Get to know some of our amazing teaching artists & theatre professionals that we have here at Stages Theatre Company

STC-Teaching-Artists


BECCA BUNTJER

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EDUCATION: Huntington University, BA in Theater Performance and BA in Theater Design & Tech
HOMETOWN / CURRENT CITY : South St. Paul

UPCOMING CLASSES BECCA WILL BE TEACHING:  Ages 4-6, 7-9

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE AT STC:
Two shows per season since 2007 as Stage Manager on such shows as: The Reluctant Dragon, How I Became a Pirate, The Wizard of Oz, Click Clack Moo, Willy Wonka Jr, Holes, Annie Jr, Cinder Edna, Seussical Jr, The Mitten, The Dandelion Seed, The Shadow Thieves, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom and Bear Snores On FUN FACT: Becca actually went on stage for The Dandelion Seed and once for The Mitten! “Those shows were very exciting!”

BECCA ON TEACHING: “I love working with students. I love teaching through games and acting exercises that emphasize the elements of theatre and performance.”
“I love teaching at Stages because we can focus on the process of creating theatre. This allows us to develop the young artists themselves rather than focusing solely on the outcome of a single performance. This means we can take time along the way in rehearsal to develop acting skill, technical knowledge, and devise fun.”

OTHER THEATRES BECCA HAS WORKED WITH: Louisville Shakespeare Festival, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Climb Theatre, and Commedia Bouregard.

COMMERCIALS, MOVIES, TV SHOWS: Becca was in a furniture commercial once when she was 2. She says: “I refused to smile for the camera. It was a short and fantastic film career.”

FUN FACTS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FROM BECCA: “I love camping, rock climbing, running, and reading. I am incredibly excited to be having my first child this April. I can’t wait to share these loves with her. Of course, I will have to wait several years for some of them. Rock climbing isn’t safe for babies.”

  • FAVORITE QUOTE OR MESSAGE: “Oh the thinks you can think, if you’re willing to try…”
  • FAVORITE PLAY OR MUSICAL: Les Miserables
  • FAVORITE COLOR: Green (secretly purple)
  • FAVORITE CLASS IN SCHOOL: Science, specifically biology

 


PAUL R. COATE

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EDUCATION: University of Nebraska at Omaha, BA and MA
HOMETOWN / CURRENT CITY: Bloomington, MN

UPCOMING CLASSES PAUL WILL BE TEACHING:

  • Maze Runner
  • World of Riordan

PAUL ON TEACHING: “I LOVE teaching kids how to tap into their creativity. I truly believe that it is through creative expression that young people develop the life skills they need to become successful and productive adults in whatever career or endeavor they pursue. The enthusiasm of the students (here at Stages) feeds my soul!”

OTHER THEATRES PAUL HAS WORKED WITH: Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre, Theater Latte Da, Hennepin Theatre Trust, History Theatre, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Skylark Opera, Nebraska Shakespeare, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Opera Omaha.

COMMERCIALS, MOVIES, TV SHOWS:

Film: April Showers (with Tom Arnold and Daryl Sabara) and many commercials and voiceovers

FUN FACTS ABOUT PAUL: Model railroading (HO scale) and gardening.

  • FAVORITE QUOTE OR MESSAGE: “The making of an artist is more than the training of hands; it’s the training of the eye, the ear, and the listening heart.” – William Gough, author.
  • Favorite Play or Musical: Man Of La Mancha
  • Favorite Color: Red
  • Favorite Class in School: Theatre

ANNA HICKEY

Anna Hickey

EDUCATION: University of Minnesota: Twin Cities BA in Theatre Arts, Postgraduate Diploma from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts
HOMETOWN / CURRENT CITY: Excelsior, MN

UPCOMING CLASSES ANNA WILL BE TEACHING

Various Summer Theatre Workshops, Little Stars, Perspectives on Peace Residency, and various other classes and residencies at local schools.

ANNA ON TEACHING:  “I enjoy helping my students try new things! A child gaining new confidence through theatre is an incredible thing. I’ve seen so many students learn how to express themselves and work as a community through theatre. I think it’s super important.  (AT STC) Everyone at Stages encourages me to teach in my own style. They believe in me and trust that I’m bringing my very best to the students every class. I enjoy the creative freedom Stages gives me in cultivating my classes, plus it’s a wonderful think to work where you feel supported and championed.”

STC PRODUCTION EXPERIENCE:

  • Twelve Dancing Princesses (Queen) & Choreographer
  • Number The Stars
  • The Snow Queen (Choreographer)

OTHER THEATRES ANNA HAS WORKED WITH: Park Square Theatre, Illusion Theatre, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Pillsbury Theatre, Red Eye Collaboration, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Loudmouth Collective, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Bloomington Civic Theatre, Four Humors Theatre.

COMMERCIALS, MOVIES, TV SHOWS, etc:  Dozens of commercials and voiceovers through Moore Creative Talent.

FUN FACTS ABOUT ANNA: “I enjoy sudoku and crossword puzzles. Cardio kickboxing and biking are my active hobbies. I lived in London for a year and a half so I have a killer accent. And I can lick my elbow. “

  • Favorite Quote or Message: “I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. – Margaret Mead”
  • Favorite Play or Musical: The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh and/or Ragtime
  • Favorite Color: Yellow
  • Favorite Class in School: History

MEREDITH LARSON

STC-TA-_0002_Meredith

EDUCATION: Minnesota State University, Mankato; Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA): Acting
HOMETOWN / CURRENT CITY: Princeton/Minneapolis

UPCOMING CLASSES MERIDITH WILL BE TEACHING:

  • Monster Mash
  • Comics Alive!
  • From Scratch

STC PRODUCTION EXPERIENCE:

  • Goodnight, Moon (The Old Lady Whispering Hush)
  • Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse (Mama Mouse)
  • Madeline’s Christmas (dialect coach)

MEREDITH ON TEACHING:  “Teaching, like art, lets you see life from completely different perspectives. And as you see your students grow, you know you are growing, too. Stages creates such a fun, inclusive environment for all kids to come and experience theater in many ways. And they offer such a variety of classes that teachers can’t help but have a great time bringing their own experience and specialties to classes.”

