Youth Program Staff

Central Florida Community Arts’ youth programs are proud to offer a wide variety of job, internship, and volunteer opportunities throughout the year, as well as mentorship programs and compensated professional and artistic development courses for current staff! We believe that our staff and volunteers are an integral part of our community and mission and strive to create opportunities for their growth.

Please email youth@cfcarts.com with any questions.

Youth Theatre Program Staff Development Initiatives

Join CFCArts’ Board Certified Music Therapist, Caroline Del Rey, for an engaging teaching artist development workshop. This interactive course will feature hands-on music interventions to support you as a Teaching Artist with the stressors of classroom teaching in addition to providing you with tools to support the emotional and behavioral development of your students.

Please email leah@cfcarts.com to indicate interest in joining either Session A or Session B below. Open only to CFCArts youth program staff.
Both sessions will take place at the CFCArts Offices, 250 SW Ivanhoe Blvd, Orlando, FL 32804 in Music Room 2.
 
Session A:
Tuesdays, August 30 to September 27 (5 sessions), 6:30-7:30 PM
 
Session B:
Tuesdays, November 1 to December 6, no meeting November 22 (5 sessions), 6:30-7:30 PM

Join a series of artistic development experiences led by respected and experienced performing arts professionals in the central Florida community. These experiences will include opportunities to shadow and observe working professionals in various areas of the performing arts sector.

Please email leah@cfcarts.com to indicate interest in any of the production team shadowing opportunities below. Open only to CFCArts youth program staff.

  • September 17 – CeCe Teneal’s ICONS, Steinmetz Hall (Dr. Phillips Center)
  • October 8 – Broadway on Magnolia, Steinmetz Hall (Dr. Phillips Center)
  • November 19 – CFCArts Symphony Orchestra’s Classic(al) Rock, Steinmetz Hall (Dr. Phillips Center)

Current CFCArts Teaching Artists and Youth Staff are welcome to participate in our Mentorship Program. This program is an informal, flexible mentorship program that matches those desiring mentorship with potential mentors to help them achieve their goals as leaders, educators, artists, and community members.
Mentors are given resources such as gift cards to offset the cost of meeting with their mentees, upon request. Mentors and mentees are not compensated or charged for this program.

Open only to CFCArts Teaching Artists and Youth Staff. Email youth@cfcarts.com to register.

Upcoming Youth Theatre Program Staff Opportunities

CFCArts Youth Programs will have several paid Spring positions available for Teaching Artists with positions opening in September. Email leah@cfcarts.com with your performing arts teaching and/or production resume, 2-3 references (names and emails), and availability in September for a virtual interview if interested. Positions will be posted by September 1.

CFCArts Youth Programs are open to interested high school, college, and early career young professionals for unpaid internships and volunteer positions. Email leah@cfcarts.com with a resume or overview of your experience within the performing arts and/or working with children, 1-2 references (names and emails), and availability over the next 2-3 weeks for a virtual interview if interested.

Current Staff

Program Leadership

Leah Porrata
Leah PorrataDirector of Youth Programs
Leah Porrata is originally from Columbus, OH. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts and teaching certification in theatre education and directing from Ohio Wesleyan University, she relocated to Naples, FL to take the position of director of education at the regional theatre Gulfshore Playhouse. While in Naples, Leah and her husband Jason co-founded Ave Maria Children’s Theatre, where served as managing and outreach director. Leah has also taught theatre arts to ages PreK-12 at various schools and theatres in Ohio and Florida, and began her career at the Tony-winning regional theatre Cleveland Play House within their professional apprenticeship program in the education department, where she met her husband of six years (and fellow arts educator) Jason. They became parents for the first time in September of 2021 and now have a son, Marcelo. Together, they enjoy being Walt Disney World passholders, Orlando City Soccer supporters, members of Lake Baldwin Church, and foster parents. Leah is thrilled to be a part of the Central Florida community and the CFCArts family!
Hayden Patterson
Hayden PattersonYouth Programs Administrator

Originally from Cary, NC, Hayden graduated from East Carolina University in 2018 with her BFA in Theatre Arts Education, BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Theatre For Youth, and a minor in vocal music studies. While in college, Hayden was the recipient of an Undergraduate Research in Creative Activities grant and the Outstanding Senior in Theatre Education award. Hayden was also the head drama, musical theatre dance, and acapella counselor for four summers at Keystone Camp for girls in Brevard, NC. Upon her college graduation, she moved down to Florida to participate in the Disney College Program. During her four years of making magic as a cast member, her favorite role was being part of the Animal Science Education team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She’s thankful that she decided to stay in the sunshine state because, otherwise, she wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to become a part of the amazing CFCArts family!

Janisel Rosenthal
Janisel RosenthalYouth Programs Intern

Janisel is so thrilled to be part of the Central Florida Community Arts team! A professional photographer with over ten years of experience from south Florida with a deep love for theatre, music and dance, she is excited to be a production assistant for this upcoming season’s shows! She has worked with dozens of performers and worked with several dance companies including competitions and conventions plus a few concerts. She is very thankful and lucky for this wonderful opportunity to be working at CFCArts!

Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars, and Other Tales Creative Team

Megan Victoria Stillson
Megan Victoria StillsonDirector
A Florida native, Megan Victoria Stillson is a professional actor and children’s theatre director in the Orlando area. Megan was trained in musical theatre at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and the University of Central Florida. Equity performance credits include Showboat, Annie, Sister Act, Fiddler On The Roof, and The Wizard Of Oz, and previous directorial credits include Disney’s Moana Jr. and Meet Me In St. Louis. A cat mom, Disney freak, and happy Hufflepuff, Megan is currently a teaching artist and director with the Children & Youth Arts Programs at CFCArts and plays a mean game of “Tetris.”
“She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.” – Kate Spade 
Brianna Haufman
Brianna HaufmanAssistant Director

Brianna Haufman is a recent UCF graduate and active member of the Central Florida performing arts community. Having graduated with an interdisciplinary studies degree with emphasis in theatre, event management and nonprofit management, she has learned the ins and outs of Orlando nonprofit theatres both on stage and off. Her most memorable achievement was co-directing the Athens Theatre’s first fully-masked summer production of Disney’s High School Musical Jr. during the pandemic for an audience on Zoom. Brianna still works as a teaching artist for various theaters and is currently an assistant director for the youth programs at CFCArts.

Josh Cassady
Josh CassadyStage Manager

Josh is thrilled to be the stage manager for both Sherlock Holmes and Elf the Musical this fall with CFCArts. Recent shows he has stage managed at CFCArts include Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr., and Charlotte’s Web. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Josh has lived in Orlando for two years now. Outside of theatre, he enjoys doing yoga, cooking, and caring for his ever-expanding family of houseplants. He hopes you enjoy all the wonderful performances this season!

Rachel Johnson
Rachel JohnsonAssistant Stage Manager

Rachel Johnson is thrilled to be back this season with CFCArts. Her previous work with CFCArts includes assistant stage manager for Meet Me in St. Louis. Originally from St. Louis, Rachel holds a technical theatre degree from The University of Missouri – Columbia. She works in stage management with theaters around the Orlando area including Osceola Arts and Marshall Ellis Theater. When not at a theater, she can be found working as a merchandise cast member at Walt Disney World Resort. Rachel is thrilled that you are here today to support these wonderfully talented youth and hopes you enjoy the show!

Kailey Vick
Kailey VickAssistant Stage Manager
Kailey is a native Floridian, born and raised in Stuart. She is a senior at the University of Central Florida. She is double majoring in Elementary Education and Nonprofit Management with a minor in Public Administration. She is thrilled to work on her first production with CFCArts as Assistant Stage Manager of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars.
Janisel Rosenthal
Janisel RosenthalProduction Assistant

Janisel is so thrilled to be part of the Central Florida Community Arts team! A professional photographer with over ten years of experience from south Florida with a deep love for theatre, music and dance, she is excited to be a production assistant for this upcoming season’s shows! She has worked with dozens of performers and worked with several dance companies including competitions and conventions plus a few concerts. She is very thankful and lucky for this wonderful opportunity to be working at CFCArts!

Jessica Fernando
Jessica FernandoFight Choreographer
Born and raised in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, Jessica Fernando has been performing for both local and international audiences from an early age. From Australia, to England, to Italy, to Singapore, to the United States, Jessica’s work as a performer has taken her all over the world. After debuting Off-Broadway to American audiences in 2015 as “Bettina Barnes” in Psycho Beach Party and “Mamma” in She Has a Name, Jessica relocated to The Sunshine State. Jessica joined CFCArts as a teaching artist in 2019 and has directed a number of youth shows.
Caroline Del Rey
Caroline Del ReyMusic Therapist

Caroline is a board certified music therapist with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music therapy from Florida State University. She has been practicing music therapy for over six years. An Orlando native, she is excited to be back in her hometown practicing music therapy after working in Boston, MA for several years. Caroline has experience working with infants and toddlers in Early Intervention programs and with students of all ages in the public school system. In addition to her music therapy endeavors, Caroline has performed all over the east coast as a vocalist, both as a soloist and in choral and a cappella groups. Caroline could not be more thrilled to be part of the CFCArts music therapy team, SOAH, and the Academy.

Lindsey DeHaen
Lindsey DeHaenJr. Company Lead Teaching Artist

Lindsey DeHaen is so proud to be a part of the CFCArts family because of their commitment to diversity and inclusion; not only as a teaching artist, but also as a parent whose child has found a home at CFCArts! She grew up on stages and in studios as a dancer and singer and trained at AMDA in NYC. She is a former Disney cast member and some of her favorite memories there are the special moments bringing children on stage during Festival of the Lion King. She spent a decade as a pediatric RN until life finally came full circle, and she found that her true passion is for nurturing the whole child. Her mission is to meet children where they are and through the arts give them an avenue to connect to their hearts, minds, and personal experiences and have them leave as more confident little humans ready to explore the world.  

Diamond Galarza
Diamond GalarzaJr. Company Assistant Teaching Artist
Diamond is very excited to continue her journey with Central Florida Community Arts. She is currently a student at Rollins College, and is planning to graduate in the fall. She works with many groups in the area as a choreographer, and performs with groups such as Fusion Dance Team, Destiny Show Choir, Vocal Ensemble, and many more. Diamond enjoys hiking, reading, and dancing her heart out. She wants to continue performing and encouraging individuals of all ages that anyone can dance and start something new.
Trisha Stever
Trisha SteverJr. Company Assistant Teaching Artist

Originally from New York, Trisha started dancing at age three. She received her BFA in Theatre Performance from Valdosta State University of Georgia. She went on to perform in Regional theaters up and down the East Coast before moving across the country to San Diego. There, she directed and choreographed musicals such as: TARZAN, Seussical the Musical, The Addams Family, Mary Poppins, and Mamma Mia with San Diego Junior Theatre and Center Stage Productions. She is excited to join the CFCArts Family!

