TADA! Staff & Board
All staff can be reached by phone at 212.252.1619 and the corresponding extension listed above and email addresses are first initial, then last name @tadatheater.com. Click on staff name to get to know more about them!
Amy Fiore is the Director of Development for TADA! Youth Theater after serving 7 years as Managing Director. Previously, Amy acted as the Director of External Affairs for Vineyard Theatre, Associate Director of Marketing and then Interim Director of Marketing for The Public Theater during their 50th Anniversary celebration, and as the Ticketing and Marketing Manager for MCC Theater. In addition to her work in non-profit theater administration, Amy is an adjunct professor of Managing the Arts and Marketing the Arts at New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and has been a guest lecturer at NYU, Baruch College and with the Arts & Business Council of New York, among others. She is the founder and director of Play Theater in Scotch Plains NJ and currently teaches classes and directs musicals with children there. Amy was also a long-time performer and managing partner of the performing group The Improvoholics. Amy resides in Scotch Plains, NJ with her husband and 2 daughters. X 116
Joanna Greer, Associate Artistic Director & Resident Choreographer, holds a BA in Musical Theater Performance and Dance from Columbia College Chicago. As a Director-Choreographer and Teaching Artist she has had the pleasure of working with numerous award winning organizations, such as The American Ballroom Theater (featured in the 2005 Documentary Mad Hot Ballroom), YANY, City Lights Youth Theatre, and the acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Current TADA! Director and/or Choreographer credits include The Banned Broadway Project, 25+ main-stage musicals as well as 365 Days/365 Plays by Suzan Lori-Parks at TADA! and The Public Theater. Most recently, she choreographed 50 SHADES! The Musical (First National Tour), Alienne: The Musical Adventures of My Little Martian at the 2014 New York Fringe Jr. and the #SaveKidsLives traffic safety event with UNICEF. Joanna is also the Co-founder of NYC-based Kinetic Dance Theater, an artistic collective driven toward innovating dance theater, cabaret and musical theater performance. www.kineticdancetheater.org. X 117
Claudia Stuart, General Manager, received her M.F.A in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College in 2010. Ever since her stage debut at age five, as a pile of coconuts, she has know that she wanted to work in theater. She is thrilled and honored to join the TADA! team and help bring quality arts education and experience to a new generation of kids. If it were not for after-school theater programs, Claudia would probably be a corporate accountant, working in some stuffy office and bored out of her mind. No one should have to suffer that fate! She is also the co-founder of an award-winning company Theatrical Gems, which produces well-known musicals, benefits and world premiers in NYC and PA, where she lives. When not producing, managing or seeing theater, Claudia can probably be found snuggling with her dog and two cats, baking cookies or solving crosswords, sometimes all at the same time. X 120
Rod Christensen is the Director of Education at TADA! Youth Theater. His previous professional experience includes working at One on One NYC/LA (a studio for professional actors seeking to build their careers) where he was the Program Director responsible for all aspects of program development. Prior to this, Rod was the Senior Manager of Education at Canadas prestigious Shaw Festival (the second largest repertory theater company in North America) where he developed numerous arts education programs and theatre-related workshops for school groups and adult audiences. Other past positions include: elementary/high school teacher (music and drama); department head of a creative arts program for adults with developmental disabilities; and performer with the international, educational outreach program Up With People! Rod holds a Master of Education, a Bachelor of Music in Education, and a diploma in business management and leadership skills. X 115
Kaila Mackenzie, Director of Marketing, has been in the theater and dance world since she could walk. Kaila was part of a similar musical theater program growing up in Orlando, so TADA! and what it represents holds dear to her heart. After moving to NYC from Florida to attend Marymount Manhattan College, she received her BFA in Acting and Directing. Throughout her time in college, she worked as a marketing intern for numerous nonprofits around the city including MCC, The Women's Project and American Opera Projects. After graduating in 2011 Kaila worked as the Marketing Associate for TADA! then gave Los Angeles a try to work with Santa Barbara Dance Institute. After 2 years in Los Angeles, Kaila missed TADA! way too much. X 133
