Learn more about the teachers who bring our programming to life IN YOUR SCHOOL
Programs: Play Makers and Staging STEM
Josef Anderson is a local professional actor in Houston. He is thrilled to be using Staging Stem as a way to teach and develop children into young artists and show that learning can be energetic and enthusiastic. H e is looking forward to all of the students that will continue to inspire him to go further. He graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2013 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre.
Programs: Playwriting 360°, First Draft, and Conservatory
BRENDAN BOURQUE-SHEIL is a Houston-based playwright and storyteller with a BA in English from Texas State University. His first full-length play, The Book of Maggie, premiered at Stages Repertory Theatre, in 2016 and was called "one of the most refreshing original works to come out of Houston in some time," by BroadwayWorld.com. He's a regular contributor to Bootown's monthly live show Grown Up Storytime, and KPFT's So What's Your Story. In addition to teaching for the Alley Theatre's Department of Education and Community Engagement, he teaches playwriting at Houston's High School of Performing and Visual Arts.
Programs: Improvisation, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Staging STEM, Conservatory, and Play Makers.SCOTT GIBBS is a professional actor working in commercial, voiceover, and theatre from Houston, Texas. He has been a Teaching Artist with the Alley Theatre for 4 years and holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Centenary College Of Louisiana. His professional experience as an educator has focused on Physical Comedy, Commedia dell'arte, and Improvisation. Scott's regional teaching credits include: Charleston Stage (SC), Seaside Repertory Theatre (FL), Merry Go Round Playhouse (NY); and locally: Main Street Theatre, Page Parkes Talent Agency, and Alley Theatre Summer Conservatory.
Programs: Shakespeare, Aristotle, Theatre Through the Ages, Commedia Dell'Arte, Monologue 360°, Voice 360°, and Movement 360°.
PHILIP HAYS is an actor, director, and educator in Houston, Texas. He has been a Teaching Artist for the Alley for several years and has also led workshops in commedia dell’arte and Shakespeare for schools in Texas, Italy, and the Czech Republic. He is a company member of Horse Head Theater Co. (Houston Press MASTERMIND Award 2016), for which he co-conceived and performed the one-man immersive show The Whale; or, Moby-Dick (“Best New Play,” Houston Press Theatre Awards). He is also an Artistic Company Member of the Classical Theatre Company, for whom he has directed his own adaptations of Aristophanes’ The Birds and Ubu Roi, as well as new adaptations of Doctor Faustus and A Christmas Carol. Philip has previously been an Artistic Associate with the Prague Shakespeare Company, where he performed in over twelve productions, and directed, co-wrote, and performed in both his original commedia dell'arte-meets-Grand Guignol take on John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and the new play The Murder of Gonzago, loosely based on Hamlet. Philip is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance and has studied commedia dell'arte at the Scuola Internazionale dell'Attore Comico.
Programs: Theatre Through the Ages, Shakespeare 360°, Aristotle, First Draft
JOSH INOCENCIO is a Houston-based playwright and performer. After finishing his Master’s in Theatre Studies at Florida State University, he returned to Houston to tour his solo play, Purple Eyes, across Texas. He has performed at ProyectoTeatro, the University of Houston, and South Texas College in partnership with UT-RGV. His next appearance will be the world premiere of Purple Eyes at Stages Repertory Theatre in February 2018. Currently, Josh is working on a trilogy entitled Splintered in Three—and the second play, The Little Edelweiss; or, An Immigrant’s Fairytale finished as a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference. Last summer, Josh trained under Migdalia Cruz at the Maria Irene Fornés Playwriting Workshop in Chicago. He’s thrilled to teach creative writing, theatre history, and Shakespeare as an Alley Theatre teaching artist!
Programs: Slam Poets @ Alley Theatre
VINCENT "BLACKBLUEZ" JOHNSON began his journey as a slam poet in 2007. The art form married two of his favorite things: acting and writing poetry. He has competed on seven slam teams and has coached other slam poets for two years. His mission is to put the expressive artform of slam into many hearts across the nation. He is thrilled to be teaching Slam Poetry to middle and high schools with the Alley Theatre ECE Department.
Alley ECE, Resident Community Artist
Programs: Shakespeare, Aristotle, Improvisation, and Conservatory.
