Ann Marie Morris
Owner/Managing Director/Lead Teacher Ann Marie Morris is a Texan by transplant. Born & raised near Buffalo, N.Y., Ann Marie graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) Fredonia with a B.A. in Theatre Performance, and working minor in Costume Design & Construction. But the fact that she was nicknamed “Sarah Bernhardt” growing up tells it all. Her experience is varied; as is usual for most theatre grads, she did many different jobs while working on and appearing in local productions. She has been devoting her life to the theater and performing arts and helping children realize their full potential.
Once in Houston, she had the joy of teaching at a private Special Needs School. In 2017, she started at Katy Visual and Performing Arts Center (KVPAC), where she was the lead teacher in their Arts Pre-School program and the Pre-K 4 teacher, taught the acting specialty for young children, premiered a new Acting and Theatre program for Autistic children, and directed performances. But after Hurricane Harvey closed the school, a friend introduced her to Drama Kids International, and the rest, as they say, will be history!
Dwayne is a New Orleans transplant who landed in the Katy area to be near family. Jumping almost immediately into the theatre scene at Katy Visual and Performing Arts Center (KVPAC), a local, award winning community theatre, he started out with a production of High School Musical. Over time he has racked up many credits for Acting, Choreography, Directing and Wardrobe work. And he has a personal philosophy about Theatre: that it “has a way of branching into many different aspects of our lives. Not uncommon is its ability to teach us about ‘thinking on our feet’, adapting to challenges and teaching us to overcome the hardships that get thrown at us.” Which makes him a perfect fit for Drama Kids!
Melanie Flanagan is a theater arts professional specializing in directing and producing theater for youth. She grew up dancing and began her teaching career as a teenager, teaching tap and music in San Jose, California. She earned her Bachelor’s in Arts from the University of Southern California as a Theater major with a Musical Theater minor. Throughout and after college she worked at various theater camps, directing and choreographing full-length musicals with casts of 60-140 students. In 2007, she moved to New York and began a new leg of her career, shifting into production management. For eight years, she was the Director of Production for an orchestra company that specialized in theatrical concerts for young audiences. She has produced and directed performances at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, working with opera singers, movie stars, aerialists, giant puppets, and marching bands. After eleven years in New York, Melanie and her family recently relocated to Houston. She is thrilled to return to teaching theater, and excited to join the Drama Kids team for an amazing first step in her new journey!
Kat Bakonyi has had a passion for puppets as long as she can remember. Born and raised in New Jersey and now living in Texas, she is a multimedia artist with experience in many different forms of art, film and theater. She earned a BA from UC Irvine and an MA from UCLA Film School. Her most recent project was creating a giant five-headed dragon for the Houston Community College’s production of “She Kills Monsters”.