About the Education Program
Riverside Theatre’s Education Program
The Riverside Theatre Education Program is committed to promoting educational opportunities to students of all ages by:
- Producing Quality work for young people and families
- Providing the community with a broad range of educational opportunities that will cultivate tomorrow’s artists and audiences while building the skills for today
- Creating a nurturing and collaborative environment for all educators, students, parents, and staff
- Connecting students to the professional artists, productions, and opportunities at Riverside Theatre
- Transforming lives through the study, exploration, and creation of theatre
Educational Priorities and Learning Outcomes
As an intentional learning community, Riverside Theatre's Education Program has chosen to emphasize the following Priorities and Outcomes for all students:
Through theatre, we will understand that we are all part of a community where theatre has the power to change lives both on and offstage.
Through theatre, we will learn to collaborate with others and contribute as an ensemble within the creative process.
Creative and Social Skills
Through theatre, we will develop our skills as communicators and story-tellers while celebrating the talents and creative expressions in one another.
An Understanding and Appreciation for Theatre as an Art Form
Through theatre, we will analyze expressions of art and the choices involved in such expressions; and we will connect with diverse ideas and people whose experiences may differ from our own and who may be separated from us by time, space, or culture.
Preparation for Theatre as a Vocation
Through theatre, we will discover and prepare for the range of theatrical opportunities, professions, and challenges that await us beyond The Riverside Education Program.
Through theatre, we will respect the ways physical, emotional, and intellectual well-being can contribute to a balanced life.
MEET THE PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTORS & STAFF
Whether your interest is in Singing, Acting, Dancing, Directing, or even Technical, our instructors provide a performing arts curriculum designed to educate and spark creativity in all the students enrolled at Riverside Theatre.
Jim VanValen, Director of Education
Jim VanValen is pleased to be joining the Riverside Theatre Company as Director of Education. As an actor, he has performed in the Riverside productions of Underneath the Lintel, Sylvia, She Loves Me, Rounding Third, and Three Viewings. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, he has also worked throughout the country at such regional theatres as Florida Rep, The Barter Theatre, The Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble, Iowa’s Riverside Theatre, The Old Creamery Theatre, and The Fulton Opera House. As a teacher and director, Jim spent the last nine years at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA serving as an Associate Professor of Theatre and Head of the Acting program. He received his MFA in Acting at the University of Iowa and his MA in Theatre and BA in English both at Stony Brook University. He also studied voice and text work with Shakespeare scholar and teacher Patsy Rodenburg, OBE, and received his Meisner teaching certificate with the True Acting Institute. Classes: Intermediate Theatre Arts Workshop, Advanced Theatre Arts Workshop, and Adult Acting
JoAnna Pearl, Education Programs Coordinator
JoAnna enjoys working with all the wonderful students of the Riverside Children's Theatre. The past ten years, she has been a cast member with the Walt Disney Company in various roles. She started with the Walt Disney company in Entertainment and moved up the ladder to Shipboard Correspondent for Disney Cruise line. She has worked and developed educational programs for the Disney's Youth Education Series in Physics, Chemistry, and Cultural Immersion. JoAnna has been a 6 year recipient for the Bronze President's Volunteer Service award for volunteering over 700 hours of volunteer work with organizations ranging fro Give Kids the World to Habitat for Humanity.
Kevin Quillinan, Drama Teacher
Kevin has enjoyed teaching and directing students of all ages since graduating from Shenandoah Conservatory with a BFA in Theatre for Youth. He has directed and taught at The Growing Stage in Virginia, and for six years was the head of the theatre department at Triton Regional High School in Byfield, MA where he created curriculum and developed new classes. He also co-founded HarleQuyn Theatre to offer affordable classes and shows to local schools. Kevin was a recipient of the 2012 Freddie G Teaching Fellowship, an honor bestowed by Freddie Gershon, CEO of Music Theatre International (MTI).
Classes: Intermediate Theatre Arts Workshop and Advanced Theatre Arts Workshop
Jennifer Patty, Drama Teacher
Jennifer Patty holds a degree in Theater and Film from The University of Kansas and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity with an extensive performance career including regional and off-Bway productions. Arriving in Vero in 1998, she has served as an instructor here at RCT and then as the Administrator of The Waxlax Center and Director of Theatre at Saint Edward’s School, directing over 50 productions, including the Florida debuts of Is He Dead, Blue’s Clues Live, and Rugrats: A Live Adventure. Jennifer co-owns Vero Home Audio, a custom audio video design firm, with her husband, Greg Roux, and is mother to three amazing children.
Classes: Primary Theatre Arts Workshop
Anne Shuttlesworth, Music Teacher
Anne is a pianist, music director, and vocal coach. She graduated from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance, where she also studied for an MM in Accompanying. She has played, conducted, and music directed on Broadway, numerous national tours, and regional theaters. Anne has taught piano, choir, and musical theatre voice both privately and in primary and secondary schools.