Stacey Bone-Gleason, Education Programs Manager, studied drama at NYU/Stella Adler Studio of Acting and currently is finishing her Masters in Education Theater at City College. Prior to coming to TADA! she spent six years on the administration team at Stella Adler Studio of Acting as the Administrative Coordinator and has served as the Conference Coordinator for Face to Face Conference sponsored by NYC Arts in Education Roundtable. In addition to her administrative work she has been a teaching artists for numerous cultural organizations including the Center for the Arts Education, Arc Stages in Pleasantville, NY, the Stella Adler Outreach Division, Stagecoach Theater in Brooklyn and has even taught pre-show lessons internationally in Istanbul with the Tempest Ladies (a theater company she performs with). Stacey is also an actress who has performed Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally in shows ranging from classical to contemporary and musical theater. X 118
Andy Bryant, IT Manager's Past TADA! shows include The Prop Shope, The History Mystery, New York, New Year, Everything About A Camp (Almost). Outside of TADA! Andy has stage managed Manhattan Theater Club's productions of Valley Song with Athol Fugard and The Green Heart; Roundabout's, The Minneola Twins; The Drama Department's, June Moon and numerous productions with Jacques d'Amboise's National Dance Institute where he was also the National Residency Director. Andy also stage manages special events such as Broadway on Broadway, Stars in the Alley, the New York Yankees Foundation, United Way/NFL Benefit and JP Morgan/Chase Holiday Festival. X 122
Matthew Haws, Ensemble Manager, grew up all over the Rocky Mountain states and received an MFA in Acting from the University of South Carolina before moving to New York City. This is probably why he's so happy to call TADA! home and so thrilled to work with the unique Ensemble program and it's amazing kids. Matt started working with youth theater over ten years ago, when he began touring middle and high schools performing Shakespeare and leading workshops. In graduate school, Matt further discovered his love for working with young people while teaching a freshman level acting course and later during an internship at the Virginia Stage Company and the Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA. After moving to NYC he was able to learn a lot about city kids and their families while working with Super Soccer Stars before bringing that experience to his work at TADA! He can say with confidence that the Ensemble Kids are the best he's ever had the pleasure of working with (but don't tell them he said that, it might go to their heads). X 132
Jacob Platt, Technical Supervisor/ Space Manager, has been working in theatre for over 15 years providing producing, production management, and lighting services spanning Broadway scale productions to community theatre performances. After attending Carnegie Mellon University and returning to NYC to complete his education, Jacob worked with and held a position on the artistic council of Working Mans Clothes Productions during the successful productions of She Like Girls (GLAAD Award) and To Ninevah (NY Innovative Theatre Award). Founder and principal of Platt Productions LLC, he produces Desiree Burch's and Dan Kitrosser's original one woman play Tar Baby. He is also an Associate Designer and Project Manager at Sense Lighting, executing large scale architectural and corporate installations such as Audemars Piguet & Galerie Perrotin "Curiosity" for Art Basel Miami, Martha Stewart's American Made Awards 2012 (Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal) and Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak (Park Avenue Armory). X 134
Catie Walczak, Development Assistant, grew up in a very theatrical family and was fortunate enough to attend a youth theater similar to TADA!. Originally from Boston, she received a BA in Sociology from Mount Holyoke College. During her Junior year in college she found her niche working for a non-profit in Boston. When she moved to NYC after college she determined to combine her two passions: theater and working with children. In addition to her work at TADA!, Catie works as a freelancer and runs the site thebroadwayguide.com. When she is not at work she can usually be found training for a marathon or at the theater. X 135
