Teaching Artists

The Alliance Theatre Institute hires roughly 45 teaching artists to deliver residency programs and professional learning workshops. Teaching artists undergo rigorous initial training and regular professional development to enhance classroom management, curriculum design, awareness of school culture, and artistic skills. Teaching artists providing Georgia Wolf Trap programs must also complete an additional week-long national certification process.

If you are interested in applying to be an Alliance Theatre teaching artist, please click here.

Karen Aguirre

Karen Aguirre is an accomplished actress and educator based in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated with a degree in Theatre from Georgia Southern University, where she honed her passion for performance. Since graduating, Karen has dedicated herself to teaching, imparting her love for theatre to young minds. 

Specializing in early childhood education, Karen primarily works with pre-K and kindergarten students, nurturing their creativity and fostering a love for the performing arts from an early age.  

Beyond her work in education, Karen has also served as the Young Performer Supervisor for main stage productions at the Alliance Theatre, where she mentored and guided young actors, helping them flourish in their craft. 
As an actress, Karen is represented by Atlanta Models and Talent, and some of her TV/Film credits include: STAR (Fox), Raising Dion (Netflix), Lodge 49 (AMC), The Baby Proposal (UPTv).  

Karen looks forward to continuing to share her love for theater and nurturing the next generation of performers. 

Will Amato


Ricardo Aponte

Ricardo Aponte is an Atlanta based Director/Choreographer and a three-time Suzi Award winner, whose work has been featured at the Alliance Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Actor’s Express, Atlanta Lyric, Aurora Theatre, among other regions around the country. Ricardo is also the founder of Theatre Platform Project, a nonprofit organization committed to providing affordable performing arts education to underserved communities.  


Kim Bowers-Rheay Baran

Kim is a teaching artist with the Alliance Theatre Institute, Master Wolf Trap teaching artist, professional singer/actress, and a certified Montessori teacher. Kim specializes in early childhood education, curriculum development, and professional learning for teachers in arts integration. She has presented interactive workshops on arts integration at workshops and conferences around the country, encouraging educators to envision education infused with imagination and the joy of intrinsically motivated learning. Previously, Kim was a Montessori teacher and creative arts director in Fayetteville, GA and the assistant education director at The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. She has performed across Atlanta including the Alliance Theatre and in many national tours including Camelot with Robert Goulet and Hello Dolly with Madeline Kahn. Favorite roles include Kate in Kiss Me, Kate, Aldonza in Man of LaMancha, Tessie Tura in Gypsy, and Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar. Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Oklahoma, Montessori certification from the National Center for Montessori Education, Master Wolf Trap certification from Wolf Trap Center for Early Learning through the Arts.  

Dakota (Cody) Benfield

Dakota is thrilled to be working as a teaching artist for the Alliance Theatre Institute. He moved to Atlanta in the fall of 2022 after graduating from Western Carolina University with a BFA in musical theatre. He has worked with the Alliance both in their summer camp and with their after-school program. He has found that along with performing in theatre, he also has a passion for teaching. While in college, he taught at a local theatre and is glad that he can now make teaching part of his career. Dakota is so excited to continue working with the Alliance and cannot wait for many more years of learning, creating, performing, and teaching. 


Dru Sky Berrian


Chelsea Brown

Chelsea Brown is a teaching artist for the Alliance Theatre. She began her teaching artist career in 2012, working as a fine arts curriculum developer in a preschool, local elementary schools, an after-school drama program, and musical theater summer camps. Chelsea's journey with the Alliance started in 2016 working Family Fun days, summer camps, and weekend classes. Chelsea is currently working with the Alliance Theatre Institute through the smART stART, Historical Figures Come to Life, and Drama Partner residency programs. Outside of the classroom, she is an actor, singer, and voice over artist represented by East Coast Talent. Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Brenau University.  

Katie Causey

Katie Causey is an actor and education artist living in Atlanta, GA. She holds degrees in English and Theatre from the University of Georgia and graduated from the Aurora Theatre's Apprenticeship Program. Katie has worked with The Alliance Theatre since 2013 teaching classes, summer camps and various workshops as well as teaching with the Alliance Theatre Institute. She worked as the on-set acting coach for the young actors on The Walking Dead for seasons 9, 10, and 11. Katie also teaches acting at the Aurora Theatre, Georgia Gwinnett College, and The Company Acting Studio. She specializes in improvisation and loves to find new ways to bring improv into every subject she teaches.  


