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MINDY DOUGHERTY

Executive Director, MUSIC THEATRE PHILLY

 

MINDY DOUGHERTY is a Philadelphia native and Mother of two who is incredibly thrilled to bring her professional background and passion for theatrical training Philadelphia. As a performer, Mindy appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award winning revival of GYPSY, starring Broadway legend Patti LuPone, preserved with a Grammy Award winning original revival recording. Other New York credits include the critically acclaimed City Center Encores production of GYPSY (starring Patti Lupone), SERENADE (Jaradoa Theatre Company), and SONDHEIM: THE BIRTHDAY CONCERT at Fisher Hall with the New York Philharmonic. Mindy starred in the Broadway National Tour of A CHORUS LINE as ‘Val’, Education: Graduate of Penn State (BFA in Musical Theatre) and received her MA in Theatre Education from New York University (NYU).

 

Mindy believes that musical theatre and the disciplines associated, nurture more than just a talent, but a sense of inclusion, team work, mutual respect and confidence in an atmosphere of trust, positivity, and encouragement.

 "As a mother, I know the importance of wanting to help your child reach and grow to their full potential and I strongly believe that the arts is a tool toward achievement." 

 

Dann Dunn

Artistic Director, MUSIC THEATRE PHILLY

 

DANN DUNN has created and maintained award-winning professional works as a Director/ Choreographer, Associate, and Dance Captain around the world. A Philadelphia resident, Dann is the recipient of Broadway World Philadelphia’s ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Choreographer’ Awards (2012, 2013, 2015) and is a 2015 Philadelphia Barrymore Award nomination for ‘Outstanding Choreography/ Movement’. Credits: Broadway, Madison Square Garden, New York, National and International tours. Regional: Walnut Street Theatre, Media Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Delaware Theatre Company, PGLTF, Arden Theatre Co., Kennedy Center, Jenny Wiley Theatre, Riverside Theatre, NCT, Society Hill Playhouse, Eagle Theatre, Allenberry Playhouse, Totem Pole Playhouse, Ritz Theatre, Kimmel Center, PGLTF, Arden Theatre, Prather Entertainment, Wohlfahrt Haus Theatre, Jenny Wiley Theatre, Weathervane Rep, Ocean City Theatre Company, Forestburgh Playhouse. Original Cast: Created the role of ‘Tennessee’ in YANK. Dancer for Mariah Carey, Mark Kanemura (So You Think You Can Dance, Lady Gaga, Janet Jackson). Creator/Dir/Chor: DAMES AT SEA (Norwegian Cruise Line). Contributing Choreographer: The Red Cross, National Liberty Museum, The X Games, Circus Circus Las Vegas, Sesame Street Workshop. TV: The Today Show, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Good Morning America. Recognition: 8 time Broadway World Award (8), Barny Award Winner (4), Twiggy Award (3), DC Metro Arts Award (5), NJ Perry Award and Barrymore Award Nominee. As an educator, Dann has had the pleasure working with performers of all ages, teaching master classes and appearing as a Guest Director/Choreographer and is currently on faculty at UArts and the Sanford School. Guest Faculty: University Of Pennsylvania, Temple University, West Chester University, Arizona State University, GCIT: Academy Of The Performing Arts. Dann is also a teaching alumni of New York City’s ‘Camp Broadway’ where he served as a Guest Artist (Broadway’s LEGALLY BLONDE and THE DROWSY CHAPERONE), working with some of Broadway’s biggest Tony Award winning names in NYC, Toronto, and on on their National Tour, educating children across the country.

 
 

Amanda Morton 

Music Director / Vocal Instructor

 

Amanda is a Philadelphia-based Music Director and Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts. Select credits include: A Period of Animate Existence (Pig Iron Theatre Company); A New Brain, Into the Woods (Barrymore Award recipient), Spring Awakening (Theatre Horizon); A Year With Frog & Toad (Barrymore Award nomination), The Secret Garden, Passion, Parade (Arden Theatre Company); Broadcast, Kiss of the Spider Woman, A New Brain, Side Show (11th Hour); Malpractice Makes Perfect (York Theatre Company); Peter & I (American Theatre of Actors); We Tell the Story: The Songs of Ahrens & Flaherty (Lortel Theatre). She frequently collaborates with composer Larry Lees as co-lyricist and story supervisor on new musicals. She has a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College.