Virgina Jimenez, Education Assistant, is originally from Colorado, where she learned to dance before she could talk. She studied Theater and Math Education at the University of Northern Colorado. Upon moving to New York, she worked with the New York Theater Workshop, Lower Manhattan Arts Academy and Khalol Gibran International Academy. Besides being an aspiring writer and director, Virginia is currently a Teaching Artist in addition to Education Assistant at TADA! She is very excited to share her passion for theatre with TADA! students. X 113
Lauren Bond, Administrative Assistant, discovered her love for the arts at an early age. She attended dance classes at Dance Theater of Harlem where her appetite continued to grow. It wasn't until Lauren auditioned for the Christian Cultural Center's production of The Wiz and met Ben Harney (founder of By All Means Save Some Theatre Works) did she discover her true passion, scenic and prop design. She attended college at the University of the Arts, later transferring to Cuny's Brooklyn College where she graduated with a Bachelor in Theater Arts. Heavily involved in church productions, Lauren is the assistant audio engineer every Sunday. In 2015 Lauren became part of TADA!'s staff because she believed in the mission and the importance of giving youth the opportunity to explore the arts like Christian Cultural Center and Ben Harney did for her. X 110
TADA! Board of Directors
Chalmers Browne, President
Elana Weinstein, Vice President
Laura Esposito, Secretary
Stephen T. Rodd, Treasurer
Lisa Gold Untracht
Artistic Advisory Board
TADA! employs close to 50 professional Teaching Artists each year.
Current Fall Semester Teaching Artists:
Naomi Avadanei, Director/Choreographer, Naomi has been singing, dancing, and acting with TADA! since 2010. She is currently the theater teacher at P.S. 52 in Sheepshead Bay where she works primarily with students in grades 1-5. Naomi has been singing, dancing, and acting since she was 3 years old and she hasn?t stopped since. While in college, Naomi founded and was president of Lamplighters: New York University?s first student centered and run Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) club focused in creating, developing, and exploring new and innovative TYA. Naomi has a B.S. in Educational Theatre with New York State certification in theatre (K-12) and a minor in Dramatic Literature from New York University and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree at City College of New York.
Christopher Bell, Director/Choreographer, Chris Bell is originally from San Antonio, Texas but lives and works in NYC. He attended Case Western Reserve University on a fully funded graduate fellowship, earning a MFA in Contemporary Dance. He did his undergraduate work at Texas Christian University and Lamar University earning degrees in Dance (BFA) and Geology (BS). He also attended the American Dance Festival (4-time full scholarship recipient) and performed works by Merce Cunningham, Hanya Holm, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp. He is curently choreographic and directorial assistant to Mark Dendy as well as a member of Mark Dendy Projects. He also serves as Rehearsal Director for Gaspard&Dancers and performs with Ben Munisteri Projects. He was the resident choreographer for the American Theater of Harlem (?13-?14), and The Mather Dance Collective (?10-?11) which brought people aged 8-80 (and beyond) of various skill level and socioeconomic status together to create and perform new dances. In addition to working with TADA! Youth Theaters he also teaches for Pascal Rioult Dance NY. Here and there he creates, performs, and teaches his own work as ChrisBellDances.
Miriam Daly, Music Director, Miriam Daly is a music director at TADA! and is also a composer! When she is not writing music she might by playing piano at various venues, or music directing a TheatreWorks USA tour. She loves cultivating her students musical abilities! She is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and NYU?s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Kimberly Hale, Director/Choreographer, Kimberly Hale grew up in Iowa where she studied Performing Arts & Musical Theatre at Iowa State University. After moving to New York, she worked on the business side of the industry while working with Dodgers Theatricals on several major Broadway shows. She is a proud member of the New York Deaf Theatre company where she enjoys combining her love of theatre and American Sign Language. Kimberly has been a Teaching Artist at TADA! for the last 4 years, and she is thrilled to be sharing her love of Musical Theatre with her TADA! students again this fall!
