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Faculty & Staff

Artistic Team

Melanie Kirkpatrick

Melanie Kirkpatrick

Artistic Director

Samantha Leahy

Samantha Leahy

Registrar & Site Manager

Madeline Shaffer

Madeline Shaffer

Dance Director

Adam Lillibridge

Adam Lillibridge

Resident Production Manager and Technical Director

Courtlyn McCain

Courtlyn McCain

Resident Costume Designer

Business Team

Dr. James Ramsey

Dr. James Ramsey

Executive Director

Taletha Pogge

Taletha Pogge

Financial and Operations Manager

Heather Bauer

Heather Bauer

Marketing Manager

Elisa Blair

Elisa Blair

Development Coordinator

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SAVE ON SPRING CLASSES!

In honor of our 15-year Anniversary, we are offering 15% off Spring Classes when students register for 2 or more classes!

The same student must be registered in both classes for the discount to apply.
Offer expires Monday, January 31

VIEW CLASS SCHEDULE

John Boggs

John Boggs is a pianist, composer and vocalist based currently in Thornton, Colorado. He holds a DMA in Composition from the University of Colorado Boulder, a M.M. in Composition from the University of Michigan and a B.F.A. from Bard College. Previous piano instructors include German Diez and MaryAnn Griebling. He taught students of all ages and experience during his undergraduate and graduate studies.

At Bard College he studied voice with tenor Rufus Müller. He has sung such roles as Jamie in The Last Five Years, The Lecturer in Reefer Madness, and El Gallo in The Fantasticks. He teaches repertoire in the genres of musical theater, art song, pop and opera. He currently is a Choral Pro for both the Ars Nova singers and the St. John’s Episcopal Compline Choir. In 2016, John co-founded Renaissance and Contemporary a cappella group, Solis, to promote new works from local and national composers.

His music direction includes Pippin and Rocky Horror Picture Show with the Bard Musical Theater Company. In 2017 he music directed Centerstage Theater Company’s production of Godspell, and most recently their 2021 production of Theory of Relativity.

He has had composition premiers by such groups as the American Symphony Orchestra, University of Michigan’s Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir, DaCapo Chamber Players, Ars Nova Singers, the Columbine Chorale, 303 Children’s Choir (now Vocal Coalition), the Chamber Music Society of Ohio, and new music ensemble Contemporaneous. He is the co-founder/co-writer as well as the keyboardist and vocalist for experimental rock band Fifth Veil, and is delving into the world of film and interactive game scoring.

He also has experience teaching students with developmental disabilities. He provided accompaniment for Tapestry Theater’s productions of Elf, School House Rocks and Shrek Jr. He was previously employed with Imagine’s CORE day program, where he instructed group music classes using midi over wifi to create the feeling of being in a band and orchestra.

 

 

Amy Arpan

Amy Arpan has worked professionally as an actress, show host, variety artist, improviser, fight choreographer, clown, and director for 22 years.

She is represented by Radical Artists Agency, and you may have seen her competing in the ‘Dish Network Challenge’ and zooming along on an electric scooter in the ‘Colorado Lottery’ Commercials.

Past local credits include Ella Enchanted at the Arvada Center; Mrs. Soames in Our Town at Miners Alley; the Conductor and Engineer in The Polar Express; Madame Volange in Les Liaisons Dangereuses at Miners Alley; Characters in Crisis for the Colorado Police Departments; and directing Fright Fest and the Summer Illusion Shows at Elitch Gardens. She is also a local weekly Trivia and Bingo Host.

Favorite out of State Credits and Clients
include: Nickelodean, Royal Caribbean,
Disney Cruise Lines, & Cedar Fair Theme Parks , Shakespeare Carolina, ChickSpeare, The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte,.

In addition to Clowning around with her Ringling Brother’s Circus School training, she is also fond of Juggling, Improv-ing, Performing Magic, Balloon Twisting, Lip Print Reading, Stilt Walking, Mascot work, Puppeteering, Show Hosting, and Character Roaming. She has been the owner and principal performer for Amy Arpan’s Illusions And Confusions since its founding in 1998.

Katie Reid Milazzo

Katie is thrilled to be returning to her beautiful home state of Colorado after 15 years away performing and teaching professionally, and she is very excited to be joining PAA! National Tours: South Pacific (Nellie Forbush), 'S Wonderful (Jane), Annie (Ronnie Boylan). Regional: Last Five Years (Cathy), Marvelous Wonderettes (Missy), Princess and the Pea (Queen u/s), Land of Forgotten Toys (Queen), Full Monty (Pam), Ordinary Days (Claire), B’way: The Big Band Years (featured singer), Sweeney Todd, The Who's Tommy. BFA Musical Theater from The University of Oklahoma. In Chicago, Katie taught and directed at several performing arts programs, directing/music directing over 20 shows with ages K - 12. She especially loves working one on one with students and believes in the transformative power of theater for everyone!

