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Children's Theatre of Charlotte is proud to work with some of the finest theatre arts educators in the country. Their personal creative drive and professionalism in our classrooms inspire young people to excel on stage, and in life. Our team includes theatre and education professionals creating challenging and fun lessons for your student! If you have questions, please contact Adam Montague, Early Childhood and School of Theatre Training Manager (SOTT).

Interested in working with us as a Teaching Artist? First, navigate to our ►Work With Us page. Then read over the criteria for our "Teaching Artist Overhire Positions," and complete the online application.

Karen Steele - Resident Teaching Artist
Areas of expertise: Community Outreach, Early Childhood, Elementary Education

Years Teaching: 12

Favorite Play or Musical: Far too many to narrow it down to one, but the very first play I saw at the age of two was Oklahoma!

Theatre Brag: Performed at and taught a workshop for the National Black Theatre Festival.
Karen graduated UNC-Chapel Hill and as a devoted artist educator, has taught theatre education, dance, and music in a variety of venues for children and adults for over 12 years. During Karen’s tenure in Charlotte, she has worked as an arts educator for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, the Afro-American Cultural Center, Arts Teach, The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and Community School of the Arts. She is also a professional singer, dancer and actor. Karen says the class experience at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte provides children, from tots to teens, a chance sharpen their theatre skills - skills which will allow them to develop their self-esteem and self-expression, and provide a platform for them to take those skills even further, if they so desire.

David Barnaba
Areas of expertise: Music Director

Years Teaching: 20

Favorite Play or Musical: Hamilton

Theatre Brag: I got to see Rent in its original run on Broadway, and saw Phantom of the Opera in London.
David Barnaba has been working with Children's Theatre for 8 years, and has been a music educator for over 20 years. He is a music educator in Concord, NC and teaches over 900 students per week! He received his Music Education degree from the Crane School of Music in NY, and is also the Music Director at Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. David's wife Tara and daughters, Clara and Scarlett, are his biggest joys.
Lakeetha Blakeney
Areas of expertise: Acting, Musical Theatre, Directing, Playwrighting

Years Teaching: 20+

Favorite Play or Musical: The Wiz

Theatre Brag: I was told by one of my favorite actresses Judith Scott, that she was a big fan of my work!
Lakeetha is over the moon thrilled to join the CTC Education family. She has a BA in theatre perfromance from UNC Greensboro and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Southern New Hapshire University. Lakeetha has been acting, teaching, directing, and writing for over twenty years. Lakeetha loves introducing students to the theater and helping them cultivate their craft. Lakeetha is excited to explore and create with you.
Danielle Rhea Burke
Areas of expertise: Acting, Directing, Musical Theatre

Years Teaching: 15+

Favorite Play or Musical: Play - Diary of Anne Frank, Musical - 1776

Theatre Brag: Worked with Sheldon Harnick on a musical revue of his works.
Danielle Rhea Burke has a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Arizona. She has spent numerous years performing and directing musical theatre. She was a certified Music and Theatre teacher in the state of Texas where she taught in public schools for 7 years. After moving to Charlotte 6 years ago, she has been teaching through Children's Theatre of Charlotte as a teaching artist as well as performing in the Main Stage season. She has also been directing at different schools around town - she has run an After School program at Selwyn Elementary for the past 4 years and has worked at Carmel Christian school directing both the 5th grade musical and most recently the High School Musical. Theatre is a passion which she loves sharing with her students.
Regina Epps
Areas of expertise: Acting, Creative Drama

Years Teaching: 4

Favorite Play or Musical: Sweeney Todd

Theatre Brag: I have been the Stage Manager or Asst. Stage Manager for seven shows despite never taking classes for it. It's led to an even deeper appreciation of the work in putting together a show.
This is Regina's fifth year with CTC and fourth year teaching with the company since graduating from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre For Youth. She has also worked in classrooms with preschool teachers around the Charlotte area, combining theatre with school subjects such as math, science, and reading. Regina is ecstatic to return for another great year of adventures and stories with our Creative Drama students.
Michael Eubanks
Areas of expertise: Improvisation, Acting

Years Teaching: 3

Favorite Play or Musical: Les Misérables

Theatre Brag: I produced and directed with a New York playwright, all while writing and receiving a grant for said show.
This is Michael Eubanks' second season with Children's Theatre of Charlotte, first year teaching! Michael graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Acting and has been teaching ever since.
Sonya Gable-Wilson
Areas of expertise: Voice, Musical Theatre

Years Teaching: 30+

Favorite Play or Musical: So many ... but, I'd have to say Phantom!