Angela Jamieson, Music Director, Angela?s professional career as a musician in Opera and Theatre Orchestras, Musical Directing and Conducting has taken her all over the world. She served as Musical Director, Off- Broadway for ?Hiroshima?, a Kennedy Center Award winning play with music composed by Yoko Ono. She toured Europe with the ?Phantom Of The Opera? as Assistant Conductor. She was a Co-Founder and Musical Director of ?American Light Opera Repertoire. Some favorites shows include: Conductor of ?CATS? national Tour, Associate Conductor of ?Peter Pan? with Ms.Cathy Rigby, Keyboard I for ?The Big Apple Circus? at Lincoln Center and touring, Associate Conductor for two national tours of Disney?s ?The Lion King? and currently is a Pianist, Vocal Coach and Conductor for the ?Lion King New York?-LKNY-Broadway. Angela has worked as a teaching artist for TADA! Youth Theatre, Inside Broadway, Young Audiences NY, Summer Arts Institute of NY, New York City Center Encores! and Disney Worldwide.
Virgina Jimenez, Director/Choreographer, Virginia Jimenez is originally from Colorado, where she learned to dance before she could talk. She studied Theater and Math Education at the University of Northern Colorado. She works with various theater companies as a teaching artist in NYC. Her work ranges from arts-integrated curricula to skills building in drama and musical theater. Alongside her work in arts education, Virginia is a writer, dancer and theatre maker. Her work places an emphasis on the importance of emotional education. Virginia is currently a Teaching Artist in addition to Education Assistant at TADA! She is very excited to share her passion for theatre with TADA! students.
Lauren Meyer, Director/Choreographer, Lauren Meyer has been a teaching artist for over 7 years. Originally from California, she has worked for a dozen theater companies and schools directing, choreographing, and teaching classes. She founded a theater training organization as a resource for students who aimed to improve and expand their theatre skills outside of school. Lauren is also a private audition and performance coach; she loves the way theater can help students accomplish their goals. Lauren has directed multiple performing groups that reach into the community by serving senior citizens. She completed an internship with New York Theatre Workshop and most recently finished an apprenticeship with New Victory Theater. Lauren holds a degree in Theater with a minor in Marketing from Azusa Pacific University.
Lawrence Rush, Music Director, Lawrence Rush, composer, lyricist and singer, has been a teaching artist with TADA! since 2002. His Pride & Prejudice-the Musical (Richard Rodgers Award finalist) received readings in Philadelphia (Main Street Musicals) and Chicago (FWD Theatre Project). He co-composed Under the Influence (Outwright Festival, Portland, OR) and Rules for Girls (Promenade Actor?s Studio, Odyssey Theatre, L.A.). His choral works, cabaret and art songs have been performed around the world, and his Transitions for piano debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2013. As a singer, Lawrence has performed many roles in opera and musical theater. He was a member of the San Francisco Opera chorus, where he also covered and performed small roles, the famous Young Americans, and the Gregg Smith Singers. He is an arranger, musical director, stage director, actor, and is the chef and owner of Cooking A Cappella, where he teaches cooking classes and corporate events combined with singing!
Matt Patrick Walsh, Music Director, Matt Patrick Walsh studied musical theatre at Marymount Manhattan College as well as composition at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. He is currently finishing up his Masters in music education at CUNY Hunter College. His original works have been produced and featured in festivals, readings in NYC and more! His original musical, "The Coincidentals" (libretto: Emma Jeszke) was produced at "The Pitch" at the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. Also, his ten-minute musical "Jealous Husband..." (lyrics: Nathan Brisby) was featured in the "Sound Bites Theatre Festival." Before TADA!, Matt taught percussion to visually impaired teens at the Lighthouse Guild in Manhattan. He is also a very accomplished songwriter and performs around the city with his long-time collaborator, Daniel Palese in their group, Terryweather. His private music studio (to which he teaches voice, guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, and mandolin) contains over 25 students! He resides in Brooklyn.
TADA! Teaching Artists not only teach on-site classes and camps, but also go into the schools for TADA!'s In-School and After-School Residencies around the Tri-State area.
Magnus Tonning Riise