Hannah Lake Chatham

Hannah Lake Chatham has been an Alliance Theatre Teaching Artist since 2015. She is an Atlanta actor, teaching artist, and photographer with a B.F.A. in Acting and a minor in Dance from Western Carolina University (’13). She has taught summer and spring break camps, workshops, and after school classes with the Education department, as well as several programs in schools within the Alliance Theatre Institute. Hannah has also taught musical theatre and ballet with Once Upon a Ballet Atlanta, after-school drama with Atlanta Children's Theatre, and after-school musical theatre with Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Hannah's regional acting credits include Lina Lamont in Singin' In the Rain, Annie A.K.A. "Six" in Chicago (Springer Opera House), Ensemble in Holiday Inn (Circa '21 Playhouse), Cheryl in Evil Dead the Musical (Out of Box Theatre), and Veronica Sawyer in Heathers the Musical (OnStage Atlanta).   


Hannah Church

Since 2016, Hannah Church has been a teaching artist for Alliance Education for ages 3-18. From Playwriting to pre-school, from summer camp to in-school residencies: Hannah loves it all! Hannah spreads her love for the arts through Wolf Trap, smART stART, JumpStart, Dramaturgy by Students, and afternoon school drama! Beyond teaching, she is an actress/playwright around Atlanta. Hannah has worked around town at the Alliance Theatre (Knuffle Bunny, Born For This, A Christmas Carol, Little Raindrop Songs), Aurora Theatre (Mamma Mia, Bridges of Madison County), Synchronicity Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Arís Theatre, Hot(lanta) Theatre (The Last Five Years), and the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival in her co-written musical The Yellow Wallpaper. International Tours: The Tower (Artspot Educational Theatre) where she performed in South America, the Middle East, and Asia. Favorite Regional credits: Spring Awakening and Romeo & Juliet (Roxy Regional). 2014/15 Playwright Apprentice at Horizon Theatre. 2019/20 Reiser Lab at the Alliance Theatre.  

Javaron Conyers


Theresa Davis

Theresa Davis is an educator, storyteller, poet, author, poetry slam champion, and the host of the award winning open mic Java Speaks. She has performed on stages across the nation as a poet and keynote speaker. She was a classroom teacher for over 25 years, specializing in cross curricular education. As a slam poet, Theresa has competed individually and on teams for over a decade and in 2011 won the Women of the World Poetry Slam. In May 2013, her first full collection of poems entitled “After This We Go Dark” was published by Sibling Rivalry Press. “After This We Go Dark” became an American Library Association Honoree, and the book can now be checked out in local and college libraries around the world. Her latest poetry collection, “Drowned: A Mermaid’s Manifesto,” released with Sibling Rivalry Press in fall of 2016, received the award, “Ten Books All Georgians Should Read.” In addition to being a teaching artist and outreach poetry coordinator for Georgia Tech for 6 years, Theresa hosts and participates in many of the lit events around Atlanta. Theresa’s one-woman show “Then They’ll Tell You it’s all in Your Head” made its debut as a part of 7 Stages Home Brew series in fall of 2017.  


John Doyle

John Edward Doyle, Jr. is a storyteller, actor, and teaching artist. John began his professional teaching artist career in 2001 with Alliance Theatre Institute. John is a trained Wolf Trap certified teaching artist with Alliance Theatre. John has been a teaching artist with other organizations such as: Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Kaiser Permanente Educational Theater Programs, Utah State University, Georgia State University, Teaching Museum, Upward Bound, Young Audiences, Atlanta Street Theatre, Boys & Girls Club of America and Camp Broadway. John is a past presenter at the Woodruff Arts Center Educator Conference, presenting workshops on Digital Storytelling, Reader’s Theater, and engaging activities for the at-risk youth population. John is a professional storyteller and a member of Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia and storyteller at the High Museum of Art. John’s passion is in his social work. Since 2012, John has volunteered with TLC, a diversion program at the Fulton County Juvenile Court House. During his time with TLC, he has facilitated creative writing/theater workshops and co-directing a play written and performed by the TLC youth. John was awarded 2016 Fulton County Juvenile Courthouse volunteer of the year.


Laurin Dunleavy

Laurin Dunleavy was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. After receiving a BFA in Dance Performance at Brenau University, she went on to perform for Walt Disney World and several different professional dance companies. She has guest performed with Cirque du Soleil, Weird Al Yankovic and North Point Community Church. Laurin has been a Teaching-Artist with the Alliance Theatre’s programming since 2011. She has a passion for working with students in K-12 classrooms and beyond. You can also find her at the Holly Theater in Dahlonega, Georgia performing, choreographing and in many schools and studios around the North Atlanta area. She has technical training in ballet, modern, jazz and tap. 