 

Jennifer Maggi

Jennifer Maggi grew up dancing in Orange County, California at the Pacific School of Ballet from the age of 5 to 18. Throughout her years there, she trained in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, and Tap. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from California State University, Fullerton with an emphasis in Ballet and Modern. While completing her degree, Jennifer performed and choreographed for numerous professional dance shows and showcases as well as participated in the Limon Dance Intensive under Collin Connor. After graduating, Jennifer returned to Cal State Fullerton to choreograph the BFA Musical Theatre main stage productions of Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party, and Cry Baby. In 2014, Jennifer was cast as a performer at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California where she danced and portrayed famous Disney characters in the Pixar Play Parade, Paint the Night Parade, The Frightfully Fun Parade, and The Christmas Fantasy Parade. She moved to Denver in May 2019 and is so excited to join the team at PAA and share her passion for dance with her students.

Jana Wesson

Jana Wesson is thrilled to be back at PAA! As a former alumni, Jana is excited to be continuing with PAA as a staff of the outreach program. Since her last show in 2013 Jana has gone on to do community theatre at the Pace Center and Wesley Players Theatre Company, starring in shows such as Singin’ In The RainMary Poppins, The Music Man and many more!

McKensey Struzik

McKensey graduated from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts with a BA in Acting and a Minor in Musical Theatre in 2016.  Since, she has taught children’s theatre at various studios in Virginia as well as in Colorado.  She has taught dance, private voice and group acting classes as well as choreographed, music directed many productions.  She has tap danced for 17 years and had the opportunity to study under tap dancers such as Savion Glover, Chloe Arnold, Maude Arnold, and Jason Janas.  She is thrilled to teach tap with PAA this year and can’t wait to get started.

Andrew McGlothen

Andrew McGlothen is thrilled to be back for his 2nd summer with PAA. Originally from Texas, Andrew has been fabricator, scenic painter, director and actor for over a decade. He’s had the privilege to work for companies like the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities, Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids, Denver Comic Con, Visionbox Studio and many others. If you need something designed or created, he’s your guy. When not working in theatre Andrew is a Graphic Designer and coffee snob. He’d like to thank his husband and dogs for the support and PAA for the opportunity!”

 

Melanie Ware

Melanie has been with PAA as their Properties Master for six years and teaching classes for five. Melanie received her BA in Theatre from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in May of 2016. Between Acting, Directing and Properties Design she has roughly 12 years of theatrical experience. Favorite PAA design credits include: You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown!, Tarzan, Mary Poppins and The Addams Family.

 

 

 

Stephanie Hesse

Stephanie is thrilled to join PAA, and is very proud of this group of talented kids!  With a BA in both Theatre and Dance from Colorado Mesa University,  Stephanie has performed with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Avatar Movement Dance Company, and in several musicals in the Denver area including 9 to 5, 42nd Street, Crazy For You, and West Side Story. Choreography credits include: A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder, Hello Dolly!, She Loves Me, 13: The Musical, and Disney’s Mary Poppins Jr.

Melanie Kirkpatrick

Artistic Director

Melanie has worked with PAA in various capacities since 2015 and served as producer and director for the Wesley Players since 2013. She has a Bachelors in Theatre from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., and also studied at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. With a strong background in theatre education, administration and corporate event production, Melanie is thrilled to join the team at PAA. Thank you to the amazing Board, staff, parent and student community.

 

 

 

samSamantha Leahy

Registrar and Site Manager

Samantha serves as Director of Early Childhood Ministry at St. Luke’s UMC and supported Assistant Producer roles with PAA for the last 3 years. Samantha's 16 years of personal and professional experience coupled with her genuine love of children and strong integrity has allowed her to develop her passion for the care and tutelage of children. Samantha joins our team with strong relational skills with the ability to focus on others strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. She is grateful for the opportunity to join our PAA staff as she knows the impact creative outlets have on transforming the lives of children. Samantha resides in Highlands Ranch and leads many volunteer outreach programs through St. Luke’s. She is also the proud mother to two daughters, Keara and Ryann who attend CU Boulder.

You can contact Sam at 303-900-7041 ex.0.

