Learning The Craft Teacher Bios
About Our Teachers
Kate Altieri (Music Theatre Dance, Creative Toddling)
Kate Altieri is a Sophomore at Northern Kentucky University as a BFA Musical Theatre major. She teaches Basic Musical Theatre Dance for the Children's theatre and is also part of the ArtReach program as a Guest Teaching artist. After she graduates, she hopes to go on to Broadway and be cast as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray, and also open her own theater to teach the art of musical theatre. She is a member of the Theta Phi Alpha sorority and hails from Loveland, OH. Kate has been performing since she could walk and talk. Kate appeared in two show choirs at Loveland, the high school choir (By Request) for four years, and the middle school choir (Revolution) for two years. She holds awards such as Best Female Vocalist in a show (2 years). She was recently just cast in the Falcon Theatre's productions of Batboy as Shelly. She has been in productions of Legally Blonde (Galean) at Northern Kentucky University, And Loveland High Schools Productions of Grease (Rizzo) Seussical the Musical (Mayzie) Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Silly Girl) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Wife).
Brandon Bentley (Drama Workshop)
Brandon Bentley is a recent addition to the Cincinnati area originally hailing from Big Stone Gap, Virginia. He studied in a B.F.A. Musical Theatre program from Emory & Henry College and was mentored by professionals from Barter Theatre of Abingdon, Virginia. Brandon has been acting professionally for the past 15 years with his roots beginning in outdoor drama of the Appalachian Mountains and Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina. Since moving to Cincinnati three years ago, Brandon has been seen on stage at the Carnegie doing such productions as Carrie: The Musical, The Addams Family, and Sweeney Todd. Other favorite shows include those of the Children's Theatre of Cincinnati such as The Snow Queen, Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka JR., and The Day Before Christmas. You can find him on Northern Kentucky University's stage this summer doing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with the Commonwealth Theatre Company! Brandon's dream is to one day work as an actor, educator, and director with a resident theatre company or several different companies in an area. He's proud to say, he's currently fulfilling that dream.
Lauren Crawford (Tap)
Lauren Crawford has loved dance ever since the ripe old age of five. She is presently a Junior at Northern Kentucky University. She started her dance studies with Marlyn Scott, Amy Geiman and Lisa Davis at Manyet Dance. Since then she has honed her dancing ability by studying with Heather Britt (Uptown Arts, Northern Kentucky University and the Cincinnati Ballet) as well as Jay Goodlett (Cincinnati Ballet). She has had the privilege of dancing at the Florence mall in Dance for Heart, in regional nursing homes and for Ronald McDonald House Charities. As a competitive dancer, Lauren has toured the United States. She is proud to have participated in DEA competitions and numerous competitions and conventions regionally. For the past two years she has been a member of the NKU Dance Team who competes annually at the UDA National Dance Competition at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. She also dances for the NKU Tour Troupe, a performing group that tours the Tri-State area showcasing different forms of dance. Lauren, an Entrepreneurship major with a dance minor, looks forward to graduating and sharing her love of dance with generations to come.
Jay Goodlett (Music Theatre Dance)
Born at Dayton’s Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Jay Goodlett attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Cincinnati for nine years majoring in dance, drama, and musical theatre. By the age of 18, Jay joined the Cincinnati Ballet and rose quickly to the rank of Senior Soloist by 2002. Jay enjoyed 17 seasons with Cincinnati Ballet retiring in 2008. In 1991, Jay began his career as choreographer and has worked with Cincinnati Ballet, The Saint Louis Opera and the Cincinnati Opera. He has choreographed and directed for numerous high schools and community theater groups as well as The Carnegie Center, William Peace University, Purdue University and Miami (Ohio) University. He is currently a guest lecturer at Northern Kentucky University, teaches for the International Cecchetti Council of America and judges for Ohio Dance Masters. Jay directed The Snow Queen (2014-15), Ronald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. (2013-14), Disney’s Cinderella KIDS (2012-13) and Jack and the Beanstalk (2009-10) for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, and is the Associate Artistic Director of the Learning the Craft Program with TCTC. Jay and his wife Jenny (former CBC dancer) are blessed to have a performing family that includes their children Megan, Nathan and Amelia.
Ally Mellick (Vocal Workshop)
Allysun Mellick is a recent graduate of NKU where she has a BFA in Musical Theatre. Currently, she is working with the Commonwealth Summer Dinner Theatre where she will be playing Rona in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She has a lot of experience working with children. For the past two years, she has worked as an intern at Uptown Arts and a Tour Guide with Community Connections at NKU. She is very excited to work with The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati!
Jacqueline Smith (Drama Workshop)
Jacqueline Smith moved to Cincinnati in 2012 after graduating from Miami University as a Theatre major and Business Management major. Jackie has been involved in the area as a Teaching Artist at The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati, The Carnegie, Drake Planetarium, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (CPIP). Other theatrical work includes house managing at CPIP and Cincinnati Shakespeare, prop and set designer at The Carnegie (The Fabulous Fable Factory and The Grunch), Assistant Stage Manager at The Carnegie (Driving Miss Daisy), and CPIP wardrobe crew member (Cabaret and 4000 Miles). Jackie is excited for the opportunity to continue to teach Learning the Craft: Drama Workshop and Creative Toddling at TCTC!
