2018 Educational staff
Camps and Classes for students
Kaelyn Langer-Mendonca, Ph.D.: Spring and Summer Camps Coordinator
Kaelyn Langer-Mendonca, Ph.D. is a teaching artist, director, and performer having appeared on stage and run youth education programs in New York and Washington. Kaelyn brings a blended expertise to her teaching: helping students explore their innate ability to imagine, play, and create characters while supporting their social skills and emotional intelligence. She believes in the powerful effects of art and creativity, which cultivate relationship and inspire strong community connection. Kaelyn recently directed Honk Jr. at Cedar Way Elementary School and Mighty a production she wrote for Edmonds Youth Program last summer. She is incredibly excited about her role as the spring and summer camps coordinator and looks forward to bringing wonderful programing and teachers into the community.
Katie Soule: Technical Theatre Workshop: Monday, April 2 and Monday, April 16
Katie is honored to be part of the Technical Theater track for this years’ Spring Break Camp. You’ll almost never see her on stage, since her favorite roles are the backstage ones – where the magic happens! Katie has worked as an instructor for Seattle Shining Stars, bringing creative drama to preschools and encouraging little ones to use their big imaginations. As an Assistant Stage Manager for Madrona Children’s Theater, she managed large double casts of 4th through 8th graders. More recently, her work with Edmonds Driftwood Players has been as a Stage or Production Manager on multiple shows, many of which featured kids or teens, and often manages a crew of teen volunteers who help with sound and lighting. She loves the thrill of split-second scene changes, figuring out what to do if a prop breaks in the middle of a show, and the Tetris-type of mind game it takes to make all the set pieces fit backstage when they’re not being used. There is a whole other world behind the curtain – join Katie for a sneak peek at all the other roles you can play behind the scenes!
Erin Bell: Musical Theatre Workshop: Tuesday, April 3 and Tuesday, April 17
Erin has grown up in the Seattle area and started really studying dance when she was 12. She began in an Irish dance performance company and then began to explore many different genres since then. She began choreographing musicals when she was 14 and really found her passion in that. She studied dance at Westlake Dance Center, Velocity Dance Center, Edmonds Heights, and many other establishments. She has choreographed and/or worked at local schools, Bothell Dance school, Dance Elite, Seattle Musical Theatre, Driftwood Players, Lyric Light Opera, and the 5th Ave. Erin also currently is a dance instructor at Edmonds Heights for tap, musical theatre dance, a musical choreographer, hip hop, and coaches a dance team. She loves swing dancing at Century ballroom on Sunday nights and spending time with her family and friends in her down time.
Erin is excited to share her passion for dance with the future generation of dancers!
Melani Lyons: Stage Combat: Thursday, April 5 and Thursday, April 19
Melani is the artistic director and founder of Dandylyon Drama, a local non-profit whose mission is to make sure the performing arts are accessible in schools. When she’s not directing and teaching, she is writing. Her plays include several children’s musicals: “A Mother for Neverland,” “The Amazing Ever-Changing Alice in Wonderland,” “Bad Apples“, and “Lasso the Moon.” She earned bachelor’s degrees in Music and Theatre from Seattle Pacific University. She is grateful to have assistant directed under the inspirational Professor Andrew Ryder of SPU, the incomparable Karen Lund of Taproot Theatre, and the prolific Lani Brockman at Studio East. Melani loves to sing and is active locally in The Salvation Army’s Seattle Temple Songsters as well as the Western Territorial Staff Songsters which performs around the world.
Cassie Jo Fastabend: Dance and Movement Workshop: Friday, April 6 and Friday, April 20
Cassie has been performing since childhood in Dance, Music composition, and Acting. She holds a Dual BA from the University of Puget Sound, and has been teaching theater in the South Sound for years. Recent productions as an actor include Macbeth and Lear(s) at the Slate Theater in Seattle, Hamlet and A Streetcar Named Desire at UPS, A Few Good Men, and The Importance of Being Earnest at Lakewood Playhouse, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stopkiss, and Gypsy at Tacoma Little Theatre.
