Joanne is a free-lance pianist, organist, vocal coach and director of music. She graduated from Western Ct. State University with a BS in Music Education and has worked for many years with area high schools, churches, and community theaters. Currently, Joanne is Organist/Director of Music at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Danbury, accompanist for Danbury and Brewster High School choruses and pit keyboardist for several area school musicals. She has served as vocal coach/accompanist for NYSSMA and NATS vocal competition. Joanne teaches private lessons in Danbury, Southbury and Newtown.
Joanne serves as our Mainstage Music Director and Resident Accompanist.
Brandon is currently pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts; one of the top three programs in the country. He has been performing since he was four years old, starting his theatre career at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. Brandon has been in over 30 productions, including Spotlight Arts' mainstage productions of Urinetown and Grease. He has so far received two National Youth Arts Awards for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables and Bobby Strong in Urinetown. He was also nominated for a Metropolitan High School Theatre Award for his performance as Lord Farquaad in Brewster High School's production of Shrek the Musical.
Brandon assistant directs our mainstage productions and musical theatre workshops.
A former child actress herself and the mother of two dramatic boys, Amy Emke enjoys sharing her love of theatre with children and has been teaching theatre programs to them for the last fourteen years. In addition to her classes for Spotlight Arts, Amy also teaches after-school musical theatre programs for the Pawling Central and Carmel School Districts through Camp Herrlich, where she also serves as Summer Day Camp Director. Amy has taught music and drama programs for Kids Up Front, The Sunshine School, the Quaker Hill Country Club, “Shakespeare at the Castle” in Millbrook, NY., and Theatreworks New Milford in New Milford, CT. A graduate in theatre from the Baltimore School for the Arts, Amy also studied at the Experimental Theatre Wing of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Amy is a member of Hawk Rock Theater at Arts on the Lake in Lake Carmel, and has directed productions for Trinity Players in Poughkeepsie and for Pawling Public Radio. Amy’s goal as a teacher is to help children develop a life-long love of theatre as a means for creative self-expression.
Amy instructs our weekly improv and scene study classes.
Carolyn has performed professionally throughout Connecticut, Westchester County, and New York City. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Performance with a double minor in Dance and Psychology at Wagner College. Carolyn has taught at numerous youth theatre workshops and organizations across Connecticut and New York.
Carolyn directs and choreographs our summer musical theatre intensive workshops and our theater camps.
Amy began her ballet training in up-state New York and studied summers at the New York State Summer School of the Arts, Saratoga, NY, The American Dance Festival, Durham, NC, and was a full scholarship student at The David Howard Dance Center, NYC. She received a BFA in ballet concentration from Purchase College, Purchase, NY, under the direction of Bettijane Sills, Rosanna Seravalli, and Gayle Young. She performed leading roles in The Nutcracker, Serenade, Who Cares? Sleeping Beauty, and The Four Temperaments and danced professionally with the Albany Berkshire Ballet. Amy has taught for Ballet Academy East in NYC, Brass City Ballet, Middleburg, CT, Easter Seals, Valhalla, NY, Steffi Nossen School of Dance, White Plains, NY and Caleco Ballet Studio, North Salem, NY. Classes include creative movement, pre-ballet, ballet, pointe, repertoire, children’s yoga, adult ballet and ballet fitness.
Amy serves as the instructor for our Movement for Actors class.
Jeff Moulton has been working professionally in the arts for more than a decade, performing on stages and screens across the US and his native Canada. Jeff started dance captaining early in his career and has gone on to assistant choreograph and choreograph stage musicals, workshops, and special events.
His work behind the table was further facilitated by assisting Disney Creative Casting in New York City with auditions for their theme parks, cruise ships, and Broadway Guest Artists. He has assistant directed on regional musicals and commercial works in NYC – most recently assisting a Tony Nominated Director on the production lab of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion: The Musical. The new musical he Assistant Directed last year at the Atlantic Theater in Manhattan was named a New York Times’ Critic’s Pick and went on to win the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical.
For more information visit JeffMoulton.com.
Jeff directs and choreographs our musical theatre workshops.
Jessica Schwartz is currently pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre with a double-major in Theatre Arts Management from Western Connecticut State University (graduating Spring 2019). Regional: Ensemble in Mamma Mia!(ACT of Connecticut), Ensemble in South Pacific, Sillabub in Cats, and Agnes in Gypsy(Interlakes Summer Theatre). Educational: Molly in Peter and the Starcatcher, Mistress in Evita(Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress in a Musical), and Diana Barry in Anne of Green Gables.
