Lynn is an actress, director, author, international conference speaker, wife and mother of four, as well as owner and co-founder of ACT. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire where she earned membership in the National Collegiate Players. Lynn has over 30 years of experience in stage and radio, including voice work for Focus on the Family. She has also been a guest on numerous television and radio broadcasts around the country. Some of her favorite roles include Paulina in The Winter’s Tale, Sarah in Going Home for Christmas, and Kim in Striking Out—a touring children’s theatre production for which Lynn received a Best Actress nomination. Though she has loved each and every show she’s directed, some of her favorites include The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Robin Hood, and Seussical Jr.
Katie is an actor, dancer, and director. She’s been with ACT for many years; first as a student and then on staff. Katie started acting at a very young age, and has grown to love every aspect of the theatre. Besides teaching several classes and managing many aspects of the administrative side of ACT, she is directing our main stage production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe this fall for ACT II. Before joining the staff of ACT, she directed several main stage productions including Anne of Green Gables, Sense and Sensibility and Emma. Some of her acting credits include; Little Women, It’s a Wonderful Life, Pinocchio, andMidsummer’s Night’s Dream. During her free time she enjoys swing dancing, hiking, and being involved with local theatre and dance companies.
Vanessa Bowie – Acting Instructor
Vanessa is an actress, teacher, wife and mother. She earned her B.A. from CU Boulder and her M.P.A from UCCS. She has created magic in the entertainment departments of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Six Flags Elitch Gardens. She loves the theatre and some of her favorite past productions include, The Baseball Show (Heritage Square Music Hall), Nunsense (Breckenridge Backstage), and Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge (Denver Victorian). She was nominated for a 2007 Denver Post, Ovation Award and Marlowe Award, for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, for her role as Sue Lawson in, Not Now Darling! (Miner’s Alley Playhouse), and was part of the cast for the 2010 Ovation Award nomination for Best Comedy, Getting Married (Germinal Stage). She is committed to volunteering, having been a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters, a Disney VoluntEAR and she served in the Peace Corps, Armenia. She is very excited to join the ACT team!
Sheila Cook – Musical Theatre Instructor
Sheila is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in dance. At age 16, she was cast for a performing internship with Vox Medusa Dance Company, and work with them for 12 years performing feature roles and as a choreographer, rehearsal director and co-director for many of the productions. Sheila has been teaching dance for the past 10 years at Heartbeat Performing Arts Center. She found musical theatre in college when taking singing and acting classes for her dance degree. For the past 6 years, Sheila has been directing, designing, and choreographing plays and musicals for Stillwater Area Schools and Community Theatre, Simley Junior and Senior High School, River Falls Community Theatre, and A Dim Image Dessert Theatre. Sheila also started youth theatre camps for Stillwater Community Education. She has worked with all ages, from young children to working professionals, and enjoys bringing out the best in performers. In 2015, Sheila received Outstanding Overall Performance, Outstanding Performance by a Chorus, and Outstanding Acting by a Chorus by the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Awards for her directing and choreography of Hairspray for Simley High School. Having either directed and or choreographed over 45 shows, her favorite show of all time hasn’t changed since she was 3 years old, The Little Mermaid. Sheila is extremely excited to have the opportunity to teach for the Academy of Children’s Theatre and looks forward to working with and developing every student’s skills and creativity.
Madison Falkenstine – Musical Theatre & Dance Instructor
Madison is an actor, singer and dancer and former student of ACT. She loves the theatre and has been performing since the young age of five! Besides acting and musical theatre, she has been trained in ballet, tap, and jazz dance, and voice. She has worked both onstage and off-stage at many professional and community theatres throughout Colorado Springs area, including the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and ACT II. She has been involved in many theatrical productions including, Fiddler on the Roof, Applause, The Wizard of Oz, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, and The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley. This fall, Madison will be working in Los Angeles, then will continue her theatre education the following semester. When she is not participating in a production, Madison spends her time writing, rock climbing, and singing on her church’s worship team.