Renée Cartee
Renée CarteeCompany Lead Teaching Artist

Renee’ received a Masters of Nonprofit Management, Graduate Arts Management Certificate and Bachelors of Arts from the University of Central Florida. She loves her “Black and Gold” Knights! Renee’ enjoys playing clarinet and saxophone, singing, painting, traveling and Disney! Her husband and children also share a love for performing. Her three children have been members of the CFCArts Youth Theatre Program for several years with two being alumni and her youngest a current performer. Through the years, Renee’ has taught general music preK-8, chorus, drama, musical theatre, band, and photography. Currently, Renee’ adores teaching at Galileo Gifted School in Sanford and is excited to be a Teaching Artist for the CFCArts family. 

Alexis Carlson
Alexis CarlsonCompany Assistant Teaching Artist

Alexis Carlson (Ms. Lexi) is delighted to be joining the Parent Panel at CFCArts. Her previous roles with CFCArts have been a Community Choir member, Classroom Assistant for Disney’s Moana Jr., Assistant Teaching Artist for Meet Me In St. Louis, and Assistant Teaching Artist for the Music Exploration class. She is currently a full time mother to Declan, Dylan and baby London (born 12/14/21) and wife to Carl. They also share a home with their dog Tinka and cats Archie and Ozzy. Alexis began singing, dancing, and acting in plays and musicals in preschool and performed consistently throughout her childhood.  Favorite roles include: Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web, Rapunzel in Into the Woods, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Chava in Fiddler on the Roof, and Polly in Crazy for You. She attended New World School of the Arts in Miami for high school as a Musical Theatre major, received a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Florida State University in Tallahassee and a Musical Theatre performance degree from the London School of Musical Theatre. Through that experience she was able to audition and perform in a West End original musical comedy called RSVP ASAP. After moving back from London she continued performing in musicals in Miami, FL and really found true enjoyment performing for and teaching children. Since moving to Orlando and becoming a mother, her performing days have been mostly for her children at home but she loves watching her children and her sweet students blossom in their productions at CFCArts.  She looks forward to helping with many more productions with CFCArts in the future.

Kendall Hall
Kendall HallCompany Volunteer

Kendall is excited to begin working with youth theatre at CFCArts. Kendall is a Central Florida native who taught high school English for six years while obtaining her Master of Arts degree in English: Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies from UCF. She is passionate about literature, theatre, and working with students. After transitioning to a career in marketing, she is grateful for the opportunity to connect with students again and support her Central Florida community.

Patrick Lienemann
Patrick LienemannTechnical Director

A Michigan native, Patrick Lienemann received his B.A. in stage management from Wayne State University in 2015 after serving in the United States Army as a combat medic. His experience includes design and operation for lighting, audio, management, technical direction, special effects, pyrotechnics, scenic, labor, and various other roles over the years. Highlights include Walt Disney World special events, Universal Studios nighttime spectaculars, SeaWorld Christmas Celebration, founding The Underground (an “Emerging Artist Initiative” with Wayne State University), working with touring acts such as J. Cole, Lindsey Sterling, and Usher, and brewing a great cup of coffee whenever one is needed. Patrick has had a passion for the arts for as long as he can remember, performing and creating from a young age. Patrick is currently the technical coordinator for CFCArts, designing and overseeing production for the Children & Youth Arts Programs.

David Jackson
David JacksonScenic Designer and Builder

David is a Florida native and currently a student in the BFA Design and Technology Program within the University of Central Florida. His work can be seen on Theatre UCF stage as Lead Carpenter for the shows: First Date, Welcome to the Moon, Wolves, Fabulation, Indecent, Shrek, Affinity Lunch Minutes. More work on Eastern Florida State College’s stage in A Comedy of Errors (Prop Master), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Scenic Chairman). He has done additional work with The Ensemble Company (Scenic Assistant), Project Spotlight (Scenic Designer/Technician), Florida Theatrical Associations (Spot Operator), Intl Fringe Festival of Central Florida (Audio Engineer), Eastside Christan Church (Audio Operator). David has been a part of theatre most of his life and loves every aspect. He has worn many hats performing and working backstage. He is excited to work with CFCArts for the first time.

Meagan Nettles
Meagan NettlesScenic Assistant

Meagan is an Orlando native and theme park enthusiast. She is set to graduate from Valencia College with a degree in Theatre Design and hopes to pursue a career in prop and set building for the local theme parks or film production. She is a Celtic Football supporter and animal lover, and spends free time creating or traveling.

Valarie Paterson
Valarie PatersonLighting Designer

Born in Myrtle Beach, SC and growing up in Tampa, Valarie has been calling Orlando home since 2019 after receiving her B.A. in theatre and graphic design from Coastal Carolina University where she focused in projection design and scenic painting. Her experience covers video, lighting, pyrotechnics, costuming, and scenic with highlights including EPCOT’s Illuminations, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, and working on Orlando Magic’s broadcast team. Valarie currently freelances in the Central Florida area specializing in video and lighting for live events, but maintains a passion for traditional theatre. Returning to CFCArts this season after serving as Lighting Designer for Disney’s Jungle Book Kids, she is excited to continue collaborating with the amazing creative teams.

