Instructor Bios

Heather Hancock holds a Bachelor's degree in Theatre Education from the University of Utah. She taught Drama, Debate, Filmmaking, and Video Productions at Copper Hills High School for 15 years. She also taught Theatre School for Youth for 3 years and is currently a substitute teacher in Canyons District. She is represented by Urban Talent management and loves teaching, especially students who are as passionate about theatre as she is!

 

Amber Hendrix has a Masters in Education from University of Phoenix and used her skills to own and operate the Creative Arts Program for Kids at the Sugar Space for 5 years. The preschool provided learning experiences through the integrated creative arts, including movement, drama, music, visual arts and creative writing. She owns Hendrix Consulting, which offers integrated arts training for early childhood instructors, elementary teachers, and homeschoolers. You can see her online in "Storytime With Amber and Erin," on YouTube.

 

Jessica Love is thrilled to be teaching for her second year at UCT!  She holds degrees in education, theatre, and business from Weber State University.  Jessica believes that theatre is magic, and loves sharing that with audiences and students.  She has taught musical theatre production at Centerpoint Legacy Theatre for several years, where she directed Beauty and the Beast, Jr., and music directed The Music Man, Jr.  Some of her favorite performing roles have been Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Earnest, Mary in It’s a Wonderful Life, and Sophia in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

 

Megan Noyce Attermann graduated with a bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Puget Sound. Since then, she has worked with the Lexington Children's Theatre, the University of Utah Youth Theatre, The Grand Theatre, Discovery Gateway, and the Salt Lake Acting Company. She was a graduate teaching assistant for Brigham Young University's Theatre and Media Arts program and was trained as a Youth Development Professional for Child Care at the Boys & Girls Club. Over the past 5 years, Megan has taught several classes at the Utah Children's Theatre and she recently graduated with a Master's Degree in Arts and Cultural Leadership from Westminster College.

 

Tamari Dunbar has been acting on stage since she was 9 years old. She graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Theatre Arts. She has worked professionally with The Growing Stage Children's Theater in New Jersey and 12 Miles West Theater in Montclair, New Jersey. Locally, Tamari worked for St. George Musical Theatre as both an actress and the Artistic Director. She has also performed at Pioneer Theatre Company, Tuacahn, The Lyric Theatre in Logan, Sting and Honey, and Pinnacle Acting Company. She owns Sounds Great Studio, where she teaches private voice lessons and does private coaching for auditions. She has taught workshops for theatre companies in St. George and at Dixie State University. A choreographer for several shows, she taught ballet at Utah State University and at her own studio in St. George. She has also taught musical theatre classes for the U of U Youth Theatre and was the choir director for the Tavaci Children's Choir in Southern Utah. A mother of 3, Tamari is signed with Talent Management Group (TMG) and enjoys film and commercial work in addition to performing on stage.

 

Emily Wells holds a degree in Musical Theatre from Weber State University. She assisted or taught several summer camps at UCT, with favorites being Glee Club, All Tangled Up Musical Theatre, and Pirates and Fairies. She was awarded "Best Actress in a Musical" from Broadway World SLC for her portrayal of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Other favorite roles include Pattie in "Smokey Joe's Cafe" at Weber State University and Hodel in "Fiddler on the Roof" at Centerpointe Legacy Theatre. She is excited to be teaching Acting and Musical Theatre at UCT.

 

Sam Merrill is the General Manager of the Playmill Theatre in West Yellowstone, and he has been acting on stage his entire life. In addition to making sure the day-to-day operations of the theatre run smoothly, he and his wife own the Playmill Academy and teach vocal and guitar lessons to students of all ages. Favorite stage roles include Bert in "Mary Poppins," Charlie in "The Foreigner," and Marius in "Les Miserables."

 

Miriam Merrill is the Social Media Specialist, PR Representative and Summer Camp Director for Playmill Theatre in West Yellowstone. She co-owns the Playmill Academy with her husband, and teaches piano, vocal and guitar lessons to students of all ages. An accomplished actress, favorite roles include the title role in "Mary Poppins," Georgia in "Curtains," and Gertrude in "Seussical the Musical."

 

Zach Vayo has been involved with UCT for the past 6 years. He has played a variety of entertaining roles, including Malvolio in "Twelfth Night," Gremio in "The Taming of the Shrew" and Wherret the dwarf in "Snow White." He volunteered as a teaching intern for a year, learning from UCT's best instructors. He also taught several summer camps, including Jedi Camp and Superhero Showdown. Zach is currently an honors student at the University of Utah.

