Meet the Faculty
Anna KimmellDirector of Education Biography
Anna Kimmell is an actor, educator, and artist raised in Atlanta, GA. A graduate of Elon University with a BFA in Music Theatre, she has performed in touring and regional companies throughout the United States including NC’s Flat Rock Playhouse, RI’s Theatre by the Sea, CO’s Lake Dillon Theatre, FL’s Show Palace, GA’s Georgia Shakespeare and Theatre of the Stars, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and on The Wizard of OZ National Tour, to name a few.
From 2013-2016, Anna served as the Director of Education at Mill Mountain Theatre, facilitating the growth of a robust theatre education program for youth and adults. In August 2016, she began as the Director of Education at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, where she restructured and expanded to a year-round training program for youth and adults reaching over 7,500 students annually.
Recent projects include serving as an adjunct professor at Hollins University, facilitating Broadway dance workshops at the University of Central Arkansas, traveling and teaching through a reverse exchange program in Los Andes, Chile, directing a staged reading of Chelsea Clinton’s children’s book She Persisted Around the World, serving as a guest instructor at the Little Rock Tap Festival, and directing and choreographing The Rep’s production of Willy Wonka Jr.
Bridget DavisTeaching Artist Biography
Bridget Davis is a Little Rock native who is so excited to share her love for musical theater with young artists in Central Arkansas! She began performing at The Rep at age 9 and was most recently seen on stage as Dyanne in The Rep’s production of Million Dollar Quartet. She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Theatre from Oklahoma City University. After graduation, she spent time in NYC, before heading out on the National Tour of A Charlie Brown Christmas traveling the country and Canada. Favorite Little Rock credits include: Sophie (Mamma Mia), Sister Mary Robert (Sister Act), Sandy (Grease). Bridget currently lives in Little Rock with her Australian Shepherd, Ava. Bridget teaches private voice lessons, works as a Pure Barre Instructor, and is an active performer in the community.
Collette SimmonsTeaching Artist Biography
COLLETTE SIMMONS is a choreographer, professional dancer, voice-over artist, pilates and barre instructor, mom and world traveler with an undying love for the performing arts. She earned
her Masters degree in Performance Studies from New York University – Tisch School of the Arts, her Bachelors in Dance Performance from Oklahoma City University and is a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher through The Pilates Method Alliance receiving Comprehensive and Mat teacher certifications through Power Pilates. Simmons performed in the Broadway hit Mamma Mia! in New York for six years. Her choreography credits include choreographing Cinderella: A Rock-n-Roll Musical at the AR Arts Centers Children’s Theatre and working as an assistant choreographer on various Broadway, off-Broadway and regional productions such as Children
and Art, a benefit honoring Stephen Sondheim; Ring of Fire, a Johnny Cash musical; Good Vibrations, a Beach Boys musical; After The Ball, a Noel Coward and Oscar Wilde musical; Where’s Charley? at The Goodspeed Opera House; Tony Walton’s Hammerstein Award; The Best of the West End with P&O Cruises; and The Joys of Sex, an Off-Broadway musical comedy. Additional performing credits include serving as a company member with the American Spirit Dance Company, understudying Frenchie in the European tour of Grease, the voice of “Shelly the hermit crab” on a series of HBO/Cinemax commercials, Evita and White Christmas at The Zachary Scott Theatre in Austin, TX. She was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine as one of Broadway’s performers to keep your eye on. Simmons is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Pilates Method Alliance and Performance Studies International.
Courtney Bennett BakerTeaching Artist Biography
Originally from Little Rock, Courtney Bennett Baker received her B.A. in Theatre from the University of Central Arkansas. She spent time in NYC studying acting and movement techniques, then moved to Chicago where she studied circus and clowning. While there she acted professionally, with one of her favorite roles being Dr. Stockmann in an adaptation of Ibsen’s ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE with Jeff Award-winning director James Palmer. In 2010, she returned to the U.S. after receiving a Professional Training Certificate for Physical Theatre from the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. She performs locally with the Arkansas Arts Center (Go, Dog. Go!; Cat in the Hat), The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre (King Lear, As You Like It, etc), and the Arkansas Rep (Macbeth).