Sydney Pigmon
Sydney PigmonAudio Technician
Sydney Pigmon is a recent Rollins College grad who majored in performance. She was recently the audio technician for CFCArts production of Charlotte’s Web and she is so happy to be back. She sound designed for multiple shows in Rollins’ student directed series as well as performing on the Annie Russell stage. She greatly enjoyed being audio tech for Willy Wonka Jr. and Aida, and she is so excited to return with CFCArts for the fall. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Sara Jacobson
Sara JacobsonAudio Assistant

Sara is a high school senior at Orlando Christian Prep. This is her fifth season at Central Florida Community Arts. Other credits include: Assistant Stage Manager for Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr. at CFCArts, and Stage Manager for Native Voices at PlayWrights Roundtable. She has acted and assistant directed for Flood Insurance, was Stage Manager for The Answerer, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, and Snow White, and was Production Manager for Mary Poppins, all at Orlando Christian Prep. She is also the President of Thespian Troupe 8757 where she competes at Florida Thespian District and State competitions.

Jana Denning
Jana DenningCostume Designer and Manager

Jana is a student at the University of Central Florida and has been costuming for several years. Jana has been involved in theatre from the age of eight with no plans to stop. This is Jana’s first production with CFCArts and wishes the cast and crew a wonderful experience!

Alison Nadassy
Alison NadassyCostume Assistant

Alison is a graduate of University of Central Florida with a BA in Theatre Studies. Her love of theater started young, and she moved on to be part of the International Thespian Society in High School, and National Theatre Honor Society at Florida Atlantic University. She is returning for her third season with CFCArts, having started off as an intern and an Assistant Teaching Artist for the Youth Theatre Program. Alison has done costumes and wardrobe for multiple CFCArts productions including The 39 Steps, The Sound of Music, and Matilda. Alison would like to thank CFCArts’ continuous support and wonderful programs that enrich children in the arts and provide amazing opportunities for all ages.

Virginia Clemmer
Virginia ClemmerSpot Op/Stagehand

Virginia is glad to be returning to Central Florida Community Arts for the second time, after working on their recent production of Charlotte’s Web. In March, she ran a follow spot during Orlando Rep’s performances of Pete the Cat. In May, at the 2022 Orlando International Fringe Festival’s Brown Venue, she was responsible for the lighting, audio, props, and special effects for eight different shows. Virginia worked as a Walt Disney World entertainment technician at shows in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios.

Grace Wieckowski
Grace WieckowskiSpot Op/Stagehand

Grace is going into their senior year at Lake Nona High School and they are so excited to be a spot op and stage hand for Central Florida Community Arts. This is their first season at CFCArts some other credits include lighting designer for Lake Nona High School’s production of Clue, and assistant lighting designer for Lake Nona High school’s productions of Romeo and Juliet and Little Women. They are currently the lighting designer for Lake Nona High School’s fall production of Into the Woods. They have always loved the performing arts and she is so excited to be inspiring that same love of performing arts in others.

Tommy Mendoza
Tommy MendozaHouse Manager

Tommy is thrilled to be the part of the CFCArts team!  From being in symphonic band, choirs and later theater arts, performing has always been a part of his life in some way.  He found his true passion in working behind the scenes helping bring productions to life.  I am so happy to bring my passion for not only the arts but as an operator to help make the Patron experience the best it can be.

Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express Creative Team

Jessica Fernando
Jessica FernandoDirector
Born and raised in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, Jessica Fernando has been performing for both local and international audiences from an early age. From Australia, to England, to Italy, to Singapore, to the United States, Jessica’s work as a performer has taken her all over the world. After debuting Off-Broadway to American audiences in 2015 as “Bettina Barnes” in Psycho Beach Party and “Mamma” in She Has a Name, Jessica relocated to The Sunshine State. Jessica joined CFCArts as a teaching artist in 2019 and has directed a number of youth shows.
Charis Watler
Charis WatlerAssistant Director
Charis Watler is an Orlando-based actor, director, and producer who is thrilled to be returning to the CFCArts youth for their spring season. Charis has done many projects with them over the past year, including being the assistant director for The 39 Steps and filling multiple tech roles for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Charlotte’s Web.  She is also a member of a new theatre production company in Orlando called Whiskey Theatre Factory and has acted in and directed many productions with them. She is incredibly thankful for Leah and CFCArts continuing to give her opportunities to work with them and for being such a fun and educational environment for young theatre artists. 
Erin Hernandez
Erin HernandezStage Manager
Erin Hernandez started working with CFCArts in the Spring of 2019 as an education intern and has loved working with them ever since. She graduated from the University of Central Florida that spring with a degree in theatre studies and a double minor in education and history. Her credits with CFCArts include stage manager (The Secret Garden, The Sound of Music, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, From the Mouths of Monsters), assistant stage manager (Broadway Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, The 39 Steps), assistant director (Theatre for Young Audiences Play Festival), and assistant teaching artist for CFCArts youth and outreach summer camps. When Erin isn’t in rehearsal, she is a middle school language arts teacher for Orange County Public Schools. She is very proud of these kids and has loved watching them grow over the last few years into kind, passionate, and hardworking young adults. 
Sara Jacobson
Sara JacobsonAssistant Stage Manager

Sara is a high school senior at Orlando Christian Prep. This is her fifth season at Central Florida Community Arts. Other credits include: Assistant Stage Manager for Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr. at CFCArts, and Stage Manager for Native Voices at PlayWrights Roundtable. She has acted and assistant directed for Flood Insurance, was Stage Manager for The Answerer, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, and Snow White, and was Production Manager for Mary Poppins, all at Orlando Christian Prep. She is also the President of Thespian Troupe 8757 where she competes at Florida Thespian District and State competitions.

