Teaching Artists

Katie Lappier

Katie Lappier

(Associate Director of Education)

Originally from Illinois, Katie has been teaching, performing and choreographing in the Puget Sound Region for the past seven years. She holds a Summa Cum Laude BFA in Performing Arts from Southeast Missouri State University and has been working with the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts since 2005. Katie serves in a variety of teaching and administrative roles which include teaching dance and musical theatre classes as well as directing the Broadway YEAR program which utilizes the performing arts to teach social skills and offer alternatives to violence and aggression. Katie has also worked as an arts specialist in the Bethel School District and directed her own dance school at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. She was the recipient of an American Dance Festival Young Artist's Tuition Scholarship in 2004, a project grant for the SiteWorks dance festival at the Museum of Glass in 2006, and a Tacoma Artist's Initiative Project grant in 2008. Katie has danced with BQ Danza, MG &MH Arts and Callous Physical Theatre as well as producing her own work in Illinois, Missouri and Washington. Currently, Katie is the Associate Director of Education at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts and a volunteer Co-Director of Tacoma’s BareFoot Collective, a community –based modern dance company.

Tony Gomez

Tony Gomez

(Education Manager)

Antonio Davidson-Gómez is an educator and percussionist focused on musical dialogue between cultures. He has studied, performed and recorded in various styles with emphases on Mediterranean and Afro-Latin music. Tony has produced cultural programming, educational projects and community engagement initiatives for over two decades. A Jubilation Foundation Fellow for music education, he has also developed social studies curricula for PBS and the EMP Museum/Smithsonian, in addition to working as a teaching artist in schools. Tony is a speaker on music and culture for Humanities Washington, offering presentations including Saffron & Honey: Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Spain and Mapping Latino Musical Migrations. He has taught at the elementary and secondary levels, worked in public television and is currently the Education Manager for the Broadway Center for Performing Arts in Tacoma, Washington and on Creative Advantage, Seattle's teaching artist roster. Recent musical projects include work with Tango del Cielo, Gary Stroutsos, August Denhard and the Early Music Guild of Seattle. He holds a Masters in Education from UC Berkeley and has conducted study and research trips in Latin America, Europe and North Africa.

Marsha Walner

Marsha Walner

(Education Coordinator)

Marsha Walner holds a degree in Theatre Education and is proud to serve as Broadway Center's Education Coordinator, teaching in the Broadway Center Conservatory and The LENS Project.  In addition to time spent teaching in the traditional classroom, Marsha has taught at various theaters throughout the region, including Bellingham's Neighborhood Playhouse and Seattle Children's Theatre.  From coaching drama around the campfire at overnight summer camp to developing curriculum and teaching for the Broadway tours of "Peter and the Starcatcher" and "The Lion King," Marsha's passion is sharing the joy of theatre and the magic of creating with people of all ages.  Currently focusing in the areas of Creative Drama, social skill development, and Arts Integration across curriculum, Marsha is also a participant in the Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab.  And, just to keep things even more exciting, she serves as a director for productions with youth with past directing credits including "Our Town," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and "Wind in the Willows."

Nicolette Andres

Nicolette Andres

(Master Teaching Artist)

Nicolette Andres joined the staff at the Broadway Center in the summer of 2015 as a Master Teaching Artist in the LENS Project. Nicolette recently graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a Bachelor of Arts in Music where she studied violin with Maria Sampen. Nicolette has been teaching private violin lessons for five years along with performing in the University of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, as well as chamber music and a jazz combo. Nicolette gave a joint violin recital during her last semester at the University of Puget Sound and received the Doc & Lucille Weathers Memorial Scholarship for excellence in music. Originally from Evergreen, Colorado, Nicolette came to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to study at the University of Puget Sound. During her college career Nicolette also studied music in Cork, Ireland where she played in the Cork Institute of Technology School of Music Symphony. Along with music, theatre has also been present in Nicolette's student and professional career. She has seen the academic side of theater in class at the University of Puget Sound, and has performed in multiple pit orchestras, starting in high school. Nicolette was also a leader in the orientation process at the University of Puget Sound, and lead yoga classes for students on campus for multiple years. Nicolette believes that creative opportunities are necessary to build healthy communities, and she will be sharing the creative arts in schools through the LENS Project to support this.

