Dede Clark - Artistic Director
Dede established kidsActing in 1980, when she discovered her passion was working with children.Since that time kidsActing has grown from eight children to 12 locations. She got a BSE in theatre education from the University of Kansas, ran a newspaper in Tahiti, worked in theatre in NYC, then moved to Texas for her master's degree in film from UT. Upon completion, she worked in film with the Coen brothers, and on many other film, television and commercial projects, receiving a gubernatorial appointment to the Texas Film Commission board. She has written, directed and produced eight original musicals--The Velveteen Rabbit, Cyberella,Waking Sleeping Beauty, Monsters!, The Emperor’s New Shows, Goldie, Alyce in Wonderland, TX and Bugs, each with original songs created for the productions by Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Marcia Ball, Ray Benson, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and many other great Texas songwriters. She has produced and directed over 100 productions, receiving nominations and awards for her work. She was voted Best Stage Director by the Austin Chronicle. She founded Center Stage Texas, which offers free theatre, dance and art classes to low-income children in Central Texas. CST and kidsActing, hand in hand, are encouraging children from diverse backgrounds to participate in the creative process,
developing community through the arts.
Noel Alford - Musical Director
Noel received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas. He has been a director as well as the musical director at kidsActing since 1990. In that capacity he has worked on over 100 musicals, and taught music and voice to thousands of young people. Barrett Davis, a former kidsActing student for eight years who is now on Broadway in Mary Poppins, credits Noel with helping him discover and develop his voice. Besides his duties as musical director, Noel has composed numerous songs for kidsActing’s original musicals including Cyberella, Waking Sleeping Beauty, Monsters!, The Emperor’s New Shows, Goldie, Alyce in Wonderland, TX and Bugs, as well as worked as the arranger on all productions. He co-wrote the scripts for Cyberella, The Emperor’s New Shows and Waking Sleeping Beauty. He has been a theatre and club performer for over forty years, including years as a performer with Esther's Follies.
David Blackburn- Vocal Coach/Asst. Music Director
David began his professional career as music director in summer stock at the age of 16. Since then he has been involved with hundreds of musicals. Among his favorites are Once On This Island, Ain't Misbehavin', And The World Goes 'Round, Into the Woods, Pacific Overtures, and The Who's Tommy. David has played with the national touring companies of The Most Happy Fella, Guys and Dolls, and Victor/Victoria. David has composed scores for 18 original musicals. Recently, he was Commissioned by Weber State University in Ogden, Utah to write orchestrations for the original musical, Sleepy Hollow and is currently writing orchestrations for another new musical, Pirated. Locally, David has served as music director/conductor/pianist for theatres throughout Central Texas. He has played piano at Cathedral of Hope in Dallas and is currently pianist for MCC Austin. He has performed as accompanist and singer with Austin's Capital City Men's Chorus and is a private musical theatre vocal coach.
Erika Hagler - Teacher/Director
Erika is a native Austinite, who was part of the original cast of Monsters! and worked as an aide and prop master/stage manager for kidsActing through high school. Her theater work earned her a B.Iden Payne nomination and several UIL One-Act Play awards. After receiving a BFA from California College of the Arts she returned to Austin and landed a job as the production assistant on the major motion film, GRINDHOUSE, working closely with the props fabrication and art department. After the movie wrapped she entered the corporate world, working as a project manager, and freelanced as a graphic artist. Erika started working for Center Stage Texas in Spring 2011, teaching a production of Peter Pan at UT Elementary, and two art classes at Campbell Elementary. Her classes center around helping the kids gain confidence through the stage and visual arts, feeling successful about their work, and most of all:
having tons and tons of fun.
Alyssa Vidos - Teacher/Director
Alyssa has always known that her heart belongs to the stage. She began her training very early in life and has over 15 years of studying tap, jazz, ballet, modern, contemporary dance, vocal performance, and acting in the Dallas area. Alyssa went on to earn her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Abilene Christian University where she studied acting, voice, choreography, directing, improv, design, and everything related to musical theatre. After college Alyssa moved to NY where she began teaching children’s creative expression while pursuing her acting career. She found so much joy in teaching children and moved back to Texas in pursuit of where that passion might lead her. Alyssa now finds herself mentoring disabled deaf artists with Imagine Arts and is also a member of The Story Wranglers with the Paramount Theatres educational program Literacy to Life. She has also continued performing on stage and on film and has recently had the honor of having one of her short films show at The Cannes Film Festival.