Crystal C. MercerTeaching Artist Biography
Crystal C. Mercer is just a little girl from Little Rock, Arkansas. An all around Afro-Creative, Mercer is a Textile Artist, Actor, Activist, Poet, Author, Founder and Creative Director of Columbus Creative Arts + Activism, and Designer and Lead Merchant of Mercer Textile Mercantile. Mercer’s past credits include a number of plays and musicals in Arkansas, off – Broadway in New York, and internationally in Canterbury, England. She fuses arts and activism by using theatre and textiles to tell social justice narratives, through merchandising and storytelling, with an emphasis on uplifting voices of color. A dedicated public servant, a woman of many creative talents, and the daughter of legendary late civil rights lawyer, Attorney Christopher C. Mercer, Jr., she honors the legacy of her father by using theatre arts as a tool for empowerment, education, and social justice.
Dariane LyJoi MullTeaching Artist Biography
Dariane LyJoi Mull is a graduate of University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Clinton School of Public Service earning a BA in Theatre Arts, a minor in English, a Masters of Public Service, and a Masters of Education in Secondary Education. She is currently the Drama Teacher, Forensics Coach, and Jr. Thespian Troupe Director at Pinnacle View Middle School (Go Skyhawks!) and a member of New Life Church West Little Rock. While at UALR, as a member of Chancellor’s Leadership Corps and Friday Fellows, she had the opportunity to work with organizations throughout the city including Pulaski County Youth Services, UALR Children’s International, Little Rock School District, and Central Arkansas Library System. Through her time at the Clinton School she’s worked with programs such as Arkansas Commitment here in Little Rock, as well as Fundacion Arte Del Mundo Biblioteca Interactiva in Ecuador. She’s also a writer, volleyball coach, and still tries to find time for performing herself. She’s passionate and invested in enriching and encouraging the youth of Little Rock, especially through the arts and thanks the Arkansas Repertory Theatre for this opportunity to be a part of it.
Hilary TrudellTeaching Artist Biography
Hilary Trudell is a facilitator, producer and educator with over 15 years experience in the field of public service and the arts. She specializes in community engagement, arts education and providing a platform for storytelling and advocacy around themes of social justice. Hilary currently works as the Director of Local Programming and Regional Outreach at the Clinton School of Public Service leading first-year students through their first field work experience. In 2017, Hilary founded a storytelling initiative called The Yarn, whose mission is to amplify voices, build understanding and create a space for human connection. Currently entering the Yarn’s third season, Hilary and her team have produced over 15 shows to date. Since moving back to Arkansas in 2015, Hilary has personally coached over 150 people in efforts to help them share their stories succinctly, effectively and with impact. In 2018, she also founded the ACANSA Ten-Minute Play Showcase, which she will usher into its third year in March 2020. A board member of the ACANSA Arts Festival, Hilary is a strong believer of leveraging stories as catalysts for community building, education and social change.
Katherine GreerTeaching Artist Biography
Katherine Greer is a graduate of UA Little Rock with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and a B.A. in Theatre Arts. Katie has worked in theatre/dance education across central Arkansas with Episcopal Collegiate, Arkansas Academy of Dance, Argenta Community Theatre, Wildwood Park for the Arts and North Little Rock High School’s Dance Troupe. Her favorite roles include Frenchy in Grease, Biondello/Widow in Taming of the Shrew, Young Woman in Machinal and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is an instructor, guest artist and choreographer with Arkansas Festival Ballet and her work Descent was selected to be performed at the Regional Dance Association’s conference in 2017. Katie is grateful to Anna for the opportunity to share her love of dance with the talented students of The Rep!
Katie BarnesTeaching Artist Biography
Katie Barnes is a Kansas native and small town girl at heart. Her first artistic love is music and she is thankful to those who encouraged her to develop that skill as a child. Katie came to Arkansas to attend the Clinton School of Public Service where she further developed her passion for education and youth empowerment through expression. She is currently a middle school teacher and considers Little Rock to be a second home. She is looking forward to supporting the HEARD Project and seeing the student’s grow through storytelling.
