2016 Summer Camp Staff
Jennifer Luck (Director of Education & Outreach)
Jennifer Luck received her MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from the University of Texas at Austin and her BA in Theatre from Arizona State University. For almost 20 years she has taught theatre professionally in Arizona, New York City, Los Angeles, and Austin. She has worked with Phoenix Theatre, Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, The Herberger Theatre Center, Biz Kids NY, The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Kids on Stage CA, Azusa Pacific University, and she spent three years in the Education Department at Center Theatre Group/The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She taught undergraduate acting and voice courses at the University of Texas, as well as the “Performance of Persuasion” at the UT School of Law. In Austin she worked with Theatre Action Project/Creative Action, the Theatre Academy at the J, Summer Wonders, ACE Academy and the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders before joining the Paramount Theatre in 2011. Jennifer is also a singer/songwriter, composer, director and actor. In 2009 she was named a Don and Elizabeth Doyle Fellow, recognized for her artistic ability in the area of Theatre for Youth. She is honored to direct the Paramount Academy for the Arts and to work with so many talented and inspiring young Austinites.
Brian C. Fahey (Associate Director of Education and Outreach / Summer Camp Director)
Brian C. Fahey joined the Paramount in 2014 where he manages STEM Through the Arts and summer camp programming. Brian previously served as a Lecturer in the Theatre Department at Northeastern University and spent two years as the Classroom Program Director for Creative Action. As a director, he has worked with Southwestern University, Northeastern University, the University of Texas at Austin, Arkansas Governor’s School, Boston Children’s Theatre, and ZACH’s Pre-Professional Company. From 2005-2010 Brian was Artistic Director of Gurnet Theatre Project in MA, where he produced theatre for both family and adult audiences and directed several Boston premieres. His 2010 production of Louis Sachar’s There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom, produced at UT Austin, won the B. Iden Payne Award for Best Production of Youth Theatre. He holds a BA in Theatre from Northeastern University and an MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from The University of Texas at Austin.
Jessica Evans Community and School Program Manager)
Jessica Evans is a full-time member of the Paramount’s Education & Outreach team. She graduated from the University of Texas, in 2009, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on Theatre Studies and a K-12 teaching certification. Since then, Jessica has utilized her teaching skills in classrooms all across central and south Texas. Jessica spent a year as a teaching artist for Creative Action, focusing on bringing arts-enrichment to after-school programs in Manor, Round Rock, and Del Valle. She went on to spend five years directing/ co-directing middle school theatre programs in both Pflugerville and San Antonio. In August of 2015, Jessica decided to take her passion for fine arts education to the next level, by signing on full-time with the Paramount Theatre! She heads up the Student Matinee & Discovery Series programs, in addition to devoting her summers to all of our amazing camps! This summer she will be directing Camp Paramount 1, teaching Tech at our very first remote Story Wrangler camp in North Austin, enhancing campers’ acting abilities and creative drama skills at Camp Paramount South, and choreographing this year’s roboARTS Camp. Jessica couldn’t be more excited to kick off another great summer with our campers!
Mitch Harris (Literacy to Life Program Manager)
Mitch Harris graduated with a BFA in Theatre Arts Performance from St. Edward’s University in 2013. He is an award-winning actor, a published playwright, a cultural and political journalist, a storyteller, and an arts educator. Throughout his undergraduate training, he taught arts-based afterschool classes, founded an in-school creative writing workshop group, and facilitated theatre camps around the U.S. He is currently an Actor’s Equity Association Membership Candidate and a member of the Writers’ League of Texas. Mr. Harris joined the Austin Theatre Alliance full-time in 2013, where he runs the Literacy to Life program.