Wendy Lamoreaux
Wendy LamoreauxDialect Coach

B.A., Theatre, Florida Southern College and M.A. Theatre, University of South Carolina; private voice lessons for seven years and studied for two and a half years at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. She has taught Theatre History I and II, History of the American Musical, and American Playwrights at the collegiate level and creative dramatics workshops for kindergarten up through high school. At CFCArts she is an outreach teacher and directs outreach summer camps. Wendy has worked professionally as a Stage Manager for Walt Disney World and Company Manager for the Asolo Touring Theatre in Sarasota, FL. Wendy spent a year working with the Educational Shakespeare Company in Belfast, Northern Ireland, using Shakespeare and film to work with ex-prisoners and the marginalized community. She specializes in Shakespeare, audition prep, acting, as well as foreign accent training. Her favorite role played: Katisha in The Mikado.

Monica Cross
Monica CrossDramaturg

Monica Cross is a playwright and dramaturg in northwestern Wisconsin. She earned her Master of Letters and MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin University in 2012 and 2013, respectively. She also holds a B.A. in English from New College of Florida, which she received in 2010. She has worked in theatre as a director, designer, actor, and educator. Her areas of focus include Shakespearean adaptation, mythology, and science fiction. She has been a dramaturg for the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp, as well as a freelance dramaturg for new play development. Her ten-minute play On Robots and Raindrops, which was a part of the New Play Development Workshop at ATHE in 2021, was published in 2022 in Ten-Minute Play Festival, Volume Four: 2018 – 2021 by Theatre Odyssey. She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association. More about her work can be found at MonicaCross.com.

Patrick Lienemann
Patrick LienemannTechnical Director
A Michigan native, Patrick Lienemann received his BA in stage management from Wayne State University in 2015 after serving in the United States Army as a combat medic. His experience includes design and operation for lighting, audio, management, technical direction, special effects, pyrotechnics, scenic, labor, and various other roles over the years. Highlights include Walt Disney World special events, Universal Studios nighttime spectaculars, SeaWorld Christmas Celebration, founding The Underground (an “Emerging Artist Initiative” with Wayne State University), working with touring acts such as J. Cole, Lindsey Sterling, and Usher, and brewing a great cup of coffee whenever one is needed. Patrick has had a passion for the arts for as long as he can remember, performing and creating from a young age. Patrick is currently the technical coordinator for CFCArts, designing and overseeing production for the Children & Youth Arts Programs.
Leigh Munro
Leigh MunroScenic Designer and Builder
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Leigh has lived in the United States of America since 2018. Presently he works as a master carpenter with the Acousti Engineering Company of Florida. He is looking forward to working alongside his wife, Jessica Fernando, who is a teaching artist with Central Florida Community Arts.
Valarie Paterson
Valarie PatersonLighting Designer and Board Operator

Born in Myrtle Beach, SC and growing up in Tampa, Valarie has been calling Orlando home since 2019 after receiving her B.A. in theatre and graphic design from Coastal Carolina University where she focused in projection design and scenic painting. Her experience covers video, lighting, pyrotechnics, costuming, and scenic with highlights including EPCOT’s Illuminations, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, and working on Orlando Magic’s broadcast team. Valarie currently freelances in the Central Florida area specializing in video and lighting for live events, but maintains a passion for traditional theatre. Returning to CFCArts this season after serving as Lighting Designer for Disney’s Jungle Book Kids, she is excited to continue collaborating with the amazing creative teams.

Sydney Pigmon
Sydney PigmonAudio Designer and Board Operator
Sydney Pigmon is a recent Rollins College grad who majored in performance. She was recently the audio technician for CFCArts production of Charlotte’s Web and she is so happy to be back. She sound designed for multiple shows in Rollins’ student directed series as well as performing on the Annie Russell stage. She greatly enjoyed being audio tech for Willy Wonka Jr. and Aida, and she is so excited to return with CFCArts for the fall. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Kimberly Patel
Kimberly PatelCostume Designer and Manager
Kimberly Murray Patel is thrilled for the opportunity to work on costuming for CFCArts. She has been sewing since she was five years old and recently combined these skills with her love of theatre. She has costumed numerous productions for schools and community theaters in the West Orange County area. Kimberly was recognized in the Trash 2 Trends 2022 Keep Orlando Beautiful runway show for creating the “Most Wearable” look. Kimberly’s handmade accessory line Sugarsnap is available in small boutiques around Central Florida. She would like to congratulate the cast and crew for creating a fantastic production.
Megan Victoria Stillson
Megan Victoria StillsonSpot Op/Stagehand
A Florida native, Megan Victoria Stillson is a professional actor and children’s theatre director in the Orlando area. Megan was trained in musical theatre at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and the University of Central Florida. Equity performance credits include Showboat, Annie, Sister Act, Fiddler On The Roof, and The Wizard Of Oz, and previous directorial credits include Disney’s Moana Jr. and Meet Me In St. Louis. A cat mom, Disney freak, and happy Hufflepuff, Megan is currently a teaching artist and director with the Children & Youth Arts Programs at CFCArts and plays a mean game of “Tetris.”
“She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.” – Kate Spade 
Virginia Clemmer
Virginia ClemmerSpot Op/Stagehand

Virginia is glad to be returning to Central Florida Community Arts for the second time, after working on their recent production of Charlotte’s Web. In March, she ran a follow spot during Orlando Rep’s performances of Pete the Cat. In May, at the 2022 Orlando International Fringe Festival’s Brown Venue, she was responsible for the lighting, audio, props, and special effects for eight different shows. Virginia worked as a Walt Disney World entertainment technician at shows in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios.

