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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.

Abby Binkey received her Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and holds teacher's certifications for Pennsylvania and Virginia. She currently is Visual Art Teacher in Occoquan Elementary School instructing K - 5th grade students. Abby's skills and creative areas of interest include metalworking, jewelry design, welding, oil painting, colored pencil, photography, and ceramics.

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 & 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. Along with teaching art, she even finds time to teach English as a second language to adults from Prince William County Schools.

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.

Ivy Cole is the Program Director of the Performing Arts Dept. at Ad Fontes Academy. She trained with Mr. Robert Edwin (ASCAP) and at Mason Gross School of the Arts, receiving a degree in Voice Performance. She studies the Meisner technique and received her Certification in The Kodaly Method at GMU. Ms. Cole has worked internationally, performing with Rosemary Clooney and Debbie Boone. She has experience in musical theater, opera, theater, and film. For over 15 years, she has been a voice teacher/coach, director, musical director, choreographer, a drama/modeling/television instructor, and stage manager. She works as a recording artist and is the Lead Singer with the band End of Silence. She recently joined the cast of the award winning Shotgun Mythos as Nessa.

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.

Joyce Peifer Forbes was a founding member of the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, now The American Shakespeare Center, and also served as its Associate Artistic Director. She has taught Shakespeare in performance at Cornell College in Iowa, NVCC and Center for the Arts. Her directing credits include Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, The Tempest, Henry IV Part 1, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard III, as well as writing and directing an adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Ms. Forbes is an award-winning video producer and voice over artist; and is currently a video producer and director for the U.S. State Department. She holds a BA in Theatre from JMU and is a member of Actor’s Equity Association and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

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.

Katherine Fulton studied Textile Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and The Cleveland Institute of Art. She also attended Penland School for a summer of independent study. She has worked as a stylist for Springs Industries and J.P. Stevens in New York, NY. Katherine currently is the Art Teacher at Linton Hall School in Bristow, VA, where she instructs all students in grades K – 8.

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. Upcoming engagements include Beatrice in Beatrice and Benedict with Shakespeare Opera Theater; teaching in Milan, Italy in June; and performances with Virginia Opera, where she will join their Emerging Artists program in the fall.

Laura Hermann holds a degree in Elementary & Kindergarten Education and a minor in Theater from Pennsylvania State University. She has directed and choreographed several theatre productions and was an actress with No Refund Theater. She was a member of the Oriana Singers and currently teaches in the Manassas Park City Schools.

Kim Hall received her Associates Degree in Fine Art from Northern Virginia Community College. She has taught art classes at Little Graces Preschool in the Plains and is currently Pre-K Art Teacher at Linton Hall School’s Little Sprouts Program in Bristow, providing instruction to children ages 2 - 4. Her art interests include watercolors, acrylics and jewelry design.

Kim Steinmuller Joy was raised in upstate New York and now lives and works in Woodbridge, VA. She has been a stained glass artist and teacher since 1982. Her works are in private and public collections worldwide. As a bead artist, Kim has been working since 2001. Her jewelry creations can also be found worldwide. Most of Kim’s pieces are in the traditional style; she is starting to branch out to incorporate non-typical materials.

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 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.

Arlita Kadar is a noted artist from West Java, Indonesia. She received her education in Indonesia, Japan and Hong Kong, studying the art of Chinese brush strokes, oil painting, mural painting and batik art. Arlita has received international recognition from exhibitions in Asia and the United States, and has contributed to several commercial ventures, including production of children’s toys, the textile industry and bridal art. She has taught art in international schools, and passionately shares her love of both East and West cultures in her creations and instruction. Kadar moved to Virginia in 1999, and has exhibited in Maryland, New York, Kansas, Washington State, Louisiana and Hawaii.

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.

Rebecca Kiser is currently a Theater Major with a concentration for performance for stage and screen at George Mason University. She has participated in 13 Pied Piper Theater productions over the span of 10 years. Favorite roles include Bonnie Boylan in Annie and Ancestor Yun in Mulan. She appeared as Stacey in Arachnophobia at GMU, participated in three professional operas under Maestro Lorin Maazel at Castleton Festival and appeared in the film The Fugue as Young Mirabelle.

Anna Mish received her BFA from East Carolina University and a graduate degree in Arts Management from George Mason University. She is an out of control art enthusiast, loving, creating and promoting the arts. She has been the Center’s Gallery Director since its inception in 2002 and has enjoyed working at bringing the best in exhibits to our region, to one of the most elegant gallery spaces in this area.

Lori Muhlstein holds a Master of Public Administration from American University and has worked as a trainer and facilitator, developing motivational programs to build communication and leadership skills. She recently performed as Charlotte Hay in Rooftop Productions’ Moon Over Buffalo and has performed more than 50 different roles with area theatre companies. She has worked with several interactive theatre groups, most recently with Stagecoach Theatre where she also facilitates murder mystery team building workshops and teaches improvisation for both adults and teens.

Robbie O’Brien has worked on over 30 full length productions. He has done 15 PPT productions including; Stage Manager for Shrek the Musical, Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Seussical, Joesph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Little Mermaid Jr. He has also worked with McLean Community Players, Upper Room Theatre Ministry. Currently finishing his studies at NVCC, he plans to study Technical Theatre at VCU. He works at Jiffy Lube Live and the Hylton Performing Arts Center as the Asst. Stage Manager. Mr. O’Brien was accepted into a Master Stage Management Class and will work the production team of Wicked in NYC.

Kevin “Kevo” Powell is a creative inspiring hand drum percussionist with over 45 years of experience. He has done studio recording sessions and played with over 50 professional bands. His talents include all forms of Hand drums/percussions. He is also experienced in playing several Brazilian instruments including the Berimbau, Cuica, Tamborim and Rebolo.  His workshops focus on an introduction to percussion, improving how we communicate, physical coordination, team building and more.

Karen Rexrode is a horticulturist by trade with a professional career that includes owning a nursery for 25 years. She has been a member of the Manassas-Warrenton Camera Club for 11 years. Having won every recognition awarded at MWCC, Karen cites her favorite honor as “Advanced Photographer of the Year in Black and White Photography.” Her photography and mixed media creations have been exhibited at the American Horticultural Society, the Lorton Workhouse, and the Center for the Arts. She lectures regularly on nature photography and mixed media techniques, and shares her creative output & philosophy on her blog http://www.karenrexrode.typepad.com.

Sarah Jane Scott is a music major attending NVCC. She is planning to transfer to GMU for vocal performance, and hopes to pursue a graduate degree from the Yale School of Music. She has performed in over 30 productions with leading roles in PPT including Fiona in Shrek, the Genie in Aladdin, Jr., Glinda\Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz, Maria in The Sound of Music, and Ida in Honk! She was in PWLT’s Godspell and Upper Room Theatre’s Les Miserables and performed in the Castleton Music Festival conducted by Maestro Lorin Maazel.

Veronica Sharpe has taught music and theater at the Center for the Arts’ Pied Piper Theatre for 6 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, Piney Branch ES, and Glenkirk ES in PWC.

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.

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 createthe 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.

Kristine Worley 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.

Colleen Close Young has enjoyed acting in local community and professional theater productions over the past eight. She has worked with Rooftop Productions, Prince William Little Theater, Castaways, and Zemfira. Colleen graduated from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia and has a BA and MA in Psychology. She has worked as a preschool teacher, psychotherapist and school counselor. Teaching drama to children is a dream come true for Colleen as it combines her two favorite vocations, acting and teaching.