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Meet Our Teaching Artists

Children's Theatre of Charlotte is proud to work with some of the finest teaching artists in the country. Their professionalism and creative drive in our classrooms help inspire young people to excel on stage, and in life.
Chanel Blanchett
A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Chanel has going on 8 years of experience teaching performing arts to youth of diverse ages and backgrounds in Charlotte, New York, and Philadelphia. After starting at CTC in the summer of 2015, she's taught various classes and camps as well as choreographing and assistant directing for the Onstage program. Chanel is dedicated to using her skills as a theatre artist to integrate arts and communities, and is excited to work towards the goal at Children's Theatre. When she's not teaching, Chanel is an massive superhero geek and spends her time reading comics and watching movies--there's something awesome and unique in all of us and Chanel loves helping CTC students discover and stand in their power.
Regina Epps
Regina graduated in 2014 from East Carolina University with a degree in Youth Theatre Performance. She has a background in leading theatre workshops, teaching camps, and acting in touring productions. Since graduation, she has worked with Children's Theatre of Charlotte in many different capacities: Camp Counselor, Class Assistant, and Assistant Stage Manager. This fall will be her first teaching season with CTC. She is excited to start this next season of classes and looks forward to the first day of classes.
Kristin Jann-Fischer
Kristin Jann-Fischer is a singer, actress and teacher who resides in Charlotte, NC. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. After that, Kristin received her Master's Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Hawai'i. Kristin has been performing professionally in theatre and on screen for thirteen or so years. She teaches private voice and guitar lessons as well as does audition coaching.
Sonya Gable-Wilson, Ph.D.
Sonya Gable-Wilson has been performing and teaching for 25+ years. With Master's and Doctoral degrees in Vocal Performance as well as years of voice training at Juilliard and NYC combined with her performance experience, Sonya is considered one of the leading musical theatre audition coaches in the area. Sonya has taught at various universities in the Southeast where she remains an adjunct professor, as well as continues a private studio where several students have gone on to have roles in television, film, and Broadway. Her professional stage experience includes roles such as Christine in Phantom of the Opera, Laurie in Oklahoma, Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Rosina in The Barber of Seville and Cunegonde in Candide. Combining the Alexander Technique, the Bel Canto School, Yoga, and Voice Science, her vocal technique will not only fix many vocal problems but will also enhance the student's stage performance. Posture, Health, Breathing, Resonance, and Vocal Placement are just a few of the things a student will learn in her class sessions.
Michelle Lakey
Michele Holdren Lakey has been playing the piano since she was five years old, and music and the arts has been a lifelong passion of hers. For the last 15 years, Michele has served as a music educator for kindergarten through high school grade levels at various private schools where she taught choir, general music, and was the musical director for productions. In addition to her role as a teacher, Michele has an extensive background as an accompanist supporting musicals, vocal studios, and area churches. Michele has played for many musicals, including, Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, Footloose, and Cats. One of Michele's favorite accomplishments, was leading her high school choir to achieve the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Michele has a Bachelors of Science degree in Music Education from Piedmont International University. When she's not teaching or performing, Michele loves spending time with her husband, three kids, and her dog.
Steven Levine
After earning his B.F.A in Acting from the University of South Carolina Steven did post-graduate work at the Dell’ Arte International School of Physical Theatre before embarking on a twenty year career as an actor, director, movement coach and fight choreographer. During that span, Steven worked at some of the country's leading regional theatres and universities, including: San Diego Rep, A.C.T., Dell' Arte Players Company, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Seattle Children's Theatre, Heritage Theatre Festival, and others. Here at CTC he directed Romeo & Juliet (2013) and Urinetown (2014) for Onstage, and The Giver (2014) for the Conservatory program. In 2017 Steven joined CTC full-time as the company's Production Manager.
Marie Nodine
Experience: Marie has worked as a teaching artist with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte since 1989 focusing on Preschool - grade 5. She is a former artist-in-residence with Discovery Place and has also been an instructor with Charlotte’s Nature Museum and the Jewish Community Center. Marie can also be found doing interactive storytelling at a number of preschools around town. As an actress, her resume includes many commercials and stage credits. She finds the imaginations of children the most stimulating and enjoyable with which to work!
Kelly Price
Experience: Kelly Michele Price has been a theatre educator for over 25 years. Under her children's theatre company, ACTING UP!, she has directed and produced Free to Be You & Me, Bridge to Terabitha, Fame, Pippin, and A Year with Frog and Toad among many others. As a set/scenic designer she has designed Hello, Dolly!, South Pacific, and Into the Woods and more. Kelly earned her BFA in Theatre Education at East Carolina University. She regularly teaches art, acting and musical theatre in addition to a busy private coaching business.
Sarah Provencal
Experience: Sarah earned her MFA in Theatre Pedagogy at Virginia Commonwealth University where some of her favorite projects include directing Karen Hartman’s Troy Women and playing Rona Lisa Peretti in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. After earning her MFA, she worked and trained abroad in London, England. Highlights include working with Punchdrunk, training with physical theatre companies, and directing two premieres: Cutting Edge: An Interactive Fairytale, and The Last Hour of Antigone. Here in Charlotte, Sarah has directed for Charlotte’s Off-Broadway, Shakespeare Carolina, Three Bone Theatre, The Warehouse, and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. She also performs and devises with Taproot Performance Ensemble. She is a teaching artist at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and Film Actors Studio, and an adjunct Professor of Theatre at Winthrop University and South Piedmont Community College.