Tommy Mendoza
Tommy MendozaHouse Manager

Tommy is thrilled to be the part of the CFCArts team!  From being in symphonic band, choirs and later theater arts, performing has always been a part of his life in some way.  He found his true passion in working behind the scenes helping bring productions to life.  I am so happy to bring my passion for not only the arts but as an operator to help make the Patron experience the best it can be.

Elf the Musical Creative Team

Arius West
Arius WestDirector
Arius West graduated from the University of Central Florida with his Bachelor’s in theatre, education, and stage combat. He is a performer and teaching artist with The Orlando Repertory Theatre and ArtReach Orlando, a step coach/director for Lake Mary High School and his own adult step team, S.T.O.M.P, and he has put on many different directing hats around Central Florida. Currently, Arius is choreographing Little Shop of Horrors at Evans High School, choreographing Aida at CFCArts, and directing a play as part of Enough Plays Project, where the plays were written by teens about how gun violence affects our community, at The Orlando Repertory Theatre. Some of his most notable works are Spunk and the Harlem Literati as Richard Bruce Nugent, An Octoroon as BJJ/George/M’Closky, Snowball: A Tragedy as Platinum, Beat Bugs the Musical as Jay, Vote? as Martin Luther King Jr./Frederick Douglass, and Sweat as Evan.
Delayna Wahlberg
Delayna WahlbergMusic Director
Delayna Wahlberg is a recent graduate of the College of Music at Florida State University, and she is so excited to be working with the youth programs at Central Florida Community Arts. Her experience with both orchestra and theatre goes back to her middle school years when she first started playing the French horn and acting in community theatre productions. Throughout her high school and college careers, she loved to combine her two passions by playing horn in musical pits. Now, she is proud to have the opportunity to utilize her experiences as an assistant teaching artist and orchestra program assistant. She would like to thank Leah for giving her the opportunity to work with this amazing program, as well as her directors, Ethan, Hayden, and Seth, for making it feel like home. 
Josh Cassady
Josh CassadyStage Manager

Josh is thrilled to be the stage manager for both Sherlock Holmes and Elf the Musical this fall with CFCArts. Recent shows he has stage managed at CFCArts include Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr., and Charlotte’s Web. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Josh has lived in Orlando for two years now. Outside of theatre, he enjoys doing yoga, cooking, and caring for his ever-expanding family of houseplants. He hopes you enjoy all the wonderful performances this season!

Rachel Johnson
Rachel JohnsonAssistant Stage Manager

Rachel Johnson is thrilled to be back this season with CFCArts. Her previous work with CFCArts includes assistant stage manager for Meet Me in St. Louis. Originally from St. Louis, Rachel holds a technical theatre degree from The University of Missouri – Columbia. She works in stage management with theaters around the Orlando area including Osceola Arts and Marshall Ellis Theater. When not at a theater, she can be found working as a merchandise cast member at Walt Disney World Resort. Rachel is thrilled that you are here today to support these wonderfully talented youth and hopes you enjoy the show!

Sara Jacobson
Sara JacobsonAssistant Stage Manager

Sara is a high school senior at Orlando Christian Prep. This is her fifth season at Central Florida Community Arts. Other credits include: Assistant Stage Manager for Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr. at CFCArts, and Stage Manager for Native Voices at PlayWrights Roundtable. She has acted and assistant directed for Flood Insurance, was Stage Manager for The Answerer, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, and Snow White, and was Production Manager for Mary Poppins, all at Orlando Christian Prep. She is also the President of Thespian Troupe 8757 where she competes at Florida Thespian District and State competitions.

Stefany Rodriguez
Stefany RodriguezEarly Childhood Jr. Company Lead Teaching Artist
Stefany Rodriguez is originally from Bayamon, Puerto Rico! She attended La Libre de Musica, where she was classically trained in violin and voice. From there, she graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in theatre studies and a minor in event management. CFCArts became the place where she developed a passion for teaching young, talented minds to express themselves creatively, and since then has taken on roles such as director of vocal and violin ensembles and much more. In her free time, she loves to hang out with her amazing dog, Jude, and together they explore all of Orlando’s beautiful parks and walking trails!
Kailey Vick
Kailey VickEarly Childhood Jr. Company Assistant Teaching Artist
Kailey is a native Floridian, born and raised in Stuart. She is a senior at the University of Central Florida. She is double majoring in Elementary Education and Nonprofit Management with a minor in Public Administration. She is thrilled to work on her first production with CFCArts as Assistant Stage Manager of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars.
Renée Cartee
Renée CarteeEarly Elementary Jr. Company Lead Teaching Artist

Renee’ received a Masters of Nonprofit Management, Graduate Arts Management Certificate and Bachelors of Arts from the University of Central Florida. She loves her “Black and Gold” Knights! Renee’ enjoys playing clarinet and saxophone, singing, painting, traveling and Disney! Her husband and children also share a love for performing. Her three children have been members of the CFCArts Youth Theatre Program for several years with two being alumni and her youngest a current performer. Through the years, Renee’ has taught general music preK-8, chorus, drama, musical theatre, band, and photography. Currently, Renee’ adores teaching at Galileo Gifted School in Sanford and is excited to be a Teaching Artist for the CFCArts family. 