DAVID KERSNAR is a founding ensemble member of the Tony Award winning Lookingglass Theatre Company and has performed, designed and directed with the company since 1988. Kersnar also appeared with the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Remains, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Actor’s Gang and the Touchstone Theatre. Kersnar has served as Lookingglass Artistic Director, founded and directed Lookingglass Education & Community Programs, and served as Master Teacher. Currently Kersnar is directing his own adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under The Seas for Lookingglass. Other directing and writing credits include productions at Next Theatre, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony, Lively Arts and Chicago Children’s Theatre. Kersnar has served as a Theatre Arts professor at such universities as Northwestern University, DePaul University, Roosevelt University and Monterey Peninsula College. Kersnar co-founded and produced over 40 films and plays nationally and internationally with Shaking the Tree Interactive Productions, which uses theatrical problem-solving techniques in business environments. Film and television credits include U.S. Marshals, Since You’ve Been Gone, Early Edition, and Turks. David holds a BS in theatre/performance studies and a MFA in directing from Northwestern University.
Alley ECE, Curriculum and Teaching Artist Manager
JENNY LAMB comes to Houston from Chicago via California where she just received her MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International. She is co-founder of Li’l Buds Theatre (Chicago, IL), an accomplished actress, singer/songwriter and plays the ukulele. As Curriculum and TA Manager, Jenny will be working on curriculum, both revising and improving on the existing programs and creating exciting and innovative new opportunities, as well as training and expanding the Teaching Artist team so that the Alley ECE remains at the highest level of arts and arts integration training for all ages.
Programs: Staging STEM and Play Makers.
DAYNE LATHROP is a graduate of Sam Houston State University, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre. Dayne has two years of experience with the Alley Theatre as a Teaching Artist, utilizing his training in specific areas of theatre to help aid in his execution of the curriculum. He has also had previous experience with teaching at the YMCA.
Alley ECE, School Programs Manager
ESME LEJEUNE is excited to join the Alley Theatre family after four years of teaching high school technical theatre in San Antonio, TX. She has an MA in playwriting from Royal Holloway, University of London, and a BS in Communication Studies and BA in Theatre/Dance from the University of Texas at Austin. Teaming up with Jenny Lamb, she will be organizing and revitalizing our relationships with Partner Schools and the Alley's online digital classroom resource - Alley Re-Sourced.
Alley ECE, Community Programs Coordinator
Programs: Staging STEM, Improvisation, First Draft
MARA MCGHEE is a theatrical actor, director, producer, improvisor, and educator. She has a BFA in Acting Performance, and a MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. She used her experience and education to co-found the Milwaukee-area theatre company All In Productions, which is still performing and thriving today. One of her favorite projects is TIM: The Improvised Musical, where she got to make up stories, songs, dances with her fun and funny friends. Mara is currently the Community Programs Coordinator for the Alley Theatre ECE department, where she manages the Play Makers Camp, and helps create programs such as First Draft which helps teenagers and adults find and create their personal narrative. She also runs the Tours and Workshops program for the Alley. She is most excited to give people an opportunity to find and cultivate their passions, just like she got to do at a young age.
Programs: Staging STEM
MICHELLE OGLETREE is happy to return to the Alley Theatre! Alley Theatre credits include All The Way and The Old Friends. Last year Michelle costarred in the pilot season of WGN America’s new television drama Underground, starring Christopher Meloni and Journée Smollet. This season she will return as Guest Star! The Ensemble Theatre credits include By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, Knock Me a Kiss, Lotto: Experience the Dream, Jitney, and Gee’s Bend. She has toured the city performing in several shows with The Ensemble Theatre’s Touring Education Company. Other theatre credits include Failure: A Love Story and Dollhouse (Stages Repertory Theatre), Miss Julie (Classical Theatre Company), God and Death (The Back Porch Players), Bug (Theatre Southwest), Fragmentation I and II (Driven Theatre Company).
Alley ECE, Interim Staging STEM Coordinator
Programs: Staging STEM
ALLY OLIPHINT received a BA in Theatre from Southwestern University. She served as an education intern at ZACH Theatre in Austin, TX and later became one of their Teaching Artists. After she graduated in 2016, she moved back to Houston and has worked as an Alley Theatre TA for the past year. Ally has recently acted in multiple shows at Unity Theatre and continues to audition around Houston.
