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THEATRE INSTRUCTORS

Index of Theatre Instructors:
Steph DeLacy
Seth Chappell
Diane Emmert
Amelia Fischer
Jenny Hampton
Alex McCarthy
Joanna Mills
Kristin Meyer
Zachary Meyer
Megan Rieck
Brooke Schelly
Jessica Sheridan
Thomas Alan Taylor
Calvin Vo


stephdelacy2Steph DeLacy
Theatre Programs Coordinator, Instructor

Steph made her stage debut at age 5 as a tap-dancing "groovy chicken", and hasn't looked back!

She studied tap, jazz, and modern during her 14 years with her studio, and taught herself how to hip hop shortly after. Steph was a very active member of her middle school and high school drama departments, and graduated with her BA in Theatre from St. Ambrose University. In her time there, Steph was able to explore acting, stage management, and design work, but ultimately chose to combine her two passions by focusing on choreography.

Professionally Steph was on the staff with the Bettendorf Family Museum for nearly a decade. For eight of those years she was a lead dance instructor for the museum and helped develop programming. In particular, Steph was instrumental in integrating storytelling into their dance recitals, creating a theatrical narrative. During the last two years at the museum, Steph was the volunteer/play pal coordinator, leading a large team of staff and volunteers.

Steph has served in many roles theatrically over the years: dance teacher, choreographer, stage manager, and director. In all these roles, Steph loved having the opportunity to work with and inspire a new generation of actors and dancers. Most recently Steph choreographed 'In the Heights' at North High School and ‘West Side Story’ for Quad City Music Guild, among others. This school year, she will be assistant-directing ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ and choreographing ‘Les Miserables.’ 

Steph was thrilled to serve as the choreographer for the DJT mainstage production of 'Pegora the Witch' in 2016, and is equally excited to choreograph DJT’s upcoming production of “Seussical, Jr.”  Steph is enjoying meeting all of the wonderful students and families involved at DJT in her theatre coordinator role, and is grateful for the opportunity to continue serving as a Broadway and Acting instructor. Steph lives in Davenport with her two very dramatic cats.


Seth Chappell
Puppetry Instructor, Designer, Front Desk Clerk

Seth is a Quad City native who has had a love for theatre, and the arts, since he was a very small child. At the age of 10, Seth created and performed a puppet for the 1st time and was hooked.

In high school Seth was involved in the stage crew, keeping his creative side rollin by building and painting sets.  In college he made the shift from backstage to center stage by taking on many lead roles in various productions.

In 2008, his love of the performing arts led him to start his own puppetry company, FoamFoolery, where he not only gets to perform but also create puppets of his own design.

Seth began his involvement with Davenport Junior Theatre in spring of 2016 as the puppet creator for DJT's production of "The Magical Lamp of Aladdin." Having never created a puppet for stage use, he jumped at the chance! Not only did Seth create "Alakazam" the monkey, but he wrote a "monkey script" and worked daily with the student puppeteer to make “Alakazam”  come to life as a member of the ensemble.

Since then he has created the 14’ tall walking puppet “Anubraham Lincoln” for Season 65’s “Arthur & Merlin”, as well as being a puppet creation instructor for camps and is now the instructor for Puppetry Performance.


Diane Emmert
Instructor

Diane made her stage debut at the age of 4 when she sang "Jingle Bell Rock" (solo!) at her preschool's Christmas pageant. Since then she has been nursing her passion for theatre. She studied ballet, jazz, and tap at Patty Gray's School of Dance (Ottawa, IL), attended several "Summer in the Arts" programs at both Eastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois University, acted in numerous High School productions as well as the Marquette Academy Swing Choir, and performed in Stage 212's 2007 summer production of Cats (Peru, IL).

Diane attended Western Illinois University, where she studied acting for stage and camera, vocal techniques, musical theatre (classical and belt), Commedia dell'Arte, improv, stage combat, unrehearsed Shakespeare techniques, directing and stage managing. During her four years at Western, Diane was involved with many productions (both on stage and off), favorites of which include Parade, Children of Eden, Samurai, The Glass Menagerie, The Smell of the Kill, Tartuffe and Romeo and Juliet. Prior to moving to Davenport, Diane worked as puppeteer/Tiger Lily for C.H.A.O.S's 2011 summer production of Peter Pan or Why the Crock Rocked.

Amelia Fischer
Instructor

Theater plays an everlasting role in Amelia’s life.  Her theatrical debut was in her church’s annual Christmas show as a singing sheep.  A passion for performing was sparked, which she pursued at St. Ambrose University where she earned her B.A. in both Theatre and Public Relations.

Her favorite SAU performances were the children’s shows since she could interact with all the excited kiddos following the performances.  Since graduating, Amelia has performed for the Quad City Music Guild in West Side Story, as well as Almost, Maine at the QC Theatre Workshop. Currently, Amelia can be seen performing at The Establishment for both ComedySportz and The Late Nite Shows.

