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JENNY CROSS has been on staff since 2003. In addition to performing on Taproot’s Jewell Mainstage and in touring programs, she teaches and directs for Taproot’s Acting Studio and held a long-time residency for Taproot teaching drama at Fairfax Psychiatric Hospital in Kirkland, Everett, and Monroe. Before coming to Seattle she toured with Shenandoah Shakespeare Express (now the American Shakespeare Center) and performed with American Cabaret Theatre in Many Glacier, MT. Her own company, Rasa’s production of The Two Gentleman of Verona was a finalist for “Pick of the Fest” for The Seattle Fringe Theatre Festival in 2002. Jenny studied theatre and vocal performance at Southeast Missouri State and is an alumnus of Director’s Lab West in Los Angeles, CA.
SARAH DIENER has been teaching with Taproot’s Acting Studio for over six years. She began her journey with Taproot as an acting studio student and after receiving her BFA in acting from Azusa Pacific University returned to Seattle to complete a teaching internship and has been teaching ever since! Sarah loves teaching students of all ages and specializes in bringing movement and music into the storytelling world. She looks forward to another summer of fun, creativity, and learning!
LORRIE FARGO has been a teaching artist in the Seattle area for more than a decade. With Taproot’s Acting Studio, she has taught classes and directed showcases for students of all ages, from Kindergarten to retirement. Lorrie particularly enjoys working on Shakespeare with young actors. As an actor, she has appeared on Taproot’s Jewell Mainstage as well as with Greenstage, SecondStory Rep, and Harlequin Productions, among others. Lorrie holds a BA in Theatre from Seattle Pacific University and trained at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the UK.
MELANIE HAMPTON has been a teaching artist for over eight years. She began her artistic journey in youth acting programs, so they hold a very special place in her heart. She attended Abilene Christian University where she studied Theatre, specifically acting, playwriting, and children’s theatre. She is a working actor, playwright, and teaching artist in Seattle, and is also a real estate agent. She loves working with actors whose ages range from 3-18, specializing in collaborative environments where creating the script is half of the fun! Classes with Melanie are silly, compassionate, artistically challenging, and above all — fun!
EDD KEY has music directed and acted in such beloved Taproot shows as The Rainmaker, Driving Miss Daisy, Big River, Smoke On The Mountain, and Appalachian Christmas Homecoming. Composer/Co-creator credits include, Red Ranger Came Calling for Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Wuthering! Heights! The! Musical! for The Empty Space. He has appeared at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville and the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
TYLER TODD KIMMEL is a graduate of Pepperdine University and Florida International University, with degrees in composition and music education. He has worked as a music director in musical theater and opera in Seattle, Miami, and Los Angeles. As a composer, he has scored several short films and has had his music featured in the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. In his hometown, Seattle, he teaches voice and piano, and works as a music director, vocal coach, and dialect coach for institutions like Village KIDSTAGE, the Hi-liner’s Musical Theater Company, and Taproot, and directs the choir and theater programs at Seattle Christian School. You may have seen him on stage at Taproot in Arsenic and Old Lace, Sweet Land, Godspell, as Will in Big Fish, or playing the piano as Schroeder in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
ROB MARTIN has a B.A. in Theatre from Whitworth University and has been working with children in school, theatre, outdoor recreation, and childcare environments for over 20 years. He is proud to be sharing the values and joy of theatre through the Acting Studio. He teaches theatre to students of all ages, including specialized improv classes for students with Early Stage Memory Loss. As a father of three boys, Rob is using his drama and improv skills in more ways than he ever could have imagined!
KIM MORRIS is thrilled to be back as a teaching artist with Taproot Theatre’s Acting Studio! Kim received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from California State University, Sacramento. She worked at Taproot Theatre from 1983 to 1994 as a Touring Company actress, mainstage actress, director, and teaching artist. Now she continues as a freelance artist with the company, acting, directing, and teaching. Kim has been engaging children in theatre, improvisation, creative play, and puppetry for over 20 years. She loves sparking their imagination and allowing their creative play and collaboration to bloom and grow. Kim has also written and directed several children’s plays and continues writing from the inspiration the children bring to each of her classes. “There is nothing better than discovery and the fresh creativity only a child can bring as they explore the world they’re in.”
TAYLOR NIEMEYER has been a performer and teaching artist in the Seattle area for over eight years. She can be found singing and dancing all over Washington State on stages such as The 5th Avenue Theatre and Village Theatre. She recently performed all over the United States with the national tour of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. A proud member of the Actors Equity Association, Taylor also works as a theater educator with many companies around town. She enjoys sharing her love of theatre, music, and dance with people of all ages!
DAVID ROBY is elated to return to teaching theatre with Taproot. David received his Master’s in Teaching at Seattle U, his Certificate Degree in Physical Theatre at The Commedia School in Copenhagen, Denmark, and his BA in Theatre at SPU. David is the Drama Director at Nathan Hale High School. David believes strongly in doing what he teaches. So, you may have seen him over the years in roles at Taproot Theatre (Jeeves Intervenes, The Beams Are Creaking, Road Company), Sound Theatre Company, Seattle Musical Theatre, ACT, Annex, and StageRight Productions, among others. Your children may have also had David as a teacher in the past at places such as Seattle Children’s Theatre, Stone Soup Theatre, Taproot Theatre, or The Moonpaper Tent. All the love to his inspiring son, Flynn, and the best partner in the world Becky.
MARIANNE SAVELL is a professional director, actor, and teacher. Recently, Marianne directed Arsenic and Old Lace for TTC and last summer taught classes in comedy and worked with the little ones in Adventures in Drama. Marianne was the head of the MFA Acting program at Regent University and the BFA Acting program at Belhaven University. As an actor, she most recently performed in A Civil War Christmas at TTC and tours The Amish Project. Marianne is a member of Actor’s Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC.
DANIEL STOLTENBERG has taught theatre in Seattle since 2013, working with Bainbridge Performing Arts, Stage Struck and Taproot Theatre to inspire the next generation. He firmly believes everyone can benefit from the emotional, social and collaborative skills of making theatre, regardless of whether a student will pursue it as a hobby or profession later in life. In addition to teaching theatre, Daniel also acts professionally, designs board games and is knee-deep in writing lyrics for a musical. He loves the process of creating a show in just five days and is always amazed by the strides his students take during that span of time.