MEET OUR TEACHING ARTISTS

Julianna Babb

Dance Instructor, Choreographer

 

Julianna is a Philadelphia-based director, choreographer, actor, and theatre educator. Originally from New Hampshire, she graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from University of the Arts. Julianna has choreographed and directed more than 25 productions in the New England area, including School of Rock, Shrek Jr, Pinkalicious (Ogunquit Playhouse), Camp Rock, and Cinderella (Palace Youth Theatre). She can also be seen performing regionally. Credits include Media Theatre, New Candlelight Theatre, Prince Theatre, and Palace Theatre.

Nicole Calabrese

Dance Instructor

 

Nicole began her dance training at Starmaker School of the Performing Arts in Flemington, NJ. She later studied at the Mill Ballet School, becoming a member of The Roxey Ballet, their resident professional dance company. She has also trained at Montclair State University, American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, and the Paul Taylor Winter Intensive. Nicole has also taught at The Mill Ballet School, Stuart Country Day School, Grace Theatre Project, Downtown Performing Arts Center, Roxey Ballet, and Ballet Academy East. She is currently the resident choreographer for Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, NJ, and has choreographed previously at Bucks County Playhouse, Downtown PAC, Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre, Cheltenham High School, and Town and Country Players. As well as being a teacher/choreographer, Nicole has appeared onstage at The Media Theatre (Mame, Hello Dolly, Joseph...Dreamcoat, A Christmas Story), Jenny Wiley Theatre (Mary Poppins, 9 to 5), The Eagle Theatre (Rock of Ages, Catch Me If You Can, Footloose), Surflight Theatre (A Chorus Line), Bucks County Playhouse (42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Oklahoma, Carousel, The Rocky Horror Show), Resident Theatre Company (Spamalot).

Kenna Donaldson

Teaching Artist

Kenna is a Philadelphia-based performer and educator. Originally from Pittsburgh, she received training from Act One Theatre School, the Media Theatre's New School and was a member of Keystone State Music Theater's Conservatory. She has worked with Miss 22 Quties: Special Needs Beauty Pageant and the Bravo! program as an instructor and performance assistant. Additionally, she has worked as a props master and stage crew for Strath Haven High School. Kenna has also received acting, dance, and vocal instruction from Music Theatre Philly! She has a passion for teaching and is pursuing an education major and theatre minor at Temple University. 

Steve Fala

Teaching Artist

 

Steve is an actor and educator with roots in the Philadelphia theatre community. After receiving his B.A. in Acting from Temple University he traveled as a performer an educator. His theatre education credits include workshops and seminars with Philadelphia Young Playwrights and Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre in Central New York. In addition to music directing at MTP Stephen performs locally and nationally for young audiences. Credits include: PAW Patrol Live!, Walnut Street Theatre, Media Theatre, Theatreworks USA, Lexington Children's Theatre, and Barter Theatre.

Ronnie Keller

Music Director

Ronnie has been working in the Philadelphia theater community as a performer since beginning his studies at Temple University in 2012, notably at The Walnut Street Theatre, Media Theatre, Surflight Theatre, and Candlelight Theatre. He has a B.A. in Musical Theatre and an education in music, having studied piano, guitar, and voice since 2002. He has instructed theater, music, and dance classes around Philadelphia at Music Training Center, Upper Darby Summer Stage, and The Media Theatre. Ronnie wishes to educate children in the arts with his experience from working professionally as an actor.

