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Instructors

Jon Bolden

Jon Bolden Jon Bolden is a B. Iden Payne Award nominated director, instructor, and improvisational actor living in Austin, TX. He teaches courses at The Hideout Theatre, Austin's oldest improv theater. He can be seen performing weekly with award-winning comedy troupe, Bad Boys or directing productions such as Manhattan Stories: Improvised Wooden Allen or Nothing and Everything: Anton Chekhov inspired Original Plays. After studying theater from Marietta College in Ohio, Jon moved to Austin in 2006, bringing his theatrical passion to the city's booming improv scene.  In 2010, he had the honor of studying with Keith Johnstone, one of the founding fathers of modern improvisational theory.  Since then, Jon has taught specialized workshops on improvisation in Alaska, Seattle, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Houston. He is one of the co-producers of The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Austin's oldest and largest comedy festival.

Brittany Flurry

Brittany Flurry Brittany Flurry teaches teen classes and is the Administrative Assistant for the State Theatre School of Acting. She is an actor, writer, director, and producer. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Acting from Texas State University, and studied abroad with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Brittany completed a two-year Meisner intensive with Richard Robichaux. She assisted Jay Jennings, professor at Texas State University, in creating his musical The Turning. In 2013, she started her own production company (Behind the Nose Productions) and filmed her first feature. In addition to film and stage, Brittany also performs stand up comedy.

Babs George

Babs George Babs George founded the State Theatre School of Acting in 1993 and has been the Director since its inception. She is a professional actress and has been a member of SAG and AEA for 30 years. Babs graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Performance from the University of Utah, and an MFA in Classical Acting from The Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington Univ. She has been awarded the Austin Critics Award, the B. Iden Payne Award, and the Austin Chronicle’s “Best Actor/Actress in Austin” Award. In addition to her extensive stage career, Babs also pursues film, television and commercial work, and recently filmed a recurring role for the ABC series, My Generation. She has been an adjunct instructor in acting for the University of Texas, Texas State, Southwestern University and St. Edward’s University.  Ms. George has studied with many prestigious teachers over the years including Uta Hagen, Michael Kahn (Shakespeare Theatre), Ann Bogart (S.I.T.I. Company, Viewpoints and Suzuki), and Tina Packer (Shakespeare & Co.).

Carol Hickey

Carol Hickey Carol has studied with some of the most prestigious instructors in Acting at HB Studio in New York and 7 years in Los Angeles with Harry Mastrogeorge. She has a degree in Theatre from University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her living working on commercials and television series (Gilmore Girls, Six Feet Under, Scrubs, ER, NYPD Blue, Judging Amy, Big Love, National Tide, AT&T, Kelloggs, Cisco and many more) in Los Angeles. She also has received awards for her work on stage, developing premiere works in Los Angeles and in New York with The Canyon Theatre Company, along with name actors such as Mark Ruffalo and Kathy Bates. She worked as an instructor through East L.A. Classic Theatre to inner city, underprivileged youth and has primarily served as a private audition coach here in Austin.

Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts State

Adam Roberts has served as artistic director, musical director, or choreographer for over ninety productions to date, with choreography credits including two European concert tours. Having taught and coached musical theatre voice and dance styles throughout the country, his students have appeared both on and off-Broadway, in regional theatre and national tours, and on film and network television. Mr. Roberts' Austin credits include productions and/or faculty positions with Austin Children's Theater, Austin Conservatory of Theater (of which he currently serves as Director), Austin Shakespeare, Ballet Austin, the Paramount and State theaters, Theatre at the J, St. Stephen's School, ZACH Theatre, and others. A member of the Austin Critics' Table, he is a contributing writer and arts critic for the Austin Chronicle and is currently authoring a book focused on music analysis for practitioners of musical theatre. Mr. Roberts is also highly active as an interpreter of sacred music, having served as musical director at Calvary United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, Florida, and Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wellsville, Ohio. He holds a Master's degree in Music and the College Teaching Certificate from Florida State University and received undergraduate degrees from Youngstown and Kent State universities.

Paula Russell

Paula Russell

Paula Russell is a professional actor and director with over 25 years of teaching experience. She is a member of SAG, Actors Equity and AFTRA. In Austin, Paula is a member of TXMPA, The Alliance, Reel Women, The Austin Film Society and is a founding member of Austin Creative Alliance (formerly ACoT). She has directed at the famed Ensemble Studio Theatre, Cast Theatre, Actors Playhouse and interned by invitation as director-in-training on Taxi, Cheers, WKRP and Newhart under James Brooks, James Burroughs, Will McKenzie, Joan Darling and others. Under Actors Equity, Ms. Russell both performed the lead role and directed the musical, "Always, Patsy Cline." Locally, she has directed two plays at the Long Center's Rollins Theatre. She recently coached two of the lead actors for a film that has been accepted at Sundance. For more visit www.paula-russell.com.

