EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CO-FOUNDER: Gene has a Master of Arts from the University of Illinois and also studied at New York University, the University of Arkansas, Instituto Allende in Mexico, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. He has taught in the Theatre Department at the University of Illinois and the University of Arkansas and was a resident director at the University of
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION/CO-FOUNDER: Sheryl is the author of Expressions Through Drama, a manual of drama lesson plans on conflict resolution, and was one of the authors of the drama/theatre curriculum guide published by the Kansas Department of Education. In 2012 she was invited back for the curriculum re-writes. She has taught drama for 44 years in theatres and public and private schools and colleges.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Valerie has directed plays and videos for Late Night Theatre, KCPT, Kansas Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse, Academie International and Theatre for Young America. Valerie wrote and directed two early childhood plays for TYA and has served as choreographer for many of TYA’s musical productions as well as the Ozark Actors’ Theatre. Formerly the Artist in Residence at TYA, she performed
OPERATIONS MANAGER: Vickie received her BA in Theatre from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and was a co-founder of two area theater companies: InPlay, a multi-ethnic theatre company, and New Directions Theatre Company. Vickie has composed music and written lyrics for early childhood productions at TYA. She has acted in a number of plays at TYA, including In the Footsteps of Freedom with
DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS: Alexandria Washington has been working in Kansas City theatre for the past 7 years. She moved from Omaha, NE to Overland Park, KS with her family in 2001 and attended Saint Thomas Aquinas High School. Graduating from Avila University in 2009 with a B.F.A in Acting she enjoyed playing the roles of Angel in Marisol, Mother in Barefoot in the Park, and Steele
STAGE MANAGER: Xanda has her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Avila University. She has stage managed around Kansas City at City Theatre of Independence and the Fishtank Performance Studio as well as with Bottoms Up Sketch Comedy. She recently worked Kansas City Fringe Festival at Union Station. As well as stage managing for Theatre for Young America, she is also working hard to
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Eric has been active in theatre for more than 25 years, primarily as a director, designer and performer. His has directed and designed numerous musicals and plays in many local theatres. For TYA he designed 4 of the 6 shows in the 2011-12 season. Through his years Eric has been honored with much recognition for his directing and design work, earning a couple
TYA AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER: Pam has 13 years experience as Interpreter/Case Manager at Johnson County Human Services, interpreting for County agencies/programs, including Mental Health, Court, Developmental Supports, Aging, etc. In addition to interpreting for Theatre for Young America, Pam also interprets for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and Grace United Methodist Church in Olathe, Kansas. Prior to working for Johnson County Human Services,
RESIDENT ARTIST: Danny began his professional music career in 1960 as an 18 year old performing on a Hootenanny Folk Tour. In the early 1970s, Danny Cox recorded for the ABC-Dunhill, Casablanca, and the MGM labels. In 1969, Danny partnered a company called Good Karma Productions, which managed the acts of Brewer and Shipley, and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, and his own career. Danny was
DRAMA TEACHER: John has taught for TYA for over seventeen years as well as performing in The Phantom Tollbooth, Ramona, Toughest Kid in the World, and Bully Bot the Robot and the Gang of Geeks. As an actor, director, stage manager and facilitator, John has been affiliated with the Toughest Kid Violence Prevention program since its beginning in 1996. He also teaches anti-bullying workshops in connection with Bully Bot.
DRAMA TEACHER: Wil is a recent graduate of Avila University where he earned his Bachelor’s in Theatre. He has been seen on the Theatre for Young America stage in Treasure Island, Nate the Great, Robin Hood and Snoopy! He has worked for She and Her Productions and Bottoms Up Sketch Comedy. He has taught TYA summer camps for the past three years. He currently