Jessica assistant directs our summer camps and musical theatre workshops and also provides resume building services to our students.
Joey Dippel earned his BFA in Musical Theatre from University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where he choreographed the college’s productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Street Scene, Into a Lamplit Room (world premiere), and his class’ showcase in NYC. As a performer, he has worked at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Bucks County Playhouse, Weston Playhouse, the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport, and Pioneer Theatre Company. He has directed/choreographed for Broadening Theatrics (A Chorus Line: The One Project), the Broadway Dreams Foundation, New York Musical Theatre Factory, New York Theatre Barn, Staten Island Academy, and the Children’s Musical Theatre of San Jose. As a dance coach, he teaches and consults for Polish Your Passion NYC (www.pypnyc.com).
Joey directs and choreographs our musical theatre workshops.
Eric is a New York City based Director, Choreographer, and Performer, and a proud graduate of the prestigious Marymount Manhattan College Theatre Arts program. Eric is the Assistant Choreographer to two-time Emmy winner and five-time Tony nominee Patricia Birch for the new musical SWEETEE opening Off-Broadway at the Signature Theatre this spring (May 2017). He has also served as the Assistant Director/Choreographer to Ryan Kasprzak, and as the Choreography Assistant for Theatre Arts Center NY. His performance credits include - NYC: BESPOKE MUSICALS and LAST KISS (Actor & Dance Captain) at the York Theatre. Regional credits include FOOTLOOSE (Lyle & Jeter, u/s Willard), LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (Cagelle/Dance Captain), THE LITTLE MERMAID (Prince Eric), & NUNSENSE A-MEN! (Sister Mary Leo).
Eric directs and choreographs our musical theatre workshops and mainstage productions and coaches private acting and dance sessions.
Janina has been training and performing since the age of 5 and continued her studies at The Boston Conservatory Cap 21 NYU and in 2002 she graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City for Musical theatre. Some of her favorite roles that she has played were Demeter in Cats, Reno Sweeny in Anything Goes and Velma Kelly in Chicago and had a pleasure being a part of In The Heights and Miss Saigon.
Janina also had the pleasure to sing on Jason Robert Brown’s Solo album “Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes, and also worked on varies music videos. Aside from her love of theatre Janina owns B-Xtreme Entertainment, a high energy interactive breakdance comedy show. They have been seen on America’s Got Talent and at The US Open.
Janina assistant directs our musical theatre workshops and mainstage productions, and coaches private acting sessions.
Sarah is currently pursuing a B.A in Arts Management from Purchase College. She freelances and assists in direction, musical direction, stage management, and costume design. Sarah was nominated for a Metropolitan High School Theater Award in 2016 for her work as student director in Brewster High School’s production of Hello, Dolly. She has worked with many children’s theaters, community theaters, and schools in the tri-county area. As an actor, Sarah has had the pleasure of working with many different community theaters. Some of her favorite roles include Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray, and Rona Lisa Peretti in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She won a National Youth Theater Award in 2016 for Leading Actress in a Musical for her role as Hope Cladwell in Spotlight Art’s first MainStage, Urinetown.
Sarah is associate director of our musical theatre workshops, directs our summer camps, and stage manages our mainstage productions.
Stephanie is a freelance director, actor and voice teacher. Stephanie received her musical theatre and theater management training from the University of Miami and has a decade of experience in directing, producing and theatre management in both NY & FL. Additional training: Master of Music at New York University (Steinhardt dual degree Vocal Performance in Music Theatre and postmaster's Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy). Stephanie has taught and directed many classes, productions and workshops at performing arts schools, public schools, children’s theaters, and nonprofit theaters & organizations all over the tri-state area. Additionally, Stephanie has spent the past seven years as the theatre department director for Brewster Central School District in Brewster, NY.
Stephanie is the Executive Director of Spotlight Arts. She produces all programs and additionally provides direction and musical direction for our mainstage productions and musical theatre workshops.
Spotlight Arts provides students with a high-quality, fun learning environment while students work on their the theatre arts skills. We offer weekly classes, Mainstage productions, master classes and musical theatre workshops. Additionally, students of the performing arts develop vital life skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity, focus, problem-solving, self-confidence, and more!