Magen Geluso
Magen GelusoEarly Elementary Jr. Company Assistant Teaching Artist

Magen is currently a junior theatre studies major and sociology minor at the University of Central Florida. At Central Florida Community Arts, She has previously been an Assistant Teaching Artist for Disney’s Frozen Jr. and Rock On! and an Assistant Stage Manager for The 39 Steps and A Christmas Carol. When not at CFCArts or school, Magen works at Universal Orlando Resort as a performer and attractions attendant.

Caroline Del Rey
Caroline Del ReyMusic Therapist

Caroline is a board certified music therapist with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music therapy from Florida State University. She has been practicing music therapy for over six years. An Orlando native, she is excited to be back in her hometown practicing music therapy after working in Boston, MA for several years. Caroline has experience working with infants and toddlers in Early Intervention programs and with students of all ages in the public school system. In addition to her music therapy endeavors, Caroline has performed all over the east coast as a vocalist, both as a soloist and in choral and a cappella groups. Caroline could not be more thrilled to be part of the CFCArts music therapy team, SOAH, and the Academy.

Wendy Lamoreaux
Wendy LamoreauxElementary Company Lead Teaching Artist

B.A., Theatre, Florida Southern College and M.A. Theatre, University of South Carolina; private voice lessons for seven years and studied for two and a half years at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. She has taught Theatre History I and II, History of the American Musical, and American Playwrights at the collegiate level and creative dramatics workshops for kindergarten up through high school. At CFCArts she is an outreach teacher and directs outreach summer camps. Wendy has worked professionally as a Stage Manager for Walt Disney World and Company Manager for the Asolo Touring Theatre in Sarasota, FL. Wendy spent a year working with the Educational Shakespeare Company in Belfast, Northern Ireland, using Shakespeare and film to work with ex-prisoners and the marginalized community. She specializes in Shakespeare, audition prep, acting, as well as foreign accent training. Her favorite role played: Katisha in The Mikado.

Alexandra Luxenburg
Alexandra LuxenburgElementary Company Assistant Teaching Artist

Alexandra Luxenburg is originally from Canton Ohio. She moved to Florida three years ago for a Disney college program and ended up falling in love with Florida. She is now a senior theatre major at the University of Central Florida as well as working at Disney. She has been performing in theatre since she was 10 years old and recently discovered that she has a passion for not only acting but teaching/directing children’s theatre as well! She has teaching and acting experience in both Florida and Ohio and is enjoying her time with CFCArts!

Christian Anderson
Christian AndersonMiddle/High School Company Lead Teaching Artist
Christian Anderson is a teaching artist, director, and actor local to Central Florida. He has a B.F.A. in theatre for youth from East Carolina University and is a first year student in the M.F.A. theatre for young audiences program at the University of Central Florida. Aside from working with CFCArts, Christian works at the Orlando Repertory Theatre as a teaching artist and has worked with Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World as a performer. Christian has been with CFCArts for two years, working in the Children & Youth Arts Programs theatre as a teaching artist for shows such as Disney’s Moana Jr, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Charlotte’s Web. He has a passion for working with youth and utilizing theatre as a tool to teach self-confidence and empathy.
Alexis Carlson
Alexis CarlsonMiddle/High School Company Assistant Teaching Artist

Alexis Carlson (Ms. Lexi) is delighted to be joining the Parent Panel at CFCArts. Her previous roles with CFCArts have been a Community Choir member, Classroom Assistant for Disney’s Moana Jr., Assistant Teaching Artist for Meet Me In St. Louis, and Assistant Teaching Artist for the Music Exploration class. She is currently a full time mother to Declan, Dylan and baby London (born 12/14/21) and wife to Carl. They also share a home with their dog Tinka and cats Archie and Ozzy. Alexis began singing, dancing, and acting in plays and musicals in preschool and performed consistently throughout her childhood.  Favorite roles include: Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web, Rapunzel in Into the Woods, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Chava in Fiddler on the Roof, and Polly in Crazy for You. She attended New World School of the Arts in Miami for high school as a Musical Theatre major, received a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Florida State University in Tallahassee and a Musical Theatre performance degree from the London School of Musical Theatre. Through that experience she was able to audition and perform in a West End original musical comedy called RSVP ASAP. After moving back from London she continued performing in musicals in Miami, FL and really found true enjoyment performing for and teaching children. Since moving to Orlando and becoming a mother, her performing days have been mostly for her children at home but she loves watching her children and her sweet students blossom in their productions at CFCArts.  She looks forward to helping with many more productions with CFCArts in the future.

Kendall Hall
Kendall HallCompany Volunteer

Kendall is excited to begin working with youth theatre at CFCArts. Kendall is a Central Florida native who taught high school English for six years while obtaining her Master of Arts degree in English: Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies from UCF. She is passionate about literature, theatre, and working with students. After transitioning to a career in marketing, she is grateful for the opportunity to connect with students again and support her Central Florida community.