Gale Valley (Education and Outreach Associate / Summer Camp Administrator)
Gale Valley is from the state of Michigan and received a BS from Michigan State University’s College of Education and an MS from the University of Delaware. Prior to joining the Paramount Academy for the Arts in November 2014, Gale coached women’s college basketball for 30 years including stops at Duke University and the University of Texas. While at Duke, the team enjoyed tremendous success playing in four Final Fours. Gale grew up in a family dedicated to education as her father was a teacher and administrator and her mother was a teacher. One of Gale’s favorite quotes is: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin. She is happy to be involved in the Paramount Academy of the Arts that makes a difference in the lives of the youth of Austin.
Akina Adderley (Music Teacher)
Akina Adderley is a vocalist, songwriter, conductor, bandleader, and educator based in Austin, Texas. She has been teaching music, drama, choir, voice and piano lessons, and directing children in plays and musicals for over a decade in Austin, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles. Akina’s educational background includes a BA from Yale University, graduation from New York’s LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts (“the Fame school”) with a major in Drama, classical voice training at Manhattan School of Music, and post-bac studies in jazz piano, music theory, and vocal performance at Mannes School of Music and The New School. In Austin, Akina fronts her own 5-piece jazz-rooted neo-soul band, Akina Adderley and the Upper East Side, as well as her 9-piece soul band, Akina Adderley & The Vintage Playboys. She also sings lead vocals with Nori, a jazz/folk/world outfit, and sings backing vocals live and on recordings for a number of local artists. As an educator, Akina is currently the Director of the Fine Arts Department at ACE Academy where she directs the choirs and teaches music and drama to gifted learners K-12. Additionally, Akina currently teaches private voice and piano lessons, and volunteers each summer at Girls Rock Camp as a voice instructor. As a conductor, Akina annually leads a band of professional musicians and casts of talented young performers in productions with ARTE (ADDERLEY Repertory Theatre Ensemble) and Santa Barbara Youth Ensemble.
Ben Bazán (Show Director)
Ben Bazán is an actor, improviser, and director who was raised in Garciasville, Texas and relocated to Austin in 2008 to attend the University of Texas. He graduated in 2012 and received his B.A. in Theatre and Dance. He recently was seen as “Tomás” in Tomás and the Library Lady at ZACH Theatre and has been performing at ColdTowne Theater since the Summer of 2012. In addition to performing, Ben has worked as a teaching artist with the Paramount Story Wranglers and STEM Through the Arts program, taught literacy and diversity programs for Creative Action, and has served as an acting/playwriting teacher for the Performing Arts School at ZACH Theatre. During the daytime you can find him at Acton Academy where he manages the after school program, leads the drama curriculum, and coaches their middle school sports teams.
Lauren Beach (Music Teacher)
Lauren Beach graduated from Texas State University with a BFA in Musical Theater in 2006 and then went on to receive a Texas Teaching Certificate for EC-12th grade Theater. Lauren started performing at the young age of 4 and has never left the stage! Lauren has traveled throughout Europe and the United States singing with various choral and musical theater groups and received 1st place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition for her musical theater performance in 2005. Lauren has previously worked for the Paramount Theatre’s Literacy to Life Program as both a teacher and a performer. Lauren loves sharing her passion for music and theater with eager minds and believes art can play a vital role in discovering oneself. After college, Lauren worked with special needs students for 5 years and watched children flourish through art and music. Lauren loves singing whenever the possibility arises, dabbles with the ukulele and sometimes you can even convince her to journey back to her Fort Worth roots and yodel. Lauren is looking forward to teaching for The Paramount this summer and can’t wait to meet you all!
Cole Blagdan (Counselor)
Cole Blagdan is a graduate from Bowie High School in Austin, TX. This will be his fourth summer at the Paramount Theatre. In addition to working with the Paramount, Cole has also volunteered at a local church camp for the past 4 years. At Bowie he has attended multiple AP classes while maintaining a 3.6 GPA and participated in multiple organizations like student leadership and student council. This coming fall Cole will be attending Texas Tech University majoring in civil engineering.