 

Jana Lynne Cox is the Theatre School Administrator at Utah Children’s Theatre. She has a BFA in Theatre Arts with an Acting/Directing Emphasis from Utah State University. She has taught acting and playwriting and won the Very Special Arts National Young Playwright’s Competition for writing the musical “Dream Child” which was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She has performed at Hale Centre Theatre, Desert Star Theatre, The Grand Theatre, and Utah Children’s Theatre. Jana has also directed or stage managed numerous productions and was most recently seen in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Helena), "Digestible Shakespeare" and the Best of State award winning “Breakfast with Shakespeare” at UCT. 

 

Meighan Smith is an accomplished actress, director and teacher. She was the theatre specialist at Wasatch Elementary for several years. In addition to teaching at UCT, Meighan has taught for the U of U Youth Theatre. She is also a hair and makeup designer. Her most recent directing credits include "A Midsummer Night's Dream" "Rapunzel," and "Into the Woods Junior" at UCT. Favorite roles include Lady DeWinter in The Three Musketeers, an evil stepsister in "The Masque of Beauty and the Beast" and Goneril/Witch/Calpurnia in UCT's Best of State Winning "Breakfast With Shakespeare." She will be directing "Anne of Green Gables" for UCT this fall.

 

Hannah Schweinfurth has a BFA in Theatre from Midwestern State University and an MFA in Performance and Pedagogy from Texas Tech University. She co-created the Theatre for Youth Program at KMC Onstage in Kaiserslautern Germany, where she taught acting and playwriting classes to youth and directed several productions. She also taught college acting courses at Texas Tech University. An actors equity membership candidate, some of Hannah's favorite roles include Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Miss Hannigan in Annie, and Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire.

 

 McKinley McMillen recently graduated from the University of Utah. She started off as a dancer but then found her way into the Musical Theater life. She has performed in a number of community theaters around the valley as well as some international stages in Turkey. She has choreographed for Legacy Junior High, Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, Highland High School and Farmington Community Theater. She is a private vocal coach using the International Voice Teachers of the Mix method, under Dean Kaelin. She began teaching at Utah Children’s Theatre last year and is so grateful for the opportunity to teach, in order to spread her passion on to the next generation!

 

 Amanda Smith has been performing on stage for 11 years. She received a full tuition talent scholarship to Western Wyoming Community College and is currently finishing her degree in Theatre Studies/ Early Childhood Psychology at the University of Utah. She was the lead teacher for the Early Childhood Education Center at the U of U and has also been a 4-H leader and judge. Amanda worked at Lehi Junior High for 6 years as a volunteer acting teacher and choreographer. She recently played Hermia in UCT's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

 

Jasmine Jones Hohl is an experienced musical theatre performer with extensive training in vocals, dance, and acting—most recently through the Music/Dance/Theatre major at Brigham Young University. She has appeared in several UCT shows (Babes in Toyland, Three Musketeers) as well as many other Utah productions such as Oliver! at Hale Centre Theatre and Merrily We Roll Along at BYU. She has several years of experience teaching musical theatre, piano, and singing classes both privately and through Steps Dance Studio. This is her first time teaching at UCT, and she is extremely excited to share her passion with the talented students at Utah Children’s Theatre!

 

Joanne M. Parker is the founding Artistic Director of Utah Children’s Theatre. She has written more than 100 plays over the last 30 years. She is a gifted director with a natural flair for fantasy, imagination and adventure.  Her boundless energy has been the directing force behind all UCT’s productions. She directs most of her own play scripts but has also directed many other plays, Broadway musicals and concerts. An original member of The Children’s Dance Theatre under the direction of Virginia Tanner, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah in 1970.  She is a talented performer, composer and author of lyrics for several children’s award-winning songs and plays. In 1997, Joanne Parker received the prestigious Limelight Award for her work at Utah Children’s Theatre, specifically for "her encouragement of young people participating in the performing arts and the opportunities given them to develop their talent."  She is the mother of five and a grandmother of eighteen.  Most of her family members are involved in theatre, music, film, television, art, writing and communications. Joanne most recently directed UCT’s "The Three Musketeers."

 

Krystal DeJesus graduated from the University of Utah with bachelor’s degrees in Theatre Education and English. She has taught middle school drama and language arts for the past 7 years. She has worked for the Riverton City Arts Community Centre, The Alaska Theatre of Youth and The Alaska Fine Arts Academy, where she was on the Board of Directors. She has taught theatre, voice, improv, makeup, summer conservatory, and Broadway voice classes and has directed many productions. She currently teaches theatre and language arts at Oquirrh Hills middle school.