Programs: Staging STEM and Play Makers.
CARIAN PARKER is thrilled to be working her second year as a Teaching Artist with the Alley Theatre. She has previously taught at Stages Repertory Theatre for the Young Actors Conservatory. She has worked two years for a local preschool. She is also a Houston actress and is excited to bring Staging STEM to many different classrooms this year!
Programs: Slam Poets @ Alley Theatre
RAIN is a published author, national slam poet/spoken word artist, playwright and actress. She has written several poetry-based commercials for KHOU Channel 11; her most recent one for their “HOPE after HARVEY" Campaign. Her most notable accolade is a Super Bowl commercial that she performed which also earned airtime during the GRAMMY's. This poem won the 2016 Eye on Excellence Award as well as a nomination for the Lone Star State Emmys. Over the last 8 years she has performed in various venues locally and state to state and has held lead roles in various plays. She’s very active in the community as an artist, host and promoter where The Houston Chronicle reviewed her as one of Houston's most talented artist. She currently attends the University of Houston where she's majoring in Mass Communication.
Programs: First Draft
Elda M. Ramos has worked in the educational system for five years as a bilingual teacher in schools with greater Latino influence. She began her artistic career at an early age in a variety of theater and dance productions in Mexico City. Her acting training in the United States began with an acting program offered by TBH, a Latino cultural center in Houston. For the past four years, she has been active in the community theater groups performing at MATCH-Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston, TBH, Proyecto Teatro (Austin, TX), as well as in Mexico and at the art festival "Le village violet- 6th Rencontre in France. She participated as a teaching artist for the Alley Theatre with the El Zócalo Project and First Draft Program, which partner artists with students of diverse community centers to develop writing their personal stories which would be shown at The El Zócalo Story Slam.
Alley ECE, Staging STEM ManagerJASMINE THOMAS is our Staging STEM Manager and the Resident Teaching Artist in our Arts Integration Network programming. Through our AIN programs, she builds relationships with teachers- offering professional development and mentorship to create fully arts integrated core classrooms. Before finding the Alley, Jasmine worked as an actress, private tutor and online consultant for ESL teachers nationwide in New York City. Jasmine graduated from Southwestern University with a degree in Theatre Arts and Communication Studies and is a Teach For America alum, c/o 2012. Jasmine loves combining her loves of education and theatre with the Alley ECE!
Programs: Conservatory and Staging STEM.
Lee Trevathan Having re-located to her hometown of Houston, TX, Lee is thrilled to be working with the Alley Theatre continuing her involvement in the arts and teaching. She's been involved with the Alley working as a Teaching Artist as well as Voice instructor for their Summer Conservatory. She is classically trained actor, working professionally in London, New York and Chicago for the past ten years. Combining her love for performance and education, she particularly enjoyed touring the United States bringing classic short stories to hundreds of young audiences in cities and rural communities. She received her Bachelor of Arts with Honors (Acting) from International Drama School, Rose Bruford College in London, England.
Programs: Play Makers and Staging STEM.
Wesley Whitson is a recent graduate of the University of Houston BFA Theatre Program, recent Houston credits include: Houston Shakespeare Festival’s Macbeth (Malcolm, Witch), Mildred’s Umbrella’s Feathers and Teeth (Hugo), and Next Iteration Theatre Company’s Turquoise (Lorne).
Bradley Dean Whyte has been a Teaching Artist with the Alley Theatre for two years. He has a diverse background as an educator that includes teaching singing, song-writing and musical theatre performance as well as acting and improvisation. He holds an M.F.A. in Theatre from Penn State and a B.A. in Theatre from UMKC. He has performed with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre, Cape Playhouse, and Nebraska Rep. He has also written music for regional theatres and self-produces his original pop music under pseudonym, The Perfectly Violent Dream.
Programs: Staging STEM, Arts Integration Network, and Play Makers.
WHITNEY ZANGARINE has been happily working with the Alley since fall 2013 as both an actor and a Teaching Artist for the Staging STEM Program. Recently, she has also begun training area teachers as a part of the Alley's Professional Development Program. She graduated from The University of Texas (Austin) in 2009, where she received her BA in Theatre and Dance. In addition to teaching, Whitney also acts regularly (stage and film) in the Houston area.