Lamar Hardy

Marcia Harvey

Shelby Folks


Robert Hindsman

Robert joined the Alliance Theatre Teaching Artist team in 2016. He has worked with almost every age, teaching musical theatre, performing arts, and acting for the camera! Robert also works on staff as the Camp and Class Administrative Manager.  Performance credits include Born For This (Alliance Theatre); Ella Enchanted, A Year with Frog and Toad, Sense and Sensibility (Synchronicity Theatre); Cinderella, Secret Garden (Birmingham Children's Theatre).

Jeremiah Hobbs

Julissa Sabino Hobbs

Deja Holmes

Deja Holmes is an author, actor, and educator based in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Theater and Communications from Georgia Southern University. Upon graduation, she began working with the Alliance Theatre as a teaching artist. She is also an instructor with two local nonprofits, Artz for the Harp and Here We Grow, that provide music and arts enrichment to students of all ages. 

When Deja is not teaching or on stage, she is writing and developing new ways to make theater an interactive, enjoyable, and educational experience for all. Check out her children’s book, Grams & Me, available on her website DejaDHolmes.com, Amazon, and more! 

Jessenia Ingram

Abbey Kincheloe

Abbey Kincheloe is an actor, writer, and arts educator located in Atlanta. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated from Actors Express' apprenticeship program.  Abbey completed an internship at Seattle Children's Theatre in 2018, and from then on has been passionate about bringing the joy and light of theatre to young people everywhere. When not in the classroom, you can most likely find her on set, working with her production company: GYCO Productions. She started teaching with the Alliance Theatre in 2022 and is thrilled for the opportunity to sprinkle the magic of theatre all over Georgia. 


Chris Lane


Maya Lawrence

Maya Lawrence is a NYC born- Atlanta based multidisciplinary artist, specializing in theater, performance, and poetry. As an actor, teaching artist, and facilitator with an audience range from newborns to as long as one can be alive, she uses her superpowers of creativity, curiosity, and compassion to facilitate theatre-based experiences rooted in Anti-Bias work for youth, families, individuals, corporations, and organizations in pursuit of becoming the most authentic, empathetic versions of themselves. As a proud Spelman College alumna, and the Inaugural Spelman Leadership Fellow in residence at the Tony Award winning Alliance Theatre, Maya is on a mission to liberate the world through art using Love to light the path.


Christian Magby


Barry Stewart Mann

Barry is an Atlanta-based actor, storyteller and educator. A Harvard graduate with an M.F.A. in Theatre from the University of San Diego, Barry has acted on stages across the country, including San Diego's Old Globe, the Florida Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Rep, and D.C.'s Studio Theatre, and locally at Theatrical Outfit, Theatre Emory, Horizon Theatre, and the Shakespeare Tavern. Favorite roles include Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Louis in Angels in America, and Victor Green in The Green Book (Suzi Award nominee). As a storyteller, Barry has told in countless schools, festivals, libraries, and beyond; was named the 1999 National Storyteller of the Year; and tours to schools internationally through Dream On Productions in Buenos Aires. He has been on faculty with Lesley University's M.Ed. Program in Integrated Teaching through the Arts since 2008, teaching courses in Drama and Storytelling Integration. Barry works as a teaching artist and performer through the Georgia Council for the Arts, Fulton County's Teaching Museum, ArtsNow, FABArts, and Utah State's Arts Access Program, but considers his artistic home to be the Alliance Theatre, where he has been on the Acting Faculty and Teaching Artist Roster for over two decades. 

Asia Meana

Asia Meana is a multi-modal artist based in Atlanta. Her formal training is in poetry, but she has been singing, performing, moving, and handicrafting since early childhood, too. She has finally faced the fact that theater is her deepest and most turbulent love, and the most adequate arena in which to engage her many and varied creative interests. She is the daughter of an Iranian-American mother and a Spanish father and she carries all three of her cultures with pride into her work.

Asia holds an M.A.T in Secondary English Education from GSU, a B.A in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from UGA, and a semester of coursework toward an M.F.A in Poetry from the University of New Orleans. She was a high school English teacher for three years but has decided to step away so that she can sink back into making things.