Kevin Alan BrownTeaching Artist Biography
Kevin Alan Brown is a resident teaching artist at the Rep. He grew up in St. Petersburg, FL where he participated in arts magnet schools from the 3rd grade until high school graduation. He graduated from the University of Florida with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Dance. He married his artistic collaborator and college sweetheart Robin Neveu Brown in 2007. Kevin spent four years being a professional actor in New York City, where he earned his Equity card, performed in staged readings, fringe festivals, improv shows, and created new works with his wife, as well as collaborating with composer Dylan Glatthorn and director William Joseph Stribling. He received his MFA from the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University in DC. He is also an avid fan of football. Go Gators! Go Bucs! Kevin is currently on the Theatre faculty at UA Little Rock and UA Pine Bluff.
Marlane BarnesTeaching Artist Biography
Marlane Barnes is a working film and television actress and producer who recently relocated back to the state of Arkansas after ten years in Los Angeles. She has recurred on the television shows Sons of Anarchy and The Fosters as well as appearing on Mad Men, Ray Donovan, NCIS-LA,Rizzoli and Isles, iCarly and more. She is also a proud member of the Irish coven and Team Edward, having played Maggie in The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part II. She has experience teaching aspiring actors of all ages and holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin.
Matt BoyceTeaching Artist Biography
Born and raised in New Jersey, Matt Boyce has studied and performed the art of tap dancing since age 10. Mike Minery served as his mentor. Matt made his first debut into the professional industry at the age of 12 when he became the youngest ever principal dancer for the New Jersey Tap Ensemble, under the direction of Deborah Mitchell. At the age of 16, Matt became an original company member of Mike Minery’s Tapaholics. With the Tapaholics, Matt performed for six years touring nationally with the company. Throughout Matt’s years in high school and while studying music in college, Matt had the privilege of working with many musicals, musically directing, assisting in choreography, and working privately with vocalists on numerous shows. Matt has also been an assistant choreographer for the Tap Convention “Slide”. Matt was the tap instructor for the national touring convention, SHOCK the Intensive, and was on staff there from 2011-2015. Matt has also been a guest artist instructor/choreographer for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock dance program. Matt has been teaching masterclasses and choreographing for studios around the US for over 10 years, and continues to annually. Matt has also been on faculty at the international tap festival, “Tap United”. Most recently, Matt is living in North Little Rock, AR where he has founded Arkansas’ first ever professional tap company and non-profit tap company, Untapped. Alongside his wife Savannah, Matt is also the Co-Founder of Little Rock Tap Festival, (est. 2015) the fastest growing, and newest tap festival in the south.
Matthew DuncanTeaching Artist Biography
Matthew Duncan is a theater artist and musician born in Little Rock and raised in Bentonville, AR. While getting his BA in Theatre at the University of Central Arkansas, he joined the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre as a frequent company member. He continued to hone his classical skills in Chicago with the Foundlings Theatre Company and others, before returning to northwest Arkansas to found the Paradise Explored Theatre Collective. PETC specialized in exploring new and classic texts in found spaces, and premiered several new works in collaboration with Crystal Bridges’ ArtInfusion program. Matthew earned his MFA in Acting at Purdue University, training intensely in physical comedy, classical theatre styles, and Meisner technique while also finding time to drop back to Conway and perform with ArkShakes, and all the way to upstate New York for Shake on the Lake, where he most recently played Touchstone.
Moriah PattersonTeaching Artist Biography
Moriah Patterson is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University with degrees in music theatre and theatre education. While there, she performed and choreographed with the Henderson Dance Company for three years. This past year, she choreographed shows for Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, Praeclara, Argenta Community Theatre, and Pulaski Academy. This summer she performed in Guys and Dolls with Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, and choreographed and performed in Mary Poppins at Murry’s. Moriah has been a dance instructor for eight years at Susan’s Studio of Dance in Sheridan and for one year at Wildwood Park for the Arts. She also serves on the executive board of directors for the Arkansas Dance Network.