Lindsay Hearn Brustein (Show Director)
Lindsay Hearn Brustein is the Associate Director of Theatre Focus and a theatre instructor in the Upper School at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, TX. Originally from Indianapolis Indiana, Lindsay has worked with students of all ages at Imagination Stage, Northwestern University, UT Austin, Young Audiences Indiana, Evanston School District 65, the SEED School in Washington D.C., Paramount Theatre, Austin Achieve, and the Austin Independent School District. Her teaching and artistic experience includes directing scripted and devised youth theatre, acting, improvisation, and integrating arts into the curriculum. As an artist and teacher, Lindsay loves the magic of stories and believes in the power of theatre to engage, transport, and transform students’ lives.
Anna Carey (Counselor)
Anna Carey is thrilled to be returning to Camp Paramount for her second year of working as a counselor. She was actively involved in theatre from elementary school through high school and is currently studying Fashion Media and Political Science at Southern Methodist University.
Antonio Delgado (roboARTS Teacher)
Antonio Delgado works as the Minister of Fun and Education with Science in a Suitcase. Frequently Antonio works as a Robotics Master Mentor with National Instruments to teach the next generation of Robotics Teachers. Over the past three years Antonio has assisted a Title 1 Robotics team at Govalle Elementary School. In 2014, Antonio co-founded an organization called Science in a Suitcase. Together they hope to teach kids all over the world about the greatness of robotics and creativity. By 2015, Science in a Suitcase and their friends at the Paramount Theatre created a partnership titled, “roboARTS.” Together, they teach students the essential components of story-writing, acting, programming and robotics. Later these students showcase their stories side-by-side with their autonomous friends. During his downtime, Antonio loves to play music with his band ‘Oh Antonio and His Imaginary Friends’ and write children’s stories. Even when Antonio is writing about himself in the third person, he strives to ignite creativity, imagination and joy in the people around him. He believes that a STEAM education is essential to creating well rounded and fruitful students.
Sean Eads (Musical Director)
Sean Eads graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Media Studies in 2015. He has composed and arranged music for dozens of theatrical and film productions, writing in styles ranging from pop to musical theatre, jazz and electronic. As a music director, he has joyfully led ensembles of singers and instrumentalists in several productions, including the workshops of his original musicals Sludge Dump and Lemonade. Having previously spent a summer assistant music directing at Children’s Civic Light Opera in Los Angeles, and after music directing a handful of Story Wranglers shows this spring, Sean is so excited to join the Paramount Summer Camp staff!
Logan Fish (Counselor)
Logan Fish found his love for theatre at Rouse High School in Leander, Texas. He has continued to chase his love and is now pursuing a BA Theatre Arts degree at Drew University in Madison, NJ. Logan has spent his short time at the university learning every bit he can about the arts, from voice lessons to dance shows and was lucky enough to be in a main stage his first year. His biggest accomplishment he feels he has achieved so far is earning the chance to perform as Laertes in his universities main stage production of Hamlet. In his time in high school Logan taught a stage combat class at his high schools summer camp. He also directed a small group of the campers in scenes, and assisted in teaching them dance choreography for their musical theatre performance that they also put on. Logan is elated to be lucky enough to earn a chance to not only spend his summer around theatre, but to also be helping others achieve or refine the love they have for theatre.
Meghan Guerin (Counselor)
Meghan Guerin is a native Austinite and an avid theater kid. She has been involved in productions her entire life, from school UIL one-act plays to shadowcasts. She’s currently performing in a weekly shadowcast production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Austin. As well as performing, she has held a number of technical positions, and is currently tech director for her shadowcast. Meghan is attending Texas State University in fall 2016 as a theater arts major, in the hopes of becoming a theater teacher. She is ecstatic about her opportunity to begin her career in theater education with the Paramount Theatre.
Sarah Halle (Dance Teacher)
Sarah Halle is a Senior Theatre Studies Major at The University of Texas at Austin, Graduating Spring 2017. She spends her time performing as a Princess Party Performer, teaching/performing with The Paramount Story Wranglers, and bringing service to Austin community as the Service Chair for the Texas Lassos. She is currently working on a project to bring Drama/Movement to Local Austin Assisted Living & Retirement Communities, Interning for Clink Event Planning, and constantly growing as both a dancer/yogi.