Her most recent poem, “liminal,” was published in the Spring 2021 edition of Barzahk magazine. She recently produced and directed a play she wrote, entitled Scape, as Fly on a Wall’s 2022 artist-in-residence. Scape premiered at the Windmill Arts Center in East Point in July. She just designed, produced, and directed a production of six short plays by Samuel Beckett entitled On – at PushPush Theatre in College Park, Georgia.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with Pepper the dog, Zoe the iguana, Gix the gecko, and Eli the human.

Ann Marie Meeker

Ann Marie is overjoyed to be joining The Alliance Theatre Institute program.  As an Atlanta native, Ann Marie grew up falling in love with the arts. She trained in the conservatory program at The Legacy Theatre before getting a Bachelor of the Arts in Musical Theatre and Dance at The University of Alabama. She is a professional actor in Atlanta when she is not working in schools. On the weekends, you can find her at the local coffee shop with her wonderful husband and her dog, Jo. Ann Marie sends so much gratitude to the entire team at The Alliance Theatre for giving her this amazing opportunity. 


Courtney Moors-Hornick

Courtney Moors is a Canadian born actor and teaching artist for the Alliance Theatre Institute since 2018, where she has worked with students from 2nd through 12th grade. Passionate about Shakespeare from an early age, she founded Barefoot Shakespeare Company in New York City in 2012 and serves as Barefoot's Managing Director. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and has worked regionally as an actor at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Orlando Fringe Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Triad Stage, Portland Stage Company, NY Fringe, Shakespeare Kennesaw, Synchronicity Theatre, and the Atlanta Theatre Club. Courtney graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Central Florida with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting. She studied as an acting apprentice at the TONY-award winning Actors Theatre of Louisville and then spent nearly eight years working and living in New York City, where she studied at the Barrow Group and the Acting Studio. Courtney is endlessly inspired by the collaborations she engages in with teachers and students and is always seeking new and energizing ways to integrate theatre arts into the classroom. Learn more about Courtney at www.courtneymoors.com.


Jenna Morris

Jenna Jackson Morris is a proud Virginia native and attended Oklahoma City University, receiving her Bachelor of Science Degree in American Dance Pedagogy. She is the resident choreographer at the World of Coca-Cola and has taught musical theatre and tap in the Atlanta metro area at the Georgia Dance Conservatory, Dance 101, and The Performer's Warehouse. Jenna performed overseas as a dancer and magic assistant in Dream at the Sandcastle Theater. She appeared on an episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition and danced alongside Kristin Chenoweth during a Broadway themed episode. Atlanta productions:  Holiday Inn, Mary Poppins, 42nd Street (City Springs Theatre), White Christmas, Guys and Dolls (Jennie T. Anderson Theatre), Cinderella, Mamma Mia! (Aurora Theatre), Guys and Dolls, Singin' in the Rain, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Catch Me If You Can, Damn Yankees, West Side Story, Young Frankenstein (Atlanta Lyric Theatre), Evita (Serenbe Playhouse). As a Teaching Artist, Jenna enjoys coming alongside teachers and students and bringing their creative ideas to life! She is passionate about co-creating moments with the community that incorporate imagination, exploration, and memorable experiences through the arts! 

Audrey Myers

Anna Elizabeth Oakley

Anna Elizabeth Oakley is an actor, puppeteer and children's coach. She is passionate about bringing stories to life both on stage and in film that help young audiences (and sometimes older ones, too!) build resilience and empathy, learn life-giving skills, and experience the joy of a good belly laugh! In addition to performing, through her work as a children's coach and teaching artist, Anna strives to create safe, fun, and organized spaces for youth to discover performing arts for themselves and thrive as performers. 


She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2015, and brings with her over eight years of experience working in youth programming. 

Tafee Patterson

Tafee Patterson is an actress, singer, dancer, and musician based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She has been involved in arts education for over 24 years. As a teaching artist for the Alliance Theatre Institute, she has facilitated smART stART, Drama Partners, and Historical Figures residency programs, and recently became a Georgia Wolf Trap Teaching Artist. She has also delivered professional learning workshops for the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Teaching Museums. She has taught Musical Theater, Scene Study, and Voice for numerous schools and theaters, including The Springer Opera House, Eclectic Music, and The Children's School and was formerly the Education Outreach Coordinator for the Capital City Opera Company.  She is passionate about being a teaching artist and loves to find new ways to integrate the arts into classrooms and support teachers in their work. 

Zuri Petteway

Zuri Petteway is a local actress and teaching artists in ATL. She has been teaching theatre and dance since she was a teenager and has been working with the Alliance since summer 2020. She is from Hampton, VA and moved to Atlanta in 2019! She is excited to be a part of the Alliance Theatre Institute team and to start melding academics and theatre to help children gain a better understanding of the curriculum! 