Patrick Lienemann
Patrick LienemannTechnical Director
A Michigan native, Patrick Lienemann received his BA in stage management from Wayne State University in 2015 after serving in the United States Army as a combat medic. His experience includes design and operation for lighting, audio, management, technical direction, special effects, pyrotechnics, scenic, labor, and various other roles over the years. Highlights include Walt Disney World special events, Universal Studios nighttime spectaculars, SeaWorld Christmas Celebration, founding The Underground (an “Emerging Artist Initiative” with Wayne State University), working with touring acts such as J. Cole, Lindsey Sterling, and Usher, and brewing a great cup of coffee whenever one is needed. Patrick has had a passion for the arts for as long as he can remember, performing and creating from a young age. Patrick is currently the technical coordinator for CFCArts, designing and overseeing production for the Children & Youth Arts Programs.
David Jackson
David JacksonScenic Designer and Builder

David is a Florida native and currently a student in the BFA Design and Technology Program within the University of Central Florida. His work can be seen on Theatre UCF stage as Lead Carpenter for the shows: First Date, Welcome to the Moon, Wolves, Fabulation, Indecent, Shrek, Affinity Lunch Minutes. More work on Eastern Florida State College’s stage in A Comedy of Errors (Prop Master), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Scenic Chairman). He has done additional work with The Ensemble Company (Scenic Assistant), Project Spotlight (Scenic Designer/Technician), Florida Theatrical Associations (Spot Operator), Intl Fringe Festival of Central Florida (Audio Engineer), Eastside Christan Church (Audio Operator). David has been a part of theatre most of his life and loves every aspect. He has worn many hats performing and working backstage. He is excited to work with CFCArts for the first time.

Meagan Nettles
Meagan NettlesScenic Assistant

Meagan is an Orlando native and theme park enthusiast. She is set to graduate from Valencia College with a degree in Theatre Design and hopes to pursue a career in prop and set building for the local theme parks or film production. She is a Celtic Football supporter and animal lover, and spends free time creating or traveling.

Valarie Paterson
Valarie PatersonLighting Designer

Born in Myrtle Beach, SC and growing up in Tampa, Valarie has been calling Orlando home since 2019 after receiving her B.A. in theatre and graphic design from Coastal Carolina University where she focused in projection design and scenic painting. Her experience covers video, lighting, pyrotechnics, costuming, and scenic with highlights including EPCOT’s Illuminations, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, and working on Orlando Magic’s broadcast team. Valarie currently freelances in the Central Florida area specializing in video and lighting for live events, but maintains a passion for traditional theatre. Returning to CFCArts this season after serving as Lighting Designer for Disney’s Jungle Book Kids, she is excited to continue collaborating with the amazing creative teams.

Sydney Pigmon
Sydney PigmonAudio Technician
Sydney Pigmon is a recent Rollins College grad who majored in performance. She was recently the audio technician for CFCArts production of Charlotte’s Web and she is so happy to be back. She sound designed for multiple shows in Rollins’ student directed series as well as performing on the Annie Russell stage. She greatly enjoyed being audio tech for Willy Wonka Jr. and Aida, and she is so excited to return with CFCArts for the fall. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Virginia Clemmer
Virginia ClemmerSpot Op/Stagehand

Virginia is glad to be returning to Central Florida Community Arts for the second time, after working on their recent production of Charlotte’s Web. In March, she ran a follow spot during Orlando Rep’s performances of Pete the Cat. In May, at the 2022 Orlando International Fringe Festival’s Brown Venue, she was responsible for the lighting, audio, props, and special effects for eight different shows. Virginia worked as a Walt Disney World entertainment technician at shows in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios.

Kat Henwood
Kat HenwoodCostume Designer and Manager
Kat Henwood is delighted to be working with CFCArts! Her work has recently been seen onstage in The Sound of Music and The Secret Garden with Montverde Academy and No.6 and The Cake with Theatre Tierra Del Sol. Come see more of her work this summer and fall in Much Ado About Nothing with Montverde Academy and In the Next Room with Theatre Tierra Del Sol. She thanks Leah and CFCArts for blessing her with this wonderful opportunity!
Kyla Dreffer-Ward
Kyla Dreffer-WardCostume Assistant
Kyla graduated from Eckerd College with degrees in Theatre and Creative Writing. While at school she interned with Norwegian Cruise Line as a wardrobe supervisor, supporting the ship “The Pride of America.” Kyla currently works for the Walt Disney Company where she works in costuming. She has worked on the Halloween and Christmas parades at Magic Kingdom. She has also worked for Creative Costuming on both the Animal Kingdom/EPCOT and Hollywood Studios teams. Kyla is excited to start her costuming journey with CFCArts starting with Elf this coming season.
Charis Watler
Charis WatlerSpot Op/Stagehand
Charis Watler is an Orlando-based actor, director, and producer who is thrilled to be returning to the CFCArts youth for their spring season. Charis has done many projects with them over the past year, including being the assistant director for The 39 Steps and filling multiple tech roles for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Charlotte’s Web.  She is also a member of a new theatre production company in Orlando called Whiskey Theatre Factory and has acted in and directed many productions with them. She is incredibly thankful for Leah and CFCArts continuing to give her opportunities to work with them and for being such a fun and educational environment for young theatre artists. 
Alison Nadassy
Alison NadassySpot Op/Stagehand

Alison is a graduate of University of Central Florida with a BA in Theatre Studies. Her love of theater started young, and she moved on to be part of the International Thespian Society in High School, and National Theatre Honor Society at Florida Atlantic University. She is returning for her third season with CFCArts, having started off as an intern and an Assistant Teaching Artist for the Youth Theatre Program. Alison has done costumes and wardrobe for multiple CFCArts productions including The 39 Steps, The Sound of Music, and Matilda. Alison would like to thank CFCArts’ continuous support and wonderful programs that enrich children in the arts and provide amazing opportunities for all ages.

Tommy Mendoza
Tommy MendozaHouse Manager

Tommy is thrilled to be the part of the CFCArts team!  From being in symphonic band, choirs and later theater arts, performing has always been a part of his life in some way.  He found his true passion in working behind the scenes helping bring productions to life.  I am so happy to bring my passion for not only the arts but as an operator to help make the Patron experience the best it can be.