 

Kimberly Maxson

Teaching Artist

Originally from Long Island, New York, Kimberly started dancing at age 5 at the Mulvihill-Lynch School of Irish Dance. She competed as an Irish Step Dancer for 12 years and was ranked 26th in North America. Kimberly moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University. It was here under the instruction of her teacher and mentor Maggie Anderson, and many other professors and guest teachers, where Kimberly studied countless styles of dance. Since graduating from Temple, manga cum laude in 2014, with a degree in Musical Theater and minor in Dance, Kimberly has been lucky enough to be consistently working in the Philadelphia area, and at times as a dance captain, in places like the Walnut Street Theatre (Holiday Inn!, Mamma Mia!, A Funny Thing...Forum, 9-5: the Musical), the Eagle Theatre (Heathers), Candlelight Theatre (Crazy for You, Hairspray, Young Frankenstein), and the Media Theatre (Hello, Dolly!, Gypsy, Billy Elliot, Beauty and the Beast). Kimberly is thrilled for this opportunity to share her knowledge and to create a safe place where people are free to ask questions and try something new!

Jacob Schrimpf

Teaching Artist

 

Jacob Schrimpf is a Philadelphia-based actor, musician, and teaching artist. Originally from the Midwest, he graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Film, Television & Theatre and moved to Philadelphia to pursue an acting apprenticeship at the Walnut Street Theatre. He has performed regionally and around the Philadelphia area, including credits at People's Light, Media Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, Candlelight Theatre, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Palace Theatre, Scranton Shakespeare Festival, Ocean City Theatre Company, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Door Shakespeare, and Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival. He teaches acting, musical theatre, and instrumental music around Philadelphia and is thrilled to share his love of the arts with the students at Music Theatre Philly!

Sara Schmidt

Acting Instructor

 

Sara graduated with a BFA in Musical Theater from Ithaca College. Broadway: Jersey Boys, Brooklyn: The Musical, Dance of the Vampires. National Tour: Fiddler on the Roof. She has also performed Off-Broadway and in Regional productions, as well as on various theme parks and cruise ships.

 
 

Kristen Smith

Dance Instructor

 

Kristen graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a BFA in Jazz Dance Performance and a concentration in Musical Theater. Since graduation she has had amazing experiences working at Media Theatre, Candlelight Theatre, Mazeppa Productions, Resident Theatre Company, Roxey Ballet Company, and Bucks County Playhouse. She loves to share her passion of dance education and has held positions at many dance schools including The Mill Ballet School, United Dance Productions of Bermuda, Dance Arts of Yardley, Dance Arts Collaborative, Pennsylvania Classical Ballet, Bucks County School of the Performing Arts, and Theatre Arts Center. Kristen has taught several master classes throughout the state of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and has choreographed for Marywood University, Roxey Ballet Company, Stuart Country Day School, Burlington Township High School, and Parkland High School. www.kristenmariesmith.com

Melissa Widhson

Teaching Artist

Melissa is a Philadelphia native who is thrilled to be back home after spending eleven years teaching and performing in New York City. She later founded Honeybee House NYC, a nonprofit organization (Lower East Side) that provided free arts enrichment education after school. In New York, she graduated from The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (learning and performing) improv, sketch and acting. She is currently a company member with the Philadelphia Improv Theatre (Adrienne Theatre) and can be seen every week performing with Improvised Shakespeare and on the house team Big Princess. As a dancer Melissa was trained at the The Philadelphia Dance Conservatory for 10 years and The ROC school of the Pennsylvania Ballet on scholarship. She started teaching ballet in New York City in 2004 and has choreographed 12 performances at the World Famous Apollo Theatre. She has produced and choreographed for Rosie O’Donnells Broadway Kids, Groove with Me and her own company Honeybee House that held sold our concerts at Tompkins Square Park Summer festival in the East Village. She has been a resident teaching artist throughout Philadelphia for the past 5 years teaching Baby Music, Creative Movement, Dance Me a Story, Art-Tastic (Toddler Art), Jamboree, Triple Threat, Broadway Babies, Baby Steps and Disney Royalty. She also teaches Improv Comedy at PHIT (Kindergarten and 5th grade). She has had the privilege of teaching with Music Theatre Philly for the past 3 years and  her daughter River just had her first performance with MTP this Fall. It was a dream come true for Mom and daughter. When not teaching or being a mom of 2, Melissa enjoys sleeping, taking naps and dozing off during a good family movie. Also taking baths and nachos.