Theatre Brag: During my last Phantom of the Opera tour, I had dinner with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz. Wow, what a night!
Dr. Gable-Wilson holds Doctorates in Voice Performance and Music History as well as certification from Juilliard School of Music. She came to CTC in 2015 as the Music Director for the the Musical Theatre Conservatory classes. In addition, she teaches various voice classes at UNCC as well as private lessons. She serves as the Music Director for Teen Edge Musical Theatre Community group and, alongside other specialists in the area, runs the College Audition Prep - Charlotte for teens preparing for college auditions. She is also the author of "Healthy Singing: A Guide to Singing Musical Theatre."
Julie Gaines
Areas of expertise: Acting, Creative Drama

Years Teaching: 5

Favorite Play or Musical: The Drowsy Chaperone

Theatre Brag: This past summer, I cleaned up my act as "Swabbie the Pirate" in CCT's production of Peter Pan!
Julie Gaines holds a BFA in Theatre for Youth Performance and a BA in English from East Carolina University, where she was heavily involved with ECU Storybook Theatre. During the summer of 2014, she joined the CTC family and has been working in Education ever since! She is a Teaching Artist for Creative Drama and SOTT during the school year, and she has worked the OnStage program as a stage manager and assistant director. Julie teaches a variety of camps over the summer and particularly enjoys directing and teaching art. Julie loves working with young people and bringing stories to life!
John Harmon
Areas of expertise: Voice

Years Teaching: 10

Favorite Play or Musical: Wicked

Theatre Brag: I met Renee Fleming, and she was so nice!
John Harmon received his Bachelors of Music and Masters of Music from Appalachian State University. He has sung lead roles with Opera Xpress, Opera Carolina's youth outreach touring program, Mosaic Arts, Opera Unlimited, and The Little Opera Company of Charlotte as well as comprimario roles in mainstage productions at Opera Carolina. In addition to operatic roles, John has performed the oratorio works of Mozart, Handel, Dubois, Saint-Seans and Mendelssohn in concert halls and churches across the East and South East U.S. He has been teaching for 10 years and has had students be accepted into university music programs in North and South Carolina. He had a student nominated in the top 6 of the Best Male category at the 2019 Blumey Awards and is hoping to have more students nominated in the future.
Claire Hilton
Areas of expertise: Musical Theatre, Shakespeare, Improv, Choreography

Years Teaching: 6

Favorite Play or Musical: Toss up between Merrily We Roll Along, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Theatre Brag: Performed at Lincoln Center, and was the runner up at the National Shakespeare Competition her senior year of High School.
Claire Hilton started performing in the 3rd grade when she and her twin sister auditioned for a professional production of "Annie". Her mother thought it would be a great way for her to meet new people, and, IF SHE GOT IN, it would be a "free summer camp." 20 years later, and that "free summer camp" led to a BFA in musical theatre from Emerson College, performance credits at The American Shakespeare Center, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Mill Mountain Theatre, and Lexington Children's Theatre, teaching artist gigs, and countless enducational and professional choreography and directorial credits. Of course, she thanks her mom for this entire trajectory. Claire is honored to be on the education staff at CTC.
LaTanya Johnson
Areas of expertise: Community Outreach, Choreography, Musical Theatre

Years Teaching: 29+

Favorite Play or Musical: I've enjoyed many, but the musical theatre production of Sophisticated Ladies featuring Judith Jamison, Gregory Hines, Phyllis Hyman and P'J Benjamin in Philadelphia in 1980 is one to remember.

Theatre Brag: Performed for Bishop Desmond Tutu during his visit to Charlotte N.C.. and recipient of the 2011 MTA awards for Outstanding Choreography for "Colored Museum".
LaTanya started her dance journey at her neighborhood dance school, the "Philadelphia Dance Company" also known as "Philadanco". In addition, LaTanya attended "The New Freedom Theatre School of Perfoming Arts" in Philadelphia Pa., where she recieved a rich experience in dance and theatre. LaTanya is a graduate of the "Urban Bush Womens" Leadership Summer Intensive of 2017. LaTanya has over 20 years in arts integrated projects working with schools and neighboring communities. LaTanya is a recipient of the 2011 MTA Awards for Outstanding Choreography for "The Colored Museum". LaTanya is truly excited to be a part of Children's Theatre of Charlotte Creative Team.
Michele Lakey
Areas of expertise: Vocal, Musical Theatre