Chris Stewart (Drama Workshop)
Chris Stewart, actor-director-playwright-teaching-artist for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, has taught drama/acting classes for Learning the Craft since the program began. Mr. Stewart works for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati as the Associate Artistic Director of ArtReach, the tour which brings live theatre to schools and venues around the region. Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, Chris is a proud alum of Hillsdale College in Michigan, and a local actor, director, playwright, and teacher. He met his lovely wife, Kari Stewart, during Disney’s Peter Pan JR., in which Chris played Peter and she played Wendy. He recently assistant directed TCTC's production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR., played Udo in The Snow Queen and will be featured as the Narrator in Disney’s Aladdin JR. this spring. Recent acting credits: Awaited: A Christmas Show (Crossroads), Church Girls (Commonwealth Theatre Co.), Camelot (Carnegie Center), Don’t Cross the Streams: The Cease and Desist Musical, (Hugo West Theatricals). Directing credits: Anne Frank, The Night Before Christmas (ArtReach), Little Shop of Horrors, Arsenic and Old Lace, Zombie Prom (Roger Bacon High School), By the Rivers of Babylon (Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative). Playwriting credits: In the Shadows of Edison: The Nikola Tesla Story, The Sword in the Stone, The Frederick Douglass Story -- all for ArtReach: A Division of The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati . His two newest adaptations, The Night Before Christmas and The Wind in the Willows (with music by The Snow Queen composer/lyricist Stephen Goers), will tour with ArtReach this season. Chris is also a Teaching Artist for The Children’s Theatre’s STAR Program and WorkShops. Mr. Stewart was in the Edinburgh Fringe Festivals 2006-07 as an actor and press/marketing officer, and has performed in local shows at the Showboat, Commonwealth Theatre Company, and the Carnegie. His classes specialize in improvisation, classical and contemporary material, characterizations, and stagecraft.
Chelsey Sweatman (Vocal Workshop)
Chelsey Kurtz Sweatman , originally from Connellsville, PA, has lived, performed, and educated in Cincinnati since 2005. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, studying with a voice concentration under Dr. Barbara Paver. In addition, she holds an Orff-Schulwerk Level I Certification from the University of Kentucky.While at CCM, Chelsey received the Spirit of Community Award for outstanding leadership, and was named the College’s Presser Scholar for outstanding academic and musical achievement in music education. She also served as an intern for the Cincinnati Children’s Choir for three years of her undergraduate studies. Since 2009, Chelsey has been the music teacher at Delshire Elementary of the Oak Hills Local School District where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2011. Most recently, Chelsey was selected to represent Oak Hills as their 2013 Hamilton County Teacher of Excellence Award winner for her dedication and excellence in education. In addition to teaching full-time, Chelsey is the Associate Director for the Piccolo Coro, Blue Ash Satellite, and West Satellite Choirs for the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, the Children’s Choir Director at Shiloh United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, OH, serves on the College of Mount St. Joseph Music Academy staff as a Vocal Instructor and Elementary Specialist, and performs regularly throughout the area as a professional vocalist. She is currently a member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, the Greater Cincinnati Orff-Schulwerk Chapter, National Association for Music Education, and the Ohio Music Educators Association.
Mary Kate Vanegas (Drama Workhop & Creative Toddling)
Mary Kate Vanegas is a recent Musical Theatre graduate from Northern Kentucky University. Originally from Louisville, she began her career at StageOne Children's Theatre. (Cue her love for Children's Theatre!) She is also a 2010 Musical Theatre graduate of Kentucky's Governor's School for the Arts. Some professional credits are Sister Mary Amnesia (Nunsense) with Commonwealth Theatre Company, Jenny (Company) with The Carnegie Theatre of Cincinnati, and Mrs. Cratchit (Scrooge's Christmas) and Nancy Brooner (A. Lincoln: A Pioneer Tale) with Lincoln Boyhood Drama Association. She is excited to start working with The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati and share her love of theatre with creative young minds.
Abby Wagner (Tap, Music Theatre Dance)
Abby Wagner is a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University. On a full scholarship, she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Performance with an emphasis in Dance. Upon graduation she received the "Most Outstanding Senior" award from the Theatre and Dance Department. She has studied all areas of dance, voice, and acting. Her favorite credit from NKU; You Can't Take it with You (Essie, League of Cincinnati Theatre's nominee for Best Supporting Actress). Her favorite professional credits include Nunsense (Sister Mary Leo) with Commonwealth Theatre Co., Chicago (Hunyak) with Carnegie Performing Arts, Lincoln: A Pioneer Tale (Sarah Elizabeth) with Lincoln Amphitheater. She was the solo dancer in the "Stand Back" music video for Fleetwood Mac's 2013 Summer World Tour. Abby is also proud alumni of Governor's School for the Arts 2008 (dance).