Ralphie Hardesty (Stand Up Comedy Intensive Teacher)
Ralphie Hardesty is a celebrated local comedian, returning to lead the Stand Up Comedy Intensive for the second year in a row. He has appeared on the Paramount stages during Moontower Comedy Festival and has been featured at several major comedy festivals including Fun Fun Fun Fest, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, the Ladies are Funny Festival (though he is male, he is no less a lady) and the Stan Francisco Comedy & Burrito Festival, which was delicious. Moms love him.
Avery LaRue (Counselor)
Avery LaRue has been involved in theatre and the performing arts for the past five years. At James Bowie High School, in Southwest Austin, Avery enjoyed performing in a variety of roles as a member of the Starlight Theatre Company, including Eva Perón in Evita, the Engineer in Miss Saigon, and Penny Pingleton in Hairspray. Avery recently finished her freshman year at the University of Houston, majoring in Music and specializing in Vocal Performance. Avery is returning to Camp Paramount as a counselor and hopes to get to work with some of the awesome kids from last summer, and is excited to meet new ones!
Eddie Lehwald (Musical Director)
Eddie Lehwald (Musical Director) has been playing music for as long as he can remember and is thrilled be back for his second summer with the Camp Paramount team. He teaches piano at both the Lone Star School of Music and East Side Music School, and maintains a busy performance schedule in and around Austin.
Karly Lewis (Dance Teacher)
Karly Lewis, a native of Austin, TX, graduated from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance and Creative Writing. At Otterbein, Karly had the privilege of working closely with Broadway choreographers John Carrafa and Randy Skinner, and was chosen to represent Otterbein at the Jazz Dance World Congress International Choreography Competition. She recently relocated to Austin from New York City, where she was on the faculty for the Children and Teen Program at Broadway Dance Center. While in NYC, she also taught at other dance studios in the NY metro area, including the New York Kids Club and the British International School of New York. Since moving to Austin, she has worked as a choreographer on ZACH Theatre’s productions of Winnie the Pooh and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and was most recently seen in Sophisticated Ladies at ZACH Theatre. Karly is currently a teaching artist at ZACH Theatre and is a member of Verge Dance Company.
Breanna Lind (Music Teacher)
Breanna Lind (Music Teacher) is beyond thrilled to be back at the Paramount where she began as an intern for the Literacy to Life Program! She is a recent graduate from The University of Texas at Austin where she received her BA in Theatre and Dance with an emphasis in Musical Theatre. Previously, Breanna has served as an education intern, assistant director, and workshop leader to ZACH’s Performing Arts School and Pre-Professional Company. She had the wonderful opportunity to spend her past summer in Milan, Italy introducing students to the English language while also immersing them in the skills of musical theatre. Breanna was heavily involved with a sketch comedy troupe throughout college and enjoys writing as well as improvisation. She will continue this passion in August as she prepares for her move to Chicago to study at The Second City. Breanna is honored to spend her last few months in Texas teaching and introducing Paramount’s students to all the wonders of theatre!
Melody A. Long (Camp Story Wranglers Teacher)
Melody A. Long (Camp Story Wranglers Teacher) recently retired after 33 years of being a music teacher, 29 years at Bryker Woods Elementary School. Her musical career began at home and expanded to include National Endowment for the Humanities programs in Vienna and New York City and performing with Austin Musical Theatre and Austin Opera. After 3 levels of training with the Metropolitan Opera, she helped her students create and produce their own operas. Melody was responsible for preparing the Children’s Chorus for Austin Opera in 2012-2014 seasons and was responsible for their summer opera camps for children. Melody began as a Story Wrangler in the fall and is thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the summer camp.