 

 

Jenny Hampton
Instructor, Dance Program Coordinator

Jenny grew up in Davenport and went on to the University of Northern Iowa where she graduated with a BA in Theatre Performance. During her time at UNI she worked on shows as an actress, backstage help, and choreographer. She also worked in the costume shop of the theatre department. Jenny was a member of the Orchesis Dance Company on campus and was the secretary of the company during her junior year of school.

Jenny has been dancing since she was 8 years old. She is trained in tap, ballet, jazz, pointe, and modern dance. SAfter graduating college, Jenny moved back to Davenport. She promptly started teaching at DJT and eventually became the Dance Coordinator, overseeing all dance programs. She enjoys sharing her love for dance with the next generation of dancers and theatre artists!

 

 


Alex McCarthy
Instructor

Alex McCarthy didn't discover his passion for theatre until high school, but he discovered his passion for performing sometime around the same time he started talking. He was featured in church movies as a child, and there may be record of him taking the karaoke stage as young as three years old. He was on and backstage many times at Dubuque Senior High School, but he discovered his true passion for theatre at Loras College. 

Alex earned a degree in Secondary Education and Creative Writing with a minor in Theatre from Loras College. He was the President of the Guild of St. Genesius, an honorary theatre fraternity at Loras his senior year while also getting the opportunity to act, direct, stage manage, run lights, serve as deck crew and prop master for a myriad of shows on the stage of St. Joseph Auditorium at Loras. During that time, he also became Managing Director of Trainwreck Productions where he worked to help produce original and classic plays (along with some contemporary pieces later on) while also acting and directing. Alex has also had the pleasure of seeing his own productions come to life under his own direction producing "The Death Reel" at Loras and "One Shot" for Trainwreck both in 2013.

Alex moved to Davenport to accept a position at Sudlow Intermediate in Davenport. He founded the Sudlow Intermediate Players and taught a series of different theatre enrichment courses (including Theatre, Playwriting, and Children's Theatre). This year he is honored to add a position at the Creative Arts Academy where he teaches 6th Grade Theatre in addition to his Language Arts courses at Sudlow. Alex has also acted in the Quad Cities Area in Shakespeare performances for Prenzie Players and Genesius Guild (not to be confused for the Guild of St. Genesius he was a part of in college.) Alex is beyond thrilled to add Junior Theatre to his resume. He looks forward to building relationships between all of the organizations he works with to create a myriad of creative opportunities for young people which is his ultimate goal in life. 


Kristin Meyer
Costume Creation Instructor (Costume Designer, Board President)

Kristin began her involvement at Davenport Junior Theatre as a child, growing up through the program. She has taken and taught classes, acted in and directed mainstage productions, served as a Junior Staff member, and now as an adult staff member, and holds the distinction of being the first teenager to be Showtime Pal for a mainstage show!

After being away in Kansas and Colorado for a few years, Kristin returned to Davenport. She has since served and Vice President and President of the Board of Directors of Junior Theatre, Inc. and does costuming work for DJT's various programs. Kristin has also costumed shows at Playcrafters, Quad City Music Guild and The Curtainbox Theatre Company.

Kristin is proud that all three of her children have been Junior Theatre kids! And now her grandaughter recently joined the program!!



Zach Meyer Zachary Meyer
Instructor, Designer, Production Manager, Facility Coordiantor

Zach is a graduate with a BA in Theatre from St. Ambrose University. Zach has run and coordinated rentals for dance recitals, pageants, school functions, touring shows, and many more. As a former student at DJT, Zach appeared in many Mainstage productions and assisted with lighting for many of them as well.

Zach is excited to help a new generation of students gain an appreciation and passion for theatre, in acting and technical aspects. While at St. Ambrose, Zach designed many shows in the student-directed Studio Space. He has also designed shows for Junior Theatre’s Mainstage. Zach has designed at the QC Theatre Workshop in Davenport, and Davenport West High School.

Zach is the current Production Manager for DJT Mainstage series.

 

 


Joanna Mills
Instructor

Joanna started her acting career by staring and directing family members in her own fairytale productions as soon as she could talk. Once she realized she could continue playing pretend as an adult, she decided to learn as much as she could about it. She got her BA in theatre performance with a minor in dance from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, then went on to receive her MFA in acting for film from Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has had training in almost every area of theatre, including costuming, makeup, lighting, and set as well as performance on stage, camera, and voice over. 

Since returning from the west coast, Joanna has been able to perform in several theatre productions in the quad cities, including Quad City Music Guild, the Black Box Theatre, and New Ground Theatre, do voice over and on camera work for several commercials, and taught several acting for commercial classes as well as privately coaching acting students. Joanna looks forward to passing on some of what she's learned to all the new, bright students she is sure to meet.