Madeline Shaffer

Dance Director

Madeline Shaffer grew up teaching and performing with her local studio in southern Illinois. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Jacksonville University and then began working in NYC. While there, she choreographed the Off Broadway production of By Jupiter, worked for 2 years with the cult classic production of 420: The Musical, performed in a national tour, choreographed and directed a new musical, performed in front of the UN, and worked with several high schools and children’s programs choreographing shows and teaching classes. These high school programs include Stagedoor Manor where she has spent her summers choreographing for the past 6 years. While there she was able to work directly with the writer of Evil Dead the Musical to develop the World Premiere of a high school version for that show.  She has choreographed over 30 musical theatre productions and has over 10 years of teaching experience. She moved to Denver in September of 2019 and she is overjoyed to be the new Director of Dance for PAA.

dance@paacolorado.org

Adam Lillibridge

Resident Production Manager and Technical Director

Adam is excited to be a part of the PAA community! He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University. He lived in Los Angeles for six years where he worked as both a freelance scenic designer and as the Technical Director for classical repertory
theatre company, A Noise Within. His scenic design for their production of Noises Off received critical acclaim and a Garland Award nomination. He returned to his home state of Colorado in 2011. He has worked for nine years as both a home builder and with D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. High School as their technical director, director, improv coach, and head of the drama department.

He loves helping young people discover their creativity through the many avenues that theatre
offers. Adam lives in Centennial, and spends his free time singing The Wheels on the Bus with
his wife, Jennifer, daughter, Juniper and their two dogs Quigley and Fezzik.

tech@paacolorado.org

Courtlyn McCain

Resident Costume Designer

Courtlyn McCain received her bachelor’s in theatre design and technology from Western Kentucky University. During her time there, she focused on costuming, including designing and building costumes for many productions, as well as working in the campus costume shop.  She also studied costuming for film and TV with a research grant during her time at WKU.  Courtlyn worked in the costume department at the Colorado Ballet for a few seasons, and has been a costume designer for PAA since summer of 2018.  She is so thrilled to be a part of this team of incredibly talented people.

costumes@paacolorado.org

Dr. James Ramsey

Executive Director

James Ramsey is Executive Director for the Performing Arts Academy and Director of Music and Arts at St. Luke's UMC.  Previous engagements include college instruction positions at the University of Colorado, University of Denver, and Whitman College in Washington.  Additionally, Ramsey has also served as Artistic Director for the Wesley Choral Festival and Assistant Conductor of the Grammy award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus.

James earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Literature and Performance at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Master of Music degree in Conducting at the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music Education at Middle Tennessee State University.  Mentors and teachers include Raphael Bundage, Joan Conlon, Vance George, Donald Neuen, Alfred Mann, and Samuel Adler.  Ramsey has served as the American Choral Directors Association’s Repertoire and Standards Chair for Community Choirs for both Colorado and the Southwest Region.  James resides in Littleton with his wife, Leigh, and their sons, Jack and Luke.

Contact Jim at drjim@paacolorado.org or 303-900-7041 ex.1.

TalethaTaletha Pogge

Financial and Operations Manager

Taletha Pogge has been an accountant for over ten years, specializing in accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll. She graduated from Walla Walla University with a degree in accounting. She volunteers in her community for a variety of non-profit organizations and has served on the PTO board at her children's school. Taletha's hobbies include hiking in Colorado's great outdoors, sewing, and knitting. She and her husband have lived in Colorado for 7 years with their two wonderful and energetic boys. She enjoys being active and participating in the community.

You can contact Taletha at 303-900-7041 ex.2.

Heather Bauer

Marketing Manager

Heather has a wealth of experience from over 10 years of working in marketing departments for companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. Her formal education in graphic design plus her years as a website developer create a unique set of skills that are ready to rise to every marketing challenge.

Having participated in many theater productions as a child, Heather is passionate about providing all children with the opportunity to experience performing arts.

Heather lives in Highlands Ranch with her husband and two daughters.

marketing@paacolorado.org

Elisa Blair

Development Coordinator

Elisa Blair is thrilled for the opportunity to be working with the Performing Arts Academy! She obtained a BFA in Technical Theatre from the University of Wyoming, which she has successfully used in stage managing, retirement finance planning, and coordinating PAA’s Stars in Arts Gala for the last 3 years and counting. Now, she can utilize her skills to help PAA while it continues to grow. Born and raised in Littleton, Elisa now resides in Highlands Ranch with her fantastic husband, three amazing step kids, a plethora of animals, and beautiful baby girl!

development@paacolorado.org