____Teen Troupe Production Staff___
Mark Press – Orchestra Director and Conductor for both Teen Troupe Shrek and Teen Troupe Mermaid
Born into a musical family, music has always been an essential part of Mark’s life. He believes Musical Theater presents a unique integrative arts experience for all. He has been an arts educator at every level from Kindergarten through University and has taught in the Edmonds School District since 1990. He is a very busy singer, trombone player, vocal coach and conductor.
He has Music Directed and conducted dozens of shows at many venues including Shorecrest High, Seattle Musical Theater, Woodinville Repertory, and Madrona Children’s Theater – that he also founded in 1993. He has been Music Director with Edmonds Driftwood Players since 2010 starting with Annie and will be MD once more for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which runs April 20-May 12.
Jordyn Meeker – Vocal Music Director for Teen Troupe Shrek and Teen Troupe Mermaid
Jordyn Meeker, a firm believer in performing arts education, is a voice teacher and music director in the Seattle area. She owns and operates EDGE Performing Arts & Dance in Shoreline which provides drama programs and classes to Greater Seattle area schools. Jordyn music directs for the University of Washington Musical Theatre program, including Pippin (2017), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2016), and Anything Goes (2018).
She has also served as adjunct faculty for UW in the School of Dance. A certified teacher through the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Jordyn sits on the board as the director of student adjudications.
Andrew Coopman – Director for Teen Troupe Shrek
Andrew Coopman is so proud to be the director and choreographer of Shrek the Musical, a show that celebrates embracing exactly who you are, inside and out, and letting your freak flag fly! Previous directing credits include Beauty & The Beast (Edmond’s Driftwood Players), James & The Giant Peach (Village Theatre– KIDSTAGE), The Sunflower Sisters (Eclectic Theater), Into the Woods (Studio East), and Once Upon a Mattress (Snoqualmie Falls Forrest Theater). Andrew, has his BA aim Theater Performance from Whitworth University; and, after graduating from NYU with a Masters in Educational Theater, also works as a teaching artist at Village Theater, Studio East, and Edmonds Driftwood Players. He would like to thank EDP for the opportunity to create art with young artists because it is truly one of his greatest passions.
Dorothy Pierce – Director for Teen Troupe Mermaid
Dorothy Pierce is an artist, teacher, and performer – a proud Teaching Artist. She has been teaching theatre in Puget Sound schools for over 15 years. She is happy to be returning to Driftwood for a third summer – directing Thoroughly Modern Millie and Honk! was so fun! As an actor, Dorothy has played roles ranging from Annie in Annie Get Your Gun to the Witch in Into the Woods. She has performed for over 10 years with interactive improv company Events on the Edge and is a proud member of the cabaret group, Broads of Broadway. Dorothy currently directs at several local schools and teaches drama and musical theatre at Edmonds Heights K-12.
Julie Nuno – Production Manager for Teen Troupe Shrek (picture coming soon!)
Julie Nuno has been involved in youth theater for the last 11 years. She is “Drama Mama” to two talented thespians who are both active in high school drama and have enjoyed performing here with Driftwood Players and around the community. She started volunteering with Madrona Children’s Theatre and quickly became immersed in the magic. Julie was part of the production team for the last 4 years until her youngest moved to high school and is now she is very excited to join the Driftwood team. In her spare time, she is a Project Manager and loves spending time with family and friends.
Jessica Guthrie – Production Manager for Teen Troupe Mermaid (picture coming soon!)
Jessica Guthrie has loved musical theater since she was very young. She got involved with youth theater when her oldest daughter joined the Madrona Children’s Theatre in the 5th grade and fell in love with the entire process. Before she started producing, she spent three years working in costumes. She is currently producing Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach with Dorothy Pierce at Madrona. Jessica is currently a full time student at Shoreline Community College working toward becoming a Registered Nurse and is very excited to join the Driftwood family!