OTHER THEATRES MEREDITH HAS WORKED WITH: Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Hope Theater Company, Classical Actors Ensemble, Black Dirt Theater, Six Elements Theater, Green T Productions, Shadow Horse Productions

COMMERCIALS, MOVIES, TV SHOWS:  2 Webseries:  Fang & Talon (2013) and Super Academy (2015)

FUN FACTS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FROM MEREDITH: “I am certified through the SAFD in broadsword and am working towards more stage combat certifications. I love to explore, travel, bake, and go to the movies.”

  • Favorite Quote or Message:
  • Favorite Play or Musical: Anything by Tennessee Williams
  • Favorite Color: BLUE
  • Favorite Class in School: French, English, History, Psychology

JAMES LEKATZ

STAFF-JUNIE-JamesLekatz

EDUCATION: Augsburg College – B.A Theatre; London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) Certificate of completion in Creating Performance
HOMETOWN / CURRENT CITY: St. Paul

UPCOMING CLASSES JAMES WILL BE TEACHING:

  • CAST SHOWTIME

JAMES ON TEACHING: “Watching students succeed at what they are doing. Watching students overcome barriers. Seeing a big group of strangers on Monday, and by Friday, friends have formed. Also, each day is something different. The students and staff at Stages are the best in town. “

Please list past shows you’ve been in at STAGES THEATRE COMPANY

  • Music Director: Alexander and the ….., One Dog Canoe, Junie B .Jones the Musical, Shrek, Jr
  • Composer: James and he Giant Peach, Snow Queen

OTHER THEATRS JAMES HAS WORKED WITH: Black Dirt Theatre, Minnesota Historical Society, Mixed Precipitations

Favorite Play or Musical: Musical: Giant; Play: Anything produced by Kneehigh

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite Class in School: English


J.C. LIPPOLD

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EDUCATION: BA in Theology from University of St Thomas
HOMETOWN / CURRENT CITY: Brooklyn Center, MN

J.C. ON TEACHING:  “The opportunity to share my passion and empower young artists to turn their passion into beautiful gifts to share with others…it’s the ultimate “pay it forward”! (At STC) It is amazing to work alongside the community of teaching professionals and of course the KIDS make each day a journey through the best stories with the most amazing imaginations!”

STC PRODUCTION EXPERIENCE:

Music Director of Bridge to Teribithia and Cinder Edna.

OTHER THEATRES J.C. HAS WORKED WITH: Yellow Tree Theatre, Artistry, Minneapolis Musical Theatre and Chaska Valley Family Theatre and a proud member of the Maple Grove Senior High Creative team until 2013!

FUN FACTS ABOUT J.C. : “I love chihuahuas, marathons and Chinese food! I also teach yoga and fitness all around the Twin Cities.”

  • Favorite Quote or Message: There is No Day but Today
  • Favorite Play or Musical: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • Favorite Color: Green
  • Favorite Class in School: English

TRUDY MONETTE

TRUDY MONETTE

EDUCATION: Bachelor degree in Theatre from Lamar University
HOMETOWN / CURRENT CITY: Beaumont, Texas / Minneapolis, MN

UPCOMING CLASSES TRUDY WILL BE TEACHING:

  • Session 1 Goosebumps, Session 2
  • The Land of Stories, Session 7
  • Comics Alive! Princess in Black

PREVIOUS TEACHING EXPERIENCE AT STC:

I taught 2 camps last summer and am thrilled to be adding a 3rd week this year!
I have taught a couple of conservatory session’s years ago as well as long term residences with Stages Arts and Literacy program at Bethune Elementary, City View, and Hopkins School District.

STC PRODUCTION EXPERIENCE:

  • Harriet Tubman in Dreaming Harriet Tubman
  • Choreographer for Once on This Island at Fair Crystal
  • Choreographer for Charlotte’s Web
  • Choreographer for A Christmas Carol

TRUDY ON TEACHING: 

I enjoy helping students develop theatre skills and watching their self-confidence soar in the process. To hear a student say “I can’t do that” and see how proud they are once they’ve put in the work and the goal is accomplished is just fabulous!
I love helping students see what’s possible with a little imagination, and watching how excited they get when they’re acting, especially my kindergarten students!

OTHER THEATRES TRUDY HAS WORKED WITH: Stage Time, SteppingStone, Illusion, Penumbra, National Theatre for Children, and Red Eye

FUN FACTS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FROM TRUDY: “I love spending time with my husband and son, Dewey & Keenan Cornwell especially outside! “I would like to thank my drama teacher and coach Bill Morton who consistently pulled me back into theatre whenever I believed it wasn’t the path for me. It turns out he was right!”

  • FAVORITE PLAY OR MUSICAL: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • FAVORITE COLOR: Purple
  • FAVORITE CLASS IN SCHOOL: Dance
  • FAVORITE QUOTE OR MESSAGE: Christopher Robin to Pooh ” Promise me you’ll always remember, you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” –A. A. Milne