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.”
Drama Kids Marketing and Media Specialist
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 ten years in the Capital District – starting out as stage manager and director of her local community theatre youth program right after high school. When Kristyn found Drama Kids seven 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.
Kristyn recently relocated to Massachusettes (and is getting married September 2018!), but will be continuing her work with Drama Kids from afar. Our #ProjectSilverScreen mastermind will continue supporting Drama Kids’ as our Marketing and Media Specialist, and Teaching Consultant.
JJillian is thrilled to be celebrating her sixth year with Drama Kids as our newly appointed Customer Care Ambassador and Supervising 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 as an actor, director, producer, stage manager, dramaturg, and costume/prop master, 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.
Jillian is also the proud new mother of Jordyn Grace. A Drama Kid since birth!
Student Intern & Teaching Apprentice Manager, Supervising Teacher
Kathryn is thrilled to be celebrating her 7th 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 12 years of teaching experience and is thrilled to be starting a new teaching position at Troy High School this Fall. A former Child Care Administrator and Early Childhood educator at A Child’s Place, she is excited to take the leap from pre-schoolers to high-schoolers! 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!
Training & Curriculum Coordinator, In-School Program Supervisor
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!
Student Intern & Teacher Apprentice Trainer
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!
Alice graduated from the Musical Theatre Program at Circle in the Square Theatre School in NYC. She comes from sunny California where she worked as an actor as well as the Coordinator and Teaching Artist for a non-profit Children’s Conservatory. There she became passionate about teaching and the ways it can impact lives and help nourish amazing humans. Alice is the co-founder of Terraform Entertainment, a film production company that creates inspiring video content and wedding films from the heart. Alice is a proud member of Animus Theatre Company in NYC. She is super excited to be teaching again!
Isaac Scranton is a 15-year veteran of the NYC stage and has taught all aspects of theatre at Albany High School, St. Rose College, and most recently supervised the opening season of the Adeline Graham Theatre Training & Innovation Center at Proctors. Featured acting credits include: The Brig (*OBIE Award Winner), Eureka! (Living Theatre), From the House of the Dead, Armida, Boris Gutonov, Prince Igor, Die Walkure (Metropolitan Opera), Robin Hood (Queens Theatre/What Dreams May Co), Law & Order, Person of Interest & Blacklist. Directing credits include: Brattleboro (Midtown International Theatre Festival), Hackers & Heroes (Manhattan Theatre REP) and Lights & Noise & Bees & Boys (MTWORKS).
Lua is very excited to be joining Drama Kids for her first year! Graduating this past spring, Lua received her BA in Applied Theatre, focusing in Theatre; Black Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is a Theatre Studies Artivist (Producer, Director, & Dramaturg) and has been committed to bringing forth unheard voices to the (theatre) world. Having a young face and an even younger soul, Lua has known she wanted to help educate children & youth through theatre since 2016 when she worked at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Lua looks forward to being an “actor” of change with all of her students and hopes they will strive daily to be their best selves. You can find Lua around the Capital Region making balloon art at farmers markets, festivals, and birthday parties with the Balloon Buddies!
Payton is proud to be one of Drama Kids newest teachers! While this is her first year teaching, she is certainly not new to the Drama Kids family. As a student of Drama Kids of the Capital Region for 11 years, and a Teaching Apprentice for 3 of those years, she feels Drama Kids helped shape her into the person she is today. Without their guidance she would not have the confidence or communication skills she uses everyday as she continues her studies as a Sophomore at the University at Albany. Payton is grateful to be able to continue to be a part of the beautiful community that is Drama Kids International. “…Whether you’ve been in Drama Kids for a half year, or for 11 years, you are family.”
Josh is excited to be starting his 2nd year as a DKI Teacher! He was a student of Drama Kids for 6 years, then joined the Student Intern program his final year and subsequently graduated into a Teaching Apprentice position. He has a great appreciation for all the Drama Kids International format offers in the development of talent and confidence in children of all ages. He is currently going for his BS in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, and a minor in Theatre at the University of Albany. He recently had an internship as a Math Educator, in which he learned about curriculum creation using online resources amongst a team of educational content creators. He also is a member of the SUNY Albany Percussion Ensemble.
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.