Years Teaching: 20

Favorite Play or Musical: Hamilton

Theatre Brag: Although not theatre, taking my high school choir to perform at Carnegie Hall was definitely a highlight of my career! And after many years of music directing lots of fabulous students, one of my former students was MY music director when I played keyboard for his school's production of Mary Poppins. Definitely a proud teacher moment!
Michele has been singing, playing the piano, and performing since she was a young girl. Naturally, she decided to pursue music education and share her love of music with others. She graduated from Piedmont International University with a degree in Music Education. Michele has been teaching music for almost 20 years and has music directed many teen and kids shows at a number of different schools and organizations. Currently, she is the choral director/music teacher at Southlake Christian Academy in Huntersville, NC. Michele has taught classes in SOTT, accompanied for auditions, and taught music for summer performance camps at CTC over the past 5 years. She is excited to be a Teaching Artist for SOTT this year!
Kat Martin
Areas of expertise: Acting, Directing, New Works

Years Teaching: 7

Favorite Play or Musical: Hair

Theatre Brag: Working on a production of CATS performed by actual cats.
Kat Martin is a graduate from Queens University of Charlotte (BA) and the University of South Carolina (MA: Theater History, Criticism, Theory, and Dramaturgy). Kat then worked for Virginia Stage Company (VSC). At VSC, Kat has worked as an Associate Director on The Tempest and A Christmas Carol and as Dramaturg on mainstage projects like Peter and The Starcatcher. Kat also worked within VSC’s education department as a Resident Theater Artist on projects such as school residencies, acting classes, community engagement and touring education shows. While in Virginia, Kat taught at Old Dominion University. Kat then went to work for Cleveland Public Theatre as an Education Associate teaching acting classes and creating new work before returning home to Charlotte NC, where she teaches at Johnson C. Smith University.
Aubrey Moya-Méndez
Areas of expertise: Acting, Creative Drama

Years Teaching: 2

Favorite Play or Musical: Dogfight

Theatre Brag: I have recently earned my certification with the Society of American Fight Directors as an Actor Combatant.
This will be Aubrey's second year working with Children's Theatre of Charlotte and her first year teaching with them. She is a graduate from East Carolina University where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. She grew up right here in the Charlotte area and has been performing for most of her life. She has served on the artistic team of multiple mission trips to bring her heart for theatre to impoverished areas around the world. She is beyond excited to start working with the children of Charlotte, and she is beyond grateful to CTC for making her part of their team.
Matt Primm
Areas of expertise: Voice, Musical Theatre

Years Teaching: 7

Favorite Play or Musical: West Side Story

Theatre Brag: Getting to see the legendary Chita Rivera in The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 2013.
Matt Primm holds a Masters of Music from the Hartt School, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from UNC-Charlotte. Currently, he teaches middle school theatre at Pine Lake Preparatory in Mooresville, and has previously taught orchestra and band. He has music-directed many productions at various theaters across the Charlotte region. He is excited to make his debut as a Teaching Artist for CTC!
Sarah Provencal
Areas of expertise: Acting, Director, Improvisation, Devised Theatre, Viewpoints

Years Teaching: 15

Favorite Play or Musical: Fun Home

Theatre Brag: I use theatre techniques to promote social change. I've been invited locally and nationally to lead workshops with non-actors that empower participants to combat oppression in their communities.
Sarah is a director, teacher and actor. She earned her MFA in Theatre Pedagogy (Directing emphasis) at Virginia Commonwealth University and has worked and trained abroad in London, England and Spoleto, Italy. In Charlotte, she has directed for Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, Three Bone Theatre, Warehouse PAC, Shakespeare Carolina, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and created devised theatre with Taproot Ensemble. She regularly facilitates Theatre of the Oppressed workshops with students, professors, and professionals—both on college campuses and at national conferences. She is an adjunct Professor of Theatre, serves as the Box Office Manager at Winthrop University, and as a Teaching Artist at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.
Mavis Scully
Areas of expertise: Acting, Musical Theatre, Dance, Director, Choreographer