Sam Provenzano

Sam started as a teaching artist and enrichment teacher in Denver, Colorado. There, she taught suicide prevention, theater, and social impact issues for K-12th grade. She received her MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from the University of Texas at Austin, where she taught undergraduate acting and improv. In Atlanta, she has partnered with teachers in Atlanta Public Schools to facilitate the Alliance Theatre’s Dramaturgy by Students and Strategic Storytelling residencies. 

Eugene H. Russell IV

Eugene H. Russell IV is an Atlanta native, Tennessee State University alumnus, and proud Girl Dad. An accomplished musician/composer whose music can be found on all streaming platforms, Eugene IV co-wrote the music for The Boy Who Kissed the Sky which was co-produced by the Alliance Theatre & Seattle Children’s Theatre. He also composed the music for the Alliance’s acclaimed animated short films Sit-In and The Curious Cardinal. Eugene’s regional theatre acting credits include East Texas Hotlinks (True Colors Theatre Company), Dutchman (Nebraska Repertory Theatre), and Before It Hits Home (St. Louis Black Rep), for which he received the prestigious Woodie King, Jr. Award. Film/TV appearances include Disney’s “Secrets of Sulphur Springs” and the upcoming Netflix film Six Triple Eight

Daniela Santiago

Daniela Santiago is an actor and teaching artist born and raised in Atlanta, GA. After receiving her BFA in Acting with Brenau University, she took her love for teaching students around the US and overseas with the Missoula Children's Theatre, serving a multitude of students from Kindergarten through High School. Since 2019, she has been working as a teaching artist with the Alliance Theatre from camps, to weekend classes, to in-school residencies, specializing in performing arts and musical theatre. When she is not in the classroom, Daniela advocates for racial and gender equity with social justice company, MediaJustice, and promotes physical and mental safety to actors as an Intimacy Coordinator. 


Avery Sharpe

Caity Slotnick

Issa Solis

Issa is thrilled to be joining the Alliance Theatre Institute team. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies from Kennesaw State University and a minor in Latin American Studies. As a bilingual teaching artist, Issa uses theatre strategies with students to improve confidence, academic achievement, behavioral health, outlook for the future, and empathy for others. She is very experienced with directing, dramaturgy, and facilitation, keeping accessibility and diversity at the forefront of any project. 

Autumn Stephens


Ebony Tucker

Sarah Elizabeth Wallis

Sarah Elizabeth Wallis has been performing, coaching, and helping to develop theatre & film curricula in Atlanta, GA since 2009. She graduated from the Savannah College of Art & Design with a BFA in Performing Arts & a minor in Music. Since then has been freelancing & teaching around Atlanta (including an action-packed 9 years on staff in the Alliance Theatre's incomparable Education Department!) 

Sarah loves to teach and believes wholeheartedly in the power of storytelling to deepen our empathy and make the world a better place. 


Elaina Walton

Elaina Walton is a Florida raised-Atlanta based actor, director, and educator with a B.A in Theatre from the University of West Florida and an M.F.A in Acting from the University of Florida. As an actor, Elaina has had the pleasure of working with a number of regional houses and regional companies such as The Hippodrome State Theatre, Sister Shakes, and The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre; where she recently portrayed the role of “Alice” in the Pulitzer Nominated production of “Apologies To Lorraine Hansberry (You Too, August Wilson)" by Rachel Lynett. As a director, her credits include "The Flick," "GTFOH," "Ain't Misbehavin," and "No Child...". As an educator, Elaina has had the absolute joy of teaching from the primary to the collegiate level, and she has been a Teaching Artist at the Alliance Theatre since 2023.


Megan Wartell

Megan Wartell is an Atlanta-based performer, choreographer, teaching artist, organizing professional, cat mom, and vintage enthusiast. (Yes, she wears many hats!) Megan has been an Alliance Theatre Teaching Artist since 2018 and joined the Alliance Theatre Institute program in 2022. After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology from Georgia State University, Megan quickly returned to her love of performing and made her Atlanta professional theatre debut in CATS at the Atlanta Lyric Theatre. Some of her other favorite credits include: Holiday Inn (Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, IL); Mamma Mia (Springer Opera House); Heathers (OnStage Atlanta); Nunsense (Marietta Theatre Co.); The Rocky Horror Show, Red: A Crayon's Musical (Out Front Theatre Co.); Mamma Mia (The Legacy Theatre). Over the years, Megan has also developed a deep love for teaching students of all ages. She has taught, directed, and choreographed for many different companies including: Once Upon A Ballet, M.Z.Stageworks, Renfroe Middle School, DramaTech Theatre, and The Friends School Atl. Megan truly has a passion for using her knowledge and love of performing arts to instill confidence, openness, compassion, collaboration, and creativity within the next generation!  


