaimed WorryWoo Developing Social & Emotional Intelligence cross-curricular program currently used in elementary schools across the globe.

Aisha Richardson bio coming soon!

Ryan Rorick is an upcoming junior at the University of Montevallo where he is pursuing a BFA in Acting. Since 2009, Ryan has appeared in over 40 plays and musicals throughout North Alabama and Montevallo, as well as 3 short films and a web series. Past credits include Sigmund Freud in “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” and Young Bernadette in “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, both with the University of Montevallo, Lord Rivers in “Richard III”, and Peter van Daan in “The Diary of Anne Frank”. With Fantasy Playhouse, he has played such roles as Peter Cratchit in “A Christmas Carol”, John Darling in “Peter Pan”, Aesop in “Aesop’s Foibles” and Prince in “The Snow Queen”. He intends to move to Atlanta after graduating to pursue a career in film and television.

Kim Rozek began teaching preschool in 2002 while living in Hochspeyer, Germany.  Following her return to Alabama, she continued working with children while employed at Sci-Quest, Hands-on Science Center.  In 2009, she launched the Sprouting Scientist preschool program teaching weekly classes to children ages 2 to 5.  Currently, she is working at the Downtown Branch of the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library conducting story-times at numerous preschools throughout the area.  Kim brings with her a lifelong love of the theatre.  She has been a volunteer with Broadway Theater League for the past 7 seasons and is excited to be joining the Fantasy staff.

Phil Schrimsher has had the pleasure of making theatre his passion in some form or another over the last decade as a professional actor. He currently holds an AS with a focus in Elementary Education from Calhoun Community College, and is pursuing a BS in Elementary Education at Athens State University. As a performer and a choreographer, he has had the pleasure of working with organizations like Dollywood Entertainment, Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theatre and Academy, Theatre West Virginia, The U.S. Space and Rocket Center, The Academy for Academics and Arts, Independent Musical Productions, Theatre Huntsville and many more. Some favorite onstage roles include: Bob Cratchit in Dolly Parton’s A Christmas Carol, The Male Swing in Dreamland Drive-In, Actor 1 in Freedom Riders, Quintin Wilson in Rocket Boys, and Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Offstage, Phil’s favorite role is as a teacher in the classroom, teaching children the power of theatre, music, and dance and the power and confidence that comes with them.

Sarah Grace Sheppard has been involved with Fantasy Playhouse from the age of 10. She has participated as an actress, stage tech, and assisted with costumes and loves everything related to theatre. Her past appearances in Fantasy productions include Juniper in “12 Dancing Princesses” and Touchstone in “A Christmas Carol.” Sarah Grace has had many years of dance training, and her love for working with children began with the Dance Connection program through Alabama Youth Ballet. She is currently an Electrical Engineering student at UAH and enjoys working with both Fantasy Academy and Fantasy in the Classroom.

Olivia Skillern is a recent graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she received her BA in theatre and marketing. She is very excited to be back in Huntsville after growing up in the area and discovering her love of theatre at Bob Jones High School. Her love for children’s theatre started as a tour manager for Theatre UAB’s Bookends company and at the Birmingham Children’s Theatre where she was seen in Alice in Wonderland(Alice) and Jack and the Beanstalk(Esmerelda) respectively. Olivia spends much of her time as a scenic designer, scenic charge artist, props master, costumer, and actor.  Much of her work can be seen at oliviaskillern.com. Olivia is so excited to be part of the Fantasy family and cannot wait to share her love for the arts with her community!

Leah Snowman is new to Huntsville and is so excited to be a part of the Fantasy Playhouse family! Before moving to Huntsville, Leah spent three years performing and teaching with the California-based performing arts non-profit, The Young Americans. During her time in The Young Americans, Leah had the opportunity to perform and teach variety shows to students all over the world including the USA, Canada, the UK, and Japan. Leah has made the performing arts the passion of her life because she wants to give her audience that magical feeling that only stage productions can provide. Let the magic begin!

Jacinda Swinehart studied Musical Theatre at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pa. She has been a working actress for over a decade, with such companies as Playhouse Jr., The Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, West Virginia Public Theatre, E&M Theatrical, Live Theatre Workshop, Studio Connections, Arizona OnStage Productions, Theatre Huntsville, Independent Musical Productions, and was a company member at both The Great American Playhouse in Oro Valley, Arizona, and The Gaslight Theatre in Tucson, Arizona’s famous musical melodrama theatre, running for over 38 years. Jacinda is the proud founder/owner of The Rocket City Sweethearts, Huntsville’s Premiere girls trio singing the fun and flirty tunes of the Nifty 50’s and Swingin’ 60’s! Jacinda is a teaching artist in both Fantasy Academy and Fantasy in the Classroom capacities.

Marilyn West holds a BA in Music with an emphasis in Vocal Performance, as well as a minor in Theatre from UAHuntsville. She has a dozen years of voice lessons, most prominently with Karen Young, MA, and more than 15 years of choral singing under her belt. A California transplant, Marilyn currently works with Children’s Musical Theatre San Jose as a Studio Class Instructor and Vocal Director for Aladdin Jr. She also works through Starting Arts in San Jose, CA as a General Music Instructor (grades K-5) and serves as Vocal Director for numerous after-school musicals. Marilyn loves to work behind the scenes as well. In 2016, Marilyn joined AEA with an Equity Candidate Membership. She served as a Production Assistant for the Sacramento Theatre Company for the 2016-2017 season, including The Donner Party: A New American Musical. While in Sacramento, Marilyn practiced her skills singing in multiple choirs.Marilyn fondly remembers performing in Huntsville and at UAH. Some favorite rolls include Dot in Sunday in the Park with George and Miranda in The Tempest. Marilynstrongly believes that the arts are vital to everyone. She loves helping her students become confident in their abilities and to find their own, unique voice.

Teaching Artist Assistants

Holly Huhlein, Laura Neveu, Kameron Sanderfer, Lab 87 Conservatory Actors

Internships

SarahKate Marsden, Lauren Knapp