Years Teaching: 27

Favorite Play or Musical: play - Reckless, musical - West Side Story

Theatre Brag: Member of the original Improv Troupe at Walt Disney World's Comedy Warehouse (prototype for TV's Who's Line Is It, Anyway?)
Mavis has a BFA in Acting from the University of the Arts. Previously, she taught at the famed Walnut Street Theatre, and the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, PA. She was the Acting and Movement Instructor at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and an adjunct professor of Ballet and Musical Theatre at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. She trained at Balanchine’s School of American Ballet and has been a soloist with Savannah Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma, and the Cincinnati Opera. She has performed and choreographed for Stage One - the Louisville Children’s Theatre, Seattle Opera, Birmingham Music Club, Alabama Shakespeare Company and City Equity Theatre - awarded Broadway World’s Best Choreographer for Peter and the Starcatcher. Most recently, she choreographed CTC’s Peter Pan.
Amanda Sesler
Areas of expertise: Musical Theater

Years Teaching: 8

Favorite Play or Musical: Come From Away

Theatre Brag: Music has helped me see the world!
Amanda Sesler is a Soprano from Erie, Pennsylvania, she attended Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music where she majored in Music Education. She taught high school choir, band, music history, theater, and piano in Indianapolis before returning to Indiana University for her Master of Music in Voice. She is a seasoned performer and a current member of Opera Xpress with Opera Carolina. In addition to teaching at Children’s Theatre, she is a Professor of Applied Voice at Winthrop University. She also maintains a private voice studio at her home in Davidson, NC. She loves going on adventures with her dog, Wallie, and husband, Chip.
Mary Katherine Smith
Areas of expertise: Acting, Musical Theatre, Dance, Director, Choreographer

Years Teaching: 15+

Favorite Play or MusicalThe Mystery of Edwin Drood: The Musical

Theatre Brag: I started my own Performing Arts Education Initiative through a small, regional theatre company that went on to be nationally recognized program and is still open and operating today!
Mary Katherine has been performing since she was a young child. As a pre-professional teenage dancer, she first got into teaching by assisting her dance mentors with younger student classes and has consistently had a hand in performing arts education ever since. While serving as Director of Education for Parkway Playhouse, she was awarded recognition for her work by receiving the 2014 Freddie G. Teaching Award from Music Theatre International and iTheatrics, and remains an active member of the Freddie G. Fellowship today. Mary Katherine has worked as a guest artist for theatre companies all over Western North Carolina as a performer, choreographer, director and Teaching Artist for almost 15 years before moving to Charlotte in 2017 to work for Children's Theatre of Charlotte.
Logan Stamey
Areas of expertise: Acting, Director, Musical Theatre

Years Teaching: 15+

Favorite Play or Musical: A Bronx Tale

Theatre Brag: coming soon
Logan Stamey is a director, musical theatre instructor and performance coach. Logan is excited to begin his first season with Children's Theatre of Charlotte. Logan has spent over 5 years teaching acting and musical theatre to the Charlotte area. Logan has worked for numerous professional theatre/performance companies in the Charlotte area for over 9 years: directing, performing and teaching. He was the Operations Manager of Live-Entertainment at Carowinds after working there as a performer, Stage Manager and Director for the park. His favorite show he has directed is Shrek the Musical! Logan's best friend, Lindsey, is the reason his passion to teach theatre and direct shows are what they are now! He also adores their two dogs, Benny & Sadie.
Ian Sullivan
Areas of expertise: Directing, Playwriting

Years Teaching: 17

Favorite Play or Musical: Little Shop of Horrors

Theatre Brag: I co-wrote a play about immigration for a group in Boston that Elizabeth Warren went to see and complimented.
Ian Sullivan is excited to be returning for his 17th year with Children's Theatre! Ian teaches high school theatre during the school year, and works as a director for the Ballantyne Arts Center. He enjoys improv, making masks and puppets, writing scripts and acting ... when he finds the time.
Renee Welsh-Noel
Areas of expertise: Acting, Dance

Years Teaching: coming soon

Favorite Play or Musical: coming soon

Theatre Brag: coming soon
Renee Welsh-Noel is beyond ecstatic to be making her Children's Theatre of Charlotte debut in Peter Pan. With a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she teaches modern, jazz and tap dance at Charlotte School of Ballet and is the choreographer for the theatre department at East Mecklenburg High School where she most recently choreographed their production of Anything Goes. Renee has made appearances on stage in the ensemble of Jekyll and Hyde and Show Boat at Central Piedmont Community College and in American Idiot (Libby), Stick Fly (Cheryl), and Passing Strange (Edwina/Mariana/Sudabey) at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte.
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Education Team

Michelle Long
Director of Education

Adam Montague
Early Childhood & School of Theatre Training Manager

Karen Steele
Resident Teaching Artist

Stephanie Hurtado-Hoyos
Education Administrative Assistant

For more information about our education programs call 704-973-2837. Se habla español.