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Instructors

Instructors

Cookie Bell began her career with The Fred Astaire Dance Studios as a professional instructor and competition dancer across the country. Cookie helped to form the first U.S. Amateur Ballroom Dance Assoc. chapter (now called USA Dance) in Prince William County in the early 90’s. She has continued to teach social dance and special instruction to groups, individuals, children & teens as she develops programs in the area.

Christie Blewett has taught and directed music and theater across the country for the last 18 years. Her professional training began at Catholic University, continued with a BFA in Musical Theater from Shenandoah Conservatory and culminated in an MFA in Theatre Education from Fontbonne University. For six years she was the Artistic Director in Residence for the Bay Area Educational Theatre Company in San Francisco, and some of her award-winning work has been featured on the stages of the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Miss Blewett was a leading actress with Pied Piper Theatre where she played Belle in Beauty & the Beast, Alice in Alice in Wonderland, and the title role in Cinderella.

Lydia J. Bratton has a BA from Marymount University and an Associate Science Degree from Northern Virginia Community College. At both schools she studied Fine Arts, Arts Education, and Graphic Design. In addition, she has attended museum workshops and other teacher-related training. Lydia is a mixed media artist and has taught art classes of all student levels at various schools throughout Northern Virginia. In addition to teaching art, Lydia has taught English as a second language and currently teaches GED/HSE classes during the school year for Prince William County Schools.

She has won the 2018 Kathleen Seefeldt Award for Outstanding Art Educator. 

Barbara Brennan taught Ballroom Dancing for Arthur Murray Dance Studio for ten years. She is trained in American as well as international dance styles. She also ran her own dance studio for ten years while competing professionally.

Lee Darter received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Advertising & Graphic Design from Sam Houston State University and her Masters in Art Education from the University of Houston. Lee holds teaching certificates in Texas and Virginia for all levels of art instruction, and has won numerous honors and grants; most recently Lee received the Northern VA Art Educator of the Year Award in 2014. She currently is Visual Art Teacher in Cedar Point Elementary School instructing K - 5th grade students, and is a Certified Zentangle® Instructor.

Michele Frantz has over 20 years of experience as a freelance artist. Her paintings have appeared in numerous exhibits throughout the region, and have garnered several awards. She has a B.S. in Graphic Design, has taken advanced studies in watercolor and composition, and has been teaching art to adults since 1991.

Kimberly Geipel is a singer, dancer, and actress who has performed in 16 Pied Piper Theatre productions. Leading roles included Liesl in The Sound of Music and Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical. She has also performed with Fauquier Community Theatre and Riverside Dinner Theatre. She has worked and taught in the PPT summer camps for several years.

Kelly Glyptis holds an M.M. in Vocal Performance from Indiana University where she performed leading roles. She made her professional debut with the Atlanta Opera and performed with several professional theater companies across the U.S. She trained with the Washington National Opera Institute, Operafestival di Roma, Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, and Charley Creek and IU Opera Workshops. She has won several outstanding actress awards, multiple vocal competitions, and received acclaim in Opera News Magazine. Ms. Glyptis is a certified Actor/Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and is an active fight choreographer and consultant. 

David Johnson is a recent graduate from George Mason University where he earned his BFA in Theatre. DC area credits include Lettice and Lovage (Quotidian Theatre Company) In Love and Warcraft (No Rules Theatre Company) and Young Playwrights' Theatre of DC 25th Anniversary Festival. He also appeared on an episode of Evil Kin (Brothers in Hate) on the Investigation Discovery Channel. David is excited to return as a teacher and director with the Center for the Arts where he participated with Pied Piper Theatre for 10 years, performing in several leading roles, including Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

Maudeleora Kaufman will be a senior at VCU as a theatre performance major. She has been in several shows at VCU such as Macbeth (Fleance), 'Green Square' (Bernadette), Really, Really (Grace) and many others. She also is active in the film community with roles such Harper Lewis in Come Darkly Near and her newest film will be coming out in May titled Before the Fall with Nicholas Scarpinato. Miss Kaufman is a veteran of Pied Piper Theatre where she performed several leading roles and she has taught for several years in the Pied Piper Theatre Summer Camps.