Megan Rieck
Instructor

Growing up, Megan Fennelly started her own acting career at Junior Theatre when she was 8 years old. She started taking classes and worked her way up to the Mainstage Company where she had fun performing in such shows as Alice in Wonderland, Tom Sawyer and Stone Soup.

Megan attended Western Illinois University majoring in Early Childhood Education and adores teaching our littlest actors at Junior Theatre. Megan stays active at Junior Theatre by teaching classes, teaching at Performing Arts Camp, and instructing speciality workshops. She is also the Secretary of Davenport Junior Theatre, Inc.

When she's not busy at Junior Theatre, Megan enjoys being a busy preschool teacher, scrapbooking, catching any live theatre she can find time for, and spending time with her son, Tanner.

 

Brooke Schelly
Instructor


Brooke started her DJT journey when she was just 13 years old and an actor on the mainstage. She would spend the next 10 years doing various things for Junior Theatre, like joining junior staff, running camps, volunteering with AmeriCorps, and teaching classes to name a few. Brooke graduated from St. Ambrose University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in theatre & public relations. She is very excited to be teaching this session, and looks forward to continuing to give back to the special place she's called home for so long. 



Jessica Sheridan Jessica Sheridan
Instructor

Jessica is a graduate of St. Ambrose University Theatre Department, where she earned a B.A. in Theatre. During her time at St. Ambrose, Jessica was fortunate enough to work with acclaimed Broadway director, Phil Wm. McKinley (Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, The Boy From Oz) in the world premiere of William Luce's Creme De Coco. For her work in Coco, Jessica was nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. The following year, Jessica was a semi-finalist acting partner for the same acting competition.

After graduating, she headed out west to the tiny town of Blue Lake, CA where she studied with the world-renowned Dell'Arte Company of California. During her time there she studied a new form of physical theatre developed by Richard Schechner and taught by Paula Murray Cole. The style, known as RASAboxes, consists of Antonin Artaud's theory that an actor can become an "athlete of the emotions", and the Eastern Indian aesthetic study of emotions known as Rasa, or flavor.

Jessica considers herself an actor first and foremost. However, she has much experience in all aspects of the theatre including design, direction, stage management and production. Some previous roles include Susie in Wit (directed by Mr. McKinley), Sgt. Dryvinski in MEGAFAULT (Sy-Fy channel original), and, most recently, Amy in the world premiere of A Green River by Aaron Randolph III.

Jessica is also the owner and photographer of Shared Light Photography. She specializes in portraits of families, kids, newborns, and actors. For her work at Davenport Junior Theatre and with Shared Light Photography, Jessica was awared the 2015 Emerging Artist of the Year award by Quad City Arts.

Jessica has been active with Junior Theatre since 2008, acting as a camp counselor, class instructor, workshop, leader and director; having most recently directed Daniel DP Sheridan's adaptation of Pinocchio and the Season 64 closer of Aladdin. Next up she will direct Seussical Jr for Season 66.


Thomas Alan Taylor
Instructor

Tom is as a true lifer to the town of Davenport, as well as to the theatre. Locally grown in a loving family, he started off by performing at 1st Presbyterian Church where he was lucky enough to be bitten by the theatre bug while surrounded by fun, loving friends and encouraging artist. He is fortunate to now be assisting a fantastic Junior Theatre team in providing the same experience for the youth of today and tomorrow, where he has worked as an instructor for camps and class sessions, as a stage manager and props designer, and as a director for Treasure Island and summer rep tours.

Tom is currently continuing his education at the University of Iowa where he is pursuing a B.A. in Theatre Arts as well as an Arts Entrepreneurial Certificate. In his time there thus far he has performed as an actor in 5 World Premiere Plays while also Directing 2 World Premieres. Thanks indirectly to Iowa’s fantastic writing program, a passion for original work has developed in him.

Since graduating from High School, Tom has performed in various mediums in the QC including on stage at Circa ‘21 and The Speakeasy, and on screen for Fourth Wall Films and other various commercials. However his true artistic home for acting lies in his work at the QC Theatre Workshop. There Tom is proud to have been a part of a top notch group of founding artists, and has since directed How I Learned to Drive and had lead roles in Red, Private Eyes, boom, A Steady Rain, The Pillowman and the World Premiere of A Green River by Aaron Randolph the III, directed by Daniel DP Sheridan. A Green River eventually continued on to compete in the American College Theatre Festival, and in which Tom was awarded Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Tom is also currently a Managing Intern at the QC Theatre Workshop.


Calvin Vo
Instructor

Calvin is a graduate from Augustana College with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and English. He has worked as stage manager on DJT's mainstage in several productions, including Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin. Outside of Junior Theatre, Calvin works as the head coach of the Moline High School speech team and has directed several productions there. He works as a theatre professional in the Quad Cities in areas such as acting  and sound design. Most recently he worked as director for the QC Theatre Workshop's production of Peter and the Starcatcher. Calvin looks forward to starting this next session of classes and is excited to be working with the future of theatre in the QC!


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