Osyrus BollyTeaching Artist Biography
Osyrus Bolly is an artist/activist who combines his passion for the arts and social justice to create his own platform for liberation arts. Bolly has shared stages with artists such as Big Boi of OutKast, Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan, jessica Care moore, Bilal, Devin The Dude and Sunni Patterson. He is also a member of nationally ranked poetry slam troupe Foreign Tongues. He is active mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. In 2018 he released his hip hop single “Happy Black Girl” an ode to black women with natural hair and was awarded the ML Magazine 2018 Community Outreach Award. In 2018-2019 he taught special interest spoken word classes at University of Arkansas Little Rock with the Dr. Charles W. Donaldson Scholars Academy. In 2019 he was Activist Award recipient at the Black Empowerment Awards.
Rebekah ScalletTeaching Artist Biography
Rebekah Scallet has been the Producing Artistic Director of Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre since 2011, where she has directed My Fair Lady, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Twelfth Night. Raised in Little Rock, she studied theatre at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School, and went on to receive her BA in Theatre and English from Brandeis University and her MFA in Directing from Illinois State University. Rebekah spent five summers with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and lived and worked in Chicago for ten years, where she was a member of the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and also worked with Northlight Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Theatre Seven, LiveWire Chicago Theatre, Raven Theatre, and greasy joan & co. Rebekah is also a faculty member in UCA’s Department of Theatre, Film, and Creative Writing, and was the recipient of the Arkansas Arts Council’s 2014 Individual Artist Fellowship in Directing.
Samantha HarringtonTeaching Artist Biography
Samantha Harrington is a proud native of Little Rock and received her B.F.A. in Acting from Oklahoma City University. She has made her theatrical appearances at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre (Allana/Ariel US in The Little Mermaid, Ensemble/Jovie US in Elf: the Musical), the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre (Viola/Choreographer in Twelfth Night, Anybody’s in Westside Story), the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre (Choreographer for Curious George and the Golden Meatball, Junie B. Jones in Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook, Jo in Little Women), and also at Shake on the Lake in Upstate New York (Miranda/Trinculo/Sebastian in The Tempest, Viola/Choreographer in Twelfth Night). She is an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and is also a certified yoga teacher (ERYT200/500 RYT) and is the co-founder of a local non-profit organization, Yoga in the Rock. She is excited to be returning the Rep in an educational capacity to share her love of the performing arts and movement.
TJ MedelTeaching Artist Biography
TJ Medel is Jersey all day, every day. He holds a BA in Theater Arts from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. As a 2015 Second City Chicago Bob Curry Fellow, he has performed on Second City Mainstages, worked as a Diversity and Inclusion Facilitator for Second City Works, and is the first Filipino faculty member for The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Outside of Second City, Medel has devised works with The Neo-Futurists Theater (A Story Told in 7 Fights), Theater Unspeakable (Superman 2050, The American Revolution, Moonshot, The Sacajewea Project), and Chicago Slam Works House Ensemble (One Day When We’re All Robots, Have a Great Summer). Medel has showcased his talents in festivals such as the Detroit Improv Festival, Chicago Sketchfest, Chicago Improv Festival, Chicago Fringe Festival, Second City Los Angeles Diversity Festival, Montreal Fringefest, Toronto Combustion Festival, Manila Improv Festival, NBC’s Breakout Comedy Festival, and CBS’s Comedy Showcase. His television credits include numerous commercials and web series including FOX’s Empire. TJ has been a collaborative teaching artist with Silk Road Rising, Chicago Improv Productions, Chicago Poetry Center, and Urban Gateways. He is a former member of the legendary All Asian Improv Group Stir Friday Night and is the Founder of the Improvised Spoken Word Group PREACH! For more information, follow him on @tjspokenword on all social media platforms or contact his representatives at Stewart Talent Agency.
Wesley PetersTeaching Artist Biography
Wesley Peters is a 23 year old Little Rock native. He is the co-founder of the non profit organization, Conducting Creativity which focuses on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Wesley is also the author of the children’s book, The Plant Doctor which is geared towards 2-4 grade readers.