Laura Drake (Producer/Director, Founder)
Laura started Stage Struck in the spring of 2001, with performances in a basement space at Admiral Church in West Seattle. Shortly thereafter, the program went into full swing in Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy UCC. Since then, camps have expanded to several other West Seattle and South Seattle venues. Laura’s professional stage acting career includes productions in Minneapolis, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Arizona. She can also be seen in major films, television series, independent films, and national commercials. Laura has taught, directed and produced theatre in several Seattle public schools under city, county and private foundation grants. She is a certificated Multi-Arts specialist, teaching theatre, dance/movement and visual art at Arbor Heights Elementary. This year marks her 10th year of teaching full time for the Seattle district. Laura received her National Board Teaching Certification in early to middle childhood art in 2009, has a K-12 Theatre Endorsement, and holds a Masters Degree in Education (Curriculum and Instruction.)
Jeffie Lou Thorn (Lead Teacher, Choreographer, Writer)
Jeffie Lou has taught hip-hop and jazz dance in many Seattle/Metro area studios. Her Dance Teams Allure, JAMS and Smooth Elements have performed at Sonic games, Summer Jam, etc. She studied with the Dupree and Alvin Ailey Dance Companies, the New York School of the Arts, and finished her degree in Dance and Education at Washington State University. She has taught Dance Grooves at Allstar Fitness in West Seattle for many years and has been an instructor for Stage Struck since 2005. Her non-profit business, D & G Dance Company, is now in its second year of operation in south Seattle, where she teaches ages 6 to adults.
Jayne Muirhead (Lead Teacher, Writer)
Jayne has lived and worked in Seattle for 35 years. She has performed at The Seattle Rep, ACT, The Village Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, The Empty Space, The Group, Tacoma Actors Guild and has done 20 shows with the Seattle Children’s Theatre. Last season she appeared in The Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Spot the Dog at Seattle Children’s Theatre and It Shouldda Been You and Big River at The Village Theatre. She is the recipient of five Seattle Times Footlight Awards for Bunnicula, In Flagrante Gothicto, Falsettos, Menopause the Musical and Lyle the Crocodile. This is Jayne’s 8th year with Stage Struck.
Rachel Teigen Brackett (Lead Teacher, Writer)
Rachel is the K-6 General Music Teacher and Choir Director at Lakeview Elementary in Kirkland. Rachel is in her 11th year of teaching and has been with Lake Washington School District for the past 8 years. Previously she taught in the Bethel and Seattle Districts. She also teaches “General Music Methods” to perspective teachers at Northwest University. In addition, Rachel instructs private voice, piano, and guitar lessons. She received her Bachelor of Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University and her Master’s in Creative Arts and Learning from Lesley University. She earned her National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music. Rachel has been singing and acting her entire life and working with children in the performing arts since her teen years. This is her 8th year with Stage Struck.
Suzanne Grant (Musical Director, Pianist)
Suzanne Grant has been coaching, music directing, teaching, composing, playing keyboards and performing in the Seattle area for over 30 years. She is a Senior Faculty member at Seattle Children’s Theatre and has been a Teaching Artist in private and public schools for many years. She has worked for several theatres, including Community Shakespeare on Lopez Island, A Contemporary Theatre, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Youth Theatre Northwest, the Village Theatre, and Honolulu Theatre for Youth. As Musical Director of the Seattle Peace Theatre, she created and toured original musical theatre shows with students to Latvia, Uzbekistan and Switzerland. She has conducted and sung with the City Cantabile Choir and Seattle Peace Chorus. Her years with a punk rock band, “The Enemy,” are documented in four books and at the Experience Music Project. She sang in the premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” at the Kennedy Center and Metropolitan Opera House.
Joanne Klein (Lead Teacher, Writer)
Joanne has performed acting and music for the past 34 years at professional theatres and music venues in Seattle; on the national tour of “The Diary of Anne Frank” with the Montana Repertory Theatre; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s Summer Musical “All Shook Up”; Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theatre’s “Snow White”; NYC; Los Angeles; Canada; Costa Rica, and the streets of Paris. She is currently teaching Acting for TV, Film & Commercial at Seattle Talent. Teaching musical theatre to children for Stage Struck is a joy. Ms Klein adapted “Alice in Wonderland” for the 2012 season. You can see more at www.joannekleindiva.com
John Engerman (Musical Director, Pianist)
John has been composing, arranging and performing songs for theatre and cabaret productions since 1975. Highlights include Ronnie Bwana – Jungle Guide, The Big Bad Wolf (and How He Got That Way), and Ming the Rude (The Empty Space Theatre), The Ballad of Mary Reade (The Bathhouse Theatre) and Prince Brat and the Whipping Boy (Seattle Children’s Theatre). His songs and arrangements have appeared in dozens of cabaret shows, including The Fabulous Sateens, The Sirens of Swing and It’s In the Cards (ACT) which features John and his wife, Jayne Muirhead. He also holds a Masters Degree in Education.
Allison Standley (Lead Teacher, Writer)
Allison is so excited to work with this talented collection of young people both returning and new for her third year at Stage Struck! Allison is a Seattle-based actor and singer who has worked with local and regional theaters since she graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Theatre. Locally she has worked with companies including Seattle Shakespeare, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Arts West, 14/48 The World’s Quickest Theatre Festival, Balagan, Annex Theatre, Greenstage and Seattle Musical Theatre. Regionally she’s worked with Tennessee Shakespeare Company, Power House Theatre, Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre and internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Looking forward to learning with you all this summer!
Vanessa Villalobos (Lead Teacher)
Vanessa Villalobos is a performing artist from Lima, Peru and is an experienced teaching artist that loves to share the power of dance through teaching and performance training.
Since 2009, she has supported various Seattle and eastside arts organizations with dance services through her arts and entertainment company BALORICO LLC specializing in Ballroom, Latin and AfroPeruvian dance. Vanessa has two degrees from the University of Washington, in Theater and Dance, and a Masters Degree in Non-Profit Arts Management from Seattle University. For 7 years, Vanessa worked as a senior teaching artist in the New York Public school system, for the Brooklyn Arts Council and the internationally acclaimed Dancing Classrooms program.
Daniel Soltenberg (Lead Teacher)
Daniel Stoltenberg is a Washington native with a passion for good storytelling in all its forms. As an actor, he has performed with ArtsWest, Taproot Theatre, Sound Theatre Company, Seattle Musical Theatre, Annex Theatre, and GreenStage. As a teacher, he has worked with ArtsWest’s summer conservatory program, Bainbridge Performing Arts, and the touring educational outreach programs of Open Door, Taproot Theatre, and Book-It All Over. This is his first summer with Stage Struck, after teaching in three previous camps during the school year. He’s very excited to collaborate with his fellow teaching artists and students to create something awesome. Daniel holds a degree in Theatre and English Literature from Whitman College.