Jane Maddox-Coady (Acting & Creative Drama Teacher)
Jane Maddox-Coady (Acting & Creative Drama Teacher): has an extensive background in theatre, musical theatre, performance and production. She currently performs as a Paramount Story Wrangler and was a Camp Counselor for Camp Paramount last year. This year she is overjoyed to be teaching Creative Drama and Acting for Sessions 1 and 3, and she will also be performing duties as the Camp Manager for RoboArts! Although she has appeared in independent films and commercials, her true love is and always will be the theatre. She has been involved in a countless number of stage productions. Her award winning roles on stage include Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz, Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Baroness Shraeder in The Sound of Music, as The Girl in The Seven Year Itch, and this July as Ulla in The Producers. Jane works in special education for Hutto ISD. She also owns her own entertainment business, providing entertainment for parties and special events, where she performs as Marilyn Monroe and various fairytale characters. (www.janeismarilyn) She adds, “Live theatre is magic…there is nothing like it in the world.”
Elizabeth McQueen (Song Writing Intensive Teacher)
Elizabeth McQueen led last year’s hugely popular Song Writing Intensive. She is a Grammy nominated musician who spent 8 years as the front woman for Asleep at the Wheel. She has released several solo albums and hosts a Saturday morning show on KUTX as well as their new podcast, “This Song,” where she talks to musicians about life changing songs, inspiration, and creativity.
Katie Moore (Show Director / Dance Teacher)
Katie Moore is an actress, improviser, teaching artist and producer. She is proud to be a Story Wrangler and teaches creative writing, math and science with the Paramount’s Literacy to Life and STEM through the Arts programs. Katie can be seen onstage at ColdTowne Theater and the Vortex Theatre. She is also the Organizing Producer for Mortified Austin, a live comedy storytelling show where adults share embarrassing childhood artifacts on stage in front of strangers.
Kevin Moxley (Camp Story Wranglers Teacher)
Kevin Moxley has been performing for as long as he can remember after a childhood spent coercing siblings into acting out plays he’d written. A native of South Carolina, Kevin graduated from New York University and worked at the New Victory Theater before leaving New York for warmer climes. He has performed professionally in a variety of projects across the country ranging from dance and opera to circus and film. After touring with Missoula Children’s Theatre and working in Youth Leadership Development at Camp Chatuga, Kevin settled in Austin. Locally he has performed with the City Theatre Company, Shrewd Productions, Vortex Repertory Co, and Something For Nothing Theater, as well as being a member of the Paramount Story Wranglers company and a teaching artist for the Literacy to Life program.
Cassadie Petersen (Acting & Creative Drama Teacher)
Cassadie Petersen has been working in professional theater for over twenty years, having made her equity stage debut at 8 years old. She received her BA in Drama from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, is a graduate of the National Theater Institute at the Tony-award winning Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and has studied at the St. Petersburg Arts Academy in Russia. Cassadie has worked as a professional actor and theater educator in New York, Connecticut, New Orleans, the US Virgin Islands, and Los Angeles. In Austin, she has been a theater teacher and director with the Paramount’s Story Wranglers and STEM Through the Arts programs, kidsActing Studio, ZACH Theatre and both AISD and private schools. She sat on the nominations committee of the B. Iden Payne Awards Council for three years and is a founding member of Dual Tape Deck, a local film collective. She has also performed with multiple theaters including ZACH, Present Company Theatre, En Route and Trouble Puppet and was nominated for an Austin Critics Table Award for Best Lead Actor in 2013 and a B. Iden Payne Award for Best Performer for Youth in 2014. This is her second summer at Camp Paramount and she is thrilled to be back!
Natalie Ray (Counselor)
Natalie Ray is a recent graduate of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School and will be attending Occidental College in the fall. In the summer of 2015, Natalie participated in the People to People Leadership Program in Los Angeles with a focus on film and acting, and has been a part of many theater productions and improv groups throughout middle and high school. Natalie is passionate about storytelling as well as acting and has studied creative writing at St. Stephen’s. One of her favorite quotes is: “Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise,’ from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. She is so excited to be a part of Camp Paramount and Camp Story Wranglers this summer!
