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.”
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 nine years in the Capital District – starting out as stage manager and director of her local community theatre youth program right after high school. This will be Kristyn’s sixth year with Drama Kids, and she couldn’t be happier to continue her work as Assistant Director (and #ProjectSilverScreen mastermind)! When she started as a teacher five 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.
Jillian is thrilled to be starting her fifth 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.
Kathryn is thrilled to be celebrating her 6th year as a Drama Kids teacher! She 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. Kathryn has had over 10 years of teaching experience and currently works as a Child Care Administrator and Early Childhood educator at A Child’s Place. She has been a director of children’s summer camps and children play productions for several years and enjoys an active performing career. She truly enjoys building confidence in actors and actresses young and old!
Tony has been acting on Capital Region stages and in local films for many years, and in 2016 became a member of Actors’ Equity. In the early 2000s he worked as an acting teacher at the New York State Theatre Institute. Always one to pursue many passions simultaneously, Tony has worked professionally as a graphic designer and art director, writer and editor, and an elementary school teacher — with the theatre playing a constant role throughout. All-time favorite role has a name you’re never supposed to say aloud in a theatre… do you know it?
Timothy started performing at the Ohio Northern University at the age of 5 years old and has been performing ever since. He has performed in over 70 productions and has directed, assisted, and choreographed several productions and pieces for a national award winning show choir. Timothy recently moved to Albany from Cincinnati, OH and has been teaching, choreographing, competing, and performing with Arthur Murray Dance Center of Cincinnati, OH and now at Saratoga Springs, NY. Recently, he has coached a Cincinnati celebrity and won HBA’s Dancing with the Stars with her. Mr. Tim is very excited to start working with Drama Kids and looks forward in seeing where this new chapter of life takes us all!
Ellen is elated to be part of the Drama Kids team! She earned her BFA in Acting from Ithaca College and completed a graduate acting program at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England. After graduation, she spent a year interning within the education department at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. Ellen spent 7 years in Chicago where she instructed numerous after-school drama programs, served as Head of Education for the Shakespeare All-Stars, and brought social-issues programming to students across the Chicagoland area as an ensemble member of Imagination Theater. Ellen is excited to now bring the joy of theatre to students in the Capital Region!
Jake Goldsmith is very excited to be starting his first year with DKI! He has been acting since he was the age of 6 and has never looked back! Jake is thrilled to be returning to the Capital Region after touring the country as a director and theatre arts educator with Missoula Children’s Theatre. He received his BA from Providence College in theatre and dance, with additional music theatre training at Carnegie Mellon. An avid performer, Jake has performed locally with Galway Players, Park Playhouse and HMT. Some of his more notable roles were Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man. Jake hopes to inspire the youth of the world to value the arts as much as he does!
Shirley has devoted her entire adult life to teaching and to musical theatre. She retired from the Albany City School District in 2002 to continue establishing the Park Playhouse Youth Theatre which began in 1995. Ms. Shirley was instrumental in starting the Park Playhouse Scholastic Touring Program and After-School Program that began in 2006 within the Albany City Schools and continues to this day in various school districts. Many of her students have gone on to pursue remarkable careers in teaching, theatre, law, etc. In fact, “Drama Mama”, Deanna Stickles-Bach, is one of those amazing students who is now giving Ms. Shirley the opportunity to work on the program she has so successfully grown these past 12 years!
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.