Andrea Washington

Andrea is an actor and arts educator who delights in collaborating with teachers and engaging students. Over the years, she has worked in over 30 schools in and around the metro Atlanta area. She integrates theatre arts into many programs including Georgia Wolf Trap, Grow Up Great and Bright from the Start. In addition to working with the Alliance Theatre, she enjoys partnering with Out of Hand Theatre, Synchronicity Performance Group’s Playmaking for Girls and Fulton County’s Teaching Museum. From curriculum planning, to developing workshops and writing scripts, Andrea thrives at finding ways to use the arts to discover, connect, and share. As a teaching artist, she uses arts integration to combine storytelling, role-playing and puppetry with subjects like reading, science and math. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Theatre and German from the University of West Georgia. Andrea has performed on dozens of stages across the country including three National Tours of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical and Me Jane: The Dreams and Adventures of Young Jane Goodall (Kennedy Center TYA); Jelly’s Last Jam; Go, Dog, Go! and Theatre for the Very Young productions of Waiting for Balloon; From Head to Toe; Gimme Please! (Alliance Theatre). 

Katie Wickline

Katie Wickline is a teaching artist, actor, and writer from Atlanta, GA. She has a degree in Theatre from Florida State University and interned at 7 Stages Theatre. She started in 2015 as a preschool teacher and then transitioned into teaching theatre in 2018. Since then, she's taught with theaters such as 7 Stages Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, and Imagine Arts. Now, she works with the Alliance teaching summer camps, workshops, and residencies with the Institute. As an actor, some of her recent theatre credits include Snowgirls (Out Front Theatre), Save the Video Store (Into the Film LLC), Robin Hood (Tipsy Tales), and Energy Endgame (National Theatre for Children). She's also a mainstage performer, writer, and teaching artist at Sketchworks Comedy. She has a passion for teaching using trauma-informed practices and creating a safe, silly space for students of all ages! 


Vallea Woodbury

"Vuh LAY uh" is a professional actor, singer, teaching artist, and trainer/educator from the Bronx, New York. A graduate of Northwestern University (BS) and the University of Georgia in Athens (MFA), Vallea believes strongly in leveraging the power of the arts to turn STEM into STEAM and has taught arts-integrated curriculum to grades Pre-K-12 since 2008. She also teaches theater and acting to students of all grades, including the university and professional levels, and has done so across the United States and abroad. When she's not in the classroom, Vallea uses an arts-inspired approach to coach professionals to practice effective, inclusive communication and improve presentation skills. As a performer, Vallea's regional credits include work with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Second City Chicago, Universal Studios, Drury Lane Oakbrook, and the New York International Fringe Festival. She has been seen locally at Alliance Theatre, as well as Theatrical Outfit, Actor's Express, and the Aurora Theatre, among others.


Melissa Word

Melissa Word is a teaching artist with the Alliance Theatre Institute and High Museum of Art, with a specialized focus on movement and dance. She is a dancer, choreographer, visual artist, writer, and embodiment activist building a creative, abundant life in Atlanta for the past four years. 
In her role as an educator, she co-creates permissive, imaginative environments in which participants can explore new, expressive possibilities and ease of movement in their bodies. 


Suehyla Young


Marielle Zinser

Mari Zinser is a teaching artist who works with children in Preschool through 5th grade. She coaches teachers across metro Atlanta in using arts integration strategies in their classrooms. Mari began her work in Educational Theatre with The Omaha Children's Company where she taught and performed in Theatre for Young Audiences shows. Upon moving to New York City, she spent time in the classroom as an Assistant Kindergarten Teacher and out of the classroom as a Teaching Artist with EnAct! Upon graduating from City College of New York with her Master of Science in Educational Theatre in 2015, she moved to Atlanta. Since then, she has worked as a Wolf Trap teaching artist with The Alliance Theatre, where she develops theatre infused curriculum and lessons for classrooms, summer camp and after school programs. She recently began a Memory Theatre program for senior citizens and performing with Atlanta's Theater To Go. She is excited to be back in Atlanta after 10 years where she is able to live her passion of bringing theatre, creativity and new opportunities to children and teachers.  


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