Darlene Anderson

Darlene Anderson

(Master Teaching Artist)

Darlene Anderson has a M.A in Teaching, a B.A. in Theatre, and advanced acting training at South Coast Repertory's Professional Conservatory in CA. She is currently a Theatre Specialist in the Bethel School District, an art teacher at a private art studio in Puyallup, as well as an "Arts in the Classroom" trainer for teachers through ArtsEd of WA. She is an accomplished actress, theatre manager, director and teacher. She was the past Company Manager of Tacoma Actors Guild where she helped in developing their youth conservatory program and directed many of the shows. She previously taught drama and musical theatre in the Puyallup School District, Tacoma Community College, and Pierce College. She was the founder and director of "The Acting Garden" which won best after school drama program in 2009 through Communities in Schools. She holds current WA State teaching credentials with highly qualified status in both Theatre and Visual Arts. Darlene also teaches dance fitness to adults and children.

C. Rosalind Bell

C. Rosalind Bell

(Master Teaching Artist & Director)

C. Rosalind Bell recently holds a three-year Endowment of the Humanities James Dolliver Artist in Residency at University of Puget Sound. She is the author of three plays, "1620 BANK STREET," "UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES," and "THE NEW ORLEANS MONOLOGUES" and received a City of Tacoma Arts Grant in 2009 and a 2010 commission from Northwest Playwrights Alliance . Her short story, FIRST FRIEND, was adapted into a short film and screened at THE SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL and PBS' KCTS Channel 9. "THE NEW ORLEANS MONOLOGUES," produced by University of Puget Sound in 2007, was named a Top Ten Entertainment by The Tacoma News Tribune and had simultaneous November 2010 productions at City College San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz's Rainbow Theatre. COLORLINES, the national newsmagazine on race and politics, featured Rosalind in its INNOVATORS FOR 2008 issue. She is a member of Macondo, a Writers Workshop conceived by author Sandra Cisneros in San Antonio. She has been a writer in residence at Lincoln High School’s Lincoln Center and schools throughout the South Sound. Rosalind directed August Wilson’s Pittsburg Cycle – staged readings- at the Broadway Center over the past 5 years.

Marilyn Bennett

Marilyn Bennett

(Master Teaching Artist)

Adult Ensemble instructor and 2013 Civil Rights touring show director, Dr. Marilyn Bennett received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington while working as a professional actor in film, TV and on stage in Seattle. She has taught in theatre departments at St. Lawrence University, Hamilton College, Humboldt University, University of San Diego, and University of Puget Sound, and served as Director of Theatre at the Annie Wright School. Marilyn has performed in or directed over 50 academic and professional theatre productions, is a SAG/AFTRA and Equity actor, and Founding Artistic Director of Toy Boat Theatre. Marilyn lives in Tacoma with her musician husband Peter Pendras and is currently a visiting assistant professor and guest director in theatre at UPS.

Angi  Hanan

Angi Hanan

(Master Teaching Artist)

Angi Hanan is originally from New York. She earned her BFA in acting from Ithaca College (Magna Cum Laude), her MFA in classical acting from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and her certification in Laban Movement Analysis from the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York City. Angi is a member of Actor's Equity Association, The Association of Theatre Movement Educators (ATME), The Voice and Speech Trainer's Association (VASTA), and The International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy Association (ISMETA). A recent transplant to Washington State, Angi joined the BCPA faculty in the fall of 2012, where she has taught in the LENS Project (formerly Broadway YEAR), Broadway Conservatory and Senior Outreach programs. In 2013, Angi served as Director for the City of Auburn's Department of Parks, Arts and Recreation Spring and Summer Break Theatre Camp programs. She has also developed and taught workshops in creative movement and physical characterization at the Capitol Playhouse in Olympia. Prior to her relocation to the Pacific Northwest, Angi was an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Murray State University in Western Kentucky where she taught Acting I & II, Movement & Advanced Movement for Actors, Voice for Performance, Acting Shakespeare, Restoration Acting and Performance Theory. At MSU, Angi also served as the movement coach for all departmental productions and directed 1-2 main stage shows per year.

Jill Heinecke

Jill Heinecke

(Master Teaching Artist)

Jill Heinecke was born and raised in Richfield, MN. She came out to Washington to attend Pacific Lutheran University, where she was active in theatre. She graduated in 2013 with a BFA in Theatre, emphasis in Acting/Directing. Jill has had a variety of experience in theatre both on stage and off; acting, dancing, improvising, directing, choreographing and stage managing. Jill brings this well-rounded experience to her classes, wanting to expose students to many different aspects of the performing arts. In addition to teaching, Jill is connecting with local theatre and has been seen at Tacoma Musical Playhouse and Lakewood Playhouse.