Mavis Scully
A 25+ member of Actors’ Equity Association, Mavis has performed in just about every genre of the performing arts. She recently moved from Philadelphia where she taught Acting and Musical Theatre at the famed Walnut Street Theatre and Ballet, Pilates, and Acting for Dancers at the Rock School for Dance Education. Prior to that, she was the Acting and Movement instructor with the Alabama School of Fine Arts and an Adjunct professor of Ballet and Musical Theatre at Samford University - both in Birmingham, AL. She began her career with Ballet, training at the School of American Ballet and coaching with Bojan Spassoff and Stephanie Wolf. She was a soloist with the Savannah Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma, and the Cincinnati Opera before the acting bug bit her. Mavis is one of the first 14 graduates from the Department of Theatre at UArts with a BFA in Acting. She was a member of the original Improv company at Walt Disney World’s Comedy Warehouse (the prototype for TV's Who’s Line is it, Anyway?). Her nation wide performing career includes plays, musicals, cabarets, Performance Art, Renaissance Faires, commercials, and voice overs. Favorite roles include: (Sally Bowls) Cabaret - Osceola Playhouse, FL.; (Wicked Witch of the West) The Wizard of Oz - 5th Ave. Theater, Seattle; (Leslie Gore, Petula Clark, Grace Slick) Beehive - Tacoma Actors Guild. 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 (for which she won the 2015 Broadway World’s Best Choreographer Award for Peter and the Starcatcher). She has written 4 one-act plays produced in Seattle and was commissioned to write and direct St. George and the Dragon (inspired by Edmund Spencer’s epic poem) for Red Mountain Community School in Birmingham. Mavis also teaches Acting/Physical Theatre/Voice and Musical Theatre intensives around the country. She has coached professional and aspiring actors, singers and dancers for many years now and loves to mentor passionate driven performers, share the joy of the work, and witness the “moments of awakening” in her students!
Katy Shepherd
Experience: Katy is thrilled to be back for another exciting year with CTC! This past year, she taught SOTT classes and summer camps and appeared in three of CTC's main stage productions (101 Dalmatians, Scrooge!, and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse). In addition to CTC, Katy was the Resident Teaching Artist and Education Associate for Greenbrier Valley Theatre and also developed and led summer camps for Two Roads Educational Arts and Theatre. With a huge passion for teaching and performing, she has been blessed to act and teach in WV, IN, OH, MI, GA, TX, IA, and now NC! She sends her love and gratitude to her wonderful husband and four-legged daughters, Nellie and Cecily.
Chester Shepherd
Education: BA in English and Theatre Arts from Bethel College in Mishawaka, IN, and an MFA in Acting from Western Illinois University. Experience: In the summer of 2012, Chester was an Education Intern at Greenbrier Valley Theatre. He also worked as a peer writing tutor at Bethel College and has been a graduate assistant for a variety of theatre classes for the past three years. Chester is happy to return for his third year of classes with CTC. He was seen on the CTC Mainstage in Jackie & Me (Joey) and The Cat in the Hat (Boy).
Karen Steele
Karen attended 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 artist 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 to learn and sharpen theatre skills -  skills which will allow them to enhance their self-esteem and self-expression and provide a plateau for them to take those skills further if they so desire. 
Ian Sullivan
Ian Sullivan is a graduate of the UNC-Charlotte, where he received his degree in Theatre Education. He has worked for the past seven years with North Iredell High School, and for the last 14 years with Children's Theatre of Charlotte. In both positions, he has helped to develop curriculum, differentiate for students with exceptional needs, teach cooperatively with dance, theatre, visual art, and music instructors, and build programs involved and invested in the community. He has worked to teach dynamic classes that create fun, interactive, artistic learning environments for students. Ian believes that the arts can provide a channel to learning that can be entertaining while still being instructional, using creative lessons to get students excited about learning.
Ashlyn Keller Sumner
Ashlyn Keller Sumner, a graduate of UNC Greensboro with a BFA in dance, has choreographed over 30 musical for local theaters and school programs. Favorites include Chicago for Davidson Community Players and Children's Theatre Charlotte, Pippin for Acting up Children’s Theater and Oklahoma for Cabarrus Playmakers. Her extensive teaching credits include The School of Charlotte Ballet, Duke University Summer Youth Programs, Children's Theatre Charlotte, Piedmont School of Music and Dance and NC Arts in Action, an affiliate of the National Dance Institute in NYC. Currently Ms. Keller leads the dance program at A. L. Brown High School in Kannapolis and is also on faculty at Centerstage Dance Company. Her professional performance credits include NC Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet), Louisville Ballet and NC Savoyards.
Julie Gaines
Julie earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre for youth performance and a Bachelor of Arts in English from East Carolina University (ECU). During her undergraduate studies, she was heavily involved with ECU Storybook Theatre by performing for children, facilitating workshops and learning to direct. After graduation, she joined the Children's Theatre of Charlotte family as a Summer Camp counselor and then as a School of Theatre Training and Creative Drama class assistant. In fall of 2014, she began her journey as a Teaching Artist and has been teaching Creative Drama, stage managing for OnStage and teaching Summer Camps ever since. Julie makes her assistant directing debut  in The Trojan Women in OnStage 2018. Julie loves working with young people and bringing stories to life!