Deborah Quillinan, Music Teacher
Debbie is a vocal coach, director, choreographer, and teacher. She is a graduate of Shenandoah University with a BM Performance in Voice. Most recently, she was music director for Disney’s The Lion King, Little Mermaid Jr., and Schoolhouse Rock LIVE! She teaches music in St. Lucie County. She also taught, choreographed and directed shows for HarleQuyn Theatre and Triton Regional High School in Massachusetts.
Shannon Maloney, Dance Teacher
Shannon began her theatre and dance training at RCT itself many years ago, and considers herself very fortunate to be able to share her passion in her home theatre. She recently performed with Orlando Shakespeare Theatre and made her debut as an apprentice for Ballet Vero Beach. Shannon loves working with children, and is also a Teacher Assistant at Maitland Farm Preschool.
Creative Dance, Pre-Ballet, and Beginning Jazz
Camilo Rodriguez, Dance Teacher
Camilo began his ballet training at Ballets de San Juan and Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico. He continued his training on full scholarship in New York City at the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School. He excels in the teaching of Ballet and Modern technique and is also a well respected certified Pilates Instructor. Mr. Rodriguez also serves as ballet master for Ballet Vero Beach.
Classes: Ballet, Pre-Pointe, Pointe, Modern/Improv
Adam Schnell, Dance Teacher
Adam has been teaching both dance and theater for over a decade and is a sought after master teacher throughout the country. Since moving to Vero Beach in the fall of 2009 he has served as director of dance for Riverside Children’s Theatre. In December 2010, his The Nutcracker: In Swingtime! premiered at RCT to sold out audiences and critical acclaim. Adam created The Riverside Dance Festival, a program designed to pair the working dance artists of today with the aspiring dancers of tomorrow. Mr. Schnell is also the Founding Artistic Director of Ballet Vero Beach.
Classes: Ballet, Jazz
Tara Schweitzer, Dance Teacher
Tara performed as a Radio City Rockette for seven years in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in NYC, appeared on commercials and special events including a Presidential Inauguration. She has performance experience in Musical Theatre through Summer Stock, College & Community theatre. A Graduate from Wagner College in New York with a BA in Theatre and Speech, she continues to share her love for dance as a dance educator teaching various styles and age groups.
Classes: Jazz, Tap
In conjunction with the productions on the Riverside Theatre stages, professional actors, directors, and designers will participate in classes and workshops with Riverside Theatre students to further develop their creative skills and give insight into the life of a productive artisan.
Samantha Alicandri, Performance Apprentice
Samantha Alicandri is so excited to be a Performance Apprentice at Riverside Theatre! She is a recent graduate of Western Carolina University where she received her BFA in Musical Theatre. Previous university credits include Macbeth/Trina (Macbeth is the New Black), Viva (Pop! Who Shot Andy Warhol) and Magenta (The Rocky Horror Show). Samantha has performed regionally at Haywood Arts Regional Theater, Highlands Playhouse and White Plains Performing Arts Center. She is so excited to see what this next year will bring!
Jewel Blakeslee, Performance Apprentice
Jewel Blakeslee is a recent graduate of Florida Southern College, with dual degrees in Theatre Performance and Technical Theatre. She is originally from Sebastian, Florida and is excited to be working so close to her home town this year as a Performance Apprentice! Some of her favorite roles include Maureen in RENT, Natalie in Next to Normal, and Florence in CHESS.
Brandon Kalusa, Performance Apprentice
Brandon Kalusa is from Johns Creek, Georgia. He is super excited to spend the year at Riverside Theatre as a Performance Apprentice! He is a recent Musical Theatre graduate from The University of Alabama. Some of his favorite past credits include Tartuffe (Damis), Bare:A Pop Opera (Matt Lloyd), Arabian Nights (Madman & Others), and Lend Me A Tenor (Bellhop). Roll Tide!
CHRIS ROBERTSON, Performance Apprentice
Chris Robertson is a recent Jacksonville University graduate with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Music Theater. He is excited to be joining the Riverside Performing Arts team as a Performance Apprentice. Chris also studied musical theater in high school at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and in middle school at Lavilla School of the Arts. Some of his favorite past performances include Sweeney Todd, Next to Normal, Parade, Les Miserables and Into the Woods.
Mary Catherine Waltman, Performance Apprentice
Mary Catherine Waltman is thrilled for this opportunity to work as a Riverside Theatre Performance Apprentice. A recent graduate in Musical Theatre from The University of Alabama, Mary Catherine's past credits include Ethel in 42nd Street, Actor 4 in The Dining Room, and Little Sally in Urinetown. Her senior year she also got the opportunity to play a principle role, Celine, in the newly workshopped musical, The Countess of Storyville, with director Mark Waldrop. She is so excited and thankful for the next year!
MOLLY WILEY, Performance Apprentice
Molly Wiley, raised in the Atlanta area, is an alumni of Brenau University (B.A. Theatre). Some of her past credits include: Oklahoma! (Kate/Laurey u/s), Grey Gardens (Big/Little Edie u/s), and 258: A Musical Drama (Nancy; originated role). Molly could not be more thankful for the opportunities here at Riverside Theatre as well as for the people who have helped her to get where she is. She is excited to explore the world at her feet and looks forward to going the distance!