Jen King

Jen King

(Master Teaching Artist)

Jen King is in her second year as a Master Teaching Artist with the LENS project. Jen has been teaching drama, music and dance to kids from 3-50 since 1985 in New York and the Puget Sound area. She was one of the two founders of the Tacoma Musical Playhouse youth program, and has had students on Broadway and in feature films. Jen is a lifelong triple threat performer, and is also a professional stage manager. She is currently the drama coach at Gig Harbor High School and a director/choreographer with the Lakewood Institute of Theatre at Lakewood Playhouse.

Gabriel McPherson

Gabriel McPherson

(Master Teaching Artist & Musical Director)

Gabe has been a professional artist for over a decade, having played several major stages in the country as an actor, as well as a recording artist. Gabe works locally with Stadium High School as guest teaching artist and director and is a founding member, producer and writer for Doxology a Tacoma based rock band. Gabe is a proud member of AEA and SAG.

Stephanie  Pederson

Stephanie Pederson

(Master Teaching Artist)

Stephanie Kriege Pederson is a choreographer, dancer and teacher. She is a co-director for the BareFoot Collective,a teaching artist at the Broadway Center Conservatory, was amember of BQ Danza, and a founding member of Callous Physical Theatre. Stephanie has produced work at the BareFoot Collective, the University of Puget Sound, Lakewood Playhouse, the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Actor's Guild, Glass Roots Festival 08, Gig Harbor High School, and Curtis High School. Originally from Arizona, Stephanie obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Puget Sound where she was actively involved in dance and choreography.

Stephanie has been guest artist /teacher at the Pentastic Jazz Festival and has enjoyed dancing in the Pacific NorthWest Lindy Hop Championships. She has trained with Paul Zmolek, Joséphine A Garibaldi, Jason Olberg, Dr. Nancy Kadel, Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Steve Conrad, Chris Chapman, and Maren Perry.

Leah Scofield

Leah Scofield

(Master Teaching Artist)

Leah Scofield is a graduate from DeSales University. She graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Professional Communications. She has been performing in professional theatre companies across the country for 10 years and has been singing since she was a child. Leah recently moved from the East coast where she was teaching, directing, and performing. Her class focus is musical theatre, acting, and encouraging the students to be creative and expressive. She currently lives in DuPont, WA with her husband.

Charles Simmons

Charles Simmons

(Master Teaching Artist)

Charles is a Performing Artist from Tacoma. He began his journey with the arts after joining the DASH Center for the Arts. After several seasons of being on the DASH Centers Performing Company "Reality Check" he took over as Director of Dance. During this time Charles began pursuing theater, while simultaneously choreographing for different teams, showcases, and organizations throughout the Northwest. His latest work with the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts was the Civil Rights Legacy Tour, 11 Days in the Life of Dr. King and Ain't Misbehavin. Charles is currently working with Tacoma Musical Playhouse and the production of West Side Story.

Laura Shepherd

Laura Shepherd

(Master Teaching Artist)

Laura Shepherd is a Teaching Artist and Director of youth theater productions as well as a voice teacher. Her passions include theater for social change, devising new works with young people, and arts infused education. In addition to teaching in the Broadway Center LENS Project, she has taught and directed at Studio East, Youth Theatre Northwest, and Camp Ten Trees. Working with young people in the performing arts brings her incredible joy! Most recently Laura served as the Education Director at Studio East from 2007-2015, where she Directed "The Bully Plays," "Godspell" and "Monkey Magic" among other projects. Laura teaches singing to students of all ages, and you can find out more at shepherdsongstudio.com. You may have seen her onstage in numerous StoryBook Theater productions, singing jazz with BlueStreet Voices, or at the Kirkland Performance Center as Fruma Sarah in "Fiddler on the Roof." Laura has been singing soprano with the Seattle Symphony Chorale since 2011, and is proud to be a Washington State certified Music teacher and a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Laura is a TATLab graduate, holds undergraduate degrees in Music Education and Theatre from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, and received her MA in Educational Theatre from New York University.

Bryan Willis

Bryan Willis

(Playwright)

Bryan serves as playwright-in-residence for the Northwest Playwrights Alliance at Seattle Repertory Theatre. His plays have appeared throughout the U.K., Israel, Japan, U.S. and Canada, including A Contemporary Theater (two commissions), New York TheaterWorkshop, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Unseam’d Shakespeare Co. and Riverside Studios in London. His work has also been featured on NPR and BBC Radio (commission for Sophie). Bryan is the proud recipient of a TheaterFellowship from Artist Trust and has worked in the literary departments of many theaters, including Playwrights Horizons and Lincoln Center (NYU's Playwright-in-Residence) and Tacoma Actors Guild. He was recently elected to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival national selection team.