NY5.DeannaDeanna Stickles-Bach, Director, Owner

Deanna is a proud mother of two – and “Drama Mama” to all her Drama Kids across the Capital Region. Deanna holds a BA in Music Performance and Elementary Education from Vassar College and attended graduate school at the University of Albany where she earned her MS in Literacy and Elementary Education. She has been involved in theatre all her life as a professional actress, director and art educator. A certified NYS teacher, she has over eighteen years of teaching experience, working with children of all ages. When she found a program that was focused on building confidence, speaking and acting skills in children, Deanna knew it was the ideal match for her talents and passion. She is proud to have made a dramatic difference in the lives of thousands of Capital Region children! Deanna shares her own story of personal development through drama in this article, “The Benefits of Drama Education.”

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Kristyn Youngblood,  Assistant Director

Kristyn is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association, a local professional actress, and a graduate of the University of Albany’s Theatre Department. She has been an Arts Educator for over seven years in the Capital District – starting out as stage manager and director of her local community theatre youth program out of high school. This will be Kristyn’s fourth year with Drama Kids, and she couldn’t be happier to start her brand new role as Assistant Director! When she started as a teacher three years ago she knew she found a perfect fit. There’s nothing quite like seeing a child’s confidence bloom through drama, and to watch a student shine on (and off!) the stage.

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NY5.Destiny CoonsDestiny Coons, Teacher & Office Administrator

Destiny is proud to be a former Drama Kid! She graduated from Rensselaer High School, continuing her education at SCCC and HVCC, majoring in Theatre. Along with Drama Kids, Destiny is a resident director for Rensselaer High’s theater department, in addition to working as a theatrical make-up artist for many productions around the Capital District. Destiny admits that nothing compares to the thrill of teaching others to love and appreciate theatre, and everything it has to offer. When you love drama, you are part of an elite group of people who know the feeling of being excited and slightly terrified the moment before the curtain opens – and that is a feeling unmatched by anything else.

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NY5.JillianJillian Becker, Teacher & Office Administrator

Jillian is thrilled to be starting her third year as a DKI Teacher! Graduating from SUNY Albany in 2009, Jillian earned a BA in Theatre with a concentration in directing and production, as well as a minor in English with a concentration in Shakespearean Studies. After being a part of the local theatre scene for many years, Jillian feels she has now found her true calling in teaching at DKI. She feels privileged to be helping to guide the youth of the Capital District to confident self-expression through drama.
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f-33-184-11407187_AxVNhVqw_Kathryn_Capalbo_2015Kathryn Capalbo, Teacher

Kathryn holds her BA in Creative Arts Therapy with a concentration in Drama, in addition to her Master’s Degree in Theatre Education from Emerson College. She currently works as a Child Care Administrator and Teacher at Unity Sunshine Daycare, where she works with regular and special education students. Additionally, she directs the Highlight Acting Troupe’s Summer Children’s Program.

 

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NY5.Lita BensonLita Benson, Teacher

Lita is a graduate of Hartwick College where she received her B.A. in English Literature and Theatre Arts. One of her more memorable roles was playing Ellen in Lee Blessing’s Two Rooms, receiving an Irene Ryan Nomination and was invited to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. More recently, Lita has been involved with local theatre companies including the Classic Theatre Guild, Chenango River Theatre, as well as the Orpheus Theatre in Oneonta, NY. When Lita is not teaching your children theatre or being on stage, she is teaching three-year-olds in an Albany daycare.

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jessicaJessica McGinnis, Teaching Assistant

Jessica McGinnis has been a Drama Kid for the past six years and is thrilled to join the DKI Teaching Team this year! Jessica recently took part in the New School for Drama’s Summer Acting Intensive in New York City for a month. This experience made her fall in love with theatre even more (if that’s possible!) She’s interested in everything from Classical to Film, and aspires to be a professional Director and Actor. In addition to “breaking a leg” with Drama Kids, Jessica is a Martial Arts Instructor!

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NY5.Augustine CollinsAugustine Collins, Administrative Support

Augustine has been teaching for 28 years and has taught dance with several dance studios around the Capital District. For the past 12 years she was the Movement teacher at the Ark Community Charter School, where she taught drama, dance, sports and movement; staging numerous performances for the school community and local officials. She was a choreographer for Staging Youths Future as well as RPI’s Young Actors Guild. She is ecstatic to be a part of the Drama Kids family and loves the Drama Kids philosophy of educating our youth through drama!

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Join our team! Drama Kids is seeking dynamic and fun part time teachers to meet our growing class schedule.  Please visit our Contact Us Page and submit your interest.