 

Dave Martin has worked with Utah Children's Theatre for a number of years, both as an actor and as an instructor. He has taught Adventure Camp and various voice camps such as broadway, classic rock, and modern musical for our summer sessions. He holds a degree in music education and currently teaches choir at Kearns High School. You may have seen him perform at Hale Centre Theatre, Gardner Village's "Witchapalooza", Desert Star Theatre, or here at The Children's Theatre in "Busy Town", "Pecos Bill" or "Toyland."

 

 Mandi Jensen Marks graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts. She is a triple threat who has performed all over the valley at Hale Centre Theatre, Rogers Memorial, The Grand, Desert Star, Utah Children's Theatre, and many others.  She toured as a Director and Actor with Missoula Children’s Theatre. Mandi has taught music, acting, and fitness to children at Kindermusik, Utah Children's Theatre, and Taproot Theatre Company in Seattle. She was most recently seen on the UCT stage as Wilbur in "Charlotte’s Web" and also choreographed the Youthstage production of “Into the Woods Jr.”

 

Nancy Jensen is happy to be working with the students at Utah Children's Theatre.  She has been a member of the UCT Board for several years and has loved directing the Youthstage students, with Pride and Prejudice being her most recent project.   She is currently doing the sound effects for the puppet shows for UCT’s Shakespeare Festival for Kids and was on stage last year in A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Nancy enjoys working in almost all areas of theater and has participated as a director at the Empress Theatre, Midvale Arts, Draper Historic Theater and UNIPAC to name a few.  She recently performed on stage at Hale Centre Theatre in Over the River and Through the Woods and spent several years working with City Rep and Utah Children's Theatre both onstage and backstage.

 

Sarah Whiting has been dancing since she was a little girl. She holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Utah. In addition to teaching dance in studios and public education in Utah, she has taught dance in exotic places such as Hawaii and Italy. She and her family recently returned to Utah after living several years abroad. Most recently, she choreographed the dancing for UCT’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Sarah is excited to be teaching at Utah Children’s Theatre.

 

Jessica Wilson has been performing with UCT since 1998 and teaching here since 2002. She is trained in classical, modern, folk and cultural dance. A 3D multimedia artist, she will soon have her degree in Asian Studies and Art History from the U of U. She is the recipient of the Larry H. Miller enrichment scholarship in diversity and has traveled all over the world to places like West Africa, Scotland, England, Ireland and Italy. She is trained in pantomime, physical theatre, clown and circus skills, aerial and trapeze. Her most recent roles at Utah Children's Theatre are Charlotte in "Charlotte's Web" and Titania in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

 

Joseph Kyle Rogan holds a BFA in Acting and Theatre Education from the University of Utah, and an MEd in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. He is currently in his tenth year as a public K12 theatre teacher. As a working theatre professional, he specializes in improvisational theatre, performance poetry, Shakespeare, and theatre for young audiences. He has directed numerous productions for Utah Children's Theatre and local schools and community organizations, and has traveled throughout North America and the US Virgin Isles performing, teaching, coaching, directing, speaking, and studying a variety of theatrical art forms.

 

Amanda Mahoney holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Theatre from Idaho State University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from Wayne State University in Detroit. She also studied at the Moscow Art Theatre (American Studio) in Russia. Amanda taught Acting One at Western Kentucky University, as well as numerous workshops for professional companies, and has directed theatre for young audiences. She has acted professionally with equity houses including The Hilberry Repertory Company, Idaho Shakespeare, Old Lyric Repertory, Kentucky Repertory, Salt Lake Acting Company, and The Sting & Honey Co. She also has had the pleasure of writing three plays, two of which were for young audiences, each produced for Kentucky Repertory Theatre. She loves Utah Children's Theatre and their mission to bring the arts to kids!

 
Anne Puzey is well known throughout the valley for her musical talents. She frequently musical directs at Hale Centre Theatre and has also worked at the Egyptian Theatre and Dark Horse Company Theatre. At Utah Children’s Theatre she has musical directed Cats and Fiddler on the Roof and is on staff for our upcoming Youthstage production of Pirates of Penzance. A graduate of BYU, she has been the choir director at Bennion Junior High for many years and is an accomplished pianist.

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