Tony Sears

Tony Sears

Actor/director Tony Sears studied Drama at Furman University, The University of Georgia, and l’Institut des Etudes Européenes in Paris.  He spent several years as the Associate Artistic Director of the Hilton Head Island Playhouse (now the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina) before moving to Los Angeles, where he spent 20 years working on both sides of the camera. 
He worked in the Art Department of several films and TV shows, including three seasons of the series Star Trek: Voyager, assisting Emmy Award winning production designer Richard James. Sears later returned as an actor in two episodes of Voyager, playing a Starfleet Officer and the Borg Drone, Four of Twelve. Tony has appeared in numerous roles for film, television, and stage and has directed many theater productions on both coasts. He played Dr. Davies in season six of Lifetime’s Army Wives, and has made guest appearances on such popular shows as Drop Dead Diva, Dallas, Devious Maids, ALIAS, Judging Amy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He has also produced and directed for the camera, including Public Service Announcements, Industrials, a documentary (The Queen of Sunset Boulevard) and several short films. Sears first began experimenting with kinetic energy in performance at The University of Georgia, under the direction of the late August Staub. In Los Angeles he trained and later taught with Darryl Hickman, exploring the Actor’s use of moment-to-moment energy. Before coming to Austin, he taught his own acting workshop in North Hollywood, where he experimented with how the creative imagination informs the flow of real-time, organic energy through an organized structure, free of  “acting tricks.” Sears encourages actors to tell their story. They may use the author’s words, wear wardrobe’s clothing, stand where the director tells them, but it is the actor who ultimately breathes life into the role. Sears is currently developing a television series based on characters from the Mary Magruder Katz novels by Barbara Levenson and in pre-production for the feature film, Jimmy & Mia which he will direct in and around Austin, TX.

Nick Stevenson

Nick Stevenson

Nick Stevenson can be seen most recently in Netflix’s newest hit show, Orange is the New Black, as “Pete Harper” alongside Jason Biggs, Kate Mulgrew, Laura Prepon and Taylor Schilling. He also recently guest starred opposite Jim Caviezel in the CBS drama, Person of Interest, and has three features coming out 2014: Jane Want’s A Boyfriend Extinction Patient zero and Isn’t It Delicious. Stevenson's voice can be heard at any time on many famous ad campaigns such as commercials for Gillette, Miller Light, Energizer Batteries, British Airways, The Sydney Morning Herald, Louis Vuitton, McDonald's and The Weinstein Company, among others. Stevenson graduated from The Atlantic Theater Company's Conservative Acting School in 2002. In 2006, Nick co-founded The Outhouse Theatre Company dedicated to the cultivation and development of both emerging and established Australian theater artists. In 2007, for his love of theater Stevenson traveled to Greece with the One Year Lease Troupe and performed in Widows and Reader by Ariel Dorfman.  Reader was also performed at The New York Fringe Festival and received praise from critics.

M.J. Vandivier

Marijane Vandivier is a professional Equity actress with over forty years experience. She enjoyed a successful television career for 30 years including film, radio shows and commercial work, and has been an acting and speaking voice teacher / coach for the past 17 years.  Mj studied at The America Theatre Wing in NYC where she appeared off-Broadway in “Late Arrival.”  Vandivier holds a B.S. from the University of Houston in Psychology and Theatre and is a Certified Lessac Voice / Body Trainer.   She played with her show band in Vegas, Reno, Tahoe, LA, and across the country for 7 years.  Many Texans grew up with Mj on the popular KPRC-TV live children shows, “Happy Hollow and Marijane’s MagiCastle.  Her long-running talk/news show “Wake-up Houston” was seen on KUHT-TV daily while she continued performing at the Alley Theatre, Theatre Under The Stars and Houston Music Theatre.  Marijane moved to Austin 10 years ago to be with family.  She has been an adjunct instructor at St. Edwards University, teaches for The State Theatre School of Acting, and for private clients as well as continuing to act professionally.  In Austin, Mj has been featured in a variety of roles at St. Edwards Mary Moody Northen, Zachary Scott, Austin Playhouse and Tex-Arts Theatres. [Video]