Kevin Squires - Teacher/Director
Kevin has studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (New York City), The School for Film and Television (New York City), The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (London) and received his BFA in Film Production from The New York Film Academy. For the past 16 years Kevin has worked as a professional actor, director, producer, stage manager, stunt choreographer and cameraman in theater, television and film. His intense love for the arts has led Kevin to teach many workshops and classes for both theater and the fine arts. Kevin has performed in numerous stage productions from New York to Dallas, including Love from Shakespeare to Coward, The Importance of Being Ernest, Romeo and Juliet Hamlet, Anything Goes, The Nerd, My Fair Lady, Pump Boys and Dinettes and G.R. Point. He has also appeared in national tours for Battle Cry of Freedom and Les Trios Musketeers. Kevin’s film and television credits include Zoolander, Don’t Say a Word, Vanilla Sky, Shroud, Serum, Law and Order, Ed, Sex and the City and Big Apple.
Dylan Kittleman - Teacher/Director
A kidsActing alum, Dylan Kittleman started his journey in comedy and improv but slowly moved on to musicals. He has performed in 17 kidsActing productions to date including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chicago, Rent, Cabaret, The Wizard of Oz, and Les Misérables which earned him a B. Iden Payne best performer nomination for his portrayal of M. Thénardier. Dylan was nominated for B. Iden Payne outstanding performer again in 2011 for his role as Maurice in the kidsActing production of Beauty & the Beast. A graduate of Westlake High School, Dylan is a degree candidate in Theatre and Dance, with a focus in directing, at the University of Texas at Austin. He was a 9-year choir participant and was offered an invitation to the National Young Leaders Conference in 2008. Other credits include his directing Center Stage Players' extremely well-received productions of And Then There Were None and Arsenic and Old Lace. This will be Dylan's 4th year of teaching with kidsActing and he has loved every minute of it.
Chase McBride - Teacher/Stage and Properties Manager
Chase McBride started as a student at kidsActing at the age of 11 and has been working as an assistant director and teacher since 2006. Chase fills many roles at kidsActing including stage manager and properties mistress. One of her most cherished roles is the role of make-up artist to the “stars” of the kidsActing productions. Her favorite foods are peanut butter and hummus.
Cassadie Petersen - Teacher/Director
Cassadie first discovered the magic of theater as a child and has known ever since that her passion lies in sharing the joys of the stage with others. Hitment to theater took her all the way from her hometown of St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands to New York, where she received her BA from Vassar College's Drama Program, studying classical and film acting, voice, improv, movement, directing, playwriting, dance and theater history. While at Vassar, she received the Davis Projects for Peace Fellowship and created and implemented a summer theater program aimed at building confidence in young at-risk girls in New Orleans, Louisiana. After graduating, Cassadie returned to St. Ter commhomas where she taught music and theater at Antilles School, a private k-12 Blue Ribbon school. Most recently, Cassadie lived and worked in Los Angeles as a teacher and professional actor for stage and film. She was a mentor with The Young Storytellers Foundation, taught movement, improv and crafts with a Waldorf-based outdoor program and taught Elizabethan history and games with Theatricum Botanicum, an Equity Shakespeare theater.
Courtney Koford - Director/Teacher/Choreographer
Courtney has been in love with musical theater since she could walk and talk. She began her training in voice, dance, and theater at a young age. She has performed in many musicals throughout the southwest ever since, including The Sound of Music, Meet Me in St. Louis, Annie, Bye, Bye Birdie, Cinderella, Guys and Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, and Sweet Charity. While pursuing a B.F.A. in Music Education through Arizona State University, Courtney took the opportunity of a lifetime to perform at Walt Disney World in Orlando as a character performer and parade dancer. The experience left Courtney with a huge desire to teach and direct kids in musical theater, so she returned to Arizona to complete her degree, while simultaneously teaching at a Montessori preschool for two years. When more music and job opportunities came knocking from Austin, Courtney immediately took up the chance to transplant here to this incredible city of music.
Amy Chang - Teacher
Amy has been teaching children's summer camps in Austin for six years. She has taught improv, puppetry, juggling, theater, and art, and every moment brings her more joy than the last. She is a kidsActing alum, having performed in seven kidsActing musicals. She is currently working with Soubrette Productions, after performing in their recent musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as an associate producer. Amy is currently pursuing a degree in theater.
Jazmine Miller - Production Manager/Enrollment Director
Jazmine began her love of acting at the age of 4 while participating in acting classes and productions in Los Angeles and when she moved to Austin she became a student at kidsActing! She participated in seven shows including two of our original productions Bugs and Goldie, a Fish Story. Jazmine began working in kidsActing in 2003 as Enrollment Director and recently came on as Production Manager. Jazmine is an established Stage Manager and Production Manager in Austin, working with various companies in Austin including Dirigo Group, Glass Half Full, and is a Company Stage Manager for the Rude Mechs. Children's theatre is her first love and she is excited to bring her experience and knowledge to kidsActing and teach the students about the technical aspects of theatre.
Benjamin Taylor Ridgway - Costume Manager
Tiffany Williams - Office Manager
Tom Bryan - Bookkeeper/Database Manager