Kristine Shackleford has been in the dance world for 20 years between dancing and choreographing. She competed with her dance studio and was a member of her high school’s dance team. In 2007, she became a full time choreographer for Blair Dance Studio. Her choreography competed in several states ranging in styles from tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, to hip hop. Ms. Worley has choreographed several PPT shows in the past 5 years.

Veronica Sharpe has taught music and theater at the Center for the Arts’ Pied Piper Theatre for 7 years. She graduated magna cum laude from James Madison University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. At JMU, she was awarded the Joy Hollar Costello Endowed Scholarship for Music Education and the Samuel B. Cross String Education Scholarship and presented original research at conferences throughout the southeastern United States. As a violinist, her teachers included acclaimed artists Wanchi Huang and Vernon Summers. Ms. Sharpe is the orchestra teacher at Pennington Traditional School and Piney Branch ES.

Shania Stewart has been involved with the Center for the Arts for the past 11 years performing in numerous Pied Piper Theatre productions while also serving as Choreographer, Stage Manager, Assistant Choreographer, and Assistant Costumer in many others. She has also performed with the Gray Ghost Theatre Company, Riverside Dinner Theatre and the Showcase School of Dance Company.

Emily Thomson has recently moved from Upstate New York to Virginia. She received her BA in Studio Art with Concentration in Painting from SUNY College at Oneonta, and she also holds an Advanced Certificate in Character Animation from AnimationMentor in Emeryville CA. Emily has taught children’s and teen’s art classes at the Saratoga Arts Center in Saratoga NY. She is an accomplished fine arts painter with work shown in many juried shows in Upstate NY. Her art interests include illustration, sculpture, and computer graphics.

Amy Treat started out as a dancer with the Arlington Dance Theatre, but has performed with Rooftop Productions, most recently appearing in Mafia Murders. She has branched out into TV work as well, appearing in many locally produced shows. Amy teaches performing arts classes here at the Center. 

Annaliess Trommatter teaches both art classes and theatre classes here at the Center. She has been involved with Pied Piper Theatre for several years as Stage and Production manager and sometimes costumer. She studied theatre and fine arts at NVCC and graduated Spring 2018. In her spare time she enjoys charcoal drawing, painting, and sewing.

Josh Vest teaches several theatre classes at the Center for the Arts and has performed in Rooftop Productions' shows A Christmas Carol and Mafia Murders and their Evening of Comedy showJosh has also appeared in an independent film and web series. 

John Waldron has been working as an actor, instructor, and director for over 20 years. He received a BFA in Theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Classica/Synetic and Murder Upon Request and has directed and taught at numerous theatre camps, workshops and schools. He helped create the Past Time Prime Time Players--sponsored by the Center for the Arts--at The Prince William County Senior Center. He can be seen in the movie Talk to Me as well as an episode of Investigative Discovery Channel's Who the Bleep? as a Doo Wop singer.

Dale Walsh started in tech work 45 years ago and teaches the “Behind the Scenes” theater technical class plus specialized courses in sound and lights for the Center for the Arts. He is the resident sound designer (and occasional assistant director) for Pied Piper Theatre and technical lead for Rooftop Productions, and has worked on nearly 50 productions for the Center.  In 2011 he received a Kathleen Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence from the PWC Arts Council in recognition of this work.  He is also a technical advisor and master carpenter for other local theater groups, and has attended Broadway tech master classes in NYC.

Cindy is currently a judge for the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors. Her early career was spent as a TV sound recorder and film/video editor in NYC and Venezuela. She has been a producer for Pied Piper Theatre and did the hair and makeup for Rooftop Productions' The Addams Family.