Nicole Richard (roboARTS Teacher)
Nicole Richard (roboARTS Teacher) serves as the director of Science in a Suitcase
, a non-profit that blends the worlds of art and technology to engage kids in learning critical skill-sets in completely new ways. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and moved to Austin to work for National Instruments (NI) in 2000. Under NI’s partnership with LEGO, she managed the development of the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® and LEGO WeDo robotics software for kids. This unexpected opportunity to use her engineering degree to develop toys sparked a passion in Nicole for helping children discover and develop an interest science and technology. She’s traveled far and wide to places like Cambodia, India, and Vietnam to help various non-profits create sustainable LEGO robotics programs that foster technical literacy in children who would otherwise never have access to these types of tools. In 2012, she was even featured in .
Timeca Seretti (Film Acting Intensive Teacher)
Timeca Seretti (Film Acting Intensive Teacher) has been active in the Austin film scene for over a decade. Her credits include appearances on Friday Night Lights and Revolution as well as the film Blacktino, which premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival. Timeca is also a member of Spectrum Theatre Company, Austin’s premiere African American theater company. In 2009 she created a production company, Wild Child Entertainment, and has produced two award winning shorts, “Drama” and “The Proof.”
Shanna Sorrells (Acting & Creative Drama Teacher)
Shanna Sorrells (Acting & Creative Drama Teacher) is a Washington D.C.-based teaching artist with Imagination Stage and is also an American Sign Language high school teacher. She was most recently seen in ASL Films’ “Beyond the Embers,” and onstage in Los Angeles with internationally-known Deaf theatre troupe, Deaf West. She has taught acting, theatre, ASL, GED prep, and environmental science. She is thrilled to return to Camp Paramount for a third summer as an acting and creative drama teacher.
Ammon Taylor (Resident Musical Director)
Ammon Taylor is a pianist, composer, and musical director with a Bachelor of Music in Composition from UT Austin. Before joining the Paramount, he was the assistant choir director and musical theatre teacher at McCallum Fine Arts Academy. Ammon was the musical director of ZACH Theatre’s Pre-Professional Company from 2013 to 2015, and he has been the musical director for the Paramount Story Wranglers since 2011. He has been the musical director for summer and winter camps at the Paramount and ZACH theaters since 2012. Ammon is actively involved in Austin’s improvised theatre community, and has taught musical improvisation classes with the Hideout Theatre and Merlin Works Institute at ZACH. Ammon has received several B. Iden Payne awards for outstanding original score; in 2015 for Cenicienta and in 2016 for Love Me Tinder
Alana Urbano (Counselor)
Alana Urbano (Counselor) is a current Music Educator new to Austin’s fine arts scene. She hails from the great state of Texas, and is a San Antonio native. Ms. Urbano studied Music Composition during her undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at San Antonio and is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Music Education through Liberty University’s online Masters program. She has worked for four years as adjunct faculty for the Archdioceses of San Antonio as a middle school and high school band director. In her spare time, Ms. Urbano loves to compose, eat, play video games, work on her fitness, and clean. Music is a necessity and passion in her life, and she hopes to inspire others to create their own passion for the Arts.
Becca Westerkom (Tech & Design Teacher)
Becca Westerkom (Tech & Design Teacher) graduated with a TV and Radio Broadcasting degree from Texas State University in 2004. She moved to New York after graduation to work as a page at The Late Show with David Letterman. She was an Account Executive for KLBJ-FM for 5 years but resigned to start a family. She is a Story Wrangler for Literacy to Life and a stay at home mother of 2. This year will be her 5th summer teaching for the Paramount. She has played various roles in all of Paramount’s Summer Camps including Design Teacher for Camp Paramount, Improv TA for Theater Academy and Story Wrangler for Camp Story Wranglers. She is a kid at heart that enjoys making costumes, acting, writing, singing (off key), improv, and stand up which she performs around town.
All camps will be at the Paramount and Stateside Theatres, located at 713 Congress Avenue in downtown Austin, TX