Betty Hamrick – Musical Theatre Instructor
Bethany Hamrick (Betty) joins us from California and has been infatuated with performance and the stage since the age of four. In high school, she joined Shenanigans’ Youth Theater Group where she spent 4 years as a director and choreographer before continuing her education in Theatre Arts. From there Betty earned her A.A. with honors from Golden West College and went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude with her B.A. from the University of California, San Diego (specializing in directing). At UCSD she received the Stewart Prize in Theater for her contributions to the department both on and off the stage. She has since worked in her field as often as possible as she grows into her new role as a mother and wife. She has been previously seen as a Yuletide Caroler this past Christmas season at the Broadmoor, and a Laker Girl in the Inspire Creative production of Spamalot.
(Betty has a huge heart for children, so she recently shaved her head to raise money to fight childhood cancer with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. She is NOT battling cancer herself, but shaved her head to help those who were!)
Beth Jordahl – Dance Director, Instructor, & Main Stage Choreographer
Beth is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, writer and lover of theatre. She has over 17 years of experience in dance. From the moment she took her very first ballet class, Beth fell in love with the magic that is theatre and has been dancing through life ever since having studied ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical and worship. As a part of the Colorado Youth Ballet Company for 4 years, Beth performed in many productions including Cinderella, Nutcracker and Coppelia. She also performed with Ballet Emmanuel, a professional Christian ballet company in Colorado. Her love of dance has led her to choreograph several shows including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Fiddler on the Roof, and Its A Wonderful Life. One of her favorite experiences is when she taught and performed in Peru, Germany, England and France.
Marci Nickelsburg – Acting & Musical Theatre Instructor
Starting out in professional and community Children’s Theater herself at a very early age, she found the love of the stage, and has spent the last 34 years dedicated to the performing arts as a singer, actress, director, coach, wife and mother of two. After attending Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma for her Bachelor of Music & Musical Theater, she has worked and performed for many theaters throughout the country including Lyric Theater of Oklahoma, Dallas Children’s Theater, Children on Stage, Garland Summer Musicals and The Middleton Players. Marci has coached for the NFL (National Forensics-Speech and Debate League) at Woodland Park High School for the past 4 years, a theatrical coach for the Black Forest Academy of Music, and continues to work with the youth of Teller County as a Youth Director at Mountain View UMC. Marci is excited to join the ACT Team to be a small part of helping each student embrace creativity, inspire their imaginations, build on their performance skills, and make a positive impact in our community.
Micki Strait – Main Stage Costume Designer
Micki learned how to sew when she was very young yet never dreamed she would one day be designing costumes! She has been designing and building costumes for ACT for the past three years and volunteered for several years prior. She has designed costumes for Charlotte’s Web; Seussical; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and Pinocchio. Her favorite part of costuming is watching the actors make the costumes come to life! When she is not dreaming up ways to make an actor look like a goose or some other character, she wears a variety of other hats. Her favorite roles are wife and mother while thoroughly enjoying her time investing in the lives of recent college graduates through ministry work with The Navigators.
Ron Hardman – Main Stage Set Designer
The Industrial Arts have always been a part of Ron’s life. In fact, standing next to his father’s workbench as he built a piece of furniture is one of his earliest memories. His father was a teacher for 36 years, with much of his career invested in shop classes like woodworking, metal working, and drafting, and Ron spent most days in the shop after school with him. That love of woodworking, metalworking, and design has continued throughout Ron’s adult life. He has worked in nearly every area of construction, and creates commissioned pieces at the workbench and forge. Ron also runs Kilroy’s Workshop, a private school just east of Colorado Springs that teaches kids these same hands-on skills. He thoroughly enjoys building the main stage theatre sets for ACT II, and is now teaching a small group of interested students to do the same. To check out his set building classes, visit http://www.kilroysworkshop.com. His favorite set to work on is — the next one! In addition to building sets, teaching, and building commissioned pieces, Ron also writes books and magazine articles.